Friday, February 2, 2007

Libby Trial: Lawyers Clash Over Motive

Scooter Libby was thrown under the bus. No, Scooter Libby gave the bus driver false directions.

On Thursday, the prosecution and the defense in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby spent much of the day clashing over evidentiary matters, but, as they battled, each side laid out its core theory.

The initial dispute concerned special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's effort to enter into evidence video clips of White House press briefings held in October 2003 shortly after the news broke that the Justice Department, at the CIA's request, was launching a criminal investigation of the leak that outed Valerie Wilson, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, as a CIA officer.

Here's the background: in mid-September 2003, White House press secretary Scott McClellan responded to a remark made by Joe Wilson, in which the former diplomat said he looked forward to the day when Karl Rove would be "frog-marched" out of the White House for having been involved in the CIA leak. It was "totally ridiculous," McClellan said, to suggest that Rove was a party to this leak. (Reality break: as was revealed years later, Rove had slipped information on Valerie Wilson's CIA connection to rightwing columnist Robert Novak and Time's Matt Cooper.) After the criminal investigation became public in late September 2003, McClellan again told reporters Rove had nothing to do with the leak. But when he was asked about Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, McClellan declined to offer a similar denial.

Libby freaked out. According to Ted Wells, one of Libby's attorneys, Libby went to McClellan and White House chief of staff Andrew Card asking for the same treatment that Rove got. They "blew him off," Wells exclaimed in court. Then Libby went to his boss, with talking points he wanted McClellan to recite:

I've talked to Libby. I said it was ridiculous about Karl and it is ridiculous about Libby. Libby was not the source of the Novak story. And he did not leak classified information.

Cheney took the paper on which Libby had written these lines and added his own note:

Has to happen today. Call out to key press saying same thing about Scooter as Karl. Not going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy that we asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.

Lo and behold, during press briefings on October 7 and 10, McClellan declared that Libby, like Rove, was "not involved" in the CIA leak. A reporter asked if either had "told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA." McClellan replied, "they assured me that they were not involved in this." He also said that any White House official who had leaked classified information would be booted out of the administration.

Fitzgerald wanted to play the video clips of these and another White House press briefing for the jury. Libby's legal team objected--vociferously.

The McClellan statements, Fitzgerald argued, were important because they provided Libby a motive to lie. Libby, Fitzgerald contended, had "put down a marker." He went to Cheney and had the White House issue a statement that he had not leaked classified information. Days later, he was interviewed by the FBI. He couldn't contradict what he had just forced McClellan to say. So, Fitzgerald maintained, Libby lied. Libby told the agents that he had merely picked up scuttlebutt about Valerie Wilson and her CIA connection from Tim Russert of Meet the Press and had passed that gossip to other reporters. No big deal.

During the trial, though, Fitzgerald has presented testimony and evidence indicating that at least five government officials--including Cheney--had provided Libby with official information about Wilson's wife. Former press secretary Ari Fleischer, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Matt Cooper have testified that Libby shared this information with them. (And Fitzgerald pointed out in his indictment of Libby that Valerie Wilson's employment status at the CIA was "classified.") But, Fitzgerald said on Thursday, when questioned by the FBI, Libby had "to say that what he leaked to reporters was not [from] an official source....He [had] to tell a story that is consistent with what he just had the White House tell the world." Thus, he cooked up a false account: Russert had been his source and at the time of the leak he possessed no certain and official (a.k.a. classified) information about Wilson's wife. And because McClellan had said that anyone involved in the leak would be canned, Fitzgerald maintained, Libby had further cause to concoct a cover story.

There's a weird wrinkle. At his first FBI interview, which happened on October 14, 2003, Libby acknowledged that in early June 2003--before the Wilson affair erupted and the leak occurred--the vice president had told him that Valerie Wilson worked at the CIA's Counterproliferation Division, which was part of the agency's clandestine operations directorate. There are notes of that call--and Libby shared them with the FBI. Yet Libby told the FBI that shortly after speaking to Cheney about Wilson's wife he completely forgot that conversation and that when weeks later he heard about Valerie Wilson's CIA employment from Russert, he believed he was learning about it for the first time. (Russert denies saying anything to Libby about Valerie Wilson). This is a hard-to-believe scenario. But it tracks with Fitzgerald's theory: Libby lied to hide the fact that he had possessed and spread official information about Wilson's wife.

The prosecutor wanted the McClellan statements entered into the record to demonstrate that Libby had reasons to mislead the investigators.
No, its just the opposite, declared Wells, who opposed showing the jurors these McClellan clips. Libby, he claimed, was not concerned about losing his job: "he was concerned they were scapegoating him." They? Wells meant the White House. Who in the White House? Wells hasn't said, but he's hinted that Rove was at the center of a get-Libby conspiracy that was trying to turn Libby into Washington-scandal roadkill. "The government," Wells argued, "says what motivated him to lie was that he thought he would be fired.....My response is that he didn't care [about losing his job]...He acted like an innocent person...Only an innocent person would go to the vice president and say what they're doing is unfair," regarding clearing Rove but not Libby. And Bill Jeffress, another Libby lawyer, maintained that the clips of McClellan would be prejudicial to his client, for they show reporters fiercely grilling McClellan and suggesting that serious wrongdoing had occurred

Fitzgerald counter-argued: the fact that McClellan did clear Libby indicates there "was no effort to throw him under the bus...Mr. McClellan was standing in front of the bus."

After much back and forth, federal district Judge Reggie Walton ruled that excerpts of McClellan's press briefings could be shown to the jury. Fitzgerald had won this skirmish. And once more, Wells and Jeffress had telegraphed the case they may try to present when the prosecution concludes. The logic of Wells' argument is not yet evident. Libby feared he was being hung out to dry. Perhaps. Even if that were true, though, the White House publicly cleared him before he spoke to the FBI. So why would a White House plot against Libby (that apparently failed--if it existed) affect what Libby would say to the FBI regarding what he had known and said about Valerie Wilson three months earlier?

It doesn't track. But if the defense calls Cheney to the stand--as it has said it might--jurors, no doubt, will want to hear the vice president discuss this sacrifice-Libby-for-Rove skullduggery. They may also want to learn more about the phone call in which Cheney clued in Libby on Valerie Wilson's gig at the CIA. What was Cheney doing gathering information on Wilson at that early point? (Libby told the FBI that he believed Cheney had obtained this information from CIA chief George Tenet.) And after Deborah Bond, an FBI agent, testified for the prosecution on Thursday, there was another matter a juror might want Cheney to explain.
Bond disclosed that during Libby's second FBI interview he said he believed that after he had spoken to Russert (and supposedly had learned anew that Wilson's wife was CIA) he and Cheney discussed whether to disclose Valerie Wilson's CIA connection to the press. But Libby told the FBI he wasn't sure such a conversation had happened.

Still, this was news. That statement probably caused FBI agents and Fitzgerald to wonder during the investigation if Cheney and Libby had conspired to leak information on Joseph Wilson's wife. If Cheney takes the stand, a sharp juror ought to be interested in hearing whether the vice president has anything to say about this. (The safe bet: no.)

On Thursday evening, as the court recessed for the week, Fitzgerald noted that once Bond finishes testifying on Monday, he will play for the jury the seven hours of testimony Libby gave the grand jury. After that, he will call Russert and perhaps one other (unnamed) witness before concluding his case.

Wells and Jeffress then will present their witnesses (should they choose to do so). Will Rove be called to the stand, so they can question him about the plot against Libby? Will Cheney be called to bolster the Single Scapegoat Theory (and to explain other mysteries)? Will Libby's lawyers trot out witnesses who testify about the bitter feuding that went on between the White House and the CIA over the WMD controversy, so they can suggest Libby was an innocent caught in this crossfire? Will they present witnesses who claim the intelligence Wilson attacked was really correct, so Wells and Jeffress can depict Libby as a defender of the truth? Will they offer witnesses who testify that Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, was the guy who first leaked to Novak, so the defense can argue that Armitage, not Libby, should be the fall guy in this caper?

Maybe Wells and Jeffress will merely stick to witnesses who challenge the credibility of prosecution witnesses. Then again, they might turn toward the jurors and blast them with paint guns--that is, overwhelm the jury with a mess of confusion. Libby's lawyers have presented a foundation for doing anything and everything. The bus could go flying off the road.


David B. Benson said...


Hajji said...

I was trying to get a mental picture, including diagrams of the arguments and counter arguments in this trial.

Then my head exploded.


David B. Benson said...


David B. Benson said...

"It's like a new Watergate every day ...


O'Reilly said...

Hajji, The testimony in the trial, now eight days worth, is in the weeds. It's hard to read the liveblog at Firedoglake and put the pieces together. Between Corns's columns and FDL's daily summary including a daily video recap on FDL (filmed by you can find out who put there foot in it, and who looks mpore guilty than sin.

Three pieces of credible evidence tie Cheney to the leak of Plame's classified identification as CIA NOC. Bush and Cheney authorized that Wilson's criticism be rebutted. There is much evidence of Cheney's micromanaging the reuttal - Wilson's smakedown,

Libyy took the bullet. Cheney has problems.

capt said...

I think the lies are too obvious and all of the machinations by the defense are just that.


Saladin said...

Hajji, that's why I'm waiting for the outcome. All these details don't interest me, especially in light of the very good possibility that whatever the outcome pardons will be given to any and all. What IS keeping me awake at night is the coming attack on Iran. That is scaring the hell out of me.

David B. Benson said...

Do not call them conservatives. Conservatives conserve. Call them robbers. Why?

Saladin said...

A bit of comic relief sent to me by our old Corn blogging friend WTF, thanks Bob!

After every flight, Quantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then
the pilots review the gripe sheets right before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.

Here are some of the actual maintenance complaints submitted by the Qantas' pilots (as marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (as marked with an S) by the maintenance engineers.

By the way, it is relevant to note that Qantas is the only major airline in the world that has never, ever, had an accident!

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in the cockpit.
S: Something tightened in the cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on backorder.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of a leak on the right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume reset to a more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: The number 3 engine is missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after a brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one saved for last......

P: Noise coming from under the instrument panel. Sounds like a midget
pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget
I really needed that!

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Quantas P&S is funny! While it is true that Quantas has never had a fatal accident, I'm fairly certain that incidents have occured.

Anyway, despite the humour, Quantas does have a reputation for supurb maintenance...

David B. Benson said...

A quick check finds a list of 34 airlines which have gone at least 25 years without a passenger fatality. All have existed since at least 1980. certain small airlines have been exxcluded, but qualifying flag-carriers are all listed.

Fly Finnair!

Saladin said...

Sorry, I failed to check the accuracy of the no accident claim, I was too busy laughing! Something I was sorely in need of.

capt said...

Let those who would die for the flag on the field of battle give a better proof of their patriotism and a higher glory to their country by promoting fraternity and justice: Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893: - Inaugural Address, 1889

The soul of our country needs to be awakened . . .When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders: Veterans Fast for Life

No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority: Thomas Jefferson: American 3rd US President (1801-09).

He is not strong and powerful who throweth people down; but he is strong who witholdeth himself from anger: Muhammad

Do not say, that if the people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if the people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them: Muhammad

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace: Bible

Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.: Buddha - Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta


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Gerald said...

There should be little doubt that Cheney was involved in the leak. Cheney may be more Hitler-like than Hitler Bush!

Cheney, Bush, and the rest of the cabal are rotten to the core.

They are doing great damage to our country and the world to the point that Nazi America will forever be hated and I cannot blame any caring person for hating Nazi America.

David B. Benson said...

Well, I can hardly believe the Libby trial!

Gerald said...

Thank you, Melanie!

Gerald said...

"We were looking for somebody smart enough and tough enough to single-handedly take on that mission," says Eisen. "And Melanie was the one." Judicial Watch was to be her model, with a slight, though significant, difference: She would focus on wrongdoing in the public sphere, rather than in the private lives of politicians.

Sloan, formerly an assistant U.S. attorney and a counsel for congressional committees, began the job sitting alone in a small office with the promise of one year's salary, a computer, a telephone and little more. As her first act, she aimed her legal slingshot at the most powerful politician in Washington, D.C.: Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. "I knew that getting rid of DeLay would improve the entire culture of the city," says Sloan.

In 2003, DeLay's stranglehold on Congress was so strong that it seemed he had hijacked the entire democratic process. "It was basically a pay-to-play system," says Sloan. "DeLay realized the way to consolidate power was to get more money; that's how you win elections. So he made sure the Republicans had a lot more money by telling those with business in Washington that not only did they have to cough up money to Republicans but they would be penalized if they gave money to Democrats."

Gerald said...

I have added Melanie Sloan's group, CREW, to my favorite column!!!

Gerald said...

Melanie, please go after corruption and lies in Washington, D.C. like a junkyard dog or a pitbull. Go for the jugular and rip it open!!!

Pat said...

On Keith Olbermann's show tonight a WaPo journalist who brought up a good point about Libby's trial. Libby claims he heard of V. Plame from T. Russert who also said ALL the reporters know about her (work, marriage). Then why was Libby supposed to inform select journalists about V. Plame if they already KNEW? Hmmmm.

Why was Ari F. given immunity and why was he concerned about discussing V. Plame with David Gregory if all the reporters KNEW already? Hmmmm.

Methinks there a lie in there somewhere.

Something fishy's going on - and I'm hopin' it's got something to do with a Rotten Big Fish.


Saladin said...

The Winter Patriot

Little Georgie Wants More Money For His Excellent Adventures
Little Georgie will ask his Lapdogs in Congress for more than $725 billion on Monday; he wants $481 billion for his Friends and Enablers at the Pentagon, plus an additional $245 billion for his Excellent Adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Michael Abramowitz and Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post (who reached me via the Houston Chronicle).

The $245 billion little Georgie wants for his Excellent Adventures includes a boost of $99.6B for Excellent Adventures 2007, budgeted at $70B, and $145.2B for Excellent Adventures 2008, the accounting for which begins in October.

The $481B for Friends and Enablers is an increase of only $103B for them since the previous $378B appropriation in the bill which passed the Senate unanimously at the end of September.

The WP article mentions

regular spending for the Pentagon, which officials say will be $481 billion in 2008, a 10 percent increase.

But unless I am very much mistaken, an increase from $378B to $481B is more than ten percent. Ten percent of $378B would be about $38B, not $103B. Oh well, what's an extra sixty-five billion dollars among friends (not to mention enablers)?

The additional $99.6B for Excellent Adventures 2007 includes about $40B which were hinted-at by administration spokesmen last fall when they estimated that the total for Excellent Adventures 2007 would amount to $110B (rather than the $70B appropriated at the time), as well as an additional $50B to pay the actual cost of Excellent Adventures 2007, which now amounts to a mere $160B.

With this history behind us (and frightening prospects for both Iraq and Iran in the near future), and considering that on Monday Little Georgie will ask for only $145.2B for Excellent Adventures 2008, it shouldn't surprise anyone to read

administration officials warned that even more money probably will be needed.

You can strike the "probably". One thing you can rely on absolutely: more money will definitely be requested. Whether it's needed or not is another question, of course.

Whether this request will be granted -- let alone unanimously -- is another good question. Certain key Democrats have made slightly unfriendly noises recently. Let's see whether they can keep it up when it counts.

Speaking of counting, just a few more numbers for you: Previous Congresses have already approved more than $475B for Little Georgie's Excellent Adventures. If this Congress approves Monday's request, the grand total for Excellent Adventures will stand at $720B.

That's more than $240 million per person for every life lost on September 11, 2001.

And not a single one of them was killed by the people we're shooting at in Iraq.

Gerald said...

How Simple It Is

Gerald said...

My wife loses sleep and weight every time there is mention of fighting in the area of Iraq where our son is, she sleeps with the phone and cell phone, just in case he might call. Me I just write and cuss a little at a stupid president who could not find his way out of a paper bag with a pair of scissors.

capt said...

"a stupid president who could not find his. . ."

. . . ass with both hands and a mirror.


David B. Benson said...

Capt --- Remember, he has nothing to hide... :-)

capt said...

Mercenaries are second largest force in Iraq: UN official

LIMA (AFP) - Between 30,000 and 50,000 mercenaries are working in Iraq, making them the second largest military force there after the occupying United States.

The case of Iraq "is a new manifestation of the use of mercenaries that has caught the US by surprise", Spain's Jose Luis Gomez del Prado -- a member of the UN working group on mercenaries -- said Friday during a visit to Peru.

The United States has 130,000 soldiers in Iraq, he noted. Britain has 10,000 troops.

Gomez del Prado told a news conference thousands of Peruvians, Chileans, Colombians, Hondurans and Ecuadorans had been contracted to work as mercenaries in Iraq, thanks to an array of legal loopholes.

The trend has caused widespread public concern in Peru.

Rights workers have voiced concern that people are being hired to work as security guards in Iraq but are then given military training and asked to perform "previously unforeseen tasks" which draw them into full combat.

Gomez del Prado's Colombian colleague, Amada Guevara, told the news conference that in some cases, workers were contracted by existing companies who exploited legal loopholes. But in other cases, they were taken on by ghost firms who arrived in a country, opened an office for a month, contracted workers and then disappeared without trace.

"This amounts to privatization of warfare," she said.

Gomez said new legislation and better government oversight was necessary to prevent citizens desperate for well-paid jobs being lured into a mercenary career which put their lives, health and rights at risk.


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

Private armies are not a part of the American dream, that would be the American nightmare.


Saladin said...

Capt, it's the neocon dream we are living now. That IS a nightmare, from hell.

Gerald said...

Nuns in Norway

In 1999, 15 years after Ina Andresen had entered the Cistercian monastery of La Coudre in Laval, France, she asked for permission to return to her native Norway to witness to her Catholic faith in that predominantly Lutheran country.

Permission granted, Sister Ina and six American Sisters moved to the Norwegian island of Tautra. Their new neighbors welcomed them with open arms and hearts.

Said one islander, “The arrival of these Sisters changed our lives completely. They became our spiritual anchor and our extended family. When we were ill they prayed for us. When we were happy, they shared our joy.”

Sharing life’s joys and difficulties is the best way for people of different Christian churches to know the “one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.” God loves all faith traditions and peoples of the earth. Let us love them, too.

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

May all our actions, Jesus, be deeply respectful of one another’s faith, tradition and culture.

We have not heard from Erling Krange in awhile. Is it possible that he tried to visit the USA and has been detained as an enemy combatant for his posts?

Gerald said...

Never Say Never

Lots of people tell you what to do. Writer Sally Stich tells you what never to do:

Never treat friends better than family. Don’t take family for granted. Be respectful and pick your battles.

Never be a know-it-all. Listen to others “The world won’t stop if you keep some of your knowledge to yourself.”

Never miss an opportunity to share a kind word. Sincere compliments can have a ripple effect.

Never sit still when action is called for. Seek support, encouragement, and new ideas.

Never ignore your gut. Pay attention to your feelings and use your intuition.

Never stop learning. New skills and ideas make you more interesting and make you feel good.

Never stop having fun. Fun doesn’t have to last for days or be expensive. Even setting aside responsibilities for a brief time is refreshing.

And always seek to do God’s will.

Learn where there is wisdom…strength… understanding…length of days and life…light for the eyes, and peace. (Baruch 3:14)

Bless our efforts to be the persons we were created to be, Holy Spirit.

Gerald said...

Shoe Shine Hero

Albert Lexie has been shining shoes for almost 50 years. It seems everyone knows him, but not just for his sparkling work.

In 1981, Lexie saw a news report that the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh was raising money for their Free Care Fund. He decided that helping children get care was important. And so he donated the tips he had saved all year to the hospital — and pledged to do so from then on.

Over the years, shine by shine, those tips have amounted to over $100,000 and a lot of help for kids. When people get a shoe shine from Lexie, they know that good can come from a small job and a big heart.

Each of us can be a true philanthropist by loving and caring for God’s people.

Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

What can we do, Savior, to apply the Gospel to infants and children?

Let us all be a philantropist of love and mercy for all of God's children!

Gerald said...

Dollar Coins

We’ve all had those days when it feels as though the world is crashing down on our shoulders.

One day a young woman was on her way to work. It had been the week from hell. A friend had just died. She was running on three hours of sleep, had tons of work to do for college and, on top of that, was working on a student film.

Everything was happening at once. She also had no money to spare.

She arrived at Manhattan’s Grand Central two minutes before her train left. She had to buy a ten dollar ticket for the train, but discovered she only had six dollars with her.

The conductor had no sympathy.

Kindness, though, was only a seat away. A woman gave her four dollar coins.

Kindness is necessary to all of us. Give it often and accept it with gratitude.

Give graciously to all the living. (Sirach 7:33)

Merciful God, help me to be respectfully kind to others, to myself, to all Your Creation.

Gerald said...

Creating Hope for Others

Jeanette Shamblen was 36-years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. A mastectomy, chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and radiation followed.

Wanting a distraction from the tension and pain, Shamblen turned to watercolor painting. “I was only dabbling, but it felt good,” said the wife and mother who worked for an international financial company. She started taking her brushes and paints to her treatments.

This artistic outlet helped her so immensely, she decided to found Creating Hope, a non-profit group that supplies watercolor kits for people dealing with cancer. Though Jeanette Shamblen died in 2003, her gift of encouragement lives on through the volunteers who bring the joy of beauty and creativity to patients.

It’s hard to worry about others when we are experiencing pain.

Yet, striving to help others, as well as ourselves, can give us peace and purpose.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:5-6)

With hope in You, Divine Master, my life is complete — and eternal.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 3

David B. Benson said...

In china, 9000 years ago, rice wine!

Now that's a well=aged vintage...

capt said...

And reason...teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions: -John Locke

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them: William Faulkner


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capt said...

FBI Agent Shows Doubts for Libby's Story

In a case that hinges on credibility, FBI agent Deborah Bond is making it clear from the witness stand just how believable she finds former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to be: not very.

Bond testified Thursday about interviewing Libby in 2003 about the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity and the 19-year FBI veteran refused to even use the word "said" to describe Libby's statements.

Libby told the FBI that he learned about Plame from Vice President Dick Cheney, then forgot about it and was surprised to hear it again from a reporter weeks later.

"He said that?" defense attorney Theodore Wells asked.

"That's what he claimed," Bond replied.

"He said it," Wells persisted, prompting an objection that led U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to step in.

"Did he say that?" Walton asked.

Bond didn't flinch: "He told us that, yes," she said.

Bond was the first Justice Department official to testify in the trial and is scheduled to return to the witness stand Monday.

The FBI spent three years investigating the leak of Plame's identity to the press. Nobody was charged with the leak but prosecutors say Libby obstructed the case by concocting a story he believed would shield him from prosecution.

Bond is one of the final witnesses in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's case. He plans to play more than eight hours of Libby's grand jury testimony in court Monday and part of Tuesday.

NBC News reporter Tim Russert, who Libby said told him that Plame worked at the CIA, is expected to testify Tuesday as Fitzgerald's final witness. Russert said Plame's identity did not come up in their conversation.

Fitzgerald is expected to rest his case as early as late Tuesday afternoon. Defense attorneys say they'll call Libby and Cheney to testify.


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

Libby is not even a believable liar. I dare say Fitgerald should have an easy time proving it so. How hard could it be to prove a politician or political operative lies? They all lie.


capt said...


Before the U.S. House of Representatives, January 18, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I have never met anyone who did not support our troops. Sometimes, however, we hear accusations that someone or some group does not support the men and women serving in our armed forces. This is pure demagoguery, and it's intellectually dishonest. The accusers play on emotions to gain support for controversial policies, implying that those who disagree are unpatriotic. But keeping our troops out of harm's way, especially when war is unnecessary, is never unpatriotic. There's no better way to support the troops.

Since we now know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was not threatening anyone, we must come to terms with 3,000 American deaths and 23,000 American casualties. It's disconcerting that those who never believed the justifications given for our invasion, and who now want the war ended, are still accused of not supporting the troops! This is strange indeed!

Instead of questioning who has the best interests of our troops at heart, we should be debating which policy is best for our country. Defensive wars to preserve our liberties, fought only with proper congressional declarations, are legitimate. Casualties under such circumstances still are heartbreaking, but they are understandable. Casualties that occur in undeclared, unnecessary wars, however, are bewildering. Why must so many Americans be killed or hurt in Iraq when our security and our liberty were not threatened?

Clich├ęs about supporting the troops are designed to distract us from failed policies, policies promoted by powerful special interests that benefit from war. Anything to steer the discussion away from the real reasons the war in Iraq will not end anytime soon.

Many now agree that we must change our policy and extricate ourselves from the mess in Iraq. They cite a mandate from the American people for a new direction. This opinion is now more popular, and thus now more widely held by politicians in Washington. But there's always a qualifier: We can't simply stop funding the war, because we must support the troops. I find this conclusion bizarre. It means one either believes the "support the troops" propaganda put out by the original promoters of the war, or that one actually is for the war after all, despite the public protestations.

In reality, support for the status quo (and the president's troop surge) in Iraq means expanding the war to include Syria and Iran. The naval build-up in the region, and the proxy war we just fought to take over Somalia, demonstrate the administration's intentions to escalate our current war into something larger.

There's just no legitimacy to the argument that voting against funding the war somehow harms our troops. Perpetuating and escalating the war only serve those whose egos are attached to some claimed victory in Iraq, and those with a determination to engineer regime change in Iran.

Don't believe for a minute that additional congressional funding is needed so our troops can defend themselves or extricate themselves from the war zone. That's nonsense. The DOD has hundreds of billions of dollars in the pipeline available to move troops anywhere on earth - including home.

We shouldn't forget that the administration took $600 million from the war in Afghanistan and used it in Iraq, before any direct appropriations were made for the invasion of Iraq. Funds are always available to put our troops into harms way; they are always available for leaving a war zone.

Those in Congress who claim they want the war ended, yet feel compelled to keep funding it, are badly misguided. They either are wrong in their assessment that cutting funds would hurt the troops, or they need to be more honest about supporting a policy destined to dramatically increase the size and scope of this misadventure in the Middle East. Rest assured one can be patriotic and truly support the troops by denying funds to perpetuate and spread this ill-advised war.

The sooner we come to this realization, the better it will be for all of us.


capt said...

AEI Letter Offers $10,000 Payments Only For Views Critical Of The IPCC Report

On Friday, The Guardian reported that the American Enterprise Institute — which has received more than $1.6 million from ExxonMobil — was offering to pay global warming skeptics to speak out in an effort to push back on the new IPCC climate change study. The IPCC report states that it is "very likely" that man-made greenhouse gases were the main cause of the Earth’s recent warming trend.

The article reported that one American scientist — Steve Schroeder, a professor at Texas A&M university — turned down the offer citing fears that the report could easily be misused for political gain. "You wouldn’t know if some of the other authors might say nothing’s going to happen, that we should ignore it, or that it’s not our fault," he said.

A copy of the AEI letter can be read HERE.Kenneth Green and Steven Hayward, the AEI employees who sent the letter, claimed they were soliciting views that would highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC report. But, in the letter, Green and Hayward clearly indicate they are only seeking views that criticize the IPCC. They write:

As with any large-scale "consensus" process, the IPCC is susceptible to self-selection bias in its personnel, resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent, and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work of the complete Working Group reports.

We are hoping to sponsor a paper…that thoughtfully explores the limitations of climate model outputs as they pertain to the development of climate policy.

AEI will offer an honoraria of $10,000. … We intend to hold a series of small conferences and seminars in Washington and elsewhere…for which we can provide travel expenses and additional honoraria if you are able to participate.

Indeed, the letter reveals that the oil lobbyists at AEI are quite familiar with "self-selection bias."


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

I wonder how many will take them up on it?


capt said...

Bush tries hypocrisy to win over Dems

President George W. Bush Saturday claimed no one’s patriotism should be questioned because they oppose his Iraq war policies — an incredible piece of political hypocrisy from an administration that has long branded opponents as "un-American" and "aiding the enemy."

"You know, I welcome debate in a time of war and I hope you know that," Bush said in opening remarks at the guest speaker at a retreat that drew about 200 lawmakers to a Virginia resort in Williamsburg.

He said disagreeing with him over the war — as many in the room do — does not mean "you don’t share the same sense of patriotism I do."

"You can get that thought out of your mind, if that’s what some believe," the president said. "These are tough times, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you want to secure this homeland as much as I do."

But Bush’s remarks fly in the face of the harsh realities of political campaigns where his top election guru, Karl Rove, has fashioned smears against those who oppose administration policies on Iraq and continued comments of Vice President Dick Cheney who brands those who oppose the war as "aiding and abetting terrorists."

In presenting his claims to skeptical Democrats, Bush claimed in private that he empathizes with their anguish on Iraq, saying the war is "sapping our soul," according to two officials who attended the session. They spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a closed meeting.

Bush’s conciliatory words were similar to some of his previous statements which were followed by actions that directly contradicted his promises.


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

Sure, Bunnypants is totally sincere, for sure.


O'Reilly said...

Prosecutors: Libby kept articles about legal woes
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The day of his interview with the FBI, Vice President Dick Cheney's then-top aide hand-marked copies of two Washington Post articles about the breadth of a criminal leak investigation - and underlined were key passages suggesting any official who had told reporters about a CIA officer could be in legal jeopardy, prosecutors said in court filings Saturday.

The CIA Leak: Boring In on the Veep
Feb. 12, 2007 issue - The Scooter Libby trial has put a new focus on Vice President Dick Cheney's own role in the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson's identity. When the CIA on July 11, 2003, sent over a draft statement taking responsibility for President George W. Bush's inaccurate assertion that Iraq had sought uranium from Africa, Cheney wrote on the cover sheet "Unsatisfactory" and underlined the word, according to a trial document. The veep thought the agency wasn't going far enough in distancing Cheney's office from the trip by Joseph Wilson (in which the ex-ambassador claimed he'd debunked the uranium shopping reports). "The vice president was frustrated and upset," Libby told the FBI, according to Deborah Bond, an FBI agent who later questioned Libby on the leak.

News Orgs Fight for Airing of Libby Tapes
AP | Published: February 02, 2007 11:15 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is fighting to keep his grand jury testimony about the leak of a CIA operative's name from being released and broadcast in the media. Libby's grand jury testimony _ the sworn statements he gave to investigators about his conversations with Vice President Dick Cheney and journalists _ is at the heart of his perjury trial. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald plans to play hours of recordings of that testimony in court next week to bolster his case that Libby lied and obstructed the investigation. Trial evidence is normally public and all exhibits in Libby's case have been made public so far. Even though Fitzgerald successfully fought to get Libby's full grand jury testimony admitted into evidence, Libby's attorneys say the audiotapes should not be released outside the courtroom.

capt said...

Iran: A War Is Coming


Asked about a US Senate resolution disapproving of the "surge" of US troops to Iraq, Vice-president Cheney said, "It won’t stop us." Last November, a majority of the American electorate voted for the Democratic Party to control Congress and stop the war in Iraq. Apart from insipid speeches of "disapproval," this has not happened and is unlikely to happen. Influential Democrats, such as the new leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and would-be presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have disported themselves before the Israeli lobby. Edwards is regarded in his party as a "liberal." He was one of a high-level American contingent at a recent Israeli conference in Herzilya, where he spoke about "an unprecedented threat to the world and Israel (sic). At the top of these threats is Iran . . . All options are on the table to ensure that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon." Hillary Clinton has said, "US policy must be unequivocal . . . We have to keep all options on the table." Pelosi and Howard Dean, another liberal, have distinguished themselves by attacking former President Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt and has had the gall to write a truthful book accusing Israel of becoming an "apartheid state." Pelosi said, "Carter does not speak for the Democratic Party." She is right, alas.

In Britain, Downing Street has been presented with a document entitled "Answering the Charges" by Professor Abbas Edalal of Imperial College, London, on behalf of others seeking to expose the disinformation on Iran. Blair remains silent. Apart from the usual honorable exceptions, Parliament remains shamefully silent.

Can this really be happening again, less than four years after the invasion of Iraq which has left some 650,000 people dead? I wrote virtually this same article early in 2003; for Iran now read Iraq then. And is it not remarkable that North Korea has not been attacked? North Korea has nuclear weapons. That is the message, loud and clear, for the Iranians.

In numerous surveys, such as that conducted this month by BBC World Service, "we," the majority of humanity, have made clear our revulsion for Bush and his vassals. As for Blair, the man is now politically and morally naked for all to see. So who speaks out, apart from Professor Edalal and his colleagues? Privileged journalists, scholars and artists, writers and thespians who sometimes speak about "freedom of speech" are as silent as a dark West End theater. What are they waiting for? The declaration of another thousand-year Reich, or a mushroom cloud in the Middle East, or both?


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

The non-opposition opposition will disapprove but . . .


O'Reilly said...

'NYT' and 'Wash Post' Columnists Agree: Libby Trial Is All About the 'Cover-Up'

By E&P Staff
Published: February 03, 2007 8:45 PM ET

NEW YORK Two leading columnists for rival New York Times and Washington Post have come to the same conclusion: There are many minor points and side issues and even "red herrings" in the current Libby/CIA leak trial but at its heart it is an extremely case revolving around the crumbling of a "cover-up."

That is, the leaking of Valerie Plame's name, and the furious approaches to reporters in the summer of 2003, was mainly in the service of trying to prevent a truth from coming out: that the administration essentially lied our way into war.


O'Reilly said...

Both emptywheel and David Corn say the safe bet at this point is that Big Dick won't testify (despite the promise by Libby's attorneys) to tell us exactly what he thought of his chief of staff's crappy memory, since there are too many awkward questions the Veep isn't likely to relish having to answer under oath. But a contrary theory is put forward by the Washington Post's legal correspondent:

Witness after witness, several of them eminently credible, have come forward to tell jurors that Libby knew about Valerie Plame Wilson, the covert CIA agent, before the time frame he later disclosed to grand jurors and federal investigators. If jurors have to choose only between Libby's statements at face value and the testimony of all those other witnesses, Libby will lose and be convicted. But if jurors come to believe that Libby merely made a mistake, he has a chance.

. . . special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is doing a masterful job of introducing evidence, through testimony, that paints Libby in a shoddy light. Prosecution witnesses, taken together, have characaterized him as a slimy bureaucratic operative who was more interested in his own political survival than the good of the nation. Libby's lawyers will have to counter this when their witnesses take the stand– one reason why Vice President Dick Cheney is still expected to be a prime defense witness.

Really, when you think about it, who else on planet Earth would be willing to serve as a character witness for Scooter Libby? Can't be a terribly large pool to choose from.

O'Reilly said...


capt said...

"Can't be a terribly large pool to choose from"

You made me snort!



capt said...

A Tribute to Molly Ivins from Friends, Colleagues, and Occasional Targets

She was only seven years older, which means that when I moved here, she was barely 40. The hard part, now, is that we won’t just go on appearing, sometimes side by side, always on the same side, in The Texas Observer.

I used to go to the Final Fridays late, after the slam poets were done, after the party had quieted down some and mainly the bitter-enders were left, just so I could sit among the butts and bottles like a bad child and listen to the rowdy tales and feel part of our group—the hard-core liberals in Texas. And just so I could watch her flash that smile, and hear her call me sweetheart now and then.

Molly was our magnet, our long memory and our cutting edge. She had a fine, sharp pen, but she was at her best, I think, at home, in company, spinning tales, honing her perfect comic pitch, that fine mix of the telling and tawdry that so captured the spirit of Texas.

Of course she was never well-behaved in public either. And her tough, funny vulgarity did more than just cut through crap. It dispelled fear. It remade how you tell truth and confront power. It forged the bonds that are only made with an earthy laugh. In this way, for most who read her and everyone who heard her speak, she broke the spell of the Bush years. The face of liberalism became Molly’s face—and who could resist it?

My father loved her (and she him). They were exactly in tune; he saw himself in her. Their purposes and their methods and in some ways their backgrounds and much of their humor were the same. He never came to Austin without saying, "Fix up lunch with Molly Ivins." Our last good meeting came after he died; though she was quite weak, I spent several hours diverting her with stories of his last days. Once or twice I made a move to leave, but she didn’t want to stop.

My new book is dedicated, "To Molly Ivins. Funnier than me."


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

So sad. Such a loss. Thank all that is good in this world she wrote and we will always have her words to remind us.


capt said...

Truck bomber kills 135 in deadliest Iraq blast

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber killed 135 people on Saturday in the deadliest single bombing in Iraq since the 2003 war, driving a truck laden with one tonne of explosives into a market in a mainly Shia area of Baghdad. The blast, which Shia Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki blamed on Saddam Hussein supporters and other Sunni militants, shattered fruit and vegetable stalls, caved in shopfronts and left the smashed bodies of shoppers strewn in the street.

It came as U.S. and Iraqi troops prepared for a planned offensive seen as a last-ditch effort to stem worsening sectarian bloodshed that kills hundreds in Baghdad every week.

"It was a terrible scene. Many shops and houses were destroyed," said one resident, Jassem, 42, who rushed from his home to help pull people from the rubble after hearing the explosion that rocked central Baghdad


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

I wonder if the explosives can be traced to Al Qaqaa?


capt said...

Was Molly smarter than all the experts?


So Molly Ivins -- who didn't mingle with the great and famous, didn't have sources high in the administration, and never claimed special expertise on national security or the Middle East -- got almost everything right. Meanwhile, how did those who did have all those credentials do?

With very few exceptions, they got everything wrong. They bought the obviously cooked case for war -- or found their own reasons to endorse the invasion. They didn't see the folly of the venture, which was almost as obvious in prospect as it is with the benefit of hindsight. And they took years to realize that everything we were being told about progress in Iraq was a lie.

Was Molly smarter than all the experts? No, she was just braver.


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

Molly was one of the great ones. She didn't have to be right but she was right in addition to her bravery. Smarter too.


Saladin said...

Capt, the global warming controversy rakes in BILLIONS of dollars for both sides, it's almost become some weird religion. The hardest thing to do is find truly independent researchers with no political or economic agenda. They're out there but are suppressed, there's no money in it. How on earth can any progress be made when most everyone is out to collect a buck?

capt said...

The Union of Concerned Scientists

What We Do

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

What began as a collaboration between students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 200,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students. Our achievements over the decades show that thoughtful action based on the best available science can help safeguard our future and the future of our planet.

Why UCS Is Unique

UCS stands out among nonprofit organizations as the reliable source for independent scientific analysis. The scientists and policy experts on our staff are highly respected in both Washington, DC, and state capitals, and are frequently called to testify before government committees.


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

UCS offers full disclosure of their financial data. The UCS is funded by members not the mega-dollar petrochemical industry.

The idea that some controversy exists with regard to global warming is so absurd at this point, I bet they (exxonmobile) have trouble finding anybody willing to touch their offer of $10,000.


capt said...

The IPCC: Who are they and why do their reports matter?

Climate change in the U.S. Northeast

Climate policy update—January 2007

Human fingerprints of climate change

2005 one of hottest years on record

Northeastern governors show bold leadership on global warming

Global warming lending strength to hurricanes

Heat wave 2005 and global warming

Hurricanes and climate change

David B. Benson said...

Global Warming Controversy --- Extinct.

There are a few fools, such as Fred Singer, who may take AEI up on their offer. But his reputation is ruined anyway.


capt said...

Physicists Find Way To 'See' Extra Dimensions

Peering backward in time to an instant after the big bang, physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised an approach that may help unlock the hidden shapes of alternate dimensions of the universe.

A new study demonstrates that the shapes of extra dimensions can be "seen" by deciphering their influence on cosmic energy released by the violent birth of the universe 13 billion years ago. The method, published today (Feb. 2) in Physical Review Letters, provides evidence that physicists can use experimental data to discern the nature of these elusive dimensions - the existence of which is a critical but as yet unproven element of string theory, the leading contender for a unified "theory of everything."

Scientists developed string theory, which proposes that everything in the universe is made of tiny, vibrating strings of energy, to encompass the physical principles of all objects from immense galaxies to subatomic particles. Though currently the front-runner to explain the framework of the cosmos, the theory remains, to date, untested.

The mathematics of string theory suggests that the world we know is not complete. In addition to our four familiar dimensions - three-dimensional space and time - string theory predicts the existence of six extra spatial dimensions, "hidden" dimensions curled in tiny geometric shapes at every single point in our universe.


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

WOWSER! Too cool for school. Well - to us nerds anyway! (there is much more at the link inc. a rendering)


Gerald said...

War a Calamity

Gerald said...

Instead, he said, the administration is developing a mythical, historical narrative to justify the case for a protracted and potential expanding war.

Initially based on false claims Iraq had secret arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, Brzezinski said "the war is now being redefined as the decisive ideological struggle of our time, reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism."

Hitler Bush wants to create more wars so by October of 2008 he can declare martial law and cancel the 2008 elections.

Gerald said...

We will soon experience global warming with a nulear holocaust in Iran.

Gerald said...

The War Is Near

Gerald said...

More bullshit!!!

"There is solid evidence," said a State Department spokesman on 24 January, "that Iranian agents are involved in these networks and that they are working with individuals and groups in Iraq and are being sent there by the Iranian government."

capt said...

Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up


In a replay of the run-up to the original invasion, a new National Intelligence Estimate, requested by Congress in August to summarize all intelligence assessments on Iraq, was mysteriously delayed until last week, well after the president had set his surge. Even the declassified passages released on Friday - the grim takes on the weak Iraqi security forces and the spiraling sectarian violence - foretell that the latest plan for victory is doomed. (As a White House communications aide testified at the Libby trial, this administration habitually releases bad news on Fridays because "fewer people pay attention when it's reported on Saturday.")

A Pentagon inspector general's report, uncovered by Business Week last week, was also kept on the q.t.: it shows that even as more American troops are being thrown into the grinder in Iraq, existing troops lack the guns and ammunition to "effectively complete their missions." Army and Marine Corps commanders told The Washington Post that both armor and trucks were in such short supply that their best hope is that "five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky."

Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Colin Powell's notorious W.M.D. pantomime before the United Nations Security Council, a fair amount of it a Cheney-Libby production. To mark this milestone, the White House is reviving the same script to rev up the war's escalation, this time hyping Iran-Iraq connections instead of Al Qaeda-Iraq connections. In his Jan. 10 prime-time speech on Iraq, Mr. Bush said that Iran was supplying "advanced weaponry and training to our enemies," even though the evidence suggests that Iran is actually in bed with our "friends" in Iraq, the Maliki government. The administration promised a dossier to back up its claims, but that too has been delayed twice amid reports of what The Times calls "a continuing debate about how well the information proved the Bush administration's case."

Call it a coincidence - though there are no coincidences - but it's only fitting that the Libby trial began as news arrived of the death of E. Howard Hunt, the former C.I.A. agent whose bungling of the Watergate break-in sent him to jail and led to the unraveling of the Nixon presidency two years later. Still, we can't push the parallels too far. No one died in Watergate. This time around our country can't wait two more years for the White House to be stopped from playing its games with American blood.


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

Rich has a few good points.


Gerald said...

The one piece of "solid evidence" is the threat posed by the United States. An American naval buildup in the eastern Mediterranean has begun. This is almost certainly part of what the Pentagon calls CONPLAN 8022, which is the aerial bombing of Iran. In 2004, National Security Presidential Directive 35, entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization, was issued. It is classified, of course, but the presumption has long been that NSPD 35 authorized the stockpiling and deployment of "tactical" nuclear weapons in the Middle East. This does not mean Bush will use them against Iran, but for the first time since the most dangerous years of the cold war, the use of what were then called "limited" nuclear weapons is being openly discussed in Washington. What they are debating is the prospect of other Hiroshimas and of radioactive fallout across the Middle East and Central Asia. Seymour Hersh disclosed in the New Yorker last year that American bombers "have been flying simulated nuclear weapons delivery missions...since last summer."

Gerald said...

Bush Targets Iran

Gerald said...

The plan to attack Iran has been in the works since Bush inaugurated that country into his "axis of evil" in January 2002. Bush's 2006 National Military Strategy says, "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran." In April 2006, Seymour Hersh revealed the US military was making preparations for an invasion of Iran. "Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups," Hersh learned from current and former American military intelligence officials.

Gerald said...

Military Chiefs Licking Their Chops to Kill Iranians

Gerald said...

No Proof

Gerald said...

This will be my fourth super bowl Sunday that I will spend my time in Centering Prayer, Contemplation, Meditation, and Prayer. I offer it up for all the pain and suffering in the world.

The super bowl reminds me of ancient Rome with the gladiators killing each other and the blood is dripping from the sides of the gladiators' mouths. Once you have tasted blood, you DO NOT want to acquire any other taste. Ripping the guts out of a person must be an exhilarating emotional experience.

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, it isn't true that the controversy is extinct. I don't like to get involved in this subject, especially after the last fiasco, people just get too emotional. But I will add that, according to NASA we have this report, "Martian Ice Shrinking Dramatically"

And this from "Prediction of a global climate change on Jupiter"

And this from MIT, "Pluto is undergoing global warming, researchers find." That one is of particular interest,
"BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Pluto is undergoing global warming, as evidenced by a three-fold increase in the planet's atmospheric pressure during the past 14 years, a team of astronomers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Williams College, the University of Hawaii, Lowell Observatory and Cornell University announced in a press conference today at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences in Birmingham, AL.

The team, led by James Elliot, professor of planetary astronomy at MIT and director of MIT's Wallace Observatory, made this finding by watching the dimming of a star when Pluto passed in front of it Aug. 20. The team carried out observations using eight telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory, Haleakala, Lick Observatory, Lowell Observatory and Palomar Observatory. Data were successfully recorded at all sites."

What's strange about that is they say Pluto is orbiting AWAY from the sun!
There are also interesting articles on Galatic dust, star dust storms heading for our solar system, interstellar clouds, etc. God only knows what kind of havok that might cause.
HERE and HERE are some interesting graphs and notations put together by the Biology Cabinet, who, as far as I can tell, have no connection with any political agenda. They claim 2006 is actually the coldest year in a decade! All I'm saying is that to claim that climate change on earth is simply a matter of burning fossil fuel is to leave out a thousand other factors that can't even be guessed at. I find it impossible to believe it is so black and white. That is all I have to say.

capt said...

All About Global Warming

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate forever.

While many view the effects of global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past 100 years. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years.

Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have recently predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Changes resulting from global warming may include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe weather events.

For more information on global warming, including the long-term effects of global warming, the causes of global warming, the latest global warming news, and more, just select any global warming article or other interactive feature below.


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

An interesting collection of fact based articles from Livescience. Also not funded by Exxonmobile or the petrochemical industry.


capt said...

» Hunters and Fishermen Want Action on Global Warming

» Sun's Variations Have Little Effect on Global Warming

» Scientist: Inject Sulfur into Air to Battle Global Warming

» Global Warming Fuels U.S. Forest Fires

» Methane Bubbles Make Global Warming Worse

» Taller Mountains Blamed on Global Warming, Too

» Study: Man-made Climate Change Causing Stronger Hurricanes

» Global Warming Critic for Hire

» Global Warming Alters Departure Times for Migrating Birds

» Global Warming Could Release Permafrost Carbon

» How Global Warming is Changing the Wild Kingdom

» Global Warming Weakens Trade Winds

» Stranded Walrus Pups Cry for Help

» Quarter of Species Gone by 2050

» Global Warming Signs Stronger in Antarctica

» Polar Meltdown Near: Seas Could Rise 3 Feet Per Century

» Warmer Seas Creating Stronger Hurricanes, Study Confirms

» Scientists Promote Benefits of Black Magic Soil

» Conflicting Claims on Global Warming and Why It's All Moot

» Baffled Scientists Say Less Sunlight Reaching Earth

» Irrigation Fuels Warmer Temps in California's Central Valley

» Ground Frozen Since Ice Age Thaws and Collapses

» Allergies Getting Worse Due to Global Warming

» The Irony of Global Warming: More Rain, Less Water

» Insurance Company Warns of Global Warming's Costs

» Global Warming Sparks Increased Plant Production in Arctic Lakes

» The 100-Year Forecast: Stronger Storms Ahead

» Global Warming Could Overwhelm Storm Drains

» Study: Sun's Changes to Blame for Part of Global Warming

» The Snowball Effect of Global Warming

» Arctic Summer Could be Ice-Free by 2105

» Key Argument for Global Warming Critics Evaporates

» Fresh Analysis Points to Potential for Rising Seas

» Global Warming May Play Role in Hurricane Intensity

» Global Warming Might Create Lopsided Planet

» Global Warming Makes Sea Less Salty

» Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming

» Scientists Clueless over Sun's Effect on Earth

» Energy Imbalance Behind Global Warming

» No Stopping it Now: Seas to Rise 4 Inches or More this Century

» Caution: Global Warming May be Hazardous to Your Health

» Global Warming May Kill Polar Bears, Scientists Say

» Longer Airline Flights Proposed to Combat Global Warming

» Global Warming Nears Critical Point of No Return, Group Says

» Global Warming Likely Cause of Worst Mass Extinction Ever

» Surprising Side Effects of Global Warming

» How Global Warming Can Chill the Planet

» Scientists Warn of Global Warming Threat

» Report: Proof of Global Warming

capt said...

Global Warming Wakes Groundhogs Earlier

» Earth Will Survive Global Warming, But Will We?

» 113 Nations Agree: Climate Change 'Very Likely' Caused by Humans

» Report: Global Warming's Smoking Gun is on the Table

» The History of Climate Change Science

» Global Warming Affects Space Station Orbit

» Global Warming Linked to Stronger Hurricanes

» Climate Change Has Animals Heading for the Hills

» Carbon Offsets: The Trendy Climate Thing to Do

» Global Warming Could Trigger Insect Population Boom

» How You Can Fight Global Warming

» Wildfires Linked to Warming Ocean

» White House Accused of Misleading Public on Global Warming

» Global Warming Could Doom Male Crocodiles

» U.N. Chief Asked to Call Urgent Climate Summit

» Ice Mass Snaps Free From Canada's Arctic

» Strange Weather's Loose Link to Global Warming

» Increased Use of Air Conditioners to Produce More Greenhouse Gas

» Polar Bears Warm Up to New Birth Rituals

» Experts: Global Warming Threatens Ruins

» Melting Alps: 'The Future Looks Rather Liquid'

» Global Warming Takes a Break

» Ten Top CEOs to President Bush: Protect the Climate

» Global Warming or Just Hot Air? A Dozen Different Views

» Record Warm Year for U.S. in 2006

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- All of those extra-terrestrial sound-bites have long since been laid to rest on RealScience. Sometimes with entire threads devoted to them.

The blog "A Few Things Ill-considered" attempts to explain climate matters, such as the ones you mention, using ordinary language.

All, that is, except for Pluto's orbit. Since Pluto's orbit is eliptical, as opposed to the nearly circular orbits of planets (Pluto isn't one anymore), 1/2 the time it is approaching the sun and 1/2 the time moving further away.

But what could any of this have to do with the climate on the face of the earth?

capt said...

Tobacco company CEOs declare, under oath, that nicotine is not addictive

MR. WYDEN. Let me begin my questioning on whether or not nicotine is addictive. Let me ask you first, and I'd like to just go down the row, whether each of you believes that nicotine is not addictive. I heard virtually all of you touch on it. Yes or no, do you believe nicotine is not addictive?

MR. CAMPBELL (President of Philip Morris U.S.A.).
I believe nicotine is not addictive, yes.

MR. WYDEN. Mr Johnston?

MR. JAMES JOHNSTON (Chairman and CEO of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company). Mr. Congressman, cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definition of addiction. There is no intoxication.

MR. WYDEN. We´ll take that as a "no." Again, time is short. I think that each of you believe that nicotine is not addictive. We would just like to have this for the record.

MR. TADDEO (President of U.S. Tobacco).
I don´t believe that nicotine or our products are addictive.

MR. TISCH (Chairman and CEO of Lorillard Tobacco Company).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. HORRIGAN (Chairman and CEO of Liggett Group).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. SANDEFUR (Chairman and CEO of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company).
I believe that nicotine is not addictive.

MR. DONALD JOHNSTON (President and CEO of American Tobacco Company).
And I, too, believe that nicotine is not addictive.


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

I am certain the Big oil CEO's and energy oligarchs are just as convinced and just as sincere about global warming. Why else would they make such a generous offer for a specific result. Science is suppose to be open to the conclusion(s) arrived at by scientific method not purchase pre-chosen results or pre-selected conclusions.


capt said...

Follow the links to see a factsheet containing information about funding from Exxon-Mobil and see their spokespeople

60/Sixty Plus Association
Accuracy in Academia
Accuracy in Media
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Africa Fighting Malaria
Air Quality Standards Coalition
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
Alliance for Climate Strategies
American Coal Foundation
American Conservative Union Foundation
American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research
American Council on Science and Health
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies
American Friends of the Institute for Economic Affairs
American Legislative Exchange Council
American Petroleum Institute
American Policy Center
American Recreation Coalition
American Spectator Foundation
Americans for Tax Reform
Arizona State University Office of Cimatology
Aspen Institute
Association of Concerned Taxpayers
Atlantic Legal Foundation
Atlas Economic Research Foundation


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

Above are just the "A's" there are 41 pages of links to Exxonmobile connections. If global warming was some kind of a liberal conspiracy what and why is Exxonmobile putting millions of dollars into the push-back campaign? Is Exxonmobile afraid the price of gas would go up?


David B. Benson said...

Capt --- I just came in from going outside to have a smoke.

I want to add my name to your list. "Having tried three times to give up the cigarette habit, I too believe that nicotine is not addictive!" ;-)

capt said...

Grrrrrr nicotine!

The last in a long string of my bad habits.

I refuse to list my coffee (Senseo) addiction as a bad habit. I LOVE coffee too much for that.

I wish cigarettes would just quit it themselves!



David B. Benson said...

Somebody predicted that the last newspaper will be printed in the year 2043.

That was based on subscription rate declines. I'll predict an earlier date.

Guess my reasons?

Saladin said...

My last question, what are YOU going to do about global warming? I don't believe human activity is the one and only cause, but if it were, then what? And I mean realistic action, not "dump all the cars or stop making plastic," something REAL! Also, tobacco farming uses up tons of pesticides and phosphate based fertilizer, products obtained from petroleum, so in a very direct way, this one very preventable contributor can be neutralized! There is one realistic idea!
Capt, I remember 30 years ago they were CERTAIN we were on the brink of a killer ice age. So excuse me if I take with a grain of salt all these dire warnings from people who can't predict the weather 7 days from now, much less 70 years. What will they say if, as some Russian scientists predict, the warming slows and reverses? That will be interesting to say the least.
Mr. Benson, all that has nothing to do with earth climate. What I was pointing out is that there are theories aplenty, the controversy is far from extinct, as you put it. And I hope they continue to research and debate because that is how we learn. In the meantime I advocate doing all that we are personally capable of doing. Live your life as if we will be doomed otherwise, that is really all we can do.

capt said...

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517

Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a

Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23

Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.: T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien

Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5



ICHBLOG.EU without the bells and whistles.

Click here for text only version of the site (great for dialup users)!


Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

The Union of Concerned Scientists Action Center

The Union of Concerned Scientists Action Center makes it easy for you to communicate directly with the people currently making critical decisions that affect our planet. TAKE ACTION TODAY to ensure that these policy makers get timely, accurate information to help them make decisions that will protect and improve the health and safety of our environment globally, nationally and in communities throughout the United States.

EPA Set to Abandon 30 Years of Air Quality Control
Lead is one of the most harmful toxins on Earth and is especially hazardous for children. Incredibly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering removing lead entirely from the list of pollutants it controls under the Clean Air Act. Tell the EPA that it must continue to use the best available science to protect the air we breathe from dangerous lead pollution.

Current Advocacy Campaigns from Union of Concerned Scientists

Support Sustainable Agriculture in the Next Farm Bill January 17, 2007

Tell Ford to Stand by Its Hybrid Commitment July 18, 2006

The EPA Closes Its Libraries, Destroys Documents January 17, 2007

Protect U.S. Waters from Non-Native Species June 08, 2006

Tell Congress to Reject ExxonMobil's Tactics and Take Real Action on Global Warming! January 02, 2007

Tell ExxonMobil To Change Course February 17, 2006

Improve Nuclear Power Safety September 27, 2006

Protect Science in the Endangered Species Act January 18, 2006

Use Your Gas Receipts to Demand Fuel Efficient Choices! August 29, 2006


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

I have been active in all of the above. Jump in and help if you can.

To work towards a better planet and treating mother nature with respect has dividends that can not even be counted.

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative."
~ H. G. Wells (1866 - 1946)


capt said...

Bush to seek billions for war in Iraq, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush will ask Congress for hundreds of billions more dollars for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, a US paper reported.

Bush is to submit a request Monday for 100 billion dollars for the current fiscal year, atop 70 billion dollars already authorized, said the Washington Post report, based on conversations with high-level administration officials.

Bush will also ask for 145 billion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2008, which begins October 1, 2007.

The daily added that administration officials have indicated even more money will be needed.

When added to 481 billion in 2008 regular budgeted Pentagon spending, Bush's "war on terror" reaches nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, which surpasses US spending on the Vietnam War when adjusted for inflation.

Congress authorized a large portion of those funds earmarked for Iraq and Afghanistan outside the normal budget process or on emergency votes needing little debate while Bush's Republican Party controlled both houses.

However, both houses are now controlled by Democrats, who have already promised to scrutinize war spending.


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

When is enough enough? I know I had enough many billions before now. Will the co-equal branches of government assert their co-equal power and tell Bunnypants - NO - NO more - Enough death and destruction, enough enemies, enough profit for your oil buddies, enough deficit spending for this decade, enough - already.


capt said...

What can I do to help the environment and live more sustainably?

At EarthTrends, we focus on international environmental statistics and analyses, frequently writing about daunting global challenges such as poverty, climate change, and biodiversity loss. However, many of our site's visitors--particularly those in developed countries--have asked us for more information on how individual efforts can contribute to positive change in these areas of concern.

In response, we've taken a break from our quantitative data to compile a summary of simple actions that one can take in four areas--water, waste, energy, and biodiversity--to live a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.

Although we acknowledge that the list below is far from comprehensive, we hope this information is useful. If you have questions or additional suggestions for this list, please email


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

A very good list of things everybody can do every day to make our use and abuse of the planet more sustainable. Global warming is a fact - not notion. Humans contribution to Co2 in the millions of tons is also a fact. Still without any regard for any of those facts - sustainability it is the only thing that makes any sense to me.

But what do I know, eh?


Hajji said...


I was just wondering if anybody could share a few links to help me with my questions about that so-called "global warming" thing... or maybe how I might begin to do MY part to try and minimalize its effects...




capt said...


Micki said...

The standard trope of the global-warming denialists is that it is "speculative." Well, that trope is flat wrong. Real scientists have shown the undeniable existence of the planetary greenhouse effect and that that effect changes the energy balance of the earth because of the heat-trapping gases released by human activity -- burning fossil fuels., etc.

Denial can be selfish. Very, very selfish.

Saladin said...

Capt, all those things you said are exactly what I said in two sentences, do what you are able. The earth is warming, due to many factors, human activity no doubt being one of those factors. I suspect the earth has warmed and cooled in various degrees, both massive and minute, over the hundreds of millions of years of it's ancient history. We humans are not even a blip in earth time. We will either straighten up or go the way of the Dodo, in either case, the earth will go on, it got along just fine for a few billion years before we ever showed up! And it will continue after we have passed into oblivion. Nature has never been balanced, and climate has never been static, that is a fact. Humans better learn to get along with their mother, or suffer the consequences. We are just another species being blessed with life here, maybe if the greed and corruption factor can ever be removed we will make progress, if not, then we are probably doomed anyway, one way or the other. I see an immediate and pressing problem in the VERY near future, and that is a nuclear holocaust in the middle east, we may never have to worry about global warming 100 years from now. We might wish that was all we had to worry about.

Saladin said...

So micki, have you stopped burning fossil fuel? If not, why not? With denial being so selfish, how much more selfish is it to proclaim these beliefs with such passion, ala al gore, but keep on doing what everyone is so convinced is killing us? If you had actually read my comments you would have noticed I haven't DENIED anything, I just haven't jumped on the panic train yet, I don't need panic to know that conservation is the wise course, I've always known that. Anyone with the sense God gave an ant knows and practices the advice, "waste not, want not". I have never said anything different.

Pat said...

For those who want to conserve energy, here's one I can vouch for. My new oven stays hot long after it's turned off.

The panel up top shows the temp. and I have a hanging thermometer in the oven that's fairly accurate. I used a costly high-tech digital thermometer, put the probe in the oven and turned it on. When the panel and hanging thermometers showed 350 deg., the high-tech was at 365. All were at 350 in about 10 minutes.

I turned off the oven and watched all 3 as the temp. went down. After 15 mins. the temp. was 340 and after 30 mins. it was 325. After 45 mins. temp. was 310.

I can reduce cooking time by about 1/2 hour and it turns out OK.

The ceramic top also stays hot so I turn off those elements early. Also you can warm bread or a roll on a recently used element. I've even used it for wraps and flat breads.

I fill small/medium plastic containers with water and freeze. When quick chilling soup or hard-boiled eggs, I use those containers and much less running water.

If you have cats here's a great way to reduce plastic usage. I put oversized 8 mil. plastic sheets over the liner in the litter box and pour in the litter. So far the cats haven't scratched thru. The sheets can be rinsed, dried in the sun and used again. After 2 years I'm still using the same 8 mil sheets, and had to buy very few cat-box liner bags. The cats are very happy & healthy. The 8 mil plastic is available at fabric stores. I think it's about 45" wide. Cut it 6" larger than the litter box (3" on each side).

Capt., thanks for the link for other ways to conserve. Every little bit helps.

In Canada they take conservation seriously. A few years ago they had a catchy slogan: "Once is not Enough" and that got lots of attention!!!


Saladin said...

Pat, good ideas. I wash and reuse all produce bags until they fall apart and buy second hand whenever possible. The things people throw away are amazing! Garage sales and thrift stores are a veritable treasure trove. People take for granted that all this stuff is going to be around forever, they just don't get it. I am convinced that they will finally do what's right when they are left with no other options.
Capt and Mr. Benson, thank you for being polite and respectful in your commentary. There is no reason for accusations and rudeness, but some just can't help themselves I guess.

capt said...

A new (short thread) is up to relieve the dial-ups.