Patterico's Pontifications


Where Am I? Why Am I Here?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:57 pm

Joe Biden always says what he means and means what he says. Unfortunately, in this clip he said (and meant) that he was in Iowa . . . when he was actually in Ohio:

Thanks to Steve57, who notes Biden has been in Ohio for three days. And thanks to DRJ for this clip, which has Obama in Colorado, but apparently thinking he’s . . . in China:

Things have to be getting tough on the campaign trail when you can’t even figure out what continent you’re on.

L.A. Times: Leaking the Name of a Covert Agent: It’s OK (Not Even Worth Mentioning Your Party Affiliation, Really) If You’re a Democrat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:18 pm

Wasn’t there something of a brouhaha about the leak of information on Valerie Plame? I seem to remember a peep or two about in the national media. Maybe even a criminal prosecution or something.

So when someone pleads to identifying a covert agent to a reporter, you can bet the L.A. Times is going to publish a major story about it. And they will tell you whether the person responsible is a Democrat or a Republican. Because dammit! The public has a right to know.

I think fair use, in this context, allows me to reprint the entirety of this L.A. Times piece. I’m not stealing their market share, and I’m making a valid criticism. Please read this story and see if any questions occur to you:

A former U.S. intelligence officer with a long history at CIA headquarters and the agency’s Counterterrorism Center pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., to a single count of disclosing information identifying a covert agent.

He faces a 30-month federal prison sentence and $250,000 fine under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

John C. Kiriakou, a CIA officer from 1990 to 2004, was charged in April with unmasking the 20-year covert agent to a Washington journalist who then shared that information with defense lawyers for terrorist detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He had also been awaiting trial on separate charges that he disclosed to two journalists the name and contact information for a CIA analyst and his undercover work in capturing Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. Those charges were dropped in return for the guilty plea.

The 47-year old Kiriakou had served as both an intelligence officer at CIA headquarters as well as in various classified overseas assignments. He held a top secret security clearance and had regular access to national defense information. Years ago he signed a secrecy agreement and acknowledged that should he reveal certain sensitive information it could “constitute a criminal offense.”

James W. McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, called Kiriakou’s actions “a clear violation of the law.”

In an 11-page statement of facts signed by Kiriakou, he confessed that he also lied to FBI agents trying to track down the leaks, and feigned surprise when told that defense lawyers for the detainees now knew the identity of the CIA covert officer.

“Oh, my God. No,” he told the FBI. “Once they get names, I mean, this is scary.”

Eight paragraphs. No mention that the guy was a Senate staffer. More significantly, no mention of whose Senate staffer he was.

Who was the Senator who employed someone who leaked national security secrets to a reporter?

Why, somehow, that doesn’t appear in the story. And by now, with the help of the headline of this post, I’ll bet you’ve guessed why. For the dunce cap crowd, here’s The Hill:

Kiriakou, who worked for more than a year as an investigator for Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 25, 2013.

I never would have guessed!

Of course, disclosing details about covert CIA missions is no big deal to the L.A. Times. They have done it themselves.

Thanks to Robert C.J. Parry.

UPDATE: Thanks to Uppercase Matt, who corrected me on whether the L.A. Times even mentioned that the culprit was a Senate staffer at all. The post has been rewritten accordingly.

Jim Moran’s Son Resigns After Project Veritas Video Release

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

The Hill:

Patrick Moran, the son of Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and the field director for his father’s reelection bid, resigned abruptly Wednesday after a video linked him to voter fraud.

The video — released earlier in the day by Project Veritas, a conservative organization headed by the Republican activist James O’Keefe — revealed that the younger Moran had weighed options for helping an undercover operative cast votes on behalf of 100 people who allegedly weren’t planning to vote.

“There will be a lot of voter protection, so, if they just have, you know, the utility bill or bank statement — bank statement would obviously be tough … but faking a utility bill would be easy enough,” Moran says, apparently referring to options for getting around Virginia’s voter ID laws.

The video is here:

The L.A. Times says: nothing to see here.

Welcome to the Romney/Ryan Google Hangout!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:03 pm

This is a rally and fundraiser for Romney and Ryan, being held in Texas, with several excellent guests — including Dick Cheney, Rick Perry, and many others. I’m participating — I’m the screen at the bottom with the Patterico blog in the window.

We may get a chance to ask questions of some of the luminaries who will be speaking. So stay close, and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments! And enjoy!

UPDATE: Unclear whether Romney or Ryan will be speaking, contrary to my initial impression. This is a very fluid situation . . .

UPDATE x2: Well, the event is over, and it was not at all as advertised, but I still enjoyed it. It picked up whenever we had a chance to talk to people. It was an opportunity to talk to some regular folks about their political views, and we met some interesting people who I hope will come visit the blog. Antonio, I’m talking to you!

I apologize to anyone who came expecting to see Dick Cheney or Rick Perry, but I hope you enjoyed the talk as I did.

Join Patterico Tonight (Virtually) at the Romney/Ryan DFW Rally!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:41 pm

I will be participating in some manner in this event, which will last from 5-7 p.m. Pacific (7-9 Central, 8-10 Eastern). It looks like there will be a “Google Hangout” attached to the rally, which I plan to embed here at the site. Panelists may get to ask questions of the speakers before/after they speak. I’m told Dick Cheney and Rick Perry will be in attendance. I will not be running the Hangout but I will be part of it (virtually, and voice only. Sorry, stalkers!)

Bottom line: if you have a question for Romney or Ryan, show up tonight and ask it — and it may get asked.

Again, details are fuzzy at this point. Just make sure you’re on the site tonight. We’ll all figure it out together.

Election Predictions Thread Open and Working

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 am

We had technical difficulties yesterday, but I think they’re fixed. I encourage all readers to make their predictions here.

Benghazi or Mourdock? The L.A. Times Knows What’s Important!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

The L.A. Times web site has links just under the masthead to the stories they believe are important. Which do you think has prominent placement this morning:

1) Obama situation room was told radical Islamist group took credit for Benghazi attack within two hours

2) GOP Senate candidate says God intends pregnancy by rape

If you answered #1, then I have taught you nothing. Take your dunce cap and go to the back of the room.

BY THE WAY: What is really so startling about these remarks?

“I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view, but I believe that life begins at conception,” the tea party-backed Mourdock said. “The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said, appearing to choke back tears. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Maybe there are people who grew up in a completely non-religious background who are shocked and offended by talk like this, but many of us have heard things like this all our lives, at funerals, hospital bedsides, and the like. Not every religious person believes that God wills every event to happen, and I think the better answer is that God gives people free will, and having free will encompasses the ability to misuse it. But there are certainly those who believe that everything that happens, good and bad, is part of God’s larger plan. And who am I to say they are wrong?

In any event, Mourdock has expanded on his remarks:

After Tuesday’s debate in southern Indiana, Mourdock clarified his position on rape and pregnancy.

“Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think God ordained or pre-ordained rape?” Mourdock said, according to the Evansville Courier & Press. “No, I don’t think that anyone could suggest that. That’s a sick, twisted – no, that’s not even close to what I said.

“It’s a fundamental part of my faith that God gives us life,” he continued. “God determines when life begins. I believe in an almighty God who makes those calls…. There are some things in life that are above my pay grade.”

Of course, that part comes nice and low in the story. The inflammatory stuff comes at the top.

So, Senate candidate in Indiana makes gaffe, or doesn’t, depending on how you see it . . . vs. President almost certainly told attack was terrorism long before sending out flunkies to claim otherwise. Yep, that first story is the one that needs prominent placement.


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