Thursday, September 21, 2006

elssberg: A hidden crisis is under way

* laura:
"Weldon’s reputation for Tom Clancy-esque capers may be more than offset by another longtime habit -- his ability to bring defense money into the district. That it sometimes arrives with strings attached, like the hiring of Weldon friends and family members, seems to matter less than the fact that it arrives at all. It will take a Democratic tsunami for Weldon to lose, so this race is worth watching for two reasons: as an electoral bellwether, and because a Weldon departure would restore a measure of sanity to Washington."
* raw:
"A new report on political corruption in Washington offers exhaustive documentation of the unethical and possibly illegal activities of the 25 "most tainted" members of Congress.

Five of the names on the list are currently under federal investigation: Senators Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Bill Frist (R-TN) and Representatives Jerry Lewis (R-CA), William Jefferson (D-LA), and Alan Mollohan (D-WV).
The most prominent name on the dishonorable mention list is Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, cited for questionable real estate deals in which he earmarked highway construction money to increase the value of land he owned."
* emptywheel:
"If your cynicism is shocking Blitzer, you're engaging in truly cynical behavior.

Which is why it gives me a sick pleasure to watch BushCo try to save their own arses from war crime prosecution push through their wiretapping and torture bills before the mid-terms."
* ellsberg in harpers:
"A hidden crisis is under way. Many government insiders are aware of serious plans for war with Iran, but Congress and the public remain largely in the dark. The current situation is very like that of 1964, the year preceding our overt, open-ended escalation of the Vietnam War, and 2002, the leading up to the U. S. invasion of Iraq. In both cases, if one or more conscientious insiders had closed the information gap with unauthorized disclosures to the public, a disastrous war might have been averted entirely.
We face today a crisis similar to those of 1964 and 2002, a crisis hidden once again from the public and most of Congress. Articles by Seymore Hersh and others have revealed that, as in both those earlier cases, the president has secretly directed the completion, though not yet the execution, of military operational plans - not merely hypothetical "contingency plans" but constantly updated plans, with movement of forces and high states of readiness, for prompt implementation on command - for attacking a country that, unless attacked itself, poses no threat to the United States: in this case, Iran.
* Raw:
"The Bush Administration is seeking to undermine legislation that, if passed, would protect journalists and anonymous whistleblowers, RAW STORY has learned.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will listen to testimony today regarding a reporter shield law called the Free Flow of Information Act.

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