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We're Sorry for Spiking the News

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emptywheel
The NYT has a really weird story out today which tries to explain why news outlets don't publish "open secrets" about public figures. Old-fashioned as it seems, there are still tacit rules about when anopen secret can remain in its own netherworld, without consequence tothe politician who keeps it. But now that any whisper can become aglobal shout in an instant, how much longer can those rules apply?

Condi, AIPAC, and the A1 Cut-Out

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emptywheel
You'll recall that the AIPAC defendants called Condi and Stephen Hadley to testify about how they routinely leak classified information. Well, the government claims that these two, at least, don't have to testify. Secretaryof State Condoleezza Rice and other senior intelligence officialsshould not be forced to testify about whether they discussed classifiedinformation with pro-Israel lobbyists, federal prosecutors argued in aclosed-door court hearing Friday. Two former American IsraelPublic Affairs Committee lobbyists facing espionage

Bush's Cheney's Legacy

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emptywheel
I couldn't help but think of Dick when I read this story on Bush's legacy. First, because there's this story of Bush's show of hands vote on whether Rummy should be ousted. Mr. Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details ofa meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on thefuture of Defense Secretary Donald H.

Ding Dong the Wicked Witch Is ... Publishing at NRO?

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emptywheel
Reading Rove on his last day in the WH: President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century by manipulating the scientific proof of that key test--global warming--so his donors could continue to profit off the dying petroleum age while they still had a chance. Hewill be judged as a man of moral clarity who put America on wartimefooting in the dangerous struggle against

Tommy K's Cooperation

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emptywheel
I'm trying to pull together as many of the details in the new transcripts about how Tommy Kontogiannis has cooperated (I was going to spell it "kooperate") with the government. The information is actually conflicting--Tommy K wants to portray himself as a good American who was just seeking out powerful Congressman to give intelligence to.

How to Spike an Investigation

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emptywheel
This WSJ article--which relies on Debra Wong Yang and George Cardona as sources--suggests that the Jerry Lewis investigation has been stalled because of staffing shortages in the USA Office. Overall, funding for the offices has grown well below the rate ofinflation. As a result, "fewer cases were getting charged and biggerinvestigations were taking longer because there weren't enoughprosecutors to do them," says Debra Yang, who stepped down in October2006 as the U.S.

August 24

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emptywheel
The WaPo provides more details on an investigation I'm rather interested in: Fine's office has also separately expanded a probe into whether seniorGonzales aides improperly considered partisan affiliations whenreviewing applicants for nonpolitical career positions. As part of thatinquiry, Fine sent hundreds of questionnaires in the past week to former Justice Department job applicants.

The Inspector General

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emptywheel
I noted the other day that Pat Leahy had sent a letter to Brad Schlozman asking for his overdue homework. What I didn't note in the post--but did in comments elsewhere--was the carbon copy line: cc: The Honorable Alberto Gonzales The Honorable Glen Fine In comments where I mentioned this, I suggested this reflected a belief on Leahy's part that the Inspector General was a co-participant in his

Good Enough for Our Children, But Not Bush's Vanity War

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emptywheel
I made the point this morning that the whole premise of No Child Left Behind is that, by determining whether every school--and every child--was passing or failing, you could require improvements on the schools. Well, not surprisingly, Bush is unwilling to undergo the same kind of tough scrutiny that the six year olds in our nation's schools undergo: Stung by the bleakfindings of a congressional audit of progress in Iraq, the Pentagon hasasked

Seal-Fight in San Diego

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emptywheel
There are two, related developments in San Diego (hat tip to ChrisC for her updates) in the Wilkes/Michael/Kontogiannis side of the Wilkes trial. First, the government has responded to John Michael's attempt to throw out his indictment because of a weird connection between Tommy Kontogiannis and one of the prosecutors, Phillip Halpern.

Speaking of Propaganda Reports

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emptywheel
They're doing it with voting rights reports, too (hat tip bmaz). Because my approach to election issues tends to be more closely alignedwith Democrats, I was paired with a Republican co-author. To furtherremove any taint of partisanship, my co-author and I convened abipartisan working group to help us. We spent a year doing research andconsulting with leaders in the field to produce a draft report.

Condi's Jewels

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emptywheel
I appreciate the desire to make Condi look like a bitch. Or rather, to expose Condi's imperious side. But does anyone suspect there's some crucial context left out of this story? Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor who is one of thesecretary of state's closest friends, recalls going into a shop whereRice asked to see earrings.

The Report Liberation Review Process

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emptywheel
Remember back when someone liberated the Office of Special Counsel report finding Lurita Doan had violated the Hatch Act? I speculated that someone had liberated the report to prevent it from getting watered down in the review process. I'll bet Doan and her lawyer are pissed this report got leaked--kudosto whatever person in OPC liberated this report, which was provided toat least the WaPo and LAT.

Moral Relativists

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emptywheel
When David Vitter admitted to using a prostitute service, no Republicans asked him to resign. When it became clear that Pete Domenici had asked Bush and Gonzales to fire David Iglesias because the US Attorney didn't trump up charges against Democrats, no Republicans asked him to resign. When it became clear that Bob Ney and Ted Stevens and John Doolittle and Don Young had received some mighty curious gifts, no Republicans asked them

The Replacements

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emptywheel
This is my outtamyarse guide to the potential replacement candidates for AGAG floated so far: Michael Chertoff: I think someone in the Administration floated Michael Chertoff as a replacement candidate before that someone really thought things through. Sure, Chertoff has been approved by the Senate before. But that was before 11/7--and we know that 11/7 changed everything.

The Iglesias Cover-Up, Again

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emptywheel
Most people who linked to Isikoff's latest did so to note that Jack Goldsmith will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. The Senate Judiciary Committee, for example, has already planned ahearing next month featuring the first public testimony of formerOffice of Legal Counsel chief Jack Goldsmith. A one-time administrationstalwart, he became convinced that Gonzales and other administrationofficials were breaking the law in eavesdropping on conversations ofU.S.

Schlozman's Not Done

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emptywheel
In my rush to leave town on Thursday, I missed this letter Pat Leahy sent to Brad Schlozman about his missing homework: Dear Mr. Schlozman: According to news reports, you have confirmed that you resigned last week from the Department of Justice. Yet, the Judiciary Committee is still waiting for your responses to written questions from Committee Members following your June 5 testimony at the Committee's hearing on "Preserving Prosecutorial Independence:

The Political Rehabilitation of Ari Fleischer

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emptywheel
Say, has anyone noticed how omnipresent Ari Fleischer has been, of late? Obviously, the big news is his pimping for a $15 million propaganda campaign in favor of death and destruction. "For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry iscoming," said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who isa founding board member of the group. But Ari is also, all of a sudden, a seemingly acceptable source of the

Wilkes' Creditors Don't Get to See His Financial Statements, Either

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emptywheel
Remember how federal prosecutors were denied the ability to review Brent Wilkes' affidavit showing he was indigent? Well, ChrisC sent along news of a civil magistrate case in which one of Wilkes' creditors appears to be trying to force Wilkes to reveal where his assets are--also to no avail. The unopposed motion to compel filed by plaintiff De Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc., as assignee of Union Bank, is denied, without prejudice.

Did Chertoff EVER Use the DHS privacy review process?

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emptywheel
Before we crown Michael Chertoff Attorney General, I recommend we pull him before some oversight committee and ask him if he ever used Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office to review planned domestic surveillance activities before they're used to collect data on American citizens. CSM reports that DHS is suspending a massive data-mining program because it has already started using live data without ever putting the program through a privacy review.
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