Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why Getting Libby is So Important!

Steve Gillard has a thoughtful post on why Libby is more important in some ways than Rove.

Here it is:

Friday, October 28, 2005 Why a Libby indictment is crucial:

Everyone is chomping at the bit over a Rove indictment and missing the point.

Yes, everyone would like to see that turd get his comeuppance and be frogmarched out of the White House. It would make for great theater.

But after the emotional satisfaction, what we really have is a man protecting his boss. He would have smeared you if it was to protect Bush. He wasn't plotting to run Iraq, he didn't care who ran it unless it made Bush look good. Jail would suit him fine, but he's only a part of this.

Nailing Rove doesn't nail the neocons.

I. Lewis Libby, otoh, is more important. Far more.

This is not the election, this isn't about us winning, this is about national security, and while I know a lot of people want to hammer Bush through Rove, the stakes are much higher than that. Bush is well on his way to collapse, trial or no trial.


First, Libby was part of the neocon circle. He knew all of the key players, and thus, as his boss's factorum, he was representing Cheney directly. When people from Bolton's office got Plame's name, that's who it went to.

If there was any need to get Joe Wilson, that's where it came from, Rove came in afterwards. This whole thing started with Scooter Libby and his boss, not the Oval Office.

Can anyone honestly imagine Karl Rove plotting to get us to go to war in Iraq if Cheney didn't have the idea first?

Of course not.

Which is why Libby's bound to be indicted by Fitzgerald, if he has a case against anyone.

Second, if you eventually want to get to the forgeries and the lies which led us into war, the route lies through Dick Cheney and his man Scooter and not Rove and Bush. While Bush may have wanted war, he contracted the work out to Cheney, who then went to Libby, who was obssesed with the subject.

Remember, it was Cheney leaning on the CIA for positive words, it was the neocons like Wurmser and Flietz who challenged the CIA. People who worked for John Bolton. Is Karl Rove tied to these people? No. But Scooter Libby is and so is Dick Cheney.

Word is Rove was already offered a plea and rejected it. Why? To protect Bush. The only reason to offer a plea is to entice a flip.

The thing is that Libby has a lot more to lose than Rove, and an indictment may get him to flip on other people.

Why? Libby is a lawyer and a defense against a federal prosecutor could run him a million dollars or more. A conviction for perjury would get him disbarred. Anything turned up at trial about unethical behavior could get him disbarred.

In short, Libby could face jail and barnkuptcy, regardless of a verdict.

Rove, even if he did jail time, doesn't have those worries. His evil genius will always pay.

It would be nice to leave Rove hanging, as the Times suggests, and while passing him by would be emotionally unsatisfying, it's Libby and friends who are a mortal danger to the Republic.

It was the neocons who led this country into war, with their man Cheney at the helm. Bush was an eager client, but they were the sales team, And as long as they have power, this country is in danger.

There is a reason why Cheney is called BIG DOG. If this administration is to be dealt with, Cheney is the one who has to be dealt with.

Go Get Him!

The Bottom Line.

So, Judith Miller went to jail to protect her First Amendment rights. Well, maybe not so much. But her going to jail, and trying to cover for Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby sure was helpful to the Bush Campaign.

If she had testified last year the indictment and the evidence of a White House smear would have been exposed before the last election.

According to Fitzgerald’s press conference yesterday:

QUESTION: In the end, was it worth keeping Judy Miller in jail for 85 days in this case? And can you say how important her testimony was in producing this indictment?

FITZGERALD: Let me just say this: No one wanted to have a dispute with the New York Times or anyone else. We can't talk generally about witnesses. There's much said in the public record.FITZGERALD: I would have wished nothing better that, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then, and we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005. No one would have went to jail.

Could it have made a difference? Who is to say, but it shouldn’t have been left up to Judith “Mushroom Cloud” Miller.

Just another example of the “Liberal Press.”

Bob Woodward: the Junkyard Dog.

Last night I caught a rerun of Bob Woodward on the Larry King Show as a panelist talking about the implications of indictments and the investigation. Woodward has completely gone over to the dark side. I simply could not believe my ears. He even accused the Special Prosecutor of being a junkyard dog!

The journalist who exposed the underside of the Nixon Administration is now a “journalist” who is rabidly, and busily, propping up an Administration that makes Nixon’s look like criminal lite.

R.J. Eskow over at HuffPost has a good take on this and it is well worth the read. Eskow lays it at the feet of profiteering.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that this “journalist” is no longer interested in unearthing the truth.

I hear there are openings at FOX.

And did I mention that Bob Woodward is a card carrying member of the “Liberal Press?”

E.J. is an Optimist.

E.J. Dionne in his Op-Ed piece thinks that the right’s image has been irreparably damaged.

This has been a powerfully instructive moment. The willingness of conservatives to abandon what they had once held up as high and unbending principles reveals that this battle over the Supreme Court is, for them, a simple struggle for power. It is thus an unfortunate reminder of the highly unprincipled Supreme Court decision in 2000 that helped put Bush in the White House. Conservatives who had long insisted on deference to states' rights put those commitments aside when doing so would advance the political fortunes of one of their own.

Miers will recover from all this in a way Bush and the conservatives will not. She has suffered collateral damage caused by a president who did not understand the degree to which his power has eroded and did not grasp the nature of the movement that elected him. And conservatives will come to regret making their willingness to contradict their own principles plain for all to see.

I can only hope that he is right. I also hope that the American public finally gets that the right is hypocritical and deserves to be punished for their lack of principles and values.

Miers Down, But Which Lunatic Will Be Next?

Well, it appears that the right-wing nut cases are going to get their judicial bloodbath. As I have said before, the religious right-wing nuts and the elite right-wing nuts do want a fight over the Judiciary and the SCOTUS in particular. I can’t believe that after the Miers debacle that George won’t try to appease the base with some choice akin to Scalia and Thomas.

The right-wing has made it clear that only proven activist judges need apply for the court. The religious right wants someone who will actively overturn Roe v. Wade, and the elite wants a Federalist Society member who will actively dismantle the New Deal and weaken the separation of powers between the executive and the other two branches of government. Apparently nothing less will be accepted.

As reported in the NYT:

Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation and a founder of the modern conservative movement, said: "We are up for a fight. We are ready for a fight. And if we get a good nominee, all will be forgiven as far as Harriet Miers."

But if Mr. Bush names another nominee without a clear record, Mr. Weyrich said, "I will tell you that his coalition is at an end."

If the right-wing nuts get their way the separation of powers, the separation of church and state, the U.S. Constitution, and American Democracy will be seriously challenged.

I would suggest that everyone should read the Constitution now, as it may soon become a meaningless piece of parchment. Which is what the right-wing nuts want and then the real “Terrorists” will have won.

Scooter: Let’s Make a Deal!

We all knew that Karl threw Scooter under the wheels of the bus. The question now is: who will Scooter throw under the wheels of the on coming train, called a trial, and how can the White House prevent it?

I know that I would love to see Dick on the witness stand, but that isn’t going to happen. So, the only recourse is for Scooter to cut a deal and then get his pardon.

And, as the investigation continues, and perhaps a former Under Secretary of State is nailed, a U.N. Ambassadorship might open up as an employment opportunity for the recently pardoned Scooter. Can an interim appointment be in his future?

Sound nuts? Think Elliot Abrams.

Blogger Round-Up on the Indictment.

The New York Times put together a list with links.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


A girl has to dream, and toward that end let me say who my Fitzmas list contains. I want Rove of course, Hannah and Libby is a total hit, I would be thrilled with an Un-indicted Co-Conspirator by the name of Dick (Dick Chaney not Dick Nixon the other Un-indicted Co-Conspirator),]

But, in the long term I want John Bolton and Grover Norgquist to be indicted. Now, should it be in cases that have to do with lying to the Country about Weapons of Mass Destruction or just money laundering and Gangster style murder, I will be thrilled.

They deserve no less.

And the Country deserves no less.

Rosa Parks, 1913 – 2005

We miss you and your courage.

Rest in Peace.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What is a Real Republican?

Andros over at Liberal Citizen has a pretty good list of what it takes to be a Republican these days. It is a pretty comprehensive list.

I would add that to be a Real Republican these days you must believe that the Constitution is a piece of parchment paper and should not exactly be deferred to. You must also believe that Torture is not only acceptable, but desirable. You must believe that International Treaties are merely quaint. And, that anyone who disagrees with Dear Leader is with the terrorists.

Not to mention the necessary belief that anyone who ousted a CIA NOC and an entire network of people tracking weapons of mass destruction proliferation was doing their patriotic duty and that is why they had to lie about it.

I am sure that there are other examples of the dissonance, and of necessary belief, between being an actual U. S. Citizen, and caring about democracy, and being a Republican these days, but the mind boggles.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Judith Miller to Spend More Time with Her Family.

Well, the Pinch and Judy Show is out in the NYT. Mostly the papers coverage is pretty much a rehash of what we already knew. However, the fact that she lied to her bosses about being one of the reporters that received the info about Wilson’s wife doesn’t bode well for her future as a journalist.

Editor & Publisher has a good piece on this and her perhaps extended vacation.

As for Miller’s own rendition of the events surrounding her extended stay at Not-Club-Fed, and subsequent Grand Jury testimony, it defies reason. If her note taking and memory lapses are any indication of what a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter's habits are then not only has she driven the Times into the toilet, but flushed the Pulitzers as well.

There is a reason that the Times is often referred to as Pravda. It is because they are often merely scribes of the administration. In our current corporate media world this is not unexpected. But for the Times to put themselves in such jeopardy in the Miller case is outrageous and thoughtless. Given Judith Miller’s misreporting on the WMD touted by the Administration in the propaganda campaign leading to the invasion of the sovereign country of Iraq and the ensuing lack of finding any such touted WMD, and the Times mea culpa concerning that reporting, the Times stance in support of Miller in this instance is unconscionable.

What this all means for the paper of record is right now unclear. But, I personally think that when all is said and done their support for Miller is far more damaging than anything Jason Blair did to the institution's reputation.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Will Bush Stay Down with Torture?

Bob Herbert has raised the issue in today’s NYT’s Op-Ed. It is mind boggling that the President of the United States of America can consider vetoing legislation upholding the Geneva Conventions and the values that most American’s say they stand for.

Here is Herbert’s column which is too important to hide behind a subscription only policy:

October 10, 2005

Who Isn't Against Torture?


Some people get it. Some don't.

Senator John McCain, one of the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq, has sponsored a legislative amendment that would prohibit the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. military. Last week the Senate approved the amendment by the overwhelming vote of 90 to 9.

This was not a matter of Democrats vs. Republicans, or left against right. Joining Senator McCain in his push for clear and unequivocal language banning the abusive treatment of prisoners were Senator John Warner of Virginia, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former military lawyer who is also a Republican and an influential member of the committee. Both are hawks on the war.

Also lining up in support were more than two dozen retired senior military officers, including two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell and John Shalikashvili.

So who would you expect to remain out of step with this important march toward sanity, the rule of law and the continuation of a longstanding American commitment to humane values?

Did you say President Bush? Well, that would be correct.

The president, who has trouble getting anything right, is trying to block this effort to outlaw the abusive treatment of prisoners.

Senator McCain's proposal is an amendment to the huge defense authorization bill. The White House has sent out signals that Mr. Bush might veto the entire bill if that's what it takes to defeat the amendment.

The Washington Post summed the matter up in an editorial that said:

"Let's be clear: Mr. Bush is proposing to use the first veto of his presidency on a defense bill needed to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan so that he can preserve the prerogative to subject detainees to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In effect, he threatens to declare to the world his administration's moral bankruptcy."

Last Wednesday, Senator McCain rose on the Senate floor and said:

"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states simply that 'No one shall be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.' The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a signatory, states the same. The binding Convention Against Torture, negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the Senate, prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

"On last year's [Department of Defense] authorization bill, the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment reaffirming that no detainee in U.S. custody can be subject to torture or cruel treatment, as the U.S. has long defined those terms. All of this seems to be common sense, in accordance with longstanding American values.

"But since last year's [defense] bill, a strange legal determination was made that the prohibition in the Convention Against Torture against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment does not legally apply to foreigners held outside the U.S. They can, apparently, be treated inhumanely. This is the [Bush] administration's position, even though Judge Abe Sofaer, who negotiated the Convention Against Torture for President Reagan, said in a recent letter that the Reagan administration never intended the prohibition against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment to apply only on U.S. soil."

The McCain amendment would end the confusion and the perverse hunt for loopholes in the laws that could somehow be interpreted as allowing the sadistic treatment of human beings in U.S. custody.

Senator McCain met last week with Capt. Ian Fishback, a West Point graduate who was one of three former members of the 82nd Airborne Division to come forward with allegations, first publicly disclosed in a report by Human Rights Watch, that members of their battalion had routinely beaten and otherwise abused prisoners in Iraq. In a letter that he sent to the senator before the meeting, Captain Fishback wrote:

"Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution."

Senator McCain and Captain Fishback get it. Some people still don't.

Mr. Bush says one thing, but if he does veto this legislation he is not a “compassionate conservative” or a compassionate anything.

I shouldn’t even go into the Christian thing. But, exactly what do you think Jesus would say?

Yes Indeed, Some Might Call it Treason!

Larry Johnson, former CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official and current member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) has a very cogent piece on the relevance and import of the Plame Affair to the National Security of the United States of America. I believe it is a must read and you all know how I feel about the VIPS. They are very connected and haven’t been wrong yet.

Here is a very provocative and not exactly off the wall analysis that he makes:

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, Ambassador Wilson publicly exposed an important lie - and the president as liar-in-chief - when Wilson debunked reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium in the African country of Niger. Still, as Wilson himself has suggested, the primary purpose of leaking his wife's employment at the CIA was not so much to retaliate against him personally, but rather to issue a warning to others privy to administration lies on the war not to speak out. Administration officials felt they needed to provide an object lesson of what truth tellers can expect in the way of swift retaliation.

... and It Was All Based on a Forgery

Whether or not indictments come down, our domesticated mainstream media probably will continue to play down the damage to US intelligence. Even more important, they are likely to ignore completely the very curious event that started the whole business - the forging of documents that became the basis of reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger for its (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. Together with other circumstantial evidence, the neuralgic reaction of Vice President Dick Cheney to press reports that he was point man for promoting the bogus "intelligence" report suggests that he may also have been its intellectual author/authorizer.

So, go and read the whole thing. You can’t afford not to.

The Domino Theory Redux!

I don’t know about you, but does Our Leader really think that the Domino Theory is going to fly in Iraq? Didn’t we leave that theory in Vietnam in 1974?

I have personally lost track of the various and many changing reasons that the USA invaded the sovereign country of Iraq, but this latest one, dragged out in the latest speech from our putative leader is ridiculous. That he would say that the Jihadists want to take over countries from Indonesia to Spain and that is why we need to fight in Iraq is so stretching credibility that I really don’t know what to say.

Poor Scott McClellan has to defend this and it isn’t pretty:

Q Scott, all this talk about a radical Islamic empire stretching from Europe across to southeast Asia, even some Republicans are saying that it has the appearance of the President trying to cover up bad policy in Iraq by unduly alarming people.

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't heard any Republicans say that. Do you have one in mind?

Q A couple in mind, yes.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, do you want to share them with me?

Q You can call them and ask them, but I'm just wondering what you think of that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I -- you made a statement. I haven't heard any Republican make such allegation. So I was just wondering where that came from.

Q What's your response to the allegation that you're trying to cover up bad policy in Iraq by unduly alarming people?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's an allegation by John Roberts.

Q Pardon me?

MR. McCLELLAN: Are you saying it's an allegation by John Roberts?

Q It's not my allegation, no.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, go and look at what the President said in his remarks. Today's speech is one in a series of speeches that the President continues to make about the war on terrorism. It's important to understand the nature of the enemy that we face. This is a determined and lethal enemy with a clear strategy. The President outlined that strategy in his remarks. He quoted some of the leaders of this radical ideology that they seek to spread. And he laid out very clearly what their strategy is. I think you can go and look at some of the propaganda and comments that terrorists have made, and it clearly shows what their strategy and what their goals and what their beliefs are.

Q Does he really think they could take over countries like Italy, Spain, Austria, France?

MR. McCLELLAN: This is an enemy that is patient, it is determined, and it is lethal. It is a enemy that is determined to spread a hateful ideology. And what they first want to do is try to establish a safe haven. We took away a safe haven from them when we went into Afghanistan and liberated the people of Afghanistan. They want to establish a country that could be a safe haven from which they could plan and plot their attacks and be able to topple non-radical Muslim governments in the Middle East, and then carry out attacks against the civilized world.

That's why the President made the decision after September 11th that we were going to take the fight to the enemy, that the way to defeat this enemy is to take the fight to them and to spread freedom and democracy to defeat their hateful, murderous ideology.

Q But again, does he really believe that they could take over western countries like Spain and France?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's what their strategy -- go back and look at what the President said in his remarks, because he clearly spelled out what their strategy is. I'm not sure that he characterized it the same way as you just did.

Q Does he think that's realistic?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look at his remarks. They very much have a strategy --

Q He warned of a radical Islamic empire stretching from Spain to Indonesia.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- much like the strategy of communism to dominate and intimidate the world.

So, we have come to this. Not only are they scraping the bottom of the barrel of lies, they are now scraping the bottom of the barrel of other people’s lies.

Apparently Cheney was right. Only it isn’t the insurgents who are in the last throes!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Interesting Point!

Publius at Legal Fiction makes the point that Miers and Roberts have something in common and not something in common with the Federalist Society stars. He posits that the reason Bush nominated both of them is that they are both down with torture, much like Torquemada Gonzales. We know that Miers worked in concert with Gonzales. Likewise, we know that Roberts had that pesky ethical conflict when he was being interviewed for the Justice job while ruling in the administration’s favor on the executive’s power to trump the other branches of government, and that piece of paper the U.S. Constitution,

It seems, according to Publius, that perhaps Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, et al. might be worried about the issue of war crimes. Hence GWB’s early desire to have Torquemada on the Supremes. But maybe putting his A.G. in charge of torture excusing on the Highest Court of the Land might have been a tad too obvious.

He also brings up the point that the Federalist Society, strict constructionists that they are, actually has a principled stand on the separation of powers that might not be a winning argument for the administration and its desire for unbridled executive power.


Molly on Miers!

Molly Ivins, our favorite Texan, quotes an 1803 statement attributed to James Madison: "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."

Yep, just about says it all doesn’t it.

Our favorite Texan pretty much lays out the skinny on Miers and the whole “trust me she is an evangelical” argument. The “trust me she is an evangelical argument” is, I believe, focused on convincing the “base,” which is not William Kristol, George Will or Charles Krauthammer, that she is really just one of them.

But, it seems that the base and the “intellectual elites”, read Kristol, Will and Krauthammer, et al, really do want the strife that has soaked the soil with blood right here, and right now, on our soil.

Will they get it?

Democracy, indeed our constitutional system, waits in the wings.

The State of Our Democracy.

Watch this and cry!

Then go and read Al Gore on the threat to democracy.

Then ask yourself, where was this guy in 2000.

Oh, yeah, that's right, he won by 500,000 votes.

Though not the most important 5 votes.

That's right, I am still pissed.

Where Have these Folks Been for the Last 5 Years?

The events of the last couple of months have left me pretty much agog. What with Abramoff finally getting indicted, Katrina exposing this administration’s lack of interest in disaster mitigation and/or relief, Dr. Sen. Frist’s possible insider trading, Rep. DeLay’s indictments for money laundering, Timothy Flanigan’s nomination for Deputy Attorney General finally being torpedoed by his relationship to Abramoff and torture, and the uproar over Harriet Miers' nomination to life tenure at the Highest Court of the Land people are shocked by this administration.

My question is WHY? Doesn’t anyone remember Bernie Kerik?

Where the hell was George Will for the last FIVE YEARS?

He has aided and abetted this administration, as well as his other cohorts and pundits, and now he and his cohorts are shocked.

What part of “Crony Capitalism” don’t they get?

In case they haven’t noticed what has been going on Molly Ivins lays it out for them.

But, then maybe they were okay with "Crony Capitalism" and the concerted effort to undermine democracy, unless it dashed THEIR dreams.

Hypocrites all.

The United States of America deserves an apology from all of them.