Morning Report: February 24, 2005

It's all about oil. In a series on "The Second Front" (i.e. Southeast Asia), Wretchard explores the role of Saudi money in anti-US operations, including projected Cole-like naval operations and the recently discovered plot to assassinate President Bush: 'As Little Green Footballs notes, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the US citizen charged with conspiring to assassinate President Bush, was not simply "a former Virginia high school valedictorian" the regular newspapers make him out to be. The "high school" he attended was a Saudi funded madrassa called the Islamic Saudi Academy.' (Belmont Club)

Fatah legislators approve new cabinet. Debka reports: 'After two rejections, Palestinian legislature finally confirms PM Qureia’s third cabinet lineup by majority of 54 to 12 with 2 abstentions. All 17 ministers are new faces unassociated with Arafat’s corrupt administration.' (Debka)

Syrian terrorism in Iraq. Hammorabi provides details on the Syrian regime's involvement in terrorism against Iraq, citing captured terrorists Adam Doma and Anis al-Essa: 'Some were arrested in Mosel and Baghdad including Arabs from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen and others. Adam Doma (42 years) from Sudan confessed that he received training in Syria under the supervision of Syrian Intelligence officers. He confessed that he beheaded 10 Iraqi civilians by his own hands. ... Anis Al-Essa is a Syrian who works as an officer in the Syrian Intelligence Security. He was arrested with Doma ...' (Hammorabi)

Robert Lawrence: Space pioneer's memory honored. Astronaut selectee Maj. Robert Lawrence would have been the first African-American astronaut to fly in space, had not a tragic training accident cut short his career in 1967. MSNBC features his story. Like the thirteen women originally selected for service in the Mercury program (collectively known as the Mercury 13), Lawrence is a name that deserves to be better known. (MSNBC)