Saturday, November 19, 2005

firedoglake on security clearances and traitorgate

What information is provided to someone with high level security clearance? What are the rules surrounding this sort of clearance -- are people told what they can and cannot do clearly?
In other words, even if a reporter calls you and asks if you've heard a rumor, if you know the rumor is a classified bit of information, you cannot confirm it. Period.

Any comments Unka Karl ? Cheney ? Novak ?
She also has a post that speculates that Stephen Hadley is Woodward's source.
“I’ve also seen press reports from White House officials saying that I am not one of his sources,” Hadley said with a smile. Asked if this was a yes or no he replied: “It is what it is.”


Hadley's "smile" brings us to a post over at Kos today. A Republican that Josh Marshall corresponds with, writes in part:
Finally and very frankly, Democratic politicians tend to be wimps. . . . This encourages Republican political operatives to use rough tactics.

I don't think this is a matter of ideology. In fact I don't know what it is. I just know if I were a Republican politician there wouldn't be many Democratic politicians I would be afraid of. . .

While not a universal truth, there is large slice of truth in that statement. Bush Era Republicans, the right-wingers with thorny scales, have no problem with the hypocrisy of playing the support the troops card, while they attack veterans like Wesley Clarke, John Murtha, John McCain, and John Kerry. Democrats can honestly say that , while not perfect they have higher ethical standards then conservatives. That is their strength and their weakness.

Senators Levin and Reed on Bush's Untruths

Levin and Reed Compare Bush Administration Statements with Intelligence Community Statements on Pre-War Iraq Intelligence
Levin said: “The Bush Administration’s current mantra is that it followed, as National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said recently, ‘the best collective judgment of the Intelligence Community.’ That statement is not true relative to the key allegations of the Administration regarding:

a cooperative relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and
Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.”

snip
Before the war, the classified Intelligence Community position did not support Bush Administration statements that there was a cooperative relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The Administration made that allegation so frequently before the war that 53 percent of the American people came to believe that Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the 9/11 attacks. The Administration’s argument was based on two assertions:

that Iraq had provided training to al-Qaeda in chemical and biological weapons, and
that the lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April, 2001.

There's even a chart for people that want to print out a quick reference. Call it the neocons rewrite the rewriting of history.
Everytime Bush-Cheney call the invasion of Iraq " the front of the war on terror" they're lying. By doing so they're still connecting Iraq to 9-11, Iraq to Al-Quaeda, and asserting that by continuing the occupation of Iraq that it will stop another 9-11. If the the insugents are not afraid of us in Iraq and the daily deaths of our troops sugeest they're not, then courage is not what is stopping them from performing other acts of violence. The terrorists/Al-Queada related factions in Iraq were not there before the invasion, but because of the deeply flawed planning of Rumsfeld there were not enough troops to deal with securing the borders from foriegn fighters. The Bushies have cluster fucked America and Iraq, trading one bad situation for another. Bush has floundered agin and agian, yet refuses to change course, and what difference does it make to a life long coward and failure like Bush. He's not not going to be the one sent home in a flag drapped coffin.

"History doesn't matter, we'll be dead." - G.W. Bush.

Well he'll live for a few years on a very nice retirement salary with free health care courtesy of American taxpayers. Ironically some of those taxpayers will be the families of those lost to a war based on lies.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Are delusions made of steel ?

The Terrorist Temptation
..... there’s no reason the rest of us should delude ourselves, which is one reason, I suspect, that Democratic Congressman John Murtha, a retired Marine colonel and long-time friend of the U.S. military on the Hill, spoke yesterday with such unfettered outrage. In some of the sound bites heard on the news, he seemed to be out of control. He was not and is not.

Bush and his fellow chickenhawk Jean Schmidt don't understand some simple facts. There were no WMD, Iraq had fewer ties to terrorists then at least three of its neighbors, and Saddam and his sadistic sons have been removed. Iraqis for the most part don't want us there, we're not making much progress on rebuilding the infrastructure. Hell the road from the Baghdad Airport can only be travled by armoured vehicles after two years. The USA military presense there has become anti-productive. Every soldier is has become as easy outlet for insugent rage, a rallying cry for the the Muslim extremists. By leaving we take away the radicals biggest recruiting tool.

and Congresswoman Schmidt, you know that special place in hell you're probably heard about? Well start buying ice now, you're going to need it.
Murtha makes a point that ought to be obvious, but that this administration constantly struggles to obscure: “Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.” Meanwhile “our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects have been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year.”

One of Bush administration's bad boys being investigated by Pentagon

Pentagon agrees to probe Feith's role in Iraq intel
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's inspector general has agreed to review the prewar intelligence activities of former U.S. defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, congressional officials said on Thursday.

It seems like we're nibling away at the problem, Fitzgerald on one end and the Pentagon at the other. Thae's what we're left with when Congress won't do its job and investigate directly how the Whitehouse manipulated intelligence.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

In challenging war's critics, administration tinkers with truth

Chose one.
1. Bush thinks everyone is stupid and will not fact check.
2. Bush is brain damaged from the twenty years of booze and whatever else he was into.
3. Bush has nothing but contempt for the American people.

The Left Coaster says Woodwards source was Hadley

Hadley Was Woodward's Source - Bad News For Bush

and over at War and Piece
So either a) Woodward's source didn't know that, or b) deliberately misled Woodward to think her position was not sensitive. I suppose a third possibility is that c) Woodward is not being truthful. But I am somehow tempted to believe it's a.

Links on breaking news re: Traitorgate, Libbly, and Cheney

Libby's Lawyers' Smokescreen
Lewis Libby's lawyers are crowing mightily about how Bob Woodward's disclosures help their case. In doing so, they misinterpret Patrick Fitzgerald's comments.

As others haved observed, Scooter wasn't indicted for the leak, he was indicted for lying about what he knew to the grand jury. Do cons own stock in a red-herring factory ?

Smears, Lies and Videotape: A Leak Scandal Documentary is a video timeline of Traitorgate at Think Progress. Political con porn ripe for reruns.

GAO's Final Energy Task Force Report Reveals that the Vice President Made A False Statement to Congress

Thus, Cheney's claim to have produced responsive documents was a false statement and, all evidence suggests, an intentional one. That means it is also a criminal offense - a false statement to Congress. (In a previous column, I discussed the false statements statute and its application.)

John W. Dean, like Woodward came to be famous during the Watergate era, unlike Woodward, Dean has held own to the conviction that honor and country come before party loyalty. I'm giving Woodward some undeserved credit here, his biggest alligence is probably to money and privilege. Who knows what Dick Cheney's loyalties are. Certainly not to country, he's a player, he uses politics and power like a fetish or totem, using it to prop up a a bloodless and for all practical purposes a souless shell of a man. Dick and his hood ornament, the desserter G. W. Bush see what Jefferson and Madison created like a bully sees a sand castle at the beach, they feel compelled to detroy. Democracy must be a terrible inconvenience for these neocons, what with the rule of law and ethics always getting in the way..

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is the Republic safe with Dick Cheney in charge

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. -Thomas Jefferson
Dick Cheney, who thinks that the truth and the public trust is something to clean his shoes with has been unleashed by Unka Karl to further the cause of Orwellian doublespeak. Myself and others have written about the utter incompetence of this administration. Perhaps our criticism was too broad, they are rather accomplished liars. To be a good liar, one has to have the ability to repeat lies without shame. Dick Cheney certainly has that ability.

Dick Cheney, who outright lied to justify invading Iraq, now attacks Demcrats for calling him on his lies
Do you remember the one where...
1. Cheney Claimed Iraq Was Providing WMD Training To Al-Qaeda Months After Source Recanted
or the one where...
2. Cheney claimed Saddam was harboring Al Qaeda? He wasn't.

and there's more at the link courtesy of the upstanding patriots at AmericaBlog.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Rude Pundit strikes fear in to the of heart Cons

Fun With Context: Where Did the President Get Those Democratic Quotes?
Since Bush dared not speak the names of the Democrats in question or offer any context for their quotes, hey, why not do some good bloggy work here?

The first quote is from Senator Jay Rockefeller, which is the closest to a money quote in the whole thing. Rockefeller said this in the mini-debate over the Iraq War Resolution on October 10, 2002, which Rockefeller voted to approve. Also in the speech is Rockefeller's belief that war with Iraq would lead to greater terrorist threats against the U.S. And he was played for a sucker by the administration when he said, "Preventing a war with Saddam Hussein -- whether now or later -- must be our top priority, and I believe this resolution will strengthen the president’s hand to resolve this crisis peacefully. By my vote, I say to the United Nations and our allies that America is united in our resolve to deal with Saddam Hussein, and that the U.N. must act to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction. By my vote, I say to Saddam Hussein, 'Disarm, or the United States will be forced to act.'"

The whole post is certainly worth a read. lets just say that the quotes taken out of context by the wing-nuttery by Democrats as far back as 1998, without the context in which they were made is getting tiresome at best. For the side that claims to be the grand-pooh-pahs of national security there's two immediate problems that come to mind when sighting intelligence from 6 or even 1 year ago. The first problem is the ,ost obvious, intelligence can not only change from day to day, but from minute to minute. Doesn't anybody read Tom Clancy anymore. The second problem is the subjective way in which its viewed; from President Bill Clinton we got Operation Dessert Fox (zero Americans killed: call me a soft hearted troop loving liberal, but that sounds like good policy). Then we have the Preznut Chickenhawk's response, let spouse or son or daughter die because the sky is falling right now, and if we don't get a lot of people killed soon, that darn sky is going to fall right on your head.

From a link on Mr Pundit's fine post :
Another Set of Scare Tactics
"These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," Bush declared last week. "As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."

You wonder: Did Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the Valerie Plame leak investigation, send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy by daring to seek the indictment of Scooter Libby on a charge of perjury and obstruction of justice? Must Americans who support our troops desist from any criticism of the use of intelligence by the administration?

Wrong messages? The funny thing about those is that there's a certain cabal of neocons that seem to excel at absolutely nothing except sending the wrong message.

Follow-up to White Phosphorous story

Pentagon Used White Phosphorous in Iraq
"There is a great deal of misinformation feeding on itself about U.S. forces allegedly using `outlawed' weapons in Fallujah," the department said. "The facts are that U.S. forces are not using any illegal weapons in Fallujah or anywhere else in
Iraq."

Venable said white phosphorous shells are a standard weapon used by field artillery units and are not banned by any international weapons convention to which the U.S. is a signatory.

I don'y know if these clears up every question about the use of WP in Iraq, but as I posted earlier WP is used, it is legal under some circumstances on the battlefield. On the other hand it wouldn't be used if BushCO hadn't been in such a hurry to go to war.

How do you get on Bill O'Reilly's List

O’Reilly is an Un-American Jackass

Why doesn't it surprise me that Bill doesn't believe in state's rights. Oh that's right he only believes in state's right when it benefits him, then like the so-called federalists he backtracks to try and find some rationale that explains his newest hypocrisy. Take a bow Mr. O'McCarthy, you're on my list of unamerican chickenhawks.

I think its a mistake not to allow recruiters on college campus. BushCo has nearly broken the back of the military. If you're a kid short on cash for college, its a great way to get some technical skills and life experience. Join the Navy or Coast Guard if you want to avoid Iraq. The point is that regardless of what San Francisco does or any other town as regards where recruiting may take place, thats their business. Its hardly appropriate for a grown man with television show to be so McCarthyistic about it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Repeat after me, Bush is a liar. Bush has no honor, Bush has no integrity.

For those that can stomach a trip through the wing-nut blogosphere, you'll notice that between the obsessive posts about SEX, are justifications for Bush's lies. New lies from the right-wing noise machine to cover old lies. Many red-herrings (the Wilson in Fox green room nonsense for instance) to change the subject from what Bush said or did to what Democrat so-and-so said or did. Then there's the currently fashionable blame shifting, Bush only engaged in an unnecessary war because Democrats let him. It all still adds up to one thing Bush is a liar.
[E]stablishing a fact is not the same as persuading others to accept that fact. The fact - the president is a liar - has long been established. Now, how do you get others to accept it? Say it: The president is a liar. Say it again: The president is a liar. And when someone demands proof, you repeat: The president is a liar.

Now, suppose they say, "But you've shown me no proof. That's just your opinion. Prove it." Now what? You say, "The president is liar."

Now to us liberals, this may appear at first to be a bit, how shall I say it, irrational and unfair. It is not. First of all, the person you are trying to convince is perfectly capable and in fact probably has read many of the same articles you have read, in which the lies of Bush are so painfully apparent. Their ability to reason is skewed, not their ability to read. Attempts to "set their reason straight" by advancing reasoned arguments merely reinforces the delusion.

Bush doesn't just lie about Iraq. He's lied about the economy, social security, Medicare, education, the environment, and his opponents.
President Bush, speaking to the nation this month about the need to challenge Saddam Hussein, warned that Iraq has a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft that could be used "for missions targeting the United States."
Last month, asked if there were new and conclusive evidence of Hussein's nuclear weapons capabilities, Bush cited a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency saying the Iraqis were "six months away from developing a weapon." And last week, the president said objections by a labor union to having customs officials wear radiation detectors has the potential to delay the policy "for a long period of time."
All three assertions were powerful arguments for the actions Bush sought. And all three statements were dubious, if not wrong. Further information revealed that the aircraft lack the range to reach the United States; there was no such report by the IAEA; and the customs dispute over the detectors was resolved long ago. --10.22.02, Washington Post

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Republicans can't find anything constructive to do

Bill O'Anti-America suggests letting terrorists blow-up one of America's greatest cities. Then they beat each other into comas. Maybe its the stress of owning just about everything, running all three branches of government, and even donning themselves the apple of god's eye, a god they seem to have created in their own image.
What is that step called that is taken beyond common arrogance? Meta-arrogance? King of Everything? The right-wing blogs are in full attack mode since they can't defend their behavior, rewording the same tired lies or claiming to know more then they actually do - this is called the puffer fish tactic. Blow yourself up so your opponent can't see how small and ignorant you really are.
PowerLine, Glenn Reynolds, Balloon Juice, Bill, Sean, and Ann can't even tell you what conservatism is anymore. It doesn't mean the rule of law. It doesn't mean being responsible with tax payers money. It doesn't mean defending America, since Ann and Bill keep proposing the next bit of America that should be blown up. And if your city or town does fall victim to disaster, then accoding to the Falwell crowd you deserve it. Coservatism doesn't stand for honor, see Libby, see Delay ...
Conservatism hasn't had a real governing philosphy since the fifties, when men and women really believed in small goverment and thought decadence and corruption were bad things.

Democratic Superiority, by the Numbers
It has not escaped notice that the Daddy Party has been fiscally misbehaving. But it hasn't really sunk in how completely Republicans have abandoned allegedly Republican values -- if in fact they ever really had such values.

Our text today is the statistical tables of the 2005 Economic Report of the President. I did this exercise a while back with the 2004 tables and couldn't quite believe the results. But the 2005 data confirm it: The party with the best record of serving Republican economic values is the Democrats. It isn't even close

Cons, and thats the more appropriate name for them, need to find something constructive to do or shut their hypocritical traps and get out of the way, so the Party of America and American values can get some work done.

'The Lost Painting'
The Englishman has had a hand in the search for several other lost paintings by Caravaggio.

Intel Dump has more on Preznut Bush's bizarre Veterans Day speech
Then there is the term "anti-war critics." He links it to "democrats" as if to suggest democrats are "anti-war" instead of "anti- invasion of Iraq" (or more correctly, split on the issue). He assumes, rightly, that most people won't notice the lack of criticism over the invasion of Afghanistan - if his critics were merely "anti-war" why do they question only one of the wars we are in right now? Any person who criticizes the invasion of Iraq or the manipulation of intelligence is thus subtly portrayed as a pacifist hippie - an "anti-war critic." Instead of discussing whether the invasion was a good idea or a bad idea, the entire issue becomes one of dope-smoking, flag-buring, no-good pacifist hippies versus good 'ole Americans. That is BS.

note that Phil Carter, the founder of this site was recalled to active duty and most of the posters are vets, which adds a certain moral weight to their POV. In other words, unlike Bush, Cheney, O'Liar, Hannity, Limbaugh and other assorted chickenhawks, theyve been there and done it. Oops, also need to mention that a few progressive vets post over at the newly redesigned Main and Central.