Saturday, June 07, 2008

Readers comment on Obama’s Revs’ tax exempt status

Many readers here and millions of citizens are asking why Sen. Barack Obama’s close friend and pastor of 20 years and his church get away with preaching politics “from the alter?”

The answer: there’s a double standard at work,

The commenters here know that.

But they’re taking the action of commenting regarding Wright's and other of Obama’s political allies/preachers abuse of the pulpit in order to call our attention to those abuses.

As a gesture of support for the commenters, I offer the following, which I first published Oct. 24, 2007 with the title: Obama and MSM’s double standard:

An editorial note in the Nov. 5 National Review (print, not available online) begins with a reference to Sen. Barack Obama, and then highlights one aspect of MSM’s double standard when covering Ds and Rs.

Here’s NR’s note in full after which I make a few comments:
On the campaign trail, Obama told an enthusiastic audience that he hoped to be “an instrument of God.”

Fine and dandy. So should we all. But can you imagine if a conservative Republican had said that? Can you hear the cries of “Theocracy!”?

There are different roles for different parties. Speaking before the Democratic convention, Jesse Jackson can say, “God is not finished with me yet.” (He can also compare Dan Quayle to Herod – one of the lowest blows in recent political history.)

President Bill Clinton can wave his big, fat Bible at the cameras, as he enters and exits the Foundry United Methodist Church, the Rev. J. Phillip Wogeman, presiding.

But a conservative Republican had better keep his head down. There is separation of church and state in this country, you know. (emphasis NR’s)
NR could have said a lot more.

Democrats hold political rallies in churches and that’s just fine with most MSM. But if a group supporting a Republican candidate hands out campaign literature to people leaving a church, we get editorials suggesting the church may have jeopardized its tax-exempt status.

The MSM’s overwhelmingly Democratic bias is easily seen in its double standard treatment of Ds and Rs concerning religion and just about everything else.

N&O Tanks Again For Duke’s Tim Tyson

If you visit here often, you know the Raleigh News & Observer recently tanked for Duke professor Tim Tyson, one of the loudest and harshest of its faculty who used Crystal Mangum’s lies to help launch the Duke witch hunt and enable the frame-up attempt led by the now disbarred Mike Nifong.

N&O readers noticed that in its two-page, May 18 gushy profile hailing Tyson for his “gospel” of racial justice and reconciliation, writer J. Peder Zane never mentioned Tyson’s leading role in helping “stoke the mob” and promote Nifong’s transparent abuses.

Readers complained about the N&O’s tanking for Tyson.

As a result, Zane asked Tyson to respond at Zane’s blog to a few questions about his role in the hoax and frame-up attempt which Tyson did.

Zane then posted Tyson's responses on this post thread.

Predictably, Tyson misrepresented, justified and praised his odious conduct, and slimed the Duke lacrosse players.

Just as predictably, commenters quickly provided documentation refuting Tyson’s self-serving and fallacious responses.

Their responses prompted Tyson to further try to justify his shameful conduct with a lengthy thread comment in which he made more false statements, the most serious of which was that prosecutors in the Darryl Hunt capital murder case prosecuted Hunt “with no evidence.”

Once again, Tyson was quickly and irrefutably exposed for shilling false statements.

You can confirm all of what I’ve just said by reading this post and following the post’s links as well as reading Zane's post and its thread.

Now I want to tell you what the N&O did with all of what I’ve just summarized and linked to.

I think even those with a low opinion of the N&O will be surprised at what the N&O did and didn't do to tank for Tyson.

DID - In its Sunday, June 1 edition the N&O used 1/3 of a page to publish Tyson’s response to Zane’s questions under the headline: "Historian stands by his words." With Zane again bylined, all the N&O said about those who were critical of Tyson and provided documentation refuting Tyson's false statements was this:

... Tyson's efforts to promote racial reconciliation through Southern history elicited a few e-mail messages from readers who thought the story should have addressed Tyson's comments on the Duke lacrosse case.
DIDN'T DO - The N&O didn't use any space to tell readers anything like this:
Please see the thread of J. Peder Zane’s post >>>>>> on which readers challenge Tyson’s response. You’ll see Tyson then comments, after which a number of readers, including KC Johnson, a widely respected authority on the Duke hoax and frame-up attempt, comment.

They provide documentation refuting Tyson’s statements, especially those concerning Johnson’s interest in the Hunt case and Tyson’s sensational charge the Hunt prosecutors sought a capital conviction “with no evidence.”

N&O executive editor John Drescher has assigned investigative reporter Joe Neff to examine Tyson’s charge. We’ll report Neff’s findings as soon as they're available.”
The N&O didn’t say anything like that, but a newspaper which respected its readers and the truth would've done that and more.

Twice now in the past few weeks the N&O has tanked for Tyson.

Why would the N&O would do that when its integrity is so important as it battles ad revenue and circulation declines?

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 6, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

During a bombing raid in May, 1941 much of the House of Commons was destroyed. Thereafter, the Commons sat in the House of Lords until the Commons could be rebuilt.

How to rebuild the Commons?

The question got a lot of attention while the war continued; and much more once the war ended and rebuilding could actually begin.

Some people saw the rebuilding as the perfect opportunity to improve the Commons. The “old Commons” didn’t even have room for all member to sit on the benches at the same time. Let's change that. And why not, some people suggested, make the "new Commons" big enough so that each member could have a desk, the way the American’s do in their legislative chambers.

Churchill was having none of that. He didn’t see how you could “improve” something that was already perfect. If every member showed up at a certain time for a critical vote, yes, some would have to stand in the aisles. But that would, he argued, only emphasize the seriousness of the occasion.

Although he was not Prime Minister at the time, his arguments carried the day. The Commons was reconstructed as nearly like it was before it was bombed. It remains that way to this day.

In October, 1955 with rebuilding complete, the Commons sat once again in its own House. Prime Minister Clement Atlee, Churchill’s Deputy in the wartime unity government Churchill led, spoke about on the significance of the occasion.

Then Churchill, as Leader of the Opposition, rose. He reminded members he’d first entered Commons as a member more than a half-century ago. He was, he said, “a child of the House of Commons" and added :

The Prime Minister said – and said quite truly – that the House of Commons was the workshop of democracy.

But it has other claims, too. It is the champion of the people against executive oppression. I am not making a Party point; that is quite unfitting on such an occasion. But the House of Commons has ever been the controller and, if need be, the changer of the rulers of the day and of the Ministers appointed by the Crown. It stands forever against oligarchy and one-man power…

The House of Commons stands for freedom and law."
Churchill’s biographer, Martin Gilbert, tells us:
Churchill was touched that Attlee decided to name an un-bombed arch in the Commons the "Churchill Arch."
You can see here a photo of the bombed Member’s Lobby and part of the Commons’ chamber beyond an archway.

I hope you all have a nice early Summer weekend.

Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 892-893)

Eisenhower on June 5, 1944

(Portions of this post were published on June 6, 2007.)

On June 5 General Eisenhower knowing the invasion could fail, prepared a statement to be released in the event he had to order a withdrawal from the beaches.

Eisenhower's penciled statement on plain paper contains errors, including a dating of "July 5."

Historians agree the errors suggest fatigue. In the months before D-Day, Eisenhower was under enormous pressure. He pushed himself very hard, usually sleeping only 3 or 4 hours a night.

But the quality of the man shines in his message: the men and women of D-Day had a commander worthy of them.

Eisenhower's statement - - -

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.

My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.

The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do.

If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

July 5.

How today's MSM might have covered D-Day (a repost)

Readers Note: This in an update of a post I first published shortly after D-Day, 2005.


The D-Day anniversary reminded us of how much we owe all the men and women who made our victory in WW II possible.

It also led me to consider how today's news organizations might have reported on the invasion.

What follows is satire, but all historical references are accurate.

Now here’s ABC’s Good Morning America – June 8, 1944

Charles Gibson: “We begin this morning with the war news, including reports of a serious split in the ranks of Allied military leaders.

When we first reported the D-Day invasion, we believed American and British military leaders had agreed on the invasion plan. Now we hear that was not the case.

First to Linda Douglas at the War Department.

Linda, any truth to what we're hearing?"

Douglas: “There certainly is, Charles. My source, who must remain anonymous, says Eisenhower’s air chief, Leigh-Mallory, strongly opposed the plan to drop paratroops into Normandy, fearing they couldn’t achieve their objectives and would suffer massive casualties.

Eisenhower, who's not an airman and has no experience commanding paratroops, went against Leigh-Mallory’s advice and ordered the drop anyway.

While we're being told the paratroops achieved their objectives, even Ike’s headquarters is admitting a lot of lives were lost.

Gibson: “Linda, any word yet who will replace Eisenhower?”

Douglas: “No.”

Gibson “Well, do we at least know when he'll be replaced?”

Douglas: “I’m afraid that might not be soon, Charles. Ike’s boss, General Marshall, is solidly behind him.”

Gibson: “That’s really not too surprising, since Eisenhower is a Marshall protégé. Well, thank you, Linda.

That evening on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ---

Williams: Next, we go to our chief White House correspondent, David Gregory.

David, I'm a little puzzled as to why President Roosevelt has said nothing about this major split in Allied leadership? He spoke to the nation on D-Day but made no mention of it.”

Gregory: “That’s right, Brian. And he’s still said nothing.

And I’ve got to tell you that from where I’m standing here on the White House lawn that looks like a really huge blunder.”

Williams: “Why is that, David?”

Gregory: “Because it makes you wonder if Roosevelt really knows what’s going on in Normandy.”

Williams: “Indeed, David. NBC will continue to follow this story.

For an example of actual D-Day news reporting, here's part of a report Ernie Pyle, later killed by enemy fire in the Pacific, wrote on Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944:

In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.
You can still see the foxholes they dug at the very edge of the water, in the sand and the small, jumbled rocks that form part of the beach.

Medical corpsmen attended the wounded as best they could. Men were killed as they stepped out of landing craft. An officer whom I knew got a bullet through the head just as the door of his landing craft was let down. Some men were drowned.

Our men were pinned down for a while, but finally they stood up and want through, and so we took that beach and accomplished our landing. We did it with every advantage on the enemy's side and every disadvantage on ours.
Pyle titled his report "And Yet We Got On." You can read it here.

D - Day June 6, 2008 Tribute

June 6 is a day to remember not only the men and women who made our success on the Normandy beaches possible, but all who've served in our military and their families.

We owe them our freedoms.

It's also a day to remember success on those beaches was the result of an allied effort.

June 6 is therefore a day to remember to remember as well our WW II allies and the allies who now fight side-by-side with America for the freedoms that are the essential and most important elements of Western Civilization.

On D-Day Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. led the 4th Infantry Division ashore on Utah Beach. Let's recall what he did. It will help us appreciate the service and sacrifaces of those who fought that day.

From his Wikipedia biography - - -

In February 1944, Roosevelt was assigned to England to help lead the Normandy invasion. He was assigned as assistant division commander of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.

After several verbal requests to the division's commanding officer, Maj. General "Tubby" Barton, were denied, Roosevelt sent a written petition:
The force and skill with which the first elements hit the beach and proceed may determine the ultimate success of the operation... With troops engaged for the first time, the behavior pattern of all is apt to be set by those first engageds. [It is] considered that accurate information of the existing situation should be available for each succeeding element as it lands. You should have when you get to shore an overall picture in which you can place confidence.

I believe I can contribute materially on all of the above by going in with the assault companies. Furthermore I personally know both officers and men of these advance units and believe that it will steady them to know that I am with them.

Barton approved this letter with much misgiving, stating that he did not expect Roosevelt to return alive.

Roosevelt would be the only general on D-Day to land with the first wave of troops. He was the first soldier off his landing craft as he led the U.S. 4th Infantry Division's landing at Utah Beach.

Roosevelt was soon informed that the landing craft had drifted more than a mile south of their objective, and the first wave was a mile off course. Walking with the aid of a cane and carrying a pistol, he personally made a reconnaissance of the area immediately to the rear of the beach to locate the causeways that were to be used for the advance inland.

He then returned to the point of landing and contacted the commanders of the two battalions, Lt. Cols. Conrad C. Simmons and Carlton O. MacNeely, and coordinated the attack on the enemy positions confronting them. Roosevelt's famous words in these circumstances were, "We’ll start the war from right here!" These impromptu plans worked with complete success and little confusion.

With [German] artillery landing close by, each follow-on regiment was personally welcomed on the beach by a cool, calm, and collected Roosevelt, who inspired all with humor and confidence, reciting poetry and telling anecdotes of his father to steady the nerves of his men. Ted pointed almost every regiment to its changed objective. Sometimes he worked under fire as a self-appointed traffic cop, untangling traffic jams of trucks and tanks all struggling to get inland and off the beach.

When General Barton, the CG of the 4th Division, came ashore, he met Roosevelt not far from the beach. He later wrote that

while I was mentally framing [orders], Ted Roosevelt came up. He had landed with the first wave, had put my troops across the beach, and had a perfect picture (just as Roosevelt had earlier promised if allowed to go ashore with the first wave) of the entire situation. I loved Ted.

When I finally agreed to his landing with the first wave, I felt sure he would be killed. When I had bade him goodbye, I never expected to see him alive. You can imagine then the emotion with which I greeted him when he came out to meet me [near La Grande Dune]. He was bursting with information.
With his division's original plan modified on the beach, the division was able to achieve its mission objectives by simply coming ashore and attacking north behind the beach toward its original objective. Years later, General Omar Bradley was asked to name the single most heroic action he had ever seen in combat, and he replied, "Ted Roosevelt on Utah Beach."

Originally recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross by General Barton, the award was upgraded at higher headquarters to the Medal of Honor which Roosevelt was posthumously awarded on 28 September 1944.

His Medal of Honor citation reads:

For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland.

His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.

Traveling. Posting resumes at tonight

I'll have a D-Day tribute up by 5 PM tonight.

After that a post on the N&O tanking again for Duke prof Tim Tyson, some responses to comments, and a post on Obama links to Farrakhan.

Have a good day.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 5, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On October 28, 1943 Churchill spoke in the House of Lords. But he didn’t address the Lords. He was speaking to Members of the House of Commons.

How did that happen?

The House of Commons was bombed and badly damaged during the Blitz. So it was arranged that the Commons would meet in the Lords.

Meanwhile, plans were afoot to restore the Commons once the war was over. And that’s what Churchill spoke about to the Commons in the Lords that October day in 1943:

"On the night of May 10, 1941, with one of the last bombs of the last serious raid, our House of Commons was destroyed by the violence of the enemy, and we have now to consider whether we should build it up again, and how, and when. We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. Having dwelt and served for more than forty years in the late Chamber, and having derived very great pleasure and advantage therefrom, I, naturally, should like to see it restored in all essentials to its old form, convenience and dignity."
The matter of how the Commons would be restored provoked considerable dispute. There were some who thought, for instance, that it should be enlarged and that there should be a desk in the chamber for every member.

Churchill wanted none of that. In tomorrow’s post, we learn how it all turned out.

Hint: Churchill was very pleased with the final result.

Wright's sexist slime of Rice. Obama said nothing

On the thread of Ronald Reagan Remembered , which included excerpts from an op-ed Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice co-authored, Archer 05 commented:

Seeing the mention of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I am reminded of Rev. Wright’s vile rant that referred to Condoleezza Rice as Conda-skeeza Rice, which is a street term meaning whore.

No one ever demanded an apology that I know of, and that should be corrected. At the time of that statement, Obama was still a member of Trinity Church. To allow such hate speech against a black woman, without comment, makes him such a hypocrite.

That a comment such as that would be spoken in any church, is unthinkable to me. Where is the flog-Imus crowd? Sadly, we know the answer.
I agree with Archer 05's comments.

In response to an ad that did no more than juxtapose his wife’s statement about never being proud of America until just recently with statements by citizens who said they were always proud of America, Senator Obama warned everyone: “Lay off my wife.”

But when his friend and pastor of 20 years slimed Secretary Rice, things were different.

We had no statement from Obama such as:
”Rev. Wright, you shouldn’t be making sexist slimes about Secretary Rice anywhere, but especially not in a sermon delivered from the pulpit of a church.

Lay off Secretary Rice.”
Archer 05 points to a double standard.

Who doubts it?

Ronald Reagan Remembered

On this, the fourth anniversary of his death, I'm thinking of President Ronald Reagan and his service to America with affection, respect and gratitude.

The following is a post I published last September.

There’s an op-ed in today’s New York Times which analyzes then former Governor Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign strategy. Written by four policy experts, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the op-ed begins:

It is rare for world leaders to be selected on the basis of their foreign policy acumen or experience. Most leaders are chosen over rivals because of skills in domestic politics.

Consequently, those who shape international affairs are best understood first as politicians and only later perhaps as statesmen. Understanding how leaders come to and stay in office is far more important to our grasp of major events in international politics than traditional ideas about the balance of power or polarity.

Ronald Reagan’s successes illustrate this central claim. Mr. Reagan needed to run on a peace plan in 1980: a telephone survey taken by the Gallup Poll during the primaries had found that 46 percent of those questioned thought President Jimmy Carter would be more likely to keep the country out of war, while 31 percent thought Mr. Reagan would.

Despite widespread expectations that he would favor abandonment of nuclear arms control negotiations with the Soviets, Mr. Reagan in fact supported continued talks, although under revised terms.

Mr. Reagan’s proposals in 1980 fundamentally challenged conventional economic and strategic assumptions. Mr. Reagan told voters that American leaders, including President Carter, had for decades completely misunderstood the cold war.

But Mr. Reagan’s masterstroke was to present himself as a man of peace.

Mr. Reagan told voters that they should separate his strategy of rearmament from his objective of mutual cooperation with the Soviet Union. This was the heart of his interpretation of the conservative slogan “peace through strength.”

While Mr. Carter labored to appear strong on defense, Mr. Reagan presented a more muted version of his own foreign policy and defense plans. Speaking at a Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering in Chicago on Aug. 18, 1980, he expressed in peaceful terms his call for a military buildup.

“Actually, I’ve called for whatever it takes to be so strong that no other nation will dare violate the peace,” Mr. Reagan said. “World peace must be our No. 1 priority. It is the first task of statecraft to preserve peace so that brave men need not die in battle. But it must not be peace at any price. It must not be a peace of humiliation and gradual surrender.”

Speaking to a crowd in Cincinnati two months later, Mr. Reagan unleashed one of his most thorough attempts to portray himself as a man of peace and Mr. Carter as a hapless warmonger.

“The president of the United States seems determined to have me start a nuclear war,” he said. “Well, I’m just as determined not to. As a matter of fact, his foreign policy, his vacillation, his weakness is allowing our allies throughout the world to no longer trust us and our adversaries to no longer respect us.

There’s a far greater danger of an unwanted, inadvertent war with that policy than there is with someone in there who believes that the first thing we should do is rebuild our defensive capability.”
When you're weak, your enemies attack you. Negotiate from strength. Peace through strength.

Those were Reagan's beliefs.

Can you recall Reagan's 1980 campaign speeches?

Do you remember or have you read how Reagan was demonized by most of the media and the academy as a “warmonger” and ridiculed as “an amiable dunce” who didn’t understand that we needed to learn to get along with the Soviet Union?

A few years later when now President Reagan predicted the Soviet Union would wind up on “the ash heap of history,” the Betray Us Times, other Democratic Party news organizations and the usual academic “experts” were positively apoplectic.

How were the American people so foolish as to elect “this grade B Hollywood actor” president, they asked?

Well, thank God, the American people usually have more sense than the liberal/leftist MSMers and their academic soul mates.

Read the whole op-ed here.

Steyn denounces B.C's PC tribunal

From this morning's Globe and Mail - - -

Columnist Mark Steyn denounced the [British Columbia] Human Rights Tribunal's scrutiny of his work this week as part of a "ludicrous" system run by "pretend judges."

The tribunal is meeting because of a complaint filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress over a piece by Mr. Steyn published by Maclean's magazine in October, 2006. Muslim critics have said the article, titled, "The Future Belongs to Islam," spreads Islamophobia by alleging the religion will soon take over the Western world.

Mr. Steyn, making his first appearance yesterday at the tribunal's hearings, won't testify in the case but had plenty to say outside the courtroom.

"I think we are almost certain to be convicted and then we will appeal," he said.

If that happens, he added, "We are going to have a privately owned magazine under state regulation. There are countries where that happens. And there's a word for that: totalitarian."

Mr. Steyn expressed frustration that the tribunal does not allow him to confront his accusers and does not provide him due process. . . .

The rest of the G&M's story's here.

The PC outrages just seem to mount.

It is sad to see a country like Canada slowly ( or maybe not so slowly) toss away what were once cherished freedoms.

It's sad as well to see the extent of PC in the United States.

Another AP spin for Obama

In an AP story reporting Sen. Barack Obama’s decision to leave Trinity UCC there’s this:

…For months, Obama has been hamstrung by the rhetoric of Wright, whose sermons blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks and calls of "God damn America" for its racism became fixtures on the Internet and cable news networks.

Initially, Obama said he disagreed with Wright but portrayed him as a family member he couldn't disown. The preacher had officiated at Obama's wedding, baptized his two daughters and been his spiritual mentor for some 20 years.

But six weeks after Obama's well-received speech on race, Wright claimed at the Press Club appearance that the U.S. government was capable of planting AIDS in the black community, praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and suggested that Obama was acting like a politician by putting his pastor at arm's length while privately agreeing with him. (emphasis added)

The next day, Obama denounced Wright's comments as "divisive and destructive." …
For years before his National Press Club appearance Wright's accused the U.S. government "of planting AIDS in the black community [and] praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan."

The AP story doesn't mention that.

During those years Sen. Obama has never "denounced Wright's comments." The AP doesn't mention that, either.

Had the AP mentioned those two matters, people reading the story would wonder why Obama was only now denouncing Wright's Press Club ravings.

It's much better for Obama for the AP not to mention Obama's failure to denounce Wright's raving racism and anti-Americanism until just recently.

Knowing that, the AP left out any mention of Obama's past failure to denounce Wright.

Instead, it went with the "six weeks after Obama's well-received speech on race" spin.

The entire AP story's here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 4, , 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Today something brief and light.

It's an anecdote that comes from The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill, a collection of mostly amusing items compiled by Dominique Enright who doesn't cite sources. So keep some salt at hand.

As Enright tells it:

In 1955 Churchill, then in his early eighties and no longer Prime Minister, was sitting by himself in a large armchair in the House of Commons Members' Bar enjoying a late afternoon drink.

Three young Tory MP's entered. They failed to notice Churchill and began chattering a bit loudly about him.

"You know," one remarked, "it's very sad about old Winston. He's getting awfully forgetful."

"Shame, isn't it?" said another. "He's really very doddery now, I gather."

"Not only that," added the third, "but I've heard that he's going a bit - you know - ga-ga."

"Yes," rumbled a deep voice from the nearby armchair, "but they say his hearing's not gone yet." (p. 131)

Rezko guilty. Is a plea bargain next?

Rich Moran at Pajama’s Media reports - - -

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, friend and fundraiser to many movers and shakers in Illinois politics, has been found guilty on 16 counts of fraud and corruption in connection with a “pay for play” bribery scheme that funneled kickbacks from campaign contributors to Rezko and his co-defendants.

The jury deliberated 13 days on the 24 count indictment that included six counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, one count of attempted extortion, six counts of solicitation of funds, and two counts of money laundering.

Guilty verdicts were returned on the following counts:

* 12 counts of wire/mail fraud

* two counts of corrupt solicitation

* two counts of money laundering

The bribery scheme involved several corporations doing business with the state of Illinois through three major boards: a hospital construction board, the teachers pension fund, and a state employee retirement board.

The companies were approached for campaign contributions and told that they could only win contracts with the state if they contributed. Rezko made sure of these boards’ compliance by stacking them with cronies he recommended to Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Kickbacks on those state contracts were then funneled to Rezko and his friends.

A co-defendant with Rezko, Sturart Levine, cooperated with the prosecution in exchange for a lesser sentence. It was his shocking testimony regarding the activities of Rezko brazenly carrying out his bribery schemes that weighed heaviest with the jury. ...

The rest of Moran’s report is here.

He says the level of government corruption revealed during the trial was extraordinary even for Illinois.

Read the whole thing. Moran provides details you’re not likely to find in most of tomorrow’s newspapers.

Can Obama adjust his Iraq policies?

Law professor and blogger Jim Lindgren hopes so:

Given that Obama was wrong on the main foreign policy issue of his brief time in the Senate (whether the surge would improve the conditions in Iraq), I keep hoping that his obvious intelligence will lead him to recognize what is going on in Iraq and adjust his policies accordingly.
Lindgren's entire post's here.

Obama has shown himself very capable of adjusting his words, as his old friend and pastor Jeremiah Wright knows.

But it’s tough to adjust for lack of experience.

And then there’s something even tougher to adjust for: a belief that you’ve got what it takes to cut deals with people who want you to think that so they can take advantage of you.

Think Chamberlain in 1938 – “I can deal with Chancellor Hitler.”

Think Hitler at Munich saying to Chamberlain that if the price of an agreement between Germany and England is Hitler’s signing a document promising to make no more territorial demands once the Sudetenland is turned over to Germany, why he of course would sing the paper.

Chamberlain had left him no choice.

At least that’s what Chamberlain left Munich thinking.

Duke’s Suffocation of Due Process

Our nation’s founders would have liked The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). But leftist university professors and administrators foisting speech codes on college students and in other ways restricting the students' rights get apoplectic at the mention of FIRE.

So right there , we have two good strong reasons to appreciate FIRE.

Now, here’s a third: FIRE staffer Robert Shibley’s just published article, Duke’s Slow Suffocation of Due Process.

It begins - - -

As a Duke alumnus twice over (undergraduate and law), I watched with horror the events that unfolded in the infamous Duke Lacrosse/Mike Nifong case.

While the prime "bad actors" in the case were clearly (now disbarred) former prosecutor Nifong and the false accuser, Crystal Mangum, Duke's disregard for and even attacks on its students' rights to due process in the case also gave me plenty of reasons to tell Duke that they won't be getting a donation from me next time they call. (Incidentally, just about every aspect of the case has been ably documented by Professor KC Johnson in both his Durham-in-Wonderland blog and his book with the National Journal's Stuart Taylor, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.)

One major upshot of the fiasco, however, would seem to be Duke students' increased awareness of the crucial importance of due process and fair procedure, both in the law and on campus. And unfortunately, it looks as though Duke has been headed in the wrong direction on these issues for a number of years.

In a series of columns in Duke's Chronicle student newspaper last fall, student Elliott Wolf does yeoman's work in tracing the evolution (perhaps devolution would be a better word) of Duke's judicial code over the last decade or so.

Amazingly, despite the fact that while I was at Duke, the student judicial board was widely considered a total joke and a kangaroo court, it turns out that I attended Duke during what was, comparatively speaking, a golden age of justice and fair procedures.

In the first column of his "Dude, Where're My Rights?" series, Wolf describes Duke's elimination of probable cause requirements, the right to remain silent, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a public hearing.

The second column reveals Duke's switch from excluding illegally obtained evidence to being perfectly willing to include it, along with its cooperation with the Durham Police Department (another bad actor in the lacrosse debacle and another legendarily incompetent institution during my time there) in punishing Duke students more harshly than other Durham residents for identical or even less severe offenses.

The final column discusses Duke's justification for these changes and actionsapparently the usual academic mumbo-jumbo about "teachable moments" that is regularly used to justify any number of absurd faculty and administrative abuses.

Sure, everyone needs to learn that life isn't fair, but the last place a student should learn that is through what is supposed to be a system of "justice."

Wolf has posted annotated versions of these columns, along with source documents, on his own Duke webpage at

Those interested in the decline of due process on campus would be well-served to take a look. …

The rest of Shipley’s article’s here.

Give it a look, especially if you’ve been following the Duke Hoax, frame-up attempt and the on-going cover-up.

Message to Robert Shibley: Thank you for a very informative and important article. Have you considered writing an op-ed for The Chronicle?

Message to JinC Readers: This is the first example I’ve seen of Shibley’s writing about Duke matters. I plan to encourage him to continue to do so. If he does, I’ll be sure to call his work to your attention.

Hat tip: Friends of Duke University

Williams on Campaign '08

Here's Mike Williams' letter today - - -

Results from last night’s primaries are in: Obama won Montana 57% to 41%; Clinton took South Dakota 55% to 45%. Obama claimed the Dem nomination, while Clinton stayed in the fight. On the Republican side, Romney won Montana with McCain coming in third. You reckon McCain still has a problem with the GOP base?

Obama also has some challenges:

On the night that Barack Obama clinched his party's nomination, one-third of Hillary Clinton's supporters in Montana and South Dakota said they would not vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Exit polls from both states demonstrate that Obama inherits a fractured coalition after the longest primary race in modern history. Demographic divisions dug by class, race, gender and political philosophy haunted Obama until his last contests, effectively forcing the Illinois senator to limp across the finish line Tuesday night.

The cappuccino versus coffee Democratic divide between upper class and working voters continued….
Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

As for Clinton, Ed Morrissey asks:

What really kept Hillary from winning the nomination? I’d say it was a combination of Clinton fatigue, Bill’s almost deliberately bad performance on the stump, and a media that has favored Barack Obama every step of the way….
The Clintons themselves are clearly unhappy with the MSM. As for Obama, Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff channels Bill Bennett:
[T]he Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record.

The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor.

The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate.

The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity. . .

Back to Ed Morrissey, who notes:
Obama has not yet won the nomination. The superdelegates by rule can change their minds at any time before they cast their votes. Obama is still hundreds shy in pledged delegates, which means Obama will win the nomination if and only if the public declarations of the superdelegates do not change between now and Denver.

It’s unlikely that enough would do so to give Hillary the nomination, but it is a possibility.

With that caveat, Obama’s nomination does demonstrate the openness of the American system. The irony of this, of course, is that Obama’s own associates don’t believe that America transcends race and allows for success for people of color.

To listen to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s friend and pastor of 20 years, is to hear how America is a place that conspires against black people and plots their genocide. Father Michael Pfleger, a man to whom Obama directed taxpayer funds while in the Illinois legislature, believes America to be so racist that he called this nation “the greatest sin against God”.

In watching and reading some of the reaction, many reveled in Obama’s nomination for the same reason. They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee. In fact, they not only want to feel good about America, they want to feel good about themselves.

They wanted to be part of that historical moment, and that was their first priority — and that’s not limited to Obama supporters, either. The lament one hears most about Hillary’s collapse has nothing to do with policy, experience, or expertise, but that she didn’t get to be the one who makes history….

They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee.

John Hood at the NRO gets the last word for today:

We’re stuck with these two mediocrities [Obama and McCain] for the rest of the year. What’s more, we’re also going to be subjected to hundreds of mainstream-media mediocrities endlessly recycling the same trite observations, then revising the observations, then rediscovering the original observations, ad nauseatium.

The 2008 primaries offer many interesting twists and turns, but it’s not hard in retrospect to boil the outcome down to several key points:

The candidate field was weak. The Democrats ending up barely picking a freshman senator over a former first lady with just over seven years in elected office.

The Republicans picked a longtime politician, yes, but someone with virtually no executive experience and tepid support among key constituencies in his party. John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and other experienced politicians washed out.

They all talked like hotshots, but they couldn’t even defeat a paper-thin Obama and an aged, underfinanced McCain.

· Edwards lost because he is a white male. Giuliani lost because he is a social liberal. Romney and Huckabee canceled each other out, paving the way for McCain’s improbable recovery. Thompson left Law & Order at just the right time, before it truly went stale.

· Obama clinched the nomination on May 6 in North Carolina and Indiana, not in Montana a month later. That’s when he arrested Clinton’s post-Super Tuesday momentum and demonstrated overwhelming organizational and fundraising prowess. He’s not a particularly impressive thinker or leader, but he is a serviceable vessel.

· Gasoline is about to exceed $4 a gallon in most of the country. Anyone who believes that isn’t the single most important number in American politics is fooling himself.

· Even as they recognize the continued progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, swing voters will not necessarily reward McCain’s steadfastness or question Obama’s judgment. They are capable of believing that America should win the wars it starts and that Bush started, and McCain supported, the wrong war. I don’t agree with them, but it’s hardly a contradiction.

I fear that the next several months are going to seem interminable, with gaffes and trivialities substituting for real debate about America’s future in a dangerous and turbulent world. The only thing I am reasonably confident of is that Americans are going to elect a transitional figure in November, not a transformational one. That’s good news. Although they each have some virtues, Obama and McCain are far from the best that America can do.

Battle of Midway Tribute

Readers Note: With the exception of a few updates, the post which follows is a copy of a tribute I posted on June 4, 2006.

The tribute is not only for those who fought at Midway. It's also for all Americans and our allies who've served with us in our Pacific battles for freedom and a better world.

In June 1942, Japanese and American forces fought an epic battle at Midway, the name of a pair of mid-Pacific islands whose combined size totaled two square miles. But one of the islands was just large enough for an airfield and a small harbor, where submarines could rearm and refuel. Thus, possession of Midway was critically important to both sides.

The battle at Midway was one of World War II’s most decisive battles. America's victory there halted the Japanese offensive that began at Pearl Harbor, and enabled the Allies to begin their advance toward Japan.

Beginning on June 4, the battle lasted for three-days. Its decisive action occurred that first day so we mark June 4 as the battle's anniversary.

Today is the 65th anniversary of the Battle at Midway. Here is how one historian began his account of it:

By any ordinary standard, they were hopelessly outclassed.

They had no battleships, the enemy eleven. They had eight cruisers, the enemy twenty-three. They had three carriers (one of them crippled); the enemy had eight. Their shore defenses included guns from the turn of the century.

They knew little of war. None of the Navy pilots on one of their carriers had ever been in combat. Nor had any of the Army fliers. Of the Marines, 17 of 21 new pilots were just out of flight school – some with less than four hours’ flying time since then. Their enemy was brilliant, experienced and all-conquering.

Further on, he wrote:

They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war. More than that, they added a new name – Midway – to that small list that inspires men by shining example. Like Marathon, the Armada, the Marne, a few others, Midway showed that every once in a while “what must be” need not be at all. Even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit – a magic blend of skill, faith and valor – that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory.

You may recognize historian Walter Lord's words from the foreward of his authoritative and inspiring book, Incredible Victory.

Lord's words are a fitting tribute. They speak in grateful remembrance for all of us.

You may want to visit these Midway websites:

Battle of Midway - Department of the Navy-Naval Historical Center staff prepared this excellent print and photo narrative.

The Battle of Midway, 1942 - A brief outline of the battle and the eyewitness account of Japanese pilot, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who was lead pilot at Pearl Harbor. - This is an extraordinary site. With narrative, photos, and video, it tells how the Navy, National Geographic, and undersea explorer Robert Ballard, who led the scientific team which located RMS Titanic, searched for and finally found on the Pacific's bottom the carrier, USS Yorktown, which was sunk by torpedo fire on June 6 after suffering severe damage earlier in the battle

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 3, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: I hope this post, a repeat from Dec. 2007, leaves you smiling.


Military leaders have often been critical of civilian leadership. Some were retired, but others made public criticisms while on active duty: Generals MacArthur, Patton and Stilwell come immediately to mind.

In his biography of WW II Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, Forrest Pogue recounts an instructive and amusing episode that relates to military-civilian leadership conflicts and how, in at least one important instance, conflict was avoided.

In late December 1941 Britain and the U. S. agreed that the Chiefs of Staff of the two nations’ service branches would form a combined group which would set war strategy, identify and prioritize major military operations, and allocate resources. Most WW II historians agree the group, The Combined Chiefs of Staff, preformed admirably.

But the group had many sharp and sometimes angry differences regarding what to do when and how. Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke called a heated, three hour-long argument they had “the Mother and Father of all rows.” At one meeting of that sort things got so hot the Generals and Admirals and Field Marshals and Air Marshals could agree on only one thing: it wasn’t good for the Allied cause for them to all be in the same room at that moment.

So they decided to break and return later.

During the break Field Marshal Sir John Dill, who for much of the war served as liaison officer for the two staffs, went back and forth between the groups with the same message for both: If the chiefs couldn’t settle their differences and draw up a document they could all initial, then “they will get to decide.”

Dill’s message had a great effect because, as one of the chiefs later put it, “We all knew what a hash they could make of things.”

When the Combined Chiefs resumed to their meeting, they worked more cooperatively and achieved agreement on a document they all initialed. The document was then passed on so “they” could initial it “FDR” and “WSC.”

McCain's speech tonight

Glenn Reynolds at says what I'll sign on to:

So I'm watching McCain's speech and his delivery isn't great. He's stumbled over some words, and at one point flashed a badly timed smile that reminded me of Joe Biden.

But on substance, well, he's being pretty substantive. He's laying out the differences between himself and Obama quite thoroughly and plainly.
"I don't seek the Presidency on the presumption I am blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. . . . My country saved me."
Fox News' Chris Wallace has just said the speech read better than itsounded.

Karl Rove responded: "It was workmanlike."

I'll sign with Wallace and Rove, too.

Duke’s "Barcelona defense"

Duke University’s motion to dismiss the rights violations suit complaint filed by attorneys for 38 members of the university’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team amounts to “we didn’t do anything wrong and we knew nothing about the frame-up run by Mike Nifong.”

Duke’s motion is very faulty, as KC Johnson explains in this post.

It’s also very Fawlty.

You remember the British comedy series Fawlty Towers. John Cleese played Basil Fawlty, the arrogant, maladroit owner of Fawlty Towers, a small hotel in Torquay.

Andrew Sach played Manuel, the well-meaning waiter who time and again was confronted by guests complaining about their rooms or the food.

Manuel had a stock response for them: He’d shrug and say in accented English:

“See theese man? (pointing to Basil Fawlty.) He knows eeeverything. Me? I know nothing. I’m from Barcelona.”
Duke’s using Manuel’s "Barcelona defense."

I expect President Brodhead during discovery will point to Nifong and say: “See theese man. He knows eeeverything. Me? I’m from Yale.”

Will the university award Sach an honorary degree? Or at least give him a trustees' vote of thanks?

Sowell on Obama’s “Irrelevant Apologies”

Stanford’s Hoover Institute’s senior fellow Thomas Sowell column today begins - -

It is amazing how seriously the media are taking Senator Barack Obama's latest statement about the latest racist rant from the pulpit of the church he has attended for 20 years.

But neither that statement nor the apology for his rant by Father Michael Pfleger really matters, one way or the other. Nor does Senator Obama's belated resignation from that church.

For any politician, what matters is not his election year rhetoric, or an election year resignation from a church, but the track record of that politician in the years before the election.

Yet so many people are so fascinated by Barack Obama's rhetorical skills that they don't care about his voting record in the U.S. Senate, in the Illinois state senate, the causes that he has chosen to promote over the years, or the candidate's personal character and values, as revealed by his actions and associations.

The rest of Sowell’s column’s here.


Does anyone disagree with Sowell that:

"For any politician, what matters is not his election year rhetoric, or an election year resignation from a church, but the track record of that politician in the years before the election?”
When will Sen. Obama tell us how he could have been a member of Trinity for 20 years and not known what Wright was preaching?

These women are serious

I'm referring to women who normally vote Democratic and now say they won’t vote for Senator Obama.

The Providence Journal’s Froma Harrop tells us about them - - -

The woman who shouted "McCain in '08" at the Democratic rules committee was speaking for a multitude.

After mounting for months, female anger over the choreographed dumping on Hillary Clinton and her supporters has exploded -- and party loyalty be damned. That the women are beginning to have a good time is an especially bad sign for Barack Obama's campaign.

"Obama will NOT get my vote, and one step more," Ellen Thorp, a 59-year-old flight attendant from Houston told me. "I have been a Democrat for 38 years. As of today, I am registering as an independent. Yee Haw!"

A new Pew Research Center poll points to a surging tide of fury, especially among white women. As recently as April, this group preferred Obama over the presumptive Republican John McCain by three percentage points. By May, McCain enjoyed an eight-point lead among white women.

What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal. (emphasis added)

They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Websites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings -- and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people's nastiness.

But worse than the online malice has been the affronts to their faces.

Tara Wooters, a 39-year-old mother from Portland, Ore., told me that wearing a Hillary sticker around town has become an act of defiance. She recalls one young man telling her, "I'd rather vote for a black man than a menopausal woman."

"We don't hurl insulting, berating remarks at Obama supporters, or at Obama himself or his family," Debbie Head, a 40-year-old from Austin, Texas, complained to me.

Remember Peggy Agar? The women do. They can't stop talking about the Detroit TV reporter who asked Obama a serious question at a Chrysler factory -- "How are you going to help American autoworkers?" -- to which he answered, "Hold on a second, sweetie."

The women are angry at the ludicrous charges of racism leveled against Clinton by the Obama camp -- amplified in the supposedly respectable media -- and projected onto themselves.

Jean B. Grillo, an "over 50" writer in lower Manhattan, was pretty straightforward: "I am so tired as a white, ultra-liberal, McGovern-voting, civil-rights marching, anti-war fighting highly educated professional woman who totally supports Hillary Clinton to be attacked and vilified as racist and or dumb." . . .

The women talk of being taken for granted by a party leadership that never spoke out on some of the outrageous Hillary bashing -- and despite the close race, joined the early rush to crown Obama. . . .

Passions can change, one supposes, but the women I hear from do not see the rampant sexism, particularly toward older women, as isolated gaffes but as a systemic dismissal of them -- an enormous voting bloc that has been reliably Democratic. . . .

Harrop’s entire column is here.


We keep hearing the Dems’ leadership is confident most of the women Harrop is writing about “will come back to us.”


Could that be just one more manifestation of a sexist attitude that takes those women for granted?

Responding to "Novak Outs McClellan" comment

Readers Note: For background to this post you should be familiar with Novak Outs McClellan and The AP plays the "Plame game", both posted yesterday.

An Anon commented on the Novak Outs McClellan thread - - -

FITZGERALD: Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.

Valerie Wilson's friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life.

FITZGERALD: The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well- known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It's important that a CIA officer's identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation's security.

Valerie Wilson's cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003

My response:

Fitzgerald said a lot that hasn’t stood up.

Also, he didn’t tell the public at the start of the "investigation" in which he was charged to find “the Plame leaker:”

Guess what folks? I already know the leaker is Richard Armitage. He not only leaked to Novak, but two weeks before that he leaked to Bob Woodward. It’s been great conducting this investigation. Now I’m going back home to Illinois.”

Tom Maguire at Just One Minute has done tremendous work following “the Plame outing,” including Fitzgerald’s “investigation.”

The following is part of his Mar. 16, 2007 post Plame On!

Let's get into the Plame hearing conducted by Rep. Waxman today.

Matt Apuzzo of the AP deserves the props we gave him - this story seems to hit the key controversies and presents both sides. Here we go: . . .

(2) Was Ms. Plame covert?

From Matt Apuzzo:

Plame also repeatedly described herself as a covert operative, a term that has multiple meanings. Plame said she worked undercover and traveled abroad on secret missions for the CIA.

But the word "covert" also has a legal definition requiring recent foreign service and active efforts to keep someone's identity secret. Critics of Fitzgerald's investigation said Plame did not meet that definition for several reasons and said that's why nobody was charged with the leak. =

Also, none of the witnesses who testified at Libby's trial said it was clear that Plame's job was classified. However, Fitzgerald said flatly at the courthouse after the verdict that Plame's job was classified.


Plame said she wasn't a lawyer and didn't know what her legal status was but said it shouldn't have mattered to the officials who learned her identity.

"They all knew that I worked with the CIA," Plame said. "They might not have known what my status was but that alone - the fact that I worked for the CIA - should have put up a red flag."

She didn't know her legal status? She's so covert that not even she knows if she is legally covert! And we are more than three years into this. Oh, my - well, I don't know her status either. Maybe they call her the wind. (But they call the wind Mariah...)

The WaPo was OK on this issue this morning as well:

In the CIA's eyes, the revelation of Plame's name in any context, whether she was stationed here or abroad, gave away a national security secret that could have dangerous repercussions. When Novak's column unmasking her as a CIA operative was published on July 14, 2003, the CIA general counsel's office automatically sent a routine report to the Justice Department that there had been an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

As part of normal procedures, the agency made a preliminary damage assessment and then sent a required follow-up report to Justice. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft decided to open a criminal investigation but three months later recused himself because the probe led into the White House. Patrick J. Fitgerald, the U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, became special counsel and began to investigate "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity."

In February 2004, after reviewing what the FBI had, Fitzgerald widened his investigation to include "any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure," plus any efforts to obstruct the probe.

* * *

Some news stories created initial confusion over Plame's status by suggesting that disclosure of her name and employment may have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. That law, passed in response to disclosure of the names of CIA officers serving overseas by former CIA employee Philip Agee, made it a crime to disclose the names of "covert agents," which the act narrowly defined as those serving overseas or who had served as such in the previous five years.

"Covert agent" is not a label actually used within the agency for its employees, according to former senior CIA officials. Plame, who joined the agency right out of Pennsylvania State University, underwent rigorous spycraft training to become an officer in the Directorate of Operations. (The term "agent" in the CIA is only applied to foreign nationals recruited to spy in support of U.S. interests.)

It is funny watching CREW try to lower the bar:

Plame's testimony today "will be very forceful and clear, and there won't be any question what classified means," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington...
No, there probably won't be any questions about "classified", since the key question is whether she was "covert" under the statute. (emphasis added)

Maguire's entire post is here.

Folks, “the Plame affair” has many unanswered questions, including why the Bush administration didn’t respond more effectively to what we now know was a bogus claim of “outing a covert operative.” I’ll say more about that question this weekend.

What we do know for certain is that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby didn’t “out” her; Richard Armitage did. And that was my main point yesterday and that was why Novak refuted McClennan's smears of Rove and Libby.

Question: Does anyone know why, when the story broke, Armitage didn’t step forward in public and say something like:

“ A lot of false charges are being directed at the White House, especially about Vice President Cheney, his staff and Karl Rove. And while I don’t like those people and oppose a lot of what they’re doing as does my boss Colin Powell, I’ve got to be honest and tell you I leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Bob Woodward weeks before Novak published his story. And by the way, I was also the leaker for Novak’s story. Now I’ll take questions?”

Monday, June 02, 2008

No Churchill Series post - Jun. 2, 2008

Folks, I'm sorry but my workload is heavy so no Churchill post today.

Look for one tomorrow.

Thanks for your understanding.


Cosby on Wright rumor – It’s not true

From comes a call of FALSE on this Internet rumor:

An article said to have been in the Wall Street Journal in which comedian Bill Cosby comments on The Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the African-American community in the United States.
TruthorFiction lays out the data supporting its call here.

The AP plays the “Plame game”

The “Plame game” is very popular with Democrats and their MSM flacks. It’s easy and anyone can play.

All you need do is blame someone close to President Bush or Vice President Cheney for “outing undercover CIA agent” Valerie Plame who drove to work each day at CIA headquarters for five years before her “cover was blown.”

In this recent AP story reporter Deb Riechmann plays the “Plame game”:

McClellan was ordered to say that White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were not involved in leaking Plame's identity. Later, a criminal investigation revealed that they were.
Just this morning I linked in Novak Outs McClellan to a Bob Novak column in which he said for the umpteenth time that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, not Rove or Libby, was "the leaker" who “outed” Valerie Plame, if you can “out” a CIA employee who drives to headquarters each day.

And here’s a video of a CNN interview in which Armitage - anti-Iraq war, anti-Dick Cheney and Colin Powell loyalist - admits he “outed” Plame.

Hat tip:

Players' motion for mandatory discovery

Via information the plaintiffs in the 38 suit (suit background info here) have filed a motion for mandatory discovery. The motion in pdf form is here. It was filed May 22 and posted today, June 2, at, a public information site enabled by the plaintiffs.

Excerpts from the motion - - -

Pursuant to Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is
mandatory, except in certain exempted proceedings which do not apply here, for the parties to confer “as soon as practicable” regarding “the nature and basis of their claims and defenses,” the plan for initial disclosures, preservation of relevant evidence, and for creating a discovery plan to govern among other things the timing and form of discovery.

The purpose of this mandatory conference is to attempt from the outset of an action to encourage parties “to frame a mutually agreeable [discovery]plan.”. . .

In accordance with the requirement in the Rules that the mandatory Rule 26(f) conference should occur “as soon as practicable” and certainly in advance of the court issuing its own scheduling order, Plaintiffs’ counsel has approached counsel for the Defendants in an attempt to schedule this conference and has been informed that Defendants will not participate in this conference while motions to dismiss are pending or until the Court schedules a discovery conference.

Since there can be no discovery until the Rule 26(f) conference occurs, by refusing to meet, Defendants are unilaterally instituting their own de facto stay of discovery without having sought the Court’s approval or explained why such a stay should be granted in this case.

There are compelling reasons why both the Rule 26(f) conference and
discovery should proceed expeditiously in this case. A significant part of a Rule 26(f) conference is discussing the preservation steps the parties are taking to ensure that relevant evidence is not lost.

This concern is especially paramount for electronically stored information (“ESI”) such as email that due to the routine operation of a computer system may get overwritten or made significantly more burdensome and expensive to retrieve with the passage of time. Waiting months, if not longer, while a motion to dismiss is pending to discuss what sort of information will be required in discovery, how ESI will be preserved, and how ESI and other information will be produced will likelycreate far more disputes and difficulties than if those issues are dealt with at the outset as Rule 26 intended. Moreover, it is a simple fact that time is not the friend of discovery.

The more time that passes, the more opportunity there is for relevant information to be lost or destroyed. Memories fade, servers crash, backup tapes get overwritten, etcetera.

While the parties should be able to agree on some reasonable limitations on
discovery while motions to dismiss are pending (and indeed the good faith attempt by parties to fashion these sorts of resolutions for a discovery plan is what Rule 26(f) contemplates), for the most vulnerable of evidence, such as email, discovery should not have to wait until the end of the motions practice or there is a very high chance that some relevant evidence will no longer exist.

Certainly the decision to forgo or otherwise frustrate any discovery, including discovery into email and other vulnerable ESI, should not be made by Defendants’ unilateral refusal to participate in the mandatory Rule 26(f) conference.. . .

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court either order the Defendants to participate forthwith in a Rule 26(f) conference or that the Court schedule an initial discovery hearing pursuant to Rule 16(a) of the Federal Rules, which will trigger the requirement that Defendants participate at least 21 days in advance in a Rule 26(f) conference. A proposed order is attached.


The proposed order is not available at I’ll contact the folks there and ask if they can post it.

At this time a lay person like myself can best serve you by calling the plaintiffs’ motion to you attention; presenting what appear to be especially salient parts of it; and providing a link so you can read the motion yourself and have it available when you read news accounts concerning it and the defendants response(s).

Once more, here’s a link to the full text of the motion.

Welcome back, Liestoppers boards

It's great news!

If you go here, you’ll see the LS boards are up and running.

It’s wonderful to have the Hooligans back.

A number of them have said “thanks” for my help keeping folks informed about the “outage.”

I was glad to do.

In turn, I want to thank Texas Mom who first alerted me to the "outage" so I could alert others.

I thank all others of you who provided whatever info you had, especially the Anon who passed along the email from the Zeta folks which provided much useful information.

Finally, thanks to the Hooligans who over at the boards now are saying nice things about JinC.

I might send a link with those nice comments to the folks in the N&O's newsroom who still haven't told us about the N&O's use of Mike Nifong as an anonymous source or why the N&O withheld for weeks the critical news it had as a result of Crystal Mangum's June 2002 car-jacking that she was a strip dancer then a "men's club" and instead published on March 25, 2006 in its "anonymous interview" story what the N&O knew was a false report Mangum was new to dancing before groups of men.

Did Nifong ask the N&O to withhold that critical news until the frame-up attempt was more advanced or did the N&O decide on its own to withhold that critically important news?

Ah, but I'm getting off topic.

Welcome back, Hooligans.

Novak Outs McClellan

“The Valerie Plame affair” was never really about blowing the cover of a CIA operative.

How can you blow the cover of a CIA employee/operative/whatever whose been commuting by car from her DC home to CIA headquarters at Langley, VA for the past five years?

And the “investigation to determine who leaked Plame’s identity as a CIA operative to Bob Novak” was never really about “finding the leaker.”

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew from the beginning the leaker was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

The “Plame affair” has always been about partisan politics; specifically, “get Bush and those around him” politics.

Bob Novak reminds us of that this morning in his column which begins:

In Scott McClellan's purported tell-all memoir of his trials as President George W. Bush's press secretary, he virtually ignores Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's role leaking to me Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA employee. That fits the partisan Democratic version of the Plame affair, in keeping with the overall tenor of "What Happened."

Although the media response dwelled on McClellan's criticism of Bush's road to war, the CIA leak case is the heart of this book. On July 14, 2003, one day before McClellan took the press secretary's job for which many colleagues felt he was unqualified, my column was published asserting that Plame at the CIA suggested her Democratic partisan husband, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson, for a sensitive intelligence mission.

That story made McClellan's three years at the briefing room podium a misery, leading to his dismissal and now his bitter retort.

In claiming he was misled about the Plame affair, McClellan mentions Armitage only twice.

Armitage being the leaker undermines the Democratic theory, now accepted by McClellan, that Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and political adviser Karl Rove aimed to delegitimize Wilson as a war critic. McClellan's handling of the leak by itself leads former colleagues to suggest he could not have written this book by himself.

On page 173, McClellan first mentions my Plame leak, but he does not identify Armitage as the leaker until page 306 of the 323-page book -- then only in passing.

Armitage, anti-war and anti-Cheney, cannot fit the conspiracy theory that McClellan now buys into. When Armitage after two years publicly admitted he was my source, the life went out of Wilson's campaign.

In "What Happened," McClellan dwells on Rove's alleged deceptions as if the real leaker were still unknown.

McClellan at the White House podium never knew the facts about the CIA leak, and his memoir reads as though he has tried to maintain his ignorance. He omits Armitage's slipping Mrs. Wilson's identity to The Washington Post's Bob Woodward weeks before he talked to me.

He does not mention that Armitage turned himself in to the Justice Department even before Patrick Fitzgerald was named as special prosecutor.

McClellan writes that Rove told him this about his conversation with me after I called him to check Armitage's leak: "He (Novak) said he'd heard that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. I told him I couldn't confirm it because I didn't know."

Rove told me last week he never said that to McClellan. Under oath, Rove had testified he told me, "I heard that, too." Under oath, I testified that Rove said, "Oh, you know that, too."

McClellan writes, "I don't know" whether the leaker -- he does not specify Armitage -- committed a felony. He ignores that Fitzgerald's long, expensive investigation found no violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, if only because Plame was not covered. (all emphasis added)

Nevertheless, McClellan calls the leak "wrong and harmful to national security" -- ignoring questions of whether Plame really was engaged in undercover operations and whether her cover long ago had been blown. . . .

The rest of Novak’s column’s here.


The “Valerie Plame affair” is important because:

1) It demonstrates how eager many Democrats and their MSM flacks are to distort the truth in order to damage the President and our government.

2) It’s an example of prosecutorial abuse by Fitzgerald who ignored his charge to “find the leaker” and instead spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars conducting what amounted to a perjury entrapment operation.

Those are my thoughts.

What do you think?

Hat tip:

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Liestoppers board news

As so often happens at blogs an Anon has provided help. The email which follows is 11 hours old but there's news and follow-along links for those waiting for the LS boards to be up again.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Update on Liestoppers boards":

From Google/Zetaboards/link to

Why can't I log into Zetaboards?

Just saw the following on another forum:"This evening at 4:55pm CDT in our H1 data center, electrical gear shorted, creating an explosion and fire that knocked down three walls surrounding our electrical equipment room. Thankfully, no one was injured. In addition, no customer servers were damaged or lost.

We have just been allowed into the building to physically inspect the damage. Early indications are that the short was in a high-volume wire conduit. We were not allowed to activate our backup generator plan based on instructions from the fire department.

This is a significant outage, impacting approximately 9,000 servers and 7,500 customers. All members of our support team are in, and all vendors who supply us with data center equipment are on site.

Our initial assessment, although early, points to being able to have some service restored by mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Rest assured we are working around the clock.We are in the process of communicating with all affected customers.

We are planning to post updates every hour via our forum and in our customer portal. Our interactive voice response system is updating customers as well.

There is no impact in any of our other five data centers.I am sorry that this accident has occurred and I apologize for the impact."

11 hours ago

Source(s):Got the info from

Now this from JinC - - -

Hang in there, Blog Hooligans.

You'll be up and working for justice before you can say "the facts kept changing."

Update on Liestoppers boards

I just received this email from one of the board hosts: is the board server

It is down so I think its a system wide condition now and applies to all their boards.


My fingers are crossed the LS boards will soon be back.

Stay tuned.


Selected comments re: motions to dismiss 38 suit

The "38 suit" informally refers to a suit brought in federal court, Greensboro, this past February by lead attorney Charles Cooper on behalf of 38 members of the 2006 Duke Men's lacrosse team and some of their family members.

The plaintiffs seek relief for allege rights violations by a number of individuals and entities including Duke University, Duke University Medical Center and the City of Durham, NC. Defendants filed motions to dismiss this past Friday.

You can read the complaint filing and the motions to dismiss at

Jim in San Diego and the Ex-prosecutor have made selective comments concerning Friday's motions and other aspects of the suit. Their comments follow, after which I offer a few comments below the star line and provide links to KC Johnson's posts concerning the motions.

Jim in San Diego said...

It is expected in a case like this that civil defendants will try to get as much of the case dismissed as possible, to limit exposure.

The core of the defense brief seems to be "Mike Nifong did it - how horrible", and to characterize the Duke defendants as having no legal responsibility for the prosecution, and no affirmative duty to defend students from a rogue prosecutor.

However, the LAX players' complaint alleges many causes of action beyond mere passivity on the part of the Duke defendants. So, at first glance, it looks like the defense motion misses several of the more serious civil claims.

To give one example, it is hard to see how Duke's violation of the FIRPA statutes to assist with the prosecution of their own students can be foisted on Nifong. After all, the FIRPA statutes were specifically drafted to protect students.

Usually in Civil cases, a party who causes injury while intentionally breaking the law is presumed to be negligent.

However, it would not be surprising that some of the many claims would be dismissed for one reason or another. The players would then have the right, later, to appeal any such dismissals.

The players are well represented, and this whole process is very interesting, professionally.

If I could give a broad opinion, this is a case where the players have the facts on their side, and the Duke defendants may (mostly) have the law. By that I mean it is not a slam dunk to craft a civil case against the Duke defendants.

On the other hand, in my experience, a lawyer would usually rather have good facts to work with than the law, as the law is seldom precise and absolutely controlling. Since judges and juries try to do what is right, it is often surprising how that is accomplished in court.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I concur with the informative comments of Jim in San Diego, and would like to provide some additional and more basic information.

Even if I am an Olympic swimming champion, I can stand on a boat dock and watch another swimmer drown. I have no duty to try and save the victim unless I somehow caused or contributed to his situation. A civil action filed against me by the family of the victim would be be dismissed because I had no duty to save the victim.

In the Duke lawsuits, based on my quick reading of the motions to dismiss, it looks looks like the defendants are arguing they they are not liable to the plaintiffs because they owed them no duty. For instance, Duke is claiming that even if it does not abide by what its student handbook says its treatment of Duke students is to be, it is not actionable.

I agree with Jim in San Diego that some of the plaintiffs' claims, while very inventive, probably will not survive the motions to dismiss. But others will, maybe some as to each defendant.

After the judge has ruled on the motions to dismiss, the parties then will take depositions and trade copies of various records, a complicated process because the cases are so complicated.

After the discovery process is completed, the parties then will file motions for summary judgment, saying that, as to the plaintiffs' claims which have remained after the resolution of the motions to dismiss, there are no genuine issues and the plaintiffs or defendants are entitled to judgments as a matter of law. Usually, all parties claim they are entitled to judgments as a matter of law.

To return to my swimming analogy, I would have lost my motion for summary judgment if the plaintiff claimed that I pushed the victim into the water and watched him drown. However, if the plaintiff could develop no proof that I had pushed the victim, I, as defendant, could have the lawsuit dismissed on my summary judgment motion.

If a witness testified she saw me push the victim in, but I said I had not, the case would go to trial, to ascertain who was telling the truth.

There are several reasons why the plaintiffs want to keep in the lawsuits as many plaintiffs and causes of action as possible. The larger the number of defendants, the more insurance policies there are available for settlement. Also, there likely will be lots of finger-pointing, as Jim in San Diego as pointed out is already occurring.

As he also said, the plaintiffs have the sympathetic facts and will be some of the best witnesses I have ever seen. A federal jury will be drawn from the entire district of the Greensboro federal court. While the herd of defendants and their lawyers can all blame Mr. Nifong and Linwood Wilson, both of whom probably will be representing themselves, this tactic easily could backfire and make the jury mad.


I thank both Jim in San Diego and the Ex-prosecutor for their informed, thoughtful comments.

Re: Jim's "the FIRPA statutes were specifically drafted to protect students."

I'm told by other attorneys the federal executive and courts have been very strong in protecting students' rights under FIRPA.

As I understand it, if Duke was even just unintentionally "sloppy" regarding protecting students' FIRPA privacy rights, it will be a serious matter. If it turns out Duke went along and actively cooperated with Nifong in FIRPA rights violations then Duke will, one attorney said, "be looking at a poison pill."

What Jim and Ex-p say about the suit not being a slam dunk fits with what I'm being told.

But what Jim and Ex-p say about the importance of having the facts on your side, judges and juries trying to do what is right, and it often being "surprising how that is accomplished in court" also fits with what I've been told.

Bottom line - The attorneys I've spoken to have to a person said that while you can never be sure what can happen in a complex suit such as this one, the plaintiffs have much the stronger hand.

While I don't want to put words in Jim's and Ex-p's mouths, I read them as saying the same thing.

They'll be more about all this in the days, weeks and months to come.

If this post interested you and you haven't already done so, be sure to take a look at these KC Johnson posts: The Duke Motion to Dismiss - Creative Writing 101 - The Other Briefs.