Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Libby Trial Continues with Memory Attacks

From my "Capital Games" column at

On the second day of the Scooter Libby trial, Ted Wells, the defendant's attorney, continued with his double strategy of challenging the memories of the prosecution's witnesses and of creating a series of narratives that could end up confusing jurors.

The first witness called to stand by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was Marc Grossman, who was the No. 3 at the State Department in the summer of 2003. His testimony was clear-cut. On May 29, 2003, he was contacted by Libby, who was seeking information on former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger. Three weeks earlier, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had written a piece--without mentioning Wilson by name--citing Wilson's mission as evidence that the Bush administration had hyped the prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Few in the media had paid any attention to Kristof's column, but Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus was looking into Vice President Dick Cheney's connection to the Wilson affair. (Wilson had been sent by the CIA on this trip in 2002 after Cheney had asked an intelligence briefer for more information on the allegation that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger.)

It was while Pincus was sniffing around that Libby, according to Grossman, called him and asked for information on Wilson's mission. Grossman testified that he had known nothing about the trip, then learned the basic details from others at the State Department, and shared this information with Libby. He also testified that he had asked the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a memo on the trip. The memo noted that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA division that had dispatched Wilson. Grossman testified that he shared this fact with Libby during a face-to-face meeting on June 11 or June 12, 2003.

This is important because after the CIA leak criminal investigation was launched, Libby told the FBI and a grand jury that when he heard from Meet the Press host Tim Russert on July 10 or 11 that Valerie Wilson worked at the CIA, he believed he was learning this fact anew. (Russert denies saying anything to Libby about Valerie Wilson.) Fitzgerald's plan is to demonstrate that Libby aggressively gathered information on Joseph and Valerie Wilson before the leak to prove that his story to the grand jury and the FBI--that he had forgotten he knew anything about Valerie Wilson and had merely passed along to reporters rumors about her he had heard from other reporters--was an intentional lie.

If Libby was pressing Grossman for official information on Wilson and receiving information on Wilson and his wife (which was classified), it means he possessed far more than scuttlebutt. And Grossman was only the first of several witnesses Fitzgerald expected to call to make this point.

What could Wells do? Go after Grossman's memory. He noted that the written report of his first interview with the FBI--which occurred on October 17, 2003-says that Grossman told the bureau that he conveyed information on the Wilson trip to Libby during two or three telephone calls. Yet now, Wells said, Grossman was testifying that there had been a face-to-face conversation. "I don't know how to explain this," Grossman said. Wells continued: An FBI memo regarding Grossman's second interview with the bureau also said that Grossman had told the FBI he had informed Libby about Wilson's wife in a phone call. "Again," Grossman said, "I recall that as a face-to-face meeting." Wells cited another discrepancy between the FBI reports of Grossman's interviews and his jury testimony.

It was not devastating. But it was a shot across the bow of Fitzgerald's case. Part of Libby's defense is that he did not lie, he merely falsely remembered matters that were not so relevant at the time. If Wells can show the main witnesses against Libby have memory problems of their own, he will be quite pleased.

With Grossman on the stand, Wells also took a stab at bolstering one of the narratives he intends to throw at the jury: that Libby did not engage in any illegitimate effort to harm Joseph Wilson. Wells has signaled he will present the jury a complicated story--part of which will claim that Libby had been tasked by Bush and Cheney to address Wilson's accusations on the merits. Referring to the memo and attachments pulled together for Grossman (in response to Libby's request), Wells asked Grossman if one of the attachments showed that Iraq had indeed tried to purchase yellowcake uranium--which can be enriched for a nuclear bomb--from Niger. That's not what the document said. It noted merely that a former Nigerien prime minister had told Wilson that in June 1999 a businessman had asked that he meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" and that he (the former prime minister) had interpreted this request to mean the Iraqis were interested in uranium purchases. But the former prime minister said he let the matter drop because he was not interested in dealing with Iraq (which was subject to United Nations sanctions) and angering the United States.

Wells was clearly looking for material to support the argument that Wilson was wrong in assessing the Niger charge as improbable and that Libby and the White House were right (perhaps even obligated) to challenge his accusation. But Wells did not go too far down this road. "Now, are we arguing this again?" exclaimed a reporter in the press room.

With his second witness--Robert Grenier, a former Iraq mission manager at the CIA--Fitzgerald developed his narrow narrative. Grenier testified that on June 11, 2003, he received a phone message from Libby at 1:15 in the afternoon. Previously, he had been in interagency meetings with Libby, but this was the first time the vice president's chief of staff had ever called him. Grenier immediately phoned him back. Libby, according to Grenier, told Grenier that a former ambassador named Joseph Wilson was "going around town" claiming he had been sent to Niger by the CIA to determine if there was any truth to the Niger charge and that this trip had occurred because the office of the vice president had expressed an interest in the allegation. Was this true? Libby asked. He sounded, Grenier said, "a little bit aggrieved," and Grenier worried that Cheney's office suspected the CIA of leaking information harmful for Cheney and the White House.

Grenier testified that he had heard nothing about Wilson's trip prior to this conversation. He called a unit within the CIA's Counterproliferation Division and obtained information about the Wilson matter--and he learned that Wilson's wife worked at that particular unit. (He was not told her name or position.) But before he could call Libby back, Libby phoned again, and Grenier was pulled out of a meeting with CIA Director George Tenet. He conveyed to Libby what he had learned from CPD, including the information about Wilson's wife. A few days later, when Grenier saw Libby, Grenier testified, Libby thanked him for the information and said that it was useful.

By Fitzgerald's count, there were now two former government officials who maintained they had told Libby about Wilson's wife in response to questions from Libby. Then Bill Jeffers got hold of Grenier. On the cross-examination, he dug into a problem with Grenier's testimony. Grenier had conceded that when he first talked to FBI agents investigating the leak and when he first appeared before the grand jury he had said that he did not recall having told Libby about Wilson's wife. He explained that he had recalled that he had done so only after thinking about the matter in response to stories in the media about the leak case. "I was going over it again and again in mind," he testified. Then in the spring of 2005--more than a year after his initial grand jury appearance--he spoke to CIA lawyers and arranged to reappear before the grand jury to say he now realized he had spoken to Libby about Wilson's wife.

Jeffers poked at Grenier's claim that his recollection of his discussion with Libby had grown. He asked why he could not recall this phone call during his FBI interview and first grand jury appearance. And Grenier conceded that his recollection of his conversation with Libby "has a fair amount of vagueness attached to it." Jeffers also pointed out that during Grenier's first grand jury appearance Grenier had said that he did not even recall that a Counterproliferation Division staffer had told him about Wilson's wife. But, Jeffers added, Grenier only had a clear recollection of this at his second grand jury appearance. Grenier could not explain the disparity. And he asked Grenier a series of questions that raised the notion that the CIA and the White House at the time of the leak were feuding over responsibility for the faulty prewar intelligence, perhaps in preparation for suggesting to the jury that Grenier and/or other CIA officers might have an interest going after Libby and Cheney.

Next up was Craig Schmall, who in 2003 was a CIA briefer for both Libby and Cheney. He testified that during his June 14, 2003 morning briefing of Libby, the vice president's chief of staff had raised a few matters that were not part of the official briefing. One was a visit Libby had just had with actors Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz. "He was a little excited about it," Schmall said, explaining that Cruise had come to talk to Libby about Germany's treatment of Scientologists. (Cruise had met with Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state on June 13.) Another issue was the Wilson mission and Valerie Wilson. Schmall's handwritten notes on the table of contents of Libby's briefing that day indicated that Libby had mentioned both Wilsons to him. Here was more evidence suggesting that Libby was on top of the Wilson business (before it became public) and knew about Valerie Wilson.

Schmall also testified that after the leak had occurred, while he was briefing both Cheney and Libby, they asked him what he thought about the leak scandal. Noting that some commentators had dismissed the leak as "no big deal," Schmall explained that he considered it a "grave danger." He explained to Libby and Cheney that foreign intelligence services could now investigate everyone who had come into contact with Valerie Wilson when she had served overseas. "Those people," he said, "innocent or otherwise, could be harassed...tortured or killed." With such testimony in hand, Fitzgerald will be able to argue that Libby had motive to lie about his connection to the leak: he would not want to be implicated in a chain of events that could lead to the torture and death of innocent people.

There was not much Libby attorney John Cline could do to challenge Schmall. The CIA briefer had admitted that he had a "poor memory" of the specific briefings. But his notes said what they said. So Cline mainly asked Schmall about the other subjects on Libby's plate during those briefings: bombings overseas, an arrest of a suspected terrorist, a proposed Middle East security plan, assorted possible terrorist attacks against the United States. This will be useful ammo if Libby's lawyers later claim he was too damn busy with protecting America to have recalled accurately what he knew about Valerie Wilson. Yet he wasn't too preoccupied to talk to Cruise about Scientology.

There were no bombshells today. It was hours of tough legal slogging. Fitzgerald is trying to create a chronology using witnesses who have--as most witnesses do--imperfect memories. Put enough of them together--and he's not done yet--and he could have a case. Libby's lawyers are doing what all defense attorneys do: raise doubts about the memories and motives of the prosecution witnesses. They landed a few blows. But Fitzgerald has more witnesses coming. After Schmall, the next scheduled witness is Cathie Martin, who was a spokesperson for Cheney. She was, in a way, a witness to the Grenier-Libby conversation and also spoke with Libby and Cheney several times about the Wilson affair. She was involved in the damage-control operation mounted in response to Joseph Wilson's revelations. Might she have a better memory than the initial witnesses?

Posted by David Corn at January 24, 2007 06:20 PM


David B. Benson said...

Boy, am I glad I am not on that jury panel!

capt said...

"If we do go to war, psychological operations are going to be absolutely a critical, critical part of any campaign that we must get involved in.": General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.": Joseph Goebbels was born in 1897 and died in 1945. Goebbels was Hitler's Minister of Propaganda

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.": Abraham Lincoln


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Memory attacks --- "Your honor, I plead Alzheimer's."

Saladin said...

I just can't seem to dredge up the slightest bit of interest in this trial. libby is nothing but a fall guy, and I am not interested in that. I AM interested in Capt's state of NM and the attempt to impeach the real criminals, now that is something I can sink my fangs into! Not that I believe we will progress as a result of that, but I AM hoping it will slow this long, hot ride to Hell that we are currently faced with, maybe get a little breathing room and time to regroup.

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- The House might possibly vote for impeachment, but it seems unlikely (at least now) that the Senate would vote for removal from office.

So, start convincing enough senators to uphold their oath of office. Just now, not enough would...

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, I don't hold out much hope for justice, but I have to have some positive outlook no matter how ill-placed, I would go crazy otherwise! But it seems oaths matter less than the Constitution, and that IS worrisome.

capt said...

First remote-handled waste shipment arrives at WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has received its first shipment of nuclear waste that’s so radioactive that it must be handled by robotic machines.

The US Department of Energy says the shipment arrived at the federal government’s underground dump east of Carlsbad Tuesday night.

The three 30-gallon drums are from the Idaho National Laboratory. The drums hold radioactive debris from nuclear materials testing and research activities.

The higher level, remote-handled waste has always been part of WIPP’s plan.

The shipments were scheduled to start after WIPP had demonstrated it can handle less radioactive material safely.

WIPP opened in March 1999.


*****end of clip*****


Another NM thing that sucks.


Saladin said...

And Down Will Come Baby, Cradle and All.
Smoking Mirrors

...Yesterday tells a most convincing tale of evil and corruption not seen in America in a hundred years (maybe never) and would include both The Reagan and Nixon years. When you add in the 9/11 coverup, the PNAC efforts and the AIPAC scandals; along with Jack Abramoff's head like a diseased cherry on top of a United Fruits banana split, you have got a dead skunk ten times bigger than Godzilla stinking up the great nightmare highway of the American Dream.

And the press... that gutless whore of a low to the ground plague of shit-sucking weasels. I can say nothing more on this. It is a fetid charnel house of diseased lips sucking at anonymous glory holes in the 9th circle of Hell. What amazes me is that you could actually get people to do this on the promise of money and influence; what real chump change at the price of your soul and the certain ignominy to follow. I don't know what they are made out of, the Brit Humes, the Chris Matthews, the Tim Russerts all those swine at Fox News; O'Reilly and co. and Washpo and the NY Times and CNN and well, just about everywhere you look. These are not human beings, not any more.

I haven't said much because I've been traveling and also dealing with a certain form of crushing seasonal dispair about the lockdown on information and the huge body of sold out talking heads who just continue to lie and obfuscate about the obvious truth. I also am in awe of the closed ranks of legislators and government employees whose massive guts expand out over the corporate troughs; not to mention the odious hypcrisy of religious leaders. The stink should send droves of Wal-mart shopping junkies screaming down the aisles for the exits in search of fresh air. There isn't any outside either. There ought to be huge crowds of people dropping to the ground in a stupor over the horrible cloud of noxious lies and venal gutless grandstanding for fascist interests. It may just be that they like the smell in this new East Rutherford cancer row that runs in all directions until it disappears over the curve of the Earth.

I am in awe. I am in inexplicable awe of the level of corruption matched up with public gulibility and disinterest. We've seen it before. Yeah folks, strike up the band. It's time for another 9/11 blockbuster cluster-fuck whipping up public fear like a massive industrial blender. They can't hold it together any longer. The old truth about evil destroying itself- despite the unwitting (and in many cases witting) complicity of a colossally stupid bovine public- is at hand. It's time for the blood stained fingers at the helm of the ship of state to fire up the war machine to a new level. How far out will that take us? I shudder to think.

I'm usually about writing a pretty exact length of an essay; 3.5 pages in Word. It's become automatic. This time though I am only going to say a few things and get back to other things presently compelling me on other fronts. Give me a week or so till I come back to me and you and whatever it is we have had together on this small ride in this small bus down the wide internet walls of pixalated cyber text.

I wouldn't know what to tell you except to make noise. Point at the big green dead dinosauer skunk in the road. Make noise and be disgusted. I was so pleased with the way you responded to that treacherous Washpo ombudsman. I'm loving the articles and the blogs and the words of support for me and all of the others that I am seeing everywhere. I am loving the tireless agents of various law enforcement agencies and the various departments of investigation; the Patrick Fitzgerald's and the growing army of the convinced that are climbing into the arena without fear to expose and clean up this awful stinking mess. I don't know what we are going to find at the end of it; possibly high walls of wire and concertina rolls, maybe a world burned alkaline white and possibly a great and lasting victory. I don't know but at least we fucking tried. At least we tried.
Gosh, I hate to think he's beating around the "bush!"

O'Reilly said...


Your coverage of today's proceedings at the Scooter Libby trial are the best I've read yet.

I've been following the action via liveblogging by Marcy Wheeler at FDL, and before her Pachautec - who you met. The blow by blow is interesting becuase it requires the listener (reader) to put the pieces together on their own; see the forest through the trees.

The MSM's interest in this story falls into one of two storylines; the first followng Fitz's opening argument, and the scond following Theodore Wells' opening.

The former narrative includes the revelation that Cheney was deeply involved in this and the latter is that everyone forgot everything and it doesn't matter anyway because there was no need to lie.

I suspect your interest in this story remains high, as you had so much involvement breaking news in it from the beginning. Keep the great summary coming..

That was me who inquired during voir dire if you have plans to re-open your comments section. Thank you so much for your answer. I getthe idea you were more likely to review feedback when you had comments on your own site, then when you have to come here to alternate reality to see them.

capt said...

"Your coverage of today's proceedings at the Scooter Libby trial are the best I've read yet."

I agree whole heartedly!

Amazing what a talented writer/journalist can do with such dry stuff.


capt said...

From David Corn:

I much appreciate the many expressions of condolences I have received regarding the death of my father. I realize that readers of my blog are, in a way, an extended family, and I am touched by those who have sent me and my immediate family their best wishes at this time. It is indeed heartening to receive such well-wishing from far and wide.

Saladin said...

Published on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by the Boston Globe
Carter Wins Applause at Brandeis
Defends stance on Palestinians; critic speaks later
by David Abel and James Vaznis
Common Dreams

Jimmy Carter, in a carefully orchestrated visit, received multiple ovations last night during his speech at Brandeis University. Loud applause greeted his rebuttal of critics who have called him an anti-Semite because of his views on Israel.

The 82-year-old former president, whose best-selling book "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" has angered many Jewish groups and others nationwide, spoke in a gym packed with about 1,700 Brandeis students, faculty, and other members of the campus community. About 50 protesters gathered outside, but the only protest visible inside the gym was "Pro Israel, Pro Peace" buttons worn by about 200 students.

Protesters demonstrate at Jewish-founded Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where former President Jimmy Carter is speaking about his controversial book on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, January 23, 2007. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
"This is the first time that I've ever been called a liar and a bigot and an anti-Semite and a coward and a plagiarist," Carter said to a hushed audience at the school, which has a predominantly Jewish student body, referring to the reaction to his book.

Carter had turned down an initial invitation to appear after it was suggested that he debate Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Some questioned whether the debate proposal was denying free speech and whether Brandeis was truly open to views critical of Israel. Ultimately, after more than 100 students and faculty signed a petition inviting him without strings, Carter agreed to speak. Dershowitz was kept out of the gym during the speech, but allowed to give a rebuttal after Carter left.

Carter's book, which criticizes Israel's treatment of Palestinians, has prompted allegations of errors and omissions and charges of anti-Israel bias. Carter's use of the word apartheid to describe the situation of the Palestinians has upset many. But Carter has also received support from some who say the book raises important questions about US support for Israel.

Carter, president from 1977 to 1981, brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

At Brandeis, he spoke for about 15 minutes, then fielded screened questions from students for roughly 45 minutes.

In response to a question, Carter apologized for a sentence in his book that he acknowledged seemed to justify terrorism by saying that suicide bombings should end when Israel accepts the goals of the road map to peace with Palestinians.

"That sentence was worded in a completely improper and stupid way," Carter said. "I've written my publishers to change that sentence immediately in future editions of the book. I apologize to you personally and to everyone here."

But he defended the use of the word apartheid in his book title.

"I realize that this has caused great concern in the Jewish community," he said. "The title makes it clear that the book is about conditions and events in the Palestinian territory and not in Israel. And the text makes clear on numerous occasions that the forced separation and the domination of Arabs by Israelis is not based on race."

As the audience was silent, he spoke of roads Palestinians could not use and of the more than 500 checkpoints in the tiny West Bank.

He suggested that a group of Brandeis professors and students visit the occupied territories for a few days and meet with leaders and private citizens "to determine if I have exaggerated or incorrectly described the plight of the Palestinians. "

Early in his speech, he quipped about the controversy over his invitation to speak at Brandeis.

"Except for an invitation from the US Congress to deliver my inaugural address . . . this is the most exciting invitation I've ever received, and it's gotten almost as much publicity," Carter said.

In response to the efforts to have him debate Dershowitz, the former president said to loud applause: "I didn't think Brandeis needed a Harvard professor to come" and tell them how to think.

After Carter's speech, roughly half of the audience remained to hear Dershowitz's rebuttal.

He said that Carter modified some of his viewpoints during his appearance at Brandeis and corrected information in his book.

"Had he written a book similar to what he said on stage, I don't believe there would have been much controversy," he said. "I wish I didn't have to be here today to respond to President Carter."

Dershowitz later added, "We are not that far apart in our views."

Students left the former president's speech with mixed opinions.

Jake Sebrow, 22, a senior majoring in politics, said he was impressed by Carter's talk and supported his message of peace, but still disagreed with a lot of what he said.

"I think he showed how to go about creating a dialogue," Sebrow said.

Sara Hammershleg, 19, a freshman wearing a "Pro Israel, Pro Peace" button, was upset that there hadn't been a debate, that the questions were screened, and students couldn't ask follow-ups.

"I wish he could have been challenged more," she said.

But Nadhava Palikapitiya, 30, a graduate student from Sri Lanka, said Carter's message was on the mark.

"I agree with him 150 percent, that people have to try to look at this debate objectively," he said.

Carter's talk was open only to the Brandeis community and the press.

An overflow crowd of several hundred students and faculty members watched the speech shown on two large screens in the student center.

Across the street from the gym where Carter spoke, a mix of Carter critics and supporters, mostly nonstudents, stood in a designated area holding signs with opposing views.

Erik Miller, 26, held a sign that said, "Carter lied, thousands died." A few feet away, Karen Klein, held a sign expressing support for Carter.

Miller, 26, who said he had just returned from a 20-day trip to Israel, is a campus coordinator of the David Project Center for Jewish Leadership, a Boston-area group that supports Israel. He said he objected to the title of Carter's book.

"Israel is the most free, the most open country," Miller said. "I saw black Jews. I saw brown Jews. I saw white Jews and also non-Jews. The true apartheid is in the Arab world, where if you're not Muslim and if you're not male, you can be victimized very easily."

Klein, a member of the Workmen's Circle, a national Jewish organization, said she believed Carter's view supported peace in Israel.

Several hours before his speech, Carter signed books at the Harvard Coop in Cambridge for several hundred people, who were mainly supporters.

One woman said, "I wish you were running in 2008."
Mr. Carter, a hero in the dog days of the republic. My blessings to you.

Saladin said...

Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict

As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms

By Peter Byrne

IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.
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As chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005, Feinstein supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars a year for specific military construction projects. Two defense contractors whose interests were largely controlled by her husband, financier Richard C. Blum, benefited from decisions made by Feinstein as leader of this powerful subcommittee.

Each year, MILCON's members decide which military construction projects will be funded from a roster proposed by the Department of Defense. Contracts to build these specific projects are subsequently awarded to such major defense contractors as Halliburton, Fluor, Parsons, Louis Berger, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation. From 1997 through the end of 2005, with Feinstein's knowledge, Blum was a majority owner of both URS Corp. and Perini Corp.

While setting MILCON agendas for many years, Feinstein, 73, supervised her own staff of military construction experts as they carefully examined the details of each proposal. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

In her annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports, Feinstein records a sizeable family income from large investments in Perini, which is based in Framingham, Mass., and in URS, headquartered in San Francisco. But she has not publicly acknowledged the conflict of interest between her job as a congressional appropriator and her husband's longtime control of Perini and URS—and that omission has called her ethical standards into question, say the experts.
SHE'S in charge of regulating ethics?! Talk about a fox in the henhouse!! How can anyone believe these wars will stop with war profiteers like her in charge? Or even justice for all the bloodshed she is making money on?

Saladin said...

"Distrust of government can be taken to paranoid extremes. But trust in government is truly crazy. Your own government is your natural enemy. That is why the framers built all the safeguards we have torn down."

- Joseph Sobran
This is proven on a daily basis!

Saladin said...


January 22, 2007


Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.

Whereas the United States Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security participated in the formation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) on March 23, 2005, representing a tri-lateral agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico designed, among other things, to facilitate common regulatory schemes between these countries;

Whereas reports issued by the SPP indicate that it has implemented regulatory changes among the three countries that circumvent United States trade, transportation, homeland security, and border security functions and that the SPP will continue to do so in the future;

Whereas the actions taken by the SPP to coordinate border security by eliminating obstacles to migration between Mexico and the United States actually makes the United States-Mexico border less secure because Mexico is the primary source country of illegal immigrants into the United States;

Whereas according to the Department of Commerce, United States trade deficits with Mexico and Canada have significantly increased since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);

Whereas the economic and physical security of the United States is impaired by the potential loss of control of its borders attendant to the full operation of NAFTA and the SPP;

Whereas the regulatory and border security changes implemented and proposed by the SPP violate and threaten United States sovereignty;

Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System from the west coast of Mexico through the United States and into Canada has been suggested as part of a North American Union to facilitate trade between the SPP countries;

Whereas the State of Texas has already begun planning of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a major multi-modal transportation project beginning at the United States-Mexico border, which would serve as an initial section of a NAFTA Superhighway System;

Whereas it could be particularly difficult for Americans to collect insurance from Mexican companies which employ Mexican drivers involved in accidents in the United States, which would likely increase the insurance rates for American drivers;

Whereas future unrestricted foreign trucking into the United States can pose a safety hazard due to inadequate maintenance and inspection, and can act collaterally as a conduit for the entry into the United States of illegal drugs, illegal human smuggling, and terrorist activities; and

Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System would likely include funds from foreign consortiums and be controlled by foreign management, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That--

(1) the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System;

(2) the United States should not allow the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to implement further regulations that would create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; and

(3) the President of the United States should indicate strong opposition to these acts or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the United States.
Now, none of them can say they didn't know or were misled! One thing is certain, if bushco is pushing it, it's a BAD thing!

capt said...

new thread awaits!