This old rush-bottomed arm-chair, I grant, is a poor substitute for your evergreen throne on Olympus

Remember the line from Sleepless in Seattle where Rob Reiner’s character asks, what’s that called where everything kind of intersects and Tom Hanks character replies, the Bermuda Triangle. There seems to be a mysterious phenomenon settling in over the House of Bush, after going off radar for a while Scooter Libby has blibbed, so to speak : More Allegations of Libby Lies Revealed

Tatel’s opinion also includes previously unknown details about testimony by Libby and other officials. For example, Libby acknowledged to investigators that Cheney told him in mid-June 2003 about Plame’s CIA role and said she helped send her husband on a mission to Niger to determine whether Iraq was seeking nuclear material from the African nation.

That was soon after a Washington Post article on Wilson’s Niger trip appeared. Libby emphasized in his testimony that Cheney only said it “in an off sort of curiosity sort of fashion.”

Fitzgerald also contended that Libby lied to the grand jury when he said he never mentioned Plame or her CIA job to Fleischer when they had lunch on July 7. Fleischer recalled before the grand jury that Libby did mention Plame and said she worked in the “counterproliferation area of the CIA”. Fleischer said Libby stressed that “the vice president did not send Ambassador Wilson to Niger … the CIA sent Ambassador Wilson to Niger … he was sent by his wife.”

Since we’re in the Bushmuda Triangle something had to myteriously disappear. How about some Whitehouse e-mail. E-mails within the Whitehouse communication system are carefully achieved. White House e-mail records missing?

But the prosecutor added: “In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all e-mail of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system.”

They say that there are strange forces within the Bushmuda Triangle, perhaps it was these strange forces that destroyed the very particular e-mails for a certain time period in 2003. firedoglake has more, Traitorgate: When It Rains, It Pours

Waas also details even more information regarding his disclosure that Libby and Cheney were briefed by the CIA in June of 2003 that the yellowcake allegations were not credible — and that Cheney continued to defend the yellowcake story as late as September of 2003 on Meet the Press.

I’m not sure if this is a result of the strong forces or the weak forces of the triangle so in the spiirit of scientific innovation let’s call it the Crony Force, Former U.S. official admits to kickbacks in Iraq

A former U.S. occupation official in Iraq pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to steal more than $2 million and rigging bids on $8.6 million in reconstruction contracts.
[ ]..Stein was a Defense Department employee who served as a contract official for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, controlling more than $82 million in funds slated for rebuilding the Middle Eastern country.

and

The bulk of the bid-rigging benefited businessman Philip H. Bloom, who faces federal conspiracy and money laundering charges.

The question is and Josh Marshall beat me to it, is why was Robert J. Stein trusted with all this money and responsibility ?

Weapons transactions
Because he was convicted of fraud in 1996, Stein was a felon and could not buy weapons in the United States. Instead, he said he had others buy guns in Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia.

Contradicting statements is one of the strong forces within the Bushmuda Triangle as The Anonymous Liberal demonstrates from one of Bush’s speeches,

Surveillance of communications is another essential method of law enforcement. But for a long time, we have been working under laws[FISA] written in the era of rotary telephones.Under the new law [which amends FISA], officials may conduct court-ordered surveillance of all modern forms of communication used by terrorists. . . .

These measures were enacted with broad support in both parties. They reflect a firm resolve to uphold and respect the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, while dealing swiftly and severely with terrorists.

Now comes the duty of carrying them out. And I can assure all Americans that these important new statutes will be enforced to the full. Thank you for
listening.

The static released by the contradicting statements made by Bush and Company always includes refusing to release documents that might undermine whatever cobbled together rationale they’ve put out as their defence, Leahy seeks wiretap papers

A Senate hearing next week on a controversial domestic surveillance program could be stymied by the administration’s refusal to disclose internal documents related to the legal justifications for the program, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said Thursday.
snip
Leahy surmised: “Some of the professionals, the nonpartisan professionals, told them this isn’t legal if the president does this, the president is breaking the law if he does this.”

Democrats are hoping such memos surface before the Monday hearing featuring Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales as the only witness. Leahy said he wants Gonzales to testify under oath.

Some Republicans, including Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the committee, have also expressed doubt about the administration’s legal rationale for the program.

The enerigizer bunny of tax dollars and corruption gets another contract. Halliburton Subsidiary Gets Contract to Add Temporary Immigration Detention Centers

Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, who has monitored the company, called the contract worrisome.

“With Halliburton’s ever expanding track record of overcharging, it’s hard to believe that the administration has decided to entrust Halliburton with even more taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Waxman said. “With each new contract, the need for real oversight grows.”

Domestic terrorism continues. Snarkiness aside, Americans have been committing acts of terror against fellow Americans since the original thirteen colonies, it is certainly the never ending war, Five Alabama Churches Burn….

Good reference to print out, covers much of the disinformation put out by the Whitehouse and regurgatated by right-wing pundits, NSA Spying Myths

Eavesdropping 101: What Can The NSA Do?

Data mining is a broad dragnet. Instead of targeting you because you once received a telephone call from a person who received a telephone call from a person who is a suspected terrorist, you might be targeted because the NSA’s computers have analyzed your communications and have determined that they contain certain words or word combinations, addressing information, or other factors with a frequency that deviates from the average, and which they have decided might be an indication of suspiciousness. The NSA has no prior reason to suspect you, and you are in no way tied to any other suspicious individuals – you have just been plucked out of the crowd by a computer algorithm’s analysis of your behavior.

Pool Hustlers

As gentrification continues to spread, property values increase and the streets maybe cleaner, but the character of NYC is vanishing.

Some good candid photos at the site.

from Herman Melville

The stranger still stood in the exact middle of the cottage, where he had first planted himself. His singularity impelled a closer scrutiny. A lean, gloomy figure. Hair dark and lank, mattedly streaked over his brow. His sunken pitfalls of eyes were ringed by indigo halos, and played with an innocuous sort of lightning: the gleam without the bolt. The whole man was dripping. He stood in a puddle on the bare oak floor: his strange walking-stick vertically resting at his side.

It was a polished copper rod, four feet long, lengthwise attached to a neat wooden staff, by insertion into two balls of greenish glass, ringed with copper bands. The metal rod terminated at the top tripodwise, in three keen tines, brightly gilt. He held the thing by the wooden part alone.

“Sir,” said I, bowing politely, “have I the honour of a visit from that illustrious god, Jupiter Tonans? So stood he in the Greek statue of old, grasping the lightning-bolt. If you be he, or his viceroy, I have to thank you for this noble storm you have brewed among our mountains. Listen: that was a glorious peal. Ah, to a lover of the majestic, it is a good thing to have the Thunderer himself in one’s cottage. The thunder grows finer for that. But pray be seated. This old rush-bottomed arm-chair, I grant, is a poor substitute for your evergreen throne on Olympus; but, condescend to be seated.”

While I thus pleasantly spoke, the stranger eyed me, half in wonder, and half in a strange sort of horror; but did not move a foot.

from the story The Lightning Rod Man by Herman Melville