In Minneapolis, Vegan = Terrorist

How does one equate vegan potlucks with this restriction on permissible terrorist investigations?

Mere speculation that force or violence might occur during the course of an otherwise peaceable demonstration is not sufficient grounds for initiation of an investigation under this Subpart, but where facts or circumstances reasonably indicate that a group or enterprise has engaged or aims to engage in activities involving force or violence or other criminal conduct described in paragraph (1)(a) in a demonstration, an investigation may be initiated in conformity with the standards of that paragraph. [my emphasis]

I ask because apparently, Minneapolis’ Joint Terrorist Task Force is recruiting people to infiltrate vegan potlucks to look for potential–what?–tahini enthusiasts?–in advance of the RNC convention this fall.

Paul Carroll was riding his bike when his cell phone vibrated.

[snip]

When Carroll called back, Swanson asked him to meet at a coffee shop later that day, going on to assure a wary Carroll that he wasn’t in trouble.

Carroll, who requested that his real name not be used, showed up early and waited anxiously for Swanson’s arrival. Ten minutes later, he says, a casually dressed Swanson showed up, flanked by a woman whom he introduced as FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola. For the next 20 minutes, Mazzola would do most of the talking.

“She told me that I had the perfect ‘look,’” recalls Carroll. “And that I had the perfect personality—they kept saying I was friendly and personable—for what they were looking for.”

What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”

Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered. [my emphasis]

Now, maybe the vegans we’ve got here in Michigan are dramatically different from those infesting Minnesota. But where I’m from, vegans tend to be fairly peaceful people. If they’re unwilling to steal a bee’s honey, I figure, they’re going to be unwilling to use force to make their point. So I’m really curious how this operation got beyond the "mere speculation that force or violence might occur" that the US Attorney’s own guidelines demands. And if you’re really intent on infiltrating groups of vegans in anticipation of a bunch of violence-loving Republicans coming to town, why use the JTTF? Last I heard, we were so threatened by terrorists that we had to give up all our phone data to AT&T. But now we’ve got time to infiltrate vegans.

I can only think of one explanation for this. Somehow, Rachel Paulose escaped the cubbyhole they’ve assigned her to in DC and returned to Minneapolis to continue doing absurd things with Minnesota’s federal law enforcement efforts.

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95 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    I’m guessing that the Federales and their Pawlenty policing pals (you betcha!) are spending far more time now through the first week in September perusing through their warrantless surveillance gatherings of us simple folks here in the Twin Cities.

    And I’m guessing there will be some bright soul (or a many dozen) here who have or will construct a Snipe Hunt for the fools to follow.

    Yes, we are simple, but we ain’t stoopid!

  2. emptywheel says:

    Didn’t know you were in the Twin Cities, MadDog. I’ll be there on June 6-8 for the Media Reform Conference. Are you going to be around?

    • MadDog says:

      Dagnabbit, wouldn’t you know! I’m heading out of town just as you’re showing up.

      It is of course, fishing season here in Minnesota, and you aren’t allowed to continue to reside in the state unless you fish.

      So I’ll be up near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (actually a lake in the Superior National Forest, but it’s close enough) that weekend for some walleye/northern pike fishing on a secret lake that no one else knows about (Hah!).

      We’re heading up early Friday morning and back late Sunday evening. And since we’ll be living out of tents, there ain’t gonna be no toobz even.

  3. TobyWollin says:

    EW – for me, the operative phrase here is that Carroll would not get paid unless there was an arrest – this sounds exactly like the whole system used that we discussed the other night about criminal ’snitches’.

  4. WilliamOckham says:

    Vegans, really? Is that the best they can do? Surely there must be some Quakers to harass. MadDog can probably convince them to worry about Amiga owners. Bet there are some still around in MN

    • bobschacht says:

      Vegans, really? Is that the best they can do? Surely there must be some Quakers to harass. MadDog can probably convince them to worry about Amiga owners. Bet there are some still around in MN

      Everyone knows vegans must be Communists. I mean, how unAmerican can you get? Where’s the beef?

      Oh, what’s that? We’re not threatened by Communists anymore? Well, then I suppose those Vegans must be Terrahists, y’know, tree-huggers and like that. It all sounds suspicious to me.

      (/snark)

      Bob in HI

    • MadDog says:

      This is all probably due to those Spam folks. Hormel owns southern Minnesota (the Jolly Green Giant disputes that, but we know better).

      Spam folks have no truck with Vegans. Jellied pig parts are good for you, doncha know?

      And yes, they are the ones who still have Amigas. Just don’t let their wives know, okay?

      • bobschacht says:

        “Spam folks have no truck with Vegans. Jellied pig parts are good for you, doncha know?”

        Thousands of Hawaiians can’t be wrong now, can they? Any breakfast or lunch restaurant here in Hawaii that doesn’t have spam somewhere on the menu must be nothing more than a tourist trap.

        Bob in HI

        • CTuttle says:

          Heh, ain’t that the truth! Our local Dairy Queen here in Hilo had to give up their franchise license because of spam and rice…!

  5. JohnForde says:

    MadDog. I didn’t know you are in my home state. Email me sometime? All the email addresses at mentalengineering ( dot) com come to me.

  6. Mary says:

    Good to see there was no financial incentive to lie or set people up or act as provocateur. You know, I don’t think Vegans would even be allowed to throw eggs.

    OT – Bassam Youssef continues to plug away as a whistleblower with FBI.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/…..038;page=1

    One who, oddly enough, seems to think we’d be better off with good translators and a counterterrorism policy that attracts non-criminals than harassing librarians (or vegans).

    In the FBI section dedicated to tracking international terrorists like al Qaeda, close to four out of every 10 supervisory positions are vacant, according to prepared testimony from Bassem Youssef, unit chief for the bureau’s Communications Analysis Unit.

    FBI managers “rely exclusively on translation services” to understand communications from Middle Eastern terrorist operations, and FBI personnel “continue to make major mistakes” because they lack expertise in Arabic, he said.

    Must be where McCain gets his briefings on al Qaeda in Iraq and Iran.

    BTW – I’m puzzled over the allegations that Foggo pressured the Agency to hire his mistress as an in house lawyer.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/…..038;page=1

    I thought willing prostitute was part of the job description for lawyers in the Bush Executive. ?

  7. MadDog says:

    OT – Whistle while you don’t work.

    For anyone interested, the House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing today on – The FBI Whistleblowers.

    The video is here (Real Player required).

    PDFs of the witness testimony are:

    The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
    U.S. Senate

    Panel II:

    Mike German (formerly of the FBI and a Whistleblower)
    Policy Counsel
    American Civil Liberties Union

    Bassem Youssef (Written testimony submitted by his counsel Stephen M. Kohn)
    Unit Chief
    Communications Analyst Division
    Counterterrorism Division
    Federal Bureau of Investigation

  8. WilliamOckham says:

    Vegans, really? Is that the best they can do? Don’t they have any Quakers to harass? I bet MadDog could convince them that they need infiltrate the local Amiga users group. I hear those folks are really dangerous.

  9. WilliamOckham says:

    Sorry for the double post, I was on my PDA earlier and it claimed my post didn’t go through…

  10. bmaz says:

    What about all the stall toe tappers? What are they gonna do about them? By the way, just received an invite to go to this:

    BUSH AND MCCAIN
    TOGETHER IN PHOENIX
    Tuesday, May 27th

    Join Thousands At The Downtown Convention Center
    End The Occupation Of Iraq
    No Attack On Iran
    SUPPORT THE TROOPS – BRING THEM HOME- TAKE CARE OF THEM!

    4:00 – 4:30 PM – Tuesday, May 27
    Rally at César Chávez Memorial Plaza
    Washington Street at Second Avenue (in front of Phoenix City Hall)

    I don’t know whether to go and be worried about infiltrating Fed snitches or try to rip off the Feds for a little coin to be an infiltrator…

    • MadDog says:

      What about all the stall toe tappers? What are they gonna do about them?

      We’re planning on turning the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport into a Repug shrine for the Convention.

      Gonna charge ‘em mucho bucks for washing their hands in the final resting place of the Wide Stance.

      And for an extra $100, they’ll get put on The Craiglist. Rapture don’t come cheap.

      • bmaz says:

        Excellent! Remember, these Goops have lined their pockets fully on our dime; don’t be shy about charging high prices.

        As to he of the Au Ingots, he and his client are full of hooey. Did they indicate that they therefore were not even going to appear again? If they have truly announced this, why in the world doesn’t the Committee have the preparations in place to hold him in inherent contempt on the spot? Since they have already supplied the grounds for the contempt, why not notice up a contempt hearing at the same time as the subpoened appearance. Can still be obviated if Rover appears and testifies, but is done and over with if he doesn’t. This is stupid to put up with; get some cojones Congress. The beauty of it is that the Bushies flat out told them to do just that when they argued to the court that such was the remedy; take them up on that position. NOW.

  11. ncopernicus says:

    As much as all this nonsense grates on my sensibilities about civil rights,
    the pragmatic, if not also other-awareness-raising, aspect about it is
    that humans will always be innately curious about “how the other half lives.”

    With that axiom in place, and the means of technology available, it makes some
    sort sense that those who seem to require technology to ‘gain insight’ into human beings
    would latch on to those who usually don’t. In this MN situ, it’s not so much about what’s
    on the plate, but it is about what’s on the inside.

    On the one hand, it seems like an unfair advantage that those who are so ‘tasked’ as such
    hoover up every scraplet of human expression. Yet as much as they may try to criminalize,
    ‘pathologize’, or even characterize as foreign, that which they ‘observe,’
    it’s becoming more obvious that they want what some other people seem to come by naturally.
    The simple dismissal of the effect that observation has on what is observed is
    (further) evidence of how oblivious they are sometimes.
    It also suggests that while the empathic sort may ‘get’ them, it is doubtful that they
    will ever ‘get’ what comprises empaths’ experiences. Maybe it’s just one of nature’s
    asymmetries — which has not been resolved — yet.

  12. Mary says:

    MadD – thanks for the link. Always better to get the real thing than the press write up.

    Someone needs to tell the FBI that they are talking about DEMS forgoshsakes. What do they think will happen? A strongly worded letter might get mailed?

  13. selise says:

    I can only think of one explanation for this. Somehow, Rachel Paulose escaped the cubbyhole they’ve assigned her to in DC and returned to Minneapolis to continue doing absurd things with Minnesota’s federal law enforcement efforts.

    sadly, it’s not just minneapolis – its all over the country. look at what happened at the 2004 rnc – almost 2000 people locked up.

    might want to think about making a donation to the minnesota nlg to help with their preparations. the nyc nlg did an awesome job in 2004 (disclaimer – i volunteered with them as legal observer for the 2004 rnc)

  14. Peterr says:

    Last October, Bob Harris did an FDL Book Salon visit to talk about his book Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide.

    Jane noted that she “particularly liked” this passage from the book:

    Tossing complex, violent agendas into giant bin called terrorism is both lazy and dangerous. Instead, let’s force ourselves to use specifics: “national rebels” or “drug-financed paramilitary death squads” or “sex-crazed vegetarian pacifists.” Speaking of which, not enough sex-crazed vegetarian pacifists are invading people. I checked.

    Sounds to me like the Joint Terrorism Task Force thinks that the sex-crazed vegetarian pacifists have just been lulling us into a false sense of security before they strike.

  15. CTuttle says:

    EW, Dan Abrams was just reporting that ‘Gold Bars’ Luskin has responded to the HJC’s subpoena of Rove stating that Rove is asserting Executive Privilege…

      • CTuttle says:

        The irony is that, Rove has publicly asserted the fact he had no discussions with the WH about it… So, where’s the EP justification…?

        • Peterr says:

          “I can blather to the press all I want — it might be true, it might not be true — that’s just politics. But if I get put under oath, then I have to tell the truth, and we can’t have that now, can we? It’s the privilege of the executive to tell the courts to stuff it. Right?”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s Bush’s privilege to assert, of course, and only in connection with specific questions. Harry Reidless doesn’t seem to have the gumption to do anything about it except sing “swing vote” Lieberman’s praises, as if he were an asset rather than a festering thorn in the side of the Democratic Party.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Thsu proving that the MSM does indeed emit some kind of gas that fills up the cranial cavities of those who hang around it enough. The Rove of old never would have let such a ridiculous fandance go on so long.

  16. DefendOurConstitution says:

    Republicans: “Are you kidding? Do we want to allow these tofu and bean eating people to endanger out Country?”

    Translation: attacking blacks, gays, immigrants, muslims, soldiers, et. may not be enough this election year – we have to go after these farting hippies or else they will destry our way of life (i.e. Republicans and their lobbyists running Government).

  17. yonodeler says:

    Garrison Keillor, who has a huge audience, needs to learn the news of the attempted infiltration of Minnesota vegetarians, if he hasn’t already.

    I’m trying to follow that particular law enforcement line of thinking, which isn’t easy. Are vegetarians being conflated with ecoterrorists and obstructive, messy anti-fur organizations?

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This part intrigued me:

    Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered.

    No salary or expenses, commissions only, like selling aluminum siding or used cars. Payola only if you give us enough dirt to arrest someone. Convictions not necessary, only “probable causiness”. This isn’t legitimate law enforcement activity. It’s oppo research. Actually, I suspect they’re more interested in the list of names who would sign on to this excrement than anything they might dig up. Paying for prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq is what brought us the no-value prisoners who are still enjoying our hospitality at Hotel Gitmo.

    As for the convention itself, I can’t wait for the litany of First Amendment violations, the Armani-suited faux rioters brought in from Florida, the “Free Speech Zones” in Wisconsin, the quonset hut jails and the full port-a-potties. Democracy in Bush’s America: Love it or Leave It. Right.

        • Hmmm says:

          According to the article — and once again, Counselor, may I preemptively remind you I merely convey the info, I have no direct knowledge and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy — FBI JTTF.

  19. skdadl says:

    I hear that tahini is a gateway condiment likely to lead to falafels (or worse), and we know what the FBI thinks of falafels.

    Last summer at the Montebello summit, the Quebec provincial police (Sûreté) were forced to admit that they had planted three pretty raw agents provocateurs among a group of peaceful protestors. They tried to deny it for several days, but the incident was YouTubed and seemed especially egregious (sorry, egregious) since the protestors involved were a fairly distinguished group of people who would not believably be picking up rocks in the face of police lines, as the provocateurs were. The YouTube is sort of fun to watch because you can see the police decide at one point to save their own guys by pulling them behind the lines in a pretend-arrest.

  20. MadDog says:

    OT – Still reading that DOJ OIG Report concerning the FBI and Detainee Torture Interrogations, and came across this footnote on page 53 (footnote 38):

    As detailed in subsequent chapters, some of the interrogation techniques that caused the most concern to the FBI were used by the CIA, not the military. However, as stated in Chapter One, our review generally did not cover activities at the facilities used by the CIA. Moveover, the vast majority of FBI agent observations discussed in this report relate to DOD interrogations.

    (My Bold)

    This brings to mind a question which is, what does the FBI (and DOJ OIG) know about CIA interrogations that gives them cause for “concern”?

    One might think that is a simple question with a simple answer. They just “heard” about this stuff or just “read” about it in the press. Bear with me.

    What I’m reading between the lines here is that the DOJ OIG (and presumably the FBI) are saying, is that they friggin’ know that laws were deliberately broken by orders from on high.

    Not just that they heard about it or read about it in news reports, but that the DOJ and FBI friggin’ know it!

    As in, they are aware of real, concrete and indisputable evidence that US laws were broken. That international laws such as the Geneva Convention against Torture, War Crimes, etc. have been broken.

    Now in a normal, sane world, one might presume that the chief law enforcement agencies of the United States (the DOJ and the FBI) would let nothing stand in their way of enforcement, and prosecution, of said laws.

    • MadDog says:

      Oh, and on page 55, there’s this:

      However, the Bush Administration has taken the position that the Convention Against Torture does not apply to alien detainees held outside of the United States.

      Let me see now. This is the Department of Justice’s Inspector General saying that the Bush Administration’s position is that they believe they can legally torture folks as long as it is overseas.

      I wonder if the White House vetted that particular statement.

      If it was Cheney, I could understand it. Such as, “So?”

      • masaccio says:

        Mad Dog, looks like we are about even. Here are a couple of things I posted on another thread.

        From the OIG report, p. 30: “The collection of intelligence at GTMO is pursued primarily through detainee interrogations, but also through [4-8 words redacted]”.

        Most of the redactions so far seem to relate to locations of CIA site. A couple relate to specific decision-making tactics of the FBI. I’m not getting this one.

        And this one, which struck me as out of place. From the OIG report, p. 39.

        The Abu Ghraib prison was selected by the Coalition Provisional Authority as the primary civilian detention facility in Iraq, despite its Saddam-era history and poor condition, when the CJTF-7 commander concluded there were no other suitable facilities available.

        • kspena says:

          massaccio, I’m not going through the report, but I’ve read in several places that the main source of intell information is from captured laptops. Does that fit the redaction?

        • MadDog says:

          From the OIG report, p. 30: “The collection of intelligence at GTMO is pursued primarily through detainee interrogations, but also through [4-8 words redacted]”.

          I saw that too and was curious about that “redacted part”.

          My thoughts were that they were referring to folks who went undercover as “detainees” themselves in order to infiltrate the real detainees or detainees that had turned informer, and gather intel that way.

          Twould make sense, but might be only my imagination. *g*

          And obtw, much of the DOJ OIG Report redacted the “other sites” where folks were imprisoned in Iraq.

          What is strange about that is the fact that the The “Taguba Report On Treatment Of Abu Ghraib Prisoners In Iraq” which was done by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, and classified “Secret/No Foreign Dissemination” (and still is), is actually available at Findlaw here, and it provides the names and locations of all those “other sites” that are redacted in the DOJ OIG Report.

          • Hmmm says:

            I would think that wall-to-wall bugging of the detainees’ cells and exercise yards (if any) must be/have been done as a matter of course. Surely that would fit?

          • masaccio says:

            I don’t understand about the site redactions either. Some of them seem likely to be in other countries than Iraq, Afghanistan and GTMO. They also redact the location of Camp Ashraf, which is described in detail here.

      • masaccio says:

        This is from the Yoo torture memo of 2003:

        We conclude below that the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause is inapplicable to the conduct of interrogations of alien enemy combatants held outside the United States for two independent reasons. First, the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause does not apply to the President’s conduct of a war. Second, even if the Fifth Amendment applied to the conduct of war, the Fifth Amendment does not apply extraterritorially to aliens who have no connection to the United States. We address each of these reasons in turn.

        This is too:

        So, for example, a federal, non-military officer who is conducting interrogations in a foreign location, one that is not on a permanent U.S. military base or diplomatic establishment, would not be subject to the federal criminal laws applicable in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

        P. 21

        And this:

        Section 2340A of Title 18 makes it a criminal offense for any person “outside the United States [to] commit[] or attempt[] to commit torture.” The statute defines ”the United States” as “all areas under the jurisdiction of the United States including any of the places described in” 18 U.S.C. § 5, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 7. 18 U.S.C. § 2340(3). Therefore, to the extent that interrogations take place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, such as at a U.S. military base in a foreign state, the interrogations are not subject to sections 2340-2340A. If, however, the interrogations take place outside the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and are otherwise outside the United States, the tortUre statute applies. Thus, for example, interrogations conducted at GTMO would not be subject to this prohibition, but interrogations conducted at a non-U.S. base in Afghanistan would be subject to section 2340A.

        pp 35-6, fn omitted.

    • MadDog says:

      And still, our ever-obsequious MSM just can’t bring themselves to call a spade, a spade.

      Two major policy splits are highlighted in the report’s account of the long to-and-fro over the tactics. One reflected a clash of cultures between the experienced interrogators at the FBI who were looking to prosecute terrorism crimes, and military and CIA officials who were seeking rapid information about al-Qaeda and were willing to push legal boundaries to do it.

      Wake the fook up MSM! These are not stretchable “boundaries”, these are broken fookin’ laws!

      • masaccio says:

        The WaPo must have read some other report. The OIG report is clear that the point of the FBI work was to gain counter-terrorism information. This is from page 36:

        The FBI’s primary objective in Iraq was collection and analysis of information to help protect against terrorist threats in the United States and protect U.S. personnel or interests overseas, rather than waiting for the military and other agencies to pass on such information to the FBI. The FBI was particularly concerned about terrorist sleeper cells within the United States, and believed that information from Iraq could be relevant to uncovering those cells.

      • bmaz says:

        Another, softer split occurred within the Justice Department itself. On one side was its Office of Legal Counsel, where attorney John C. Yoo — acting in direct consultation with Vice President Cheney’s then-counsel David S. Addington — wrote a series of memos that gave legal backing to harsh interrogation techniques . . .

        • MadDog says:

          I keep thinking of it now as the Department of Injustice.

          And with that, I’m off to count some sheep. May none of them resemble Yoo, Addington, or heaven forbid, Cheney. Aieeeeee!

  21. sailmaker says:

    Back in the CoIntelPro days the CIA through 3rd party brokers (the CIA was supposed to be foreign only at that time) would promise to erase one’s arrest record or some other form of ‘compensation’ if one infiltrated a target organization and produced ‘good’ info. Naturally this lead to the passage of some very spurious information. I was a witness in such a case.

    I am saddened but not surprised to see the FBI following the CIA’s footprints into criminality. Notice that they want arrests, and are not paying for convictions. Somebody wants to make a show of ‘law enforcement’. I guess there will have to be massive discoveries of abuse before this type of malfeasant action goes into hiding again. We had about 1700 cases rolled into CoIntelPro, and those were only the ones that were particularly strong, the tip of the iceberg. This administration is so retro – illegal wiretapping, agent provocateurs, spies, propaganda, lies of all sorts – seems like old home week, except that there are no anti war or race riots. Maybe the ‘Publicans have actually succeeded beyond their fondest dreams – no uprisings in the face of massive civil rights abuse. I’ll bet that they are thinking that this ’sacrifice your rights for security’ actually is working.

    • Nell says:

      I am saddened but not surprised to see the FBI following the CIA’s footprints into criminality.

      Huh? COINTELPRO was an FBI operation; the bureau has been criminal in this way for decades (or “was criminal” if you believe they stopped at some point; they didn’t). The CIA activities you mention were parallel, but in no way the inspiration for the FBI’s own adventures in provocateurship.

  22. bmaz says:

    The government’s response to the first and most serious flare-up — in which an FBI agent complained in 2002 that the CIA’s treatment of al-Qaeda commander Abu Zubaida at a secret detention site was “borderline torture” — was complicated, the report said.

    One agent at the site, called “Thomas” in the report, objected strongly to the tactics and was ordered by D’Amuro to depart immediately.
    ….
    D’Amuro told the investigators that he protested the tactics at a meeting with Mueller at the time, an account confirmed by his colleagues. D’Amuro stated that such aggressive interrogation techniques would not be effective, that they would impede the ability of FBI agents to appear as witnesses at trials, and that the tactics would blacken the country’s reputation by helping al-Qaeda spread negative views.

    D’Amuro recognized that the bureau would have a “taint problem” if the FBI did the interviews after the CIA had used its aggressive approaches, the report said. Mueller subsequently decided that the FBI agents would not go back to the sessions.

    Gee, what was that bit about “no possible evidentiary value of the destroyed Abu Zubaida torture tape”???? The wheels are flying off of this torture train; but who is going to do anything about it? The DOJ; oops, they are riding in the Pullman car of said train? Congress? Some are in the caboose, some have perfect views of the tracks and are clearly trainspotters; appears they are all on board now. Who’s watching the watchers? Who will stand up for America here besides us?

      • bmaz says:

        The same passengers we have always known and suspected; and we know exactly who the conductors are too. Most of what has been done is still more elusive as far as proving criminal conduct than you (or at least most people) think though; however, that is not the case with the destruction of the torture tapes. The elements of that are just about crystal clear now. The only thing lacking is the prosecuting agency and gumption to get on with it.

        • JThomason says:

          Gotta forgive me. Waxing poetic and all you reminded me of the greatest spiritual I ever heard sent forth in high fidelity on a high watt short-lived spiritual station out of West Memphis, Arkansas in December of 1987. “Man got on that train and nine months later got off at the station in Bethlehem.”

          I hope you are right about the vulnerability of the administration. Yoo’s work doesn’t even rise to the level of cheap sophistry. It is disgusting.

          • bmaz says:

            Oh, I agree, but that is why I draw the distinction between all that stuff and the isolated act of the torture tape destruction. On that one, due to the nature of the act, the clear prohibition of destruction of evidence (classifying it up the ying yang is one thing; but destroying it is quite another, you just can’t legitimately do that) and the way they have furiously boxed themselves into a corner since the story went public – all really place that case on a far better plane for prosecution. There are statute issues though, time is a wasting…..

            • JThomason says:

              Do I remember correctly that a special prosecutor has been charged to investigate the destruction of the torture tapes?

              • bmaz says:

                Yep, John Durham. But, he is neither special, outside, nor independent. He is not even anywhere near as “Chinese walled” off from DOJ and the executive branch as was Pat Fitzgerald. This is problematic, in every way imaginable, under these circumstances. At this point, the fact that nothing has broken loose is almost proof of the conflict. This is just pitiful.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      The wheels are flying off of this torture train; but who is going to do anything about it?

      If FBI agents walked out of the ‘interrogations’, then that’s pretty much all we need to know.
      One can now better understand why DoJ morale is in the toilet.

      And FWIW, given how easily the Saudi’s blew off Cheney and Bush’s pleas for lower oil prices certainly suggests the Saudis have copies of the torture tapes. Checkmate.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, and remember, the CIA itself concluded the methods violated the COnvention Against Torture in May 2004, the same month they were briefing the White House on destroying the tape.

      • bmaz says:

        Exactly. That is precisely my point on the tapes; of all the different criminal aspects or the torture regime, and there are so many, this one is by far and away the cleanest to present and most locked in and down on the elements necessary for culpability

  23. PetePierce says:

    While I do especially love home made vegetable suit with meat in it, I don’t understand why dangerous vegans haven’t become a show case issue as to who can huff and puff and shore up defense when sookooreetee! is going to be a big issue for the Rovesters very deep into McCain’s agenda.

    It almost sounds like an old SNL Emily Litella faux pas.

    Semi-related on the 4th Amendment front–one of the many Meuller Greatest Hits Collection has reared its head in the form of FBI placed GPS devices under cars. This isn’t new–it’s just become more prolific.

    Lawyer challenges governments use of GPS tracking device

    This purported mob case has a bit of a novel twist because the defense attorney has just been recommended by Ct. Gov. Jodi Rell for US Attorney for Conneticut:

    It’s a “novel issue implicating questions about how the reality of GPS technology impacts traditional notions of Fourth Amendment protection,” attorney Ross Garber wrote in a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Bree Burns to throw out any evidence obtained by the GPS device.

    • PetePierce says:

      Suits with meat in them are better than suits with no meat in them but I meant soup; long day.

  24. freepatriot says:

    I don’t trust ANY of you Canada touchers

    Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine

    you’re ALL suspect

    and both of you Dakotas too

    and vegans ???

    well, who can trust a person who don’t eat hamburgers ???

    and what the hell IS a veggie burrito anyway ???

  25. kspena says:

    This video of bush being interviewed by Richard Engle is instructive on how scrambled the thinking can be of a man on the run. Listen to him breathe…..weird…

  26. SunnyNobility says:

    Doesn’t one become an accomplice by soliciting and offering contingency fees to agents provocateur?

    This isn’t comparable to compensation “to be determined” based on value of information obtained – it’s something else entirely. Even if conviction was the standard, it’s the incentive aspect that’s wrong.

  27. MarieRoget says:

    If I was forming a plan to infiltrate potential RNC protest groups, think I might be worrying a little more about Ron Paul’s supporters than the tofu & sprouts crowd…

    • skdadl says:

      Loo Hoo, do you mean this sentence from the WaPo article?

      At one point, FBI agents went so far as to collect allegations of abuse in what they labeled a “war crimes file,” the inspector general’s report said, but the file was closed without action shortly afterward.

      I wondered about that too. What does “closed” mean? They can’t have destroyed it …

  28. 4jkb4ia says:

    Oh. We were impressed by all the nice fish on Maui, but I suppose all the restaurants were tourist traps, being near the beach and all.

  29. JohnLopresti says:

    The post theme is interesting in several respects, and the parallel topics regarding the OIG report equally important. In the latter regard Jameel Jaffer has a helpful reading of the OIG report at ACS today, there. I defer a reply to those with reputations for constitutional law expertise; I think Jaffer has found the obvious seams in the glosses in the OIG report and dangles them tantalizingly for all to see once again how politics might tend to corrupt even Mark Felt, but may not in this instance. On the “vegan” theme, in some ways it relates to my work in healthsciences recently, and occasionally some obscure reference in literature with which I work on my dayjob, actually it is a swingshift position in the evenings, has occasioned a visit to a vegan website. There tend to be some good people interested in vegetarianism, but I can imagine the thought police calling a psychologist expert witness to proclaim vegans are known to have “ideas of reference”. Times have changed since macrobiotics’ leading champion perished in Japan several decades past, perhaps from malnutrition, yet, some similar ideals seem to be part of modern lifestyle developments: consider this linkpage from a cookbook writer of thirty years ago. Frances Moore Lappe manages to go beyond motive, to actually working with people for betterment. I think it is fair to expect the local gendarmes and feds to scrutinize for marginal people before a political powwow, so the bagel outfits with intellectual caffeine based chatter likely will endure as much infiltration and surveillance as the meatless, eggless, and fishless. One of the benefits of politics over the past thirty years may have been raising interchanges to a more equitable level, though Republicans have a difficult time with that because of their economic priorities which usually marginalize more people than the Democratic party does.

  30. DefendOurConstitution says:

    Congress should act immediately and ban Tofu as this is a threat that could destroy our Country!

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