PredatorGate: Where’€™s Alberto Gonzales?

The more I think about the emerging Pedogate Scandal’„– , the madder I’™m getting, and that’™s not good for a Saturday night, especially when another Saturday Night Raid is clearly in order. Do you recall this incident?

“CBS News has learned that there was concern among prosecutors and FBI agents that the White House would [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

The more I think about the emerging Pedogate Scandal’„– , the madder I’™m getting, and that’™s not good for a Saturday night, especially when another Saturday Night Raid is clearly in order. Do you recall this incident?

“CBS News has learned that there was concern among prosecutors and FBI agents that the White House would give in to Congressional pressure and return the materials to Jefferson. But, according to the administration official, Mueller, Gonzales and his top deputy Paul McNulty made it clear that they ‘œgoing to the final end of the mat’ to keep them.

While not defending Jefferson, Sensenbrenner made clear his opposition to the raid on constitutional grounds, titling Tuesday’™s hearing ‘œReckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?’

“House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a rare joint statement last week protesting the raid as a violation of constitutional separation of powers protections”

But, the FBI and investigators went to the mat, in fact, pitched a hizzy fit. They were adamant about not returning Jefferson’™s data and documents. In fact, some of the highest ranking officials in the FBI threatened to resign if the items taken in the raid were ordered to be returned to Jefferson’™s custody.

As I noted in a previous post, the unprecedented FBI raid and subsequent congressional kabuki theatrics were directed toward a Democratic Party representative, allegedly to preserve evidence. If there was ever – I repeat, ever – a time where the necessity to preserve evidence is paramount to the investigation of the worst sort of crime, this is it.

I’™m not a lawyer, I don’™t play one on TV, and I didn’™t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But it seems to me that given the heinous nature of this particular crime (sexual predatory stalking of a minor on the internet by a member of congress), that anyone who had a potential role in complicity to cover up the crime (Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds, among others) should have yellow crime scene tape strapped across their office doors until all computer, paper, voice, and video records that would be relevant to a true investigation were properly collected by the FBI.

The ball is in your court, Mr. Attorney General. You are no longer White House counsel or Bush regime personal consiglier. You are the lead attorney for the people of the United States of America”

Saturday, September 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

PredatorGate: Response to WaPo Boehner Statement Inquiry

 

As I noted in my previous post, there is a link for emailing the reporters on the Washington Post story. So I took the opportunity to email them. Here’™s the almost immediate reply I received (edited only to remove responder’™s name and contact information, and to spamproof ASZ’™s email address):

Re: Message via [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

As I noted in my previous post, there is a link for emailing the reporters on the Washington Post story. So I took the opportunity to email them. Here’™s the almost immediate reply I received (edited only to remove responder’™s name and contact information, and to spamproof ASZ’™s email address):

Re: Message via washingtonpost.com: Changed paragraph

From: xxxxxxxx(at)washpost(dot)com

To: allspinzone(at)yahoo(dot)com

Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 13:05:10 -0400

Thanks for writing. We stand by all versions of the story, which changed edition-by-edition as the evening progressed and more reporting was done. That’™s all I can tell you. thx. xxxxx

‘”’“Richardwrote: ‘”’“@yahoo.com>

To: xxxxxx(at)washpost(dot)com

From: Richard (allspinzone(at)yahoo(dot)com)

Date: 09/30/2006 01:00PM

Subject: Message via washingtonpost.com: Changed paragraph

Richard sent the following message:

Why did the paragraph regarding Leader Boehner’™s comments change, with no reference to the original quote to Boehner from Hastert?

Did Boehner originally tell you ‘œHastert assured him ‘we’™re taking care of it.’™ ‘ or not? If he did, then the original statement (from an editorial and journalistic ethics perspective) must remain in the article.

A simple yes or no answer to my core question will suffice. Thanks in advance for your reply.

The reporters who wrote the story stand by their original reporting.

Fini.

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Saturday, September 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Predatorgate

PredatorGate Update: Photos; WaPo Scrubs Boehner Comments

The more I learn about the Pedogate scandal, the creepier it gets. In the early edition of today’™s online Washington Post story, House Majority Leader John Boehner threw Speaker Denny Hastert under the proverbial bus:

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some [...]

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The more I learn about the Pedogate scandal, the creepier it gets. In the early edition of today’™s online Washington Post story, House Majority Leader John Boehner threw Speaker Denny Hastert under the proverbial bus:

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some ‘œcontact’ between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him ‘œwe’™re taking care of it.‘

By the time the sun rose this morning, this paragraph had been changed:

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate ‘œcontact’ between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

Wow. The GOP spinmeisters must have been working late into the evening, and burning up the phone lines to the WaPo editorial staff. What bothers me most about this particular change by the WaPo is that there’™s no reference to the original quote. From a journalistic ethics point of view, this would seem to be a huge no-no. The quote should have remained intact, with Boehner’™s retraction following.

You can email the reporters who wrote this story by clicking this link and ask them why the story changed. Was the original story they wrote incorrect? If so, there should have been an official retraction by the Washington Post.

More updates as the GOP unravels’¦

(Hey, by the way, who’™s that guy smack dab in the middle of the above photo? He looks so familiar’¦)

Update: There’™s a very interesting post on DKos regarding the legal hot water in which both Boehner and Hastert may find themselves. Go read it. Then, consider this: The investigation needs to get started with all legal vigor. If this was Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, the FBI would have been in their offices last night, impounding computers and seizing records. See: Jefferson, William. Remember that Hastert put on the sham of defending Jefferson when the FBI took the unprecedented step earlier this year of seizing Rep. Jefferson’™s computers and records from his Capitol Hill office in an ongoing bribery investigation. Could Pedogate be why Hastert defended Jefferson’™s congressional privilege?

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Saturday, September 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Predatorgate

Liberal Press? Not in the Foley Case

It appears from their own report that the St. Pete Times sat on this story since last November.

The boy, who is not being identified because of his age, told the St. Petersburg Times in an interview last November, when the Times first learned of the e-mails, that he cut off correspondence with Foley.

‘œI [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It appears from their own report that the St. Pete Times sat on this story since last November.

The boy, who is not being identified because of his age, told the St. Petersburg Times in an interview last November, when the Times first learned of the e-mails, that he cut off correspondence with Foley.

‘œI thought it was very inappropriate,’ the boy told the Times. ‘œAfter the one about the picture, I decided to stop e-mailing him back.’

But the boy said he was not seeking publicity. ‘œI don’™t want to get involved in any big thing,’ he said.

Given the harm sexual predators can do, the St. Pete Times at least had the obligation of making sure something was done in this case, whether it got publicly reported in the short term or not. Yeah, there’™s lots of blame to go around here.

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Saturday, September 30th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Predatorgate

About right…

(Big tip o’™ the Zonehat to Trucker Bob, from whom I stole the above image’¦note that this store is located way up the creek from where Reps. Foley, Boehner, and Hastert fish – heh. Is that the theme from ‘œDeliverance’ I hear playing in the distance?)

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(Big tip o’™ the Zonehat to Trucker Bob, from whom I stole the above image’¦note that this store is located way up the creek from where Reps. Foley, Boehner, and Hastert fish – heh. Is that the theme from ‘œDeliverance’ I hear playing in the distance?)

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Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

PredatorGate: GOP: The Party of Morals?

Mark Foley (R – creepy, child solicitor) resigned today from Congress. Florida is required to keep him on the ballot this November. Which leads to a fine ad opportunity for the next month:

The Republicans:

Put an Arabian Horse Judge in charge of disaster management.

Put oil company lobbyists in charge of our energy policy.

Put Dubai in charge [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

Mark Foley (R – creepy, child solicitor) resigned today from Congress. Florida is required to keep him on the ballot this November. Which leads to a fine ad opportunity for the next month:

The Republicans:

  • Put an Arabian Horse Judge in charge of disaster management.

  • Put oil company lobbyists in charge of our energy policy.
  • Put Dubai in charge of our port security.
  • And they put a child predator in charge of the Caucus for Missing and Exploited Children.

Who will you put in charge in November?

Update: AmericaBlog has posted some of the IM’™s between Foley and some kid’¦ creepy is being far too kind, and Hastert KNEW about this over a year ago and let him keep his position as head of the Committee for Missing and Exploited Children.

Richard’™s Update: Associated Press has now picked up the angle that the GOP congressional leadership knew of Foley’™s actions nearly a year ago. Josh Marshall and Hunter at DKos provide analysis on the possible fallout. Both believe that this seamy story could grow much larger and have significant impact on the mid-terms. (Or could it possibly be that the breaking of this story was purposefully timed as a manufactured distraction from more important events of the day? Ah, the news junkies always love a good DC sex scandal’¦)

Richard’™s Update 2: GOP House Majority Leader Boehner hangs Denny Hastert out to dry. Wow. This is gonna be huge.

Richard’™s Update 3: Now, this is rich – from Hastert’™s website, dated August 29, 2006 – months after he learned about Foley:

ï–¿–½Recent news stories remind us that there are predators using the Internet to target children,ï–¿–½ Hastert said. ï–¿–½And just as we warn our children about ï–¿–½stranger dangerï–¿–½ when they are at the park or answering the door or telephone, we need to be aware of potential dangers in Cyberspace.ï–¿–½

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Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Predatorgate

Iraq declares curfew in Baghdad – Coup Foiled?

Something’™s up. Fat chance we’™ll find out exactly what:

Iraq declared a curfew on Saturday in the capital Baghdad, ordering all cars off the streets and telling people to remain in their homes.

A statement from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’™s office said the curfew would remain in force until 6:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Sunday. It [...]

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Something’™s up. Fat chance we’™ll find out exactly what:

Iraq declared a curfew on Saturday in the capital Baghdad, ordering all cars off the streets and telling people to remain in their homes.

A statement from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’™s office said the curfew would remain in force until 6:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Sunday. It gave no reason for the measure.

TV news reports indicate that the U.S. military was caught totally unaware (how doubtful is that?), no reason was given by the Iraqi government, and that the announcement was made in the middle of the night.

I don’™t have a good feeling about this development.

Update: NBC, via Richard Engle in Baghdad, is reporting that a coup was in the planning stages. He did not say whether busting of the coup plan and the unexpected Baghdad lockdown were linked, but it doesn’™t take a significant leap of imagination to connect those dots. (Note: you have to launch the video to get the coup remarks.)

Also, here’™s a link to an Iraqi blog that has some interesting information updates. Iraq The Model is associated with the pro-war wingnutia crowd (check their blogroll), so caveat emptor.

Saturday update: Well, I had a feeling that the early Sargeant Shultz reports (‘œI know nothing‘ ) of the U.S. military being unaware of the Baghdad lockdown order were specious. From an AFP report this morning:

‘œThe curfew was implemented on the advice of multinational forces to the prime minister because they felt violence would increase today,’ interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf told AFP.

A US military spokesman would not confirm whether or not coalition officials had recommended the curfew, but added that ‘œintermittent curfews have been an effective means of reducing violence in the past’.

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

The Most Dangerous Man in America (hint: it ain’€™t Dubya)

Commentary By: Richard Blair

This is the mindset we’™re dealing with:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush’™s anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president’™s judgments in wartime.

He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president’™s pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. “The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime,” the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center’¦

In Gonzales’™ mind, ‘œpersonal views’ equals interpreting the rule of law. Again, this is the mindset we’™re dealing with in King George’™s ‘murica.

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

Of Torture, Bankruptcy, and Spineless Vichy Democrats

We’™re all painfully aware that the torture bill passed the senate yesterday evening by a comfortable margin. The handwriting had been on the wall for a couple of days. As the debate wore on, it was increasingly clear that the Democratic Party would not put up much of a fight against the effort [...]

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We’™re all painfully aware that the torture bill passed the senate yesterday evening by a comfortable margin. The handwriting had been on the wall for a couple of days. As the debate wore on, it was increasingly clear that the Democratic Party would not put up much of a fight against the effort to codify all forms of torture, provide immunity (retroactively) against war crimes prosecution (in the U.S.) for those who authorized or engaged in torture, and gut the fundamental right of habeas corpus.

Then, when the kabuki theatre surrounding the torture bill was reaching a climax, I felt a sense of deja vu all over again, but I couldn’™t quite put my finger on it. Fortunately, Susie at Suburban Guerrilla put up a post yesterday afternoon that caused the pieces to fall into place for me’¦

(more’¦)

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Spineless Dems

Homeland Security – Misnomer Extraordinaire

Wow, that’™s lots of missing laptops. I have a tendency to think that the bulk of government expenditures are plain and simple embezzlement, so they probably just gave all these computers to their kids, but sheesh, these guys can’™t do anything right.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that more [...]

Commentary By: somegirl

Wow, that’™s lots of missing laptops. I have a tendency to think that the bulk of government expenditures are plain and simple embezzlement, so they probably just gave all these computers to their kids, but sheesh, these guys can’™t do anything right.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that more than 100 laptop computers purchased with cards that the Homeland Security Department issued after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast last year are missing and presumed stolen.

According to GAO, the computers purchased by employees of DHS’™ Federal Emergency Management Agency had a value of $300,000. More than 20 printers worth $84,000 are also missing and presumed stolen, the report states.

Another three laptop computers purchased by the Coast Guard are also missing and presumed stolen.

ï–¿–½A weak control environment and breakdowns in key controlsï–¿–½ left DHS vulnerable to fraud and abuse, states the report, prepared with the participation of DHSï–¿–½ Office of the Inspector General.

$3000 laptops and $4000 printers’¦pretty fancy. Welcome to Iraq-lite.

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by Richard Blair |