Suspension of Posse Comitatus for 9/11 Anniversary?

Remember the OLC memo eviscerating the Fourth Amendment–the one they claimed was only ever hypothetical? Well, Cheney was itching to try it out to arrest the Lackawanna Six.

Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.


The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.

In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose.

Unless I missed it, NYT didn’t tell you when Dick Cheney was proposing to suspend posse comitatus. But as it happens, most of the Lackawanna Six got arrested on September 14, 2002.

Which to me is just as interesting as the news that Cheney was pushing to do this: Imagine how well it would work to impose military rule just in time for the first anniversary of 9/11, and just as you’re rolling out the case for the Iraq War?

Update: scout prime reminds us that when it came to saving brown people, BushCo hesitated, citing the Constitution.

  1. yellowsnapdragon says:

    What was it about contracts to build huge prisons? Don’t remember the details, but they were probably meant to house the the people who would be marching in the streets to preserve their freedom. Dick Cheney is a devil.

  2. Rayne says:

    Hope commenter person1597 surfaces here and does another thorough sifting through the NYT piece like they did the TIME piece.

    I note this piece by Mazzetti-Johnston refers to “Former officials in the administration,” where the TIME piece yesterday by Calabresi-Weisskopf refers to “former Bush aides” — what’s the chances these are the same people?

    The other odd feature about the NYT piece is the way they bury the reason for the article, trying to make something circa 2002 au courant and newsworthy, but with the slimmest of news pegs:

    New information has recently emerged about the deliberations and divisions in the administration over some of the most controversial policies after the Sept. 11 attacks, like the decision to use brutal interrogation methods on Qaeda detainees.

    They waited until paragraph nine to pull this out of their pocket.

    • emptywheel says:

      My guess is FBI and CIA. In the executive branch but in parts that are supposed to be above politics.

      ANd I sort of see this as akin to the Pincus story where he said CIA did not approve the use of waterboarding for the guy in Iraq. It was a message saying “Cheney tried, and we stopped him.” which is whta this one is too.

      • Rayne says:

        Well this graf certainly sounds like an FBI/CIA source as you described:

        “Frankly, it was a bit of a turf war,” said one former senior administration official. “For a number of people, crossing the line of having intelligence or military activities inside the United States was not worth the risk.”

        • person1597 says:

          Let’s be frank…

          “Frankly, it was a bit of a turf war,”

          She’s a sub!

          As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy

          I told Steve Hadley once, I frankly prefer being coordinated than coordinating,” she said, referring to the current national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley. National security advisers, she said, end up spending their time thinking: “Let me see if I can get Secretary X to do Y, and Secretary Y to do X, and let’s see if we can get both to do it.” She gave a nod. “I prefer line responsibility,” she said, echoing perhaps the biggest complaint about her time at the National Security Council, that she was more follower than leader.

          Condi Rice’s Testimony Before The 9/11 Commission In Quotes

          “The PDB does not say the United States is going to be attacked. It says bin Laden would like to attack the United States. I don’t think you, frankly, had to have that report to know that bin Laden would like to attack the United States.”

          Do tell…
          Well, I think that when I made the comment that the country was not on war footing, that didn’t just mean the executive branch was not on war footing. The fact is that many of the big changes, quite frankly, again, we were not going to be able to make in 233 days. Some of those big changes do require congressional action.


          • klynn says:

            Ah, Condi again. Amazing she did not work in a, “You do not know what it was like after 9-11…”

            Nice catch.

            Thank you.

            • person1597 says:

              I was thinking of you in composing the text and selecting the quotes…

              Do you get the innuendo about …well…you know……well…”orientation”?


          • yellowsnapdragon says:

            Condi was a “victim” of the turf war, so it would make sense that she and hers would want to put some bad light on Cheney…

            • person1597 says:

              Not sure if Condi’s point of view was intrinsic enough to be victimized. But faux, “victimized”, — sure, she had to do it for “Him”.

              @66 -Right! Her quote is too passive to imply umbrage, but more detached bemusement like watching siblings bicker. She was “his” girl so her station provided an aloofness that inured her to conscientious disquiet.

              “The president doesn’t think of this as law enforcement. He thinks of this as war.
              We were still very focused on rendition of terrorists, on law enforcement.”

              @54 That “and before” is disturbing. Might be renderings — I’m sure we’ll hear more about the whole pre-911 crime scene as prosecutions unfold…

              …But it does put the lie to this Condi Nugget:

              “In hindsight, if anything might have helped stop 9/11, it would have been better information about threats inside the United States — something made very difficult by structural and legal impediments that prevented the collection and sharing of information by our law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”

          • Mary says:

            Yep After all, if you want to keep getting gigs like making award presentations at the Espy’s and stuff, you need to not have people stand up and yell murderer and hold up bloody hands etc. She wants to be the prettier, socialite version of Madeline Albright. The neediness is almost as creepy as what she was willing to do to fulfill that need to have Bush like her.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Jeebus, Fox Fallon’s comments about ‘trying to put the crazies back in the box’ is too tame for this degree of confusion.

        I can only wonder whether Cheney would have permitted local law enforcement to know what was going on (!). And who was going to carry this kind of thing out? Blackwater?!! Private contractors??

        I mean, if you don’t even tell the military, but yet you claim that you are planning to keep arrested individuals in military custody?!

        Maybe Cheney was planning to ‘pixie dust’ the terrorists until he could timewarp them to Gitmo…?

        I can’t even work my way through the basics of “How would you even carry out a plan like this if you don’t tell the military, and you don’t tell the local police?”

        (shuffles off, shaking head in baffled amazement…)

        • AZ Matt says:

          Cue the Blackhawks! Roll the tanks! Send in Delta Force! Cut to the F-15’s! Frigates off Buffalo’s waterfront! Wrap Dick in the Flag so we can salute him! They can call it Muslim Dawn!

        • Mary says:

          If you have your own Special Forces assassination squad that operates outside the normal chain of command and is authorized to kill in the US, it would make it a lot easier to never talk to military commanders.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Yes, so then that raises at leaset two sets of questions:

            1. If they were Special Forces, aren’t those supposed to be within a line of command? Shouldn’t Myers have been informed, or at the very least asked for input? (And that doesn’t even add in trying to let local law enforcement know who you are or why you’re on their turf.)

            2. If they **weren’t** Special Forces, then they’d have to be — as you point out — a ‘private army’, wouldn’t they?

            2.a. Who would have been recruited as the ‘private army’? Would they have been Blackwater employees, some of whom (according to the Economist) were Guatamalan, Angolan, Nicaraguan, and heaven only knows who else? In other words, is it possible — since the US military apparently wasn’t told about this (unless someone under Myers wasn’t reporting up the chain), then how realistic is a scenario in which the Pres/OVP ‘hire’ or ‘contract out for’ a private army made of non-US citizens, whose role is to enter American cities and counties in order to apprehend suspects — right out from under the local cops, the state cops, and the FBI? (So could a Guatamalan mercenary have been hired by Blackwater, paid for out of ‘black budgets, sent to Buffalo to apprehend Yemenis, then flown them out to some black site in Romania for ‘interrogation’?)

            – 2.a. (i) If the scenario above was possible, and ‘private armies’ were apprehending suspects, then who would that ‘private army’ be loyal to…? (Okay, rhetorical question: to their paymasters, and the hell with a piece of paper called ‘The Constitution’, eh?)

            – 2. a. (ii) Suppose local law enforcement officers – or state patrols, or federal FBI agents – showed up at the scene? Would the ‘private army’ then end up shooting US local and federal law enforcement agents?? Or was there a plan to have Homeland Security tell the local law enforcement to get out of the way (so the Nicaraguan mercenaries working for Blackwater could come nab the Yemenis and spirit them away…)

            – 2. a. (iii) If you take ‘prisoners’ via a private army, how in hell would you expect a US federal, state, or local prosecutor to be able to gather evidence and try them?! (In other words, suppose you did get your hands on really destructive ideologues; how could government justice system officers bring the cases?)

            – 2.a. (iv) Where in hell was Cheney planning to get the budget for all of this? Was he taking it out of one of his many ‘black budgets’? If so, where are those budgets, who knows about them, who can authorize them? This definitely relates to [email protected] about Cheney’s skill at walling off one agency from another.

            Once again, this NYT story raises more questions than it answers.
            And it also raises questions about who in the military knew — IF they knew — but didn’t tell their commanders.

            It does make Mueller look — yet again — like a level-headed, clear-thinking, pragmatic person.

            Perris, I don’t think Yoo is ‘insane’. I think that he is/was incredibly ambitious and probably very hard-working. He forgot to be loyal to the Constitution, he seems to have assumed that 9-11 had somehow altered human nature, and he wanted to please those he viewed as authorities. He acted like a man who thinks his job is to please others, rather than hold to principle. It happens all the time, but traditionally such spineless creatures were not supposed to end up in OLC.

            BTW: I watch “Morning Joe” clips so Rayne and bmaz don’t have to – and in the past day or two, David Ignatius was on talking about Cheney’s plan with the assassination gangs. And Ignatius dropped the little nugget that Cheney had specifically told the CIA not to tell the Dept of State. So in other words, “Tenet, don’t breathe a word of this to Powell, ya hear me?!”. Even Joe seemed momentarily taken aback by that little nugget, before they all muddied the waters by claiming that anyone who ‘opposes’ Cheney’s ideas is a librul nutcase who doesn’t want to protect America. Jeebuz! Joe never thinks to ask whether it’s really okay to tell the right hand to be sure the left hand has no clue what’s up, because confusion is always so a productive way to proceed. Maybe someday he’ll wake up and go, “Hmmmmm, if you wanted to catch terrorists, would Cheney’s Clever Plans really work, or was Cheney being played like a harmonica…?”

            • perris says:

              “Hmmmmm, if you wanted to catch terrorists, would Cheney’s Clever Plans really work, or was Cheney being played like a harmonica

              you assume far too much, cheney’s concern was NEVER protecting this country it was undermining this country, his very purpose was to create war and unrest, he’s done it in the past and it’s what he lives for

              this is not an exageration, he wants military unrest, he wants never ending war, that is the very reason they created a “war on terror”

              terror is a tactic, tactics can’t be defeated they aren’t the enemy they are the tools of everyone

              you can not possibly win a war on a tactic

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                Completely agree that you cannot win a war on a tactic.
                Nor can you win — militarily, anyway — a war on an emotion.

                BTW: for more fun than you may be able to stand today, click on over to Crooks&Liars where you’ll now see that Sen Coryn (R-Texas/Enron) thinks that we are ‘at war’ with India. Always good to know that we’re ‘at war’ with people who help produce Oscar movies and contribute to the code that runs our cell phones, operating systems, and off-the-shelf software. This is a whole new level of stupid.

                • Petrocelli says:

                  Eeeep … now they’ll be rounding up yoga/meditation teachers and sending us off to BagRam*

                  *this is really funny to Hindus

                  • Mary says:


                    It is pretty sobering though. As per my comment above, I don’t think they were planning on rolling tanks down the roads – I think Cheney was pushing for an op that “his guys” would pull off, his unit. They already had DOJ agreeing to allow it – the DOJ had been directly involved in handing over Padilla to the military from DOJ’s custody. You don’t get a much better precedent than that for being able to grab and snatch locally. And the courts were on board too. Mukasey didn’t raise an eyebrown when Padilla was disappeared out of DOJ’s (which was actually the court’s) custody.

                    So you send in a crew to snatch and disappear people who aren’t in DOJ custody. Who might not be able to be put in DOJ’s custody bc maybe they aren’t terrorists after all. And you classify it all so no one can ask questionsn or get answers. And you keep salting the media, so that anyone who does ask is supporting the terrorists. You already have a tame Judge Luttig who will support your disappearance and torture experimentation once you grab them. And a So Carolina brig that hasn’t had a problem with being used for torture experimenation on US citizens.

            • Rayne says:

              Jeebus. Now I’m going to have to see if I can find that bit with Ignatius on Morning Ho’ anyhow.

              After reading your post, I think the story of the Lackawanna Six is the very seed of Cheney’s covert assassination squad.

              One of the big arguments for “dispatching” rather than detaining was the cumbersome size of the program required for a permanent detention. But you’ve outlined all kinds of barriers which simply go away if there’s a super secret black op which simply disappears people. There’s no drain on the court system, no resources drawn from regular military.

              Cheney is barking mad, completely and utterly, pathologically rogue.

              By the way, Yoo is too, just not gifted with power like Cheney. They knew since at least 1996 that Yoo was able to argue away almost any part of the Constitution, evidenced by his essay for the California Law Review entitled “The Continuation of Politics by Other Means: The Original Understanding of War Powers.” He may not have had power, but he had friends in high places having clerked for Judge Silberman and Justice Thomas and worked for Orrin Hatch (usually a bad indicator all on its own).

  3. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    bmaz, I thought this was one of the really juicy bits:

    Senior military officials were never consulted, former officials said. Richard B. Myers, a retired general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a recent interview that he was unaware of the discussion.

    Former officials said the 2002 debate arose partly from Justice Department concerns that there might not be enough evidence to arrest and successfully prosecute the suspects in Lackawanna. Mr. Cheney, the officials said, had argued that the administration would need a lower threshold of evidence to declare them enemy combatants and keep them in military custody.

    I expect to see Liz Cheney yapping away on teevee just about any minute now…

    And I don’t say that out of any disrespect for the seriousness of what we are dealing with here in terms of threats to the US. But what kind of VP doesn’t let the military know about plans like this?!!

    • Rayne says:

      What kind of VP doesn’t let the military know about plans like this? The same kind of guy who has already set up covert ops INSIDE the DOD under a different administration (Operation Scorpion), the same guy who told CIA not to tell Congress about a covert hit squad.

      No surprise here at all; the man’s been completely unhinged but passing for sane for years.

      • AZ Matt says:

        Who gave Cheney his authority. This all goes back to Bush, one of the dumbest stumps to sit in the Oval Office.

        • Rayne says:

          I think it was less about Bush giving Cheney power than it was Cheney knew how to take it.

          Barton Gellman’s “Angler” painted a picture of a man who excelled at weaseling; Cheney is likely the only man who could out-weasel the Bush family.

        • Leen says:

          This is what Chris Matthews keeps repeating ‘who gave Cheney the authority” I have never thought Bush was stupid. Maybe he has protected his own ass in the end as he watches Cheney being sucked down the toilet bowl

          • Hmmm says:

            Classic fall guy scenario. Crazy coyote so intent on running he keeps on running straight off the cliff. We see him standing on thin air before he realizes it. Once he does, he has a brief moment to make eye contact with us — and W — before the inevitable long receding whistlefall into the silent abyss… then the distant POOF!

            Here’s hoping.

  4. bobschacht says:

    I seem to recall at least one Executive Order around 2007 that gave Bush the power to declare martial law, send Nat Guard troops from one state to another, and postpone elections in case of a national emergency, which he also had the power to declare. A year ago, that looked to some of us like a coup waiting to happen.

    Bob in HI
    sent from my smart phone

  5. cinnamonape says:

    Lemme see, all the Lackawanna Six were US citizens, most native born. Cheney thinks there’s not emough evidence to use “Law Enforcement” so he’s going to call out the military…so they can “disappear” these guys perpetually, without trials?

    How different is this from what the Argentine military did, or Pinochet, or just about any other fascist regime…to supposed enemies?

    With no legal evidence needed-and the military doing it- this could’ve happened to anyone.

    • Rayne says:

      Yes, exactly. What’s disturbing to me is knowing there were near-misses all the time; we may never know exactly how many times we dodged a Pinochet-like system (or didn’t!).

      Brings to mind the one case I’m aware of in my backyard, where an American-born Hispanic made a smart-alecky inappropriate wisecrack about Bush at a local barber shop, only to get a visit later the same day from four shade-wearing suits in a dark SUV who detained him for questioning, implying firmly they knew all his family in Mexico, ultimately releasing him.

      Were there any cases like this where a person didn’t get released and we don’t know about it yet?

  6. whitewidow says:

    So they knew even before they arrested the Lackawanna Six that their case was that flimsy.

    It’s worth remembering that all the time they are spending entrapping video rental clerks with worthless informants, chasing down bogus leads from unreliable tortured confessions, mining through mountains of irrelevant emails, etc. that there are most certainly things that are being missed, that are a real threat.

    They pretty much have acted consistently like they are really not at all worried about actual, real terrorists.

    OT – question about Major General Amin, the Iraqi weapons monitor.

    “I have been interrogated dozens times by the CIA, the FBI, the U.S. army, the U.S. military intelligence, the State Department, the British intelligence and even a professor from Harvard University.

    emphasis mine

    Did we (and by we I mean Marcy and other wheelers with better memories than mine) know about a Harvard professor being involved in interrogating anyone?

    Who the hell would that be? How big is the circle of guilt? Who didn’t get a turn? It’s practically like everyone was lined up for their cameo. “Today on Celebrity Jeopardy, appearing all the way from Harvard University, let’s give a big hand to our Special Guest Torturer!” Crikey, no wonder Obama is SPooKed.

    • Mary says:

      I had a reaction to that same thing in the Scrapple thread. I didn’t know about it – but one thing that Aafia Siddiqui had said at one point was that in the unaccounted for years (where the US says she was out doing malfeasance and she says she was being held and interrogated with her children by the US) she was interrogated by an MIT professor.

      • Rayne says:

        Or someone who claimed to be a professor. I’d like more details, wonder how long it will be until we get them, so that we know if we are seeing intel people embedded in these schools or intel people/contractors lying about their credentials.

        • Mary says:

          Could be, but we’re talking about nukes and technical training issues and he was also interviewed by all kinds of intel and others. Some of those guys (nuke field related profs and nuke technocrats) pretty much know each other – and there’s not much benefit attached to claiming to him he was talking to a Harvard prof after they’ve already tortured him for so long. A claim to be FBI or DOJ I can understand, bc that might give him a glimmer of hope that he’d be pulled out of the military purgatory and put in a normal criminal proceeding; but I don’t think he’d bite on the concept that Harvard was going to find a slot for him on their summer staff. But sure, if there was some kind of related plot/concept they might have called put someone in under a mis-identity. I just think it’s more likely here in this setting that it really was a Harvard prof.

  7. stryder says:

    anybody know anything about this EFF lawsuit?

    Group Plans Lawsuit To Unveil the CIA’s ‘Pentagon Papers’

    Now the EFF is suing more agencies in a single suit (.pdf) than it ever has, naming the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, Homeland Security, the State department, and the Department of Energy. The Attorney General’s office is also named: the EFF wants to know if any cases have been referred for prosecution, and what, if anything, the Justice Department did with such referrals.


  8. JasonLeopold says:

    I mentioned this in a thread last week on the IG report about domestic spying but much of what is being attributed to the Oct 23, 2001 memo was actually laid out in a Sept. 21, 2001 memo Yoo prepared for Timothy Flanigan, then the deputy White House Counsel, in response to a question about “the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States.”

    Yoo suggested some scenarios, such as the need to shoot down a jetliner hijacked by terrorists; to set up military checkpoints inside a U.S. city; to implement surveillance methods far superior to those available to law enforcement; or to use military forces “to raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed or injured by exchanges of fire,” according to Yoo’s memo.

    Yoo argued that President Bush would “be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties. … We think that the Fourth Amendment should be no more relevant than it would be in cases of invasion or insurrection.”

    Yoo wrote that his ideas would likely be seen as violating the Fourth Amendment. But he said the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the prospect that future attacks would require the military to be deployed inside the U.S. meant President Bush would “be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties.”

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      to implement surveillance methods far superior to those available to law enforcement; or to use military forces “to raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be

      Thanks for this… this makes it seem all the more odd that the Chair of the Joint Chiefs knew nada. And that’s aside from the fact that these were going to be ‘military detainees’. So were they going to fly them off to black sites…?

      Nothing says ‘crazy’ in my book quite like failing to tell the US military about your plans to set up Special Ops to capture people who will then be military detainees. I guess I’m missing a few beats between A, B, and C…

    • Hmmm says:

      Yoo suggested some scenarios, such as the need to shoot down a jetliner hijacked by terrorists; to set up military checkpoints inside a U.S. city; to implement surveillance methods far superior to those available to law enforcement; or to use military forces “to raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed or injured by exchanges of fire,” according to Yoo’s memo.

      That reminds me very much of the Senators’ comments last week about Cheney’s secret CIA program that Panetta corked, something along the lines of “People could get hurt”, delivered with great gravitas. Might this Posse Comitatus evisceration plan be closely/directly connected with the CIA program?

      • JasonLeopold says:

        That’s a good question. Unfortunately, I can’t opine about that possibility. But based on the what has surfaced just this year alone I would not put anything past the previous administration.

    • Rayne says:

      You’ve been working on this one for a while now, citing Rep. Conyers’ request for Oct. 23, 2001 memo; there’s quite a body of writing out there now which refers to this one Yoo opinion ca. Sep. 21, 2001 or the derivative October memo.

      Like David Cole in NYRB, Nov. 17, 2005.

      Or Tom Golden in NYT, Oct. 24, 2004.

      Do we have access to the Yoo document somewhere? Haven’t seen it yet, would like to see both the Sep. and later Oct. versions to see what exactly they tried to spin inside that one month.

      • JasonLeopold says:

        Hey Rayne
        The memo is still classified. I put a FOIA request in last year and was rejected. The ACLU is trying to obtain a copy now too.

        It’s so strange that the NYT doesn’t dig into it’s own archives to dig out their previous reporting on issues like this and present it in a broader context especially when they report on stories like this one. They wrote about the Sept 21 memo five years ago although it was buried in a very lengthy article about military commissions. But it has such a different meaning now. It’s like missing puzzle piece in my opinion. I’ll bet they don’t even realize that they had it in the story.

        John Yoo wrote about it in his book, War By Other Means and talked about it in general terms

        • Rayne says:

          So we still haven’t seen any notes about this Sep. 21, 2001 memo emerge, no redacted versions, nothing?

          And nothing like this has landed in Conyers’ hands?

          Ugh. Freaking frustrating.

          • JasonLeopold says:

            Nothing. Just brief excerpts from the memo. Conyers, I believe, has abandoned his efforts in trying to obtain a copy.

            • Rayne says:

              Thanks, will see if I can do some other follow-up through political foodchain on this. I wonder whether the recent news about Cheney and the covert assassination squad(s) might not offer enough new leverage to request the Sep. 21, 2001 document since it is the earliest known argument for ignoring the Fourth Amendment.

        • PJEvans says:

          Going back into their archives might mean admitting that they were wrong about something.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think one of the things that may be going on is an attempt to suggest the October 23 memo wasn’t for the purposes it was for–that the search with collateral damage was not for domestic wiretapping.

      • Rayne says:

        Seemed more like sources were breadcrumbing; did they strongly influence insertion of this bit?

        The lawyers, in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, wrote that the Constitution, the courts and Congress had recognized a president’s authority “to take military actions, domestic as well as foreign, if he determines such actions to be necessary to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and before.

        Emphasis mine; was there a reason they needed a retrospective point of view added into this NYT piece?

        And was the topic of the 2002 debate among “top Bush administration officials” confined to troops deployed on U.S. soil, or did it extend to use of DIA-type resources including warrantless wiretapping?

    • Mary says:

      Flanigan was Addington’s WH proxy, to add more nudge on Gonzales whenever needed. IIRC, when the CIA memo was issued in 2002, explaining that at least a third if not more of those held at GITMO were completely innocent of ever being invovled in any combat of any kind (legal or ill) and that only a few had anything to do with al-Qaeda and Bellinger scheduled a meeting with Gonzales, Addington crashed the meeting WITH Flanigan in tow.

  9. Hmmm says:

    (1) Mmmmmm, put it all together and it surely smells like a Friday night, don’t it?

    (2) Am I the only one to whom this looks like a further step in a large and slow-mo throw-Team-Dick-under-the-bus move? (Put it together with the Time article.)

    (3) re: person1597 @ 18: Wonderful Condi catch there. (Of course I wouldn’t have expected to find any “if you will”’s or “so?”’s in there.)

    (4) Condi belongs (or at least did belong at the time) to her husband’s Team W. So that would definitely fit.

    • person1597 says:

      Who can it be knocking at my door
      Go away, don’t come ’round here no more
      Can’t you see that it’s late at night
      I’m very tired, and I’m not feeling right

      What would it look like to have the American military go into an American town and knock on people’s door?” said a second former official in the debate.

      One of rumsfeld’s other favorite tactics was obfuscation. “He was always bringing questions,” recalls a senior White House adviser of Rumsfeld. “Never answers.”

      Mr. Secretary, what would a civil war look like?

      SEC. RUMSFELD: Why don’t you ask the other question: what would it look like if there’s not chaos and civil war? And that’s kind of — kind of what people have been describing. If you have on the one hand the Iraqi security forces succeeding, that’s good. The back side of that would be they wouldn’t be. They would disappear, or they would fall apart, or they would engage in sectarian violence themselves, or they’d refuse to obey, or something like that.

      Rumsfeld:You know, it’s a good question, and we have been trying to look for a way to characterize what are the ingredients of a civil war, and how would you know if there was one, and what would it look like, and what might be its progression, either up to increased violence or down to less violence.

      So what if… Donald Rumsfeld goes a little bit country at the Grand Ole Opry Secretary of Defense tells the audience at the Grand Ole Opry that he’d like to give Dolly Parton “just a little tap on her heiney, like that.”

      Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics—his administration peers—are suddenly speaking out for the first time. What they’re saying? It isn’t pretty
      “No one,” says another former official, “threw sand in the gears like Rumsfeld.”

      That Crusader — always mindful of appearances!

      (Links not cooperating — sorry)

      • Rayne says:

        The discussion(s) about the deployment of troops on American soil should have happened at NSC level (which might very well mean Condi and Rummy were involved); wonder what sources would have been present at such meeting(s) who might have heard Rumsfeld?

        Did Rumsfeld think this was not an option and therefore didn’t communicate to any DOD down the hierarchy? His name is conspicuously absent in this NYT piece in spite of the fact the discussion revolved around military deployments.

        Also wonder if this was an NSC-level matter, whether it could be narrowed down to the NSC/PCC on Counter-Terrorism and National Preparedness, which might further suggest who was present in these discussions and who was likely to burnish events after the fact.

    • person1597 says:

      Yes, thanks!

      I really wanted to include this one…(Just for the pix)…..e-bit.html

      (Betcha get a 404. Also. )

      Ya know, maybe Rummy really did throw sand in these gears. I’ve never liked his tactics personally, but I can see him pushing back on this one.

      Pretty pathetic that he would have to be the adult though.

  10. Hmmm says:

    De nada on the links, y’all. Actually I love the idea person1597 is using here, we should remember it as a way to try to figure out anonymous sources in the future.

    Re person1597 @29: Maybe, but could it just be Rummy The Fanny-Tapper rolling this one back now, after the fact?

    • person1597 says:

      I’m not sure how he’s going to roll this one back though…

      U.S. endorsed Iranian plans to build massive nuclear energy industry

      “Ford’s team endorsed Iranian plans to build a massive nuclear energy industry, but also worked hard to complete a multibillion-dollar deal that would have given Tehran control of large quantities of plutonium and enriched uranium – the two pathways to a nuclear bomb. Either can be shaped into the core of a nuclear warhead, and obtaining one or the other is generally considered the most significant obstacle to would-be weapons builders.”

      Sounds like a fun project for the neocons.

      It is also worth noting that in 2000, the World Bank resumed making loans to Iran. As of June 30, 2004, the World Bank as made 51 loans valued at $2.6 billion to Iran. The World Bank gets its funds from the International Monetary Fund, which in turn, gets its money from member nation dues / contributions. The United States is required to contribute $37.2 billion per year into the IMF. The Federal Reserve Banking Cartel orchestrated this money scheme so that it can continue to print and loan astronomical numbers of debt notes. If the American people understood that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Congress have been funding many activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, most would be skeptical of the federal government’s current claim that Iran’s 30 year old, U.S. sanctioned, nuclear program is somehow now an immediate threat to the security of the United States. The IMF and the World Bank create just enough degrees of separation to shield the government from the people recognizing that the federal government has fed the dog well that it now claims will bite if we do not ‘put it down’ with a pre-emptive strike.

      Yeah, audit the Fed!
      Now there’s a pre-emptive strike! Pencil it in for Dec. 22, 2012. A whole new Fitzmas celebration (if we make it…)

  11. rhfactor says:

    Marcy, as a donor to your investigative journalism fund, I kindly request that you stop depressing me. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.

  12. bobschacht says:

    I am listening to C-SPAN to the hearing with Jeh Johnson and David Kris about the Military Commissions and Detainees. I am disturbed at the tone of all parties, Democrats in Congress and in the Administration as well as Republicans, that essentially sez, the hell with justice. We can detain people forever no matter what the courts say, if I understand correctly.

    When the war ends is said to be not a legal matter, but a military matter.
    Detainees are assumed to be guilty and bad guys. Trials don’t matter.

    America is dying. We are turning into something ugly.

    Bob in HI

  13. bobschacht says:

    Oh, such pretty parsing!
    During the House committee hearing with Johnson and Kris, there is an emerging distinction between detainees, which is a military category relating to the rules of war, and incarceration, which is a civilian category relating to judicial proceedings. In other words, just because someone is not guilty of any crime (a civil, judicial proceeding) doesn’t mean we can’t detain them under the Law of War.

    These dick heads are worried about whether or not we can continue to “detain” people after the “war” is over– and what constitutes the war? For example, suppose we complete our withdrawal from Iraq. What do we do with the Iraqi detainees? They are scared half to death of the idea of releasing Iraqi detainees who have not been convicted of any offense “just because” the War is over?

    To pile dickheadness upon dickheadness, the pretty parsers say, Oh, just because we’re out of Iraq doesn’t mean that the War on Terror is over! We can continue to detain them anyway!

    A lot of sophistry there.

    More sophistry: “Bad guys” captured; JAG officers say we don’t have evidence to detain them, so they’re “released” and then immediately killed (some young guy labelled as Duncan Hunter who didn’t look like Duncan Hunter–[R-California, 52nd District, El Cajon.]) This idiot also claims that Marines are subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment, so isn’t that the same as torturing prisoners? This “Duncan Hunter” guy is a total whacko.

    BTW, this is from if I read that that right.

    Now a Q from Roscoe Bartlett, Republican about extraordinary renditions.

    Bob in HI

    • bobschacht says:

      OK, this “Duncan Hunter” guy had to come on and correct himself when he talked about releasing a detainee and then killing them– He said what he meant was that they saw the same guy later in Fallujah and then killed him in an encounter. Oh, good. We don’t shoot detainees in the back shortly after releasing them. He’s still a total “know it all” jerk. For example, he claimed superior knowledge of the battlefield to Johnson and the JAGs because he’d “been there,” and the JAGs were just lawyers.

      Bob in HI

    • cinnamonape says:

      I wonder if that is “Duncan Hunter, Jr.” who is angling to inherit his Daddy’s seat?

    • valletta says:

      When an empire occupies a country it is, by definition, not war.
      And still calling these occupations, both Afghanistan and Iraq, wars is half the Orwellian battle for the imperialists and militarists who have hijacked this country.
      Re-reading Chalmers Johnson’s great book Nemesis and he goes into great deal about our 750+ military bases around the world. Outrageous. And most Americans are still in the dark about what we are doing.

    • Mary says:

      and what constitutes the war


      Obama still seems clueless as to what his Afghan mission is going to be as well, other than to put yet another civilian torture advocate in charge.

      I don’t care how many affairs he had, Edwards was right that the GWOT is a bumper sticker. Obama can’t “fix” GITMO and Bagram and all the related issues bc he won’t dig in and address and define the issues. It’s like trying to right a legal brief on a “what could be the law about all the universe of things that could happen” and then being puzzled that you can’t wrap up your “Conclusion” section. He won’t draw down and deal with the issues and define them to the public.

    • Mary says:

      I’ve been marking my aging years, post 9/11, with low points. The Iraq invasion was a huge one; the Kerry loss about as huge (and not because I liked Kerry all that much). Disappearing Padilla into military detention and using DOJ as the bullypulpit for it. The Sup Ct inaction on Padilla. The huge disappointment of the Sup Ct failure to hear el-Masri’s case. The DTA, followed by the MCA. Congressionally supported amnesty for war crimes and crime crimes; Exec branch coverups affirmatively using the DOJ to assist in criminal conspiracy; Presidential powers to murder and torture at whim; bombings and murders and torture of civlians.

      I guess the low points are always when the things you had the strongest hopes for fail. I don’t have many hopes these days, but the Johnsen/Kris testimony on detention was a lo point. I know WO had Kris in the Yoo corner to start with, but I didn’t and I respected him – and I think there were a lot of people willing to hang some hope on Johnsen.

      Just one more sad moment. There’s still a long long long stream of the sad moments to come with Obama and Holder heading the team. I guess for me the answer to the “how much lower can we go” question turns on whether you still had hope to lose. The abomination of Obama is that he made it central that people had to be given more hope, so he could take them and the country that much lower.

  14. bobschacht says:

    Bartlett, a Republican, is actually asking some sneaky coy questions that are pretty good, or could be read that way.

    Jeh Johnson continues to disappoint me in many of his answers. And he continues to speak as if all of these detainees were caught on the battle field, rather than swept up by bounty hunters.

    Bob in HI

  15. MadDog says:

    OT, but interesting – From the Los Angeles Times, Jane Harman speaks:

    What the CIA hid from Congress

    …And I did not know — until I read it in the press — of the 2004 drama at then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft’s hospital bedside, when Bush officials sought his sign-off on an extension of the program. I recall being told that there was a “glitch” in the approval process. A glitch? More like a near-hijacking of our democracy…

    That was just one of a number of “you won’t believe this” moments in Jane’s op-ed. She sounds more surprised than the nation was. *g*

    • Mary says:

      What a twit.

      Absent the ability to do any independent research, it did not occur to me then that the program was operated wholly outside of the framework Congress created as the exclusive means to conduct such surveillance: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

      How much damn “independent research” does it take for the head of the damn intel committee to freakin READ FISA? It’s not that long and complex. How about asking a question or two about warrants vis a vis US citizens? And IIRC, a major point made when the story broke was that the surveillance wasn’t being done through the FISCt (and Jane should have been receiving the Annual AG report required under FISA as to the non-warrant surveillance allowed by FISA to know if the TSP was being included or not). It was in that context that Jane said the leakers should go to jail. SHE WAS IN FAVOR OF SENDING THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE HER THE INFO HAYDEN DID NOT – THAT THE PROGRAM WAS RUNNING IN VIOLATION OF FISA – TO JAIL!

      I know I stand up for her a bit now and then in the Pelosi v. Harman wars, but jeez freakin louise, what a twit. Then, after admitting that the Gang of 8 never got a real briefing to know wtf was going on, she says its all better now bc the full committees have received the same invalid briefings given to the Gang of 8 – you know, the ones about the TSP, not the overall Presidential Override of the Constitution program that the IG report says existed. Harman doesn’t even mention that the IG report indicates a much bigger program footprint than *just* the TSP.

      At a minimum, she could also have mentioned that she learned from the press that the two FISCt judges briefed on the program thought it was unconstitutional and that was hidden from Congress. And that Congress still has no idea of whether or not the intel committees have been fully briefed on what was done under the TSP and the much broader programs the WH/CIA/NSA/OVP ran and/or is still running. No acknowledgement that Congress was looking to the Gang of 8 and Intel committees on all kinds of legislation like the Pat Act and all it spawned, and her vision of doing that job involved not getting around to doing the “independent research” of reading FISA? Howa bout reading the freakin bill of rights?

      I guess this is what set me off as much as anything, “FISA was amended to assure its application to the TSP” Screw you – the damned TSP and broader Presidential program needed to be amended to insure their compliance with the Constitution. FISA always did apply to the TSP, that’s the whole freakin point of the lawsuits out there.

      • bmaz says:

        I guess this is what set me off as much as anything, “FISA was amended to assure its application to the TSP” Screw you – the damned TSP and broader Presidential program needed to be amended to insure their compliance with the Constitution. FISA always did apply to the TSP, that’s the whole freakin point of the lawsuits out there.

        Thank you for that.

    • Leen says:

      Yoda bites…data mining …the NSA’s watch list 1 million…spying on protesters here in the states how different is that from what is allegedly going on in Iran?

      Jane Harman has a bit of light shed on her activities by James Bamford and Scott Horton for her “waddling on over” into the Aipac espionage investigation. They bring a bit of attention on her activities by asking just what was her agenda talking with a suspected “Israeli spy”.

      Bamford “I think this is something that really needs a lot of investigation. Here you have a very senior member of the house intelligence committee um discussing very sensitive issues with somebody who is apparently and Israeli agent and yet there has not been any real concrete investigation into this. ”

      Both Bamford and Horton ask why there has not been a deeper investigation into her activities. They also go into how someone had come up to Franklin and asked him to “disappear”. Had not heard this before

      Scott Horton Interviews James Bamford
      Scott Horton, July 22, 2009…..bamford-5/

  16. JamesJoyce says:

    “Which to me is just as interesting as the news that Cheney was pushing to do this: Imagine how well it would work to impose military rule just in time for the first anniversary of 9/11, and just as you’re rolling out the case for the Iraq War?”

    This has been a long standing point of mine. In the In the BBC documentary:…..Nightmares it is alleged that under Prescient Regan, Cheney and Rumsy attempted to fabricate an incident to justify the use of military force somewhere in Soviet Russia. The problem was the incident was a CIA covert action and the handlers made the President aware of it. President Reagan did not move forward with Cheney and Rumsy’s plan. Then Iran COntra….

    Point is the propensity to fabricate by Cheney for political/economic gain was documented back then…. Fast forward…

    911 was used to invade Iraq just as Hitler justified the protection of the homeland after the: by invading Poland.

    The use of military force in the civilian population predicated on the fear of attack from “enemies of the state” was Nazi Germany….

    Cheney’s consolidation of power would have been complete. Thank God the suspension of Posse Comitatus was not completed by President Bush’s refusal to move forward with Cheney recommendations. The acquiescence of the people, to such a “Lackawanna Six.” by a military operation would have been offensive and like the kid who pushes limits, in that time frame Cheney would have won, as in the first time Posse Comitatus was violated and the military used against the American people :….._Coal_Wars

    Cheney’s “pattern of behavior” is documented. His propensity to “fabricate” is documented. Motive can be attributed to patterns of behavior when “fabrications” become justifications for OLC’s rationals that are justifying violations of well established law under the color of law?? Corporate Aristocrats and their “monied” attempts to usurp law in the lust for endless profit was in Jefferson’s mind, the greatest threat to the republic. As liberty yields to tyranny, the corporate interests and politicians will deliver and render the people into “servitude!” Oh yes, a consumer driven economy where based on the efficiency of the human body compared to the inefficient wasteful internal combustion engine where 70% of the potential energy of a gallon of gasoline is….. wasted, lost gonzoooo out you tailpipe in the form of heat energy. This means that .70 cents on every dollar YOU spend on fuel is wasted and liberty decimated….. What a racket……….. The Sweet unadulterated Jurassic crude beneath Al-Anbar and the continued addiction of America and the world to fossil fuels has always the motive! America’s Corporate Treason, Executive Oil and the Iraq Oil Plot! How quick we forget! Just wish we could hold the bastards accountable for the damage inflicted on America stemming from their actions………..

  17. johnhkennedy says:

    The revelations about Bush and Cheney keep piling up but no one in Washington seems to have the guts to do anything about it. We will have to keep the pressure on for as long as it takes.

    THIS is about violating Our Federal Laws and Constitution.

    Demanding both a Commission of Inquiry
    and a Special Prosecutor For All Their Crimes at ANGRYVOTERS.ORG

    You should also
    contact AG Holder directly &
    Demand a Special Prosecutor.

    Department of Justice Switchboard – 202-514-2000
    Office of the AG – 202-353-1555

    Email: [email protected]

    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20530-0001

    NOTE: IF your group has a related petition, send me the url and I’ll include it on our website.

    We have all the petitions for investigation and prosecution of the criminals in the Bush Administration in one place
    where you have quick and easy access. Takes just a few minutes to sign them all.


    • Rayne says:

      Oh now that’s funny…but I don’t know if I’d pose that question to anyone who was a resident of NOLA in 2005.

      No, these guys ham-and-egged it, but one of them had a stronger personal agenda than the other, one of them had better skills than the other and eventually wore thin on the other half of this democracy-wrestling tag team.

      Still can’t be certain, though, that what we are seeing between the TIME piece published Thursday and this NYY piece on Friday is a ploy, one which polishes the Bushie team while keeping someone like Libby hanging in suspense. (Wonder whether Mrs. Libby was getting itchy after inauguration…)

  18. scribe says:

    To all the folks wondering why/how Cheney and his henchmen could think of using the military to effect these arrests and detentions without actually telling the DoD about it (e.g., the then-chairman of JCS saying he never heard of it): that was not a bug. It was a feature.

    I’ll point you back to pre-2002 election, when some Rethug or other running for re-election in Oregon (I think it was Sen. Gordon Smith, but I could be wrong) needed to amp up the support of a traditionally Rethug constituency there – Eastern Oregon farmers who irrigated, drawing their water from rivers. Environmental regs limited when and how much they could draw.

    So, the word got to Cheney – IIRC from Rove – and Cheney reached down into the bowels of the Department of Interior bureaucracy to tell the particular bureaucrat in charge of deciding whether and how much to allow irrigators to divert water, that it would be a good idea to allow the irrigating farmers to draw water for their farms. This drawing would have been in excess of their allotments and, because of the time of year, harmful to the very fish (salmon) the schedule had been implemented to benefit and preserve.

    So, the bureaucrat thought that Deadeye’s voicemail was a prank and ignored it as one. Nothing happened on the irrigatin’ front, and the bureaucrat got another call from Deadeye asking why. This time, the bureaucrat was caught live – not voicemail – and got the message directly from Dick. The water was turned into the irrigation canals, zillions of fish died, the government for the life of them could not figure out why (there was no water in the river), the irrigators were happy and voted Rethug, re-electing the guy who needed them.

    As we’ve seen time and again in the context of how Cheney, Addington and Yoo manipulated the DoJ and Ashcroft on things like the wiretapping and the memos, they effect their will by compartmentalizing tasks to the various parts of the bureaucracy, compelling obedience with arguably legal directives by the individual bureaucratic actorss, and achieving illegal ends. The compartmentalization facilitates effecting illegal ends through decieving the actor into believing his acts are legal, because he cannot see the whole – or even a bigger chunk – of the picture. Leopards don’t change their spots – and they would have carried this off using the same methodology.

    So, can you see Deadeye showing up looking harried at an odd hour at, say, the barracks of The Old Guard over at Fort Myer, or the Marine Barracks at 8th and Eye in D.C., getting the battalion (or company) commander and saying:

    “The President has asked me to convey to you his orders, written here, which are classified ‘eyes only’ and which you may look at for long enough to memorize but may not keep, to save the country from a nest of terrorists. The planes will be arriving at Andrews in an hour or two to take you and your battalion where you need to go to do this essential mission. Your higher headquarters is aware of this, and we are using this procedure to avoid the possibility of leaks. Your logistics are being arranged. Any questions?”

    Not for nothing did every federal building have pictures of Deadeye next to pictures of Bushie, even though he was not a part of the chain of command at all. How many Lieutenant Colonels, Majors or Captains (especially in elite units where the officers are chosen for the assignment precisely because they are models of military bearing, proficiency, efficiency and obedience) do you think would even think to question the orders, their legality, or give less than their absolute and unconditional obedience?

    And the Chairman of the JCS, let alone any intermediate officers, would not know about it until, at the earliest, it was way too late.

  19. WTFOver says:

    Buffalo is gd lucky / fortunate that Shooter ( aka Big Time ) did not have the city carpet bombed by B-52’s and B-1’s and B-2’s and whatever else he could think up. jeebus. Operation Lake Effect Sh*tstorm or something similar….

  20. perris says:

    I want to know something, am using a think progress quote;

    prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.

    Cheney cited a DoJ memo co-authored by John Yoo which claimed that “the president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States.”

    co-authored…who was the other author is the first question, the second is a statement

    yoo is clearly deranged writing these rediculous memos and then defending them, is he being considered for disbarrment?

    and finally a thought;

    for yoo to write these clearly rediculous memos it seems (if he were sane) that he full expected the president to remain in power

    I’m not kidding, he’s either insane or had some kind of expectation that these memo’s would stand a test

  21. WTFOver says:

    the most frustrating thing about richard bruce ‘dick’ cheney is that he is one of the most cowardly pieces of sh*t to ever walk the planet ( 5 or 6 draft deferments from VietNam ) yet he acts like a f***ing tough guy and no one has gotten up in his fat cowardly gout ridden face and beat the snot out of him. the same goes for the chimp ( guarding Texas and Alabama from the NVA ).

  22. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Here’s something from Alternet about KBR:

    Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Cheney’s Halliburton, is constructing a huge facility at an undisclosed location to hold tens of thousands of undesirables.

    When did they start building?

  23. Mary says:

    @15 – how different from Pinochet, etc? Not much, except for the deliberate efforts to mentally fry them before release and for the pretense of an independent court authorizing it. Luttig (Boeing now) and then a Fla Judge who seemed to think that years of torture detention prior to trial had no impact on his ability to assist counsel, competence for trial, etc. And who never let the jury – who had Comey shove the “OMGOMGOMG!! He’s a NUCLEAR TERRORIST” crap down their throat pre-trial, even though this was never charged – hear the counterpoint to that well publicized propaganda, i.e., that he visited a website that had a snark piece on creating a nuclear weapon by swinging a bucket over your head.

    In all the spec on the “what ifs” the “what was” of Padilla often gets lost. They pretty much already DID send military into NYC to take a US citizen and disappear them into not only military detention, but military torture, for years. They did it openly and obviously and with the full compliance and complicity of the Dept of Justice and the courts. And the Roberts court has let it stand as precedent by procedural manuevering.

  24. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Houston-based KBR was awarded an initial $385 million contract in January 2006 for one year, with four one-year options extended into 2007. KBR held a previous emergency detention contract with ICE from 2000 to 2005. (Emphasis mine.)…..E_ID=55925

    Since 2000? Hmmm. That’s looking suspicious, before 9/11. Like they got the contract around the time of the election to prepare for the coming of Cheney’s lawlessness.

  25. Mary says:

    BTW – interesting that all the NSC bases other than State seem to have been covered. Isn’t the ommission of Powell kind of a glaring gap in that list of those who were invovled? And Chertoff was involved on the side of the angels, eh? It sounds like Mueller wanted back up and it took Skeletor to go toe to toe with Addington. And Chertoff was the one who apparently drew the line at trying to clean up torture statements to use in court. Pretty darn scarey to think that Chertoff was the counterpoint to Adddington for the rule of law -no wonder his replacement was a lightweight, pro-torture fraulein like Fisher.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      And Chertoff was the one who apparently drew the line at trying to clean up torture statements to use in court. Pretty darn scarey to think that Chertoff was the counterpoint to Adddington for the rule of law -no wonder his replacement was a lightweight, pro-torture fraulein like Fisher.

      If true, that is incredible.
      Add two other pieces of info: in “Angler”, Gellman reports on a showdown between Ashcroft and Cheney over the idea of military commissions on 13 Nov 2001. Ashcroft did not think it appropriate to hand over detainees out of DoJ procedures and control. (Props to Ashcroft for the sentiment, but Cheney the institutional vampire won that battle.)

      Then… can’t recall where, but I definitely read that John Negroponte resigned his post and went to…? (Homeland Security…? ) another position b/c this whole mess looked to him like Iran-Contra Redux and he didn’t want to be around it. If true, that would also be quite interesting.

  26. bobschacht says:

    ROTL @ 76:(Formatting featurs not working because my browser is hung up ”Transferring data from…”)

    ”Then… can’t recall where, but I definitely read that John Negroponte resigned his post and went to…? (Homeland Security…? ) another position b/c this whole mess looked to him like Iran-Contra Redux and he didn’t want to be around it. If true, that would also be quite interesting.”

    I’d like to know more about this. I thought Negroponte was put in those positions because of his ”expertise” with death squads and such things?

    Bob in HI

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Bob, I’ll have to finish looking later; my preliminary excursion to my bookshelves and the toobz didn’t turn up what I was looking for, so I’ll get to it later this weekend.

      I always get confused about Negroponte, because I mix him up with “Nicholas Negroponte” of MIT Media Labs fame 8-0

      • Rayne says:

        OMG, that’s so incredibly geeky, mixing up “Death Squad” Negroponte with “One Laptop Per Child” Negroponte.

        Best laugh I’ve had this week!

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Glad you enjoyed it.
          I find it totally embarrassing. Drives me nuts to confuse people that way; usually, I just wildly mispell names. Argh 8-p

          • Rayne says:

            Nah, don’t be embarrassed, just tells me you mentally organize resources alphabetically, not at all uncommon.

            Could be worse. My father-in-law organizes resources in both phonetic and alphabetic fashion. Which means my name being perilously similar to both my spouse’s ex-wife’s name (alphabetic) and my sister-in-law’s (phonetic), I never know what’s going to come out of his mouth when he calls out to me or refers to me in conversation. At least after a couple decades the chances of hitting the ex-wife’s name are under 20%. Heh.

            [edit: you can see I organize by association — I’m more likely to confuse Nicholas Negroponte with Walter Bender (SugarLabs) or Charles Lane because they’re all key people to the OLPC project’s inception. Makes it tough to sort overlapping materials sometimes if a key person is involved in too many projects.]

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Oh, sure, associational works, too.
              But ‘Negroponte’? C’mon… such an uncommon name that yeah, it goes under “N”: John, Nicholas…


              Petro — a reference to “Big Rama”? Just guessin’.
              But yeah, I’m just so proud to live in a nation where Senators insult India. JesusMaryAndJoesph!! (I’m an admirer of Manmohan Singh, or at least what I’ve heard of him; talk about ‘transformational’ leadership, wow…)

  27. JasonLeopold says:

    OT. Stephen Bradbury seems to have found a law firm willing to hire him. He will be working on securities and antitrust cases.

    That firm also hired Steve Engel who worked at OLC

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Inevitably, this White House team’s belief that it had such powers was the background assumption to its other claims and actions. Cheney, Addington & Co., took lawless to a while new level; Al Capone had nothing on them.

    Why is it, exactly, our constitutional lawyer president wants to institutionalize such powers? His Harvard Law education is becoming as much of a farce as Bush’s Harvard MBA.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Yes and no, EOH.
      I think it’s a measure of what he’s really up against.

      My hunch as to why we heard about Obama’s remarks on Prof Gates for 3 non-stop daze: according to Clemons, BO’s got to put the squeeze on Netanyahu to buckle down and clean up the Israeli b.s. on ‘construction’ and stop thumbing their noses at the US. In addition, Big Pharma’s been looking for a spot in BO’s armor.

      So what happened last week?
      BO makes one remark about a man that he probably viewed in much the same way many here might view an old, favorite teacher or coach.
      In less than 10 minutes, from behind the scenes, Netanyahu’s supporters + Big Pharma were probably out back silently pouring gasoline and hollering ‘arson’!

      And of course, the media all got wide-eyed and squeaked, “OMG! OMG! Look! There’s a fire!”

      Then the Cheney item shows up on the NYT website just in time to get buried in the Saturday a.m. early morning errands busyness.


      For Bobschacht, several links from the Washington Note, a couple of which I’d not stumbled on before –here’s one item… and another...and a third (which is about the liklihood that John Bolton was spying in Cheney’s behalf on Negroponte in early 2000s; it also prompted me to wonder whether John Bolton ever read any intercepts of Valerie Plame Wilson).

      Not what I was looking for, but all that I’m likely to come up with on a Saturday.

      • bobschacht says:

        For Bobschacht, several links from the Washington Note, a couple of which I’d not stumbled on before –here’s one item… and another…and a third (which is about the liklihood that John Bolton was spying in Cheney’s behalf on Negroponte in early 2000s; it also prompted me to wonder whether John Bolton ever read any intercepts of Valerie Plame Wilson).

        Thanks for the links.

        Bob in HI

  29. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Rayne, don’t say I never left you any morning coffee ;-))

    But you’ve outlined all kinds of barriers which simply go away if there’s a super secret black op which simply disappears people. There’s no drain on the court system, no resources drawn from regular military.

    Okay, at least you’re seeing this kind of the same way that I am. (And I scratch my head thinking, “can these guys really actually be this strange…?”)

    But when I look at it through that lens, I expect the Mad Hatter to pop right out from my screen to announce that government has been relegated to the dustbin of history and all that matters going forward is the cruel, ruthless logic of Free Market Fundamentalist capitalism. All hail Machiavelli!

    The ONLY two functions of government would be: (1) to enforce contracts in a capitalist market system manipulated by elites, and (2) raise taxes from wage slaves in order to further the objectives of #1. Apart from those two roles, ‘government’ ceases to exist and all organizations, decisions, social relationships, commercial activity, and human interactions will operate on the harsh, cruel criteria of Free Market Capitalism.

    Per your background info on Yoo: okay, now we see why he rose so rapidly in the neocon environment. Makes sense.

    • bobschacht says:

      But when I look at it through that lens, I expect the Mad Hatter to pop right out from my screen to announce that government has been relegated to the dustbin of history and all that matters going forward is the cruel, ruthless logic of Free Market Fundamentalist capitalism. All hail Machiavelli!

      I’m glad this thread is still alive. Did you see Jane Mayer’s piece @ NPR? Writing about one of Cheney’s doomsday schemes, she wrote,

      …But in a secret executive order, President Reagan, who was deeply concerned about the Soviet threat, amended the process for speed and clarity. The secret order established a means of re-creating the executive branch without informing Congress that it had been sidestepped, or asking for legislation that would have made the new “continuity-of-government” plan legally legitimate. Cheney, a proponent of expansive presidential powers, was evidently unperturbed by this oversight.

      Mann and others have suggested that these doomsday drills were a dress rehearsal for Cheney’s calm, commanding performance on 9/11. It was not the first time he had stared into the abyss….

      It makes me wonder if all the levers to pull off a coup d’etat are in place, awaiting only the right signal, and for a President willing to take advantage of a momentary crisis.

      Dress rehearsal? The past 8 years have shown how spineless Congress is– even the past 2 years, when the opposition party controlled Congress. And the Courts? Why, let them enforce their silly decisions. There doesn’t seem to be all that much to prevent a Fascist coup.

      Congress probably needs to legislate an appropriate doomsday scenario, rather than leave it to the predatory schemes of a future president.

      Now to read more of the comments on this thread.

      Bob in HI

      • Hmmm says:

        Oh gawd, CoG. I’d managed to block that whole memory. Add that to the pile of topics to investigate, I guess.

  30. Hmmm says:

    I’m seeing a pretty strong pattern, anyone else? Between Conyers last night calling on Holder to start prosecuting Bush-admin perps, Harman’s (yes, weirdly blind-spotted and revisionist) LAT opEd, and the Throw-Dick-Under-The-Bus reporting and it sure looks like a coordinated push.

    • Leen says:

      Harmon is hoping to keep the spotlight off her own activities. (caught on tape doing business with an alleged Israeli spy, “waddling on over” to the Aipac espionage investigation and 9 time delayed and then finally dismissed trial.

      • Hmmm says:

        Sure. I’m sure all the parties involved are trying to keep the spotlight off what they each did.

  31. Hmmm says:

    OT — Sorry if this is old news to anyone, but I hadn’t been aware of the info in this new Leen diary at

    This summer, on a remote stretch of desert in central Utah, the National Security Agency will begin work on a massive, 1 million-square-foot data warehouse. Costing more than $1.5 billion, the highly secret facility is designed to house upward of trillions of intercepted phone calls, e-mail messages, Internet searches and other communications intercepted by the agency as part of its expansive eavesdropping operations. The NSA is also completing work on another data warehouse, this one in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the Alamodome.


    • Rayne says:

      Jeebus. The energy consumption of a facility that size will be enormous; that’s 23 acres or 20 football fields under roof, not including the parking and any green zone required.

      Need to check my math, but I think that’s the equivalent of 2.9 million 40-foot shipping vans packed cheek and jowl. I don’t even know if Google’s place in Washington St. is this big.

      • Hmmm says:

        Welp, at least it’s really sunny there… Go Green, go Photovoltaic when you’re going Orwell!

        • PJEvans says:

          Probably tall, so it doesn’t have as big a footprint (or as much actual roof area). I’d rather go for mostly underground, since it would need less external cooling; you’d still need lighting, though. Three or four levels of structure would make it not too out of line ….

          • Hmmm says:

            As a rule of thumb, I’m led to understand that excavation is very very very expensive, offsetting any cost advantages from a smaller footprint. Also this is open desert so land cost seems irrelevant. But this is the USG we’re talking about after all, and probably a black-budget project, with probably really expensive private-sector contractors… so likely they don’t care about the cost in the slightest.

          • Rayne says:

            person1597 (121) — Glad you de-lurked, always nice to have another set of eyeballs and one with a unique talent for matching “voice prints”, so to speak.

            I don’t see Libby as Bush’s adversary as much as I see him having a completely different agenda driven by other forces. Rove’s agenda sometimes matches Libby’s, sometimes doesn’t, and at least through 2005, Rove’s agenda including promoting Bush. There are problems when the agendas are diametrically in opposition – like Libby getting a pardon and Bush looking better for it while not exposing himself to jeopardy. Friction.

            PJEvans re: your (115) — actually, the servers, storage and network equipment might eat just as much juice as lights; technology has improved energy consumption substantially, but we don’t know what specs we’re talking about here, could be 3-5 times more energy consumption on servers/storage/network than on the lights.

            Think about how warm a laptop can get. Now imagine how hot a 40-foot van filled with hard drives might get. It’s a worst case scenario, but it’s not impossible.

              • Rayne says:

                Yes, forgot about the desert. Heat dissipation would be a big problem next to energy consumption for cooling and humidity control, but I forgot about the need for heating at night depending on situation.

                Probably not a multi-story facility; have yet to see one in a server/storage farm.

            • PJEvans says:

              I have wire racks under my PCs to keep them cooler. I’ve also been around (not in) a server room that was, well, well-cooled, as in you wanted cold-weather gear just to be in the same area. They usually have their own cooling systems, I think. (That room was in the law firm downstairs; we were there during a fire drill. Down five floors and wait.)

              Actually, if you’re doing a national-security storage area, the expense of excavation might not be all that big a consideration. They’ve done underground installations for the DOD, after all.

  32. person1597 says:

    In case you’re wondering what’s up with the “new guy”… Here’s a clue.

    Longtime lurker, but the Wife and Kids are at Grandma’s so I couldn’t help a dip in the Lake. And I’m already dangerously close to troll territory!

    As Tanta put it…

    …or one of the elite few who has the God’s-eye view of the world or whatever his current delusion is. If he isn’t merely a narcissist who thrives on feeling attacked, he’s just some putz who enjoys irritating other people. Therefore, you “feed” the troll by paying any attention to him at all. It does not matter what you say in response. Any response to a troll just encourages the troll.

    It’s kind of like my dreams. They’re generally confusing enough to make me suspicious. So when I see something that doesn’t add up, the natural reaction is to attempt lucidity. Depending on how that goes, I either gain momentum or just drop it. Perhaps it is a sort of reverse manipulation. If my point of view is confronted by something that doesn’t seem right then I’ll try to probe the illogicity.

    Like that use of the semantic phrasing “this guy” as attributed to Bush in the Time piece. I knew those couldn’t be Bush’s words because they showed a level of jealous enmity that is soooo Rovian and I couldn’t help probing. Sure enough, it is Rove’s signature embellishment for characterizing adversaries. Libby is not Bush’s adversary. Rove, well, I’d be willing to wager there’s some baaad blood between him and Scooter. I always thought that Rove was the type to cook up something as pernicious as betraying VPW. Cheney is capable of that kind of retribution but would he have fathered the idea of blowing her cover? Maybe he’ll claim it was Bush’s idea from the beginning. That would be a hoot! (And would also explain the pardon donnybrook.)

    Maybe, but I think Cheney signed on to it because it was a way to crush the opposition. For all I know, it probably was Bush’s idea in the first place. Kind of analogous to the frog fireworks fetish. That’s kind of how it came down too… “Boom!!! You’re So Screwed!!! Ha Ha Ha, Can’t Touch Me In The Middle Of The Sea!!!” kind of juvenile prank. It makes me sick.

    That’s what is so great about FDL — the goal is to get to the bottom of things so to speak [klynn]. Now that things seem like they’re at their low ebb [Mary], boom — the unvarnished truth is revealed. The lie goes poof [Hmmm].

    So I would be glad to see the emptywheel thermometer climb a bit higher [Lurkers].

    After all, that’s how I got my handle.

    Really, I’m just a putz… Now… Back to lurking!

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Cheney is capable of that kind of retribution but would he have fathered the idea of blowing her cover? Maybe he’ll claim it was Bush’s idea from the beginning. That would be a hoot! (And would also explain the pardon donnybrook.)

      Don’t know whether you’ve read EW’s “Anatomy of Deceit”, but one of the insights is that the BushCheneyBots deliberately leaked. Leaking has been going on since Watergate, and their leaking was deliberately deceptive, and this was the latest in several decades’ worth of leaking.

      Recall that since W’Gate, it had been a custom/law that the press did not have to reveal sources. But the seriousness in this case prompted Judge Reggie Jackson to rule that the press HAD to disclose the leakers.

      That had to upend all of the BushCheneyBot assumptions, and that’s what finally exposed them. From July 2003 until around August 2005 (during which a number of Americans were injured or killed in Iraq), the admin hid behind the press. The press hide behind their supposed ‘power’ to not reveal sources.

      Jackson said, “This is about national security. Turn over your sources or go to jail.” Rove then ‘released’ Cooper, who didn’t have to go to jail.

      Judy Miller kept covering for Scootie-Pootie until he wrote that ‘Aspens turning’ message to tell her she could reveal his name.

  33. bmaz says:

    Reggie Jackson is “Mr. October”, knocked the hide off of 563 home run balls (and three HRs on three pitches in a World Series game) and was “the straw that stirred the drink of New York”. He also, of course, was an ASU boy.

    Reggie Walton presided over the Libby trial.

  34. PJEvans says:

    Oh yeah: more than a couple of feet down, the temperature is fairly constant; somewhere in the 50s or 60s (degrees F). You have to make sure that everything critical is below frost line, but that’s easy enough.

  35. 4jkb4ia says:

    I would be appalled if there is nothing in the SOFA that covers what happens to detainees in Iraq. In fact IIRC all the Iraqi detainees are meant to go to Iraqi prisons. The Afghan detainees really have the worst of it because there is very little of an Afghan justice system for them to be tried in.