State Dept. Corrects Itself – Bolton Did Testify about CIA Leak (So He Lied to the Senate When He Said He Didn’t)

Bolton says he forgot he was interviewed about the CIA leak:

John Bolton, the nominee for U.N. ambassador, inaccurately told Congress he had not been interviewed or testified in any investigation over the past five years, the State Department said Thursday, responding to a Democratic critic.

Bolton was interviewed by the State Department inspector general as part of a joint investigation with the Central Intelligence Agency related to Iraqi attempts to buy nuclear materials from Niger, State Department spokesman Noel Clay said.

When Bolton filled out a Senate questionnaire in connection with his nomination, “he didn’t recall being interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general. Therefore, his form, as submitted, was inaccurate,” Clay said. “He will correct it.”

After Saying He Wouldn’t, Rep. Hayes (R-Textiles) Votes for CAFTA

“Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA.”

Rep. Robin Hayes, R-North Carolina, on July 14, 2005

Last night, after arm-twisting by the GOP leadership, Rep. Hayes voted for CAFTA.

Rep. Hayes has a powerful back-story at home that never gets mentioned in national news reports about him. His grandfather was C.W. Cannon, a towering figure in the region in his day, who was the owner of Cannon Mills, which was the dominant economic force in Piedmont region northeast of Charlotte. Cannon Mills was sold several times after the elder Cannon died. In recent years, the owners could not compete with offshore manufacturers, and last year they closed the mills altogether, leaving thousands of Rep. Hayes’ constituents without employment.

Many at the NYT Suspect That the Person Judith Miller Is Protecting by Going to Jail Is – Judith Miller

This is why Miller doesn’t want to reveal her “source” at the White House — because she was the source.

At the offices of the New York Times, there’s an alternative theory floating around about Judith Miller’s true motives in going to prison rather than revealing her source in the Bush CIA Leak scandal. She is portrayed in the media as martyr to the First Amendment, but, according to The Huffington Post, the theory is, she’s covering her own ass:

It’s July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson’s now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has “manipulate[d]” and “twisted” intelligence “to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war — and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller’s credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he’s married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an “unnamed government official”). Maybe Miller tells Rove too — or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

This is why Miller doesn’t want to reveal her “source” at the White House — because she was the source. Sure, she first got the info from someone else, and the odds are she wasn’t the only one who clued in Libby and/or Rove (the State Dept. memo likely played a role too)… but, in this scenario, Miller certainly wasn’t an innocent writer caught up in the whirl of history. She had a starring role in it. This also explains why Miller never wrote a story about Plame, because her goal wasn’t to write a story, but to get out the story that cast doubts on Wilson’s motives. Which Novak did.

Bush Curbs Oil Drilling in Florida — No, the OTHER Bush, Three Years Ago

Here’s a blast from the past made all the more poignant by the government’s renewed search for oil in the shark-rich waters off the Gulf coast of Florida. This was probably the last time George Bush received even grudging praise from environmentalists.

In an L.A. Times article from May 30, 2002, archived on Jeb’s bro moved to curb drilling within 30 miles of the Florida coast and in the Everglades through a huge drilling rights buy-back.

The federal government will pay $115 million to oil companies to drop their fight to drill about 30 miles off the Florida Panhandle. The companies bought drilling rights in the 1980s but faced obstacles put up by Republican and Democratic state officials who objected that drilling could wreak havoc on the white-sand beaches in the Panhandle and on the state’s vital tourism industry.

The federal government will spend an additional $120 million to buy oil and gas drilling rights held by private individuals in three sensitive areas of the Everglades. Bush’s decision to preserve what he termed “some of our nation’s most beautiful natural treasures” should bolster his environmental credentials in Florida, as well as help his brother Jeb, who is seeking reelection there as governor.

Jeb was right there, riding his big brother’s political coattails and chiming in:

Jeb Bush, who visited the White House on Wednesday, conceded that he stands to benefit from his brother’s move. “But more importantly,” he added, “it is good public policy, and when there’s a convergence of good politics and good public policy, I don’t think we should be ashamed about it.”

But that comment apparently pissed off George:

The White House denied that politics played a role in the decision.


With Jeb, “No” Means “Yes, I Want It!”

Just as “clean air” means “pollution like you’ve never imagined” and “healthy forests” means “clear-cutting and four-lane highways with convenience stores,” so “banning oil drilling near Florida” means “Go for it!”

Presidential Brother Jeb Bush has apparently had it all explained to him since yesterday, when PR reported even he didn’t know what his slimeball sibling was up to. Now he’s on board with selling out Florida shores to Big Oil.

Tallahassee Democrat:

The governor said he will seek a pact with the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish a 100-mile ban on oil drilling off Florida’s shores, diminishing the importance of the oil and gas inventory, which is part of the new energy bill speeding through Congress this week…

“Our goal would be to have a moratorium 100 miles from Jacksonville to Pensacola,” Bush said, adding that the section of water adjacent to the Florida line into Alabama should be included in the 100-mile buffer zone.”

Sounds good, right? Well, no.

Critics immediately seized on the governor’s comments as backpedaling, accusing him of playing into the White House’s goal of opening the eastern Gulf of Mexico just beyond the 100-mile buffer to new drilling.

“That’s a complete retrenchment,” said Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who has led the fight against the administration’s push for new energy development in the Gulf.

“A 100-mile buffer off the Gulf Coast of Florida would probably be the biggest sellout in modern state history,” he said. “It would give up the entire Eastern Planning Area.”

…[McLaughlin] said he believes the governor’s position is evidence that he will not oppose the administration’s effort to support a 100-mile buffer in the gulf and then open the rest of the region to drilling. The distance between Tampa Bay and the Alabama line is 285 miles, 185 miles of which would now be open to drilling, he said.

And throwing in that “Jacksonville to Pensacola” comment is like saying Sprite is fat-free. Duh. No one’s talking about drilling in the Atlantic.

McLaughlin also chided the governor’s attempts to portray Florida’s southeastern coast as being under threat to oil drilling…

Because the Florida Straits surrounding the Keys are in a marine sanctuary, drilling will not occur there, he said. If oil exists beyond the southeastern coast of the state, the drop-off in the continental shelf is too steep to drill. And for decades the areas along the central and northern Atlantic coast have not been under consideration because the federal government cannot allow oil rigs along the area used for NASA’s shuttle launch.

“It would be no great achievement to push for protections on the East Coast and the Keys,” McLaughlin said. “It’s the eastern Gulf area that’s up for grabs.”

I can almost see the rigs from here.

Horror at the Herald

I don’t know how widely this is being reported in the news, but we’re all pretty shook up by it down here in Miami.

Yesterday at around 6 p.m., longtime Miami politician Arthur Teele walked into the Miami Herald’s lobby, told a security guard to give a message to columnist Jim Defede (“Tell my wife I love her.”) and then, as Miami police arrived at the scene, fatally shot himself in the head. Teele, who was under 26 federal indictments for a variety of alleged misdeeds, including kickbacks from Miami International Airport contracts, was the subject of an especially nasty cover story in the Miami New Times that appeared on newstands yesterday.

The 14-page New Times story covered in minute detail the 15-year course of Teele’s political career, but the most devastating revelation was Teele’s alleged relationship with a transvestite prostitute.

Teele had spoken with Defede twice earlier in the day, and one of the conversations went on for nearlyt an hour and a half. As Teele became more unbalanced on the phone, Defede recorded one of the conversations without informing Teele, a felony in Florida. While they were still mopping up the lobby, Defede confessed to the illicit taping to his bosses, who summarily fired him and spiked the column based on his conversations with Teele.

In typical Defede pique, he told his co-workers that he had confessed, expecting to receive a suspension or other punishment, “but they decided to go for the death penalty.”

As of this morning, the Miami homicide detectives were still trying to locate Defede to question him about his conversations with Teele.

The whole sordid affair only raises questions: Why did Teele kill himself in the Herald lobby? Why did Defede decide to tape the conversation? Did Teele indicate he was in a self-destructive mental state? Should the Herald have punished Defede rather than fire him? Where does a 350-pound columnist whose photo is regularly published in the Herald hide? And who pays $450 a pop to a transvestite prostitute?

It’s all sad. Teele did some good things for the black Overtown community, and while he undeniably did some bad things, too, this still was an ignominious end to a checkered career. Defede was a popular columnist, but he did a bad thing, and now he’ll probably have to go back to the New Times from whence he came, where journalistic standards are looser.

The Poynter Institute is hosting an on-line discussion of Defede’s firing by the Miami Herald here. Issues of privacy, whether Defede actually broke the law or whether the Herald was simply looking for a reason to fire a gadfly who purloined local polittcians and businessmen are being discussed.

American Military Ordered to Act like Cowards in England

If you’ve been under the same rock as me (doubtful – mine is pretty remote), then you also missed it when our esteemed and sure-footed military leaders ordered American troops in England to hide like George Bush from an unscreened crowd after the London subway bombings.

They didn’t miss it in England. Columnist Brian Reade, in London’s Daily Mirror had some really choice words for us.

One thing you learn when disaster strikes is how right you were about the dodgy specimens in your midst…

How typical was it that all of its 12,000 servicemen stationed in Britain should be banned from travelling within the M25 for five days, as Londoners tried to show the terrorists and the wider world that life goes on as normal?

Once again we saw, as we have in the numerous deaths through “friendly fire”, when the heat is on, the US military operates like a selfish shower of headless chickens.

It was the same back home, where the Gibbon-in-Chief used the bombings to convince a sceptical electorate that soldiers may be dying in Iraq, but hey, they’re doing so to stop your local subway being blown up.

The American Press, largely a gutless shower of sycophants, have demonised the UK for its tolerance of Muslims.

Commentators labelled “Londonistan” the single biggest threat to American security, and demanded all Britons get a visa before entering their airspace.

Thanks buddies. It’s good to know you’re right behind the people who foolishly stuck their heads above the parapet with you in Iraq.


Schell: Putting Rove Leak In a New Context

“The real crime here remains the sending of American men and women to Iraq on fictitious grounds.”
— Frank Rich

TomDispatch has posted an interesting “Letter from Ground Zero” that synthesizes a lot of the coverage of the Rove leak and puts it in the context of the Cold War. TomDispatch received special permission to reprint Jonathan Schell’s “The Bomb and Karl Rove” from The Nation.

Here’s an excerpt:

Like every important government crisis, the outing of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame by the President’s chief political adviser, deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, perhaps among others, must be seen in many contexts at once. (As all the world knows, Rove’s aim was to discredit Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, who had publicly disproved the administration’s claim that Iraq was buying uranium yellow-cake from Niger — a key element in the Administration’s justifications for the Iraq War.) Howard Fineman of Newsweek and Sidney Blumenthal of Salon point to the broader story of Rove’s habitual practice of defending his political clients by smearing their competitors and detractors. Blumenthal titles his piece “Rove’s War” and Fineman speaks of “The World According to Rove.” Frank Rich of the New York Times, on the other hand, suggests that the most important war to look at is the one in Iraq. He says that the injustice to the Wilsons and even to the CIA is secondary: “The real crime here remains the sending of American men and women to Iraq on fictitious grounds.” In other words, what’s important is not the “war” but the war.

Surely, they are all right. It’s true that the harm to the Wilsons cannot be compared to the deaths of thousands in the misbegotten conflict, but it’s also true that the resolution of the scandal is likely to have a lasting impact on American politics, and even on the American system of government. Perhaps the most important political question is whether the Bush administration is to be held accountable for any of its actions, or whether it now enjoys complete impunity and a free field of action to do whatever it likes — from waging war to designing and presiding over systems of torture to breaking domestic law. There are other contexts to consider, too.

Read the rest here (second article).

Third White House Official Involved in Bush CIA Leak Scandal

Pincus is one of the two Washington Post reporters who are covering the Bush CIA Leak investigation. Here we have two MSM journos covering a story interviewing each other.

As the story has emerged so far, we have learned that White House staffers Karl Rove and Scooter Libby leaked the identity of a secret CIA agent to various reporters in the July 2003. Here at Pensito Review, we have also expressed our suspicion that former Bush flying monkey Ari Fleischer was also a leaker involved in the campaign to smear White House critic Joe Wilson by revealing the secret identity of his wife Valerie Plame.

Today the New York Times is reporting that, indeed, a third White House staffer gave up Plame’s identity to Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus:

In the same week in July 2003 in which Bush administration officials told a syndicated columnist and a Time magazine reporter that a C.I.A. officer had initiated her husband’s mission to Niger, an administration official provided a Washington Post reporter with a similar account.

The first two episodes, involving the columnist Robert D. Novak and the reporter Matthew Cooper, have become the subjects of intense scrutiny in recent weeks. But little attention has been paid to what The Post reporter, Walter Pincus, has recently described as a separate exchange on July 12, 2003.

In that exchange, Mr. Pincus says, “an administration official, who was talking to me confidentially about a matter involving alleged Iraqi nuclear activities, veered off the precise matter we were discussing and told me that the White House had not paid attention” to the trip to Niger by Joseph C. Wilson IV “because it was a boondoggle arranged by his wife, an analyst with the agency who was working on weapons of mass destruction.”

What is interesting – if that’s the right word – about this is the fact that Pincus is one of the two Washington Post reporters who are covering the Bush CIA Leak investigation. Here we have two MSM journos covering a story interviewing each other.

Curiouser and curiouser…