BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Let Go

I say, "Let go, let God" on the John Roberts thing: Doesn't seem like the dude's a turbo wing-nut (yet) and we have more important things to worry about. (Like Karl Rove and Scotter Libby and...?) Let the Senate Dems will do their job - if there's anything in the dude's closet, it'll come out in the next few weeks.

'Til then...re-focus on Rove-gate and the Bushies' march to war.

The Boston Globe is still focused. Specifically, on Scooter Libby:


Link to Cheney deepens ‘leak-gate’ scandal


Good column - from Santorum's modern day Sodom & Gomorrah:
THE NEWS that Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff was the second possible source in the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent to Time magazine elevates the scandal to a whole new level.

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But if Time's story holds, I. Lewis Libby’s involvement represents an even more insidious abuse of power.

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Bush would invade Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. But Libby, Cheney, and the other influential right-wing hard-liners, such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith, saw their dreams come true. Back in the administration of the senior President Bush, Cheney was defense secretary and Libby and Wolfowitz were two of his aides who, after the first Gulf War left Saddam in power, drafted a document advocating ‘‘preemptive’’ war against possible threats.

They said the United States should be ‘‘postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated.’’

Such provocation was kept at bay when President Clinton beat Bush in 1992 and took office for eight years. But when the junior Bush became president in 2000, the hard right on foreign policy took the helm. They used the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 as an excuse for invading Iraq, even though President Bush’s own 9/11 Commission found no tie between Saddam and 9/11.

Libby was in the thick of whipping up fear over the thinnest of evidence. The level to which Libby and Cheney stooped to get their war was highlighted by the momentous presentation of Saddam’s ‘‘threat’’ before the United Nations Security Council by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell gave a presentation six weeks before the war where he said, ‘‘every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions.’’ Those assertions resulted in grudging acceptance of the war from many Democrats.

Virtually all of Powell’s solid sources fell apart when the United States turned Iraq upside down, killing thousands of Iraqi civilians in the process. He would have looked much worse had he listened to everything Libby and Cheney tried to feed him. It was Cheney’s staff who wrote the first draft of Powell’s UN speech. It was Libby who suggested, in strategy meetings at the White House, playing up every possible, conceivable threat of Saddam — with the emphasis on the word ‘‘conceive.’’

A US News and World Report story in the summer of 2003 quoted a senior administration official as saying Libby’s presentation ‘‘was over the top and ran the gamut from Al Qaeda to human rights to weapons of mass destruction. They were unsubstantiated assertions, in my view.’’

Powell, according to both US News and Vanity Fair, was so irritated by Libby’s hodgepodge of unsubstantiated facts that he threw documents into the air and said, ‘‘I’m not reading this. This is bull ...’’
Bullshit. The word is "bullshit." Which means...this document is bullshit.
Libby, whose nickname is Scooter, was particularly unhappy that Powell had thrown out sections of the presentation that would have attempted to link Al Qaeda to Saddam, including a discredited report that top 9/11 Al Qaeda airline hijacker Mohamed Atta had a meeting with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague.

According to Vanity Fair, "Cheney’s office made one last ditch effort to persuade Powell to link Saddam and Al Qaeda and to slip the Prague story back into the speech. Only moments before Powell began speaking, Scooter Libby tried unsuccessfully to reach [Larry] Wilkerson by phone. Powell’s staff chief, by then inside the Security Council chamber, declined to take the call. ‘Scooter,’ said one State Department aide, ‘wasn’t happy.’"
Bet he used the "F Word."
According to Vanity Fair, Cheney himself urged Powell to go ahead and stake his national popularity on the nonexistent evidence by saying to Powell, ‘‘Your poll numbers are in the 70s. You can afford to lose a few points.’’
Genius. Genius. Genius.

"You can afford to lose a few points."

Classic Cheney.

Wait...I thought this "administration" didn't "rely" on polls?!

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Back to Rove. From the American Prospect.

An Unlikely Story- Karl Rove's alibi would be easier to believe if he hadn't hidden it from FBI investigators in 2003.

Dude may have made a little mistake with the FBI.
White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Oops!
The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.

Also leading to the early skepticism of Rove's accounts was the claim that although he first heard that Plame worked for the CIA from a journalist, he said could not recall the name of the journalist. Later, the sources said, Rove wavered even further, saying he was not sure at all where he first heard the information.
Rrrrrriiiiigggghhhhtttttt.
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, has said that Rove never knew that Plame was a covert officer when he discussed her CIA employment with reporters, and that he only first learned of her clandestine status when he read about it in the newspaper. Luskin did not return a telephone call today seeking comment for this story.

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Finally, also driving Fitzgerald's investigation has been Rove's assertions that he only found out about Plame's status with the CIA from a journalist -- and one whose name he does not recall. But as The New York Times first disclosed on July 16, senior Bush administration officials first learned that Plame worked for the CIA from a CLASSIFIED BRIEFING PAPER on July 7, 2003, exactly a week before Novak's column naming Plame appeared and at the time that senior Bush administration officials were devising a strategy to discredit Wilson.

The classified memorandum, dated June 10, 2003, was written by MARC GROSSMAN, then the undersecretary of state for political affairs, and reportedly made claims similar to those made by Wilson: that the Bush administration had relied on faulty intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by Hussein to make the case to go to war with Iraq. The report was circulated to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and a slew of other senior administration officials who were then traveling with President Bush to Africa.

Fitzgerald has focused on whether Rove might have learned of Plame's identity from one of the many senior White House officials who read the memo, according to the Times account and attorneys whose clients have testified before the federal grand jury.
What happened on Air Force One? Who read "the memo?" Who talked to Rove?

And did anyone talk to Bush or Cheney?

Big questions...

More later...

Gas over $2.60 on Sunset & Fairfax.

Bastards.

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