Remember when the Democrats were keeping their powder dry for the fierce battle against the President's still unknown second nominee to the Supreme Court -- and so, during the Roberts nomination hearings, didn't even ask the judge a question about his well-reported role in the Florida 2000 vote recount battle? They were, they swore, saving their "opposition" for the even worse candidate sure to come. Now she's here -- Harriet Miers, the President's lawyer, who contributed $5,000 to his Florida "Recount Fund" in 2000 and was running political/legal interference for the President and Vice President that year. She may also rate as the single most sycophantic candidate for just about any office in memory. (According to former Bush speechwriter David Frum, "She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.") In essence, having passed on a man who, in at least a modest way, helped George grab the 2000 election via the Supreme Court -- not a Democratic senator even asked him if he'd recuse himself, should another such case ever reach the court -- they are now in the process of topping themselves by sending courtwards a family retainer; or rather, as on so many other issues (count the Iraq War as issue number one in this regard), they seem to be preparing yet again to stand aside and let the President willingly commit suicide, or, in the case of Miers, the right supposedly take her down. It could happen, but don't hold your breath waiting (despite all the recent press punditry about this).
Left I on the News
In discussing the latest polls showing 59% of Americans want U.S. troops withdrawn from
Iraq "as soon as possible," I expressed skepticism that that many people
really agreed with me that "as soon as possible" means "now", and
frustration at the use of a simple two-option poll.
Now comes this British
poll LINK which offers
three options: withdraw "immediately," "set a firm date,", or withdraw "only
when Iraqi security forces were ready to take over." In this poll, which I
consider more reasonable, there were still a solid 31% (essentially
one-third) of Britons supporting the "immediate" option, with another 23%
backing the "firm date" option.
Congress should consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about his reasons for going to war in Iraq, according to half of the Americans surveyed in a recent poll.
The poll, commissioned by the After Downing Street Coalition, a loose aggregation of antiwar, Democratic and progressive groups, was conducted by the nonpartisan firm Ipsos Public Affairs U.S.
Here's how the question was put: "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him." Fifty percent of the 1,001 Americans surveyed agreed with that statement, while 44 percent disagreed; 6 percent said they didn't know or declined to answer. The breakdown was not entirely on partisan lines. Twenty percent of Republicans surveyed agreed with the statement, as did 72 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents.
By Molly Ivins
On one of those television gong shows that passes for journalism, the panelists used to have to pick an Outrage of the Week. Then, each performer would wax indignant about his or her choice for 60 seconds or so. If someone asked me to name the Outrage of the Week about now, I'd have a coronary. How could anyone possibly choose?
I suppose the frontrunner is the anti-torture amendment. Sen. John McCain proposed an amendment to the military appropriations bill that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. military.
Associated Press | October 11, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Army has a master plan for recovering from this year's painful recruiting problems that includes new financial incentives for enlistees, greater use of computers, a new way for recruiters to make their pitch and a proposed finder's fee for soldiers who refer recruits.
The plan was assembled after the Army fell more than 6,600 recruits below of its goal of 80,000 for the year that ended Sept. 30. It was the first time it had fallen short since 1999.
The military services were releasing their complete year-end recruiting figures Tuesday. The Army, which has borne the largest share of the combat burden in Iraq and Afghanistan, was expected to be the only service to have fallen short, although the Marine Corps struggled for part of the year.
Impeachment, Now and Then
Here's a fascinating bit of news: More people today want to see President Bush impeached than wanted Clinton impeached on the eve of the House's vote on his impeachment.
According to a poll by the Zogby organization, just released by the group Afterdowningstreet.org, 50 percent of the American public now would like to see the House impeach Bush if it were found that he had lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq (if?).
Compare that to December 17, 1998, only days before Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives, when an AP poll found that only 36 percent of the American public wanted to see the president impeached.
Political Affairs Magazine
By Joel Wendland
As President Bush's approval rating sinks to around 37 percent, another poll number related to his job performance is up. This number is not good news for the White House, however.
A recent survey commissioned by the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition revealed this week that at least half of Americans agree that Bush should be impeached if he is found to have not told the truth about the reasons to go to war with Iraq.
Conducted by a survey and public opinion outfit that provides similar surveys for the Associated Press, this poll shows an eight-point increase since a June poll done by Zogby that asked a similar question about impeachment.
The Outing of Joe Wilson
We've been thinking for over two years that the Plame Affair is about the outing of a CIA NOC, Valerie Plame Wilson. With Judy Miller's acknowledgement that she met with Libby in June 2003 to talk about Wilson, the most important details become how and when the White House learned of Joe Wilson's identity and what they did with it. The outing of Wilson, not Plame. If this thing will be traced back to Cheney, as rumors suggest, it will be through the way he outed Joe Wilson.
Let's start with the story the Bush Administration would have us believe.They acknowledge Dick Cheney asked CIA for more information on Niger, a request we know led to Wilson's trip to Niger. But they say they never learned of the results of his trip. On June 8 2003, Condi told Tim Russert no one had known about Wilson's (and other) investigations into Niger. "Maybe somebody in the bowels of the Agency knew something about this, but nobody in my circles." A month later, Condi would say that taht Russert question was the first she had heard of Wilson's trip.
Scooter Libby: Screwed, Blued and Tattooed
Looks like the future of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis Libby might include fewer beltway cocktail parties and more brewing pruno in Hefty bags and trading smokes with the screws.
According to Murray Waas:
In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony.
What Two Thousand Looks Like
"The truth is, the administration's mishandling of the war in Iraq has made us less safe, and Iraq risks becoming what it was not before the war: a training ground for terrorists...
We cannot continue to stay the course, we must change the course. The American people and our brave men and women in Iraq deserve better.
Dear Randi Rhodes,
You were talking today about our poll on impeachment, so Bob Fertik called in to speak with you. But you spent the whole conversation attacking the idea of impeachment, claiming that it couldn't succeed and would therefore make any Democrats who tried it look stupid.
Randi, Randi. Such fatalism! From YOU! Such misguided "pragmatism" and "strategic thinking." Don't you realize that people won't vote the Dems a majority BEFORE the Dems stand for something?
This whole chorus of "We'll try it once we have the majority," is self-contradictory. You can't GET the majority that way.
Dana Milbank on Movement Analysis
Many of you know I am a movement analyst and I comment on body language for the media. Today I am joned by the Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, in his new-found understanding of the interpretation of movement. Welcome to the dance, Mr. Milbank:
"...this much could be seen watching the tape of NBC's broadcast during Bush's 14-minute pre-sunrise interview, in which he stood unprotected by the usual lectern. The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts. Bush has always been an active man, but standing with Lauer and the serene, steady first lady, he had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere."
For President Under Duress, Body Language Speaks Volumes
By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; Page A07
It's only 6:17 a.m. Central time, and President Bush is already facing his second question of the day about Karl Rove's legal troubles.
"Does it worry you," NBC's Matt Lauer is asking him at a construction-site interview in Louisiana, that prosecutors "seem to have such an interest in Mr. Rove?"
Bush blinks twice. He touches his tongue to his lips. He blinks twice more. He starts to answer, but he stops himself.
"I'm not going to talk about the case," Bush finally says after a three-second pause that, in television time, feels like a commercial break.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Rational Disengagement: An Exit Policy Proposal
As there is little national discussion on “Rational Disengagement
Reporter testifies again in CIA case
Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:08 PM ET
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A New York Times reporter, under pressure to explain a previously undisclosed conversation with a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, made a second appearance on Wednesday before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity.
Times reporter Judith Miller answered questions before the grand jury for more than an hour after turning over notes detailing her June 23, 2003, conversation with Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. An entry in her notes referred to Joseph Wilson, covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's diplomat husband.
O’Reilly: “If Rove gets indicted, that could bring down the Bush administration.
An early review of the year 2005, in which Cindy Sheehan is one of three surprises that came along.
ABC News 10
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Internet News Producer
Vacaville mother and anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan plans to go to the State Capitol today to ask Gov. Schwarzenegger to pull California's National Guard troops out of Iraq.
So far, the governor's office has not agreed to meet with Sheehan.
Sheehan has toured the nation protesting the war since her son, Casey, died in Iraq last year. In August, she camped outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, hoping to meet with him to confront him about the war.
Sheehan wants to deliver a letter to the governor. The letter reads, in part: "California is suffering each day as its law enforcement, corrections and firefighters are called to a war in Iraq which does not protect the people of California, leaving the state in a weakened position. California tax dollars are also disproportionately spent on this war. California men and women are killed and maimed in this war, and their families are left in ruins, as I too well know."
Posted by Lucille
Added to homepage Tue Oct 11th 2005, 08:47 PM ET
Plame obsessives will remember a Washington Post article in which a "Senior administration source" is quoted as having seen several administration officials, including Ari Fleischer, peruse a classified memo that identified Valerie Plame. This occurred on July 7, aboard AF1, as Bush and his entourage were en route to Africa. The memo was prepared for Colin Powell, who was aboard the flight. Many have assumed that it was Powell himself who not only observed these administration officials read the memo, but also saw them call reporters while still on board. Many have guessed that Powell testified to this before Fitzgerald and also leaked this information to the WP. According to the WP, the "senior official" said of the leak: "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge."
From VETERANS FOR PEACE, CHAPTER 27
On 5 October 2005 Senator John McCain of Arizona offered amendment #1977 to the
Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. Nine U.S. Senators voted against the
amendment. A vote against meant a vote for cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of
detainees. These nine men voted for torture. Here are their addresses. Make sure you
send them all a postcard appended with the word SHAME.
List of Shame
Senator Wayne Allard (CO)
521 Dirksen SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Kit Bond (MO)
274 Russell SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510
By David Johnston
The New York Times
Wednesday 12 October 2005
Washington - Judith Miller, the reporter for The New York Times who spent 85 days in jail before cooperating with a federal grand jury investigating a C.I.A. leak case, will testify again on Wednesday after discussions with the prosecutor about a conversation she had in June 2003 with a senior White House official.
"Judy met this afternoon with the special counsel to hand over additional notes and answer questions," Bill Keller, The Times's executive editor, said in a message to the staff on Tuesday afternoon. "She is to return to the grand jury Wednesday to supplement her earlier testimony."
By John D. McKinnon, Joe Hagan and Anne Marie Squeo
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday 12 October 2005
The New York Times reporter who went to jail to avoid testifying in the CIA leak case was quizzed by the special prosecutor again yesterday and has agreed to return to the grand jury today.
Judith Miller's additional testimony comes as the endgame is intensifying in the legal chess match that threatens to damage the Bush administration.
There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.
October 12, 2005
John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, and author of Hoodwinked: The Documents that Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).
Two recent developments at the CIA make it clear that America’s premier intelligence-gathering agency is a mess. The first, CIA director Porter Goss' refusal to implement the disciplinary recommendations contained in the agency's inspector general 9/11 performance review, will no doubt attract far more attention.
But the second development is equally significant. That is the release, with no public fanfare at all, of a version of the CIA's internal inquiry into prewar Iraq intelligence. Conducted by a panel under former CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr, the Iraq inquiry was supposed to get to the bottom of the hype on the now-notorious claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Both of these events says a great deal about political power, self-censorship and the Bush administration's determined effort to evade accountability for either the 9/11 attacks or its premeditated war against Iraq.
Conyers and Other Ranking Members Call on US Attorney Fitzgerald to Issue Report on Status of Ongoing Investigations
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
Conyers and Other Ranking Members Call on US Attorney Fitzgerald to Issue Report on Status of Ongoing Investigations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and other House Ranking Committee Members sent the following letter to US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald calling for the issuance of the report on the status of all ongoing investigations:
October 11, 2005
What God Really Told Bush
Apparently, it wasn't just "invade Iraq and Afghanistan in my name." A special report
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Scene: White House private residence, night, not long ago. President Bush present in his most favoritest guns 'n' bunnies PJs. Laura asleep, knocked out by a combination of too much Good Housekeeping and excessive hair-spray fumes. Suddenly, a burst of black smoke. A deep, resonant voice speaks:
"Psst! George! God here, taking a break from supervising the well-being of eight billion troubled souls along with infinite galaxies of unimaginable vastness to speak with you directly one more time because, well, you're special, aren't you, George? Yes you are! Yes you are! OK, stop giggling. I have more commands. Get off the damn hobbyhorse, George, and get a pen and a notepad. No, not a crayon. I don't care if blue is your favori-- George! Get a pen! OK? Good. Here we go:
Waas Reports Libby in Cross-Hairs Over Miller
By Jeralyn Merritt, Huffington Post
Intrepid reporter Murray Waas breaks more news today about Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and the grand jury investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Murray writes that Libby failed to tell FBI investigators and the grand jury about his June 23 conversation with Judith Miller. If true, I think Fitzgerald is considering a false statements or perjury charge against Libby.
The false statement charge would apply to his omission when being questioned by investigators while the perjury charge would apply to his omission before the grand jury.
Filed by RAW STORY
There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought, the Wall Street Journal will report Wednesday, RAW STORY can reveal. Excerpts from the coming story:
Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.
From Dr. Coilín ÓhAiseadha
Sendt: 12. oktober 2005 03:54
Politiken: Danes drag the Danish state to court over war in Iraq
Below is a translation of an article from the Danish centre-left daily newspaper, Politiken, about the institution of constitutional proceedings against the Danish government on Tuesday.
I chose this article as one that reflects differing views of prospects for the case even to be accepted for consideration by the Danish High Court.
10 Oct 2005 22:56
Danes drag the Danish state to court over war in Iraq
24 Danes believe that Denmark's participation in the war in Iraq is in violation of the Danish constitution, and are now summoning Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to appear before the High Court. A professor in constitutional law is in agreement, but doubts whether the case belongs in court.