Woodward Wanders Further from Journalism

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

So the news is out from the Post now -- both in a statement from Bob Woodward and in an article from the Post.

The details still seem sketchy and I suspect we're going to find out a lot more in the next few days. But it now seems that Woodward -- who has long been publicly critical of the Fitzgerald investigation -- has been part of it from the beginning. Literally, the beginning.

From the Post account it appears that Woodward was told of Valerie Plame's identity before any other journalist by an as-yet-unnamed senior administration official who is not Karl Rove or Scooter Libby.

Bob Woodward also received leak

Bob Woodward also received leak of Valerie Plame's name and CIA status one month before Novak wrote about it. Is he another Judith Miller turncoat?
by John in DC - 11/15/2005 11:34:00 PM
http://americablog.blogspot.com/

UPDATE: Josh agrees about Woodward's apparently ethical lapse needing some explaining.

It's beginning to sound a lot like an intentional effort to disclose who this woman was.

It's also beginning to sound a lot like Bob Woodward is becoming our next Judith Miller. His repeated rants in defense of this administration, and against the special prosecutor, certainly take on a very interesting edge considering Mr. Woodward didn't bother disclosing that he was quite involved in this story, and was hardly the impartial observer his silence suggested he was. Not to mention, he knew all along that HE TOO had received the leak, suggesting that a clear pattern of multiple leaks was developing, yet he still went on TV and said that all of these repeated leaks were just a slip of the tongue?

Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force

By Dana Milbank and Justin Blum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; A01

A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

The kennel blind New York Times

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News
http://lefti.blogspot.com

In the dog breeding world, "kennel blind" is an expression meaning that you
can see faults in everyone else's dogs, but you think the dogs in your
kennel are perfect. You're blind to faults in your own dogs which are
glaringly obvious to everyone else. And what better description of today's
editorial in the New York Times, which is otherwise an excellent dissection
of the lies George Bush has been telling in recent speeches, as well as the
lies he told in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Here's the wonderfully kennel blind paragraph:

Former Intelligence Officers Ask Bush to Suspend Security Clearance for Rove, Other Leakers

15 November 2005
President George W. Bush
Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Most respectfully, we, the undersigned, as former intelligence officers who have served this nation in a variety of capacities, both undercover and in the open, are writing to deplore the breach of trust between this Administration and members of the intelligence community that has resulted from the Valerie Plame case. Moreover, this nation’s clandestine intelligence service will be seriously undermined if those culpable of disclosing or discussing her identity are pardoned after being found guilty or allowed to continue holding security clearances.

Wag the Dog, Crisis Scenarios for Deflecting Attention from the President's Woes

From Tomdispatch today, Michael Klare, "Wag the Dog, Crisis Scenarios for Deflecting Attention from the President's Woes" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=36399

Here's what we already know: The President's men had no hesitation about employing "wag-the-dog" style scenarios to get us into a war in Iraq - and that was when they were riding high. Imagine what they might do in desperation. In fact, Michael Klare does just that in the latest Tomdispatch post, evaluating the most likely wag-the-dog scenarios (Syria, Iran, North Korea) this administration might seriously consider using if its situation grows too desperate and elections too near.

Libby Indictment May Open Door to Broader Iraq War Deceptions

By Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy In Focus www.fpif.org
Editor: John Gershman, IRC
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/2925

The details revealed thus far from the investigation that led to the five-count indictment against I. Lewis “Scooter

White House Iraq Group Must be Investigated

By U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)
dailykos.com

Was the White House truthful with the American people and with Congress in making their case to go to war in Iraq? This is a critical question that demands a clear answer and it is long past time for the United States Congress to properly ask it and investigate the matter.

A group of top White House advisors, including Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the now-indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, formed the White House Iraq Group(WHIG) in August 2002 with the task to make the case for going to war in Iraq and to convince Congress and the American public to support that policy.

GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics

GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent
Filed by RAW STORY

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a Vietnam veteran and critic of Bush policy on Iraq, excoriated the Administration Tuesday in a speech to Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday, RAW STORY has learned.

Hagel blasted the Administration for going after Iraq war critics and turning the war into a political cause.

"The Iraq war should not be debated in the United States on a partisan political platform," the Nebraska senator remarked. "This debases our country, trivializes the seriousness of war and cheapens the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. War is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The casualties of war are from both parties. The Bush Administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. Suggesting that to challenge or criticize policy is undermining and hurting our troops is not democracy nor what this country has stood for, for over 200 years. The Democrats have an obligation to challenge in a serious and responsible manner, offering solutions and alternatives to the Administration’s policies."

Ex-intelligence officials want Rove's security clearance suspended

Ex-intelligence officials want Rove's security clearance suspended
By Warren P. Strobel
Knight Ridder Newspapers
LINK TO ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON - Sixteen former CIA and military intelligence officials on Tuesday urged President Bush to suspend his top political adviser Karl Rove's security clearance following revelations that he played a role in outing CIA officer Valerie Plame.

"We are asking that you immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personnel who spoke to reporters about (Plame's) affiliation with the CIA. They have mishandled classified information and no longer deserve the level of trust required to have access to this nation's secrets," the former officials, some of whom were covert operatives, wrote Bush.

Senate Select Committee on Intellegence sends letter to Senator Frist.

The following is the Original Letter by the Senate Select Committee on Intellegence to Senator Frist. Phase two is still being stonewalled and supressed by the majority party.

Thank you Think Progress.org for posting this letter.

LINK TO ORIGINAL

Phase II Report Being Stonewalled, Senators Charge

Phase II Report Being Stonewalled, Senators Charge
Faiz, Think Progress.Org
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Yesterday was the deadline for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to report its progress on Phase II of the investigation into the administration’s use of pre-war intelligence. The prognosis is not good, according to Senators Rockefeller, Levin and Feinstein. They have released a letter, and here is its main finding:

At this time, we are unable to provide an estimated completion date of the Phase II investigation given the substantial amount of work that remains to be done.

Rummy Backing off from Iraq?

Rummy Backing off from Iraq?
Noah Shashtman, Defense Tech.org
LINK TO ORIGINAL
This article from Sunday's Washington Post Magazine is the second major attempt I've seen in the last few months to separate Donald Rumsfeld from the Iraq war. (Here's the other.)

The idea, basically, is that Rummy was more fixated on modernizing the military than invading any country. Iraq just happened to be the country that the President wanted to wack.

Rumsfeld portrayed the memo as a warning blast, an attempt to do "everything humanly possible to prepare" Bush for the awful responsibility that had settled onto his presidential shoulders -- and his shoulders alone. For there comes a point when even the secretary of defense must realize that "it's not your decision or even your recommendation," Rumsfeld reflected with Woodward. By which he meant the Iraq war wasn't Don Rumsfeld's decision or recommendation.

Some Detainees Found in Baghdad Tortured

Some Detainees Found in Baghdad Tortured

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2005
Alexander G. Higgins and Bradley S. Klapper , Associated Press(AP)
LINK TO ORIGINAL

(AP) Iraqi and U.S. officials disclosed Tuesday that more than 170 malnourished Iraqi detainees had been found in a weekend raid at an Interior Ministry detention center and that some appeared to have been tortured.

U.S. and Iraqi forces discovered the inmates when they went into the facility suspecting that individuals there may have been mistreated, the Pentagon said.

"U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East"

"U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East"
by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel

November 15th, 2005 - Delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC - Last year, I wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine that "a wise foreign policy recognizes that U.S. leadership is determined as much by our commitment to principle as by our exercise of power." For decades, the strength of U.S. leadership has brought together allies in common cause, addressing common challenges with common action. In February 2003, three weeks before the U.S. invaded Iraq, I said in a speech at Kansas State University:

Reid Statement on Iraq

Reid Statement on Iraq
Atrios
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Washington, DC - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following statement at a press conference today following the Senate's vote on Iraq amendments.

“Let me tell you the President’s strategy in Iraq - no plan and no end in sight. Our troops deserve better. That’s why Democrats forced Republicans to admit that “staying the course

On Bush, the Dems, Jon Stewart, Hunter Thompson, Bill Moyers, and King

On Bush, the Dems, Jon Stewart, Hunter Thompson, Bill Moyers, and King (not Don)
John Cusack, Huffington Post
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Murder is a crime. Uunless it is done...by a poooollliiicceeeman. Or an ariissssstoocrat -- Joe Strummer

Bush 2. How depressing, corrupt, unlawful and tragically absurd the administration's world view actually is...how low the moral bar has been lowered...and (though I know I'm capable of intellectually lazy notions of collective guilt) how complicit our silence as citizens is...Nixon, a true fiend, looks like a paragon of virtue next to the criminally incompetent robber barons now raiding the present and future.

Bush DID limit access. Here's the undeniable proof.

Bush DID limit access. Here's the undeniable proof.
LINK TO ORIGINAL

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY ARI FLEISCHER

October 9, 2001

<...>

Q: Can you tell us why the President decided to issue the memo to the key Cabinet officials on secrecy? What prompted it, what individual leak, if you will?

MR FLEISCHER: Let me read to you from the memo in question, which is a memo that the President has sent to his members of the Cabinet who would routinely brief Capitol Hill about matters relating to the military or relating to intelligence. And reading from that memo directly it states that, this administration will continue to work to inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of and important developments in our military, intelligence and law enforcement operations. At the same time, we have an obligation to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations.

Senate Republicans Block Iraq Timetable

By Liz Sidoti, The Associated Press

Washington - The Republican-controlled Senate easily defeated a Democratic effort Tuesday to pressure President Bush to outline a timetable for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. It then overwhelmingly endorsed a weaker statement calling on the administration to explain its Iraq policy.

Senators also voted to endorse the Bush administration's military tribunals for prosecuting foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but to allow the detainees to appeal their detention status and punishments to a federal court.

More than 13,000 being held by coalition in Iraqi prisons; Less than 2% have been convicted

As more and more Iraqis have been detained and released, the insurgency has intensified. The number detained has more than doubled in the last year and a half; the number of attacks has also more than doubled over the same period. Evidence suggests the current system of abusive detentions is a significant factor.

By Larisa Alexandrovna, RAWSTORY.com

Recent documents leaked to RAW STORY reveal that as of Nov. 8, coalition forces in Iraq held 13,514 in Iraqi prisons. The documents also reveal the grim landscape of Iraq's internment system, in which just two percent of those detained been convicted. A UN report has confirmed the basic figures.

Yellowcake to 'Plamegate'

By Peter Grier
The Christian Science Monitor

How mishandled intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war led to an indictment in the White House.

Washington - The first time the State Department intelligence analyst saw the documents he thought there was something weird about them.

The ones dealing with a purported uranium deal between Niger and Saddam Hussein's Iraq bore a validation stamp that seemed a bit funky, for one thing. And that companion paper! It outlined some kind of bizarre military campaign against world powers. Iraq and Iran were supposedly in it together - preposterous, given their enmity - and the whole thing was being run out of the Nigerien Embassy in Rome.

Secrecy Order in CIA Leak Case Challenged by Media

Reuters

Washington - A major U.S. media organization on Monday challenged efforts by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to keep documents secret in the CIA leak case that involved the Bush administration.

Dow Jones & Co, which publishes The Wall Street Journal and other publications, filed court papers asking Judge Reggie Walton to deny a sweeping motion by Fitzgerald that would bar public disclosure of documents in the case.

The proposed protective order, which was agreed to by Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, would cover grand jury transcripts, witness statements and a wide range of other documents involved in the case. Any leaks could result in civil and criminal fines, the order warns.

'I Treated People Who Had Their Skin Melted'

By Dahr Jamail
The Independent UK

Abu Sabah knew he had witnessed something unusual. Sitting in November last year in a refugee camp in the grounds of Baghdad University, set up for the families who fled or were driven from Fallujah, this resident of the city's Jolan district told me how he had witnessed some of the battle's heaviest fighting.

"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," he said. He had seen "pieces of these bombs explode into large fires that continued to burn on the skin even after people dumped water on the burns".

As an unembedded journalist, I spent hours talking to residents forced out of the city. A doctor from Fallujah working in Saqlawiyah, on the outskirts of Fallujah, described treating victims during the siege "who had their skin melted".

Detainee Abuse by Marines and Navy Seals

TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:

* Former U.S. Army Interrogator Describes the Harsh Techniques He Used
in Iraq, Detainee Abuse by Marines and Navy Seals and Why "Torture is
the Worst Possible Thing We Could Do" *

With deep remorse, former U.S. Army interrogator Specialist Tony
Lagouranis talks about his own involvement with abusing detainees in
Iraq and torture carried out by the Navy Seals. He apologizes to the
Iraqi people and urges U.S. soldiers to follow their conscience.
Lagouranis returned from Iraq in January and until now had given no live
interviews. But Lagouranis says he now feels it his duty to speak out

Motion in Parliament finds Butler Report's Conclusion Untenable

UK INTELLIGENCE AND IRAQ 08.11.2005
LINK
Cohen, Harry

That this House recalls the forged documents suggesting Iraq was seeking to procure uranium from Niger in 1999 exposed by Mohammed El Baradei at the United Nations on 7th March 2003, and the statements of retired US Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Italian reporter Elisabetta Burba, who was herself supplied with false documents by Italian military intelligence, that they found no evidence of any transaction; notes the passage in Seymour Hersh's recent book Chain of Command that a former Clinton official told Hersh that the UK spread false information about Iraq and one member of the UN inspection team assisted by supplying unverified material presented as intelligence; therefore considers that the 2004 Butler Report maintaining there was further evidence from additional sources for the uranium ore being sought, and so the intelligence was credible, is seriously undermined by Hersh's revelations that much of the material was generated by the UK, Italy and the US; and concludes that the Butler Committee's conclusion is now untenable.

Council for a Livable World Hails Senate Iraq Votes Today

Contact: John Isaacs (202) 543-4100 x.131

Washington, D.C. . . Council for a Livable World hailed today’s Senate votes on the Iraq war as an important milestone in a war that has now dragged on for two and a half years.

Today’s votes were the first in the Senate on the Iraq war since the October 2002 authorization to use force, and they marked a clear repudiation of President Bush’s “stay the course

U S Labor Against the War - Update

1. Disunity Threatens Iraqi Labor's Resistance to Occupation, by David Bacon
2. Who Owns Solidarity Center? by Harry Kelber
3. U.S. Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq
4. In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond by Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler and Brendan Smith
5. Condemn war in Iraq and lobby to withdraw soldiers: United Steelworkers Resolution

1. Disunity Threatens Iraqi Labor's Resistance to Occupation, by David Bacon

Excerpt: The targeting of trade unionists is a particularly alarming feature of life in occupied Iraq. According to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, "the torture and murder of labour leaders in Iraq has become a troubling trend in a country where trade unionists still operate under anti-union legislation which dates back to the Saddam era." Despite these assassinations and the deterioration in security, however, the effort by Iraqi unions to win legal status and recognition has grown stronger over the past year. From the increasing power of the oil workers in the south to the campaigns in factories in Baghdad and the north, Iraqi workers continue to organize unions and strikes in the face of attacks from the insurgency on the one hand, and by the occupation forces on the other. (Read the entire article at: http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=9558 See also: http://www.ilwu.org/dispatcher/2005/06/iraqiworkers.cfm and this:

Even ABC News Starts Reporting News

EXCLUSIVE: Former Iraqi Detainees Allege Torture by U.S. Troops

Men Say Repeated Beatings, Mock Execution, Sexual Humiliation Were Prevalent

By JAKE TAPPER and GEORGE GRIFFIN, ABC, World News Tonight

Nov. 14, 2005 — - Two former Iraqi detainees tell ABC News in an exclusive interview that they were repeatedly tortured by U.S. forces seeking information about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.

Thahee Sabbar and Sherzad Khalid are two of eight men who, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union and the group Human Rights First, are suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The men claim they were tortured for months, in violation of the U.S. Constitution and international law.

So you want details about who lied

By JAMES BRUNER, GUEST COLUMNIST, Seattle Post Intelligencer

Marty McNett of Burlington (Letters, Wednesday) believes there is no proof that President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so we should lay off claims that he did.

I refer McNett and anyone else who is laboring under that misconception to read "Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements On Iraq," prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform -- Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004.

This 36-page report goes into great detail about outright false and deceptive public statements by Bush (55 misleading statements), Vice President Dick Cheney (51), former Secretary of State Colin Powell (50), former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (29) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (52) on the subject. These 237 misleading statements were made in a variety of forums (53 interviews, 40 speeches, 26 news conferences and briefings, four written statements and articles and two appearances before Congress) beginning at least a year before the war began, and their frequency peaked at key decision-making points.

Camp Casey Is Back: Come to Crawford for Thanksgiving with the Bushes!

CALL TO ACTION

SPONSORS: GOLD STAR FAMILIES FOR PEACE, CRAWFORD PEACE HOUSE
ENDORSED BY: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, Code Pink
Date: November 22-November 27, 2005
Place: Crawford, Texas (Camp Casey 2)
Events: 11/22: Civil Disobedience
11/23: Organization of Katrina relief/Meal Preparation
11/24: Simple Thanksgiving Meal
11/25: Memorial Dedication
11/26: March/Rally- Possible Interfaith Service

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather to give thanks and celebrate the

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