PinkoFreeptard

Where Left Meets Right – KABOOM!

CIA CENSORS VALERIE PLAME

CIA Censors My Book: Personal Payback or Protecting National Security?

What a whirlwind! After a short and fitful night’s sleep, I started the book tour with the Today show, quickly followed by radio interviews for NPR’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered, and then The Times of London for openers. I really enjoyed the longer format allowed by the radio interviews rather than trying to cram everything I want and need to say into a 10 second sound bite for TV. My story is, in some ways, a complicated one with many different aspects and seems to lend itself best to longer, thoughtful answers. I have just finished blogging on FireDogLake, the web site that covered the Libby trial live. I learn something every day from the vast blogging community which has followed this case so closely. And I have to say, after the onslaught of attacks over the last 4 years, being among friends in the blogosphere feels good. It was pretty lonely out there sometimes. This evening, I’ll be on Larry King Live, along with Joe (via a feed from Santa Fe. Hey, someone has to stay home and watch the kids). I enjoy doing events with my husband which thus far have been only private fundraisers because we have lived through the same story but have very different perspectives and reactions to all that has happened.

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Most of the questions have been as I expected: Why did I join the CIA? What did it feel like when I saw my name in Novak’s column the first time? Didn’t I expect some terrible consequence to befall me when Joe published his 1,500 word op ed piece in The New York Times? What about the charges of nepotism that have been alleged against me? All of these I have tried to answer as fully and honestly as I could, keeping in mind, of course, my legal constraints. What hasn’t been discussed in any depth yet is the full story of how the CIA fought to censor large portions of my book by maintaining that I can not acknowledge my Agency affiliation prior to January 2002, although so much about my career is already in the public domain. I believe that this decision by the Agency has nothing to do with protecting national security, and everything to do with further punitive action against me and a way to demean or diminish me and my responsibilities at the CIA. For those who wish to know more about the ongoing court battle with CIA over this issue of how long I may say I served my country and accompanying censorship issues, please visit a website set up by my lawyers for that purpose: www.fairgameplame.com. It is a very user-friendly site with all the information necessary to have a better understanding of the First Amendment fight behind this book. I’ll hope you’ll take the time to look at the site because this legal battle helps to illuminate a larger pattern of extra-Constitutional behavior by this administration.

I just learned the other day that my scheduled Tuesday appearance on the Charlie Rose show has been canceled. The show’s producer said it was because Charlie Rose wanted to prepare for an appearance next week by CIA Director General Michael Hayden. How ironic is that? I could have told Mr. Rose a few things about General Hayden, but I’m sure he’ll do a fine job with his interview questions without me.

COMMENT: Payback or Justified?

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October 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

Obama’s Family Secret

Don’t Look Now Barack, But Dick Cheney Is Your Smarter Cousin…

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COMMENT: Who would you rather see Barack share his jeans genes with, Dick Cheney or Barney Fife? Why would you choose who you do?

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

How Do You Fund a War, But Not the Casualties?

By Michael Isikoff and Jamie Reno | NEWSWEEK

Oct 29, 2007 Issue

The secretary of Veterans Affairs presides over the U.S. government’s second largest Cabinet department, after Defense. It is a politically sensitive job, especially of late, with new studies showing that the Bush administration has vastly underestimated the cost of providing health care to the more than 750,000 soldiers who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But three months ago, former secretary James Nicholson resigned abruptly after a difficult tenure to “get back into the business world”—and tension among vets is rising because the White House still hasn’t nominated a replacement. “I wish I could tell you what’s going on,” says David Gorman, executive director of Disabled American Veterans. “I think the administration thinks this is the least of their priorities.”

Some veterans advocates say the VA is in such disarray that the White House has been unable to find a top-notch candidate willing to take the job, much less go through a confirmation hearing. “Who wants to come in for 15 months and take over a department that has been left in shambles?” asks Paul Sullivan, a former VA official who now heads Veterans for Common Sense. White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore declined to comment on particular candidates, but says, “We are working hard to nominate a highly qualified individual.” She adds that the White House hopes to announce a nominee “soon.”

In response to criticism over the issue, President Bush unveiled new proposals last week to revamp the health-care and disability system for vets, partly by streamlining the bureaucracy. Days later, USA Today reported the results of a new internal VA study showing that the number of Iraq and Afghanistan vets diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder is rising rapidly, from 29,041 a year ago to 48,559 this year. Few of these soldiers are even counted in the Pentagon’s official tally of 27,753 wounded in Iraq.ommercialNode,’bigbox’,false,”)

Yet a Pentagon task force recently concluded that the number of mental-health professionals available to vets is “woefully inadequate,” and the average wait time for disability claims is six months. Linda Bilmes, a policy analyst at Harvard who will testify before Congress this week, calculates that over the next decade, the disability costs for vets will be at least $60 billion—more than six times the administration’s official projections. The numbers coming out of government budget offices, she says, “are significantly underestimating the reality.” All this has angered some vets and their families. “I would love to have the president live my life for one week to see how difficult it is,” says Annette McLeod, wife of Army specialist Wendell McLeod, who is suffering from PTSD after serving in Iraq. “How do you fund a war but not fund the casualties?”

© Newsweek, Inc.

COMMENT: Should Bush be chastised for inaction or praised for correcting a long-range problem

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Origins of “Right Wing / Left Wing”

Dear Yahoo!:
How did the terms “left wing” and “right wing” come to describe being liberal and conservative?
Michael Gowen, Michigan
 
Dear Michael:
To answer this question, we turned to several handy sites that explore the origins of words. Regular readers of Ask Yahoo! might recognize these sites because we’ve consulted them for many etymological questions. Word Origins tells us the terms date back to pre-revolutionary France. In 1789, the French National Assembly was created as a parliamentary body to move control of issues, such as taxation, from the king to the citizenry. Inside the chamber where the National Assembly met, members of the Third Estate sat on the left side and members of the First Estate sat on the right. The Third Estate consisted of revolutionaries, while the First Estate were nobles. Thus, the left wing of the room was more liberal, and the right wing was more conservative. In the next few years, the revolutionaries would take over and countless noble heads would roll, but that’s another story.Word Detective corroborates the idea that “left wing” and “right wing” date to the seating arrangements of the 1789 French National Assembly. The Mavens’ Word of the Day also confirms the phrases’ origin.

Word Wizard agrees on the origins of the terms and adds that they have a secondary layer of meanings. “Right” can also mean “correct,” while the Latin term for “left” suggests “sinister” behavior. We suspect that those on the political right wing appreciate these connotations more than those on the left.

October 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment