Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another Fake Memo Used Unquestioningly by the MSM?


The ABC News Political Director is Mark Halperin. Remember the "we must hurt Bush" memo ? I'm told that he must have OK'ed the questionable "GOP-Schiavo talking points memo." ]


For those new to the breaking story of the supposedly “secret Republican Terry Schiavo strategy memo” affair, Powerline is all over the story.

The memo - now questionned as a forgery - was provided to MSM outlet(s), initially via ABC News and then picked up by WaPo, the NYTimes (here, too) and so forth, in stories as backup for the claim of Republican political chicanery over the Schiavo mess [ed: as if evidence was needed…].

Why would the MSM run with an unauthenticated memo that is so damaging to Republican Senators? Hmmm. Wonder why the MSM is fighting so hard for the right to have "absolute privilege" for their "sources?"

Evidence - to date - that the memo is not authentic:

1. MSM will not reveal the source, other than to say it is “credible.”

2. The memo has the Congressional bill number wrong.

3. The memo uses verbatim quotes from a "right-wing" website.

4. The memo contains strategic ideas that cast Republicans in a bad light; Hill professionals tend not to record such things in circulated memos.

5. The version that was “leaked” to the MSM (with typos) differs from the copy that was later posted on websites (typos cleaned up); the best explanation for the differing versions? The “leaker” and “drafter” are the same persons.

6. By now the blogosphere has likely come up with another few items......

Say It Often Enough

During my first week of law school, a professor showed a tape of a trial, where the accused was caught red-handed on a video robbing a store. The defense lawyer's sole tactic in defending the case was to say to the jury, repeatedly:
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this video is proof of my client's innocence. As you can see with your own eyes, clearly the man in this video is not my client."

The defendant was absolutely, factually guilty, and the video image was clear and convincing. But the defense lawyer hung three juries with his argument. Meaning, all you need is one person....

In the past 45 days, it has been vogue among a certain set to claim that, "Social Security isn't broken." In case you had any doubt, anyone who made that claim was, and is, lying to you:
In the 2005 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

-The projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2017 – one year earlier than the projection in last year’s report.

-The projected point at which the Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2041 – also one year earlier than the projection in last year’s report.

Trustees also said that Medicare faces insolvency in 2020.

"Clearly, the man in that video is not my client."

BummerDietz has been employing a Social Security tactic of late. Anyone who claims to me that "Social Security isn't in trouble," I simply promise the person that I will give them $1000 if they will go research the issue, come back and convincingly explain to me why, as an actuarial reality, Social Security is in trouble; provided, that (a) I must be convinced of their argument, (b) I get to record their explanation, and (c) they sign a release of the tape.

The nonsense ends right there, mercifully. (No takers, yet. Shocking...)

Dead IslamoFascists

No comment required:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a suspected guerrilla training camp and killed 85 fighters, the single biggest one-day death toll for militants in months and the latest in a series of blows to the insurgency, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

...[It was] the largest number killed in a single battle since the U.S. Marine-led November attack on the former militant stronghold of Fallujah left more than 1,000 dead.

On Sunday, U.S. forces killed 26 attackers after an ambush south of Baghdad.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saddam's 1981 Nukes, and Those Wacky Zionists

Footnotes from a great book regarding Israel's 1981 bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor, which disabled Saddam's atomic bomb program just weeks before the French-built nuclear reactor was fired up:

"Well, boys will be boys." -- President Reagan, upon being informed of the Israeli raid that used US-supplied F-16 jets.

Richard Perle, assistant secretary of defense under Caspar Weinberger, disagreed with the US government's official "censure" of Israel over the raid. At the time (1981), Perle declared the bombing to be a great act of non-proliferation, the exact thing the US should be doing more of.

"[Saddam would have] no hesitation in dropping 3 or 4 or 5 of those [atomic] bombs on Israel....Israel has nothing to apologize for." -- Israeli PM Menachem Begin, responding to worldwide condemnation of the raid.

"Golda's Balcony" -- Nickname for Israel's own super-secret atomic bomb factory control center.

Jacques Chirac -- French PM and close Saddam ally and parade companion, sold Saddam the reactor and weapons-grade uranium, and provided over 100 French technicians to run the facility. (Some "inconvenient" pictures that the French government would like to un-publish, are here. )


Source: Raid on the Sun, by Rodger Claire. Inside account of the Osirak raid. Highly recommended. Buy it here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Kerry: We Must Stop This Free Speech Thing

Irony-free John Kerry, commenting on the Left’s ardent desire to silence bloggers, A.M. radio DJ’s and lightly-viewed cable news channels:

"There has been a profound and negative change in the relationship of America's media with the American people. . . . something has happened in the way in which we are talking to each other and who is arbitrating the truth in American politics. . . . when ... there is no arbitrator, we have a problem."
John Kerry, on being grateful to the MSM for “discerning” that any inquiry into his non-honorable discharge from the Navy would “hurt” the election prospects of Citizen Soldier:

"The mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning."

Um, yeah.... 2004 was certainly a banner year for the MSM's ability to "discern" what was true and what was bogus....


John Kerry, blaming blogs for all those false assurances he got that the MSM’s and DNC’s Memogate trick would successfully counter the Swifties:

"But there's a subculture and a sub-media that…. undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"

Hat tip (and acknowledgement that I will never be worthy) to pants-down-'publican PJ O'Rourke.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Some "News" re Swift Boat Vets

I was truly up-in-the-air about who to vote for in the Summer of 04 - mostly because I had not focused. I had a mild pro-Kerry attitude after the Dem convention, perhaps due to peer pressure.

I bought the Swift Boat Vets book and read it. I found it to be a decent piece of work, albeit I was viewing it as a lawyer (i.e., first person accounts are best; hearsay is of less value; contradictory statements by witnesses are a key tool to discern truth; factual statements made at the time have more value than factual recollections decades later; later statements will have interpretation blended in, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad; etc.)

The book was poorly written (in a literary or style sense), but that did not mean that it was poorly researched. It had the marks of having been assembled quickly and not professionally edited, although the book attempted to be transparent with its sources, to avoid such shortcomings.

I'm a rare duck. I don't think there are many lawyers who switched their vote due to the SBV book, but I did. I did not switch directly because of the book, per se; rather, the SBV "For Truth" book ignited a long-dormant political side, honed by 20 years of legal skill. A month after reading the book, I was voting Bush. A few weeks before Memogate broke. (This blog resulted.)

In short, the SBV For Truth book, despite many shortcomings, proved a seminal document for me. It alerted me to the degree that Leftist/Collectivist bias has simply taken-over the critical core elements of the Main Stream Media - those Media elements which then syndicated their views throughout the U.S., through all media (but for a small audience of am radio).

The more I focused on the underlying facts - the facts - the more difficult it was to locate any discussion whatsoever of those facts in the MSM. The "facts" - whatever they were - were irrelevant to the MSM. Yet, the Swift Boat Vets had come forward with a previous generation's version of a videotape of the facts. Now, the MSM typically cannot resist a videotape, or a living witness. But with the underlying facts of Kerry and Vietnam, the MSM simply refused to acknowledge that this "videotape" existed. Instead, Stephen Spielberg's rendition - played with great fanfare at the Democratic Convention - was all that MSM would allow. The MSM's avoidance of any coverage of the "living witnesses" here - a virtual videotape - was difficult to square with the ordinary behavior of the MSM, which is to swarm all over any "videotape" or living witness.

That's the disconnect that awakened me - the realization that the MSM was not only NOT swarming on this "best evidence" amid the huge election story, but that the few MSM stories that began to appear were personal attacks upon the SBVets themselves. Illogical, and ad hominem. That was the disconnect for me. What explains it?....

If you are reading this blog, the foregoing is likely not news to you. The SBV leader - John O'Neill - was vilified. When he appeared, for example, on the O'Reilly Factor, and portrayed a credible and "backed-up" story, O'Reilly later declared him to be "not credible" or some such. (Why? O'Reilly's holy grail was to interview both Bush and Kerry, and O'Reilly thought that if he gave any credence to the SBVets, then Kerry would not do an interview with him. Last laugh - Kerry completely shined O'Reilly, leaving him on the wrong side - historically - of the SBVets affair. And O'Reilly pissed me off, for hanging the SBVets to dry in order to pander to the Kerry campaign, for a fricking interview....)

Bottom line: John O'Neill and his colleagues did decent, yeoman's work in an overwhelmingly hostile environment.

John O'Neill is interviewed here, in the American Enterprise weekly. I find his insights to be clear, concise and compelling. Frankly, this interview is the best overview of the SBV Affair I have read.

BummerDietz' verdict: Anyone who attempts to portray the "documentarian" or "historian" aspects of John O'Neill as somehow being "not credible" or "flawed," is a partisan hack. O'Neill may cavort with farm animals and the like - I have no idea - but that is irrelevant. As a historian and documentarian, he is credible - albeit he certainly lacks style, and within 10 minutes can coax a foaming jackal infused with Espresso into a deep slumber.

Today's post ignores Mario Vasquez, Bernard Ebbers, Scott Peterson, Alaska oil drilling and gay marriage.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Beneath Plame: Faking Classified Reports, and MSM Coordinating Anti-Bush Stories with DNC

I've posted a few times on the thuggery of the MSM in seeking to avoid a federal judge's subpeona of claimed leaks in the "Plame Affair." Powerline sniffs at it, today.

Basics: CIA Agent (desk job) recommends her Hubby for investigation into rumored "Niger uranium cake" sales to Iraq. CIA agent and Hubby are NOT Bush supporters. Hubby gets the gig, writes a classified report.

In the 04 campaign, Democrats claim that "Bush lied" about Iraq seeking uranium, in order to scare Americans into backing the Iraq war. The MSM continues this "Bush Lied" theme, which becomes the key Democratic primary campaign theme. A non-Left reporter discloses the name of CIA Agent and her Hubby. Outrage ensues, claiming that the Bush adminstration illegally leaked the name to reporters (a crime, if true) as "punishment" or some other vague reason. Feds start a criminal investigation - on its face, against the Bush administration - to find the leak.

Feds issue subpoenas to a couple of reporters who did NOT publish CIA Agent's name, but who were supposedly contacted by leaker. (Note: Those particular reporters have no "5th Amendment" right to silence, as they are not in criminal jeopardy and thus there is no danger of self-incrimination.) MSM - the NYTimes - vigourously refuses to have its reporters give the leaker's name to the Feds, claiming that a reporter has an unlimited, unqualified "privileged" relationship with his/her sources, and cannot be compelled to disclose the content or identity of any source - to wit, 100% immunity for reporters. Federal judges have so far disagreed with the MSM's position in this case.

What Is Really Going On? A very curious affair but an obscure footnote, to most people. So, why have I written about it, so often? One, two.

Is it so remote to speculate that the MSM is hiding a closet of nasty Plame sins, and is using the angelic claim of "privilege" as cover? (Read the header to this page - it's S&C's raison d'etre...) .

Until Memogate, this generation of the MSM has never been challenged on its cozy arrangements with the Left. Has the MSM gotten so sloppy that its leaders long ago crossed certain legal and ethical bright lines, are not even aware of it, and have left a written record of their journey?

(Emails and phone records have felled many titans in the past few years....)

Remember Mapes' CBS co-producer Michael Smith's email to Mapes, proposing to arrange a bribe disguised as a 'book advance' for Burkett, all justified because it would change the course of the election?

Remember National Security Advisor Sandy Berger spiking classified memos in order to manipulate the data that the 9/11 Commission would see, during an election year?

In light of Memogate and Bergerquiddick, is the following speculation now a presumption?

1. The Hubby has been lying about what he found in Niger. In fact, there were uranium sales documents. (If Hubby's report was intentionally misleading, in order to hurt Bush, it might land him in jail and seriously damage Dem operatives. Headlined: "Career State Department Democrat falsifies classified uranium report in order to assist Democrats' election chances against Bush... ")

2. The Hubby has been lying about his wife getting him the job. (So what? CIA Agents are not supposed to be engaged in nepotism...hurts the claim that the CIA agent was an innocent victim, here. In fact, the leaker might be protected by federal whistleblower statutes for exposing unlawful nepotism, and it's even more suspect if there was a spousal partisan intent to spike intelligence data gathering....God forbid that the leaker might have nailed nefarious nepotism with a nexus to Niger nuke nuggets... .)

3. Bush was correct about Iraq seeking uranium. (A multitude of proponents of the "Bush Lied" story lose [even more] legitimacy. )

4. MSM reporters were actively coordinating their "Bush Lied" editorial campaign with like-minded Democrats. The MSM was acting like the press office of the DNC. (Compare with the MSM swarm that simultaneously coordinated the Memogate story, and its obvious fake documents, with the Democrats' "Favorite Son" media campaign. )

5. The MSM reporters being subpeoned don't really care about the call they might have gotten from a "leaker" in the Bush administration. The MSM reporters being subpeoned CARE A GREAT DEAL about the potential discovery of their coordination of reporting with the Democrats' campaigns, via the turn-over of their telephone and email records.

Watch this one. There might be a reason for all this jostling.....

Powerline has a superb re-rundown, today, on Hubby's bald-faced lies beginning to unravel.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thornburgh Interview re CBS Report

from The American Lawyer

When former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, 72, took a call in his Washington, D.C., office from CBS News president Andrew Heyward last September, he did not suspect he would soon be dropping everything for three months to work on a thankless, high-visibility corporate investigation.

Along with former Associated Press president Louis Boccardi, Thornburgh, of counsel at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, was asked to determine whether Dan Rather and the staff of "60 Minutes Wednesday" violated journalistic and company standards in rushing to broadcast a report questioning aspects of President George Bush's service with the Texas Air National Guard more than three decades earlier.

...ALM correspondent Tony Mauro sat down with Thornburgh to discuss the CBS probe and his still-active practice and life. ...

Q: When the CBS call came, did you hesitate? Did you think, "Oh, boy, from the frying pan to the fire"?

A: No, it seemed like a worthwhile challenge, so long as there were no restrictions on our inquiry, and we were free to go where the evidence led, so to speak. [He points to his 2003 autobiography, titled "Where the Evidence Leads."] As it turned out, that was accurate.

Q: How is that guaranteed?

A: It was an understanding, and fortunately, it never became an issue. They were totally forthcoming and cooperative. And they were kind enough to adopt our recommendations.

Q: How did you "staff up" for a fast-track project like that?

A: First Lou and I engaged the firm as counsel, and it was headed up by Michael Missal and Lawrence Lanpher the same as the WorldCom investigation. ... We had a group of eight to 10 lawyers responsible for the pick-and-shovel work. Lou and I together sat in on about 85 percent of the interviews.

Q: I know from personal experience that journalists are among the most difficult people to interview. How was that part of it?

A: Well, it was sensitive at the outset, because we stated we wanted everything, and journalists are understandably very reluctant to surrender things for fear of compromising sources. But we got that type of cooperation, hopefully because we earned the trust of the people we were interviewing.

Q: Did you have a budget?

A: We just billed it at our standard rate, with a discount for the public service aspect of it.

Q: How much did CBS pay?

A: I'm embarrassed to say I don't know. At this point I think they're still counting it up.

Q: How much time did it take?

A: A little over three months-flat out. We dropped everything else, as much as we could.


Q: Before we finish, I can't resist asking you about your interview with HBO comic Ali G. I couldn't watch. It looked painful.

A: It was actually fun, and it's interesting. All my friends over 35 say, "How did he get you to do that?" All my friends under 35 say, "Boy, you were great."

Q: How did he get you to do it?

A: I didn't have a clue that it was happening. The BBC called and said they were doing a program on politics and the law, and I walk in, and here's this guy in a yellow jumpsuit. I thought he was some technician or something. He is a funny man.

Q: Did you fire somebody for not investigating it enough to keep you from doing the interview?

A: Who am I going to fire? It was me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rather Retires; Talking Sense Into Your Hippy Sister-in-Law

This prior post (pre-Thornburgh Report) is a personal favorite.

Dan Rather's "retirement" will result in table talk...including with your sister-in-law who attends Oberlin and is in her 8th year of undergraduate studies, now majoring in Comparative Feminist Marxist Literature.

Here are talking points, for your impending argument with her about MSM bias:

The thrust of John Kerry's campaign, launched at the Democratic Convention, was Citizen Soldier. MSM TV networks ran a film of Kerry in Vietnam. Steven Spielberg helped produce the film. MSM TV carried mini-shows about "Spielberg and the making of Citizen Soldier."

Meanwhile, the MSM continued to pursue claims that Bush did not properly fulfill some part of his military reserve obligations. Although the military records were all released and were reasonably convincing that Bush had earned all his hours and not dodged any service, there was some ambiguity, and the MSM deemed that fair game, and a campaign issue.

It then came to light in small circles, and the internet, that Kerry had likely received a less-than-honorable, or even dishonorable, discharge from the military, and that it had later been upgraded to an honorable discharge under Carter's Vietnam amnesty pronouncement. The most logical reading of the public records supported that conclusion (E.g., Kerry's discharge occurred years too late, and noted special appeal procedures that had been utilized.) The missing part of Kerry's record - according to the National Archives, over 100 unreleased pages - would presumably have confirmed, or rebutted, the allegation. Kerry not only refused to release his records, he told the media that "all records have been released," which was demonstrable false.

The MSM did not run a single item on this whopper of a story -- to wit, that Citizen Soldier centered on a guy who got tossed out of the Navy, dishonorably.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth then released a book, challenging details of Kerry's war record, claim by claim. The challenges were by dozens, among hundred of supporting veterans, who served in the flotilla of several boats along with Kerry's boat. The Swift Boat vets signed a petition: "Kerry, Release Your Military Records."

The MSM tried to ignore, and then write off, the Swift Boat vets, and then branded them as Republican dirty trick operatives. Not once did the MSM ever address the petition of the Swift Boat vets: "Kerry, release your records."

Not the New York Times. Not the Washington Post. Not Newsweek. Not CBS. Not ABC. Not NBC. [Not even FOX.] Not the Wall Street Journal. Not Time Magazine. Not the Chicago Tribune. Not the Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta, Boston or Minneapolis papers.

Not a single MSM outlet investigated bothered to assign any reporter to investigate why the "Citizen Soldier" presidential candidate was refusing to release 100 pages of his military records.

The story potential was huge -- a Big Lie story -- the kind that Pulitzers are made of, and the average Joe can and will understand it, without complication.

The story was never told, other than months after the Swift Boat book came out, via Thomas Lipscomb in the small newspaper The New York Sun.

The MSM simply would not address a story that would end badly for Kerry. That is the bias.

The hidden records establish that Kerry got a less-than-honorable or dishonorable discharge. In light of Citizen Soldier campaign, that fact might fuel a generation of cynicism against the operatives behind Citizen Soldier. Why would these people try to pass off this guy - kicked out of the US Navy on a dishonorable basis - as a "war hero?" The current Democratic power structure would take a huge hit if that were to come to light. So the MSM would not touch the story.

Meanwhile, CBS and 60 Minutes used memos forged by left wing CBS producers to continue an assault upon Bush for his Guard service, the gist of which story was that Bush got into the Texas Air Guard through favors arranged by his dad (read: de facto draft dodger), and then was too cocky to bother to show up for his duties (read: asshole). Although the existing records, and testimony from those involved, do not support this interpretation, the lack of clear documents was used as a reason for the MSM to investigate the story.

Pre-broadcast, the impending CBS story was leaked to the Kerry campaign, and the campaign and DNC created a further "Fortunate Son" campaign to focus attention on the false Bush-was AWOL story.

The MSM credo: OK to investigate and attack Bush on fake documents; but absolutely forbidden to investigate and attack Kerry on suppressed military records. Forge the Bush memos, and ignore the memos that Kerry refuses to authorize for release.

Left bias. Pure and simple.

Now watch your hippy sister-in-law go into melt-down.

March 9

It's Dan Rather's last day. If you tune in to watch, remember last week's insightful statement by the so-called hard-nosed, investigative reporter Dan Rather:

"Although they had four months and millions of dollars, they could not demonstrate that the documents were not authentic, that they were forgeries."

Bye, Dan. No energy for a longer epigram.


Powerline's Hindrocket writes today about a specific case of MSM bias. He saves his money shot for the last paragraph. It's a good one:

The Washington Post acknowledges a moment of triumph in the execution of President Bush's foreign policy, and then enlists, to comment on that triumph, a succession of Democrats, including at least one...who is far outside the mainstream. Remember the Clinton administration? I'll deliver a six-pack to anyone who can discover a story in the Post about the success of one of Clinton's policies, which consisted of reactions from five Republicans, one of whom made videotapes about drug running in Arkansas. Make it a twelve-pack.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Sgrena...Too Convenient....

Injury and death of civilians in wartime is regrettable. Some are using the foggy circumstances surrounding the death of Giuliana Sgrena's guard to further Eason-esque charges that the US Military targeted the Italians for killing.

If we are going to assume nefarious facts about intent, let me mix it up with a plausible version of the story:

Giuliana Sgrena is a communist dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system. She works for a communist newspaper. She traveled to Iraq and worked on reports urging that Italy withdraw its military forces from Iraq.

Ms. Sgrena was thereafter reported to have been "captured" by fascist Islamic forces engaged in a jihad against the capitalist, non-Muslim West. Threats were issued that if Italy did not withdraw its forces from Iraq, Sgrena would be killed.

However, unlike prior instances of islamo fascist kidnapping, Ms. Sgrena was not killed. She starred in what were claimed to be "insurgent videos" wherein she made pleas for her life, exhorting the Italians to withdraw their forces from Iraq.

Later, the Italian government facilitated a ransom payment of over $10 million to the islamo fascists who had purportedly kidnapped Ms. Sgrena. Presumably, the $10 million will be used by the islamo fascists to continue their jihad against the Christian West.

Ms. Sgrena, whose Communist party seeks the overthrow of the capitalist system and whose work in Iraq was to oppose the Western military forces, was never killed by the persons who she claimed kidnapped her. Ms. Sgrena maintains the claim that she was, in fact, kidnapped against her will.

Query whether Ms. Sgrena was really kidnapped against her will. It's all too convenient. It seems more plausible that the entire affair was faked. The objective of the fake kidnapping was to create public pressure in Italy for the Italian government to withdraw troops.

Ms. Sgrena was never killed, and she was the conduit for a payment of $10 million to political forces aligned with her own beliefs.

When the currency of the chattering classes is to assume that bad intentions are true, the damning and defamatory version, above, becomes quite plausible.

UPDATE: Roger L Simon has another theory.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'm not saying it's going down.....

...but I'll be long on these* Monday morning.

* - Time to short the Dow. Dec 05 Puts.

Rather Nails It

Dan Rather sums up the Memogate Affair, and perfectly frames the fury of the millions who distrust and loathe the effete thugs of the MSM who have operated with immunity for over 30 years, with the following quote from his David Letterman Show appearance:

" 'Although they had four months and millions of dollars, they could not demonstrate that the documents were not authentic, that they were forgeries,' Rather said."

Thank you, Dan. We can all sleep well, now.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Digging Deeper Into the CBS Who-Done-It

Joe Hagan continues digging into CBS's "Who-done-it" efforts:

"According to e-mail documents obtained by The Observer, by October 2004, Erik T. Rigler—the private eye hired by CBS News president Andrew Heyward to find the source of the documents—had identified six "suspects" who might have given the Killian papers to CBS’ primary source, former Guardsman Bill Burkett."
After my last Rigler article, I've emailed Rigler for comment several times. He has not responded. The questions:

1. Were there any particular investigative qualifications you have that led CBS to engage you to investigate the forged memos? (I note that you are primarily an airplane crash investigator.)

2. In your investigation, what level of use did you make of the internet? Separate from the internet, what about the blogs?

3. Specifically, did you spend time reviewing the body of work in the blogs regarding the forged memos? If so, how many hours would you estimate that you (or your associates) spent "scouring the blogs" for information or clues that might assist your investigation of who the forger(s) were?

4. Were you able to review information from the Thornburgh efforts (prior to the Report being made public), or was your investigation completely separate?

5. #4 is asked, because there were some curious emails included in the Thornburgh Report from an enigmatic associate producer, one Michael Smith. One email - frankly - mentionned arranging a payment (some would say a bribe) for Burkett, and referenced that Smith's efforts were to change the momentum of an election. Were you given access to such emails during your investigation?

6. The blogs have a lot of information on Paul Lukasiak, and many have concluded that the forged memos use of "OETR" was causally linked to the original erroreous use/"invention" of such acronym on Lukasiak's website. Did you review that?

7. Various blogs have shown that Burkett posted an August 13, 2004 story which stated that he had "found no documentation from LTC Killian's hand or staff that indicate that this unit was involved in any complicit way to either cover for the failures of 1LT Bush, or to provide him pay or certification for training not completed... ." [This post has since been scrubbed off the internet, but archives remain.] On August 25, 2004, Burkett again wrote that "we have now reassembled your [TexANG] files...." Arguably, this creates an 11-day window, August 13th-24th, as the critical forgery period. Did you examine this? Do you agree?

8. Did you look into the Glenn Smith connections? How did his group, Texans for Truth, have their TV commercials running concurrently with the surfacing of the forged memos?

9. If you did use blogs, can you name the ones that provided material assistance?

10. Did you review Texas Penal Code 32.21 regarding the "strict liability" aspects of forging or publishing 2 or more fake government records? Did you investigate the potential that the "personal files" claim of provenance, was an attorney's (or other person who had reviewed that statute) attempt to avoid a strict liability felony?

5 Easy Pieces

A 24-hour break from the Middle East democracy domino effect....

Bill Safire's July 2004 column - Inside A Republican Brain - is a classic. The breezy overview holds up surprisingly well. Safire's point is that the core of the Republican Party consists of individuals holding varying (often conflicting) beliefs of 5 basic types, and this shared mental lattice keeps the party from civil war.

Safire, breaking down the 5 voices in the head of each of the Guys Who Currently Rule the World:

1. The economic conservative opposes the enforced redistribution of wealth, advocating lower taxes for all to stimulate growth with productivity, thereby to cut the deficit. Government should downhold nondefense spending, stop the litigation drain and reduce regulation but protect consumers from media and other monopolies.

2. The social conservative wants to denounce the movie-and-TV treatment of violence and porno-sadism as entertainment; repeal state-sponsored gambling; slow the rush to same-sex marriage; oppose partial-birth abortion; resist genetic manipulation that goes beyond therapy.

3. The libertarian is pro-choice and anti-compulsion, wants to protect the right to counsel of all suspects and the right to privacy of the rest of us, likes quiet cars in trains and vouchers for education, and wants snoops out of bedrooms and fundamentalists out of schoolrooms.

4. The idealistic favors America's historic mission of extending freedom in the world. This brand of thinking is often called neoconservative. Pre-emptive and unilateral rather than belated and musclebound, would rather be ad hoc in forming alliances than permanently in hock to global bureaucrats.

5. The cultural conservative identifies with art forms more traditional than avant-garde, and language usage more standard than common. Prefers the canon to the fireworks and a speech that appeals to the brain's reasoning facilities, to a demidocumentary film arousing the amygdala.
"If these different strains of thought were held by discrete groups of single-minded people, we would have a Republican Party of five warring bands. Social conservatives would fight libertarians over sex, who in turn would savage neocons over pre-emption, who in turn would hoot at the objections of economic conservatives(traditional division) to huge deficits.....think of them as often-conflicting ideas held within the brain of an individual Republican. What goes on is "cognitive dissonance," the jangling of competing inclinations, with the owner of the brain having to work out trade-offs, suppressions and compromises until he or she achieves a kind of puzzled tranquillity within. What helps me work out that continual internal skirmishing is a mind-set. That brings us to those "values" that every candidate talks about. My values include self-reliance over community dependence, intervention over isolation, self-discipline over society's regulation, finding pleasure in work rather than working to find pleasure. Principles like those help me gel a mind-set that reduces the loudest dissonances among my fistful of clanging conservatisms." - Safire

A different Bill - Bill from INDCJournal - has explored similar themes in his two - parter about tensions among the right of center. Give both a read, and chime in on his comment page.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Spun Duckie Woo Woo....

If you're ever on vacation in Los Angeles, hanging with an old college pal who is somehow involved with the film business as well as gangster/crime stuff, you might hear him make a disparaging reference to a woman who he believes has no ability to tell the truth, and who is of no use to the speaker (other than, perhaps, her ability to use her parts for commerce). That disparaging phrase is to refer to the woman as a "Spun Duckie Woo Woo."

The genesis of that damning label is from a drug informer advising the cops that a witness is not credible. The witness was a metaamphetamine addict - to be addicted is to be "spun." A "spun duck" is a crazy woman. Add the expression "woo woo" for emphasis, and you have it. "She one Spun Duckie...wooo, wooo."

Hence was born the "Spun Duckie Woo Woo," circa 1998.

On the subject of women who have problems focusing on the topic at hand, Maureen Dowd had this illuminating insight into Middle East democracy trends, courtesy of Meet the Press:

Russert: " Would you now accept the fact that because of the invasion of Iraq, there is a possibility of democracy in Iraq and that may spread in the Middle East?

Dowd: "We are torturing people, we're outsourcing torture, the administration is trying to throw journalist in jail and basically trying to replace the whole press corps with ringers, including male escorts."
Concise, pithy, and spun. Hat tip to Jackson’s Junction.

Immunity...From Embarrassment?

The propaganda of the MSM to promote "immunity for effete thugs" continues.

Regarding the "Plame Affair," it has become Keystone Kops. James Taranto pens a comprehensive recap.

The Plame Affair is complicated and perhaps boring, but it takes you to the reactor core of the cynical machinations of the MSM.

Because some animals are more equal that others....

Between A Fact and a Hard Place

The anti-war Left is often fact-challenged, their exhortations an "irony-free zone."

During weeks of preparation time, Oscar MC Chris Rock worked up a [too long] bit about Gap clerks starting a war with Banana Republic.

Um....Gap and Banana Republic are the same company.


Can you go over that Haliburton part again?