What Remains Unsaid

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emptywheel
Here's my favorite exchange from Stanford Lawyer's interview of Carol Lam (h/t bmaz): YOU SERVED UNDER BOTH JOHN ASHCROFT AND ALBERTO GONZALES. HOW DID THAT TRANSITION FROM ASHCROFT TO GONZALES AFFECT YOUR LIFE AND YOUR DUTIES AS A U.S. ATTORNEY? The structures of the department were in place, so I didn't expect a lot of impact from the change in attorney general under the same administration.

Jello Jay Rockefeller's "Deal"

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emptywheel
There are two key details from this article on the "deal" "negotiated" between Jay Rockefeller and Dick Cheney. First, a comment from Dana Perino states that the SSCI had to first accede to telecom immunity before they could see the documents justifying the program. Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, said Friday that the SenateIntelligence Committee had gained access to the documents only afterits leaders had indicated that they would grant

The Public Pressure on Subpoenas

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emptywheel
Yesterday, there were two stories about subpoenas of journalists that suggest something about journalist subpoenas. The first story involves an attempt by some Phoenix big-wigs to cow the alternative New Times into backing off investigations into them. In a breathtaking abuse of the United States Constitution, Sheriff JoeArpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and their increasinglyunhinged cat's paw, special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik, used the grandjury to subpoena "all documents related to articles

The Show Trials

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emptywheel
I'm not really surprised by the reason the lead prosecutor for Gitmo detainees quit--as reported by the WaPo. The Administration wanted show trials in time for the 2008 election, and they were willing to use classified information to do so. Politically motivated officials at the Pentagon have pushed for convictions of high-profile detainees ahead of the 2008elections, the former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay said last night, adding that

Fieger's Judge Gets Curious

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emptywheel
I never wanted Jeffrey Fieger to be my governor. But I'm looking forward to the way he fights his campaign finance charges, particularly now that the judge appears to think the investigation into him was politically motivated. A federal judge in Detroit peppered a prosecutor with questions Tuesdayto find out whether the investigation that resulted in the Augustindictment of Southfield lawyer Geoffrey Fieger on campaign financecharges was politically motivated. U.S.

FISA Update

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emptywheel
Via Laura Rozen--there are several interesting things in this article. First, Bush has given over the family jewels--the legal opinions justifying their illegal domestic wiretapping program. He has given them to SJC, but not to HJC. Across the Capitol, Senate Intelligence Chairman John D. RockefellerIV, D W.Va., said his staff Tuesday reviewed legal opinions and otherdocuments the panel had sought related to the NSA program.
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Trojan First Amendment

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emptywheel
In his book, Unequal Protection, Thom Hartman shows how corporations (specifically, railroads) used the 14th Amendment--which ostensibly guaranteed African Americans the same rights other citizens enjoyed--to enshrine the concept of corporate personhood in our legal system. With the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, the owners of the what werethen America’s largest and most powerful corporations - the railroads -figured they’d finally found a way to reverse Paine’s logic and no longerhave to

If You're In Western Mass

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emptywheel
I'll be giving a talk at my old stomping grounds on Thursday evening, 8PM, in Fayerweather. If you might show up, let me know in the comments--I'd love to touch base with readers. And until then ... I'm off to solve US auto woes.

And Then There Were Three?

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emptywheel
Via DK at TPM, all three big telecoms have told Congress to fuck off they can't confirm or deny whether they've been breaking the law by cooperating with the Administration. Three telecommunications companies have declined to tell Congresswhether they gave U.S. intelligence agencies access to Americans' phoneand computer records without court orders, citing White Houseobjections and national security. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell "formally invokedthe state secrets privilege to prevent AT&T from
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Six Months

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emptywheel
Six months. That's how long Comcast keeps its records that allow it to track the activity of a Comcast Internet subscriber. At least that's what Comcast's Cable Law Enforcement Manual, which somebody liberated and got into the hands of Secrecy News, says.Because Comcast’s system of allocating IP addresses uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), its subscribers are not assigned a single, constant or static IP address.

The Murdoch Media Service Obliges GOP Lies

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emptywheel
Gosh, what a remarkable coinkydink. This morning, Roll Call comes out with this story: Specifically,Republicans are planning to use the kidnapping and subsequent murder ofthree U.S. soldiers in Iraq earlier this year to put a "human face" onthe issue, the House staffer explained. According to this aide, whileDemocrats' arguments about privacy may resonate with some voters,Republicans believe using real-world examples of how a weak FISA hasput U.S.
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Ensuring Quality

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emptywheel
Like Susie, I think this is a really cool idea. Paul E. Steiger, who was the top editor of The Wall Street Journalfor 16 years, and a pair of wealthy Californians are assembling a groupof investigative journalists who will give away their work to mediaoutlets. The nonprofit group, called Pro Publica, will pitcheach project to a newspaper or magazine (and occasionally to othermedia) where the group hopes the work will make

A Brilliant Case Officer

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emptywheel
There's an amusing line in Jonathan Landay's article on the Bush Administration's discovery that Vladimir Putin has no soul. Bush and his aides "grossly misjudged Putin," considering him "agood guy and one of us," said Michael McFaul of Stanford University'sHoover Institution. The former KGB officer created that illusionpartly by appearing to share Bush's political and religiousconvictions, standard tradecraft employed by intelligence officers torecruit spies, he said. "Putin .
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Lobbyist Logic

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emptywheel
I know you have all been worried at my seeming recovery from my obsession with Ed Gillespie. But worry not--the dearth of Gillespie posts was mostly explained by my travel schedule (which gets really bad again this week, then gets better), and not any disinterest in the guy who took over after they fired Bush's brain. And this, I guess, is the kind of logic you get from the Lobbyist-in-Chief with which
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Dick DeVos and KayBee Hutchison Go After Bloggers

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emptywheel
That's a way to make you feel good about blogging, huh? To be attacked by both Dick DeVos and KayBee Hutchison? DeVos is suing 30 anonymous bloggers and YouTube users because he believes they are among a group for former distributors who sued Amway and were put under a gag order by the judge in the suit. In the lawsuit filed this past week in Ottawa County Circuit Court,Quixtar seeks an injunction and

Did the NSA Ask for Data Mining Before or After 9/11?

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emptywheel
I did my big timeline yesterday to try to pin down how much of what we suspect to be the warrantless wiretap program started in early 2001, rather than post-9/11 as Bush has always claimed. As I pointed out in my timeline, it's clear that Nacchio walked into the February 27 meeting expecting to talk about Groundbreaker.

Some Context on Hayden's Witchhunt of Helgerson

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emptywheel
As the NYT broke the other day, General Michael Hayden is conducting an investigation of the CIA's Inspector General, John Helgerson. Their first report on the story intimated the reason why Hayden was conducting such an unusual investigation. A report by Mr. Helgerson’s office completed in the spring of 2004warned that some C.I.A.-approved interrogation procedures appeared toconstitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as defined by theinternational Convention Against Torture.

Atttorney-Client "Crossed Lines"

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emptywheel
What a surprise! An attorney representing a Gitmo detainee and someone in Afghanistan has found "crossed lines" in his telephone connection (h/t scout prime). A law firm that represents clients atGuantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan is warning its Vermont clientsthat it believes the federal government has been monitoring its phonesand computer system. [snip] A Verizon Vermont technician who investigatedproblems with Gensburg’s phone last month found crossed lines, butdidn’t explain what caused the problem,

The NewOld USAs

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emptywheel
Amanda marks the expiration of the PATRIOT Act appointees as USA. These 11 prosecutors now “find themselves at the mercy of the same U.S. district courts that the Justice Department saw fit to cut out of the U.S. Attorney appointmentprocess last year.” The courts today will decide whether to reappointthese prosecutors who were handpicked by Gonzales and the White House.

The Dread Dinners!

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emptywheel
Hey. Remember when Duke Cunningham was a hero? Well, once you're useless to the up-and-comers, that hero reputation dies a quick death (h/t chrisc). Wade said the now-imprisoned congressman was so critical to securingmillions of dollars in federal contracts that defense contractors werewilling to act like they were his friends. "We would dread having dinner with (Cunningham) and having to listen tohim repeat the same jokes," Wade told jurors in the same courtroomwhere
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