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By David Corn
Here comes the Washington Establishment, eager to say, Waitaminute, maybe poor ol' Karl Rove didn't do much wrong. So let's cut him some slack. Last night on CNN, I spotted two Washington poohbahs being interviewed on the Rove scandal and both offered let's-take-this-slow advice and suggested that Rove may have merely committed a tiny and insignificant mistake.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs chatted with David Gergen, who carries the lofty title of "former presidential adviser." Dobbs asked Gergen what he thought of the story, and Gergen replied, "I think this is a complex case, and we shouldn't get caught up in our underwear so far." Not get caught up in our underwear? Is that how the wise men of the capital talk? And is that what those White House reporters were doing yesterday when they were grilling White House press secretary Scott McClellan and demanding he come clean. (See my eyewitness account below.) Gergen explained that Rove might not be in "legal trouble"--which is true. But for Dobbs, that was not the question. He said, "I am not particularly interested in the legal aspect of this so much right now, as I am in both the politics, and, frankly, the forthright, honest character of the people who make statements such as, it's 'ridiculous' to suggest that Karl Rove was behind this."
By Greg Mitchell
Editor and Publisher
NEW YORK For the second day running, White House Press Secretary Scott McClelllan suffered through relentless grilling from reporters who demanded answers or at least comment on disclosures that top Bush aide Karl Rove had discussed CIA agent Valerie Plame with Time magazine's Matt Cooper.
McClellan at an afternoon briefing again refused to say much, claiming he did not want to jeopardize the “ongoing investigation.
There's a popular maxim in Washington, D.C.: "Nothing's harder than getting fired from the federal government." Doesn't matter if you regularly show up to work inebriated (something I've witnessed personally). And apparently doesn't matter if you jeopardize national security—outing an undercover CIA agent—in the name of defending a plan for war whose stated goal is "protecting national security." This is why the folks at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington were quick to call on the White House to revoke Rove's security clearance in light of the new evidence against him.
By David Sirota
It is appalling that during an ongoing investigation, a White House adviser who has acknowledged helping leak classified information to the media still has access to the government's most secret information. That's right - Karl Rove still can peer into all the secret material he wants, maybe even to punish another honest opponent of the Bush administration. It's why critics are rightfully demanding that, short of firing Rove, President Bush must at least immediately revoke Rove's government security clearance. And if the past is any guide, that request has historical precedent.
London death toll climbs to 52
The Iraq question: Britons ask if their government's support of the U.S. figured in the attacks
- Zachary Coile, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
London -- Members of Parliament shouted approving chants of "Hear, hear!" when opposition Conservative party leader Michael Howard praised Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor government for its response to last week's deadly terror bombings
But on the streets of London and elsewhere, the bombings have rekindled a debate that has raged in Britain ever since Blair pledged to join President Bush in the invasion of Iraq. While virtually unanimous in their condemnation of the bombings, some Britons have begun to ask whether the country's role in the Iraq conflict helped bring about the worst attack on the British mainland since World War II.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 12, 2005
I thought Stewart Powell's piece on the forum headed by U.S. Rep. John Conyers had a misleading headline ("Democrats talk impeachment," June 17). It makes it appear that this forum was a partisan endeavor to damage President Bush, much like the partisan impeachment of President Clinton for personal behavior.
It's true that this is a constitutional matter and that only Democrats attended. That was not the fault of the Democrats. Republicans did not choose to attend, choosing instead to do everything in their power to block any discussion of serious breaches of the law in the House and in committee. Congress is compelled to examine serious issues like the Downing Street memo and to exercise oversight over the executive branch of government. The GOP by their actions are guilty of dereliction of duty and obstructing justice.
By Greg Palast
The tooth fairy, Santa Clause, WorldCom profits, the Easter Bunny, al-Qaeda.
The cruel, evil jerks who blew up the London subway last week, despite appropriating al-Qaeda's name for their website and T-shirts, have about as much to do with al-Qaeda as a Beatles tribute band has to do with the Fab Four.
For all the horror, hoopla and hair-pulling, this was no September 11. Timmy McVeigh slaughtered a heck of a lot more people in Oklahoma City with his cow-poop bomb.
I'm not belittling the heartbreaking hideousness of this crime, but let's get the facts straight. If al-Qaeda is the Panzer Division of terrorism, these London bombers were terrorism's Cub Scouts. We're talking a few pounds of nitro wired to a clock -- a design badly copied off the Internet.
Spokesman Holds Tongue During Intense Grilling
By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Page A04
On the north lawn of the White House yesterday afternoon, gardeners were taking a chain saw and wood chipper to some tree branches. Inside the briefing room, reporters were taking press secretary Scott McClellan to the woodshed.
It was journalists' first chance to grill McClellan on camera since coming to the conclusion that he had misled them 18 months ago when he said President Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, had nothing to do with the unmasking of a CIA operative. The recipients of McClellan's bum steer were furious -- hectoring him more than questioning him.
White House Leaks: A serious security matter
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
President Bush has plenty of evidence to begin acting on Karl Rove's involvement in the disclosure of a secret agent's name to exact political vengeance. The president's choice will say a lot about whether he intends to control abuses of power within what some see as one of the most power-hungry administrations the United States has ever experienced.
The president ought to be outraged that, so far, one reporter has gone to jail for acting honestly while some in his administration continue to be free of consequences for revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. The leak of her name and role to Bush-friendly columnist Robert Novak in 2003 was a violation of federal law, if done deliberately.
Published on Monday, July 11, 2005 by The Nation
By David Corn
In a weekend posting I asked if it was time to get ready for the Karl Rove frog-march? The question was prompted by a Newsweek article by reporter Michael Isikoff that disclosed the first documentary evidence showing that Rove revealed to a reporter that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. In a July 11, 2003 email that Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper sent to his bureau chief, Cooper noted he had spoken to Rove on "double super secret background" and that Rove had told him that Wilson's "wife...apparently works at the agency on wmd issues." "Agency" means CIA. This is not good news for Rove and the White House.
By Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
SECURED UNDISCLOSED LOCATION -- Karl Rove is a liability in the war on terror.
Rove -- Newsweek’s new article quotes the very emails -- told a Time reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson’s trip to investigate of the Niger uranium claim was at the behest of Wilson’s CIA wife.
To paraphrase Mr. Rove, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers; conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared to ruin the career of one of the country’s spies tracking terrorist efforts to gain weapons of mass destruction -- for political gain.
TRANSCRIPT: WHITE HOUSE GRILLED ON ROVE...
The following is a excerpts of a rush transcript of the White House press briefing Monday... You can see the video here.
QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?
MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.
QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?
Z Magazine Online
By Jason Leopold
The recent revelation that W. Mark Felt, the former number two person at the FBI, was the anonymous source known as Deep Throat who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein unravel the Watergate scandal in the pages of the Washington Post 30 years ago, should be seen as an important reminder that the leader of the “free world
Leaked secret memo says coalition forces will be cut to 66,000 by middle of next year.
By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com
A secret leaked memo written form British Prime Minister Tony Blair by his Defense Secretary John Reid says that British and US troops have drawn up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops by the middle of next year.
The memo, first reported on by the Mail on Sunday, is marked 'Secret — UK Eyes Only,' and says "emerging US plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006." This would allow a reduction in overall US-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level in Iraq is currently 160,000, including 138,000 American troops.
Toronto Star, July 10, 2005
Haroon Siddiqui says terrorists are targeting us because of our policies in Muslim lands, not because we are free
Madrid: 191 dead. Beslan: 330 murdered, half of them children. Riyadh and Jeddah: more than 100 killed. London: about 50 massacred.
Then there's the daily terror of Iraq, where more than 700 people have been killed in the last month alone.
Our leaders respond with revulsion and resolve, as they must, when the tragedy hits closer to home.
They walk the fine line between increasing security and causing panic, between feeling our pain and exploiting it.
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Tell me again how the Iraq war has made us safer from terrorism. Spin for me once more the theory of how, by drawing the terrorists' attention there, we've made ourselves more secure here. Point out for me again how we've suffered no terrorist attack since the day George Bush took the fight to the enemy.
You'll have to speak up, though. It's going to be hard to hear you over the explosions and sirens and wails of the maimed in London.
Yes, you're right. Thursday's coordinated bomb attacks on the Underground and a double-decker bus happened there, not here. But it is close enough to home -- our staunchest ally in the Iraq war -- that maybe you'll agree the technicality doesn't matter. Or if you don't agree, don't worry. Sooner or later, one awful morning yet to come, it will be us again, for real.
While Christiane Amanpour is discussing the London terror attacks a man passing by breaks in and speaks truth to the camera. The man says: "tell the truth about what happened" and then: "They're in Iraq, that’s why it happened. There were 50 killed in Iraq". Watch video clip.
Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
By Liz Soares
In 1990, I began working with children, and was struck by a curious new phrase that had become part of the lexicon.
"I didn't do it!"
Of course, I was familiar with the line. I was a child once and remembered denial as a sometimes effective line of defense. What I found amazing was that the kids were shrieking the phrase as they were "acting out."
Take the little girl in the supermarket who maliciously rammed a cart into the dairy case. She turned to her mother and shrugged. "I didn't do it!"
Out of the mouths of babes came the first evidence of a new morality: lying with a straight face. Lying even when you're caught red-handed.
ROBERT FISK SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
Friday, July 8, 2005
"If you bomb our cities," Osama bin Laden said in a recent videotape, "we will bomb yours."' It was clear Britain would be a target ever since British Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to join President Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq. We had, as they say, been warned. The G-8 summit was obviously chosen, well in advance, as Attack Day.
It's no use Blair telling us, "They will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear." They are not trying to destroy "what we hold dear." They are trying to get public opinion to force Blair to withdraw from Iraq, out of his alliance with the United States, out of his adherence to Bush's policies in the Middle East. The Spanish paid the price for their support for Bush -- and Spain's subsequent retreat from Iraq proved that the Madrid bombings achieved their objectives -- while the Australians were made to suffer in Bali.
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Thursday's terror attacks against London's public transportation system, which killed at least 37 people, came amid indications of growing skepticism here about the effectiveness of US President George W Bush's "war on terror", the policy initiative that earned him his highest public-approval ratings.
The Gallup organization released a new survey this week which found that 41% of US respondents believed that neither the US and its allies nor the "terrorists" were currently winning the war and that a two-and-a-half year high of 20% of the public believed that the "terrorists are winning".
Merrimack River Current
By Michael Cook/ Sitting In
Friday, July 8, 2005
That was how many times George Walker Bush invoked 9-11 in his speech to the nation and the world on June 28.
What is difficult to understand is why so many Americans still believe there was a connection between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein's regime.
They forget that in September of 2002, bonny Prince George himself said he had seen no substantive evidence linking Saddam to the attacks on NYC or the Pentagon.
They forget the 9-11 Commission found Saddam had no involvement in Dark Tuesday.
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Dawn, Pakistan's leading English-speaking newspaper.
by Huck Gutman
The writer is a professor at the University of Vermont in the US.
Bush is quite likely the worst president in the 200-year history of the United States. This has enormous implications for the international community, since his country is not a small republic like the Maldives or Andorra, but a global behemoth.
His power as the most powerful man on earth derives not from a particular intelligence or set of talents, but by virtue of his position as the leader of the dominant military and economic nation on our planet.
I recently had the opportunity to conduct a quick e-mail interview with Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace. Cindy and the GSFP were present in Washington on June 15, 2005, to meet with Rep. John Conyers and other members of Congress to demand a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo and related documents.
Cindy says that "the mission of GSFP is to stop the war so other families won't have to suffer as we are." The organization's web site states a dual purpose: To bring an end to the occupation of Iraq, and to be a support group for Gold Star Families.
News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
BY KATHE LATHAM
I was stunned yet again by the media's coverage of the president's speech on the war in Iraq and wondered anew just how far we have wandered from practicing true democracy. In a democratic society, our communication systems should reflect a diverse participation and representation in the framing and articulation of major issues that so deeply effect us all. Recent polls show that more than 51 percent of the American people now believe this war is wrong. We are now clear that most of what we were told to be the reasons for rushing to war, against world opinion, are now false. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no depleted uranium, and there is no connection between Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. The recent Downing Street memo confirms our worst suspicions - that the administration wanted to go to war so badly in Iraq that the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy.
July 6, 2005 Wednesday
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.
The use of anonymous sources is certainly in the news this week between the case of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper and the publication of Bob Woodward's book about Deep Throat. We'll talk with Woodward tomorrow. Right now, we're going to hear the story of how an anonymous source leaked the so-called Downing Street Memo to my guest, Michael Smith. He is a reporter for the Sunday Times of London. That now famous memo was one of several that were leaked to Smith. Six memos were leaked to him in September 2004 when he was working for The Daily Telegraph.
Deceits enervate an Iraq exit
By DOUG BANDOW, CATO Institute
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush's latest attempt to justify his Iraq policy with a televised address to America comes as more evidence emerges that the invasion of Iraq was a war of choice. In arguing that the United States must persevere because Iraq has become "a central front in the war on terror," he sounds like the man who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court for being an orphan.
It has long been evident that leading administration officials desired war against Iraq long before Sept. 11, 2001. A series of leaked British government documents demonstrate that the lengthy "debate" over Iraq was Kabuki theater, irrelevant to the preordained result.
By David T. Pyne (07/07/05)
An increasing percentage of the American people and U.S. congressional and military leaders are coming to the conclusion that the United States is losing the counterinsurgency war in Iraq. Car bombings and attacks by insurgents killed 80 U.S. troops in May. An additional 47 U.S. soldiers were killed during the first half of June. A total of 1,730 of our troops have died in Iraq thus far and at least 13,000 have been wounded, many very seriously, according to Pentagon figures with no end to the war or the carnage in sight. These casualty numbers resemble the U.S. military casualty count during the first four to five years of the Vietnam war between 1961 and early 1966.
The Daily Republic
By Kelvin Wade
"Why, of course, the people don't want war, (but) the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946
There's a reason why President Bush's speech on Iraq last week went unheard by most Americans and hasn't changed his sagging poll numbers. He and his administration have a credibility problem that Democrats and Independents have seen for some time and some Republicans are starting to acknowledge.