Saturday, March 24

In Defense of HIllary's Iraq Vote

Let me just start out by saying that neither Hillary nor Obama are my preferred choice for President. That would be Al Gore. My second choice would be Wesley Clark, failing that I am currently leaning toward John Edwards.

The only good thing about having Hillary in the White House IMO is the fact that she would bring Bill back with her. That fact alone is worth the price of admission, especially without Gore in the race.

Speaking of Bill I feel that I have to point out that he was absolutely correct when he said...

there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.

First, I'm going to have to completely disagree with Kos on this...

Look, everyone knew exactly what they were voting for when they cast that vote authorizing force in Iraq. And if they didn't, they're too stupid to be president.

The problem wasn't with the resolution, the problem was with the President. HJ 141, the Iraq Force Authorization required the President to ensure to the Congress that "all diplomatic means" were completely exausted before force would be used.

Sec 3. (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.

In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq

It is a legitimate position to support the idea of a President using the threat of force to achieve diplomatic ends. Bill Clinton did exactly that when he authorized an attack on Haiti while President Carter and Colin Powell were on the ground in the midst of negotiations. It was only after they were able to say "the planes are in the air" that a settlement was reached. A very similar scenario was repeated under Clinton in Bosnia which resulted in the Dayton accords.

When John Kerry voted for the IFR he stated the following.

Kerry (Oct. 9, 2002) Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him (Saddam) by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.

In this Youtube Video Hillary explained her vote at the time. She points out that she doesn't beleive that "Saddam will ever disarm" and that although they've found some al-Samoud missles.

There is no accounting for the Chemical and Biological Stocks.

And at that point in time, she was absolutely correct. It wasn't until after the completion of Duelfer report that it finally become widely understood that Saddam had ordered those stockpiles destroyed in 1991.

This was not common knowledge, and Saddam had taken great pains to ensure that it wasn't. It had first been reveal to the IAEA by Gen Hussein Kamel in 1995. It was later supported by a report from Iraqi Foreign Minister Sabri. This information - just like the doubts about the aliminum tubes, the yellowcake forgeries, Curveball and al-Libi were not openly shared with Congress.

Hlllary from Youtube.

It is unfortunate that we are at the point of a potential military action to enforce the resolution. That is not my preference and it would be far preferable if we had legitimate cooperation from Saddam Hussein

Arguably she was correct, and it was only because of the HJ 141 and the adjacent UN resolution that brought the inspectors back into the country that we finally started to get some cooperation from Hussein.

Just as Bill said Hillary didn't want to go to war, but she did support disarming Saddam.

The problem was that the President broke his promise. Rather than persue legitimate diplomatic talks to resolve the issue, he ignored Saddam's UN required declaration claiming that it was a "pack of lies" because for one thing - Saddam didn't explain what he did with the Yellowcake!

The fact is that the Bush administration was lying to the American people and lying to Congress.

We had IAEA and UNSCOM inspectors on the ground telling us our WMD information was garbage, but Bush wasn't listening.

The facts were being made to fit the policy.

Doubts from the State Dept and Energy Dept about Iraqi WMD were hidden from most of Congress by being locked away in the classified section of the NIH.

Curveball and Ibn Sheik al-Libi's unreliability were hidden by Rumsfled and the DIA. Joe Wilson's report on Niger was buried.

The resolution as written was never the problem.

It is NOT an absolute call for war, but what it did do - was allow the Inspectors to Return in Dec '02!

The problem was that Bush broke the resolution. Saddam was already in compliance with all relevant UN sanctions, all we needed to do was to complete the inspections as Charles Duelfer eventually did, except that Bush had already called for the attack by that time.

Voting for that resolution as it was written was not wrong or a mistake, trusting George W. Bush was!

Vyan

Friday, March 23

Robert Novak is STILL a Total Gas-Bag!

Both emtpywheel and Larry Johnson have major diaries up about the latest drippings from Robert Novak's colostomy bag - but neither of them really give you a good and close look at just how much of a cheap hack this guy really is.

<>I mean, it's truly - seriously - stunning how he completely ignores the facts and sworn testimony of everyone in the Libby trial, Valerie Plame-Wilson and even CIA DCI Michael Hayden who he states is "too close to Democrats" simply because he confirmed that yes indeed, She. Was. UnderCover. when Novak originally outed her in 2003.

And here it is - directly from the Horse's Ass.

Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra could hardly believe what he heard on television Friday as he watched a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Rep. Henry Waxman, the Democratic committee chairman, said his statement had been approved by the CIA director, Michael Hayden. That included the assertion that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative when her identity was revealed.

The "Assertion?" Ok, put the tape on pause for a moment here. We all know from Patrict Fitzgerald's original indictment of Scooter Libby that her "employment at CIA was classified." What does this dimwit thinks that means?

Frontline recently did a four-part special on the various leaks coming out of the Bush Administration, including the Plame leak and during it they interviewed David Szady the FBI's assistant director for counterintelligence from 2001 until 2006. From that position he was actually in charge of hunting down leakers, including those involved in the Plame leak, at least until Fitz was put on the case. Here are some excepts from that interview...

How do you start a leak investigation? I mean we read about them in the paper, but we have no idea where -- actually what goes on.

Well, first of all, you have a victim agency: the owner of the information, those who classified it. What they have to do is file a report with the Department of Justice that consists of 11 questions that have to be answered.

And those questions go from, was the material properly classified? Is that information known? Was the information that leaked accurate compared to what the actual classified information is? What was the damage to national security? How many people possibly had access to that information? And several other questions.

And let me just emphasize this point. Before the investigation begins the organization reporting the leak has to document exactly how damaging the release of that information might be. There's also another key factor required among those 11 questions. The leaked information has to be true.

So this is the same kind of referral that takes place, whether it's a leak of classified information to a lobbyist or a spy as it is to a journalist?

... First of all, it's not espionage [in] the classic sense, where you're giving classified information to a foreign power. You're giving classified information here to somebody in the media, which is illegal. It's not espionage as we're talking about it here with spies. But it is worked, if you will, on a criminal investigation under the espionage statutes: unlawful possession; unlawful distribution; unlawfully giving this information to somebody who should not have access to it. ...

And the information has to be accurate?

Yes.

So if you leak inaccurate information, there's no leak investigation?

Well, that's right. The determination may be made that there's no sense in investigating something because the information is not accurate. It's not real information, if you will.

So when the government announces a leak investigation and it comes to your office, it's confirming that the report in the newspaper, for example, or on television was true?

In-- yes. Indirectly, yes.

That's one way to fact check.

Yes.

And just how bad could leaking the identity of a Undercover operative be?

And your office got the referral in the Valerie Plame case?

Initially, yes. There's still prosecution outgoing in there, so commenting on it is difficult.

No one's been charged under the [Intelligence Identities Protection Act] in that case as of today. What makes that particular law difficult in terms of prosecuting somebody?

Well, there haven't been that many cases involving this particular leak of information or the identity of undercover CIA officers to begin with. I don't think it would be any more difficult than anything else. I think everybody would admit and everybody would acknowledge that the leaking of the identity of an undercover CIA officer is an extremely serious matter, particularly given the world situation we live in now, and we're actually talking about life and death.

...

Ok, have you got that sports fans? Plame was covert. Leaking her identity not only a crime, it was a matter of life and death (and not just hers) or else there wouldn't have been a referal to Justice - and they would't have accepted it - in the first place.

Back to Novakula.

As House intelligence committee chairman when Republicans controlled Congress, Hoekstra had tried repeatedly to learn Plame's status from the CIA but got only double talk from Langley. Waxman, 67, the 17-term congressman from Beverly Hills, may be a bully and a partisan.

A bully? Compared to who - Certainly not Tom Delay who wouldn't let a single democrat bill on to the floor of the House for six years. Who twisted arms and threatened members of his own party to vote for the prescription medicare bill. Certainly not John Sensenbrener who cut off the microphones in mid-hearing when a debate about the Patriot Act went in uncomfortable directions back in 2005.

But he is no fool who would misrepresent the director of central intelligence. Waxman was correctly quoting Hayden. But Hayden, in a conference with Hoekstra yesterday, still did not answer whether Plame was covert under the terms of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

As Larry Johnson has already explained Hayden couldn't comment on the issue to Hoekstra while he was chairman because the Libby trial was pending. That's over now. Libby lost, so when Waxman asked - he got an answer.

This isn't a partisan issue, it's a Fact Issue -- but then again we all know that "Reality has a Liberal Bias" (© Copyright Stephen Colbert 2005)

Case in point.

The former CIA employee's status is critical to the attempted political rehabilitation of former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife.

The Wha? Rehabilitation? Gee, seems to me that Joe was hailed as a conquering hero at YearlyKos. He seemed pretty visible and pretty vocal on Olbermann after the Libby verdict was read.

The Democratic target always has been Karl Rove, President Bush's principal adviser.

Actually no, the target is the President - but Rove makes for a nice side-dish.

The purpose of last week's hearing was to blame Rove for "outing" Plame, in preparation for revoking his security clearance.

Hey bunky - Congress can't revoke KKKarl's clearance. Only the President can, and since he promised to do it years ago ("If anyone in the White House was part of this leak") and still hasn't - I don't think that door's gonna fly open anytime soon.

And didn't Novak testify that Rove was his confirmation source? Yes, I think he did.

W Fair to say Armitage was primary source. Did you have confirming source?

RN That was Karl Rove. In 2003 he was senior advisor to Pres on a wide variety of subjects. He had a lot to do with political strategy.

W To make sure they stayed in office?

RN MOre than that, that they were successful.

W That they were re-elected?

RN He was trying to do a good job for country.

W Personal Friend?

RN I wouldn't call him friend, I'd say very good source.

W When did you speak with Rove?

RN I called as soon as I returned, I can never remember getting him back right away, I think it was that day he returned the call.

W Conversation the next on July 9?

RN When we had that conversation–it could have been July 8, I haven't been able to pin it down. Mainly I was interested in Rove, I'm sorry, mostly Wilson mission to Niger, Asked him about that and policy. Near the end, I asked about Wilson's wife, I asked if he knew, I commented, I had been told that she was an employee of CPD of CIA and had suggested mission. He said, "oh you know that too."

W Did you take that as confirmation?

RN I took it as confirmation

Information like this, which was provided anonymously on "Super Double-Secret Background" would not be printed by any respectable gas-bag journalist unless it was confirmed by a second source. Although Armitage's leak was apparently inadvertant, and he was unaware that Plame was covert at the time, there is a strong likelyhood that Rove knew damn well that reporters like Novak would need two independant sources before they could go to print.

And by the way - who the hell told Rove in the first place? Libby?

Anyway, more blather from the Dark One.

Claims of a White House plot became so discredited that Wilson was cut out of Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign by the summer of 2004. Last week's hearing attempted to revive a dormant issue. The glamorous Mrs. Wilson was depicted as the victim of White House machinations that aborted her career in intelligence.

Right sure, there was no plot - Cheney and Libby and Martin and Harlow had all those discussions and talking points about how to respond to Wilson simply because March Madness was already over and they needed something to keep themselves busy.

From FDL/emptywheel.

By my reading, Cheney took his own notes on at least four documents pertaining to Wilson. It appears likely that, after learning that Plame worked at CIA from Libby or Martin, he went out and found out precisely where she worked, then he reported it back to Libby. Cheney directed Libby on at least three occasions (with Judy, with David Martin and Mitchell, and with Cooper et al) to personally intervene with journalists. And Cheney remained actively involved in crafting the response to Wilson all week during leak week. In addition, it seems clear that Cheney was pushing the Wilson attacks after the Novak article.

But gee, it wasn't like a plot or anything...

Anyway, Novakula seems to have some interviewing advice for Waxman and those damn dirty DemocRATS.

Waxman and Democratic colleagues did not ask these pertinent questions: Had not Plame been outed years ago by a Soviet agent? Was she not on an administrative, not operational, track at Langley? How could she be covert if, in public view, she drove to work each day at Langley?

According to Plame's own testimony, she had been on at least one overseas undercover trip between 2002-2003, as litagatormom has pointed out in her wonderful punking of Victory Toensing - that means she was covered by the IIPA.

Larry Johnson has noted that the head of the DO (Directorate of Operations aka the TOP SPY AT CIA) "drives to work everyday at Langley" and they can only refer to him as "Jose". Johnson...

In fact, there are thousands of undercover personnel who drive thru the gates everyday.

OOhh Snap!

I for one during the dozen years that I worked for defense contrator Northrop-Grumman drove through the gates of a "Black Site" smack dab in the middle of deep deep East Los Angeles along with 20,000 other people where unknown to anyone for at least the first 8 years - we were building the B-2 Stealth Bomber!

Punk-Bitch of Darkness Continued...

What about comments to me by then CIA spokesman Bill Harlow that Plame never would be given another foreign assignment?

What about the fact that the CIA Warned Your Punk Ass not to reveal her ID, and you did it anyway?

What about testimony to the FBI that her CIA employment was common knowledge in Washington?

That would be the testimony of someone who was found by a 12 person jury to be a LIAR and PERJUROR wouldn't it?

Instead of posing such questions, Waxman said flatly that Plame was covert and cited Hayden as proof.

Yeah, well that's because it was TRUE - and he also had Plame as proof too.

Hayden's endorsement of Waxman's statement astounded Republicans whose queries about her had been rebuffed by the agency. That confirmed Republican suspicions that Hayden is too close to Democrats.

(Forehead SLAP!!!)

No, it simply confirmed that Libby is now a CONVICT - dipstick.

These issues were not explored by the only two Republicans who showed up at last week's hearing. Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, the committee's ranking Republican and former chairman, is a skilled legislator but is not prone to roughhouse with Waxman. Unwilling to challenge Plame's covert status, Davis blamed the CIA instead of the White House for her alleged exposure.

Yeah, ok - that's right it was Richard Armitage over "at CIA" who first told you about Plame, while Karl Rove "at C.I.A." confirmed it - meanwhile Scooter Libby "at C.I.A." was talking to Judith Miller and Matt Cooper trying to get them to write stories about it, and Ari Fleischer "at C.I.A." was telling reporters about it while on a trip with Air Force One.

Sure....

The other Republican present -- Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a second-termer from metro Atlanta -- seemed awed by the beautiful woman facing him. "If I seem a little nervous," he began, "I've never questioned a spy before."

Davis had e-mailed the committee's other Republicans requesting their presence. Where were they? I asked Rep. Christopher Shays, who during nine previous terms in Congress had proved a tenacious questioner at hearings. "We felt the committee is so biased," he replied, "we would do better to just stay away."

Translation: They knew damn well that their lame talking points weren't going to work so they chose not be tragically embarissed on national Tee Vee.

Unlike Novak who seems to have no problem being publically embarrised in a national news paper.

That decision left the field to such partisan Democrats as Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Rep. Diane Watson, Waxman's fellow Californian, mimicked the chairman's inquisitorial style.

That's because she was inquiring - y'know asking questions of ah - shock and awe - witness!!

She repeatedly interrupted lawyer Victoria Toensing, the lone rebuttal witness granted the Republicans by Waxman.

That's because Toensing was - how shall I say it? Oh yeah Full of CRAP!

Toensing testified that Plame was not a covert operative as defined by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which she had helped draft as a Senate staffer in 1982, if only because she was not stationed overseas for the CIA the past five years. Waxman hectored Toensing, menacingly warning that her sworn testimony would be scrutinized for misstatements.

The IIPA doesn't say anything about being stationed overseas. That is not a requirement of the act and Toensing stubborn and illogical insistence that she somehow knew who was and wasn't covert while the Director of the CIA didn't - is flat-out laughable.

The act states that a Covert Agent covered by the act is one...

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States;

Novak in his entire column never mentions Plame's own testimony where as litagatormom noted:

[A]ccording to her own testimony, she engaged in covert intelligence operations on assignments outside the United states within five years of TODAY -- that is, within a YEAR of when she was exposed.

I would venture to argue, and I have, that IIPA violations were not sought because a) Libby's Lies blocked the investigation and b) to violate IIPA the person must have explicit knowledge that the agent is covert.

Their isn't any evidence currently on record that Libby was specifically told that "Wilson's Wife is a Covert Agent" although there is evidence that he very likely suspected this was the case, and took steps to avoid being identified as a leak source specifically because he thought he might have been in violation of IIPA.

The evidence for this view was revealed in court by Libby's question to David Addington about "How can you tell if someone is covert at CIA?"

Addington told him - you'd have to ask around and specifically asking if "Joe Wilson's Wife is Covert" would have exposed what he and Cheney were up to, as well as completely destroyed his "willfully ignorant" defense.

No, Libby then just like Novak simply prefers to stick their fingers in their ears and loudly sing "LAA llaaaa LAAAA LAAA" (like Janet Parshall) while they undermine our nations security, ruining the efforts of hundreds of undercover assets at Brewster-Jennings and weakening our ability to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - All For partisan gains.

Libby is damn lucky he got off as lightly as he has.

So is Novak.

Vyan

Wednesday, March 21

The Subpoenas are coming - the Subpoenas are Coming!

Rejecting the ridiculous "we'll talk to Congress, but only on super-double-secret-background" offer from the White House, the House has voted to issue subpoenas for the testimony of Harriet Miers and Karl Rove.
A House panel on Wednesday approved subpoenas for
President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove and other top White House aides, setting up a constitutional showdown over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
Naturally White House spokesman Tony Snow thought it was a great idea, and warned that the President shouldn't try to resist the Congressional probe.

Evidently, [The President] wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

Opps, I'm sorry - that was Tony Snow talking about President Clinton way back in the 90's - this is what he has to say about his current bosses pugnatious posture of fighting the subpoenas of Rove and Miers.

I asked whether the president was perhaps overly confrontational at this stage of the game. “I don’t think it’s confrontational,” Snow said. “We feel pretty comfortable with the constitutional argument.”

The White House, Snow said, is determined to avoid “hearings or the trappings of hearings” when White House officials talk to Congress. “They’re looking for hands up, cameras on,” Snow said of Democrats. “They’re talking about a show trial.”

This view was a follow up on these previous comments by varous members of the WH Staff including Snow.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow: Well, as you know, Ed, it has been traditional in all White Houses not to have staffers testify on Capitol Hill. [3/13/07]

White House Counselor Dan Bartlett: I find it highly unlikely that a member of the White House staff would testify publicly to these matters. [3/13/07]

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): No, I think you’re violating a precedent there that should not be violated. … I believe that under the separation of powers, there are limits to the extent to which Congress can subpoena or demand testimony from those who were closest to the president. [3/15/07]

Here's what Bush himself had to say about it.
“We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. The initial response by Democrats unfortunately shows some appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts. It will be regrettable if they choose to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials. And I have agreed to make key White House officials and documents available. I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse, and I hope they don’t choose confrontation. I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials.”
Might not such a threat to "make key White House documents unavailable" be tantamount both to obstuction of justice and contempt of congress?

Oddly enough it seems that when confronted with multiple series of bogus scandals from issues regarding the fanclub for Socks the Cat, and whether or not the Clinton's had used their Christmas Card list to solicit campaign donations - in point of fact - the Clinton Whitehouse never refused to offer Congressional testimony by any member of it's senior staff.

From Thinkprogress.
According to the Congressional Research Service, under President Clinton, 31 of his top aides testified on 47 different occasions. The aides who testified included some of Clinton’s closest advisors:

Harold Ickes, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff - 7/28/94

George Stephanopoulos, Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy - 8/4/94

John Podesta, Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary - 8/5/94

Bruce R. Lindsey, Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President - 1/16/96

Samuel Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs - 9/11/97

Beth Nolan, Counsel to the President - 5/4/00

In contrast, between 2000 and 2004, Bush allowed only one of his closest advisers, then-Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Tom Ridge, to appear in front of Congress. He has also refused three invitations from Congress for his aides to testify, a first since President Richard Nixon in 1972. Clinton did not refuse any.

When we're dealing with a situation where it appears the White House may have attempted to turn the Justice Dept into it's personal political gestapo - targeting Democrats in tight races while giving Republicans with ethics and criminal issues a pass, while allowing campaign donors to dictate criminal policy - we have a situation which is far more eggregious than who spent the night in the Lincoln Bedroom, paid for the Socks the Cat fanclub, or whether Vice President Gore made campaign calls using the wrong telephone.

The fact that all the Purged Prosecutors were loyal Republicans and after the Senate voted 94-2 to reverse the Patriot Act loophole which allowed the Bushies to pull this hat trick in the first place, the likelyhood that anyone can take the claim that this is a "Partisan Witchhunt" is somewhere been slim and less than nill.

I for one, am glad it looks like Bush will do the stupid thing - yet again - and not only dig in his heels to carve a moat around Gonzales (eventually forcing his Impeachment), but also try to defy the will of Congress and take this issue to the Supreme Court.

Where, me thinks, he'll lose and lose badly.

The more he tries to stick his fingers into this leaking boat - the faster the water rises. This Prez, IMO is headed for the Big Fall. That's right Regime Change ™, and the sad thing is he'll never see it coming.

Vyan

Monday, March 19

Quick Truths

From Thinkprogress

18: The percentage of Iraqis that have confidence in U.S.-led coalition troops as the war enters its fifth year today. Six in 10 Iraqis say their lives are going badly, and only one-third expect things to improve in the next year. Nearly 90 percent “say they live in fear that the violence ravaging their country will strike themselves and the people with whom they live.”

Almost two years before the FBI publicly admitted this month that “it had ignored its own rules when demanding telephone and financial records about private citizens, a top official in that program warned the bureau about widespread lapses.”

Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who was fired “after Republican complaints that he neglected to prosecute voter fraud,” had been “heralded for his expertise in that area by the Justice Department, which twice selected him to train other federal prosecutors to pursue election crimes.”

Last week, the White House pressured the Office of Management and Budget to withhold earmark data from the public. OMB Director Rob Portman said privately last week: “My hands are tied” due to directives from the White House. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) remarked, “I think the American people should be very disappointed.”

A new twist on the “illegal immigration hunts” sponsored by right-wing college groups: A Boise State University student group is “promoting a speech about immigration with a ‘food stamp drawing’ that requires climbing through a hole in a fence and offering fake identification for a shot at winning dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.”


And From Randi Rhodes

Valerie Plame Wilson testified Friday morning under oath in front of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Everything we’ve told you thus far on the outing of this undercover CIA agent has been confirmed by the CIA itself in advance of the hearing. Randi has the must-hear clips and analysis.

Meanwhile, Americans are against a Libby pardon 3 to 1.

New evidence puts 1) Karl Rove at the heart of the purge of the prosecutors, and 2) shows that Gonzales lied to Congress (what else is new). Expanded info/explanation

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) becomes the 2nd Republican calling for Gonzales to go.

The buzz is that, like in the case of Libby, a guilty Gonzales will go down but Rove, like a doughy pasty white cockroach, will survive. Plus, a 3rd Republican, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R - CA), says Gonzales should go.

VIDEO: One of the purged prosecutors speaks out

From our No S**t File, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confessions were exaggerated. Gee, really?

Moreover, KSM’s BS “confession” not only failed as a new-cycle topic changer, it also means that the truly guilty parties have a better chance at getting away with the crimes he that he has taken credit for committing. Chimpy, you’re doing a heckuva job.

Evangelicals come out against torture (how very brave and just 6 short years after it started).

More black site prisons

Also, Rep. Jean Schmitt (R-OH) plays slip & slide in a pool of vomit. LOL!!!

FLASHBACK VIDEO: Schmitt calling Murtha a coward on the floor of the House

And Grandpa McCain takes the “Straight Talk Express” out of storage, adding a twist of irony to his already shattered credibility.

Sunday, March 18

Brit Hume is a Lying Douche-bag

Now I'm one to name-call, so you didn't hear this from me. It came from Brit's own lips.

Today on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume continued his campaign to smear Valerie Plame Wilson. Previously, he had falsely said that it was “unlikely she was” covert.

Instead of apologizing this morning, he launched a new attack against Plame, claiming that she had lied under oath when she testified on Friday about whether she recommended her husband be sent to Niger to investigate Iraq’s supposed nuclear ambitions.

Hume said Plame’s testimony “flies in the face of the evidence” adduced by the “bipartisan” Senate Intelligence Committee, which said that “she very much did have something to do with it, that she recommended him and that she put it in a memo.”
Well, you know what Brit ole buddy? The comments you're refereing to were not "bi-partisan".
Hume’s false claim originated from a statement attached to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq that was released in 2004. In an addendum to that report, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wrote definitively, “The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee.” The right-wing, including columnist Bob Novak, have taken the statement written by three Republican senators and falsely attributed it as the “unanimous” conclusion of the Senate report.
Let's remember that Pat Roberts is the guy who did everything inhumanly possible to stall and delay the Senates Phase II investigation into how the intelligence was twisted, contorted and manipulated by the Bush Administration and led us directly into an inevitable pointless wrong-headed War.

Let's put it simply - they were wrong.

Valerie Wilson addressed this issue during her testimony.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: So, just so I understand, Mr. Chairman, if I could — so, there was a memo written by the [Counterproliferation Division] officer, upon whose alleged testimony the Senate wrote its report that contradicts the conclusions

MS. PLAME WILSON: Absolutely.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: — contradicts the conclusions from that report.

MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, sir.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this committee should ask for that memo. And it bears directly on the credibility of the Senate report on this very, very important issue, which they’ve attempted to us to discredit Ambassador Wilson’s mission.

REP. WAXMAN: I think the gentleman makes an excellent point, and we will insist on getting that memo.

The CPD officer who had testified to the Robert's committee, later tearfully apologized to Valerie that his "words were distored" by the Report had tried to go back and set the record straight... only to be ignored and rebuffed.

What a surprise, eh?

And Hume is still a douchebag.

Vyan

In the last-throes of Gone-Zales

Well, this certainly has been an enteraining an informative week hasn't it? After testimony from the purged U.S. Attorneys and continued email and doco dumps the call for the resignation of AG Abu Gonzales have even began to echo from the lips of hard-care right-wing bomb-throwers such as John Sununu and Dana Rohrbacher.

Abu has no choice but to start emptying his office right?

Wrong.

According to CBS news Bush is diggin in his heels and says...

No one is going to tell him who to fire.

So it looks like ole' Abu just might be staying around for awhile - at least until Congress finally decides to Impeach His Ass.

More from CBS.

Republicans close to the White House tell CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod that President Bush is in "his usual posture: pugnacious, that no one is going to tell him who to fire." But sources also said Gonzales' firing is just a matter of time.

The White House is bracing for a weekend of criticism and more calls for Gonzales to go. One source tells CBS News he's never seen the administration in such deep denial, and Republicans are growing increasingly restless for the president to take action.

The've never seen such deep denial?

Deeper than their denial about WMD, links between Saddam and Al Qaeda, Global Warming, that we're just about to turn the corner in Iraq, Terry Schiavo's brain damage or their insistence that condoms don't work?

Ladies and Gents we have just reach a new lowering of the bar.

Although we all know that Bush has previously proclaimed lied to reporters that he wouldn't fire Donald Rumsfeld just a few days before told Rummy to hit the bricks. I believe the situation with Gonzales is different.

Bush needs Gonzales to help resist Congressional calls for Special Prosecutors to investigate any number of ongoing scandals such as ...

* The Walter Reed/VA Profiteering Scandal
* The Ongoing Katrina Scandal were $Billions have been lost and/or squander, yet the Levee's remain vulnerable.
* The missing $8.8 Billion from the Coalition Provisional Authority
* The missing $Billions paid to various U.S Contractors in Iraq such as Halliburton, CACI and Blackwater.
* The use of political litmus tests in hiring people to rebuild Iraq.
* The strong-arming of Whistle-blowers such as former NSA analyst Russell Tice.
* Why the FBI has documented but not investigated allegations of criminal abuse by U.S. Contractors and civilians at abu Ghraib, Bagram AFB and Gitmo for War Crimes Violations?

The Attorney-Purge has gotten under even the most ardent Bush lackeys skin precisely because they've already been on the receiving end of threatening calls from Bush's chief pit-bull Karl Rove. Like when Rove shutdown the Senate's Phase II investigation with a series of brutal arm-twisting.

Trent Lott on Rove. back in November 06.

In an interview this morning on Fox News, Lott intensified the growing discord between him and Rove, stating, "I’ve had problems with some of the conduct of Karl Rove." He added that he has a good relationship with "most of the people" around the President.

I think they realize that turning the AG's office and his 93 U.S. Attorneys into enforcement of the political wing of the Administration is a weapon that can swing both ways.

What's to stop such an Administration from using it's investigatory power against a member of thier own party if they don't tow the line on critical votes?

We've already seen, thanks to David Kuo, how they twisted the compassion of their Faith Based Initiatives into a tax-payer funded effort to get out the religious vote and swing it into their favor.

[Kuo writes] that Rove referred to evangelical leaders as "the nuts," and claims Rove deputy Ken Mehlman "knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly ‘nonpartisan’ events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races."

Is it too dificult to imagine that while all this mobilization was going on there was some de-mobilization in the works as well?

This is what leads me to what may be the next upcoming scandal for Abu, and this one looks far more serious than Purge-Gate.

This past Friday Keith Olberman discussed a report that Alberto Gonzales had known that he himself may have been a potential target of the DOJ internal investigation of how information obtained without warrants via the NSA was being used by the Administration.

That apparently the AG had a little chat with Bush and the next thing we know - the Security Clearance needed by the members of the OPR (Office of Personal Responsibility) were denied, effectively shutting the investigation down.

Gonzales claimed clean hands to the Senate...

In testimony Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales said that in matters involving access to classified programs, "the president of the United States makes the decision."

"The president decided that protecting the secrecy and security of the program requires that a strict limit be placed on the number of persons granted access to information about the program for non-operational reasons," Gonzales wrote in a related letter sent to the committee's chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. "Every additional security clearance that is granted for the (program) increases the risk that national security might be compromised."

A strict number eh? Then why did each member of the OIC (the DOJ's own defense attorneys) have full clearance in order to defend the program from an ACLU Suit? There's no good reason to take Gonzales at his word here - especially since he's lied to Congress before when he said all U.S. Attorney's would be "Senate Confirmed."

We've recently seen how the FBI has abused use of National Security Letters to obtain personal information about private U.S. citizens that had nothing to do with any ongoing investigation.

The inspector general's audit found 22 possible breaches of internal FBI and Justice Department regulations -- some of which were potential violations of law -- in a sampling of 293 "national security letters." The letters were used by the FBI to obtain the personal records of U.S. residents or visitors between 2003 and 2005. The FBI identified 26 potential violations in other cases.

Just how likely is it the the NSA information was being abused in exactly the same way - and like the Faith Based situation and the Attorney Purge - for decidedly political purposes?

Why is it that thousands of leads from the NSA have turned up nothing but dead ends? This hasn't been about protecting the U.S. from Terrorists - it's about protecting Republicans from angry voters.

The Administration certainly didn't protect Valerie Plame-Wilson, a key U.S. intelligence asset in the WMD proliferation. They didn't and still aren't protecting the survivors of Katrina. What makes you think they'll protect anyone but themselves?

Just how likely is it that the NSA data was being used to target potential republicans for their GOTV efforts and to purge potential Democrats from the Voter Rolls - Again?

Even if this isn't the specific reason for the cover-up, it's clear that there was still a cover-up. Olbermann's allegation that Gonzales may have had a hand in blocking an investigation through his good friend the President where he himself was a potential target is earth-shattering!

And with Bush also implicated in helping cover Abu's Ass he's about as likely to fire him as divorcing his wife Condi., uh Karl, er - Dick oh yeah - Laura.

People may want him to resign but it's simply not gonna happen.

Not unless Congress makes it happen with a serious investigation followed by Impeachment proceedings

...for Gonzales.

We can focus on the rest of The Bush Crime Family Administration soon afterward, with ample post-Abu ammunition and increased leverage.

Vyan