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"Aspirational Terrorism" Won't Send You to Jail, But It'll Lead the News

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emptywheel
Perhaps it's time the government tried to pursue real terrorists rather than create them among pathetic
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Really Bad Gitmo Propaganda

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emptywheel
I'm not really surprised that the Gitmo command is disseminating propaganda about the prison. But I just wish those that engage in propaganda for the government not be so pathetically bad at it.
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When All EOs Are Pixie Dust, It Means Dick Can Declassify Anything He Wants

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emptywheel
The discovery that Bush can turn his own Executive Orders into Pixie Dust provides an explanation for one of the lingering mysteries of the Plame outing: the EO governing declassification authority doesn't explicitly give the Vice President the authority to declassify information that he has not, himself, classified. But because the President always intended the Vice President to be treated as the President is in that Executive Order, it means Cheney has that authority contrary to the plan text meaning of the EO.

Bam!!! CIA Scores Direct Hit on the Unitary Executive!

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emptywheel
At least that's what I take from this quote: In the e-mail version of the Politico Playbook this morning, Mike Allen quotes “a senior administration official” lamenting that “they should have burned the NIE and kept the tapes.” The official was referring to the administration’s debacles with the intelligence community since the new NIE on Iran was released and the CIA revealed that it had destroyed videotaped interrogations.

Intelligence Oversight and Partisanship

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emptywheel
David Ignatius complains that partisanship has ruined our intelligence oversight. Well, perhaps he should blame Cheney, who turned the Senate Intelligence Committee into his own personal plaything to hide the Administration's complicity in the bad intelligence leading to war.

All Your Data Belong to George

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emptywheel
Guess what? ODNI has told Congress it doesn't want minimization procedures to be codified in statute because it would make it too hard to change those procedures. That, plus a continued emphasis on Executive Orders that George Bush can turn into pixie dust, suggests they really don't want to be held responsible for protecting US persons' privacy when conducting wiretaps.
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Nacchio's Hearing--before the Judges Who Gave Him Bail--Set for Next Week

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emptywheel
I said yesterday that the lawsuits against the telecoms were the only means left for us to find out how the government spied on Americans. I forgot about Joseph Nacchio, whose appeal will be heard by the same folks who decided his appeal addressed a "substantial issue."
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Phone Slip

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emptywheel
One thing about the EFF document dump is immediately apparent. There is one trace--a phone slip--of any conversations between ODNI personnel and the phone companies.
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Did the D.O. Lawyer Even Know about Brinkema's Request?

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emptywheel
Among the details in Isikoff and Hosenball's piece on the decision to destroy the torture tapes is a representation of DO's lawyer who advised the tapes could be destroyed which makes it sound like he had no clue there was an active inquiry for the tapes.

We're Not Getting the FISA Opinions ... Which Leaves Just the Lawsuits

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emptywheel
Judge Bates, the same judge who rejected the Wilsons lawsuit against Dick and Libby and Karl and Dick, basically issued the same opinion he did in the Wilsons' suit: It's a great idea, but, no, not going to let it happen. All the more reason to figure against immunity for the telecoms.

Bush Turned His EO on Classified Information into Pixie Dust, Too

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emptywheel
Sheldon Whitehouse revealed that Bush has turned his Executive Order governing surveillance of Americans overseas into Pixie Dust. But that's not the only EO Bush has done that with; he also turned his EO governing the treatment of classified information into Pixie Dust. In fact, he didn't bother to tell the guy whose job it is to enforce that EO that it was Pixie Dust until four years after the fact!

When All Executive Orders Turn to Pixie Dust

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emptywheel
Marty Lederman tells us not to worry about the legality of the OLC opinions Senator Whitehouse revealed last Friday. But he tells us we may need to worry about the constitutional bad faith that Whitehouse's revelations imply. This post begins a discussion about what happens when all the President's Executive Orders turn to Pixie Dust.

Scooter Libby, Still a Felon; the Unitary Executive, Still a Dubious Theory

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emptywheel
I agree that Libby probably dropped his appeal because of cost. But I also think that, having decided they were going to fail on the Appointments Clause appeal, the appeal was no longer worth it.
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Seeing a Catfight Where There Is None

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emptywheel
Spencer Ackerman's seeing a catfight between Nancy Pelosi and Jane Harman where there is none. Sure, we all know they don't get along. But on the issue of torture briefings, Pelosi (if anything) makes Harman looks good, and portrays agreement rather than disagreement.
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Michael Mukasey, the Shortest Honeymoon Ever

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emptywheel
Mukasey's having a heck of a honeymoon, isn't he? In addition to running the joint CIA-DOJ investigation of the destroyed terror tapes, now Feingold (on both SJC and SSCI) wants him to answer the questions he refused to answer in his nomination hearings.
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The Revolt of the Spooks

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emptywheel
There has been a lot of hand-wringing suggesting that the story revealing some Democratic members of the Gang of Four was a hit piece by Republicans (or, specifically, Porter Goss). That strikes me as an overly Manichean view of things, in which an article that makes Democrats look bad could only be a Republican hit piece. There's another party in this equation--the Intelligence Community. The events of the last ten days make more sense, it seems to me, if you consider all of those events as a revolt on the part of the Intelligence Community.

Football Trash Talk Thread

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emptywheel
Will the Pats get beaten by the Steelers today? can the Lions surprise the 'Boys? And will Baltimore play as hard against the Colts as they did against the Pats?
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Nancy Pelosi: Congressional Leaders Do Expect the Spanish Inquisition

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emptywheel
The WaPo breaks the news that Nancy Pelosi and others were briefed on the Administration's use of torture. Pelosi admitted that she raised no objection to those practices.

Banana Split

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emptywheel
The investigation into Chiquita for supporting Colombian terrorists always stank. Chiquita's executives got some high level meetings at DOJ and--purportedly, Michael Chertoff and DOJ told them they should not to worry about paying protection money to terrorists, so long as they cooperated with DOJ's investigations into the Colombia death squads. Then, no charges were filed against any of the well-connected Republican executives. But now we find out that a warrant supposedly served on Chiquita back in 2004 may never have been served.
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Breaking: Persians Still Better at Chess than Americans

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emptywheel
Now that Bush has alienated Old Europe with his botched release of the NIE, Iran has taken the opportunity to ditch the dollar. Gotta say something for those old Persians--they still know how to play chess better than we do.
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