October 31st, 2005

Chris Keeley

But Congress never passed such a law; and in 1972, in a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court had ruled th

How a leak became a scandal. Issue of 2005-11-07 Posted 2005-10-31

It’s probably safe to assume that nobody who participated in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a C.I.A. agent, in the summer of 2003, was mindful that the result of the process—the publication of Wilson’s name in Robert Novak’s syndicated column—might be a federal crime. The law that makes it one was passed in 1982, in response to the murder of the C.I.A.’s station chief in Athens, Richard Welch, after the turncoat agent Philip Agee and his journalistic allies began publishing the names of covert agents. It has been successfully invoked only once, in 1985. The people involved in the Wilson affair were thus behaving as they would normally behave, and not as people cognizant of the possibility of criminal prosecution would behave. The Justice Department investigation, which began in the early fall of 2003, and which a special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, took over that December, last Friday produced the indictment on five charges, including perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, of Lewis Libby, Vice-President Cheney’s chief of staff, who resigned. It has also exposed a particularly lightresistant aspect of the dealings between journalists and their sources in Washington.
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Now that Fitzgerald’s grand jury has issued an indictment of a major Administration official, attention will shift quickly away from the press and toward the many troubles of the Bush White House. For the prosecutor, forcing reporters to testify about their sources was just a means to the end of indicting Libby. Yet it would be too comforting to conclude that this was a onetime disaster for the press which will never be repeated. Judith Miller managed to combine two types of Washington reporter in one person, and to embody some of the disadvantages of each: she is both the crusading muckraker with strong beliefs (though they’re not the beliefs of many of her colleagues) and the insider with confidential access to the powerful. This double aspect of Miller is what made her so influential in the period before the war in Iraq began. Apart from Judith Miller, though, Washington journalists continue to applaud themselves for producing inside stuff, and also for having passions strong enough to chase down hidden information. There may never be another case with novelistic detail this good, but it’s only a matter of time before another prosecutor gets an occasion to demonstrate that he doesn’t buy the press’s version of itself.
Chris Keeley

‘Arragghrrorwr!’ in his ear, bit his neck, plunged her head between his legs and devoured him”) to B

by Lauren Collins
Lauren Collins on Libby’s lurid novel.
Issue of 2005-11-07
Posted 2005-10-31

Of all the scribbled sentences that have converged to create the Valerie Plame affair, the most remarkable, in literary terms, may belong to Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s recently deposed chief of staff. “Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work—and life,” he wrote in a jailhouse note to Judith Miller. Meant as a waiver of confidentiality, the letter touched off the sort of fevered exegesis more often associated with readings of “The Waste Land” than of legal correspondence. For even more difficult prose, however, one must revisit an earlier work. “The Apprentice”—Libby’s 1996 entry in the long and distinguished annals of the right-wing dirty novel—tells the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper who finds himself on the brink of love and war.Collapse )
And, finally:

He asked if they should fuck the deer.

The answer, reader, is yes.

So, how does Libby stack up against the competition? This question was put to Nancy Sladek, the editor of Britain’s Literary Review, which, each year, holds a contest for bad sex writing in fiction. (In 1998, someone nominated the Starr Report.) Sladek agreed to review a few passages from Libby. “That’s a bit depraved, isn’t it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls? That’s particularly nasty, and the other ones are just boring,” she said. “God, they’re an odd bunch, these Republicans.” Unlike their American counterparts, she said, Tories haven’t taken much to sex writing. “They usually just get caught,” she said.
Chris Keeley

Goth-tinged playthings attests to the mainstreaming of a trend that was once the exclusive domain of


NYT on Gothic fashion

Today's New York Times has a feature on Goth style and its influence on mainstream fashion. Lest we forget though, for some "everyday is Halloween." From the article:
These days Goth is "an Upper East Side way of being edgy without actually drinking anybody's blood," said Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barneys. With a wink he added, "Who doesn't like a vaseful of ostrich feathers at the end of the day?"

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Chris Keeley

He has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his conservative judicial phil

Bush Picks Conservative Judge Samuel Alito Who Endorsed Abortion Restrictions for Supreme Court
Monday, October 31st, 2005

President Bush nominated federal appeals judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court Monday, just four days after Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination. The 55-year-old Alito is widely seen as a judicial conservative who has been nicknamed "Scalito" for his philosophical similarities to Justice Antonin Scalia. In 1991, Alito backed a Pennsylvania law that required women to inform their husbands before they sought an abortion. His support came in the form of a dissenting vote in the landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. [includes rush transcript - partial]

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DONNA LIEBERMAN: This is an appointment that will potentially change the face of American constitutional values for years to come. And it's one that the Senate has to look at very, very carefully. It's not about whether he has a law degree from a good school or whether he’s got lots of experience or has written articulate opinions; it's about the values that our country has cherished and must continue to cherish for years to come. The Senate has the obligation to question him carefully and thoroughly to determine whether he is in the mainstream of American rights and values or whether he is on the fringe. Clearly, the President has played to his base here. He is a president under fire, who has chosen to do that, rather than to nominate somebody who is in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor, who is more of a consensus builder, and the Senate will have to respond accordingly.

AMY GOODMAN: Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Seth Rosenthal of the Alliance for Justice, thank you for both being with us.
Chris Keeley

Musician releases songs in a $23 electronic gizmo


Artist: FM3
Title: Buddha Machine
Format: Soundbox
Price: $23.00
Catalog #: BUDDHA 001

2nd edition now available! A unique 'soundbox' from China, distributed via Staalplaat. A totally dazzling item which causes jaw-dropping delight everywhere -- Alan Bishop bought twenty-four of these on sight, Brian Eno bought eight (how's that for apocalyptical math?).Collapse )
Chris Keeley

pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church after grabbing a microphone while pa

Tex. Pastor Electrocuted While Baptizing Woman

WACO, Tex. -- A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church after grabbing a microphone while partially submerged, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water up to his shoulder in a baptismal at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted, said Jamie Dudley, a church business administrator and wife of another pastor there.

The woman Lake was baptizing was not injured, Dudley said. About 800 people attended the morning service.
Chris Keeley

What's appalling is the response – you know, the Republican response is expected, but mainstream med

Former CIA Agent Larry Johnson: Bush Should Ask for Karl Rove's Resignation Over CIA Leak
Monday, October 31st, 2005

Lewis "Scooter" Libby resigned on Friday after being indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents during the CIA leak investigation. President Bush's chief advisor Karl Rove has so far escaped indictment for his role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. We speak with former CIA agent, Larry Johnson.

For the first time in 130 years, a White House staff member has been indicted for crimes committed in the office. On Friday, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents during the CIA leak investigation. He resigned following the indictments. Collapse )
LARRY JOHNSON: Well, at a minimum, if Bush was serious about protecting this nation's security, he should turn to Karl Rove and ask for his resignation. His clearances should be pulled, because there's no doubt now that he was involved with helping pass the name and mishandle classified information. Whether he was, quote, “witting under the law” to have a crime that you can convict of is a different matter, but there is absolutely no doubt that he was mishandling classified information; therefore, he should no longer have access to such information. I think the President could potentially get this behind him, but I doubt if he is going to. And instead of doing what is right, he is just going to continue to protect cronies.

AMY GOODMAN: Larry Johnson, I want to thank you for being with us, former C.I.A. analyst, former Deputy Director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Counterterrorism.
Chris Keeley

Cheney was telling his chief of staff that Wilson's wife was employed by the Operations Directorate


Did Cheney Know Plame Was Undercover? by DAVID CORN

[posted online on October 31, 2005]

The Scooter Libby indictment is rather straightforward. He first told FBI agents and later the grand jury that he had no independent information regarding Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie (and her employment at the CIA). He said that he only had picked up rumors about Wilson's wife from reporters and that this was the information he passed to other reporters. He said he wasn't even certain the scuttlebutt he had shared with the journalists was correct. Yet special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald uncovered evidence, which seems rather strong, that Libby actively gathered information on the Wilsons from the CIA and the State Department before talking to reporters about Valerie Wilson. Collapse )
Cheney and the White House can say that Fitzgerald has asked people involved in his investigation not to talk publicly about the matter--a request, not an order--but perhaps Cheney can agree to tell all at a no-holds-barred press conference once Fitzgerald signals his probe is completed. Cheney champions and Bush backers have claimed that the narrow indictment Fitzgerald issued shows that the leak was not a criminal act. But it was an act of wrongdoing an it was a violation of government rules that prohibit officials from divulging classified information. According to the Libby indictment, Cheney--wittingly or not--helped Scooter Libby break the rules (governing the handling of classified information) if not the law. The White House has said the American public deserves to know what happened. That one sentence--and other issues raised by the Libby indictment--warrant much explanation from Cheney and the Bush White House.
Chris Keeley

There's a tension in his photographs between the sheer beauty of the object and the terror of the su

/artsandliving Edward Burtynsky: Landscapes

Beauty in The Beast
Do Ed Burtynsky's Photos Glorify Industry or Vilify It?

By David Segal
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 31, 2005; C01

NEW YORK The photographs of Edward Burtynsky put you in an awkward spot. Take "Shipbreaking #4," an image of a couple dozen Bangladeshis dismantling a tanker. You've read the stories or heard the lore, so you know you're looking at one of the most dangerous work sites in the world, a place where men are regularly killed by falling metal, or explosions from leftover diesel and methane.

But dang, it's lovely. The colors are seductively warm, the vessel looks less like a threat than a luminous monument. The details are so crisp and the image so large -- it's 60 inches by 48 inches -- that you sense those guys would wave if you said "hello."

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"Everybody in North America has talked on the copper lines that came out of this mine," Burtynsky says, pointing to "Mines #22, Kennecott Copper Mine, Bingham Valley, Utah." The mine is a mile deep and shaped like a Roman amphitheater with seating for millions, though there's a pool of glowing green liquid where the Romans would put a stage.

"We all partake of what comes from this place, but we have no idea what it looks like."

Chris Keeley

Libby is expected to argue that any incorrect information he provided to federal investigators or th

Libby to make 1st court appearance Thursday
Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:32 PM ET

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's former long-time chief of staff, Lewis Libby, will make his first court appearance on Thursday on criminal charges stemming from the CIA leak investigation, the court said on Monday, as Cheney replaced Libby with two influential aides.

Libby is expected to plead innocent.Collapse )
Cheney's office sought to discredit Wilson and his findings by suggesting the trip had been arranged by his wife at the


(Additional reporting Tabassum Zakaria and Steve Holland)