What AGAG Learned from the Newspapers

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emptywheel
This is a persnickety point, perhaps, but it's so much more fun to bust Alberto Gonzales in one of his subtle evasions than one of his real blatant lies. In his most recent appearance before the Senate Judiciary Commitee, Chuck Schumer asked Gonzales whether he knew that Comey had assumed the powers of Acting Attorney General--Schumer was trying to point out how totally inappropriate it was for Gonzales to go to

Leahy's Keeping Busy

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emptywheel
Shouldn't Pat Leahy be back in Vermont tipping cows or something like that? Instead, he's churning out letter after letter, closing in on the Bush lying thugs. Tuesday's letter seemed to target Karl Rove. In today's letter, Alberto Gonzales is clearly the target. I am writing to ask that you investigate and evaluate potential misleading, evasive, or dishonest testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 24,

Mueller's Chronology

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emptywheel
Did you ever notice that if you take a log recording the events regarding an illegal surveillance program, and redact the heck out of it, it looks like a chronology that a dirty fucking hippy blogger might write? Below you can read what's left of Mueller's log, with my notes. The big takeaways are:Mueller refers to a "program," singular.

Security Clearances Two

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emptywheel
I'm stuck between three gallons of canned tomatoes, a soon-to-be gallon of canned peaches, and a big pot of borscht. Which means I'm too hot to deal with the Padilla verdict yet. So instead I'm going to point out that my reading of Gonzales' correction from a few weeks ago was correct.

Banana Pudding

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emptywheel
The NYT has a funny article out about the involvement of bigtime Republican lawyer Roderick Hills in directing Chiquita to continue bribing a Colombian right wing militia even after the State Department listed the organization as a terrorist organization. I say funny, most of all, because Neil Lewis bills the competing narratives surrounding Hills' actions as a "Rashomon-like set of narratives," but Lewis really provides only one of those narratives--Hills'.

Gillespie Squared

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emptywheel
Rove's bed is not even cold and already Ed Gillespie is crawling into it. Now, with the departure of Karl Rove, the president's closest adviser, Gillespie, 46, a former lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman, has once again been asked to help fill the void. White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Boltenhas said that he plans to divide Rove's broad political andpolicymaking duties -- and the 60 or so White House staffers
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"It's entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false"

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emptywheel
cboldt linked to Wired's liveblog from the warrantless wiretap Appeals hearing that took place today in San Francisco. Go read it. It may make you cry. Repeatedly, the government lawyers appeal to arguments outside all human cognition to defend their wiretap program. "Was a warrant obtained in this case?" Judge Pregerson asks.

About that May FISC Ruling

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emptywheel
In light of the weekend's news that there were actually two FISC rulings against the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretap program, I'd like to return to this James Risen article from May 2. Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday thatthey could not pledge that the administration would continue to seekwarrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as itagreed to do in January.Rather, they argued that the president had
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It's Going to Be One Heckova Political Year in Football

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emptywheel
Just a few weeks away, too! I can't wait to turn the satellite back on. It's going to be an interesting year in football. Not only have the Patriots loaded up on targets for Tom Brady. But the following issues have arisen since the end of last season:Keith Olbermann will be returning to sportscasting in NBC's Sunday night prime time slot.

TSP Timing, Again

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emptywheel
Josh and Spencer are just now catching up to something I pointed out three weeks ago: Tom DeLay got briefed on the TSP program on March 11, 2004, the day after the Hospital Meeting. Of course, that's not particularly surprising since one of the things that went down at the briefing of the Gang of Eight on March 10 is that the Administration floated passing legislation to fix the problems in
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Behavior Detection

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emptywheel
There are two things that "always" happen to me when I fly to DC. I "always" (often, rather) sit next to MI's Republican Congressmen in First Class. And I "always" (almost always, probably) get pulled into secondary when I'm flying out of Reagan National Airport. I know why the latter occurs:

Interesting Timing

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emptywheel
I'm not so much surprised that Scottish Haggis Specter has urged Pat Leahy to ask for a meeting with the White House to negotiate testimony of White House officials. For the last several months, I have been seeking the voluntary cooperation of the White House with the efforts of the Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of the scandal surrounding the firing of so many of the United States Attorneys
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Ghost Writing

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emptywheel
I think it ought to be mandatory for everyone who reads this LAT article to also watch Bill Kristol on TDS. It's bad enough, after all, to learn that the Petraeus report we've all been waiting for might as well be called the Dick Cheney report. Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S.

Pearlstine's Off the Record

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emptywheel
I've been wavering about how much attention to give this book. In it, Norm Pearlstine, who was the editor in chief of Time Inc. when it fought Fitzgerald's subpoena of Matt Cooper, describes the whole process of fighting the leak. Most interestingly, Pearlstine describes how he came to believe that Time had to turn over Cooper's notes, not least because Time had no business defying an order of SCOTUS. I'll just make
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Privacy versus the Press

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emptywheel
Judge Reggie is back in the news today, granting, in part, Steven Hatfill's pursuit of journalists' sources for information that he was the main subject of the FBI's anthrax investigation. Walton required the journalists themselves to give up their sources, but not the media companies. Based on the foregoing analysis, the plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Testimony from Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, Allan Lengel, Toni Locy, and James Stewart [D.E.

Novak Mourns His BFF

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emptywheel
Jeebus. Yesterday's departure press conference was unnecessarily weepy. But this is embarrassing. The most useless speculation today in Washington is whom White House chief of staff Josh Bolten might choose to replace Karl Rove. He is genuinely irreplaceable. The whole column is steeped in deep resentment, resentment of those Republicans who have suggested that getting rid of Rove will help the Administration. Rove was a principal target of congressional Democrats even beforeFebruary 2005, when

Beached Whale

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emptywheel
Funny. In the entire Peter Baker article entitled, "Rove: Departure Unrelated to Investigations," Peter Baker never once quotes Rove as saying, "my departure is unrelated to the multiple investigations in my conduct." Or anything similar. Sure, Rove talks a lot about Ahab and Moby Dick. "I realize that some of the Democrats are Captain Ahab and I'm thegreat white whale," he said.

A Thousand Words

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emptywheel
Remember this photo? This particular version is from Stephen Crowley of the New York Times--it's part of a slideshow they've got up to commemorate the demise of Turdblossom. Go look through the slideshow and tell me whether you think they're emphasizing the centrality of scandal to Rove's tenure (there's a hot picture of Rove and Luskin in there, for example, walking out of Prettyman).

Category Two Documents

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emptywheel
Good thing Rove resigned and finally distracted me from my FISA focus, huh? And in the process of looking up something relating to Rove, I noticed these two letters between Conyers and the RNC (and the RNC's lawyer) regarding documents it won't turn over. Most of these documents fall into "category one;" that is, documents the White House has asserted privilege over.

"At 56 years old says he is done with political consulting"

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emptywheel
I've laid out some possible reasons for Rove's resignation here. But I'd like to do a close reading of the WSJ story associated with the announcement, partly because I think it so fascinating that Rove would feel the need to pitch his own successes and failures on his way out the door. The Investigations Far and away the most interesting comment in the article, though, is this self-assessment from Rove: His biggest error, Mr.
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