What If the Media Reclaimed Their Role as Fourth Estate...

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emptywheel
And nobody cared? ThinkProgress has a great compendium of mainstream newspaper editorials criticizing the weekend's FISA debacle. Just about every major paper in the US (with the notable exception of the Wall Street Journal) has come out against the new FISA law. I'm even on the same side of this issue as Fred Hiatt, which kind of scares me. Which means the next six months will be a test of how irrelevant the

Lurita Doan, Round 2043: Davis v. Bloch Edition

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emptywheel
Since I seem to be the only one interested in Lurita Doan now that Bush has apparently refused to fire her for clear Hatch Act violations, I thought I'd point out the interesting tidbit that shows up in a profile of Scott Bloch, the guy in charge of Office of Special Counsel, the office that carries out Hatch Act violations that Bush studiously ignores. Meanwhile, the Doan matter is breeding some ironies.

The Latest Email Dump: Growing Evidence of an Iglesias Cover-Up

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emptywheel
DOJ dumped another stash of emails while I was at YKos. Unlike the other late-in-the-scandal email dumps, this one doesn't consist primarily of emails listed on Kyle Sampson's list of withheld emails. These are new, previously unidentified emails. That's not surprising, necessarily, since this dump comes from the Deputy Attorney General's office, not the Attorney General's office (where Sampson worked).

My Guess on Kontogiannis

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emptywheel
TPMM reports that there is a non-public hearing on whether the plea bargain hearings for Tommy Kontiagiannis will be unsealed. Tomorrow morning, three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appealswill gather in a courtroom inside an elegant 104-year-old building inPasadena for an extraordinary hearing involving one of theco-conspirators in the Randy “Duke” Cunningham bribery scandal. The court hearing will be closed to everyone – the public, the newsmedia, the defense attorneys

Thoughts on FISA

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emptywheel
The smart lawyers who (I think) didn't attend YKos have already posted some really important things on the FISA debacle this weekend. Go here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here's one from a smart lawyer who was at YKos. But the short version is that Bush now has even more rights to wiretap than what he was known to have had under the secret programs that he instituted after 9/11,

Security Clearances

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emptywheel
I'm sitting here with Kagro X, wating for Glenn Greenwald to interview Anthony Romero. I suspect the FISA bill will be a topic of hot conversation. Meanwhile, I wanted to point to the "clarification" given by the guy whom Congress wants to give complete power to decide whom to wiretap and whether those wiretap targets are in the US or not.

We're Still Waiting...

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emptywheel
As I understand it, we're still waiting for "the letter" from DOJ that will tell us what we already know--these people are a bunch of sophists. While we're waiting, though, this is the most detailed account of the letter from DNI Mike McConnell (as I understand it, Specter said on Wolf Blitzer that he still expects a letter from DOJ):

YearlyKos Timing

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emptywheel
I'm madly cleaning the house (trust me, a very rare event chez emptywheel) in some kind of mad guilt for leaving mr. e-dub and McC alone again while I'm in Chicago at YKos. So I thought it a good time for a last post until I get to Chicago tomorrow mid-day (well, you know how promises like that go). I'm hoping I'll get to put more faces to names among our readers

The Check's In the Mail

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emptywheel
Hey, Scottish Haggis!?!?!? What happened to that letter from the White House you promised us? According to RawStory, it's still in the mail. Or maybe it's not coming after all. The White House has refused to comply with a Republican senator'srequest for information about Alberto Gonzales's conflicting testimonyon a secret surveillance program by a 12 p.m.

Why Does Lurita Doan Still Have a Job?

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emptywheel
It has been over 50 days since Scott Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, sent Bush a letter advising that Lurita Doan be disciplined severely for her violations of the Hatch Act. Yet there she is, still in charge of the government's credit cards as the Administrator of the GSA. If Doan weren't a Bush appointee, her fate would be clear--she would have been fired fifty days ago.

Scottish Haggis' 18 Hours

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emptywheel
What is it with news outlets and the who, what, why, when, where of briefings? The Hill, in its description of Specter's 18 hour deadline for the Administration, names neither all the people who briefed Specter (it reveals Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was one of the briefers) nor all the people who got briefed ("other Senators," Specter says).

Dick on Libby

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emptywheel
Actually, Dick's comments about Libby are actually pretty interesting, so I thought I'd give them their own post. [My transcription.] CBS: Have you spoken to your former top aide since his verdict? Dick: I have. CBS: Can you tell us anything about that conversation? Dick: No. I've seen him socially on a number of occasions. CBS:

The Kiss of Death

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emptywheel
There's something particularly nice about this timing. First comes the news that Representative Jay Inslee will submit a resolution to start an impeachment investigation against Alberto Gonzales. My favorite part is that the resolution (unlike recent resolutions for censure) calls for an investigation, which would give us enhanced claim on subpoena power and a megaphone to explain Gonzales' crimes to the American people. RESOLUTION Directing the Committee on the Judiciaryto investigate whether Alberto

About that Data-Mining...

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emptywheel
Actually, my biggest complaint about this letter, from John Conyers, Jerrold Nadler, and Robert Scott, is that they don't use the word "Data-Mining." We read with interest the disclosures in yesterday’s New York Times and Washington Postthat a 2004 dispute over the NSA’s secret surveillance program whichled to threatened resignations by Department officials involved a“massive electronic database” program.
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When an Interview Is Definitely a Blow-Job

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emptywheel
Oh, this one merits an entire blogger ethics conference. So you've got the announcement for a rare public interview of a very important person. Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, who helped shapethe nation’s economic and monetary policy for almost 19 years, talksabout the people he met, the issues he faced and the crises he helpedmanage during five different administrations.

Data-Mining Three

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emptywheel
This is just a quick post to register two disagreements with Glenn Greenwald's post claiming the NYT's data-mining story is a shiny object. First, Glenn claims that the stories were floated by "anonymous sources seeking to protect Alberto Gonzales" and "anonymous pro-Bush sources." But then he goes on to point out that the NYT story (unlike the WaPo story) includes a detail--which I pointed out in my post on the story--that

TIA and TSP Timing

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emptywheel
Commenter joejoejoe sent me a superb timeline to show the chronology of Congress' building opposition to the Total Information Awareness program as it relates to the NSA's domestic wiretap program (how cool is that? I, the chronology weenie, am getting timelines out of the blue! Better than Christmas!!), which appears at the bottom of this post. I'd like to pull out just a few salient dates and add four (in bold italics)

They

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emptywheel
I'm thrilled by the news that Democrats intend to call Jack Goldsmith to testify on the domestic wiretap program. Congressional Democrats plan to step up the heat in coming weeks,pressing for Justice memos and other documents. They also plan to calla potentially crucial witness: Jack L. Goldsmith, the former chief ofJustice's Office of Legal Counsel.

Data-Mining Two

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emptywheel
Marty Lederman's post on data-mining says what I've been trying to say for two years about the NSA program. Contrary to what the NYT and others suggest, we don't have to look beyond data-mining to find something so horrible that a good conservative like James Comey would object. We just need to get to the point where the US is using data-mining of dubious connections to replace the idea of probable

The Gray Lady Hides the Disagreement

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emptywheel
This is kind of creepy. After learning yesterday that the Administration conned the NYT out of publishing details of the domestic wiretap program by telling the NYT that there had been no significant disagreement about the program ... The first known assertion by administration officials that there hadbeen no serious disagreement within the government about the legalityof the N.S.A.
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