Random Thoughts on AGAG's Demise

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emptywheel
Just some random thoughts on AGAG's resignation. AGAG and Kim There have been a number of people connecting Gonzales' resignation with Rove's (Cenk Uygur's take and Sidney Blumenthal's). I am much much more interested in the timing of DOJ Civil Rights Division head Wan Kim's resignation. Here's the chronology: The week of August 13:

A Tale of Two Resignations

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emptywheel
If you compare Bush's comments on Rove's resignation with his comments on Gonzales' resignation, it sure seems like Rove left on Bush's terms, whereas Gonzales left on his own terms. Here's how Bush announced the departure of the man who had made his entire political career. Karl Rove is moving on down the road.

I Should Go Away More Often

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emptywheel
Do you think if I had stayed away a week, Cheney would have resigned too? I'll have some more comments once I clean the long road trip stink out of my hair.

Going Fishing!

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emptywheel
Mr. emptywheel and I are headed to DC so McCaffrey the MilleniaLab can attend a very important Furrin' Policy Summit with Kobe, Katy, and Lucy (oh, and so we can go to a wedding or some such rot). The emptywheel pack is going to play around in the mud together for a couple of days on the way back.

The End of the Month

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emptywheel
Via TPMM, the Director of DOJ's Civil Rights Division has resigned. Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’sCivil Rights Division, today announced his resignation, effective atthe end of this month. President Bush nominated Mr. Kim to the positionon June 16, 2005, and the Senate unanimously confirmed his appointmenton November 4, 2005.

Minimization

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emptywheel
In this post, I compare what Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell revealed yesterday about why Democratic bills amending FISA were unacceptable with the content of those bills. The comparison shows that DNI McConnell found it unacceptable to require the government to:List what the minimization procedures were that protect data collected from Americans Allow either a FISA judge or Congress to review its compliance with its own minimization procedures In short, the

Don't Bother Telling Those with Oversight Responsibilities

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emptywheel
I pointed out yesterday that Mike McConnell admitted that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not receive a briefing on the warrantless wiretapping program, in spite of the fact that the Committee has been working on the issue for well over a year. We submitted the bill in April, had an open hearing1 May, we had a closed hearing in May, I don't remember the exact date.Chairman (U.S.
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The NIE: Iraq to Split in Three States

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emptywheel
Okay, that's not precisely the conclusion the new NIE in Iraq draws. But it is the logical outcome of the key judgments its gives. Here are some key points, taken totally out of the context of the report, but which are otherwise direct quotes:The IC assesses that the emergence of “bottom-up” security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the

Time to Fire the White House Webmaster

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emptywheel
I thought it worth mentioning that the Administration has twice made claims in the last week that their website refuted. First came Senator Leahy, who noted that Cheney's claims not to be part of the Executive Office of the President were disproved by the White House website. The Administration’s response today also claims that the Office of the Vice President is not part of the Executive Office of the President.
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DNI McConnell: Not Fighting Them Over There, So We Can Wiretap You Here

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emptywheel
This is our Director of National Intelligence, talking about the threat of Al Qaeda growing stronger in an area nominally controlled by our ally Pakistan: After the 31st of May we were in extremis becausenow we have significantly less capability. And meantime, the community,before I came back, had been working on a National IntelligenceEstimate on terrorist threat to the homeland.

McConnell Kills

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emptywheel
Wow. I'm with Spencer Ackerman. If transparency is going to kill Americans, Mike McConnell just killed a lot more Americans blabbing to the El Paso Times than a Congressional debate with marginal transparency ever will. Consider this example, where McConnell tries to convince the reporter that the Administration is not data-mining on a massive scale: Now there's a sense that we're doing massive datamining.

Quinn Gillespie's New Client

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emptywheel
Ever since Ed Gillespie became Bush's replacement for Dan Bartlett (and after that, for Rove), I've been trying to track the clients of Quinn Gillespie--the firm that Gillespie co-founded. After all, Gillespie is a guy who, up until days before he took on one of the most powerful advisory roles at the White House, was a big-time lobbyist, with a broad clientele.

Stephen Hayes Tells the Truthiness: "There Wouldn't Have Been an Investigation"

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emptywheel
Perhaps the most amusing aspect of Hayes' retelling of the Plame story in his biography on Cheney is his description of the events of fall 2003. Before I explain it, I should note that Hayes has a problem with time. He frequently alters the chronology of events so he can screw with the causality.

Is Waxman Protecting Tom Davis in His Politicization Investigation?

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emptywheel
In this post I trace the tangled web in which Tom Davis is investigating Scott Bloch (head of the Office of Special Counsel) at the same time as Bloch may be investigating Tom Davis. The short logic goes like this:Tom Davis is investigating Scott Bloch (and collecting all Bloch emails that refer to any legislator)The WaPo story on Sunday looks like it was based primarily on leaks from OSCIt included details

TALON, Guardian, Insert Your Name of the Week

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emptywheel
Several people noted the announcement that DOD was shutting down the TALON database, wondering if the database was just going to be renamed down the line, as TIA seems to have morphed. Apparently they missed this detail: It will be closed on Sept. 17 and information collected subsequently on potential terror or security threats to Defense Departmentfacilities or personnel will be sent by Pentagon officials to an FBIdatabase known as Guardian, according

Stephen Hayes Tells the Truthiness: CIA Trip Report

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emptywheel
I laid out earlier all the details that Stephen Hayes suppressed for his hagiography of Dick Cheney. There are two areas in which his propaganda tract is useful, the second of which I'll deal with in a later post. Declassifying the Trip Report The first is a consistent theme Hayes uses for his tale about OVP's involvement in the Plame leak.

They Can't Legislate $hit

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emptywheel
Marty Lederman notes that Cheney's latest dodge includes a reference to the ruling that limits Congress' oversight over the Executive strictly to those areas where it pertains to legislation. From that, he argues that Cheney's response was premised on the belief that FISA itself is an illegal restriction on the Executive. Finally, the letter lists numerous reasons whythe VP's office might not release the requested documents.

Wilkes Will Get an Enemy Combatant Lawyer for His Extraordinary Rendition-Related Trial

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emptywheel
At least that's what I infer from the comments of the lawyer from the public defender's nonprofit that will now take on Wilkes' defense in one of two cases (thanks to chrisc for sending this on) he has been charged on. A lawyer from Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., a nonprofit thatrepresents indigent people accused of federal crimes, will representWilkes in the criminal case with co-defendant Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, theformer third-highest-ranking

What Stephen Hayes Doesn't Want You to Know about Cheney's Involvment in Outing Valerie Wilson

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emptywheel
I confess. I peeked ahead. Today, we're going to play a little quiz game. If you had to pick the parts of the CIA Leak story that Cheney's hand-picked propagando-biographer would leave out, thereby leaving a picture that Dick Cheney was not centrally involved in the leak, what would you leave out? The answers are after the jump. Hayes left out:The notes Cheney made on Wilson's op-ed, including the question "Or did his wife

Details on Cheney's FISA Documents

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emptywheel
It appears that Dan Eggen has gotten a copy of the letter from Dick's office, detailing which documents he has that respond to FISA subpoenas. Among other things, Eggen's report appears to suggest that the warrantless wiretap program operated illegally for 9 days (and possibly as many as 22 days) before it was amended to satisfy DOJ; previously, we had only know it had operated illegally for one day. Here're the
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