Monday, October 03, 2005

Democracy Now: Harriet Miers, New Orleans; Joshua Frank interviews Cindy Sheehan, Danny Schechter, Bill Fletcher, Arianna Huffington

ABC News: Bush & Cheney Involved In Discussions Over CIA Leak
On Sunday ABC News host George Stephanopoulos said his sources told him that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were involved in the discussions about Valerie Plame. "A source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions," Stephanopoulos said. Little is known about President Bush's role except that he spent more than an hour answering questions from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright August Wilson, 60, Dies
And Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson has died at the age of 60. The New York Times writes that his series of plays on the African-American experience in the 20th century will "stand as a landmark in the history of black culture, of American literature and of Broadway theater."

Army Suffers Worst Recruiting Year Since 1979
The Army has suffered its worst year for recruiting since 1979. The Army had set an annual goal of 80,000 new recruits by September 30 but fell 7,000 recruits short. The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve also fell short of their annual goal. Meanwhile the Armed Forces is trying new ways to reach the nation's young. The Army National Guard is now offering to give away three free music downloads from Itunes to individuals who sign up online to be contacted by recruiters.

Harriet Miers: "One of the Most Discreet, Most Private & Most Protective Members of [Bush's] Inner Circle"
President Bush is nominating his longtime friend and attorney Harriet Miers to serve on the Supreme Court. This according to the Associated Press. The 60-year-old Miers is currently working as White House counsel and was formerly President Bush's personal lawyer in Texas. Miers met Bush in the 1980s and she was counsel for his 1994 campaign for governor. He appointed her chair of the Texas Lottery Commission in 1995. If confirmed by the Senate, Miers will fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat and become the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. As an attorney, she was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association. Miers has never served as a judge. Without a judicial record, it may be difficult for Senators to know where Miers stands on key issues facing the court. Last year Legal Times reported that Miers " has long been one of the most discreet, most private, and most protective members of George W. Bush's inner circle."

The above four items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Lloyd, Brianna, Cindy and Zach. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for October 3, 2005

- Bush Nominates to Harriet Miers To Supreme Court
- Miers: "One of the Most Discreet, Most Private & Most Protective Members of [Bush's] Inner Circle."
- Iraq Could Fall Apart Over Shiite-Kurd Split
- U.S. Launches Another Offensive in Western Iraq
- Army Suffers Worst Recruiting Year Since 1979
- ABC: Bush & Cheney Involved In Talks Over CIA Leak
- Libby to Judy Miller "Your Reporting, and You Are Missed"
- GAO: White House Distributed "Covert Propaganda"
- Up to 26 Die In Bali Bombings

Bush Nominates Longtime Friend and Attorney Harriet Miers for Supreme Court

President Bush has selected White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Suprem Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. If confirmed, Miers - who has never served as a judge - would become the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Last year, Legal Times reported that Miers "has long been one of the most discreet, most private, and most protective members of George W. Bush's inner circle." [includes rush transcript]

Orleans Parish DA Eddie Jordan on Racial Stereotyping, Police Looting and Private Military Contractors

We speak with the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Eddie Jordan about the grossly exaggerated reports of multiple murders and criminal mayhem in New Orleans in the days after hurricane Katrina hit. Jordan says, "I'm pleased that there was very little bloodshed, but it seems to me that the national media outlets had an obligation to verify the charges [of violence] being made by some of the evacuees and some of the public officials." [includes rush transcript - partial]

Eddie e-mails to note Joshua Frank's "An Interview with Cindy Sheehan" (CounterPunch):

JF: The 2006 mid-term elections are right around the corner, and there are a few pro-war Democrats up for reelection. The most popular among them, Hillary Clinton in New York and Nancy Pelosi out in California. There is a bit of speculation rumbling in activist circles that you may be planning to take on one or the other in the Democratic primaries coming up. Is this true?

CS: I think Nancy Pelosi is changing her tune, but not nearly fast enough. I have met with her a couple of times lately. I am not thinking of running against Hillary, or Nancy, or Dianne Feinstein, for that matter. If it were anyone, though, it would be Feinstein because I am a Californian and I believe she is a despicable warmonger. People have been begging me to run, but I think I can do more good on the outside of Washington than the inside.

JF: If the Democrats continue to take the stance they have on the Iraq war, mainly supporting the invasion and subsequent occupation -- will you support a Democrat in 2008 for President? Or will you stick to your cause and support a candidate along the lines of Ralph Nader or an anti-war Libertarian or Green Party candidate?

CS: No, I will not support a pro-war Democrat. I will support any anti-war candidate, even if [laughter] it is a Republican. There are some, Josh, really, it could happen! I regret supporting John Kerry in 2004. The movement gained nothing from his candidacy. However, I do think Kerry may be changing his tune on the war. The next few weeks will be telling.

JF: Kerry certainly was a warmonger along the campaign trail. What do you think is going to change in Kerry's Iraq position, if anything? You've met with both Senators Clinton and Kerry recently; do you think either would ever endorse bringing the troops home immediately?

CS: As I said, I think Kerry may be changing, but I don't think Clinton ever will. This is just my own speculation, though.

Tammy e-mails to note Danny Schechter's latest "Nothing Is What It Appears To Be" (News Dissector):


Packaging is a political science, so it's not surprising that 60 Minutes feted Ahmed Chalabi last night for his "resilience." Leslie Stahl -- who first bought his "kool aid" in a story accepting his claims about WMD's, and then exposed him a year later as a fraud -- was back this week with a third profile, showing that this war-promoter and Administration stooge is now a respected political leader who criticizes Washington. (Stahl’s back-and-forth on Chalabi was riddled with ambivalence; Andy Rooney’s commentary was not: He blasted the Iraq war and invoked Eisenhower’s warning on the growing power of the Military-Industrial Complex. Go Andy!)

Audio and video at Brad Blog:

This transformation occurred on the strength of a very public raid by U.S. soldiers on Chalabi’s home in Baghdad a year ago. It just happened to be filmed. Suddenly, Chalabi has become a "victim" of U.S. heavy-handedness and was criticizing the occupation he helped organize. If an event ever smelled like a staged example of pys-ops, this was it. But even 60 Minutes, which was not totally skeptical, seemed to accept the sincerity of a transformation by a politician who gives opportunism a bad name.

Norah e-mails to note Bill Fletcher's "The Political Far Right is Closed Minded" (The Chicago Defender):

I have to let you in on a little secret: the political Right has not appreciated what I have had to say about the Katrina disaster. My guess is that they have not appreciated what you have been writing or saying either.

I felt, for example, that it was essential to defend rapper Kanye West's comments at the NBC Fundraiser for Katrina where he lashed out at the slow pace of aid to the survivors and questioned Bush's concern about the poor and the African-American. As far as I was/am concerned, West not only had every right to speak his mind, but his comments were completely appropriate in the middle of an unmitigated disaster that could have and should have been addressed in an urgent fashion by all levels of government. In a separate column I addressed the structural issues in U.S. capitalism that have trapped the poor and the African-American in the Gulf Coast in what is the equivalent of the steerage compartments of the sinking Titanic.

The political Right did not appreciate this. In addition to being called everything but a child of God, they struck back heaping most of the blame for the Katrina disaster on the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana (the people of Mississippi seemed to have been forgotten in all this). As far as the political Right was concerned, Bush was blameless.

Kyle e-mails to note Arianna Huffington's "Russert Watch: Meet Who Again?" (The Huffington Post):

On Meet the Press today -- even more than usual -- it was not the questions Russert asked but the questions he didn't that revealed the most. Not about the world, but about Russert. Because what was missing from Meet the Press today was, well, the press.
Specifically, Judy Miller and the New York Times. There wasn't a single mention of either during the roundtable of journalists discussing the week's news.

Miller has been out of jail just three days, her reasons both for going in and for getting out are still, at best, utterly baffling, her stunning absence (except for a minor correction to a previous article) from the pages of Sunday's Times continues the self-inflicted damage to one of the most important news institutions in the world... but not one word is uttered about all this on a show called Meet the Press!

Re: the new Court nomination, David Corn offers advice in "Harriet Miers: Supreme Court Choice with Few Footprints" (The Nation):

Here was a warning: don't go after documents Miers has written or advice she has given while she has worked in the White House. But that might be necessary to suss out her "judicial philosophy." (By the way, I'd like to see a Democratic senator ask her how the counsel's office has handled the Plame/CIA leak case. Ms. Miers, can you tell us what advice you gave to the president or anyone else in the White House when evidence recently emerged showing that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby had passed classified national security information to reporters? Can you tell us how the counsel's office reacted to this evidence, which showed that the White House had previously misinformed the public when it declared that Rove and Libby were not involved in this leak?.) After decades of defending corporations and a few years working in the White House, there is not much of a record upon which to judge Miers' "judicial philosophy."

Susan e-mails that she hopes Greg Palast will cover the topic of Miers. I hope so as well. He understands the Texas Lottery problems and Miers was supervising.

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