Friday, November 4

DU News Roundup

Latest set of news snipets from Democratic

Prosecutor Narrows Focus on Rove Role in C.I.A. Leak

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 - The prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case has narrowed his investigation of Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, to whether he tried to conceal from the grand jury a conversation with a Time magazine reporter in the week before an intelligence officer's identity was made public more than two years ago, lawyers in the case said Thursday.

The special counsel, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has centered on what are believed to be his final inquiries in the matter as to whether Mr. Rove was fully forthcoming about the belated discovery of an internal e-mail message that confirmed his conversation with the Time reporter, Matthew Cooper, to whom Mr. Rove had mentioned the C.I.A. officer.

Mr. Fitzgerald no longer seems to be actively examining some of the more incendiary questions involving Mr. Rove. At one point, he explored whether Mr. Rove misrepresented his role in the leak case to President Bush - an issue that led to discussions between Mr. Fitzgerald and James E. Sharp, a lawyer for Mr. Bush, an associate of Mr. Rove said.


One lawyer with a client in the case said Mr. Fitzgerald could be skeptical of Mr. Rove's account because the message was not discovered until the fall of 2004. It was at about the same time that Mr. Fitzgerald had begun to compel reporters to cooperate with his inquiry, among them Mr. Cooper. Associates of Mr. Rove said the e-mail message was not incriminating and was turned over immediately after it was found at the White House. They said Mr. Rove never intended to withhold details of a conversation with a reporter from Mr. Fitzgerald, noting that Mr. Rove had signed a waiver to allow reporters to reveal to prosecutors their discussions with confidential sources. In addition, they said, Mr. Rove testified fully about his conversation with Mr. Cooper - long before Mr. Cooper did - acknowledging that it was possible that the subject of Mr. Wilson's trip had come up.

Italian Lawmaker Says Country's Secret Service Warned U.S. That Iraq Uranium Documents Were Fake

11-03-2005 12:15 PM
By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writer

ROME -- Italian secret services warned the United States months before it invaded Iraq that a dossier about a purported Saddam Hussein effort to buy uranium in Africa was fake, a lawmaker said Thursday after a briefing by the nation's intelligence chief.

"At about the same time as the State of the Union address, they (Italy's SISMI secret services) said that the dossier doesn't correspond to the truth," Sen. Massimo Brutti told journalists after the parliamentary commission was briefed.

Brutti said the warning was given in January 2003, but he did not know whether it was made before or after President Bush's speech.

The United States and Britain used the claim that Saddam was seeking to buy uranium in Niger to bolster their case for the war. The intelligence supporting the claim later was deemed unreliable.


Reid on Fire

The New Republic has more on what I reported last month: that Cheney has intervened with chairman Pat Roberts to obstruct the Senate Select Intelligence committee's investigation of the Bush administration's use of Iraq intelligence. TNR write:

...--More dramatically, Reid also made it clear that he believes the delay in the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of prewar Iraq WMD--the underlying issue behind Tuesday's closed session--is entirely attributable to Vice President Dick Cheney. "Nothing happens regarding intelligence gathering ... unless it's signed off on by the Vice President," he said. " Roberts couldn't do it"--i.e., Roberts couldn't conduct a full investigation without Cheney's approval. When I asked Reid whether he meant to state so flatly that Cheney was personally and directly stalling the Intelligence Committee's work, he didn't pause a beat. In fact he almost stood from his chair. "Yes. I say that without any qualification ... Circle it." ...

I don't understand why we haven't heard Pat Roberts complaining more vociferously about the obstruction he's experienced from the Veep. Why would the Senator stand for the administration bucking oversight and Congressional reporting requirements on Iraq intelligence, torture, black site prisons, etc.? (Via Tapped's Ezra Klein).

Knight Ridder Reporter Warns of Hostile Takeover--with Political Twist?
As reports swirl that KR could or should be sold, under new pressure from what he calls a "pro-GOP" big investor, a longtime Philly Daily News scribe charges that this would be "bad news" for the chain--and all of American media.

By Will Bunch

PHILADELPHIA (November 02, 2005) -- As you probably know if you're a newspaper junkie, and may not know if you're a normal human being, a Florida-based investment group -- with zero fanfare -- has bought up 19% of the stock of Knight Ridder, Inc., the owners of the Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, not to mention the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury News, and a bunch of other big names in the dead-tree world.

And now, apparently unaware that newspaper readership has been dropping steadily for a half-decade and that advertisers are starting to follow readers to this new-fangled Internet thingee, the investors -- named Private Capital Management -- are shocked, shocked to learn that they aren't getting the greatest return on their investment.

And so their solution: They want to sell the company.

This is probably very bad news, for a couple of reasons. And even if you're one of the many people who thinks that newspapers are dinosaurs and believe it doesn't matter whether they live or die, you should pay attention to this.

No. 1: Are you concerned about pro-GOP Big Business taking over America's media business? Then you should be concerned about this deal.


Breaking tradition, Carter rips Bush's policies

WASHINGTON — Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that "fundamentalism" under George W. Bush has resulted in a "dramatic and profound and unprecedented change" in American policy that threatens the United States at home and abroad.
Carter, who is promoting a new book critical of Bush, faulted the Bush administration for "an unprecedented and overt ... merger of the church and state, of religion and politics."

At a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Carter, 81, diverged from a time-honored practice in which ex-presidents refrain from criticizing those currently holding the office. He acknowledged making mistakes when he was president from 1977-81, and at one point declared: "I can't deny that I am a better ex-president than I was a president."

But he said Bush has made such significant changes to U.S. foreign policy and human rights doctrine, resulting in precipitous declines in the country's standing abroad, that he felt compelled to write "Our Endangered Values." It is Carter's 20th book since he was defeated for re-election by Ronald Reagan in 1980.


He said the natural "arrogance" of second-term presidents is exacerbated by a fundamentalism under Bush that causes many of his supporters and those who work in his administration to believe that "I am right because I am close to God (and) anybody who disagrees with me is inherently wrong, and therefore inferior."
Even though many ex-Presidents including both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have already broken with the so-called tradition of not criticizing the sitting President - this last story about President Carter is especially interesting because Carter was one of the very first politicians to public admit to being a "Born-Again Christian" in a Playboy interview.


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