(Thanks Paul B. for the link!)
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
(Thanks Paul B. for the link!)
As we alluded late last week, we'd say this new report further underscores our recommendation to keep an eye on Waxman's Congressional Oversight Committee and his investigation into the Iraq uranium/yellowcake scam by the White House...
After sitting in on the Libby trial every other day and posting about it on BRAD BLOG, I had intended not to write further about the matter barring new developments. Unfortunately, the rightwing spin machine has launched a new campaign of misstatements that sound intentional.
So much for respecting authority, upholding the law, and appreciating honest hard work: now that a conscientious jury has rendered a verdict of guilty on four of five counts of perjury and obstructing justice for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the GOP noise machine is vilifying the prosecution and smarmily denying any wrongdoing, any at all, in the CIA leak.
So much for conservatism.
Well, bad sports are bad sports, anywhere on the political spectrum. Still, the brazen willingness of commentators subsidized by Rupert Murdoch or the Bradley Foundation to falsify every significant fact in the Libby matter, usually without having sat even one day in court for the trial, is pretty much typical of their work ethic and intellectual rigor.
Sunday morning’s talk shows were representative. George F. Will and Torie Clarke on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos downplayed the CIA leak matter by saying the whole thing “all arose from one column” (Will), a column not very important at that (Clarke).
The right wing is trying hard to keep this one alive. But trial evidence and testimony have revealed that the attempt to “leak” – actually, plant – Mrs. Wilson's name with the media began BEFORE Wilson’s column was published.
Wonder why GOP supporters of George W. Bush find that so uninteresting....
A report from McLatchy Newspapers Saturday night has busted the thing wide open, placing Rove and the White House smack dab in the center of the scandal in which 8 U.S. Attorneys from the Dept. of Justice were canned. As if they weren't already.
While both the now-disgraced Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) have already admitted their own inappropriate intervention in the matter, the state's Republican Party Chair, Allen Weh, has now gone on record directly implicating Karl Rove.
Further, we learn that one of the points the NM Republicans were upset about was Iglesias's failure to move fast enough on a "voter fraud" investigation. However, the McClatchy report indicates (as usual) that it wasn't actually a "voter fraud" investigation, but rather a "voter registration fraud" investigation in question.
We'll add here, for those who hadn't noticed, Wilson was named the winner over her Democratic opponent Patricia Madrid last November by fewer than 800 votes. Since New Mexico's new automatic recount law didn't kick in until the first of this year, there was no recount. That, despite our own discussions with Madrid after the election and our encouragement that she ask for a recount on her own.
(We'll hope, at least, that she kept her "Madrid for Congress" signs around, since depending on how things shake out down here there could be a Special Election in the not-too-distant future as more details of both Wilson and Domenici's inappropriate pressure as applied to Iglesias continue to come out.)
Between last night's report placing Rove at the center of the controversy, and a follow-up later in the evening from AP, it appears, according to Talking Points Memo (who has been all over this story), that someone --- oh, let's say Rove, just for the fun of it --- "may have gotten to Weh." In AP's later coverage, Weh appears to be attempting to mitigate his original account of the Rove incident, suggesting it happened after the attorneys had already been canned.
At the same time, New York Times has now gone on record calling for the termination of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the wake of this particular mess, and several other failures including his gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The key details from each of the various relevant stories follow, as well as our recommendation about who really needs to be fired at this point...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Retired Major General Paul D. Eaton took no prisoners tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher. Sadly, the General states that the problems at Walter Reed, which he blames on poor planning by the administration from the start, are the tip of the iceberg. An excellent companion piece is the General's NY Times Op-Ed, "Casualties of the Budget Wars" published Tuesday.
Impeachment, it seems to us, gets closer to "the table" every day now. From Truthout:
The announcement comes on the heels of a story first reported by Truthout on Wednesday, which stated that some members of Congress were engaged in discussions Tuesday about the possibility of holding immediate hearings and asking Fitzgerald to provide evidence he obtained during the course of his three-year investigation about the roles Vice President Dick Cheney and other White House officials played in the Plame leak.
Waxman's letter [to Fitzgerald] states..."As a result of your investigation, you have a singular understanding of the facts and their implications that bear directly on the issues before Congress.... Your investigation had a narrow legal focus: Were any federal criminal statutes violated by White House officials?"
Waxman said the Libby trial raised important questions about whether "senior White House officials, including the vice president and senior adviser to the president Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information" related to Plame's classified status within the CIA.
Lest anyone think the buck stops in the Office of the Vice-President, however, it looks as if the not-insignificant evidentiary revelation concerning Cheney's hand-written note referring to "this Pres." may also be revisited by Congress.
Those two words were scratched out on Cheney's note, but were still clearly visible and discussed during trial testimony. Had they not been scratched out, Cheney's note would have read: "not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others."
To be honest, we're amazed that detail was overlooked as much as it was when it originally appeared. According to Truthout:
See the complete Truthout report for much more detail...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
We hadn’t talked about the possibility of him being deployed for months, not since President Bush had declared, “Mission accomplished.” But I knew exactly what he meant; I didn’t know then what it would mean for us.
We weren’t prepared, and neither was the Guard. The Guard sent him into harm’s way without providing some of the basic equipment and materials, such as global positioning systems, night vision gear, and insect repellant, that he would rely on during his year-long tour of duty at LSA Anaconda, the most-attacked base in Iraq, as determined by the sheer number of incoming rockets and mortars, which averaged at least five per day.
Unlike active duty military, the National Guard had no functional family support system or services in place. While the Guard was scrambling to get it together, my husband was already gone, and I was alone, just months after we had moved to Seattle...
Continue reading "Broken by This War" at The Progressive...
“Postmortem” isn’t really the right term here, since Libby’s defense team promptly announced that it will file motions for a new trial and, if those are denied, will appeal the verdict. Also, nobody died. At least in the trial itself.
But I do want to wind up with one final post on the Libby trial before going on to other matters including Sibel Edmonds. Instead of going to my notes and the documentation, this time I’ll stick with that much-abused and exploited faculty of memory invoked in the trial. (BTW, memory is always selective. That’s why we have the word “memory,” to distinguish that which we can remember from that which we cannot.)...
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE) IN ESQUIRE TODAY...
UPDATES FROM BRAD:
In meetings, on deadlines, and following several items at once is BRAD BLOG Libby Trial correspondent Margie Burns, with whom we've been in contact from the courthouse. She's now back at her home office, and we'll have details from her soon.
For the moment, we'll point to coverage from the two outlets that bothered to investigate and report on this story while the MSM was completely ignoring it:
+ RAW STORY's coverage...
+ Huffington Posts's coverage...
+ Libby Trial bloggers (firedoglake, etc.) react, Wilson/Plame statement...
We'll also point you to Burns's earlier piece this morning concerning questions worth asking, which are even more relevant, in our opinion, now that Libby has been found guilty. What exactly were Cheney and Bush and their aides told about the CIA findings that the Iraq/Niger uranium yellowcake story was bogus way back in 2002? Burns examines here...
FURTHER UPDATE 12:42pm PT:
FROM BRAD BLOG LIBBY TRIAL CORRESPONDENT MARGIE BURNS
Margie sends in the following based on her observations and notes from this morning, as the verdict was read and beyond...
Testimony in the Libby trial from CIA briefer Craig Schmall, who had the unenviable task of getting up in the wee small hours to brief Vice President Cheney and Lewis "Scooter" Libby from Summer 2002 through the end of May 2004, establishes that the tables of contents of the CIA briefing binders for that period “still exist.”
As Schmall states clearly on the record, when he sent the briefing binders to shredder and burn bag, he kept the topic headings – where, not stated. But somewhere in the Executive, at this moment, rest stacks of Tables of Contents with at least a short-title indication of what Cheney, Libby and others, including Rumsfeld, were briefed on, for any given date.
Presumably Schmall isn’t the only intelligence briefer who kept these things, either. His trial testimony and exhibits refer to two previous briefers, one unnamed, for Cheney and Libby.
At this point it would be ludicrous for the administration to try to keep those tables of contents secret by claiming “national security.” There would be far more potential damage to domestic security in leaving a giant secret stash of blackmail material around...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
California Representative (and mine) Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, answers questions about Iraq last night with Tavis Smiley on PBS. After Waxman explains how at least $12 billion allocated for Iraqi reconstruction went missing, an incredulous Smiley states:
Waxman lays most of the blame on the Republican-led Congress which failed in its oversight responsibilities. Similarly deplorable is what the reconstruction effort accomplished, considering Iraq's billions and our own additional $20 billion. According to Waxman:
But while "Iraqis and the American people are not better off" for the war, Waxman does identify one group that has made out extraordinarily well:
With the jury still out, here in D.C., I had time to look through some court documents in the Libby case and came across an aspect of the "yellowcake" saga which has not yet been reported to my knowledge. I have emailed the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for a comment on this matter and will report back when, and if, I hear from them.
The documents filed in USA v. Libby reveal an arresting short chronology within that longer saga of the bogus Iraq-Niger uranium item, the Wilson trip to Niger and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.
An apparently related document may shed new light on the publicly-known points reported so far...
In today’s Washington Post ombudsman column, “Covert Question, Open Controversy,” Deborah Howell says, “Wilson's New York Times op-ed piece, critical of the Bush administration's use of intelligence, set off a chain of events that led to the disclosure of Plame's job.”
But information and testimony revealed during the course of the Libby Trial indicates that it wasn't Wilson's op-ed piece that set the off the chain of events leading to their disclosure of the CIA WMD analyst and her covert network. The Bush administration began its campaign to discredit Valerie Plame/Wilson at least a month prior to the release of her husband's article.
I can’t criticize Howell for her focus on the op-ed as the ball that got the campaign rolling. I, and most of the media, having been basically taking the same line in previous postings on this topic. Most of the writers on the CIA leak have been doing the same. Joseph Wilson’s book, The Politics of Truth: A Diplomat's Memoir: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity, takes the same tack: that the outing of CIA analyst Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, was retaliation for Wilson’s July 6, 2003, op-ed column, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”
But when Wilson wrote his book, he did not have access to behind-the-scenes discussions about his wife now revealed through the perjury and obstruction trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff. Retaliation there was, in spades, but testimony and documents in the Libby trial demonstrate, unrefuted, that administration discussion of Mrs. Wilson began several weeks before Wilson’s column appeared.
The reasons why are still unclear, and the prosecution was not permitted to delve into ramifications of the leak. But that the administration was already targeting both Wilson and his wife, Valerie --- overseeing a crucial intelligence network monitoring WMD activity in the middle east --- is now beyond question.
So why, beyond Wilson's op-ed, was the Bush Administration previously so intent on discrediting one of its own CIA assets?...
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