*The husband of Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has cashed in $13 million in stock options, giving her a huge potential campaign war chest. Hint: nobody cashes in $13 million in options to run for Lt. Gov. Yet another sign that Mitt Romney is running for president, in which case he won’t run for re-election in 2006, in which case Healey will be the GOP candidate.
*Bush is reading a book about the history of salt, as well as one on the 1918 flu pandemic.
*Ed Morrissey on Jamie Gorelick.
*Morrissey again, on the March 2001 arrest of Iraqi agents in Germany on suspicion of spying, including contemporaneous (i.e., pre-9/11) press reports that the arrests were related to contacts between Iraq and bin Laden. From a summary of a report in a Paris-based Arabic newspaper:
Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist fundamentalist parties.
The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Ladin were working together. German authorities were surprised by the arrest of the two Iraqi agents and the discovery of Iraqi intelligence activities in several German cities. German authorities, acting on CIA recommendations, had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Ladin. They discovered the two Iraqi agents by chance and uncovered what they considered to be serious indications of cooperation between Iraq and bin Ladin. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies.
*Andrew McCarthy looks more closely at how new information informs the longstanding controversy over a Czech intelligence finding that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence operative in Prague the following month, April 2001. The evidence remains contradictory and ambiguous. But the salient point is the extent to which the 9/11 Commission reached a predetermined conclusion on the issue without looking more carefully at the facts.
*Patrick Ruffini on how Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and NY Post may be pulling their punches on Hillary Clinton. And is Hillary “Joe Lieberman in a pants suit”?
*A response to Juan Cole’s effort to blame the death of pro-war journalist Steven Vincent on Vincent having an alleged affair with his translator. Cole just can’t resist kicking a man while he’s dead. Via Stuart Buck.
*Mary Katherine Ham on whether newspaper reporters know more about the Iraq war than the people fighting the war, and other lessons for the media. Via Wizbang.