Free Don Siegelman

h/t Ellroon @ Rants from the Rookery, and thanks to BradBlog.

Jena, Louisiana

Subornation and obstruction of Congressional investigation

Eli @ Multi-Medium:

So… the Bush Administration is suborning contempt?

Josh says it a bit better than I did earlier:

But the White House is urging her to ignore the subpoena. And since, in the words of Taylor’s lawyer, the president is “a person whom [Taylor] admires and for whom she has worked tirelessly for years”, she doesn’t want to testify and thinks she shouldn’t have to.Pleading the fifth is on the books. Various privileges, though most are bogus, can be asserted and litigated. But being a member of the Bush personality cult just isn’t a reason to refuse to testify.

Right. There may be some imagined if probably bogus privilege the Bushies can try to claim. They could use that claim to try to block her from testifying by going through the courts. But there’s no “I want to testify but I can’t because they’re telling me not to” rule that makes any sense.

Related post:

Resign or be impeached, there is no other choice.

Whose mission?

Hat-tip Ellroon.

Witness, receive and transmit.

I do recall

Comey explained yesterday:

COMEY: Mrs. Ashcroft reported that a call had come through, and that as a result of that call Mr. Card and Mr. Gonzales were on their way to the hospital to see Mr. Ashcroft.

SCHUMER: Do you have any idea who that call was from?

COMEY: I have some recollection that the call was from the president himself.

Hat-tip Space Cowboy.

Here is the testimony of (former) acting attorney general James Comey to the senate judiciary committee.

And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me — drawn from the hour-long meeting we’d had a week earlier — and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, But that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the attorney general.

Related post:

Sibel Edmonds

Congress has exclusive authority to issue letters of marque and reprisal

“Congress owes it to the American people to take down the curtain of secrecy surrounding these shadow forces that often act in the name and on the payroll of the people of this country.”

Hat-tip Cookie Jill.

Should poor people be denied music, or even poetry, unless by corporate consent?

for anne sexton

looking down on empty streets, all she can see
are the dreams all made solid
are the dreams all made real

all of the buildings, all of the cars
were once just a dream
in somebody’s head

she pictures the broken glass, she pictures the steam
she pictures a soul
with no leak at the seam

lets take the boat out
wait until darkness
let’s take the boat out
wait until darkness comes

nowhere in the corridors of pale green and grey
nowhere in the suburbs
in the cold light of day

there in the midst of it so alive and alone
words support like bone

dreaming of mercy st.
wear your inside out
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy’s arms again
dreaming of mercy st.
‘swear they moved that sign
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy’s arms

pulling out the papers from the drawers that slide smooth
tugging at the darkness, word upon word

confessing all the secret things in the warm velvet box
to the priest;he’s the doctor
he can handle the shocks

dreaming of the tenderness, tremble in the hips
of kissing Mary’s lips

dreaming of mercy st.
wear your insides out
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy’s arms again
dreaming of mercy st.
‘swear they moved that sign
looking for mercy
in your daddy’s arms

mercy, mercy, looking for mercy
mercy, mercy, looking for mercy

Anne, with her father is out in the boat
riding the water
riding the waves on the sea

Recommended listening:

Philip Workman

Killed by the state of Tennessee.

Did two or more persons conspire to start a war based upon knowing deception?

Hat-tip Len Hart.

Who killed Tom Wales?

Usually, when a federal prosecutor is murdered, you would expect the department of justice to move heaven and earth to find the killer. But when US Attorney John McKay tried to investigate, he was fired.

More from the Washington Post.

Hat-tip Josh Marshall.

Related posts:

Former US Attorney John McKay on Alberto Gonzales

Thanks to Josh Marshall.

It’s not only the crime itself, but the lies that followed

Rhonda Cook reports on the case of Kathryn Johnston in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which you can also read at the Media Awareness Project. This is an excerpt:

Five or six bullets hit the terrified woman. Authorities never figured out who fired the fatal bullet, the one that hit Johnston in the chest. Some pieces of the other bullets — friendly fire — hit Junnier and two other cops.

The officers handcuffed the mortally wounded woman and searched the house.

There was no Sam.

There were no drugs.

There were no cameras that the officers had claimed was the reason for the no-knock warrant.

Just Johnston, handcuffed and bleeding on her living room floor.

That is when the officers took it to another level. Three baggies of marijuana were retrieved from the trunk of the car and planted in Johnston’s basement. The rest of the pot from the trunk was dropped down a sewage drain and disappeared.

The three began getting their stories straight.

Hat-tip Pete Guither.

Related posts:

Equal justice for men and women

Congress must investigate this.

Arpaio believes that inmates should not be treated better than the average citizen. Thus, upon his initial election Arpaio began instituting the controversial changes for which he would later become noted.Arpaio began to serve inmates surplus food (mainly outdated and oxidized green bologna) and limited meals to twice daily. Meal costs would be reduced to 90 cents per day; as of 2007 Arpaio claims that he has managed to reduce costs to a mere 15 cents per day. Certain food items were banned from the county jail, mainly coffee (which also reduced ‘coffee attacks’ on guards), but later salt and pepper were removed from the jail (at a purported taxpayer savings of $20,000/year).

Full stop. It gets worse.

P.S. Burton has more.

Update: Here he is. The first three minutes are a little bit slow, but it gets interesting from there.

Alberto Gonzales, going with the “just following orders” defense?

Cernig writes,

A manager as awful as Gonzales admits himself to be should be fired if he won’t resign – his only possible plus point being that this managerial awfullness appears to be exactly what Rove was counting on.

STRANGE WOMAN: It is a most elusive fish!
STRANGE MAN: And it went wherever I did go.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: A-fish, a-fish, a-fish, a-fishy, ooooh.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: That went wherever I did go.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Look up his trunk!
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Yeah, it’s hidden in his trousers!

Well isn’t that special?

Related posts:

Right fucking now.

Katie Couric: Plagiarist

Passing someone’s words off as your own without attribution is plagiarism. Reading someone else’s words in first person, saying things like, “I still remember when I got my first library card, browsing through the stacks for my favorite books,” is dishonest if it was not your own recollection. But having ghost writers in news reporting is one thing, and having ghost writers who themselves plagiarize other writers is another. If you read a work-for-hire, you claim credit, so you must also accept responsibility.

Katie owes the American public an apology, a correction for the record, and very possibly her resignation unless she can demonstrate some reason we should trust her now.

And I owe more thanks to Melissa McEwan for this:

Update: It’s interesting to Google for “Katie Couric plagiarist” — you find gems like this.

Update 2: I should have included the direct link to Oliver Willis above. It’s a gem:

She clearly wasn’t involved at all. She had no idea what she was saying. They stuck something on a teleprompter and like she’s done for years now, Couric just read the darn thing.

Sad, but if true, it’s hardly an excuse.

Pictures of beautiful women

Don Imus is more despicable than anyone I can think of. Not only does he have the need to be insulting and rude to his audience and guests, he thinks that in the life of a young woman who has achieved some accomplishment deserving praise, she ought to be cussed at with racist and sexually offensive terms. Don is a wealthy, wealthy man. He’s got everything money can buy, doesn’t he? And all he’s got for it is hatred and disgust for himself and everyone on the planet.

Yeah, I’m big pimpin’ alright. I’m telling you. These are women who deserve respect.

But you gotta go read the General, so you know what this is about. Inform yourself about the people you see on television and listen to on the radio, see the victims of their hatred, and be disgusted. I won’t demand anyone be fired, no. If his employers intend to convey the message he conveys, they should keep him on, and they should wear him as a badge of pride, such as cometh before the fall.

Update: MSNBC has reportedly fired Don Imus. No word on CBS yet.

Update 2: CBS has also canceled his contract. Hat-tip Waveflux.

War. What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing.

Hat-tip Nicole Belle.

Save this city.

Hat-tip D.R. Scott.

On blogonomics

Melissa McEwan, my friend who runs Shakesville (formerly Shakespeare’s Sister), has an excellent post about how we as a blogging community might sustain ourselves. Obviously we can do this out of our pockets and free time for only so long, but we do not want to become compromised by anyone for the sake of a coin. Advertisers will limit what you can or cannot say. Mimus Pauly wrote a long but very good post about this the day before yesterday. For him this must be always a part-time endeavor, his advice — don’t quit your day job (he hasn’t).

But good writers should have a way to write full-time. Good bloggers should be able to make this a profession, and afford to feed themselves and their families without selling out. The alternative is that you will have no good bloggers that do it for a long time, and eventually our whole ecosystem will be corporate shills like we have on the mainstream media today.

We need patronage, we need to do some things to make a network of bloggers that can rate one another in terms of worthiness, and help new bloggers get connected with a source of funding. We need a structure that is more than each of us having a donation box, as patrons may not know about more than a few of the larger blogs, and some of us blog semi-pseudonymously for good reasons.

Cannablog is a blog about cannabis, and I am a medical marijuana patient in California. This is information I have made public and I feel no great concern about my safety in saying so. California law protects patients. The federal government may have other ideas, and that is something that needs badly to change. Though I feel safe now, I am not safe forever, if it does not. But in other states, medical patients who are living and not dying because they take cannabis are constantly at risk of arrest and imprisonment by local and state officials now. If they want to be bloggers and honestly talk about how cannabis helps them, they cannot use their names. This needs to change.

I want to ensure that they can be funded somehow, to be given help so that they can afford to live, so they can feed their families. They are capable of being great writers and bloggers, and if you think otherwise, if you think this blog is substandard in any way, then I would ask you to please leave a comment and tell me what you’d like to see me do better.

This is, for me, a labor of love. I do it because I must do it. I do it because it is more important to try to stop war than anything else I can do, and this is how I can help to achieve that objective. But I must eat. All must eat.

More than a few loose ends

Rez Dog at Mockingbird’s Medley provides a good wrap-up of some very suspicious military deaths that require investigation. I’m copying the whole thing because I don’t want you to have to go farther than necessary to find out more information about each of these cases.

A petition worth your attention is one on behalf of PFC LaVena Johnson whose death in Iraq was ruled a suicide despite obvious signs of a beating. Read the whole story at Welcome to Pottersville. I found the story at Shakespeare’s Sister where Waveflux has been blogging the story for a while.

Here’s yet another suspicious set of circumstances that masks the reality that the chain of command would rather ignore. Here in Arizona, we have a similar military death, SPC Alyssa Petersen of Flagstaff, whose suicide came after she was displayed too much empathy with detainees and was unable to interrogate them as directed.

Arizona, of course, has the well-known case of fabricated events in the death of SPC Pat Tillman but everybody knows that. The less well-known are easily overlooked by the electronic circus that passes for news in this country. All the more reason for citizens to speak out and ask questions.

High society

Copyright be damned, and torturers go to hell real quick

Terry Jones Here is Terry Jones. Via Why Now?

Call that humiliation?

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch

Terry Jones
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this – allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world – have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God’s sake, what’s wrong with putting a bag over her head? That’s what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it’s hard to breathe. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can’t be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn’t be able to talk at all. Of course they’d probably find it even harder to breathe – especially with a bag over their head – but at least they wouldn’t be humiliated.And what’s all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It’s time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That’s one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn’t rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it’s just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What’s more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting “stress positions”, which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It’s all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is “unhappy and stressed”.

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her “unhappy and stressed”. She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer – whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python
www.terry-jones.net

Please help

I need some advice on how to continue to blog as I have been and still make a little bit more than nothing with two clients across the country one of whom may soon cease to be able to afford me due to the financial condition of his main client. I am in no risk of starving, between my wife’s graduate stipend and a bit we got for our condo when we moved we are okay, but we’re thinking we might want to have kids sometime and it can’t happen if we’re already running a small deficit every month.

Are you experienced?

Have you ever been experienced?

Hat-tip Cookie Jill.

Related posts:

Do you prefer plagues of locusts?

Derek Hale, age 25, Iraq veteran

Derek Hale

Murdered, November 6, 2006.

Nov. 6 — Derek Hale is shot to death by Wilmington Police Lt. William Browne, while Browne and other officers and troopers were attempting to “take Hale into custody.”

Nov. 7 — Police release some information about the killing. In a written statement, Wilmington police say Hale (whom they hadn’t yet named) was shot three times because an “officer in close proximity to the developments feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat. That officer then utilized deadly force.”

Nov. 8 — Police identify Hale. Asked if he ever threatened officers, police say, “In a sense, when he did not comply with their commands.” As to why Hale was being sought, Wilmington police defer to the Delaware State Police, who declined to comment.

More from William Grigg. Hat-tip Wayne and Hope.

The case for war on invasion and occupation of Iraq

This video is about an hour long.

Hat-tip P.S. Burton.

Recommended listening (which is much less than an hour long):

Update: I decided to take Nicole Belle’s advice, which is true. There was never a war declared on Iraq. It was and is an invasion and occupation in violation of international law.

What do you call a guilty plea made under conditions of likely torture and with denial of prepared counsel?

David Hicks (pictured here) pled guilty to a charge today. It was the only way he was going to be allowed to make any kind of deal to go home. Ever.

I have no idea if the charges are based on anything but speculation. I’ll never believe justice was done under these conditions.

The plea to a late night specially convened military commission came after an apparent deal was reached between his defence attorney and the prosecution.

They couldn’t even stand the light of day in Guantanamo Bay.

Pirates are the ones that steal the gold, not the kids listening to the music

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are a bunch of music pirates that extort money to line their own pockets from people who cannot afford to defend themselves from barratry and who are accused of the awful sin of unauthorized listening to music.

Not that I have a strong opinion about them or anything.

Chuck Dupree has more.

Update: Xeni Jardin writes about the RIAA going after a ten-year-old girl (seven when she’s alleged to have done the dirty downloading deed).

Former Deputy Secretary of Interior J. Steven Griles

Paul Kiel at TPMmuckraker:

The AP has reported that “federal prosecutors will seek no more than a 10-month prison sentence for Griles – the minimum they could seek under sentencing guidelines – but they will agree to let him serve half that in home confinement.”

Dong Hits 4 Kenneth: 420Hz on your radio receiver

Kenneth Starr loves the Clenis.

Recommended listening:

So easy even a caveman could understand it

Glenn Greenwald:

First, the President began his Press Conference by admitting that the administration’s explanations as to what happened here have been — to use his own words — “confusing” and “incomplete.” Why, then, would Congress possibly trust Bush officials to provide more explanations in an off-the-record, no-transcript setting where there are no legal consequences from failing to tell the truth?

Related posts:

Strange and unexpected combinations

A real problem for somebody

Hypocrisy

Look!

Now I will tell you a secret.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bite-sized morsels of obstruction of justice stay crisp and crunchy in milk

WASHINGTON – Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.

Source: McClatchy.

When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

First denial, then anger. Next up?

Bargaining:

As the meeting was breaking up, Gonzales suddenly switched tacks and seemed to want to be cooperative. “How can we make this better?” he asked. “What can we do?” According to this source, the attorney general seemed to some in the room to be genuinely befuddled.

Source: Newsweek via David Kurtz.

Depression is next, and with it, resignation. This will not go away.

Related post:

Impeachment testimony

Things we do not know we don’t know — but intend to find out

Related post:

Is that a “Known Unknown?”

Click chart for more from BradBlog.

What did the president know and when did he know it? Who would have known before Rove and Cheney?

Related post:

Who investigates himself?

Henry Waxman, committee on oversight and government reform chair (emphasis added):

Rep. Waxman asks White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten to explain why the White House failed to conduct any investigation following the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA employment. The letter follows the testimony of the Director of the Office of Security at the White House, James Knodell, that the White House Security Office did not follow the investigative steps prescribed by Executive Order 12958.

There was no investigation. Why would they perform one? It would just incriminate the president.

Hat-tip Ellroon. More from Shakes and Brad Friedman.

And just to clear up any mistaken ideas you might have about whether there was a crime committed, Rep. Waxman reports:

General Hayden and the CIA have cleared these following comments for today’s hearing. During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958.

At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.

And there you have it.

Hat-tip Pudentilla.

If you take responsibility, you must resign.

Hat-tip Shakes for the video. Now John Edwards has called for Gonzales’ resignation as well. One more point for John Edwards. I wish I could make a stronger recommendation but I won’t be able to do so until I know where he stands on medical cannabis.

Related post:

Update: Even more, and the hits will keep on coming.

Update 2: The next installment, like I said.

Contempt of congress

Alberto Gonzales and DOJ officials materially misled congress with intent to evade oversight.

Meanwhile, across the pond

Hat-tip Allison Margolin.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.