The Only Picture on Dick’s Wall

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I hate to keep harping on Politico’s blowjob for Cheney. But I’ve been obsessing all morning by this picture accompanying the story, showing the sole picture hanging on the wall of Cheney’s office (click to enlarge; the other Politico pictures show a lot of family pictures on furniture, but this appears to be the only one on the wall).

How odd, first of all, that an article trying to redeem the Bush-Cheney failed presidency gives pride of place to an earlier historically unpopular President, Gerald Ford. And how odd that this picture accompanies this statement–highlighted by Peterr

Not content to wait for a historical verdict, Cheney said he is set to plunge into his own memoirs, feeling liberated to describe behind-the-scenes roles over several decades in government now that the “statute of limitations has expired” on many of the most sensitive episodes. [my empahsis]

See, I’m interested in Cheney’s focus on statute of limitations and on that picture for several different reasons.

Cheney talks about statutes of limitations going back decades. But of course, the ones that would be expiring now would be those for crimes he committed (he seems to be admitting) during the Bush Administration–those crimes committed about five years ago, in many cases.

A number of smart lawyers have been reminding me via email of late that, while the statute of limitations on things like FISA violations may be expiring in the coming weeks, the statute of limitations on any conspiracy to cover up those crimes would not expire until the conspiracy to cover-up those crimes was over. 

Except.

Except that that is only true for as long as Bush and Cheney tried to hide their crimes from law enforcement. You know–from people over at DOJ like Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft. If, for example, Cheney ordered the future AG to go to then-current AG John Ashcroft and tell him they were going to violate FISA even though Jim Comey told them not to, then they couldn’t very well be accused of covering up the crime from DOJ, could they? Keeping DOJ in the loop at each stage of the process seems to innoculate the White House–to some degree–from this kind of cover-up charge.

Maybe the smart lawyers can explain in comments how this works.

presford90.thumbnail.jpgIn any case, it sure looks like Cheney learned his lessons from the Nixon-Ford era well.

The other reason I’m interested in Cheney’s focus on statutes of limitations and that damn picture on the wall is this. The picture appears to be fairly recent; the apparent flag pin in Cheney’s lapel would seem to date the picture to some time between 9/11 and Ford’s passing at the end of 2006. But I’m struck that Cheney’s picture of Ford in the White House may have been taken the same night as this picture (note, in particular, Ford’s tie). That is, I’m wondering whether the sole picture on Cheney’s wall is a picture of him with President Ford from the night of Ford’s 90th birthday party at the White House–on July 16, 2003.

You might remember, that’s the party the guest list of which Patrick Fitzgerald had to subpoena in 2004, at the time when he was honing in on Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney. The party at which–we have reason to believe–Dick Cheney told the wife of that night’s honoree, Alan Greenspan, that the story she should be covering was not the way in which Libby and Cheney had used propaganda to get us into the Iraq war, but the role that Valerie Wilson played in trying to crack down on nuclear proliferation. What was Joe Wilson’s reaction, Andrea Mitchell asked him four days after the party, to "what White House sources were telling her about the real story being not the sixteen words but Wilson and his wife."

"Here’s the night I outed a CIA spy," that picture seems to be saying.

Mind you, I’m sure Dick’s got Ford on his wall for completely different reasons. I’m sure Dick’s got it up as a tribute to the President under whom he learned his considerable bureaucratic skills, which have served him masterfully ever since

dick-and-ford.thumbnail.jpgSo I’m not trying to argue anything about this picture–this post is mostly free association based on it. Nevertheless, I find it an interesting choice for pride of placement in his office. 

Update: Thanks to JimWhite for finding the original of the picture, which is indeed from the day Cheney was probably actively pushing the outing of a CIA spy.

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75 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    May I add a couple questions for the lawyers you hope will respond?

    For what crimes do statutes of limitation not apply?

    And does jurisdiction affect the same statutes?

  2. Peterr says:

    A number of smart lawyers have been reminding me via email of late that, while the statute of limitations on things like FISA violations may be expiring in the coming weeks, the statute of limitations on any conspiracy to cover up those crimes would not expire until the conspiracy to cover-up those crimes was over.

    Except.

    Except that that is only true for as long as Bush and Cheney tried to hide their crimes from law enforcement. You know–from people over at DOJ like Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft. If, for example, Cheney ordered the future AG to go to then-current AG John Ashcroft and tell him they were going to violate FISA even though Jim Comey told them not to, then they couldn’t very well be accused of covering up the crime from DOJ, could they? Keeping DOJ in the loop at each stage of the process seems to innoculate the White House–to some degree–from this kind of cover-up charge.

    I don’t know about that, Marcy.

    It seems to me that rather than inoculate the White House, this arrangement merely expands the ongoing conspiracy and makes Ashcroft and some of his colleagues at DOJ accessories and participants in the conspiracy.

    But IANAL either, and I await the enlightenment that the comments from the local lawyers here might bring.

  3. JTMinIA says:

    I would make no assumption about what the current SCOTUS would say with regard to when the clock starts on any statutes of limitation.

    It was perfectly obvious to everyone how it worked with regard to pay discrimination … until the Roberts court said otherwise, triggering the recently passed law. Given the limited scope of the recently passed law, the Roberts court is free to reinterpret all other statutes of limitation as it sees fit. For all you know, as of now, the clock on conspiracy starts the first moment when any party considers talking to (conspiring with) another person. Ridiculous, yes. But so was their decision RE Ledbetter.

  4. Mary says:

    I’m not one of the emailing smart lawyers *g* but I think the conspiracy would be one to obstruct, so the operative action wouldn’t be that they “covered up from DOJ” vs that they obstructed (or engaged in corrupt practices/conspired to engage in corrupt practices), so if they *and/or* recruited law enforcement into the obstruction or abused office to classify information for the purposes of insulating criminal actions from law enforcement action, then I’d say you can still make out the case. It’s not that unusual (unfortunately) that high officials in police organizations engage in corrupt practices and end up later having to face charges with their co-criminals, despite the fact that the “crime” was “disclosed” to the Chief of Police or head of an investigation unit, etc.

    There are also the deaths and the still missing children and still missing others – not all sols go quietly into the night.

    I’d also really like to know what all went on with getting Bradbury established at OLC. I’m guessing we won’t have a Patrick Fitzgerald standing up and spouting indignation over the selling of OLC opinions in exchange for the position, or deals made to insure certain opinions would be rendered and positions taken in exchange for putting him in the seat as acting, but as a commoner who doesn’t breathe that rarified Chicago legal air, I’d have to say to me that’s a bit more breathtaking than Blago.

    OTOH, collegial crime apparently doesn’t affect lung capacity at DOJ.

    • Taechan says:

      I’m so glad to know that there are useful and already established ways to deal with these situations, especially ones that don’t have to go though appeals all the way to the Supreme Court to actually have Justice be served.

      Btw, Mary, you are definitely one of the lawyers I was mentioning in my previous post @ 7.

    • bmaz says:

      What, you think all that ice you got going over there is going to keep the potential charges ripe or something?? I like the spirit, but am not buying the argument. Maybe that gets you to an ongoing obstruction of justice charge – maybe (but this is still kind of dreamland) – but it isn’t going to save the underlying crimes from the statute running. The cases you cite as exceptions, such as a death (I assume missing body?) are inapposite because there either is no statute on a capital offense or there is a missing/unknown critical element neither known nor reasonably able to be known. Here all elements were known by the DOJ, and in most cases done with their freaking blessing. To be able to save from the statute here without showing that their acts were done under complete duress….well that just isn’t going to happen.

      Equal protection?? Shirley ye jest!

  5. Taechan says:

    Further questions for the lawyers I hope will respond:

    To what extent could an Equal Protection argument be utilized to render SoL unconstitutional as applied, since the DOJ was in on it and/or politicized to not pursue any of such charges? to what extent and what venues could this argument be utilized and how effective do ya’ll figure it would be? (originally thought of this argument with respect to cases that were squelched because of the politicization of the Civil Rights division.)

    Could Congress pass a law retroactively extending the SoL’s and not be hamstrung with the Ex Post Facto provision of the Constitution?

    So how about it? Sorry, I have no money to pay any of ya’ll fees though I expect they would be fair and well worth the price.

  6. rosalind says:

    so much for that whole secure, undisclosed location stuff:

    His office is in a non-descript suburban office building in McLean, Va., in a suite that could just as easily house a dental clinic. The office is across the hall from a quick-copy store. The door is marked by nothing except a paper sign, held up by tape, saying the unit is occupied by the General Services Administration.

    only thing politico left out was the freakin’ neon arrow. hilarious.

      • JimWhite says:

        Cheney stopped giving us general services long ago–if he ever did.

        Ah, but we learned yesterday that many Generals are servicing him…

        While we’re on the topic of the meaning of the photo, don’t overlook the significance of the one act for which Ford is known. Is Dick flaunting a secret pardon?

        • emptywheel says:

          Fair point, but I think secret pardons are like the tooth fairy–they’re not really the explanation for the dollar bill under your pillow.

          And why would Dick be talking about SOLs if he already had a get out of jail free card?

          • prostratedragon says:

            Maybe he thinks he and his generals can still extort one from his junior cousin in the White House. Before you take umbrage, remember, we have hearsay testimony that the man has weaknesses as a strategist.

  7. Mary says:

    9- probably. The truth is that there just haven’t been that many cases involving the US Attorney General helping to obstruct, so it’s all a bit iffy. So when would the “obstruction” end? Well, if a successor administration still won’t declassify evidence of the crimes – they may step in to the same obstruction shoes. And over time, less and less people will care, and we devalue all our offices and institutions that much more. Which seems likely to me, but who knows?

    • Taechan says:

      uuhhh, apparently I posted to quickly, so it’s not so clean-cut even with the will? Damn, Damn, and Double-Damnification.

    • macaquerman says:

      Many hours ago, I was taken with your comment about the next administration not declassifying and thereby becoming a party to obstruction.
      Would the reason for non-declassification be pertinent? I would assume that the new guys weren’t simply acting out of the same motivation.

  8. Mary says:

    13 – when top level gov attorneys, given the benefit of the best educational opportuinities in the country and the trust of the system sell out their ethics and professional duties, it’s never going to be clean.

    RE 7 – I don’t think Congress could reinstitute an already expired sol without violating ex post facto limits in the Constitution. On the equal protection front, I think there are equal protection arguments to be made – perhaps phrased a bit differently than what you mentioned, but I think there are some, especially with the new amendments. I haven’t seen them made, but I’d like to.

    EW – I think the pic follow up is pretty fascinating. Maybe he has it in memorium of the power of the pardon.

  9. klynn says:

    EW – I think the pic follow up is pretty fascinating. Maybe he has it in memorium of the power of the pardon.

    That pardon was the vehicle to the last eight years.

  10. JimWhite says:

    Dang, EW. You nailed the date of the photo. Here it is. I’m not sure what this website is, but it is a mirror of some old stuff at whitehouse.gov that I could find in google caches that were arranged the same way but did not have the actual photos. The Obama team appears to have nuked Bush’s old material at whitehouse.gov. (Tee hee)

  11. bobschacht says:

    “The Obama team appears to have nuked Bush’s old material at whitehouse.gov.”

    BushCo did the same for the Clinton version of Whitehouse.gov, but it took them a little longer.

    Bob in HI

  12. pdaly says:

    Nice find, JimWhite.

    Maybe it is also picture of birds of a feather:
    Ford was the 5th US president to serve in that position without being elected to it. Cheney was the 6th, I suppose.

    And both Ford and Cheney were selected as VPs and not actually elected to that position either.

    Elections are for the little people.

  13. scribe says:

    Off the top of my head, I can think of only one case in which a crooked prosecutor got tangled up in a conspiracy, that for NJ prosecutor Nicholas Bissell from about, well, going on 15 years ago.

    But, there were a lot of other aspects to that case which make it inapposite for consideration. Like how the feds chose to prosecute on tax and fraud charges rather than on “framing suspects so you can steal their real estate and sell it to your cousin-in-law the cutout for you” and “framing judges who grant suppression motions for DWIs by staking out their favorite gin mill”. And, there was videotape of him dipping into the till of a gas station he owned with one of his co-conspirators. Bissell never got around to appealing his conviction completely, either, taking off (or being allowed to take off) his ankle bracelet, swapping some license plates and taking off on a cross-country jaunt to a cheap casino in Laughlin, Nevada where he shot himself after dismissing the stripper and being advised by the feds that they wanted to come in.

    I suspect there are other cases out there which I cannot think of right now.

    But, returning to your questions, EW:

    1. A statute of limitations can be extended by statute if it has not already run out. There would be no ex post facto problem – a recent Supreme Court case (coming up from Tennessee, IIRC opinion by Scalia) said so. In that case, the statute overrode the common-law “year and a day rule” and extended the statute for manslaughter. That old “year and a day rule” said, in essence, that if A struck B today, and a year and a day ran between A striking B and B dying from the sequelae of that injury, A could not be charged with killing B because A’s conduct was too remote in time to have been considered a cause of B’s death.

    2. The Ford picture reminds me that Ford, like Specter, was on the Warren Commission. Genial old Jerry Ford, who Homer Simpson would love to have a beer with (as opposed to cranky Bush I, on whom Homer unleashed all manner of pestilence starting with doing dounts w/car in Bushie’s front yard), may not have been the genial, warm consoling and healing guy we knew. I tend to suspect he was just as tied up in all sorts of chicanery and likely taught a lot of them to ol’ Deadeye. Nicely.

    3. From my discussion of misprision of felony in a thread yesterday or the other day, so long as the non-disclosure continued, the clock for the statute on the conspiracy concealed by the misprision would not start to run. That, because the misprision would not have ended until disclosure. So, once Comey figured out what the hell they were doing with the wiretapping, the concealment would have ended and the statute began running.

    As to other offenses, like torture, that’s still going on and the clock has not yet started. Talkleft has a nice post on a firestorm in the UK today over Binyam Mohammed, an Ethiopian with UK ties currently held at Gitmo and who alleges he was tortured. There has been an ongoing case in which he has been going after the UK for allowing him to be tortured or, worse, UK officers (MI5/6) particpating in it. To make a long story short, the US government threatened the UK government that if they disclosed the redacted portions of the judges’ opinion, the US would cut off all intelligence cooperation with the UK. That threat appears to have been continued in the new administration – whether it’s holdovers or Obama people (I think the former, seeing as how Holder just started today) is irrelevant b/c the Brit press is blaming Obama. The judges knuckled and Parliament is in a bit of an uproar.

    • bmaz says:

      So, once Comey figured out what the hell they were doing with the wiretapping, the concealment would have ended and the statute began running.

      Presupposes that Ashcroft did not know all along, I would not make that leap of faith. There has been some self serving BS by Ashcroft to the effect he was compartmented out etc.; I see no reason to buy that as gospel, and certainly don’t think it will work on the purpose intended here. Quite frankly, it presupposes that Comey did not know before, and I am not sure I would make that leap of faith either. Just because he suddenly cared doesn’t mean he didn’t know before and suddenly found some personal reason, stimulus if you will, to care.

      • scribe says:

        Fair enough. I’m assuming that the testimony and information we’ve gottne out so far has been mostly true.

        Probably I should have worded it that the latest statute of limitations (each intercept being a separate crime) would have been the last one made before the 3/11/04 (or thereabouts) change in the program (Whatever that was) in response to Comey’s work.

  14. pdaly says:

    One question about the honoree Alan Greenspan:

    The party that night was for Ford’s 90th birthday, but Greenspan was the honoree, and not Ford?

    Were there two birthday boys? or parties?

  15. emptywheel says:

    Yeah, but it was mostly just a big Ford alumni love fest, I think.

    Ah, back in the days when people would honor Greenspan for anything…

    SPeaking of Dick not caring all that much about tanking the economy.

  16. scribe says:

    Way, way, way wholly OT: German radio reports that if any of you or your friends are fans of model trains, now would be a good time to buy as Maerklin has announced (after 150 years in business) it is insolvent and that talks with banks to resolve its credit problems have failed. In other words, it’s likely to go under. That, on the opening day of the Nuremburg International Toy Exposition (~2700 exhibitors, 1 mil toys)

  17. JimWhite says:

    WTF??!!

    Finding that photo on a site in Kiev really has me confused now. Check out this Oxdown I just put up. From my limited computer skills, it looks like the whitehouse.gov website shared an ip address with the Kiev site in January but doesn’t now. Can anyone talk me down here?

    I’ll email the actual screengrabs to anyone who wants a closer look (but I’m sure you could find the same info if you do a similar search).

  18. Mary says:

    22 – I did say I was NOT one of the emailing lawyers who were telling Marcy that the “cover up” conspiracy would be the save-point, but I do think that if there is a valid conspiracy claim, it doesn’t get deep sixed because the AG cooperated in the crime (i.e., I don’t think that conspiracy would be negated by the involvement of the AG in the conspiracy). I don’t argue that the statute on the underlying crimes isn’t running notwithstanding a conspiracy though- just that if there is a conspiracy to obstruct, it doesn’t go away bc the AG was one of the parties to the conspiracy. I agree that the underlying crime sol keeps running unabated by the conspiracy to obstruct.

    That’s the only real thing I was responding to, and I raised a long, long time ago estoppel and the extent to which gov would be the ’same’ party. Reviving independent counsel laws and having an indep counsel might help -might not. If not, the courts would basically be saying that any time you can corrup the AG to join in crime and bless it for the criminals, it can never be prosecuted. If they do, that still isn’t saying the AG can’t be prosecuted, though – not for the underlying crime but for conspiracy related elements, esp to obstruct.

    On some of the other items you mention or the surviellance issue in general — here are some thoughts:

    Equitable tolling – I would argue for the civil claims, but don’t know whether and to what extent it would ever be available for a criminal staute (don’t do any crim, but I can’t think you get to deprive someone of a liberty interest via an equitably tolled statute).

    The sol on the civil penalty recoveries is also running, but there at least some suits, and some styled in the nature of class actions, that were timely filed.

    If the amendments are held to be unconstitutional, that may technically affect the availablity of the the criminal provisions for the ongoing program aspects (not for the post-hospital showdown period, but for later aspects of the program), but that would be technically rather than practically. A Holderite is not going to pursue anyone involved in the program, to the extent the program complied with the amendments, from the time of the amendments forward.

    OTOH, it would open up a different window for civil penalites again, since there has been no attempt to negate the civil penalties section of the FISA, just to end run that by carving out some Americans who are not going to be protected by that section (those that the AG, without oversight, chooses to wiretap).

    On missing elements, I think that we are missing a lot of them on the surveillance program as well as we are on the alleged killings and kidnappings, but I think that the reports are about as widespread and as reliable, so that’s why I mentioned them in connection with the reference that Cheney is saying he can write his memoirs bc all the sols have run. We’ll see (maybe)if all his crimes have expiring sols or not, just like we’ll see (maybe) if the program involved what Tice says it did, but my tendency is to believe that there have been child disappearances (as reported by Suskind) and torture killings (as reported by Priest and Mayer)where all the elements have also been known by DOJ. There has been the IG investigation and more – including the direct presence of FBI (who are also a part of DOJ) during the commission of elements of the crimes. There’s been a disingenuous OLC opinion authorizing some of the activities, but the memos tend to lack facts sections that would make them as relevant and applicable to some of the crimes as the participants might otherwise wish. Plus there are significant reliance issues if the memos were not physically made available to the persons taking actions and there is also the estoppel issue of the memos and related information not being provided to courts in connection with numerous proceedings.

    Skipping back to equal protection, my thoughts on that are more tied to the amendments than to the initial activities, although I think there is a related concept in the initial activities vis a vis Ashcroft and Gonzales and maybe even Mukasey that they were involved in corrupt practices and misuse of office to protect the felons and felonies. THat doesn’t save the sol for the crimes, but does open the door to look at the AGs involved. In particular, I think that after the ruling by Judge Taylor, which followed her in camera review of info on the program that she demanded despite the attempt to invoke state secrets, there is a second window (other than the post Hospital showdown window) of special liability. At that point, when not the OLC but an actual court ruled on the merits, it becomes pretty difficult to argue that continued efforts by the AGs at that point and after, through the amendments, to cover up the program as a state secret and facilitate its continued warrantless operation, has to be complicity.

    The fact that you escape by the skin of your teeth with the appellate court finding that no named plaintiff has standind is not the same as being able to argue any good faith belief that the program a Judge has ruled is unconstitutional is ok, bc an OLC opinion says so.

    Again, does that open the door to criminal prosecutions for that time frame? Not with Holder. But it does open that additional civil penalites window if you can get past the standing issue.

    On my equal protection argument thought, the abbreviated version is that the FISA amendments allow the AG to unilaterally pick determine who will and will not be protected by the civil penalties provisions that remain in the legislation – the Exec and AG are legislatively granted a right to pick and choose what Americans on American soil may be survielled without probable cause and without a warrant issued by an independent magistrate and which will not be allowed to be surveilled without such a warrant. Whateve their categorizations, they get to create the categories of Americans protected and Americans not protected by the penalty provisions and I don’t think that complies with equal protection requirements.

    Finally – completely OT, but bc I’ve been following this some and I am more likely to be able to find the link again if I dump this here (and besides, it is kind of related to obstruction issues):

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/…..3520090204

    The British judges in the Binyam Mohammed case are getting pretty damn vocal about the US pressure to cover up crimes and Miliband says it is being continued by the Obama administration

    Two senior British judges accused the United States on Wednesday of threatening to end intelligence cooperation if Britain released evidence about the alleged torture of a Guantanamo detainee.

    Lawyers for Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the threat had existed for some time and was still in place under President Barack Obama’s administration, according to a ruling from High Court judges Lord Justice Thomas and Lord Justice Lloyd Jones.


    “We did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials … relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be,” the judges’ ruling said.

    But surprise surprise, the US does expect that – Obama included. I had wished that someone in Congress would, after the first reports on this were out, make an effort to have the person(s) making the threats to Britain produced and account for their threats to put Americans in Britain as well as Britains at risk unless the British courts agreed to cover up Bush crimes. Didn’t happen then – guess it won’t now either.

    Ch-ch-cha-changes.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, mostly agreed. Doesn’t really matter anyway, the new mopes aren’t going to try to charge anybody; is a fun theoretical argument though. I guess my jaundiced eye comes from the fact that I have argued tolling on criminal statutes, and won every time a prosecutor tried to bootstrap some charge back in. The standard presumption is in favor of the finite statute period, and i simply cannot foresee any court going in favor of allowing prosecution on a tolled statute in any of these cases. Maybe I am loopy, but that is the way I see it. The civil cases present a whole nuther kind of animal, and I agree there may be, easily could be and should be, action there for a plaintiff assuming the other factors you mention go the right way.

      I can see how the equal protection argument you make could be rationally argued by a telco/provider denied coverage by an AG certification where others similarly situated got one, not sure I am biting on that for any other purpose we have discussed in this thread though.

      You know I was just kidding about the ice right?

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A cover-up might toll or stop the running of the statute of limitations, or be a continuing illegal conspiracy in its own right. If the latter, and the statute of limitation had expired on the underlying crime, the next question is when does the statute of limitation applying to the conspiracy expire.

    As for the picture, it’s about Dick Cheney’s rise to power as chief of staff to Gerald Ford. That was his formative experience.

    Cheney was then 34, I believe. At that time, he had worked only as a staffer, mostly for Rumsfeld, where he proved his talent as a bureaucrat. (He won a seat in Congress from Wyoming later.) As Ford’s chief of staff, Cheney learned that he could wield the power of the president without the accountability of being president. Little wonder it was his favorite picture during the Bush [sic] presidency.

  20. Mary says:

    24 – cross posting

    I’ve included the Mohamed case and what has been going on there serveral times in comments, bc it is pretty mind boggling to me, and more so the fact that it never gets press. I guess Miliband might have reasons to say Obama is continuing that threat when he really isn’t, but I’d say that’s a pretty dangerous track to go down for Miliband – to lie to the British High court when Obama is right there able to challenge the lie.

    • Leen says:

      Read it again…Andrea sure did. What was Mitchell’s role in the Plame outing? Was Mitchell all over the MSM at this time focused on Plame and Wilson?

      Klynn, Mary, Jim White…”Ford’s pardon of Nixon made Cheney’s 8 year reign or terror possible” Along with the 2000 Presidential selection that the Supreme Court Judicial coup brought us.

  21. Leen says:

    Ford does not look like a happy camper in that picture (we know he was not happy with the unnecessary war) He looks stiff and pissed.
    Cheney is smiling more than I have ever seen him. What is up with that?

  22. bobschacht says:

    On another thread, I asked about Cheney’s complicity in BushCo getting away with murder (via torture), and was told that we couldn’t prove intent.

    What about negligent homicide? Isn’t there a statute about that? Or accessory?
    Its not like we’ve never seen anything like this before. I can imagine a mafia Don trying to find out what a competitor is doing, and saying to one of his enforcers, “Hey, go find out what Joey knows about that.” The answer: “He ain’t talking.” Don: “Go rough him up a little, and see if that don’t loosen his tongue.” Later: Joey winds up in the hospital in critical condition due to serious injuries, and dies. Some of the Don’s goons are arrested for assault and battery leading to death.
    What’s the Don’s liability in this case? He didn’t give instructions to kill, but his instructions had consequences that resulted in Joey’s death. What kind of charges are filed in such cases?

    Am I trying to re-invent Bugliosi’s wheel? What are the merits? Problems?

    Bob in HI

      • bobschacht says:

        “Bugliosi’s wheel was a square rock and had a flat to boot.”

        Would you please translate for the benefit of the peanut gallery, so that those of us who are NAL may be properly educated? There are a lot of people on our side who are supporting Bugliosi.

        Thanks,
        Bob in HI

        • bmaz says:

          Bugliosi is simply fucking crazy as a loon. He is a self promoter out to sell books, that is all he has been for a long time.

            • bmaz says:

              His theory is that what Bush did constitutes murder of the American troops that died. This is nuts. If somehow he could charge for the victims that died at the hand of Bush’s use of the troops I could see a rational argument (no jurisdiction here, but at least a plausible argument). But Bugliosi’s logic in his book for haveing the troops be “victims” is just bizarre. These isn’t enough space on this blog to detail all the problems and absurdity of this theory. I have seen the dude up close and personal, he is a narcissistic nutjob.

              • bobschacht says:

                Thanks, that’s more helpful. I guess I’m more interested in Cheney’s complicity in torture of prisoners that lead to their death, and the possible legal basis for obtaining an indictment for his complicity.

                Bob in HI

  23. Leen says:

    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45636
    RIGHTS: Call to Try Bush….AND CHENEY

    U.S. justice will have to “deal with the turpitudes committed by the Bush government,” says Kaleck, who has already tried unsuccessfully to sue the former U.S. authorities in European courts. “And, furthermore, the U.S. government will have to pay compensation to the innocent people who were victims of these crimes.”

    …Obviously our congress and most of the American people are not interested in holding the Bush administration thugs accountable for war crimes…but some around the world still have their integrity and souls intact. Americans too busy watching the super bowl etc to be concerned with what really happenned in Iraq the last six years
    Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll

    About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

    By John Tirman
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

  24. Mary says:

    41 – while I haven’t been involved with any attempts to toll an actual crim sol, I have to think there would be a humongous presumption against any kind of tolling for crim purpose. I have been invovled with tolling in a contract claims setting, but that was different. The civil penalties – I’m not super sure how they work vis a vis crim vs civil remedies and applications, but there were suits timely filed that haven’t had final appeal yet on that.

    My abbrev argument on eq protection is more technically a due process argument (not a state’s law argument) but I see it more from an individual setting, not a teleprovider setting – but it’s too long to try to spell out here and now.

    You may have been joking about the ice, but it’s been really bad here. I was without power for a weekand have livestock (horses) so I couldn’t leave. You know how three dog night got their name? It was kinda like that. My German Shepherds loved it though – they seemed to like having to break a layer of ice on their INSIDE THE HOUSE water dish every morning.

    • bmaz says:

      Sorry about that; meant no harm; in fact i thought of you every time i would hear about it on the news. Hope you and critters are all okay and back to semi-normal. Kind of figured that about the due process as i didn’t think it was state’s rights of suspect class viable.

  25. Mary says:

    Something else I want to dump here before I forget it. IIRC, it was reported that when Comey got so concerned about wiretap program he went to talk to Scott Muller, CIA Gen Counsel about it. Just an interesting connection that Muller’s once and future firm of Davis Polk, who he worked with before and now, after his gov service, represented Comcast in the 2001 merger with AT&T.

    e.g., http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f…..wanted=all

    fwiw

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Thanks for the link, I was hoping to catch up on this topic tonight. How in hell the NSA could be spying on the whole damn nation, with Madoff writing the SEC regs and no one seeming to notice… what a crock.

      As for the photo, am I the only one who finds the following topics just weirder than hell?
      – From what I saw the day of the inaugural, plus photos since then, I can’t tell that either GW Bush, nor GHW Bush, or Laura Bush, nor the twins, nor Babs Bush ever so much as even looked at either Lynne or Dick Cheney.

      So how is it that these people work together for years, and they don’t even make eye contact their last day in office? That’s loony-tunes.

      Who followed Dickwad to his car? Biden. Not so much as a wave from GWBush, nor from Laura? Excuse me, but that is bizarre.

      Who helped GHWBush get up into the helicopter…? It sure as hell looked to me like the now-white-haired William Jefferson Clinton was kindly assisting as “Poppy” seemed rather unsteady, and from the quick clip at msnbc online, it sure looked to me as if it were Bill Clinton walking gingerly behind ‘Poppy’ to make sure the older man didn’t fall and hurt himself. Cheney was **no where in sight**.

      So although EW finds the date of that photo interesting, and it is, what I find absolutely bizarre is the absence of any symptom of Bush/Cheney fondness; neither them, nor their wives. Not even eye contact after 8 years together…?

      If GWBush had pardoned Cheney, I’ll bet Darth would have put Junya’s photo on his wall.

      Is Darth pissed at Junya?
      Wouldn’t it be just delicious if he were!

      • Leen says:

        I have been noticing this for quite some time. I think that there are bad bad feelings between the Cheney and Bush tribes.

        The last interview that Bush gave was I believe with Stephanpolous. There seemed to be some light of accountability or recognition of mistakes. Some light was coming in those small cracks.

        No cracks of light during Cheney’s interview with Jim Lehrer. Cheney just kept lying, covering his tracks, and stirring up the fear.

        With you there is bad blood between Cheney and Bush

  26. smartlady says:

    Did I miss something? Why does he get to put that sign on his office door?

    General Services Administration
    From Wikipedia,
    Agency overview
    Formed July 1, 1949
    Headquarters 1800 F Street
    Washington, D.C.
    Employees 11,875 (2006)
    Annual Budget $20,900,000,000[1]
    Agency Executives Paul F. Prouty,
    Acting Administrator

    Barnaby L. Brasseux,
    Deputy Administrator

    James A. Williams,
    FAS Commissioner

    Anthony E. Costa,
    Acting PBS Commissioner
    Website
    http://www.gsa.gov

    The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks. Its stated mission is to “help federal agencies better serve the public by offering, at best value, superior workplaces, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies.”

  27. Citizen92 says:

    Let me refer back to a comment I made, in this forum, which I think illustrates EW’s point nicely.

    Reflections Photography of DC has been consistently covered an annual “Nixon-Ford Policy Planning Staff” reuinion every year. It hit home when I saw who was in the room from the 2007 meeting. Unfortunately the 2004-2006 events are blocked to public view.

    Reflections was the outfit that deep-sixed the Bush-Abramoff photos.

    Reflections’ index shows us that there was a Nixon-Ford Policy Planning Staff meeting every year. The link to the 2007 event is revealing. Dick’s there. Fred Fielding is there. Anyone else you recognize from the field of old and gray?

    And for some time (ago) the other links worked too. In 2003, they had their meeting in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon office. Cheney was there, of course.

    Go ahead. Search reflectionsorders.com. Here’s what you’ll find.

    2007 Nixon-Ford White House Policy Planning Staff Reunion 11/20/2007 – Washington, DC
    Nixon – Ford White House Reunion 11/7/2003 – Washington, DC
    Nixon White House Domestic Policy Staff Reunion 2008 11/14/2008 – Washington, DC
    Nixon White House Reunion 11/14/2002 – Washington, DC
    Nixon-Ford White House Policy Planning Staff Reunion 11/5/2004 – Washington, DC
    Nixon-Ford White House Policy Planning Staff Reunion 11/3/2005 – Washington, DC
    Nixon-Ford White House Policy Planning Staff Reunion 11/14/2006 – Washington, DC
    The Nixon Reunion 11/16/2001 – Washington, DC

    The shadow government. And it was covered by the GOP’s favorite photography company.

  28. spoonful says:

    The fact that Bush was in control of DOJ and exercised that control to prevent his own prosecution (and Cheney’s prosecution) while he remained in office is consistent with the manner in which a statute of limitations is tolled (the clock stops running) in civil litigation, i.e., where a fiduciary commits a fraud, and the beneficiary is prevented from obtaining relief because the fiduciary is in total control, the statute of limitations clock stops running on any claim against the fiduciary until the fiduciary steps down from his/her position as such.

  29. Mary says:

    72 – the reason might be pertinent, although no one is ever going to give flat out “preventing court review and hiding evidence for the purpose of obstructing the true course of justice” as their reason.

    I’d like to assume that the new guys aren’t acting out of the same motivation, or out of different but also extra-legal, self motivated considerations, but I don’t. My bias, though, is that I’ve never gotten one vibe that Obama would do the right thing on torture and illegal surveillance. I was shocked when he gave lip service to a FISA filibuster, when he was trying to get Feingold’s support in the WI primary, but called his vote on the amnesty amendments from the get go. He also pretty much prevented the issue from being whipped.

    Now, in addition to reaffirming the Bush position in the Binyam Mohamed case pending in the UK and anteing up to directly blackmail the UK courts, Obama has responded to the court’s crestfallen admission of its blackmail by the Obama admin by issuing the most arrogant little snotty “thank you”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_…..870896.stm

    In a statement, the White House said it “thanked the UK government for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information”.

    It added that this would “preserve the long-standing intelligence sharing relationship that enables both countries to protect their citizens”.

    Couldn’t be more demeaning to the court there, to blackmail it first, then issue a “thank you” for it’s subjugation by blackmail.

    In any event, I think this case (the Binyam Mohamed UK proceeding) if not all the other actions and statements to date reveal that Obama’s crew have no moral or ethical or ideological issues with obstructing courts to cover up US intel and Bush crimes. So yippee for us.
    *sigh*

    • macaquerman says:

      Thanks. I’m gabberflasted by the posture that Obama seems to be taking in regards to Mohamed/UK.
      I can’t square Obama’s initial actions with this kind of crap. I have to hope that something is going to appear that will magically make it all better.

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