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The following Doonesbury comic strip has been censored or removed by some one dozen U.S. newspapers for the use of the word "Turd Blossom".
As Rove's own friend, Bill Israel confirmed with us on The BRAD SHOW several weeks ago (archive available online, in the 7/9/05 section, HOUR 3), "Turd Blossom" is George W. Bush's own nickname for Rove.
Got a problem with that? Blame your Family Values "President", not Garry Trudeau.
Many are now speaking of the '12-Hour Gap' between the time White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was told by the Department of Justice about the official investigation into the unprecedented outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame and the time he "officially" notified the White House to preserve all documents relating to the investigation.
We now know, of course, that Gonzales first told White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card about the investigation the night before he gave "official" notice to the White House, thus giving them a full 12 hours heads-up before "shredding" evidence would be in official violation of the DoJ order.
Since that matter came to light on Sunday, we've also learned the '12-Hour Gap' was as likely a full '3-and-a-half Day Headstart', since MSNBC had reported on the investigation some 84 hours prior to Gonzales' giving "official" notice to the White House.
And today, we're now reminded, vis a vis a letter from several Judiciary Committee Democrats, that the DoJ had actually spent a total of 67 days before answering the official CIA request for an investigation into the matter!
Back in February of '04, Josh Marshall reported on a letter sent by the CIA on January 30, 2004 in reply to Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) request for information related to the outing after he had requested the DoJ appoint a Special Prosecutor in the matter (eventually, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to the case).
Today, Conyers and nine other Democratic members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the DoJ's Inspector General, Glenn A. Fine, asking for an investigation into both that '12-Hour Gap' and what appears now to have been a full 67 Day Gap between the time the CIA had first requested a DoJ investigation, and the time the DoJ actually began one!
In today's letter to DoJ Inspector General, Glenn Fine, the Congressional Democrats point out that Gonzales did not follow the practice for such matters (Jesse of Stakeholder has the full text of the letter):
Equally as disturbing, however --- perhaps even more so --- is the information detailed in the letter concerning the DoJ's footdragging after being notified by the CIA of the outing of a covert agent! (A copy of the entire original letter from the CIA to Conyers from January 2004, detailing the following, is at the end of this article).
The key points on this are outlined in today's letter:
3. The CIA again transmitted their concerns by facsimile on September 5, 2003.
4. On September 16, in accordance with the Agency's standard practice in these matters, the CIA advised the Department that it had completed its own investigation of the matter, provided a memorandum setting forth the results of the investigation and requested that the FBI undertake a criminal investigation of the matter.
5. Finally, on September 29, 2003-sixty-seven days after the initial concerns were expressed by CIA employees --- the DOJ responded and advised the CIA that the Counterespionage Division had requested that the FBI initiate an investigation of this matter.
Thus, it appears, that not only did DOJ personnel countenance a 12-hour delay in notifying White House staff to preserve all records (while the White House Chief of Staff was given a heads up of the existence of the investigation), but that the DOJ also appears to have ignored repeated entreaties from the CIA to initiate a law enforcement investigation into this matter several months before hand. We would therefore urge you to examine the extent that this course of conduct and other delays by the Department are consistent with standards of prosecutorial conduct and integrity.
And here is a copy of the original letter sent from the CIA's Director of Congressional Affairs, Stanley M. Moskowitz to John Conyers in response to his initial inquiry...
The MP3 archives of last Saturday night's BRAD SHOW are now up and well worth listening to (sez me) in case you happened to have missed any of our four jam-packed hours o' delicious radio goodness!
Last week's show featured, amongst other things...
It's all in the BRAD SHOW Archives, in the 7/23/05 section. Enjoy!
Looks like the GOP bootlickers in the fake "conservative" "media" received their latest marching orders today sometime around 11am ET this morning.
With their backs against the wall vis a vis TreasonGate, they've been given some fresh smear ammo, apparently, to try and help the White House minimize and obfuscate their unprecedented outing of a covert CIA operative.
Since smearing Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife have failed, it's time to go after those who have been standing up for them apparently. Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, who testified at last Friday's joint House and Senate Democratic Hearings on TreasonGate (Republicans, apparently, being not particulary concerned about unprecedented breaches of National Security) is apparently the next target for the fake media operatives from the Right. Johnson, who voted for Bush in 2000, also gave Saturday's response to Bush's radio address.
First out of the closet to attack, naturally, was phony reporter Jeff Gannon at 11:40am ET:
And a scant 31 minutes later, Gary Schmitt of The Project for the New American Century (yes, PNAC) posted on Rupert Murdoch's Daily Standard:
Seriously guys, can't you even try to act like actual reporters? Perhaps the Talking Points should come with a schedule or something, so everyone doesn't repeat them at once.
Anybody out there feel like sharing those Talking Points from which both Gannon and Schmitt were obviously cribbing with us here at The BRAD BLOG? We actually do respect the confidentiality of sources, so you can rest assured it'll be our secret whoever decides to email them to us.
Though, in truth, the only folks currently shilling the Smear Johnson line are deep deep inside GOP operatives of the lowest level, so they probably received a phone call instead of a piece of paper. Paper being all too traceable these days, and phonecalls requiring a subpeona from a Special Prosecutor before one has to lie about them.
First one to spot the attacks coming against Patrick Fitzgerald, please let us know. (Whoops, looks like Kos has already spotted it! Hat tip to David Edwards for finding it just before we hit the "publish" button!)
Oh, and here's a thought: Why not just hold those who have done things wrong accountable for their actions instead of smearing those who point it out?
Just a thought.
(Hat tip also to Crooks & Liars for pointing out Schmitt's attack!)
WaPo's Dan Froomkin joins the growing chorus today of pundits and prognosticators asking "The Question" about what George W. Bush knew and when he knew it.
We covered yesterday's explosion of voices asking that same question, but Froomkin adds to the mix by taking a fairly detailed look back at the under-reported stories from over a year ago when both Bush and Cheney were questioned in the case by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald.
He also discusses the growing questions now surrounding the 12-Hour Gap between the time Alberto Gonzales, then head White House Counsel, was told to by DoJ to inform the White House of the investigation --- so they wouldn't destroy any evidence --- and the time that he actually, formally, told the White House. As it turns out, of course, Gonzales didn't "formally" instruct the WH until 12 hours after he learned of the investigation, but he did manage to tell White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card about it. Just to be friendly, we guess.
But The Carpet Bagger today is reporting that the 12-Hour Gap which gave the White House a heads-up to start the shredding machines, may in fact have been a Three Day Gap if one goes back and looks at the dates of a few of the scant contemporaneous reports of the investigation's start up. [UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that that may actually be a Three and a half Day Gap. The story of the investigation was first reported by MSNBC some 84 hours before Gonzales "officially" informed the White House.]
On all of this, Froomkin takes an appropriate shot at both his own WaPo and the rest of the delinquent Mainstream Corporate Media which failed to do their job for the American People long ago on all of these matters...
But it's getting a lot of attention today. Why? Possibly because press coverage of the Bush administration, in the first term, failed to sufficiently heed some developments that, in retrospect, seem worthy of more attention.
Something similar happened when the Downing Street Memo first came to light in May. That memo suggested among other things that Bush was already set on invading Iraq long before acknowledging as much in public. In that case, it took the American mainstream press more than a month to acknowledge that it was a story worth writing about again, even though it was, technically, old news.
Froomkin's got many more useful links on all of the above.
(Hat tip to DU's understandinglife for the heads-up!)
Last week, our man in the White House, Eric Brewer of BTCNews.com, had planned to ask Scottie McClellan the question we'd asked him to ask on the 7/16/05 BRAD SHOW concerning Rumsfeld's required progress report on Iraq. That report, required by law in the $80 billion war spending bill from last May, was not given to Congress in time to meet the mandated July 11 deadline.
Unfortunately, Brewer was the only reporter not called upon by Scottie that day and so he never got to ask his question.
The "Rule of Law" --- ironically enough --- no longer being applicable to this particular Administration, Rumsfeld's required report was finally given to Congress some days afterwards: ten days late and containing virtually none of the specifics that the law had required.
In the meantime, Brewer was called upon at today's briefing and was able to ask a fresh question. This time on the Bush Administration's unwillingness to forgo Torture as a regular part of our National Foreign Policy --- even with Republicans now calling on him to do so.
As well, Brewer has an update on the new Air America Radio correspondent who enjoyed his first day today in the WH Press Room by choosing to ask Scottie about the "T" word: "Treason".
Wow...Even Gergen is asking!
Picking up on my previous post about the "the question" --- What did the President know and when did he know it? --- on the virtual lips of folks across the net this morning, it seems that it was also on the lips of David Gergen, advisor to four Presidents (three of them Republican), on this morning's This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC...
[Stephanopoulos uses the opportunity to show the Scott McClellalan Oct 7, 2003 press briefing where he says that he spoke to Rove and Libby and can assure the media that "they were not involved." After discussion on things, it then come back to Gergen...]
GERGEN: There are two things about this. One about the President...If Scott McClellan was misled by Scotter Libby and by Karl Rove, was the President mislead?...
GERGEN: ...Or if he was not mislead and he was told the truth, how do they let Scott McClellan go out there with that statement?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Or does he think this is okay?
GERGEN: Yeah...Or does he think it's okay?...So I think...that's why I think this is increasingly gonna be about the President over time.
As predicted on these pages one week ago today, the question in the TreasonGate affair has quickly become "What did the President know? And when did he know it?"
The net is abuzz this morning since the confluence of several different reports today. One by Frank Rich in NY Times concerns the 12 hour gap between the time that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was told to notify the White House about the Plame Leak Investigation at 8:30pm on Sep 12, 2003 --- he was to instruct the White House not to destroy anything in regard to the matter --- and the time he actually officially informed the White House at 8:00am the next day.
The follow-up to that came this morning from Bob Shieffer on Face the Nation when he asked Gonzales about that matter, and Gonzales admitted that he waited to give "official" notice to the White House the next morning, but...(get ready)...notified Chief of Staff Andrew Card on the night of Sep 12!
In other words, the White House had a full 12 Hours to shred anything they may have felt needed shredding!
Think Progress has an excellent description of the sitch, including transcript from today's Shieffer grilling and admission by Gonzales. Crooks and Liars has the video natch.
Steven G. Brant covers this as well and notes, to CNN and Wolf Blitzer's continuing shame, Gonzales appeared on CNN with Blitzer after the FtN appearance but he didn't bother to follow up on the Andrew Card issue at all.
Editor & Publisher also covers Gonzales, Schieffer and the "12 Hour Gap".
I would, however, like to point out another issue which I mentioned aloud for the first time on Thom Hartmann's national radio program on Friday and which seems to now be getting some attention elsewhere. (Hartmann himself posted an article titled "What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?" yesterday which points to yet another damning indication of Dubya's own personal fingerprints on the Plame leak.)
NY Times' Richard W. Stevenson nips around the issue I alluded to a bit with Hartmann in an article today headlined --- yes --- "Who told Bush what in leak case, and when was he told?".
So, what I've been wondering about... If Bush spoke to Rove early on, as it was claimed, to find out if he was the leaker, then Rove either lied --- or not --- to Bush. Since we now know that Rove was one of the leakers, he needs to be fired immediately if only for lying to Bush about it. If he didn't lie to Bush --- and chose to share the truth with his good friend by letting him know in some way that he leaked --- then it means that Bush has been involved in a cover-up of that fact this entire time.
Either way, Rove needs to be dismissed immediately, of course, but more to the point: Watch for George W. Bush to be in deep deep doo doo on this matter in the near future. Unless someone comes up with a clever alibi. And quick!
John Aravosis at AMERICAblog has some supporting evidence via transcripts and questions around this same issue today as well...
There is now much buzz about all of the above all over the net. I'll leave it to the excellent eagle-eyed BRAD BLOG commenters to include links to additional coverage.
UPDATE: Wow...Even David Gergen asked the question...in precisely those words...during the Stephanopoulos round table this morning on ABC's This Week! He said he felt this is all going to "come back to the President." Video clip and transcript now here...
"I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearance I hold; removal from any position of special confidence and trust requiring such clearances; or the termination of my employment..."
McCain: I do, but that also implies that someone knowingly revealed...
Stephanopoulos: This covers negligent disclosures
McCain: Again I don't know what the definition of "negligent" is.
That's our boy.
Crooks and Liars has the video.
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FLASH UPDATE: Jim Marcinkowski just added to guest list for tomorrow night's BRAD SHOW!
Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA case officer, gave some remarkable testimony at today's Joint Democratic House/Senate Hearings on Karl Rove's TreasonGate. He described the leak about Valerie Plame's identity and its subsequent coverup by the White House as "a disservice to our country," resulting in an "increase in the risk to the people of the United States."
Blasting those attempting to protect themselves with attacks on Ambassador Joe Wilson and others trying to sound the alarm bell about what this Administration has done, Marcinkowski said those who would "shine up your American Flag lapel pin and fix your patriotism to your sleeve, [should] think about what impact your actions are gonna have on the security of the American people."
The resulting message he says is sent around the world: "Politics in this country does indeed trump National Security."
Crooks and Liars has the video of his testimony.
ConyersBlog has more details on today's proceedings.
Here are a few of the stunning key passages from Marcinkowski's testimony:
Each time a distinguished ambassador is ruthlessly attacked for the information he provides, a foreign asset will contemplate why he should risk his life when his information will not be taken seriously.
Each time there is perceived a "political success" in deflecting responsibility by debating or re-debating some minutiae involved in this case, such actions are equally effective in undermining the ability of this country to protect itself against its enemies because the two are indeed related.
Each time the political machine, made up of primetime patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere "paper pusher" or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it's a disservice to this country.
So may fool the American public by distracting minutiae, but your not doing it for people overseas. They know better.
Those who would advocate the "I'm okay, you're okay" politics of non-responsibility should think about the impact of those actions on our foreign agents.
Non-responsibility means: "We don't care." Not caring means a loss of security. A loss of security means the loss of an agent. The loss of an agent, means the loss of information. The loss of information means an increase in the risk to the people of the United States.
There's a very simple message here: Before you shine up your American Flag lapel pin and fix your patriotism to your sleeve, think about what impact your actions are gonna have on the security of the American people.
Think about whether your partisan obfuscation is creating confidence in the United States in general and in the CIA in particular. If not, a true patriot would just simply shut up.
Those who take pride in their political ability to divert the issue from the fundamental truth, ought to be prepared to take their share of responsibility for the continuing damage done to our national security.
When this unprecedented act first occurred, the President could have immediately demanded the resignation of all persons even tangentially involved. Or at a minimum he could have suspended the security clearances of those persons and placed them on administrative leave. Such methods are routine across the country in every police department in every American citizen understands that.
That would have at least sent the right message around the globe that we take the security of those risking their lives on behalf of the United States seriously.
Instead, we have flooded the foreign airwaves with two years of inaction, political rhetoric, ignorance and partisan bickering.
That's the wrong message.
In doing so, we have not lessened, but increased the threat to the security and safety of the people of the United States. And we've done since the time of this first breach of trust.
I thank you.
UPDATE: Looks like David Corn also has both the transcript and additional info and thoughts on today's hearings.
RAW STORY has the testimony from Valerie Plame's CIA colleague Larry C. Johnson who sets out to "correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson."
Another BRAD BLOGGER in the news! (Add him to the list.)
Yes, in a front page story now up at RAW STORY, our own Winter Patriot --- Official BRAD BLOG Concierge, frequent Guest Blogger, and all around good guy --- gets some ink of his own for his smart Whispering Campaign website.
Devastatingly simple, the brilliant campaign offers readers single-page, large font versions of important, under-reported stories which can be easily printed out and distributed about town where they may be seen by folks who might not otherwise patronize those websites and blogs which are reporting the real news seen as unfit for our failed modern Mainstream Corporate Media.
The RAW headline terms Winter a "Modern-day samizdat bring[ing] news to public places." We admit we had to look up the term "samizdat" to find out that it's defined as follows:
Given the remarkably Kremlin-like state of our current White House, coupled naturally with an intimidated and repressed American Press Pool that has failed for four-plus years now to report on the unprecedented dangers wrought by this damagingly un-American Administration, a "modern-day samizdat" sounds like a good description to us!
For being the media...cuz someone's got to...we say: Waytago, WP! Keep up the good work! America --- and The BRAD BLOG --- thanks you! For all that you do, this blog's for you!
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
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· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
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· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
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· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
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· This Modern World
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