Are Cheney and Bush in a Lover’s Quarrel?

Via TP, the Telegraph reports that Cheney’s in a snit over North Korea being taken off the Axis of Evil list.

Vice President Dick Cheney fought furiously to block efforts by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to strike a controversial US compromise deal with North Korea over the communist state’s nuclear programme, the Telegraph has learned.

"The exchanges between Cheney’s office and Rice’s people at State got very testy. But ultimately Condi had the President’s ear and persuaded him that his legacy would be stronger if they reached a deal with Pyongyang," said a Pentagon adviser who was briefed on the battle.

Mr Cheney’s office is believed to have played a key role in the release two months ago of documents and photographs linking North Korea to a suspected nuclear site in Syria that was bombed by Israeli jets last year.

[snip]

Mr Cheney was so angry about the decision to remove North Korea from the terrorism blacklist and lift some sanctions that he abruptly curtailed a meeting with visiting US foreign experts when asked about it in the White House last week, according to the New York Times "I’m not going to be the one to announce this decision. You need to address your interest in this to the State Department," he reportedly said before leaving the room.

I’m not surprised that Cheney’s pissed, mind you. One of the reasons he planted John Bolton at State, after all, was to scuttle any attempts at diplomacy with North Korea. Rather, I’m interested that Condi, not Dick, won this battle to influence the President. While Bush has allowed Condi some leeway in the Middle East, he has not backed Condi’s diplomacy over Dick’s belligerence on such a big issue thus far (though, you might consider the fact that we haven’t nuked Iran yet to be a sign of Condi’s influence).

It made me think of two details about Addington’s testimony the other day. First, when asked by Nadler at one point why the fuck the Barnacle Branch is represented in torture meetings, Addington noted that it was the practice of the Administration to include the Barnacle Branch in such meetings.

Nadler: You stated to WS earlier that your involvement in CIA program greater than military program?

ADD: A number of meetings. Participating in legal meetings.

Nadler: You just said you’re not a member of executive branch. Why was lawyer for VP in such a meeting?

ADD: VP’s provide advice.

Nadler: And participate in various agencies business.

ADD: Modern VPs provide assistance and they provide staff. When the President’s staff wishes to have us participate?

Nadler: President asked?

ADD: We were included because it’s the practice.

The crappy liveblogger didn’t catch it, but after describing that the President’s practice was to include the Barnacle Branch in such meetings, he noted that the level of inclusion the President gives the Barnacle Branch changes at times. It’s the kind of off-hand comment Addington makes which tend to be pregnant with meaning (and also tend to be really surly). So I wondered whether Addington wasn’t publicly tweaking Bush about leaving the Barnacle Branch out of something.

And then there’s the puzzle of why Addington had to testify Thursday at all–why he wasn’t able to invoke privilege, but instead had to wave around the letter Harriet got, but he didn’t. It would be just like the petulant President to refuse to allow Addington to invoke privilege, when he had helped Miers and everyone else avoid testifying, if he was pissed about something. (Though note, thus far, Rove has not been allowed to invoke privilege on the Siegelman stuff).

At this point, these are just a bunch of data points. But boy, if Cheney and Bush were getting in a tiff, we might have some real fun. After all, Cheney made sure to record Bush’s involvement in "asking Libby to stick his neck in a meat-grinder" when he felt Bush was hanging Libby out to dry. And given the fact that Addington included the three pieces of evidence that tie George Bush personally to the nation’s torture policies, it seems like Cheney and Addington would be prepared to threaten Bush on some other counts, as well.

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76 replies
  1. Jonathryn says:

    Oh it would be just like them to grind each other up in a board room blood bath, wouldn’t it? Reminds me of the CEO President’s comments recently about wanting to get back to emailing people. He’s skipped doing that the last eight years. It’s incriminating, don’t you know.

  2. MadDog says:

    I had read about Deadeye’s snit over at Steve Clemon’s place earlier and like you, wondered if it portended something bigger. Stuff such as:

    There have always been 2 Administrations behind the scenes of the “publicly perceived” single Administration. The one run by Deadeye and the one Deadeye allows Junya to play with run.

    Perhaps after more than 7 years, the petulant Junya has indeed finally got up the nerve to put his foot down.

    And perhaps this has been in the works for a long time. Perhaps the breaking point was in fact the Libby commutation.

    Junya realized that he couldn’t get rid of Deadeye and it took him all this time to figure out how to say “No!”

    After “living in sin” with Deadeye for over 7 years, don’t you get the feeling that Junya can’t wait for the end of his sentence?

    • perris says:

      There have always been 2 Administrations behind the scenes of the “publicly perceived” single Administration. The one run by Deadeye and the one Deadeye allows Junya to play with run.

      deadeye does not run anything, he is another marionette, he is another moron only with a bigger vocabulary and a better command of authoritarian intonations

      the real administration right now, the ones “pulling the strings” of these brainless marionettes would be the combined force of the PNAC

      they are all maniacal idiots and combined they can convince themselves of anything

      • darclay says:

        Sort of like Thyssen, Harriman, Goodyear, Du Pont, etc in the 30’s and 40’s ? ….hope i got those name spelled right.
        Bush’s G Father’s crowd

  3. Tross says:

    EW, if they really are at loggerheads, who do you think would win?

    I realize Chimpy is “The President”, but Cheney’s underhandedness is legendary.

    Maybe Rove would step in and advise the White House in some unofficial capacity to even the odds?

  4. kspena says:

    I suspect Junya was delighted to follow cheney’s lead in their mutual lust to smash things, and he was blindly confident that the clever cheney had put in place all the mechanisms to conceal their tracks. As the layers of their mechanizations get pealed away and their schemes and actions are exposed, they behave as cowards do….blame it on the other.

  5. rosalind says:

    someone’s getting a little antsy about his place in history, decided to jump start that whole vindicating thing with the help of his bff condi, sacrificing cheney at the altar of his vaingloriousness in the process.

    hilarious.

    off to the store for more popcorn…

  6. freepatriot says:

    sounds like georgie is really trying to rehabilitate his image for posterity

    maybe george is having his “moment of clarity”

    and he figured out that attacking Iran and North Korea would cement his reputation as a war criminal

    maybe his little speech in Europe about being percieved as a war monger was sincere

    if so, I’ll bet dead eye dick is scheming to get around georgie along with everybody else on the planet, and start another war

  7. MadDog says:

    Nadler: You stated to WS earlier that your involvement in CIA program greater than military program?

    ADD: A number of meetings. Participating in legal meetings.

    A couple of things that I thought were interesting about the above:

    1. Addington came from the CIA so it makes sense that he would prefer to “stir the pot” over there versus the DoD (which was Rummie’s turf anyhow and Davey, much as he believes his own BS, was not in the same league as “The Don”).

    2. Addington was also drawn to the CIA “Interrogation” meetings because that was going to be where the action was. The DoD was not going to be given the “green light” for the “gloves off” interrogation techniques, nor perhaps did that massive organzation want the dubious “honor” of conducting these techniques.

    Additionally, by design, the CIA lived in the “black world” and was less susceptible to Congressional oversight than was the DoD.

    3. Many folks think that Deadeye, and by extension Addington, had a longstanding and deeply held axe to grind with the CIA. That is too simplistic an explanation.

    What Deadeye, and again by extension Addington, had was a “bottomless pit” of disdain for the “Analytical” side of the CIA (and many other of the Federal intelligence agencies/departments).

    What Deadeye lived for was the James Bond derring-do Operational types. Better than any amount of Viagra, Deadeye fantasized about all those “Bad Boys” kicking Al Qaeda ass. These are the things that gave him pleasure and helped drag his sorry butt out of the bunker every morning.

    It would not surprise me at all if one signifanct part of Deadeye’s hidden organization is a “Mega-Plumber’s” group tasked with far more nasty things than Tricky Dick’s original crew, and staffed with “off-the-books” Special Ops types and wayward “retired” CIA DO folks.

    And doG knows what kind of unspeakable stuff they were (and are) up to. The stuff Ollie North did would look like a Boy Scout Jamboree compared to what Deadeye had an appetite for.

    Probably another reason why Deadeye went after Valerie. Analysts were folks who merely had opinions, and like assholes, everybody ought to have at least one.

    The CIA DO and SOCOM operators were Deadeye’s comic book heroes come to life. I hate to think what he’s been doing that we haven’t even a clue about.

    • JThomason says:

      B Team Operations. Isn’t this a tactic that goes back to the cold war where A team, conventionally vetted intelligence information, was not found to be sufficiently provocative to justify the activities Dead-Eye advocated.

      • perris says:

        it goes back to nixon’s detante

        cheney and rumsfeld wanted to undermine the treaty so they invented a “team b” and tasked them with manufacturing threats the cia said in no uncertain terms did not exist

        if you remember the movie “hunt for red october”, it was based on cheneys false claims of some submarine that was SO good, “even the cia didn’t know about it”

        cheney had a history of manufacturing data long before we attacked Iraq and it is really disturbing we let him do it again

        the real cia is doing their very best to prevent him from doing it to us with Iran

        here’s an excellant article documenting those events

        and mind you, that article was authored before we attacked Iraq

        here’s a youtube which also documents these manaics behavior

    • bobschacht says:

      What Deadeye lived for was the James Bond derring-do Operational types. Better than any amount of Viagra, Deadeye fantasized about all those “Bad Boys” kicking Al Qaeda ass. These are the things that gave him pleasure and helped drag his sorry butt out of the bunker every morning.

      What relationship did Cheney have with Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey? You remember that Casey conveniently died just before having to testify on Iran-Contra, and had a reputation as a CIA ‘cowboy’.

      Bob in HI

  8. Loo Hoo. says:

    I’m thinking that neither Bush nor Cheney can diss each other without lots of charges against the other. Maybe Bush was keeping better track of conversations between himself and Cheney than Cheney suspected.

  9. lizard says:

    “I have invoked no privilege” – Addington, at the end of the day. I think that was the whole point of Addington’s appearance

  10. JohnLopresti says:

    The Conyers request to Mukasey for the laundrylist of materials including special counsel interviews likely has precipitated a restrategizing since Mukasey is new.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Which becomes even more interesting in view of a one-sentence item at Laura Rozen’s War and Piece for 26 June 08, re: the Chalabi Leak investigation.

      That link leads to the Oct 07 Newsweek article about the FBI investigating Chalabi for tipping off the Iranians to the fact that the Americans had cracked their code. That seems to connect up with questions about the whole AIPAC cast of characters: Larry Franklin, etc… wonder what Bush knows that we don’t? Because all those FBI investigations sure do seem to be tracking back to Cheney’s office.

      Hmmmmm…

  11. JThomason says:

    I was driving up over Palo Flechado pass earlier today reflecting on barnacles, constitutional theory, and the delegation of presidential powers.

    Here is my question, which is even piqued further by Addington’s avowed notions of the “unitary executive”–how can executive powers constitutionally and statutorily vested uniquely in the executive, from a constitutional perspective, say like the power to declassify, be delegated to a person outside the executive branch? There is no contractual relationship, there is no constitutional authority, there is no agency, and there is no de facto relationship arising of a theory of a “unitary executive” if the vice-president is a mere “attachment” to the legislature with no relationship.

    Did Addington just shoot Cheney in the foot?

    • perris says:

      how can executive powers constitutionally and statutorily vested uniquely in the executive, from a constitutional perspective, say like the power to declassify, be delegated to a person outside the executive branch?

      when we give the president authority over our national assets, we do not give him authority to delegate those duties to people we do not approve

      I maintain, there can be no delegation of this authority, as far as I am concerned the only claim that MIGHT hold water is the ability to declassify something that individual classified in the first place

      everything else would need the final approval and couldn’t be done by wrote

  12. JohnForde says:

    “And given the fact that Addington included the three pieces of evidence that tie George Bush personally to the nation’s torture policies, it seems like Cheney and Addington would be prepared to threaten Bush on some other counts, as well.”

    Very tantalizing final sentence, EW. Would you itemize the three for those of us behind the curve?

    • Rayne says:

      EW itemized them several posts back, in the Barnacle Branch post:

      Well, it looks like Addington was trying to do a couple of things with his collection of exhibits. First, and least interesting, was to make sure he had three documents in which President Bush directly guided the nation’s torture policy ready at hand:

      * February 7, 2002 Bush memo calling for detainees to be treated humanely–but without Geneva Convention rights
      * September 6, 2006 press conference in which Bush admitted to water-boarding Al Qaeda detainees
      * July 20, 2007 Bush Executive Order establishing guidelines for interrogations

      More interesting, Addington was making sure that the correspondence between HJC and OVP regarding his own testimony was readily available.

      I had the impression during the entire hearing that Cheney was both thumbing his nose at Bush and threatening him.

      That Addington claimed no privilege was a blow to the Barnacle though — and I think in a way that’s potentially bigger than appears at first blush.

      You see, the Barnacle claimed executive privilege over the Energy Task Force papers, even though the Barnacle’s barnacle says he’s a barnacle on the legislature, and Bush was supposedly not involved in the Energy Task Force meetings.

      For what else has the Barnacle claimed privilege, where the president was not involved?

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        the Barnacle claimed executive privilege over the Energy Task Force papers, even though the Barnacle’s barnacle says he’s a barnacle on the legislature, and Bush was supposedly not involved in the Energy Task Force meetings.

        How very interesting.
        Cheney went to SCOTUS and said: there are two circles: Exec is the big one, and OVP is the smaller one that is completely inside the big, Exec circle. Thus, the Exec Privilege claims.

        But Addington did NOT nest the OVP Barnacle within the Exec circle; he moved it outside, barely attached at one point. Very intriguing…
        Addington’s Venn diagrams look more like this:
        0 legislature 0 judiciary 8 exec, and connected at one point, the BarnacleOVP barely attached and ‘on its own’ outside it’s exec companion.

        Which does raise questions about the claims of exec privilege for OVP on things like the secret Energy Task Force, and a host of other legal issues, as well.

        And the fact that Addington read (in a supercilious tone) the claims of the UE and the OVP from a 1961 document — which makes one go, ‘huh?? if that was the law, then why didn’t Humphrey, Agnew, Ford, Mondale, GHWB, Gore use it?!’ — underscores how thin the ice has become for Cheney’s cabal.

        To date, there has probably been a standoff based on Mutually Assured Cheney-Bush-and-Bush-Cheney destruction. Is the fulcrum shifting? Does Bush think he has a bit more leverage…?

        Intriguing.

  13. strider7 says:

    everything is circular
    What is most striking about this latest Mukasey moment is how circular his logic has become. Just a couple weeks ago, Mukasey said that he would not allow an investigation into the crime of torture because the president relied on the advice of lawyers in ordering the torture of suspects. Now, he is saying that lawyers cannot be prosecuted because they relied on the orders of the president.http://jonathanturley.org/2008/03/01/mukasey-blocks-any-prosecution-of-bush-officials-for-contempt-of-congress/

      • strider7 says:

        It’s his kind of crap that makes your blood boil
        Could the president ever be justified in breaking the law? “I’m not going to answer a legal opinion on every imaginable set of facts any human being could think of,” Addington growled. Did he consult Congress when interpreting torture laws? “That’s irrelevant,” he barked. Would it be legal to torture a detainee’s child? “I’m not here to render legal advice to your committee,” he snarled. “You do have attorneys of your own.

        the constitutional circle jerk.It’s almost like he’s saying “how can I answer that if you have enough nerve to ask me”
        Am I correct to assume that if these constitutional arguments(that never seem to get resolved) were put before scotus that the executive doesn’t necessarily have to abide by their decision? I mean look how close the Boumediene decision was.It seems like even scotus barely knows where we stand.Like a grey area or something.
        I’m getting more and more lost as these days go by

    • perris says:

      Mukasey said that he would not allow an investigation into the crime of torture because the president relied on the advice of lawyers in ordering the torture of suspects. Now, he is saying that lawyers cannot be prosecuted because they relied on the orders of the president.http://jonathanturley.org/2008/03/01/mukasey-blocks-any-prosecution-of-bush-officials-for-contempt-of-congress/

      that is one excellant point

      mukkkasey is saying, the president ordered yoo to give him permission so yoo is not prosecutable, the president is not prosecutable because yoo gave him the permission he was ordered to give.

      a very nice point

  14. emptywheel says:

    4 Tross

    I don’t know. But if they are in–or can be pushed to–a significant snit, we’ll see about half the number of pardons come January than we might have expected.

  15. klynn says:

    Thinking out loud here…

    Cheney’s polling is lower than the President.

    Scotty comes out with a book basically stating pres still a good man, just got misled by the wrong people… i.e. Cheney.

    Bush sides with Condi…beginning his moves to save the party…

    It’s “save the party time” as we head into the conventions and national election season…How many points would Bush jump in the polls with Cheney out or strong armed?

    I bet quite a bit; thus, bouncing McCain…

    Crazy, I know…

  16. FrankProbst says:

    At this point, when Condi goes up against the Shooter, my money is on Condi. She’s obviously adept at stroking Bush’s ego, and appealing to his legacy is just the kind of thing he’d respond to.

    As for Addington’s lack of privilege, I think it may be a lot simpler than you’re speculating. Addington is even more of an asshole than Bush is. It would not occur to him to ASK for privilege; he would expect Bush to simply confer it. Bush, on the other hand, probably doesn’t let anyone invoke privilege unless they grovel for it first.

  17. yonodeler says:

    Addington’s Attachment Think, or Barnacleism, drove me to consult the Constitution. The origin of the Vice Presidency is still found in Article II.

    • JThomason says:

      The Article II, Sec. 4, impeachment power has been found to extend to the judiciary so I am not sure that inclusion in Article II necessarily bestows an executive character by virtue of placement.

      By making the VP president of the Senate, the framers have bestowed certain duties upon the VP, otherwise his position would be strictly honorary.

  18. JThomason says:

    If I am not mistaken the historical context of the current status of the VP was really expanded in practice under 41 when Quayle would hold weekly luncheons with business interests to facilitate their interests as a matter of policy in the administrative law process. Its probably the political realities of a “ticket” that have created the fiction of the VP being an agent of the president as much as anything else, and I not believe this close political association has always been a given.

  19. egregious says:

    Big money is afraid the veil is getting lifted too high. The people who screwed up the most, and who endangered the whole game, are being shoved out.

  20. Mary says:

    I definitely go the tenor from Addington’s Exhibits and posturing on who he works for that there was the possibility of a falling out. Back in that thread,

    >“And whats up with bringing a bunch of xeroxed blarney ” I think in part to show W that he’s no Libby. He made sure that he showed EVERYTHING tracking back right to W. Obviously, his client is Cheney (and himself) and he’s giving Bush the reminder that Cheney can’t be hung to dry without the cat walking all the way back to Bush. imofwiw

    so I definitely agree with this:

    And given the fact that Addington included the three pieces of evidence that tie George Bush personally to the nation’s torture policies, it seems like Cheney and Addington would be prepared to threaten Bush on some other counts, as well.

    Addington may be the name that keeps cropping up on the torture field trips and as ghosting the memos (did they ask him & Yoo if he wrote any parts or gave direction on any parts of the memos?)

    Plus I really do think he was there to be the looming presence for Yoo – keeping the cowards on course.”

    Still, you’ve got the morning glory, ivy and clematis all intertwined and however much they may snit and backstab, they know that none of them can afford the divorce. Where they are all joint criminals, they’ll stand together. That doesn’t mean making nice with Bush, bc they don’t have to for him to protect them on those things bc protecting them is protecting himself. But W may be trying to run out the clock looking less like the little criminal lost at the 9/11 Commission, with Cheney there beside him like a truly unattractive Nanny.

    19 – Weren’t there claims of deliberative/Executive privilege in the letters (I still can’t believe EW’s nemesis has an attorney named Wheelbarger) and that’s what was used to limit the areas of questioning?

    My take on that was to wonder how non-Exec branch guys got to claim Exec privilege. OTOH, I’m not sure that wasn’t a subpoint Addington was trying to make.

    8 – Plus, keep in mind that Cheney and Addington had “their guy” at DoD, Haynes. He’d been in Cheney’s pocket for a long time.

    • Tross says:

      Mary,

      Bush and Cheney may need each other, but the GOP really doesn’t.

      It would be ugly, but throwing them both overboard — along with their transgressions — would be a good start to Republicans recovering their brand from the NeoCons.

    • strider7 says:

      Lederman,
      4. John states that his 2002 torture opinion was “reviewed, edited and re-written by the assistant attorney general in charge of the office at the time [Jay Bybee], as is the case with all opinions that issue from OLC.” John is correct that virtually all written OLC opinions — certainly those of great importance or dispute — are at the very least reviewed by the AAG. How, then, does he explain the fact that two of the most momentous OLC opinions has ever issued — the September 25, 2001 Opinion on the President’s war powers and the March 14, 2003 opinion informing DOD (over the vociferous objections of numerous DOD lawyers) that its interrogators had virtual carte blanche to ignore federal statutes — were signed by John Yoo himself (a mere deputy), rather than by the head of OLC (Dan Koffsky in 2001; Jay Bybee in 2003)?

      We know that Yoo was the scrapegoat but who were the players in the formulation of the master plan?
      It seems so well thought out.Why didn’t Koffsky sign it?

  21. WilliamOckham says:

    I find it interesting that as the Cheney team has suffered from attrition (Libby, Rumsfeld, Haynes, Bolton, etc.), Cheney has lost influence, but for Bush, the exact opposite has happened. Card, Rove, Gonzales, and Miers are gone, but their replacements (Bolten, Mukasey, and Fielding) are more effective implementing Bush’s policies. Partly that’s a result of Cheney’s folks being extremely experienced in bureacratic ‘hand to hand’ combat while Bush’s posse was stunningly incompetent in governing.

    But I’m curious. Did Cheney lose control of the patronage system or did he just have no bench (i.e. nobody qualified to take over for Rumsfeld, etc.)?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Interesting snapshot.
      It would be interesting to know how much we may owe the FBI.
      They were able to get evidence on Scooter Libby, they nabbed Larry Franklin, they’re investigating the Chalabi leak, and didn’t EW say that Rhodes had ‘lawyered up’?

      Cheney’s operatives all appear to be involved in various criminal, subversive activities that have come to the attention of law enforcement. I suspect the bench is plenty deep, but may have had to go silent for awhile.

      Fielding, IIRC, was encouraged by the Bush41 crowd. As was Gates.
      God help us all if James Baker is behind much of this 8-

      But it was only this past week that even George Schultz (former board of Bechtel) joined many others in opposing torture. And we’ve just seen Addington link GWBush to torture, and to Cheney.

      Schultz was Condalezza Rice’s mentor at one time, as was Scowcroft.
      Wonder whether Condi’s called in some Old Hands to help out in the depths of the darkness?

      If that’s the case, Cheney must be going ballistic by the hour.
      Interesting…

      • JThomason says:

        I found Francis Brooke of Rendon Group fame reported to have been at the Rome forgery meetings, he is working for Charlie Black and McCain, for free!:

        Note also that Francis Brooke, who is working for free for McCain, once worked for the Rendon group, the firm that not only brought us the Iraqi informant “curveball” but also the Kuwaiti “nurse” Nayirah, whose shocking tales of Iraqi soldiers throwing babies out of incubators outraged congress and made selling that war a lot easier. Of course, it turned out later that Nayirah was actually Nayirah al-Sabah, daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US. Surprise, surprise the incubator story was a total fabrication, just like all of Curveball’s fairy-tales.

        Democratic Underground

        – When it comes to Iraqi connections, the competition is fierce. BKSH & Associates, the lobby firm run by GOP strategist Charlie Black, touts its connections to Ahmed Chalabi (until recently a Pentagon sweetheart), who formerly headed the exiled Iraqi National Congress and is currently on Iraq’s governing council. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/1/03]

        Think Progress

        I’m sure everyone has heard by now about McCain adviser Charlie Black saying that another terrorist attack before the election would be a “big advantage” to McCain’s election campaign. But what I find amusing is his non-apology apology for it:

        Speaking quietly, Black read from handwritten notes. “I deeply regret the comments. They were inappropriate. I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration,” Black said.

        Dispatches from the Culture Wars

  22. Mary says:

    37 – I agree it would do wonders for the party, but I just don’t see it happening.

    Steve Clemons put this Feingold clip up earlier in the week and I missed it, so for anyone else who is interested:

    http://www.thewashingtonnote.c…..important/

    Five minutes of Russ on “teh program” and aspects other than immunity and his much more informed read is what my shakey gut reaction was as well. Any overseas transmission is pretty definitely going to get vacuumed up (even if it is US citizen to US citizen) and put in a database for completely unchecked and uncontrolled use and who knows what/who/why/when access.

    I think the big story is ultimately not going to be that the telephone companies got immunity, which is wrong, it’s that our personal conversations are now in a giant database over which we have no control.

    I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that Leahy and Feingold and Dodd are in the same party as Reid and Clinton and Levin and Lieberman(was) and Schumer and Obama. Actually, I can’t believe they are all in the same species, but I guess that takes you too graphically into my thinking.

    Less graphically but with a bigger fun factor, Gail Collins on Unity. And powder blue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06…..ref=slogin

    • dosido says:

      Just a quick drive by. I am still furious about FISA, so much so that I might just start printing out copies of my emails including all spam, transcriptions of all my phone calls, and my grocery lists and mail them to my congresspeople on a regular basis. I mean, just so I can be assured that my government does know what I’m up to each and every moment of my day, since they seem so fricking curious.

      thanks for the links mary.

  23. bmaz says:

    Bull Durham slow walks the terror tape case till after the election. Captain Renault is shocked. But not amused.

    A criminal investigation into why the CIA destroyed hundreds of hours of videotapes recording harsh interrogations of two Al Qaeda leaders will stretch on at least another six months—and could ultimately result in indictments, according to a recent federal court filing obtained by NEWSWEEK. In his affidavit, John Durham, the veteran federal prosecutor on the case, said he is examining whether anyone “obstructed justice, made false statements, or acted in contempt of court or Congress in connection with the destruction of the videotapes.” He said that he is specifically trying to determine whether the destruction of the tapes violated any judge’s order. But progress may be slow. Two sources close to former intelligence officials who are potential key witnesses in the case, both of whom asked for anonymity when discussing the inquiry, said that these officials have not been summoned to give grand-jury testimony; one of them hasn’t even been questioned by the FBI yet.

    This is BS. And the stalling could well be allowing the statute of limitations to run of a whole host of crimes attendant to, but preceding, the actual destruction of the tapes; including, arguably, the torture crimes actually depicted on the tapes (may already be an issue with that). A statute analysis on this is tough, too many moving parts, too little information; but it is certainly a potential issue. I don’t see why Durham needs another six months, after the time he has already expended, to find at least a couple of blokes in this mess to put in the dock and start leveraging. Something doesn’t smell right here to me.

    By the way, what court proceeding was this filed in? A GJ extension or other GJ filing, or some other case; and if some other case, which one?

  24. kspena says:

    Cy Bolten has an article in LATimes where he outlines and gives examples of how bush ‘lied’. cheney probably has chapter and verse on each of these deliberate lies, of which addington’s memos were representative. It’s an interesting review.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/op…..6859.story

  25. PetePierce says:

    Cheney, Bush, and Condi have capped their foreign policy good will tours after 8 years and about $15 billion recent dollars in Pakistan when a crowd of 5000 gathered the other day for the execution of two Afghans believed to have spied for American troops by the Taliban.

    Laura Bush, whose catapillar sized brain made much of the liberation of women in Afghanistan must have felt great when on the same day two womens schools were burned to the ground which makes ten in the past two months.

    US foreing policy by the 3 Musketeers could be summarized as “in the shitter after eight years.”

    The money hemmorhage has been in the hundreds of billions.

  26. perris says:

    I’m not surprised that Cheney’s pissed, mind you. One of the reasons he planted John Bolton at State, after all, was to scuttle any attempts at diplomacy with North Korea. Rather, I’m interested that Condi, not Dick, won this battle to influence the President. While Bush has allowed Condi some leeway in the Middle East, he has not backed Condi’s diplomacy over Dick’s belligerence on such a big issue thus far (though, you might consider the fact that we haven’t nuked Iran yet to be a sign of Condi’s influence).

    the reason we haven’t nuked Iran is every time the vice president starts to make war noised the cia slaps him down with a release of data telling everyone the man is lying once again

    that’s the only reason, not condi, let’s chalk this one up to the professionals at the cia that understand “team b” are treasonous tools cheney

    as far as condi finally getting top play over cheney, I do believe it’s time rove started throwing cheney under the bus, rove still gets bush’s ear and while rove has so far been moronic in handling the president’s “legacy”, when you slap a man enough times he finally gets the idea you better stop the slapping

    rove has probably by now established that cheney, through his manipulation of the president, has ruined the administration, I believe this is now rove telling the president;

    “cheney fucked you over big time, it’s time to let the man loose”

    let’s hope so, because an impeachment of cheney is better then nothing

    • MrWhy says:

      Are you saying there are real signs that impeachment of Cheney is becoming desirable to Pelosi and company?

  27. perris says:

    It would be just like the petulant President to refuse to allow Addington to invoke privilege, when he had helped Miers and everyone else avoid testifying, if he was pissed about something

    I’m not exactly getting this, there is no real loyalty to the president, the loyalty is self preservation, if the president goes down so do they and that’s why they walk in lock step

    so the president couldn’t throw addington under the bus, addington would return the favor

    this is bizarre to me, I would love to find out the talks concerning exectutive priviledge for these hearings

  28. perris says:

    it seems like Cheney and Addington would be prepared to threaten Bush on some other counts, as well.

    IMHO, bush will either acquiesce or be finished with Cheney, he wouldn’t walk a thin line between the two

    this might get fun indeed

    • nomolos says:

      It may be that cheenee has moved on from his present job and is getting ready to be VP for MCSame and is perfectly willing to fuck the chimp on the way out.

      • perris says:

        the only way he can be vp for mkkksame is if there are no elections and the office is awarded

        cheney would turn even the last few willing to give the repukkklicans another shot into demcrats

      • PetePierce says:

        LOL Cheney’s not about to be on the ticket with McSame. He has enough problems on a fronts without locking that in the 20’s approval rating and any of Bush around his neck. He appeared with him for all of what 20 seconds on the street out of the way of cameras a couple months ago.

  29. perris says:

    Additionally, by design, the CIA lived in the “black world” and was less susceptible to Congressional oversight than was the DoD.

    I am rue to consider addington part of the real cia, I do not consider “team b” anything of the sort and that is what addington is, part of “team b”

    calling “team b” part of cia would an opposite, he worked for the oposing team

  30. masaccio says:

    Totally OT, reporting from Hong Kong.

    Today it rained, as it has every single day we have been in South China, and the pollution everywhere else meant that except for a couple of hours on planes, we haven’t seen the sun since we left the US. So, we went to the Hong Kong museum, which has an excellent display of porcelains, including a bunch of neolithic pottery that was really beautiful; a calligraphy exhibit that proved conclusively that I cannot see the difference between good and bad, and makes me wish they would show us some bad; and a bunch of recent work by locals, most of which was videos, or other computer stuff, and about what you’d expect.

    I sort of see the beauty of the pottery, though the nuances escape me. It’s the calligraphy that really throws me. I recall visiting museums in Europe and watching the Asian tourists come through. I see them look at Madonnas, and Renoir portraits of women, and I wonder what they see. So much of what we think is beautiful is learned from our culture, that they probably had about as much idea of why one Renoir laughing woman is different from another as I do about why one calligraphy rubbing is different from another, no matter how hard I look.

    Older fine arts were not represented in the collection, so I didn’t get to see any serious old painting, which I might have been able to understand a bit better. The new stuff leaves me quite cold, and the stuff in the bazaars is about what I got in San Francisco.

    We heard a concert of new Chinese music in Guangzhou, and saw the Beijing Opera, so I can say that the erh ho (a sort of two-string violin) is a cool instrument, and the music was very interesting. The singing was nasal and falsetto, and difficult for western ears, but the chamber music was very good.

    I don’t think China is that into culture right now, I think consumerism is first on the docket, as it certainly is here in Hong Kong. But, the light show in Victoria Harbor is definitely cool, augmented with a huge cruise ship leaving and a couple of touring ferry boats, all lit up and flashing. A real pleasure.

  31. nolo says:

    for loo hoo’s repsonse
    to mine, at #38 (from my
    joint
    ) — she asked about
    the history of “internal
    exile
    ” — for would-
    be barnacle-branchers who
    have crossed the “new” condi:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    indeed i do, loo
    hoo — heh! — good
    to “see” you. . .

    . . .again!

    aleksander solzhenitsyn may be
    the most well-known reference
    here — do take a look at this,
    or just google his name.

    it seems unfortunate to mention
    the name of an ordinary criminal,
    dick cheney — in the same sentence
    as A.I. Solzhenitsyn — but there
    you have it. . .

    g’morning, and. . .

    n a m a s t é

  32. Mary says:

    46 – I agree that “The Bull” has never passed the smell test. Bush was never going to put someone in Mukasey’s slot who wasn’t going to be a loyal Bushie, Muskasye was never going to put someone in Durham’s slot who would actually be a prosecutor.

    SOL’s are running out. Judge’s orders are being “pondered” Good thing no one is able to get their stories straight before they have to go testify to the GJ, huh? Oh…HUH?

    The Newsweek story sounds to me very much like the CIA crew are sending Bush and his merry band the same message that Addington sent when he showed up with his Bush authorization docs as Exhibits.

    Current and former counterterrorism officials, who also asked for anonymity, said many top spies believed the use of harsh techniques had been foisted on the agency by hard-line Bush politicos. One former counterterrorism official close to the investigation told NEWSWEEK that spies involved believed they had legally “dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s” and therefore will not be prosecuted. … “The CIA has cooperated vigorously with official inquiries into the destruction of the tapes,” said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, “and is fully prepared to let the facts take us where they may.”

    Everyone’s reminding W of just why he better have the pardons handy.

    And one place the facts would take someone is right to Nancy Pelosi’s closet. So we’ll never have to worry about real investigations that actually go where they need to go.

    So it’s all just another disgusting Dept of Justice demonstration of how to use the law as a urinal.

  33. JThomason says:

    Hmmm:

    Asked by one of Libby’s lawyers if he had talked about Plame with anybody else before outing her in his column, Novak said he’d discussed her with a lobbyist named Richard Hohlt. Who, the lawyer pressed, is Hohlt? “He’s a very good source of mine” whom I talk to “every day,” Novak replied. Indeed, Hohlt is such a good source that after Novak finished his column naming Plame, he testified, he did something most journalists rarely do: he gave the lobbyist an advance copy of his column. What Novak didn’t tell the jury is what the lobbyist then did with it: Hohlt confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he faxed the forthcoming column to their mutual friend Karl Rove (one of Novak’s sources for the Plame leak), thereby giving the White House a heads up on the bombshell to come.

    [snip]

    But Hohlt’s more significant role may be his leadership of a secretive social group of GOP heavy hitters and, occasionally, White House officials, who convene to smoke cigars and mull over politics. The group’s name: the Off The Record Club. Hohlt is the club’s “keeper of the flame,” says one participant who, like others contacted for this story, didn’t want to be named because it violates the group’s rules. Each month or so for more than 15 years, Hohlt has booked a room at a posh Washington hotel or restaurant and invited the guests for dinner. Among the regulars, according to three participants: fellow lobbyists Ken Duberstein, Charlie Black and Vin Weber. Rove and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten “have both attended these meetings on occasion,” says a White House spokesperson. (Duberstein and Weber did not respond to requests for comment. Black wouldn’t talk about the club because “one of the purposes of it is to be off the record,” he says.) “It’s really just a bunch of old-timers who like to shoot the breeze,” Hohlt tells NEWSWEEK. “We can complain about our clients, complain about what’s going on on the Hill.” (Hohlt’s most recent gripe: a new D.C. smoking ban that has snuffed out the after-dinner stogies.) The club, participants say, helps the White House with damage control—they prodded GOP pols to back the president’s post-Katrina cleanup—and thinks up ways to get the party’s message across to the press.

    [bold supplied]

    Newsweek

  34. klynn says:

    I’ve posted these links before irt Cheney and EX Priv and balance of powers. The language in these docs give some insight for me regarding Addington’s attitude, view of VP powers and Ex powers/priv.

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20020206.html

    http://www.law.duke.edu/public…..ry/chevuni

    From the latter link:

    Cheney is also significant for what the Court’s opinion did not discuss. While showing sensitivity to the separation of powers, nowhere does the Court address the bold constitutional theory of presidential autonomy developed in the government’s briefs. The government argued that if FACA were interpreted to encompass the de facto member doctrine and to justify discovery against the Vice President, the statute would then be unconstitutional. This was so because the Task Force was gathering information and developing policy under the express direction of the President, who was exercising his textual constitutional power to seek opinions from his cabinet and to prepare to recommend “such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” These powers, plus his obligation to report on the State of the Union, provide “specific textual foundations for the President’s powers to gather information and develop policy . . . [and are] not subject to manipulation or interference by the Congress.” The government’s brief concluded that “[i]nterference with the President’s advice- and information-gathering activities is no less unconstitutional when it affects the exercise of his Recommendations or Opinion Clause authority than when it touches on his power to grant pardons, nominate judges, or to have legislation presented for his approval or veto.”

    Had this breathtaking approach to Presidential power been adopted, it would have resulted in far stronger protection from disclosure of executive branch communications and deliberations than is provided by the doctrine of executive privilege. Approaching the issue in Cheney as an application of the principle of executive privilege set forth in Nixon would eventually produce a balancing analysis, weighing the interests served by disclosure against the burdens on Presidential confidentiality and autonomy. Greater need for the information (for example, when information is critical to a specific legislative decision) tips the balance in favor of disclosure; greater need for confidentiality of the information (for example, when national security is directly implicated) tips the balance in favor of non-disclosure.

    The claim presented in the government’s Cheney briefs is that the processes of Presidential advice- and information-gathering are beyond Congress’ power to regulate. Activities of the executive branch beyond Congress’ power to regulate are also beyond Congress’ power of inquiry or investigation as well. See Barenblatt v. United States. No balancing of competing interests is appropriate because Congress lacks any authority to interfere or inquire.

    Some interesting thoughts…

  35. Jkat says:

    why didn’t they just have addington arrested ??

    committee member [cm]: mr addington [ad] you are not an employee of the executive branch ?

    ad: no sir i am not ..

    cm: then are you sir an officer of the senate ??

    ad: no sir i am not ..

    cm: and you are not an officer or a member of the peoples house .. i would know it if you were ..

    ad: no sir i am not ..

    committee chairman: sargeant-at-arms!!! place this man under arrest for impersonating an officer of the government …

  36. rteolis says:

    I watched the Addington “Barnacle Branch” testimony over many times at several blogs this weekend and the whole time I felt it reminded me of something. He issued no statement but submitted exhibits the purpose of which I’m sure he thought would be obvious to the committee. Then it hit me – it reminded me of watching Colin Ferguson – subway shooter – defending himself in court. He spoke lucidly at times, arrogant the whole time, occasionally confused by questions because he was too busy listening to himself. Like Ferguson, Addington had the justification for his actions locked in his twisted mind. Clearly, he feels that everyone is beneath him in terms of ideals and intellect. Reminds me of the old saying: when it seems like everyone around you is crazy, the truth is that you’re the crazy one. Now that Mugabe has been sworn in for a 6th term, Addington may want to apply for a job in his administration. Seems it would be a better fit.

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