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Sunday, 24 July 2005
Close to the Bone
Captain Ed's got a great story about a proposal in New Hampshire to seize the land and farmhouse of Supreme Court Justice David Souter and sell it for development:

Not long ago, after Supreme Court Justice David Souter supported the seizure of private property in the Kelo decision, a collection of activists decided to take Souter at his word and exercise eminent domain on his house in Weare, New Hampshire in order to build a hotel. Freestar Media wanted to bring the foolishness of Kelo to Souter's doorstep -- literally. And despite Souter's popularity among his fellow New Hampshire citizens, they have surprisingly looked at Freestar's efforts with understanding, if not outright support[...]
I don't know what sort of precedent there is for this sort of blowback on a Supreme Court Justice, but it's strangely exhilarating.

You know: like the feeling certain developers are now getting as they drive through older, somewhat shabby neighborhoods in the middle of big cities.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:47 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: "Silver, Blue, and Gold" by Bad Company
I came across the following passage some time ago, but never got around to including it here. Now, with a hat tip to the boys at The Power Line and to this post at No Left Turns, read what the Most Important Person of the Twentieth Century said in 1899:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:05 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 23 July 2005
Remember to Laugh in the Face of Leftist Hypocrites Who Profess [Outrage] at Plame's Outing
Don't forget to guffaw or ---failing that--- snort in the face of the next un-American Leftist you hear who claims that Karl Rove has compromised our national security by discussing Valerie Plame with a reporter. Such a person comes from a long line of violent and virulent opponents of the Central Intelligence Agency and any other apparatus of our intelligence community. And such a person is a hypocrite whose only concern at this concocted scandal is not the safety of our intelligence agents, but the removal of Rove from this Administration. That is to say, these Leftist subversives have assumed what they take to be the unassailable position of defending the intelligence community against the treachery of Bu$hitler's Imperial War Machine, Inc. But that is a pose to deceive the American People into thinking that these people actually care about their own country.

Just look at who the anti-war Left nominated for President in 2004: a man who routinely voted to cut appropriations for the CIA throughout most of his Senatorial career; a man who once declared that the CIA should be dissolved; a man who never hesitated to criticize the CIA's involvement in Central America and Southeast Asia. But John Kerry is also a man who brought Joe Wilson ---a notorious liar--- into his campaign as a foreign policy adviser, as well as that great stealer and destroyer of classified documents, Sandy Berger.

I don't think there's any question that the CIA and other intelligence agencies are political organizations at some level ---and are susceptible to control from above. But they are also staffed by humans with their own particular weaknesses and even agendas. These are not some sort of vestal virgins whose identities are, per se, sacrosanct; they can compromise themselves.

Which is what Valerie Plame did. She advocated her husband's involvement in investigating a claim that she herself said was "crazy." What better way to confirm your own prejuduces than to see to it that your husband be the one to go and ask some questions? And when he gets back home, what's the plan? To undermine the very evidence of Iraq's attempts to purchase yellowcake by lying to the American People. Don't forget: all that President Bush ever claimed in his 2003 State of the Union address was that Iraq had made the attempt. And Wilson knew that. And both the report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and that of Lord Butler in Great Britain confirmed that attempt beyond any reasonable doubt.

So what a strange lie Joe Wilson told and in which his wife connived. He didn't feel bound to secrecy over his trip to Niger ---and no one in the Administration or the CIA ever held him to that responsibility. Instead, he goes and talks to reporters and pundits when he sees an opportunity to take advantage. He reports, behind the mask of anonymity, the details of his time in Niger to David Corn of The Nation and Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times. Doing so, Wilson had raised the stakes ---based on these stories that he himself was moving.

And then there's the infamous New York Times op-ed piece Wilson wrote in which the lies come thick and fast. But what are facts when there's an Administration to oppose and a war to undermine? Dick Cheney didn't know anything about your stupid mission, Joe. He didn't have anything to do with it. But your wife did ---so why lie about that? Iraq did attempt to procure uranium in Niger as well as in other African countries. Didn't you know that? I think you must have. And your wife should have, being an expert of some kind on weapons of mass destruction.

But, in the end, I think it's clear that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame threw themselves a coming out party. They decided to make themselves celebrities to a cause ---and to use their resumes as immunity against any claim that they were acting on partisan motivations. But that sort of hypocrisy doesn't wash with me ---nor will it when the American People come to understand what sort of game they've been running on us.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:27 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Balls
Get a load of John Kerry's recent demand:

WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Democratic Sen. John Kerry urged the White House on Friday to release "in their entirety" all documents and memos from Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' tenure in two Republican administrations.

"We cannot do our duty if either Judge Roberts or the Bush administration hides elements of his professional record," said the Massachusetts senator who was his party's presidential candidate last year.
Is this guy serious? This is the guy that allowed his candidacy for the Presidency to be wrecked because he didn't want people to see his own records ---including the awful truth that George W. Bush was a better student than he was.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:28 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 22 July 2005
I Wish People Would Just Leave Stuff the Hell Alone
Mood:  irritated
Oh. Congress is looking to extend Daylight Saving Time.

I wish people would just leave stuff the hell alone.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:04 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sleight of Mind
I read several full news reports tonight on the topic of this much-discussed classified 2003 State Department memo ---and not one of them makes any connection to Karl Rove except tangentially and by the merest sort of implication. The chickenshittedness of this is almost appalling, but it just goes on and on.

Look at this CNN report, featuring the photo you see here of the President and Rove from the other day. Start reading it and you won't even come to a mention of Rove's name until the nineteenth paragraph:

Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper said Sunday that Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told him Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and that Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, confirmed that piece of information.
What does this have to do with the State Department memo?

The implication is that Karl Rove must have seen that memo. Really? Why do the craphounds in Big Media think that? Because this is a memo that was not only marked with a big "S" ---for SECRET--- but includes the name of Valerie Wilson.

Are you homing in on the logic yet? Don't be fooled by the non sequiturs here. Just keep focused.

CBS News declares that

[...] it turns out a key portion of a two-year-old State Department memo that is now at the center of the controversy was classified — and that could mean leaking it was a crime.

At the time the State Department wrote its memo, the administration's key rationale for war in Iraq was crumbling. No weapons of mass destruction had been found and some key intelligence used to make the administration's case had proven false. An internal war raged inside the administration over who was to blame.
No, no: this is a news report, see. There's no editorializing here at all. And how did this memo make it all the way to "the center of the controversy"? Because CBS News and the other subsidiaries of al-Jazeera say so. Beeyotch. But don't miss the non sequitur that comes in at the second-to-last paragraph:

Karl Rove has admitted to discussing Wilson's wife with at least one reporter. But Rove's attorney says that the first time Rove saw — or even heard about the state department memo — was when investigators showed it to him.
But what does Karl Rove have to do with anything else in the story? So far, the only person we know for sure that this classified State Department memo was delivered to was the fucking Secretary of State himself ---the great, untouchable Colin Powell. I mean, why would Rove be walking around with a secret State Department memo? That was what Powell was doing! Go look it up in the Los Angeles Times:

The memo was sent by State Department officials to then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who according to news reports has testified before the grand jury. Powell had the memo with him on Air Force One when President Bush traveled to Africa on July 7, 2003, the day after Wilson's piece was published, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.

What happened on Air Force One has been of interest to prosecutors, who want to know whether anyone who saw the memo learned Plame's identity and told it to journalists.
Hmmm. I dunno. Maybe it was Colin Fucking Powell who leaked Plame's name. Is anybody thinking of that possibility? Maybe. They're thinking of lots of things (my emphasis added):

A State Department analyst who had attended the meeting at which the CIA decided to dispatch Wilson to Africa to check out the story kept the notes from that session, the former official said. The notes mentioned that Wilson's wife had suggested sending Wilson.

After getting
[Deputy Secretary of State Richard] Armitage's request, the State Department's then-intelligence chief, Carl Ford, ordered the original memo — along with the analyst's notes about that meeting — to be sent to Powell, the former official said. Ordinarily, the memo would have been transmitted directly to Powell over the State Department's secure communications lines. But because Powell was traveling with Bush, the memo was transmitted via the White House operations center.
See? You knew that this had to somehow be tied back to the White House and, of course, the Architect. Powell may not be responsible for any leaks because the White House handled the memos at some point. The custodians of the chain are stirring now!

Because both documents were classified, it would have been necessary for someone on the plane to sign for having received them from the White House operations center, the former official said. But once someone signed for them, the document could have been passed around freely on the plane among senior officials who had security clearances.
Yeah, that's true. So wouldn't it be neat to know whether Karl Rove was on Air Force One that day and actually saw the memo? Let's find out.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:43 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Profanity
Now Playing: "I'm Looking through You" by the Beatles
I strongly disapprove of this new Subaru ad using the Kansas masterpiece "Dust in the Wind". It seriously fucking annoys me. To my mind, it's like Viagra putting out an ad with the old church hymn "Rock of Ages" playing in the background ---or "Amazing Grace" accompanying a Metamucil ad.

It's inappropriate, you lousy heathens. I wish you would knock it off.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:00 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Thursday, 21 July 2005
Dr. Rice, Kicker of Asses
Mood:  incredulous
Check out the story of what happened today in Khartoum when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's entourage was bullied and pushed around by the Sudanese security forces. Professor Reynolds points us to an AP report at Austin Bay's blog for details:

Security forces in the Sudanese capital manhandled U.S. officials and reporters traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, marring her round of congratulatory meetings with leaders of the new unified government. Rice demanded an apology, and got it.

“It makes me very angry to be sitting there with their president and have this happen,” she said. “They have no right to push and shove.”

Rice made her remarks to reporters after she and her entourage boarded an airplane to fly from the capital to a refugee camp in the Darfur region. At the camp, she said the United States would hold the Sudanese government to account if it fails to end the refugee crisis.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Sudanese foreign minister responded to Rice’s demand for an apology by telephoning her aboard the plane to express regret for the incidents at the ultra-high-security residence of Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir.

Twice, Sudanese guards’ hostility toward members of Rice’s entourage devolved into shouts and shoving.

As Rice’s motorcade arrived at the residence, armed guards slammed the gate shut before three vehicles could get in, including those carrying Rice’s interpreter and other State Department officials who were supposed to attend her meeting with el-Bashir.

After protests, the officials were eventually allowed in. But guards repeatedly pushed and pulled Rice senior adviser Jim Wilkinson, and at one point he was shoved into a wall.

“Diplomacy 101 says you don’t rough your guests up,” Wilkinson said later.
What the hell? They say that NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell got muscled out of the room, too.

This ought to open some eyes in Big Media as to the fitness of towelheads to conduct themselves properly.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:21 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Cooling Her Heels
Now Playing: "Vacation" by the Go-Gos
Via Duncan Black, here's a piece by Russ Baker on New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

The NYT editorial [see here -- TP] notes that while Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper was able to provide testimony and avoid jail because of a "specific waiver" of confidentiality from Rove, Miller "says she has not received any such thing from her sources." It also says that "coerced waivers of confidentiality are meaningless."

But we don't actually know that the waivers were coerced, and we don't know why, if Rove gave Cooper a "specific [noncoerced] waiver," Miller could not obtain one as well.

How are we to believe Miller, given her past track record, in misrepresenting her sources and their agendas, at great cost to this country? When the people of the United States were reading Miller's articles during the months leading up to the war with Iraq, reasonable people could have concluded that Miller had real, unbiased, credible and diverse sources. Eventually, we learned from an internal memo from Miller herself, that most of her reporting of WMD evidence came from an Iraqi exile with low general credibility who was hoping to lead a post-Saddam regime.
So, basically, Judy Miller is with the CIA. Or Halliburton. I'm not sure which. But she's a pariah of some kind among the Left.

If she's on the Martyr Diet, I don't know who she thinks is going to be paying her any compliments when she gets out.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:05 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 20 July 2005
Open the Hatch!
Mood:  loud
Ha, ha. Courtesy of Professor Reynolds, get a load of this post over at Trey Jackson's site. I had forgotten what Orrin Hatch said of Chuck Schumer's questioning of Judge Roberts during the future Justice's 2003 confirmation hearings for the D.C. Circuit Court. They even got audio there:

In the beginning of Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Bush nominee John G. Roberts Jr. Chairman Orrin Hatch praised Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer of New York for asking "intelligent" questions, but then Hatch switched gears.

"Some [of his questions] I totally disagree with," Hatch of Utah said. "Some I think are dumbass questions, between you and me. I am not kidding you. I mean, as much as I love and respect you, I just think that's true."

A stunned Schumer asked if he heard the chairman correctly, to which Hatch said yes. Again, Schumer asked Hatch if he would like to "revise and extend his remark," congressional speak for change his mind.

A former trial attorney, Hatch replied: "No, I am going to keep it exactly the way it is. I mean, I hate to say it. I mean, I feel badly saying it between you and me. But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions."
How many punk rock points does Hatch get for that?

(And how many times will that clip be played in the next several weeks? Not nearly enough.)


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:58 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
What's Past Is Prologue




Because it is our destiny.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:33 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Defending the Patriot Act
Mood:  a-ok
President Bush gave a speech today in Baltimore in which he defended the Patriot Act and warned the Congress to not let its provisions expire (my emphasis added):

I want you to hear what Senator Dianne Feinstein, of California, said the other day. She said, "We have scrubbed the area and have no reported abuses." She was speaking about the Patriot Act. I want you to remember that the next time you hear someone make an unfair criticism of this important, good law. The Patriot Act hasn't diminished American liberties; it has helped to defend American liberties.
As I've written here before, the craphounds on the Left want you to think that Bush is destroying the Constitution. What fucking nonsense. He hasn't done enough to crack down on infiltrators and subversives.

The next time we're attacked on our own soil, listen very carefully to the people who claim that Bush allowed our fellow citizens to be murdered. These are the same wretched idiots who now claim that he has practically suspended writs of habeas corpus already.

Like I always say, those who think America is a Nazi police state deserve to experience the difference for themselves.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:28 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 19 July 2005
Oh, Dear God!
Please tell me I didn't just hear that!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:15 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
SCOTUS Nomination Announcement as Distraction from Plamegate Contest Winner
My old friend Steve Soto of The Left Coaster is the winner of my unofficial Supreme-Court-of-the-United-States-Nomination-Announcement-as-a-Distraction-from-Plamegate contest. That is to say, he's the first Bush-hater I've seen or read today who's made that suggestion. Of course, everybody from Harry Reid to Lurch has now also said it today, but Soto gets the prize, which is to be quoted herewith:

So, with things not going well for the White House in its efforts to manage the drip-drip-drip damage from the Plame outing, something needed to be done to redirect attention away from the White House’s role in a national security breach towards something else. And after telling reporters late last week that his Supreme Court choice would be named sometime between July 26th and July 28th to allow the Senate a minimal amount of time as possible to go through the candidate’s background in advance of the court’s opening session in the first week of October, the White House has decided to push up Bush’s announcement of his Supreme Court selection to tonight to take attention away from the Plame outing.
I didn't know, of course, that the President had actually telegraphed his moves and motivations to the press like that, but whatever. By unconscionably burdening the Senate with an extra ten days to deliberate on their confirmation or denial of his nomination, Bush has once again proved that he is, in fact, Adolf Hitler.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:53 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2005 2:53 PM CDT
Accountability



Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:39 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Monday, 18 July 2005
"Priceless"
You have to go look at Andrew C. McCarthy's piece today at NRO. His story is that the CIA had already blown Valerie Plame's cover before David Corn did:

And could the possibility that Plame's cover has long been blown explain why the CIA was unconcerned about assigning a one-time covert agent to a job that had her walking in and out of CIA headquarters every day? Could it explain why the Wilsons were sufficiently indiscrete to pose in Vanity Fair, and, indeed, to permit Joseph Wilson to pen a highly public op-ed regarding a sensitive mission to which his wife — the covert agent — energetically advocated his assignment? Did they fail to take commonsense precautions because they knew there really was nothing left to protect?

We'd probably know the answers to these and other questions by now if the media had given a tenth of the effort spent manufacturing a scandal to reporting professionally on the underlying facts. And if they deigned to share with their readers and viewers all the news that's fit to print ... in a brief to a federal court.
And be sure not to miss the link to a .pdf file of that brief. Everybody who's anybody in Big Media signed off on it. Why?

Because they know their own actions in this whole mess are in need of some defense.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:43 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Kickin' the Real with Cliff
Mood:  accident prone
In the NRO's The Corner, Cliff May lays out several facts that need to be brought up again and again. My particular favorite at this moment:

4) The first one to say that Plame, Wilson's wife, was a secret agent -- a “top-secret operative” -- was David Corn in the left-wing magazine, The Nation, based on his conversations with Joe Wilson. Corn also first raised the idea that a crime had been committed, that people in the Bush administration committed the crime, that they did so not because they had anything against Plame but rather as a bank-shot way to punish Wilson.
Hmmm. So far, no word on whether David Corn has been subpoenaed by Pat Fitzgerald.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:07 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 17 July 2005
Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12333
In a lot of the commentary on the Great Outing that I've been reading lately, the notion keeps coming up that the CIA wouldn't have requested that the Department of Justice investigate the publication of Valerie Plame's name if they hadn't believed that a crime had been committed.

But it's not as simple as that. According to Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12333 (with my emphases),

The heads of departments and agencies with organizations in the Intelligence Community or the heads of such organizations, as appropriate, shall:

(a) Report to the Attorney General possible violations of federal criminal laws by employees and of specified federal criminal laws by any other person as provided in procedures agreed upon by the Attorney General and the head of the department or agency concerned, in a manner consistent with the protection of intelligence sources and methods, as specified in those procedures;

(b) In any case involving serious or continuing breaches of security, recommend to the Attorney General that the case be referred to the FBI for further investigation[...]
With a high-profile prima facie case of a possibly illegal disclosure, what choice did DCI George Tenet have? He was already pissed at being used as a fall guy over the Iraqi WMD issue and may have seen the referral of the case as a means of hitting back. But, better still, he was required by statute to go to the Department of Justice. And he did, although only informally, it seems, just days after Novak's column appeared. It wasn't until a couple of months later that Tenet officially requested an investigation. Which is what's been going on ever since.

Does any of this mean that the CIA really believes that naming Plame was an intelligence disaster? If you look at how they covered Plame, you wouldn't think so. Read this Washington Post report from September 2003:

When Novak told a CIA spokesman he was going to write a column about Wilson's wife, the spokesman urged him not to print her name "for security reasons," according to one CIA official. Intelligence officials said they believed Novak understood there were reasons other than Plame's personal security not to use her name, even though the CIA has declined to confirm whether she was undercover.

Novak said in an interview last night that the request came at the end of a conversation about Wilson's trip to Niger and his wife's role in it. "They said it's doubtful she'll ever again have a foreign assignment," he said. "They said if her name was printed, it might be difficult if she was traveling abroad, and they said they would prefer I didn't use her name. It was a very weak request. If it was put on a stronger basis, I would have considered it."
It's kind of hard not to notice that the CIA is itself confirming here that Plame was with the Company ---right down to the details of her future assignments. Maybe Patrick Fitzgerald should look into that, too.

Incidentally, Novak later wrote a column in which he said that Tenet did not request an investigation of the leak, but I don't think that's true. The DCI is apparently obligated to refer such requests to the DOJ. And I very much doubt he had any qualms about doing so.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:00 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 17 July 2005 2:06 AM CDT
Saturday, 16 July 2005
Bait and Switches
In a New York Times report this morning is the following paragraph (for those scoring at home, it's the eleventh):

After his conversation with Mr. Cooper, The Associated Press reported Friday, Mr. Rove sent an e-mail message to Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, saying he "didn't take the bait" when Mr. Cooper suggested that Mr. Wilson's criticisms had been damaging to the administration.
Huh? What's Rove saying here? That poor old Matt Cooper was trying to elicit an unguarded remark from him about the President's detractors ---and the Architect wouldn't go all the way?

I say Matt Cooper's extraordinary guilt and reluctance to finger Rove without that personal and unambiguous waiver of confidentiality is attributable to his own inability to not spring leaks.

Anyway, what do you think of this report's accompanying graphic? It was originally the link to a pop-up window where you can learn absolutely nothing about the Times' own reporter, Judy Miller. Isn't she a player in this, too? Why don't we see her face in her own paper?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:06 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 16 July 2005 2:28 PM CDT
Timeline for the Get Rove Carnival
Courtesy of Professor Reynolds, go see Stephen St. Onge's timeline of this whole thing.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:22 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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