Friday, July 15, 2005
President John F. Kennedy on being a liberal...
"I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.
I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.
Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies.
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal."
But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Brandon Mayfield: A Real American Patriot
The most important case in America started legal arguments Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Brandon Mayfield is suing the United States for violating his constitutional rights. One of his claim is that the U.S. violated his rights under the Patriot Act provision that allows the government to get FISA warrants (secret warrants) to snoop on U.S. citizens without their knowledge and enter their residences secretly (they do not ever have to disclose it). Mayfield is white American attorney who also happens to be a practicing Muslim. Mayfield also represented the Portland Six (a group of African American Muslims accused of running a terrorist training camp in Oregon and attending an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan-all were convicted or pled guilty).
The FBI arrested Mayfield last year accusing him of being involved in the Madrid, Spain railroad station bombing of 3-11-04. The FBI claimed that Mayfield's fingerprint turned up on one of the unexploded devices. However, they later released Mayfield after admitting that it was not his fingerprint. Mayfield would get his seized property back but not before the government kept duplicates of much of the property, which he also seeks to get returned. We should all support Mayfield in his efforts to overturn this heinous, unAmerican portion of the Patriot Act because he has a long court battle ahead of him. We know that the Assistant United States Attorneys are not going to go down without a fight. Hell this may end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Happy Bastille Day!
Rove's Leak Points to Bush Conspiracy
By Robert Parry
July 11, 2005
A key national security principle for dealing with top-secret information, such as the identity of undercover CIA officers, is strict compartmentalization, often called “the need to know” – which raises the question why George W. Bush’s chief political adviser Karl Rove would know anything about the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.
The answer to that mystery – why was Rove involved – may be more crucial to unraveling who was behind the illegal leaking of Plame’s name and the subsequent cover-up than even the identity of which Bush officials passed the information to right-wing pundit Robert Novak for his infamous column on July 14, 2003.
But rather than focusing on how and why Rove knew about Plame, the latest controversy around the case has centered on whether Rove explicitly used her name in an interview with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper three days before Novak’s column.
Rove’s lawyer Robert Luskin told the Washington Post that his client didn’t identify Plame by name, only mentioning her in giving Cooper guidance about who was responsible for authorizing a fact-finding trip by Plame’s husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger in February 2002. [Washington Post, July 11, 2005]
According to an internal Time e-mail (obtained by Newsweek), Cooper informed his editor that Rove offered a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson” and that “KR said” the Niger trip was authorized by “wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency (CIA) on wmd issues.” [Newsweek, July 18, 2005, issue]
During Wilson’s 2002 trip to Niger, the ex-ambassador discovered that claims about Iraq trying to buy yellowcake uranium were almost certainly bogus. But Wilson’s findings – which were later corroborated by United Nations officials – would remain politically sensitive because they undercut Bush’s assertions about Iraqi nuclear ambitions, a central rationale for invading Iraq in March 2003.
On July 6, 2003, three months after the U.S.-led invasion, Wilson disclosed his Niger findings in a New York Times op-ed article that represented an early crack in the president’s credibility on the Iraq War.Bush Spin Machine
The Bush spin machine quickly whirled into action, even though it was clear by July 2003 that Bush was wrong about the existence of large caches of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as well as about an active nuclear weapons program. Still, the goal in summer 2003 was to discredit Joe Wilson.
It was in that context that the secret about Plame’s covert role as a CIA officer working on WMD issues was somehow delivered to the White House. From there, the sensitive fact, which also could have jeopardized the lives of other operatives who were cooperating with Plame, was fashioned into a public-relations attack on her husband.
Rather than keep the secret under tight control, Bush’s White House bandied it about as a way to question Wilson’s manhood, as a guy who needed his wife’s intervention to get him a job – although Plame appears only to have mentioned her husband as one Africa expert suitable for the Niger assignment.
To professional U.S. intelligence officers, the notion of sharing such a precise secret – the identity of an undercover CIA officer – with a spinmeister like Rove is anathema.
From a national security viewpoint, it also doesn’t matter much whether Rove used Plame’s name. He certainly gave Time magazine enough information – that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA officer – to unmask her identity with a little bit of research.
But again, the national news media seems to have missed the forest for the trees. By concentrating on whether Rove specifically spoke Plame’s name to Cooper, the media is missing the significance of the fact that a political operative like Rove would have a hand in this operation at all.
The larger point is that senior White House officials, possibly including Bush, revealed the identity of a covert CIA officer as part of what appears to be a conspiracy to discredit Wilson in retaliation for telling the truth in his op-ed column.
The key incriminating fact in this mystery is that Rove had no reason to know who Plame was, except as part of a public relations attack against her husband. It was a classic case of dirtying up – or punishing – the messenger for delivering unwanted news.
It also fits with the long-running neoconservative strategy of using “perception management” techniques to “controversialize” critics and keep the American people in a constant state of confusion. [For more on the evolution of those strategies, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]Identifiable Harm
In the Plame case, there also was identifiable harm to national security – the outing of a covert CIA officer working on WMD issues – and a possible violation of a federal law that bars willful disclosure of secret agents. That is why federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was assigned to investigate the matter two years ago.
At minimum, the White House behavior indicates gross negligence in handling a sensitive secret. But if the case were simply negligence, heads probably would have rolled long ago. Any administration serious about protecting national security would have carried out stern disciplinary actions even as Fitzgerald’s investigation continued.
In the Iran-Contra Affair, for instance, Ronald Reagan fired aides Oliver North and John Poindexter on Nov. 25, 1986, the day the scandal was revealed, rather than wait for the conclusion of a criminal probe.
On April 30, 1973, as the Watergate scandal was unfolding, Richard Nixon ousted chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman and White House counsel John Dean. Nixon famously promised “no whitewash at the White House.”
By contrast, George W. Bush has taken no known disciplinary action against anyone for letting the identity of a covert CIA officer leak out. Rove played a prominent role in Bush's reelection campaign and has since been promoted to deputy White House chief of staff.
Nor has Bush done anything to discourage his right-wing supporters from denigrating Wilson, who gets routinely mocked as a flaky self-promoter or a partisan Democrat.
These orchestrated attacks on Wilson have continued despite the fact that U.S. government investigations – including several ordered by Bush himself – have corroborated the absence of a pre-invasion Iraqi nuclear weapons program.
So, this long-term pattern of White House behavior suggests that negligence isn’t the whole story. Rather it looks as if the dissemination of Plame’s identity may have crossed the line into a criminal conspiracy at the highest levels of the U.S. government.Unanswered Questions
For two years now, what has been lacking from the White House is a coherent explanation of how the information about Plame’s identity got from the cloistered world of the CIA to White House meetings and then into the hands of political adviser Rove.
Long ago, there should have been answers to the following questions:
--What national security purpose was served by giving Karl Rove a sensitive secret that, if leaked, could endanger the lives of covert intelligence operatives?
--Who attended White House meetings at which Wilson’s disclosures and Plame’s identity were discussed? How was Plame’s identity brought into these talks? By whom?
--Was George W. Bush present at any of these meetings? As the president, who is ultimately responsible for decisions about national security secrets, did Bush say anything about Wilson and Plame? If so, what did he say and to whom?
--Did Bush or anyone else in the White House order Rove to disparage Wilson?
In a healthy democracy, the news media would have demanded answers before Election 2004, rather than focusing primarily on the plight of several journalists caught up in demands for testimony from prosecutor Fitzgerald.
Ironically, it was the caving in by Time magazine last week that has opened the door slightly into the long-running White House cover-up of the Plame case. But still the major news media misses the bigger picture.
The answer to the Plame mystery is not the Watergate advice of “follow the money” or even the obvious question of who spilled the beans to Novak. Instead, the route to the heart of this mystery is to follow the trail from who knew Plame’s identity at the CIA through the White House meetings to Karl Rove.
****Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Announces Retirement: The Punisher says “Good Riddance"
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. While the media has been giving you the spin about the “moderate” conservative role and the “swing vote” role O’Connor has played on the Court I’d like to sum up her career for you. I’m sure this is how the history books will remember her regardless of the love-fest she’s receiving today.
The first legacy of Justice O’Connor is that she is the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. You can't take that away from her.
The second legacy of Justice O’Connor is that she joined the Majority in a little case called Bush v. Gore. In that case, Justice O’Connor who had stated that she wanted a Republican to win the election in 2000 so that she could retire
and a Republican could appoint her successor, joined with 4 other Republican members of the court to pervert American jurisprudence and appoint George W. Bush as President of the United States. Thus assuring that she could retire and a Republican President could appoint her successor. The outrage over Bush v. Gore was so great from both Conservative and Liberal Legal Scholars that Justice O’Connor decided to wait until after the 2004 election to retire.
This partisan political maneuvering from a Supreme Court Justice is pathetic and will go down as the legacy of Justice O’Connor. A Judge who was so concerned with her political party she was willing to pervert the rule of law and ignore precedent so that her party could appoint her successor.
But we should not be surprised by Justice O’Connor’s unethical and moral ambiguity. One of my favorite opinions by Justice O’Connor sums up her approach to the bench very well. It is her concurring opinion in a case called Employment Division vs. Smith.
“The Court Today… departs from well-settled jurisprudence… gives a strained reading of the First Amendment… disregards our free exercise doctrine… misconstrues precedent… judges the vitality of constitutional doctrine by looking to the win-loss records of plaintiffs… denies plaintiffs the opportunity to make legal arguments… raises a parade of horribles not at issue… and denigrates the very purpose of the bill of rights. I agree
” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990)
And now the Democrats say she's the model of the type of Judge they want to replace her. God help us.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Everyone is missing the point about Rove/Wilson/Plame
Wed Jul 13th, 2005 at 15:19:40 PDT
I HATE to post yet another Rove diary but I've read every single one and I don't think any one diary has gotten it quite right (at least "right" as it has lately come clear to me--but who knows--maybe I'm the one who doesn't get it). While it's still clear in my head, I want to try to spit it out and see if it's as obvious to others.
This case isn't about identifying a covert agent, and hasn't been for a long, long time. It's about disclosure of classified information which is a violation of the Espionage Act and a more serious crime. It happens that the classified material (primarilly an "INR" Report by the CIA regarding the possibillity that Saddam was attempting to obtain urainium yellowcake and Joe Wilson's trip to Niger) was used by the administration to discredit Wilson by pointing out what they say was his wife's role. But that identification is NOT what Fitzgerald is after. Someone leaked the contents of that classified file all over town trying to get ahead of Wilson's story.
More below the fold.
That's why the phone records of Air Force One were so crucial. The CIA file was taken on Bush's trip to Africa (with Powell, Rice and others) the day after Wilson's Op Ed piece was in the NYT.
That's why Jeff Gannon is as important as Novak. Gannon says himself that the contents of that memo were shared with him. It's on his website right now. He also says that the FBI came to talk to him about just that (and he later testified before the GJ).
That's why Judy Miller is in jail and she didn't even write about the story.
And that's why all the fragile facts that go into making a case under the CAIPA (was she covert, did he disclose her name, was it "knowingly", was the gov actively trying to keep her covert, etc...) DON'T MATTER. And that the RNC is peddling the "additional comments" that have been entirely refuted and weren't even included in the Intelligence Committee's report JUST DOESN'T MATTER. Someone (and you know damn well know who) leaked classified information that has a direct impact on national security to reporters (and gay prositutes) PERIOD. Thats why all the judges are horrified including one who is sympathetic to protecting a reporter's privelege. And Fitgerald would never go this far if he had to rely on all the flimsy bullshit that's framing the public perception of this issue right now. If he can tie Rove to disclosure of the information that's in that INR memo, the ballgame is over. And Cooper spilled his guts this morning.
OK. I know that almost every piece if this has been posted before. But, for me at least it hasn't tied together. Does this help anyone else??
Who went to Africa with Bush on Air Force One Prior to July 30, 2003??
July 30, 2003 ~ Vol. 5, No. 31
I marveled that President Bush went to Africa for a week, visiting several nations, and the only thing the American press wanted to ask him about was a single reference to a British intelligence assertion about an Iraqi effort to purchase uranium. There was little effort to take advantage of the trip to inform Americans about today’s Africa. The President’s trip did not afford Americans the opportunity to learn anything about that huge continent.
Benedict Rove is toast. But he's not the only subject of the investigation. The key is that, on Air Force One on the African trip, a classified State Department document (which identified Ms. Plame, but not fully by name) was circulated to many, and that many subsequently spoke to reporters, sharing the classified info. It is thus a different statute that is at play - leaking classified info. It isn't just the Agee Act - to which Rove's defenses and Republican talking points apply. It's this statute, the Espionage Act (the same statute that got the Rosebergs executed), conspiracy, perjury and fraud.
I can see why the Republicans are wary. This is very serious; invloving many, not just Benedict Rove.
Scott McClellan: Minister of MisInformation: How does this guy sleep at night?
Q Does the President stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in the leak of a name of a CIA operative?
Scott McCLELLAN: Terry, I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked relating to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation
. The criminal investigation
that you reference is something that continues
at this point. And as I've previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing
, the White House is not going to comment on it. The President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation
, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation
, we made a decision that we weren't going to comment on it while it is ongoing
Q Excuse me, but I wasn't actually talking about any investigation. But in June of 2004, the President said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak, to press of information. And I just want to know, is that still his position?
McCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation,
and that's why I said that our policy continues to be that we're not going
to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation
from this podium. The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting
on it from this podium. And so that's why we are not going to get into commenting
on it while it is an ongoing investigation, or questions related to it.
Q Scott, if I could -- if I could point out, contradictory to that statement, on September 29th, 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one who said, if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation is when the President made his comment that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved. So why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you've suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, "We're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation"?
McCLELLAN: Again, John, I appreciate the question. I know you want to get to the bottom of this. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. And I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation
. That's something that the people overseeing the investigation have expressed a preference that we follow. And that's why we're continuing to follow that approach and that policy. Now, I remember very well what was previously said. And at some point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the investigation is complete
Q So could I just ask, when did you change your mind to say that it was okay to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it's not?
McCLELLAN: Well, I think maybe you missed what I was saying in reference to Terry's question at the beginning. There came a point when the investigation got underway when those overseeing the investigation asked that it would be their -- or said that it would be their preference that we not
get into discussing
it while it is ongoing
. I think that's the way to be most helpful to help them advance the investigation and get to the bottom of it.
Q Scott, can I ask you this; did Karl Rove commit a crime?
McCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an ongoing investigation
, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than we're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing
Q Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this" -- do you stand by that statement?
McCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation we're not going to get into commenting on it
. That was something I stated back near that time, as well.
Q Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?
McCLELLAN: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation ...
Q Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?
McCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish ...
Q No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything
. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?
McCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.
Q Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?
McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question. Go ahead, Terry.
Q Well, you're in a bad spot here, Scott, because after the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said -- October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby, as I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this." From that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began. Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?
McCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization Terry, and I think you are well aware of that. We know each other very well, and it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation
. And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this, because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point, I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that
Q Do you recall when you were asked ...
Q Wait, wait -- so you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore, and since then, you haven't?
McCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation
, and I'm just not going to respond
Q When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg down a date?
McCLELLAN: Back at that time period.
Q Well, then the President commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?
McCLELLAN: John, I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response
. Go ahead, Dave.
Q We are going to keep asking them. When did the President learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with the President -- with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife and the decision to send ...
McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions
Q When did the President learn that Karl Rove had ...
McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions
, Dick. Go ahead.
Q After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved would be let go?
McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete
, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.
Q And a follow-up. Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff?
McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing
. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.
Q Scott, there's a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action ...
Q Does the President continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?
McCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation
. And you've heard my response on this
Q So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the President has confidence in his Deputy Chief of Staff?
McCLELLAN: Carl, you're asking this question in the context of an ongoing investigation
. And I would not read anything into it other than I'm simply not going to comment on an ongoing
Q Has there been -- has there been any change ...
McCLELLAN: ... investigation.
Q Has there been any change or is there a plan for Mr. Rove's portfolio to be altered in any way?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, you have my response
to these questions.
Q There's a difference between commenting publicly on an action and taking action in response to it. Newsweek put out a story, an email saying that Karl Rove passed national security information on to a reporter that outed a CIA officer. Now, are you saying that the President is not taking any action in response to that? Because I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action, and that if he did, you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the President is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there's an investigation or not. So are you saying that he's not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?
McCLELLAN: Well, I think the President has previously spoken to this. This continues to be an ongoing criminal investigation
. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. And we're just not going to have more to say on it until that investigation is complete.
Q But you acknowledge that he is free, as President of the United States, to take whatever action he wants to in response to a credible report that a member of his staff leaked information. He is free to take action if he wants to.
McCLELLAN: Again, you're asking questions relating to an ongoing investigation
, and I think I've responded to it
Q Scott, what was the President's interaction today with Karl Rove? Did they discuss this current situation? And understanding that Karl Rove was the architect of the President's win for the second term in the Oval Office, how important is Karl Rove to this administration currently?
McCLELLAN: Again, this is coming at it from ...
Q It has nothing to do with what you just said.
McCLELLAN: This is still coming at the same question relating to reports about an ongoing investigation
, and I think I've responded to it
Q Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this administration?
McCLELLAN: Do you have questions on another topic?
Q No, no, no, no. Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this current administration?
McCLELLAN: I appreciate the question, April. I think I've responded
Q Scott, I think you're barrage today in part because we -- it is now clear that 21 months ago, you were up at this podium saying something that we now know to be demonstratively false. Now, are you concerned that in not setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?
McCLELLAN: Again, I'm going to be happy to talk about this at the appropriate time. Dana, you all -- you and everybody in this room, or most people in this room, I should say, know me very well and they know the type of person that I am. And I'm confident in our relationship that we have. But I will be glad to talk about this at the appropriate time, and that's once the investigation is complete
. I'm not
going to get into commenting
based on reports or anything of that nature.
Q Scott, at this point, are we to consider what you've said previously, when you were talking about this, that you're still standing by that, or are those all inoperative at this point?
McCLELLAN: Again, you're still trying to come at this from a different angle, and I've responded to it.
Q Are you standing by what you said previously?
McCLELLAN: You've heard my response
Q When the leak investigation is concluded, does the President believe it might be important for his credibility, the credibility of the White House, to release all the information voluntarily that was submitted as part of the investigation, so the American public could see what the -- what transpired inside the White House at the time?
McCLELLAN: This is an investigation being overseen by a special prosecutor. And I think those are questions best directed to the special prosecutor. Again, this is an ongoing matter
; I'm just not going to get into commenting
on it further at this time. At the appropriate time, when it's complete, then I'll be glad to talk about it
at that point.
Q Have you in the White House considered whether that would be optimum to release as much information and make it as open a process ...
McCLELLAN: It's the same type of question. You're asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation, and I'm not going to do that.
Q I'm actually talking about the communication strategy, which is a little different.
McCLELLAN: Understood. The President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation. And that's what he expects people in the White House to do.
Q And he would like to that when it is concluded, cooperate fully with ...
McCLELLAN: Again, I've already responded
. Go ahead.
Q Scott, was it -- who in the investigation made this request of the White House not to comment further about the investigation? Was it Mr. Fitzgerald? Did he make the request of you ...
McCLELLAN: I mean, you can ask -- you can direct those questions to the special prosecutors. I think probably more than one individual who's involved in overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. I think we all want to see the prosecutors get to the bottom of this matter. The President wants to see the prosecutors get to the bottom of this matter. And the way to help them do that is to not get into commenting on it while it is ongoing.
Q Was the request made of you, or of whom in the White House?
McCLELLAN: I already responded
to these questions.
Q Yes, in your dealings with the special counsel, have you consulted a personal attorney?
McCLELLAN: Again, I'm just not going to say anything further. I expressed all I'm going to say on this matter from this podium.
Bush, Rove and the Republican Machine Lie (again) How many free passes do these assholes get?
The Big Lie About Valerie Plame
By Larry Johnson
The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.
For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak. Novak's column was not an isolated attack. It was in fact part of a coordinated, orchestrated smear that we now know includes at least Karl Rove.
Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover--in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover. That means we had a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card.
A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.
The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.
The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken". I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC. They have set a precendent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate.
They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson "lied". Although Joe did not lie let's follow that reasoning to the logical conclusion. Let's use the same standard for the Bush Administration. Here are the facts. Bush's lies have resulted in the deaths of almost 1800 American soldiers and the mutilation of 12,000. Joe Wilson has not killed anyone. He tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.
But don't take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report. Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report: According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe's visit in February 2002), "Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on." Joe's findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.
The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job. She did not. She was not a division director, instead she was the equivalent of an Army major. Yes it is true she recommended her husband to do the job that needed to be done but the decision to send Joe Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.
At the end of the day, Joe Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush Administration that pushed that lie and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
A reminder from
strandedlad at http://www.dailykos.comThe facts were being fixed around the policy."
That's what the Downing Street Memo said, and now we have the hard data to show how this was done. Don't let the administration off the hook by viewing Rove/Plame, Bolton and the DSM as separate. They are all of a piece, all parts of the same story.
Republican talking points are that Rove's treasonous behavior was actually insignificant, that Bolton is just a hard-charger. But look at the pattern.
The DSM says that facts were being fixed around the policy.
The objection to Bolton isn't that he is rude or aggressive. It is that, when presented with intelligence contrary to his already established opinion (re Cuba or Syria), that he attempted to have analysts who disagreed with him removed from their posts. Failing that, he sought to use classified intelligence to spy on people who disagreed with him, presumably to discredit them in some fashion.
This is clearly a case of a man who decided on a policy and then was willing to do whatever he could to make sure that the intelligence reinforced what he already believed.
Rove's behavior was even more egregious, but all part of the same narrative. Having been caught in a lie about intelligence -- by the very person who collected the intelligence -- Rove attempted to use classified information to discredit the whistleblower. In doing so, he blew the cover of not only a covert operative, but also the CIA front company for which she worked.
Again, we have the policy, then we have the use of classified information to intimidate those who collected information contrary to that policy.
I'm not reading anything about the DSM or about Bolton anymore, either in the news or on the front page or recommended diaries here. This is totally understandable, as the revelations about Rove are fairly dramatic and, let's face it, red meat for those of us who despise him.
But do not forget that this is all about one thing: the undeniable fact that this administration made every effort to twist and fabricate intelligence in order to lead us into a war of choice in Iraq, one that has cost us so much in so many ways, which has strengthened our enemies and made us more vulnerable. In doing so, the administration betrayed our intelligence community to punish those that did not go along with the party line.
Rove is only the latest example of this. It is one story, one narrative: this administration chose to go to war in Iraq and was willing to do anything to accomplish that goal.
s for the boilerplate of Mehlman's statement itself, which states "It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party" -- You know what, Ken? Fuck you. Personally. I can say that now, because your Vice President said so.
Being anti-corruption is not "far-left". Or is it, now? Being anti-treason isn't "far-left". Or is it, now?
Despite the RNC insistence that every exposure of Republican crime and corruption -- whether it be Rove, DeLay, Cunningham, or other Republican figures under active criminal investigation -- is a trick by the evil far-left MoveOn or other groups that have the audacity to support Democrats instead of Republicans, that simply isn't the case. It is a tired joke, at this point. It stopped even being insulting a few years ago, and now is simply recognized as the last refuge of a pack of scoundrels -- the talking point that acts as a few sentences of placeholder, in all Republican generated documents, until it can be edited out for some more credible defense against Republican amorality or corruption.
You don't want corrupt Republicans to be exposed? Then condemn them. Expose them. Expell them. At some point, your party is going to have to treat government with the same seriousness that you treat campaigning, and not simply as a perpetual money trough for rewarding anyone who has given the correct amount of money to the party through Jack Abramoff, through Texans for a Republican Majority, or other spigots.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Just Testing the New Photo dealio....
To paraphrase Mr. Rove, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers; conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared to ruin the career of one of the country’s spies tracking terrorist efforts to gain weapons of mass destruction -- for political gain.
Q: I actually wasn’t talking about any investigation. But in June of 2004, the president said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak to the press about information. I just wanted to know: Is that still his position?
MCCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation, and that’s why I said that our policy continues to be that we’re not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium.The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from this podium....
Q: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved. So why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, 'We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation'?
MCCLELLAN: Again, John, I appreciate the question. I know you want to get to the bottom of this. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States. And I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation. And that’s something that the people overseeing the investigation have expressed a preference that we follow.And that’s why we’re continuing to follow that approach and that policy. Now, I remember very well what was previously said. And, at some point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the investigation is complete.
Q: So could I just ask: When did you change your mind to say that it was OK to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it’s not?
Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?
Is the Justice Department deliberately delaying the Citizenship Applications of Muslims?
The INS currently has a procedure for anyone who wants to be a U.S. citizen. If you have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for 5 years, or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. If you are approved you must then attend an Oath Ceremony where you swear allegiance to the U.S. and are given a Certificate of Naturalization.
Once you file for Citizenship you are required to demonstrate "an understanding of the English Language, including the ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English Language." You must also demonstrate "a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States." (for fun go to the INS website and print off sample questions and ask them of your U.S. citizen friends. You'll be appalled at the lack of knowledge.) After you pass your test INS is required to schedule you for your oath ceremony within 45 days.
Currently there are many people who filed for citizenship, paid their application fees, were fingerprinted, photographed and then passed their English language exam and their civics exam. But for some reason INS has never scheduled them for their oath ceremony. Many of them have been waiting years since passing their exams for INS approval. When INS is contacted about their cases they respond simply with "Security Checks Pending."
I know many of you feel safer that INS is doing security checks, but I have to ask... How safe are we if someone has a three year window before INS figures out they are a security risk? I currently have no idea how many people are denied because they are a security risk but my guess is the number is close to zero.
The other problem is that some people have their Oath Ceremony scheduled without delay while others have been pending for years and years. The common theme to those who have been waiting years and years? Muslims. Slightly over 90% by my count.
Can you say Religious Discrimination?
From Dailykos - updated constantly
If you are new to the Plame affair, be ready to read for a few hours. It's no wonder it has received so little attention in the MSM. It can't be reduced to a 30 second spot....yet...