Sunday, July 31, 2005
Speaking at a rally in Cincinnati, Iraq Vet and Dem candidate for Congress, PAUL HACKETT. Also in the photo are Max Clelland, John and Annie Glenn, Ted Strickland, and Mayor of Columbus, Mike Coleman. Coleman is running for OH gov (his tour bus had a snarky sign which said "Invest in Ohio, Not Rare Coins). Also present at the Hackett rally were fellow soldiers of Hackett's who served w/ him in Fallujah. Photo courtesy of TracieLynn.
Wash Post: Paul Hackett (running for Congress in the Cincy, OH area against GOPer Jean Schmidt) told USA Today that Bush's taunting line, "Bring 'em on!" was "the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the US make." Amen brother. He also told the newspaper that, while he was willing to put his life on the line for the president, "I've said that I don't like the son-of-a-[expletive] that lives in the WH." NRCC spokesman Carl Forti said about Hackett: "He called the commander in chief a son-of-a-[expletive]. We decided to bury him." Hackett's ballsy response that shows that he remains unapologetic about his characterization of the president: "I said it. I meant it. I stand by it. In this district, we need more straight-talking, straight-shooting politicians." Rock on Hackett... now, if we can only take your backbone and transplant it into the ball-less wonder Dems who voted for CAFTA...
Cincinnati City Beat: Schmidt is a hardcore EXTREMIST. If voters knew fully what Schmidt believed, they might sit out the election or switch over for once to a Democrat, especially one like Hackett. 1)During the campaign Schmidt is on leave as prez of the Right to Life of Greater Cincy. Now, no one should begrudge her that commitment. It's personal and religious. But does that commitment affect her political judgment and fitness? Maybe, b/c of this: 2) If you go to her group's Web site, www.affirminglife.org/ index.asp, and click around through the many pages and you'll learn she and her cohorts abhor living wills. Huh? Isn't that the one lesson from the GOP exploitation of Terri Schiavo -- that we should immediately get willed up? She says no. 3) Her local Right to Life site to this day says Schiavo was executed. 4) And that you shouldn't buy Levi jeans, anything Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson baby cream or read The NY Times. 5) And that there is no promise of embryonic stem cell research helping our relatives and friends survive diseases and crippling paralysis. The more mainstream voters come to realize she's a friend of Taft's and the leader of a fringe group, they might conclude she's not like them. And putting in a Dem, especially one who still wears the Marine uniform and has economic success but with colorful, earthy edges, could be the more comfortable choice. Yeah, and as Digby points out: If the election turns on which candidate has the most winning personality, Hackett should win in a landslide. Yikes." Check out this Schmidt interview w/David Gregory (courtesy of Crooks and Liars) to see Schmidt reveal her fangs and be her viperous best.
Leonard Clark Liberal Soldier Is Punished
Original story by Joseph Chenelly of The Army Times(Via AZ Central): Spc. Leonard Clark was busted down 1 rank to private 1st class, fined $820 per month for 2 months, and sentenced to 45 days restriction & 45 days of extra duty. The restriction and extra duty were suspended for 5 months. In an unusual move, MCF-Iraq released the details of Clark's Article 15, which is nonjudicial punishment. In response to a query by a reporter with Nat'l Public Radio, MCF-Iraq public affairs released a written statement saying that Clark had been found guilty of 11 specifications of Article 92, failure to obey an order, and 2 counts of Article 134, reckless endangerment. Clark violated Article 92 by "releasing classified information regarding unit soldiers and convoys being attacked or hit by an IEDs on various dates, discussing troop movements on various dates," according to the statement. He also was found to have released tactics, techniques, procedures and rules of engagement, MCF-Iraq said. The two Article 134 specifications had to do with releasing specific sensitive information "that the enemy forces could foreseeably access . . . such that with that information it was likely that the enemy forces could cause death or serious bodily harm to US forces engaged in the same or similar mission," the statement said. A bigger crock of absolute lies and bullshit I have NEVER read. I read Clark's blog thru & thru several times, and NEVER once did Clark give details that would endanger his fellow soldiers and/or give access to the enemy. This is just another example of the powers that be clamping down on the soldiers who dare to speak the truth. As it is, since July 4/05 (Independence Day my ass) soldiers who blog in Iraq have to register their blogs and content w/their commanding officers. Freedom of speech as a Constitutionally guaranteed right?. Guess not. Not for those who put their ass on the line to defend our Constitutional rights. Oh the irony...
Wash Post: Nearby, a man stood in the middle of the street holding a gun to the head of another man in a car. Other drivers steered around them. No one stopped to help, or looked that carefully. After more than 2 yrs of war, Baghdad's people have learned to choose their battles, and this one didn't qualify. THAT is freedom on the march. THAT is liberation. Thank God we've spilled so much blood and spent so many billions, eh?
Wash Post: According to a UN report on sexual violence in the troubled Sudanese province, Sudanese security forces and other armed groups continue to rape, gang rape and abuse displaced women in Darfur with impunity. The victims are routinely subjected to humiliating treatment at the hands of the authorities if they say they have been raped. Sudanese police frequently fail to register or investigate sex crimes, and courts sometimes try rape victims as adulteresses if they cannot prove they are telling the truth. Will something be done to stop this? It is mass rape. How can this not count as crimes against humanity?
Hmm... it seems that The Miami Herald thinks that Newsweek's sniveling defense/ coverup of Roberts' involvement in the 2000 FL recount was complete crap. How shocking that a raging sexist & racist would steal a Presidential Election, too...
Paul Hackett Iraq Vet Getting Swift Boated by GOP
Stars & Stripes: Paul Hackett, a former major in the Marines who spent 8 months with the 4th Civil Affairs team near Ramadi (and he volunteered to help secure the entry into Fallujah while coalition forces swept through the city) wants to fill the seat vacated by GOP Rep Rob Portman, who stepped down in April to become a US trade representative. The congressional district covers parts of 7 counties west of Cincinnati. Well, his opponent, Jean Schmidt (who has been taking money linked to Taft's Worker's Comp Coingate, taking gifts from lobbyists and taking money from DeLay's PAC) is working OT to swift boat Hackett b/c how else could a GOPer support a soldier who served in Iraq? Her campaign advisor (Eric Minamyer aka MiniMe) swiftboats Hackett by claiming that he saw no combat while serving in Iraq. At least 1 vet who visited MiniMe's blog rightly takes issue w/this odious smear. Hackett served as a civil affairs officer. 11 members of various civil affairs units have given their lives serving overseas in Iraq. The entire COUNTRY is a warzone. These civil affairs men and women put themselves at risk just by going over there. IEDs & insurgents do not discriminate. But Hackett's swiftboating kicks into high gear: A conservative radio host, Scott Sloan of WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati, went off on an insane rant about Paul's patriotism and claimed Hackett was using his service for "political purposes." Hmm, if you visit Sloan's site, you' ll see that he appears to be young & healthy... why wasn't his ass in Fallujah like Hackett's was? Please read Tim Tagaris' diary on this revolting attack on a soldier's service, and please consider contributing to Hackett's campaign. Hubby & I gave him a paltry $20, but every bit helps. Ohio is F-cked up enough already- let's please try to change this in a positive direction.
UPDATES on Hackett Schmidt race: The OH GOP is whining and sniveling that Hackett just has to stop running his political ads that feature a quote and image of Prez Bush saying "what a high calling the military is." Hmm, so the problem is what exactly? That Bush didn't say this? Bush did. That Hackett didn't serve? He did- in the Marines... in Iraq. Oh that's right- the problem is that Hackett is a Dem and God knows Dems can't use images and/or words of our nation's Prez. Psst... Bush is the Prez of the entire US not just the Red States & voters, asshole. Watch this clip on Hackett & his commercials here courtesy of Countdown w/Keith & MyDD. So anyway, Jean Schmidt and Paul Hackett debated. Schmidt (at her GOP venomous best) attempted to paint Hackett as unqualified to be a member of Congress. Why? Due to his time spent w/the Marines in Iraq. Yes. REAL military service (and his time in combat has been now verified by Schmidt's own campaign advisor MiniMe who had previously been smearing Hackett's service UNTIL Minamyer took the time to actually find out the answers from Hackett's military records- yes- smear 1st/ ask questions later). Kerry in 04 and McCain in 2000 get smeared by holier than thou War Fans for REAL military service. Nice, huh? But don't worry- Hackett bitchslaps Schmidt. HARD. And Schmidt has been telling every voter who will listen that she supports family values. Hmm... do those GOP family values include having a campaign manager (Joe Braun) who is into bondage, S/M and lists himself as a Dominant who specializes in gynecological exams? Now I am not bashing his sexual proclivities. Just the hypocrisy of saying that you are holier than Dems, that you are THE party of family values, and that the GOP= God's Own Party. (Lookit- as long as it doesn't involve kids, animals or death) SEX= Good. HYPOCRISY= Bad.
Asia Times Online: Illusions, when rigidly defended, breed encounters with the law. Thus did a mistaken revolution in nuclear policy, proceeding under the guise of the "war on terror", produce the lies that produced the war that produced the whistleblowing that produced the smears that produced the blown cover that produced the cover-up that produced the legal investigation that produced the political and legal crisis that now swirls around Karl Rove. Whoa. It's hugely sad that nobody in our press could write this out so simply and powerfully. Reuters: The State Dept reversed itself on Thursday night and acknowledged that Bush's UN ambassador nominee Bolton gave Congress inaccurate information about an investigation he was involved in. Nice... A liar under oath. The Hill: Josh Marshall says: It is not just the Plame/Rove saga, but "the big story, the WH’s knowing use of phony intelligence about an Iraqi nuclear program to game the country into war. And behind even that, those pesky Niger uranium forgeries. Where did they come from? Who created them? And why?" Precisely... could this be what Bolton lied about?
NY Times: Among the objections to the Bush administration "torture memos" were "vigorous" warnings from military lawyers. AND from Wash Post: The WH and Pentagon have gotten away with their stonewalling of the Abu Ghraib issue largely because of GOP control of Congress. Attempts by the WH to block or gut the legislation failed, and on Tuesday as the GOP leadership pulled the defense bill from the floor rather than allow a vote. The nation would be better served if Bush instead accepted, at last, the truth about Abu Ghraib. OUCH.
Yahoo: John Burt has been a key figure in anti-abortion protests and violence in FL. Burt had associated w/ Michael Griffin, now serving a life sentence for fatally shooting an abortion doctor in '93, and Paul Hill, executed in '03 for the shooting deaths of another doctor and clinic escort in '94. A 3 judge panel of a state appeals court unanimously upheld Burt's conviction on 5 counts of lewd or lascivious molestation or conduct with a child under 16. Nice. So by this guy's example, you can't abort a child, but you sure can F-ck one.
(I DO NOT dish out Pelosi compliments, but...). Read the David Sirota article here on Pelosi demanding Dem accountability for those 15 soul-less bottom feeders who voted yes w/the Repukes.
Available Roberts Writings: He's a Racist & Sexist
Courtesy of People for the American Way: The Bush Administration is attempting to head off growing calls for full disclosure of Supreme Crt nominee John Roberts' paper trail. But the available documents from the first 2 yrs of Roberts' Justice Dept career are very creepy & troubling (via the Wash Post): Highlights of Roberts' career from 1981-1982 include: 1) Memos advocating laws that would have stripped the Supreme Crt of jurisdiction over some of the most important issues of our time, including civil rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church & state. These documents suggest that his positions were even more radical than those ultimately adopted by the Reagan Justice Dept. 2) Writings in which he derides a report on the accomplishments of affirmative action, saying that an "affirmative action program required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates." 3) Documents in which he argued for weakening the enforcement of laws prohibiting sex discrimination, including Title IX requirements that institutions receiving fedr'l funds must not discriminate on the basis of gender. You have to wonder if this is what the documents we do have access to reveal, what do the documents Bush is trying to keep from the Senate contain? Demand to know the truth here.
Guardian UK: Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician- on his way to a job in NW London- was shot 7 times in the head and once in the shoulder last week after Scotland Yard initially claimed he wore a bulky jacket and jumped the barrier when police identified themselves and ordered him to stop. Speaking at a press conference AFTER a meeting with the Metropolitan police, his family says that the Met police admit that de Menezes was not wearing a heavy jacket that might have concealed a bomb, and did not jump the ticket barrier when challenged by armed plainclothes police (who were members of London Metropolitan's elite SO19 firearms unit who have a "shoot to kill" policy), and despite incorrect stories first put forth that he was an illegal in the UK, Jack Straw admits that Menezes was a legal immigrant. How's that shoot first/ ask questions later policy working for ya UK? Stop drinking from Bush's fascism cup... it is way bad for you.
1) That soul-less prick DeLay BROKE the House Rules by keeping the vote open for 1hr & 10mins when the House Rules CLEARLY state that all votes will be given a 15 mins time allottment, but hey, fuck the rules. Rules are for chumps. 2) 15 soul-less Dems voted FOR CAFTA. 3) Despite many Repubs promising to vote no, every single GOPer voted yes. 4) This is what I have to say: A) CAFTA will most likely make all vitamins available by prescription ONLY. Nice. I so look foward to the day when I have to make another expensive appointment w/my doc to get my One a Days, plus my vitamin Cs (and my insurance company will love paying for that visit, huh? Oh well, they'll just make sure to charge us even more) AND then I get to pay pharmacy prices for a product that used to cost me $5 & $2 a piece. B) I am sure every hardworking blue-collar American, who is now a step closer to having to compete w/ people who are willing to work for $.85/hour and no health insurance, would love to send you a thank you card. But they probably need to save their pennies for when their jobs disappear. C) You all just sold middle class & poor Americans down the river AGAIN, given your support of the bankruptcy bill. You just cost the Dems a chance to finally be able to give the American worker what the GOP bloodsuckers would not. I expect to be raped by the GOP. NOT the Dems. My toddler appreciates you whoring out her nation YET AGAIN for your pimps-- the blood money rich corporations. I pray Election '06 is a day of reckoning for you bloodsucking whores who passed this. Dem & GOP alike- all traitors to workers & families must be discarded like the trash they are.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette- letter to the editor (hat tip Kos): As a teacher for the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 14 yrs, one important lesson I learned was that no matter what I said to the child, whatever the parents said superseded my message. What parents say and how they live sends a message stronger than any teacher's voice no matter what the issue. Sen Santorum and his wife have taught their children a powerful lesson on civic responsibility by refusing to pay any tuition money to the Penn Hills School District for their children who attended the PA Cyber Charter School ("Penn Hills Loses Bid to Charge Santorum" July 12). Released from that payment on a technicality shows that even an upstanding, moral gentleman like Sen Santorum teaches his children the following lessons: 1)Take advantage of the system whenever you can. 2)The little guy pays while the rich and powerful guy gets away with it. 3)As a Catholic, you have no obligation to pay your share to the common good in spite of Catholic social doctrine. Finally, I am shocked that our religious leaders who see Sen Santorum as some sort of faith-and-morals hero have not spoken up on this issue at all. --SISTER LIGUORI ROSSNER, Sisters for Christian Community. You go sister, but frankly I am shocked that anyone could think Santorum was anything but a morally bankrupt, opportunistic, self righteous douchebag, but that's just me. Now, the perfect ending to your letter would be if you could whack him severely w/a ruler like The Penguin from The Blues Bros.
GOP: NRA Liability Bill More Urgent than Defense
Nice. Real nice. Bill Frist and his GOP bloodsucking whores felt it was of the UTMOST URGENCY to cram in the votes on the NRA Liability Bill and cast aside the $491 Billion Defense until this fall. So, setting up a vote on legislation to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over gun crimes takes precedence over our troops' needs in a war?And it is the Dems who get accused of not supporting the troops? Well, at least the Army Times sees the writing on the wall and calls a spade a lying sychophant spade: "Senate Repub leaders decided that a gun manufacturers’ liability bill is more important than next year’s $441.6 billion defense authorization bill. With Dems expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons’ purchases and research, Sen Frist (TN) the Senate Repub leader, decided Tues that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority. It will not be until September that Senate gets back to the defense bill." I certainly would like to see these pertinent facts splashed across a campaign ad in '06 or '08, wouldn't you?
I know. It defies all logic. It defies all human decency and decorum. But Kos tipped us off that GOP family values guy Karl Rove indeed has had a mistress for a long time now. EEEEWWWW!!
Huffington Post: According to the State Dept website, the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, Karen Hughes, said this: "I'll never forget visiting a literacy program overseas where young women were learning to read and I listened through a translator as a 13 yr old girl told me of her dreams of becoming a writer and her belief that women should be able to go to school and work and choose their own husband. As I was leaving, the translator stopped me and said: 'Please don't forget them. Please help them live in freedom.' " Gee Karen, what about the fact that the new Iraqi Constitution erodes away women's rights?: Most worrying for women's groups has been the section on civil rights, which some believe would significantly roll back women's rights under a 1959 civil law enacted by a secular regime, as Shariah law is implemented for marriage, inheritance and all civil rights. Who really cares that this op/ed from the St Pete's Times says that emancipation is just a thing of the past for Muslim females? I guess you will still keep feeding us that W is for women shit when Roe is overturned as Attorney Gonzales ghoulishly warns us that "The legal right to abortion is settled for lower courts, but the Supreme Crt is not obliged to follow." AND Gonzales said "A justice does not have to follow a previous ruling if you believe it's wrong," a comment suggesting Roberts would not be bound by his past statement that the 1973 decision settled the issue. Hmm, I think Ted Rall is absolutely correct when he says that all women who have just been putting off having that pesky abortion should RUN not walk to get their's while the getting is good, and that it will take cute blonde cheerleaders from Red States bleeding to death in their school locker rooms before anyone dares to question if keeping abortion legal is really the lesser of 2 evils.
Vast media coverage is once again cast upon the case of missing white girl Natalee Holloway as Aruban authorities say they are turning their attention to draining a pond. Could this be a break? I sincerely hope so. For Natalee's sake & her family's sake. Both deserve to have final peace and a decent end to a terrible situation. But where has the microscope media coverage been for this missing pregnant girl from Philly, PA? Is it b/c her family can't put up a $1 million reward? Not blonde? Not white? I think it's for all of those reasons. She is a 5 month pregnant mother of a 7 yr child-- why isn't her status as missing deemed important enough for Nancy Grace, Greta, or Paula Zahn to dedicate some time to? Lacy was a missing pregnant girl, but she was white and solidly middle class. The Runaway Bride was a willing missing girl, but she was white, solidly middle class AND uber Christian to boot, and Natalee Holloway is tragically young, blonde & white, has Red State parents who continually mention Jesus in their umpteenth media appearances. So why does 24 yr old Latoyia Figueroa get ZERO mass media coverage in comparison? B/c she is a single mother, non-white, not solidly middle class, not blonde, not getting married, doesn't have a cute yet guilty hubby, and has a name that is just "too ethnic" for most media people. This is so sad, pathetic and sickening, yet above all else, it is just so damned American to be so racist. Hat tip to Richard Cranium & All Spin Zone.
Roberts: WH Refuses to Release All Writings
OK, so some claim that Judge Roberts' wife's pro-bono work at the mockingly named group Feminists for Life (a strict anti-choice group) is not indicative of him having an anti-choice stance, but maybe if the WH would just release his damn writings, we could all form an opinion about HIM and NOT his wife, dontcha think? The WH claims privilege for the work Roberts performed while serving as principal deputy solicitor genr'l in the administration of former Pres Bush I. Really? Sen Pat Leahy (D-VT & ranking minority member of Senate Judiciary Comm) says: "Those working in the solicitor general's office are not working for the president. They're working for you and me, and all the American people." Oh, well screw us Pat. And given what Roberts answer was to Sen Durbin, I guess screw the importance of deciding SCOTUS cases: According to 2 people who attended the meeting, Roberts was asked by Sen Durbin (D-IL) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral (Roberts is a devout Catholic) he answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself. RECUSE himself? As a Catholic familiar w/Doctrine, I can only guess that would require him to recuse himself from any cases involving abortion, death penalty, gay rights, separation of church/state, moral acceptability of war, treatment of the poor and all social programs, to just name a few. Phew! Good to see he'll be SO useful as a Justice, huh?
Froomkin at Wash Post: "Now Fitzgerald's investigation appears to have turned its focus to discrepancies in the testimony of Rove and Libby. Fitz may be trying to determine whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges. And that raises the issue of what (if anything) Rove and Libby told Bush & Cheney about their roles. Yeah, but who cares what they told Bush & Cheney b/c these CIA clowns are unpatriotic and everyone knows that they are CIA anyway- well, if you're a GOP pyscho like Gary Schmitt then that complete crap is all true. Schmitt tries to destoy ex-CIAer Larry Johnson, who has defended Plame and ALL CIA operatives' right and need to remain undercover. Keep in mind that Schmitt's dismissal of Johnson as someone with a "pre-9/11 mindset" consists entirely of quotes gathered from Johnson's writings before 9/11 happened (July '01)- but that pesky lil fact will not stand in the way of a GOP maniacal argument, and Matt Yglesias of TPM pisses on Schmitt's weak rant. And hey, since we're conveniently forgetting those pesky things known as facts, let's forget that Plame's own neighbor had zero idea that she was CIA, and that Wilson was heralded as a hero in the GOP world before he dared to tell the WMD truth that pissed on W's war parade.
Hmm, these Vets will have to be declared unpatriotic for this demand, huh? Full text of letter & signers available here.
NY Times: "American commanders say the number of attacks against US and Iraqi forces has held steady over the last year, averaging about 65 a day. But the Americans concede the growing sophistication of insurgent attacks and the insurgents' ability to replenish their ranks as fast as they are killed." Hmm, time for some math: 65 x 365= 23,725! Iraq is the size of the state of CA both in land area and population. Imagine 65 attacks taking place in CA daily. Imagine all of the "innocents" who would be caught in the middle and killed- this LA Times story is exactly about that topic: Shots to the Heart of Iraq. Men like Dr. Yasser Salihee, a doctor & translator who was shot in the head by a US soldier at a checkpoint. Every time that bastard Bush says this vapid sentence: "We're fighting the terrorists there, so we don't have to fight them here", I wonder if anyone asked the Iraqis how they felt about our selfish choice of battlefields? Not only have we made Iraq a living hell, but we have driven Iraqis into the arms of our enemy as Tehran finds a friend in Baghdad and as theocracy takes over the city of Basra. Only in Bush's Neo-Con America could 65 daily attacks & theocracy= success.
CBS News: Just b/c she's retiring does not mean that Justice O'Connor plans on going gentle into that dark night: Speaking in Spokane, WA, to a group of lawyers and judges, O'Connor warned that "the present climate is such that I worry about the future of the federal judiciary ... In our country today, we're seeing efforts to prevent an independent judiciary." Click here to listen to a snippet of O'Connor's speech. She blasted the very people on Capitol Hill who are cheering the loudest these days for John Roberts, Jr, as she mentioned that the concerted, focused, and malevolent political campaign by conservative leaders to try to diminish the authority (and ultimately the power) of judges across the country is dangerous, manipulative and antithetical to the healthy separation of power upon which our govt is based. Wow. A still sitting Justice gets it. She gets it when she says: that "a key concept of the rule of law is the concept of an independent judiciary." A strong judicial branch is necessary to ensure that the tyranny of the majority is limited — so that things don't "get out of kilter"... unfortunately, this staunchly Republican Justice is old school GOP- not the Neo-Con/Talibornagain variety that has a death grip on our nation- and maybe she now has buyer's remorse for allowing Bush be selected for Prez in 2000 as she now sees that the fascist floodgates have opened w/this crew of thugs.
Attorney Gen Gonzales & Andy Card in Leak Mess
In Sunday's NY Times, Frank Rich amazing op/ed reminds people of Attorney Gen Gonzales' role in the Plame Outing: "As WH counsel, he was the one 1st notified that the Justice Dept, at the request of the CIA, had opened an investigation into the outing of Plame. That notification came at 8:30 pm on Sept. 29/03, but it took Gonzales 12 more hrs to inform the WH staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation." Hmm, can anyone say 12 hr shredding party? But the borderline criminal behavior of our nation's Attorney Gen gets worse: On Sunday's broadcast of CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer brought up the Frank Rich column stating that it took Gonzales 12 more hrs to inform the WH staff that it must “preserve all materials” and unbelievably Gonzales admits this, courtesy of Crooks and Liars: Q-SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you the obvious question, Mr Attorney Gen. Did you tell anybody at the WH? A-GONZALES: I told one person in the White House of the notification, and immediately — ah, I told the chief of staff (Andrew Card). And immediately the next morning, I told the President and, shortly thereafter, there was a notification sent out to all the members of the WH staff. Think Progress sums it up so perfectly: So the one person who knew that an investigation was underway was Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who also happened to be aboard Air Force One in July 03 w/ Ari Fleischer, Colin Powell & the top secret State Dept document that contained the identity of Valerie Wilson. So, did Card tell Rove or Libby or anyone for that matter the night before Alberto Gonzales sent out the email to staff that they would soon be asked to preserve all documents? A great question for this new can of worms.
AMERICAblog: On Sunday morning on ABC's This Week, George Stephanopoulos read the text of the Classified Information NonDisclosure Agreenent that WH employees are required to sign: "I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearance I hold; removal from any position of special confidence and trust requiring such clearances; or the termination of my employment..." Q: Stephanopoulos: This covers negligent disclosures A: McCain: Again I don't know what the definition of "negligent" is. And Clinton was deemed outrageous by saying that he didn't have actual sex w/Monica b/c there was no actual penis/vagina penetration? Please check out Karena's take on McCain's public boot-licking for Bush, and please check out Crooks and Liars video of the unbelievable This Week groveling lengths that McCain will go to for Il Duce Bush. McCain is an absolute idiot for selling out ANY shred of dignity he had on This Week (well, actually, at the RNC as Bush's fawning moderate & as a former POW when he said NOT 1 single word against Abu Ghraib he lost any bit of dignity he may have had) b/c you need only see what the right wingnuts say about McCain to see that he will NEVER be their GOP choice in '08. When Rush started his incessant tirades against you in 2000, the GOP will never back you.
Guardian UK: the Brit Ambassador to the UN during the run-up to the Iraq invasion, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, wrote The Costs of War, and the book's publication is being halted by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Office. Greenstock describes the US decision to go to war as 'politically illegitimate' and says that UN negotiations 'never rose over the level of awkward diversion for the US administration'. Although he admits that 'honourable decisions' were made to remove the threat of Saddam, the opportunities of the post-conflict period were 'dissipated in poor policy analysis and narrow-minded execution'. Hmm, no wonder the Brit govt is suffocating this book-- it tells the truth.
Ok, so Bush threatens to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next yr's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Gitmo and elsewhere. If threatening to veto anything that would curb, restrict, regulate or -God forbid- investigate the treatment of detainees was not bad enough, Bush pulls this amazingly demonic feat: In June, the govt requested and received an extension from the judge stating that they needed time in order to redact the faces of the men, women & children believed to be shown in the publicly unreleased photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib. The Bush Administration was given until 7/22 to produce the images, but at the 11th hr, they filed a motion to oppose the release of the photos and videos (more than 100 photos/ 4 videos, all believed to document deplorable & perhaps criminal human rights violations by US military personnel against Iraqi civilians) based on an entirely new argument: they are now requesting a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to w/hold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals. Read Rumsfeld's quote about these unreleased pix, and read Seymour Hersh's 2004 news that these videos/pix will show children being detained & boys being sodomized. This move is the latest in a series of attempts by the govt to keep the images from being made public and to cover up the torture of detainees in US custody around the world. Psst... the rest of the world already knows that we did VERY, VERY BAD THINGS so W, why not just own up to what you ordered to be done?
Hmm... What is THAT in Bush's Wineglass?
Now we all know that Bush is a dry drunk & that the liquid in his glass is probably just H2O or a heaping serving of GOP Kool-Aid... but wouldn't you give your eye-teeth for India's Prime Minister Manhoman Singh to slip sodium pentothal into that wine glass? Imagine all of the lies that could be uncovered then. Yet sadly, Scott McClellan would claim that yes, Bush was holding that glass full of sodium pentothal-- but there is NO WAY that Bush told the truth b/c Bush was not sitting on Big Dick's knee w/Cheney's hand up his ass to make Jr. speak in the 1st place.
Courtesy of Agitprop: The American Conservative reports the following (in an upcoming 8/1/05 issue): The Pentagon, acting under instructions from VP Cheney's office (WHY exactly is Big Dick calling the shots?) has the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the US. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear weapons program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the US. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. Jesus H. Christ driving a motorhome... what depraved act of insanity is next for these Neo-Con sociopaths? They CAN'T be this fucking crazy... can they?
Courtesy of reporter Doug Ireland's blog: Two gay Iranian teenagers (one 18, the other believed to be 16 or 17) were executed this week for the "crime" of homosexuality the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported on July 19. The hanging of the teens was also reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. And the website Iran Focus not only confirms the story but provides more details, reporting that "Members of Iran’s parliament from the north-eastern city of Mashad, where a minor and an 18 yr old man were publicly hanged yesterday, vented their anger on Wednesday on foreign and domestic news outlets for reporting the ages of hanged prisoners... Hmm, where is Condi's outrage over this Iranian action? She can't rip Iran to shreds enough for their policies... oh that's right... when it comes to doing things that the GOP and Talibornagains WISH they could do, there is nothing but silence. I'll bet Fred Phelps (of the God Hates Fags site) is dancing a little jig right now, and that Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell are salivating for the day when they can finally attend such public events in the US.
This is refreshing: Dennis Morrisseau plans to seek the GOP nomination to run for the US House of Reps. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Bernard Sanders I-VT (who plans a run for the Senate). What does Morrisseau offer as bait for his votes?: A central part of his platform will be bringing articles of impeachment against Bush.
Rove & Libby: Did They Gave False Testimony?
Bloomberg News: Libby told Prosecutor Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of CIA operative Plame. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury that he didn't tell Libby of Plame's identity. Rove told Fitzgerald that he first learned the identity of the CIA agent from syndicated columnist Robert Novak. Novak, who was first to report Plame's name and connection to Wilson, has given a somewhat different version to the special prosecutor. NY Times: Things just keep getting hotter for Libby & Rove: A classified State Dept memo was provided to Colin Powell, as he left for Africa on Air Force One w/Bush and his top aides on 7/7/03, (a day after Mr. Wilson made his accusations public) & the paragraph that identified Plame in that memo were marked S for classified secret. One of the aides present on the flight was Ari Fleischer. Fleischer told the grand jury that he never saw the document but the subpoenaed records of Air Force One telephone calls in the week before the officer's name was published in July show that Novak called Fleischer, and on 7/21/05's airing of Hardball, Chris Matthews just reported that Ari made a phonecall to Rove from Air Force One. Ari already quit his WH gig- you can rest assured that he will NOT go to jail for the likes of Rove & Libby. And keep this in mind: ALL phone calls from Air Force One were taped and Ken Starr had those tapes as part of his investigation in Monicagate (these tapes were available to Congress when the Starr Report came out). And please remember that (as early 2004) Bush sought the advice of a criminal attorney, and read what CBS reported took place when Cheney was questioned (NOT under oath mind you) by Fitzgerald.
Open Democracy: Just as Iraqi women were anticipating a new era of democracy and freedom, a wave of intimidation by extremist groups has arisen to crush their hopes. Violent oppression of women is spreading across Iraq as insurgents and religious extremists use rape, acid and assassination to force Iraqi women to wear the veil – the symbol of submission, first signal of further repression to come. Many Iraqi women have never worn the scarf. Now, dead bodies of girls and women are found in rivers and on waste ground with a veil tied around the head, as a message. Were things coming up roses under Saddam's rule? Absolutely not. But this war has now been newly sold to us as "liberation" for the Iraqi people... do females not count as 50% of the population of people to be liberated? As the LA Times reports: A draft of the Iraqi constitution would make fundamental changes in the legal rights of women, undoing decades of progression and will sharply reduce the number of women in the National Assembly. and from International Herald Tribune: Article 14 of the Iraqi constitution installs Shariah Law: In matters such as marriage, divorce and family inheritance, people will be governed by the religious codes of their individual religions. Shiite families will follow Shiite interpretations of Shariah, while Sunnis will follow Sunni interpretations. This dismantles secular rule that was enacted in 1959, and upheld by Saddam during decades of his rule. As the NY Times reports: a proposal is in place to phase out a measure in the interim constitution requiring that 1/4 of parliamentary seats go to women. This shouldn't even shock me, given that theocrat- pharmacists want to deny women their prescribed birth control, Bush appoints a Roe v Wade- hating WHITE MALE to replace the 1st woman to be appointed to the Supreme Crt. Looks like it's time for us womenfolk around the globe to just accept our lot in life as a pair of ovaries w/legs.
MSNBC: 52% of all Americans (60 % of women/ only 43 % of men) want to know John Roberts' position on abortion before the Senate votes on whether to elevate him to the Supreme Crt. Well, given that Roberts' wife is a big wig for a vehement pro-life group, and that Roberts has written that Roe should be overturned, all Americans, minorities & especially women in the US have good cause to be worried. It seems that Roberts' role in the FL 2000 Presidential Recount is finally surfacing as perhaps an indication that Roberts' service to help Bush get selected as prez is now being paid off by a Supreme Crt nomination. Please read Mario Cuomo's fabulous op/ed on keeping a wall between ideology & politics.. amen Mario, especially since the WH has been giving the Talibornagains the big thumbs up for Roberts for at least 1 solid yr now. If they love him, he has to be a foaming at the mouth fundie.
S is for Secret Memo & Mehlman gets Bitchslapped
Wash Post: "A classified State Dept memo central to a fed'l leak investigation contained info about CIA officer Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former govt officials." Ouch! But it gets better: "The paragraph identifying Plame as the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, 2 sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials." Does Mehlman really want to keep arguing that Plame was a desk-bunny whose identity wasn't classified? Anyhoo, Novak gets the juicy scoop that Wilson's wife is a CIA operative. He calls Rove to confirm-Rove confirms it. Novak calls the CIA- claims the CIA told him not to use her name- yet the asshole printed her name anyway,( b/c having the CIA ask you not to print her name is not reason enough to miss an opportunity to be Rove's bitch). In the middle of these hijinks are 2 Cheney staff members (Libby and John Hannah). Who is Hannah? Refer to Newsweek's 12/15/04 issue: A memo written by a top Washington lobbyist for the controversial Iraqi National Congress raises new questions about the role VP Cheney’s office played in the run-up to the war in Iraq. The memo, obtained by NEWSWEEK, suggests that the INC last year was directly feeding intelligence reports about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and purported ties to terrorism to one of Cheney’s top foreign policy aides, John Hannah. Conspiracy much?
Crooks and Liars: Open letter sent to Senate & Congress: The Repub Nat'l Committee has circulated talking points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this campaign a common theme is the idea that Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection. These comments reveal an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover. The fact is that there are 1000s of US intelligence officers who "work at a desk" in the Washington, DC area every day who are undercover. Some have official cover & some have non-official cover. Both classes of cover must and should be protected. The partisan attacks against Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men & women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation’s security. It is appropriate for the Pres to dismiss from office or administratively punish any official who participated in any way in revealing Valerie Plame's status. Such an act by the Pres would send an unambiguous message that leaks of this nature will not be tolerated and would be consistent w/his duties as the Commander-in-Chief.
Could Valerie Plame sue Karl Rove and/or Scooter Libby for outing her agent status? Maybe. Read this Findlaw article by Anthony Sebok, a prof at the Brooklyn Law School. This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Series. I think that Bush rushed to announce his Supreme Crt nominee yesterday so he could try to take the heat off of Rove and the State Dept memo that pretty much proves that Plame did NOT send her husband Joe Wilson to Niger (hat tip to Jessica for passing on the info) BUT also Bush rushed Roberts name thru so he could hopefully have Roberts in place if Fitzgerald goes after half the administration. We Dems MUST know Robert's judicial philosophy on issues like various constitutional issues that might arise, which may include separation of powers, war powers, treaties as law, and the limits of Executive priviledge with respect to legal and Congressional investigations. But despite any uneasiness Dems may have about Roberts, a filibuster is unlikely.
NY Times: Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who served 22 yrs as the Saudi ambassador to the US (he is lovingly referred to as Bandar Bush by the Bush clan) is resigning for "private reasons". Hmm, ya have to wonder if his sudden departure is related to Bandar being given classified war info in Cheney's office: "...on Sat/Jan. 11, Cheney invited Prince Bandar to his West Wing office. Rumsfeld and Gen Richard Myers were also there... Sitting on the edge of the table in Cheney's office, Myers took out a large map labeled TOP SECRET NOFORN. The NOFORN meant NO FOREIGN (classified material not to be seen by any foreign nation). Staring intently at the 2-by-3-foot Top Secret map, Bandar, a former fighter pilot, asked a few questions about air operations. Could he have a copy of the large map so he could brief Crown Prince Abdullah? he asked, referring to the leader of Saudi Arabia. 'Above my pay grade,' Myers said. 'We'll give you all the information you want,' Rumsfeld said. As for the map, he added, 'I would rather not give it to you, but you can take notes if you want.'" [p 264 from Woodward's "Plan of Attack"] This, along w/ the Plame leak, and the leak of Naeem Noor Khan's arrest, show a criminal pattern. If these actions were not knowingly criminal, then they at least show massive incompetence by the WH(15 of 19 hijackers were Saudis).
Leak Link to Cheney Deepens the Abuse of Power
From Boston Globe: The news that Cheney’s chief of staff (Scooter Libby) was the 2nd possible source in the leaking of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to Time magazine elevates the scandal to a whole new level. It is bad enough for Karl Rove to be accused of being a leaker, since he is President Bush’s chief political strategist. But if Time’s story holds, Libby’s involvement represents an even more insidious abuse of power. Colin Powell gave a grand presentation 6 wks before the war to the UN where he said, ‘‘every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions.’’ Virtually all of Powell’s solid sources fell apart when the US turned Iraq upside down, killing 1000s of Iraqis in the process. But he could have looked much worse had he listened to everything Libby & Cheney tried to feed him. It was Cheney’s staff who wrote the 1st draft of Powell’s UN speech. Powell, according to both US News & Vanity Fair, was so irritated by Libby’s hodgepodge of unsubstantiated facts that he threw documents into the air and said, ‘‘I’m not reading this. This is bullshit."... Truer words have never been spoken. And all of this info begs this question: Who forged the Italian documents on Niger & yellowcake? Hmm, could a Big Dick be involved in the forgeries? Is there a Cheney/Plame connection? You betcha & yet Powell keeps up w/the ass kissing.
From Murray Waas: Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Plame w/ Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper during Rove's 1st interview w/ the FBI, according to legal sources w/ firsthand knowledge of the matter. This omission by Rove created doubt for fedr'l investigators, almost from the get-go of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said. Josh of TPM says this: If Murray Waas's sources are right, Karl Rove is in a ton of trouble, even if he did nothing more than we know already. If what Murray Waas says is true, Rove is going to be on the hook for obstruction of justice & violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001- the crime Martha Stewart went to jail for.
Editor & Publisher: On 7/15/the AP reported that a WA state man died from internal bleeding following anal sex w/a horse. The AP story just gave basic facts about the case. But a reporter from the Seattle Times investigated the story and found that the man died after visiting a farm. That farm attracted "a significant number of people" looking to engage in bestiality who discussed the farm via online chat rooms as a "destination spot" for people looking to have sex w/animals. The Seattle Times discovered that the police had uncovered 100s of hrs of videotape of men having sex w/horses. The man who died was 45 yrs old and he died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon. The man's family said they never suspected that he was involved in bestiality, and were surprised when they learned that he had purchased a thoroughbred stallion earlier in the yr, apparently 1 of a pair he kept at the farm. So, maybe Talibornagain Neal Horsley has lots of company in the animal humping dept?
So, Bush picked John Roberts as the Supreme Crt nominee to make his uber-conservative court wetdream come true. The People for the American Way have an amazing PDF on Roberts. Check it out. Okay, so what do we know about Roberts & his rulings? 1) He was a Bush/ Cheney lawyer for the 2000 FL recount. 2) He worked for Ken Starr- ya know- the guy who routed out all the sex details on Clinton & Monica & spent millions to do so 3) School sponsered prayer at public school graduations poses no church/ state problems because students who don't like it can just stay home from their graduations. 4) Congress can ban flag-burning w/out a freedom of expression problem because bans don't prohibit the expression of burning the flag - they just remove the flag as the prop which is to be burned. 5) Arresting minors for crimes for which adults are given citations poses no equal protection challenge because minors are more likely to lie. 6) On women's choice, Roberts authored a govt brief in Rust vs Sullivan that Roe "was wrongly decided and should be overturned." 7) Roberts is a card carrying member of the Federalist Society. This bodes negatively for our future ability to use the courts to hold corporations accountable for their actions. Please consider this: John Roberts is 50 yrs young. Chief Justice Rehnquist is 81 yrs old. How old will you & your kids be in 31 yrs? Can we live w/Roberts' decisions for the next 31 yrs?
GOP: Choose-- Your Party or America
This Ted Rall op/ed is fabulous. The best lines?: "We're Bush's boss. He works for us. Unless that changed on 9/11 (or 12/20/00), Rove had no right to give away state secrets, even to protect Bush." Amen. Former CIA operative Larry Johnson asks: "Mr Bush, Have You No Shame?" Time reporter Matt Cooper says Libby & Rove were the ones to tell him about Plame, and Cooper says that Rove said this at the end of 1 of their July '03 phone calls: "I've already said too much." And the LA Times says that Libby and Rove worked overtime to undercut Wilson's credibility about yellowcake & they "set their sights on Wilson" b/c they knew it/he was devastating to their rally for war.
If Hersh's article in The New Yorker is correct... (& let's face it, he has been dead-on correct on much of this WH's handling of issues) how can anyone POSSIBILY justify all of our US injuries and deaths by saying that the "purple finger" election was such a "raving success"? A rigged election is NOT a raving success, and I cannot imagine how badly this will play out to the Iraqis- who already are barely tolerating our occupying presence. Nancy Pelosi objected to the US interferring into the Iraqi elections: " “Did we have 1100 Americans die”-(the number of US combat deaths as of last Sept)- “so they could have a rigged election?” Apparantly, our soldiers' sacrifice wasn't worthy enough: "...the Bush Administration decided to override Pelosi’s objections and covertly intervene in the Iraqi election." Amazing. Yet ANOTHER major blunder and fuck-up of enormous magnitude brought to us by Il Duce Bush and the blood thirsty Neo-Cons.
My father's parents were Italian immigrants. In fact, my poppi became a naturalized US citizen when he was a young child, so lots of ties to Italy still exist to this day for my family. In 1945, Italy executed Il Duce, then publicly hanged (upside down) the corpses of Mussolini and his mistress so the crowds could beat the bodies w/sticks. After WWII ended, the formerly fascist Italy became a tender, new democracy. How did the US "ensure" US self interests in Europe? By stealing the Italian national elections of 1948. The US covertly pumped millions of dollars into the campaign and engaged in propaganda and dirty tricks, in order to stop communists and socialists from winning. Stealing the Italian elections of 1948 were just the tip of the US iceberg in the entire "denazification" process and the catalyst to "spread democracy and freedom" across Europe... sound familiar? Of course, this really didn't work, given that Italy is not a democracy (Italy is a democratically elected socialism) and Mussolini's socialist grand-daughter is a current member of Parliament. So, the moral of the story is this: No matter how hard the US tries, they cannot force another nation to become a democracy in our image.
Catholics Need Not Apply: In MS, an evangelical adoption agency said it does not place children with Catholic couples because their religion conflicts with the agency's "Statement of Faith." It always strikes me as strange that the oldest Christian Church is treated as somehow "not Christian" by Protestants- who wouldn't even have a religion if it weren't for Catholics getting the whole ball rolling in the 1st place ... and what about this outrage against a United Church of Christ parish in VA: Federal agents confirmed the blaze at St. John’s Reformed United Church of Christ in Middlebrook was arson and a hate crime against the church. Well, Pastor Dan asks this very legit question: Where is the outrage from Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, Hannity, and et al evil minions when a church is set on fire and spray painted in hate phrases? Well, I guess it IS a family value to desecrate a house of worship when that particular church dares to NOT hate people b/c they are gay. Why don't these modern day Pharisees just tell us what they really believe, which is this: "Jesus loves me but He hates you."
Please click here to see the new WH motto. At least it's honest... but so is this, too. Unfortunately, Jr obviously can't read.
Plame Outing: Who is Lying Now?
The Nation asks: Who's Lying Now? Yeah, wouldn't we all like to know? Matt Cooper tells the NY Times that he first learned of Plame from Rove. Frank Rich (taking Deep Throat's line of "Follow the money" when reporters tried to unravel Watergate) says this: Follow the Uranium. Rich wisely says: "This scandal is not about Matt Cooper, Judy Miller or the Wilsons or the bad guy everyone loves to hate Karl Rove, or the former CNN star Robert Novak... It is about the president of the United States. It is about a plot that was hatched at the top of the administration and in which everyone else, Mr. Rove included, are at most secondary players." Wise words indeed. And please watch this Crooks and Liars clip of Meet the Press (hat tip to Karena for directing Mehlman's appearance on MTP to me) and tell me if you think that Tim Russert & John Podesta were fed up w/Mehlman's mealy- mouthed answers and non-answers. When Bob Schieffer bares his claws at the WH over this issue, you know that most now suspect that a major WH conspiracy lies under the ice.
"Ken in the Kloset" Mehlman is a moron. Fortunately, Bob Herbert of the NY Times (and an African American) calls Mehlman on his moronic behavior at the NAACP convention and calls Mehlman's speech for what it is: "An empty apology". Herbert says: "His words were worse than meaningless. They were insulting. The GOP's Southern strategy, racist at its core, still lives." Yeah, but if you could just forget about that & remember how many times Mehlman referred to the GOP as the Party of Lincoln, then you could still fork over your minority votes to the GOP-- despite the fact that you will only be hurting yourself and your community by doing so. Living breathing proof that Mehlman is a moron: (CNN transcript) "You know, one of the things people on the left try to do is they say if they don't agree with me on a particular policy, you got to be a bigot... The NAACP unfortunately in the 2000 campaign likened the president to James Byrd, who was a racist killer in east TX, who the president brought to justice." AHEM... no moron... James Byrd was the VICTIM of a racial hate crime. In fact, Byrd's throat was cut, his body was chained to a pickup truck and his head flew off from the dragging... but hey, those pesky little facts do get in the way, huh? Byrd's death was so gruesome that TX passed the the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act of 2001. Since when do laws get passed in honor of the KILLER Ken? But why should Ken's ignorance of the crime be shocking? Bush himself couldn't even get the facts straight either, and it did piss Byrd's family members off royally to hear Bush try to politicize Byrd's death to Bush's advantage. Hat tip to KT in Texas for passing along the info.
Powell's Memo & Rove's Nondisclosure Agreement
NY Times: Prosecutors in the CIA leak case now show intense interest in a '03 State Dept memorandum that explained how Wilson went to Niger & came to be dispatched on an intelligence-gathering mission and the role of his wife in the trip. Investigators have been trying to learn whether officials at the WH and in the administration learned of the CIA officer's identity from the memo, which was sent to Colin Powell. They are seeking to determine if any officials then passed the name along to journalists and if officials were truthful in testifying about whether they had read the memo. Powell was seen walking around Air Force One w/ the memorandum in hand during a trip to Africa w/Bush & other senior officials. The trip started on July 7/03, which was 1 day after the White House was scrambling to defend itself from a blast of criticism from Wilson. Confused? Yeah, me too. I think the NY Times feels the same way. Just read this article, Questions of Who Told What to Whom, and When, May Be Crucial in Leak Case, to see how tangled & twisted this thing is. But in the middle of all this insanity we receive Rove's Nondisclosure Agreement, courtesy of Truth Out: Under the nondisclosure agreement and the applicable executive order, even "negligent" disclosures to reporters are grounds for revocation of a security clearance or dismissal. Bush hasn't fired him WHY exactly?
Sweet Mother of Mercy... this damn Plame Outing is like a game of pong. It just keeps bouncing from one player to another player and all of them point the finger at one another. Anyway... here's the latest developments: From Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may seek criminal contempt charges against Judy Miller. Why? B/c 2 sources say Miller spoke w/Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby, during the key period in July/03 (focus of Fitz's investigation). But what about Libby? In this '03 Time article, Libby is Cheney's mouthpiece about Wilson's Niger trip & Libby can't bash Wilson enough. And this Aug '04 Wash Post article shows that Fitz is very interested in what Libby & Tim Russert discussed. But very early on, Wilson named Libby: In May/04, Wilson (on Democracy Now!) pointed the finger at Libby and/or Cheney: Q: Who do you think exposed your wife? A: My understanding is there was a meeting in the offices of Cheney, chaired most likely by the VP’s Chief of Staff, Libby, at which time a decision was made to do a work-up on me. A work-up means run an intelligence operation against a private US citizen to find out everything you can about him, his family, his habits, all of that sort of stuff. I think Scooter Libby is involved up to his eyeballs in this. Everybody who was at that meeting would have been part of the conspiracy to run the intelligence operation against me and ultimately to make the decision to leak. What is irrefutable in all of this is that they betrayed the national security of the country."
China Threatens to Use Nukes on US over Taiwan
THIS is very scary shit: From Financial Times: China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan. "If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,” said General Zhu Chenghu. Hmm, since the Chinese already OWN our asses by buying our treasury notes (thereby floating our MASSIVE Bush deficits & war) why shouldn't they threaten us? What are we gonna do? Fight 'em? W/what military force? How could we afford a war w/them? They OWN us.
Rove claims that Bob Novak told him Plame's name, but Novak said this in 2003: "my sources... they gave me the name and I used it. I didn't dig it out, it was given to me." WTF? Here's some theories: 1.) The key to this entire story becomes who Novak's 1st source is. Find that person & the whole thing blows open because that is the person who violated the law in a big way. 2.) Novak isn't liable because he wasn't authorized to have the information to begin with. 3.) Rove could still potentially have a case against him because "confirming" the identification could still be construed as identifying Plame, especially if the 1st source was from the WH and would allow Fitzgerald to establish a pattern of intentional leaks. 4.) And what about Judy Miller? Novak's first source referred to in the article would also be the source for Miller. That explains why she still hasn't talked and why her testimony is still such a big deal despite Cooper testifying already... she is protecting a Big Wig in the WH. Read Krugman's column on Rove, NBC says the entire root of the Rove controversy lies in US's reasons for invading Iraq (duh!), Joe Wilson went on the Today Show, Mark Fiore weighs in the Plame case w/another killer cartoon, and didja know that Rove was fired from the '92 Bush prez campaign (by Bush 1) after Rove planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction w/ campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr? Makes ya wonder how pissed Daddy Bush may be about Jr keeping Rove around, huh?
From Radical Russ Net: FL Gov Bush's Dept of Children and Families was convicted of "institutional neglect" that led to the near beating death of then-2 yr old Marissa Amora at the hands of her known to be abusive guardians. A jury awarded her $35 million for damages and future health care costs (she is now disabled) and now Jeb is trying to have the entire award thrown out (not reduced, BUT eliminated!) so the now-6 yr old will end up w/ no way to pay for her lifelong medical care. From Tampa Bay Online: Ronnie Paris Jr would box w/ his 3 yr old, punching & slapping him in the head until he cried, and make the toddler shake & wet himself from fear, b/c Paris didn't want his son to grow up to be "a sissy" and according to little Ronnie's aunt, "he didn't want his son to be gay." On 1/22/05 little Ronnie was beaten until he slipped into a coma. By 1/28/05, little Ronnie died when he was removed from life support & suffered severe swelling of the brain. Did Jeb intervene & demand that little Ronnie be kept on a feeding tube in hopes that he would miraculously recover? Nope. Did Bill Frist make a videotape diagnosis? Nope. Did Tom DeLay arrange an emergency session of Congress and did Bush jump on Air Force One in the middle of the night to sign emergency legislation? Nope. Why would these Culture of Life GOPers not want a disabled 6yr have money for her lifelong medical care? Why would these Culture of Life GOPers not fight to keep a 3 yr old w/brain swelling kept on life support? I guess that the Culture of Life just doesn't apply to little black kids (just as it didn't apply to TX infant Sun Hudson- taken off life support at the same time as the Whoring Out Schiavo fiasco). Who knew that a human life was only worthy if white?
Jeeze... and I thought that Halliburton was THE model for conflict of interest: Just have your CEO run for high office- like say Vice Prez, have them start a war that creates the need for your product & then funnel billions of dollars to the company. Voila! Watch your stock quadruple. Well, maybe Arnold is a close 2nd in the conflict of interest dept: 2 days before he was sworn into office (11/15 /03) Gov Schwarzenegger accepted a consulting job paying an estimated $8 million over 5 yrs to "further the business objectives" of a national publisher of health and bodybuilding magazines. The contract pays Gov Arnold 1% of the magazines' advertising revenue, much of which comes from makers of nutritional supplements. Last year, the Gov vetoed legislation that would have imposed govt regulations on the supplement industry.
Amb. Joe Wilson- Bust Out the Kevlar Vest
Joe Wilson, courtesy of Brad's Blog, says Bush should absolutely fire Rove, as Wilson has to duck from these ridiculous RNC Smearing/Talking Points (that are a weak attempt to take the focus off of Rove's illegal activities and smear Wilson instead). But it would seem to me (and Wayne Madsen) that the RNC's mouthpiece Ken Mehlman has deeper reasons to rush to Rove's defense. Would anyone be shocked to learn that Rovegate points to a much larger Bush conspiracy? Naw, didn't think so. Things must be heating up for the GOP, or else they wouldn't be scrambling to sweep away any hint of sweeping criminal activity, and Rep Peter King (R-NY) would not say things like this: "Joe Wilson has no right to complain. And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove." Hmm, shooting journalists? Fascism much?
I just watched (Weds night) the BBC film The Power of Nightmares. I seriously suggest that you visit this site and you can watch it streaming or you can download it (be warned: complete pain in the ass to download!) if you want to have an eye-opening look into who really benefits by our fright of al Qaeda. It verifies alot of questions that I already had, and raises some I didn't have. It is being hailed as the Brit Fahrenheit 9/11-- only w/o Michael Moore's sense of humor. Well worth the watch & I highly recommend it. And this article, courtesy of BellaCiao reinforces, strangely enough, what the film I just watched said... coinky dink?... as it examines who the Real Trinity of Terror may be.
This is an interesting theory, courtesy of Prison Planet. I'm not sure if I believe that the bombings were "set up" by the UK govt (just as I'm not sure if the US govt set up 9/11) but Propaganda Matrix raises some important questions about the London bombings, too. At this point, maybe the only thing that would shock me would be watching film coverage of Bush in bed w/ a dead girl and live boy. Oh- don't get me wrong- it would not be shocking that he'd be in bed w/ a dead girl and a live boy... no, no, no... it's that he would be CAUGHT on film doing it & we'd find out about it that is shocking.
If this from the Wash Times is correct, then who exactly will be left in Iraq to enjoy all of those newly liberated freedoms?
A new NBC/ Wall St Jrnl poll shows dismal numbers for Bush (view the entire pdf here). The poll finds that Bush’s overall job rating has slipped and that his rating for being “honest and straightforward” has dropped to its lowest pt (and keep in mind that poll was taken before the Rove scandal really started bubbling over): Is Nation on Right Track (34%) Is Nation on Wrong Track (52%) Bush Rating on Economy Approve 39% Disapprove 54% Bush Rating on Iraq Approve 39% Disapprove 55% Bush Honest? Yes 41% No 45% Congress Approve 28% Disapprove 55% Should Roe vs Wade Be Overturned? No 65% Yes 29%. Let's hope that he keeps that last poll number in mind when considering his long list of possible crazies and wingnuts for the Supreme Crt. One need only look at a nation like Romania to see what happens when crazy ideology goes against the wishes of the citizenry and outlaws birth control and/or abortion... the long lasting results are NOT PRETTY for the women or the children.
A few bad apples my ass:From the Wash Post: Interrogators at Gitmo forced a stubborn detainee to wear women's underwear on his head, confronted him with snarling military working dogs and attached a leash to his chains. A newly released military investigation shows the tactics were approved by Rumsfeld for use in interrogating Mohamed Qahtani (the alleged 20th hijacker on 9/11) and were employed at Gitmo in late 2002 (months before military police used them on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq) as part of a special interrogation plan aimed at breaking down the silent detainee. The report's findings are the strongest indication yet that the abusive practices seen in photographs at Abu Ghraib were not the invention of a small group of thrill-seeking military police officers. Really? No shit Sherlock.
Wanna Know What's Not Kosher? Copying My Blog
Wanna know what's not kosher? Blatantly copying my blog and cutting and pasting my very sentences, words and even my emotions into someone else's blog. Wanna know what's even less kosher than that? Lying about it, not having the balls to own up to what you did, and then not even apologizing for it. Please see my comments for proof of what this blogger did. So not cool. Especially when the world of Liberal/Progressive female bloggers is rather small. We sisters need to stick together and watch each other's backs... not shove a big knife in.
Ken Mehlman of the RNC thinks Plame's outing was A-okay, and John Douchebag Gibson of Fox News thinks Rove should get a medal for outing Plame, so, their defense of Rove is this: "Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Dems are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks." A FALSE story? Really? Hmm... that's funny b/c this State Dept pdf completely backs up Wilson's findings on the yellowcake / Feb 02 Niger trip (scroll down to July 6/03 on the pdf). In the middle of all of these GOP smears is this: Larry Johnson is a former CIA classmate of Plame's and he tells us what the big lie about Plame really is. Olbermann says what we all know is true: Rove's actions made terrorism intelligence come to a screeching halt- thereby making Bush soft on terrorism. And in case you needed any proof that outing agents hurts intelligence, just take a look at the situation in the UK: the suspected London bombers were Brits of Pakistani descent. The double agent that Bush outed in 8/04 was a Pakistani. The outing caused UK intelligence to come to a screeching halt, so perhaps Brit intelligence could have been tipped off to the London bombing before it happened... could be wabbit... could be.
TX Judge Bob Perkins ruled today that John Colyandro should stand trial on felony charges of money laundering for his role in operating Tom DeLay's PAC (Texans for a Repub Majority) in 2002. Colyandro and Jim Ellis, another DeLay associate, were initially indicted in 9/04 by TX District Attorney Ronnie Earle on charges of violating state election laws by moving $190,000 in corporate donations from TRMPAC into the campaign coffers of 7 GOP state House candidates. Corporate contributions to state candidates are illegal in TX. Lawyers for Colyandro and Ellis had asked that the charges against the 2 men be dropped, arguing that TX law on money laundering relates to cash transactions, and the money in question was done by check. Didja get that: the defense is that since the money was in stacks of checks rather than stacks of cash, it's okay & legal. Judge Perkins disagreed with the argument: "If you're saying that all the funds I ever received were checks, well, in my opinion, funds would include checks." I'm sure Perkins will be smeared as yet another Liberal activist judge, b/c God knows, TX elects Liberal activists, huh? Naw, just soul-less pricks.
At least Wes Clark sees the BIG picture: "But fighting terrorism at home isn't just a matter of "killing terrorists." Terrorists aren't born that way. They are created by their interaction w/ their surroundings. To win this war, we must defeat the ideology of terrorism, depriving angry young people of their ability to justify their hateful actions in the name of Allah." And it appears that Clark is not the only one who sees what a failure Bush's Neo-Con strategy has been: An AP survey of longtime students of international terrorism finds they believe that al Qaeda is mutating into a global insurgency, a 21st-century movement which will be technologically astute & almost leaderless. And the way out is far from clear. Michael Scheuer (ex-CIA analyst) said that rather than move toward solutions, the US took a big step backward by invading Iraq. He said, “we’re at the point where jihad is self-sustaining,” where Islamic “holy warriors” in Iraq fight the US and UK with or w/out allegiance to al Qaeda’s bin Laden. Nice... my baby girl's grandkids will be thanking Bush & his gang of bloodthirsty Neo-Cons for driving the entire world off the fucking cliff.
Oceanic plankton have largely disappeared from the waters off of CA, OR & WA. The plankton disappearance is caused by a lack of the seasonal movement of cold, nutrient-rich offshore water (called upwelling) into areas near shore. This cold water sustains vast quantities of plankton, which are the basis of the entire marine food web. During periods of vigorous upwelling, the plankton "blooms" & everything from salmon to blue whales fattens and thrives off of the W. Coast. Now that plankton are largely absent, fisheries and wildlife are feeling the effects by witnessing widespread seabird mortality, far fewer fish and marine mammals, & a general decline in near-shore oceanic life, but hey, according to Fox News' Brian Kilmeade, it was ridiculous for our world leaders at the G8 Summit to even care about global warming. Yeah, the impending collapse of the entire ocean ecosystem is so unworthy of our thoughts & it's so pro-life to destroy our planet, huh?
Leonard Clark-Liberal Soldier- His Site is Scrubbed
If you try to link to his site, you will read this: Sorry, no posts match your request. His friend and former site administrator Kevin (on his own blog) has posted this info that Leonard read(like a robot) to Kevin while other people could be heard in the background: "Kevin, this is Leonard Clark I have been ordered by my commander Capt Munch to ask you to not publish anymore material at all on the web specifically any pending voice mails you may have that I have sent you. The reason I have been told to tell you to do this is because he states that he believes operational security may be compromised." The military still- laughably- maintains that Leonard was arrested for "campaigning for office" while serving in Iraq, but what about this fucking guy from PA: The special election that resulted in John Pippy going to the State Senate continues to be unique. Pippy is still an Army captain in the Nat'l Guard and he was sworn in on March 24/03 in Harrisburg but immediately reported back to base. Residents of the 37th district in Allegheny & Washington counties now have a new state senator but when he’ll be back in either the district or Harrisburg on a regular basis remains to be seen. That’s because Pippy’s Nat'l Guard outfit has been called to active duty and he is currently stationed at the Aberdeen Training Ground in MD. Pippy did get a 1 day leave, however, for a special swearing-in ceremony in Harrisburg on March 24. And what about this soldier from CA: Military Blogger Rusten Currie (his mil blog here), currently serving in Iraq with the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, is running for Congress (his Currie for Congress blog here) against Rep Maxine Waters (D-CA). Nice touch, dontcha think that he slanders Waters by saying that she has "friends in al Jezeerah"? Notice both of these soldiers are REPUBLICAN... so, an active-duty soldier CAN campaign, eh? But I guess they have to gulp down the GOP Kool-Aid and goosestep for Il Duce Bush. Hat tip to Steven D, and the scary winds of fascism blow harder every day...
While the WH refuses to say a peep about Rove & they threw poor McClellan to the wolves- read the transcript, it is painful- like watching a cat shitting razor blades), and others cry for Rove to be fired (A) (B) & (C), the Kool-Aid drinkers defend Bush's Beloved Lil Bitch. This is beyond all comprehension, but -yes- the GOP (courtesy of Red State Org) defenses of Rove are things like this: "It seems that Wilson's trip was not a "CIA mission" at all, but Plame's own mission to put her husband in a position to cause trouble for the Administration." and this: "Plame was a rogue CIA employee using the media to distribute misinformation supposedly unearthed by her husband to undermine the President." and this un-fucking-believably stupid gem: "If I'm not mistaken, Special Forces intercepted a shipment of yellow cake uranium loaded in 55 gallon barrels. It was in transit from Iraq to Iran during an attempted smuggling operation just before the fall of Bagdad." Really? Source link to THAT, maybe? Dontcha think that news of YELLOW CAKE URANIUM in 55 gallon drums would have been whored out by Bush as proof that Iraq and/ or Iran had WMDs, you pustule of stupidity? Dear God, I have to bleach my eyeballs now after reading the vacuous theories of such lunatics. But all halfwits aside, the pieces just may be finally coming together: The Downing Street Minutes Memos, the Niger documents, David Kay's report about no WMDs, Karl's involvement in the Plame outing, and the horrific treatment of our soldiers (read- it is blood boiling). I pray the fall of Il Duce Bush comes hard and fast.