The Note

And more from Kerry's left flank: Writes the New York Times' Lyman of Dennis Kucinich, "the war in Iraq is turning out to be just the disaster he had predicted, and if he can just keep accumulating delegates here and there, he might be able to go into the Democratic convention in Boston this summer with enough juice to nudge the party toward his way of thinking." Kucinich says he wants a meeting with Sen. Kerry "to try to persuade him that a troops-out-now platform is the way to beat President Bush and unlock the door to the nation's progressive yearnings." LINK

From the right: The Wall Street Journal's Jaffe and Hitt write in the very last graph of their story leading with pressure to expand the Abu Ghraib investigation: "The unsettled period ahead has Bush advisers increasingly resigned to the fact that news from Iraq will drive the election contest, elbowing aside developments in the U.S. economy or on other matters. The signals the transfer sends, Bush advisers say, will color public perceptions heading into the summer nominating conventions and the sprint to Election Day."

And the Los Angeles Times' Brownstein quotes Ivo Daalder in saying that the Bush preemption doctrine (so neatly outlined in the Woodward book) is a casualty of the war in Iraq. LINK

Of course, writes Brownstein, "Kerry's aides say he would consider preemptive action to depose a regime openly harboring terrorists that threaten America."

Francis X of the New York Times says there ain't enough Iraq talk by the two candidates, writing the ole "hustings are painfully devoid of the one thing the nation is entitled to for all its lost blood and treasure - an honest, plain give-and-take before voters about the war's wisdom and direction." We bet Dems will be sure to check out the quote from Mr. Head. LINK

Mark Helprin kinda agrees, writing on the Wall Street Journal's opinion page that on Iraq, "America has been poorly served by those who govern it."

It's all about the L-word now.

The New York Times' Sanger writes of Sec. Powell's comment that the CIA was misled about Iraq's weapons. Goes the last graph: "'Basically, Powell now believes that the Iraqis had chemical weapons, and that was it,' said an official close to him. 'And he is out there publicly saying this now because he doesn't want a legacy as the man who made up stories to provide the president with cover to go to war.'" LINK

Big confusion reigns re: June 30 writes the New York Times' Weisman. LINK

Insurgency in Iraq is making reconstruction more expensive for contractors and gobbling up limited reconstruction funds, report the Wall Street Journal's Gold and Munoz, who write the "rise in security and recruiting needs comes amid growing criticism of the Bush administration's planning for a postwar Iraq."

The politics of national security:

The New York Times' Robert Pear reports "a federal advisory committee says Congress should pass laws to protect the civil liberties of Americans when the government sifts through computer records and data files for information about terrorists." LINK

The New York Times' Safire writes the Pentagon report "Safeguarding Privacy in the Fight Against Terrorism" should be debated now, not later, by Congress and praises the draft for "balancing personal liberty and national security." LINK

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