Democrats hope for traction against scandal-plagued Republicans - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democrats in Congress, who have steadily lost ground against governing Republicans in recent voting, are hoping that mounting ethics scandals will prompt voters to defect from George W. Bush's Republican party, with the 2006 legislative elections looming.

Democrats hoping to capitalize on the corruption allegations have their biggest target in their nemesis, House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay, who on Wednesday was forced to step aside temporarily after being indicted on a campaign finance charge in Texas.

The scandal, heaped on top of recent allegations against the Senate's Republican leader, gives opposition Democrats a chance to profile themselves to voters as the party of higher ethical standards.

Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat, pushed the case that DeLay's alleged ethical lapses point to decrepitude within the governing party.

"The Republicans are crumbling," Pelosi said at a press conference in Washington Thursday.

"They have a culture of corruption here. It is about cronyism. It is about favoritism to their friends in contracting, cronyism in hiring, it is about incompetence.

"And that," she said, "is from here to the White House."

Democrats said the scandal that upended DeLay's political career is compounded by ethics allegations facing the top Senate Republican Bill Frist, accused in an insider trading scandal of selling stock shortly before its price plummeted.

Within hours of DeLay's indictment, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- the group in charge of strategy and fundraising for the party's candidates -- trumpeted the scandals on its website.

"Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are not alone in their shady style of governing -- it is a systemic problem in the Republican Party that goes far beyond these two men," the web site read.

"The Republican Party has betrayed the trust of the American people, and it is time that they are thrown out."

Such rhetoric was not unexpected from DeLay's political enemies. For opposition Democrats "it's a great time to crow" said Stephen Hess, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Hess said however, that the biggest immediate gain for Democrats will be likely greater success blocking the Republican agenda.

With the majority leader safely out of the way, "all sort of good things will happen to the Democrats. It becomes far more difficult for the president to get his agenda through Congress with 'The Hammer' no longer there," Hess said, using the colorful nickname given to DeLay, a feared enforcer of Republican party discipline.

Democrats hope the scandal creates enough outrage to draw voters to their side when legislation elections are held next year, but Hess was doubtful.

"It's pretty hard to win elections just on the basis of an assortment of ethical charges. You can make something of the corruption, but you have to have something to wrap around it.

"Ultimately," Hess said, "you have to stand for something."

Political pundit Larry Sabato said the scandal provides Democrats a plum opportunity to energize its base and increase its fundraising -- just in time for the 2006 legislative elections.

A scandal like the one affecting DeLay "excites the base" Sabato said, predicting "a lot of money will be raised in fundraising appeals" thanks to the conservative lawmaker's legal woes.

Already, left-leaning interest and lobby groups made DeLay's political setback the centerpiece of their latest fundraising efforts.

One organization, the American Progress Action Fund, urged supporters to "Drop the Hammer" on DeLay -- in donations of between 25 dollars and 1000 dollars.

Not all Democrats were jubilant about DeLay's misfortunes. Lawmaker Harold Ford, on US television, had a more subdued response.

"This was a very serious day yesterday ... a tough day for the institution whenever any member or colleague faces the challenge that Leader DeLay faces," he told Fox television...

Democrats hope for traction against scandal-plagued Republicans - Yahoo! News

Yahoo / AP blame the camera, say "Abu Ghraib Ruling May Further Tarnish U.S."

It isn't the deed that tarnished US, it was the cameras... Another "Perception is reality" bullshit from the subservient press -- law

NEW YORK - Photographs showing U.S. soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison tarnished America's reputation when they were released last year, with some critics of the U.S.-led occupation citing the scandal as vindication.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of dozens more pictures of abuse from the infamous Baghdad prison — potentially opening the military up to more embarrassment from a scandal that already has stirred outrage around the world.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in

He said terrorists "do not need pretexts for their barbarism" and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail.

"Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and
Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed," he said.

The 74 photographs covered by ruling were taken by a soldier; three videotapes also were ordered released. A military policeman who saw the photos turned them over to the Army. Some may be duplicates of photos already seen by the public.

An appeal of Hellerstein's ruling was expected, which could delay release of the pictures for months.

Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism.

"When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image — a false image — like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it's not," Abizaid said.

American Civil Liberties Union sought release of the photographs and videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

"It's a historic ruling, said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. "While no one wants to see what's on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that's happened on their watch."

Abu Ghraib Ruling May Further Tarnish U.S. - Yahoo! News

Only one Iraqi army battalion seems capable of fighting without U.S

Yet Gen. Casey says "Iraq War Strategy Is Working". General, have you no shame ?!?!? -- law

WASHINGTON - Only one Iraqi army battalion seems capable of fighting without U.S. help, a senior American general told Congress on Thursday, leaving some lawmakers worried about worsening conditions there despite his assurances that the overall military strategy is working.

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number of Iraqi army battalions rated by U.S. officers as capable of fighting without U.S. help had dropped from three to one. This prompted expressions of concern by Democrats and Republicans alike, at a time when many lawmakers and members of the public are growing restless about the U.S. involvement in Iraq and the nearly 2,000 American troops who have died there.

"That contributes to a loss of public confidence in how the war is going," Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine, said of Casey's remarks. "It doesn't feel like progress when we hear today that there is only one Iraqi battalion fully capable."

The Iraqi troop ratings are important because the
Pentagon has built its Iraq strategy on the expectation that it can start bringing American troops home as the Iraqis gradually take the lead in the fight against the insurgency.

Casey said 75 percent of the U.S.-trained Iraqi army was at least capable of engaging in combat, albeit with U.S. troops providing support in most cases. He declined to give an exact breakdown of Iraqi combat readiness, which he said was classified as secret, but he said more than 30 battalions are judged capable of taking the lead in an offensive, with U.S. support. Only one can operate entirely on its own.

Casey did not explain why the number had dropped from three in June to one today. But he said the Iraqi army is getting stronger, even though the Ministry of Defense that manages the army lacks expertise and stability. He said Iraqi soldiers performed well in recent battles for control of the city of Tal Afar.

Generals Say Iraq War Strategy Is Working - Yahoo! News

S. African Gets Life for Lion-Pen Death - Yahoo! News

Good God, what a horrible crime! The poor guy was hit with a machette, then tied to a post and left to be eaten by lions. His "crime" ? Taking unauthorized time off from his chores for a personal errand at a white guy's farm! This reeks of slave discipline. Thanks God the courts gave the slave master and his "enforcer" life in jail. I hope they get sent to an all black prison!!! -- law

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - In a case that shocked South Africa for its brutality, a white farmer was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of one of his black workers, who was attacked with machetes, tied up and thrown into a lion enclosure, where he was devoured.

The trial brought impassioned protests from demonstrators who saw the killing as another racial attack in a country still grappling with its apartheid past.

Many in the courtroom in the northern town of Phalaborwa whistled and cheered in approval when Mark Scott-Crossley, 37, was led out after the sentencing.

Human rights advocates said the killing also highlighted the plight of farmworkers in a country with a culture of violence and a history of racial hatred and mistrust. South Africa's Human Rights Commission said in a 2003 report that attacks on farm workers were common. Most are black or mixed race, and their bosses are white.

Judge George Maluleke sentenced Scott-Crossley to the maximum of life in prison for the killing. Scott-Crossley's employee and co-defendant, Simon Mathebula, was sentenced to 15 years because the judge found he had been coerced by his employer. The pair were convicted in April.

The judge said life sentences should only be imposed to protect society from a repeat of the crime or when the offense is so monstrous it demands harsh punishment.

"No crime fits this description more than the one before me and there is no doubt it would warrant this extreme punishment," the judge said.

Nelson Chisale, 41, had been fired two months before his Jan. 31, 2004, murder for allegedly running a personal errand during working hours. According to testimony at the trial, Chisale was assaulted with machetes after returning to pick up some belongings and then was tied to a stake.

S. African Gets Life for Lion-Pen Death - Yahoo! News

Post-Katrina Real Estate Rush Hits Gulf - Yahoo! News

The ethnic cleansing of New Orleans continues... -- law

BILOXI, Miss. - Rubble piles bear "For Sale" signs. Homes without roofs are being sold as-is. Placards announcing "We Buy Houses, Cash!," are posted on corners throughout middle-class neighborhoods.

The Mississippi coast, racked by Hurricane Katrina, is caught up in a real estate rush, as speculators and those looking to replace their own wrecked homes pinpoint broken and battered waterfront neighborhoods. In the weeks since the hurricane, prices of many homes — even damaged properties — have jumped 10 to 20 percent.

But what Katrina spared, the real estate rush now imperils. The arrival of speculators threatens what's left of bungalow neighborhoods that are among the Gulf's oldest communities, close-knit places of modest means where casino workers, fishermen and their families could still afford to live near the water.

Many, underinsured and with few alternatives, see no choice but to sell.

"It's the oldest part of Biloxi, full of old families. This was a place they could still afford to come to and settle," said Bill Stallworth, a city council member who represents much of the area. "Now that's being taken away."

It doesn't take much for a property owner in those neighborhoods to attract prospective buyers. A call to a real estate agent fetches bidders the same day. A for-sale sign in the yard is almost as good. In some neighborhoods, owners can wait for unsolicited offers from people who show up at their doorstep.

Kim Weatherly, a 50-year-old casino worker who lives in Biloxi's Point Cadet community, is watching it all with a heavy heart. The neighborhood is potentially the city's most valuable piece of property, sitting on a peninsula that juts into the Gulf of Mexico that's a center for casino gambling.

Many of the tiny bungalows in the casino shadows have stood for generations. The neighborhood was snug, with the houses close to each other and to the streets. Many had views of the coastal skies from their front steps and the waterfront was just a short walk away.

"People with young kids, they're going to get out of town and let their kids grow up somewhere," said Weatherly, who helps run a neighborhood food bank between shifts cleaning up casino wreckage. "Old folks, they're going to retire, forget about rebuilding. That's it. I'm retiring. Give me my money."

Those without flood insurance may have even fewer options and buyer Dan Triplett expects many will sell quickly. Triplett, owner of Gulf Coast House Buyers, buys and sells property and has been particularly busy since the storm.

He'll buy storm damaged property or nearly vacant lots for next to nothing. While real estate brokers find top-dollar buyers, Triplett makes cash deals or pays off mortgages in exchange for land.

I deal with the other part of the spectrum of the market: people who don't necessarily care to get full price but they need to sell quickly," said Triplett, who said most of his post-Katrina business has come from retirees and those who lost their jobs.

In the coming months, as severance pay runs out for casino workers, Triplett expects a "mass exodus" of people looking to sell quickly and leave.

Post-Katrina Real Estate Rush Hits Gulf - Yahoo! News

Brit Claims to Have Found Homer's Ithaca - Yahoo! News

LONDON - Homer's legendary hero Odysseus wandered for 10 years in search of his island kingdom, Ithaca. Now, a British amateur archaeologist claims to have ended the ancient quest to locate the land described in "The Odyssey."

Although the western Greek island of Ithaki is generally accepted as the Homeric site, scholars have long been troubled by a mismatch between its location and geography and those of the Ithaca described by Ancient Greece's greatest poet.

Robert Bittlestone, a management consultant, said Thursday that the peninsula of Paliki on the Ionian island of Cephallonia, near Ithaki, was the most likely location for Odysseus' homeland. He said geological and historic evidence suggested Paliki used to form a separate island before earthquakes and landslides filled in a narrow sea channel dividing it from Cephallonia.

"Other theories have assumed that the landscape today is the same as in the Bronze Age, and that Homer perhaps didn't know the landscape very well," Bittlestone told a central London news conference. "But what if the mismatch was because the geography has in fact changed?"

Two eminent British academics said they backed Bittlestone's theory. They have co-written his book, "Odysseus Unbound — The Search for Homer's Ithaca."

James Diggle, a professor of Greek and Latin at Cambridge University, said the hypothesis worked because it explained why in one passage Homer describes Ithaca as "low-lying" and "towards dusk," i.e. lying to the west of a group of islands including Cephallonia and Zakynthos.

The Paliki peninsula is largely flat and connects to Cephallonia's west coast, whereas Ithaki is mountainous and lies to the east. Bittlestone's theory suggests that Ithaki corresponds to the island Homer calls Doulichion.

"I have never for once doubted that the theory is right because it explains all the details," Diggle told The Associated Press.

Diggle also said suggestions that Homer had invented the places he wrote about were largely discredited after 19th-century German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered what is widely believed to be the site of the ancient city of Troy — the location for Homer's "Iliad."

John Underhill, an Edinburgh University professor of stratigraphy, or the science of studying the layers of rocks in the Earth's crust, provided geological evidence supporting Bittlestone's theory — up to a point.

Underhill said it was certain earthquake activity had caused Paliki to rise some 19 feet out of the sea. There also was clear evidence that a canopy of rock debris resulting from landslides lay across the narrow strip of land connecting Paliki to Cephallonia.

However, further research was needed to determine whether the layer of rock debris was deep enough to have filled in any sea channel, and whether the landslides would have occurred recently enough to support Bittlestone's theory, Underhill said. He wanted to test sediments in a dried-up lake on the landfill area. If they were older than 3,000 years, that would suggest the area was not underwater at the Homeric period — thus disproving Bittlestone's hypothesis.

"Further work is needed, but from the geological fieldwork to date, nothing refutes this theory so far," Underhill told the news conference.

Brit Claims to Have Found Homer's Ithaca - Yahoo! News

Statues of Ancient Goddesses Discovered - Yahoo! News

ATHENS, Greece - The life-sized marble statues of two ancient Greek goddesses have emerged during excavations of a 5,000-year-old town on the island of Crete, archaeologists said Friday.

The works, representing the goddesses Athena and Hera, date to between the second and fourth centuries — during the period of Roman rule in Greece — and originally decorated the Roman theater in the town of Gortyn, archaeologist Anna Micheli from the Italian School of Archaeology told The Associated Press.

"They are in very good condition," she said, adding that the statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom, was complete, while Hera — long-suffering wife of Zeus, the philandering king of gods — was headless.

"But we hope to find the head in the surrounding area," Micheli said.

Standing six feet high with their bases, the works were discovered Tuesday by a team of Italian and Greek archaeologists excavating the ruined theater of Gortyn, about 27 miles south of Iraklion in central Crete.

Micheli said the goddesses were toppled from their plinths by a powerful earthquake around A.D. 367 that destroyed the theater and much of the town.

The statues fell off the stage, and were found just in front of their original position, she said.

"This is one of the rare cases when such works are discovered in the building where they initially stood," she added.

Hopes are high that other parts of the theater's sculptural decoration will emerge during future excavations.

"Digging has stopped due to the finds, but we suspect there may be more statues in the area," she said.

Statues of Ancient Goddesses Discovered - Yahoo! News

Daily Kos: Ohio Coingate - Judge Says "STFU" - UPDATE With Video

According to a filing with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Mr. Noe bilked the two coin funds established by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation through a variety of methods, including check forgery.

Mr. Petro has already accused Mr. Noe of running a Ponzi scheme and stealing $4 million, claims he backed up today with a series of affadavits that showed:

* Mr. Noe transferred money between the coin funds to show a false profit to the bureau.

* Mr. Noe used money from the coin funds to purchase a Catawba Island vacation home from his father in-law, retired Lucas County judge Francis "Buddy" Restivo.

* Mr. Noe forged a $110,000 check with the name of a fellow member of the Ohio Board of Regents, Gerry Gordon. He used the check to route bureau money to a bank account he shared with his wife, Bernadette Noe.

William Wilkinson, a lawyer for Mr. Noe, did not return a phone call asking for comment.

Tom Noe is going to jail - and probably for quite a long time. But what is more fun is why Petro needed to file this, because a short while ago he got told to STFU by a judge.

COLUMBUS - Judge David Cain has a message for Attorney General Jim Petro: Stop saying the court has determined that Tom and Bernadette Noe stole millions of dollars from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's rare-coin funds.

Judge Cain of Franklin County Common Pleas Court chastised the attorney general in a footnote to a Tuesday ruling, saying he would "appreciate it" if Mr. Petro stopped characterizing an August order by the judge as a determination from the court that the Noes committed fraud or converted bureau money for personal use.

In August, Judge Cain said evidence already presented "tends to show" fraud by Mr. Noe, but the judge expected more facts would be revealed that would help prove or disprove allegations against the coin dealer.

In the meantime, Mr. Petro's office has released statements claiming that the court has acknowledged "credible evidence" of fraud by Mr. Noe.

It's funny when they turn on their own campaign contributors, huh ?

the other interesting tidbit buried in that story is this

The attorney general's office has released invoices that showed Mrs. Noe's former law firm, Shindler, Neff, Holmes, & Schlageter, had billed coin-fund subsidiaries for legal work, but all of the details in the billings were blacked out.

"Mrs. Noe cannot adequately prepare a defense without having full disclosure of evidence against her," Judge Cain wrote in his ruling.

The real unredacted copies have been ordered to be handed over. Curious why they would redact them in the first place, though Petro's office has been accused of pay for play when it came to legal work being handed out from the state.

One of the most obvious pay for play and reward schemes Taft had going was appointing buddies and supporters to nice jobs. One of those was now disgraced Brian Hicks, his chief of staff - who got a plumb job on the board as THE Ohio State University.. But the students are in revolt over it, and Hicks days must be numbered.

These guys are making life-long Democratic converts for us !

Daily Kos: Ohio Coingate - Judge Says "STFU" - UPDATE With Video

Sadly, No!: Phillip V. Brennan Blows Into Town With Category 5 Wingnuttery

Last week, Bill O'Reilly asked the following idiotic question: "[A]fter all the experts we've talked with, after all the research we've done, we still can't find out who exactly sets the price of a gallon of gasoline. Which human being in America does that?"

Thankfully for Bill, NewsMax's Phillip V. Brennan has an answer. A really, really stupid answer:

Who's Really Behind Soaring Oil Prices?
Philip V. Brennan

When you stand at the gas pump and watch those numbers spin by so fast you can't read them, keep in mind that the soaring price of gasoline is no accident – it is the work of a new fifth column.

And who are these evil "fifth columnists" that keep gas prices so high? That's right: environmentalists. Or more specifically, people who claim to care about the environment but are really Communists. Seriously.

This fifth column is rich and powerful. Just one environmental group, the Sierra Club, boasts of an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars and almost 600,000 members.

Wow! The Sierra Club has a budget of tens of millions of dollars! How will the oil companies ever compete? I mean, last year poor Exxon-Mobil only pulled in a paltry net income of $25.3 billion. Chevron is in even worse shape- last year, they hauled in a measly $13.8 billion.

Their political contributions reach into the millions. A Sierra Club attack on a congressman's environmental voting record, no matter how distorted, can be a kiss of death.

Yeah, the Sierra Club's attack on George W. Bush's environmental record absolutely doomed him in the last election.

The sudden rise in the cost of oil, which translated itself into pump prices was the application of the law of supply and demand – there are more and more consumers of petroleum without a corresponding increase in the supplies of black gold. The Chinese, for example, have abandoned rickshaws in favor of gas-guzzling automobiles and their demand for oil is getting astronomical.

That was bad enough, but along came Katrina and Rita, both of which curtailed refining of crude oil supplies from here and abroad. That's part of the story of our present situation. But it's only a tiny part of the energy crisis now afflicting the U.S.

Actually, that's not a tiny part of the problem. Right now, the cost of crude oil accounts for roughly one-half of the price of gas. When you couple high oil prices with a decline in production from refineries because of Katrina and Rita, you get high gas prices. It really is that simple.

Thanks to the environmental fifth column, the United States has been unable to take advantage of its own crude oil supplies. Abundant supplies of crude oil beneath the U.S. mainland and offshore, locked in shale deposits, and in Alaska's North Slope remain untapped thanks to the environmentalists who have stopped development of our natural oil resources.

Sigh. If we drilled for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it would take at least 20 years to reach peak production. That does little to affect gas prices today. Try harder, Phil.

Sadly, No!: Phillip V. Brennan Blows Into Town With Category 5 Wingnuttery

RealClimate » Inhofe and Crichton: Together at Last!

avin Schmidt and Michael Mann

Today we witnessed a rather curious event in the US Senate. Possibly for the first time ever, a chair of a Senate committee, one Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), invited a science fiction writer to advise the committee (Environment and Public Works), on science facts--in this case, the facts behind climate change. The author in question? None other than our old friend, Michael Crichton whom we've had reason to mention before (see here and here). The committee's ranking member, Senator James Jeffords (I) of Vermont, was clearly not impressed. Joining Crichton on climate change issues was William Gray of hurricane forecasting fame, Richard Benedick (a negotiator on the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting chemicals), and David Sandalow (Brookings Institution). As might be expected, we paid a fair bit of attention to the scientific (and not-so-scientific) points made.

Many of the 'usual suspects' of half-truths and red herrings were put forth variously by Crichton, Gray, and Inhofe over the course of the hearing:

* the claim that scientists were proclaiming an imminent ice age in the 1970s (no, they weren't),
* the claim that the 1940s to 1970s cooling in the northern hemisphere disproves global warming (no, it doesn't),
* the claim that important pieces of the science have not been independently reproduced (yes, they have),
* the claim that global climate models can't reproduce past climate change (yes, they can)
* the claim that climate can't be predicted because weather is chaotic (wrong...)

and so on.

We won't dwell on the testimony that involved us personally since the underlying issues have been discussed and dealt with here before, though we will note that comments from both of us pointing out errors in the testimony were entered into the Senate record by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California)...

Crichton seemed to imply that "prediction" (such as that provided by weather or climate models) is useless in the decision making process. (As an aside, we wonder how Gray, who is largely known for prediction of hurricane behavior based on (statistical) modeling, felt about this?). We fundamentally disagree. All science is about observation, understanding and prediction. When those predictions work, you make new predictions. When they don't, you revisit the observations, attempt to improve your understanding of the underlying processes, and make a new prediction. And so on. In the case of climate models, this is complicated by the fact that the time scales involved need to be long enough to average out the short-term noise, i.e. the chaotic sequences of 'weather' events. Luckily, we have past climate changes to test the models against. Even more to the point, successful climate predictions have actually been made in past Senate hearings. The figure at the end of this comment by Jim Hansen demonstrates that projections of global mean climate presented in a 1988 senate hearing (17 years ago) have actually been right on the money

Others panelists attempted to combat the onslaught of disinformation. Sandalow sensibly suggested that the National Academy of Sciences be used to inform the Senate on where the consensus of the science is, and Benedick made some excellent points about how legislation can be successful in the face of scientific controversy and uncertain predictions. However, none of that provided as good theater as the other witnesses.

A highlight of the session was Gray making one particular statement that he may be asked to defend (at least financially): "I'll take on any scientist in this field .... I predict that in 5 to 8 years the globe will begin to cool" (1:10:00 on the video). This would appear to be a direct call to those "global warmers" (see also here, here and here) who are trying to get contrarians to put their money where their mouths are (with very limited success). We eagerly await developments!

..Inhofe ended the hearing by declaring his desire to 'sit back and look at [this] in a non-scientific way'. We think he already has.

RealClimate » Inhofe and Crichton: Together at Last!

San Francisco Bay View - National Black Newspaper of the Year

Speech delivered to 300,000 protesters at the Sept. 24 Washington DC anti-war rally
Etan Thomas

Giving all honor, thanks and praises to God for courage and wisdom, this is a very important rally. I'd like to thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, feelings and concerns regarding a tremendous problem that we are currently facing. This problem is universal, transcending race, economic background, religion and culture. And this problem is none other than the current administration which has set up shop in the White House.

In fact, I'd like to take some of these cats on a field trip. I want to get big yellow buses with no air conditioner and no seatbelts and round up Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan, Trent Lott, Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Bush Jr. and Bush Sr., John Ashcroft, Giuliani, Ed Gillespie, Katherine Harris, that little bow-tied Tucker Carlson and any other right-wing conservative Republicans I can think of and take them all on a trip to the 'hood.

Not to do no 30-minute documentary. I mean, I want to drop them off and leave them there. Let them become one with the other side of the tracks, get them four mouths to feed and no welfare, have scare tactics run through them like a laxative, criticizing them for needing assistance.

I'd show them working families that make too much to receive welfare but not enough to make ends meet. I'd employ them with jobs with little security - let them know how it feels to be an employee at will, able to be fired at the drop of a hat. I'd take away their opportunities, then try their children as adults, sending their 13-year-old babies to life in prison.

I'd sell them dreams of hopelessness while spoon-feeding their young with a daily dose of inferior education. I'd tell them no child shall be left behind, then take more money out of their schools, tell them to show and prove themselves on standardized exams testing their knowledge on things that they haven't been taught and then I'd call them inferior.

I'd soak into their interior notions of endless possibilities. I'd paint pictures of assisted productivity if they only agreed to be all they can be, dress them up with fatigues and boots with promises of pots of gold at the end of rainbows, free education to waste terrain on those who finish their bid.

Then I'd close the lid on that barrel of fool's gold by starting a war, sending their children into the midst of a hostile situation and while they're worried about their babies being murdered and slain in foreign lands, I'd grace them with the pain of being sick and unable to get medicine.

Give them health benefits that barely cover the common cold. John Q. would become their reality as HMOs introduce them to the world of inferior care, filling their lungs with inadequate air, penny pinching at the expense of patients, doctors practicing medicine in an intricate web of rationing and regulations.

Patients wander the maze of managed bureaucracy, costs rise and quality quickly deteriorates, but they say that managed care is cheaper. They'll say that free choice in medicine will defeat the overall productivity, and as co-payments are steadily rising, I'll make their grandparents have to choose between buying their medicine and paying their rent.

Then I'd feed them hypocritical lines of being pro-life as the only Christian way to be. Then, very contradictory, I'd fight for the spread of the death penalty, as if "thou shall not kill" applies to babies but not to criminals.

Then I'd introduce them to those sworn to protect and serve, creating a curb in their trust in the law. I'd show them the nightsticks and plungers, the pepper spray and stun guns, the mace and magnums that they'd soon become acquainted with, the shakedowns and illegal search and seizures, the planted evidence, being stopped for no reason.

Harassment ain't even the half of it - 41 shots to two raised hands, cell phones and wallets that are confused with illegal contraband. I'd introduce them to pigs who love making their guns click like wine glasses.

Everlasting targets surrounded by bullets, making them a walking bull's eye, a living piñata, held at the mercy of police brutality and then we'll see if they finally weren't aware of the truth, if their eyes weren't finally opened like a box of Pandora.

I'd show them how the other side of the tracks carries the weight of the world on our shoulders and how society seems to be holding us down with the force of a boulder.

The bird of democracy flew the coop back in Florida. ..

San Francisco Bay View - National Black Newspaper of the Year

Daily Kos: Judy's Lawyer: Testimony was broader than Libby

Now why would she worry about THAT ? It's not like bad reporting is a crime... Or is it ? What did Judy do ?!?!? --law

Judy's Lawyer: Testimony was broader than Libby
by dumbya
Fri Sep 30th, 2005 at 15:40:55 CDT

Judy Miller's lawyer, Bob Bennett (Bill Bennett's brother), was on with Wolf and said that Judy's testimony was focused on the entire Valerie Plame matter. This is big, because her testimony wasn't limited to Scooter. It appears that Judy negotiated a deal so she wouldn't have to answer questiosn regarding her bogus pre-war reporting rather than limiting the questions to Scooter alone.

Digby sums it up pretty nicely.

Ok kidz. Judy's lawyer Bob Bennett just told Wolf Blitzer that Judy's agreement with Fitzgerald was limited to "the Valerie Plame matter" not just Libby. Wolf pressed. Fitzgerald reiterated that it was "the Valerie Plame matter."

Judy was worried that Fitzgerald was going to pursue her bogus WMD claims.

Bolton and Cheney and Rove all the rest aren't off the hook on Plame. Do you suppose that includes Niger?

Daily Kos: Judy's Lawyer: Testimony was broader than Libby

Daily Kos: IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!

More detail on the story that never aired below...

* jbalazs's diary :: ::

Here is the link to the article written by Michael Isikoff for Newsweek, September 22, 2004 about the CBS decision to bump the Niger story with the TANG documents story. There are some very interesting points in the article:

The Story That Didn't Run

Some excerpts from the article include:

A team of "60 Minutes" correspondents and consulting reporters spent more than six months investigating the Niger uranium documents fraud, CBS sources tell NEWSWEEK. The group landed the first ever on-camera interview with Elisabetta Burba, the Italian journalist who first obtained the phony documents, as well as her elusive source, Rocco Martino, a mysterious Roman businessman with longstanding ties to European intelligence agencies.

Some CBS reporters, as well as one of the network's key sources, fear that the Niger uranium story may never run, at least not any time soon, on the grounds that the network can now not credibly air a report questioning how the Bush administration could have gotten taken in by phony documents. The network would "be a laughingstock," said one source intimately familiar with the story.

Although acknowledging that it was "frustrating" to have his story bounced, David Gelber, the lead CBS producer on the Niger piece, said he has been told the segment will still air some time soon, perhaps as early as next week. "Obviously, everybody at CBS is holding their breath these days. I'm assuming the story is going to run until I'm told differently."

I think enough time has passed that CBS shouldn't be "embarrassed" anymore about the TANG forgery fiasco and get back to reporting news now that 64% of Americans actually may want to hear it!

There is also another article by Mary Jacoby dated September 29, 2004 that talks about some of the details contained in the CBS story that never aired, and shows why this story is even more imprtant NOW than ever.

The Cowardly Broadcasting System

Here is the clip from the article that shows how it ties to the current Grand Jury investigation and why airing the story is so important, not only for the public, but for CBS regaining its credibility:

After the war started, in March, Wilson, shocked that the discredited Niger story had appeared in Bush's State of the Union address, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times about the lack of evidence he found in Niger. In retaliation and in an attempt to intimidate him and any other future critic, the segment relates, "two senior administration sources gave conservative columnist Robert Novak the name of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent, which he published in his column, published in the Washington Post. The act of revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative is a federal felony against national security. The episode led to appointment of a special prosecutor. That probe continues. Lately, the prosecutor has hauled a number of journalists who may or may not have information in for questioning."

Bradley interviews Wilson, who says that he found nothing in Niger to indicate that any purchase agreement had been signed or executed. Bradley then speaks with the former director of the Department of State's intelligence bureau (intelligence and research), Greg Thielmann, who explains why he concluded that Iraq was not attempting to reconstitute its nuclear program. In March 2002, Bradley reported, the White House received Thielmann's report, entitled "Niger: Sale of Uranium Is Unlikely."

So, please, contact CBS and get them to air this ASAP. I suspect they just might... Hey, if CNN is finally growing some, maybe CBS can too!

Daily Kos: IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!

Pretty soon we're sawing off heads because "those guys did it, too."

All Spin Zone on Abu Ghraib

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Another Soldier Disciplined re: Abu Ghraib

This is right in line with SecDef Rumsfeld's overall response to the Abu Ghraib situation. I'm going to keep hammering on this issue, simply because the Bush Administration (and Right Blogistan) would prefer that the whole story fade into the sunset. As a nation, as people, we can't lose our capacity to be shocked - because if we do, the "shock" bar gets raised to a higher level the next time. Pretty soon we're sawing off heads because "those guys did it, too."

The All Spin Zone

Godwin's law when applied to Neo Nazis

Or neocons -- law

When discussing with actual neo-Nazis, Godwin's law should not typically apply, as Hitler is bound to come up on one or the other side of the argument sooner rather than later. It is also interesting that, among Nazis, a 'reverse Godwin's law' exists where, as an argument devolves into a flame war, there is an increasingly greater probability that one or the other side will invoke a comparison to Jews as an insult, much the same as a comparison to Hitler or Nazis is regularly an insulting one."

Godwin's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Sadly, No!: Ha ha! They're so nutzy! Hey wait...

Sadly No on LGF turning nazy -- law

When did LGF step over the line from being a mean-tempered rightist site to being an actual, by-the-book, calling-Hannah-Arendt locus of everything that America fought to defeat in World War II?

Future historians will quarrel, but progress was made today, with this entry (plus comments) on the new Abu Ghraib release. It's not the boldest of items there, but it's telling in its own way: The fact that torture, rape, and murder are shown in the photos and videos being released simply whizzes by them like it's nothing. Nope, the real issue is that releasing these images to the American public might give Muslims (who are supposedly on a 100% worldwide death rampage) a 'propaganda victory,' and that the ACLU, who fought for their release, is a subversive organization sneakily working toward a Muslim hegemony.

Try to parse that. The Worldwide Muslim Conspiracy is out to destroy us all, and if the Federal Government admits to what it's really doing to 'the Muslims,' it'll look bad to decent people, and also to an extra 100 + n percent of Muslims who aren't yet on a worldwide death rampage. Therefore, the Government should hide evidence of murder, rape, and torture (from us) in order to... And the ACLU should face legal penalties for... But on the other hand, this stuff is okay? It makes your eyeballs hurt thinking about it.

Please sample the delicious comments all the way down the chute -- and as usual, if you'd like to play a fun game, substitute JEWS and BOLSHEVIKS for anything having to do with Muslims or 'liberals.'

You know, it was quite an emergency in Germany in the late '30s, with the JEW-BOLSHEVIKS subverting and sabotaging things, and orchestrating wars, and sapping the vitality of the German state. Then in the '40s, it was like, "We had no idea about the...you know, camps and all that."

Sadly, No!: Ha ha! They're so nutzy! Hey wait...

Sadly, No!: Sometimes, we don't even need to add snark

On Tom DeLay and Ronnie Earle, the Wall Street Journal writes:

The Majority Leader also deserves the presumption of innocence because of Mr. Earle's guilty past. A liberal Democrat, he has a history of indicting political enemies, Democrat and Republican, on flimsy evidence that didn't hold up in court.

[...] Without his [DeLay] prodding, the House would never have voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998. [Emphasis added, obliviousness to irony in original.]

Politically-motivated indictements of enemies that don't hold up in court. Hmm, how did that impeachment thing turn out again?

Sadly, No!: Sometimes, we don't even need to add snark

Bush harboring "the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America"

The anti-Castro militant who is wanted for 73 counts of murder in Venezuela will not be extradicted to Venezuela because "they torture prisioners over there"... Has the juge ever heard about Gitmo ? -- law

Luis Posada and US Hypocrisy in War on Terror


Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuela's Ambassador to the U.S., Bernardo Alvarez, called Luis Posada Carriles, the anti-Castro militant who is wanted for 73 counts of murder in Venezuela, "the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America." He also said that the Bush administration is exercising "a cynical double-standard" and is "fighting an 'a la carte' war on terror," because of its refusal to act on the Venezuelan request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles.

Alvarez made the comments during a press conference today, in which he laid out in detail why Venezuela believes that the Bush administration is being hypocritical in its war on terror. "Rather than to respect the extradition treaties [the U.S.] has signed over the years, the United States chose to treat Posada Carriles' case as a mere immigration matter and charged him only with illegal entry into the country," said Alvarez.

On Monday, a Texas judge ruled that Luis Posada Carriles, a Venezuelan citizen, could not be deported to Venezuela, despite having violated U.S. immigration law when he entered the U.S. this past March. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security decided to try Posada on the charge of illegal entry into the U.S. rather than to process a Venezuelan request for his extradition.

Luis Posada Carriles is wanted in Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner and murder of all 73 passengers en route from Venezuela to Cuba. Venezuelan authorities filed a preliminary detention and extradition request with the U.S. government in May of this year. Alvarez explained that Posada is one of Latin America's most ruthless criminals, who has been involved in the assassination of the Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier, with terrorist activity in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

Alvarez said the U.S. Department of Justice tabled Venezuela's extradition request and has yet to act on it. "The United States presents itself as a leader against terrorism, invades countries, restricts the civil rights of Americans in order to fight terrorism, but when it is about its own terrorists, it denies that they be tried," said Alvarez.

Venezuela's attorney on the case, José Pertierra, added that the U.S. is obliged to extradite Posada not only as a consequence of its extradition treaty with the U.S., but also under the Convention on Safety in Civil Aviation, because Posada is accused of bombing an airliner. "It would be very dangerous if the United States does not comply with the Convention on Safety in Civil Aviation. This treaty should be sacrosanct, especially after September 11th, 2001," said Pertierra.

The Judge who decided that Posada could not be deported to the U.S. based his decision on the possibility that Posada might be tortured in Venezuela and, according to the Convention Against Torture, the U.S. may not extradite prisoners to such countries...

Gregory Wilpert: "the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America"

Consortiumnews.- 'Frog-Marching' Bush to the Hague

By Robert Parry
September 29, 2005

Federal authorities “frog-marched” Private Lynndie England in handcuffs and shackles off to prison to serve three years for her role in abusing and humiliating Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.

The 22-year-old single mother from West Virginia joins a group of nine reservists punished for mistreating Iraqis, some of whom were stripped naked and forced to pose in mock sexual positions. England appeared in photos, pointing at a prisoner’s penis and holding a naked Iraqi by a leash.

While England’s punishment fits with George W. Bush’s pledge to prosecute military personnel for wrongdoing in Iraq, a larger question is whether low-ranking soldiers are becoming scapegoats for the bloody fiasco that Bush created when he ordered the invasion in defiance of international law. Pumped-up by Bush’s false claims linking Iraq to the Sept. 11 terror attacks, U.S. soldiers charged into that Arab country with revenge on their minds.

In a healthy democracy, the debate might be less about imprisoning England and other “grunts” than whether Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other war architects should be “frog-marched” to the Hague for prosecution as war criminals.

The international community also has largely shied away from the issue of Bush’s criminality, apparently because of the unprecedented military might of the United States.

If the leaders of a less powerful nation had invaded a country under false pretenses – touching off a war that left tens of thousands of civilians dead – there surely would be demands for war crimes prosecutions before the International Criminal Court at the Hague. But not for Bush and his War Cabinet.

Similar Complaints

Ironically, Lynndie England’s sentencing at Fort Hood, Texas, on Sept. 27 came as new evidence surfaced that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was not just the work of some deviant prison guards on the night shift at Abu Ghraib. Army Capt. Ian Fishback and two sergeants alleged that prisoners were subjected to similar treatment by the 82nd Airborne at a camp near Fallujah and that senior officers knew. [See Human Rights Watch report.]

Fishback blamed the pattern of abuse on the Bush administration’s vague orders about when and how Geneva Convention protections applied to detainees, a problem that has extended from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a network of shadowy U.S. prisons around the world.

“We did not set the conditions for our soldiers to succeed,” said Fishback, 26, who has served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We failed to set clear standards, communicate those standards and enforce those standards.” [NYT, Sept. 28, 2005]

And in another case of apparent deterioration of discipline among U.S. troops in Iraq, a separate Army investigation examined whether some U.S. troops traded gruesome photos of dead bodies – with captions like “Cooked Iraqi” – for access to a pornographic Web site specializing in sexual images of wives and girlfriends. [NYT, Sept. 28, 2005]
For his part, Bush has condemned the misconduct of Lynndie England and her cohorts. After publication of the Abu Ghraib photos in 2004, Bush said he “shared a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated.” Bush added that “their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people.”

Wanton Death

But the cavalier treatment toward Iraqi lives can be traced back to the very start of the war. Determined to invade Iraq, Bush brushed aside international objections, prevented the completion of a United Nations search for alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and unleashed his “shock and awe” bombing campaign on March 19, 2003.

Bush and his high command authorized the bombing of one Baghdad restaurant – where civilians were having dinner – because of shaky intelligence that Saddam Hussein might be eating there, too. The logic apparently was that the goal of killing Hussein justified the slaughter of the innocent restaurant clientele.

As it turned out, Hussein was not there, but the attack killed 14 civilians, including seven children. One mother collapsed when rescue workers pulled the severed head of her daughter out of the rubble.

In another U.S. bombing raid, Saad Abbas, 34, was wounded, but his family sought to shield him from the greater horror. The bombing had killed his three daughters – Marwa, 11; Tabarek, 8; and Safia, 5 – who had been the center of his life.

“It wasn’t just ordinary love,” his wife said. “He was crazy about them. It wasn’t like other fathers.” [NYT, April 14, 2003]

The horror of the war was captured, too, in the fate of 12-year-old Ali Ismaeel Abbas, who lost his two arms when a U.S. missile struck his Baghdad home. Ali’s father, Ali’s pregnant mother and his siblings were all killed.

As he was evacuated to a Kuwaiti hospital, becoming a symbol of U.S. compassion for injured Iraqi civilians, Ali said he would rather die than live without his hands.

The slaughter extended to the battlefield where the outmatched Iraqi army sometimes fought heroically though hopelessly against the technologically superior U.S. forces. Christian Science Monitor reporter Ann Scott Tyson interviewed U.S. troops with the 3rd Infantry Division who were deeply troubled by their task of mowing down Iraqi soldiers who kept fighting even in suicidal situations.

“For lack of a better word, I felt almost guilty about the massacre,” one soldier said privately. “We wasted a lot of people. It makes you wonder how many were innocent. It takes away some of the pride. We won, but at what cost?”

Commenting upon the annihilation of Iraqi forces in these one-sided battles, Lt. Col. Woody Radcliffe said, “We didn’t want to do this. Even a brain-dead moron can understand we are so vastly superior militarily that there is no hope. You would think they would see that and give up.”

In one battle around Najaf, U.S. commanders ordered air strikes to kill the Iraqis en masse rather than have U.S. soldiers continue to kill them one by one.

“There were waves and waves of people coming at (the U.S. troops) with AK-47s, out of this factory, and (the U.S. troops) were killing everyone,” Radcliffe said. “The commander called and said, ‘This is not right. This is insane. Let’s hit the factory with close air support and take them out all at once.’” [Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 2003]

Jittery Troops

Three weeks into the invasion, Hussein’s government collapsed, but Bush’s occupation plan left U.S. forces stretched thin as they tried to establish order.

Sometimes, jittery U.S. soldiers opened fire on demonstrations, inflicting civilian casualties and embittering the population. In Fallujah, some 17 Iraqis were gunned down in demonstrations after U.S. soldiers claimed they had been fired upon. Fallujah soon became a center of anti-American resistance.

As the Iraqi insurgency began to spread – and Americans began dying in larger numbers – military intelligence officers encouraged prison guards to soften up captured Iraqis by putting them in stress positions for long periods of time, denying sleep and subjecting them to extremes of hot and cold.

Some of the poorly trained prison personnel – like those on Lynndie England’s night shift at Abu Ghraib – added some of their own bizarre ideas for humiliating captured Iraqis. But even some of those strange techniques, such as adorning Iraqi men with women’s underwear, could be traced to practices used elsewhere.

The mistreatment of detainees further fueled the insurgency and spread anti-Americanism across the Middle East and around the globe.

Back in Washington, the Bush administration claimed that the prisoner abuses were the work of a few “bad apples” who would be singled out for punishment. Looked at differently, however, Bush opened U.S. soldiers to a kind of double jeopardy when he ordered the invasion.

Not only did the soldiers risk their lives in combat, but they faced added legal risks in trying to execute a war in defiance of the UN Charter, which prohibits one country from attacking another without the approval of the UN Security Council.

The evidence is now clear, too, that Bush rushed the nation to war without UN sanction, in part, because his rationalizations about WMD and Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda were falling apart, even as he was determined to make the war happen.


David Corn: When you already have a fall guy, use him

A CIA-Did-It Defense for Scooter Libby?/Was Judy Miller a Martyr for a Mistake?

When you already have a fall guy, use him--especially if he's a dead man.

Could that be the legal strategy of I. Lewis Libby (a.k.a. Scooter), Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, in the Plame/CIA leak case?

The news of the day in this scandal is that New York Times reporter Judy Miller, who was imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, is free. She and the Times cut a deal with Fitzgerald... Her position now is the same as the other reporters who are known to have cooperated with Fitzgerald: if the source waives protection, then a reporter can talk. Her crusade is over.

But back to the fall guy. The end of this sub-plot has caused Libby's team to leak his defense to the media. The Post quotes "a source familiar with Libby's account of his conversations with Miller." The odds are that source is Libby or his attorney. This super-secret source says that on July 8, 2003, Miller and Libby talked. This was six days before columnist Bob Novak disclosed the CIA identity of Valerie Wilson and two days after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an explosive Times op-ed disclosing that his trip to Niger in February 2002 had led him to conclude that President Bush had falsely claimed that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium in Africa. In this conversation, Miller asked Libby why Wilson had been sent on this mission by the CIA.. Libby, according to this source, told Miller that the White House was, as the Post puts it, "working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected." Libby noted he had heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with it but he did not know where she worked.

Four or five days later, according to the Libby-friendly source, Libby and Miller spoke again. Now Libby knew more. He told Miller that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and had a role in sending Wilson to Niger. This source tells the Post that Libby did not know her name or that she was an undercover officer at the CIA. That latter point is crucial, for, under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Fitzgerald can only prosecute Libby if Libby disclosed information about a CIA officer whom he knew was a covert employee.

There's no telling whether this source is being truthful. Karl Rove's attorney put out facts that crumbled as more information became public. But you don't have to look too far between the lines to discern Libby's cover story. It goes something like this: Wilson wrote his Times article. All hell broke loose. The White House asked, "Who authorized this trip?" Someone called the CIA for information. The CIA reported back that Wilson was contacted by the counter-proliferation office, where his wife Valerie was working. But--and here's the crucial "but"--the CIA did not tell the White House that Valerie was undercover. Thus, if any White House officials--say, Rove or Libby--repeated this information to reporters, then they may have been engaged in leaking classified and sensitive information to discredit a critic but they were not committing a crime. And who was at fault? George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.

How convenient. Tenet has already taken the fall for Bush's decision to launch the war in Iraq.

David Corn: "A CIA-Did-It Defense for Scooter Libby?/Was Judy Miller a Martyr for a Mistake?"

New York Daily News - Woes is them! GOP full of legal & political trouble

Here's the pundit who said the GOP would have time to defuse the scandals before 2006. -- law

But there are two silver linings for the GOP in the black clouds roiling over Washington. For one, the Democrats - lacking a single strong leader or any effective message beyond criticism - have been ineffective in capitalizing on GOP woes. For another, the 2006 midterm elections are still a year away.

'All this happened early enough that they still have the potential to dig themselves out,' Hess said. 'You will see eventually some wave of up-news for the Republicans.' "

New York Daily News - Home - Woes is them! GOP full of legal & political trouble: "

Whiskey Bar: Now Comes Miller Time

It appears Karl Rove isn't the only meat machine with a Terminator on its tail:

Lawyers in the CIA leaks investigation are concerned that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may seek criminal contempt charges against New York Times reporter Judith Miller, a rare move that could significantly lengthen her time in jail . . .

Legal experts who have monitored the public twists of Fitzgerald's investigation say the prosecutor has been relentless in running down every fact, an approach that may increase the chances he would seek criminal contempt.

"I think Judith Miller is in much graver danger than she might be otherwise, because this prosecutor seems to want to pursue every avenue with a vengeance," said Mary Cheh, a professor of criminal law at George Washington University. "I'd be very worried."

At this point, Judy would have to be deeper into the Vicodan than Rush Limbaugh to not be very worried.

Whiskey Bar: Now Comes Miller Time

Whiskey Bar: Pinch and Judy Show

Bleargh! Did Billmon HAVE to photoshop Judy as Joan of Arc ? Ewwwww!!! Great post other than that. -- law

St. Judy, the Martyr of Times Square, decided to squat in jail for 85 days, and only then talk to Libby on the phone to confirm that the waiver was "freely given." And now, thanks to that one phone call, she's ready to spill her guts to the grand jury? Does this make sense?

I mean, how does she know one of Jack Abramoff's business associates wasn't standing behind Scooter holding a gun to his head?

Maybe she was just disappointed that she wasn't attracting a better class of visitors.

You definitely get the feeling there are many things the New Pravda is not sharing -- perhaps having to do with exactly what was required to get Scooter to verbally confirm a carefully worded written waiver that was never really intended to be acceptable, even to Judy Miller. Or maybe even nastier devils are hiding in the details...

Whiskey Bar: Pinch and Judy Show

The Next Hurrah: I may not know why a caged bird sings--but I've got my guesses

Emptywheel sez: "If I had to guess, I'd say she backed Libby into a corner so she could get her "release."... I bet there's a signed statement already too. No way [Fitz] let her out before he made sure he knew what she was going to testify (and if something happened to her ...)"

More on Emptywheel post:

...there is more than posturing in the NYT article. There are, for example, more details about just how negotiated this agreement was.

First, Fitz had to reassure Judy that talking to Libby wouldn't get her busted for obstruction.. of justice..
Fitz also had to reassure Judy that he wouldn't ask about any of her other sources.

Since we're discussing the issue of other sources Judy might implicate, perhaps we should look at the timing of this, which I find incredibly interesting.

We know ..that Bolton visited Judy in mid-August. Negotiations between Bennett and Tate started a week or so after that.. The negotiations, as I pointed out, took at least two weeks... And just as interesting, Judy says she was released two weeks ago. We're to believe, you see, that Judy rotted in jail for two more weeks while she pondered Libby's voluntary waiver. What's up with that?

Couple of comments.
First, I don't think Fitz needs Miller to get to her first source. I think the NYT turned enough materials over that he doesn't need her corroboration. Remember, Arianna said the NYT was getting more realistic, not Judy. They turned over earlier materials (just as Time turned over their materials) which was enough evidence to sink Judy on conspiracy if she didn't testify.

Second, I think the obstruction concerns were over conversations in jail. Not over the original conversations.

Third, Fitz is none too worried about what Judy will say tomorrow. She's had TWO WEEKS in which he has been grilling her. And I bet there's a signed statement already too. No way he let her out before he made sure he knew what she was going to testify (and if something happened to her ...)
Posted by: emptywheel | September 30, 2005 at 00:18

Is there any indication that the NYT turned over notes?
Posted by: firedoglake | September 30, 2005 at 01:36

>And I bet there's a signed statement already too..
Yikes... well, Fitzgerald just indicted those 16 "Insane Deuces" gang members, and the Gambinos before that, so I guess he's used to planning for that sort of eventuality. It's scary, really. How far will these guys go to stay in power? Or to stay out of the Alexandria Detention Center? And with the kind of power they wield, what desperate options are available to them, and how tempting is it to use them after having all these months to torture themselves about it? They're only human. Cheney's been staring down the Grim Reaper since he was in his 30's and Rove doesn't look like a healthy man. In their own minds, how long has it been since they wrote off any sense of morality?
I guess what I'm saying is: they've committed one unthinkably immoral act after another ... but now, their careers, their fortunes, and their very freedom are all at stake. They've devoted their lives to amassing ultimate power and wealth, but if convicted, they're unlikely to live out their sentences. What do people like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney do when they're cornered?
Posted by: obsessed | September 30, 2005 at 02:42

>Firedog: Is there any indication that the NYT turned over notes?
¡por supuesto!
"A Times story late on Thursday revealed that as part of Miller's agreement, one of her attorneys, Robert Bennett, gave Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, edited versions of notes taken by Miller about her conversations with I. Lewis Libby."
Posted by: obsessed

The Next Hurrah: I may not know why a caged bird sings--but I've got my guesses

TalkLeft: Judith Miller: Why is She Protecting Lewis Libby

It's not that Libby didn't give Miller a waiver, he gave all the reporters he spoke to a waiver. Miller isn't sure the waiver isn't coerced.

"Judy's view is that any purported waiver she got from anyone was not on the face of it sufficiently broad, clear and uncoerced," [laywer Floyd] Abrams said.

On November 28, 2004, the Washington Post reported:

Fitzgerald wants Miller to testify about her talks with Libby, even though she never wrote a story about Plame. Libby has signed a letter saying he waives his anonymity, but Miller still refuses to talk. Her position is that no such waiver under pressure from a prosecutor can ever be voluntary.

As I pointed out here, Fitzgerald knows who her source is. Look to the subpoena to Judith Miller (from this DC Court of Appeals decision (pdf)

Note that it requests conversations between her and "a specified government official" - that's Libby. And that the time period is the week before Novak's article was published. And, it refers covers conversations pertaining to Valerie Plame Wilson by either name or as the wife of Joseph Wilson.

The question is what did Libby tell Miller that she is so intent on concealing that she's willing to go to jail over it...and does it implicate Dick Cheney, other members of his staff and/or Karl Rove?

I think the issue is, did Libby tell Miller about a meeting he was at with Dick Cheney - or other members of the White House Iraq Group - at which a plan to discredit Joseph Wilson using his wife's CIA status was hatched? It's seeming more and more likely.

And even if Libby didn't tell her about a meeting, he had to have told her something that puts someone else in jeopardy, or her statement to Brown doesn't make sense.

Billmon, on the other hand, thinks Judith Miller might be the leaker.

The issue isn't whether Miller is covering up for a source, the issue is whether she was a source for Operation Slime Wilson.

Balloon Juice thinks Judith Miller should be forced to tell. One of his commenters responds:

Suppose she is in jail six months from now. How will you "force" her to talk, then? Play loud music in her cell 24 hours a day, perhaps?

Maybe they'll play Glenn Frey's Smuggler's Blues:

From the Office of the President
Right Down to Me and You

Update: I just saw this from today's Newsday over at Digby's - Miller was in Washington on July 8 and met with a Government official:

The disclosures also highlight the special prosecutor's interest in jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller and her meeting in Washington with an unnamed government official on July 8, 2003, the same day, according to the disclosures, that Rove spoke with Novak.

TalkLeft: Judith Miller: Why is She Protecting Lewis Libby

Comments Miller Released from Jail and Libby - Fitz needed Miller to:

by emptywheel at Kos:

Fitz needed Miller to:

* Prove that Libby perjured himself in his testimony to the grand jury which helps prove
* That there was a conspiracy to obstruct justice and he also needed Miller to
* Provide a chain of custody for information from the need-to-know person to the eventual (Novak) outing

If they couldn't prove this chain of information, then Rove or Libby could claim it was just out there. But with the chain of information, they prove that it was a deliberate leak.

And I think Fitz has Bolton, too. He just doesn't need Judy to get there. And since you can only get a journalist to testify if you absolutely need to, he's willing to give up the opportunity to interrogate her.

Daily Kos :: Comments Miller Released from Jail and Libby LINKS ADDED: "

firedoglake:Plame trial kick into gear around the 2006 elections.

It seems the pundits rumor that the GOP will have time to defuse the multiple indictements it is getting are not really true. After indictement there is more... -- law

firedoglake tells us:
...Traitorgate threatens to take down the Rethugs in more than one way. Remember, this Congress would not impeach George Bush for on-air pedophilia and cannibalism. But as prosecutor Reddhedd explains, the timing of the trials will be key:

All of that to say that it could be anywhere from three months to three years, with the most likely time frame being a year to a year and a half for trials to begin. Depends on the jurisdiction, the number of indictments -- because clearly if there are several indictments, all to be heard in the same jurisdiction, scheduling will become problematic in a short time frame -- and a lot of other factors, but that tends to be the calculation for most trials....

For this case, I'm certain the judge will have some open space considering the national security and political ramifications of a trial on all of these issues.

Assuming Fitzgerald hands down his indictments in the next few weeks (he's long said Judy's testimony was the thing he lacked), it means -- the trials kick into gear right around the time of the 2006 elections.

firedoglake: 09/25/2005 - 10/01/2005

firedoglake - Hooray for Froomkin

Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources' secrets. Your job, in fact, is to expose them. And if a very senior government official, after telling you something in confidence, then tells you that you don't have to keep it secret anymore, the proper response is "Hooray, now I can tell the world" -- not "Sorry, that's not good enough for me, I need that in triplicate." And if you're going to go to jail invoking important, time-honored journalistic principles, make sure those principles really apply.

If the media response this morning is any indication, Judy Kneepads got some 'splainin to do this afternoon.


Miller's Big Secret not Earth shattering

Miller's Big Secret

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, September 30, 2005; 12:03 PM

Can it be? That after all that, New York Times reporter Judith Miller sat in jail for 12 weeks to protect the confidentiality of a very senior White House aide -- even though the aide repeatedly made it clear he didn't want protecting?

That somehow Miller was more intent on keeping their conversations secret than the aide was?

The man she was protecting, it turns out, was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Cheney -- sometimes called "Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney" on account of his considerable influence in the White House.

Over the course of the investigation, Libby had freed several other reporters from any obligation to keep their conversations with him secret -- and his lawyer had apparently told Miller's lawyer more than a year ago that she was free to talk, as well.

So what was Miller doing in jail? Was it all just a misunderstanding? The most charitable explanation for Miller is that she somehow concluded that Libby wanted her to keep quiet, even while he was publicly -- and privately -- saying otherwise. The least charitable explanation is that going to jail was Miller's way of transforming herself from a journalistic outcast (based on her gullible pre-war reporting) into a much-celebrated hero of press freedom.

Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources' secrets. Your job, in fact, is to expose them. And if a very senior government official, after telling you something in confidence, then tells you that you don't have to keep it secret anymore, the proper response is "Hooray, now I can tell the world" -- not "Sorry, that's not good enough for me, I need that in triplicate." And if you're going to go to jail invoking important, time-honored journalistic principles, make sure those principles really apply.

Miller's Big Secret

The Talent Show: Fire and Brimstone

"Bush's pick to head the Supreme Court was sworn in today. In other news, the gates of hell have opened up in Southern California."

The Talent Show: Fire and Brimstone

The Washington Note- Bolton-Loyalist Jeffrey Gedmin Joining America's UN Mission

eff Gedmin is a self-described Bolton loyalist and penned his job application and writing sample for Bolton, "Mein Freund Bolton," in March of this year.

Gedmin's piece is an early preemptive attack on those who would question the appropriateness of Bolton for the key U.N. Ambassadorship and help make Bolton's style of pugnacious nationalism that has so harmed U.S. interests in the last few years seem legitimate for an American envoy.

Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly -- and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard -- and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush's blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.

Iran's pretensions are a clear issue of concern -- but the "bomb them now and get it over" attitude is not going to further American interests and probably is a sure-fire path assuring Iranian commitment to a fully-deployed nuclear weapons program coupled with a pissed-off and isolated Iran.

...the Aspen Institute Berlin's decision to hire Gedmin in Germany gave Germans a much closer feel to the thinking and motivations that ran through neoconservative circles.

The Washington Note Archives: "Bolton-Loyalist Jeffrey Gedmin Joining America's UN Mission"

Daily Kos: John Bolton: Crazy Von Mustache is Baaa-acccck!

ohn Bolton: Crazy Von Mustache is Baaa-acccck!
by Melody Townsel
Fri Sep 30th, 2005 at 11:38:12 CDT

Hello, Kossacks:

I've been laying low here on Kos lately, spending my free time for the last month on Katrina relief -- but this news is well worth sharing.

Our friend Steve Clemons over at the Washington Note is reporting that the Mustachinator is forging new ground in Bushco's race to push the envelope of dysfunctional loyalty. This week, well-placed sources tell Clemons that Joltin' Bolton is tapping Jeffrey Gedmin as a senior member of his staff.

More below the break.

* Melody Townsel's diary :: ::

Here's Steve's take on the news:

President Bush stands by those loyal to him -- as he did with John Bolton, who was precisely the wrong person to send as America's Ambassador to the U.N.

Now John Bolton is reportedly gathering a new group of staffers loyal specifically to him.

News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.

Jeff Gedmin is a self-described Bolton loyalist and penned his job application and writing sample for Bolton, "Mein Freund Bolton," in March of this year."

Why is this important news, other than the fact that it's yet another proof point that the 'Stache is about the worst choice for UN ambassador ever?

Gedmin's piece is an early preemptive attack on those who would question the appropriateness of Bolton for the key U.N. Ambassadorship and help make Bolton's style of pugnacious nationalism that has so harmed U.S. interests in the last few years seem legitimate for an American envoy.

Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly -- and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard -- and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush's blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.

Iran's pretensions are a clear issue of concern -- but the "bomb them now and get it over" attitude is not going to further American interests and probably is a sure-fire path assuring Iranian commitment to a fully-deployed nuclear weapons program coupled with a pissed-off and isolated Iran.

I have maintained a friendly relationship with Jeffrey Gedmin through the years and think that the Aspen Institute Berlin's decision to hire Gedmin in Germany gave Germans a much closer feel to the thinking and motivations that ran through neoconservative circles. This was better for Germans than hiring someone who just reaffirmed dominant German biases. However, even good acquaintances have disagreements -- and John Bolton is a big one.

Bottom line and, really, no surprise? This is exactly what we all expected. More Clemons: "Bolton is bringing people to his side that bolster the neocon element both in the State Department and who reinforce Bolton's long-term agenda of using his perch as a rival voice on U.S. foreign policy to Rice and Zoellick -- and to make sure that the Bolton/Cheney wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment continues strong."

And another, not particularly shocking development? News is trickling out that some of Bolton's underlines at the U.N. are finding him to a micromanaging, difficult to tolerate asshole. I was shocked, SHOCKED, I say, to hear such news.

Clemons believes, as do I, that Bolton is bringing in his own loyalists not just to further his policy agenda, but to serve as "enforcers." Says he "...There may be tensions brewing -- and Bolton may be bringing his own loyalists to keep order and to 'compel' those bureaucrats under his control to do 'exactly what he wants.' Well, we saw how well that went in his last job. . .Bolton's immediate staff as well as the rest of the world (represented at the U.N.) need to watch out."

a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/30/123812/324">Daily Kos: John Bolton: Crazy Von Mustache is Baaa-acccck!

Letter To Governors Asking Them To Defend Science Education

Letter To Governors Asking Them To Defend Science Education

Download a PDF of the Letter to All 50 State Governors Asking Them To Defend Science Education With Signatures of Clergy Members, Nobel Laureates, and Scientists.

To All Fifty State Governors:

As scientists and clergy, we write to express our deep concern about the education of our children. Specifically, we are concerned about efforts to supplement or replace the teaching of evolution in our public schools with religious dogma or unscientific speculation. Science classes should help provide our children with the tools and scientific literacy they need to succeed in a 21st century economy.

We are well aware of studies showing American children falling behind those of other nations in their knowledge and understanding of science. We certainly will not be able to close this gap if we substitute ideology for fact in our science classrooms – limiting students' understanding of a scientific concept as critical as evolution for ideological reasons.

We do not oppose exposing our children to philosophical and spiritual discussion around the origin and meaning of life. There are appropriate venues for such discussion – but not in the context of teaching science in a public school science classroom.

We have come together – people of science and people of faith – for the sake of our children and the competitiveness of our country, to urge you to ensure that:

· Science curricula, state science standards, and teachers emphasize evolution in a manner commensurate with its importance as a unifying concept in science and its overall explanatory power.

· Science teachers in your state are not advocating any religious interpretations of nature and are nonjudgmental about the personal beliefs of students.

· There are no requirements to teach "creation science" or related concepts such as "intelligent design," or to "teach the controversy" – implying that there is legitimate scientific debate about evolution when there is not. Teachers should not be pressured to promote nonscientific views or to diminish or eliminate the study of evolution.

· Publishers of science textbooks should not be required or volunteer to include disclaimers in textbooks that distort or misrepresent the methodology of science and the current body of knowledge concerning the nature and study of evolution.

Our nation's future rests, as always, in the hands of our children. We hope to have your commitment to ensure that our schools teach science, not ignorance, to our children as they prepare the next generation for the challenges of a new century.

Letter To Governors Asking Them To Defend Science Education

Islands of Ignorance: Top 10 Places Where Science Education is Under Threat

Islands of Ignorance: Top 10 Places Where Science Education is Under Threat

Is the religious right pushing "Intelligent Design" in your community?

Islands of Ignorance: Top 10 Places Where Science Education is Under Threat

Daily Kos: Reid Weighs In On Pandemic Flu

Reid Weighs In On Pandemic Flu
by DemFromCT
Thu Sep 29th, 2005 at 22:18:44 CDT

Reid and Frist are on Nightline together tonight. The flu amendment passed by unanimous consent.

Actions speak louder than words. Pandemic flu, as many of you know, is a very real concern right now. These very preparedness issues have been brought up at Daily Kos before by myself, Page and many others;  in fact, posts on pandemic flu can be found all over the Internets across the political spectrum. Indeed, the potential threat of pandemic flu is now in the mainstream, as this National Geographic cover story can attest to. And as of Wednesday, Harry Reid's comments on pandemic flu signal an attempt by the Senate to address some of the ongoing issues in a substantive way:

"Given the very real possibility of an outbreak, its potentially severe consequences, and our relative lack of preparedness, we need to take immediate action on several fronts to prepare this nation and the American people for a potential outbreak and to reduce its impact should it occur.

"Among the steps necessary are:

  • Improve surveillance and international partnerships so we may detect a new flu strain early
  • Prepare for a pandemic by finalizing, implementing, and funding pandemic preparedness and response plans
  • Protect Americans through the development, production, and distribution of an effective vaccine
  • Plan Ahead for a pandemic by stockpiling antiviral medications, medical and other supplies;
  • Strengthen our public health infrastructure
  • Educate Americans by increasing awareness and education about pandemic flu
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to commit to protecting Americans by devoting adequate resources to pandemic preparedness.

Daily Kos: Reid Weighs In On Pandemic Flu

Daily Kos: Dear Rove and Bush, From Osama Bin Laden

This is your nemesis and head of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden. Remember me? I am the one that masterminded 9-11. It seems you only care about me during political campaign season. What gives?

* balletshooz's diary :: ::

I just want to mention one brief issue. It appears Judith Miller has finally been broken and now she will testify before the Grand Jury in the Karl Rove, Scooter Libby CIA leak case. I am sorry that some of your inner circle are likely to be charged criminally for causing the security breach and / or lying to authorities, but I would like to thank you myself for the breach.

Without your help in outing Valerie Plame and her entire worldwide, undercover WMD apparatus, it would have been much harder to obtain WMD and it is likely many of my men would have been duped by spies connected to her operation and would have been arrested by your security forces...

On a perosnal note, you said you would fire anyone involved in the leak. Now that we know Rove and Libby were involved, you flip-flopped and are keeping them in your inner-circle. If you were at all interested in this national security breach, all you have to do is walk down the hall and ask Rove or Scooter, "What happened?" or "Why did you do this?"

You probably cannot imagine the joy it brings me to know that you retain confidence in those who make my job easier.

My war against America and the Jews is real, but I guess to you, the "war on terror" is just a political game you pay lip service to in order to win elections. In fact, I should have known this before because when Bill Clinton launched a cruise missile strike against me, you were more interested in DNA stains on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress.

Daily Kos: Dear Rove and Bush, From Osama Bin Laden

Hammer to the Slammer: Curtains for GOPMOB

September 30,2005-Venice, FL.
by Daniel Hopsicker

The investigation into the 4-year old murder of Sun Cruz Casino boat founder Konstantinos ‘Gus’ Boulis in Fort Lauderdale has begun to reveal hidden connections between Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s gargantuan fund-raising machine, essential to victory in the past two Presidential elections, and a cast of underworld characters not previously thought of as exemplifying what have come to be known as “Republican family values.”

Hammer to the Slammer: Curtains for GOPMOB

Constructive Interference: DeLay Indicted

This indictment brings out the culture of corruption that has become the Republican party's style of government. From DeLay to Frist to Plamegate to Abramoff, there are just too much criminal activity in the Republican leadership to describe. The Democrats will be forging a broad front strategy to highlight this rampant corruption in upcoming campaigns.

I also have to say that there is a striking contrast between having people in government, like the Clinton administration, who believe in government and having people, like the current or the Nixon administration, who despise government. It took eight years of continuous investigation of every rumor and innuendo, plus $75 Million, to find out that Clinton lied about oral sex. But with these Republican administrations the mere existence of any police or courts will quickly turn up conspiracy, bribery, fraud, murder, burglary, hush funds, and every other form of corruption. Let's return to putting people in authority who believe in the job that they are hired to be do.

Constructive Interference: DeLay Indicted

Daily Kos: Miller Released from Jail and Libby LINKS ADDED

Miller Released from Jail and Libby LINKS ADDED
by spacerock [Subscribe]
Thu Sep 29th, 2005 at 18:01:26 CDT

From the Philly Inquirer:

She was released after she had a telephone conversation with the Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, sources said. In that conversation, Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, sources said.


So does this mean she'll be spilling the beans?

Update: MSNBC is confirming according to multiple posts below. Will be testifying tomorrow

Daily Kos: Miller Released from Jail and Libby LINKS ADDED

Miller was looking for a way out of jail.

Bingo! Libby was not overcome with decency, he just had no choice but an "honorable retreat". Miller would talk anyway -- law

N.Y. Times Reporter Testifies in CIA Leak Case

People involved in the case said they began to hear earlier this week that Miller was looking for a way out of jail.In recent weeks, people close to Miller said her attorneys grew anxious that Fitzgerald would extend her time behind bars. Fitzgerald has the authority to extend the grand jury investigating possible leaks for another 18 months, and he could ask the judge to hold Miller in jail for six more months, lawyers familiar with the case said.

According to a source familiar with Libby's account of his conversations with Miller in July 2003, the subject of Wilson's wife came up on two occasions. In the first, on July 8, Miller met with Libby to interview him about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the source said.

At that time, she asked him why Wilson had been chosen to investigate questions Cheney had posed about whether Iraq tried to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger. Libby, the source familiar with his account said, told her that the White House was working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected."

Libby told Miller he heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with sending him but he did not know who she was or where she worked, the source said.

Libby had a second conversation with Miller on July 12 or July 13, the source said, in which he said he had learned that Wilson's wife had a role in sending him on the trip and that she worked for the CIA. Libby never knew Plame's name or that she was a covert operative, the source said...

Libby did not talk to Novak about the case, the source said.

One lawyer involved in the case said Miller's attorneys reached an agreement with Fitzgerald that may confine prosecutors' questions solely to Miller's conversations with Libby. Bennett, reached last night, said he could not discuss the terms of the agreement for Miller's testimony. Abrams did not return a call seeking comment.

One lawyer said it could become clear as early as next week whether Fitzgerald plans to indict anyone or has negotiated a plea bargain.

Other reporters, including Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, have provided limited testimony about their conversations with Libby after receiving what they said were explicit waivers of their confidentiality agreements...

Lawyers involved in the case believe today's testimony could mark the end of an investigation in which more than a dozen Bush administration officials have testified before a federal grand jury or have talked to FBI agents involved in the nearly two-year-old probe. Bush was interviewed as part of the investigation.

Fitzgerald cast a wide net, interviewing numerous State Department officials and some of Bush's closest advisers, to determine if anyone illegally revealed Plame's name.

Fitzgerald has made it clear for more than a year that Miller was the main obstacle to completing the case and that he was prepared to exert pressure on her to testify. People involved in the case said they began to hear earlier this week that Miller was looking for a way out of jail.

In recent weeks, people close to Miller said her attorneys grew anxious that Fitzgerald would extend her time behind bars. Fitzgerald has the authority to extend the grand jury investigating possible leaks for another 18 months, and he could ask the judge to hold Miller in jail for six more months, lawyers familiar with the case said.

Miller's role had been one of the great mysteries in the leak probe. It is unclear why she emerged as a central figure in the probe despite not writing a story about the case.
N.Y. Times Reporter Testifies in CIA Leak Case

N.Y. Times Reporter Judy Miller Testifies in CIA Leak Case - It was Libby

How nice of Libby to remember she has been in jail for 3 months! Of course, it could be that she is fed up, so Libby didn't have any choice in the matter and "released her" just to save face. -- law

N.Y. Times Reporter Testifies in CIA Leak Case
Miller Says Source Released Her From Pledge of Confidentiality

By William Branigin, Susan Schmidt and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 30, 2005; 3:33 PM

New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified today before a federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity and said afterward she agreed to end her stay in jail and cooperate with the probe after receiving a personal go-ahead from her source and a prosecutor's promise that her testimony would be limited.

Miller, speaking to reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse in Washington, said her source had released her from a pledge of confidentiality through "a personal letter and, most important, a telephone call to me at the jail." This personal communication went beyond a general waiver that she had previously rejected and assured her that "my source genuinely wanted me to testify," she said.

fter she received this "personal, voluntary waiver," Miller said, her lawyer approached the special prosecutor in the leak investigation and received an assurance that her testimony would be narrowly limited to her communications with the source. She did not mention the source's name in her brief appearance on the courthouse steps, but he has been identified previously as I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Cheney. Libby called Miller at the jail in Northern Virginia last week, according to his lawyer.

"I served 85 days in jail because of my belief in the importance of upholding the confidential relationship journalists have with their sources," Miller said..

Miller, 57, was released from the Alexandria Detention Center shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday after her attorney, Robert S. Bennett, reached an agreement on her testimony with special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, according to two lawyers familiar with the case. She had been in jail since July 6.

N.Y. Times Reporter Testifies in CIA Leak Case