Publius Archive

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Supreme Court Justices Devour Sandra Day O'Connor in Ancient Ritual

From The Onion:

WASHINGTON, DC—The eight remaining justices of the Supreme Court met in chambers Monday to feast on the living flesh of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, enacting an ancient tradition that began when the first chief justice of the Supreme Court retired and was summarily consumed in 1795.

The Supreme Court, which has ritually eaten Sandra Day O'Connor (front row, second from right).
Above: The Supreme Court, which has ritually eaten Sandra Day O'Connor (front row, second from right).

Although the most important cannibalistic ceremony in American jurisprudence is closed to outsiders, some details of the ritual are inscribed within the High Court Scrolls. The scrolls, written in human blood and stored in the Justice Library Reading Room, have been studied by only a handful of legal scholars.

"Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist almost certainly consumed the greater part of O'Connor's brain and heart prior to the ritual feeding, in a rite believed to grant him the knowledge, wisdom, and courage of the devoured," said American University law professor Donald Hewett. "Any portions of O'Connor's brain and heart that Rehnquist refused would have been consumed by the remaining justices within minutes, as they chanted passages from her seminal opinions."

Hewett said the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court was gutted, strung up, and "drained into stone goblets from which her blood was sipped like wine."

"This quaffing of blood is traditionally accompanied by much singing and drumming," Hewett said.

If the ritual was performed in accordance with the court scrolls, O'Connor's body was then laid upon a traditional brass bier and borne up a five-story marble staircase to a consecrated inner sanctum, where clerks skewered the raw meat on wooden spits. Late into the evening, the Supreme Court justices feasted on the renowned federalist by torchlight.

"The ceremony is said to be quite moving," said Zachary Katz, editor of the Yale Law Review. "By consuming O'Connor's mortal body, the other justices seek a communion with her transcendent qualities—her respect for the discretion of the court, her pragmatism, and her refusal to commit to abstract legal principles."

O'Connor has been prepared for the ritual since January 2005, when Chief Justice Rehnquist sprinkled her desk with the ashes of a virgin law clerk and pronounced, "Receptum, receptum, receptum."

Tuesday evening, Rehnquist emerged from the 17-foot-tall, 13-ton bronze sliding doors of the Supreme Court building's west entrance and addressed those who had gathered in the oval pavilion.

"Hear us, Justice," said Rehnquist, wearing a necklace of human bones and an elaborate headdress adorned with yak horns. "In the abiding name of Jurisprudence we consumed her; in the eternal name of Law was she eaten; and as her flesh does become our flesh, so her wisdom shall become our wisdom, yea, through all time everlasting."

According to legal scholars, O'Connor's skin will be tanned and sewn into a ceremonial cloak, to be worn by the youngest justice, Clarence Thomas, as he lights the pyre upon which members of O'Connor's senior staff are burned alive.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Holy Ghost Enema

Via Oliver Willis.   Not new,  but new to many.  This is a video of Benny Hinn's wife preaching when she thought the cameras weren't rolling during a commercial break in their broadcast.  The cameras were rolling and this went over the 'feeds' to the affiliate stations. Of all the ways advocated to recieve the holy ghost,  this must be the most honest.  

WaPo: General Lied Under Oath About Torture Policies

This editorial should not come as a surprise to those who have observed just how widespread specific torture methods were employed world-wide.
The Truth About Abu Ghraib

Friday, July 29, 2005; A22

FOR 15 MONTHS now the Bush administration has insisted that the horrific photographs of abuse from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were the result of freelance behavior by low-level personnel and had nothing to do with its policies. In this the White House has been enthusiastically supported by the Army brass, which has conducted investigations documenting hundreds of cases of prisoner mistreatment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but denies that any of its senior officers are culpable. For some time these implacable positions have been glaringly at odds with the known facts. In the past few days, those facts have grown harder to ignore.

... On Wednesday, the former warden of Abu Ghraib, Maj. David DiNenna, testified that the use of dogs for interrogation was recommended by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, the former commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison who was dispatched by the Pentagon to Abu Ghraib in August 2003 to review the handling and interrogation of prisoners. On Tuesday, a military interrogator testified that he had been trained in using dogs by a team sent to Iraq by Gen. Miller.

In statements to investigators and in sworn testimony to Congress last year, Gen. Miller denied that he recommended the use of dogs for interrogation, or that they had been used at Guantanamo. "No methods contrary to the Geneva Convention were presented at any time by the assistance team that I took to [Iraq]," he said under oath on May 19, 2004. Yet Army investigators reported to Congress this month that, under Gen. Miller's supervision at Guantanamo, an al Qaeda suspect named Mohamed Qahtani was threatened with snarling dogs, forced to wear women's underwear on his head and led by a leash attached to his chains -- the very abuse documented in the Abu Ghraib photographs.

The court evidence strongly suggests that Gen. Miller lied about his actions, and it merits further investigation by prosecutors and Congress. But the Guantanamo commander was not acting on his own: The interrogation of Mr. Qahtani, investigators found, was carried out under rules approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Dec. 2, 2002. After strong protests from military lawyers, the Rumsfeld standards -- which explicitly allowed nudity, the use of dogs and shackling -- were revised in April 2003. Yet the same practices were later adopted at Abu Ghraib, at least in part at the direct instigation of Gen. Miller. "We understood," Maj. DiNenna testified, "that [Gen. Miller] was sent over by the secretary of defense...." (more)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Return of the 'One Fingered Victory Salute'

In celebration of the declaration of victory over the 'Liberal Media' by Both Ann Coulter and Bill O'Riley yesterday,  Dubbya raises a salute in his traditional manner.    Don't ask for whom the president flips;  he flips at thee.

Actually I have no idea why he flipped off the press yesterday,  so perhaps someone can come up with a plausable explanation regarding this Christian's actions. 

Pre-9/11 Terrorist Found Guilty in Civil Court, Sentenced to 22 Years

This Judge is a hero in my book.  I have included his statement from the sentencing.

Excerpted from King5 News ( Video Here):
... It all happened before 9/11. Ressam was caught at the border checkpoint in Port Angeles, Washington, by customs and immigration inspectors. He had a bomb in his trunk. Ressam was on his way to Los Angeles International Airport to set off his bomb during the millennium celebration, but his lawyer says Ressam is no longer a terrorist....

...Judge's Statement

U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour's made a statement during Wednesday's sentencing hearing for Ahmed Ressam. "Okay. Let me say a few things. First of all, it will come as no surprise to anybody that this sentencing is one that I have struggled with a great deal, more than any other sentencing that I've had in the 24 years I've been on the bench.

"I've done my very best to arrive at a period of confinement that appropriately recognizes the severity of the intended offense, but also recognizes the practicalities of the parties' positions before trial and the cooperation of Mr. Ressam, even though it did terminate prematurely.

"The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is twofold:

"First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement.

"Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

"I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.

"Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact that he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens.

"Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.

"The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

"Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. This is a Constitution for which men and women have died and continue to die and which has made us a model among nations. If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.

"It is my sworn duty, and as long as there is breath in my body I'll perform it, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We will be in recess."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bill O'Riley: We Have the Media

Now Bill O'Riley has come out that there is no dominant liberal media:

One major casualty in the war on terror is the liberal press in the USA. Don't believe the right-wing ideologues when they tell you the left still controls the media agenda. It does not any longer. It's a fact.

Ann Coulter: “We Have The Media Now”

Why does that chill me like the phrase, "We have some planes" chills me?

From Oliver Willis:

Again putting the liberal media meme to death, right-wing loon Ann Coulter explains to fellow winger Brent Bozell on the 7/26 Sean Hannity Show that Bush should appoint a more extreme Judge than Roberts to the Supreme Court because "we have the media now". Audio.

In the Lion's Den

Dang, this guy Hackett has come out of nowhere (well, Iraq, actually) to take on the lion in his den. And even better, he's an Armed Liberal! All Right!

He is, of course getting the Swift Boat Smear treatment. Absolutely despicable. Here's his reply to that.

Oh, yeah- the conservative Cincinnati Post endorsed him.

(Thanks to the Daily Kos for many of the tips)

Excerpted From the NYT:
July 27, 2005

Veteran of Iraq, Running in Ohio, Is Harsh on Bush

CINCINNATI, July 22 - In the Second Congressional District of Ohio, which Republicans have controlled for the last two decades, the quickest route to political oblivion could be the one chosen by Paul L. Hackett: calling President Bush a "chicken hawk" for not serving in Vietnam and harshly criticizing the decision to invade Iraq.

But Mr. Hackett, the Democratic candidate in the Aug. 2 special Congressional election, is not an ordinary politician. Until four months ago, he was serving in the Marines, commanding a civil affairs unit in Iraq.

If Mr. Hackett is elected, he will become the first member of Congress to have served in the Iraq war. That alone has helped Mr. Hackett, a 43-year-old lawyer, unexpectedly turn this potential walkover into a sharply contested race....

...The national Democratic Party initially ignored the race. But Mr. Hackett has changed some minds, and the party has begun dispatching young staff members to the field, hoping to send a message that Mr. Bush is weak in one of his most loyal districts....

...Mr. Hackett, the son of a traveling salesman, joined the Marine Corps in college and was honorably discharged in 1999. He joined again in 2004, commanding a civil affairs unit in Ramadi and Falluja. A lean 6-foot-4, he is garrulous, profane and quick with a barbed retort or a mischievous joke. He and his wife, Suzi, have three children, ages 8, 4 and 1....

...The candidates are even more different on most issues. Ms. Schmidt supports making Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent, but offers no plans for closing the federal deficit other than trimming "unnecessary pork" and bureaucratic inefficiency.

Mr. Hackett opposes making those cuts permanent, asserting that troops in Iraq are not receiving adequate supplies or benefits.

Ms. Schmidt, a leader of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, wants abortion outlawed. Mr. Hackett says he opposes abortion but believes government should not dictate a woman's health care decisions.

The two, however, support broad gun rights. His opposition to banning assault weapons has gotten Mr. Hackett, who says he owns military-style rifles and has a permit to carry concealed weapons, into arguments with many Democrats.

"The Democratic Party is wrong on this," he said. "We don't want government dictating a woman's right to choose. How do I tell people it's O.K. to dictate their gun ownership?..."

...Mr. Hackett has been bluntly dismissive of Mr. Bush, saying the United States should have focused on capturing Osama bin Laden instead of invading Iraq so quickly. In a public forum, he called Mr. Bush the biggest threat facing the United States, a remark that has infuriated voters, Republicans say....

New Gallup Poll Results

At least most of the people are no longer fooled about the veracity of this president.   But you can still fool some of the people all of the time...

Via USA Today:

...For the first time, a majority of Americans, 51%, say the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — the reason Bush emphasized in making the case for invading. The administration's credibility on the issue has been steadily eroding since 2003.

By 58%-37%, a majority say the United States won't be able to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq.

About one-third, 32%, say the United States can't win the war in Iraq. Another 21% say the United States could win the war, but they don't think it will. Just 43% predict a victory.

Still, on the question that tests fundamental attitudes toward the war — was it a mistake to send U.S. troops? — the public's view has rebounded. By 53%-46%, those surveyed say it wasn't a mistake, the strongest support for the war since just after the Iraqi elections in January...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

RickSantorum Would Allow End of Legal Contraception

From Crooks and Liars:

A picture named NewsNight_Santorum_Griswold.jpg

Decision on Griswold wrong

Santorum appeared on NewsNight with Aaron Brown and said he thought Griswold was bad law. Is this guy kidding?



Duncan: "That Griswold was wrongly decided, and that therefore the state has the right to regulate the use of birth control by married couples?"

A picture named contraC.gif

What is it about sex and these people? Does Rick still think hair will grow in the palm of his hand?

Jesus General has a new operation:  The perfect campaign contraceptive  "Call a press conference today and declare that you stand with Sen. Santorum and his efforts to end legal contraception. Contact your membership and ask them to write letters to the editors and to call talk radio shows demanding an end to birth control. We can win this battle with your on

The Justice Department: Soft on Terrorist

Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 12:00 AM

Effort here to charge London suspect was blocked

By Hal Bernton and David Heath
Seattle Times staff reporters

The Justice Department blocked efforts by its prosecutors in Seattle in 2002 to bring criminal charges against Haroon Aswat, according to federal law-enforcement officials who were involved in the case.

British authorities suspect Aswat of taking part in the July 7 London bombings, which killed 56 and prompted an intense worldwide manhunt for him....

It was predictable, really...

Billmon July 13, 2005:
...As my last post argued, Rove is facing an opponent who has some effective weapons of his own, including, apparently, the uncremated remains of Bob Novak. One sign of just how scared the Rovians are of Fitzgerald is the fact that they haven't pointed any of their slime guns in his direction, at least not yet....

Reuters Mon Jul 25, 4:38 PM ET:
WASHINGTON - Congress will conduct a series of hearings on national security and espionage issues raised by the CIA-leak controversy surrounding senior Bush adviser Karl Rove, officials said on Monday....

...[Pat Roberts' spokeswoman, Sarah Little] said the Senate committee would also review the probe of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the Plame case for nearly two years.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Faux Faulkner Writing Contest Winner

The United Airlines Magazine Hemispheres came up with a faux Faulkner contest. For some reason, they are not publishing the winner in the the mag, but online only...

The Administration and the Fury
If William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House

By Sam Apple

"...He needs his makeup," Dick said.

"I ll do it," Condi said. She put a little brush on my check and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. "Jesus, what s he laughing about," Rummy said.

"Dont you pay attention to him, Georgie," Dick said. "They re going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about."

"He cant remember anything," Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick s face was red and he looked at Rummy. "I told you to hush up already," Dick said. "Now look what you ve gone and done."

"Go and get him Saddam s gun," Condi said. "You know how he likes to hold it."

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam s gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

"Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?" Rummy said. "Cant you think any better than he can?"

I was hollering and Dick was turning red and then white and the room was tilted.

"You give him that gun back, right this minute," Condi said. Rummy gave me Saddam s gun back and I held it my hands. It was hot like a horseshoe.

"You got the gun, now you stop that hollering," Rummy said.

Condi patted me on the back. "It sure is hot in here," she said. She fanned herself and took off her jacket. She smelled like perfume.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Marine Corps Shortens Slogan To 'The Few'

From The Onion:

WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recruiting shortfalls, a near standstill in re-enlistment, and rock-bottom troop morale, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee announced Monday that the Marines will alter their unofficial slogan, abbreviating it to the more accurate "The Few." Hagee said, "We are still the Marines, the premier combat arm of the U.S. military." The Marines will also change their motto to Semper Fidelis, Sic Non Sapienti, or "Always Faithful, But This Is Just Ridiculous."

The Plame Floodgates Open

Fri Jul 22nd, 2005 at 16:24:15 EDT

... All hell has broken loose.

Bloomberg is reporting that Rove and Libby both gave testimony to the grand jury that flatly conflicts with the testimony given by those they said they talked to.

We now know that the Top Secret memo most consistent with the talking points that Rove and Libby told reporters was seen in the hands of Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in the days before the leak occurred. And that Fleischer told the grand jury he never saw it.

Update [2005-7-22 16:38:29 by Hunter]: [And Steve Clemons has verified that John Bolton was one of Judith Miller's regular sources on WMD issues, and that MSNBC stands by its story that Bolton gave testimony to the grand jury about the State Department memo in question. Bolton, you may recall, has previously been identified to have been involved in the Niger uranium claims that Wilson's trip helped disprove -- just to add even more gunpowder to this mix.]

This is, to use the most calm and soothing phrase possible in such circumstances, extremely f---ing bad for the administration. It shows the broad outlines not just of multiple perjury charges, but indeed of linked conspiracy charges against a number of administration officials....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Daily War News

Since this administration adores a vacuum, you should always remember to regularly check in with Today in Iraq

The following is just a portion of the News out of Iraq forn this date:

War News for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bring 'em on: One Iraqi soldier killed and six injured in suicide car bombing at a checkpoint in the Baghdad suburb of Bueitha. Six Iraqi soldiers killed and 13 wounded in suicide car bombing in Mahmoudiyah.

Bring 'em on: Three members of the Qhadisiyah provincial council assassinated in Baghdad. One employee of the Ministry of Trade killed in a drive-by shooting in Sadr City. One Iraqi guard killed and two injured when attackers threw explosives into the compound of a British security firm the Yarmouk neighborhood of Baghdad. Three members of an Iraqi patrol killed and three injured by a roadside bomb in Latifiyah.

Bring 'em on: Two Algerian diplomats kidnapped in Baghdad. Two Iraqi commandoes killed and ten injured in suicide bombing in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood. Shiite holy shrine blown up by militants in Baquba. Iraq army claims to have arrested 200 suspected insurgents in a sweep near the city.

Bring 'em on: One US sailor died Thursday of wounds sustained July 15 during combat operations in Hit.

Twenty-six: Many of the boys in the dusty al-Khalij neighborhood of east Baghdad awoke to the news, rousing late on a hot, sleepy summer morning with no school. Their families recalled the excitement -- the American soldiers were here. And they were handing out candy.

Hamza Firas Khuzai, 11 years old, and his friends, many of them boys ages 9 to 12, rushed out without breakfast and mounted their clunky, hip-high bicycles, said Hadi Firas Khuzai, Hamza's father.

To boys Hamza's age, the words "American soldiers" meant mingling among armored troops who looked to them like action figures come to life. It meant laughs while clowning with the Americans, and candy, cookies or toys waiting to be dropped into their waving hands. Hamza's friends pedaled away, rushing toward the soldiers' Humvees at the far end of one block. Younger brothers and sisters trailed them, without wheels.

About 10 a.m. last Wednesday, a suicide bomber drove his brown Suzuki sedan and its load of explosives into the crowd of American soldiers and Iraqi children clustered around the Humvees, residents said. Twenty-six of al-Khalij's children died....

Iraqi Politics

Sunni warnings: Sunni Arabs boycotting the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution warned other members on Thursday not to push the document through without their support.

Sunni Arabs suspended participation in the constitution-drafting committee on Wednesday after a Sunni Arab committee member and two fellow-members of the Sunni Arab umbrella group Iraqi National Dialogue were shot dead.

The committee is the main vehicle the government and its U.S. backers had hoped would lure the restive Sunni minority into the political process and help defuse Iraq's insurgency.

The committee's Shi'ite chairman Humam Hamoudi said on Wednesday he believed the Sunnis' demands were for improved security, which could be swiftly met, and predicted they would sign on to a new constitution that would be ready in weeks.

But Iraqi National Dialogue spokesman Salih Mutlaq said Hamoudi's comments implied he was rushing through a draft constitution without waiting for Sunnis to return to the table.

"He should withdraw his remarks," Mutlaq said. "We will not resume work with the committee until our demands are met."

Kurdish demands: Kurdish leaders have presented a redrawn map with a larger Kurdistan to the Iraqi National Assembly for consideration in the new constitution, a Kurdish party official said Thursday.

The map reflected long-standing Kurdish claims that stretches their territory south toward the capital of Baghdad — well beyond the boundaries of the current Kurdish autonomous area.

"The Kurdistan parliament and Kurdish parties have ratified and agreed on this map. We want this map to be part of the constitution," said Mullah Bakhtiyar, a senior official with the Kurdish Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish political parties.

The Kurdish demand was unlikely to be well-received by Sunnis and Shiites on the constitutional commission and could further complicate efforts to complete the draft charter by the Aug. 15 deadline....

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

25,000 Aeromedical Evacuations to Landstuhl Hospital in This War

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Landstuhl treats its 25,000th patient in war on terror
Hospital in Germany is first stop for many wounded soldiers

By Steve Mraz, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Tuesday, July 19, 2005

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Landstuhl Regional Medical Center recently surpassed a hallmark number in its treatment of patients injured in operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

A combination of more than 25,000 troops, civilians and coalition members from 37 countries involved in the global war on terrorism has received treatment at Landstuhl.

The medical center, which treated its first patient from OEF in fall 2001, reached the 25,000 patient mark this July Fourth.

"As we fight for our freedom, it's on the day of our independence that we hit that milestone patient here," said Col. James M. Francis, Landstuhl commander. "For the staff here at Landstuhl, that was one more workday as usual."

As best as hospital officials can determine, their 25,000th patient was a female member of the Army National Guard serving in Iraq. She received treatment on July 4 for an orthopedic problem....

Fitzgerald Curriculum Vitae

This is the second section of a very good analysis from Bob Harris.  I didn't know this stuff about Prosecutor Fitzgerald....

...Fitzgerald is certainly an interesting investigator for this case.  A little background:

The full damage caused by the leak isn't yet knowable (at least without the clearance).  But Valerie Wilson's CIA front, Brewster-Jennings, was reportedly tasked with tracking the smuggling of explosive materials in the Middle East, so that crap like the 1993 WTC attack, the embassy bombings in Africa, and 9-11 wouldn't be even worse next time.

(That's the operation apparently shit-canned by this White House for their own political gain.  So you can see why the CIA lifers pushed the case for criminal investigation, and why people are throwing the word "treason" around so much.)

The 1993 WTC attack was prosecuted by... Patrick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was then assigned to prosecute, yes, the Al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

Fitzgerald was building a case against Osama Bin Laden five years before 9-11.

This job, one concludes, involved a certain appreciation for intelligence people studying the illicit movement of explosives by terrorists.

If there's a single prosecutor in America who fully understands what the Plame case is about -- a reckless compromise of national security for political interest -- it's this guy.  If there's a prosecutor in this country who groks the background and context of the specific operations destroyed by this crime, it's this guy.  And if there's a single prosecutor capable of pursuing a conspiracy case no matter where it reaches, it sure seems like it's this guy.

Given a choice between being chased by Patrick Fitzgerald and a pack of hungry zombies... I'm guessing the zombies would look pretty good right about now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

ABC News Poll

In case you haven't seen.

From ABC News:
Via Daily Kos:

Should Karl Rove Be Fired If He Leaked Classified Information?
  Yes No
All   75%   15%
Republicans   71   17
Independents   74   17
Democrats   83   12

July 18, 2005 — Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began. And three-quarters say that if presidential adviser Karl Rove was responsible for leaking classified information, it should cost him his job.

Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.

This view is highly partisan; barely over a tenth of Democrats and just a quarter of independents think the White House is fully cooperating. That grows to 47 percent of Republicans — much higher, but still under half in the president's own party. And doubt about the administration's cooperation has grown as much among Republicans — by 22 points since September 2003 — as it has among others....

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Crime And Punishment

From Billmon at The Whiskey Bar:

"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
July 18, 2005

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Stephen Hadley announced today the appointment of Elliott Abrams as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy. . ."

Executive Office of the President
Personnel Announcement
February 2, 2005

The Board concluded . . . that Abrams had engaged in "dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation" by giving false (but unsworn) testimony to three congressional committees regarding the role of the United States government in what has become known as the Iran-Contra Affair. Following Abrams' conviction, upon a plea of guilty, of criminal charges arising out of his congressional testimony, President Bush granted him a full and unconditional pardon."

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
In re Elliott Abrams, Respondent
February 5, 1997


Sorry Elliott, but you know how it is: The president is a man of his word. And he didn't make any exception for pardoned criminals.

Don't forget to turn in your ID badge on the way out. (Billmon)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Talking Points for the Progressive Militia

I appeal to liberals to give these issues a fair hearing in public discourse. Even if you do not agree, please post so that there can be debate.

1). Liberals tend to be against the free ownership of arms based on essentially public health grounds. Guns are dangerous.

FACT: Weapons are dangerous by design. That's the point. Weapons in the hands of the Militia (originally defined as the whole body of physically fit civilians able to wield arms) were enshrined in the Second Amendment in order to protect the people from our own corrupted government (Source: The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison & Jay). Traditionally, the concept of "liberal" suggested more power to the citizens and less to the government. The Second Amendment is a case in point.

FACT: According to the National Security Council
( ), the lifetime odds in the U.S. of dying from any injury is 1/24; from dying in a transportation accident is 1/77. The odds of dying from a fall is 1/229; from exposure to poisoning and noxious chemicals is 1/212; from exposure to forces of nature is 1/3056.

The lifetime odds of committing suicide (by all means) is 1/118. Suicide by firearm is 1/218 (being an effective form). Death by assault by firearm is 1/315. 1% of unintentional injury deaths are due to firearms ( ). Higher actual numbers were due to suicide and homicide, but the relative numbers were less than by death from transportation accidents, falls or poisoning. We live in a world of dangerous opportunities; arms are one among many.

2) In a democratic government with free and fair elections, there is no need for the population to bear arms to maintain our liberty.

FACT: If, God forbid, the voting machines were ever corrupted, and all three branches of government were to fall under the spell of one narrow interest, there would be naught left to fall back on.

3) The weapons and tactics available to the US military would render any resistance by the population futile.

FACT: One word: Iraq.

4) The Founding Fathers could not have predicted or anticipated the absolute destructive potential of modern weapons. These weapons can do far more damage than imagined when the Constitution was penned.

FACT: Firearms did not exist before the Renaissance. They changed and evolved steadily for 300 years prior to the Bill of Rights. Given the genius of the Founding fathers (far wiser than today's crop of politicians), it's preposterous that they would not have envisioned further advances in technology. What they were interested in was the concept that the people could have technology that could effectively defend against the standing army (which Washington and others warned against). The founding fathers found great value in entrusting the people with the possession of firearms. As Jefferson noted, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's unimaginable that they did not also understand the value of deterrence.

A reasonable individual may argue that weapons of mass destruction do not belong in the hands of the People, but short of that, the Founding Fathers made their intentions clear.

5) Terrorists can obtain weapons through the open U.S. market that they can use to shoot down airliners.

FACT: Through long-established smuggling routes developed as the result of the longstanding "War on Drugs," Terrorists can get .50 Cal and other high power weapons from overseas without great difficulty. Most of the world's Heroin Traffic is controlled by criminal interests from a largely Islamic country ( ).

6) It is not necessary to support Second Amendment rights in order to advance the Progressive agenda.

FACT: The South has gone from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican gradually since Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in the 1960's. Although largely portrayed as a racial issue, the true wedge in recent years has been solid support for the Second Amendment in the South. Progressives will never retake the South (or other red states) without supporting firearms rights. This is a true "tipping point" issue.

More CIA Agents Speak Out

From the Talking Points Memo Cafe

We trained and worked at the CIA with Valerie Plame.  We presented the following statement at a hearing on Capitol Hill in October 2003.  In light of the latest White House sanctioned assault on Valerie Plame and her character, our testimony remains relevant and accurate....

We joined the CIA to fight against foreign tyrants who used the threat of incarceration, torture, and murder to achieve their ends. They followed the rule of force, not the rule of law. We now find ourselves with an administration in the United States where some of its members have chosen to act like foreign tyrants. As loyal Americans and registered Republicans we implore President Bush to move quickly and decisively against those who, if not apprehended, will leave his Administration with the legacy of being the first to allow political operatives to out clandestine officers....

Clearly some in the Bush Administration do not understand the requirement to protect and shield national security assets. Based on published information we can only conclude that partisan politics by people in the Bush Administration overrode the moral and legal obligations to protect clandestine officers and security assets....

Beyond supporting Mrs. Wilson with our moral support and prayers we want to send a clear message to the political operatives responsible for this. You are a traitor and you are our enemy. You should lose your job and probably should go to jail for blowing the cover of a clandestine intelligence officer. 


And I thought it was getting bad in Florida

From Mainichi News

Aberrant weather patterns have made for a strange rainy season so far this year, reports Friday (7/22). For one thing, the rain front came to a halt over Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan, inundating the prefecture while Shikoku, on the opposite side of the archipelago, saw nary a drop. And Tokyo got hit by a June day with record-setting high temperatures.

It remains to be seen if the record-breaking number of typhoons that made direct landings on the Japanese archipelago in 2004 --- 10 of them --- will be exceeded. But just about everyone agrees that the seasonal weather patterns aren't what they used to be.

"This is just the beginning of real changes in weather patterns on a worldwide scale due to global warming," says Koji Murayama, a meteorologist who works for the Japan Meteorological Business Support Center. "Once it begins, the common wisdom in our field is that the frequency of irregular phenomena will increase and their scale will become increasingly greater...."

Cool Crystal Cave

Worlds Largest Geode Found in Spain

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Al-Qaida nukes already in U.S?

Whether fact or pure fantasy,  this is sure to chill...

WND Exclusive
Al-Qaida nukes already in U.S.
Terrorists, bombs smuggled across Mexico border by MS-13 gangsters

Posted: July 11, 2005
12:22 p.m. Eastern

© 2005

WASHINGTON – As London recovers from the latest deadly al-Qaida attack that killed at least 50, top U.S. government officials are contemplating what they consider to be an inevitable and much bigger assault on America – one likely to kill millions, destroy the economy and fundamentally alter the course of history, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

According to captured al-Qaida leaders and documents, the plan is called the "American Hiroshima" and involves the multiple detonation of nuclear weapons already smuggled into the U.S. over the Mexican border with the help of the MS-13 street gang and other organized crime groups.

Al-Qaida has obtained at least 40 nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union – including suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells and even some missile warheads. In addition, documents captured in Afghanistan show al-Qaida had plans to assemble its own nuclear weapons with fissile material it purchased on the black market.

In addition to detonating its own nuclear weapons already planted in the U.S., military sources also say there is evidence to suggest al-Qaida is paying former Russian special forces Spetznaz to assist the terrorist group in locating nuclear weapons formerly concealed inside the U.S. by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.... (More)

Not on Fox News

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Fitzgerald's Probable End Game Strategy Revealed (By John Dean)

Of all the convicted Watergate co-conspirators,  I really do like John Dean the best.  I suspect he has this one figured out, and It's starting to look like the Administration is about to be hoist by its own petard.

Excerpted from Findlaw

The Jonathan Randel Leak Prosecution Precedent

...I am referring to the prosecution and conviction of Jonathan Randel. Randel was a Drug Enforcement Agency analyst, a PhD in history, working in the Atlanta office of the DEA. Randel was convinced that British Lord Michael Ashcroft (a major contributor to Britain's Conservative Party, as well as American conservative causes) was being ignored by DEA, and its investigation of money laundering. (Lord Ashcroft is based in South Florida and the off-shore tax haven of Belize.)

Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft's name was in the DEA files, and this fact soon surfaced in the London news media. Ashcroft sued, and learned the source of the information was Randel. Using his clout, soon Ashcroft had the U.S. Attorney in pursuit of Randel for his leak.

By late February 2002, the Department of Justice indicted Randel for his leaking of Lord Ashcroft's name. It was an eighteen count "kitchen sink" indictment; they threw everything they could think of at Randel. Most relevant for Karl Rove's situation, Court One of Randel's indictment alleged a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. This is a law that prohibits theft (or conversion for one's own use) of government records and information for non-governmental purposes. But its broad language covers leaks, and it has now been used to cover just such actions.

Randel, faced with a life sentence (actually, 500 years) if convicted on all counts, on the advice of his attorney, pleaded guilty to violating Section 641. On January 9, 2003, Randel was sentenced to a year in a federal prison, followed by three years probation. This sentence prompted the U.S. Attorney to boast that the conviction of Randel made a good example of how the Bush Administration would handle leakers.

The Randel Precedent -- If Followed -- Bodes Ill For Rove

Karl Rove may be able to claim that he did not know he was leaking "classified information" about a "covert agent," but there can be no question he understood that what he was leaking was "sensitive information." The very fact that Matt Cooper called it "double super secret background" information suggests Rove knew of its sensitivity, if he did not know it was classified information (which by definition is sensitive).

United States District Court Judge Richard Story's statement to Jonathan Randel, at the time of sentencing, might have an unpleasant ring for Karl Rove. Judge Story told Randel that he surely must have appreciated the risks in leaking DEA information. "Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country," the judge observed. Judge Story concluded this leak of sensitive information was "a very serious crime...."

Simple Clear Points Not to Be Obscured by Chaff

Via Artios:  

Short and Sweet
Plamegate, the video.

Outsourcing Your Own Job

From Newstrolls:

Outsourcing your own job...

"About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing."
[ Submitted on July 15, 2005 5:25 p.m. by StephenDownes]

Friday, July 15, 2005

Taking a Leak

Billmon discusses all the permutations and combinations in the seemingly increasingly complex story of the Plame leak case. I'm impressed at his analytic skills, but I also know a Rovian smoke screen when I see one. The whole process is simplified with the application of Occam's Razor. The simple explanation is probably right.

...And whaddya know! They've all appeared on the same day (document dump Friday, no less), they all help shore up Karl Rove's alibi, and they all seem to have come from either Justice Department officials who've been "briefed" on case, or from attorneys who are very familiar with Karl Rove's defense.

Funny how that works.

In terms of the GOP's propaganda offensive, this is what the generals call "committing the reserves." But the leaks have also revealed the White House's line of legal defense -- which appears to be that Rove and his fellow choir boys were led astray by those nasty media whores in their fishnet stockings and pushup bras. They're the ones who outed Valerie Plame, not poor little innocent Karl.

The leaks all purport to give us the inside dope on Rove's testimony to the grand jury, which in turn appears to focus on his critical conversation with the putrifying cadaver of Robert Novak.


Do you think so, Mr Yost?

From Editor & Publisher:

Knight Ridder's Baghdad Chief Replies to Criticism From Back Home

Early this week, Mark Yost, an editorial writer at Knight Ridder's St. Paul Pioneer Press, wrote a column that sharply criticized Iraq war coverage as "bad" for focusing on the negative. Today, another Knight Ridder writer who may actually know what's going on in Iraq, penned a reply.

By Greg Mitchell

(July 13, 2005) -- On Tuesday, Mark Yost, an editorial writer at the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a column that sharply criticized Iraq war coverage as "bad," for focusing on the negative aspects when there's so much progress to report.

Yost, of course, is welcome to his opinion, but some of his colleagues in the press quickly counter-attacked, in letters to Romenesko and others, pointing out that, ironically, Iraq coverage by the company he works for, Knight Ridder, had been hailed by many (including E&P) for often running a step or two ahead of all others.

One of those letters was written directly to Yost, by a colleague at the Pi-Press, Chuck Laszewski. "With your column," he declared, "you have spat on the copy of the brave men and women who are doing their best in terrible conditions. More than 20 reporters have died in Iraq from around the world. You have insulted them and demeaned them, and to a much lesser degree, demeaned the reporters everywhere who have been threatened with bodily harm, who have been screamed at, or denied public records, just because they wanted to present the closest approximation to the truth they could. I am embarrassed to call you my colleague."

Pretty strong stuff, but I wondered, in a note Tuesday to Knight Ridder's Washington chief Clark Hoyt, if we would hear a defense from his estimable Baghdad bureau, or what's left of it, following the death of one of its prize reporters there last month.

The KR response arrived late Wednesday.

But first, a bit more from Mark Yost, writing from the air-conditoned splendor of his office or home in leafy Minnesota.

"I know the reporting's bad because I know people in Iraq," he revealed. "A Marine colonel buddy just finished a stint overseeing the power grid. When's the last time you read a story about the progress being made on the power grid? Or the new desalination plant that just came on-line, or the school that just opened, or the Iraqi policeman who died doing something heroic? No, to judge by the dispatches, all the Iraqis do is stand outside markets and government buildings waiting to be blown up.

"I also get unfiltered news from Iraq through an e-mail network of military friends who aren't so blinded by their own politics that they can't see the real good we're doing there. ...Why isn't the focus of the story the fact that 14 of 18 Iraqi provinces are stable and the four that aren't are primarily home to the genocidal gang of thugs who terrorized that country for 30 years? And reporters wonder why they're despised."

Now here's the Knight Ridder reply, first from Hoyt, then Baghdad bureau chief Hannah Allam, from a memo sent to KR editors.

From Clark Hoyt:

It's astonishing that Mark Yost, from the distance and safety of St. Paul, Minnesota, presumes to know what's going on in Iraq. He knows the reporting of hundreds of brave journalists, presumably including his own Knight Ridder colleagues Hannah Allam and Tom Lassetter, is bad because his Marine colonel buddy tells him so.

Yost asks why you don't read about progress being made in the power grid, which the colonel oversaw. Maybe it's because there is no progress. Iraqis currently have electricity for an average of nine hours a day. A year ago, they averaged 10 hours of electricity. Iraq's oil production is still below pre-war levels. The unemployment rate is between 30 and 40 percent. New cases of hepatitis have doubled over the rate of 2002, largely because of problems with getting clean drinking water and disposing of sewage.

The "unfiltered news" Yost gets from his military friends is in fact filtered by their isolation in the Green Zone and on American military bases from the Iraqi population, an isolation made necessary by the ferocity of the insurgency. To say that isn't to argue that their perspective is invalid. It's just limited and incomplete.

Knight Ridder's Baghdad bureau chief, Hannah Allam, has read Mark Yost's column. Her response, from the front, says it far better than I could.

From Hannah Allam:

It saddens me to read Mark Yost's editorial in the Pioneer Press, the Knight Ridder paper that hired me as a rookie reporter and taught me valuable lessons in life and journalism during the four years I spent there before heading to Iraq.

I invite Mr. Yost to spend a week in our Baghdad bureau, where he can see our Iraqi staff members' toothbrushes lined up in the bathroom because they have no running water at home. I frequently find them camping out in the office overnight because electricity is still only sporadic in their sweltering neighborhoods, despite what I'm sure are the best-intentioned efforts of people like his Marine buddy working on the electrical grid.

Mr. Yost could have come with me today as I visited one of my own military buddies, who like most officers doesn't leave the protected Green Zone compound except by helicopter or massive convoy. The Army official picked me up in his air-conditioned Explorer, took me to Burger King for lunch and showed me photos of the family he misses so terribly. The official is a great guy, and like so many other soldiers, it's not politics that blind him from seeing the real Iraq. The compound's maze of tall blast wall and miles of concertina wire obscure the view, too.

Mr. Yost can listen to our bureau's morning planning meetings, where we orchestrate a trip to buy bottled water (the tap water is contaminated, when it works) as if we're plotting a military operation. I wonder whether he prefers riding in the first car -- the most exposed to shrapnel and bullets -- or the chase car, which is designed to act as a buffer between us and potential kidnappers.

Perhaps Mr. Yost would be moved by our office's tribute wall to Yasser Salihee, our brave and wonderful colleague, who at age 30 joined the ranks of Iraqi civilians shot to death by American soldiers. Mr. Yost would have appreciated one of Yasser's last stories -- a rare good-news piece about humanitarian aid reaching the holy city of Najaf.

Mr. Yost's contention that 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces are stable is pure fantasy. On his visit to Baghdhad, he can check that by chatting with our resident British security consultant, who every day receives a province-by-province breakdown of the roadside bombs, ambushes, assassinations and other violence throughout the country.

If Baghdad is too far for Mr. Yost to travel (and I don't blame him, given the treacherous airport road to reach our fortress-like hotel), why not just head to Oklahoma? There, he can meet my former Iraqi translator, Ban Adil, and her young son. They're rebuilding their lives under political asylum after insurgents in Baghdad followed Ban's family home one night and gunned down her 4-year-old daughter, her husband and her elderly mother in law.

Freshly painted schools and a new desalination plant might add up to "mission accomplished" for some people. Too bad Ban's daughter never got to enjoy those fruits of her liberation.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rubber Johnny

This Music Viseo is not going to show up on MTV...


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It's time to see the Fnords

Forgive me if you've seen this before... It just seems so appropriate to the moment. From the classic early '70's farce, The Illuminati Trilogy (or more specifically: From _The_Golden_Apple_ by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson)
[as extracted from pp.438f of _The_Illuminatus!_Trilogy_ compilation]

``Very nice,'' I said. ``But why did you bring me up here?''

``It's time for you to see the fnords,'' he replied. Then I woke up in bed
and it was the next morning. I made breakfast in a pretty nasty mood, wondering
if I'd seen the fnords, whatever the fell they were, in the hours he had
blacked out, or if I would see them as soon as I went out into the street. I
has some pretty gruesome ideas about them, I must admit. Creatures with three
eyes and tentacles, survivors from Atlantis, who walked among us, invisible due
to some form of mind shield, and did hideous work for the Illuminati. It was
unnerving to contemplate, and I finally gave in to my fears and peeked out the
window, thinking it might be better to see them from a distance first.
Nothing. Just ordinary sleepy people, heading for their busses and subways.
That calmed me a little, so I set out the toast and coffee and fetched the
_New_York_Times_ from the hallway. I turned the radio to WBAI and caught some
good Vivaldi, sat down, grabbed a piece of toast and started skimming the first

Then I saw the fnords.

The feature story involved another of the endless squabbles between Russia ad
the U.S. in the UN General Assembly, and after each direct quote from the
Russian delegate I read a quite distinct ``Fnord!'' The second lead was about a
debate in congress on getting the troops out of costa Rica; every argument
presented by Senator Bacon was followed by another ``Fnord!'' At the bottom of
the page was a _Times_ depth-type study of the growing pollution problem and
the increasing use of gas masks among New Yorkers; the most distressing
chemical facts were interpolated with more ``Fnords.''

Suddenly I saw Hagbard's eyes burning into me and heard his voice: ``Your
heart will remain calm. Your adrenalin gland will remain calm. Calm, all-over
calm. You will not panic. you will look at the fnord and see the it. You will
not evade it or black it out. you will stay calm and face it.'' And further
back, way back: my first-grade teacher writing FNORD on the blackboard, while
wheel with a spiral design turned and turned on his desk, turned and turned,
and his voice droned on, IF YOU DON'T SEE THE FNORD IT CAN'T EAT YOU,

I looked back at the paper and still saw the fnords.

This was one step beyond Pavlov, I realized. The first conditioned reflex
was to experience the panic reaction (the activation syndrome, it's technically
called) whenever encountering the word ``fnord.'' The second conditioned reflex
was to black out what happened, including the word itself, and just to feel a
general low-grade emergency without knowing why. And the third step, of course,
was to attribute this anxiety to the news stories, which were bad enough in
themselves anyway.

Of course, the essence of control is fear. The fnords produced a whole
population walking around in chronic low-grade emergency, tormented by ulcers,
dizzy spells, nightmares, heart palpitations and all the other symptoms of too
much adrenalin. All my left-wing arrogance and contempt for my countrymen
melted, and I felt a genuine pity. No wonder the poor bastards believe anything
they're told, walk through pollution and overcrowding without complaining,
watch their son hauled off to endless wars and butchered, never protest, never
fight back, never show much happiness or eroticism or curiosity or normal human
emotion, live with perpetual tunnel vision, walk past a slum without seeing
either the human misery it contains or the potential threat it poses to their
security . . . Then I got a hunch, and turned quickly to the advertisements. it
was as I expected: no fnords. That was part of the gimmick, too: only in
consumption, endless consumption, could they escape the amorphous threat of the
invisible fnords.

I kept thinking about it on my way to the office. If I pointed out a fnord to
somebody who hadn't been deconditioned, as Hagbard deconditioned me, what
he or she say? They'd probably read the word before or after it. ``No _this_
word,'' I'd say. And they would again read an adjacent word. But would their
panic level rise as the threat came closer to consciousness? I preferred not to
try the experiment; it might have ended with a psychotic fugue in the subject.
The conditioning, after all, went back to grade school. No wonder we all hate
those teachers so much: we have a dim, masked memory of what they've done to
in converting us into good and faithful servants for the Illuminati.

You're in a Bad Spot Here, Scott... Part 2

Questions answered by the administration,  now known to be lies:


Some of the denials, other comments, at media briefings by White House spokesman Scott McClellan when asked by reporters whether President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, was involved in the leak of a CIA officer's identity:

Sept. 29, 2003

Q: You said this morning, quote, "The president knows that Karl Rove wasn't involved." How does he know that?

A: Well, I've made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. ... I've said that it's not true. ... And I have spoken with Karl Rove.

Q: It doesn't take much for the president to ask a senior official working for him, to just lay the question out for a few people and end this controversy today.

A: Do you have specific information to bring to our attention? ... Are we supposed to chase down every anonymous report in the newspaper? We'd spend all our time doing that."

Q: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, "Did you ever have this information?"

A: I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.


Oct. 7, 2003

Q: You have said that you personally went to Scooter Libby (Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff), Karl Rove and Elliott Abrams (National Security Council official) to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that? And can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?

A: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They are good individuals. They are important members of our White House team. And that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt with that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.


Oct. 10, 2003

Q: Earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

A: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

Q: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

A: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

Q: They were not involved in what?

A: The leaking of classified information.


July 11, 2005:

Q: Do you want to retract your statement that Rove, Karl Rove, was not involved in the Valerie Plame expose?

A: I appreciate the question. This is an ongoing investigation at this point. The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, that means we're not going to be commenting on it while it is ongoing.

Q: But Rove has apparently commented, through his lawyer, that he was definitely involved.

A: You're asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Q: I'm saying, why did you stand there and say he was not involved?

A: Again, while there is an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to be commenting on it nor is ... .

Q: Any remorse?

A: Nor is the White House, because the president wanted us to cooperate fully with the investigation, and that's what we're doing.

You're in a Bad Spot Here, Scott...

Among the questions McClellan did not answer [at recent press briefings]::

· "Does the President stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in the leak of a name of a CIA operative?"

· "[W]hy have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you've suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, 'We're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation'?"

· "Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, 'I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this' -- do you stand by that statement?"

· "After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved would be let go?"

· "Does the President continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?"

· "Has there been any change or is there a plan for Mr. Rove's portfolio to be altered in any way?"

· "Now, are you saying that the President is not taking any action in response to that?"

· "Scott, what was the President's interaction today with Karl Rove? Did they discuss this current situation?"

· "[A]re you concerned that in not setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?"

· "Scott, at this point, are we to consider what you've said previously, when you were talking about this, that you're still standing by that, or are those all inoperative at this point?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

AP: On Rove's Behalf, the White House Issued Denials, Which Have Now Fallen Apart

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is suddenly facing damaging evidence that it misled the public by insisting for two years that presidential adviser Karl Rove wasn't involved in leaking the identity of a female CIA officer.

Rove told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper that the woman "apparently works" for the CIA and that she had authorized her husband's trip to Africa to assess allegations that Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake uranium for nuclear weapons, according to a July 11, 2003, e-mail by Cooper obtained by Newsweek magazine.

The e-mail is now in the hands of federal prosecutors who are hunting down the leakers inside the Bush administration who revealed the name of Valerie Plame to the news media.

The revelation about Rove prompted Democratic calls for President Bush to follow through on his promise to fire leakers of Plame's identity, and triggered 61 questions during two press briefings for White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

It was McClellan who provided the previous assurances about no role for Rove, but he refused to repeat those assurances Monday.

"Did Karl Rove commit a crime?" a reporter asked McClellan.

"This is a question relating to an ongoing investigation," McClellan replied.

McClellan gave the same answer when asked whether President Bush has confidence in Rove, the architect of the president's successful political campaigns.

The investigation was ongoing in 2003 when McClellan assured the public Rove wasn't involved, a reporter pointed out, but the spokesman refused to elaborate.... 

Monday, July 11, 2005

Is That a Promise, Mr. President?
Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .


QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
September 30, 2003