Saturday, July 16, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Joseph Wilson

I went back through my links archives over at my website, which is woefully overdue for updating, and re-read some of the links on the CIA leak.

A year ago, Joseph Wilson had a letter to the editor of the Washington Post published which sought to debunk claims that paper and other conservatives were making about his trip to Niger and his attack on the credibility of Bush's claims of justification for war.

He's still making the same rebuttals to the same arguments.

I thought it might be worth looking at that the main points of that letter again.

  • Wilson went to Niger on behalf of the U.S. government to look into allegations that Iraq had sought to purchase several hundred tons of yellowcake uranium from that West African country.
  • July 14, Robert Novak, claiming two senior sources, exposed his wife as an "agency operative [who] suggested sending him to Niger."
  • Novak went ahead with his column despite the fact that the CIA had urged him not to disclose her identity.
  • The decision to send him to Niger was not made, and could not be made, by his wife, Valarie Plame.
  • Other inaccuracies and distortions include the suggestion that his findings "bolstered" the case that Niger was engaged in illegal sales of uranium to Iraq. In fact, the Senate report is clear that the intelligence community attempted to keep the claim out of presidential documents because of the weakness of the evidence.
  • Wilson traveled to Niger and found it unlikely that Iraq had attempted to purchase several hundred tons of yellowcake uranium.
  • In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush referred to Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium "from Africa."
  • Between March 2003 and July 2003, the administration refused to acknowledge that it had known for more than a year that the claim on uranium sales from Niger had been discredited, until the day after Wilson's article in the New York Times.
  • The next day the White House issued a statement that "the sixteen words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address."

Suggested Reading:

Friday, July 15, 2005

"That's Bullshit"

I was watching Lou Dobbs just now, (6:14 pm EST) and Lou introduced a story saying that Karl Rove was not the primary source for the Plame leak. That columnist Bob Novak had gotten it from someone else.

Just before the clip started I heard someone on CNN staff whisper "That's bullshit."

This on-air blooper is, I am pretty confident, mistaken. While I agree with the sentiment and the knee-jerk presumption that anything this administration or any of its members says is a lie....I actually have thought from the very beginning that the original source for the leak was George W. Bush himself, and that Rove was going to "take one for the team."

I don't know why else these reporters would have gone to such lengths to protect Rove, even though he signed a waiver allowing people to reveal him as the source 18 months ago. Bush, or whoever the original primary source of the leak to Bob Novak was, never gave such waiver and still remains a secret. A secret only Bob Novak and the Leaker are certain to know. So why isn't Bob Novak on the hot seat?

I don't think anyone (except perahps Novak) is protecting Bush out of patriotic loyalty either...I think they are protecting themselves because Bush is no stranger to reprisals.

Him like to spank. And spank hard.

Keep on this story, so-called Liberal Press. Go get 'em Lou Dobbs!

It ain't about is, and always has been, about Bob Novak and his original source. If it isn't a conservative assault on its critics, why would Bush apologist Bob Novak be the only one who isn't in trouble? He is the one who broke the story. Judith Miller didn't even write and publish a story about it, but there she is, in jail for 9 days and counting!

This whole thing has Bush Pay Back written all over it, and we all know that Bush isn't one to take into consideration any legal restraints to getting what he wants, especially when it is revenge. ("This is the guy who tried to kill my Dad.")

Maybe it will turn out that Bush has to be true to his word and "fire" himself for being the leaker.

That'd be swell.

About as likely as Anderson Cooper crawling out of my ass with all of Bush's missing military records in his hands, but still swell.

I'm certain that if someone asked Bush about his promise to fire any leakers on his staff, George would point out he'd said that he'd fire anyone "on his staff" who was revealed to be leaking confidential information....

"You can't be on your own staff," He'd point out, with that maddening chuckle he uses to let you know how much stupider he thinks you are than he is. Then, he'd follow up with three or four variations on the following, "See, I don't work for me. I work for the American People. To put it another way, I'm on your staff, but that doesn't mean I don't think of myself as a member of the American People. Understand, I represent the American People. In a way, or put another way, I am the American People. They elected me to speak for them and that's what I'm doing. If I know something then that's really the same as the American People knowing it so nothing I tell Bob Novak or anyone else is revealing a secret, the only secrets are things I'm not willing to tell my self and I'm just not going to do that so long as I have the best interests of me, I mean you, I mean us, at heart."

Wish I'd been recording Lou tonight...that breathily whispered "bullshit" was priceless.

Wrong...but priceless.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Did I hear Lou Dobbs right tonight?

On CNN tonight and in between the oft repeated shots of Anderson Cooper fighting flying aluminum sheets in the Hurricane, I heard Lou asking a general some pretty tough questions. One of which was if we could call it a victory if the United States is now spending more on Iraq than the entire pre-war GDP of that nation.

So I checked it out. And he's right. That's what we've accomplished.

At nearly $200 billion, we have now spent on Iraq over three times that country's pre-war GDP! ($59.9 billion 1999 est.)

Hokey Smokes! That's good value for the buck. I'm glad Bush is such a good steward of my tax dollars.

Pre-war Population of Iraq: 22,675,617 (July 2000 est.)

And we've spent nearly $200 Billion on Iraq so far, and continue to add to the cost of the war at a rate of $9 Billion a month.

Let's see, divide $200,000,000,000 by 22,675,614 people (we'll assume we wouldn't give any money to Saddam or his two sons we killed). You get $8,820.04 per person.

I think. I'm lousy at math, but then I went to Government Schools, right, Mr. Boortz? If I did the numbers wrong, let me know...I can't believe them either.

If they are right, though, consider what might have happened if we promised $8,820 to every Iraqi Citizen if they would renounce Saddam and embrace a truly democratic system and both the friendship and protection of the United States.

To show our good faith, we'd also promise we'd continue to invest $9 Billion a month into re-tooling their economy and infrastructure. Or if they prefer, each Iraqi Citizen could get a check from us for $396 a month. (And hope nobody told them about 40 acres and a mule or all those treaties with the American Indian.)

It would work! Think about it. Remember how happy you were with that one single $300 tax rebate Bush gave you? Think how happy the Iraqis would be if we gave them almost a hundred dollars more and then kept giving it to them every single month indefinitely!

Think of all the American Products they'd be able to buy with our tax dollars! It'd have to be more than what we're hoping to get back from CAFTA! What a boon to American exports it would be!

By golly, with that kind of money, we could have won the Hearts and Minds of those people without killing any of 'em, not to mention the 1700 or so of our own brave sons and daughters who would still be alive.

But no, I suppose the Bush Administration is right. It is better to spend that money the way we are, building the kind of body count Americans can be proud of. Spending that tax money to build a better, stronger, friendlier Iraq just doesn't make sense when we can use all that money to encourage the kind of hatred that will result in the kind of terrorism that will keep conservatives in power and petroleum corporation profits high as far into the future as the Project for a New American Century can dream.

That's what Jesus would do, I betcha.

Lou Dobbs on CNN today

The Cost of War calculator is set to reach $204.6 billion at the end of fiscal year 2005 (September 30, 2005).

Here's What I Don't Get....bombs in London and Karl Rove's big mouth

First of all, I'm not implying anything, just making an observation...why do terror attacks seem to happen whenever it is most advantageous to the Bush Administration?

Last week during the G8 Summit, a meeting Bush couldn't have been eager to go to, the focus was going to be on Global Trade and Global Warming. Two of George's favorite topics--neither of which win him any points in the polls. Terrorism was going to be a mere footnote on the agenda.

Then the worst attack on London since the Blitz, bin Laden is center stage again, Bush gets to go on world television telling everyone how we're going to win the War on Terror, conservatives get to simultaneously offer sympathy to the Brits, condemn them for being soft on terror, and berate English liberals for criticizing their government's support of the Iraq invasion. Bush's points go skyward and he comes off as a strong world leader (albeit an inarticulate one) instead of the bumbling trickle down economist and detractor of "bad science" he was going into the summit.

Who's going to talk about Global Warming when the Terror Alert Level goes to Orange for the first time since the election? Nobody. Except America Hating Ultra Leftist Wacko Liberals like me. Or so goes the conventional wisdom.

I'm sure there's a suite at Club Gitmo reserved in my name, but I still contend that problems don't go away just because you're not talking about them.

And while we're talking about things I don't understand, why have the "liberal media" still been doing more stories on Deep Throat than they have been on the whole Valerie Plame scandal? I know, Rush, its because the liberal media is obsessed with their glory days and mad as hell they can't bring down another Republican Administration through scandal mongering. That's what you say, but I don't think so.

The Plame scandal is bigger than Watergate. Or it should be. Hey, Media! If they're going to accuse you of being liberal, go ahead and be liberal!

But no...they know better than the rest of us why they shouldn't criticize the Bush Administration. I hate how the conservatives have the press completely cowed and still bitch and moan about how persecuted they are by bias in the press.

I kept asking people all last week why it was that only reporters from the New York Times and Time Magazine were facing jail time when it was conservative columnist BOB NOVAK who broke the story in the first place. Not only could no one I asked answer my question...They had a few of their own.

Like, "What are you talking about?" and "Who are you talking about?"

At which point I had to recount for them the whole saga going all the way back to Bush's State of the Union speech when he lied about the Niger Yellowcake, the debunking of this claim by Joseph Wilson, and the reprisal exposure of Wilson's wife's identity as a CIA operative by Bob Novak quoting "a Top Administration Source."

To which they stared at me blankly like I'd suddenly started speaking French.

Today we find that the source was Rove. Rove....The Architect.

And this revelation that Rove committed a potentially treasonous act by outing a CIA operative in the middle of the GREAT WAR ON TERROR is barely a blip on the news. The liberal media just keeps replaying footage of Hurricane Dennis, the carnage in London, and Bush's latest saber rattling speech to a uniformed audience.

My God, is a spatter of Presidential DNA on a blue dress of a willing sex partner the only thing this country is capable of outrage over? Why is Clinton's lie worth impeachment and Bush's use of documents he should have known were forged to get us into an unending war something we don't have to bother foriving because we go straight to forgetting?

Are the same people who screamed about Clinton's definition of the word "is" going to actually defend Rove by saying the law specifies you have to mention a name, instead of just saying "his wife works over at the CIA on WMD matters" so he didn't actually commit a crime? These guys have no sense of irony.

Is Senator Dick Durbin's likening of actual acts of torture by US troops to actual historical torturers in an effort to stop that behavior by our troops a greater and more obvious act of treason than Karl Rove actually tossing an American CIA operative to the terrorists by revealing her identity to the press?

Or is the greatest act of treason in this country now simply to be a Democrat who disagrees with the current administration?

You don't have to answer....The question was rhetorical. I'm all to aware of how ready people in this country are to defend freedom of speech that expresses an idea they don't share. Ask the guy kicked out of the mall for wearing an anti-war t-shirt he bought at that same mall. Ask the people who put up the Free Speech Zones. Ask Dick Durbin.

Too bad so many people are dying to protect something the Republicans don't really want us to have...The right to dissent and plead for justice in the face of tyranny.

Sic Semper Tyrannus*

*State motto of Virginia, not to be interpreted as a threat to any tyrant living or dead. Any similarity of Republicans to actual or fictional tyrants is purely coincidental. No sympathy for John Wilkes Booth or the cause of the Confederacy implied. I'm a liberal. We love everybody.

Even you.