Blue text is my own commentary.
Violet text is the blog quote of the day.
BUSH WARS; The search continues for missing Americans
A man with his hand blown off. A soldier's equipment strewn across a field. A child's vague recollections. They are pieces of a puzzle that U.S. military officials are working with as they search for three missing soldiers and the people responsible for their disappearance. By Thursday, the sixth day of the hunt, the wear was showing, not just on the soldiers obsessed with finding their comrades but also on the hamlets that dot the region southwest of Baghdad, which is blessed with groves of elegant date palms and riddled with pro-Al Qaeda insurgents. Hundreds of local men have been detained for questioning, leaving women, children and legions of ferociously barking dogs in charge of Iraqi towns such as Rushdi Mullah, a community of 86 households under a virtual siege by troops looking for their buddies. At the U.S. military posts throughout the region, thousands of soldiers have vowed to hunt until the missing are found, even though the task has diverted troops needed to enforce a U.S.-Iraqi security clampdown in Baghdad. (Get them out before more are lost! This is how the civilian murder in the movie Platoon started, our troops were seeking revenge for the kidnapping and death of one of their fellow soldiers. It starts a vicious cycle of vendetta, and ends with bloodshed.)
PLAME LEAK ISSUE ABOUT TO OPEN UP AGAIN
Cheney, Rove, WH seek retro-immunity based on executive privelege
Attorneys for Vice President Cheney and top White House officials told a federal judge yesterday that they cannot be held liable for anything they disclosed to reporters about covert CIA officer Valerie Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The officials, who include senior White House adviser Karl Rove and Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, argued that the judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the couple that stemmed from the disclosure of Plame's identity to the media. The suit claims that Cheney, Libby, Rove and former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage violated the couple's privacy and constitutional rights by publicly revealing Plame's identity in an effort to retaliate against Wilson. Plame's identity was disclosed in a syndicated column in July 2003, days after Wilson publicly accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence to exaggerate Iraq's nuclear threat and justify an invasion. Libby was convicted in March of lying to a grand jury investigating the leak. The lawyers said any conversations Cheney and the officials had about Plame with one another or with reporters were part of their normal duties because they were discussing foreign policy and engaging in an appropriate "policy dispute." Cheney's attorney went further, arguing that Cheney is legally akin to the president because of his unique government role and has absolute immunity (i.e. "lawlessness") from any lawsuit. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates asked: "So you're arguing there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- these officials could have said to reporters that would have been beyond the scope of their employment," whether the statements were true or false? (thanx to Paul Keil at TPMMuckraker for the link)
GONZALES RESIGNATION DEMANDED BY REPUBLICANS
After appearing to have weathered (???) the worst of the Justice Department scandal, (that is a VERY questionable opinion... who, other than the delusional Bushies, ever believed Gonzo had "weathered this storm"? Not me, and not most of the people on the blogosphere...) Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales found himself under fresh assault Thursday on the heels of this week's revelations about his conduct in the Bush administration. Gonzales suffered withering attacks from two Republican senators and a former prosecutor as Senate Democrats added pressure of their own, calling for a no-confidence vote on the attorney general's performance.A week ago, Gonzales' position seemed to be improving as he received support from Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. But damaging testimony about Gonzales this week from former Deputy Atty. Gen. James B. Comey undermined faith in his leadership. (Drs. Gonzo and Card will give a lecture on bedside manner in room 101 today...) "I don't have confidence in Gonzales," Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota told reporters on a conference call Thursday as he became the fifth Senate Republican to call for the attorney general's departure. (...looks to me like Gonzales "weathered this storm" like the Edmund Fitzgerald.. but he's so full of hot air, he's taking much longer to sink... With Wolfie on his way out the door, and Gonzo going sooner than later, add them to Rummy, Libby and Card, it appears many of Bush's Goebel /Goerings have bit the political dust...)
DEMOCRATS UNITED AGAINST GONZALES
Two leading Senate Democrats called for a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday as political pressure for his resignation intensified in the wake of revelations about the plan to dismiss U.S. attorneys and Gonzales's role in a 2004 government crisis... ...The resolution would have no force of law, but Democrats hope it would raise the political stakes for Gonzales and for Republicans who vote to support him. "Any faith that he can run or manage the department is gone," Schumer said. "It's going to be very surprising if we get fewer than 60 votes." Gonzales continued to lose backing yesterday among GOP lawmakers as Norm Coleman (Minn.) became the sixth Senate Republican to call for his resignation. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) predicted Gonzales will resign once Congress completes an inquiry into the firings because he is "unable to perform his duties." "I have a sense that when we finish our investigation, we may have a conclusion of the tenure of the attorney general," Specter said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/17/AR2007051700260.html?referrer=email
DON JUAN WOLFOWITZ TENDERS RESIGNATION
Will they file his letter in the same lockbox as Rummie's?
Paul D. Wolfowitz, ending a furor over favoritism that blew up into a global fight over American leadership, announced his resignation as president of the World Bank Thursday evening after the bank’s board accepted his claim that his mistakes at the bank were made in good faith. (is that the new Bush-minion mantra? "I was stupid, not malicious..." Maybe they think Bush rubbed off on them, isn't that his whole schtick? ...also, didn't Sampson mention "good faith" like this somewhere in one of his DOJ emails?) The decision came four days after a special investigative committee of the bank concluded that he had violated his contract by breaking ethical and governing rules in arranging the generous pay and promotion package for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion, in 2005. The resignation, effective June 30, brought a dramatic conclusion to two days of negotiations between Mr. Wolfowitz and the bank board after weeks of turmoil.
Paul D. Wolfowitz was ready to move on from the Pentagon in early 2005. He had been thwarted in his effort to become defense secretary or national security adviser. And the war in Iraq had deteriorated. So when the World Bank presidency came open, he jumped at the opportunity. It offered him a “second chance” to redeem his reputation and realize his (and his girlfriend's) ambitions, says a friend who has known him for decades. Months later, another friend ran into the new bank president and asked how he was enjoying the job. Mr. Wolfowitz unleashed a torrent of bitter complaints about the bank’s bureaucracy, saying it was the worst he had ever seen — worse than at the Pentagon. Now, as friends and critics sort through the wreckage of Mr. Wolfowitz’s bank career, they wonder if it was doomed from the outset. Supporters say he arrived at the bank, a citadel of liberalism, from a four-year stint at the Pentagon, where he was an early champion of going to war with Iraq and left bearing its stigma. (well, lets give credit where credit is due...)