Bloggers discuss reports that columnist Robert Novak leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to Karl Rove and not the other way around. They also mull over a study of global opinions of terrorism and a report that one-third of recent medical studies have proven misleading or downright wrong.
Rove breathes easier: The New York Times reports that Karl Rove learned the name of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame from columnist Robert Novak.
"So, as far as I can tell, the possibility of a criminal indictment for Karl Rove for 'leaking' Valerie Plame's identity is completely off the table," submits Jon Henke at libertarian group-blog QandO.
Conservative techie TallDave, who predicted yesterday that Rove was the recipient of a leak, doubles down on his second bet—that New York Times reporter Judith Miller was the original source. "Will Atrios and Daily Kos and the rest of the lefty 'sphere lay off anytime soon?" he asks at Semi-Random Ramblings. "I doubt it. This has become their Quest for the Holy Grail. Or at least they thought so; it now looks more like they're pointing their lances toward a windmill." Others agree the scandal was mostly hype. "This surely qualifies as one of the 'hey, big whoop' stories of all time," swears John Podhoretz at National Review's right-wing roundtable The Corner.
Plucky liberal Joshua Micah Marshall offers what he hopes will be the Democratic line on the scandal. "The entire Wilson/Plame story and the Rove/White House criminal probe sub-story are just so many threads thrown off a much larger and more consquential ball of yarn: the administration's use of fraudulent evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program to seal the deal for war on Iraq with the American people," he writes at TPMCafe. Atrios, E Pluribus Unum, Ed Cone, and others on the left are opening up another front in the war on Rove, passing around a New York Times column that attacks the advisor for turning 9/11 into a domestic political opportunity.
Everybody hates Osama?: "Osama bin Laden's standing has dropped significantly in some pivotal Muslim countries, while support for suicide bombings and other acts of violence has 'declined dramatically,' " reports the Washington Post, citing a recent Pew Research Center review of global attitudes towards terrorism.
Washington Monthly's Political Animal Kevin Drum, like many, finds the report encouraging. "Take a look at the three Muslim countries that have been hit with major al-Qaeda bombing attacks since 2002 — Morocco, Indonesia, and Turkey. Support for suicide bombing is down to 15% or less in all three countries and, even more dramatically, confidence in Osama bin Laden has been cut nearly in half. Attacking Muslim countries appears to have backfired badly on al-Qaeda."
Conservative Ed Morrissey thinks the study validates the president's policy of democracy promotion. "Democratization brings hope and a measure of control over one's life, two qualities that have long been absent from the tyrannies and kleptocracies of the Middle East," he writes at Captain's Quarters. "Until Iraq and Afghanistan showed it could work for Arabs as well as Europeans, the subjects of these autocracies had neither nor any glimmer of possibility of achieving them. Now that they see their cousins able to govern themselves through free elections and hold their leaders accountable for their actions, they understand the futility of suicide attacks and terrorism."
New Virginia Church Man John B. Chilton is less optimistic. Chilton notes the breakdown of opinion by religion—though a majority of those surveyed in Western countries hold a favorable view of Islam, Muslims have "mixed views" of Christians and less-than-favorable opinions of Jews. At The Corner, Mark Krikorian worries that the "number of people…who continue to support suicide bombing against civilians 'to defend Islam from its enemies' is still frighteningly high: 12 percent of Pakistanis (that would come to 21 million people), fully a quarter of Lebanese and Jordanians, and even 3 percent of Turks (that's 2 million people)."
Read more blog posts about the Pew study.
You think you know, but you have no idea: Nearly one-third of studies published in major medical journals between 1990 and 2003 "did not hold up" upon further review, a team of researchers has found.
"The same people who would mock faith in religion demonstrate blind faith in science," writes conservative firebrand Dan Flynn of Flynn Files. "Science contradicts other science. Events prove science wrong. Science serves agendas. Scientists confuse their own prejudices for science. Today's cutting-edge medicine is tomorrow's quack remedy." At BrothersJudd, Orrin Judd asks the obvious question: "What if this study is the one in three?"
Read more about the skeptical study.
Have a question, comment, or suggestion for Today's Blogs? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.