Thursday, August 11, 2005

Plamegate Update

Plamegate Update

Armando [Daily Kos] points us to Walter Pincus' most recent Plamegate article [WaPo] and believes that no other conclusion can be drawn other than this: Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby's information on Valerie Plame came from the now-infamous State department memo that was passed around Air Force One in July of 2003.

Swopa agrees.

Mahablog, who has some great coverage of the story today, has this astute quote :
Think of it as finding pollution in a river and tracing it back to its source. In this case, according to Pincus, all the tributaries can be traced back to one source-- the June 10 State Department memo.
Mahablog also comments on speculation that the State Dept memo was possibly written specifically for the leak to take place. Laura Rozen wrote, in July, 2005:
About this classified State INR memo, we note not just its timing being written in the days after apparently Cheney's office became focused on Wilson's contention via Kristof's column that his office should have known about the findings of Wilson's Niger trip, and that its information about Wilson's wife's role in his trip is apparently fraudulent, but that it was apparently circulated or summarized to conservative news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Talon News' Jeff Gannon, in the days and weeks after the Justice Department announced its investigation into who leaked Plame's identity. Check out this WSJ article on the classified memo on how Wilson got the trip -- and how closely it seems to track with what Gannon was told too.
David Corn has talked about an NSC staffer (and CIA veteran) named David Shedd who had worked with Valerie (Plame) Wilson at the CIA. Since Shedd would have had the inside scoop on Plame, Corn wonders: Did he tell?

Think Progess has a list of the 21 with known connections to the Plamegate scandal.

Drudge gets down & dirty - airs Sheehan family sorrow

"Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them...and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."
- the Gospel of Matthew 4:21-22

Drudge gets down & dirty - airs Sheehan family sorrow

Cindy Sheehan and her huband have separated as a result of the stress over Casey's death. Cindy's passionate conviction has carried her to where she stands today - and the stress of it all broke a family in two.

Instead of the empathy and sorrow one might have for a family in crisis over the death of their soldier-son, Matt Drudgehas decided to take a family-squabble letter, and go for the jugular by putting Grandmother and Grandfather and all the cousins' pain up for us to see. (They are her in-laws, I'll wager. Although we don't know yet. We know it's not Casey's maternal grandparents.) [edited]

Leave it to Drudge to get the dirty scoop.

A word or two about Cindy's husband from David Pastor/May 2005:
Cindy's husband, Patrick Sheehan, supports his wife in her activism, he participates in some events and drives with Cindy when he is not working as a sales representative. He spoke about the toll this work is taking in the family. “If she is not away traveling or speaking, she is home with her laptop, watching news, or talking on the phone…This is important, we try to continue to support her.”

But he also understands that it is hard for her to be around the memories all the time. “Some times I am not sure if it is helping [the grief process] It might be delaying some of her grief, but it’s also a very good reason to get out of bed, get up and get moving.”
There was a change between May and the present, as Cindy says, in this interview:
"I have lost almost every friend that I had before Casey died. My husband and I are separated, because he doesn't support my activities, although he knows the war is a lie."
Sometimes passion for a righteous cause will take you far from your friends and family. If you're a Christian, you've been told that yourself, I can gurantee it. Get between a mother and a cause that involves her child, and one thing I could NOT guarantee would be your safety in trashing her passion - and having someone believe you.

Lew Rockwell brings faith into the picture as well, in his criticism of O'Reilly (among others):
O’Reilly, who claims to be Catholic, should know that people have changes of heart, going from confusion to clarity. Perhaps someone should remind him of St. Paul of Tarsus, or my favorite, St. Augustine of Hippo, both of which were on the wrong path, but ultimately became two of the Church’s most venerated saints.
Meanwhile, a mother in Crawford, TX is still asking questions. She still waits for President Bush, whose administration thinks it's a better idea to create a divide mothers of America who have lost their children and trash Cindy Sheehan than it is to have a straightforward meeting with the woman.

So much for "family values."

President Bush - when on earth will you do the right thing?

Denounce this madness and meet with her.


Update: These were in-laws, as I suspected, and they hardly knew Cindy or Casey.
Cindy Sheehan says:
" in-laws sent out a press statement disagreeing with me in strong terms; which is totally okay with me, because they barely knew Casey. We have always been on separate sides of the fence politically and I have not spoken to them since the election when they supported the man who is responsible for Casey's death. The thing that matters to me is that our family -- Casey's dad and my other 3 kids are on the same side of the fence that I am.

November 2, 2004 was not George Bush's accountability moment: today is. We are finished allowing him to get away with deceiving the American public and abusing his power.

We are mad as hell and we're not taking it anymore."
[Huffington Post]



Barbara O'Brien has a summary surrounding the "fiction that Joe Wilson's Niger trip was arranged by his wife." [Mahablog]

The discussion continues about Cindy Sheehan. See my Blogcritics opinion column from August 9.

Why is Jodie Evans in Crawford, TX?

Why is Celeste Zappala in Crawford, TX?

It's getting really dirty and the Right is looking like some of the lowest lifeforms on the face of planet Earth. A Right blogger calls Cindy Sheehan a whore for publicity and points his finger toward another group of Moms. A disgusting and divisive abuse of mothers and their emotions. The blogger known as "Desert Rat" claims that one group of mothers are "there to shower them with love when they come home again. Their thoughts are with them every day, no matter where they are." Cindy Sheehan's son is not coming home again - and she doesn't want more mothers to suffer the loss she has suffered without clarity of purpose.

The Sheehan situation is garnering more and more attention by the day, despite the odd cable news media blackout of the story.

When it comes to plain and simple human emotion and cut and dried decency, in the court of public opinion, Cindy Sheehan's case is a winner, hands down. A quote:
Reading [Robin] Cook’s obituaries and final comments it is hard not to think of Cindy Sheehan, camped outside Bush’s ranch Prairie Chapel in the blistering August heat, awaiting the chance to talk to the President about her opposition to the Iraq war. Her son was killed there last year and she has become a dedicated anti-war activist. Cook’s final words echo in my ears and I’m sure they would in hers if she has heard them: “ It is dire. I mean, frankly, it is worse than my greatest fears…..Those that advocated the war on the basis that Iraq would be a blow against terrorism have made an immense blunder for which we will be paying the price for a long time to come.”

I hope President Bush will honor the lives of Casey Sheehan and Robin Cook by taking a few minutes out of his vacation to explain his thinking to one suffering mother.

[Jane Wells: Reflections on Robin Cook and Cindy Sheehan ]

The Common Ills features a statement on the quality of NPR coverage of the Cindy Sheehan situation, where a mention of the threatened arrest of Sheehan was omitted from Morning Edition coverage. 'Ruth's morning report' says: "In another time, when NPR was braver and less structured, Ms. Sheehan would be profiled each day because her vigil is news and this is a story that speaks to NPR listeners." [Common Ills]

This headline has Michael Ledeen and visions of 'Iraq redux' written all over it.

The Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official (James Tobin) charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire. *hat tip to Buzzflash See my prior posting here. [Yahoo news]

Josh Marshall comments on the Tobin case: "Tobin's defense doesn't seem to rest on his being innocent of the deeds in questions but rather on claims that no laws cover what he did." [Talking Points Memo]

38 members of Congress have written to President Bush, asking him to meet with Cindy Sheehan. I wonder why it's always the same brave Congresspeople. Where are the rest of our Representatives? Sen. George Allen of the GOP was bold and empathetic enough to urge the President to see the lady. I'd like to see more of this. [See Buzzflash for pdf link]

Bill O'Reilly Goes Off Deep End to Harm Sheehan supporters

Bill O'Reilly Goes Off Deep End to Harm Sheehan supporters

"I think Cindy Sheehan is being used by far left elements who object to our way of life."

Bill O'Reilly said this on national television.

My mouth dropped open when I read that he'd said it.
I'm as American as apple pie.
I agree 100% with the mom of Casey Sheehan.
Cindy's son Casey died for "our way of life."
Bill O'Reilly is an ignorant jackass.

That may sound harsh, yet I can't find any other appropriate word for anyone who would use his popular media show as a vehicle for leading others to believe that anyone like me or the millions who support Cindy Sheehan are "controlling" her.

Au contraire.

Cindy Sheehan's the one who's driving us.

Her sorrow is palpable. Her questions are reasonable.

Cindy says, "Maybe I'm using them." [Hear her say it by clicking the link]


The message from Sheehan and her supporters is not that our country is a bad and evil country, as O'Reilly tries to convince his audience that it is. (Why is O'Reilly purposefully dividing America into two divisions when we are all individuals with our own minds? Isn't this anti-Declaration of Independence?) We're saying: "This is our country. Let's make it better. We aren't evil people. Our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. The people of America are heartful and caring people who value honesty and truth. We wish our representatives to represent the values we hold as sacred."

Anyone who would lie or mislead a nation into war is "bad" - at least in my eyes, it's bad. Really bad. I, like Cindy Sheehan and her many supporters, believe just the opposite - that America's people are good and decent - and the Representatives who act in our democratic interests- especially our President - should not have misled us into this war.

She's only asking, "What's it all about, Alfie?"

"Where's the nobility in the cause?"

"Look me in the eye, " Cindy begs of the President. "Tell me so that I may fully understand."

Last year the defenders of the radical right tried to tell us that we were trying to win an election by criticizing the Iraq war. Here we are - many months into President Bush's first term, and we're still asking why we were misled. We're still asking why American mothers' sons and daughters are shedding their blood.

We're tired of slogans. We're especially tired of being accused of "bashing" the administration. We're amazed, even after all we know about many of the President's unwise and dishonest decisions, to see him doing nothing about Karl Rove, when he promised to fire anyone who would have involved themselves in leaks which harm national security.

O'Reilly asked a guest "If you had to choose, would you go with President Bush or Michael Moore?"

Did he mean "go" as in "go out on a date"? What?

Michael Moore is an American citizen, an Eagle Scout who will tell you that the GOP really knows how to get out the vote - and he tries to inspire everyone else to care and organize to effectively compete. President Bush is a guy who seems to have dropped off the radar screen during Vietnam when his country called upon him - his administration outs CIA agents for political vengeance - and he misleads soldiers to a war in Iraq which none of us understands with clarity, to this day.

President Bush, above all, is the President. Michael Moore is not. Michael Moore is not bound by the Constitution to make any decisions about leading the nation to war. Michael Moore is not bound to give us official explanations.

Why is this Bill O'Reilly's big choice du jour? He could have picked anyone -
Would you go with President Bush or Michael Jackson? Would you go with President Bush or the Elephant Man? Would you go with President Bush or Helen Thomas? Would you go with President Bush or Kevin Federline?

"Who ya gonna go with?
Bachelor No 1, 2 or 3

I happen to believe that Bill O'Reilly is a small, small man who uses his seething anger about anyone who disses him and brings that anger with him on to his show - slathering it into the nightly agenda. He's really bad for civic American life. It makes little sense to me. It's less sophisticated than any middle school political debate I have ever seen. Our own American children are much smarter - and more mature - than this.

Cindy Sheehan said it best:
"Bill O'Reilly is an "Obscenity to Humanity"
You go, girl.

Update: O'Reilly says, with a straight face, that he and Michelle Malkin were "respectful" to Sheehan, the day after all this trash I just mentioned was aired on his show, including calling Cindy Sheehan's plea "borderlibe treason". You can see the video at Media Matters. Be prepared to stop yourself from spitting at the screen - it could damage your computer.