Questions

Shew! I did it! I survived for a full week without WiFi or wireless.

And it was nice.

A million thanks to bmaz for watching the blog this week–looks like you guys had a lot of fun without me. And a million thanks for the birthday wishes.

I’ll post more substantively once I wade through the accumulated emails and posts and news. But for now I’ve got the following questions as I read through what you’ve guys have been reading through.

  • If the White House destroys hard drives of people who move on, and the people from whom we wanted email in January 2006 included three people who had already left OVP (Cathie Martin, Jenny Mayfield, and Scooter Libby), then does that mean we still don’t have emails from the relevant period for these three people (particularly the last two)?
  • If Brent Wilkes’ complaints about improper leaks of his impending indictment win him a get out of jail free card, does that mean Eliot Spitzer is out of all legal danger (even while the DA is making it known that he suspects Spitzer perjured himself)?
  • What does Eric Lichtblau mean when he refers to Dick Cheney’s tense relations with the NYT in December 2005?

As New York Times Editor Bill Keller, Washington Bureau Chief Phil Taubman, and I awaited our meeting, we still weren’t sure who would make the pitch for the president. Dick Cheney had thought about coming to the meeting but figured his own tense relations with the newspaper might actually hinder the White House’s efforts to stop publication. (He was probably right.)

After all, this meeting took place just a month after Cheney’s Cheney had been indicted for lying to cover up Cheney’s apparent order to leak Valerie Wilson’s identity to Judy Miller. That indictment came after the NYT made an ill-advised attempt to protect Libby–even after they knew Judy’s testimony was proof that Libby lied under oath. After having been served so well by his selective A1 cutout leaks to the NYT, why was he so cranky right after Libby was indicted?

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74 replies
  1. CTMET says:

    Who is this “Emptywheel” and what is she doing on bmaz’ blog???

    Welcome back, Happy Birthday.

  2. TeddySanFran says:

    hiya, EW, another fun-filled vaca week without you on the case.

    bmaz did great, though.

    welcome back!

  3. Quzi says:

    Welcome back EW.

    Sorry for OT (but related to all of the corruption of this crooked admin)– did you see Bushie is giving The Federal Reserve more powers. Sounds like another one of those signing statements.

    “The Fed would become the government’s “market stability regulator,” given sweeping powers to gather information on a wide range of institutions so that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues could better detect where threats to the system might be hiding.”

    I hope you or bmaz cover this one. I enjoyed reading bmaz this week even if I didn’t have time to post.

    • emptywheel says:

      I really think we ought to work up a “communist” complaint about this one. How can you have a “market” if it has “stability control” ensured by unelected rich men? The crony capitalism in charge of Iraq contracts was bad enough, but this is little better than centrally controlled economy.

  4. chisholm1 says:

    Since this seems to be a grab-bag post:

    Does anyone else truly respect Scott Horton’s acumen and of course investigative diligence, but find him to be shockingly naive at times? I just read his post that responds to Mukasey’s SF speech, and my jaw has dropped at his (Horton’s) inability to grasp/admit just how corrupt Mukasey actually is, and how bad things are at DOJ.

    I mean, he writes as though Mukasey is actually reachable. As though Mukasey, deep down, is ethical, and his conscience will be piqued if you just sit him down and talk to him, go over the facts with him. There’s almost a pleading tone to the post, as if he’s somehow still holding out hope that Mukasey is actually good. To make my point, compare and contrast the tone of Horton’s posts about the corruption of the Alabama media–aggressive scorn–with this morning’s Mukasey post. The latter really feels like it’s about Horton trying to process his disappointment. Which is where my shock comes in–did anyone really think Bush would nominate an AG who expose him to scrutiny?

    Anyway, this is all fwiw, of course. Just needed to vent. It’s weirder when someone you admire doesn’t “get” something than someone you loathe.

    • looseheadprop says:

      I mean, he writes as though Mukasey is actually reachable. As though Mukasey, deep down, is ethical, and his conscience will be piqued if you just sit him down and talk to him, go over the facts with him. There’s almost a pleading tone to the post, as if he’s somehow still holding out hope that Mukasey is actually good

      FWIW, you have acuratley described Mukasey’s reputation when he was here in NY.

      I’m not vouching for Mukasey cause he seems to have fallen under Darth’s mind control spell, but Horton is relyin gon a lifetime long reputation. Maybe Mukasey can be coaxed back from the dark side–I have no clue.

          • ratbastahd says:

            Yep, Greenwald nails it again! It’s amazing how easy it is to deconstruct the BS the Admin consistently throws to the press. The question is why the MSM continues to swallow the lies? Do your friggin’ jobs fer chrissakes!

            • bobschacht says:

              Yep, Greenwald nails it again! It’s amazing how easy it is to deconstruct the BS the Admin consistently throws to the press. The question is why the MSM continues to swallow the lies? Do your friggin’ jobs fer chrissakes!

              I recommend

              The News Business: Out of Print
              New Yorker – By Eric Alterman – Mar 28, 2008 (Opinion)

              Just how an Internet-based news culture can spread the kind of “light” that is necessary to prevent terrible things, without the armies of reporters and photographers that newspapers have traditionally employed, is a question that even the most ardent democrat in John Dewey’s tradition may not wish to see answered. More »

              A very interesting read, and a great introduction to the modern business of news– with valuable background information.

              Bob in HI

        • looseheadprop says:

          Bobby, Thanks for the link. I’m not agreeing with Horton, just pointing out that it is not completely unfounded for him to cling to the belief that Mukasey would not so radically chnage his spots in such a short time.

          BTW, I completely agree with Glenn’s ananlysis of Mukasey’s speech.

          MM was lying like a rug and grossly mistating the law.

      • chisholm1 says:

        In order to square your perception of his pre-AG reputation with his current state of near-perfect corruption, I think you have to come to the conclusion that “9/11 changed everything for him.” At least, that’s all I can think of–he was as horrified by that day as we all were, and he firmly believed/believes that Bush and Cheney are the right people for these times, and they need his professional support. (As an aside, I think that belief informs many conservatives’ opinion of this administration, and allows them to overlook the “bad stuff” [ie, everything they’ve ever done, anywhere, at any time]).

        “Professional support” being a euphemism for protection, of course.

        However, that attempt to reconcile your/Horton’s cognitive dissonance–”Mukasey used to be ethical, how can he be doing what he’s doing now?”–doesn’t fly. September 11th changed everyone, but you don’t see everyone aiding and abetting wholesale corruption and law-breaking, as Mukasey is doing.

        (Note that I am not trying to quantify your cog diss, I am just responding to the comment about his pre-AG rep, which I have seen repeated in many other places, most notably during his confirmation hearings.)

        So basically, I am not convinced that he’s gone over to the dark side. I think he was already there, and it just never became clear until now, when he’s in a position to investigate, as opposed to preside over investigations/cases. I don’t think looking for an explanation/catalytic moment will prove fruitful.

        • looseheadprop says:

          However, that attempt to reconcile your/Horton’s cognitive dissonance–”

          Just to clarify, I stated in my initial comment that I was nt vouching for Mukasey. I think the speed in which he seems to have abandoned a reputation he spent a lifetime building is just stunning.

          • Loo Hoo. says:

            Something’s in it for him, or they’ve got something on him is my guess. Nothing else could make sense. He has completely sold out America. For what reason?

            • looseheadprop says:

              Beays me. I’m still going with the “Dick Cheney has developed a mind control chip that gets inserted into their heads” theory.

            • MrWhy says:

              Any truth to the rumour that to celebrate Mukasey’s successful ratification as AG that Cheney threw him a party at the Emperors Club?

    • skdadl says:

      My thoughts too when I just read that last entry of Horton’s. But maybe you’ve put into words exactly what Horton is struggling with:

      It’s weirder when someone you admire doesn’t “get” something than someone you loathe.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Horton has long given up his admiration for his former law partner and ranks himself among his most vocal critics. I think he hopes that calm understatement will be more powerful than shouting. Like a whisper from Clint Eastwood.

  5. BooRadley says:

    Happy Bday emptywheel and welcome back.

    Per everyone above, bmaz was terrific and really helped lessen the ew withdrawal symptoms.

  6. MarieRoget says:

    IMO, Mukasey deciding to not stand up re: subpoenas for Miers & Bolten speaks the proverbial volumes for how that worm has turned.

    Sorry, but for those who admired Mukasey’s previous work- He’s smaller than BushDog flea shit now since he made a personal decision, perhaps because of 9/11, perhaps otherwise in his mind, to get on board as another Bush enabler.

  7. phred says:

    Welcome back Birthday Girl!

    So as to your question about Cheney’s “tense relations” with the NYT… IIRC the NYT had kicked Judy to the curb by then (by which I mean she wasn’t supposed to cover Iraq at that point). I forget what her reassignment was but I think it occurred prior to Libby’s indictment. So maybe Darth was pissed that the NYT had taken away his incredibly useful mole…

  8. Starbuck says:

    In another Forum, I got into some heated discussions that somehow got Spinoza and Hegel into the mix. So, this morning I decided to spend a bit of time digging into Hegel Dialectics (good Luck!!). I did find this:
    http://nord.twu.net/acl/dialectic.html#intro

    Just reading the intro, taking us back to the war of 1812, is an eye opener, at least for me.

    “Step out of the dialectic.”

    That really rings a strong note for me.

  9. JohnLopresti says:

    Maybe WiFieLess, but still GPSable, a good place to spend a while. re2005, I need to look this up in the archive, but the way I recall Cheney was making erratic statements crowing about the 2004 electoral results and predicting the absolute majority of KRove’s prognostications in the 2005 timeframe, that was the nadir of the unitaristExecutive wish for some exit from Iraq that would solve the problems of endless wars besides; Cheney was pretty vitriolic in the press at that time; if I can rediscover his cites I will post later links to them. My take on Payton’s dismissive flak about hard drives was that like most of what she was saying it was basically true, just parsed; what she is worring about is the jump drive Mayfield or someone else in a job like Jenny’s, might have taken home to process work off the clock from the home workstation, or some such, though metadata compromise could be an outcome of that kind of exercise in portability of files, like, .pst personal reference libraries of interchanges over email. The IBM counter publicity was hilarious, and timely, and helpful, in the aftermath of Payton’s testimony. Bmaz was an amazing presence, some of those threads are complicated, and their links could take weeks to study; he is in a class beyond Josh of recent accolade fame; you are lucky to share with the Phoenix contributor. I had some reflections on the chocked speech by Mukasey, besides his losing it when facing liberals who cared about the same values as his conservative houseblend at the CommonwealthClub; I had wondered if his mundane recitative speech about prosecuting Cunningham et all had been vetted very carefully in the White House, and if maybe Deaver even dropped by electronically to accrete the put down about the thousands of dead people who did not go home one dayin2001; the syntax was lessened a tad by a missing comma in one online version, but to me it sounded like Rove2005 putting down liberals and blaming them for pre2001 instincts to preserve liberty, the same old phony accusations those guys were always trying to put in the press. I imagine Paulson and some other Wall St moguls in the administration will have more to say about the attempt to Republicanize the escapades of the investment entities and stock negociants; the gambit to tar the reputation of trialLawyers was a mistake, so perhaps the visionaries in the administration are trying to stave off yet further crises related to the subprime scandals by combining reconfigurative ideas with ways to organize and control the people involved as well; but I do not see Wall St. dancing to a conservative theory of economics anytime soon. The economists are typically on the forefront of realization, although the cronyist side of that kind of work is present as kind of an endemic drawback.

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      May I respectfully suggest that a paragraph break would make the reading easier? Especially when the subject is as difficult as today’s?

      • JohnLopresti says:

        Sorry, BSRH, I have heard that apt view before from another commenter. I was glad our font pitch at FDL is about 10-point verdana, so skipping paragraph breaks makes the contribution more unobtrusive. The best kind of denseness in a comment thread, for me, is to make the sentences link-rich, as that contributes most to the insights everyone has.

        With respect to the hiatus for the vacation, I thought bmaz took the blog on an admirably personal tour thru some of the territory he knows well. Though sometimes I had a fraction to offer, mostly it seemed at many junctures ew’s own forward looking analysis would take the dialog to the next level. Welcome back to ew.

  10. MDRackham says:

    Didn’t Horton clerk for Mukasey?

    One would think that one would have a good measure Mukasey after that experience, so the “9/11 changed everything” explanation is as good as any. As someone who’s worldview wasn’t altered very much at all by 9/11, I don’t understand how it affected some so greatly.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:


    After having been served so well by his selective A1 cutout leaks to the NYT, why was he so cranky right after Libby was indicted?

    Could it be that with Libby in considerable fear of spending a half-dozen years in a federal penitentiary, Cheney knew he either had to spring Libby or risk indictment himself. He knew Libby wouldn’t break his Mafia-like code of silence, but he couldn’t have been so sure of Rove, or Mrs. Libby, or anybody else.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The site’s punctuation, etc., links are not working well today. The first sentence was marked “quote” and “italicize”.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Via Glenn Greenwald Saturday morning, in this excerpt in the SF Chronicle of Mukasey’s Thursday speech in SFO, Mukasey puts his own and the president’s problem in an ironic nutshell (emph. added):

    “The president has to have a circle around him of people who can give him advice in confidence and understand that they are not going to be called to account,” the attorney general said. Otherwise, he said, “he will not get candid advice.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..9VROE9.DTL

    In defending the need for executive privilege, Mukasey artlessly conflates it with the administration’s greatest aspiration and its greatest problem – that lack of accountability. Without it, there’s no check on excess, no correction for incompetence, no straightening the inevitable veering off course.

    Scott Horton points out today another hypocrisy in Mukasey’s speech: his claims that the DOJ’s public integrity section is apolitical and that he’s seen “no evidence” of political prosecution in his department. As the Chronicle article cited above pointed out, Mukasey would be more convincing had he said that without so tightly closing his eyes and his mind.

    [Also posted below]

  13. klynn says:

    EW,

    How can you have a “market” if it has “stability control” ensured by unelected rich men?

    I like the “communist” complaint suggestion because it would be true…

  14. oldtree says:

    diamonds are equated to money, but are based on a value only seen by the eye of the beholder. Good for presents and birthdays because they are gifts. But diamonds are best at what they reflect, welcome back!

  15. masaccio says:

    I have now read the executive summary of the Treasury report. The summary in the NYT seems accurate enough.

    Only one of the recommendations can be enforced by an Executive Order, the suggestion of increasing the responsibility of a Presidential Working Group on financial markets. Pretty much everything else requires Congressional action.

    The one thing that isn’t discussed in any way is the role of private enforcement. Once upon a time, securities sellers had something to fear in the actual rights of investors to protect themselves using the Courts, under Rule 10b-5. This right has been continuously eroded under both parties, just as Obama said in his speech on economic matters, calling it a corrupt bargain. Until this is fixed, all the talk in the world about streamlined regulation is just talk. Enforcement, hurting the cheats on Wall Street, hitting those bastards in their personal wallets, and putting them in jail, is what deters them. Nothing else works.

    • bmaz says:

      I am sure you are aware of this, but they are very actively working to restrict and/or eliminate completely the eviscerated shareholder direct action rights that still maintain. The confusion over this proposal will undoubtedly provide substantial enough cover to make big inroads on that plan.

      • masaccio says:

        It isn’t just that they are trying to crush shareholder rights to sue the likes of accountants and lawyers who cooperate with the cheats and frauds, they force all of us into arbitration, which is a joke, and they are pushing to eliminate all liability for any kind of financial fraud. Got a 401k? think you can sue a plan fiduciary, a broker, a bank that cheats you? Good luck with that.

        • Quzi says:

          And..

          “The blueprint also suggests several areas where the S.E.C. should take a lighter approach to its oversight. Among them are allowing stock exchanges greater leeway to regulate themselves and streamlining the approval of new products, even allowing automatic approval of securities products that are being traded in foreign markets.” — New York Times

          The stock exchanges regulating themselves is like putting Spitzer in charge of regulating whore houses.

          You’ve got it, massaccio — “eliminate all liability for any kind of financial fraud” — the everyday investor is screwed again.

      • klynn says:

        That’s what I referenced in your previous thread on this…I also think this is ground work for privatizing and robbing Social Security….

        You know…The “Ooops! You took a risk on retirement and LOST! Too Bad! But I made out great on your loss!”

        From Forbes:

        Common Shareholder’s Six Main Rights
        1) Voting Power on Major Issues
        This includes electing directors and proposals for fundamental changes affecting the company such as mergers or liquidation. Voting takes place at the company’s annual meeting. If you can’t attend, you can by proxy and mail in your vote. (see The Purpose and Importance of Proxy Voting)

        2) Ownership in a Portion of the Company
        Previously we discussed the event of a corporate liquidation where bondholders and preferred shareholders are paid first. However when business thrives, common shareholders own a piece of something that has value. Said another way, you have a claim on a portion of the assets owned by the company. As these assets generate profits, and as the profits are reinvested in additional assets, you see a return in the form of increased share value as stock prices rise.

        3) Right to Tansfer Ownership
        This, in other words, means you are allowed to trade your stock on an exchange. The right to transfer ownership might seem mundane, but the liquidity provided by stock exchanges is extremely important. Liquidity is one of the key factors that differentiate stocks from an investment like real estate. If you own property, it can take months to convert your investment into cash. Because stocks are so liquid, you can move your money into other places almost instantaneously.

        4) Dividend Entitlement
        Along with a claim on assets, you also receive a claim on any profits a company pays out in the form of a dividend. Management of a company essentially has two options with profits: they can be reinvested back into the firm (hopefully increasing the company’s overall value) or paid out in the form of a dividend. You don’t have a say in what percentage of profits should be paid out, this is decided by the board of directors. However, whenever dividends are declared, common shareholders are entitled to receive their share. (To continue reading, see How and Why Do Companies Pay Dividends?)

        5) Opportunity to Inspect Corporate Books and Records
        This opportunity is provided through a company’s public filings, including their annual report. Nowadays this isn’t such a big deal as public companies are required to make their financials public. This can be important though for private companies.

        6) Suing for Wrongful Acts
        Suing the company is usually in the form of a shareholder class-action lawsuit. A good example of this type of suit occurred in the wake of the accounting scandal that rocked WorldCom in 2002 where it grossly overstated earnings, giving shareholders and investors an erroneous view of its financial health. The telecom giant faced a firestorm of shareholder class-action suits as a result. (Want to read more about frauds? See The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time.)

        Remember, shareholder rights vary from state to state, and country to country. It is important to check with your local authorities and public watchdog groups. In North America, however, shareholders rights tend to be more developed than other nations and are standard for the purchase of any common stock. These rights are crucial for the protection of shareholders against poor management.

        More here:

        http://www.investopedia.com/articles/01/050201.asp

        Based on these rights, I’d recommend the common shareholders start “bookkeeping inspections” consumer protection groups. When the common investor “inspection group” finds questionable bookkeeping —notify other common shareholders and sell, sell, sell! Crazy thought, I know, but we have got to start out foxing these cheats…somehow…any suggestions out there?

  16. MadDog says:

    EW, I hope you had a marvelous vacation!

    Bmaz made us brush our teeth after every comment, but other than that, no one rode their bikes in the house…well maybe just once or twice, but there were no wheelies…well maybe a half-dozen or so, but we picked up all the broken glass…oops, bmaz hoped you wouldn’t notice the new lamp in the living room…and why yes, that is a new coat of paint on the kitchen door. We aim to please!

    So, I suppose you’ve got a wee bit of catching up to do?

    In case you’re looking for a quick post, here’s some “opinions” released by the OLC just this past week that further aim to “hide the ball” for evermore:

    1. Immunity Of Former Counsel To The President From Compelled Congressional Testimony.

    2. Assertion Of Executive Privilege Concerning The Dismissal And Replacement Of U.S. Attorneys.

    Pssst…bmaz, we promise not to tell her about the ent-day in the ar-cay. Mighty nice of you to buy us all those ice cream cones.

      • MadDog says:

        But…but…but I didn’t tell her about the visit from the Fire Department just like you asked. And all that water sure cleaned up everything just fine.

        That carpet cleaner stuff worked just like you said it would, and I bet it would take two or three people to move that couch, so if EW ever does, we can say that it must’ve been mice. They’ll chew holes in anything.

        Puleeeeze say you’ll let me peek at some more email stuff? Puleeeeeze?

        • bmaz says:

          Man, and I told Marcy everything went swimmingly; I didn’t really mean for her to figure out that was because we sauced from the booze cabinet, flooded the joint and were under water most of the time. Oh well, not quite sure when it will be done, but I do have a parting shot on the DNC email thingy that will be along sometime here in the next few hours. Then I can move back to the cheap seats where my bombs are stashed.

  17. masaccio says:

    EW, I’m really sorry about all that financial stuff. Bmaz made me do it. I know I can get back to politics with just a bit of effort.

    • emptywheel says:

      Happy to see it–well done!

      I would have been pushing the next Democratic initiative to counter the WH crap. As it is, I’ve got to catch up on that front.

  18. TexBetsy says:

    Attorney General Admits Bush Allowed 9/11 to Happen
    from Watching Those We Chose by Yellow Dog

    In San Francisco this week, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey got so desperate to prove that we have to let Smirky/Darth break every law and stomp on every civil right, he actually admitted that this maladministration let Al Qaeda attack on 9/11.

    Officials “shouldn’t need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that’s the call that we may really want to know about. And before 9/11, that’s the call that we didn’t know about. We knew that there has been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went.”

  19. BlueStateRedHead says:

    Welcome home EW. While the cat was away, the mice got to play, or at least talk about, the national pastime. Red Sox fans were treated to some pointed words, well, called an unfortunate name , which were then counterbalanced by a most generous homage to a Beantown Band.

    I played hookey alot, and I can’t be absolutely sure, but I believe we stayed on the topics that were on the approved list, and the ‘disapproved’, in fact, explicitly discouraged, topic was kept at bay.

    and I don’t mean the baseball topic.

    But while on that off topic, if Bay State Librul or any other members of the Nation whose name is Red but votes mostly blue, is reading, may I be allowed a personal note?

    I just got invited to the second game of the opening series at Fenway, which is not opening day but as close as you can get.

  20. MadDog says:

    bmaz, lhp and any of our other Legal Eagles who happen to wander through, I’d really like to see your thoughts on the OLC “opinion” regarding Harriet Miers – Immunity Of Former Counsel To The President From Compelled Congressional Testimony.

    IANAL, but it seems to me that when an attorney purports that something is “settled law”, but does not or can not refer to previous case law to justify such an “opinion”, that one’s take-away is that said lawyer is making law up out of “thin air”, or perhaps even out of “no air”.

    Such appears to be the case in this IANAL’s eyes wrt to Harriet Miers and Bradbury’s “opinion”.

    What say you?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A quick read of Bradbury’s July 2007 “memo” is that it’s pretty thin gruel. The only support he cites are claims made by earlier Attorneys General and presidential lawyers, both Democratic and Republican. He cites no court decisions, not even US v. Nixon, the controlling Supreme Court decision.

      According to Nixon, “executive privilege” arose via custom and court decisions, not the Constitution or statute. Executive privilege is NOT absolute (contradicting Bradbury). The strength of the privilege varies from strong to weak, depending on the nature of the communication the president seeks to protect from disclosure. The strength of the interest competing with that privilege must vary accordingly.

      The strongest privilege relates to direct communications between the president and an adviser on military, foreign policy or national security issues. In that realm, the privilege is virtually absolute. Other claims are less protected. In Nixon, the competing interest that overcame the president’s privilege was the public’s interest in pursuing a formal investigation into criminal wrongdoing by the president’s advisers. Little wonder that Bradbury avoids that whole discussion by ignoring Nixon.

      That says two things: Bradbury’s got nothin’, and he’s willing to violate the normal rules of legal argument to avoid admitting it. Bradbury also has nothin’ on his claim that Miers can ignore the congressional subpoena and avoid showing up at all. Miers can assert various privileges – hers or the president’s – in response to questions, but she can’t refuse to show up at all. Further, it is up to a court to determine the extent of a privilege, not the person asserting it.

      If cornered and hauled into court, the Bush administration will fight like a wolverine. But it prefers to argue its case in the media, where there’s no risk of perjury, using the Rovian claim that this is all politics. But its principal tactic is to run out the clock, hoping that evidence will stale, memories fade and statutes of limitation will pass. It also hopes that time and intervening emergencies will distract Congress or the next Attorney General into dropping the issue. In which case, the strength of their claims, if any, will never be tested.

      The most useful thing we can do is keep the memory alive.

  21. Mommybrain says:

    Yeah, that bmaz guy was OK /snark

    So, why was Cheney pissed at NYT in 2005? Wasn’t that around the time of the who-struck-john about them publishing teh Google map of his Chesapeake home? And Rummy’s? I had assumed the outrage was manufactured by the lunatic fringe, but maybe he was upset about it.

  22. Sedgequill says:

    George W. Bush and some officers in his administration indulged their aversion to any judicial oversight of the executive branch so thoroughly that they disdained the FISA warrant procedure and abandoned their duty to protect and defend, if what Mukasey said is true. He implies, if he does not say outright, that the administration believed that a warrant (in the safehouse case) was necessary.

    Communications from that safe house, if there were such, should have been surveilled in detail. I’m not sure that they weren’t, especially since a warrant was not necessary. When an administration spokesman, Mukasey in this case, audaciously lies about FISA, can we believe him as to what intelligence agencies did and did not do?

  23. yellowdog jim says:

    Lawyer: Gitmo trials pegged to ‘08 campaign

    The brief filed Thursday by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer directly challenged the integrity of President Bush’s war court.

    Notably, it describes a Sept. 29, 2006, meeting at the Pentagon in which Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, a veteran White House appointee, asked lawyers to consider Sept. 11, 2001, prosecutions in light of the campaign.

    ”We need to think about charging some of the high-value detainees because there could be strategic political value to charging some of these detainees before the election,” England is quoted as saying.

    snip

    England is a two-term White House appointee. He joined the Bush administration in 2001 as Navy secretary, briefly served as deputy Homeland Security secretary and then returned to the Pentagon, where he supervised the prison camps’ administrative processes.

    Crawford was a Republican attorney appointee in the Pentagon when Vice President Dick Cheney was defense secretary.

    off topic.
    i had no other place to go to do my screaming.
    apologies

    • bmaz says:

      No problemo. You gotta love the work that the Navy JAG corps has done on the detainee cases don’t you? Stands in pretty stark contrast to the other side of the coin.

      • yellowdog jim says:

        No problemo. You gotta love the work that the Navy JAG corps has done on the detainee cases don’t you? Stands in pretty stark contrast to the other side of the coin.

        thanks.
        heart warming to see our folks in uniform standing on principle and defending our constitution as if it’s their primary sworn duty.
        oh, yeah, it is.
        contrast: lots of it.

  24. Watson says:

    I’m not saying that Mukasey is totally evil, but don’t his decades of personal and professional proximity to Rudolf Giuliani indicate that he is quite evil?

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