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By Kevin Drum
July 18, 2005
NUKES AND THE BASE....Step back from Plamegate for a moment and ask yourself a broader question: why did the White House react so violently to Joe Wilson's suggestion that the story about Saddam Hussein trying to procure uranium from Niger was false? After all, as conservative apologists never tire of pointing out, Wilson didn't really debunk George Bush's words in the 2003 State of the Union address. Bush said only that Saddam "sought" uranium from Africa, while Wilson merely provided evidence that no uranium ever changed hands. The fact is, Wilson's report didn't invalidate Bush's statement.
By Mark Shields
WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate) -- In my line of work, you get lied to a lot.
There are the generally forgettable fibs, like a senator who's making his seventh political trip to New Hampshire since the first of the year insisting he has made no decision about a White House run.
The falsehoods you remember are bold and brassy. I will never forget President George H.W. Bush stating with a straight face that the nominee's race had never even crossed his mind when he picked Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court.
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton demonstrated early his flair for fiction by contradicting all his campaign's previous statements on his non-service in the military when he admitted that, yes, during the Vietnam War he actually had received a draft notice calling him to military service.
By Jim Mullins
The Bush administration and much of the major media either ignored or gave little publicity to the revelations in the "Downing Street Memo" when it was leaked and published in London's Sunday Times close to two months ago. Now the leak has become a flood of memos written by British cabinet ministers that affirm and substantiate its damning statement that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
British officials in intelligence, legal and military leadership had expressed great misgivings about the invasion's legality, American claims of quick military success and the lack of US plans to govern Iraq and secure the peace. Its legality was particularly troubling to the legal and military oficials who saw themselves as liable for Nuremberg style war crime trials in the International Criminal Court to which they were bound by treaty. A treaty signed by President Clinton but not given senatorial ratification at President Bush's insistence.
By Ray McGovern
July 18, 2005
Ray McGovern works at Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washingon, DC. He had a 27-year career as an analyst at CIA.
The significance of the Plame affair is not about former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson; or his wife, Valerie Plame; or Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; or even President George W. Bush's alter ego, Karl Rove. White House v. Wilsons is about Iraq, where our sons and daughters—and many others—are daily meeting violent death. And it's about manipulation.
By PETE YOST
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Time magazine's Matthew Cooper says a 2003 phone call with White House political adviser Karl Rove was the first he heard about the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently working for the CIA.
Giving a first-person account of his role in a case that nearly landed him in jail, the reporter recalled that Rove told him, ``I've already said too much'' after revealing that the wife of the former ambassador apparently was with the CIA.
Cooper speculated in the piece, released Sunday, that Rove could have been ``worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else.''
Listen to an hour on the Downing Street Minutes, with After Downing Street Co-Founder David Swanson on the Brad Show:
in the 7/16/05 show, HOUR 2.
Sacramento Bee (California)
By Pete McCloskey
The eerie parallels between the Richard Nixon and George W. Bush administrations continue.
Once again the famous words of Lord Acton in 1887 come to mind: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Both Nixon in 1972 and Bush in 2004 won re-election to a second term. Both had impressive agendas for domestic reform, but both were at war - Nixon in Vietnam, Bush in Iraq. Both faced what they felt was disloyal, if not treasonous, conduct by former federal employees. Marine veteran Daniel Ellsberg had given the then top secret Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, and the Times risked prosecution for publishing excerpts, among which was the damning statement by Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton that 70 percent of the reason for fighting the war was to save American face. The Nixon White House was desperate to discredit Ellsberg to preserve dwindling public support for the war - to allow a "decent interval" to elapse before South Vietnam fell to the North, in Henry Kissinger's words.
New York Times
By FRANK RICH
"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to, they would not be working here."
- Ron Ziegler, press secretary to Richard Nixon, defending the presidential aide Dwight Chapin on Oct. 18, 1972. Chapin was convicted in April 1974 of perjury in connection with his relationship to the political saboteur Donald Segretti.
"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence."
- Scott McClellan, press secretary to George W. Bush, defending Karl Rove on Tuesday.
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Brattleboro Reformer, VT
The Downing Street Memos have faded from the headlines, overshadowed by the furor over Karl Rove and whether he leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to reporters.
We know it's tough for the Washington press corps to focus on more than one story at a time, but we'll make it easy for them.
Both the Downing Street Memos -- the secret documents from Britain's intelligence agency on the Bush administration's preparations for invading Iraq -- and the ongoing scandal involving President Bush's most trusted advisor are both tied together. They show the lengths that the Bush administration will go to in convincing Americans to accept a unnecessary war. They also show how the White House bullied and discredited anyone who got in its way.
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BTCNews' White House Correspondent/Blogger
As the Valerie Plame case becomes increasingly the Karl Rove case, and as the rising water of it begins to lap closer to President Bush, there are several truths about this matter that are worth keeping in mind.
1. In the very beginning Mr. Bush said that it was unlikely that the leaker would ever be found. There is every reason to believe that he would then have taken steps to make that true.
2. It is now clear that presidential adviser Karl Rove did discuss Valerie Plame with reporters, however those discussions are now being described or construed. Mr. Bush said he would fire anyone in the White House who did that.
By Democracy Now!
Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton, takes on Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" on Iraq, the Democrats, the invasion of Iraq and much more.
Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton and author of "The Clinton Wars." His latest article is "Rove's War" on Salon.com.
Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy in San Francisco and the co-founder of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He latest book, just published, is "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."
This isn't about Karl Rove
By Justin Raimondo
What if Karl Rove isn't guilty of knowingly leaking Valerie Plame's name as a covert CIA agent involved in nuclear proliferation issues? What if Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, is correct when he says that he's been assured by prosecutors that his client is not a target of the ongoing investigation into Plame-gate? I'm going to swim against the tide, here, and against the expectations of my readers, by suggesting that this investigation isn't about Rove – and, furthermore, that Rove is a victim, in an important sense, someone who was used and abused by the real culprits. And who are these mysterious culprits? We'll get to that in a moment, but first some background…
Political Affairs Magazine
By Joel Wendland
It’s all very exciting. Just days ago, word came out that White House aid and President Bush’s close friend, Karl Rove, leaked classified information to the press about the identity of an undercover CIA agent.
When the story broke last year, that someone from the White House may have been the source of the leak, Bush promised to fire the culprit. Earlier this week, when it became clear that Rove was the culprit, rather than keeping his word, Bush kept mum. He also refused to express confidence in Rove, an admission that something serious is going down.
By JOHN SOLOMON
WASHINGTON - Chief presidential adviser Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he talked with two journalists before they divulged the identity of an undercover CIA officer but that he originally learned about the operative from the news media and not government sources, according to a person briefed on the testimony.
The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.
Report says Rove got name of agent from journalist
By Mike Allen
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — White House official Karl Rove indirectly confirmed the identity of a CIA operative for Robert Novak the week before the columnist revealed her name and her relation to an administration critic, a lawyer involved in the case said yesterday.
The lawyer, who has firsthand knowledge of the conversations between Rove and prosecutors, said President Bush's deputy chief of staff has told investigators that he first learned about the operative, Valerie Plame, from a journalist.
"I don't think that he has a clear recollection," the lawyer said. "He's told them that he believes he may have heard it from a journalist." Asked who it was, the lawyer said, "I don't think he's able to identify that, or to identify precisely when he may have heard it."
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Script of Our Radio Ad:
I’m Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. Casey was one of more than 1700 Americans who’ve lost their lives in the war.
Recently I read a secret British intelligence document called the Downing Street memo, and was appalled to learn that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence and facts to justify the Iraq war.
By Josh Marshall
Strip away all the stress and fury on both sides of the aisle this week and you’ll find one key question at the heart of both the legal and political storm surrounding the president’s top political adviser.
That is, did Karl Rove and other top administration officials, for whatever reason, knowingly reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent or were they unaware of her covert status? As prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald would no doubt tell us if he were at liberty to speak, divining, let alone proving, knowledge and intent in such a case is a very tricky business. But there’s a good bit of circumstantial evidence pointing to the conclusion that Rove and others knew exactly what they were doing.
TONIGHT, July 14, from 7-8 p.m. PT catch AfterDowningStreet co-founder David Swanson live on the internet or over the Mendocino County, Calif., airwaves on KZYX radio.
There Are Sources and There Are Sources
By Dave Lindorff
No journalist likes to see a fellow reporter in jail, but as even the NY Times observed in an editorial, there is a difference between protecting the identy of a source who could be punished by superiors for revealing information and a source who is actively promoting propaganda for higher-ups, or trying to smear someone on behalf of higher-ups.
As William E Jackson, a former U.S. arms control official, wrote on June 12 in Editor & Publisher, It would appear that this is more likely what the Times' Judith Millir was up to in her dealings with Rove et al. If so, it would seriously undermine her self-described role as journalistic hero, and could eventually expose her as more of a co-conspirator in the campaign to smear a real whistle-blower--Joseph Wilson.
By Cynthia Bogard
In the big scheme of things, it won’t make one bit of difference if Karl Rove is fired or even prosecuted for punishing whistleblower Joe Wilson by exposing his wife as a CIA agent. Call “Bush’s Brain
INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES
Defining The Issues Series
From Downing Street to Tavistock Square:
How will a Terror Attack in London Change British and World Policy toward Iraq?
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
12:30 - 1:30pm
Institute for Policy Studies
733 15th St. NW (15th and H), Ste.1020
(McPherson Square Metro)
From the earliest planning stages, Great Britain has been the Bush Administration’s most steadfast ally in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Evidence from the early stages of this relationship were leaked in May of this year, in the form of the “Downing Street Memo,
By Paul Waldman
Paul Waldman is a senior fellow with Media Matters for America and a senior contributor to The Gadflyer.
Every administration has its share of scandals to deal with, and every one handles them in a slightly different way (of course, it helps if your party controls both houses of Congress, so there will be no pesky Congressional investigations to deal with). But the Bush administration’s furious effort to save Karl Rove and justify the outing of a covert CIA operative is a remarkable case study in misdirection, a campaign whose scaffolding of spin is plain for all to see.
Interview: Ambassador Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent, sees larger Administration role in leak
Larisa Alexandrovna, RAW STORY
Reconstructing the leak
Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna: Ambassador Wilson, much of the attention regarding the leaking of your wife’s identity has centered on the press and how the press obtained that information. I would like to start our discussion by focusing on the “other
Maintaining Focus: Rove and Iraq War Data
By Daniel Schorr, NPR
All Things Considered, July 13, 2005 · NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that the real issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war, and how America was misled into that war.
by Norman Solomon
In front of TV cameras, Pentagon officials do their best to make war sound wise and noble. Most of all, they lie.
Sometimes they do it with bold assertions, other times with intentionally tangled syntax. But those who give the orders that consign young soldiers to participation in horror must assure the folks back home that all the carnage is under control. The officials strive to project an aura of calm about the unspeakable; they mumble cliches about grief that cannot touch it.
For the most powerful war-makers in Washington, the most dangerous potential enemies are the citizens of the United States who might insist on an end to taxpayer subsidies for mass slaughter. To forestall such a calamity, officials proclaim endlessly that the war's worst days have passed and the future looks increasingly bright for the ravaged land and for the freedom-loving invaders whose invasion has ravaged it.
By Larisa Alexandrovna
It seems now in this most current variation of reality, one surpassing anything even Baudrillard could have imagined, criminal activity is simply up for interpretation. The rule of law is but a passé little concept meant for small minds and the unenlightened masses.
As always, in this reality, when the most criminal offenses occur at the highest level of government, our resident Dick goes missing.
Downing Street Minutes? $8.8 Billion missing from Iraq? Faux war?
I am Cheney’s medulla oblongata
Given this administration’s love for partial-truth-abortions (PTA, oddly enough) -- the most notable of course is the Rathergate scenario -- it is interesting to find Rove front and center and Cheney all covert-like.
July 14, 2005
Did White House political adviser Karl Rove deliberately reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative? Only two people can answer that question, and neither one is talking: Rove himself and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is investigating the question.
Sooner or later, we probably will get an answer. Fitzgerald has been so aggressive in this investigation -- to the point of jailing a New York Times reporter who refused to reveal her confidential sources -- that indictments are reasonably likely.
In the meantime, it's important to look beyond the immediate political spectacle in Washington -- White House spokesman Scott McClellan finally confronted by reporters who feel abused and lied to -- to the reason Rove was talking to a reporter about ex-diplomat Joseph Wilson at all.
NBC/WSJ poll: Iraq replaces jobs as most important American priority
By Mark Murray
WASHINGTON - The last two weeks certainly have been eventful ones in America and across the globe: President Bush gave a prime-time speech on Iraq and attended a G-8 summit in Scotland; Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court (with perhaps another retirement on the way); and suicide bombers killed approximately 50 people in London. After these events, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Bush’s overall job rating has slipped and that his rating for being “honest and straightforward