The Only Thing Clinton Hid was a Blow Job and a Soggy Cigar

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emptywheel
Digby's all over Tim Noah's latest idiocy. Clinton was impeached and he faced the music. He was tried and acquittedaccording to the rules of the constitution. Bush, on the other hand,just used his plenary power to commute a sentence to cover his own baddeeds and keep one of his own aides from having to pay the price forhis crimes.

Some Questions Congress Might Ask

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emptywheel
Well, folks, we're down to congressional remedies and public opinion if we're going to hold Cheney responsible for outing a CIA spy. To that end, here are some questions I suggest HJC pursue: Did Bush ask Libby to take the lead in responding to Wilson's allegations on June 9, 2003? How did Libby learn of Bush's concerns about the allegations?

Fitz Speaks

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emptywheel
Via email from his spokesperson: Wefully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative. We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout

George Bush Obstructs Justice

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emptywheel
Well, George did it. Made sure that Scooter wouldn't flip rather than do jail time. He commuted Libby's sentence, guaranteeing not only that Libby wouldn't talk, but retaining Libby's right to invoke the Fifth. This amounts to nothing less than obstruction of justice. Here's Bush's statement, in which a guy who is pushing to restore minimum sentencing laws says that Libby's sentencing--which was the minimum according to the guidelines, was too tough: Mr.

More Funny Business with Record-Keeping?

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emptywheel
Holy Shit. Remember TALON and CIFA? Here's a description I wrote in April: It was designed to gather intelligenceon threats to defense installments in the United States--to try tocollect information (in the TALON database) on threatening peoplescoping out domestic bases. But it ended up focusing on peace activists and the lefty blogosphere's own Jesus' General.
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AQ Khan's on the Loose

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emptywheel
Does it bother anyone that--at a time when Pakistan's Interior Ministry is raising concerns about the Taliban taking over significant chunks of Pakistan, the father of Pakistan's nuke program is on the loose? [Thanks to Mimikatz for the spelling correction.] Authorities have eased the virtual house arrest imposed on A.Q. Khan,the disgraced scientist who sold Pakistan's nuclear secrets to Iran,North Korea and Libya, officials said Monday. [snip] However, two senior government officials told the

The Report from Wilson's Trip, Again

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emptywheel
Once upon a time in a land called Plameology, I was utterly obsessed with the CIA report on Joe Wilson's trip. As I pointed out some time ago, the trip report, in addition to Valerie's identity, was classified at the beginning of leak week. And as I pointed out over the weekend, it is crystal clear that Libby, at least, leaked material from this, knowing it was classified, with no claim

Inmate 28301-016

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emptywheel
The Appeals Court decision not to grant Libby bond pending appeal, along with last week's Cheney series, may well ensure that Libby does some jail time, however short. Appellant has not shown that the appeal raises a substantial question. I'm not holding my breath yet, mind you. But it's going to have to be an untimely pardon or commutation ...

Did They Try to Replace Iglesias with Rogers?

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emptywheel
McClatchy has a story that shows that Pat Rogers, one of the key players behind the firing of David Iglesias, was an officer in the voter fraud group American Center for Voting Rights. Iglesias said he only recently learned of Rogers� involvement assecretary of the non-profit American Center for Voting RightsLegislative Fund - an activist group that defended tighter voteridentification requirements in court against charges that they weredesigned to hamper voting
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Replacing the Imperial Presidency in the Age of Global Warming

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emptywheel
I'd like to use the occasion of Al Gore's op-ed in the NYT today to expand on something I said in my talk on Curbing the Imperial Presidency. In his book The Imperial Presidency, Arthur Schlesinger argued that the Imperial Presidency derived from foreign policy: The Imperial Presidency was essentially the creation of foreign policy.

Classification Is Not Declassification

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emptywheel
Frank Rich has a column out that means well--but repeats a Cheney talking point in a way that does more harm than good. He focuses on the connection between Bush's revised Executive Order on classification and the CIA Leak argues that, when Bush gave Cheney classification authority equivalent to his own, he also gave him declassification authority equivalent to his own. But few noticed another change inserted five times in the revised

Taliban Taking Over Pakistan

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emptywheel
Well, that's probably hyperbole. But it does seem like things in Pakistan are getting pretty dire. So says a Pakistani report put together by its Interior Ministry, providing ominous warnings about the increasing power of the Taliban in the country. The Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was warned this month that Islamic militants and Talibanfighters were rapidly spreading beyond the country’s lawless tribalareas and that without “swift and decisive action,” the growingmilitancy

The Silence Surrounding Novak's Testimony

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emptywheel
This post follows on my wildarsed guess that one of the things that appears in the two-page gap is discussion of Libby's and Novak's super-secret July 9 meeting. I'd like to point out--and speculate on--several weird bits in Novak's trial testimony. Full credit: Jeff Lomonaco identified several of these in a conversation with me, but I happen to know he's at an undisclosed location with crappy Toobz access, so I'm going

Kontogiannis' Seal

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emptywheel
Laura asks why the government (and Kontogiannis, in a filing submitted yesterday) would fight to continue to seal the transcripts from his four hearings before Judge Larry Burns. In an unusual step, Kontogiannis' guilty plea was done in a secret,closed hearing. The plea agreement was unsealed earlier this month, andlast week Burns ordered that transcripts of four hearings related tothe plea also be made public. Federal prosecutors objected in motions filed under seal

Mind the Gap: the Libby-Novak Call

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emptywheel
You wouldn't think that I--after babbling about this for two years and beating up the press for ignoring it--would miss an opportunity to highlight the super-secret Libby-Novak meeting, do you? Only that's what I did yesterday, when I was puzzling through the remaining two-page gap in the Tatel opinion. Duh. My post yesterday made the argument that, in addition to laying out the background for the Cooper-Rove conversation (and Rove's prevaricating about

Actually, TWO DOJ Employees Quit This Week

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emptywheel
It's funny how, now that we're so attuned to BushCo's Friday news dumps, something reported on Friday attracts more notice than something reported on Thursday. On Friday, we learned that Rachel Brand, one of the last remaining DOJ clique-members (and a tangential one at that) will resign on July 9. Rachel Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of LegalPolicy, will step down July 9, the department said in a statement.

The Two Redacted Pages

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emptywheel
As I said earlier, the most interesting part of the Tatel opinion is the two-page section that remains redacted (thanks again to Jeralyn for making the opinion available), explaining why Fitzgerald suspects Rove perjured himself in his testimony about Novak and Cooper. I believe that section includes:An assertion that Rove lied when he testified that he responded to Novak's story about Plame by saying, "you heard that too?"A description of some

This Is How It's Done

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emptywheel
Tim Walberg is a really awful wingnutty Congressman whose district begins just spitting distance (emphasis on spitting) from my house. One of the local reporters, Susan Demas, had the balls to report that he refused to fire a campaign worker who pled guilty to child abuse, so the Congressman has basically frozen the newspaper out since then.

WSJ and the AP Finally Get Their Windmill!

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emptywheel
Pow wow is right. One of the best parts of today's Appeals Court order releasing more of the grand jury material from the Plame investigation is this paragraph: Even if the Armitage revelation created a compelling public interest in them—and it is unclear to us why, as Dow Jones asserts, the Special Counsel’s knowledge that one individual leaked Plame’s identity calls into question the validity of his continuing investigation into others who may
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Fred Fielding Lied to the Press Yesterday

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emptywheel
The White House had a super-secret briefing yesterday in which they trotted out Fred Fielding, but then insisted he be referred to solely as a Senior Administration Official. Perhaps they insisted on the absurd background rules because they wanted to make Fred feel free to lie. And lie he did. In the briefing, a journalist asked Fielding whether Bush's invocation of privilege meant that he was protecting deliberations he, personally, was involved
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