March 06, 2007
Incoming fire might be the feeling the administration has as finally some of its outrages are discussed in public.
The guilty verdict on Scooter Libby in four of five counts is probably the easiest issue. It will be appealed and whatever the outcome, at the end of the Bush presidency Scooter will get a pardon. The public effect was and is to demonstrate the administration's lies and its coziness with the mainstream media.
More serious is the scandal just bubbling up over U.S. Attorneys being fired for doing their job. The hearing today at the Judiciary Committee was quite devastating. (TPM Muckraker did some live blogging.) Of course the president can fire these attorneys who serve at his pleasure, but there were false statements about the reasons to do so. There were also illegal influence calls by Republican lawmakers plus intimidation and possible obstruction of justice by the Justice Department chief of staff. The story certainly has legs and as it is essentially non-partisan, the spin-masters will have problems to turn it around and to blame Democrats.
Another pending issue is the care for wounded GIs and veterans. The Walter Reed hospital story is only a start. A lot of local journalists all over the states will start to look into this and find some unsatisfied veterans who want to vent. Hiding the wounded in bureaucratic limbo will no longer be effective. Like the other issues above it is something that hurts the Republicans in their central constituency and it is an issue they cannot blame on anybody else.
The looming economic recession will add to the salvo.
All this may restrict the administration's ability to commit more outrages. But the rising smoke from these impacts may also be used as diversion and enable the cabal to further its goals elsewhere while everyone looks at the headlines of the day instead of those of tomorrow.
Posted by b on March 6, 2007 at 01:52 PM | Permalink
The worst offense in your litany is the brutal, cynical use of the people that make up the American armed forces. No different in kind than the use of all Americans by this shockingly brutal, awefully cynical group of soulless bloodsuckers, the Neocons, yet this particular bit of knavery stands out like day glo against the background of "righteous" lies that the Neocons have but forth in justification for their policy of aggression.
The present regime has been cutting back on veterans benefits since they began the war. Support our troops.
They have hired their corrupt mercenary buddies to voluntarily do the same bloody work that the people in uniform are compelled to do, at a pay differential that draws the line between the exploiters, the war criminals, and the exploited, the patriots. Support our troops.
The bastard brass at the pentagon is on-board one hundred percent, saving the big bucks for their revolving door contractor cronies while their stop-lossed helots fall prey to pay day loan sharks just beyond the gates of our military bases. Support our troops.
If there is one act of wretched excess that ought to cause the whole crew to be heaved out with revulsion, if not strung up at the outskirts of town, it is the brutal, cynical exploitation of the American working class, aka our "voluntary army", by the plutocrats. Support our troops.
We Americans have no enemies in the Middle East. Our enemies are all in Washington DC. Support our troops.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Mar 6, 2007 2:14:10 PM | 1
Excellent post! Two spelling errors, though... 'Walter Read' should be 'Walter Reed', and 'unsatisfied veterans who wants to vend' should be 'unsatisfied veterans who want to vent.' (To vend in English is to sell something, vent is to 'release pressure' or, in this case, to make one's feelings known.)
Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 6, 2007 2:21:27 PM | 2
Thanks Dr. - still not my language -
On contractors: Vanity Fair: Washington's $8 Billion Shadow
SAIC currently holds some 9,000 active federal contracts in all. More than a hundred of them are worth upwards of $10 million apiece. Two of them are worth more than $1 billion. The company's annual revenues, almost all of which come from the federal government, approached $8 billion in the 2006 fiscal year, and they are continuing to climb. SAIC's goal is to reach as much as $12 billion in revenues by 2008. As for the financial yardstick that really gets Wall Street's attention—profitability—SAIC beats the S&P 500 average. Last year ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, posted a return on revenue of 11 percent. For SAIC the figure was 11.9 percent. If "contract backlog" is any measure—that is, contracts negotiated and pending—the future seems assured. The backlog stands at $13.6 billion. That's one and a half times more than the backlog at KBR Inc., a subsidiary of the far better known government contractor once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, the Halliburton Company.
Posted by: b | Mar 6, 2007 2:54:46 PM | 3
Excellent assessment's b !
Incoming indeed. I kept wondering why I have been seeing and hearing rumors all over the 'intertoobz' the last few weeks as to what kind of hand these jackals are ready to play, I ran across three comments last week about the 'family' aka Bushco bringing Mr. CIA mojahedin himself, OBL out of hiding to shore up their fast fading creditability on damn near everything. And it now looks as if the rumors have been --at least partially -- confirmed:
CIA Rushing Resources to Bin Laden Hunt
I, as well as others can't help asking, what resources? Shovels? Or more Allah on the Holodeck brought to you by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Now would be the time I suspect, as we know all to well, the incantations these war witches conjure. They are Kings of Convenience.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 6, 2007 3:15:23 PM | 4
As Robert Fisk said yesterday on Democracy Now, UBL's job is done. Fisk believes UBL sees it this way. That if he were to die (Fisk doesn't believe the kidney rumors) or be captured, that UBL would feel he had accomplished his goal - to light the fuse and see the fire spreading beyond US and royal Saudi control.
Posted by: small coke | Mar 6, 2007 3:33:25 PM | 5
maybe presidente gringo will get a rousing reception similar to nixon's on his upcoming visit to south america. maybe a coup will be pulled off, preventing his return to this country. or maybe he can be convinced to decide to stay at the new paraguayan hideaway for a while, allow some time for the realists to fumigate la casa blanca. or just maybe the timing of this trip conveniently gets him out of the homeland while things really start heating up. or just before the next "AQ" attack comes. incoming!
Posted by: b real | Mar 6, 2007 6:17:19 PM | 7
Too funny Uncle. (6)
Posted by: beq | Mar 6, 2007 8:51:37 PM | 8
If C-Span replays the Senate hearings today on the fired U.S. Attorneys, I recommend making every effort to watch it. I caught portions of it while at work and was absolutely riveted. Sometimes Congressional hearings are a total waste of time - they will only have witnesses who stick to telling the members what they want to hear, and the members just use the time to bloviate and promote themselves. Today's Senate Judiciary hearing was totally different - the poise, lucidity, intelligence and integrity of each of the fired U.S. Attorneys in responding to the questions was genuinely awesome. And in some cases they left some of those bumbling cretins totally flummoxed...like Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania, for example. The two worst Senators (during the portions I caught) were Jeff Sessions from Alabama and Lindsay Graham from South Carolina. They kept trying to ask stupid leading questions to get the fired attorneys to admit that they were fired for bad performance or some other legitimate reason, and the attorneys just didn't knuckle under. They just made the two senators look like the cheap shills they are.
I realize I'm raving, but like I said, I was literally glued to the screen, and that is really rare for anything coming out of Congress.
Posted by: Maxcrat | Mar 6, 2007 9:37:05 PM | 9
"...the rising smoke from these impacts may also be used as diversion and enable the cabal to further its goals elsewhere while everyone looks at the headlines of the day instead of those of tomorrow."
Scooter is already as good as pardoned. Maybe as part of the deal they can give him a big boy name.
I'm trying to work out which is the sadder part of this bread and circuses act... that everyone already knows how it will end, or, if by some stunning twist of fate the verdict stood, there still isn't any bread. Libby isn't Cheney or Rove and his conviction for perjury does nothing to correct or redress the horrow show we're seeing.
Some Fitzmas present. It's OJ Simpson or Michael Jackson redux... and keeps everyone from looking at the man behind the curtain.
Posted by: Monolycus | Mar 6, 2007 11:30:09 PM | 10
Monolycus - good discussion of it on flashpoints(.net) today. You can listen online. Fitzgerald played the good Repug., just indicted one lower level guy who can be sacrificed, rather than going after the Seriously Guilty - Bush, Cheney & Rove - to enhance his prospects of getting a Repug. appointment to a federal judgeship :)
Posted by: jj | Mar 7, 2007 1:16:06 AM | 11
Youtube: the chilling effect Independence of US Attorneys (part1) it gets even deeper...
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 7, 2007 5:40:44 AM | 12
The incoming fire has been near-relentless since Katrina - but the intensity just keeps ratcheting up. The Bush administration is clearly floundering, regularly lapses into public incoherence, factionalised, deeply unpopular and entering a terminal phase. There are LOTS of skeletons rattling around in the closets, and the administration is not at the mercy of "events".
The key event of the past couple of weeks as regards "the future" is that Cheney has now been grounded - possibly for good - due to his DVT episode in the wake of his recent, somewhat useless, round of globetrotting; the trip was dogged by poor press relations, technical problems with his plane and a barbarian at the gates at Bagram.
Posted by: dan | Mar 7, 2007 6:51:07 AM | 14
Good overall roundup and summery here. Short and to the point.
Posted by: | Mar 7, 2007 7:44:36 AM | 16
I suspect that Libby was promised by Iron Dick that if he took the fall, he'd never see a day inside of prison.
And so, I strongly suspect, he won't. And he'll get a juicy book deal out of it.
Mark my words.
Posted by: cpg | Mar 7, 2007 12:36:16 PM | 17
Even more Incoming!
Strict rules set in corruption trial
DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes and former CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo will have limited access to top-secret evidence while preparing their defense against corruption charges, a judge has ruled.
Defense attorneys will have to receive security clearances and abide by strict rules to prevent dissemination of classified material, according to a ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns.
Prosecutors asked Burns to impose restrictions over fears that the identities of CIA agents, the location of CIA outposts or CIA methods – all part of the case – could be discovered by foreign intelligence agents.
This is...an unfortunate (but hilarious) headline:
Feds seek to gag D.C. Madam this madam threatens to spill the names about the biggies that used her services and so: [...]government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain "personal information" about Palfrey's former johns and prostitutes that is "sensitive." The prosecution filing does not detail the nature of this confidential information, though the identity of Palfrey's D.C. customers would surely be cloaked if the protective order was signed by Judge Gladys Kessler[...]
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 7, 2007 6:25:05 PM | 19
TPM:Domenici Lawyers Up
Domenici Lawyers Up
By Paul Kiel - March 7, 2007, 4:00 PM
What a small world. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) has nabbed Lee Blalack, best known as Duke Cunningham's lawyer, to represent him in the Senate ethics investigation, The Washington Post reports.
And they note the obvious irony:
Blalack, a partner in O'Melveny & Myers LLP's Washington office, is an experienced defense lawyer. As attorney for Cunningham, who is serving a sentence of more than eight years, Blalack dealt with one of the federal prosecutors who was later ousted, Carol S. Lam of San Diego.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 8, 2007 10:19:20 AM | 20
Martin Wolf in the FT yesterday was parsing Robert Shiller. Shorter Wolf: big crash coming, just can't say when.
Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini is hard landing all the way. And housing is sucking all the way too.
Posted by: Dismal Science | Mar 8, 2007 1:56:32 PM | 21
Was Team Libby's threat to attack Rove, call Cheney to the stand and potentially spill plenty of White House secrets just a bargaining chip in some sort of negotiation? Was their decision to rest their case in any way related to any promises from the White House?
Could Libby have made some sort of a deal with the White House to ensure a presidential pardon?
The answer is yes, yes and yes.
Posted by: b | Mar 8, 2007 2:32:09 PM | 22