Saturday, July 23, 2005

Blackhawk Down Again and Again and Again

Andrew Sullivan's War:

WASHINGTON, July 23 - The Bush administration's rallying call that America is a nation at war is increasingly ringing hollow to men and women in uniform, who argue in frustration that America is not a nation at war, but a nation with only its military at war.

From bases in Iraq and across the United States to the Pentagon and the military's war colleges, officers and enlisted personnel quietly raise a question for political leaders: if America is truly on a war footing, why is so little sacrifice asked of the nation at large?

There is no serious talk of a draft to share the burden of fighting across the broad citizenry, and neither Republicans nor Democrats are pressing for a tax increase to force Americans to cover the $5 billion a month in costs from Iraq, Afghanistan and new counterterrorism missions.

There are not even concerted efforts like the savings-bond drives or gasoline rationing that helped to unite the country behind its fighting forces in wars past.

"Nobody in America is asked to sacrifice, except us," said one officer just back from a yearlong tour in Iraq, voicing a frustration now drawing the attention of academic specialists in military sociology.


Our friend Michelle writes:

Confronted with a furtive individual who reportedly refused to obey orders, dressed suspiciously, and fled over a turnstile towards the subway train, London authorities made a fateful split-second decision in a moment of great danger. I have a feeling that no one who works in law enforcement--here or around the world--will blame the police for the actions they took, and I doubt the majority of Britons will either.

Nice deflection. This issue is not those who are second-guessing cops who are frequently in horrible positions. I wasn't there and I don't know what they knew or what they thought they knew or what their orders were. Some of that will be revealed. The issue is the cheerleaders of the "shoot first ask questions later" attitude, and the critics of those who dare suggest that shooting someone the government has labelled "terrorist suspect" absent trial is problematic.

Bush and the Right generally have become masters of this rhetorical trick. Criticize the Bush policies in Iraq? You're attacking the troops! Criticze the Bush policies in Gitmo? You're attacking the troops! Criticize the 101st Fighting Keyboarders glee about the killing of "bad" brown people in London? You're attacking London bobbies!

It's long past time for the Right to take responsible for its own actions and rhetoric, and stop trying to pawn it off on those on the front lines.

12 Hours

Frank Rich reminds us of a long forgotten part of the cover up of this scandal:

But the scandal has metastasized so much at this point that the forgotten man Mr. Bush did not nominate to the Supreme Court is as much a window into the White House's panic and stonewalling as its haste to put forward the man he did. When the president decided not to replace Sandra Day O'Connor with a woman, why did he pick a white guy and not nominate the first Hispanic justice, his friend Alberto Gonzales? Mr. Bush was surely not scared off by Gonzales critics on the right (who find him soft on abortion) or left (who find him soft on the Geneva Conventions). It's Mr. Gonzales's proximity to this scandal that inspires real fear.

As White House counsel, he was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation. This 12-hour delay, he has said, was sanctioned by the Justice Department, but since the department was then run by John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist who refused to recuse himself from the Plame case, inquiring Senate Democrats would examine this 12-hour delay as closely as an 18½-minute tape gap. "Every good prosecutor knows that any delay could give a culprit time to destroy the evidence," said Senator Charles Schumer, correctly, back when the missing 12 hours was first revealed almost two years ago. A new Gonzales confirmation process now would have quickly devolved into a neo-Watergate hearing. Mr. Gonzales was in the thick of the Plame investigation, all told, for 16 months.

Thus is Mr. Gonzales's Supreme Court aspiration the first White House casualty of this affair. It won't be the last. When you look at the early timeline of this case, rather than the latest investigatory scraps, two damning story lines emerge and both have legs.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Jean Charles de Menezes

Well, I suppose Michelle Malkin got one thing right. The "Muslim Council of Britain's grievance-mongerers" probably didn't have a case to monger any grievance, though the Brazilian Embassy of grievance mongerers might.

In all seriousness, the guy could be a Muslim for all I know. Or, even worse, look like one! But he also, apparently, was innocent.

Five in the Noggin

Deep thoughts by John Gibson:

What is also good is the Brit police tactics that we saw at work in the subway Friday morning. The tackle and kill team is incredible, if for no other reason than their bravery. Can you imagine the job of those cops? Tackle the guy wearing a vest bomb and hope your colleague is right behind with the gun to put five bullets in the noggin before he sets off the bomb.

Turns out he didn't have a bomb, and turns out he wasn't one of the four bombers Thursday. And if it turns out ultimately that he had nothing to do with anything, no doubt there will be hell to pay. But the police say he was linked to the terror probe, so let's wait and see.

Meantime, got to admire the cojones of those Brit cops to go after him like that. All of this trumps any of my other complaints that the Brits weren't making the right noises about fighting terror. They like to go about things a bit more quietly than us. Not my style, but okay, fine — as long as they get the five in the noggin of the right bomber boy. They do that and I'm fine.

So for the moment, alls well. Just catch the four bombers. Five in the noggin is fine. Don't complain that sounds barbaric. We're fighting barbaric.

Punchline here.

(thanks to Doug)

Blog Blogging

Dragonballyee talks about alt-weekly blogging. I've always been puzzled by the fact that alt-weeklies have largely missed the blogging boat. They seem to have all of the infrastructure in place to do the kind of local culture/arts/music/hipsters/politics/gossip/happenings blogging which is essentially what they do anyway. Doing that kind of local blogging well would be a smart move. Blogs with a primarily national focus and audience can't really expect to attract local advertisers, but a decently trafficked site with a local focus could.

I've never really read the Gothamist or its progeny but it's the kind of thing which could have had a happy home in house at an alt-weekly. For some reason they've been rather late to the table.

Along those lines, say hello to one of Gothamist's newest children, Phillyist.


Fred Clark gives us his weekly installment of "he reads Left Behind so you don't have to."

He concludes with:

The other option is to read such tirades as wholly directed at Other People. Judgement is never for Us, only for Them. This is one of the main points of LB and indeed of the entire pseudotheological framework of premillennial dispensationalism on which it is based.

This approach -- judgement for Thee but not for Me -- also helps to account for the current antigay mania of American evangelicalism. In a couple of Paul's other rants, he includes "sodomites" in his bestiaries of badness. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, the dubious assumption that Paul misunderstood the story of Sodom, and therefore used this as a synonym for "homosexuals," it doesn't follow that "homosexuals are bad" is the main lesson that heterosexuals should be gleaning from such passages. But if you read such passages looking for any excuse to exempt yourself from the apostle's condemnation, this offers an ideal escape hatch. Preaching against self-love, ingratitude, love of money or love of pleasure can be a two-edged sword. But if you're heterosexual, and you're preaching against homosexuality, then you're safe. You've found the ideal target for self-exempting, self-justifying self-righteousness.

Judgment is for Other People.

Bobo's World

FL edition:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The state suspended the licenses of two church-affiliated day care centers where children allegedly were sexually molested, forced to eat worms and pick each other's noses during employee-led games of "Truth or Dare."

The former director of the Kid's Palace centers and one employee have been charged, and the investigation is continuing.


The former director of the day care centers, Joshua Palin, 25, has been charged with molesting 10 children, some of them during what investigators said were twisted games of Truth or Dare. He is the son of the affiliated church's pastor.

Palin was charged last month with molesting two girls, ages 12 and 13, and more charges were added this week after Clay County sheriff's investigators interviewed children at the child care centers.

Palin is charged with "daring" children age 5 to 14 to fondle him or each other or to perform oral sex on each other over a one-year span ending last month.

The centers, which were licensed for 176 children, were operated by Faith Ministries. The church did not return calls Friday or earlier in the week. The church closed the day care centers June 15, but they could have been reopened without the license suspensions.

Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs

From the most recent Harper's Index:

Number of killed or captured suspects reported so far by U.S. media to be Al Qaeda's "number 3" man: 4

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Late Night

This open thread has been sponsored by the Coca Cola corporation.

Friday, July 22, 2005



CAIRO, Egypt -- A series of explosions, including four car bombs, struck luxury hotels in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik early Saturday, killing at least 45 people, witnesses and police said.

Saturday's explosions _ the deadliest attack in Egypt in nearly a decade _ shook windows more than five miles away. Smoke and fire rose from Naama Bay, a main strip of beach hotels in the desert city at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, which is also popular with European and Israeli tourists, witnesses said.

Certainly this will get less coverage than the bombings in London, despite that the fact that in many ways the bombings in Egypt might actually have greater long term significance. I'm not saying that's necessarily "right" or "wrong," but I do think that responsible news outlets should at least have an understanding of why they will give it significantly less coverage.

Odds of this Story Showing Up on CNN?


A young, pregnant, single mom from South Philadelphia is missing and police say she could be in danger.

No one has seen Latoyia Figueroa (right), 24, since Monday, when she didn't pick up her seven-year-old daughter from day care.

Police lieutenant Frank Vanore:

"Right now we have more questions than answers. Miss Figueroa is employed by a center city restaurant. She has not been to work in several days. She has not utilized her cell phone."

Let's hope she's ok.

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Winning Elections

It feels like November 2006 is a long time from now, but it's amazing how time flies. I'm certainly not going to do the hard sell on fundraising for candidates any time soon (the Paul Hackett special election on August 2 was of course an exception). And, my default position is to stay out of any seriously contested primaries, though that isn't necessarily an unbreakable rule. On the other hand helping to finance candidates early gives them more free time to press the flesh and as they have to spend less time in the coldcall fundraising dungeon.

I've added Lois Murphy to my list of candidates, which you can find in the link to the left. Murphy's running in PA 6 against the odious Jim Gerlach. Gerlach just had a fundraiser with Karl Rove so you know he puts his personal political concerns over the national security of this country. Murphy only lost by about 7,000 votes in '04, with at least one local network affiliate calling the race (incorrectly) for her.

As I said, it's too early to get into high gear for the long hard slog to '06. I don't intend to be pushing the fundraising. But, if ever you're feeling the need to do something to help and have a few extra dollars in your pocket, the link will be there...


Steve Clemons:

TWN has just learned from a highly placed source -- and in the right place to know -- that John Bolton was a regular source for Judith Miller's New York Times WMD and national security reports.

The source did not have any knowledge on whether Bolton was one of Miller's sources on the Valerie Plame story she was preparing, but argues that he was a regular source otherwise.

O'Reilly's Court of the Living Dead


Friday Cat Blogging

Gizmo edition:

Eye on the Ball

Larry Johnson to give tomorrow Democratic radio address. Transcript follows:

"Good morning. I'm Larry Johnson, an American, a registered Republican, a former intelligence official at the CIA, and a friend of Valerie Plame.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 with Valerie. We were members of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch wrote the letter of recommendation for me which I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA.

From the first day we walked into the building, all members of my training class were undercover, including Valerie. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife.

I knew the wife of Ambassador Wilson, Valerie, as Valerie P. Even though all of us in the training class held Top Secret Clearances, we were asked to limit our knowledge of our other classmates to the first initial of their last name.

So, Larry J. knew Val P. rather than Valerie Plame. I really didn't realize what her last name was until her cover was betrayed by the Government officials who gave columnist Robert Novak her true name.

I am stunned that government officials at the highest level have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak's compromise of Valerie led to scrutiny of CIA officers that worked with her. This not only compromised her "cover" company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department.

Val only told those with a need to know about her status in order to safeguard her cover, not compromise it. She was content with being known as an energy consultant married to Ambassador Joe Wilson and the mother of twins.

I voted for George Bush in November of 2000 because I was promised a President who would bring a new tone and a new ethical standard to Washington.

So where are we? The President has flip-flopped on his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby are implicated in these leaks and may have lied during the investigation.

Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson.

This is wrong and this is shameful.

We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

I am Larry Johnson.

Thank you for listening.

Audio here.

Waxman Hearing

On about 4:00, CSPAN 1.


O'Donnell on Luskin.

It Depends On The Meaning Of Peruse

I think Ari's got problems.

2 Years

I can learn a lot from reading my own archives. I can't believe this damn Wilson story (and the Iraq war, for that matter) are two years old.

Larry Johnson testified this morning. Here's what he said.

Here's what he said almost two years ago:

This not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been under cover for three decades. She is not as Bob Novak suggested a "CIA analyst." Given that, i was a CIA analyst for 4 years. I was under cover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the CIA unti I left the Intelligence Agency on Sept. 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it. The fact that she was under cover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous. She was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she works with overseas could be compromised...

For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal... and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that, well, this was just an analyst. Fine. Let them go undercover. Let's put them go overseas. Let's out them and see how they like it...

I say this as a registered Republican. I am on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear, of an individual who had no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it because the entire intent was, correctly as Amb. Wilson noted, to intimidate, to suggest that there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision-making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy, and frankly what was a false policy of suggesting that there was nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend it was something else, to get into this parsing of words.

I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this.

Even Newsmax was annoyed once upon a time.

The burgeoning flap over the leaking to the press of the name of a CIA agent - a clear and serious violation of federal law - is a serious, serious legal and political problem for the Bush White House.

Good Advice

From Aravosis.

Hit Iran

Scary, if true.

Moon Over Iowa


The Walrus

Did Bolton testify or not? hmmm...


It takes a hypocrite. PDN columnist destroys little Ricky:

Here's what Santorum wrote about giving financial aid to poor single moms:

"The classic example of the failure of liberal social and economic policy is the Great Society welfare programs... . Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC), as welfare was known until 1996, put government in the role of family breadwinner."

Clearly, Rick has a problem with paying moms to have babies, and frankly, I do too.

But here's what he wrote regarding his demand that government increase the child credit and tax deduction for parents with kids: "The government actually provides less help the more children you have. The opposite should be true, and I am working on some amendments to fix this inequity for large families. (OK, I admit that with six kids of my own at home, I'm biased; but the tax code really has it in for big families.)"

What I suspect he's really saying: An out-of-work mom with more kids than she can afford doesn't deserve the government's help. But a middle-class senator with more kids than he can afford sure does!

Where he sometimes gets help instead: Santorum told the New York Times that his parents help him out financially. "They're by no means wealthy - they're two retired VA [Veterans Administration] employees - but they'll send a check every now and then. They realize things are a little tighter for us."

Except that he makes $162,000 a year. I'll bet a welfare mom of six kids could live very well on that, so why is a 47-year-old man hitting up his elderly parents for cash? Or asking for tax breaks?

But at least his folks have the money to lend him. That's because both his parents receive pensions. Why? Santorum grew up in a two-career family - a kind of family he deplores in his book as being obsessed with giving their kids "things" instead of time!

"Children of two parents who are working don't need more things. They need more us!" he writes in his book.

The Stupids Take Over the Press

Media Matters has been desperately trying to point out something which should be obvious to 8 year olds - that Circuit Court judges don't have the power to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

The press is repeatedly saying that Roberts' confirmation hearing statement that Roe was "settled law" is meaningful. But, it doesn't have any meaning over and above the obvious - that Supreme Court rulings are the law of the land until the Supreme Court revisits an issue. Roberts could've given that answer about literally any SCOTUS ruling, and it would've provided no information about how he, as a SCOTUS judge, would rule on a particular issue.


Noe Stole Millions:

COLUMBUS — Tom Noe stole millions of dollars from the state and used a “Ponzi” scheme to fabricate profits within the state’s $50 million rare-coin investment, Ohio’s attorney general said yesterday.

“There was an absolute theft of funds going on,” Attorney General Jim Petro said.

Mr. Petro said there is evidence that Mr. Noe pocketed nearly $4 million in money invested with the coin fund through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation since 1998.

Mr. Petro asked a judge to further restrict the former Toledo-area coin dealer from selling personal assets because he believes they may have been purchased with state money.


The attorney general said the theft began on March 31, 1998, the day Mr. Noe received the first of two $25 million payments from the workers’ compensation bureau, and continued until late May — more than eight weeks after The Blade first reported on April 3 that there were problems with the state’s investment.

“On Day One, Tom Noe took $1.375 million and put it in his personal or his business account,” Mr. Petro said. Records show that Mr. Noe immediately began using the state’s money for his personal use, the attorney general said.

A week later, Mr. Noe and his wife, Bernadette, made $4,500 in contributions to then-Secretary of State Bob Taft’s campaign for governor.

Welcome to Republican America. Do state business, steal some of the money, and send some of it back to your patrons in the form of campaign contributions.


Strange, I couldn't find big story but here's what the WSJ has on the memo in its entirety:

ROBERTS'S RECEPTION leads U.S. Democrats to renew focus on Rove.

Party strategists conclude Bush's court pick may be unstoppable, and look to maintain earlier momentum from CIA leak case and other issues. Barring an unexpected revelation about the judge's background, "Our strategy now is to essentially let Roberts go...then get back on Rove, Social Security and the Iraq war," says a senior Congressional aide.

Democrats plan to grill Bush confidant Karen Hughes about leak-case in her confirmation hearing for State Department public diplomacy post. A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified "Top Secret," and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked "S/NF" -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies.

Republican operative Greg Mueller says "summer drama" about Rove proves Democrats are "desperate."

Open Thread

Words from the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Late Night

Have fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2005



July 22 (Bloomberg) — Two top White House aides have given
accounts to the special prosecutor about how reporters told them
the identity of a CIA agent that are at odds with what the
reporters have said, according to persons familiar with the case.

Lewis “Scooter'’ Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief
of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first
learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of CIA
agent Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush
administration critic Joseph Wilson. Russert has testified before
a federal grand jury that he didn’t tell Libby of Plame’s

(via rs)

Bad Day for Arnold

What a loser:

SACRAMENTO – A Superior Court judge on Thursday kicked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's redistricting measure off the special election ballot, ruling that supporters violated California's constitution by using two versions of the initiative in the qualifying process.

"The differences are not simply typographical errors," Judge Gail Ohanesian said. "They're not merely about the format of the measure. They are not simply technical. Instead they go to the substantive terms of the measure."

The proposal, Proposition 77, is one of three initiatives that the Republican governor is supporting in the Nov. 8 special election. It would take the power to draw legislative and congressional districts away from the Legislature and give it to a panel of three retired judges.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked the judge to order the measure off the ballot because its supporters used two versions – one to gather voter signatures and another that they gave to him to prepare a title and summary of the proposal to use on petitions.

Memo Marked Top Secret

Do Not Share With Foreign Nationals.

breaking in WSJ tomorrow, according to reporter on Olbermann's show...

(tip from Will and others...)


Be there or be square.

Random Bag Checks

Waste of time, waste of money, infringement on civil liberties, yadda yadda.

Mayor Mike's a wanker.

Made Man

Told you. Apparently an Iran-Contra player, too.

Apparently a different John Roberts. Sometimes google is a day behind...

Operation Yellow Elephant

The frenchmen who run the Stranger keep calling the General a liberal.

"e-Harmony Profile From Hell"

The Rude Pundit on John Roberts.


Goldberg on CNBC. Hilarious.

Wanker of the Day

John Lott.

New World Order

The black helicopter crowd are back in their full tinfoil regalia.


Dean to Tancredo:

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement regarding U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-CO) refusal to apologize for comments suggesting that the United States should bomb Muslim holy sites, including Mecca.

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

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

Ruminations on the desirability of nuking Mecca because of the actions of some Muslims somewhere presumably might piss people off a bit more than ruminations about the improper treatment of Muslim prisoners. But, up is down people! SAY IT LOUDER! UP IS DOWN!

All the Republicans who went after Dick Durbin care nothing for our soldiers or even national security. They only care about preserving the power of the Republican party.

Nor will our press put the Republicans through the disassociation gauntlet as they did Democrats. Collective punishment based on religious association using the ultimate weapons of mass destruction is certainly a-ok for our media.

Note, of course, that Tancredo is advocating terrorism against civilian populations. His reasoning is exactly that of those who bomb targets in London and Madrid, only he potentially has a bigger arsenal available to him.


I'm not surprised that Arnold's star has fallen quite a bit, but man is he unpopular. Wow.

According to Survey USA's governor tracking polls, which has him at 36, Arnold is the 46th most popular governor in the nation, leading only Matt Blunt, Ernie Fletcher, Frank Murkowski, and Bob Taft.


Russ Baker has a pretty good article on the Queen of All Iraq. A sample:

The Time's Tuesday editorial asks us to trust the Times' internal procedures, to take its word for the validity of its position: "It's up to the reporter and editor to determine whether information given under a promise of confidentiality is reliable." But what editor has vetted Miller's source? Is the newspaper willing to at least identify that person and make plain the chain of knowledge and stewardship inside the institution? In the past, when I have inquired about who supervises Miller, I have been told by her colleagues that she generally has no direct supervisor, and moreover, that she frequently appeals, often with success, to those above her editors, to reverse their decisions. Her pipeline is said to extend all the way to the paper's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose unwavering support for Ms. Miller over the years, irrespective of the situation, remains a mystery to many in that newsroom.

Open Thread

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it. --Horace Mann


Hilarious. CNN was just cut away from their London reporter because Bush was starting to speak. They cut away because they assumed he was going to give some somber comment on the events in London today. He didn't - just launched into his speech to the OAS - so the reporter cut away from Bush saying:

We're going to jump out of this. Obviously the president is speaking about something else at the Organization of American States. If he says anything about the bombings in London of course we'll get back to him.


I really missed the memo when we were told that journalists who promised confidentiality to their sources were obligated to maintain that confidentiality even after learning that they'd been lied to. This isn't about keeping promises, it's about maintaining access and shame on all of them for pretending otherwise.

Did the Bush team put out misinformation on that crazy Tuesday to steer reporters away from John Roberts?

We can't answer the question definitively because the journalists involved have a Matt Cooper problem -- they promised their sources anonymity, regardless of motive. But I can tell you that some of them are ticked and feeling misled.

Here's a deal - no need to lose your access. Feel free to email me your source, and I'll promise confidentiality.


Over at TPMcafe there's some discussion of gaggles missing from the White House web site. It's a bit strange, though I'm not sure if it necessarily means anything. It did prompt me to read one of them, found here. In it, Ari Fleischer reminds us of why we had to go to war in Iraq. It's almost quaint.

But there's a bigger picture here, and this is what's fundamental -- the case for war against Iraq was based on the threat that Saddam Hussein posed because of his possession of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological, and his efforts to reconstitute a nuclear program. In 1991, everybody in the world underestimated how close he was to getting a nuclear weapon. The case for going to war against Saddam is as just today as it was the day the President gave that speech.

And I'd almost started to believe that it had all been about spreading peeance and freeance. Thanks for the reminder, Ari. Maybe someone should tell the press.

They Get Letters


Not moral messages

As a teacher for the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 14 years, one important lesson I learned was that no matter what I said to the child, whatever the parents said superseded my message. What parents say and how they live sends a message stronger than any teacher's voice no matter what the issue.

Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife have taught their children a powerful lesson on civic responsibility by refusing to pay any tuition money to the Penn Hills School District for their children who attended the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School ("Penn Hills Loses Bid to Charge Santorum," July 12). Released from that payment on a technicality shows that even an upstanding, moral gentleman like Sen. Santorum teaches his children the following lessons:

1) Take advantage of the system whenever you can.

2) The little guy pays while the rich and powerful guy gets away with it.

3) As a Catholic, you have no obligation to pay your share to the common good in spite of Catholic social doctrine.

Finally, I am shocked that our religious leaders who see Sen. Santorum as some sort of faith-and-morals hero have not spoken up on this issue at all.

Sisters for Christian Community

(thanks to spork_incident)

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

K, C, S, A


A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.


Pravda on the Hudson

The indisputable characteristic of Roberts' career is that he's a Republican operative and complete Republican hack. A made man.

How does the Times cover his nomination?

Tell Us Sweet Little Lies

Don "Gucky" Gonyea on NPR this morning:

GONYEA: It is a good question. Late in the morning, a lot of reporters got calls from a confidential but persuasive source about Judge Clement. She was so widely rumored yesterday morning that the president, when he had a joint appearance with the prime minister of Australia, was asked about her. He gave a `no comment.' But she might have been a decoy to keep the media away from Judge Roberts for the day. But it's certainly something that we'll have to explore further.

Well, since this confidential but persuasive source fed you a bunch of horseshit in order to let the administration control the nomination spin don't you feel an obligation to inform your listeners who this liar was?

Haha, just kidding, I'd know you'd never burn a source, even one which used you to deceive the public. That would be a betrayal of those in power, and we can't have that.

Of course, Gucky Gonyea wasn't done, he continued with:

GONYEA: Dan Bartlett says the president picked the most qualified of those names before him. He said the finalists had--was a diverse group. They were a diverse group. They were women, they were minority candidates, names that he declined to provide yesterday. But, again, he says that that final group was representative of America.

Justice Mariachi

Just when you think we've reached a new low...

I Like Mike

Everyone should buy Michelangelo Signorile's new book...

...and his old ones, too.

Wanker of the Day

Paul McLeary, who writes:

This is all well and good, and on First Amendment grounds we fully support the right of bloggers to be granted the same editorial protection against lawsuits that news organizations have. But there is a compelling argument on the other side, as well.

Say that blogs are granted the same protections as news organizations. What is to stop, say, corporations or trade unions from setting up stealth blogs to promote their agenda, while collecting funds from the public or to spend on ads to promote their own interested point of view?

What's more, campaign finance laws are there for a reason, and it's a little presumptuous of bloggers to hold themselves above the system. Many partisan bloggers are little more than political activists, and as activists they raise funds for their own pet political causes, something reporters don't -- and can't -- do. In this, they should be included under campaign finance laws.

Without getting into the infinite more obvious examples of partisan media figures who are "little more than political activists," I give you Charles Krauthammer, writing in the December 5, 2003 Washington Post, soliciting funds for the Republican National Committee.

Some clinicians consider this delusion -- that Americans can get their news from only one part of the political spectrum -- the gravest of all. They report that no matter how many times sufferers in padded cells are presented with flash cards with the symbols ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times -- they remain unresponsive, some in a terrifying near-catatonic torpor.

The sad news is that there is no cure. But there is hope. There are many fine researchers seeking that cure. Your donation to the BDS Foundation, no matter how small, can help. Mailing address: Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C., Attention: psychiatric department. Just make sure your amount does not exceed $2,000 ($4,000 for a married couple).

Stop pretending that our news media only consists of "reporters" and that all these hypothetical "reporter Gods" adhere to some hypothetical system of ethics which sounds nice but does not actually exist in the world in which we exist.

Open Thread

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it. --Horace Mann

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Bobo's World

Hominy, OK edition:

NEW YORK A well-known resident of Hominy, Okla., walked into a local diner Tuesday afternoon and shot a pregnant waitress, 26-year-old Becky Clements, in the head, then shot her again in the stomach and chest. Sheriff Ty Koch said the motive is apparently a recent letter to the editor of the Hominy newspaper, the News Progress, written by the woman.

Osage County authorities say they'll ask for two first-degree murder charges against 63-year-old Roy Westbrook.
Westbrook was recently honored by the newspaper as Hominy's 2004 Citizen of the year.


The letter from the dead woman had said local vandalism is done by prominent citizens and referred to spray-painted graffiti on a rental home owned by Westbrook, although it did not name him. The letter did say the spray-painting was done by the owner.

Westbrook was trying to evict the victim's sister from the building.

Travel Day

So, somewhat light posting.

Still digesting all the Roberts info, but I think the short version is:

Made man.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Winning Elections

Thanks to the 83 of you who donated $3250 to Paul Hackett through this link yesterday.

Internets-wise, Hackett raised an additional $105K.

Trained Monkeys

Throughout the day on a 24 hour news channel:

Bob Franken: The other thing, however is that it serves the purpose, and it's probably going to be the big story of the day, of taking some of the spotlight away on the hubbub over the CIA leak, Karl Rove and all that type of thing.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, there's word the president could announce his Supreme Court nominee as early as today. Could that take some of the media heat off of the president's top adviser Karl Rove?

Kagan: Well, the announcement of a Supreme Court nominee would certainly shift the spotlight away from Karl Rove and the CIA leak investigation. Rove's reported leak of an operative's identity to a journalist has been a distraction for the Bush administration in recent days.

Franken: Speaking of the Karl Rove matter, of course, that is news that is considered at the moment so yesterday. We've moved on. And of course, they're going to have big news tonight.

Malveaux: So, it's quite expedited, the whole process and then, also, of course, they are not unhappy in any sense of the word that the Rove or CIA leak investigation is going to be knocked off the front pages.

Malveaux: you know, of course, Wolf, there was the controversy over knocking the Rove CIA leak controversy off the front pages. The White House insisting that they are going by the calendar, the Senate calendar, not by this controversy.

Ed Henry: This obviously gives Rove, who's been in a little hot water over the leak case, a chance to talk about something else.

Malveaux: Well, what the Democrats are suggesting is that perhaps this information is coming out to take Rove and the CIA leak investigation off the front pages of the newspapers.

Franken: The other theory is that the Karl Rove matter was getting to be quite a nuisance. And what better way to take the emphasis off of Karl Rove, since we in the media can only over-cover one story at a time, and switch that -- I wish that was my line.

King: KING: Well, White House officials say it's ridiculous to think the president would rush a decision to do that, because however the Karl Rove case turns out, whether it damages the president long term or not, this is something that will be very influential in this president's short-term political standing over the next few months, and then his political legacy over the next quarter century or more.

So they say they would never rush a decision, rush out and find somebody, and rush a decision. But of course, once the president was comfortable in his choice -- if he's ready to go, and he believes it is advantageous to him politically to go -- whether it is to get Judge Roberts out there, and maybe at the same time, bump Karl Rove back to Page 2 or 3, sure.

But the idea that they said, Oh my God, we're in trouble because of Karl Rover; we need to rush this -- I think that's a bit of a stretch.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Grand Unified Iranian Conspiracy

America hearts Khomeini.

The Martha Standard

If Waas is right, Rove is fucked:

White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.

Open Thread

Words from the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Scotus Evening Thread

Out to Drink Liberally. Remember that when all is said and done we need to start winning some elections.

So, throw Paul Hackett a little love.

A Perfect Match

Hemmer to Fox:

NEW YORK — Bill Hemmer, dumped last month by CNN as co-host of its morning show, has joined archrival Fox News Channel as a daytime anchor.

Once one of CNN's rising stars, Hemmer was called the "chad lad" following his coverage of the Florida recount in 2000. CNN paired him with Paula Zahn as American Morning co-host in 2002, before she was replaced by Soledad O'Brien.

Open Thread


Happy Blogosphere Day

Bob Brigham explains.

You can donate to support Paul Hackett in Ohio's special election race here if you want the Eschaton community taking credit or alternatively you can donate here. Either way the money goes to the same place which is what matters.

...Jim Dean makes his pitch here.

...main campaign site is here.

Your Liberal Media

Dana Bash to Senator Kennedy:

BASH: Senator, I have to follow up on that very quickly, because you say it should be closed, but obviously the question is, where would you put them? You need a maximum security facility. Are you offering up Hyannis Port? Is there someplace that you think you could put them outside of Guantanamo Bay?

Wanker of the Day

Bill Clinton.

Prime Time

Well, operation Knock Rove Off the Front Pages is in full swing. And, it's apparently already been succesful. Bill Scher informs me that CNN's Bob Franken just said:

Speaking of the Karl Rove matter of course, that is news that is considered at the moment, so yesterday. We've moved on.

Yet another silly excuse for a prime time speech, but odds are the networks will run it with even lower ratings than the last one...


Michael Hiltzik says some smart things:

Many in the press are talking as though the Cooper-Miller mess destroys their ability to recruit and exploit confidential sources, but plainly they’re not talking about confidential sources the way we think about them in the investigative journalism biz. Investigative reporters strive never to hang a story directly on quotes or commentary from confidential sources; they use the sources to guide them to privileged material such as documents, in black and white. That protects the story, and in all but the rare case, it protects the source, too.

Washington confidentiality in the modern era is all about maintaining access, even if that access yields scarcely anything worth publishing. If you have a confidential chat with Karl Rove, and he leads you down the garden path, do you end up with anything worthwhile other than DC cocktail party chatter about your last conversation with Karl Rove? And should we be appalled and surprised that Rove used the occasion to mislead? To paraphrase George Orwell, you can’t blame Rove for taking such an opportunity to further his own interests, any more than you can blame a skunk for stinking.

This episode is part and parcel of the debasement of confidential source’s role in American journalism. Taking sources at their own level of self-interest is what has given us Whitewater, Wen Ho Lee, and Iraqi WMDs. In Washington, they’re used as social currency; when anonymous “senior administration officials” give their briefings, their identities are known to everyone in the system except the reader. It’s another expression of the elitism that has opened a yawning gap between the practitioners of journalism and the public. Even Hollywood is onto us now; this sign of the zeitgeist is only the beginning.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Conservative media full of shit again.


Raw Story has an important WSJ article:

News that the memo was marked for its sensitivity emerged as President Bush yesterday appeared to backtrack from his 2004 pledge to fire any member of his staff involved in the leaking of the CIA agent's name. In a news conference yesterday that followed disclosures that his top strategist, Karl Rove, had discussed Ms. Wilson's CIA employment with two reporters, Mr. Bush adopted a different formulation, specifying criminality as the standard for firing.

The memo's details are significant because they will make it harder for officials who saw the document to claim that they didn't realize the identity of the CIA officer was a sensitive matter. Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, may also be looking at whether other crimes -- such as perjury, obstruction of justice or leaking classified information -- were committed.

On July 6, 2003, former diplomat Joseph Wilson wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, disputing administration arguments that Iraq had sought to buy uranium ore from Africa to make nuclear weapons. The following day, President Bush and top cabinet officials left for Africa, and the memo was aboard Air Force One.

The paragraph in the memo discussing Ms. Wilson's involvement in her husband's trip is marked at the beginning with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn't be shared, according to the person familiar with the memo. Such a designation would indicate to a reader that the information was sensitive. The memo, though, doesn't specifically describe Ms. Wilson as an undercover agent, the person familiar with the memo said.

According to the person familiar with the document, it didn't include a distribution list. It isn't known if President Bush has seen the memo.

The piece also reveals a response from Ari Fleischer:

Mr. Novak attempted to reach Ari Fleischer, then the White House press secretary, in the days before his column appeared. However, Mr. Fleischer didn't respond to Mr. Novak's inquiries, according to a person familiar with his account. Mr. Fleischer, who has since left the administration, is one of several officials who testified before the grand jury.


Judge Edith Brown Clement is the nominee, according to CNN...

(nothing definite until official announcement of course)

...seem to be backing off now. weird.

Santorum Republicans

Will illegalize contraception if given the chance.

Ah, the Liberal Media

An article about nasty liberal bloggers without any comment from any of them.

And, Jarvis's thumb is on the pulse of the political body in Wingnuttia, not America.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Open Thread

Words from the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Ah, the Internet

funny place.

Bye Jay

The 140,000 or so people who watch Tucker Carlson's show will no longer get to experience the idiotic rantings of Jay Severin.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Ari, Colin

Colin, Ari.


Just read this and puke.


Santorum says that clergy abuse was consensual sex.

Bush Now and Then

Bush Now:

If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.

Bush Then:

After the oath was administered, Bush told the staff – and 100 or so family members on hand – "You all are here because you have my full confidence."

"Today, everything is so promising and new," the new president said. "I'm hoping the day will never come when any of us take this place for granted."

Bush warned that he expected his White House staff to meet the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only violations of law, but even the appearance of impropriety.

"We must remember the high standards that come with high office," he said. "This begins careful adherence with the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries [that] define legal and ethical conduct.

"No one in the White House should be afraid to confront the people they work for over ethical concerns, and no one should hesitate to confront me as well."

Bush told his staff that he sees civility as a central part of the required behavior of White House staff. "There is no excuse for arrogance and never a reason for disrespect toward others," he said. "I expect each of you … to be an example of humility and decency and fairness."

And he concluded that the ultimate goal of White House service is to advance the agenda Bush was elected on. "We are here for a reason," Bush said. "You and I and the vice president share the same goals for our country … we are here to make progress. We are not here just to mark time."

(thanks to blah3)

Red Alert

ABC poll results out soon:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, July 18, 2005
Many Doubt White House Cooperation

With Federal Investigation of CIA Leak

Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began. And three-quarters say that if presidential adviser Karl Rove was responsible for leaking classified information, it should cost him his job.

Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.

Wanker of the Week

The Poor Man, who gets to decide these things, has determined the weekly winner.

Terrorists are Bad

It is true, I can say, that blowing up innocent civilians is a bad thing to do. I don't feel the need to say it all the time because I generally think it's self-evident and rarely requires reiteration. One can, of course, remind ourselves of just why terrorists are bad at times, and maybe some people need to be reminded of this though I'm not entirely sure why. I certainly don't. I tend to think that those who spend a lot of time thinking it necessary to remind people of how bad terrorism is are really just spending a lot of time saying "we are good! they're bad!" Now, depending on who exactly "we" and "they" are specifically this is quite frequently true as well, though again I'm not sure why we feel the need to repeat it.

Similarly, when someone experiences a negative consequence of something they posted on the internets I don't really understand why many people feel the need to preface every comment on that situation with "people should KNOW they can get in trouble for what they post on the inernet." Well, duhh. We mostly know this though sometimes people are more unaware of than others. It's useful to occasionally remind people that they should think twice before doing something on the internet that can be easily linked to their real life. But, still, sometimes some of us don't follow that advice or make the "mistake" of actually telling someone we know about our blog or our politics or our religion or anything else. And, when that happens, people are sure to point out that it's stupid to tell your bosses anything about your personal life because OF COURSE that will only get you in trouble, etc.

Look, the fact that something opens you up to asshole treatment by assholes doesn't excuse the asshole behavior anymore than having a few drinks at a meat market bar late at night excuses the behavior of a rapist. A victim is a victim, no matter how "stupid" we might imagine their "risky" behavior was. I'm glad none of us except actual victims ever do anything stupid.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that in l'affaire Olen, the actions of the nanny in question are essentially irrelevant, except to the extent that it allows you to pat yourself on the back for not have ever been so stupid yourself. Whatever.

In addition, the fact that the nanny in question got fired is also almost entirely irrelevant. It may or may not reflect badly on the parents who hired her, but the nanny decision is a parenting decision. No matter how silly the decision sounds I'm not going to question the right of parents to choose who they want to spend significant time with their own kids.

The issue here is that the former employer decided to turn this incident into a piece for the New York Times, and that the Times thought it worthy of being published. It's that the Times allowed a woman who was upset that her nanny would dare to have a life and dare to very rarely reference her employment to call the nanny a drunken slut for a national audience. It's that the Times took a private individual and made her life public, over her protestations, for its readers without any justifiable news angle. It's that it's somehow acceptable for an employer to talk shit about an employee in a national newspaper but not okay for an employee to briefly mention her personal employment on her weblog. The Times decision to publish this story legitimized the view that not only was she within her rights to fire her (surely true) but that she had the additional privilege of talking trash about her in a respectable national newspaper.

Most people have a reasonable expectation that they won't suddenly find their personal details splashed across a national newspaper's pages. I say "reasonable expectation" because it does require that people involved in making the decision about what is a legitimate news story, and thus a legitimate reason to bring someone into the spotlight, are in fact reasonable. Clearly Olen and the editors at the Times are not. The power to do something is not a sufficient justification for that action.

...Lance says it very briefly:

But Olen, who didn't like it that the nanny was exposing the Olens' personal lives on the web, thought it was fine for her to expose the nanny's personal life in the New York Times. This in itself was the act of a bully. But it was also the act of a person with very little self-awareness, because the portrait she paints of hersef is far worse than the sketch the nanny drew on her blog.

The Year of Living Rudely

See the Rude Pundit - Live! Dates/times announced.



WASHINGTON, July 18 - President Bush changed his stance today on his close adviser Karl Rove, stopping well short of promising that anyone in his administration who helped to unmask a C.I.A. officer would be fired.

C.I.A. Inquiry May Hinge on What the Leaker Knew (July 18, 2005) "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration," Mr. Bush said in response to a question, after declaring, "I don't know all the facts; I want to know all the facts."

For months, Mr. Bush and his spokesmen have said that anyone involved in the disclosure of the C.I.A. officer's identity would be dismissed. The president's apparent raising of the bar for dismissal today, to specific criminal conduct, comes amid mounting evidence that, at the very least, Mr. Rove provided backhanded confirmation of the C.I.A. officer's identity.

As Bob Schieffer said on Sunday:

Instead, this White House did what it usually does when challenged: It went into attack mode, called charges that the White House had leaked the name ridiculous, and allowed the controversy to boil until a special prosecutor had to be appointed. Now two years and millions of tax dollars later, the president's trusted friend and strategist Karl Rove has emerged as the top suspect, and we're left to wonder: Can anything said from the White House podium be taken at face value, or does the White House just deny automatically anything that reflects badly on it?

I think Bush just gave the definitive answer to that question.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Election Season

Well, not really, but there IS a special election in Ohio's 2nd. Paul Hackett is running.

Here's Stephen Yellin making the pitch.

And, here's the official campaign website.

And, here's where the Eschaton community can donate if they so desire.

Wanker of the Day

Cliff May

Slimed by the Times

I'll have more later on why yesterday's wanker was deserving of such a high honor 'cause I think a lot of people don't quite get it.

Until then, here's more commentary on the subject:

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Helaine Olen

Rove and Libby

This LA Times article is pretty good, and it actually calls bullshit on things most of the rest of the press is content to dutifully pass on:

WASHINGTON — Top aides to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were intensely focused on discrediting former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV in the days after he wrote an op-ed article for the New York Times suggesting the administration manipulated intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq, federal investigators have been told.

Prosecutors investigating whether administration officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

Although lower-level White House staffers typically handle most contacts with the media, Rove and Libby began personally communicating with reporters about Wilson, prosecutors were told.


Eight days after Wilson's article was published, a syndicated column by Robert Novak questioned the credibility of Wilson's trip, suggesting that it had been arranged with the help of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, at the CIA.

And, the AP, sans the toxic Solomon byline,
calls bullshit:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is maintaining silence over the leak of a CIA officer's identity despite a journalist's disclosure that Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was a source for a story about the intelligence agent.

A role for Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby is among details revealed Sunday by Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who wrote a first-person account in this week's issue.

Recounting a July 11, 2003, conversation with senior Bush political adviser Karl Rove, Cooper recalled that Rove told him, ''I've already said too much'' after revealing that the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently worked at the CIA.

Cooper speculated that Rove could have been ''worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else.''

''I don't know, but that signoff has been in my memory for two years,'' Cooper wrote.

Until it refused to issue more denials last week, the White House had insisted for nearly two years that Libby and Rove had no connection to the leak of the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Late Night


Read tom tomorrow before you go to bed.

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.





The NAACP unfortunately in the 2000 campaign likened the president to James Byrd, who was a racist killer in east Texas, who the president brought to justice.

Byrd was the victim.

(tip from reader p)

Lies Unraveling

Armando has a good rundown of the latest.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Wanker of the Day

Helaine Olen.

Read this too, of course.

One nice thing about blogs is when journalists write shit pieces on you, you have a forum to strike back.

They hate that.

...There are an infinite number of issues raised by this which are worthy of discussion, but one of them is addressed perfectly by a commenter at pandagon:

There's definitely some class issues going on when an employee writing about her employer in a blog [[and, let me add, unnamed and identified by that employee -a.]] is enough to get her fired, but an employer writing about her employee in the New York Times is just journalism.

Political Rationale

Your Republican Congressman:

TRENTON, N.J. - Congressman Frank LoBiondo apologized for suggesting that Guantanamo Bay detainees were worse than Adolf Hitler because the Nazi dictator "sort of had a political rationale about what he was doing."

The New Jersey Republican made the remark on a radio talk show this past week, describing his recent visit to the Naval Base in Cuba. Muslim terrorists, he said, were more evil than Hitler.

"Hitler, in his philosophy, was, you know, he hated Jews, he was murdering Jews, and there were some people he liked. But he never went to the level that these people are going to," LoBiondo said

He did apologize a few minutes later, but what was the point he thought he was trying to make?



KILLEEN, Texas — Most of the men in 4th Squad, Charlie Battery, fought two wars while they were in Iraq. There was the war against the insurgents that had them patrolling for roadside bombs and raiding houses at all hours. Then there was the war back home, which had them struggling, over phone lines from 7,000 miles away, to keep their marriages and their bank accounts intact.

They say they eventually got used to the bombs. The crazy possibility of dying any minute didn't haunt them so much. But that other war, that was the one that tore them up in the downtime spent in Sgt. Cox's trailer at Camp Victory. It would get quiet, and then one or another of them would ask: "So, how are things going at home?" And they would begin to brood.


For some in the 4th Squad, the tensions played out nightly in Camp Victory's "Internet cafe" — the Army trailer with rows of computers where soldiers flocked to contact their families. Some found more pain there than comfort. Cox's wife was five months pregnant when she announced she was leaving him and going back home to Lawton, Okla.

Hall visited the Internet trailer less often after he checked the phone messages on his home answering machine one day and heard another man tell his wife he loved her.

Garcia stopped hearing from his girlfriend and started tracking his bank account. He said thousands of dollars of his saved pay was gone and she had found somebody else.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?