Stories by Leon H Wolf

Posted at 10:25am on Aug. 21, 2005 LaToyia Figueroa Story Ends in Tragedy

By Leon H Wolf

The search for Latoyia Figueroa, the missing woman whose case was brought to national attention by dedicated Philadelphia area bloggers, came to a sad end yesterday:

PHILADELPHIA - Police discovered the remains of a missing pregnant woman and quickly arrested the father of her unborn child Saturday, ending an exhaustive, monthlong search.

District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said Stephen Poaches would be charged with two counts of murder and related offenses for the deaths of 24-year-old LaToyia Figueroa and her fetus.

There are two basic points that need to be made about this story below the fold:

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Posted at 6:56pm on Aug. 18, 2005 The Mysterious Morphing Letter

By Leon H Wolf

Ever since Cindy Sheehan began denying that she wrote the "My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel" email, we've been a little suspicious of the truthfulness of those statements. More specifically, Josh Trevino was suspicious enough to contact Cindy Sheehan's press spokeswoman, Michelle Mulkey, to get the story "straight from the source," as it were. According to Josh, he spoke with Ms. Mulkey on the phone as she stood next to Cindy Sheehan, and subsequently sent her this email:


This is Josh Trevino from, whom you spoke with this afternoon. As per our conversation, I am writing to confirm that the e-mail at this URL....

....was in fact written by Ms Sheehan to ABC's Nightline program. I am pasting the full text of the e-mail below.

(Josh then pasted the text of the email in question)

To which Ms. Mulkey responded - again, in the immediate proximity to Sheehan:

I can confirm that this is NOT Cindy. She had a hacker send this email last spring and then changed her password after she was alerted to it.

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Posted at 10:57am on Aug. 15, 2005 Dear Media: Please Give Us More Cindy Sheehan

By Leon H Wolf

Please don't misunderstand the title of my post to mean that I'd like to see more media coverage of Sheehan. I think it's pretty obvious at this point that I think her 15 minutes should have been up about half an hour ago. However, the media is what they are, and the helpless suckers for political theater will cover a war-protest, however ill-conceived. I've come to accept this.

Given that they will cover her to excess, what I wish they'd do is cover her. Because what they're providing now is not coverage, it's a gloss. The media has painted a carefully constructed picture of Ms. Sheehan as a grieving mother, who in the throes of her grief is stolidly waging a simple campaign against the President - she's camping out, just looking for answers.

If the media wants to haul their cameras out there to watch, we just wish they'd paint the picture honestly and as it is. Here are a few things we wish the media would do while they are covering Cindy Sheehan:

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Posted at 12:55am on Aug. 15, 2005 Reflections on Justice Sunday II

By Leon H Wolf

Well, I've completed my liveblogging of the Justice Sunday II event, driven home, and had a little time to reflect on the event. Let me say first of all that the event was a great opportunity to meet several other great bloggers who covered the event, and I'd encourage you to check out their sites for further coverage. Present at the event were: Captain Ed Morrisey, Lance from Red State Rant, Joe from Evangelical Outpost, Jackson Miller (the lone lefty in attendance, despite the fact that others were invited), Bill Hobbs, Beth Woodfin, Trey Jackson, RedState contributor and AlarmingNews blogger Karol Sheinin, and Charmaine Yoest, who in addition to being a great blogger and FRC powerhouse, also lent me her laptop so that I could liveblog.

WIthout further adieu, the good, the bad, and the point of this event.

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Posted at 5:43pm on Aug. 14, 2005 Liveblogging Justice Sunday II

By Leon H Wolf

Thanks to Mike Krempasky, I am here at Justice Sunday II with large portions of the leadership of the social conservative movement in this country, as well as several current and former legislators. Scheduled to speak, among others, are Tom DeLay, Zell Miller, Dr. James Dobson, Phyllis Schlafly, Rebecca St. James, and others. Updates as they happen below the fold.

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Posted at 2:56am on Aug. 14, 2005 Iraqi Chemical Weapons Factory Found

By Leon H Wolf

Kudos to RedState poster rbdwiggins for finding this Washington Post article:

BAGHDAD, Aug. 13 -- U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.

Monday's early morning raid found 11 precursor agents, "some of them quite dangerous by themselves," a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said in Baghdad.

Combined, the chemicals would yield an agent capable of "lingering hazards" for those exposed to it, Boylan said. The likely targets would have been "coalition and Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians," partly because the chemicals would be difficult to keep from spreading over a wide area, he said.

Boylan said the suspected lab was new, dating from some time after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration cited evidence that Saddam Hussein's government was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction as the main justification for the invasion. No such weapons or factories were found.

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Posted at 12:21am on Aug. 12, 2005 A Fortnight of Denial Comes to an End

By Leon H Wolf

At long last, we have heard from the local Newspaper of Record on the Air America scam! I'd repaste some of it here, but frankly it's already stuff we have hammered upon ad nauseam here. The only new snippet I found was this:

Ms. Horn added that investigators recently told the network that Mr. Cohen had served simultaneously as the development director for Gloria Wise, although the network was not aware of that at the time.

So far as I know, this claim, that Progress Media was somehow unaware that one of their board members was also the development director for a major local charity, is a first. I guess he sort of forgot that on the resume? Never came up in a background search? Heck, a Google search? Cohen never once mentioned it to the good folks he ran a company with?

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Posted at 10:56am on Aug. 11, 2005 Heads Roll in Air America/Gloria Wise Scandal

By Leon H Wolf

The stonewall of MSM silence on the Air America scandal is slowly but surely showing some signs of wear. So far on the list of media outlets to cover the story (outside of the Post, Sun and Daily News):

The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the Washington Times (numerous). Those are the ones that I can find so far. As of yesterday, a reporter for a major newspaper on the Eastern seaboard was contacting Michelle, Brian and me (and perhaps others) for interviews. Thanks largely to blogger coverage of this, Raleigh News Observer editor Melanie Sill is pushing the AP to do a story covering this.

As I pointed out here, if there's one thing the media hates worse than Republicans, it's being left behind on a story that everyone else is covering. Once the momentum builds on a media swarm, you can bet that this is gonna snowball.

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Posted at 9:43pm on Aug. 8, 2005 When Embezzlement is Small (and Not So Small)

By Leon H Wolf

Mark Coffey has the latest for us on the Oil-for-Food scandal, courtesy of MSNBC. Mark's concerned about former Oil-for-Food boss Benon Sevan, and MSNBC's wording of the story dealing with him:

Meanwhile, investigators probing claims of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program accused its former chief, Benon Sevan, of corruption for taking illegal kickbacks and recommended his immunity be lifted for prosecution.

Some critics have accused the United Nations of squandering millions — and even billions — of dollars in its mismanagement of the program. Yet Volcker's team found that Sevan appeared to have received kickbacks of just $147,184 from December 1998 to January 2002.

Now here, this last paragraph really is incredible. Let's dismiss just for a moment the notion of the word "only" being attached to $147,184. What in the world does the first sentence of the paragraph have to do with the second? You see, when you stick that little conjunctive "yet" in there, you are implying that what follows has something to do with what came before (and further, that it somehow negates what came before).

Our question is, what does the fact that Sevan received "only" $147,184 personally have to do with the contention that the Oil-for-Food program as a whole squandered millions or billions of dollars in mismanagement? So far as I can tell, not a thing. Apparently, to MSNBC, it is somehow the case that both cannot be possible.

Having dispatched with MSNBC's shoddy reporting on the case, we move on to the substance of the article, which is chock full of more bad news for Kofi Annan:

The report touched briefly on Annan and his son, Kojo. It said new e-mails suggesting Kofi Annan knew more than he said about his son's involvement in the program raised questions that would be answered in the committee's final report, expected in September.

Though both men have quit, diplomatic immunity would cover their actions when they were employed. Volcker's recommendation that Annan waive that immunity was a strong indication of his conviction about the claims against them.

What are the opening odds on Annan waiving that immunity? Better or worse than the odds of Air America surviving the year? Better or worse than the odds of Bill Frist becoming President? I don't know that I have the answers to those questions, but it's not something I'll be betting on nonetheless.

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Posted at 1:38pm on Aug. 8, 2005 Taking Coughenhour Down

By Leon H Wolf

In a surprisingly pleasant op-ed in the Washington Post (Courtesy of CQ), Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule take Judge Coughenhour to task for his ridiculous lecture to the Bush administration about their terrorist detention policy:

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