Pic of the Day
Plame/Wilson/Fitzgerald-All Their Cards Revealed This Week
There's something pleasing about finally being able to place that final piece of the puzzle firmly into place. This past week, all the players in this Plame/Wilson affair finished their task, started in early 2003.
Ah, it was a grand scheme, aided and abetted by the Mainstream Media, particularly the Arab, oops, New York Times.
From the NY Times:
WASHINGTON, April 7 - The White House tried today to quell the furor over the leaking of sensitive prewar intelligence on Iraq, as President Bush's spokesman insisted that the president had the authority to declassify and release information "in the public interest" and had never done so for political reasons.
Of course they were after President Bush. The latest to come out of that sham of an investigation led by Patrick Fitzgerald (more on this guy later) is the leak that it was President Bush who...well we're not exactly sure what President Bush did except what all presidents do but that's not the point. The point was to get Bush's name into that joke of an investigation and so somebody managed to get it out there that Libby's testimony to the grand jury mentioned Bush in conjunction with Plame/Wilson.
Let's start at the beginning. Joe Wilson, a former ambassador with a wife employed by the CIA, went on a little jaunt to Niger in early 2003 to "investigate" whether Saddam was trying to purchase yellowcake uranium. Said uranium is used to build nuclear bombs and if Saddam is trying to buy the stuff then, duh, he might be interested in building such bombs. President Bush had the audacity to mention this factoid in his January 2003 state-of-the-union speech. Which caused the lovely Mr. Wilson to arrange for a little trip overseas for the express purpose of smashing this notion right from the start.
Of course Wilson had a little help from his friends, including various reporters for the Arab, oops, NY Times and other Democratic operatives. Oh, and his wife Valerie Plame, who helped arrange this jaunt.
The Arab, oops, NY Times, conveniently forgets to mention Mr. Wilson's little side business which involves, imagine this, an import-export business involved in, imagine this again, importing and exporting...tada...uranium! A conflict of interest one might suppose but there you have it. For sure Mr. Wilson didn't want the United States looking into this and for sure the opposition party wanted something to bash the President over the head during his re-election year.
So Wilson, with a little help from his wife and evidently unknown to the administration, goes on this trip, comes back, and reports, VERBALLY, the results of his investigation. Now Mr. Wilson didn't submit a written report to the CIA and other military intelligence agencies. We presume he didn't want anything in writing. However, as reported in the Senate Select committee investigating this matter, Wilson reported back that his Niger buddies did, in fact, tell him that Iraqi intelligence agents were asking about purchasing yellowcake uranium.
And yet, imagine this, although Wilson reports that the President's assertion that Iraq was trying to purchase yellowcake uranium to our intelligence agencies, he then obtains the help of the Arab, oops, NY Times, and published, in July 2003, an op-ed where he firmly states that Iraq was NOT trying to purchase yellowcake uranium.
The President blew it totally, let's not forget this. Because Bush responded to Wilson's lie by retracting his statements made about Iraqi efforts to purchase yellowcake. I don't know why. Perhaps Plame and her CIA friends got to someone about Wilson's trip and manufactured lies and Bush was trying to dot all his I's and cross all his T's. It can get confusing when you've got a State Department and CIA packed with moles that you just can't trust.
At some point the administration figured out they had been bamboozled by former covert agent Valerie Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson. So it was arranged by the administration to have Scooter Libby talk to some reporters and tell the administration's side of the story. One such side being that this Wilson character out and about and spreading his lies about his jaunt to Niger, got authorization for that trip via her CIA contacts. Specifically, his wife. The memo she wrote to request her main dream man make this trip has been published extensively.
Next thing, the opposition party wants to play up this leak and thus the screams and demands for a special prosecutor to find out who leaked the name of secret agent 007, oops, Valerie Plame. An illegal act by the way.
Then Bush screws up again. He agrees to a special investigation. Likely Bush agreed to an investigation because election year was looming and the only way he could get the hyenas off his back from July through the following November was to diffuse the noise and agree to have special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald do a thorough investigation and nail the dastardly Dan who leaked the name of top-secret CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Only Valerie Plame was not a top-secret agent and as soon as Fitzgerald realized this he should have shut down the investigation. No crime, no investigation, simple as that.
For a while this Fitzgerald fellow was a missing piece of the puzzle but thanks to the Blogosphere and Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker, that puzzle piece fell into place.
Why didn't Fitzgerald drop the investigation just as soon as it was ascertained no crime was committed? Why waste tax dollars snooping into something not against the law? Ms. Feldman did some investigating of her own and goodness me, what we learn about Fitzgerald is astonishing.
From The American Thinker:
The denouement of the Special Prosecutor began a few weeks ago when it was learned his staff in a major terrorism case accidentally delivered 16 cartons of highly classified documents to defense counsel, and it took them four months to figure that out and try to get them returned. As the Los Angeles Times wrote:"Federal officials erred in releasing intelligence documents to an Islamic charity's defense team. Federal officials in Dallas mistakenly disclosed classified counter-terrorism information in a breach of national security that could also threaten one of the country's biggest terrorism prosecution cases, newly unsealed court records show.
"The blunder exposed secret wiretap requests that commonly include classified information from U.S. agencies, foreign intelligence reports and confidential sources.
"The criminal case involves officials of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a now-defunct Islamic charity with alleged ties to terrorists. Its assets were frozen by the Treasury Department three months after the Sept. 11 attacks."
The news for Fitzgerald got worse last week, as he was forced to drop a high profile prosecution of a prominent businessman with an impeccable record whom he had wrongfully charged with criminal conduct, in a case remarkably redolent of the same kind of sloppy handling which characterizes the Libby case. The Washington Post reports:"Charges have been dropped against Northern Virginia businessman Frank L. Cowles Jr., who was arrested in November on allegations of conspiring to defraud a hedge fund out of $25 million.
"A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago dropped criminal charges against Cowles on March 1 after the U.S. attorney's office there filed a motion to dismiss. Cases continue against two men who were charged with Cowles for allegedly defrauding a Chicago-based fund.
"'For someone who has been absolutely clean and honorable all my life, the charges came as quite a blow,' Cowles, 76, said in a telephone interview.' The only thing I've ever had on my record is three speeding tickets when I was 18,' he said. 'After a very, very exhaustive 3 1/2 -month investigation, they came up with the right conclusion.' Cowles's attorney, Robert D. Luskin of the law firm Patton Boggs in the District, said the complaint against Cowles was a mistake and that his client had been the victim of a scheme that cost him a great financial loss.' This was a mistake,' Luskin said. 'The person that was thought to be the predator was actually the prey.'"
Now yon readers, above we have two cases where this wonderful prosecutor totally screwed up. As you can read in the first part, in one case Fitzgerald's team managed to lose documents to an ISLAMIC CHARITY! Odd. Really odd.
Feldman continues her analysis of the vaunted Fitzgerald in this follow-up article where she delves into the fact that Fitzgerald reports to NO ONE in the department of justice for this investigation.
Of course. This is why the man can continue to pursue this ridiculous investigation into a non-crime. No one can tell him to stop!
Valerie Plame was not a covert agent at the CIA. Once upon a time she had classified status but her job at the time she sent her husband on that Niger jaunt, she was an ordinary employee at the Bureau. To chase after anyone who revealed her non-classified status at the CIA is akin to sending me to jail for writing right here that my neighbor across the street is a switchboard operator at the CIA.
The argument is, of course, that while Libby didn't lie about Plame's status, he did lie to a grand jury. At least that's what Fitzgerald is charging him for. I am reminded of the oregano in the spaghetti.
Suppose a special prosecutor was assigned to investigate whether I used oregano in my spaghetti sauce. Understand, right now, that there is NO law regarding the use or oregano in spaghetti sauce so right off the bat there's a bogus investigation. I suspect Bush agreed to this investigation so readily because a)it was politically expedient and b)he figured that someone with a brain would figure out soon enough that it is not, well that oregano in the spaghetti sauce thing.
But if the powers-that-be decided to continue investigating me on that spaghetti sauce/oregano non-crime, for sure they can't get me for not using oregano in my spaghetti sauce or even lying about it before the investigation. However, if I lie or mis-state under pressure of the interrogating lights, well then I HAVE committed a crime. I go to jail. It's against the law to lie to grand juries and investigators. The net result is the same: I end up in jail for putting oregano in my spaghetti sauce.
So we have Joe Wilson who runs an import/export firm and is knee-deep in Niger's yellowcake uranium business. We have his lovely 007 spy wife who is not a spy arranging for ole Joe to go to Nigeria and get a report. Joe comes back, lies about it all over the place then claims boo-hoo because supposedly some administration hack revealed his wife's secret identity. Only Plame has no secret identity but let's not let the truth get in our way.
NOW we have a special prosecutor all dolled-up in his best pink panther outfit with a big magnifying glass putting innocent people in jail over nothing. A special prosecutor with a very troubled past.
Finally, last week, the climax and purpose of the whole case was revealed. The Arab, oops, NY Times, should be leaning back and smoking a cigarette from the sheer joy of it. For somehow the detail that it was President Bush who released something, something, something. It doesn't matter in which context Libby testified about the President. They just wanted Bush's name out there. They wanted the average American, busily carrying this country on his/her back, to hear the words "leak, spy, Plame and Bush" all at one clip. Hoping that said average American would conclude that Bush is running all over the place revealing the names of top-secret spies.
Not only is this Fitzgerald mess wasting money in the millions, it's starting to appear amazingly like this is all a set-up to turn Joe Wilson into an angel and the administration trying to defend this country as villains. When such activities as calling up reporters and giving background is as normal as the sun coming up each morning and that is all that Scooter Libby did when he spoke to some reporters about Joe Wilson's lying assertions. If the administration can't get its side of the story out than why even have a democracy?
So I smile, glad that President Bush's name finally got dropped in so convenient a manner. By a leak. Possibly by the prosecutor's office investigating a leak.
I'd smile but I think of all the Katrina victims who could have new homes with the money wasted on this nonsense. Joseph Wilson was looking out for his own fine self and let's not forget that lie of a book he wrote.
For this smarmy couple this country has to endure all this nonsense.
And with Fitzgerald reporting to absolutely no one, well this gives him Superman status. The entire thing is rather boring to the American public, I suspect.
Until Fitzgerald comes after us for putting oregano in our spaghetti sauce.
Finally Over Katie Couric
This is just a total indulgence. For I am finally over my extreme excitement over the appointment of perky Katie as CBS anchor maven.
Took me a week but I had plenty of sound bites and sight bites to ease me through it.
I am just so excited. I am so glad the rest of the world is as excited as me.
The Kaitlyn Mae Book Blog Helps Record History
In late March 2006 I interviewed Joseph Shahda and posted the meat of that interview here.
Mr. Shahda is a Lebanese-American who is translating those documents placed recently on the web by President Bush. The documents were captured by our soldiers after the U.S. entered Iraq. With this war currently ongoing and the dearth of Arab/English translators, our government did a historic thing and released these documents on the Internet. One citizen, Joseph Shahda, took the challenge and has been studiously poring through thousand of documents. He then translates those documents he considers especially pertinent.
I was so impressed by Mr. Shahda’s zeal for the task (he’d already translated ten damning documents by the time of our interview and has done several more since) that I arranged an interview with this dedicated citizen.
The story doesn’t end there. For this is a story of the Blogosphere if ever there was one. Although the main stream media also interviewed Mr. Shahda in the form of the Boston Globe and the NY Times, it was I, a humble grandmother blogger, who was first to recognize his efforts in the Blogosphere realm.
At some point, another well-known blogger, one Ed Morrissey of the blog Captain’s Quarters, picked up the story as well. Ed was the 2005 blogger of the year and his site is considered a stronghold for political punditry and analysis. Shahda had been posting his translations on the web site FreeRepublic.com. It was on FreeRepublic that I contacted Mr. Shahda to arrange the interview. Once I’d posted the interview on my blog, I began to contact Captain Ed about Shahda’s efforts. In addition, Laurie Mylroie has a hired translator, also translating some of these documents.
Captain Ed jumped on Shahda’s translations and efforts. In fact, Captain Ed even hired TWO Arab translators to verify Shahda’s translations.
This is the Captain’s first post about Shahda’s translation efforts. If you visit his site you will find other posts and comments on the subject. The good Captain also gave my humble blog a link for the Shahda interview and at some point, yon humble Kaitlyn Mae Book Blog was totally blocked from the web traffic.
This is a story that is NOT going away. Shahda continues his dedicated translations and each translation reveals way more about Saddam’s evil intent than you will ever read in the main stream media. So while we heard about Saddam’s alleged missing weapons of mass destruction for over three years now, when one citizen finally gets to the truth of the matter, well that’s not news.
Thus the Blogosphere will be carrying this water for a while. With the help of mighty FreeRepublic and Captain’s Quarters and the other citizens banging the drums about this, let’s hope sweet granddaughter Kaitlyn Mae will someday read the TRUE history of this country’s invasion of Iraq.
Immigration, Immigration, Immigration
Okay, we’ve seen the marches. The illegals marching all over the place finally got a clue and stopped with the Mexican flags already.
I am totally unimpressed. They can march all they want. They are here illegally and while I don’t support any notion that they should be shipped home wholesale, I’m not about to paint them as saviors of the American way.
Americans simply want a damn system put in place over this immigration fiasco. A system. A methodology. A procedure and a strict adherence plan to any procedures agreed upon. Americans also want their borders secured so that not just anybody can come waltzing into this country to work illegally, tax our public health system and drive around without a license or insurance.
This is what we elect congress critters to do. Perhaps it’s too much work for their honorable selves, this notion that they should actually enact enforceable laws?
All those marches aren’t going to dent the resolve of American citizens who carry this country on their backs.
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I called a woman I did not know at 3:45 this morning. She was ecstatic to hear from me and nearly cried on the phone.
I don't know her name. I don't know her address. I do know that I did a wonderful thing in calling her.
You see, I do know some things about her. I know her phone number. And I know she has a dog.
Because Lucy, her dog, was lying outside the office door this morning when I arrived at 3:30am. (Yes, 3:30. That's another tale.)
It's dark at 3:30. And quiet. I pulled into the parking lot and saw this huge animal lying out front. I drove around the building, like I always do when I open the building, and came back around to park in
The dog barked at me. A deep-throated rumbling WOOF, WOOF, that sounded as if she meant business. I wished I'd brought a lunch with me to at least have bartering coin for safe passage to the front doors.
I rolled down the window and spoke to her. She barked... but her tail was wagging, and I could see a cute ribbon behind each ear. She looked like purebred Bernese Mountain Dog, and she wore tags on her collar.
This dog had a home; why wasn't she there?
I cautiously extended an arm out the window (my left, just in case) and she barked, and sniffed, and wagged. So I found courage and got out of the car. She ran back to the front doors. She wanted *in* the
building in the worst way. She stood, looking in, very much like a dog who's been let out to go to the bathroom and now expects you to open the door.
Could she belong to someone who worked there?
I opened the outer door of the building and could hear the alarm's warning signal (the one that says I have about 30 seconds to disarm the thing). I got to the inner doors and realized the dog had followed me. I didn't dare let her in the building -- I had no clue where she'd go or if I could get her back (and if she went running down the aisleways before I'd disabled the alarm, oh, boy). I carefully opened the inner door and kept her in the foyer area. She wasn't happy with that and whined while I disabled the building alarm.
I powered up my PC, grabbed a pen and paper, and went back to her. "Lucy" her tag read. And an address, which was so worn I couldn't read it, but could see that the city was mine. On the bottom was the phone
number, also worn so that the area code and the next digit after that were illegible. But if it was this city, I knew what those numbers were. I wrote the number down and returned to my desk, accompanied by
ever-louder whines from the foyer.
"Hello?" answered a not-at-all sleepy voice when I dialed the number.
"I'm sorry to be calling you so early, but do you have a dog named Lucy?" I asked the woman I didn't know.
"Yes!" she cried. "I've been out all night looking for her."
"She's here. She's fine..." and I gave her directions for getting to the office. She lived several miles away. I told her to honk when she got there, because the office was locked and there was no "doorbell."
As it turned out, I didn't need her to honk -- Lucy told me when her owner arrived. The reunion was a wonderful thing to witness and a joyful way to start my day.
Lucy is one lucky dog.
The Desk Drawer writer's exercise list
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