Stressing Teh Kitty

The bank stress test results are in! Wonderful news, the economy is totally groovy man! Well, except not. For what are being hailed as great results, there are some disturbing numbers. Said stress tests of the 19 largest U.S. banks show they will need a total of $74.6 billion to withstand a deeper recession. For some reason, the NYT seems to think this is good news:

Federal regulators told the country’s 19 largest banks that they must raise $75 billion in extra capital by November, a more upbeat verdict on the health of the financial system than the industry had feared just two months ago.

Ten of the 19 bank holding companies deemed “too big to fail” by the Obama administration will be required to raise additional capital, according to the results of the government’s stress tests, released late Thursday afternoon. But the 10 banks will have to raise much less capital than some analysts had expected as recently as a few days ago.

Citigroup must raise $5.5 billion in new capital, on top of converting $45 billion in rescue funds into ordinary stock, which would give the United States ownership of 36 percent of Citi.

Bank of America must raise $34 billion, but it is likely to resist achieving all or some of that by converting its $45 billion in bailout money into common stock. Instead, the bank is expected to fill its capital hole by selling off smaller divisions, a stake in China Construction Bank and other asset sales.

The stress tests are aimed at estimating how much each bank would lose if the economic downturn proved even deeper than currently expected. Under the worst-case scenario — an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent, an economic contraction of 3.3 percent this year and a 22 percent further decline in housing prices — the losses by the 19 banks could total $600 billion this year and next, or 9.1 percent of the banks’ total loans, regulators concluded. Losses to the banks’ loan portfolios alone could total $455 billion this year and next.

“There is a reassurance in clarity," Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said at a news briefing on Thursday afternoon.

A "reassurance in clarity". Thanks for that Mr. Geithner. Bank of America Inc – $33.9 billion; Wells Fargo – $13.7 billion, GMAC – $11.5 billion, and Citigroup Inc needs $5.5 billion. Good thing it wasn’t bad news I guess. The biggest key banks, the ones too big to fail, all need massive infusions of cash bigger than the amounts that everybody and their brother are screaming are hideous and untenable to give to GM and Chrysler, companies that actually make things. Well, make things other than grief that is. The kitty, i.e. bank, is supposed to be a safe place for people to store their money not a black hole for income redistribution to the rich. I wonder how many bonuses are being paid?

UPDATE: In another sign of stability in the Mater Of The Universe bankster realm, comes this breaking news from Reuters:

Stephen Friedman, chairman of the New York Federal Reserve’s board of directors, resigned on Thursday amid questions about stock purchases in his former firm Goldman Sachs.

The purchases of Goldman Sachs occurred after the firm became a bank holding company.

Denis Hughes, the deputy chair of the board, will take over Friedman’s role, the New York Fed said.

Oh, and Wells Fargo is rushing out a public offering for at least six billion to cover their position in light of the stress test results. Turns out that Wells, who bragged about the strength of their position and said they did not even need the TARP money they readily took, is a lot closer to the piker banks we have been watching all along. Go figure.

71 replies
  1. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Suggestion for a video clip: “My Little Pony: The Intro”.

    Should the lefty blogosphere start chipping in to help Atrios with a Pony Fund?
    He’s surely gotta be handing out a lot of ponies to the banksters and their enablers in the Fed.


      • skdadl says:

        Against my better judgement, I enjoyed that.

        But hey, you guys. I came here looking for kittehs. So far, I’ve got ponies, medieval dances, even a dog, but no actual kittehs.

        • freepatriot says:

          I’ve got ponies, medieval dances, even a dog, but no actual kittehs.

          I’ll see that, an raise ya two turtles

          an jus cuz:

          Tom Ridge declined the honor of serving as a pinata for the club for toomey growth

          that’s gonna hurt popcorn sales in Pennsylvania

          my portfolio is looki bleak (come on bachman, say something …)

      • fatster says:

        Can I motor over to your Village in that chocolate-powered car I posted about a few bmaz articles back? That’s definitely my kind of car and hopefully would not disturb any ponies or kittehs, either.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      You’re forgetting your history again, MD?
      New York was originally New Amsterdam. Perhaps the Grey Lady is simply harkening back to Ye Olde DutchishEnglishism? A dialect of English specifically developed to make banksters look like upstanding businesspersons and credible citizens; very few subjects, only weak verbs — 98% of the dialect consists of adjectives and nominalizations.


      There aren’t enough ponies on the fookin’ planet fer this mess.
      All due respect and apologies to the estimable Atrios, but how would anyone come up with enough ponies for this occasion?

      So many ponies… and all we ‘citizens’ get is to pay to clean up the offal.

      • MadDog says:

        Reminds me of this Dutch joke:

        Hollanders do not like spending money…The story that copper wire is an invention of two Hollanders fighting over a found cent is absolutely true.

        • MarkH says:

          So, “going Dutch” means letting the other person pay?

          I see. It’s all clear now. Let’s move on to greener pastures with kitties.

      • kaleberg says:

        Who is butchering the ponies? The “offal” are the guts, and properly prepared they can be delicious.

      • cinnamonape says:

        New York was originally New Amsterdam.

        OT ~ an interesting bit of trivia is how New Amsterdam became British. It was taken as a result of the Dutch’s water-boarding and execution based on those torture confessions of British merchants in Amboyna. One of the British “factors” employees, a Japanese sho-gun, was observed looking over the Dutch fort, was captured and confessed to “spying” after torture. He implicated the other Sho-gun and the British factory managers in a plot to capture the Dutch stronghold. All the British and Japanese were rounded up and water-tortured, some having other inflictions laid upon them. All confessed, but four, who were clearly in no position to participate in such a take-over, were “pardoned”.

        Eventually they returned to England and pamphlets about the massacre were spread. This resulted in the Second Anglo-Dutch War after the Dutch acquitted the Dutch East Indian merchants (who faced a death sentence) of extra-legal torture. The English took many Dutch colonial outposts such as New Amsterdam, parts of Sumatra, Malacca, as retribution. A Third War eventually broke out after the Dutch began circulating another pamphlet claiming the British “lied” about the earlier torture.

  2. bmaz says:

    Okay, I updated the main post with breaking info on the head of the New York Fed resigning amid controversy and Wells Fargo offering their most excellent stock to more lucky investors.

    Man, if Mary is offering up ponies, we are in serious straits!

    • freepatriot says:

      I believe Mary was betting “The Village”

      how that is seen as a “Raise”, well …

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Mary is offering up Most Excellent Celebratory Jestery-and-Tumbler musical entertainment — the Money Villagers everywhere merit special Cavalier hats with very dashing feathers that they can scrape upon the ground as they bow very, very low before the BanksterMasters as they all Safety Dance in jubilant relief now that the ‘financial danger’ is over.


  3. freepatriot says:

    well, let’s hope they’re really SMALL ponies

    an if they’re tasty, we get a twofer …

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Oreo ponies? Mini-Snickers ponies?
      Now there’s a marketable possibility…

    • dosido says:

      I heard something yesterday about putting a dog on a leash, but my metaphor is a car needs brakes as well as a gas pedal, fgs. Yeah, that’s regulation for safety’s sake. But why talk about all that? These guys really are on speed.

  4. sasha2008 says:


    Morgan Stanley Real Estate!

    Morgan Stanley plans to meet an expected shortfall of $1 billion to $2 billion by selling assets or stock to private investors, a person briefed on the plan said. Citigroup has also sold several big businesses, reducing its large capital deficit to around $6 billion.

    – Investigate this deal with mid 2007- Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. (NYSE: CEI) has finally found a buyer

    No BAILOUT for ‘TOXIC REIT’ Ponzi scams.

    IN 2007,according to a New York Times article citing data from Thomson Financial, there have been $281 billion worth of private equity deals in the U.S. so far this year — that’s triple the amount compared to the same period last year, which ended up breaking all sorts of records.

    Explain this sale on May 22, 2007: Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. (NYSE: CEI)

    Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. (NYSE: CEI) has finally found a buyer, and one that seems to like its mixed-use approach. Morgan Stanley Real Estate has agreed to acquire the Fort Worth, Texas-based REIT for a deal that totals $6.5 billion, including the assumption of debt.

    Morgan Stanley Real Estate has agreed to acquire the Fort Worth, Texas-based REIT for a deal that totals $6.5 billion, including the assumption of debt.

    Crescent, a mixed-use REIT owned by Texas billionaire Richard Rainwater, was in the midst of morphing itself into a pure-play office REIT. …”take advantage of the void left by rabid industry consolidation” as a remade office REIT.

    Bear Stearns analysts said that while the price Morgan Stanley’s paying for Crescent doesn’t look to be a significant premium, they would be “surprised” to see a higher bid.

    “Our sense is that the company has been seriously marketed, both as a single entity and piece by piece, and if there were a higher bid out there, it would already have come to light,” the analysts wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Combined with the fact that Crescent announced it would pay no future dividends, we see limited upside from here.”

    Late 2008- Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley decided “while fearing for their own existence “to transform themselves into bank holding companies in September (bringing with it the ability to access the Federal Reserve’s discount window), …

    Bank of America said it couldn’t even close its Merrill Lynch acquisition without substantial extra government help, and is likely to get billions of dollars in federal guarantees.

  5. kaleberg says:

    In a capitalist society, the banks could raise capital by offering higher interest rates. I’m tempted to cash out and put my 401K in a safe deposit box given current CD rates. Of course, there is no way socialist institutions like our banks will compete in the market place for money. That’s crazy talk. (One of my specialties.)

  6. dosido says:

    Oh oh oh! I hope they put a happy face next to that headline in case we didn’t get that this was really really good news. And a unicorn and rainbows. goody!

  7. freepatriot says:

    Oh oh oh! I hope they put a happy face next to that headline in case we didn’t get that this was really really good news. And a unicorn and rainbows. goody!


    just the standard “pep talk”

    attention all readers, the beating will continue until moral improves

    that is all

    property of Hudsucker Blog Industries

  8. bobschacht says:

    What worries me here is that we’re frittering away our chances to get real regulatory reform passed by Congress. The uproar over Bankster bonuses would have been a great time to introduce bank reform legislation with a ton of popular support, but that push is now receding, like a wave on the beach.

    Who was it– Durbin? who said the banks own the place. Apparently their ownership extends to Geithner, Summers, and the Senate Banking committee. What we really need are a new version of the Pocera (?) committee hearings that built momentum for regulatory reform and Glass-Steagall. Occasionally, a senator will actually say something that makes sense, but then everyone goes back to sleep while the banksters are rifling our wallets.

    BTW, remember Jane & Marcy’s close your JPMorgan Chase credit card accounts? I did that with an account that I haven’t used for more than a year, and they wrote back saying OK we’ll close your account, but there’s one more charge of $19.99 on your account that you’ll have to pay before we can close it. Since I have not used that account, THEY must be charging ME for the privilege of closing the account. Bastards.

    Bob in HI

    • SouthernDragon says:

      Samm Simpson’s campaign account was with Wachovia both times she ran. In 08 after we lost the primary to a DINO we kept the account open to pay some invoices I knew were coming. When I didn’t close it after all the invoices had been paid and there’d been no activity for a couple weeks the bank manager, a young guy, called me and we talked about closing the account because he didn’t want to charge us service charges. I went in and we chatted for about 2 hours in his office. He was very unhappy about the upcoming merger with Wells Fargo. I left wondering why this guy worked as a bankster and wondered if he’d change careers after what he’d seen. I went in about a month ago and he’s no longer there.

    • freepatriot says:

      THEY must be charging ME for the privilege of closing the account. Bastards.

      my bank offered me overdraft protection, all of the sudden and out of the blue

      I do minimal banking, and I rarely have more than $50 in my account that isn’t deposited against a specific check

      now they wanna give me $700 overdraft protection ???

      these suckers are desperate to make loans. I ain’t read the literature yet, But I suspect it’s got an interest rate above 20%

      an I use a local bank, that ain’t ever mentioned in these discussions

      I don’t know what it means, but I didn’t trust a bank with my money before this “stress test” stuff came up

    • dosido says:

      Totally agree with you, except Durbin is full of it when he says anything. I stopped listening to him after he was excusing himself for voting for the war. Jeez.

      I wonder if the real reason the banksters hate Socialist Europe is because the banksters and other Big Business have to pay real wages & taxes & benefits there…??? Has anyone delved into this? (I’m just flapping my gums like Durbin here).

  9. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Federal regulators told the country’s 19 largest banks that they must raise $75 billion in extra capital by November, a more upbeat verdict on the health of the financial system than the industry had feared just two months ago.

    Thats almost a trillion dollars by November and no investor believes the stress tests. Wait I know the banks could lend each other the money at 36 to 1 leverage!

    (attempt at financial humor)

  10. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Losses to the banks’ loan portfolios alone could total $455 billion this year and next.

    What about if the banks have losses the year after that? Or if the banks have losses bigger than their stress tests after all the banks inability to model disaster is what got us here so what happens then?
    What happens if the banks start to fail after we gave them billions?

  11. DrZen says:

    “What worries me here is that we’re frittering away our chances to get real regulatory reform passed by Congress.”

    Now that sentence is a triumph of rosecoloured optimism over harsh reality. You don’t buy yourself a Congress and then let it put you in shackles.

  12. bobschacht says:

    What were they thinking when they launched this stress testing B.S.? Did they even pause to think about what the reaction to any real verifiable results might have been, like a run on this bank or that bank, or on all banks?

    There should be some kind of stress test accounting that should be a mandatory part of every annual report by the bank. Make it routine, not a crisis intervention tool.

    Yeah, there should be stress testing by Treasury &/or the Fed. But you don’t go around publishing them all at once in the middle of a crisis.

    If some bank robbers pull a heist and bag $6 million dollars, the police don’t come to them and say, Gee, you seem to have overdrawn your account by $6 million dollars. What are you going to do about that? You arrest the bastards and seize their assets. That is what should be happening– good old FDIC takeovers.

    And still no action on regulating CDS and other fancypants financial gambling tools that contributed to the meltdown.

    I think Elizabeth Warren should be on TV every day interviewing banksters, discussing their balance sheets, and referring scoundrels for prosecution when warranted (and I mean often).

    What I fear is that we’ll have one of those L-shaped recoveries with no uptick for a long time, no real accountability for the banksters, and still not much regulation. The actionable moment is slipping away.

    Bob in HI

  13. MadDog says:

    Breaking, totally OT, and caveat emptor, ABC News reports:

    Intelligence Report: Pelosi Briefed on Use of Interrogation Tactics in Sept. ’02

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah in September 2002, according to a report prepared by the Director of National Intelligence’s office and obtained by ABC News.

    The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi’s statement last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special interrogation tactics. Instead, she has said, she was told only that the Bush administration had legal opinions that would have supported the use of such techniques.

    The report details a Sept. 4, 2002 meeting between intelligence officials and Pelosi, then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss, and two aides. At the time, Pelosi was the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

    The meeting is described as a “Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.”

    …Brendan Daly, a Pelosi spokesman, said Pelosi’s recollection of the meeting is different than the way it is described in the report from the DNI’s office.

    “The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used,” Daly said.

    Daly pointed out that the report backs up Pelosi’s contention that she was briefed only once on “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Her name does not appear elsewhere in the report…

    • MadDog says:

      There is much more in that ABC News article, but I refrained from quoting it so as to stay close to the “fair use” line.

      I would strongly recommend that all read the entire article.

      • MadDog says:

        And more on this from the WaPo:

        CIA Says Pelosi Was Briefed on Use of ‘Enhanced Interrogations’

        Blah, blah, blah.

        …In a carefully worded statement, Pelosi’s office said today that she had never been briefed about the use of waterboarding, only that it had been approved by Bush administration lawyers as a legal technique to use in interrogations.

        “As this document shows, the Speaker was briefed only once, in September 2002. The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used,” said Brendan Daly, Pelosi’s spokesman.

        Pelosi’s statement did not address whether she was informed that other harsh techniques were already in use during the Zubaydah interrogations…

        • Mary says:

          Well, that certainly sounds like she is trying to parse out the whazoo, doesn’t it? She thinks waterboarding is the “clear cut” problem so she keeps mentioning that she doesn’t know anything about it.

          Did she know about the FBI take on Zubaydah? About stripping him, putting him in boxes for mock live burials, subjecting him to sleep deprivation and hypothermia and doing it all over and over and over and over and ov…

          Never mind.

          Impeachment is off the table – yeah, like no one would figure out why.

          • MarkH says:

            This is nasty and I don’t see it getting better any time soon. I doubt that out West they approve of torture, so it’s bad bad bad.

      • MadDog says:

        Ok, I’ve located “the report”. And a couple points before I give the link:

        1. This smells like a Repug hitjob.
        2. I found the link of the report via Google over at, which per their own masthead is “Headquarters of the Conservative Underground”. (My Bold)
        3. As I said in my first comment, caveat emptor. For those whose Latin is rusty, that means “Buyer Beware!”

        Here’s the link to the report.

        • MadDog says:

          So everyone is working off the same page, I thought I’d define some of the acronyms used in the report:

          OCA – The Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Congressional Affairs. Per this document, in regards to Congressional Notification, this is co-ordinated by the OCA who:

          …serve as the focal points for IC coordination…

          CTC – The CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, and not to be confused with the NCTC – National Counterterrorism Center. The CIA’s CTC at the time of the initial Congressional briefings was headed by Cofer Black.

          NCS – The CIA’s National Clandestine Service. Was formerly known as the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

          OGC – The CIA’s Office of General Counsel. Think acting head John Rizzo and this August 1, 2002 Bybee Two memo from the OLC back to John Rizzo defining specific torture techniques as legal.

          DCI – The Director of Central Intelligence (who was also Director of the CIA). This position has been replaced by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

          DDCI – Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. This position was abolished by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

          OIG – The CIA’s Office of Inspector General.

          DI/OTA – The CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence/Office of Terrorism Analysis. Currently, the OTA is “the analytic component of the CIA Counterterrorism Center.”

          ODCIA – I “believe” this acronym stands for Office of the Director of the CIA.

          ADMA – I “believe” this acronym stands for CIA’s Associate Director for Military Affairs. See this for the current occupant and his responsibilities.

          • MadDog says:

            I still have yet to find out just what the DI/ODI acronym stands for within the CIA. One might presume it is something like Directorate of Intelligence/Office of Director of Intelligence, but that’s just my swag for the time being.

            • MadDog says:

              And lastly, I don’t know what to make of the acronym CFO. The CIA does have a Chief Financial Officer, but the use of an acronym with that meaning seems out of place for “Discussions of EITs with a detainee” as shown on page 10 of the report.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          That was my first hunch, although I’ve not had time to do any reading.
          But my first thought was, “Hmmmmm… would tracing the release of that info help locate any of Cheney’s dug-in Auks?”

          Because look at the fact that Zelikov has given some extremely interesting interviews the past couple of weeks notably pointing out that his memos were to have been destroyed (by the Cheney wing).

          Also, note the powerful Karpinski interview a week or two ago — while I have no sympathy for Grainger, her point that all the people at the top who ordered this mess haven’t been so much as fingerprinted.

          Also note MadDog @43 points out that she was briefed ‘Sept 2002′; go back to the thread about Dougie Feith’s Little Shop of Horrors and Jeff Kaye (or some commenter) makes a good case that beginning August 2002, the Cheney group started the disinformation campaign laying the groundwork for war — and note also that’s when the Iraq Study Group was meeting, and before Wilson went to Niger.

          If they’re trying to smear Pelosi with this mess, someone’s really getting scared, eh?

          • MadDog says:

            That was my first hunch, although I’ve not had time to do any reading…

            I’ve not yet found any other place that has a copy of the report.

            That it is in the hands of a self-entitled “Headquarters of the Conservative Underground”, lends credence to the idea that this has some dirty Repug hands behind the publicity.

            • phred says:

              Man, talk about “elections have consequences”… Starting in March 2007 (i.e., after Dems regained control of Congress) they weren’t many “briefings”, instead there were a bevy of “hearings”.

              MadDog, do you have any idea if the hearings listed were open to the public or were they classified/behind closed door hearings? If the former, then we can cross those off the list, since we know nothing of any substance was revealed in a public setting…

    • phred says:

      MadDog, just popped in to see if anyone was talking about this here… I saw the link to ABC from Spencer’s post, is the DNI document publicly available? I’m curious whether this is another case of the CIA camp (like Goss) trying to pin the tail on the Congress (like Harman). At the moment, I wouldn’t buy a lollipop from Panetta or anyone else at CIA if it’s wrapped in an “It’s Congress’ Fault” wrapper…

  14. dude says:

    Always enjoy your posts, Bmaz.

    I think Naomi Klein (on Rachel Maddow’s show recently) brings the focus back to where it belongs. It is fine to talk about the relative values of banks as measured by stress tests–a billion or ten or twenty here or there—but that is to forget that the combined bailout (public expense) runs to the trillions and not only is it tax money used to prop up the financial elite, but at the expense of AIDS contributions to Africa, to relief in New Orleans, to student loans and a thousand other things which are part of needed and wanted domestic spending, but which have been pared down because banksters need “confidence”.

    I am a state employee now after 30 yrs in private practice. The state employees are facing some relatively minor cutbacks (furloughs and cuts in pay) to help the state balance its budget. The county school system is being asked to give back money to the county to bring its capital reserve back into the state’s required levels. In both cases, what you hear is this: people should share the burden equally—if it is equal, then we can sacrifice and endure. Public education is mandatory and they lobbied hard to be excluded from returning funds budgeted to them 6 months ago. They lost. Why? Because the fire department and emergency services and sanitation agreed to give back their budget alotments by the same percentage.

    The “equal share of the burden” is not being heard at the national level and Naomi makes that point in spades. And why , I ask, isn’t it?

  15. Mary says:

    And another reason for the calls for “no investigations” and “let’s move forward” by former torture victim John McCain — apparently he was read into the program in 2005 as well.

    In October 2005, CIA officials began briefing other congressional leaders with oversight of the intelligence community, including top appropriators who provided the agency its annual funding. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam and an opponent of torture techniques, was also read into the program at that time even though he did not hold a special committee position overseeing the intelligence community.

    No wonder he was so careful to hand out immunity candies in his DTA to torture conspirators and make sure that torture victims were “hidden from habeas” by his legislation. What a freakin Kabuki, him strutting around on that legislation while all the while he was briefed in on, and sat mum about, torture.

  16. Mary says:

    And on the appropriations front – would that have included Lewis? Cunningham? If it included Cunningham, having him plead in Nov must have sent some stomaches diving. No wonder Lam had to go. And how conveniently they made sure that Lewis stayed in place too.

    You can’t take enough showers to wash it all off, can you?

    • bmaz says:

      Alright soon as I get the video from a Maddow segment about to come up, I will put up a short post on Pelosi.

    • bobschacht says:

      A similar handy phrase is “caveat lector”– Let the reader beware. There’s lots of occasions when that comes in handy.

      And then there’s always “illegitimus non carborundum” which, loosely translated, means something like “Don’t let the bastards wear you down!”

      Bob in HI

  17. Mary says:

    I don’t think Repug hitjob and truth are, unfortunately, mutually exclusive on this one.

    The list only mentions Duncan Hunter on appropriations – the article made it sound like more than one appropriations guy got the word.

    I may be reactionary on this bc it goes to what has seemed so blatant for so long – about Rockefeller and Pelosi being so obstructionist and proBush throughout the last 8years. If the chart is for real, then we also find out that there were staffers briefed as well. Early on, Mike Sheehy (then Chief Counsel for HPSCI) got the briefing with Pelosi and Goss and Tim Sample (then Staff Directors for the HPSCI). Sheehy was also invovled in the 2003 briefing to Harman, but sometime in 2003 he moved on to be on staff with Pelosi until this Feb.

    There’s a reference to a follow up briefing in 03 to Rockefeller, and I’m not clear the way it is laid out if Bill Duhnke was there or not, but he was there for the briefing to Shelby and Graham in 02 (and apparently has old ties with Shelby and was Staff Director for the SSCI (maybe counsel at one point?) Also present was Alfred Cumming, who spit out this CRS report on Covert Activities in Feb of 2009 and was a drafter of the CRS report from 2006 backing up Harman’s claims on Bush briefings re: the domestic spying program not constituting covert activities and therefore needing to be briefed to the full committees. Chris Mellon who got the briefings with Roberts, Rockefeller and Duhnke was minority staff director for Rockefeller.

    Lot of different sources for different stories and different alliances.

    Call me an easy mark, but if the Republicans are selling a story about Pelosi and Rockefeller being fully and truly knee deep in the torture information (even while they let the Abu Ghraib soldiers twist in the wind) I buy it.

    • MarkH says:

      Excuse me while I go throw up. It appears we’re going to pay a very high price for all this.

  18. Mary says:

    You’d hardly know this trial had been going on, but the jury has come back with a guilty verdict in the Kentucky trial of Steven Green for the rape of a 14 yo Iraqi girl and murder of the girl, her father, mother and 6 yo baby sister.

    If it had been an American girl and family, let’s just say Nancy Grace would never have had one day off from it – as it is, the whole thing passes mostly unnoticed.

    • bobschacht says:

      I stopped paying any attention to Nancy Grace once I figured that out. Her schtick is young blond babes, or cute white kids. If it ain’t about them, she’s not interested.

      Bob in HI

  19. radiofreewill says:

    This looks legit.

    From my reading of the briefings report, it seems clear that Pelosi was likely briefed on Waterboarding (”…and a description of the particular EITs [used on Zubaydah] that had been employed”) at the 9/4/02 briefing with Goss.

    If the report is correct, then on one thing there seems to be No Doubt – Jello Jay was Told “how the water board was used” at the 2/4/03 briefing.

    There are enough names named in this report regarding Briefers and Support Staff for each meeting that enterprising reporters ought to be all over this story seeking confirmations of what actually got said.

    • MarkH says:

      If it was a briefing then Jay probably didn’t say anything.
      Can the briefer also claim that? Heh.

  20. phred says:

    Five of the briefings were on Sept. 6, 2006 the same day that (from EW’s torture timeline…)

    September 6, 2006: Bush admits to secret detention program for High Value Detainees. All members of SSCI obtain access to CIA IG Report and Bybee II Opinion.

    By then we can safely assume the WH shit has hit the Congressional fan. So, we have 4 pages of possibly incriminating briefings, rather than 10 (neglecting everything from Sept. 6, 2006 onward). Although I suppose it doesn’t hurt to point out that the Military Commissions Act was passed by the Senate on Sept. 28th, by the House on Sept. 29th, and signed into law by Bush on Oct. 17th. So, it’s safe to say the Congressional “fan” was of the delicate papery handheld variety.

  21. phred says:

    February 2005: Senior CIA official provides incomplete account of CIA treatment of detainees at HPSCI briefing.

    This is from EW’s timeline. Clicking through to the link from the timeline, there is evidence that the CIA lied to Congress. There is no February briefing on the list, so I’m guessing this HPSCI briefing would have been the one conducted on Jan. 25, 2005.

    If the CIA was lying to Congress (in this case Hoekstra and Harman), why should we assume the previous briefings were truthful?

    I have no love lost on Pelosi, but I smell a hitjob in a big way here.

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