Friday, April 07, 2006Okay so I know I'm late on this, but wow. George, what have you done? You know, I'm not getting too excited about this. Everytime I see something like this, I think maybe this is going to be the last straw for the average American, but everytime I am disappointed when it goes nowhere. The worst part is that it's easily "explainable" for hacks like Fox, Limbaugh, and Hannity to muddy the water. President Bush obviously has the inherent right to declassify information in the best interests of our country! Our fearless leader would never damage the fight on Terra, the solemn duty for which God himself has called our Commander in Chief to deal with and history shall greet him as a liberator!
Oh well, this gives the Dems and the press a real issue to push with, and push come to shove, the Republicans in Congress are going to either have to abandon Bush or defend him, both of which are full of very significant risks going into the mid-terms, but I'm not flush with optimism.
Papers: Cheney aide says Bush OK'd leak
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.
Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the Valerie Plame leak that Cheney told him to pass on the information and that it was Bush who authorized the leak, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Plame's CIA identity.
But the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The authorization came as the Bush administration faced mounting criticism about its failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the main reason the president and his aides had given for justifying the invasion of Iraq.
Libby's participation in a critical conversation with Miller on July 8, 2003 "occurred only after the vice president advised defendant that the president specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the National Intelligence Estimate," the papers by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald stated. The filing did not specify the "certain information."
"Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller - getting approval from the president through the vice president to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval - were unique in his recollection," the papers added.
Thursday, April 06, 2006Well I guess it can't always be bad news. Thanks to John for finding this one!
Laura Bush keeps Easter egg roll open to all
If she absolutely had to pick her very favorite part of her new Easter outfit, Ella Surkis Gillespie would point to the purple ribbons on her yellow dress.
For the 3-year-old, Easter can't come fast enough. She is hoping to be among the lucky youngsters in the annual White House Easter egg roll.
And, thanks to some pretty impressive advance planning by her two mommies, Colleen Gillespie and Alisa Surkis of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ella won't be the only child with gay parents who'll be scooting a colorful egg with a spoon on the White House lawn.
"As a parent, you want everything for your child," says Colleen Gillespie. "We want this event to tell our daughter that she is as welcome on the White House lawn as any other kid in the world."
It turns out, First Lady Laura Bush agrees.
"Mrs. Bush is the overseer of the event, and all families are welcome to attend," her spokesman Peter Watkins told me when asked about the hundreds of gay families who hope to roll eggs April 17.
So far, 250 gay families plan to go. (Connect with them at familypride.org.) Everyone will begin lining up on Friday night, April 14, for tickets handed out the next morning. (All families must include someone under 8.) At the Monday roll, gay parents and their kids will wear rainbow leis.
The idea for gay families to attend dates from January 2005, when Education Secretary Margaret Spellings went bananas over the kids' TV show "Postcards from Buster" because Buster the Bunny met a Vermont child with two mommies. In an act of cowardice, PBS didn't distribute the episode nationally.
Colleen Gillespie was outraged that the head of public education had acted as if gay families were unmentionable. Suddenly, Gillespie thought of taking Ella to the egg roll: "We would participate in this big historic family event on the White House lawn as a way of claiming our place."
Ella and her moms got rained out last year. The moms then called the Family Pride Coalition to urge gay parents from all over the country to attend this year.
Gillespie says, "We continue to hear politicians using our families as ways to score political points. We figured if we could get 100 or 200 gay families at the egg roll, Middle America could get a chance to see us."
Egg rolling at the White House dates back to 1878, when a band of unstoppable kids was turned away from the Capitol.
"A child whose identity is unknown rallied the egg rollers and led them in a march on the White House. Here the children were granted permission by President Hayes to continue their frolic," a 1960 press release notes. World War II halted the custom. Mamie Eisenhower revived it in 1953.
When Eisenhower noticed black children looking through the gates as white kids rolled eggs, she declared all kids would be welcome in 1954.
Laura Bush should be applauded for keeping the welcome mat out.
Her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, also quietly countered anti-gay hostility -- by visiting AIDS babies and writing in 1990 to Paulette Goodman of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: "I firmly believe that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any individuals or groups in our country."
Wholesome American families come in as many shades and varieties as Easter eggs. Long may they roll!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006Man, it is just not DHS's year, is it? I don't know if I like this or if I'm really, really creeped out, especially after seeing the guy's photo. Okay, maybe both. But still, think about this guy trying to chat up your 14-year old daughter and tell me it's not just the creepiest fucking thing you can imagine:
Yeah, I can't even imagine. And wow, he gave out his job title and the number for his government-issue phone. It's not just disturbing that someone that high up has a taste for young girls; it's also disturbing that a DHS deputy spokesman is so incredibly stupid.
DHS spokesman arrested in child sex sting
Brian J. Doyle faces 23 charges
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday at his Maryland home on charges he used his computer in an attempt to seduce a child and transmitted harmful materials to a minor, according to the Polk County, Florida, Sheriff's Office.
Brian J. Doyle, 55, is charged with seven counts of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor, according to a sheriff's office statement.
In interviews with police, Doyle confessed and has agreed to waive extradition to Florida, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
On March 12, according to a police statement, Doyle contacted a Polk County computer crimes detective posing online as a 14-year-old girl "and initiated a sexually explicit conversation with her ... Doyle knew that the 'girl' was 14 years old, and he told her who he was and that he worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
Judd said that Doyle, in the first conversation, told the detective his position with DHS and "started immediately into pretty vulgar language. He explained in graphic detail the sexual acts he wanted to perform with this 14-year-old."
As the two continued chatting online, police said, Doyle gave her his home and office phone numbers, and the number to his government-issue cell phone. He also had explicit telephone conversations with a detective posing as the girl, authorities said.
In addition, he used the Internet to send "hard-core pornographic movie clips" to her, and also used an America Online instant-messaging service to have explicit online conversations with her.
"The investigation revealed that the phone numbers given to the detective were in fact Doyle's, and that the AOL account was registered to him," police said.
Doyle also sent photos of himself that were not sexually explicit, but said he would send nude photos if the "girl" would buy a Web camera and send him nude photos of herself. In one photo, Judd said, Doyle's DHS security tag is clearly visible.
"Many of the conversations he initiated ... are too extraordinary and graphic for public release," a statement from the sheriff's office said.
"I read the transcripts," Judd said. "I wanted to see if this was just as outrageous as the detectives depicted it ... It shocked all of us who have worked vice, narcotics, organized crime, homicides."
A DHS spokesman said the agency would cooperate in the probe.
"We take these allegations very seriously," Russ Knocke said, "and we will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation."
Doyle, Judd said, is divorced and has children. Authorities believe he could have held similar conversations online with others, Judd said, because at some points during online chats he would address the detective by the wrong name.
Doyle never attempted to arrange a visit, Judd said, but did mention knowing someone in the region.
Before Doyle was arrested Tuesday night at his home in Silver Spring, Judd said, the detective had told him that she had access to a Web camera and that her mother would be away, so "he was eager to rush home from work."
As he was online, detectives from agencies including the U.S. Secret Service and the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department knocked on his door and served the arrest warrant, Judd said. They also executed a search warrant for his residence.
"We found his communication still on his computer with our undercover detective," he said. "Had we not been posing as a 14-year-old, Brian Doyle would have been grooming someone, some young lady, for a sexual encounter."
Monday, April 03, 2006pounding that message, and it's the right thing to do. It's what the Republicans have been doing for years, and it worked to help them rob the country blind - surely we can do the same for righting the ship.
Feingold Continues Push To Censure President
POSTED: 9:53 am PDT April 2, 2006
UPDATED: 10:02 am PDT April 2, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., said Sunday that the president is not above the law and continued to make his case for censuring President George W. Bush over domestic spying.
The Wisconsin Democrat told "Fox News Sunday" that Bush "does not have a legal leg to stand on" in regard to his secretive domestic spying program.
Feingold said he wants his resolution to be voted on because the president has broken the law.
At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, Richard Nixon's White House lawyer said Bush's spying is worse than what Nixon did.
But Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News on Sunday that it's "really absurd" to compare this to Watergate.