JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: IT'S MEDICAL FRIDAY! Three pieces relating to health care/medical issues are up today. Maggie Mahar raises doubts about Merck's much-hyped new cervical cancer vaccine, and argues that the drug's ascendancy illustrates a good deal about American health care inefficiencies and inequities. Meanwhile, following Humana's recent announcement of higher-than-expected earnings last quarter due to the Medicare prescription drug program kicking in, Barbara Dreyfuss gives us the gory details of how it and other insurance companies rigged the Medicare drug bill in their favor three years ago. And finally, Aziz Huq talks to Steven H. Miles , author of the new book Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War on Terror , about military physicians' role in aiding and abetting detainee abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. --The Editors

    THE CASE FOR REDEPLOYMENT. "Retreating from Iraq and 'redeploying' to Okinawa is not a sufficient response" to the threat of terrorism, wrote White House hack Peter Wehner yesterday. Okinawa, of course, is a straw man. But there's ample reason to believe that redeploying resources out of Iraq and to other locations would be very helpful in fighting terrorism: We could send more troops to Afghanistan, where our military venture is running into some significant problems but where there are still much better prospects for success than in Iraq. We could reassign Arabic-speaking U.S. government personnel to translating and monitoring signals that intelligence has gathered from terrorism suspects instead of having them do civil affairs work and train Iraqi security forces. We could stop using such a high proportion of our surveillance satellites on force protection in Iraq and use them to better monitor the rest of the world and get a better handle on what's going on in the Horn of Africa,...

    A CHALLENGE. I didn't know that acknowledging that the Israeli government has pursued some policy shifts in recent years -- shifts that those of us who oppose Israeli expansionism should cheer -- makes you a " Likudnik, " but allow me to defend my honor. A cursory glance at the website I edit, , will reveal three articles on the current conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Two are reported from Beirut and the third from both countries. I challenge anyone to find any AIPAC talking points in any of them. As I've stated earlier , it is precisely because I think Israel needs encouragement to remove itself from the occupied territories that I think pointing out the fact that Christian Zionists are to the right of the Israeli government is so necessary. --Ben Adler

    A GERMANO-NAZI BY ANY OTHER NAME. This is sweet : ISLAMO-_____ [Kathryn Jean Lopez] I am reminded that in February Jim Woolsey told a Senate committee that Islamo-fascist is too understated. He prefers Islamo-Nazi. So if CAIR is so unhappy with Bush and Santorum's terms, maybe they should go ahead and be clearer... Well, that makes sense. After all, insisting that the enemy be named "Islamofascism" implies that National Review takes a consistent anti-fascist line whereas, in reality, the magazine is rather fond (Franco "is not an oppressive dictator.... only as oppressive as is necessary to maintain total power" -- hilarious) of Spanofascism. To get semi-serious here, as outlined in the Islamo-blank schema, the main idea here seems to be that we need a proper noun to describe our foes. The noun ought to be pejorative, and it ought to include "Islam" or some equivalent. There's not really any precedent for this sort of thing. We called the Nazis "Nazis" because that was the name of the...

    THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT: LIBERAL, ANTI-WAR, AND ELITE. Over at Slate , Bossman Tomasky has a riposte to Jacob Weissberg 's " Lamont as McGovern " piece . As Mike stresses, the evidence beyond Connecticut of a destructive intra-party revolt against hawkish and/or "moderate" Democrats is basically non-existent. Elsewhere on the Weissberg pushback front, Matt and many others point out that Weissberg's conflation of Iraq War opposition with unseriousness about terrorism is close to the opposite of correct. I should say, I happen to be very pessimistic about the possibilities of anti-war politics succeeding. Three days out of the week, I tend to think that even given a war that is both clearly failing and actually unpopular , the prospects for success of an opposition party that takes up the dovish line in the face of classic American war demagoguery are basically doomed. And given that I don't consider faking support for a catastrophic war opposed by large majorities of one's own...

    FINALLY, THE LIBERAL MEDIA PULLS THROUGH. Greg flags a really noteworthy news article today. Kudos to the press! --Sam Rosenfeld

    TERRORISM PLOT: PAKISTAN'S PR OFFENSIVE. In the 24 hours that have passed since the world learned of the alleged plot to blow a number of airliners bound from London to the United States, I have been taken with the pains to which officials have gone to highlight the reported role of Pakistani intelligence operatives in cracking the plot. What raised my antennae when the praise of Pakistan commenced is the well-known role of the official Pakistani intelligence operation in the care and feeding of both al Qaeda and Afghanistan's Taliban, with which coalition forces are now engaged in a fierce guerrilla conflict. It has been widely reported in the South Asian press that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed , who headed Pakistan's Inter-Services Directorate (ISI) -- the Pakistani counterpart to our CIA -- during the 9-11 attacks had ties to the plotters, and may have even provided them with cash. Although Ahmed was dismissed after it was suspected that he tipped off the Taliban to a coming U.S. offensive,...

    HE FORGOT ABOUT SYRIA. The worst reaction to the GOP�s politicization of terrorist attacks is to whine about them politicizing it . Second worst is to merely suggest that the opposition needs to attack, rather than whine. Best of all is to actually attack , like Fred Kaplan , who notes that Bush has spent years pissing away opportunities for the sort of international intelligence-gathering operations that foiled the recent British airplane plots. Let me add that while the administration isn't interested in getting Syria's help in rolling up al-Qaeda, it's important to recall that it does favor illegally detaining people to send them to illegal facilities, where they'll be illegally tortured until they cough up inaccurate information that can be used as the basis for the next round of shenanigans. --Matthew Yglesias

    LOOKING FOR MODERATES IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. If you want to see some rightwingery that's really no stupider than your average rightwingery, but a good deal more dangerous , look here and elsewhere on the Corner for yesterday's giant series of posts slamming the Council on American Islamic Relations . The basic dynamic is something any liberal should be familiar with -- CAIR has some political disagreements with George W. Bush and has expressed them in public statements. For their trouble, they're subjected to a smear campaign casting aspersions on their motives, etc., etc., etc. At the same time all this attacking is going down, attacker in chief Katherine Jean-Lopez keeps making noises about "moderate Muslims." But wake up -- these are the moderate Muslims . You can agree or disagree with CAIR about the term "Islamic fascists" -- I find it more mind-bogglingly stupid than anti-Islamic -- as much as you like, but at the end of the day this list of chapters is not a series of terror...

    IMMIGRATION AND EMPLOYMENT. The Pew Center goes looking for evidence that immigration costs native born Americans jobs and can't find any . --Matthew Yglesias