Does Lanny Breuer Have a Conflict in the Cheney Interview FOIA Case?

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s background has been a key topic of discussion in CREW’s lawsuit to force DOJ to release Dick Cheney’s interview with Patrick Fitzgerald. The problem is, DOJ forgot to reveal that Breuer had represented one of the people involved with issues directly related to Cheney’s interview.

DOJ needed an expert on investigations of White House officials–so they got Breuer

During a hearing on whether or not DOJ should release Dick Cheney’s interview with Patrick Fitzgerald back in June, Judge Emmet Sullivan suggested that DOJ ought to have someone with actual experience in investigations of high level White House officials make their argument that releasing Cheney’s interview would make such investigations more difficult in the future.

MR. SMITH: In this case I don’t see — the law enforcement issue here is very unique and it’s very different than I think in Sussman and in most other cases. It’s an interest, it’s basically a chilling interest that if the Vice-President’s interview is released, that could have a chilling effect on future senior leadership.

THE COURT: Says who?

MR. SMITH: Says the Attorney General Mukasy [sic], that was his conclusion.

THE COURT: He didn’t file a declaration. Mr. Bradbury filed a declaration. He didn’t base it upon any experience, he didn’t base it upon anything. He didn’t articulate the bases for his declaration. Other than he was designated to follow declaration. So it wasn’t Mr. Mukasy [sic] who filed the declaration which arguably could have carried great weight. If the chief law enforcement officer says based on my experience and experience of others in law enforcement, it could have but that’s not the case here. Bradbury was a political appointee. I don’t know what his experience was. He was appointed to, maybe he was appointed to file this declaration. I don’t know what else he did. He’s no longer there at OLC. And essentially the government in footnote says I should defer to his declaration.

This is not a deferential review. I want to be clear I’m not suggesting that the Attorney General should sign a declaration. I’m not ordering, certainly not ordering him to do anything, but I’m just saying in response to what you just said arguably it could have carried greater weight for such a declaration to come from a law enforcement official based upon his or her experiences with respect to this chilling effect. Otherwise, it’s just an assumption this man makes based upon nothing he can point to. [my emphasis]

So rather than have the discredited Steven Bradbury submit this declaration, DOJ got Breuer to do so. After Breuer submitted a statement arguing that release of Cheney’s interview will present some new disincentive for high level White House officials in the future to cooperate that thirty years of routine release don’t already present, CREW questioned what basis Breuer had to make that claim.

The only experience plaintiff is aware of Mr. Breuer having with law enforcement investigations involving the White House is his tenure as special counsel to President Clinton during the Independent Counsel’s “Whitewater” investigation. Mr. Breuer “appeared before the grand jury . . . and invoked Executive Privilege,” a claim that was rejected by Chief Judge Johnson and that the Independent Counsel described as “interposed to prevent the grand jury from gathering relevant information.”

In response, DOJ played up Breuer’s experience relevant to this issue.

Mr. Breuer’s experience in criminal law and government investigations is, in fact, extensive. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Mr. Breuer served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, a senior legal official in the Clinton Administration, and the Co-Chair of Covington & Burling’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group.

What they didn’t say, though, is that Breuer represented someone involved in this very case.

What they didn’t say is that Breuer represented someone whose involvement in this matter may be related to precisely those things being hidden by DOJ’s refusal to release the interview.

Lanny Breuer represented one of the people at CIA involved in responding to Dick Cheney’s inquiries

Breuer, as his financial disclosure reveals, has provided John Kiriakou at least $5,000 of legal services. Now, Kiriakou is best known for going on ABC in 2007–shortly after the destruction of the torture tapes was first revealed–and claiming Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded just once, for 30, 35 seconds. A claim that, as readers of this site know well, turned out to be totally false.

But Kiriakou was also closely involved in the CIA Leak case. He was the one who, on June 10, 2003, was trying to come up with some answers about Joe Wilson for Vice President Cheney. He’s the author of the email that explains,

The VP apparently heard the below story and had questions on it. The DDCI needs a response before his noon meeting tomorrow (Wednesday [June 11]) with the VP, so if you could get back to me by 1000 or 1100 tomorrow, I’d appreciate it. Thanks a million.

Story: In Februay 2002, CIA received an initial report of a shipment of uranium from Niger to Chad [sic]. Former Ambassador to Cameroon [sic] Joe Wilson (an old friend of the Agency and former Charge d’Affaires in Baghdad) was supposedly sent by CIA to Niger to investigate the story. He did so, and he concluded that there was no truth to it. Wilson said that he was debriefed by a CIA case officer who flew in (to where is unclear) [redacted].

VP Questions: Is this story true? Do we have a chronological account of the above events? What is the nature of Wilson’s relationship with CIA? What exactly did Wilson report to us? Was this in a reporting cable [redacted] (if it was, can somebody send me a copy of it? Will you also send me a copy of the intel? [redacted] Didn’t the Brits come out with a similar report detailing a Niger-Iraq uranium connection? [redacted]

And that’s relevant because two of the things DOJ is trying to protect in Cheney’s interview pertain to Cheney’s conversations with the CIA–precisely what Kiriakou was personally involved in.

Vice President’s discussion of the substance of a conversation he had with the Director of the CIA concerning the decision to send Ambassador Wilson on a fact-finding mission to Niger in 2002. (Page 3, lines 15-17, 21-28)

Vice President’s discussion of his requests for information from the CIA relating to reported efforts by Iraqi officials to purchase uranium from Niger. (Page 6, lines 30-33, 39-40)

Indeed, Cheney’s conversation with Tenet is one of just two things in the interview DOJ is trying to hide that was not otherwise released in some form at the Libby trial (the other being a conversation Cheney had with Condi Rice). And we know that Kiriakou was gathering evidence for Tenet’s Deputy, John McLaughlin, on precisely this issue, around the same time that–Libby claimed–Tenet told Cheney about Plame’s identity.

Lanny Breuer’s ethics letter limits whether he can participate in issues related to people he represented

Now, I’m not sure whether and to what extent that at-least $5,000 of legal services involved helping to explain the context of Kiriakou’s e-mail about collecting information for Cheney. But I do know that Breuer has a letter agreeing that he would not participate in any matter in which a former client of his is a party for one year after he last provided services to that client.

For a period of one year after his resignation from the law firm of Covington & Burling, LLP, he also will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which that law firm is a party or represents a party, unless he is first authorized to participate pursuant to 5 C.P.R. § 2635.502(d). In addition, he will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which a former client of his is a
party or represents a party for a period of one year after he last provided service to that client, unless he is first authorized to participate pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502(d).

Now, so long as Breuer’s relationship with Kiriakou ended at least a year ago, so long as Covington & Burling is not still representing Kirakou, this letter should not be a problem at all (yes, I’m working on finding out when C&B ended their relationship with Kiriakou).

But as a matter of common legal ethics, shouldn’t Breuer at least reveal to the Court that he represented someone who was personally involved in precisely the matters DOJ is trying to hide? 

There was a fair amount of back-and-forth in court filings about why Lanny Breuer was the one guy at DOJ best qualified to make the Jon Stewart defense: Whitewater, Assistant DA, Covington & Burling’s White Collar Defense practice. Somehow, though, DOJ forgot to mention Breuer’s most direct qualification for assessing whether the exposure of Cheney’s interview would embarrass him: representing one of the guys who was personally involved in one of the matters DOJ is trying to hide, Cheney’s discussions with the CIA about Wilson.

You’d think DOJ maybe could have mentioned that.

  1. freepatriot says:

    the following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty

    if releasing dead eye dick cheney’s FBI interview has a chilling effect on future government officials desire to cooperate with criminal investigations, I’M ALL FOR RELEASING THE INTERVIEW NOTES

    cuz people who are worried about cooperating with criminal investigations are people who are thinking of the consequences of their actions

    criminals rarely do that

    criminals don’t think about criminal penalties

    at least the criminals I know don’t worry about it

    I’ve never met a criminal who thought he would get caught

    why worry about the consequences if you are not going to be caught ???

    I think that the problem we are having is that some people got no fucking clue what criminals worry about

  2. bmaz says:

    So Breuer represented an interested party, in this very subject matter, in a situation where said client either lied and/or misrepresented his involvement and knowledge and he is now affirmatively urging the court to conceal said subject matter on behalf of the government??? And he did not apprise the court of his status of being in potential conflict???

    Even if there turns out to be no actual conflict as further facts are adduced, it sure seems unethical for the Department of Justice to be proffering this affidavit without informing the court of the circumstances.

    And this sure doesn’t sound like it is consistent with the high ethical standards and transparency Barack Obama swore he would provide to the nation. What an embarrassment his administration of justice has been.

    • emptywheel says:

      Couple of points.

      1) I can’t yet confirm in writing that Breuer rep’ed Kiriakou for Plame.

      2) There’s no evidence out there saying Kiriakou lied here.

      3) Kiriakou says he didn’t know when he was making false claims about Abu Zubaydah.

      • emptywheel says:

        Though I will say this: I got “no comment” rather than “no” from some people in a position to know whether Breuer was involved in the Plame case.

        • LabDancer says:

          You’re still right remaining cautious on this without more. There are lawyers, often but not necessarily with the larger billing mills, who will request a retainer simply to conduct a check to see if they might have a conflict that prevents them from acting. This isn’t at all loony; many law firms have been around for decades and decades, through all sorts of mergers, with offices all over the planet and so many partners of various levels and associates, a lawyer with a particularly specialized or local and busy practice might never meet some of them, including even partners. Even checking the list of the firm’s active and past clients isn’t enough; the prudent approach–the one that keeps you from getting disciplined by the local bar authority or the courts–is to send a memo [these days an email] ’round to all the partners, associates & senior administrative staff to advise of any potential conflicts concerns on an urgent basis. Even that isn’t guaranteed foolproof, but as I say, it’s the approved failsafe & prevents a loss of sleep & mostly works.

          Others hold the view that since even the mere act of conducting a conflicts check can create the appearance of a conflict, they won’t ever [or at least generally won’t] bill for the conflicts check. You could call it Don’t Charge Don’t Have To Tell.

          There are still others who will accept a retainer to look into not just whether or not they have a conflict but also if they’re the best choice of attorney in a specialized area where a particular type of expertise is required. Zaid, for example, has an extremely specialized practice, though tailored to the realities of the Beltway such that he’s able to keep himself busy. My own view is that providing this type of service is almost invariably going to create conflict because the attorney almost invariably is going to need a disqualifying amount of privileged information from the client in order to do her or his job.

          But that isn’t necessarily the case with shops that require a retainer just for setting up to determine whether or not there’s a conflict. There’s room for lawyers of good faith — assuming one grants the possibility that such creatures exist — to disagree.
          Though FWIW I note that it’s the huge power-player big billing shops that always seem to be on the other side of the disagreement.

          Still, your point is that there’s an odor here that should be addressed, and in that I agree.

          Sharp-eyed as per usual, ms e.

        • bmaz says:

          Man, I have never in my life heard tell of a lawyer charging to do a conflict check other than whatever standard consultation fee they charge. That is downright lowlife, I would tell a lawyer wanting to do that to get screwed. Either way though, don’t see how that necessarily impacts on the instant issue.

          Been wondering here you have been, good to see you back.

        • LabDancer says:


          As a general matter, I doubt it would come as a shock exactly that mega firms & Beltway boutiques are accomplished in feeding the egos of high level administration types & those who fancy themselves as such, and expert in getting those who consult them to draw on initial consultation funds that are available under quite reasonable conditions from specialty insurers, whose underwriters are typically thrilled with those insured who demonstrate a highly responsible level of risk awareness by contacting them to get appropriate legal advice as early as possible.

          Also, I have a memory of this or something very like it getting raised during your series of posts introducing us to some of the more dubious assignments in Holder’s career back in 2008. I could go back to check for the particular billing, but might not be able to get back on it for a day or two.

      • bmaz says:

        1) Good point, he may not have. Should have phrased that “a relevant person in this very subject matter”

        2) Didn’t say he lied in this matter; but he either lied or misrepresented the state of his knowledge and participation in the waterboarding, interrogations and evidence adduced thereby. It was complete BS. He was deceptive in his main entry on the public record.

        3) Meh, see 2 above.

      • MadDog says:

        …3) Kiriakou says he didn’t know when he was making false claims about Abu Zubaydah.

        That brought a laugh to my lips.

        WTF was that little worm doing as an ABC News official source if he didn’t know the stuff he was claiming to fookin’ know?

        ABC News and Brian Ross got badly pwned by what surely seems deliberate disinformation by certain CIA creepy crawlers.

        • emptywheel says:

          Oh, I’m not buying that statement in the least. I’m just trying to be careful about what I say. I don’t want the AAG of Criminal Division to bring the hammer on me.

          Oh wait. He can’t represent Kiriakou anymore. Maybe if I make an outrageous assertion, I’ll find out quickly who is representing him.

          Hmmm. It’d probably work, but it’s probably not a good idea. (Note, Kiriakou now works for John Kerry on SFRC.)

        • MadDog says:

          The week you informed the entire world about the 83 and 183 waterboardings was the week that the ABC News Brian Ross Kirakou interview fell entirely to pieces.

          The ABC News Brian Ross Kirakou interview originally had the smell of something being “off”, but after the OLC memo discovery here, “off” turned to out and out “bullshit”.

          Including this phony bit:

          …After Kiriakou became one of the first CIA officials to publicly discuss details of the agency’s rough treatment of Zubaida, the Department of Justice, according to McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay, this week opened a criminal investigation into whether Kiriakou had disclosed classified information. (The case was referred to the department by the CIA.) It could be that the feds are attempting to stifle further disclosures by Kiriakou, who has retained prominent whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid…

          This disclosure of a phony CIA referral to the DOJ for phony investigation was meant to solidify Kirakou’s authenticity, and now in hindsight was also part of the deliberate disinformation campaign.

        • emptywheel says:

          Maybe not. Look at my point above. If Kiriakou was paying Zaid, it was almost certainly a CIA v. former spook issue–that’s all Zaid does.

          So, again, that leaves … something else … that he was paying C&B’s white collar defense guy to do.

        • MadDog says:

          Maybe not. Look at my point above. If Kiriakou was paying Zaid, it was almost certainly a CIA v. former spook issue–that’s all Zaid does…

          You’re not being cynical enough EW. *g*

          Consider the representation of Kiriakou by Zaid as part of the “protective coloration” in the disinformation campaign.

          After all, when one has a phony CIA referral to the DOJ for phony investigation, Kiriakou, the Red Herring, probably should look the part of a target being concerned enough to get legal representation.

          On an interesting and irrelevant sidenote, Mark Zaid also represents Sibel Edmonds as well as Arianna Huffington.

        • bmaz says:

          I dunno, but I just realized that this is potentially a bigger issue than you let on at first. If Breuer was required to clear the appearance of conflict, the only two people above him at DOJ that could sign off are David Ogden, the DAG and Eric Holder, the AG. Eric Holder was also a partner at Covington & Burling immediately prior to joining DOJ.

        • THATanonymous says:

          Unhh-huhh… All in the “family”, like I said @ 7.

          Makes the Catholic priest pedophilia cover somebody’s ass ring look like rank amateurs.

          TA (it’s getting difficult to come up with an appropriate slag off of the law, it’s doing so well on its own)

  3. bmaz says:

    And may I add that if I were Judge Sullivan, I would be furious with the deceptive and lame arguments and presentation the government had made in this case. The court is owed a higher standard of conduct.

  4. THATanonymous says:

    Why do I keep thinking of the whack-a-mole game at the county fair?

    TA (the law is nothing if not incestuous, assuming that self-manipulation counts)

  5. MadDog says:

    Minor typos: “best know” should be “best known” and “is not sill representing Kirakou” should be “is not still representing Kirakou”.

    Now on to the real crux of my ignorance – where do you document that Kirakou is the “author of the email“?

    As there is no explicit identification on that PDF as to Kirakou being the author, I’m suggesting more is needed here. I’m not suggesting you’re incorrect; merely suggesting that the authorship needs to be more explicitly documented.

    And lest I forget my manners here, great fookin’ job connecting these dots EW!

  6. bmaz says:

    Also, I would be surprised if Kiriakou has not consulted with Covington & Burling in the last year in light of his issues with the falsity of his earlier statements to ABC News and others that recently surfaced (I think some blogger chick determined that there was much more waterboarding), not to mention in preparation for his entry into government service for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff. That sure seems like the kind of thing you might run by counsel before doing. Not to mention he has continued to run his yap about waterboarding in 2009. I would be shocked if he has not consulted with them in the last year, and quite possibly with Breuer prior to his nomination and confirmation.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yep, I was thinking about that. He had to make a statement after some blogger chick ruined his story. Which prolly would have been a good time to visit a lawyer.

      So here’s the question: if Kiriakou paid them in, say, 2007, and then didn’t in 2008, but then came back for a visit in 2009 bc of the blogger chick’s shit, at a time when Breuer was already happily ensconced at DOJ, does that count?

  7. emptywheel says:

    Oh wait. Laura’s thing seems to make clear that Kiriakou was using someone else–Mark Zaid–for his torture blabbing.

    For now, Kiriakou is referring all calls to his lawyer, Zaid, who explained in an email his client’s decision to go public. “John was completely uncomfortable with the accusations that the CIA has ‘torturers’

    Which means Breuer was repping Kiriakou on some other topic.

    Hmmm. What other need would he have had for a lawyer?

  8. Mary says:

    To not go overboard, what you have is Kiriakou involved in the questioning that Cheney was initially conducting and the likelihood that Fitzgerald in his Cheney interview would have been asking Cheney about questioning that could well involve Cheney’s interactions with Kiriakou.

    That leaves Breuer as not a great pic for the Declaration, even if you work hard not to sensationalize any of it.

    And I still have to think that when you are trying to suppress statements given to the prosecution without a confidentiality agreement, someone in the direct chain of that prosecution – someone who isn’t a total stranger to the litigation – needs to be one of the declarants. They don’t ante up with anyone. Fitzgerald was deliberately put outside the Crim Div chain with his appointment. That leaves him, his crew, and the Acting AG for his matter (whoever that may be now) as the prosecutorial chain. Oh – and the President.

  9. emptywheel says:

    No Kiriakou on Holder’s declaration. Nothing untoward on Ogden’s. Though Merck basically owns DOJ right now.

    So they had the one guy WITH a conflict do this.

  10. rincewind says:

    In 2007, the SECOND [my bad] biggest legal issue involving CIA was Dusty Foggo/Brent Wilkes, yes?

  11. MadDog says:

    As a sidenote bugaboo that still gets me riled, according to that Laura Rozen Mother Jones piece Kiriakou was:

    …In the summer of 2002, after returning from a posting as the Counterterrorism Center chief in Pakistan, where he was involved in the questioning of Zubaida…

    (My Bold)

    And from Kiriakou’s ABC News interview about torturing Abu Zubaydah with Brian Ross:

    …JOHN: Correct. And I should add too that it wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, “Well, I’m gonna slap him. Or I’m going to shake him. Or I’m gonna make him stay up for 48 hours.” Each one of these steps, even though they’re minor steps, like the intention shake– or the open-handed belly slap, each one of these had to have the approval of the Deputy Director for Operations.

    So before you laid a hand on him, you had to send in the cable saying, “He’s uncooperative. Request permission to do X.” And that permission would come. “You’re allowed to him one time in the belly with an open hand.”

    BRIAN ROSS: It was that specific.

    JOHN: It was that specific.

    BRIAN ROSS: Cable traffic back and forth.

    JOHN: The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific. And the bottom line was these were very unusual authorities that the agency got after 9/11. No one wanted to mess them up. No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard. So it was extremely deliberate…

    (My Bold)

    So to get to my continuing gripe, where the fook is the “back and forth cable traffic” identified in the CIA’s Vaughn Index List of Contemporaneous and Derivative Records (17 page PDF) that they submitted to Judge Hellerstein?

    The only cable from HQTRS to the FIELD occurs on 5/28/02 which is after 1 1/2 months that Abu Zubaydah was in the hands of the CIA, including John Kiriakou’s hands as the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center chief in Pakistan, who claims he was present when Abu Zubayduh broke under waterboarding:

    JOHN: Water boarding was one of the techniques, yes.

    BRIAN ROSS: And was it used on Zubaydah?

    JOHN: It was.

    BRIAN ROSS: And was it successful?

    JOHN: It was.

    BRIAN ROSS: What happened as a result of that?

    JOHN: He resisted. He was able to withstand the water boarding for quite some time. And by that I mean probably 30, 35 seconds–

    BRIAN ROSS: That’s quite some time.

    JOHN: –which was quite some time. And a short time afterwards, in the next day or so, he told his interrogator that Allah had visit him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate because his cooperation would make it easier on the other brothers who had been captured. And from that day on he answered every question just like I’m sitting here speaking to you.

    BRIAN ROSS: And a willing way?

    JOHN: In a willing way.

    BRIAN ROSS: So in your view the water boarding broke him.

    JOHN: I think it did, yes.

    So again, where the fook is this CIA cable traffic from HQTRS to the FIELD that John Kiriakou claims was required, and claims fookin’ occurred, for every EIT/torture technique used on Abu Zubaydah?

    • MadDog says:

      And I want to emphasize something here.

      John Kiriakou, in some ways, was made out to be some relatively low-level “assistant” flunky when he gave that interview to Brian Ross.

      And this minimizing of his status is buttressed by both the Valerie Plame email EW notes (Executive Assistant to the ADDO), as well as Laura Rozen’s Mother Jones article:

      …Kiriakou served as the executive assistant to Robert Grenier, then the CIA’s Iraq mission manager…

      (My Bold)

      But John Kiriakou was not a low-level “assistant”. As Laura’s article points out (preceding the above sentence):

      …In the summer of 2002, after returning from a posting as the Counterterrorism Center chief in Pakistan, where he was involved in the questioning of Zubaida…

      (My Bold)

      John Kiriakou was the CIA person in charge of the Abu Zubaydah capture, and likely the CIA person in charge of Abu Zubaydah’s intial interrogation and torture.

      And John Kiriakou claims that each and every EIT/torture technique required individual approval from the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, and John Kiriakou further claims that each and every EIT/torture technique required cable traffic approval from HQTRS to FIELD.

      And John Kiriakou, supposedly some low-level “assistant” flunky-type, gave an interview to Brian Ross, where he somehow mistakenly stated that Abu Zubaydah broke after 30-35 seconds of waterboarding instead of 83 waterboardings?

      And And John Kiriakou, supposedly some low-level “assistant” flunky-type, got in trouble with the CIA with this Brian Ross interview to the point where the CIA referred the issue to the DOJ for investigation?

      Does anyone else smell some red herring here?

      And the questions that have been bugging me all night, is just what was the motivation for John Kiriakou to spin his BS with Brian Ross, and just who was behind the deal to have John Kiriakou give this interview?

      The bottom line take from that interview was that “torture works!”

      Cui bono? Or for the Latin-less, who benefits?

  12. Funnydiva2002 says:

    on CARS
    EW,aren’t you from Minnesota, too? Gretchen Carlson apparently spouted some complete crap this am on CARS re-imbursement. KO just took her down. Bet you have the REAL numbers. And you don’t get to go on the TeeBee Murchine to brag about your “crack” research.
    Maybe she meant she was ON crack while doing the research?
    Teh Stoopid. We can’t make this up!


  13. emptywheel says:


    I agree, it makes sense to be cautious when you’re asking these kinds of questions of the AAG of Criminal.

    A couple of points, though.

    First, as pointed out above, this is a conflict Breuer listed, but Holder did not (by contrast, Holder listed Chiquita, but not Breuer).

    Second, as I said, I’m getting “no comment” rather than “no.”

    I will, however, spend tomorrow trying to hunt this down…

    • LabDancer says:

      Don’t get me wrong; I was just applauding your caution. You’re right to chase it down. Also, CREW has standing to pursue it before Judge Sullivan, & while they might not have been onto your discovery before now, I haven’t seen a lot of shyness from them.

  14. orionATL says:

    from ew’s post and included docs:

    [ In addition, he will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which a former client of his is a party or represents a party for a period of one year after he last provided service to that client, unless he is first authorized to participate pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502(d).]

    no representation or contact “for a period of one year”?

    so this attorney CAN involve himself in another related matter AFTER one whole year.

    can we be assured by C&B that all the knowledge that this person, one of their attorney’s, gleaned about the case will be erased from his noggin after one year?

    does the human memory erase itself after one year?

    oh, good. i am reassured.

    and about the doj choosing this wired legal artist – how likely is it that holder or craig, or someone who works for them, COMPLETELY forgot about this aspect of breuer’s resume?


    about as likely as the odds that the sun will not rise over this sorry washington tableaux tomorrow morning.

    law in the upper echelons of a democratic presidency is such beautiful thing.


    and where the f*** is our constitutional-law-teaching prez in all this? under the spell of washington insiders, fast asleep.

  15. fatster says:

    O/T Blackwater responds to accusations.

    Blackwater Responds to Murder Allegations
    — By Daniel Schulman | Wed August 5, 2009 11:57 AM PST

    [Their response begins:]

    “The proper place for this case to be litigated is in the Court, and we will respond fully in our reply brief (which will be filed on August 17) to the anonymous unsubstantiated  and offensive assertions put forward by the plaintiffs. Because the plaintiffs have chosen inappropriately to argue their case in the media, however, we will also say this:”


    • Hmmm says:

      Today In Parsing

      Please note that the phrasing “anonymous unsubstantiated and offensive” does not include any assertion per se that the accusations are not true.

  16. MadDog says:

    And I apologize, but I neglected to provide a link to the 2nd part of the ABC News “CIA – Abu Zubaydah” Interview With John Kiriakou By Correspondent Brian Ross.

    Here it is (11 page PDF).

    Not a lot of detail in the 2nd part. Most of it is the effort to present a stalwart, all-American, Jimmy Stewart, “dang, I didn’t like doing it, but America was at risk, and anyways, it worked” sale closer.

    It could’ve been scripted in Hollywood. Jane would know. *g*

    Again, cui bono?

  17. freepatriot says:

    3) Kiriakou says he didn’t know when he was making false claims about Abu Zubaydah.

    if he were talking about testimony offered under oath, that’s an admission of perjury under Cali criminal law

    if you say you know something, and you don’t actually know that, it is the same as knowingly giving false testimony

    an I tend to judge everybody under the cali criminal standard, just to let them know where the bar is set

    the dude is a FUCKING LIAR

    end of story

    if he files a brief for one side in a legal dispute, the judge should rule against the side he testifies for


  18. GregB says:

    I personally think Kiriakou is a criminal who engaged in propaganda against the citizens of the United States for corrupt politicians.

    I think he’s a lowlife.


  19. alinaustex says:

    GregB @ 48
    Whay boggles the mind is how much agitprop there still is out there perpetrated by gwb43to further goals that are so unAmerican as to be treasonoues- like all the retired Generals spreading lies about WMD prior to the illegal occupation of Iraq, -what motivates these lowlife sumbitches to be so thoroughly corrupt ? Why would Foggo for example fire career employees just so he can keep his drunk Russian mistress on the public dole ? Is it all simply about material gain ? I think Kirakou is a lowlife too -and why would Senator John Kerry hire him ?

  20. klynn says:

    This profile on History Commons gives some additional background to points/events made in your above post about Kiriakou/Breuer.

    Here’s an interesting section:

    Kiriakou will claim that the activities of the interrogators were closely directly by superiors at CIA Headquarters back in the US. “It wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, ‘Well, I’m gonna slap him.’ Or, ‘I’m going to shake him.’ Or, ‘I’m gonna make him stay up for 48 hours.’ Each one of these steps, even though they’re minor steps, like the intention shake, or the open-handed belly slap, each one of these had to have the approval of the deputy director for operations.… The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific. And the bottom line was these were very unusual authorities that the [CIA] got after 9/11. No one wanted to mess them up. No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard. So it was extremely deliberate.” [ABC News, 12/10/2007] Kiriakou also will say, “This isn’t something done willy-nilly. This isn’t something where an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides he’s going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner. This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and the Justice Department” (see Mid-March 2002). [London Times, 12/12/2007]

    (my emphasis)


    bc of the blogger chick’s shit,

    Can I get THAT on a t-shirt?

    And once again, superb work EW. This stinks. Wonder what Sullivan will do? What can CREW do? (I know bmaz addressed that a bit @ 3 and 4).

  21. klynn says:

    I also think the Tenet-Kiriakou relationship is interesting. Was Kiriakou with CIA during the Bill Clinton administration?

    This is a great post on Kiriakou too.

      • klynn says:

        Well, there are a few punchlines in that post but I am assuming you mean this part:

        “But, to the matter at hand, I still have questions about who John Kiriakou is. Aside from his being a retired CIA officer of undetermined grade, it appears that he now has a job in the business. . . and when I say “the business,” I mean “the industry.”

        Lindsay Beyerstein reported yesterday that Kiriakou, who is credited as a “security consultant” on the upcoming Paramount release The Kite Runner, was connected with the film’s producers by “lobbyists from Viacom.”

        The film adaptation of the Khaled Hosseini novel has been the center of some controversy of late…”


        Several papers credit Rich Klein, a “Middle East expert” with Kissinger McLarty Associates (KLA), as having made many of the arrangements for the evacuation. Klein seems to be the go-to guy for many productions looking to film in the Middle East. KLA is a K Street consulting firm formed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Mack McLarty, the former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. (I do no know if John Kiriakou is connected in any way with KLA, nor do I know if KLA is the Viacom lobbyist that Beyerstein references.)

        It’s a tangled, but interesting connection. One, of course, not mentioned by Ross or ABC. It is also a connection made more interesting when you note the Nightline feature that will appear one day after it aired the Kiriakou piece—that would be an interview with the makers of. . . wait for it. . . The Kite Runner.

        (my emphasis)