Today’s paper is fodder for innumerable irate rants.

How is Bush’s endorsement of Sharon’s plan going to improve, valeologist rather than worsen, phlebologist the chance of making peace between Israel and the Palistinians, viagra never mind the rest of the Middle East?

Ryan Matthews, sentenced to death as a 17 year old for killing a grocer, turns out to be innocent. DNA on the killer’s ski mask did not match either that of Matthews, or of his friend and co-defendant (now serving life in prison). It does match the DNA of another man, who both confessed to the crime and is already serving time in prison for another murder. New Orleans DA Paul Connick (of the Harry Connick Jr. family) consented to a new trial, and has apparently been open to the DNA challenge to Matthews’ conviction. If only other DAs would follow suit. It is completely beyond me why a prosecutor would refuse to allow testing that could vindicate someone. Nothing could be more evil than putting your wish to seem right over actually checking to ensure you are right

And, the IAEA sent a letter to the United States three weeks ago warning that radioactive materials that could be used to make a dirty bomb are unguarded and being pilfered from Iraqi sites that the agency previously monitored. The agency no longer monitors these sites because they got kicked out of the country by…. the United States in March of 2003 before the invasion. We have refused to let the weapons inspectors into the country, saying that we will search for nuclear weapons. We haven’t found those weapons and apparently we’re not guarding the sites either. This is interesting for two reasons, one political and one policy-related.

The political: Let’s assume that we’re in Iraq to prevent more terrorism. Refusing to allow IAEA to guard the sites, and failing to guard them ourselves is entirely counterproductive if not inexcusable.

The policy: Many people are pushing for greater secrecy about security problems of all sorts following September 11. For example, the Critical Infrastructure Information Act exempts all sorts of information about national security from the Freedom of Information Act. The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences adopted voluntary restrictions on the publication of �dangerous science�, like studies of the anthrax pathogen, or the chemistry of explosives. France just passed a law that prohibits publication of certain information about computer security flaws.

But this story illustrates the problem with those policies. The U.S. government has known about this problem for at least three weeks and appears to have done nothing about it. All we have is public awareness and pressure to change our government’s priorities. If we weren’t allowed to know about this, we’d have to believe the Bush administration when they tell us that the best cure for the dirty bomb is war.