Sunday, July 11, 2004

What is your favorite magazine?

What is your favorite magazine?

The Chicago Tribune has posted their list of the Best 50 Magazines.

Some magazines I like to read: The New Yorker, The Economist, The Sun, Utne Reader, No Depression, The Philosopher's Magazine.

I still believe Joseph C. Wilson IV

I still believe
Joseph C. Wilson IV

The new Senate intelligence committee report has served to undermine Joseph C. Wilson IV's prior assertions that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence to build their case for war. He has said that his trip to Niger should have laid to rest any notion that Iraq sought uranium there and has said his findings were ignored by the White House.

Committee Chairman (and eager reader of stolen internal Dem memos) [Sen.] Pat Roberts (who cannot hide his wicked partisanship, no matter how hard he tries) is saying that Mr. Wilson misled the public about the significance of what he learned in Niger, then incorrectly charged that the CIA later briefed Dick Cheney on what Wilson found.

Don't tell me about misleading, Pat Roberts. Mr. Wilson's alleged "misleading" didn't result in over 800 American troops' deaths in a war Mr. Wilson was trying to avert.

If you want to talk about REAL misleaders...

It's clear to me that the report will (sadly but truly) be [ab]used by the Bush administration to attempt to legally snake out of its culpability in the treasonous outing of Mr. Wilson's wife.

Let me ask you:

If a CIA official told a Senate committee that [outed CIA agent] Valerie Plame "offered up" her husband Joseph Wilson's name for the infamous Niger trip, do you think it would follow logically that it was perfectly legal to leak her classified CIA identity to the likes of Bob Novak [aka "Douchebag for Liberty"]?
*Wilson has asserted that his wife was not even involved in the initial decision to send him to Niger. She "responded" to requests, she didn't "initiate".

Would the fact that the Bush administration considered Plame's outing a necessity and an "unintentional" and legal consequence fly in the face of common sense? If it does fly, then I assure you..common sense is dead.. and the rule of law is a passe concept...and I am living in some alternative universe.

Administration officials told columnist Robert D. Novak then that Wilson, a partisan critic of Bush's foreign policy, was sent to Niger at the suggestion of Plame, who worked in the nonproliferation unit at CIA. The disclosure of Plame's identity, which was classified, led to an investigation into who leaked her name.

The report may bolster the rationale that administration officials provided the information not to intentionally expose an undercover CIA employee, but to call into question Wilson's bona fides as an investigator into trafficking of weapons of mass destruction. To charge anyone with a crime, prosecutors need evidence that exposure of a covert officer was intentional.


It's the former Nigerian mining minister's word vs Joseph Wilson's word regarding the scope of the Iraqi attempt to purchase 400 tons of uranium in 1998. I would like to see a better explanation than "Perhaps I misspoke.." from Mr. Wilson about his conclusion that the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong." (since the report states he never had opportunity to even see these documents).

The report throws up a smokescreen to make us wonder about Joseph Wilson's honesty in his prior statements about the Niger case, but in the end, the report is not conclusive and we are left to either believe Joseph Wilson's word or not. I tend to believe him over the others who consciously chose to leak his wife's classified identity and for whose motive I believe could have been nothing other than revenge (regardless of Wilson's role).

It's all still too shady for anyone to be qualified to call Joseph Wilson a liar. The panel has found that the CIA has not fully investigated possible efforts by Iraq to buy uranium in Niger to this day, citing reports from a foreign service and the U.S. Navy about uranium from Niger destined for Iraq and stored in a warehouse in Benin. The agency did not examine forged documents that have been widely cited as a reason to dismiss the purported effort by Iraq until months after it obtained them. The panel said it still has "not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa."

As far as common sense is concerned, this report does not prove or disprove Joseph Wilson's criticism of the Bush administration's abuse of bad intelligence.

Just as I believed there was no imminent threat to America all along based on the information I'd personally collected before the Iraq war, I continue to believe Joseph C. Wilson IV. He has my benefit of doubt.. and I hope he'll have yours, dear readers.

Consider the liars and the powers he's up against.

Homeland Insecurity

Homeland Insecurity

"It is absolutely essential for the U.S. Senate to turn its attention to what we can do to make America safe," Sen Tom Daschle said this past Thursday after reading what he called a "sobering" report of new terrorist activity concerns within the United States.

Photo credit: News14.Charlotte

On July 1st in Charlotte N.C., I heard U.S. Senatorial candidate Erskine Bowles discuss his $34 billion plan for Homeland Security.

It felt pretty good to hear someone stressing the importance of securing our homeland.

I wondered why we'd been so lax on Homeland Security thus far?

Didn't 9/11 happen three years ago?

I wonder why folks in Washington state had to ask for months and months to get a green light to use homeland security grants to send people to special courses offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency?

I wonder why 52 percent of 231 American cities surveyed are still left empty-handed, have not received any money, nor have been notified that they will receive money from the state-block grant program -- the largest homeland security program -- which is designed to assist first responders such as police, fire, and other local officials?

I wonder why, amid fresh and sobering warnings, the Homeland Security bill has stalled in Senate?

I wonder what pretty colors Tom Ridge will be showing us over the next few months?

Triple Trouble-Help the Beastie Boys Get to Rally!

Triple Trouble-Help the Beastie Boys Get to Rally!

This game is great fun.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.*

The Beastie Boys need your help.

Pick your favorite Beastie Boy and help him make it across the street to a political rally (without getting plowed down by Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Condi tanks).

Watch out, because when they take a hit---oh, man-- do they splatter.