on bullying assholes and don't ever be bullied on my account

i've got enough going on in my life. and blog wise, i've got stuff i need to say. i've been working on an entry for almost 2 weeks now. i've been checking it with my ex-husband because it has to do with him. i've been checking it with c.i., jess, jess's parents, kat. any 1 who will look at it, i've been checking it with them. it's a very personal entry and it's honestly consumed more time than i ever intended. hopefully i will finish it soon.

yesterday i didn't work on it at all. i just focused on the thing on bob somerby ('to bobby') because that was important. he's a strong voice and someone needed to say 'you're a strong voice but i think you're missing the point.' that mattered to me.

this afternoon i get an e-mail. i've spoken to the guy on the phone since. i am enraged.

not at him but at the asshole who tried to bully him.

'rebecca, you were focusing on the positive, remember?'

i was trying to. i was damn well trying to.

let me explain something to the asshole who sent the e-mail to my newest best friend. you've got a public relations nightmare on your hands. i didn't get a degree and work my ass off in that field not to know a meltdown in progress.

it's time for some damage control on your part, asshole.

1st step, apologize to the kid you trashed. that doesn't reflect on you or on your organization.

the kid writes post some comments. he's trying to be funny. he points out that bill scher's liberal oasis is doing strong work today, that there's strong work at the daily kos today, that there's strong work at the common ills and that he likes my entry from yesterday 'to bobby.'

apparently there's not only no free speech at this site, there's also no criticism of the person compiling.

'rebecca, what's the "this person" shit? you're sounding like c.i.!'

i wish i could have gotten ahold of c.i. i left three messages and when i called the 4th time was told that due to the meetings, c.i. hadn't seen any of the previous 3. if i could speak to c.i. i could probably figure out a way to make this a more peaceful post. a less angry 1.

but from work c.i.'s off to save roe which isn't to slam c.i. or ava who are working their butts off on this. (while i spend day after day trying to get a post together that will tell a story that needs to be told in a way that doesn't hurt my ex-husband who i would never want to hurt.) but if i could talk to c.i. i'd be calmer and know how to address this. i was able to reach mike and he helped but i am still so damn mad.

so let's get back to my newest best friend because that's what the kid is. he's my friend now and don't fuck with him.

he's a kid who's into blogs. he likes a lot of blogs. he came across mine 2 weeks ago. he knew the common ills because buzzflash linked to an entry monday. he found me because c.i. plugged my post 'to bobby' this morning. he loves the work that bill scher does and knows bill from the majority report (which is my hero janeane's show). he got into the daily kos because of that show too and because he thinks kos gets worked up about the right issues.

listening to him rave about liberal oasis, the daily kos and the common ills, i could tell this kid is passionate and concerned about real issues. if he wasn't he wouldn't be going to those sites.

so he goes to this site (not a blog) and posts on how there are really stories that aren't being talked about. he does that yesterday. 1st time the kid's ever done anything like that.

he tries to be silly and make it amusing. today's his 2nd day. he calls himself the ombudsman of the site and makes some more jokes and links to bill, kos, c.i. and myself.


'what happens next rebecca?'

he checks later and his posts are gone.

he gets an e-mail telling him he is now banned from the site.

the asshole, at a left site, blogs a rave on about michelle malkin.

now ask yourself, at a left site, what the fuck is the creep doing using valuable space to cover michelle malkin?

the comment the kid made went 'you might think ___'s plumbed the left and the lefties if all that's left is a hearts & flower to michelle malkin. here are 4 stories that matter.'

the same asshole, same day, is also plugging a republican who's posted on the huffington post.
a republican. so the kid jokes 'step out of the gop closet.'

and guess what?

the kid is banned.

the kid receives nasty e-mails. not 1, but many. and is told he better apologize. which he does. i wish the kid had written me first. i would have told him 'you tell that prick to go fuck himself.'
instead the asshole 'appears' (i'll do a c.i.!) to be implying that bill, kos, c.i. and myself will not be linked to. because either the kid writes 1 site (maybe the asshole means all 4, the asshole doesn't seem that smart) or is posting as kos, i guess. or 1 of the members of the common ills that you read 'erika e-mails to note ...'

i would have told the kid don't you dare apologize. all 4 of us aren't going to be hurt or lose any readership (members for c.i.) because of this asshole not linking to us.

i don't get linked to. i use too many 'fucks' and talk about things that bother tight assholes.
i still get read even by my 'buds' at centrist.org. so i would've told the kid, 'don't apologize.'
i would have told him 'bill and kos are untouchable. more people hear them on air america than ever visit that site.' as for c.i., i don't know what the asshole thought.

if you missed it, c.i.'s stated 'do not ask for links.' c.i.'s told the members that at the site. the common ills had the support of buzzflash and others and it grew by word of mouth. it never depended on asshole for readers because it's not about readers. c.i. has 'members.' i joke and kid and mock about that but they are members. they will weigh in. they will determine what gets covered and what doesn't. they wanted more opinion and as i've told you, c.i. is not really into that. c.i. is into facts. but what do they get now? opinion.

if it were a blog, it would be a hell of a lot different.

i will write whatever i want. if i lose a reader, tough. if a reader thinks 'i don't want to hear about michael phelps butt crack' my attitude is 'then go somewhere else.'

i started this site when a friend of mine got attacked. so i don't take attacks well. as will be obvious when i finish my post i've been working on forever, i went through a very dark period and it's only through this blog and what i put up here that i'm able to come out of it.

i had to make the most painful decision of my life and i don't regret that decision but i won't kid that it was easy.

elaine was on my case to get out more since last summer which is why i have. but until i started blogging i was really just marking time. people sometimes write in and say that since i don't work i must be so lucky. while i'm very comfortable thanks to my ex-husband, my life hasn't been so lucky. (and though i haven't given money to the asshole's site, my ex-husband has. they're now cut off. 1 phone call was all it took. he didn't give that much to them because they're not that important, let's be honest. but he did give every now and then because he's a democrat and he likes to support charities.)

when something unfair happens to any 1 i am enraged because i feel that something truly unfair happened to me. the asshole attacking the kid may seem small potatoes to some people but i do not respond well to this shit.

on the phone with mike i was so pissed about this i started crying. that's how mad i am.

who the hell does that asshole think he is to treat the kid that way.

let me say that 1 more time, the kid received nasty e-mails.

the kid was put over a barrell (which is probably why i am so damn pissed) and forced to apologize when he hadn't done a damn thing wrong. he apologized to the creepy asshole. he then did an e-mail to bill, kos, c.i. and me (and to the asshole) apologizing to us.

now maybe it's because i've found myself in a position where i felt i didn't have any other choice that i could read his e-mail and tell how hurt he was. he was to the point and direct and very brief. and that's how i've been about the choice i had to make. (which is why the post i've been working on for almost 2 weeks has been so hard to write.)

i know what it's like when there are no other options and you do what you have to do. i read that e-mail and tried to call c.i. then i e-mailed the kid my phone number and said 'please call me about this but if you don't i am not mad at you and you do not owe me an apology.'

the kid called an hour later. that asshole destroyed that kid.

i told him over and over, 'you didn't do anything wrong.' and he didn't. this isn't his fault.

this is prissy asshole who can't take a little criticism and wants to act the big man.

in my experience, the guys trying the hardest to act the big man are usually the guys with the smallest dicks. and usually they can't get it up and if they can, they can't keep it up.

i don't know if that's the asshole's problem, i'm just speaking from my own experience.

and it's not just 1 asshole. seems like the whole site wants to rain down on the kid IN MY OPINION.

you got 1 idiot screaming 'there's no free speech here' and how the comment is abusive and all this other bullshit.

and he gets told that he's plugging his own site or sites meaning the kid's either a kos member or a common ills member or else the kid writes all 4 sites.

hey asshole & idiot, every damn word up here, i write my own damn self. every period, every comma. every lower case word. i'm damn sick of men who think they can degrade women's accomplishments. (and readers, you know what a sore topic that is for me.) so right away i'm pissed.

'you might want to try to be less obvious.' or some such bullshit spoken like some old british woman on 1 of those pbs sitcoms.

so we're not just talking about an asshole, we're talking about a prissy asshole.

bill scher is cool and laid back and i don't know that he'll read the kid's e-mail or, if he does, i don't know that he'll get how forced the kid sounds, how humbled due to being bullied. i'm told kos reads all e-mails. i'm betting kos will be pissed judging by his support for the little guys and gals when he's talking on the majority report. but i also know from that site that there are millions of things going on each day and kos may not have time to address it even if he plans to. c.i.?

since the bullying has to do with our 4 sites, c.i. might say 'you know talking about this would be self-referential and i don't like to do that.' i hope that's not the case. but it could be. if so, that leaves me to defend the kid.

and you damn well better believe that i'm going to.

this kid liked something i wrote. he liked it so much that he wanted to share it with others.

and i'm not going to thank him by saying 'them's the breaks, kid.' i'm not going to do that.

this kid saw something in my messy writing that spoke to him and he wanted others to know about it.

that and all the above makes it personal for me.

i've never thought i'd be linked or covered by any 1 covering blogs. i use 'fuck' far too much. i'll talk about men's bodies in a way that's shocking. sadly because in this day and age a lot of men are pretty sheltered if they're not aware women talk about sex.

but it's okay. i have enough readers who are into what i write about.

and i had to dig deep and be brave in ways that the asshole and the idiot will never understand.
even if we were to talk face to face they'd muster a 'i'm so sorry' whispered quietly but they wouldn't grasp it. they can't because they'd never have to face a choice like that.

after that choice, i can face anything. that's why when women write and say 'i wish i had done like you and kept commenting on politics but the e-mails were so mean' i can write back and say 'i understand.' the e-mails are mean. they're evil. but that's okay. there is nothing that any 1 can ever do to me that will be anything like what i've already been through.

so i can be tough. and i can say 'fuck you' when it's needed without worries or concerns about it.

and i have no worries or concerns about a dipshit fuck ass who thinks it's okay to bully a kid.

if you were in the room with me right now, you'd think i was courtney love. i have to keep stopping to spark up another cigarette or storm around the room while screaming.

i will not be silent on this. that kid needs an apology. the 4 of us that got smeared need an apology to but i'll settle for that kid. he didn't deserve this shit.

his only mistake was in going to a site that decides to copy the nation and create a comment section. but unlike the nation, you can't criticize. ari ('long cock' as i like to fondly and lustily think of him) will get on and comment back. he's not going 'oh you said you didn't like my post! you're banned! you're banned! and i'm banning all the sites you like to!' he didn't pull that shit.

ari's a fucking adult. this asshole who thinks it's okay to bully a kid is a fpouty little baby.

see in their comment sections only certain types of comments are allowed.

for instance, you can't criticize the asshole. you can't point out that with all that's going on in the world, wasting time at a site for the left on michell fucking malkin is wasting time. you can't point out that, having applauded 1 republican already today in the limited space that the asshole uses, perhaps then focusing on and linking to michelle malkin was a mistake.

you have to nod.

now you can curse. you can fucking curse and put out any half-baked conspiracy theory and those comments stay up.

but if you dare to criticize the asshole, dare to joke that the asshole might stink, you're banned.

and you're not just banned, you get nasty e-mails.

that is fucked up.

that is so totally fucked up.

the asshole needs to apologize to the kid. the idiot needs to apologize.

i've spoken to the kid, i've read the e-mails, i know what went down and it was disgusting and it was undemocratic and it was not behavior for the left.

you can find out all about, all the specifics, in tomorrow's gina & krista round-robin. after i got off the phone with the kid (yes, c.i.'s correct, i do live on the phone - partly because after i had to make my choice i didn't want to be around any 1) i called up gina and said 'let me tell you what just happened today.' they're interviewing the kid.

i asked gina how many people go the round-robin and it's around 800 now. they've had to bring in shirley and eli to help them send it out to everyone friday morning. (or when they do their specials 1 that pop up during the week.)

the asshole and the idiot need to apologize. and the site needs to quit trying to copy the nation if it's not going to allow people to disagree with them.

ms. musing let's you disagree. i go there all the time. i never post but i go all there all the time. they have lively and funny debates in their comments. christine never screams 'how dare you criticize me! you are banned! but if you grovel, i might let you come back!' she may say 'that's not what i was trying to say ' or she might say 'good point i'll think about it.' she doesn't scream 'a plauge on you and the people you like!'

the asshole's site obviously needs traffic. as c.i. can tell you, they've said verboten to tom hayden. they're having some identity issues. they won't be getting traffic if they're attacking the people who come to the site.

this kid didn't post right wing nonsense or curse and scream or blame it on some ethnic group. (probably he'd still have his posts up there if he had.) he offered a critique of what was up there.
he tried to be funny and even put in damn smiley faces ":)" so it was obvious it was a joke.

but he crossed the asshole's line by criticizing the asshole. then it was 'unleash the hounds of my ass' apparently for the asshole.

that's not cool. i'm not going to shut my mouth and pretend it is.

i don't need a link from the asshole, i don't want a link from the asshole. i don't need him to ever mention my blog. he is nothing to me but a stupid asshole who thinks it's fine to bully kids.

if we were at a bar, i'd tell him off. after i told him to stop staring at my tits. i'd tell him to get his little limp dick, prissy ass away from me and to get a fucking hair cut because that picture of him that i saw is a nightmare. what are those? ringlets! shirley fucking temple time?

he must really look the big man while singing 'on the good ship lollypop.'

he needs to lay off the kid. apologize to him. the kid has no interest in ever visiting asshole's crappy commentary again let alone posting there. if asshole had a problem with his comments, he should have told him. he shouldn't have deleted them, then banned him, then gone on to bully him in e-mails.

that's not okay with me. that's not alright. that's not how the left behaves.

if asshole disagreed he could have commented in the comments the same way ari or christine does. he didn't have to go total rambo-asshole on the kid.

and i think it was cowardly. the way it was done behind the kid's back was cowardly. and then wanting to bully him afterwards and tell him he better apologize?

asshole's lucky this happened online and that it happened with a kid because otherwise someone would be kicking the asshole's ass right now.

asshole's site needs to fucking figure out what it is because what went down wasn't left, wasn't democratic. and asshole's fucking suggestion that the kid 'write a letter and maybe it will get posted' fuck that shit.

the site made the decision to offer comments. that was a choice. to then come along and have a hissy fit because someone dared to point out that you're blowing it in your lousy posts that are embarrassingly bad. and the kid didn't say that. the kid was nice. doing jokes with smiley faces for god's sake.

but i'm saying it. you're embarrassing. you don't know what you're doing. it's obvious.

c.i. only linked to you because the uk members like pru and gareth thought you were interesting. they changed their minds long ago. your dick commentary, your commentary on dick size, they didn't care for it. or the other bullshit topics that you comment on.

hey i'm a glass house. i talk about dicks and cocks. (cocks are a compliment, dicks aren't - you're a dick.) but i'm not pretending to bring you the left world in five minutes or less.

you're trivial, your fluff, your bullshit. you're rona fucking barrett in need of firing so that some 1 who has their shit together can do the job. and rona barrett is apt. what the asshole is doing is running a little movie mag and the kid wanted his movie stars highlighted. the asshole was going on about lindsay loham and hilary duff and the kid wanted some 1 he liked, some 1 that spoke to him, highlighted.

after all of this, there's a freak out e-mail. it comes when the asshole gets copied the e-mail that the kid sent out to bill, kos , c.i. and myself. it leads to 'i wish you hadn't done that.' yeah, be nervous because now people know what you did. be very nervous because you should be ashamed of yourself.

instead asshole offers the only smart thing he ever said 'start your own blog.'

i'm telling the kid too. i'm telling the kid you can rip that asshole apart. i'm telling him 'i will help you start your blog. if you decide to, i am there for you.'

why is that? because no 1 deserves to be treated that way (by asshole and idiot). if the national review had done this shit, it would still be disgusting. it wouldn't be surprising, but it would be disgusting. that it came from the left is not just disgusting, it is shocking. and if you think your behavior was appropriate you have a lot to learn.

if you think i give a goddamn fuck if you link to me or not, you've got a lot more to learn.

i don't need your asshole link.

and let me be clear to all my readers, if some 1 ever tries to bully you, don't apologize on my account. i don't give a goddamn fuck about any bully or what they might do. they can kiss my ass. and you can tell them that. you can say 'i'm not going to apologize to you, you fucking prick, and rebecca won't care because she says kiss her ass.' don't think 'i've got to protect rebecca' because i can take anything. i have walked through fire and been burned bad enough that some asshole not linking to me doesn't even rate an eye roll.

and as for the other three, kos and bill are untouchable. nothing's going to hurt them certainly not a little asshole. c.i. is blog ignorant and will tell you that. every rule that should have been followed was broken because c.i. didn't know any of them. that's why it's not a blog. it's a 'resource/review.' but the way that thing got set up, c.i.'s untouchable. rob's comments about thinning the herd aren't jokes. he's serious. and c.i. doesn't laugh about it. c.i. agrees that if you're not against the war, if you're not pro choice, you need to go somewhere else because there are more than enough people (members) who are concerned. and 1658 e-mails on sunday, according to ava, are too damn many.

if you're with the program, c.i.'s happy to have you aboard. but if you're not, and c.i.'s put this up at the site, i'm not talking out of school, the days c.i. enjoyed the common ills most was when the membership was so small that every e-mail got a personal reply. if the common ills dropped down to 5 members, c.i. wouldn't shed any tears. and people who thought jim and i were too rough on c.i. in that roundtable when we were talking about e-mails don't get that no 1 has that kind of time. even with ava helping out on sundays, there's not enough time. and this is just trying to read the e-mails not write back to members and visitors.

for my readers, you know i've been working on a post and some of you have wondered what it was. it's obviously a very personal 1. i didn't intend to tease it out and have kept my mouth shut about it. kat, c.i., jess's parents, elaine and a host of others have been very helpful and very patient. my ex-husband has been wonderfully supportive. i will do my best to complete it this weekend. maybe i'll get it up tomorrow. most of you know the topic from the gina & krista round-robin. i talked about it a little bit there. now i could be like asshole (who would never have to go through it, you know why i say that) and post something superficial. but if i'm going to talk about it for the 1st time at length, i want to be sure i'm clear in it.

jess's mother has been especially helpful. i've told you all how cool she is but there have been times when i've just been reduced to tears and she's talked me through it. if you ever wonder how jess turned out so cool, just look at his parents.

the asshole steers you to michelle malkin and you're supposed to find something nice to say or not say anything at all.

is that the site's policy or just the asshole's?

if it's the site's policy, there's a problem.

if it's the asshole's policy, he needs to rethink it. but before he does anything, he needs to apologize to the kid.

for those of you who don't get the round-robin, i had an abortion. that's the post i've been working on. it was the right choice. and it was the only choice. but that didn't make it any easier for me. when kat did her post and was talking about how no woman had to justify that choice, she was talking about me. she's been very supportive and each time i've finished another draft, she's read it and asked, 'rebecca, are you sure you want to go into that' about some detail.

if i'm going to tell it, i'm going to tell it all the way. i'm editing only for my ex-husband.

i agree with kat that no woman needs to explain her medical procedure. but there was a lot of e-mail after the round-robin went out from people, women and men, saying that the little bit i said helped them or spoke to them.

if you read the round-robin you have an idea of what i went through. but with roe under attack, i feel like the best thing i can do, my part, is to talk about it and to talk about what i went through.

it's not easy to write. and tomorrow will be 2 weeks that i've been working on it. don't expect it to be a writing masterpiece. but it's been very hard to dig all this up. i didn't work on it yesterday. c.i. and elaine both urged me to take a break from it and focus on something else. which is why i did the 'to bobby' thing yesterday.

but it's like the woman i told you about who inspired all of us with her talk about 'think about the 1 thing you could do and when you think oh i can't, do it.' this is 1 thing i can do. i don't know if i'll have it pulled together by the weekend, but i am working on it.

'to bobby' was done out of love and respect for bob somerby. and c.i. stopped talking when it was obvious i was going to write about it. but when i said, and i didn't put this in yesterday, 'look you and elaine are telling me that i need to take a small break' c.i. said, 'joan baez. use that as your model and it should be a breeze to write.' and it was a breeze and it was nice yesterday not to have to dig into all the inner crap for 1 day. and i did feel like i could face the issue today and write some more on it. then i got the e-mail from the kid.

i won't be silent while some 1 is wronged. or while some 1 is bullied into apologizing when there's no apology needed from the kid.

my ex-husband, as i said in the round-robin, was very supportive throughout. he didn't bully me. but a choice had to be made on what was more important: what i wanted or the type of life a child was going to have. fate bullied me. and i won't stand for it while some kid is bullied.

or act like it's okay because the asshole is with some psuedo big site online.

i can't be hurt anymore. so don't let any 1 bully you on my account. they can take their best shots at me and they'll just slide right off me because i've already had to make a hellish choice and i lived through it. shit like the asshole doesn't even qualify for minor league.

and what a world he must live in if the thing that causes him to lose it is some 1 questioning him.
what a lofty, pampered life he must have had.

when female bloggers write me and say 'thank you for talking about how we get treated' i mean, you're welcome, but i don't back down. there's nothing i can ever face again that will be as difficult.

when i made an offer to a male blogger that he could talk and it would be in private, that was sincere. and my concern over his anger and his hurting himself with it was sincere. even some 1 that hates me, and he really hates me, is some 1 i will reach out too if i think they need some 1. this kid needs some 1 and i could care less what the asshole does or doesn't do to me personally as a result of this post.

the kid kept saying 'rebecca, i don't want to get you banned over this.' i kept telling him, 'you are now my newest best friend and if i've got you as a reader, i don't need anything or anyone that asshole might be able to steer my way.'

i'm no saint. but i don't back down and i don't bow my head and i don't ask permission to say what i want to say.

as i told centrist.org, i am your worst nightmare.

i am the woman who won't be cowed.

i won't be silenced.

you can't woo me with flattery.

you can't bully me.

i've already been through the worst that could ever happen. i could lose a limb tomorrow or suffer some illness and it would be nothing compared to what i had to go through already.

so bullies who hide behind e-mails and think they're big shots when they bully kids or ban them for stating the obvious don't scare me.

if you want to support the kid, read the round-robin and don't visit that site again unless the kid's gets an apology. today it was beat up on a kid, who knows who'll be targeted next.

i'll close with a thank you to mike for listening to rage until i was calm enough to post. mike, my bookend, if you were a little older, i'd be so into you. instead, i'll just stand on the sideline and appreciate all your gifts (brains, looks and soul).


to bobby

so i'm reading the common ills mid-morning post and thinking it's really strong, thinking props to christine for the great essay at ms. musing. thinking 'yea codepink!' and thinking cindy sheehan rocks. and of course dahr jamail reigns supreme in my book. and the daily howler's not included because it hadn't posted yet.

so i head on over to the daily howler and i cannot believe it.

somerby, what's going on?

I'll put flowers at your feet and I will sing to you so sweet
And hope my words will carry home to your heart

somerby's pissing all over the people who feel karl rove did something wrong.

not a tinkle, mind you, this is a horse piss splattering everything on the left and near left and probably spilling over to the center.

bobby, what's going on here?

You left us marching on the road and said how heavy was the load
The years were young, the struggle barely had its start

okay, we got it a long time ago. no 1 could go the howler back during the '16 words' in the state of the union address without grasping that bobby really hated joe wilson. we got that.

it's confusing because bobby loves all things al gore and wilson was involved, loosely, in gore's campaign. so it's confusing that bobby feels the need to attack wilson over and over. and let's not kid here, it's an attack:

Almost surely, Rove thought Wilson was a kook and an asshole. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear he was wrong.

so i call up c.i. and say i'm calling about the daily howler and c.i. says 'it wasn't up or it would have been included, it will be noted tonight.'

i guess a lot of people had already e-mailed about it?

'a ton of people. all mad at what's up there. some congratulate me for skipping it. i didn't skip it. it was not up. i held the post for 30 minutes waiting for it to go up and kept checking to see if it was up yet. i had a meeting and that had to go up then or it wouldn't be up. now some members think that i didn't include him on purpose and they're happy about it.'

what does c.i. think about it?

'well the issue really isn't joe wilson. the issue is rove and plame.'

what about what's up there?

'he goes by the public record, he's very much by the record and that's what he goes by. i don't know what else to say.'

but his record includes the weekly standard?

'i know. i don't know why david corn's work in the nation isn't noted if somerby's going to include the opinion journal the weekly standard. that puzzles me but i haven't read the weekly standard piece.'

and won't.

'of course not. it's goes against everything i believe in and i won't give them my web traffic.'

somerby brings up the senate report.

'without noting that there are qualifiers to the report. such as the thing buzzflash noted by wilson. susan schmitt's article is wrong and i'm surprised it's noted. the chris matthews thing was mentioned earlier in the week and that's public record in my opinion but i'm guessing somerby feels wilson lacks trusts so he's disqualifying that as well.'

the chris matthews thing is when matthews tells wilson that he was told it was open season on valerie plame. that is public record. and chris matthews has never denied it.

what about the diane rehm comments?

'ruth's already called me about that. i told her that the ruth's morning edition report is her space and she can do whatever she wants with it. between that at the top and wilson throughout i'm not sure what i'll be able to pull quote and i know whatever it is, i'll hear about it in e-mails.'

so why quote it at all?

'he's an important voice. just because we disagree in this instance doesn't mean he gets ignored. you know i think he does great work and you know that the whole point is to steer people to places where they can learn information. i don't agree with this and it's not like with the thing on katrina [vanden heuvel] where i could see it as katrina's speaking of things that are true but not in the public record somerby's going by. i don't know what to t-- you're not going to write on this, are you?'

at which point conversation ended on that topic. even with my offer of 'super duper, triple decker, deep background.' (which did make c.i. laugh.)

yes, i am writing on it because it needs to be dealt with.

first, since c.i. and i spoke susan schmitt's article has already resulted in a correction at the bottom of the piece. atrios apparently e-mailed somerby about that.

i use the link to go over to atrios. i note he's now billing his site as an online magazine which is a joke about the rights of bloggers vs. the press. bloggers apparently have no rights. which may make c.i. smarter for maintaining for some time that the common ills is not a blog (it's a 'resource/review' for a community).

that's been corrected so i'll let it go but note that there are so many things wrong with bobby's post.

Do you hear the voices in the night, Bobby?
They're crying for you
See the children in the morning light, Bobby
They're dying

and voices do cry out for bobby. he's an astute critic. but he's wrong here. the children dying?
let's be real honest, bobby hasn't spent a great deal of time addressing the press coverage of the war. or the 'live from the green zone' reporting. or dexter filkins. (i agree with c.i. 100% on dexter filkins' november reporting on fallujah. it will haunt him for the rest of his life and history will not be kind to it.)

pull joe wilson out of the search results and you're not see a great deal of critiquing of the war coverage.

i don't know why that is. nor am i suggesting bobby doesn't care about it.

but i am saying that with bobby's strengths, his critique of the war coverage would be very useful. instead, we're back on joe wilson.

when the common ills community was angered by the slams on katrina vanden heuvel, c.i. stated that somerby's concerned with the public record and katrina's concerned with social justice. (as is c.i.)

but bobby's not going by the public record in slamming joe wilson, he's going by parts of it.

he's noting the new york post and the weekly standard.

i don't know if this is a grudge fuck against joe wilson or what. but c.i. was correct (before the clam up when it was realized i would be writing about this), the issue isn't joe wilson.

the right tries to make it about joe wilson. it doesn't matter what joe wilson did or said. he could dance naked in washington square and it still wouldn't be about him.

the issue is that valerie plame was outed. and we know karl rove was involved.

bobby wants to act like that's not true. bobby should look into the law.

none of his attacks on joe wilson change what karl rove did. elaine called me and said 'turn on nightly news!' i groan (i hate brian williams) but do. they've got a former c.i.a. guy who's explaining that it doesn't matter if karl knew or not, due to his position he knew he should make a call before discussing it.

there's no way to hide behind attacks on joe wilson on that. or on the law.

and while c.i.'s going ballistic on the press for not getting an opinion on the law (they rely on the robert novak's gal pal vicky toejam, as c.i.'s dubbed her, to tell what the law means - she's hardly a disinterested party - a critique that in other times bobby might make).

where's bobby on that? where's bobby saying the press needs to tell the readers, viewers and listeners what the law means? bobby's silent on that while he continues to go after joe wilson.

bobby, we get it. you don't like wilson. now can you move on to something matters?

No one could say it like you said it, we'd only try and just forget it
You stood alone upon the mountain till it was sinking

taking on the press is where you should be. you're not there. you've got a hard on to grudge fuck joe wilson from here to tomorrow. is that the most important thing right now?

knowing ruth was upset i called her. are you going to write about it? 'i don't know. i talked to tracey [ruth's granddaughter] and she heard the show with me. we didn't think it was the 'hey rube' that he did. and if i do write about it, i will be talking about that and i will be talking about npr's pass during the 2004 presidential campaign. rebecca, you know that only c.i. and buzzflash raised that issue. it was a huge press error and 1 npr never addressed. how do you cover the mainstream news day in and day out and not address that conflict of interest even now?'

so you're going to be writing about it?

'i asked c.i. and to every question, i was told "it is your space, use it the way you see fit." which means write what you want, it will go up and you will be supported.'

but it's not exactly a request for the topic?

'no. i was surprised that mr. somerby is also apparently unaware that morning edition had not done 1 report on the topic this week until wednesday. they're a morning news show. it's all over the tv and papers monday and tuesday but they're silent until wednesday.'

what's your feelings regarding the commentary on joe wilson?

'i think mr. somebery needs to stop trying to be so literal. and i think it's an interesting sort of literal. obviously valerie plame did not send joe wilson on the mission as the drag king, tracey's term, claims. but does mr. somerby address that? no. he wants to rip into every statement by joe wilson but he wants to offer up the right wing drag king to dispute wilson and lets her off with a pass of "more right than wrong." she is not more right. the public record does not demonstrate that valerie plame was in charge of who went on the mission and who didn't. to let that stand without comment is suprising to me because mr. somberby can be such an academic. but with regards to mr. wilson, mr. somerby will search high and low through the right wing to find an attack on mr. wilson to back up his own attacks.'

i couldn't have said it better myself.

And in a frenzy we tried to reach you
With looks and letters we would beseech you

whatever his problems with joe wilson, he's not helping any 1 with his attacks. this story is not about wilson. he is supposed to be critiquing the press and he's off on a side road while the real story is playing out on the highway. highway 61 revisted?

ruth knows she can write whatever she wants and it will go up. she also knows, as do i, that if c.i. thinks bobby is taking a stand, c.i. will give him credit for not running with the pack.

that's great that bobby doesn't run with the pack. c.i. noted this week that the easiest thing, after friday's howler proved so popular and was linked all over the web, would be to churn out another 1 just like it. instead bobby went to a point that he knew would bring him criticism. that is brave, i agree with c.i.

but there is a big issue here and bobby is bogged down on wilson.

to the point that he's minimizing the outing of valerie plame as he rushes to offer that maybe karl rove had reasons to see joe wilson as a kook or asshole. bobby, who's that helping?

c.i. respects bobby and c.i. roots for the underdog. i'm wondering what will be pulled for a quote over at the common ills. something will be. and if you're a member and you're angry, realize that c.i. doesn't abandon people just because of a disagreement of opinion.

when bobby raises a valid point (and most of the time that's what he does), there's no 'well this will offend some on the left so we won't spotlight it.' c.i. notes it every day. the daily howler will always be noted there. not just linked to but noted. and c.i. will refer to something bobby said in other entries. so members who are upset better realize it's happening. and that asking c.i. to dump the daily howler is only going to make c.i. see bobby as more of an underdog.

i link to the daily howler on my blog roll. (my magazine roll? should i follow atrios's lead?)

i agree with c.i. that bobby's an important voice. but i also think he's dead wrong here. c.i. probably does too. but if it looks like there's an attack on bobby, c.i.'s not going to join in. so save the e-mails because if you're really upset with bobby (and i am), e-mailing c.i. is not going to make bobby go away. and if you make personal attacks on bobby in the e-mails or dismiss him completely, the result will most likely be that c.i. will start highlighting previous posts by bobby to demonstrate a) that there's no backing off bobby just because he's angered some and b) that bobby is a valid critic with strong skills.

i agree that bobby's talented. even immensly so. i just don't agree that he's right about this. i don't mean that he's wrong about wilson. as with judy miller, joe wilson isn't that important to me. where i think he's wrong is that in the midst of a huge press feeding frenzy, he wants to focus on two years ago as opposed to offering criticques on developments currently. (for example, the fact that the press has yet to explain the law to the people without going by vicky toejam's reading of it.)

wilson's the story to the right wing. miller and cooper are the story to the journalists. at a time like this where bobby is needed is to walk in and put the spotlight on the real issues: the outing of valerie plame and the press's failure to responsibly explain the law to the audience.

Never knowing what, where or how you were thinking
Do you hear the voices in the night, Bobby?
They're crying for you
See the children in the morning light, Bobby
They're dying

there are bigger issues. and bobby's usually up for them and then some. for whatever reason he's now focused on joe wilson and like a dog with a bone he's not letting go.

Perhaps the pictures in the Times could no longer be put in rhymes
When all the eyes of starving children are wide open
You cast aside the cursed crown and put your magic into a sound
That made me think your heart was aching or even broken

bobby doesn't get 1/2 the respect he deserves. i'll be the 1st to admit it. but i'll also be the 1st to say 'this is nonsense' when it's nonsense.

if bobby truly believes joe wilson is a kook and an asshole, what does that have to do with anything? does that allow for karl rove to out valerie plame?


does that make karl rove's actions okay?


others are sitting down for a meal and bobby's off in the tv room snacking.

today's daily howler is a waste of time. (again, i'm really curious what c.i.'s going to find to excerpt.) and it's a waste of time because joe wilson is not the issue. judith miller isn't even the issue. if this were day 1, i wouldn't say anything. certainly bobby's earned the right to be off a game or 2. but this is day 3.

3 days of wasted time. 3 days of an important critic going over his grudge fuck of joe wilson yet again. it needs to stop because the daily howler is starting to turn into a john simon review of barbra streisand on a daily basis. (yes, i am an arts & leisure gal.)

bobby would probably argue that wilson has given the non administration view for the last 2 years. yes, he has. and if bobby has a problem with wilson's view, it's all the more important that he find some 1 else on this topic. someone not from the new york post and not from the weekly standard.

the topic's more important than joe wilson.

But if God hears my complaint
He will forgive you
And so will I, with all respect, I'll just relive you

my intent is to splash some cold water on his face. (or to pull a cher and slap him while saying 'snap out of it!') the daily howler is not supposed to be trivial. it's risking becoming that as he bends over backwards to prop up the right wing to further his own problems with joe wilson.

And likewise, you must understand these things we give you
Like these flowers at your door and scribbled notes about the war

We're only saying the time is short and there is work to do
And we're still marching in the streets with little victories and big defeats
But there is joy and there is hope and there's a place for you

the lyrics throughout this are from joan baez's 'to bobby.' her song to bob dylan. i think it's an appropriate comparison. he can be our strongest voice, our strongest critic, our most sensible.
but right now he's focusing on minor issues when the story's long since moved elsewhere.

And you have heard the voices in the night, Bobby
They're crying for you
See the children in the morning light, Bobby
They're dying


while i lay sleeping . . .

while i lay sleeping, c.i. knocked out an incredible entry on something in this morning's new york times. i'm going through my e-mails, drinking my coffee and see sherry's written which is always a good read and she's saying 'rebecca, post this!'

i read it and have to agree. here's c.i.:

NYT: "At White House, a Day of Silence on Rove's Role in C.I.A. Leak" (Richard W. Stevenson)
Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter. With the White House silent, Democrats rushed in, demanding that the administration provide a full account of any involvement by Mr. Rove, one of the president's closest advisers, turning up the political heat in the case and leaving some Republicans worried about the possible effects on Mr. Bush's second-term agenda. [. . .]
Under often hostile questioning, Mr. McClellan repeatedly declined to say whether he stood behind his previous statements that Mr. Rove had played no role in the matter, saying he could not comment while a criminal investigation was under way. He brushed aside questions about whether the president would follow through on his pledge, repeated just over a year ago, to fire anyone in his administration found to have played a role in disclosing the officer's identity. And he declined to say when Mr. Bush learned that Mr. Rove had mentioned the C.I.A. officer in his conversation with the Time reporter. [. . .]
In September 2003, Mr. McClellan said flatly that Mr. Rove had not been involved in disclosing Ms. Plame's name. Asked about the issue on Sept. 29, 2003, Mr. McClellan said he had "spoken with Karl Rove," and that it was "simply not true" that Mr. Rove had a role in the disclosure of her identity. Two weeks earlier, he had called suggestions that Mr. Rove had been involved "totally ridiculous." On Oct. 10, 2003, after the Justice Department opened its investigation, Mr. McClellan told reporters that Mr. Rove, Mr. Abrams and Mr. Libby had nothing to do with the leak.

The above is from Richard W. Stevenson's "At White House, a Day of Silence on Rove's Role in C.I.A. Leak" in this morning's New York Times. Among the pluses of Stevenson's article is that it's front paged so Karl gets fingered on the front page. Among the more problematic areas of the article is this portion:

"We made it exceedingly difficult to violate," Victoria Toensing, who was chief counsel to the Senate intelligence committee when the law was enacted, said of the law.
[. . .]
"She had a desk job in Langley," said Ms. Toensing, who also signed the supporting brief in the appeals court, referring to the C.I.A.'s headquarters. "When you want someone in deep cover, they don't go back and forth to Langley."*

Toensing is identified in a very interesting manner. Who's Victoria Toejam? Failed TV pundit. Friend of Robert Novak. (Did he give her bad tips for punditing or was she just unable to overcome her own deficiencies?) Victoria Toejam felt the need to weigh in on this matter before with an op-ed in the Washington Post co-written with Bruce Sanford (whom also weighs heavily at the end of the Times' article).

No mention is made by Stevenson of the Washington Post op-ed entitled "The Plame Game: Was This a Crime?" (January 12, 2005) or of her friendship with Novak (proving that you can take an Elite Fluff Patrol squad member out of the fluff, but you can't take the fluff out of the member). Here's Media Matters responding to that op-ed with regards to Victoria Toejam ("Victoria Toensing failed to disclose friendship with "No Disclosure" Novak in Wash. Post op-ed"):

Multiple news outlets have noted that Toensing is apparently a personal friend of Novak -- a fact that neither she nor the Post saw fit to disclose.
Press sightings of social interactions between Toensing, her husband, Joseph E. diGenova, and Novak abound:
An October 1, 2004, article on Salon.com reported that Novak was a guest along with Toensing and diGenova at a September 21, 2004, party in Washington to celebrate the success of the book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry (Regnery, 2004).According to an October 17, 2001, "Reliable Source" column in The Washington Post, Novak was among "70 friends" hosted by diGenova to celebrate Toensing's 60th birthday at the Palm restaurant.
A February 27, 1998, profile of Toensing and diGenova in The Washington Post reported that "[t]he couple retreat on weekends to their Fenwick Island, Del., beach house, hanging with such pals as Robert Novak and Bill Regardie."
Novak has also defended or praised his friends Toensing and diGenova on at least three occasions in his nationally syndicated column:
"DiGenova, a conservative Republican, would introduce something new at the IRB [Teamsters union Internal Review Board]. He might recommend that it is time to end the monitoring that has cost the union more than $75 million. [Federal prosecutor Mary Jo] White did her best to obstruct the 1998 congressional investigation of the Teamsters conducted by diGenova and his law partner-wife, Victoria Toensing. Nor is diGenova an admirer of Mary Jo White's glacial pursuit of the pre-Hoffa conspiracy between the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and the Democratic National Committee as the statute of limitations is about to block further prosecution." [8/1/2001]
"This is a cautionary tale of Washington today. Anybody who dares investigate the Clinton establishment can expect the worst. [Former independent counsel] Ken Starr has been transmogrified from a bookish appellate lawyer to Grand Inquisitor Torquemada. His deputies have seen their legal careers belittled and their religious beliefs derided. Congressional investigators Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova have had their ethics challenged." [5/14/1998]
"On April 30, House Minority Whip Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., accused Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, the Republican husband-and-wife lawyers running the House Workforce Committee investigation of the Teamsters, of 'an outrageous conflict of interest' because they had become part-time commentators for NBC (a deal they canceled Wednesday)." [5/8/1998]

Toejam and Sanford argued Plame wasn't deep cover in their op-ed. Today they again stress to the Times that an outed agent has to have been stationed out of the country in the last five years. Run back the clock. Plame doesn't qualify by public record. Does the law define a covert agent as someone who has been out of the country in the last five years?
I don't know. I don't see that in the excerpt available online of The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. That doesn't mean it isn't in the act. When Stevenson address it in one paragraph, he fails to make it clear whether he's noting the act (or a legal opinion on it) or if he's being fed by Toejam and Sanford. By not noting Toejam's past history (more later) with the press or her relationship with Novak, he leaves himself open to questions of whether he researched or jotted down unquestionally. (A skill that Elite Fluff Patrol squad leader Elisabeth Bumiller apparently taught to everyone under her command.) It may very well be in the law (which would appear to defeat Poppy's intent behind supporting such an act for years -- some of Poppy's public remarks are noted here.).

People can speculate on whether Plame left the country for any missions (possible) after moving to D.C. (first to an apartment with Wilson in 1997, mid-1997, then later to a home). In January 2000, Valerie Plame gives birth to twins and suffers from postpartum depression. That doesn't make it impossible that the CIA wouldn't have used her for an operation in the time after the birth or at some point before. If the five year rule, that Toejam and Sanford are trumpeting, is correct (if) then Plame would have had to have been "stationed" (which we'll define here as taking part in a "operation"* -- though Toejam and Sanford define it differently, as permanent residence in a foreign country) as late as July of 1998. (July 12, 2003 is the published leak. By the public record, prior to Novak's colum, the leak starts in early July.)

It seems unlikely that if this defintion of a covert operative is in the 1982 Act, Patrick Fitzgerald wouldn't know of it. (Though who knows?) Toejam likes to pass herself off as a "expert" on the Act. But if the "rule" is in the act and she's the "expert" on it that she present herself as, that still doesn't make her an "expert" on when the CIA last utilized Plame undercover. (Which could have occurred at any time prior to July 2003.) That's accepting the five year "rule" and accepting that Fitzgerald's going backwards from July of 2003.

But if we go to Hunter at Daily Kos (via BuzzFlash) we find him citing a Walter Pincus article on the matter:

On July 12, 2003, an administration official, who was talking to me confidentially about a matter involving alleged Iraqi nuclear activities, veered off the precise matter we were discussing and told me that the White House had not paid attention to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's CIA-sponsored February 2002 trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction.

Is Fitzgerald looking at this as a conspiracy that started long before Novak's July 12, 2003 column? If the White House is not "paying attention" in "February 2002" what are we looking at? If Fitzgerald is arguing that the plan to out Plame was hatched in February 2002 (when the trip went down) the five year "rule" is in play -- Plame was stationed overseas in February of 1997.

If the White House (or individuals in it) knew in 2002 that Wilson's trip couldn't damage them (regardless of results), were plans already in motion to out Plame?

The five year "rule" may or may not be fact. (Stevenson doesn't inform us why he's including it in the article -- quoted to him by Toejam & Sanford or independtly verified by Stevenson.) But if Fitzgerald is looking at as a conspiracy, Plame returns to Washington (as I interpret Wilson's The Politics of Truth pp. 239-242) in June of 1997. Prior to that, she is stationed overseas.

As Hunter points out, as early as February 2002 (according to Pincus' report) the White House was dismissive of the trip (not "paying attention") because of whom Wilson was married to.

There are blanked out portions (several pages) in Fitgerald's court papers arguing the need for Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller's testimony. This has been noted in various places. We focus on the Times so we'll note a Times' July 7, 2005 editorial "Judith Miller Goes to Jail"** which maintains "The inquiry has been conducted with such secrecy that it is hard to know exactly what Mr. Fitzgerald thinks Ms. Miller can tell him, or what argument he offered to convice the court that his need to hear her testimony outweighs the First Amendment." We'll also note Adam Liptak's front page story of the same day (entitled "Reporter Jailed After Refusing To Name Source"):

Mr. Fitzgerald, who has relied on secret evidence in persuading courts to order Ms. Miller jailed, said that the law now requires her to testify.

What's in the "secret evidence?"

With Toejam and Sanford again trumpeting this five year "rule," it's obviously going to be a talking point. Toejam and her husband diGenova are possibly good at talking points (false ones?). Jacob Weisberg's "Worse Than Drudge: What game is Joe diGenova playing?" (Slate, Feb. 28, 1998) addressed this issue:

One could legitimately describe either diGenova or Toensing as a "Washington lawyer knowledgeable about the investigation," newspapers' favorite leaker ID. There is no proof that either has served as a cutout for Starr. But if they haven't, why do they qualify as a "source" about anything? In fact, the unreliable gossip they sometimes pass on makes the notorious Matt Drudge look discreet.
One gets a glimpse of Joe and Vicky's peculiar role in the fiasco that occurred in late January, when the Dallas Morning News reported, then retracted, then semi-reasserted that a Secret Service witness to a Clinton-Lewinsky encounter was prepared to testify. To recap: On the evening of Monday, Jan. 26, the paper published a report on its Web site. It quoted a lawyer "familiar with the negotiations" as saying there was a Secret Service agent who had seen Clinton and Lewinsky in a "compromising situation" and that he had become a government witness. Hours later, the paper recanted: "the source for the story, a longtime Washington lawyer familiar with the case, later said the information provided for Tuesday's report was inaccurate." The paper further noted that, "The source is not affiliated with Mr. Starr's office." But the following day, the paper reissued a version of the story. An intermediary for a witness or witnesses who might or might not be a Secret Service agent or agents had told Starr's office about seeing Clinton and Lewinsky in what was now described as an "ambiguous situation." Inexplicably, the story quoted "former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova, who is not directly involved in the case," as saying that the intermediary had made contact for the witness or witnesses with Mr. Starr's office. "In essence, your story is correct," diGenova told the paper.
Was the original source also diGenova or Toensing?
I think it must have been. Click here to find out why.
Whether diGenova was the source or not, we do know that diGenova spoke to the Dallas Morning News on the record, confirming that a witness of some sort did indirectly pass information to Starr's office. And we know that Toensing spoke off the record, contradicting the originally published version. Since diGenova says they weren't representing anyone involved, on what basis did they know? "This is a small Southern town," says diGenova. "People talk to a lot of people. Reporters talk to people. Lawyers talk. You hear things and you pass them on to reporters so that they might investigate. Sometimes people don't investigate the way they should." This sounds almost like an admission, and suggests that Starr's office may be indirectly using journalists to try to substantiate rumors it has heard. In any event, the fact that the Dallas Morning News considered diGenova a legitimate source would suggest that the paper's reporter thought he wasn't just relating third-hand gossip, but had real information from Starr's office.

So Toejam may have experience issuing talking points. And she (and Sanford) are trumpeting the five year "rule" again. If the "rule" does exist in the law, is Fitzgerald unaware of that "rule" or is he going for a plot to out Plame, should Wilson cause discomfort, hatched on or before February of 2002?I don't know and I'm really not big on speculation. But I'm also not real big on the rejects from the Clinton character assassinations resurfacing as 'reliable' via an unquestioning press. Their false information damaged the country (my opinion). Toejam was part of that (I'm inclined to believe Jacob Weisberg) and she's now returning to the scene, so I think there's reason to speculate. I also think that if Stevenson is told there is a five year "rule" he needs to establish in his article whether that's true or not and what he's based that finding on.

What would it have taken? I'd argue only one call to Floyd Abrams. Abrams certainly knows the act (as Miller's legal counsel). If he didn't, he could get someone to look into it and have an answer long before the story went to press. (Though I'm personally having a hard time picturing Abrams not knowing every aspect of the Act. As always, I could be wrong.) Which would lead to a sentence reading, "Floyd Abrams, counsel to Judith Miller, states that the five year rule . . ."

The five year "rule" may or may not exist. A larger point to be made is that it really doesn't matter in terms of Karl Rove needing to go. His participation, as reported, in this matter makes him unfit to serve in the White House. Regardless of whether a criminal law has been broken or not, he is now known to have passed on information that Plame was CIA (the latest argument on that is that he didn't give her "name" just whom she was married to -- which is pointing out in a similar manner that one identifies in a police lineup). That's not the way Americans expect their government to work.

And as Stevenson notes, the Bully Boy said anyone involved would be fired.

The need on the part of Toejam and Sanford to repeatedly interject the five year "rule" may speak to the fact that Rove will walk (if the "rule" exists) on criminal charges. That doesn't mitigate the fact that the White House has behaved in shameful manner. The Bully Boy was about as clear as he can be when pressed by reporters. He didn't say, "If there's a conviction." (If there's a conviction, it's assumed the person would be gone anyway since he or she would be behind bars.) From Stevenson's article:

Mr. McClellan and Mr. Bush have both made clear that leaking Ms. Plame's identity would be considered a firing offense by the White House. Mr. Bush was asked about that position most recently a little over a year ago, when he was asked whether he stood by his pledge to fire anyone found to have leaked the officer's name. "Yes," he replied, on June 10, 2004.

There's a reason for the repeated use of ToeJam and Sanford's talking point. They promoted it January 12, 2005 in the Washington Post so it's hard to believe Fitzgerald is unaware of the talking point. It may exist in the Act. If so, Fitzgerald may be going for something else (or else be a really bad prosecutor) based on additional information. That could (or could not) include something such as a conspiracy begun while the five year "rule" applied or he could have information on a mission or missions Plame took part in as an undercover operative after moving to D.C. in mid-1997.

Regardless of what Fitzgerald's going for, the fact remains that Bully Boy was clear (even for the Bully Boy) on this matter. Rove e-mailed Matthew Cooper saying Wilson's wife was CIA prior to Novak's column appearing. (His remarks after Novak's column appeared, to Chris Matthews, that Wilson's wife was fair game were also out of line since he shouldn't have been engaging in such conversations.) Rove is involved in the leak. The pledge was that anyone involved would be fired. Even with the talking point (true or false), there' shouldn't be any dancing room on this for the Bully Boy.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

[*"Stationed" according to one lawyer who has handles cases for CIA agents (former and current) should not mean living abroad if it is in the act. He states that "stationed" should mean "positioned" for a mission regardless of the agent's permananet base. Any other meaning would be "worthless" based on the fact that operatives are in and out of countries frequently and their cover "must be mobile and not locked to a certain area" for them to work effectively undercover. He is unfamiliar with the five year "rule" but notes that Plame being an undercover operative at some point and her cover not yet been blown -- whether or not Novak was told that it was doubtful Plame would be used again in an undercover mission, as Toejame and Sanford maintain in their Washington Post op-ed -- the fact that Plame had an existing cover and was still with the CIA meant that the cover might be used again for national security reasons. If the five year "rule" is in the act, it goes against the intent of the Act which was to ensure, according to him, that undercover operatives' identies were protected. "If Plame's cover was in place" prior to Novak's outing "it didn't have a use-by date. Until she was outed, her cover was a national security asset to the nation. Regardless of the manner in which the law was written, I have difficulty believing that it allows for the destruction of a national security asset to the country. An agent with an existing cover is one that can be reactivated at any time -- such as in a time of national crisis where assistance is needed."
**I don't comment on the editorials in the Times here. I've quoted from one above. And I'll say thanks to Zach who e-mailed Thursday afternoon urging me to read that editorial. I'll also say thanks to Dallas who spotted Stevenson's article online, copy and pasted and gave me heads up. I would have been scratching my head over this article without the heads up. I'll also thank the attorney, who asked not to be named, for his assistance in walking me through this. Disclosure, though it should be obvious from the time frame in which his walk through occurred, the attorney is a friend of mine --otherwise I wouldn't have woken him with a phone call for a walk through on the issue and that talking point offered by Toejam.]

forgive the spacing. it's too early in the morning for me!


democracy now and third estate sunday review

if you read the third estate sunday review (and if you didn't, get over there!) you know that we were talking about the power that we have and what would the world be like if every left blogger plugged democracy now for five days in 1 week. so let me do my part to use my power:

Report: Ex-French President Ok'd Sinking of Greenpeace Ship
On Sunday, hundreds of Greenpeace activists gathered in Paris to mark the 20th anniversary of the sinking of the organization's ship the Rainbow Warrior. The ship sank in a New Zealand harbor on July 10, 1985 when an explosion ripped open its hull. Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira was killed in the incident. The ship was preparing to head to sea to protest against French nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific. Over the weekend, the French newspaper Le Monde revealed that the late French President Francois Mitterrand personally approved the sinking of the ship. The paper has obtained a handwritten account of the ship's sinking written by the former head of France's spy agency that says Mitterrand had authorized the ship to be sunk. One former crew member of the Rainbow Warrior spoke at a commemoration ceremony on Sunday.

this 1 stuck out to me most because of the common ills. back in june, c.i. did a thing on this and i had no idea about it and don't think i'd heard fernando pereira's name before. i read it and it was kind of mind blowing that the french government would do something like this. but then, at the same time, not so shocking.

sunday the new york times did an article on the fact that french president francois mitterrand had signed off on the sinking and in the article (there's debate about who wrote the article, see c.i. and ava's post) and yet the report never mentioned pereira by name or that any 1 died onboard the ship. as c.i. and ava noted, how do you do that?

i think you do that because you do not want to make a big deal out of the story. i think it's too embarrassing. a french president signed off an action that resulted in the death of a civilian. the action was bad enough without any 1 dying. but when you add that fernando pereira died as a result, it's all the more vile.

now go back to the item i quote above and note that democracy now mentions pereira in the 2nd sentence. that is just 1 example of why it matters. the new york times does a long article that never mentions him. you get more information that you can use and that matters from democracy now. so that's the point i'm making today.

now let me note sunday's editorial from the third estate sunday review:

Editorial: Time to Head On Home
To quote the Beatles "I read the news today, oh boy." A quick scan of the headlines on BuzzFlash reveal what we already knew, the Bully Boy's not made us safer. We see links to stories on the feelings of the British. (Similar to Pru's feelings expressed at The Common Ills.) C.I. and Dallas go international and end up with Tony Allen-Mills and Andrew North's "Downed US Seals may have got too close to Bin Laden" (Sunday Times of London) about "the worst incident in the history of the Seals." Not a credit the Bully Boy needs right now after dragging his feet for almost four years since Sept. 11th. What was "Wanted Dead or Alive?" A provocative personal ad? It certainly wasn't anything with meaning.
Then there's Michael Smith's "UK in talks to hand Iraq role to Australia" (also Sunday Times of London):
BRITAIN is negotiating with Australia to hand over military command of southern Iraq to free up British troops for redeployment to the front line in Afghanistan.
An announcement is expected within weeks that several thousand British soldiers are to be sent to Afghanistan.
The coalition of Operation Enduring Falsehood continues to shrink.
And folks, we're just getting started. Still sticking with The Sunday Times of London, check out Hala Jaber's "Allawi: this is the start of civil war:"
IRAQ’S former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi has warned that his country is facing civil war and has predicted dire consequences for Europe and America as well as the Middle East if the crisis is not resolved.
"The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq," said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.
In an interview with The Sunday Times last week as he visited Amman, the Jordanian capital, he said: "The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak."
Occupations will lead to civil wars. No surprise there. To resentment, to anger and to violence.
Or how about this UPI article linked to at Iraq Coalition Casualties? The link's bad (they don't have the full web address in the link) but look at what you can read:
07/09/05 upi: Iraq war results in at least 254 amputees
Army hospitals treated 254 amputees from the Iraq war...Nearly 19,000 soldiers have been medically evacuated ...There were 2,527 evacuated with battle injuries, 5,444 with non-battle injuries and 10,758 with disease.
At The Independent, Andy McSmith's "Leaked memo shows Iraq pull-out plans" only makes the point more clear about who's still wanting to dance with Bully Boy and who's called a taxi for the ride home:
Almost two thirds of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq will have been pulled out by the end of next year, under plans drawn up in Whitehall to hand over two provinces to Iraqi control.
The plan set out in a leaked memo written by the Defence Secretary John Reid, hints that the Government is keen to cut the heavy cost of patrolling southern Iraq.
The memo calculates that the current cost of the British presence in Iraq, around £1bn a year, could be halved if the number of troops were reduced to 3,000 during 2006. The memo implies that the British would formally hand over control to the Iraqis of the four provinces currently under British control by April 2006, but that it take another eight months before what the memo calls the "UK military drawdown" has been completed - and 18 months before the money comes through.
Are we starting to get the picture yet? The public is. They want the troops home. Polls show that. It's just the media and our leaders that are too timid to address it. "Stay the course!" they chant. This "cakewalk" has now lasted over two years. Donald Rumsfeld says twelve is a possiblity. "Cakewalk?"
How do you define "success" in Iraq? That's difficult since the reasons for the invasion/occupation constantly shift. But it's not been a cakewalk, this war of choice. And we haven't made the world safer for anyone. Iraq's not safer. We're not safer. The London bombings prove the fly paper theory was crap.
Now we're supposed to let the ones who brought us this war go back to the drawing board to . . . think up new excuses? They had no planning other than (as Naomi Klein pointed out in "Baghdad Year Zero") to have a tag sale on the Iraqi assets. Even the Operation Happy Talkers seem to have a case of cat got their tongues. (Sadly, we're sure this is a momentary condition.)If sane people can agree that the illegal occupation is a disaster for everyone involved (outside of those profitting from the war), how much are we willing to give to "stay the course?" We want the body counts to double? When do we reach the point that we say enough?
We steer to you to "Should This Marriage Be Saved?" and ask at what point do we take a realistic look at what's going on? Pig-headed is not a virtue. It's not sane. It's not logical. And it's only going to get more people killed.
The Bully Boy has sullied this nation's name. He's trashed treaties and conventions. He's had a five-year frat party at our expense. At some point, we need to roll up our sleeves and do some cleaning. And that means tossing in the garbage the notion that after two years of the "cake walk" this is anything like what was sold to us.
"Stay the course?" We say "head on home." Head on home to what America is supposed to stand for. On what America is supposed to represent. This invasion/occupation isn't what America's supposed to be about. So let's all grow up, sober up and realize that the Bully Boy's taken us on a two-year bender. Comes a time when you gotta head home. It's past time for that.
Iraq had no WMD. It was not a threat to us ("mushroom cloud," Condi?). Someone lied us into war. They took us off course. It's time to get back to what America's all about and it's time to realize that drunk slurring his words and telling us he knows another bar that's still open isn't anyone we want to get a car in with. We're ready to head on home and return to the lives we should be leading. Lives that don't involve wars built on lies. Lives that don't involve trying to impose a system on a people who didn't ask for us to be there. Lives that don't involve falling for the latest Operation Happy Talk. Lives that are reality-based. Bar's closing, let's all head on home. At least the ones who still have that option, the ones who didn't give their lives to a war of choice, one that should have been avoided.
[Note: Since these editorials tend to get reposted elsewhere, we'll note this was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review crew of Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava as well as by C.I. of The Common Ills, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Kat of Kat's Korner, Mike of Mikey Likes It! and Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man.]