Daily Archives: May 20, 2007

Global net censorship growing

BBC | May 18, 2007

“What’s regrettable about net filtering is that almost always this is happening in the shadows.”

– John Palfrey, Harvard Law School

China filtered a wide range of topics, said the report

The level of state-led censorship of the net is growing around the world, a study of so-called internet filtering by the Open Net Initiative suggests.

The study of thousands of websites across 120 Internet Service Providers found 25 of 41 countries surveyed showed evidence of content filtering.

Websites and services such as Skype and Google Maps were blocked, it said.

Such “state-mandated net filtering” was only being carried out in “a couple” of states in 2002, one researcher said.

“In five years we have gone from a couple of states doing state-mandated net filtering to 25,” said John Palfrey, at Harvard Law School.

Mr Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, added: “There has also been an increase in the scale, scope and sophistication of internet filtering.”

ONI is made up of research groups at the universities of Toronto, Harvard Law School, Oxford and Cambridge.

It chose 41 countries for the survey in which testing could be done safely and where there was “the most to learn about government online surveillance”.

A number of states in Europe and the US were not tested because the private sector rather than the government tends to carry out filtering, it said.

Countries which carry out the broadest range of filtering included Burma, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, the study said.

Full list of countries from the survey that filter content
The filtering had three primary rationales, according to the report: politics and power, security concerns and social norms.

The report said: “In a growing number of states around the world, internet filtering has huge implications for how connected citizens will be to the events unfolding around them, to their own cultures, and to other cultures and shared knowledge around the world.”

The report said net censorship was spreading across the globe

Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University, said the organisation was also looking at the tools people used to circumvent filtering.

“It’s hard to quantify how many people are doing this. As we go forward each year we want to see if some of these circumvention technologies become more like appliances and you just plug them in and they work,” he added.

“Few states restrict their activities to one type of content,” said Rafal Rohozinski, Research Fellow of the Cambridge Security Programme.

He added: “Once filtering is begun, it is applied to a broad range of content and can be used for expanding government control of cyberspace. It has become a strategic forum of competition between states, as well as between citizens and states.”

Mr Palfrey said the report was an attempt to shine a spotlight on filtering to make it more transparent.

“What’s regrettable about net filtering is that almost always this is happening in the shadows. There’s no place you can get an answer as a citizen from your state about how they are filtering and what is being filtered.”

The survey found evidence of filtering in the following countries:

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burma/Myanmar, China, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

Former Blair aide compares Bush to Hitler

Daily Mail | May 19, 2007

Fascist America in 10 easy steps
 
PM’s former aide breaks Civil Service tradition with astonishing website outburst

A former aide to Tony Blair has posted on his website an attack on the Prime Minister which compares President George Bush to Hitler.

The attack, which has shocked Whitehall, appears on the outspoken, sexually explicit, website blog of £100,000-a-year civil servant Owen Barder.

The Department for International Development mandarin’s personal site, www.owen.org, could hardly be further from the Civil Service’s reputation for opaque discretion.

It features comments and links on a range of subjects from his opposition to the Iraq War to whether marathon running makes men better in bed.

Margaret Thatcher is described as ‘pernicious,’ while ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock is praised for making ‘one of the finest speeches in British politics’.

Mr Barder, who heads the DFID’s Global Development Effectiveness Department, is a former economic private secretary to Mr Blair.

His website features an article entitled “Fascist America in 10 easy steps’ which says: “From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.”

He says: “George Bush and Tony Blair must be very proud that they have created the precedent, through their action in Iraq, which has allowed Russia to announce it will take pre-emptive strikes anywhere in the world.”

Mr Barder condemns ‘extraordinary renditions’ whereby America – allegedly using UK airports with Mr Blair’s support – snatched Al Qaeda suspects and tortured them.

“I do not understand why extraordinary rendition is not causing more outrage in the UK,’ he states. And he disputes whether Osama Bin Laden is ‘hostile’ to the American way of life.

Mr Barder also gives extraordinary details of his private life with partner, Grethe. Discussing his hobby of marathon running, he quotes an unnamed ‘sex fiend’ female friend as saying: “I had a fling with a marathon runner. Damn that boy had stamina. It shows there is a correlation between fitness and all night sh******.”

Mr Barder adds: “Well, possibly, the ones who aren’t knackered running 80 miles that week.”

In his frank account of a vasectomy, he says: “Today I had a vasectomy. I realise this is relatively unusual for a man of 36 with no children.

“But I have no doubt, and nor does my partner, that we do not want children. Some men think it makes them less manly but that is rubbish. I feel a little nausea, as though I have been kicked in the b***s. I have iced the area to keep the swelling down.”

Writing before Mr Blair announced his resignation, he says he does not believe Gordon Brown will become Prime Minister.

Mr Barder’s family are no strangers to controversy: his father, Sir Brian, resigned from the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in 2004, accusing Home Secretary David Blunkett of deporting terror suspects detained without trial.

Surprisingly, Mr Barder junior criticises his former boss, ex-Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull who recently attacked “Stalinist’ Gordon Brown.

“Civil servants have no business revealing their views of Ministers and their behaviour,’ says Mr Barder, apparently without irony.

Men are ‘too frightened to give women the compliments they need

Daily Mail | May 18, 2007

As every woman knows, a simple compliment can brighten a gloomy day.

But in these politically-correct times, it seems, gentle flattery has become something of a lost art.

Not only are men failing to compliment female friends and colleagues for fear of causing offence – but women are highly likely to suspect the motives of the individual offering the admiring comment.

Two-thirds feel uncomfortable if someone other than a partner offers praise, and a similar number mistrust the motives of the man behind the praise.

Unfortunately for women, this all presents something of a conundrum because, according to research, nine out of ten claim they love to be complimented.

Experts have set an ideal ‘compliment quota’ of five a day.

But even for women in long-term relationships, compliments are few and far between.

Two-thirds of women questioned for the survey by Loire Valley White Wines complained that their partners praise them less than they did five years ago.

Only 16 per cent said they received the magic five a day.

One in eight of the 1,000 women surveyed said that not a single man had complimented them in the past three months.

Relationship expert Christine Webber said: “In my experience, women do care a great deal about what people think about them. A compliment massively boosts self-esteem.

“And whilst it may seem somewhat frivolous, it is in fact a vital ingredient for well-being.”

But she added that British women were often not as gracious about receiving compliments as their European neighbours.

“If a man says, ‘Your hair looks nice’, she should not be saying, ‘It needs washing’. “Or if he says ‘You are in great shape’ it is churlish to reply, ‘I am four pounds overweight’.”

She said many men were terrified of an innocent remark being wrongly interpreted.

“I think political correctness and fear of saying the wrong thing is the main cause of men failing to compliment women who are not their partners,” she added.

She recommended, perhaps not too surprisingly, that men should steer clear of complimenting breasts, bottoms and legs with non-partners.

The trick, apparently, is to make someone feel good about themselves, rather than coming over as smarmy or, worse, “a bit lecherous”.

Women do not just want to be complimented on their appearance-In fact, favourite subjects of praise were being a good listener or adviser, or admiration for their ability to juggle a career and home life.

However, the age-old desire to be complimented on being well turned out is as strong as ever.

Some 81 per cent long to hear that their hairstyle or outfit is nice, followed by 79 per cent hoping to hear that they are stylish and 73 per cent that they look slimmer.

According to Miss Webber, compliments are crucial to good relationships.

“We have busy lives and people tend to assume a lot and forget to say things,” she said. “And yet compliments can act like oil in an engine – they help everything to run smoother.

“Couples who give frequent compliments to one another tend to treat each other with courtesy and respect and that helps keep their relationships alive.”

German troops are dying in Afghanistan

BBC | May 19, 2007

Hey Germany! Your troops are dying for a lie too! Wake up to the New World Order and stop supporting global government. We can all get along just fine without the globalist elites who are killing a lot of people and destroying freedom around the world.

PW
 

Three German soldiers were among nine people killed in a suicide bomb attack in northern Afghanistan. At least 14 people were injured in the blast which happened when the troops were conducting a foot patrol in Kunduz city, in the province of the same name.

An Afghan interpreter working with the troops was among those killed, and two Germans were among the injured.

About 3,000 German troops are based in northern Afghanistan as part of the Nato forces in the country.

Witnesses say a suicide bomber on foot targeted the German patrol as they walked through a shopping district in the city.

“Suddenly we heard a big sound. We were frightened,” Aziz, a shopkeeper, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We saw very thick smoke and people rushing to escape.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “These perfidious murders fill us all with disgust and horror.”

She expressed her “deepest sympathies” to the relatives of the German and Afghan victims, but said such incidents would not deter Germany from its reconstruction mission.

US troops hurt

On 16 April, a Taleban suicide bomber attacked a group of policemen doing morning exercises in Kunduz, killing nine and injuring 25.
 
However, the north of Afghanistan where the German troops are operating has been spared much of the violence of the Taleban insurgency that is taking place in the south and east of the country.

In a separate incident, four US troops were reportedly injured when their vehicle rolled down a steep slope after a failed suicide car bomb attack in Khost, in the south-east of the country.

A suicide bomber had driven into their convoy, but his explosives failed to go off, the BBC’s Alastair Leithead in Kabul said.

Lengthy gun battle

And in the eastern province of Paktia, near the Pakistan border, coalition troops and Afghan security forces clashed with Taleban militants late on Friday in a gun battle which lasted several hours.

Afghan army officials said more than 60 insurgents were killed in the fighting, though this has not been verified. No coalition or government forces were reported injured.

Paktia province has been the scene of frequent violence involving the Taleban, the radical Islamist group toppled from power after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The Taleban are threatening to increase their attacks following the killing of their top military commander Mullah Dadullah a week ago.

Dadullah was killed in an operation by the US-led coalition, supported by Isaf, in Helmand province.

Dadullah’s name had been linked with the beheading of suspected spies, controlling the guerrilla war in Helmand province, dispatching suicide bombers and the kidnapping of Westerners.

Chinese human rights activists fear internet police abuses of MySpace

The Observer | May 20, 2007

As tycoon launches version of MySpace, human rights activists fear it will be abused by censors

MySpace, the world’s most popular online social network, has launched a version of its website in China, despite fears among human rights campaigners that users will be censored or spied on by the totalitarian Communist state.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, which owns MySpace, said last year that the company was looking for a way to enter China without running into political obstacles of the type faced by Google, which agreed to self-censor its content; and by Yahoo, which gave the Chinese government information about the site’s users. Both internet companies have been targeted by Irrepressible.info, the joint campaign run by The Observer and Amnesty International calling for freedom of speech online.

Murdoch has set up a separate business to avoid any problems. MySpace China is a ‘locally owned, operated and managed company’ in which News Corp is only one among several investors, according to its chief executive, Luo Chuan, the former head of Microsoft’s MSN China. He said: ‘Our team here will have the sole right to decide the operation model, the technology platform as well as the product strategy. It’s very unlike the other multinationals you might have heard about or seen in the Chinese market.’

Campaigners fear that the site, which allows users to share text, pictures, music and videos, will provide another means for China’s army of internet police to gather information on users. Dozens of Chinese bloggers have been jailed for posting political comments online.

Even with MySpace China still in its ‘beta’ testing stage, allegations of censorship have emerged. According to the technology news site Texyt.com, discussion forums on religion and politics are nowhere to be found on MySpace.cn, despite being popular topics on the main MySpace sites. Instead, users are only offered safer topics such as sport and films.

Texyt also reports that users are told to click a button if they spot any ‘misconduct’ by other users – actions such as ‘endangering national security, leaking state secrets, subverting the government, undermining national unity, spreading rumours or disturbing the social order’. Attempts to post content containing a variety of sensitive terms, such as ‘Taiwanese independence’, the ‘Fa Lun’ religious movement or the Dalai Lama, produce the following message: ‘Sorry, the article you want to publish may contain inappropriate content. Please delete the unsuitable content, and then try reposting it. Thank you.’

The logo for MySpace.cn translates as ‘Friend You. Friend Me’.

Ron Deibert of the OpenNet Initiative, an alliance opposed to the filtering of the internet, said: ‘We should look at it along the same lines as other technology investors in the country that had to alter their conduct to comply with Chinese restrictions.’

Tim Hancock, the campaigns director for Amnesty International, said: ‘It’s no surprise to see MySpace heading towards China, given that China will soon have more internet users than any other country in the world.

‘Social networking has already proved really popular in China, and has enormous potential to open up new space for communication and debate. But this is only going to happen if MySpace resists the urge to abandon the principle of free speech, as so many other internet companies have done, in order to please the Chinese government.’

Mike Gapes, chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which published a report on internet censorship last year, said: ‘Clearly it is a matter of concern if international standards of openness are swept aside by people who are more interested in making money.’

MySpace issued a statement which said: ‘As a locally owned, operated and managed company, MySpace China complies with local law and legal enforcement requests.’

‘Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing: The Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace’ event

The Observer and Amnesty International are to mark one year of Irrepressible.info, their joint campaign against online censorship, with a global, interactive, online event examining the future of freedom on the internet.

The event, called ‘Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing: The Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace’, is to be webcast globally on the evening of 6 June from Amnesty International UK’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch, east London, and will be chaired by the BBC reporter Clark Boyd. Contributors will include those who have experienced internet repression from around the world: dotcom entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox; jailed US blogger Josh Wolf; founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales; founder of the Free Software movement Richard Stallman; Cory Doctorow from webzine Boing Boing; and Kevin Anderson, head of blogs at the Guardian

Irrepressible.info was launched in The Observer in May 2006 and has received more than 66,000 pledges of support. ‘Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing’ will be online at www.amnesty.org.uk/webcast. To win free tickets to the event, see next week’s Observer.

Police chief fears Orwellian surveillance society

BBC | May 20, 2007

Note to Alex Jones: Get Chief Ian Readhead on the show!

PW

cctv-payment
 
There are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras in Britain

A senior police officer has said he fears the spread of CCTV cameras is leading to “an Orwellian situation”. Deputy chief constable of Hampshire Ian Readhead said Britain could become a surveillance society with cameras on every street corner.

He told the BBC’s Politics Show that CCTV was being used in small towns and villages where crime rates were low.

Mr Readhead also called for the retention of some DNA evidence and the use of speed cameras to be reviewed.

His force area includes the small town of Stockbridge, where parish councillors have spent £10,000 installing CCTV.

Mr Readhead questioned whether the relatively low crime levels justified the expense and intrusion.

‘Every street corner?’

“I’m really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next?” he said.

“If it’s in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner?

“And I really don’t think that’s the kind of country that I want to live in.”

There are up to 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain – about one for every 14 people.

The UK also has the world’s biggest DNA database, with 3.6 million DNA samples on file.

Bill Clinton’s friendship with Bush Sr may help Hillary

New York Times | May 19, 2007

bush-clinton-dictators

The country is on the brink of total ruin, so why are the Bushes and the Clintons always laughing and slapping each other on the back?

There is something that is painfully obvious to me, that most Americans seem blissfully ignorant of. That something is simply this:

….that two powerful families, who behave as if they are in the same family (Barbara calls Bill her “son” for example), have controlled the Whitehouse for the last quarter century (including Bush Sr’s vice-presidency behind Reagan). And if Hillary is allowed to sit in power for two terms that will stretch their tag-team grip on the throat of this country to some three and a half decades. What then? Put another Bush in the Oval Office? Say… Jeb?

I say, no way! Enough of this incredible open charade that is destroying our country incrementally and by design! Enough is enough. They have proven to us what slick treasonous robber-barrons they are. They are not here to serve America. They are here to serve themselves! While real patriots cry bitter tears watching their beloved republic being dragged through the dirt and going straight to hell, these scumbags are having a ball! Every time you turn on the boob-tube, you see them smirking and giggling, patting each other on the back, posing as our saviors. It is enough to make a true patriot sick to his stomach. They are disgusting! I have to tell you, it ties my guts in knots and I cannot stand to watch them up there preening and telling us what to do anymore. I have had it and I know more and more Americans are beginning to wake up out of this Right/Left dog-and-pony show because they are seeing just how evil and corrupt these elitist turds really are. It is time to put an end to the Bush-Clinton dictatorship.

Ron Paul is gaining a foothold on the presidency. Help him along! Send him the money he sorely needs to get it done. If just one million Americans send him a hundred bucks, he will have a fighting chance. And I know he has at least a few million supporters in this country, so if you haven’t coughed up at least $100, now is the time to do it.

A reckoning is coming folks. Hold firm and stand up against these criminal traitors! The fight is on to save America!

PW

_________

When it comes to the first President Bush, both Clintons appear to have a soft spot, and the feeling seems mutual. Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton have come to consider each other to be practically family, people close to them say, spending time together golfing, boating and kibitzing about foreign policy. And Mr. Bush is fond of Mrs. Clinton, his friends say: Not only does he like strong women, but he enjoys her sarcastic sense of humor, her quick way with a zinger and her shared interest in the nitty-gritty of international affairs. Now that Mrs. Clinton is running for the White House, those ties are being tested as she stands to benefit politically from her husband’s friendship with Mr. Bush.

“The Bush-Clinton friendship is like a fresh wind blowing in on her campaign.”

A Candidacy That May Test a Friendship’s Ties

By PATRICK HEALY

New York Times | May 19, 2007

Consider the pros and cons for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Former President Bill Clinton is speaking today in the presidential swing state of New Hampshire, but he is not speaking on her behalf; he is speaking with a Republican. And not just any Republican: Former President George Bush, the father of the man whom Mrs. Clinton routinely criticizes on the campaign trail as an incompetent and disastrous leader.

When it comes to the first President Bush, both Clintons appear to have a soft spot, and the feeling seems mutual. Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton have come to consider each other to be practically family, people close to them say, spending time together golfing, boating and kibitzing about foreign policy. And Mr. Bush is fond of Mrs. Clinton, his friends say: Not only does he like strong women, but he enjoys her sarcastic sense of humor, her quick way with a zinger and her shared interest in the nitty-gritty of international affairs.

Now that Mrs. Clinton is running for the White House, those ties are being tested as she stands to benefit politically from her husband’s friendship with Mr. Bush. Will they wink at the presidential race when the two men appear today at a commencement in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first primary? After the two speak at the Billy Graham Library later this month, will the Clinton brand seem a tad less liberal?

Mrs. Clinton would not mind sprinkling some of that uniter-not-divider fairy dust on her candidacy, especially as she runs for the Democratic presidential nomination against Senator Barack Obama, who is presenting himself as unity personified. And the association with Mr. Bush only feeds Mr. Clinton’s aura as a fellow elder statesman, a role that fits into the Clinton campaign’s construct of him as a potential first spouse who would have a narrow portfolio of foreign policy troubleshooting.

And yet: Some Democrats scowl at the scenario of unbroken Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton administrations. Does the duo’s friendship further intertwine these two dynastic families in a way that could hurt Mrs. Clinton, who is already viewed by some Democrats as too friendly with Republicans?

And if Mr. Bush, even inadvertently, helps inoculate his friend (and his friend’s wife) from political attacks, what will that do to his standing among Republicans — including his own son, whose legacy might fall into the hands of a Clinton?

Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton … Who Needs Elections?
Mo Rocca on The Bushes and Clintons as the Royal House of Republicrats

One thing is reasonably clear, people close to the two former presidents say: Both men want the relationship to continue as is, despite the complications of an intensifying campaign. And at this point, political analysts say, it seems likely that the friendship will help Mrs. Clinton more than hurt her because it mostly burnishes the family name. (Indeed, one Clinton adviser said the two former presidents appearing together in independent-minded New Hampshire was “political gold” for Mrs. Clinton.)

“Many people feel the current President Bush and the Democrats haven’t done a good job reaching out and working together,” said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. “The Bush-Clinton friendship is like a fresh wind blowing in on her campaign.”

Democrats close to the Clintons say the relationship would become a headache for Mrs. Clinton only if it started looking political — such as if the two men cooled it off because the Clintons, or Mr. Bush, decided it was somehow problematic for the two men to be so friendly in an election year.

Republicans close to Mr. Bush say it would not be his style to tamp down a friendship because of political calculation, noting that he is far too loyal a man than that. Yet any downside to the friendship is somewhat more conceivable on the Republican end. Beyond possibly helping Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Bush could be seen as cleansing Mr. Clinton’s reputation as a partisan and enhancing his legacy — and, perhaps unhelpfully, prompting some Americans to contrast that legacy with Mr. Bush’s own son’s.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian, who has talked with Mr. Bush about the friendship before, said he would not fuss about its political connotations. Ms. Goodwin said Mr. Bush told her he liked Mr. Clinton’s “energy, his vitality, his humor.”

“You get the sense that he thinks of President Clinton as family,” she said.

“I think that’s all positive for Hillary, but the question is, Do Republicans feel the friendship takes away some of the animus they want to project toward Clinton and the memory of Clinton?” Ms. Goodwin said. “And you have to wonder, if Mrs. Clinton had been running against the current President Bush, or if Jeb Bush were running for president, where would this friendship be?”

Jay Carson, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton, said he expected that any dynasty image problem would be a nonissue for most Democrats in the primaries.

President Clinton, for his part, said in a brief interview last week that his relationship with Bush père was “doing great,” and he seemed unfazed by the enduring friendship even as he concentrated increasingly on advising his wife.

“I hope I’m going to get to go back to Maine and play golf with him this summer,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview that was mostly devoted to his foundation’s efforts to combat climate change.

“We do quite a few things together,” he said. “We were down in Florida together not very long ago at a big ol’ high-tech conference. They were making fun of me because Bush is 20 years older than I am and likes all that. He uses a BlackBerry more than I do.”

Jean Becker, the chief of staff to former President Bush, agreed that the two men continued to enjoy their friendship, noting that they recently traveled to Moscow together as the American delegation for Boris Yeltsin’s funeral. As for whether Mrs. Clinton’s political needs would somehow upend the friendship, Ms. Becker seemed unconcerned.

“I’ll let the pundocracy figure that out,” she said. “But President Bush and President Clinton’s relationship transcends politics. After all, President Clinton is the one who defeated President Bush in 1992, so it transcended politics.”

By all accounts the friendship between 41 and 42, as the men are called based on the order of their presidencies, is nothing other than warm and casual.

President Clinton sometimes tells a story about when President Bush, finding himself in New York, dropped by Mr. Clinton’s offices in Harlem to say hello. Finding Mr. Clinton away, Mr. Bush swept into Mr. Clinton’s office and admired the majestic views of Central Park. Then Mr. Bush called Mr. Clinton and said, “Bill? It’s George. Nice view!”

As Mr. Clinton signaled, they have joked about health and age, be it Mr. Clinton’s heart surgery or Mr. Bush’s penchant for sky-diving. Mr. Clinton often travels overseas for his charitable foundation, and people close to both men say that Mr. Bush loves picking up the latest chatter on global affairs from his friend, and vice versa.

Indeed, their conversations as former presidents are sometimes richer and more detailed than Mr. Bush’s banter with the current President Bush, these confidants say, because the president is cautious about sharing information with those outside his White House inner circle.

Presidential historians find few forerunners to the Bush-Clinton coupling. Several historians said the only real — if imperfect — comparison is with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, onetime allies who fell out after Jefferson defeated Adams in 1800; Adams withdrew, bitter and shocked, but the men reconciled years later and began a celebrated correspondence.

This is not to say that anyone expects a Bush to say too many nice things about a Clinton during the presidential race. Mr. Bush’s wife, Barbara, for instance, had notably little to say about Mrs. Clinton in her autobiography.

Yet some political observers say that the warm ties could help Mrs. Clinton blunt Mr. Obama’s message denouncing partisanship. And it might soften her image a bit, too.

“The knock on Hillary is that she is combative and divisive, that she is not as unifying a force as Obama,” said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. “Unity is Obama’s theme. Hillary needs all the help she can get in that regard.”

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