The Push to Publish the OPR Report

I was wondering when this would come out. After all, one of the advantages of having an easily-used journalist like Mikey Isikoff around is that when someone needs to leak something to increase political pressure, they know whom to go to.

So, those who want to make sure the OPR report damning John Yoo and Steven Bradbury is published in its current "very harsh" form will go to Mikey to make sure the report’s conclusions become public.

According to two knowledgeable sources who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, a draft of the report was submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. It sharply criticized the legal work of two former top officials—Jay Bybee and John Yoo—as well as that of Steven Bradbury, who was chief of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the time the report was submitted, the sources said. (Bybee, Yoo and Bradbury did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

But then–Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his deputy, Mark Filip, strongly objected to the draft, according to the sources. Filip wanted the report to include responses from all three principals, said one of the sources, a former top Bush administration lawyer. (Mukasey could not be reached; his former chief of staff did not respond to requests for comment. Filip also did not return a phone message.) OPR is now seeking to include the responses before a final version is presented to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. "The matter is under review," said Justice spokesman Matthew Miller.


OPR investigators focused on whether the memo’s authors deliberately slanted their legal advice to provide the White House with the conclusions it wanted, according to three former Bush lawyers who asked not to be identified discussing an ongoing probe. One of the lawyers said he was stunned to discover how much material the investigators had gathered, including internal e-mails and multiple drafts that allowed OPR to reconstruct how the memos were crafted.

And in addition to those pushing to make the report public, there are those–speaking in a voice that sounds remarkably like certain lawyers associated with Dick Cheney–attacking the legitimacy of the report.

"OPR is not competent to judge [the opinions by Justice attorneys]. They’re not constitutional scholars," said the former Bush lawyer. 

David! How’ve you been now that you’ve been separated from your man-sized safe?

There is something downright odd about Mikey’s report. First, he suggests the report started in response to Jack Goldsmith’s complaints about the OLC opinions he was seeing. This, about a report that includes Steven Bradbury, whose key opinions were written in 2005, well after Goldsmith was gone.

Also, Mikey suggests that it would be very unusual for the OPR report conclusions to be shared with the Senate–and potentially, to be made public.

In a departure from the norm, Jarrett also told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last year he would inform them of his findings and would "consider" releasing a public version.

Except of course, as Mukasey explained to the Senate last year, when Senators request an investigation–which is actually how this report expanded to include the torture opinions–then they get to see its conclusions, under normal procedures.

Of course making it public would be remarkable (though the Senate has been asking for that for some time). Which is why Mikey Isikoff–whose work may increase the pressure to make the report public–is so useful. 

117 replies
  1. Petrocelli says:

    David! How’ve you been now that you’ve been separated from your man-sized safe? – Marcy

    That almost makes up for the image of Isikoff, while I wrap a Valentine’s Day gift …

  2. Peterr says:

    David, David, David.

    Are you really trying to claim that the people you and your boss saw to it that were appointed to head up the Office of Professional Responsibility are incapable of judging the professional abilities of DOJ attorneys?

    The question then becomes ”Were these people appointed with full knowledge that they were incompetent, or were you and the folks at the WH incompetent in not recognizing their limited abilities when you appointed them?”

    I just want to make sure I know whose incompetence we’re talking about, David.

  3. bmaz says:

    “OPR is not competent to judge [the opinions by Justice attorneys]. They’re not constitutional scholars,” said the former Bush lawyer.

    Um, if they are of lower primate grade, they bloody well have to be more competent and scholarly that the OLC buffoons that produced this shit. Jeebus.

  4. Teddy Partridge says:

    “OPR is not competent to judge [the opinions by Justice attorneys]. They’re not constitutional scholars,” said shouted the former Bush lawyer, as he banged on the table and stomped his feet.

    Oh, Adddington…..

  5. acquarius74 says:

    Marcy, I was following up on your earlier Yoo/Bradbury diary and stumbled upon a name, which became a story, that I had never heard anything about. Before going into the whole story, I’ll just ask now if any of you have heard of Viet Dinh, (1) co-author with Yoo of some of the notorious memos; (2) acknowledged “mastermind of the Patriot Act” which Yoo also worked on; (3) possibly first cousin to Yoo’s wife Elsa (Arnett) Yoo, daughter of Pullitzer Journalist, Peter Arnett and one of his wives, Nina Nguyen. Viet Dinh’s mother was Nga Thu Nguyen. Viet Dinh was born 02/22/1968 in Vuang Tan, Viet Nam. Elsa Arnett was born 1969 in Viet Nam. Her father, Peter Arnett was in Viet Nam 1962 – 1975.

    Both Yoo and Viet Dinh graduated from Harvard Law School, both clerked for Appellate Judge Silberman, Yoo clerked for Sup Ct Justice Thomas; Viet Dinh clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; both at DOJ same time; both crafted the memos and The Patriot Act.

    Viet Dinh and his mother were among a boatload of refugees from Viet Nam, eventually landing in Oregon where they picked strawberries to survive.

    The trail from the strawberry patch to being considered the ‘mastermind of the Patriot Act’ is a very curious one. (Dang, I have to find the links!)

    I was totally ignorant of most of this, except Yoo. I’ll go for the links and post later.

    If you’ll know all this, tell me and I won’t take up space here on your fine diary, Marcy.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Viet Dinh is that crowd. Though he had a bit of an epiphany and is almost certainly the lawyer who was wandering around a year and a half ago admitting they had gone over the line.

      • acquarius74 says:

        Thanks, Marcy, for your quick reply. I should have known you were on top of it! (hee,hee,hee)

        Correction to my comment: Yoo’s law degree is from Yale, not Harvard as I stated. Yoo’s degree from Harvard was in American History.

        John Yoo (b) 06/16/1967, Seoul, S Korea

        Viet Dinh (b) 02/22/1968, Vuang Tan, Viet Nam

        Elsa (Arnett) Yoo, (b) 1969 Viet Nam

        Looks to me like the neocon college recruiters got these 3 early and did a bang-up job of mind manipulation.

        Two wet behind the ears Asians wrecked with their pens what our Civil War could not.

        • scribe says:

          Just remembered that, in an inteview with friends of Yoo and his wife, the friends noted that wife called Yoo “The Evil One”.

          • acquarius74 says:

            Yeah, scribe, it’s ALL scary. Viet Dinh is now Prof of Law at Georgetown Univ, per Wiki, “his expertise lies in Constitutional Law, corporations law, and the law and economic development.”

            Scarier is this: “Dinh was also involved in the selection and confirmation of 100 District and 23 Appellate judges in his role representing the U.S. Dept of Justice.”

            Link to Dinh’s Wiki, follow links there

          • acquarius74 says:

            “The Evil One”…..what a twisted term of endearment for a wife to use in ref to her husband… pure wedded bliss, sounds like.

          • Larue says:

            There’s a long held (centuries and more) racist thing between Viets and Korea, China, etc. that might account for that kind of comment. Or, it might be strictly personal observation. Still, to discount cultural differences . . . .

        • Styve says:

          Right on, Acquarius! They seem to be mind-controlled Manchurian candidate types. Will run this by some people I know who know a bit in this area. Great find!

          • acquarius74 says:

            Great Styve! Be sure to let us know by commenting here at the lake, or a diary would be better. (I haven’t tried that yet)

            …One by One, brothers and sisters, One by One…

        • Larue says:

          Vuang Tan is now mapped, if I have this right, as Vung Tao.

          If that’s right, it’s on the coast outside of Saigon (I just can’t use the new names).

          Vung Tao, Dalat and Nha Trang were beach vacation spots for us, ‘tween ‘54 and ‘63 . . . when my family lived in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

          So Viet Dinh was born in S. Vietnam.

          And Arnett might be his father?

          What tangled webs woven . . . . a life time ago of mistakes, still being replicated. The Dulles Brothers, Hank Cabot Lodge . . . they and their influences and benefactors still permeate our foreign affairs polity and policy’s.

          And we keep getting the same damned fucking results, too.


          Great info, ACQ74, and of course as always, Mz. Wheeler.

          Given recent info on investigations of corruption WRT to Iraq, and US Military involvement (and single source contractors *cough*cough*), and THIS news, maybe there’s some fucking justice comin down the pipe, after all.


          • acquarius74 says:

            Mornin, Larue. In trying to be not so long-winded, I left out some vital info, such as Viet Dinh’s father. Per his Wiki bio, the father had been captured and held for ransom by the VC. I need to search the father’s name; since he was held for ransom he may have been influential in S Vietnam’s govt… have to see about that.

            It appears that only Viet Dinh and his mother, Nga Thu (Nguyen) Dinh were in the refugee boat. The father’s name was Phong Dinh. (Note the mother’s maiden name)

            Peter Arnett was in Viet Nam 1962 – 1975 with the AP. He married there Nina Nguyen. (note maiden name). Peter and Nina had a daughter, Elsa Arnett, born 1969 who married John Yoo.

            So, it is possible that Viet Dinh and Elsa Arnett (Yoo’s wife) are first or second cousins. (V Dinh’s mother and Elsa’s mother may have been sisters; or cousins ?).The surname, Nguyen may be as common as Smith or Jones is in America, so there may be no blood relationship at all.

            There are quite a few Viet Nam vets here at the lake, all fine men. I would give you their “names” but fear I would omit some – don’t want to do that.

            I’m not a real old-timer here, but don’t recall seeing your name before. If you’re a newcomer, Welcome to the lake. Come back often. How about a diary (article) telling us your stories of life in Viet Nam? 1954??? (I was just 2 years out of high school then….as you say, lifetimes ago). Wasn’t that during the long war for their independence from France? What stories you must know…

            • Nell says:

              The percentage of people in Viet Nam named Nguyen is and was high enough to make sinister insinuations based on the name meaningless.

              From your first comment in this thread onwards, I’ve been made uncomforable by your stress on Yoo’s and Vie Dinh’s foreign origin. Granted, everyone’s affected by his or her upbringing and childhood experiences, but you seem to be making a more unpleasant and implausible case.

    • perris says:

      that is one really interesting post, especially this;

      co-author with Yoo of some of the notorious memos; (2) acknowledged “mastermind of the Patriot Act” which Yoo also worked on;

      I am under the impression the “patriot” act was written long before the attack, to me it was far to well written with far too many bases covered to be compiled as quickly after the attack as it was

      I am also under the impression they used hitlers “enabling” act as their template, the similarities fall ourside the possibility of coincidence

  6. FormerFed says:

    Where is David these days? Has he lawyered up yet?

    Of course, someone with his ego probably thinks he doesn’t need a lawyer!!

  7. emptywheel says:

    Ah, I was looking for this–I thought I had remembered both the torture part AND the original investigation came from Congress.

    Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and three other Democrats — John Lewis of Georgia, Henry Waxman of California, and Lynn Woolsey of California — requested the OPR investigation after the surveillance program was revealed in late 2005 and asked the agency to determine whether it complied with existing law.

    Why does Mikey leave that out of his story?

    • lllphd says:

      wish i knew more about hinchey. i’m impressed with his plans to submit legislation on media ownership that will revive important parts of the fairness doctrine. anyone know anything more about him?

  8. emptywheel says:

    And here’s another question. According to this 2007 Waas story, Gonzales, in addition to Yoo and Bradbury, was being investigated.

    Sources familiar with the halted inquiry said that if the probe had been allowed to continue, it would have examined Gonzales’s role in authorizing the eavesdropping program while he was White House counsel, as well as his subsequent oversight of the program as attorney general.

    No mention of him in these leaks. What happened?

    • scribe says:

      I suspect the OPR was not able to get cleared into the STELLAR WIND compartments during Bushco’s reign of terra. Remember, the Admin gave them a hell of a time over getting cleared into just the file cabinets with the torture memos. And who knows what documents about wiretapping Gonzo took home with him that they have not been able to get at. Yet.

      Plus, they may be still be looking at the STELLAR WIND/wiretapping stuff and were able to write a memo about Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury on Torture as an issue separate and apart from the issue about wiretapping.

      Goldsmith: No lawyer would let his name be associated with this piece of trash, let alone rely on it.

      Addington: I’m a lawyer.

      Goldsmith: Ok. No good lawyer.

      And, as to Viet Dinh: He only sounds apologetic or conscience-weighted. He knows the way forward for him is to keep a low profile, sound sorry, and stay away from this mess. Delahunty even more – he’s dropped out of sight.

      But they all were a part of the conspiracy, and all are equally liable for its fruits – good and bad.

      • skdadl says:

        I’ve always heard/read of that as an exchange between Comey and Addington. I mean, how would I know — I wasn’t there — but I believe that’s how it has always been reported.

        • scribe says:

          I think it’s from Goldsmith’s book, but I don’t really care about the author.

          I’m just going to bring it up every time Addington, the Torture Memos, and lawyering are among the topics being discussed. Until that motherfucker’s reputation is shit in every possible regard.

          Just like I named Cheney “Deadeye” three years ago yesterday, when he shot Harry Whittington in the face.

          I like to flyfish and hunt, and Cheney’s conduct made both of them an embarrassment to me. I felt and feel a little ashamed to share recreational pursuits with a wrongdoer of his scale. He made his work wrongdoing even worse by dragging his wrongdoing habit into recreation when he disobeyed Rule #2 of hunting (Firewater and gunpowder do not mix) and parlayed that into violating Rule #1 (Your gun is always loaded. Never point it at anything you aren’t comfortable with being dead. And if you can’t tell what it is you’re pointing at, stop.)

          I work as a lawyer. I’ve been one for about 20 years. Addington, Yoo, and the rest of those thugs with bar admissions have given me every reason to rage at, and every reason to hate, both them and their use of my profession. Liars, cheaters, thieves, deadbeats, busted marriages, cops and all the rest are the daily flow of lawyering. But the one group who deserve nothing but to be rooted out of the profession and their careers ended are those who use the law and their skill in it to destroy the law. The lawyer who steals from a client is bad enough. But he steals only money. The lawyer who uses the law to destroy the law steals not from a client, but from both everyone in the future – who will have to live under a system he perverted – and from those in the past who sacrificed their lives for the ideal of law. And he steals something more precious than money. He steals liberty from the future, and shits on the sacrifice of the past.

          • bmaz says:

            I work as a lawyer. I’ve been one for about 20 years. Addington, Yoo, and the rest of those thugs with bar admissions have given me every reason to rage at, and every reason to hate, both them and their use of my profession. Liars, cheaters, thieves, deadbeats, busted marriages, cops and all the rest are the daily flow of lawyering. But the one group who deserve nothing but to be rooted out of the profession and their careers ended are those who use the law and their skill in it to destroy the law. The lawyer who steals from a client is bad enough. But he steals only money. The lawyer who uses the law to destroy the law steals not from a client, but from both everyone in the future – who will have to live under a system he perverted – and from those in the past who sacrificed their lives for the ideal of law. And he steals something more precious than money. He steals liberty from the future, and shits on the sacrifice of the past.

            Yeah. What Scribe said.

          • Nell says:

            If you plan to cite the (very apt, amusing, and incisive) Comey-Addington exchange at every appropriate opportunity, wouldn’t it behoove you to care who said it? Puts you in a stronger position to criticize shoddy scholarship and shoddy lawyering.

  9. emptywheel says:

    There are two really funny aspects of the complaints that OPR got emails (presumably emails showing contacts with people in the White House??).

    Obviously, it’s just ripe to hear them complaining that their emails were included in the investigation. If they were so concerned about email privacy, after all, maybe they shouldn’t have snooped into OUR emails.

    In addition, one of the ways Hans Von S and Shorter Schloz discerned the ideological purity of a few of their lawyers was to read their emails. I’m sure Addington et all didn’t mind that, either. So if it’s a practice for DOJ to monitor people’s emails, then why act surprised now, when it comes back to haunt you?

    • SebastianDangerfield says:

      In addition, I thought I caught a whiff of “Dang, I thought we deleted all those e-mails or locked them away with the RNC” in the account of how the Bushies were disturbed that OPR’s investigation had turned up some of the electronic traffic.

  10. scribe says:

    Just a thought on how to get the whole report on torture out into the open: Bybee is a sitting federal judge on the 9th Circuit. He got that job as a payback and payoff for his work in creating the torture regime.

    The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over impeachments. I have little doubt that Bybee was very less than forthcoming about his work on topics like torture when he was going through his confirmation. So much so that he may have perjured himself.

    Moreover, he may have (I’d have to go back and look at the opinions) sat on panels in either the wiretapping/state secrets cases out in the 9th Circuit, or one or more of the torture cases. In either of those, he may have violated a canon of judicial ethics by either sitting in judgment in a case in which he had represented a party or by knowing about information outside the record (like how the whole program fit together) which should have led him to disqualify himself. The ethical angle is a grey area, to be sure, for a lot of good reasons.

    But these facts are enough, in combination, to start an investigation which would require a comprehensive report like the OPR report as a baseline document from which to begin. And, remember also, that in an impeachment the standard of what is available to the Judiciary Committee, House, and Senate is “everything”. They are entitled to know the most secret of the government’s secrets (there’s an old quote in the back of my head which I can’t quite get right, but which says they get at everything).

    Perhaps, Michigander EW, you could put a bug in the ear of your fellow Michigander, Chairman Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee, to join (on behalf of the Committee) in requesting the whole report and the supporting documentation.

    And that it be released to the public.

    • bmaz says:

      Just emailed a friend who is involved in the consolidated litigation; he will know about Bybee’s assignments in that regard without us plowing through the muck.

          • lllphd says:


            that was most sincere. we need information, and if you have connections to get some, terrific.

            moreover, you possess the legal brilliance to know what to do with it.

            that may not have been clear, but there it is.

            i can’t seem to find the tangent.

      • scribe says:


        But we have to find out what the facts are, so we can determine whether there is enough to impeach.

        And the way to find out what the facts are, is to get the entire report and all the backup information out in public and then investigate from there.

    • Nell says:

      I have little doubt that Bybee was very less than forthcoming about his work on topics like torture when he was going through his confirmation. So much so that he may have perjured himself.

      That would only have happened if he’d been asked questions tough enough to push him to perjury. My guess is that didn’t happen; he was confirmed just before the invasion of Iraq, before anyone but human rights activists was discussing U.S. torture in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, or CIA oubliettes (first reported by Dana Priest in December 2002).

      At the time of his confirmation hearings, no one on the Judiciary Committee knew of the existence of his torture memo.

  11. freepatriot says:

    so what ???

    clarance thomas is a constitutional scholar ???

    don’t ya gotta be willing to defend the constitution to be a constitutional scholar ???

    reading the constitution should be one of the prerequisites, dontchthink ???

  12. JohnAnderson says:

    Addington must be truly furious now that his imposing size, ferocity and nearness to power count for nothing.

    The more I read about it and ponder, the more I come to believe that this awful Unknown, this Addington, unelected and unelectable, must surely have been one of the dozen–maybe half-dozen–most powerful persons in government for eight of the most awful years in the history of the Republic.


    • acquarius74 says:

      I think you’re right. Without Addington, Cheney could not have tip-toed through the warped interpretation of the law to do his evil deeds.

      Yet the whole dam bunch are walking free, thumbing their noses at those trying to enforce the law rightfully.

      It seems to me that such filth as Addington, Yoo, Viet Dinh, Bybee, Haynes, Douglas Feith, and Co. learn the law in order to reverse-engineer it and thereby destroy it. That’s the result, anyway.

      I can’t figure out why Viet Dinh’s name is not broadcast along with Yoo’s since they co-authored some of the memos and The Patriot Act. Anybody care to venture a guess?

      • DWBartoo says:

        One wonders how many of these gent’s law profs encouraged them in this ‘reverse-engineering’, aquarius?

        Viet Dinh appears to have harbored an ‘anger’ that was easily manipulated, which is somewhat like the anger (equally easily manipulated) of the Batista-supporting Cubans who took up residence in Florida.

        His name must continue to be linked to Yoo, Addington, Bybee, Haynes and Feith.

        BTW, I appreciate your stellar contributions to (and membership in) the awesome group who comprise the wheelhouse ‘gang’.


        • acquarius74 says:

          Thank you for the kind words, DWB, I’m honored to have found this special gang. I feel pretty much like Pogo’s Cinderolla, the mop girl, here. (hee,hee). Everybody is so awesomely smart!

          Your Dinh ‘anger’ paragraph made chills go up my spine…the Cuban comparison. I just happen to be reading the book, JFK and the Unspeakable, right now when I can fight off this blogging addiction!

          After learning about the complex interrelationship of Yoo and Dinh and the damage they have done, I, too, wondered just how deep this infection in the universities goes…and how far back in time.

          In that line of thinking, I feel sure that you have read Crossing The Rubicon,, by Michael C. Ruppert. If you have it, please see pages 79, 88 and 89. (88) There is an interesting connection which links Harvard, VP Al Gore, then (1993) Treasury Secty Laurence Summers, ..and involving exclusive US Treasury contracts with Goldman Sachs, the Harvard Institute for International Development, the IMF, and the World Bank worked in partnership with the government of Boris Yeltsin to remake the Russian economy. What happened was that Russia, in the words of Yeltsin himself, became a “mafiocracy” and was looted of more than $500 billion in assets; its economy was ruined, its currency destroyed, its population rendered desperate. and its ability to support a world-class military establishment smashed.”

          (89) Opening sentences relate that under Communism there had been no private property. So: “In the Privatization Program Harvard University and the World Bank operatives devised and US taxpayers unknowingly financed, those constitutionally guaranteed communal ownership rights were transferred to the state, and only then parceled out to elected individuals in rigged auctions.

          Second, the good guys from the West turned loose monopoly markets, which caused prices to skyrocket. What little money individual Russians possessed was transferred quickly into the hands of the corrupt oligarchs –the “mafiya” with whom Boris Yeltsin had made his pact.

          Once all the assets had been transferred to the oligarchs, who were becoming fabulously wealthy, it was a simple matter for them to liquidate those assets by selling them to the US and other Western countries, and then laundering their money through US financial institutions such as the Bank of New York……Billions of dollars accrued to Bank of NY executives and stockholders in 1999. And during the years of the Clinton Admin., as Al Gore worked in exclusive partnership with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, the Harvard Endowment’s value rose from 3 to 19-plus billion dollars…”

          Me: Considering the critical state of our economy right now, and the ‘economists’ making up Obama’s team, etc., seems we are on the verge of facing the same crisis that Russia faced back then….

          Yes, I have my tin hat firmly pulled down and the chin strap buckled!

          • hackworth says:

            Very interesting. Having learned some of these details (about the Russian “Economic Downturn”) from my Russian neighbors, cerca 1994, I am familiar with this narrative. It is interesting to see it printed here from one source. I have not read CTR. I must pick it up.

            You are right to think that a similar crash could occur in the US. Some features like the concentration of wealth and the glut of monopolies are already visible. Certainly the same jokers like Summers are there. The pieces are in place. The players all talk like jackasses. No tin foil needed.

            • acquarius74 says:

              Thank you, hackworth. I appreciate that you perceive those similiarities. I highly recommend Crossing The Rubicon; but be alerted that once you go there you will also have crossed one – – at least that’s the way it was for me. The book is very well documented, has a large Appendix and index. He is very intelligent and an excellent writer.

              He also founded the website, It will keep you reading for a long time.

              Mike Ruppert’s background, skills, experience and adventurous work are each awesome. He exposed so much evil that those from The Dark Side finally got to him. He became so sick he nearly died. Friends rescued him, took him to Canada to a hospital. Last I learned, he was living in seclusion on the West Coast, had gotten himself a big, friendly Dawg, and was learning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

            • acquarius74 says:

              hackworth, here is a link to a video of a talk given by Mike Ruppert, probably about 2004 (?). He is very healthy here so it was before the Dark Ops got to him. He gave many talks to large audiences all over the country and in Canada.

              Mike Ruppert’s talk on Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard

              Here MR speaks of statements made by Brzezinski 4 years ago in 1997, so maybe this talk was as early as 2001/2002.

              Checking out for the night now.

          • DWBartoo says:

            I remember that the boys and girls of the “B” school (Harvard) could not wait to get their grubby little, “Greed is Good”, paws on Russia, aquarius, and how my father, who had taught there in the mid-sixties was absolutely appalled.

            And Gore’s ‘role’ deserves highlighting as well, since most people are completely unaware of it … and Summers, of course, played the kind of role he especially enjoys.

            One wonders if Obama is/was aware of(or ‘concerned’ about) any of this.

            Like Russia then, our nation, now, must seem ripe for the plucking, to America’s Own Ari$tocracy and the Political Cla$$ which seem ‘bent’ on aiding and abetting the ongoing plunder …

            Please keep truthing us with the facts, aquarius.

            Whatever discomfort it may engender.


            • acquarius74 says:

              Thank you, DWBartoo. Your generous words mean a great deal to me.

              Not to worry, DW, I’m no stranger to discomfort. In my work I interviewed as many as 500 people per week, from all walks of life and every level of society, from the illiterate, disabled by deafness, blindness, muteness, etc., to the professors, bankers, and yes lawyers. I had compassion for all (not pity) and they mostly perceived that and we established communication.

              There were those who projected their anger and frustrations onto me (been called everything imaginable) and twice had a man’s. male’s clenched fist within 2 inches of my face. I faced it all with calm reason and somehow it worked out. You learn early to distinguish between mosquitoes and dragons. hee,hee

              I’m glad you spoke up, DW.

          • Larue says:

            Your treatsie there almost follows in line with the tin foil thoughs that the world’s rich bankers in WW1 and WWW2 broke Europe, Great Britain.

            In doing so, they transferred their global wealth to USA to engineer and invest into German war machines . . . ensuring that all of Europe would go broke and be indebted to their loans, now positioned in the US.

            Course, the conspiracy now reads, them bankers are doing the same thing to the USA. All this to break the planet, impose a global hegemony of the IMF and World Banks making, and ensure that NO country has the ability to challenge them, ever.

            Funny how thin truth, reality and fiction and conspiracy continue to be woven together, by so many. *G*

            Good reads, from you, and all. Thanks.

        • acquarius74 says:

          DWB, your remark about Viet Dinh’s harbored anger kept poking at me….

          He was born 1968 in Viet Nam. From what I’ve read and been told by those who were there, 1968 was about the worst of it. He and his mother escaped in a refugee boat when he was 10 (1978). Just think what he saw and experienced as a child.

          Then consider how many little Viet Dinhs with Arabic names share like experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza….

          By them may George W Bush and Dick Cheney’s legacy to our children and grandchildren be revealed.

      • perris says:

        I think you’re right. Without Addington, Cheney could not have tip-toed through the warped interpretation of the law to do his evil deeds.

        not so

        addington was the convenient tool, if not addington then someone else, to wit, they had no problem enlisting yoo to render whatever decisions the needed, if not addington someone else, if not yoo someone else

      • bluebutterfly says:

        ” When Dinh finally did join the Justice Department in April 2001 as an Assistant Attorney General, John Ashcroft admonished: “The art of leadership is the redefinition of the possible. I want you to be the think tank to help me redefine the possible for the Department of Justice.” As history would have it, this very thing did in fact occur 45 days after the terror attacks on September 11.”

        • acquarius74 says:

          Mornin, bluebutterfly. Wishing you sunshine for today.

          Think I read the same artocle in my reading yesterday.

          Nobody has yet answered my question as to WHY Viet Dinh’s name has not been broadcast as loudly as Yoo’s in the notorious memo hearings. IMHO he should have been in the House Judiciary Hearing right beside Yoo and Addington.

          Marcy mentioned yesterday here that Dinh had made some kind of mouthings that ‘maybe they had crossed the line’….I’D SAY!!

          • bluebutterfly says:

            I was answering you, just not clearly. Ashcroft told him to redefine the Department of Justice. So, it was Ashcroft telling Dinh to make the law fit what the Department wanted. Dinh passed the order to Yoo. We hear about Yoo because it protects Ashcroft; two degrees of separation. It seems that everyone blames Yoo and nobody realizes that Ashcroft was the one who said, in effect, rewrite the laws. The man at the top rarely takes the fall, anytime, or anywhere.

            Thanks for the sun..just more frickin’ snow..’g’.

    • Leen says:

      When John Dean visited FDL as a guest quite a while back. I asked who is first on your who you would like to witness be Impeached wish list John Dean “David Addington”

  13. Loo Hoo. says:

    OT, is this a sign that people are relaxing?

    Dana Houle aka DHinMI will discuss the virtues of pseudonyms and the weaknesses of so-called “real names.”

    (Tomorrow at Kos)

    Hell, even Kagro X is giving us his name! (David Waldman)

    Maybe (hopefully) it’s that MSNBC and other MSM want to get opinions from smart people with real names.

    • freepatriot says:

      it’s a sign that the media filter is searching for new faces

      some of our dfh brethren are becoming media stars in the meatspace

      and some of them are PISS POOR dfhs, (I think I saw one of em wearin a suit) we’re gonna have to teach some of them how to walk in flipflops, how to drive volvos, how to order lattes, stuff like that …

      we could have a BIG influence on the msm around here

      I wouldn’t be surprised if chicken noodle network started a “Friday Night Trash Talk” show, or something …


          • Larue says:

            Crippled and atrophied old men . . . that’s yer Swingin A’s!!

            As an older Bay Arean, I worshipped them dudes in the late 60’s and 70’s. Even saw my ONLY All Star Game at Oakland.

            Now, Billy Ball is a waste, and a pennant, much less a World Series Ring, is so inconceivable as to be preposterous.

            But I hear The Gyro’s will sign Manny, AND bring back Barry!!!

            ‘Roids or not, Barry beat the shit out of all the records.

            You can’t do that without talent. All the ‘roids in the world don’t make up for talent . . . ask many of those testifying who had minimal stats in The Show.

            And of course, there’s Canseco . . . what a piece of shit, er, work. He had talent and ‘roids, but the dosages were ALL wrong . . . the human back hs limits in SOME folks . . .

    • watercarrier4diogenes says:

      Markos On that name thing:

      However, it’s an unfortunate fact that few in establishment DC will take someone who calls himself “Kagro X” as seriously as they would the guy whose name is “David Waldman”. And I think the political debate would greatly benefit from having someone like David available to make sense of what is oftentimes an unfathomable process. So I want David quoted in news articles, invited on the radio, published elsewhere as he works to educate as many people as possible in the inner workings of our nation’s government. (Or at least the Article I part of it.) And it’s easier to make that happen if he’s using a real name, and not something out of a Star Trek episode.

  14. BlueStateRedHead says:

    IS it me or is there something in this sentence that does not work.

    So, for those who want to make sure the OPR report damning John Yoo and Steven Bradbury is published in its current “very harsh” form will go to Mikey to make sure the report’s conclusions become public.

    That said, who might that be? We know who would want it not published.

  15. hackworth says:

    I am reminded of Sunstein’s description of a “Nudge”. Cass Sunstein describes as one facet of his Nudge principle the utilization of the media as a tool to influence particular, desired results.

    I don’t believe that Cass holds a particular patent on this aspect of his “trademarked” (Nudge) technique. IOW, we have seen the media used as a propaganda tool throughout history. IMHO, it is not too great a stretch from propaganda peddling to the application of pressure via the controlled release of potentially damning information.

  16. Knut says:

    I’m going to put in a good word for Summers here. But first, heads up to Marc for the Viet Dinh business.

    Summers is a first-class economist. I know his work going back to the late 70s. Met him once with Delong at the faculty lounge at Harvard when he was still Assist Prof. Seemed decent enough. I don’t buy any conspiracy stuff with him. He was probably a bit naive with respect to the USSR. So was Jeff Sachs, and those of us who knew anything about the Soviet Union knew it. but that was the way it was at the time.

    • selise says:

      the same summers who supported preventing regulation of any kind on otc financial derivatives. the enron loop hole? repeal of glass stegall?

      and as for being “a bit naive” about the ussr? – three million people dead (unicef numbers). please keep him away from my country.

    • acquarius74 says:

      Knut, I hope for everybody’s sake that you’re proven right.

      We all grow and look back and wonder how in the world we ever did what we did ‘at the time’. I’ve made some collossal bad judgments, and paid dearly.

      Do you know of Summers’ involvement in getting Joseph Stiglitz fired from his job as Chief Economist at the World Bank?

  17. Mary says:

    “OPR is not competent to judge [the opinions by Justice attorneys]. They’re not constitutional scholars,” said the former Bush lawyer.

    ROFL – I kinda think that, what with Rashul, Hamdi, Hamden, Boumediene, etc. some other constitutional scholars sank the three pointers there.

    11 – I would guess the G has his own, personal investigation, outside of the OLC investigation, and there are probably a myriad of Exec privilege issues from his WH counsel days when a lot of the worst was going on, so there might be a pragmatic, practical reason to excise him as a named, targeted entity in the report.

    13 – if the email trial includes OVP, one very legitimate issue would be

    So Goldsmith and Comey were two of the likely *sources* (they owe Isikoff after all, for the mythology). Who was the third source on what bases got covered by the investigation?

    19 – Congress as a functioning entity that does its job is kind of a lost cause, and one of the downsides of publicizing the OPR investigation might be an adverse impact on state bar action, but you have to hope that if America hasn’t lost everything that at least there’s a decent shot that Bybee would lose his license. I know that Yoo may have penned the pieces, but you issue them out under your authority and you own them. Bybee was happy to own them if it got him his 9th cir slot, so Yoo shouldn’t get all the credit. Having an architect of Exec torture sitting on a Circuit cour is nauseating.

    • bmaz says:

      Yoo may have penned the pieces, but you issue them out under your authority and you own them. Bybee was happy to own them if it got him his 9th cir slot, so Yoo shouldn’t get all the credit. Having an architect of Exec torture sitting on a Circuit cour is nauseating.

      Heh heh, you think you are nauseated? I am in the 9th Circuit…..

      • freepatriot says:

        cheer up

        frank rich has the clue that leads to the removal of ALL the incompetent repuglitards planted in our government

        at the end of his column, rich drops this little nugget:

        In the first four years after F.D.R. took over from Hoover, the already decimated ranks of Republicans in Congress fell from 36 to 16 in the Senate and from 117 to 88 in the House. The G.O.P. is so insistent that the New Deal was a mirage it may well have convinced itself that its own sorry record back then didn’t happen either.

        then there’s the part about the repuglitards’ base being mostly elderly

        they REMEMBER FDR, you fucking fools

        personally, I think the repuglitards will have less than 16 seats in the senate in 2013

  18. Mary says:


    The lawyer who uses the law to destroy the law …

    That’s the festering spot that no one has lanced, isn’t it? Nicely said.

  19. freepatriot says:

    oh, and did anybody notice that they play that “basketball” thingy in Oklahoma too (I always thought it was just something that UCLA invented to piss off Kentucky, North Carolina, and Iowa)



    that oughta shut em up …

    (collecting the better looking flying fruit)

    • bmaz says:

      You are right. That Blake Griffin kid is pretty awesome. We actually, it turns out, have some basketball going on here this weekend. The All Star Game is here. Went downtown to check out the scene Saturday; not that exciting. Was a lot more happening and a lot more fun the last time it was here in 1995.

  20. Continuum says:

    The report is only the start. Real justice will only come when Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Yoo and the rest of the neocon band of merry men are standing in front of a War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. And, maybe before a US Federal court on treason, too. The Bush years have left a stain on the US Constitution that will require many years to wash clean.

  21. Nell says:

    Googling around to learn more about impeachment of federal judges, i was reminded that a louisian federal judge is in the crosshairs of an impeachment proceeding right now.

    Of course, it’s a lot easier to get a conviction in a case of flagrant money-related corruption than a lawyer abusing the law. But an impeachment proceeding could be a way to get a reluctant Obama DoJ to publish the OLC memos, and the OPR reports.

  22. bmaz says:

    The Obama Administration does not want to do this; it and Obama himself have relentlessly stated that. Then, add onto that, the fact that the action you contemplate requires the DOJ to attack the structures of … the DOJ. Your vision is a beautiful one, but unlikely to materialize.

    • Leen says:

      But what about when the majority of the American public does. I do remember thousands of Americans working their asses off for Obama. I thought what we want means something to Obama. Obama/Holder “no one is above the law” It’s not just the folks in the “netroots” who want to witness the Bush thugs held accountable…..poll_N.htm

      WASHINGTON — Even as Americans struggle with two wars and an economy in tatters, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds majorities in favor of investigating some of the thorniest unfinished business from the Bush administration: Whether its tactics in the “war on terror” broke the law.
      Close to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants. Almost four in 10 favor criminal investigations and about a quarter want investigations without criminal charges. One-third said they want nothing to be done.

      ……Let’s not forget their other crimes either. Like creating, cherry picking, and dessiminating false pre-war intelligence. Hell there are only hundreds of thousands of folks who died and have been injured based on their lies. Only 5 million Iraqi refugees as a direct result of their lies. Screw this we need to “move on” hogwash

    • Nell says:

      bmaz: The Obama Administration does not want to do this; it and Obama himself have relentlessly stated that.

      By ‘this’, do you mean ‘publish the OLC memos’? Because I am unaware of Obama stating that he does not intend to do this, even once, much less “relentlessly”.

      They don’t want to start investigations that could lead to prosecutions, that much is abundantly clear. And releasing the OLC memos would be bound to increase pressure for possible prosecution (or remove the ‘OLC said it was legal’ firewall for prosecution of Addington, Feith, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Bush).

      Or did you mean something else by ‘this’?

      • bmaz says:

        No, I was referring to impeaching Jay Bybee. It will be messy and would require putting the entire Bush Administration on trial including attacking the OLC division of DOJ. This is not something Obama has any desire to do.

        • Nell says:

          Impeaching Bybee’s not up to Obama, though. Like any impeachment, it’s a process that would begin in the House.

          I’m not suggesting it’s likely, although I think it absolutely needs to be done. But how Obama feels about it just isn’t relevant.

          And it might be the only way to pry loose the Bush administration OLC memos. It shouldn’t have to be, but apparently all that transparency stuff only applies to “going forward”. Except not even then. Real Soon Now, though, I’m sure.

  23. pmorlan says:

    While the Bush lawyers, who provided the twisted and corrupt legal opinions to authorize torture, were not judges I’m still reminded of this passage in the movie Judgment at Nuremberg whenever I think about what they did.

    For only a judge knows
    how much more a court is than a courtroom.

    It is a process and a spirit.

    It is the house of law.

    The defendants knew this, too.
    They knew courtrooms well.

    They sat in their black robes…

    and they distorted, they perverted,
    they destroyed justice and law in Germany.

    Will the prosecution please watch the light?

    – The interpreter cannot follow you.
    – I’m sorry, Your Honor.

    They distorted, they perverted…

    they destroyed justice and law in Germany.

    Now, this in itself
    is undoubtedly a great crime.

    But the prosecution
    is not calling the defendants…

    to account for violating
    constitutional guarantees…

    or withholding due process of law.

    The prosecution
    is calling them to account…

    for murder…




    They share with all the leaders
    of the Third Reich…

    responsibility for the most malignant,
    the most calculated…

    the most devastating crimes
    in the history of all mankind.

    And they are perhaps more guilty
    than some of the others.

    For they had attained maturity
    long before Hitler’s rise to power.

    Their minds weren’t warped at an early age
    by Nazi teachings.

    They embraced the ideologies
    of the Third Reich as educated adults…

    when they, most of all…

    should have valued justice.

    Here they’ll receive the justice
    they denied others.

    They’ll be judged according to the evidence
    presented in this courtroom.

    The prosecution asks nothing more.

  24. rkilowatt says:

    Curiouser and curiouser loopholes…
    1. Per Constitution, the President must be born as a US citizen.
    2. Constitutional scholars/authorities not so.
    3. Explain 1. Then explain 2.

  25. Leen says:

    It is amazing that the Bush administration has been successful at sweeping the findings of the Lancet report in regard to Iraqi deaths under their filthy carpet. Chris Matthews and the rest of the mainstream never report the Lancet’s findings they repeat U.S. numbers. That is when the MSM even whispers anything about this issue.

    Have you heard any mention of the 5 million Iraqi refugees? Hell no. I really do not see the American public much different than those who sat still during the WWII holocaust

    • bluebutterfly says:

      We never hear about civilian deaths or the displaced, in or out of Iraq. There was another group that estimated deaths.

      ” Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB). These numbers suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq rivals the mass killings of the last century—the human toll exceeds the 800,000 to 900,000 believed killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and is approaching the number (1.7 million) who died in Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s. “…..ccupation/

    • bluebutterfly says:

      ” Amidst the soaring unemployment in Iraq, the gravediggers have been busy. So busy that officials have no record of the number of graves dug; of the real death toll, that is.

      “I’ve been working here four years,” a gravedigger who gave his name as Ali told IPS at the largest cemetery in Baghdad, a sprawling expanse in the Abu Ghraib section of the capital city. “In 2006 and some of 2007, we buried 40- 50 people daily. This went on for one-and-a-half years. “…..avediggers

  26. bluebutterfly says:

    ” In two weeks or so, Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services will be releasing a declassified version of his report on torture that took place at Gitmo and Iraq and Afghanistan. It will include confessions like the one you cite here in the link, David. Levin’s declassified report will make the most hardened person squirm. It’s that scathing and it is clear that crimes were committed and Levin is blunt in who is culpable and should be held accountable. What will Obama and the DOJ do when its released is the question I ask. “

  27. bmaz says:

    It most certainly is relevant if Obama is dead set against the notion and puts pressure on House leaders not to go down that road, which is exactly what he has done and will continue to do. Furthermore, how Obama, and his planted yes man Eric Holder at DOJ deal with the investigations, reports and conclusions at the executive level have a great bearing on the potential fo success in bringing of charges and convicting on impeachment. It is absurd to say it is irrelevant.

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