Lieberman Demands Senate Stay In Session Through The Holiday To Repeal DADT

December 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Despite comprehensive support to overturn the military’s DADT policy, Republican lawmakers have manufactured a catalogue of objections to its repeal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) articulated the latest excuse yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press, claiming other “controversial items” in the defense authorization bill — like expanding reproductive health services on military bases — prevent the Senate from having enough time to debate and “finish” the bill “before the end of next year.” Now, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is calling the GOP’s bluff on process objections and demanding the Senate stay in session until the bill is passed because, as his spokewoman told The Hill, “wanting to go home is not an acceptable excuse”:

Lieberman, a key Senate proponent of repealing the military’s ban on openly gay or lesbian members, doesn’t want the chamber to adjourn until it’s acted on a defense authorization bill that contains a provision to do away with the policy.

“Senator Lieberman believes that there are at least 60 votes to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year, provided that leadership allows time for sufficient debate and amendments,” Lieberman spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said. “Wanting to go home is not an acceptable excuse for failing to pass a bill that provides essential support for our troops and veterans and failing to take action that the president, the secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have called for.”

The senator also appeared to endorse Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart’s demand that the Senate stay in session in a tweet on Monday.

The Senate’s continued refusal to pass the defense bill this year marks the first time Congress failed to do so in 48 years. Such a miscarriage of responsibility would not only jeopardize a well-supported repeal of DADT, but vital support for servicemembers. But by forcing Repulbican lawmakers to stay through the holiday, the Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky notes that Democrats would send a clear message that says, “if you can’t compromise on a fair and reasonable time frame and insist on a completely open debate structure, then that’s what we’ll have 24 hours a day until the very day the new Congress is sworn in.”

ThinkProgress

Wilders & Lieberman, Sitting in a Tree

December 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

One interesting development over the past ten years has been the tendency of European far-right parties to migrate away from their historic commitment to anti-semitism and toward an embrace of revisionist Zionism, with Islam-bashing serving as the conduit. Take this report on Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders’ meeting with Avigdor Lieberman:

The two politicians discussed international and party-political issues in a ‘friendly atmosphere’. Mr Wilders en Mr Lieberman, who have known each other for a long time, met at the foreign ministry. The Freedom Party leader offered his condolences for the victims of the forest fires near Mt Carmel in northern Israel. More than 40 people have been killed in the fires so far.

Mr Wilders will remain in Israel for the time being, and give a speech in Tel Aviv on Sunday. In it, he will further clarify his position that Jordan “is the only Palestinian state that ever will be”. Mr Wilders was invited to give a speech on the subject by Israeli MP Arieh Eldad, a member of the ultra-nationalist party National Union.

Birds of a feather, etc.


Yglesias

Lieberman: McCain’s Past Positions On DADT ‘Suggest’ He’s ‘Changing Standards’ On Repeal

December 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been all over the map on whether Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed. In 2006, he said he would defer to military leaders, but when military leaders said it should be repealed, he said there should be a Pentagon study. Now that the Pentagon released its report, finding that DADT can be repealed in a way that won’t hurt the military, a grumpy McCain is inventing new reasons to oppose repeal. Last night on CNN, host Anderson Cooper asked McCain’s good friend Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — a lead sponsor of repealing DADT — if McCain is “moving the goalpost“:

COOPER: Has he been moving the goalpost here?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I — John is my good friend, but I disagree with him on this. And the tapes you played suggest changing standards here. I mean, in my opinion —

COOPER: So you do think that he’s changed his standings, that he’s moved the goalpost.

LIEBERMAN: I think the question that John raised today has been answered in this survey. Two-thirds of the American military, a little more than that, say that they don’t think repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” will have any effect on military effectiveness, and most importantly, 92 percent of the American military who feel that they have served with somebody gay or lesbian in their own unit say that it has simply not been a problem.

Watch it:

Comedy Central’s John Stewart last night also observed that McCain keeps moving the goalpost on DADT, comparing the Arizona senator to the Black Knight from Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail.”

ThinkProgress

Joe Lieberman Threatens to Put Dexter Filkins, Judy Miller in Jail to Fearmonger over Wikileaks

December 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Joe Lieberman has introduced what he claims to be a law targeted at Wikileaks.

“The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just the latest example of how our national security interests, the interests of our allies, and the safety of government employees and countless other individuals are jeopardized by the illegal release of classified and sensitive information,” said Lieberman in a written statement.

“This legislation will help hold people criminally accountable who endanger these sources of information that are vital to protecting our national security interests,” he continued.

The so-called SHIELD Act (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) would amend a section of the Espionage Act that already forbids publishing classified information on U.S. cryptographic secrets or overseas communications intelligence — i.e., wiretapping. The bill would extend that prohibition to information on HUMINT, human intelligence, making it a crime to publish information “concerning the identity of a classified source or informant of an element of the intelligence community of the United States,” or “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” if such publication is prejudicial to U.S. interests.

Problem is, not only would it not endanger Wikileaks (as far as we know). But it would put both good journalists-like Dexter Filkins-and bad ones-like Judy Miller and Bob Novak-in jail.

As far as we know, Wikileaks has been successful in its dumps at hiding the identities of any intelligence sources. (It has exposed one of State Department’s moles in Germany, who has been fired. But a diplomatic source is not an intelligence source, is it?)

But other journalists do expose sources. Such as when Dexter Filkins reported on how much the CIA has been shoveling at Ahmed Wali Karzai. Or when Judy Judy Judy exposed the CIA ties of a Ahmed Chalabi rival. And then, of course, there’s that little matter of Bob Novak and Valerie Plame.

This is all getting really, really stupid. Doesn’t Joe Lieberman have anything better to do with his time? Like funnelling money to the TSA for some other invasive search machine? Or giving the uber-rich big tax breaks?

Related posts:

  1. The Leaked Cables I Want to See
  2. WikiLeaks Cable Dump Goes Live
  3. Speaking of that Beacon of Hope in Iraq


Emptywheel

Lieberman suggests McCain changing his standards for supporting repeal of DADT

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Editor’s note: Watch Sen. Lieberman discuss “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Thursday on AC360° beginning at 10 pm ET.

(CNN) – A longtime personal friend and political ally of Sen. John McCain implied Thursday that the former GOP presidential nominee is moving the goalposts when it comes to his support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

McCain’s past comments suggested he might support repeal of the federal law that prevents gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military if a repeal was supported by military leadership. But the Arizona Republican has recently taken issue with results of a Pentagon survey of troops that supports a repeal and with the positions of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, both of whom also support a repeal.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker

After Getting Amazon To Boot Wikileaks, Lieberman Eyes Other Firms (VIDEO)

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, yesterday succeeded in getting Amazon.com to boot Wikileaks off its servers.

Now, Lieberman says he’s widening his scope.

“We’ve gotta put pressure on any companies — like Amazon, [which] just cut Wikileaks off from its servers to distribute — there’s a company now in Sweden, I think it’s called Bahnhof, which is providing that kind of access to the Internet to Wikileaks,” he said on MSNBC this afternoon. “We’ve got to stop them from doing that.”

As TPM reported yesterday, Lieberman’s committee staff called Amazon and asked, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Amazon responded by removing the site, telling the committee it violated unspecified terms of use.

TPM yesterday asked a committee spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, whether Lieberman was planning to reach out to other companies.

“The committee is not reaching out to other companies,” she said. “Senator Lieberman hopes that the Amazon case will send the message to other companies that might host Wikileaks that it would be irresponsible to host the site.”

Phillips said that hasn’t changed, and that Lieberman has no specific plans as of now to speak with other companies, including the Swedish firm Bahnhof AB where Wikileaks is now reportedly residing.

But his pressure on Amazon is already having a wider effect. The New York Times reported this afternoon that a Seattle-based company called Tableau had deleted charts and graphs uploaded by Wikileaks.

Tableau explains on its web site:

Our decision to remove the data from our servers came in response to a public request by Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, when he called for organizations hosting WikiLeaks to terminate their relationship with the website.

The company also said Wikileaks violated the site’s terms of use by uploading content it doesn’t have the rights to.

Watch the video of Lieberman on MSNBC:







TPMMuckraker

Sen. Zhou Lieberman (Ind., PRC)

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A phone call from Joe Lieberman’s office prompted Amazon.com to throw WikiLeaks off their servers. Glenn Greenwald sees a parallel to Chinese officials’ dreams of controlling what their subjects read online:

That Joe Lieberman is abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host — and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet — is one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time. Josh Marshall wrote yesterday: “When I’d heard that Amazon had agreed to host Wikileaks I was frankly surprised given all the fish a big corporation like Amazon has to fry with the federal government.” That’s true of all large corporations that own media outlets — every one — and that is one big reason why they’re so servile to U.S. Government interests and easily manipulated by those in political power. That’s precisely the dynamic Lieberman was exploiting with his menacing little phone call to Amazon (in essence: Hi, this is the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee calling; you’re going to be taking down that WikiLeaks site right away, right?). Amazon, of course, did what they were told.

Note that Lieberman here is desperate to prevent American citizens — not The Terrorists — from reading the WikiLeaks documents which shed light on what the U.S. Government is doing. His concern is domestic consumption. By his own account, he did this to “send a message to other companies that might host WikiLeaks” not to do so. No matter what you think of WikiLeaks, they have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime; Lieberman literally wants to dictate — unilaterally — what you can and cannot read on the Internet, to prevent Americans from accessing documents that much of the rest of the world is freely reading.

The American Conservative

Wikileaks, Amazon and Joe Lieberman

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

TPM explains how Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee asked and Amazon complied:

Committee staff had seen news reports yesterday that Wikileaks was being hosted on Amazon’s servers, a committee spokeswoman told TPM. The service, we should note, is self-serve; as with services like YouTube, the company does not screen or pre-approve the content posted on its servers.

Staffers then, according to the spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, called Amazon to ask about it, and left questions with a press secretary including, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Amazon called them back this morning to say they had kicked Wikileaks off, Phillips said. Amazon said the site had violated unspecified terms of use.

Amazon has not responded to requests for comment. Its terms of acceptable use include a ban on illegal activities (it’s not yet clear whether Wikileaks has broken any laws) and content “that may be harmful to our users, operations, or reputation.” It also prohibits using Amazon’s servers “to violate the security or integrity of any network, computer or communications system,” although Wikileaks obviously obtained the cables long before hopping on Amazon’s servers.

So was Amazon following the law, its terms of service or the demands of Joe Lieberman?

RELATED: Senator Lieberman’s statement. The Wikileaks tweet saying its servers on Amazon had been “ousted” and another saying “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.” And Techmeme discussion.


The Moderate Voice

How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Early this week, after hacker attacks on its site, Wikileaks moved its operation, including all those diplomatic cables, to the greener pastures of Amazon.com’s cloud servers. But today, it was down again and mid-afternoon we found out the reason: Amazon had axed Wikileaks from its servers.

The announcement came from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman said in a statement that Amazon’s “decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.”

Committee staff had seen news reports yesterday that Wikileaks was being hosted on Amazon’s servers, a committee spokeswoman told TPM. The service, we should note, is self-serve; as with services like YouTube, the company does not screen or pre-approve the content posted on its servers.

Staffers then, according to the spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, called Amazon to ask about it, and left questions with a press secretary including, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Amazon called them back this morning to say they had kicked Wikileaks off, Phillips said. Amazon said the site had violated unspecified terms of use.

Amazon has not responded to requests for comment. Its terms of acceptable use include a ban on illegal activities (it’s not yet clear whether Wikileaks has broken any laws) and content “that may be harmful to our users, operations, or reputation.” It also prohibits using Amazon’s servers “to violate the security or integrity of any network, computer or communications system,” although Wikileaks obviously obtained the cables long before hopping on Amazon’s servers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that advocates for Internet freedom of speech by defending court cases, said the axing certainly doesn’t violate the First Amendment. But it is, according to senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston, “disappointing.”

“This certainly implicates First Amendment rights to the extent that web hosts may, based on direct or informal pressure, limit the materials the American public has a First Amendment right to access,” Bankston told TPM.

Wikileaks is reportedly back on servers based in Sweden. Lieberman, in his statement today, called on “any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them.”

Phillips said Lieberman has no plans to reach out to other web-hosting services that may host Wikileaks, and has not contacted the Swedish government to discuss servers in its country.

“Sen. Lieberman hopes that the Amazon case will send the message to other companies that might host Wikileaks that it would be irresponsible to host the site,” she said.









TPMMuckraker

Scarborough, Bloomberg, Lieberman To Launch No Labels

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I heard about this group, No Labels, a week or so ago. Did some digging, wasn’t too sure about it, just been listening, have a friend who’ll be there in NYC for the launch. And now, Howard Fineman is up with a lengthy piece about it, just this afternoon. You can read it here.

Do we think Scarborough unloaded on Sarah Palin today so that he could do it before the launch of a project geared to extinguish labels and reclaim civility? Or do we think he thinks that what he wrote was civil and a template for what the group should promote? Laughing - I can’t wait to see which way it goes.


The Moderate Voice

Sen. Joe Lieberman Slams Wikileaks For “Outrageous, Reckless, And Despicable” Publishing Of Diplomatic Cables As “An Attack” On America’s National Security

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who serves as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security committee, is responding with outrage to the release by Wikileaks of thousands of cables between and among diplomats around the world.

“Wikileaks’ deliberate disclosure of these diplomatic cables is nothing less than an attack on the national security of the United States, as well as that of dozens of other countries,” said Lieberman, one of the veteran members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “By disseminating these materials, Wikileaks is putting at risk the lives and the freedom of countless Americans and non-Americans around the world. It is an outrageous, reckless, and despicable action that will undermine the ability of our government and our partners to keep our people safe and to work together to defend our vital interests. Let there be no doubt: the individuals responsible are going to have blood on their hands. I stand in full support of the Obama Administration’s condemnation of Wikileaks for these disclosures. I also urge the Obama Administration — both on its own and in cooperation with other responsible governments around the world — to use all legal means necessary to shut down Wikileaks before it can do more damage by releasing additional cables. Wikileaks’ activities represent a shared threat to collective international security.”

Capitol Watch

Sen. Joe Lieberman: Fox News ‘Is My Favorite,’ ‘Anything Rupert Murdoch Owns’

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This morning, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) took to Don Imus’s radio show to discuss the Wikileaks story. Lieberman did little to dissuade his critics on the left when he declared that his favorite television channels are “Fox Business” and “Fox generally, anything Rupert Murdoch owns”:

LIEBERMAN: Incidentally, I heard last night, I was watching CNN and Joe Jones was on and he was doing the 10 o’clock news show and he said that CNN had been offered these documents by Wikileaks or a third party, but had turned it down because they refused to sign a pledge granting the source anonymity, which the Times did. And I give CNN and whoever else turned it down credit for doing that. The New York Times’ hands are dirty in this and they should have said ‘no.’

IMUS: I hate CNN and I wish you hadn’t brought that up.

LIEBERMAN: I’m sorry about that! It just happened. But of course, really, Fox Business is my favorite and Fox generally, anything Rupert Murdoch owns.

Listen here:

Last week, Fox refused to run advertisements that favored ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (Lieberman is trying to repeal DADT). The week before that, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes declared that President Obama is “a failed socialist,” despite his network’s mantra of being “fair and balanced.” And finally, during the recent election, Murdoch, who owns Fox’s parent company News Corp., made two separate million-dollar contributions to the Republican Governors Association and the Chamber of Commerce, which smeared Democrats using unlimited corporate donations without disclosing its donors. Though the network’s actions are antithetical to the beliefs of progressives, it is unsurprising that Lieberman voiced his unequivocal support for Fox and Murdoch, given his history as a constant thorn in the side of liberals.

ThinkProgress

Lieberman 2012 watch

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

POLITICO’s Molly Ball reports that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s path to reelection is very rocky:

Indeed, a Public Policy Polling survey conducted in late October put Lieberman’s approval rating at a rock-bottom 33 percent. Lieberman had the support of just 24 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents. His best numbers were among Republicans, 48 percent of whom gave him a thumbs-up.

Still, in a separate PPP survey earlier in October, 61 percent of Connecticut Republicans (and 66 percent of Connecticut voters overall) said they would prefer to replace, rather than reelect, Lieberman. The incumbent also lost every hypothetical two- and three-way general-election matchup.

“His path to reelection, at least at this point a couple years away, looks extremely difficult,” PPP President Dean Debnam said.

Lieberman recently told POLITICO he hasn’t yet decided whether to retire or run as an independent, a Democrat or a Republican. “All those options are still alive,” he said.





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Ben Smith’s Blog

Joe Lieberman on Joe Lieberman

November 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Where does Joe Lieberman fit in the newly reshuffled Senate?

That’s one question he was asked during a half-hour conference call with Connecticut reporters this afternoon. The main topic of the call was to talk about his renewed push for repeal of the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays and lesbians in the service. Lieberman has been a leader in the move to repeal the measure and he said he hopes that can be accomplished during the current lame-duck session.
However, after addressed that topic at length, the conversation moved to the role that Lieberman will play after the new Congress is sworn in in January.
Lieberman noted that there will be another independent in the chamber: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. He said he hopes cooperation will replace partisan sniping and hinted that he may try to form some sort of working group to further that goal.
Lieberman didn’t provide any names of those who may join him in the effort, which he described as a small group of like-minded members working across party lines to tackle big issues such as energy independence.
 

Capitol Watch

McMahon Could Challenge Lieberman

November 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In her first interview since election night, Linda McMahon (R) told WFSB-TV that she may run for political office again, possibly in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I). Speculation suggests Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D) might run for the Democratic nomination.

Said McMahon: “I’m not taking anything off the table.”

McMahon will run a television advertisement next week thanking those who voted for her.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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