The Libertarian party has nominated Bob Barr for president.
He is completely unqualified for the office, and should not be elected. Nevertheless, I hope he will be invited to participate in debates with Barack Obama and John McCain. I am presuming the Democratic nomination, at this point, but I will allow that there exists some minuscule probability that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee, in which case sharing a stage with one of the chief impeachment prosecutors of Bill Clinton seems unlikely.
But for the record I’d like to see the Green nominee included in debates as well.
Larisa Alexandrovna writes a letter.
Sitting just feet from the courtroom table where he had once planned to make cases against military detainees, Air Force Col. Morris Davis instead took the witness stand to declare under oath that he felt undue pressure to hurry cases along so that the Bush administration could claim before political elections that the system was working.
* * *
Davis said he wants to wait until the cases — and the military commissions system — have a more solid legal footing. He also said that Defense Department general counsel William J. Haynes II, who announced his retirement in February, once bristled at the suggestion that some defendants could be acquitted, an outcome that Davis said would give the process added legitimacy.
“He said, ‘We can’t have acquittals,’ ” Davis said under questioning from Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, the military counsel who represents Hamdan. ” ‘We’ve been holding these guys for years. How can we explain acquittals? We have to have convictions.’ “
I normally don’t do this kind of thing, but I feel compelled to defend Bill O’Reilly for his revelation that black people can sometimes act just like white people. He is absolutely correct. I’ve seen it. They can ask for things without saying “motherfucker,” they can eat food that sometimes isn’t fried chicken or watermelon, and they can often go long periods of time without copulating or flinging their poop at the bystanders watching them.
I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’ve seen it. I can state unequivocally that, were it not for their skin color, you’d almost think some of them were white.
I am expecting that we will see a motion in the House and Senate condemning Media matters for criticizing Bill O’Reilly any day now…
Donna Woodka @ Changing Places sends along this
Elizabeth Edwards calls in to Hardball to confront Ann Coulter, who has called John Edwards a “faggot” and yesterday said “[I]f I’m gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
Update: Melissa McEwan thinks it’s unfair to call Ann Coulter a transsexual. I’m not saying she is, but it seems a fair question to ask her about since people have been saying it for a long time and she’s never responded, and because she’s calling people “faggot” she’s opened the door to questions about her own sexual identity.
This is literally unbelievable. Dallal Muhamed–an Iraqi woman who arrived in the US eight years ago for political asylum after being raped by Saddam’s henchmen–is being deported because..get this…she failed to prove to the 9th Circuit Court that she would be tortured if repatriated to Iraq.
She disbelieves, but it is true.
Another birthday song for you. Hope your year is a great one!
To shades of gray. Not black and white. Very little in this world is black and white, except the words.
Tip the fedora to malicenwunderland
In addition to Congressional investigations, there is simply no excuse for anything other than the immediate commencement of a criminal investigation by a Special Prosecutor.
Iraq veteran Gen. John Batiste “has been asked to leave his position as a consultant to CBS News” over a new VoteVets ad criticizing the Iraq war.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is the single worst law enacted during the Bush presidency. It vests in the President the power to detain people indefinitely with no meaningful opportunity to contest the government’s accusations. That is the very power the Founders sought first and foremost to prohibit.
Former U.S. AID director Randall Tobias, who resigned yesterday upon admitting that he frequented a Washington escort service, oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.”
This essay was written by Chris Dashiell, and is cross-posted by permission.
Andrew Sullivan’s latest book has the unintentionally ridiculous title of: The Conservative Soul. The sub-title is: “How we lost it, how to get it back.”
This of course assumes that the conservative had a soul to begin with, a proposition that I don’t find self-evident. From defending the right to own slaves, through fighting against suffrage for women, to suppressing the right of labor to organize and championing the war in Vietnam, the American conservative has not demonstrated what I would consider a soul under any but the most abstract definition.
For conservatism to gain something resembling a soul, it will have to pay attention to the needs of people rather than just corporations. It will have to recognize that the public good is not subsidiary to the profit motive. The conservative strategy has been to turn everything into an opportunity for business to make money, and to hell with education, health care, the arts, human rights, and the environment. If liberals hadn’t intervened, children would still be working in factories. (They still are in other countries—countries where American corporations move their plants.) The conservatives weren’t the ones fighting to end segregation—they were busy calling Martin Luther King a Communist. Karl Rove didn’t invent the “win at any cost” strategy—he just refined it. The Republican Party has been cynically exploiting racial bigotry and fear in order to win elections for generations.
So I’m not particularly receptive to the lukewarm awakenings of conservatives such as Mr. Sullivan. If you’ve turned a blind eye to torture, the killing of innocents for profit, and the undermining of the American Constitution itself, your sudden realization that Bush is fiscally irresponsible does not qualify as an act of moral redemption. When you’ve cheerleaded the war in Iraq, stupidly swallowing every lie and deriding those who had the sense to question or challenge the Bush regime, turning around now and saying that the war was a mistake is not a significant revelation.
If Bush’s poll numbers were in the 70s instead of the reverse, I am certain that Mr. Sullivan would not be questioning the conservative soul, just as I know that if he had not happened to be born gay, he would be just as opposed to gay rights as any other Thatcherite. Mr. Sullivan spends a lot of time telling us about his devout Catholic faith. If there’s one facet of Christianity he and his conservative soul-mates could really use, it is true, heartfelt repentance. Their policies have led us to disaster. Their advice has been the most unreliable and destructive we could have received. Yet I sense no remorse, only belated justifications.
For the conservative to get a soul, he needs to find out what a conscience is. He needs to stop lecturing the rest of us about morality and look at the immorality, the criminality, of what has been done by his movement and his party. The conservative (and I speak figuratively of the so-called conservative movement and not just of Mr. Sullivan) has blood on his hands. It will take a lot more than blithely talking about the soul to wash those hands clean.
O’Reilly, who has been ripping into Rosie O’Donnell for spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories, has his own JFK conspiracy theories.
Update: Whatever you do, don’t watch Bill Hicks in this video. Besides, it has nothing to do with O’Reilly. Read something else.
Greenwald recounts a personal interview with Jeffrey Schneider, Senior Vice President of ABC News, regarding their story about Iran’s alleged Uranium enrichment activities. Schneider refuses to divulge any more info on the sources for that story nor even who in ABC News decided what attribution was appropriate.
Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) suggest that White House liaison Monica Goodling doesn’t have a basis to invoke that right and, therefore, shouldn’t be exempted from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.
Update: Here is the full letter. Hat-tip Paul Kiel.
Dear Mr. Dowd:
We are in receipt of your letter of March 30, 2007, requesting that we communicate with you, rather than the Department of Justice, regarding the House Judiciary Committee’s interest in questioning your client, Monica Goodling, Esq.
On behalf of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, we write to request that your client, Ms. Goodling, voluntarily appear to be interviewed by our staff in the next week and to discuss the justification for her apparent decision to invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege to questions relating to her role in the termination of several United States Attorneys and the Department’s response to requests by the Congress for information relating to the terminations.
We have reviewed Ms. Goodling’s declaration and the letters you sent to us and Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we are concerned that several of the asserted grounds for refusing to testify do not satisfy the well-established bases for a proper invocation of the Fifth Amendment against self- incrimination. In addition, of course, the Fifth Amendment privilege, under long-standing Supreme Court precedents, does not provide a reason to fail to appear to testify; the privilege must be invoked by the witness on a question-by-question basis.
The interview we seek could obviate the need to subpoena Ms. Goodling and require her to appear at a public hearing and require her to invoke the privilege to specific questions. We believe that such a proceeding, consistent with the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents, would permit the public to see and hear the specific questions to which Ms. Goodling is asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and to permit the Congress and the public to draw appropriate inferences from her invocation of the privilege and the Department of Justice’s failure to insist that she waive the privilege. See Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308 (1976); Brinks, Inc. v. City of New York, 71 7 F.3d 700 (2d Cir. 1983); United States v. District Council of New York City, 832 F. Supp. 644 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) [where the court upheld the position of the Department of Justice that adverse inferences should be drawn in a civil case against an employer for the invocation by its employee of his Fifth Amendment privilege].
Most of the assertions in your letters to Sen. Leahy and in Ms. Goodling’s declaration do not constitute a valid basis for invoking the privilege against self-incrimination. The fact that a few Senators and Members of the House have expressed publicly their doubts about the credibility of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in their representations to Congress about the U.S. Attorneys’ termination does not in any way excuse your client from answering questions honestly and to the best of her ability. Of course, we expect (as we are sure you do) your client to tell the truth in any interview or testimony. The alleged concern that she may be prosecuted for perjury by the Department of Justice for fully truthful testimony is not only an unjustified basis for invoking the privilege and without reasonable foundation in this case but also so far as we know an unwarranted aspersion against her employer.
Even with full Court-ordered immunity, a witness is required, under penalty of perjury, to tell the full truth. As we are sure the Department of Justice, in particular, would agree, it would be extremely poor public policy if a witness were permitted to be excused from testifying simply on the basis of her concern that truthful testimony would not be credited by responsible prosecutors and that she could be subject to an unwarranted perjury prosecution. Neither the Department nor the Congress could operate properly if witnesses were free to disregard their duty to provide truthful testimony on this basis. In any event, it is particularly inappropriate in this situation, where the Congress makes no prosecutorial decisions and any decision to prosecute would have to be made by the Department of Justice, which employs your client.
The references in your letters to Mr. Libby and Mr. Safavian are particularly unwarranted and inappropriate. Both of those individuals, former high-ranking officials in the Bush Administration, were found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by juries of their peers, in cases brought by Presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys, of knowingly and intentionally lying or providing false information primarily to Executive branch agents or officials. Neither matter involved truthful testimony by the defendants. Both of them were found to have deliberately misrepresented facts, which we are confident you do not expect Ms. Goodling to do. If her testimony is truthful, she will have nothing to worry about in terms of a perjury prosecution, which, of course, rests in the exclusive control of the Department.
Based in part on what we believe are inappropriate considerations for the invocation of the Fifth Amendment, we seek an opportunity to have the staff question Ms. Goodling, in your presence, in order to make a determination of whether there is any valid basis for her to invoke the privilege in response to specific questions. We note that Mr. Kyle Sampson, the Attorney General’s former chief of staff who worked closely with Ms. Goodling on these matters, advised the Senate recently under oath that he knew of no valid basis for her assertion. If there is no valid basis, we will want to afford her an opportunity (as several other Department employees have agreed to take) to answer in a straight-forward fashion in a private, confidential setting all questions relating to her knowledge about the firings of the U.S. Attorneys, the role in these terminations of the White House with which she served as liaison and the Department’s explanation about these matters to the Congress.
We look forward to your prompt reply so that we can make the necessary arrangements for the early interview we request, or if there is no agreed interview, to consider the follow-up steps the Committee should take. Thank you for your consideration.
|JOHN CONYERS, JR.||LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ|
|Chairman||Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law|
Last night, the Public Relations Department of ABC News sent around emails breathlessly touting an “exclusive report from ABC News’ Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross” which, the PR email noted, would “air this evening on ‘World News with Charles Gibson.’” The email included a link to
How the Duke Cunningham (former US representative R-CA, now in prison) investigation connects to corruption up to and including the vice president of the United States, and a conspiracy going back over a decade and a half to promote the interests of defense contractors at the expense of the American people.