"Mr. Cheney's trip to Pakistan was shrouded in unusual secrecy. In trips to Pakistan last year, President Bush and Secretary State Condoleezza Rice announced their plans days in advance, and reporters filed articles on their visits as soon as they landed. But Mr. Cheney's traveling press pool was sworn to secrecy, and allowed to report only the barest details just before he left....News organizations that knew of Mr. Cheney's travels, including The New York Times, were asked to withhold any mention of the trip until he had left Pakistan. That appeared to be a reflection of growing concern about the strength of Qaeda and Taliban forces in the area, and continuing questions about the loyalties of Mr. Musharraf's own intelligence services....American officials did not explain the extraordinary secrecy surrounding Mr. Cheney's visit to Pakistan, a country the administration has cast as a stable nation moving gradually toward democracy." - Reporter David Sanger in the February 27 print edition.
Reality Check: "A suicide bomber blew himself up this morning outside the main gate of the United States military base at Bagram while Vice President Dick Cheney was inside the base." - online Times report, that same morning.
She Has a Funny Way of Showing It
"On Wednesday, Ms. Kissling, 63, will step down from her post, relinquishing her role as one of the most vocal of the so-called bad Catholics, those who manage to accommodate the opposing sentiments of love for the church and anger at much of its doctrine." - Neela Banerjee in aFebruary 27 profile of Frances Kissling of the pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice. Kissling has called for the Vatican to be removed from the United Nations.
More Honorable Labeling for a Hatemonger
"In that transaction, the bloodlines of two emblematic figures of the next century, each representing an opposite side of America's racial divide, intersected. Mrs. Sharpton was a first cousin, twice removed, of Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, a longtime segregationist. And one of the slaves given to her, Coleman Sharpton, was the paternal great-grandfather of the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the most vocal and recognizable civil rights leaders of our time." - Fernanda Santos, February 26.
Still Hating on France's Tough-on-Crime Candidate
"By contrast, her main rival [for the French presidency], Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the candidate of the governing center-right Union for a Popular Movement party, has yet to shed his image as the enemy of France's underclasses. Shortly before the widespread unrest in the fall of 2005, Mr. Sarkozy was in the Parisian suburb Argenteuil when he called angry young suburbanites 'scum.' That remark, combined with his huge deployment of police to return the country to calm after rioting broke out and his criticism of France's immigration policy as too lenient, has contributed to his image as a man who is feared rather than loved." - Elaine Sciolino, February 28.
"Puppeteer" Cheney "Pulling the Strings"
"For weeks, Washington watched, mesmerized, as the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. cast Vice President Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer, pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg on the impact on Cheney of the Lewis Libby guilty verdict, under the headline "A Judgment on Cheney Is Still to Come," March 7.