How Could It POSSIBLY Be Part of Karl Rove’s “Official Duties” to Hijack DOJ?

The biggest two regrets I have about Netroots Nation is that I arrived too late to meet either Governor Siegelman or Richard Clarke.

But I did manage to get the folks at Brave New Films to pose the question I’ve been asking for over a week to Governor Siegelman: How can Fred Fielding claim that the actions about which the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify were related to his "official duties"?

Governor Siegelman is just as mystified by the question as I am:

How could it possibly be part of Karl Rove’s offical duties to hijack the Department of Justice and use it as a political tool to prosecute those people whom they don’t like or people whom they think are political opponents?

Karl Rove was involved in the allocation of resoures to the Department of Justice and there is a question, certainly a question is raised as to his conduct and the people that he put into place over at the Department of Justice and whether they were programmed to abuse power for political reasons.

Update: Title fixed per skdadl

  1. FormerFed says:

    It’s the same old story – the official duties of the Bushies are whatever they want them to be.

  2. AZ Matt says:

    How could it possibly be part of Karl Rove’s offical duties to hijack the Department of Justice and use it as a political tool to prosecute those people whom they don’t like or people whom they think are political opponents?

    It was in his Position Description under other duties as assigned.

  3. bobschacht says:

    “Official duties” = Republican party agenda = sabotaging Democrats of all types in any position no matter what. Remember teh “permanent Republican majority”?

    Bob in HI

  4. JLML says:

    I hope you keep hammering away at this because it really is the catch 22 — the question our congress needs to pose to the DOJ.

    I wonder if you could also speak to my somewhat muddled question about the developments in Ohio last week with the announcement that Rove will be subpoenaed in an action regarding a conspiracy to carry out voter suppression and vote stealing via computerized vote fraud. This relates directly to the vote stealing which lost Siegelman his bid for re-election as governor. Rove’s first retaliatory blow.

  5. JohnLopresti says:

    I think this was Bush’s authoritarian splurge. Rove may have recognized the momentum of a politicized DoJ was stronger than his influence over term2 Bush+Cheney. Rove’s concept was almost as audacious as selective firings, simply cold boot the entire US Attorney corps; leaves less fingerprints. But Whitehouse’s matrix of hundreds of new political conduits opened between DoJ and WH was a key revelation. WH had taken Patriot as an avenue to its own rendition of central planning.

    On the OH OT, here is the prayer for relief from stay, and accompanying review of the shifts in OH elections oversight 2006ff.

    • JLML says:


      Not sure that it’s OT from Siegelman since the electronic”recount” when Siegelman lost his election was carried out by Republican operatives in a classic Rovian move. It’s the part of his story which is least covered.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    IMHO, Scott McClellan’s book gives some insight into the psychology of Bu$hCo and their inherent need to politicize everything they touch. If there’d been a WH laundromat, Rove would have politicized it, too. Officially. He just would have avoided testifying about it to Congress.

    I hope the sight of Siegelman speaking out in public scares Chertoff, Alice Miller, Alice Martin, and K-k-k-arl Rove. Mwahahahahaha

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Seems like it all continues to be a big F.U. to the entire country. We’ll see if we can fool Congress and the American people, and if not, screw it. There’s always the pardon.

    • bmaz says:

      Not a chance; Siegelman doesn’t mean spit to them, nor does he scare them one lick. Now that Congress has given them a clean bill of health on all the surveillance crimes and offenses, the only thing (other than that pass being rescinded) that truly worries them is the torture issues.

      • JohnForde says:

        And it should ` cause from that there is no hiding.

        I’m hoping some about-to-quit-or-be-fired-anyway employee of AP puts up the headline “War Criminal Karadic Arrested!” then ‘accidentally’ places Bushies photo in the piece.

  7. bell says:

    i wonder what Governor Siegelman thinks of the idea of impeachment, or nancy pelosis politics for that matter? i wonder if he would ever communicate with her about this topic..

  8. Leen says:

    Sorry you missed them too. Glad you got your question in.

    When will congress send the sergeant of Arms to Karl’s house? Equal justice under the law yeah right!

    Now here is some very sick sick stinkin “pre-mptive, noble lie,” thinkin

    Using Bombs to Stave Off War
    By BENNY MORRIS…..ref=slogin

  9. Citizen92 says:

    Well it sure was somebody’s job, and so far only Josh Bolten, Harriet Miers and Rove have refused to appear.

    Someone had to approve the number of appropriate contacts between the WH and DOJ to balloon from 4 (Clinton era) to 400 (Bush II).

    And someone had to approve the infrastructure. It’s part of the record that from Day 1, BushCo arrived with RNC- and campaign- issued laptops. Those had to plug into communications somehow. Remember it was 2001, a time that predated wireless routers. Someone had to authorize the installation of RNC-funded phone jacks on the WH complex. Someone had to authorize the installation of an RNC LAN onsite. And someone had to carry out the work. The WH are historic buildings. Access is tightly controlled. People coming in with wires are screened. It was an inside job.

    • bmaz says:

      And then there is the one that hasn’t even been asked to appear. Hope I don’t get shot in the face for saying that.

    • MadDog says:

      Well, yes and no. *g*

      Circa 2001 laptops all came with either built-in modems or PCMCIA slots that one could put in a modem card. This would be in addition to built-in Ethernet network adaptors and/or PCMCIA Ethernet cards for access to the White House LAN.

      As to White House dialup connections to the RNC, only if the individual had access to an analog phone line jack.

      Most organizations of any size have their own PBXs (Private Branch Exchange, or for the non-technical, their own private internal phone system) and the phone jack at one’s desk is connected to that PBX. Those jacks are not usable for dialup connections. They are digital connections to the PBX and not analog phone connections.

      Digital PBX connections have been known to actually burn out laptop modems, so hence the need for an analog phone line jack.

      As to LANs in the White House, they’ve been in place predating this Administration. Access to the RNC via the LAN could be accomplished in a couple of different ways:

      1. Direct to the RNC website via the White House’s Internet connection. The RNC may have provided a web-based email capability that allowed online access to RNC email from any White House desktop or laptop.

      2. A dial-out server based capability residing on the White House LAN that allowed users to dial-out to the RNC servers. Again, web-based email at the RNC servers.

      A dial-out server on the White House LAN would not be untypical for organizations of any size, but if it wasn’t in place prior to the Adminstration’s arrival, it would not be that big of a deal to shoe-horn one into the White House Office of Administration’s budget.

      If I were to guess, I would think that the RNC had/has that web-based email capability, and provides access to their “members” via both the Internet and a dial-in bank of modems.

      I rather doubt that White House staffers used either their Lotus Notes email in the early years or the follow-on replacement, Microsoft Outlook to access their RNC email which is why I think the RNC has its own web-based email capability.

      Using White House email systems to access their RNC email would have left too many tracks (backups, archives, etc.), though perhaps some did and this could have been motivation for all those missing White House emails, backups, and archives.

      As to the “inside job” aspect, look no further than the contractor staff of the Office of Administration or to the 3rd-party organizations that got their outsourced business. Repug affiliation was mandatory to get hired.

      • Peterr says:

        Using White House email systems to access their RNC email would have left too many tracks (backups, archives, etc.), though perhaps some did and this could have been motivation for all those missing White House emails, backups, and archives.


        I’d say it’s close to a certainty. Too many folks have too poor a knowledge of how email actually works. “But I hit ‘delete’ and erased my email . . .” Add that lack of knowledge to an attitude that says the rules are for the little people, and presto: there’s a big fat evidence trail waiting to get followed.

      • Citizen92 says:

        Thanks. From all accounts, though, the Bush crowd were using their laptops from day one. Maybe they arrived with a plan and rammed it through. But I can tell you about what the Bushies arrived to find at the newly vacated Clinton White House:

        1 – An apolitical Office of Administration. OA had been battered by Dan Burton during the Clinton e-mail scandals. Everyone in that office was going to play it uber-safe. They were probably chucked out in the first days. OA policy during Clinton was to block EOP-level access to all web-based email systems. OA was super conscious of this, and had done it to ensure compliance with the PRA. Someone in a (politically appointed) leadership position would have had to walk that back.

        2 – The only analog phone jacks available to EOP staffers were those attached to analog fax machines. Faxes were 100% analog back then, but there really were only 1 or 2 per office, so not enough to support a huge # of dialups.

        3 – The PBX system was an analog AT&T/Lucent Definity system using 8410 handsets. Absolutely could not plug into that system for a dialup tone.

        4 – The LANS for the network were in place when the Bushies arrived, along with desktop computers. The connections were so old they resembled something like a coax connection. Anyway, like I said before, providing access to webmail via to the WH internet connection was strictly forbidden and adding or subtracting to the EOP enterprise architecture was strictly controlled by the notably skittish OA career staff. Again, could have changed after a bit of political pressure, but not available from the outset.

        It would be interesting to hear a recount of the first few months of what was transpiring in the EA space over at EOP.

        • MadDog says:

          Excellent response and we agree on much!

          So, how does one get access to the RNC in the early days?

          In Turdblossom’s case, I’m confident he had a fax machine in his West Wing office, but I doubt he’d be plugging and unplugging his laptop RJ-45 cable to use it. Too many faxes coming in to try that. I’d guess he’d be one to get an additional analog line post haste.

          As for the rest of the RNC-accessing staffers, good question. More analog lines?

          Given the security of the White House (owned I believe by the WHCA who are primarily staffed by Armed Forces personnel), I’d deem it unlikely that an RNC-based server network could have been easily infiltrated, but given this Administration’s penchant for secrecy, it is still within the realm of “possibility”.

  10. Peterr says:

    How can Fred Fielding claim that the actions about which the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify were related to his “official duties”?

    *sniff, sniff*

    Is it . . .?

    *sniff, sniff, sniff*


    I smell pixie dust.

  11. Citizen92 says:

    O/T but it’s been a while since I last read through the Enron e-mail files. It’s astonishing, really, how many talk about the access this company had early on to the Climate Change “strategy” being put together by Cheney and Co.…..2/page/12&

    • MadDog says:

      Effing with the JAGs (by Haynes, Dougie “Stupidest…” Feith, John-boy Yoo-hoo and David “So?” Addington) wasn’t a real smart idea.

      And with those stooges, twas par for the course. And now Mumbles Mukasey is trying to con the Congress into bailing this sinking garbage barge out?

      Perhaps Dougie wasn’t the stupidest one after all.

      • Leen says:

        “Interesting timing” indeed. The success at stalling this trial with the hopes of a dismissal have been disturbing. And then of course the MSM’s (hell the progressive blogs too) complete co-operation with not mentioning boo about the investigation and trial.

        “Interesting timing” Just after Israel’s alleged August to October strike on Iran and just before the election.

        They sure have set the stage for the strike. The last five years Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nations Neil Conan, Chris Matthews, George Stephanapoulous, Joe Scarborough have all allowed unsubstantiated claims to be repeated on their programs. Not just once but many times.

        Do you ever see Matthews or hell even Keith Olberman bring former weapons inspector Scott Ritter or Joseph Cirincione, Flynt Leverett, Juan Cole or anyone else to dispute these repeated claims about Iran.

        Then we have the Kyl Lieberman amendment passed last fall and now the upcoming warmongering legislation pushed by Aipac after their last conference in D.C.

        Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

        Members of the House and Senate have introduced resolutions (H. Con. Res. 362 and S. Res. 580) calling on the administration to focus on the urgency of the Iranian nuclear threat and to impose tougher sanctions on Tehran. The resolutions, introduced in the House by Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Mike Pence (R-IN) and in the Senate by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and John Thune (R-SD), urge the president to sanction Iran’s Central Bank and other international banks and energy companies investing in the country. They also demand that the United States lead an international effort to increase pressure on Tehran by prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products. Please urge your representatives to cosponsor this critical resolution.
        Legislative Details:

        * Bill Summary: House (PDF, 49K) | Senate (PDF, 49K)
        * Text of Resolutions: House (PDF, 55K) | Senate (PDF, 35K)
        * Cosponsors: House | Senate

        Email Congress:

        * Email your Representative
        * Email your Senators

        Related Materials:

        * U.S. Must Do More to Prevent Nuclear-Armed Iran (PDF, 1027k)
        * FAQ: The Iranian Threat (PDF, 99k)


        • klynn says:

          Thanks for catching that Leen. I had read about it on an Iran Political Affairs site and could not believe it was so buried in the media (snark).

          Timing is not just disturbing, it’s downright sickening…

  12. Citizen92 says:

    All right!

    WHCA/WHMO does IT security for its nets (secure and unclass) and its people. OA does IT security for its nets (wholly unclass) and its people.

    There are some users of both worlds. Most senior staff WH political appointeees (Deputy Chief of Staff, for ex) are also carried by WHCA because they need regular access to the President – and may also have a role in COG and other class. programs.

    WHCA also oversees tech security – Electronio Warfare, bug sweeps, etc. WHCA also owns 100% of the travel “trip site” infrastructure that they set up when POTUS travels.

    WHCA is an active duty joint service activity which answers to a senior politically appointed Director of the White House Military Office (WHMO). For most of his administration, Bush has chosen to appoint/staff that office with a senior active duty officer (VADM, I think).

    I think we found a possible explanation, but still, somewhere along the way, someone had to let the techs in to install “pipes” or lines and reconfigure systems so the 80 or so RNC users could get connectivity. Maybe this happened after they purged OA of its careerists and brought in contractors?

    • WilliamOckham says:

      MadDog and Citizen92,

      In the beginning, most of the RNC/campaign email was done via RIM network Blackberries. They could also hook up their RNC laptops to the OA network and then to RNC Exchange servers via SMTP/POP3. The fact that the WH in 2000 was still on Lotus Notes and the Bush political team was filled with Outlook users was a powerful incentive for people who wanted to avoid scrutiny to stick to the RNC equipment.

      • MadDog says:

        I’d love to take a peek at the White House’s Active Directory setup. I wonder if their schema has an RNC “tree” in the White House “forest”.

        After all, if as you said, they hooked up RNC laptops to the White House OA network, and they were accessing White House OA services, then they were part of the White House OA domain structure at the very least for authentification if not for their secured access to White House apps.

        And I’m wondering just how many domains exist on that network. Would you bet against separate EOP and OVP domains? Not me. *g*

  13. Citizen92 says:

    Thanks. OA controlled their pipes pretty strictly after the Clinton e-mail fiascos. All external webmail was blocked. I would have to assume they would have also blocked sites like mail-to-web and other SMTP/POP3 services.

    If a hole was created in the OA firewall, someone would have had to order it – and, at least until they cleared out the career staff, it would not have been done lightly.