News In Brief

I guess we'll never know whether David Kelley was in fact the source for the BBC. Dead men tell no tales.

Body matches description of British weapons adviser investigated over Iraq file

A body found Friday in central England has been tentatively identified as a missing Ministry of Defense adviser suspected as the source of allegations that the government doctored a report about Iraq's nuclear program.

[David] Kelly, a 59-year-old former U.N. weapons inspector, was at the center of a political storm over allegations that Blair's office altered intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons programs to support the decision to join the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The government denies the claim.

The Ministry of Defense said Kelly may have been the source for a British Broadcasting Corp. report that Blair aides gave undue prominence to a claim that Iraq could launch chemical or biological weapons on 45 minutes' notice.

No one was surpised to learn yesterday that Bush's popularity is declining in California, but a CNN-Time poll shows that the tide may be moving east - yet another positive sign of a Bush defeat in 2004.
President's approval rating sags over Iraq, economy

The public has grown increasingly uneasy with President Bush's handling of the economy and the situation in Iraq, a new poll suggests.

Bush's overall job approval dropped 8 points since May to 55 percent, according to a CNN-Time poll released Friday. A majority in this poll, 52 percent, said the president is doing a poor job of handling the economy, and just four in 10 say the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq has been a success. That's down from 52 percent who felt that way in late March.

If I were a soldier in the Army's Second Brigade, Third Infantry Division in Iraq, I would keep my mouth shut.
Pentagon may punish GIs who spoke out on TV

Morale is dipping pretty low among U.S. soldiers as they stew in Iraq's broiling heat, get shot at by an increasingly hostile population and get repeated orders to extend their tours of duty.

Ask any grunt standing guard on a 115-degree day what he or she thinks of the open-ended Iraq occupation, and you'll get an earful of colorful complaints.

But going public isn't always easy, as soldiers of the Army's Second Brigade, Third Infantry Division found out after "Good Morning America" aired their complaints.

The brigade's soldiers received word this week from the Pentagon that it was extending their stay, with a vague promise to send them home by September if the security situation allows. They've been away from home since September, and this week's announcement was the third time their mission has been extended.

On Wednesday morning, when the ABC news show reported from Fallujah, where the division is based, the troops gave the reporters an earful. One soldier said he felt like he'd been "kicked in the guts, slapped in the face." Another demanded that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld quit.

The retaliation from Washington was swift.

"It was the end of the world," said one officer Thursday. "It went all the way up to President Bush and back down again on top of us. At least six of us here will lose our careers."

First lesson for the troops, it seemed: Don't ever talk to the media "on the record" -- that is, with your name attached -- unless you're giving the sort of chin-forward, everything's-great message the Pentagon loves to hear.

Only two days before the ABC show, similarly bitter sentiments -- with no names attached -- were voiced in an anonymous e-mail circulating around the Internet, allegedly from "the soldiers of the Second Brigade, Third ID."

"Our morale is not high or even low," the letter said. "Our morale is nonexistent. We have been told twice that we were going home, and twice we have received a 'stop.'

Another slick move by the Bush White House. In the name of open democracy and accessibility, the White House just made it harder to send the President an email. What's next, a 1-900 number to call Bush on the phone?
E-mail maze at White House
New system makes sending a message to Bush no simple task

Do you want to send an e-mail message to the White House?

Good luck.

In the past, to tell President Bush -- or at least those assigned to read his mail -- what was on your mind, it was only necessary to sit down at a personal computer connected to the Internet and dash off an e-mail note to

But this week, Tom Matzzie, an online organizer with the AFL-CIO, discovered that communicating with the White House has become a bit more daunting. When he sent an e-mail protest against a Bush administration policy, the message was bounced back with an automated reply, saying that he had to send it again in a new way.

Under a system deployed on the White House Web site for the first time last week, those who want to send a message to Bush must now navigate as many as nine Web pages and fill out a detailed form that starts by asking whether the message sender supports White House policy or differs with it.

And finally, a little fun from our friends at the Democratic National Committee: the George W. Bush Credibility Twister game.

Every spin produces more lies told by Bush & Co about weapons of mass destruction and the bogus Niger yellowcake intell. Give it a spin!