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May 16, 2007

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Instead of asking the people "we would like documents and emails..." they need to TELL them the HOW to search for those emails and documents instead of letting them define their own searches which are designed to omit relevant documents.

These ppl doing the investigating need to get on the ball...and also talk to someone who is proficient in document search and retention.

Can anybody explain to me why there have been no contempt of congress citations? Is there some sort of legal necessity that they can't get, like a unanimous vote or something? I really don't understand it. THe popularity of congress is dropping like a rock, most people seem to want some action, ANY action, from these guys and they continually allow this sort of delay, obfuscation and outright defiance. It is almost as tho they WANT to let the Bushies play out the clock, on every issue from this one to Iraq to Abramoff. There is probably a dynamic I am just too angry to see, but it eludes me yet.

If you think the Dems are too patient then you will find an ally in Rahm Emmanuel.

HE HATES PATIENCE!

Monica is coming to town:

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
NOTICE OF HEARING

TIME: 10:15 a.m.
DATE: Wednesday, May 23, 2007
PLACE: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing on: The Continuing Investigation into the U.S. Attorneys Controversy and Related Matters.

Witness: Monica Goodling, former Justice Department White House Liaison
By Direction of the Chairman

lizard

You hit the nail on the head. The popularity of Congress is dropping because they don't act. Yeah, there's the we don't have a majority bit and it has some truth. However, they run the committees and are being played by the Administration and specially Rove and they know it and the people know it. Don't know what they could do however? OK. The send a contempt notice. What happens next? A friendly Repub judge says screw you go figure it out yourself. Then what happens?

As Frank Luntz said on Bill Maher - with Bush at 28%; the war hugely unpopular; etc - the Dems should have no problem trouncing the Repubs. 2008 is a some time away and much can happen or not happen!

Scr*w doing it by search terms. Take the f*cking servers away from them, and the hard drives in their PCs (do all the PCs, just in case they've been playing musical chairs with them) and image them, Then given them back, with the original e-mails in password-protected directories, and don't tell them the passwords.

What the h*ll do we have to do, lead these guys around by the hand like 4-year-old children, explaining everything to them in short, simple words? Do they understand their jobs, or are they just chair warmers?

Let's see. That doesn't include Matt Friedrich, the recipient of Rove's Wisconsin Voter Fraud file and husband of WH employee Dabney Friedrich. Doesn't include Johnny Sutton, AGAC chair, who was involved in the response to the USA firings (and known associate of Karl Rove). I'm sure I can come up with more...

All perfectly designed not to find anything incriminating.

Ding ding ding. That response was taking the piss: a deliberate fuck-you to Leahy.

Time to take the fucking servers from them. Because, quite frankly, that pathetic response puts Hertling in the shit because it suggests a Presidential Records Act archiving failure. And that's Waxman's territory, and he's not going to be bullshitted.

Hertling managed to cast his net in the one spot in the school of herring that had no herring. Even a random cast would have yielded a fish, which means Hertling worked bloody hard to find none. I hope someone in Congress is as curious as EW and has the power to satisfy that curiosity.

EW, you national treasure you...

Are you going to the Monica Show? I'll gladly toss money in the hat for that. Or, for whatever else you want to do.

You. Are. Great.
.

Hey yeah, what ever happened to Joe Lieberman's $300,000 slush fund? Why haven't we seen any action on this, not even an investigation? Imagine if some name-brand (and real) Dem had such an obvious breach of election law exposed. It'd be News with a capital N, and on some law enforcement front burner.

I might be in DC on wednesday. Wonder what I would have to do to get in to see Monigoo?

If my understanding is correct from previous posts. Congress can't just go grab the servers. They got no troops. The FBI is under the WH. Marshals are under Justice. Normally an impartial (nonpolitical) justice department would jump in to investigate suspected wrongdoing. But we don't have that we have the unitary DOJ. It's frustrating, but it goes to show how fragile democracy is when good men do nothing for too long.

or even better, what should I do to go get the servers. If I get myself some coveralls, an ID badge, and a clipboard, the guards should just wave me by...

Anybody know where Hertling might be keeping the computers? Because, seriously, it's time to go get them.

they should subpoena the servers.

Here's what I've been waiting for!

Susan Ralston Requests Immunity

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/05/16/former-rove-gatekeeper-seeking-immunity/

It's only a hunch, but I've always had this strong sense that Ralston would be the one to finally make Purina out of our pal Karlito if someone would just push her hard enough.

obsessed @ 22:00

TPM has this, and from what they say, she apparently isn't going to flip on Karl. Not until they have her hogtied over the barbecue pit, anyway.

Not until they have her hogtied over the barbecue pit

(obsessed sniffs the air expectantly)

I'm not convinced she'll be as masterful as Abu at playing legalese chicken with all those ex-lawyers. Throw her a few curves and she could slip up.

Time for SJC to run an auction:

We have 3 immunity spots open. Sheldon Whitehouse reviews the bids to see who has the best proffer. Everyone else, litigation commences in '09 when a real DOJ comes back to town.

hogtied over the barbecue pit

That's the problem. We who abide by the law and respect the law don't torture people... even when we think it will help save our country from those who would wantonly destroy it for their own personal gain or for some twisted ideology.

Sentencing someone to a nice clean jail with 3 meals a day is about as tough as we go for contempt violations. Not even rats or moldy straw bedding or decorative manacles in the corner. :( Spiders and bats are probably not an option, either.

Congress will have to use what tools it has under law.

The time is past to get those 2 cells in the basement occupied.

Ms Ralston is not only a link between Abramoff, Rove, Bush and Cheney, she probably knows more about the Filipino spy and who was using which computer. Before giving her any sort of immunity, I hope that the congress-critters are sure of receiving truthful and useful information.

i agree EW. the search terms, and
the field searched, and the names
searched were for sh!t -- more
importantly, though i do not believe
the senate, or the house committees
ever reached agreement on limiting
the searches in this (or any other)
manner, with the DoJ. . . so, as
i said at my joint, earlier today,
this is essentially dick hertling
flipping senator leahy off
. . .

next whistle-stop for this train,
were i the conductor? tomorrow, at
the executive business meeting, issue
a subpoena not to the r.n.c., but to
the forensic e-mail search firm, stroz
friedberg, l.l.c. -- and get every imaged
drive, right now. then hire independent
counsel to sort 'em, protecting lawful re-
publican secrets, while turning over all
responsive e-mails extant. . .

just a thought, here. . .

Good gravy, I could drive a Mack truck through the holes in Hertling's response.

-- did he parse out meeting notices? There's one in particular created by the DOJ, set up at the White House, that for some reason had NO invitees from the White House. Or was this a screw-up on Leahy's part, not specifically calling out meeting notices held in either DOJ or WH with attendees from either organization...

-- after Whitehouse's chart showing all the DOJ folks communicating with the White House and vice versa, this is a bunch of crap that Hertling says only 16 are responsive. There are certainly going to be folks who copied Rove.

-- The domain names are a problem. I don't know whether to lay the blame at Oversight's door or White House, but there are far more domains in play than the ones Hertling cites as responsive.

-- did these folks never use distlists? I can't recall seeing one, and that would be really freaking odd. Do emails to distlists not count as responsive?

That's just for starters. I throw with nolo, it's time to play hardball and simply subpoena the IT firm and take possession of all communications to/from DOJ on domains maintained by the firm.

Me again. *waves self-consciously* I'm afraid...very afraid...about several things.
1) Why would Goodling, who spent 45 minutes bawling about her ruined life, say anything bad about the people she used to love working with and for? Her 'testimony' will be every bit as vague as Abu's, and every bit as useful as SAmpson's without the email trail (i.e. not very).
2) The senate judiciary Democrats don't seem able to conceive of ANOTHER surveillance problem than the one "the president has admitted to," when in fact that's exactly what Abu has alluded to in front of the Senate panel.
3) Neither the smirking Gonzo nor the careful Comey have confirmed that the 'program' that was the subject of the nocturnal mission of Gonzo and Card was, in fact, the NSA program that we have come to live with. There has to be another!
I know. I know. I'm just parotting what others are saying. But dammit! Maybe if we say it often enough, and loud enough, somebody who could conceivably do SOMETHING might hear us.
Love you. Admire you. Wish you well. I look forward to tomorrow (if only because it's one day closer to Inauguration Day, January 2009.

Frankly I have been horrified for some time now that the process of investigation of the world series of High Crimes by the Bush Administration seems at least as we see it in public to be so nonchalant. My impression is that in much milder circumstances with possibility of mis- or malfeasance there would be some sort of demonstrably un-corruptible independent authority locking down all the potential documents and emails and controlling communications between multiple potential conspirators. Certified independent forensic computer technicians should have been all over the Republican Party email servers months ago, as an example.

Marcy - can you help me understand why the now known to be totally conscienceless and corrupt DoJ has been allowed to run their own show for so long in terms of controlling the evidence, coaching witnesses, and making up after-the-fact story-lines with seemingly no consequences?

I frankly cannot abide the degree of naivete exhibited by our elected congressional members in accepting the recent testimony before congress as credible and honest, given the obvious conniving, pathological lying, and total corruption of the principle players (Rove, Cheney, Bush, Gonzales).

We'll leave the republican-dominated-press (WAPO, NYT, WSJ, etc.) and their pathetically biased reporting out for now.

We are way past being polite and civil in the face of this malodorous crew. There are thousands of human lives at stake.

Where is the independent high-level investigation?

All this excitement!

And what do you expect to find in the emails that Fritz has already looked at? The disk drives that Fritz has made images of?

I think that nolo has a good idea about protecting info, but I still think that you will find nothing, except perhaps inconsistencies in statements.

It comes back to one basic fact. There is no charged crime, so all anyone has to do is take the fifth and ask for immunity if they think they might, might, might, have done or said something improper, or might botch their testimony, and then they only say the things that they have documents to back up, and as for the rest, "not certain, Mr Chairman. Didn't write that down anywhere. I sure wouldn't want to say something I am not positive about."

As for domains, well, I respectfully submit that to the best of my knowledge, none of mine were used.

EW,

Great Job! Thanks for keeping on this!

It's interesting that this issue has now hit the diners and the beauty salons in Middle America. And the news isn't that good for Democrats. To a lot of people, it's clear that the Attorney General is a liar and they suspect he's done bad things or else he wouldn't be lying. What they don't understand is why Congress keeps playing politics with it. Why not just impeach him, they ask? Once again, it seems the people are ahead of the politicans. It is tough to explain how the Bush Administration was politicizing the Justice Department but what most people seem to understand is that the Attorney General is a serial liar before Congress and he did it under oath. This is a powerful reason in itself for why the Attorney General and otehrs should be impeached over the mess at Justice.

The more interesting aspect of all this is that "the people" may be losing confidence in the Congress over the matter. They appear to have already decided that Gonzales is a liar and probably has done bad things. Also, the powerful testimony of Comey seems to have been quite popular with the coffee crowds. The drama about the "late night rush" to the bedside of the ailing Attorney General to get him to sign off on an illegal spying program on Americans is something of which the American public can grasp the significance.

So, misdirection by misdirection, testimony after testimony, day after day another, drip by drip, the Attorney General obstructs Justice and hides the misdeeds of his minions and the illegal programs enacted under direction of the White House and yet ... there sits Congress, day after day, taking testimony and re-reading transcripts of perjured testimony. Day by day, the Congress loses credibility with the American people and aids and abets the Justice underminers by failing to bring them to account. What good is oversight if it is not enforced? What good is a Congress who will not exercise its Constitutional authority. This is not about politics but about bringing an extra-Constitutional executive back into compliance with the Constitution. Will Congress ever stand up for the Constitution?

The low ratings that Congress is currently enjoying is surely part and parcel of its inability to deliver on the Iraq issue and to finally set to rest the mess at Justice. The American people are waiting and their patience is waning. The Democrats in Whashington don't seem to understand the need for urgency.

Re: Warrantless Spying Program and Comey Testimony

EW,

Comey's testimony about the "late night rush" to secure the hospital-bed signature of Attorney General Ashcroft is striking. The fact that Mueller, the F.B.I. Director, is on the side of Comey suggests to me that the warrantless spying in question is obviously domestic and extra-Constitutional. Otherwise, there would have been no need for the intense drama that took place.

What I find telling about this episode is that the White House was so determined to get a signature that they were even willing to accept the signature of a heavily sedated, ill Attorney General in his hospital bed even though he had previously signed over the authority of his position to Comey. So, even if they had obtained the signature of Ashcroft, how would it have been legal or helpful? What I can't help wondering about is if perhaps they saw an opportunity to obtain the signature of Ashcroft in his sedated and less-than-coherent state which they could then backdate to cover an illegal or extra-Constitutional program after the fact? Of course, the plan was foiled by Ashcroft's wife and Comey and Mueller. But what they foiled may not have been what they thought they had foiled. Instead, the plan may have been to obtain the signature and then to backdate the authorization. Who could have challenged them if they had been successful in doing something like this, if the signature on the authorization was kept in a drawer someplace to be pulled out, like a rabbit out of a hat, if needed some other time?

Jon

I asked Looseheadprop about that last night, and her take was that FBI has a significant enough CT function that it would have to be read into the NSA program.

What the h*ll do we have to do, lead these guys around by the hand like 4-year-old children, explaining everything to them in short, simple words? Do they understand their jobs, or are they just chair warmers
It appears that is all they are doing. Yes seems like you will have to lead them. I am astounded that some of the people are lawyers. (may be why they switched to pol.) Seems to me that bloggers have more sense than they do.

Gee, Jodi, thanks for the preview of the right-wing talking points, and for the laugh about the "best of your knowledge". Fun-nee.

Canuck 01:41 -- I believe that members of the Senate Judiciary have already started down the line of inquiry regarding multiple programs, although they aren't being crystal clear about it. I suspect they are going to leave enough room for Abu G. to hang himself by merely asking if he wants to recant and add new testimony, without leading him towards the changes that would align with Comey's testimony in public and closed door sessions in front of the SJC.

Rayne,

if logic and common sense are talking points, well you are welcome to them.

I am just explaining why despite the really high hopes, and sometimes even foolish expectations here on TNH, and FDL and elsewhere, nothing is coming out of these hearings, and really, not much should be expected.

I wonder why all the excitement! I would look at this as a process that might, might find something, but not push the excitement buttons so often.

Jodi, click.

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