Daily update

1. China’s president Hu Jintao is going to attend several UN events later this month, an unprecedented investment of time by the head of state.(1)

2. Intelligence chief Dennis Blair has updated the public’s understanding of the extent of spying. He now admits to 200,000 spies and a $75 billion annual budget.(2) MIM already pointed out years ago that spies outnumber communists by far in the United $tates. It’s not “paranoia” as stupid Liberals who believe their own illusions say: it’s reality about Amerikkka.

3. I$rael’s Defense Minister Barak says Iran is not an “existential threat” to I$rael. This represents a racheting down of rhetoric.(3)

4. Italy said it wants to bring troops home from Afghanistan “as soon as possible.”(4) It just suffered six dead.

5. As we have said about Senator Kerry, he is asking about counter-insurgency. He has recently provided more quotes to this effect on Afghanistan.(5)

6. British Tories say they will shrink the surveillance state.(6) The Guardian paraphrased it as a worst of both worlds problem — what we point to as repression without removing the motivations for misusing it.

Notes:
1. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/17/content_12067880.htm
2. http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN15495618
3. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/09/17/world/international-uk-israel-iran.html
4. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/world/asia/18afghan.html?_r=1&hp
5. http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=09&year=2009&base_name=john_kerrys_afghanistan_doubts
6. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/sep/16/conservative-policy-paper-surveillance-privacy

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