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June 20, 2006


Rick Ballard

"I've done a few pieces."

Thank you for the kindness of the remonstrance. I really should have searched a bit. BTW - I really enjoyed the Orwell piece when it was first published.

Orwell's piece on pacifists and fascism remains as cogent as ever.


HEH--Absolutely not, Barney.


Wissam al-Zahawie: Iraqi ambassador to the Vatican

The second document is a letter dated July 30, 1999 from the Niger Ministry of Foreign Affairs to his ambassador in Rome requesting that he contact Zahawie, concerning an agreement signed June 28, 2000 to sell uranium to Iraq. The letter is an obvious forgery because it refers to an alleged event that is described as taking place 11 months later. [Unknown, n.d.]

Vincent Cannistraro

Since leaving the CIA in 1991, after 27 years with the agency, Cannistraro has worked as a consultant on terrorism and security issues for a number of corporate and government clients, including ABC News and the Vatican. [2]


...In the fall of 2001, soon after the September 11th attacks, the C.I.A. received an intelligence report from Italy’s Military Intelligence and Security Service, or sismi, about a public visit that Wissam al-Zahawie, then the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican, had made to Niger and three other African nations two and a half years earlier, in February, 1999. The visit had been covered at the time by the local press in Niger and by a French press agency. The American Ambassador, Charles O. Cecil, filed a routine report to Washington on the visit, as did British intelligence. There was nothing untoward about the Zahawie visit. “We reported it because his picture appeared in the paper with the President,” Cecil, who is now retired, told me. There was no article accompanying the photograph, only the caption, and nothing significant to report. At the time, Niger, which had sent hundreds of troops in support of the American-led Gulf War in 1991, was actively seeking economic assistance from the United States...

..The documents were just what Administration hawks had been waiting for. The second former official, Vincent Cannistraro, who served as chief of counter-terrorism operations and analysis, told me that copies of the Burba documents were given to the American Embassy, which passed them on to the C.I.A.’s chief of station in Rome, who forwarded them to Washington. Months later, he said, he telephoned a contact at C.I.A. headquarters and was told that “the jury was still out on this”—that is, on the authenticity of the documents...

Maid Marion made the astute observation that it appears Cannistraro was aware/knew of the "forgeries" before the US - as in before they passed to the US Embassy in Rome and was tracking their whereabouts and the reception/verdict by contacting people on the inside.

“The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney,” the former officer said. “They said, ‘O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.’” My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. “Everyone was bragging about it—‘Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.’” These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.

“They thought that, with this crowd, it was the only way to go—to nail these guys who were not practicing good tradecraft and vetting intelligence,” my source said. “They thought it’d be bought at lower levels—a big bluff.” The thinking, he said, was that the documents would be endorsed by Iraq hawks at the top of the Bush Administration, who would be unable to resist flaunting them at a press conference or an interagency government meeting. They would then look foolish when intelligence officials pointed out that they were obvious fakes. But the tactic backfired, he said, when the papers won widespread acceptance within the Administration. “It got out of control.”

Like all large institutions, C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia, is full of water-cooler gossip, and a retired clandestine officer told me this summer that the story about a former operations officer faking the documents is making the rounds. “What’s telling,” he added, “is that the story, whether it’s true or not, is believed”—an extraordinary commentary on the level of mistrust, bitterness, and demoralization within the C.I.A. under the Bush Administration. (William Harlow, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that the agency had no more evidence that former members of the C.I.A. had forged the documents “than we have that they were forged by Mr. Hersh.”)

Gary Maxwell

Barney asks Clarice:

You're not a masochist right?

I dunno, she puts up with Jeff and his slander diatribes. Does that count?



Alexander Palace

Here is a website on Romanov/Russian History. You once said you have an interest. Its one of the BEST websites I've ever found. WARNING: I've spent at least 40 hours at this site. Its unbelievably addictive.


Thanks Rick.

I love George Orwell.

One of the reasons I despise the current of nihilists that currently claim the left. They've turned whatever was good or noble about the left--as in what Orwell stood for--into crap.


make that current crop of nihilists that claim the left (too much multitasking!)

Barney Frank


"I dunno, she puts up with Jeff and his slander diatribes. Does that count?"

Only if all he's wearing when he types it is a studded leather collar.;)

Sorry for the possible images that might induce.

Gabriel Sutherland

Byron York's piece in NRO today is essential reading for a greater understanding of Clinton holdover staff that continues to slime the White House over its foriegn policy.

Rand Beers, Richard Clarke, and Graham Allison appear to be the "academic" figureheads. Is Joe Wilson teaching anywhere?


--Its one of the BEST websites I've ever found. WARNING: I've spent at least 40 hours at this site. Its unbelievably addictive.--

Thanks Lesley...it is interesting...also...is this a subtle hint to the comment you once found on another site about JOM and Russian Novels and um my last comments? ::grin"" Seriously though...I thank you for the tip...


Yes, but I notice none address the critical issue of snuff addiction.


Thanks Gabriel. Another great piece by BY.

Either little Eric didn't tell, Chuck didn't ask, or somebody isn't being truthful.

As far as I'm concerned, Rand Beers is a big fat clue.

Any guesses?

Gary Maxwell

My guess? Hagel was just being the media darling RINO that he often is. He saw how it brought such fawning attention to the Straight Talk Expresser and was quite envious, being that like most Senators, he can sprint at world class speed to any microphone in sight. He might even think Prof Beers has a clue, but more likely was just burnishing up his street cred with the media. Remeber when McCain flirted with joining the Kerry ticket? Same revolting act in a different wrapper.


I just think he's S*T*U*P*I*D*

Gary Maxwell

Or that.

brenda taylor

clarice you are so onto to these politicians.


Byron York's article essentially confirms what some of us have been suspecting - that the investigation is deadlocked. Asking the Republicans to investigate the Bush Administration's role in the Iraq war is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Pat Roberts has been able to effectively stymie any investigation into issues like Curveball and the role of Feith and the OSP.



Either that or Rocky wants to wait til his back gets better.



Cliff Kincaid just did a beautiful takedown of Wayne Madsen:



OT: Murder and other charges filed against the Pendleton 8 (Hamdaniya, not Haditha) http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/06/21/D8ICQESO5.html


"Asking the Republicans to investigate the Bush Administration's role in the Iraq war is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse."

Asking most Democratic members of the Senate to do thus,is like asking the political wing of al Qaeda to do it.

Here are the answers,
An illegal war fought on the basis of a lie.
A cavalcade of errors.
We should withdraw over the horizon,whether it be the Iranian horizon,the Syrian horizon or an event horizon,does not matter, run away!
We lost.
We told you so.
We should have got UN permission,even if we had to pay the going rate.
We should never have upset the French, after all we share a barber.
Bush lied,we already said that.
The war would have been better run(away) by John Kerry who crashed his boat than George Bush who didn't crash his plane.
You ruined a sweet deal,OFF.
The NSA will find out about the bimbo in Reno.
We are against it because WE are not in power.
A victory parade will crucify us at the polls.
We manage defeat much better than Republicans.
The world will loves us more if we get beaten by a ragged bunch of peasants.
We have always done it this way.



Rick Ballard

AP Marine murder charge link.


A victory parade will crucify us at the polls.
We manage defeat much better than Republicans.
The world will loves us more if we get beaten by a ragged bunch of peasants.
We have always done it this way.

F-ing brilliant


Where's Soylent? ABC is asking people to write in their experiences with global warming. Taranto has 2 doozies at Best of the Web, but I know Soylent can beat them.


Cannistraro tells Al Jazeera the forgeries were produced in the US by Ledeen and Chalabi then funneled through the Italians.


There is one glaring flaw in this story of Cannistraro's,if the CIA knew this much,why did they send Joe Wilson?



Thanks for the AP link. The NYT article earlier this afternoon neglected to note that the Article 32 investigation(s) have yet to begin on any of the charges.

Another note: A corpsman is among the accused. This is somewhat unusual, IMX. I presume he is being charged with the coverup and not the shooting.

Finally, the talk about the "being subject to the death penalty" is somewhat premature.

While death is among the permissible punishments for premeditated murder, both the Article 32 Investigator and the Convening Authority must agree to try the case as a capital case after the Article 32 investigation is complete. If they do so, special procedures are automatically invoked under the UCMJ to protect the rights of the accused.

Thus the breathless tone of the article is somewhat misleading and overwrought.

Les Nessman

It seems those are the only real questions of any importance in this 'case':

Who exactly decided to send Joe Wilson on this particular mission?

Why exactly was Joe Wilson chosen?


Thank-you for your sober comments, vnjagvet.



Les Nessman,
It seems most odd that if the provenance of the documents were known,why it was, that that was deemed insufficient to debunk them as forgeries,why did they outsource the job to Joe Wilson.


I'll tell you what I think. Cannistrano knows exactly who forged those docs. And it isn't Ledeen or Chalabi.

For one, I had a brief internet exchange with Ledeen a while back and he is a pretty smart fellow, who has been around the block a dozen or so times dating back to the Reagan administration. And I don't know Chalabi, but do know folks who do and declare him brilliant. If either of them did something like that, I can assure you that they wouldn't have been so crude that they could be judged as forgeries in half an hour.

But neither of them had any reason to do such a thing, now did they?

But there are people who did have a reason. And those very same people needed a stooge (or maybe co-conspiring) diplomat to go, sip tea, and verify their foregone conclusions. Somebody real dependable.

No wonder they're all squawking to that conspiracy nut job Ungar in VF. I swear Graydon Carter has lost his mind.

Rick Ballard


AP misleading and overwrought? I saw the Article 32 bit and remembered your explanation but since IANAL let alone a lawyer with military experience I was hoping to see you comment.

I'm still trying to determine whether charged = accused or charged = indicted because I thought the Article 32 hearing issued a recommendation that was the equivalent of an indictment.

If AP were an actual news organization I wouldn't be wondering.


There has to be an ulterior motive for Cannistraro to muddy the waters.Taking into account Ledeen is not administration,some obvious reasons emerge,either this is furtherance of a CIA scam,Cannistraro is pro-Iranian,antisemetic or this is personal.
It begs the question how many idiots did the CIA employ?

Rick Ballard


Perhaps the Cannistaro interview is a clumsy counter to Santorum's WMD declaration?


vnjagvet, May I have permission to use your remarks in a blog on the AP announcment?


PUK--You left out one other possibility:He's trying to deflect attention from himself or someone he is protecting.

As to how many idiots worked at CYA? Countless, apparently.


Mr Ballard,
On the subject of lawyers and AP,have the relatives of the victims of the Haifa Street Massacre filed a suit against AP?
It seemed at the time that the photographer had prior knowledge of the atrocity and that complicity at some level at AP might have existed.
I realise that it isn't every day that news organisations get offered Pulitzer Prize winning snuff pictures......


Yeah, and the interview should be up on RADIOBLOGGER tonight.

Just think what our president has been dealing with all this time. Trying to find all the stuff Saddam hid and lied about before the AlQaeda monsters could get their hands on it.

The moonbats are already starting in on Hugh Hewitt--right wing propaganda. What's it gonna take! Next they're going to say that while Saddam had them in his totalitarian control, they were in safe hands! Just you wait!

Hey Hugh Hewitt is getting ready to replay the interview with Santorum in a minute. Go to www.hughhewitt.com and scroll down to the Live link on the left hand side of the page.


If it is deflection it is of the most peurile kind,on the level of "It wasn't me what done it Miss it was..."
Doesn't really deflect rather rouses curiosity at such an off the wall assertion.
How much did the Soviets penetrate the CIA? Seems there are enough people in place to discredit the Agency for all time.Either that or the Clintons.

Rick Ballard

I remember that thread very well, Peter. We were just at the point of determining the photographers distance from the shooter - which was much, much closer than he stated, when the blog crashed. The article is back (sans photo) but the comment section is gone. A curious occurence. GoogleEarth would make an actual determination a simple matter today.



If Philby could so totally fool her majesty's gov't--just imagine what they did at the CIA.

It took them a decade to catch the sloppy drunk Aldridge Ames--even AFTER he failed the polygraph.


Here's what I think.


There are probably thousands of tons of munitions in Iraq and probably will be for the forseeable future.
We are still diggng up unexploded bombs
The spores can lie dormant for hundreds of years


The Al-J story is just a repeat of an old story BTW..I believe Cannistraro's original piece in an Italian paper is the subject of a defamation suit. It does appear to be the most puerile of deflections.


Since Dan "Forged but Accurate" Rather is leaving cBS, perhaps TruthNot can beef up their staff.

On the investigative side, I understand the OJ is free on the days he is not looking for his wife's killer(s).


AP and Reuters are both terrible. AP is heavily influenced by DNC and it is no more than a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. The good thing is they help keep the Democrats in an elitist, leftist bubble that causes them to wake up in a perpetual state of disappointment on the first Wednesday in November.

Reuters is British owned and anti-American and anti-military. I'm amazed at how many dispatches from Iraq from both AP and Reuters have Islamic bylines.

Reuters hates the US military and can't report objectively on it and its members. They have an ongoing disupute with the US military on the deaths of 2 of its reporters and it will jump on any "friendly fire" incident on the cases where US Marines/soldiers are charged with murder or other crimes.


Here is a page of The Massacre on Haifa Street
The case needs reopening.


Wonder if letter writing to Hagel would convince him to let this Eric go?

This is bizarre. I'm grateful that the Republicans are not allowing this investigation report to be released. The report is supposed to be unbiased, factual but accurate. The dems' goal is to make the report factual but fake and inaccurate. The report should show what the previous presidents knew, what Putin knew, what European leaders knew, intelligence agencies knew, etc. The current president is already accountable and responsible for going to war against Iraq and for very, very, very good reasons.


Anyone notice that an Iranian assasin is now a member of the new UN Human Rights council?

Oh, what foolery.

Atlas Shrugged

Will the MSM pick up on this one?



Sorry,it does that sometimes,fails to copy the new address and repeats that last one.



Anyone take notice of Markos trying to quelch the Armstrong story? Check wizbang.


I think I read that Ames was charged with spying on Feb 21, 1994.

Dun and Bradstreet entered Brewster Jennings into it's records 3 months later on May 22, 1994.

Not that it means anything but...


Mark Steyn has an excellent writeup of Ann Coulter's new book.

Carol Herman

I'm guessing that the Marines were put in leg armor to make them break. Hence, the case is weak. But they were hoping to use scare tactics to get themselves to "conviction."

I think VNJAGVET said the US President would have to sign the death order. And, he's not gonna do it. Plus, one of the commanders (Hagee?), I think, is a Clinton buttkissah. Maybe, they got scared enough to "charge?"

As to the Italian junk, I'm reminded that the ace-number-one Italian spy got his brains blown out in Iraq, as he fell on top of Sgrena. Later she screamed about hundreds of bullets. But there wasn't a mark on the auto. (Oh. And, the American Colonel, waiting at the plane, to usher the "released hostage" Sgrena ... who said she was treated very well ... But millions were paid, anyway) ... ALways led me to believe that Sgrena fired the shot that killed the agent. But that's just me.

Ledeen and Chalabi are definitely in the clear! If I remember correctly, Clarice Feldman has pointed out that Chalabi WAS NOT CIA! And, Bremer lost his career, after he allowed Chalabi's Iraqi offices to be raided.

Not that I care. They can all go to hell. But someday the real story will emerge. It will be a gas of a mishigas. No one will believe the inneptness, all around. And, librarians won't shelve books as non-fiction; but as fantasy. Will Judith Miller turn as red as the Aspen leaves that all Fall down?


Game up...


Meanwhile do we care about Jason's lie of the day--- answer to Joe Luria WAPO?


I also think the unusual confinement terms was designed to make the guys break. I have only newspaper reports of the incident to go on, but those reports indicate the witness reports were laughably stupid.


The real story has to be revealed. If the CIA forged those documents, they did it to bring down a sitting president during a war. The question is why? I think it's more than political. I think they're trying to cover their asses.

Wilson dealt with Mayaki on both trips to Niger. The first time when Mainassara was murdered and again in 2001. He's hiding something!


This case against the Marines confuses me. Are the primary witnesses other troops or Iraqi "civilians".

I don't think there is enough evidence to charge the Haditha Marines. I think the reason Murtha was shooting off his mouth so early and often is to pressure the Marines.

Quite frankly, Haditha is the "massacre" the MSM wants. The other 2 cases are just individual cases against terrorist sympathizers. Bad, but not the case the media wants.

We'll see if the Marine Corps does the right thing on Haditha.


Cindy Sheehan's partner's son killed by Iraqi Traier

Sweetness and Light reports this piece of news getting less press.


Unclassified summary of WMD

Here is the email exchange I had with the Stars and Stripes reporter 2 years ago, about a story he did on found Sarin (in Stars and Stripes -- I see if I can dig up the original story it was around May 26, 2004) Obviously this is just his side of the email exchange...I just asked if he had a follow-up..

-- “Boyd, Terry” <> wrote: --- “Boyd, Terry” > wrote: > > > > > > I’m working on it. I’m having a difficult time > > figuring out who actually has > > the shells. I believe the shells contained Serin > > just by the descriptions > > from soldiers. Which would be a big deal. But no > one > > has sent final word > > back to 1st Cav, as far as I can find out. > > > > I’m going to Black Jack tomorrow from Baghdad, so > > I’ll know more then. > > You’ll be the first to know! > > > > Thanks > > > > Terry

> Dear xxx,
> Sorry, I got caught up in flying from Iraq back home
> to Germany and forgot
> to tell you what I found out. I went back to see the
> D Troop guys last
> Thursday. They told me then that they’d gotten some
> sort of form telling
> them the shells tested positive for both Sarin and
> mustard gas (I think
> that’s phosphene.) So, it is quite a story. Since
> I’m out, I’m forwarding
> the info to our reporter replacing me, Charlie Coon.
> I’ll let you know more as Charlie digs on this.
> Thanks
> Terry



Of course you may.


Yeah it would be nice to explain the basics of military justice. It is not an oxymoron as some of the uninitiated seem to imply.

In fact, for nearly 40 years, it has been one of the fairest, most advanced criminal justice systems in the world. All accused get skilled appointed counsel free for felonies and misdemeanors, and, in addition, may hire the lawyer of their choice. All of the military judges have had criminal trial experience.


Thanks a lot.


Here it is...1st Cav's big score could get bigger

A team of Dark Horse scouts from 2nd Platoon, Troop D, part of the 1st Cav’s 9th Cavalry Regiment, seized the cache, which included 43 artillery shells, each weighing about 90 pounds.

Slowly, word began to filter back to the scouts from explosive disposal soldiers that the find might be more significant than first thought.

“Frankly, it meant more to me when it was 4,000 pounds of explosive,” said Spc. Owen Starlin, the M-240B gunner who spotted four Iraqis unloading the cache. “That’s just [really] huge.”

and this analysis of dismal US war coverage by S&S is sickening


Truthnot took 2 whold days to come up with this nonsense...I'm pasting and giving no traffic...

The Post's Curious Interest in Leopold and TO By Marc Ash,

Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 06:42:38 PM EDT :: Fitzgerald Investigation

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an article titled, "My Unwitting Role in the Rove 'Scoop'" by Joe Lauria. It's a hit piece, plain and simple.

For the record, Jason Leopold is not acting alone on the Rove indictment story. All of TO's senior editors are participating in interviewing sources, verifying facts and vetting every sentence published before the story goes live.

We find it curious that The Washington Post has taken such a keen interest in Jason Leopold and TO. The Lauria piece is only the latest in a series of pieces published by Post editors attacking - in a very personal manner - Jason Leopold and TO. But there has been no critical assessment of the facts we have reported. Why? Who is directing this smear campaign at the Post and why?

A Rather Backhanded Assault

The Post published Lauria's article as an opinion piece, but Lauria used that platform to present fact - fact without documentation. In reference to our report that a grand jury has returned an indictment of Karl Rove (a report that we do stand by), Lauria writes, "The report set off hysteria on the Internet, and the mainstream media scrambled to nail it down. Only ... it wasn't true." He is stating - as a fact - a premise that he does not even attempt to document or substantiate, and the Post is a willing host.

The basis for Lauria's complaint is that Jason Leopold reportedly used Lauria's name to get Karl Rove's spokesman Mark Corallo on the phone ... according to, you guessed it, Corallo. For the record, I think Mark Corallo is doing a brilliant job of representing Karl Rove's best interests as his interface with the media. I also think it's fair to say that The Washington Post is being way too cooperative - unless they, too, are beholden to Mr. Rove? Everybody hold your breaths waiting for a response from the Post's ombudsman on that one.

For the record, since the entire basis for Lauria's story is a poorly defined, and factually uncorroborated version of events promulgated by Karl Rove's public relations contractor, I think Lauria's getting a free ride to notoriety from the Post. Apparently Lauria recognized that there was a hot market for hit pieces on Jason Leopold and TO. The Washington Post was buying, and Lauria was all to happy to cash in.

We urge The Post and Lauria to meet the same standard that we have been held to these past weeks - account for your statements, please.

the hole is pathetically getting bigger and is it any wonder Scarry Larry has taken to attack Howie Kurtz?

Geez Truthnot, what a bunch of babies and unaccountable liars.


A reader response to TO's latest non-denial denial:

Oh No
This is the first post, by you here or Jason with his articles, that I am very disappointed in. You advertised this. You made it a big thing. And then you don't mentioned a word about what Jason did or didn't do. Lauria writes that Jason denied any impersonation. But we are waiting for you guys to set the record straight.
I don't care whether Jason did or did not say he was Lauria. But don't make this an important topic to what is going down and not give us the truth. As you know it. I don't get it. This is not the way you have handled yourselves in the past.

Oh no.

by Z man on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 08:41:38 PM EDT

Uh Oh. Abandon Ship.

Rick Ballard

The question now becomes: "Will Mowlett's Ash share his payola with Marc Ash?" Seeing as how Marc 'took one for the team' and all?

I think we know the answer to that based upon the LV squirm session.

It seems as if the NYT has done a good knife job Kos - couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.


Rather pompous statement by TruthOut,makes them sound like the NYT instead of two guys in a garage with a laptop.Same standards,different equipment.Still they are standing by their man,Liarpold.


It is said that scorpions on a fire sting themselves to death and rats in extremis will start tearing each other apart...familiar?


"It seems as if the NYT has done a good knife job Kos - couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch."

Hillary's got low friends in high places.


The latest Plame tale from the left is that Bush will pardon Libby after the 2006 elections.

Larry O'Donnell was pushing that. Apparently, more will come out that's embarrassing to the Administration.

Gee, Larry. Maybe it will be the media that will be embarrassed.


OT...Rasmussen has Bush at 42% today


"Rather pompous statement by TruthOut,makes them sound like the NYT instead of two guys in a garage with a laptop.Same standards,different equipment.Still they are standing by their man,Liarpold."

Yeah PUK, but how would you like to have $800K to run a web page and make stuff up?


Dan Riehl's done some digging on Armstrong.

Rick Ballard

Sometimes I think she wants to be the candidate so that she'll have "First Woman Candidate for President" in the history books rather than "Tammy Wynette "Kick Me 'Cause I Like It" award winner from '88-'06" (Award retired due to lack of competition).

Having destroyed the feminist movement she wants to lay a feminist claim. Sorry, Miz Clinton, that stain just isn't going to scrub out.


I just watched Shattered Glass again last night. Very good movie.

Too often, rational people will disbelieve someone is lying to them because it makes no logical sense that someone would just make something up and stick with it. But liars need two things: they need to lie, and they need someone to listen to their lies.

I do wonder if all of this means Wilson and Johnson have lost their "in" with the real press. For them to throw themselves in with TO seems pretty desperate.


Now, trying to get to the facts of a rumor planter whose rumors didn't pan out is a "hit piece".

At least Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson and their successors (political gossip columnists for you genexers) weren't whiners most of the time.


"Yeah PUK, but how would you like to have $800K to run a web page and make stuff up?"

I make more than that from the girls alone.



Rick Ballard


I'm holding to my original guess that Joe was set up. Maybe Joe and Larry. It was time for them to stop stinking up the place and they didn't take a hint.


Rick Ballard- expound please.


"I make more than that from the girls alone."

Naughty English boys. What would the world be without them.

Rick Ballard


The nutroots is about money and energy. It doesn't really have that much of an impact but it does have some. The election is about 18 weeks away and Plame just isn't cutting it as a political story - it's an energy sink. Joe, Larry et al are taking up time and energy from an easily manipulated audience that will be off after another rabbit next week. I can't guess what the next rabbit might be and with the NYT sinking a knife in Kos I can't even say who will pull the rabbit out of the hat. I just know there will be a new rabbit.

I also believe that there is somebody inside or close to Fitz's operation that was a source for Joe or for Leopold and Joe. Burning them shuts everything down pretty well.

Just a guess - wild speculation, actually but the outcome does fit Dem needs regarding refocusing the nutroot energy. They're actually getting close to splitting the party - and Dean is not acting to stop them.

Barney Frank

"They're actually getting close to splitting the party - and Dean is not acting to stop them."

Agreed, Rick.
The split looks to be shaping up like this; Joe Lieberman on one side and fifty million nutroots in need of wet nurses on the other, with Harold Ford trying to straddle the widening abyss.


Good analysis, Rick Ballard, except EW / FT / EH continues with her analysis in her new post. Her analysis hinges on the fact that Libby is guilty of all this.

Zawahiri just released a tape. Check CQ.



TO is desperately trying to put itself in line for its next 680k hit, and it ain't happenin'.

I can almost feel those fingernails digging into the sides of the cliff as the body is sliding further into the canyon.

In Howard's immortal words in a bit of a different context:


Interesting, Rick. Let me think about that.
I've been thinking this is a Wilson-Johnson-Leopold lead thing, so your idea is interesting to me.
The results are kind of the same though, aren't they? Either they got shut down or they ended up shutting themselves down.
And I do think Fitzgerald is better off with Wilson being a less active player.


"Just a guess - wild speculation, actually but the outcome does fit Dem needs regarding refocusing the nutroot energy. They're actually getting close to splitting the party - and Dean is not acting to stop them."

You got that right. Hillary is a vengeful woman if nothing else. First she was humiliated by TO and Leopold, then booed by the Koslings. It's one thing to dis Rove, Cheney, and Bush--but they po'd the dragon lady. She's going to try to bury them.

And Dean must go. It might be too late before the midterms though. They will likely just push him aside--if they can at this point.


MayBee, if Wilson is to be made a less active player, how will this boost the case against Libby?


And speaking of Harold Ford Jr., Just got the Dick Morris newsletter that says he has a shot for Frist's seat.

I think it's BS. Jr. is not a bad guy--as far as democrats go--but his last name is FORD. His Aunt Ophelia was just involved in a huge vote fraud scandal--trying to take back his uncle John's state senate seat. Uncle John was famous for firing his 38 at truckers who drove too slow on I-40.

Too much baggage attached to the name. Not to mention, the poll DM cited was Zogby.


Lurker- I think the Fitzgerald side of the Libby case, while not about the "big case" still needs Wilson to look more like an injured private-citizen truth-teller than a gleeful media manipulator.
It's Libby's team that wants to put him on the stand. I believe they also intend to show that Marc Grossman testified the way he did because he is friends with Wilson. Finally, two of the reporters being used in the charges against Libby seem to have had some contact with Wilson, as did Russert's network.
The worse he looks, the more muddied the evidence against Libby looks. YMMV.

Rick Ballard


I'm looking at this election as being closest to '98 when the Reps went too negative on Bubba - it cost them some seats. All the nutroots energy has been negative to date - same is true of Dem party leadership. That can work OK on a national level [vide Kerry] and sometimes on a state level [vide Davis recall] but it doesn't work on a district level.

And it really, really doesn't work when the nutroots turn on moderate Dems. The MT Senate race is now out of contention and OH is moving steadily in that direction.

The nutroots leadership just aren't politicians, they're ideologues and not very bright ideologues to boot. Politically bright anyway - PT Barnum, there's one born every minute bright so let's take their money bright? Oh yeah.


Here's how I see the Rahm adios..A win for Dean and a loss for the Dems. Rahm promised to make every district competitive, but Dean wouldn't give money to a lot of districts where Rahm found candidates and the DNC messed up in somme districts with too late filings, etc. Rahm is a pro, Dean isn't.
If Hillary had control of the party, who do you think would have won that dust up? I do not think it would be Dean.
Is Dean kept on because Kerry and Kennedy want him? Or is it because except for the abortion lobby and the lefty lunatics, the rest of the special interests which en toto comprise the DNC-- aren't playing ball..The old line unions aren't so hot for the Dems (at least the members aren't).If Lieberman is forced to run as an independent, the Jewish vote will go more Rep, the Blacks are pissed about a number of things, not the least of which is the Dem stand on immigration..And they are unhappy about Jefferson's treatment.
Ironically, one other reason the DNC remains in Dean's hands, is the 527's which have made it increasingly more impotent to control spending and issues. So, get rid of Dean and you lose a key component--the loons. Keep him and it makes no difference because the money and power lies elsewhere. This, however, makes someone like Rahm who wanted a strong DNC that would provide funds for coordinate district by district races in 2006 odd man out.


Ouch! Spruiell rips into Ash's latest..read it all, but I love his conclusion
"Ash calls this a "hit piece," but instead of publicly denying that it's true, he demands that Lauria provide proof in addition to Corallo's word — knowing full well there isn't any. Ash accuses Corallo of lying without providing any proof of his own. Perhaps Ash knows that Lauria's and Corallo's version of events sounds much more plausible than his version, in which Corallo makes up a story about Leopold impersonating Lauria. As Lauria points out in his piece, Leopold is the one with the history of lying.

I'll be sad when this is all over. These "reports" are entertaining as hell. Maybe Truthout has a future as the Weekly World News of the blogosphere."http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTUyYjFhZjUwNTE3OTlhZDljMWJhYjg3ODBiYzE0NmI=>Weekly World News

ARC: Brian

My comments on the latest Truthout article can be found http://rovianconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/06/mr-kettle-its-mr-pot-calling.html>here.

I find it interesting that Marc doesnt' deny that Jason impersonated Joe Lauria, he just decides that its more fun to question the level of evident that Joe provides. This from a site that hasn't named its sources, while Joe named his!


Rick- I see what you are saying, and I absolutely agree that the netroots would hurt the Dems more in 2006 (and 2008) than it would help them. You are absolutely right that they want to be political players but they aren't politically savvy.
I don't think any politicians (save John Kerry and Howard Dean) want to be held hostage by their brand of activism. I certainly don't think any real players want to have to call for Joe Lieberman's (or Hillary Clinton's) heads, which seems to be kind of the price of initiation there.

And...I know the Plame panel was the biggest draw at YKos, which is funny since it was supposed to be a serious and important political event. Why should the unions pump money into sponsorship and Richardson show up to talk on a panel if everyone just wants to fawn over Joe Wilson?

But...I don't know. Leopold's story was laughed at by most of those bloggers, even though Joe Wilson was embraced. And I don't see them distancing themselves from Joe Wilson yet. Hmm....



I do wonder if all of this means Wilson and Johnson have lost their "in" with the real press.

I stole this theme from you
, you know?



That is an interesting theory... no doubt the Clintons are less than impressed with the traction and loss at the hands of Dean...Emmanuel seems to see the writing on the wall after fighting real hard-- bail now, NO STAIN...seems they are bailing so Kos-Dean bites the dust and they are freed up for 2011


I believe they also intend to show that Marc Grossman testified the way he did because he is friends with Wilson.

This is a REAL problem for Fitz...he can't go after the "leaker" without jeopardizing the "usa vs. Libby" case if he does (Grossman will feature big in both)...but PR wise he is bleeding and knows it...wonder if he's a little bit curious about Grossman now?...


--(Grossman will feature big in both)--

forgot to add Grossman will feature big in both, only the defense of leaker will show Grossman never said anything about sensitivity...the prosecution IN LIBBY wants to use Grossman to say HE DID say it was sensitive to Libby ...the question will be...why did he not WARN his boss bit did stringently to Libby...yes...it is a stretches cuz of the INR memo which Grossman did not share but turns out never said crap about the managerial one was secret ( ummm think Fitz wonders how this got leaked and umn SPUN for so ling to imply was devastating to Rove and Libby?), which means if Grossman DID know of sensitivity it was because of personal knowledge of the friendly lets vacation type...which probably floored Fitz because I bet dollars to doughnuts Grossman never told the FBI team he went to the exotic(island or wherever) with the Wilson or he and Joe were college/career solid...


Oh flip...Truthnot adds...


Sorry for the confusion, yes Jason Leopold categorically denies identifying himself as Joe Lauria. Other hysterias will no doubt evolve by morning and we'll do our best to address them as they surface. Good night folks.

Confusion? Um well since they din't even have the balls to address it initially...they did what they alway do...add on an LIE.

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