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.

Cunningham, CIFA, and Cheney, a New Chronology

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emptywheel
In light of the news that Alberto Gonzales granted Cheneypresidential powers to snoop into ongoing investigations in May 2006, I thoughtit was time to update my chronology of the CIFA side of the Cunningham scandal.September 2002, then Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter-Intelligence Burtt establishes CIFA to oversee counterintelligence units of the armed services; consulting on the new agency was James King, recently retired director of National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Changing the Rules

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emptywheel
DiFi has a habit of using hearings to introduce new allegations against DOJ and she has done so again today. Here's Christy's version of the interchange: Read to you what has been dropped from the earlier addition of the DOJmanual. (1) restriction on bringing a voter fraud case close to anelection.

Time to Talk to the Gang of Eight

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emptywheel
Alberto Gonzales gave a closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee recently and offered an excuse for barging into ICU to try to get Ashcroft to override Jim Comey. Silvestre Reyes, at least, seems satisfied with Gonzales' explanation. But Reyes said he was satisfied with Gonzales' explanation and cautioned against drawing conclusions. "When there are issues of national security at stake, I thinkcertainly one should not question the motivation of individuals," Reyestold reporters.
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Crappy Product, Crappy Marketing Company

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emptywheel
As many of you know, I used to do work for the auto industry. And I can assure you, the single most important thing Ford could do to turn itself around would be to fire its long-time ad company, J Walter Thompson. Everyone knows it, too, in all parts of the world.

Judy Finally Gets Her Wingnut Welfare!!

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emptywheel
A reader sent me the full text of this Judy Miller interview of Shimon Peres in Murdoch's newest plaything. The interview itself is nothing exciting. After all acting a stenographer of other people's thoughts is what Judy does best, which means her stenography is only ever as interesting as Judy's source.
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