Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mysterious Death of Iraq War Survivor 

EMPHERIO captures the strange death of a US Soldier:
Johnson serves 18 months in Iraq.  Mine kills his buddies.  He's hurt, but okay: Purple Heart.  Goes to Germany before being rotated out.  Heath nut.  Exerciser.  Looking forward to reuiniting with his pregnant wife, doing recruitment for National Guard.  Calls wife, says he doesn't feel well.  Goes to bed.

Dies in bed.
A military newspaper reported that the autopsy showed no signs of drugs, alcohol, suicide, or foul play.

Very strange. Very sad.


It was Karl Rove's White House 

At AMERICABlog, John from DC points out the lunacy of suggesting that Karl Rove never saw the now infamous State Departmnt memo about Joe Wilson's trip to Niger.
Remember former head of the White House office of Faith Based Initiatives, John Dilulio and his Esquire interview about the Bush White House?
"There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," says DiIulio. "What you’ve got is everything—and I mean everything—being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."
Who heads up the political arm? Karl Rove. Yet we're to believe from Rove and his attorney that Rove not only didn't see the State Department memo about Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, but that Rove had never even heard of it.
Rove said of the memo that he "had never seen it, had never heard about it and had never heard anybody else talk about it," according to a lawyer familiar with his testimony. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said he can say "categorically" that Rove did not obtain any information about Plame from any confidential source, such as a classified document.
Really? In the Bush White House, the day after Joe Wilson writes a blistering attack on the president in the NYT, calling into question the entire WMD justification for going to war, Colin Powell is walking around Air Force One with a memo about - who else? - Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame - and NO ONE ever tells Karl about the memo, doesn't show it to him, nothing.

We are to believe that Karl Rove was totally out of the loop on the Joe Wilson WMD "sixteen words" gate. Uh huh. Sure.


The Christian Exodus 

Crooks and Liars reminds us that there is some sort of religious fruitcake movement that is encourgaing thousands of good Christian folk to emmigrate to the Confederate State of South Carolina. Their hope is that, by having enough like-minded neighbors, they will be able to establish a nice little theocracy there, free from the ravages of liberal thought.
Plans to reform our government to more Christian-like principals are in the works and we may feel the effects, right here in the Upstate. That is because South Carolina has been chosen as the place for hundreds, even thousands of Christians to move to, in hopes of impacting the government. But people who live here have mixed opinions about the Christian Exodus.
I'm personally encouraging all the religious wingnuts in my state to emmigrate to South Carolina immediately.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Did Novak Spill Everything? 

Via AMERICABlog, Radar has a great scoop which, if it plays true, explains why Patrick Fitzgerald is being so tenacious in tracking down the Plame leakers and their conspiracy to cover their tracks.
Though the GOP hatchetman claims he's never spoken to the grand jury about the column, a well-known Democratic pundit tells Radar, "Novak is the media's Joseph Valachi," referring to the 1960's mafia capo who was the first mobster to testify against La Cosa Nostra. "There's no question he rolled over." According to our sources, Miller shared Plame's identity with her perfidious fellow neocon after deciding not to publish it herself; Novak then called his two White House sources --one of whom was Karl Rove -- for confirmation and wrote the July 14, 2003 column that blew Plame's cover.
I'm going to add just a bit to this, since I spent a couple of decades working in the intelligence community. It was constantly drummed into our thick skulls that, when we see information that we know to be classified published in an open-source publication, we are not to comment on it. Information from outside of government is not given the same level of reliability as information from someone within the government (Yes, I know. That seems laughable today. But I was just a lowly analyst).

What Rove did was to provide governement confirmation to classified information that had somehow leaked outside. In my day, that was known as "go to jail shit."


Torture and Lies at the Top 

Benito at Daily Kos picked up on a Chicago Tribune article which points out that somebody is lying about top-level cognisance of the interrogation/prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib:
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - An Army general who has been criticized for his role in the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has contradicted his sworn congressional testimony about contacts with senior Pentagon officials.

Gen. Geoffrey Miller told the Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2004 that he had only filed a report on a recent visit to Abu Ghraib, and did not talk to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or his top aides about the fact-finding trip.

But in a recorded statement to attorneys three months later, Miller said he gave two of Rumsfeld's most senior aides - then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary for Intelligence Steve Cambone - a briefing on his visit and his subsequent recommendations.

"Following our return in the fall, I gave an outbrief to both Dr. Wolfowitz and Secretary Cambone," Miller said in the Aug. 21, 2004, statement to lawyers for guards accused of prisoner abuse, a transcript of which was obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

"I went over the report that we had developed and gave them a briefing on the intelligence activities, recommendations, and some recommendations on detention operations," Miller added.
There's more. Go read it all. No shortage of lying scum in this adminstration. Get ready for the GOP noise machine to hail them all as war heroes.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

They should be shot 

Talk show host Joe Scarborough catches Representative Peter King (R-NY) in a moment of rare GOP candor.

From Raw Story via Avedon:
And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove.
I just love it when these guys tell us exactly what they really think.

UPDATE: Big, fat surprise! Rush Limbaugh says that Peter King is "right on the money."


Koufax material in a parallel universe 

I second Hunter. This piece by Billmon is worthy of a Koufax:
I don't know how far the Rovians plan to take this mirror image building campaign. But I won't be too surprised if we wake up tomorrow to find Bill O'Reilly claiming that Karl Rove used to be an undercover CIA operative (a kind of fat, ugly version of Keifer Sutherland) until he was outed by Valerie Plame -- all as part of a left-wing dirty tricks operation masterminded by Jim Carville.


The Treason Trifecta 

A number of legal experts, some of whom are involved in the case, said evidence that has emerged publicly suggests Rove or other administration officials face potential legal threats on at least three fronts (emphasis added).

The first is the unmasking of CIA official Valerie Plame, the original focus of special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's probe. But legal sources say there are indications the prosecutor is looking at two other areas related to the administration's handling of his investigation. One possible legal vulnerability is perjury, if officials did not testify truthfully to a federal grand jury, and another is obstructing justice, if they tried to coordinate cover stories to obscure facts.
Make my day.

Thanks to AMERICABlog for catching it.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How We'll Know 

Since Donald Rumsfeld has never been able to come up with a way to measure whether or not we are winning the global war on terror (GWOT), one of my fellow army veterans is willing to suggest one:
“When Unites States military recruitment shows steady growth, and terrorist/insurgent recruitment shows steady decline, we have turned the corner and are now winning the war.”
Ed also notes that Pat Buchannon may have a clearer understanding of terrorist motivation than those bright civilians in the Pentagon, or their neo-con masters at the AEI and the Project for the New American Century.


Double Super Secret Treason 

As the right wing slime machine (Ken Mehlman operating from his closet) drags out the likes of Newt Gingrich to make the case that Karl Rove is being persecuted by the left, the good guys in Left Blogistan provide some clarity on the rule of law.

Duncan supplies the actual text of the law (known as the Agee Law):
50 USC 421(b)

Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identity of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
And of course you've got the endless microscopic hairsplitting over what Karl did and did not know about Plame and her job, and whether he did or did not "intend" to out her to the oh, six or seven reporters on his get-Joe-Wilson call list.

On that score, Greg also points to the latest bit of sophism from Rove's mouthpiece, Robert Luskin, who now argues the Lizard King couldn't possibly have intended for Time to finger Plame, since he spoke to Cooper on "double super secret background."
Via Atrios, The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert explains just exactly what "double super secret background" actually is:
It's just like regular background but with no tagbacks, frontsies or backsies, taken to infinity plus one on opposite day, circle circle dot dot now you've got a cootie shot. It was first pioneered by Edward R. Murrow.
Billmon continues:
That might be a brilliant point for the defense -- if the Agee law made such a distinction. But it doesn't. Whether Plame's identity was published or not doesn't matter. All that matters is whether it was intentionally disclosed by someone who was authorized to know it to someone who was not authorized to know it. There's also the rather awkward fact that Time did publish the information -- although not until after the undead corpse of Bob Novak had done it first.
Armando notes that Bob Somerby of Daily Howler fame may have flown off the handle in suggesting that Valerie Plame was not really a covert CIA agent. This has been coming up quite a bit, going back to the first Novak article, and is being repeated now as part of the Republican effort to diffuse and confuse their little treason problem.

Here is the relevant response, noted by Duncan, Armando, and others. If Valerie Plame were not a covert agent, the CIA would not have sent a formal request to the Justice Department requesting an investigation. That's the way that song goes.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Are we there yet, Scotty? 

CBS News back in January of 2004:
White House press secretary Scott McClellan says President Bush has directed members of his staff to cooperate with the investigation, but will not say whether that means staffers are being directed to sign confidentiality waiver forms.

"No one wants to get to the bottom of it and find out the truth more than the president of the United States," McClellan said Tuesday. "That's why the president has directed the staff to cooperate fully in that ongoing investigation and work with the investigators."
Just can't help but wonder if Dubya has found the bottom, yet.

Which brings to mind the old army comment about the the lieutenant who couldn't find his ass with both hands and a map. Since Lt. Bush didn't stay in the Air National Guard long enough to get promoted above lieutenant . . . well, no need to go into that now. The bottom's coming up fast.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Putting the screws to Fitzgerald 

Digby says it looks like the Repulsives are starting to lean on the special prosecutor who is investigating the Valerie Plame leak. Senator Sensenbrenner is the thug of the moment.


Santa Cruz 

Since I'm still on the road (blogging at midnight from the back parking lot of a coffee shop that won't open until 6, but leaves its WiFi on all night), I thought I'd share a little local color.

They have bumper stickers here that say, "Keep Santa Cruz weird."

Yesterday I saw what must be the arch-typical Santa Cruz dude. He was riding his bicycle down the street. He's got a rack built on to the left side of his bike. A surfboard sits in the rack. On the back of his bike above the rear wheel was a small platform upon which there was at least one dog.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Corn: Newsweek to name Rove 

From Huffington via Pontificator at Daily Kos:
tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper and that Rove--prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official -- told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson's now-controversial trip to Niger.
Now we'll get to see just exactly how good Mr. Fitzgerald really is.


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