A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports

Saturday, July 12, 2003

11:58 PM: 
Hey Pitt!

Who's yo' daddy!

11:53 PM: 
Japan Today Pulls Another

Too funny.

A few days ago, Japan Today picked up a story that had been published on Capitol Hill Blue. It turned out that the story was false, and that Japan Today did not even know about Capitol Hill Blue. (Full story here).

They had gotten the story from a place called TruthOut.org, which is run by managing editor William (Red) Rivers Pitt, co-author of an anti-American screed along with Scott "Have It Your Way" Ritter. Pitt claimed Japan Today took it without permission. Japan Today provided an email that said different.

Japan Today's editor also said they would think twice before ever using TruthOut again.

Earlier today, I posted on my blog an entry saying how the editor had lied, becuase lo-and-behold, Pitt had written a new screed The insiders are coming out, which had been picked up and published by Japan Today, as you can see by a Google search.

I emailed the editor a pretty snied letter, and posted that he lied when he said he would not use TruthOut.

Two hours later- look what you get when you try to load Pitt's screed on Japan Today.

Thanks Mr. Betros, once again. I guess I owe you an apology for calling you a liar.

10:04 PM: 
Green Anarchists Working With Autonomous Marxists?: The RAAN Network:
"When the project was proposed, RAAN was a loose association of people with views ranging from Stalinist to anarchist. Because of this, there was a question as to if we really should formalize the project with a statement of 'shared principles'. We anti-authoritarians in the network felt that while it was acceptable to engage in informal discussion with authoritarian-Leftists, (generally speaking, Leninists) any transformation of the network into a 'physical organization' would be quite distasteful if these elements were allowed to remain. We have done our best to reflect this."
I have red/green color blindness. They all look the same to me. Just a bunch of bloodthirsty theives peddling lies, striving for destruction, worthy of spit.

9:54 PM: 
MCC beheads 3 in J'khand : HindustanTimes.com:
"Three persons were beheaded by the banned Maoist Communist Centre near Dari village in Jharkhand's Gumla district, police said on Thursday."
Rumors of the red menace's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

9:51 PM: 
Deutsche Welle: News Bulletin:
"Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday said she would soon launch 'comprehensive countermeasures' to fight an upsurge in communist rebel attacks. The 9,000-strong New People's Army has killed some 30 government soldiers and militiamen in recent weeks."
Communism has only killed a few million people. Let's give it another try!

7:16 PM: 
What does Howard Dean have against Quantas anyway?

(Thanks DoughtyOne for finding that gem)

7:08 PM: 

I am trying to rectify the situation. In fact, after I got your series of e-mails today, I looked at the Capitol Hill Blue website and found a general inquiries e-mail address. That's where I sent a request to Doug asking for permission to use the story he late wrote explaining how he had been deceived and apologizing. We were had, too, because we subscribe to truthout.org and publish their stuff from time to time and being over here in Japan, we don't have the resources to check the veracity of articles we take form overseas.

As you noted, we have removed the story but I want to do more and correct the error for the benefit of our readers, but until we get permission to use the Capitol Hill Blue retraction by Doug, there is not much else I can post on the Japan Today website.

I will however think twice before using any more truthout.org stories after today.


Chris Betros
I guess "think twice before" could just as well have been replaced with "eagerly look forward to".

A leftist lying. Imagine that.

6:49 PM: 
Remember those nice words I had to say about Japan Today's editor Chris Betros?

Remember how he had said he would think twice about using information from TruthOut?

He lied. Very much so.

What a jerk. He can be reached here.

5:56 PM: 
Text of CIA Director Tenet's Statement:
" In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn."
The individual? Joseph C. Wilson. You can find out more about him here, here, and here.

This is the real scandal that is about to hit. On who's initiative was Wilson sent? And what led them to choose him over every other possibility?

5:14 PM: 
For those who are unfamiliar with Free Republic, there is a poster named Willie Green who is, to put it mildly, not a Bush fan. He is a Buchanan man, to the bone.

Read this Ted Rall article that Yahoo! News is running, and then catch Willie's response.

Maybe you need to know Willie, but that is pure comedy.

2:25 PM: 

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Imagine if people cared about coin flips. I mean, cared deeply and passionately about if heads would come up or if tails would come up. Imagine there being heads partisans, and tails partisans, and imagine there being moderates who can prefer heads one time and tails the next, depending on the coin, or the day, or the way the wind blows. And imagine that our fictitious little land does not know that an everyday coin will come up heads half the time, and tails half the time.

Now imagine if a study was conducted by a major university. The study would flip a coin 500 times, and count the number of times it came up heads, and the number of times it came up tails. Using good scientific method, the study would then use a different coin, and count the results for it.

And let's further imagine that the first coin, a bright and shiny penny, came up tails 260 times (52%). And the second coin, an equally bright and shiny quarter, came up heads 265 times (53%). Both are reasonable numbers, as we would expect that 19 times out of 20 that a 500 flip sample is measured, the result would be between 46-54% for either result, given random chance.

If one were to visit such a land the day after the study was published, what would one be able to gather if one saw paper after paper blaring "a majority of coin flips comes up tails, a recent study reveals"? And what would one be able to gather if one heard news report after news report talking about how "a recent study has ominous news for the heads, as a majority of flips came up tails"? What would we be able to gather, if one searched high and low to find a single report in the media about how the same study had a result with the opposite conclusion, and perhaps with even a greater majority, and none were to be found? Would we not be able to conclude, without there being any real doubt, that the media in our little land is significantly biased against the advocates of the head? Would we not be able to conclude, without there being any real doubt, that the media has a tail fixation?

Recently, the University of Maryland released a poll. Reporters and writers were unanimous in their appraisal: a majority of Americans believed that the Bush administration misled the people, lied to the people, stretched the truth to the people, and a few other descriptions all amounting to the same thing- the majority had spoken, and the administration's side was in the minority.

The question from the poll that had generated the responses cited in story after story was "Is it your impression that when the US government presented evidence of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war with Iraq it was...", to which 52% chose the answer "stretching the truth, but not making false statements." Tails!

There was another question in the survey. "Is it your impression that when the US government presented the evidence to justify going to war with Iraq, it was being misleading or not misleading?" This is a very similar question, and the presence in polls of two similar questions asked different ways is to give a way to measure if the way a question is asked influences the results. To this, 53% responded, "not misleading". Heads!

In this poll, when asked one way, a majority said that the truth was being stretched (or worse), and when asked another way, a majority said the administration was not being misleading. Yet every news story echoed the same line- the majority sided against the administration.

If the media was unbiased (or rather, represented by an equal distribution of biases), there should have been stories describing how a majority of the people thinks the administration has stretched the truth, and there should have been a comparable number of stories about how the majority thinks the administration has not been misleading. There should have been stories about how the poll showed things that could be read either way. There should have been a variety of analyses, since it really could be presented accurately, if not truthfully, in a number of ways.

For example, the same question's results which triggered the media response that "the majority thinks Bush stretched the truth", could very easily and accurately as 'over three quarters of the public says that the US government did not present evidence they knew was false'; in addition to the 52% that chose "stretching the truth, but not making false statements" were 32% who chose "being fully truthful". Reports written like this did not get written, however. What can we gather from this?

In reality, the University of Maryland poll shows that about half the country thinks the administration stretched the truth but did not mislead. About a tenth thinks it lied, and a third thinks it was completely truthful. We did not see any stories about this poll written like this, either. What does this tell us about the media?

It tells me that the media is biased, and not to a small degree. The complete absence of stories of stories declaring "a majority of Americans say the adminstration did not mislead them" is proof positive. The media presents information in a manner which tells the story which they want us to hear, hoping to elicit a response they want to see. Remember this the next time a story comes around crowing about what the majority thinks. The real story may be different, just hidden by a media whose heads are buried in its tails.

12:15 PM: 
More second-guessing from men of straw, making a point that conservatives, such as myself, are going to be beating liberals over the head with for weeks, now that the left has overextended itself once again.
The president of the United States had good reason to be concerned. People with reason to know had warned him:

A ruthless dictator whose aggressive intent had already been amply demonstrated now aspired to develop new and awesome weapons of mass destruction.

Once in possession of those weapons, the tyrant would be undeterrable. The nation's security and that of the free world depended on beating him to the punch.

The warning had come in the form of a letter dated Aug. 2, 1939, and signed: Albert Einstein...

There was no time to waste. "I understand," Dr. Einstein told the president, "that Germany has already stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over." He added that experiments with uranium were even now being conducted at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin...

By that time, Nazi Germany had fallen, and although every scientific laboratory and secret arsenal in the country was being scoured, there was no sign that Germany was anywhere near having a nuclear weapon. Working under the venerated Werner Heisenberg, the German physicists had taken a wrong turn and were still playing with "heavy water" while Robert Oppenheimer's boys were doing the equations and engineering at Los Alamos...

Does that mean the danger never existed? That Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman had over-reacted? That Einstein was an alarmist?"
Liberals are always at a disadvantage when arguing with conservatives, since conservatism is always based upon the lessons learned from history. We always can point back to reality, to substance, to history to give concrete examples that back our positions. Liberals, on the other hand, must rely on revision of history, ignorance, and denial.

10:48 AM: 
Jack Straw throws a bomb at the left:
"Mr Straw said: 'I am writing to deal with two points relating to the statement in the Government's September Iraq dossier that 'Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa'.

'First, press reporting has claimed that this statement is contradicted by the report of a US envoy, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who visited Niger in early 2002 to investigate the subject on behalf of the CIA. I want to make clear that neither I nor, to the best of my knowledge, any UK officials were aware of Ambassador Wilson's visit until reference first appeared in the press, shortly before your hearings last month. In response to our questions, the US authorities have confirmed that Ambassador Wilson's report was not shared with the UK.

'We have now seen a detailed account of Ambassador Wilson's report. It does indeed describe the denials of Niger government officials in early 2002 that a contract had been concluded for the sale of yellowcake to Iraq. But, as CNN have reported, Ambassador Wilson's report also noted that in 1999 an Iraqi delegation sought the expansion of trade links with Niger - and that former Niger government officials believed that this was in connection with the procurement of yellowcake.

'Uranium is Niger's main export. In other words, this element of Ambassador Wilson's report supports the statement in the Government's dossier.

'Second, the media have reported that the CIA expressed reservations to us about this element of the September dossier. This is correct.

'However, the US comment was unsupported by explanation and UK officials were confident that the dossier's statement was based on reliable intelligence, which we had not shared with the US (for good reasons, which I have given your committee in private session). A judgment was therefore made to retain it.

"Finally, may I underline that the JIC's (Joint Intelligence Committee) assessment of Iraq's efforts to reconstitute its nuclear programme did not rest on the attempted acquisition of yellowcake alone. The Government's dossier catalogued a range of other procurement activities, and referred to intelligence that scientists had been recalled to the programme in 1998. You will be aware of the recent discovery of technical documentation and centrifuge parts - necessary for the enrichment of uranium - buried at the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist in Baghdad."
So, why again was the Wilson character sent there? Who sent this person, unqualified to do this type of intelligence work? Why did he wait until now to come forward? Why does he have so many connections to high ranking DNC people?

What did the Clintons know, and when did they know it?

10:25 AM: 
Bush Administration Says Title IX Should Stay as It Is:
"The Bush administration, which had been considering changes that might have eased standards for satisfying the law that expanded opportunities for girls and women in sports, instead reaffirmed yesterday how the law, known as Title IX, is enforced."
Absolutely asinine. This is the type of political calculation which one would have thought Karl Rove was smart enough to avoid. Title IX has not accomplished its stated goals, and it has caused unintended damage to many good programs (especially in the sport of wrestling). Opposing Title IX was unlikely to give his opponents a more effective club, and Bush is not going to have fewer adversaries for supporting Title IX.

What is the thinking here? Keep the administration out of any contraversy that would be in the papers? What for? To ensure that Dean and the Democrats' smear campaign gets all of the attention?

10:17 AM: 
Maybe the Niger/uranium thing will turn into a Watergate. For the other side.
Tenet Takes Responsibility for False Iraq Intelligence: "To: randita

' A former diplomat was sent by the CIA to the region to check on the allegations and reported back that one of the Nigerian officials he met 'stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office,' Tenet said.'

The 'former diplomat' is Joseph Wilson,variously referred to as Ambassador to Iraq ( false),but, he should be more appropriately referred to as a Clinton confidante.

Maybe someone can explain to me, how a 'diplomat', not a CIA operative,not a forgery expert,not a yellowcake expert,not a weapons expert-can be the sole word on whether a country tried to sell uranium to Iraq.Especially since the diplomat is a Clinton crony and was against the war from the get go.

This is the title of the speech,he was delivering around the US,for a fee, before the war- Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson speaks on 'Iraq: Disarmament or Conquest? The Case against Regime Change '

From the bio at the speakers bureau,it appears that the man described in the media, as a ' former Ambassador to Iraq', was no such thing.He was acting ambassador for 5 months. As recently as July 6-CNN was referring to Wilson as the former Ambassador to Iraq.

1988-91-Deputy Chief of Mission at US Embassy,Baghdad
1992-1995 Ambassador to Gabonese Republic and Sao Tome
1995-97 Political Advisor CinC US Armed Forces ,Europe
1997-98 Sr Director for African American Affairs at NSC

'One of his major achievements was organizing President Clinton's historic trip to Africa in 1998.' Which part-the bongos, the dashiki or the cigar smoking?

As far as I can tell, the whole brouhaha is being based on the word of a diplomat " who quickly" found out that the charges were false. Has one single reporter asked how Wilson was able to determine this ? Who were his sources ? What does Joseph Wilson know,that the British intelligence doesn't ? Did Wilson just take the word of people denying involvement or did he do an in depth investigation? How does Wilson know the people denying that Iraq tried to buy uranium are telling the truth ? What is Joseph Wilson's proof ? Verbal denials from his cronies in Africa, is not sufficient evidence.Can Joseph Wilson guarantee that Iraq did not attempt to buy uranium from Niger at any other time?

From the Seattle Times:

" Wilson never saw the disputed documents but talked with officials whose signatures would have been required and concluded the accusations were almost certainly false. In Washington, he briefed CIA officers but did not draft a report." According to the paper,he spent 8 days in Niger talking to people.

The real investigation should be why the CIA thought such a clearly political, partisan and unqualified person should be sent to Africa to resolve this sensitive issue.

7 posted on 07/11/2003 11:31 PM EDT by Wild Irish Rogue

Emphasis mine. Yes, how exactly did this come to pass? It is certainly a convenient thing for the Democrats, is it not?

8:47 AM: 

Possible quote of the year:

From Mandy Block:
"I'm just a sausage, running a race."
(If you have no clue what that is about, click here).

8:45 AM: 
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I present to you a depiction of the condition of the State of California's government, courtesy of the Democrats.

8:19 AM: 
Dean: Bush's 'intelligence-handling a disaster'

McKinley: Dean's 'intelligence a disaster'

DEAN: It's beginning to sound a little like Watergate.
Dream on, Mr. McGovern. Dream on.

8:17 AM: 
Fred Barnes' piece fills me with feelings of schadenfreude:
"Davis has become the symbol of the state's slide downwards. Unresponsive government, high taxes, traffic congestion, emigration of hundreds of thousands to nearby states, a poor business environment--these top the list of problems. Just last month, California was cited as 'the worst performing state' in an analysis of the finances of all 50 states by USA Today. 'Today it continues to spend $1 billion a month more than it takes in,' the paper said. By one recent measure of test scores--8th grade reading--California's schools are last in the nation. Hence, the feeling that California is broken and the state's political class, especially Davis and his allies, isn't fixing it...

The recall gathered momentum on its own and now presents Republicans with a remarkable opportunity. The more they join the effort, the more they will define themselves as the party of reform. For the recall to reach stage three--the fourth stage is victory in the vote--it needs more support from Republican leaders and donors. Then, what Sundheim calls "a surge" for Republicans in the past few months--6,400 new Republicans in San Bernardino County, a 5-1 registration edge in Orange County, major gains in San Diego County--may become a surge in reality. A populist crusade could do for Republicans what they couldn't do for themselves. And the establishment won't know what hit it."
Recently, I was engaged in an argument with someone who was adamant that the Republicans must not win in this recall effort-- and my debate foe was a Republican! His point was that California voters need to more closely associate the mess that is California's governance with the Democrats, so that the repricussions would shake loose the stranglehold they have over the state.

I dont' subscribe to that point of view. I believe, as Barnes gives evidence to, that the recall effort is likely to bring new voters into the Republican fold. I also believe, having seen what Democrats do when facing defeat (see New Jersey's Senate race for the prime example), that if Davis is completely sunk, the Democrats will do everything in their power to retain the office, including running Dianne Feinstein. They would thus retain the Governorship, but as my debate foe would hope, it would keep the blame for California's mess inexorably tied to the Democrats, and it would give Republicans a better chance than they would normally have of capturing a California Senate seat.

7:53 AM: 
Another scenerio that works, Mr. Novak? Pennsylvania:
"Penn Plotting: Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman stopped in Philadelphia on June 16 to headline a fundraiser for Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz in what some observers are viewing as part of a Republican strategy to put the Keystone State - which went for Al Gore in 2000 - in the GOP column in 2004.

Noting that President Bush has visited Pennsylvania more times - 20 - during his presidency than any other state besides Texas, Keystone pundit G. Terry Madonna told the Forward that both Democrats and Republicans understand that the stakes of the 2003 mayoral election 'transcend Philadelphia and the politics of the city.' From that point of view, Katz can expect a lot of help from the national Republican leadership, Madonna said.

Madonna, a professor at Millersville University, said that his polling shows Bush to be 'more popular than any politician in the state,' a fact that gives Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Edward Rendell, goose bumps."
If the Dems take Florida, and Bush takes Pennsylvania, Bush wins 272-266.

Are you starting to see my point? This is not rocket science. It did not take much creativity to come up with extremely plausible (and quite possibly likely) scenerios where Bush wins even without Florida. So why would Novak, who is a bright guy, get that wrong? Carelessness? Bias?

One side note while on the Keystone State. Rendell was supposedly this juggernaut, but he won the governorship by a much smaller margin than predicted, and since getting into office he has had some setbacks. He proposed a budget, which the Republican controlled legislature immediately adopted, forcing him to threaten to veto his own budget (he had been hoping to hit Republicans with tax increases over a budget stalemate and got caught). He has suggested new taxes all over the place, including on visits to the doctor. And after convincing voters in western Pennsylvania that he would balance geographic interests in the state, he has instead used the governorship to funnell patronage to Philadelphia.

7:36 AM: 
Let's take a look at the map. Due to reapportionment, the states which Bush won in 2000 now command 278 electoral votes, with 27 of them coming from Florida. Sans Florida, Bush stands at 251. According to Novak, there are no plausible scenerios for a Bush win in such a case. Mr. Novak, say "Cheese!".
"Minnesota hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, and Democrat Al Gore won the state in 2000 with 47.9 percent to Bush's 45.5 percent. Still, the state has a Republican governor and chose Norm Coleman over Walter Mondale in the U.S. Senate election to replace the late Paul Wellstone.

``We have moved more conservative,'' said Albert Quie, a Republican governor from 1979 to 1983. ``If the election were held today, Bush would win hands down,'' Quie said.

Bush had a 63 percent approval rating in a poll published last month by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. The poll found ``the economy far surpasses terrorism and war as the biggest problem facing the country.'' "
That gets it to 261. Wisconsin, a similar state to Minnesota albeit arguably more favorable to Republicans, was won by Gore by merely 0.22%. That gets the tally to 271. And that was just my first guess! Novak is playing the pessimist here, but anyone who has been reading him for the past months should be realizing that he would be gleeful should Bush fail to be re-elected, and the information coming from him must be considered through that filter.

7:15 AM: 
Robert Novak: "All Republican victory calculations for 2004 are predicated on carrying the state." Of Florida, that is. Novak is incorrect. All Democrat victory calculations for 2004 are predicated on carrying the state. There are many possible permutations where Republicans can win the Presidency while losing Florida. There are practically none where Democrats can win it while losing Florida.

Novak has been flat out wrong an often lot lately.

7:07 AM: 
Sadam and Osama, Sitting In a Tree...:
"'It seems to me to be strong proof that the two were in contact and conspiring to perform terrorist acts,' Merritt, a Democrat and longtime family friend of Al Gore, wrote in a dispatch for The Tennesseean newspaper - charges similar to those previously reported by The Weekly Standard...

He said an Iraqi lawyer recently brought him a Nov. 14, 2002, edition of a newspaper controlled by Saddam's sadistic son Uday that included photos of Saddam, bin Laden, and a "List of Honor" - 600 names of "regime persons," including all 55 of the wanted deck-of-card Iraqis.

The lawyer told Merritt that Uday had published the list to make the men more loyal, but Saddam hit the roof when he saw it and sent his henchmen to confiscate the newspapers, even going door to door to force people to turn them over. The lawyer had kept his copy."

7:03 AM: 
Was Cuba Involved In Jamming US Television Transmissions To Iran?:
"Accordingly, Skynet contacted a transmitter geo-location service, TLS, Inc., to attempt to locate the transmit source of the interference. TLS was able to provide an ellipse of the most probable location of the source of the interference, which it identified as being in the vicinity of Havana, Cuba. As the services being interfered with are licensed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the probable source of the interference is not within United States boundaries, on July 9 Skynet forwarded the information concerning the interference and TLS's investigation to FCC personnel. The FCC has contacted TLS for further technical discussions."

Friday, July 11, 2003

11:55 PM: 
Bush's Approval Rating Drops Sharply (Bush approval: 59%)

Or has it? Click that link and check out the nicely presented graph for some perspective.

9:23 PM: 
More from Phil Dragoo:
To: Pan_Yans Wife; Mo1; Peach; eleni121; concerned about politics; MEG33; DoughtyOne; OldFriend; ...

Phil's note: Please feel free to use the following white paper I prepared:


President Delivers "State of the Union"
The U.S. Capitol
9:01 P.M. EST
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 28, 2003

Excerpt follows:

Paragraph 67 of 86:

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.


Phil's note: I went to the online transcript of the President's State of the Union Address (see URL above) and copied the 67th paragraph with its second sentence intact.

That sentence in its unredacted entirety is as follows:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

To this day Tony Blair stands behind his government's statement that Saddam Hussein sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

He notes the British analysis was secondly sourced. Certain forged intelligence was planted to sabotage the president, perhaps by our great friends the French.

Be that as it may, Iraq and Niger go back twenty years in uranium deals, and Blair maintains the current dealings took place.

Democrats have distorted the matter, stooping to their standard trick of misquoting: they lop off the attribution to the British government in Democrat attack ads.

Democrats have succumbed to mass amnesia as well, forgetting they supported Clinton's attacks on Iraq in 1998. The contemporaneous statements of Kerry, Biden, Daschle et al cited Iraq's WMD threat.

There's also a great deal of Monday-morning ass-covering by unnamed CIA weasels, O Dear We Pleaded With The President Not To Use That--I think these CIA lowlifes should come forward and fall on their swords.

Add to this the breathtaking failure of George Tenet, the Clinton Director of Central Intelligence, to foresee and forestall the attacks on Continental United States (CONUS) by Osama bin Laden, and one sees a man with his pants on fire and no one to blame but himself.

He might blame his appointer, Clinton, who refused the offer of Osama bin Laden by Sudan three times beginning in 1995.

Tenet pronounced as dogma the meeting of 911 commander Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence agent Al Ani in Prague did not occur--despite the insistence of the Czech government that it did.

Now come the 90% Democrat media to trumpet the smear of "Bush lied".

Lost in their banging of trashcans in the alley are the twin admissions of CIA that the progress of Iran and North Korea in processing their fuel rods into nuclear weapons material is more advanced than previously thought.

[Just remember August 1998 when the CIA said rogue nations wouldn't pose an ICBM threat for fifteen years, North Korea threw a Taepodong over Japan. CIA: Catastrophe Is Assured.]

In sum, the Democrats would have you believe, if they chop up sentence two of paragraph sixty-seven of a seven-month-old speech, you're more endangered by that than by 1) Iraq seeking enriched uranium; 2) Iran producing enriched uranium; 3) North Korea producing enriched uranium.

To review: Iraq, Iran, North Korea have revealed their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

QED (Quod Erat Demonstratum, thus it is shown): Bush was spot on with his Axis of Evil label for these three bad actors.

Phil Dragoo

138 posted on 07/11/2003 7:11 PM EDT by PhilDragoo
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)

8:04 PM: 
Text of CIA Director Tenet's Statement:
"Legitimate questions have arisen about how remarks on alleged Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa made it into the president's State of the Union speech. Let me be clear about several things right up front. First, CIA approved the president's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president."

8:01 PM: 
Terry McAuliffe's Face, Hearing Tenet Took Responsibility For Uranium SOTU Line

7:50 PM: 
CIA Director Tenet says uranium line was the CIA's fault.

Breaking on Fox.

Good for Mr. Tenet. Just when it appeared that every Democrat was going to foresake the truth for partisanship, Tenet breaks rank.

I am still not sure I am pleased with all of his work at the CIA--actually, I am sure I am not. But this goes in the credit ledger.

4:28 PM: 
And from which wing of the Democrat party did Culver come?
"An outstanding economist and geneticist, Henry Wallace (1888-1965) was also the personification of New Deal liberalism. In this splendid biography, former senator Culver and journalist Hyde brilliantly illuminate Wallace's complex life and struggles. As FDR's agriculture secretary and later vice president, Wallace always stood to the president's left politically (Hamilton Fish called him 'Stalin's ambassador to the court of Roosevelt')."
This hints.

4:26 PM: 
Alumni Awards: Thanks Dog:
"After earning his bachelor's degree in political science, with honors, A. Greg Thielmann went on to work for then-Congressman John Culver. He studied international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, then entered the United States Foreign Service where he has compiled a distinguished service record during a career of 25 years. Although he has filled a variety of assignments, he has been most deeply involved in arms control and security issues. He is currently acting director of the Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs Office in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department."
John Chester Culver, Democrat.

3:47 PM: 
More Taranto, demonstrating the liberal mind:
"The constant loss of U.S. soldiers in Iraq--after the war is 'won'--is a tragedy. However, if this is what it takes to retire the Bush administration at the next election, the sacrifice is justified."
(From a letter to the editor, published in the San Francisco Chronicle)

3:44 PM: 
Taranto with a great point, one so simple that I am smacking my head for not making it myself:
"The subtext of all this is the claim some Dems have been making for some time now, namely that Bush 'misled' the country into war. But it is logically impossible for the SOTU snafu to support this claim. Bush delivered the speech on Jan. 28, 2003--109 days after Congress voted to go to war."
Love his headline too- "Psychic Dems Network"

3:09 PM: 
Google Search: Terrance J. Wilkinson

Just a day ago, nothing. Now, we can find him all over. Nonviolence.org. Indymedia.org, CentralOregonForDean.com, PuddingTime.com (which says 'hey, thanks to Bob Harris at TheModernWorld for this- the Modern World being the 2nd most annoying and deceptive cartoon propaganda in the world). DifferentStrings.com

It has, you may say, been injected into the Zeitgeist.

I suppose I could get angry that my work in exposing the fraud is not being credited. Or I could go have a beer after work. Hmmm. Not a very tough decision there!

(Oh, and the most annoying is the Boondocks, by far)

2:20 PM: 
Kevin Cherry on The Corner:
"Even assuming that the President's line in the State of the Union was false, it is hard to believe that it was a deliberate lie. He had to know that if the statement were false, it would be discovered--and most likely before the next election. Moreover, what was gained by its inclusion? The case for invasion could have been made without that line. In fact, the case was made, in later presentations by the President and other administration officials, without that line. Nothing to gain by lying; a great deal to lose--so it's sort of hard for me to believe it was made with an intent to deceive.

This just shows that the Democrats are reaching. They know that Bush's strengths are (1) his character and (2) foreign policy. This allows them to hit him on both of those points, while hiding--especially Dean--from their own foreign policy records."
Quite. They are reaching. And America is getting a great look at their armpits as a result.

Where is Randy Johnson when you need him?

2:12 PM: 
Report: N.J. valedictorian who sued is dropped from Harvard class:
"A New Jersey student who sued successfully to be the sole valedictorian of her high school has been disinvited from attending Harvard University for plagiarism, according to a published report."
Anyone want to lay odds on if she'll sue?

2:03 PM: 
From The Volokh Conspiracy (as noted in the Corner):
"Nevada Supreme Court orders violation of Nevada Constitution...Nevada appears to be in the middle of a fiscal crisis: Its constitution more or less requires a balanced budget (art. 9, sec. 2(1)). There's a shortfall. The Legislature hasn't funded the budget. Various state functions, including the educational system, are right now (as of July 1) unfunded. And the Nevada Constitution (art. 4, sec. 18(2), enacted by voter initiative in 1996), requires a two-thirds vote to increase taxes, which has contributed to the budget deadlock. (I have no independent knowledge of this; I'm paraphrasing the court's statement of the facts.)

The Nevada Supreme Court has (1) ordered the Legislature to enact a budget, and (2) suspended the operation of the two-thirds majority requirement."
That's right. The Court, under the alleged authority granted to it by the Constitution of the State of Nevada, ruled that the Constitution must be ignored.

Now, all those libertarians who are applauding the judicial activism of Anthony Kennedy, are you still applauding? When the Courts decide they are the law, then what Constitutional rights do you think are really protected?

The answer: none.

1:54 PM: 
If that is the case, I am confident I can speak for President Bush:

Bring 'em on!

1:51 PM: 
From Byron York's piece on Iraq & Democrats & WMDs, which is also about this "ad":
"One of the firm's managing partners is Laura Quinn, a former deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. Quinn has also served in positions with the Democratic National Committee and the Senate Democratic leadership."
Gore? Gore? Where have I heard that name before, especially relating to this Democrat line of attack?

Oh yeah! I remember! Joseph C. Wilson IV, who started this feeding frenzy last weekend with a NYTimes Op-ed. He used to be a staffer for Al Gore!

Is all this a pretext for the return of Gore?

1:45 PM: 
More from The Note:
"That Democratic National Committee ad they claim they plan to broadcast calls for a bipartisan, independent investigation of 'Bush's false statement' about Niger.

Entitled 'Read His Lips,' we predict a short run on cable in Washington, D.C. as a way to get press and elite attention. The DNC says it'll decide what to do with their ad depending on how much interest it attracts."
They also emailed it to thousands of Democrat donors, by the way. So it was part trial balloon, and part fundraiser- air it in a city where there is practically no chance of voter backlash (D.C.) and see if they can motivate their base and raise some cash, and if it plays well, then what the hey!

Which explains why Fox was giving it so much attention this morning. What would not create a backlash in D.C. very well might in most other parts of the country.

Why does the old adage for males "no matter how you shake and dance, the last few drops end up in your pants" come to mind whenever I see liberal efforts to bring down Bush?

1:27 PM: 
I cannot believe I just read something so...fair in ABCNEWS' The Note:
"RNC Chairman-in-Waiting Ed Gillespie putting out a boffo statement we like so much that we produce it here in full:

'Democrats are tripping over themselves to get to the left of Howard Dean when it comes to Iraq in order to appeal to the anti-war activists in their party, but nothing changes the fact that the international community was in universal agreement that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and he was willing to use them before. What is their policy when it comes to handling evidence that a dictator with a history of using weapons of mass destruction against his own people is developing more? Their politics may appeal to their anti-war base, but their lack of policy won't make our country more secure.'

We printed Eddie's money statement in toto because it is a classic of the genre, but also because this cycle's press coverage is by any objective standard tilted completely towards the Democrat(ic) point of view."
[emphasis mine]
I can hardly believe my eyes. Kudos, NoteMakers!

12:58 PM: 
More from May's piece:
"A big part of the reason this has grown into such a brouhaha is that Joseph C. Wilson IV wrote an op-ed about it in last Sunday's New York Times in which he said: 'I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.'...

It also would have been useful for the New York Times and others seeking Wilson's words of wisdom to have provided a little background on him. For example:

  • He was an outspoken opponent of U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

  • He's an "adjunct scholar" at the Middle East Institute — which advocates for Saudi interests. The March 1, 2002 issue of the Saudi government-weekly Ain-Al Yaqeen lists the MEI as an "Islamic research institutes supported by the Kingdom."

  • He's a vehement opponent of the Bush administration which, he wrote in the March 3, 2003 edition of the left-wing Nation magazine, has "imperial ambitions." Under President Bush, he added, the world worries that "America has entered one of it periods of historical madness."

  • He also wrote that "neoconservatives" have "a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party." He said that "the new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our world view are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme."

  • He was recently the keynote speaker for the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, a far-left group that opposed not only the U.S. military intervention in Iraq but also the sanctions — and even the no-fly zones that protected hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shias from being slaughtered by Saddam.

  • And consider this: Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wilson did believe that Saddam had biological weapons of mass destruction. But he raised that possibility only to argue against toppling Saddam, warning ABC's Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might "use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we're taking Baghdad or we're trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat." He added that Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing "some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year."

In other words, Wilson is no disinterested career diplomat — he's a pro-Saudi, leftist partisan with an ax to grind. And too many in the media are helping him and allies grind it.
Quite. Three things that May leaves out were pointed out to me on FR by PhiKapMom.

He's a partisan hack.

So what is up with this full-court press we are seeing from the Democrats right now? It is the Deanification of the party, whipped ably along by Nanci Pelosi.

12:45 PM: 
I asked earlier:
"Should I have gone with 'CBS Knew Their Attack On Bush Was False'? Hmmm. "
Duh. To get the right analogy, it needed to be thus:

Dan Rather Knew CBS Bush Allegation Was False

12:40 PM: 
Asia Times - Pact signed on intercepting N Korean weapons:
"Ten governments offered on Thursday their support for US moves aimed at North Korea - to intercept shipping, air or land transport of possible materials associated with weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them."
The 10 countries signing on are Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

12:22 PM: 
Clifford D. May says Bush’s enemies aren't telling the truth about what he said:

You don't say?

"For the record, here's what President Bush actually said in his SOTU: 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.'

Precisely which part of that statement isn't true?"
Precisely why should anyone expect a leftist partisan attack to have any truth in it? To paraphrase from Shanghai Knights, what in our experiences with them makes us think they are capable of such a thing?

10:47 AM: 
From the Little Green Footballs blog, a postcard from the edge:
"The general Iraqi population isn't shooting at us. There are still bad guys, who won't let go of the old regime. They are Ba'ath party members (read Nazi Party, but not as nice) who have known nothing but .. and supported nothing but .. the regime all of their lives. These are the thugs for the regime that caused many to disappear in the night. They have no other skills. At least the Nazis had jobs and a semblance of a national infrastructure that they could go back to after the war, .. as plumbers, managers, engineers, etc. These people have no skills .. but terror. They are simply applying their skills. But we are applying ours. There is no Christian way to say this .. but they must be eliminated and we are doing so with all the efficiency we can muster."

10:16 AM: 
Hey, what political party would unanimously appoint a member of the National Alliance

to a government position?

As if you had to guess.

"For 12 months, he has been a member of the National Alliance, a white supremacist group, which -- in addition to its disdain of illegal immigration -- also hates Jews...

Now, Marc Moran is also the newest member of Hopewell Borough Council thanks to his five colleagues, who at the request of the mayor, unanimously appointed him to the position last week...

"I submitted Mr. Moran’s name (for appointment) initially because he was the only person running on the ballot this November," explained Nettles, a Democrat.

7:52 AM: 
Charles Krauthammer is going to inconvenience some who like to whine about the 'bloodthirsty Jewish neocons unduly influencing the administration' with articles like this one:
"The Persian Gulf has deep strategic significance for the United States; Haiti and Liberia do not."

7:47 AM: 
I just sent some feedback to the author of this Vancouver Sun piece.
Mr. Andrews:

"Even ex-U.S. attorney-general Ramsey Clark has good things to say about Uncle Fidel."

Even? Like that is surprising? Ramsey Clark is a member of the Worker's World Party. He is as much of a Stalinist as Castro.

Somehow, I suspect you already knew that. I hope I am wrong though and you were not intentionally being misleading, suggesting that some great pro-United States former official even praises Castro when really some anti-United States communist agitator praises Castro. Even.

Even Ramsey Clark. LOL

7:30 AM: 
They Are Taking a Licking:
"Jim Walton, president of the CNN News Group, acknowledged that the once-dominant CNN has slipped behind Fox in total viewers and failed to retake the lead during coverage of the Iraq war. But he said while answering questions from the Television Critics Association that ratings don't tell the whole story. 'I really don't think Rolex cares about how many watches Timex sells,' he said."
A Rolex: $3,050.00, A Timex: $22.95. I bet this has something to do with why Rolex doesn't care that Timex sells more watches. But then, what do I know.

But just out of curiousity Mr. Walton, how do advertising rates compare between CNN and FoxNews? I bet yours are not 150 times higher...

7:20 AM: 
Larry Kudlow on Mergers & Acquisitions And The Improving Economy:
"This crowd couldn't even get the jobs report straight. Outside of that higher unemployment figure, big gains were registered by temporary workers and the self-employed, both leading indicators of better jobs performance in the future. Significantly, 251,000 people re-entered the labor force in June, a confidence sign as hopes were raised by the new tax-cut package and its promise of new employment...

Representing claims on the future value of American business, the boom in share prices signals improved credit quality and better financing power, two vital ingredients for stronger economic activity and new job creation. Confirming this, Goldman Sachs released a survey showing the highest confidence reading by corporate information-technology officers in two years, a sure sign that capital spending will recover. Also, the Conference Board's latest CEO survey indicates the highest confidence level since 2001...

All these deals point to growing business confidence in a solid economic recovery. After a dismal three-year stock market downturn, largescale consolidation in corporate America is an efficient way for excess capacity to be absorbed. Business leaders have decided that it's cheaper to acquire firms and their assets than to replace or build new ones.
Following the recent stock market bottom, the attitude in the business world is: Now is the time to strike. Noteworthy is the fact that acquiring companies are opting to purchase firms in their own industries — where they have great knowledge and experience — rather than build over-diversified, far-flung empires."

7:16 AM: 
Should I have gone with "CBS Knew Their Attack On Bush Was False"? Hmmm.

7:14 AM: 

CBS Knew Their Attack On Bush Was Dubious

I just dropped CBS News a line via their feedback link:
I notice you backed off a bit on your former headline that "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False", instead making it "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was Dubious". That is a step in the right direction.

However, I thought I would point out to you (again- I did earlier) that the article does not support the assertion in the headline. As a matter of fact, the article directly contradicts the headline: "That is exactly what CIA officials told the White House before the State of the Union. The top CIA official, Director George Tenet, was not involved in those discussions and apparently never warned the President he was on thin ice."

The headline on my Blog right now is "CBS Knew Attack On Bush Was Dubious". Unlike with CBS, the information supports my headline.
It's times like this where I wish I had a million readers. Drudge, can I borrow yours? I'll give 'em back...

7:06 AM: 
CBS Has Backed Off Their Headline, but not by much. Now it says "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was Dubious". But the article still disputes that claim:
That is exactly what CIA officials told the White House before the State of the Union. The top CIA official, Director George Tenet, was not involved in those discussions and apparently never warned the President he was on thin ice.

7:02 AM: 
From Freeper Helix:
"To: William McKinley

Here is a little background funding info on Truthout.

Truthout is funded by (or affiliated with) a group called SEE (Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs): Once again, it seems all these liberal activists are doing the 501(c) 'non-profit' shuffle. Environmental groups aligned with anti-war groups etc...

According to their 2001 form 990, available at www.guidestar.org and other companies which provide public records, SEE provided funds to Truthout as well as pressing 'environmental' causes as:
1.The World Media Alliance
2.Unprecedented-The 2000 presidential election. An independent 'film' (I'd have called it-democrats: how to spin like a top - sans vertigo.)
3.A charming little society called the J20 coalition- which is, and I'm quoting from the SEE 990 here, 'a determined effort to dog Bush during the tenure of his illegitimate presidency'- Some info on them here: http://www.actionla.org/J20/

To see the BBB report on SEE (Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs) AKA- Afghan Women's Mission, American-Soviet Film Initiative-click here: http://www.give.org/reports/care2_dyn.asp?800...

Some info on a few of SEE's board members:

1. Steven Sugarman...California State University grad -MA in research Psychology. (There is another Steven Sugarman in New Mexico who is known for his litigation on behalf of the eco-nuts. I haven't found any documentation linking the two): http://www.thehabitattrust.org/about.html (info halfway down page)

2. Max Gail Possibly the actor/activist: based on info here

3. Andrew Beath Profile here: http://www.nonviolenceworks.com/snv/snv2002/AndrewBeath.htm

O.K., There's the facts, as far as I can determine, now here's the rant.

I'm no Bushbot. I've certainly disagreed with several of his policies. However, I want to know why in the HELL these non-profits can give unlimited amounts to issue advocacy groups (in my opinion, left-leaning groups like truthout and j20 coalition qualify as issue and candidate advocacy) and not be constrained by CFR and their tax-exempt status. Why does a non-taxpaying organization have more leeway and (less regulation) to spend money in political expression and candidate/election advocacy than an individual taxpayer does? (-PAGING JOHN MCCAIN-)

If I, as an individual were to send money overseas, I’d have to account for it. As far as I can determine, these "non-profits" can engage in political advocacy, ship money from one 501(c) to another (each taking a cut) or even overseas virtually unfettered. I don't know if this inequality violates IRS code, CFR, or even the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but I'm damn sure it is a burden on individual taxpayers and a drag on the US economy.

So the next time a liberal politician whines about "tax-cuts for the rich", and how they want to tax only "ultra-rich" corporations, tell them to start with their OWN DAMN 501(C)"NON PROFIT" CORPORATIONS!

Ranting aside, I hope there is some useful info in here for you.

90 posted on 07/11/2003 5:34 AM EDT by Helix"

Not for me. For anyone interested in how the left bends the rules for their own benefit. Thank you. As for John McCain, perhaps he would be interested in a crusade, but I am skeptical he would be interested in a crusade to take away a thorn in George W. Bush's side.

6:50 AM: 
From Phil Dragoo:
"Source With No Name

On the first part of the story
I was looking at all the lies
There were slants and slurs and knocks and zings
There were plants and shills and stings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And this guy in cheap shades
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I've been through the newsroom on a source with no name
It felt good to handed my fame
In the newsroom you can remember your name
'Cause ol' C-N-N won't give you no pain
La, la ... "

Outstanding (full lyrics at the link).

12:01 AM: 
Keeping Up With Ourselves by Irving Kristol. I am not a neoconservative, either by the currently fashionable definition thrown about by paleoconservatives, Democrats, and media types, nor by the more historically accurate definition (although I suppose my personal beliefs overlap each to some degree as well as oppose each to some degree). Nor am I a fusion of the two definitions. That said, the way 'neoconservative' is used almost as an epithet by some, and the way the definition it seems to have acquired has so little to do with the philosophy, I thought it might be nice to read some writing by one of the original neoconservatives.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

10:25 PM: 
At 10:41 AM EDT, I posted an item noting that the Cuban press had picked up the false 'Bush Lied' mantra.

I should have known right then that CBS would be next.

9:37 PM: 
Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False is the headline. But even if it turns out that the reporter is using a real CIA source and not a fraudulent one (and I am not convinced he is), the story does not support the headline:
"That is exactly what CIA officials told the White House before the State of the Union. The top CIA official, Director George Tenet, was not involved in those discussions and apparently never warned the President he was on thin ice." [emphasis mine]
It is deja-vu all over again. The Wilkinson story started with a false assertion that Bush lied in a headline and lead-in, a story that did not support the assertion, and supposedly damaging revelations by CIA sources. CBS is more careful than Thompson was, though. CBS did not provide any information that anyone could ever verify.

That must be why they are paid the big buck$.

9:33 PM: 
I wonder if David Martin has also been friends with Terrance J. Wilkinson for 20+ years.

9:14 PM: 
Bush's First Veto Coming?:
"An amendment to lift the ban was included in a $27 billion bill authorizing State Department spending and foreign assistance programs. It was approved by voice vote after an amendment to set aside the proposal was defeated 53-43. A vote on the overall bill is likely Thursday.

But the amendment faces huge obstacles to becoming law. The version of the bill under consideration in the House includes no such provision and House negotiators can be expected to strenuously oppose it when the two versions are reconciled.

The abortion policy debate dates back to the Reagan administration, with the Senate traditionally opposing the ban and the House supporting it.

If provision survives the House-Senate conference, President Bush would veto the entire bill, the Office of Management and Budget said Wednesday. "

No wonder the Senate has not been more aggressive in trying to break the Democrat judicial fillibuster. If only 43 Senators voted against this amendment, then there is almost certainly not sufficient Republican cohesiveness to do anything regarding justices that requires strict party discipline.

The answer? I think NRO had a great idea, to which I linked below. If Pat Toomey knocks off Arlen Specter, perhaps the message will be sent.

9:09 PM: 
A John Adams quote, for no particular reason, other than to give an excuse to link back to that thread (and because I know some liberals are checking in--hello-- and would like to caution them about their thirst for direct democracy):
"'Where people have a voice, and there is no balance, there will be everlasting fluctuations, revolutions, and horrors, until a standing army, with a general at its head, commands the peace, or the necessity of an equillibrium is made appear to all, and is adopted by all.' "

7:51 PM: 
I have some new information.

You know how William Rivers Pitt said that Japan Today never asked them for permission to use the article?

Guess what I have?


A while ago, Truthout did give us permission to post on Japan Today any stories on their web site. Below is the e-mail I got from them authorizing us to do so...

Dear Chris Betros,

Yes, you can reprint these stories in your publication, as long truthout is given full credit as the source.

Best Regards,

Messenger | t r u t h o u t

By the way, I have found Mr. Betros to be extremely helpful, responsive, and professional throughout this situation. I wish him all the best in his endeavors.

7:11 PM: 
OFFICER FAILS TO DEFUSE BOMB in Russia. The Russians have a severe terrorism problem it seems. It also seems, if my recollection is accurate, that a significant percentage of their terrorist acts are carried out by women. What's up with that?

7:00 PM: 
Hillary, Bill, Jesse Jackson and Liberian President Taylor - Cleaning Up Clinton Mess Again

The Clintons are the gift that just keeps giving.

6:58 PM: 
Apparently, my story detailed in Games People Play made the radio somewhere in Washington State.

That is flattering.

I have a thread up on Free Republic for my article too.

5:04 PM: 
NR Editors think this editorial is important.

So do I, and I agree with the finishing kick:

"Conservatives, finally, have to find ways to work with the Republicans - their fortunes are linked - while also working on them. The Pennsylvania Senate primary offers a choice between a candidate who is conservative on both economics and social issues, Pat Toomey, and one who is conservative on neither, the incumbent, Arlen Specter. The White House and the party establishment has rallied behind Specter. But President Bush's goals would be better served by a Senator Toomey. And as recent events underscore, this is not a bad time for conservatives to declare their independence from the GOP establishment."
The one thing I would add to their editorial is this. They present a laundry list of what conservatives were hoping for, heading into the administration, "strengthen our defense posture, appoint originalist judges, liberalize trade, reduce tax rates, reform entitlements, take modest steps toward school choice." They noted how he has done well with security, judges, and taxes. I believe that had the list been prioritized before the administration took office, most conservatives would have said the most important three are defense/security, judges, and taxes (and after 9/11, security and defense would be even more so). These three happen to be where Bush has performed the best, from a conservative perspective. This is why this conservative is still in his camp, while I am more than ready to say "Go Toomey!"

5:01 PM: 
Yesterday, I had it (and here). Today, the New York Post does:
"AS the president and Pentagon ponder whether to send U.S. troops to Liberia, many Americans will be surprised to learn that the crisis there was in part the creation of a U.S. political leader who claims to champion Africans' right to self-governance: Jesse Jackson."

4:23 PM: 
Another thing dawns on me:
"BROWN: A couple things, David. There is, as you know, a story that's been circulating on the web today that there was at some point a conversation between the president and a CIA consultant where the consultant directly told the president that this African uranium deal was bogus."
Obviously, Brown is stating that he knows David Ensor is familiar with the story, which means that not only was it circulating the web, but it was circulating the CNN newsroom. Who was doing the circulating? Who was pushing the story to CNN?

4:12 PM: 
I've been Tozzed

3:25 PM: 
My article is done. I have ticklers out to see if I can get it published on a webzine with a larger audience than I have accrued to date.

But here it is:

Games People Play

By William McKinley

"If I promise you the Moon and the Stars, Would you believe it?

Games people play in the middle of the night" - Alan Parsons Project, "Games People Play"

The recent fiasco experienced by the New York Times over the creative writing exploits of Jayson Blair should have served as a warning to journalists to be careful over the information they publish. A news outfit depends upon its credibility, just as surely as our society depends upon news reporting in order for people to make judgments over their own governance. Yet it appears that some lessons are not easily learned, as was recently demonstrated by some events which are to this moment still unfolding.

Doug Thompson has been involved in journalism for decades. According to his biography, he has won awards for his reporting and his commentary, and he has worked as Press Secretary for a few members of Congress. He runs a news and commentary webzine called Capitol Hill Blue. Chris Betros is the editor of Japan Today, an English Internet news publication based in Tokyo. Both men find themselves in an uncomfortable position for a journalist, where the story becomes partly about them. I can best describe William Rivers Pitt as a propagandist and a left wing agitator. On July 8th, a sequence of events commenced involving all three that demonstrates that in the aftermath of Jayson Blair, the field of journalism still has not immunized itself from the ministrations of charlatans.

"Things that they say, Honor Brite..."

On July 8th, Capitol Hill Blue published a story titled "White House Admits Bush Lied About Iraqi Nukes". The bold headline was backed by an equally assertive lead-in, which stated "After weeks of denial, the White House Monday finally admitted President Bush lied in his January State of the Union Address when he claimed Iraq had sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa." This assertion went far beyond what other news organizations were reporting, which was that the Bush administration had admitted that the claim made in the State of the Union Address was based on information the President later found to be unreliable. There were other eye-raising details in the story, however.

The article quoted a "CIA advisor" named Terrance J. Wilkinson, claiming he had been present at two White House briefings attended by the President. "The report had already been discredited," the story quoted Wilkinson as stating. "This point was clearly made when the president was in the room during at least two of the briefings" said Wilkinson, who claimed Bush responded in anger. "He said that if the current operatives working for the CIA couldn't prove the story was true, then the agency had better find some who could," the Capitol Hill Blue story continued Wilkinson's quote. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country." Wilkinson claimed to have written "numerous memos" questioning the use of "intelligence information that we knew to be from dubious sources." While American troops continue to search Iraq for a smoking gun regarding weapons of mass destruction, these allegations, if true, would be the smoking gun the left wing of American politics has been searching for in their quest to discredit the Bush administration.

On Free Republic, a website where conservatives dissect and debate the news, some people (including this author) started to question the story. The White House admitted Bush lied? Where could such an admission be found? And who is Terrance J. Wilkinson? Searches using various Internet tools such as Google were coming up empty. Doug Thompson joined in the discussion to defend his work and his publication. "The use of the word 'lied' has also sparked some controversy on the Capitol Hill Blue forum as well. It was my decision to use the word. Wilkinson did not accuse the President of lying. I did, based on information from other sources (who would not go on the record) that Bush was told outright that the information had been discredited before the State of the Union address but that he chose to use it anyway. To me that was a lie and I chose to use it in the headline and the lead of the story." Thompson admitted that he chose such a strong accusation because "I'm mad. Bush didn't have to use a discredited claim to justify the war with Iraq." However, Thompson admitted, "The headline is technically incorrect because the White House made no such admission. I have edited the headline and the lead of the story to reflect that." Thompson republished the article with the word 'lied' changed to 'wrong' in the headline, and the lead-in changed similarly. But what about Terrance J. Wilkinson? Thompson stood by his man. "I've known Terry Wilkinson for 20+ years and his decision to go public was a painful one that I'm sure will bring recriminations."

"Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away..."

The genie was out of the bottle at this point. On July 9th, Japan Today published the same exact story as Capitol Hill Blue, verbatim, crediting the story to TruthOut. Within hours, the Google News compilation service had it as the head story in its grouping of the news reports about the White House admission that the Niger intelligence was unreliable. I contacted Japan Today, and in a series of emails with Mr. Betros, I informed him that Capitol Hill Blue had backed off of some of the assertions in the article, and further that there was reason to doubt the existence of the Mr. Wilkinson quoted in the story. This information was news to Mr. Betros, as he was completely unaware of Thompson and of Capitol Hill Blue. He informed me that Japan Today had obtained the story from TruthOut, to which his organization subscribes, and which had presented the story as their own. Betros acted quickly to verify what I was telling him, apparently realizing that the credibility of his news organization could be impacted.

Meanwhile, Thompson was starting to have some doubts of his own. Responding to criticism from readers, he decided to pass along some questions to Wilkinson to start the process of substantiating some of the claims made. To his horror, he started to realize that he had been had. "I tried calling Terry's phone number. I got a recorded message from a wireless phone provider saying the number was no longer in service. I tried a second phone number I had for him. Same result" Thompson related. After checking with some other sources within the administration, the CIA, and Capitol Hill, according to Thompson, he realized "that someone has been running a con on me for 20 some years and I fell for it like a little old lady in a pigeon drop scheme." He published a complete retraction and apology, and contacted a lawyer to assist him in minimizing the damage. For several years, Thompson said, he had been using Wilkinson as an unnamed source in his reporting, sometimes as a single source: "over time, I came to depend on him as a source without additional backup."

"Things that they say, Just don't make it right..."

He was not the only one working to undo things. Betros contacted Thompson, and decided to pull from their publication the story. "We had [been deceived] too," said Betros, "because we subscribe to truthout.org and publish their stuff from time to time and being over here in Japan, we don't have the resources to check the veracity of articles we take from overseas... I will however think twice before using any more truthout.org stories after today." He stated that Japan Today would be publishing Thompson's mea culpa.

Despite all the efforts, as of midday July 10th, Google News searches were still turning up the original story's headline and lead in.

How The Google News Search Appeared at 11:00 EDT, July 9

White House admits Bush lied about Iraqi nukes
Japan Today, Japan - 21 hours ago
WASHINGTON — After weeks of denial, the White House Monday finally admitted President
George Bush lied in his January State of the Union Address when he ...

       White House admits mistake about Iraq's nukes - Indian Express
       US denies Blair's claims about Saddam's nukes - Independent Online
       Of Mice and (Con) Men - Democratic Underground

The story also managed to get discussed on CNN. As CNS News noted, Aaron Brown mentioned the news story circulating "that there was at some point a conversation between the president and a CIA consultant where the consultant directly told the president that this African uranium deal was bogus." David Ensor told Brown the story sounded suspect to him, but millions of ears had the seed planted in their heads by the mention. [As an addendum, the Media Research Center points out that Brown's comments were made over four hours after Thompson's retraction.] TruthOut was undoubtedly pleased.

"Games people play in the middle of the night..."

Meanwhile, TruthOut was apparently working to cover some tracks. They removed a copy of the story they had posted on their website, putting in its place at the exact same URL a copy of a Washington Post article. As was captured over at Free Republic, however, their search engine's cache provided evidence that they did have the story up at one time. Later, they published a copy of Thompson's retraction, with the following editorial note provided by William Rivers Pitt:

Yesterday, truthout's lead story carried an article by Capitol Hill Blue that quoted a 'CIA insider.' This insider, a Terrance J. Wilkinson, was reportedly present at two briefings when Bush was informed of, and then dismissed, evidence that his Iraq WMD claims were false. Capitol Hill Blue has run a retraction of that story, which we have printed below. According to Doug Thompson, author of the original story, Terrance J. Wilkinson does not exist, and Thompson has been getting scammed for over 20 years. Something about this story is decidedly strange, but in light of Thompson's retraction, we would be remiss not to run it. I am running down my contacts at CIA and Capitol Hill Blue to find out how all of this took place. We will let you know when we know. - wrp

On TruthOut, Pitt made no mention of how they came to possess the Capitol Hill Blue article to begin with, or why they had sold it to Japan Today without attribution. However, he was not silent on the issue, stating "Japan Today got it from us. I guess they 'stole' it, too since they never asked permission." Something clearly is "decidedly strange" about this story, especially considering that it deals with the run-up to the war with Iraq and since Pitt co-authored a book with former weapons inspector Scott Ritter titled War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know. Ritter was vocal throughout the media attempting to discredit the Bush administration's Iraq positions in the run up to the war.

The fact that Thompson allowed himself to be used to spread false propaganda regarding the administration is somewhat surprising. Earlier this year, Thompson had broken a story prior to the commencement of hostilities in Iraq that he claimed detailed plans by Democrats for undermining the administration after the war:

"Writers and broadcasters friendly to the Democratic cause have already been provided talking points... Capitol Hill Blue obtained a copy of the talking points... The talking points outline a strategy to raise public doubts of the President's real intentions, including: ...--Claiming the Bush administration has "manufactured" evidence against Saddam Hussein and used that evidence to encourage Britain and other allies to join the American fight against Iraq;"

"If I'm telling you the truth right now, Do you believe it..."

So who is Terrance J. Wilkinson, and does he even exist? Doug Thompson claims that the person who identified himself as Wilkinson approached him first when he worked for former Congressman Manuel Lujan of New Mexico. "He seemed to know a lot about the nuclear labs in New Mexico and said he had conducted 'security profiles' for both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs", Thompson related. Congressman Lujan served on the committee charged with oversight of both labs, and according to Thompson, Wilkinson offered to be involved in assisting them in briefings. "He said he had helped other Republican members of Congress I called some friends in other GOP offices and they said yes, they knew Terry Wilkinson. 'You can trust him, he's one of the good guys,' one chief of staff told me." said Thompson.

If Thompson's claims are accurate, then this paints some disturbing pictures. Which members of Congress were using Wilkinson, and for what purpose? To what information was this person gaining access, and what information was he injecting into the process along the way? At this point, Thompson has become mum, declining to assist me further in finding out more about the identity of Wilkinson, at the advice of his attorney.

The lessons here are plentiful. The news is full of stories, every day, which contain unnamed sources. People gobble up such details at face value, assuming that reporters have exercised due diligence. As Mr. Betros admitted, however, many publications do not have the resources to perform such verifications, and as the Jayson Blair situation demonstrated, those that do can sometimes fail to do so adequately. Publishers are also human, and despite their claims of impartiality bias can impact decisions, as clearly occurred with Mr. Thompson. I wonder how much of Mr. Thompson's anger at the Bush administration was formed by incorrect information being funneled to him by people like the vaporous Mr. Wilkinson. I do not wonder, however, if publication decisions are made, every day, based on information being peddled actively by propagandists with agendas. Clearly, this is a game some people play. We have to take it, or leave it.

William McKinley is a pseudonym. He can be found blogging away on the Internet every day.

3:15 PM: 
Commentary: What Did CNN Know and When Did They Know It? -- 07/10/2003:
"BROWN: A couple things, David. There is, as you know, a story that's been circulating on the web today that there was at some point a conversation between the president and a CIA consultant where the consultant directly told the president that this African uranium deal was bogus. Do you have any reporting that supports the idea that the president was directly told it was fake before he included it in the State of the Union speech?"
The false story, being pushed hard by the leftists at TruthOut, found its way into the mainstream media's zeitgeist.

Of course, Brown cited it anonymously, so that no one would be able to go and confirm or deny it themself.

1:50 PM: 
William Rivers Pitt:
"Yeah, Japan Today got it from us. I guess they 'stole' it, too since they never asked permission. They got screwed by this cluster f*** the same way we did. We're running the CHB retraction tomorrow."
I am sure the editor of Japan Today is going to find such a public statement to be very, very interesting.

1:22 PM: 
Some Good Comes From a Bad Situation:
"Journalists have long depended on unnamed sources to break major stories. Without such sources, Watergate, Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky story might never have come to light.

But we live in a different era now. Technology makes it easier for people to pull together enough information to create a story that sounds credible on the surface but still have hidden agendas underneath.

Many journalists have told me they cannot do their job without unnamed sources. I used to agree with them but events of this past week have caused me to rethink that philosophy.

A line has to be drawn somewhere. Somebody has to stand up and say 'I'm not going to be used anymore.' We're taking that stand. "

1:10 PM: 
Well, I submitted my article to The National Review Online. We'll see if they bite.

Of course, if anyone wanted to mail them and encourage them to run it, it certainly could not hurt.

1:07 PM: 
A great point:
"To: William McKinley; Xenalyte; terilyn; CheneyChick; vikingchick; Victoria Delsoul; WIMom; ...

I feel the need to point out that truthout.org routinely (as in almost every single day) republishes Washington Post and Los Angeles Times articles IN THEIR ENTIRETY, yet neither newspaper seems even slightly interested in initiating legal action against truthout.org.

Gee, I wonder why.

136 posted on 07/10/2003 11:48 AM EDT by Dont Mention the War "

For those unfamiliar with of what 'Dont Mention the War' is speaking, the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times sued Free Republic for copyright infringement for having on the website copies of their articles. The suit was later settled, with the proprietor of Free Republic agreeing to ensure that only excerpts of material owned by the Washington Post or Los Angeles Times (and subsidiaries) would be allowed on his site. Why they seem less concerned when copies are posted at left wing propaganda outfits is a question left for student homework.

12:49 PM: 
They stole (one of) my Free Republic tagline(s)!!!!

10:41 AM: 
Cuba has picked up on the false "Bush lied" story. Imagine that.

10:20 AM: 
A few people mentioned that they were going to start checking in on this blog as a result of the Thompson story I have been working on. (Hi).

I am working on writing up an article about the whole thing, so it is likely that the amount I blog today will be sparse.

Nothing like getting people interested and then putting them on hold, right? C'est la vie. I hope everyone understands.

9:25 AM: 
More information on Jesse Jackson, Liberia, and diamonds:
"To: William McKinley
Last year brought a fragile truce. Sankoh, reported to have found a new faith in God, had been captured and sentenced to death. Instead, he was offered a place in a coalition government - with control of the diamond mines.
Left out is an important fact. The agreed resolution of the conflict was upended when Jesse Jackson arrived on the scene, inserting himself for the publicity and persuaded the government to include Sankoh. This resulted in a breakdown again, back to war and more death and mutilation due to Jesse's ego.

This is detailed in Shakedown.

Since then, peace has been restored with the help of the British who sent on Special Forces.

JJ can rot in hell for the additional children mutilated and killed.

22 posted on 07/10/2003 9:14 AM EDT by happygrl"


9:21 AM: 
Over on The Corner, Andrew Stuttaford says the Bush Administration's decision to defer to the government of South Africa over the approach being taken to pressure Zimbabwe's President Mugabe to stand down is "shameful".

There is no doubt in my mind that Mugabe is as dispicable a tyrant as there is. However, I think the reason for the deference can be found in this quote:

"We won't overextend our troops, period," Bush said at a joint news conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki, who had pressed him on what role the United States would play in the crisis.
The crisis of which he speaks is the Liberia crisis, but I think Bush is sending a message that we cannot have too many irons in the furnace at a time.

9:01 AM: 
Will I get hit if I say I never sausage a thing?

8:59 AM: 
(Pittsburgh Pirate)Simon arrested, could face battery charges

While the Stroh death is stupid and tragic, this is stupid and stupid. Pittsburgh Pirate Randall Simon hit with a bat a mascot of the Brewers as it ran by. It was obviously done in jest. He was taken away in handcuffs.

Stupid of him to do. Stupid of the police to be charging him.

8:55 AM: 
Oh, Demon Alcohol...
"A member of the Stroh beer family plummeted to his death early Wednesday when a rope of sheets he had fashioned to climb down from a 10th-story hotel balcony failed to hold, police said...

"He had made repeated telephone calls down to the hotel desk reporting a bank robbery and other nonsensical things," said Grapevine Police Sgt. Bob Murphy. "They kept telling him not to call back."

Police said Stroh was polite and cooperative but drunk, and told officers he believed someone wanted to kill him. After talking to officers, Stroh agreed to stay in his hotel room and not to call the front desk any more, police reports show...

But as officers were leaving the hotel just before 2:30 a.m., they heard something hit the canopy above the entrance, then saw Stroh on the ground with the bedding next to him."

8:18 AM: 
t r u t h o u t - Capitol Hill Blue Retracts Story:
"Yesterday, truthout's lead story carried an article by Capitol Hill Blue that quoted a 'CIA insider.' This insider, a Terrance J. Wilkinson, was reportedly present at two briefings when Bush was informed of, and then dismissed, evidence that his Iraq WMD claims were false. Capitol Hill Blue has run a retraction of that story, which we have printed below. According to Doug Thompson, author of the original story, Terrance J. Wilkinson does not exist, and Thompson has been getting scammed for over 20 years. Something about this story is decidedly strange, but in light of Thompson's retraction, we would be remiss not to run it. I am running down my contacts at CIA and Capitol Hill Blue to find out how all of this took place. We will let you know when we know. - wrp"
wrp is apparently William Rivers Pitt. Hey Pitt (and I know you are checking in periodically), how did you come to be selling Doug Thompson's story, and why did Truthout claim to Japan Today that it was Truthout's? Why is there no mention of this on your website? How much will the loss of revenue from Japan Today hurt Truthout, since Japan Today says they will curtail purchases from you now?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

11:27 PM: 
Busy day. Good night.

11:19 PM: 
White House admits Bush lied about Iraqi nukes

The story has been removed from Japan Today.

Kudos to their editor.

10:18 PM: 
WorldNetDaily: Reports claim Ritter arrested in sex sting

Scott Ritter. Have it your way.

10:17 PM: 
Amazon.com: Books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know

By Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt (Managing editor, Truthout.org)

10:14 PM: 
The amazingly talented Registered, graphic artist and parody maker, noticed something in the aftermath of the CHB fiasco.

He decided to go to the CapitolHillBlue forum and see who is online right now.

To: William McKinley

LOL, looky, looky who's on the CHB forum right now...

Capitol Hill Blue's Reader Rant Recent Visitors: 44
cruiser, Doug Thompson, Mike Coons, Seven of Nine, SkyHawk, LanDroid, William Rivers Pitt, The Doctor, eris, DYogman, TLBSHOW, Registered, Jazzhead, and 31 guest(s)

19 posted on 07/09/2003 9:50 PM EDT by Registered (77% of the mentally ill live in poverty, that leaves 23% doing quite well!)

Who is William Rivers Pitt? He is a leftist propagandist. He has also written a book with Scott Ritter (the former weapons inspector who was vocal in opposing the Iraq war, and got busted for trying to meet up with underage girls at Burger King).

What else did Registered find?

"To: William McKinley

LOL, check out the Pitt's Profile on CHB!!!

Profile for William Rivers Pitt

Member Status: New Reader Ranter

Member Number: 2341

Registered: 09-07-2003

Posts: 1

Location: Boston MA

Occupation: Managing Editor, truthout.org

Homepage: http://www.truthout.org

Managing EDITOR, (friend and lover to Ash!)

27 posted on 07/09/2003 10:01 PM EDT by Registered (77% of the mentally ill live in poverty, that leaves 23% doing quite well!) "

You don't say!