“Year Zero” came to life in early February when Web-savvy fans discovered that highlighted letters inside words on a NIN tour T-shirt spelled out “I am trying to believe.” Savvy fans added a “.com” to the five words and, voila, located a thought-provoking, eerie Web site. Other associated sites created by 42 Entertainment, where a dark future reigns supreme, were soon discovered. Within days, the blogosphere was rich with anxious NIN fans sharing their experiences on message boards.
According to one post, a male fan, allegedly by happenstance, found a USB drive in a bathroom stall during a NIN concert at the Coliseum in Lisbon, Portugal. This flash drive (yes, Reznor’s idea) contained an MP3 of album track “My Violent Heart.” Additional USB drives were purportedly found in Barcelona and Manchester, England; they included MP3s of album tracks “Me, I’m Not” and “In This Twilight,” respectively.
Excited fans then began swapping and sharing these music files online. Another Web posting alleged that all this activity resulted in entertainment blog Idolator and other sites receiving e-mail from the Recording Industry Association of America, demanding that they remove the MP3s from their sites. An RIAA representative confirms this, a move that boggles the minds of many. “These fucking idiots are going after a campaign that the label signed off on,” the source says.
A top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly quit Friday, almost two weeks after telling Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings of federal prosecutors.
There was no immediate reason given, but Monica M. Goodling’s refusal to face Congress had intensified a controversy that threatens Gonzales’ job.
She resigned in a three-sentence letter to Gonzales, calling her five-year stint at Justice an honor and telling him, “May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America.”
Asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Goodling had rejected demands for a private interview with a House committee investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
She was senior counsel to Gonzales and was the department’s White House liaison before she took a leave amid the uproar over the ousters.
The Justice Department declined comment on the resignation.
Goodling is at the center of the controversy because, as the bridge between the Justice Department and the White House, she may be best suited to explain how deeply Karl Rove and other members of President Bush’s political team might have been involved in the firings. Congress also wants her to testify on Gonzales’ role in light of his shifting explanations.
Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides “all confirmed” that Hussein’s regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.
The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community’s prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.
The report’s release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq “before we ever launched” the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.
Amazing how the WP can bring stuff the whole world knew four years ago as “news”.
The three distortions: Zarqawi did not organize operations for Al Qaeda prior to the invasion, in fact, he did not affiliate himself with al Qaeda until 2004; prior to the 2003 invasion, he was in the northern Kurdish portion of Iraq, outside of Saddam Hussein’s control, not Baghdad; and there’s no evidence of collusion between Zarqawi and Hussein. (A bonus fourth distortion might be the fact that the U.S. reportedly had a prime chance to kill Zarqawi before the invasion, but chose not to — some say because his presence in Iraq provided justification for the war.) But the big lie is that Iraq and Al Qaeda were allies and co-conspirators.