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The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.
Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.
An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean
By JOHN W. DEAN
Friday, Nov. 18, 2005
November 18, 2005
The Honorable Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Bond Federal Building
1400 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Special Counsel Fitzgerald:
Excuse my being so presumptuous as to send you this open letter, but the latest revelation of the testimony, before the grand jury, by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has raised some fundamental questions for me.
In your post as Special Counsel, you now have nothing less than authority of the Attorney General of the United States, for purposes of the investigation and prosecution of "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." (The employee, of course, is Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA employee with classified status, and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.) On December 30, 2003, you received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General regarding your powers. On February 6, 2004 you received a letter of further clarification, stating without reservation, that in this matter your powers are "plenary." In effect, then, you act with the power of the Attorney General of the United States.
With the latest CBS poll putting Bush's approval rating at 35%, he's genuinely entered into Nixon territory. Since polling began, Nixon is the only two-term president with lower approval ratings at a comparable point in his presidency:
Johnson 66% (Oct. 1965)
Reagan 63% (Oct. 1985)
Clinton 57% (Oct. 1997)
Eisenhower 57% (Oct. 1957)
Truman 49% (Oct. 1949)
Bush 39% (Oct. 2005)
Nixon 29% (Oct. 1973)
So, I've helpfully graphed both Bush's approval rating and disapproval rating against Nixon's. Note Bush still has about a year to go before he gets to the point in Nixon's presidency when Nixon resigned.
What It's Like
By Paul Begala
From: TPMCafe Special Guests
Tom Petty was wrong. The waiting is not the hardest part.
Sure, all of what Eric Alterman dubbed "the punditocracy" has a severe case of indictus interruptus, but for President Bush and his White House staff, the worst is yet to come. To be sure, waiting on a decision to indict is an exquisite form of torture. But what lies ahead is worse. If special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald does choose to indict one or more senior Bush White House officials, they will be the first top White House aides to be indicted in a decade and a half.
October 26, 2005
New Information: First the Website, Now the New Office Space
-- Steve Clemons
Patrick Fitzgerald's intermediaries denied that there was any significance to the establishment of a new website, minimalist as it is, for the Office of the Special Counsel which is investigating the "outing" of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA responsibilities to the media.
Fitzgerald's people said that the investigation coming to a close and the website going up was just coincidence.
Well, news has just reached TWN that Patrick Fitzgerald is expanding not only into a new website -- but also into more office space.
The Iraqi death toll
by Chris in Paris - 10/26/2005 03:24:00 AM
So is Bush also laughing about the thousands of Iraqis who have died as well? Estimates vary but a reasonable starting point seems to be around 30,000 Iraqi deaths since the beginning of the US/UK invasion of Iraq. With the faux constitution that does not address any of the serious issues (once again put off for another day) there is no reason to think that the Iraqi deaths will decrease. The numbers are pretty bad:
One U.S. military spokesman said it is possible the figure for the entire war could be 30,000 Iraqis...
1. He Murdered Vincent Foster
2. Is Son Of A Liberal Elitist Doorman
3. Claims He Spent Christmas, 1983 In Cambridge; Actually Was In Somerville
4. Casey Sheehan Would Be Ashamed Of Him
5. Charles Krauthammer Thinks He's Crazy, And Krauthammer Is A Psychiatrist
6. Fathered John McCain's Illegitimate Black Child
7. Let's Not Forget That The Vatican—The Center Of His Religion—Is The Great Whore Of Revelation 17
8. Is Irish, Not That We're Implying Anything About Him And The Booze
9. A Friend Of Mine Knows The Cousin Of The Neighbor Of Someone Who Worked With Him In 1986 Who Says the Coffee Machine In The Office Cost 50 Cents But Sometimes You Would Put In A Quarter And It Would Start Working Which Meant it Had Eaten The Quarter Of The Person Ahead of You And Once They Saw Fitzgerald Get Coffee Like This Which Meant He Essentially Stole A Quarter From Someone In The Office, Which Really Brings Up The Character Issue
Vote for (or write-in) your favorite answer to "How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?" (You must be logged in to vote). The current most popular answer is:
130,000. First you have to mass the troops, then, after breaking the first twenty bulbs because you didn't have enough staffing who could read Arabic, you can protect the perimeter and secure the oil wells that supply the power to light the bulb. What, you didn't think oil was involved?
* None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?\n* 130,000. First you have to mass the troops, then, after breaking the first twenty bulbs because you didn't have enough staffing who could read Arabic, you can protect the perimeter and secure the oil wells that supply the power to light the bulb. What, you didn't think oil was involved?\n* We don't know how to replace it. But it's not our fault. Clinton was the one who broke it.\n* You read by the bulb you have, not the one you would like to have.\n* One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner: Light Bulb Change Accomplished;\n* One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark.\n* One to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country\n* \n* \n* \n* \n
VR ANALYSIS OF THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES DEMONSTRATES THAT SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS ARE FACING THE PROSPECT OF LIFE IN PRISON FOR THE OUTING OF CIA AGENT VALERIE PLAME UNLESS THEY HURRY UP AND TURN ON EACH OTHER
It looks more and more like Karl Rove and his GOP associates made a huge mistake when they decided to disclose the identity of Valerie Plame in retaliation for statements by Ambassador Joe Wilson about the implausibility of President Bush's statements about Iraq's nuclear capabilities. By going after Wilson and his wife, they committed serious crimes which, apparently, they then compounded by obstructing justice and committing and suborning perjury. As a result, they have virtually ensured that, if convicted, they could receive a sentence up to life in federal prison under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are used to compute sentences based on severity offense levels. The higher the level, the greater the sentence, and federal courts routinely follow the Guidelines in the vast majority of cases.
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?