Sunday, October 23, 2005
UN investigator Detlev Mehlis has just released his pallid, incomplete and mystifying report on Rafik Hariri’s death (earlier UN report also released here). Mehlis asked for more time to work with Lebanese investigators, and in a letter accompanying the report, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has extended Mehlis' investigation until December 15. BBC report outline of the main players involved is helpful. (pic Asma Assad)THIS IS NOT THE FINAL REPORT ... although the MSM might encourage you to believe that.Such is the state of forensic science, even with one tonne of explosives he cannot be certain what type was used .. or it’s source. He has found that there were / are a lot of bad guys about who were watching Hariri – which being the Saudi backed capo di capo of the region who amassed massive amounts of money from rebuilding Lebanon on the back of crooked politicians, drug dealers, counterfeiters, shysters is not an astonishing revelation.Chirac turned up for the funeral, the French, who had struggled for the mandate in Paris in 1918 and have always seen it as their sea to swim in, approved Resolution 1559, which led to Syria's complete withdrawal from Lebanon a few months later.China and Russia, were publicly silent and allowed Resolution 1559 and the resolution that authorized Mehlis’s investigation. Russia went ahead with selling Assad some SA - 18 anti aircraft missiles he has bought on a recent shopping spree with Vladimir Putin eaarlier... this did not impress (nor was it meant to) Ariel Sharon,
"We are not pleased with the sales of weapons to Syria, particularly sophisticated weapons that Russia intends to sell to Syria, weapons that may end up in the hands of terror organisations,"Within days of Hariris killing the US withdrew their Ambassador and blamed Syria.The Israeli’s whilst gently stirring the pot from within the arras, have remained modestly silent.. until now that Mehlis has produced his interim report.The ageing Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres couldn’t wait to get on Israeli Radio on Friday and call for regime change in Syria 'I think Syria needs a change, it is neither natural nor acceptable that a family representing a small minority should govern Syria in a brutal fashion.' (The Assads are of the small but perfectly formed Allawite Islamist sect)'If it is true that the Syrian government is implicated in the assassination of Rafiq Hairi, that will undermine the regime of the Assads,' Peres said.Of course Israel wants to topple Bashar and his beautiful bride, Peres led the way, another ageing voice, ex Mossad boss, London born Ephraim Halevy chimed in calling for “regime change”. "The head of the Syrian pyramid is Bashar Assad," Halevy told Israel Army Radio. "I don't think ... there is any doubt that this was an extensive and coordinated operation that was planned for many months. Lots of people from the Syrian elite were involved."Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee ally of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was reported in Haaretz calling for regime change in Damascus."As far as I am concerned ... and here I have a dispute with some of the people in the security establishment, it is not just an American interest but a clear Israeli interest to end the Assad dynasty and replace Bashar Assad."The pro-Israel lobby in the US sponsored legislation—the Syria Accountability Act to isolate Syria before - expect a re-visit to such policies.Dubya chimed in calling upon the United Nations to “convene a session as quickly as possible to deal with this very serious matter”. Obediently Bush’s bathroom monitor… responded ….” "A report of that kind has got to be both discussed and debated in the U.N. Security Council, and there will have to be some way to ensure accountability for what has already been found here,"…”it cannot be left lying on the table”.Jack Straw , squiring the Veep elect Condi through Alabama also joined the choir,” "You simply cannot tolerate a situation where one state decides to deal with problems of another state by assassinating the other state's leaders." Blair had probably reminded Jack as he swept off to tailgate in Tuscaloosa what he told the Guradian in early March…
” A ripple of change is running through the Middle East “ warning the Syrian government to grab a last chance to comply with international demands.Mr Straw said to the BBC he "could not discuss the details of any UN resolution against Syria".This is of course the unfolding of a historic plan – which requires a revisit to the 1996 policy paper prepared with shortly to be ex Veep “Limp” Dick Cheney, and his neo-con gangster friends, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, David and Meyrav Wurmser, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., and Robert Loewenberg,Entitled "Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," this proposed shredding the Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority , and, first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Iran, would be targeted for military assault and political destabilization.The document boldly and uncompromisingly states that Israel should engage
"Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by ... establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces [and] striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper." Furthermore, it said, Israel should divert "Syria's attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon." First on the agenda of establishing the regional strategy called for "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq...."The outcome of this regional seismic shifting which was the heart of the "Clean Break" doctrine, was a new Middle East, with Israel hegemonic in the region, presiding over newly balkanized states, run by puppet regimes. Noticeably they form parts of the Bush Administration’s "outposts of tyranny" identified by Condi early this year. The menu is the same, the dishes have been shuffled in the kitchen, and Iran has moved down and Syria has moved into first place.Note too…Bush calls for Condi to shift the debate to the UN, where Bolton will try (probably without success, such is his popularity) to ram through a motion for an assault on pariah state Syria. Then , whatever the result, re-run Shock and Awe. Mission Unending support for the Mil – Industrial complex who have stockpiled enough stuff since “Desert Storm” for another noisy Son et Lumiére show in the sand.Remember in 1967, Israel gobbled up, as fruits of war territory that doubled it’s size. Much was not annexed … the West Bank .. but is "territory militarily administered by Israel" and the now discarded prison for the Palestinians, which used to be called the Gaza Strip.The Golan Heights are quite legally Syrian territory but strategically vital to Israel;1. As a military outpost a small plateau region that ends in cliffs overlooking the Sea of Galilee (which is inside Israel proper) providing unrivalled opportunity to shell Israel.2. Water, of which the main source is the Jordan River is essential to Israel (and everyone else in the region) .Reflecting what Gerry Adams said in another place .... the neo-Cons have not gone away… and the Bible Bashers of the Beltway are happily following the script.Meanwhile in a further mystifying step in the labyrinth of intrigue which surrounds this violent and messy bombing (which killed not only Hariri but 21 others) ….this is reported in the International Herald Tribune on October 17th …” French police arrested former Syrian intelligence officer accused of lying to UN staff investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri in Beirut, police and judicial officials said Monday.Zuhair Mohammed Al-Siddiq was taken into custody Sunday in the Paris suburb of Chatou by France's DST counterespionage service, He was the subject of an international arrest warrant and is expected to be extradited, the police said.The arrest warrant, issued by Magistrate Elias Eid of Lebanon, accused Siddiq of giving false testimony and misleading the UN investigation, judicial officials in Lebanon said.Recent blogs on same topic here
posted by Postman 10/23/2005 01:45:00 PM
Blogger Thoughts: This document was identified by the Syrian Ambassador on C-Span this morning.
A Clean Break:A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000." The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.
Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions—which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, "New Middle East"—undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s "peace process." That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass— including a palpable sense of national exhaustion—and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:
Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.
Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.
This report is written with key passages of a possible speech marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the passages.
A New Approach to Peace
Early adoption of a bold, new perspective on peace and security is imperative for the new prime minister. While the previous government, and many abroad, may emphasize "land for peace"— which placed Israel in the position of cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, and military retreat — the new government can promote Western values and traditions. Such an approach, which will be well received in the United States, includes "peace for peace," "peace through strength" and self reliance: the balance of power.
A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced:
We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Peace depends on the character and behavior of our foes. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for peace" will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land —to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years--is legitimate and noble. It is not within our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.
Israel’s quest for peace emerges from, and does not replace, the pursuit of its ideals. The Jewish people’s hunger for human rights — burned into their identity by a 2000-year old dream to live free in their own land — informs the concept of peace and reflects continuity of values with Western and Jewish tradition. Israel can now embrace negotiations, but as means, not ends, to pursue those ideals and demonstrate national steadfastness. It can challenge police states; enforce compliance of agreements; and insist on minimal standards of accountability.
Securing the Northern Border
Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by:
striking Syria’s drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.
paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.
striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.
Israel also can take this opportunity to remind the world of the nature of the Syrian regime. Syria repeatedly breaks its word. It violated numerous agreements with the Turks, and has betrayed the United States by continuing to occupy Lebanon in violation of the Taef agreement in 1989. Instead, Syria staged a sham election, installed a quisling regime, and forced Lebanon to sign a "Brotherhood Agreement" in 1991, that terminated Lebanese sovereignty. And Syria has begun colonizing Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of Syrians, while killing tens of thousands of its own citizens at a time, as it did in only three days in 1983 in Hama.
Under Syrian tutelage, the Lebanese drug trade, for which local Syrian military officers receive protection payments, flourishes. Syria’s regime supports the terrorist groups operationally and financially in Lebanon and on its soil. Indeed, the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has become for terror what the Silicon Valley has become for computers. The Bekaa Valley has become one of the main distribution sources, if not production points, of the "supernote" — counterfeit US currency so well done that it is impossible to detect.
Negotiations with repressive regimes like Syria’s require cautious realism. One cannot sensibly assume the other side’s good faith. It is dangerous for Israel to deal naively with a regime murderous of its own people, openly aggressive toward its neighbors, criminally involved with international drug traffickers and counterfeiters, and supportive of the most deadly terrorist organizations.
Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan "comprehensive peace" and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting "land for peace" deals on the Golan Heights.
Moving to a Traditional Balance of Power Strategy
We must distinguish soberly and clearly friend from foe. We must make sure that our friends across the Middle East never doubt the solidity or value of our friendship.
Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq. This has triggered a Jordanian-Syrian rivalry to which Asad has responded by stepping up efforts to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom, including using infiltrations. Syria recently signaled that it and Iran might prefer a weak, but barely surviving Saddam, if only to undermine and humiliate Jordan in its efforts to remove Saddam.
But Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses: Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And Damascus fears that the 'natural axis' with Israel on one side, central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula. For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity.
Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq, including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against Syrian subversion; encouraging — through influence in the U.S. business community — investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan’s economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria’s attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon.
Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.
King Hussein may have ideas for Israel in bringing its Lebanon problem under control. The predominantly Shia population of southern Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najf, Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet’s family, the direct descendants of which — and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows — is King Hussein.
Changing the Nature of Relations with the Palestinians
Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian-controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize.
A key element of peace is compliance with agreements already signed. Therefore, Israel has the right to insist on compliance, including closing Orient House and disbanding Jibril Rujoub’s operatives in Jerusalem. Moreover, Israel and the United States can establish a Joint Compliance Monitoring Committee to study periodically whether the PLO meets minimum standards of compliance, authority and responsibility, human rights, and judicial and fiduciary accountability.
We believe that the Palestinian Authority must be held to the same minimal standards of accountability as other recipients of U.S. foreign aid. A firm peace cannot tolerate repression and injustice. A regime that cannot fulfill the most rudimentary obligations to its own people cannot be counted upon to fulfill its obligations to its neighbors.
Israel has no obligations under the Oslo agreements if the PLO does not fulfill its obligations. If the PLO cannot comply with these minimal standards, then it can be neither a hope for the future nor a proper interlocutor for present. To prepare for this, Israel may want to cultivate alternatives to Arafat’s base of power. Jordan has ideas on this.
To emphasize the point that Israel regards the actions of the PLO problematic, but not the Arab people, Israel might want to consider making a special effort to reward friends and advance human rights among Arabs. Many Arabs are willing to work with Israel; identifying and helping them are important. Israel may also find that many of her neighbors, such as Jordan, have problems with Arafat and may want to cooperate. Israel may also want to better integrate its own Arabs.
Forging A New U.S.-Israeli Relationship
In recent years, Israel invited active U.S. intervention in Israel’s domestic and foreign policy for two reasons: to overcome domestic opposition to "land for peace" concessions the Israeli public could not digest, and to lure Arabs — through money, forgiveness of past sins, and access to U.S. weapons — to negotiate. This strategy, which required funneling American money to repressive and aggressive regimes, was risky, expensive, and very costly for both the U.S. and Israel, and placed the United States in roles is should neither have nor want.
Israel can make a clean break from the past and establish a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance, maturity and mutuality — not one focused narrowly on territorial disputes. Israel’s new strategy — based on a shared philosophy of peace through strength — reflects continuity with Western values by stressing that Israel is self-reliant, does not need U.S. troops in any capacity to defend it, including on the Golan Heights, and can manage its own affairs. Such self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure used against it in the past.
To reinforce this point, the Prime Minister can use his forthcoming visit to announce that Israel is now mature enough to cut itself free immediately from at least U.S. economic aid and loan guarantees at least, which prevent economic reform. [Military aid is separated for the moment until adequate arrangements can be made to ensure that Israel will not encounter supply problems in the means to defend itself]. As outlined in another Institute report, Israel can become self-reliant only by, in a bold stroke rather than in increments, liberalizing its economy, cutting taxes, relegislating a free-processing zone, and selling-off public lands and enterprises — moves which will electrify and find support from a broad bipartisan spectrum of key pro-Israeli Congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
Israel can under these conditions better cooperate with the U.S. to counter real threats to the region and the West’s security. Mr. Netanyahu can highlight his desire to cooperate more closely with the United States on anti-missile defense in order to remove the threat of blackmail which even a weak and distant army can pose to either state. Not only would such cooperation on missile defense counter a tangible physical threat to Israel’s survival, but it would broaden Israel’s base of support among many in the United States Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about missile defense. Such broad support could be helpful in the effort to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War which apply well to Israel. If Israel wants to test certain propositions that require a benign American reaction, then the best time to do so is before November, 1996.
Conclusions: Transcending the Arab-Israeli Conflict
TEXT: Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them.
Notable Arab intellectuals have written extensively on their perception of Israel’s floundering and loss of national identity. This perception has invited attack, blocked Israel from achieving true peace, and offered hope for those who would destroy Israel. The previous strategy, therefore, was leading the Middle East toward another Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s new agenda can signal a clean break by abandoning a policy which assumed exhaustion and allowed strategic retreat by reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone and by ceasing to absorb blows to the nation without response.
Israel’s new strategic agenda can shape the regional environment in ways that grant Israel the room to refocus its energies back to where they are most needed: to rejuvenate its national idea, which can only come through replacing Israel’s socialist foundations with a more sound footing; and to overcome its "exhaustion," which threatens the survival of the nation.
Ultimately, Israel can do more than simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict though war. No amount of weapons or victories will grant Israel the peace its seeks. When Israel is on a sound economic footing, and is free, powerful, and healthy internally, it will no longer simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict; it will transcend it. As a senior Iraqi opposition leader said recently: "Israel must rejuvenate and revitalize its moral and intellectual leadership. It is an important — if not the most important--element in the history of the Middle East." Israel — proud, wealthy, solid, and strong — would be the basis of a truly new and peaceful Middle East.
Participants in the Study Group on "A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000:"
Richard Perle, American Enterprise Institute, Study Group Leader
James Colbert, Jewish Institute for National Security AffairsCharles Fairbanks, Jr., Johns Hopkins University/SAISDouglas Feith, Feith and Zell AssociatesRobert Loewenberg, President, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political StudiesJonathan Torop, The Washington Institute for Near East PolicyDavid Wurmser, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political StudiesMeyrav Wurmser, Johns Hopkins University
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Blogger Thought: Washington Post seems to be prepping people for the hammer to fall.
October 22, 2005 -- Questions remain about Marvin Bush maid's death. Seasoned intelligence and law enforcement specialists have had an opportunity to review the police report on the suspicious death of Marvin Bush employee Bertha Champagne on September 29, 2003. Chief among the questions are: How could a vehicle traveling at mere 5 miles per hour have struck and crushed a person without prior warning? How could a late model vehicle go into gear without the key being in the ignition? Why would the key be in the ignition if the employee was walking the dogs? Why didn't the dogs start barking and alert Mrs. Champagne to danger? What was actually on the videotape in question? What was the circumstance of the videotape encounter between Mrs. Champagne and President Bush? Why were dirt samples not being analyzed by the State of Virginia lab? Could dirt samples have pointed to the presence of other witnesses/suspects? Why did the vehicle continue to cross Ft. Hunt Dr. after hitting the woman and the outer building without someone being on the accelerator peddle (the driveway is a flat surface, no incline)? Why were there no witnesses to the car crossing Ft. Hunt Rd. on its own during a Monday night rush hour -- 9:06 pm? -- (Ft. Hunt Rd. is an extremely busy road connecting two main arteries -- Route 1 and George Washington Parkway).
October 21, 2005 -- EXCLUSIVE TO WMR: Marvin Bush's maid wanted to show him a video of her and President Bush. Moments later she was crushed to death by her own vehicle in Marvin Bush's driveway.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
faced pressure on jobs Hamm: Adviser told him to comply
By Tom Loftustloftus@courier-journal.comThe Courier-Journal
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A state personnel official said he told Gov. Ernie Fletcher's advisers last year that he did not want to fill merit jobs on the basis of politics.
But that official, J.P. Hamm, said one of the advisers, Darrell Brock, warned him to do as he was told, according to documents the attorney general's office filed in court yesterday.
"When I give you a name I speak for the governor," Hamm said Brock told him, according to the documents.
At the time, Brock was head of the Governor's Office of Local Development, and he is now chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party.
Brock was indicted on allegations of breaking the merit system law but later pardoned by Fletcher, who then asked him to step down as GOP chairman.
Hamm, executive director of the Office of Personnel Management for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, told investigators he did not believe Brock spoke for Fletcher.
The governor has denied any wrongdoing, saying he never knowingly broke the law, but some in his administration "made mistakes." Most qualified candidates
At a later meeting, Hamm said he pleaded that they had to hire the most qualified applicants in his cabinet because "we're dealing with health and family, we're not dealing with filling pot holes."
But Hamm said an unpaid adviser, Dave Disponett, treasurer of the state Republican Party, told him: "If you only hired the most qualified people, how will our people ever get hired?"
Disponett was indicted Thursday on allegations of breaking the merit law.
He has previously denied wrongdoing.
Hamm declined to comment yesterday through the cabinet spokeswoman.
Disponett and Brock could not be reached.
The transcript of Hamm's interview Aug. 9 with investigators was among more than 200 pages of investigation records that the attorney general's office filed in Franklin Circuit Court late yesterday.
The records were filed in response to an attempt by Fletcher's former chief of staff, Daniel Groves, to have his own indictment dismissed.
A judge has yet to rule on the matter.
Groves was indicted Sept. 30 by a special grand jury on three counts of criminal conspiracy to violate the state merit law that requires hiring of civil service workers to be based on qualifications and forbids political considerations. Battle over pardon's scope
Fletcher issued a pardon order that Groves believes covers him. That order specifies that the only person it does not cover is Fletcher.
Yesterday Fletcher's office released a statement asserting that the order covers anyone caught up in the investigation of allegations that the Fletcher administration broke the merit system law.
"The Governor and his counsel are confident in the constitutional power of amnesty. The Attorney General's unconstitutional actions are in direct violation of a settled legal precedent," the statement said.
Groves and his lawyer did not respond to phone messages.
The filing by the attorney general's office's contends that Fletcher's pardon cannot apply to Groves because he was indicted after the order was issued. Putting Republicans in jobs
Much of the attorney general's filing repeats what prosecutors have already alleged: That as a result of great pressure from GOP supporters to put Republicans in state jobs, the governor's office created the Governor's Personnel Initiative.
Under the initiative, trusted supporters were placed in the cabinets of state government to help see that supporters would get merit jobs, prosecutors allege.
And prosecutors say part of the scheme was to use the governor's network of eight regional outreach offices, known as LINK -- for Local Initiatives for a New Kentucky -- to forward recommendations of political supporters and vet the names of pending hires.
The response filed yesterday cites e-mails and other records previously released showing Groves' involvement in setting up the initiative.
It notes that former Transportation Cabinet official Dan Druen told investigators in August that the initiative was Groves' brainchild. New details from Hamm
Prosecutors also disclosed for the first time a transcript of an interview with Hamm, who had been designated as the Health and Family Services Cabinet's member of the initiative.
Hamm was hired as that cabinet's top personnel official in May 2004.
According to the response filed yesterday, he said that by late summer that year it became almost a full-time job for his assistant to track the status of merit job applicants referred to him by the governor's office.
Hamm said that while in the Capitol on other business last fall he met with Disponett and Brock in Disponett's office, where the two questioned why he hadn't hired a woman they recommended for a secretarial job.
"Hamm stated that the meeting became heated when he told Disponett and Brock that she had not been the most qualified candidate," the response states.
Hamm said it was at this meeting that Brock told him he spoke for the governor.
At a second meeting later last year Hamm said he intended to describe to Brock, Disponett and another unpaid Fletcher adviser, J. Marshall Hughes, how recommendations from political supporters should be handled based on opinions of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.
Hamm said this meeting became "extremely heated" and Brock told him regarding hiring decisions, "If I give you a name, that's good enough for you."
But Hamm said that earlier this year, the pressure to hire recommended candidates subsided in his cabinet. He said that in a February meeting, John Roach, then Fletcher's general counsel, told a LINK lawyer "to make sure the LINK representatives knew that they were not in the business of passing resumes."
After that, Hamm said his cabinet "never got any pushback." Fletcher e-mail
The filing also says that a series of personnel moves by the governor last fall were intended to help implement the personnel initiative, including the move of Basil Turbyfill from a job in the Finance Cabinet to Fletcher's office to become an adviser on personnel.
The filing states that on Nov. 28, 2004, Fletcher e-mailed his new chief of staff, Stan Cave, and said of Turbyfill, "He said he's willing to do what I ask of him."
The filing also alleges that advisers including Disponett, Turbyfill and Hughes were getting pressure to put political supporters in jobs.
Another e-mail included in the filing was to Hughes from Allen Sturgeon, the Breckinridge County GOP chairman.
In it, Sturgeon said: "I realize that Ernie campaigned on a 'No Politics as usual' policy, but if we don't have input in helping loyal Republicans get a chance at state jobs it will come back to haunt us in upcoming elections."
The filing said Sturgeon was interested in a foreman's job at the state's local highway garage. "I don't know if it is a Merit Position or not, but it is a position that I feel the local party should have some input when it is filled."
Sturgeon said last night he may have written the e-mail, but he did not recall it.
He said all he ever wanted to recommend was that Republican applicants get fair consideration for jobs.
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How do you feel about the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court?
She's qualified for the bench on her merits
She's not qualified, having never been a judge
If Bush feels she's the right choice, that's good enough
Waiting for confirmation hearings to form an opinion
She's just another Bush crony
Total Votes: 2848
Keld Bach�s Press Cuttings � Blog Archive � Griffin: Controlled Demolition of World Trade Center is Now a Fact
Tags: 09/11/2001 Controlled Demo WTC 09/11 NY Towers Explosion Bombs WTC7
Tags: 09/11/2001 WTC "unmanned survelillance vehicle"
Blogger Thoughts: Rumsfeld, on the Job... hardly. He does not know whether the charges are true.
Blogger Thoughts: No offense toward Pryor intended: DO YOU THINK YOU WORTHLESS DEMOCRATS COULD DO ANY MORE TO DESERVE YOUR MINORITY STATUS!?
Where's you indignation about FEMA? Where's your indignation about Corruption? Where's your indignation about mindless killing in Iraq?
Blogger Thought: GOPUSA unwittingly publishes the truth again....
Blogger Thoughts: The AP, and Yahoo, looking out for us "Red State" Americans not used to those 50 cent phrases.
Blogger Thoughts: Some of us just can't help it.
A former State Department bigwig unloads.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Friday, Oct. 21, 2005, at 3:59 PM PT
Lawrence Wilkerson was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. Inside the Bush administration, he has never been a team player. Last year he told GQ, "I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin on a sealed train to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians I don't like." He also complained that the Defense Department was mucking around in Taiwan, "delivering messages to Taiwan that 'Taiwan needn't worry.' " When he said these things, Wilkerson was still on the State Department payroll.
Now he is off the State Department payroll. In a speech this week to the New America Foundation, he laid out what I think may be the most blisteringly contemptuous critique yet of the Bush administration by a.former high-ranking official there. (Second prize: Richard Clarke, or possibly Paul O'Neill.)
Here is how Wilkerson described his time in the Bush administration:
[T]he case that I saw for four-plus years was a case that I have never seen in my study of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process. What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy didn't know were being made. And then when the bureaucracy was presented with the decision to carry them out, it was presented in such a disjointed, incredible way that the bureaucracy often didn't know what it was doing as it moved to carry them out.
Of Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, Wilkerson said: "Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man." Yet, with regard to Iraq policy, he was "given carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw itself in a closet somewhere."
Of President Bush, Wilkerson said he is "not versed in international relations and not too interested in them either."
Of former national security adviser Condolezza Rice, Wilkerson said, "She made a decision she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president."
Quoting George Packer's new book, The Assassin's Gate, quoting Richard Haas, former director of policy planning at the State Department, Wilkerson said, "To this day I still don't know why we went to war in Iraq." Haas declined to comment to me about the speech.
And so on. You can read the whole thing here.Timothy Noah writes "Chatterbox" for Slate.
Blogger Thoughts: Not sure I take all of this as the perfect characterization, but it is as close as I can find.