Monthly Archives: August 2007

Flushed with Anger John McCain, Pete Hoekstra, and Other Republicans, Call on Larry Craig to Resign

Hoekstra was first:

A conservative House member from Michigan became the first lawmaker to call for Sen. Larry Craig’s resignation on Wednesday, and the White House expressed disappointment in the case of the Idaho senator caught in a men’s room undercover police operation.

GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra said Craig “represents the Republican party,” and called for his resignation “as his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator.”

Craig pleaded guilty in August to a charge of disorderly conduct following his arrest in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport. He has since recanted his guilty plea, and said on Tuesday he did nothing wrong.

Senate Republican leaders have called on the ethics committee to review Craig’s case, and White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he hoped the panel could do its work quickly.

“That would be in the best interests of the Senate and the people of Idaho,” he said.

McCain, and others, are joining the call:

Two Senate Republican colleagues, including John McCain, called Wednesday for Sen. Larry Craig to resign. The White House, too, expressed disappointment in the case of the Idaho Republican caught in a men’s room undercover police operation.

Arizona Sen. McCain and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, the state where Craig was arrested, became the first senators to join Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., urging Craig’s resignation.

McCain told CNN the decision was Craig’s to make, “but my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn’t serve. That’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier-than-thou. It’s just a factual situation.”

“I think he should resign,” McCain said.

Larry Craig is going to have to bail soon. There’s just no hope for the guy’s career. I’ll be surprised if he hangs in until Friday afternoon. Just do the right thing Senator. This is no time to stall.

CNN reports that “Sen. Larry Craig is stepping down from his committee assignments amid calls for his resignation from the Senate.” The Crypt’s Blog has more:

“Senator Larry Craig has agreed to comply with Leadership’s request that he temporarily step down as the top Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests,” reads a statement from GOP leadership. “This is not a decision we take lightly but we believe this is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee.”

He’s toast.

Richard Jewell Dead at 44

Diabetes, not foul play, is suspected. The state of Georgia recognized Jewell’s life-saving actions before he died:

A year ago this month, Jewell was commended by Gov. Sonny Perdue at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the bombing.

“The bottom line is this: His actions saved lives that day,” said Perdue. “Mr. Jewell, on behalf of Georgia, we want to thank you for keeping Georgians safe and doing your job during the course of those Games.”

Jewell, his voice choked with emotion, responded:

“I never sought to be a hero. I have always viewed myself as just one of the many trained professionals who simply did his or her job that tragic night. I wish I could have done more.”

Last year USA Today took a look back at the mainstream media lynching that nearly destroyed his life.

Members of Iranian Government Delegation Reportedly Arrested by US Forces in Iraq

I think Bush’s speech this afternoon signaled a significant turning point. Things really seem to be heating up:

U.S. soldiers arrested members of an Iranian government delegation Tuesday at a hotel in Baghdad and took them to an unidentified location, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

Associated Press Television caught blindfolded men being escorted from a Baghdad hotel.

The Iranians, who work for Tehran’s power ministry, were in the capital at the invitation of Iraqi government officials to sign an electricity supply contract, the news agency said.

The number of people arrested was not immediately clear, though Associated Press Television showed U.S. soldiers escorting 10 blindfolded people — their hands bound in front of them — from the hotel into military vehicles and driving off.

The Iranian’s aren’t happy but this story will take a while to fully unfold:

A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy says the seven men who were arrested were part of a delegation from the Iranian Electricity Ministry.

He says they were guests of the Iraqi Government and had come to Baghdad to help rebuild power stations.

He says the Iranian embassy will be sending a formal letter of protest to the Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The arrest of the Iranians came almost immediately after US President George W Bush said he had told commanders in Iraq to confront Iranians engaged in what he called “murderous activities” in Iraq.

I think we’ll be hearing more about what these men were really up to soon.

Some details are emerging but I wouldn’t necessarily take these initial reports at face value. This doesn’t tell us much anyway:

American forces said that a group of Iranians was detained after coalition forces searched them and their Iraqi escorts at a checkpoint, found unauthorized weapons in their vehicles and confiscated them.

The American statement did not mention the hotel, but it is near the checkpoint on the east bank of the Tigris where United States forces said the group was stopped and searched.

After the delegation proceeded to the Sheraton Ishtar hotel and was eating dinner in the ground floor restaurant, American solders arrested them, hotel employees said Wednesday. They said that six Iranians were led away blindfolded and handcuffed shortly after 10 p.m. Hotel officials said the delegation checked into the hotel on Monday bearing a letter of invitation from the Electricity Ministry.

I still think there’s more to this story than we’re hearing yet.

Update II:
The Iranians have been released. It looks like, in addition to sending a message, we got what we wanted anyway:

The military said that after initially allowing the Iranians and Iraqis to move on, U.S. forces went to their hotel and confiscated a laptop computer, mobile telephones and Iranian and U.S. currency during a search of their rooms. They then took the group to a military base for questioning. Two of the Iranians had “diplomatic credentials,” the military said.

It will be interesting to see if any of the laptop or cell phone data gathered during all of this resurfaces later.