Monday, July 18, 2005

BuzzFlash & check out The Diane Rehm Show this morning

Did you visit BuzzFlash this morning?

I just did and here's some of what you might be missing if you don't.

Sy Hersh's article from The New Yorker is available online now. (The one everyone's talking about. See yesterday's entries.)

The latest BuzzFlash editorial is entitled "GOP Goes for Broke in Defending Treason: The Withering Republican Assault on Truth, Justice and the Rule of Law" and here's an excerpt:

From the beginning of BuzzFlash, we have said this again and again: the core of Bushevism propaganda is that if you repeat a lie five times, it becomes the truth.
Remember this, it doesn't matter how bold and audacious the lie is, they stick to the repetition. In fact, the more brazen the lie -- the more it defies common sense -- the more likely many Americans who rely on television for news are likely to believe it. That is because a plainspoken person wouldn't believe that anyone "like them" would lie so contrary to the truth. It's just not something a person in their right mind would do, unless they are fundamentally amoral, ruthless, and love power more than their country.
But that is why Ken Mehlman, RNC Chair, went on Sunday television to defiantly warn Democrats to apologize for slandering Rove. No, we are not making this up. It is tempting to laugh, but people believe these lies in defense of treason; that's how we got in this mess.
Mehlman claims that the Time reporter confirmed that Rove did not give him Plame's name and so Rove is vindicated. But what Mehlman doesn't mention is that Cooper explicitly said that he told the Grand Jury that it was Rove who told him Wilson's wife worked for "the agency" and specialized in WMDs. Just last week, Rove was leaking that he found out about Plame working for the CIA from journalists. So Rove, Cooper testified under oath, is now confirmed as one of the leakers, contrary to one of Rove's numerous fusillade of prevarications last week. (Some of them were said on deep background; some Rove had his attorney say.)
The law against exposing a CIA operative applies to exposing the identity of the operative, which Rove did to Cooper -- and then he brazenly lied about it. Not only that, now we know that Cheney's senior aide, Scooter Libby, confirmed to Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA. That my friends is treason.
We have addressed the hair-splitting ridiculousness of trying to focus on whether or not Rove actually mentioned Valerie Plame's name in a
recent BuzzFlash editorial: If a Mob Boss Says to a Hit Man, "Kill Jim Smith's Wife," Can He Claim He Didn't Order the Murder Because He Didn't Mention Her Name? Apparently, That's Karl Rove's Thinking.
* * *
Now, here's some advice to the "opposition" party.
The Democrats should stop calling for Rove to resign and instead take a page from the GOP/Luntz playbook. Just keep saying Rove and treason together in as many possible media forums as possible. Everyone knows the Democrats want Rove to resign. That's not a message that gets embedded in the public mind. It's only a tactic that feeds into the Rove strategy of throwing up enough flak to confuse people and have the media report on this as a partisan fight, rather than an act of betraying the national security interests of the United States of America.
Rove's outing of Plame has made us all less safe, seriously less safe. Because she specialized in the tracking the illicit sales of Weapons of Mass Destruction. People's lives have been endangered as a result of the White House's betrayal.

Also note James M. MacDougall's "The Real Problems with Plamegate" (original content for BuzzFlash):

There has been much speculation in recent days about the involvement of Karl Rove and others in the disclosure of the identity of a covert CIA operative. The chatter back and forth from opposing political perspectives raises some very debatable points as well as a lot of useless noise. Unfortunately most of this obscures the real issue at the heart of the matter, the national security of the United States and the safety of the American public.
Whether or not the legal definition of section 421, title 50, of the United States Code
[i] covers Mr. Rove's actions will be debated in the months or years to come. However, this discussion obscures the debate we should be having in this country, how have these actions undermined our national security and our ability to protect our citizens. Where covert cover is never perfect, having it spread all over the front page surely cannot help our cause.
Whether these actions are legally treasonous or not is a question for the U.S. judiciary system. The fact that these actions severely damage our ability to protect the citizens of this nation is the central fact, and one that deserves every American's immediate attention.

Use the link to read more.

Also original content to BuzzFlash, note Elliot D. Cohen's "Web of Deceit: How Internet Freedom Got the Federal Ax, And Why Corporate News Censored the Story:"

The days are now numbered for surfing an uncensored, open-access Internet, using your favorite search engine to search a bottomless cyber-sea of information in the grandest democratic forum ever conceived by humankind. Instead you can look forward to Googling about on a walled-off, carefully selected corpus of government propaganda and sanitized information "safe" for public consumption. Indoctrinated and sealed off from the outer world, you will inhabit a matrix where every ounce of creative, independent thinking that challenges government policies and values will be squelched. Just a wild conspiracy theory, you say? No longer can this be rationally maintained.
Federal government--from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the White House--and corporate mainstream media have worked cooperatively to quietly block open access to cyberspace. Seizing its infrastructure, corporate mainstream media have censored and covered up its logistical moves—including lobbies in Congress and the FCC, the filing of suits in state and federal courts, and quid pro quo with the highest government officials--to commandeer, monopolize, and turn the Internet into an extension of itself. From Fox News to CNN, there has been dead silence as the greatest bastion of democracy in history is being torn down and resurrected in its own image. Now, as the corporate newsrooms remain mum, it has gotten the green light from the highest federal court in the land.
On June 27, 2005, in a 6 to 3 decision (National Cable & Telecommunications Association vs. Brand X Internet Services [link:
Supreme Court ruling in NCTA v. Brand X] the United States Supreme Court ruled that giant cable companies like Comcast and Verizon are not required to share their cables with other Internet service providers (ISPs). The Court opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, was fashioned to serve corporate interests. Instead of taking up the question of whether corporate monopolies would destroy the open-access architecture of the Internet, it used sophistry and legally- suspect arguments to obscure its constitutional duty to protect media diversity, free speech, and the public interest.
The Court accepted the FCC's conclusion reached in 2002 that cable companies don't "offer" telecommunication services according to the meaning of the 1996 Telecommunication Act, which defines telecommunication purely in terms of transmission of information among or between users. According to the FCC, cable modem service is not a telecommunications offering because consumers always use high speed wire transmission as a necessary part of other services like browsing the web and sending and receiving e-mail messages. The FCC maintained that these offerings are information services, which manipulate and transform data instead of merely transmitting them. Since the Act only requires companies offering telecommunication services to share their lines with other ISPs (the so-called "common carriage" requirement), the FCC concluded that cable companies are exempt from this requirement.

That's an excerpt. There's also a great deal more at BuzzFlash; however, I'm having huge mouse problems. (Computer mouse.) (Noted at the mirror site and advised members to come here today.) When I get home this evening, I'll install a different mouse.

Ruth's called to give everyone a heads up to The Diane Rehm Show today. That's NPR and most members who listen appear to catch it over the air (but there's a link to the side). It won't pull it and I've tried for twenty minutes. Translation, no idea who the guests are but Ruth reports that that the topic will be the Patriot Act.

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