Did Condi Speak with Bush about Rove’s So-Called Innocence? Or about the NIE?

I wanted to add one detail to my earlier post about Waxman asking for more materials from Mukasey. They imply that Condi had a conversation with Bush or Cheney about Rove and/or Libby’s so-called innocence.

Waxman’s letter asks for the following:

I am writing now to renew the Committee’s request for the interview reports with President Bush and Vice President Cheney and to request unredacted versions of the interviews with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, and Cathie Martin. I also request that the Department provide all other responsive documents that were approved for release to the Committee by Mr. Fitzgerald.


I therefore urge you to follow Justice Department precedents and provide the records of the FBI interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney to the Committee by June 10. I also ask that you provide to the Committee, at the same time, the unredacted interviews with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, and Cathie Martin, as well as the other responsive records requested by the Committee.

In other words, his letter written specifically in response to Scottie McC’s revelations asks for unredacted copies of Scottie’s interview, but also Rove’s, Libby’s, Condi’s, and Cathie Martin’s interviews. Mind you, Waxman has seen redacted copies of these, but Scottie’s revelations lead him to demand unredacted interview reports.

Waxman tells us what is redacted in Scottie’s interview report.

In his FBI interview, Mr. McClellan told the FBI about discussions he had with the President and the Vice President. These passages, however, were redacted from the copies made available to the Committee.

And he implies that that’s what was redacted from the other interviews, as well.

Similar passages were also redacted from other interviews.

There are no sound reasons for you to withhold the interviews with the President and the Vice President from the Committee or to redact passages like Mr. McClellan’s discussions with the President and the Vice President.

From which we might conclude that those redacted passages in the Rove, Libby, Cathie Martin, and Condi interview reports are, at the very least, about conversations with Bush or Cheney, and possibly, discussions specifically about the exoneration of Rove and Libby.

We know Rove could have testified about this–Scottie McC’s book tells us that Rove told Bush directly that he was "innocent." Similarly, we know that Libby had such conversations with Cheney–in fact, passages describing those conversations appear, totally unredacted, in the grand jury testimony.

I’m not surprised that Cathie Martin had a conversation with (probably) Cheney about the leak. After all, the one email that had been destroyed and was subsequently turned over to prosecutors shows Martin and Jenny Mayfield closely watching for Scottie’s exoneration of Libby. So we know that Mayfield and Martin were following that exoneration.

But Condi? We know almost nothing about Condi’s testimony.

Now I’m just guessing from the context that that testimony might pertain to a conversation between Rice and Bush about which of Bush’s top aides had claimed to be innocent of the leak. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bush went out of his way to tell Condi that Rove didn’t leak Plame’s name?

Though there is one more possibility.

In one of the pages of Libby’s notes, he records Stephen Hadley passing on Condi’s assurances that the President is comfortable.


The notation appears in a meeting in which Libby, Cheney, and Hadley were discussing their response to Joe Wilson. The meeting included discussions of "Wilson" being declassified, and the NIE not yet being declassified.

And then there’s that "CP" in the margin. Which Libby has been known to use as shorthand for Colin Powell. As well as shorthand for Counterproliferation Department, the part of the CIA in which Plame worked.

We know, from this note, that Condi had a conversation with Bush contemporaneously (well, before the Novak column, though not before the bulk of the leaking). That conversation pertained to precisely those documents that Bush authorized to be leak–or at least the NIE (though remember–supposedly Bush and Cheney and Libby kept their NIE leaking secret from everyone else in the Administration).

You think maybe Waxman wants to know what the content of that conversation between Rice and Bush was, right in the middle of leak week?

132 replies
    • perris says:

      see none of them run, they have executive priviledge, they are not inclined to provide ANYTHING that does not exonerate them and whether it has merrit or not, they WILL site executive priviledge


      so long as congress refuses to enforce their power they have none

      they need to jail rove, jail meyers, jail libby, and jail WHOEVER refuses to honor subpeona


      • Bushie says:

        Jailing for contempt isn’t going to happen either. See EW’s prior posting including discussions on inherent contempt. To bad these crooks/traitors will not face consequences in the USofA.

          • Bushie says:

            If only. With Pelosi or any likely successor the most that will happen is a “reconciliation” or a Congressional circle jerk while singing gumbuya. In my expert opinion it’ll be the circle jerk.

  1. rdwdkw says:

    Marci, do you think all of ‘em are going to need a pardon before king George leaves?

  2. darclay says:

    EW does this bring into account Plame’s team investigating the sale of arms or that just supposition at this point?

    • emptywheel says:

      Not sure what you’re asking.

      We know that one of the reasons Cheney was after CIA (and possible Valerie) is because Pincus had reported CIA people saying DIck and Libby were twisting their arms. In Libby’s conversations with his briefer, the two events seem linked.

      So in a sense it may have been a pre-emptive attack on the people who knew the intell was bad to get ensure they’d not reveal that Dick was pushing it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I also think Cheney had longstanding disagreements with the CIA and that he viewed any entrenched, much less secret, bureaucracy as inherently hostile to his will.

        He and his close confidante, Rumsfeld, who as SecDef controlled a large majority of intelligence programs and budgets, set up an alternate intelligence [sic] bureaucracy in the Pentagon, not surprisingly, made up largely from staff without intelligence backgrounds. Cheney also early on demanded access to raw intelligence data, unfiltered – ie, unanalyzed and vetted – by intelligence professionals.

        • emptywheel says:

          Oh, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying I think Cheney thought the people in CIA (remember Valerie was in teh group that couldn’t prove there were WMD) were abotu to leak all the stuff that BushCo suppressed in the NIE and SOTU and so forth. It was sort of a cause and effect which exacerbated their touchiness and willingness to go nuclear.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I agree with your point. I see Cheney viewing it as a specific threat from a general enemy, the professional bureaucracy. He expected obstruction and reacted accordingly, ruining without hesitation an agent, her network and a model for covert ops. He imagined Bush’s (Cheney’s) re-election hanging in the balance and he was right.

      • darclay says:

        I read some where that the reason plame was outed was they had tracked arms sales to a subsidiary of chaneyburton.

        • Leen says:

          Sibel Edmonds has made some of these claims

          another article about these claims
          [P]lame and other employees of Brewster & Jennings, the CIA’s fake energy consulting firm, used to visit the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA, located in Vienna] frequently. They used to attend the meetings and undertake deliberate operations to get ‘targeted names’ on their side.

          “Plame and other ‘energy consultants’ used to continue with follow-up meetings for those persons whom they had contacted in Vienna, in Istanbul. … Plame met with foreign dignitaries who are in charge of nuclear weapons in their countries and scientists in Turkey, where she has visited several times as an ‘energy consultant.’”

  3. WilliamOckham says:

    Hadley is conspicuously absent from Waxman’s current list. I assume that means that Waxman has an unredacted copy of Hadley’s FBI interview. That would be very odd, unless Hadley never talked to Bush or Cheney about this stuff.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, we KNOW he talked to Cheney about it (this meeting note shows him and Cheney in the same room talking about leaking the NIE). Perhaps they didn’t redact any of that stuff. Though what you’ve just said suggests the Condi think MAY be a conversation abotu exonerating Rove or Libby, as the other ones appear to be.

      ANother curious absence on the list: Card’s interview. We know from McC’s book that Card witnessed the conversation where Bush told McC Rove was involvement. Card was waving his arms around trying to get Bush to shut up. Why isn’t he on this list?

  4. GeorgeSimian says:

    Who redacted those notes? The DOJ? What reason could they have to do that in the first place? There is none, except that DOJ is doing the illegal business of the White House. There’s no other possible reason, is there?

  5. Dismayed says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been keeping up. Busy busy, and looking forward to our State convention down here in Texas – I’m an Obama alt-del so it should be fun.

    Here’s what I keep thinking. We know congress isn’t going to get too agressive beofore the election. But there is a spell between the elections and the changing of the guard.

    What if the House waits until the day after the elections, then starts impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney? Could they be lining things up for such a move? Would that not throw a hell of a monkey wrench in the pardons scenario. So what do you guys think suspend and impeach in late november?

      • nolo says:

        dammit — i hope i am. too.

        this does have the potential
        to be a game of “hide the ball,
        and run out the clock
        . . .”

        the profiles i’ve read of him,
        and his prosecutions — to say
        nothing of his testimony re
        sen. domenici and rove — would
        suggest he is in the mold of fitz.

        as ever — we’ll see.


    • WilliamOckham says:

      That’s actually very interesting data. I wonder if they were just hitting the ‘feeling lucky’ button because you’re the first hit on google if you search for Matthew W. Friedrich. Of course, I put in a link to the new page just now because we want the first link to go to your new page (hint, hint).

      • nolo says:

        heh! — cute!

        i honestly didn’t realize
        that google had mine no. 1
        for that goofy search. . .

        we’ll have to see, as ever. . .

        p e a c e

  6. FormerFed says:

    This Libby note reignites my anger over how these assholes prostituted the classification system. To see this kind of classification on this kind of stuff when I know what the classification is intended to be used for just makes my blood boil. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

  7. perris says:

    you guys realize that when bush found out rove was involved, rove told bush;

    “you throw me under the bus I give up cheney and rice”

    you do realize that, right?

    • Petrocelli says:

      Perris, are you suggesting Bush wasn’t in the initial planning, with Rove, Cheney, Rice, etc. ?

      • perris says:


        I am not willing to cede that point so let me amend;

        “you throw me under the bus, you, cheney, and rice go with me”


  8. Leen says:

    Just had a conversation with two friends who are from Afghanistan and studying here in the states. One who will be returning soon, he has been working on his Masters in Communications. The other student is working on his Ph.D in communications and was unable to visit his village in Afghanistan several months ago when he was there visiting. Both said their family members are too afraid that the Taliban (who have regained a great deal of power) will target those who have been studying in the states.

    When they return they feel they will have to stay in Kabul and not return to their villages,

    Catching up with what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan since there is very little to no news about Iraq in the mainstream.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008
    Afghanistan: Civilians Caught in the Middle of US & Taliban

    Afghanistan has become the Forgotten War on the screens of corporate media. Yet the US has 33,000 troops fighting there and NATO forces amount to 60,000 there altogether. {Sorry for the wrong numbers in the first draft.)

    • bobschacht says:

      I tried to post this yesterday, but ran into the server upheaval:

      We are becoming the enemy we loathe.

      George Bush is always talking with especial contempt about the “killers” who kill “innocent civilians”– well, unfortunately, I think that the chief killer of innocent civilians is the U.S.A. Only we try to dismiss those deaths as “collateral damage”, protesting all the while that we didn’t “intend” to kill them.

      And to make matters worse, the 60 Minute segment on Sunday showed a new military weapon that can stop people in their tracks 100 yards away without killing them– why haven’t we heard about it on the battlefield yet? Because DOD won’t fully fund the testing. It seems the DOD brass don’t trust a weapon that doesn’t kill.

      We are becoming the enemy we loathe.

      Shame on us.

      Bob in HI

      • Leen says:

        Yeah and in Obama’s speech I heard repeat the Democrats and Republicans theme song “the Iraqi people have to accept responsibility for their own country”. Yeah after we have destroyed their infrastructure, and created an atmosphere of complete disorientation for so many Iraqi people (the ones still alive or not injured.

        Americans want “change” and so many others around the world want us to choose “change”. But most of all I would imagine that so many around the world want us to choose to live more simply so that they can SIMPLY LIVE!

  9. masaccio says:

    I have finally finished the OIG report. The last sections deal with specific allegations of abuse by FBI agents at the major sites. OIG says that only a couple of the allegations are justified.

    These reports have to be read in detail, because they are just loaded with Easter Eggs. Among the revelations in those tedious chapters, the Chinese were allowed to interview Uighur detainees at GTMO. Lockheed-Marietta had contract interrogators at one or more sites. Police departments sent interrogators and other personnel to various sites in Iraq, Afghanistan and GTMO. I put several other interesting things up on the Second Working thread.

    Using the searchable document provided by Selise, thanks again, I looked at all of the references to Alice Fisher. She has CRS disease. She has no recollection of any discussion of any of the “techniques” (the standard euphemism for torture). She only remembers concerns of the FBI that DoD “techniques” were ineffective. Chertoff CRS either, although he does admit he was told of some of the CIA techniques. He also thinks the major focus was on effectiveness.

    An FBI agent told the OIG that Chertoff and Fisher told the agent that CIA had an opinion about techniques. I read this example, from 112-3/438, is just one of several where the OIG is indicating that the agent is more credible than the senior-level witnesses. Of course, this is to be expected.

    Chertoff did say he didn’t think much of the “attenuation” idea. 114/438

    Chertoff says he didn’t give an advance declination on any techniques. Chertoff was asked to review a draft of the August 1, 2002 Yoo Torture Memo. He doesn’t say whether he reviewed a separate opinion issued the same date, approving the techniques used on Zubaydah, including waterboarding, and something redacted. That little egg is tucked away in footnote 73. This is from 143/438. Fisher confirms this in footnote 43. 113/438

    • bmaz says:

      Police departments sent interrogators and other personnel to various sites in Iraq, Afghanistan and GTMO.

      Which police departments, domestic or foreign, and what for. I was aware of the Chinese bit, but were we just basically running torture 7-11s, Piggly Wigglys, Circle Ks, i.e. one stop shops for anyone and everyone to drop in and extract some coerced info?

      As to the CRSrs, that is just not credible whatsoever; even less so than freaking AGAG. If I were even tangentially involved in these decisions on torturing people, and how people were to be tortured, it would imprint on me like the decision of a juror to give someone the death penalty. I would remember every detail and it would be so prevalent in my mind it would bother me and keep me awake at night.

      What kills me about these people is not just that they tortured, although there is that, but that if they truly believed what they were doing was right, that they don’t have the courage of their convictions and moral decency to stand up and behind their decisions. But, of course, they do not; because they are nothing but small minded common craven criminals.

      • Leen says:

        “But of course, they do not, because they are nothing but small minded common craven criminals” Thanks for saying it straight Bmaz! “Small minded common craven criminals” who seem to get special pleasure in torturing others.

        Makes me feel ashamed of my country.

      • masaccio says:

        NYPD officers are referenced twice. 263/438, 267/438. There is one from Phoenix. 241/438.

        The Uighur interview is at 226/438.

        • bmaz says:

          Thanks. In keeping with your work, from the WaPo, we haven’t charged al-Marri with a crime, but we have driven him insane:

          Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is obsessed with the noise variations in an industrial fan, the buzzing of fluorescent lights overhead and the preparation of his dinners. He has stuffed his air vents with food to prevent what he believes are noxious fumes from streaming into his cell, and he worries at times that his lawyers are part of a government conspiracy against him.

          The only person currently held as an “enemy combatant” on U.S. soil, Marri has been accused of being a sleeper agent for al-Qaeda, but he is not charged with any crime. After 6 1/2 years of confinement — the past five in a U.S. Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. — Marri’s lawyers argue that his isolation has degraded his mental state and that years of being held incommunicado have left him unable to help in his own defense.

          Marri’s captivity in an often-forgotten part of the U.S. military detention system, outside the established legal process at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, raises the legal question of whether the United States can hold him without trial under those conditions until the end of the “war on terror,” as the government has argued in court.

    • Rayne says:

      They leave rather large footprints and smudgy fingerprints, don’t they?

      Have some in sitemeter this past week, think they were looking at the fieger content (I’m going back to double-check).

      All of which makes one wonder if they need help…

      • nolo says:

        i am hoping that all of this
        is like a trail of breadcrumbs.

        and that they’ll follow it,
        all the way. . . home, now.

        do post yours!

        p e a c e

        • Rayne says:

          Weird. Had several visits from uscourts.gov following the Fieger case.

          Only a couple from usdoj.gov for same, seems more random given what what was visited.

          But not random from another perspective: all within the same router or switch that visited you, nolo, within the same last octet of network addresses.

      • nolo says:

        now my feelings are hurt.

        i thought they were admiring
        those graphics — i baked ‘em,
        all by myself. . . heh!

        yep — this is ALMOST, but
        not quite — popcorn-poppin’
        fun, tonight!

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Heh ;^}
          It is nice, however, that more people are buying Macs. More Mac buyers = more Mac stuff for the rest of us. I’d be more than happy to share cool software with DoJ 8^}

          Froomkin = really good; he covers the McC/OReilly interview and it’s

          Meanwhile, LA Times carries the news that Waxman wants more info on the FBI interviews EW references:

          And at Editor & Publisher, we learn that Terence Hunt, who’s covered the WH since 1981, thinks that McC’s book, ‘isn’t the kind of book we expected him to write‘.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          bmaz, there are two tidbits in McC’s book that you’d enjoy:

          1. He’s a total football fan (Longhorns, it seems) and watched Earl Campbell back in the day. (I kinda recall that name from the NFL)

          2. His grandfather wrote a note to GHWB to the effect that Dubya would be good at something, somewhere, sometime, ‘just not at UT Law School’. Does make one wonder why that didn’t tip Scott off to not work for Dubya, but the fact that the little gem shows up in his book is rather interesting.

          • bmaz says:

            I remember watching college football back in that day. Campbell and the Longhorns were great. However, a terribly sick Joe Montana ripped their hearts out and won the national championship, as only Joe Montana could do.

            • Petrocelli says:

              Ho boy … football memories deserve a thread of its own, preferably with Beer & Burgers … Campbell, Montana, Plunkett, Marcus Allen, Sweetness … when’s Marcy going in search of Beamish next ? *g*

              • Petrocelli says:

                That Warren Moon at WSU was no slacker either … had an amazing career up here, winning 5 championships in a row …

  10. nolo says:

    yeh — and remember — i had
    over 20 visits, all before
    these — and all in the last
    eight or nine days.

    my bet?

    scottie mcCee’s is lighting
    some fires, all over the DoJ.

    we’ll see, though. lord knows,
    i’ve been too optimistic, before. . .


  11. nolo says:

    finally — i did get a few from
    the SCOTUS — chambers — but, like
    yours, i think they were random.

    p e a c e

    • bmaz says:

      Law clerks are running out of things to do; got time on their hands. By this time of the session, they have done their work and the justices are doing the final opinions.

  12. MadDog says:

    And totally OT: From the Muckraked blog, there’s this:

    Bush: We’ll Be in Iraq for 40 Years…

    When NBC News correspondent Richard Engel sat down with President Bush last year for an interview, he had little idea how much Bush would reveal about his true intentions and his real sentiments about the war on terror and America’s allies and enemies…

    …“‘This is the great war of our times. It is going to take forty years,’” [Bush told Engel]…

    …- Bush admits to Engel that going to war was a decision based on his personal instinct and not on any long-range strategy for the Mideast:

    “I know people are saying we should have left things the way they were, but I changed after 9/11. I had to act. I don’t care if it created more enemies. I had to act.

  13. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    In case sojourner or anyone else comes around… you mentioned that you don’t watch teevee. Neither do I very much. I saw all those McClellan interviews online (DSL service).

    Don’t miss Jon Stewart and McClellan, part 2 because it does a splendid job of raising themes often covered at EW:

    Unless you have dialup, your browser should work well.

    As Nolo would say, ‘namaste’ and happy viewing.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      bum volume on that for me. I’ll check at Comedy Central. I did order The Sociopath Next Door, btw. Looks good.

  14. jnardo says:

    Does that say “Number 2 – it’s better if on leak N.I.E.?” Is it part of Hadley’s report on what Condi said the President said? Does it mean that the President thought that leaking Plame would be better at the same time as the N.I.E.?

  15. yonodeler says:

    With his long war analysis, Bush sounds confident that a fear-prone and eager-to-demonize public, always susceptible to the timely invocation of 9/11, will see the “global war on terror” as the Crusades revisited and done right, with Islam as the mortal and eternal enemy—except when strategic alliances, trade deals, and lucrative contracts are expedient—for decades, as long as the right (to him) people are in office. Maybe they won’t be in office, some of that time anyway.

    Bush claims that his war is not against Islam, which he has even called a great religion, but he has done all he can to cultivate the perception that Islam is the enemy. He has depended on that perception to garner and maintain political support, and even for military recruiting.

  16. sailmaker says:

    Somebody should ask all the CRS diseased on the Sept. 2002 torture tour (Goldsmith, Addington, Fisher, and more) what they SAW on that, or any other tour. Take their testimony in private, and compare. Whatever Goldsmith (The Torture Presidency) saw (he does not say what he saw) but whatever he saw made Goldsmith (an old torture hand under Haynes) say, ” this is the reason we have habeas corpus”, i.e. it was so bad that even a calloused creep could be revolted. I say, ask them what they saw, rather than conversations they can or ‘cannot’ recall.

  17. Leen says:

    o.k how is this theme for the Obama/Clinton ticket? BE THE CHANGE This is for the “be here now…still here” generation

    • perris says:

      my theme for the obama hillary ticket is;

      “we want to lose and will field the most beatable ticket we can possibly field”

      I think that says it all

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        If Fineman is right (that Clinton will be offered the VP only if she
        declines) then this Party is wacko.
        However, if Fineman is wrong, then, in my opinion, there IS a conspiracy
        against Hill….
        We will see, maybe.
        I still think we need a woman prez.

        • perris says:

          I believe there is a conspiracy against hillary;

          that conspiracy is among those that don’t want to make a mccain presidency more likely

          hillary makes it a dream ticket for the republicans fielding the most hated democrats they can find in one election

          I think we still win but I think it’s a mistake to take the chance

          • BayStateLibrul says:

            But McCain can’t win.
            Did you listen to his god-awful speech.
            The guy is an anachronism…
            If we lose to him, we deserve to lose.

            • MarieRoget says:

              I look forward to that youtube someone’s grinding out right now contrasting the Obama & McBush speeches of last night. There’s a viral in the making…

      • Leen says:

        You may have all ready done so but if not I suggest you spend more time out on the streets, malls, colleges these Obama, Hillary, Edwards (can’t do this now) events talking with people. The masses are sick of the right wing radicals, hell 30% of the Republicans voted for Former Ohio Congressman Ted Strickland (who I am proud to say that I have worked for for years and years) for Governor of Ohio.

        If Obama scoops up the Hillary “devotees” merging the Obama vote with Hillary I think that team can roll over the “compassionate psychopathic conservatives”.

        I attended quite a few of these Obama events (as an observer) as well as many other candidates events and I tell you the “hope and change” mantra is elevating all kinds of folks…all kinds of folks. If you anchor that movement of “hope and change” with some substance it is sure to win.

        • Petrocelli says:

          *cough* … I’m just a Hockeyless Canadian but as your last two elections have shown, the weiner winner is not determined by voters …

  18. jnardo says:

    Does that say "SH:MIL:GT?" As in  Stephen Hadley is reporting from the MILitary and George Tenet that "Wilson is declassified" and "We haven’t started to declassify N.I.E."

  19. jnardo says:

    So the notes now read:

    July 10, 2003
    Meeting: Vice President Cheney, Stephen Hadley, Scooter Libby:
    Stephen Hadley reports from the Military and the C.I.A. Director, George Tenet, that Valerie Plame Wilson, Joseph Wilson’s wife, who works in the C.I.A. Counterproliferation Section has been declassified. We haven’t yet started to declassify the National Intelligence Estimate. Condi Rice has spoken to the President who is comfortable with the plan and says there’s no question it’s better if we leak the National Intelligence Estimate too. Cheney responds that anything less than full and complete disclosure is a serious mistake.

  20. MarieRoget says:

    OT- Heather Wilson (of inappropriate USA phone calling fame) went down last night, losing the NM GOP primary for Pete Domenici’s seat to Steve Pearce. Wilson was Domenici’s hand picked successor. Pearce is a longtime friend of David Iglesias. There’s perhaps a conclusion to be drawn in there somewhere.

    • nolo says:

      i should think so.

      thanks for this tidbit — i
      had completely missed it — may
      write on it later.


  21. prostratedragon says:

    Another OT: Yesterday in the Senate, ICE was taken to task for its exploitation of a loophole in government regulations.

    No, not that ICE; that ICE, the InterContinental Exchange, a commodity trading bourse in Atlanta.

    The original loophole in question, once known as the Enron loophole, has now popped a bud known as the London-Dubai loophole, on account of the use that foreign traders, with the assistance of the CFTC, are making of it to backdoor action in oil futures without normal U.S. supervision. It was opened by none other than Phil Gramm in that CFTC bill he snuck through in 2000.

    Leonard at Salon has more of a summary. The Senate hearing page is here.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Thanks. We’ve got a sociopath sitting next to Delahunt…
      Who the fuck is that Republican from California and why is he so

  22. JohnLopresti says:

    I wonder how Rice worked with Ashcroft thru the escalation of torture, as in the Qahtani plot the OIG report describes, with DoD as instrumentality, and Principals as a way of dispersing the liability. The nie leak was political old school skullduggery, but I wonder if the torcha regimes were the weight which drove Ashcroft from even wanting to be in WA-DC. Gonzales seemed more supportive of what was to occur early at Gitmo, so that was a anticipable segue following Ashcroft’s timed exit. The enumeration of escalated tortures in the wholly redacted Chertoff memo at p.114=157/438 seems like a turning point in the OIG narrative. Ashcroft and Chertoff clearly opposed torture in this telling.

  23. alank says:

    “The subject: How to respond to the fact that 16 faulty words about Iraq and Niger ended up in the president’s State of the Union address.”

    Libby, looking at his notes: … this is Steve Hadley saying, no question, it’s better if we leak the [National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq].

    What does that mean?

    Steve Hadley is saying that it would be better if we got the NIE out, and “leak” means telling it to — giving it to a reporter to say, you know, here’s something you can write about. It’s like an exclusive or something like that.

    And had the NIE been declassified at that point?

    It had in the sense that the president had told me to go out and use it with Judith Miller. I don’t, I don’t know that Mr. Hadley knew that at that point.

    OK. And did anyone decide to leak the NIE that week?

    Well, the president had told me to use it and declassified it for me to use with Judith Miller. I don’t think Mr. Hadley was told to go out and talk about it. I think Ms. [Condoleezza] Rice had talked about the NIE in general earlier in the week on television.

    And so –

    Well, some time. I’m not sure when it was.

    So, prior to July 10th, you had talked to Judith Miller about the NIE?

    Correct, sir.

    And your understanding is that even though it was a classified document, the president had authorized you to talk to her about it?

    Definitely, sir.

    And then — and do you know if anyone decided to share the NIE — did you tell Mr. Hadley at the time that you had already in effect leaked the NIE by — with the president’s approval — by telling Judith Miller?

    I — yeah, I don’t know if it’s leaking once it’s declassified and you’re told to do it. I had talked to Judith Miller about the NIE at the president’s, you know, at, at the president’s approval relayed to me through the vice president, and I did not tell Mr. Hadley at that time.

    And was there any reason why you didn’t tell Mr. Hadley that you had told Ms. Miller about the NIE?

    I was sitting with the vice president. The vice president knew it and chose not to tell Mr. Hadley, and so I didn’t change what he had done.

  24. alank says:

    Fitzgerald in the transcript just posted seems to have an altogether different idea of what is required to declassify something. He seems to be of the view that telling someone to leak a classified document, even if the person advising this is the president, is not tantamount to declassification. There has to be an orderly process where all interested parties are at least informed of the decision to declassify something. It’s baffling that it’s taken as given that president could ever do otherwise.

  25. BayStateLibrul says:

    How many time does McCain utter “My Friends”?
    The winner will receive an expense-paid trip to Ronald Reagan’s Library.

  26. alank says:

    July 10: Stephen Hadley, Libby, and Cheney meet. They have the following dialogue:

    Hadley: Tenet had declassified the Wilson report, but had not yet started to declassify the NIE [the same document that–according to Libby–Cheney had already insta-declassified].

    [Hadley says something that Libby doesn’t write down.]

    Hadley: Condi says that “The President is comfortable.”

    Hadley: No, it’s better if we leak the NIE.

    Cheney: Anything less that full and complete disclosure is a serious mistake.

    Hadley: I will–I told that to George Tenet.

  27. Rayne says:

    Anybody else having problems with emptywheel’s site? This page is completely jacked up, not rendering any thing except text. FDL seems fine, though.

  28. maryo2 says:

    Is this related to their talking with Tenet?

    March 25, 2003 — EXECUTIVE ORDER 13292

    Sec. 4.3. Special Access Programs. (a) Establishment of special access programs. Unless otherwise authorized by the President, only the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Energy, and the Director of Central Intelligence, or the principal deputy of each, may create a special access program. For special access programs pertaining to intelligence activities (including special activities, but not including military operational, strategic, and tactical programs), or [for] intelligence sources or methods, this function shall be exercised by the Director of Central Intelligence.

  29. PetePierce says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me but the images for the buttons,the tabs reply don’t often display today and last night. I wonder if it has to do with some of the server adjustments. The graphics load perfectly on every other site so I dunno.

    These are great threads and after trying to figure out what Clinton thinks she is now doing (psst Bmaz the game is over and she’s not going gracefully to the locker room think Giants have trophy but Patriots won’t get off the field–tell me the rationale for that please) and she’s not ever been under consideration for VP nor will she) I just wanted to update the part of the Siegelman appeal where a motion was filed at the 11th Circuit asking that the appeals of the sentences be dropped.

    Link buttons and the rest don’t work for me anymore so url which does work is:

    Prosecutors drop appeal of Siegelman and Scrushy sentences


    • bmaz says:

      Pete – Hold your firewater. I believe my bargain was that if what I predicted was not the case within a week from now (so a week from last Saturday), I would stand and take all of your best shots. We are still within that time period, and I still stand behind what I think is going on and the information that I personally base it on. The race is over, she will do what she needs to do for the good of Obama and the party; just give her the air and elbow room to do it. And with that I will end my discussion of these politics on this thread.

  30. JohnLopresti says:

    Maybe Fine will add inflections in the hearing. Given the pace of officials bailing from the administration, Waxman can complete the redactions by waiting for the books to publish. I continue to think the torcha issue was the wedge that divided the term1 administration, Powell unable to tolerate the implications for ucmj of the neoTortcha policy, Rice hoping for the challenge of State rather than ratifying NSC’s complicity in tocha, and Ashcroft the gossamer protector of righteous individuals policy proponent preferring to change careers rather than do what WHC was asking OLC to do, and the political wing of the WH taking a while to rollout a congress strategy. I could even see the showTrials as the apogee in the strategy for letting the final IG information reach the public at a time of more protean public sentiment, as if somehow the tocha paradigm would be subsumed within more fervid public sentiment, so Bush could pass a baton within his own party. It is less than clear Brownback’s departure will support those dissociated partisan ends. I wonder if Rove is one of the recipients of the courtesy copy of this recent 11c appeal amici brief undersigned by a gagle of former state attorneys general.

    • bmaz says:

      You may or may not be right on the effect of Brownback’s sacking; time will clearly tell. But as to the credibility, health and appearance of due process as a whole, it was an incredibly insane and horrid act. In light of the Davis revelations and other obvious inconsistencies and rigging of the process, to blithely take that act against Brownback on the heals of his necessary rulings of fairness, is simply beyond the pale. It has all the looks, appearances and features of one of the most, and maybe the most, hideous manipulations of judicial process I have ever seen in my life.

      • masaccio says:

        Olbermann pointed out that Brownback, who is scheduled for retirement or some equivalent, agreed to stay on as long as he was needed to handle the case.

  31. LS says:

    From Text of Libby’s testimony at #103,

    ”Well, the president had told me to use it and declassified it for me to use with Judith Miller……..”

    ”…I had talked to Judith Miller about the NIE at the president’s, you know, at, at the president’s approval relayed to me through the vice president”….

    So…which was it? Sounds like it was the President who told him, because he stutters and tries to cover the Pres by subsequently saying that it was through the VP.

  32. Leen says:

    I’m with you Bmaz. I was terribly torn up by Hillary’s vote for the 2002 war resolution and the Kyl Lieberman amendment, I do think the Clintons exposed some of the holes in the Obama campaigns ”hope and change” machine.

    I still think Obama has to take her on as VP to win the vote of blue collar America.

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