Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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I haven't been able to get a copy of the exact text yet. But the Republican counter-amendment on the floor is truly amazing. It would strip of his or her security access any senator who repeated a statement by an FBI agent which was subsequently used as "propaganda" by America's enemies. In other words, the law is targeted at Sen. Durbin, making it against the law to say what he said a month ago.

De-democratization ...

(ed.note: If anyone can send me a copy of the text, I'd appreciate it.)

Late Update: Here is the text of the so-called 'Frist Amendment': "Any federal officeholder who makes reference to a classified Federal Bureau of Investigation report on the floor of the United States Senate, or any federal officeholder that makes a statement based on a FBI agent's comments which is used as propaganda by terrorist organizations thereby putting our servicemen and women at risk, shall not be permitted access to such information or to hold a security clearance for access to such information."

Sen. Roberts (R) just said that Fitzgerald's investigation had "a lot of leaks." Is he kidding?

From another TPM Reader ...

Harry Reid just introduced an amendment to the homeland security appropriations that would prevent anyone who discloses the identity of a covert CIA operative from having a security clearance. There will be 90 minutes of debate, and then a vote.

It's on C-SPAN2.

Late Update: You've got to watch this. They've got Sen. Coleman (R-WH) as Rove's designate water-carrier ... Now other Republican senators are standing up with cries of fealty. Duce! Duce! Think of Sen. Geary's impromptu speech at Michael's hearing in Godfather II.

Duke to hold press conference at 3PM Pacific at Cal State San Marcos.


To spend more time with family?

Won't run again?

More time devoted to sailing?

New home for sale at rock-bottom prices?

Many readers are writing in to tell us that David Brooks just went on NPR's All Things Considered and repeated the bogus charge that Joe Wilson claimed that Dick Cheney had sent him to Niger. Did you hear him? Doesn't he write for the New York Times? Let us know at this thread.

Another TPM Reader ads his two-cents ...

The parallel between the White House's attack on Clarke and the defense of Rove is spot on, but I think most people misunderestimate the effectiveness of this strategy.

By being scattershot and offensive, they accomplish three things:

1) they shift the focus off their own misdeeds

2) they create a level of confusing noise that makes the passive public stop trying to understand

3) they knock the subjects of the attacks off message

Let's not forget that Clarke did not win.


Late Update: Another reader responds thus: "That is exactly why all the defense on this issue should not focus on defending each specific issue, but rather on continuing to repeat what happened. The administration put the nation’s security in jeopardy for purely partisan means, they revealed the identity of CIA covert agent and put at risk hundreds of people and years of work and they continue to lie about it. Repeat that everytime one of these people try to come up with an excuse. Don’t focus on rebutting the outrageous charges, that’s what they want us to do. Be on the offensive, it’s worked for them for years."

A TPM Reader checks in ...

I'm struck by how similar the Republican's attack on Richard Clarke and their defense of Rove are. Both issues cut right to the core of their right-wing being and needed to be defended, or else they risk losing everything. So that is why the defense is so ferocious. But it is also why, like the Clarke attack, it is so scattershot and incoherent.

Just so.

Great moments in Mehlmanizing: "A leak is when you ask a reporter to write a story. [Rove] was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story."