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Pincus Tags Fleischer As Leak Source ~
Las Vegas Sun ^ | February 12, 2007 at 8:25:6 PST | MATT APUZZO ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted on 02/12/2007 2:25:08 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer leaked the identity of a CIA operative to Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus during a 2003 phone call, Pincus testified Monday as the first defense witness in the CIA leak trial.

Pincus was one of the first reporters to learn the identity of Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and prominent Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson. Pincus said he learned her identity July 12, 2003 but did not immediately write about it. Plame was outed by syndicated columnist Robert Novak two days later.

Pincus testified on behalf of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby is accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity.

Pincus, a veteran national security reporter, said he was talking to Fleischer for a story about weapons of mass destruction. He said Fleischer "suddenly swerved off" topic and asked why Pincus continued to write about Wilson.

"Don't you know his wife works for the CIA as an analyst?" Pincus recalled Fleischer saying.

Fleischer testified at the trial earlier that Libby had told him about Plame over lunch. Fleischer testified he leaked the information to three reporters during a presidential trip to Africa but he did not mention the Pincus conversation. In exchange for his testimony, prosecutors promised not to charge Fleischer.

Libby argues that he never discussed Plame with Fleischer. Pincus' testimony helps defense attorneys make the argument that Fleischer needed someone to blame to cover up his own leaking.

Novak, whose column triggered an FBI investigation into the leak, was also scheduled to testify Monday, attorneys said.

Novak has said that Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, and Bush aide Karl Rove were the sources for his July 2003 column.

"You're going to hear that," defense attorney Theodore Wells said in court Monday morning. "He's going to testify about that in a few hours."

Novak and Pincus are two of several journalists whom Libby's attorneys planned to call. These lawyers also are fighting hard to force NBC foreign affairs reporter Andrea Mitchell to testify about why she said that Plame's identity was "widely known" even before the Novak column was published.

Mitchell has since recanted those comments and has said that she cannot explain them.

A key dispute in the case involves Mitchell's NBC colleague, Tim Russert. Libby says Russert told him in July 2003 that "all the reporters know" Plame worked for the CIA. Russert said that never happened because he didn't know who Plame was at the time.

Prosecutors say Libby concocted the Russert story to shield him from prosecution for discussing information he had learned through official government channels.

Libby's attorneys want to show that Russert had heard that Plame worked at the CIA. Fleischer has already testified that he told NBC reporter David Gregory about her. If Libby can show that Mitchell knew, too, they think they can persuade jurors to believe Libby's account of the Russert conversation.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements.

In addition to Mitchell, attorneys have said several other journalists are expected to testify this week: New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas, and Bob Woodward and Glenn Kessler, along with Pincus, from The Washington Post.

---

Associated Press writer Michael J. Sniffen contributed to this report.

--


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 20030612; abramson; andreamitchell; arifleischer; armitage; bobwoodward; cialeak; davidgregory; evanthomas; fleischer; glennkessler; gregory; jillabramson; kessler; libby; mitchell; pincus; plame; richardarmitage; russert; thomas; timrussert; valerieplame; valeriewilson; walterpincus; wilson; woodward
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1 posted on 02/12/2007 2:25:10 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Fedora; Txsleuth

ping


2 posted on 02/12/2007 2:28:28 PM PST by AliVeritas (Stop Global Dhimming. Demand testicular fortitude from the hill. Call the crusade.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Hot potato, pass it around...


3 posted on 02/12/2007 2:29:08 PM PST by battlegearboat
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Did you see Fedora's post?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1780926/posts


4 posted on 02/12/2007 2:29:17 PM PST by AliVeritas (Stop Global Dhimming. Demand testicular fortitude from the hill. Call the crusade.)
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To: All
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements.

Well,....why not?

What a circus....

5 posted on 02/12/2007 2:29:58 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The finger pointing will go on and on. Meanwhile Scooter will go to jail for a crime that is not a crime.


6 posted on 02/12/2007 2:30:08 PM PST by rocksblues (Do unto others as they do unto you!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements."

What? Nobody's allowed to question little miss crater-face's public pronouncements? Why should that arrogant skank get a pass?

7 posted on 02/12/2007 2:31:57 PM PST by paddles
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To: AliVeritas
No,...thanks !

I just wanted to capture an AP post on this topic ... totally,...as they tend to pull stuff if it suits them....

8 posted on 02/12/2007 2:32:07 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: rocksblues
Is this as close as they can come to Watergate?
9 posted on 02/12/2007 2:32:08 PM PST by alrea (Because the press told them to, day in and day out, 24/7, headline after headline, for six years.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements.

Welcome to the Gulag.

10 posted on 02/12/2007 2:32:29 PM PST by jwalsh07 (Duncan Hunter for President)
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To: paddles

Good damn question.


11 posted on 02/12/2007 2:32:58 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Between you and I...

Corn, Pincus and Vandeghi should be called. Pincus has a lot of nerve, he and Corn said Joe was 'one' of their sources later.

Sheesh, now I have to dig up those columns.


12 posted on 02/12/2007 2:33:37 PM PST by AliVeritas (Stop Global Dhimming. Demand testicular fortitude from the hill. Call the crusade.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I am Spartacus...
13 posted on 02/12/2007 2:33:37 PM PST by gov_bean_ counter ( I am sitting under my cone of silence, inside a copper wire cage wearing a tin foil hat...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer leaked the identity of a CIA operative to Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus

Even if he did, it wasn't a crime!

14 posted on 02/12/2007 2:34:51 PM PST by My2Cents ("I support the right-ward most candidate who has a legitimate chance to win." -- W.F. Buckley)
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To: rocksblues

And Sandy can get his security clearance back and actually work for the WH and Hillary... background check be damned.


15 posted on 02/12/2007 2:34:58 PM PST by AliVeritas (Stop Global Dhimming. Demand testicular fortitude from the hill. Call the crusade.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Pincus, a veteran national security reporter, said he was talking to Fleischer for a story about weapons of mass destruction. He said Fleischer "suddenly swerved off" topic and asked why Pincus continued to write about Wilson.

Only a Washington Post Puke would consider a WMD denier "off topic" when the subject is WMD.

That's intended to reinforce the "they were out to frame Joe Wilson" lie. Wilson jumped in with both feet. He inserted himself in the debate by calling others liars, counting on the liberal media to close rank around him, which they did.

That's why when I hear reporters talk of themselves as "journalists" I laugh.

16 posted on 02/12/2007 2:35:44 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (What's the difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic? The Free Clinic knows how to stop leaks.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements

A serious constitutional violation? I mean, what about Libby's right to a fair trial? Doesn't sound like he's getting one.

17 posted on 02/12/2007 2:36:01 PM PST by My2Cents ("I support the right-ward most candidate who has a legitimate chance to win." -- W.F. Buckley)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

". . . as an analyst."

Case closed. Not an operative.


18 posted on 02/12/2007 2:36:10 PM PST by RinaseaofDs (Ignorance should be painful)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements."

Because liberal slimebags don't want the jury to hear all the facts - prosecutor and judge would rather see Libby railroaded than have the jury realize that all the MSM bozos were in far more of an illegitimate "conspiracy" than anyone in the WH!!!
19 posted on 02/12/2007 2:36:35 PM PST by Enchante (Chamberlain Democrats embraced by terrorists and America-haters worldwide!!)
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To: My2Cents

Let me guess... did Ari say Cheney told him to? I didn't hear him say that. s/


20 posted on 02/12/2007 2:36:55 PM PST by AliVeritas (Stop Global Dhimming. Demand testicular fortitude from the hill. Call the crusade.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter
I am Spartacus...

I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby...

21 posted on 02/12/2007 2:37:03 PM PST by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Championship U)
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To: rocksblues
If found guilty, Libby will have been convicted of the same crimes that Bill Clinton committed (perjury, obstruction of justice). How much jail time did he put in?

Bush should grant Libby a presidential pardon right here and now, and end this charade.

22 posted on 02/12/2007 2:37:42 PM PST by My2Cents ("I support the right-ward most candidate who has a legitimate chance to win." -- W.F. Buckley)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; All

Who was that who had already admitted to the leaking? His last name starts with A, but I can't think of it now


23 posted on 02/12/2007 2:37:53 PM PST by Kaslin (In war, there are two exit strategies. One is called victory. The other is called defeat.)
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To: AliVeritas

Thanks for the ping. As I recall, there was a discrepancy between Pincus and Woodward's account of one of their conversations, so at least one of their testimonies is suspect.


24 posted on 02/12/2007 2:39:19 PM PST by Fedora
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To: rocksblues
Meanwhile Scooter will go to jail for a crime that is not a crime.

Since when is perjury not a crime?
Libby is not on trial for leaking any information to anyone.
Libby is accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity.

25 posted on 02/12/2007 2:40:02 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Res firma mitescere nescit)
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To: jwalsh07
"U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Mitchell can be called as a witness but he wouldn't allow Libby's attorneys to ask about her inconsistent statements."

In the trial of a man charged with making inconsistent statements, the defense is not allowed to question a key witness for making inconsistent statements which have a direct bearing on a key point of the defendant's case. Fleischer testified he told David Gregory - an associate of Russert and Mitchell - about Wilson's wife. Then Mitchell says "everybody knew about," only to clumsily deny it later.

We thus have prima facie evidence that Russert could have known about Wilson's wife before he talked to Libby, and either forgot about it (like he forgot everything else) or lied about it. And Judge Walton won't even allow into evidence the obvious fact that Russert, Gregory, and Mitchell worked as a team and shared information. He calls it "hearsay." As you said, welcome to the Gulag.
26 posted on 02/12/2007 2:41:19 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Doctor Raoul

Good points - and remember that Pincus is a central member of the vast DBM conspiracy to distort and mis-represent everything about this case. He was the 2nd reporter (after Nicholas Kristof of the NY TIMES) to use Joe Wilson (and possibly Valerie) for anonymous sourcing several weeks before Novak's column.... and there was a reference in a Pincus column to having July 4 bar-b-q with Joe and Valerie, suggesting a more personal relationship that would be highly inappropriate for any reporter working on these issues.


27 posted on 02/12/2007 2:41:37 PM PST by Enchante (Chamberlain Democrats embraced by terrorists and America-haters worldwide!!)
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To: Kaslin

Armitage


28 posted on 02/12/2007 2:41:51 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: dfwgator

I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby...

--

Take a number. :-)


29 posted on 02/12/2007 2:42:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"I'm not telling them Wilson's wife works at the CIA... you tell them..."
"I'm not telling them Wilson's wife works at the CIA... you tell them..."
"Let's get Mikey to tell them. He'll tell anybody! Hey Mikey!"
30 posted on 02/12/2007 2:43:54 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
He is accused of lying because he couldn't remember who told him.

Didn't Hillary state the same type of answer?

31 posted on 02/12/2007 2:44:27 PM PST by rocksblues (Do unto others as they do unto you!)
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To: paddles; Ernest_at_the_Beach

I don't think they have to ask about her inconsistent statements. Just play the Imus tape and ask her if she said it. Yes or no. Then ask her if she ever told any other reporter or talked with any other reporter about Plame working at the CIA.

She will screw up in some way when she answers, which will open the door for the questioning, because she brought it up.

Of course, my courtroom trial experience is limited to watching Perry Mason and a few other TV attorney shows, so I might be a little off in my analysis.

;-)


32 posted on 02/12/2007 2:47:33 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: rocksblues
Didn't Hillary state the same type of answer?

Ahhhh...therin lies the rub. Double standard and all that. Hillary is a teflon coated wench.

33 posted on 02/12/2007 2:47:55 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Res firma mitescere nescit)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
These lawyers also are fighting hard to force NBC foreign affairs reporter Andrea Mitchell to testify about why she said that Plame's identity was "widely known" even before the Novak column was published.
Mitchell has since recanted those comments and has said that she cannot explain them.

"Yeah, I must've been smoking crack pretty heavy back then. Huh. Go figure."

34 posted on 02/12/2007 2:55:31 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Steve_Seattle
Steve, I've seen this argument made a couple of times, but the timing of it is difficult. Ari told Gregory about Plame on the Africa trip, at lunch or after - end of the day / evening here. That was, I believe, on Thursday. The Novak column was distributed to subscribers on Friday, and published on Monday.

So, what you would consider obvious is actually an inference that three people who work for the same company talked on Friday and shared this information among themselves, when one of them was in Africa.

There is no such thing as "prima facie" evidence that something is merely possible. Yes, it is possible that the three of them talked. But if there is no evidence that they talked, and they deny talking about it, why do you think it is probative to present evidence that they possibly could have talked? Wouldn't that be true of anyone? Isn't it possible that Woodward called all of these people as soon as he heard it from Armitage?

The point about Mitchell's statement is an age-old rule of evidence. A prior inconsistent statement is for impeachment of testimony - not for the truth of the matter stated, unless there is some other basis for admitting it. If you call her in to say she didn't know about Plame, then impeach her with the prior statement, you are left with a zero - no credible testimony offered for the truth of the matter. Thus, there is no reason to put her up at all.

35 posted on 02/12/2007 2:58:11 PM PST by lugsoul (Livin' in fear is just another way of dying before your time. - Mike Cooley)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AliVeritas; Fedora; Enchante; Wolfstar; All
Pincus figures prominently in this material:

Set up? Anatomy of the contrived Wilson "scandal"   10-2-03

Pincus and Milbank: the low-down on two Washington Post Bush-hating reporters  Brookes News    4-5-04

Plame Game - The Conspiracy Unfolds  10-17-05

36 posted on 02/12/2007 3:13:37 PM PST by windchime (I consider the left one of the fronts on the WOT.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
"Since when is perjury not a crime?"

When there is no underlying crime that is being lied about. You can't be convicted of lying to cover up a non crime.

37 posted on 02/12/2007 5:40:30 PM PST by norwaypinesavage
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To: norwaypinesavage
You can't be convicted of lying to cover up a non crime.

All true. But perjury is not simply lying. And then there's the obstruction charge which does not care what the motivation or validity of the investigation is.

38 posted on 02/12/2007 5:42:28 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Res firma mitescere nescit)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Left unsaid is that Pincus was a close personal friend of the Wilsons and knew full well what she did for a living.


39 posted on 02/12/2007 5:43:23 PM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

According to the prosecution, Libby managed to perjur himself about a non-crime and obstruct an investigation that had finished investigating the non-crime.


40 posted on 02/12/2007 5:54:35 PM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: windchime
Thanks. Here are some other links:

Walter Pincus knew Valerie since 1996

Woodward testifies in CIA leak case

Text: Bob Woodward's Public Statement

Pincus: Woodward 'Asked Me to Keep Him Out' of Plame Reporting

What Bob Woodward knew

41 posted on 02/12/2007 6:04:03 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora

PS: I should mention that on that first link, I haven't been able to confirm the agent referred to in the article was Plame and other researchers I've talked to have argued that it wasn't, so take that FWIW, but I include it for reference on the topic of Pincus and Plamegate.


42 posted on 02/12/2007 6:06:13 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

What a mess this is - and what an embarrassment this is even on trial. Mitchell knew, Russert knew, Armitage knew, hell EVERYBODY knew and they are trying to hang Libby because their little witch hunt didn't work out.


43 posted on 02/12/2007 6:18:10 PM PST by greccogirl
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To: AmishDude
The defense needs to ask some questions about his socializing with the Wilsons...
44 posted on 02/12/2007 6:18:39 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: AliVeritas

Still working on that piece,...pretty thick...


45 posted on 02/12/2007 6:19:36 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

>> I am Spartacus...

No, I am Spartacus.


46 posted on 02/12/2007 6:22:43 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: Fedora

Thank you!


47 posted on 02/12/2007 8:25:56 PM PST by windchime (I consider the left one of the fronts on the WOT.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

There was no "leak," because she was not covert.


48 posted on 02/12/2007 8:29:10 PM PST by B Knotts (Newt '08!)
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To: martin_fierro
For more on how Andrea and every one else knew....see this:

Woodward adds twist to CIA leak case ~ Armitage tape at CNN reveals truth of Plame exposure

Wilson did it!

49 posted on 02/12/2007 8:45:05 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

No freaking way. How low can they go?


50 posted on 02/12/2007 8:46:54 PM PST by La Enchiladita (Hunter/Poe 2008 "Once again, our government is on the wrong side of the border war")
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