Anodyne
Thursday, July 14, 2005
 
We just purchased the inventory of my defunct former employer, the Granville Book Company, in partnership with another old employer, Book & Comic Emporium.

Presently moving 7500-odd new books from downtown to Main Street. I will probably be scarce here for a day or two; yesterday was the 8am-midnight shift, and both today and tomorrow look like more of the same.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
 

$125USD. Or as Mad magazine used to say, "$125...cheap." Posted by Picasa
 
Juan Cole neatly encapsulates my thoughts on Bush apparatchik Karl Rove:

"Ambassador Joe Wilson, who once dared Saddam to hang him while wearing a rope around his neck while acting ambassador in Baghdad in fall of 1990, was the first to let the American people know that the Bush administration lied about Iraq's alleged attempt to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. Wilson went to that country, investigated the structure of the uranium industry (which is mainly in French hands anyway), and concluded it was impossible. Bush and Cheney had believed a set of forged documents manufactured by a former employee of Italian military intelligence. (In the US, the only major public intellectual with close ties to Italian military intelligence is pro-war gadfly Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute).

In revenge, Rove tried to discredit Wilson and perhaps also punish him and his family. The purpose of such punishment is always to bully and terrorize other employees, as well as to shut up the whistleblower. Since the Bush administration has done so many illegal things, if Washington insiders started blowing the whistle, there could be a hundred Watergates. Rove let everyone in Washington know that he would destroy anyone who dared step forward. The White House also dealt with former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill when he blew the whistle on the Bush planning for and Iraq War in January of 2001 (look at the date). They threatened O'Neill with jail time for revealing classified information, even though O'Neill had never been given any. He subsequently fell quiet. It is also said that the Bushies tried to prevent Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine Corps general, from getting any consulting gigs in Washington because he opposed the Iraq war.

But Rove's revenge on Wilson was the ultimate. Plame was undercover as an employee of a phony energy company. She was actually investigating illegal proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. When Rove blew her cover to the US press, everyone who had ever been seen with her in Africa or Asia was put in extreme danger. It is said that some of her contacts may have been killed. Imagine the setback to the US struggle against weapons of mass destruction proliferation that this represents. Rove marched us off to Iraq, where there weren't any. But he disrupted a major effort by the CIA to fight WMD that really did exist.

Moreover, the whole thing only makes sense if Rove is a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist to begin with. Why would it matter that Valerie Plame suggested to the CIA that they send her husband Joe Wilson to Niger? Wilson had excellent credentials for the mission, which the CIA immediately recognized.

Rove can only have thought it would discredit Wilson to associate his mission with the CIA if he viewed the CIA as the enemy. This is the Richard Perle line. If Wilson was sent to Niger on the recommendation of a CIA operative, then he was not an objective ex-ambassador but a CIA plant of some sort, attempting to undermine the Bush administration and the military occupation of Iraq.

This theory is that of a crackpot. The actions are those of a traitor. What is the difference between Robert Hanssen revealing key secret information for money to the Soviets and Karl Rove revealing it to the proliferators for political gain for the Republican Party and the Bush White House? Both are traitors who traded secrets for gain.

A man who would do what Rove did should not be in the White House in any capacity. And no person who tolerates a man like Rove in the White House should be commander in chief of American security."
 
"I Didn't Do It, Nobody Saw Me Do It, There's No Way You Can Prove Anything!"

"Q : Scott, some Democrats are calling for the revocation of Karl Rove's security clearance. Does the President see any need for that?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I think there's a lot of discussion that's going on in the context of an ongoing investigation. This is based on some news reports that came out recently. I think you heard me talk about the importance of helping this investigation move forward. I don't think it's helpful for me from this podium to get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think it's most helpful for me to not comment while that investigation continues. And these are all issues that some are trying to raise in the context of news reports. I don't think we should be prejudging the outcome of any investigation at this point.

Q : But the issues of security clearance and criminal investigations are often on very separate tracks. So does the President see any reason, any necessity, at least in the interim, to revoke Karl Rove's security clearance?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, the President -- first of all, let me back up -- some of you asked a couple of questions about does the President still have confidence in particular individuals, specifically Karl Rove. I don't want to get into commenting on things in the context of an ongoing investigation. So let me step back and point out that any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the President. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the President's confidence. And in terms of security clearances, there are a number of people at the White House that have various levels of security clearance. And I'm confident that those individuals have the appropriate security clearance. I haven't gone around looking at what those security clearances are.

Q: But, Scott, are you suggesting -- I think it's pretty clear to everybody at this point you don't want to comment on the investigation. But the President has also spoken about this when asked. So does the President --

MR. McCLELLAN: Spoken about?

Q: Well, he has spoken about these questions that have come up as part of a leak investigation. So does he retain confidence in Karl Rove, specifically?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. Any individual who works here at the White House has the President's confidence. They wouldn't be working here if they didn't have the President's confidence. That's why I stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context. Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing, I want to be helpful to the investigation, I don't want to jeopardize anything in that investigation, and that's why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren't going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.

Q: But isn't the difficulty that you have said to the public, dating back to 2003, affirmatively, Karl Rove is not involved, and now we have evidence to the contrary? So how do you reconcile those two things? How does the President reconcile those two things?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, if I were to get into discussing this, I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation. I'm not going to do that from this podium. You do point out some statements that were made. I remember well the comments that were made. After that point, I also remember going and testifying in this investigation. I remember well individuals who are involved overseeing this investigation expressing their preference personally to me that we not get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think that's the way to be most helpful as they move forward, and that's why I'm in the position that I am. I'm not going to get into jumping on every news report as the investigation continues and trying to comment on them, because I don't think that's helpful. So I think you have to step back from any individual news story or individual reports. Let's let the investigation take place. I look forward to talking about some of these matters once the investigation is complete. I welcome the opportunity to talk about some of these questions, but I don't think it's appropriate to do so at this time.

Q: Let's just -- just one final --

MR. McCLELLAN: And I think the American people can understand and appreciate that.

Q : Well, we'll see. But I just have one final question on this. The question of whether a law has been broken, a crime committed, is a separate matter. You're not going to resolve that; that's for a grand jury to decide. But we know what the facts are. We know that Karl Rove spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife, referring to the fact that she worked at the Agency. You've heard Democrats who say that -- say today that alone was inappropriate conduct. What was Karl Rove trying to accomplish by having the conversation he did? And does the President think that it was fair of him to do that? Was it fair game?

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, that's a question related to an ongoing investigation. The investigation continues, David. I think you know that very well. I've responded to that question. And if I were to start commenting on news reports or things related to the investigation, I'm getting into prejudging the outcome of that investigation. I don't want to do that from this podium. Let's let the investigation take place, and let's let the investigators bring all the facts together and draw the conclusions that they draw, and then we will know the facts at that point.

Q: But, Scott, there's a difference between what's legal and what's right. Is what Karl Rove did right?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I mean, you can state the obvious. I understand and appreciate that, and I appreciate you all. I know you all want to get to the bottom of this. I want to get to the bottom of it; the President has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does. We want to see it come to a successful conclusion. The best way to help the investigation come to a successful conclusion is for me not to get into discussing it from this podium. I don't think that --

Q: Well, wait, wait, wait --

MR. McCLELLAN: Wait -- I don't think that helps advance the investigation.

Q: All right, you say you won't discuss it, but the Republican National Committee and others working, obviously, on behalf of the White House, they put out this Wilson-Rove research and talking points, distributed to Republican surrogates, which include things like, Karl Rove discouraged a reporter from writing a false story. And then other Republican surrogates are getting information such as, Cooper -- the Time reporter -- called Rove on the pretense of discussing welfare reform. Bill Kristol on Fox News, a friendly news channel to you, said that the conversation lasted for two minutes and it was just at the end that Rove discussed this. So someone is providing this information. Are you, behind the scenes, directing a response to this story?

MR. McCLELLAN: You can talk to the RNC about what they put out. I'll let them speak to that. What I know is that the President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation. And as part of cooperating fully with that investigation, that means supporting the efforts by the investigators to come to a successful conclusion, and that means not commenting on it from this podium.

Q : Well, if --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I understand your question.

Q: Well, Fox News and other Republican surrogates are essentially saying that the conversation lasted for two minutes and that the subject was ostensibly welfare reform. They're getting that information from here, from Karl Rove.

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, you're asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you've had my response on that.

Q: At the very least, though, Scott, could you say whether or not you stand by your statement --

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I'll come back to you if I can.

Q: -- of September 29th, 2003, that it is simply not true that Karl Rove disclosed the identity of a CIA operative? Can you stand by that statement?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I look forward to talking about this at some point, but it's not the appropriate time to talk about those questions while the investigation is continuing."


 
Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain


"Q: Scott, can I ask you this; did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than we're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

Q: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this" -- do you stand by that statement?

MR. McCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time, as well.

Q: Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation --

Q: Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MR. McCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish --

Q: No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

Q: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question. Go ahead, Terry.

Q: Well, you're in a bad spot here, Scott, because after the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said -- October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby, as I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this." From that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began. Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization Terry, and I think you are well aware of that. We know each other very well, and it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation. And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this, because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point, I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.

Q: Do you recall when you were asked --

Q: Wait, wait -- so you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore, and since then, you haven't?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation, and I'm just not going to respond any further.

Q: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg down a date?

MR. McCLELLAN: Back at that time period.

Q: Well, then the President commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response."


Sunday, July 10, 2005
 
A new batch of books completed, with particularly notable titles in red:

Philip K. Dick, Valis
Philip K. Dick, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Pat Hobby Stories
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway, The Nick Adams Stories
Frank King, Walt & Skeezix
Reid Shier, Michael Darling, Kelly Wood, Jens Hoffman et al., Ron Terada
Jerry Zaslove et al., Jeff Wall 1990
Ethel Wilson, Mrs. Golightly & Other Stories
Douglas Fairburn, Shoot
Gilles Delueuze, Difference and Repetition

 
To Victoria yesterday, cold kicking up into high gear. On a whim, I decided to hike the Galloping Goose Regional Trail back to Swartz Bay (35km!). Made it 4.5km up the old roadbed and bailed out onto Victoria public transit, shivering and sweat-soaked despite the sunshine. Trip highlight: the long (.5km?) wooden trestle bridge crossing the neck of the Gorge.

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