Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

More questions for Novak, from his tell-all.

And don't forget this TPM golden oldie, which shows pretty conclusively that Novak lied about his use of the term 'operative', all for the purpose of covering up the culpability of his sources.

Imagine that.

We've got the 'complaint' in the Joe Wilson suit posted in our document collection, all 23 pages of it.

We'll have our analysis of what it contains up momentarily. Share your thoughts here.

Update: Here's our rundown of what the suit is about.

TPM Reader SP chimes in ...

Hey Josh --

the larger points in the current Israel/Palestine/Lebanon crisis are two: Olmert's apparent lack of "maturity" as PM for lack of a better word, and seeming inability to measure his govt's response, has escalated the situation close to a point of no return. given the harsh rhetoric and extreme measures being taken it appears the the situation is being run by the war-makers in the cabinet and there seems to be no countervailing voice of reason, moderation or diplomacy. the other is that the crisis has exposed in stark relief the US' utter inability to influence the situation. Bush has nothing to offer, having bought wholesale into the rhetoric of "terror"-he can't ask for moderation, he can't use any bargaining chips, he can't bully Olmert in any of the ways his predecessors have done.

this is a truly unfortunate turn of events, not the least from the point of view of most Israelis who supported Kadima-I doubt this is what they had in mind.

I don't agree wholesale with this comment. You can see my views here. But SP does get at a key issue here -- the perception of Olmert in Israel and around the region. Unlike most Israeli leaders, Olmert was not a career Army officer. Whether he is 'mature' or not, he doesn't have the leeway for restraint in the way Sharon might have. Not that Sharon was known for exercising restraint in many cases, certainly -- but he had much more room for maneuver, precisely because of that. No doubt, this greatly heightens the volatility of the situation.

Where's the US? I think I see the escalation of hostilities in and around Israel a bit differently than some readers. One TPM Reader asked yesterday in heated tones why I hadn't written anything about the "atrocities" Israel was committing in Gaza and southern Lebanon. I take a different view of this. I don't see why Israel should or really can, in the context of withdrawing from occupied territories, sit still while de facto governments to the north and the south kidnap her soldiers. And I say that as someone who thinks Israel should get out of the occupied territories in Gaza and the West Bank and support the establishment of a true Palestinian state not at some vague point in the future but now.

Israel actually faces what the Bush administration has pretended America faces, hostile neighbors using terrorist and irredentist factions as proxies in their conflict with Israel.

But retaliation has consequences. How far does this creeping war creep? Into Lebanon? We're already at that point. Into Syria? We're close. Iran? Maybe not too far in the future. Is it in Israel's or America's interest to acquire more occupied territories? Other than retaliatory bombing or occupation of buffer zones, what the the strategic objectives?

This is spinning out of control very quickly. And we need to think right now about where this leads in a week and a month. For America's interests and Israel's the US can't afford to hold back and watch where this goes.

TPM Reader Joe Wilson on Bob Novak ...

Robert Novak, some other commentators and the Administration continue to try to completely distort the role that Valerie Wilson played with respect to Ambassador Wilson's trip to Niger. The facts are beyond dispute. The Office of the Vice President requested that the CIA investigate reports of alleged uranium purchases by Iraq from Niger. The CIA setup a meeting to respond to the Vice President's inquiry. Another CIA official, not Valerie Wilson, suggested to Valerie Wilson's supervisor that the Ambassador attend that meeting. That other CIA official made the recommendation because that official was familiar with the Ambassador's vast experience in Niger and knew of a previous trip to Africa concerning uranium matters that had been undertaken by the Ambassador on behalf of the CIA in 1999. Valerie Wilson's supervisor subsequently asked her to relay a request from him to the Ambassador that he would like the Ambassador to attend the meeting at the CIA. Valerie Wilson did not participate in the meeting.

More to come, I'm sure.