Froomkin on Miller

From Holden: One of the best takes I’ve read. So what was Miller doing in jail? Was it all just a misunderstanding? The most charitable explanation for Miller is that she somehow concluded that Libby wanted her to keep quiet, even while he was publicly — and privately — saying otherwise. The least charitable explanation is that going to jail was Miller’s way of transforming herself from a journalistic outcast (based on her gullible pre-war reporting) into a much-celebrated hero of press freedom. Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources’ secrets. Your job, in fact, … Continue reading Froomkin on Miller

‘Cause The Saudis Are Special

From Holden: More special treatment for Chimpy’s special friends. One year ago, the State Department declared that religious freedom was absent in the Arab kingdom. Under U.S. law, the Bush administration could have imposed sanctions such as trade restrictions — as it has done with some other countries. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice notified Congress last week that she had authorized a 180-day waiver of action against Saudi Arabia “in order to allow additional time for the continuation of discussions leading to progress on important religious freedom issues.” [snip] Last week, the department notified Congress that Rice had banned commercial … Continue reading ‘Cause The Saudis Are Special

Plame Resurfaces

From Holden: Prompted by Scooter Libby’s release of confidentiality to Judy Miller, the gagglers are asking Little Scottie difficult questions about the Plame case again. As reported by Talk Radio News Service’s Gregory Gorman: Valerie Plame Investigation In response to a question asking if McClellan himself felt burned by Karl Rove or L. Lewis “Scooter” Libby when he was assured by the two men that they were not involved in leaking Valerie Plame’s name to the media as a CIA operative, McClellan responded that the question relates to an ongoing investigation and that the administration’s policy “has been and continues … Continue reading Plame Resurfaces

My Bush Boom Must Have Drowned

From Holden: Both personal income and consumer spending fell dramatically in August. They’re trying to pin this on Katrina, but as I recall the hurricane struck on August 29th. What, were we doing just fine during the prior 28 days of August? Personal incomes fell by 0.1 percent last month, to $10.29 trillion, according to the Commerce Department, partly reflecting $100 billion in uninsured losses to residential and business property from the first hurricane, which pounded the Gulf Coast at the end of August. Incomes rose by 0.3 percent in July and last showed a decrease in January, when they … Continue reading My Bush Boom Must Have Drowned

The Italians Are Pushing It

From Holden: Italian prosecutors are aggressively pursuing the “extraordinary rendition” criminals in the CIA. Italian authorities have ordered the arrests of a former U.S. Embassy official here and two other people in connection with a “rendition” case in which CIA operatives allegedly kidnapped a radical Muslim cleric from Milan and flew him to Egypt, where, he has said, he was tortured. The new arrest warrants bring to 22 the number of people sought on suspicion of planning and executing the plot and apparently are the first direct connection to the U.S. Embassy in Rome. U.S. intelligence officials in Washington, though … Continue reading The Italians Are Pushing It

Stupidity or Spin?

From Holden: I caught this exchange in Wednesday’s gaggle but it has been simmering in the back of my mind ever since. Q Just very, very briefly, on Iraq, now the President in the long remarks that he made in the Rose Garden — or you here have mentioned one of the most salient facts about the violence in Iraq: It’s sectarian. It’s Sunnis killing Shia. Why didn’t the President talk about that? Many people think the country is on the verge of civil war. And what’s the President’s read on the sectarian nature of the violence in Iraq right … Continue reading Stupidity or Spin?

Army Misses Recruiting Goal By Largest Margin In 26 Years

From Holden: A-hem. Wingers, your country needs you. The Army has not published official figures yet, but it apparently finished the 12-month counting period that ends Friday with about 73,000 recruits. Its goal was 80,000. A gap of 7,000 enlistees would be the largest – in absolute number as well as in percentage terms – since 1979, according to Army records. The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, which are smaller than the regular Army, had even worse results. The active-duty Army had not missed its target since 1999, when it was 6,290 recruits short; in 1998 it fell … Continue reading Army Misses Recruiting Goal By Largest Margin In 26 Years

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: As is often the case, today’s gaggle opens with a question Little Scottie would rather not answer. Q Let me — these are obviously difficult days for Republicans. The top Republican — MR. McCLELLAN: Not for Judge Roberts. (Laughter.) Q Good point there. But the President’s political standing has eroded significantly; we’ve gone through the laundry list of other potential legal problems for other top Republicans. As essentially the top Republican in the land, how does the President — MR. McCLELLAN: Someone had to stop all the goodwill in this room. Q Right. How does the President assess … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

My Advice to Supreme Court Justices

From Holden: Let’s see if I have this right. John Roberts was hurriedly nominated to succeed Sandra Day O’Connor to take the spotlight off of Karl Rove’s treason. Rumor has it today that Chimpy will rush to name yet another successor to O’Connor this week (now that Roberts has been confirmed for Rehnquist’s slot) in order to take the spotlight off of DeLay’s indictment. Chimpy must really be hoping another SCOTUS justice steps down soon so he can take the spotlight of of Rove again when he is indicted next month. And if Bill Frist is indicted for his insider … Continue reading My Advice to Supreme Court Justices

Sovereignty Ain’t What It Used To Be

From Holden: Our Troops! raid the homes of two Sunni politicians who are urging their fellow Iraqis to vote no on the constitution. U.S. forces raided the homes of two officials from a prominent Sunni Arab organization Thursday, arresting bodyguards and confiscating weapons, Sunni officials said. Adnan al-Dulaimi, secretary-general of the Conference for Iraq’s People, said soldiers in tanks and Humvees, with two helicopters circling overhead, broke into his home in western Baghdad at 2:30 a.m., put him and his family in one room, and searched the house. “It was as if they were attacking a castle, not the home … Continue reading Sovereignty Ain’t What It Used To Be

So Much for Progress

From Holden: General Casey eats his words. The commanding general of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq is backing off of a prediction he made two months ago that a substantial number of U.S. forces could be withdrawn from Iraq next year. The general made the statement after a private meeting at the U.S. Capitol with members of the Senate, some of whom were critical of what they see as a long-term U.S. commitment in Iraq. In late July, General George Casey made this prediction. “I do believe that if the political process continues to go positively, and if the … Continue reading So Much for Progress

Outrage

From Holden: The New Orleans Sherrif’s Department left abandoned hundreds of prisoners during the week Katrina struck. Human Rights Watch is on it. Inmates in Templeman III, one of several buildings in the Orleans Parish Prison compound, reported that as of Monday, August 29, there were no correctional officers in the building, which held more than 600 inmates. These inmates, including some who were locked in ground-floor cells, were not evacuated until Thursday, September 1, four days after flood waters in the jail had reached chest-level. “Of all the nightmares during Hurricane Katrina, this must be one of the worst,” … Continue reading Outrage

Support our Troops!

From Holden: Our Troops! and their parents are still buying their own body armor and other equipment without any repayment by the Pentagon despite the fact that Congress passed a law last year ordering the Department of Defense to reimburse these expenditures. Nearly a year after Congress demanded action, the Pentagon has still failed to figure out a way to reimburse soldiers for body armor and equipment they purchased to better protect themselves while serving in Iraq. Soldiers and their parents are still spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for armor they say the military won’t provide. One U.S. … Continue reading Support our Troops!

The Real World Adventures of Karen Huge

From Holden: Yesterday I linked to a story about the Undersecretary of State for Convincing the World That the US Is Not Out To Kill All Brown People and her visit to Saudi Arabia, where Saudi women informed Ms. Huge that they don’t all hate us for our freedom. Yesterday in Turkey the Presidential Nanny experienced another abrupt confrontation with reality. A group of Turkish women’s rights activists confronted Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes on Wednesday with emotional and heated complaints about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turning a session designed to highlight the empowering of women into a raw … Continue reading The Real World Adventures of Karen Huge

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Ah, mucho gaggly goodness in yesterday’s press briefing. I should do seperate posts on Little Scottie’s tap-dancing around the death of Tom DeLay’s political career and the job Brownie did on the Assministration while testifying before congress Tuesday, but for now I’d like to focus on Iraq. And who better to kick off the festivities that Helen Thomas? Go ahead, Helen. Q The papers have been satiated in the last few days, again with another round of our abuse of prisoners and detainees and torture. Has the President ever issued a directive to all military prisons under our … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Hey Mister DJ Won’t You Turn The Music Up

Atrios notes that the Republicans are doing what’s expected of them: scurrying away from the plague-infested rat and trying to find a way off the ship. And look, here’s the thing. They can distance themselves all they want. We don’t have to let them get away with it. We can put pictures of Bush and DeLay snuggling up with Republican Candidate A on a thousand fliers and hand them out in Candidate A’s district come this time next year. We can send out mass e-mails: view the corruption of the Republicans. DeLay. Frist. Rove. Republicans want to steal your money … Continue reading Hey Mister DJ Won’t You Turn The Music Up

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Dang, Little Scottie held two gaggles yesterday. The first one was meatless, but the second was not so bad. Gagglers asked about Brownie’s blame-gaming… Q Has he been watching or been briefed on Michael Brown’s testimony before Congress today, and does he have any reaction to it? MR. McCLELLAN: No, he hasn’t really caught any. He’s been visiting with senators and congressmen on board the flight. I talked to him briefly about some of the hearings that were going on, and I think maybe Joe Hagin did, as well. But, you know, just very briefly. Q He’s blaming … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Today’s Edition of “Drunk or Stupid – Does It Matter”

From Holden: Your favorite president slurs a few words on GWOT. He still has a bad case of the hasgots. He talked about the nature of an enemy we face, an enemy which is ruthless and brutal, an enemy which has got strategic goals and tactics necessary to achieve those goals. And he never got the hang of that subject-predicate agreement thingy. See, it used to be after we cleared the terrorists out of a city, there wasn’t enough qualified Iraqi troops to maintain control — so when we left to conduct other missions, the terrorists would move back in. Continue reading Today’s Edition of “Drunk or Stupid – Does It Matter”

Today’s Edition of ”Drunk or Stupid – Does It Matter”

From Holden: Your favorite president slurs a few words on GWOT. He still has a bad case of the hasgots. He talked about the nature of an enemy we face, an enemy which is ruthless and brutal, an enemy which has got strategic goals and tactics necessary to achieve those goals. And he never got the hang of that subject-predicate agreement thingy. See, it used to be after we cleared the terrorists out of a city, there wasn’t enough qualified Iraqi troops to maintain control — so when we left to conduct other missions, the terrorists would move back in. Continue reading Today’s Edition of ”Drunk or Stupid – Does It Matter”

The Military Targets Journalists Beacuse They Want You To Remain Ignorant

From Holden: Eason Jordan lost his job for saying essentially what Reuters said yesterday. The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday. In a letter to Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. The letter from Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger called on Warner to raise widespread media concerns about the conduct of U.S. troops with Defense Secretary Donald … Continue reading The Military Targets Journalists Beacuse They Want You To Remain Ignorant

As American As Bad Apple Pie

From Holden: The Army is doing everything it can to prevent any officer from becoming entangled in the ongoing torture scandal. …Capt. Ian Fishback, said investigators from the Criminal Investigation Command and the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general had pressed him to divulge the names of two sergeants from his former battalion who also gave accounts of abuse, which were made public in a report last Friday by the group Human Rights Watch. Captain Fishback, speaking publicly on the matter for first time, said the investigators who have questioned him in the past 10 days seemed to be less interested … Continue reading As American As Bad Apple Pie

Sasquatch Strikes Out

From Holden: A rough start for Karen Huge. Funny how stereotypes and platitudes make for poor public policy, ain’t it? The audience – 500 women covered in black at a Saudi university – seemed an ideal place for Karen P. Hughes, a senior Bush administration official charged with spreading the American message in the Muslim world, to make her pitch. But the response on Tuesday was not what she and her aides expected. When Ms. Hughes expressed the hope here that Saudi women would be able to drive and “fully participate in society” much as they do in her country, … Continue reading Sasquatch Strikes Out