Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stragedy*

Sense comes in the form of Steve Soto from The Left Coaster:

[. . .]

Yet the initial reaction from the media and academia from the Libby indictment shows that the Democrats have their opening to begin the "Enough, Already" campaign for next year. Here are some possible lines of attack for such a campaign:

[. . .]


I urge all our candidates to adopt this strategy in the '06. There are serious talking points here, it just takes a set of testicles. Reach down and grab a feel and remember what they're all about. Ladies, that goes for you too.

Hat tip: My man Dave

*Hat tip: Bugs Bunny

It Ain't Over

Raw Story has a hopeful post:

While many people were left confused by news reports that said Rove wouldn't be indicted Friday, the lawyers said that Rove remains under intense scrutiny and added that Fitzgerald is betting on the fact that he can secure an indictments against him or other officials on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, the misuse of classified information, and possibly other charges, as early as next week.

"This investigation is not yet over," one of the lawyers in the case said. "You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation. Rather than securing an indictment on perjury charges against Mr. Rove Mr. Fitzgerald strongly believes he can convince the grand jury that he broke other laws."
Specifically, the lawyers said Fitzgerald is focusing on phony intelligence documents that led to the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson's identity: the documents that claimed Iraq was attempting to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Niger.
NATO sources told United Press International Monday that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

One inning, even a long one with many swings at the ball but only one run, does not a ball game make.

Cheney's New Asshole Brain

Tennessee Guerilla Women has the info and many links.

Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington. He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects. He was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts.

Addington also led the fight with Congress and environmentalists over access to information about corporations that advised the White House on energy policy. He was instrumental in the series of fights with the Sept. 11 commission and its requests for information. . . .

Colleagues say Addington stands out for his devotion to secrecy in an administration noted for its confidentiality. . . .

Even in a White House known for its dedication to conservative philosophy, Addington is known as an ideologue, an adherent of an obscure philosophy called the unitary executive theory that favors an extraordinarily powerful president.

Oh fucking swell. Those bastards have enough gangsters waiting in the wings that they don't even have to break stride in their march to ruin the country.

Sounds like they're startin' in on the 'B' team, though. Maybe they'll be easier to catch.

Happy Fitznukkah, Everybody!

Al Franken in The HuffPo

That's right -- it isn't a one-day holiday like Fitzmas. This could go on and on. One day a great gift like Libby, the next day a pair of socks (Ari Fleischer), the next day, who knows: maybe an Xbox 360 (Karl Rove)! Maybe this can be dragged out until the 2006 midterms.

Anyway. Boy, did he lie! Wow. That. Is lying. Hoo boy.

And how about Rove telling the press he was going to have a great Friday and a great weekend? They can't even not lie about what kind of weekend they're going to have.

I hope the words to a song from my youth (Yes, we had songs then), Charlie Brown, are coursing through all the heads in the White House:

"He's gonna get caught,
Just you wait 'n see.
"Why's ever'body always pickin' on me?"


It ain't over.

See what I mean?

q: why don't democrats in the u.s. senate call for the censure of the vice president, the president of the senate, on the grounds that he lied to the nation in a matter of national security?


Pudentilla has the answer and a lot more over at Skippy's.

Heh . . .

Now That's Progress has Harriet Meirs' letter withdrawing her nomination.

Not far enough

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag from Crystal Patterson of Senator Kennedy's office:

This Indictment Is Not the End
Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Today's an ominous day for the country, a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government.

This indictment is far more than an indictment of one individual. It's an indictment of the lengths to which Administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence. It's an indictment of their distortions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and their serious blunders taking us to war and their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenges their misrepresentations.

As we know, Scooter Libby and Vice President Cheney withheld critical documents in the Senate's investigation of the use and misuse of intelligence and the abuse of power in the decision to go to war and in the management of the war.

These documents must be handed over, because the American people deserve answers.

That is why I'm urging the White House to hand over those documents
-- and asking you to join me in doing so. We need as many Americans as possible to join us in the next few days to show the White House that we are not letting this indictment be the end.

Click here to show this is not the end.

Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel - The National Journal, October 27, 2005


Unfortunately, in order to keep an investigation going, there will have to be a Dem majority in Congress. We all know Fitzgerald's deal is done and no more indictments will come down. Rove will skate, the Chimp will skate, and they still have 3 more years to fuck this country to hell.

You don't think the press will investigate any further, do you? This whole Plame affair showed how deeply owned by the White House the press actually is. Pardon me, but I can't get as happy as everybody else over this. It should have gone farther. Say what you will about Fitz, but he must have seen a boatload of evidence pointing to the dishonesty of the Chimp administration during the run up to Iraq. If all he can do is indict Libby on perjury and obstruction charges, the status quo remains intact. Libby will become the Abu Ghraib-esque 'bad apple' and that will be the end of it.

Nothing has changed and nothing will change until this time next year. That is, if the Dems can manage to break the Repub hold on the Congress. Also too much to hope for in my book. I hope I'm wrong, but as the Repubs are crooks, the Dems are inept.

Maybe it is time to do a little apartment shopping while we're in Paris.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ewwwww!

So there I was...smell a war story yet?...innocently watching some pundits outgassing about Fitz's press shindig, when I hears Pat Buchanan say, "...but Rove is wounded...".

At that point, what sprang to mind - completely unbidden, you understand - was a visual of Turd Blossom slinking off into the weeds where he could whimper and lick the place where his ass used to be, like the cur he is.

That's almost as disturbing as the one I had about being forced to do a troika with Ann Coulter and Karen Hughes. Shudder.

Hey! He really can talk!

I just watched Mr. Fitzgerald's press conference in the wake of the indictment. I'll sum up his basic statement briefly in my own inimitable style:

"We done run ol' Scooter's ass up fer lyin' his ass off four times an' tryin' to keep us from gettin' to the bottom of this shit one time." Breaking into a big smile, "Other than thet, all y'all fourth estaters kin go piss up a rope!"

This is the first time I've ever heard him speak at any length up close and personal. That guy is smart! He thinks fast, and talks fast and well. He stuck to the point at hand. He plays his cards so close to his vest you could probably read 'em through his shirt from behind.

I got a distinct impression from watching him of Michael Moriarty's character on the early Law & Order. Only with more hair.

Helpless

Truth from Avedon Carol via PSoTD:

From the very, very beginning, I have always known that invading Iraq would be a disaster that couldn't be fixed. And that was even before I saw just exactly how very badly this bunch of criminals and maniacs would screw it up.

[. . .]

I know we have to get out. But even so, I didn't want to say these words.

[. . .]

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging


Princess Shayna hopes more than just one set of indictments will come of this whole Plame affair. If not, she believes the White House will escape this controversy relatively unscathed.

It's no wonder Bush doesn't recognize the International Criminal Court...

From New Statesman (UK)

The question of legality deeply concerns the British military brass, who sought Tony Blair's assurance on the eve of the invasion, got it and, as they now know, were lied to. They are right to worry; Britain is a signatory to the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court, which draws its codes from the Geneva Conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter. The latter is clear: "To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." (my bold)

At the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi leadership, counts one and two, "Conspiracy to wage aggressive war and waging aggressive war", refer to "the common plan or conspiracy". These are defined in the indictment as "the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances". A wealth of evidence is now available that George Bush, Blair and their advisers did just that. The leaked minutes from the infamous Downing Street meeting in July 2002 alone reveal that Blair and his war cabinet knew that it was illegal. The attack that followed, mounted against a defenceless country offering no threat to the US or Britain, has a precedent in Hitler's invasion of Sudetenland; the lies told to justify both are eerily similar.
At Nuremberg, counts three and four referred to "War crimes and crimes against humanity". Here again, there is overwhelming evidence that Blair and Bush committed "violations of the laws or customs of war" including "murder . . . of civilian populations of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war". Two recent examples: the US onslaught near Ramadi this month in which 39 men, women and children - all civilians - were killed, and a report by the United Nations special rapporteur in Iraq who described the Anglo-American practice of denying food and water to Iraqi civilians in order to force them to leave their towns and villages as a "flagrant violation" of the Geneva Conventions.

This has the British Brass shittin' an' gittin'. One can only assume U.S. Brass is thinking about it as well.

Perhaps in addition to comparing Iraq to Vietnam, we should compare it to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939.

And we know how that turned out. I doubt the world will come up with a Marshall Plan for us.

Not enough....

Yahoo News

Vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter' Libby Jr. was indicted Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, making a false statement and perjury in the CIA leak case.
The five-count indictment accuses Libby of lying about how and when he learned about CIA official Valerie Plane's identity in 2003 and then told reporters about it. The information was classified.

Any trial would shine a spotlight on the secret deliberations of Bush and his team as they built the case for war against Iraq.

I hear from the TV in the next room that he has resigned.

He'll probably cop a plea to keep the lid on the falsified data that led the administration to lie us into Bush's criminal war. I doubt it will go to trial, but you never know. If it does, Libby's life might be in danger.

I'm disappointed that this was the only indictment, but I'm glad they got one of the sonsabitches anyway. The investigation continues.

Election theft

Amelopsis at Pourquoi Pas:

...The latest critical confirmation of key indicators that the election of 2004 was stolen comes in an extremely powerful, penetrating report from the General Accounting Office that has gotten virtually no mainstream media coverage...


Maybe the MSM sharks might smell blood here too. It would be nice if we could declare a do-over on 2004.

Hope

From my esteemed colleague Jeff Huber over at Main and Central:

[. . .]

Hopefully for America, it's days of having an Emperor in the oval office are about to end.

And hopefully, America will remember that it needs to keep the executive branch of government in its box for as long as...


From your lips to God's ears, my man.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Why is this man laughing?



Because he put $10bn of your money into the bank in the past 3 months.

Another goes down

Cookie Jill at Skippy's:

...a federal grand jury has indicted tom noe, the former maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into president bush's reelection campaign, mr. noe's attorney told the blade today... [my em]


Another Repub crook goes down. Today's GOP: the Party of Lincoln Corruption.

I know I'm childish

I'm a man. But this has me peeing my pants.

A short rope and a long drop'll work...

Go see why Ted Rall feels Bush is unimpeachable.

The more you look, the more you'll find that our Constitution has been subverted to the point of virtual irrelevance. The legislative branch has abdicated its exclusive right to declare war to the president, who was appointed by a federal court that undermined the states' constitutional right to manage and settle election disputes. Individuals' protection against unreasonable searches have been trashed, habeas corpus is a joke, and double jeopardy has become routine as those exonerated by criminal court face second trials in civil court. Our system of checks and balances has collapsed, the victim of a citizenry more interested in entertaining distraction than eternal vigilance.

Where evil men rule, law cannot protect those who sleep.

The law can't protect anybody anyway. All it can do is react after the fact, after the damage is already done. Eternal vigilance is our only shield against this evil government, and even that only sees malfeasance after black hearts have done their dirty deeds. And black hearts abound in this administration.

Paddle it yerself, Georgie. All yer rats done left...

From News For Real

For three more years America is going to be led by, not just a lame duck President, but a totally discredited President. In a poll taken yesterday 90% percent of those asked said they believed top Bush administration officials are guilty of either illegal or unethical behavior in the CIA leak case.

So where does that leave an un-indicted George W. Bush? There really are only two explanations and neither reflect well on him. First he can claim his closest aides conspired behind his back while he was otherwise occupied. I call that the "Exxon Valdez Defense," -- the captain was not at the helm when a careless crewman ran the ship of state aground. Unfortunately for Captain Bush that defense did not wash for the real captain of the ill-fated tanker. Because, you see, the captain is always responsible.

The other explanation is worse; that the President of the United States knew what was going on, maybe even participated in it.
What went wrong? Where were his handlers?

Busy. They dropped George's leash when handed subpoenas. Junior was unleashed and home alone.

It's a moment new to America, a leader who himself needs to be led, now unled. And the world watching. It's as if the police had come and dragged Edgar Bergen off stage in the middle of a show, leaving Charlie McCarthy, wide-eyed, mouth agape and slumped alone on his stool.

So, what now?

I'm hopin' he fucks up so bad that he'll be removed from office by a crowd of scythe-and-pitchfork-wielding citizens. If we're lucky, they'll be Republican Senators and Congressmen afeared of having to find honest work after November '06. I wish them well in their job search. With no more political power, they'll be lucky to get jobs as Wal-Mart greeters.

FYI

Patrick Fitzgerald's website

Semper Paratus

That means "Always Prepared". It's the motto of the U.S. Coast Guard, the one Federal outfit that did their job during the immediate aftermath of Katrina. One, out of way too many that didn't.

Please go read this article in Time.

In Katrina's aftermath, the Coast Guard rescued or evacuated more than 33,500 people, six times as many as it saved in all of 2004. The Coast Guard was saving lives before any other federal agency--despite the fact that almost half the local Coast Guard personnel lost their own homes in the hurricane. In decimated St. Bernard Parish east of New Orleans, Sheriff Jack Stephens says the Coast Guard was the only federal agency to provide any significant assistance for a full week after the storm. Coast Guard personnel helped his deputies commandeer boats and rescue thousands. So last week, when two representatives from the U.S. Government Accountability Office came to ask how he would fix the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), he had his answer ready: "I would abolish it," he told them. "I'd blow up FEMA and ask the Coast Guard what it needs."
So how is it that an agency that is underfunded and saddled with aging equipment--and about the size of the New York City police department--makes disaster response look like just another job, not a quagmire? How did an organization that, like FEMA, had been subsumed by the soul-killing Department of Homeland Security (DHS), remain a place where people took risks? And perhaps most important, can any of these traits be bottled?
But perhaps the most important distinction of the Coast Guard is that it trusts itself. On the morning of 9/11, Allen, then commander of the Atlantic Area, was getting a physical in Portsmouth, Va. By the time he got back to the office, shortly after the second plane had hit the Twin Towers, a captain in New York had already closed his port. Another captain closed waterways around Baltimore and Washington. They didn't need to ask Allen for permission, and he, in turn, didn't need to ask his commandant for permission to position three large cutters in New York harbor.

That kind of decentralization is essential if a large organization is to move quickly, as any good CEO knows. But the rest of the government has been moving in the opposite direction, centralizing dozens of agencies into the giant DHS bureaucracy.

Please read the article. I have always admired the Coast Guard. Remember, when it comes to rescuing people, they have to go out. They don't have to come back. They've also coxswained* a lot of Mike boats at various places like Normandy and Tarawa.

If I couldn'ta been a Marine, I'da wanted to be a Coastie.

*If a boatswain (bos'n) likes boats, what does a coxswain like? Old joke.

Don't let the door hit ya in the ass, Hattie...

From the WaPo

Harriet Miers withdrew this morning as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority leader who supported Miers, called the withdrawal a victory for "the radical right wing" of the Republican Party.

Shooting at Fort Sumter was a victory for the Confederacy, too.

Bush is getting pissed off. Good. Never the clearest of thinkers, perhaps his judgment will be further clouded by this to the point where he says to his base, "You want a whackjob? I'll give you a whackjob!" And you just know he will.

As far as I'm concerned, BRING IT ON! I hope the Dems got the balls to deal with it.

White House Meltdown

Got tipped off to this one via e-mail from our buddy CAFKIA of Meanderthal and Main and Central. From TPM Cafe by Paul Begala.

This is when a White House staffer earns his pay. The pressure of a federal criminal investigation - especially one in the media spotlight - is bone-crushing. My guess is that the strain is taking a gruesome toll. Already we hear rumors of President Bush exploding at his aides, at the President blaming Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, and anyone else in sight for his woes.

This I know first hand: when The Boss explodes like that, there are two kinds of aides -- those who fight and those who flee. When he came to Washington, Mr. Bush surrounded himself with tough-minded people who seemed not to be afraid to stand up to him. But now his team is loaded with weak-kneed toadies, and Mr. Bush is home alone. Karl Rove, of course, is fending off a potential indictment. His prodigious brain has not entertained another thought in months. (That's why, I suspect, some months back Rove popped off and said liberals wanted to give terrorists psychotherapy after 9/11. It was a loopy, stupid, and distinctly un-Rovian, meltdown - the first public sign that the pressure was causing Karl to crack.)
Mr. Bush would do well to augment his current staff, a C-Team if ever there was one, with some stronger characters. But to read the Bush-Miers correspondence is to gain a disturbing insight into Mr. Bush's personality: he likes having his ass kissed. Ms. Miers' cards and letters to the then-Governor of Texas belong in the Brown-Nosers Hall of Fame. You can be sure the younger and less experienced Bush White House aides are even more obsequious. The last thing this President wants is the first thing he needs: someone to slap his spoiled, pampered, trust-funded, plutocratic, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life cheek and make him face the reality of his foul-ups.
When a White House is under siege, no one wants to talk to anyone. Literally, anything you say can and will be used against you. When you're in a meeting and you see one of your colleagues taking notes, you start to wonder how long it will be before you're interrogated based on her notes. Maybe she's doodling. Or maybe she's digging your grave. The mind tries to focus on the task at hand, but the grand jury is never far from your thoughts.
If the waiting is as painful for the Bushies as I suspect it is, it's only because they know how terrible the toll will be when the truth comes out.

It doesn't exactly distress me that the WH staff is stressed-out over waiting for their due. They for damn sure deserve that and more. As far as I'm concerned, just working for this cabal makes every last one of 'em a traitor.

There's more. Go read.

Family values

We shouldn't be surprised:

...the landfill took in six times the amount of garbage allowed by its permit - revenues that went straight to an investment firm owned by Marvin Bush and A. Scott Andrews, one of President Bush's largest campaign contributors. [my bold]


Go see the King for more examples. Fucking the American people is a family buisness for the Bushies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No More Pardons

Go sign John Conyers' letter to the preznit to not pardon any of the Traitorgate principals. Via The Green Knight by way of Shakey's Sis.

Kinky Update

As we all know, Kinky Friedman is running for Gubernador de Tejas. He has been noticed by the Independent (UK) via Kinky's site.

For the first few months of his campaign, conventional wisdom had it that Friedman's candidacy was itself a joke, a way of sticking it to Texas's luridly headline-worthy establishment without committing himself to much more than a stream of one-liners to entertain the crowds. Certainly, he can be counted on to show up to events in his trademark jeans, cowboy hat and leather waistcoat, puffing on a fat Cuban cigar as he goes through his well-rehearsed paces.
By now, though, it is clear the campaign is much more than a joke. Kinky has been earning himself both attention and warm praise in the Texas media for his witty articulation of a commonly felt disgust at the state's political leadership. He's running at a more than respectable 18 per cent in the latest opinion poll Ð with more than a year to go before election day.


Perhaps most significantly, the Texas establishment is floundering all around him. Tom DeLay, overlord of the state's congressional delegation, has just been charged with conspiracy and money-laundering. Public opinion is appalled at the governor and the legislature for relegating the Texas school system to 50th place among the 50 states.
The road ahead is complicated, however, by Texas's deep resistance to independent candidates. Not only can Friedman not take part in the primaries next March. He actually has to convince tens of thousands of voters not to vote in the primaries and sign a petition supporting his candidacy in the November general election instead. "Save yourselves for Kinky!" is the watchword.


At a typical recent event outside a coffee shop in Wimberley, in the hill country not far from Austin, the Texas capital, Friedman was greeted more like a rock star than a politician. A jokey country band called the Pluckin' Idiots warmed up for him, and the crowd, arrayed on three sides of a courtyard, cheered his every line. Some were liberals, some conservatives. Soon they were all chanting: "Kinky for governor! Why the hell not?" Kinky himself deadpanned: "Bring me whatever you've got. I'll sign t-shirts, posters, bumper stickers. I'll sign anything except bad legislation."

I'd vote for him in a heartbeat if I didn't have to move to Texas. Maybe an absentee ballot...

It's a byooty-ful day...

...in Ah-nold's Neighborhood.

Dick at the Heart of Darkness

Tennessee Guerilla Women brings us Maureen Dowd.

The shocking thing about the trellis of revelations showing Dick Cheney, the self-styled Mr. Strong America, as the central figure in dark conspiracies to juice up a case for war and demonize those who tried to tell the public the truth is how unshocking it all is.

It's exactly what we thought was going on, but we never thought we'd actually hear the lurid details: Cheney and Rummy, the two old compadres from the Nixon and Ford days, in a cabal running the country and the world into the ground, driven by their poisonous obsession with Iraq, while Junior is out of the loop, playing in the gym or on his mountain bike.

Mr. Cheney has been so well protected by his Praetorian guard all these years that it's been hard for the public to see his dastardly deeds and petty schemes. But now, because of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation and candid talk from Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Wilkerson, he's been flushed out as the heart of darkness: all sulfurous strands lead back to the man W. aptly nicknamed Vice.

MoDo's in good form today. Go read.

Rats . . . leaving

Rook has the story of one of the first.

It's closin' in....

Raw Story

Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.
Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove's lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

Anybody who's spent a little time in the real world knows this: If you did the crime, TAKE THE DEAL! When you get found guilty, and you will, the penalty will be more severe for taking up the court's time with a bullshit defense.

Of course, if you didn't do the crime you should fight it. Chances are that you will be convicted anyway.

As long as Rove is convicted, I don't give a shit whether or not he actually did it, although I am sure he did. I don't care. He has to go down. It's the first step on the way to the top.

Hypocrite

More on Repub fluffer Kay Bailey Hutchinson:

BACK in 1999 when the U.S. Senate tried and ultimately acquitted President Bill Clinton after he was impeached by the House, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas had no doubt about the seriousness of the alleged crime. Clinton stood accused of lying under oath and obstructing the investigation of his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky.

"What would we be telling Americans," Hutchison asked, "if the Senate of the United States were to conclude: The president lied under oath as an element of a scheme to obstruct the due process of law, but we chose to look the other way. I cannot make that choice. I cannot look away."

[. . .]

If Hutchison found perjury and obstruction reason enough to throw a president out of office, surely those offenses would be sufficient cause to charge people if they obstructed a probe of a potential violation of national security laws. The unmasking of a covert CIA operative can have life and death consequences for previous associates met over the years in countries around the world.

Public officials such as Sen. Hutchison do not enhance their stature when they seem to support one standard of justice for officials of the opposing party and another for their own. What was good for the Democratic goose in the Clinton impeachment trial should be good enough for the Republican gander in the Plame investigation.


From the Houston Chronicle via Maru.

I love this. The Repubs are showing their hypocrisy daily and they're doing it for all the world to see. Americans might have painfully short memories, but the GOP beat the Clinton impeachment drum so loudly, people can't forget. Do any Repubs have credibility anymore?

Vice President for Torture

That's the headline for this WaPo editorial:

VICE PRESIDENT Cheney is aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch: He is proposing that Congress legally authorize human rights abuses by Americans. "Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it. Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture.


The NYTimes weighs in as well:

Amid all the natural and political disasters it faces, the White House is certainly tireless in its effort to legalize torture. This week, Vice President Dick Cheney proposed a novel solution for the moral and legal problems raised by the use of American soldiers to abuse prisoners and the practice of turning captives over to governments willing to act as proxies in doing the torturing. Mr. Cheney wants to make it legal for the Central Intelligence Agency to do this wet work.
President Bush's threat to veto the entire military budget over this issue was bizarre enough by itself, considering that the amendment has the support of more than two dozen former military leaders, including Colin Powell. They know that torture doesn't produce reliable intelligence and endangers Americans' lives.

But Mr. Cheney's proposal was even more ludicrous. It would give the president the power to allow government agencies outside the Defense Department (the administration has in mind the C.I.A.) to mistreat and torture prisoners as long as that behavior was part of "counterterrorism operations conducted abroad" and they were not American citizens. That would neatly legalize the illegal prisons the C.I.A. is said to be operating around the world and obviate the need for the torture outsourcing known as extraordinary rendition. It also raises disturbing questions about Iraq, which the Bush administration has falsely labeled a counterterrorism operation.

Absolutely despicable. About what I've come to expect from that homunculus (reference to the bad guys in "Fullmetal Alchemist").

As a Nation that tells the world how much we respect human rights and how they should too, we've either got to try to live up to our ideals or just fuckin' scrap 'em. I prefer the former.

Still Hungry?

Another Repug needs to eat his words (via Is That Legal):

That Was Now, This Is Then


John Hinderaker yesterday:
Tomorrow may bring indictments of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby on charges that can charitably be described as trivial. Tonight, one of our readers urged us to link to President Bush's great speech to the Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives' group rather than being distracted by the minutiae of the day.

John Hinderaker, December 17, 1998:
"Like many others, we have been frustrated by the apparent inability of much of the American public to take the Clinton scandals seriously. "It's not about sex," we have patiently repeated to our benighted friends. "It's about perjury. It's about obstruction of justice. The sex is only incidental. At most it was the motive for the crimes. You wouldn't think murder was unimportant just because the motive for the murder was sex, would you?" So goes our argument."


Maybe those poor folks at Powerline need a hug.

Gary Hart Commentary

Via Americablog:

Here is the crime in outing of CIA agent

It is now fashionable among columnists supporting the Bush administration, New York Times journalist Judith Miller, Robert Novak and the increasing network of senior administration officials implicated in the Valerie Plame Wilson outing to say, "So what? Where's the crime?"

The federal statute making it a criminal penalty to knowingly divulge the identity of anyone working undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency was not enacted in a vacuum. In the early 1970s, in part as a result of the radicalization of individuals and groups over the Vietnam War, a former CIA employee named Philip Agee wrote a book revealing the identities of several dozen CIA employees, many under deep cover and some including agency station chiefs in foreign capitals.

Many of the countries in which those CIA employees were working themselves had extremely radical and violent elements stirred to hatred over their opposition to America's conduct in the Vietnam War. So, by revealing their identities, Agee had knowingly and willingly placed these American citizens at risk. Violent consequences were predictable.

Richard Welch, a brilliant Harvard-educated classicist, had been stationed in Greece as CIA station chief only a few months before he was murdered, by a radical Greek terrorist organization called the 17th of November, in the doorway of his house in Athens on Dec. 23, 1975. Had Agee not divulged his name, there is every reason to believe that Welch would be alive today after decades of loyal service to his country.

...The political irony of all this is that conservative elements in America have always proclaimed themselves more concerned than anyone else with national security, the sanctity of classified information, protection of sources, support for our intelligence and military services, and so on. At radical times in our past, irresponsible leftist groups thought it was their duty to try to reveal the names of CIA agents. Now, under a conservative administration, it is these conservative national security champions who are saying, with regard to the "outing" of a CIA undercover officer, "Where's the crime?"

...So, there's the crime. To casually and willfully endanger the life of an undercover CIA agent is a felony. You either believe in taking the laws of the United States seriously or you do not. Citizens - even highly placed ones - do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey and which they will not. Miller and her publisher may think she's a hero, but I don't. It is well established that there is no First Amendment protection for a journalist or anyone else to withhold evidence of a crime.

There is one final irony to this story. On Christmas Eve in 1975, I got a call at my home from the director of the CIA, William Colby. He asked if I would intervene with the White House to obtain presidential approval to have Welch buried at Arlington National Cemetery, a hero fallen in service to his country. I quickly called President Ford's chief of staff on Colby's behalf and made the request. Within two hours, the president had agreed to sign the order permitting Welch to be buried at Arlington.

The chief of staff's name was Richard Cheney.

Unbelievable

ABC's Terry Moran: Has Vice President Cheney ever lied to the American people?

Did you see Snotty's face after he was asked that question? I thought he would finally break down and either laugh insanely and lose control of his bodily funcions, or begin sobbing uncontrollably. Then you saw something go 'click' behind his eyes and he lied again with a straight face. Amazing. I'm no pshrink but anybody who can do that has some serious wiring problems. Did we collect every sociopath in the country and turn the White House into a halfway house for 'em?

Hungry?

Time for Repubs to eat their words:

Bill Frist (R-TN): To not remove President Clinton for grand jury perjury lowers uniquely the Constitution's removal standard, and thus requires less of the man who appoints all federal judges than we require of those judges themselves.

I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the President. He is not above the law. If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail.

Lindsey Graham: Should he be impeached? Very quickly; the hardest decision I think I will ever make. Learning that the president lied to the grand jury about sex, I still believe that every president of the United States, regardless of the matter they called to testify about before a grand jury should testify truthfully and if they don't they should be subject to losing their job.

I believe that about Bill Clinton and I'll believe that about the next president. If it had been a Republican, I would have still believed that and I would hope that if a Republican person had done all this that some of us would've went (sic) over and told him, You need to leave office. [em in original]

[. . .]


Lots more at Jane's.

All you tight-assed Jesus freaks who think an extra-marital blowjob is the end-all better get in touch with reality. If you hadn't impeached Clinton, we wouldn't be in this position right now. If your boys would have been out getting their cocks sucked instead of plotting the rip-off of the American people, they wouldn't be facing the possiblity of another Watergate right now. Idiots, morons, assholes, the lot of you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Miers Watch

Michael Stickings over at The Reaction, a guy I love because he tries to be as objective as possible, has been on a Miers watch. As he explains it:

...mostly focusing on the schisms on the right (but adding some liberal and moderate reaction, too -- plus my own views). So far, I've done three installments...


Here, here, and here. Check him out if you haven't already.

Come on down!

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag from Steve Clemons:

An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.

More soon.

-- Steve Clemons

2000

I'm too pissed off. Go see Glen.

The Italian Connection

From UPI

The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources.

This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration.
There can be few more serious charges against a government than going to war on false pretences, or having deliberately inflated or suppressed the evidence that justified the war.

And since no WMD were found in Iraq after the 2003 war, despite the evidence from the U.N. inspections of the 1990s that demonstrated that Saddam Hussein had initiated both a nuclear and a biological weapons program, the strongest plank in the Bush administration's case for war has crumbled beneath its feet.
The marketing is over but the war goes on. The press is baying and the law closes in. The team of Bush loyalists in the White House is demoralized and braced for disaster.

As my Swabbie friends would say, "Stand by for a ram." I hope it takes three days just to read the indictments.

Rain

It's raining in New York again. I'm sick of it. Yes, it could be a lot worse, but I work in the shit. I'm so waterlogged, I'm waiting for moss to start growing in the crack of my ass.

Quote of the Morning

From the CultureGhost:

It would seem that as a nation we are becoming stupider by the hour. Go ahead, teach intelligent fuckin' design, your children are already bloody morons to begin with...

Indictment fever

Okay, I'm out of my mind. Jane and ReddHedd have had me entralled every day over the ins and outs of this case and now I feel like I'm coming to the end of an Agatha Christie novel. I wanna know whodunit. Gimmie an 'I'. Gimmie an 'N'. Gimmie a 'D' . . . Come on, Fitz, let's bring it.

National Treasure

------------------------------------------------------
MSNBC Breaking News
------------------------------------------------------

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has died, NBC News has learned.


We've lost more than we will ever realize.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Silencing the Dissenters

Via The Tattered Coat:

Months ago, in response to a post I wrote about the military blogger Colby Buzzell, Kate of Broken Windows told me to pay attention to Daniel Goetz, a soldier writing a blog called All the King's Horses.
Regrettably, I never followed her advice. And now, as Lizzy, Fred, and Navyswan tell us, it is too late.

It is too late because Daniel has been silenced, against his will. And not only has he been silenced - he has been forced to publicly declare himself "a supporter of the administration and of her policies."


Freedom of speech, my ass. Go read his blog before they make him pull the whole damn thing down.

The Fed

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag from Jesse Lee, the Stakeholder looks at Mr. Andrea Mitchell's replacement.

Heh . . .

You gotta go see Ed.

Poor Baby

From the NY Daily News:

Bushies feeling
the boss' wrath


..."He's like the lion in winter," observed a political friend of Bush. "He's frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone."

Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss' wrath.

"This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help," said a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts. "This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."

The specter of losing Rove, his only truly irreplaceable assistant, lies at the heart of Bush's distress. But a string of political reversals, including growing opposition to the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and Harriet Miers' bungled Supreme Court nomination, have also exacted a personal toll.

Presidential advisers and friends say Bush is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the "blame game." They describe him as beset but unbowed, convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

At the same time, these sources say Bush, who has a long history of keeping staffers in their place, has lashed out at aides as his political woes have mounted.

"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about," said one Bush insider. "Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share."

The vice president remains Bush's most trusted political confidant. Even so, the Daily News has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the runup to the Iraq war that have been seized on by Bush critics.

Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."


Full article is at the link above. Tsk, tsk, ain't life a bitch?

Bombing Reporters, an Insider's View

From Christopher Allbritton's Back to Iraq:


Three car bombs in Baghdad

BAGHDAD - There are reports of a mortar attack and two large car bombs at the Sheraton Hotel, home of Fox News and, next door in the Palestine, the Associated Press. There has been a third car bomb attack on the al-Sadeer Hotel up the road from me.

[UPDATE 10/24/05 6:03:43 PM: Now it appears it's three car bombs at the Palestine/Sheraton compound instead of mortar... No attack on al-Sadeer as near as I can tell. CNN's footage is chilling; two smaller explosions in front of AP cameras on the Palestine Hotel, and then a third huge explosion. As you watch, you can see a tanker truck cement mixer enter the compound before exploding in a massive cloud of fire, dust and smoke.

This means they knew where the cameras are. They know how to get into the compound. And there's a good chance the first two explosions were designed to get journalists' attention, draw them to the windows and then explode the third one.

[No good word on casulaties yet. Nothing reliable.]

Things are confusing right now and we're unsure what has happened, but that's the latest. The blasts rattled my windows and I'm three or so kilometers away.
Note: emphasis mine.

Pulling Out?

Dem Vet asks the burning question:

If the 1600 Crew pulls out the Miers nomination, is that SCOTUS Interruptus?

Heh.

Must be a lot of red ink...

Cleek reports the following:

Yahoo (via BoingBoing) reports that the tattoo business in New Orleans is booming, as people rush to get some kind of Katrina reminder injected into their skin. This reminds me... When Mrs Cleek and I went to the tattoo place last weekend (in Raleigh, NC), the guy who was doing her tattoo said that he'd had two different people from New Orleans come in to get tattoos in the past week, and each had paid with their FEMA money cards.


Amazing.

What's this blog worth?

Via Maurinsky:


My blog is worth $86,939.16.
How much is your blog worth?



Hey, Gord; how about we sell this sucker and build us a Bonneville car? Heh.

Texan God-botherer

Following up on Fixer's post,The Guardian weighs in on Karen Hughes:

To anyone from this side of the Atlantic, with the possible exception of Tony Blair, the notion that we are represented diplomatically and publicly in the Middle East by an Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy who's a Texan God-botherer and has presumably been responsible for Bush's many displays of crassness and illiteracy, is not good news. She managed to raise eyebrows and blood pressure readings with a remark comparing Osama Bin Laden's terrorists to the US pro-abortion lobby in their 'lack of respect for human life'.

Them Limeys seem somehow to have gotten a good grasp on the English language. Go read.

When Divas Collide

Alexander Cockburn writes on the catfight going on at the NYTimes. He must have read my post.

Would you pay $49.95 to watch women wrestling in mud? I did this morning, and it was well worth the expense. I get the New York Times Online and until a couple of weeks ago all the features were free. Then, as some of you have no doubt discovered, the NYT's columnists started to have only their opening sentences on free display. To get the full columns of Krugman, Rich, Dowd and the others you have to pony up $49.95 a year's subscription to Times Select.

I held off until today when the Times nailed the sale with Dowd's column titled, "Woman of Mass Destruction" and her ominous opening sentence, "I've always liked Judy Miller".

Miller has been the sport of a million stories and there was nothing much by way of startling revelations in what Dowd wrote, but in operatic terms it was as though Maria Callas had suddenly rushed onto the stage and slugged Elizabeth Schwartzkopf.
Moral: Don't ever take Maureen Dowd's chair at a White House briefing.

Lightweight stuff, but entertaining as all get out to this old fart!

Update:

More on this scintillating subject from TPM Cafe:

Maureen Dowd's remarkable column ("Woman of Mass Destruction") takes us into the far reaches of the sausage factory, offering up the rare sight of one Times staff member all but calling another a liar in public. Dowd's tale of being bounced from her rightful seat in the White House briefing room by a big-footing Miller is sure to elicit leering shouts of "cat fight!" from the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. (Note to Geraldo: Judy didn't nudge Maureen; she made a firmly worded request.) But her main point is deadly serious. At the end of the day, all a newspaper has to sell is its credibility. Any reporter who can't or won't play straight with her colleagues, her editors, her publisher or the public shouldn't be allowed to work at The New York Times.


Then they go and get all serious on us. Make some good points, though.

Bunker Mentality? Archie or Edith?

William Rivers Pitt

I wrote to Ambassador Joseph Wilson last week to ask how he and his wife were bearing up, and to remind them that they had a lot of friends. "The outpouring of support has been of great comfort to us these past two years," he wrote back. "The stakes are enormous. This is all about whether our government can take us to war on lies without any fear of being held to account, and whether our democracy can survive the coalition of fascist forces that have seized control of the levers of power."
Psssst ... Joe Wilson is right. They are fascists, and this is what fascists do. They make people afraid. They turn a populace against an outsider while at the same time denying that populace information or even hope of a peaceful resolution. They mobilize for attack through intimidation and scare-tactics. Ask Herman Goering, who explained during the Nuremburg trials, "Voice or no voice, 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 greater danger."

Welcome to the bunker mentality, courtesy of George W. Bush and the folks who brought you the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, the escape and continued freedom of Osama bin Laden, the annihilation of faith in the business community by way of Enron, the annihilation of any sense of personal security by way of Katrina, the annihilation of our standing on the international stage, the big lie about weapons of mass destruction, and an awful lot of dead American soldiers. They used September 11 against you to get these things, or to get away with these things, depending on the need at hand. The result is a proud, great nation on its knees.

This whole situation with Fitzgerald and Plame and Wilson and Libby and Rove and the rest is but a symptom of the larger disease we endure. This White House bunkered itself in way back in 2001, relying only upon ideologically-vetted yes-men who all agreed upon a singular course of action. If Ms. Hutchison's performance is any indication, and it is, the walls of the bunker are closing in all around them.

Their failure to deal with straightforward facts, their reliance upon the idea that political ideology and political goals can render straightforward facts malleable and subject to change, their deliberate decision to run the government and manage the people by way of a Cold War mentality that uses fear as the prime motivator, their desire to control information through aspirations of absolute authority, has delivered the rest of us into the bunker with them.

It did not used to be this way. It does not have to be this way.

We're workin' on it, Bill.

Novak was the first

Ha! The big, pussy-ass coward rolled over right off. Gave up his pals without a thought. So much for having principles of any kind.

[. . .]

A critical early success for Fitzgerald was winning the cooperation of Robert D. Novak, the Chicago Sun-Times columnist who named Plame in a July 2003 story and attributed key information to "two senior administration officials." Legal sources said Novak avoided a fight and quietly helped the special counsel's inquiry, although neither the columnist nor his attorney have said so publicly. [my em]

[. . .]


No wonder he wouldn't say anything. The Repubs would have shut off his access. Creep.

Great thanks: Gillard

Apropos of nothing

But I've made reference to the little town in Germany where my family lives (everybody but me). Well, they've finally joined the 21st Century. They got themselves a website (My family got their first telephone about 20 years ago. Things change slowly here.)

Welcome to Hauenstein, one of my favorite places in the world:


Hey, I can see my house from here

Slave labor and cronyism

The Small Business Administration is denying over 90% of the loan applications to Louisiana businesses destroyed or disrupted by Katrina. Same for home loans to Katrina victims.

After Hurricane Charlie struck Florida last year, the SBA approved 42% of all loan applications . . . .

It's very, very disheartening to think that of the HUNDREDS of business owners who went on a wild goose chase for SBA application hints and info, only about 10% of us will be deemed "worthy" of assistance (unlike our favored neighbors in Florida and, presumably, Tejas).


Go see the King.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Miers

... When you've made both Dianne Feinstein and Sam Brownback edgy, you are seriously tanking...

Oh, Timmeh

Digby:

Surprise, suprise. Nobody asked (and he didn't offer) an explanation about his own role in the Plame affair this morning despite discussing it in great depth during the program. Apparently, there is nothing even remotely relevant about the fact that his only public statement sounds like he's covering his ass from here to next Tuesday:

[. . .]


I wish Frank Rich woulda squeezed his nuts a bit this morning.

Update:

Joe at AMERICAblog has more thoughts on the subject:

...Um, Tim, great drama there. But of all the people on the show, only you really know the answer to that question. YOU know the answer...and you've known it for two years. Let AMERICAblog refresh your memory:...


Update:

I heard the Repub whore Kay Bailey Hutchinson say this on Timmeh today and I forgot about it:

"I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."


Sniff, sniff. What's that I smell? Could it be the stench of hypocrisy?

Thanks: Taegan Goddard

Bullshit on parade

Propaganda Kommissar Karen Hughes (whom the Alternate Brain designates as the most unfuckable woman in the world) is still trying to spread the Chimp administration's bullshit throughout the Islamic world. Ain't working:

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Karen Hughes, who has faced a rocky road since being named Washington's public relations chief, answered tough questions Friday about the invasion of Iraq and wrongly stated that Saddam Hussein gassed to death "hundreds of thousands" of his people.

Although the U.S. undersecretary for public diplomacy twice repeated the claim after being challenged by journalists, Gordon Johndroe, a State Department official traveling with Hughes, later called The Associated Press to say she misspoke.

[. . .]


When is the chimpette gonna realize, the rest of the world ain't like the U.S.; people don't believe shit just because you say it's so.

[. . .]

One student said the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States should be taken as a warning to America for interfering in the affairs of other countries. Another compared Bush to Hitler.

"Your policies are creating hostilities among Muslims," student Lailatul Qadar told Hughes. "It's Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and maybe it's going to be in Indonesia, I don't know. Who's the terrorist? Bush or us Muslims?"

[. . .]


Yep, sure winning those hearts and minds, aren't ya.

Hat tip: Maru

Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure

Frank Rich cuts through the shit on the "why" of Bush's War that may come out due to the Traitorgate invesigation.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda on 9/11. There was scant Pentagon planning for securing the peace should bad stuff happen after America invaded. Why, exactly, did we go to war in Iraq?
Maybe. But the leak investigation now reaching its climax in Washington continues to offer big clues. We don't yet know whether Lewis (Scooter) Libby or Karl Rove has committed a crime, but the more we learn about their desperate efforts to take down a bit player like Joseph Wilson, the more we learn about the real secret they wanted to protect: the "why" of the war.
For Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush to get what they wanted most, slam-dunk midterm election victories, and for Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney to get what they wanted most, a war in Iraq for reasons predating 9/11, their real whys for going to war had to be replaced by fictional, more salable ones. We wouldn't be invading Iraq to further Rovian domestic politics or neocon ideology; we'd be doing so instead because there was a direct connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda and because Saddam was on the verge of attacking America with nuclear weapons. The facts and intelligence had to be fixed to create these whys; any contradictory evidence had to be dismissed or suppressed.

Daddy Frank rolls this one into a tight, plausible ball. Go read.

Woman of Mass Destruction

Maureen Dowd on Judy Miller

Once when I was covering the first Bush White House, I was in The Times' seat in the crowded White House press room, listening to an administration official's background briefing. Judy had moved on from her tempestuous tenure as a Washington editor to be a reporter based in New York, but she showed up at this national security affairs briefing.

At first she leaned against the wall near where I was sitting, but I noticed that she seemed agitated about something. Midway through the briefing, she came over and whispered to me, "I think I should be sitting in the Times seat."

It was such an outrageous move, I could only laugh. I got up and stood in the back of the room, while Judy claimed what she felt was her rightful power perch.

She never knew when to quit. That was her talent and her flaw. Sorely in need of a tight editorial leash, she was kept on no leash at all, and that has hurt this paper and its trust with readers. She more than earned her sobriquet "Miss Run Amok."

Judy's stories about WMD fit too perfectly with the White House's case for war. She was close to Ahmad Chalabi, the con man who was conning the neocons to knock out Saddam so he could get his hands on Iraq, and I worried that she was playing a leading role in the dangerous echo chamber that former Senator Bob Graham dubbed "incestuous amplification." Using Iraqi defectors and exiles, Mr. Chalabi planted bogus stories with Judy and other credulous journalists.

Even last April, when I wrote a column critical of Mr. Chalabi, she fired off e-mail to me defending him.
Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.

Go read my Wild Irish Rose.

Intelligence 'reform'

Yup, something else the Chimp touches goes to shit. Good read from David Ignatius via Laura Rozen.

[. . .]

The intelligence-reform impulse led President Bush, after some foot-dragging, to back the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission by creating a director of national intelligence to oversee the nation's 15 spy agencies and appointing veteran diplomat John Negroponte to fill the post. But before the new structure was in place, the president tapped Republican Rep. Porter Goss as director of the CIA. Goss was accompanied by a team of right-wing congressional staffers, quickly dubbed the "Gosslings" at Langley, who set out to cuff the CIA's headstrong Directorate of Operations into line.

[. . .]

The aim was to revitalize U.S. intelligence. But rather than consolidate and streamline the overlapping agencies, the new system has added even more boxes to the organization chart. The result has been a further layering of the intelligence community's bureaucracy and further demoralization among career intelligence officers. "Adding more layers causes indecision and confusion in the ranks, and leads to a wait-and-see, risk-averse attitude," warns Richard Stoltz, a former head of the CIA's clandestine service.

[. . .]

The really dangerous problems, though, lie in the heart of the CIA -- the Directorate of Operations (DO), which recruits the spies and runs the covert actions. The Gosslings have made a real mess of things, driving out a half-dozen top officers, most recently the DO's No. 2 official, 35-year veteran Robert Richer. Why these inexperienced congressional staffers thought they had better judgment than career professionals, many of them former military officers, is beyond me. [my ems]

[. . .]


I wonder if we'll have any working infrastructure left by the time we get Chimpy out. If any of you remember, this is the same course the Agency took in the waning years of Vietnam, finally ending with their failure in predicting the fervor and consequences of the Fundamentalist Islamic revolution in Iran. We've made enemies of most of the Islamic world, the time we need the folks at Langley to be at peak effectiveness. The Chimp's policies have made them less effective and distracted. Way to go, idiots.

Update:

A somewhat related post at Steve's.

And BTW, Blogger sucks wet monkey ass this morning.

Excuses

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of family-owned land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp.

[. . .]


[. . .]

If you're looking for your excuse to withdraw the nomination, George, this is the best you're going to get, buddy.

[. . .]


Read the whole thing at the Wire.