Okay, Lamont Didn’t Crash the Servers. But What Did Lieberman Do with His $387,000 Slush Fund?

In thoroughly unsurprising news today, the Ned Lamont campaign was cleared of any wrong-doing in the crash of Lieberman’s server leading up to primary day in 2006. The Stamford Advocate reports that the FBI determined–way back on October 25, 2006–that Lieberman’s campaign bears all responsibility for the server crash.

Case closed, right?

No. Not on the outstanding legal issues arising from the campaign, anyway.

As you might recall, the Lamont campaign filed an FEC complaint, coincidentally just two days before the whole server crash case was closed in October 2006, noting that Joe Lieberman had a campaign finance entry for "petty cash" expenditures that were way beyond the legal limits: $387,000 of "petty cash."

The Friends of Joe Lieberman committee, and Joseph I. Lieberman, individually have violated the clear and unambiguous terms of 11 C.F.R. §102.11 in at least the following three ways.

First, according to the FEC October Quarterly report filed on October 13, 2006, the Lieberman campaign has petty cash disbursements amounting to $387,561.00, which is roughly 8 percent of its total disbursements, or one out of every twelve dollars spent. On several occasions, petty cash disbursements greater than $100 were reported, as supposed payment for “volunteers.” As summary of these disbursements from the Friends of Joe Lieberman report are attached hereto. These disbursements reflect patent violations of 11 C.F.R. §102.11.

Second, the report does not include the name and address of every person to whom any disbursement is made, as well as the date, amount, and purpose of such disbursement. Again, Friends of Joe Lieberman stands in clear violation of 11 C.F.R. §102.11.

Third, and perhaps most troubling, the Associated Press reported earlier today that Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun claims the cash was supposedly used pay to field coordinators who then distributed money to workers who were canvassing (Andrew Miga, Lamont Questions Lieberman’s Spending, October 23, 2006). There is no evidence that the Lieberman committee kept and maintained a written journal of any kind regarding these disbursements as required by 11 C.F.R. §102.11. As I am sure you are aware, the rationale for this regulation is to, among other things, prevent the creation and utilization of slush funds for illicit purposes. The $387,561.00 involved here is a sum of supposed petty cash expenditures unprecedented in any race in our state’s history. The Lieberman campaign’s patent disregard for this regulation calls for the immediate investigation of this matter by your office to ensure that the voters of Connecticut can be fairly informed about the conduct of their elected officials. [my emphasis]

Since the time the Lamont campaign filed the complaint, Connecticut’s US Attorney has been appointed acting Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales and (just days ago) ascended to serve as Associate Attorney General of the US. Also since that time, the FEC has gone from having a quorum of commissioners that could have decided this issue (through 2007) to the point where, with only two commissioners, they cannot make any enforcement decisions. Also since that time, Joe Lieberman has been Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee for well over a year–without conducting any meaningful oversight hearings. Also since that time, Connecticut’s voters have soured–badly–on their increasingly Republican Senator Joe Lieberman. And since that time, those Democratic Senators who once backed Lieberman have grown increasingly glum with his shrieking support of war.

I called Lamont Campaign Manager Tom Swan just to make sure the FEC hadn’t secretly told him that they had completed the investigation of Lieberman’s bloated slush fund without publicizing that decision. Swan has heard nothing–nada–in the year and a half since he filed the complaint.

We proved today that Joe Lieberman submitted a legal complaint against the Lamont campaign–and flogged unsubstantiated accusations in the media–though he had not one shred of evidence that Lamont’s campaign was involved.

But there’s still a whole lot of evidence that Lieberman took $387,000 and used it improperly–for walking around money, probably, but perhaps even to support his third party campaign. And we’re no closer to knowing whether Lieberman broke the law in the way he spent that $387,000 than we were a year and a half ago.

Update: Amount corrected, per complaint, and spelling of Stamford corrected, per njprogressive.

114 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    Um, I am sorry, all those investigators are, and have been, working around the clock to find something, anything, that Eliot Spitzer did wrong other than hook up with a hooker and any connection whatsoever, no matter how tenuous, to public funds. The momentum on Joementum is gone baby!

  2. AZ Matt says:

    The money went to his hairstyling slush fund. Gotta look good when he is stepping out with John.

  3. nahant says:

    Digg it
    Liarman will never be held accountable for his actions and monet stash he was not suposed to have…rethuglians at work as usual!

  4. njprogressive says:

    um, I think it’s the Stamford Advocate not Stanford Advocate [my aunt and uncle used to live there]

    Thanks for bringing this back to light again.

  5. Hmmm says:

    EW, I’m so sorry to go OT so quickly, but I just had to let all y’all know that the Closing Ceremony of the SF torch run at Halladie Plaza has just this minute been cancelled, in favor of a new one at an “undisclosed location” — direct quote!

      • hackworth says:

        How will anyone celebrate the torch if they don’t know where the celebration is held? How can you have a party and not tell the guests where it is? Is it possible that there are so many more protesters than supporters, that it is necessary (in order to avoid further humiliation) to hide the ceremonial torch and thugs in a van down by the river?

        • rhfactor says:

          No, I’ve been watching it LIVE on TV:


          and lots of people have been seeing it. The issue is that Gavin Newsome, mayor of SF, wants to avoid a disturbance given SF is the only route in entire North America…

          Right now the torch is stopped en route to the Golden Gate Brudge, people don’t know if it’s stopping now, or what…
          Rumors were that they would shuttle them at this point, or Ferry them back to closing ceremony, or go across GG bridge.

          The protestors who had been set up at Justin Herman Plaza — closing location, have been “thwarted”, but all reports show everything is peaceful.


  6. A Siegel says:

    How many election irregularities have not been investigated and prosecuted from the R and CFL over the past eight years?

    One think that has astounded me from the general discussion of the US Attorneys has been the absence of traditional media discussion, as far as I have seen, of the implication of all the attorneys that were not fired. Okay, if there were US Attorneys that were fired for not being partisan enough, for not pursuing weak (or non-existent) cases against Democrats, what does that suggest might be the case for those who were not fired? (Or, at least some of them.)

    Lieberman’s $360k+ not investigated or dealt with … along with how many other election abuses?

  7. JoeBuck says:

    I’m afraid that we’re hosed, because the Republicans have found an effective way to shut down the Federal Election Commission. It has no quorum, so it can’t act, and the Republicans will filibuster any attempt to name new members unless the Democrats accept “vote-suppression guru Hans von Spakovsky”, as TPM calls him.

    The effect is that federal elections laws aren’t being enforced.

    • hackworth says:

      Election laws need only be enforced in cases where Democrats might gain advantage over Republicans. As such, Lieberdroopy and McCain have carte blanche to do whatever they please.

  8. rhfactor says:


    Some info from San Francisco — where the Olympic Torch run had its route chnaged several times to thwart protestors… but all is peaceful, no arrests.

    Route down Marina area, Chrissie Field, en route to Golden Gate Bridge, crossing under it, rumors they will run across the bridge now…. Also reports that Closing Ceremony scheduled for Justin Herman Plaza in SF was cancelled, and supposedly it is being rescheduled for an “undisclosed location”

    LIVE VIDEO stream:


    They are on Doyle Drive, stopped, and perhaps the run is stopped now, prior to GG bridge…

    Hey, anyone know why DailyKos.com was down for over 20 minutes?

  9. i4u2bi says:

    In case someone is waiting for the Feds to act on Republican crimes…for most purposefulness there is no Federal Government.

  10. rhfactor says:

    Honestly? I don’t know re DailyKos… but I’d been listening to news on live TV that there are tons of undercover officers who’ve been along the route today, mixed with all protestors, and as each of the route changes occurred, protestors were using cell phones to alert colleagues in other locations to adjust to the new routes…

    It seems possible that it is coincidence — or — given DailyKos is largest progressive site on web, who knows… but I am sure there have been many cooridnation web sites. fact is, before Dkos was inaccessable, they didn’t even have one measly story about the Torch run in SF … which seems odd… but who knows.


  11. SuefromCT says:

    It is politically incorrect to mention those “LieberYoungPersons” by any other name, but they were very active.

    Remember Richard Goodstein? The Lieberman lobbyist whose name went round the world?


    and the Wakeup WalMart Bridgeport rally? The tension between the highly paid LieberYoungPersons and the CT Bloggers was only further exacerbated by Goodstein and the 100 degree weather. I believe that a documentary is being made about the lost money by NPR (I think I’ll be in it, with John Orman of CFL).

  12. Hmmm says:

    OT – OMG, now they’re reporting the relay is officially called off in place, and the torch may be going directly to the airport for an immediate departure. Totally bailing. Wow. Wotta debacle.

  13. cinnamonape says:

    I think that the FEC won’t be viable until after the next election at which time President Obalinton will have a large Senate majority willing to appoint individuals to question which rabbit hole Liembezzlers $360,000 disappeared into.

    BTW The McStain has no announced he’s all in favor of Preemptive War

    Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Iran wasn’t just a ditty it seems!

    McStain asserts that he would use pre-emptive attacks to deal with not only an imminent attack upon the United States…but in preventing a “capability” of an attack.

    It seems to me that if he had been President during the Cold War we would have been launching nukes on the Soviets with such a philosophy.

  14. ForrestPrince says:

    Back on topic: OK, so the FEC ain’t got a chairman today. We’re gonna fix that come Jan-09 — Spring 09 at the latest. Yes, I have the audacity to hope. Furthermore, I feel reasonably confident that at the very least the Democratic party will re-take the White House, and that we here in the grassroots will see to it that some sh*t hits the fan.

    If we don’t hold those Republican crooks (along with the Blue Lap Dogs) to account, who will?

    All we’ve got to do is follow the money.

    • boogiecheck says:

      O/T – Speaking of following the money…

      I found this piece on Congress members who invested in the defense contractors:

      Senator John Kerry, the Democrat from Massachusetts who staked his 2004 presidential bid in part on his opposition to the war, tops the list of investors. His holdings in firms with Pentagon contracts of at least five million dollars stood at between 28.9 million dollars and 38.2 million dollars as of Dec. 31, 2006. Kerry sits on the Senate foreign relations panel.

      Members of Congress are required to report their personal finances every year but only need to state their assets in broad ranges.

      Other top investors include Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican with holdings of 12.1 million – 49.1 million dollars; Rep. Robin Hayes, a North Carolina Republican (9.2 million – 37.1 million dollars); Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin (5.2 million – 7.6 million dollars); and Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat (2.7 million – 6.3 million dollars).

      Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Democrat and former governor of West Virginia who chairs the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, invested some 2.0 million dollars in Pentagon contractors, CRP says.

      Other panel chiefs who invested in defence firms include Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who presides over the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman, the California Democrat who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

      More here:


      • ForrestPrince says:

        Yeah, I was supporting Howard Dean back in ‘04. Kerry seemed too slick; too much money, the Heinz fortune notwithstanding. But… when Dean dropped, what could I do? I already despised Dubya with such a passion that I would have voted for the devil herself to make a Bush=Only One Term presidency a reality.

        Alas, alas, alas. ‘Twas not to be. Not yet. ‘Tis now. Let’s make this happen.

        • boogiecheck says:

          Let me tell you, I had a Kerry/Edwards bumpersticker on my car…and I took a lot of abuse for it (repub state).

          I couldn’t understand why he didn’t come out more strongly against the war during the campaign…and only made a flat statement of being against it *after* he had lost the election…now I know why.

          I’m having a hard time with this…

  15. rhfactor says:

    it’s just kinda weird… dailykos.com has been down for close to 45 minutes.

    (sorry for posting off-topic here — it’s the netroots in me — where the hell can i post if not on dkos? Surely not myDD … )

    Way to go Marcy, keep up the great work. DO SOME VIDEO STANDUPS!

      • rhfactor says:

        yeah, back up, after being down for one hour…

        Marcy for Progressive TV News commentator.

    • skdadl says:

      Way to go Marcy, keep up the great work. DO SOME VIDEO STANDUPS!

      I loved those, EW and Jane and Jeralyn last year — there just aren’t any better talking heads on teevee. More! More!

      • bobschacht says:

        In response to rhfactor @ 37

        Way to go Marcy, keep up the great work. DO SOME VIDEO STANDUPS!

        I loved those, EW and Jane and Jeralyn last year — there just aren’t any better talking heads on teevee. More! More!

        And don’t forget the ReddHead! More Christy!

        Seriously, what does it take to get on PoliticsTV? Maybe you guys should do at least a regular weekly news round-up– y’know, like Russert, but with brains and penetrating analysis. Like, “Marcy, what stories have you been following this week?” –along with crosstalk from the others, and then each of the others gets a lead, too.

        I am serious. Last year when you guys did it, there was no dead space, you didn’t fall into the um, er, spacefillers that we do in natural conversation. Do it! Maybe you can get syndicated!

        Bob in HI

  16. ForrestPrince says:

    dKos has been having server problems. Not to worry, me thinks. We’ll just have to chat over here for awhile.

  17. Hmmm says:

    Total Walk of Shame scene of the motorcade heading out 19th Ave. People coming out to stand silently.

  18. rhfactor says:

    (no no no… i didn’t mean to suggest transferring a chat here… that’s not right… I just found this to be a story that seemingly would have progressive interest re Bejing Games, Tibet, the torch relay problems in France, then the only site in north America to host the torch relay, San Francisco, and alas, seems to all be much ado about nothing from the progressives…. yawn…

    back to regular programming, already in progress!

  19. Hugh says:

    I’m not sure why this post is at fdl but brings me here.

    ABCNews just had an important story that the principals of the President’s National Security Council including Ashcroft, Rice, Colin Powell, Rumsfeld, and Cheney discussed in detail specific interrogation techniques for Zubaydah. One report said they were so specific that they essentially “choreographed” them.


    • skdadl says:

      So important, except how do we know these things? It’s great that ABC is homing in on the story, but ABC presumably can’t and won’t prove anything beyond what they’ve written there.

      These well-narrated msm stories are so frustrating because they seem to confirm our suspicions but they don’t really. Something more is needed.

  20. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Tammy Sun claims the cash was supposedly used pay to field coordinators who then distributed money to workers who were canvassing (Andrew Miga, Lamont Questions Lieberman’s Spending, October 23, 2006). There is no evidence that the Lieberman committee kept and maintained a written journal of any kind regarding these disbursements

    What about taxes any legal temp agency/day labor place has to keep records for taxes.

  21. TeddySanFran says:

    For folks who haven’t noticed, this is a new FDL feature where some sisterblog’s and brotherblog’s content gets crossposted to the FDL frontpage. Cool, huh?

    Thanks, Marcy, for the update. Maybe someone on the JComm can ask Mukasey about this next time he shows up for Q&A?

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      This is innovative is anyone else doing this? All Lefty Blogs should have it. Oh and is FDL ready for the election season we should have everybody here then.

      • TeddySanFran says:

        Well, what I’ve noticed is that sometimes an Emptywheel post will appear at the top of the FireDogLake homepage, and then when I click on it, I’m over here in Emptywheel-land. Which helps remind me to click over to see what she’s up to, and also gives her work FDL front-page exposure.

        As to how it works, I’m afraid that’s above my paygrade. *g*

  22. sailmaker says:

    Maybe Lieberman didn’t crash his servers himself, but by being a cheapskate he really did it to himself: $25/month does not buy a lot of bandwidth. What Lieberman DID DO was allow the press and his constituants to believe for thirteen days that Ned Lamont had somehow crashed the Lieberman site. This lie was allowed to live for 13 days after the Feds had declared it to be bunk. Beside looking into where the slush fund went, maybe someone should look into non disclosure of Federal (tax payer financed) investigations in conjunction with influencing elections?

    • TeddySanFran says:

      Again with the dog that did not bark in the nighttime.

      The USAttorneys who kept their jobs are the more interesting story than those who got fired. And the Connecticut USAttorney got promoted!

  23. KenMuldrew says:

    I don’t get it. In Iraq, there are a million dead and four million displaced, and even four thousand of your own people have been killed in an unjust war of aggression, and there are polite hearings in Congress. In Tibet the Chinese kill about a hundred monks (also unjustly and aggressively) and enough people swarm the streets to prevent a torch parade. What gives?

    • dosido says:

      Hi. People have been swarming the streets in the US to protest the Iraq war/occupation but, hmmmm, it doesn’t get as much coverage as when we criticize and protest some other government…

  24. Hugh says:

    The ABC article ends with a second terrorist suspect being captured in Asia and Tenet returning for authorization:

    Then-National Security Advisor Rice, sources said, was decisive. Despite growing policy concerns — shared by Powell — that the program was harming the image of the United States abroad, sources say she did not back down, telling the CIA: “This is your baby. Go do it.”

    • bobschacht says:

      The ABC article ends with a second terrorist suspect being captured in Asia and Tenet returning for authorization:

      Then-National Security Advisor Rice, sources said, was decisive. Despite growing policy concerns — shared by Powell — that the program was harming the image of the United States abroad, sources say she did not back down, telling the CIA: “This is your baby. Go do it.”

      I love the smell of good investigative reporting. Such a sweet fragrance.

      Unfortunately there’s a stench coming from the “impeachment is off the table” Congress.

      Bob in HI

  25. Neil says:

    Lieberman is going to be the only vice-presidential candidate to run as vice-president in both major parties, loose in twice, and remain an outcast as an independent.

  26. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Even independent contractors have to keep records of the people they hire. I know because I tried to get paid cash but my old boss was afraid of the IRS, what Makes Holy Joe so special?

  27. Raven says:

    1969: Millions march in US Vietnam Moratorium
    Americans have taken part in peace initiatives across the United States to protest against the continuing war in Vietnam.
    The Peace Moratorium is believed to have been the largest demonstration in US history with an estimated two million people involved.

    In towns and cities throughout the US, students, working men and women, school children, the young and the old, took part in religious services, school seminars, street rallies and meetings.

    Supporters of the Vietnam Moratorium wore black armbands to signify their dissent and paid tribute to American personnel killed in the war since 1961.

    The focal point was the capital, Washington DC, where more than 40 different activities were planned and about 250,000 demonstrators gathered to make their voices heard.

  28. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Paid Canvassers paid out of petty cash is wrong its not like when you hire the neighbourhood kid to cut your lawn. How many Canvassers did Holy Joe have 50? How long did they work? It doesn’t matter you still have to pay taxes on employees and keep records for tax purposes and Canvassers if they get paid money are employees.
    Taxes its how they got Al Capone:)

  29. LS says:

    One thing I’ve always wondered…I read reports at the time that Lieberman’s popular vote was “to the person” the same as a previous election result…why no investigation…what were the odds of that?

  30. CTBob says:

    I’ve been repeating this all day on local blogs; screw the results of the FBI probe, what about the $387K?

    There’s a lotta local talk about this being “street money”, and I know that people know who was involved. If an FBI agent starts asking the right people the right questions, this can snowball bigtime.

    And it doesn’t matter if the FEC can’t rule on the matter now, since we’re talking about a criminal conspiracy to bribe public officials. The FEC doesn’t even need to get involved if they don’t want to.

  31. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Why ask Congress to change the law when you can just put the law out of bidness?

    – Apocryphal, attributed to Richard Bruce Cheney,

    when commenting about the incapacitated leadership of numerous federal agencies, such as the FEC…,
    in his meetings with…,
    in consultation with energy lobbyist…,
    when duck huntin’ with…, and
    when repeatedly recommending to Senate colleagues that they attempt physically impossible reproductive acts.

  32. BooRadley says:

    Lieberman is a lot more vulnerable now. We can’t “let this one go.”

    JoLie spent the money, because Lamont was beating him so badly in the primary. JoLie had to keep his primary loss in single digits, so he could maintain his viability to run in the general. That’s what the $387,000 bought him. It narrowed his loss in the primary enough so that he was able to split the Democratic party in CT and win the general.

    I appreciate all the coverage FDL gives this.

    OT, TSF, thanks for the explanation.

  33. Slothrop says:

    OT, way OT, but since I know how much you enjoy connecting the dots, Marcy, I’m posting this, simply as an exercise for you:

    Here is Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona hanging out with mobbed up Las Vegas strip club owner Rick Rizollo.

    Here is the article on Rick Rizollo plea deal which sent him to prison after the Feds closed down his strip club.

    Here is the article on Buffalo Jim Barrier, who ran the auto body shop next to Rizollo’s strip club and who had a long-standing feud with the guy.

    Last Saturday, Rizollo got out of prison. On Saturday night, Buffalo Jim’s dead body was found in a Motel 6 room on Las Vegas’ Boulder Highway.

    Police have it down as death from natural causes, but Barrier’s family thinks otherwise.

  34. dmac says:

    Wednesday, April 9, 11:30pm

    charlie rose:

    New York Times reporters John Burns and Dexter Filkins.

    CC, Stereo TV-Exempt Educational Taping Rights: 1 year from original broadcast


    Tavis Smiley

    Thursday, April 10, 12:30am

    tavis smiley:

    Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean are the guests.

    CC, Stereo Educational Taping Rights: 1 year

  35. orionATL says:

    funny thing,

    that’s what occurred to me when i heard of the lamont campaign’s “exoneration”.

    “but what about lieberman’s slush fund”?

    of course,

    in the animal farm (o.k., zoo) that is the u.s. department of justice

    there are some who are more equal than others,

    almost exclusively they are republicans.

    but then there’s joe lieberman, the lugubrious-faced basset hound of the senate, to whom doj is giving a free pass on his campaign’s questionable $300K+ expenditure

    and doj is giving that pass because lieberman is functioning in the senate as a valuable republican operative.

    contrast this doj treatment of lieberman with that of former alabama governor siegelman

    who was speedily tried, sentenced, and hauled off to federal prison in deepest lousianna on specious ricco charges,

    of which lieberman might well actually be guilty.

  36. hazmaq says:

    Olbermann tonight pointed out that the Connecticut Attorney General at the time also knew, as the FBI did, that it was Liebermans campaign at fault and not Lamont. And that both knew -before the election. Then Harry likely knew -and gave it all up to Joe anyway. Ask Chuck Schumer where the rest of that money went.

    Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are the true mother fu**ers here because they’re the ones who pre-planned it with Joe. Remember it was Lieberman who continually promised the voters -because Harry had promised him -that he would retain all his seniority and chairmanships as an Independent.

    The real underlying point here is that they -Harry, Joe and Chuck -threw over the Senate’s desperately needed 50th Democratic and controlling vote, with campaign contributions intended to elect DEMOCRATS.

    I’ve grown to despise these insider Democrats more than Republicans.

  37. kspena says:

    OT-was anybody else disturbed by the patriarchal racism is Petraeus and Crocker’s testimony yesterday and today?

    • skdadl says:

      I tuned in yesterday (Wednesday) only at the very end, but just in time to hear Crocker talking about al-Qaeda’s desire to re-establish “the Caliphate.” I was agog. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq was sitting in the U.S. Senate telling fairytales about foreign lands? Yes, he was. So in answer to your question, yes.

      I wish I had collected more examples of the casual patriarchal bigotry, but much of the time, listening to those two and their bureaucratic fuzz, I had to struggle to stay awake. The senators were interesting, so I woke up for the questions. But I think I missed any answers.

  38. SugarCookie says:

    As with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc., I have a visceral dislike of Lieberman. Watching him speak makes me feel dirty, particularly when he does that odd thing with his tongue. Has anyone else noticed the way he pokes his tongue between his lips just a tad when he finishes a sentence? Ick! I mentioned it to my husband last night as we watched a clip of Lieberman speaking at the Senate hearing on Iraq, and his take was the Lieberman is just trying to keep the separate tips of his forked tongue together lest they be seen apart. Could be…

  39. Neil says:

    Is campaign finance law adjudicated only by the FEC or can it be adjudicated in any Federal court? Regarding the case of Sanctimonious Joe’s $367,000 slush fund… Could the people who donated money to Lieberman’s campaign establish standing in the court of law in a suit alleging illegal behavior? How about people who donated to Lamont… people who live in Connecticut? If so, how about mounting a class-action lawsuit against Lieberman for violating campaign finance law?

    • bmaz says:

      Well, somebody is freeing this kitty from the bag. Seems to me that we kind of knew the basic outlines of this from different pieces here and there, but to put it all together in one place and time, with the details, is certainly a new action by some party. Could be Ashcroft, although he doesn’t come off much better in this story with his only objection seemingly being that the discussion is in the White House. Ashcroft certainly is the odd duck in the picture painted though, eh?

      Citing sources, ABC said Ashcroft agreed with the policy decision to allow aggressive interrogation tactics and advised that they were legal but was troubled by the discussions.

      Ashcroft argued that senior White House advisers should not be involved in the grim details of interrogations, sources were cited as saying.

      ABC cited a top official as saying that Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.”

      He agrees with the tactics and legality, which are the germane issues; he just doesn’t think the Senior WH club should be pow wowing in the White House itself. Who exactly then does he think ought to be making these seminal decisions and where? Curious that “The Decider” is nowhere in sight when the deciding is being done; but, of course, the Fourth Branch is running the show (even though the story is framed to say Rice was, that is just does not seem credible if Cheney is there). The true genesis of this story, at this time, is almost more interesting than the story itself at this point.

      • sailmaker says:

        It might be my imagination but there seems to me to whiffs of Powell talking to Bob Woodward in ‘Bush at War’. Just something about the phrasing. My other guess as to the secondary ‘high sources’ is Tenet. But don’t quote me.

        • Rayne says:

          So which of the likely suspects has a bone to pick with Condi?

          Because they sure stuck the shiv in her.

          Are they literally daring a foreign country to snag her the next time she travels overseas?

          The rest of the principals aren’t as likely a rendition for war crimes as they’ll probably have more security (ex. DeadEye) or stay at home (ex. Rummy).

          We have “a select group of senior officials or their deputies”, of which the principals were “Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft”. So who were the deputies?

          Any of them got an axe to grind with Condi?

          And are any of the likely suspects tight with McCain; could they have been asked to stick the shiv in her to keep her at arm’s length from McCain’s Veep shortlist?

          • sailmaker says:

            Tenet wanted legal opinions to keep his agents out of trouble. Tenet was the fall guy for the Iraq ‘intelligence’. I don’t think Tenet wants Condi’s ‘mistakes were made’ written on his tombstone. I’d say he has motive to stick his shiv into her.

      • kspena says:

        The ABC story is really interesting for who’s talking. There’s high level CIA and white house insider sourcing. The white house part is most intriguing. It seems to be somebody with easy access, apparently with a conscience (which might have been activated by removing himself from the white house), a sense of history, is in a position to know, and at this point doesn’t seek to protect any of the principles. Andy Card comes to mind and/or perhaps someone in the NSC. Would the white house counsels office have such ready access? Just wondering out loud…

  40. JohnLopresti says:

    If KR had kept the Republican $ instead of underwriting Lieberman’s campaign to interfere with Lamont’s bandwagon, Lieberman would have completed the campaign slushfundless, and kept out of the auditing difficulties now on his horizon.

  41. Xenos says:

    So which of the likely suspects has a bone to pick with Condi?

    I am sure Condi has diplomatic immunity as long as she is Sec. of State. But upon an indictment being issued, a country such as France might refuse her entry, and other EC countries may have to follow suit. Would make for an interesting diplomatic row in the waning days of the administration.

    • Rayne says:

      If we don’t recognize the Geneva Conventions and have unsigned/reneged/trashed treaties, why would other countries feel obligated to recognize diplomatic immunity for a criminal?

      Might be awfully hard to resist rendering a criminal if the disclosures get detailed and very messy.

  42. JohnLopresti says:

    Knowing little of Horton [email protected], other than his regular brilliance, beset by the usual diversity of drawbacks of what swopa aptly characterized during the Libby trial bloghouse posting two winters ago as ‘open source reporting’ online in his various venues, it seems to me professor Horton’s production might improve from his altering the pace of the obligate continuum at Harpers and looking into more topics like this international journey he posted at JB’s site in the atmosphere in academia three weeks after the Hamdan decision from the supreme court, as if recovering the threads of a longterm translation project.

  43. orionATL says:

    friar will,

    me too.

    i went there this morning for my daily meditation on politics, corrupt lawyers, poetry, and art,

    and there was naught but a little note saying “bye”.

    damn, damn, damn,

    the best damned webblog the worldwideweb has ever seen


    oh, well, maybe harpers will publish a boxed edition.

  44. Hestia says:

    Connecticut has no mechanism to recall it’s politicians so Lieberman will sit in his Senate seat and enrich himself by stealing the taxpayers money and doing nothing except promote his warmongering and war profiteering friends until 2013.

    He is doing that right now by pushing for John McCain who,as President,will make things very easy for his money gathering activity.

    And if you think that John McCain cannot become President,then you haven’t been paying attention to election fraud being utilized by evoting machines.

    I have a feeling that there are going to be a lot of shocked an unhappy Democrats in November when McCain is declared President.

    They will not know what hit them.

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