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May 22, 2006




War should not to be taken lightly

And neither should peace

There is not, never has been, and never will be such a thing as peace. It is a fiction.

Where it occurs is only local. And only temporary. Peace is not a default position it has to be earned and Saddam did not earn it.

The Iraqi people, however, earned it and we gave it to them by virtue of deposing Saddam.

The violence occurring in Iraq is Islamic. They are the war mongerers. Cessation of violence requires that they stop war mongering. Our doing nothing will not bring about peace or anything like it.

That utterly nonsensical word should be stricken from our vocabulary. Instead of having the damn PC police, maybe we should have the Peace Police instead.


Of course, there is the not slim possibility that someone looked at her carefully, decided the IG's office was the perfect spot, had some agents go in and feed her nonsense and watched for it to appear in print. Just saying.


It strikes me that the root cause is that like the great mediaeval Barons and Magnates,the CIA has decided to become a Kingmaker.
Having seen how Clinton's protege Tony Blair has politicised the civil service,I wonder whether this was a seed planted by the Clinton administration to render ungovernable unless under Democrat rule.Standard leftist strategy,you can vote for who you like as long as its a communist.


Botanically speaking, all aspens in a stand are genetically identical. They do not have separate "roots". They spring from shoots from a single root, a root which lies dormant until the stand is threstened at which time it becomes again viable and sends out shoots in another direction.

If you know that fact, do you have a way to figure out what Libby was saying?


Why do you suppose that Walter Pincus didn't name the two CIA guys in his piece yesterday but the NYDN did? Do we think that Fitz actually named both Grenier and Schmall in court the other day, or is someone else providing this information to the NYDN?


Aspens call our whole concept of what we call a tree into question; only as a young seedling does the plant approximate a typical "tree" with a single trunk and simple root system. As the seedling (referred to as an ortet) grows, it sends out lateral roots that may extend over 100 feet in many directions. These roots possess an enormous potential for suckering, that is, sending up shoots much like a potato does. Suckers grow into woody stems that superficially resemble individual trees. One seedling eventually expands to as many as 47,000 genetically identical stems arising from a parent root system, and may cover over 100 acres. Suckering is the primary method of aspen propagation, as successful seedlings are extremely rare or unknown in many areas of the West.

The distinct stand of aspens in Squaw Valley captured the group's attention because each and every aspen, from one foot to twenty feet tall, had the exact same characteristics: twisting, knotting, and bending stems, creating an illusory stair step to the sky. Here was a perfect example of suckering. Each of these stems (each a sucker) was feeding off the same root system, hence each had the same genetic structure, and the health of each one depended on the health of the whole root system.

This parent root system is in essence the "tree," and the visible stems (known as ramets) are branches that turn upward into the sunlit world to feed. The root system is a very dynamic entity, able to transport water and nutrients from areas of excess to stems in need. In the spring it acts as a carbohydrate pantry, feeding new ramets until they grow enough to begin harvesting sunlight energy on their own. Grown ramets in turn export carbohydrates back to the root system for the next winter's supply.

The root system is also an adventitious and adventurous explorer, continually sending out roots ripe with possibility. As long as stems with viable leaves keep sending messages in the form of auxins the roots lie dormant, but a destructive event like fire, avalanche, or insect outbreak will cut off this signal and activate the roots which then grow upward as new stems into newly available sites. We could thus imagine a root system advancing into favorable areas and leaving less desirable ones behind, migrating as the climate changes over great periods of time.

A grove of genetically identical aspen stems, collectively called a clone, is readily recognized. This is especially easy in early spring or fall, when leaves are budding out or turning color according to the different schedules of each clone. Boundaries between clones are often abrupt and conspicuous. One can walk these boundaries looking for commonalities in leaf shape, bark texture, and stem characteristics, all unique to each clone. While stems themselves live no more than 200 years, clones apparently replicate indefinitely, giving an individual aspen "theoretical immortality." Large clones in the unglaciated wilds of Utah and Colorado are thought to be at least one million years old. Leaves of trees growing on the Columbia and Colorado Plateaus of western North America are nearly identical to those found in the fossil record, suggesting the passage of only a few generations over the course of fifteen million years.>Aspens turning connected at the root


What did Libby mean with this passage:

"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."

Is Fitzgerald the bear and Libby the child?


There is no new fact in the NYDaily News report..those names were disclosed in discovery. Even the falsities in the report are rehashed nonsense.


Pisistratus, the book was written long before this event..


Oh. Well that blows that theory.


Personally, I think it was just a poetic allusion to return to life and use the get out of jail pass I'm handing you.


No Fitzgerald is the stick.


Pisistratus: I think one could safely say Mr. Libby has a rich fantasy life.


Something else Clarice, that the American public should be made aware of. IPIP wasn't his only way to get speaking gigs. In May 2002, after he came home from Niger, Mr. Wilson joined the Alliance for AMerican Leadership,(an invitation only Dem party think tank) at the urging of fellow Arabist diplomat Marc Ginsburg (and I think that was how he initially got the fox gigs.)

from the weekly standard again:

"AS 2002 bled into 2003, Joe Wilson became an active critic of the impending war to overthrow the Iraqi regime. His status as the last American government official to meet with Saddam Hussein gave him cachet among television producers. So he appeared on cable talk shows. He attended plenary sessions and public debates. He wrote an op-ed for the San Jose Mercury News.

Passages in The Politics of Truth dealing with this period show Wilson eager--indeed, almost desperate--to participate in the debate over the war in Iraq. He writes unendingly about attending American Turkish Council symposiums and meetings of the Alliance for American Leadership. He catalogues each appearance on Paula Zahn, on Hannity & Colmes, on Buchanan and Press. An interview on Nightline is worth several pages. The story of how he emailed his Mercury News op-ed to General Scowcroft and former President George H.W. Bush takes up several more.

Wilson's antiwar stance won him new friends. Among them was David Corn, the Nation's Washington correspondent. Wilson met Corn in an unlikely lefty hangout: the greenroom of the Fox News Channel's Washington studios. In March 2003, Wilson, at Corn's invitation, penned an article for the Nation entitled "Republic or Empire?" It was a rhetorical question. Wilson wrote that "the underlying objective of this war is the imposition of a Pax Americana on the region and the installation of vassal regimes that will control restive populations." President Bush's talk about bringing democracy to the Middle East? Hogwash. "The new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our worldview are implanted throughout the region."

Guess who the president of the American Alliance for Leadership is? Why Rand Biers.

So in one lowly little ex-diplomat, who never had taken center stage before, you have an alignement of the planets: the nutty left (VIPS Counterpunch the Nation IPS CIP Fenton FPIF), big Saudi Money (Rock Creek Corp., Middle East Institute and ME policy institute with Chas Freeman, Patterson, Peck and Adkins) and the Kerry campaign (Rand Biers) all before he ever opened his mouth to Kristof.


Just sprouts from the single root--right and left together--same old immortal story..

Sara (Squiggler)

The more I hear about Aspens, the curiouser and curiouser Libby's words become in my mind. On the one hand it seems so obvious and on the other, it seems soooooooooo obscure. Are DC jurors in Fed. trials allowed to take notes?


Unfortunately,the truth does not matter to the left,it is the feeling. There are even cut price Ward Churchils


clarice - since your implication is that it was Africa and not Niger mentioned in the SOTU, here is what Dr. Rice said then:

Dr. Rice - What we've said subsequently is, knowing what we now know, that some of the Niger documents were apparently forged, we wouldn't have put this in the President's speech -- but that's knowing what we know now.

I refer you also to analysis done on this very subject:



Rice was in error. This was a White House fumbling a response to an illegitimate disinformation campaign. How much longer do you think you can support Joe? Sometimes, I wonder what this meme would have done with a legitimate spokesman. God works the wonders, mysteriously.

PeterUK, Colorado University faculty have damned Ward Churchill recently on his academic honesty in a thorough report.


And leftcoaster isn't worth the paper it's written on. I've been banned from there despite a rousing testimonial from one of their regulars, who knew me in a previous life.


PeterUK - In World War II we did not pre-emptively attack. We were attacked. Furthermore in almost all of the wars, it was the bad guy who started the war. World War II, Gulf War, Arab-Israeli wars, etc.

Whatever the prior history of IAEA had been, I was responding to the oft-repeated mantra that every nation knew Saddam had WMD. The UN did not say that. And in this case the UN was far more accurate than the Bush administration.

IMO it is valid to scrutinize what credentials Wilson had for the trip. But then the same scrutiny should also be applied to the OSP and all the bogus information that the Bush administration was buying from Chalabi.

And it is not like Wilson was the only source. The State Dept was against Wilson's trip because they had already concluded that the Niger information was bogus. So did others including the ambassador to Niger. Cheney was making rounds to the CIA in what has been termed unprecedented, yet he could not contact such obvious sources as the State Department and the Niger ambassador? That just boggles the mind.

I have never been impressed by selective quotes of some Democrats, many of them dating back several years, many of them not getting critical data. Before launching war, it was Bush's responsibility to assess what the real danger was. Bush was in charge of pre-war assessment and pre-war planning, it wasn't Clinton or Kerry. I do hold the Democrats partially responsible for giving Bush a blank check. But Bush got everything he wanted, Bush requested the Congress to vote to give him the authority, Bush got all the funds he needed, and ultimately the buck stops at Bush's desk.


Ha - Rice was in error. You ask for proof, and when it is given, the response is that no that statement was in error. ROTFL.


I love this theory of history that the 'bad guys' start the wars.


The sixteen words should not have been withdrawn.


The Pentagon asked for an authoritative judgment from the National Intelligence Council, the senior coordinating body for the 15 agencies that then constituted the U.S. intelligence community. Did Iraq and Niger discuss a uranium sale, or not? If they had, the Pentagon would need to reconsider its ties with Niger.

The council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest. Four U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge said in interviews that the memo, which has not been reported before, arrived at the White House as Bush and his highest-ranking advisers made the uranium story a centerpiece of their case for the rapidly approaching war against Iraq.

Bush put his prestige behind the uranium story in his Jan. 28, 2003, State of the Union address.



You are misrepresenting that memo from Africa as the consensus. You also haven't much proof it actually rose through the levels as fast as you think it does and reached the decisionmakers.

And also, what did Joe report about Iraqi trade delegation inquiries in 1999, a year in which, incidentally or not, Joe was also there? Maybe a couple of other times, too, if Larry Johnson is to be believed.

Cecil Turner

Cheney was making rounds to the CIA in what has been termed unprecedented, yet he could not contact such obvious sources as the State Department and the Niger ambassador?

You keep repeating this like it's important. The INR report titled Niger: Sale of Uranium to Iraq Is Unlikely was disseminated on March 1, 2002, four days before Wilson was debriefed. And apparently the CIA found it at least somewhat persuasive, since most reports talk about "sought" rather than "bought." Note, however, that does not contradict the "16 words" or the Butler report. (The latter was explicit: the intel didn't support "bought" but did support "sought.")

we wouldn't have put this in the President's speech

A tacit admission most of the US intel on Nigerien uranium was based on the forgeries. The British, however, was not. (And probably by luck, and mostly because it was unclassified, the Administration chose the British claim.)

The sixteen words should not have been withdrawn.

Personally, I don't think the SOTU should have anything based on foreign sources. (Tenet's point was that it didn't "rise to the level of certainty" for inclusion into a presidential speech, which was probably wrong: British Intelligence on this subject was clearly superior to ours.) But since the SOTU is a Constitutional mandate for the President to report to Congress, I dislike the thought of using any statement that can't be verified by US sources.

The council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest.
Riiight. Which is why they proffered the forgeries to the IAEA in March. I suspect the report wasn't all that unequivocal . . . and certainly won't take the WaPo's paraphrase as definitive.


--But since the SOTU is a Constitutional mandate for the President to report to Congress, I dislike the thought of using any statement that can't be verified by US sources.--

Well, with the failures at the CIA so vast can you blame em?


Unless, of course, a pertinent piece of information about the state of the Union is NOT available from domestic sources, but is from alien ones, as in this case. Would you rather your information be pure or complete?

I must be awfully bored to nitpick with CT.

No fleeze on heeze.


"PeterUK - In World War II we did not pre-emptively attack. We were attacked. Furthermore in almost all of the wars, it was the bad guy who started the war."

No they pre-emptively attacked us,which is what I said.Just because the "bad guys" do it does not preclude the definition "pre-emptive".Do buck up,I'm marking this.

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