We Might Yet Crack MZM

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emptywheel
I've long suspected that MZM is the latter-day incarnation of COINTELPRO, though it had the added advantage that it also made a profit for George Bush's cronies. Via the Daily Muck, it looks like we might make some progress on MZM. A formerofficial at the Albemarle County-based National Ground IntelligenceCenter pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a conflict ofinterest charge. Robert Fromm,a 60-year-old Earlysville resident, was charged in a corruptioninvestigation centered on

Help this NOLA Family

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emptywheel
Scout prime hasn't forgotten NOLA, even if George Bush has. Today, she's encouraging people to donate to a fund helping out a NOLA family that has lost its house twice--once in Katrina, and once through a terrible accident. Two weeks ago I postedabout the Joseph family who lost their Lower 9th Ward home for thesecond time.

Groundbreaker and the Secret Request

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emptywheel
A couple of you have pointed to the Rocky Mountain News article that claims to confirm what we've long suspected--that Joseph Nacchio was denied the ability to defend himself fully because of the Bush Administration's invocation of "state secrets." I'm going to work through the filings available at the RMN site, but here's an April 2007 filing that is fairly detailed about Nacchio's claims.
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Senate Minority Leader Fuels the Flames

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emptywheel
ThinkProgress got the email that Mitch McConnell's staffer claimed he had not sent out. Seen the latest blogswarm? Apparently, there’s more to the story on thekid (Graeme Frost) that did the Dems’ radio response on SCHIP. Bloggershave done a little digging and turned up that the Dad owns his ownbusiness (and the building it’s in), seems to have some commercialrental income and Graeme and a sister go to a private school that,according

I Do Believe I Smell a PR Campaign

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emptywheel
AT&T wants something from you. They want immunity from prosecution for breaking existing laws on customer privacy. They want more bandwidth. They want to eliminate net neutrality. They may well want to suck up another company or two, to return to the good old days of MaBell. They want to be the exclusive provider to iPhone customers.

Why State?

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emptywheel
Josh asks "why State?" of all departments, has such a fondness for contractors in general and Blackwater in particular. I've got two suggestions, one based on reality and one on my tinfoil hat. First, if you look back at the battle between DOD and State in 2003--in which Bush had officially sided with Colin Powell on the approach to reconstruct Iraq, but in which DOD and OVP managed to at least undermine

Simpson Claims Rove Worked with Public Integrity on Siegelman Case

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emptywheel
According to Jill Simpson's testimony, in January or February of 2005, Karl Rove met with the head of Public Integrity at DOJ and got him to assign resources to the Don Siegelman case. A And so, anyway, he was telling me all of the things that Alice had done as far as having messed up the deal.

Gonzales Seems to Expect More Trouble

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emptywheel
Or at least that's one thing we might surmise from the news that Gonzales hired George Terwilliger to represent him just after he resigned (h/t bmaz). No sooner did Alberto Gonzales resign as attorney general last monththan he retained a high-powered Washington criminal-defense lawyer torepresent him in continuing inquiries by Congress and the JusticeDepartment. [snip] The top concern for Gonzales, and now Terwilliger, is the expandinginvestigation by Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s fiercelyindependent inspector

Roll Call on FISA in HJC

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emptywheel
Via email, here are the roll call votes against the Forbes amendment (favoring immunity for Telcos) and for the RESTORE legislation. Forbes: No: Conyers, Berman, Boucher, Nadler, Scott, Watt,Lofgren, Jackson Lee, Waters, Delahunt, Wexler, Sanchez, Cohen, Sutton,Sherman, Baldwin, Weiner, Schiff, Davis, Wasserman Schultz, Ellison Yes: Smith, Sensenbrenner, Coble, Goodlatte, Lungren, Cannon, Keller, Pence, Forbes, King, Feeney, Franks, Gohmert, Jordan Final Passage Yes:

Bartlett Targets Deadeye Dick

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emptywheel
Remember when Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face and then attempted to cover it up by reporting it through the local press? Well, Dan Bartlett wants you to know that that whole cover-up was Dick's idea demand. Then there was the time Cheney shot his pal during a hunting accident in Texas."We couldn't get hold of him for quite a bit of time," Bartlett said."They were strategizing on their
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Blogger in the Eye of the Beholder?

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emptywheel
The NYT manages to understand that the Republicans went overboard with their attacks on Graeme Frost. But there's something else they don't seem to understand. In recent days, Graeme and his family have been attacked byconservative bloggers and other critics of the Democrats’ plan toexpand the insurance program, known as S-chip. [snip] But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have stronglycriticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their groundand not pull punches.

The Latest Terrorism Leak

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emptywheel
In his post on the latest Bush exposure of counter-terrorism resources, Noah Schachtman links to this long profile on the woman and firm exposed by BushCo. Two things stick out from the article: Taking two staff members from the Investigative Project, Katz set upher own office. She got by on small government contracts.

Society of "Professional" "Journalists" Proves It Is Neither

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emptywheel
Via RawStory, I see that Bob Novak claims that Joe Wilson didn't warn him strongly against outing Valerie in his column. Columnist Robert Novak said Saturday Ambassador Joe Wilson did notforcefully object to the naming of his CIA operative wife, ValeriePlame Wilson, when Novak spoke to him prior to the publication of acolumn that sparked a federal investigation and sent White House aideI.

Watergate, the Farce

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emptywheel
I happen to be reading Stonewall right now. And I gotta say, I've already said what Bernstein said several times. Watergate would not have played out the same way today because Congressno longer performs its oversight role, said Carl Bernstein, one of thejournalists famous for uncovering the story. “The difference with today is that the system did its job.

"It's Too Expensive to Reveal Our Role in Mine Disasters"

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emptywheel
Elaine Chao (and her acting solicitor Jonathan Snare) must have spent a lot of time with Alberto Gonzales. Because she seems to be parroting him, in an attempt to refuse to comply with Congress' oversight requests. The Labor Department said Friday that it could cost millions of dollarsand take months to respond to a House committee's subpoena looking atthe agency's oversight of the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, site of a fatal

Progress?

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emptywheel
I'll withhold judgment until I see the text of the bill, but from this story, it appears the Progressive Caucus made some progress--though not on all counts--in their efforts to ensure the permanent FISA amendment safeguards privacy and civil liberties. House Democrats plan to introduce a bill this week that would let asecret court issue one-year "umbrella" warrants to allow the governmentto intercept e-mails and phone calls of foreign targets and would

Spying on Your Friends and Enemies

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emptywheel
Laura's right. Jeff Stein's article detailing the several ways in which Senator Richard Shelby spied on Anthony Lake and similar activities raises all sorts of questions. Tenet also wrote that, “National Security Agency officials told usthat Shelby staffers had been asking whether there was derogatoryinformation in their communications intercepts on Lake.” But the NSA refused Shelby’s entreaties, two sources said, and there was no derogatory information in the FBI’s files.

Is This Just a Reference to Libby's Harrassment?

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emptywheel
A lot of folks have noted Tweety's latest chirping. Chris Matthews had barely finished praising hiscolleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his “Hardball” showThursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned politicaland pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finallybeen caught in their criminality." In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep.

The Legislative Branch Shows Signs of Life

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emptywheel
When I was at the Duke conference last week, I premised a question to ACLU's Legal Director that ACLU was having more success in the courts than in Congress of late. He responded by joking about my faint praise. Perhaps I reverse jinxed him. Because we're beginning to make some progress in Congress. Rep.

Wherein emptywheel Disagrees with PatFitz

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emptywheel
As some of you might remember way back, I first got sucked into the Plame investigation when Judy Miller was heading to jail. I found her appeal to a non-existent reporter's privilege a farce, given that her relationship with the Bush Administration had long dropped any pretense of journalism. So it may surprise you that I think Patrick Fitzgerald uses the wrong approach in his editorial lobbying against the shield law
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