Snow Storm: Several memos written by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were obtained yesterday by the Washington Post. Known as “snowflakes,” they depict a man “disdainful of media and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war,” the WaPo reports. According to aides, Rumsfeld produced 20 to 60 snowflakes a day, and often put his thoughts in writing to formulate policy. The memos obtained by the WaPo span from 2002 to 2006. In one from 2006, Rumsfeld muses, “Iran is the concern of the American people, and if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran.”
Blackwater Lawyers Up: Embattled government contractor Blackwater Worldwide has lawyered up in an effort to begin salvaging its reputation and its government contracts. Beth Nolan is one of Blackwater’s Washington lawyers. She served as white house counsel for the last two years of Pres. Bill Clinton’s administration, and is slated to become vice president and general counsel at George Washington University at the end of the month. White-collar defender Stephen Ryan, head of the government strategies practice at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, is also on Team Blackwater. The contractor’s head lobbyist is Paul Behrends. He works at C & M Captiolink in D.C., but previously worked at Republican firm Alexander Strategy Group. Read more about Blackwater’s defense effort in today’s NYT.
Oil: Black gold might be an understatement. The price of oil rose to more than $96 per barrel for a short time today- a record high. The price then fell back to $95.59 a barrel. Crude oil prices have matched the inflation-adjusted highs of the early 1980s. $38 a barrel back then would roughly equal $96 to $101 a barrel today, says the AP. Also according to the AP, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported that oil supplies fell by 3.9 million barrels last week.
Afghanistan: Afghan civilians poured out of two villages just north of Kandahar City yesterday when hundreds of Taliban militants infiltrated, says the AP. U.S., Canadian, and Afghan troops had surrounded about 250 of the militants, killing more than 50 of them over the past three days of fighting. Provincial police chief Sayed Agha Saqib reported that three policemen and one soldier had been killed.