Nothing- but a ghostly, eerie chuckle that might have been the wind

I wrote , “While I’m sure that General Hayden the former NSA Director is a fine American” and there I go again trying to be fair and it just gets thrown back in my face, Former NSA Director Hayden Lied To Congress And Broke The Law

The Bush administration has pulled out all the stops in attempting to defend the NSA’s warrantless domestic spying program. After speeches by President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales, Deputy Director of National Intelligence and former NSA Director General Michael Hayden took another crack at the defense in a speech on Monday. He’s not exactly the ideal choice to restore the administration’s credibility.

As Think Progress documented back in December, Hayden misled Congress. In his 10/17/02 testimony, he told a committee investigating the 9/11 attacks that any surveillance of persons in the United States was done consistent with FISA.

At the time of his statements, Hayden was fully aware of the presidential order to conduct warrantless domestic spying issued the previous year. But Hayden didn’t feel as though he needed to share that with Congress. Apparently, Hayden believed that he had been legally authorized to conduct the surveillance, but told Congress that he had no authority to do exactly what he was doing. The Fraud and False Statements statute (18 U.S.C. 1001) make Hayden’s misleading statements to Congress illegal.

Hayden’s fate lies with the tale of another spymaster, Nixon-era CIA Director Richard Helms.

Helm’s was eventually found guilty of lying to Congress.

I think its pretty cool that the Whitehouse, in the Internet Age, has managed to so far hide certain images of Bush with Jack Abramhoff,

When we went to the page for the photograph of President Bush and Abramoff, the page in question had disappeared from the site. Indeed, in the sequence of photographs from the event in question, each had a unique identification number in perfect consecutive order. All were there on the site, in sequence, with the exception of the one that was apparently that of President Bush and Abramoff.

I wonder if Josh felt he had become part of some Tom Clancy novel,

I decided to take one more go at Reflections. I talked to company president Joanne Amos. We went back and forth over various questions about whether photographs at the site were available to the public and why some had been removed. When she, at length, asked me who it was in the picture with the president. I told her we believed it was Jack Abramoff.

Amos very straightforwardly told me that the photographs had been removed and that they had been removed because they showed Abramoff and the president in the same picture. The photos were, she told me, “not relevant.”

When I asked her who had instructed her to remove the photos, she told me she was the president of the company. She did it. It was “her business decision” to remove the photographs. She told me she had done so within the last month.

and Via Truthdig at least part of the answer as to why the President of Reflections Photography scrubbed the photo(s), from The Daily Delay

UPDATE III: Okay, from commenter Earl below, courtesy of, looks like a total of $4,000 to the RNC and $2,000 to the Bush campaign from Joanne Amos, and $4,150 to the RNC and $2,000 to the Bush campaign from Steven Amos, who I believe is Joanne’s brother and business partner. (Earl had double counted some donations below, I think.) That’s a total of $12,150 from the Amos/Reflections Photography family. Pretty soon, we’ll be adding up to real money.

Well it looks like democracy in action, given a choice the Palestinians choose the radical-right….How do you like your democracy now, Mr. Bush?

Jan. 27, 2006 | The stunning victory of the militant Muslim fundamentalist Hamas Party in the Palestinian elections underlines the central contradictions in the Bush administration’s policies toward the Middle East. Bush pushes for elections, confusing them with democracy, but seems blind to the dangers of right-wing populism. At the same time, he continually undermines the moderate and secular forces in the region by acting high-handedly or allowing his clients to do so. As a result, Sunni fundamentalist parties, some with ties to violent cells, have emerged as key players in Iraq, Egypt and Palestine.

Democracy depends not just on elections but on a rule of law, on stable institutions, on basic economic security for the population, and on checks and balances that forestall a tyranny of the majority. Elections in the absence of this key societal context can produce authoritarian regimes and abuses as easily as they can produce genuine people power.

I wish I could enjoy a gotctha moment here, but I can’t considering how Bush has cluster f*cked the entire region and America. Hamas’s win and the win of Islamic extremists in Iran can be traced back to Iraq or should we say the GI Bush Action Figure approach to the middle-east. The Neocon Action Figure Team sees the middle-east as a shoot out on main St instead of a complex board game, failing to see that moving your Knight to King’s pawn might seem like a good idea, but the neocons have not thought ahead two moves. Visions of sugar plums and Bostonian democracy in the streets of Baghdad or the slums of Palestinian settlements do not pass for a foreign policy. Where are the realists with a plan who eskew rose colored glasses. In other words, the neocons and their think tanks have not been calculating the consequences of their actions, remember Cheney’s prediction, ” Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” Bush will be gone in three years while America pays the price for his failure of insight and statesmanship.

Homework help. Its come to my attention that since I put up the long excerpt from Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, some internet searchers are looking for the meaning of the shadows. light, and dark. Keeping in mind that this short story has probably been assigned reading for millions of students with probably as many interpretations, here’s a capsule version of Hemingway’s use of symbolism and metaphor:
Light: youth, hope for the future, temporary comfort and/or solace
dark: death, isolation, despair, deafness-or any malady that has come with age
shadows: fear, old age, loneliness, maybe that middle between youth and old age
the cafe: waiting station, a canvas where a slow sweep of the eye sees the contrasts, cold consolation-better then home, maybe.
One idea worth exploring is the idea of youth, the young waiter as a symbol of confidence without wisdom and how it is one of life’s sad joke’s on every generation – though in many ways its a conventional wisdom to say that age brings wisdom since we all know an old fool.

Got a Light? A Ritual Gone in a Puff of Smoke

Sure, we’ll all live longer, but how will this affect the future of flirting?

No smoking in bars, if the city pushes such legislation through, means no excuse to approach a stranger, unless you count You look familiar , which doesn’t count.

Why, just earlier on this night, at Rumors restaurant and bar south of Dupont Circle . . .

“Girl comes up and she says, ‘Can I bum a smoke?’ and it was obviously a pretext,” says a guy named Jason Ewart, 29. The girl talked to Ewart awhile after that, one of those classic Washington dialogues about law school.

“Dude!” says Ewart’s friend across the table. “She had to justify getting a cigarette!”

“She did stay longer than necessary,” says a third guy.



Henry Bolton stopped suddenly in his pacing, shuddered. It was if a cold draft had hurried through the slightly opened window to grip him. Or as if the eyes of some hypnotic prowler had bored into his body. He whirled toward the open window.

But Bolton was a fraction of a second late. He did not see the pale, colorless eyes that dropped below the sash of the window. The wispy, whitish hair of the intruder blended into the dimness of the night.

There was nothing to indicate that a prowler had been about. Nothing- but a ghostly, eerie chuckle that might have been the wind. Or might not.

That awesome whisper made Bolton snap erect. The big deputy whirled toward a push button on the wall, poked at it excitedly.

“I’ve been ready for this,” he grated.

Outside, a slight gray figure hurried from his listening post. He scrambled over the roof tops, chuckling softly. He was nondescript little man, half invisible in his drab attire. Wildcat Gordon might have been on vacation, but there was one figure that crooks feared more than they did the dynamic police commissioner.

The Whisperer, elusive, ruthless “supercrook” who preyed on crime, had deemed the foulness on the water front worthy of his attention.

excerpt from THE BAND OF FEAR by Clifford Goodrich