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Archive for January 29th, 2007

David Addington Is A Seriously Evil Man

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

The guy currently testifying at Scooter Libby’s trial is a seriously evil man. Let us count the ways:

-From an article by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, June 7, 2003:

White House lawyers, in particular, Vice President Cheney’s counsel David Addington (who is now Cheney’s chief of staff), pressed Mueller to use information from the NSA program in court cases, without disclosing the origin of the information, and told Mueller to be prepared to drop prosecutions if judges demanded to know the sourcing.

-From US News and World Report:

Bruce Fein, the Republican legal activist, suggests that, in Addington’s view, the President could kill someone in a public park if he deemed the person to be an enemy combatant.

And more from Jane Mayer:

Most Americans, even those who follow politics closely, have probably never heard of Addington. But current and former Administration officials say that he has played a central role in shaping the Administration’s legal strategy for the war on terror. Known as the New Paradigm, this strategy rests on a reading of the Constitution that few legal scholars share—namely, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security demands it. Under this framework, statutes prohibiting torture, secret detention, and warrantless surveillance have been set aside. A former high-ranking Administration lawyer who worked extensively on national-security issues said that the Administration’s legal positions were, to a remarkable degree, “all Addington.” Another lawyer, Richard L. Shiffrin, who until 2003 was the Pentagon’s deputy general counsel for intelligence, said that Addington was “an unopposable force.”

And guess who gave Cheney — and then Bush — the idea to abuse the presidential use of “signing statements”, of which over 750 (more by far than have been used by all other presidents combined) have been made by Bush to date? Yupper, David Addington:

According to the Boston Globe, Addington has been the “leading architect” of these signing statements, which have been added to more than seven hundred and fifty laws. He reportedly scrutinizes every bill before President Bush signs it, searching for any language that might impinge on Presidential power. These wars of words are yet another battlefront between Addington and Congress, and some constitutional scholars find them troubling. Few of the signing statements were noticed until one of them was slipped into Bush’s signing of the McCain amendment. The language was legal boilerplate, reserving the right to construe the legislation only as it was consistent with the Constitution. But, considering that Cheney’s office had waged, and lost, a public fight to defeat the McCain amendment democratically—the vote in the Senate was 90–9—the signing statement seemed sneaky and subversive.

Earlier this month, the American Bar Association voted to investigate whether President Bush had exceeded his constitutional authority by reserving the right to ignore portions of laws that he has signed. Richard Epstein, the University of Chicago law professor, said, “What’s frightening to me is that this Administration is always willing to push the conventions to the limits—and beyond. With his signing statements, I think the President just goes too far. If you sign these things with a caveat, do the inferior officers follow the law or the caveat?”

Bruce Fein argues that Addington’s signing statements are “unconstitutional as a strategy,” because the Founding Fathers wanted Presidents to veto legislation openly if they thought the bills were unconstitutional. Bush has not vetoed a single bill since taking office. “It’s part of the balancing process,” Fein said. “It’s about accountability. If you veto something, everyone knows where you stand. But this President wants to do it sotto voce. He wants to give the image that he’s accommodating on torture, and then reserves the right to torture anyway.

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What Was That Again About Republicans And Hypocrisy?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

Looks like Art Pope, the guy behind an attempt to attack John Edwards for being a self-made millionaire, not only has a pricey house next door to Edwards’ own, but — unlike Edwards — he’s neglected to pay his property taxes on it.  Oooops.

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Will The US Media Ever Stop Being Utterly Supine Stenographers For Right-Wing Bullcrap Artists?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

There was hope earlier this week that they might.  But as a couple of Digby’s latest posts (here and here) on the credibility-challenged Joshua Sparling’s latest efforts to start a bogus scandal show, they are all too ready to fall back into bad habits.

There’s also evidence — in the form of yet another questionable (and already-debunked) spitting story, this one an alleged Vietnam-era reminiscence — that the nutcase right is making a concerted effort to retool the spitting myth and apply it to Iraq war protesters.

Posted in anti-truth, liars, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking | Comments Off on Will The US Media Ever Stop Being Utterly Supine Stenographers For Right-Wing Bullcrap Artists?

Kagro X Asks A Good Question

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

To paraphrase:

Considering that Bush and his cronies have just stuck a shiv in the GOP Senate Caucus’ collective backs, why the hell are they still propping him up?

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Joshua Sparling: Agent Provocateur?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

It’s sure beginning to look that way. From the comments over at Digby’s blog:

As someone who was at the CODEPINK event – here’s my take on that and the march in general – and who saw Sparling up close and personal, I thought I’d weigh in. We were close to the front of the event because we were there early and my girlfriend wanted a good spot to take photos. Shortly after the event began, I noticed Sparling and his small group – himself, a woman wearing the same 82nd Airborne sweatshirt and another young man – push their way to the front. By the time they made their move, the crowd was packed pretty tight, so I don’t see how they could have made it so close (just to the left of the front) without some pushing.

When everyone would cheer a particular speaker, he first stood out by loudly booing. He would also give a thumbs down gesture to accompany those boos. One of the official speakers, a woman who formerly served in the armed forces, went over to him, and the two appeared to have a civil conversation. When a man who was taking pictures went over, Sparling appeared to be shouting in his face to move the camera. Later, when the female veteran spoke, she mentioned his service and our appreciation for it and there was a good round of applause. Nothing that would lead someone to characterize anyone as un-American.

I missed his impromptu speech because myself and my girlfriend were helping keep the CODEPINK protesters on the sidewalk as we marched to the full protest. That said, I sincerely doubt Sparling was treated with disrespect on our side of the street. (I didn’t notice anyone on his side of the street barring a few curious folks who appeared to be taking pictures of the counter-protesters.) The worst I saw anyone from our side do in response to a counter-protester was throw up a fist or peace sign. When someone shouted, it wasn’t profane. Now, on the other hand, Sparling’s Freeper friends across the street had spent the better part of an hour holding up ridiculous signs like “Anti-American peaceniks think sedition is patriotic” and “We gave peace a chance. We got 9/11”. Also, they hung an effigy of Jane Fonda. These weren’t friendly people. They were people looking to provoke a response. That they got it in the form of spitting, based on everything I saw Saturday, seems laughable on its face.

Before I even noticed Sparling’s leg, I thought the kid was a right-wing plant in our group. I thought we were going to be marching, peacefully, and this kid would break a window or otherwise do something to make for an ugly scene, making what was actually a peaceful protest look anything but. It looked to me like he was taking great pains to stand out in what he was doing. For anyone to portray Sparling as an innocent actor in Saturday’s events while making the CODEPINK attendees out to be a rabid mob boggles the mind. Our group was 90 percent women, including children and grandmothers. Half of the guys there didn’t look like they could hurt a fly. I can safely say Sparling and his group showed up looking to start something, something that, from the looks of your citations, appears to be a pattern.

Joseph | Homepage | 01.29.07 – 12:19 am | #

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

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Huckabee And Dumond: The Shame Continues

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 29, 2007

Tim Russert surprised us all by actually asking Mike Huckabee about his pardon of Wayne Dumond. However, he (unsurprisingly) failed to challenge any of the Huckster’s bogosities about same.

That was left to the man who’s done the most and the best reporting on this case, Murray Waas. The man whose stellar reporting helped save our nation during what I like to call “CoupGate” (aka the GOP/Media Complex’s decade-long efforts to take down Bill Clinton for any pretext or none) comes through yet again.

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Scrubbing Corporal Sparling

Posted by Charles II on January 29, 2007

Digby and Phoenix Woman have carried a story about a pro-war protester by the name of Joshua Sparling. Sparling, unlike most of the Yellow Elephant Brigade, went to Iraq and suffered  serious injury from an IED, ultimately losing a leg.  This much of his service was honorable.

He has become a darling of the right, even appearing as a guest of Dennis Hastert at a presidential speech. He is, apparently, a professional victim, having been subjected to a death threat and verbal abuse. So, when he popped up in the New York Times as the victim of a near-spitting, my eyebrows went up.

 A poster at Hullaballoo noticed that previous versions of the Washington Post carried paragraphs about Sparling. Suddenly, he is missing. Of 11 articles that show up in a search, such as the following, at least Ruane’s recent ones do not include the reference to Sparling that the search engine says they do.

Tens of Thousands Rally in D.C. for Troop Withdrawal
Michael E. Ruane (Edition)…dead on hallowed ground.”At least one veteran from the Iraq war tried to bridge the divide between the groups. Cpl. Joshua Sparling, 25, from Port Huron, Mich., who lost his right leg below the knee in an 2005 explosion in Ramadi, spoke to both groups.Near…

In the New York Times version, as another Hullaballoo reader pointed out, there has been a subtle alteration in the version of the story, changing when and to whom Sparling gave the speech.

What does The Washington Post know that The New York Times hasn’t yet figured out?

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