IT'S A NIGHT OF MYTHS AND LEGENDS at Lefty's Lounge tonight. If you could choose, what mythic or legendary figure would you be? Play with it. Maybe somebody else will agree you are a Roman god. Thanks to the Green Knight for the pic of Proserpine also known as Persephone.
AS ALWAYS, drop a link and have a cyber drink. Here are some links in the first round. . . . Mannion has a FRIEND . . . . the Puppet does TOO. . . . I have a FRIEND . . . Our friend has a lot of pride. We each take pride in being her friend. . . . TO SURROGATE WITH LOVE . . . someone has a CRUSH . . . the GOP . . .
Stick around a bit, but don't get stuck up about it. The Heretik and Betty Blogger salute the legends in you all.
MAYBE JUDY MARTYR MILLER’S STORY IS JUST ALL BURNING EGO and some self love gone awry, a perception of being a player. [story] But the player has now been played. When smoke gets in your eyes, Judy, we are left with smoke and mirrors.
Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources' secrets. Your job, in fact, is to expose them. And if a very senior government official, after telling you something in confidence, then tells you that you don't have to keep it secret anymore, the proper response is "Hooray, now I can tell the world" -- not "Sorry, that's not good enough for me, I need that in triplicate." And if you're going to go to jail invoking important, time-honored journalistic principles, make sure those principles really apply.[Froomkin/Wapo]
THE STORY WILL FLASH BRIGHT before it goes out. How many villains will get caught for smoking out an agent when they act like they were just smoking in the boys room remains to be seen. The joke may be the whole White House is going to burn down.
One person who recently had contact with Fitzgerald and his attorneys says that they seem confident about whatever it is they are pursuing. The Miller matter was something of a sideshow that at times drew more attention than the central issue.[David Corn via Digby]
SO MUCH SMOKE AND SO MANY MIRRORS We may see light from the fire yet. As the former fumigator Tom Delay knows, boys who play with so many matches and think they can smoke wherever they want because they are the federal government sometimes end up flaming out. Perhaps in the case of Plame as in Delay, justice previously denied to Plame will hold a conspiracy charge for more than a few boys smoking in the White House bathroom.
RECOMMENDED READING DOING THE WORK OF THE DEVIL but still speaking as an angel. Judith Miller spoke to the press after her grand jury testimony and in an interview still held up the veil of the righteous to shield her from the harsh truth of the sun
Q. Can you describe your role in this case since you didn't file a story but did go to jail? How would you characterize your role in this whole investigation? MILLER. I was a journalist doing my job, protecting my source until my source freed me to perform my civic duty to testify. Q. Scooter Libby's lawyer - and your source's lawyer - I suspect you're not going to tell us if that's correct. MILLER. I am not going to tell you if that's correct. [NY Times Transcript]
THE HERETIK NOW KNOWSCHUTZPAH knows no depths this woman will not burrow to burnish her image, if only to admire herself in the mirror she cannot pull herself away from. But someone will burn soon enough. Judy Martyr Miller now heads home to hug her dog in humble Sag Harbor, home to more rock stars than reporters. Maybe someone will rock Judy's world soon. One I respect says Judy Martyr is not a reporter but a POLITICAL OPERATIVE. The Heretik has said that BEFORE.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: [Firedog Lake] Digby also talks about a conventional wisdom building that no
indictments will be handed down. I've been working on my Fitzgerald
piece for Arianna and having looked over this guy's career with a
microscope I have to say that it would be entirely out of character for him to spend two years on an investigation with no indictments to show for it.
Judy Miller didn't tell him anything he didn't already know,
presumably; he was looking for her testimony to shore up a case he
already had. I'm not buying it.
READING THE RIGHT SIDE, THE HERETIK SEES RELISH that this story will burn out and all accuser will be left with ashes on their faces. The Heretik isn't buying that either.
PERHAPS THE HERETIK SPOKE TO SOON.The most RIGHTEOUS of rockets shoots off and fears:
Is Scooter Libby being set up? Let's hope not.
SOME KNOW THIS PLAME AFFAIR IS JUST THE LEFT'S LOVES LABORS LOST *sigh* What a waste of time.
. . . . Power Line has this right. The agreement between her and
Fitzgerald sets this up perfectly. She agreed only to testify to narrow
questioning, presumably about only Libby. That allows her to get out of
the grand jury without talking about whoever else knew about Plame or
whatever Fitzgerald thinks she has. Fitzgerald went along with it,
which seems doubly odd to me, and perhaps indicates that he doesn't
have much of a case after all. He may want to wrap this up and head
back to his Chicago investigation. [Captain's Quarters]
THE HERETIK ALSO HOPES this investigation is not a waste of time, all smoke and no fire. The Heretik also hopes Libby is not being set up. But if Libby did do it, the Heretik hope Libby gets sent up. Sent up the river. The Heretik has no further comment on this. But if he did it would be Oy.
JUDY MARTYR MILLER IS SINGING HER SAD SWEET AND SOUR SONG [story] Delay will not find justice denied. [story] Frist is about to get frosted. The grand plan of The Boy Genius is trashed and starting to go rank. [story] The only thing that looks more sunken than Bush's eyes in his sockets is his plummeting poll numbers. If you were Karl Rove, what would you be doing today?
AT THE KEYBOARD you may not yet know it, silly Amerikans, but you have something more ominous than a loved one coming in to see you with your hand on the mouse as you um enjoy yourself too much with what is on the screen. I, Franz K, come here to tell you self obsessed Amerikans you have more to worry about than the cockroaches who would tap in to every stroke you make on the keyboard with spyware and the like. [story] [hat tip: Scrutiny Hooligans]
NSA Patent Can Locate Internet Users Internet users thinking they can hide anonymously may soon get an awakening. On Sept. 20 the United States awarded patent 6,974,978. The patent was
filed on December 29, 2000 by Stephen Mark Huffman and Michael Henry
Reifer, with the assignee being United States of America as represented
by the director of the National Security Agency.
THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, they know what you are doing. Have nice day.
QUESTION: What is the most intrusive thing that has come your way this week?
THE JAIL DOOR OPENED and “principled” Judith Miller will soon open her mouth about the principals. [story] The question remains why now and not earlier about who and when and where and how. A “reporter” would say there is a story here, but Miller should not be mistaken for a reporter. What amendments she made to her conscience were made long ago. Whether she goes from taking the First Amendment to a delicate dance around the Fifth, we will soon know. But watch the myth of the martyr reporter burn now with what's at stake. Oy.
RECOMMENDED READING FLIP CITY [Firedog Lake] According to NBC news, Judy will testify tomorrow. I think the whole "Libby gave her a release" story is just so much bs, a fig leaf for her to hide behind, and I doubt whatever "deal" she cut at this point allows her to do much more than keep her ass out of jail. And if her testimony didn't incriminate anyone, she would have given it long ago -- any examination of her behavior to date show her to be a complete stranger to commonly held notions of "principle."
People keep asking me "how high up is this going to go?" And my answer is, as high as Fitzgerald can get anyone to talk. I can only guess, but the thing to keep in mind about this crowd is if you are counting on copious amounts of character to keep someone from ratting out the whole bunch, it's going to be flip city.
WALKING AND TALKING [Just One Minute] Let me claim an "I told you so" point here - I had argued (point 3) that blaming Libby for the inability to work out a waiver deal may have been a bit unfair - negotiating these waivers can't be easy, and the specter of a witness conspiracy charge hangs over them.
Now, how broad will Ms. Miller's testimony be?
THE HERETIK SUSPECTS why this has all taken so long. Judith Miller most likely plays a variety of roles in this sad saga. What happens when "reporters" believe themselves players in the halls of power is that the public ends up getting played. Judith Miller has a rather ignominious history as a conduit of "information" the veracity of which recently has been dubious at best. The joke that this woman stood for any journalistic principals in covering "the news" in the past is only now exceeded by the hilarity of righteously covering her vulnerable butt.
The truth in this matter was going to come out sooner or later. In this case it is later, because delay is always the last tactic of the losing side. Who exactly is revealed on that losing side we will now find out.
ON A FREE WAIVER AND THE NATURE OF COERCION [Digby] JUDITH ESCARIOT Murray Waasreports on why Miller's testimony is important to Fitzgerald . . . .Just in case Judy didn't know what Libby would like her to say to the Grand Jury, the Washington Post helpfully printed it up for her . . . Miller is a made man. Why would Fitzgerald think she would tell the
truth when it's clear that Libby wants her to testify on his behalf?
Because somebody else has already spilled the beans. How elsedid Judy come to Fitzgerald's attention in the first place? . . . . Who knows how many people could have testified before the grand jury about Miller and Libby? . . . .
Via Anonymous Liberal I see that there is some dispute emerging about this waiver business.
that Miller “has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver” is
laughable… and, indeed, has already been laughed at by 1) my
increasingly frustrated sources within the Times 2) a chorus of voices in the blogosphere (see here, here, and here) and 3) (and much more significantly) Joseph Tate, Scooter Libby’s lawyer, who told the Washington Post
yesterday that he informed Miller’s attorney, Floyd Abrams, a year ago
that Libby’s waiver “was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify”.
defies credulity for Miller, Sulzberger, and Bill Keller to keep
insisting that Libby’s earlier waiver was coerced when Libby says that
THE HERETIK FINDS it impressive that in a moment of her own coercion, Judith Miller held out for a waiver from Scooter Libby that was not coerced by condition of employment. A more "personal" waiver was required by the "reporter." This reminds The Heretik again how mixed up the personal and professional are in Washington. Miller and her lawyers nobly have agreed to squeal about one source, presumably Libby, but not about others. Too bad on that. What else could she tell? And what more could Fitzgerald be investigating?
THE "BIG SCOOP?"SO BELIEVES [Liberal Avenger] So we now have Libby's version of the story (most likely provided to the Post
by his own attorney), and it appears to clear Miller of any wrongdoing.
She apparently didn't tell Libby anything about Plame; she was merely
the recipient of the leak.
Personally, I feel vindicated. I noted on numerous occasions (e.g.here, here, here)
that the 'Judy Miller did it' theory didn't make sense. If Libby had
learned about Plame from Miller, why wouldn't a "source close to Libby"
have leaked that information a long time ago? The lack of
finger-pointing by the administration spoke volumes.
THE HERETIK SEES the twists in this sordid tale finally twisting back upon themselves. Libby's talking to Milller has been known for some time and those facts and times of her conversations with Fitzgerald were explicitly covered in Miller's original subpoena. What The Heretik finds both new and old is that the info Liberal Avenger finds so sweet and vindicating for Miller is provided by yet another anonymous source. Anonymous sources are at the rotten heart of this story.
WHETHER LIBBY OR MILLER ROTS IN JAIL depends on how this story plays out. Is the anonymous source or Libby offering instruction to Miller on her testimony, as Digby might suggest? Is Libby himself this new anonymous source? Wouldn't that be sweet (and sour at the same time)? Is Libby falling on his sword, so the investigation stops with him? Will some Tom Hagan type Godfather figure visit the lost Libby in jail and tell him to do the right thing and his family will be protected?
AND WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE FAMOUS types including Bolton who visited Miller in her time of trouble now lessened (or not)? The alternate scenario still exists that Miller is a source of info on Plame. If not as the original source of this infection on the body politic, then as a spreader of the disease. One reason Libby and others have not um fingered Miller as a source or challenged her as a principled princess is that she knows where all the bodies are buried. Judith Miller probably helped bury half of them. And she made dead bodies walk like they were alive. (See Chalabi).
WILL THIS STORY NOW WIND around again to its beginning? A battle for principle or principals. What other amendments to her conscience will Judith Miller make? Which one will she toss out today? First or Fifth? And just who will sigh most loudly with relief?
LET'S GET DOWN It's Krazy Karaoke Night at Lefty's Lounge. Betty Blogger's giving out bonus points for rong renditions of Prince songs. Dig if you will the picture of Condi and I in a kiss. Neo Cons strike curious poses . . . . Oy. Drop a link and have a drink.
From the land of linkin comes news . . . CORRUPTION. . .[hat tip:NYBri] .the ELVIS impersonators . . . haiku DELAY . . . Alice in something other than WONDERLAND . . . this goes out to THE ONE I don't love . . .More to follow . . . .
HISTORY FORGETS COWARDS But don’t forget the twenty two Democrats who voted to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States just yet. [story] If the confirmation vote was a foregone conclusion, what point is served in Democrats joining in the confirming vote? Some traditional collegiality in this most partisan age? Call me when the Republicans call back with anything approaching such abject acquiescence.
WE WILL BE TOLD Democrats need to appear “reasonable.” Democrats should think of appearing first. The vapid evaporate in the political heat. We will be told we must think of tomorrow, the battle that yet remains. Running from the field does not even qualify as a strategic retreat.
THE POLITICS OF TODAY has no tomorrow. Principle arrives at this hour. Those who fail to act on principle today deserve no tomorrow. The Democrats who voted for Roberts lost more on this than they realize even as they voted for “the winner.”
LET OTHER VOICES NOW BE HEARD [Avedon Carol] . . . . the Senate confirmed John Roberts
with only 22 Dems voting against him (and no Republicans, of course).
Naturally, Arlen Specter is bopping around talking about all the
delicious bipartisan support there is for this nominee. Dems voting yes:
Baucus, Mont., Bingaman, N.M., Byrd, W.Va., Carper, Del., Conrad, N.D.,
Dodd, Conn., Dorgan, N.D., Feingold, Wis., Johnson, S.D., Kohl, Wis.,
Landrieu, La., Leahy, Vt., Levin, Mich., Lieberman, Conn., Lincoln,
Ark., Murray, Wash., Nelson, Fla., Nelson, Neb., Pryor, Ark.,
Rockefeller, W.Va., Salazar, Colo., Wyden, Ore. What a bunch of suckers.
THE HERETIK SAYS it sucks to lose. If these "reasonable" Democrats think something in this capitulation has been one, someone state what it is other than a chance to capitulate again in the future. It is hard to believe that the high point of the current Senate session was the possible filibuster of Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen, which didn't happen.
AND THE NEW CHIEF JUSTICE IS . . . .[Pseudo-Adriennne/Alas a Blog] Roberts.Unfortunately
but as *expected*, the Senate just confirmed Roberts in a 78-22 vote.
Now let's wait for the shit-storm over Bush's pick for O'Connor's
seat–that's the biggie to be most concerned with now. No surprises
really. And perhaps it's time for NARAL Pro-Choice America to withdraw its endorsement of the alleged pro-choice Republican Chafee who voted yea?
THE HERETIK BELIEVES all the politicians posing as principled statesmen (and stateswomen) will be held to account for their votes today. Some believe not voting for Roberts brands you as a crazed far left creature. What The Heretik sees in this is what crazy times we have come to. Defense of what up to now has been a core constituency of pro-choice voters concerns is now a blemish.
[Joe Gandelman/The Moderate Voice] So Democrats were split enough that the entire party can't be labeled as having opposed Roberts.
But if you read this one thing stands out: the vote will be most
troublesome to Hillary Clinton, who has been burnishing her credentials
as a centrist.
THE HERETIK AGREES All hail the ruling eunuchs. Not opposing is a great victory only for those who hope to lose again.
SO WHAT'S NEXT? A TIPOFF Harriet Miers will be nominated for Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the court came when Bush spoke at Robert's swearing in. [White House]
I appreciate the Vice President being here, Attorney General Al Gonzales.
I thank Harriet Miers, Counsel to the President, and members of my
administration who worked on the nomination and confirmation. I
particularly want to thank former Senator Fred Thompson for his leadership.
I thank the members of my Cabinet who are here.
ALL OF US HAVE FELT IT AT SOME POINT Outrage fatigue: the sense that you just can’t take it anymore. You don’t want to look at a screen, no computer nor monitor holds any hope. If you still hold a newspaper, you feel slimed. The Heretik feels the fatigue usually about Thursday around four PM.
THE SHORT STORY OF OUTRAGE FATIGUE can be summed up as follows: 9/11 changed everything. God bless America. In between the 9/11 and the God, George Bush has jammed more horror than you could find in one of those Halloween fright night houses.
SCARE THE McKRAP OUT OF PEOPLE Attack the patriotism of those with courage to speak out early. Total control of information and total incompetence. Dark vision and blind hubris. No questions before, no answers after. Moral high ground, amoral sewer. THE SLOPPING TIDE HAS REACHED ITS CREST The pirates’ boats are beached, their crimes and booty all evident in the light. The villagers come now down upon the sand to catch who must be caught. So it begins. A continued sense of outrage will get us through these days and a sense of humor will see us through our nights.
QUESTION: When do you feel the fatigue and how do you get past it? Where do you find most outrage today and where do you see hope?
MORE ON OUTRAGE AND HOPE TWO from Shakespeare’s Sister [one] [two]
MORE TO FOLLOW Feel free to leave a link on your particular outrage in comments or e mail The Heretik [here]
THE ENEMY IS US. Or them. Is there an "us" anymore? An e mail from MEDIA GIRLWell, I have some more outrageous statements by Kos.
Booman, you've got your site now. Focus on that. Turn it into a haven for the non-reality-based community if you'd like, or try to keep it a bastion of rationality and reason.
What you consider "infighting" I consider fighting for the soul of the party. There are too many entrenched interests, too many factions, too many people who don't understand the notion of building a movement. It's not "let's add the women, then some blacks and Latinos, and the environmentalists, sprinkle some trial lawyers and cap it off with the gays". That's not building a movement. That's herding cats. And it hasn't worked.
That's what this exercise is about. But that is impossible as long as the single-issue groups demand to be at the top and forefront of any effort to brand the Democratic Party. Hence, they are a roadblock that must be pushed aside.
THE HERETIK ASKS just WHO ARE "WE"? Oy. Can "WE" afford to be associated with "them" or are they just us? Oy. The tent is still big, but some of the poles still believe they are BIGGER THAN OTHERS.
A MESSAGE FROM ONE OF "THEM" Mo' Better Blues? [Simian Brain] MO' = MODERATE?I have to say that as a queer person, I really like the term "mo" to
describe us homosexuals. I think it's fun, quick, quirky, and best of
all, new. It has no connotation of being burned at the stake like
"faggot" does; it isn't clinical like "homosexual" and "lesbian" tend
to be; and it doesn't imply an unnatural happiness that like most
people, we only experience part of time (gay).
"Mo" is really perfect in my view, but I didn't realize how easily
it could be co-opted by conservative Republicans to mean "moderate".
MY WIFE HAS LOST THE FIRST SMILE she had in the last five years. Damn the Bush Administration and its ability to catch Al Qaeda’s number two man in Iraq again and again and again. [story] My wife says that is a lot of number twos even for an administration she now says is full of sh*t. My wife says if all these new faces are number two and Zarqawi is number one, that explains why Bush treats Osama like a zero and nothing need be done. How that hurts me I think you know. Damn this Bush administration and its ability to boldly announce itself about all its number two. Now I will never get laid.
MORE ON NUMBER TWO HERE [Blogenlust] Does Zarqawi have an infinite supply of lieutenants/deputies/aides/associates/second-in-commands/etc., or do we just arbitrarily declare that every 100th insurgent we capture or kill is "a top aide" to Zarqawi? Discuss amongst yourselves. Below is an almost comprehensive list (I'm sure I missed a few) of Zarqawi's "top lieutenants" we've captured, killed, or acknowledged over the last two and a half years. I count 33.
THE HERETIK BELIEVES 33 number twos is thirty two too many. But these claims do come from the same administration that suggests Social Security could be solved in a non zero sum game. 1+1 = 11
ALLEGED, AND THEN ALLEGED AGAIN [No More Mister Nice Blog] Did you suspect that Abu Azzam, reportedly killed recently and said to
be Zarqawi's #2 man, wasn't the first "top Zarqawi lieutenant" to be
identified? In Newsweek,
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball round up evidence that you're right.
The Isikoff/Hosenball story is link-free, but I've added links:
For nearly two years now, U.S. officials have touted previous arrests
or captures ... as developments that would cripple the insurgency.
January 2004, for example, the U.S. military announced the arrest in
Fallajuh of Husam al-Yemeni, who was described in press accounts out of
Baghdad as the "right-hand man" of Zarqawi.
In November 2004, Iraqi officials announced they had arrested in Mosul
a man named Abu Saaed, who was described by the Iraqi national-security
adviser as Zarqawi's "alleged lieutenant."
THE HERETIK THINKS the alleged pursuit of top terrorists is more PR than WAR. Where is Osama?
THE HERETIK NOTES this administration has never had a problem making announcements. See Ashcroft in Moscow of all places. Getting results that match the rhetoric is the difference between day and night. But it is hard to say where there is light. If the results are dark, then the rhetoric must be light, right? But the rhetoric is nothing and sheds no true light. Oy.
HOW MANY MORE, HOW MANY TIMES? [Presstitutes] Scott Shields at MyDD informs us
that some Pre$$titutes may actually have done what they should have
been doing the past four years: question Bush's "terror" triumphalism.
"The media has seemed completely incapable of
recognizing that maybe not every al Qaeda figure we eliminate is as
important as the administration claims he is.
. . . . And here's a question for the Washington Pre$$titute Corps: do you
intend to hold Bush and his team accountable for lying about Abu
THE HERETIK IS WAITING for that answer too.
BUSH ISN'T GETTING IT He just announced the rosy news again in the Rose Garden with his generals [White House]
They updated me on what recently took place in Baghdad, in which Iraqi and coalition forces tracked down and killed Abu Azzam, the second most wanted al Qaeda leader in Iraq. This guy is a brutal killer. He was one of Zarqawi's top lieutenants. He was reported to be the top operational commander of al Qaeda in Baghdad. He is one of the terrorists responsible for the recent upsurge in attacks in the Iraqi capital, which is part of their campaign to stop a referendum on the Iraqi constitution, and is part of their efforts to break the will of the American people and the will of our coalition.
THE HERETIK NOTES the construction of that statement in the passive voice. He was reported to be . . . like the White House isn't doing the reporting itself. And whether "the terrorist" is breaking the will of the American people or the White House is open to question. One thing is certain. Sixty six percent of the American people are against the war, so when will Bush listen?
DILAWAR’S TORMENTOR HAS BEEN SENTENCED [story] Justice and judgement hang in the balance of how we treat the prisoners in our charge. A taxi driver, not a terrorist, Dilawar was hung by his wrists from a ceiling for five days. With some certainty, prosecution of Diliwar's killers would hang on legal terms and defense would hang on excuses. Uncertainty of just what is and what is not allowed would be one excuse, frustration another. Dilawar suffers no uncertainty nor frustration. One certainty remains. Dilawar is dead.
Claus said the abuses were the result of frustrations during
interrogations. He admitted to forcing water down the throat of a
detainee known as Dilawar and twisting a hood over the man's head.
Dilawar died at the detention center in 2002. No one has been charged
with causing his death.[CNN]
Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him. [NY Times]
``They are my actions, and I can't ever take them back,'' Claus said. ``I am extremely sorry this has become a national issue and an international issue at that. The Army doesn't deserve ... this.'' [Guardian UK]
Dilawar doesn't deserve this either. Five for five. The tormentor Claus got five months, Dilawar will be dead for five forevers.
RELATED READING "WHAT YOU ALLOWED TO HAPPEN HAPPENED" [Body and Soul] There have, in fact, been some pretty serious cases of abuse involving Special Forces soldiers and Navy Seals. The elite. This is not all about Lynndie England and a bunch of semi-educated animals, and that's nothing new.
ONE WHO STOOD UP: Letter of Captain Ian Fishback to John McCain [WaPo] Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al
Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type
of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We
are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the
ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution.
Others argue that clear
standards will limit the President's ability to wage the War on Terror.
Since clear standards only limit interrogation techniques, it is
reasonable for me to assume that supporters of this argument desire to
use coercion to acquire information from detainees. This is morally
inconsistent with the Constitution and justice in war. It is
GETTING TO THE BOTTOM [Joseph L. Galloway/Knight Ridder] There have been 17 separate investigations of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other prisoner abuse scandals. All have gone straight to the bottom of every case. All have consistently claimed that no one higher up the chain of command, including the civilian leadership in the Pentagon, bears any responsibility for any of this.