Monthly Archives: July 2005

That Didn’t Take Long

Bill Frist bucks Leader George and comes out for embryonic stem cell research.  Good for him.

Very quickly, he is condemned by the Christian Right, who he has catered to so relentlessly:

WASHINGTON, July 29 /U.S. Newswire/ — The Christian Defense Coalition says Sen. Bill Frist can no longer consider himself pro-life and vote to expand funding for embryonic stem cell research.

The Coalition also states, Sen. First should not expect support and endorsement from the pro-life community if he votes for embryonic research funding.

Oh, well.  Easy come, easy go.

Word Choice

As we all know by now, George Orwell Bush has deemed that the “war on terror” be renamed the “struggle against violent extremism”, so that history will not depict him as losing a war, but engaging in a struggle.

I’m not sure it gets him where he wants to be.  After all, Mein Kampf translates to “my struggle”.  And the word “jihad” itself also translates to “struggle”. 

That aside, I wish the Bush Administration would be serious about finding actual solutions to actual problems, rather than constantly focusing on the cosmetic battles.  Let’s hope that the administration is better at actually combating terrorism than it is in coming up with new catch phrases. 

UPDATE: But let’s consider what this new buzz phrase really means:

It is a complete repudiation of roughly four years of counter-terrorism policy out of the White House.

The core of the Bush Doctrine was that the threat of terrorism is still one tied to states rather than non-state-actors. As Doug Feith said some three years ago, the reliance of terrorists on state sponsors has been the "principal strategic thought underlying our strategy in the war on terrorism."

If we take their words at face value, they’ve now abandoned that cornerstone of their strategy. Shouldn’t that prompt some questions?

A Class Act

FingerBush flips the bird.  Quicktime video here.

And so, when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of our land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.

Bush Acceptance Speech, August 3, 2000.

God, are you watching this?

It’s not the first time he’s done this.  Here’s a frame from the famous mov file that’s been around for ages . . .

Bushfinger

US Military Throws A Lifeline To Terrorists?

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today rejected calls to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying that would be a “mistake” because it would send a “lifeline to terrorists."

Washington Post, June 23, 2005

Pentagon officials have provided little detail in discussing the possible withdrawal of forces from Iraq. The most specific estimate has come from Lt. Gen. John Vines, who runs day-to-day military operations in Iraq. He said in June that a reduction of “four or five brigades” — perhaps 20,000 troops out of the current 135,000 — was possible sometime next year.

AP, July 27, 2005

It Was A Summary Execution

Mark Honigsbaum
Thursday July 28, 2005
The Guardian

Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot dead in the head, was not wearing a heavy jacket that might have concealed a bomb, and did not jump the ticket barrier when challenged by armed plainclothes police, his cousin said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with the Metropolitan police, Vivien Figueiredo, 22, said that the first reports of how her 27-year-old cousin had come to be killed in mistake for a suicide bomber on Friday at Stockwell tube station were wrong.

“He used a travel card,” she said. “He had no bulky jacket, he was wearing a jeans jacket. But even if he was wearing a bulky jacket that wouldn’t be an excuse to kill him."

She’s got that right.

The Slippery Slope of Wingnuttery

Let’s see.  Where are we in the Republican defense of Rove?  Meme roll call:

First: “The White House had nothing to do with the leak of classified information.”

Second: “Okay, maybe the White House did have something to do with the leak, but nobody identified Valerie Plame by her actual name.”

Second and a half: “By the way, Plame had it coming because she married a big fat partisan liar.”

Third: “Okay, maybe the White House didn’t need to identify her by her actual name, but in any event, the White House learned about Plame’s CIA status from reporters—not the other way around.”

Third and a half:  “By the way, here’s some recycled evidence showing some links between Saddam and al Qaeda.  Can we revisit that debate?” [Alternative Glenn Reynolds meme: “This Plamegate issue is for too complicated for my tiny little brain"]

Fourth: “Okay, maybe the White House did reveal her CIA status to reporters, but even if someone did, it’s no big deal, because she wasn’t ‘covert’.”

Fourth and a half:  “Look who Bush nominated for the Supreme Court!”

Fifth: “Okay, maybe she was covert and perhaps a law was broken, but the law is stupid.”

Sixth: “It’s Clinton’s fault.”

(Okay, the last one hasn’t happened yet . . . but don’t be surprised)

I know in my heart that if, three years ago, I asked any conservative (or liberal, or moderate for that matter) if it is “okay” in a time of “war” for anybody (say, Michael Moore) to reveal the name of a CIA operative working on WMD issues, the universal consensus would have been “No.  Absolutely Not.  Hang the traitor from the highest yardarm”.  The continued defense of Bush’s advisors reveals one thing about diehard Bush supporters—they have no moral center.

Bush, Roberts and Government Secrecy

The Bush White House is once again play hide-and-seek, this time with memos written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.  While they are turning over some documents from Roberts’ past, they are refusing to turn over documents from 1989 to 1993, when Roberts was deputy solicitor general.  The stated reason?  Attorney-client privilege.

A-C privilege is a sticky wicket, but it makes for a poor excuse in this case.  For one thing, as even conservatives acknowledge, the privilege belongs to the client, not the lawyer.  This means the A-C privilege is meant to protect the client, not the lawyer.  So I had to laugh when I read this from RedState.org’s Pejman Yousefzadeh.  He acknowledged that the privilege belongs to the client, but then writes:

Without the shield of privacy that is traditionally afforded to interoffice memoranda, lawyers will be deterred from spelling out their views and analysis in the honest manner that is necessary to ensure the most accurate appraisal possible of important legal issues.

Yup, the “shield” protects “lawyers” all of a sudden.

But let’s focus on the statement again and ask a simple question:  Is it even true?

Suppose you are a lawyer in the solicitor general’s office, and you are asked to render a legal opinion on an “important legal issue” to your client, the United States of America.  Aren’t you going to render your views and analysis “in an honest manner” regardless of whether or not that information becomes public?  After all, if you honestly argue that the Constitution says X, and you back it up in an internal memo, why would you change that view if you thought the public was going to read that memo?  You wouldn’t!

But Yousefzadeh’s comment demonstrates the dichotomy between the public face of the government and inner workings of the government.  It is a tacit acknowledgement that the government we see is a mere facade, and that what is REALLY going on should be secret.  It reveals the distrust that the Bush government has for the people of America—why would they go to such lengths to hide things from us?

Mind you, we’re not talking about classified information or anything else where there is a present national interest in keeping it hush-hush (although this administration, when it suits them, don’t care about that either).  We’re talking about a government lawyer’s professional opinions, derived from case law and other things in the public domain.  Revealing the legal viewpoints of a Supreme Court nominee are certainly pertinent to a full and fair hearing on his nomination.

This administration seems to forget that they are public servants.  Their role is to serve the people, not themselves, not their party, not their own ideology.  It is in the national interest that we, through our elected representatives, know as much as we can about a man who may play a pivotal role, as a Supreme Court justice, in our futures. 

So why the shadows?

We’ve see it all the time from this administration—Cheney refusing to reveal what was said when he met with oil executives to hash out a national energy policy; secret no-bid contracts being given to preffered corporations like Halliburton; attempts to keep disturbing photos from the public eye (caskets, Abu Ghraib)—the list goes on and on.

As reported here:

For the first time, a majority of Americans, 51%, say the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — the reason Bush emphasized in making the case for invading. The administration’s credibility on the issue has been steadily eroding since 2003.

If the Bush Administration wants to regain its trust with the American people, perhaps it should not be so secretive—or more accurately, selectively secret—about what it knows, and should be more open.  American people will forgive flaws and mistakes, but not attempts to hide them.  Or, as the saying goes, “it’s not the crime; it’s the cover-up”.  So why is Bush & Co. covering things up?  What will it take before they stop playing public-manipulation games, and just put their cards on the table?  Do they hate an open form of government, or what?

Kerry Was Right; Bush Was Wrong

. . . about the “war on terror”

"I will use our military when necessary, but it is not primarily a military operation. It’s an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort.  And we’re putting far more money into the war on the battlefield than we are into the war of ideas. We need to get it straight."

— John Kerry, April 13, 2004, Meet The Press

Remember how the delusional comic-book-reading right lambasted Kerry over that?  Now read this:

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had “objected to the use of the term ‘war on terrorism’ before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution.” He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremists, with the recognition that “terror is the method they use.”

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require “all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities’ national power.” The solution is “more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military,” he concluded.

WMDs, national security, social security—I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of watching Repubs riding the learning curve to get to the same place that the rest of us were several years ago.

Bush Pulls Access To Classified Info

Not pulled from Rove, but from certain members of Congress.

The date was 10/5/01, and here’s the executive order in which he does it.

What prompted such an action?  Well, apparently, some lawmakers had told the Washington Post that they had been informed that more terrorist attacks were likely, a conjecture derived from intelligence documents.  Bush couldn’t have things like honest intelligence agency assessments leaking out to the sheeple, so he yanked lawmakers’ access, saying:

We can’t have leaks of classified information.  It’s not in our nation’s interest.

So . . . rightly or wrongly, Bush limited access to classified information.  Not only was there no crime, but no investigation of a crime either.  “It’s not in our nation’s interest”, he said.  So why the double standard when it comes to Karl Rove and Scooter Libby?  Does partisan politics trump “national interest”?

With this White House, you bet it does.

Liberation?

It looks like the women of Iraq will have LESS freedoms now than they did under Saddam.  Speaking about Iraq’s new constitution, the AP writes:

Most worrying for women’s groups has been the section on civil rights, which some believe would significantly roll back women’s rights under a 1959 civil law enacted by a secular regime.

You would think that those who claim we went into Iraq to “liberate” the Iraqi people would be up in arms about this.  But what is the right-wing blogopshere saying?

[*chirp, chirp*]

Of course, we also have done a fine job of showing what humane creatures democracy fosters—like our quaint ways of raping boys and trying to pretend that we didn’t.

Lying As A Natural Habit

So Scottie sez that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts “doesn’t recall ever paying dues or being a member” of the conservative Federalist Society.

But John Roberts himself said that participatws in Federalist Society events and gave speeches for the organization.  And the Washington Post reported Monday that it had obtained from a liberal group a 1997-98 Federalist Society leadership directory listing Roberts, then a partner in a private law firm, as—not only being a member—but being a steering committee member in the group’s Washington chapter.

Now, personally, I don’t think it means a wit whether Roberts was a member or not.  I don’t LIKE the Federalist Society, but membership alone is about as disqualifying as a membership in the ACLU.

My issue deals with the White House lying.  Why do we get distortions from the White House on, it seems, everything?  Do these people know hoe to be honest and direct, or are they simply too pre-conditioned to shade the truth?

Quote Of The Day

By mid-June, the Iraqi forces had been given 306 million rounds of ammunition, roughly 12 bullets for each of Iraq’s 25 million people. But when one senior American officer involved was asked whether the Americans might end up arming the Iraqis for a civil war, he paused for a moment, then nodded. “Maybe,” he said.

But you really should read the whole article for the full flavor of the Iraqi mess:

As Iraq resumed its sovereignty after the period of American occupation, the new American team that arrived then, headed by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, had a withering term for the optimistic approach of their predecessors, led by L. Paul Bremer III.  The new team called the departing Americans “the illusionists,” for their conviction that America could create a Jeffersonian democracy on the ruins of Saddam Hussein’s medieval brutalism.

The Illusionists.  Sound like a good name for a band.  They should open for The Reality Based Community.

But here’s an example of why things are shitty in Iraq:

There have been persistent reports, mostly in Baghdad, of Shiite death squads in police uniforms abducting, torturing and killing Sunni Arab clerics, community leaders and others. In Baghdad, a police commando unit composed mainly of Shiites raided a hospital two weekends ago and abducted 13 Sunni men accused of being insurgents. Sixteen hours later, the bodies of 10 were delivered to a morgue, the victims of suffocation in a locked metal-topped police van in a temperature nearing 120 degrees.

Even the new Iraqi forces, hailed by the Bush administration as the key to an eventual American troop withdrawal, seem as likely to provoke a civil war as to prevent one. The 170,000 men already trained are dominated by Shiites and Kurds, in a proportion even higher than the 80 percent those groups represent in the population. Though there are thousands of Sunni Arabs in the forces, including some generals, Iraqi units that are sent to the worst hot spots are often dominated by Shiites and Kurds, some recruited from sectarian militias deeply hostile to Sunni Arabs.

Oh, remember the days when all of them threw roses at our feet?

The 12 Hour Gap

People are asking good questions:

What did White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card learn from Alberto Gonzales and when did he learn it…and what did he do with that knowledge? . . . Alberto Gonzales admitted that he called Andrew Card right after he was notified that the Justice Department had opened its investigation of the Plame leak…even though he formally notified The White House staff 12 hours later.

[Source]

And in the 12 hour interval, how many Blackberries and emails were the subject of erasing?  Just wondering….

The Voice of the Iraqi People (or “The Voice of the Iraqi People”)

Talk about echo chambers.

Someone at CNN noted that the U.S. military is apparently recycling quotes attributed to the Iraqi people.  For example, when a car bomb went off yesterday in Baghdad (killing 25 liberated Iraqis), the U.S. military released a news statement which contained this passage:

“‘The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,’ said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."

And when there was a car bomb that went off earlier this month (killing several liberated Iraqi children), after which the U.S. military released a news statement which contained this passage:

“‘The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,’ said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. ‘They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.’"

Looks like a cog broke in the military propaganda machine.  Read more from CNN.

White House Purges?

It seems that some of the press gaggles archived on the White House website have, um, gone missing. 

For example, you can no longer access the press gaggle where Ari Fleischer says:

But there’s a bigger picture here, and this is what’s fundamental—the case for war against Iraq was based on the threat that Saddam Hussein posed because of his possession of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological, and his efforts to reconstitute a nuclear program. In 1991, everybody in the world underestimated how close he was to getting a nuclear weapon. The case for going to war against Saddam is as just today as it was the day the President gave that speech.

Read more.

What does this remind me of?

Oh, yeah.

BEFORE:

Stalin1

AFTER:

Stalin2

Heh Photo

This photo was taken in 2003.  Rove and Novak.

Rovenovakpals3

Rove’s button says—I’m not making this up—“I’m a source, not a target”.

“O, Arturo, prince of irony . . .”

For The Last Time, Plame Was Covert

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked “(S)” for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

***

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the “secret” level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as “secret” the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.

[Source]

Another R.I.P.

TV Dinner Inventor Gerry Thomas Dies

Gerry Thomas, credited with inventing the TV dinner more than a half-century ago and giving it its singular name, has died at the age of 83.

Thomas died Monday, Terry Crowley at Messinger Mortuary said Wednesday. He had a long bout with cancer, relatives told The Arizona Republic.

Thomas was a salesman for Omaha, Neb.-based C.A. Swanson and Sons in late 1954 when he had the idea of packaging frozen meals in a segmented tray.

[Source]

Thomas will be buried in —

Funeral services will be held at —

The family has requested that —

Oh . . . I’m too tired to come up with a punchline . . . So, go for it.

Weu_junk05

Rove Being Investigated . . . For Lying To The FBI?

Inside sources are saying so:

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.

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.

First (and Probably Last) Impressions of Supreme Court Nominee Roberts

I’ve purposely avoided listening to the blogosphere and the talking heads on TV.  When I read the “leak” that he was the nominee, I checked out his record.

His record as a judge is not very extensive, and his record as an attorney appears to be one in which he argued in favor of conservative causes (and/or conservative clients).

The former (his history as a judge) isn’t all that helpful, and the latter (his politics, maybe) is entirely irrelevant.  Other than that, he seems to be a smart (even brilliant), hardworking career attorney with impeccable credentials.

So what can be said about his nomination?  Barring some revelation that he twists the heads of kittens, this guy is clearly qualified.  He’s presumably conservative, but that, of course, does not render him unqualified to sit on the bench.  No filibuster necessary.

So there it is.  This is what the 2004 election was about.  Kerry lost, which means this day was inevitable.  And here it is.  Democrats can and should vet him, as is their obligation and duty, and we (on the left) can hope he’ll become a Souter . . . but from where I sit right now, there’s no reason—none at all—not to confirm him.

Timing Is Everything

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush is close to a decision on his first nominee to the Supreme Court and could make his announcement as early as Tuesday, Republican sources said.

Wow.  Okay.

"The time is now,” said a Republican strategist close to the White House of Bush’s announcement.

Why is the time “now”, Mr. Republican-Strategist-Close-To-The-White-House?

Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove.

A Republican strategist with close to the White House described Clement as the leading candidate. “She’s pretty untouchable,” he said. “Plus, it helps take Rove off the front pages for a week."

Ah.  Of course.

Curse you, you clever White House!  Nobody will see through your diabolically clever distraction!!

Executive Order No. 12958

Criminal laws aside, Executive Order No. 12958 would require that the White House, independent of any criminal investigation, take affirmative action to determine if there was a leak, and punish the leaker accordingly.  Under the executive order, “officers and employees of the United States Government . . . shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willingly, or negligently . . . disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified.”

You can read the full tesxt of Executive Order No. 12958 here.

The investigation would be conducted by an internal “Information Security Oversight Office”.

Does anyone know if this is happening?

Rude Pundit’s Take

The Rude Pundit, the only blogger to have turned his rants into a critically-acclaimed off-off-Broadway show (seriously!) explains why the general public disbelieves the Bush Administration on the whole Plame thing, even if we (the public) don’t all necessarily understand the minutae of the law.  Quote:

The American public, having been fed years of propagandistic books, films, and television shows, since the Cold War, about how magnificent the CIA is in protecting our freedom (despite, you know, having often done quite the opposite), feels as if it’s looking out for Jack Ryan. You know Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s CIA agent, played by AlecBaldwinHarrisonFordBenAffleck in the movies. By this point in a Clancy novel or film, Jack Ryan (or someone) would have grabbed the tweedy, bespectacled, fat, balding asshole politico, who thought a CIA agent’s identity was just more political capital to be spent when expedient, and beaten the shit out of him, leaving him bleeding, glasses broken, pissing himself on the floor of the Oval Office. Hell, where do you wanna go with this? Jason Bourne? Sydney Bristow? Bill Cosby on I Spy? George Smiley? James fuckin’ Bond? All of the spy glorification in pop culture has made it a cardinal rule: you don’t blow someone’s cover.

He adds:

So all Democrats really have to do is stand back and let these fuckers twist in the wind. When we hear Rove told Matt Cooper, “I’ve said too much already,” we know that that’s the line of scoundrels and weasels trying to cover their own asses. When we hear the President lower the ethical standards bar by which one can work for the White House all the way to the floor, we know that he’s covering for his friend. It’s all SOP for those who, it seems more and more each day, are SOL.

Flip-Flop

President Bush was against leaks of classified information before he was for tolerated them:

Bush, appearing in the Rose Garden with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, gave Congress a stern lecture. “I understand there may be some heartburn on Capitol Hill,” he said. “But I suggest if they want to relieve that heartburn, that they take their positions very seriously and that they take any information they’ve been given by our government very seriously.”

He continued: “I want Congress to hear loud and clear, it is unacceptable behavior to leak classified information when we have troops at risk."

As reported in WaPo, 10/10/01

“Highest Standards of Conduct” Defined

"The president has set high standards, the highest of standards, for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct."

Scott McClellan, Press Briefing, September 29, 2003

"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

George W. Bush, Remarks to Reporters, July 18, 2005

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Stephen Hadley announced today the appointment of Elliott Abrams as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy. . ."

Executive Office of the President, Personnel Announcement, February 2, 2005

The Board concluded . . . that Abrams had engaged in "dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation" by giving false (but unsworn) testimony to three congressional committees regarding the role of the United States government in what has become known as the Iran-Contra Affair. Following Abrams’ conviction, upon a plea of guilty, of criminal charges arising out of his congressional testimony, President Bush granted him a full and unconditional pardon."

District of Columbia Court of Appeals, In re Elliott Abrams, Respondent, July 18, 2005

CONCLUSION: “Highest of standards” means that the White House will employ pardoned criminals, but not unpardoned ones.

Best Comment Today On Plamegate

From Corrente, on the revelation that Novak’s second source “high administration official” (besides Rove) was Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff:

You know, this whole thing reminds of that great old Agatha Christie novel, Murder on the Orient Express. The whodunnit is totally confusing, clues pointing every which way and cancelling each other out, until Hercule Poirot figures out that the reason the clues could only make sense if they were all in on it, is that, indeed, they were all in on it.

I doubt it, but it’s nice to dream.  (Hope I didn’t ruin the book/movie for y’all!)

Bush Raises The Bar, Moves The Goalposts, Waffles, etc.

. . . and for a refreshing change, the media isn’t fooled:

WASHINGTON – President Bush said Monday that if anyone on his staff committed a crime in the CIA-leak case, that person will “no longer work in my administration.” His statement represented a shift from a previous comment, when he said that he would fire anyone shown to have leaked information that exposed the identity of a CIA officer.

Bush was in favor of firing people for leaking CIA information before he was against it.

SF 312

Administration officials who are given security clearance are required to read and sign a form known as the “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement,” of SF 312.  A copy of the form can be found here (PDF format).

Accompanying the form is a briefing booklet, the contents of which are here.  Here’s a key excerpt from the booklet:

Question 19: If information that a signer of the SF 312 knows to have been classified appears in a public source, for example, in a newspaper article, may the signer assume that the information has been declassified and disseminate it elsewhere?

Answer: No. Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified. Its disclosure in a public source does not declassify the information. Of course, merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure. However, before disseminating the information elsewhere or confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.

The import of this cannot be underestimated.  It reflects directly on the meme that “Rove learned about Plame from Novak.”

First of all, “Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified” means exactly what it says.  And that means that Rove cannot assert “Novak told me” that as a “complete defense” to the issue of whether or not Plame was/wasn’t covert.

On the plus side for Rove (and as I wrote before), merely saying “Yeah, I heard that too” may not, in and of itself, be an unauthorized disclosure.  (An argument can be made that Rove’s “I heard that too” was a confirmation, rather than an acknowledgement in the abstract.  It’s a plausible argument, and perhaps Novak took it as a confirmation, but I seriously doubt that it is sufficient enough to meet the high burden associated with criminal statutes).

Where Rove may face problems is the last part.  Assuming Rove heard about Plame’s status through Novak, he still had an affirmative duty to check it out to see if the info was declassified before further dissemination.  Let’s also assume, that Rove discussed Plame with Cooper and Miller, and perhaps others, post-Novak.  (Note: If Rove talked to Cooper and Miller PRE-Novak, then he’s beyond deep doo-doo, if his excuse is “I learned it from Novak").

If Rove didn’t check the accuracy of Novak’s comment, he’s got a problem.  He clearly didn’t do what he was supposed to (and, at a minimum, his security clearance should be revoked—I don’t see how anybody can disagree with that).

If he DID check it out, there’s probably a record somewhere, which could spell trouble, especially if he learned that her status WAS classified . . . and he later talked to Cooper about it nonetheless.  (If Cooper raised the issue, Rove should have given a “no comment”.)

But Cooper has said that Rove talked about Plame, and her work with WMD analysis.  (He also said that Rove closed with a revealing "I’ve already said too much") How did Rove come about the WMD information? From Novak?  Not according to any account I have heard.  So perhaps Rove did check into Plame after talking to Novak, in which case he would have learned that Plame was not de-classified.  Which means he should not have “further disseminated” the information to Cooper.

Anyway, make of SF 312 what you will.  Just another brick in the wall.  Or, er, nail in the coffin.  You decide.

Nice Little Twist

So focus has been on this classified State Department memo which says that Plame recommended or arranged for Wilson to go to Niger.  Fitzgerald’s office appears to believe that that memo was the ultimate source of the information that eventually made its way into print in Robert Novak’s column.  (Read more
here).

It looks like someone else may have had access to the memo, or a similar memo, or something related to the memo.  On October 28, 2003, a reporter had an interview with Joe Wilson, and asked the following question:

"An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

Who was the “reporter”?  Our buddy, Jeff Gannon.

Now, how did HE get his hands on that “internal government memo”?

Hey, is Rove married?  Happily?  Just asking . . .

Ronald Reagan – Remarks at the Signing of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Whether you work in Langley or a faraway nation, whether your tasks are in operations or analysis sections, it is upon your intellect and integrity, your wit and intuition that the fate of freedom rests for millions of your countrymen and for many millions more all around the globe. You are the trip-wire across which the forces of repression and tyranny must stumble in their quest for global domination. You, the men and women of the CIA, are the eyes and ears of the free world.

Like those who are part of any silent service, your sacrifices are sometimes unappreciated; your work is sometimes misunderstood. Because you’re professionals, you understand and accept this. But because you’re human and because you deal daily in the dangers that confront this nation, you must sometimes question whether some of your countrymen appreciate the value of your accomplishments, the sacrifices you make, the dangers you confront, the importance of the warnings that you issue.

As I’ve said, the enactment of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act is clear evidence of the value this nation places on its intelligence agencies and their personnel. It’s a vote of confidence in you by the American people through their elected representatives. It’s also a tribute to the strength of our democracy.

The Congress has carefully drafted this bill so that it focuses only on those who would transgress the bounds of decency; not those who would exercise their legitimate right of dissent. This carefully drawn act recognizes that the revelation of the names of secret agents adds nothing to legitimate public debate over intelligence policy. It is also a signal to the world that while we in this democratic nation remain tolerant and flexible, we also retain our good sense and our resolve to protect our own security and that of the brave men and women who serve us in difficult and dangerous intelligence assignments.

Source.

Compare Reagan with Rove, who reportedly expressed views (now echoed by the America-hating right) that Valerie Plame was “fair game”.

Another Plamegate Roundup

With the barage of silly excuses, sliming points, irrelevancies, and (occasionally) outright lies emanating from the right on the issue of L’Affaire Plame, it’s time for another link-o-riffic round-up.  This time, it comes courtesy of Think Progress:

CLAIM: White House Can’t Comment While Investigation Is Ongoing
McClellan: “While that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.”

FACT: White House Has Repeatedly Commented During the Ongoing Investigation
McClellan had previously cited that same investigation and then gone on to answer the questions as they pertained to Rove. For example, on October 1, 2003, he said, “There’s an investigation going on … you brought up Karl’s name. Let’s be very clear. I thought — I said it was a ridiculous suggestion, I said it’s simply not true that he was involved in leaking classified information, and — nor, did he condone that kind of activity.” Similarly, on October 10, 2003, McClellan said, “I think it’s important to keep in mind that this is an ongoing investigation.” But he then added with regard to a question about Rove’s involvement, “I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this.”

CLAIM: Rove Didn’t Leak The Name So He’s Not Guilty
Rove: “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” Rove attorney Robert Luskin said “he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.”

FACT: National Security Law Says Identifying Covert Agent Is Illegal
Rove at the very least identified Plame as “Wilson’s wife.” Under section 421 of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the disclosure of “any information identifying [a] covert agent” is illegal.

CLAIM: White House Didn’t Push The Story
Rove’s lawyer Robert Luskin claims Cooper manipulated what Rove said to him “in a pretty ugly fashion to make it seem like people in the White House were affirmatively reaching out to reporters to try to get them to report negative information about Plame.”

FACT: There Was An Organized Campaign To Push Leak Info
First, Robert Novak admitted: “I didn’t dig it out [Plame’s identity], it was given to me…. They [the White House] thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.” Second, Rove told Chris Matthews that Plame’s identity was “fair game.” Third, Time magazine reported the orchestrated campaign against Wilson in October 2003: “In the days after Wilson’s essay appeared, government officials began to steer reporters away from Wilson’s conclusions.” 

CLAIM: Conversation Was About Welfare Reform, So Rove Didn’t Do Anything Wrong
National Review’s Byron York: “According to Luskin, the fact that Rove did not call Cooper; that the original purpose of the call, as Cooper told Rove, was welfare reform.”

FACT: What They Spoke About Was Irrelevant
The original purpose of the conversation between Rove and Cooper is irrelevant. It has no bearing on the fact that Rove did identify a covert agent during that conversation.

CLAIM: Plame Wasn’t An Undercover Agent
Ed Rogers, former official under Reagan/Bush: “I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs. Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don’t think there’s any meaningful investigation about that.”

FACT: Former CIA Officer Who Worked With Plame Verified She Was Undercover
Larry Johnson, former CIA officer: “Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover–in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover.”

CLAIM: Rove Was Trying To Correct A False Story
Rove attorney Luskin added, “What Karl was trying to do … was to warn Time away from publishing things that were going to be established as false.

FACT: Wilson Was Right, Bush Was Wrong
Bloomberg recently reported, “Two-year old assertions by former ambassador Joseph Wilson regarding Iraq and uranium, which lie at the heart of the controversy over who at the White House identified a covert U.S. operative, have held up in the face of attacks by supporters of presidential adviser Karl Rove.”

CLAIM: Wilson Lied About His Trip To Niger
Former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman: “What Joe Wilson alleged was that the vice president, then he said the CIA director sent him to Niger.” [CNN, 7/12/05]

FACT: Wilson Never Said Cheney Personally Sent Him To Niger
Bloomberg reported, “Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president’s office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney’s questions. ‘The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president’s office,’ Wilson wrote.”

More Wingnut Reasons Why It Is Okay For Rove To Out Covert Agents

The folks at World O’ Crap are spoofing the right-wing machine this week, by offering more reasons why it would be okay for Rove to expose Plame as a CIA operative:

Reason #1: Because Plame made out with her husband before marriage.  And, even worse, she goes by her maiden name.

Reason #2: Because Karl did it to keep Plame from inventing a time machine, going back to 1911, and preventing Ronald Reagan from ever being born. 

Reason #3:  Because when Joe Wilson was the ambassador to Iraq, he met with Saddam Hussein.  Saddam had links to al Qaeda, in that some of his people met with some of their people.  Therefore, Joe Wilson has links to al Qaeda!  So, Rove had to out Wilson’s wife to prevent her from causing another 9/11! 

Reason #4: Because Karl Rove learned Plame’s identity from Novak, who learned it from Judy Miller, who learned it from Matt Cooper, who learned it from Karl Rove.  Scooter Libby is in there somewhere too.  And as the law says, if it’s a circle jerk, then Rove is free to smirk. 

Reason #5: Because the Agent Protection Act says “knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent,” but Karl didn’t know that Ms. Plame’s name would identify her, because he thought that, as a covert agent, she went by a cool Bond Girl name, like “Pussy Galore” or “Holly Goodhead” or “Vixen Oralsex."

Perjury About Abu Ghraib

Not that anyone is going to do anything about it—this is, after all, a Republican White House and Congress—but:

WASHINGTON – (KRT) – An Army general who has been criticized for his role in the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has contradicted his sworn congressional testimony about contacts with senior Pentagon officials.

Gen. Geoffrey Miller told the Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2004 that he had only filed a report on a recent visit to Abu Ghraib, and did not talk to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or his top aides about the fact-finding trip.

But in a recorded statement to attorneys three months later, Miller said he gave two of Rumsfeld’s most senior aides – then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary for Intelligence Steve Cambone – a briefing on his visit and his subsequent recommendations.

“Following our return in the fall, I gave an outbrief to both Dr. Wolfowitz and Secretary Cambone,” Miller said in the Aug. 21, 2004, statement to lawyers for guards accused of prisoner abuse, a transcript of which was obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

What TPM Says

Yup:

There’s a point that’s probably worth raising with our scofflaw Republican friends. All of their arguments now amount to excuses, like those of a small child caught stealing cookies: Joe Wilson’s a liar. Plame’s covert status wasn’t protected well by the CIA. It was just a short phone call. Rove really wanted to speak about welfare reform. Wilson said Cheney sent him to Africa. Plame sent Wilson to Africa. Rove leaked Plame’s identity in the interests of good journalism. Wilson went on too many TV shows. On and on and on.

The salient point is not that each of these claims is false. The point is that they’re irrelevant. It’s the mid-life version of ‘He hit me first!’ or ‘He called me a name!’ or other such foolery.

No presidential advisor should ever disclose the identity of a covert agent at the CIA. That doesn’t require elaboration.

If it’s done knowingly, it’s a felony. Joe Wilson could be the biggest hack in the world. Plame could have cooked the whole trip idea up to damage the president—as some GOP loopsters are now claiming—and it wouldn’t matter.

Rove (and, though we’re not supposed to say it yet, several of his colleagues) did something obviously wrong and reckless.  And they probably broke several laws by the time it was all done.

… And nothing was done amiss? If Rove et al. didn’t do anything wrong, why have they spent two years lying about what they did? No law was broken? Then what is Fitzgerald looking at? Why is a grand jury investigating Rove? A prosecutor like Fitzgerald, a Republican appointee, wouldn’t be throwing journalists in jail unless he thought he was investigating a serious crime.

What’s their answer to that? They have none.

Rove and Espionage

UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman is happy to point out that Rove may have met the statutory requirements for espionage:

But Rove’s conduct certainly meets the far less demanding elements of the Espionage Act: (1) possession of (2) information (3) relating to the national defense (4) which the person possessing it has reason to know could be used to damage the United States or aid a foreign nation and (5) wilful communication of that information to (6) a person not entitled to receive it.

Under the Espionage Act, the person doing the communicating need not actually know that revelation could be damaging; he needs only "reason to know." Classification is generally reason to know, and a security-clearance holder is responsible for knowing what information is classified.

Nor is it necessary that the discloser intend public distribution; if Rove told Cooper—which he did—and Cooper didn’t have a security clearance—which he didn’t—the crime would have been complete.

And to be a crime the disclosure need not be intended to damage the national security; it is only the act of communication itself that must be wilful.

It’s also a crime to "cause" such information to be communicated, for example by asking someone else to do so.

I haven’t checked him on this, but it is interesting to consider.

Plamegate Roundup

From The Left Coaster, a link-o-riffic round-up of the talking points lies of the waterboys and Rove apologists:

A number of rebuttals have been provided around the liberal blogosphere to the fakery from the GOP and their media arms about the Valerie Plame expose. Here’s a roundup.

TALKING POINT: Valerie Plame (Joseph Wilson’s wife) was not covert.
FACT: She was.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove did not leak Valerie Plame’s name.
FACT: Please. Her name was not the secret, her identity was (which is the issue here) and he leaked that. (also see here and here). And keep in mind that Novak has admitted that he was given the name by his source.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove was "not the leaker".
FACT: Rove’s attorney’s statement and Cooper’s email shows this claim is false. Rove did leak Plame’s identity. (Whether or not this is found to be prosecutable is another matter).
P.S. It’s not like this is the first time Rove has been in the spotlight for leaking secrets.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove has never lied about his role in this matter.
FACT: Yes, he has.

TALKING POINT: The White House has never lied or misled people about its role in this matter.
FACT: False.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove never knew that Valerie Plame was covert.
FACT: Really? Then why not state this on the record, something Rove’s attorney refuses to do.

TALKING POINT: Matt Cooper of Time magazine "burned" Rove.
FACT: Rove’s lawyer, who made the above fake claim, himself has been expounding again and again about how Rove gave complete waivers to all his journalist contacts to testify.

TALKING POINT: Bob Novak used the word "operative" by accident and his sources did not say she was one.
FACT: This is false, after-the-fact spin from Novak.

TALKING POINT: Rove "was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story" based on Joe Wilson’s "false premise" (that DCI Tenet or VP Cheney authorized his trip)
FACT: False. Moreover, Joe Wilson did not make such a claim before Rove exposed Valerie Plame’s identity.

TALKING POINT: The Senate Intelligence Committee said that Valerie Plame was the one who set up Joe Wilson’s trip.
FACT: False and false. (Also see here). (In fact, there is no consensus view that Valerie Plame even suggested that Wilson be sent on the trip.)

TALKING POINT: The White House/GOP cannot comment on questions regarding Rove or his role because of the ongoing investigation.
FACT: False. A completely bogus claim considering that they are talking behind the scenes or issuing false/misleading press releases (also see here and here) spreading fakery about Wilson. (Not to mntion, they felt free to comment self-servingly about the whole matter until the Rove story broke.)

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove is not a target of Fitzgerald’s investigation.
FACT: He is a subject of the investigation.

TALKING POINT: The Butler Report etc. vindicated Bush’s "uranium in Africa" State of the Union claim
FACT: False. The Butler Report was intended to exonerate Tony Blair and George Bush to prevent them from facing criminal charges. For obvious reasons, it excluded reams of information about Bush’s claim that showed that the White House lied through it’s teeth in defending Bush’s claim. (Indeed, as the link shows, people from the NSA, CIA etc. themselves stated that the SOTU claim did not have a sound backing.)

TALKING POINT: This is all just a partisan attack by Democrats (or Joseph Wilson)
FACT: False. The GOP leadership has a habit of minimizing numerous acts of treason from individuals inside the Bush administration over the last several years, by smearing truth-tellers. This is just the latest episode among many. In private, even Republicans admit that this kind of nonsense would have resulted in Congressional hearings "in a second", if the President had been a Democrat. Not to mention the hypocrisy of Rove himself.

TALKING POINT: Even if Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame’s identity, it’s no big deal and deserves a medal.
FACT: The GOP’s Ed Gillespie and George Bush disagreed (with an emphasis on ‘d’). In fact, if it’s so not a big deal, why all this intrigue about what the White House can or cannot comment on? Just tell the truth then rather than hiding behind reporters and smears of people who had nothing to do with the expose. (As for medals, it probably deserves a medal in prison, to define the "role model" for fellow prisoners at Gitmo – while eating rice pilaf in the process).

TALKING POINT: There was no legal crime committed with the Plame expose.
FACT: False and false. So much for offering "a stiff dose of truth" instead of "more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials".

TALKING POINT: Joseph Wilson supported John Kerry.
FACT: So? He also supported Republicans in the past (before they turned on him and his wife, treasonously) and was recognized by George Bush Sr. for his bravery against Saddam Hussein in Iraq – where he was ambassador before Gulf War I.

TALKING POINT: President Bush is committed to upholding the honor and dignity of his office.
FACT: For the umpteenth time, false, false and false.

128,000

That’s the number of Iraqi civilian deaths since the invasion liberation clusterfuck that started in March 2003.  That is one out of every 200 Iraqis.  And 55% percent of them are women and children.  So says an Iraqi humanitarian organization, according to the Washington Times.

Have a nice day.

Fox News Hates America

And Oliver Willis has the video to prove it:

FOX News anchor John Gibson just said onair that he thought Karl Rove deserves a medal if he outed Valerie Plame. Let me repeat: John Gibson, anchor at the FOX News Channel, says he believes that we ought to expose our covert government agents and harm national security… as long as it benefits Republicans.

These people are sick, and a danger to America.

Flypaper Schmypaper!

The flypaper theory, which was false and stupid before last week, is now (in light of the London attacks) demonstrably false and stupid.  But that doesn’t stop administration officials from making bone-headed and offensive arguments like this:

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Fran Townsend, the president’s homeland security adviser, said that the war in Iraq attracts terrorists “where we have a fighting military and a coalition that can take them on and not have the sort of civilian casualties that you saw in London."

[Source – emphasis added]

Really?!?  What about this:

BAGHDAD, July 13—A suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. military patrol Wednesday morning in east Baghdad, killing at least 26 people, including many children . . .

This is one of the almost-daily reports coming out of Iraq which, contrary to Ms. Townsend’s statements, DO in fact show “the sort of civilian casualties that you saw in London”.  But clearly, in the eyes of the Bush supporters, the Iraqi civilians (including children) don’t count.  I mean, it’s not like they are, you know, REAL people.

Billmon says more:

It seems there is no pile of dead Iraqi civilians high enough to slow down the propaganda bulldozer. Reason and logic aren’t having much of any effect, either. Via Kevin Drum, I came across this argument from Wretchard, the allegedly Harvard-educated wing nut at The Belmont Club:

It is widely accepted that thousands of Al Qaeda fighters, the cream of their rancid crop, is fighting to expel the American infidel from the Land Between the Rivers. A moment’s reflection will show that if they are there they cannot be elsewhere—in London, Paris, Rome or Boston—sowing bombs on buses and trains.

If that’s what they teach you Harvard, then all I can say is thank God for community colleges. I don’t know how you would even begin to de-program someone capable of believing, with fanatical certainty, two completely contradictory statements: i.e., that because there are terrorists in Iraq, they can’t be in London blowing up the subways—even though they’re in London, blowing up the subways.

Try to imagine the reasoning process needed to take the same set of facts we’re all working from, and wind up with that conclusion:

1.) Our flypaper strategy says it’s better to fight the terrorists in Iraq than have them attacking us in the streets of London.

2.) The terrorists are attacking us in the streets of London.

3.) Our flypaper strategy is working!

Why is it so hard for the conservative mind to grasp such simple realities? The terrorists are in Iraq, and they’re also in London. They’re blowing up American soldiers (and Iraqi civilians), assassinating diplomats and generally committing murder and mayhem in one place, and they’re “sowing bombs on buses and trains” in another place. They can actually do both! At the same time!

Moral Clarity vs Factual Clarity

Matt Yglesius says what I have been thinking for a long time.  The reason why the right is inept at fighting the war on terror is because they simply have no interest in accurately surmising the driving force behind our enemies.  Instead, the right just wants to paint the bad guys with broad brushes, and ignore the nuances of their motivations.

But I’ll let Matt explain:

FACTUAL CLARITY. Marshall Wittmann Christopher Hitchensinsights into the mind of Al-Qaeda:

We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are. The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won’t abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor’s liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a license to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

Grasping this, says the Moose, will give us the "moral clarity" we need, a phrase I thought nobody used unironically anymore. The question raised by the Hitchens thesis, as is usually raised by like nostrums, is "is any of this true?" Is there any reason to think this is accurate? What’s Hitchens’ source for this? Certainly in the weeks after September 11 when all political and social commentators were called upon to say things about terrorism, Al-Qaeda, and America whether or not they knew anything about it, this is what most people came up with. Since that time, some of us have started to wonder about the accuracy of all this and tried to learn the truth. University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape, for example, has studied a database of suicide bombings around the world over 20 years and concluded that the actual terrorist rank-and-file—as opposed to crackpot ideologists—is overwhelmingly motivated by foreign occupation of what they see as their homeland rather than the sort of grandiose dystopian visions Hitchens cites.

This is important stuff. Moral clarity, after all, is pretty easy to come by. Murdering people in the London Underground: bad. Kidnapping diplomats in Iraq: bad. Beheading people: bad. It’s all very bad and we’re all very morally clear about it. Factual clarity—actually understanding what’s going on and why—is pretty hard. But by the same token, it’s much more important. The habit of just making things up and repeating clichés has become pretty entrenched in this country and it hasn’t served us very well. Faced with bad people who want to do bad things, you need to actually understand who they are, what they’re doing, and what could stop them, not just rail away in ignorance. [emphasis Ken’s]

Matthew Yglesius

Sun Tsu understood the importance of getting into your opponents’ head if you wish to prevail in war.  The current administration supporters apparently do not, because facts impede the propaganda.  Or maybe the enemy is just smarter than them.

In The Mind Of A Killer/Molester/Kidnapper

Joseph Duncan allegedly kidnapped two children in mid-May—8 year old Dylan Groene and his 9 year old sister, Shasta.  He did this after murdering the kids’ older sibling, mother, and mother’s boyfriend.  And it appears that Duncan later killed Dylan.

Fortunately, Duncan was apprehended this past weekend, and Shasta was rescued.

Duncan left behind an eerie blog called “Blogging the Fifth Nail”, including this, one of his last entries before embarked on his murder/kidnapping spree, in which he discusses his “Happy Joe” persona:

To be more specific, I am scared, alone, and confused, and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery, society. My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die. As for the “Happy Joe” (Jet), well he was just a dream. The bogeyman was alive and happy long before Happy Joe.
I was in prison for over 18 years, since the age of 17. As an adult all I knew was the oppression of incarceration. All those years I dreamed of getting out…And getting even. Instead, I got out and I got even, but did not get caught. So, I got even again, and again did not get caught. So, I figured, well, I got even twice (actually more, but that’s here nor there), even if I’m the only one who knows, so now what? Well that was when the “Happy Joe” dream started. I met a bunch of really great people, the kind of people I didn’t even know existed, but here they were, bunches of them, my neighbors, my landlords, my professors, my coworkers, and they were all good people, who were willing to give me a chance despite my past. They were willing to accept me and be my friend, something that was new for me, having been betrayed by many “friends” and even my own family.
So, I tried to make it work. But the problem was those demons. The ones who “got even” for me.

The blog goes back to January 2004, and makes for interesting—if not uncomfortable—reading.  You can almost watch the derangement slowly sinking in.

Friday Random Ten

  1. "Sargeant Rock Is Going To Help Me" – XTC
  2. "Summer Breeze" – Seals & Crofts
  3. "Running Up That Hill" – Kate Bush
  4. "Taxi (Live)" – Harry Chapin
  5. "Grovel, Grovel" – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  6. "How Do You Do" -Mouth & Macneal
  7. "Angel" – Massive Attack
  8. "Gymnopedie No. 1" – Erik Satie (from the film "Diva")
  9. "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" – Paul Simon
  10. "Sheba" – Mike Oldfield