If the Questions Are So “Novel” Then How Can You Argue the Privilege Exists?!?!?

Someone really ought to call Fred Fielding on his bullshit. Today, perhaps because he reads Murray Waas (I promise, I will return to that post), Fred’s offering further negotiations in the matter of Harriet and Josh and Karl and a stack of documents. In his latest letter to Conyers, Fred says,

[A stay on Bates’ order pending appeal] will provide appellate consideration of the novel questions at stake in this matter [my emphasis]

Fred. I’m not a lawyer, so I could be wrong here. But if even you are admitting that these are "novel" questions, aren’t you, in fact, agreeing with what both John Bates and Linda Sanchez have said all along, that you’re just making this shit up!!! As Bates said,

Indeed, the aspect of this lawsuit that is unprecedented is the notion that Ms. Miers is absolutely immune from compelled congressional process. The Supreme Court has reserved absolute immunity for very narrow circumstances, involving the President’s personal exposure to suits for money damages based on his official conduct or concerning matters of national security or foreign affairs. The Executive’s current claim of absolute immunity from compelled congressional process for senior presidential aides is without any support in the case law.

This absolute immunity shit doesn’t exist. Linda Sanchez knows it, John Bates knows it, and, apparently, you know it. So drop the pretense and send us Turdblossom to testify already, okay? 

  1. bmaz says:

    It is not about absolute immunity, it is about time. Just squeezing as much as they can out of this dodge before moving on to the next one. the longer they can ply on this subject, the longer they have before they have to trot out the executive privilege claims and start this process all over again. If the Dems were smart (they are not), they would argue this to Bates in opposition to the stay. In order to receive a stay, they should have to avow they are not going to later claim EP; if they are going to claim EP, there is no reason for a stay, lets get that issue moving and joined up.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, I know that. But that still shouldn’t prevent Conyers from saying “Fred’s just talking shite” as he walks out of some gathering, by mistake, you understand.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      From Murray Waas…

      The continuous claims of executive privilege– whatever the motive for them being invoked– are going to appear more and more to the pubic part and parcel of a cover up.

      Add in Suskind’s revelations about forged documents, and it looks like desperation.

      • bobschacht says:

        I wonder if at some point Obama might start calling attention to this, and challenging McCain along the lines of, “You like Bush’s policies so much, would you also continue his cover-up?”

        That would make things interesting. And I like bmaz’s idea @8, too.

        Bob in HI

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Bob, I second your ideas. And I like bmaz’s idea @8, too.

          AngryMan, you’re not alone in suspecting there’s some kind of pathology in these affairs.

          Sociopaths seem interpret any victory as a ‘win’.
          Those of us who experience the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the grief of losing friends, recognize that not all ‘victories’ are equal. We seek to distinguish between genuine victories and Pyrrhic victories.

          Sociopaths like Rove don’t seem to grasp that that there’s a distinction. They don’t seem to understand that a short term ‘win’ (in an election, or a vote) is not a win if it damages the social fabric and diminishes communal resources.

          And I don’t think you’re the only one to mistakenly assume that EW has a law degree ;-))

        • emptywheel says:

          I’ve long said he ought to do that with Bush’s firing of the EPA regional administrator over a cleanup plan for Dow Chemical here in MI. It’s a key part of the state for turnout, and it’d be a way to undercut McCain’s environmental cred very quickly.

    • PetePierce says:

      I agree. It sure is about time and that should be in their reply motion. But even if Rove and HaRAT!, one of the most over her head individuals in a key job since Clarence Thomas, physically show I expect them to play games and reveal nothing. And they have a good amount of time to waste with the appeal–60 days to file, but within the 60 days another 30 to ask for an extension via the FRAP, and then the appeal clock would run.

      This cries out for a Special Counsel, as do many of these issues including the fake Habush letter, but we won’t get one out of Mukasey. So if the Obama administration gets in and has any backbone, one could and should be appointed for many Rove, Miers, and Bolten issues as well as many CIA issues and a new one to make sure the Plame leak is fully pursued–Fitz needs help.

  2. bobschacht says:

    Frog march! Frog march!

    Will future generations of law students be looking at this as a casebook definition of “dilatory tactics”?

    Bob in HI

  3. skdadl says:

    Ha! Those “novel” questions. They’re only novel because Fielding made such novel claims in the first place. And now he’s turning his own fictions around on t’other guys? I call that chutzpah.

  4. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Fred. I’m not a lawyer, so I could be wrong here.

    Your not a lawyer EW? But Fred and Gonzo are?

    • bmaz says:

      Okay, i will fully admit that Marcy could kick the ass of many lawyers and could function perfectly well as one in most all situations. She would eat Not So Speedy Gonzales alive, and spit him out. But there is a difference between a lawyer being nefarious and a lawyer being incompetent. Fielding is the former, not the latter.

  5. AngryMan says:

    We’re dealing here with people who have a lifetime of winning by redefining the rules in their own favor. They tend to be sociopaths, and don’t conceive that they are not allowed change the rules anywhere, anytime, to fit their wants. So, the clear contradiction between ‘novel’ and the claimed right is totally lost on them. Only a higher power (say the courts?) can stop them – and even this won’t sway their opinions. These folks truly are the spoiled children that their parents raised.

    • PetePierce says:

      It contained no appology to Hatfill, natch, since DOJ and FBI are serial fuckups who never appologize.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Pete, with all due respect, I realize that there are problems with DoJ that are dire.
        I also realize there are serious problems at the FBI if the questions about anthrax (which I’ve only followed superficially) are to be believed.

        But your brush seems a bit too broad in this remark. It’s a bit of a stretch to call two huge institutions f*ckups, IMHO.

        • bmaz says:

          The institutions are what the people in them make them, as molded by the leadership. For eight years, they have been on an ever worsening slope of of outrageousness, partisan and dogmatic harm, and incompetence; all as molded by the leadership. They have been fuckers and fuckups. However, there is likely still a competent core of 60%-70% or so that, with proper leadership and cleaned up, restored protocols, and some time, is likely still quite competent and functional. I think it will easily take 5-8 years to get back to the unified competence and reputation it had when Bush took office.

          • bobschacht says:

            Someone wrote today that Rumsfeld *purposefully* made sure Iraq was a screw-up, completely FUBAR. Here’s a level at which this strategy might work: Suppose Rummy knew that their inside coup d’etat wasn’t going to succeed. What they needed is to set things up so that it would be impossible for their successors to succeed. Then the Neocons could blame everything on the supposedly incompetent Dems, and lay the groundwork for electing someone in 2012 who would finish the coup that they started with Georgie-boy.

            Elements of the chaos might include:
            * an unwinnable war that costs a lot in money and American lives
            * an economy in chaos and up to its eyeballs in debt, thereby choking off any grandiose schemes they might have, so that the economy is too weak to recover within a 4-year time span
            * enough domestic surveillance intelligence on all democrats to provide enough dirt to neuter all of the most powerful democrats so they’ll do nothing more than run around whimpering and looking weak and ineffectual.

            Um, part of the Shock Doctrine, maybe?

            Bob in HI

          • PetePierce says:

            Bmaz has always had an accurate assessment of DOJ. Many of the district offices are in relatively pretty decent shape, although I have seen them cut corners and lie to fuck people. Main Justice is in the situation Bmaz very accurately describes IMO, and many other agencies are because of the leadership mode for 8 years that this adminstration has taken. Laurita Doan was another good example where the core was rotten at the top–now there’s a nasty lady with balls.

            And her political relationship and use of her agency (with Rove) is a serious problem for him/her if it ever gets the right kind of scrutiny.

          • stryder says:

            It’s almost as if you have to dust yourself off and throw some water on your face and try to get a grip on how and why such cataclysmic events have happened and make a list and start kickin ass and make goddamn sure this never happens again

            ” In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
            And he carries a reminder of every blow that’s laid him low
            And cut him till he cries out in his anger and his shame
            I am leaving,I am leaving, but the fighter still remains”

              • ohmercy says:

                I love that song too.
                I read somewhere once that Simon wrote it about Dylan.

                (Dylan does box but I doubt he did then.)

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            there is likely still a competent core of 60%-70% or so that, with proper leadership and cleaned up, restored protocols, and some time, is likely still quite competent and functional. I think it will easily take 5-8 years to get back to the unified competence and reputation it had when Bush took office.

            As so many times in the past, bmaz, you’ve said things more cogently and succinctly than I have. Thx for this.

            I only hope the core is still as high as 60%; I fear it may be down to 20% or 30%. So here’s hoping the core is as high as you state.

            As for the timeframes, I’m a bit agnostic. It looks to me like this mess really calls for a Major Reorganization, but the times that I’ve seen that happen, it has required extra resources and extra administrative authority and very clear vision. Tough work. It’s a rare person who can do a good job of it, but they sure do make a difference.

            Evidently, I need to get a copy of “Shock Doctrine” on audiobook.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              I fear that bmaz’s estimate of 60-70% solid core remaining on the tree of justice seems high. The carpenter ants have been busy. I think his timeline of 5-8 years is optimistic, too.

              Many federal employees, often the most talented but least “with the program”, have been given poor reviews or denied promotion or transfers. Some have been given nothing to do, a phone and a window in hopes they would leave. Others have had their security clearance put under a review, which denies them access to the people and materials needed to do their work. Some have just been fired. The “Roundup” has been relentlessly effective.

              Virtually all hires for over seven years have been from a Gooper list. Not only at Justice. But across the federal government. Regardless of department or specialty. A list put together by the likes of Kay Coles James, former head of the government’s hiring process and former top Regent U. administrator. When Regent U. priorities become Uncle Sam’s hiring priorities, we’re all in big trouble.

              So the liberals, progressives, agnostics, atheists, non-Christians, the sexually unpopular and others who remain are older, some have been brutalized or shunted aside, their networks disbanded. They will leave or retire first in the ordinary course of business. If hiring is neutral, their replacements will be a mixed bag, intentionally so. But it will mean the ship of state maintains a heavy list to starboard for quite some time. And before a broad spectrum of personalities gains power, there will be a transition period where all the likely candidates for leadership will want to push her harder to starboard still.

              Which means that Congress, the President, agency heads and federal employee associations have a lot of work ahead of them. One thing Congress can do is restore the union membership that Cheney had ripped from employees DoD and DHS. One thing agency heads can do is rehire many of the talented former feds Bush pushed out. One thing the President can do is to hire agency heads who desperately want their new agencies to succeed, not tear them apart. EPA, Interior, Labor and Justice quickly come to mind.

              Running the federal government ain’t easy; it’s more like an aircraft carrier than a canoe. Regardless, if only the port screws turn or you only paddle on the left, the only direction you can go is to the right. Which takes you nowhere but in a circle and achieves nothing but dysfunction. Cheney may have wanted that, to centralize decision making in the hand ruling from behind the throne. But he and Bush are rich and connected enough to live beyond government. The other ninety-nine percent of us need it to run well.

              • bmaz says:

                I think here is the difference between our views. You are thinking pretty much (I think anyway) in terms of DOJ Main, which is what you read and hear about the most in the media. But the DOJ as a whole is not just that, but 93 districts/US Attorney’s Offices and innumerable FBI districts and field offices. Most all of these do not have the turnover and ability for meddling nearly as much as Main in DC. Leadership, as I noted has withered, and that is a problem; but I think the vast majority of the district level backbone may be somewhat better off than you think. Given proper leadership and supervision, even some fundie hires are probably capable prosecutors and agents. Keep in mind that there was always a diversity of people. So, when you consider the whole in this manner, that is where I made those estimates from. I may be wrong, but from what I have seen in my local district and in SoCal, and heard from others, this is what I think.

    • bobschacht says:

      See, what if Ivins is Hatfill redux? What if the whole plan from the beginning was to pin the whole anthrax thing on Hatfill, in order to conceal who really ran the gig? Only Hatfill wouldn’t cooperate, and he fought back with determination and effectiveness. So, uttering Condi’s favorite line, “Who’d have thought that this Hatfill guy was this tough?”, they decide to pick on a more emotionally fragile scientist who could be relied upon to crack under obscene pressure? So Ivins cooperated by committing suicide (or so we are told), and they thought that their coverup of an unindicted conspirator could close the case. But as others have reported, a bunch of folks even in the MSM smell a rat. So maybe they won’t get away with it after all.

      Bob in HI

      • Hmmm says:

        I might be with you there, if there were any clear evidence that they aren’t getting away with it. So far I think they are. Grassley et al. will have to keep pushing very very hard to change that. And because I think things are likely to start happening thick and fast from now ’til January 20 as Team W and Team Dick do cleanup on their way out of town, I think Amerithrax is in danger of getting forgotten. This was dumped not just on a Friday, but under cover of about the biggest mass distraction we’ve got going, the Olympics.

        “All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

  6. masaccio says:

    There isn’t any stay in effect. I’ve read Judge Bates’ opinion, and it is pretty clear he doesn’t think there is any real legal question in the assertion of absolute immunity. For him, enforcement of the subpoena is a given. I can’t think of any reason he should grant a stay as to that issue. That leaves nothing for appeal. The only issue remaining is assertions of privilege as to question.

    HJC should insist on immediate compliance. Preferably with a waiting cell.

    • PetePierce says:

      I’ve always been a strong advocate of enforcement of inherent contempt.

      I don’t see at this point what any downside is. I know Marcy made some timing points as to why they were waiting before Bates’ opinion. I don’t see what should stop them now.

      Definitely there is no stay in effect–that’s what the motion to Bates requested. Bates also has a scheduled (I love the concept of this with this administration) conference on August 27 to work out the differences as to contempt and testifying. I’m sure that will be a winner.

      If Bates denies it, they can appeal to the DC CA.

      And I know you understand the timing of delaying the appeal clock–60 days and within it they have 30 more to ask for a delay in the appeal clock from the DC CA.

  7. masaccio says:

    I should have said, the only remaining question is assertions of privilege as to specific questions the HJC asks. Those don’t turn into issues if a) the executive and legislative branches negotiate ground rules or b) HJC asks questions and the executive asserts privilege.

    • bmaz says:

      Yep that is pretty much the same thing I was saying. Unless the government avows they are not going to be asserting EP, judicial efficiency should mandate that they go ahead and get the EP assertion into a ripe posture and that everything go up on appeal at the same time instead of this piecemeal stalling crap they are obviously pulling.

  8. masaccio says:

    The appeal doesn’t help them if there is no stay. If Bates won’t grant one, the subpoena is enforced.

    In my line of work, suppose there is an order allowing a sale. The Bankruptcy Court refuses to stay the order permitting the trustee to sell. The trustee sells, and the appeal is moot. Same here. If Bates doesn’t grant a stay, the HJC orders an appearance, and then seeks a judgment of contempt and Bates should grant it. Or is that just too aggressive for the Beltway types.

    • bmaz says:

      The House can even stipulate to preserving that issue for appeal along with the EP stuff that will return soon enough

    • PetePierce says:

      Well, if Bates doesn’t grant them a stay, they can appeal his order to the CA. Further via the DC FRAPS and for that matter the FRAPS for every other appellate CA, they can move in the DC CA for a stay and they can make an emergency motion, and uniquely the DC CA (their tweaked FRAPS) unlike some others will allow one judge to decide the emergency motion so they can go to the DC CA 24X 7 with that motion.

      And they will do just that–whatever it takes to get a stay.

      I know that Conyers and Feilding are meeting next week, but I don’t expect any meeting with ole obfuscating Fred who has perfected the art of obfuscations in that big White House through several administrations. I think we’d all agree this White House is in “Fuck You and the Horse You Rode on” kind of a back in the day phrase even for me but they aren’t giving up jack shit.

      If they go to the Hill, they are going to make Gonzales’ insipidly stupid answers look brilliant (and I mean if anyone thinks I’m painting that with a broad brushstorke, I don’t know what else you’d call the collosally stupid answers Fredo gave).

      Some people will get satisfaction out of seeing what to me is a pathetic woman for President of the Texas Bar (wtf were they thinking with her–and if she’s SCOTUS material, I’ll eat one of their columns and steps).

      Conyers may get them in that HJC room, but they won’t say jack, and Rove will enjoy coming there and pissing on them.

      Oh boy! A Conyers and Fielding teaparty. That’s going to be ass kickin’ fersure. Or as President Paris would say “Like they’re totally ready to lead.”

      Conyers and WH Counsel to Meet as “Early As Next Week”

      Things are moving right along in the wake of the HJC v. Miers decision last week.

      White House Counsel Fred Fielding has already responded to Rep. John Conyer’s (D-MI) letter requesting “quick compliance” with the ruling and an answer to the subpoena issued to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for documents relating to the politicization of the Department of Justice.

      Fielding (predictably) demurred, citing the recent motion for appeal, but he did comply to Conyer’s other request: a meeting between the two parties to try to “work cooperatively to resolve these issues.” From Fielding’s letter to Chairman Conyers:

      However, the fact that the Executive has noticed an appeal in this matter does not signify that we think further litigation is the exclusive path forward. . . this Administration has responded to more than 650 Congressional inquiries and investigations, and through negotiation and accommodation with Congressional committees has been able to resolve all but a very few of them. . . Toward that end, and hopefully as a prelude to meaningful discussions between us, I propose that members of our respective staffs meet as early as next week to re-commence discussing possibilities for reaching an accommodation between the Branches in this matter.

      I don’t see what accomodation in anyone’s dreams they think they’re going to get from Fielding and Rove. I love this “no transcript and no oath” bullshit. I can see attorneys in every courtroom telling the mutss from DOJ: “Yeah we’ll put up our client for cross but they’re not under oath, no purgery can apply, and the court reporter is out of the room–we’re not having a transcript for our client.”

      “Accomodation” my ass. We’ve had eight years of the most wimpy accomodation possible. Currently it’s spelled Pelossi, HJC, SJC, and etc.

  9. yonodeler says:

    Can any purported exoneration of any person by any government agency at any level, concerning any alleged crime to which an acquittal or a pardon has not been applied, absolutely preclude prosecution of the person purportedly exonerated of culpability for the crimes specified in the instrument of exoneration?

  10. PetePierce says:

    By the way for all you anthrax afficianados, one of my objections a few days ago was that the insipidly selective and stupid presentation by Jeff Taylor and the clucking clunkers like “Eric Lick Blow” (anyone in the administration) of the NYT was this crap about the unique genotype of the anthrax that Ivins’ lab used that was cookie mixed with anthrax from another of the fine secure institutions in DOD.

    I said that the Pastuer institute over at 25-29 Rue du Roux 7501 Paris (not Hilton but there is a Hilton Hotel Paris that didn’t make a video) had the same strain of Anthrax and they did. And TPM Mucky quotes sources sayhing 100 or more places have/had it.

    vins’ Strain Of Anthrax Was Not So
    Rare After All

    But then on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the number of people with access to that anthrax was much higher.

    In addition, more than 100 people had access to the anthrax in question, a larger number than many had previously believed.

    Now today, the Washington Post reports that the flask in Ivins’ lab was not the only one containing that particular strain matched to the 2001 letters.

    FBI officials said the powdered bacteria mailed to news outlets and Senate offices had a distinct genetic heritage that precisely matched anthrax spores Ivins kept in a flask in his laboratory. But the officials also acknowledged that 15 other labs had the same strain, known as RMR-1029.
    At this rate, by the end of next week, we’ll find out that this strain of anthrax is typically found in most 10th-grade science labs.

    For my money Jeff Taylor is still the same pathetic schlump he was when he was Orin Hatch’s Chief of Staff. He’ll grab anything and imply he has evidence and I stand by my assessment of DOJ and FBI–in far more cases than this one.

  11. JThomason says:

    OT-There was a time within the last 100 years that Armenia which stands between Iran and Georgia was Russian. This is a war on the Russian Federations southern border in the Caucus region between the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean. The escalation is getting 24/7 coverage in the Russian media. Occurring 300 miles north of the Iranian border. That’s about the distance between Albuquerque and the Mexican border. Georgia is the 3rd largest participant in the “Coalition of the Willing” and its troops are being recalled from Iraq for this emergency. A great risk is emerging that the current contextual markers are about to be restaked across the board. A war time election takes on a far different timbre. Russia does have nukes. Brezhenski did not count on the Siberian oil boom and the Russian resurgence Putin has engineered:

    Neither side showed any indication of backing down. Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia declared that “war has started,” and President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia accused Russia of a “well-planned invasion” and mobilized Georgia’s military reserves. There were signs as well of a cyberwarfare campaign against Georgia, as Georgian government Web sites were crashing intermittently during the day.

    The escalation risked igniting a renewed and sustained conflict in the Caucasus region, an important conduit for the flow of oil from the Caspian Sea to world markets and an area where conflict has flared for years along Russia’s borders, most recently in Chechnya.

    The military incursion into Georgia marked a fresh sign of Kremlin confidence and resolve, and also provided a test of the capacities of the Russian military, which Mr. Putin had tried to modernize and re-equip during his two presidential terms.

    New York Times.

    • behindthefall says:

      Please tell me we don’t have a mutual defense pact with Georgia. (Not that I have anything against the Georgians, but still and all … )

  12. Hmmm says:

    OT — Another WSJ Ivins story up.

    In the days after attacks, suspected samples of anthrax began pouring into the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases. In Room 19 of the bacteriology division, Dr. Ivins’s office was jammed with desks for six more staffers where once there had been just Dr. Ivins and perhaps one other.

    Hell, no wonder he worked late. I can’t stand working with too many folks jammed into the same space.

    • PetePierce says:

      Holes in the Anthrax Case?

      “There are a lot of armchair detectives and instant experts out there formulating opinions not based on a full set of the facts,” an FBI official objected on Thursday. True enough — and all the more reason to give a full set of the facts to someone who can get out of the armchair. But to whom?

      How unlike the feds to do things like that. And I suspect the parade of horribles that were bestowed on Dr. Ivins by the FBI would be enough to make anyone here change their workplace for another one. I’m not saying Dr. Ivins is not involved, but I am saying that these putzes, both the FBI and DOJ, in this case should be removed from their job.

      The only reason that Jeff Taylor is in his is to be clear not because any Chief District Court Judge in the D.C. Circuit appointed him (that was the old pre-Patriot Restoration Act of 2005 scheme) law.

      After the so-called Patriot Act aka Make the USA a Banana Republic so Morons Like Goodling could install people including Immigration Judges the appointment of an interim USA which is what Taylor is–he’s never been confirmed in D.C. became indefinite. The only wayto remove Taylor is to remove Bush.

      New Details Show Anthrax Suspect Away On Key Day

      This is the shit everyone is being fed. Eat hardy.

      “There is not enough scientific information to make an evaluation of the science the FBI used in this investigation,” said Tara O’Toole, who heads the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh.
      FBI officials said the powdered bacteria mailed to news outlets and Senate offices had a distinct genetic heritage that precisely matched anthrax spores Ivins kept in a flask in his laboratory. But the officials also acknowledged that 15 other labs had the same strain, known as RMR-1029. How, O’Toole asked, were investigators able to rule out other labs, as well as other workers with access to the bacteria?

      Others noted the lack of evidence directly linking Ivins to the attack strain. Meryl Nass, a physician and prominent opponent of the Army’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program, said the FBI ultimately proved only that Ivins had access to the right kinds of bacteria and equipment. “They found not a spore in his home or car,” Nass said.

      Court filings released this week sometimes ran counter to findings that authorities announced years earlier. In June 2002, the FBI revealed that radiocarbon dating analyses conducted by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had found that the strain used in the letters had been cultured no more than two years before the mailings. The findings were considered important because they told investigators that the material was newly made and not from a laboratory’s aging stocks.

      But the documents released Wednesday said without explanation that Ivins had been “the sole custodian of RMR-1029 since it was first grown in 1997″ — dating the material back as far as four years before the letters were mailed.

      Justice spokesman Dean Boyd said prosecutors were “confident” in their ability to defend the science in court. Another missing link was the bureau’s inability to match Ivins’s handwriting with the primitive block print of the letters used in the anthrax mailings. In dealing with at least one earlier “person of interest” in the case, the FBI’s handwriting experts in Quantico worked with outside consultants to try to match handwriting samples taken in property searches.

      Another missing link was the bureau’s inability to match Ivins’s handwriting with the primitive block print of the letters used in the anthrax mailings. In dealing with at least one earlier “person of interest” in the case, the FBI’s handwriting experts in Quantico worked with outside consultants to try to match handwriting samples taken in property searches.

      But authorities, who acknowledged seizing 68 handwritten letters to members of Congress and the news media from Ivins’s property, said they could not make a specific identification. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor told reporters Wednesday that investigators concluded that Ivins had disguised his handwriting, leaving agents “unable to make a comparison.”

      Defense lawyer Kemp said he was told by the government that an analysis had come back negative, but that report has not been made public. Kemp had not won access to the government’s scientific findings, and he asserted yesterday that authorities had misplaced or mistakenly destroyed an early anthrax sample that Ivins had provided from his lab in 2002, facts he said he would have exploited at trial.

      Oh and FBI taps whoever and whenever the fuck they want. Laws are just in the way for DOJ.

      • skdadl says:

        Heh. Here in Canada, we do it the other way around — the RCMP let us tap them. I’m sitting here laughing myself silly over a story about the Mounties. They’ve been sending communiqués to their tactical squad via mass recordings sent to pagers, and yup, one of the people on the list is not a member of the tactical squad. (Well, one that we know about so far.)

        Better yet, the recording actually says something like, “If you are not a member of the RCMP’s tactical troop, you should hang up now.”


        I also loved this:

        “The vast majority of times the [RCMP tactical squad] is sitting off somewhere in the dark and never seen.”

        In the dark. Heh heh heh. Ok, I’ll settle down now.

  13. Hmmm says:

    He grew more critical of the investigation when it began pointing toward him in late 2006. In lunchtime conversations, he told colleagues he thought the FBI might be trying to set him up, Dr. Adamovicz recalled. Dr. Ivins began poking holes in efforts to link him to the attacks, saying a positive DNA match between the anthrax in the letters and that stored at Fort Detrick would mean little “because those labs are shared,” Dr. Adamovicz said.

    Ya think?

    • skdadl says:

      I don’t mean to be unkind or anything, but I don’t give much credit to some guy who is laying claim to British titles that went dormant in the early C18.

      • plunger says:

        I don’t care who the messenger is – I’m more interested in access to the facts…which our “journalists” seem unwilling to make available.

    • behindthefall says:

      A particularly juicy excerpt from what you linked to:

      FURTHER UPDATE ~ Russian military forces in active combat; now total of four Russian fighter jets reported downed. ADDITIONAL UPDATE ~ Georgia calls for US help; Russian Air Force bombs Georgian air bases. DEBKA, the Israeli strategy and military site, states that Israeli military officers are advising the Georgian armed forces in combat operations and that 1,000 Israelis are in-combat on the side of Georgia at this time.

  14. wavpeac says:

    So glad to see meat and potatoes on this site. It’s jello every where else. I hate jello. It’s as if the american people got trained by the republicans to give a crap about things that don’t matter. Have you noticed that when it’s a pedaphile caught in a scandal on the republican side, they just get real quiet and let it slip away. Will we ever learn? Now back to the meat. I will be deep reading the posts I missed on this site over the week.

  15. wavpeac says:

    And Russia needs that border. Well, the implications of this certainly do have the potential to prevent an impeachment, don’t they?

    How did we let it get so freaking out of control.

    They never give up do they. Nope, good criminals never do. Giving up is for wimps. How to start a world war in three easy steps. “I’ll be rich and dead long before you all figure out the truth. And my offspring will have enough money and power to live on comfortably for several hundred years.”


    • pajarito says:

      And this massive US Naval buildup in the area sounds fishy:

      The lead American ship in these war games, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71) and its Carrier Strike Group Two (CCSG-2) are now headed towards Iran along with the USS Ronald Reagon (CVN76) and its Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG-7) coming from Japan.

      They are joining two existing USN battle groups in the Gulf area: the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72) with its Carrier Strike Group Nine (CCSG-9); and the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) with its expeditionary strike group.

      The US Naval forces being assembled include the following:

      Carrier Strike Group Nine
      USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72) nuclear powered supercarrier
      with its Carrier Air Wing Two
      Destroyer Squadron Nine:
      USS Mobile Bay (CG53) guided missile cruiser
      USS Russell (DDG59) guided missile destroyer
      USS Momsen (DDG92) guided missile destroyer
      USS Shoup (DDG86) guided missile destroyer
      USS Ford (FFG54) guided missile frigate
      USS Ingraham (FFG61) guided missile frigate
      USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG60) guided missile frigate
      USS Curts (FFG38) guided missile frigate
      Plus one or more nuclear hunter-killer submarines

      Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group
      USS Peleliu (LHA-5) a Tarawa-class amphibious assault carrier
      USS Pearl Harbor (LSD52) assult ship
      USS Dubuque (LPD8) assult ship/landing dock
      USS Cape St. George (CG71) guided missile cruiser
      USS Halsey (DDG97) guided missile destroyer
      USS Benfold (DDG65) guided missile destroyer

      Carrier Strike Group Two
      USS Theodore Roosevelt (DVN71) nuclear powered supercarrier
      with its Carrier Air Wing Eight
      Destroyer Squadron 22
      USS Monterey (CG61) guided missile cruiser
      USS Mason (DDG87) guided missile destroyer
      USS Nitze (DDG94) guided missile destroyer
      USS Sullivans (DDG68) guided missile destroyer

      USS Springfield (SSN761) nuclear powered hunter-killer submarine

      IWO ESG ~ Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group
      USS Iwo Jima (LHD7) amphibious assault carrier
      with its Amphibious Squadron Four
      and with its 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit
      USS San Antonio (LPD17) assault ship
      USS Velia Gulf (CG72) guided missile cruiser
      USS Ramage (DDG61) guided missile destroyer
      USS Carter Hall (LSD50) assault ship
      USS Roosevelt (DDG80) guided missile destroyer

      USS Hartfore (SSN768) nuclear powered hunter-killer submarine

      Carrier Strike Group Seven
      USS Ronald Reagan (CVN76) nuclear powered supercarrier
      with its Carrier Air Wing 14
      Destroyer Squadron 7
      USS Chancellorsville (CG62) guided missile cruiser
      USS Howard (DDG83) guided missile destroyer
      USS Gridley (DDG101) guided missile destroyer
      USS Decatur (DDG73) guided missile destroyer
      USS Thach (FFG43) guided missile frigate
      USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7) fast combat support ship

      Also likely to join the battle armada:

      UK Royal Navy HMS Ark Royal Carrier Strike Group with assorted guided missile destroyers and frigates, nuclear hunter-killer submarines and support ships

      French Navy nuclear powered hunter-killer submarines (likely the Amethyste and perhaps others), plus French Naval Rafale fighter jets operating off of the USS Theodore Roosevelt as the French Carrier Charles de Gaulle is in dry dock, and assorted surface warships

      Various other US Navy warships and submarines and support ships. The following USN ships took part (as the “enemy” forces) in Operation Brimstone and several may join in:

      USS San Jacinto (CG56) guided missile cruiser
      USS Anzio (CG68) guided missile cruiser
      USS Normandy (CG60) guided missile cruiser
      USS Carney (DDG64) guided missile destroyer
      USS Oscar Austin (DDG79) guided missile destroyer
      USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG81) guided missile destroyer
      USS Carr (FFG52) guided missile frigate

      The USS Iwo Jima and USS Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Groups have USMC Harrier jump jets and an assortment of assault and attack helicopters. The Expeditionary Strike Groups have powerful USMC Expeditionary Units with amphibious armor and ground forces trained for operating in shallow waters and in seizures of land assets, such as Qeshm Island (a 50 mile long island off of Bandar Abbas in the Gulf of Hormuz and headquarters of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps).

      It is clearly an overwhelming attack force, with air and land capability.

  16. behindthefall says:

    Duking it out with Russia for land control of the Middle East and assorted bits of Southwest Asia — that certainly would make a spat over offshore drilling pale in comparison, wouldn’t it? And an instant supply of oil, if everything goes right? How convenient.

    • pajarito says:

      Who said (something like):

      beware involvement in a land war in the Caucasus.

      Think it was WWII general.

      • behindthefall says:

        MacArthur in land war in Asia in general, I’ve always been told.

        Makes you want to yell to someone, “Ever heard of ‘Gallipoli’?”

  17. plunger says:

    As you noted…Israel is actually right in the midst of EVERYTHING.

    The tail that wags the dog.

    • bmaz says:

      Come on pal, people here are not stupid. You have been pushing your BS and repetitive, serial links a little much. If you have a cogent point to make, fine; but continuously acting as if you are some fucking oracle of knowledge and truth is asinine. Give it a rest. Consider this an official advisory.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        I’ll catch up later, but a quick series of clicks on my main bookmarks suggests a lot of weirdness in the world. Thx for the reminder to use some thread hygiene.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You’re on a roll. First, “winter” on an earlier thread, confusing blog comments with paid advertising. Now you’ve taken the plunge again. I’d already stopped reading posts by several contributors, who seem either to be selling their wares or writing because Onkle Karl arranged their Wingnut Welfare fellowships.

        I think most of us cherish diversity. But a general commitment to the tone of the blog and the focus of a thread is what keeps this place working. You deserve the employee-of-the-month badge for volunteering to clean up the spills on aisle three.