ThePoliticalCat

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Politics: What the HAIL

are they puttin' in the water today? Anyone know?

Because I'm looking at the top headlines here, and this is what I see:
  • Cafferty File viewers: Let's start another revolution

  • White House: Fake FEMA news conference won't happen again
  • Democrats have votes to hold two White House officials in contempt by full House vote: report
  • Rumsfeld hit with torture lawsuit while visiting Paris
  • Plame: Disclosure of classified status amounted to 'treason'
Wha' hoppen? Did the country wake up overnight? Did the Feds forget to put valium in the water this week?

Let's see, did the MSM publish any of these stories?

Well, the NYT did carry the story about Rumsfeld, under the much more innocuous title of "Torture Complaint Filed Against Rumsfeld" in its World news section. I don't see any coverage of the fake FEMA press conference, Cafferty's viewers' reaction to the Chimperor, the contempt vote, or Plame's labeling of her outing as "treason."

The WaPoo covered the FEMA fake press conference on its front page. Nothing about the other stories. The local fishwrap has its usual amazing dearth of stories of any import, although there's always the sob-sister front pagers about dead people and the naughty bits about nekkid people running amuck in the public bogs. Nothing in the Boston Globe. The L.A. birdcage liner, understandably, is dominated by news of the fires.

Okay, maybe it's all a dream and I'll wake up in a bit. But for now, some tasty snippets:

Cafferty: apparently made this remark yesterday, and why the press isn't chasing their tails like mad dogs, I just don't know. Buncha worthless dolts we have in the Fourth Estate:
"The president of the United States didn't have the power to spy on Americans ... operate secret prisons ... suspend due process ... torture ... hide the conduct of the government from the public," Cafferty stated. "It's not like anybody gave President Bush any of these powers -- he took them, as a brain-dead Congress just stood there and watched."
His viewers were even more enthusiastic, opining:
"Remember the 60's?" wrote one Baby Boomer. "Well, they're back. Only this time it's not a decade. It's the age on our driver's licenses. Let's start another revolution. ... It's time to overthrow the government."

"King Bush. Queen Hillary. America is now a democratic dictatorship, nobody is going to change that. Power is everything; get used to it."

An[other] suggested. "George Bush is the next president. He and Darth Cheney will be surrendering none of their bounty. Forty years of planning to hand it all to Hillary Clinton? Not a chance. If you think there'll be a November 8 election, give my regards to the Easter Bunny."
I call that news. Sounds to me like The People are Mighty Pissed Off. And it's not as if Cafferty gets Far Left viewers or dirty fucking hippies (as they're known in the blogosphere) tuning in. View the video clip here.

Fake FEMA press conference: The WaPoo reported today that FEMA held a "press conference" in which members of its own staff pretended to be representatives of the press. They got busted, thank goodness, and the White House quickly distanced itself from the ensuing fallout.
Perino said FEMA alone was responsible for the decision to go ahead with the event.

"FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California," she said. "It's not something I would have condoned. And they, I'm sure, will not do it again."
Upon reading the FEMA equivalent of an apology, it seems to me that the White House might want to mandate courses in apologyology for FEMA staff. They suck ass at it, although I guess it's par for the course.
White House officials face contempt charges: John Conyers says he and Nancy Pelosi are surveying the House Democratic caucus on the issue of bringing criminal contempt charges against Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten. The vote could happen within the next two weeks, although the Justice Department had earlier stated that they would not pursue criminal charges. But now that the criminally corrupt former attorney general is busy alienating his family in Texas, perhaps that's changed too. Anyway. Keep an eye out.
Dummy - oops, Rummy's torture complaint: A coalition of international human rights groups slapped Mr. HappySlappy with a suit that alleges that during his tenure, the former defense secretary "ordered and authorized" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

One of the groups responsible for bringing the charges is the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
"There are Guantananamo detainees who were tortured that are living in France," said [its spokesman]. "It gives French courts another reason to prosecute."

Ratner says Europe is "getting very hot for Rumsfeld," and suggests a French court could at least issue its version of a subpoena.

"We hope that this case will move forward," he said, "especially as the US says it can continue to torture people."

Other groups involved in the complaint include the International Federation of Human Rights, the French League for Human Rights and Germany's European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
Would that be the "Old Europe" you derided back in those heady days of power when you sat at the right hand of that guy you're too busy to miss, Li'l Boots is his name?

For a PDF file with details of the allegations against Rummy, go here.
And finally, Valerie Plame told Chris Matthews on Hardball where to stick it.
Matthews asked Plame how, if she believed the Bush administration had covered up a "false case for war," that she didn't also anticipate that the White House would strike back at her personally.

"Call me naive," she said, "but that wasn't on our list of options...we didn't actually consider they would betray our country's national security to get at me."
That's exactly what they did by blowing her cover. Her job was to keep an eye on acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the middle-east. She was trained to manage a group of intelligence analysts who cultivated sources of information, analysed the derived data, and prepared reports for our government. Keeping her status secret required the setting up of cover organizations complete with identities and cover stories, personnel, offices, locations, covert and noncovert staff.

In one fell swoop, the petty Darth Cheney destroyed all that because he was pissed off with Joe Wilson. You might not like Mr. Wilson or Ms. Plame, but the fact is that blowing the cover of an intelligence operative is not something to be undertaken lightly. Intelligence networks take time and effort - sometimes decades - to build. Destroying them has far-reaching implications.

Every single person who ever had any contact with Valerie Plame over the course of her entire service and her trips around the world has been placed under scrutiny by multiple intelligence operatives of other governments as a result of that contact. Whether it was a friend's friend, a casual acquaintance, a friendly reporter, or a hotel clerk, they are all going to be followed, sussed out, maybe even questioned, to determine the exact nature of their relationship with her. If any of them were operatives that she turned, or sources of information, their usefulness has been destroyed.

The entire network will have to be recreated, slowly and painfully. Meanwhile, every American living or working abroad will be subjected to additional scrutiny, especially anyone in the diplomatic corps. All because one nasty old man wanted revenge. Yes, it's treason. I'm disgusted that no other fishwrap reported it as such.

See the video clip here.

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