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...|
"We don't have a law that would make war profiteering specifically a federal crime," Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said in this morning's efficient hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he is introducing one.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is busy these days --- what with the scandal over White House manipulations of the prosecutorial function of the Department of Justice, the continuing scandals of war profiteering in the "war on terror," and other oversight matters, the Committee is in jeopardy of being overstretched. In fact, it already is overstretched.
The room was full for this morning's hearing, which I attended, on "Combating War Profiteering," but, as with last week's House Oversight Comittee hearings with Valerie Plame et al, this one was also scantly attended by GOP'ers. Of Republicans, only the co-chair of the committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) and --- to do him justice --- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) graced the hearing with their presence. The co-chair could do no less, and indeed did little, though I noticed that both he and Leahy alluded to their past jobs as prosecutors, from which it can safely be inferred that they too think the current manipulations of US Attorneys --- prosecutors --- by the DOJ look very bad...
Don Rumsfeld 2/7/2003: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months"
George W. Bush 5/1/03: "My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
Dick Cheney 6/20/05: "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Just in from Waxman's office after this morning's stunning revelation that the White House never conducted an investigation into the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, despite a number of promises from Bush to do exactly that and an executive order signed in early 2003 which requires such an investigation in the wake of such a disclosure.
In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG, Waxman's office explains that a letter just sent to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asks for an explanation as to why the White House "did not follow the investigative steps prescribed by Executive Order 12958," as signed in March 2003. The order requires the White House to "'take appropriate and prompt corrective action' whenever there is a release of classified information," according to the statement. (Waxman's letter is posted in full at the end of the article.)
During this morning's testimony of James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House, it was revealed --- to the amazement of the assembled Congress members on the House Oversight Committee panel --- that no such investigation was ever conducted.
"Taken as a whole, the testimony at today's hearing described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House," the letter reads. "The first breach was the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity. Other breaches included the failure of Mr. Rove and other officials to report their disclosures as required by law, the failure of the White House to initiate the prompt investigation required by the executive order, and the failure of the White House to suspend the security clearances of the implicated officials."
Waxman asked for the following from Bolten: "I request that you provide the Committee with a complete account of the steps that the White House took following the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity (1) to investigate how the leak occurred; (2) to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak; (3) to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak; and (4) to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security."
Waxman's letter to Bolten follows in full...
As requested by a number of readers, the following chart was displayed at today's House Oversight Committee hearings (live blogged here) as chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA). The BRAD BLOG obtained the chart from his office.
It was presented by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) during the hearing and shows the known number of disclosures of Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity by the White House and the State Department. Plame-Wilson testified under oath today that she was a covert CIA operative working to monitor WMD in Iraq when her cover, and that of her entire network, was blown after the disclosure of her identity by White House officials.
She also testified it was the first time such a CIA agent's cover was purposely blown by our own government.
The chart is followed by the section from the text transcript when the chart was initially displayed this morning...
What happened to you is deadly serious. You were the victim of a national security breach. If this was a law enforcement context, something I'm familiar with, it would be equivalent to disclosing the identity of an undercover police officer who has put his life on the line, and the lives of all those who help that officer.
Our job on this committee is to find out how the breach happened. Now, I'd like to show you a chart that we prepared on the committee --- you'll see it up on the screens, and we're putting it up here on paper. That chart is a graphic depiction of all the ways that your classified CIA employment was disclosed to White House officials and then to the press.
Every colored block on that chart is an individual, and every arrow shows a disclosure of classified information. That classified information was your CIA employment status. And the arrows are based on the testimony in Mr. Libby's criminal case and press reports. This chart shows over 20 different disclosures about your employment. Let me ask you, looking at this chart, are you surprised that so many people had access to the classified information about your CIA employment?
MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, I am, Congressman. And I'm also surprised at how carelessly they used it.
In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office!
The members are flabbergasted. The questioning is intense. My live-blogging notes are posted, and updated live, below...
Also, the third panel, featuring Victoria Toensing, apologist for White House leaks, was fascinating, as her previous claims that "Plame was not covert" and that "she didn't serve overseas within five years prior to the leak" had been demolished by Plame-Wilson's earlier testimony. She attempted to mitigate the situation throughout her testimony by claiming that Plame-Wilson was not covert "under the provisions of the statute." Many more details below...
(Live blogging of Valerie Plame-Wilson's testimony is back here...)
UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...
Absolutely riveting, historic, under-oath testimony by Valerie Plame-Wilson in the House Oversight Committee on-going right now. Recurring theme over and over again: She was covert, covert, covert when her identity was outed and her cover was blown --- for the first time in history by her own government.
Every wingnut argument to the contrary, and concerning her case has been utterly destroyed. The Republican questioning of Plame-Wilson has come up with absolutely nothing to counter and it's been confirmed that CIA Director Gen. Hayden has also confirmed her covert status and that she we worked overseas (as per the Intelligence Identity Protections Act) in the last five years.
Hearings were covered for first 15 minutes or so on all three cable news nets. Now only LIVE currently on C-SPAN.
AP just filed this short initial item:
Plame, whose 2003 outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments.
"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
RAW STORY currently has details on her opening testimony.
Live blogging notes on the testimony below follow below...
(NOTE: Second and Third panels now live blogged here. Includes details on stunning admission from White House Security Director that no investigation was ever made into the leak by his office!)
UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
That Iran and al-Qaeda have been the prime beneficiaries of George W's foreign policy is incontrovertible. Another beneficiary is China which has exploited anti-American sentiment in Latin America to sign major trade and arms deals with our neighbors. To add insult to injury, not only has Bush opened the door to stronger China - Latin American ties, but his economic policies are financing China's efforts.
McLaughlin Group clip runs 5:39 with Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift comments (03/10/07).
(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...
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