Rove Testifies Again in CIA Leak Probe
“... The appearance, Rove's fourth since the investigation began in 2003, amounted to the last chance for the presidential confidant and architect of Bush's election wins to convince the jury that he did nothing wrong.
Prosecutors had warned Rove before his latest testimony that there was no guarantee he will not be indicted. The grand jury's term is due to expire Oct. 28.
After Rove's testimony, White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked whether Rove still has the president's confidence. He would say only, ``Karl continues to do his duties.''
McClellan said he was declining to comment on all questions that touched on the grand jury matter. ``The president made it very clear, we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation,'' he told reporters.
The White House has shifted from categorical denials two years ago that Rove or Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, were involved in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity to ``no comment'' today.
McClellan on Friday rejected suggestions that the investigation of two key players was distracting the White House. ...”
UPI: Rove faces for more grand jury quizzing
US President George W. Bush walking with Senior Advisor Karl Rove (C) and Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Claude Allen (L). EPA/SHAWN THEW
The White House is said to be preparing for the possibility that Rove, deputy chief of staff and architect of Bush`s presidency, or other officials could be indicted in the next two weeks, The Washington Post said Friday.
Rove has been preoccupied with his legal troubles, a diversion that some say contributed to the troubled handling of Harriet Miers` nomination to the Supreme Court.
Bush`s main partners on Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Tex., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., likewise are spending time defending themselves as the president`s legislative initiatives founder.
Most of the scandals have little direct connection with one another, but their accumulation in a compressed period has challenged a White House already beset by political problems from the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina and high gasoline prices, the Post said.
Americans betting Rove's White House days are numbered: Sportsbook.com offers updated odds on Karl Rove's future in the Bush Administration after final grand jury testimony
With Karl Rove's future as White House Deputy Chief of Staff in serious doubt, Sportsbook.com is the only online sportsbook to offer updated odds on the long-running scandal that continues to plague the Bush Administration. Current odds are 1-2 that Rove will have to leave the White House in the wake of an ongoing criminal investigation, and 3-2 that he will not.
Speculation on Rove's job security intensified when the indispensable Bush adviser was called to testify yesterday for the fourth time before a federal grand jury. At issue is whether Rove knowingly leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative to reporters in an effort to discredit an outspoken critic of the administration's war in Iraq. According to investigation insiders, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is also trying to determine whether Rove lied after the fact to conceal his involvement in the leak.
The significant shift from the opening odds of 1-6 that Rove would not be dismissed or resign is a reflection of the grand jury's increased focus on Rove and of the growing consensus that he will not emerge unscathed. Recent testimony from jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller may have given the grand jury reason to doubt previous statements made by Rove regarding the leak.
Even if Rove is not indicted, many political observers feel the president may nevertheless be forced to sac his top adviser to preserve the administration's credibility. Since updated odds were posted yesterday, betting trends indicate that Americans are leaning towards the view that Rove will leave the White House.
Latest Odds on Karl Rove - Will he leave the White House?
_____No 6-5_____ No 1-6
_____Yes 2-3_____Yes 4-1
Sportsbook.com is the largest sportsbook and casino on the planet, offering numerous products including sports betting, horse racing, poker, casino and virtual games. It is the flagship brand for Sportingbet PLC, (LSE: SBT), the world's largest publicly traded online betting, gambling and gaming company.For a full list of odds and additional information please visit http://www.sportsbook.com. For more information or to speak to Alex Czajkowski, please call 1.866.505.2900.
Bush teleconference with Iraqi troopers criticized as rehearsed
U.S. President Bush addresses troops in Iraq in Video Teleconference
October 14, 2005
An on-camera shot before the teleconference went live showed Allison Barber, the deputy assistant defense secretary, coaching 10 soldiers on broad topics to which the president would want questions directed; then rehearsed their actions on camera and reminded them of what questions were assigned to each soldier.
"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"
"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.
"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.
"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.
Later on in the discussion:
"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.
"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.
During the live conference, when asked about Iraq's preparations for their constitutional referendum, 1st Lt. Gregg Murphy of Tennessee said: "Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. ... Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We're really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they're doing everything."
When asked about Iraq's training of security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., a Public Relations officer at the 42nd Infantry Division HQ, said to Bush: "I can tell you over the past 10 months, we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. ... Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations."
The event was coordinated with the Department of Defense, according to White House press secretary Scott McClellan. "I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect," he said. He also said that the troops were expressing their own thoughts. With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said.
Later, Pentagon officials denied that the conference was staged. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said "On behalf of these fine young men and women, we certainly regret any perception that they were told what to say. It is not the case," adding that "The soldiers were advised as to the issues they should expect to discuss, and decided among themselves who would speak to each issue as it may arise."
The director of Operation Truth, a New York-based advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, described the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt".
"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Paul Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."Sources
- Deb Riechmann "Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged". AP, OCT. 13, 2005
- Warren Vieth and Mark Mazzetti "Bush's chat with troops draws flak". Baltimore Sun, Oct. 14, 2005
- Deb Riechmann, Associated Press Writer "Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged". ABC News, Oct. 13, 2005
- Fox News "Pentagon Denies Talk With Troops Was Staged". FOX News, Oct. 14, 2005
- transcript "Press Briefing by Scott McClellan". The White House, October 14, 2005
- DoD "News release". U.S. Department of Defense, October 13, 2005
Trial of Saddam Hussein to be televised
October 13, 2005
As the start date of the former Iraqi leader's trial approaches, the chief judge of the tribunal has stated that the fate of Saddam Hussein will be broadcast on live television. In a statement to CNN, Iraqi national security advisor Muwaffaq Rubaie said that "...this is going to be a fair, just trial with a defense counsel in there, with a proper prosecuting council as well there..."
The first charge, filed earlier this month, alleges Hussein's responsibility in the 1982 killing of 143 residents of Dujail, in which he was the target of a botched assassination attempt. The details of other charges are unclear.
The tribunal, which was set up in December 2003, has been marred by delays. There are accusations of bias from the defense council of Hussein, as well as fears for the judges' safety which have consistently pushed the trial back. The defense team has challenged the tribunal's legitimacy and stated they have not been given enough time to prepare.
This concern has been echoed in the past by some human rights groups, "It's really critical that it's done right," says Michael Posner, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. "For those who believe in international justice and accountability for human rights crimes, the trial of Saddam Hussein is a rare opportunity to test the system and make it work."
Many Iraqis, particularly Shia and Kurdish, want to see Hussein tried for chemical gas attacks on the Kurds in the 1980s. In 1988, one of these chemical attacks killed as many as 5,000 people. As well, many Iraqis want Hussein punished for reprisals against a Shia uprising in 1991.
The crimes that the special tribunal will focus on include:
- A mortar attack on the city of Kirkuk.
- The killing of 8,000 members of the Barzani tribe, a Kurdish community.
- The invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
- Crimes against secular and religious parties.
- Forced emigration of thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq into Iran.
Hussein's lawyers have outlined their defense which, according to defense team member Abdul Haq al-Ani, consists of four "pillars":
- The first argues that the invasion of Iraq was illegal and as such, Saddam Hussein is still legally president. If so, then under the Saddam era constitution he is entitled to immunity.
- The second suggests that Hussein's alleged war crimes were no different than George W. Bush's response to 9/11: A response to insurrection.
- The third pillar is to actually call Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld to testify. It will attempt to highlight the support the United States gave to Iraq in the 1980s.
- The fourth will be to present an unflattering portrayal of American foreign policy.
The trial is set to begin on Wednesday, October 19th.Related Stories
- Saddam Hussein formally charged with the killing of Shia Muslims
- Iraq's Justice Minister accuses U.S. of having "lots of secrets they want to hide"
- "Saddam's trial 'to be televised'". BBC, October 13, 2005
- "Saddam's trial on live television". Telegraph, August 1, 2005
- Luke Baker "As Saddam trial nears, confusion clouds process". Dose, October 13, 2005
- Dan Senor "Saddam Hussein: On Trial". Yahoo! News, September 29, 2005
- Jim Lobe "Saddam Hussein Trial Must Be Fair, Say Rights Groups". Common Dreams, December 15, 2003
Daniel Craig to be new James Bond
October 14, 2005
British actor Daniel Craig has been confirmed as the man to follow Pierce Brosnan as the sixth James Bond.
Producer Barbara Broccoli and director Martin Campbell called Craig 'a superb actor who has all the qualities needed to bring a contemporaray edge to the role'.
"It is a huge iconic figure in movie history, and those things don't come along very often," Craig said. The role makes Craig the second Englishman to act as the British spy code-named 007, based on the famed literary character created by novelist Ian Fleming in 1953.
- For the novel and the 1954 television episode, see Casino Royale. For the 1967 film spoof, see Casino Royale (1967 film)
|James Bond||Daniel Craig|
|Written by||Ian Fleming|
|Screenplay by||Neal Purvis |
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Theme performed by||To be announced|
|Release date||November 17, 2006|
|Preceded by:||Die Another Day|
Casino Royale, previously known by its working title Bond 21, will be the 21st James Bond film produced by EON Productions. Based on the 1953 novel Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, it will be the first Bond film to take its title from an Ian Fleming novel or short story since 1987's The Living Daylights. Currently the film is in pre-production, and is set for release on November 17, 2006. Included in the press release for the announcement of the film title, EON Productions also announced that Martin Campbell, director of the 1995 Bond film, GoldenEye, is attached to direct.
Even though production is not expected to begin until January 2006, the film has generated considerable media interest due to the fact that EON Productions had gone over a year without an actor signed to play James Bond, and had refrained from commenting on the search. An official announcement was made during a news conference in London on Friday October 14, 2005 announcing Daniel Craig as James Bond.
This film marks the third screen-adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale, which was previously a 1954 television episode and a 1967 film spoof; however, the 2006 release will be the only official adaptation of Fleming's novel.
Pardon that we give you beefcake instead of cheesecake tonight. - Sparks