Senator Leahy Is Not Satisfied with the Anthrax Investigation

The biggest news from a blogger chat with Patrick Leahy at the DNC today came in response to a question I threw out as we adjourned–about whether or not he was convinced with the FBI’s case in the anthrax case. We had this exchange:

emptywheel: Do you think Ivins acted alone? Are you convinced Ivins sent the anthrax letters?

Leahy: No, I’m not satisfied. I think someone was involved either before or after. I’m not satisfied with the answers I’ve gotten.

I suggested that he had seen significantly more evidence than the public had seen–he gave me a funny look; I’m not sure what that meant.  

He said SJC will do a hearing with Mueller in mid-September. Leahy expects some hard questions from both Democrats and Republicans.

  1. SouthernDragon says:

    Senate version of hard question: Director Mueller, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

    • foothillsmike says:

      Leahy can be pretty though, the rethugs on the committee will read him his resume, ask if it is true, then tell him how wonderful he is

  2. Badwater says:

    Hard questions from Republics? The only thing hard for them is figuring out how to blame Obama for the anthrax.

  3. Arbusto says:

    Mueller continues the fine tradition of FBI leadership back to and specifically including our cross dressing friend J Edgar (not dissing other cross dressers)in flaying our civil liberties. The FBI continues the fine tradition of being a day late and a dollar short in serving our Republic and instead of just circling the toilet bowl, needs once and for all to be completely flushed.

  4. bobschacht says:

    There’s an old Union song I’m trying to remember. The constant tag line is “Still not satisfied.” It’s a hard-driving no-nonsense song that may go back as far as the Wobblies, who had a rich protest song tradition. If someone can help me remember who did it and what the recording is, maybe we can send it to Leahy to play to his committee (heh.)

    Bob in HI

    • Badwater says:

      I’m not satisfied
      Everything I’ve tried
      I don’t like the way
      Life has been abusing me

      Oh wait. That’s by Zappa.

          • Raven says:

            Amazingly I just re-bought that album 2 weeks ago. The guitar work at the end of I’m Not Satisfied is incredible but very short. If you haven’t heard “Trouble Everyday” check it out


            Well I’m about to get sick
            From watchin’ my TV
            Been checkin’ out the news
            Until my eyeballs fail to see
            I mean to say that every day
            Is just another rotten mess
            And when it’s gonna change, my friend
            Is anybody’s guess

        • Badwater says:

          On the album cover of “Cruising with Ruben & the Jets”

          Is this the Mothers of Invention recording under a different name in a last ditch attempt to get their cruddy music on the radio?

          Stll makes me laugh.

      • bobschacht says:

        Actually, what I think I’m remembering is a song from a chick band album featuring Robin Flower that was cut at least 20 years ago in California. Maybe when Laurie Lewis was playing with her. Kinda bluegrassy. But all of her stuff of that era seems vaporized. I’ve got the LP(!), but its in storage in Arizona.

        Bob in HI

      • bobschacht says:

        Thanks for the look! There are some songs on that list with the right meter, but not the right words.

        I suspect that Flower & friends took an old union song and perhaps modified it a little bit. They sing it with full fervor, IIRC, and the tag line “Still not satisfied” repeats often, so it can’t hardly be missed once you see/hear it. I got a few email addresses to check, so maybe I can track it down. I’m thinking that the words and the song itself might have some life in them yet, for good use in the weeks to come.

        Bob in HI

        Bob in HI

    • lllphd says:

      don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, but woody guthrie had a song titled ‘ain’t satisfied’. but i can’t seem to find the lyrics, and sure can’t remember them.

    • greenwarrior says:

      Don’t know that one.

      However, The Rolling Stones did a nice little ditty called:
      (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Fine tune.

    • bobschacht says:

      OK, here’s Sen. Leahy’s theme song:

      “Still ain’t Satisfied”
      Robin Flowers, from her album “More than Friends”
      Label: Spaniel Records 1916114 (1979)

      I’m pretty sure its their spirited version of an old Union song. It was played and sung by 3 women, and when you listen to it, you just know that you don’t want to mess with them. I imagine them as Jane, Christy, and Marcy, and I’ll bet they’ll be singing this song after the Convention, so its for them as well as for Sen. Leahy. I’ll try to find the words, but my copy of the album is in storage in northern AZ.

      Bob in HI

  5. valletta says:

    I think that this one has the potential of being the crack that opens up everything.

    The idea that the target of the anthrax in 01 was Leahy, who then becomes the Chairman in 06 is just the sweetest. And now Biden as VP?

    Revenge is a dish best served cold.

  6. perris says:

    I posted this before, you guys are gonna get a kick out of this, the method mccain is using to “distance himself” from bush is to critisize cheney and rumsfeld, this is pretty brutal stuff and if he keeps it up he will actually move some swing voters over to his side;

    Although McCain had once lavished praise on the vice president, he said in an interview in his Senate office: “The president listened too much to the Vice President . . . Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense.”

    McCain added: “Rumsfeld will go down in history, along with McNamara, as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.” Donald Rumsfeld served as President Bush’s secretary of defense from January 2001 to December 2006. Robert McNamara was Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War.

    maybe so but Cheney is a narcissist and insecure at the same time, I cannot believe he will sit for that kind of critisism, we need to make sure he’s specifically asked about both of those things mccain said

    don’t forget, cheney had the absolute gall to call rumsfeld “the greatest sec of defense who ever lived”

    this is gonna get fun me thinks

    • lllphd says:

      just for the record, narcissists are in fact deeply deeply insecure. the narcissism is their defense.

      that said, ho boy are you not kidding or what? this will be such wicked fun.

      i’ve been saying for the longest that these criminals will eventually do themselves and each other in because (a) they are each and all so in it for their own selfish reasons, which means they’ll eventually turn on each other, and (b) those poor slobs who actually buy into the cult part of it cannot help but eventually expose all the internal contradictions, not to mention all the lies that must be told to uphold the lies that support the whole thing….

      i hope they use that stupid “wanted iraqis” deck when their house of cards comes crashing down.

      • bmaz says:

        That was the mistake in not going after Gonzales hard. He was, and is, weak, and has no ties to anybody but Bush. AGAG could have been split off and threatened with all kinds of charges and whatnot and probably turned; but the Dems had no will to do the deed.

        • lllphd says:

          no kidding. all i can figure is they actually felt kinda sorry for the guy. he was just so obviously pathetic.

  7. al75 says:

    Meanwhile LAT reports that the FBI “saw the mortgage crisis coming in 2004″ but failed to act on the warning of a senior agent.

    An FBI official recognized the gathering mortgage crisis as far back as 2004, and predicted confidently that the FBI could prevent the problem from growing as costly as the S&L crisis, the Los Angeles Times reports Monday.

    From The Times: “Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible.

    More: “‘It has the potential to be an epidemic,’ Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. ‘We think we can prevent a problem that could have as much impact as the S&L crisis,’ he said.

    The Times report, by Richard B. Schmitt, calls the FBI’s response to the mortgage crisis “tepid,” pointing out that roughly half of the FBI’s mortgage fraud investigations involve losses of less than $1 million. Schmitt also reports that in 2007, when the mortgage implosion was front-page news, the number of FBI agents assigned to investigating mortgage fraud “shrank to around 100. By comparison, the FBI had about 1,000 agents deployed on banking fraud during the S&L bust of the 1980s and ’90s, said Anthony Adamski, who oversaw financial crime investigations for the FBI at the time.”…..i-saw.html

    Muller’s tenure seems to have been one of utter passivity, on so many fronts.

    Conspiracy or incompetence?

    • bmaz says:

      The FBI ought to have known about the mortgage fraud early, it was their protected informant boy Tommy Kontogiannis that was knee deep in the middle of it.

    • Hugh says:

      Re the FBI and knowing there was something fishy about the housing market in 2004, this is what Eliot Spitzer of all people wrote (shortly before meeting a hooker in DC),

      In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.…

      That subprime loans were a disaster waiting to happen was made clear by the late Edward Gramlich a former Fed governor.…..ref=slogin

      • lllphd says:

        …yeah, just in case anyone was wondering just why they invested so much manpower and energy in popping spitzer.

        this is the conspiracy part of that duo; the incompetence part was getting roger stone involved.

    • lllphd says:

      yeah, i was talking to a close friend in the mortgage biz today, and he said he’s been seeing this coming for the longest. he’s a real straight shooter, and plays by the rules, but he said for many many months he’d been getting these faxes and stuff from banks offering – no kidding – “one day out of bankruptcy, nothing down, a year to first pmt, etc…..” you get the picture, huge trainwreck.

      the convergence of incompetence with a conspiratorial agenda has been disastrous for us all on so many levels.

  8. MadDog says:

    I suggested that he had seen significantly more evidence than the public had seen–he gave me a funny look; I’m not sure what that meant.

    Oh-oh, EW is being suggestive again. And in public no less.

  9. MadDog says:

    And totally OT – CREW News:

    On August 25, 2008, CREW sued the Department of Justice for failing to provide records of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s interview with Vice President Richard Cheney stemming from the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert identity as a CIA officer…

    …Though it agreed to expedition, the Department has failed to provide CREW with any records or identify a date by which processing would be complete. As a result, CREW filed suit in federal court alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act. The matter has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan.

    Complaint here.

    Any of our resident Legal Eagles here have a sense of Judge Sullivan?

    • PetePierce says:

      Here’s some of his district court plain vanilla bio

      People who are around the DC area would have to characterize how they context him in court.

      He was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994 and in 1991 he was appointed by President Daddy Bush to be associate justice on the D.C. Court of Appeals–state system not the usually marching to Bush orders federal D.C. Circuit.

      He is the judge in the trial of the meanest most vindictive sumbitch in a Senate full of mean vindictive sumbitches. He just refused one of my favorite Senators’s motions for moving his trial to Alaska where Stevens’ Williams and Connolly lawyuh Brendan Sullivan has the same last name as the judge. Williams and Connolly is also the law firm Greg Craig hails from who was the Clintons main squeeze at Yale Law school and is probably a major force in pushing Obama to make a political calculus in the PAA/FISA vote that ATT thanked the Blue Dog scumbags with a party for furtive partygoers last nite.

      He also denied Brendan Sullivan’s motion for Teddy the Stevens to have the jury visit La Casa Stevens in Alaska, saying they could look at the pics just fine.

      Here are Times articles on Judge Sullivan’s cases.

  10. punaise says:


    Clinton advisors taking their ball and going home skipping Obama speech

    A number of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s top advisers will not be staying in Denver long enough to hear Barack Obama accept the nomination for president, according to sources familiar with their schedules.

    • PJEvans says:

      I hope the doors hit them on the way out. We don’t need people who can’t support the nominee, after their own candidate has told everyone to do so.

      Sore lusers.

      • PetePierce says:

        In a poll of a former candidate’s supporters who now support McCain, 100% of them said that McCain supports Roe. I guess their wet dream is a lot of Mini-Mes waddling around the S. Ct. with Scalia Bobble heads on them.

        You have to admire their intellect though–they really have a grip on the issues and a profound insight into them.

        Someone pointed out that every night the Rethug convention will try to hurt Obama in a major way. They’re right. It’s time to take the gloves off and tear into McCain. He cannot be allowed to use the POW story as an answer to every stupid thing he says and does. His bravery as a soldier has been respected all it needs to be. It’s not a hall pass to keep up the bullshit and dodge questions.

        • PetePierce says:

          OT but more of the government that thinks you don’t need to know nothing and that the sidewalk public right of way is a movable goal post according to Jane and Glenn’s video. From TPM Muck–your friendly DOJ has filed a motion in Bad Ass Ted Stevens’ criminal case that intentionally avoids referring to Cheney by name.

          Why Didn’t DOJ Name Cheney in Stevens Filing?

          Cheney Link to Stevens Case

          DOJ ain’t immediately returning any calls not immediately or ever because the dirty peasant hippies don’t need to know notin’ ’bout notin’. They’re the fucking DOJ.

          In a phone conversation recorded by the FBI and included in a court filing by prosecutors, Sen. Stevens (R-AK) told oil-services executive Bill Allen that he would try to get some “bigwigs” from Washington to weigh in on a bill pending in the Alaska legislature, that would have given the go-ahead to a pipeline Allen wanted. Two days later, Newsweek notes, Cheney sent a letter to Alaska lawmakers urging them to pass the bill. Stevens told Newsweek that Cheney’s letter had been sent at his urging.

          But we were curious about one thing. Why didn’t prosecutors mention Cheney’s letter in their filing? Although technically Stevens is being prosecuted for giving false statements on disclosure forms, demonstrating that Stevens took action on Allen’s behalf is still at the heart of the case.

          And in citing another example of Stevens using his influence on Allen’s behalf, prosecutors did include chapter and verse on the results Stevens got. Consider this passage from the filing:

          Stevens added: “I’m going to try and see if I can get . . . the Secretary of Energy and also the head of, of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [(”FERC”)] up there to explain why it’s necessary that they act before we act.”

          On July 7, 2006, Senator Stevens traveled to Alaska and addressed the Alaska Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, urging it to cease infighting and pass the pipeline legislation before liquified natural gas monopolizes the marketplace. Three days later, on July 10, 2006, the FERC issued a report similar to the message delivered by Stevens.

          But when it comes to Stevens calling on Cheney, the prosecutors — who are from the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, and the U.S. attorney’s office in Alaska — go strangely silent.

          One former government prosecutor we spoke to said he could see little reason why the link to Cheney wouldn’t have been mentioned. The most charitable explanation, the ex-prosecutor said, is that the government thought that bringing in Cheney would unnecessarily bog the case down. The least charitable is that they were “trying to protect Cheney.”

          Another former federal corruption prosecutor agreed, writing in an email to TPMMuckraker:

          “If the government has the evidence that Stevens asked Cheney’s office to intervene/write a letter, I can see no strategic or tactical reason not to have cited that evidence in their motion. They specifically argue for the admission at trial of evidence regarding Stevens’ attempts to influence the executive branch on behalf of VECO. Citing the Cheney evidence could only bolster that argument and help educate the judge on the extraordinary lengths Stevens was going to help out VECO, which just happened to be providing him with undisclosed personal benefits at the time.

          The source cautioned, however, that prosecutors may not have had evidence that Stevens was behind Cheney’s letter, before Stevens confirmed it to Newsweek.

          A DOJ spokesperson did not immediately return a call for comment.blockquote>

        • klynn says:


          The POW story became a pale wash when McC returned and dumped his “no longer a swim suit model wife but a disfigured fighter for life woman” for dear Cindy. Many of McC’s close friends , who helped his first wife through her multiple surgeries and aided the children during this time, thought poorly of him and cut off their friendship with him.

          His POW story was weakened dramatically when McC pulled such a cad, irresponsible, insensitive, selfish, degrading, impulsive, superficial act. A true hero would have seen the inner beauty of a wife who fought all odds to live and walk again in order to take care of her children and be there to fight for her husband to come home. He didn’t. He lost every political gain as a POW in that one stupid decision.

          • klynn says:

            His POW story was weakened dramatically when McC pulled such a cad, irresponsible, insensitive, selfish, degrading, impulsive, superficial act. A true hero would have seen the inner beauty of a wife who fought all odds to live and walk again in order to take care of her children and be there to fight for her husband to come home. He didn’t. He lost every political gain as a POW in that one stupid decision.

            So, do I trust him to make decisions that are sensitive, thoughtful and consider all the important aspects of a situation? No. In the most important relationship in his life, he failed to. I do not see a positive pattern of sound decision making leadership in his life. Especially, reflected in his inability to know how many home he owns and just how much that arogance separates him from the working class family fabric of the United states. He. Does. Not. Care. About. Anyone. But, himself.

            • klynn says:

              Thank you. The POW “on my sleeve” story has me furious; thus, I did not proofread. My regrets. Much appreciated. When you add the story about the superlatives he used to address his current wife…well…the shoe fits even better.

              Caddish, he is.

              I think he has a problem with women in general. He’s extremely disrespectful.

              I know the Lake had a post up on his Leno appearance for the — double digit “time”…And five years as a POW does not work as an answer to his not knowing how many houses he owns. Being a victim does not excuse poor behavior or explain it. How weak is that? Acting the victim is a type of extreme manipulation. Imagine what that “victim” mentality could do to the leadership of our nation.

          • bobschacht says:

            I still don’t get it.

            McCain cheats on his first wife in her time of trouble, dumps her, and marries a beer baroness. Thereafter he was elected to the Senate and is about to become the Republican nominee for president.

            John Edwards cheats on his wife in her time of trouble, but does not dump her. Instead, he dumps the Other Woman. Like McCain, he, too, runs for the presidency. But he is loudly condemned, sent into exile, is disinvited from the Democratic National Convention, and is informed that his political career is over.

            So, is this a simple case of IOKIYAR? Or are the Democrats equally guilty of hypocrisy?

            Bob in HI

  11. SouthernDragon says:

    The *Hannibal Lecter’s contempt-filled enunciation* FBI is a disgrace. May have been an overrated, but competent, agency to begin with but now is a laughing stock.

  12. Raven says:

    You know we got to sit around at home
    And watch this thing begin
    But I bet there won’t be many live
    To see it really end
    ‘Cause the fire in the street
    Ain’t like the fire in the heart
    And in the eyes of all these people
    Don’t you know that this could start
    On any street in any town
    In any state if any clown
    Decides that now’s the time to fight
    For some ideal he thinks is right

  13. Hugh says:

    Mueller has tried to portray the FBI as professional and above the fray, as with the refusal to get involved in Bush’s torture policies. Even there though there were some agents who did want to “get tough” with detainees and the FBI spectacularly did not follow up on what it knew to be criminal activity with regard to torture. It has also had big time scandals with its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs). It got threatened by telecoms with having its telephone taps cut off because it wasn’t paying its bills. And it is deeply involved in the fusion centers, i.e. the construction of a police/surveillance state, which is supposed to be one of the prime topics of the September hearings. And the workarounds of existing law which are needed for them, Mukasey has already told Leahy he intends to put in force October 1 no matter what.

  14. Neil says:

    I suggested that he had seen significantly more evidence than the public had seen–he gave me a funny look; I’m not sure what that meant.

    Funny looks always make me feel like the other thought I was speaking out of turn but that’s not always the case. He may have been trying to evaluate what you were implying and then realized he could not speak about those things regardless. What are your thoughts?

    By the by, I am so psyched at your dedication and accomplishments creating opportunities to contribute to the national dialogue. We are all better off for it.

    masaccio, Have we been able to settle on a list of demands for Obama to deliver on in return for our votes? I think we ought to settle on a list and label it as progressive values. Run a signature drive and deliver, perhaps attached to a money bomb.

    • masaccio says:

      I liked the idea. Shortly after the post went up, there was an article in Salon saying that Obama was considering the idea of a commission of some sort to establish accountability. I tried to find the people to see what was happening, but I couldn’t find anyone to talk to.

      This kind of stuff is equal parts inside and outside, but the Obama campaign is opaque to outsiders like me.

      • bmaz says:

        It isn’t just you; I know a whole bunch of “insiders” that are still on the outside. They really are not particularly amenable to discussion with their base.

        • masaccio says:

          That’s the problem with being part of the base. In modern politics, the base is irrelevant. It’s true of the repubs too. McCain isn’t making any effort to reach out to the evangelical Christians who make up his base, either. He pitches his stuff to the independents.

          • 4jkb4ia says:

            You are probably closer to these people than I am, but McCain did do the Rick Warren thing. McCain needs the enthusiasm of these people as much as Obama needs the enthusiasm of his base, but what he can do is limited. He is not one of them and does not naturally speak their language the way that Bush did. The attempt to float a pro-choice running mate may be a trick to let them think that they have a victory when he picks one who in the words of Leen is “pro-fetus”. OTOH Obama is perfectly capable of speaking the language of his base. masaccio has also tried to point out that even in a pluralist, “big tent” party, each group must feel represented. Principled stands are a good way of binding groups together.
            OT, I got my high school alumni magazine and during the annual trip to Europe they saw a fresco by masaccio in the Brancacci chapel. (This trip is optional. I did not go on it.)

            • masaccio says:

              I love that painting. Masaccio’s portraits of people in the fresco are so touching. Wikipedia has several of his paintings, including the magnificent Expulsion From the Garden of Eden, probably his most famous painting.

              • masaccio says:

                The Expulsion is in the Brancacci Chapel, of course, and it is a fresco. The chapel is an interesting building, as I recall, it is quite Baroque, almost totally out of synch with the simpler forms of the frescoes.

  15. skdadl says:

    He said SJC will do a hearing with Mueller in mid-September. Leahy expects some hard questions from both Democrats and Republicans.

    There was what I think is a misleading report this weekend that Mukasey had agreed to postpone implementation of the new FBI guidelines (whee! we get to do sexy intel!) in response to a letter from Feingold, Kennedy, Durbin, and Whitehouse, at least until after Mueller’s appearance before the SJC on 17 September.

    But if you click through to read the letter that Mukasey’s spokesguy, Keith Nelson, sent to Leahy, you discover that there’s really no postponing going on at all — maybe there’s a diplomatic courtesy in that Mukasey won’t sign the guidelines until after Mueller’s appearance, but implementation was always set for 1 October anyway.

    Even though I don’t expect Mukasey to be moved an inch by anything that happens, I’m a bit surprised by people’s sarcasm about the SJC above, especially if Mueller is going to be the witness. As I’ve watched him, Mueller is not impervious and not good at stonewalling, and the Dem senators on that committee should be able to raise some serious questions about Mukasey’s plan to “fix” the FBI in precisely the spots where it ain’t broke, which is my reading of the guidelines, informed by the IG’s report earlier this year.

    • bmaz says:

      Postpone what? They been running that bullshit for a long time now; they are just now going on record with it.

      Neil @42 – I can answer that I think. It was a bit of a weird encounter at the end of a session, and Marcy hit him up kind of in the hallway on the way out. He was clearly not satisfied with the DOJ’s case as currently stated against Ivins, and wants a lot more answers. Seemed genuinely agitated over the issue. He should be.

      • Neil says:

        thanks bmaz. BTW, I had no prior information about Whole Lotta Love … but it was their #1 all time hit, even bigger than Stairway.

  16. Beerfart Liberal says:


    Friend and congressional candidate Alan Grayson has received the ringing endorsement of Orlando’s alternative paper the Weekly:

    Congressional District 8, Democrats: Lots of choices here, but the important thing is beating Ric Keller when Long fails to get the job done. Charlie Stuart had his chance two years and blew it, so let’s go with Alan Grayson. He shaved the beard, and he’s a lot smarter than Ricky Boy [Keller].

    • PetePierce says:

      That video is a metaphor for most agencies in your government, and all 3 branches. Again, I found John Dean’s book on the branches very helpful in understanding this condescending elitist attitude. As long as Americans are totally brain mush and apathetic, everyone should get used to this. Nobody knows notin’ ’bout notin’ and none of you unwashed hippie peasants, i.e. the American people need to know notin’ ’bout notin’ and the more of notin’ that you do know “we’re good.”

      And as Bill Maher has said, on the variation of “you get the Democracy you deserve,” you also get the Congress you deserve and you just saw an example of their attitude toward you in that video.

      Not only have these Blue Dogs genetically engineered with tails between their legs at all times given you scumbag government, but the google is raising a generation of kids who are loath to read much of anything if it’s not Facebook, My Space, or a few fanboy/fangirl site. Books are out if you’re in high school now. You won’t see many kids coming in or out of high schools with any of the books that used to be on a reading list and I think the teachers have just retreated and given up.

      They will grow up to install many more Blue Dogs, and you will have a nation systemically governed by the piss on the peasants attitude of the cops and the party guests.

  17. JimWhite says:

    No satisfaction at all. I’m betting on some of Cheney’s old chums who stayed on in DoD after he moved on to Halliburton, although Libby certainly rates high on the list as well. My copy of Francis Boyle’s Biowarfare and Terrorism just arrived and I’m hoping to get a few names from that. I think he sees things similarly and he wrote the book in 2005.

  18. alabama says:

    Is it possible that Leahy doesn’t know this blog, or didn’t associate it with emptywheel, or hasn’t connected the blog with its findings? In any of these, then his funny look would be, well, understandable (and would tell us a lot about his connectedneess)….

  19. behindthefall says:

    Still trying to figure if the FBI framed Ivins or if someone else did and relied on the FBI to fall for it. But I’m repeating myself …

  20. yonodeler says:

    A funny look as if to say, “How do you attract these people, most of whom are not even conspiracy theory freaks, who won’t settle for a snow job and who actually raise questions worth asking?”

  21. PetePierce says:

    Thanks to EW and Bmaz for keeping the critique of the anthrax fiasco going. It is a pathetic state of affairs for the FBI to have done such a poor job of either finding solid evidence or conveying it on both the anthrax genetic analysis front and the ability to link Ivins to any mailing place. By the way (it took time for them to start showing up) the FBIs presentation “trust us on the genetic analysis bullshit” is getting hammered in the forensic pathology and genetics journals, and infectious disease literature, and give them six months for the papers to get submitted and accepted and there are going to be an avalanch of them.

    For years I have admired someone who can do so many things well, as a clinician and researcher in infectious disease and immunology, an immunologist by training and a world class infectious disease clinician, who is as good as they get internationally, and that is Dr. Tony Fauci who heads up the The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH in Bethesda.

    He has overseen major research in this country in the fields of sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies from his wiki
    wiki and is well known/admired by many docs.

    I have noticed that although he has done many keynote speeches on the microbiology of bioterrorist agents lately, there has not been a peep out of Dr. Fauci about this FBI shell game with the forensic evidence and the pure shoe leather police work evidence.

    Dr. Fauci has been an advisor to several presidents on HIV–meaning called into the Oval for key advice, was often on Nightline when it was a great show i.e. Koppel, and a key figure in the dispersal of funding in this country for HIV research and one of the people steering the ship for HIV inroads and pandemic flu reasearch currently.

  22. Boston1775 says:

    EW et al
    I’ve spent quite a bit of time at Ed Lake’s site:

    Some impressions:
    – He is committed to making Barbara Hatch Rosenberg the reason for the FBI’s mistakes. He refers people to this section often, and it begins:

    Barbara Hatch Rosenberg’s “Political Campaign”
    Rumor Mongering for a Cause
    Ed Lake
    (July 30, 2003)
    (BHR’s bio added at bottom on Dec. 19, 2004)

    From the very beginning I viewed Barbara Hatch Rosenberg as just another crackpot conspiracy theorist. All the tell-tale signs were there. When she first made headlines in the anthrax case in November 2001 by making a speech at the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC) in Geneva, the articles I found on the Internet indicated she believed that the anthrax mailings were some kind of sinister plot involving a “rogue scientist” and masterminded by the Bush Administration to undermine the BTWC in order to cover up America’s secret and illegal biological weapons programs. Those are the types of accusations found in most conspiracy theories.

    Three months later, in February of 2002, she reappeared – still pushing her theories and truly on a campaign to point the finger at a specific “rogue scientist” while still claiming that the FBI and the U.S. government were covering up for that individual in order to hide illegal biological weapons programs.


    Mr. Lake continues by saying that it was Barbara Hatch Rosenberg that singled out Hatfill. I went to find her original writings to see if that was the case. What I found does not correspond to what Mr. Lake continues to say:

    The resulting media feeding frenzy and the debunking of most of her “proof” gave me a lot to think about. But no matter how I looked at it, it just was more of the same: it was just politics related to the BTWC. On August 7, 2002, I added a page to my website stating that the whole “Dr. Hatfill and The Clueless Media” situation was just politics. Worse than that, it was drawing the public’s attention away from finding the real culprit!

    Since my interest is the anthrax case, I tended to look upon the Dr. Hatfill situation as just a distracting “side issue” which really had nothing to do with the case. As a result, I never really put together an overview of how Barbara Hatch Rosenberg conned a good part of the media, members of Congress, and many of the American people into thinking that Dr. Hatfill was the anthrax mailer.

    Then on July 11, 2003, Dr. Steven Hatfill called me to discuss a particularly outrageous and badly researched “hypothesis” Dr. Rosenberg was circulating among scientists. During the course of that conversation and several that followed, a question kept popping up that I couldn’t answer – and neither could Dr. Hatfill: “How could silly rumors and innuendo be listened to by members of Congress and the American people and result in the FBI spending millions on something that is pure nonsense?”


    I will put more of what I found in another comment. However, if you visit the site, and I hope you do, please look for his hypothesis that it was Barbara Hatch Rosenberg that caused the entire mess. He starts out by using character assassination:

    When Barbara Hatch Rosenberg arrived at the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention in November of 2001, she was already on a warpath. According to Science Magazine, even though she wasn’t a representative of any government, she “plopped herself down” on a chair on the main floor until the official U.S. delegation to the conference “forced her to move back to the gallery”.


    It appears that for the entire duration of the conference she was circulating her theory that a “renegade” scientist associated with some illegal government program, or who worked in a laboratory connected with some illegal government program, was the anthrax mailer. On November 21, 2001, she said it in a formal speech.


    In this section of Ed Lake’s work, he is saying that Barbara Hatch Rosenberg was pointing the finger at the innocent Hatfill.

    I am not seeing it that way. As a matter of fact, I am wondering how Ed Lake can be so sure of his characterizations of Barbara Hatch Rosenberg. It seems stunningly similar, at times, to characterizations I read of the Wilsons, especially Valerie Plame Wilson.

    • PetePierce says:

      Isn’t Barbara Hatch Rosenberg the name of one of those doggies Marcy has blogged on who did such a great job alerting to Hatfill? Is that $5.2 million settlement coming out of the mutt Rosenberg’s trust fund? We should find a way to export morons in Bannana Republic America for profit.

      • Boston1775 says:

        When I went to see what Barbara Hatch Rosenberg had to say, she was more accurate about where the anthrax came from than Ed Lake led me to believe. He declared that she was a crackpot and a “conspiracy theorist” which is another way of saying crazy.

        She is quoted in the Salon article as saying that it was the FBI who outed Hatfill and that she found what they had done disgusting.

        I went looking for what she said rather than what was said about her.

        The discrepancy between the two is big enough to make me keep digging.

        • PetePierce says:

          I’m not sure what could be outed about Dr. Hatfill except that he faked his CV in a bizarre way with a mozaic that no one on this planet would actually do or has. But he did get work at Deitrick.

          Pierre Howard ABC legal and Kelli Arena former CNN employee played key roles in the screwup that resulted in DOJ settling with Hatfill for $5.8 million of your money.

          As far as scumbags who fake outted Hatfill and were drinking buddies with the scum in the FBI who lied about this investigation repeatedly, CNN’s Kelli Arena who doesn’t seem to be in their employ thankfully anymore, was a prime culprit.

          She was regular seen at D.C. bars boozing it up with the FBI.

          Arena was Hatfill wallpaper for Chicken Noodle Network for a long time and some people at CNN headquaters knicknamed her FBI Groupie/Hatfill babe for a while. ABC legal correspondent Pierre Thomas was another.

          This appropriately contexts Arena who is was a Foxesque shill for DOJ disguised as Chicken Noodle Network

          Earlier this year, Ms. Arena reported that “SOME” people speculated that bin Laden and his supporters believed it would be better for them if John Kerry were elected President. Undoubtedly that came from, as Digby puts it, Ms. Arena’s “special friend” in the Bush Administration.

          If DOJ burpeed it, no matter how surreal or fictional, she reported it or she implied it.
          The more legal trauma inflicted upon people like Arena and Thomas the better over their irresponsible reporting. Reporters actually beat the FBI to Hatfill stakeouts several times.

          And throughtout the annals of the Federal Reporter there are cases reversing the stupidity of dog alerting evidence, and there are lots of cases in the state law reporters like South Eastern Second, because DOJ and state assistant attorneys general, doesn’t have a way for the defendant to exercise their 6th Amendment rights to cross the dog as a witness.

          Anyone who owns a bassett hound or a blood hound will tell you dog alerting is pure bullshit if you’re trying to use it as evidence in a criminal case. Using dogs to find actual material things is entirely another matter and of course they are helpful every day. But those things have to be linked by the type of stuff that CSI Miami and CSI coming to your town soon pretends to get done in a matter of minutes or seconds.

          Arf Arf Woof!

          OT PS I sure be gettin’ out my popcorn tonite and tomorry ’cause I heard Mark the Penn has written Hill’s Bill’s speech.

          I thought we were through with Terry McAuliffe, but he has another 48 hours to wallpaper the teeeveee.

          Kudos to the FAA Atlanta for fucking things up yet again. Enjoy your time in line.

          Great to see Monica Goodling’s mentor Barbara Comstock used as a McCain shill. Now there’s credibility. Sometimes MSNBC morphs into Fox.

  23. Boston1775 says:

    I am not finding this letter to the LA Times by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg as either being from a crackpot or full of rumors. As a matter of fact, she seems right on.

    Archive for Sunday, September 22, 2002
    Anthrax Attacks Pushed Open an Ominous Door

    By Barbara Hatch Rosenberg
    September 22, 2002 in print edition M-1

    On this first anniversary of the anthrax attacks, a number of conclusions can be drawn even without an arrest by the FBI. First, the strain and properties of the weaponized anthrax found in the letters show that it originated within the U.S. biodefense program, where the necessary expertise and access are found. Government officials recognized that the anthrax source was domestic less than two weeks after they learned of the letters, and nothing in their investigation has led them to say otherwise since.

    One can also conclude that, given the origin of the anthrax and the warnings contained in the letters, the perpetrator’s motive was not to kill but rather to raise public fear and thereby spur Congress to increase spending on biodefense. In this, the attacks have been phenomenally successful.

    Paradoxically, however, by breaking the taboo on using biological weapons, the attacks have engendered a threat that could dwarf Sept. 11. Modes of successful attack and public responses have now been demonstrated for the instruction of future terrorists. What’s more, it seems to have been easy to hide incriminating evidence, and, after a whole year of FBI bumbling, it looks likely that the attacker will get away with the crime. Although the death toll was relatively low, the strikes crippled business, government and postal services. Contamination in buildings has proved difficult, costly and time-consuming to remove, with some facilities still not restored; the public health system was strained beyond capacity.

    Although biodefense has gotten a shot in the arm, it is important to understand that the goal of defending against bioweapons is not primarily public protection–which is largely impossible, as last year’s attacks demonstrated. It is rather “to allow the military forces of the United States to survive and successfully complete their operational missions

    Biological weapons are preeminently anti-population weapons. But it would be impossible to provide the entire country with protective suits, masks, detectors, shelters, training and vaccinations against the large and growing array of potential agents. In any event, vaccinations can have serious side effects and can be overcome if the dose of the pathogenic agent is large or if the agent has been engineered to evade the vaccine.

    Instead of protection, the civil defense response is entirely concerned with limiting the damage should an attack occur. There are also paradoxes here. Because of the rush to “do something,” large amounts of government money are being thrown, without sufficient forethought, at research involving potential biological weapons agents. Scientists go where the money is, and we’re now seeing a crowd of biologists lacking in relevant experience trooping to the trough.

    The number of research laboratories and personnel handling dangerous pathogens is about to mushroom, making oversight and adequate safety and security control much more difficult to impose–particularly with the increased emphasis on secrecy. Ultimately, the very problem that made the anthrax attacks possible will be magnified.

    One can confidently expect the U.S. to squander resources that could far better be used to extend the modest improvements being made in the public health system. Natural outbreaks of disease, including rapidly emerging new diseases for which we are unprepared, are a far more likely hazard for most people. Improving the public health system’s ability to respond would help combat these diseases as well as biological attacks.

    The anthrax probe has disclosed an astounding degree of irresponsibility and lack of security at Ft. Detrick, Md., home to the nation’s premier existing biodefense laboratory. The problems stretch back for decades and extend beyond the anthrax attacks. In spite of a security crackdown there following the attacks, two incidents have occurred this year at Ft. Detrick in which spores escaped from a high-containment laboratory and were found in hallways, offices and locker rooms. One case was recognized only when an unauthorized employee took swabs outside the laboratory to check for anthrax contamination–something no one had thought of doing there before.

    The anthrax investigation has raised questions about the nature and value of the work at Ft. Detrick and has brought to light the granting of security clearance and free access to highly dangerous biological agents to someone with falsified credentials–very disturbing whether or not he turns out to be the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks.

    Even more serious concerns have been raised by the discovery of secret biodefense projects that push against the limits of international prohibitions. It was recently revealed that an Army laboratory in Utah has been secretly making weaponized anthrax for some years. Another secret project involved the construction of bomblets designed for dispersion of biological agents, although the Biological Weapons Convention explicitly prohibits developing, producing or possessing “means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes.” Such projects have raised suspicions abroad that the U.S. continues to develop biological weapons–suspicions that, even if not true, are likely to spur a new biological arms race.

    Experts agree that a significant bioterror attack today would require the support of a national program to succeed. But for two years now, the U.S. has opposed every international effort to monitor the ban on the development and possession of biological weapons by states or to strengthen the toothless Biological Weapons Convention in any way.

    The anthrax attacks have not altered that stance. Two weeks ago, I attended an informal meeting in Geneva where diplomats from six continents struggled in the face of U.S. intransigence to map out a joint strategy for combating the global biological threat. The United States had demanded that a formal Biological Weapons Convention conference, scheduled to take place during two weeks in November, should instead disband in one day with only an agreement not to meet again until 2006. To make sure that the American resolve prevails in this setting where international consensus is de rigueur, the U.S. demand was accompanied by an overt threat to disrupt any further proceedings with accusations that would make productive international action impossible.

    At that Geneva meeting, the assembled diplomats, representing the political spectrum from our closest allies to declared enemies, were uniformly frustrated. They find it hard to comprehend why a country that has just been the victim of bioterrorism should stand in the way of peaceful efforts supported by all its allies to deter bioterrorism.

    It is surprising how quickly public terror in response to the anthrax attacks turned to public indifference. But the story isn’t over. The likelihood of bioterrorism is increasing, and the American public is still the preferred target. Government decisions will be critical in determining the sequel. The preservation of public health and safety, like freedom, will now require public vigilance.

    Save/Share: Mixx Google Digg Facebok Yahoo Reddit Newsvine
    More articles by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg
    More articles from the Opinion section

  24. Boston1775 says:

    How about this letter to the LA Times. Sound familiar?
    (If this rings a bell for you, the next question might be: Who is Ed Lake and how did he get to be a leading authority on Barbara Hatch Rosenberg?

    Archive for Sunday, February 01, 2004
    The Cupboard Was Bare

    By Barbara Hatch Rosenberg
    February 01, 2004 in print edition M-1

    Chief weapons inspector David Kay, after six months of leading a postwar search by the Iraq Survey Group, resigned last week and announced his conclusion – the same one that United Nations inspectors had reached just before the war began: Iraq had no significant weapons of mass destruction nor any effective programs to develop them in the months leading up to the invasion. Iraqi WMD programs were largely eliminated after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, under pressure from U.N. inspections.

    The real message of Kay’s statement is this: U.N. weapons inspections, coupled with sanctions, work. As Hans Blix, who headed the pre-war inspections told reporters in Stockholm last week: “We were not wrong. Most others were wrong. We were looking at the matter with a critical mind.”

    U.N. inspectors had the advantage of long familiarity with scientific and technical activities in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. When they returned in November 2002, a small band with an annual budget of $80 million, they quickly perceived that Iraq’s capabilities had markedly deteriorated and that Iraq did not have the resources to pursue WMD.

    In on-site inspections of potential weapons sites, the U.N. found Iraqi declarations accurate. They also found much of the equipment essential to an ongoing WMD program in disrepair, unusable even for legitimate purposes. There was strong evidence that earlier research programs had been cut back or abandoned. Nothing was found at suspected sites, including those identified by U.S. and other intelligence sources. No significant illegal activities, with the exception of a marginal missile program the Iraqis claimed they thought was within permissible limits, were uncovered in the three months before U.N. inspectors were prematurely withdrawn from Iraq last year.

    Kay’s Iraq Survey Group – with a staff of 1,400, high-tech equipment and a monthly budget of $100 million – had the disadvantage of arriving in Iraq after war and looting had ravaged much of the infrastructure that might have been capable of weapons production. By now, though, the ISG surely knows where all the chemical plants, biological fermenters and weapons scientists were located. They must know whether there were missiles, bombs, rockets or other systems capable of delivering WMD. The inspectors had free access not only to sites but to confidential documents. And they could conduct candid interviews that could be checked against each other for consistency.

    Vice President Dick Cheney has suggested that inspectors need much more time to “look in all the cubby holes.” But this idea is laughable to anyone with a knowledge of standard verification techniques. A weapons program is not an easy thing to hide.

    Consider, for example, biological weapons – the easiest to conceal. Mere vials of biological weapons agents have no significance; every major country has stored them for reasons of public health and defense. Even if a significant stock of a biological agent could be hidden, it would have been grown and processed elsewhere at sizeable sites with recognizable safety equipment, run by skilled workers who are likely to have immunity to the agent, which can be tested. Traces of the agent could probably be found wherever it was handled. For the agent to be usable, delivery systems with special spray devices would need to be manufactured at other sites and stockpiled along with filling equipment.

    In a conference call with journalists after his report to Congress last October, Kay – already fairly certain that his team would find few smoking guns – said something the U.S. needs to remember: “It may well be necessary to reassess what a lot of us thought was the impact – and quite frankly thought was the eroding impact – of [U.N.] sanctions over the years.” As we now realize, sanctions, in conjunction with weapons inspections, worked. They made it impossible for Iraq to import materials needed for restarting WMD programs.

    We now know that for many years prior to the recent U.S.-led invasion, U.N. inspections were the only reliable source of intelligence about Iraqi weapons. A Pentagon official said in July that “once the inspectors were gone, it was like losing your [global positioning system] guidance

    The lack of more timely intelligence sources explains why intelligence agencies did not realize that Saddam Hussein was being misled about WMD by his own scientists. It should also have made intelligence officials less eager to provide a rationale for war.

    There are lessons in all this. Most important for the future, we have learned that, contrary to expectation, the U.N.’s strategy of inspections and sanctions to eliminate WMD in Iraq worked. War could have been avoided.

    Considering that a number of other countries and non-state terrorist organizations are suspected of possessing or seeking WMD, the organizational and personal experience gained in Iraq ought to be preserved. The successful U.N. strategy of sanctions and inspections must remain available, if needed in future proliferation crises. That means that the Security Council should establish a permanent body like the one that carried out its Iraq strategy. The mere existence of a permanent disarmament, monitoring and inspection agency, backed by the power of the Security Council, would have a deterrent effect. As a first step, a study to review the entire complex strategy and consider means for improving it should be undertaken right away.

    Britain and most of our other allies favor a permanent U.N. inspectorate, but U.S. officials have declined to discuss the matter until the U.S.-led search for WMD in Iraq is over. That time may be near. Sharing the responsibility and costs for future investigations, and gaining reliable intelligence about WMD, would surely be in the U.S. interest.

  25. Boston1775 says:

    In this August 1, 2002 Salon article by Byron York entitled
    Bio-sleuth or Crackpot

    But Rosenberg tells Salon she was always very careful never to name Hatfill, despite requests from everyone from the FBI to the media to the U.S. Senate. “If there isn’t a good reason for what they’re doing, I think it’s really disgusting that the FBI’s done this,” Rosenberg says, joining Hatfill’s critique of the bureau. “No question, it was the FBI who outed him. They informed the media before they searched his apartment [in June] so that the media would be there in their helicopters, etc. The FBI clearly did this on purpose.”


    Read the whole thing…..rosenberg/

  26. Boston1775 says:

    The following was written on May 21, 2002 in the Guardian
    George Monbiot: Riddle of the Spores

    The anthrax the terrorist sent belongs to the “Ames” strain of the bacterium, which was extracted from an infected cow in Texas in 1981. In December, the Washington Post reported that genetic tests showed that the variety used by the terrorist was a sub-strain cultivated by scientists at the US army’s medical research institute for infectious diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. That finding was publicly confirmed two weeks ago, when the test results were published in the journal Science. New Scientist magazine notes that the anthrax the terrorist used appears to have emerged from Fort Detrick only recently, as the researchers found that samples which have been separated from each other for three years acquire “substantial genetic differences”.


    Question: Doesn’t the above sound similar to what we are hearing today?

    Read the whole thing:…

  27. plunger says:

    Government confirms the anthrax used in the attacks came from within our own government.

    Government confirms that the planning for the attack had to have begun prior to 9/11.

    Government fails to mention that the most logical inference that can be drawn is that the anthrax attack was designed to be part of the 09/11 attack.

    Foreknowledge has to be presumed, at the very least (unless of course, you are a coincidence theorist).

    Anthrax attacks are confirmed by the Government to be an Inside Job.

    Just turn off the rest of your logical mind and don’t make any logical inferences about the other half of the joint operation.

    Let’s pretend 9/11 never happened, right? As long as the government has confirmed that the anthrax attacks were an inside job, life is good.

    If Dear Leader wanted us to put two and two together, he would instruct us to think on it.

  28. plunger says:

    SAIC was commissioned by G. W. Bush in 2002 to construct a replica of a mobile WMD laboratory of the sort used by Saddam. This mock up, supposedly destined to be used to train teams searching for WMDs in Iraq, was designed by Stephen Hatfill, the WMD expert now being harangued into isolation and thus silence by Bush’s FBI. Last spring, the Bush administration handed SAIC some of the biggest defense contract plums to be had -a billion-dollar chunk of the NexGen business and an unbelievably porky 10-year contract worth over $600 million.”…..07176.html…..orporation

    In January 1999, new SAIC consultant Steven Hatfill and his collaborator, SAIC vice president Joseph Soukup, commissioned William C Patrick (a retired leading figure in the old US bioweapons program) to report on the possibilities of terrorist anthrax mailings in the United States. (There had been a spate of hoax anthrax mailings in the previous two years.) Barbara Hatch Rosenberg said that the report was commissioned “under a CIA contract to SAIC”. However, SAIC said Hatfill and Soukup commissioned it internally — there was no outside client.

    Patrick produced his 28-page report in February 1999. Some subsequently saw it as a “blueprint” for the 2001 anthrax attacks. The report suggested the maximum amount of anthrax powder — 2.5 grams — that could be put in an envelope without producing a suspicious bulge. This was just a little more than the actual amounts — 2 grams each — in the letters sent to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. But the report also suggested that a terrorist might produce a spore concentration of 50 billion spores per gram. This was only one-twentieth the actual concentration — 1 trillion spores per gram — in the letters sent to the Senators

    • R.H. Green says:

      I seem to recall reading these words before. Are these your words, or are you reporting what someone else has written?

  29. Boston1775 says:

    This is a PDF file…..060501.pdf

    It is the June 5, 2001 Testimony of Barbara Hatch Rosenberg
    before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations, House Committee on Government Reform

    Hearing on the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol: Status and Implications

    You’ll probably be relieved that I can’t seem to cut and paste from this testimony, but it is an important document. Rosenberg is critical of the US position. She is saying that the US has broken with our allies to strengthen the protocols of BWC.

    She says that her group has institutional memory for how the protocols have been strengthened since the Nixon administration.

    And now the US has decided to weaken them.

    So my working hypothesis is that Barbara Hatch Rosenberg displeased the administration before 9/11 and became a target of the administration after publishing her letters on WMD and anthrax after 9/11.

  30. klynn says:


    Thanks for asking the question(s) of Leahy. The MSM failed horribly on following up with him. I think they were coached not to.

    Keep the story going. I trust you will.

    Let us in the threads know what we can do to help further the life of this needed truth.

  31. Neil says:

    Chad Pennington has been named the Miami Dolphins’ starter for the opener against the Jets. R E V E N G E !

    • 4jkb4ia says:

      Good for Chad Pennington, especially since he was being bullied out of New York most of last season. He could yet get humiliated out there, though.

  32. Mary says:

    OT –
    Poland re-opening CIA torture site investigation.

    The story speculates that it was the former “leftist” President, Kwasniewski,and PM who hosted US torturers and helped disappear people from 2001 – 2004. The allegations are that when the rightis Kaczynski-twins took control, they helped cover up Polands involvement.

    Unlike the United States Dept of Justice, US Inspectors General and Democrats in Congress, apparently someone in Poland actually believes in having credible investigations:

    “It’s like playing with a live hand grenade,” the Dziennik newspaper quoted a “senior intelligence source” as saying on the potential political and national security fallout.

    “The investigation should be fully transparent. The prosecutor’s findings will be credible only if there is strong parliamentary oversight,” Socialist MEP Jozef Pinior told Gazeta Wyborcza.

    Cripes. When a Socialist in Poland has more interest in integrity than anyone running any part of the US Dept of Justice has had for almost a decade – – – and when Bob freakin Barr is head and shoulder above 90+ percent of Democrats in Congress on civil liberties – – – things aren’t right with the world.

    • bmaz says:

      No, they most certainly are not. And there is nothing, and I mean nothing, substantive said, nor on the schedule to be said, at the Dem convention on any of this. A bunch of useless happy happy joy joy. I see a lot of interest, excitement, and belief in what is going on there by the people who are there, and those in the blogosphere that live and breathe this stuff; but I was down at the courthouse this morning and talked to as many people as I could find. Nuthin. No excitement. No interest. The scene I see here on the net and that I see when I turn off the computer and step out into the real world are night and day. The mass enthusiasm, chatter and level of engagement that I saw here during the primary season has totally evaporated. Something better give soon, because from what I see (and I fully admit it may or may not be representative), the thrill is gone. Another two months like this and McCain will be the next President.

    • brendanx says:

      Don’t get your hopes up on this. The explanations from Polish politicians are that foreign human rights groups are a pain in the ass so, in the words of one, they have to “dot the I”, i.e., address and dismiss the matter in some formal way. No party there is interested in seeing this secret investigation reveal anything (sounds like another country).,75478,562…..n_CIA.html

  33. Mary says:

    More OT

    There is something that the Bushie CIA does well these days – – playing “offended” I still remember fondly (or not) the manufactured Hayden NSA huffiness at anyone daring to suggest there were dragnet programs or datamining going on as part of TSA. So now with Hayden at the Helm, the CIA is watching Elmer Fudd cartoons and having workshops where they practice unison chants of “hey, you kids, get off my lawn”

    The CIA is getting asked questions about the children of Aafia Sidiqqui and they are offended.

    From Leonig’s (and Rondeaux’s) Wapo Article, someone is finally mentioning that the “mystery” woman who appeared for charges from out of the blue, sporting a gunshot wound, had been disappeared five years ago WITH her THREE children, then aged 6, 5 and 6 MONTHS.

    “Soon after Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was captured in 2003, Siddiqui and her three children vanished from a street corner in Karachi.”

    The children were all US citizens.

    Now that Pakistan has begun getting serious about what has happened to all those who disappeared under Musharef, Siddiqui makes a shoot out appearance in Afghanistan and is captured by the Afghans, there (with no provenance) and then is turned over to the US in an episode where she ends up shot and charged with attacking the armed men who were holding her.
    ” In the midst of an uproar over the disappearances of Pakistani suspects this summer, Afghan officials said they had captured Siddiqui after she fired on the compound. “

    Convenient, that. But no one was talking about her children, until now. Today WaPo reports that, oh yeah, her now 11 yo is being held in Afghanistan. The now 10 yo and now 5 yo – ????

    Apparently the family has been in contact with federal proseuctors and the FBI throughout the disappearances and have been constantly told that the US had no information on the children or their mother.

    There have been numerous reports, op pieces and lots of street spec in Pakistan and elsewhere that Siddiqui and her children were disappeared for CIA sponsored torture. The CIA and Dept of Justice have denied any US participation. And apparently it is offensive and kinda hurtful (Phoenix program, coups and drug experimentation on US citizens notwithstandig) to even suggest a connection.

    “As the Department of Justice has made clear, Ms. Siddiqui was not in U.S. custody before she was detained on July 17, 2008,” said CIA spokesman George Little. “Any suggestion that the CIA would imprison her children is wrong and offensive. Had we known where Ms. Siddiqui was prior to her capture, we would have shared that information with our partners in this country and overseas. She was a fugitive from American justice.”

    emph added

    Offensive to be child disappearers and torturers? Not in these United States.

    Talk about a parsed statement. Doesn’t really say that she wasn’t in US custody (just not, technically, right before she was detained) or that she and her children were not disappeared by the US or US agents or that the US did not pay Musharef or other in his gov to disappeare her and her children, or that the US did not disappear the children or that they weren’t imprisoned by a US surrogate, etc. etc. etc. Good lord, when you have to parse your statement on what was done to 6 mo infants, how low are you willing to go? Apparently low enough to go bomb 50 or so children in Afghanistan as a follow up. But still, to disappear children. And for DOJ to cling to any pretense of being something other than criminals themselves for their roles. You can’t take enough showers for that.

    As to sharing the info with their “partners” that must be like they shared info of torture and manipulated evidence and videos of waterboarding and the curveball info and the findings that the Hussein bioweapons mobile labs were not, etc. – kind of like they shared that info with Congress. Or maybe kinda like they would have shared info on the 9/11 hijackers in this country with the FBI if ONLY anyone had asked. /s

  34. JClausen says:


    Why did I return to rural Iowa from the fast pace of Phoenix? I step from the net to a lively discussion of politics locally. My insurance man and best friend is a die-hard Rethug. We shout past each other and he remains my insurance man(Vile as they are)

    “Did you see the speech last night has been mentioned to me four times in four hours? At least a 15 minute discussion ensued with each person. Anyone that thinks we rural folk are ignorant is ill-informed. We are just tired of being lied to all the time.

    Sorry for the generalizations but this election is a special time like 1932 where we may progressives need only to convince Obama to go where 70% of Americans dare to dream we can go.

  35. Mary says:

    109 “Nuthin. No excitement. No interest.”

    I can understand it, bc that is where I keep ending up. Supporting the Democrats is a lot like squinting. You keep thinking if you try harder and harder, it will pay off and something will clarify, but it never really does. And you’re just left haggard and headachey.

  36. seamus says:

    From TPM Muck; A district court judge denied Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten’s request for a stay on their Congressional testimony pending the appeal of the recent decision in HJC v. Harriet Miers et al. The decision means that Miers will have to appear in response to the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena for testimony.

  37. yonodeler says:

    Displeased as I am with some of Obama’s current positions, I’ve thought about checking out how much Bob Barr has changed and seeing whether I can justify voting for him. In the pre-election days of early November, however, poll results (of which I tend to be wary) may not all conclude that McCain will win Georgia by a sizable margin, or at all, and I don’t want McCain to win. Even if poll results were to agree that McCain will win by a sizable margin, I would have to decide whether I would want to indulge in an expression of displeaure (i.e., voting outside the two major parties) that most participating voters would feel is not morally available to them in this presidential election, given the stakes.

  38. LS says:

    Did you guys see this story???:


    “An autopsy is now complete on a 29-year-old Ottawa man found dead in a Denver hotel room on Monday.

    Although Denver police haven’t yet said how Saleman Abdirahman Dirie died, authorities told reporters they found one pound of sodium cyanide near his body.The pound of sodium cyanide found in a hotel room Monday is potent enough to have killed close to 1,000 people, according to an expert in deadly chemicals and counter-terrorism.

    “You have a suspicious substance that was found in a hotel room in conjunction with a person being a foreign national, and we have a lot of questions and that is why we are assisting,” said Denver FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright. Authorities were trying to determine why Dirie, 29, was in Denver and how and when he got into the United States.

    “There is not necessarily more of a concern, but it is something we are aware of and how close the DNC is,” Wright said. “We want to make sure we do everything we can to find out the unknown.”

    And they should be, according to Dr. Andrew Ternay, a chemist at the University of Denver and the director of the Rocky Mountain Center for Homeland Defense.

    “A pound of cyanide would kill hundreds of people,” Ternay said. “It depends on, do you breathe it in? Does it get on your skin? That makes all the difference in the world. Sitting in a bag, it does nothing. But if you get it on your skin, it’ll go through the pores of your skin and kill you.”
    Police say it appears Dirie was dead for several days before his body was found in room 408 of the Burnsley Hotel in downtown Denver, located about four blocks from the State Capitol.”

  39. PetePierce says:

    This may be late but I just noticed that Judge Bates has denied Harriett Miers’ attorneys motions for a stay.

    Judge Denies Stay; Miers Must Appear to Answer HJC’s Subpoena

    Judge Denies Stay on Miers-Bolten Testimony Pending Appeal 8-26-08

    On to an emergency motion by yoh govmunt in the D.C. Circuit I betcha. See Harriet and Josh don’t want to even have their scumbuts dragged before Conyers’ commitee so they can start taking the ole 5th after drinking some of it.

  40. Mary says:

    123 – well, no, I can’t say I have any hopes up. My snark meter must be off, but after mentioning that both the leftist and rightwing govs were in the mix and the sole voice seeking transparency is the socialist mp, nah, not really a light at the end of the tunnel, thing as much as a oh my, it’s a train, thing.

    Not really thinking that a mention in WaPo buried during convention coverage is going to make anyone ever ask for info on the children who keep disappearing or ending up dead or brutalized whenever the loyal bushies in intel and military and justice show up either.

    It’s just substituting polkas for kabuki.

  41. JohnLopresti says:

    I thought the passing interrogatories to Senator Leahy at the close of the meeting an appropriate, reinforcing way of helping him in a difficult, and pretty brave situation. He has developed a natural mask of quizzicality infused with a measure of rock-ribbed NewEnglander bemusement, and especially, though downstate NY is a little peripheral to have observed the phenomenon, an aura of respect for privacy. I have noticed the privacy theme in most of the oldest enclaves which date to colonial times, and perhaps the NewEngland variety is most accentuated, the weather being cold and the scenery exquisite. I am sure Leahy appreciated the questions even if he could not answer volubly, yet, godlike saw one of the proposed thought lines included insight into the fact he operates based on a wealth of insider information ex officio. Molecular biology and other forms of forensic science being what they are, it may be soon that what began with an investigation of one bioWMD worker and arrived at a report designating yet another, might go where the senator has suggested if there is a wider report developed than the recently published tale of an overnight drive in a Civic 450 miles roundtrip; I wonder if the investigation in that matter was based on POS receipts for a wider timespan than merely a few days, i.e., examining average gasoline gallonage over months, though cash for gas for several cars could complicate that kind of circumstantial case building.