"Lesson of the day: running the administration as a criminal enterprise is much harder when the opposition controls Congress."* afp:
"A Russian reporter who died after falling out of a window was investigating sales of weapons by Russia to Syria and Iran, his newspaper Kommersant said Tuesday.
Ivan Safronov had told his newspaper that he had "received information" about the sale of Sukhoi-34 fighter jets to Syria and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran via Belarus.
The business daily said the arms were being sold "via Belarus to avoid the west accusing Russia of arming rogue states". Safronov, a former colonel, specialised in writing about the army and space.
Russian prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation into the "incitement to suicide" of Safronov.
But his newspaper has dismissed claims that he committed suicide, while Russian journalists union the SJR said Tuesday it might conduct its own inquiry.
"From what we know already it is clear it was not suicide," the union's Secretary General Igor Yakovenko told Moscow Echo radio.
"The chances that it was a murder linked to the exercise of his profession are very high," he added."
"No, but really, I find amusing the half-brain dead questions that TV anchors are asking, such as, "why would Libby have lied?" and "what was going on at the White House?" and blah blah blah.
You know, IMHO, there is more than enough to indict a few people, but I am not an attorney and I stopped reporting on this case a long time ago because I realized that we were not going to see the truth fully come out despite the hard work of journalists.
The reality, is that other journalists made it impossible to cover this case because they misrepresented their sources, facts, and provided cover under the banner of protecting sources. As we know, these people were not whistle-blowers or in fear of retaliation. The reporters involved allowed themselves to become an organ of the the White House when they should have been the watchdog. It is thanks to their efforts, that other reporters were unable to fully put this story together. All of that said and back to my original point of the sudden-surprise syndrome now being demonstrated on the boob tube, there is no reason to continue avoiding presenting the facts, is there?
As a journalist, watching this charade as though suddenly, the Iraq war and how we got there is up for question and motive for the leak and other such nonsense I am watching right now, is incredibly disheartening. So here is a three bullet primer that even a five year old can follow:
1. We were lied into war as was the majority of Congress. Learn to use the word lie, because there is no polite way of describing something like a lie.
2. The Niger forgeries were a fabrication very close to home and Wilson's questions created paranoia regarding other and bigger issues if real muckrackers (not the anchors I am currently watching now) began snooping around (they did and it did). The questions might lead to an opinion, for example, that not only was the intelligence to get us into war with Iraq "cherry picked" but quite literally cooked on the barbie. I will let you consider the legal implications of "we got bad intelligence" vs. "we made bad intelligence." But let's be clear, we know for a fact that people told lies and did so knowing quite clearly that what they were saying with regard to Iraq was a lie. This is not partisan nor is it fair and balanced. Facts are not partisan or fair and balanced. Facts are facts. If you cannot deal with that, don't be reporter or just move over to Fox News.
3. Finally, Libby lied to cover his ass in illegal activity as well as provide CYA for his boss, Dick Cheney and the rest of the gang (let's call them WHIG). There are reasons to consider that leaking the identity of Mrs. Wilson also involved other pet issues involving the Vice Presidency. These issues are complex and in fact quite damaging to our national security. But because that might confuse someone unable to tie their shoes in the morning (but paid to report the news on the tube) I will keep that part of the allegations out of my primer."