Monday, October 31, 2005

Why Are We Back At Press Think

Two years ago I started this blog...originally to promote my play - "The Rules of Embedment or Why Are We Back In Iraq?" (sample scenes can be read at the bottom of this page)

Although I had a few readings that went well, my producer dropped out, and I had no funds or connections to go any further. After toying with political satire for a spell I started blogging like everyone else in the spring of 2004.

But it wasn't until I wrote this little story - on November 6, 2004 - about the Bush family connections to Project P.U.L.L. co-founder Ernie Ladd, "Cocaine, Wrestling & George Bush," that I realized I could do more than just blog my opinions. So - laugh if you want - I became an investigative blogger.

A few days ago Jay Rosen asked me to work on a guest post at Press Think, which was quite an honor since he's been a huge inspiration and influence on my work.

So here's a link to "Does The New York Times Have a Learning Disability?" (My original title was "More Than Curious, Less Than Learning," the first draft I played like Donald Trump and advocated the termination of four Times people but we toned it down some)

I guess you can say "propaganda" is the theme of Why Are We Back In Iraq? The play and the blog.

If you're coming here for the first's some of the work I've done that I'm most proud of...including articles published at Raw Story that I worked on:

"'Spikes of Activity' in the DSM"

"U.S. changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes months before war"

"Beyond Abramoff: Gambling lobbyist joined with anti-gambling congressman, derailed gambling bills"

"A Deconstruction of the Newsweek 'Riots'"

" Reporter, editor say 'Jeff Gannon' plagiarized article"

"Coulter caught cribbing from conservative magazines"

"Are Our Troops Dying For Paxcon?"

"Kenneth Blackwell's Confession"

"The New York Times is a Brick Wall"

"Company run by Frist's brother made $630m deal two days before he announced he would be leader"

"Military releases seep into Katrina news articles"

"Who Really Knows Who Shot Who?

"Conservative magazine blames blacks, political correctness for chaos"

"Miers provided misleading information to Judiciary Committee"

In addition, the countless articles I wrote on and election 2004 are linked on the right.


Friday, October 28, 2005

'Scooter' Libby's 'Corrupt Endeavor'

(Updated 10/29/05)

Props to The Smoking Gun for posting a pdf file of the five count indictment against I. Lewis Libby AKA "Scooter" Libby.

While this isn't the first indictment issued against a sitting cabinet official, I believe it is the first one that contains a name and alias.

Interestingly, upon first glance, in regards to this indictment (others may follow), it does seem that Fitzgerald could have made his case even without Judith Miller's testimony. Tim Russert's role has been mostly overlooked, and many of the most glaring differences between he said/journalist said accounts were Libby's conversations with the NBC reporter.

Check out the language Fitzgerald uses in this section of the indictment (I added some bold typeface to a couple of parts):

In or about March 2004, in the District of Columbia, I. Lewis Libby, also known as "Scooter Libby," defendant herein, did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice, namely proceedings before Grand Jury 03-3, by misleading and deceiving the grand jury as to when, and the manner and means by which, LIBBY acquired and subsequently disclosed to the media information concerning the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA.

It was part of the corrupt endeavor that during his grand jury testimony, defendant LIBBY made the following materially false and intentionally misleading statements and representations, in substance, under oath:"

I guess that means that when some of us were busy calling the Bush Administration corrupt we weren't just whistlin' "Dixie."


Whiskey Bar's Billmon, a former journalist, also wonders why Judith Miller was forced to go to prison by Fitzgerald:

When Fitzgerald went to court to compel Judy Miller and Matt Cooper to appear before the grand jury, he argued that their testimony was essential -- not helpful, but essential -- to his investigation. And every judge who looked at the special prosecutor's evidence in camera agreed, wholeheartedly.

Yet, looking at the charges actually brought in Scooter's indictment, we see this is not, in fact, true. Yes, Cooper and Miller helped pin down the fact that Libby lied on the stand when he said he had told them he heard about Plame's CIA affliation from other reporters and didn't know if those rumors were true or false. But Fitzgerald already had copious evidence of Scooter's perjury -- from Tim Russert, from witnesses inside the White House, at State and at the CIA, from documents faxed to Libby by the CIA, and from Libby's own notes. Fitzgerald didn't need Cooper's testimony to prove it, and once he had Cooper's he certainly didn't need Miller's.

Billmon's right, for the most part, but since the investigation isn't completely finished it's possible we might learn more about why Fitzgerald thought Judy's testimony was essential.

Perhaps as Jane Hamsher at firedoglake put it: "That's just the way Patrick Fitzgerald works."

The reason why Judy is MIA in the indictment may be because Fitgerald didn't want to show all of his cards just yet.

If Libby's willing to talk, Judy's testimony can be thrown out the window.

Think what you want about Judith Miller but she did 85 days in jail...perhaps for nothing.

Could or would you?


Libby And Miers Go Poof

Sorry I haven't put up any posts the last couple of days.

Mostly, I've been working on a guest post for somewhere else (tell you where later).

Anyway...though you probably already read's a link to "Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Libby indicted" at Raw Story, written by Jason Leopold and John Byrne.

No Rove, yet. But there's more to come.

And good riddance to Miers.

I spent a lot of time earlier this week looking into Miers' finances (though I probably won't bother finishing the post now)...and I believe - aside from the right wing backlash - that's what killed her chances. It just doesn't make sense that Miers is worth only a couple hundred thousand dollars.

She's hiding something somewhere.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The New York Post Loves Judith Miller

Via Raw Story, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Judith Miller might soon be on permanent vacation from The New York Times.

From Joe Hagan's "New York Times Reporter Miller Is in Talks Over Her Job Status":

New York Times reporter Judith Miller has begun discussing her future employment options with the newspaper, including the possibility of a severance package, a lawyer familiar with the matter, said yesterday.

The discussion about her future comes several days after the public rupture of the relationship between the Times and Ms. Miller, a 28-year veteran of the paper. Both the editor and the publisher of the Times have expressed regret for their unequivocal support for Ms. Miller when she spent 85 days in jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the unmasking of a Central Intelligence Agency operative.

The negotiations began with a face-to-face meeting Monday morning between Ms. Miller and the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., said the lawyer familiar with the situation. A spokeswoman for the New York Times declined to comment. Ms. Miller didn't return calls.

If that's true, fantastic. The only way the grey lady can hope to recover from the "Judith Miller and Her Times" problem is by calling an end to the charade that she could ever return.

For the sake of its readers, for the sake of its staff, for the sake of journalism...Judith Miller cannot live there anymore.

But cheer up, Judy, because there's other homes that will have you. As I mentioned the other day, The New York Post loves Judith Miller.

Yesterday, The Post carried three "pieces" honoring Judy and condemning The Times: Andrea Peyser's 'JUDGED' JUDY RIPS TIMES' SLEAZY SLIMING; TIMES TRASHFEST by John Podhoretz (or "J-Pod" as the right-leaning bloggers call him...most left-leaners just call him "ass"); and an editorial called ALL THE SMEARS FIT TO PRINT.

(Lameass apology but I'm going to have to return to this post later and finish it. Since it's been over a day the Post stories are subscriber-only so I'm going to have to work off of my 25 cents home edition. Plus...I'm working on something else - related - for somewhere else that I need to get back to work on. Cuss me out on the comments if you want to register a complaint with the public editor.)

(While checking technorati to see what other bloggers had to say about Andrea Peyser's columns on Judith Miller, I stumbled upon Arthur Silber's new blog, Once Upon A Time. Last month I wrote about how financial woes, among other things, resulted in the scrubbing of Light of Reason from the public record. Glad to see he's back blogging, and his post on Peyser/Miller kicks major ass : " Poor, Martyred Saint Judy is SAD.")


Monday, October 24, 2005

Judy Attacks NY Times From NY Post

It's rapidly becoming apparent that Judith Miller's chances at returning to do whatever it is that she did at The New York Times aren't looking too good.

First, The Times' Executive Editor Bill Keller, in a leaked message to his staff, rued sleeping through "significant alarm bells" which prevented him from "prob[ing] deeper" and allowed Judy Miller to mislead the Washington Bureau Chief "about the extent of her involvement" and "entanglement with Libby."

Then, columnist Maureen Dowd accused Judy (Times Select link or not) of being the "Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp" who drove many Times reporters "crazy" with "her tropism toward powerful men;" which some take to mean that Judy whored her way to the top and some not.

Finally, The Times' Public Editor, Byron Calame, opined that "the problems facing her inside and outside the newsroom will make it difficult for her to return to the paper as a reporter."

Robert Bennett, Miller's attorney, told the Associated Press that the multi-pronged New York Times assault was "shameless."

"They should be praising her for doing what they wanted, for going to jail for 85 days to uphold an important principle, which she did," he said. "They are not treating her very well and I think it's very disgraceful."

Perhaps Judith Miller will be looking for a new employer, soon.

Perhaps Judith Miller should ask Rupert Murdoch if he's hiring.

In today's copy of the Murdoch-owned New York Post, Judith Miller talks back to The Times:

"I'm not mad, I'm sad," Judy told me from her home on Long Island.

"Isn't it sad that, after going to jail for 85 days for a principle, it's come to this?"


Judy will not take on her colleagues as personally as they've maligned her. "Believe it or not, I can be pretty mild. I'm not going to sink to that level," she said.

"But if someone says I'm a liar, I'm going to say I'm not a liar.

"If someone says I misled an editor, I'm going to tell you I did not mislead an editor. I never misled anyone.

"I did nothing wrong. I'm not ashamed. I'm proud of the decision I made to go to jail."

As far as I'm aware, no one has ever accused Judith Miller of being "mild" but she does make a small point - though not the one she intends.

It is sad that The New York Times has resorted to pettiness instead of just out-and-out firing this albatross who speaks, writes and reports largely in code.

Enough, already.

It's kind of unseemly to attack your co-worker or employee (the bosses are always fair game). Kick her to the curb and then maybe the critics will ease up on the non-stop Times criticism.

Unless Miller's officially cut loose from Sulzerberger's long-as-all-hell leash all the apologies and regrets in the world are not going to carry much weight.

The Times can't do much about the illegal, immoral invasion that they helped enable...but they can give us a reason to trust them again.

Fire Judith Miller. And let her go work for the cheerleading factory at Fox if she wants.

(I'm not sure if Andrea Peyser is still "Columnist Of The Year" but I'm certainly not one of her fans. The same columnist who employed terms such as “diva,” “dominatrix,” “queen,” and “broad” to describe Martha Stewart in a series of slam pieces - that even went so far as to wish prison rape on her - calls Dowd's op-ed a "remarkably sexist column," yet, in the same freaking sentence even, tells us that Dowd "scratched out Judy's eyes" and "bitched" about her. There's something seriously wrong with Andrea Peyser and if I were a "remarkably sexist" blogger I might say something inappropriate, so, instead, I'll leave that to whatever my readers want to say in the comments section.)


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Miers Misled the Judiciary Committee

(This is an extended version of an article published at Raw Story this past Thursday: "Miers provided misleading information to Judiciary Committee.")

President Bush’s pick for the Supreme Court apparently provided erroneous and incomplete information to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her membership on a Board of Directors for a real estate investment company.

Along with what appears to be a misrepresentation of her tenure at the publicly traded REIT, Harriet Miers also neglected to mention her role as chair of the Audit Committee for Capstead Mortgage, as well as a class action lawsuit that accused the corporation of violating federal securities laws. The suit, which was later dismissed, came during the period Miers failed to include in her responses to the Senate questionnaire.

According to Capstead’s 1999 annual report (pdf file) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Miers remained on the board as late as March 9, 2000. Miers opted not to stand for re-election, and in April of 2000, the former senior managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., Howard Rubin was voted on to the board and replaced her as chair of the Audit Committee. However, inside the 57-page questionnaire she returned to the Senate on Tuesday, Miers wrote that her tenure at Capstead lasted from January 1993 to 1997 (link).

At Capstead’s corporate Website, Miers is listed as chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominating Committee in the 1999 annual report (pdf file). Miers also chaired the Audit Committee in, at least, 1995 (link), 1996 (link), 1997 (link), and 1998 (pdf link).

Capstead’s guidelines for the Board of Directors (link) state that chairs for each committee are appointed on an annual basis. In addition the Audit Committee’s duties are spelled out:

The Audit Committee shall establish and maintain a committee charter which sets out its purpose and responsibilities to include, at a minimum, the assistance in the oversight of (i) the integrity of the Company's financial statements; (ii) the performance of the Company's internal audit function and independent auditors; (iii) the independent auditor's qualifications and independence; and (iv) the Company's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The committee shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, retention and oversight of the Company's independent auditors.

The SJC questionnaire asked Miers whether or not she was party to civil legal or administrative proceedings:

State whether you, or any business of which you are or were an officer or any partnership, trust or other business entity with which you are or were involved, have ever been a party or otherwise involved as a party in any civil, legal or administrative proceedings. If so, please describe in detail the nature of your participation in the litigation and the final disposition of the case. Include all proceedings in which you were a party in interest.

Miers responded that she didn’t “recall being a party to any civil, legal, or administrative proceedings” and that her “firm was a party to a number of law suits but that she was never the “subject of complaint.”

In addition, in various roles (such as the Lottery Commission, Dallas City Council Member, State Bar of Texas President, Dallas Bar President), I may have been named as a defendant in my official capacity in civil suits. I have no specific recollection of any such suits and they would have been handled without my involvement. I do not have any information about their disposition.

For whatever reason, Miers neglected to mention a class action lawsuit for violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that was filed against Capstead in July of 1998 (link) and consolidated with 23 similar suits in March of 1999.

The plaintiffs, individuals or entities that purchased or otherwise acquired Capstead Mortgage Corporation stock between 4/17/97 and 6/25/98, “complain[ed] of a scheme by Capstead…and its top insiders to cause Capstead's stock to trade at artificially inflated levels by misrepresenting Capstead's financial results, its business, and the success of its investment strategy.” Several of Miers fellow board members were named as defendants, including former CEO Ronn K. Lytle and current CEO Andrew F. Jacobs.

A July of 1998 press release (link) explained that defendants misrepresented “the strength and diversification of Capstead's portfolio, falsely representing to the market that the Company had positioned itself to generate strong earnings in virtually any interest rate environment” and “issued false financial statements that overstated Capstead's earnings and assets by failing to take necessary write downs to the portfolio."

Finally, on June 26, 1998, Capstead could no longer conceal its huge problems. Capstead announced that it would write down the value of its mortgage servicing assets and sell its interest-only securities at an enormous loss, resulting in losses of about $255 million in the second quarter of 1998. These losses were greater than all the net income the Company reported during the entire 14-month class period from April 1997 to June 1998. Upon disclosure of the truth, the price of Capstead's stock fell immediately to as low as $8 11/16, 68 percent lower than the Class Period high of $27 13/16, on huge volume. The complaint charges that, at the same time defendants were artificially inflating the market, insiders exchanged certain Capstead securities for cash, resulting in more than $10.6 million in proceeds to the insiders.

Miers wasn’t specifically named in any of the suits, but as the chair of the Audit Committee her duties may have led to some of the financial aspects of the allegations, in the eyes of the plaintiffs.

Sam Nichols, lawyer and blogger, tied Miers’ membership on the board to the class action suit over two weeks ago in open letters to Senators Reid and Santorum posted on his blog. Nichols believes Miers wasn’t “personally named in the lawsuits because she wasn't smart enough or foolish enough (depending on how you look at it) to sell when the stock was up.”

As noted in a February 15, 2000 press release (link) the mortage investment firm’s assets were approximately $9 billion. As late as January 31, 2000 Miers beneficially owned 43,822 Common shares in the REIT (pdf link), including options to purchase 32,892 Common shares and 1,125 held by her mother. RAW STORY wasn't able to determine if or when Miers cashed in her holdings.

Finally, in late 2003, Haynes Boone, an international law firm based in Texas, prevailed for the defendants’ side in federal court (link):

The court dismissed the consolidated complaint and denied Plaintiffs leave to replead. The court held that Plaintiffs had failed to allege misrepresentations or omissions with the particularity required by federal law, and had failed to allege facts giving rise to a strong inference of scienter.

Michael Boone, one of the law firm’s co-founders, was included in an October 5th press release issued by Progress for America, a conservative issue advocacy/grassroots organization backing Miers, that named friends and supporters available for media interviews on the Supreme Court nominee’s background (link), stating that “Mr. Boone has more than 30 years experience practicing law in Dallas where he worked closely with Harriet Miers on numerous issues.”

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that “Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont agreed Wednesday to begin Miers' hearings on Nov. 7, but also jointly sent a letter to the White House counsel asking her to more fully answer a questionnaire she turned in Tuesday (link).”

“The comments I have heard range from incomplete to insulting," Leahy said at a press conference.


There's more to this story to come very shortly.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Miers at Raw Story

I have an article at Raw Story called "Miers provided misleading information to Judiciary Committee" which shows that Bush's Supreme Court pick may have some more 'splaining to do about her tenure on the Board of Directors for the Capstead Mortgage Corporation.

Unless she withdraws, instead.

Anyway, there's another draft of the article that's way, way longer - though the gist of it is at Raw Story - but I'll post it here in a few days in case you'd like to read more.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Aspens Code

I don't need no stinkin' Dan Brown to figure out what I. Lewis Libby meant when he wrote Judith Miller those two unforgettably weird lines.

"out weSt, wHere yoU vacaTion, the aspens wIll already be Turning. they turn in clusters, Because theIr rooTs Connect tHem."


"out weSt, wHere yoU vacaTion, the asPens will already be tUrning. they turn in clusters, Because theIr rooTs Connect tHem."


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Is John Hannah Coming Clean?

If this blog were The New York Post, the headline would include the word "rat" in it.

The Post always does that. Always calls informants "rats."

But if John Hannah is talking. If John Hannah is coming clean to Patrick Fitzgerald about everything he knows about the Plame leak, and - possibly - the falsification of WMD intelligence claims about Iraq, then he's certainly not a rat.

John Hannah would be a patriot.

Even if it's just to save his own scurvy neck.

At Raw Story, Larisa Alexandrovna and Jason Leopold have an article called "Cheney aide cooperating with CIA outing probe, sources say" which claims that John Hannah is singing his heart out in the Plame leake probe:

Individuals familiar with Fitzgerald’s case tell RAW STORY that John Hannah, a senior national security aide on loan to Vice President Dick Cheney from the offices of then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John Bolton, was named as a target of Fitzgerald’s probe. They say he was told in recent weeks that he could face imminent indictment for his role in leaking Plame-Wilson’s name to reporters unless he cooperated with the investigation.

Others close to the probe say that if Hannah is cooperating with the special prosecutor then he was likely going to be charged as a co-conspirator and may have cut a deal.

Last night, Raw Story leaked details from a New York Daily News article entitled "Cheney may be target of probe" written by James Gordon Meek, Thomas M. DeFrank and Kenneth R. Bazinet.

The Daily News claimed:

"They have got a senior cooperating witness - someone who is giving them all of that," a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News yesterday.

But this isn't exactly the first time that Hannah has been fingered as a possible informant.

In fact, it was speculated about over a year-and-a-half ago for the Moonie-owned UPI/Insight in an article written by Richard Sale called "Cheney's Staff Focus of Probe".

Sale wrote:

Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.

According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.

Perhaps Jack Bauer went to work on Hannah and got him to talk.

Perhaps Hannah's seen the error of his neo-con ways (....yeah...right...).

Either way, if the reports are true then there is hope that the truth will come out.

If Hannah's really singing to the Feds, then many answers might be forthcoming.

Nearly 2,000 US troops have lost their lives in the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq (over 2,000 Americans have died including contractors as Luke has written about a number of times but I guess they don't count to others).

For sure, Judith Miller has blood on her hands.

So does every other journalist who ignored the numerous articles in the international and alternative press which reported that Iraq had no WMDs.

I don't care if President Clinton and Clintonistas have gone on the record saying otherwise.

Why is it that right wingers only point to Clinton being truthful when it comes to the myth of Saddam's WMDs?

Judith Miller told her co-workers at the Times:

"W.M.D. - I got it totally wrong. The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them - we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could."

But that was a lie.

And it's a disgrace that Don Van Natta Jr., Adam Liptak and Clifford J. Levy allowed that lie to run unchallenged.

We weren't all wrong.

We just weren't all hearing what we wanted to hear.

There's no need for me to link to the numerous articles that said otherwise...since this is the blogosphere...and all of us on the left had read them in 2002, well before the invasion.

Sing your heart out, John Hannah.

Sing the song that most of the world wants to hear.

The intelligence was perverted and manipulated by the Bush Administration, members of both political parties, and the Mainstream Media.

Rats don't sing. Patriots do.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Last But Not Least At

(Updated 10/18/05 at 3:45 PM)

From the Washington section at the New York Times Website: "Bloggers Discuss the Miller Case:

The following headlines, published in the past 24 hours, link to posts by bloggers that discuss Judith Miller and The Times. These posts are listed in order of popularity

Lo and behold!

At the very bottom - the least popular blog on the list - is little old me:

Why Are We Back In Iraq? Judith Miller 'Wasn't' or Didn't "More to chew on. The Wall Street Journal - almost - gets to the bottom of the where, when and why did Judith Miller testify a second time before the grand jury. How? By talking to her."


Howard Kurtz at the blog-friendly Washington Post refers to the blog round-up page at the normally-blog-unfriendly New York Times in "The Judy War":

The Times does a cool thing --it posts a page of bloggers tackling the Miller case, including those who are ripping the paper.

Why did The New York Times do this? (I should note that us bloggers were only featured on the Website...not in the paper itself).

I believe it's because they are trying to make amends for the Judy affair...and are on the verge of trying to create distance.

There is no effing way that Judy's gonna go back to work for The New York Times.

You can take that to the bank.

(I neglected to give a shout-out to Rox Populi and The Heretik, two bloggers who - along with me - belong to the Progressive Blog Alliance and the Big Brass Alliance, which was formed to help get the Downing Street Memo - or memos - the attention it deserved. Both are friends of mine...and both are witty, incisive bloggers. Also, first on The New York Times list and first on my must-read blog list was Jay Rosen of Press Think.)

It would be nice if this were the beginning of a beautiful relationship between The New York Times and bloggers.

But I highly doubt it.

It probably won't be long before The Times lets Tom Zeller Jr. write another front page "expose" on how us bloggers suck.


Judith Miller 'Wasn't' Or Didn't

(UPDATED - 10-18-05 3:30 PM)

More to chew on.

The Wall Street Journal - almost - gets to the bottom of the where, when and why did Judith Miller testify a second time before the grand jury.


By talking to her.

Wonder why she wouldn't reveal this part of the story to her - still, I presume - co-workers at The New York Times.


Wonder why - if she did tell them - they chose not to include it in their lengthy manuscript on Sunday.

From "Reporter's Account Suggests Probe's Tack" written by John D. McKinnon, Joe Hagan and Ann Marie Squeo:

Despite giving a lengthy first-person account, Ms. Miller left some pivotal questions unanswered. For instance, she didn't disclose whether she was asked by Mr. Fitzgerald in her first grand-jury appearance about meeting with Mr. Libby in June 2003. Her failure to disclose that meeting led to her second testimony before the grand jury after some of her notes were found. But neither her account nor the Times story discusses how the notes were found and what set off a search for them.

In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Ms. Miller said she discovered the June 2003 notes in her office after being prompted to seek out answers to another question Mr. Fitzgerald had asked her. "There was an open question about something, and I said I would go back and look and see if there was anything in my notes that would address that question," she said yesterday.

She said she found the notebook in her office. She reiterated that she couldn't recall who told her the name that she transcribed as "Valerie Flame." "I don't remember who told me the name," she said, growing agitated. "I wasn't writing a story, remember?" Asked if the other source was Mr. Rove, she replied, "I'm not going to discuss anyone else that I talked to."

Correct me if I'm wrong...but I was under the impression that Judith didn't write a story about Wilson using the dirt that Libby (and the mysterious forgotten source) probably illegally leaked to her, not that she wasn't writing a story.

Didn't write a story is not even close to the same as wasn't writing a story.

Yet another lie from the mouth of Judith Miller.

The Wall Street Journal winds up the article with this:

A spokeswoman for the Times said Ms. Miller was taking time off and was expected to return to the newsroom at some point.

No new news there.

If and when Judith Miller parts ways with the grey lady - by resigation or termination or both - I would expect her to return to the newsroom to pick up her belongings.

Judy's just about through and she knows it. Hence the rising agitation.

(Hat tip to litigatormom at Daily Kos for posting an early hour diary about the WSJ article.)

And in a related story, Walter Pincus and Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post get some choice quotes from Floyd Abrams, the renowned first amendment attorney who represented Judy, which show that Libby IS in trouble.

From "Miller's Lawyer Says Aide May Face 'Problem' in Probe":

In an interview yesterday, Abrams declined to endorse Miller's account that Libby did not want her to testify unless she was going to exonerate him. "That's Judy's interpretation," Abrams said. Tate "certainly asked me what Judy would say, but that's an entirely proper question."

Abrams also minimized Miller's assertion that another source may have given her the name "Valerie Flame," as she recorded it in the same notebook used for her first interview of Libby. Abrams said others may have mentioned Plame only "in passing. . . . The central and essentially only figure who had information was Libby."

I have no reason to doubt Floyd Abrams, a man I have a lot of respect and admiration for (as opposed to Robert S. Bennett, Judith's other attorney, who is quoted at length in the article about "problems" for Libby).

The New York Sun posted a PDF of a letter that Patrick Fitzgerald wrote to Joseph A. Tate, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's attorney which - to me - is the most revealing document in the whole enchilada.

Yet it hasn't recieved the same attention as the other letters that The New York Times posted on the Web.

And Fitzgerald's letter seems to be very similiar to many of the positions that Abrams has taken that he was criticized for in some sectors.

You would think that most liberals would jump at this part of the story. That - as even Fitzgerald began to think - Libby let Judy rot in jail because he didn't want her to talk. That his POTUS ordered waiver was coerced...or at least that's the way he or his lawyer may have put it to Abrams. That he's the major "villian" in this part of the tale...not Judy.

I expect indictments for Rove and Libby. For obstruction of justice. Perhaps for lying to federal officers. Perhaps for lying to the grand jury. Perhaps for conspiracy.

But there won't be any treason charges. Let that go, blogosphere.

Richard Cohen may be a cretin (and a lousy apologist) but he's right about one thing.

Valerie Plame was a "richochet." The intent of any "conspiracy" was to smear Joe Wilson, not out an undercover agent. Intent is a key part of any conspiracy charge...and there clearly wasn't an "intent" to put CIA agents at risk...even if that was the result.

In two-hundred-and-thirty-ODD-years of existence, the United States of America has only ever successfully prosecuted a handful of citizens for committing treason.

And that ain't gonna happen for this, that's for sure.

Hell yeah...I think it's appropriate to say that these clowns in the Bush Administration committed treason by outing a CIA agent. But that ain't the same as saying they should be prosecuted for it.

I would think that the left should exercise caution when it comes to crying out for treason or sedition charges. Because if we lower the might not be humanly possible to limbo underneath it. published an article entitled "Cheney May Be Entangled in CIA Leak Investigation" written by Richard Keil which pretty much agrees with my theory on the most likely charges for Rove and Libby (though Vice President Dick Cheney is drawn into the picture...which I'm very skeptical about):

Larry Barcella, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said the recent activity in the case suggests criminal charges are likely, although not in connection with the 1982 law making it illegal to disclose a covert agent's identity.

A more likely focus is possible ``false statements, conspiracy or obstruction of justice,'' said Barcella, now a defense lawyer for the Washington-based law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. ``It's obviously not good that Rove and Libby have spent so much time before the grand jury.''

To make a case against Cheney as part of a conspiracy indictment, Fitzgerald would have to show the vice president was an active participant in a decision to smear Wilson, Barcella said. ``It's a case most easily made if you can prove a person knowingly entered into an agreement to do something illegal,'' he said. ``Beyond that, it can be tricky.''

The other week Jason Leopold wrote at The Huffington Post:

Looks like Karl Rove did break the law, the same federal law that got Martha Stewart sentenced to six months in prison.

I believe Rove and Libby are going to be MarthaStewarted or LilKimed.


There may be a leak!

Raw Story reports that the Daily News tomorrow will report "that a well-placed source interviewed by the newspaper believes a senior White House official has flipped and may be helping the prosecutor in the case."

And make sure you keep checking Raw Story this evening (or early tomorrow) because I've been informed that something BIGGER will be reported there (I probably should mention, again, to those not in the know that I also work for Raw Story).


The "something BIGGER" was revealed today at Raw Story. Check out this post for more: "Is John Hannah Coming Clean?."


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Judith Miller's Confession

From "My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room" by Judith Miller, this jumps out:

Mr. Fitzgerald asked about a notation I made on the first page of my notes about this July 8 meeting, "Former Hill staffer."

My recollection, I told him, was that Mr. Libby wanted to modify our prior understanding that I would attribute information from him to a "senior administration official." When the subject turned to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Libby requested that he be identified only as a "former Hill staffer." I agreed to the new ground rules because I knew that Mr. Libby had once worked on Capitol Hill.

Did Mr. Libby explain this request? Mr. Fitzgerald asked. No, I don't recall, I replied. But I said I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson."

Holy shit!

I can't believe Judy Miller admitted that.

She allowed a source to redefine himself, without asking why, even though she assumed that he wanted to do so in order to protect the Bush Administration.

Leave of absence?


Judith Miller deserves to be fired.


Ain't Just Judy That Sucks

In an absolutely must-read post, The Common Ills unleashes a blistering attack on a Saturday New York Times article on Iraq.

"G.I.'s and Syrians in Tense Clashes on Iraqi Border" by James Risen and David E. Sanger contains - as The Common Ills points out - twenty-four anonymous "official" quotes.

Also noted:

"Risen's stock has not risen, it's sunk. He collaborated with the CIA on a book which came out in 2004 (it didn't sell well). He was allowed to work on it for years, with the CIA having control over the editing, while the Times still allowed him to cover the CIA."

If Judith Miller ends up resigning, as rumored, it appears that James Risen will still be able to carry on the Bush Administration's work at The New York Times.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Impeach The Media

Once upon a time, a blogger decided that instead of just reporting the news he wanted to do something to advance it.

He took this as a challenge which, shortly after led to this:


That led to that ( really should follow this link, at least, if you want to know how many "Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq") and now my buddy, Luke from wotisitgood4 has a list of all the outlets that have reported on the Impeach Bush polls, including Salon, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Corrente Wire and (go visit Luke for the links to the stories).

Let's hope Luke's list grows and grows and grows.

This is big news. Ain't it?

But except for WaPo...silence from our fourth estate.


Fuck Mamet

Susan Hu's Glengarry Glen Rove is currently playing at the Booman Tribune.

The WHIG players:

Alan Alda as Andrew Card.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Karl Rove.

Meryl Streep as Karen Hughes.

Matt Damon as James R. Wilkinson.

Catherine Keener as Mary Matalin.

Al Pacino as Nicholas E. Calio.

Angela Bassett as Condoleezza Rice.

Kevin Spacey as Stephen Hadley.

Alec Baldwin as Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

At least that's the cast in the movie in my mind.

(Thanks to Susan Hu and The Internet Movie Database for providing me with the pictures)

(Apologies to Georgianne Walken for beating her to the punch and Alec Baldwin for casting him as "Scooter")

(Also check out Jason Leopold's article at Raw Story, with research contributions by Larisa Alexandrovna, for more on WHIG - White House Iraq Group - and how and why Dick Cheney might figure in to all this. And Jay Rosen's got some great armchair speculation regarding ‘Judy Miller’s New York Times.’)


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Talking David S. Cloud Subpoena Blues

The other day I wrote:

"Jeff Gannon never saw any freakin' internal government memo and just straight out plagiarized The Wall Street Journal when he asked Joe Wilson his infamous question."

While I can't prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I believe my argument (which I originally blogged back on February 22nd) is pretty darn strong and it has, at least, created some doubt for a few bloggers who may have thought otherwise before: eriposte at The Left Coaster, ReddHedd at firedoglake, Blue Meme, and Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire.

But, today, I'm arguing something else, which is perhaps even more clearcut.

David S. Cloud never saw any freakin' internal government memo before he wrote his October 17, 2003 article for The Wall Street Journal.

(Cloud's "Memo May Aid Leak Probe" hit the Web just a few minutes after midnight on October 17th, 2003 as shown at the bottom of this Cryptome generated page: link).

Yesterday, one of the top bloggers on the Plame leak trail came to a similiar conclusion.

At The Next Hurrah, emptywheel's "Head in a Cloud," at first wondered why David S. Cloud was absent from a list of journalists that had been subpoenaed according to a Newsday article (reprinted at JustOneMinute), before concluding that Cloud most probably didn't see the memo since the information in his WSJ article didn't jibe with what we now believe we know was in that memo (or memos or memo and copy of memo...fact is...we don't know a whole helluva lot and it's hard to keep up with all the variations on the story which seem to change every other day at least).

I'm not sure why anyone thinks that David Cloud (who now writes for The New York Times) saw a memo in the first place.

A close reading of Cloud's article clearly shows that he never saw it.

If he had he wouldn't have been forced to write the following (I added boldness to the parts I want to emphasize):

"An internal government memo addresses some of the mysteries at the center of the White House leak investigation and could help investigators in the search for who disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, according to two people familiar with the memo."


"According to current and former officials familiar with the memo, it describes interagency discussions of the yellowcake mystery: whether the reports of Iraq's uranium purchases were credible; which agency should pay for any further investigation; and the suggestion that Mr. Wilson could be sent to check out the allegations."

"Other officials with knowledge of the memo wouldn't say if it mentions Ms. Plame by name as the one who suggested Mr. Wilson, or if her identity is shielded but obvious because of what is known now about the mission."

If David Cloud had the memo or had seen the memo he wouldn't have had to use other sources to tell him what was in the memo (or what may not be in the memo...hey...don't blame me for the freakin' confusion).

But there's something else about this David S. Cloud story that is rather interesting.

Cloud very deftly never refers to any official as having seen the memo. They are just "familiar" with it or "have knowledge."

Now, the question is, why did Cloud do that?

Was it to protect himself?

Because in that very same article he explains the cost of seeing such a document:

"Classified memos, like the one describing Ms. Plame's role, have limited circulation and investigators are likely to question all those known to have received it."

Emptywheel rightly recognizes that Cloud's article "was remarkably balanced and thorough." Bloggers that believe that Cloud and The Wall Street Journal wrote about the memo in order to help with the smearing of a whistleblower really should reread it. The title, itself, states that the memo would most probably "aid" the investigation.

But did Cloud's multiple unnamed official sources speak to him on the condition that he not write that they actually saw the memo or did he adjust the language so that he wouldn't get ensnared in the probe?

That's one to ponder.

I don't believe David S. Cloud saw the memo before he wrote this article (and there is no proof that any journalist ever did no matter how many times the word "circulated" is circulated by unnamed CIA officials or fake-named plagiarizing "journalists").

And if David S. Cloud wasn't subpoenaed then that may be the reason why.

But that reason is wrong.

David S. Cloud should've been hauled in front of the grand jury because his sources could've been lying when they said they were only "familiar" with the memo. And, although, that being the case, Cloud didn't take the bait and turn his article into a hatchet job the officials that spoke to him would have been guilty of contributing to the smear by disseminating information from a top secret memo.

In closing ( is an argument), even though I believe, like Judith Miller and others, Cloud should be subpoenaed I still don't think he should be compelled to give up his sources because I'm still not budging from my opinion that that should never be forced upon a journalist. Even though, in this case, a federal shield law wouldn't do anything to protect any of the journalists involved, I still believe that Judith Miller and The New York Times acted properly, back then, as opposed to Matt Cooper and Time.

Compelling journalists to hand over their notebooks goes against everything a free press should be about and it could scare away potential whistleblowers.

As in "real" whistleblowers not government officials who are just trying to get the MSM to propagate their propaganda. The other week in a nauseating interview on Lou Dobbs' CNN show, the wannabe heroine did her best "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" by claiming to be standing up for the little people (link):

"I didn't want to be in jail, but I knew that the principle of confidentiality was so important that I had to, because if people can't trust us to come to us to tell us the things that government and powerful corporations don't want us to know, we're dead in the water. The public won't know."

I've read an awful lot of Judith Miller's "journalism" the last few years, and I can't think of one time when she ever wrote one word that the "government and powerful organizations don't want us to know." Hopefully, she'll get to that some day, now that she has martyred herself for the cause (but I wouldn't take a million-to-one odds and lay a bet on that).

There is little question that Miller and The Times are not acting properly now. They owe their readers a shitload of answers, and the "paper of record" is letting itself get scooped each and every day by bloggers and direct competitors in the fourth estate.

As press critic, NYU journalism professor, and Pressthink blogger Jay Rosen puts it:

"Not only is the Times not operating properly, it’s unable to say to readers: here’s why we’re not operating properly."

If David S. Cloud wasn't subpoenaed then the Patrick Fitzgerald probe hasn't operated properly, either.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Jeff, Just Admit It

Dear Jeff Gannon,

Although I've been a thorn in your side for nearly nine months at this blog; with ePluribus Media at Daily Kos and Booman Tribune; and at Raw Story; you should remember that I have also passionately defended your private lifestyle choices as your own business and I have loudly critized the ardent homophobia that has been spouted by lefties that should know better.

I'm not your friend. But I do want to help you.

Jeffy, you need to come out.

Admit you are a plagiarist.

Admit that you are a plagiarist and you might not be a recipient of one of the fabled 22 indictments that Patrick Fitzgerald may be preparing.

Jeff, just admit it.

You plagiarized the Wall Street Journal when you asked that question of Joe Wilson, and it's high time you admit it (if you haven't already admitted so to the grand jury).


Even if you admit to not really being a part of could still be in trouble.

Because if you told the Feds that you couldn't answer any questions without giving up a source then you lied and broke the law. It's called impeding an investigation.

But...maybe...just maybe...Fitzgerald will go easy on you since you've had such a rough year.

Jeff, just admit it.

It's time to come clean.


Sunday, October 09, 2005


Jeff Gannon never saw any freakin' internal government memo and just straight out plagiarized The Wall Street Journal when he asked Joe Wilson his infamous question.

If everyone in the blogosphere wants to keep believing otherwise and go crazy over this Joe Conason Salon article, it would be prudent to at least acknowledge my argument.

The Wall Street Journal article wasn't published until October 17, 2003 and Talon News posted the Jeff Gannon interview on October 28, 2003.

Susan G. (who I - otherwise - respect, love and admire) wrote a diary at Daily Kos which points to a Jeff Gannon blog posting in which he wrote that he "confronted Wilson about it in a September 2003 interview."

But, as MKT notes in a comment left on that diary, a month later, Jeff Gannon left this response to a reader on his comments thread:

"Actually, I first began speaking with Ambassador Wison [sic] in September 2003. A formal interview was conducted in October 2003."

I left a comment, as well ("still say it's plagiarism"), in which I basically broke down the article I wrote on February 22nd:

Check out how Gannon ripped off nearly every single word from the WSJ:

Gannon: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

Cloud: "An internal government memo addresses some of the mysteries at the center of the White House leak investigation and could help investigators in the search for who disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, according to two people familiar with the memo. The memo, prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where CIA officer Valerie Plame...a member of the agency's clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested at the meeting that her husband...could be sent to Niger to investigate the reports."

The phrase "prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where" wouldn't have been in the memo and Gannon completely plagiarized that...and I'm highly doubtful that Cloud plagiarized that part from whomever might have "told" him to write it.

And if Talon News saw the come they didn't write an exclusive story before WSJ?

As MKT notes below...Jeff says the interview began in September and was completed in October.

All I have to add is that I do believe that Jeff Gannon came up with the word "dispute" for his question, all on his own (jeff the journy rules!)

This is the article that I posted on February 22nd (link), and two days later David Corn "discovered" the plagiarism and wrote it up at The Nation.

Jeff Gannon's Internal Memo Lie

A reader named Margaret e-mailed me a very significant example of out-and-out plagiarism from a real live news organization that may have serious ramifications for ex-"journalist" Jeff Gannon.

No. You can't go to jail for committing the crime of plagiarism. But, in this case, you might be committing a major crime if you lie about it.

During Jeff's interview with Joe Wilson (the former U.S. diplomat whose wife was outed as a CIA operative by conservative writer Robert Novak, a possibly illegal action which is believed to have been prompted by the White House in order to get back at an editorial Mr. Wilson wrote for The New York Times), Mr. Gannon took one of his questions directly from a Wall Street Journal article written by David S. Cloud (WSJ cache and MND link , and in case the latter link disappears here's a cache snapshot taken by Light In The Darkness) and, yes, if it's that internal memo question:

Gannon: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

Cloud: "An internal government memo addresses some of the mysteries at the center of the White House leak investigation and could help investigators in the search for who disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, according to two people familiar with the memo. The memo, prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where CIA officer Valerie Plame...a member of the agency's clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested at the meeting that her husband...could be sent to Niger to investigate the reports."

Many of us bloggers have wondered why Jeff Gannon danced around the issue of whether or not he had somehow seen an "internal government memo" in an argument about why he was subpoenaed at the Free Republic Website (Justin Raimando even mentioned the WSJ article in this article on Gannon but he didn't quite add it all together) and, after resigning from GOPUSA, in an interview with Editor and Publisher: "I am not going to speak to that. It goes to something of a nature I do not want to discuss."

Jeff's "nature" is that, aside from anything else, he is a plagiarist and he couldn't very well come out and cop to that and admit that he never saw shit.

So if Jeff Gannon really told the FBI agents who came to question him about his perceived involvement in the Plame affair that he couldn't reveal his sources, he committed the serious crime of lying to federal agents since he had no sources, not one. And I'm not a lawyer (nor do I play one on this blog) but I think Jeff might also be committing the crime of impeding a federal investigation.

Will there be futher repercussions? We'll see.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Jeff Gannon Nominated for SCOTUS

Harriet E. Miers is a Jeff Gannon.

Meaning...she's a plagiarist.

Don't thank me for busting this one...I had nothing to do with it (I was asleep at the wheel).

All the credit goes to fellow ePluribus Media member, MKT, one of the best investigative bloggers that there is.

Check out "Harriet Miers: Was there plagiarism at" at the ePluribus scoop Website to read more about how a Supreme Court nominee stole somone else's words and pawned them off as her own at the Ask The White House forum at

Also, the main Website for ePluribus Media is now online: link (and very, very soon a number of articles I worked on will be published there...more later on that...).


Tonight's Winning Numbers Are...

Last year - after reading a Greg Palast article - Tas of Loaded Mouth conducted an investigation into a lawsuit filed by Lawrence Littwin, the executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission for a short spell in 1997, which alleged that he was wrongfully terminated due to "his attempts to uphold the laws of the state and eradicate inappropriate activities by the Texas Lottery Commission and GTech Corporation." (HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION).

Since Harriet E. Miers, the former head of the TLC appointed by the then Texas Governor George W. Bush, has been tapped to take Sandra Day O'Connor's place on the Supreme Court, the many unanswered questions about this lawsuit may finally be answered.

Tas wrote an updated post called "Let Lawrence Littwin testify at the Miers nomination hearings" which is too important to summarize.

(Okay, done reading Tas' post? then let's continue)

Today, The New York Times published an article entitled "Questions Linger on Role of Miers in a Contract to Run the Texas Lottery" by Ralph Blumenthal which mostly goes over the same ground that Tas covered last year. But The Times did contact Lawrence Littwin:

"Questions about that period could come up at Ms. Miers's confirmation hearings. Contacted by phone in New York, Mr. Littwin said this week that under a settlement he could not discuss his case but that he would testify before the Senate if called. A Democratic staff member at the Senate Judiciary Committee said the panel was likely to talk to him and others who had worked with Ms. Miers."

"On Thursday, Mr. Littwin told an associate that the F.B.I. had called his former law firm and that he was expecting to be contacted, according to the associate, who declined to be identified because he considered any investigation confidential."

Ken Berman from the Austin American-Statesman also wrote about Littwin a few days ago (Bush's Guard service may affect Miers nomination"):

"A former Texas lottery official, who claimed that then-Gov. George W. Bush's desire to cover up his National Guard record helped steer decisions about a key lottery contract, said he wants to talk to senators about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' possible role in that effort."

""If I were to be subpoenaed to come to the thing, I would come," said Lawrence Littwin, who filed a lawsuit after he was fired as the lottery's executive director in 1997. "I would say the committee, I think, would be interested.""

How deep is Miers involved in all of this?

Berman tells us (as much as he can):

"Littwin, citing confidentiality provisions in the settlement with GTECH, has declined to discuss Miers' role. A federal judge, ruling against GTECH, said Miers did not have to give a deposition in the case."

"Before the settlement, Littwin had questioned Miers' performance at the commission, charging that she ignored state law requiring annual audits of GTECH."

And if Littwin does testify at the hearings, it could cost him a pretty penny or five million of them:

"Under terms of the settlement, Littwin would have to forfeit $50,000 if he violates the confidentiality agreement. He said Monday that his lawyer told him he could testify if subpoenaed by the Senate."

My number one question: Is Bush insane to make such an appointment that could end up biting him in the ass?

But that, of course, is a rhetorical question, since knowing the answer to that question would be some scary ass shit. And knowing the answer to that question might also warrant the same repercussions if you catch the bird flu.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Will New Orleans Become Whites Only?

Remember this Associated Press photograph from March of 2004?

The bald man with the big smile on his face is Alphonso R. Jackson, Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (link).

Along with his responsibilities at H.U.D., Alphonso Jackson is one of the top officials charged with rebuilding New Orleans after the devastation incurred by Hurricane Katrina.

But Jackson plays another role for the Bush Administration: civil rights offender.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle on September 29th in an article written by Lori Rodriguez and Zeke Minaya ("New Orleans' racial makeup up in air"):

"It will be years before New Orleans regains the half-million population it had before Hurricane Katrina, and the population might never again be predominantly black, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said Wednesday during a visit to Houston."

""Whether we like it or not, New Orleans is not going to be 500,000 people for a long time," he said. "New Orleans is not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

"He said he isn't sure that the Ninth Ward, a predominantly black and poor neighborhood devastated by flooding, should be rebuilt at all. If it is, the new construction should be designed to withstand disaster, he said."

"In a meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board, the housing secretary, who is black, also criticized the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other black leaders, saying they were stirring up racial animosity in their comments about Katrina."

"I wish that the so-called black leadership would stop running around this country, like Jesse and the rest of them, making this a racial issue," the HUD chief said."


"Alphonso Jackson predicted New Orleans will slowly draw back as many as 375,000 people, but that only 35 to 40 percent of the post-Katrina population would be black."

"Jackson said that's because the worst-hit areas were low-income black neighborhoods that may never fully be repopulated."

"Prior to Katrina, the population was 67 percent black and 28 percent white."

""I'm telling you, as HUD secretary and having been a developer and a planner, that's how its going to be," he said."

Rev. Jesse Jackson responded back in the Houston Chronicle article by noting that "the racial dimension of the New Orleans crisis is not something he introduced."

On Friday, The Washington Times, in an article entitled "HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy" credited to Brian DeBose, added more dissenting responses to Alphonso Jackson's remarks:

"Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, quickly took issue."

""Anybody who can make that kind of projection with some degree of certainty or accuracy must have a crystal ball that I can't see or maybe they are more prophetic than any of us can imagine," he said."

"Other members of the caucus said the comments by Mr. Jackson, who is black, could be misconstrued as a goal, particularly considering his position of responsibility in the administration."

""I would beg and hope that the secretary, if that is what he is saying, would re-evaluate the situation," said Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat."

At the Huffington Post, Karen Russell makes fun of "The GOP's African-American Talking Points" which could include Alphonso Jackson's Katrina comments as "Remind Blacks That Urban Renewal Does Mean Negro Removal In New Orleans!"

Evidently, "minority outreach" has become a priority for the GOP and Jackson's HUD office was utilized last Wednesday and Thursday for a conference (link) on how "to discuss ways GOP offices can tout Republican achievements among these minority groups."

It appears that, to Alphonso Jackson, attacking Rev. Jesse Jackson is the best way to go about it, and it's not the first time that he's done so.

In September of 2004, the HUD Secretary told the Associated Press (link) that "[t]he Rev. Jesse Jackson and other black political leaders spread a message of victimization that leads most blacks to vote Democratic."

Shortly after the AP interview, Alphonso Jackson appeared on Bill O'Reilly's Fox cable show and took on Jackson and other black leaders while touting the GOP's record as it relates to African-Americans (cache link):

"Since the 1960s, Mr. O'Reilly, we've had people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Kwasi Mfume, Julian Bond, playing on the black community, telling them that they perceive them as victims, and the only way that we can get out of this victimization is listen to the liberal media tell us what we need."

"I don't think that the liberal media can tell me. I'm an adult. I understand exactly what I need. And so, therefore, that's one of the reasons I've gravitated toward the Republican Party, because it cares about black Americans, but it lets you be an individual at the same time."

In an editorial published at USA Today, also in September of 2004 (link), Alphonso Jackson insisted that "Republican policies are good for black Americans" and that "[t]he Bush administration is the most diverse in history because the president fills jobs on the basis of a person's capabilities and qualifications, not on the color of his or her skin."

Back in July 1999, while George W. Bush was running for President, The Drudge Report - to little attention - broke a story about how the then Texas Governor's house deed had a "whites only" clause.

Debra Dickerson wrote about it in a Salon article called "Sambos in the shadows":

"The leading Republican presidential contender has now officially joined the rogues' gallery of American leaders forced to confront, however temporarily, our nation's racist substructure and their own complicity in it. When he bought his Dallas home in 1988, the deed stipulated that it could be occupied "by white persons only, excluding bona fide servants of any race." When he sold it just after being elected governor of Texas in 1996, the clause was still there. He claims not to have known about it and, now that he knows, not to be concerned because such restrictions have long been unenforceable thanks to a 1948 Supreme Court decision, the 1968 Fair Housing Act and many subsequent state statutes."

The future HUD Secretary is also quoted in Dickerson's column:

"On the other hand, the Bush campaign points out that blacks buy and sell homes with these same deed restrictions every day. "Sure, my attorney pointed out the clause when we bought in 1990. My wife and I just laughed," says Alphonso Jackson, president of Central South West Corporation, a former Bush neighbor and an African-American."

I guess racism sure is funny when you're an affluent, black Republican.


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