Thursday, 31 May 2007

GUEST COMMENTARY: VALERIE PLAME'S 'COVERT' STATUS

Ken Berwitz

This writeup, from www.sweetness-light.com, says it better than I could.  So here it is:

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Fitzgerald Now Says Plame Was A Covert Agent

May 31st, 2007

From the DNCs house magazine Newsweek:

Was She or Wasnt She?

Arguing that Libby deserves jail time, Fitzgerald says Plame was a covert agent.

By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball

May 29, 2007 - In new court filings, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has finally resolved one of the most disputed issues at the core of the long-running CIA leak controversy: Valerie Plame Wilson, he asserts, was a covert CIA officer who repeatedly traveled overseas using a cover identity in order to disguise her relationship with the agency.

Fitzgerald cites Wilsons covert status as part of his argumentadvanced in two strongly worded memos filed in recent daysthat I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheneys former chief of staff, should be sentenced to up to three years in prison

It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statutethe Intelligence Identities Actas a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press, Fitzgerald wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed late last Friday night

In the unclassified summary of his memorandum which was based on information cleared by the CIA and became publicly available Tuesday, Fitzgerald provided new details about Wilsons previously classified activities at the agency. In January 2002, she was working for the agency as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operationss Counterproliferation Division (CPD) and serving as chief of a unit with responsibility for weapons-proliferation issues related to Iraq. In that capacity, he added, she traveled overseas in an undercover capacity.

She traveled at least seven times to more than 10 countries, the document states. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilsons employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

One thing that is painfully clear is that Fitzgerald is a liar. Another thing that is also clear is that Newsweek will never stop carrying water for the Plames. (Note how Fizgerald gave this to Spikey Isikoff as an exclusive.)

If Ms. Plame had been qualified under the Intelligence Identities [Protection] Act, Fitzgerald should have prosecuted Richard Armitage and whoever else leaked her information.

But he didnt because she wasnt covert in the sense of the meaning of the IIPA. And up until now Fitzgerald has been careful to avoid claiming she was. But his bizarre vindictive nature and need to score a scalp for his DNC masters has gotten the better of him.

In January 2002, she was working for the agency as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operationss Counterproliferation Division (CPD) and serving as chief of a unit with responsibility for weapons-proliferation issues related to Iraq. In that capacity, he added, she traveled overseas in an undercover capacity.

She traveled at least seven times to more than 10 countries, the document states. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity

Even if this is true (and the 2002 date is awfully convenient since it just barely fits the five year limit), there is no indication that Plames cover was non-official (NOC).

Besides, the act was designed to protect those living and working overseas full time. (Cf. Richard Welch.) Not managers just popping in for a quick visit.

But more importantly, if Fitzgerald has known this all along why didnt he at least bring this up during Mr. Libbys trial, where it could have been vetted by the defense lawyers?

No, given Mr. Fitzgeralds history of shaving the truth with ambiguous if not outright misleading verbiage, it is more likely that it is all a lie merely designed to get Mr. Libby a longer sentence.

For Patrick Fitzgerald (is) far more of a liar and partisan hack than Mr. Libby ever was. This case has become a personal jihad for him.

Too bad the judge, (who seems to be of very limited abilities) will probably fall for this vicious deceit.

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HOLOCAUST STUDIES

Ken Berwitz

Some time ago I blogged about public schools in the UK that were eliminating significant parts of the holocaust from their curriculum because they didn't want to offend some of their students.  Altering history to sanitize genocide, you see, would be inoffensive.

At that time I noted that, having sent two children through the public schools in my area, I really did not know what THEY were taught about the holocaust. I made a promise to check and find out.

Ok, I admit I'm a little late on this.  But better late than never.  I wandered into the high school today and spoke the the principal.  He was very gracious and has asked a person I believe to be the chair of the history department to meet with me, show me the textbook and describe the nature of the course work. 

I will report back to you after this meeting takes place.


FRED THOMPSON'S QUALIFICATIONS

Ken Berwitz

One of my biggest problems with would-be presidential candidates is their lack of qualifications for the office. 

I generally prefer people with executive experience (i.e. they ran something and were responsible for its success or failure) rather than senators, who cast votes but don't personally run a thing.  So, apparently, does the rest of the country, since only two presidents out of the 43** we have had went straight from the Senate to the Oval office:  Warren Harding and JFK.

Candidates like John Edwards and Barak Obama are ludicrous to me.  Edwards, apart from his many deficits (which I have detailed in previous blog entries), is a one term senator without any legislative accomplishments, and had a woeful record of non-attendance at his committee meetings.  Barack Obama doesn't even have the one term.  It's hard to comprehend what kind of ego convinces people like them that they should be considered for the presidency -- and even harder to understand why some voters think their candidacies are a good idea.

I put Hillary Clinton in the same categry.  What, exactly, has she accomplished since law school?  She became a partner in a demonstrably corrupt law firm in Arkansas when her husband was elected the state's Attorney General, and then a senior partner when he was elected Governor.  She didn't even have to try cases to pretend she had qualifications for those promotions.  She was a Watergate lawyer, but was so inept that the chief counsel (Jerome Zieffman, a Democrat) refused to give her a reference for the work.  And as a senator she has had exactly zero impact legislatively.

The only two things Hillary Clinton was put in charge of were Arkansas' Educational system (which went from 49th to 49th with her running the show) and US health care (a fiasco beyond my ability to articulate, which her own party voted against just as vigorously as Republicans did).

Then we have Fred Dalton Thompson.  Most people know him as a successful character actor who used to be a senator.  That's accurate.  But there is a lot more.  Let me tell you about him:

-Thompson worked his way through law school and got his law degree from Vanderbilt University - where Al Gore flunked out of graduate school, by the way;

-He was an Assistant US Attorney for 3 years, from 1967-69;

-He was the co-chief counsel in the Watergate investigation (and, unlike Hillary Clinton, apparently performed quite well in that capacity);

-He was personally responsible for the investigation that resulted in a corrupt Tennessee Governor, Ray Blanton, being removed from office in disgrace - a case which launched Thompson's acting career (he played himself in the movie);

-He then became both an actor and also a highly successful lobbyist in Washington DC, someone who learned first-hand, and therefore knows, the inner workings of power;

-In 1994 Thompson was elected Senator, to fill out the unexpired term of - ironically - Al Gore, who was then Vice President.  He won election to a full term two years later in a huge landslide;

-Since finishing that term in 2002, Thompson resumed his highly successful acting career.  He has also spoken out and written about major issues affecting this country, with a bluntness and directness that, sadly, is almost unique in politicians (Rudy Giuliani does this as well.  So does Dennis Kucinich, though he is not a viable candidate so it hardly matters). 

As you can see, Fred Thompson is far more than just an ego-driven guy with a winning smile and a nonexistent resume.  In that regard he certainly sets himself apart from the candidates I spoke about at the beginning of this blog entry. 

Will he enter the race?  Can he be nominated?  Can he win?  I'm more than a little interested to see how this plays out. 

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**Yes there were 43.  I know that Grover Cleveland, who served two non-consecutive terms, is only one man, which knocks the number down to 42.  But then there is President David Rice Atchison.  If you know about him you don't need me to tell you.  If you don't,  look it up.  It's a little-known but utterly fascinating piece of Americana. 

J Hauser Oh Ken, spare me the crap! Fred Thompson is no more qualified to be president than the others cited in your article. Tell me ONE significant piece of legislation he sponsored as a US Senator in his 12 years. From what I read he is pretty *red-neck* and we sure do not need another president with little or no real qualifications! (05/31/07)


THE REGULARS AT CROOKSANDLIARS.COM

Ken Berwitz

It's been a while since I have posted a sampling of the wit and wisdom from regular visitors to www.crooksandliars.com

As you may be aware, crooksandliars.com is one of the most heavily trafficked websites out there.  It is also a hardest-of-hard left site that attracts the LAMB** crowd in all its glory.

Today one of the blog entries involves President Bush.  And the regulars truly outdid themselves.  Following is a small sampling of their comments about the President.  If you want to read them all, just go to http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/31/bush-thumping-his-chest-i-am-the-president/ and click on "comments" at the bottom of the page.

Please remember that the thoughts (a charitable word to use here), grammar, and language quality are theirs, not mine:

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Gravatar I don't know what the big deal is. It's obviously no surprise that he's pretty much exactly how SNL portrays him..a whiney, attention starved, power hungry, completely inept and mildly retarded politician. Further, he's proud, stubborn, stupid, cowardly-chicken-hawk-toughguy cowboy.

He's easily overqualified for a conviction in probably any court in the world for crimes against humanity..but since he isn't being pursued for it (if it mattered to congress, they'd have done it by now), we'll just keep taking this childish evil-doer up the ass!

I've decided to not talk shit about Bush anymore. Since I will not do anything about it (even though I've already asked my congresswoman to pursue his criminal conviction) anymore. Nor will I complain. WE (yes, YOU C&Lers and I and everyone else in the world) are going to watch him finish his term, watch him pretend to go out good (starting with the false EPA and AIDS funding gestures) and watch him slip into retirement and continued wealth and corruption and we'll have just been raped for the last 8 years and do nothing. George bless the USA!!
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Gravatar Just paint a little mustache on that picture.

Those who ignore the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.

We are in the hands of a madman. A total sociopath.

And he is a mere puppet of the real power.
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Gravatar Rove must really have his arm up the chimps ass for him to act like that.
Who knew he was that good of a ventrilloquest?
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Gravatar ha ha ha!!! Im picturing the chimp beating on his chest n' shit, too funny!!! someone throw him a banana... actually just drop an entire crate of bananas on his ass! ha ha ha ha!!!! "Mighty Kong!"
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Gravatar We all know he's a crazy fu*ker and we all also know he's the most dangerous crazy fu*ker in the world.

Don't run with scissors, don't play with fire and don't let a crazy fu*ker have the button that can blow up the world. It's just common sense.
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Gravatar "I am the preznit!" -- no George, youre a piece of shit and I wouldnt piss on you if you were on fire.
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Really, what are we going to do about this guy? He's about 10 hairs away from being a monkey, he's got his finger on that little red button, his wife is so zoned out on drugs she makes Britney Spears look sane and the rest of us are so powerless, we can only watch and weep. I need a drink and a nap.
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Gravatar Let us hope our georgie goes the way of England's George III.
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Is that the BOOZE, the DRUGS, or cheney's hand stuck up your ass doing the talking?
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Gravatar If the American people press for, and get, impeachment of this lunatic, the world will judge us as a country that was against the man and his circle of henchmen; and will back off (somewhat) on the hate and terrorist plots.

If he is allowed to stay until the end of his term, the world will judge us as the people who voted for this Crusader TWICE; and will be planning more 9/11s for decades.

We have to impeach this idiot so our children can live in a less dangerous world.
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Losing" in Iraq was always the plan...ALWAYS.

They have a completely different game plan in mind, and it's called ACQUISITION OF RESOURCES AND TERRITORY combined with mass exodus or mass extinction of the population.

Some of us have been telling you this for the better part of three years, and have had to endure the slings and arrows of those of you who accused us of being "conspiracy theorists."

You were right - we are conspiracy theorists - and that's why we are the few who recognized the conspiracy for what it is.

If you're not a conspiracy theorist, how can you ever hope to understand the conspiracy being revealed before your very eyes?

Snap out of it.
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Gravatar don't forget, chimpy is losing it, but he has his demented finger on the "mushroom cloud" button. he can cause total devastation to the entire human race with one of his insipid "chest thumping" moments. i would be very frieghtened. bush is just that insane.
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Gravatar I'd like to thump his head with a big rubber mallet.
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Weed + Jack Daniels =Bush's comments.

Sounds like King Georgie is having a temper tantrum or suffering bunker mentality. Time for his diaper change. LOL! 
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And many, many more.  Go to the site and see for yourself.

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** As readers of this blog know, a LAMB is a member of the Lunatic-left And Mega-Moonbat Brigade


MORE HILLARY HYPOCRISY

Ken Berwitz

I have a legal right to sit on my front porch and look at an upside down copy of Ranger Rick.  The reason I don't is that it doesn't make any sense and doesn't appeal to me.

I have a legal right to stand in Union Square (New York or San Francisco, you pick) and speak out in favor of ending the budget deficit by eliminating social security.  I don't do it because I don't believe in it and think it would be wrong.

There is a difference between what we have the right to do and what we actually will do.  That difference, in large part, defines what our true beliefs are, as well as the quality of our character.

With this in mind, I offer you this from the Associated Press today.  As usual, the bold print is mine:-

 LAS VEGAS (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that she followed all Senate rules when she accepted rides on a private jet from a longtime benefactor.

"Whatever I've done, I complied with Senate rules at the time. That's the way every senator operates," the Democratic presidential contender said in an interview with The Associated Press during a campaign stop in Las Vegas.

Clinton's travel, along with and consulting fees paid to her husband, the former president, have come to light recently in a lawsuit against Vinod Gupta, a Clinton contributor and chief executive of the data company, InfoUSA Inc. 

The lawsuit by company shareholders accuses Gupta of excessively spending millions of dollars, including $900,000 worth of travel on the Clintons.

Sen. Clinton, who complained about corporate America's largesse and skyrocketing executive pay during campaign events Wednesday, said she did not believe her message was undermined by her acceptance of the private flights. In line with Senate rules then in effect, Clinton's campaign has said she reimbursed Gupta at the cost of a first-class flight, typically a significant discount off the expense of a private jet.

"Those were the rules. You'll have to ask somebody else whether that's good policy," she said.  -

There you have it.  The senator from New York doesn't believe in this kind of activity.  But she engages in it.  Why?  Because she can, that's why. 

Is it just me, or is Ms. Clinton's inevitable candidacy getting more and more "evitable" every day?


CABLE NEWS RATINGS FOR MAY

Ken Berwitz

As cable networks put out their bulls....er, promotional material to convince you of how well they are doing, I thought you might be interested in the actual numbers.

Here, from www.mediabistro.com, are the 15 most watched cable news shows, and the average number of households watching them:-

MAY '07: 4/30/2007 - 5/25/2007

FOXN THE OREILLY FACTOR                   1,954,000

FOXN HANNITY & COLMES                      1,388,000

FOXN ON THE RECORD W/GRETA           1,185,000

FOXN THE FOX REPORT W/S.SMITH        1,139,000

FOXN SPECIAL REPORTW/BRIT HUME    1,094,000

FOXN THE OREILLY FACTOR (RPT)             993,000

CNN LARRY KING LIVE                               869,000

FOXN THE BIG STORY W/J GIBSON           829,000

FOXN FOX AND FRIENDS                            809,000

FOXN AMERICAS NEWSROOM                   808,000

CNN LOU DOBBS TONIGHT                        788,000

FOXN YOUR WORLD W/NEIL CAVUTO        731,000

FOXN STUDIO B W/S.SMITH                        714,000

FOXN FOX NEWS LIVE                               700,000

FOXN LIVE DESK W/M.MACCALLUM         681,000 -

 

A few observations:

-13 of the top 15 are on Fox News Channel

-The other 2 are on CNN.  That means MSNBC has no shows in the top 15. 

-keith olbermann's leftwing-fest, "Countdown" again doesn't break the top 15.  In fact, it is in 17th place, with 598,000 viewers on average.  After four years of increasingly shrill, bitter sarcasm, whining envy and viciously personal attacks from Mr. olbermann, Bill O'Reilly still generates more than three times the audience.  In fact, the REPEAT of O'Reilly, at 11PM, gets over 50% more viewership than Countdown.  That, folks, is a drubbing.

It sort of makes you wonder what the Democratic party is thinking, as they shun Fox News Channel for their debates.  Maybe they figure that avoiding places where tougher questions might be asked, and just preaching to the choir, is enough to win in 2008.

We'll see..........

barry sinrod IT HAS TO BE THE 28% that still back Bush. There can be no other interpretation of this data, if in fact this is the correct data and not data made for FOX NOISE. When Monica Goodling testified FOX had nothing about it. When they had the Dem debate they never mentioned it once. Think it is a coincidence that virtually every well known person in the world other than Republicans are on FOX and other networks. But Democrats rarely are on FOX because of the vicious attacks by each and every person on FOX starting with Murdoch to Ailles to each anchor. (05/31/07)

Ken Hooboy. Here goes Barry again. Where do I start? 1) yes there can be another interpretation of the data, logical reasons don't end with your opinion. 2) The data are from Nielsen, so your hatred of Fox can't be used to explain the ratings away. 3) Of course Monica Goodling's testimony was reported by Fox. I saw it with my own eyes. Why do you insist on making up "facts" when you don't know what you're talking about? 4) Fox did entire segments on the Democratic debate. Again you let your ad hominem hatred of Fox supersede reality and just make it up as you go along. 6) Democrats are ongoingly on Fox. And the times they aren't, such as the debate they all ran away from, it is by THEIR choice, not Fox's. (05/31/07)


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