June 7, 2016 / by emptywheel

 

Posts

A Thousand Words

/

emptywheel

Remember this photo? This particular version is from Stephen Crowley of the New York Times–it’s part of a slideshow they’ve got up to commemorate the demise of Turdblossom. Go look through the slideshow and tell me whether you think they’re emphasizing the centrality of scandal to Rove’s tenure (there’s a hot picture of Rove and Luskin in there, for example, walking out of Prettyman).

Category Two Documents

/

emptywheel

Good thing Rove resigned and finally distracted me from my FISA focus, huh? And in the process of looking up something relating to Rove, I noticed these two letters between Conyers and the RNC (and the RNC’s lawyer) regarding documents it won’t turn over. Most of these documents fall into “category one;” that is, documents the White House has asserted privilege over.

“At 56 years old says he is done with political consulting”

/

emptywheel

I’ve laid out some possible reasons for Rove’s resignation here. But I’d like to do a close reading of the WSJ story associated with the announcement, partly because I think it so fascinating that Rove would feel the need to pitch his own successes and failures on his way out the door.

The Investigations

Far and away the most interesting comment in the article, though, is this self-assessment from Rove:

His biggest error, Mr.

My Guesses on Why Rove Resigned

/

emptywheel

By now you’ve heard the news: Rove is stepping down. So here’s my treatment of possible reasons why he’s leaving, in reverse order of their likelihood:

Time with the Family

As he said to the WSJ, he wants to spend more time with this family. Of course, this is a load of horse puckey–if he had wanted to spend time with his family, he surely would have done it before his son went

TSP and FISA

/

emptywheel

Yup, still mono-focused on FISA, but mr. emptywheel is clamoring for dinner, so maybe once I step away from the computer, I’ll remember all the other things I’ve been meaning to write on.

I want to object to the way Kevin Drum is referring to the new details of FISA:

Originally, FISA allowed warrantless wiretapping of anycommunication between two foreigners.

Feingold’s Questions

/

emptywheel

I’m still working through AGAG’s answers to a bunch of questions the Senate Judiciary Committee asked him last year (he only answered early this year). There’s an exchange involving Russ Feingold that is, I think, very instructive for understanding the recent FISA amendment.

You indicated at the hearing that the Administration has agreed to “submit” the program to the FISA court to rule on it if Congress passes the bill the Administration

Warrantless Wiretapping and the IG Loophole

/

emptywheel

I’m working on a massive post on how the Administration has gamed the system to sustain their wireless wiretapping program. For the moment, though, I’d like to make a discrete point about the aborted Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) inevstigation into the program.

When Senator Spector asked Alberto Gonzales last year why BushCo refused to give OPR the clearance to investigate the wireless wiretapping program because OPR included many career employees,

What Happened to the FISC Appeal?

/

emptywheel

Both the WaPo and the NYT have stories today explaining how the crisis in the warrantless wiretap program got so bad that Congress got punked into passing a shitty bill. The story is simple, on its face. The FISC rejected a government subpoena in March, another in May, and those two rulings resulted in the government losing the ability to wiretap a great deal of foreign communication.

Two Rulings?

/

emptywheel

No wonder BushCo wanted oversight of FISA totally out of the hands of the FISC. If I’m reading this WaPo article correctly, there were actually two rulings that went against the Administration–one in March, and one in May.

But in a secret ruling in March, a judge on a special court empoweredto review the government’s electronic snooping challenged for the firsttime the government’s ability to collect data from such wires even whenthey

None of the Above

/

emptywheel

Here’s the way I figure this math, from the Iowa Straw Poll.

They had 24,000 voters in 1999.
They wanted 20,000 voters today.
They got 14,000.

That says, presumably, the Iowa Republican Party wrote off 4,000 votes because Giuliani and McCain pulled out and Thompson’s not in yet (24,000 minues 20,000).

But that still leaves 6,000 people (20,000 minus 14,000) they expected–and didn’t get.

A Reverse F.U.

/

emptywheel

You know how Thomas Friedman’s six months always seem to end up being indefinite forevers? Well, the reverse seems to be going on with Republican accusations that:

For months, congressional Democrats ignored warnings from Director ofNational Intelligence Michael McConnell that FISA’s antiquatedprovisions were tying the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies fromcollecting against terrorist communications.

In fact, it appears that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell actually sat on the information for months, from

Hoekstra’s Leaks/Cheney’s Leaks

/

emptywheel

Steven Benen writes most of the post I was going to write (thanks Steve!) in response to the news that Pete Hoekstra is a big fat hypocrite about intelligence leaks. Steve links to Justin Rood’s coverage of Hoekstra leaking details about the supposedly secret intelligence budget; RawStory first noticed Hoekstra’s leak.

,

Photographs

/

emptywheel

If you haven’t already, go read Jane Mayer’s article on our methods of torture. The short version: we’re using psychological methods to impose “learned helplessness” and dependency, and as a result, we’re getting some intelligence, a whole lot of garbage, and we’re turning our own interrogators into moral zombies.

I wanted to focus on one aspect of the calculated humiliation she describes:

, ,

Well, Of Course

/

emptywheel

Holden asks:

They’re just thinking of this now?

U.S.military intelligence officials are urgently assessing how securePakistan’s nuclear weapons would be in the event President Gen. PervezMusharraf were replaced as the nation’s leader, CNN has learned.

Key questions in the assessment include who would control Pakistan’s nuclear weapons after a shift in power.

[snip]

The United States has full knowledge about the location of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, according to the U.S.

,

Republican Self-Hate

/

emptywheel

Crooks & Liars links to Bobo Brooks informing Chris Matthews that Republicans hate Matthews’ man-crush, President Bush.

BROOKS: Bush…you gotta remember though…a lot ofRepublicans hate Bush. I mean, we look..we talk about the Democrats,how they hate Bush, in private…

MATTHEWS: What do you mean, “hate Bush?”

BROOKS: They think Bush is incompetent and destroying their party.

Having just taped a Sunday show of my own (this one may be good–I’ll actually provide a link, but

This Is What Nancy Should Have Done on FISA

/

emptywheel

Josh marvels at the (big surprise) latest galling corruption from a member of the Alaska delegation: Don Young snuck an earmark into a 2005 bill after it had been passed by both houses of Congress, but before Bush signed it.

The ‘Coconut Road’ earmark wasn’t in the bill passed by the Houseand Senate.

This Time, We’ll Bail Out the S&Ls without a Congressional Debate

/

emptywheel

The former econ professor notes that we’re already bailing out big money:

Fed to the rescue. Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve added $19billion in temporary funds to the banking system through the purchaseof mortgage-backed securities to help meet demand for cash amid a routin bonds backed by home loans to riskier borrowers.

The Fed accepted only mortgage-backed debt as collateral for thismorning’s weekend repurchase agreement.

The Leak Wars: Revisiting the Pre-Indictment Leaks

/

emptywheel

Since we’re talking about leaks in the Foggo-Wilkes trial, I wanted to return to the leaks leading up to the Foggo-Wilkes indictments. As a review, Wilkes lawyer Mark Geragos asked the court to dismiss the indictments, arguing that leaks just prior to the time Wilkes was indicted made it impossible for Wilkes to get a fair trial.

The Leak Wars: Elston Accuses Lam

/

emptywheel

I promised to come back and talk about those bits of the latest document dump that don’t support HJC’s allegations of a cover-up. In this post, I’m going to look at how DOJ tried to claim that Lam was responsible for leaks about her resignation. The discussion was a response to two local San Diego newspaper articles predicting Lam’s resignation.

McConnell and Dick

/

emptywheel

There are two stories out today claiming Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, is really wearing the pants in the Executive Branch’s dealings with intelligence. The NYT has McConnell describing tremendous pressure from Congress, yet insisting he got no pressure from the White House.

In an interview in his office, Mr.

Copyright © 2018 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/posts/