Henry’s Dates: Medicare Part D

One of the reasons it was so unwise for Tony Fratto to open his big fat mouth today regarding the White House habit of losing emails is because it offered Waxman an excuse to make previously unreleased information publicly available–an excuse Waxman was not about to turn down. Waxman released a chunk of dates for which offices in the White House have no archived email (note, this list does not appear to include all of the dates for which there is no email, nor does it include dates for which the email volume is smaller than it should be).

For the White House Office: December 17, 2003, December 20, 2003, December 21, 2003, January 9, 2004, January 10, 2004, January 11, 2004, January 29, 2004, February 1, 2004, February 2, 2004, February 3, 2004, February 7, 2004, and February 8, 2004.

For the Office of the Vice President: September 12, 2003, October 1, 2003, October 2, 2003, October 3, 2003, October 5, 2003, January 29, 2004, January 30, 2004, January 31, 2004, February 7, 2004, February 8, 2004, February 15, 2005, February 16, 2005, February 17, 2005, May 21, 2005, May 22, 2005, May 23, 2005.

For the Council on Environmental Quality: 81 days, including the entire period between November 1, 2003 through January 11, 2004.

For the Council of Economic Advisers: 103 days, including the entire period between November 2, 2003 through January 11, 2004.

For the Office of Management and Budget: 59 days, including the entire period between November 1, 2003 through December 9, 2003.

For the U.S. Trade Representative: 73 days, including the entire period between February 11, 2004 through April 18, 2004.

And as a good weedy blogger, I thought this a wonderful opportunity to try to figure out any significance for the dates.

I’m going to go back and look out how the dates for the WH and OVP correlate with the Plame investigation. But for now, I’d like to raise one red flag regarding the dates as it pertains to the missing email: All the emails from OMB for the period covering the lead-up to and immediate aftermath of the passage of Medicare Part D are gone.

You’ll recall that the final version the Medicare bill passed the House on November 22, 2003 and the Senate on November 25. Passage in the House was particularly contentious, with the vote taking place at 3 AM and one Republican Congressman–Nick Smith–alleging that Tom DeLay offered him a bribe to vote in favor of the bill (he did not).

GOP leaders held the vote open for nearly three hours. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who customarily leaves partisan arm-twisting to others, was actively involved. So was Tommy Thompson, President Bush’s secretary of Health and Human Services, even though Cabinet members seldom enter the House or Senate chambers.

Media reports have alleged that an undisclosed Republican told Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich., that if he voted for the bill, business interests would contribute $100,000 to help his son, Brad, succeed him. Smith is not seeking re-election in 2004. His son is one of several Republican candidates running for the seat.

"Not only was this bribe offered to a member of Congress, it was offered on the floor of the House of Representatives by another member of Congress," McAuliffe wrote Ashcroft.

Chief among the objections for people like Smith was the cost of the program, then predicted to be around $400 billion. Less than two months after the passage of the bill, on January 29, the White House revealed that the cost of the legislation was actually much higher than it had forecast publicly.

Bush administration officials had indications for months that the new Medicare prescription drug law might cost considerably more than the $400 billion advertised by the White House and Congress, according to internal documents and sources familiar with the issue.

The president’s top health advisers gathered such evidence and shared it with select lawmakers, congressional and other sources said, long before the White House disclosed Thursday that it believes the program will cost $534 billion over the next decade — one-third more than the estimate widely used when Congress enacted the measure in November.

The higher forecast, coming less than two months after President Bush signed the landmark bill into law, has fueled conservative criticism of White House spending policies and prompted accusations that the administration deliberately withheld financial information as it pushed the bill through a divided Congress.

Bush, addressing the controversy yesterday, said aides first gave him a complete budget estimate for the Medicare law two weeks ago. "The Medicare reform we did is a good reform, fulfills a long- standing promise to our seniors," he said of the law, which will offer elderly Americans help in paying for medicine and encourage them to join private health plans.

Sources familiar with the issue agreed that the White House did not finish its fiscal assessment of the law until this month.

[snip]

The White House’s new cost estimate, disclosed Thursday by Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten at a briefing for GOP lawmakers, drew escalating complaints yesterday from some Democrats and conservative Republicans who had opposed the law.

"The question is what did they know and when did they know it?" said Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.). [my emphasis]

Now, the really incendiary communications about the bill took place much earlier, in June, when the Medicare actuary, Richard Foster, first calculated the true cost of the program. But Foster was threatened with termination if he revealed those higher costs.

Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster told lawmakers Wednesday he had shared his higher estimate of the cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill with White House, Health and Human Services and Office of Management and Budget officials, but Democrats angered by the administration’s suppression of that higher price tag did not find the "smoking gun" they were seeking in the controversy.

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Foster for the first time discussed publicly how Thomas Scully, the former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), threatened to fire him if he responded to requests by members of Congress seeking cost estimates of the Medicare bill that Congress passed last year.

The Congressional Budget Office had estimated the new law would cost $395 billion, while Foster’s tally was $534 billion. Many conservatives resisted the bill, and others were only convinced to support it by promises that it would not top $400 billion.

The several investigations regarding the cost of the program (including one launched by Waxman as the minority leader of House Oversight) have focused on this earlier period. But one big question remains–whether, in the development of its budget during the last months of 2003, the Bush Administration finalized its cost for the program, and if so, whether they did so before Bush signed the bill on December 8. At least last year, the Office of the Administration said there were no OMB emails archived from the beginning of November until the day after Bush signed the Medicare bill, December 9, 2003. So if we’re going to pinpoint whether Bush knew he had lied about the cost of the Medicare before it became law, we’re going to have a difficult time doing so by using OMB email.

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51 replies
  1. BlueStateRedHead says:

    You amaze and presumably help. I can’t imagine the Waxman staff not lurking here gleaning from the timelines and the geeky and legal explanations.

    Question about Waxman’s source of dates. he said he was shown a chart by the WH that was then taken away and yet seems to have precise info on what it showed. If may have been a long meeting, with everything shown restated. Still, is this kind of show it,hide thing ordinary operating procedure? do all staffs have that capacity? How can we urge emulation by our own congress critters? 16 minute turn around on Fratto-fat-mouth’s mistake suggests the office is on war room standing. and that the congress was working on a Thursday. At least we can thank Nancy for that.

    On the Waxman front, there are youtubies on FDL of his discussion of impeachment with an LA founded group that is kind of Act up. On Attaturk’s morning thread. Explains why it can’t happen.

    7:30, got to go. Will stop in sporadically while waiting impeachment, no, contempt citations, [sigh, brighten up]…for the Friday thing to happen.

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      addendum. They are called We Are Change, an international organization that is the best thing to come along since Act Up in the world of gay activism. h/t Rayduray.

  2. merkwurdiglieber says:

    That particular set of emails would likely contain enough bribery
    evidence to set bugman and rover in stripes… hope this is is a
    classic case of loose lips sink ships, even if a bit late. Great stuff!

      • merkwurdiglieber says:

        November 22-25, around the time of the part D bill voting, that extra
        long middle of the night affair when much arm twisting and trading was
        orchestrated from the WH political office. There should be emails from
        those proceedings considering the importance of the bill to Bushco and
        the slim margin of passage.

          • merkwurdiglieber says:

            I think you are right, just that there has been so much of this I cannot
            pull up a name from memory, need to do some digging.

            • merkwurdiglieber says:

              Rep. Nick Smith’s son Brad was seeking support for his own campaign and
              needed the endorsement of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee
              with a figure of 100,000 dollars floated. Slate article by Tim Noah has
              more from 2004.

        • emptywheel says:

          Note, it’s OMB that doesn’t have emails from that period, not the WH (so, presumably, not OPA, but I’ll get to that later). So the only thing we’d be missing in emails is stuff involving people working on the budget and other estimates.

          • merkwurdiglieber says:

            Grr. Wanted a hot email to send my favorite rat away… OMB stuff
            would show up false cost estimates but possibly not as much on the
            Smith matter. Do what you can.

  3. TheraP says:

    Beautiful, brilliant analysis here.

    Part D has been such a give-away to the insurance companies. It’s right up there with the secret energy dealings.

    What a rip-off of taxpayer monies! And how annoying for the elderly to have to figure out these programs. And for the doctors as well. It’s hard for them to proscribe medications, because they have no idea which meds any elderly person’s plan might allow or force them to fight for.

    On top of that bushco and cheneydom gave money to private insurers to offer a version of Medicare, which they can claim is “better” because they’re getting big bucks to make it better! Even though it actually limits choice in terms of doctors and hospitals… What a waste and a pack of lies!

    Not that I’ve added anything to this thread by ranting. But this is just one more notch on the board of all the evils done by this administration.

    • merkwurdiglieber says:

      There is another angle in that after the tech stock bubble implosion
      and the decline of manufacturing stock value, the importance of the
      big pharma stocks to the value of many portfolios was critical… what
      better than a so-called drug benefit at retail prices to insure the
      price level of those stocks? Clever bunch, these men of great faith.

  4. radiofreewill says:

    “For the Office of the Vice President: September 12, 2003, October 1, 2003, October 2, 2003, October 3, 2003, October 5, 2003″

    It’s a pattern with these guys…Got some ‘uncomfortable’ fact evidence in the early days of the Plame Investigation? No Problem!…Poof!

  5. JimWhite says:

    There are only a handful of days when both White House Office and OVP emails are missing. The first is Jan 29, 2004. A quick look at Wiki for that day shows a report by the State of Maryland on the unreliability of Diebold voting machines. For Feb 8, 2004, two juicy stories were in the news that day: a detailed story in WaPo on AQ Khan showed significant expansion in the range of countries involved in his sale of nuclear technology and BBC TV aired an interview with Hans Blix in which he detailed the overselling of WMD in Iraq. It seems to me that all three of these news reports would have prompted very interesting conversations by email.

    Of course, it has been pointed out that not all days with missing emails necessarily will have significant events on the “outside”, as internal conversations among the Bushevics could expose overtly illegal activities on any day.

  6. Peterr says:

    EW,

    When it comes to email backup systems, many business run their backups at night, so as not to disrupt the general work of the company. They also only run them on Monday through Friday evenings, on the assumption that nothing (or not much) happens over the weekend.

    Do we know if the WH and associated email systems back up M-F, or do they do it every day? If it is the former, that’s a huge loophole — especially for someone looking to hide some conversations.

  7. Peterr says:

    Gosh, nothing would be going on for OMB between November 1, 2003 through December 9, 2003 or for the Council of Economic Advisors between November 2, 2003 and January 11, 2004. Well, except for the start of a new fiscal year and a war to pay for.

    And of course, the budget was not on time. Want to guess when the rough work was being done on the Hill?

    Per THOMAS, the House dealt with at least one major spending bill (H.R.2673) on December 8, 2003. That bill took four hours of floor time to push through. I didn’t go back and look at the CR, but I’m guessing the debate was a bit vigorous.

    Similarly, the Defense appropriations bill was the big issue at the start of November, with lots of House activity on rules and conference reports on Nov 7.

    • Peterr says:

      That Dec 8 appropriations bill “covers Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-State, District of Columbia, Foreign Operations, Labor-HHS-Education, Transportation-Treasury, VA-HUD, and Miscellaneous Appropriations and Offsets.”

      Kinda makes me think that maybe OMB sent a few emails in the days and weeks before it was finally passed in the House.

  8. Evolute says:

    OT I’m a witness to Silvestre Reyes on CSPAN today, WOW! Rest assured the Intelligence Cmte. is in benevolent hands.

  9. GulfCoastPirate says:

    I’m also in IT and work with Exchange. I read through everything you folks have been talking about with regards to this issue. I’m also on your side; however, what is this fascination with Waxman? What has he done in over a year? In fact, what have the Democrats done overall with regards to any of these issues? Stomp their feet up and down and say please, please, please can we see the emails. And who doesn’t think, even if it is a Democratic Administration, that they won’t do the same thing given the way they’ve run Congress since last January?

    The White House and the RNC want to get rid of a bunch of incriminating emails. Duh – we’ve known this for a long time yet not a single hard drive, set of tapes or anything else has been removed from the administration. What is Waxman or Congress going to do about it? Not a darn thing. Until they start acting like an opposition party running a coequal branch of government none of this means anything.

    Sorry for the pessimism but the way some of you talk about Waxman just irritates me greatly. I personally can’t see where he has done anything but talk.

    • merkwurdiglieber says:

      There is truth in your words of criticism, the instinct for a combative
      politics has been ruled out of bounds by the press since Iran-Contra
      and the Democrats have learned that lesson too well. Waxman at least
      tries but cannot get the blue dogs to go along… we are still living
      on hope and it ain’t fun or pretty just trying to get the documentary
      record straight rather than getting a rope.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      GCP

      To answer your specific question, Waxman has his hands tied by the Dem leadership, to a large extent.

      Now, let’s talk Exchange. The WH says that they used Exchange journaling to archive emails to .pst files on the network. Let’s assume they are still on Exchange 2000 (doesn’t make much difference, but the timing suggests that). Journaling just makes a copy of every email passing through the mailbox server and puts it in a special mailbox. They must have used some process to yank those emails out of the journal mailbox into .pst files (I know that sounds crazy but this system was developed by ex-Notes developers). Based on what we know of the previous Notes system (and confirmed by Waxman’s email), they were creating .pst files on an organizational component basis. As far as I can tell, they either did this with CDO or some Exchange Server sink. They did have one C++ programmer on the team (at least the Notes team did). Either way, I can see how they screwed this up.

      There really are a lot of emails missing from these .pst files, but some of them are probably in Exchange backups. Getting them out will be a mess. My question for you is this. If they used journaling and somebody deleted an email out of their own mailbox before the process grabbed it out of the journal mailbox, would it still be in the journal mailbox?

      Also, what part of the Gulf Coast are you from? I’m in Houston (Kingwood, actually)?

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        I’m in League City – South Shore to be specific.

        Does Waxman have his hands tied invountarily? I’m inclined to think not. At this point I’m more inclined to believe that the Democratic leadership (Waxman and others included) are answering to the same crew of neocon/A*P*C types as the Republicans. I’m also beginning to believe that even if we elect a Democrat in 2009 nothing much is going to change. Although all the D candidates talk about change do you really see much talk about ‘real’ changes? It’s all on the margins. It’s like all the guys who talk about how big their ‘units’ are – if it really is, do you need to talk about it?

        Fact is, Waxman hasn’t done anything and if he believed something needed to be done he could resign in protest. Let me know when he (or any of the other Democrats whose hands are supposedly tied) does so. At some point they have to be held responsible for their own actions and not be allowed to constantly attribute their lack of action to things supposedly outside their control.

        I work on much smaller systems than some of you. Basically 150 users or less (the majority less than 50) for smaller businesses, none of whom have strict legal requirements for keeping old emails for an extended period of time. These are mostly small companies (construction, manufacturing, etc.) whose biggest problem is getting employees to delete ANYTHING at all. Five, six, seven GB mailboxes are common and getting more common now that disk space is so cheap. These are companies that don’t have ‘IT’ departments in the traditional sense but hire people like me on an hourly basis to do maintenance and whatever else is necessary in case of an emergency. Of course, backups are a part of maintenance and these days everything I do has been taken off tape systems. Backup files are made, transferred to external hard drives and those external drives are stored for safekeeping. Archiving is mostly done through Outlook and the .pst files are stored on network drives which are also regularly backed up. If someone tried to go back and personally delete old emails there would be any number of old backups that could be brought out to obtain the old data. All I would need would be the dates. In fact, I keep a server mostly set up and ready to go that I can easily configure in case of an emergency and get a backup restored and the company back online receiving email in less than a day. It’s been quite a while since I thought about journaling but I’ll include a link at the end for anyone who wants a short explanation of the subject. It’s on jounaling in 2003 but 2000 wouldn’t be very different. The way we do things means that you may miss emails that are immediately deleted (since there is no jounaling) but assuming a full backup once a week what you are essentially doing is backing up the same items repeatedly with only the most recent week’s items being new. The same goes for the .pst files on the network which also get backed up on the same routine basis. So, for something that is, let’s say, a year old, and assuming everything older than 60 days is automatically archived through Outlook, even for small companies I would have multiple backups that could potentially have the data.

        And did someone say that the WH spent 60 million on its systems and now can’t produce a single copy of old emails given a specific date range? LMAO. Waxman doesn’t want those emails – he just wants you folks to think he wants them. If he got them he might have to actually do something.

        Here is a link to an article on jounaling:

        http://www.msexchange.org/tuto…..aling.html

        Archiving can be done on an individual basis through Outlook or on the server itself.

        Why hasn’t Waxman just called in a couple guys (or ladies) working the midnight shift and asked them what happened? Are IT jobs in the White House political appointments? Let’s say the White House group is responsible for less than 500 people (mailboxes). Do we know exactly how many servers were dedicated to this group alone? Just set up a duplicate server(s), restore from the backups and start going through the mailboxes. We’re not talking 2500 or 25000 people here. It shouldn’t take more than a day to get it set up. If they don’t want to produce those tapes then shut the government down – don’t give them any more money. Otherwise, Waxman is just using legal niceties as a means of avoiding having to actually do anything.

  10. Rayne says:

    Yes…so what was going on in the Office of Environmental Quality that fit hand-in-glove with whatever was going on in the Counci of Economic Advisers?

    What was Bush doing on 11-JAN-04?

    • TheraP says:

      That date was a Sunday.

      Here’s something from Fox via Media Matters:

      Appearing on the January 11, 2004, broadcast of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Lieberman said:

      LIEBERMAN: I worry more about the Bush administration’s one-sided foreign policy that forced us to go to war against Saddam almost alone and their total lack of preparations for what to do after we overthrew Saddam, which is part of the reason that we’ve had such chaos for the last several months there.

      Of course it could be anything going on… related to past, present, or future.

      But as I recall it bush was not doing well that January. And they were rolling out their plan to undo Social Security. And it was a month later, on Feb 11, 2004 that bush said: “I’m a war president. I have war on my mind.”

      Not sure if this helps in any way. But how would it have looked to have this on Fox?

      And when exactly were they dealing with unknown (at that point) issue of Abu Graib?

    • TheraP says:

      Something else also going on that Sunday:

      “These people are nasty and they have a long memory,” [O’Neill] tells Suskind. But he also believes that by speaking out even in the face of inevitable White House wrath, he can demonstrate loyalty to something he prizes: the truth. “Loyalty to a person and whatever they say or do, that’s the opposite of real loyalty, which is loyalty based on inquiry, and telling someone what you really think and feel—your best estimation of the truth instead of what they want to hear.” That goal is worth the price of retribution, O’Neill says. Plus, as he told Suskind, “I’m an old guy, and I’m rich. And there’s nothing they can do to hurt me.”

      Yup… that was a big deal and really the first crack in the loyalty circle at the White House.

  11. TexBetsy says:

    WilliamOckham, we have a group of central Texas firepups from next door who get together once every three months or so for picnics or other fun. Interested in joining us? Most are in San Antonio & Austin.

  12. Rayne says:

    TheraP — if it was a Sunday, we should check that Friday. Chances are they were chattering about a news dump on Friday that required housecleaning over the weekend.

    • JimWhite says:

      On Friday, January 9, 2004 the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Hamdi case. I think we have a winner here.
      On January 11, TalkLeft posted that Guantanamo would nearly double.

      • Rayne says:

        But does this answer the question as to what was going on in the Office of Environmental Quality that fit hand-in-glove with whatever was going on in the Council of Economic Advisers?

        Would somebody in those agencies be working on Hamdi/Gitmo?

        • TheraP says:

          I understand this may have all been inter-related. But be careful about assuming that. It could have been more than one thing they were discussing that day. But they needed to get rid of the whole day.

          Always wise, when considering explanations, to consider, like in medicine for example, that more than one thing could be going on.

    • TheraP says:

      I see 31 above. But there was also lots of news re the coming 60 min Sun program related to O’Neil’s book:

      This from CNN on 1/9/2004:

      – President Bush “was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people” during Cabinet meetings, his former Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in what the network said was his first interview about his work for the administration.

      Jim is likely on the money. But it’s good to have the context of this. Bush was looking very, very weak at that point, as I recall.

  13. PetePierce says:

    i really appreciate this kind of thoughtful work you do EW; the writing, the digging, and the exellentcorrelation/extrapolation. I started your book yesterday, and hope there will be many more.

  14. TheraP says:

    Re O’Neil’s book… also the revelation that even before 9/11, there was a focus on invading Iraq:

    “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” O’Neill said, adding that going after Saddam Hussein was a priority 10 days after the Bush’s inauguration and eight months before Sept. 11.

    This was coming out just before the weekend.

  15. JimWhite says:

    One more thought on Hamdi. How damaging would it be if the conversation was not just about the Supreme Court, but with it?

  16. radiofreewill says:

    IIRC, all of the Domains listed in EW’s article – EOP, OVP, CEQ, CEA, OMB, USTR – were on Clinton’s E-Mail Grinder, the Mail2 Server – which, afaict, was rolled right into the Bush Administration, just bumping and grinding away – erasing everything more than two years old, and featuring a ‘twiddle’ – “case sensitivity” set “on” and a User ID’s “back-up domain” listed as MAIL2, meant no archiving of that User ID’s Records to the ARMS System, which was the Database searched for Legal Discovery – 528 User IDs fell into this category.

    Viola! A shoebox on the closet shelf, silently shredding its PRA-covered contents.

    A ‘conveniently plausible’ hiccup that disappeared records with timely predictability. I would be willing to bet that Waxman’s requests for documents that weren’t returned were mainly lost due to BushCo stalling/letting two years go by – and letting the Little E-mail Grinder That Could just chug along – outside of ARMS, steadily destroying the Only Records of itself.

    When I first started visiting TNH, I didn’t understand the dialog that had built-up around Friedman Units…Now, thanks to Mail2, I understand the concept of Friedman’s much, much better…Time is Your Ally when you’ve got a systematic shredding operation going on…

    But, hey! Did you hear Britney was photographed looking at pregnancy test kits in a drugstore! My lord, what next? With so much going on in the world, there’s just nothing to see here, nothing at all, so let’s just just keep everybody moving, it’s best if we just shuffle right along, and, hey! Did you hear – American Idol is back on!…

    • PetePierce says:

      Did you hear Britney was photographed looking at pregnancy test kits in a drugstore!

      Britney Belley Afficianado Syndrome (BBAS)

      The fact that you could have seen a picture of Britney’s abdomen in a drug store more than 10X in one 12 hour period on a Cable from NBC Universal, i.e. MSNBC, and enough people watch it to continue the airhead programming, is one reason why you have a White House who views Americans as so dumb that they can just tell their IT people to forget the Hatch Act, and the Presidential Records Act, and deliberately not to archive mail and erase it from their servers.

      They may have backups or copies of all the emails, but they’ll never see the light of day as far as anyone else who wants to examine them.

      Or that the twit Bush would make a nebulous speech about an economic stimulus program with Paulson staring blankly into space that’s going nowhere as the recession begins–that’s aimed at the Britney Belly afficianados.

  17. drational says:

    In Re: OVP October 1,2,3,5 cluster:
    October 3, 2003 was Jack Goldsmith’s Senate confirmation.
    October 6th, per Goldsmith’s book:
    “Three days later, a few hours after the AG had sworn me into office, I received a telephone call from WH counsel Alberto Gonzales….
    “Jack” Gonzales said after cursory congratulations on my new post,”we need you to decide whether the Fourth Geneva Convention protects terrorists in Iraq. We need the answer as soon as possible; no later than the end of the week.”

  18. TheraP says:

    From The Guardian 1/9/04:

    Top scientist attacks US over global warming

    * Paul Brown and Mark Oliver
    * The Guardian,
    * Friday January 9 2004


    Climate change is a more serious threat to the world than terrorism
    , David King, the government’s chief scientist, writes in an article in today’s Science magazine, attacking governments for doing too little to combat global warming.

    He singles out the United States for “refusing to countenance any remedial action now or in the future” to curb its own greenhouse gases, which are 20% of the world’s total, even though it has only 4% of the population.

    [snip]

    In a swipe at the administration of President George Bush, Mr King says that the US was wrong to pull out of the Kyoto protocol. The Bush administration was also wrong to claim Kyoto could harm the US economy, he says: “In my view, climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism.”

    [snip]

    Yesterday a major study published in Nature magazine showed that climate change over the next 50 years is expected to drive a quarter of land animals and plants into extinction.

    • TheraP says:

      That Guardian article hits all 3:

      1. attack on bush

      2. global warming and science

      3. Us contention that business would be hurt if you paid attention to global warming.

      I suspect a need for emails related to faking science to show no global warming and ginning up economic data to show how govt should not interfere.

  19. drational says:

    More OLC issues in late 2003 and early 2004:
    Per Goldsmith book, the Bybee DOD memo justifying torture was pulled in late December;Goldsmith notes he called Hayden about this “over the Christmas Holidays.”

    January 22, 2004 was 45 days antedating the March 11, 2004 reauthorization deadline for the Warrantless Surveillance program. Goldsmith, Comey and Philbin were conducting the review of the program they ultimately found to be illegal.

  20. TheraP says:

    That Guardian article @ 40 hits all 3:

    1. attack on bush

    2. global warming and science

    3. Us contention that business would be hurt if you paid attention to global warming.

    I suspect a need for emails related to faking science to show no global warming and ginning up economic data to show how govt should not interfere.

  21. TheraP says:

    That Guardian article @ 40 hits all 3:

    1. attack on bush

    2. global warming and science

    3. Us contention that business would be hurt if you paid attention to global warming.

    Doesn’t seem like enough to delete emails over though. But maybe to someone. Related to energy and pollution?

  22. TheraP says:

    sorry for so many posts. I kept getting a connection problem. And they must have been sitting.

    Delete some!

  23. brendanx says:

    Plan to destroy Social Security was rolled out after his “accountability moment”, i.e., Jan. 2005.

  24. JodiDog says:

    Wait a minute!

    You are saying Henry Waxman needed an “excuse” to try and get some publicity.

    Ah, come on now. He never needs an excuse.

    The only thing I say is “so what?”

    Nothing is added to the mix. All this was known, and was useless.

    Unless the bloggers really need something else to carry on about which I guess must be the case.

  25. radiofreewill says:

    May 7, 2004 – Rumsfeld testifies to Congress on Abu Ghraib.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ay7_4.html

    BILL NELSON: When did you first tell the president, Mr. Secretary?

    RUMSFELD: I don’t know. Dick Myers and I see the president every week, and he recalls that some time after we were apprised of it through the press, through CENTCOM’s announcement, that it was brought up in one of our meetings.

    Do you recall?

    MYERS: I don’t recall specifically because I think the day it was brought up it was General Pete Pace that was standing in for me, but he remembers exactly when it was — well, roughly, with a week or so of when he was in that meeting and informed the president. They talked about it.

    BILL NELSON: And was this back in January, Mr. Secretary?

    MYERS: I think General Pace would say early February, is what I think he would say. It could have been late January.

    RUMSFELD: I meet with the president once or twice a week, we cover eight, 10, 15 different points. General Myers or General Pace are generally there with me. And I don’t keep notes about what I do. I just don’t remember when it was.

    BILL NELSON: And when you all had this discussion with the president, what did the president say that you should do about those abuses?

    RUMSFELD: Well, I don’t know that I’m going to get into private discussions with the president. If I don’t remember when it was, my guess is it was more an information item from us to him where we were transmitting and saying, “here’s the problem.”

    So, the January 29, 2004 missing date from both Bush and Cheney is, imho, the strongest candidate for the Day Bush was told about Abu Ghraib by Gen. Pace (with Rumsfeld present.) The early February dates would also be contenders for follow-up discussion on the same topic.

  26. radiofreewill says:

    Check out Titan Corporation in San Diego:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind…..orporation

    Why Titan?

    From Rumsfeld’s Congressional Testimony on May 7, 2004:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ay7_4.html

    AKAKA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Secretary Rumsfeld, according to General Taguba’s report, civilian contractors were found wandering around Abu Ghraib unsupervised and with free access to the detainee area. I have two questions on that.

    What are the roles of the private contractors at this and other detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan? And who monitors and supervises these contracted employees?

    (snip)

    SMITH: Sir, I might add to that — in this particular case there’s a tiger team that interrogates and goes through that process. One is an interpreter, normally. One is an analyst. And one is an interrogator. And where we have shortages in the military of interrogators and translators, we go to contractors to do that.

    And I said the numbers wrong. The numbers were 27 is how we — are the number of contractors we have with CACI for interrogators. Then we have hundreds of translators that are under contract throughout the country under Titan Corporation.

    If Titan had the Contract for the Interpreters/Linguists, then who had the Contract for the Interrogators?

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