Updated: 3/27/08; 6:25:12 PM.
A Man with a Ph.D. - Richard Gayle's Blog
Thoughts on biotech, knowledge creation and Web 2.0

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Probe called offshoot of White House rifts

So, are we going to have an intelligence agency that only produces the reports that the Administration wants to hear, or will we maintain one with the independence to make the more accurate reports possible? Which one makes you feel safer?
Plame is an operations officer in the Counter-Proliferation Division of the Directorate of Operations. The Counter-Proliferation Division conducts the CIA's clandestine operations related to weapons of mass destruction involving countries such as Iraq, North Korea and Iran.
She was in the very group that would have been most involved with searching out WMD in Iraq. This administration burned on of its own assets, someone with almost 20 years experience for pure politcal spite.They did not out some little female admin or low level analyst whisch is the tone of people like Novak (The general tone is how could a woman be such an important agent. Don;t they watcj 'Alias.')

Wilson did not become virulently anti-Buish until after this happened. In February, he was on NOW with Bill Moyers. While he disagreed with the rush to war, he is a very moderate sounding speaker. He felt that we had the authority to take out ANY site we felt was a site for WMD production. He is the last American to have any diplomatic meeting in erson with Hussein. He knew exactly what sort of person he was. He also described the Iraqi people and the sort of problems we might have with the peace. Nothing that many other, mainstrem people we saying.

His hyperbolic words seem to have come only AFTER the Noval article. He went ballistic and rightly so. His wife and anyone she every met outside the US was not at risk. Her career was destroyed. Her ability to ever go under cover again was shot. Most of us might get angry about the petty destruction of such a valuable person wrking for us. But for Wilson it was personal. He has a right to be an angry son of a bitch. I'd do the same if someone tried to smear my wife, destroy her livelihood and put her life at risk. I'd be even more angry if the people responsible simply hid like the cowards they are.

We continue to see the horrible tactics this adminstration and its followers will use. There is little long term strategy, just the need to win EVERY battle. I guess they figure that if they always come out on top, they will always win. Maybe, but America loses and will contiinue to lose as long as there are still dishonorable, cowardly people in positions of power in the administration.  10:45:41 PM    

Flemming Funch: "You can procrastinate tomorrow."

(By the way, this was not meant to be tongue-in-cheek.)
[Seb's Open Research]

I'd better get back to work ;-)  9:46:15 AM    

Is tipping off White House counsel a crime?. Wyeth points out that tipping off Gonzales of the White House investigation is itself potentially a violation of law.The first... [Daily Kos]

Does the Justice department always give people 12 hours notice? Seems like such a decent thing to do ;-)  9:26:04 AM    

Here comes the Future

The Wellcome Trust supports open access.
"The Wellcome Trust therefore supports open and unrestricted access to the published output of research, including the open access model ..., as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible". The Trust now supports the launch of new OA journals and repositories, promises its grantees that it will pay the processing fees charged by OA journals, and encourages authors to retain copyright and make their work openly accessible whenever possible. [OA News]

A few days ago at my Corante Blog, I wrote about a not-for-profit scientific publsher who was trying something new with open access. They would give the authors the choice of how to publish:open access or normal access. Open acess would cost the authors some moent but the few would be heaily subsidized the first year. I wonder if they got a grant from the Wellcome Trust to try this out?  8:55:05 AM    

Who's Sordid Now?... (Paul Krugman). Who's Sordid Now?... (Paul Krugman) [Common Dreams]

War profiteering will be a legacy of our war in Iraq. Shutting out local control and parceling out the Iraqi economy to foreign companies is a bsic premise in our reconstruction plan. A nice time to be a rich friend of the President.  8:50:49 AM    

PATRIOT act being used against journalists. Anonymous Patron writes " This should sound frighteningly familiar: 'Citing a provision of the Patriot Act, the FBI is sending letters to journalists telling them to secretly prepare to turn over their notes, e-mails and sources to the bureau.'

The case in question has to do with a hacker--nothing to do with terrorism.' Citing a provision of the Patriot Act, the FBI is sending letters to journalists telling them to secretly prepare to turn over their notes, e-mails and sources to the bureau. [LISNews.com]

Interesting. Read the article at the Register. I wonder if the FBI will have balls enough to subpoena Noval's notes for an actual case that has to do with the fight against terrorism. I want to see Novak (and others who know)l stand up and defend themselves when the rhetoric turns to outing a person working on finding WMDs. This sounds more relevant to the Patriot Act than hackers. Maybe then the press would start really lookig at the Patriot Act.

Frankly, I hate the abuses of the Patriot Act. And I agree that reporters have the right to go to jail to protect confidential sources. But if the FBI is going to use anti-terrorism legilation to go after hackers, in fairness, it should go after journalists who are obstructing an ongoing investigation by not turning over notes. I look forward to the professionals at the FBI to use the Patriot Act in this case, one that has obvious ramifications in our fight against terrorism. But I won;t hold my breath.  8:40:07 AM    

Does The Internet Cause Psychological Harm To Teens?. It's been about five years since the famous Carnegie Mellon study suggesting that the internet made people depressed. That study got a ridiculous amount of publicity, and its findings were quickly picked apart and discredited. Of course, that won't stop psychologists from coming up with all sorts of ways to prove that the internet is "bad". The latest, is a study out of Australia saying that the internet causes psychological harm to teens. The basis for this conclusion? That many teens are more comfortable chatting online than in person. So, because these teens actually find a social space where they're comfortable communicating (rather than bottling everything up inside) we're supposed to conclude that it's had a bad psychological effect on them. The inherent assumption in the conclusion is that communicating online is bad, while communicating in person is good. It never seems to occur to the psychologist doing the study that by being able to communicate comfortably online, the teen may be able to build up self-confidence in their own opinions and ability to express themselves, which can translate into the real world as well. [Techdirt]

So social interaction on the internet will cause harm. Why take that as the hypothesis? I could do the same sort of study and say that the increased social interaction, the realization that there are others who feel the same way, could increase an introverted teen's confidence. But then I would not get my name in the paper.  8:28:38 AM    

Movie Industry Bans Screener DVDs. This story started floating around last week, but now it's official, that the various movie studios, at the urging of Jack Valenti, have agreed not to send out "screeners" to voters for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. These are tapes or DVDs of the movies up for the awards, so that the voters can watch them at home. Evidently, Valenti and his pals believe in what they read in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago: the real cause of movies getting online are insiders, and they seem to have the incredibly misguided notion that by annoying the voters, somehow the movies won't still end up online. Of course, we all know that the movies will still end up online, and yet (amazingly) people will still go see the movies as well. Valenti says that this is part of "a determined commitment to combat digital piracy and to save movie jobs in the future." Except that it won't save any movie jobs at all. It's actually making life tougher on smaller, independent filmmakers who are pissed off that they won't get equal footing with the major studios in Oscar voting - since their releases get much smaller distribution, it may be more difficult for screeners to see them. What confuses me, though, is why the independents need to go along with this backwards MPAA edict? Why not keep sending their screeners, knowing that it makes it even more likely voters will watch their flicks (and, also realizing that if their films do get online and do get good reviews, they're even more likely to make extra money at the box office)? [Techdirt]

Of course the big guys are happy with this. It hurts the small guys. Somehow I do not think that onlie movie piracy comes from award show screeners. But I expect Valenti to start suing people soon. Get in front of the parade, guys, instead of bringing up the reas and dealing with all the crap on the road.  8:23:46 AM    

Things sure move fast. My personal conspiracy theory about the timing and who some of the officials are. George Tenet fell on his sword and took the blame for those 16 words in the SOTU address. But he is a Clinton holdover and someone that continues to butt up against the neocons in the administration. Then a letter comes out from a Republican and a Democrat chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee that the CIA did a lousy job with intelligence gathering. I think Tenet knew that Rove would use this to hardball him out. Tenet had been biding his time with this bombshell, knowing that he could drop it at an opportune time. I actually think the timing of the annouince of his letter to the Dept. of Justice (late Friday if I remember correctly) was timed to make it difficult for the WH to respond over the weekend. And to diffuse the Congressional letter.

But the blogosphere picked up on it immediately, bringing it a immediacy that got Washington reporters to kick in to high gear.These days informatin moves very fast. I think that Tenet may be the official that talked to the Washington Post off the record about the 6 cold calls to reporters, etc. He is in a great place to know exactly what the facts are. Like the Trent Lott epsode, the weblogs got the meme traveling faster than could ever have been done before. The WH in its totally top-down approach is blind to this tool and reacted late.

Things like this never happen in Washington purely because it is the right thing to do. If my hypothesis is correct, it means that Tenet has been holding this bombshell in reserve in case he needed it to save his job. This does not mean that this betrayal of a CIA operative was not important, just that the timing is not coincidental.

Read Monday's press briefing to get an idea of how rapidly the press corp has turned. They may not divulge who the persons responsible are, but I am sure more than a few know who it was. They are almost laughing at some of the stonewalled answers given. One reporter keeps saying that the Press Secretary has his facts wrong. There is obvious disbelief that the White House is doing nothing internally to investigate this.

In this lovely article about Rove, published in Esquite in January, we are told that 'Sources close to the former president say Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr. It was smoked out, and he was summarily ousted.' The elder Bush found Rove leaking to Novak, the same reporter who started this business. He did not respond by saying 'I know nothing except what is in the papers.' He went and took matters in his own hand. There are many thing I may not like about what the first Bush did but I always felt he was an honorable man, assuming he really knew nothing about Iran-Contra ;-). Considering that the CIA was his baby, that as Vice-President he was instrumental in getting the legislation passed that made it a federal crime to out an agent, he must be really conflicted.

Larry Johnson, a former VIA operative and an analyst from Fox News, was on NewsHour on PBS today. It turns out that he actually trained with her when he started in the CIA in the 80s, although he did not know it until recently. They only used first names. But he had this to say:

Let's be very clear about what happened. This is not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been undercover for three decades, she is not as Bob Novak suggested a CIA analyst. But given that, I was a CIA analyst for four years. I was undercover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until I left the agency on September 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it.
Thirty years in the CIA. This is not some low level person. She was working on weapons of mass destruction. In the Middle East. This is a resource that you would think the WH would try to protect as much as possible. Unless she was part of the CIA that had real doubts about Iraq's WMD. If she was one of those who questioned the neocons views (remember that Cheney took a real interest in what the CIA was doing and broke precedent by visiting the CIA himself).

[Speculation] In fact, it may be that the reason her name was known, as well as her profession, was that she was involved with the very reports on WMD from the CIA that caused problems with the Adminstration. They knew who was responsible for the roadblocks. They only knew she was working as an analyst NOW and had no idea that she had ever been involved in covert operations. To them she was just an analyst who could be given up.[/speculation]

We do have more from Larry Johnson, who sounds about a pissed as an ex-CIA operative could be.

I say this as a registered Republican. I'm on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear of an individual with no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it. His entire intent was correctly as Ambassador Wilson noted: to intimidate, to suggest that there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy and frankly, what was a false policy of suggesting that there were nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend that it's something else and to get into this parsing of words, I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this.
This is from a man who has been a conservative for quite some time. I wonder if Fox will ever have him on again. I expect him to be smeared pretty soon. That is what happens when you go on the record in Washington these days.

[rant]This Administration has already been accused of pressuring the intelligence community to give it the results it wanted. When the CIA did , their reward was to have one of their people outed, to have its head required to take the blame for the intelligence they were asked to provide and have to listen to members of Congress berate them for their work. They gave the WH what it wanted but were not going to get any protection or coverage for doing so. Just like they are leaving our only ally in all of this, Tony Blair, to twist slowly in the wind over exactly the same things. Once your usefulness to this Adminstration is at an end, you are so much used toilet paper.[/rant]  1:06:02 AM    

October 2003
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Sep   Nov

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.
Subscribe to "A Man with a Ph.D. - Richard Gayle's Blog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

© Copyright 2008 Richard Gayle.
Last update: 3/27/08; 6:25:12 PM.