Sunday, July 31, 2005

Penguins

Because Keg requested...





Gentoo and King penguins. Gotta love them.

by Robster @ 7/31/2005 03:07:00 PM PERMALink
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Sunday blognews

First, via Odub, Benny Hinn's wife tells you about the God's colonic, the Holy Ghost Enema. Amen.


The rest via BuzzFlash,

Mahablog does great footwork on the claim by the right wing bloggers that Air America Radio (AAR) stole money from a charity. It comes down to a single source item from a news source that may or may not exist. Looking deeper, you find that the company that once owned AAR may have mishandled some money. The post at Mahablog is long, but a very worthwhile piece of reading.


From WaPo, news that Congress will be allowing bomb grade Uranium sales.

A provision tucked into the 1,724-page energy bill that Congress is poised to enact today would ease export restrictions on bomb-grade uranium, a lucrative victory for a Canadian medical manufacturer and its well-wired Washington lobbyists.

The Burr Amendment -- named for its sponsor, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) -- would reverse a 13-year-old U.S. policy banning exports of weapons-grade uranium unless the recipients agree to start converting their reactors to use less-dangerous uranium. The Senate rejected the measure last month after critics in both parties warned that it would accelerate the worldwide proliferation of nuclear materials, but a House-Senate conference committee agreed this week to include it in the final bill.

Lobbyists making America safer for Nukes. Gotta love it. Idiots.



Also from WaPo, the US has been kicked out of Uzbekistan. Not we have decided to vacate the land of a repressive regime that is known for boiling people alive as a form of torture, but they kicked us out.

Don't they know that if you are a US friendly dictator, and turn on the US, you will be invaded and deposed? Just ask Saddam or Noriega...



Have you ever been told that Halliburton isn't doing well with it's business in Iraq? This usually something you are told if you accuse Halliburton of war profiteering. Apparently, business is looking better...

by Robster @ 7/31/2005 02:41:00 PM PERMALink
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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Saturday. Why does the Right hate America?

Please note the use of hyperbole in the title.

Via Buzzflash, a BBC piece on howthe US government is making the UK nervous. How? Buy putting a Qaeda handbook online.

A member of the London Assembly Conservatives stumbled upon the content of the site while doing research in the wake of the London bombings.

Richard Barnes, Conservative spokesman on Policing and Resilience, said he was "horrified" the Justice Department was promoting "full instructions on how to be an urban terrorist".

"I hope the US government will see sense and remove this immediately. We need to do everything we can to make London safe."

The manual includes advice on how to go undetected on crowded public transport, how to communicate and avoid detection by the security services, and how to transport weapons and stop deterioration of explosives.

But a Justice Department official said parts of the manual had been withheld because the JD "does not want to aid in educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism".

He told the BBC that the US public had a right to know "how these groups operate and some of the methods they use".

The document was freely available on the internet and - as a piece of evidence in a US trial - through the court system.

"We have no intention of taking it down," he added. "Although if we receive a request from the British government we would obviously re-evaluate the situation."
So the bad parts were kept off the web? Oh. Well all righty then! I feel so much better...


Via RawStory, a "Blue Star" mother relates her story about how she was attacked with profanity and found her love for her children under fire when she contacted a mothers of service-members group to correct errors on their website.

Also important is the second half of the articel. She tells how her family had to buy armor and other items for her son.

Marsha’s frustration is palpable. She’s against the war and is not shy about it, and it’s not simply about the effort to tie Iraq to Sept. 11. It’s about Chris.

Marsha tells how her father, a former Marine, supported the war and maintained that the troops would have everything they needed.

“My dad said, I know they’re getting everything they need,” she recounts. “I thought, okay, what can you say? He’s your father.”

“Six months later, he was having to send things to his grandson to help assist in the war effort, that he did not have.”

Marsha says her father helped pay for body armor. Her son, Chris, is a communications specialist.

But it gets worse... They also have to send him basic tools for him to do his job.

“We’ve sent him extra armor,” she says. “He did have new armor when he left, it was military issued, it was not the best – there are police officers on the street who have better armor, and I know that because I have a degree on criminal justice. We’ve had to send him tools so he can literally do his job of repairing radios.”

Beyond armor, she says she’s also sent basic tools like sockets and wrenches. She laughs as she says it, but she’s obviously pained by how little support she’s seen from those who would send her son to fight, and perhaps to die.

“I did send him a whole ratchet set,” she recalls. “It’s outrageous. We have to pay to send him things, and of course we have to send him things all the time, hair gel even, for instance. It costs a lot of money to send those packages. I took three small boxes to the post office last week and spent $40.”

Truly sad. If this is how the RNC supports troops, I never want to see what happens if they turn on them.

by Robster @ 7/30/2005 02:10:00 PM PERMALink
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Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Cat Bloggin 072905 edition

Quick quiz: Which is the cat, which is the penguin?

If you haven't guessed, we went to the aquarium last weekend.
Actually, this is a teaching aquarium for middle school science classes. The Newport Aquarium is much larger, and has the only Shark Ray in the western hemisphere.

And here is Sweetpea.
Nope, no frickin' laser beam on her head. She is actually a shark, but her front body is very similar to a ray.

But back to the kitties, here is June, doing some spring cleaning. (June has no concept of time, and doesn't realize that summer is here)

And Cleo makes three.
Oh to be a lazy little kitten...

Or a turtle. Turtles are cool. Especially loggerheads named Denver.

by Robster @ 7/29/2005 04:58:00 PM PERMALink
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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Murdoch buys MySpace, community revolts.

BUMP + UPDATE2 Kid Hobo's site is back up, but all data is gone, although he is rebuilding it. Seems it may have had something to do with the MSM asking a couple questions of MySpace. Caching of the site has been blocked by MySpace, and the story from them, according to KH follows,
Apparently Terry Everet (sp?), the VP over at NewsCorp issued a statement to the LA Times saying that they wouldn't delete my profile. (Now they're totally back into a corner) My best guess is that someone else then at MySpace said that my site was streaming 'porn', so they had to take it down for a few moments to purge it of some nasty content. That was their cover... because I never saw any porn coming from my site, I would know! I'm thinking 'Yeah right!' is more like it.
Anyway, it is back up, and you can read about what has been going on at the link in the first update.
--------------
BUMP + UPDATE! MySpace has deleted Kid Hobo's Rupert Murdoch profile.

Kid Hobo is currently in contact with the LATimes writer who wrote the piece about MySpace sites spoofing Murdoch's purchase of that little corner of the internet where the cool kids hang out. I'll keep you updated.

Hopefully, this will be a nice bit of egg-like substance on Rupert's face...
--------------
One of the regular posters over at NewsHounds, Kid Hobo, chose to protest by setting up a page to poke fun at the devourer of the media himself, Rupert Murdoch. The story starts here, at the Off Topic Forum, where several of the readers are myspace members. Kid Hobo's page is here. Do yourself a favor and read the comments after you read about the plans of "Rupert".

Kerri is such a polite lady. I'm glad she expresses herself with such reservation...

But the story gets better.

Hobo made the LA Times.
Under musical preferences, one says, "Yes, money is music to my ears."

"I encourage my television and radio stations to become Republican soapboxes," another profile says, adding, "There are important benefits to fascism."
What would be one of the best things to happen to Hobo?
News Corp. spokeswoman Teri Everett said the company was aware of the Murdoch profiles.

"But asking for their removal is something we wouldn't consider," she said.
Yes. Censorship. Because it would be a great bit of free press about the oppressive Murdoch regime...

It has been great fun to watch this little subversive gem take off from idea to phenom.


If you want news on what is going on, check out my links. Especially AmericaBlog, Blah3, Booman, Eschaton, and Pam's House Blend. More bad news for Rove, human rights abuses in Iran (and giggling freeper responses), religious fundamentalists cuddle up to hate groups, Dean goes all normal and reasonable all over Tom "Bomb Mecca" Tancredo.

I wish I had more time today. I bet the document dump is going to be great tomorrow, around 6 or 7. Problem is, all us geeky bloggers will be watching scifi.

by Robster @ 7/28/2005 08:37:00 PM PERMALink
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Blogger's sabbatical

I have some serious writing to do over the next two days, so posts may be rare. In the mean time, visit my links.

or browse Kontraband...

Thanks,

Robster

by Robster @ 7/26/2005 08:16:00 PM PERMALink
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Judge Roberts - Federalist Society

Rundown of Roberts and his Federalist Society connections.

He can't seem to remember if he is a member of the FS. From the Guardian,

Whether he's a member or not shouldn't matter, said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

``Obviously it wasn't central in his life. But it's not like being a member of the Communist Party,'' Cornyn said after meeting Roberts. ``The Federalist Society is an organization that hosts debates from people with a lot of different viewpoints. I think serves a very useful purpose for lawyers and people interested in these viewpoints. But I don't think that should be a limiting factor at all.''

Then why are it's members too afraid or ashamed to admit they either belong to it, or even what it stands for? Could it be an ultraconservative judicial group bent on returning the US to the 1930s? That is what being an originalist means, right? Or is he a constructionist? So it isn't that simple, but I don't like either, and if you like clean air, a 40 hour workweek, the right to vote and have it counted, then you shouldn't.

But he is mentioned as a member in a speech about the FS.

Is this another definition of "is" deal that the RNC has become so fond of lately? Sort of like the definition of treason?

by Robster @ 7/25/2005 09:40:00 PM PERMALink
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Monday Rove/Libby/Novak leak info

As CarpetBagger points out, Frank Rich of NYTimes wrote about how it took 12 hours for Gonzalez to tell the White House to preserve documents related to the Valerie Plame Wilson leak. This was easily enough time for the destruction of evidence. Not exactly new, but interesting.

CarpetBagger goes on to point out that it may be worse than 12 hours...
On Friday, Sept. 26, 2003, the CIA directed the Justice Department to launch a criminal probe into the leak. Three days later, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2003, the WH counsel's office was formally notified about the investigation. And then 12 hours after that, Gonzales told White House staff to preserve materials. In other words, the amount of time Bush aides were given to, perhaps, discard and destroy relevant evidence after the DoJ began its work wasn't just 12 hours; it was several days.

It's not as if the Gonzales notification — on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003 — told Rove & Co. something new. MSNBC told the world about the investigation that Friday night. This means Rove & Co. learned on Friday night that they were being investigated, but weren't formally told to start securing relevant materials until Tuesday morning. In case the MSNBC report wasn't clear enough, a front-page article was published in the Washington Post about the Justice Department's criminal investigation a full 48 hours before WH staffers were told to preserve potentially incriminating evidence.

There are new questions about when Gonzales told WH Chief of Staff Andy Card about the investigation, but this seems largely irrelevant. Card and the rest of the Bush gang didn't need word from the WH counsel's office on Sept. 29, 2003, to know that an investigation was underway; they, like the rest of us, learned about the probe days before hand.

The Bush gang didn't have 12 hours to cover their tracks — they had a whole weekend.
Makes you feel good that they were so on top of a leak that compromized national security. This attitude of half-assed work is what would get a normal person fired or put in jail. But in Bushworld, you get promoted!


Wilson neighbors didn't know (USAToday) Valerie was a CIA employee of any kind, via Booman.
As I finished reading the column, Joe ventured out onto his deck and offered a neighborly hello. I held up the paper and yelled over, "I had no idea about Valerie!" Joe looked stricken and gestured to me to keep my voice down. I immediately realized the "outing" of Valerie as a covert CIA operative had had a devastating effect on the Wilson family. In the weeks to follow, I came to understand just how harrowing the disclosure was. Obviously, the identification of Valerie meant an end to her decades-long career. It also meant the country had lost an essential part of the services provided by someone who was an expert on weapons of mass destruction.
Put that in your debunking file. Use as needed.


Not sure where I saw this, but Rep Waxman wrote a letter to Bush regarding the moving goalposts on Rove's involvement in the CIA leak. Waxman wrote
Your new standard is not consistent with your obligations to enforce Executive Order 12958, which governs the protection of national security secrets. The executive order states: "Officers and employees of the United States Government ... shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently ... disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified."3 Under the executive order, the available sanctions include "reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions."4

Under the executive order, you may not wait until criminal intent and liability are proved by a prosecutor. Instead, you have an affirmative obligation to take "appropriate and prompt corrective action."5 And the standards of proof are much different. A criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald is investigating, requires a finding that Mr. Rove "intentionally disclose[d]" the identity of a covert agent.6 In contrast, the administrative sanctions under Executive Order 12958 can be imposed without a finding of intent. Under the express terms of the executive order, you are required to impose administrative sanctions – such as removal of office or termination of security clearance – if Mr. Rove or other officials acted "negligently" in disclosing or confirming information about Ms. Wilson's identity.7
So Bush is acting against the rules by not sanctioning Rove AND Libby for their involvement as it is already known.

Will Bush do the right thing? Yeah. Riiiiiiight.

by Robster @ 7/25/2005 05:50:00 PM PERMALink
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CIA Leak (Turd Blossom Gate) statistics

A quick read of important numbers in the CIA leak case. The Dems seem to finally understand what it takes to put a message out to the people.

Simple

Concise

Factual

by Robster @ 7/25/2005 03:00:00 PM PERMALink
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Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's too damn hot

As the starting bookend, go read this article on the troops and their concern that they are the only ones sacrificing for Bush's war. I'll remind you later if you don't read it now...


Why I don't trust McCain...


Majikthise has a story on the possibility of a new flu epidemic beginning in China.


Rawstory links to WaPo story on removing a blockade against sueing gas additive MTBE producers. Manganese, a toxic heavy metal, is a major part of MTBE. Manganese is capable of causing severe brain damage, and kids are more likely than anyone else to take up environmental poisons. Why MTBE is allowed as a gas additive is beyond me...


On She Flies... a wanker in the field of science and beurocratic interference.


An interesting article on Tom Paine about how we should fight terrorism. A seriously worthwhile read.


DKos points us to the Seattle Times on a story about how a man linked to the London bombings was allowed to slip through the cracks by US prosecutors.


Remaining links via Buzzflash...


Guardian article on extremism in Pakistan, and the silent majority of those who oppose their hate.


What does SCOTUS nominee think about abortion?

Ask his wife...


Guardian on why Kerry movie "Stolen Honor" didn't break election laws.

Here's a hint.

It rhymes with shmecnicality, and starts with a T.


Brazil tells USAID that it can go screw itself. Brazil not willing to mess up it's anti HIV AIDS programs for Bush's cash.


The leak of Plame's name, according to the RW treason apologists, is no big deal.

CIA head Tenet didn't see it that way.

But Tenet was a good spook, and never told Bush where he could stick his medal of freedom...


My GOD! another article from the Guardian?

This one on the pot/kettle relationship of True Christians (c) calling the Koran a manual for hate.


The man who was heroicly hunted down and shot to death in the London subway system was not connected to the bombings.

Does anyone remember the part in Fahrenheit 451...?


If you read nothing else, read this. US soldiers not happy that they and their families are the only ones being asked to sacrifice for the war.

by Robster @ 7/24/2005 09:10:00 PM PERMALink
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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bush will veto bill if Congress attempts to check his unlimitted power

Via DKos, who saw it at Digby, if Congress sets up a comission to regulate POWs or investigate the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib, Bush will VETO a defense bill.

The Reuters article,
The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the
Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere.

The Bush administration, under fire for the indefinite detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and questions over whether its policies led to horrendous abuses at
Abu Ghraib prison in
Iraq, put lawmakers on notice it did not want them legislating on the matter.

In a statement, the White House said such amendments would "interfere with the protection of Americans from terrorism by diverting resources from the war."

"If legislation is presented that would restrict the president's authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice," the bill could be vetoed, the statement said.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), who endured torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said after meeting at the Capitol with Vice President
Dick Cheney that he still intended to offer amendments next week "on the standard of treatment of prisoners."

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), who was working on legislation defining the legal status of enemy combatants being held in Guantanamo, also said he would offer an amendment.
Bush must have something really disgusting to hide, or the idea that he is above the law. Neither are reason to let him get away with jack divided by shit.

At least he isn't getting away with this. Anyone want to bet that his approval rates hit 25%?

Rove, Roberts and the french fry case, Iraq, possible plans to nuke Iran...

The future's so dim for bush, he's gotta wear I thought it was supposed to be good to be the king...

by Robster @ 7/23/2005 06:49:00 AM PERMALink
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Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday news, and the docs are dumped

Those who have been watching the Abu Ghraib story in the last few weeks knows that there were pictures and videos of abuse, some of it sexual abuse of kids, were supposed to be released today.

Bush has chosen to block their release at the last minute. So this is kind of a reverse dump.
On July 22, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced the latest efforts of the Bush Administration to block the release of the Darby photos and videos depicting torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison facility.
So what are they hiding? Something that never should have happened.
``There are a lot more photographs and videos that exist,'' Rumsfeld testified before Congress.

``If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse. That's just a fact.''

The unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys, according to NBC News.

The story just gets worse.
Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week.
...
Some of the worse that happened that you don't know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]

The women were passing messages saying "Please come and kill me, because of what's happened". Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out.

I'd rather not see what was done in my name, but I know that it may be important in making sure it doesn't happen again.


Very scary stuff at JustinLogan.com, via Booman. The American Conservative print edition has a story about a plan set up at the Pentagon at the prompting of VP Cheney's office on what to do if a second 9/11 level attack occurs.

Their plan? Nuke Iran.

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.
The military isn't happy about this. Hopefully, this will make it into the MSM.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If Iran had nothing to do with a second attack, it won't matter.

What would happen?

Russia would go on high alert, and might respond to our attack with one of their own on the US if there was a mistake in their warning radar.

Pakistan would be very adversely affected by fallout, as would India. Both are nuclear powers. A possible regional nuclear conflict could occur.

North Korea would steamroll South Korea, and perhaps fire missiles at Japan, knowing that they would be next if they did not demonstrate their own nuclear capability soon.

No candy, no flowers. More IEDs, more flag draped coffins.


Howard Dean goes dull and doesn't freak out at Airport, via Booman.

The Dean watchers are beginning to get bored. He really doesn't seem to have anger problems. He goes all normal all the time!


DKos has a great rundown of what is up with Rove. Connect the dots.

by Robster @ 7/22/2005 11:44:00 PM PERMALink
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If it is Friday, it must be Catblogging!

What is it Friday already? I must have been asleep! - CleoOK, I'll wear the hat, but don't you dare put this on the blog, or it will be cat hair in your cereal... - Bobbie
Finally, a good picture of June. And without any distractions... Bobbie!
At least we can get a picture of Cleo without Bobbie being a ham. BOBBIE!
OK, one more try at this. BOBBIE!
And Cleo to finish out a nice Friday of Kitties.
See you next week!

by Robster @ 7/22/2005 09:00:00 AM PERMALink
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Work day

I have to finish up a journal article, so will post a couple juicy nuggets this late afternoon/evening.


OK, so I still have a shitload of work to do, but I'll try to get a couple items up if I get a chance later.

by Robster @ 7/21/2005 06:31:00 PM PERMALink
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London

If you want London info, go to the BBC. You can listen or stream video here. BBC News is also under the talk section on the Windows Media Player - Radio tab.

by Robster @ 7/21/2005 09:05:00 AM PERMALink
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday links

A great McD's comic over at Boondocks. I guess this is part of the urbanizing of the brand.


AmericaBlog reports that Roberts is, in the eyes of the American Taliban, a new Scalia/Thomas type.


Blondesense links to a CNN report on an analysis of civilian casualties in Iraq.


Crooks and liars has two great posts.
  1. The first question the Senate should ask Roberts.
  2. The words that should come out of every Democrat's mouth when asked about Roberts, "What Chuck Schumer said."


Via Atrios, the MSM is parroting the idea that the Rove story is out, Roberts is in. Guess what kids, we won't let him off that easy, and the end of Chapter One the story is up to the Grand Jury. Chapter Two is up to the Courts. Chapters Three and Four (Firing the leaker and Impeachment) are up to President Bunnypants and Congress.


Coeruleus at She Flies points out Roberts' views on the endangered species act, and important to me as a Kentuckian, his views on mountaintop removal.

What does mountaintop removal do?

You take a mountain, cut the top off of it, drop it into a nearby valley, killing streams and endangering the lives of anyone downhill. Bad for the environment, and very low on need for labor, leaving more and more miners without a job.

by Robster @ 7/20/2005 08:32:00 AM PERMALink
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tuesday night, SCOTUS and OTHER NEWS

Sure, the big news tonight is SCOTUS nominee Roberts.

I don't know much about him, but will educate myself over the next weeks, as I am sure you will as well.

For a start, AmericaBlog and TalkLeft are blogging like the posessed on Roberts.

A couple individual posts of interest on Roberts.

Pam's House Blend
Courting Influence


What about Rove?

We know that the selection of a SCOTUS judge has something to do with taking the attention off of Rove. So what is going on with Turd Blossom today?

Talkleft on a new damaging story for Rove. Perjury perhaps?

Majikthise sends us to Digby (who I need to add to my links), who routes us to FindLaw's list of important Rove related docs.

Pam's House Blend has a great image of Kermit defending Rove. Worth a good laugh. It certainly reminds us to keep the focus on Rove. The media sure won't do it for us...


More on Mad Tom Tancredo's suggestion of bombing Mecca via Raw Story.

Tancredo won't apologize.
Facing mounting criticism, Rep. Tom Tancredo on Monday refused to apologize for suggesting the United States could target Muslim holy sites if radical Islamic terrorists set off multiple nuclear attacks in American cities.

"It's a tough issue to deal with," Tancredo told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Tough things are said. And we should not shy away from saying things that need to be said."

Tancredo is known for his fiery rhetoric on immigration and other issues, but his words are coming under more scrutiny because he has started traveling to test the waters for a possible presidential candidacy in 2008.

A spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Tancredo's remarks irresponsible.

"They do nothing to advance our national security and protect Americans from terrorists," Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said.

Irresponsible is a mild way to put it... Insane and dangerous would be another. I'd love to see this madman get the Freepers going in '08. It would be great for the Dems. :)

--
Isn't Howard Dean a nut, too? He must have had something crazy to say in response,

"Tancredo's statements go against the very message America is trying to send to the world, that the war against terrorism is not a war on Islam. Remarks threatening the destruction of holy sites akin to the Vatican or Jerusalem do nothing to win the hearts and minds of Muslims in the United States and abroad.

Congressman Tancredo certainly owes Muslims around the globe an immediate apology for his offensive remarks. At the same time, he also owes Americans an apology for projecting a message that goes against our values. With these remarks, Tancredo has been utterly careless with his responsibility for shaping our foreign policy. Tancredo's continued refusal to apologize poses a very real danger to our troops. President Bush should strongly condemn Tancredo's statement."

Hmmm. Sounds pretty common sense. Could the media have lied to us about the nature of Dean's personality?



Gawd. Why is it that Ky reps are such dumbasses? Blah3...

Kentucky Republican Congressman Geoff Davis on the floor:

"...in the active military unit serving in Iraq, the active military unit serving in Afghanistan and Kyrgystan and Kuwait why they are reenlisting at rates of over 100 percent."



The W republican: Protect the unborn, but not from poisons and toxic environmental exposure. Think Progress,
According to a new study released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), babies today “enter the world with hundreds of industrial chemicals, solvents and pesticides in their veins.” In fact, newborn babies today have an average of a whopping 200 contaminants in their blood at birth. “The pollutants included mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA. ”

And off to Daze of our Lives for a public transit message. I will be using public transit to get to work as much as often from here on out. Gas prices are getting high enough, and my belly big enough, that a bit of walking and letting someone else drive is making sense.

by Robster @ 7/19/2005 10:07:00 PM PERMALink
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Monday, July 18, 2005

President Bunnypants gets laughed at by press

Wonkette reports on today's press conference, noting that Bush got laughed at by the press for his response to a certain question,
Q Mr. President, you said you don't want to talk about an ongoing investigation, so I'd like to ask you, regardless of whether a crime was committed, do you still intend to fire anyone found to be involved in the CIA leak case? And are you displeased that Karl Rove told a reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for the Agency on WMD issues?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We have a serious ongoing investigation here. (Laughter.)

Oh, that is just not good. Of course, Bush was repeating the official WH line.

No comment.

Even though the question was framed to eliminate the issue of whether a crime was commited, Bush dodged it. No wonder he got laughed at.

But what if this is just something made up by the diabolical Leftist media?

Wonkette provides a link to the White House's transcript for the press conference. How does this exchange come across from the official record?

Q Mr. President, you said you don't want to talk about an ongoing investigation, so I'd like to ask you, regardless of whether a crime was committed, do you still intend to fire anyone found to be involved in the CIA leak case? And are you displeased that Karl Rove told a reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for the Agency on WMD issues?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We have a serious ongoing investigation here. (Laughter.) And it's being played out in the press. And I think it's best that people wait until the investigation is complete before you jump to conclusions. And I will do so, as well. I don't know all the facts. I want to know all the facts. The best place for the facts to be done is by somebody who's spending time investigating it. I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts, and if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.

I guess it doesn't matter if someone did something that endangered the security of the US, or did something highly unethical.

Only if it was criminal.

Since ethics and security aren't the strong suite of this administration, Bush has to keep the standards low.

by Robster @ 7/18/2005 08:16:00 PM PERMALink
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Mecca in the crosshairs

Via AmericaBlog, a chilling account of what Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo thinks would be a good way to fight the war on terror...
Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

Lets see. What would ignite a World War faster than anything?

Nuking a Holy City?

That would do it.

Of course, Tancredo would have a reason for his insane comments,

The congressman later said he was "just throwing out some ideas" and that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."
Oh. That makes me feel better.

Instead of trying to keep nukes out of the hands of terrorists, threaten to destroy their holiest cities. That is sure to convince an extremist not to act, right? Right?

Not so much...

by Robster @ 7/18/2005 07:29:00 PM PERMALink
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Big news day, Quick headlines.

Via Buzzflash, GOP congress fires those that warned them about VA shortfall.

FBI has been monitoring the ACLU.
Read more at AmericaBlog, Pam's House Blend has 2 posts, and TalkLeft.

Hersh's article at the New Yorker about Iraqi election rigging is out.

Via RawStory, WH aides picked Wilson as a target. Rove reported to have said, "He's a Democrat." That's all the justification Turd Blossom ever needed.

by Robster @ 7/18/2005 09:11:00 AM PERMALink
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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sunday - Late Ed.

I had to think, which is the bigger story? Rumbles of an impending invasion of Syria, or an attempt by the Bush Administration to screw with the Iraqi election.

Another war, probably timed either for the end of the summer or the 06 elections won hands down. Via Rawstory.
The United States has been considering attacking Sunni insurgency centers in Syria.

Western diplomatic sources and analysts said the U.S. Defense Department and Central Command have been warning of the increasing activity of a Sunni insurgency network in northern Syria. They said the Pentagon has been discussing a U.S. strike that could end the network's operation.
Like that won't end up as another war... Will we do the same with Saudi Arabia? Of course not. They have Oil, and are prepared to destroy their production facilities in a spectacular fashion.
--
The second biggest piece is the Bush Admin's interest in affecting the Iraqi elections. They didn't get congressional approval, but I would't be surprised if they did it under the radar. Via Blah3, a NYTimes article.
In the months before the Iraqi elections in January, President Bush approved a plan to provide covert support to certain Iraqi candidates and political parties, but rescinded the proposal because of Congressional opposition, current and former government officials said Saturday.

In a statement issued in response to questions about a report in the next issue of The New Yorker, Frederick Jones, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said that "in the final analysis, the president determined and the United States government adopted a policy that we would not try - and did not try - to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election by covertly helping individual candidates for office."

The statement appeared to leave open the question of whether any covert help was provided to parties favored by Washington, an issue about which the White House declined to elaborate.

I bet that Hersh's article will be very interesting.

Any clandestine American effort to influence the Iraqi elections, or to provide particular support to candidates or parties seen as amenable to working with the United States, would have run counter to the Bush administration's assertions that the vote would be free and unfettered.

Mr. Bush, in his public statements, has insisted that the United States will help promote conditions for democracy in the region but will live with whatever governments emerge in free elections.

The article cites unidentified former military and intelligence officials who said the administration went ahead with covert election activities in Iraq that "were conducted by retired C.I.A. officers and other non-government personnel, and used funds that were not necessarily appropriated by Congress." But it does not provide details and says, "the methods and the scope of the covert effort have been hard to discern."

Representative Jane Harman of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, issued a statement saying that she could not discuss classified information, noting: "Congress was consulted about the administration's posture in the Iraqi election. I was personally consulted. But if the administration did what is alleged, that would be a violation of the covert action requirements, and that would be deeply troubling."

Does this sound like Iran Contra to anybody?

At least some people know how to keep secrets, though.

Mr. Jones, the National Security Council spokesman, in words that echoed a statement the White House issued to Time in October, said in a telephone interview on Saturday, "I cannot in any way comment on classified matters, such as the existence or nonexistence of findings."
Why couldn't Rove have said this to Novakula?
--
What else is happening?

Hillary may be in the 08 race, at least a little closer to officially, thanks to Bill. Also via RawStory,

The last Democrat president abandoned his notes to announce that Hillary Clinton was ready to win back America's highest office for their party.
...
Mr Clinton's message was that the party has to win back support in "red" (Republican) America. Calling himself "the world's most famous sinner", he spoke of a Pentecostal minister in his home state of Arkansas who had voted for him but then backed Mr Bush because "ever since you left, nobody in your party talks to us any more". But, he said, the pastor added: "I would vote for Hillary. I love her."
--
Also, mad props to the NewsHounds for their recognition by BBC's Roger Mosey for taking O'Rielly when he played super-patriot against the BBC.

by Robster @ 7/17/2005 10:46:00 PM PERMALink
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Rove and Libby sitting in a tree

L - E - A - K - I - N - G

Via BuzzFlash,

Time has an article behind their subscriber wall, so if you are a subscriber, you can check it out here. If you aren't, AmericaBlog has some selections for your reading pleasure...

BuzzFlash offers this summary of the Time article,
Time Reporter Tells All: Karl Rove TOLD HIM About Plame's Identity at CIA and That She Worked on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Not, As Rove Ludicrously Claims, Vice Versa. "Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the 'agency' on "WMD"? Yes."
MSNBC also has an article about Cooper's article (will the press ever report on something other than themselves?).
White House political aide Karl Rove was the first person to tell a Time magazine reporter that the wife of a prominent critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy was a CIA officer, the reporter said in an article Sunday.

Time correspondent Matthew Cooper said he told a grand jury last week that Rove told him the woman worked at the "agency," or CIA, on weapons of mass destruction issues, and ended the call by saying "I've already said too much."

Do ya think? Then maybe you shouldn't have been leaking to all those other reporters/collumnists? WTF?

He said Rove did not disclose the woman's name, Valerie Plame, but told him information would be declassified that would cast doubt on the credibility of her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, who had charged the Bush administration with exaggerating the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs in making its case for war.

"So did Rove leak Plame's name to me, or tell me she was covert? No. Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the 'agency' on 'WMD'? Yes," Cooper wrote in Time's current edition.

"When he said things would be declassified soon, was that itself impermissible? I don't know. Is any of this a crime? Beats me," Cooper wrote.

So it would be declassified soon? Because of the leak, maybe? It certainly means Rove lied about the classified nature of Valerie Plame?

This is so not good for Rove. Maybe he should have thought about it before he outed a covert agent...

WaPo writes on the Cooper article, too.

The vice president's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was a source along with the president's chief political adviser for a Time story that identified a CIA officer, the magazine reporter said Sunday, further countering White House claims that neither aide was involved in the leak.

In an effort to quell a chorus of calls to fire deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Republicans said that Rove originally learned about Valerie Plame's identity from the news media. That exonerates Rove, the Republican Party chairman said, and Democrats should apologize.

But it is not clear that it was a journalist who first revealed the information to Rove.

A lawyer familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony said Sunday that Rove learned about the CIA officer either from the media or from someone in government who said the information came from a journalist. The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity because the federal investigation is continuing.

In a first-person account in the latest issue of Time magazine, reporter Matt Cooper wrote that during his grand jury appearance last Wednesday, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald "asked me several different ways if Rove had indicated how he had heard that Plame worked at the CIA." Cooper said Rove did not indicate how he had heard.

...

Libby and Rove were among the unidentified government officials who provided information for a Time story about Wilson, Cooper told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Cooper also said there may have been other government officials who were sources for his article. Time posted "A War on Wilson?" on its Web site on July 17, 2003.

The reporter refused to elaborate about other sources. He said that he has given all information to the grand jury in Washington where he was questioned for 2 1/2 hours on Wednesday.

In his first-person account, Cooper said Rove ended their telephone conversation with the words, "I've already said too much." Cooper speculated that Rove could have been "worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else."

"This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife," Cooper wrote of his phone call with Rove.

Cooper also had a conversation about Wilson and his wife with Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.

Is that a frogmarch I see in the distance?

by Robster @ 7/17/2005 03:30:00 PM PERMALink
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Yesterday's news today

I had intended on blogging these stories yesterday, but didn't have time.

Via BuzzFlash, a Pensito Review piece on the State of Morality in the State of Florida. Wonkabout is sorry to award it's second Thomas Granger award to Alan Yoder and the state of Florida.
Florida, which has laws against gays adopting children, oral sex between adults of either gender, and erections that show through a man’s clothing, has no law whatsoever against people having sex with animals.

The recent arrest of a blind Tallahassee man accused of forcing sex on his guide dog highlights this egregious shortcoming.

Bleah. Dis. Gust. Ing.
------------
More on the Tennesee teen who was placed in a prison day camp to remove his gayness by his parents.

First, an old post from Pam's House Blend on the parents of the young man, and what they had to say about what they want to achieve by showing their son how much they don't respect him.

Next, Pam comments on and links to a NYTimes article about the ex-Gay cult/group and the contraversy around them.
-------------
Fianlly, Daedelus writes on an article about the state of free speech and the right to peacefully protest.

Mark Harris, a 20-year veteran of the Air Force, was not pleased to see a sign-carrying Iraq war protester in Thursday night's Mexico Volunteer Fire Department Field Days parade.

What he saw happen to the man, though, raised some questions for him and, he said, his children.

An Oswego County sheriff's deputy pulled Joshua A. Davies, 23, of 25B North St. in Mexico, out of the parade and charged him with disorderly conduct. Davies had been walking in the parade carrying, Harris said, an "Impeach Bush" sign and another sign calling for an end to the war in Iraq.

Harris said he saw Davies get searched, handcuffed and put in a sheriff's patrol car. Harris said Davies was kept in the car until the parade ended about 45 minutes later.

"My kids watched it," said Harris. "Some asked, 'Can they do that?' "
...

"I felt bad that he was there," Harris said of Davies, "but I thought he had the right to his opinion."

"This was a signal to the kids that you can't do that here," Harris said. "Dissent, I mean. I thought that's what being an American means - the right to protest, to speak your mind."

We move a step closer to an authoritarian government where the right to protest is taken away in the interest of "society."

by Robster @ 7/17/2005 01:48:00 PM PERMALink
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Rove knew what he was doing...

Oops. Looks like this is what they make Fridays for! I was reading an open thread at AmericaBlog about SciFi Friday...

From SFGate.com,

After mentioning a CIA operative to a reporter, Bush confidant Karl Rove alerted the president's No. 2 security adviser about the interview and said he tried to steer the journalist away from allegations the operative's husband was making about faulty Iraq intelligence.

The July 11, 2003, e-mail between Rove and then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley is the first showing an intelligence official knew Rove had talked to Matthew Cooper just days before the Time magazine reporter wrote an article identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA officer.

So he knew that he had discussed a CIA op, and had done it knowingly. Lets keep reading...

"I didn't take the bait," Rove wrote in an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press, recounting how Cooper tried to question him about whether President Bush had been hurt by the new allegations.

The White House turned the e-mail over to prosecutors, and Rove testified to a grand jury about it last year.

Earlier in the week before the e-mail, Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had written a newspaper opinion piece accusing the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence, including a "highly doubtful" report that Iraq bought nuclear materials from Niger.

"Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming," Rove wrote in the e-mail to Hadley.

"When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."

He did it to attack a critic of Bush. And he did it willingly. As if telling a reporter that someone is married to a CIA agent won't make it into the papers...

Rove, Bush's closest adviser, turned over the e-mail as soon as prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into who leaked Plame's covert work for the CIA.
Definitely not good for TurdBlossom...

Rove sent the e-mail shortly before leaving the White House early for a family vacation that weekend, already aware that another journalist he had talked with, syndicated columnist Robert Novak, was planning an article about Plame and Wilson.

Rove also knew that then-CIA Director George Tenet planned later that same day to issue a dramatic statement that took responsibility for some bad Iraq intelligence but that also called into question some of Wilson's assertions, the legal sources said.

The AP reported Thursday that Rove acknowledged to the grand jury that he talked about Plame with both Cooper and Novak before they published their stories but that he originally learned about the operative's identity from the news media, not government sources.

A concerted effort to take down an administration enemy. Very not good.

The AP reported Thursday that Rove acknowledged to the grand jury that he talked about Plame with both Cooper and Novak before they published their stories but that he originally learned about the operative's identity from the news media, not government sources.

Originally? But did he check up on it, and then did he continue to knowingly continue to out a CIA agent?

I'd like to know, wouldn't you?

by Robster @ 7/15/2005 07:32:00 PM PERMALink
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Domokun and the kittens

Kittens! Domo-kun demands Kittens!
What Domokun wants, Domokun gets...
Upside down kitten June
Sleepy kitten Bobbie
Kitten Cleo with a friend
And the kittens strike back!

Domokun Tiananmon image from Unixmonkey.net
Domokun and viking kittens from www.b3ta.com

by Robster @ 7/15/2005 05:25:00 PM PERMALink
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GOP promoting Little Green Footballs

ODub has this one. You may remember this from a post a few days ago where I linked to and reprinted an analysis on why RW blogs don't have comments. Here is some more on the Moldy Footballs,

Trumpeted in a press release, the Republican National Committee is quite proud of itself with the launch of its new website at GOP.com. Most notable is that the RNC has joined the blogosphere with the launch of the first official RNC weblog. On the RNC’s list of blogs it recommends reading are some of the usual suspects, including Patrick Ruffini, Powerline, Trey Jackson, Blogs for Bush, and others. But one site sticks out - Little Green Footballs (LGF), operated by Charles Johnson, is notorious for being a promoter of and haven for some of the most virulent anti-Muslim and anti-Islam hate speech on the web.

The RNC’s recommendation of the Little Green Footballs site - one of only fifteen selected - would seem to be in stark contrast to President Bush’s repeated proclamations that “Islam is peace”.

I wonder how hateful this blog could be. Was the other day's article a fluke? Read ODub's links to LGF, and how it refers to Arabs as "Oil Ticks," their love of Islamaphobia, and their encouragement of violence on Liberals...

by Robster @ 7/15/2005 03:13:00 PM PERMALink
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Precedent is bad for Rove

Via BuzzFlash, a Findlaw article on how previous cases may put Rove in a bind on the outing of Plame First, the precedent...

The Jonathan Randel Leak Prosecution Precedent

I am referring to the prosecution and conviction of Jonathan Randel. Randel was a Drug Enforcement Agency analyst, a PhD in history, working in the Atlanta office of the DEA. Randel was convinced that British Lord Michael Ashcroft (a major contributor to Britain's Conservative Party, as well as American conservative causes) was being ignored by DEA, and its investigation of money laundering. (Lord Ashcroft is based in South Florida and the off-shore tax haven of Belize.)

Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft's name was in the DEA files, and this fact soon surfaced in the London news media. Ashcroft sued, and learned the source of the information was Randel. Using his clout, soon Ashcroft had the U.S. Attorney in pursuit of Randel for his leak.

By late February 2002, the Department of Justice indicted Randel for his leaking of Lord Ashcroft's name. It was an eighteen count "kitchen sink" indictment; they threw everything they could think of at Randel. Most relevant for Karl Rove's situation, Court One of Randel's indictment alleged a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. This is a law that prohibits theft (or conversion for one's own use) of government records and information for non-governmental purposes. But its broad language covers leaks, and it has now been used to cover just such actions.

Randel, faced with a life sentence (actually, 500 years) if convicted on all counts, on the advice of his attorney, pleaded guilty to violating Section 641. On January 9, 2003, Randel was sentenced to a year in a federal prison, followed by three years probation. This sentence prompted the U.S. Attorney to boast that the conviction of Randel made a good example of how the Bush Administration would handle leakers.

Now the Rove link..

The Randel Precedent -- If Followed -- Bodes Ill For Rove

Karl Rove may be able to claim that he did not know he was leaking "classified information" about a "covert agent," but there can be no question he understood that what he was leaking was "sensitive information." The very fact that Matt Cooper called it "double super secret background" information suggests Rove knew of its sensitivity, if he did not know it was classified information (which by definition is sensitive).

United States District Court Judge Richard Story's statement to Jonathan Randel, at the time of sentencing, might have an unpleasant ring for Karl Rove. Judge Story told Randel that he surely must have appreciated the risks in leaking DEA information. "Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country," the judge observed. Judge Story concluded this leak of sensitive information was "a very serious crime."

"In my view," he explained, "it is a very serious offense because of the risk that comes with it, and part of that risk is because of the position" that Randel held in DEA. But the risk posed by the information Rove leaked is multiplied many times over; it occurred at a time when the nation was considering going to war over weapons of mass destruction. And Rove was risking the identity of, in attempting to discredit, a WMD proliferation expert, Valerie Plame Wilson.

Judge Story acknowledged that Randel's leak did not appear to put lives at risk, nor to jeopardize any DEA investigations. But he also pointed out that Randel "could not have completely and fully known that in the position that [he] held." Is not the same true of Rove? Rove had no idea what the specific consequences of giving a reporter the name of a CIA agent (about whom he says he knew nothing) would be--he only knew that he wanted to discredit her (incorrectly) for dispatching her husband to determine if the rumors about Niger uranium were true or false.

Given the nature of Valerie Plame Wilson's work, it is unlikely the public will ever know if Rove's leak caused damage, or even loss of life of one of her contracts abroad, because of Rove's actions. Dose anyone know the dangers and risks that she and her family may face because of this leak?

It was just such a risk that convinced Judge Story that "for any person with the agency to take it upon himself to leak information poses a tremendous risk; and that's what, to me, makes this a particularly serious offense." Cannot the same be said that Rove's leak? It dealt with matters related to national security; if the risk Randel was taking was a "tremendous" risk, surely Rove's leak was monumental.

While there are other potential violations of the law that may be involved with the Valerie Plame Wilson case, it would be speculation to consider them. But Karl Rove's leak to Matt Cooper is now an established fact. First, there is Matt Cooper's email record. And Cooper has now confirmed that he has told the grand jury he spoke with Rove. If Rove's leak fails to fall under the statute that was used to prosecute Randel, I do not understand why.

There are stories circulating that Rove may have been told of Valerie Plame's CIA activity by a journalist, such as Judith Miller, as recently suggested in Editor & Publisher. If so, that doesn't exonerate Rove. Rather, it could make for some interesting pairing under the federal conspiracy statute (which was the statute most commonly employed during Watergate).

I hope that Fitzgerald is thinking along the same lines...

by Robster @ 7/15/2005 03:05:00 PM PERMALink
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Abnormality in Earth's orbit related to Rove/Novak spin

My coworker/freeper was about to split his head with smiling. By now, you have certainly heard that an anonomous source has said that Rove talked to Novak, but it was Novak that told Rove that she was CIA.

So, an anonymous source says something that doesn't mesh with the rest of the data. Novak said that 2 sources in the Administration told him that Plame was CIA. The NYTimes piece says that Rove confirmed what Novak had heard. If this makes Rove the second source for Novak, it still doesn't excuse his outing Plame to another 5 journalists!

So here are highlights from the NYtimes...
Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."

The previously undisclosed telephone conversation, which took place on July 8, 2003, was initiated by Mr. Novak, the person who has been briefed on the matter said.
...

The person who provided the information about Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak declined to be identified, citing requests by Mr. Fitzgerald that no one discuss the case. The person discussed the matter in the belief that Mr. Rove was truthful in saying that he had not disclosed Ms. Wilson's identity.

On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Novak wrote another column in which he described calling two officials who were his sources for the earlier column. The first source, whose identity has not been revealed, provided the outlines of the story and was described by Mr. Novak as "no partisan gunslinger." Mr. Novak wrote that when he called a second official for confirmation, the source said, "Oh, you know about it."

That second source was Mr. Rove, the person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Rove's account to investigators about what he told Mr. Novak was similar in its message although the White House adviser's recollection of the exact words was slightly different. Asked by investigators how he knew enough to leave Mr. Novak with the impression that his information was accurate, Mr. Rove said he had heard parts of the story from other journalists but had not heard Ms. Wilson's name.

Robert D. Luskin, Mr. Rove's lawyer, said Thursday, "Any pertinent information has been provided to the prosecutor." Mr. Luskin has previously said prosecutors have advised Mr. Rove that he is not a target in the case, which means he is not likely to be charged with a crime.

He may however be a subject of the investigation. Target and suspect are legal terms, and have very different meanings... A few days ago, Luskin said that Rove was not a subject...

The conversation between Mr. Novak and Mr. Rove seemed almost certain to intensify the question about whether one of Mr. Bush's closest political advisers played a role in what appeared to be an effort to undermine Mr. Wilson's credibility after he challenged the veracity of a key point in Mr. Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, saying Saddam Hussein had sought nuclear fuel in Africa.
...

The disclosure of Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak raises a question the White House has never addressed: whether Mr. Rove ever discussed that conversation, or his exchange with Mr. Cooper, with the president. Mr. Bush has said several times that he wants all members of the White House staff to cooperate fully with Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation.

In June 2004, at Sea Island, Ga., soon after Mr. Cheney met with investigators in the case, Mr. Bush was asked at a news conference whether "you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found" to have leaked the agent's name.

"Yes," Mr. Bush said. "And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts."
...
This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to re-elect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove had been the source.
...
Many aspects of Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation remain shrouded in secrecy. It is unclear who Mr. Novak's other source might be or how that source learned of Ms. Wilson's role as a C.I.A. official. By itself, the disclosure that Mr. Rove had spoken to a second journalist about Ms. Wilson may not necessarily have a bearing on his exposure to any criminal charge in the case.

and WaPo articles...

White House senior adviser Karl Rove indirectly confirmed the CIA affiliation of an administration critic's wife for Robert D. Novak the week before the columnist named her and revealed her position, a lawyer involved in the case said last night.

The operative, Valerie Plame, is the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador who had publicly disputed the White House's contention that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy uranium from Niger for possible use in a nuclear weapon.
...
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, has also testified before the grand jury, saying he was alerted by someone in the media to Plame's identity, according to a source familiar with his account. Cooper has previously testified that he brought up the subject of Plame with Libby and that Libby responded that he had heard about her from someone else in the media, according to sources knowledgeable about Cooper's testimony.

So both suspected sources for the leak are saying that they heard about it like everybody else, from that durn media. Riiiiiiight. That just doesn't make any sense with what we know.

Rove is listed as one of Cooper's sources. Rove is listed as one of Novak's sources. This sounds like a wonderful spinning ride. Blame it on the media. Blame it on the victim. Long standing and respected techniques used by the Right Wing.

So what does the Blogosphere say?

What don't they say.

AmericaBlog, Blah3 (calls it "Worst. Propaganda. Ever."), BooMan, Crooks and Liars, DKos, Hillary Now, TalkLeft, and Think Progress all say things along the line that this still means that Rove outed a source by confirming her ID, and does not excuse his contacts with other members of the press.

Does the RW spin make any sense? Not so much. Miller's info will end up being very important. Hopefully, she will give up her sources.

Just to point out a mistake with the AP article on this subject, via AmericaBlog,

But at the same time, Wilson acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak's column first identified her. "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he said.
What does John of AmericaBlog say about this?
NO, AP, that's not what Wilson said - I watched the interview live. What he said was that the day Bob Novak outed his wife she ceased to be an undercover operative. Not that she wasn't an undercover operative on that day, but rather that she sure wasn't undercover anymore once Rove and Novak outed here. Big difference there.
How do you get something that simple, that wrong?

To make this complete, AmericaBlog also links to Radar about some more Novak info. Apparently Novak told all...
Did Robert Novak rat on New York Times reporter Judith Miller? While some have suggested Miller—who never wrote a word about CIA spook Valerie Plame—was dragged into the leak probe when her name turned up on a White House call log, several beltway insiders close to the investigation say special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald learned of Miller’s involvement from Novak himself.
If Novak's loose lips sink Rove, Novak had better enter the witness protection plan...

by Robster @ 7/15/2005 02:26:00 PM PERMALink
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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two great articles...

Via AmericaBlog, a Salon article on the facts regarding the Plame/Wilson situation. I learned quite a bit from this article. Some highlights,
On July 30, the CIA referred a "crime report" to the Justice Department. "If she was not undercover, we would not have a reason to file a criminal referral," a CIA official said. On Dec. 30, the Justice Department appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, as the special prosecutor.
...
Wilson's article provided the first evidence that the reasons given for the war were stoked by false information. But the attack on Wilson by focusing on his wife is superficially perplexing. Even if the allegation were true that she "authorized" his mission, as Rove told Cooper, it would have no bearing whatsoever on the Niger forgeries, or any indictment. But Rove's is a psychological operation intended to foster the perception that the messenger is somehow untrustworthy and that therefore his message is too. The aim is to distract and discredit. By creating an original taint on Wilson's motives, an elaborate negative image has been constructed.
...
In early 2002, Valerie Plame was an officer in the Directorate of Operations of the CIA task force on counter-proliferation, dealing with weapons of mass destruction, including Saddam's WMD programs. At that time, as she had been for almost two decades, she was an undercover operative. After training at "The Farm," the CIA's school for clandestine agents, she became what the agency considers among its most valuable and dangerous operatives -- a NOC, or someone who works under non-official cover. NOCs travel without diplomatic passports, so if they are captured as spies they have no immunity and can potentially be executed. As a NOC, Plame helped set up a front company, Brewster-Jennings, whose cover has now been blown and whose agents and contacts may be in danger still.
...

When the Italian report on Niger uranium surfaced, Vice President Cheney's office contacted the CIA's counter-proliferation office to look into it. Such a request is called a "tasker." It was hardly the first query the task force had received from the White House, and such requests were not made through the CIA director's office, but directly. Plame's colleagues asked her if she would invite her husband out to CIA headquarters at Langley, Va., for a meeting with them, to assess the question.

It was unsurprising that the CIA would seek out Wilson. He had already performed one secret mission to Niger for the agency, in 1999, and was trusted. Wilson had also had a distinguished and storied career as a Foreign Service officer. He served as acting ambassador in Iraq during the Gulf War and was hailed by the first President Bush as a "hero." Wilson was an important part of the team and highly regarded by Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Wilson was also an Africa specialist. He had been a diplomat in Niger, ambassador to Gabon and senior director for Africa on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. (I first encountered Wilson then, and we have since become friends.) No other professional had such an ideal background for this CIA mission.
...
CIA officers debriefed Wilson the night of his return at his home. His wife greeted the other operatives, but excused herself. She later read a copy of his debriefing report, but she made no changes in it. The next they spoke of Niger uranium was when they heard President Bush's mention of it in his 2003 State of the Union address.
...
The CIA subsequently issued a statement, as reported by New York Newsday and CNN, that the Republican senators' conclusion about Plame's role was wholly inaccurate. But the Washington Post's Susan Schmidt reported only the Republican senators' version, writing that Wilson was "specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly," in a memo she wrote. Schmidt quoted a CIA official in the senators' account saying that Plame had "offered up" Wilson's name. Plame's memo, in fact, was written at the express directive of her superiors two days before Wilson was to come to Langley for his meeting to describe his qualifications in a standard protocol to receive "country clearance." Unfortunately, Schmidt's article did not reflect this understanding of routine CIA procedure. The CIA officer who wrote the memo that originally recommended Wilson for the mission -- who was cited anonymously by the senators as the only source who said that Plame was responsible -- was deeply upset at the twisting of his testimony, which was not public, and told Plame he had said no such thing. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told Wilson that the Republican Senate staff never contacted him for the agency's information on the matter.

Curiously, the only document cited as the basis for Plame's role was a State Department memo that was later debunked by the CIA. The Washington Post, on Dec. 26, 2003, reported: "CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the ... document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.
...
Helpfully guiding a reporter to the truth and away from "a story that was false"? Indeed, Rove was planting two false stories, not just one. The first was that "Joe Wilson's wife" had sent him on his mission; the second was to suggest that Wilson was wrong and that there would be new information to support the original Bush falsehood. In fact, the White House admitted that Wilson was correct and that Bush's 16 words were wrong. Yet Rove attempted to insinuate doubt in the mind of the reporter to discourage him from writing a story that was true.

A great article, a very worthwhile read in full. It is nice to know more of the details...



Next, a DKos piece about a WaPo article on what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. More disturbing details about how the American Public has been lied to.

It doesn't sound like a few bad apples anymore, does it?

Interrogators at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forced a stubborn detainee to wear women's underwear on his head, confronted him with snarling military working dogs and attached a leash to his chains, according to a newly released military investigation that shows the tactics were employed there months before military police used them on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
...

A central figure in the investigation, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who commanded the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and later helped set up U.S. operations at Abu Ghraib, was accused of failing to properly supervise Qahtani's interrogation plan and was recommended for reprimand by investigators. Miller would have been the highest-ranking officer to face discipline for detainee abuses so far, but Gen. Bantz Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, declined to follow the recommendation.

Miller traveled to Iraq in September 2003 to assist in Abu Ghraib's startup, and he later sent in "Tiger Teams" of Guantanamo Bay interrogators and analysts as advisers and trainers. Within weeks of his departure from Abu Ghraib, military working dogs were being used in interrogations, and naked detainees were humiliated and abused by military police soldiers working the night shift.

Miller declined to respond to questions posed through a Defense Department liaison. Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said it is not appropriate to link the interrogation of Qahtani -- an important al Qaeda operative captured shortly after the terrorist attacks -- and events at Abu Ghraib. Whitman said interrogation tactics in the Army's field manual are the same worldwide but MPs at Abu Ghraib were not authorized to apply them, regardless of how they learned about them.

So it doesn't matter who taught the techniques? Protect the top, screw the soldier.


by Robster @ 7/14/2005 09:40:00 AM PERMALink
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