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Jim Webb Channels emptywheel

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emptywheel
You think the former Secretary of the Navy keeps close ties with Navy officers? Or is Jim Webb calling on Carl Levin to ask Admiral Fallon to testify to the Armed Service Committee because he, like me, thinks Fallon will have a different perspective to offer? WEBB: [T]here’s something of a kabuki going on right now.You know, the Petraeus report was brought in.
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"The Math"

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emptywheel
FWIW, I think this morning's NYT article naming Olson as Bush's nominee to be AG was just a plant floated by conservatives pushing the Administration to make this nomination into a confrontation. David Johnston is very susceptible to this kind of planted leak. And Mike Allen, who has better ties to the White House than Johnston, names Olson as just one candidate among five (though the one favored by conservatives)--and he
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If the UC Regents Are So Susceptible to Political Pressure...

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emptywheel
Then perhaps they could be persuaded to fire unitary laughingstock John Yoo? Normally, I find it inappropriate to engage the David Horowitzes of the world on their McCarthyist ground. But if the UC system is comfortable rescinding an offer they've made to Edwin Chemerinsky, then it seems fair to ask them to fire the lawyer who has elicited--by far--the most controversy in recent years (and that's coming from someone who lives in
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Free Press Asks for Details

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emptywheel
Ask and someone shall FOIA it for you... A couple of days ago, I wondered why it was that DOJ would decide to intervene against Net Neutrality--months after the comment period to do so closed. Well, Free Press was wondering the same thing and has submitted a FOIA request to find out.

Banana Republic

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emptywheel
The Sentencing Memorandum the government filed in the Chiquita case reveals something rather interesting. Chiquita was an equal opportunity terrorist supporter. You see, from 1989 to 1997, Chiquita paid protection money to FARC and ELN, left wing terrorist groups. Then, after FARC and FLN were declared terrorist groups in 1997, Chiquita switched sides, paying protection money to right wing terrorist group AUC instead.

Tribute

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emptywheel
Omar Mora and Yance Gray have died in Iraq, just weeks after they contributed to a powerful op-ed in the NYT. In tribute to their lives, I think it only appropriate to return to their op-ed, which offers a far more honest assessment of progress in Iraq than the Petraeus and Crocker dog-and-pony show.

Our Blabby Director of National Intelligence

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emptywheel
You'd think Conyers would be looking forward to having Mike McConnell in for testimony. After all, Conyers has faced such a long string of Administration witnesses who, basically, "do not recall," he ought to be happy to have one who blabs too much. But Conyers is putting McConnell on notice that he's none too happy about that, either. At the hearing held in our Committee last week, a number of seriousconcerns were
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Invite Admiral Fallon to Tell Us if We're Safer

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emptywheel
You've no doubt heard that General Petraeus has no fucking clue whether sustaining the surge and succeeding in Iraq will make us safer. (To some degree, this is appropriate, because his command is limited to Iraq, and his job is to do the best job in Iraq he can.) You've also probably heard that some at the Pentagon have their own plan to get us out of the Iraq, fast. NEWSWEEK has

Now Why Would They Want to Bury Plea Agreements?

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emptywheel
Readers of this blog no doubt know that Federal Courts have gone to lengths to make Courts more accessible to dirty fucking hippies citizens in recent years. The policy of the Judicial Conference on privacy andpublic access to electronic case files has developed incrementally overthe past four years. The application of the policy to various types ofcases files has evolved to the point where the policy now provides forremote access to

I'd Love to See Conyers and Pelosi in a Spat

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emptywheel
That may not be a mature sentiment, wanting to see Conyers and Pelosi in a spat. But after reading that Pelosi knee-capped Conyers on his subpoena of Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten, I have marginal hopes that this will piss off Conyers and escalate things in HJC, rather than bury them as Pelosi seems content to do. House Democratic leaders have decided to postpone a vote on a criminalcontempt resolution against White

Is There Any Indication This Isn't the Fault of OVP?

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emptywheel
Via Secrecy News, I see that DCI Michael Hayden is lecturing the press on its obligations in the GWOT.Theduty of a free press is to report the facts as they are found. By sticking tothat principle, journalists accomplish a great deal in exposing al-Qa’ida andits adherents for what they are. Justas they report on the terrorists, it’s the job of journalists to report on the howthe war against terrorism is being fought.

Whose Credibility Is Declining Faster?

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emptywheel
Mike McConnell or General Petraeus? Petraeus has become Fox's latest pundit, while McConnell is claiming the amended FISA is responsible for those German terror arrests last week. The government’s ability to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects overseasallowed the United States to obtain information that helped lead to thearrests last week of three Islamic militants accused of planning bombattacks in Germany, Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told senators on Monday.

The Warrantless Wiretap Program Was Illegal

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emptywheel
When Jim Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he refused to say the warrantless wiretap program was illegal. SPECTER: Well, you don't have to. If the certification by theDepartment of Justice as to legality is required as a matter of law,and that is not done, and the program goes forward, it's illegal.
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Holy Joe Bewails Free Speech

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emptywheel
MoveOn has a hot new ad in today's NYT pointing out that Petraeus' statements differ from all the known metrics out there. And boy has it made Sanctimonious Joe pissed. Not surprisingly, Joe is trying to call in those chits he got for agreeing to caucus with the Democrats in January. The personal attack on Gen.

War and Propaganda Council

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emptywheel
BushCo says that--since they haven't seen Petraeus in a week--they clearly couldn't have given him a script for today's hearing. The White House and its allies on Capitol Hill have pushed back hard atthis critique. Administration officials said they are not directing orreviewing the testimony of Petraeus and Crocker. A senior militaryofficial close to Petraeus said the general's congressional testimonyhas not been provided to the White House or the Pentagon "and the

Medicare Giveaways!

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emptywheel
No, not to the seniors enrolled in Medicare, silly! To the private insurance companies. Yet another GAO report has found yet another contracting scam that BushCo is ignoring. Private insurance companies participating in Medicarehave been allowed to keep tens of millions of dollars that should havegone to consumers, and the Bush administration did not properly auditthe companies or try to recover money paid in error, Congressionalinvestigators say in a new report. What's remarkable

The Hunt for Oil

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emptywheel
Does it surprise you that the first company to sign an oil deal with Iraqi Kurds is Hunt Oil, a company with very close ties to Bush and our country's intelligence infrastructure? Texas' Hunt Oil Co. and Kurdistan's regional government saidSaturday they've signed a production-sharing contract for petroleumexploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurdspassed their own oil and gas law in August.A Hunt subsidiary,Hunt Oil Co.

Communities of Interest

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emptywheel
This Eric Lichtblau article provides a lot of dots that have been, heretofore, missing in our picture of the surveillance they've got us under. It's no surprise the government has been using data mining on not just suspects themselves, but also on their friends and associates--a virtual "Friends and Families" plan of surveillance.

"The White House Needs to Hire an Archivist"

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emptywheel
WTF is the Administration doing, claiming it has briefed members of Congress on the warrantless wiretap program when it hasn't? After the domestic surveillance program was revealed in 2005, formerSenate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) said thatWhite House briefings that he attended in the Vice President’s office failed to disclose that the administration was spying on Americans: There was no reference made to the fact that we weregoing to…begin unwarranted, illegal —

What Indictments Did Schlozman Speak to Elston About?

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emptywheel
Brad Schlozman remains unresponsive on a few of the questions he (finally) returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Take this question that asks for very specific details about any conversations he had with Mike Elston about indictments in WD MO: Did you speak with Michael Elston regarding any other indictments filed while you were U.S.
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