June 7, 2016 / by emptywheel

 

Posts

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The Woman Left the Commission

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emptywheel

James Fallows repeats a fascinating story Gary Hart and Lee Hamilton told him about the Hart-Rudman Commission.

Early in 2001, the commission presented a report to the incoming G.W. Bush administration warning that terrorismwould be the nation’s greatest national security problem, and sayingthat unless the United States took proper protective measures aterrorist attack was likely within its borders.

Obstruction of Justice Merits More Punishment than Censure

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emptywheel

Let me say straight out. Punishing Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence with censure would be like punishing Libby’s obstruction of justice with just 400 hours of community service. It would simply reinforce the notion that Bush’s Administration is above the law. It would be a punishment wholly unfit for the crime that has been committed:

Two Rats Off of Bush’s Sinking Ship

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emptywheel

I’m with Howie and Josh. I think we ought not assume that, because two GOP Senators mired in scandal jump ship, it reflects widespread dissatisfaction with Bush’s failing war in Iraq.

The two rats in question are Senator Domenici, who will have a real challenge for re-election next year. Reid has effectively challenged Domenici to put his votes where his mouth is next week, at which point Domenici might cave.

Considerable Means

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emptywheel

Just to put a little perspective to Scooter Libby’s little get out of jail almost-free check today, I remind you of this quote from the government’s filing on Libby’s PSR:

Any suggestion the defendant is entitled to leniency based onthe loss of income he suffered as a result of his decision to work ingovernment rather than in the private sector should be rejected out ofhand, particularly in light of the fact that,

Is Senator Sesssions the Fred Thompson of the Bush Scandals?

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emptywheel

The BoGlo has a great story out today about what a slime Fred Thompson is. While he served as a minority counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee, Thompson was feeding Nixon’s lawyer information so Nixon could take “appropriate action.”

“Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decidedto call Fred Buzhardt at home” to tell him that the committee hadlearned about the taping system, Thompson wrote.

Another Disappearing Republican Front Group

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emptywheel

Remember the way that Thor Hearne tried to hide any traces of his American Center for Voting Rights, just as the media started to realize that it was a Republican front group designed to popularize ideas with no basis in reality, but which would be key tools to Republican dominance?

Well, the same is happening with Italia Federici’s organization, Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy.

Liberate Libby’s PSR

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emptywheel

Say, did you notice who wrote the talking points for Tony Snow’s press briefing yesterday? The Probation office (only Snow makes the same mistake I did when I first talked about this, calling it the parole office–though I guess if you work for the guy who simply disappears all prison sentence, parole might come more easily to the tongue).

MR.

Is this the Evidence that Libby Knew Plame Was Covert?

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emptywheel

I found something nifty today when I was playing around in all my Libby Trial evidence. It’s either evidence that Libby knew Plame was covert … or it’s evidence that OVP went to some lengths to protect Dick and Bush. This involves a rethinking about the exchange from the Libby trial when Fitzgerald questioned Addington about the bogus stamp OVP used on lots of Libby’s notes.

The Off the Record Club Weighs In

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emptywheel

Say, does anyone remember the Off the Record Club? It was one of the most interesting details revealed at the Libby trial–that there’s this group of GOP-lobbyist-hacks who meet monthly and serve as an on-call damage control group for the Republicans.

But [Richard] Hohlt’s more significant role may be his leadership of a secretivesocial group of GOP heavy hitters and, occasionally, White Houseofficials, who convene to smoke cigars and mull over politics.

emptywheel Explains Again and Again and Again about Obstruction of Justice

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emptywheel

Here’s my Guardian column explaining all the involvement of Cheney and Bush in the Plame outing–which explains why Bush didn’t want Libby to lose his ability to refuse to testify.

On June 9, 2003, just one day after his national security advisor,Condoleezza Rice, got beaten up on the Sunday shows for claiming no onein the administration knew that the Niger intelligence was bunk, GeorgeBush expressed concern about the allegations.

75 out of 1131

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emptywheel

I will return to the Libby commutation, I promise. But like Josh, I think this IG report is very very important–perhaps as bad as Nixon on steroids.

To review what I presented yesterday just as the Libby thing was exploding, DOD’s IG has released its report on the CIFA and TALON domestic spying program.

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 …

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