The DOD/State Talking Point, Two

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emptywheel
This is a follow-up to my post speculating that Cheney got his talking point about DOD and State being interested in the Iraq intell from the documents Valerie Wilson wrote before Joe Wilson's trip to Niger. This post will do something very simple: show where that talking point shows up, and where it doesn't.

What Fitzgerald Didn't Know Yet

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emptywheel
In an effort to make these affidavits available as soon as possible so the wingnuts can start admitting they were wrong about Fitzgerald being a runaway prosecutor, I thought I'd catalog some of the things Fitzgerald didn't appear to know by August 27, 2004 and September 27, 2004. As of August 2004, Fitzgerald did not yet know that:Rove may have talked to Novak on July 8, not July 9There was a second

The DOD/State Talking Point

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emptywheel
This is the post I've been promising for weeks, in which I will speculate wildly as to the source of Cheney's knowledge about Plame's role at CPD and in her husband's trip. Here's the argument, in brief:Cheney learns during the week of June 9 that "Defense and State expressed a strong interestin the Niger intelligence"At a time when Cheney presumably already knew that information, he tried to get CIA to repeat

House Intelligence Committee Stonewalling

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emptywheel
During the book salon chat on The Wrong Stuff yesterday, we discussed the House Intelligence Committee report on how Duke Cunningham managed to scam so much money for his friends. Lo and behold, the LAT has a long article on it today (hat tip Kentucky Jelly). The report, though, is pretty disappointing.

A Field Position Game

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emptywheel
Mark Kleiman argues that the Democrats should see BushCo's refusal to turn over proof that they buried details about Pat Tillman's death as a godsend. This is the scandal, he argues, over which the Democrats should choose to confront Bush. This is a Godsend for the Democrats in Congress. The committeesshouldn't compromise at all; this is the case we want to go to warover, in the courts and the court of
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A Second Strategic Failure

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emptywheel
I'm more and more convinced this is Dick Cheney's design. Failure in Afghanistan, which might lead to the collapse of Pakistan's western-friendly government, which might lead to a regional war between Sunni and Shiite. Ashdown told The Observer that Afghanistan presented a graver threat than Iraq. 'Theconsequences of failure in Afghanistan are far greater than in Iraq,'he said.

Is It Ken Starr's Fault?

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emptywheel
I found this story on the National Review cruise over at Susie's place. It's the perfect comedy to accompany the Sunday shows--stories about what nuts Republicans when they presume they're alone. There's a lot that worth reading, not least the portrayal of the Podhoretz-Buckley feud (with Buckley almost--but not quite--disowning his conservative offspring).

No Oversight

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emptywheel
Remember when I pointed out that the real story of those civil liberties violations that Gonzales didn't admit to was the role of the Intelligence Oversight Board? Well, I was right: An independent oversight board created to identify intelligence abuses after the CIAscandals of the 1970s did not send any reports to the attorney generalof legal violations during the first 5 1/2 years of the Bushadministration's counterterrorism effort, the Justice Department has

Why Harriet??

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emptywheel
We all know that Harriet was a no-show for her date with HJC on Thursday. We all know that Harriet refused to testify based on some new opinions issued by DOJ. But I've seen almost no discussion that explores why BushCo decided to take such an inflammatory approach with Harriet's testimony. It seems there are two likely answers to that question--or rather, questions that need to be answered:Why did Bush choose to

Rove and Nixon and Anne Armstrong and the Work Yet to Be Done

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emptywheel
I did a post last year, not long after Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, tracing the ties between the Armstrong family and Republican corruption. I showed how Anne Armstrong has been present at all the big-name Republican scandals going back to Watergate.Anne Armstrong Event Associated Republican Scandal 1971-1973 RNC Co-Chair Watergate 1973-1974 Cabinet-level Counselor to Nixon and Ford Watergate 1976-1977 Ambassador to the UK

Sara Taylor Refuses to Agree Tim Griffin Had "Substantial" Experience

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emptywheel
I'm just now catching up on the Sara Taylor non-testimony (the webcast is still available here). And I find her to be interestingly sharp--in that she backs off of some points that the Republicans would like to put in her mouth. There's an exchange with Arlen Specter, for example, in which he prods her to say that Tim Griffin was very qualified to replace Bud Cummins (this happens just before and

The "Embarrassment Privilege"

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emptywheel
We've got to start calling these refusals to testify what they are--because they surely aren't executive privilege. With Sara Taylor's plea to avoid testifying because she admires--and apparently took a vow to--Bush it's not executive privilege because she didn't speak to him about the USA firings. But we might call her refusal to testify the "I love me my Prezident privilege"--because that's about as serious as the legal discussion behind it

The False First Amendment of the Dow Jones and AP

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emptywheel
Back when Dow Jones and the AP renewed their bid to unseal the materials relating to Judy's and Cooper's subpoenas, they asserted--apparently based on self-serving public comments by Novak, Rove, and Armitage and on Victoria Toensing's self-declared omniscience in all things Plame--that Fitzgerald's pursuit of the journalists' testimony was unnecessary. Recently, the public learned that the Special Counsel's pursuit of those reporters was entirely unnecessary for him to determine who had leaked

Fitzgerald: Not a Runaway Prosecutor, Explained Simply

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emptywheel
I wanted to elaborate on the Armitage post I did earlier, showing that (contrary to the wails of the Libby Lobby), Fitzgerald did not pursue Libby while ignoring the Novak leak. In addition to the inconsistencies in Armitage's Novak story, in fall 2004, there remained inconsistencies in the Rove Novak story and--I would submit--the Libby Novak story.

Reggie's Going to Smile

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emptywheel
If the hapless Democratic Congress ever gets around to an investigation through which they can ask Reggie to turn over the CIA Leak case grand jury materials. But for now, I'd say he's still cranky, wouldn't you?In commuting the defendant’sthirty-month term of incarceration, the President stated that thesentence imposed by this Court was “excessive” and that two years ofsupervised release and a $250,000 alone are a “harsh punishment” for anindividual convicted

Why the Libby Lobby Story about Armitage Is False

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emptywheel
Let's pretend, for a second that all the other reasons why the cries of "runaway prosecutor" from the Libby Lobby don't exist. Set aside the fact that the FBI and then Fitzgerald were investigating all leaks of Valerie Wilson's identity, not just those to Robert Novak. Set aside the fact that the 1X2X6 story (as well as the clear evidence of at least three leaks by October 12, 2003) didn't have

Executive Privilege, RNC Style

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emptywheel
The NYT reports that Sara Taylor will come before the SJC today and testify about some things. Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, has agreed toanswer some questions as a “willing and cooperative private citizen,”during testimony about the United States attorney firings last yearwhen she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee later today. But, as a former presidential adviser, she will also honor thepresident’s invocation of executive privilege to keep quiet

No More $$ to Shred our Constitution

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emptywheel
Now that I'm in DC, I'm thinking maybe I'll just stay here until the impeachment. Because things are getting fun. As in, no more taxpayer dollars to help Cheney shred our Constitution. Senate Democrats movedTuesday to cut off funding for Vice President Dick Cheney's office in acontinuing battle over whether he must comply with national securitydisclosure rules. A Senateappropriations panel chaired by Sen.

"I Don't Know Enough About It"

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emptywheel
So says Pete Domenici, when asked by Andrea Mitchell whether he would testify before Congress if asked. ThinkProgress points out that a conversation between Rove and Domenici closely preceded David Iglesias' firing. But I'll go further, and raise this report. In the spring of 2006, Domenici told Gonzales he wanted Iglesias out. Gonzales refused.

Why Lefty Bloggers Should Always Get to Fly First Class

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emptywheel
As I've explained before, I used to consult for a big automotive company, working primarily in Asia (the job got moved to Asia earlier this year). I flew several times a year to Asia. So for the past several years, I've been an "Elite Level" flyer for Northwest. Which means I get bumped up to First Class pretty consistently. Back in February, during my first trip home from the Libby trial, I
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