December 12th, 2007

Chris Keeley

For Mearsheimer and Walt, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the answer is a pow

Tuesday, December 11, 2007POLITICS
Critics of Israel lobby draw fire

Two international relations theorists came to campus last night for a hotly contested debate about their book, which outlines the damages they believe pro-Israel lobbying has done to American foreign policy.

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," spoke in Dodds Auditorium, which overflowed with attendees anxious to hear the scholars discuss their controversial arguments. The discussion — which frequently drew strong reactions from the audience — was moderated by Wilson School professor Robert Keohane, himself a prominent international relations scholar.

    Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, began the talk by explaining that when discussing U.S. policy toward Israel, "we're talking about special relations."

    "Israel is the largest recipient of economic and military aid from the United States," he said. "It enjoys consistent diplomatic support in the United States, which almost always takes its side in regional disputes. Israel is almost never criticized by anyone who aspires to high office in the United States. The question is: Why?"

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Chris Keeley

Dalí: Painting & Film at the LACMA

Dalí: Painting & Film at the LACMA


Dali Painting & Film exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Overall, it was a fantastic exhibition and I learned quite a great deal about Salvador Dalí's interest in film that went far beyond his collaborations with Buñuel, like the famed "Un Chien Andalou." Dalí created wonderful storyboards and set designs for quite a few unrealized films, including a collaboration with the Marx Brothers! Here's a quote from a 1937 letter Dalí wrote to surrealist André Breton: "I’m in Hollywood, where I’ve made contact with the three American Surrealists, Harpo Marx, Disney and Cecil B. DeMille." I also hadn't realized that Dalí created the dream sequence for Alfred Hitchock's Spellbound (1945). Apparently, a phantasmagoric ballroom scene was shot for this sequence but ended up on the cutting room floor. Dalí's artwork and notes for this part of the dream are quite remarkable. It's sad that the footage was lost.
Link to Spellbound clip, Link to Dalí: Painting & Film at the LACMA
Chris Keeley

In July, Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2 -year sentence, sparing Vice President Cheney's former chief of

In July, Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2 -year sentence, sparing Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff from serving any prison time after being convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. Libby, who recently dropped appeals to have his convictions overturned, has paid a $250,000 fine and remains on two years probation.

Libby was the only person to face criminal charges in the case of the 2003 leak of then-CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's identity.

A pardon amounts to federal forgiveness for one's crime, while a commutation cuts short an existing prison term.

Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said Bush has granted 142 pardons and commuted five sentences since taking office in 2001.


Chris Keeley

In their opinion, the laboratory’s Evidence Control Section was responsible for the loss of 43 cases

In their opinion, the laboratory’s Evidence Control Section was responsible for the loss of 43 cases of narcotic evidence

December 12, 2007
About New York

After Arrests, Drug Evidence Goes Missing

One day last December, a Brooklyn prosecutor called the Police Department laboratory to check on a test of drugs that had been seized six weeks earlier.

The drugs were nowhere to be found in the laboratory.

As officials hunted for the evidence in that case, they made a startling discovery: The drugs seized in 42 other arrests made in Brooklyn that same day, Oct. 20, 2006, also had vanished without a trace.

In short, all the evidence from every narcotics arrest in Brooklyn that day was gone.

“A search was conducted, disclosing that an entire bundle of narcotics, 43 in total, which should have been submitted to the laboratory for examination was not present,” Dr. Peter Pizzola, the director of the laboratory, wrote in a letter in April to an organization that oversees forensic laboratories. “Additionally, all paperwork associated with this delivery was also missing.”

Despite an inquiry that began over a year ago, officials still cannot say whether the drugs were lost, stolen or thrown away. Investigators believe that a police officer serving as a courier took several large plastic bags of drugs as far as the laboratory. There, the trail goes cold.

At various stages, prosecutors from all five boroughs have joined the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau in the investigation, which is now being led by the district attorney’s office in Queens, because the laboratory is there.

“This remains an active investigation,” John M. Ryan, the chief assistant district attorney in Queens, said on Tuesday.

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Chris Keeley

THIS weekend, 5,000 delegates of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will gather in the

THIS weekend, 5,000 delegates of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will gather in the dusty northern town of Polokwane to elect their next leader. They are faced with the choice of two bitter rivals who were once, as successors to Nelson Mandela, the closest of allies: the incumbent president, Thabo Mbeki, and his former deputy, Jacob Zuma. 

Mr. Mbeki is constitutionally precluded from serving again when his term ends in 2009, but if he were to win the party leadership, he could select his own successor. A victory by Mr. Zuma would be a radical changing of the guard.

Chris Keeley

Once you’ve helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country into war, shouldn’t you be banne

Once you’ve helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country into war, shouldn’t you be banned for life from ever having another top-level government post concerning W.M.D.? 

December 12, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

The Dream Is Dead


The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.

The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, “War and Decision,” conceded that the case could be made that “mistakes were made.” His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.

But he wasn’t self-flagellating. He was simply trying to put an egghead gloss on his Humpty Dumpty mishegoss.

“At the end of the day, here we are, and as of now there’s a reasonable chance that the country is going to remain united,” he said. Not quite the original boast of democracy cascading through the Middle East.

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Chris Keeley

Breathe life into the Annapolis initiative

Dear Friend,

*The Annapolis Initiative: Call for a Courageous Step Forward*

* *

On December 5, 2007, I gave the paper set forth below to a European
ambassador serving in Paris. This ambassador had previously served his
country as Foreign Minister. The European ambassador said that at the
European Union meeting in Paris in mid-December, there would not be
sufficient unity among its members to take a really strong political
position in support of the Annapolis initiative.

He opined that the European Union members would agree on the use of
money to help the Israeli-Palestinian negotiators find agreement in
arriving at a negotiated two-state solution. Certainly, the foreign
ambassador said, there would not be unanimity among the EU members to
take the kind of courageous initiative with the U.N. General Assembly as
set forth in the paper. At the European Union, all political decisions
must be taken unanimously.

The following is the partial text of the paper I gave the European
ambassador on December 5. In the meantime, other diplomats have also
requested my paper.

*How to Breathe Life into the American Initiative at Annapolis to Bring
Peace to the Near East*

* *

1. The U.S. Government alone can NOT bring the Annapolis Initiative to
fruition. Why? Because Congress does not have the majority needed to
support the Annapolis Initiative.
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Chris Keeley

The set for Monday’s Led Zeppelin reunion:

The set for Monday’s Led Zeppelin reunion:

December 12, 2007

among its 16 songs was one it had never played live before: “For Your Life,” from the album “Presence.”

The Led List

The set for Monday’s Led Zeppelin reunion:

“Good Times Bad Times”

“Ramble On”

“Black Dog”

“In My Time of Dying”

“For Your Life”

“Trampled Under Foot”

“Nobody’s Fault but Mine”

“No Quarter”

“Since I’ve Been Loving You”

“Dazed and Confused”

“Stairway to Heaven”

“The Song Remains the Same”

“Misty Mountain Hop”



“Whole Lotta Love”

“Rock and Roll”