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Did Speaker Pelosi Commit a Felony By Going to Damascus?

The Wall Street Journal thinks so. Robert Turner in an article today (subscription required) explains how Nancy Pelosi violate the Logan Act:

President John Adams requested the statute after a Pennsylvania pacifist named George Logan traveled to France in 1798 to assure the French government that the American people favored peace in the undeclared "Quasi War" being fought on the high seas between the two countries. In proposing the law, Rep. Roger Griswold of Connecticut explained that the object was, as recorded in the Annals of Congress, "to punish a crime which goes to the destruction of the executive power of the government. He meant that description of crime which arises from an interference of individual citizens in the negotiations of our executive with foreign governments."


The debate on this bill ran nearly 150 pages in the Annals. On Jan. 16, 1799, Rep. Isaac Parker of Massachusetts explained, "the people of the United States have given to the executive department the power to negotiate with foreign governments, and to carry on all foreign relations, and that it is therefore an usurpation of that power for an individual to undertake to correspond with any foreign power on any dispute between the two governments, or for any state government, or any other department of the general government, to do it."

Griswold and Parker were Federalists who believed in strong executive power. But consider this statement by Albert Gallatin, the future Secretary of the Treasury under President Thomas Jefferson, who was wary of centralized government: "it would be extremely improper for a member of this House to enter into any correspondence with the French Republic . . . As we are not at war with France, an offence of this kind would not be high treason, yet it would be as criminal an act, as if we were at war . . . ." Indeed, the offense is greater when the usurpation of the president's constitutional authority is done by a member of the legislature -- all the more so by a Speaker of the House -- because it violates not just statutory law but constitutes a usurpation of the powers of a separate branch and a breach of the oath of office Ms. Pelosi took to support the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has spoken clearly on this aspect of the separation of powers. In Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall used the president's authority over the Department of State as an illustration of those "important political powers" that, "being entrusted to the executive, the decision of the executive is conclusive." And in the landmark 1936 Curtiss-Wright case, the Supreme Court reaffirmed: "Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it."

Ms. Pelosi and her Congressional entourage spoke to President Assad on various issues, among other things saying, "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace." She is certainly not the first member of Congress -- of either party -- to engage in this sort of behavior, but her position as a national leader, the wartime circumstances, the opposition to the trip from the White House, and the character of the regime she has chosen to approach make her behavior particularly inappropriate.

As Mr. Turner writes in his first paragraph, President Bush won't touch this extremely political issue, but he suggests that perhaps Patrick Fitzgerald needs to step in. That won't happen. Even though Speaker Pelosi won't be tried in a court of law, she should be tried in the court of pubic opinion. Unfortunately, though, I suspect most of the American people either didn't pay any attention to Mrs. Pelosi's trip or, if they did pay attention, they just didn't care that she completely overstepped her bounds. I think the American people are too busy enjoying their bread and circuses to care that the Democrats are trying to marginalize President Bush and take over the government in their quest for complete power.


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Comments (164)

You can get free access to ... (Below threshold)
David Ridgewood:

You can get free access to that WSJ article with a netpass from www.congoo.com

" I think the American peop... (Below threshold)
FreedmFtr:

" I think the American people are too busy enjoying their bread and circuses"

While I'm sure we all certainly appreciate your patronizong tone, suppose just for a second that the drooling unwashed masses ARE paying attention and see this president as one who NEEDS to be marginalized because his incompetence is a danger to our nation's vital interests.

I don't suppose that notion would appear sane in the realm of the true believers but what the hell.

"It's all Bush's FAULT!!!!!... (Below threshold)
DoninFla:

"It's all Bush's FAULT!!!!!"
/blog vultures

IMPEACHIMPEACH... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

IMPEACH

IMPEACH

IMPEACH

While I'm sure we all ce... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

While I'm sure we all certainly appreciate your patronizong tone, suppose just for a second that the drooling unwashed masses ARE paying attention and see this president as one who NEEDS to be marginalized because his incompetence is a danger to our nation's vital interests.

I don't suppose that notion would appear sane in the realm of the true believers but what the hell.


So, to be clear- we can do away with the Constitution because Democrats have an opposing view of the world?

"So, to be clear- we can do... (Below threshold)
Freedmftr:

"So, to be clear- we can do away with the Constitution because Democrats have an opposing view of the world"

To reference a post from earlier this morning:
r-e-c-i-p-r-o-c-i-t-y

Your leader has been wiping his feet with your beloved Constitution for years now without protest from people like you. You suddenly find your moral compass when the shoe's on the other foot.

Your leader has been wip... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Your leader has been wiping his feet with your beloved Constitution for years now without protest from people like you. You suddenly find your moral compass when the shoe's on the other foot.

Examples please. Mind you that the patriot act that the lefties hate so much was congresses doing and prisoners from another country being kept outside the United States don't have constitutional rights.

What really frustrates the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

What really frustrates the left is the unconscionable probity of this administration.
==================================

They won't name them, then ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

They won't name them, then we can debunk them.

Like the wiretapping for example. Bush didn't do anything that wasn't done under the previous administration. The only difference was the qantity, which after an attack that killed 3000 people wouldn't be surprising. And much of that increase was aimed at calls between two international points routed through the US.

Your leader has been wip... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Your leader has been wiping his feet with your beloved Constitution for years now without protest from people like you. You suddenly find your moral compass when the shoe's on the other foot.

Put me on the list as another that like to see specifics on that to which you're referring.

Even if you think that the Patriot Act violates your Constitution rights somehow, it at a minimum adheres to the rule of law (i.e. there's a legal basis for any action PLUS the law has a sunset clause). Ms. Pelosi had no such legal basis for violating the Logan Act and as such simply sets a precedent which has no sunset... meaning that it opens the door for others to do as she has and permanently weakens then Executive branch of government.

THANK-YOU. Somebody said wh... (Below threshold)
Marla:

THANK-YOU. Somebody said what I've been thinking since this incident occured. Can anyone say TREASON anymore?? And yes, that what I think this is. Also Kim, kudos on the American people being too self-absorbed as a whole to even notice the political arena. One of my pet peeves.

Arg.

The Logan act has been viol... (Below threshold)
Matt:

The Logan act has been violated so many times, by so many people, it could of been written by Anna Nicole Smith. I don't recall any administration taking it seriously since it was signed into law.

Nobody cares about Pelosi committing because she is a high ranking politician and the public has become hardened to them committing felonies.

Bread and Circuses. Can't eat the bread, to many carbs, can't go to the circus, PETA might get me.

One of the things that cont... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

One of the things that continually amuses is the constant whine of the left about loss of freedoms and rights under this administration.

Try to find a single one of those liberals in jail somewhere.

Amazing how the left can scream bushoilchimpymchitlerburton without retribution and scream oppression at the same time.

The left is incomprehensibly stupid.

Sorry, you'd have to get a ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry, you'd have to get a different prosecutor than Fitzgerald. That partisan hack is back here in Chicago....prosecuting Democrats.

Here is an exampleof the pr... (Below threshold)
marc:

Here is an exampleof the problems Pelosi's exploits hace caused:

This from a Saudi editorial

"U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminds us of the ambitious office worker surrounded by dunderheads who can't or won't get the job done. So she rolls up her sleeves and says for all the world to hear: 'Well, it looks like I'll have to do it myself.'

And note the pic of Pelosi without a head scarf. The vast majority (99.9% I'd guess from experience) of Saudi women wear them.

I'd love to ask her why she chose to wear one in Syria and not, at least for this photo, in Saudi Arabia.

Nothing will come of Pelosi... (Below threshold)
Lowkey:

Nothing will come of Pelosis' talks in the Middle East. Just like nothing was done about Teddy Kennedy attempting to undermine the Reagan adminstration during the cold war by meeting with Russia and promising "cooperation" to side step american policy.

Lowkey

Yawn. The Wall Street Journ... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Yawn. The Wall Street Journal also thought the Clintons commited murder and dealt coccaine. Somehow the lack of indictiment for either didn't seem to reinforce the Journal's assertions to well.

"Unfortunately, though, I suspect most of the American people either didn't pay any attention to Mrs. Pelosi's trip or, if they did pay attention, they just didn't care that she completely overstepped her bounds.

On the contrary, those of us who know how to read are paying attention to EVERY diplomatic mission made to Syria in the past few weeks. Not just the one where someones head attire causes a stir.
Meaning still, no reubttal from the Wizkids over trips to made by Aderholt (R-AL), Wolf (R-VA) and most recently, Issa (R-CA).

Ah, forgive me. Bush really went out of his way (while on his record setting 347th vacation day) to criticize Issa through White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe who said Bush doesn't "think this is helpful."

Now thats a profile in courage.

MPG:Now thats ... (Below threshold)
marc:

MPG:

Now thats a profile in courage.

I think if you look around here you will find critics of the republicans in Syria as well. Did it rise to the level of Pelosi's trip?

No.

But none of the others in the traveling delegation are second in line to the Presidency either. In addition they didn't have a dem (Lantos) say specifically say she was in Syria to offer an "different" diplomatic effort than that of the President.

As a side note Gov Richardson (D) will be in Asia kick-starting the 6 party talks on N. Korea with the full blessing of Bush.

I'd love to ask her why ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'd love to ask her why she chose to wear one in Syria and not, at least for this photo, in Saudi Arabia.

Because she was touring a mosque in Syria when those photos were taken. She, like the Secretary of State and First Lady, shows respect for her hosts' customs concerning their houses of worship, whether that be at the Vatican, a synagogue, or a mosque.

Focus on the foreign policy/Logan Act debate, the scarf thing is much ado about nothing.

"Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool;
Only his gift is in devising impossible slanders..."

mantis, that's 'cuz Fitz is... (Below threshold)
kim:

mantis, that's 'cuz Fitz is excellent at tearing up criminal conspiracies. It's when he's pointed where there ain't one that he screws up.
=============================

"Did it rise to the leve... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

"Did it rise to the level of Pelosi's trip?

No"

Oh you're right. Syria was just a fuel stop or a layover for these guys, right?

Mantis: we are sorry that y... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Mantis: we are sorry that your buddy Fitz did not get to "frog march" Rove out of the WH. LOL Did you notice how "happy" Rove was at the party over it?
You know you hear all this "majority" of people are against this or that but try this--go out on the street and ask who Peeloser or Chenney are-80% don't even know who you are talking about-close to 90% cannot even pick out where Iraq is on a map. As the saying goes -polls are-----.

we are sorry that your b... (Below threshold)
mantis:

we are sorry that your buddy Fitz did not get to "frog march" Rove out of the WH.

You're sorry? Why? Fitzgerald didn't uncover any criminal activity involving Rove. Btw if you can find an instance of me accusing Rove of anything or suggesting he be "frog marched" anywhere I'll give you a dollar. My point was that all of the attempts to paint Fitzgerald as some sort of partisan operative were entirely baseless.

I don't know how to respond to your rant about polls; it seems directed at me but has nothing to do with what I wrote. Try breaking the pills in half next time.

MPG, have any of these othe... (Below threshold)
kim:

MPG, have any of these other people made as big a fool of themselves as she has?
=================================

Fitz was certainly partisan... (Below threshold)
kim:

Fitz was certainly partisan against the White House. He imagined a criminal conspiracy there to out Plame when the evidence was all against it.
===============================

The left wing democrats hav... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The left wing democrats have been screaming 'impeach' for a non crime of one type or another since before President Bush took office. Now if the excuse we have for an attorney general doesn't arrest Peeeeloshi and her party (including the RINO's) and put them on trial for treason (a felony openly committed) the democrats (few that are left when you deduct the communist and socialist) have an air tight case for impeachment. Failure/refusal to do his primary job of enforcing the laws of the constitution. Even I will support impeachment the day Peeeeloshit and crowd report to Federal Prison for execution or life without parole, and the charges were brought by the public or congress and not the attorney general. Maybe Fitzfong would like another case where a crime was actually committed. What could he do if he wasn't playing politics with a flameout?

"I'd love to ask her why sh... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"I'd love to ask her why she chose to wear one in Syria and not, at least for this photo, in Saudi Arabia."

Since this is the holy week, how about when the Pope took off his shoes when he visited the Blue Mosque in Turkey?

If the Pope, whom is infallible, believes it is appropriate to adhere to Muslim customs when visiting a Mosque, how can you criticize the Speaker?

Happy Crucifixion Day

Fitz was certainly parti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Fitz was certainly partisan against the White House. He imagined a criminal conspiracy there to out Plame when the evidence was all against it.

He was tasked by Justice to investigate allegations, which he did thoroughly. I'm sure you think he should have wrapped the investigation when he found out about Armitage, but considering the number of lips flapping to the press from different corners, he would have been leaving the investigation very incomplete had he done so.

Mantis:Because... (Below threshold)
marc:

Mantis:

Because she was touring a mosque in Syria when those photos were taken. She, like the Secretary of State and First Lady, shows respect for her hosts' customs concerning their houses of worship, whether that be at the Vatican, a synagogue, or a mosque.

You're clueless, women wear headscarves at all times in all places in Saudi Arabia.

So what did he find, pray t... (Below threshold)
kim:

So what did he find, pray tell, mantis?
========================

He certainly didn't find a ... (Below threshold)
kim:

He certainly didn't find a criminal conspiracy to out Plame, now, did he?
=======================================

You're clueless, women w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You're clueless, women wear headscarves at all times in all places in Saudi Arabia.

I'm aware of that, jackass. The point is that female diplomatic visitors will cover their heads when entering holy places, not that they will adhere to all local customs of dress. By your rationale a female visitor to India should not only remove her shoes when entering a Hindu mandir, but must also wear a sari during her entire stay in the country.

When I have visited synagogues in the past I have worn a yarmulke out of respect and custom. If I were to go to Israel I would do the same in any temples there. That does not mean I would adhere to all of the daily customs of orthodox Jews. I'm sure you understand the difference, but you'd rather play the prince's jester.

Like I say, Fitz is excelle... (Below threshold)
kim:

Like I say, Fitz is excellent at rolling up criminal conspiracies, but what he did instead in the Plame case is suborn Russert's perjury in pursuance of a partisan hatchet job on the White House.
=====================================

He certainly didn't find... (Below threshold)
mantis:

He certainly didn't find a criminal conspiracy to out Plame, now, did he?

I think we can safely assume he did not find sufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy to prosecute, if any at all. The question is, how would he know it wasn't there without investigating?

No, Fitz is the jackass.<br... (Below threshold)
kim:

No, Fitz is the jackass.
=============

BarneyG2000As far ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

BarneyG2000

As far are you ignorance about Papal infallibility. It's been invoked about 1/2 dozen times on mostly cosmological doctrine like Immaculate conception. Which for your further edification has nothing to do with Jesus' conception.

Well, you put up a strawman... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, you put up a strawman by assuming I didn't think he should investigate further. He may have been persuaded that classified information was mishandled, but he couldn't prove anything without suborning perjury. That means he should not have prosecuted.
===========================

Oh... so now I'm a jackass.... (Below threshold)
marc:

Oh... so now I'm a jackass.

Fine ASSHAT!

Here's a clue, the U.S. Gov places so much emphasis on following the customs of Saudi Arabia they require, via military directive, all female military members when not in uniform to have no exposed flesh. I.E. they must wear long sleeve blouses and long skirts. The U.S. Navy went further than that be directing women were banned from wearing pants while in the kingdom.

The single exception for the "Saudi norm" was in fact the wearing of head scarves. However they were "highly encouraged" as well.

"Highly encouraged" in military speak meant you will, or you will pay one way or another.

So it was OKAY for the 3 Re... (Below threshold)
cody:

So it was OKAY for the 3 Republicans that went and had an audience with President Assad a week earlier. Just like it's OKAY for companies like Haliburton to use subsidiaries and sister companies to do business with our enemies like Iran. That's Okay. There's no reason to be afraid of Diplomacy. I know it's been a while since we've seen any. But it is Okay to use it. We do not have to catergorize every country we don't get along with as being in the Axis of Evil or threaten them when they don't adhere to our demands. We ARE the big dog. China, Russia, the UK, everyone knows it. Sometimes you have to hear what the other dogs are barking about. You can't just sit in your doghouse and growl. I don't know if anyone realizes but over half of the CIVILIZED world appears to disagree with us a good portion of the time. This is a very polorized world in which we live. There isn't just Good and Evil as some claim. Diplomacy isn't just black and white, there are about a million shades of grey. Besides, since I was a child I learned that you keep your friends close, but keep you enemies closer. Apparently some believe that we should just do the BIG BOY thing and ignore them. I strongly disagree. I believe that we should keep our eyes on the leaders of Iran, North Korea and Syria (as well as Russia and China). Running the country isn't like the 7th and 8th grade where you can just ignore or avoid the individuals that you don't like.

So mantis, what your saying... (Below threshold)
metprof:

So mantis, what your saying is that once Fitznifong knew Plame was outed by Armitage (the big, lovable lug) and discovered it wasn't a crime, he MUST keep looking for ANYTHING else that could be a crime (especially if it involves a Republican, everyone knows their ALL crooks, just ask John Kerry). How long does he keep looking? Maybe he should have expanded the investigation to include William Jefferson or Bob Menedez.....LOLOLOLOL

"Pelosi's office defended h... (Below threshold)
Who's John Galt?:

"Pelosi's office defended her trip by noting that the "administration's cold-shoulder approach has yielded nothing but more Syrian intransigence." As true as that is, the place for Pelosi to make the case is not in Damascus. It's not up to the speaker to unfreeze relations with Assad."

Not the WSJ, but USA Today. The tide is turning against Pelosi. It's interesting to watch the stupid defend her.

Hey Cody, buy Halliburton. ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey Cody, buy Halliburton. George Soros just did.
===============================

Or is that too nuanced for ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Or is that too nuanced for you?
===================

We are paying attention and... (Below threshold)
L:

We are paying attention and what amazes me is that she actually thinks that men in that culture are going to actually take her seriously and change something based upon her thoughts and actions. The only thing they will do is use her for propaganda. In addition she is being paid to be in DC working legislation, not going out as a diplomat. She is robbing the American people by not doing her job and not allowing others do theirs. She is delusional, like many other liberals, and needs to get back to reality and understand what the American people expect of her and whre she could actually be of value if she would act in the best interest of our country. Not try to be an appeasier of countries that would like to see the US just fall.
She broke the law, let's impeach her, and let's send her to jail! HA HA fat chance.

Well, you put up a straw... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, you put up a strawman by assuming I didn't think he should investigate further.

I just assumed. If this was erroneous than I apologize. It's not exactly an uncommon argument (see metprof's post on this thread).

He may have been persuaded that classified information was mishandled, but he couldn't prove anything without suborning perjury.

Only if you believe that Russert's affidavit was intentionally false, which has not been proven. In any case it comes down to a he said/he said, and the jury had to decide.

then not "than" above.... (Below threshold)
mantis:

then not "than" above.

Oh... so now I'm a jackass.

No, I'll bet you always have been.

As far as the rest of your non-response, since when is Congress part of the military, and thus bound by its directives? In any case you yourself point out that there is an exception for headscarves, which was your point of contention in the first place. Get over it jester.

Eckinrode's original notes ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Eckinrode's original notes of the interview with Russert are lost, but the characterization of them is that Russert wasn't sure that Plame had not come up in his conversation with Libby. Russert later testified that it would have been impossible for it to come up. These are both in evidence and the jury fouled up. Retrial, if it comes to that, will have Eckinrode on the stand and Russert again, also.

Just you wait, Enery Iggins, just you wait.
===========================

Put me on the list as an... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Put me on the list as another that like to see specifics on that to which you're referring.
_Mike_

No was has addressed this, so I will. This easiest answer is signing statements. Bush has issued more of them than all other Presidents combined. They cover a whole range of topics and clearly usurp the Congress's legislative authority. Then there's also the backtracking on the NSA wiretapping which they said was vital, but then changed their minds and said it could actually be done under FISA. Then there's the recent story about the US attorneys where a provision repealing the Senate's advice and consent authority was mysteriously slipped into the Patriot Act (likely at the behest of the executive branch) to avoid that pesky parliamentary procedure of vetting candidates. There's also trying enemy combatants in military tribunals before Congress had authorized that method of trial.

I'm sure there are more, but this is a decent demonstration.

what your saying is that once Fitznifong knew Plame was outed by Armitage (the big, lovable lug) and discovered it wasn't a crime, he MUST keep looking for ANYTHING else that could be a crime
metprof

I'm not sure of the sequence of events, but isn't it possible (read very likely) Fitz interviewed Libby BEFORE Armitage, so he didn't have to KEEP looking for anything. Through the course of the initial investigation, Libby happened to commit perjury before Fitz knew the whole story. He wasn't digging to find a crime at all, Libby commited one from the start.

>Your leader has been wi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

>Your leader has been wiping his feet with your beloved Constitution for years now without
...
>Examples please.

One.
Two.

But what's the point? You're just going to respond and say that either they were actually legal (despite a federal judge and the Justice Dept.'s own findings), that Cliiiiinton did them too, or that you don't care if the administration breaks the law because they're only protecting us from terr'ists.

Because she was touring ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Because she was touring a mosque in Syria when those photos were taken. She, like the Secretary of State and First Lady, shows respect for her hosts' customs concerning their houses of worship, whether that be at the Vatican, a synagogue, or a mosque.

Focus on the foreign policy/Logan Act debate, the scarf thing is much ado about nothing.

Funny how Muslims never lose those scarves when they visit here - respecting our custom of equal treatment for women.

Fitz was certainly parti... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Fitz was certainly partisan against the White House. He imagined a criminal conspiracy there to out Plame when the evidence was all against it.

Kim

The proof of that lies in the fact that Fitz pursued Rove and Libby when Novak clearly said in 2003 that the leaker was not in the White House.

I'm aware of that, jacka... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I'm aware of that, jackass. The point is that female diplomatic visitors will cover their heads when entering holy places, not that they will adhere to all local customs of dress. By your rationale a female visitor to India should not only remove her shoes when entering a Hindu mandir, but must also wear a sari during her entire stay in the country.

When I have visited synagogues in the past I have worn a yarmulke out of respect and custom. If I were to go to Israel I would do the same in any temples there. That does not mean I would adhere to all of the daily customs of orthodox Jews. I'm sure you understand the difference, but you'd rather play the prince's jester.

Jackass yourself.

ALL of Saudi is considered Holy Land.

Naw, sean, Fitz knew about ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Naw, sean, Fitz knew about Armitage before Libby's alleged perjury before the Grand Jury. What he did have, though, was Eckinrode's report of what Russert had said about what Libby had said. That's why we need Eckinrode on the stand, and clarification of just what Russert knew and said. His sworn testimony contradicts FBI evidence from his interview with them.

It's important because it is pretty clear that the press in general, and NBC in particular, knew a lot more about Plame/Wilson than the White House did, and knew it earlier. Libby's conviction is a miscarriage of justice that will be righted.
=====================

The proof of that lies i... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The proof of that lies in the fact that Fitz pursued Rove and Libby when Novak clearly said in 2003 that the leaker was not in the White House.
drjohn

Oh, because Fitz should take prosecutorial advice from Novak?

Good thing you're a doctor, not a lawyer.

"Happy Crucifixion Day"<... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

"Happy Crucifixion Day"

I thought you quit the acid, Barney.

Well, the leaker wasn't in ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, the leaker wasn't in the White House. If a doctor gives better legal advice than a lawyer, I'll take it.
=========================

Oh, because Fitz should ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Oh, because Fitz should take prosecutorial advice from Novak?

Good thing you're a doctor, not a lawyer.

Novak told the truth.

All along.

And the investigation should have ended when it reached its goal.

But noooooooooo............

Just you wait, Enery Igg... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just you wait, Enery Iggins, just you wait.

Oh-ho-ho, down he'll go. Maybe. In any case my point has little to do with Libby's guilt or Russert's truthfulness, but rather the integrity of the prosecutor, whose work in Chicago I'm quite familiar with. You'll forgive me if, based on his track record here and the fact that he was appointed to his U.S. Attorney position by President Bush on recommendation from a Republican senator, I'm a bit skeptical of the accusations of partisanship in the Plame investigation based on the somewhat fuzzy testimony of Russert.

What a farce it became when... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

What a farce it became when the target of the investigation was granted immunity.

Yes!Send Her to gu... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes!

Send Her to guantanamo.

I recognize your point, man... (Below threshold)
kim:

I recognize your point, mantis, and I believe Fitz has done some fine work in Chicago at rolling up real criminal conspiracies. He apparently has done some stellar work in anti-terrorist prosecution also.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am intimate with his work on the Plame case and his is so overweeningly ambitious as to become unethical. He has suborned perjury from Russert. He has needlessly restricted reporters access to information. He has lied a judge in the Judy Miller case. And he has not obeyed the overiding duty of every prosecutor, to see that justice is done. He should be disbarred.
===========================

Funny how Muslims never ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Funny how Muslims never lose those scarves when they visit here - respecting our custom of equal treatment for women.

Our custom of equal treatment of women requires they uncover their heads? How so?

Jackass yourself.

ALL of Saudi is considered Holy Land.

No, it's not. Or at the very least, that is not a widely accepted view, even among Saudis.

I suspect that Fitz just ca... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I suspect that Fitz just caught Libby up and once he had the so-called "lie" on his lap, he was probably reluctant to let it go, no matter how small it was, because that would leave him vulnerable to Democratic criticism besmirching his reputation.

Which he did not help in any case.

Dickerson was allowed to not remember, and so was Gregory. Russert got special treatment and his memory went bad, and worst of all, Mitchell's unsolicited assertion was omitted.

I think what a lot of peopl... (Below threshold)

I think what a lot of people are missing when they keep bringing up the Republican Reps that visited Syria is that they were more likely to be trusted to promote the administration's policies, whereas Nancy Pelosi would almost certainly not.

Pelosi's visit has already caused problems with her misrepresentation of what Olmert said to her. And that's aside from the fact that he never asked her to represent him at all.

No, it's not. Or at the ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

No, it's not. Or at the very least, that is not a widely accepted view, even among Saudis.

Nonsense.

Tha's why the rules of conduct and dress are so explicit, as described above. The place is rife with hypocrisy (stills in everyone's basement) but on its face it's rigid.

It's one reason Osama attacked the US. Specifically.

The Wahabbis believe it, and they comprise the majority of the population. And they are the most fundamental of the fundamentlists.

He has suborned perjury ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

He has suborned perjury from Russert.

Even if you accept the premise that Russert perjured himself, it has not been shown that Fitzgerald knowingly suborned said perjury. In any case this will be borne out if there is a retrial.

He has needlessly restricted reporters access to information.

I'm not sure what you're referring to here.

He has lied a judge in the Judy Miller case.

Ah, this old one. I assume you're talking about the correction from "key judgement" to "some of the key judgments," which changed absolutely nothing about the case. To call it a lie is absurd.

And he has not obeyed the overiding duty of every prosecutor, to see that justice is done.

So says you.

Then there's the recent... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Then there's the recent story about the US attorneys where a provision repealing the Senate's advice and consent authority was mysteriously slipped into the Patriot Act (likely at the behest of the executive branch) to avoid that pesky parliamentary procedure of vetting candidates.

You might want to learn about that which you speak to avoid looking foolish in the future. No such thing happened. The provision you're refering to was an amendment to the law allowing the appointment of interim USAs. The change removed the 120 day time limit on them and changed it so that an interim replacement can serve until their replacement is approved by the senate. So in essence rather than have 2-3 interim appointments while waiting for the senate to approve someone they can use one. Congress said they didn't read it when they passed it the first time (great job there) and they obviously didn't read it when they voted to repeal it or they'd have noticed how ridiculous all the furor over it was.

Did Speaker Pelosi... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Did Speaker Pelosi Commit a Felony By Going to Damascus?

I don't know. Did the Republic Party member who accompanied her? Did the whole Republican delegation that preceded her to Damascus?

Now, let's be honest. Who is playing politics here? The hypocrites who ignore the Republic Party's trip and criticize Pelosi, of course.

Tha's why the rules of c... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Tha's why the rules of conduct and dress are so explicit, as described above.

The rules are so explicit because it is a authoritarian theocratic monarchy, not because every inch of land in Saudi Arabia is considered holy. The Hijaz region, maybe, but that is only a small portion of the country.

I don't know. Did the Re... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I don't know. Did the Republic Party member who accompanied her? Did the whole Republican delegation that preceded her to Damascus?

They did not bring a Democratic "alternative foreign policy" as was asserted by Tom Llantos. That kind of made things crystal clear. It's no mistake that Pelosi got pelted by WaPo and even such Democratic operatives as Matt Lauer.

I thought this thread was a... (Below threshold)
914:

I thought this thread was about Pelosi's treasonous felonie?
Not Fitzgerald's malicious misprosecution.

By the manner in which Fitz... (Below threshold)
kim:

By the manner in which Fitz argued to keep Russert's testimony unchallenged it is certain that he knew it was perjury.

Rulings about what reporters must divulge about sources, stemming from Fitz's requests, have chilled normal sourcing. Ask any reporter.

There is a lawsuit by Dow Jones and others seeking to see what Fitz said to the judge to justify him putting Judy Miller in jail for 85 days. Ask any reporter.

Yes, so say I.
==========

Let's just call it Pelosi's... (Below threshold)
kim:

Let's just call it Pelosi's embarrassing political foolishness.

God doesn't care about head covering. That's idolatry.
=================================

The rules are so explici... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The rules are so explicit because it is a authoritarian theocratic monarchy, not because every inch of land in Saudi Arabia is considered holy. The Hijaz region, maybe, but that is only a small portion of the country.

The theocratic monarchy?

Geez, they are only obstruction in the way of Saudi becoming a non-stop generator of terror. They are lid on the boiling pot.

That monarchy is the LEAST of the problems. People so often think that the ruling class is the problem there. They're not.

By the manner in which F... (Below threshold)
mantis:

By the manner in which Fitz argued to keep Russert's testimony unchallenged it is certain that he knew it was perjury.

There are so many assumptions based on speculation in that conclusion I find it unconvincing.

Rulings about what reporters must divulge about sources, stemming from Fitz's requests, have chilled normal sourcing.

On this I would agree with you, but that is for the judge to decide, not the prosecutor. The prosecutor's job is to vigorously pursue a case, and the requests, while I wish they had not been granted with as much latitude as they were, were not extraordinary.

There is a lawsuit by Dow Jones and others seeking to see what Fitz said to the judge to justify him putting Judy Miller in jail for 85 days.

So you are certain that he lied without even knowing what he said? Hmmm.

drjohn --Yeah. I k... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

drjohn --

Yeah. I know how much regard you have for the Washington Post. You know as well as I that:

1. We have free speech in our Constitution; this includes the Speaker of the House, and

2. You (and all your friends) were silent when Republic Party members went overseas to meet with foreigners and criticize Clinton's policies.

Nice try, though...

I think Hastert went on som... (Below threshold)
Russ:

I think Hastert went on some trips to other countries as well. Also if they get too enthusiastic with condemning Pelosi for taking on the president's traditional foreign relations job, maybe we should look into whether Cheney had the authority to tell the air-force to shoot down a commercial jet liner during 9/11.

We could have a whole serie... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

We could have a whole series of investigations a so called Logan's Run:

-Rep. David Hobson of Ohio, the only Republican on the trip, confirmed to a Dayton Daily News reporter that Pelosi et al have presented a united front as far as U.S. policy towards Syria.

-"I don't care what the administration says on this. You've got to do what you think is in the best interest of your country," said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. "I want us to be successful in Iraq. I want us to clamp down on
Hezbollah."

-"This is an area where we would disagree with the administration," (Rep. Robert) Aderholt (of Alabama) said. "None of us in the Congress work for the president. We have to cast our own votes and ultimately answer to our own constituents. ... I think there's room that we can try to work with them as long as they know where we draw the line

RussSo Nancy is a... (Below threshold)
914:

Russ

So Nancy is a heroin for protecting us from the big bad terrorist from Syria?

That I guess is euivalent to Cheney ordering a plane load of people shot down..yeah makes sense,now I get it.

Geez, they are only obst... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Geez, they are only obstruction in the way of Saudi becoming a non-stop generator of terror. They are lid on the boiling pot.

That monarchy is the LEAST of the problems. People so often think that the ruling class is the problem there. They're not.

What, you having trouble backing up your earlier argument so you've moved on to another, irrelevant one? The authoritarian theocratic part was the important one, as it is relevant to the discussion we were having. I'm aware of the role of the Saudi monarchy in controlling terror (not doing a very good job at all, but yes, it could be worse). I'll also note, not that it's relevant, that there's good reason to believe that parts of the royal family are themselves sponsors of terror.

<a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)
One. Two.

But what's the point? You're just going to respond and say that either they were actually legal (despite a federal judge and the Justice Dept.'s own findings), that Cliiiiinton did them too, or that you don't care if the administration breaks the law because they're only protecting us from terr'ists.

Are you serious Brian? You're arguing that a lefty, ACLU-sympathizing judge ruling against the Terrorist Surveillance Program is an example of Bush wiping his feet on the Constitution? Oh please. That's pathetic. And the second article is just as stupid. Try again.

Brian:">Your leader ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Brian:
">Your leader has been wiping his feet with your beloved Constitution for years now without
...
>Examples please.

One.
Two."

Well, Brian, here's to number One:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/19/washington/19ruling.html?ei=5090&en=5f8f4ba4ca8ad621&ex=1313640000&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1175879599-Qwu4I7kvklkmP1IUfEXCsw

This, too:
http://stoptheaclu.com/archives/2006/08/22/more-on-diggs-taylor-no-stranger-to-ethical-violations/

And for Two..from your own article...:
"Fine said, however, that he found no evidence "that they intended to go out and obtain information that they knew they could not obtain and said, 'we're going to do it anyway.' I think what they did was complete carelessness" caused partly by taking shortcuts."

So you offer a disgraced, partisan judge's universally panned decision and beaurocratic filing errors (gasp) as flagrant constitutional violations on par to the Democrats forming their own shadow government, complete with opposing foreign policy. Nice.

Also, to those insisting that "Republicans did it, too!) i offer this insight. The president is Republican, so there is a pretty good chance that what the Republicans were saying is in line with what the president is saying, so there is no foreign policy conflict. however, Pelosi SPECIFICALLY went there to refute the presidents foreign policy. One of those actions is a felony and one is not.

Who is playing politics ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Who is playing politics here? Be careful, Publicus you are about the Orwellian world where one only justifiably accuse the Democrats of playing politics and not the administration. with issues..Allegations that politics inappropriately interfere with personnel decisions made about U.S. attorneys are reckless and plainly wrong," department (Justice)spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said, yesterday.
I think Hasert's most controversial trip was to another ancient shrine...The Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews. Different styles, different controversies.

My point about Cheney is he... (Below threshold)
Russ:

My point about Cheney is he did not have authority to make such an order. Also, I thought Israel was our friend, they were happy with Pelosi.

Naw, sean, Fitz knew abo... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Naw, sean, Fitz knew about Armitage before Libby's alleged perjury before the Grand Jury.
kim

You're correct with this statement (except that the perjury is no longer "alleged"). But that does not mean Fitz should have just shut down the investigation right from the start. Novak admitted to having two sources, so even if he knew about Armitage, there was still someone else.

I did some checking, just for the heck of it, and initial FBI interviews with Armitage and Libby took place on Oct 2 and Oct 14, 2003, respectively. Fitzgerald was then appointed on Dec 30, 2003. So he essentially knew about their sides of the story at the same time (ie when he first started) and conducted the investigation to verify their statements. Armitage's apparently checked out, Libby's did not.

The timeline then goes on to say that on Jan 12, 2004, Fitz would issue confidentiality waivers for Armitage and Rove. Oddly though, Armitage is not mentioned again until "after October 28, 2005", at which time it says he talks to the Special Counsel about the Bob Woodward conversation, nothing about Armitage receiving immunity or any testimony to the Grand Jury (Did he even give any?). The only thing hinting at this was a quote from Armitage from a CBS interview saying, "once he [Fitz] was appointed, asked me not to discuss this and I honored his request."

Meanwhile, Libby had already testified to the Grand Jury twice, on March 5 and 24, 2004.

I realize this does not really answer anything, but a refresher on the issue couldn't hurt. Please feel free to correct or add to this if you find more info filling in the gaps.

Uh....Russ...Isreal had to ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Uh....Russ...Isreal had to issue a rare official clarification stating that that Pelosi was off her rocker.
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200704/INT20070405a.html

So I'm not really sure how "happy" they are with her.

The provision you're ref... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The provision you're refering to was an amendment to the law allowing the appointment of interim USAs.
Taltos

We've had this discussion before. The amendment effectively removed the Senate from the process if it allowed interim USAs to stay on without confirmation.

Novak told the truth.
All along.
drjohn

Yes, and Fitz should have trusted him because the word of Bob Novak is stronger than oak. /sarc/

I think the American peo... (Below threshold)
Kevin Conner:

I think the American people are too busy enjoying their bread and circuses to care that the Democrats are trying to marginalize President Bush and take over the government in their quest for complete power.


Umm,how about the American people who voted the GOP out last year ARE paying attention, that's why your party got spanked hard, and you are still crying about it with these wild delusions about power mad democrats. too funny

briany,The people of... (Below threshold)
Russ:

briany,
The people of Israel are not happy with the way the Iraq war went. Their leader, Olmert, has like a 2% approval rating. I'll look into your source but even people like Tom Lantos aren't satisfied.

"But here we have Tom Lantos, among the staunchest partisans of Israel in Congress, expressing satisfaction with Pelosi going off to Damascus. And, Pelosi is carrying a message to Bashar al-Asad from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert."

Sigh. Russ, Russ, Russ.<br ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Sigh. Russ, Russ, Russ.
So Tom Lantos...who owes his comittee chair to Pelosi...now wants to have meaningful discussions with them? Kinda clashes with this quote:
"'Israel is not facing just the terrorists Hamas and Hezbollah. Those criminal groups are merely proxies for the real masters of terror, Syria and Iran.'
Tom Lantos"
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tomlantos345968.html

"The people of Israel are not happy with the way the Iraq war went. Their leader, Olmert, has like a 2% approval rating."

Uh...wrong war:
"Olmert's popularity plummeted after he waged a fierce war against Hezbollah, but failed to crush the Lebanese guerrilla group."
http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/9481.htm

Notice that Iraq is not mentioned once in the article...

Back in the 90's when Gingr... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Back in the 90's when Gingrich went to China did Clinton cry like a spoiled brat? No, the administration handled it with class and welcomed the open dialogue. This administration is so insecure they have a complete melt-down when they loose control.


MR. MCCURRY: We have long encouraged members of Congress, including the leadership of Congress, to travel in the world, to kick the tires of U.S. diplomacy overseas. We're encouraged that I think almost a fifth of the United States Congress has gone to the People's Republic to engage in dialogue with the leadership of the People's Republic. Speaker Gingrich speaks for himself, as he always does, but we did have an opportunity to exchange views with him about policy towards China prior to his departure, but he was obviously speaking for himself as he analyzed the state of U.S. relations.

1. We have free speech i... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

1. We have free speech in our Constitution; this includes the Speaker of the House,

You've got to be kidding on that one.

1.) Free speech isn't unfettered, there are numerous ways in which speech is restricted.

2.) The constitution gives the power to conduct foreign policy to the president ,and according to the supreme court for the last 60+ years, only the president. He can allow anyone he chooses to act as his mouthpiece but it has to be his decision.

3.) The law specifically makes it ilegal to lobby a foreign government in contravention of the president's wishes.

Heh. I thought you hated th... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Heh. I thought you hated the "Clinton did it" defense.

Pelosi IS a felony.... (Below threshold)

Pelosi IS a felony.

Fitz's case was about the d... (Below threshold)
kim:

Fitz's case was about the differing recollections of the Russert/Libby conversation, and the notes from Eckinrode's, the FBI's first interviews with Russert are lost, but a summary, in evidence, differs from Russert's sworn testimony. The difference between Libby's testimony, and the original FBI summary is not prosecutable. It took Russert perjuring himself to make the case Fitz couldn't. Now, whether this flaw is truly Fitz's, or Eckinrode's, may yet be determined. I think they are both guilty. And yes, mantis, much of this is speculative, but I've followed this closely. You are out to see, though, mantis, about Fitz's effect on reporting. Check it out a little.
===============================

sea==... (Below threshold)
kim:

sea
==

Who were the Rebublican Con... (Below threshold)
Nancy:

Who were the Rebublican Congressmen visiting in Sryia lately?

Taltos<br ... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Taltos

We've had this discussion before. The amendment effectively removed the Senate from the process if it allowed interim USAs to stay on without confirmation.

Interim appointments have never needed confirmation. And the way I read the previous version of the statute the AG could just keep assigning the same person every 120 days anyway.

Could the provision have been abused? Certainly. That doesn't mean it was or would be. My solution would have been to allow an interim placement to hold his seat as long as a permanent USA has been put forward.

Of course this is all beside the point that, congress amending a law is somehow an example of Bush abusing the constitution.

The Dem's are always for th... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

The Dem's are always for the law, and the Constitution, unless they are against it(which they always are when they are caught).

Is William Jefferson still in Congress, or has he been booted yet for his obvious crimes?

Five Republicans -- Reps. F... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Five Republicans -- Reps. Frank Wolf, Robert Aderholt, Joseph Pitts, David Hobson, and Darrell Issa -- visited Syria this week.

A follow-up to my Gingrich ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

A follow-up to my Gingrich comparison. Newt is on the Rush show today. A caller asked him if he thought Pelosi violated the Logan Act. He felt that she did, and she could be open to an investigation.

What a hypocrite! In 1997 he went to China and warned the Chinese leadership that the US would defend Taiwan at all costs:

Referring to his meetings with China's leaders, Mr. Gingrich said: ''I said firmly, 'We want you to understand, we will defend Taiwan. Period.'"

This caused a major diplomatic problem with China:
China admonished the United States today to speak with one voice on foreign policy and accused Newt Gingrich of making ''improper'' statements on Washington's commitment to defend Taiwan from any military attack by the mainland.

But of course none of you on the right will acknowledge this!

"2. You (and all your fr... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

"2. You (and all your friends) were silent when Republic Party members went overseas to meet with foreigners and criticize Clinton's policies."

Cite us a few examples....

brainy,Your right ab... (Below threshold)
Russ:

brainy,
Your right about the Lebanon war but they are not happy with Iraq iether.
"Despite all this, there is a sharp, newly emerging critique of Bush in some pro-Israel quarters."
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=12866

There are others beside Lantros.
"The head of Shin Bet, the Israeli FBI, admitted just last year that the chaos in Iraq is a dire threat to Israel and that the Israelis might eventually wish they could have Saddam Hussein back."
Does he owe something to Pelosi too?

"Yes, and Fitz should ha... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

"Yes, and Fitz should have trusted him because the word of Bob Novak is stronger than oak. /sarc/"

Fitz knew almost immediately that Novak was telling the truth. He was welcome to check it out but once he did, that should have ended it. Perhaps Libby should also have demanded immunity for any testimony.

Of course, the real crime P... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Of course, the real crime Pelosi committed is being a Democrat. Otherwise, you wouldn't say a thing.

Nice job BarneyG.I... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Nice job BarneyG.

It's always refreshing to see the mock outrage and raging hypocrisy of the Wizbang crowd exposed.

So, Barney, your contention... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

So, Barney, your contention is that it was never Clintons policy that we would defend Taiwan?

'Cause Clinton didn't think so:
"Clinton thus took a major step toward the position advocated by those Americans who want Washington to mollify Beijing by such measures as terminating U.S. arms sales to the island. Yet the president also implied that the United States would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan from attack. That "accommodationist" approach combines the worst, most dangerous features of appeasement and firmness."
Emphasis mine.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1172&full=1

BarneyGI dont reme... (Below threshold)
914:

BarneyG

I dont remember Clinton telling Gingrich not to go? Do You?

Why would anything she does... (Below threshold)
Dave B:

Why would anything she does surprise us? She is obviously in a position of power that far exceeds her knowledge and experience. She hasn't a clue of her wrongdoing. Welcome to amateur hour at the Whitehouse.

Cite us a few examples....<... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Cite us a few examples....

Posted by: drjohn at

What is the matter drj, my examples were not good enough for you? I also got some good stuff when Newt went to Israel, and expressed his views on foreign policy.

Expressing Your views are o... (Below threshold)
914:

Expressing Your views are ok! interfering in another countries international affairs ( Isreal )is something different and could start a war.

Russ, I didn't say the Isra... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Russ, I didn't say the Israels LIKE the GWOT, I just pointed out that the method by which you chose to prove it was BS.

What about the theory it is... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

What about the theory it is useful for the administration to have Pelosi and company, have these exploratory talks with the Syrians...This way, the Bush administration can still maintain their defiant posture, that are not having a dialogue with states which sponsor terrorism, ('a bad idea') score a few political points that Pelosi is being ingenious and meddlesome, but perhaps at the same time, these Congressional overtures might pave the way to some future direct diplomatic negotiations with Syria which possibly could improve the situation with neigboring Iraq, as the Iraq Study Group advised.

The short answer: NO... (Below threshold)

The short answer: NO
The silly comment that the Dems were doing what the Bush administration doing now but more so because of 9/11 is just plain wrong. The commenter shows he knows nothing about how NSA works. Do some reading, please.

Correction. that they are ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Correction. that they are not having dialogues..and ingenous for ingenious, of course.

brainy, according to the fo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

brainy, according to the following Newt's message was not the same as the Administrations:
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the Speaker spoke for himself and the President has spoken for himself on the subject of China. But we are never discouraged when members of Congress take the time to explore the parameters of U.S. engagement overseas and particularly in a relationship as important as the U.S.-Sino relationship.

Also, the spokesman for the Speaker and Republican Congressmen have stated that Pelosi's message was the same as the Administration's

It goes back to my original point. The Clinton administration in an identical situation acted like adults. While the Bush administration is acting like a spoiled brat, and for Newt to condemn Pelosi when he did that exact same on several occasions is the hight of hypocrisy.

I don't really mind her goi... (Below threshold)
kim:

I don't really mind her going over there too much. She is saying foolish things to foolish people.
================================

"Of course, the real crime ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Of course, the real crime Pelosi committed is being a Democrat."

Wrong. Democrats by nature are far more likely to be criminals and less hesitent to commit crime. You don't even have a leg to stand on so don't make a fool of yourself.

So far, nobody has shown an... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

So far, nobody has shown any proof that the Speaker presented anything other than the official policy of Bush and Olmert. Here are the official policies of both governments on Syria (Nov '06 Press conference):

PRESIDENT BUSH: My policy towards Syria is this: that we expect the Syrians to be, one, out of Lebanon so that the Lebanese democracy can exist; two, not harboring extremists that create -- that empower these radicals to stop the advance of democracies; three, to help this young democracy in Iraq succeed.

PRIME MINISTER OLMERT: I share the same opinion with President Bush. We are not against negotiations with Syria. We would love to be able to have negotiations with Syria, but that must be based on a certain reasonable, responsible policy, which is not preformed by Syria for the time being.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/11/20061113-3.html

From the Swamp:
Pelosi's spokesman, Brendan Daly, told me in a brief phone conversation: "We never said the (Israeli's) position changed."
Instead, he said, Pelosi accurately conveyed Israel's position: should the Syrians end their support for Hezbollah and Hamas, then the Israelis would be willing to talk.

Rep. David Hobson of Ohio, the only Republican on the trip, confirmed to a Dayton Daily News reporter that Pelosi et al have presented a united front as far as U.S. policy towards Syria.

Now why don't all you little cry-babies go grab your pacifiers and take a nap.

Rob,Dems are more of... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Rob,
Dems are more often criminals? I'd like to see that source.

By the way we shouldn't demonize Syria. They have many positive attributes not considered.

Russ, ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Russ,


Kerry and Rodham Clinton both whined after the 2004 election that 85% of felons vote for Democrats. Talk to them.

"By the way we shouldn't demonize Syria. They have many positive attributes not considered."

Huh? I all ears.

Rob,The Syrians did ... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Rob,
The Syrians did in fact ally themselves with the US in the Gulf War.
Also, there are over 2 million Christians in Syria, living peaceably.
"There has always been coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Syria," the abbess told me. "Every time we see people -- all people -- coming to the church, we feel God's mercy to earth." http://time-blog.com/middle_east/

As far as Mrs. Clinton goes, if she did say such a thing, then she is cracked.

One Democrat's poison is an... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

One Democrat's poison is another Republican's meat..Jail time for this 'freelancer' or more likely from Wizbang,"The presidential medal of Freedom" for 'bombs away' sorry youneed a subscription, unless you scroll down a bit and click,on the heading ' bombs away; so I will paste a short extract from 'the New Republic article' of 2003 ( about Republican Kurt Weldon). "Congress's most nettlesome freelance diplomat. During the 1990s, Weldon exasperated Clinton administration officials with unilateral missions to Russia and the Balkans. And now, by injecting himself into America's complex negotiations with North Korea--to which he defiantly led a House delegation this spring--he's doing the same to the Bush administration. With hawks like this, the White House must grumble, who needs doves".

Communicating an inaccurate... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Communicating an inaccurate message to a badass nation on behalf of a friendly foreign nation isn't a problem for you?

Figures.

At least Newt was right.

She strengthened ties with Syria?

She's a freakin' legend in her own mind.

And that is what it's all about, kids.

Loved the 'enery reference, Kim, but I wonder how many of the youngsters here get it.

:-)

Did the diva commit a felon... (Below threshold)
914:

Did the diva commit a felony by going to Damascus?

Dont know for sure? but She will be committing a sin if She returns to the U.S.

Why was Weldon traveling to Russia and the Balkans?

Was there some kind of illegal war going on there or something?

Thanks. I think mantis did... (Below threshold)
kim:

Thanks. I think mantis did. He's pretty alert. Very tight, but very biased, about Plame and Libby.
============================

Well, Barney, theres this:<... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Well, Barney, theres this:
"Several U.S. lawmakers have visited Damascus and met Assad in the last few months after the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended a stepped-up diplomatic effort involving Syria and Iran to help calm the violence in Iraq.

The Bush administration has resisted that recommendation."

"A member of Pelosi's delegation said that during her meeting she would raise Syria's suspected support for anti-U.S. rebels in Iraq"

So Bush has a policy that we will not meet to discuss Syria backing insurgents in Iraq, and Pelosi goes there and brags about talking to them about Syria funding insurgents in Iraq. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

As for Newt, Clinton said we would defend Taiwan. Then Newt said we would defend Taiwan. Not a lot of divergence there. Of course Newt was force full and showed a spine, while Clinton has never displayed one, so in that sense he went against Clinton's foreign policy...

Crap, no source reference:<... (Below threshold)
brainy435:
"Dems are more often crimin... (Below threshold)
Dave B:

"Dems are more often criminals? I'd like to see that source."

You shoudn't need a source to figure this one out, it's a no brainer, but here ya go.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/4850294p-4452879c.html

On average, 74 percent of felons would have voted Democratic in presidential and U.S. Senate elections dating back to 1972, according to the study's analysis of demographic and voting data.

Of Democratic presidential candidates, the study predicts that Bill Clinton's successful 1996 re-election campaign would have gotten the highest percentage of felon votes, at 85.4 percent. Jimmy Carter's failed 1980 re-election would have gotten the lowest, at 66.5 percent.

What a lame thread. Pelosi... (Below threshold)
waddayaknow:

What a lame thread. Pelosi would have violated the same acts that the Republic lawmakers violated for going to the same country and speaking with the same officials. Let's round up all of those lawmakers Republic and Democratic alike and as you do for one you must do for all, regardless of political affiliation. That is how the system is supposed to work. Let the red staters off you must let the blue staters off. Fair is fair, no matter what Fox News says.

Dave B,I stand corre... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Dave B,
I stand corrected. Thanks

Well, really it shows that ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, really it shows that convicted criminals are more often Democrats, but, given the ratios, it even shows that Democrats are more often criminals, too.
===============

The difference between Pelo... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

The difference between Pelosi and the Republican lawmakers is that Pelosi was attempting to negotiate foreign policy without the blessing of the Executive branch.

Kim,Yes, but why is ... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Kim,
Yes, but why is the question. Democrats are more often made up of the poor. Also they are less likely to get off having no resource to a great lawyer, (excluding my Bro-in-law of course).

"The difference between ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"The difference between Pelosi and the Republican lawmakers is that Pelosi was attempting to negotiate foreign policy without the blessing of the Executive branch."

Pelosi didn't "negotiate" anything - she just made it clear to the Syrians that thanks to the expressed wishes of the voters in the '06 election Democrats are now in power, and are ready to reign in the Cowboy in the White House. Bush's "big bad wolf" charade has gone on for too long, and was getting us nowhere except knee-deep in a civil war as we failed at forcing a democracy onto a country and factions that didn't want it -- all because of oil. It's bullshit. It's got to stop.

Pelosi is helping stop this nonsense, and the Republicans who have built a power base in the U.S. based on terrorizing the American voters into believing that the Muslim world is out to rape their daughters are pissed -- well boo hoo.... get over it. There's more ahead. There will be specifics proposal made by Democrats in the upcoming elections that make Pelosi's efforts at reaching out "around" the White House look like nothing more than the benign "door openers" they truly are...

What was Val Plame doing in... (Below threshold)
kim:

What was Val Plame doing in Jordan in 2002?

R, yes, Democrats' ideology does appeal to lower economic classes and they are, for a variety of reasons, more likely to be criminal. Why do you think I used the qualifier 'convicted'?
====================================

Interesting that Zarqawi wa... (Below threshold)
kim:

Interesting that Zarqawi was working amongst the Kurds for al Qaeda in 2002, but has been linked to the death of Laurence Foley, in Jordan, at the time of Val Plame's visit. Did Joe work for Saudi or Turkish interests?
===========================

Lee, we haven't failed at b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Lee, we haven't failed at bringing a democracy to Iraq and it wasn't all about oil. And do you have a good plan to stop what you call BS?
=======================

Kim,What are the cha... (Below threshold)
Dave B:

Kim,
What are the chances they were Republican before the conviction, then converted to being Democrats in prison? Those ratios wouldn't change even 1% pre or post conviction.


Russ,
It's true that there are many poor democrats but you might be surprised at the average income levels of Bush voters.

Research from the Ipsos-Reid polling firm compared counties that voted strongly for Bush to those that voted strongly for Gore in the 2000 election, the study shows that in pro-Bush counties only 7 percent of voters earned at least $100,000, while 38 percent had household incomes below $30,000. In the pro-Gore counties, fully 14 percent pulled in $100,000 or more, while 29 percent earned less than $30,000.

DB, I don't understand your... (Below threshold)
kim:

DB, I don't understand your question. I don't think people change political persuasion in prison, much, but haven't a lot of certainty about that.
=====================================

Kim,"And do you have... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Kim,
"And do you have a good plan to stop what you call BS?"

Juan Cole has a very logical plan here...

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070423/cole

barneyRUBBLE:W... (Below threshold)
marc:

barneyRUBBLE:

What a hypocrite! In 1997 he went to China and warned the Chinese leadership that the US would defend Taiwan at all costs:

You mean this one.

Where he was accompanied by the VP Al "Gorecle" Gore?

Kim,I'm quite sure t... (Below threshold)
Dave B:

Kim,
I'm quite sure there is no source to back up my opinion on this, but it's just logical to me that a persons politics wouldn't change due to being in prison. If anything, a person is more likely to convert from Democrat to Republican as they get older.

Yeah & <a href="http://www.... (Below threshold)
Steigen:

Yeah & the Repigs who went to Syria should get Medal of Freedom Awards.

Just more Wizbang and RW BS>

<a href="http://www.crooksa... (Below threshold)
Steigen:
of course she committed a c... (Below threshold)
mickey:

of course she committed a crime, but so what

Juan Cole seems kind of out... (Below threshold)
kim:

Juan Cole seems kind of out to lunch on what's happening among the Sunni sheiks lately. Could it be that he's a literary expert, believing his own fables, rather than examining what is happening?
========================================

Thanks. I think mantis d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Thanks. I think mantis did.

Come on, a musical? Don't you know all us liberals are teh gay or metrosexual, like the Breck Girl (who's afraid of the big bad fox)?

He's pretty alert. Very tight, but very biased, about Plame and Libby.

I don't think you can draw that conclusion based on what I've written. I'm open to the possibility that Libby didn't knowingly lie, but I question the partisan accusations against Fitzgerald. If anything, you could say I'm biased about Fitzgerald, but I of course would dispute that. ;)

However, I do appreciate the compliment. You, Kim, are a rare worthy adversary among the Wizbang commenters, and a part of the antidote to the infection Jay is trying to excise (wait, infections don't have antidotes and I've just mixed two incompatible metaphors, didn't I? Oh well, it's too late to think of another). In any case, this site could benefit from more commenters who really think about their positions, take time to do their homework, and have a sense of humor (and cultural adeptness!), like yourself (though you could combine your posts more ;).

Thank you. With you the di... (Below threshold)
kim:

Thank you. With you the discussion is more dialectical than adversarial.

Libby's 'as if for the first time' is in the subjunctive. How can that be a lie? And Russert is lying. For years I trusted Fitz enough to believe that he would get to the bottom of the criminal conspiracy that is the Yellow Cake Affair, but he believed Joe Wilson. I think he has already lived long enough to regret that; I suspect the case will be sent back for retrial and Fitz won't. Unless the powers that be recognize that Fitz was a loose cannon, and are angry enough to chastise him to prevent another. 'Ere's 'opin', 'Enery.
=============================

"Bush's "big bad wolf" char... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"Bush's "big bad wolf" charade has gone on for too long, and was getting us nowhere except knee-deep in a civil war as we failed at forcing a democracy onto a country and factions that didn't want it -- all because of oil. It's bullshit. It's got to stop.

Pelosi is helping stop this nonsense, and the Republicans who have built a power base in the U.S. based on terrorizing the American voters into believing that the Muslim world is out to rape their daughters are pissed -- well boo hoo.... get over it."

Well, at least Lee admits she committed a felony.

I believe Libby's case will... (Below threshold)
kim:

I believe Libby's case will be remanded for retrial at least partly because he was not allowed to confront Russert's testimony. At that point, I believe Fitz will drop charges. He dare not put Russert back on the stand, even more so not Eckinrode, he of the lost notes. The day that Russert perjured himself there were peacock feathers all over the place from the bullet NBC dodged. The trouble is that it lodged in Timmuh, who is a dead man walking. He made fun of Novak for caving on testifying to Fitzgerald while he, Russert, was publicly fighting a subpoena. The trouble is, Russert had already spilled to the FBI, Eckinrode, he of the lost notes. Russert's peers know all this. So do NBC's owners.
===============================

The FBI, burrowing,L... (Below threshold)
kim:

The FBI, burrowing,
Lost it's notes suborning,
Eckinrode,
Where is that toad?
He's wanted at a harrowing.
==================

Sadly, Fitz also knew that ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Sadly, Fitz also knew that Russert had already spilled to the FBI, Eckinrode, he of the lost notes, while Russert was lying in his affidavit to the court that he shouldn't testify. This is another case of Fitz winking at a Russert lie.

Fitz is a marvel, but he has a screw loose.
===========================

It seems that the Logan Act... (Below threshold)

It seems that the Logan Act hasn't enjoyed much respect or recognition since its enactment in 1798.

Here's a pretty thorough review of the Logan Act from the Congressional Research Service, published in February 2006.

It is a felony crime though. And it's not like it's been completely ignored -- it was amended by Congress in 1994 to remove the dollar reference to the fine, and someone had to ask for the report to be prepared.

It would seem that the most illustrative discussion of the statute would be contained in Agee v. Muskie, 629 F.2d 80 (1980):

Agee is quoted as stating that "in recent weeks" prior to December 23, 1979 he proposed to the "militants" in Iran (who obviously under 18 U.S.C. § 11 are a "faction and body of insurgents" constituting a "foreign government") that they should compel the United States to "exchange...the C.I.A.'s files on its operations in Iran since 1950 for the Captive Americans" [citation omitted]. Such conduct violates 18 U.S.C. § 953 which prohibits any citizen of the United States from carrying on correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government (the Iranian terrorist faction) "with intent to influence [its] measures or conduct or [that] of any...agent thereof [footnote omitted]. Agee's violation of this act with the Terrorists is self evident from his own uncontradicted statement.

The State Department has, at one time anyway, weighed in on the Act's application to Congresspersons:

One opinion concerned the questioning of certain activities of Senators John Sparkman and George McGovern with respect to the government of Cuba. The Department stated:

The clear intent of this provision [Logan Act] is to prohibit unauthorized persons from intervening in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. Nothing in section 953, however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution. In the case of Senators McGovern and Sparkman the executive branch, although it did not in any way encourage the Senators to go to Cuba, was fully informed of the nature and purpose of their visit, and had validated their passports for travel to that country.

A law enacted in 1799, under which no person has ever been prosecuted, shouldn't be the focus of this "debate," such as it is.

Lebanon ain't too happy abo... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Lebanon ain't too happy about her either, apparently:
"We can thank the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for having informed Syrian President Bashar Assad, from Beirut, that "the road to solving Lebanon's problems passes through Damascus." Now, of course, all we need to do is remind Pelosi that the spirit and letter of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as Saudi and Egyptian efforts in recent weeks, have been destined to ensure precisely the opposite: that Syria end its meddling in Lebanese affairs."

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=81211

From Instapundit

I presume she had a valid p... (Below threshold)
kim:

I presume she had a valid passport?
========================

What a silly conversation a... (Below threshold)
Stan Risdon:

What a silly conversation administration flacks have generated over the SPEAKER'S trip to Syria. Why silly?

1. No private citizen, in that capacity, has the power to make foreign policy. On the other hand any private citizen has the right to say anything they want (short of "aide and comfort" in "time of war") to anyone they want thanks to that pesky 1st Amendment.

2. Pelosi went to Syria in her capacity as Speaker of the House. The only body empowered to investigate and possibly prosecute her conduct in in that capacity is, sad to tell, the House of Representatives.

Stan,If your right, ... (Below threshold)
Russ:

Stan,
If your right, then shouldn't former Speaker Hastert be just as guilty. Look into his Columbian foray.

"In 1997, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) led a delegation to Colombia at a time when U.S. officials were trying to attach human rights conditions to U.S. security assistance programs. Hastert specifically encouraged Colombian military officials to "bypass" President Clinton and "communicate directly with Congress."

"...a congressional delegation led by Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) which met with Colombian military officials, promising to "remove conditions on assistance" and complaining about "leftist-dominated" U.S. congresses of years past that "used human rights as an excuse to aid the left in other countries." Hastert said he would to correct this situation and expedite aid to countries allied in the war on drugs and also encouraged Colombian military officials to "bypass the U.S. executive branch and communicate directly with Congress."

Lee, your comment above tha... (Below threshold)

Lee, your comment above that "Pelosi didn't negotiate anything" may be literally correct, but the statute actually is pretty wide open as far as what people can't do:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

That said, I still give the "Logan Act" argument little respect, for the reasons quoted above.

Good work Dave B,"... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Good work Dave B,

"If anything, a person is more likely to convert from Democrat to Republican as they get older."

I'm proof of that big time.

Russ,Whether Pelos... (Below threshold)
Stan Risdon:

Russ,

Whether Pelosi (or Hastert) acted wrongly in her trip, is a political question not a question of guilt or innocence. The Constitution vests Treaty making power on the President, but it does not confer an exclusive and broad power to make policy. In so far as policy is a matter of Law, that power is vested in Congress. The best example of that policy power is Iran-Contra.

The political question, that can only be answered by the House, is "does the Speaker of the House need anyone's permission to meet with foreign governments for the purposes of advancing policy?"

attention Pelosi supporters... (Below threshold)
Lewis Meadows:

attention Pelosi supporters:

"incompetence" is used ad-nauseum to describe the President - but did ya by any chance actually listen to ANY of Pelosi's speeches during her trip? geeezzz....talk about embarrasing, she went to the George Bush school of cue-card reading. She stumbled and stuttered her way like the amateur statesman she is. She behaved like a wide-eyed college student on an exchange trip all she needed was a summer train pass.

If you listen to the audio and are not embarrassed for her personally, then you are not being honest with yourself. It's funny how the left line-up blindly behind anyone as long as they oppose Bush. That's the only criteria required to support Pelosi. If you think W is an idiot then what happens to your idiot detector when Pelosi has the mic? how can any sane person think Pelosi is a genious or even articulate for that matter? Or Rosie or Al Gore?

Look....I didn't like Clinton but that doesn't mean I was the biggest fan of some of his critics. Choose your politicians carefully, most of them on both sides are full of BS. And here's a little secret about Washington, D.C.....

FACT: Dems/Republicans on the hill are mostly very good friends when the cameras are turned off.

FACT: They all drink and golf together and yuk-it-up right after they finish ripping each other on TV to impress their voters. I've seen it with my own two eyes.

"I thought I knew acting being from Hollywood but I've never seen acting like these guys" (Sonny Bono)

attention Pelosi supporters... (Below threshold)
LimoWreck:

attention Pelosi supporters:

"incompetence" is used ad-nauseum to describe the President - but did ya by any chance actually listen to ANY of Pelosi's speeches during her trip? geeezzz....talk about embarrasing, she went to the George Bush school of cue-card reading. She stumbled and stuttered her way like the amateur statesman she is. She behaved like a wide-eyed college student on an exchange trip all she needed was a summer train pass.

If you listen to the audio and are not embarrassed for her personally, then you are not being honest with yourself. It's funny how the left line-up blindly behind anyone as long as they oppose Bush. That's the only criteria required to support Pelosi. If you think W is an idiot then what happens to your idiot detector when Pelosi has the mic? how can any sane person think Pelosi is a genious or even articulate for that matter? Or Rosie or Al Gore?

Look....I didn't like Clinton but that doesn't mean I was the biggest fan of some of his critics. Choose your politicians carefully, most of them on both sides are full of BS. And here's a little secret about Washington, D.C.....

FACT: Dems/Republicans on the hill are mostly very good friends when the cameras are turned off.

FACT: They all drink and golf together and yuk-it-up right after they finish ripping each other on TV to impress their voters. I've seen it with my own two eyes.

"I thought I knew acting being from Hollywood but I've never seen acting like these guys" (Sonny Bono)

Clearly we have some posts ... (Below threshold)
VeryGuilty:

Clearly we have some posts here which confirm the bias that is a mere extension of the readers and subscribers of the liberal agenda-based media. While Mr. Gonzalez is being chased for politically motivated decisions he is perfectly allowed to execute at the bequest of the President, the speaker of the house went to terrorist sponsored states ( according to Nancy as well btw ) and conducted a white-knight policy that was unauthorized by the United States. The 2nd amendment of constitution states that "by the United States" = By The President. Period. And yes, it should indeed be noted that only right wingers are bringing this to light.

That mainly because by coincidence nobody on the left "thought of it". So, today Gonzales was hit with subpoenas for what can only be labeled as a witch hunt while Nancy sleeps with the enemy. Yes, yes, yes, we know that both parties have representatives in these countries but NONE go to these countries as a head-of-state, 3rd in command, dictating policy that is contrarian to that of the United States: The President.

I for one call for an independent bi-partisan panel to be created immediately for a further investigation into Ms. Pelosi's reckless behavior. She has NO experience with such matters to BOOT! If an ambassador is to be sent to a terrorist state, it is to be sanctioned by the United States.

Her visit was nothing short of treason. So, it's not a violation of the Logan act but a act of treason. This can be determined as accurate or inaccurate by a panel. Where is Lou Dobbs on this? Nowhere.

On the surface, this woman seems to have at the very least temporarily impaled the United States foreign policy. This is historical. Seems Democrats are more interested in denial before the facts. Surprise, surprise.




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