July 8, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: Leaking an Agent's Name
While I feel ambivalent about Judith Miller being jailed -- I think journalists should do all they can to protect their sources, but agree with those who have pointed out that her source is manipulating her for his (okay, let's acknowledge that it's Rove) own protection -- I do not feel ambivalent about the action of the source: according to the Espionage Act of 1917, revealing Plame's name is treason.
My job involves working with government documents predating 1990, including some classified White House and intelligence records. Under no circumstances can I, or anyone else with access to this information, legally reveal the name of an intelligence agent, even many previously publicized names, without the explicit approval of the department or agency which employed the agent. Period. Even in older records (think Eisenhower era). Even if the agent/employee is dead. Anyone working with SCI ("secret compartmentalized information") is thoroughly briefed on this and asked to sign a nondisclosure contract which states the legal penalties for such revelation. The agreement I signed binds me for life, not just my period of employment. No one, not a meagre little cog in the machine like me, nor a White House poobah like Rove, has the right to break this agreement. As seen in the Morrison case in 1984, the sensitivity of the information, and the intentions of the leaker, are irrelevant. Actually, if she was a recently active agent, Plame's name is considerably more sensitive than the photos Samuel Morrison gave to Jane's Defense Weekly.
If Rove claims that he "accidentally" revealed Plame's name and job, neither of which could have been known by Novak et al, he is lying. No one with access to this information inadvertently reveals the name and job and area of duty of an agent WHILE TALKING TO A REPORTER. And then "forgets" that he revealed it. This is laughable -- whether in the White House or elsewhere in the federal government, we all understand how potentially devastating such a revelation can be. Has Rove lackadaisically revealed any other CIA agents? No. He knows better. His lawyer claims he didn't reveal Plame's name; while I don't necessarily believe this, if true, he must have revealed enough information for someone who does not have access to top secret information, to easily piece together to whom Rove was referring. Perhaps Rove did not say, "Valerie Plame," but "Ambassador Wilson's wife." This is still traitorous. Rove should be held as responsible as Morrison was. Like Morrison, he should be looking at prison.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Blair Compared to Bush
I noticed that Tony Blair flew immediately to London after the bombing rather than getting into his private jet and running around the country like a scared rabbit.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Sandra Day O'Connor's Legacy and the Democratic Party
Here is the reply I sent to Barbara Boxer:
How soon we all forget that it was Sandra Day O'Connor that said, when she found out Al Gore had won Florida, "Oh no, this is terrible."
It is my opinion that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor played a vital role in the destruction of democracy as we know it by not letting votes be counted in the State of Florida. I have no respect for any member of the Supreme Court who "selected" George W. Bush as pResident. I usually go along with you, Barbara, but I am now of the opinion that the Democratic Party does nothing but go along with the program, any program, that George wants. I have seen none of you stand up for what you believe in. I don't care if you haven't any hope of winning or succeeding, just stand on your da** principles for a change. You're all so afraid you're going to lose your jobs that you've forgotten how to do your job.
Take a page from Howard Dean's book. He and Al Gore seem like the only ones who have any guts to stand up against the powerful right these days. I voted for John Kerry because I had no other choice as a Democrat. I won't do it again. Unless the Democrats start standing up for what they believe in and representing what we believe in, I will not vote for any of you again. I want a man, or woman, of principles, and I don't mean in regard to their personal lives. I mean, I want someone to stand up for gay rights, employment, the environment, education, help for the poor, seniors' rights, social security. I want someone to stand up for the principles which we, as Democrats, have always held dear. I want someone like Howard Dean and Al Gore. They still believe in the Democratic way.
I don't want a centrist, and I don't want a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of person. Where I'm from we call that a mugwump. Your mugs on one side of the fence and your wumps on the other side. Get off the fence, stand up for what you and the rest of us believe in. There's nothing wrong with being liberal, it's not a dirty word. Start hitting the Repugs where they'll hurt the most ... in their pocket books. They don't care about anything else but power and money. You better start standing for something or else you're never going to get this country out of the toilet it's in.
[BuzzFlash Note: Sen. Boxer recently said, "If [Bush] is true to his promise, he will use Justice O'Connor as a role model. She was a leader on the court for moderation and consensus building."]
Subject: London Bombings
Am I the only "cynical" person to think how this "just happened" when the "Karl Rove" saga is unfolding?
Subject: London Bombings
There are still many Londoners who survived The Blitz and the terror weapons V1 and V2. They are a courageous and stoic group and deserve our support and best wishes in their hour of need. What concerns me is the immediate flap and noise heard on this side of the ocean - our headless turkeys in officialdom are already blathering and running up colored flags indicating Homeland is alert and ready!
What we should really be concerned about are aging warriors like Sen. McCain who are already blowing bugles about fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we won't have to fight in Podunk. If only Bush and Blair would disappear in the desert sands we could bring the troops home and terrorism would cease. We are invaders stealing Iraq and Arabia. Give back these Moslem countries which were stolen by a bunch of lying SOBs.
I'm an old soldier and I can tell you war solves nothing and brings only death and destruction.
A. Leslie Palmer
Subject: Terrorism Not Theirs or Ours
Bush will divert the real question to get his ratings up!! After 9/11 instead of concentrating efforts on al-Qaeda, Bush let Osama dance free and took after Saddam on fixed pretenses when Saddam wasn't a threat. In a great display of power Bush "endearingly" called "SHOCK AND AWE," many more than three hundred innocents and many more since have lost their lives and their homes! Also our soldiers continue to die, as well as Iraqis every day! When we attacked Iraq many Iraqis were going about their day, their children playing outside, they too were innocents when ... SHOCK and AWE hit! Bush's and Blair's remarks could have been turned around with Iraqis saying the same things! As Susan Carr said, they have reaped what they had sown! There is never an excuse for terrorism, either ours or theirs!
Subject: Diebold Security Flaws
Dear Fellow Buzzers,
Go to www.BlackBoxVoting.org and check out the new information about the "mother of all security holes" in the Diebold program. Big surprise, right? If it weren't for the stupid machines, President Gore would be in his second term!!
We must get the word out, especially in areas which use Diebold machines. This is just one of many reports to come. ALL the machines are corrupted (DUH, the companies are all owned by Republicans!!).
Time to go back to paper ballots with hand counting only -- NO CENTRAL TABULATORS (yes, those are hackable also).
Get informed, and help spread the word. How many stolen elections are we going to tolerate before we DO something??
Sue IN NC/FL
Subject: Harry Reid, Master Strategist
It's too bad that we can't have the man cloned. By agreeing that Alberto Gonzales is qualified for the Supreme Court, he is essentially supporting the president's choice while the president's own supporters rip Gonzales a new one. Ahem.
REID: GONZALES QUALIFIED FOR HIGH COURT (AP/Yahoo)
Gonzales' writings during his tenure on the Texas Supreme Court reflect a balanced look at each case. I don't have to like every one of his opinions, but I respect the thought process involved in them. I can't stand the man for being a party to the Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo scandals, but we could do worse. Far worse.
By indicating support for Gonzales -- and he did not say that Gonzales could not get a majority vote, just that the confirmation process would be "rough" -- Reid accomplished several significant things:
1) Reid acknowledged the public support the president voiced for his longtime, trusted friend instead of taking an adversarial position. That's a plus for a public sickened by the partisan rancor in Washington. See the polls. Stating Gonzales is acceptable also takes the steam out of any right-wing argument that the Dems are eager to use the filibuster. Dems are already on record as stating the nominee should be a moderate to replace a retiring moderate (O'Connor).
2) Reid acknowledged and accepted at face value, ahem, Bush's later statement that he would not use a "litmus test," because Gonzales is not nearly so extreme as Luttig and a few of the other possible nominees that have been named.
Remember, Roberts is moderate on social issues but strongly pro-business to an extreme. He has strong backing from the business community. I think we can all agree that far more is at stake than just the social issues of abortion rights, affirmative action, gay marriage, etc. The majority of the high court's cases involve complex corporate matters. Decisions by the court could have profound impact on a) labor issues (unions, overtime and other wage-and-hour laws), b) banking and commerce (bankruptcy bill), c) imminent domain (think Fairfield, Connecticut), d) media consolidation, e) campaign finance, f) the death penalty, and g) air quality, clean water, clear cutting, and other environmental issues.
We Dems will concentrate on social issues only to our sorrow. Don't let the Repugs sidetrack you. The focus is actually quite broad in scope.
3) Reid acknowledged the vicious rhetoric coming from interest groups (Focus on the Family and NARAL) and essentially killed any attempt by Repugs to allege that the Dems were using outside groups to fight the battle for them. It puts a bipartisan spin on the eventual appointment and encourages the president to actually consult with congress before final selection of his ultimate nominee. It gives the president some breathing room and creates a comfort factor; consider how many major fires Bush is trying to put out right now. Rove/Plame. The DSM. The Bolton nomination. Stem cells. The energy bill. CAFTA. The Iraq quagmire. World condemnation. Oil prices. Our stagnant economy. Does he really want to take on another major battle right now? Gently guiding him toward Gonzales makes that choice easier for Bush to make.
4) Reid is also positioning Gonzales favorably for confirmation to benefit Dems down the road. Once Gonzales is settled on the court he can no longer influence any investigations conducted by DOJ/FBI into any allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Bush, Cheney, et al., with respect to the DSM. Do you want Gonzales, the ultimate loyalist, heading such an investigation (or perhaps forced to approve and appoint an outside prosecutor, e.g., Fitzgerald) or would you rather have another AG that is less personally committed to Bush's career and well-being? Few other Attorneys General would present the conflict of interest that Gonzales is faced with. So I think the answer is obvious. Yep, that Harry Reid is a wily old devil.
Subject: Judith Miller
I am aware of all of her negatives but do you really believe she would go to jail for Rove? The stress should be on the censorship of the press except for Fox News & the crazies on the radio.
Frieda & Herbert Martey
Subject: Google Judith Miller ....and count the ways she embraces treason!
Google Judith Miller. Find out about her connections with the Pentagon and the 1986 stories she wrote about Libya and Qaddafi (also proved to be lies). She has her fingers in many nefarious plots dreamed up by neo-cons. Read about her associations in her embed role in this last Iraqi invasion. She practically ran one unit and threatened the officers that she would speak to Rummy or Feith to make them continue looking for WMD. Scooter Libby, Richard Perle, John Bolton, John Poindexter ... All these nuts are close associates of Miller. She is no reporter, she is a Pentagon/ neocon embed with the New York Times.
She won't reveal her source because she is right in the middle of this conspiracy of treason the neocons have perpetrated on this country. I repeat, *she is no reporter!* The BIG question is ... why doesn't the New York Times fire her? The Times must be on the same Pentagon payroll as Miller. For one thing, her reports prior to the illegal Iraqi invasion were all proved to be planted lies. And all wrong. And then this Karl Rove as her source who supposedly told her about Plame. If this is the case, why didn't she write an article about how a high up White House official was trying to intimidate reporters and get them to out a CIA agent? If she didn't write this story, why is the NYT paying her a salary? What, they pay for lies but forbid her to write the truth? They forbid her to reveal sources who are out to promote propaganda to destroy a CIA agent and who knows just what operations? Sounds like aiding and abetting treason.
She should be in jail, but for treason, not failure to reveal a source. I guess if she ever got under oath, there is no telling just what she knows and what she might reveal. There are actually so many connections with her and the American Enterprise Institute and these Neocons that I couldn't write about all of them. Let's just say, I wouldn't allow her inside my house.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Condolences and Pleas
First off; in light of the horrifying, coordinated attacks in London this morning, let us all be extra vigilant ... I would personally like to send my condolences to all those touched by this tragedy. Certainly, London is no stranger to terrorist attacks, so I have no doubt it will remain strong, as always. You are all in our thoughts and prayers today.
Let us also remember that our bonds to one another extend beyond nationality, party affiliations, and all other artificially-imposed boundaries. Our humanity is sure to bring great suffering, but also, unite us in a quest for decency and tolerance.
We are involved in a war, regardless of the political rhetoric (some coming from this humble blogger), but lasting solutions will ultimately not involve superior firepower. We must bring those responsible for such heinous acts to justice, but we must also realize that widespread madness, like terrorism, is not genetic. Its horror is rooted in oppression, frustration, isolation, and anger. These are decidedly human reactions, and as human beings, we must seek to better understand what is causing them to fester in this region of the world.
We cannot tolerate such behavior, but it does not weaken us to understand it. I will never blame the victims. That isn't what this post is about. I feel nothing but sympathy for those touched by acts of terrorism. However, as I have claimed many times before on this blog, Westerners do not live in a vacuum.
As the wealthiest, most powerful bloc of nations in the world, our actions shape the lives of countless millions of people. People we will never see. Never speak to. Never think about. If we are to eradicate terrorism, we must start thinking about these people.
Organizations like the G8 and IMF are symbolic of the large footprint the world's power elite leave on the rest of the world. Learning about them, and other organizations whose decisions dictate global policy, is the responsibility of all Americans. It is time to start thinking about ourselves as a global community.
When studying the health of ecosystems, scientists don't start with the predatory animals; they begin with the prey animals. For a system is only as strong and vibrant as the weakest of its occupants. Our subjugation of the world's poor, and its ever-dwindling resources, will ultimately lead to the demise of our entire planet. We must have the will to realize this, and take action, even if the action does not serve our own immediate interests.
We are all connected ... whether we like it or not.
i wanted to stop after reading the h.l. mencken quote, feeling i "had enough corroborative info," but i continued. i was saddened, then determined to finish and when i did, i was disheartened...disheartened to know that apathy and disinformation will allow the status quo to shape our future; my son's future, forever.
this was an amazing piece and i profoundly thank mr. uhler for his summary of all that has gone wrong.
Subject: Now Tony Blair Can Finish the Job Bush Didn't Want To Do
Now Tony Blair has the excuse he was looking for, and I believe the British people will rise up and demand it of him.
The British people, for the most part, want out of Iraq. They know they don't belong there, they know that British troops are helping to fulfill Bush's personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein.
But now that they have been attacked, I believe that this is the scenario that will play out very soon.
Obviously there is no country by the name of "al Qaeda."
So, where do the British retaliate for today's London bombings?
They really do not have many options, except for this one.
I believe you are going to see a call, by the British people, for Tony Blair to get the troops out of Iraq. Now they have a reason to fight the real enemy, and the real enemy is not in Iraq.
Now they have just cause for just retaliation and the retaliation will be where Bush should be, at the heart of Al Qaeda, in Afghanistan/Pakistan.
The Brits will demand, IMO, that all British troops be pulled from Iraq, where they are being treated as Bush's lackeys, and go after the ones who are the head of the demon that attacked their shores, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.
This is, of course, what Bush should be doing, but then he did not have a personal vendetta against Bin laden, only against Saddam. Hell, he didn't even give a hoot about Bin Laden and even said so, himself. Condy Lice didn't even know who he was.
So, watch for that kind of scenario to begin to play out ... very, very soon. Blair will have no choice but to follow what the British people want. His control of parliament is in serious jeopardy and he can't afford another mistake of this magnitude.
They will get out of Iraq and they will go after the perpetrators of the London attack on their home turf, if they ever find out where it is. One thing, it is NOT Iraq.
If Bush had stayed the course in Afghanistan, this might all be over by now. Now Blair has a chance to clean up Bush's trail of death and destruction.
Subject: Freedom Is on the Run (Quick, Shoot It!)
It is only fitting to paraphrase our illustrious ruler in such a manner, when a story like this one comes out. How many times have we been told by the Neocon shills, right-wing ideologues and people who secretly really, really think "it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them (Iraqis), (1) that "Now that we have deposed Saddam Hussein, the torture chambers have been closed!"
This has become reason number 5 on a list that has included such classics as: "The Saddam Hussein Osama Bin Laden 9/11 Connection," "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "Nuclear Weapons Program" and "To Democratize Iraq."
Guess what, if you go to one of those torture chambers (and I would not advise it), you're now going to see a sign that says "Under New Management." (2) That's right guys, it's time to look for reason number 6!
Cut to the chase boys, eventually you will have to admit that it was for the oil. We can go through the charade as long as you like, really we have the time. Once Britain starts to pull its troops out of Iraq, along with the rest of "The Coalition of the Fleeting" (3) time will be the one commodity that is left in Iraq.
Hey I feel a draft, did someone open a window?
(1) West turns blind eye as police put Saddam's torturers back to work (timesonline)
(2) General: It's 'fun to shoot some people' (CNN)
(3) MoD plans Iraq troop withdrawal (Financial Times)
I am beyond livid. Do we really believe this to be a terrorist attack? What timing! The Downing Street Memo is finally (after how long?) really getting recognition in the media. Despite all efforts on the part of Bush's cronies the people even the media have started to get wise. Bush knows that this memo has doomed him. These attacks in London do three things: * they take the focus off the downing street memo * they create sympathy * like all of his tactics they create fear from a fictitious enemy (just like HILTER).
If you are thinking that they wouldn't go this far, take another look at the DOWNING STREET MEMO.
In addition, I do not by any means think that this is the work of GEORGE W himself. In his speech to the media he refereed to Tony Blair as "PRESIDENT BLAIR." Don'"t the repubs have enough self-respect to shut him up so that he doesn't shame himself and the USA?
BuzzFlash and readers -- keep up the incredible, awesome and important work, truly a light in the darkness.
[BuzzFlash Note: We do believe there are Islamic terrorists out there whose agenda is to attack the U.S. and Britain. We also believe some in the Bush administration are completely lacking in scruples and have put themselves ahead of the public welfare.]
Subject: Another Buzzer beat me to it, but ...
... I, too, wondered about the (what is this? the second? third?) incident of our oh-so-macho brush-clearing unelected president falling off his bike in "light rain." How many more excuses can they make for this guy?
I rode my first bike (a 28" one; I don't even think they make them anymore) when I was 5 years old. This was before the age of training wheels. I never fell off, not even once, after my father ran me around the block once.
My only fall came when I visited my parents in Phoenix, AZ. I thought what I was riding through was gravel-covered hard ground. WRONG! (It was pit filled with gravel.) I flew over the handlebars just like Dubya. But I learned my lesson after ONE mistake. How many mistakes will it take for him to learn HIS? (Obviously, I'm talking about more than bike rides here!)
Actually, I suspect a serious drug (or possible resumed drinking) problem here. Bush's bike must have been more expensive than any I've ever owned -- but even mine had traction on wet roads. You don't fall off a halfway decent bike because the streets are a bit wet.
It's time (actually, PAST time) to begin the impeachment process. But of course the Repugs have the majority in both houses, so ... fat chance. Maybe if we all send him bicycles (autographed by Lance Armstrong, if possible), he'll self-destruct and give us our country back.
Barb in Athens, GA
P.S. By the time I was about 18 months old, I knew how to eat a pretzel without choking on it. (And I wasn't a child prodigy.)
Subject: Schiavo, Jeb Bush and the Republican Pharisees
It is very obvious that those who trumpeted loudly about the "culture of life" and protested vehemently against just letting Terri Schiavo slip quietly away, do not really believe at all in eternal life, or a heaven world, since they are saying that physical death is the end.
This point is very simple but profound. If they really believed in God, they would be glad that she was released into heaven. They think God's brain is no bigger than their own ... they put themselves right up on that pedestal next to God almighty, making sure they and God are about the same size.
Once again, it all boils down to power and control. The fundamentalist mentality wants to control everything, even when it is apparent that they really cannot control life and death.
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