IN MORE BAD NEWS FOR BARRY O, THE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF CONTINUES TO LOSE SUPPORT DOMESTICALLY. THE LATEST POLL FINDS ONLY 47% APPROVE OF HIS JOB PERFORMANCE WHILE THOSE INSISTING "THE COUNTRY IS ON THE WRONG TRACK" HAS SKY ROCKETED TO 63%.
AND ANOTHER POLL SHOWS THAT DISENCHANTMENT IS, IN FACT, GLOBAL -- ESPECIALLY IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES WHERE ONLY 15% APPROVE OF HIS JOB PERFORMANCE.
BUT BARRY O'S HANDLERS THINK THEY HAVE THE SOLUTION: ASKING VOTERS FOR FOUR MORE YEARS FOR BARRY O TO . . . DO WHAT HE HAS BEEN DOING?
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
It's official: The Barack Obama administration is now the least accountable administration in modern history. How did it earn that dishonor?
When Rupert Murdoch's Wall St. Journal shows stronger ethics than your administration, there is a problem. When Wall St. Journal reporter Gina Chon and married Bush administration figure Brett McGurk decided to get hot and heavy in Baghdad in 2008, each was violating written policies of their employers. At present McGurk is still attempting to become US Ambassador to Iraq. Gina Chon, however, has parted with employer today.
Howard Kurtz (Daily Beast) reports, "Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon resigned on Tuesday over her relationship with a U.S. official who is now President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Iraq." Lisa Dru (Business Insider) reports on the news as well and includes the Wall St. Journal's statement:
Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon agreed to resign this afternoon after acknowledging that while based in Iraq she violated the Dow Jones Code of Conduct by sharing certain unpublished news articles with Brett McGurk, then a member of the U.S. National Security Council in Iraq.
In 2008 Ms. Chon entered into a personal relationship with Mr. McGurk, which she failed to disclose to her editor. At this time the Journal has found no evidence that her coverage was tainted by her relationship with Mr. McGurk.
Ms. Chon joined the Journal in 2005 in Detroit, followed by an assignment as Iraq correspondent in Baghdad from 2007 to 2009. She also reported for the Journal from Haiti in 2010 in the aftermath of the earthquake and has served as a M&A reporter for Money & Investing in New York since April 2010.
Whitney Lloyd, Jake Tapper and Dana Hughes (ABC News) explain, "The emails, first published by the blog Cryptome last week and confirmed by ABC News, are sexually explicit and suggest that Chon got much of her information, guidance and access for her reporting from McGurk during their affair." Joe Coscarelli (New York magazine) quotes Senator James Risch on McGurk's nomination, "Prior to these e-mail revelations, I had reservations about confirming Brett McGurk as ambassador to Iraq. Now that additional issues have been raised, more information will be needed and I reserve final judgment until all the facts are brought to light." Adam Martin (The Atlantic) observes, "In the end, it wasn't the sex with a source but the admission she shared unpublished stories with him that caused Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon to resign from the paper." Like Howard Kurtz, Meenal Vamburkar (Mediaite) is reporting that Chon took her leave of absence from the paper after the e-mails were published.
As usual The Huffington Post does a lousy job covering this story (while Poynter and CJR ignore it outright) as demonstrated by the comments where stupidity is flaunted with comments like "They got married!" or that they only had an affair. You don't sleep with your source. And, yes, HuffPo should do a better job covering the issues involved; however, most grown ups should already know that sleeping with your source -- especially someone working for the government -- is a huge conflict of interest. Not an apparent one. A conflict of interest.
That's what Lisa Du was explaining yesterday, "Aside from the fact that Chon probably committed the biggest no-no in the journalism industry by sleeping with her source, McGurk, by the way, was apparently still married when he and Chon had their rendezvous in the summer of 2008, the Washington Free Beacon is reporting." And McGurk also had a written code of conduct. We knew McGurk was hiding the affair from his bosses (and he was hiding it because it was a violation of the written rules of conduct he signed and agreed to follow). And it's the point Erik Wemple (Washington Post) makes today, "Not alerting an editor to a relationship with a ranking official in the center of her beat is a job-ending breakdown. Though a grace period must apply to the initial stages of courtship, Chon had progressed beyond that point, as the e-mails make clear. Let's just say that if you're discussing masturbation with a high-ranking lover/source, you have some news for your editor. The statement from the Wall Street Journal states that Chon neglected to take that step."
And more troubles keep coming Brett McGurk's way. Josh Rogin (Foreign Policy) reports on Senator Mark Kirk, "One Republican senator [Kirk] is now making an issue out of McGurk's role in the case of Ali Musa Daqduq, the alleged Hezbollah commander who was transferred from U.S. to Iraqi custody last December and acquitted in an Iraqi court last month. He remains in Iraqi custody pending an automatically triggered appeal, but could be released thereafter. "
In May, Mike Jaccarino (Fox News -- link is text and video) quoted Charlotte Freeman stating, "It was like a pit (opening) inside of me. I briefly read it and couldn't read on. I couldn't go there. It wasn't like he was dying again. It was more shock that these people get away with what they do. There's no justice. It's amazing and shocking to me that someone who did what he did could go free." That was her reaction to the news that Iraq planned to set freem the man who allegedly killed her husband, 31-year-old Spc Brian S. Freemen as well as 22-year-old Spc Johnathan B. Chism, 20-year-old Pfc Jonathon M. Millican, 25-year-old Pfc Shawn P. Falter and 25-year-old 1st Lt Jacob N. Fritz. The 5 US soldiers were murdered in January 2007. The US military had Ali Musa Daqduq in custody along with others who were said to have orchestrated the killings. But they let go of the League of Righteous members in the summer of 2009 to help out England (5 Brits had been kidnapped -- only one would be returned alive after the League was released). They kep Daqduq in US military custody. What happened?
December 16, 2011, Liz Sly and Peter Finn (Washington Post) reported on the US handing Ali Musa Daqduq over to the Iraqis, "He was transferred to Iraqi custody after the Obama administration 'sought and received assurances that he will be tried for his crimes,' according to Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council in Washington." Though US Senators objected to his being handed over to Nouri's legal system, the White House insisted he would be prosecuted and, if for nothing else, he might do eight years for entering Iraq illegally!
5 deaths. Brutal deaths. This was an attack that involved kidnapping. And Barack was fine with Ali Musa Daqduq just getting a slap on the wrist for entering Iraq without the proper travel visa. Then on May 7th, Suadad-al Salhy, Patrick Markey and Andrew Heavens (Reuters) reported that Iraq's 'justice' system has cleared Ali Mussa Daqduq of all charges related to the "2007 kidnapping attack that killed five U.S. troops." This is currently on appeal but it's not exepcted to be any trouble for Ali Mussa Daqduq to walk on all charges. Kitabat reported in May that Nouri caved to pressure from Tehran and that's why he was released. It was also noted that a number of US Senators were asking the White House not to turn Daqduq over to Iraq but to move him to Guantanamo or another facility.
Was Brett McGurk involved in those decisions? He was in Iraq as the decision was being made and as we quoted him in last Wednesday's snapshot telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
In my last assignments in Iraq, I participated in almost every internal conversation -- both inter-agency and in Baghdad -- about how not only to plan the transition after our troops were withdrawing but also uhm, uh-uh, how to get the size down. Uh, quite frankly, our presence in Iraq right now, uh, is too large.
But not that one, Brett McGurk? You were supposedly a whiz on the Iraqi legal system. Didn't you blog about that? What happened to that blog?
Your now deleted blog? Maybe the Committee should ask you questions about that?