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Rice vs. Facts
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2004 2:48pm PT  

Still trying to decide who's giving you the straight story, Clarke or Rice? The LA Times offers a side-by-side comparison on their differing answers to a few items, for example:


Q: Was Clarke prevented from briefing Bush directly on terrorism?

CLARKE: "I asked for a series of briefings on the issues in my portfolio, including counterterrorism...I was told I could brief the president on terrorism after this policy development process was complete."

RICE: "All that he needed to do was to say, I need time to brief the president on something...Dick Clarke never asked me to brief the president on counterterrorism."

So who's telling the truth? See this article from Center for American Progress comparing Condi's opening statement this week with on-the-record facts. You decide.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2004 2:21pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2004 2:15pm PT  

"Good news!" reports Fox News in a FOX NEWS ALERT just minutes ago. "Rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is reportedly in negotiations with the Iraqi Governing Council".

I ask you, would Fox News report negotiations with terrorists as being "good news" if this was a Democrat war?

Speaking of which, one would think the NeoCons have had their last hurrah. They were given a chance with this Administration and have completely blown all credibility, shooting their wad in one disastrous Iraqi swoop.

Yet they're still in there kicking as described in an article this morning entitled "Still Dreaming of Tehran: Iran now on neocon/Likudnik cross-hairs":

It's no secret that the neocons' star has fallen since the war with Iraq. The intelligence scandal plaguing the White House and the ongoing crisis in Iraq itself can both be laid at their doorstep, and it's widely believed that President Bush's re-election team would dearly like to extricate the President from the Iraqi tar baby.

But the neocons aren't giving up, and they are trying to pull the White House in even deeper. Not only are they undeterred by the chaos in Iraq, but they are pressing ahead to advance their regional strategy, one that calls for regime change in Iran, then Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Amazing. Will Fox and the American Public buy this one too? Watch for increasing anti-Iranian polemic coming outta these camps as Iraq turns uglier.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 10:16pm PT  

What to make of this item?


During Scalia's speech Wednesday in Hattiesburg about the Constitution, a woman who identified herself as Deputy Marshal Melanie Rube demanded that a reporter for The Associated Press erase a digital recording of the justice's comments.

The reporter, Denise Grones, initially resisted, but later showed the deputy how to erase the recording after the officer took the device from her. Rube also made a Hattiesburg American reporter erase her tape.

...

At a reception following Scalia's speech at William Carey College, the justice told WDAM-TV reporters to leave. A member of his entourage also told newspaper photographers they could not take pictures, but a college official reversed the order after non-media guests started snapping photos.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 8:21pm PT  

"Democrats are positively obsessed with hearings...Ever since Watergate, Democrats have tried and tried to accomplish with Congressional hearings what they couldn't legitimately accomplish at the ballot box." - Rush Limbaugh, 4/9/04, 3rd Broadcast Hour.

One other public service for our DittoHead readers. Rush told you today that "the president's numbers are up!". You can read it yourself on his site, on the page called: "Truth Detector: Despite Media Frenzy, Bush Numbers Up".

The specific CNN/Time "numbers" that Rush is talking about can be found on CNN's site, on the page called: "Poll: Rice testimony yields mixed results for White House - Majority: Administration had no al Qaeda strategy before 9/11".

And then there's the part of that same poll that Rush didn't tell you about at all. It's on the CNN page called "Poll finds divided opinion of Bush's performance: Support for president's Iraq policy falls sharply".

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...it's the cover-up.
By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:38pm PT  

You'd think these guys would have learned by now. The cover-up did in Nixon, almost did in Clinton and here we are all these years later, and they seem to be doing it again.

Condi did just fine yesterday. Handled herself very smartly. Passed a curious number of bucks, but held it together. In the process however, she exposed some FACTS that - unless the Bushies come clean and quickly - could well end up doing these guys in as well. And all perhaps for no good reason.

FACTS we learned from Condi (straight from the transcripts):

Let me read you some of the actual chatter that we picked up that spring and summer: "Unbelievable news coming in weeks," "Big event ... there will be a very, very, very, very big uproar," "There will be attacks in the near future."

Dick Clarke had told me...that there were al Qaeda cells in the United States.

...the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States... But I don't remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

The title [of the Aug. 6 Presidential Daily Briefing] was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

The president was told [the PDB was] historical information...there was nothing actionable in this...there was no new threat information in this document to pursue.

I hope she's right. It looks like the August 6 PDB may be declassified tomorrow - on the Saturday before Easter, of course.

Given that the Whitehouse was initially against the creation of the Homeland Security Dept, fought against the impanelling of the 9/11 Commission entirely, has withheld documents and testimony from them, much of it released only by threat of subpeona and/or public and political humiliation, has yet to declassify Condi's Public Speech on National Security Sept. 11th, has fought to keep that Aug 6 PDB from being declassified and will only agree to a "visit" by Bush and Cheney in front of the Commission if they are allowed to do so together, it certainly gives the appearance that they are hiding something. Don't it? And that's all their doing.

On a personal note, I'll add that I'd prefer the Report from the 9/11 Commission didn't come out at all until after the Elections. The information from the Report is far too important to be torn apart by the partisanship that it will undoubtedly be met with (and in the process, disregarded because of) in the wake of such a hotly contested Presidential Election.

On the other hand, given this Administration's obstructive behavior, dubious public posturing, penchant for misleading information and out and out despicable character assassination, perhaps a Report which offers information into how the folks running for re-election have handled things would be helpful to the American Public in making a more informed decision. One way or the other.

Of course, had the Bush Whitehouse not taken so long in getting the Commission set up and then spent months stonewalling them, perhaps this all would have been done by now. They have only themselves to blame, but it's the Country that may pay the price.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:23pm PT  

"PDB"

"Shaking the trees"

"Running around with hair on fire"

"Actionable intelligence"

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:20pm PT  

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Regime Change Begins at Home!
Phony, Dangerous Bush Reign Must End Soon!
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2004 2:24pm PT  

Incredible. I'm not a Howard Stern fan (though I don't have anything in particular against him), but this is finally becoming both ridiculous and horrifying.

After being fined $475k by Michael Powell's FCC, Clear Channel (the top Broadcast Contributor to the Republican Party) has fired Howard Stern.

Amazing. Hasn't this fraudulent Presidency done enough to shred the Constitution up till now?

It's precisely this sort of thing that might make a guy like me vote for a dullard like John F. Kerry this November. If that's what it takes to get this dangerous Administration the hell outta town I may just go ahead and pull that lever.

And if you think Stern's fans won't show up to do the same, you're living in a Fool's Paradise...for another 8 months anyway. You guys on the Right wanted a Culture War? It's on, jack-holes.

Be sure to check Stern's Website for what the FCC isn't doing to Oprah! Un-frickin'-believable.

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(Does Gray Davis get to be Governor again?)
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2004 1:33pm PT  

Anyone remember the Summer of 2000? The fake "power crisis" in California that eventually paved the way for the Recall of Gray Davis?

Remember the claims by Rush and Friends that it was all due to the Environmental Whacko's who wouldn't allow California to build more power plants? That Davis and California had only themselves to blame because they were out of touch, birkenstock-wearing Libs who finally were getting their comeuppance for their failed tree-hugging environmental policies?

Remember those Environmental Whackos who used FACTS to explain that the "power shortage" was a fraud created and manipulated by the Power Marketeers like Enron and Reliant? (You may not remember that part, since the Media, as "Liberal" as we all know they are, didn't seem to get the word out on that as well as they got the Conservatives completely made-up spin out there).

Well, today, a Federal Grand Jury has finally begun the process of correcting the record with it's indictment of Reliant for manipulating the Power Markets during the "Crisis of 2002". From Reuters:

The indictment alleged that in June 2000, Reliant Energy Services and its officers and employees intentionally drove up the price of electricity in the state by shutting off its power generation to create the false appearance of a shortage.

According to the indictment, the plan worked and Reliant Energy Services allegedly reaped millions in illegal profits.

Shocking! Whodathunkit?! It goes on:

The indictment says that Reliant was faced with a potential multimillion dollar financial loss in June 2000 when prices in the electricity markets fell dramatically. In order to reverse its losing position, the defendants devised an illegal scheme to drive up the price of electricity by shutting off most of the company's power generation plants, thus creating the appearance of an electricity shortage.

It then dissemanated false and misleading information to the market that wrongly attributed the shut-downs to environmental limitations and maintenance problems, according to the indictment.

No! Really?!

Oddly enough, DittoHeads didn't get this breaking news today from Rush and his stack of stuff, but I'm sure Sean will be getting to it any minute. Just after he pulls his tongue out of Condi's ass.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 11:40pm PT  

9 great questions for Condi from Peter Bergen in Sunday's NY Times. And another 6 good ones from Scott Armstrong there as well.

Anticipating Bergen's #9, ahead of time, Reuters reports that Condi has "no plans to make a public apology" tomorrow. Oh, that's good. Humbling one's self can be so unseemly at a time like this.

As well, following the Bush Admin's penchant for flip-flopping on all things 9/11, it looks like they may be reversing course yet again regarding the speech she was to have given on 9/11. According to the Reuters report:

On the eve of her testimony, the White House reversed course and signaled it would cooperate with the commission's request to review a speech Rice had been due to deliver on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks touting missile defense as a priority rather than al Qaeda.

"We are cooperating with the commission fully," an administration official said when asked if the White House would provide the panel access to the speech.

Hmmm...they will let them "review" it. Does that mean they'll give it to them and we'll all get to see it? It was to have been a public speech after all. Or, like other documents from the Whitehouse (actual secret ones), will they be allowed to walk past it quicklky in the dark naked with a flashlight?

We'll find out tomorrow morning. They are, after all, "cooperating with the commission fully", so we can all look forward to that.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 6:40pm PT  

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Must See TV 2
By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 5:41pm PT  

Condoleezza Rice's testimony to the 9/11 Commission tomorrow morning is shaping up to be even more Must See than Richard Clarke's testimony a few weeks ago.

But in the last week or so, it's all become simply bizarro. This Administration's behavior vis a vis the 9/11 Commission, the disasters unfolding in Iraq and their odd behavior in respect to it. Self-preservation and all of that, I suppose. But it just gets curiouser and curiouser as if these guys seem to be living in an alternate universe or something.

I once again associate myself with the excellent Josh Marshall, who points out the following the quote from an Evening Standard article:

"They have concluded he was so surrounded by sycophants he had no real idea of what was happening in his own country."

Oddly enough, that quote refers to the FBI's interrogation of Saddam, not George W. Bush as one could similarly argue.

In the meantime, the Whitehouse is still fighting to keep Condi's Foreign Policy speech, planned to be given on September 11, 2001, out of the hands of the 9/11 Commission. On what grounds? National Security? Executive Privelege? It was to have been a public speech for crying out loud. What the hell are they so afraid of?

And then there's Richard Clarke again today on Hardball pointing out that Tom Clancy's 1997 book, Debt of Honor featured hijackers that fly a plane into the US Capitol Dome! Again, along with Clarke's admission that he cobbled Anti-Aircraft Defenses into place for the '96 Atlanta Olympics, a stunning counterpoint to Condi's now infamous May 2002 comments: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people.. would try to use...a hijacked airplane as a missile." Bush said as much himself this past Monday in his bizaare presser in North Carolina.

Would anybody in America hold it against these guys if they simply said "We under-estimated the terrorist threat before 9/11, but have learned our lesson since?" I understand the current need to lie about the screwups which have now entangled us in Iraq, but surely they could come clean on 9/11. Again, unless they have something even more damaging to hide than what we already can figure out on our own. I don't know that they do, but their bizaare behavior and coverups and constant kicking, screaming participation with the Commission sure doesn't look good.

It's all simply falling apart for these guys. It's Bizarro World.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 1:16pm PT  

John Dean's new book is now the #2 Best Seller at Amazon.com. The man who was instrumental in exposing the Constitution busting Nixon Admin offers some insightful information on what we're dealing with today.

Dean's appearance on Hannity & Colmes last night was predictably met with a feckless attempt at personal attack by Sean - about something or other from the 70's. He didn't make much headway. Obviously, Sean is now officially over his head in flacking for this indefensible administration.

Haven't read the book myself, so what do I know? But in case you haven't heard of it, I thought you might enjoy seeing the cover of the book as much as I enjoy posting it here.

Have I mentioned it's about the Bush Administration and it's called Worse Than Watergate?

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By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2004 2:12pm PT  

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