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Abu Ghraib, Hamdi, and Rather

I’ve been meaning to go back to compare the chronology laid out by Dan Rather in his complaint as it pertains to Abu Ghraib with the chronology of the Taguba investigation and the Hamdi case. Two things stick out. First, Myers pretended to be ignorant of the details of the abuse on May 6, several weeks after he called Dan Rather personally to spike–or delay–the story.


Wilkes Will Get an Enemy Combatant Lawyer for His Extraordinary Rendition-Related Trial

At least that’s what I infer from the comments of the lawyer from the public defender’s nonprofit that will now take on Wilkes’ defense in one of two cases (thanks to chrisc for sending this on) he has been charged on.

A lawyer from Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., a nonprofit thatrepresents indigent people accused of federal crimes, will representWilkes in the criminal case with co-defendant Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, theformer third-highest-ranking



If you haven’t already, go read Jane Mayer’s article on our methods of torture. The short version: we’re using psychological methods to impose “learned helplessness” and dependency, and as a result, we’re getting some intelligence, a whole lot of garbage, and we’re turning our own interrogators into moral zombies.

I wanted to focus on one aspect of the calculated humiliation she describes:


McConnell and Dick

There are two stories out today claiming Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, is really wearing the pants in the Executive Branch’s dealings with intelligence. The NYT has McConnell describing tremendous pressure from Congress, yet insisting he got no pressure from the White House.

In an interview in his office, Mr.


A Tale of Two NIEs

One good thing about the spectacular abuse of intelligence to get us into the Iraq war: the intelligence community is acquiring a habit of releasing key judgments from its NIEs (I understand we’ll get an Iraq NIE in time for September’s moving of the goal posts). And when I read the claim yesterday that half the content of last week’s NIE on terrorism came from detainee interrogations …

According to one senior


Bush’s Cheney’s Signing Statement on the Geneva Convention

It’s really tough sorting out the new Executive Order on torture. But after a whole day of pondering the details, I think I’m finally getting it. It’s yet another Bush signing statement, this time to record his own personal interpretation of the Geneva Convention. After all–that’s where this new EO came from:


Novak’s July 7 Meeting

Credit where it’s due. Tom Maguire hits all the right notes about this Novak book excerpt, save one. He notes that Novak’s story has a way of changing with the seasons.

Interesting. This old post has the Novak version before he was willing to name Armitage; here is Novak (post-“Hubris”) rebutting Armitage’s version.

There are subtle shifts in the story – now we are told that “Hementioned her first name, Valerie”,


Sources: Or, Tedious Kremlinology

I’ve talked about Cheney’s and Addington’s Methods. Now I’d like to inventory the sources that Gellman and Becker used for their articles, as a way to understand where the shifting loyalties of the Administration lie. One thing that becomes clear by mapping this out is the centrality of Josh Bolten to many of the more damning accusations against Cheney.


Sidney’s Imperial Presidency

Sidney Blumenthal and I were apparently making the same point at about the same time. Not long after I argued, on a panel on the Imperial Presidency, that there are those within the Administration who believe in the rule of law and can therefore be mobilized against it, Sidney was finishing up his column making that point in much more comprehensive fashion.

In private, Bushadministration sub-Cabinet officials who have been instrumental informulating


The Banality of the Unitary Executive

It’s weird, blogging the Libby trial. I’m putting out details at such a tremendous rate all day that I have a real hard time getting the big picture–though I do get that by the time I talk it through with others here. But I do feel like I’m missing the middle ground.

Except relating to one thing.