Dick Cheney Out on a Limb Fourth Branch

We’ve been laughing about this in threads, but I wanted to share the joke(s). Greg Sargent got the letter from the CIA telling the Archives that Dick Cheney can’t have his propaganda.

As you are aware, a request for Mandatory Declassification Review is governed by Executive Order 12958, as amended, which was signed and executed by the President on March 25, 2003. Under section 3.5.(a)(3) of that Executive Order, a document is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review if that document contains information that is the subject of pending litigation. This provision ensures that the Mandatory Declassification Review process is not used to disrupt simultaneous litigation proceedings that are already pending. In researching the information in question, we have discovered that it is currently the subject of pending FOIA litigation (Bloche v. Department of Defense, Amnesty International v. Central Intelligence Agency). Therefore, the requested document, which contains this information, is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review.

There are two reasons I’ve been laughing my ass off for the last few hours.

First, those FOIAs? The CIA says Dick can’t have his propaganda until two liberal entities–some experts in bioethics wanting more details on the use of doctors in torture, and Amnesty International and Center for Constitutional Rights looking for more information on extraordinary rendition and ghost detainees–resolve their demand for these documents. But guess what? Cheney’s propaganda documents aren’t the only things that would be responsive under FOIA! So would the IG report, particularly the parts that describe how the CIA’s own IG didn’t think torture was all that effective and those that discuss the use of psychologist-contractors to conduct torture. So for Dick to get his documents, he may have to wait for these do-gooder torture opponents get a whole load of proof of just how ineffective and unethical Cheney’s torture program was.

I just can’t wait to see Dick Cheney asking the Center for Constitutional Rights nicely to give him his little propaganda documents. 

And what’s better? That EO the CIA cites, saying it cannot turn over these documents? EO 12958, as amended? That amendment is EO 13292–an amendment Dick had Bush sign on March 25, 2003, just at the beginning of the Iraq War. It’s a special amendment in Dick’s little bureaucratic evil, because it’s the basis that Dick used to claim he could insta-declassify the identity of a CIA spy and have it leaked to Judy Miller! Not only that, it’s the same EO that Dick Cheney appealed to when he was claiming to be a Fourth Branch of government (before Addington helpfully explained he was more of a barnacle, really). 

This is an EO, you see, that Cheney and Addington have abused wildly. 

Only now it’s coming back to bite Cheney–and his little plan for propaganda–in the ass. CCR? Valerie Plame? I hope you’re enjoying the little bureaucratic hell Cheney created for himself as much as I am.

135 replies
  1. hwmnbn says:

    LOL, don’t tell me these clowns are going down because of their own paperwork!! How karmic. I wonder if Cheney feels like too many strings are being pulled at once and he’s lost control of his own destiny.

  2. scribe says:

    F’g hilarious.

    Dick: Bite your own ass.

    A little OT: you should drop Joe and Valerie Wilson an email and see what reaction, if any, they have to all this. Your eight posts today (could this be a record?) might keep them occupied….

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Dick: Bite your own ass.

      Damn, Lady Karma is a bitch. AND she has a special Anti-PixieDust Wand ;-)))

    • Leen says:

      put money on that they come here. Hell I believe they said Marcy knew more about the Libby trial than they did. They know Marcy does her “homework”

      • MadDog says:


        I particularly liked this one:

        Today, I was home on leave and having breakfast with my parents and my younger brothers. I guess I got too used to the rougher language around the Army barracks where I’m stationed. At the breakfast table I asked my Mom to “pass me the fucking butter”.FML

  3. MadDog says:

    And when will the guffaws stop? Not anytime soon! *g*

    From Politco:

    Gibbs: Bush tied CIA’s hands on Cheney request

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is blaming an executive order signed by President George W. Bush for the denial of Vice President Dick Cheney’s request for declassification of two memos he says show that important intelligence was obtained from aggressive interrogation techniques some have described as torture.

    “The CIA is the agency that has jurisdiction over this,” Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Barack Obama returned from a trip to Arizona and New Mexico. “They made the decision, in all honesty, based on an executive order from the Bush administration, which under the type of request that Vice President Cheney made, precludes these being declassified because they’re part of ongoing litigation. The executive order updated in the Bush administration precludes their release…”

    (My Bold and my giggles too! *g*)

  4. DWBartoo says:

    Take some Dick-tation …

    Ya reap what ya “So?”

    (Done ‘in’ by one’s own Fourth Right cleverness.)

    Who could have imagined?


  5. acquarius74 says:

    Yeeeeee Doggies!!! Our Emptywheel just clapped his own self-designed shackles on Cheney!! This ought to blow the top out of that $$$$ thermometer – might dig up a few more bucks myself.

    Thank you, Ms. Marcy!

  6. MadDog says:

    And only someone as dumb as a Pet Rock like Dana “Pig Missile” Perino could come up with this on Speaker Pelosi’s news conference:

    …Is she suggesting that career government officials, those very CIA briefers, are the ones that “lied” to her? What would have been their motivation for lying to her but others who got the same briefing not being lied to?…

    Ummm…hate to tell you Dana, but telling the Repugs supporters of torture who controlled both houses of Congress as well as the White House that you’re torturing folks they hate probably made their day.

    Silly twit!

  7. fatster says:

    The Politics of Excusing Torture In The Name of National Security
    Friday, May 15, 2009

    “Even before looking closely at Obama’s change of mind, I understood immediately what had taken place, as soon as I heard the report on the radio. President Obama was, in fact, speaking for the national security bureaucracy in announcing his change of mind.

    . . .

    “It is not likely that Barack Obama had widespread political support in the national security community, which would have had a natural affinity for one of their own like John McCain. But Obama needs to win their hearts and minds.

    . . .

    “I would encourage those who are demanding exposure and prosecution to keep pounding their drums. Clearly, they are on the right side of this issue, and Obama knows it.”


  8. TheraP says:

    Are you going for a record today, EW? Please, DO NOT BURN OUT! We may burn out, trying to keep up with you…. But we’re expendable!

    @8: What a comment! Kudos!

    NY Times ad update! It likely came from an organization close to cheney’s daughter!

    • TheraP says:

      Correction: The NY Times – full page ad – from yesterday (trying to get the media to stop investigating torture) is connected to cheney’s wife’s organization. You can see the ad here.

      The whole cheney family seems to be involved, trying to rewrite history and influence the media.

      • radiofreewill says:

        Lady Macbeth:

        Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
        They must lie there. Go carry them, and smear
        The sleepy grooms with blood.


        I’ll go no more.
        I am afraid to think what I have done;
        Look on’t again I dare not.

        Lady Macbeth:

        Infirm of purpose!
        Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
        Are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood
        That fears a painted devil.

        Macbeth Act 2, scene 2, 45–52

        • TheraP says:

          Oh, that is good! I may add it to the post as an update, with a credit to you!

          By pulling all the threads that come our way, we’re getting somewhere….

      • freepatriot says:

        The whole cheney family seems to be involved, trying to rewrite history and influence the media.

        well, cheney only has one good daughter (the other one is gay)

        and the “good” daughter ???

        she’s in line to be tried as a wae criminal too

        seems that she had some expert skills that we just couldn’t finf any where else, so dick cheney’s daughter was tapped to be the Iraqi minister iof something, during the invasion of Iraq

        war profiteering is a family activity for the cheneys

        so we could wipe out the whole straight part of the cheney family with one war crimes investigation

      • wavpeac says:

        The CHeney family has a lot at stake. However, I am absolutely fascinated by the bush family silence.

        • TheraP says:

          The dog that is not barking?


          Wasn’t Gonzo recently in DC? He had an excuse, I know, but people wondered about his going to some function. I wondered about who else he saw, what else he did. I’m watching the players “trips”.

          • klynn says:

            It barked. It’s called a “reunion” and Dick was not invited. With the NYT’s Ad backed by Mrs. Dick, I would say a cat fight is in our future.

            Looks like an oilmen showdown.

            And BTW Carlyle got a hand slap…

            • TheraP says:

              I wasn’t referring to the reunion. I was referring to the Correspondent’s Dinner in DC, May 8th. About a week after Condi’s video debut with the Stanford student.

              That’s the trip I’m interested in. Condi was in DC the previous weekend. Then Gonzo, and you can see from this article, that people were surprised Gonzo would even go to such an event.

              Therefore, I’m wondering what the hidden agenda for that trip might have been.

              The dog not barking…..

              • radiofreewill says:

                How about this possible explanation:

                Cheney is going down for the Capital Crime of Torture, and Bush is going to go down for the Constitutional Crime of Subverting the Rule of Law.

                I’m going to guess that all these former Bush Administration types finding reasons to be in DC are quietly giving ’save my ass’ depositions because Bush can’t save them from their Complicity anymore.

              • klynn says:

                Oh I agree with you. I was just noting that the decision for the silent treatment with Cheney began at the reunion and went from there.

                Gonzo better watch it however. He would be the next in line to fall. Bush is a master at giving “false positives” as to who is in the power circle.

                And there is that “oil business” behind both Bush and Cheney which is a power struggle lurking in the shadows.

        • phred says:

          If Cheney’s “basically” and “President-level” mean what I think they mean, and if Cheney was really running his own agenda through his surrogates in various agencies out of OVP, then Bush may feel that all evidence will point to Cheney. If so, then Bush keeping his mouth shut will serve his interests best.

          • TheraP says:

            Except for Da Google. Things like:

            “I’m a war president.”

            “I’m the decider.”

            His narcissism has nailed him to cheney’s cross!

          • wavpeac says:

            What is interesting to me, is that in every case, I think of bush as being a big dummy, but during plame, he played it smarter, and I think he is playing it “smarter” now. However, I do not see him as innocent in any way. I do see Cheney as perhaps the stronger sociopath, but I cannot forget the alleged rape and death of the college coed and her connection to bush. My gut says that bush was impaired during his presidency, but not innocent. It’s the same kind of “covert” strategy that his dad employed during his presidency and after. The whole family has a stealthiness about it, that speaks volumes to me.

    • MadDog says:

      Dick must be wondering why his pixie dust doesn’t work any more.

      “Lynne, did you pour enough gas on it? Let me light this match and see…wooooossssshhhh…kabooooom!”

    • cbl2 says:

      in watching Duelfer I had a question:

      did we disband the Iraqi army and the Baathist infrastructure as a means of keeping the magical 911/Iraq fairy alive ?

      • CCinNC says:

        I had thought it was simply stupidity on someone’s (Bremer’s?) part. I could be wrong.

        • cbl2 says:

          me too. just looking different in light of the Daily Beast story

          and I hope I’m just having a response to detail overload. – ’cause one might go to a place where we killed some of those folks not for crimes against the Iraqi people, but to keep Dick’s fevered Prague dreams alive

      • Palli says:

        Of course, That was how Bremmer won the Medal of Honor! that and reallocating (stealing) the crates of cash.

        • Leen says:


          A clear take on Bremer
          No End in Sight” If you missed this documentary you missed an important resource

          “As soon as Bremer had made use of Sergio had made use of the UN he had almost no time for the UN”

          “What Sergio lived through was two months of in effect being used as a vehicle to get to certain segments of Iraqi society. And then for his last month what he endured was not having his phone calls returned. And so on issues like detention policy, hoodings was one of the issues that Sergio raised again and again with Bremer and General Sanchez the hoodings of prisoners. BREMER WOULD HEAR NONE OF IT”

  9. behindthefall says:

    OT – Just looking at an interview of Whitehouse by “some guy” and also of Pelosi speaking: “enhanced interrogation techniques” — doesn’t “enhanced” sound like “oooh, better, and good for you, too” The interviewer, speaking to Whitehouse actually said “… enhanced interrogation techniques, or so-called ‘torture’…” Which, my good man, is the “so-called” term? Which ya gonna find in the dikshunerry?

    We are firmly wedged in Orwellian territory here. “one, two, three, EIT, good fer you and better fer me … ” We are a bunch of sick [obscenity, obscenity, obscenity]s. (May I please have my language back when you are through with it, thank you very much?) (Poor English. Did they hurt you? Let me get that mud and blood off your face.)

  10. freepatriot says:

    o-t, but it might be the Heart of the Darkness

    Did KSM have children ???

    were the children captured by the US Government

    if so, when ???

    and where are they now

    I been consulting with the crystal bong

    it was a bit smoky er, cloudy till now, but I think I can put a name on the blank space in the indictment where you list the victims

    I’m thinking I KNOW what is on those tapes

    anybody think I need new tinfoil ???

    it’s in epu land some where back there

    is your keyboard smokin twt ew ???

    • cbl2 says:

      Freepatriot –

      there has been plenty of discussion of KSM’s children – tin foil free and comment treasure Mary has raised it again and again. I don’t have any details at the ready – apparently they were last seen in CIA custody. Believe it is UK human rights group (Reprieve ?) has the most info.

      and some commenter today reminded us of Sy Hersh’s pc of 3-4 years back of DoD being in possession of tapes that show children being raped/tortured – as a means of ‘torturing’ their mothers – there was diary about it earlier today over at Big Orange.

      and let’s not forget Yoo saying it was ok for POTUS to order crushing of child’s testicles ‘in the interests of national security’ – what in the world was the context for that ?

      • freepatriot says:

        I found a comment in the wapo that said exactly that

        it’s in the Leahy-bybee thread, I think

        I been workin in the yard, an thinkin …

      • cinnamonape says:

        On the first anniversary of 9/11 (September 11, 2002), members of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) claimed to have killed or captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed during a raid in Karachi that resulted in Binalshibh’s capture. Some people have reported that Mohammed escaped, but that his family was captured.

        Ali Khan, the father of Majid Khan, another one of the fourteen “high-value detainees,” released an affidavit on Monday April 16, 2006, that reported that non-Pakistani interrogators subjected Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children, aged six and eight years old, to abusive interrogation. Ali Khan’s affidavit quoted another of his sons, Mohammed Khan:

        “The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs, and were denied food and water by other guards. They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.”

        John Yoo’s memorandum allowing the application of insects to detainees bodies who were in stress-position “confinement boxes” that would have made it impossible to swat away or avoid the insects was written in August 2002. To date no other case of the use of insects to extract confessions has been revealed.

        Yoo’s memo would have allowed the application of even insects like scorpions, provided they had been destinged or declared as non-lethal.

        • cinnamonape says:

          Here are a couple of links on this issue. The subject of what occurred with KSM’s kids was raised over a year ago.

          Ali Khan’s Statement

          After the report of Majid Khan’s father came out the CIA denied placing him in restraints and torturing him. “The United States neither conducts nor condones torture, and the agency acts in strict accord with American law,” stated CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano. The agency “forcefully and completely rejects as false any suggestion its officers would in any way mistreat children, including the children of al Qaida terrorists.”

          Somehow such assurances lack the moral weight they might have had Yoo not written memos that said that EITs were not “mistreatment” and were not illegal.

          Where Are Khalid Sheikh Mohammads Children?

          Concerns have grown with the revelation that Yoo’s Memo actually allowed the use of insects and that these same techniques were applied, less than a month later (if the reports of Ali Khan are valid), on KSM’s children.

          The Sunday Telegraph March 9, 2003 reported “They boys [Yousef al-Khalid and Abed al-Khalid] have been held by Pakistani authorities, but were flown this weekend to AMERICA where the will be questioned about their father. CIA interrogators confirmed they were staying at a secret address where they were being encouraged to talk about their fathers activities. “We are handling them with kids gloves,” said one official. “After all they are only little children, but we need to know as much about their father’s recent activities as possible. We have child psychologists on hand at all times and they are being given the best of care.”

    • Leen says:

      Jim White put up a blog about this


      Dear Senators Whitehouse, Leahy and Feingold,

      I am writing to you because the three of you have consistently supported basic human rights, the rule of law and common decency as our country has struggled to overcome the abuses that were institutionalized during the Bush Administration. The information released in the last two weeks goes a long way toward describing the practice of torture and the contorted legal reasoning that was produced in an effort to provide authorization for these abuses.

      As a result of these disclosures, the issue of torture has now become a hot topic for debate in the Congress and the media. The growing realization of what has been done in the name of our country is serving to increase the pressure on Congress and the Obama Administration to hold accountable those responsible for these crimes.

      Missing so far, however, from the disclosures is information on one topic that I think would serve as the final straw to unite public opinion behind the need for an independent prosecutor to finish the investigation and bring charges against those who put these programs into place. There is credible evidence that the United States government, almost certainly in the form of the CIA, has custody of four children of suspected terrorists. These children have been missing for over six years.

  11. cbl2 says:

    p.s. to the Goddess Wheeler – I have been laughing my ass off ever since I heard Cheney filed an FOIA request – and mr cbl and I have had some chuckles speculating how much of this was tied to the former Vice President’s once vaunted ability to classify and de classify at will

  12. belewlaw says:

    Hey Marcy,

    I have some developments on Al Haramain. Do you have an email I can contact.


  13. Leen says:

    I swear EW you should be getting paid by MSNBC or at least get a cut of Rachel Maddow’s show she is using your time lines and we know some of the comments from this site.

    Tonight Charles Duellfer and Bob Windrem on. Sounds like all hell is breaking lose with the orders to torture coming from the Office of the Vice President.

    The man behind the curtain for the last eight years reasons for being everywhere the last week or so are more evident now,

    Just hope if Cheney has to testify they bring Feith, Addington and the rest of the torture team to the fore front.

  14. freepatriot says:

    ron paul’s son just spoke about defending torture as if it was like defending farm subsidies

    it’s a problem if your main message is defending torture ???

    that kinda goes beyond the definition of a PROBLEM

    if ANY part of your message is defending torture, please use the original german to do it, okAY ???

    • freepatriot says:

      turns out its a guy named RAND PAUL (yer parents had a sick sense of humor dude)

      and he’s one of the cabal trying to oust bunning

      at least he spun all the lies right

      he should go far in the repuglitard party

      • bobschacht says:

        That’s Ron Paul’s son. He makes more sense than most of the morons in the Republican party. Made me think of Rachel Maddow’s story about the Fire Ants in Texas, and the flies that lay eggs on them, which turn into larvae, which crawl inside the ant’s head and eat its brains– which, mirabile dictu, does not kill the ant! The ant’s body keeps running aimlessly around for weeks until its head falls off, at which time the larvae morph into flies who go looking for other ants….

        So, have the Republicans been attacked lately by flies?

        Bob in HI

      • Civlibertarian says:

        freepatriot @ 70

        turns out its a guy named RAND PAUL…he should go far in the repuglitard party

        Actually, if he’s anything like his father he’ll have a hard time.

        To return to Congress in 1996, Ron Paul had to beat the incumbent endorsed by the Republican establishment, a former Democrat who switched parties in 1995 (Wikipedia: Ron Paul, Greg Laughlin).

        Barney Frank had this to say (YouTube, Barney Frank discusses H.R. 1207: The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, remarks begin at 3:10):

        Let me tell you this about Ron Paul. He gets much better treatment, as he will tell you, from the Democrats than the Republicans. There used to be six subcommittees on the committee that I chair under the Republicans. And you get to be a chairman by seniority. Ron Paul had enough seniority to be chairman of the committee on domestic monetary policy, the Federal Reserve, so they abolished the committee. The next year somebody else left, so they brought somebody else in who was senior to him.

        In October 2008, when asked if, were he not running, was there a candidate for President that he would identify with, Ron Paul didn’t mention any Republican candidates, discussing instead Chuck Hagel, who wasn’t running, before speaking enthusiastically about Dennis Kucinich, with a digression into the inconsistency of House Republicans who voted against funding military action in Kosovo but later criticized him for opposing funding for Iraq. (YouTube, Ron Paul talks about Dennis Kucinich)

        So, no, the Republican establishment and the Ron Paul crowd don’t have much use for each other.

  15. freepatriot says:

    to Leen at at 38, with thanks

    my congresscritters are gonna know tommorrow

    anybody got a list of the congresscritters who saw the pictures Sy Hersh reported on ???

    lots of people got some splainin to do

    an if my congresscritter thinks this stuff is gonna stay in the bottle, he’s dumber than I think

    it ain’t just ME who knows this stuff

    I ain’t the one making these discoveries

    the truth will OUT

    • cbl2 says:

      anybody got a list of the congresscritters who saw the pictures Sy Hersh reported on ???

      well, apparently we might know of one …

      Russ quotes Republican Senator Lindsay Graham: “The American public needs to understand, we’re talking about rape and murder here. We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.”


      note: quote is attributed to a link on the page, but I can’t get the link to go anywhere. will do some googling

        • phred says:

          That article was published three and a half years ago. Three and a half years. And yet, having seen the evidence, Sen. Graham can sit there, all high and mighty in his Senate committee chair and wag his finger at Luban and Zelikow and Soufan and the public and suggest we have no business questioning what was done. There are no words adequate to describe how loathsome and despicable the torture perpetrators and their apologists truly are. Utterly utterly despicable.

  16. Leen says:

    One of my favorite interviews with Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson

    Bill Maher interviews Valerie and Joe
    Bill Maher “the penalty for treason is death surely you can’t I mean be suggesting”

    Will we ever have access to the report on damage done to U.S. National Security by Valerie Plame being outed?

    How can anyone measure the damage that the Bush administration has done to this nation?

  17. tryggth says:

    Pretty funny.

    And since this is light-hearted thread… what has surprised me a little is that Libby’s name hasn’t really shown up in the torture talk yet. Wouldn’t he have been the lever tricky dick would have been pulling?

  18. orionATL says:

    “fourth branch”

    now that is funny

    and clever.

    fourth branch in the bush presidency? hmmm

  19. Rayne says:

    I wish I could laugh already about this; I still think Cheney’s going to spin this one. Nearly three weeks ago I said,

    I would not be at all surprised if the National Archives ultimately denied Cheney’s request because of some unforeseen (to us) wrinkle and Cheney will say, “My bad, really, the records would make my case if only we could read them…”

    Bet you Liz Cheney will be out on the circuit between now and Sunday talking heads roundups to say this for her daddy like a good little girl starving for paternal approval.

    • dmac says:

      she already was the other morning on the joe and bobblehead show on msnbc.
      i wrote a letter. it was appalling. mika doing yet another stick my titties out ’soemthing else i have in common with famous people’ ditz story that had nothing to do with anything that was said.
      two segments–first one is all daddy. second one is eugene robinson

      tpm covered how cheney asked to stay and extra segment to try an end run and to trample eugene. she didn’t. yay. he was amused.swatting at an annoying deer fly. i wrote a comment on it yesterday after i wrote the letter to msnbc. cc’d it all over the place.
      this also has the cheney/eugene clip with it.

      • dmac says:

        you have to scroll down, will be disappearing off the menu soon…

        the first clip will let you ’share’ the link with email, the second one won’t..isn’t working…but the second one is linked at tpm for later.

        both gave the embed link. i saved it . might use it for a diary, i was pretty incensed after the segment. even more incensed with o’donnel and joe lieberman’s 40 minute misinterpretaions about the cia ‘meetings’.

      • Rayne says:

        I meant that Liz Cheney would be on again now that Daddy Deadeye’s request had been denied, to argue that the papers he requested will exonerate him if only the truth could be released. Baby Cheney’s appearance earlier in the week would have been based on his earlier talking points.

  20. Leen says:

    As so many here at FDL have pointed out this is not just about the water boarding. This is an important interview

    Human Rights Investigator, Attorney John Sifton: Torture Investigation Should Focus on Estimated 100 Prisoner Deaths

    We get reaction to the Senate hearing on torture from private investigator and attorney John Sifton, executive director of One World Research, which carries out research for law firms and human rights groups. Sifton has conducted extensive investigations into the CIA interrogation and detention program. He says any investigation of Bush administration torture and rendition should include an estimated 100 homicides of prisoners in US custody. [includes rush transcript]

  21. bobschacht says:

    Actually, I think this decision helps Cheney. Now he can allege that the documents contain all sorts of stuff that they don’t really contain. If the document were released, we’d see the standard Cheney methodology for what it is: Assume the worst, and ignore all benign interpretations.

    Remember what he did with WMD in Iraq: Because Iraq had once had WMD, he assumed that they must still have WMD, even if the UN inspectors and others say they don’t.

    So if torture elicits 100 pieces of information, and we find out that 99 of them are rubbish, but one is true, then torture worked!!!
    Never mind if you could have gotten the same info quicker and easier by other means.

    Bob in HI

  22. ubetchaiam says:

    We can laugh all we want at the torturer BUT reflect on these part of John Dean’s op-ed:
    “rather it is occurring because he needs the national security community behind him” ; now in a democracy that supposedly represents the people, why would the President NEED the national security community behind him? Whose is really in charge?

    “Political appointees come and go, but the folks who actually run the government have an ongoing agenda of trying not to let these part-time political people screw it up too badly. Nowhere are there more of these permanent career professionals than in the departments and agencies that constitute the national security community.” —–sounds more like the BBC series ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ than a representative democracy.
    And ‘more of these permanent’? why is that? Sounds like a cabal to me.

    “hopefully the pressure for him to deal with the atrocious behavior of Bush and Cheney is only just getting started.” —-more ‘hope’ for the masses. How does one type a raspberry?

  23. FrankProbst says:

    Only now it’s coming back to bite Cheney–and his little plan for propaganda–in the ass. CCR? Valerie Plame? I hope you’re enjoying the little bureaucratic hell Cheney created for himself as much as I am.

    Hmmm. I have a slightly different take on this. This isn’t coming back to bite Cheney. This is someone actively rubbing Cheney’s face in his own administrative turd. It’s not karma. It’s payback. I think someone (or more likely, several someones) over at the CIA is more than a little pissed off at Darth Cheney right now, and they’re quite happy to remind him that he’s not in charge anymore.

    • dmac says:

      i think that thought will give me sweet dreams tonight.
      darth’s turn to get ’spooked’.

      like that.

      this is playing out better than shakespeare. or dickens.

      • Hmmm says:

        Shakespeare is exactly what I was thinking. Richard III in particular: Tower of London, dead kids. One of the great tragedies.

  24. fatster says:

    The bailout just keeps giving and giving–though certainly not to me and you.

    Insurers get preliminary OK for Treasury funds
    By JENNIFER MALLOY ZONNAS Associated Press Writer

    May 14th, 2009 | LOS ANGELES –
    “Six major insurers, including The Hartford Financial, Prudential Financial and Allstate, received preliminary approval Thursday for billions of dollars in aid from a U.S. bailout fund, following a months-long quest by some in the sector for financial assistance.”


  25. fatster says:

    CIA Contractors Played Big Role In Interrogations
    by Ari Shapiro
    Morning Edition, May 15, 2009 ·

    “Congressional testimony this week showed that private CIA contractors were a driving force behind harsh interrogations. Although there are lawsuits against military contractors involved in detainee abuse, there has been far less legal action against contractors who worked for the CIA.

    “In 2006, Congress passed a bill called the Military Commissions Act that includes a provision immunizing contractors from lawsuits. Some lawyers believe that provision is unconstitutional, but no court has weighed in on the law.

    “Soufan said the contractors did not have any experience in interrogations. They reportedly came from a school where the Army trained American personnel to resist torture.

    “Trainers from the military school created a private company called Mitchell Jessen & Associates. No one from the company has spoken publicly in the past few years, and they could not be reached for this story.”

    and so on


    • Hmmm says:

      5 clue points to the first TradMed’er who asks Cheney, “When you said the US does not torture, is this what you meant? We hire that out, so it’s not the US doing it?”

      I know that’s probably not the particular internal mental dodge he has in mind; I just want to see the light dawning dimly in their little pea-brains, and watch the first connections start to get drawn. On the big stage.

    • Hmmm says:


      …In 2006, Congress passed a bill called the Military Commissions Act that includes a provision immunizing contractors from lawsuits. …

      (emph. added)

      Good thing there’s still Crim law, huh?

  26. radiofreewill says:

    Cheney and Bush

    Torture and “Re-interpreting” Statutory Law

    Sick and Twisted

    All Done in Secret and in the Name of Our National Security

    With Complete Gooper Criminal and Political Complicity


  27. pseudonymousinnc says:

    sounds more like the BBC series ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ than a representative democracy.

    Not quite. There’s a permanent ruling class in DC, but at least in Whitehall, you know who they are because they have been given KCMGs. Laura Rozen is your friend here, because she likes herself some deep politics.

  28. prostratedragon says:

    You all almost got a link to “Memories” to go with this one.

    War, Whatever by Paul Gilfeather

    Dr Richard Perle stunned MPs by insisting a “clean bill of health” from UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix would not halt America’s war machine.

    Evidence from ONE witness on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programme will be enough to trigger a fresh military onslaught, he told an all-party meeting on global security.


    The chairman of America’s defence policy board said:

    Suppose we are able to find someone who has been involved in the development of weapons and he says there are stores of nerve agents. But you cannot find them because they are so well hidden.

    Do you actually have to take possession of the nerve agents to convince? We are not dealing with a situation where you can expect co-operation.

    And as a link at the article makes plain, as late as Feb. 2003 they were still coming up with shills willing to say whatever lie needed saying —implying that they also were still in the market for the next one, since who knows how long any one story will hold out?

  29. JimWhite says:

    I just realized that for the first time, I’m really happy the Obama Administration has utilized a legal argument first put forward by the Bush Administration. All the other times they’ve done it, not so happy…

  30. 4jkb4ia says:

    58-Well, Sotomayor was Mentioned, and seriously, in NYT today. Yesterday they reported that Obama was pleased that some of the people on his list had not leaked, and that they had experience with keeping people guessing from the VP process. Ambinder is honest enough to know that Nobody Knows Anything.

  31. Rayne says:

    NBC’s Today Show reverted fully to its water-carrying position this morning.

    They led by asking what Pelosi knew and when did she know it, Kelli O’Donnell yapping about the veracity of Pelosi’s claim that the CIA mislead Congress.

    Matt Lauer then interviews Sen. Kit Bond as ranking minority member of the SENATE intelligence committee about this situation, going so far as to throw a soft ball, asking Bond whether we needed to keep the timing in mind, referring to the 9/11 attacks.

    There was NO member of the Democratic delegation interviewed as a rebuttal; there was NO representative from Pelosi’s office. Didn’t we see this gag pulled last week, but in text by ABC’s Rick Klein on The Note, an accusation without any attempt to get comment from the accused?

    And who the hell is Kit Bond in this story? He wasn’t briefed in 2002-2003 on interrogations as a member of the HOUSE intelligence committee. Where was Porter Goss on this program? NBC actually showed a small snippet of the CIA briefing record this morning, showing that both Pelosi and Goss has allegedly been briefed at the same time. Where’s Goss?

    NBC also didn’t mention that Sen. Rockefeller and Sen. Graham have both indicated they have problems with the briefing records and the content of the briefings — not a word on this.

    It certainly appears to be a full-blown assault on Pelosi, sustained now for a second week. Which makes me wonder about Pelosi.

    What does Pelosi know that she hasn’t mentioned which is scaring the hell out of either the intelligence community or Deadeye Dick, enough to sustain this attack on her credibility?

    (In the mean time, the other two major networks’ morning shows lead with other programming: CBS covered the closure of NYC schools, ABC went with the closure of dealerships. Funny how different the news looked this morning to other networks…)

    [Edit: Should have pointed out that Sen. Bob Graham was chair of Senate Select Committee on Intel for 2001-2003.]

    • emptywheel says:

      Apparently out of town. BUt somehwo that prevents anyone in TradMed to read that his previous statement does not refute Pelosi’s in the least.

      • Rayne says:

        Did you happen to notice Gregg Thrush’s post at Politico, hed: “Hoyer questions Pelosi’s CIA charge”?

        Conveniently published at 6:02 pm on a Thursday…

  32. BayStateLibrul says:

    Can we call it Dick’s petard moment…

    “To be caught in one’s own trap: “The swindler cheated himself out of most of his money, and his victims were satisfied to see him hoist by his own petard.” A “petard” was an explosive device used in medieval warfare. To be hoisted, or lifted, by a petard literally means to be blown up.

  33. freepatriot says:

    and for the knee slapper of the day:

    modo thinks jeb bush has a political future

    somehow, I just don’t see it

    “I’m not as stupid as my brother” just don’t sound like a winning campaign issue

    notice that poppy bush was called to action to defend jeb from cheney’s destruction

    so, as long as cheney was just destroying America, that was okay

    but when poor lil jebbie’s career was threaten by dead eye dick’s one-man repuglitard suicide pact, poppy bush had to act

    typical repuglitrdeedness

    ou’d think after 8 fucking years, they would get a clue

    we’re not impressed that poppy acted to say jeb

    we might bave been impressed if poppy bush had acted to save THE FUCKING COUNTRY when his idiot son was destroying it

    but that wasn’t a profitable choice for poppy

  34. wavpeac says:

    I was disappointed but not surprised by C-span’s coverage and call ins this morning. My sense was that the right has succeeded in distracting too many of the American people into raging at Pelosi instead of Cheney. I remember only one caller that seemed to jive with my sense of reality.

    But I do think the tide has turned regardless. I just think the right wing is pushing back hard today.

  35. Citizen92 says:

    Wasn’t it Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) who made the observation that the VP is like a barnacle?

  36. wohjr says:

    Careful not to get had here guys–

    What is in these docs Cheney is requesting, really? It could be just nothing, or showing the techniques are marginally effectual. However, Cheney, knowing the request will be denied, asks for them to create an issue they can scream about. “Where’s the transparency?! This is NOT CHANGE!” I would be very surprised indeed if Cheney hasn’t thought this through a little more than you all are giving him credit for.

  37. JimWhite says:

    OT: I’ve put up an Oxdown calling for a hold on McChrystal until Dawn Johnsen is confirmed. Geez, when I pulled together what I could find on McChrystal, he comes off as looking entirely evil. I wish we could block his confirmation outright.

  38. klynn says:

    While on the question of quiet, I want to remind everyone about one of the private military contractors, CACI, their role in torture allegations and their ties to Bush.

    Two private military contractors are being investigated for their role in torture allegations at the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq: CACI International, Inc. from Arlington, Virginia, and Titan of San Diego, California. CACI supplied at least one interrogator while Titan supplied at least two translators named in a 53-page classified internal Army report written by Major General Antonio Taguba that have dominated news coverage all over the world.

    A total of four men — Steven Stephanowicz, John Israel, Torin Nelson and Adel Nakhla — are named in the report. All of them were assigned to work with the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, a unit that is currently stationed in Germany and Italy in support of V Corps, under the command of Colonel Thomas Pappas.


    Today CACI, like most military industry players, boasts a roster of former soldiers and spies, including board members Michael Bayer (former Vice Chairman of the Pentagon’s Business Board, and advisor to the Air Force, Army, U.S. Naval War College, and Sandia National Laboratory), Barbara McNamara (ex-Deputy Director of the National Security Agency), Arthur L. Money (former assistant Secretary of Defense), and Larry Welch, (an ex-Air Force General who served on the joint chiefs of staff during first Bush adminstration).

    (my bold)

    • klynn says:

      And here is another source on that family business connection.

      With the assistance of friends in high places, including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage–a CACI director and consultant from 1999 to 2001, when he joined the Bush Administration–CACI entered the small universe of companies providing information technology and services to military units devoted to countering terrorism, a strategy once known to military planners as “asymmetric warfare.” Since 9/11, CACI has emerged as one of the most unabashed corporate backers of Bush’s foreign policy and a key supporter of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • acquarius74 says:

      klynn, your subject matter here and at #109 is of vital importance. Please write a diary so more attention can be brought to bear on the ongoing programs of the companies and people you name.

      Thank you, klynn. Keep up the good work.

  39. fatster says:

    Obama’s barbed words worry corporate world

    Obama’s relations with corporate leaders grow tense as they bridle at his populist talk
AP News
    May 15, 2009 03:37 EST

    “Relations between President Barack Obama and U.S. corporate leaders have grown tense in recent weeks, with business groups bristling over his sharp rebukes of lenders and multinational companies in particular.
    . . .
    “Some business leaders have focused on the harsh words lately, saying the president is being unduly divisive.
    ‘”It is traditional class-warfare rhetoric,” said Jade West, a lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. “It’s a little bit frightening.”‘

    It’s even more frightening that corporations invest billions in successfully getting legislation and regulations that benefit themselves and throw the rest of us (and Mother Nature) under the bus.


  40. oldtree says:

    I can’t believed I missed the day of posts! I missed only the last one. Roger is waiting for future detainees.

  41. tanbark says:

    I think Cheyney is asking for something that he knows he’s not going to get. Which means he’s safe if they prove to be damaging to his claim that valuable information was gotten by torturing prisoners.

    The CIA’s refusal is based on the “It’s in litigation” claim. And of course, they can sustain that forever, and neither they nor Dick Cheyney will have to deal with the reality of the torture results.

    Certainly, Obama could throw his weight behind going after them, but with the DOJ moving to block the release of the abuse photos, that aint likely to happen.

    All of this debate revolves around one thing and one thing only:

    Obama and his administration do NOT want to mount a fishing expedition.

    • radiofreewill says:

      tanbark, this story is moving like a California Wildfire!

      The relevance of Cheney’s ‘effectiveness memos’ has been Overcome By Events – Wilkerson is saying that Cheney Waterboarded Long Before any Legal Memos and not on any ticking time bomb scenario, either. But instead, Cheney was out to ’substantiate’ his Belief that Al Qaeda was in Iraq in ‘02 – as a pre-text for Invading. And, we know that Cheney and Bush clearly used Al-Libi’s Tortured Confession to Falsely Stoke the Fires of War.

      That makes the effectiveness of August’s ‘Legally’ Word-Twisted ‘EITs’ no longer relevant in the face of a Flat-Out Statutory War Crime by Cheney the Previous April/May.

      Which explains, imvho, why the Big Dog’s reply to Cheney’s Pugnacious “So?!” was “So, it’s Over!”

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