Saturday, October 29, 2005

An Apology?


It's clear that one person (Scooter) in the Bush administration acted illegally. It is posible that more did so. But it is clear many acted unethically and did harm to Americans by leaking Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. Joe Wilson believes Bush owes the American people an apology.......
We anticipate no mea culpa from the president for what his senior aides have done to us. But he owes the nation both an explanation and an apology.

However it is no surprise that this will not be forthcoming as Bush does not even see that he has done anything Wrong. This is from David Gergen on CNN's Larry King......
GERGEN: Well, I certainly agree that he should be outraged. The president should be outraged about the blowing of the cover of a CIA agent. His father, President Bush senior, takes this very seriously, and you know, he just thinks it's a terrible thing to happen.

And I think the son should share that outrage.


And I think he needs to restore some of his moral authority and I worry that he and the people around him are in denial, that they don't think they've done anything wrong, that they believe Harriet Miers went down because of politics and because of press, it wasn't -- they didn't make no mistakes.

That they believe this thing with Fitzgerald is sort of basically trumped up. It's not all that important. That they can close the door on it and simply move on, and now move on to a big fight on the Senate over a supreme court nomination.

I think that's the wrong approach. The Reagan approach, after Iran-Contra, which does seem to me to be the model, was that Ronald Reagan, after a little reluctance, you know, basically said, I take responsibility.

He went on the television, in a national address, and accepted responsibility. He acted humbly. There was a lot of introspection. And he brought in fresh blood, and then he started working in a very bipartisan way with the Congress.

Humility, acting responsibly and introspection are not qualities that have ever been associated with Bush. There will be no apology but there should.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Merry Fitzmas To You

Libby Indicted--5 Counts!!!!!

I don't think Libby watched Andy's Video, Obviously......

And for more on David Addington, Libby's likely are the relevant parts of a previous post.

UPDATE: You learn the darndest things on these internets especially at the Ethics Section of the Resources for the President's Team. For example...

" If you are faced with a situation in which you believe that the ethics rules are implicated, your first step should be to discuss the matter with one of your agency's ethics officials. The ethics officials are there to help you, and we urge you to seek their assistance whenever an ethics-related question arises. "

And the Ethics Official for the Office of the Vice President???
None other than David Addington of whom WaPo wrote:

"Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington. He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects. He was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts. Addington also led the fight with Congress and environmentalists over access to information about corporations that advised the White House on energy policy. He was instrumental in the series of fights with the Sept. 11 commission and its requests for information"
And the Ethics Official for FEMA???
Haaa...No One!! Surprised?

Seriously ethics in the Bush administration is a joke. Would any employee ever go to Addington, the torturer, with an ethics situation? Fema which has no listing for an ethics official is the one agency that may have needed a reporting mechanism most. "In a 2003 survey of federal employees, FEMA ranked last among large agencies in worker satisfaction" This was in large part due to bitterness that crony appointments of incompetents to top positions was ruining the agency's ability to respond to disasters effectively.
I wonder what is a worse "stewardship of the taxpayer's money"....inoperative Ethics Officials or a website dedicated to resources this team will never use and clearly mock. I suppose the website. They had to pay someone to develop it whereas no one spent many hours on resolving ethical situations, obviously.



thanks to Attaturk for gif

Is it Fitzmas Yet?

Well it is the question on everyone's mind. When will it finally be Fitzmas?
Here's a site to help in your Merry Fitzmas celebrations....

Merry Fitzmas To You__________

Looks similar in nature to Were Sorry

You can leave a photo with a message to your Favorite Indictee.
I'm working on mine now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging of
The Shadow Kitty

Teddy the Shadow Kitty is agitated by the wait.....

Aaack..... the possibility of all plea bargains

Purrrrrrrr......Indictments and trials, better

But just so long as they go DOWN

BTW.....for the sake of all kitties....this guy too!

And licks and purrs to swopa, give him some love

Thursday, October 20, 2005


This will hit home hard if you've been one of those folks that have invested mucho time and energy in seeing this thing through....


Diary of a Plamegate Junkie
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Thursday 20 October 2005

8:12 am - Wake, sling blankets aside, startling cat into sudden flight.

8:13 am - Pull up New York Times web site, scan for news of Fitzgerald indictment.

8:14 am - Thump head repeatedly on desk, further confusing already-rattled cat.

8:17 am - Make coffee, check CNN in case something was missed in walk from office to kitchen.

8:22 am - Down coffee in single gulp, remember that the voices of CNN talking heads are like fingernails across the chalkboard of my soul, change channel.

10:23 am - Hit refresh on Times web site. Sigh.

10:30 am - Decide a ham-and-egg breakfast sandwich would be a good thing, grab jacket and wallet, head out.

10:31 am - Race back inside, hit refresh again, sigh. Notice that cat has gone into hiding.

10:58 am - Return with breakfast sandwich, wolf down in three bites while checking the blogs.

11:41 am - Check Washington Post web site for change of pace. Notice Dan Froomkin article about fear stalking the White House corridors. Chortle through mouthful of cheese.

12:22 pm - Send email to Joe Wilson asking for comment on the situation.

12:23 pm - Check email for reply.

12:24 pm - Check email for reply.

12:25 pm - Check email for reply.

12:26 pm - Check email for reply.

12:27 pm - Check email for reply.

12:28 pm - Check email for reply.

12:29 pm - Check email for reply.

12:30 pm - Slap self in face repeatedly, refresh New York Times page, sigh, pace around.
1:33 pm - Gobble handful of Tums to counteract surge of stomach acid from chugged coffee and gobbled breakfast sandwich.

1:34 pm - Refresh.

2:41 pm - Make conscious decision to walk away for a bit. Pick up book "Gorky Park" and try to do some casual reading.

2:46 pm - Fling book across room, hit refresh, sigh.

2:50 pm - Analyze headlines from last few days: Cheney May Be Involved, Investigation Expanding to Manipulation of WMD Evidence, Hannah Cooperates with Fitzgerald, 22 Different Files Opened in Investigation.

3:41 pm - Look into background of Cheney aide David Wurmser, who is also apparently cooperating with Fitzgerald. Make seventeen "Animal House" jokes to self. Giggle like titmouse.

4:02 pm - Take moment to let reality of other headline wash over soul: "Arrest Warrant Issued for DeLay." Twitch. Shiver.

4:03 pm - Refresh.

5:00 pm - Suck it up and turn CNN on again. Hurricane Wilma sends chill up spine. The storm developed faster than any on record, and is impossibly huge. Nah, there's no global warming.

6:22 pm - Sixth cup of coffee with Tums chaser. Check web forums to see what people are talking about. Check blogs again. Check New York Times again.

7:12 pm - Dig around in Google for articles I wrote about Wilson and Plame over last two years. Find this from February 2004, in essay titled "A NOC at Bush's Door":

Lewis Libby is one of the most important people on Cheney's staff. Along with John Hannah, who served as one of Cheney's Middle East Policy advisors, Libby was deeply involved in the activities of Rumsfeld's hand-picked Pentagon group, the Office of Special Plans. This group was put together specifically to re-engineer data regarding the threat posed by Iraq so as to manufacture justification for a decision to make war that had already been made. On several occasions, Libby visited CIA headquarters at the behest of Cheney to browbeat CIA analysts into "toughening up" their assessments of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Given all the work Libby and Hannah put in to make sure Bush got his Iraq war, it is no wonder they were less than thrilled with what Ambassador Wilson had to say.

Did these men out a CIA agent and destroy a network that tracked weapons of mass destruction? We may soon know. Attorney General John Ashcroft has recused himself from the investigation. A bulldog of a US Attorney named Patrick Fitzgerald is special prosecutor investigating the matter. Several members of the Bush administration have been dragged before a Grand Jury, including White House spokesman Scott McClellan, McClennan deputy Claire Buchan, former press aide Adam Levine, Republican consultant Mary Matalin, who served as a counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, White House communications director Dan Bartlett, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Cheney aide Cathie Martin.

7:13 pm - Pat self on back.

10:30 pm - Dig up old Hunter Thompson quote about Watergate and the tapes:

"There are a hundred or more people wandering around Washington today who have heard the 'real stuff,' as they put it - and despite their professional caution when the obvious question arises, there is one reaction they all feel free to agree on: that nobody who felt shocked, depressed or angry after reading the edited White House transcripts should ever be allowed to hear the actual tapes, except under heavy sedation or locked in the trunk of a car. Only a terminal cynic, they say, can listen for any length of time to the real stuff without feeling a compulsion to do something like drive down to the White House and throw a bag of live rats over the fence."

12:04 am - Hit refresh.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

Harriet's Review

Heard this on Randi Rhodes and am passing it along. Book reviews on can be very amusing. Check this review for Supreme Court For Dummies.......

Customer Reviews Average Customer Review:
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful:

WHEW - Good thing you guys have express shipping, sometimes you have to bone up on con law!, October 19, 2005
Reviewer:Harriet M. (shh!) (White House but not for long!) - See all my reviews
I got this book JUST IN TIME!!! It is COOL!! The Greatest!!! It might be the BEST SUPREME COURT BOOK EVER!! And I bet I am the FIRST WOMAN ever to own it! Trailblazing!

Who knew that Starry Decisis wasn't a galaxy!! This book is filled with goodies like that! I'm not much of a reader, but I am as lucky to have this book as Texas was to have George Bush! I hope Brownback and Leahy haven't read this, so I can surprise them with some of the best bits in my big hearing next month!

Delay Mugshot


AP reports that Tom Delay was Booked today.....

"on Thursday turned himself in at the Harris County sheriff's bonding office, where he was photographed, fingerprinted and released on bond on state conspiracy and money laundering charges.
"He posted $10,000 bond and they have left the bonding office," Lt. John Martin with the sheriff's department said."

DeLay...smiling like it's a class yearbook. Looks like the Sheriff did him a solid on that pic. He's either not holding something or it was cropped.

Plame Game Waiting Game

It seems to me at least that the feeding frenzy of the past few days has ebbed today. There were no big newspaper stories hitting late last night to chew over. Is this the proverbial calm before the storm?
At any rate maybe it is time for everyone to take a breath and a bit of a break.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bush Did Have an Idea

The NY Daily News (via Atrios) reports that "Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair"

This is very interesting given that 2 years ago, three months after the leak Bush said this...

Asked by a reporter on Oct. 6, 2003, whether the leak was retaliation for Wilson's criticism, Bush replied: "I don't know who leaked the information, for starters. So it's hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth."

Asked the next day if he was confident that the leakers would be found, Bush, alluding to the "two senior administration officials" cited by Novak as his sources, replied: "I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials. I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cheny Resignation Rumors?

It's everywhere. US News and World Report has the story:
Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.

INR Memo Was In the White House

This could be explosive. Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei of Wapo are reporting this on the INR Memo:
  • It was drafted in June as an administrative letter and addressed to then-Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, who was acting secretary at the time...
  • Grossman wanted the letter as background for a meeting at the White House
  • Grossman has refused to answer questions about the letter, and it is not clear whether he talked about it at the White House meeting he was said to have attended, according to the former State official.

Remember this memo contains a paragraph that is "marked "(S)," meaning it was classified secret, describing a meeting at the CIA in February 2002, attended by another INR analyst, where Plame introduced her husband as the person who was to go to Niger."

This memo was IN THE WHITE HOUSE apparently sometime in the month prior to the leaking of Plame's name by Novak. The question is who if anyone saw it at that White House meeting "where the discussion was focused on then growing criticism of Bush's inclusion in his January State of the Union speech of the allegation that Hussein had been seeking uranium from Niger."
Was Cheney at this meeting? Did the smear of Wilson come from the top down?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Unremarkable Source

I was re-reading some of Needlenose's Plamemania (which I highly recommend) and came across this old July 14, 2005 post which struck me as funny given Judy's Can't Recall her source line.....

This is his cover story?!?
"Rove told the grand jury that by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another reporter but had no recollection of which reporter had told him about it first, the source said."
This is either the stock obstruction defense or the source(s) in this is/are the most bland and unremarkable in history.

Guardian: 3 Sources Say Plame's CIA Work Was Covert

The Guardian is reporting that 3 sources have revealed Valerie Plame worked on the covert side of CIA and Not for WINPAC that is on the overt side of the CIA. This contradicts Miller's account of information she related came from one of her sources....
Miller disclosed this weekend that her notes of a conversation she had with I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby on July 8, 2003 stated Cheney's top aide told her that the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) unit.

Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, never worked for WINPAC, an analysis unit in the overt side of the CIA, and instead worked in a position in the CIA's secret side, known as the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.

The three all spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the current secrecy requirements of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury investigation into the leak of Plame's identity in 2003 to the media.

The Guardian goes on to describe that this may be a significant lead for Fitzgerald...(if indeed Miller is truthful on this and Libby also testified about WINPAC)......

It could suggest Libby thought Plame was not an undercover spy, and therefore couldn't have knowingly revealed her occupation, or that he got his information from uninformed sources, they said.
``The fact that the information is inaccurate may make it of even greater interest to the grand jury than accurate information,'' said Lance Cole, former Democratic counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee and now a law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of law.

``Accurate information presumably can come from any number of sources. If he got it from a particular document or in a meeting and that document or notes of that meeting are the only place that the inaccuracy is present, then that establishes the source,'' Cole said.
Danny Coulson, a former top FBI official who conducted several investigations of leaks, said the possibility that Libby passed on wrong information to a reporter may indicate he didn't get his information from a credible, official source.

``What it tells me is he probably got his information from dinner talk,'' Coulson said. Presidential aides ``had access to the official information and if they had used that, you would think they would have had the right stuff.''

You would think but what have this bunch ever got right????
This will put a big crimp in the wingnut's "she wasn't a covert spy so it doesn't matter" defense.
Interesting this comes from the Guardian.
Also are the sources fed up CIA or ex-CIA???

UPDATE: For good analysis of this read emptywheel

WHIG and Dick: Targets from the Start?

With reports last week from Raw Story and WSJ that Dick Cheney may be a target of Fitzgerald's investigation, there has been much attention on the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) .
As ReddHedd of firedoglake says.....
You see the term WHIG thrown all over the blogosphere these days, hear the pundits say the words "White House Iraq Group," and you wonder -- what the hell is that all about, anyway?
What has changed at this juncture is the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be turning his laser gaze to this group as a whole -- and not just to its members Karl Rove and Scooter Libby....

I think it should be remembered that the WHIG notes were given over to the Justice Dept long before Fitzgerald was brought on the case. Murray Waas reported in July,2004 that......

In addition, sources said, Ashcroft received a briefing regarding copious notes maintained by I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. The notes, later turned over to investigators, detailed the inner workings of the White House Iraq Group.

In fact the WHIG notes played a major role in Fitzgerald's appointment. Again from Waas....

A federal law-enforcement official said that "there was serious discussion at the highest levels of the Justice Department" as to whether it was "proper" or a "good idea" for Ashcroft to receive briefings not only regarding what Rove had told the FBI, but also what other evidence existed, such as Libby's notes, that might corroborate or contradict Rove's account.
The briefings for Ashcroft abruptly came to a halt last December, several officials said in interviews, when Ashcroft, bowing to political pressure from congressional Democrats and responding to concerns raised by career Justice Department officials, named a special counsel to take over the Plame investigation.

It appears that the WHIG group has been a focus and perhaps the driving force of Fitzgerald's investigation from its genesis. Given that Libby took "copious notes" of WHIG meetings and that "some of those notes described efforts to discredit Wilson by the White House Iraq Group", the possible involvement of WHIG members in Plame's outing must have been a focus of investigators approximately 2 years ago likely seeking who in WHIG may have been involved and to what extent? Given WHIG "operated out of the Vice President’s office" I think it could be argued Dick Cheney has been a potential target from the inception of Fitzgerald's investigation. We are just learning of it now.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bolton Still Not Ruled Out

There is another source out there and Time reports this......

Another character in the drama remains unnamed: the original source for columnist Robert Novak, who wrote the first piece naming Plame. Fitzgerald, says a lawyer who's involved in the case, "knows who it is—and it's not someone at the White House."

So Bolton (State Dept) is still a contender.


The question mark.

eriposte at Left Coaster points to this part of Judy's story...
Soon afterward Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson's wife for the first time. I wrote in my notes, inside parentheses, "Wife works in bureau?" I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the C.I.A. The prosecutor asked me whether the word "bureau" might not mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, I told him, normally. But Mr. Libby had been discussing the C.I.A., and therefore my impression was that he had been speaking about a particular bureau within the agency that dealt with the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. As to the question mark, I said I wasn't sure what it meant. Maybe it meant I found the statement interesting. Maybe Mr. Libby was not certain whether Mr. Wilson's wife actually worked there.
eriposte says this...
In my view, the most important aspect of this sentence is the question mark at the end. If there had been NO question mark, then we could not have eliminated the possibility that Miller knew - prior to this conversation- that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA . But since the question mark exists, it may be reasonable to conclude that the information was new to her at that time.
Yet, Miller's comment at the end that she
wasn't sure why she had the question mark is rather incredulous.

Perhaps this is what eriposte is driving at. I am not sure. But I think it could also be reasonable to conclude the question mark was there because it CONFLICTED with what Judy had known from another previous source rather than something new to her. It makes little sense to put a question mark after a statement of fact from Libby unless you thought or knew it to be wrong. Libby uses the word Bureau. But if Judy knew it was CIA from another source, then she may put a question mark there as her way of noting a question of her own, as to whether Libby didn't know it was the CIA or her other source had been wrong. In that case the question mark was a way of noting to herself that something was amiss. Something was telling her to question this particular statement from Libby. Of course a caveat is unless she had question marks after all of Libby's statements of fact or she used them as needed to signal something to check further. But then why not just admit to the Grand Jury that this is her usual way of taking notes or signaling a further check? Perhaps because she would have known that Fitzgerald could easily check the rest of her notes for this. And if there were no other signs of it then best to say "I don't know" why there is a question mark there.
No that question mark is ....... well a question mark, which may make sense if she thought or knew something was wrong with this piece of info.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Judy Can't Recall???

I have read Judy's account on her Grand Jury experience. There is much there to ponder. But one line (in bold) stands out to me as interesting. (And perhaps it is self evident but the ball needs to start rolling somewhere.) She relates this of the THIRD meeting on July 12 with Scooter Libby.....

I told Mr. Fitzgerald I believed that before this call, I might have called others about Mr. Wilson's wife. In my notebook I had written the words "Victoria Wilson" with a box around it, another apparent reference to Ms. Plame, who is also known as Valerie Wilson.

I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I was not sure whether Mr. Libby had used this name or whether I just made a mistake in writing it on my own. Another possibility, I said, is that I gave Mr. Libby the wrong name on purpose to see whether he would correct me and confirm her identity.

Now on first blush this may seem like Miller providing more cover to Scooter...that he never really gave her Plame's name so she needs to resort to trickery to get it out of him. But to look at it further this is interesting in the context of what she related about the SECOND meeting......

Mr. Fitzgerald asked me about another entry in my notebook, where I had written the words "Valerie Flame," clearly a reference to Ms. Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald wanted to know whether the entry was based on my conversations with Mr. Libby. I said I didn't think so. I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall.
At that breakfast meeting, our conversation also turned to Mr. Wilson's wife. My notes contain a phrase inside parentheses: "Wife works at Winpac." Mr. Fitzgerald asked what that meant. Winpac stood for Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation, and Arms Control, the name of a unit within the C.I.A. that, among other things, analyzes the spread of unconventional weapons.

Now I think Judy may be too clever by half. If we go by Judy's account we know by the Third meeting she has learned that Wilson's wife works for the CIA and Judy has her name down to at least Flame. And what does she do before the Third meeting. I might have called others about Mr. Wilson's wife. Yes she calls people because she KNOWS this is big and not something of little note as she tries to portray it later in front of the Grand Jury. And of the Third meeting she tries to show what a clever reporter she is by saying she tried to trick Scooter into "confirming" the name by saying it to him wrong. Again going to the point that this Flame/Plame name is important. She's going to pull out all her well honed clever reporter skills to supposedly get Scooter to confirm or firm up this important piece of information, right???
If Scooter hasn't really told her, and it is so important.....remember Wilson's wife is Winpac! and she has CALLED other people to try to learn more...... yes so important that she needs to pull out all the stops and nail it down with such clever reporter methods....... THEN WHY ON EARTH WAS IT SO UNIMPORTANT WHEN SHE SUPPOSEDLY HEARD THE NAME THE FIRST TIME THAT SHE "CAN'T RECALL" WHO TOLD IT TO HER??????

That makes absolutely no sense. Unless she's found a way to cover Scooter and another source all at the same time. Now who might that other source be??? Not Bolton...Naw.

Friday, October 14, 2005

6 Month Butcher's Bill

Because it's easy to forget.
Here is the Death Toll for the LAST 6 MONTHS:
(Iraqi civilian death toll only available for last 6 months)

In Iraq:
US Military ...................395
Other Military..................12

US Forces.........................62


TOTAL............. 6628

Friday Cat Blogging

Finally got a pic of Teddy in her closet nest

. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Andy Card's Ethics Video

I was looking for a template to create a scorecard to keep track of all the Republicans either being investigated, receiving subpoenas, under indictment, well you get my drift.
So I googled "scorecard" and came across this site:
President George W. Bush Resources for the President's Team
It's all about Results, Excellence and they do indeed have scorecards!!

But what caught my eye, though not all the eyes of the President's team obviously, was under Tools for Success :
White House Chief of Staff Andy Card discusses Ethics in Government

Yes..... here is a video of Andy Card instructing the Bush team on Ethics.
(Click this link for video and transcript).

Or click image below for video only (RealPlayer).....

I wonder if Andy remembers making this or that it is there on the website.
At any rate it includes such discerning advisement as this......

But even beyond that, recognize that working on this administration means that you should have the courage to follow the rules, obviously, and stay within the law, obviously. But it's actually to do more than that. Recognize that you do have a moral compass that tells you what to do and to do the right thing, and we'd like to see everyone do the right thing.

Quite a few people skipped Andy's video, obviously. I guess there wasn't a scorecard for that.

But do go see Andy instruct the team on how they are the "stewards of the American taxpayer's money."
Don't think the team caught that part either, obviously.

UPDATE: You learn the darndest things on these internets especially at the Ethics Section of the Resources for the President's Team. For example...

" If you are faced with a situation in which you believe that the ethics rules are implicated, your first step should be to discuss the matter with one of your agency's ethics officials. The ethics officials are there to help you, and we urge you to seek their assistance whenever an ethics-related question arises. "

And who is the Ethics Official for the White House .....Harriet Miers.

So here's my questions for the confirmation hearings:
  • Harriet did anyone ever express concerns about Karl Rove's ethics? No? Why the hell not? Didn't they watch the video?
And the Ethics Official for the Office of the Vice President???
None other than David Addington of whom WaPo wrote:

"Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington. He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects. He was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts. Addington also led the fight with Congress and environmentalists over access to information about corporations that advised the White House on energy policy. He was instrumental in the series of fights with the Sept. 11 commission and its requests for information"
And the Ethics Official for FEMA???
Haaa...No One!! Surprised?

Seriously ethics in the Bush administration is a joke. Would any employee ever go to Addington, the torturer, with an ethics situation? Fema which has no listing for an ethics official is the one agency that may have needed a reporting mechanism most. "In a 2003 survey of federal employees, FEMA ranked last among large agencies in worker satisfaction" This was in large part due to bitterness that crony appointments of incompetents to top positions was ruining the agency's ability to respond to disasters effectively.
I wonder what is a worse "stewardship of the taxpayer's money"....inoperative Ethics Officials or a website dedicated to resources this team will never use and clearly mock. I suppose the website. They had to pay someone to develop it whereas no one spent many hours on resolving ethical situations, obviously.

Fitzgerald has Authority To Persue Any Direction

Just to be clear, when the wingers swiftboat Fitzgerald by saying he is too aggressive and abusing his powers....
From the Justice Dept. Press Conference that announced Fitgerald's appointment we learn:

  • Fitzgerald saw to it that he got his authoruty and power in writing.
  • He can take the Grand Jury wherever the facts lead.
I have today delegated to Mr. Fitzgerald all the approval authorities that will be necessary to ensure that he has the tools to conduct a completely independent investigation; that is, that he has the power and authority to make whatever prosecutive judgments he believes are appropriate, without having to come back to me or anybody else at the Justice Department for approvals. Mr. Fitzgerald alone will decide how to staff this matter, how to continue the investigation and what prosecutive decisions to make.
Fitzgerald has been told, as I said to you: Follow the facts; do the right thing. He can pursue it wherever he wants to pursue it.
........Fitzgerald does not have to do that; he does not have to come back to me for anything. I mean, he can if he wants to, but I've told him, our instructions are: You have this authority; I've delegated to you all the approval authority that I as attorney general have. You can exercise it as you see fit.

And a U.S. attorney or a normal outside counsel would have to go through the approval process to get permission to appeal something. Fitzgerald would not because of the broad grant of authority I've given him.

So, in short, I have essentially given him -- not essentially -- I have given him all the approval authorities that rest -- that are inherent in the attorney general; something that does not happen with an outside special counsel.

Q: I assume this is written down somewhere, and are we going to get a copy of it?

MR. COMEY: I don't know whether you'll get a copy, but he will.

Grand Jury Extension????

firedoglake reports this:

"A source close to the Plame case is saying that Fitzgerald met alone with Judge Hogan yesterday, presumably to ask for an extension of the Grand Jury."

NOLA 9th Ward "Look & Leave" Began Today

Residents were finally allowed to enter NOLA's 9th Ward today for what is called a "Look and Leave." They can visit the area to see damage and collect valuables from 8am to 6pm only. There will be one command center set up if people need help...or to report dead bodies I presume though no mention of that on the info sheet they will receive.....
An information sheet will be distributed to returning residents. The city asks residents to:

Use gloves, boots and coveralls.

Wash all soiled clothing and equipment.

Do not enter heavily damaged structures.

Drink bottled water throughout the day to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Wear particulate masks.

If an area is extremely moldy, stay away.

Do not expose children or elderly residents to moldy buildings.

Use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites, as there may be more mosquitoes than normal.

Watch for wild and domestic animals.

Disinfect any wounds and bites immediately and seek medical care as soon as possible.

You should have a recent tetanus shot. Tetanus shots are good for 10 years.

Did Miller Have Second Source?

CNN has this headline:

New York Times reporter disclosed conversation with second source

Now this would be very interesting and would keep alive my theory of Bolton involvement but I wonder if someone at CNN just messed up the headline.....that it should be 2nd conversation with source not 2nd source.

UPDATE: 3:24 pm I called CNN Washington Bureau and they initially said that the headline would be correct. I pressed a bit and pointed out the AP story in their post does not address the substance of the headline. At that point they said their reporters are still in the field but they would check it out. Several hours later and the headline is still there so not sure what that means.

Why Plame Leak Matters

ReddHedd of firedoglake has the best piece of writing I have seen in some time. It is on why the Plame leak is so important. Everyone should read this.
Here is a portion but go read all of it and you must see the pic. Just Go There
Imagine that one day you wake up to the incessent ping of your beeper. It is still dark outside your window, and you slide out of bed, pad quietly down the hallway and try not to wake up the wife and kids, as you slip into your home office and place a call on a secure phone. You are told that your cover has been blown, that your family may be at risk. You have to make instant decisions for your own safety, that of your family, and of every asset you have in the field - and to do that, you have to prioritize which assets are more valuable and which you can afford to lose, if necessary. You have to decide then and there which of the people you cultivated, the ones you promised safety in exchange for information and cooperation, which of them may have to die because you may not have time to save them all.

Why has your cover been blown? Because you work as a CIA colleague of the wife of a man who dared to question the veracity of the President of the United States on a matter of national security, a matter of an exaggerated claim that was inserted in his State of the Union address to bolster his case for war in Iraq. And the President's cronies and hatchet men decided to out this man's wife for political payback, as a lesson to anyone else who would dare to question their decisions and as a means to staunch the bleeding from this initial salvo of criticism. Damn the consequences.

No consideration for all the lives interconnected in this network of agents and field assets...........


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Caption This.....

. Posted by Picasa

Latest on Rove, Scooter, Miller et al

firedoglake has an excellent post with great links on all the latest.
A must read

Bush Nails It

...the photo op that is.
After last evening's fine dining and stay at a posh hotel Bush set off today to do what he came to do in NOLA.....put on a good photo op.
Dressed for the occasion in hard hat, work gloves and a large wraparound tool belt, the president joined other volunteers hammering nails into a sheet of plywood. The first lady, a cloth nail pouch around her waist, accompanied him. Bush spent most of his time chatting, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Photo ops are "hard work".

A Good Story

I sense Disaster Despair and Fatigue setting in so hey how about just a good 'ol story.....

The Unnatural Natural

  • It was supposed to be a simple story about a mysterious senior-softball phenom whose legend was growing in America's heartland. Of course, nothing is simple.

  • By J.R. MOEHRINGER I checked my watch and peered into the distance. I was starting to think he'd never show. I was starting to think he didn't exist.

    In a way I was right.
    It was a warm summer night, two months ago, a slow dusk coming on. I was sitting beside a well-groomed baseball field in St. Louis, surrounded by a dozen well-groomed men in their 60s, members of a softball team called U.S. Pallet, which competes in an intensely serious league for senior citizens. The first game of a doubleheader against archrival Bud Light was set to begin, but there was no sign of U.S. Pallet's best player, one of the best players in the league—the man I'd come to see. His name was John Meeden, but most just called him Homeless John.

    For the rest.......

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Bush Living Fine Tonight in NOLA

    Bush's digs at Winsdor Court ................Typical NOLA digs

    Here is the headline from New Orleans
    Bush enjoys fine dining, posh hotel on return visit to N.O.

    President wants to show N.O. is getting back on its feet

    09:59 PM CDT on Monday, October 10, 2005
    Associated Press

    President Bush got a taste of some of New Orleans' finest Monday, dining in the French Quarter and staying at a luxury hotel to showcase progress in the hurricane-battered city even as much of it remains in ruins.

    The historic French Quarter was mostly spared by the storm and is showing increasing signs of normalcy with lights back on and establishments re-opened.

    Still, many of New Orleans' stores and businesses remain closed, relatively few people are on the streets and many areas remain uninhabitable, even if mostly dry.

    The president, accompanied by wife Laura, saw little of that, instead choosing to shine a spotlight on the improvements.

    Be it NOLA or Iraq why is it that this President seems to only want to see "the progress"?

    Tomorrow of course he plans a great photo op of him working on a Habitat for Humanity project. He'll look likes he's getting down and doing hard work.
    Just don't forget tonight it's fine dining and a posh hotel.
    Suggestion to Bush:
    If you really want to look like you are doing the heavy lifting..... Go to the Lower 9th Ward to pull some of the dead bodies out that no one will go get.

    NOLA Lower 9th Ward: Residents Not Getting In,
    Who Will Search Homes for Bodies?

    Times-Picayune reports....... "Residents of the Lower 9th Ward are frustrated they have not been able to get in to see their neighborhood."

    No word on any search of the 150 homes of the 9th Ward that were never searched...and won't be. Rather the plan for body recovery is up to individual residents now. If people find a body in the 9th Ward and call 911 then someone will come pick it up.
    State, federal and local teams have ended the official search phase
    of the body recovery mission. State-supported recovery teams are
    available to assist should a body be found that must be recovered.
    Individuals who are aware of a body that has not been recovered
    should call 911.
    But if residents can't EVEN get into the Lower 9th Ward how will that happen?

    It appears some searches continue in NOLA based on 40 day old 911 calls..
    The 911 printouts they are using have been culled from an original list of 14,374 calls that automatically rolled over to the State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge when local emergency services were cut off by the hurricane
    State Police are just a few searchers still remaining today but those searches are almost at an end and are now being conducted in St. Bernard Parish....not part of 9th Ward.
    About three weeks ago, with rescuers finding fewer and fewer survivors, the job became less urgent, but in many ways more solemn. The search participants dwindled down to the Louisiana State Police and a large contingent of police officers from various parts of New Jersey.

    Between the two agencies, officers pinpointed the location of more than 150 bodies, many of them in houses that already had been subjected to an initial search.
    If over 150 bodies were found in homes that had already been searched one has to wonder how many bodies remain in homes that were never searched?

    The LA Death Toll rose to 1021...see next post below.

    UPDATE: Residents will be allowed into the 9th Ward on Wednesday but can not stay. Hopefully they will check on the homes of the many elderly neighbors and report bodies.......

    "We're going to have re-entry for a 'look and leave' into the Ninth Ward starting on Wednesday into those areas where we don't have the large debris fields," said Terry Ebbert, chief of emergency operations for the city.

    Dogs are still being used in the area to check large piles of debris for bodies, and one part of the Ninth Ward is still flooded with about a foot of water, Ebbert said.

    Under the arrangement, residents will be allowed to view their homes and salvage belongings, but cannot stay. Lower Ninth Ward residents are mostly poor and black.

    The Lower Ninth Ward is the last New Orleans neighborhood to reopen to residents.
    Debris piles are being checked However Homes are Not. How many bodies are in the homes?

    LA Death Toll: 1021

    Some commentors to a previous post on ending of the search for bodies stated the government didn't want the death toll to go above 1000.
    Well it has happened......
    The death toll as of October 10:

    And the toll is still in a Rising pattern.......
    On October 7 --- 1003
    On October 4 -----972

    Barbour Misses the Old Ways

    WaPo has a fluff piece ("Buddy Story") on MS Gov. Haley Barbour that will make you wretch on several levels.
    First it begins with how Barbour made his bones telling Reagan off color jokes. It appears this was his great asset. But Katrina changed his long held way of conducting politics....
    "This deal is like anti-politics," says Barbour, who often refers to Katrina and its ravages as "this deal." "You just feel like people are dependent on you. Maybe it's supposed to be like this all the time. But not like this."
    Anti-politics? Dealing with the needs of the people? This Deal?
    Well true given the way uber lobbyist Barbour has dealt in the political world. Barbour knows about "the Deal".

    The buddy story ends with a little retrospect from Barbour....
    In retrospect, Barbour had prosaic goals for his first term. He mentions tort reform, balancing the state's budget and creating jobs. "Now it turns out my governorship is gonna turn on this deal," Barbour says, adding that if he could have foreseen Katrina, "I could have made a lot more money doing other things."
    So true. As a lobbyist Barbour’s firm had the highest lobby revenues in Washington in 2000 ($10.8 million).

    So what does this matter for people outside MS?
    Well Barbour is thinking of running for Prez in '08 and Katrina may have been a blessing for him......

    This renaissance, if it occurs, could be a springboard into a run for president in 2008 -- something Barbour had been considering before Katrina. "He is, in some ways, in a very enviable political position," says W. Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Wiseman adds that Barbour's fortunes will be determined largely by his ability to bring in federal relief dollars -- a task he is suited to.

    "There will be no federal account that he won't know about or tap into," says Ed Gillespie, a Barbour protege who served as RNC chairman until last year.

    This sets up an interesting scene for the Republican nomination..... Disaster Guilianni VS Disaster Barbour? So who's the bigger Disaster for America......have to go with our buddy Barbour.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    CBS Poll: More Find Bush The Problem Than Terrorism

    A new CBS Poll has Bush at his lowest approval rating......37%

    But what is really funny is the results of the question below.
    More Americans see Bush (5%) as US Most Important Problem than do Terrorism. (4%)


    War in Iraq

    Economy and jobs

    Gas/oil crisis

    President Bush


    I hope this doesn't mean another speech tomorrow.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Black Bodies Remain Still.....

    Bill Clinton was in Louisiana today.
    If the first black Prez were still our prez I bet he'd insist that all of the 9th Ward would be searched and the dead bodies removed.....

    From CNN:
    Five weeks after Katrina, New Orleans is calling off the house- to-house search for bodies. Teams have pulled 964 corpses from storm- ravaged areas across southeastern Louisiana. Authorities admit more bodies are probably out there. They'll be handled on a case-by-case basis. The count is far short of the 10,000 dead once predicted by New Orleans mayor. As of today, the death toll from Hurricane Katrina stands at just under 1,200.

    Searchers and residents insist there are still plenty of dead to find in New Orleans. Once again, they say the Ninth Ward is being ignored because it is poor and black. Here's CNN's Jeanne Meserve.


    JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: (voice- over): In pulverized portions of New Orleans's Ninth Ward, where water flows, instead of traffic, most homes bear the signs that search teams have been in to look for the living and the dead, but not in one area that spans several blocks. Here, house after house after house is unmarked.

    EDWARD MENDEL, SEARCH VOLUNTEER: From here back, I estimate 100 to 150 homes that are still unsearched. And I do expect we will probably find some bodies.

    MESERVE (on camera): Why do you think that?

    MENDEL: You can smell them as we drive by.
    ROZ KAY, FORMER NINTH WARD RESIDENT: We have so many people who were superseniors that lived in these neighborhoods. And they didn't have children or anyone to rescue them all the way out.

    MESERVE: If these homes have not been searched and these people found, Roz Kay perceives it as another slap at the Ninth Ward and the people who lived here.

    KAY: This is a predominantly black neighborhood, OK? And it's always been neglected. And it's been a hard fight and an uphill fight always. So, I'm not surprised.

    MESERVE: Not surprised, but horrified that, more than a month after Katrina rampaged and ravaged through, there may be grim discoveries still waiting to be made.

    As we ponder William Bennett's racist comment the evidence of American racism is going almost un-noticed in NO. Tell me if this was a white neighborhood that those homes would go unsearched. We went to great pains to recover every little bit of human remains at Ground Zero but in Black America we won't even bother to pick up bodies. This is an outrage. That practically no one is saying so is even more outrageous. How quickly we forget. Let's not forget these people's dignity Again.

    UPDATE: Welcome to readers from the many blogs that have linked. I'm afraid too many to list. But glad you are here to read this.
    From the comments I hear alot of rage and some are contacting their reps.
    To help that along here is a link to find your Rep/Senator and email them.

    UPDATE: The death Toll is now over 1000.
    As of October 10: 1021

    UPDATE: Call 911 if you find a body but 9th ward residents complain they can't get to neighborhoods....So who will find the bodies or make the calls?

    UPDATE: Black Bodies Remain Still..... Part II

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Fighting For A Principle:
    Up To A Point That Is

    From WaPo:
    Miller, meanwhile, steadfastly insists that she and the Times were upholding a core journalistic principle of protecting confidentiality once it is guaranteed to a source.

    Friends close to Miller say she and her attorneys feared, however, that Fitzgerald would seek a judge's permission to keep her detained for as long as 18 months after her jail term was set to end Oct. 28.

    I guess 3 months was one thing but another 18?

    Monday Kitty Blogging

    This is jenny from the blog's kitty.......Darling heh?

    UPDATE: Kitty has just been christened.....Syd, the little lion kitty

    Mier's Past Experience

    In 2000 Newsweek reported Miers did opposition research for Bush.
    Moreover, Newsweek reported on July 9, 2000 that the Bush campaign "launched a secretive research operation designed to scour all records relating to his Vietnam-era service" during preparation for Bush's 1998 re-election campaign. They paid "hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers" $19,000 to review the records.
    Bush always keeps people in the know close. And rewards them too.