THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

 

 

 

Just a reminder... another day has gone by without anything being done about the 45 million of our fellow Americans who have no health insurance. Remember, boys and girls, when these people get sick, and they do get sick, not only do they lose everything, but you and I get to foot the bill.

Noah Greenberg


 

Diversion Time

 

It's diversion time, boys and girls. I wanted to make sure Madman got out before "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, Karl :The Traitor" Rove and Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney announced their choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created when Sandra Day O'Conner announced her retirement last week.

What better time to do it than now when Rove and Bush are on the hot seat for their "no comments" relating to Rove's outing an undercover CIA operative.

Now we get to see an unbelievably bad choice for the Supreme Court that President Bush will announce tonight (July 19, 2005). We know its going to be bad because these guys need controversy and they need to FAST. Whoever it is, I'm sure, will make Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia (Cheney's hunting buddy) look like card carrying members of the ACLU!

This, of course, is nothing new for these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party operatives. They will stoop to any level to "Change the subject."

And what of Bill Frist and Tom Delay? They have been pretty silent as of late. With the new nominee coming tonight, they will start sharing the spotlight again as well.

Kinda makes your skin crawl, doesn't it?

Speaking of DeLay, the "extortionist"...er... "exterminator" has only raised $800,000 of late for his 2006 congressional run. Meanwhile, his opponent, Richard Morrison has raised about $550,000 to date. It's time to exterminate the "extorsionator.".. er... "exterminator."

-Noah Greenberg


 

The Big Lie About Valerie Plame

by Larry Johnson, former CIA Agent and Classmate of Valerie Plame

 

"The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the long-term security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.

"For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak. Novak's column was not an isolated attack. It was in fact part of a coordinated, orchestrated smear that we now know includes at least Karl Rove.

"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. That means we had a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card."

"A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.

"The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.

"The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken". I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publicly identified a CIA NOC. They have set a precedent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate.

"They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson "lied". Although Joe did not lie let's follow that reasoning to the logical conclusion. Let's use the same standard for the Bush Administration. Here are the facts. Bush's lies have resulted in the deaths of almost 1800 American soldiers and the mutilation of 12,000. Joe Wilson has not killed anyone. He tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.

"But don't take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report. Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report:
According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe's visit in February 2002), "Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on." Joe's findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.

"The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job. She did not. She was not a division director, instead she was the equivalent of an Army major. Yes it is true she recommended her husband to do the job that needed to be done but the decision to send Joe Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.

"At the end of the day, Joe Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush Administration that pushed that lie and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage.

People such as Larry Johnson and Valerie Wilson dedicated their lives to protect our nation. They risk much for us while working undercover. For a political hatchet man such as Rove to maliciously reveal their identity is not only a disgrace but is indeed treason.

-forwarded by Robert Scardapane, from http://www.tpmcafe.com/section/specialguests


 

Eddie and His Dad

I've somehow gotten into an argument with my conservative father about the Rove/Plame affair. He's trying to claim that Plame was not undercover and that Rove & co. did nothing wrong. This sounds ridiculous - why would there be a grand jury investigation if she wasn't undercover?

See below for my response. If anyone can refute that notion more directly, I'm all ears.

I hate wasting time arguing with conservatives but I must be able to refute their arguments.

-Eddie Konczal


Dad,

While she was a desk officer, she was still undercover, it was NOT public knowledge that she was a CIA agent, and she was running a "front" company that was collecting information on weapons of mass destruction. The company's cover was blown by Novak's article. The leak of her name constituted a breach of national security. Isn't that the sort of thing Republicans usually get upset about? Weren't you upset when Torricelli did something similar in 1995?

Matthew Cooper was on Meet the Press yesterday and said that Rove was his first source:
Reporter: Rove was first source on CIA leak . Time magazine's Cooper says woman's name was not disclosed
WASHINGTON - White House political aide Karl Rove was the first person to tell a Time magazine reporter that the wife of a prominent critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy was a CIA officer, the reporter said in an article Sunday.
Time correspondent Matthew Cooper said he told a grand jury last week that Rove told him the woman worked at the "agency," or CIA, on weapons of mass destruction issues, and ended the call by saying, "I've already said too much."


For more, see:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8605680/


And obviously, your latest source (
http://powerlineblog.com/) is a conservative blog, as evidenced by praise from well-known right-wingers like Michelle Malkin and the National Review. Obviously, I take your source with a grain - make that a pound - of salt. I have yet to see a non-partisan source claim that Plame was not undercover. Every single mainstream news source is reporting that Plame's cover was blown by Robert Novak's story. I maintain that you should check your facts against some unbiased sources.

I'm more than willing to wait until the investigation ends to resume this discussion - but once again, there wouldn't even be an grand jury investigation unless Plame's name was wrongly leaked.

-Eddie


Ed,

The law states that you can't out a CIA undercover agent for 5 years from the time they stopped being undercover. Plame stopped being undercover in 1997, even Wilson said this in his book and mentioned it on his website.

Also see this -- http://powerlineblog.com/

Let's wait until the investigation ends.


Dad,

Valerie Plame was an undercover agent until she was outed by Robert Novak's story. Time to check your facts!

http://www.jimgilliam.com/2004/01/vanity_fairs_profile_on_joseph_wilson_and_valerie_plame.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame
http://www.sptimes.com/2003/08/10/Perspective/Blown_cover.shtml

If whoever leaked her name did "nothing wrong," why is the leak being investigated by a grand jury? Just for fun?

-Eddie



A Good Letter


So the Bush White House is in hot water over Karl Rove leaking the name of a CIA agent and the lies that have covered it up. I hope that there is a full investigation and that Karl and anyone else involved get what is coming to them. But this case only shows once again how the corporate media focus on the little lies and the petty crimes, totally ignoring the big lies and the great crimes.

Let us not forget that the leak of this CIA agent's name was just a bit of revenge against her husband for refusing to support Bush in his lie that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger. And that this was but one small lie in the big lie that Iraq was continuing to produce chemical and nuclear weapons, had ties with terrorists and therefore posed an imminent threat to the United States.

This was not a war of necessity, but a war of choice. And the almost 2,000 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths are the great crime.

During our war of independence that we celebrated so recently, Thomas Paine leveled the following charge against the King of England: "When we take a survey of mankind we cannot help cursing the wretch, who, to the unavoidable fortunes of nature shall willfully add the calamities of war."

"One would think there were evils enough in the world without studying to increase them, and that life is sufficiently short without shaking the sand that measures it. To see the bounties of heaven destroyed, the beautiful face of nature laid waste, and the choicest works of creation and art tumbled into ruin, would fetch a curse from the soul of piety itself...If their is a sin superior to every other it is that of willful and offensive war. Most other sins are circumscribed within narrow limits, that is, the power of one man cannot give them a very general extension, and many kinds of sin have only a mental existence from which no infection arises; but he who is the author of a war, lets loose the whole contagion of Hell, and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death." March 21, 1778).

The charge stands as well, or better, against our current president. But in fact his crime is worse, for as a president of a democracy, he is held to a higher standard. A king acts of his own authority, but a president acts on the authority of his citizens. So when Bush lied to his citizens to justify this war, he rebuked the bounds of his office and assumed the powers of a monarch, powers we took back from our leaders those 229 years ago.

So you can see how I think it something of a cruel farce when the sober voices of the press hope that Bush will do the right thing and live up to his word in this case of the petty crime and the small lie of Mr. Rove. It is perhaps too late to undo the evil caused in Iraq, but at least we can at least demand that our government cease and desist in its perpetuation. Then finally, we the people must tell Mr. Bush that we do not take kindly to presidents who aspire to be kings, and we must hold him to account for his big lie and his great crime.

Eric Romsted, from the Home News Tribune Online 07/18/05



In response to Thomas Friedman and the "fatwa" issue, Robert Scardapane writes:

Thomas Friedman wrong about something? Nah, can't be true, just ask him. Personally, I think Thomas Friedman is incredibly overrated. I have not read anything from him that provided insight on the Middle East or globalization - topics he frequently writes about. Friedman flip-flopped on Iraq depending on how it was going and routinely echoed Chamber of Commerce propaganda on globalization. Some politicians, Democrats and Republicans, consider him to be a futurist yet he provides no vision for the future. I find the fawning over Friedman to be "disturbing".



Quotes

Sound familiar?

"If anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration."

-Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan [Press Briefing, 29 September 2003]

"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to [political espionage and dirty tricks], they would not be working here."

-Nixon White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler [Press Briefing, 18 October 1972]

Scary, isn't it?

-Eddie Konczal



Pelosi: 'Presidential Advisers Are Not Given Access to Classified Information to Play Politics With the Lives of Intelligence Sources or Our National Security'

"The President has now lowered the ethical standard for White House employees, 'if indicted, you can serve.' The
Republicans in the House tried that disgraceful standard for their leaders earlier this year, but were forced to change when the public demanded a higher standard.

"The American people will again demand a higher standard for those who work in the White House. Presidential advisers are not given access to classified information to play politics with the lives of intelligence sources or our national security.

"Disclosing a covert officer's identity was a serious abuse of power. The Bush White House's arrogant stonewalling and ever-changing statements are unacceptable. Regardless of the results of the ongoing criminal investigation, if Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, and any other White House official confirmed the identity of a CIA clandestine service officer, they should be fired."


-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane


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-Noah Greenberg