Friday, November 18, 2005

The Bird and the Box

It must have been a late spring up north because the golden plovers were all over town; not above the artic circle where they belonged. As a little boy growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, seeing wild life was nothing new, but this sea of birds that washed over our fields and forests was wonderful. Hunter instincts raged in the hearts of my buddy, Lawrence White and myself, and we set about to ‘catch us some birds’! The plan was to carefully balance a pasteboard box on a stick attached to a long string. A trail of bread bits would lead the unsuspecting plover into the trap, then a yank on the string and he would be ours. We sat in the bushes for hours watching the clouds of birds come down to cover the lawn around our box. They would come like falling rain, in squalls of tens and twelves, then explode into the air all at once like a hurricane of beating wings and erry calls; spooked by some too quick move or careless sound. Over and over again they churned between earth and sky, but not one paid the slightest attention to our box. There were so many birds that it seemed the mere force of the building mass would push one into our snare, but not a bird showed any interest in bread or box. At last I lost it and stood up. The plovers were gone in a roaring cloud. I kicked the box and headed home. Lawrence called bitterly after me; he cried warm tears. Why wouldn’t I stay? How could I abandon him? Surly, with so many plovers, one would be ours if we would just wait long enough. I went and got my 22 and shot a few. We didn’t speak for weeks.

For two years the media and their stoolies in the Democrat Party have crafted and tended the Valeri Plame trap. Now, after failing to coax in any birds and with nothing to show for their years of casting their bread upon the waters, Bob Woodward has kicked out the stick and left the Left with nothing but bitter tears.

Perusal of Fox News reports for Friday, November 18th (referenced here in my attempt to reach up to recent standards in the Agora) shows the falling out of media buddies.

Woodward, once the patron saint of investigative journalists, is now the subject of angry and pouting disappointment. Critics charge that Woodward has become too cozy with Sources. One wonders where such media wise-guys were when Woodward was wooing Deep Throat. Colleagues at the Washington Post sob that “people feel let down!” Why; because Woodward told the truth and crushed the carefully crafted snare the media had built for President Bush?

Close Woodward friend, Walter Pincus (I couldn’t have made up a more fitting name) insists he can’t remember that Woodward told him about Plame two weeks before Libby is alleged to have blown her cover. How convenient for media types, they need have no memory of the facts. Too bad the poor souls they ensnare aren’t given an equal latitude of tolerance. By the way, Pincus is already in contempt of Court for failing to disclose a leaker, but that is only a crime if you’re a bird slated for the box.

It seems Woodward is already in trouble for telling the truth about the Scooter (where do they get these names) witch hunt. Woodward has claimed that this tea pot tempest is a pretty crumby case and not at all significant. This degradation of the carefully crafted box trap; dropped Woodward from media hero to Bush flunky in a wing flick.

Woodward’s revelation has kicked the sticks out from under the box of Prosecutor Fitzgereld’s teetering trap. The prosecutor’s clam that “He [Libby] was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter”, has not only fallen flat, it has been stepped on.

In his own defense, Woodward states, “People want reporters to use information as a political weapon. I won’t do that. I’m just trying to find out what happened and report it as accurately as possible.” Woodward’s memory is a little foggy. Those outside the media box have a better memory of the political ramifications of Watergate, or has all that Deep Throat stuff started stinging Woodward’s conscience. Let’s hope so!


Reach Upward said...

Another funny thing happened when Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) demanded an immediate vote on the complete and unconditional pull out of American troops from Iraq within six months. Unfortunately for the grandstanding Murtha, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said OK, and a vote was held. Of course, only three complete nut jobs voted in favor of the dimwitted resolution. Anti-war folks cried foul, saying that the vote was political maneuvering. I guess you've got to be careful what you ask for. Murtha asked for something (that he really didn't want anyway) just to score points, and then he acted shocked and dismayed when the leadership gave him what he asked for. Go figure.

Lysis said...

Well said Reach!

What Murtha’s stunt proves is that, to the Democrats, everything is a game; everything is abstract. They are playing out of their much mentioned “Play Book” in an imaginary world where they can make things true by wanting them so. By the rules of their game, the Iraqi heroes fighting beside our troops count for nothing, their deaths not worth a moment’s outrage. At the same time Democrats have spent years screaming about the vulgar prank pictures from Abu Grab, or alleged toilet flushings at Guantanamo Bay. The Democrats and their media masters through fits about the death of 57 Jordanian wedding guests while mundanely tallying up the deaths of Iraqi civilians as though they were so many points on a score board.

What Hastert did was call their bluff with a real world response with real world ramifications that the Democrats could not have contemplated. Now all they can do is leap up and call foul because they have been caught empty handed while claiming to hold all the cards.

Rumpole said...


With my apologies to Anonymous, standards have always been high at the Agora. Fox News really does seem to be fair and balanced. In fact, terms like ‘ahead of the curve’, and ‘groundbreaking’ are how I would describe its reporting on anything relating to oxy-contin.

I am forced to mention, however, that there are those who would be foolish enough to “enlist” the military to provide accurate statistics about their own recruiting. If you need military statistics, better make sure you conslult “ol’ Gen. Barry." I know he will bird dog it all the way to the truth.

I have a few questions about the Woodward revelation that maybe you can help me with. Hasn’t the term for the grand jury on Plame expired? If so, why was Fitzgerald interviewing Woodward? And ultimately, what lead Fitzgerald to Woodward?

Woodward’s revelation aside, what is most intriguing to me is “why now?” Woodward apparently knew as much as 17 months ago about Plame. Why the revelation AFTER the indictment? Cynic that I am, I don’t think Woodward came forward to rescue Libby. Maybe Woodward did it just to save his own skin. But I would like to know.

I hope there is another budding Woodward out there that will expose Woodward’s motivation. I have my doubts though. In the Dan Rather scandal over George Bush’s National Guard Service we still don’t know who forged the documents. Surely that is a part of the story worth telling!


The “brightest” mind in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid, said that “Bush and Cheney have “shamelessly decided to play politics” (Washington Post, Nov. 18) over Iraq. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. C’mon Harry. Shut the Senate down again to clean things up! I know you didn’t do it before just for the P.R.!

I’m glad to see that the republicans finally got a little backbone. The shenanigans over the war won’t stop until the Democrat detractors are exposed for who they really are. They might not stop anyway.

Incidentally, six Democrats voted “present” rather than yes or no (Washington Times Nov. 20). Was that some sort of protest? I’m guessing their votes were added in the yes column (the final tally was 403-3 with no mention of “present”). Even Murther himself voted against the resolution. Maybe the six figured it was better to attempt to not take a position. It is a great story!

Lysis said...

Rumpole: The prosecutor can continue to follow the case as long as he wants, and re-open it at will. The grand jury is simply one of his tools. If he comes to believe that he has enough evidence to gain another incitement he can (and it looks like in this case he will) empanel another grand jury.

As for Murtha and other Democrats bent on turning tail for political gain; many are saying Murtha can say what he wants because he is a decorated war hero. Let me point out that Benedict Arnold was also a war hero. In fact what was so eternally damming about the Arnold's treason was that he had led Americans fighting for freedom until he decided that their case was hopeless and that changing sides would be the best thing for his own interests.

Murtha joins Bill Clinton, who delivered an anti America speech in Dubai this past week, in placing his own agenda above his countries security, the lives of our allies, and the freedom of the world. Shame on both of them; the time has come to call them what they are. Benedict Arnold is in the dictionary.

Dan Simpson said...

Through all of the scooter libby politicalization process, one thing has always bothered me. People seem to want to defend him and claim that the prosecutor is a political hack and out to get somebody. Whether or not Libby leaked an informants name is no longer the issue. He was indicted for lying under oath. I don't care if you have never committed another crime in your entire life, if you are being investigated for one and you lie, then you have committed a serious crime.

Again, innocent until proven guilty should rule the day, but to indict someone on these charges, to me, is not political in any way, it is the law.

Reach Upward said...

I agree with what Lysis said in a previous post about being very angry with Libby if he actually lied to the grand jury. We should expect and demand that our government officials follow the law. At least the Republicans seem to be taking this seriously and dealing with it like adults. The same cannot be said of the Dems during the Clinton administration's (not just the President's) problems. Libby must have his day in court. I choose to withhold my judgment until then. But if he is guilty, he should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Lysis said...

Dannyboy – I agree with you; some poor dumb bird strayed into the trap and caught himself. I am on record in the Agora on this. I call for Libby to go to jail, if convicted, along with Bill Clinton, who has already been convicted, for their lies under oath. As Athena has so wisely warned; “One should not piss in the well one draws drink from.” (Aeschylus’ Eumenides) But that does not make the trap that caught Libby any less political. The prosecutor has an obligation to tell us the crime he is seeking an indictment for. He has a duty not to waist our resources on a wild goose chase.

This is not a bird hunt – it is a witch hunt. Dannyboy, I wonder how many accused witches committed blasphemy under torture – thus giving their prosecutors “just grounds” for burning them? Citizens are entitled to know the crime that has been committed; otherwise the entire process is not only a bird trap and a witch hunt; it is a fishing expedition. It is time for our society to out grow these blood sports.

P. Maclean said...
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P. Maclean said...
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P. Maclean said...

Lysis you were truly an ingenious child. But to have been a really virtuous child, what a better a thing. I am convinced that all that was required for your simple and humane trap to work was a little patience. After all, you are dealing with bird brains.

Now, about this Whitehouse:

Fitzgerald has to be scrambling after last week. There must surely be a lot of tears in Washington. Of course, some are not willing to give up yet. Less reputable news outlets (The New York Times) have worked hard to dig up purely contrary opinions about the continued vitality of the indictments against Libby. It took them all the way until Nov. 17, Thursday of last week in an article titled "New Disclosure Could Prolong Inquiry" to find lawyers from a Joseph A. Tate's office who were willing to say on record that the new information from Bob Woodward did not go to the heart of the charges against Mr. Libby. Wishful thinking I suppose. He may as well be free as a bird now. Where does the Times find these bird brains?

As for Bob Woodward, I wish he had kept his trap shut. Now it seems Fitzgerald has one Leaker bird, as it were, in hand but there are in fact two in the Bush, Whitehouse that is, and Fitzgerald will have no choice but to track them all down. Too bad Woodward's source won't just waive anonymity and come clean of the thing so we can get it behind us. I suppose patience is the remedy to both of our situations. The virtues of patience...

Anonymous said...

Friday rep Jean Schmidt quoted one of her constituents -- Danny Bubp, a reservist Marine and state representative -- who called Democratic representative John Murtha a COWARD for saying,"I have concluded that the presence of U.S.troops is impeding this progress," and suggesting "it is time to bring them home."
John Murtha, by the way, like many Congresional Democrats is a veritable war hero -- Bronze star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Bubp has a military recognition Commendation Medal -- he signed a buttload of orders to earn it.

This "swiftboating" de ja vu by CONSERVATIVES is now to be called the "Hyena Fricassee."

When hyenas are in a fight, they scream, giggle, whoop, laugh, growl and snarl. A Hyena kills by disembowling its prey -- but when injured its viciousness is most perverse -- in frustration and anger the hideous animal will rip and tear at its OWN entrails and consume THOSE till it dies -- happy with a mouth full of guts and blood.

Hardly the way to sustain a war effort!!!!

The results are in. Utah #1 Red State.
Utah # 50 Recruitment per capita.

I guess, precious few "Wanna Play" OR enlist!

After JFK's famous statement he instituted a VOLUNTARY means of SERVICE called the Peace Corp not the draft.

You don't know if the Pope is Catholic , but you are certain that GWB is NOT a politician and you are absolutely sure Meyers took her OWN name out of consideration.

Yep -- another search for TRUTH ends at the Grape Kool-Aid fountains of forgetfulness!!!!

The coffee is always hot, the door always wide open.

Anonymous said...

Cicero says:

Arguement: A crime might have been committed in the White House. The leak of a CIA operative's identity by someone in the administration to a journalist at the Times.

Response: Lots of things are leaked on a daily basis by the adminstration. These are ways in which they manipulate the press and push forward their agenda for the purpose of gaining support of the American people. The ethics of the political machine in action.

This leak put forth as a way to stricken a poltical adversary who beat the anti-war drum (after he was hired by the Bush administration to investigate WMD's in Iraq...and came back telling the administration the country was nuke free) so loved by the press. Maybe if the real identity of his wife is exposed, his credibility will be damaged.

Argument: Like the partisans they are, the press (Democrats) goes crazy, and demands the Adminstration investigate such blatant violation of the law. This will allow them to smear some mud on the Administration, and maybe get what little is left of his support to turn on the President.

Reponse: The president issues statements that if the law has been violated, he would fire and expect the prosecution to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. He does as any politician in his position would do, and the only way under the law, orders a special prosecution to investigate the charges and bring closure to the situation.

Fitzgerald, a well reputable washington prosecuter is called in to investigate and determine if a crime has been committed. This not only makes sense, but is the only way the Administration can clear their name of any wrong doing.

Some will argue this is a political turn by the Liberals,(forcing the hand of the President to call a special prosecution to investigate something that is not a violation of the law) because the law had not been violated in the first place.

Well, true, it seems the law was not violated for many reasons, the two biggest being the operative's identity was already known in political circles, and she had not meet the qualifications of being a secret CIA operative.

Many people (Lysis) argue that the special prosecutor didn't even need called in the first place. Now we know that this is true, based on years of investigation.

Many people (Lysis) argue that the credible word of the President of the United States, a well intentioned, honest, God loving, ethical, and lets not forget Conservative, and lets not forget handsome man, should have been enough water on the situation to put out the fire. When the President speaks his word is enough foundation to call off the need for a special prosecution and satisfy the American people as to the culpability of his office.

That is like the charge of witchcraft being leveled on the family of Lysis and he issuing a statement that witchcraft is not practiced in his home. Well, any reasonable person who knows Lysis knows that he would never participate in this behavior, but the rest of the public does not know Lysis and demands to know if the charges are true.

His friends can come to his rescue, speak out in his defense, but the only way to quiet the charges, which by the way are not even ligit seeing that practicing witchcraft is not illegal, is to bring in a non-partisan invesigator of his chosing to quiet his opposition.

Argument: During the investigation, which the administration really had no choice but to call, a real crime is committed...perjury by a White House official.

Response: Now the Liberals see that their tactic has worked and in the game of tag that both sides play on a daily basis, the administration has a liar in thier midst. This brings disgrace on the adminstration, and unappropriately so, the so called liar (innocent until proven guilt...the mantra of all Conservatives as long as Clinton is not involved) resigns, bringing further doubt on his and the White House's credibility.

Like so many people who play the political game, the Conservatives respond with attacks like "it's all political", and "innocent until proven guilty", and "Clinton made an anti-war speech in the middle east on veterans Day...traitor", and "It's all a big political game", and "You call youself an American" and if anyone buys into these packs of lies..they are not lovers of truth" and ....I will not contiue, however it would be easy to!

Seems to me that the real thing to do is stand up, admit a mistake was made (like the president did)and carry on with the days events. Place blame where it lies, the President and his staff played the politcal leak game and unfortunately he was left holding the bag. Do not worry there are many, many more political games to play, and believe me, ethical or not the White House will play, just like those dirty rotten, scum liberals that only like to play games and are not concerned with the TRUTH!

Rumpole said...


You make it so easy for me! Just when we’ve finished diagramming and breaking down one play from the PLAYBOOK you move right on to the next one! This is almost more guilty pleasure than I can stand! Here we go!

The Liberal's favorite ploy of late is to call the truth a lie in an attempt to make the lie become truth. For example, the President’s detractors (the Clintons, Biden, Kerry, Edwards, Ried, etc.) are all on record as having seen the evidence of WMD’S and supporting the President’s actions. Now they call him a liar for nothing more than political gain.

Murtha escalated the rhetoric in a further distortion of the truth. He called Bush’s management of Iraq “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion (CNN, Nov. 18).” Where is your outrage for Murtha’s comments? Is it concealed by his stellar war record? I am certain that Murtha was great in Viet Nam. Does that record, however, make him infallible on every war decision he makes after? Patton would certainly argue that Ike lost his judgement when the command was sent down to Patton to stop his advancement.

And what about Bubp? I am not familiar with the requirement that you have to have a resume before you can have an opinion. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Prize for supposedly preventing the North Koreans from having the nukes they now openly flaunt as leverage for money. However that Prize still makes for awfully impressive resume material!

I saw the cut from Jean Schmidt. She was right on. I am angry with her only because she later apologized and had her comments removed from the record. The quote from her constituent was “(Bubp) asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do (NY Times, Nov. 19).” Where do you find in that quote that Murtha is called a coward? Only those who cut and run were referred to as cowards. Murtha voted against the resolution. Maybe he was prepared to vote to cut and run until he heard Schmidt’s comment. I guess we’ll never know now!

What was the gut-wrenching “injury” to the Republicans? Was it the Democrat’s promotion of their claim that the American people were deceived by the President on WMD’S? That is a lie. They all had the same intelligence. If there is deception, all of our Liberal “hero’s” are in on it, too! Was the “injury” the claim that the Iraqi War is “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion?” Oh, you mean the policy that ousted a Dictator that killed hundreds of thousands, exposed other nations as the charlatans that they are in the support of that Dictator, and freed a nation of millions? Some flawed policy!

The Democrats were concealing the real injury, and were “screaming, giggling, whooping, laughing, growling, and snarling” all the way to the rejection of the resolution by a 403-3 vote! Now there is a “happy mouthful of guts and blood!”

By the way, did you get your most recent recruiting statistics from “ol’Gen. Barry?” They may be accurate, but your recent history doesn’t give me much hope! Please give me a reference to back that claim. I am interested to know if it is true.

P.S. – Looking forward to the Kool-Aid fest! I’ll bring extra. I’d be delighted to share! Conservatives are known for their compassion!

Lysis said...

Cicero – Well presented, let me try to deal with your much appreciated comments one at a time.

You present an argument that the Bush administration attempted to smear an opponent with a leak. Realize this: 1) Wilson was not much of an opponent. Wilson did no harm to the Bush agenda; he did not even slow down the just and necessary progress of the liberation of Iraq. 2) Wilson did not originally contradict the intelligence that indicated Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction; he actually supported the yellowcake suspicions of the administration. 3) Later, Congressional investigations revealed that Wilson lied to congress. That is a real crime – at least for conservatives. All this is on the record! Bush did not need to discredit Wilson; he had no credibility to begin with. The media’s misreporting of facts created the Wilson threat in the absence of any legitimate criticism of the war. The truth is that Wilson was never a threat to Bush. But, Cicero, let’s say he was, and let’s pretend that it was a crime to “out” Wilson’s wife, and let’s pretend she was killed by Muslim terrorist for her CIA work. How would that have helped Bush or have discredited Wilson’s story? Your argument and response here is all noise and thunder signifying nothing. For another example of this type of argument one can check out Anonymous’ Hyena screed above.

On your next point – I agree – no law has been broken, and there was no need for a prosecutor.

I, Lysis, never said the “word of President Bush” should be enough to call off an investigation. The fact that there is No Crime should preclude any investigation.

As for my family dealing with a charge of witchcraft: There is no such thing as witchcraft, hence no crime, only accusations could exist. Yet Cicero, millions of innocent people “confessed” to and were executed for witchcraft! Fanatics whipped up to believe in witchcraft should never have been given any credence; no mater what they knew or don’t know about my or any other family accused of a crime that does not exist!

As for your response that links conservative actions against Clinton to Democrat attacks on Bush: I was perfectly willing to give Clinton the cover of “innocent till proven guilty”. The media has not given Bush the grace you seem to call for. There is a difference between Bush and Clinton that must be considered. The truth is that Clinton plead guilty; he was guilty; he should have been punished. He should be in jail now! That is not my hatred for Clinton speaking, but my love for the Law!

Considering your claim that conservatives calling “political” is “just the same” as Democrats doing it. Just because Democrats cover their political agenda by screaming “they do it too” dose not mean Republicans do do it. Give me an example. Justly pointing out that Democrats are politicizing the war should not be precluded by Democrats falsely claiming that Republicans politicize some unknown anything.

On my comments about Clinton’s speech in Dubai: I didn’t call Clinton a traitor. I simply said that past military service does not mean one cannot commit treason. The example was Benedict Arnold. I asked readers to consider Clinton’s words and decide about Clinton for themselves. It seems Cicero, that you have considered Clinton’s speech and come to your own conclusion.

You close by saying that someone must stand up and admit a mistake. A mistake must first have occurred. Prosecutors must prove crimes or shut up – and no prosecutor has done that about President Bush or any one in his administration. There is no evidence that there was any illegal leak in the White House. When there is an illegal leak proven; let the leaker go to jail. But if none is, then we should condemn the politically motivated attacks on our county and its innocent President. Had Clinton been innocent of crime, his supporters could, should, cry shame! He was not innocent. It is now clear that Bush has committed NO crime. Let those who recognize attacks on America for political gain for what they are, join in scolding the attackers.

Silver Lining said...

To the point of the Administration playing the leak game and being left holding the bag; if Bob Woodward's information is credible, Valerie Plame's identity as an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency was leaked to him weeks before Joe Wilson's report was released. Put simply, how could they be getting even with Joe Wilson for a report not yet issued? Perhaps they knew in advance? Or perhaps it really was, as Andrea Mitchell testified, common knowledge for certain groups in Washington.

Lysis said...

P. Maclean: Great post. I enjoyed the word play and the points. However, I think Silver Lining’s post above makes your call for more “wild goose chasing” in the White House moot. We will see now if the prosecutor’s hunt has been for witches or wily wabbets.

Lysis said...

I meant to imply above that Fitzgereld is either a fanatic on a vendetta chasing an imaginary crime, or Elmer Fud.

Dan Simpson said...

As someone with some knowledge on the subject, I feel that I must respond to a couple of legal points.

"prosecutors must either prove a crime or shut up" The entire process is about trying to prove. A prosecutor goes to a grand jury with evidence. At this point nothing is proven, because as the system works the trial happens at the end, not the beginning. He either does, or does not get an indictment. Again, this is not proof as of yet, it means the grand jury felt the evidence was such that it could go to trial.

At this point I don't understand the 'prove it or shut up' mentality. Nothing can be proven or disproven at this point.

The comment was made that no one in Bush's administration has been found guilty, but that Clinton was.

I shudder to think that I am defending Clinton, but lets look at the facts. Clinton was indicted, not yet proof of guilt, Libby was indicted, not yet proof of guilt. Libby is being prosecuted, as he should be so that the facts can be judged and he can either be found guilty or acquitted. (republicans call it a political witch hunt.) Clinton was not prosecuted, wrongly (republicans call it political).

It cannot be both ways. Either we should investigate, take evidence to grand juries, and prosecute indictments, or we shouldn't.

It bothers me when prosecutors are attacked for doing their job. The American public are not the jury. The prosecutor has no duty, nor should he, to give constant updates that let you know what information he has, where he got it, or if the media has correctly stated the facts. His only duty is to the system.

Now, if their was any evidence that the prosecutor in this case was partisan, previous comments, etc., (like the Tom Delay prosecutor), then I would understand the attacks of political witch hunts, but there is no such evidence.

It seems HIGHLY hypocritical to attack a prosecutor for doing his job against one party, and attacking a prosecutor for not doing his job against the other.

And I know Lysis, you are 'on record' as saying that if Libby is guilty than he should go to jail. But as someone who is planning on being a prosecutor, I find the fact that you pepper your comments with things like 'witch hunt' 'prove it or shut up' etc. extremely wrong.

The process really needs to be understood before anyone attacks the participators.

Anonymous said...

Hey Silver Lining,

In March of 2002 Joe Wilson made his report to the U.S. government. In January 2003 the government ignored the report. On May 6, 2003 Nicholas D. Kristof wrote about Joe Wilson's non-findings in Africa - he did not name Wilson but Wilson was the only one sent by the U.S. on this trip. On June 12, 2003 Walter Pincus wrote about Wilson's non-findings. Administration officials said in the investigation it was these stories that caused them to look into who exactly is Joe Wilson. Judith Miller was told on June 23 by Libby about Wilson's wife's CIA status - the first known leak. Bob Woodward said on Nov. 21, 2005 that he first got the information from [Senior-administration-official-God-knows-who] one week before Judith Miller (June 16, 2005). The administration knew they had a problem with who ever it was that went on that trip to Africa as of May 6 and it was easy to find out who it was since he gave them a report about it - that they must have thought no one would ever hear about - a year earlier.

That is the actual time line, the one that really exists, you know, in the real world where responsible people are talking about this. Do you even read the news or do you get all of your information from trusted friends, like the ones in this forum.

Dan Simpson said...

Hey anonymous, what is your deal? Is it impossible for you to disagree civily? How could you have a beef with Silver Lining?

One reason that I don't post as much as I used to is the fact that civility has become non-existant.

The sarcasm, pot shots, and straight out personal attacks are ridiculous, and are evidence of a lack of facts, or ability to phrase a true rebuttal.

The majority of the posters here, right now, in the last few threads are behaving like 2nd graders.

P.S. Hi S.L. hope stuff is going good. Everyone join me in the hope that RFB gets leave to come home for the holidays. He has been a good little soldier, he deserves it.

Anonymous said...

By the time Joe Wilson wrote his Op-Ed on July 6, 2003 publically naming himself as the person who went to Africa for the U.S., and as the subject of the May 6, 2003 Kristof story and the June 12, 2003 Pincus story it was old news to the administration. Administration officials have said they knew who Wilson was, what he had done and that his wife worked for the CIA in the very beginning of June. It was then that they were formulating their strategy as to how to discredit his claims that were starting to ebb out and that they knew could be very damaging. Retaliation was the decision and they did that by leaking his wife's covert status to toadie reporters they hoped would put the information out. The puke Robert Novak did it for them on July 12, 2003.

lysis_verus said...

A correction for the record:
The House DID NOT vote on the Murtha Resolution. Without arguing its merits, his proposal was a phased withdrawal to bases in Germany and Kuwait over six months, the troops could then return if needed. The House leadership pulled a STUNT and replaced his resolution with one that called for the complete and immediate withdrawal of all US troops. They then called for a vote~ Therefore, almost all Reps. (including Murtha) voted against it. The house leadership did the same thing in 04 over a debate on Conscription. Dems. were harping about the administrations need for more troops, bringing back the draft etc. So the Leadership pulled a STUNT (oh gosh'm golly I thought only dirty dems did that!?) and forced a vote on bringing back the draft. Having said all this, the leadership is well within their rights to pull this kind of stuff (the dems do it when they have the majority as well). Let's at least debate the issues at hand, the Plame Deal, the Iraq War and its eventual conclusion. ~Lysis Verus

Silver Lining said...

Danny Boy, thanks for your chivalry. I am flattered. I am a big girl, though, and given the tone of things lately, expected that kind of response.

To Anonymous. I do indeed need to be more careful about my choice of vocabulary, so I will re-post my statement with detail.

In January of 2002, the intelligence reports regarding the whole Iraq seeking Uranium from Niger issue were showing up and being looked at. The next month, February of 2002, the CIA sent Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate. in March of 2002, Joe Wilson did indeed brief the government as you say. He briefed the Central Intelligence Agency, which makes perfect sense seeing as how they sent him on the job. In January of 2003, the President gave his State of the Union Address in which the now famously referred to 16 words uttered. In March of 2003, the CIA briefed Dick Cheney on the Niger information. A day or two later (the brief was March 5 I believe), it was reported that the whole Niger Iraq intelligence was fake/wrong. Tony Blair took a lot of heat. Anyhow, March 8, 2003, the State Department issues a statement that they "fell for" the faulty intelligence, that they had believed it was true. In July of 2003, Joe Wilson writes an oped piece criticizing the Administration over the whole uranium from Niger thing. Soon after, his wife's identity is leaked in a Novak piece.

Now, it is possible, as I said in my original post, that the Administration knew about Wilson's findings and were working on discrediting him. I guess we won't know for sure, but the argument until recently (you see I really do read the news.) has been that the Administration leaked Valerie Plame's identity to get even with Joe Wilson for his oped piece in July. Now, as I stated previously, if what Bob Woodward says is true, the Adminstration either knew about the coming oped and acted accordingly; thus, the leak had nothing to do with the oped but with other Washington gotcha games, or that so many people knew about Valerie Plame already (back to Andrea Mitchell's statement) that it is difficult to know which came first. The truth gets difficult there, and what I am arguing is that serious charges are being thrown around (other than purgery and obstruction of justice) without a lot of substance. However, the hateful political environment and the desperate desire of some to find the Administration committing terrible acts, lends itself to the place we find ourselves in, the place where accusations and suspicions are enough to equal condemnation. Yes Lysis verus, both sides do it, and it doesn't make it acceptable in either instance. Nor do any Republican shenanigans excuse the Bush haters.

For what it is worth, I don't think Fitzgerald is out to get Scooter Libby. I think he is doing his job. I do think that Bob Woodward's confessions to Larry King etc. raise some serious questions about the situation at hand.

Finally, having, at one point, been in a position to divulge the names of classified CIA employees, I would like to argue from my personal perspective only, that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are not angelic in this whole debaucle.

Now, if you think that saying mean sarcastic and insulting things will keep me from posting as often in the Agora. You are actually right. I am comfortable enough in my own opinions to continue reading and contemplating. However, I don't need the rest of it either. You see, I can be sarcastic and snarky too, but it is a personality trait I try to suppress as much as possible, and it is now past time to tuck it back in wouldn't you say?

Back to Dannyboy, I am well. Thank you very much for asking. I am busy but well. I too hope RFB will get holiday leave. I can't imagine that he hasn't earned it. I also know that he will do whatever he is asked though.

Dan Simpson said...

Let me rephrase by saying civility has become nearly non-existant. There are some who cling to it.

Reach Upward said...

Brendan Miniter has an excellent article here that discusses the fallout from the Murtha kerfuffle. LV is correct in noting that the House did not vote on Murtha's exact proposal, but instead on a substitute one put forward by Rep. Duncan Hunter. Hunter insists that his proposal merely cut through all of the fluff of the Murtha proposal and struck at the main message: Get the U.S. Military out of Iraq within 6 months. When the pretty wrapping was removed and the issue was clearly laid bare, pretty much everyone voted against it.

Miniter: "The Murtha resolution was intended to allow Democrats to have their cake and eat it too--to oppose the war while confusing the issue by pretending to support the war's aims of a free and democratic Iraq."

Miniter says, "Anyone who thinks that vote was simply cheap political theater and not connected to the larger debate on how to fight the war on terror hasn't been watching Mr. Hunter and the other defense hawks in the House over the past four years."

Why did Hunter pull this *dirty trick*? Miniter: "It's not lost on Mr. Hunter, or on Reps. Steve Buyer, John Kline and many others, that Iraq is the most visible front in the war on terror and is therefore a symbol for whether the political elites of this nation have what it takes to confront global terrorist networks. If politicians can't stomach going after terrorists who openly attack U.S. soldiers, they won't have what it takes to go after terrorists who hide in some of the most remote or ungoverned reaches of the world. It should now be clear--if it wasn't already--that the Democratic Party is the party of withdrawal."

Gee, and we make fun of the lack of fortitude of the French to protect themselves and others.

I find Miniter's conclusions interesting: "In Congress, fighting the war remains the one issue that continues to rally the GOP. Before Mr. Murtha's resolution, the Republican Party seemed hopelessly split and unable either to cut spending or to make the president's tax cuts permanent. After the Murtha resolution, Republicans quashed the earmark for the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska (though the state still gets to keep the money for it), passed $50 billion in spending cuts, and, of course, soundly rejected the idea of withdrawing from Iraq. Suddenly Republicans seem to understand why they are in the majority."

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

It is nice to hear from you Dannyboy. Perhaps your criticism is well founded. If you are peeved enough to relegate the rest of us to elementary school you might try to understand when frustration leads to name calling. As “someone with knowledge on the subject”, perhaps you would instruct us rather than just pointing out that we are HIGHLY hypocritical, uncivil, sarcastic, pot shooting, personal attacking, ridiculous, fact lacking second graders, without the ability to phrase a rebuttal.

I will not attempt to rebut you chastisement, only point out that the Agora is a discussion forum where all are allowed to present their views regardless of their grade level.

I will attempt an “elementary” rebuttal to your inference that all prosecutors are virtuous champions of justice who should be appreciated and approved by lesser mortals.

I would point out that you yourself have faulted the Texas Prosecutor going after Tom Delay. I gather you admit that some prosecutors can be questioned. I choose to question Fitzgereld.

Fitzgereld’s case was made ridiculous by Bob Woodward. Regardless of weather Woodward heard of Valerie before Wilson’s report or not, surely he heard of it before Libby is accused of being the FIRST to leak it. Fitzgereld gave us a story of throwing sand in the umpire’s eyes when the umpire is trying to determine if a ball hit the batter. But no ball hit the batter. If Libby threw sand in the umpires face by lying about BEING the first leaker, Fitzgereld better be able to show he was the first leaker. Since Woodward has proven otherwise; not only was there no sand thrown but the batter was never hit!!! The angry umpire had better shut up. His job is to call fouls not create them.

As for Fitzgereld’s reputation as non partisan; his actions are speaking louder than his reputation. He found no crime and the one “criminal” he did ensnare has flown the coop.

If it is a prosecutor’s job to “try and prove” something, it is the prosecutors employer’s (that’s us in this country) job to check his progress and demand he put up or shut up. Fitzgereld could easily vindicate himself by indicting someone for a crime, or present some reasonable explanation as to why his one charge proved unfounded. To use his own metaphor, now that the dust has settled and it is obvious to all that no one was hit, he should quit trying to pin blame on people for a non crime.

On the second grad level, let me explain the difference between Clinton and Bush. Clinton DID commit a crime – he DID molest Paula Jones. He admitted it, paid the money and “gave the apology.” Clinton DID lie under oath to a grand jury, and in a federal court – he admitted as much and paid the fine and lost his law credentials and his privilege to appear before the Supreme Court. Kenneth Starr indicted a real criminal for real crimes and; in spite of the full power of the political and media machine; saw Clinton impeached and punished. President Bush did NOTHING to Valerie Plame, and the thing his administration is accused of doing is NOT even a crime. President Bush did NOT lie to a grand jury he did NOT lie to a federal judge. Fitzgereld has NOT found any crime related to leaking or the actions of the President or anyone in his administration. His indictment for sand-throwing has now been proven moot.

As a mere school teacher, let me give an example from my level. One student is accused of cheating, caught and punished. He then goes around accusing others of cheating. When the innocent complain of the unjustified accusation, the punished cheater says I’m just doing what others did to me. Such accusations and their justifications are laughable but you might be surprised how often this tactic is employed by students who have faced punishment. As a teacher I have learned to recognize this behavior, and when accusations prove unsupported by facts and circumstances, I have shut the accusers up.

Last week Bob Woodward pulled the stick out from under Fitzgereld’s box trap. The last bird has flown. One doesn’t need a law degree to see that. Fitzgereld and those hoping he would catch someone, are still sitting in the bushes and crying. They dream of bringing down President Bush the “way” Clinton was brought down. The difference is that, in this case, it is the accusers who are guilty. Those who see the accuser’s folly are perfectly within their rights, are even fulfilling their duty, to point out how silly and politically driven the entire failure of Fitzgereld’s investigation was and sadly continues to be.

I too hope all is well with RFB and look forward to his safe return.

Dan Simpson said...

I think you have taken offense incorrectly Lysis, and your rebuttal seems to be peppered with comments that make me think you thought I was condescending to you.

It was not my point. You have come back with broad statements on issues I was not discussing. I never mentioned Bush, never claimed he broke the law or had anything to do with any leaks. My point in saying what I know about is that I have had first hand experience prosecuting, I thought (and continue to think) that some are getting the order mixed up in the criminal justice process. If you truly take offense at my claiming that I know something about that, I don't understand why. I have many times, and will probably many more, sat and listened as you taught and accepted the fact that there was much you knew that I did not.

I am speaking about the actual process. Fitzgerald had an alleged crime. He has to choose whether or not to investigate. Calling a grand jury is part of this process. If a prosecutor impanels a grand jury and then receives no indictment, then the system has worked, why attack the prosecutor for that?

I personally think that you are obscuring the issues that libby was indicted on by talking about whether or not he was the leaker, or the first leaker or even bringing Bush into it.

The charge now is that he obstructed justice, and that he perjured himself. These charges are completely independant of a primary crime. These charges can, and often are, prosecuted without any underlying crime. These crimes are about a witness, or defendants conduct during the investigation, not the conduct that is being investigated.

To use your symbolism, this would be as if the ump was looked to to see if it was a strike, and while he was deciding, the batter kicked sand on his feet and the ump kicked him out of the game. The strike has no bearing on the conduct of the player afterwards.

I have never claimed that prosecutors are all perfect. But I think it is unfortunate that they are blamed for doing their jobs when others have political agendas. The prosecutor in the Delay indictment has shown himself publicly to be biased, and politically motivated, things that are expressly outside the realm of prosecutorial ethics and should cause his removal from the case, and perhaps from the bar.

Fitzgerald's fault, apparently, is that he was unable to indict Rove, or was unable to indict Libby on every charge. Again I say this is how the system is supposed to work, and if an indictment is not handed down, I don't understand how that makes the prosecutor unethical.

Again, I don't know why you took personal offense at my criticism on the tone. You have always been here and I posted the whole time. My frustration was at the response to Silver Lining, and several of the anonymous' and a few others. The overall tone is very mean spirited. If I thought you were being that way, I would have said so.

I stand by the fact that the name calling, and pot shots are juvenile. That is not a personal attack on anyone, that is a comment on the words and debate tactics employed by many here.

I really don't understand your response, it seems very angry.

Dan Simpson said...

Just to clarify a couple of points.

Clinton should have been prosecuted for lying, but wasn't. He was found in contempt, which is different. And he was disbarred, which is not a court action, but an action by the state bar.

He was never convicted, because he was never prosecuted. Should have been, but wasn't.

Lysis said...

It probably would be a good idea to explain myself to Dannyboy and others. Perhaps those with whom I spar in the Agora will take my words to Dannyboy as, in some way, to them as well.

I am not angry at your comments Dannyboy. I enjoyed them enormously and learned from them. I, though not inclined to admit it openly, moved my position to a place of greater rectitude because of your shared ideas. But, Dannyboy, you should know, that I, like you, enjoy a good tussle. I believe that it is the clash of ideas that leads to light. Maybe I try too hard sometimes to generate sparks, while avoiding the clear light of day. Dannyboy, neither you nor anyone who is kind enough to share their thoughts with me need fear offending me. I often enjoy the barbed responses more than the supportive ones. Dannyboy – as I know you personally, I can say that your intellect and your accomplishments are a great source of pleasure to me. I selfishly think that I helped in some small way to hone them, and want to try to continue to do so. There will be plenty of “opposing councils” and crafty witnesses ahead in your career. Perhaps dealing with me will help you deal with them. That you would unflinchingly correct my errors in open discussion is a pleasure to endure. I am not offended. I feel badly only in that you took my overly boisterous response to your points as an effort to attack you personally. I really do want to find the truth. I hope you will continue to instruct us. I hope all of us can be uncivil in a civil way and in the end benefit from the divergence of thought that our own experience alone cannot provide. I wanted to get a rise out of you, not hurt you.

I concede that prosecutors must do very difficult jobs and are deserving of our support; so do our soldiers and our politicians. But when either oversteps the bounds of justice and commits crimes, whether in Abu Grab prison of federal court, we have the obligation to demand an explanation.

Dan Simpson said...

SL, just to so you know, my anger had nothing to do with your gender, it was general dissappointment in the fact that every recent thread had degenerated to the same sorts of name calling by several of the frequent posters.

Dan Simpson said...

Lysis, I feel I know you pretty well, and I was not hurt, just surprised. You'll have to forgive me as it has been quite a while since we verbally sparred, I have grown unaccustomed.

I was merely afraid you had taken what I had aimed at others to be for yourself.

I too love a good argument, as you should well know, but I think the personal attacks and COMPLETE lack of civility is uncalled for. Don't get me wrong, an occasional barb, or sarcastic zing is not bad, it adds spice to the dialogue, but as of late too many have gone to this tactic too often, and too quickly. When that happens, I think we lose the opportunity to actually get somewhere.

That having been said, I believe LV that Charles Rangle introduced the draft bill, so that wouldn't have really been a Republican stunt. (Incidentally, I see a lot of what any politician does as a stunt. But I am cynical that way, I believe there are truly a small number of genuine people in Washington in this day and age.)

Lysis said...

Now this is how I understand it. Ken Starr did recommend impeachment – and the congress did impeach Clinton. Is that not similar to an indictment? So technically wasn’t Clinton indicted? I watched the proceedings in the house. There were “prosecution” and “defense” representatives, if not attorneys, and evidence was presented and cross examination allowed. So this impeachment called for by Ken Starr did seem to be in a way a trail. Once Impeached (indicted) Clinton faced the Senate. Once again his guilt was “proved” but the Senate did not have to vote according to truth – but rather politics. That one senator who broke the rules of the trial and called on the Chief Justice, asked him specifically to point out that the Senate was not required to vote according to the facts. And Rehnquist complied with that request and announced to the nation that the decision of the Senate was above any obligation to the truth and that his acquittal did not signify his innocence. Once Clinton was acquitted in the Senate – though not found innocent – he admitted his deception of the court – the crime for which he had been impeached, though not removed from office. At this point the judge to whom he had lied punished him in the only way left open to her. So I maintain that Clinton was charged by the special prosecutor (Indicted), impeached by the house (found guilty), given a pass by the political Senate (pardoned), and finally punished by the court. He also faced a civil trial related to his assault on Paula Jones and settled that suet with a payment of a good deal of money and an apology to Ms Jones. Sounds like an admission of guilt to me. One would hardly apologize if innocent. I reiterated that Clinton lied to the court was indicted (impeached) for doing it and admitted it. That is a crime and proof that he was guilty. Clinton did sexually abuse Paula Jones, admitted it and paid for his crime. That he should have been more severely punished, that he should still be in jail, and was and is not, does not alleviate the fact that Clinton’s crimes were real and proven.

Anonymous said...

Today, November 22, 2005, the United States Senate voted 79-19 to attach the so-called Warner Ammendment to the 440 bil 2006 defense bill. It requires the White House to define the CONDITIONS FOR WITHDRAWING U.S. TROOPS FROM IRAQ and to SUBMIT REGULAR REPORTS on progress toward meeting that goal.
The Senate REPUBLICANS were major players in the final tally, I think, because they saw all the "cut and run" accusations of the Administration as merely a distraction from the ineptness that copntinues to plague Bush' handling of the war.

Senators voted to "eliminate" Saddam Hussein and WMD's NOT for a protracted unilateral Bush fishing expedition -- the Senate has finally and I hope unequivocally secured this "loose cannon" and his "make it up as you go along -- opportunistic" Mideast foreign policy.

Weeping and wailing at the Agora shall now commence!!!!

lysis_verus said...

Still, the House DID NOT vote on the Murtha Resolution. They considered a different resolution. I thought we upheld ABSOLUTIST stances here in the Agora, clear facts and all that business. But perhaps I am incorrect on that score. ~LV

Yep it was Charlie Rangle's bill that was languishing in in committee or sub-committee. He was trying to craft a "National Service" type of conscription that no- one could opt out of or defer out of. An altogether bad idea even opposed by the military. But it was the House leadership that rushed it out of committee and forced the vote on his unfinished, undebated legislation. Since he is Dem. in the Minority he has NO POWER to bring a vote to the House floor. So it was a Republican stunt after all. ~LV

lysis_verus said...

No weeping here :)Thanks for the good news Anon. I think it is important to note the dissention in the Republican ranks regarding Bushco's dismal handling of Iraq. It seems the grown-ups on both sides of the aisle in the Senate are tired of letting little Georgie-Pooh play with his army toys, gets expensive and bloody you know. I predict that this congressional assertion of checks and balances over an out-of-control Nixonian Imperial Executive will be spun into pure sweet cotton candy here at the Agora. But 'out there' in God's country, polls indicate that less partisan people are really seeing Iraq as a new small-scale low-grade Vietnam (fewer deaths, no draft, but still no definable victory OR exit strategy). ~LV

Silver Lining said...


I know your statements had nothing to do with my gender. I appreciate them still. Thank you.

Reach Upward said...

LV, I think I was clear that the House did not vote on Murtha's proposal, but on the Hunter resolution. Murtha hadn't even done the legwork to prepare his resolution. He simply held a news conference where he repeatedly said that his resolution called for the *immediate* and unconditional redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq. The news conference was devoid of the details he has since publicized as being a phased drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq. But that's not how it was originally spun out by Murtha to the media and to the American people.

Hunter simply wanted to show that there was no real support for Murtha's call for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Iraq, so he did the legwork and prepared a resolution that cut directly to the chase of what Murtha had publicized. The vote shows that Hunter's ploy was quite successful. Even Sen. Clinton says that an immediate pullout would be a bad idea.

Anonymous says that the American people are growing tired of the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war. Even Richard Nixon aptly noted that a president can pursue a foreign war only for a limited time before public sentiment turns. I agree that there have been some mistakes made in Iraq. Much of what happened under Paul Bremmer was less than desirable and there have been bungles since then that have allowed terrorists to flow across the border and to create strongholds.

I also believe that it is true that the Congress and the public signed on for ousting Saddam and WMDs and not for protracted nation building. I have noted on my own blog that the mission shift from how the war was sold to what it has actually turned out to be is one of the major reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for the effort. However, I also believe that it would be disastrous for us to pull out of Iraq immediately. The Iraqi forces are clearly not yet ready for prime time.

The legistlative branch has a right to ask the executive branch for a clear set of criteria for getting out of Iraq. Pres. Bush himself has frequently said that we will not remain in Iraq any longer than is necessary. Iraqi representatives also have officially requested that a set of criteria be clearly stated. If we consider Iraq a sovereign nation, we owe them a real answer.

But the criteria should outline a situation that is sustainable (including post withdrawal support), and should not simply be tied to some arbitrary date on the calendar. We do not need to repeat the failure in Vietnam, where we won the war, but then lost the peace by failing to support our ally once our military force had left the country.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Anonymous, I too appreciate the news about the Warner Amendment and rejoice in this bipartisan support of America’s war effort. It is gratifying to see those who are entrusted with our safety set aside politics and support the President. How much more reserved and reasonable the Senate proved than the silly Murtha cut and run demands or the ravings of Bill Clinton.

These aspects of the Amendment are particularly encouraging to me:

1. There is no date certain called for. This would have foolishly played into the hands of the terrorists and truly lead us down the road to a Vietnam style defeat.

2. There is no attempt to set parameters on the President’s and the military’s handling of the conflict. This is an important lesson of Vietnam well learned.

3. The President has already set the conditions for withdrawal – the establishment of a stable and sustainable democracy in Iraq. Every day we move closer to this important goal, and believe me, the President and the people agree that the sooner it is achieved the better the world will be.

Your loose cannon comment is of course mere political howling. Give us an example of fishing expeditions and loose cannon behavior or shelve such baseless attacks. Bush has been trying to win the war in Iraq from day one; now the Senate has assured him he will be given its support in doing so and has promised the heroic people of Iraq that they will not be left to the monsters the way the people of Vietnam were.

If there are those who are weeping at this vindication of reason over politics, your friends here in the Agora are eager to comfort you.

Lysis Verus: If politicos read the polls and see a low grade Vietnam – the people of Iraq see hope and the world sees a victory for freedom and a powerful blow against world wide terror. Standing up to the Communists over the criticism of the Democrats brought freedom to millions; Bush’s victory in Iraq will strengthen freedom and weaken the forces of terror in spite of the political dreaming of those out of power. It is sad-but-true that Democrats in this county have placed all their hopes for future power on America’s defeat in Iraq. Now that the Senate has moved past that partisan scrap to active support of victory, perhaps others will too.

In case you really missed it – Victory will be the establishment of freedom and the exit strategy will be the establishment of a Democratic Iraq capable of security without tyranny or terror. That is sweet in deed.

I guess Charlie Rangel submitted a plan he hoped would be changed. Perhaps Murtha did the same. This is typical of a party that banks on defeat and has no plan of its own for success. Well, it seems the Republicans in the Senate took up Murtha’s challenge. By the way, Reach’s link on this subject is most instructive. I recommend it to all who want a clear picture of what is going on here.

LV – telling me that I’m going to get a “sweet treat” does not keep me from enjoying it! Yum Yum – cotton candy!!!! How sweet success!!!

Silver Lining: Thanks for the time line on Wilson and company. It is comforting to know that the truth will out!

Reach: Thank goodness that once we ousted the Nazis and Japanese militarists, we went to the trouble to do a little nation building. The difference between the success of WWII and the failure of WWI was the victor’s willingness to stay the course after the last shout was fired and bring freedom to the people of nations that had been viscous aggressors for generations and peace to much of the world. Check out Europe from the fall of Rome till American did a little nation building! Let’s rejoice in America’s commitment to long range peace not momentary vengeance.

Dan Simpson said...

As a bit of a history buff, and having studied the Vietnam war a little, I would be interested in hearing either of the posters who have compared this war to Vietnam show in what way they are comparable.

I frankly have not seen any concretely true comparisons, beyond perhaps the fact that there are factions that protested both because they disagreed with the politics. But the actual wars. I would ask one of you to kindly point to the similarities, for that is a comparison I would love to debate.

Rumpole said...


I didn’t see a response to my latest post from Anonymous. Apparently he is still chewing on his “Hyena Fricassee.” It seems that neither of you will accept Kool-Aid, so could I offer some “pure sweet cotton candy” to rid that bitter taste?

I’m not sure what you mean by “an out-of-control Nixonian Imperial Executive”. If my memory is correct, Ike sent advisors to Viet Nam, then Kennedy officially got us in. After that, Johnson escalated the conflict. It was Nixon who orchestrated the withdrawal!

Maybe we could consider the President “an out-of-control Kennedian Imperial Executive”, or “an out-of-control Johnsonian Imperial Executive”, but let’s not consider him “an out-of-control Nixonian Imperial Executive” until the withdrawal is orchestrated!

Please note here, Anonymous, that FDR instituted the draft in 1940. It was used from 1948 to 1973 to “fill vacancies in the armed forces which could not be filled through voluntary means”( Kennedy didn’t have to address the draft in his “Ask Not” speech. It was already in place! As I suggested before, Kennedy was soliciting service through sacrifice. Reference to the Peace Corp doesn’t change that concept.

As to the Senate passage of the Warner Amendment, I don’t think being “grown-up” has anything to do with Republican Senators supporting the amendment. As I have said, I don’t think George Bush is a politician when it comes to polls; however, I do believe that Senators on both sides of the isle are.

I would agree that this is an action based on watching polling data. Does that make it a wise choice, or the best choice? I don’t think so! There are points in the measure I can live with and I think are well conceived, as Lysis has stated (no specific date for exit, no set parameters on the President). Where I struggle is in giving sensitive information to the U.S. Senate. That is the last place I would go with sensitive information.

For example, the Honorable Senator Hatch made public electronic intercepts on dealing with 9-11. He did so while U.S. intelligence was still using the tactic. The “disclosure, with the possibility that it would tip off terrorists that their communications had been compromised, left senior officials of the administration dumfounded and angry (” Hatch even voted for the Warner Amendment! Now that should inspire your confidence!

And Verus, would you let me know where God’s country is? I’d like to go meet you there some day! We could have a picnic! I think you and Anonymous have already set up a great menu!

Anonymous said...

"I love you and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"No, I love you and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"Well I know you well enough to know you can't hurt my feelings."

"I know you well enough to know you can't hurt my fellings either." *SMOOCH*SMOOCH*SMOOCH*

Wouldn't it be great if all of the politicians in Washington debated like this?


DannyBoy, save the moral indignation and the "why can't you just talk like me" bit. We come here to shoot with live rounds.

Lysis, it is no use crying over spilled milk from administrations. Stick to debating the deciets and conniving of the current one that has already led to the needless sacrifice of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi lives.

Is that why are you so staunchly for the policies of this failing Whitehouse? To justify all of the years you have spent hating the Clinton Whitehouse?

As for political shenanigans, Republican House leader is indicted on felony charges. Republican Senate leader is under investigation. Republican Commander in Chief is under investigation. Top Republican lobbyist tied to all of these individuals is under investigation.

"George Bush is not a president when it comes to polls," PLEASE! His campaigns single handedly made Luntz polls multi-millionaires! Why do you think the President started attacking "those who would recast history." Why do you think he made eight trips to New Orleans after he finally fired "Brownie" who was apparently doing a "great job" according to the President.

Wake up! The only person in the administration that seems truly immune to the desires of the people that elected him is the real POTUS, DICK cheney and his cabal.

The ammendment to get Bush to explain the war is great START. Now if we can just get the incompetent nincompoop to stop torturing everyone!

Let the weeping and whaling in the Agora resume.

lysis_verus said...

You are cordially invited to a formal Thanksgiving picnic in God's Country.
Kool Aid (Reptilian, Dumb-o-crat, or Machiavellian Flavor)
Crude Oil
Main Course~
Hyena Guts Fricassee
Guns and Butter
Pork Barrel Projects
Pure Sweet Cotton Candy SPUN right here at the Agora
Doughnut Holes (to represent the financial hole into which Bushco & the Reptilian Congress has cast us)
Let us give thanks this season for the freedom to debate and the forum (thanks Lysis) in which to do it. In spite of all our differences and animosities,(to paraphrase the great Thomas Jefferson) we are all Democrats, we are all Republicans, we are all Americans. Hopefully our spirited disagreements are motivated by our love of country, the people in it and our desired to maintain and improve this great nation.
~Lysis Verus

Lysis said...

Anonymous – So glad you’re still with us and firing both barrels. Your “bombardment” puts me in mind of one specific attack launched in Iraq yesterday. One of Saddam’s Palaces, (you know the ones he built with French help and “oil for food money” stolen from his starving people) had been under US control ever since Saddam’s “invincible” military machine had run for the hills. Yesterday the facility and the responsibility for the control of the surrounding territory was handed over to Free Iraqi leadership and the Iraqi military. In the middle of the ceremony a single mortar round was fired at the dignitaries. They scrambled for cover, expecting the worst; the shell was a dud. While a nation is moving toward freedom and self-government, the enemies of progress could only gin up a dud. The representation of the entire insurgency as a dud is perfect. A few minuets later all chuckled as they retook their seats. People momentarily scramble for cover, then steped out into the light and mocked the misfire.

This morning I eagerly scrolled down to your post expecting live fire about the Vietnam/Iraqi comparison, or a detailed list of Democratic solutions to problems facing our country, or at least a proven bit of wrong doing by anyone in the Bush Administration – or to give you a wider range, any Republican office holder from Washington DC to Winnemucca; and what do we get. A dud!!!!!

Sadly there is no way of demonstrating to you the multitude of lives, American, Iraqi, and other, that have been saved by the sacrifice of our precious heroes. You could as easily call the deaths a Valley Forge, or Vicksburg, or Normandy Beach, needless – you would be no less credible. You forget the terror we lived under, in those first weeks after 9/11, you discount the millions murdered by Saddam in his torture chambers and wars of aggression, you cannot comprehend the millions more deaths that have been called for by the Muslim Fanatics that Americans have sacrificed their lives to stop. You need to take instruction from Dannyboy and read a little history. First, see the horrible effects of the caving into cowardice that consumed Vietnam and Cambodia. Study the mass murders carried out by Stalin, Mao and others, and realize that this same carnage is the dream of the Saddams and Osamas of the world. You say needless sacrifice; I say salvation for mankind. History will show, events are already showing, where the truth lies, and who is firing duds.

You say Bush followed the polls when he told the truth about his critic’s rewrite of history. If Bush was a poll watcher he would have changed his policy to satisfy the liars. That is the Clinton model. But Bush spoke the truth and left the Democrats shooting blanks.

You say Bush made eight trips to New Orleans in response to Polls. No matter what Bush would have done, you would have faulted him. The Media, the Democrats, and you Anonymous, feed on disaster and blame casting. It is your only hope. Your ilk dreamed of 25,000 deaths to blame on Bush and Brown. When they did not materialize you blame Bush for going to help those who were truly in need. Bush went to the Hurricane area because he is the leader of our nation and our nation was pouring out is compassion on our fellows in need. Bush led the way, that is called compassion. But that makes you GAG doesn’t it! But there is no ball in your bang. Another dud!!

[An aside on New Orleans. I listened to NPR yesterday. The story, a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, centered around an interview with a gal in a community whose neighborhood, “all these weeks after the hurricane” was still so littered with downed trees and debris that the FEMA people could not deliver the trailer house to her drive way. Some neighbors had cleaned their drive, “but it took seven hours” for Peat sakes!!! I couldn’t help thinking what would have happened in my neighborhood had we had a similar disaster. Every Boy Scout Troop and Elders Quorum in the town would have been out in force and had the downed trees turned into fire wood in time for the Friday night campout of pot-luck dinner. Why can’t these people take care of themselves? Or was NPR still digging up blanks to shoot at Bush?]

Anonymous - You attack Cheney by saying he is above the fray. What kind of pot shot is that? I agree with you. Cheney and Bush stand tall amid the misfires. They are as nobly as Reagan amid the Democrat blank firing, smoke and fire and no lead. He led the West to victory while the Democrats took a cowardly stance during the last years of the cold war. Able to see the end game Bush and Cheney ignore the duds.

Read Reach’s link above if you want to find the truth about Bush’s stand on torture. The entire torture “attack” on our military and the President is a dud. There are strong laws against any American torturing anyone anywhere. Once more only smoke and stink and no live rounds here.

You should learn a few facts before you start shooting off your mouth; otherwise it might blow up in your face. Oops, too late

Lysis said...

PS – Thanks Lysis Verus for the wisdom and for reminding us that it is a time to be Grateful.

Reach Upward said...

I just wanted to clarify something from my earlier post. When I suggested that the American public as well as the politicians are getting burned out on the Iraq effort, because the actual war is different than the one sold to them, I did not intend to suggest that doing nation building in Iraq is the wrong thing to do. A few weeks back, Lysis pointed out that having picked up one end of the stick, we necessarily picked up the other end as well.

When the Congress voted to remove Saddam and WMDs (with the vast majority of Americans behind them on this), what did they think was going to happen once those goals were achieved? That we would go home and leave a power vacuum that might prove a greater threat to us than Saddam? When the vote was cast to remove Saddam, it necessarily implied nation building.

Nation building is a messy business. Lysis has pointed out that our failure to do so after WWI led directly to WWII. My Dad grew up in WWII Germany and saw first hand the effects of our failure to do nation building following WWI. Despite being a grateful American today, he's still upset about that. But our successful nation building following WWII has resulted in peaceful (maybe even too peaceful) and prosperous countries that were once horrible aggressors.

Clearly mistakes have been made as we have worked to stabilize Iraq, but that does not negate the need to do so, nor does it mean that we should run away from the problems and leave a mess for the next generation (we're already doing that at home on the budget). Despite the difficulty and duration of the task, it is incumbent on us to remain and finish it properly. Our national security at present and for an entire generation afterward depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Lysis, your post and Republican blustering full of flag waving, smoke-screens, and historical mirrors is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

In this time especially we can be grateful that the American people have decided; history is being written right now and by people who are not so blinded by their own misplaced trust as can weigh the issues objectively. We were lied to! We are being lied to now! Our decision to attack was not motivated by 9/11 and no one but the listener's of Rush Limbaugh and most of the readers of this blog believe that!

I am grateful that there is a truth out there. This one can be known, just turn on the t.v. and watch the news, America rightly believes that we are doing the wong things at almost every turn under the leadership of someone who is likely to go into the history books near the bottom of all Presidents who served well. I don't suppose that is the history that anyone in your classroom will ever hear about though. Not as long as there is great party line rhetoric of bullets whizzing, flags being raised, smoke swirling around George Bush and Cheney as they continued their unblemished fight for truth and justice against against a world that was almost entirely wrong. You can liven it up with a quaint little anecdote about how one dud mortar round disturbed what was otherwise a gloriously peaceful and %100 turn over of peace and freedom to an Iraq that lived happily ever after.

And so did the rest of the world that never heard from the new generation of Islamic terrorists - or the old ones that were allowed to escape and live Afganistan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangledash -that received their training and new motivation there. Yaaayyyy!!!! Cotton candy for everyone at the next break!

Anonymous said...

Get real.

Rumpole said...


Now you’ve added “SPILLED MILK” to the menu? I wonder just who the “current one” is that you refer to that has led us to “the needless sacrifice of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi lives.” Surely it could not be the great liberator, President George W. Bush! It must be Sadaam! The number of deaths you attribute to the President, which have occurred in the name of liberation, can be nowhere close to the number of atrocities committed by Sadaam in the name of annihilation!

If the President were listening to polls he would have pulled out of Iraq long ago! His “attack (on) those who would recast history” was his response to the Democrats blatant disregard of the truth. He didn’t lie about any of it.

Think it through for a minute. Let’s say, for sake of argument, the President was certain there were no WMD’S in Iraq. What would the result to go there have been? The Left would have destroyed him (as they are attempting to do anyway with the lies). Even Clinton (the man STILL in a desperate attempt to personally RECAST his legacy, can you see the parallel? It’s right out of the PLAYBOOK) is more forward thinking than that.

If what you say is true (and you are wrong), that the only people that believe the President are the listeners of Rush Limbaugh and most of the readers of this blog, then there is no way the President listens to the polls! He is following the wishes of the minority!

Further, I don’t have a problem with the President’s management style. He went to New Orleans because there was a huge disaster there. If he wouldn’t have gone the Left would have claimed he was unfeeling. I absolutely agree that Brown was incompetent. Bush handled it the way any good manager would. Internally. Brown doesn’t have a job anymore, does he?


With apologies to Anonymous, I hope you will add “spilled milk” to the menu! You guys had way too much fun without me today! Where do you find all your time?

You’ve made some excellent choices for the menu. I realize a complement coming from a conservative may seem to you as meaningless, but it was a great piece of writing and I really got a kick out of it!

Such knowledge of a proper menu must come to you by way of wallowing at the public trough too long! I have often pointed out to Lysis that his day job (high school teacher) gives him every conceivable holiday off in addition to three months more in the summer while I slave away to pay for it! He has mastered wallowing! I think his wife even does it!

I spent a little extra time at work today so that I could generate the revenue that will pay for your feast. No need to thank me. I just want to do my part. It truly is a great country that provides us both the opportunity to do what we love!

P.S. – Now don’t go getting too worked up over this Anonymous! I realize that you are probably a teacher too! If I tell you that I really think teaching is most noble will you accuse me of being too kind? I thought so! Sorry if I made you “*GAG*”!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Rumpole - I'm not sure of Rush's ratings, but surely you underestimante the reach of the Agora!

By the way, thanks for the days, and days, and days off. I'll be thinking of you with every tasty morsel, right through Christmas break.

Aeneas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aeneas said...


Just a word on Fitzgerald...

Prosecutors have what is called "prosecutoral discretion" when it comes to deciding who will be investigated, for what, and for how long. This gives the prosecutor enormous freedom to work toward whatever end he or she believes is in the best interest of his or her client, the government/people.

However, prosecutors are not immune to ambition or pride. Fitzgerald's investigation has continued for over two years, and the only indictment that he has to show for it is a perjury charge, a charge not related to the subject of the underlining investigation. In addition, from what I can tell, the evidence is pretty flimsy at that.

As a prosecutor and someone who has actually prosecuted people for lying under federal law, I can tell you that from where I sit, Fitzgerald's investigation is beginning to look like an abuse of Fitzgerald's prosecutorial discretion.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt for a little longer, but he should get somewhere in his investigation soon. It's my tax dollar going to fund his invest, which is fine if the dollar is being used to fund a worthwhile cause. I'm beginning to have my doubts about "his" cause.

Danny Boy – I know you will make a great prosecutor.

Dan Simpson said...

You are wrong.

You are wrong, and you are an idiot.

Now,if it is too sugar and spice and everything nice for you anonymous. By all means do not use the first one, and use the second. But do not pretend that that makes you a better or more passionate advocate for your position. It actually makes you sound like you don't really know what it is you are talking about.

You see (not knowing how old you are, I don't know whether or not you should have already learned this lesson, but I assume you should have), If you actually are right, and you are the one who has truth, why would that make you angry at those who don't. Shouldn't you want to enlighten them.

I hope you take a different approach to dispensing knowledge if you are ever a parent.

"No you moron, you can't go out into the street without holding my hand. Only a freaking imbecile would try to go out into the street. You must be deluded if you think you can walk out into that street. Stupid Kool aid drinker. (which ironically if said to your child, should be true)

If the fact that I do actually have real life personal relationships with some of these people and yes do...gasp... love them bothers you. I don't care. In fact I find it a little pitiable that it bothers you so much that I think people can argue more civilly.

I have a cousin, one of my best friends whom I love greatly, who is incredibly liberal. We argue about stuff for hours on end, as I am very conservative.

Luckily, neither of us prescribes to the anonymous school. I think that the new idea that we must hate those with different political ideals than ourselves is a realatively new (within the last decade) and extremely dangerous mindset. I refuse. I will save my bitter anomosity for things that are worthy of it.

As far as this being where the 'big boys' play and fire 'live rounds'. Forgive my laughter as I read that. I found that posturing quite amusing.

To end, let me point out, kool aid drinker is the dumbest, least affective insult I have ever heard.

Dan Simpson said...

still waiting for anyone to give me the Iraq-Vietnam comparison. Please do not use such comparisons, if you cannot actually demonstrate at least a handful of ways it is the same.

Not including stuff like, it is a foreign country, and people use guns.

FactPlaya said...

I'm with you all the way lysis, you should run for president! Your ideas and outlook on these subjects are pretty much taking the words right out of my mouth!

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