Monday, September 20, 2004
Sung to the tune of "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee"
Look at me I'm Osama B
There have been some dark times recently at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, but the executives and employees have done their best to soldier through their founder's legal travails and her announcement last week that she is ready to begin serving her five-month sentence for obstruction of justice.
For the most part, her problems have not been reflected in the magazine, but the cover of its October issue is unsettling. Small, gremlinlike dyed eggs with scary grins adorn the cover, which is a haunting sea of black. It is a little spooky for a magazine cover that generally is rendered in pastels, and seems all the more stark because the colored cube that used to carry Ms. Stewart's name in the top left corner was eliminated last month. Her name now appears in smaller type over the logo.
This is a request that you commence a Subcommittee investigation into the continued use by CBS News of apparently forged documents concerning the service record of President George W. Bush intended to unfairly damage his reputation and influence the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.
Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), Chairman of the House Policy Committee and Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, in a letter to Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) , September 14, 2004
The investigation into who revealed Mrs. Plame's identity publicly has reached the highest levels of the U.S. government. President Bush was questioned by investigators June 24.
Mrs. Plame is the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a critic of the Bush administration who has accused the president of misusing intelligence to go to war in Iraq. Mr. Wilson also accuses White House officials of deliberately revealing Mrs. Plame's name in an effort to discredit him. [...]
[...] Mrs. Plame's identity first was revealed publicly by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak in a July 14, 2003, column about Mr. Wilson's trip to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for a nuclear-arms program.
The Justice Department then began an investigation of the disclosure under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes it a crime to knowingly disclose the name of a covert agent.
Your mission is different now than it was back then. The Soviet Union is no more. Some people think, "what do we need intelligence for?" My answer to that is we have plenty of enemies. Plenty of enemies abound. Unpredictable leaders willing to export instability or to commit crimes against humanity. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, narco-trafficking, people killing each other, fundamentalists killing each other in the name of God. These and more. Many more. As our analysts know, as our collectors of intelligence know - these are our enemies. To combat them we need more intelligence, not less. We need more human intelligence. That means we need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country. (Applause)
Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a "60 Minutes'' report that raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.
The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.
But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night.
The report relied in large part on four memorandums purported to be from the personal file of Mr. Bush's squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, who died 20 years ago. The memos, dated from the early 1970's, said that Colonel Killian was under pressure to "sugar coat'' the record of the young Lieutenant Bush and that the officer had disobeyed a direct order to take a physical.
Mr. Rather and others at the network are said to still believe that the sentiment in the memos accurately reflected Mr. Killian's feelings but that the documents' authenticity was now in grave doubt.
The developments last night marked a dramatic turn for CBS News, which for a week stood steadfastly by its Sept. 8 report as various document experts asserted that the typeface of the memos could have been produced only by a modern-day word processor, not Vietnam War-era typewriters.
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