Friday, July 14, 2006

Bad News for Cheney, Rove, Smoking Gun Barks.

Valerie Plame
CNN.COM Valerie Plame addresses the National Press Club

Plame told a news conference that "I and my former colleagues trusted the government to protect us in our jobs" and said it "betrayed that trust. I'd much rather be continuing my career as a public servant than as a plaintiff in a lawsuit."

Said Wilson: "We are under no illusions about how tough this fight will be. But we believe the time has come to hold those who use their official positions to exact personal revenge accountable and responsible for their actions." His wife said they decided to pursue the lawsuit with "heavy hearts."

Plame Sues Cheney, Rove Over CIA Leak - July 13, 2006
JULY 13--Claiming that Vice President Dick Cheney conspired with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials to destroy her CIA career, Valerie Plame today filed a federal lawsuit over the leaking of her identity to reporters. Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson allege that Cheney & Co. outed her as a CIA agent in retaliation for Wilson's criticism of the White House's rationale for invading Iraq, according to a U.S. District Court complaint (a copy of which you can find below). In addition to Cheney and Rove, the lawsuit names Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby as a defendant. Libby is currently under indictment for lying to a federal grand jury examining the circumstances of the Plame leak. In the federal complaint, which does not specify monetary damages, but seeks compensatory, exemplary, and punitive awards, Plame and Wilson charge that the defendants's actions have led them to "fear for their safety and for the safety of their children." (23 pages)
Count One of the Preliminary Statement is trenchently apt, citing George H. W. Bush's statement in 1999: "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those that betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." Remarks at the Dedication Ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence.

It's difficult to disagree with "41" on this point, for in point of fact, this
is treason, both in theory and in direct effect, given Valerie Plame's direct involvement in clandestine nuclear counterproliferation. The loss of her network may well have led to increased momentum within the Iranian nuclear arms program. Indeed, it would only be prudent to assume that it did.

While this is a private action, the results of a jury trial based on these points of fact will have a profound effect on public opinion; the fact that such a suit exists at all, and is in process in the courts in Washington DC is damning.

The evidence itself is not open to significant dispute, as much of it was taken under oath during grand jury testemony in the Libby case.
Furthermore, it would seem to me that if the jury finds these charges sustainable, failure to investigate the possiblity of impeachment and criminal charges could well damn the entire Congress and the NeoConservative/Corporatist movement to political oblivion.

I would include in that not just a widespread rejection of the Republican party, but widespread shareholder revolts and/or selloffs as individuals consider both the moral, financial and potential legal impacts of association with the Administration.

Considering how much Haliburton has prospered as a result of this and other actions taken by the Vice President, coupled with the Army's sudden and long overdue decision to rebid it's core conotracts, it's not difficult to imagine the entire company imploding.

I expect this to be the first of many such suits. I anticipate a flurry of lawsuits against administration members that revolve around misinformation, vote rigging, bid rigging (and no bid contracts, massive fraud and deception.

Consider, for one thing, the costs imposed on airline travelers and airlines (and hence, airline stockholders) by the federal govenment, with no similar penalties placed on rail transit - which is clearly just as suceptable to terrorist attack. Even worse, save for one outburst of concern about a UAE port operations takeover, little attention has been paid to f
oreign operations of US ports facilities and critical infrastructure.
The failed DP World deal drew attention to the fact that most U.S. ports are managed by foreigners. Yet, while the American public was concerned about a deal with the Untied Arab Emirates (UAE), which assists the U.S. in the war on terror, but also assists HAMAS, few noticed that the Saudis have long owned a fifty percent stake in the Houston-headquartered Motiva Enterprises LLC. Saudi Arabia, of course, continues to fund the spread of radical Islam around the world.
George Bush and his family, along with Dick Cheney and various associated companies like Haliburton have many connections with the House of Saud dating back decades. Take, for instance, the former President Bush's current employment with the Carlyle Group.

Most obviously, ex-President and ex-CIA Director George Bush has been working his assets for the Washington-based Carlyle Group, a $12 billion private equity firm, since he left office. He specializes in Saudi Arabia and certainly has in interest in the Kingdom's enduring profitability.

The public-interest law firm Judicial Watch earlier this year strongly criticized this situation, pointing out in a March 5 statement that it is a "conflict of interest [which] could cause problems for America's foreign policy in the Middle East and Asia." In a Sept. 29 statement, Judicial Watch added that, "This conflict of interest has now turned into a scandal. The idea of the president's father, an ex-president himself, doing business with a company under investigation by the FBI in the terror attacks of September 11 is horrible." They demanded President Bush make his father pull out of the Carlyle Group.

Whatever the direct national security implications of inapprpriate bedfellowship between Saudi Arabia's leadership and the Bush Administration, might be is a matter of some legitimate argument. Good relationships are not generally a bad thing - until the question of where one's loyaltiy ultimately lies arises.

And here it does arise. The National Security implications of our degree of dependancy on oil, and the economic effects of fluctuating oil prices would demand, in a rational administration, a concentration on diluting the potential for economic warfare against the United States, no matter how closely allied we are with Saudi Arabia at the moment.

One thing is for sure - we would be much better off as a nation converting corn into ethonol than into high-fructose corn syrup, even given the relatively low yield per acre. At least we woudn't be so rapidly increasing the gross megatonnage of our offspring!
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