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Archive for July 11th, 2007

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:03 PM MST

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt said Wednesday that investigators working for the magazine are involved in more than 20 investigations relating to his recent call for information on Washington sex scandals.The investigations include “high ranking Republican and Democrat members of the Senate and the House,” Flynt said at a press conference in Los Angeles, in which RAW STORY participated via conference call.

“We’ve got some really good information here,” he said.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., revealed Monday night that he had been a client of alleged “DC Madam” Deborah Jean Palfrey after reporters working for Hustler called him about the allegations.

“If somebody’s living a lie … they become fair game,” Flynt said, referring to Vitter’s “family values” stances and opposition to same-sex marriage.

Flynt said his investigations were not meant to be witch-hunts against frisky members of Congress — “I don’t care what their sex life involves,” he said — rather the goal is exposing hypocrisy.

“Unfortunately we have too many of these guys in Congress, and I’m going to do my part to get them out,” Flynt told reporters, adding that he doesn’t mind spending his own money to do so.

An ad that ran in the Washington Post last month offered $1 million from Flynt for information about people who had an illicit affair with elected officials. Flynt said Wednesday he paid $150,000 to run the full-page advertisement.

The exposure of Vitter came from Flynt’s cooperation with Palfrey in securing a complete list of her phone records, not in response to the Post ad, Flynt said.

Referring to his past court battles over indecency charges, the hardcore magazine publisher said the government “did everything it could for 15 years” to put him behind bars.

“This is payback time,” he said. “And payback’s a bitch.”

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by GEF @ 7:17 PM EDT

Republicans Kill Webb’s Troop-Protection Amendment

We didn’t need any further proof that Congressional Republicans really don’t give a damn about the troops or their families but we just got it in the United States Senate anyway.

Just moments ago, Senate Republicans succeeded in a filibuster in which they refused to end debate on Virginia Democrat Jim Webb’s S. 2012, which would have placed strict limits on National Guard and reserve deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as mandating more downtime at home before active-duty combat troops are returned to battle.


Go Read it—>

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Harriet Miers May Be Charged With Criminal Contempt

by- Suzie-Q @ 2:39 PM MST

After the Senate Judiciary Committee heard from former top Karl Rove aide Sara Taylor, the House Judiciary Committee announced that the White House has asked former Counsel Harriet Miers to not even appear before a similar hearing in the firing of 8 US Attorneys on Thursday.

The refusal to appear could open Miers to criminal contempt charges when the panel convenes tomorrow, according to a letter sent to her attorney.

“We are aware of absolutely no court decision that supports the notion that a former White House official has the option of refusing to even appear in response to a Congressional subpoena,” says the letter from Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.).

Taylor appeared Wednesday before the Senate panel and answered some of its questions while refusing to answer others on executive-privilege grounds. Miers refusal even to appear Thursday, the letter states, “could subject Ms. Miers to contempt proceedings.”

“I am extremely disappointed in the White House’s direction to Ms. Miers that she not even show up to assert the privilege before the Committee,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the committee’s chairman, said in a statement released to RAW STORY. “We understand that the White House has asserted privilege over both her testimony and documents, and we are prepared to consider those claims at tomorrow’s hearing.”

Miers attorney, George Manning, informed the panel his client would not appear in a letter sent late Tuesday evening.

“It is disappointing that Ms. Miers has chosen to forego this opportunity to give her account of the potential politicization of the justice system,” Rep. Linda Sánchez, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law chairwoman added. “Our investigation has shown – through extensive interviews and review of documents – that Ms. Miers played a central role in the Bush Administration’s decision to fire chief federal prosecutors.

Sanchez still called on Miers to testify.

“I am hopeful that Ms. Miers will reconsider the White House’s questionable assertion of executive privilege and give her testimony on the firing of U.S. Attorneys,” she said.

Raw Story

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Sudhan@22:00 CET

You cannot win the peace unless you know the enemy at home and abroad.
– US Marine Colonel from Tennessee.

Everywhere I visit from Copenhagen to Istanbul, Patagonia to Mexico City, journalists and academics, trade unionists and businesspeople, as well as ordinary citizens, inevitably ask me why the US public tolerates the killing of over a million Iraqis over the last two decades, and thousands of Afghans since 2001? Why, they ask, is a public, which opinion polls reveal as over sixty percent in favor of withdrawing US troops from Iraq, so politically impotent? A journalist from a leading business journal in India asked me what is preventing the US government from ending its aggression against Iran, if almost all of the world’s major oil companies, including US multinationals are eager to strike oil deals with Tehran? Anti-war advocates in Europe, Asia and Latin America ask me at large public forums what has happened to the US peace movement in the face of the consensus between the Republican White House and the Democratic Party-dominated Congress to continue funding the slaughter of Iraqis, supporting Israeli starvation, killing and occupation of Palestine and destruction of Lebanon?

Absence of a Peace Movement?

Just prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 over one million US citizens demonstrated against the war. Since then there have been few and smaller protests even as the slaughter of Iraqis escalates, US casualties mount and a new war with Iran looms on the horizon.

Full article

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by- Suzie-Q @ 12:28 PM MST

Senator Patrick Leahy said the Bush White House was more reckless in its exercise of executive power than President Richard Nixon Wednesday morning. The statement came as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a tempestuous hearing on the firing of 8 US Attorneys, with Sara Taylor, a former top aide to Karl Rove, as its witness.

“The White House lawyers have resorted to an unprecedented blanket assertion of executive privilege,” Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the committee’s chairman, said in his opening statement. “I didn’t even hear it during President Nixon’s term.”

He then asked, “What is the White House trying to hide?”

Another Senator criticized the White House for allowing young staffers like Taylor to pay the price for decisions made at more senior levels.

“Karl Rove should be sitting at this table, not you,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Taylor was subpoenaed to appear before the committee in June. On Saturday, her attorney, W. Neil Eggleston, made clear that she would abide by President George W. Bush’s invocation of executive privilege over her testimony, and asked that she not be subjected to an “unseemly tug of war.” Her appearance before the Judiciary Committee was an effort to balance Bush’s move with a Congressional subpoena. A failure to comply with the subpoena could result in the Senate holding her in criminal contempt.

Leahy in his opening statement called for Taylor’s “honest testimony” and gave her a clear warning.

“The White House is contemptuous of the Congress…I urge Ms. Taylor not to follow that contemptuous position and the White House down that path,” the Senator said, appearing to raise the specter of a criminal contempt charge.

Watch the video- Raw Story

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by GEF @ 12:40 PM EDT

Wilson: “The Obstruction Of Justice Is Ongoing And Now The President Has Emerged As Its Greatest Protector”

Below is the prepared opening statement of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV (ret.) for his testimony today during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearings on presidential clemency powers.

Statement of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV (ret.)

To the House Committee on the Judiciary

July 11, 2007

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking member, members of the Committee,

Thank you for the invitation to appear before you at this hearing on the possible abuse of Presidential authority in the commutation of I. Lewis Libby, convicted on four counts of lying to federal investigators, perjury and obstruction of justice. I am not a lawyer, but I have understandably followed this case closely. This matter, after all, involves the betrayal of our national security, specifically the leaking of the identity of a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, my wife, Valerie Wilson, as a vicious means of political retribution.
After it became apparent in Spring of 2003 that one of the key justifications for war in the President’s State of the Union address was not supported by the facts, I felt an obligation and a sense of responsibility to the American people and to our men and women in uniform to share my first-hand knowledge about the unsubstantiated allegations of uranium yellowcake sales from Niger to Iraq. Accordingly, In a New York Times article on July 6, 2003, I disclosed the deliberate deceptions surrounding the justification for the invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq. Eight days later Valerie’s status as a CIA operative was made public in a newspaper column by Robert Novak. We now know from testimony and evidence presented in the United States vs. I. Lewis Libby that Novak’s column was the end product of a process that was initiated by Vice President Cheney who directed his chief of staff, Scooter Libby to supervise it.

Never in my twenty-three years as a member of the diplomatic service of the United States did I ever imagine a betrayal of our national security at the highest levels.

Go Read It—>

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Michael Moore Takes On Wolf Blitzer, Unscripted.

punditman says @ 12:33 EDT: Well worth the listen!

part one:

Michael Moore v. Wolf Blitzer (7/9/07)

part two:

Michael Moore – Wolf Blitzer, Part Two

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Fe Fi Fo Fum; I Smell the Fear of a Cheatin’-Mun!

by GEF @ 11:30 pm EDT

‘More Names Will Come Out,’ Lawyer in D.C. Escort Case Vows

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For months, alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey has promised that her voluminous phone records — all 46 pounds of them — contained some powerful secrets. Within hours of their public release, a senator acknowledged Monday night that his telephone number was on the list.

Now, groups such as one calling itself Citizens for Legitimate Government, which runs a liberal Web site, are poring over the records, hoping to translate the raw numbers into more names and revelations. Montgomery Blair Sibley, Palfrey’s civil attorney, said the records were given to 50 interested individuals or groups who “wanted to remain anonymous,” after a federal judge’s release of the records last week.

Go Read It—>

BOO!

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by- Suzie-Q @ 6:14 AM MST

David Vitter, R-Louisiana, has allegedly used the services of a well known DC Madam in New Orleans, reports CNN. Jeanette Maier, known as the Canal Street madam of New Orleans. She says she knew Vitter to be one of the “nicest and most honorable men that I ever met.”

Vitter has recently admitted using the services of the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Larry Flynt of Hustler Magazine claims that Vitter exposed himself after Flynt’s magazine asked him to explain why his phone number repeatedly appeared on the DC Madam’s phone records.

Larry Flynt is scheduled to have a press conference at 5 PM ET today. Flynt promises to release more details of the Vitter scandal.

The following video is from CNN’s American Morning and Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast on July 11.

Watch the video- Raw Story

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BUSH LIES TO DEFEND HIS IRAQ WAR

by Sudhan@11:40 CET

Bush again links Iraq violence to 9/11

  • Posted on Tue, July 10, 2007

WASHINGTON — Struggling to stem growing opposition to his Iraq policy even among Republicans, President Bush contended anew Tuesday that the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States are the same as al Qaida in Iraq, a violent Iraqi insurgent group that didn’t exist until after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

It was the second time in two weeks that Bush has made the link in an apparent attempt to transform lingering fear of another U.S. terrorist attack into backing for the current buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Al Qaida is doing most of the spectacular bombings, trying to incite sectarian violence,” Bush told a business group in Cleveland, Ohio. “The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is a crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims.”

Al Qaida in Iraq didn’t emerge until 2004. While it is inspired by Osama bin Laden’s violent ideology, there’s no evidence that the Iraq organization is under the control of the terrorist leader or his top aides, who are believed to be hiding in tribal regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

Moreover, the two groups have been divided over tactics and strategy.

While U.S. intelligence and military officials view al Qaida in Iraq as a serious threat, they say the main source of violence and instability is an ongoing contest for power between majority Shiites and Sunnis, who dominated Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Bush’s speech came as Democrats in the Senate mounted a drive for legislation that would mandate a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal or set the stage for a pullout.

Four key Republican senators have broken with Bush over Iraq, and more could desert after the administration sends a report to Congress at week’s end that is expected to chart slight improvements in security, but virtually none on political measures aimed at reconciling rival religious and ethnic groups.

In his speech, Bush cited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as the motivation behind the continuing war in Iraq. “They will kill a Muslim, a child or a woman at a moment’s notice to achieve a political objective,” Bush said. “They are dangerous people that need to be confronted, and that’s why since Sept. 11 our policy has been to find them and defeat them overseas so we don’t have to face them here at home again.”

Before the war, the president and his aides cited Iraq’s alleged illegal chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs to justify the ouster of Saddam, who administration officials asserted also had ties to al Qaida.

No such programs were found, however, and U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Saddam also had no operational links to al Qaida.

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