If this clown they've got doing the color commentary on TBS for the UT-Oklahoma State game makes reference to a "perfect storm" one more time, I'm going to turn the sound off.
"Not Common Knowledge" Mood:
I have read the Libby Indictment and was interested by the following:
[...] Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside of the intelligence community.
Now, this is Patrick Fitzgerald's way of saying that Bob Novak is a rat bastage. Okay, whatever.
But "not common knowledge" is a weaselly way of avoiding the fact that Plame's employment status was not the Great Official Secret that all these [patriotic] and pro-intelligence communitarians on the Left claim it was. Did Fitzgerald alight upon that phrase at the suggestion of the FBI agents he sent to interview the Wilsons' neighbors Monday night? One of her neighbors, David Tillotson, said that he knew Valerie Wilson "very well," but then helpfully added:
"Did we know anything about her position before the story broke? Absolutely not."
Then it's settled. This guy knew her very well...except for that one part where he didn't actually know what her job was. One suspects that this guy is just the sort who would have all his "economic consulting on an international basis" done by Brewster Jennings. You know: just hang around a mailbox until someone drops by to keep up the appearance that Brewster Jennings was an actual company when five minutes online will tell you otherwise.
I'm obviously no lawyer, but this "not common knowledge" stuff cannot be a legal standard, can it? If Plame's classified status with the CIA was, in any way, compromised or expired or otherwise ill-tended, then what the hell was this investigation about, anyway?
Note what Libby was not charged with: violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. To violate that act, the agent whose identity has been disclosed must have been serving abroad within five years of the disclosure. According to a book by Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, Plame had not served abroad since 1997, more than five years before the 2003 disclosure. So the act was not violated by anyone. This was an investigation of people who were telling the truth about a person, Joseph Wilson, who was telling lies.
Late Friday, three people close to the investigation, each asking to remain unidentified because of grand jury secrecy, identified [Karl] Rove as Official A.
No need to adjust your set, friend. What you've just read is the limit of irony: it's a news report ---based upon leaks of classified information--- about a set of indictments brought against a very powerful man whose underlying "crime" was leaking classified information.
If you need me, I'll be busy slapping my face a la Curly Howard.
(Hat tip to Duncan Black.)
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:03 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005 11:06 PM CDT
This came up a few days ago when the Democratic leadership on the House Intelligence Committee and others sent Patrick Fitzgerald a letter asking that he release a report of his investigation, even if no indictments are handed up (or, is it down?). But Loudmouth Matthews and Dr. Greenspan's wife are saying that he won't do it. But didn't we know that wasn't going to happen? Fitzgerald is just a prosecutor, not one of the "special" kind that took down Clinton.
Fitzgerald is not allowed by law to issue those findings since grand juries sit in silence.
I certainly have no problem with him telling us everything he found out. Let it come on down. Break the law, Paddy! You know you want to!
On the Spot
I really enjoyed how the Associated Press put it when reporting on the reaction to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's recent suggestion that the Car Swarm People be the ones to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth (emphasis added):
CAIRO, Egypt - Arab governments remained silent Thursday as international condemnation grew over a call by Iran's new president for Israel to be destroyed.
Despite the silence, analysts in the region said Tehran's Arab rivals may quietly be pleased to see the radical regime further isolated by its extremism.
However, some Palestinians — who would have the task of destroying Israel according to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — rejected the remarks.
"We have recognized the state of Israel and we are pursuing a peace process with Israel, and ... we do not accept the statements of the president of Iran," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "This is unacceptable."
Yeah, that would be quite the "task," right?
I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but the Israeli approach to the Car Swarm People ---just as the Coalition approach has been to the enemy in Iraq--- is one of almost incredible forbearance. Got that? If it were the desire of the Israeli people to destroy tens of millions of Arabs, it would happen. And if these practitioners of the so-called Religion of Peace (and Submission) push the Israelis to the point of having to defend themselves with nuclear weapons, it will not go well for them.
Always remember that Americans and Russians never nuked each other because we both love life too much. But with these people who love death like the Mohammedans do? They don't have the same restraints. Therefore, their ideology must be dealt with if life on Earth is to succeed.
Taunting in Your General Direction
If the New York Times isn't wrong about this, then Karl Rove will not be indicted. Which means that this story stays inside the Beltway and stays off the majority of the public's radar screens. Because nobody knows who Scooter Libby or any of those other guys are.
Oh, well. Better luck next time, Democratic losers.
We don't know it now, living as we do with the daily news of death and destruction in Iraq, but the day is coming when a vastly more destructive event will transfigure the Middle East. The mullahcracy of Iran will be severely crippled in what Harry Truman once called "a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this Earth." Because this is what too many Iranians invite.
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran's new president has repeated a remark from a former ayatollah that Israel should be "wiped out from the map," insisting that a new series of attacks will destroy the Jewish state, and lashing out at Muslim countries and leaders that acknowledge Israel.
The remarks by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- reported by Islamic Republic News Agency -- coincide with a month-long protest against Israel called "World without Zionism" and with the approach of Jerusalem Day.
World without Zionism is a nationwide event the planners intend to hold annually, and Ahmadinejad made the remarks during a meeting with protesting students at the Interior Ministry.
Ahmadinejad quoted a remark from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, who said that Israel "must be wiped out from the map of the world."
The president then said: "And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism," according to a quote published by IRNA.
These are quiet and peaceful days we are seeing in the Middle East, my friend, compared to what must come. The Jewish people will not permit themselves to be threatened like this. And we Americans will have nothing to say about it when they make their move against Iran.
I don't make this observation lightly or to wax dramatic. I say it with absolute certainty: the Israeli people will some day use nuclear weapons against Iran. And, when they do, it will rewrite their history amongst the Muslim world.
More on Kristof
One of the commenters at a certain ban-happy blog I visit has helpfully reproduced the whole of Nicholas Kristof's op-ed in today's New York Times so that us working class stiffs won't have to pay the Sulzbergers for the privilege.
It's pretty amazing ---and pissing off the Left to no end:
[...] I find myself repulsed by the glee that some Democrats show at the possibility of Karl Rove and Mr. Libby being dragged off in handcuffs. It was wrong for prosecutors to cook up borderline and technical indictments during the Clinton administration, and it would be just as wrong today. Absent very clear evidence of law-breaking, the White House ideologues should be ousted by voters, not by prosecutors.
"Borderline and technical indictments." That must be the Hutchison Defense. But Kristof even gives us some news (at least, on the latter point, to me):
The C.I.A. believed that Mrs. Wilson's identity had already been sold to the Russians by Aldrich Ames by 1994, and she had begun the process of switching to official cover as a State Department officer.
I knew that first part because it's come up before that she was withdrawn from her assignments in Europe after it was realized that Ames had done a lot of damage. Very interesting.
But all of that is topped by the sheer nerve of saying the following (emphases mine):
There is, of course, plenty of evidence that White House officials behaved abominably in this affair. I'm offended by the idea of a government official secretly using the news media -- under the guise of a "former Hill staffer" -- to attack former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. That's sleazy and outrageous. But a crime?
I'm skeptical, even though there seems to have been a coordinated White House campaign against Mr. Wilson. One indication of that coordination is that, as I've reported earlier, I received a call at the same time, in June 2003, from yet another senior White House official, who chided me for two columns in which I discussed Mr. Wilson's trip to Niger but didn't use his name.
Is Kristof kidding? He's "offended" by officials "using" reporters to make their shots ---and has the balls to mention his own published stories in which Joe Wilson was using him to propagandize the readers of the New York Times?! Ha, ha, ha! I mean, what the fuck?
Go on, Kristof. Tell us who was feeding you information about these yellowcake claims.
I was quite surprised at this post on the CBS News blog "Public Eye," in which Vaughn Ververs discusses the news that Dick Cheney was the one who told Lewis Libby about Valerie Plame. After pondering this revelation, though, Ververs isn't so sure that getting the number of the Beast is such a great idea. And neither, he tells us, do John Tierney and Nicholas Kristof. In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Kristof writes:
To me, the whisper campaign against Mr. Wilson amounts to back-stabbing politics, but not to obvious criminality. And if indictments are issued for White House officials on vague charges of revealing classified information, that will have a chilling impact on the reporting of national security issues. The ultimate irony would come if we ended up strengthening the Bush administration’s ability to operate in secrecy.
The reason this remarkable observation is significant is because Kristof was one of the first tools Joe Wilson used when he began the roll-out on his Nigerien vacation story.
Read every word of what Kristof just wrote, wankers. Considering his own role in these matters, as well as that of the paper he works for, his concerns are extremely interesting.
Answer to a Correspondent
One of my commenters, who goes by a pseudonym for obvious reasons, is suggesting that the perfidious Jews are the actual perpetrators of the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Oddly enough, that's exactly what a lot of crazy Arab Jew-killers are saying. On the topic of the Mehlis Report:
At a Saturday news conference in Damascus, Syrian Foreign Minister Riyad Dawoodi also condemned the report as politically biased, based upon “presumptions and allegations,” but “no proof.”
“There’s a presumption taken by the (UN) commission that the very presence of Syrian troops and the Syrian security organs in Lebanon is something which should imply so and so and so,” he said. “You cannot put any weight on the idea (that) because you are present in Lebanon, everything happening in Lebanon ... should be done according to your knowledge and you know about it.”
Is this moron actually claiming that 30 years of Syria's occupation of Lebanon are irrelevant to the question of their knowledge of such a massive plot? This wasn't a fucking pipe bomb planted by an unemployed cabbie, you know. This was a major operation that killed a dozen or more people and left a crater in the middle of the street.
The foreign minister continued: “The report has a conclusion that this operation, the assassination of late Prime Minister Hariri, cannot be done without a means, a very sophisticated means which belongs to a highly equipped security organ. And you just look around you, who is very, very well equipped?”
While Dawoodi did not elaborate, the statement reflected suspicions within the region that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, may have organized the assassination in order to destabilize both Lebanon and Syria and create the conditions for US military actions against the Damascus regime.
And the Syrians don't have "highly equipped security organs"? What crap. Syria is a police state and a major sponsor of terrorist organizations. I think they've probably got sufficient experience and knowledge to pull off the odd episode of mass murder.
But what's most interesting to me is the protestations from the anti-war/pro-terrorist element in our own country that the Mehlis Report is going to be used to threaten Bashar al-Assad and his Ba'athist government. What demo are these mindless shitheads trying to appeal to with that argument? Mehlis is a German investigator with the United Nations ---two factors that become qualifications for integrity and anti-American wonderfulness under normal circumstances, but not here? Why?
I haven't yet read the Mehlis Report, but why should I be concerned if the UN and France are behind its conclusions? Isn't that The Standard, comrades? Aren't they the imprimatur that makes resolutions stick?
Let this investigation draw the Europeans into finally contributing to the success of the War for Iraq by demanding that the Syrians stop stirring things up next door. Let's have sanctions and make the Syria Accountability Act mean something after all. Let's demand justice for Lebanon, too. They are, after all, the home of the Protest Babe ---and that is not to be dismissed.
Did you catch any of Meet the Press yesterday? Tim Russert was interviewing, among others, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and New York Senator Charles Schumer when Hutchison let slip that she doesn't want to see any petty or overly technical charges brought against anybody in the White House this week when Patrick Fitzgerald will (probably) hand up his indictments in the Plame Unpleasantness.
[...] I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. So they go to something that trips someone up because they said something in the first grand jury and then maybe they found new information or they forgot something and they tried to correct that in a second grand jury.
Hoo boy. I suspect that a few "neocons" are going to be in trouble here in the next few days, but surely they won't want to turn to Hutchison for any legal ---or political--- advice.
But, then, on the subject of the War for Iraq, Schumer made a very interesting reply to Russert that doesn't seem compatible with the gibberish his party has made its name on lately. To the question of whether he regretted his vote in favor of the War for Iraq, Schumer said:
Well, no, Tim, because my vote was seen and I still see it as a need to say we must fight a strong and active war on terror.
Hmmm. Did Schumer mean to go off-script like that? Isn't the party line from both Democrats and their Big Media propagandists that the War for Iraq is an unrelated and unnecessary distraction from the real "war on terror"? Isn't it dangerous to confuse the anti-war dhimmis with the view that Iraq and terrorism are directly linked?
Oh, well. I'm sure Hutchison and Schumer will be revising and extending their remarks today.
Now, See, That's a Big Surprise. The Jews Also Control the United Nations? Huh! Who Knew?
We learn from the Persian Journalthat the "mullah-run" newspaper Kayhan International has declared the Mehlis Report just another Jewish plot to impugn the good character of Lebanon's true ally, Syria.
Kayhan International here Sunday commented on the report provided by a German magistrate on the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, calling on Muslim states to protest against the "dictated" story.
"The German Magistrate (Detlev Mehlis) has merely struck to the script dictated to him by those whose vested interests in the region warranted the physical elimination of Hariri," said 'Kayhan International'.
It further criticized the report by saying that Mehlis "has tried to implicate Lebanon's staunch and only dedicated Arab ally, Syria, in his report", which the editorial described as a "yawning tale".
The logic's hard to follow, but let's try: the United Nations, which has routinely sponsored forums and resolutions which explicitly call Zionism a racist policy, is actually controlled by the Jews. Sure. Why not?
The infantilization of the Arab mind is astonishing. As far as default settings go, blaming the Jews for everything and all the time is just incredibly lame. What children!
The Gateway Pundit brings us the picture you see below, as well as the attached Reuters caption:
Coffins of Kurdish people killed during former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's rule are seen during a ceremony at Arbil's airport, northern Iraq, October 17, 2005. The bodies of some 7,500 members of the Kurdish Barzani tribe, who were made captive and then executed were buried in mass graves at the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, were brought to Arbil on Monday for reburial.
I wouldn't say that Bush the Elder and Baker and Cheney and Powell and Scowcroft and Schwarzkopf are the ones who murdered these Kurds, but they allowed to live the monster who did. Because there was no mandate from the United Nations to remove him from power. Because they didn't want a "power vacuum." Because "stability in the region" is code for letting tyrants and murderers oppress their own people because it's easier to obtain cheap oil that way.
Did you know about these mass murders from the summer of 1983? I didn't. I was in junior high. Back then, all I would have known of Iraqis was that they were not those awful Iranians. I knew to hate them because they had taken our fellow citizens hostages and humiliated us. But what did I know or care about what was happening next door in Iraq? Nothing. America didn't care about the Iraqi people, either, or about the man who was brutalizing them because at least Saddam Hussein was a thorn in the Ayatollah's side. Good for him. We weren't ones to interfere in their internal matters, anyhow.
Pretty soon, though, came the incident with the USS Stark and the invasion of Kuwait. We would soon know that you don't stay friends with the enemies of your enemies forever. You move to act with moral clarity. You punish those who murder their own citizens. You punish those who murder and plot to murder the leaders and former leaders of other nations.
History won't care to remember that Bush the Younger didn't genuflect before the French or Kofi Annan or that wretched dwarf Gerhard Schroeder. But History will record that this President went to Iraq and helped to correct the errors his father made. I believe that Dick Cheney knew that he, too, had a chance to do the right thing this time. And they are doing it, however ugly it is.
Boghopper Survives to Drink Again
The anti-American Irish journalist Rory Carroll was released a day or so after he was taken captive by pro-Sadr gangsters this past week. So much for my Schadenfreude.
It is interesting to note, however, that the BBC report linked to above fails to mention the fact that Carroll was first released into the custody of Ahmed Chalabi, the hated manipulator of the entire Western world and professional Gavrilo Princip impersonator. Why should that be? Any guesses?
Views of Syria
The Christian Science Monitorsays that we don't have the military strength right now to correct the Syrian problem, but I think that might only be true if we're talking about ground troops and occupation. I don't think that's what we're talking about, though.
A possible American military incursion into Syrian territory to chase Iraqi insurgents would send a threatening signal to the regime. But as France, Saudi Arabia, and many other nations now appear willing to alter the regime's bad habits through UN sanctions, such a bold US step right now would be unwise.
As a matter of fact, an "incursion" into Syria is a great idea. I say we find and present to the world the evidence that's out there of the Syrians' involvement in Iraq (just as there certainly is ---now--- of their involvement in Hariri's assassination in Lebanon). Syrian-sponsored terrorists are in Iraq killing American soldiers and Marines. We have every right to respond to these threats against ourselves and our Iraqi allies.
The Lebanese people, like the Iraqis, are currently shoring up their democracy. Preventing Syria from harming that course should be the focus of the US and the UN far more than trying to force democracy on Syria.
Who's talking about forcing democracy on Syria? I just want to see us bombing the ratlines that essentially run between Damascus and al-Anbar. Maybe that would focus Assad's attention.
International economic sanctions would send a message to the regime as well as to Syrians that they, too, can help lift the Arab world by relying on ballots instead of bombs.
Sounds great. But we need immediate action. Like this week. The sooner we can get the international community to take the side of justice and democracy for Lebanon, the sooner we'll get the Syrians to end their support of murderers in Iraq.
Co-opt Assad like we co-opted Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. I'm not necessarily equating the two men, but we have had more success in Afghanistan ---by some measures--- because of how we first secured Pakistan's cooperation. That is an unsung achievement in the War against the Terrorists. We need the same "deal" in Syria if we ever want Iraq to be able to stand on its own.
Check out this useful and interesting post by the oddly attractive Arianna Huffington on what nerve NBC newsman Tim Russert has in not explaining his role in the Plame Unpleasantness.
Here is how Russert handled the latest developments in Plamegate (the question is addressed to Michigan Senator Carl Levin):
New York Times today publishes a lengthy article about the CIA leak investigation. Judith Miller, the Times reporter, writes that she had at least three meetings with the vice president's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, in which they talked about Ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Africa regarding uranium and also some discussions about Wilson's wife. What is your reaction?"
That's it. Not a single mention of his own conversation with Libby. What does NBC think about this? As Judith Miller herself might say, "I don't know." Huffington then provides a great timeline of Russert's involvement and how often he fails to take the opportunity to explain himself. Good stuff.