Cravenly Groveling

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emptywheel
Remember that superb article on foreign lobbying I described a while back? Well, apparently the two PR/Lobbying firms that got so badly taken by Ken Silverstein are now accusing him of being unethical. My story in the July issue of the magazine details how two beltwaylobby shops I approached, on the pretense that I represented a shadyLondon-based energy firm with a stake in Turkmenistan, proposed towhitewash the image of that country’s

It's Called R-E-C-U-S-A-L

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emptywheel
Tom Maguire usually takes himself more seriously than this. After reading the WaPo's series on Dick, he chose to ignore the widespread criticism on the part of hardcore conservatives of OVP's dismantling of the Constitution and instead claim that the WaPo article was proof--proof at last!!!--that "Fitzgerald's prosecution of Libby may have been politically motivated." To prove that "Fitzgerald's prosecution of Libby may have been politically motivated," Maguire ferrets out the abundant

More Classification Games

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emptywheel
Nico at TP links to this story about the Senate's thus far unsuccessful attempt to declassify two of SSCI's reports on WMD. The basic story is that the White House is trying to prevent an effort, supported by both our too-genteel SSCI Chair Jay Rockefeller and by the partisan Pat Roberts, to declassify last fall's Phase II SSCI reports, the one that compared pre-war assessments and the one that showed the

Sources: Or, Tedious Kremlinology

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emptywheel
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.

Addington's Methods

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emptywheel
Before I get too deep in the detail of today's installment of WaPo's series on Cheney, I'd like to remind you of a point I made in my Take Back America speech. While David Addington's theories on executive power are tremendously dangerous, Addington does believe in the rule of law. He admitted in his Libby trial testimony, for example, that the "Treated as Top Secret/SCI" stamp that OVP had used with

PFIAB and OVP

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emptywheel
I'd like to point out a teeny detail in the report that Henry Waxman cites as his source that OVP isn't providing ISOO with information about OVP's classification and declassification activities: PFIAB and OVP did not report data through the SF 311 to ISOO this year. This report, therefore, does not include any data from these two entities. It was not just OVP that blew off ISOO in 2003.

Angler

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emptywheel
Okay, now something totally frivolous about the Cheney piece (if you want real analysis, go here). The WaPo piece reveals Cheney's secret service name: "Angler," as the Secret Service code-named him, Which is of course the name they've given the series. Well, I think it perhaps ironic because, as I understand it, Cheney's not that great a fisherman.

Pope Keeps Blair Out of Heaven because of Iraq

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emptywheel
Via Cannonfire, I see that Pope former-Nazi has finally done something worthwhile with his position: he told the Poodle that God meant it about that commandment that, Thou shalt not kill. Tony Blair yesterday used his last official foreign engagement beforeleaving office to tell Pope Benedict he wanted to become a RomanCatholic, a Vatican source said last night. But, in talks lasting more than half an hour, the outgoing PrimeMinister was left

Cheney's Method

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emptywheel
There's a remarkable paragraph close to the start of Barton Gellman and Jo Becker's story on Cheney today: Cheney is not, by nearly every inside account, the shadow president ofpopular lore. Bush has set his own course, not always in directionsCheney preferred. The president seized the helm when his No. 2 steeredtoward trouble, as Bush did, in time, on military commissions.

And While We're at It, Let's Take Away Their Security Clearance

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emptywheel
Mimikatz already posted Rahm's first response to Cheney's wicked theories that he is a branch of government unto himself. And mcjoan has posted his second response. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued the followingstatement regarding his amendment to cut funding for the Office of theVice President from the bill that funds the executive branch.

Heffelfinger, NAIS, and the USA Purge

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emptywheel
At a hearing before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this week, Thomas Heffelfinger got asked some questions about how the USA Purge related to his work--and that of Chiara, Charlton, Iglesias, McKay, and Bogden before they were fired. In his testimony, Heffelfinger noted that those USAs on NAIS who were fired were not just on the subcommittee, they were leaders on it.
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The Next Four-Branch Presidency

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emptywheel
Since Fred Thompson got into the Presidential race in a big way, I've increasingly been getting this creepy feeling. I keep thinking: when was the last time we had a charismatic (if ugly, in this case) candidate who knows nothing about policy and is even less interested in taking a stand on policy, who seems to be hiring the right advisors, but who himself, still seems to be Bush league.

Shorter Bush: I Wrote It in Invisble Ink

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emptywheel
Kagro X says almost all that needs to be said about BushCo's claims that Bush intended to exempt he and Cheney from rules on classification. I'll come back later to expand on Kagro's point about the insta-declassification theory of leaking Plame's identity. But for now, I'd like to make a teeny tiny point.

Sidney's Imperial Presidency

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emptywheel
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

Mercer's Non-Move

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emptywheel
Bill Mercer's announcement that he's stepping down is much more interesting than the other clique resignations for several reasons (thanks to TeddySF for the heads up). First, his "resignation" does not mean he leaves DOJ; rather, he simply avoids a nomination hearing. And that's a nomination hearing that would have been challenging, to say the least. William W.

Hold > Get Agency to Answer That, Part Two

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emptywheel
You may recall a theory I postulated a few weeks back that when Libby called Robert Grenier on June 11, 2003, he asked questions he already knew the answers to. He wasn't really looking for information. Rather, he was hoping to get the information from a source he could use publicly; he was trying to get certain information about the Wilsons out while hiding Dick Cheney's original source for the information

Shorter Fitz: Send Libby to Jail

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emptywheel
Fitzgerald submitted his response to Libby's request for bond pending appeal today. Basically, it reiterates the points he made in last week's hearing on the issue, though in the written form that allows some snark. Congress Doesn't Need New Laws The filing starts by undercutting Libby's Appointments Clause complaint with a simple reading of the law. Remarkably, defendant's application, while suggesting that the AAG might have addressed the urgent conflict-of-interest issue by opting to

CIPA Fun, One

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emptywheel
So Jeff Lomonaco and I were trying to figure out the best place for us to meet face to face after having emailed obsessively on the Plame case for two years. We thought of the best place to meet: at Prettyman Courthouse so we could read through the CIPA filings submitted last year in the case.

Cohen Tries to Make Sense

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emptywheel
I deliberately avoided Richard Cohen's latest nonsense of the other day. But then watertiger sent me a tidbit from Cohen's online chat today (dirty trick, watertiger), and I got sucked in. First, let me start with this passage: Boston: If Bush felt he needed to respond to Wilson, why not do it openly, on-the-record, based on the merits? Richard Cohen:

Sentelle, Henderson, Tatel

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emptywheel
It appears that we've got our panel for Scooter's motion for release pending appeal--and we lucked out. Judges Sentelle, Henderson, and Tatel appear to be the panel--the same three judges that heard Judy's and Cooper's appeal on their subpoena. Sentelle is no liberal, not by any shade. But his decision on the appeal was reasonable.
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