.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

 

Wilson: Leave my family alone - Oct. 28

Plame, left, with husband Joe WilsonStatement of Ambassador Joseph Wilson (shown  with his wife Valerie Plame, left) with Respect to the Indictment of Scooter Libby

The five count indictment issued by the Grand Jury today is an important step in the criminal justice process that began more than two years ago. I commend Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald for his professionalism, for his diligence, and for his courage.

There will be many opportunities in the future to comment on the events that led to today's indictment. And, it appears that there will be further developments before the grand jury. Whatever the final outcome of the investigation and the prosecution, I continue to believe that revealing my wife Valerie's secret CIA identity was very wrong and harmful to our nation, and I feel that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth about the events that led our country to war. I look forward to exercising my rights as a citizen to speak about these matters in the future.

Today, however, is not the time to analyze or to debate. And it is certainly not a day to celebrate. Today is a sad day for America. When an indictment is delivered at the front door of the White House, the Office of the President is defiled. No citizen can take pleasure from that.

As this case proceeds, Valerie and I are confident that justice will be done. In the meantime, I have a request. While I may engage in public discourse, my wife and my family are private people. They did not choose to be brought into the public square, and they do not wish to be under the glare of camera. They are entitled to their privacy. This case is not about me or my family, no matter how others might try to make it so.

This case is about serious criminal charges that go to the heart of our democracy.

We, like all citizens, await the judgment of the jury in a court of law.

Thank you.


Friday, October 28, 2005

 

It Ain't Over Till Its Over: Fitzgerald's Press Conference

by Bill Spier

Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference this afternoon may have put others on notice that it ain't over till its over. As Sherlock said, the "game is afoot" and today the prosecutor's tone was real serious. Fitzgerald masterfully handled questions from the press and only spoke to the "four corners" of the Libby indictment. He said that the investigation is not over. He did not say that witnesses could publically discuss their testimony; something he asked all witnesses to honor during the term of this grand jury.

Fitzgerald said Libby was central to the case at hand: the outing of a secret agent. But Libby "threw sand in the face" of the grand jury with his lies; something that subverted the grand jury's ability to decide if Libby (and others) knowingly outed an agent they knew had cover. Mr. Fitzgerald did say that Ms. Wilson's "cover was blown" and was very serious when referring to the crime, which he said damaged national security. Fitzgerald made it clear to everyone that the five charges were not mere technicalities, but crimes that strike a blow at the heart of a nation governed by laws. The people are served when witnesses tell the truth. Libby lied over and over again, Fitzgerald said.

One other thing before you go off and read the press conference tanscript: Mr. Fitzgerald said, "Well, why is this a leak investigation that doesn't result in a charge? I've been trying to think about how to explain this, so let me try. I know baseball analogies are the fad these days. Let me try something." He goes on to make a very good analogy to a beaning in baseball. What is telling about the analogy is not the analogy itself, but how he ends the analogy. " In this case, it's a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn't to one person. It wasn't just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us."

This last sentence should weigh heavy on all Americans tonight. This modest man has said the most profound sentence anyone has said in public on this great tragedy. Again-

It was done to all of us.

Hopefully, the indictment of Libby on charges that could send him on a long state paid vacation will really shake up Rove and others this weekend. Meanwhile, President Bush was off giving a canned speech on terrorism when the dark veil on his presidency began its draw.

Other links:

BloggerNews.Net.

Google News.

Latest post to DemLog.


 

Burkett: Libby indictment will pierce the circled Bush wagons

By Bill Burkett, right
 
About a week ago, the LA Times did a story about Plamegate that I said was mainlined from the Whtie House.  This story was leaked and almost written by Dan Bartlett after Rove was served with a target letter by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald.  The story was the Bush attempt to make Libby the fall guy and distance the President from the whole affair.  Since last Friday, Rove's lawyers have met with Fitzgerald or his staff on numerous occasions and Karl has been very "willing to talk". 
 
Karl isn't as tough as he'd like everyone to believe, and he's certainly not above doing whatever it takes to save his own skin.
 
The indictment of Libby today can do something, though.  In a plea bargain, it might be nice if Libby now decided to protect himself.  The sooner he understands that Rove, Bartlett and the Texas Bush Team will circle their own wagons independent of all others, the better.
 
-Bill

 

Conyers: Preempt any pardon for Plamegate criminals

TELL THE PRESIDENT NO PARDONS FOR TRAITORS

People's Email Network (PEN) has done five action pages for Congressman John Conyers web site. The latest is a demand to the president that he NOT preemptively pardon those in his administration who are indicted for the acts of treason related to the outing of a Conyerscritical covert CIA operative. Conyers, right, has already generated 10,000 submissions on this in just the last day or so using the form we created for him. With looming indictments a near certainty, NOW is the time to speak out and tell Bush that no interference in this nonpartisan investigation will be tolerated by American people.


Here is the link to join this petition:

http://johnconyers.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BB8736AFE-46F8-4994-81E7-7ECB674DE91D%7D

Submitted by: Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

NYT: Scooter indicted today, Rove watching his rear - Oct. 28

WASHINGTON - Lawyers in the C.I.A. leak case said Thursday that they expected I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, to be indicted on Friday, charged with making false statements to the grand jury.

Rove, watching his rearKarl Rove (seen at right, watching his rear), President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged on Friday, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on Friday.

Full story, New York Times.

Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 27, 2005

 

NJ: Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel

By Murray Waas, special to National Journal - © National Journal Group Inc. - Oct. 27

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.

Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said.

The new information that Cheney and Libby blocked information to the Senate Intelligence Committee further underscores the central role played by the vice president's office in trying to blunt criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence data to make the case to go to war.

The Intelligence Committee at the time was trying to determine whether the CIA and other intelligence agencies provided faulty or erroneous intelligence on Iraq to President Bush and other government officials. But the committee deferred the much more politically sensitive issue as to whether the president and the vice president themselves, or other administration officials, misrepresented intelligence information to bolster the case to go to war. An Intelligence Committee spokesperson says the panel is still working on this second phase of the investigation.

Had the withheld information been turned over, according to administration and congressional sources, it likely would have shifted a portion of the blame away from the intelligence agencies to the Bush administration as to who was responsible for the erroneous information being presented to the American public, Congress, and the international community.

In April 2004, the Intelligence Committee released a report that concluded that "much of the information provided or cleared by the Central Intelligence Agency for inclusion in Secretary Powell's [United Nation's] speech was overstated, misleading, or incorrect."

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee say that their investigation was hampered by the refusal of the White House to turn over key documents, although Republicans said the documents were not as central to the investigation.

In addition to withholding drafts of Powell's speech -- which included passages written by Libby -- the administration also refused to turn over to the committee contents of the president's morning intelligence briefings on Iraq, sources say. These documents, known as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB, are a written summary of intelligence information and analysis provided by the CIA to the president.

One congressional source said, for example, that senators wanted to review the PDBs to determine whether dissenting views from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Department of Energy, and other agencies that often disagreed with the CIA on the question of Iraq's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were being presented to the president.

An administration spokesperson said that the White House was justified in turning down the document demand from the Senate, saying that the papers reflected "deliberative discussions" among "executive branch principals" and were thus covered under longstanding precedent and executive privilege rules. Throughout the president's five years in office, the Bush administration has been consistently adamant about not turning internal documents over to Congress and other outside bodies.

At the same time, however, administration officials said in interviews that they cannot recall another instance in which Cheney and Libby played such direct personal roles in denying foreign policy papers to a congressional committee, and that in doing so they overruled White House staff and lawyers who advised that the materials should be turned over to the Senate panel.

Administration sources also said that Cheney's general counsel, David Addington, played a central role in the White House decision not to turn over the documents. Addington did not return phone calls seeking comment. Cheney's office declined to comment after requesting that any questions for this article be submitted in writing.

A former senior administration official familiar with the discussions on whether to turn over the materials said there was a "political element" in the matter. This official said the White House did not want to turn over records during an election year that could used by critics to argue that the administration used incomplete or faulty intelligence to go to war with Iraq. "Nobody wants something like this dissected or coming out in an election year," the former official said.

But the same former official also said that Libby felt passionate that the CIA and other agencies were not doing a good job at intelligence gathering, that the Iraqi war was a noble cause, and that he and the vice president were only making their case in good faith. According to the former official, Libby cited those reasons in fighting for the inclusion in Powell's U.N. speech of intelligence information that others mistrusted, in opposing the release of documents to the Intelligence Committee, and in moving aggressively to counter Joe Wilson's allegations that the Bush administration distorted intelligence findings.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee backed the document request to the White House regarding Libby's drafts of the Powell speech, communications between Libby and other administration officials on intelligence information that might be included in the speech, and Libby's contacts with officials in the intelligence community relating to Iraq.

In his address to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, Powell argued that intelligence information showed that Saddam Hussein's regime was aggressively pursuing programs to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons

Only after the war did U.N. inspectors and the public at large learn that the intelligence data had been incorrect and that Iraq had been so crippled by international sanctions that it could not sustain such a program.

The April 2004 Senate report blasted what it referred to as an insular and risk-averse culture of bureaucratic "group think" in which officials were reluctant to challenge their own longstanding notions about Iraq and its weapons programs. All nine Republicans and eight Democrats signed onto this document without a single dissent, a rarity for any such report in Washington, especially during an election year.

After the release of the report, Intelligence Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said they doubted that the Senate would have authorized the president to go to war if senators had been given accurate information regarding Iraq's programs on weapons of mass destruction.

"I doubt if the votes would have been there," Roberts said. Rockefeller asserted, "We in Congress would not have authorized that war, in 75 votes, if we knew what we know now."

Roberts' spokeswoman, Sarah Little, said the second phase of the committee's investigation would also examine how pre-war intelligence focused on the fact that intelligence analysts -- while sounding alarms that a humanitarian crisis that might follow the war - failed to predict the insurgency that would arise after the war.

Little says that it was undecided whether the committee would produce a classified report, a declassified one that could ultimately be made public, or hold hearings.

When the 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee was made public, Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials cited it as proof that the administration acted in good faith on Iraq and relied on intelligence from the CIA and others that it did not know was flawed.

But some congressional sources say that had the committee received all the documents it requested from the White House the spotlight could have shifted to the heavy advocacy by Cheney's office to go to war. Cheney had been the foremost administration advocate for war with Iraq, and Libby played a central staff role in coordinating the sale of the war to both the public and Congress.

In advocating war with Iraq, Libby was known for dismissing those within the bureaucracy who opposed him, whether at the CIA, State Department, or other agencies. Supporters say that even if Libby is charged by the grand jury in the CIA leak case, he waged less a personal campaign against Wilson and Plame than one that reflected a personal antipathy toward critics in general.

-- Murray Waas is a Washington-based journalist. His previous articles, focusing on Rove's role in the case, Libby's grand jury testimony, the apparent direction of Fitzgerald's investigation, and the Secret Service records that prompted Miller's key testimony also appeared on NationalJournal.com.

Full National Journal article.

Action item: The People's Email Network (PEN) has prepared a petition to support Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Resolution 505 to "demand the Iraq War Cooked Documents" referred to in the foregoing story by National Journal. You may click on the link below to join that petition:

http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/72

Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Tx.


 

Begala: Slapping Bush's pampered, plutocratic, lazy face

photo of paul begalaBy Paul Begala (left) From: TPMCafe Special Guests

"The punditocracy" has a severe case of indictus interruptus, but for President Bush and his White House staff, the worst is yet to come. To be sure, waiting on a decision to indict is an exquisite form of torture. But what lies ahead is worse. If special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald does choose to indict one or more senior Bush White House officials, they will be the first top White House aides to be indicted in a decade and a half.

This is when a White House staffer earns his pay. The pressure of a federal criminal investigation - especially one in the media spotlight - is bone-crushing. My guess is that the strain is taking a gruesome toll. Already we hear rumors of President Bush exploding at his aides, at the President blaming Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, and anyone else in sight for his woes.

This I know first hand: when The Boss explodes like that, there are two kinds of aides -- those who fight and those who flee. When he came to Washington, Mr. Bush surrounded himself with tough-minded people who seemed not to be afraid to stand up to him. But now his team is loaded with weak-kneed toadies, and Mr. Bush is home alone. Karl Rove, of course, is fending off a potential indictment. His prodigious brain has not entertained another thought in months. (That's why, I suspect, some months back Rove popped off and said liberals wanted to give terrorists psychotherapy after 9/11. It was a loopy, stupid, and distinctly un-Rovian, meltdown - the first public sign that the pressure was causing Karl to crack.)

What of the rest of Team Bush? Karen Hughes is at the State Department, as is Condi Rice. Al Gonzalez has decamped for Justice, and fellow Austinite Margaret Spellings is at the Department of Education. Harriet Miers is fighting a losing battle to avoid becoming a permanent punch line. Ari Fleischer is selling books and dispensing sage advice to corporations. And Mary Matalin is busy raising her girls and rallying the troops from the outside.

The exodus and incapacity were inevitable; replacing Bush's stand-up guys and gals with suck-ups and sycophants was not. After he was re-elected, with the clouds of scandal still all `round, Bill Clinton lured John Podesta back to the White House. Podesta, who is as tough as a bar of iron, became deputy chief of staff, and then chief of staff. He was indispensable in maintaining the focus of both the President and his staff. When Abner Mikva left, Clinton recruited a new White House counsel, Charles Ruff, who was strong and steady, and put together the most impressive team of lawyers ever to grace the West Wing. When Mike McCurry stepped down, he was replaced by bulldog Joe Lockhart. Clinton also promoted Rahm Emanuel and Doug Sosnik, veteran campaigners, and convinced me to leave my beloved Austin to become Counselor to the President. Not because I was possessed of some special wisdom or insight, but because I knew him well and was not afraid to give him bad news.

Mr. Bush would do well to augment his current staff, a C-Team if ever there was one, with some stronger characters. But to read the Bush-Miers correspondence is to gain a disturbing insight into Mr. Bush's personality: he likes having his ass kissed. Ms. Miers' cards and letters to the then-Governor of Texas belong in the Brown-Nosers Hall of Fame. You can be sure the younger and less experienced Bush White House aides are even more obsequious. The last thing this President wants is the first thing he needs: someone to slap his spoiled, pampered, trust-funded, plutocratic, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life cheek and make him face the reality of his foul-ups.

And so they wait. And they sniff the royal throne. They tell the Beloved Leader he's the victim of a partisan plot (although how the Bush CIA, which referred the Plame case for prosecution, became ground zero of Democratic liberalism escapes me). They assure him all is well. But all is not well. People are looking over their shoulders. The smart ones have stopped taking notes in meetings. The very smart ones have stopped using email for all but the most pedestrian communications. And the smartest ones have already obtained outside counsel.

When a White House is under siege, no one wants to talk to anyone. Literally, anything you say can and will be used against you. When you're in a meeting and you see one of your colleagues taking notes, you start to wonder how long it will be before you're interrogated based on her notes. Maybe she's doodling. Or maybe she's digging your grave. The mind tries to focus on the task at hand, but the grand jury is never far from your thoughts.

Compared to these folks, I had it easy. I'd never met Monica Lewinsky, had no knowledge of the affair, which took place when I was living in Austin, and I knew that neither I nor any of my colleagues were in Ken Starr's perverse crosshairs. The Fitzgerald investigation is very different. It's not about the President's extracurricular activities. It's about the essence of how the White House works - and the suggestion that this White House has become deeply corrupt.

If the waiting is as painful for the Bushies as I suspect it is, it's only because they know how terrible the toll will be when the truth comes out.

Source: TMP Cafe.


Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info


Other Recent DemLog Items:

If those links don't work, try:
DemLog political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com


 

MMfA: Hannity labels caller "nut" for saying Rove "involved" with Plame leak

HannityOn his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity, right, responded to a caller's assertion that White House senior adviser Karl Rove was "involved" in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity by labeling the caller a "nut case" and accusing him of "hatred, hatred, hatred for Bush and anyone associated with him."

Full story - Media Matters for America.  D.H.: The right wingnuts are becoming more shrill and desperate. 


 

AP: DeLay plays the victim of Democrats

Oct 27 3:40 PM US/Eastern -

Tom DeLayHOUSTON - Rep. Tom DeLay, left, under indictment on campaign finance violations, railed against Democrats in a letter Thursday, accusing them of engaging in "the politics of personal destruction."

The letter, sent to constituents and contributors, connected his case with investigations into possible misconduct by White House adviser Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"What we're fighting is so much larger than a single court case or a single district attorney in Travis County," the Texas Republican wrote. "We are witnessing the criminalization of conservative politics."

DeLay stepped down as House majority leader after he was indicted Sept. 28 on charges he illegally funneled corporate campaign contributions to candidates for the Texas Legislature.

DeLay has launched an aggressive defense, seeking to have the judge removed because of his Democratic political activity and accusing the Democratic district attorney who charged him, Ronnie Earle, of pursuing the case for political reasons.

The letter was prepared for the Republican Party newsletter in DeLay's home county of Fort Bend. Party chairman Eric Thode said he also e- mailed it to about 2,000 Fort Bend County households and to state and national elected and party officials.

Source: AP-Breitbart News.



 

AP: No indictments today, but White House on edge - Oct. 27

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 13 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald huddled with his legal team Thursday as two key White House aides awaited their fate in the CIA leak probe.

A spokesman for the prosecutor said there would be no public announcements Thursday. The term of the grand jury that could bring indictments expires Friday.

The White House braced for the possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (below right, walking out of the I. Lewis 'Scooter' LibbyWest Wing of the White House Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005, in Washington - AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais), could become a criminal defendant by week's end. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, remained in jeopardy of being charged with false statements.

Libby and Rove arrived for work at the White House Thursday as usual. Rove attended the daily meeting of the senior staff, but Libby did not and was said to be in a security briefing. Libby misses senior staff about half the time because of intelligence briefings and other issues on Cheney's schedule, an official said.

Separately, Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, said there would be no announcements in the probe on Thursday.

Rove's legal team made contingency plans, consulting with former Justice Department official Mark Corallo about what defenses could be mounted in court and in public.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.


 

PF: Ritter blows whistle on Iraq invasion

From Philosophe Forum:

Scott Ritter - Time Magazine photoScott Ritter, left, a former Marine, was a top United Nations (UN) weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. He lead more an a dozen missions often facing top Iraqi military and security personnel. He has maintained the argument that Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and has never threatened U.S. security. It is nothing more than domestic politics.

During an interview with the former UN weapons inspector, he talked about looking for weapons of mass distruction (WMDs) in Iraq. He also explains how much of the intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq was discredited by work he and fellow inspectors conducted in the 1990s. He new book
Iraq Confidential : The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Nation Books) is now available.

Scott's position as a weapons inspector was quite specific. As a Marine intelligence officer with 12 years experience gathering information, he had all the qualifications for it. He also had some knowledge of the Russian language. After former President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Marines assigned him to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic in a missal production facility learning how to be a weapons inspector. He was a ballistic missle advisor to General Norman Schwarzkopf during the first Gulf War. He has specialized in this field ever since.

Scott has been very professional in his approach to Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people. His attitude is neither pacifist or sympathetic. It is factual. When a country agrees to submit their data and does not, members of the intelligence community know that it is time to pay a visit, ask questions, gather information, assess the findings, and develop conclusions.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- in 1991. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) maintained the illusion that a legitimate reason to invade the Mideast country existed. George H. W. Bush began a policy of regime change for Iraq. He used the inspectors as a Trojan horse to report on the security Saddam Hussein and deliberately mislead Congress and the American people. Bill Clinton inherited the policy against his better judgement. The current President George W. Bush has followed through with his predecessors' legacy. By 1997, 90 to 95 percent of those weapons were disarmed. By 2003, the country did not pose a threat to America's security. With the most intrusive procedures possible, the inspectors proved that the country's weapons of mass destruction no longer existed.

The the current Bush Administration uses its ideology to permeate a sense of fear throughout the country -- without justification. Scott uses Iraq Confidential to outline all the factual non-classified intelligence information. He had 100 percent access to the primary UN points of contact. His sources are legitimate. The contents of his book are grounded in reality.

There are no security forces in Iraq that people can be loyal to. No one has truly defined the problem. Without defining the problem, there can be no solution. Why has the U. S. invaded Iraq? Why does the U. S. continue to occupy Iraq?

The U. S. has a Rule of Law yet the legislators deliberately allowed the country to enter into into a war based on a lie. The neo-cons then created their own politically correct reality of 12 to 20 missles, used CIA policy to undermine and infiltrate the UN inspection teams during the 1990s, and then to undermine their efforts again before the 2003 invasion. They thought they could gain access to the planet's second largest oil resources in Iraq with a quick and easy invasion. Once they acquired access, they planned to leverage the U. S. political and economic control with global control.

The plan backfired, and getting the U. S. out of the lie is long overdue. The
exit strategy that Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-04) proposes is unrealistic since it has no basis for reality. Here is the reality:

  • The US occupation forces created Iraq's civil war in the first place.
  • The country's insurgencies are anti-occupation in nature.
  • The US goal has never been to build a Mideast democracy.
  • Iran is now in charge of Iraq.

Scott offers his own viable exit strategy that is not a capitulation. It is a multi-lateral process with the U. S. leading it.

  1. Remove the occupation troops. They need to come back home to the U. S. The Shiites, Khurds, and Sunnis will learn to live with it.
  2. Reinfranchise the Sunnis with political and economic forces to remove the radical Islamic factions.
  3. Encourage the Khurds to stop talking about independence. The Turks will never allow it. They cannot allow it because they want to be part of the European Union.

There are no other suggestions for a viable exit strategy based on reality and the Rule of Law. If it compromises anything, it is the U. S. government's political lies about Iraq.

Source:  Philosophe Forum.

Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Van Os on Daily Kos - Oct. 27

By Dave Haigler
 
David Van Os, rightDavid Van Os (right, shaking hands with Dave Haigler at a Bastrop County Democratic Club rally this past spring) is on Daily Kos today.  You may post a comment for him at:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/26/101353/27#20
 
 
Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AAS: Miers withdraws - Oct 27

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.
Full story:  Austin American-Statesman.

 

Haigler: EIKABITMOL

By Dave Haigler, right, of Abilene, Texas

EIKABITMOL - Everything I Know About Blogging in Ten Minutes or Less

1. There are several free blog-hosting sites, but I prefer Blogspot.com, and will limit my comments to it. Go to this site and follow the prompts to set up your blog:
http://www.blogger.com/start.

2. Follow the prompts: (1) Create an account; (2) Name your blog; and (3) Choose a template. Sometimes at steps (1) & (2), Blogspot says the chosen name is not available, when it actually is. If under either step (1) or (2), it tells you the name is not available, you may skip down to step 10, where I explain an "other use, not documented," and try that first, rather than picking another name. It will give you a variety of stock templates under step 3; choose one.

3. Once you create your own account and blog, you can invite any other member of Blogspot to join yours or join anyone else's who invites you. If someone invites you to join their Blotspot blog, it's important that you have set up your own membership and blog before you "accept" their invitation; otherwise, the software loses you in cyberspace.

4. The first thing you will likely want to do is to post something to your blog. One of the downsides to Blogspot is that it does not have a lot of navigation menus. Thus I will give you the links for every major function you will want to do. The link to post an item to your blog is:
http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=########,
where the ######## is your blog ID number, and that # is part of the link.

5. The next likely thing is to edit a post you've already placed on your blog, because you either made a mistake or want to add a picture or a link. The link to edit a post is:
http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=10801666, again where that last 8 digit number is your blog number. It happens that 10801666 is my blog, DemLog, and, sorry, you can't edit a post there unless you were the author. So substitute your blog # for mine above, and, viola, you're there.

6. The next thing you may want to do is change your "basic settings." The link for that is:
http://www.blogger.com/blog-options-basic.g?blogID=10801666, but again substitute your blog # for mine, or the software won't let you in there. No hackers on my blog, please, even if you are a Democrat! This menu contains your blog title and description and a few other things. My description field contains the following sample code: {blockquote}{p}{strong}News & Views by, for & against Democrats.{/p}{/strong}{p}*Click on "comments" below a post to reply to it.{/p}{p}*If you want to post an original article and are not already a "contributor," email mailto:Dave@Haigler.info. {/p}{p}*The contents of the side column below are: {/p}
{p}{blockquote}--Recent Items, --Contributors, --Links, --Archives, --Fair Use Notice, --Finding Stuff.{/p}{/blockquote}{/BLOCKQUOTE}.
  • "Blockquote" within brackets (use brackets, <>, instead of squigglies, {}, above) begins an indented paragraph. "Blockquote" within brackets preceeded with a forward slash, ends that indentation. A blockquote within another blockquote is a double indentation.
  • The letter "p" within brackets begins a paragraph; the same preceeded with a forward slash ends the paragraph.
  • The word "strong" within brackets makes something bold printed.
  • The letter "i" within brackets makes something italicized.
  • Again, any command in brackets needs to be ended with the same command in brackets preceeded by a forward slash.
Most of the other options on "basic settings" you will likely want to answer "yes."

7. The other settings besides "basic" are "publishing, formatting, comments, archiving, site feed, email, and members." The first 5 of those, just set them and forget them. But the other two, "email & members," I suggest you save the link as a favorite so you can quickly navigate back to them, as you may want to change those later and otherwise have a hard time finding the link. The email link is:
http://www.blogger.com/blog-options-email.g?blogID=10801666.
  • This link allows you to have your blog send all its posts to an external email address, which may be your own email, or you may choose to automatically send all your blog posts to your favorite Yahoo mail list, as I do, e.g., Lone_Star_Democrats@yahoogroups.com.
  • Such automatic re-publishing allows your blog double exposure.
  • The other thing that the "email" option allows you to do is to post items to your blog by email, instead of posting on the website of your blog. The format for that is:
  • (username).(password)@blogger.com, substituting your own username and password in the parentheses.
8. The "basic members" option is where you invite other Blogspot members to join your blog as contributors. The link for that is:
http://www.blogger.com/blog-members.g?blogID=10801666,
again, as always, you substitute your blog # for mine, or it won't let you in.

9. The other 3 major drop down menus besides "Settings" are "Posting, Template & View Blog." "Posting," I've already given you the link and steps under para. 4 above. The others are:
  • "Template" allows you to edit or change your template. Be careful of this. Once you start modifying your template, you will lose all those modifications if you ever decide to change your template entirely to a different sample template. But you will likely want to do this once you get comfortable with blogging. E.g., adding links and comments to your side margin. The simplest explanation for that is to go into it and follow the examples already there, unless you understand web-page code, in which case -- why aren't you giving this presentation instead of me? The link for editing your template is: http://www.blogger.com/template-edit.g?blogID=10801666.
  • "View Blog" gets you back to your blog's home page. The link for that looks like this: http://demlog.blogspot.com/, where, of course, your blog's name would be in place of "demlog."
10. Blogspot has something it calls the "dashboard," which lists your personal profile and a list of all the blogs you are a member of, and where you can edit your profile and change your password. The link for that is: http://www.blogger.com/home. The other use for this is something not documented by Blogspot. This link page verifies whether a name you have tried to select, either username or blog name, has actually "taken" as yours, even if the software told you it was not available. This is a way to avoid getting a bunch of names, anyway, when you were told they were not available. If the page comes up and asks you to sign in, use the username you had selected that it had said was not available. If it accepts your username and lists a blogname it had said was not available, click on that and resume up above at the step where you left off.

11. I had intended this to be 10 steps or less, along with 10 minutes or less. But there is no extra charge for these tips on adding pictures to your blog items. If you email your posts, the embedded pictures can be cut and pasted from some other picture that is already online, but the link to the picture must end in "jpg". If you cut and paste a picture from a news service, and there is a bunch of junk after the "jpg" in the link, just delete all that extra stuff; otherwise, your picture will not show on Blogspot. This is probably something the news services use to try to keep people from using their copyright pictures. However, free blogs don't have to worry about copyright, as it comes under "fair use." On the other hand, if you post to your blog using the website link for posting, the icon for adding pictures (second icon from the upper right) allows you to either cut and paste the "url" for the photo, or "browse" your hard drive for a photo, in which case it will upload the photo for you. Doing it this way, sometimes it will accept other formats besides "jpg" and sometimes not. Go figure; I am a lawyer not a programmer, and it's free, so I decided not to sue them over it. Whichever method you use to send pictures along with a post, you have the option of formatting them to the right or left, and setting the size of the border and margins.

Enjoy!

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com



Wednesday, October 26, 2005

 

AP: Danforth criticizes one-sided religious sway in GOP

Oct 26 8:51 PM US/Eastern -
LITTLE ROCK - The influence of evangelical Christians in the Republican Party hurts the organization and divides the country, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, below right, said during a visit to the Bill Clinton School of Public Service on Wednesday.

DanforthDanforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and an Episcopal priest, met with students during a seminar and held a luncheon talk at the graduate school.

"I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right," he said in an interview after his talks. "I don't think that this is a permanent condition but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country."

He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracy Schmitt declined comment.

Danforth, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made similar criticism of the party in an opinion article published by the New York Times in June. In that article, he called for religious moderates to take part in public life.

People of faith have an obligation to be in politics, he said.

"I think the question arises when a political party becomes identified with one particular sectarian position and when religious people believe that they have the one answer, that they understand God's truth and they embody it politically," he said.

"Nothing is more dangerous than religion in politics and government when it becomes divisive," he said. "I'll give you examples: Iraq. Northern Ireland. Palestine."

Full story - AP-Breitbart News.  Submitted by: Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info - political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

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AP: Miers scritiny increases, support drops - Oct. 26

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee served notice Wednesday he intends to question Harriet Miers, below left, about the Bush administration's policy of detaining suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, injecting new uncertainty into a Supreme Court nomination already in doubt.

MiersIn a letter to Miers, who is White House counsel, Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) also said he would ask what assurances she could offer that she would be independent, if confirmed, "and not give President Bush any special deference on any matter involving him that might come before the court."

Specter, R-Pa., released the letter as the White House struggled to build support for an appointment that has drawn withering criticism from some prominent conservatives outside Congress and steady skepticism -- or worse -- from Republican senators.

Three GOP officials said they no longer felt certain that Miers' troubled nomination would survive as long as the Nov. 7 target date for hearings, and that a withdrawal was not out of the question. They spoke on condition of anonymity, noting that the administration's official policy is one of strong continued support for the president's pick.

A conservative group that had given Miers the benefit of the doubt changed positions on Wednesday. Concerned Women of America, which had so far supported Bush's judicial nominees, urged the president to withdraw her nomination.

"We wanted to back the president, and sought evidence to support this nomination, but we find this Supreme Court nominee unqualified and her record troubling," said Beverly LaHaye, the group's founder. "However, we look forward to a nomination that we can wholeheartedly endorse."

Miers met with Sen. David Vitter, R-La., the latest in a round of senatorial courtesy calls, and labored to answer written questions from the Judiciary Committee by day's end. The panel sought the information after deeming her earlier responses incomplete.

Vitter told reporters he wanted the White House to provide written evidence that Miers has a conservative judicial philosophy. "What I am suggesting is that I'd love to see more written material that predates the nomination," he said.

Miers was named less than a month ago to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whose views on the constitutional questions of the most contentious issues of the day often left her as the pivotal vote on 5-4 rulings. In particular, O'Connor joined in rulings that upheld abortion rights and affirmative action.

While several GOP senators have lamented the shortage of material detailing Miers' views, a speech she delivered in 1993 drew attention from Vitter and other conservatives.

Discussing the issues of abortion and voluntary school prayer, she told the Executive Women of Dallas, "The underlying theme in most of these cases is the insistence of more self-determination. And the more I think about these issues, the more self-determination makes the most sense."

Full AP-Yahoo News story.


 

Reuters: Prosecutor meets with grand jury & judge, but announces no indictments

By Adam Entous 1 hour, 46 minutes ago

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald (C) departs U.S. District Court with aides and members of the media in Washington October 26, 2005. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, center right, met for three hours on Wednesday with the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity amid signs the prosecutor was preparing to bring charges against top White House aides.

Fitzgerald declined comment as he emerged from the federal courthouse after the grand jury adjourned for the day without announcing any indictments. Fitzgerald met separately for 45 minutes in the chambers of the chief U.S. district judge, Thomas Hogan, who oversees the grand jury.

Full Story:  Reuters-Yahoo News.


 

Batstone: School of the Americas - Time to end a horrific legacy

bannerBy David Batstone, Sojourers
 
Last year many Americans were shocked by the revelation that U.S. soldiers had tortured Iraqi prisoners. Many American citizens felt it was a complete contradiction of our principles to be fighting for democracy in Iraq while violating its practice by abusing human rights.

With that same sentiment, thousands of faith-based activists will gather in a few weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia, to express their conviction that the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas, which trains Latin American soldiers for combat, should be closed down.

If you have never attended the SOA vigil before, I urge you to make your peacemaking pilgrimage to Georgia Nov. 18 to 20. A vote to close down the SOA most likely will come up before Congress during the next nine months. A strong presence at the vigil this year will send Congress a powerful message that public sentiment runs deep against keeping the SOA in business.

The SOA has been controversial for nearly two decades, according to the School of the Americas Watch, a Washington-based organization that has spearheaded the grassroots movement to close the school. In its 50-year life span, many of the school's 61,000 graduates have been involved in major human rights abuses, the watch states on its Web site. Founded by Father Roy Bourgeois, the watch has raised awareness of the involvement of SOA-trained soldiers in the assassination of Archbishop Romero, the massacre of the six Jesuit priests and two women working for them, and other killings.

In 1999 a budget amendment was made in the House to cut funds to the school. Though the amendment lost by one vote in congressional conference committee, soon thereafter the Pentagon introduced a "reform" package. In 2001, the School of Americas was officially closed and replaced in the same location with the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Yet, as the old saying goes, a leopard does not change its spots.

I bear witness to the SOA's horrific practice. I worked in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and surrounding countries for more than a decade. I know what they taught at Fort Benning, and a name change does not alter that legacy.

Many of my best friends in El Salvador were "captured" - kidnapped out of their homes and churches - by security forces that had been trained by the American military. They were tortured by the book - electrodes sending shock impulses to their private parts, chalk lime bags put over their heads intending to suffocate, and worse tortures too terrible to name. Once they were pumped for information - such as the names of other members of their community service project or literacy study group - they would be scheduled for execution.

I established a human rights organization, Central American Mission Partners, in 1984 that aimed to stop these kidnappings from happening. We sent U.S. citizens to live with any Central American targeted by the security forces, otherwise gruesomely known as the death squads. The reason this strategy worked: The military did not want to kill a U.S. citizen and alert the American public of its disregard for human rights. A Salvadoran or Guatemalan gets tortured and killed - we would never hear about it. A U.S. citizen gets killed, and it's often front-page news and the Congress debates whether to keep the aid flowing to undemocratic forces.

Now is another occasion for U.S. citizens to speak up vigorously on behalf of those children of God who are often ignored in the halls of Congress. We must not allow the legacy of the SOA to continue. In God's name, put an end to this awful blemish on the republic for which we stand.

Source: SojournersFind out more about the vigil.


 

Spier: Fitzgerald May Have Followed the Yellow Cake Road

by Bill Spier

Indictments were not handed down today. Did Rove Make a Deal? It is now hitting the wire that Mr. Fitzgerald may very well be expanding the investigation to Follow the Yellow Cake Road. This can only be good news. Maybe Americans will now learn how the Bush administration went to war. Put this whole Plame affair into historical context.

But, it might not have been Rove who blinked, so we must be patient and at least hope that the egregious breach of public trust, and the damage to national security that resulted, brings severe punishment.

If Rove's lawyer did make a deal with Fitzpatrick yesterday, Rove had to have pointed the finger at Libby and others associated with the vice president. Heavy.

Post Script: 8:30 P.M. EST--CIA Uber Correspondent, Richard Sales, makes a good case that this government will fall hard come Friday. Charges under the Espionage Act, violatiing Wilson's civil rights and more, more more....Maybe a new grand jury too? Senator Hutchison may have her wish afterall: no piddling charges like perjury to waste our time with.

wds

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Reuters: CBS sacks Heyward over Bush Guard memos - Oct. 26

Heyward
Former president of CBS News Andrew Heyward is seen, right, in this file photo.

CBS News today named Sean McManus, head of CBS Sports, as its news chief, replacing Heyward, whose tenure was marred by controversy over a discredited report on President Bush.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson.

Reliable sources said today Heyward's resignation comes under the impending pressures of revelations within the Mary Mapes book coming out Nov. 8, and reported documentation that Heyward had invoked his role as senior executive producer in making all decisions including the offering of a deal to its primary source, Texas Air National Guard LTC Bill Burkett (ret'd); preliminary discussions with the NY Times to partner on the story; directing the staff including producer Mapes and anchor Dan Rather to combine a story on former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, related to getting George W. Bush into the Guard, and the "memos" story and "crashing" them in order to deconflict a scheduling situation with a Dr. Phil special; approval of the strategy for a White House interview including benching Dan Rather in favor of John Roberts; personal approval of the story after editing and approval for final airing, etc. None of these details reportedly were told the VIACOM panel which claimed to have fully investigated the CBS memos story. Heyward further reportedly signed alongside Betsy West, Josh Howard and Mary Mapes a statement prior to the September 8, 2004, airing of the CBS memos expose that they felt all journalistic principles had been met.
Heyward was also alleged to have personally directed the enticement and sacrifice of LTC Burkett, to use him as an initial fall guy in order to extract CBS from the embarrassment of the story and pressures from the White House, when Burkett's claimed source, Lucy Ramirez of Houston, could not be located. In fact, Mapes's book reveal the intimate details of supposed "wars" between Mapes and Heyward about the later September 20 newscast and apology by Rather which had been obtained under the pretense that Burkett had misled CBS about the authenticity of the memos.
All of this and more are reportedly part of the new Mapes book scheduled for release November 8, 2005.


Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Slate-Papers: Weighty Waiting - Oct. 26

By Eric Umansky - Posted Wednesday at 2:59 AM CT

The Washington Post leads with wink-wink, nudge-nudge atmospherics on the leak investigation: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, below right, is "preparing to outline possible charges before a federal grand jury as early as today." The Los Angeles Times leads Fitzgeraldwith, and everybody else fronts, the number of U.S. service-member deaths in Iraq reaching 2,000. The Wall Street Journal's world-wide newsbox and New York Times lead with officials in Iraq confirming the passage of the constitution. The referendum actually came darn close to being defeated, and the vote was almost completely split along sectarian lines. As for the investigation of fraud that the NYT made a big stink of—and TP doubted—election officials said they didn't find serious tampering. USA Today leads with a poll showing President Bush's rating approval rating still in the tank at 42 percent. The paper also highlights the low approval ratings for both congressional Republicans and Democrats. But what USAT mentions only in passing is that 65 percent of respondents say their "own representative deserves re-election." Isn't that the stat that counts?

While the Post's lead covers its butt—"it is not clear what charges Fitzgerald will seek, if any"—the Financial Times goes where no publication has gone before: Citing, seemingly, a blog and "a source close to the lawyers involved in the case," the paper says, "target letters to those facing indictment were being issued, with sealed indictments to be filed today and released by the end of the week."

The LAT, NYT, and Post all notice that federal investigators recently visited some of the neighbors of Valerie Plame (seen below left with her husband Joe Wilson), to see if they had known she was a CIA agent. "It seemed they were trying to establish clearly that prior to the Novak article she was not widely known on the cocktail circuit," said a neighbor. "And I pointed out, we were good friends, we socialized with them, and we just had no idea."

Plame, left, with husband Joe WilsonThe LAT and NYT both focus on the fact that investigators chatted yesterday with a former White House official about Karl Rove's dealings with reporters in the days leading up to Plame's outing. "FOCUS OF PROSECUTOR IN CIA LEAK INQUIRY APPEARS TO SHIFT TO ROVE," says the LAT. Which seems silly. Does the paper really have much idea what the "focus" of the investigation is or where it's "shifted"? The fact that investigators were questioning an official about Rove this late in the game could mean nearly anything, including that the case against Rove is still weak.

The papers all break down the U.S. deaths in Iraq. One of the stats that gets the biggest play: It took 18 months to reach 1,000 dead, but just 14 months to reach 2,000. What that obscures is that—as the LAT points out—the casualty rate has remained fairly constant since March 2004, about 17 U.S. deaths per week. The NYT has a mini-profile of each service member who's died.

A front-page Post piece looks at the role of increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs. In the last six months, IEDS have caused two-thirds of combat deaths. The Post interviews one insurgent who said militants are now getting explosives from Iran that are "seven times stronger" than what's available in Iraq.

A piece inside the NYT reminds that it's Iraqis who are dying at the highest rate. There are few hard figures, but an estimated 60 Iraqis (civilians?) have been killed daily this year.

The NYT off-leads what seems to be the entire Republican caucus in the Senate getting squeamish on Harriet Miers (below right). "I am uneasy about where we are," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, who's on the Judiciary Committee and who had previously cooed sweet nothings about the Miersnominee. Sen. Norm Coleman said he wants to learn more about her "core competence issues." And the list goes on, including two committee members who have reportedly "privately raised questions about her judicial philosophy."  Sen. Lindsay Graham left a lunch meeting with Miers yesterday and said, "She needs to step it up a notch."

A Page One piece in the Journal details how the Bush administration has supported a bill that would allow the U.S. to buy emergency food aid near countries that need it. The law currently requires that the aid be shipped in from the U.S., and that costs far more and takes more time. Two constituencies oppose the change: the farm industry and their friends in the aid community who fear that the move could lead to a backdoor budget cut. The NYT noticed last month that the Senate rejected loosening the aid law.

With major oil companies set to announce profits in the next few days, the LAT takes a moment to point out that the corporations are rolling in bling. The industry is on pace to net nearly $100 billion this year; more than twice their profits of two years ago.

The WP and NYT both have editorials unleashing against Vice President Cheney's effort to exempt the CIA from the McCain Amendment's prohibitions against abusing detainees. The Post writes:

"Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it. Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture.

The headline: "VICE PRESIDENT FOR TORTURE."  [DemLog blogged an AP story on that earlier this morning.]

Eric Umansky (www.ericumansky.com) writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at todayspapers@slate.com.  Source:  Slate Magazine.

Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP: Cheney tries to gut McCain's anti-torture amendment

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer -- Tue Oct 25,10:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Congressional negotiators are feeling heat from the White House and constituents as they consider whether to back a Senate-approved ban on torturing detainees in U.S. custody or weaken the prohibition, as the White House prefers.

Led by Vice President Dick Cheney, left, the Bush administration is floating a proposal that would allow the president to exempt covert agents outside the Defense Department from the ban.

Meanwhile, some newspapers are calling for lawmakers to support Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record)'s provision that would bar the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held.

"There's a lot of public pressure to retain the language intact. At the same time, there's pressure from the vice president's office to modify it," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, which supports McCain's provision.

In a meeting last week with McCain, right, R-Ariz., Cheney and CIA Director Porter Goss suggested language that would exclude clandestine counterterrorism operations overseas by agencies other than the Pentagon "if the president determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Tuesday that the president has "made our position very clear: We do not condone torture, nor would he ever authorize the use of torture."

McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, said he rejected the administration's proposal because "that would basically allow the CIA to engage in torture."

It is unclear how much influence McCain has in the negotiations to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of the $445 billion defense bill. McCain will not be involved directly in those talks.

Among those leading the negotiations will be Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, and Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., who head the defense spending subcommittees.

Young has said the U.S. has no obligation to terrorists, and he and other top House Republicans have signaled they will try to change the Senate-approved language.

Stevens, who voted against it in the Senate, has said the language is too broad in applying to agents who work undercover. He has said the administration shares that concern.

"I still believe we have to take into account the situation that clandestine people find themselves in," Stevens said. But he said he had not seen the vice president's language and could not say whether he would support it.

Top Democratic negotiators -- Sen. Daniel Inouye (news, bio, voting record) of Hawaii and Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania -- support McCain's language, but their clout is limited because they are in the minority party. Nevertheless, Murtha said he planned to press negotiators not to change the Senate-passed provision.

Lawmakers say Cheney's latest alternative was just one of several that the White House has offered.

This month, the Senate added the ban and the interrogation standards to its defense bill by a 90-9 vote. The administration threatened a veto if the president's ability to conduct the war was restricted.

The House bill did not include McCain's plan, which also would require the military to follow the Army Field Manual when imprisoning and questioning suspects in the fight against terrorism.

Since the Senate vote, some newspapers have urged lawmakers in their states to support McCain's approach. Several papers took aim at Republicans who are leading the negotiations.

"Sen. Stevens is wrong and should follow the lead of Sen. McCain, who speaks firsthand of the wrongs of torture," the Anchorage Daily News said Monday.

The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times weighed in on Oct. 16, saying that Young and other negotiators "have an obligation to rise above partisanship and uphold principles that should be beyond debate in a civilized society."

Source: AP-Yahoo News.

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by
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

 

Kall: Corsi says Miers confirmation hearing would open can of worms

Right Wingers Getting Nervous as Miers' Role in Bush Corruption Unfolds

Bush corruption, previously put behind and buried is being unearthed and could come to light in Senate judicial committee hearings. And one of the Judges Bush Brought to DC to endorse Harriet is deeply involved

By Rob Kall

http://www.opednews.com

An army of skeletons thought hidden deep in the recesses of Texas closests are coming to life as a result of Bush's nomination of longtime crony and protectress, Harriet Miers.

Jerome CorsiJerome Corsi (right), right-wing author of Unfit for Command – Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry has written an extensive series of articles attacking George W. BUsh's Miers Supreme Court nomination. This is one right wing extremist who knows the danger of opening an old can of worms. While an honest, a-political person might want to see corruption uncovered and exposed, Mr. Cosi suggests "It's time for the President to withdraw this dreadful nomination or, if politics dictate, Harriet Miers to withdraw herself from consideration," arguing " so we might avoid another long, painful, and needless examination of old matters that probably would be better off never exhumed.

In the latest article, published in Worldnetdaily.com, titled,

Miers was player in Texas Lottery coverup
, Corsi reports:

Larry Litwin was fired in 1997 as executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission because then-Governor George Bush wanted an investigation into possible criminal political-influence buying squashed, and then-commissioner Harriet Miers, a Bush appointee, complied with his wishes and terminated him – that is the story Litwin is prepared to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee.
D.H. note:  This is the same story Bill Burkett wrote on DemLog on Oct. 23.  See the Kall piece in full at Op-Ed News; it is excellent, and extremely thorough.
Submitted by Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

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