June 7, 2016 / by emptywheel

 

Posts

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.

Data-Mining

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emptywheel

I’ve been arguing for two years that the secret that Bush was hiding about the illegal domestic wiretap program is that they were using crappy data mining programs to pick their targets for wiretaps. In tomorrow’s NYT, they’re almost done filling out that picture.

A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’ssecret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officialsto threaten resignation involved computer searches through massiveelectronic databases, according to current and

Presidential Parsing

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emptywheel

Anonymous Liberal has a really important post that shows that–wait for it–Alberto Gonzales is a lying sack of shit. AL shows that, in the same Senate appearance where Gonzales tried to parse the Administration out of trouble for illegally spying on American citizens by claiming the program wasn’t the program, Gonzales also admitted that the program was the program.

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Ix-Nay on the Onstitution-Cay

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emptywheel

This is ripe. Apparently, the conservative blogosphere realized there wasn’t a good defense for Harriet’s claim of immunity from being subpoenaed, so they called the White House and begged for talking points. And then they published those talking points. Which, first of all, exposes to all the world that conservative bloggers are willing to gobble any kind of shite thrown at them.

If Congress pursues criminal contempt and the DoJ refuses to

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Novak, I’ll Blog You When You’re Gone

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emptywheel

I’ve been trying to ignore Novak’s publicity tour while staying on top of his ever changing story on Plame. But (via TP) this is just too inviting.

I’m 76 years old, and pretty soon I’m going to a place where there are no blogs.

Why, why, Novak? Why do you look forward to heading off for your time in the Eighth Circle of Hell, simply because we bloggers aren’t there?

The USA Purge, to Date

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emptywheel

This is my general review of the interim report on the USA Purge. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you read the post on the Iglesias cover-up, which I believe to be the most important aspect of the report.

The report on the findings to date in the USA purge lists the following crimes and violations that may have been committed in the course of the USA firings:Obstruction of justice,

The David Iglesias Cover-Up

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emptywheel

Amid the excitement of contempt charges and more lies from Gonzales and Mueller’s exposure of those lies, the House Judiciary Committee released a report detailing what the USA Purge investigation has found to date. I’ll do a more comprehensive review of what’s in it and what’s not. The most incendiary thing in there (although it’s not presented as such, yet) is the implication that DOJ conducted a seemingly coordinated cover-up of

Have they done this sort of thing? Send an Amb to answer a question?, Part Two

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emptywheel

This is the second post in a series. In the prior post, I showed that, when Libby asked David Addington about paperwork relating to a CIA employee’s spouse traveling for the CIA, he was interested in identifying all backup documents to Wilson’s 2002 trip and/or the paperwork associated with Wilson’s 1999 trip to Niger relating to AQ Khan.

The Rove Subpoena

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emptywheel

I guess it’s my day to be underwhelmed.

I find it really hard to get excited over SJC issuing Rove a subpoena today. That’s partly for tactical reasons. Until we get the Sergeant at Arms to arrest Harriet and hold her in contempt, after all, it doesn’t make sense to subpoena Rove because we don’t have the tactically proven tools to enforce such a subpoena.

But it’s also a question of focus.

The Call for a Special Counsel

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emptywheel

As Christy has reported, Senators Schumer, DiFi, Feingold, and Whitehouse have called on Paul Clement to appoint a Special Counsel. I’m underwhelmed with the idea, for several reasons. First, Clement is clerkship spawn of Laurence Silberman and Antonin Scalia, both of whom have well-earned reputations for putting their partisan loyalties (and duck hunting hobbies) above their commitment to independent justice.

The Briefing Dates

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emptywheel

I find the list of briefings on the domestic wiretap program as instructive for what it tells us about the program itself (and Bush’s dealings with Congress) as it is as proof that Gonzales is full of shit. In no particular order or structure, here are some thoughts:

Citizens and Voters Need Not Know

This document was declassified on May 17, 2006, before the midterm elections.

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Turning Tides

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emptywheel

I gotta say, this post yesterday from Josh Marshall,

As regular readers of this site know, I’ve always been against themovement to impeach President Bush. I take this position not because hehasn’t done plenty to merit it. My reasons are practical. Minor reasonsare that it’s late in the president’s term and that I think impeachmentitself is toxic to our political system — though it can be less toxicthan the high officials thrown

Have they done this sort of thing? Send an Amb to answer a question?, Part One

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emptywheel

This is going to be a two part post. In this post, I’m going to show a key discrepancy between Libby’s testimony about the questions he asked Addington on July 8, and Addington’s. Addington’s testimony suggests that (contrary to Libby’s claims), Libby was looking for general details about the paperwork behind Wilson’s trip, which would have exposed Valerie’s role at the CIA, potentially her status, as well as prior trips Joe

No Longer Operative

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emptywheel

It looks like we’re approaching the point where some hack stands up and explains that the claim that any disagreements were not about the domestic wiretap program is no longer operative.

Documents indicate eight congressional leaderswere briefed about the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillanceprogram on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting swornSenate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

[snip]A Gonzales spokesman maintained Wednesday that the attorney general stands by his

Did Harman Approve of the Illegal Domestic Wiretap Program?

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emptywheel

Well, that was quick work. Yesterday I suggested that the Gang of Eight who purportedly attended the March 10, 2004 meeting at which Alberto Gonzales claims to have developed consensus that they should ignore James Comey’s concerns and continue to tap American citizens anyway might have some enlightenment to offer about what went on at the meeting.

Cheney Got the Keys to DOJ … But Did Rove?

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emptywheel

One more detail about the Ashcroft and Gonzales guidelines on contacts between DOJ and the White House. While the latter explicitly gives Cheney the authority to communicate with DOJ about ongoing cases, I don’t believe it gives Karl Rove–or any of the people who work in Office of Political Affairs save its head–that authority.

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