All The President’s Men

Ahmed Chalabi, Andrea Mitchell, Bill Frist, Bill Kristol, C.I.A., CACI, Condoleeza Rice, Curveball, Evan Thomas, George W. Bush, Halliburton, Iraq, John Donald Imus, Joseph Wilpon, Joseph Wilson, Judith Miller, Kellogg Brown and Root, New York Times, Politics, Richard Clarke, Six Feet Under, Stories, Tim Russert, Tom Delay, Tom Friedman, Valerie Plame, Yellowcake Uranium

“These guys and gals make ordinary criminals feel squeamish”

By John S. Tully

The New York Herald Sun
October 27 2005

On one of the final episodes of HBO’s remarkable Six Feet Under, a character named Vanessa gently consoles the grieving sister of an Iraqi war veteran who has just committed suicide after losing many limbs. She tells the woman of watching her kids; sleeping; just being. Right then and there it seems to take the woman’s pain and turn it to something beautiful. There’s 2000 dead soldiers, sailors and Marines, thousands more injured for life, and countless dead and injured Iraqis.

It’s just getting to be too much for the American people.

America tortures and kills prisoners of war, lies about its soldiers’ deaths, allows its citizens to starve for days after a hurricane and produces its own news.
Meanwhile the press breaks a collective arm patting itself on the back for its gut-check Katrina coverage.

Too little and too late.

While we’re at war, a cadre of cowards has brazenly robbed the Treasury blind, mortgaging our great-grandchildren’s future as the last five years has been a cash-grab of epic proportions for the fat Republican-only lobbyists in Washington D.C.. As Mr. Bush completely alienated the rest of the free world, the un-free world got more dangerous. The Cowboy President didn’t want to use diplomacy when he could with North Korea so now they want their own reactor. Unfortunately, the intelligence agencies are in shambles, and Donald Rumsfeld’s “lighter, quicker, faster” military is decimated, demoralized and stretched dangerously thin. Meanwhile, China and Japan own much of our debt.

There is still a lack of adequate equipment for our troops on the ground in a war done so completely nearsightedly and on the cheap that families have to send goggles and boots to their children in Iraq and taxpayer-paid mercenaries/private contractors from companies like CACI make four times as much as the enlisted man. Meanwhile, Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown and Root and American oil companies are reaping windfall profits while heating-oil bills double for that widow in Detroit. Up on Capitol Hill, the Republican Senate leader Bill Frist is in serious legal trouble and House leader Tom Delay has now stepped down after being indicted in Texas… twice. The chief purchasing official for the United States of America you ask? Why, he’s just been frog-marched from his office in handcuffs for multiple counts of fraud on the federal government. During a so-called War on Terrorism the Federal Emergency Management chief gets his important job because he is a buddy of the old chief. The criminalization of politics?
These guys and gals make ordinary criminals feel squeamish.

So many troubling occurrences have in fact already gone down the memory hole so far this year that these cold winds of autumn will surely blow more truth away; too many stolen billions, too damn many lives. Somebody in The White House is going to jail for revealing a CIA agent’s identity or lying about it to investigators. The great New York Times helped to sell this war on stories by a reporter named Judith Miller who had sources like a fellow named Curveball, well known by international intelligence agencies to be a fabricator, Jordanian-convicted criminal and American advisor Ahmed Chalabi and the Vice-President’s chief advisor Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Mr. Chalabi was issued an arrest warrant last year by the Iraqi government but now he’s firmly in place again as leader of a Shiite Iraqi coalition. Curveball was last seen fleeing from a prison in Iraq and Ms. Miller went to jail for 89 days for not revealing her source to Independent Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. She was released after reaching a deal and revealed that Mr. Libby was one of her sources for the information about Mr. Wilson’s wife. She claims to have written it in her notes as Valerie Flame.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

This foul mess is greased by a Mainstream Media who butter Americans with a steady
diet of Paula Abdul-Tryst /Brain-Dead Woman /Missing Blond-Girl stories. Lately the press has been hammering home the notion that this leak of a C.I.A. agent’s name is a very complicated story. It’s not but one can understand why, to journalists like Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert, it must seem complicated, because so many of them are such active participants in the Wink-Wink Washington Game that it completely clouds their judgment. The leak story is simple. It’s about the dirty politics of war.

Between President Bush telling Americans in a State Of The Union speech that Iraq was seeking uranium, and Condoleeza Rice talking that nuclear nonsense about not wanting to wait until we had a “mushroom cloud” in our skies, the deal was sealed to go to war.
In the end, this main reason for invasion, the imminent nuclear threat posed by Saddam and Iraq, was fabricated. Ambassador Joseph Wilson called the administration on this lie and they ruined his wife’s career in the C.I.A for revenge. Mr. Wilson had been sent by the C.I.A. to Niger Africa to see if Iraq had actually tried to get the specialized yellowcake uranium to make a nuclear bomb. He found no evidence of this, neither has anyone else, and he wrote an op-ed piece to this effect. The Bush Administration, in order to punish Mr. Wilson for revealing their big war lie, told some journalists on the White House beat that he had been sent there by his wife, C.I.A. agent Valerie Wilson, who had been undercover for years under the alias of Plame, and was now at headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

They were sure to get some so-called fair journalists like Evan Thomas of Newsweek to backhandedly trash Joseph Wilson’s integrity on John Donald Imus’ program and some politicians to label it simple partisanship. Don’t forget the Drudge/Rush/Freepers, they’re almost as mean and nasty as their heroes in the Oval Office, where wishful thinking and self-delusion rule the day; get in their way and you’ll pay. They’ll turn on anyone who disagrees with them. Ask Richard Clarke, Gen. Shinseki or Paul O’Neill.

Don’t worry, here comes mealy-mouth media-darlings David Brooks and Tom “Pakistani Cabdriver” Friedman to tell us a nice story that will make us feel better.

But now, even the administration’s personal water-carriers are starting to criticize the President over this latest Supreme Court debacle.

The president nominated an unqualified, lightweight, personal friend and advisor Harriet Meirs to the highest court in the nation and the right-wing is absolutely crushed. Like little children who aren’t getting what they thought had been promised, columnists George Will, Bill Kristol and the Republican activists are fuming and furious and beginning to go off-message.

Egads!

Their loyalty to this administration’s consistent and constant shenanigans is finally wearing thin. The very machine that keeps the disinformation going is breaking down.
It’s hard work these days for the White House to cover its tracks and they can’t even blame the Democrats. The first Court crisis began this presidency and this week’s indictments, the Meirs mistake, and the mess in Iraq signals the end.

Leandre Rice, a newly returned soldier from Iraq, came home with a skull fracture, vicious burns all over his body and no more eyesight. He’ll never see his twins born two months ago.

It’s too much for the American people; too many mistakes and too many lies.

As Mr. Libby wrote in a letter to Judy Miller while she was in jail: “It is fall now. … out West, where you vacation, the Aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them..”

Many of the the President’s men are starting to turn and it’s not going to be pretty.

© 2005 THE NEW YORK HERALD SUN

Little Boys With Their Toys

Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, India, Iraq, Los Angeles Sun, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Politics, Saddam Hussein, Taliban, Tullycast

Little Boys With Their Toys
September 22 2002
By John S. Tully

Los Angeles–It has become the age of “muddled thinking” around Washington D.C. and throughout this great nation. The debate about Mr. Hussein never materialized and now the war drums are beating hideously loud. No politician it seems is even questioning the administration’s stance that regime change must take place now. The non-debate is currently focusing on when to strike and whether the rest of the world will be cooperative.

This is a time when we are still actively engaged in Afghanistan, searching for remnants of Al-Quaeda amongst the Taliban regime; one that still has a viable presence in a country that our troops will be engaged in for many years to come. In this “War On Terrorism” Osama Bin Laden has not been found and dozens of military experts can still find no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. The Middle East peace process is in shambles; the two sides continue to tear one another apart and there are no concrete plans in place to change this paradigm. Indeed, Mr. Sharon has declared that he will strike back if Iraq launches scud missiles on Israel as it did during the Gulf War.

Meanwhile, both India and Pakistan have nuclear capability at a time of increased reports of Al Quaeda presence in both countries. There is serious uneasiness in the entire region about the ramifications of a power play in an Islamic country by a foreign power.

Administration officials asked the United Nations for permission to go back into Iraq and hold meaningful inspections of their weapons program; permission was granted unconditionally with disarmament being the ultimate goal. Now it seems that nothing short of a “regime change” will satisfy officials in the White House and the State Department.

Experts from the military, scholars of international diplomacy, recognized leaders of democratic countries have warned the United States that an attack on Iraq could be disasterous for the entire region and in fact the entire globe. Saddam Hussein is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous neighborhood. Evidence shows that he does have chemical and biological weapons. There is however absolutely no conclusive evidence of any kind that Mr. Hussein has “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

Young American men and women are about to go to a war with Iraq that may take more lives than that devastating day last September. With six weeks until the elections United States Congressman and Senators have fallen silent; their hollow echoes frightening the rest of the world.

Who will speak up?

©2002 The Los Angeles Sun

AP Picks Top 10 'Pop Culture' Moments of 2008

Stories

“Yes We Can”

dowThe Associated Press

NEW YORK

In any normal year, it would be impossible to discern a coherent theme from a year of American pop culture, try as we journalists might. This year was different.

The presidential campaign seeped into our culture everywhere it could: into our music, our television, our street art, our Internet habits. And it was a symbiotic relationship, for pop culture seeped back into our politics, too. Remember the bizarre moment Paris Hilton and Britney Spears became part of the campaign, courtesy of a John McCain ad likening Barack Obama to a vapid Hollywood celebrity?

Or try this: Tina Fey and Sarah Palin, walking by each other at a fake news conference on “Saturday Night Live,” indistinguishable from each other in matching red blazers and Palin hairdos. Even Fey’s toddler daughter had trouble telling them apart that night.

Now Palin’s back in Alaska, Fey’s back on “30 Rock” and, oh yes, Obama’s on his way to the White House. But they weren’t the only big names in the 2008 pop culture firmament. A chronological journey back:

JANUARY

How can we begin without BRITNEY SPEARS still, amazingly, the most-searched term on Yahoo. A few days into 2008, she melts down spectacularly, ending up in a hospital after locking herself in a room with her young son. We don’t need Dr. Phil to tell us this girl needs help, though he does. Celeb magazines freely diagnose her as bipolar. (But more on Britney later.)

In politics, HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON has her first real pop-culture moment of the year when she chokes up talking to voters in a New Hampshire diner, a scene to be replayed endlessly on YouTube.

And true tragedy strikes when actor HEATH LEDGER dies of an accidental prescription drug overdose in a New York apartment, cutting short a brilliant career.

FEBRUARY

The Obama slogan “Yes We Can” ricochets across the Web in rapper and songwriter WILL.I.AM’s viral video hit, starring a host of celebrities. It’s not the only good news for Obama: His campaign raises a staggering $55 million this month, a success attributed to small donations gathered on the Internet.

And “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” spoofs the media’s fondness for Obama later, Clinton will refer to the skit in a real debate.

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS, meanwhile, end their 100-day strike. Days later, the OSCARS air to dismal ratings.

MARCH

Politics continues to enthrall, and this time it’s New York Gov. ELIOT SPITZER who’s on everyone’s mind. The most striking visual: the ashen-faced misery of his wife, Silda, standing next to him at the podium as he resigns over a prostitution scandal. The blogosphere and the airwaves buzz with the question: Why did she stand by him? Would you?

Obama may be the Internet candidate, but here’s an Internet sensation he’d prefer disappear: video of his former pastor JEREMIAH WRIGHT, making incendiary comments that will give Obama a major political headache.

APRIL

MILEY CYRUS is a genuine superstar at age 15, a role model to countless girls. So what’s the problem? A few pesky photos shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. They show the Disney princess, aka Hannah Montana of course, in a come-hither pose, with a bare back and shoulders. A rare bump in the road for this teen phenom.

In one of his many pop-culture moments, OBAMA displays true hip-hop cred, channeling Jay-Z with a “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” reference at a North Carolina rally. Mashups spread across the Web.

MAY

After four years and endless buildup, the “SEX AND THE CITY” gals return in a feature-length film. Will Carrie find happiness with Mr. Big? Yes, but even happier are the producers, after a $55.7 million opening weekend unprecedented for a chick flick. And this IS a chick flick. Men flock to root canal appointments.

HARRISON FORD returns as Indiana Jones at age 65! We doubt Hollywood would be so kind to a 65-year-old actress. And speaking of older women, they’re said to be behind the “American Idol” victory of 25-year-old DAVID COOK, who beats the baby-faced 17-year-old, DAVID ARCHULETA, breaking the hearts of countless tween girls.

Los Angeles street artist SHEPARD FAIREY creates his wildly popular poster of Obama, a red-white-and-blue hued image of the candidate gazing ahead, underlined by the word “HOPE.”

JUNE

TIM RUSSERT dies at 58 of a sudden heart attack, after more than 16 years in one of the most influential jobs in TV news moderator of NBC’s “Meet The Press.” The death causes some baby boomers to start to wonder about their own health.

A computer-animated science fiction romance? Leave it to Pixar. After “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille” and “Cars,” another triumph for the studio comes in the form of “WALL-E,” a futuristic film about love between two robots.

JULY

Bonjour to the new JOLIE-PITT twins, who emerge in France, where parents ANGELINA JOLIE and BRAD PITT are hunkered down on their enormous estate. And BATMANIA reigns, thanks to LEDGER’S stunning (and posthumous) portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

BRITNEY and PARIS make their unwitting entrance into the campaign, fodder for McCain’s commercial mocking Obama as “the biggest celebrity in the world.” Hilton, though, gets the last laugh: The doe-eyed hotel heiress, lounging in a leopard-print swimsuit, offers up a much cleverer video riposte.

AUGUST

Call this the anti-celebrity month: Wary after that Britney-Paris spot, the DEMOCRATIC PARTY does its very best to de-emphasize the celeb factor at its convention in Denver. Meanwhile, McCain’s anti-celebrity campaign unveils its own, well, celebrity: the telegenic PALIN, who bursts onto the scene with a speech that galvanizes the GOP convention.

MADONNA turns 50! And the chiseled superstar is hardly alone. Also hitting the half-century mark this year: MICHAEL JACKSON, PRINCE, ELLEN DEGENERES, MICHELLE PFEIFFER, VIGGO MORTENSEN. Let’s imagine an amazing party at the royal palace in Monaco, where PRINCE ALBERT also hits the big 5-0, perhaps covered for CNN by CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR (yup, 50 too.)

SEPTEMBER

“I can see Russia from my house!” FEY debuts her impersonation of PALIN on “Saturday Night Live.” Kudos to the “SNL” writers, but you can’t say Palin doesn’t give them plenty of material including verbatim chunks of her rambling exchanges with KATIE COURIC. The CBS anchor, long plagued by low ratings and high expectations, makes a welcome comeback.

Also making a comeback: the ’60s, with all that guilt-free smoking, thanks to “MAD MEN,” the evocative drama on cable’s AMC. “Mad Men” wins an Emmy this month, thrilling its small but hugely loyal audience.

OCTOBER

Shall we just call it “HSM3”? And if you don’t know what that means, you probably won’t be seeing the movie. “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” the big-screen sequel to the two Disney TV movies, sings and dances its fresh-faced way to the top of the box office, thanks to the durable appeal of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and the other “HSM” alums.

“SNL” scores its highest ratings in 14 years when it snags the ultimate prize: Palin herself. The VP candidate proves a game cast member, obliging happily when Amy Poehler shouts out: “All the mavericks in the house, put your hands up!” ”

And JOE THE PLUMBER makes his debut, as a constant reference in the third presidential debate. Later, Joe, aka Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, 34, campaigns for McCain and Palin.

NOVEMBER

Yeah yeah, Obama is elected, but we’ll reserve the pop culture prize this month for OPRAH WINFREY. Weeping on the shoulder of a stranger at Obama’s victory rally, and gushing uncontrollably on her postelection show, the talk-show queen can surely claim a little credit for the triumph of her “favorite guy.” Maybe MOST celebrity endorsements don’t mean much, but this is Oprah. Two economists even claim she brought Obama a million votes in the primaries.

DECEMBER

Any true pop culture story must end as we started: with BRITNEY for, after a year in which she seemed to reach the depths, this famously durable young woman is in the midst of an astonishing comeback, with “Circus,” her latest CD, reaching No.1 on the album charts, according to her label, Jive. At 27, she seems to be not only “the world’s pop princess,” as her manager says. She’s the world’s pop culture princess, too.

Karl Rove Discusses His Second Subpoena From House Judiciary Committee

CIA, David Iglesias, Don Siegelman, Guantanamo, Iraq, Joe Wilson, Justice Department, Karl Rove, Torture, U.S. Attorney Firings, Valerie Plame, Wiretapping, WMD

The Crimes of George W. Bush [Video]

9/11, Ari Fleisher, Barack Obama, Bechtel, Bin Laden, Blackwater USA, Broadcatching, Carlyle, CPA, Dan Senor, David addinton, Elliot Abrams, Erik Prince, Extraordinary Rendition. Illegal, FISA, Frodo, Gonzalez, Guantanamo, Halliburton, Iraq, John Ashcroft, John Yoo, Karl Rove, KBR, Kristol, Military Commisions, Paul Bremer, Perle, PNAC, Politics, Rice, Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Torture, Truth Commision, Tullycast, U.S. Attorney Scandal, Valerie Plame, Vengeance Cnard, Wall Street, Waterboarding, Wiretapping, Wolfowitz

Obama Team Claims Michigan is Meaningless

Stories

January 15, 2008

Team Obama: Michigan’s Meaningless

Emailed a few minutes ago from Bill Burton to reporters with the subject line, “Something to think about as returns come in from Michigan” …

TO: Interested Parties
FR: The Obama Campaign
RE: Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary

Because Michigan violated DNC rules by placing its Presidential
Primary on January15th, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled that
the Michigan Democratic Party could not use the results of the January
15 Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the 2008 Democratic
National Convention. In other words, no delegates are at stake today in
the Michigan Democratic Primary.

All of the Democratic presidential candidates publicly pledged not
to campaign in Michigan, none have visited the state, opened offices,
hired staff or communicated with voters through television, mail,
phones or otherwise. In addition, four Democratic presidential
candidates, Obama, Edwards, Richardson and Biden withdrew their names
from the Primary ballot in order to avoid participating in the Michigan
Primary. Clinton did not withdraw her name even though she publicly
committed to not participate in the Primary. Clinton, Dodd, Gravel and
Kucinich are the only candidates on the ballot today. The Obama
Campaign is not participating in the Primary and has not instructed
supporters in Michigan whether or how to vote.

Therefore the results of the primary tonight have no bearing on the Democratic nomination contest.

Florida, whose primary was scheduled for January 29th, is just like
Michigan – the DNC applied full sanctions for setting an early
primary date and there are no delegates are at stake. As with Michigan,
all of the Democratic presidential candidates signed a pledge to not
campaign in Florida. Although Senator Obama did not remove his name
from the Florida Primary ballot because Florida law did not allow him
to do so, Senator Obama is firm in his commitment to neither
participate nor campaign in the Florida Primary and its outcome has no
bearing on the nomination contest. We raise Florida today because
Senator Clinton has scheduled a fundraiser in Florida on Jan. 27th, and
there are signs – despite Senator Clinton’s public pledge
to the contrary – that she may be planning to campaign in the
state – inquiring about large venues and increased organizing
activity – ahead of the Florida primary.

Our position and the position of the DNC is clear – neither
the Florida nor Michigan primaries are playing any role in deciding the
Democratic nominee and we are not campaigning in either state.

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