Monday, 10 November 2014

The Criminalization of Criminals

Leaking the names of CIA agents is not politics; it is a crime. Lying to congress about evidence for a war is not politics; it is a crime. Failing to tell a grand jury that you met with a reporter and talked about the CIA agent is not forget fullness; it is a crime. Deceiving your entire nation and frightening children and adults with images of nuclear explosions in order to get them to support a bloody invasion of another country is not politics; it is a crime. Anyone other than Karl Rove and Lewis Libby and Tom Delay who does not get this, please raise your hand. The three of you will need to stay after class for further instruction in civics.

Fortunately, as the leaves of the Aspens continue to turn in Colorado the suspects are also turning in Washington. Targets will be pleading and dealing and soon will be singing. We are, hopefully, seeing the beginning of an investigation that will broaden until it disabuses the final few million Bush supporters of their naivete. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald must surely just be at the beginning of rendering justice. An indictment or two will hardly serve to answer the critical questions. The leak and any lies to the grand jury were most likely motivated by a deep and abiding fear that a much greater crime was at risk of being uncovered. Karl Rove is vindictive, yes. But he is not stupid. Rove would never risk treason unless he thought it served a political purpose. And this was the most important political purpose of all: protecting his most precious asset, George W. Bush. Ethics have never been a consideration of Rove's and he sees the law as only marginally instructive. Karl might have been more concerned about the leak and talking to reporters if somewhere along the line he had been held accountable for any of his other political tricks.

Friday, 8 March 2013


Victoria is a state in the south-east of Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, the Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, and South Australia to the west. Australia's most densely-populated state, most of Victoria's population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip, including the capital and largest city, Melbourne, which is also Australia's second-largest city overall. Prior to European settlement, the area now constituting Victoria was inhabited by a large number of Aboriginal peoples, collectively known as the Koori. With Great Britain having claimed the entire Australian continent east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria was included in the wider colony of New South Wales.

The first settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, and much of what is now Victoria was included in the Port Phillip District in 1836, an administrative division of New South Wales. Victoria was officially created a separate colony in 1851, and achieved self-government in 1856. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased both the population and wealth of the colony, and by the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the leading financial centre in Australasia. With Canberra still under construction, Melbourne also served as interim capital of Australia until 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Parliament House. 

Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate, with the majority belonging to the Labor Party. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. Victoria is currently governed by a coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party, with the Liberals' Denis Napthine the current premier. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria, currently Alex Chernov. Local government is concentrated in 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which are administered directly by the state.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Sheep (Ovis aries) are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name "sheep" applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep.

Sheep are most likely descended from the wild mouflon of Europe and Asia. One of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes, sheep are raised for fleece, meat (lamb, hogget or mutton) and milk. A sheep's wool is the most widely used animal fiber, and is usually harvested by shearing. Ovine meat is called lamb when from younger animals and mutton when from older ones. Sheep continue to be important for wool and meat today, and are also occasionally raised for pelts, as dairy animals, or as model organisms for science.
Sheep husbandry is practised throughout the majority of the inhabited world, and has been fundamental to many civilizations. In the modern era, Australia, New Zealand, the southern and central South American nations, and the British Isles are most closely associated with sheep production.

Sheep-raising has a large lexicon of unique terms which vary considerably by region and dialect. Use of the word sheep began in Middle English as a derivation of the Old English word scēap; it is both the singular and plural name for the animal. A group of sheep is called a flock, herd or mob. Adult female sheep are referred to as ewes, intact males as rams or occasionally tups, castrated males as wethers, and younger sheep as lambs. Many other specific terms for the various life stages of sheep exist, generally related to lambing, shearing, and age.

Being a key animal in the history of farming, sheep have a deeply entrenched place in human culture, and find representation in much modern language and symbology. As livestock, sheep are most-often associated with pastoral, Arcadian imagery. Sheep figure in many mythologies—such as the Golden Fleece—and major religions, especially the Abrahamic traditions. In both ancient and modern religious ritual, sheep are used as sacrificial animals.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Prosecutor in leak case seeks indictments against Rove, Libby, lawyers close to case say

Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice'

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.

The lawyers said Fitzgerald needed more evidence to convince the grand jury that Plame was in fact an undercover agent. On Monday, he sent FBI agents to her residential neighborhood to obtain testimony from neighbors that they were unaware of Plame’s employment prior to her outing.

Evidence collected in these inquiries was aimed at convincing the jury that she was covert, the lawyers said. A Reuters story indicated that Plame’s neighbors were not aware that she was working at the agency.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Prosecutor Meets With Chief Judge Could Signal That Fitzgerald Is Seeking Extension

WASHINGTON—The federal prosecutor investigating the alleged involvement of White House officials in the leak of a CIA operative's identity spent most of the lunch hour today meeting with the chief judge of the federal district court in the nation's capital, Judge Thomas Hogan.

As reporters massed outside an elevator lobby leading to the grand jury rooms, the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, apparently slipped out a back exit to conduct the noontime meeting with Judge Hogan.

Mr. Fitzgerald declined to comment as he and a colleague emerged from the judge's chambers just before 1 p.m.

The prosecutor's visit to the chief judge could signal that Mr. Fitzgerald is seeking to extend the term of the grand jury that has been investigating the leak. Judge Hogan would need to approve any extension to the grand jury's term, which was set to expire on