Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fred Thompson - Flip Flopper

So Fred Thompson was not only a mole for Nixon, but he's also a gun for hire.

We all know that Thompson was a Washington lobbyist, but we didn't know he'd lobby for anyone, regardless of ethical or moral conflict. That is, of course, if there actually is a conflict.

The LA Times reports that "Thompson, who is campaigning for president as an antiabortion Republican, accepted an assignment from a family-planning group to lobby the first Bush White House to ease a controversial abortion restriction, according to a 1991 document and several people familiar with the matter."

The abortion "gag rule" was then a major political flashpoint. Lobbying against the rule would have placed Thompson at odds with the antiabortion movement that he is now trying to rally behind his expected declaration of a presidential bid.

...Former Rep. Michael D. Barnes (D-Md.), a colleague at the lobbying and law firm where Thompson worked, said that [Judith] DeSarno, [president of the family planning association in 1991], had asked him to recommend someone for the lobbying work and that he had suggested Thompson. He said it was "absolutely bizarre" for Thompson to deny that he lobbied against the abortion counseling rule.

Susan Cohen, a member of the association's board of directors in 1991, said in reference to DeSarno and Thompson: "We were looking, of course, for a Republican who might have some inroads to the White House at that time, and so that's how she came upon contacting him."

Of course, Thompson's camp is denying that he ever lobbied for the group. Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo adamantly denied that Thompson worked for the family planning group. "Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period," he said in an e-mail.

In a separate interview, John H. Sununu, the White House official whom the family planning group wanted to contact, said he had no memory of the lobbying and doubted it took place. "I don't recall him ever lobbying me on that at all. I don't think that ever happened. In fact, I know that never happened."

In response to Sununu's denial, DeSarno said Thompson "owes NFPRHA a bunch of money" if he never talked to Sununu as he said he had.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Geiger: The Senate Silence on Libby

Please read Bob Geiger's blog regarding the lack of any public statements regarding the Libby commutation from any of the 25 remaining US Senators that voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1999.

"'s odd that there's not one similarly scathing statement about George W. Bush deciding to effectively pardon a convicted criminal just because he's a loyal Bushie -- oh, and also to keep him from coming forward with the truth about the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

It could be that the Senate is in recess and that all of their press secretaries are vacationing in Nepal and simply can't get to their laptops.

...But maybe it's just possible that all of these Republican Senators are a bunch of cynical, hypocritical cowards who simply don’t have the guts to speak with what little conscience they have on this issue.

I think I'll go with that one."

Fred Thompson - Another Leaker

When asked what he thought of Fred Thompson's criticism of his new movie, Michael Moore smiled and said, "Fred Thompson is one of my favorite television actors!"

Thompson was a vocal proponent of Scooter Libby's pardon and ran a defense fund for him. He thought that the perjury and obstruction of justice conviction of Libby was a ""shocking injustice . . . created and enabled by federal officials." It's no wonder that Thompson felt that way because he's been there before.

As the Boston Globe reports, back in July, 1973,"The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight -- asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system -- he telephoned Nixon's lawyer.

Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, "At That Point in Time," Thompson said he acted with "no authority" in divulging the committee's knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon's resignation. It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team, according to a former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong , who remains upset at Thompson's actions.

So Fred Thompson sympathizes with Scooter Libby because he knows what it's like to be a leaker. Birds of a feather... Of course, Thompson did the ol' sidestep when asked about the matter this week, and responded via e-mail without addressing the specific charge of being a Nixon mole: "I'm glad all of this has finally caused someone to read my Watergate book, even though it's taken them over thirty years."

Well we're reading now, Fred. I hope it makes you happy.


On a side note, I understand the GOP wagons circled again and pulled out the reliable "Clinton did it too" excuse when it came to the commutation of Libby's sentence.

Let's get something straight: Bill Clinton issued 140 pardons and commutations on his last day in office. All of the people he pardoned had served part or all of their jail sentence. He never pardoned or commuted the sentence of anyone working in his administration during the middle of a term

As for the pardon of Marc Rich, the international commodities trader who fled the US while being prosecuted on charges of tax evasion, let's not forget that even Rich's attorney, whom Clinton described as a "distinguished Republican lawyer", supported Rich's pardon and never wavered on his claim of innocence.

That distinguished Republican lawyer was Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day: What Are We Celebrating?

As I sat in my living room listening to the fireworks last night, I began to think about what we were celebrating. Since the Mets were getting shellacked in Colorado, I flipped over to the the Macy's Fireworks broadcast and enjoyed a few minutes of fireworks on TV. (My home doesn't have a western exposure so I couldn't see them from my window.)

And then it happened. The cameras were panning the crowd as God Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner blared, and the fireworks display was being crossfaded with the American flag on my screen. I literally felt my blood begin to boil as cheery, ignorantly blissful faces waved miniature flags. "Yay us! Woohoo, America is the greatest! We're #1! We're #1!"...sigh.

I completely understand getting caught up in the moment; feeling proud to be American while seeing a beautiful fireworks display and hearing our national anthems. But didn't anyone in that crowd feel a little sad? Didn't anyone feel a little ashamed of what our country has meant to the rest of the world over these last few years? Did one person think about the corrupt, crumbling Bush administration and the damage they've done, not only to our reputation, but the literal damage they've done to the citizens of this once great country?

Now I don't know if we were ever great. Revisionist history always plays a part in how you perceive your country. But perhaps our greatest moment was the day that we were celebrating in the first place. The signing of the
Declaration of Independence, our defining moment as a nation, might be the best thing we have done all these 231 years later.

The thought that a group of 56 men just like us; lawyers, farmers, merchants, professors and clergymen, got together in rebellion because "The history of the present King... is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations...". They decided, as representatives from their individual colonies, to secede from their original homeland and by definition become treasonous for want of a better way of life. They all agreed "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

They sat down and in careful fashion, listed what they believed were the illegal acts of their King, defining him as a tyrant and effectively impeaching him. But they had no governmental process for replacing him. They had to start from scratch. Yet they vowed in support of the Declaration they were about to sign to "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." They would support the Declaration of Independence or die trying.

So here we sit 231 years later. A different George is playing the role of King now. Do we list his illegal acts? Most won't touch it... but Keith Olbermann did:

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

Is he wrong on any count? Not to mention the illegal US wiretaps and ignoring the FISA court, the firings of US attorneys for political advantage, the suspension of habeas corpus for purposes of keeping detainees indefinitely and without charge, defining torture in a memorandum and failing to adhere to the Geneva Convention, leaving the Gulf Coast to rot in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina almost two years ago, and on, and on, and on.

And what do you suppose will happen, Mr. Bush, when you decide to enforce Presidential Directive 51, that you probably signed stealthily in the dead of night like so many cockroaches avoiding the light? What do you suppose will happen when you declare a "catastrophic emergency", most likely at the hands of your very administration, in an attempt to usurp the branches of government and continue your stay as leader of this country?

You were handed the 2000 election by the Supreme Court before the vote count was completed. You were handed the 2004 election by your minions after they stole it with illegal voter roll purges, rigged electronic voting machines, suppression and intimidation. And now you sign a presidential directive entrusting yourself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch, and giving yourself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

When we celebrate Independence Day, we should spend a few moments really reflecting on what the celebration is all about. What do you suppose will happen when King George declares a catastrophic emergency?

What else can it take for the leaders in Congress to impeach? Prepare for a revolution.

UPDATE: Also read "Dead On the 4th of July" Jesse's Blog at

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bush Commutes Libby's Jail Time

I knew this was going to happen, but I am stunned it happened so soon.

George W. Bush, a pathetic sociopath of a president, has
commuted the sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney. And why shouldn't he? This is a clown of a man who claimed after the stolen 2004 election that had political capital: "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style."

Chimpy, your wallet is empty. It's been empty for a long time. Now you are using credit from the Republican Party - credit that will have to be repaid in November of 2008. And the interest rate is a bitch.

September 30, 2003 Bush said, "There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of." I suppose by "taken care of'" he meant since they do his dirty work for him, he'll take care of any trouble they get into with a flick of a bic.

July of 2005 Bush said, "If somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration." But Scooter Libby continued to work in the White House until he was indicted. Yet another lie in the long list of the Bush legacy. And now he plays judge, jury and excuser, reversing a decision handed down by the courts just hours after learning that Libby would not be freed on bail while pending an appeal.

Bush, July 2, 2007: "I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

You respect the jury's verdict? You respect the jury's verdict?! You just spat in the face of the judicial system, commuted the sentence of a man who committed perjury at the very least, something a former president was impeached for. You commuted the sentence of a man who possibly got people killed by helping to leak the name of a CIA operative, we'll never really know because he also obstructed an FBI investigation into the matter, and you dare say you "respect the jury''s verdict"? There's a special place in hell for people like you.

And let's not forget our upcoming presidential candidates' reactions to Chimp-Man's decision:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois
“This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law..."

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware
“...It is time for the American people to be heard — I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law.”

Former Sen. John Edwards
“Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today ... George Bush and his cronies think they are above the law and the rest of us live with the consequences. The cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow today.”

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York
“Today’s decision is yet another example that this Administration simply considers itself above the law... This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.”

But let's not stop there. What do you think the Republican candidates have to say about Bush's decision? I think you can guess where this is headed.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
“After evaluating the facts, the President came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
“I believe that the circumstances of this case, where the prosecutor knew that there had not been a crime committed, created a setting where a decision of this nature was reasonable.”

What part of "obstruction of justice" and "perjury" doesn't ring in Romney's head? It drives me to the brink of insanity when these jokers claim that a crime wasn't committed because the initial investigation was about finding out who leaked a CIA operative's name to the press. Am I wrong, or didn't the investigation hit a wall with Libby's lies? Hey Mitt, lying to FBI investigators and a Grand Jury ARE CRIMES!

And what does Golden Boy Fred Thompson have to say about commuting the sentence of someone who committed perjury? The same Thompson that voted for the impeachment of Bill Clinton for... wait for it... perjury!

Former GOP Sen. Fred Thompson, likely presidential
"I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the President’s decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life."

Does it surprise you that a possible Republican presidential candidate who voted to impeach a Democratic president for perjury in the case of an extramarital affair would then urge for a pardon of a Republican aide to the White House for the same offense when it comes to matters of national security?

It doesn't surprise me either.

Also read: Jeralyn Merritt: Hyposcrisy, Thy Name is Bush