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Plame B.S. debunked
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 6:10 AM on October 14, 2005.
But Valerie Plame worked in an office?
When it first became clear that someone fairly high up in the leak of Valerie Plame's identity may actually get caught, a number of disingenuous arguments were deployed in the off chance that they may actually work.
One of these was that Valerie Plame, while technically being an undercover officer, actually worked at a desk job (with whatever subtle misogynistic undertones you want to take from that...), so her outing wasn't a terribly harmful move.
Put aside the fact that it ONLY MAKES SENSE as a retaliatory measure if it is somehow threatening and welcome the facts. Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer himself, pulls no punches in his critique of yesterday's Richard Cohen column in the Washington Post contending that no crime could have been committed because Plame "worked at a desk job" and therefore prosecutor Fitzgerald ought to just close up shop and slink away.
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 6:57 AM on October 14, 2005.
That's totally not my handwriting (Reuters photo)
Al Qaeda is not in the business of being demure. When they kill, they claim it. When they have a goal, they state it. I'm not saying they're standup folks, just that their goal is to telegraph power, not hide it.
So when Al Qaeda denies the legitimacy of a letter urging leaders in Iraq to prepare for an Islamic government upon US withdrawal -- a PR gift to an administration facing soaring opposition to the war at home -- you gotta wonder.
Keep your chins up, Karl
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2005.
Odds of Rove leaving the White House are up... is Bush excited?
As Rove wrapped up a comfortable fourth do-si-do with the Grand Jury and sped off in a Toyota, Jane Hamsher notes that the odds that Bush's Brain will not have to leave have gone from 1-6 to 3-2. Which, of course, ain't good news.
Unless... unless, as Jane writes, Bush is ready to cut him loose.
"There is another camp of people who think Bush is only too ready to cut Turd Blossom loose. People from the Beltway in-crowd who have seen the delight Bush takes in personally taunting and humiliating Rove (which he does publicly and frequently by all accounts) think that this is the inevitable result of the single most damaging blow to Rove's career -- when the meme 'Bush's brain' entered the popular lexicon."
The Normalization of Treason, the Republicans' gift to America
by John in DC - 10/16/2005 06:52:00 PM
If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed a CIA agent during World War II, he'd be shot.
We're at war, George Bush keeps reminding us. We cannot continue with business as usual. A pre-9/11 mentality is deadly. Putting the lives of our troops at risk is treason.
Then why is the White House and the Republican party engaged in a concerted campaign to make treason acceptable during a time of war? That's exactly what they're doing. On numerous news shows today, Republican surrogates, their talking points ready, issued variations of the following concerning White House chief of staff Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent as part of a political vendetta:
Who told Judy about Valerie PLAME?
by katerina [Subscribe]
Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:43:08 AM PDT
After reading the two NYT articles about Judy Miller's involvement in the Plame Leak investigation, I came away with one significant question:
Who was Judith Miller's real source as to the identity of Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative?
Miller's putative source was Scooter Libby, but Miller claims Libby didn't provide her with Valerie Plame's name or undercover status. If Judy's telling the truth about that (and while the article in the NYT indicates that wagering on Judy's truthfulness may be a sucker bet), then who did?
Did Judy Meet Cheney?
by georgia10 [Subscribe]
Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:03:02 AM PDT
Of all the analyzing of Judith Miller's account of her interactions with the Bush administration, one aspect of her piece has received little attention: her explanation of Libby's letter.
As she admits, Fitzgerald asked whether the letter was meant to shape her testimony. Miller said no, instead offering up this explanation:
When I was last before the grand jury, Mr. Fitzgerald posed a series of questions about a letter I received in jail last month from Mr. Libby. The letter, two pages long, encouraged me to testify. "Your reporting, and you, are missed," it begins.
Aspens Turning, Leads to Cheney?
by teresahill [Subscribe]
Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:49:00 PM PDT
Finally, Judith Miller gives us her take on the creepy "Aspens turning" line in Scooter Libby's letter to her, telling her it was okay to testify.
This from her account in Sunday's NYT :
"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning," Mr. Libby wrote. "They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
How did I interpret that? Mr. Fitzgerald asked.
In answer, I told the grand jury about my last encounter with Mr. Libby. It came in August 2003, shortly after I attended a conference on national security issues held in Aspen, Colo. After the conference, I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyo. At a rodeo one afternoon, a man in jeans, a cowboy hat and sunglasses approached me. He asked me how the Aspen conference had gone. I had no idea who he was.
Let's Get Ready with some AMMO
by NYBri [Subscribe]
Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:10:55 PM PDT
Next week, or shortly thereafter, Patrick Fitzgerald will very likely pass out some indictments. Among the charges included in those party invitations may be perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, espionage...just to name a few.
Basically, all these charges have one very important thing in common: they are violations of federal law. Let me repeat: VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW.
Remember how important that single fact was for the wingnuts during the Clinton impeachment trial? As I recall, they had plenty to say about lying and perjury and how it wasn't about sex but about respect for the law. MAJOR talking point that they all repeated ad nausium.
POWER GRAB: Pentagon Says Militarization of US Disaster Relief " Inevitable "
Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 01:48:33 AM PDT
Recall earlier this month during Bush's snoozer of a press conference that he slipped in a little bombshell about the possiblity of using the US military to enforce quarantines in case of an outbreak of Avian Flu:
The policy decisions for a president in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult.
One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?
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.
* Special prosecutor Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame outing\n* DeLay's indictment for money laundering\n* Arrest of the Bush administration's senior OMB procurement official, David Safavian for obstructing the Abramoff investigation.\n* Insider trading charges against Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist\n* \n
September; DEAD FOR BUSH'S LIES;
At least 873 Iraqis killed in violence this month. That excludes "suspected insurgents".
11 American Contractor Deaths
1 State Department Employee
At least 174 soldiers seriously wounded
This is where they were from:
Pennsylvania 8 15.4%
California 6 11.5%
Texas 4 7.7%
Florida 4 7.7%
New York 4 7.7%
Georgia 3 5.8%
England 3 5.8%
Alaska 2 3.8%
Arizona 2 3.8%
Kentucky 2 3.8%
Washington 2 3.8%
Wisconsin 2 3.8%
Ohio 2 3.8%
Massachusetts 1 1.9%
Montana 1 1.9%
New Jersey 1 1.9%
Analysis: Can Patrick Fitzgerald Indict Bush and Cheney?
by DC Pol Sci [Subscribe]
Sun Oct 2nd, 2005 at 11:14:45 PDT
If Patrick Fitzgerald is indeed either contemplating the indictment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney or contemplating naming them as unindicted co-conspirators in the plot to out Valerie Wilson as a CIA agent, we are entering uncharted legal waters. The one example history presents us, that of Watergate, differs in a very important respect: Leon Jaworski, the Watergate special prosecutor, had a House Judiciary Committee that was willing to take action and provide a remedy in the form of impeachment. Since the current House Judiciary Committee is obviously not so inclined, Fitzgerald is essentially faced with three options: 1) Indict Bush and Cheney and provoke a constitutional crisis on the question of whether a sitting President is indictable; 2) Name Bush and Cheney as unindicted co-conspirators and watch them get off scot free, to be tried only in the court of public opinion; or 3) Do nothing and let them get off without even public criticism.
President Bush's initial reasons for invading Iraq have proven to be false. His administration promised that weapons of mass destruction would be found. None were found. Administration claims that the Iraq regime aided the September 11 terrorism have also remained unsubstantiated.
1. Do you believe the Bush administration misled the American people on its motives for invading Iraq?
2. If so, do you believe Congress should initiate impeachment proceedings against George W Bush?
Going After the Little Guys
The U.S. Defense Department is taking another run at law schools that have refused to let military recruiters visit their campuses because of the Pentagon’s stance on gay servicemen and women. But so far, the only institutions the department has singled out for possible loss of federal funds are three independent law schools. One other law school that has barred military recruiters — Yale’s — is shielded from Pentagon retribution by a court’s injunction, while Harvard’s law school, which last fall declared its intention to bar military recruiters, seems to have been left alone so far.
Scandals, Corruption, & Lies. Oh My!
By Scott Shuster
September 16, 2005
It must’ve been a long hot summer for George W. Bush, plagued with so many detrimental events that made his approval ratings plummet. Now that the summer is over, I thought it would be a good time to review and ‘summer-ize’ what happened in the name of neo-conservative governance.
What I found particularly ironic was that each time a scandal broke out and made George & Co. look bad; they got bailed out… by another scandal! No really – when was the last time you heard about the Downing Street Memos? Not since the Valerie Plame/Karl Rove scandal dominated the headlines. And when was the last time you heard about Val & Karl?
by Bob Fertik
On Wednesday, Republicans had their chance to save George Bush from impeachment.
And, as Steve Cobble describes, they threw it away.
Since the Downing Street Minutes were published on May, progressives have demanded to know whether the central allegation of those Minutes was true: that the pre-war intelligence and facts were being fixed around Bush's policy of invading Iraq, whether or not Iraq had any WMD's or any connection to 9/11.
Some great quotes from Richard Cohen in his 9/15/05 editorial in the Wash Post:
- ..the George Bush we have come to know sorely lacks a rearview mirror.
- Actually, I find myself feeling a bit sorry for Bush. The man must be perplexed about why he is being held accountable for a natural disaster and not for one wholly of his making. The war in Iraq, after all, is entirely his doing -- everything from its inception to its execution, which have both been inexcusable examples of incompetence.
- Why should we believe that Bush will take names and boot buttocks about Katrina when he has not done so over Iraq?
- Anyone in Congress who thinks this administration is capable of really investigating itself has learned nothing from the past four years.
- Bush will not acknowledge mistakes because, probably, he doesn't think he makes them.
Casualties in Iraq
The Human Cost of Occupation
Edited by Michael Ewens :: Contact American Military Casualties in Iraq
Date Total In Combat
Since war began (3/19/03): 1896 1509
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) (the list) 1759 1401
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 1429 1205
Since Handover (6/29/04): 1030 876
Since Election (1/31/05): 464 403
American Wounded Official Estimated
Total Wounded: 14362 15000 - 42500
Latest Fatality September 11th, 2005
Page last updated 09/11/05 12:25 pm EDT
US Military Deaths by Month
I thought it would be nice to mark today, September 11, 2005, with a short test.
Here's the first question: what is this?
What did you guess? Did you say "That's the last moments of the lives of thousands of people"? Or "That's a hideous act of mass murder"? Or "That's the beginning of a lifetime of suffering for everyone who loved someone who died at the World Trade Center"?
Wrong! The right answer is: that is an ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITY:
"Reconstruction" of NOLA = "Reconstruction" of Iraq?
By Murshed Zaheed
Posted on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 12:21:08 PM EST
So the "Shaw Group" lands two $100 million contracts for NOLA reconstruction. Apparently this company is client of Allbaugh (according to TPM). The contract is same as controversial Halliburton contract in Iraq (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) whereby company just bills govt as it goes with profit determined as percentage of costs (gives company incentive to increases costs):
BATON ROUGE, La., Sep 08, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Shaw Group Inc. (SGR) today that is has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Shaw will provide supervision, equipment, materials, labor, logistics, and all means necessary to provide the Corps of Engineers an immediate response for construction contract capability. The contract will provide construction and related services including program planning, scheduling, design, engineering, transportation, construction management, and quality control. Under this contract, Shaw has received its first task of pumping floodwater from the city of New Orleans out and over the levees. Shaw is using temporary pumps and is repairing and restarting the existing pump stations. The $100 million contract has a base period of one-year, with an additional one-year option. Shaw announced earlier today a $100 million ID/IQ contract award by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including housing assistance for displaced residents.
National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq
by Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, Military Families Speak Out
by Nancy Lessin, Military Families Speak Out
"Stay at home and serve your country" was the slogan used to attract men and women into service to their communities and their country in the National Guard. The promise to the men and women of the Guard was also a promise to citizens of the various states that they would have a force available to them in time of emergency.
One weekend a month, two weeks each year, those who signed up to serve in the state militia known as the National Guard trained to protect Country and Constitution and to provide aid in times of local emergencies such as forest fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and civil unrest. National Guard soldiers have specifically been trained to assist in emergencies such as the one that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast on August 28-29, 2005.
September 11, 2005
A Bitter Anniversary
There's a ceremony taking place this morning at Ground Zero: a commemoration of the fallen of September 11th. For the families of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center, the arrival of this day will always be the cause of profound anguish. I wonder, however, if it’s possible that there will come a time for the rest of us, both here in New York and across America, when this day will become less an occasion of grief and anger, and more a day of thoughtful reflection?
So long as Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants remain free, this day must remind us of our unfinished business. Treachery cannot be allowed to go unpunished. We owe it to our dead to see that justice is done. In a very real sense, by focusing United States' efforts on occupying Iraq, rather than dismantling al Qaeda, President Bush has only exacerbated the pain and suffering of New Yorkers.