Saturday, October 29, 2005


I must confess, I used to scare my little ones with the Boogeyman. Once, I even got my kids out of the mall by telling them that Michael Jackson in "Thriller" was going to get them.

I was a poor Mom, but in spite of my shortcomings, my kids turned out all right. Not a drug abuser, serial killer, sociopath, alkie or pregnant one in the bunch.

Where did I go wrong?

What Did Bush Know And When Did He Know It?

Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV

JOSEPH C. WILSON IV was acting ambassador in Baghdad when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. He is the author of "The Politics of Truth" (Carroll & Graff, 2004). He was a diplomat for 23 years.

October 29, 2005

AFTER THE two-year smear campaign orchestrated by senior officials in the Bush White House against my wife and me, it is tempting to feel vindicated by Friday's indictment of the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Between us, Valerie and I have served the United States for nearly 43 years. I was President George H.W. Bush's acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, and I served as ambassador to two African nations for him and President Clinton. Valerie worked undercover for the CIA in several overseas assignments and in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

But on July 14, 2003, our lives were irrevocably changed. That was the day columnist Robert Novak identified Valerie as an operative, divulging a secret that had been known only to me, her parents and her brother.

Valerie told me later that it was like being hit in the stomach. Twenty years of service had gone down the drain. She immediately started jotting down a checklist of things she needed to do to limit the damage to people she knew and to projects she was working on. She wondered how her friends would feel when they learned that what they thought they knew about her was a lie.

It was payback — cheap political payback by the administration for an article I had written contradicting an assertion President Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union address. Payback not just to punish me but to intimidate other critics as well.

Why did I write the article? Because I believe that citizens in a democracy are responsible for what government does and says in their name. I knew that the statement in Bush's speech — that Iraq had attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium in Africa — was not true. I knew it was false from my own investigative trip to Africa (at the request of the CIA) and from two other similar intelligence reports. And I knew that the White House knew it.

Going public was what was required to make them come clean. The day after I shared my conclusions in a New York Times opinion piece, the White House finally acknowledged that the now-infamous 16 words "did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address."

That should have been the end. But instead, the president's men — allegedly including Libby and at least one other (known only as "Official A") — were determined to defame and discredit Valerie and me.

They used eager allies in Congress and the conservative media, beginning with Novak. Perhaps the most egregious of the attacks was New York GOP Rep. Peter King's odious suggestion that Valerie "got what she deserved."

Valerie was an innocent in this whole affair. Although there were suggestions that she was behind the decision to send me to Niger, the CIA told Newsday just a week after the Novak article appeared that "she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment." The CIA repeated the same statement to every reporter thereafter.

The grand jury has now concluded that at least one of the president's men committed crimes. We are heartened that our system of justice is working and appreciative of the work done by our fellow citizens who devoted two years of their lives to grand jury duty.

The attacks on Valerie and me were upsetting, disruptive and vicious. They amounted to character assassination. Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months.

But more important, they did it as part of a clear effort to cover up the lies and disinformation used to justify the invasion of Iraq. That is the ultimate crime.

The war in Iraq has claimed more than 17,000 dead and wounded American soldiers, many times more Iraqi casualties and close to $200 billion.

It has left our international reputation in tatters and our military broken. It has weakened the United States, increased hatred of us and made terrorist attacks against our interests more likely in the future.

It has been, as Gen. William Odom suggested, the greatest strategic blunder in the history of our country.

We anticipate no mea culpa from the president for what his senior aides have done to us. But he owes the nation both an explanation and an apology.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Buh-bye Harriet

So sad to see you go...not.

Poor Harriet was a train wreck from the moment she left the station.

I still maintain that if Bush had nominated Harriet BEFORE Hurricane Katrina, in the intial glow of the John Roberts love fest, she would've slipped through on John Roberts' coat tails.

Oh, what a difference one FEMA disaster can make.

Bush is not just a lame duck, his goose is cooked. And by the rightwing lug nuts of his own party, the moonbats that he says don't represent the Republican party.

What does this say for moderate Republicans? Fuggetaboutit. If dopes like Dobson "who supported Miers before they didn't support her" can't get their bulldogs to stand down, what does portend for the moderate wing?

Just last week, the meme was that Senate Repubs had to support Miers lest it weaken Bush's presidency. What's the memo now, that by withdrawing her Bush is flexing his muscle?

What's all the more amazing to me is that Bush owes these looney tunes nothing. He'll never run for office again. But he's so weak that he can't even get the crony of his choice on the Supreme Court. Never mind that she was patently unqualified. Didn't matter to Bush. He saw into her "heart", remember?

And getting rid of her now, on the eve of Fitzmas. Bush couldn't even take the chance of her being humiliated on national TV during her confirmation hearings.

I suspect that poor Harriet crammed until her head hurt, and it was only during her "mock" hearings that somebody at the White House realized just how badly she would do.

Harriet, we hardly knew ye.....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Musings on a Rainy Saturday Afternoon

So much for Indian Summer. It's become an Indian Flood. We sure didn't need another weekend of rain. The only thing getting green around here is the grass.

Am in the initial stages of plotting out new specs with two good also helps when you already have a VP of Development interested.

My family knows that if I were somehow to become stranded on a desert island, I'd want my computer, brownies, potato chips and Edy's Grand Light Ice Cream. Well, we can add S'mores by Nabisco. Those things are so addicting it should be criminal.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Merry Fitzmas

Keeping my head out of the line of fire (trying to, anyway) and paying no heed to all that background noise. I practice the three W's: waiting, worrying, writing.

Daughter #1 has a new job. I know she'll be fabooo.

Daughter #2 is convinced that she has lupus because some of her hair is falling out. Even her dermatologist is befuddled.

Daughter #3 dressed like a cross of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper today for Senior Something Day.

I wish we had another little one running around (besides cats).

Friday, October 14, 2005

Dear Mainstream Media

Dear Mainstream Media. . . (from Daily Kos)

Yes, this video-conference was fake. Please consider this in the context of the following:

The WMD justification for the Iraq War was fake.

The claim that Iraq had ties to 9/11 was fake.

The Thanksgiving turkey to the troops was fake.

The photo-op on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln was fake.

The Jessica Lynch story was fake.

The Pat Tillman story was fake.

The "compassionate conservative" claim was fake.

The "restoring honor and dignity to the White House" claim was fake.

The proposed cost of the prescription drug bill was fake.

The "ranch" in Crawford is fake.

Jeff Gannon was fake

The town-hall "meetings" on Social Security were fake.

The town-hall campaign "meetings" of 2004 with "real Americans" asking "real questions" were fake.

The domestic terror warnings of 2004 -- particularly the ones immediately following the nomination of John Kerry -- were fake.

The Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" were fake.

The Niger uranium documents were fake.

Bush's National Guard "service" in Alabama is fake.

White House propaganda masquerading as "news reports" was fake.

The claim that no one in the White House had anything to do with the outing of Valerie Plame was fake.

The claim that Bush wanted to "get to the bottom" of the Plame matter was fake.

Perhaps you now see a pattern and wish to consider this pattern in your future reporting.


The Reality-Based Community


Aside from the torrential rains that have hit the eastern seabord with a vengeance, it's been a slow week.

The first casting call for the CHRISTMAS script went well. Close to four hundred people came to audition, I'm told. I was there for a few hours and gave my input on several promising candidates.

Other than that, been writing, waiting and worrying. What else can you do when it's raining so hard that your inground pool is ready to overflow?

Also nice to see the Bush "Presidency" imploding. Each day brings a new farce. My new mantra now is "how low can Bush go."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Kill Me Now, Why Don't Cha

So I have all these scripts out at various places, and a close pal says to me something to the effect of, hey, it's a three day weekend, chances are your scripts are going to be read over it, aren't you excited?

Uh....not really. I told her it meant I would probably get a slew of passes next week.

And she remonstrated me to think positive: I would get a slew of yes'.

All right. I can do that. And that is slew, not stew.

Update on THE TOWN THAT BANNED CHRISTMAS: John the director/producer is holding an open casting call next week for some of the lead roles, supporting and secondary characters. I have been invited to give my input, so I will dutifully report the outcome here. My main worry is what if nobody shows up? Sheesh.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Random Ramblings On A Thursday Evening

Before The Apprentice (the real one) comes on.

So it looks like Katie Holmes didn't keep her vow to remain a virgin until she was married. Guess Tom had the, uh, right stuff.

Jessica and Nick are splitsville. Are too. Are not. Does anyone give a shit? I wish all the Simpsons would get their sorry asses on an RV and hit the road. We have more important things to worry about, like Karl Rove's indictment.

Hurricane Katrina's Latest Victim

The Bush Chimp made a gross strategic error in waiting to pick his latest Supreme Court chump, er, I mean crony, uh, nominee.

If Georgie had nominated Harriet Miers along with John Roberts (before Hurricane Katrina) she would've stood a much better of sailing thru on Roberts coattails. Yeah, there still would've been acrimony from the right, but Bush back then was in better shape politically.

What a difference a hurricane or two makes.

Now, in the aftermath of the disaster that Hurricane Katrina was, and since Emperor Bush has been shown to have no clothes, he's diminished. Buyer's remorse has set in. If Dubyahoo wasn't a lame drunk (I mean, lame duck) then, he certainly is now.

Consider: the Delay indictments, now the upcoming endgame to Plamegame, more bad news in Iraq, consumer confidence low, the White House Spy, FBI wiretapping the wrong phone number, morale sinking, conservative base up in's been horrendous for Bush. And I predict it's only going to get worse.

They can't even trot Barbara Bush out to calm the troops.

Meh. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

So Far, So Good

This week has started off on a high note.

THE AMULET is at New Line.

Sent RANDOM ACTS to my agent who is going to send it over to a pal who works for Charlize Theron.

Heard from Chris Ciaffa, the producer on MHY.

Baked a chocolate-almond cake. From scratch.

Started decorating the house for Halloween.

Good start. I'm happy.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Scripts That Made My Daughters Cry

I've wasted most of the day trying to upload two scripts to my blog. I'm not having any luck and my legendary patience is wearing thin.

The first script is my period drama SIXTY ACRES. Heather, my middle daughter, bawled her eyes out because Tyrone, a central character, got beat up. It's a tough sell, and there's no sex. But it was in the top ten at Trigger Street (two versions of it) as well as the Trigger Street Hall of Fame, and it was almost bought by The Hallmark Channel.

The second script, MAIREAD THE WARRIOR WITCH (fantasy epic), left my youngest daughter, Stephanie, in tears because of the ending. Of the scripts I've written, this is her favorite. It's a tough sell, there's no sex, and it's not based on an existing book or graphic novel. I can't even get my agent to read it.

Until I can figure it out (or if anyone cares to help me) zap me and I'll send you either a FD or PDF draft for your misreading pleasure.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rambling Musings on a Sunday Morning

Does anyone in the world give a shit that Paris Hilton dumped her fiance? Did anyone even give a flying fuck that she was engaged? Why do I get the feeling that this liason between the Paris' was more a PR dream than reality.

They say that Laura caught Bush drinking again. Maybe that explains his "potty moment" at the UN.

Tara Reid, AA is calling.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Crickets On A Go-Kart

Some time back, I was an "unofficial reader" for a big Los Angeles entertainment conglom that shall not be named under penalty of death (Okay, it was Brillstein-Grey).

What this meant was that I regularly received a Fed-Ex package of scripts. I read said scripts, typed up my coverages, and e-mailed them to the executive. And I did this for free.

Why? One, to see how my scripts stacked up against those being marketed by agencies.

Two, the BG exec implied that this was a way for my scripts to be considered by BG.

Third, I was a big dope.

Moron that I was, it was still a great learning experience.

One, it was validation that my work didn't suck duck eggs. I had imagined that Hollywood was awash with great scripts. To a certain extent, that was true. Hollywood was awash with screenplays, all right, and most of them were stupid, silly and sophomoric. However, most of these stinkers came with impressive agency covers. This gave me hope. If these dogs could find representation, so could I.

Some of these clunkers even had A-list actors attached. More suprising, some of these duds were later produced.

Two, I discovered that there is no perfect script. All of the scripts I read, even the decent ones, contained typos, formatting errors, etc. On my scripts I fretted (and still do) if I misplace a period. This led me to believe that either agencies don't expect their clients to proofread their scripts before they send them out (and clearly the agencies didn't proof them either) and that production execs were willing to overlook even the most grimmest of grammatical glitsches as long as the script had Eddie Murphy attached or it contained a glimmer of box office gold.

During my tenure as a volunteer village idiot, I read a handful scripts that were top notch and got a hearty thumbs up from me. Thankfully, someone higher up on the food chain agreed with me and some of them were even produced.

The exec whom I was dealing with raved about my coverages. He told me they were a big hit with the other execs too. It finally seeped through my thick skull that the exec was probably passing my notes off as his own.

After about six months, I gave up reading for BG after I politely asked to be paid and the exec refused. "Against company policy" he claimed. My friends in the industry guffawed at that. PJ, they crowed, you were rooked.

Well...maybe so.

But it made me feel good when I recently learned that a script I had recommended had won a prize at The Toronto Film Festival. Course, the draft I read had been by another writer, and in the produced movie, a major story element had been changed.

Guess I wasn't as stupid as I thought I was.