Unemployed Bush Lawyers and the OPR Report

Let’s do some math.

First, the NYT reports that, like Alberto Gonzales, David Addington is also facing some career challenges. 

David S. Addington, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was a forceful voice in internal legal debates, is also said to still be looking for work.

Next, Scott Horton reports on the upcoming OPR report detailing John Yoo and Steven Bradbury’s unethical conduct in craft OLC memos to justify torture. The report, apparently, focuses on contacts between the White House and OLC.

Sources at the department who have examined [the OPR] report state that it echoes some of the harshest criticisms that have appeared in the academic literature, but the report’s real bombshell, they say, will be its detailed disclosure of Yoo’s dealings with the White House in connection with the preparation of the memos. It is widely suspected that the Yoo memos were requested as after-the-fact legal cover for draconian policies that were already in place (“CYA memos”). If the Justice Department internal probe concludes this is the case, that could have clear consequences for the current debate surrounding the Bush administration’s accountability for torture. [my emphasis]

Earlier reports had mentioned some surprise among observers that investigators had included the contents of emails, which makes me wonder whether the White House’s so-far success at eliminating emails from other periods–like September-October 2003–when they were breaking the law didn’t extend as far back as 2001 and 2002.That is, I wonder whether the surprise had as much to do with the fact that OPR managed to get emails between the White House and Yoo, as with the emails themselves.

Now, right off the bat, I can think of some dates that might make this more interesting. The warrantless wiretap program started in early October. But they were still writing new memos to authorize it (and eliminate the Fourth Amendment) for several months after the fact (though the OPR investigation into wiretapping is separate). They started torturing Abu Zubaydah before August 1, 2002, when Yoo’s first memos came out on it (I suspect the third still-classified memo may retroactively approve the earlier torture). And DOD started the torture regime before authorization for that went up the chain of command.

There are already a few memos where we know the illegal program started, only to be followed by a Yoo memo authorizing that program (there’s an August 1, 2002 one that I suspect may retroactively approve of what they had been doing to Abu Zubaydah).

Is it possible that the private firms that refuse to employ Gonzales and (apparently) Addington already know their responsibility for illegal activity will come out? 

63 replies
  1. Styve says:

    Provocative post!! Any idea when the OPR report is due out?

    With regard to email that Rove and Co. were hiding, 5 – 10 million I believe, are those ever going to be recovered, or what is the status on that?


  2. kirk murphy says:

    David S. Addington, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was a forceful voice in internal legal debates, is also said to still be looking for work.

    EW, you made my month.

    • sanandreasfaults says:

      Thank you for the link. I don’t know if there are words in any language to aptly encompass the horrors these subhuman shits did to Binyam Mohamed and all the other prisoners.

  3. scribe says:

    Law firms read the blogs – even the lefty ones. Just ask Jeralynn over at TalkLeft about it. Every time someone uses a nasty word, it seems, the firms’ bad language filters kick in and she has to go get access reinstated.

    The firms know Addington, Yoo and anyone else in a senior position with Bushco carry a pile of baggage. They won’t take them on.

    • masaccio says:

      I think Addington’s problem is that he is widely known to be an arrogant jerk. No one wants him for a co-worker, and no one thinks he will be an asset in dealing with this administration or even republicans.

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    but the report’s real bombshell, they say, will be its detailed disclosure of Yoo’s dealings with the White House in connection with the preparation of the memos.

    Channeling EW, CHS, Sy Hersh, and those guys at McClatchy who got the pre-Iraq story correct. Will put extra butter on my popcorn.

  5. FormerFed says:

    Yoo (and probably the rest of the bunch) will always be able to get a job at Chapman or Regent, but hopefully they will be ostracized in the rest of the legal community.

    Or better yet – incarcerated.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I hadn’t realized Chapman was one of their cush havens.
      Bleh…. it’s such a pretty little college…

      • MadDog says:

        Chapman sounds a lot like the West Coast version of Regent (per Wiki):

        In 1920, the assets of Hesperian College were absorbed by California Christian College, which held classes in downtown Los Angeles. In 1934, the school was renamed after the chairman of its board of trustees (and primary benefactor), C.C. Chapman…

        …Chapman is accredited by and is a member of the…the Higher Education and Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)…

        …Though the school is related by covenant to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), it is not considered a “religious” university…

        Yeah, uh-huh, not a “religious” university…because being a Repug is not at all “religious”.

        • WilliamOckham says:

          [Full disclosure: I’m a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)]
          I don’t know why Chapman decided to give sanctuary to John Yoo, but it’s no Regent University and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has little in common with Pat Robertson and his ilk. We, “the Disciples”, are very explicitly broad-minded, there are essentially no doctrinal requirements (basically we’re fine worshiping with anybody who calls themselves a Christian and if you don’t, well, we’ll be happy to tell why we are, but only if you’re interested). In the small group that I lead on Sunday morning, my regulars include a 80 year old retired Exxon Mobil executive, a lesbian couple, a couple of typical Texas suburban Republicans, a moderately left-wing medical technology salesman, a woman who’s been working in Iraq for Halliburton for the last couple of years (she sees it as her mission), a few people with no identifiable politics and me, your typical socialist, anarchist, pacifist Christian.

          Btw, according to Wikipedia, Chapman also has Muzammil Siddiqi, Hugh Hewitt, and Richard A. Falk (!???) on the faculty. I’d love to sit on those faculty meetings. I’d pay money to see Falk and Yoo square off.

          • MadDog says:

            Thanks for the feedback. As a longstanding agnostic, I’m hardpressed at times to discern the differences in religious denominations.

          • Knut says:

            I was raised in the Disciples. The First Christian Church. I always wondered where the Second Christian Church was located. In my area (Western Washington)it was basically a Congregationalist type church except you got dunked in baptism rather than merely sprinkled. Later, I sang in the First Christian Church on Thomas Circle in Washington DC. I remember we did Brahm’s Requiem and Vice-President Johnson showed up. It was his church. I think it got torned down somewhere along the way. Anyway, because of my experience I still have a soft spot in my heart for the FirstChristians.

            • rar3 says:

              Knut and William, I’m another Disciple here. The Chapman alums I know can’t be happy with the notoriety that John Yoo brings their school–my friends would definitely fit in here on FDL. But the affiliation with the Disciples is pretty loose–the denomination definitely isn’t making decisions about faculty hiring.

              Knut, you’re thinking of National City Christian Church in D.C.–it’s still there, and Obama delivered an address about the role of religion in politics there while a Senator. (Disciples trivia: there are a few 2nd and 3rd Christian churches, but not nearly as many as 1sts. Apparently our forebearers would go into a community and found a (1st) church, but somehow they seldom got around to founding another–at least not another that wanted to be “2nd” fiddle. Indianapolis got up to “8th Christian Church”–which later merged with “7th Christian Church”!)

    • TarheelDem says:

      Yoo (and probably the rest of the bunch) will always be able to get a job at Chapman or Regent, but hopefully they will be ostracized in the rest of the legal community.

      Will Chapman and Regent hire disbarred lawyers?

  6. Mary says:

    I think the memos still listed as secret are likely to have the most interesting email trails.

    It is interesting to look at the flurry of memos in August of 02 and combine it with Mayer’s reporting that no good intel was coming out of GITMO, prompting the CIA to send an analyst down in “late summer 02″ and his information, provided to the WH, was that a lot of the people at GITMO were not “illegal enemy combatants” or “al-Qaeda operatives” or “Taliban” at all.

    Keep in mind that, for all they did on trying to insulate depravity from consequences to the extent that the depravity was committed against “illegal enemy combatants’ one thing even the OLC memos didn’t try to do, at least the ones we’ve seen, was to make any argument that the abuse tactics they were authorizing were legal when used against someone who was NOT an illegal enemy combatant.

    So you have a situation where no good info is coming out, frustration, a flurry of memos in August authorizing ramping up of abuse, and at the same time – a CIA analyst telling them that, conservatively, about 1/3 of the people they were abusing were not tied to terrorism in any way, shape or form.

    So if you had authorizations to approve things that had already started out of frustration, then had the CIA informing you that a chunk of the people you were abusing would be war crimes victims even under your OWN loony tune opinions — it’s no big wonder that Goldsmith and other just wanted those victims disappeared permanently to GITMO and have not wanted them to come to the US.

    In any event, if Mayer’s report on Addington is correct – that he blew off the info that innocent people were being tortured bc it would be inconvenient – that’s got to be an interesting issue. It looks, from what I have seen (there was a Harper’s 6 questions at one point with the guy who pretty much had to be the CIA guy sent to GITMO) that the analyst, in a classified interview, wouldn’t have been shy about sharing the info.

    Tell us again how “good faith” plays out, when Addington and presumably the President, VP, Haynes and Rumsfeld knew that an investigation indicated a lot of their detainees were not terrorists after all. But they still kept them there, under the same rules and conditions.

    • Valtin says:

      The entire torture offensive begins prior to even the opening of Gitmo. I have placed the paper timeline back to December 2001, when Haynes contacted Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, the parent agency for SERE, and asked for help in reverse-engineering their torture inoculation program. See the SASC documents or my article covering this.

      Later, it was this SERE-informed torture that CIA and DoD were promoting for areas where they were hard up for seasoned interrogators. In addition, it’s likely there was a lot more going on by the time the CIA/SERE landed at Gitmo, including an experimental program with use of drugs on prisoners. This also likely occurred on Padilla. Steve Miles new edition of Oath Betrayed should cover a lot of this, due out later this month.

      The OLC docs being released now are important, but when it comes to the torture info, it seems to me we’ve seen enough from OLC. What we need to see is more from CIA (the Inspector General report by Helgerson, for example), and DoD (holding back memos that are DoD because some people passed back and forth between CIA and DoD, covering their tracks, and making declassification of memos difficult — take a look at who the SERE psychologists worked for, for instance).

        • Valtin says:


          I wish someone among FDL’s intrepid gang (as I like to think of them) would or could follow up with their resources upon how the CIA operated within the bowels of DoD in places like Guantanamo. According to the Jones/Fay report, the CIA grabbed detainees at will at Abu Ghraib. “Personnel at the operations level were uncertain how to report them or how to classify” these “ghost detainees”. They were “unable to respond for requests for information about CIA detainees from higher headquarters…. because the CIA did not follow the established procedures for detainee-in-processing, such as fully identifying detainees by name, biometric data, and Internee Serial Number (ISN) number.”

          Given that Levin’s investigation has fully established the presence of CIA at Guantanamo, and much the same kind of confusion between OGA (Other Government Agency… usu. CIA) and DoD, AND given the mini-scandal over the disarray of files and information on prisoners at Guantanamo (recently “discovered”), I think we can make a very good hypothesis (given that some of the same individuals were involved at a command level), that CIA operations at Guantanamo were similar to those at Abu Ghraib.

          We need more investigation into this. Perhaps that’s only what a blue-ribbon committee or a U.S. attorney/Special Prosecutor can do. The lawyers for this torture regime are getting their just share of the heat, but the primary responsibilities still lie with the politicians, the office holders, the military and intelligence officers. The only thing I don’t like about the OLC scandals is the convenience whereby Yoo, Addington, et al. can get the heat, and their bosses, as well as the military and the intelligence agencies, escape the obloquy they too deserve.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I would take the timeline back to September 16, 2001. On Meet the Press, Dick Cheney said:

        “We’ll have to work sort of the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies if we are going to be successful. That’s the world these folks operate in. And, uh, so it’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal basically, to achieve our bjectives.”

        If you had followed Cheney’s career like I had, you would have known that “any means at our disposal” included torture, both home-grown and outsourced, spying on Americans, excessive secrecy and complete disregard for the constitution.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          It’s none of my business how so many around here caught on to Cheney far earlier than I did, and I still can’t fathom the man. But yes, that MTP quotation certainly underscores Valtin @28.

          FWIW, a friend on SoCal tells me that Chapman has a good digital arts program. I have no first-hand knowledge of it: http://ftv.chapman.edu/prospec…..l_arts.cfm

          Here’s hoping they’re using the imaging software ethically, and not overwriting or visually ‘de-enhancing’ (i.e., ’sanitizing) any of the video or image files.

          • Loo Hoo. says:

            So you’re wondering if Yoo has copies of the tapes to play with? Dang.

            And William, are there particular pieces we should see on the old Cheney, or should we just rev up the google?

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              So you’re wondering if Yoo has copies of the tapes to play with? Dang.

              Actually, if he’s anywhere near copies of the tapes he’s an even bigger idiot than he’s viewed around here.

              I really meant that when/if those tapes show up, someone who knows video forensics ought to check them out. But the fact that so many are missing — the fact that ANY are missing! — is basically an admission of guilt as far as I’m concerned. Although I realize the legal process won’t validate my view of things.

              • Loo Hoo. says:

                The law doesn’t allow for much common sense. Seems like you always pretzel first, and use logic as a fallback position just in case pretzeling doesn’t work.

                Then you finger steeple.

                • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                  The law doesn’t allow for much common sense.

                  Seems like much of our law was supposed to be rooted in the common sense of Common Law.

                  I think it’s only wankers like Yoo and Addington who pretzel; but I defer to scribe, bmaz, Mary, LabDancer, etc.

                  I think Yoo can deduce, but he miscategorizes horrendously; once you miscategorize, if you don’t have systems to catch the errors as quickly as possible, you’re screwed.

                  Just think if Microsoft Word didn’t give you an alert when you quit a file without saving? Argh!! Some prompt feedback is a wonderful thing. A point that Yoo apparently failed to grasp.


                • NorskeFlamethrower says:

                  AND THE KILLIN’ GOEZ ON AND ON AND…

                  “The law doesn’t allow for much common sense.”

                  No, the “law” only allows for a judge to rule on logical rationalizations on behalf of the interest of the party who holds judge’s retirement investments…now tell me again about our system of “rule of law”.

            • TomPaine says:

              I don’t know what William knows about Cheney, but i have known him (Cheney) since 1968 and have nothing good to say about him.

  7. MadDog says:

    Do we know yet whether the Obama Administration will make the OPR Report public, or is it even going to be given to Congress as the requestor of the investigation?

    Probably to Congress, but I’m not holding my breath that it will be made public.

    On a related note wrt “unemployed…lawyers”, WTF happened to Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel?

    Both she and David Kris (nominee for the DOJ’s National Security Division) were both reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee at the very same hearing on February 25, but only the nomination for David Kris was approved by “voice vote” in an SJC “Executive Business Meeting” on March 5:

    President Obama announced his intention to nominate David Kris to be the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division on January 22, 2009. A hearing was held on Wednesday, February 25, 2009. An archived webcast is available. In a voice vote on Thursday, March 5, 2009, the Committee ordered the nomination reported. It will now be subject to a sequential referral to the Intelligence Committee.

    There appears to be no info at the SJC site as to why the holdup on Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to head the OLC, and no info on when an SJC “Executive Business Meeting” will vote on her nomination, nor on why she was not voted on at the SJC “Executive Business Meeting” confirming David Kris.

    And while I’m on this particular roll, when is the Marty Lederman nomination going to get a hearing and approval for deputy assistant attorney general in the OLC?

    Or is this not a PAS position (Presidential appointments subject to Senate confirmation)? The SJC does not list Marty’s DAAG position as one of those to be approved by the SJC, but given the paucity of information at the SJC site (or evidently anywhere else), I’m not convinced that a DAAG position is not a PAS position.

    Anybody else have some clues?

    • Peterr says:

      Dawn Johnsen wasn’t voted on by the SJC at the meeting that approved Kris, because she had been approved earlier. The holdup is in getting it to the floor of the Senate, and Women on the Web thinks it may have to do with . . . wait for it . . . abortion:

      Though the Judiciary Committee approved Johnsen for a full senatorial hearing, she’s already taking some flack from Republicans who object to her stance on abortion. Prior to her work at Indiana University — and, in fact, at the OCL in the 1990s — Johnsen headed the pro-choice group NARAL.

      I haven’t seen anything to say “someone has placed a hold on considering the nomination,” but it’s safe to say that this won’t be a pro forma 95-5 vote. Harry’s likely haggling with the GOP over how much floor time to allow them to vent.

      But enough’s enough, Harry. Put her nomination on the calendar, and let’s have the vote.

      • MadDog says:

        Dawn Johnsen wasn’t voted on by the SJC at the meeting that approved Kris, because she had been approved earlier…

        Hmmm…you may be right, but…you may be wrong. *g*

        That “Women on the Web” link has a date of February 26, and Dawn Johnsen’s SJC hearing (with David Kris) was on February 25. A couple of points:

        1. I can find no other instance via Google where there is any indication that Dawn Johnsen’s nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Zip, zilch, nada! And believe me, I’ve googled with various keywords in order to find just one other single instance.

        2. The SJC’s website shows no “Executive Business Meeting” held where Dawn Johnsen’s nomination was approved which is unlike David Kris’ nomination approval which took place March 5 in an “Executive Business Meeting” and was published on SJC’s website per my comment at # 9.

        3. I do not believe that the SJC approves nominations during the nominee’s hearing (their method appears to do so in an “Executive Business Meeting” which is closed to the public and where they can let their hair down).

        4. Since I don’t believe that Dawn Johnsen’s nomination was approved at her SJC hearing on February 25, I find it very hard to believe Women on the Web’s assertion the very next day on February 26 that the SJC had approved Dawn Johnsen’s nomination. There was no time to do so and per my 3 above, no “Executive Business Meeting” held to do so.

        So, I’m standing with the position that Dawn ain’t made it out of the SJC yet, and I’d like to know why.

        Your move! *g*

  8. JThomason says:

    6 – Just because there was extensive communication between the WH and the DOJ with respect to the Yoo memos doesn’t necessarily mean that there was the same level of hands on WH involvement with respect to retaliatory US Attorney firings, does it?

    • bobschacht says:

      Is this a rhetorical question? Or did I miss a snark tag?

      I’m not a betting man, but I know which way I’d bet in answering your question.

      Bob in HI

  9. Mary says:

    4 – despite having his genitals sliced and diced in Morocco, he claims it was the US black prison that was his darkest hour.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Potential employers certainly know they’d be buying a headache for their partnerships if they were to employ Addington, Gonzales, Yoo, et al. These guys haven’t the usual pull that former senior administration lawyers have, like Jamie Gorelick or Eric Holder. They know that any subsequent work, and the associated client, would be publicized and tarnished by their former work. And then there’s their inability to travel abroad and the possibility that they could disappear into a domestic or foreign legal hole. So far, it seems that not even the big Wingnut Welfare firms and “think” tanks have offered suitable positions.

  11. Mary says:

    20 – if Chevron took on Haynes, you’d think the least Exxon AEI could do would be to ante up for Addington.

    If nothing else comes up, apparently a DC environs lawyer, John D. Hemenway, is in need of some counsel in his Rule 11 proceedings in front of Judge Robertson. Hemenway is the lawyer who handled the Berg assault, via Hollister, on Obama’s citizenship.

    John D. Hemenway, on the other hand, is a member of the Bar of this Court. He may have been enlisted by Messrs. Berg and Joyce as a foot soldier in their crusade, but he is nevertheless directly responsible to this Court for the pleadings that have been filed on behalf of the plaintiff. Because it appears that the complaint in this case may have been presented for an improper purpose such as to harass; and that theinterpleader claims and other legal contentions of plaintiff are not warranted by existing law or by non-frivolous arguments for extending, modifying or reversing existing law or for establishing new law, the accompanying order of dismissal requires Mr. Hemenway to show cause why he has not violated Rules 11(b)(1) and 11(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and why he should not be required to pay reasonable attorneys fees and other expenses to counsel for the defendants.

  12. WilliamOckham says:

    And speaking of OLC memos coming after the fact, the extraordinary rendition ‘it’s perfectly fine to outsource your torture to third countries’ memo was addressed to the DOD and came after the CIA had already sent al-Libi to Egypt. So, I’m wondering if the CIA has any legal cover for the al-Libi business and if Rumsfeld and Haynes were just playing ‘keeping up with the Tenets’.

  13. JimWhite says:

    If there is one group out there that definitely doesn’t deserve unemployment compensation, unemployed Bush lawyers fit the bill perfectly.

    Mary: thanks for the Aafia Siddiqi update. Hers is truly a strange case. There are some who think she was the “ghost lady” detainee at Bagram whose screams could be heard. Also, I think she turned up in Afghanistan rather than Pakistan when she was apprehended and shot.

    Finally, I’ve been a very bad boy. Even though it’s a long way from the Persian Gulf, I’m asking if we have a new incident involving the Filipino Monkey. After all, with all of this madness going down, a little levity can’t hurt…

  14. Nola Sue says:

    David S. Addington, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was a forceful voice in internal legal debates, is also said to still be looking for work.

    Oh, there is a God. Or Dog. And Karma’s a biatch. Heh.

  15. BillE says:

    Mr Addington probably has one of the UBS off shore accounts. His time as a CIA counsel was probably quite profitable.

    Its a shame that such a talented mind would have nothing to do 9-5 any more. What a bitch nobody to dominate but his own family (can you just imagine him coming home from work (yikes), no man sized safes, he’ll just have to stay home and pull the wings off of some flys.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Hey BillE, over the weekend while puttering around, I was able to have the CSPAN Senate Subcommittee on Offshore Banking on in the background — kind of like running an audiobook, so to speak.

      Sen Carl Levin seems to be the most aggressive Senator determined to shut down offshore banking. If you have time to run that CSPAN in the background and you’re interested in that whole offshore banking topic, it’s (ahem) quite the eye-brow raiser: Swiss bankers arriving with encrypted computers, encrypted spreadsheets, changing hotels and trained in ‘anti-surveillance’ behavior.

      I tell ya, CSPAN’s starting to give Hollywood a run for its money.
      Over an hour into the hearing, a UBS witness tries to stonewall Carl Levin; that should be a new definition of ’stupid’ ;-))

      I’d completely forgotten that Addington was CIA Counsel wayback.

      I’ve wondered whether any recognizable names will turn up on the list that the Swiss are supposed to turn over to the US ’soon’. I have fond hopes that Richard Perle and Wolfowitz will both be on the list.

      • BillE says:

        An interesting sidelight to all this is all the evidence needed to nail these tax cheats is sitting in afore mentioned TIA database via the SWIFT system. Except for any hand deposited/delivered. We have tracked literally all the financial transactions on the wire for years. If somebody with a terminal had the balls, they could track all deposits to any bank.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Oh, ho!!
          Thank you for confirming what I’d suspected. This makes sense, yet I don’t recall any media reports of this observation.

          I don’t understand the SWIFT system, but my worry has always been that anyone with admin privileges could overwrite or change data. But if I were a bank, wouldn’t I make damn sure that I’d encrypted and traced every single transaction? Doh.

          The other thing is that as I listened to that almost-riveting CSPAN Senate Subcommittee on Offshore Banking hearing, I thought, “Hmmmm, someone’s gotta have a few bankers by the (ahem) ’short hairs’. Otherwise, they’d have dodged testifying.

          Claire McCaskill was just pissed that only one person’s been brought into court so far. And I so understand her exasperation!

          I’m sure it’s too much to hope that Richard Cheney, both his daughters, his son-in-law, and his wife all show up on Swiss tax-dodge records. But it won’t stop me from dreaming…. ;-))

          I do find it an interesting coincidence that it appears to be picking up steam on Pres. Obama’s watch.

  16. pbfishtaco says:

    Addington will likely be perusing his copy of What Color is Your Parachute?– the section on how best to describe that period of time on your resume’ that you’d prefer not to talk about.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Doubtful. What Color is Your Parachute requires self-reflection.
      That doesn’t appear to be Addington’s strong suit.

      And Richard Bolles may need smelling salts if he catches wind of your comment 8^}

  17. perris says:

    If the Justice Department internal probe concludes this is the case, that could have clear consequences for the current debate surrounding the Bush administration’s accountability for torture. [my emphasis]

    I have a problem with the very premise

    the president can NOT get permission to break the law with a lawyers opinion, if the opinion is flawed the president is STILL responsible

    for instance, I can get a lawyer to say it’s fine to rob my neighbors house, that does NOT make it fine

  18. BlueCrow says:

    “Is it possible that the private firms that refuse to employ Gonzales and (apparently) Addington already know their responsibility for illegal activity will come out?”

    I agree with Leen at 2: these criminals will probably wind up being paid by a Republican propaganda machine think tank unless the Obama administration, Congress and the Supreme Court do their jobs in establishing justice for the criminal acts of these people, their bosses and others complicit.

    I’m not holding my breath. Justice in America it seems is only for those outside of Washington. I keep thinking of how outrageous the disparity is as to whom the law is applied. Even a celebrity athlete like Marion Jones, can’t get the pass these slugs are getting. No one should be getting a pass.

  19. Badwater says:

    No need to worry about Gonzo, Addington, or others. Once “Bushland” (the amusement park and preznit library) opens, all former Bushies will have jobs.

  20. GrievanceProject says:


    Don’t forget D. Kyle Sampson.

    Back on December 3, 2008, Carrie Johnson provided this update on Mr. Sampson:

    D. Kyle Sampson, who served as the chief of staff to Gonzales until his March 2007 resignation, recently took a leave from his job as a partner at the law firm Hunton & Williams while the investigation [by prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy who is investigating the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys] proceeds. A spokeswoman for the law firm said he is on leave “pending admission to the D.C. bar.” [Ed. note – As of this date, Mr. Sampson has been admitted to the D.C. bar.]

    The report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine singled out Sampson for offering testimony that was “not credible” and “unpersuasive.” The authorities also concluded that Sampson had committed “misconduct.”

    An attorney for Sampson previously said that Sampson had gone out of his way to help investigators and that he had offered “his best, most honest and complete recollection of these events.”

    I sent the following email to Hunton & Williams requesting a response to some questions I had regarding the firm’s employment of Mr. Sampson:

    Eleanor Kerlow
    Senior Public Relations Manager, Hunton & Williams
    (202) 955-1883
    [email protected]

    Ms. Kerlow,

    I write The Grievance Project at which I have been following the career of D. Kyle Sampson. I am writing requesting Hunton & Williams’ response to the following questions related to Mr. D. Kyle Sampson.

    Was the leave taken at the firm’s request?
    Has the firm been contacted by Nora R. Dannehy regarding Mr. Sampson?
    Has any other attorney at Hunton & Williams taken a leave from the firm due to Ms. Dannehy’s investigation?
    Was a press release issued relating to Mr. Sampson’s leave? If so, please forward a copy to my attention.
    Is it typical or policy for partners in Hunton’s D.C. office to take a leave from the firm while applying for admission to the D.C. bar?
    Is Mr. Sampson welcome back to Hunton upon his admission to the D.C. bar?

    Thank you for your attention to these questions.

    It’s shameful that these men are still licensed to practice law but, for whatever the reason and however temporary, they’re not practicing law. This doesn’t take the place of proper investigation by their respective bar associations and imposition of appropriate sanctions, but Messrs. Gonzales, Addington and Sampson are being judged quite harshly by their peers. For now.

    From my post at Oxdown Gazette.

  21. Leen says:

    I had to go into our local courthouse yesterday. Talked to a woman in her 20’s who was in shackles (wrist and ankles) she was being charged with possession of marijuana (don’t know how much) Her mother was blown away that they had her in shackles. Her two year old daughter was there with the grandmother.

    Madoff in his apt, Cheney, Rove running free, and we wonder why there is so much disrespect for our so called justice system.

  22. Mary says:

    28 – I believe that (your) timeline is correct (actually WO’s at 34 is probably also correct – one for the DOD/military, one for the Cheney directed covert ops), my point was that there were complaints being made about the Geneva Conventions violations from GITMO as early as Jan 2002. So there were documents and/or complaining witnesses to treatment in a formal military setting, which would be trackable (as opposed conflicts at black sites, which would be less trackable) starting at least then from published reports.

    So if you have people complaining about violations of Geneva Conventions and your ONLY way around those complaints is to argue that those you are abusing are “illegal enemy combatants” it leaves you out to dry if someone comes along after you’ve been abusing hundreds of people for 6 mos or so and says – um, even if your bad argument held water (it doesn’t) the people you are abusing aren’t illegal enemy combatants.

    26 – I thought so too. Wonder if anyone wants to point out to the Obama DOJ handling Yoo’s defense that courts deal with atty misconduct all the time

    • Valtin says:

      Yes, I get you, and that is a good point. I guess I wasn’t writing really to contradict your point, but just taking off on an aspect of the usual timeline situation that I often feel doesn’t get enough attention (though that’s not true at FDL, who ironically is one of the few places that has noticed and taken not my timeline, but Levin’s timeline, when laid out concretely, seriously). (Hope that last sentence makes sense…)

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