Crazy Pete Hoekstra’s Pre-Emptive Disavowal of C Street

Crazy Pete Hoekstra, who will use Dick DeVos’ almost unlimited funds to run for MI Governor next year, has pre-emptively admitted, but disavowed, C Street.

Hoekstra said he stopped attending meetings about two years ago, saying he’d gotten what he needed out of his visits. While never living at C Street, he was a regular for about seven years at a dinner-fellowship every Tuesday.

"We’d fellowship, we’d pray, we’d talk about Jesus, and we’d eat," Hoekstra said. "In the headiness of Washington, D.C., it’s trying to make sure you keep your head screwed on straight."

Now, frankly, I hadn’t even realized Crazy Pete was a member of this group, and I could swear I’ve checked once (he is definitely their "type"). So it surprises me a bit to see Crazy Pete offering up his ties to the group.

Obviously, his upcoming gubernatorial run may be part of that. MI has its share of conservatives who like to advocate authoritarianism in the name of Christ (and the U.P.’s Bart Stupak is one of the Democrats who lives at C Street).  But MI still has the remnants of a sane Republican party, it has open primaries, and it has a big number of independents and Dems who would detect the stench of the group.

In other words, it’s not necessarily a state where crazy religious ties helps in a state-wide election.

I’m wondering, too, whether Leisha Pickering’s suit against Chip Pickering’s new gal has anything to do with this. Leisha Pickering has submitted a secret diary in which Chip documented his affair, and named those members of the Family who facilitated his affair.

While former Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, he recorded details of his exploits in a secret diary, including the dates and locations of his adulterous encounters.

Pickering, a Republican, described several assignations he had with Creekmore Byrd inside the C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group, according to a person familiar with the diary’s contents.

And according to a divorce filing by Pickering’s estranged wife, Leisha, the former congressman’s diary reveals the identities of several men who enabled his adulterous trysts and helped him cover his tracks.

Pickering resigned in August 2007, just under two years ago. If the diary precipitated the divorce, then it may end about two years ago. 

So if someone like Crazy Pete knew that his involvement in yet another hypocritical affair might become public, he might be able to say that he ended his relationship with the group two years ago, setting up a very convenient story just in case anything became public between now and when he tried to run for Governor. 

I have no idea whether Pickering’s diary time bomb is the reason for Crazy Pete’s pre-emptive admission of ties with C Street. But the timing does make me want to see Pickering’s diary all the more.

  1. bgrothus says:

    Who knew “fellowship” was a verb?

    “We’d fellowship, we’d pray, we’d talk about Jesus, and we’d eat,”

    • hackworth1 says:

      The word fellowship has been used as a verb in the fundy, holy roller, evangelical, Baptist lexicon for many years.

      We like to fellowship, to pray and to fuck.

    • behindthefall says:

      You, too? That set my teeth on edge. (Nouns misgrammared as verbs almost always do.)

      • Endymion says:

        It’s a dogwhistle Shibboleth. The fact that it puts your teeth on edge is the point, for it shows thou are no true man of Gilead.

        • skdadl says:

          Never seen the verb before, but I’m grateful to be able to fellowship here at EW’s place.

          I’m especially glad to know that everything we type here is entirely secure because William of Ockham is an ordained deacon and can declare our correspondence with him privileged. It really relieved my mind when he told us that.

          • WilliamOckham says:

            Having grown up in the evangelical/fundamentalist community, I can assure you used the verb exactly right. But, since this communication is privileged, you don’t have to tell anybody…

          • LabDancer says:

            “Never seen the verb before”

            Gawain now — next you’ll be after claiming you’ve never heard of getting opposite baptized:

            [Not sure why these folks didn’t take advantage of the one-time not-in-stores unbelievable low low price of the Popeil Depope-matic 3000*.

            *operating on principles almost identical to this, from the “greatest inventor of things you’ve probably heard of”:

            * patent portending

            * offer possibly unavailable where prohibited

            • LabDancer says:

              And that’s not all! For the same low low price, they’ll throw in a free two-week supply of Gayaway Men’s Hairspray, PLUS an emergency pack of Gayaway Instadote* in case of accidental overdose.

              *Warning: Not recommended for separate use.

            • skdadl says:

              LOL. LD, I come from a repressed Presbyterian tradition that is so repressed that we never talk about religion, even in church — especially in church. Whatever you do, don’t mention religion! Kind of like Don’t mention the war.

              Much as I am interested in religion as culture, so many different cultures, it makes me sad that people reject faith itself, the sense of immanence, because of the other thing religion is nowadays (maybe always has been), horribly ugly politics of greed and misogyny and control of the masses.

              I don’t know what else I “believe” in any more, but I’ve always just plain known that the Holy Spook is with me whenever I think about him. Immanence is the better philosophical term, and it means more than having a buddy, but that’s the best way I can express my faith.

          • fatster says:

            WilliamOckham is one cool dude! So, since our communications are all covered now that he has bestowed this privilege upon us, why can’t Petrocelli type the “F” word? Or do y’all not use it up yonder in Canada-Land?

              • Petrocelli says:

                In honor of Marcy:

                The English Teacher asked Little Johnny, “Tell the class an example of a 3- syllable word.”

                Little Johnny thought for a while and said, “Mas-tur-bate !”

                The Teacher gasped and said, “Oh my … that’s a mouthful !”

                “No Ms. Stevens, you’re thinking about a Blowjob !”

  2. klynn says:

    Once a C Street, always a C Street.

    Disavowing the address does not disavow the values.

    GOP should find a new candidate.

  3. Citizen92 says:

    Is C Street such a time bomb that it would resonate in a governor’s race? …that it requires an unsolicited admission by Hoekstra?

    Is keeping a diary a requirement (or common practice) among members of the Family? Should we be asking about other diaries?

    You may also note that Mrs. Pickering is folding up her non-profit, HANDS. The Missus seems to be one of those GOP wives who is (was) on the GOP homespun graft gravy train. She had her own events company that did GOP Convention work and work for Haley Barbour. Much like other GOP wives (I’m thinking Julie Doolittle). HANDS had received $10k from Rick Santorum’s shady charity back in ‘04 or ‘05.

    Anyway, I think Mrs. Pickering like Doug Hampton brought about these suits not for love lost with their cheating partners, but rather for $$ and opportunities lost once their partners screwed up and left them without a livelihood. Mrs. P didn’t seem to want to be identified as a Congressman’s wife, judging from this blurb in ‘04:

    5. Is there a typical day in the life of the wife of a Congressman?
    You mean is there a typical day in the life of a mother to five boys and the answer is no.

    Of course by 2004, she knew that Chip was having his affair. But she still needed the GOP cash. Had the cash continued, I suspect she would have not filed her suit.

  4. RieszFischer says:

    But the timing does make me want to see Pickering’s diary all the more.

    Better bring some brain bleach.

    But MI still has the remnants of a sane Republican party…

    I’ve lived here since ‘91 and I haven’t noticed that.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch Hoekstra go down in flames? Oh please Lord, please, let him crash and burn.

  5. sagesse says:

    So were these C Street guys so pumped up on their Holy Chosen-ness or whatever it was, that all these affairs were the norm with egos of this type? Or were either situations set up, or suggestions made by group leaders, that resulted in the affairs – so the fellows could all more readily be controlled/kept in lockstep Conservative line?

    • klynn says:

      I had wondered for a long time if the Clinton Lewinsky
      scandal was a C Street primer in how sexual affairs will ruin one’s political success.

  6. foothillsmike says:

    As a C-street Church and Brothel alum Crazy Pete would recognize himself to be an elite answerable to a higher authority.

  7. cinnamonape says:

    Seems to me that if he dis-fellowed two years ago that would coincide precisely with the time that the diary came up in the divorce proceedings. Both Hoekstra and Pickering left their association with C Street at the same time. Pickerings affairs occurred before that time. So Hoekstra’s claims of disassociation would not be a very good defense. In fact if the names were known to others at C Street they might be the ones that asked for Hoekstra and others to go.

  8. vicky says:

    hoekstra should do his best to keep the weekly repug crash & burn drama going. At this rate, we may have to come back to vitter to keep the drama going.

    • RieszFischer says:

      That’s a good question! I remember during the primaries people were saying that Hillary was a member of “The Family”. Of course that doesn’t mean she was welcome at C Street.

      And if there’s no girls allowed I wonder if C Street is getting any federal funding. If so then it would be a violation if Title IX.

    • hackworth1 says:

      Though women are generally regarded as less than men in The Family, powerful women are accepted. Hillary Clinton is the only woman’s name I have heard linked to the C-Street Family.

      Note in this blurb, The Family is referred to as The Fellowship. It’s the same organization.

      Pickering, a Republican, described several assignations he had with Creekmore Byrd inside the C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group, according to a person familiar with the diary’s contents

      Is an assignation the same as a rendevouz or a tryst or a romp, roll in the hay, etc?

      • masaccio says:

        Marsha Blackburn, R Williamson County Tennessee, was identified by Jeff Sharlet in a Salon article last week. Her slogan in her first election was: Marsha’s My Man, which played well in a district divided between farmers and hospital company execs. Maybe she doesn’t count as a woman.

  9. Waccamaw says:

    This bunch are really pushing the prayer meeting meme; pickering may have been dumb enough to put his exploits in a diary but they’re all smart enough to know they should claim the religious nature of The Family so the christianists will support them whole hog. WAAAAAAHHHH! The liburals and media are taking away our guns….now they want to take away our religion!

    PS – And don’t get me started on how much it pisses me off to know they’re tax-exempt.

  10. foothillsmike says:

    When Ashcroft became AG he used to hold daily prayer mtgs. with his staff. Was he in the fellowship?

  11. SouthernDragon says:

    Part of C Street’s appeal is the Gospel of Prosperity, where capitalists are touted as the favourites of Jesus.

    In May the National Radio Project aired a program on A Chronology of Capitalism. Well worth a listen.

  12. cinnamonape says:

    Of course, Hoekstra was a big cheerleader of Porter Goss, whom he replaced as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, as Director of the CIA. Hoekstra had received campaign contributions from Brent Wilkes, who along with Dusty Foggo “procured entertainment” for Congressmen whose votes they needed for Defense contracts. Hoekstr wvs even subpoeneed for testimony at Wilkes’ trial.

    “BLITZER: And do you know this Dusty Foggo? Have you ever met him?

    HOEKSTRA: I’ve met Dusty Foggo, yes.

    BLITZER: What do you think of him?

    HOEKSTRA: The — I don’t — I’ve not had a lot of experience with him. I did have dinner with Dusty on one occasion. But the kind of details that coming out today, I — you know, like I said, I have only met him a couple of times.”

    • klynn says:

      Pair that with C Street association and I just might want him to stay in the running to see his history picked apart. Thanks for posting that interview.

  13. SaltinWound says:

    I still think this is all going to unravel very fast. The whole point of all this “fellowship” is that these guys have stuff to blackmail each other with, which makes the group stronger–that’s how secret societies work. But the operative word is secret. I don’t see how they wind it back at this point–it’s going to be one disclosure after another.

  14. barbara says:

    Pickering was once considered one of the GOP’s brightest stars. An ardent social conservative and defender of “traditional marriage,”

    Seems as though sweetie-on-the-side is the Repubican norm for traditional marriage, at least among politicians.

    How in the world did the diary (what an idiot!) pass out of Pickering’s loving care?

        • hackworth1 says:

          lol. Chip probably got careless and left it in his sock drawer or in the console of the Beemer.

        • NCDem says:

          I thought the diary might include a video or two.

          From the comments of Leisha on her still strong feelings for Chip, it will cost huge $$ for her to agree to keep the diary secret.

          Hailey Barbour has found himself right in the middle of a huge hornet’s nest. He is a friend to people in both families. I’ll bet that ole Hailey made a call to Judge Cynthia Brewer to make sure secrets were not disclosed.

          The real story here may be Hailey’s involvement since he is #1 in Mississippi politics and has had a huge hand in entrenching more social conservatives in the legal system in MS. Hailey has been spoken of many times as a Presidential possibility in 2012. If we find his fingerprints on this intrique, it would hurt him and the Republican Party greatly since he took Sanford’s place as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association.

  15. Twain says:

    I find the fact that they are having their affairs IN the C Street house really creepy. I suppose it’s understood that the people get to bring sweetie home for a sleep-over or just a quickie. What are the others doing while this is going on – listening and giggling?

  16. Waccamaw says:

    How in the world did the diary (what a idiot!) pass out of Pickering’s loving care?

    LOL! I was just getting ready to respond to your 17 with that exact query. The unfortunate part of this whole business is that they’re making a list of actions that no one can do in the future…..other than sleeping with people not their wives. Going to ground to an even great extent than in the past. There will be no more Jeff Sharletts.

  17. JohnnyTable70 says:

    Either these guys suck at being “christians” or C Street and the Family are a Potemkin Village of religious piousness manifested as rank GOPocrisy.

    • hackworth1 says:

      Everyone can suck at being a Christian. We all fall from time to time, but we are forgiven. That’s the beauty of it.

      It is not by works but by faith we are saved.

      For all have fallen short of the glory of God.

      IMHO, pure horse hockey.

      A Christian can do whatever the hell he feels like doing and pray for forgiveness later. Except he is already forgiven b/c Jesus paid for all his sins preemptively.

      Circular logic.

        • Twain says:

          I really don’t think it works that way but that’s just me. I think you don’t get to do the same sin over and over and just brush it aside – destroying families, causing general pain and embarrassment to large numbers of people and then just shrugging and being “fixed.” These people are just sick and crazy.

      • bobschacht says:

        OK, I’ve had about enough of this.
        You have a comic-book parody of “Christians.” You have no right to tar all Christians with the same brush. Most Christians are sincere in wanting to emulate the Gospel in positive ways. Most of the nation’s hospitals were formed by church groups. Many of the soup kitchens for the poor and homeless are staffed by volunteers from churches. So get off your high horse, please.

        Bob in HI
        Getting ready to go to church

  18. hackworth1 says:

    That’s the beauty of it. He’s already fixed.

    These motherfuckers are ridiculous. I am going to write some editorials re: my Senator Bill Nelson, The Family and the goddamned separation of Church and State.

    The Family business and its tentacles are very harmful to the general welfare. Deadly, really. These people are warmongers and members or supporters of the Military Industrial Complex.

    Fascism. The collusion of government, big business and religion.

  19. Twain says:

    Anyone want to guess what the future of C Street will be? Is it too much out in the open now to continue?

      • Twain says:

        Maybe C Street was just a place to bring their “girlfriends” and everyone living there was free to do whatever they wanted. Doesn’t seem much different from a bordello to me.

  20. Palli says:

    Surely the IRS is (should be) investigating this college frat house now … C Street the GOP reason for instant Viagra approval.

  21. BayStateLibrul says:

    The Capitol’s got “C” and “K” Street.
    Who resides at “F” and “U” Streets?

  22. Twain says:

    What does Horkstra mean when he says “he got what he needed from C Street” and then quit going? – that’s a strange statement.

  23. rapier says:

    Pete is a networker. A shame all it has gotten him a a chance to be Governor of Michigan. A thankless job with no upside and for the life of me I can’t figure out why he wants the job.

    Then again I could never figure out why DeVos wanted it either except maybe to get the DeVos name on thousands of signs saying DeVos, governor. I suppose in his case he might be thinking in terms of making the family a long term political dynasty and you have to start somewhere.

    As right wing Christianists go the DeVos’s aren’t all that bad. That’s what happens when your net worth climbs into the 10 figures. Your first instinct isn’t to burn bridges but to make them. You can get along and go along with your opponents politically if it will protect the pot or help it grow.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think they see MI as a ripe opportunity to experiment with shock doctrine and–given the number of tribes–play around with dual sovereignty locations for their fun and games.

  24. fatster says:

    At first glance, I thought the headline was “Right Wing Layovers”

    Right Wing Leftovers

    “Alan Chambers talks to Focus on the Family about his new book Leaving Homosexuality: “The key thought here is the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness. There are people who are conflicted with their sexuality, involved with homosexuality, and there is a way out for those who want it. But it doesn’t say that they’re going into heterosexuality, because that’s not the point. The point is that people can leave whatever it is that God calls less than His best and move into something that is His best, becoming more like He is.”‘


  25. scribe says:

    Crazy Pete outing himself like this is reminiscent of Larry Craig and his “not me” press release over the July 4, 1982 weekend, in response to allegations of someone having gay relations with a congressional page or staffer.

    And we all saw how that worked out….

  26. Rayne says:

    Completely off-topic, save for relationship to a member of Congress.

    Maybe this is something, maybe it’s nothing, but it sure smells.

    There’s a rash of stories today about the “apparent” suicide of Kuwaiti broker Hazem Khalid al-Braikan, found shot to death in his home Sunday morning Kuwait time.

    Seems al-Braikan had been involved in running up the price of stock(s) in fake takeover attempts; he bought up enough stock that it appeared someone was going to take controlling interest of a firm, then dumped the stock after the price had run up because other firms bought into the uptick.

    The SEC had filed a lawsuit against al-Braikan’s firm and several others on Thursday this week, for alleged trading “around hoax bids for US companies.”

    Textron, a firm which has historically had government contracts, was one of the firms in which al-Braikan had been trading earlier this year.

    The most recent stock in which al-Braikan took an initial position on June 1 and sold out on July 20?

    Harman International.

    The SEC sure can hustle and take action when it wants to, can’t it? it was only 3 days between the time the accumulated positions were dumped and the SEC filed suit…

    • fatster says:

      It is getting nasty, isn’t it? Back a few threads is the one bmaz posted about Wall Street. It’s still going strong, if you want to check it out. And I’m going to link to another one about Sergay (if someone hasn’t already done so) as he seems to be the gift that will keep on giving for awhile.

      • Rayne says:

        I posted a diary at The Seminal on al-Braikan’s suicide, didn’t want to clutter up the digs here with more on that topic.

        I’ll check out the end of bmaz’s thread, thanks.

  27. cinnamonape says:

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Joanne Emerson (R-MO and former Ohio GOP congresswoman Deborah Pryce are women “associated” with C Street and the Family.

    I was wondering if anyone else lives there, or is it reserved for Congressmen? Do “sides” or “interns” reside therein? Lobbyists? Other Federal workers? Can anyone obtain one of those reverse telephone books or voter registration lists to see who else is listed as residing there?

  28. noonan says:

    Hey EW, any more thought about Stupak after he had his press conference and said “he doesn’t know anything about” the Family? I live right across the border from the UP and his home town. In fact, I was amazed when Bart came up to me at a meeting and greeted me first, using my first name – so I know the guy, but not well enough to comment about these things. I’ve tried contacting local Dems from his district, but they’re not sure about stuff either.

    (full disclosure) I received a donation from BartPAC last election cycle.

      • Leen says:

        If only those Catholics actually walked the talk of being “pro life” Sure they are pro fetus but what the hell do they vote for after a kid is born. Health care for all…hell no. Fair wages….hell no. Equity in education…hell no. Many of these folks are not pro life they are pro American fetus.

        Sure don’t care much about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people either. Damn Scary. I come from a big Catholic family that has many of these faux catholics faux prolifers

  29. LabDancer says:

    My favorite part of that beastly Blumenthal report fearless leader links to [assuming Max got this right] is how Chipper’s mouthpieces got the Mississippi judge in the divorce case to seal Leisha’s affidavit on the argument that it was prepared in contemplation of litigation — being the divorce…litigation — when the law OUTSIDE of Mississippi [who knows? maybe outside that court and that particular case] is that any such privilege that attaches is [a] Leisha’s and [b] is limited to being used by Leisha to defeat or delay disclosure of it to Chip and [c] release gets triggered by Chip’s request of it should Leisha withhold disclosure … which, on this appearance, she is not resisting; far from.

    [Not being there, I leave open the possibility there’s some nuance that Max missed that makes sense under non-Mississippi-centric law; but I kind of hope not, because it leaves open the potential to argue that Mississippi at some point appears to have seceded from the Union such that Guvhah Hay Lee might not be a natchrulbone citizen of the US of A, and throwing that into a pit of frenzy might occasion the explosion of the bodily extremities of at least some worshippers participants — or at least particisanpants.]

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It’s hard to avoid thinking that the Family’s perspective on adultery is that it is as normal and expected as an emperor waging war on barbarians. It is to be protected, enabled and hidden.

    The Family’s reason for being is power. It’s approach to enabling adultery puts the adulterer in the Family’s eternal debt – for a variety of reasons. That gives it enormous power over the individual, which is amplified manifold by the identities of the inner group of Congresscritters and former Congresscritters that protect, enable and participate in that same behavior – and all the lies, pay-offs and corruption it leads to.

  31. BoxTurtle says:

    Silly question:

    How’d he earn the name “Crazy Pete”?

    Boxturtle (My search skills aren’t up to the task)

  32. pokums says:

    Pickering resigned in August 2007, just more than two years ago.

    Only ’cause you’re so into timelines and accuracy and all, thought I’d point out that Aug ‘07 is just under two years ago.

  33. Mary says:

    OT – in addition to the Jeppesen information, there is another story out of the UK about the GWOT and US torture.…..rture.html

    Without going into the whole of the history, the high court is once again visiting this case. As it has been bounced back and forth, the British government and court initially were in agreement to keep information secret, then as the court was briefed it took the highly unusual of asking journalists to re-ask the court to release the info. Then Miliband on behalf of the Gov had told the courts that the US (including later Obama) gov was threatening to not notify the UK of terrorist information if its torture evidence were released (so the court again withheld the info from publication) while shortly after telling parliament that of course the US hadn’t made any such threat.

    So now the case is back at the court and Miliband has been asked to reconcile his statements. At a hearing to be held this week, the court is going to be hearing about some new documents:

    The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency.

    The centerpiece of the documents is the only document Miliband has been able to produce to support the contention that the US will sit on knowledge of planned terrorist attacks and allow British and US and citizens of other allies in Britain to be killed in terrorist attacks, all in a show of patriotic protection of torture.

    So that document:

    …is a letter, redacted, unsigned and undated, with its letterhead concealed, which, they say, summarises the views of US President Barack Obama’s administration.

    It states: ‘Public disclosure of the information contained in the seven paragraphs could likely result in serious damage to UK and US national security.

    ‘If it is determined that HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] is unable to protect information we provide to it, even if that inability is caused by your judicial system, we will necessarily have to review with the greatest care the sensitivity of information we can provide in future.’

    Wouldn’t you think someone in the US Congress would have some halfassed passing interest in the fact that we have fallen so far that, in order to protect Presidential torturers, we’d our CIA patriots would sit back and scratch crotches while British and visiting US and citizens of other countries are killed? Wow – what great guys – the ones in Congress and the ones at the CIA. And if not Congress, wouldn’t you think someone in the media would freakin ask Panetta or Obama about this (as opposed to Gates)? If Britain, the source of our common law, actually follows the rule of law, we’ll retaliaAnyway- the letter has redacts on letter head and UK gov after being ordered to, admistted that te. What a proud moment.

    Supposedly this letter, that Miliband is claiming (now, to the court, but not then, to the parliament) to be official US position was
    sent to an unnamed officer in MI6, and had been written by someone at the CIA.”

    • WilliamOckham says:

      “sent to an unnamed officer in MI6, and had been written by someone at the CIA.”

      Want to bet that the someone at the CIA was named Rizzo?

    • skdadl says:

      First: Yay! for the British High Court. I knew they could do it.

      Second: Don’t you think this is all still quiet conversations between Miliband and Hillary? Because I sure do. Miliband has a lot to cover for, beginning with dear Tony, of course.

      Harsh truth: Your State Department and our foreign-affairs dep’ts have been making it clear for years that they are happier to see innocent people crushed for the rest of their lives, even when they’re proved innocent, than to “embarrass” any senior political figure.

      Every time they try to suppress evidence on the basis of national security or damage to foreign relations, that is what they mean. We don’t want to embarrass our bastards, and they don’t mean the agents lower down. Brits, Merkins, Canucks — our governments have all signed on to that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s as reliable a provenance as the Italian forgeries relating to purported yellow cake purchases by Saddam Hussein. Until the State Dept. puts a name, face and official imprimatur to it, it’s hogwash.

      It could be a real threat. The best ones are made without attribution, because everyone knows who’s giving it. If it is, it must have been delivered in pique and desperation. Shutting down terrorist sharing info with the UK would threaten a shutdown with the rest of the EU. It would cut off communications with the non-North American city, London, through which fly most tourists and business people to the US, in which most US businesses have top foreign operations, and which is home to the first or second largest financial hub on the planet. And we all know that the fastest way to cut off terrorists is to cut off their money supply, or so Shrub told us.

      Anyone carrying out that threat would find it backfired faster than s/he could tender their resignation or meet with an unexplained accident.

  34. Hmmm says:

    Huh. Probably nothing, but two years ago is when all the nasty PAA stuff went down — remember the liveblog at the ‘lake punctuated by the bridge collapse? I’ll never forget. Man, I’ve come to dread Augusts.

    • Hmmm says:

      OT — Looking at the PAA wikipedia page, this struck me:

      Contrary to popular interpretation, it is not required that the intelligence information gathering target have terrorism or other untoward linkages for a Protect America Act 2007 Directive for intelligence information gathering to come into play. The sole requirement is geolocation outside the United States at time of Directive invocation; pursuant to Directive invocation, surveillance may take place inside the United States of persons targeted for intelligence information gathering.
      No criminal or terrorism investigation of the person need be in play at time of the Directive. All that need be required is that the target be related to an official desire for intelligence information gathering for actions on part of persons involved in surveillance to be granted full immunity from U.S. criminal or civil procedures, under Section 105B(l) of the Act.[10]

      Put that together with the airlines’ universal communication of passenger lists to the USG, and it could be that every American who travels outside of the US gets added to the domestic surveillance pool forever after. Legally, now.

      • Mary says:

        This is why I said the underlying issue in the “CIA lies to court” case is pretty important too. The court may be able to not touch on it for other reasons, but the constitutionality (as well as then FISA) violations of that kind of overseas invasion of citizens rights by their taxpayer funded government might get a word or two.

        @88 My first thought was Kappes, but then I abandoned the effort bc I realized I don’t know that many names and positions at CIA. Someone that would be taken seriously, though.

        @94 @98 It doesn’t have a provenance, but the lukewarm denials and non-denials when all this came out were pretty telling – definitely no one with the US has told the Court that they are misinformed, despite the wide publication of Miliband’s allegations. And IIRC, somehow the Intel Committees here didn’t have any reaction, esp not outrage, when all this started coming out months ago and the press here was uncharacteristically quiet.

        Our closest ally’s court issues an opinion that says it was going to make torture evidence available, but it didn’t because Miliband certified to the court that the US was going to take actions that would endager Britain’s national security if the evidence is released, and yet the press here pretty much ignores it. None of that sounds to me like there was a failure of communication between the administrations, just a lack of valor on anyone putting their name to a written threat.

        @99 It didn’t get leaked as much as the court there kept hammering away until Miliband finally was ordered to produce it. The hearing will be interesting

        @113 – any chance you’re thinking of Sen Inouye’s lobbying and work with the APA to grease the skids on involving psychologists in the torture interrogation regime?

  35. PJEvans says:

    …is a letter, redacted, unsigned and undated, with its letterhead concealed, which, they say, summarises the views of US President Barack Obama’s administration.

    In other words, there’s no evidence that the letter was written by anyone who had any right to speak for the Obama administration, and also no evidence that it wasn’t written by a Bushie on, say, 21 Jan. (Or, with the letterhead concealed, on 19 Jan.)

  36. marc says:

    Don’t underestimate Dick DeVos anyone who can make billions on a legal ponzi scheme is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s right. And his organization has government relations people in every state capital and in DC to grease the wheels.

  37. Chickenbone says:

    I believe that this so-called fellowship of Christians was nothing more than gay congressmen meeting together in hopes of learning how to pass off themselves as real straight men. One way was forcing themselves to have sex with women, while the rest stood around and watched while eating their weekly spaghetti dinner!
    Now anytime rumours come up about the congressmen being gay, they all can claim they’re not gay cause they were having an affair with a woman!
    That’s what I think.

    • Hmmm says:

      What are you saying!!?! Lindsey Graham may not be straight??! AIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Brain Bleach, STAT!!!

  38. Mason says:

    Holy diary, Batman! Pickering is an idiot. Who in their right mind would document an affair in their diary?

    So, the wife tries to introduce the diary into evidence during the divorce litigation, Pickering objects, and the judge excludes it on the ground that Pickering documented the affair in his diary while anticipating she would file for divorce? Yeah, right. Hmmmn, let’s see . . . How about an entry like this,

    “I kept her cumming and screaming all night long. Nothing like sweaty slippery body-slapping bam-chick-a-wow-wow sex to work up an appetite! God, I love being saved! Nothing beats thy irrevocable license to lie, cheat, steal, and screw anybody I want, anytime I want, anywhere I want, as often as I want without having to say I’m sorry. Like I told Hoekstra yesterday, it sure beats the hell out of constantly having to pray for forgiveness. This Life-in-Christ gig and fellowship with the guys is really cool. Just like life used to be back in the frat, only way better! REMINDER TO SELF: Call Rush to restock Viagra.”

    We’re supposed to believe Pickering included details in his diary about his affair and relationship with the proverbial other woman spinning those details in his favor because he planned to testify in a divorce case that hadn’t been filed yet and he wanted to use the diary to support his testimony. I guess you can see into the future too, if you’re saved.

    Gee, that must be why the wife offered the diary and he objected.

    Wow, somebody needs to check to see if that judge went to law school and if there have been any large deposits posted to her bank account lately.

    BTW, assuming relevancy, entries in the diary are admissible as an admission by a party opponent, if she offers them. However, his entries in the diary are not admissible, if he offers them because they are presumed to be self-serving hearsay.

    There is one important exception and I’ll assume a different case with different parties, A and B, where A offers an entry out of B’s diary. B would be permitted to complete an incomplete entry offered by A as might occur if A offered something like “I decided to kill A,” cutting off the rest of the sentence, “but decided not to after I cooled off.”

    Maybe, Pickering should adopt DOJ’s argument in the FOIA case seeking Cheney’s FBI 302.

    “Yikes, Judge! Don’t let it see the light of day. I’ll be freakin embarrassed.

  39. Slothrop says:

    The Republican Party owes Bill Clinton a big, official apology. They could even bring Christianity into it with that whole “let he who is without sin amongst you cast the first stone” thing. I think Jesus had these guys in mind, without a doubt. It would be a wonderful evangelical teaching opportunity for the rightwing nutcase crowd.

    Also, as an aside, why does Schwarzenegger get away with groping a woman — reaching out and feeling up her breasts without her permission — on freakin’ videotape — and Maria Shriver says boo about it.

    Wonder what the response would be if, say, Senator Boxer squeezed a man’s crotch on a teevee show.

  40. WTFOver says:


    Secrets of CIA ‘ghost flights’ to be revealed

    Guantánamo detainee’s lawyers hail UK air firm’s U-turn that allows rendition case to go to court…..guantanamo

    Confidential documents showing the flight plans of a CIA “ghost plane” allegedly used to transfer a British resident to secret interrogation sites around the world are to be made public. The move comes after a Sussex-based company accused of involvement in extraordinary rendition dropped its opposition to a case against it being heard in court.

    Lawyers bringing the case against Jeppesen UK on behalf of the former Guantánamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, claimed last night the climbdown had wide-ranging legal implications that could help expose which countries and governments knew the CIA was using their air bases to spirit terrorist suspects around the world.

    Jeppesen UK, a division of the Jeppesen Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, is alleged to have provided a range of services that allowed planes owned by shell companies operating on behalf of the CIA to fly suspected terrorists to “black sites”.

    A separate case is being pursued against Jeppesen in the US by the American Civil Liberties Union and Reprieve. The US government is seeking to have the case against Jeppesen dismissed, saying it would breach national security. But Jeppesen UK’s decision to drop its opposition to fighting the case in a British court means a wealth of confidential information relating to the alleged rendition process will become public.

    • behindthefall says:

      Is my memory playing tricks on me, or is/was a Congressman closely involved (part ownership?) in Jeppesen?

        • behindthefall says:

          I couldn’t find any connection, myself. Maybe it was some kind of aircraft maintenance business … something out of Texas? Anyway, not this SNAFU. What the h*** was Boeing thinking? About the same thing that those telecoms were, I imagine. Patriotic duty and future contracts and avoiding having life made difficult for them.

  41. WTFOver says:


    Anthrax case: Seeking an ending

    A year after Bruce Ivins’ death, case remains open and questions persist


    The government’s case against Bruce Ivins remains open after officials last August declared the Fort Detrick scientist and leading anthrax researcher at the post’s US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases the sole suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and injured 17.

    Ivins, 62, died from an apparent acetaminophen overdose July 29, 2008. Shortly after his death, the FBI presented a case against Ivins based largely on circumstantial evidence.

    But vital questions still persist as doubters wait to learn how the FBI concluded that Ivins, who by many accounts was a hardworking researcher and an affable man who was active with his family, church and community, was responsible for the attacks that paralyzed the country shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Answers to those questions and a better view of how the FBI proceeded with its investigation could be forthcoming.


    • behindthefall says:

      Somebody go impound that d**ned lyophilizer, will they?, and run off a few batches of ‘harmless’ spores, please, then test and compare.

  42. fatster says:

    Hope this isn’t a dupe; apologies if it is. Interesting.

    New Direction in Terror Fight May Stem From Case
    Case of US al-Qaida recruit may point terrorism fight toward civilian legal system

    By ADAM GOLDMAN and DEVLIN BARRETT Associated Press Writers
    NEW YORK July 26, 2009 (AP)

    “When the American-born al-Qaida recruit Bryant Neal Vinas was captured in Pakistan late last year, he wasn’t whisked off to a military prison or a secret CIA facility in another country to be interrogated.

    “Instead, the itinerant terrorist landed in the hands of the FBI and was flown back to New York to face justice.

    . . .

    “And he talked.

    . . .

    “Vinas provided “an intelligence gold mine” to U.S. officials, including possible information about a suspected militant who was killed in a Predator drone strike last November, says a senior law enforcement official, one of several authorities who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case publicly.”


  43. Mary says:

    OT –…..r_slayings

    Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.

    “Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated,” said Daniel Freeman. “You came too close, we lit you up. You didn’t stop, we ran your car over with the Bradley,” an armored fighting vehicle.

    With each roadside bombing, soldiers would fire in all directions “and just light the whole area up,” said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. “If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked ‘em.”

    Taxi drivers got shot for no reason, and others were dropped off bridges after interrogations, said Marcus Mifflin, who was eventually discharged with post traumatic stress syndrome.

    Not to worry – Obama’s looking forward, so no one has to worry about any of this stuff.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      From your link:

      “Guys with drill bits in their eyes,” Eastridge said. “Guys with nails in their heads.”

      Geez. What a horrible way to spend one’s youth.

  44. fatster says:

    O/T (Old Topic). I get really concerned whenever one of them does stuff like this.

    Forget Aloof, Bernanke Goes Barnstorming
    Published: July 26, 2009

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is on a publicity campaign with a message: the central bank is here to help, and it is not as mysterious or menacing as people might think.

    “In a profound departure from the central bank’s tradition as an aloof and secretive temple of economic policy, Mr. Bernanke has plunged into the public spotlight to an extent that none of his predecessors would have contemplated.”


  45. DWilson says:

    C Street is so civil when the correct name would be “The Uber Family”
    In 1930 Abraham Vereide was the Nazi “beachhead” in the US and following the directives of the Third Reich began his “fundamentalist” propaganda here.
    Doug Coe and David Coe continue the establishment of the Forth Reich here in the US under the guise of unquestionable “Christianity”.
    The Big Secret no one talks about because this cult has infiltrated all levels of government and society. In another time and place they would all be in prison on valid charges. Today they are running the country and media.
    Soon the kids will be taught Jesus was the first Goose-stepper and wore a Swastika armband.

    • maryo2 says:

      Riley said the house is operated by a “Christian group” that he couldn’t readily identify.

      Riley said the people who donated the house did so for congressmen who “wanted to live in a Christian atmosphere.”

      So while Riley could not identify the group, he does know why this group donated the house. He does not know them, but he knows their motivation. How does he know why someone he’s unfamiliar with did something?

  46. alinaustex says:

    “When fascism comes to America – it will be holding a Bible & wrapped in a flag ” Upton Sinclair..
    There appears to be an intercine split going on in the Republican Party down here in Texas – Gov Rick Perry is being supported by the Christian wingnutfundamentalist ,as well as the the Grover Norquist no taxes fundamnentalist – Meanwhile Kay Bailey Hutchinson is mounting a primary challenge that has the historical regular gop’ers helping her try to challenge the wingnuts. This conflict threatens the continued dominance the Republicans have down here ,
    A quick illustration of that split – one Senior Partner of a very prominent law firm with long ties to the Bush family was heard to say that “Him and Barry Goldwater would not have cared who you married as long as you paid your taxes and defended the Country ” and he was also the one who told me a very tacky Cheney joke –
    “It seems that Cheney has invited all his former staff down to the south Texas ranch -particularly wants Scotter Libby there since he did not get his full pardon -Should any of his former staff arrive early before the hunt is to begin – just go ahead and head for the fully stocked bar – help yourself -and be sure to disregard the backhoe , and big trench thats been freshly dug behind the bunkhouse -nothing to be concerned about-its for new septic system -”
    that Sr Partner is a regular rider in my little one van charter service down here -and he is supporting Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the primary . This could very well mean the Democrats have a shot next general election
    Thank you “C” street and Grover …