Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gouls, Goblins and Other Bushies

Countdown to CIA Leak case...7 Days. Team Fitz is working hard and Prissy looks forward to the announcement being made.

Hope yours was a Happy Halloween, Dearest Readers, Fitz and other justice bloggers and seekers.

Prissy didn't have time to post yesterday-busy being a good witch;-)

Ready to suit-up, special prosecutor?

Hot Links

Yahoo, hat tip to Fitz and thanks for some of the Halloween pics also Attorneys: No backstory in CIA leak case

WASHINGTON - Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby agree on something: keeping Libby's perjury trial in the CIA leak case focused solely on his actions. The two are separately asking a federal judge not to allow three years of politically charged backstory in the case to seep into Libby's trial starting in January.

In new court documents, Fitzgerald argued that he shouldn't have to explain why Libby was charged while others, including the source of the leak, escaped prosecution. Libby said jurors shouldn't hear about New York Times reporter Judith Miller's 85-day jail term for refusing to discuss her conversations with him.

The Economist Watching from afar

Some close allies of Mr Bush are watching keenly to see if he will be hampered in his foreign goals. The new government of Shinzo Abe in Japan is one of them. Japan is rather proud of deploying 600-odd peacekeepers in southern Iraq who all came back safely at the end of July. Now Mr Abe seems keen on a more assertive role for Japan internationally, in alliance with America. In particular he wants to put greater pressure on North Korea to deter it from conducting more nuclear tests. On October 31st North Korea said it was willing to restart six-party talks on its nuclear ambitions.

Other friends will monitor the electoral impact of the long war in Iraq. In Britain the ruling Labour Party will lose Tony Blair before the next election, but disenchantment with his party seems to be growing as support for the occupation of Iraq slumps. Another ally, Denmark’s right-of-centre government led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is also tainted by its support for the war; his party has now fallen behind the opposition in polls. Australia’s John Howard faces re-election next year; just 22% of Australians think the war was worth the effort. A majority now want out of Iraq.

Of course some may simply relish seeing George Bush’s Republicans suffer at the polls. In France there is little public interest in America’s election, but there is wide dislike of Mr Bush’s foreign policy, especially over Iraq. A 2006 transatlantic survey by the German Marshall Fund showed only 12% of the French approved of his handling of international affairs, while 85% disapproved. President Jacques Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq. He, and voters at large, would be happy to see Mr Bush’s party punished now.

Well, President Chirac, you'll have to stand behind the line of Americans...

RCFP Libby seeks to exclude evidence of Miller's jailing

It was not until September 2005, almost three months after Miller was jailed, that Libby learned that Miller wanted a personal assurances "in the form of a letter and phone call" that the waiver had not been coerced, Libby's attorneys stated.

Libby's lawyers argue that since the primary focus is on Libby's state of mind as to whether or not he intentionally lied, "decisions made by certain reporters and their attorneys to challenge grand jury subpoenas and contempt orders are not [relevant] to Mr. Libby's state of mind."

Libby's lawyers also seek to prevent the government from providing evidence that information from the National Intelligence Estimate was illegally disclosed, or that Valerie Plame's status with CIA was classified or covert and that disclosing Plame's status caused damage.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald petitioned the court on Monday to exclude evidence or arguments regarding the government's decision not to file other charges against Libby or not to charge other people connected with the case.

Crooks and Liars

Spotted on 10/19, by an eagle-eyed Wonkette reader: The Mid-Atlantic Shredding Services truck making its way up to the Cheney compound at the Naval Observatory.

Fun fact: Mid-Atlantic Shredding Services has been contracted by the Secret Service for our Executive Branch’s record-not-keeping needs.

Shredding NSA files on foes, Dick?

China View Global study says (happily) married people have more sex

Researchers also found that married people have the most sex, reporting engaging in sexual activity in the previous four weeks more frequently than single people. There has also been a gradual shift to delay marriage, even in developing countries.

While that has meant a predictable rise in the rates of premarital sex, experts say this doesn't necessarily translate into more dangerous behavior.

In some instances, married women may be at more risk than single women.

They must be married to republicans.

PK blog unblock Is your blog blocked in India, Pakistan, Iran or China?

MSNCB Army Wife Distrusts Timetables The Making of a Dissident

One reason for the breakdown of trust is that both the soldiers and families of the 172nd know the Pentagon has overestimated the readiness of Iraqi forces in the past. During a meeting between Rumsfeld and family members at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks last August, one wife complained that her husband, the driver of a heavily armored Stryker, told her he had to get out of his vehicle regularly to sweep houses for weapons. This is one of the most dangerous urban warfare jobs, and Iraqi troops are supposed to perform it while Americans back them up.

In a videotape of the meeting obtained by NEWSWEEK, Rumsfeld told the woman she was "mistaken," that Iraqi forces perform more than 90 percent of the sweeps while the Americans stand guard in their vehicles. He was promptly shouted down by several angry wives who cried "No, no, no." Rich Moniak says, "That really made people angry. We knew that was nonsense." One 4-23 wife, Jennifer Davis, a leader of the dissident family members, says she's heard stories about poor performance by the Iraqi security forces for months now. "Boots on the ground know a whole lot more than shoes on marble," she says.

Jennifer, Prissy is so proud of you-again! Jennifer is a member of Military Families Speak Out Alaska. We met this summer in Washington, D.C.

USA Today Without housing's foundation, factory growth slows, construction spending dips

Well, well Dearest Readers, McPaper made the connection.

TPM Muckraker HarrisWatch: The Divine Secrets of One Seriously Ya-Ya Sister

Do you remember her promises to spend her $10 million inheritance getting elected? Then she said, no, she's going to sell all of her assets and spend that on her campaign as well. Then she said she wasn't spending her inheritance, just her assets, which totaled $10 million so what's the difference? Now, she tells the Post that the $3 million she's put in is all she's going to spend. "[That's] everything that I have liquid," she told the paper. (Subtext: I'm frugal -- maybe give me a seat on Appropriations?)

But the greatest news of all is, Pink Sugar's writing a book! It will detail the multitudinous indignities visited upon her during her Senate run -- by fellow GOPers, the press, and possibly the Starbucks barista who didn't make her coffee hot enough. "It's going to be great," she promises. (Subtext: Give me C-SPAN, or I'm taking Oprah hostage.)

New Ad: Insanity Lamont vs. Lieberman

Editor and Publisher Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques

November 01, 2006) -- The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. On Tuesday, we explored the case of Kenny Stanton, Jr., murdered last month by our allies, the Iraqi police, though the military didn’t make that known at the time. Now we learn that one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners.

She was Army specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Az., native serving with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal-Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a “non-hostile weapons discharge.”

She was only the third American woman killed in Iraq so her death drew wide press attention. A “non-hostile weapons discharge” leading to death is not unusual in Iraq, often quite accidental, so this one apparently raised few eyebrows. The Arizona Republic, three days after her death, reported that Army officials “said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian.”

Editor and Publisher, like other main stream media, down plays the shameful deaths of sixty-one young women killed since Spec. Peterson.

Greg Mitchell, editor was notified, but claims that "he believed the article made it clear this young woman was the third female soldier killed in 2003." Again, what about the others?

Chicago Tribune Iraq stands up against U.S.

BAGHDAD -- U.S. soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government whose assertion of sovereignty had Shiites celebrating in the streets.

The order by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to lift the week-old blockade of Sadr City was one of the most overt expressions of self-determination by Iraqi leaders in the 3 1/2-year U.S. occupation. It came after two weeks of increasingly pointed exchanges between Iraqi and U.S. officials, as well as a video conference between al-Maliki and President Bush on Saturday.

Al-Maliki's decision exposed the growing divergence between the U.S. and Iraqi administrations on some of the most crucial issues facing the country, especially the burgeoning strength of Shiite militias. The militias are allied with the Shiite religious parties that form al-Maliki's coalition government and they are accused by Sunni Arab Iraqis and by Americans of kidnapping and killing Sunnis in the soaring violence between Iraq's Shiite majority and Sunni minority.

India Times Thousands of tribesmen protest madrassa strike

KHAR: More than 4,000 tribesmen today protested in a Pakistani tribal area where around 80 people died in an air strike on a suspected Al Qaida-linked training camp at a religious school.

The tribesmen recited religious poetry and chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Bush" as they rallied in Khar, the main town of Bajaur tribal district bordering Afghanistan where Monday's pre-dawn raid took place.

Pakistan had used intelligence provided by US-led forces in Afghanistan in a raid that killed 80 suspected militants, Pakistan's army spokesman. Major General Shaukat Sultan declined to say what 'percentage' of help was provided by US-led coalition forces.

Salon Confessions of an Ohio poll worker I went through the training -- twice -- and I'm still confused. I hope I can figure it all out by Election Day because I'm a precinct judge.

I had been thinking about working at a polling place on Election Day ever since 2004, when Ohio was the crucial presidential battleground state -- and the red-hot center of controversy, with voters either turned away from the polls, or exercising their rights on machines that recorded their votes incorrectly, or not being able to get to the few machines at all.

Would this year be 2004 all over again, I wondered?

Then I saw a notice in our church bulletin: "Poll Workers Wanted." It said you could help your community and make money, too. It listed the pay: $95 plus training fees as a regular judge, $105 plus training fees as a presiding judge, or $115 plus training fees as a red bag judge. Figuring I could take a paid vacation day from my job while being paid to work a polling place -- and seeing the bill from my husband's student loans -- I decided I could use an extra hundred bucks, in addition to witnessing our democracy at work. Or not.

Great, just great. Another good argument to vote on paper ballots.

CBC 'I really thought he would come home,' says slain soldier's mother

The Canadian killed Monday in an attack south of Baghdad was a dedicated soldier and well aware of the risks of his job with the U.S. Army in Iraq, his mother said Wednesday.

Perhaps some mothers do not understand how random war is...

Mercury News Iran announces military maneuvers

Iran unexpectedly announced Wednesday that it would be holding military maneuvers in the Gulf this week, only days after U.S.-led navies held exercises in the same waterway.

Iranian state television quoted the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, as saying the 10-day maneuvers, named "Great Prophet," would take place in the Gulf and the Sea of Oman, beginning Thursday.

"The war games are aimed at demonstrating the deterrent power of the guards against possible threats," Safavi said.

Safavi stressed the drills were not a threat to neighboring countries, saying: "Our neighbors are our friends. The guards just want to prove that they ready to resist in any threatening situation."

Swiss Info Germany probes photo of army car with Nazi-era emblem

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany launched an inquiry on Wednesday into a report that soldiers used a car with a Nazi-era emblem, adding to fears over the conduct of its troops after a scandal over desecrating human skulls in Afghanistan.

In an article to published on Thursday, weekly magazine Stern shows a photo of an off-road vehicle used by German soldiers with a palm tree and iron cross on it.

The vehicle with the palm tree emblem was used by members of the German "Bundeswehr" army's elite KSK unit, Stern said.

During World War Two, Nazi Germany's famed "Afrika Korps" under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel used a similar emblem, albeit with a swastika instead of an iron cross, the traditional symbol of the German military.

Looking for Mike Malloy? Betty Buckaneer has been. Mike is her man. Nova Radio

Alternative Press Review Bush’s Martial Law Act of 2007

According to a press release from the office of Senator Patrick Leahy, however, the bill takes a “sizable step toward weakening states’ authority over their [National] Guard units, according to the congressional leaders who are leading the fight for Guard empowerment.” Leahey and senator Kit Bond, a Montana Republican, “said the conference agreement is expected to include a provision making it easier for the President to declare martial law, stripping state governors of part of their authority over state National Guard units in domestic emergencies. The provision is opposed by the National Governors Association and by key leaders in both the House and Senate.”

Frank Morales, an Episcopal priest and activist in New York City, writes that the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 actually encourages the establishment of martial law “by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bush demanded Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco yield to him the command over any National Guard troops sent to the area. “Bush wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would have allowed him to take control over all armed forces deployed, including Louisiana’s National Guard troops. But under the terms of the act, he had to get the assent of the legislature or the governor of the state. The legislature was not in session and Blanco refused,” writes Deirdre Griswold. As of September 11, 2005, Griswold notes, citing the Los Angeles Times, “Bush has not yet invoked the Insurrection Act, but his administration is still discussing how to make it easier for the federal government to override local authorities in the future.”

Quotes of the Day

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.-- Henry Kissinger

Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.--Eleanor Roosevelt

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.--Rudyard Kipling

Love makes mutes of those who habitually speak most fluently.--Madeleine de Scudery

Tell me who admires and loves you,And I will tell you who you are.--Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve