Walter Isaacson is concerned that CNN is being used as a propaganda platform … for the Taliban. He wants to make sure his correspondents give as much attention to the fact that the Taliban are evil bastards as to the pitiful state of the Afghanis and the devastation that our bombing is causing. After all, CNN wouldn’t want to be labelled as anti-American. Perhaps they should just scroll text across the bottom of the screen whenever they show footage of Afghanistan saying, “Don’t feel bad, they have it coming.” Walter Isaacson and his cronies who are behind this memo ought to find jobs where they don’t have to masquerade as journalists.

In the New York Times, Paul Krugman takes a look at the administration’s proposed economic stimulus package and finds that a lot of the stimulus is targetted at Texas energy companies which are closely associated with Dick Cheney and who dumped bags of cash on the Bush campaign last year.

British historian Sir Michael Howard gave a speech analyzing the American response to the 9/11 attacks. It’s probably the best assessment of the current situation and our handling of it that I’ve yet read. There are lots of juicy quotes in the speech that I could pull, but I’ll just suggest that you read the whole thing. (Link via Interesting People.)

Salon’s Katharine Mieszkowski has an interview with Barbara Mikkelson, who, along with her husband, maintains the amazing Snopes.com. The interview talks about 9/11-related hoaxes, and more generally, urban folklore.

EPIC has published the DOJ field guide (PDF) on the new authorities granted by the anti-terrorism act signed last week. Here’s the blurb from EPIC’s home page about the document:

Within hours of the USA PATRIOT Act being signed into law, the Justice Department issued a field guidance memorandum (PDF) on the new anti-terrorism authorities approved by Congress. The memorandum does not address expanded powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; guidance in that area appears to be classified. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he has directed FBI and U.S. Attorney’s offices “to begin immediately implementing this sweeping legislation.”

(Link via Interesting People.)

Current estimates are that about 1,000 people are currently being detained in relation to the 9/11 attack. The government has not released their names, nor has it explained why these people are being held. I’m glad that various political groups are keeping a close eye on this situation.

Salon has a great interview today with Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli journalist. While his opinions are obviously only his own, I found the interview to be an excellent picture of how Israelis perceive their ongoing relationship with the Palestinians. For example, here’s his statement on the dealing with terrorism in day to day life:

On the other hand, Israel is the only democracy in the world that has never known any period without terrorism. That’s one of the mistakes that many of my colleagues in the media make when they judge Israel. They don’t understand the context of our excruciating internal debates over occupation vs. security or human rights vs. terrorist prevention. All of those issues which the United States is now going to have to start facing, we’ve been living with from the day of our existence.

I have never known a period in this country where terrorism was not an active consideration of how we live our lives. Israelis used to joke that in Alaska they have to deal with the snow, and in the Middle East we deal with terrorism. That is part of the weather here. In the sense of how you balance daily life with fear and caution, Israel is the world expert.