Dan Rather Gets Discovery

Great news. Dan Rather will join the 5,732 other people (in addition to the American public as a whole, of course) who have a legal claim to see all those emails the White House has already disappeared (h/t pontificator). The judge in Rather’s lawsuit has decided to grant him discovery for his lawsuit.

It looks like former CBS News anchor Dan Rather will indeed get his day in court. On Wednesday evening Justice Ira Gammerman of the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan made a preliminary ruling denying the TV network’s motion to dismiss Rather’s $70 million lawsuit. "I think discovery should go forward," said Gammerman.

[snip]

Now that the case will be moving forward, Rather’s lawyer Marty Gold wants CBS to start forking over internal emails and documents to prove his case, including exchanges between network brass and the White House. Naturally, this has CBS lawyers asking the court to limit the scope of the discovery. "It seems pretty clear they don’t want to produce [the documents]," said Gold.

So let’s see how those typical White House excuses are going to work…

State Secrets? The White House would have to claim that CBS was party to its biggest secrets, thereby proving that CBS is nothing but a party propaganda organ. Though of course, that’s effectively what they’ve said about Judy Judy Judy, both before and during Iraq.

Executive Privilege? For a case intimately involving whether Bush cheated his way out of military service? It doesn’t matter who it is, they’re not going to want to admit that anyone close enough to invoke privilege was "deliberating" about those TANG documents.

Which pretty much leaves the last refuge of the Bush Administration: the dog ate my emails. All of them.

Which will make it all the more interesting when the White House has to tell us what the state of their backup tapes is in approximately 3 days.

image_print
89 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    Damn! Ahmmm…I mean Dan!

    Betcha Junya’s ass is puckerin’ up somethin’ awful just about now.

    And Rove is running out to the local gas station to fill him up some bonfire starter.

  2. emptywheel says:

    I’ll repeat my old story about this–the revelations about Abu Ghraib are going to be at least as interesting as the revelations about TANG. Particularly now that we know the debate abotu the torture tapes was hitting high gear.

  3. AZ Matt says:

    It will be impossible for Bush to argue national security on this case. This ought to be interesting. Go Dan Go!

  4. AZ Matt says:

    An executive privilege agruement would essentially means we are hiding something damn embarrassing!

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t think that is a problem. Rather made his intentions very clear in that regard. Not to mention that Dan’s boss, Mark Cuban probably relishes the notoriety; this is right up his alley of combativeness.

  5. masaccio says:

    Rather has a lot at stake: his reputation. He also has the money to defend that hard-earned reputation. What better use does he have for all that money CBS paid him?

  6. Rayne says:

    This is definitely going to be fun to watch. They’ll have a tough time “disappearing” CBS’ copies of emails; they’ll have a very hard time explaining how they had a rolling problem for weeks and months with EOP email backups that were unresolved, around this issue alone.

    Jeepers, it begins to look like a pattern!

    What other potential cases out there could be/should be demanding email discovery?

  7. bmaz says:

    Yee Haw! I have been so busy playing Rodney Dangerfield today, I didn’t even see this. Told ya Rather’s suit would be a barrel of fun. Now THIS complaint WAS artfully plead; it would have been pretty hard for the court to dismiss on the pleadings before discovery. I need to read the minute entry, anybody have a link? Two points for all to keep in mind. First off, for once, this isn’t Federal Court and the DOJ isn’t a party. This is a state level good old fashioned New York City trial court. Secondly, I need to see the ME, but if this Judge Gammerman simply ordered that “the parties shall proceed with discovery”, this is a common civil suit and discovery is presumptively extremely broad.

    • rapt says:

      Try pled bmaz; to me it looks better, but I do see that that spelling is unacceptable according to the dotted red line code.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh heh. I have been doing this for going on 25 years or so counting law school and have had battleaxe secretaries, professors, judges, clerks, and even my wife chime in on that one. My opinion? I don’t give a damn; whatever pops off the keyboard flies, and both variations do. Its like a Gump box of chocolates; you just don’t know what you’ll get….

  8. Eli says:

    I thought that Executive Privilege, as conceptualized by the Bushies, meant that you can’t question anyone who speaks to the president on a regular basis, even if your questions don’t pertain to any actual conversations with the president.

    Yes, I realize this makes no sense, but that seems to be how they define it.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, that is what they have been asserting effectively; but I think Marty Gold is going to box them in to where they look so patently ridiculous asserting such defenses that doing so would be damn near sanctionable conduct.

  9. radiofreewill says:

    Twenty years from now…

    “…and I’m Dan Rather Jr. Good evening. Tonight on 20/20, we’ll take a look, for the first time on Global TeeVee, at the Infamous Bush Torture Tapes. Long since thought destroyed by a rogue operator in the CIA, brandishing two ‘greenlight’ memos from the White House, these Tapes came to us from a very credible source with long-standing ties to the Intelligence Community. In addition, we had the Tapes carefully analyzed by several independent experts to verify their authenticity. Tonight, you’ll see those same Tapes and hear their conclusions for yourselves…”

    • bmaz says:

      And, just like the Killian memos, they will show the brutal truth; only this time the brutal truth is brutal, criminally and patently illegal torture. Bush has said that the true measure of his Administration will not be known until after he is dead. I disagree and think it is pretty clear now and will still be being painfully felt then.

      • radiofreewill says:

        Yup, and just like the Killian memos, the Bush Family Attack Dogs will come out and dispute some bright, shiny aspect of the Tapes that they believe indicates a fraud, something like – “There’s no Americans in those Tapes!” – completely ignoring the 800lb gorilla in the film; Bush’s prisoner, Zubaydah, doing the Kickin’ Chicken on a Waterboard.

        And, still, America slumbers on…

        But, why not? The Killian memos revealed Bush’s Utter Disregard for Military Authority in favor of his ‘Political’ work.

        Those memos contained a foretelling of the future disaster that would befall all of US – the same guy who disregarded Military Authority in Texas for Political Expediency in Alabama, twenty-five years later, became President of the US. Then he disregarded Military Authority, again, and this time Invaded an Innocent Foreign Nation for his Political Agenda.

        It was all ‘right there’ in black and white, but nobody took note of the danger.

        Gee, I wonder what ticking time-bomb, missed lessons from The Tapes will re-visit US in the Future?

        Will it be all ‘right there,’ again?

  10. bobschacht says:

    I am doing a Snoopy dance!
    Go, Dan, Go!

    Remember how Watergate started with a two-bit burglary? No one thought at first that it could wind up forcing a president to resign.

    Bob in HI

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      From your moutn to God’s ear.

      However. By what means will this bring him down? Violating Rather’s first amendment rights? Something they do minutely. Destroying evidence. idem. Obstruction of justice. eat it for breakfast.

      News that he was helped to avoid the draft and did not show up for work will loose him the election. Sigh. Too late.

      Please change my mind and tell me this one will count.

  11. prostratedragon says:

    State Secrets? The White House would have to claim that CBS was party to its biggest secrets, thereby proving that CBS is nothing but a party propaganda organ.

    Oh please, oh please!!

    Just the thought of all the sand they’re going to have to raise to try to drown this out as it moves forward is enough to put me on the floor. Maybe find a mortgage lender or two to throw under the bus? High-profile actors and athletes should consider a clean and quiet profile for the duration.

  12. perris says:

    Now that the case will be moving forward, Rather’s lawyer Marty Gold wants CBS to start forking over internal emails and documents to prove his case, including exchanges between network brass and the White House. Naturally, this has CBS lawyers asking the court to limit the scope of the discovery. “It seems pretty clear they don’t want to produce [the documents],” said Gold.

    I’m not getting the problem cbs has with this, there isn’t any law I’m aware of that prevented them from swiping their hardrive as soon as they found out about the law suit

    did they not do that?

    now of course it’s too late but why wouldn’t they just clean house as soon as they saw the law suit in the first place?

    • looseheadprop says:

      I’m not getting the problem cbs has with this, there isn’t any law I’m aware of that prevented them from swiping their hardrive as soon as they found out about the law suit

      There is a legal doctrine called “spoliation” which says that if you know or should have known that a potential legal claim existed against you, you have an obligation to preserve all evidence related to that claim untilsuch time as a court tells you can destroy it or the Statute of Limitaions on the claim has run out. If you go ahead an destroy, your ooponent is entitiled to an inference at trial, and the judge will instuct the jury, and the lawyer may argue in summation that the evidence you destroyed would have been favorable to you opponent even as to the ulimate issue of fact!

      Further, if you destrot evidence after a suit is commenced, you have an obstruction of justice problem–just ask Arthur ANderson

        • bmaz says:

          LHP is exactly right with that. I would also add that the further issue often is that some of this type of discovery, i.e. emails, may help benefit or protect CBS. So what do you do if you are CBS, keep the good ones and bounce the bad ones? That is a sure path to disaster in something that is as sequential and liable to be present in unanticipated shadow locations (other computers, other servers, other parties etc.) It isn’t like pulling the old one piece of paper out of the pile; selective digital omissions leave problematic trails. Very risky. As LHP said, you need look no further that AAnderson/Enron, but there are many other examples the same lesson to be learned from.

  13. perris says:

    I forgot to comment on the following;

    Naturally, this has CBS lawyers asking the court to limit the scope of the discovery. “It seems pretty clear they don’t want to produce [the documents],” said Gold.

    excuse me, of course the scope of discovery has to be limited, how does he make the leap to conclusion that this means “they don’t want to produce the documents”?

    there is no bussiness on the planet, guilty or not, that wouldn’t want to limit the scope of the investigation…rathers doesn’t get to look at corporate secrets because they fired him

  14. perris says:

    ps, marcy your analysis afterwards is excellant, I don’t know if you meant it to be snarky but man these made me laugh out loud thinking of the implications and possibilities;

    State Secrets? The White House would have to claim that CBS was party to its biggest secrets, thereby proving that CBS is nothing but a party propaganda organ. Though of course, that’s effectively what they’ve said about Judy Judy Judy, both before and during Iraq.

    Executive Privilege? For a case intimately involving whether Bush cheated his way out of military service? It doesn’t matter who it is, they’re not going to want to admit that anyone close enough to invoke privilege was “deliberating” about those TANG documents.

    tastey indeed

    now let me ask something about the following;

    Which will make it all the more interesting when the White House has to tell us what the state of their backup tapes is in approximately 3 days.

    again, I don’t understand the problem, the administration is brazen and doesn’t care, why wouldn’t they just say;

    “they are not recoverable and you can’t have the hardrive”

    believe me, they are not afraid of a supreme court challenge, they invite it

    • emptywheel says:

      I was being snarky–presumably, Rather would never have to go to WH for teh emails, he can go to CBS, which likely has a real business archiving system (particularly since it’s a media company exposed to things like libel suits).

      But if it came to it, going to court on emails would be riskier in the Rather case than in the CREW case, bc Rather has a clear reason for the emails, one which would really damage BushCo if he refused to turn them over.

      And nothing will force these guys to turn over their emails. But this stuff does damage BushCo’s credibility, and the last thing they need right now is the implication that they were trying to bury evidence of torture. I imagine they’ll be looking for the next firewall rather than fighting this.

      • JohnForde says:

        Firewall? Actually I think it was just a plain old fire between Cheney’s “ceremonial” walls.
        How long from the time that fire started until TV was dutifully spinning it as “ceremonial”? Just minutes, I’m sure. How about journalists asking a question – like Is there any information storage on any media: servers, disks, paper etc in the ‘ceremonial office?

  15. JohnJ says:

    Maybe it’s too early for me, but doesn’t the “Sarbanes Oxley Law” say that corporations MUST keep e-mails? That’s what every company I have worked at since has interpreted it as. Granted, good luck getting DOBJ investigating or prosecuting a Repug noise outlet.

    • sojourner says:

      I agree… As I recall, there was a ruling by (I think) the SEC that email — particularly executive email — constitutes business records or something to that effect. CBS is a public company, as is my employer and I know that we are spending a LOT of money to store such communications. Anything that could have bearing on executive decisions, governance, security, finance — in other words, the bottom line — is considered a business record.

      The upshot is that if CBS claims it cannot find the records, or has erased them, etc. then the SEC will be all over it for SOX violations. That, in turn, will have some major financial implications for the shareholders when the stock price is affected.

      CBS could be in a nasty spot…

    • bmaz says:

      It is called Cheney/Bush crooked crony corruption/keep playing ball with us payoffs. Like you didn’t know that by now. You are a regular here; you need no further enlightening. Heh.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Is that what my man, John Edwards, labels as “corporate greed”?
        I thought Willie Stark (All the King’s Men) died years ago…

        “There is no one/so lost that the eternal love cannot/return — as long
        as hope shows something green.”

    • looseheadprop says:

      I do IPSIG (Independant Private secotr Inspector General) work in addition to regular litgation. In fact, I prefer the investigations and monitorship work, it’s mor elike the good old day when I was a prosecutor. Most of these assignments are done with eiher a pre-qualified list from which the entity to be monitored shoose for itself who to use.

      The idea being that every firm on the list has already demonstrated that they have the expertise to do the job, or else sometimes the target is tasked to come up with a list of proposed monitors and they have to have somebody on the list who doesn’t make the prosecutor and judge barf.

      So, basically the judge and prosecutor keep vetoing bad suggestions until the monitor comes up with someboday good. Lately, and it really is only lately, I’ve been seeing alot of this “just pick somebody you think is good” method and was very surpised by it. Even Elliot Spitzer did it w/o any talent search when he picked Dave Kelley to investigate the Allan Hevisis wife’s driver thingy. Not that Dave wasn’t supremely qualified and I read the report he did and it was excellent, but the method of felection (or non-selection) always bothered me.

      There are variations on the pre-qualified list method, some agencies have VERY formal procedures with background checks and yearly or bi-yearly re-application to get on the list. Sometimes and RFQ goes out in response to a particular deferred prosecution agreement.

      Any of these emthods can work well as long as there is tranparency

      • bmaz says:

        Heh, I would suggest that maybe the transparency wasn’t so much here; but the better question, to me at least, is was it reasonable. You are on the east coast, know a lot more about this particular stipulated settlement situation and what it entails, what the standards of accepted practice are for such monitoring jobs etc. What is the nutshell view from what you see now? Does 28-52 million look like reasonable compensation, or does it, again just from the preliminary read, make you say “whoa, I don’t know about that…”?

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Thanks. I appreciate the information on how it works.
        Because DOJ does not have the internal resources, it contracts out.
        This makes sense, but is competition available to lower the cost?
        I can see where “sole source” is required due to the nature of the beast.
        What I would love to see is how they compute billable hours…
        How does one insure that the firm gives routine stuff to interns, but bills
        at the Partners rate?
        In any case, internal control should be in place but maybe they weren’t.
        I hope this isn’t another Blackwater fiasco…

        • looseheadprop says:

          In repsonse to BSL and Bmaz,

          Sorry guys i had to go to meeting, just got back.

          Since the IPSIG assignment was not put out for bid, RFP or RFQ, I have no clue how extensive the amount of work to be done would be, so I don’t know if that price tag is crazy. I can tell you that my firm was in the final short list for a major monitorship (that was done by RFP) and the attorney for the company to be monitored wanted us to come up with a flat fee that he fully expected to exceed $10 million. (There was a lot of security hardware, very pricey used by NASA that I wanted to intall).He was completely comfortable tossing around numbers like that. The NYS racing assocation has voluntarily hired apermanent monitor whose indefinate contract is in the millions.

          So, no, the number od zeros in and of itself doesn’t tell me aything. The fact that it is given as a range does suggest that no one is gurarnteeing anything and the monitorship will expand or contract as facts on the ground dictate.

          here is nothing about this that tells me why it needed to be “sole sourced” aand why a transparent process was not used. Also, the norm is for a judge to decide or for the monitored entity to propose the firm, not for the prosecutor to impose someone.

          I have to look it up, but I thought there was a memo citing the Thomsom memo that said you weren’t supposed to do that, but I might be misrembering–things get proposed, drafts get written, but things don’t always make it into final, so I may not have this last bit correct.

          • bmaz says:

            I have seen reference to something along the lines of the Thompson memo you mention as well; probably the Thompson memo is what I am trying to say. I have some clear issues with how the contracting was done; but really the bottom line is was it a good deal. I saw the range and kind of figured it was some type of contingent fee or similar arrangement, which I would not be crazy about. I am kind of interested in this if you hear anything because Ashcroft is on the board of a company I assist indirectly through its investment banker; so I want to let the IB know if they have an issue with the company they are underwriting. Thanks…

  16. radiofreewill says:

    It seems to me that Bush would have approached CBS in the same manner that he went to the Telecoms – through the Executive Offices.

    So, Nacchio felt the ‘heavy hand’ of Bush twisting his arm to open an un-monitored gateway into Our Privacy, with the implicit understanding that Nacchio was then to simply remain passive about the activities going-on in the name of ‘National Security’ on the other side of that gateway. No formal legal review, just ‘reading in’ the key players and doing the Deal on a wink-and-nod.

    This is Bush’s Version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – and, if you’re good at it, then you can ‘get-in’ on the Corruption Money.

    I can just imagine Bush going straight to Redstone and doing the Exact Same Thing – “…take care of this for me (fire Rather) and remain passive, even if you know I’m shamming everyone with lies…without concern for Legality (I Protect My Loyal Minions,) and the Money ($70M, probably stolen from US) will take care of itself.”

    If We can’t get the Factual Truth from the Corporate Officers of the Telecoms, Why should We expect the Factual Truth from the Corporate Officers of CBS?

    • bmaz says:

      May well be RFW, but times change; Bushco was waxing back the, waning now. it will be fascinating to see how this comes down.

  17. Neil says:

    rfw, i don’t think we’ll see the smoking gun in the form of an email but i do think we’ll see a lot of conversation pertinent, make that very pertinent (h/t ssj), to Rather’s case. those loose lips, the private email to trusted confident, will speak for themselves. Rather’s lawyers should not limit discovery to email, how about voice mail, dictation tapes, call logs?

  18. emptywheel says:

    Well, and remember–the biggest bonanza here (short of a smoking gun from Rummy telling them not to publish Abu Ghraib and CBS saying, okay, whatever you want) is getting to depose the PI CBS hired (who Rather believes found that the underlying charge on TANG, and possibly the documents themselves, were correct), as well as seeing the discussions about the PI.

    If he can prove that CBS shut down the PI’s investigation because he proved Rather’s point–even as the network was blaming Rather for being wrong–it will make look Tweey look downright credible compared to CBS.

    This could be more fun than the press-based revelations coming out of the Libby trial.

    • Neil says:

      oooh nice, a list of materials CBS would like to keep from the prying eyes of Dan Rather and off the public record;
      1. CBS communications with White House and RNC personnel about Bush and the national guard
      2. Deposition of the CBS PI investigating the Bush National Guard story
      3. Rummy’s “request” to not go with the Abu Ghraib torture story

      the Tiffany Network indeed.

  19. Leen says:

    Always learning so much here at EW’s. Thanks for all the insights. Thank you Rather for trying to “shinethe light”.

    This is OT but I am back to reading about oil pipelines in the Middle east.
    http://www.lookingglassnews.or…..oryid=4766
    THE KURDISH PIPELINE
    by Gilles Munier uruknet.info
    Entered into the database on Monday, January 30th, 2006

  20. bmaz says:

    OK guys, I did this pretty extensively back when the Rather suit was filed, but I am going to don again the dunce cap and give my semi-informed gut feeling on this. This is personal for Dan Rather. Whether you like or don’t like him, and/or his lawsuit, he is a proud old lion and to him it is a matter of principle, pride, payback and redemption; not money. Rather, Marty Gold and their legal team are ready and loaded for bear. The scuttlebutt I hear is that they have been working this up for a long time under the radar, which is a very bright way to proceed when you are up against forces like Viacom, CBS and a sitting Presidential Administration. This isn’t any halfass Legal Watch Paula Jones bullshit. These guys are real pros and they know what they are doing. Rather has a superb legal team and no short shrift should be paid to Rather’s own personal investigative skills, tenacity and lifetime of contacts and sources in the legal and journalistic field. He is not your ordinary plaintiff; although I believe you will see this played out by him almost exclusively through his legal team, you won’t see him publicly running around like Geraldo or anything. I wouldn’t be too concerned about “why aren’t they going after more than email” or whatever. They know what they are doing, and I am pretty sure they are going to do it. This has the potential, it is not a certainty, but a very good potential to be a VERY remarkable, fascinating and fun case to sit back and watch. I also think it is going to be pretty much on the public record too, with only a tiny part of maybe the abu gharaib stuff being kept out of sight. Not much though, because Rather’s complaint doesn’t really revolve around anything that is classified, only with what surrounded potentially classified stuff in that regard. so, for better or worse, win, lose or draw, I think we are going to see the show. Enjoy.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      One quickie… what will be the timeline?
      I am a desperate man so give me a date when the fuckery will
      blow back on Bush’s firewall…

    • Leen says:

      More insights thanks. From what I have read about Rather it does seem to be personal and professional. Committed to the publics “right to know” the facts.

    • klynn says:

      I agree. Thanks for the insight.

      My non-legal mind has a question. Should Rather win this (I hope he does) can he turn around and file a defamation of character suit against CBS and any involved at the White House? If he can, would not the discovery for that go even deeper than this suit?

      EW- this would be the live blog of the century! Dan Rather’s cable show will go from 7 mil subscribers to a trump size record Viacom will envy. A smart investor, getting Dan on cable…

      O/T The threads last night gave me so many laughs in the 10 minutes I had to read. Keep it going… We need the laughter right now…

    • Sara says:

      Bmaz, what I want to see Rather demand in the Suit (not exactly on topic mind you) is the hour long piece he had in the can, late 1984, on the system of financing the Afghani dispora in Pakistan via the process of bringing raw opium out of Afghanistan on CIA financed Mules, and selling it at the border to Pakistani Military Officers.

      I know about this because a few days after Rather left Peshwar and Dean’s Hotel, I was there, and with others hired his translator so as to visit some of the refugee camps. Translator told me what was researched and what was shot. Translator normally worked with an NGO sponsered by the World Council of Churches that dealt with treating women and children in the refugee maze who had TB, and needed DOT treatment plus nutrition.

      At the time, Dean’s Hotel hosted the chemists from Marsailles made famous by the French Connection. They were working with Pakastani Military to create the superior Heroin Labs necessary for world class trade. It was all most open, but the Church Ladies from the World Council of Churches made it all most clear to me.

      I assume that Rather was not able to broadcast this material because of the necessity of depicting the Pakistani Military and the “Afghani Freedom Fighters” as the next best thing to our Founding Fathers — and they were hardly that. I suspect that most of the Afghani part of the drug biz went into supporting their extended families — but the Pakistani Military take did not go to such causes.

      When I returned from Pakistan in that period (84-85) I contacted three Senators then on the Foreign Relations Committee about this issue. Senator Durenberger, Senator Boschwitz, and Senator Cranston. (I had co-chaired Alan Cranston’s Presidential Campaign Committee in Minnesota in 1984.) I could not get them to look into the matter, and it could be that my writing and calling just might have flagged what Rather had in the can. Anyhow, one way or another, I want the question asked and answered. Who decided that Americans should not know how our aid to the Afghani resistance was part and parcel of supporting the Heroin Trade? Who wanted to obscure the fact that we were fighting a war on the cheap — supporting the Refugee Families on the Heroin Trade in a country very ill prepared to control a drug problem, let alone support refugees? Apparently about 1/8th of the profit went to support of Afghani Families, the Pak Military took the rest of the revenue. Doesn’t this help us understand aspects of the current situation?

      Milt Bearden says in his book, “Main Enemy” that while CIA Station Chief in Pakistan he never saw a drug connection. It took me less than a day. The case has to, in my opinion, make it possible for Rather to open up on all the censorship — and this story is probably only one piece of it all.

      • bmaz says:

        Sara – I’ll be honest, that is not something that can or will come out of this. I have an inkling that Rather has been liberated from a lot of things personally and professionally as a result of his forced ejection from CBS. I think it might be worth writing him a letter laying out your story, background and question. Heh, you can copy most of it off the comment you left for me. I have no personal knowledge, but I bet there is a decent chance he will engage you and maybe answer your questions. I would hazard a guess that the answer involves many of the same actors and principles we are afflicted with currently. Please not that I am not sure the email address is good, but I think so. If not, drop a regular letter off to him. It is worth a try and it may well be something he would like to get out now.

        Dan Rather
        HDNet Dallas Office
        320 S. Walton Street
        Dallas, TX 75226
        (214) 672-1740
        [email protected]

  21. Leen says:

    In the air

    Jan 09, 2008 22:52 EST

    A former attorney for Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt sued the governor Wednesday, claiming he was fired and defamed in retaliation for challenging the administration’s policy of deleting office e-mails.

    Scott Eckersley’s lawsuit alleges that Blunt’s top aides ordered staff in August 2007 to delete e-mails and destroy backup computer files to avoid having to provide information to the media and public under Missouri’s open-records laws.
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/m…..red_attorn
    ey_01092008.html

    US launches airstrike south of Baghdad

    US Bombers, Jets Unleash 40,000 Pounds of Bombs in 10 Minutes South of Baghdad

    HAMZA HENDAWI

    AP News

    Jan 10, 2008 11:58 EST
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/m…..02008.html

  22. radiofreewill says:

    Bush is like the Church – and CBS, the Telecoms, the RNC, the Compromised Congresspeople and Senators, the Corrupt Congresspeople and Senators and the Perverted Congresspeople and Senators, Libby, Ashcroft, Gonzo, Goodling, the Schloz, etc, etc – are like All of his Wayward Priests…

    …they get paid-off, sometimes with big no-bid contracts, and ‘retired’ – rather than ‘expose’ the Secret Un-Written Policy of Accepting Immoral Behavior (as a form of ‘Mutual Soiling’,) in Exchange for Loyalty to The Leader of Their Superiority Ideology.

    Nobody’s clean, everyone plays ball, in the Church of Bush.

  23. klynn says:

    Borat stlye “the” should be “de”

    If that is part of his complaint, I assume that would open the door to discovery beyond just email?

    EW, just KEEP on bating him

    • bmaz says:

      klynn, I hope your family is rebounding appropriately from their recent perils.

      JL @68 – Maybe, but that is the beauty of this being in a state court; there is far, far less mischief for Federal agencies to play and if they try to come in and unreasonably throw their weight around, that is just going to piss off a New York judge.

      • klynn says:

        Thanks bmaz. My son’s concussion received an upgrade from mild to full concussion. Still some short term memory loss and finals are next week! Will not know his nose issue until Friday’s x-ray. We’re still awaiting all the results on our daughter. But everyone is in bed for an afternoon nap and I just sat down to read for a few…and found myself laughing AGAIN! Really, very much appreciated. I’ll be up in the current thread for a few.

        I will tell you, something is in the air. Over at Christy’s thread there are many beverage spew alerts too. You EW and Christy just need something to write about together, just for FUN! And there is SO much to pick from right now…

  24. JohnLopresti says:

    OT, Bill Leonard’s name is on a report at the national archivist on winnowing all the unnecessarily classified documents. Weighty with graphics GPO style, it is 1.6MB and always freezes my pdf parser when downloading, and the download seems to leave a funny anomalously named ancillary file as well; maybe someone has a stronger disinfectant firewall and wants to download and peruse the document; see, too, link from Jurist.
    On Rather, I think it is the investigative journalism professional driving the suit; a labor law unfairness sensibility; and a generational drive that is applying his principles to the difficult blizzard which is broadcasting on the public airways in a storm of factoid. I see little reason to count on the Cox SEC, given their current Republican retrenchments; SEC will run interference for Bush who appointed Cox to the post.

    • PetePierce says:

      OT, Bill Leonard’s name is on a report at the national archivist on winnowing all the unnecessarily classified documents. Weighty with graphics GPO style, it is 1.6MB and always freezes my pdf parser when downloading, and the download seems to leave a funny anomalously named ancillary file as well; maybe someone has a stronger disinfectant firewall and wants to download and peruse the document; see, too, link from Jurist.
      On Rather, I think it is the investigative journalism professional driving the suit; a labor law unfairness sensibility; and a generational drive that is applying his principles to the difficult blizzard which is broadcasting on the public airways in a storm of factoid. I see little reason to count on the Cox SEC, given their current Republican retrenchments; SEC will run interference for Bush who appointed Cox to the post.

      John–

      I think what’s driving the suit also is rather knows CBS and the White House are teaming up to try to shape the facts and coverup what is a sensitive subject:

      1)Congressman Daddy Bush got Georgie in line for National Guard so chickenshit Georgie wouldn’t ever be in harms way (after all he’s a white Republican Patrician from a WRP family).

      Georgie was assigned to learn to fly a plane that would never go to Nam.

      2) Georgie was ordered to report to get a physical for a plane that was going to Nam. Nam bad–think Iraq for Republican Patrician families because their precious little babies might get killed like all the other people that they deign as cannon fodder for the wars they cheer on.

      3) Georgie knew Daddy was a Congressman, and it felt good to chase women when you were coked and boozed, so Georgie said screw it and essentially went AWOL in Alabama for 5-6 months. He failed to report for the PE that would have put him on a course to go to NAM–the place where the cannon fodder gets killed.

      4) Subsequently when Sandra Day O’Conner put him in the Oval, Georgie had the records destroyed.

      Far more than the usual workplace litigation concerns are on Rather’s mind here. He knows damn well what’s being covered up, and he knows CBS has partnered with the White House and Bush to do it.

  25. maryo2 says:

    John Lopestri @ 68, I downloaded the PDF. I had Adobe Acrobat open *before* I clicked on the link to open the PDF. It did take a long time to save to my C: drive, but my Acrobat didn’t crash. I searched for “Leonard” “Leo” and “Bill” and got zero hits. It is 48 pages and has lovely pictures, but I won’t read it right now.

  26. LabDancer says:

    Ms E Wheel – May I suggest the possibility that the B-Ad-ministration may intervene to shut down the whole civil suit based on the States Secret doctrine?

    I can almost hear the discussion just off the Oval Office & within scant feet of where Bill met Monica’s blue dress:

    Lawyer Fred: “Okay then so maybe we care but not that much.”

    Lawyer Ed: “Maybe we at least recognize that we can’t get around that little problem anyway …”

    Pasty faced Log Cabin Republican looking meeting chairman: “Hang on a sec’, I think I hear someone’s brain boiling.”

    Pudgy RNC Funded Consultant: “Have you gentlemen considered whether Al might be willing to eat this? Wouldn’t take more’n a bite or two & he’s always been such a good little soldier about his Bush meat tasting duties. We used to be able to call on Snow Job but now we’re stuck with that poopsie who can’t even keep her peccaries at bay.

    Log Cabin Rub chair: “Fred – – Ed – – whattaya say to that?”

    Previously silent large bearded lawyer from another branch: “I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up a draft affidavit for your consideration.”

    “I, ALBERTO RAMON GONZELES, voluntarily retired judge of the Supreme Court of the Sovereign State of Texas, voluntarily retired former United States Attorney General, voluntarily retired chief Legal Counsel to the President of the United States of America, voluntarily retired chief Legal counsel to the Governor of Texas, attorney at law currently in good standing, long time consigliari to the Bush Crime Family, at this point in time having no criminal record, & to this point in time never having been indicted or otherwise charged with having committed any infraction of the laws of the Texas or even of the United States, being of sound mind & disposition, formerly resident of Washington DC, currently gainfully employed & fully occupied in an intensive course of deep breath-taking & -holding for sustained periods – hereby solemnly depose to the following facts as the truth:

    [1] As the official United States Archivist will no doubt confirm –
    from no later than November 1966 – when he was first elected to public office as representative for the Sovereign State of Texas to the United States Congress – the father of the current President of the United States has been continually bound by secret government oath –

    the words to which are so highly classified that given the passage of time & bearing in mind how age by now may have ravaged his mind it is most likely he has completely forgotten – not just those words but as well the circumstances under which he was called upon to swear it.

    [Paranthetically, the Court may wish to consider that there are a number of other cases where persons with extended exposure to the hazards of high government duties have shown quite surprising memory lapses & in that regard I cite just a few all of whom I would ask the Court to note showed this tendency at a far younger age than the President’s father:

    [A] I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former National Security Advisor to the President & as well to the Vice President, the latter’s special friend, & attorney at law whose practice was concentrated in national security issues & selfish championing of the inconvenienced, in a matter of days, completely forgot the name of a wife of an obscure former junior functionary long retired from civil service & everything concerning her existence until his memory was jarred while in the headlights of a superstar of the liberal media galaxy [Despite the claim from such a noted journalist that unaccountably he failed to make a note even as the occurrence of his coup in connecting with the one man in the Beltway known as Cheney’s Cheney, a review of the transcript of his testimony shows beyond any possible doubt that the reporter proved unable to sustain any claim to a verbatim recollection of their conversation.]

    Though Mr. Libby was found guilty of 1 count of lying & 2 counts of perjury & 1 count of obstruction of justice, he was fully vindicated on 1 count of lying from which vindication there was no even theoretical possibility of appeal & he was prevented from successfully appealing against the remaining verdicts by artifice – he was the subject of an official commutation amounting to technical dispensation of penalty which obviated any practicality to continuing his appeal.

    [B] Former Governor Willard Mitt Romney, R-Mass, aspirant to nomination as the Republican National Party candidate as our next President – who has stated in unequivocal terms his unflagging loyalty to the Commander in Chief & his unreserved approval of every policy for which the Administration is credited with, or should be, including water boarding

    – of which he is on record as harboring absolutely no doubt that it does not violate the Geneva Conventions – nor indeed the spirit of the International Olympic Movement which Geneva safeguards –

    [The Court may wish to consider that Gov Romney volunteered himself & his substantial resources to a critical moment in the history of that movement & that his charge to the rescue saved it from oblivion – which earned that organization’s highest honor memorialized in a medallion made of a silver so pure as to be equal in value to gold* (*after volumentric adjustment)]

    & his assurance that precisely like the Commander in Chief he would be the last person on earth to condone torture & that when he is President were it to be determined that water boarding falls technically within the definition of torture he would honor & respect the role of the branch which made that determination by declining to use his veto yet reserving the right to use it anyway should he determine that necessary to national security or to safeguard the Homeland

    &a man whose wealth nay his very touch so reminds us of Midas that it would seem folly & verily to tempt fate not to embrace his counsel,

    utterly forgot he had authorized his staff to use his pre-recorded voice to comply with the regulations which apparently demand technical approval by the candidate of campaign messages & then in debate with another candidate found himself pinned to a technical position of error which belied his actual knowledge – all due to his instinctual faith & great personal experience that great leadership includes the capacity to delegate & unreserved trust in h& support for his American people.

    [C] Not to mention the late President Ronald Reagan, who must be mentioned in this regard for his ethereal & almost eerie capacity for describing historical events in alarming detail – yet proved unable to recall putting his pen to a piece of paper containing an administrative policy directive, despite both his consistent articulation of support for the substantive policy embodied in the directive & his recollection on at least two previous occasions of the act itself, a pattern standing in characteristically stark & fearsome defiance of those who would accuse him of willful deliberation & calculated artifice.

    [2] While serving in my capacity as general retainer to the Bush family at the pleasure of the then-not-yet President & former President GHW Bush, I also served as confidante-at-large to the said GHW Bush & consequently I was privy to a number of his confidences, & as well to much confidential information about him, about each & every member of his family, including of course the then-not-as-now current President, as well as his many & varied interests, hobbies, concerns, hopes & fears, pressures & pleasures, passions & business associations & – in particular – his eternal commitments – all of which I received & have safe guarded as confidential against all other persons, extending even to his family, given the circumstances under which they were shared with me by the said GHW Bush.

    [3] Although I am unable to recall at this time the precise date on which the said GHW Bush confided this to me, or the words that he used with any degree of exactitude, and although given the circumstances which had to have prevailed at the time I received this confidential information, I positively state & assert on my oath & as an attorney licensed to practice law at all times material to the subject matter of my testimony, & as a retired judge of the Texas Supreme Court, & as the former United States Attorney General, as a fact, that the said GHW Bush made clear to me that in his view, and as well as a function of his the aforementioned oath, any and all information concerning circumstances bearing directly or indirectly on the attendance or non-attendance of his son & at time then-yet-to-be President GW Bush at any U.S. federal or state government funded military or quasi-military facility, was the subject of classification or its equivalent, to be recognized at that time or in due course by a future President of the United States whoever that might turn out to be, or failing that by a future Vice President of the United States to be recognized as such within that officer’s normal course.

    [4] I state these things as the truth, the whole of the truth that I am permitted by law to divulge, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

    Alberto R. “Al” Gonzales**

    ** Not Alberto R. “Al” Gonzelez, current backup shortstop for the NY Yankees.

    • LabDancer says:

      Ah it was fun anyway. But I also don’t think it merits your dismissal. The Addingtons & Yoos & Gonzales’ – for that matter the Comeys & the Goldsmiths on quite a few fronts – have enjoyed 6+ years of getting their way with pushing “legalish” arguments based on the Unitard theory down the throats of Congress critters with the implication being that if they didn’t eat it & like it they’d be targetted for extinction. That sort of thing isn’t new either – it even happened with dissidents on the LBJ take on ‘Nam. Add to that the product of WT surveillance & it starts to get a bit alarming [If they’d go after The General for Christ’s sake – they’d go after anyone.]

      In the earlier iterations of my career in prosecution I received the usual array of glares then confrontations then threats then tailings one comes to expect with rising up thru the ranks & gaining a rep from which one gets the honor of taking on the really connected bent noses. I’m actually too young to know whether this sort of thing went on during the Nixon Paranera [John Dean would know – & probably say.] but if so not to this extent.

      Among the signs that one tends to underestimate is how truly inept the B-Administration DOJ has been at securing convictions for anything unless the prosecution case is so overwhelming a moron could get some kind of conviction or unless the AUSA & the judge are in the same Federalist Society circle jerk. The product of any administration’s LEGAL capacities usually doesn’t start to show up for several years because the previous regime laid all the bricks & the more complex ones are often just left with the outgoing prosecutors to finish. But the real slow burn is at the INVESTIGATIVE end & in the case of the B-Administration the normal capacities of the prosecutors & investigators to work together has been very badly strained – & will really show up in the first part of the next administration [or longer if the next president doesn’t send a fumigation team into the DOJ to smoke out the entrenched Bushi’ites]. I mean – it’s great for the W/L record on the resume but not so hot for the country.

      But I digress. The point is – IMO all in all the DOJ under the B-Administration has presented the worst face I’ve seen in my 30 plus years at the plow – including in particular the quality of legal argument. More power to Rock Jaw Dan that his case is out of Bushie influence [for now] but I don’t really expect the Bush/CBS marriage to be stretched to the point that CBS’ legal team ends up making horse hockey puck arguments that Georgi’s own mouthpieces should be making.

      Hey – Do y’all like that missing “e” in Georgie? I bet it would really bug the Pretzel. Georgi. Yup, I think that’s a keeper.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, I have to agree with you on the major case front for the DOJ; as to the normal criminal caseload, it has degraded in quality of prosecution somewhat progressively over time since the Bushies took over, but the core of mid office attys in the various USA offices, at least the ones I am familiar with, has still been fine. The problem that I have seen, generally, is the more senior Dem leaning people tried to integrate but many were frustrated and left. The younger ones stayed for the most part, but have not been groomed properly and fundie/Regent/federalist pukes have almost exclusively been the picks to fill the higher positions and the bottom rung new hire positions. The net result is that by next year there are going to be really bad structural problems to deal with and due to there being no mid senior and senior leadership worth a fuck to help climb out of the morass; it is really bad. I honestly think it will take a decade of hard work, and a little good fortune in getting the right leadership in place fast, to get the DOJ and USA offices back to just the level of overall quality and consistency they were at when Bush took office. Others may differ, but that is my take.

        • LabDancer says:

          No argument. I’ve got some old friends still there who’ve stayed embedded & sat quietly thru all the KoolAid bashes, but my thinking & that of most I worked with “when” is that doing that erodes the soul. I’m essentially Edwardian but I’d be content just to see whoever survives the Clinton Obama pillow fight & goes on to win in November [please] nominate Edwards as AG [please]. I know EW has drawn very many Fitz fanatics & Sheldon believers but neither of them holds a candle to his ability to cut thru noise & b.s. & hold to meaningful reform – let alone the guts to tell several thousand embedded graduates of substandard Schools of Law As it Oughtta be “I’m sorry & I understand your disappointment but it’s time for you to go” & call on his supporters in the “other” ABA – oh, they still call it that do they? Ok the ABA then – to restock the shelves with some competence & integrity.

          I want to end with a PS on Kerry’s endorsement of Obama & the implications for Edwards: Edwards – as usual & it’s never a surprise with this guy – showed his class. Kerry – tho I don’t dispute his version of the Swiftboat story nor do I doubt his personal courage – has proved over time he was the wrong one at the top of the 2004 ticket – & as usual & it’s again no surprise with that guy – must think we care who among these 3 he believes would make the best chief executive & that we who know him well will simply accept that was behind his decision. Not me tho – between three extremely able talented qualified people he chose against the two who would make him seem less statesmanlike. Self consciousness has always been his biggest flaw. We know the other two are girding up for the long haul – I know John wants to be there too & I really would like him to make it that far.

          PSS – I think a lot of people have had trouble seeing what Edwards did on Saturday night in the “change exchange”. IMO he wasn’t picking sides or playing a game: he was telling Senator H to her face in about as natural a way a human being could possibly do in the circumstances and the setting that he’s convinced that certain things have got to change – & whether he’s right or wrong he’d accepted that Obama already figured that out & Senator H needed a wake up call to that effect.

          • PetePierce says:

            PSS – I think a lot of people have had trouble seeing what Edwards did on Saturday night in the “change exchange”. IMO he wasn’t picking sides or playing a game: he was telling Senator H to her face in about as natural a way a human being could possibly do in the circumstances and the setting that he’s convinced that certain things have got to change – & whether he’s right or wrong he’d accepted that Obama already figured that out & Senator H needed a wake up call to that effect.

            That’s why LD I think Obama will get Edwards’ delegates if and when he bows out.

          • bmaz says:

            I guess my beef with the whole “change” bit is that it is simply unrealistic. It is insane to believe that you can just put on a big chesire grin and tell everybody how groovy everything is and the world turns on it’s head. There are to many negative forces out there and, more importantly, the simple inertia inherent in government and bureaucracy makes it impossible. It is a lot easier to demolish something than it is to build it. I will settle for somebody just turning the tide in the other direction and starting the painful reconstruction. I am not that fond of her or many of her policies, but i think Clinton is an apparatchik and may have a lot of skills and attention to details on many different fronts at once that could lend itself well for this task. My preference was Gore; short of that, probably Edwards. But I think any of the main three will be fine. And I, as so many are, am enamored with the eloquence and ability instill passion and motivation of Obama. He would be fine no matter what; however, in the back of my mind I keep running the end of the movie The Candidate where Robert Redford, after actually pulling off a similar esoterical victory out of nowhere, yanks Peter Boyle into a bathroom and in kind of a panic says “what the fuck do I do now”? By the same token, I have concerns that Clinton as the nominee can bring as many down ticket Congressional wins on her coattails. I don’t know, but I think we’ll be alright with any of the three. I do know this, our work will not be close to done simply with victory at the polls; whoever takes office will need a lot from activists to actually start the reconstruction.

  27. PetePierce says:

    I know this case is sexy to everyone because one of the sex partners who is going to blow off discovery as they always do is the Bush White House or some appendage of it, and not much interest is in the fact that Dan Rather is the one with the balls to fight CBS and the Government which for all practical purposes in this case will be functioning together–think ATT/Comcast/Sprint or some Comco tapping EW’s phone lines or her email at the bidding of NSA–but I want to point out how alone (think cooperation among plaintiffs and info sharing potentially) Rather is.

    Everyone else principally affected by the firings in this situation, that’d be Mary Mapes,
    and the producers settled quickly with the requirement of silenece for over a million bucks each.

    From the extensive article I linked in New York Magazine

    Rather won’t discuss when precisely he began thinking about filing suit. But one likely catalyst was Mary Mapes. In the fall of 2006, Mapes published a book, Truth and Duty, that defended the Bush Guard story and suggested a Viacom–White House conspiracy. What was in the book wasn’t surprising to Rather. What was surprising was that after its publication, Mapes hired a high-powered Houston lawyer named Mark Lanier to draw up a lawsuit against CBS, and CBS responded with a settlement before she had even filed it. What was in the suit that Mapes hadn’t included in her book? What would make CBS so eager to settle? The settlement required that Mapes sign a confidentiality agreement, and she couldn’t talk about it, even to Rather. (Mapes and CBS refused to comment on her suit.) Her settlement made Rather feel like he was the last of the Guard-story veterans left standing. The three other CBS staffers dismissed in 2005 had already settled as well—Josh Howard for $3 million. “Every other person has taken the money for silence,” says Rather. He thought of himself as the only one who could still uncover the truth.

    Now think–would you abandon your good friend and screw them over in a situation like this for a million bucks or even two million?

    Because that’s precisely what Mary Mapes and the rest of the people fired along with Rather eventually did.

    Rather was communicating with Mapes and supporting her after the initial firing of Mapes even though CBS ordered him not to talk with her.

    I don’t know any precedent LOL caselaw/code that would allow CBS to stipulate to Rather to whom he can and cannot communicate, but we’re in the erra of a partnership between big business and your government where big business and government tries to tell you what to do because they think they can. And if you’re stupid, you’ll do what they say.

    Want an example? Harry Reid and Jello Jay as to the way they are comporting themselves with regards to S. 2248.

  28. LabDancer says:

    Sheesh – I don’t have the hang of the Reply button I guess. I meant the last comment to be to Bmaz at 73. Ach, time to call it a night.

  29. PetePierce says:

    PSS – I think a lot of people have had trouble seeing what Edwards did on Saturday night in the “change exchange”. IMO he wasn’t picking sides or playing a game: he was telling Senator H to her face in about as natural a way a human being could possibly do in the circumstances and the setting that he’s convinced that certain things have got to change – & whether he’s right or wrong he’d accepted that Obama already figured that out & Senator H needed a wake up call to that effect.

    That’s why I think Obama gets Edwards’ delegates soon.

  30. JohnLopresti says:

    There is a lot of charged sensibility in the interchanges. Also there was a kultcha clash in the years of young Bush nationalGuard service. The parallel most immediate that came to mind was Quayle’s time doing something similar. Conscriptive recruitment ended years afterward. Kerry fresh out of the ‘theater’ obtained fame for straight talk in a congressional hearing, with a rhetorical flourish that branded him next generation, though his own and WA-DC processes ameliorated some of the wildness of youth as his elections repeated. One of the interesting outcomes of the Rather payback to his mediaEmployer could be baring more of the newsmaking process in television, in these times when there is increasing substance online and less in the old media. My bent is to look for character and character building situations, an issue addressed in some of the posts, above; but the scandal riff gets worn, and, though maybe real, it is the other folks, the ones to whom excellence, and fairness, matter that make it into my politicalPantheon. Which is to say I am less concerned about Bush pecadillos in a chaotic time than I would be letting generations heal, and looking for a kind of leadership now that understands how far we have come and how immensely farther and more quickly we need to proceed.

    • bmaz says:

      Agreed for the most part I think. But, really, anybody with a lick of sense knows Bush was given preference to get into TANG and then chumped out on his duty and commitment. There is really no question there; I want it established how completely fraudulent they were in hiding that, how they kowtowed the media, and the same they did in covering up and killing the abuGharaib story, which is, again, conspiracy, collusion and and extortion of the public’s fourth estate.

Comments are closed.