Nadler Demands Judiciary Hearings on White House Effort to Market the War

8th Congressional District of New York
October 31, 2005 202-225-5635

Letter to Chairman Sensenbrenner calls for committee investigation into
whether Administration deliberately and illegally misled Congress in order
to make a case for war

"The question now before the Committee is whether the CIA leak itself was
part of an effort to cover up a broader conspiracy to mislead Congress
into authorizing a war."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jerrold Nadler today demanded the House
Judiciary Committee investigate whether White House officials deliberately

Time Reporter Says He Learned Agent's Identity From Rove

Time Reporter Says He Learned Agent's Identity From Rove
Matthew Cooper Says I. Lewis Libby Confirmed Information
ABC News

Oct. 31 2005 — One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, says he first learned the agent's name from President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove.

Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with "Good Morning America," that the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative.

Memo to Democratic Pundits

Memo to Democratic Pundits

I sat through a whole lot of hooey this morning on the Sunday talk shows. And then sat through a bunch of further hooey reviewing some of the quotes from pundits, Republican strategists and other anonymous apologists.

All of which were varying attempts to minimize, discredit or otherwise discount entirely the indictment of Scooter Libby, the continuing investigation into a matter that the CIA felt was serious enough to refer it to the DOJ for further inquiry and criminal prosecution, and/or the implications that this matter has on the Administration and the persons who work for it.

After the Libby Indictment, the Press Is Acquitting Itself

By Norman Solomon

A lot of media outlets are now scrutinizing some of the lies told by the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq. Yet the same news organizations are bypassing their own key roles in the marketing of those lies. A case in point is the New York Times.

On Oct. 29, hours after the indictment of Lewis Libby, the lead editorial of the Times ended by declaring that “the big point Americans need to keep in mind is this: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The Journalist

The Journalist
TV Newsman Is His Own News in the Leak Case

New York Times
Published: October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 - On any given Sunday, the cream of Washington officialdom presents itself for confession before Tim Russert, a big, bluff lawyer-turned-journalist who may be the capital's most intimidating interlocutor outside a courtroom or Congress. Vice President Dick Cheney, not a chatty guy, has been his guest no fewer than 10 times since taking office.

But on this particular Sunday, the news compelled Mr. Russert to turn his trademark attention to an atypical topic: himself.

Iraq vet works against war

Rodolfo Gonzalez © News
Iraq war veteran Kelly Dougherty, 27, of Colorado Springs, right, smiles as Korean War veteran E.L. Van Laningham, 75, of Colorado Springs, offers words of support following a press conference at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Center in Colorado Springs on Aug. 25.

Iraq vet works against war
Former soldier's doubts grew as conflict wore on

By Deborah Frazier, Rocky Mountain News
October 31, 2005

COLORADO SPRINGS - Sgt. Kelly Dougherty went to Iraq in 2003, doubting that the war was just.

She returned in 2004, certain it was wrong, and co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The Libby Indictment: Was It a "Coverup of a Coverup?"

By Danny Schechter, Editor,

In the community I grew up in, much of the news, especially the bad news, prompted a defensive inward-looking response: "Yes but what does it mean for the Jews?" The indictment of Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby raised another question for those of us in the media—-- what does it mean for reporters and say about our profession today..

There has been a lot of hand-wringing. "Novel Strategy Pits Journalists Against Source" was how the New York Times framed the issue on page one. "It is all but unheard of for reporters to turn publicly on their sources of for prosecutors to succeed in conscripting members of a profession that prizes its independence," was the argument.

The Department of TORTURE

By thepen

As always, we begin with the action links: (Supreme Court) (McCain Amendment)

The Senate amendment to the new Defense Appropriations Act would explicitly prohibit the U.S. government from subjecting those in its custody to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment. It's pretty straightforward stuff. Yet despite a rousing 90-9 vote for its passage, there are still dark forces at work trying to subvert the intent of this measure, the language of which must survive the conference committee in the House of Representatives.


After 3 years at Guantanamo, Afghan writers found to be no threat to U.S.

October 31, 2005

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Former U.S. soldiers at the Pentagon's military prisons overseas have given evidence that a great many of the captives in "the global war on terror" are innocent.

In the past year, a former Army interpreter at Guantanamo and an interrogator at U.S. prisons in Afghanistan have published books on their experiences that in many ways buttress the accounts of ex-prisoners such as Afghan writers Badr Zaman Badr and Abdurrahim Muslim Dost.

Body Counts

October 30, 2005
Body Counts
By Casey Morris
Democracy Cell Project

The "We don't do body counts" Pentagon, then:

General Tommy Franks, March 2003

"I don't believe you have heard me or anyone else in our leadership talk about the presence of 1,000 bodies out there, or in fact how many have been recovered," Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the Afghanistan operation, said Monday at Bagram Air Base. "You know we don't do body counts."
Donald Rumsfeld, November 2003

RUMSFELD: Well, we don't do body counts on other people.
The "We don't do body counts" Pentagon now:

The New York Times, (emphasis added)

The Libby Indictment

Beginning of the End? Watergate 2005? Gotterdammerung for the Bushies?

Scooter Libby was the lawyer who got the charges dropped against billionaire scamster Marc Rich back in Clintontime. But that had more to do with Rich's billions than with any legal talents Libby may have. On the evidence of the indictment brought by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on Friday, October 28, one fact stands out: SCOOTER LIBBY IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.

And this is what CounterPunch gets from the Fitzgerald indictment as a whole.

Special prosecutor Fitzgerald could have suggested that there is a cancer growing on the presidency, metastasizing out of Dick Cheney's suite. He could have stated, or even hinted that yesterday's indictment of Libby is the first drum roll in a mighty symphony of prosecutorial onslaughts on felonious conduct in high places.

Fantasy Headline: Predictable Article

Democrats launch offensive after CIA probe
Financial Times
By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

Democrats have jumped on the indictment of Lewis “Scooter

Bob Woodward, Lost in Cronyism?

By Larry Johnson

How is it that one of the most revered investigative reporters of our generation is such a dunce when it comes to outing a CIA officer? If you had a chance to watch Woodward's "dazzling" performance on Larry King Live this past Thursday, you would have been treated to the spectacle of incurious Bob dismissing the leaking of a CIA officer's identity as gossip run amuck. Nothing more, nothing less. Yep, nothing to report here, move along.
Yet, for those more in touch with the inner workings of Washington, Woodward's vain attempt to downplay this matter sure smacks of someone trying to protect his sources. In a recent Washington Post puff piece on Lewis "Scooter" Libby we are told that Scooter:

Let's Tell Mikey, He'll Print Anything

Let's Tell Mikey, He'll Print Anything

by Jane Hamsher

It wasn't like Michael Isikoff didn't already have plenty to be ashamed of. After all, it was he who turned the pages of once-respectable Newsweek into a lurid bodice-ripper of Brobdingnagian proportions during Monicagate. I really didn't think it was possible to top a journalistic career built on three-ways with Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Tripp, but it seems I have underestimated the boy.

Isikoff really contorts himself into a shameless media pretzel in order to give Turdy a clean bill of political health today. I mean, I know Luskin is out there spinning -- that's his job as Rove's attorney -- but the idea that any journalist would unquestioningly accept whatever he says as an objective statement of fact and then print it as such is really quite remarkable even in a world of ever-escalating MSM shilling one-upsmanship, especially when Rove's new "alibi" includes accusing Patrick Fitzgerald of prosecutorial misconduct.

Ari Fleischer is the Third Man?

Sunday, October 30, 2005
Ari Fleischer is the Third Man?
by Jane Hamsher

According to Josh Marshall, a key sentence was cut out of the Gellman WaPo piece last night, but is sitll available on Nexis:
On July 12, the day Cheney and Libby flew together from Norfolk, the vice president instructed his aide to alert reporters of an attack launched that morning on Wilson's credibility by Fleischer, according to a well-placed source.

Libby talked to Miller and Cooper. That same day, another administration official who has not been identified publicly returned a call from Walter Pincus of The Post. He "veered off the precise matter we were discussing" and told him that Wilson's trip was a "boondoggle" set up by Plame, Pincus has written in Nieman Reports.

One Step Closer to the Big Enchilada

One Step Closer to the Big Enchilada
By Frank Rich
The New York Times

Sunday 30 October 2005

To believe that the Bush-Cheney scandals will be behind us anytime soon you'd have to believe that the Nixon-Agnew scandals peaked when G. Gordon Liddy and his bumbling band were nailed for the Watergate break-in. But Watergate played out for nearly two years after the gang that burglarized Democratic headquarters was indicted by a federal grand jury; it even dragged on for more than a year after Nixon took "responsibility" for the scandal, sacrificed his two top aides and weathered the indictments of two first-term cabinet members. In those ensuing months, America would come to see that the original petty crime was merely the leading edge of thematically related but wildly disparate abuses of power that Nixon's attorney general, John Mitchell, would name "the White House horrors."

A Leak, Then a Deluge

A Leak, Then a Deluge
Did a Bush loyalist, trying to protect the case for war in Iraq, obstruct an investigation into who blew the cover of a covert CIA operative?

By Barton Gellman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 30, 2005; A01

Air Force Two arrived in Norfolk on Saturday morning, July 12, 2003, with Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff aboard. They had come "to send forth a great American ship bearing a great American name," as Cheney said from the flag-draped flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

As Cheney returned to Washington with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the two men spoke of the news on Iraq -- the most ambitious use of the war machine Reagan built two decades before. A troublesome critic was undermining a principal rationale for the war: the depiction of Baghdad, most urgently by Cheney, as a nuclear threat to the United States.

Update on the Lies of Ambassador Wilson

By Larry C. Johnson

The radical right is desperate and grasping at straws in the wake of Scooter Libby's indictment. They are carrying copies to most TV interviews of the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee from July 2004 regarding what the intelligence community knew and reported on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. One poor soul on Wolf Blitzer the other day tried reading from it in a desperate bid to try to make Joe Wilson the focus of the story. Sorry guys, Joe didn't get indicted for perjury, Scooter did. Let's keep our liars list up to date. Okay?

That said, it is also worth noting that the Senate Intel report is an abomination. It is full of misleading information and was deliberately crafted to shield Vice President Cheney and his staff from scrutiny. Unfortunately, the Democrats rolled over and signed off on the report.

Antiwar Protesters March on Common

Published on Sunday, October 30, 2005 by the Boston Globe
Mother of slain US soldier addresses crowd of 2,000
By Michael Levenson

About 2,000 antiwar protesters marched on Boston Common yesterday, loudly calling for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq after a week in which the number of Americans killed in the war topped 2,000.

Chanting ''No more war," demonstrators trudged down snow-whipped Tremont Street and up Park Street past the State House and then looped back to the Common, streaming peacefully past scores of police officers who lined the parade route, clutching batons.

Reassign NBC's Pete Williams

By Dan Carol
Huffington Post

Ok, so it's weird enough to see Tim Russert acting as prosecutor and witness-in-waiting in the CIA Leak case, but I think it's time to ask former Bush 41 DOD chief press flack Pete Williams to take a bow out from actively covering the story which involves his old boss Dick Cheney and former DOD colleague Scooter Libby.

It is past absurd isn't it -- to see him grilling Patrick Fitgerald on Friday wondering how we should take the word of three reporters "versus the vice president's chief of staff."

Like this guy's take on the case isn't biased?

In May, Williams had this to say about Patrick Fitgerald: "He has broken a great deal of china in going through his investigation so far..."

A patriot crashes the party

The most patriotic element of George Bush's speech in Norfolk on Friday morning wasn't the flags on the big "Strategy for Victory" sign behind the podium.

It wasn't the backdrop bleachers artfully decorated with warm bodies in military uniforms.

It was the moment early on when a man stood up in Chrysler Hall, yanked open his shirt to expose his "Dump Bush" T-shirt in full view of shocked members of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network seated nearby and cried, "War is terrorism! Torture is terrorism!" before he was hustled out by security people.

"That was me," says Tom Palumbo, anti-war activist and, now, presidential party-crasher. "I think maybe he heard me. I know he looked befuddled."

Resisting the Pistons of Empire: One America for Peace

By Greg Moses

Whip lashed by serial collisions of imperial power,
dissident movements in the USA brace for the next
shocking thing. We have been hijacked into a crashing
invasion of Iraq, slammed around by evasive maneuvers
in New Orleans, and now along the borderlands of the
Southwest USA, signs warn that a highway of
accommodation is about to end, dumping us head-on into
deserts of aggression upon Latin American peoples.

Into each new crisis, empire roars forward, pumping
high octane into its five-piston engine. Whether

Italian PM Says He Warned Bush against Iraq War


Rome - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on the eve of a trip to Washington, said he repeatedly tried to persuade U.S. President George W. Bush against invading Iraq.

The Italian leader voiced his unease with the military operation to remove Saddam Hussein in a television interview to be broadcast on Monday, the day he meets Bush.

Berlusconi is one of Washington's strongest allies but he did not send troops to join the invasion, preferring to despatch forces only after the fall of Baghdad.

"I tried many times to convince the American president not to go to war," Berlusconi was quoted as saying by the La7 television network, which recorded the interview.

Oedipus Tyrannus Wrecked

By Jane Hamsher

It looks like Cheney is bloodied if not out of the game entirely. Dubya sits on the sidelines like a dispirited waterboy watching one fallen warrior after another carried off the field. But are we really to believe that he is nothing more than a thick-witted victim of his compatriots' malfeasance? What are the odds?

Pretty friggin' low, if you ask me.

This week saw the nick-of-time release of the New Yorker article where Bush the Elder's best friend, Brent Scowcroft, rushes in to save Junior by hanging all his cronies out to dry. "Poor Dubya, he just doesn't know how to pick his friends." But Scowcroft is a player in a much larger and much more telling drama with regard to Junior that is only hinted at in the New Yorker piece.

Journalist on Journalist - Pathetic

By Pat Lang

One of the more pathetic spectacles available in today's media is the propensity of the tribe of journalists to interview each other about events, systems and areas of expertise of which they have only a limited grasp. I suppose that tendency is thought of among them as a sign of confidence in their role as protectors of the public good, but the truth is that the bloviations of journalists are usually sadly demonstrative of ignorance of anything but their trade.

Members of Congress, their staffs and the press are (with some exceptions) so poorly grounded in the underlying matter of their stories that they are very easily manipulated and deceived by anyone who cares to do so. The White House, the Department of Defense, the State Department, various lobbies, and just about anyone who has an assured manner and credentials can use the broadcast and print press to "project" whatever they want through the media.

The White House Criminal Conspiracy

By TomDispatch and The Nation

Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, whose analysis of the Libby indictment I posted on Friday, now turns to the larger administration picture in what is the cover story of this week's Nation Magazine -- a piece being shared with, and released on-line by, Tomdispatch. In "The White House Criminal Conspiracy"

she turns to the question of how to make the Bush administration accountable for having defrauded the American people into a war. Her striking exploration offers a potential new legal avenue that could force Bush & Co.

Leak trial to bleed

Leak trial to bleed Cheney
Washington, Oct. 29 (Reuters): The indictment of former top White House aide Lewis Libby in the CIA leak investigation will put vice-president Dick Cheney’s office at the centre of court proceedings, raising the spectre of a politically damaging trial for the beleaguered Bush administration.

Libby, who resigned yesterday as Cheney’s chief of staff after being indicted for obstructing justice, perjury and lying, is expected to make his first court appearance in the next week or so for an arraignment.

The indictment means the next stage of the case will play out in open court, in contrast to the secret two-year grand jury investigation directed by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into the leak of a covert CIA operative’s identity.

Overheard in Blogtopia*

Overheard in Blogtopia*
by Jane Hamsher

. From Kid Oakland: "Occasionally, Tenet had breakfast with Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser, in the White House mess and joked that he would share secrets with Rove that even Rice was not allowed to know."- Bob Woodward, "Plan of Attack," p. 67-8

. Tom Maguire, on the enigma of Libby's notes: "[O]ne wonders whether the other contacts mentioned by Fitzgerald were in Libby's "copious" notes. If so, Libby needs to sue his attorneys for malpractice, since they should have reviewed that material before submitting it to Fitzgerald and allowing Libby to testify. Of course, attorney ineptitude notwthstanding, if his notes included these contacts then it is easier for Libby to argue that he had no real intention of obstructing the investigation. On the other hand, if they were not in his notes, why not?"

All It Takes Is One...

All It Takes Is One...
by Reddhead

As a prosecutor, you can't always predict when the wall will crumble. So what do you do? You sit back, and wait for a tiny little crack. And then you exploit the hell out of it.

Scooter Libby just may be that point that rocks the entire case. Or maybe not. But to get there from here, you have to understand a little bit about what a plea bargain really is -- and how a prosecutor works a defendant to get one. I've been getting quite a few questions about plea bargains, so I thought I'd try to answer a few here.

A plea bargain is exactly what it sounds like -- an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant on terms that both can live with to settle an outstanding criminal charge. But it is a bargain, not a gimme, for any criminal defendant.

Bush faces his Watergate

30 October 2005 02:13

Special report: Bush faces his Watergate
Sleaze, leaks and an indictment add up to the worst presidential crisis since Nixon. And it will get worse. The White House has lost one key man but the whole chain of command may be engulfed by a scandal slowly revealing the lies that led to war.

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 30 October 2005

Presidential second terms are prone to scandals, from Bill Clinton's embarrassments over Monica Lewinsky to Ronald Reagan's implication in the Iran-Contra imbroglio. But the troubles now circling George Bush's White House could be even worse than Watergate.

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