Wash Times to call for Hastert’s resignation as House speaker

Via Drudge:

WASHINGTON TIMES ON TUESDAY WILL CALL FOR SPEAKER HASTERT’S RESIGNATION, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE… DEVELOPING… ‘House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once… Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance’… — Washington Times, October 3, 2006…

When it’s posted, you should be able to find it here.

What do you think?

Update: Here’s the editorial.

Re: Frist’s comments about the Taliban today

I’ve gotten lots of emails this afternoon about a comment Senator Bill Frist made today that has gotten so many conservatives up in arms that some are saying “I’ve had it – I’m leaving the GOP.”

Not so fast, now. I’ll explain more in a minute. First, the quote that has landed him in hot water:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.

The Tennessee Republican said he had learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated by military means.

“You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government,” Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. “And if that’s accomplished we’ll be successful.”

Frist said asking the Taliban to join the government was a decision to be made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican from Florida accompanying Frist, said negotiating with the Taliban was not “out of the question” but that fighters who refused to join the political process would have to be defeated.
“A political solution is how it’s all going to be solved” he said.

Check the trackbacks here to see a sampling of the outrage IHT’s story on his remarks rightly provoked.

Now here’s Frist’s clarified statement:

I’m currently overseas visiting our troops in Afghanistan, but I wanted to take a moment to address an Associated Press story titled, “Frist: Taliban Should Be in Afghan Gov’t.” The story badly distorts my remarks and takes them out of context.

First of all, let me make something clear: The Taliban is a murderous band of terrorists who’ve oppressed the people of Afghanistan with their hateful ideology long enough. America’s overthrow of the Taliban and support for responsible, democratic governance in Afghanistan is a great accomplishment that should not and will not be reversed.

Having discussed the situation with commanders on the ground, I believe that we cannot stabilize Afghanistan purely through military means. Our counter-insurgency strategy must win hearts and minds and persuade moderate Islamists potentially sympathetic to the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the Afghan national government and democratic political processes.

National reconciliation is a necessary and an urgent priority … but America will never negotiate with terrorists or support their entry into Afghanistan’s government.

Better, but still not good enough for some, who are threatening to leave the GOP – and in at least one instance I’ve read in the blogosphere, a blogger (the Commissar) is planning on voting Democratic this fall and explains why in his emotional post, some of which Army Lawyer takes issue with here. [Update: Commissar states in the comments that his post had nothing to do with Frist’s comment. Consider this a correction. However, as the trackbacks to Hot Air make clear, many are considering leaving the GOP, so the point about leaving the party stands].

For anyone still thinking Frist is a defeatist even after his clarification, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Frist is out after this year. He’s not running for re-election. Rep. Harold Ford (D) and Bob Corker (R) are vying for his seat. That means, assuming we retain control of the Senate, we’ll have a new Senate Majority Leader next year.

2) How many others in the GOP support Frist’s ‘defeatist’ position? As it stands, I don’t know of any Republicans in Congress who share the pre-clarified position of Frist. But if it were a lot, don’t you think it would make more sense to leave the GOP entirely if it was a party position rather than just the position of the SML who is on his way out the door?

Back during the UAE port deal controversy, I was so disgusted with the posturing of the entire party (not just one or two politicians, but the entire party because a majority of Republicans in Congress were against the deal) that I considered leaving it – and not for the Democratic party, either (been there, done that). In Frist’s case, however, you have one Senator who is not running for re-election expressing a controversial position (clarifying later) on the war in Afghanistan and now everyone wants to leave the GOP?

Let me know when the GOP on the whole takes the position that Taliban fighters should be a part of the Afghan government and I’ll be with you. Until then, save your anger not for the entire party, but for the guy who won’t be running for re-election and (obviously) won’t be Majority Leader for the 110th Congress. Because one day he might be running for president.

News and notes on the upcoming fall elections

Jim Geraghty posts a few things conservatives ought to keep in mind as we head into the 2006 elections regarding turnout, polls, and security moms.

Hugh Hewitt has a book recommendation for those who are on the fence regarding this year’s elections – and provides a reminder that it’s best for this country if we don’t have a House Speaker Pelosi.

— As always, Real Clear Politics and Election Projection are up to speed on the latest poll numbers for House and Senate races. BTW, that reminds me: have you checked out the Rightroots campaign yet? If not, now is a great time to do so.

— I mentioned in my prior post (and worth noting again) the following link from a NBC news story that discusses the very real possibility, according to new poll numbers, of the Dems taking control of the Senate. Per new polls, five Senate races are toss-ups.

— Lefty Sebastian Mallaby writes in today’s WaPo that Democrats are a party without principles and wonders if a Congress in control of the DNC is something to get excited about. (Hat tip: John Hawkins)

— How are Republicans doing on TradeSports Trading and Betting website? Allah has the latest.

Rice can’t recall 7/10/01 meeting with Tenet and Black mentioned in Woodward’s book

Via the NYT:

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was “incomprehensible” that she could have ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Her remarks were meant to rebut an account in a new book by Bob Woodward saying that she failed to act on warnings from George J. Tenet, who was then the director of central intelligence.

In her first direct comments about the book, Secretary Rice told reporters traveling with her to the Middle East on Sunday night that she did not believe there had ever been such an exchange with Mr. Tenet.

Nor, she said, did she remember if she even met with Mr. Tenet in the White House on July 10, 2001, the date identified in Mr. Woodward’s book, “State of Denial” which went on sale last weekend. Ms. Rice was President Bush’s national security adviser at that time.

Mr. Woodward’s book reports that Mr. Tenet hurriedly arranged a White House meeting on to try to “shake Rice” into taking action on ominous intelligence reports warning of a potentially catastrophic attack by Al Qaeda, possibly within American borders.

The book says that Mr. Tenet and J. Cofer Black, who was then his counterterrorism chief, left the meeting in frustration, believing they had been given a “brush-off.”

Secretary Rice said Sunday night that there would have been no need for a “a kind of emergency meeting in which there was a need to shock me, given that every day we were meeting in the Oval Office going over the threat reporting” during the summer of 2001, when spy agencies were flooded with warnings of an imminent Al Qaeda attack.

“I don’t recall a so-called emergency meeting” she continued, adding that “it was not unusual that George and I would meet, in a sense, unscheduled” in the White House, especially during such a tense period.

Ms. Rice said she had no specific recollection of meeting with Mr. Tenet and Mr. Black on July 10, 2001. Members of the commission that investigated the attacks of Sept. 11 and the events leading up to them have said they were never told of a special White House meeting held on that date, and have questioned in recent days whether information about such a meeting may have been intentionally withheld from the panel.

Greg Tinti has a clip from WH Press Sec. Tony Snow that hints at the possibility of Tenet and/or Black coming forth soon to refute the claim made in Woodward’s book. He’s got more background on the story here and here.

If it’s true that Tenet and/or Black will step forth and refute Woodward’s claims about that alleged meeting, I wonder what else in Woodward’s book is questionable?

It goes without saying but I’d like to throw this out there just to play it safe: we’re one month before election time and all sorts of sensationalistic claims about the President and/or his cabinet and/or Republicans in general are going to be thrown on the wall in an effort to see which ones stick (remember this one from 2004 that the NYT ran with?). Keep that in mind the next month as the media will hype anything it can as the ‘next big scandal’ in an effort to help along their Democratic pals who look to regain control of the House and Senate. Things as they are reported in the media are almost never as crystal clear as the MSM makes them out to be.

Update I: Brian at Iowa Voice points to a NYT story that confirms that there was an emergency meeting with Rice, Black, and Tenet on July 10, 2001 regarding the threat from AQ. The exact particulars of that meeting weren’t mentioned in the piece, other than to note it was an urgent meeting to express to Condi Rice their fears of an impending attack – on foreign soil or domestic? Not noted in the article.

Also, I found this bit curious:

Mr. McCormack also said records show that the Sept. 11 commission was informed about the meeting, a fact that former intelligence officials and members of the commission confirmed on Monday.

What the hell is going on here? Several members of the 9-11 Commission were quoted in the NYT yesterday as saying they weren’t informed about the meeting:

In interviews Saturday and today, commission members said they were never told about the meeting despite hours of public and private questioning with Ms. Rice, Mr. Tenet and Mr. Black, much of it focused specifically on how the White House had dealt with terrorist threats in the summer of 2001.

“None of this was shared with us in hours of private interviews, including interviews under oath, nor do we have any paper on this” said Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic member of the commission and a former House member from Indiana. “I’m deeply disturbed by this. I’m furious.”

Another Democratic commissioner, former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, said that the staff of the Sept. 11 commission was polled in recent days on the disclosures in Mr. Woodward’s book and agreed that the meeting “was never mentioned to us.”

“This is certainly something we would have wanted to know about” he said, referring to the July 10, 2001, meeting.

He said he had attended the commission’s private interviews with both Mr. Tenet and Ms. Rice and had pressed “very hard for them to provide us with everything they had regarding conversations with the executive branch” about terrorist threats before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Philip D. Zelikow, the executive director of the Sept. 11 commission and now a top aide to Ms. Rice at the State Department, agreed that no witness before the commission had drawn attention to a July 10 meeting at the White House, nor described the sort of encounter portrayed in Mr. Woodward’s book.

SIGH. The NYT devoted an entire article to insinuating that Condi and Tenet might have deliberately left out testimony about the July 10 meeting when it looks like Tenet, at the very least, did testify about the meeting before the 9-11 Commission.

Is there any wonder why people get so damn confused as to what’s what? Sheesh!

What the hell Part II: Note the link in Brian’s post, and the first link I posted – same link, two different stories. Unreal! (Thanks to Brian for pointing this out). Here was the original headline, but if you click on the story, it’s different now.

Update II: Rice did recall a 7/5/01 meeting:

[…] Rebuffing descriptions in the book that she was inattentive, Rice said she was concerned enough about a potential attack in the United States — even without specific intelligence warnings — that she had a meeting on July 5, 2001, with White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. to urge him to hold a terrorism intelligence briefing for the Federal Aviation Administration and other domestic agencies.

National Security Council counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke also attended the July 5 meeting, she said. In addition, she asked that then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft be shown the terrorism threat reporting, since the Justice Department oversees the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI then held several briefings with their special agents, she said.

Oliver Stone: “Terrorism is a manageable action”

What a complete moron:

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) — Filmmaker Oliver Stone blasted President George W. Bush Thursday, saying he has “set America back 10 years.”

Stone added that he is “ashamed for my country” over the war in Iraq and the U.S. policies in response to the attacks of September 11.

“We have destroyed the world in the name of security,” Stone told journalists at the San Sebastian International Film Festival prior to a screening of his latest movie, “World Trade Center.” The film tells the true story of the survival and rescue of two policemen who were trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after they went to help people escape.

“From September 12 on, the incident (the attacks) was politicized and it has polarized the entire world,” said Stone. “It is a shame because it is a waste of energy to see that the entire world five years later is still convulsed in the grip of 9/11.

“It’s a waste of energy away from things that do matter which is poverty, death, disease, the planet itself and fixing things in our own homes rather than fighting wars with others. Mr. Bush has set America back 10 years, maybe more.”

The director of blockbusters such as “Platoon,” and “JFK” said the U.S. reaction to the attacks was out of proportion.

“If there had been a better sense of preparation, if we had a leadership that was more mature,” he said. “We did not fight back in the same way that the British fought the IRA or the Spanish government fought the Basques here. Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with,” said Stone.

I’m so glad I didn’t go see the Oliver Stone-directed World Trade Center movie, especially after reading this nonsense. Like so many other far lefties in Hollyweird, as well as in Washington, DC, this guy is totally disconnected from reality. For Stone, I guess, reality really does bite.

Hat tip: Cox and Forkum, who have a cartoon that nails Stone’s idiocy.

Foleygate: The Democrats’ October surprise?

The fallout from Foleygate continues, with House Speaker Denny Hastert calling for a Justice Department investigation (as well as a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation) into the electronic communications between Rep. Mark Foley and House pages, and various liberals (as well as their cohorts in the MSM) trying to insinuate that there was a cover-up in the House regarding Foley’s behavior for several years.

While I’m glad Foley’s resigned as it’s very clear there was some highly inappropriate behavior going on between him and at least one page (and possibly more), there are other questions on this issue that pertain to more than just what he said and who he said it to – mainly, the question of the timing and who leaked the info. Was it leaked now for political purposes? It certainly sounds like it. Macsmind and Flopping Aces have two must-read posts up on this story today, that call into question not just the timing, but also the authenticity of at least one of the emails in question.

Pajamas Media has a lengthy link roundup of stories related to the resignation of Rep. Foley.

Update I: The race is on to replace Foley in Florida’s 16th Congressional district.

Update II: UGH.

Update III: Macsmind is still all over this story and is smelling a setup.

Update IV: Dafydd at Big Lizards is on the same page as Mac, and is flaming mad.

Update V: Check out the following video clips from Hot Air: 1) Of Hastert claiming that the House didn’t know anything about the explicit IMs and asking who knew about them and 2) WH Press Sec. Tony Snow having to clarify remarks the liberal blog Think Progress reported him as saying about the Foley scandal.

Others blogging about this: Malkin, La Shawn Barber, Tom Maguire, Gateway Pundit, Blue Crab Boulevard, Rick Moran