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Newsbriefs: Iraq Deadline, Bush in S. America, Libby Aftermath, Texas Toll Moratorium

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Congressional Democrats Move Towards Setting Iraq Timeline

In an effort to override the long-term and high cost Iraq strategy of the Bush administration, Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to force a withdrawal of troops by the Spring of 2008. The proposed legislation sets benchmarks for progress in establishing the self-reliance of the Iraqi government to be met on a specific schedule and verified by the administration and the military. The proposal also includes a prohibition on military action against Iran. It has been introduced as part of a supplemental spending bill along with a number of earmarks for pet Democrat projects which are expected to add at least $120 billion dollars in over-budget spending.

Objections to the bill have already been heard from prominent Republicans, some Democrats who want a faster withdrawal, representatives of the administration and military leaders including General David Petraeus who has recently suggested that resolving the situation in Iraq will take longer and require more troops than the Democrats are willing to support. Passage of the bill is problematic because of opposition for a variety of reasons from some Democrats and most Republicans. For more see stories in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times.

President Bush Heads for a Hostile Latin America

President Bush has just started a seven-day tour through Latin America, promoting hemispheric free trade, and negotiating an ethanol alliance with Brazil. His visit is already mired in controversy as radical elements in many Latin American countries stage large protests against his policies. Never one to miss an opportunity to harass the United States, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is appearing at a rally in Buenos Aires, a stone's throw from Montivideo Uruguay where Bush will be appearing at the same time. Chavez has been working for months to encourage a rising tide of socialism throughout Latin America, using funds from his oil-enriched treasury to provide aid to the poor in neighboring countries and promoting the idea of 'Bolivarian' revolution. Bush's message of free trade and open markets has not been as well received as Chavez' money and populist message, even when accompanied by a promise of increased spending on foreign aid.

Bush appears to be popular with leaders of the major nations in the region, but much less so with socialists in the press and at protest rallies throughout the region. Some protests are expected to turn violent as they did during Bush's last visit to the region. Police in Brazil and Argentina are preparing for possible rioting. For more see stories in BBC News, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune.

Libby Conviction Leaves More Questions than Answers

While I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby awaits sentencing on his four convictions for perjury and obstructing justice, speculation is running wild in the press about the entire prosecutorial process. An article today by Robert Novak, who was a central figure in the case, has led to a rash of second-guessing of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and calls for a Presidential pardon for Libby. Central to the controversy is the revelation that Fitzgerald was aware virtually from the beginning of the case that neither Libby nor any of the other White House figures accused in the press of being associated with the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, was actually the source of the leak, which instead originated with Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage.

Concern has been raised about why Fitzgerald would continue to pursue Libby when he was already aware of his innocence, and puzzlement is widespread over why Libby would perjure himself when he apparently had nothing to hide and no one to protect. Despite the appearance that Libby was a dupe singled out for unwarranted prosecution, a pardon may be unlikely because of President Bush's established reluctance of override the courts. For more see Novak Editorial, The Mobile Register and audio at NPR

Texas Legislature Moves to Shut Down Toll Road Mania

Riding a wave of overwhelming public protest, State Senator Robert Nichols, who had originally supported massive toll road development in Texas when he was on the state Transportation Commission, has taken the lead in efforts by the Texas Legislature to declare a two-year moratorium on the development of private toll roads, including the notorious Trans-Texas Corridor. The proposal has near universal support in the House and Senate and is expected to pass by early next week. In recent years toll road projects began popping up all over the state, encouraged by pro-toll Governor Rick Perry and his appointees to the Transportation Commission.

Concerns have been raised that many of these toll roads use existing, paid-for or fully funded roads, and that administration of and the profit from many of the toll roads was slated to go to private management companies based outside the United States. Concern has also been widespread over whether many of the roads are actually necessary and over the massive seizure of private property for use by the state or other private businesses. The proposed bill calls for a special commission to study the potential impact of building privately operated toll roads for profit in the state. Accompanying legislation would cap toll road rates and make it illegal to convert already existing freeways to tollways. For more see The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly and The Economics.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    So, this is a new series designed to introduce BC Politics readers to the main news stories of the day in a concise form. There’s no commentary in the article, just straight news. I’m saving my opinions for the comments.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Congressional Democrats Move Towards Setting Iraq Timeline

    Apparently someone neglected to point out to the Democrats that they weren’t elected president and that we have a funny little document called the Constitution which leaves such things as wartime strategy to the President as Commander in Chief.
    The quickly ballooning approporiations bill this amendment is attached to is also a scary sign of things to come. Dems are already lining up to stick earmarks on every spending bill they can and redefine the concept of fiscal irresponsibility.

    President Bush Heads for a Hostile Latin America

    What the hell is wrong with Argentina? Why the fuck would they let Chavez come to their country at all, much less speak at a public rally. Chavez is spreading the poison of socialist revolution all over the region using Bush’s visit as a pretext to try to undermine the legitimate governments of all the countries in the area. Peron never would have stood for shit like that.

    Libby Conviction Leaves More Questions than Answers

    Can we sue Patrick Fitzgerald to get our money back for the months of totally pointless courtroom antics? Not did the leak not come from the White House, but in retrospect it’s abundantly clear that Fitzgerald had determined that there wasn’t even a CRIME because Plame wasn’t covert, so what the hell was he doing for all those months? Shaking the tree and hoping a crime would fall in his lap?

    Texas Legislature Moves to Shut Down Toll Road Mania

    The idea of seizing private land to create unnecessary toll roads and shut down or divert existing freeways and then giving the money from the toll roads to private companies from foreign countries is about the worst abuse of property rights and the public trust I’ve ever heard of. Thank god someone is finally doing something to stop it.

    Dave

  • Lumpy

    For some reason your review of the news of the week fills me with despair.

  • Perkin Warbeck

    I find the entire Libby trial business incomprehensible. Isn’t Fitzgerald a Republican? If so, why the witchhunt for so little purpose? I think Libby ought to be sentenced to time served and that’s it. He’s been abused enough.

  • Nancy

    * Yes, but there’s also this funny little provision in the Constitution about checks & balances – very necessary when dealing with an out-of-control, reckless, known liar & fiscal incompetent like Bush, in putting a damper on his willingness to spend the US into oblivion on his fake war.

    * Any sovereign country can invite any national head of state it chooses. If they invite Bush, they are also entitled to invite Chavez. Both leaders are equally rancid, ethically & morally.

    * If we’re going to sue Fitzgerald to get our money back for useless waste of resources, let’s also sue Ken Starr for the far greater sum he pissed away on his futile investigations of Clinton which didn’t even net a single perjurer. Better yet, let’s sue Bush & Cheney for pissing away billions & trillions into Iraq for nothing more than personal gain & ego enhancement.

    While we’re at it, we should convict & hang Karl Rove just because he’s Karl Rove, & a human maggot.

    It’s likely Bush will wait until after the Nov. 2008 elections to perpetrate a pardon, so he won’t alienate any more voters than he has to. I can guarantee if he does pardon Libby prior to that, no GOP candidate will have the chance of a snowball in hell in the elections. As it is, the party may suffer anyway in the next elections. People didn’t take too kindly to Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon, remember. So ol’ Dubya has that to consider, too. Heh – he’s leaving behind a grand, grand legacy to remember him by, no question about it. It just ain’t gonna be the one he & the GOP thought it would be.

  • moonraven

    Nalle,

    Forget this concept. The point of this site should be to respond in depth to something that has happened, not give a superficial treatment to stories already covered in more depth in the mainstream media.

    Also, you need to be aware that Bush is scheduled to visit Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia in SOUTH America, Guatemala in CENTRAL America and Mexico in NORTH America.

    I would like to know the source for your statement about Bush’s being popular with leaders of the “major nations in the region”. What are you calling major nations–and with what leaders is he popular?

    He is not popular with Lula–the leader of Brazil. Signing an ethanol agreement does not indicate popularity.

    He is not popular with Kirschner in Argentina. Kirschner is all over the media today with Chavez.

    He is not popular with Chavez.

    Argentina and Venezuela are two booming economies in South America.

    He continues to give billions to Colombia–where the cocaine trade is booming and the president is involved in several scandals involving death threats. But even that doesn’t give him popularity.

    In Uruguay, the political party in power has threatened to pull the rug out from under any agreement signed between the US and Uruguay.

    He is actively despised by the leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador.

    In Guatemala, his visit will have almost no meaning if Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu is elected president this fall.

    Ah, Mexico–where there are NO LEADERS. Where he is popular with No One.

    Nancy–When did you spend time in Venezuela? I seem to remember you said you had never been outside the US. You are not, therefore, in a position to make any comments about Chavez’s “rancidity”–moral or otherwise.

  • Captain Clambake

    The stench of Chavez probably reaches far enough north for Nancy to smell it.

    Speaking of Nancy, what’s your beef with Bush and Cheney and Rove? I agree that Rove looks a bit like an overfed maggot, but he’s one smart guy. Ever heard one of his speeches? He’s fantastic.

    Did someone mention Rigoberta Menchu with a straight face? I didn’t know they awarded Nobel Prizes in the category of fraud.

  • moonraven

    Another racist buttwipe opens his ugly maw….

  • Captain Clambake

    Wow, the children around here need a lesson in manners.

    And what on earth did I say that was racist? Or are you referring to some other comment?

  • moonraven

    You should be put in front of a firing squad–for even mentioning that sociopath Karl Rove.

    Your comments about Chavez and Menchu are clearly racist–whiteass.

  • zingzing

    capt, you must be new around here. moonraven sees racism everywhere… and while there is racism everywhere, she’s got a keen eye for it.

    i wonder how she feels about the recent move by the cherokee nation to expel those who were descendants of freed slaves. i’m not sure if that means descendants of intermarried freed slaves and cherokees or just the descendants of the slaves the cherokees held.

  • moonraven

    Not so fast, kemo sabe. We have not agreed upon the scalping price yet.

  • moonraven

    You didn’t answer any of my questions about your sources, Dave-o.

    As usual, you didn’t have any sources.

    Just your own uninformed never-been-to-LatinAmerica opinion.

    I don’t have role models.

    Rigoberta Menchu, however, is over you like ice cream over chickenshit. (Another one of my grandmother’s classic expressions that should be cast in bronze on this site.)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You didn’t answer any of my questions about your sources, Dave-o.

    You have questions? Did you not read the article – oh, I forgot you don’t need to read the articles to form idiotic opinions on them. Each section has sources cited.

    As for the assessment that Bush is at least somewhat popular with the leaders of the region, that’s an obvious conclusion from the fact that they welcomed him to their countries and said nice things about him when greeting him. It doesn’t make him their soul brother, but it means they’re happy to have him there – either that or they’re all lying.

    Just your own uninformed never-been-to-LatinAmerica opinion.

    Who says I’ve never been to Latin America? Jumping to conclusions again, are you?

    moonraven sees racism everywhere

    The world is her mirror.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Dave: You never put sources. When pressed to put sources that support your position, in EVERY case they have supported the opposite view. Trying to shit us again, huh?

    Who are all the leaders who welcomed Bush and said nice things about him? You said THEY.

    He visited Brazil and this is a recap of what Lula said:

    Lula: en Suramérica, se respetan las decisiones políticas y económicas
    Por: TeleSur Fecha de publicación: 09/03/07

    TeleSUR _ 09/03/07. – El presidente brasileño, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, resaltó este viernes ante su homólogo de EEUU, George W. Bush, el proceso de integración suramericano y le aseguró que en “todos” los países de la región impera la democracia.

    Lula afirmó, en un pronunciamiento ante la prensa junto a Bush, que “la integración es el mejor camino para el fortalecimiento de la democracia” y sostuvo que, en Suramérica, el proceso se basa en el respeto de “las decisiones políticas y económicas”.

    Según Lula, el proceso de integración del Mercosur, que conforman Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay, Paraguay y ahora Venezuela, está marcado por el respeto de la “soberanía e independencia” de cada uno de los países miembros.

    Lula también reiteró a Bush su convencimiento de que urge llegar a un acuerdo que permita destrabar las negociaciones de la Ronda de Doha de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC).

    El presidente brasileño insistió en que las trabas ahora son “estrictamente políticas” e insistió en que es necesario convocar una reunión de líderes mundiales para darle al asunto la solución “política” que requiere.

    If you have spent so much time HERE in Latin America, it should be easy to read what Lula said, shouldn’t it?

    It should also have been easy for you to know that all the countries Bush will visit are not in South America, shouldn’t it?

    [Edited]

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    MR, first off, that’s not a quote from Lula. It’s not even in Portuguese. BTW, how’s your Portuguese?

    Here are some of the first words Lula said when meeting with Bush today:

    “It s a pleasure to receive President George Bush in Sao Paulo.” He then went on to refer to him repeatedly as “My Dear President Bush” and wrapped up saying “Thank you very much, President Bush, for your visit to Brazil.”

    Direct quotes. Probably just being polite, but he didn’t have to be as polite as he was, and it sure doesn’t sound like he’s upset with or angry at Bush, now does it.

    Dave: You never put sources. When pressed to put sources that support your position, in EVERY case they have supported the opposite view.

    12 different sources are cited with links in this article. Do they disagree with my descriptions of these stories?

    It should also have been easy for you to know that all the countries Bush will visit are not in South America, shouldn’t it?

    I referred to his trip as being to ‘Latin America’, not ‘South America’.

    Uh, racism IS everywhere. Of course there is more of it in your neck of the woods, but that is because there are lots of racists just like you living there.

    Well if they’re my kind of ‘racists’ – you know, the kind who work for equal rights and freedom for all people – then we ought to be fine.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    * Yes, but there’s also this funny little provision in the Constitution about checks & balances – very necessary when dealing with an out-of-control, reckless, known liar & fiscal incompetent like Bush, in putting a damper on his willingness to spend the US into oblivion on his fake war.

    I doubt very much that anyone in Iraq right now would call this a ‘fake war’.

    And checks and balances means stopping the war by repealing the AUMF, not trying to micromanage the war, which has definitely never been the proper role of Congress.

    If we’re going to sue Fitzgerald to get our money back for useless waste of resources, let’s also sue Ken Starr for the far greater sum he pissed away on his futile investigations of Clinton which didn’t even net a single perjurer.

    Except, of course, Clinton himself.

    It’s likely Bush will wait until after the Nov. 2008 elections to perpetrate a pardon, so he won’t alienate any more voters than he has to. I can guarantee if he does pardon Libby prior to that, no GOP candidate will have the chance of a snowball in hell in the elections.

    I doubt Bush will need to pardon Libby. Libby will be cleared on appeal and probably get a good settlement suing Fitzgerald for malicious prosecution. This entire case was nothing by Fitzgerald trying to cover his ass for going after the wrong people by getting any kind of conviction on any target.

    Dave

  • Methuselah

    About Libby: the reason he was prosecuted was because he obstructed justice with his lies. He thwarted investigation and prosecution of the underlying crime. He can’t, therefore, be exculpated because the underlying crime wasn’t prosecuted.

    Why do people keep saying that Plame was not covert? There has been no such testimony, only repeated unsubstantiated claims by administration partisans.

    Why does Nalle say “in retrospect it’s abundantly clear that Fitzgerald had determined that there wasn’t even a CRIME because Plame wasn’t covert,”? Where did THAT come from? Did Fitzgerald whisper in Nalles ear? Who is it “clear” to?

    Maybe someone can clarify Plames status to me. Like, produce a dated article that openly discusses plames overt status.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Why do people keep saying that Plame was not covert? There has been no such testimony, only repeated unsubstantiated claims by administration partisans.

    Not exactly. The claims have been substantiated over and over by people on both sides of the political aisle. Plus, she certainly wasn’t covert at the point Libby may have discussed her because it was AFTER Armitage had already leaked her name.

    Why does Nalle say “in retrospect it’s abundantly clear that Fitzgerald had determined that there wasn’t even a CRIME because Plame wasn’t covert,”? Where did THAT come from? Did Fitzgerald whisper in Nalles ear? Who is it “clear” to?

    Anyone who can process basic information. Fitzgerald didn’t go after Armitage and didn’t try to prosecute anyone for the leak, just for perjury and obstruction. If that’s all he chose to do, what other conclusion can you reach?

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption12

    I doubt very much that anyone in Iraq right now would call this a ‘fake war’.

    And checks and balances means stopping the war by repealing the AUMF, not trying to micromanage the war, which has definitely never been the proper role of Congress.

    First of all AUMF is not a declaration of war. The war is illegal in the first place. Congress cannot delegate its war declaring power to the President, which is precisely what they have done. According to AUMF we are at war with every nation in the world, if the President so choses.

    a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    That’s delegating war declaring power. The constitution and current law dictate the President must consult with Congress to go to war. Bush no longer needs to do that according to AUMF, which makes the resolution illegal. I don’t care what the courts say on this one, that’s rather straightforward. The constitutional convention firmly vested all war declaring power in Congress, not the executive. Period.

    And second of all, setting deadlines does not amount to micromanaging. By your definition they can either end the war right now and have all our troops out tomorrow, or they can allow the war to continue indefinately. This is the logical compromise. Withdrawing immediately would by dangerous, and continueing indefinately is unacceptable. Setting deadlines is the logical solution and does not amount to micromanaging.

    Besides, what would you have them do? You obviously know immediate withdrawel would be a disastor, and it doesn’t seem like you want the war to go on forever. There is no easy answer, and you’re having way to much fun criticizing the dems on this one.

    Although I do have to say, prohibiting action against Iran seems dangerous to me. While under almost no circumstances would I aprove of force against Iran, prohibiting the President from doing so strips him of bargaining power. It’s unfortunate Congress can’t trust the President to use our military forces responsibly.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    First of all AUMF is not a declaration of war. The war is illegal in the first place. Congress cannot delegate its war declaring power to the President, which is precisely what they have done. According to AUMF we are at war with every nation in the world, if the President so choses.

    We’ve been over this before. You’re wrong. I previously cited the case law for you, so you ought to have a handle on the truth by now.

    I refer you again to Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, particularly the second paragraph of part II and other sections, particularly section V. And also to Hamdan vs. US and Swift vs. Rumsfeld (take a look in the middle of page 11) which specifically use the phrase ‘functionally equivalent to a Declaration of War’ to refer to the AUMF.

    There’s no ambiguity on this subject. The AUMF gives the president the same powers he would have in time of war and the war in Iraq is certainly legal under it.

    That’s delegating war declaring power.

    No, it’s merely authorizing the president to decide where and how to go to war. Not the same thing.

    The constitution and current law dictate the President must consult with Congress to go to war.

    Which he did, the result being the AUMF.

    Bush no longer needs to do that according to AUMF, which makes the resolution illegal.

    Not according to EVERY court which has looked at the AUMF.

    I don’t care what the courts say on this one, that’s rather straightforward. The constitutional convention firmly vested all war declaring power in Congress, not the executive. Period.

    True enough, but your entire reasoning is fallacious because you refuse to acknowledge the established fact that the AUMF is in fact a declaration of war, which makes your entire argument invalid.

    And second of all, setting deadlines does not amount to micromanaging.

    Ah, but their current proposal doesn’t just set deadlines, it has specific military and political objectives and fiddles with troop levels and deployment. That’s a lot more than setting deadlines.

    By your definition they can either end the war right now and have all our troops out tomorrow, or they can allow the war to continue indefinately.

    No, it would be perfectly fine to pass legislation repealing the AUMF on X date in the future, thereby setting a deadline.

    It’s not the dealine that’s the problem, it’s all the conditional stuff they’re proposing which amounts to setting strategy which is the job of the CinC.

    Although I do have to say, prohibiting action against Iran seems dangerous to me. While under almost no circumstances would I aprove of force against Iran, prohibiting the President from doing so strips him of bargaining power. It’s unfortunate Congress can’t trust the President to use our military forces responsibly.

    I don’t think we can trust Congress to be any more responsible than the president, and certainly they’re bound to be even less competent.

    Dave

  • http://moonraven moonraven

    Dave: [Edited] This is from the title of your silly article:

    “Bush in S. America” Maybe I am wrong, but S. usually refers to SOUTH, not LATIN America.

    My Portugese, by the way, is almost as good as my Spanish–let’s say 95% on a scale of 1 to 100%. By the way, your quote from Lula was not in Portugese, but in English–just in case you think you got by with something.

    Oh, and Dave, stop trying to shit us that YOU have inside information on ANYTHING. [Edited]

    You don’t understand either language, so can hardly be an expert on Latin America, South America, Central America–or the part of North America in which I live, Mexico.

  • http://moonraven moonraven

    For Dave, who can’t read any language but English–and then only barely:

    “From DPA

    Sao Paulo – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called upon his US counterpart George W Bush on Friday in Sao Paulo to cooperate in Latin America’s social development while respecting the ‘political decisions of each state.’

    Without directly mentioning Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Lula said relations between Brazil and the US will be stronger insofar as they ‘respect each other, each respects the sovereign political decisions of each state and they can build projects that may help third countries to get out of poverty.’

    The meeting took place amidst street protests against Bush that brought demonstrators within 20 metres of the US delegation – a surge that police and military had to hustle to keep at bay.

    At the top of the Bush-Lula meeting is an agreement to cooperate on production and marketing of the alternative fuel ethanol among the world’s two top producers.

    In a speech following a meeting with Bush, Lula stressed the US president arrived in South America at ‘an exceptional time’ for the region, with past dictatorships ‘a painful memory.’

    ‘All governments result from free elections with broad popular participation, all are committed to programmes to put an end to social injustice,’ the leftist Lula said.

    The Brazilian president further defended the integration of South American countries, and stressed that that process ‘is taking place among independent nations.’

    Several analysts interpreted Lula’s comments as an answer to Bush’s alleged wish to enlist Brazil’s help to stem Chavez’s growing political influence in Latin America.”

    Sounds a little different from asskissing to me.

  • http://moonraven moonraven

    Chávez: “si usted (Bush) de verdad quiere que haya justicia social en el mundo, no lo diga, hágalo y ordene la salida de las tropas de Irak”

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    “Bush in S. America”

    Maybe I am wrong, but S. usually refers to SOUTH, not LATIN America.

    At the time the article was written Bush was in South America and all coutnries referred to in that part of the article are in South America. Do you have to take lessons to be so pigheadedly ignorant?

    My Portugese, by the way, is almost as good as my Spanish–let’s say 95% on a scale of 1 to 100%. By the way, your quote from Lula was not in Portugese, but in English–just in case you think you got by with something.

    Indeed it was. On an English language website II have the courtesy to provide quotes in the language of the readers. To do otherwise would be both rude and useless.

    Oh, and Dave, stop trying to shit us that YOU have inside information on ANYTHING.

    Good lord, when did I claim any inside knowledge here? This is just a simple news digest article.

    You don’t understand either language, so can hardly be an expert on Latin America, South America, Central America–or the part of North America in which I live, Mexico.

    One doesn’t have to be an ‘expert’ to report the news, one just has to have good sources.

    For Dave, who can’t read any language but English

    Actually, I also read Russian, French and German.

    Dave

  • Methuselah

    Nalle says:

    “So, this is a new series designed to introduce BC Politics readers to the main news stories of the day in a concise form. There’s no commentary in the article, just straight news. I’m saving my opinions for the comments.”

    So Nalle concluded that Texas toll roads are more important than the wounded veterans and soldiers being neglected and abused throughout the administration?

  • Nancy

    MR – like you, I don’t need to have met someone to have an opinion of them. Reported deeds sometimes speak louder than words. Hence my low opinion of Bush, Cheney, & Rove, Capt. Clambake, who IMO are lower than maggots’ private parts.

  • Nancy

    Rove’s “brilliance” & genius are only for evil. That hardly makes him admirable. It sure as hell doesn’t make his existance tolerable.

  • MCH

    “So Nalle concluded that Texas toll roads are more important than the wounded veterans and soldiers being neglected and abused throughout the administration?”

    Well of course. What else would you expect from the same guy who compares traffic fatalities to combat casualities?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    So Nalle concluded that Texas toll roads are more important than the wounded veterans and soldiers being neglected and abused throughout the administration?

    No, Meth. I concluded that the Walter Reed story was already a week old when I wrote this article and wasn’t hot, current and new. Plus it had already been extensively coverfed here on BC, which these stories had not been.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Let me add that I’m not going to write one of these unless there’s some news worth reporting. For example, I looked at today’s news on several sources and the most exciting stories are the French election and Chuck Schumer bitching about Attorney General Gonzales. Does anyone give a rat’s ass? I know I don’t. Some partisan BC writer will cover the Gonzales thing more thoroughly and inflammatorily than I will, and no one cares about the French election, not even the French.

    So what I’m going to do is keep an eye on these stories and a couple of others and see if they develop into something worth covering. If Villepin shoots Sarkozy, then I’ve got something to write about.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Let’s hope nobody shoots anybody.

    Nalle, this piece was a new low [Personal attack deleted].

  • Methuselah

    Nalle:”I concluded that the Walter Reed story was already a week old when I wrote this article and wasn’t hot, current and new. Plus it had already been extensively coverfed here on BC,”

    Really? So has the problem been solved? Was it restricted to just one facility, Walter Reed? Or was it the tip of an iceberg. You might be interested in this article at salon.com: The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq

    I was interested if BC had commented on this problem, so I scanned the opening page for BC and for BC Politics for words like “walter’, “reed”, “veteran”, “medic”, etc., and found nothing.

    Have all discussions of the various abuses of veterans and soldiers by this administration been quashed for some reason?

  • Methuselah

    Nalle says: “The claims [of Plames overt status] have been substantiated over and over by people on both sides of the political aisle.”

    That’s odd, because I’ve not seen it “substantiated” by anyone on either side of the political aisle.

    Could you please share your sources with us?

    Can you cite an article (news or even gossip) before Novak exposed her, where Plame was acknowledged as overt?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Meth, in an interview on CNN in 2005 her husband said “My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.”

    Research by Bill Gertz determined that Plame’s identity had been made public on two prior occasions. The details are in his article here.

    Dave

  • Methuselah

    It’s astonishing that anyone could take this citation seriously, let alone conclude “…Plame’s identity had been made public on two prior occasions” as Nalle claims.

    The article from the Washington Times, claims:

    The identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was compromised twice before her name appeared in a news column that triggered a federal illegal-disclosure investigation, U.S. officials say.
    Mrs. Plame’s identity as an undercover CIA officer was first disclosed to Russia in the mid-1990s by a Moscow spy, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Disclosed not publicly, but within the Russian spy network. As disclosed by an anonymous source.

    Apparently, Nalle takes this anonymous disclosure by an administration person and escalates it into public knowledge.

    We have no way to know if this was invented by Gertz, nor if it was dissembling by a government partisan.

    In other words, the citation tells us nothing.

    Again, from the Washington Times article:

    In a second compromise, officials said a more recent inadvertent disclosure resulted in references to Mrs. Plame in confidential documents sent by the CIA to the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Havana.
    The documents were supposed to be sealed from the Cuban government, but intelligence officials said the Cubans read the classified material and learned the secrets contained in them, the officials said.

    Now the Gertz article drops the ‘anonymous’ qualifier making one wonder if we are still quoting an anonymous source or if this is a source one could actually verify, if Gertz had actually revealed the name, or if he knows the names of the sources. Does gertz have names for these, perhaps different, officials? Or are they also ‘anonymous’? Or has gertz dropped the ‘anonymous’ qualifier to enhance their credibility?

    As an aside one might well wonder if the CIA informed Plame that her cover was blown or if they let her go about the business of recruiting agents and contacts and gathering info unaware that she was exposed and thus her sources were also exposed.

    The article continues:

    … Mrs. Plame’s identity first was revealed publicly by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak in a July 14, 2003, column about Mr. Wilson’s trip to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for a nuclear-arms program.

    Doesn’t this directly contradict Nalles contention that Plames identity was publicly known before Novak revealed it?

    The Justice Department then began an investigation of the disclosure under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes it a crime to knowingly disclose the name of a covert agent.
    However, officials said the disclosure that Mrs. Plame’s cover was blown before the news column undermines the prosecution of the government official who might have revealed the name, officials said.

    A weak assertion by our “officials” since the disclosure was evidently still not public so Novak had no way to think that a covert agents cover was blown, unless someone so misrepresented it to him.

    If Novak knew that Plames cover was blown, why didn’t Plame? Why did she continue to collect spy info? Did the CIA withold that from Plame and reveal it to Novak? Is the answer here:

    “The law says that to be covered by the act the intelligence community has to take steps to affirmatively protect someone’s cover,” one official said. “In this case, the CIA failed to do that.”

    This seems to put the final nail in the coffin of Nalles argument:

    A second official, however, said the compromises before the news column were not publicized and thus should not affect the investigation of the Plame matter.

    This confirms what I had concluded previously about Nalles citations: they have doubtful provenance and he draws unwarranted conclusions. He is simply unreliable. I don’t believe a word he posts.

  • troll

    what do you expect from a modern day partisan sophist – ?

    (and it is entertaining in a crossword puzzle kind of way to chase down his distortion du jour – well done Methuselah)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    It’s astonishing that anyone could take this citation seriously

    Indeed, why would we take ANYTHING Joe Wilson says seriously, since he’s a proven liar.

    I do love the way you focus only on the Washington Times article and completely ignore the blatant statement by Joe Wilson that his wife was not covert.

    You’re also making the argument that because her identity wasn’t publicized in the media that meant it hadn’t been exposed. But that’s not the criteria on which her covert status would ever have been assessed.

    If Novak knew that Plames cover was blown, why didn’t Plame? Why did she continue to collect spy info?

    You can collect ‘spy info’ as an analyst while not being in cover. She was not being sent on any kind of covert operations and hadn’t been for some while before the leak.

    Finally, you have issues with Gertz’s use of anonymous sources. Take that up with him. Your question to me was where people got the idea that Plame was not covert and you wanted me to provide sources which supported that claim. I did, even if you choose not to like them.

    You can not believe my posts all you want. You clearly choose to believe only what suits your partisan inclinations.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    ok, so if plame wasn’t undercover, what’s this whole trial about? why would anyone care? so are you saying someone just wanted to railroad the administration? and that they got some guy nobody had ever heard of before this and declined to get dick cheney?

    so scooter is totally innocent? …and bush won’t pardon him, why? is politics more important than an innocent man sitting behind bars, even for a couple of days? if my party allowed me to rot behind bars, i’d have some things to say.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Scooter isn’t innocent. He’s a fool and he’s guilty of engaging in obstruction of justice and perjury. He’s innocent of the leak. That’s been definitively established. Fitzgerald admits it and everyone else pretty much agrees.

    The problem for the left here, which a lot of you can’t get your heads around, is that the person who actually leaked the Plame identity – Richard Armitage – was an outspoken Bush/Cheney/Rove opponent, so there’s just no way to use all of this against the administration.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    so armitage was never part of the administration? and why would he leak such information? and isn’t the whole point that while plame or wilson or whatever wasn’t undercover at the time (which is why armitage said anything anyway, not knowing she was covert in any way), wouldn’t it put all of plame’s older, still covert associates in harm’s way? have you forgotten that?

    so, even if it was all some big foul-up, and it had nothing to do with wilson’s husband making a fool of bush, it was still monumentally stupid, and shows just how disorganized and incompetent this administration is at all levels.

  • moonraven

    As ALWAYS, Dave Nalle–when pressed to cite a SOURCE (rule number 1 in writing anything)–cites a source which DIRECTLY contradicts what he wrote.

    Dave ALWAYS hopes nobody will check. [Edited]

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    so armitage was never part of the administration? and why would he leak such information?

    Armitage was a Bush appointee, but as I understand it he’s one of the Neocons who turned against the administration for not following through on their ideas in Iraq and became openly hostile and critical of administration policy, rather like Richard Perle.

    And it’s pretty clear that the leak was accidental. He was asked a question and answered it without considering how easily his answer could be used to out Plame.

    and isn’t the whole point that while plame or wilson or whatever wasn’t undercover at the time (which is why armitage said anything anyway, not knowing she was covert in any way), wouldn’t it put all of plame’s older, still covert associates in harm’s way? have you forgotten that?

    Well sure, that’s the criticism of the whole leak problem. If Plame was truly covert then the cover she was using would be no protection to others who were also using it. However, that particular front company was already widely known to be a CIA front, and despite some vague claims that others were harmed I’ve never seen any evidence of who they were or how they were endangered.

    so, even if it was all some big foul-up, and it had nothing to do with wilson’s husband making a fool of bush, it was still monumentally stupid, and shows just how disorganized and incompetent this administration is at all levels.

    Not going to disagree with you there. The most monumentally stupid part is that they sent Libby out to take a fall for something they didn’t even do but clearly felt guilty about anyway.

    Dave

  • Methuselah

    Nalle denies the undeniable, then squirms and issues another unproven claim as his smokescreen.

  • Barbarabow

    The real crime was using documents which were known to be fake to justify an immoral war. Everything else is a smokescreen to divert us from the administration’s malfeasance.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You seem to be privy to some special info I’m not aware of. My recollection is that the fakeness of the documents wasn’t established until after the invasion.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    yes, and the death wasn’t murder til after they shot. they knew it, you know it.