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June 25, 2007

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ew,

Thanks for saving me the trouble doing all this. I do have one quibble. This bit:

Olson could make Cheney's argument that courts had no jurisdiction, but he wanted to "show them that you at least have some system of due process in place" to ensure against wrongful detention, according to a senior Justice Department official who closely followed the debates. This senior official could be someone like Comey himself or Jack Goldsmith.

I think this one has to be a current DOJ official. That would have to be Clement.

Two things seem clear. Josh Bolten is worried about keeping Bush in office and out of jail. And the White House Counsel's Office is in complete disarray.

You're probably right, WO. I'll note it above. I think the article deliberately hides people behind current and former status, helped along by their "cast of characters" that provides absolutely no detail when someone left.

I also love your assessment of Bolten's position. This is pretty masterful, if it is entirely his doing, which I doubt. Let's hope it's effective.

I'm thinking Condi was a more source for some at first glance - if anyone has cause for a whole headful of hate for Cheney, it is her.

Old Coastie

I agree. There were several times I came close to naming her. But if she is a source, she has hidden her tracks remarkably well.

Some of these quotes, like the fact that neither Cheney nor Addington care what anyone else thinks, could have come from virtually anyone who ever worked at all closely with them. I'm willing to bet there are more than a few disgruntled folks out there waiting to be interviewed.

Bolten would seem to have his prints all over this. Who's watching his back? Which suggests we ought to be reading the DC accident reports carefully, also the "resigned to spend more time with his family" reports.

On Cheney's reaction to 9/11--I have never believed the MIHOP theories or even, really, the LIHOP ones except possibly as to one or at most two people. If you were a high-up Saudi, maybe in intel, who, if anyone, would you tell if you did know something? Or a Pakistani? Is that why Dick is so supportive of the Pakistanis? At least you would know he could keep a secret. Just food for thought.

And why now? Is it just that Gellman and Becker demanded that it be put out or is there something afoot that people are either fleeing or trying to stop by weakening Cheney?

Hmm, sourced to Poppy? Interesting. You figure it's his attempt to pin this all on Big Time, so that he doesn't have to watch Junior be impeached and then extradited to The Hague?

Given how loathe the Dem leadership seems to be to move on imnpeachment past anyone except maybe Gonzales, who seems to be walking around DC with an "Impeach Me!" sign that someone put on his back, the idea that they are afraid of Bush being impeached or going to jail seems far fetched. But trying to neuter Cheney because of what he might do seems more plausible to me, or what more he might drag them all into.

Certainly the more realistic have to be contemplating a life after the Cheney Admin, so they have to be thinking about their own survival too. If the proverbial sh*t hits the fan big time, like Iran or the exposure of something we don't yet know about, there will be a much more serious commission to find out what happened. Maybe the articles are just the breadcrumb trail.

tekel

Baker was quoted by name, yes (plus Quayle, but he doesn't count). So I do think perhaps the Baker + Powell wing is a big factor here.

Though I confess I have no sense of where Josh Bolten plays in the other rivalries at all.

ew: an edit for Mary Matalin...?

"without commenting on the legality of efficacy"

should perhaps be "legality or efficacy"

whoever said which to whom--it's a pit of vipers, the lot of them...

Mimikatz: is there something afoot that people are either fleeing or trying to stop by weakening Cheney?

Isn't the whole world walking on eggshells, just waiting for Dick Cheney to launch the invasion of Iran? And anyone with even half a must realize that attacking Iran would only add calamity to disaster- but I'm preaching to the choir on that one I think :-/

If ew is right about GHWB's involvement, perhaps this article represents the old guard's push to force Cheney's removal after the ISG Baker/Hamilton report failed to produce any meaningful policy changes.

Mimikatz: is there something afoot that people are either fleeing or trying to stop by weakening Cheney?

Isn't the whole world walking on eggshells, just waiting for Dick Cheney to launch the invasion of Iran? And anyone with even half a must realize that attacking Iran would only add calamity to disaster- but I'm preaching to the choir on that one I think :-/

If ew is right about GHWB's involvement, perhaps this article represents the old guard's push to force Cheney's removal after the ISG Baker/Hamilton report failed to produce any meaningful policy changes.

"half a brain." and somehow I double posted... must be time for lunch :-/

Cheney can't launch the war himself, like General Jack D. Ripper. Gates is at least the nominal civilian head of the military, who wou;ld do the actual shooting/bombing. So this may also be a battle for Bush's soul, or for the sould of the military, showing them how many people would back them if they try to stand firm against Cheney. I dunno, but more and more I think something's afoot.

Emptywheel, you are wonderful!

With all of the light starting to shine in on our secretive VP, and, I think, some major rumblings in the MSM, could it be that impeachment will not be necessary? Could it force Cheney to resign to avoid public humiliation? For someone who is so secretive, this has got to be disgraceful!

Maybe he might save us the trouble...

Condi, to me, has been very interesting to watch.

First, she got rung-up on War Crimes Charges in Germany, which caused her to immediately fly to Singapore and play the piano.

Then, Tenet slyly pinned her between him and Bush with his July 10, 2001 meeting revelation - where Tenet and Cofer Black warned Condi in 'the starkest possible terms' about 911 - a meeting which she conveniently forgot to mention to the 911 Commission. A year and a half later, she was a player, along with Big Time, in Mushroom Cloud Sunday, too.

Realistically, she must be feeling like she's got one foot on the gallows at this point - and she has to choose between placing her other foot with Bush or Cheney.

The stakes are very high for her.


Kudos on the careful analysis and sourcing, ew.

When I read the first article, I took it as a way for someone behind the scene who wanted to salvage W's presidency for history, by putting the blame for the more egregious actions firmly on Cheney. I figure it's Poppy,Baker,Bolton and Rice mostly behind it all. Throw in some Kkkarl and Meyers, and you've got yourself a reverse coup. Regardless, history will not look kindly on all of their complicity in this, nor on their "profiles in courage".

Impeachment hearings today, war crimes tribunals tomorrow. For.All.Of.Them.

EW, you ma'am, are a Goddess of the incunabulae. Keep up the amazing work.

If Bush's loyalists are in the process of shoving Cheney out the door, with the assistance of the Post and other MSM reporters, interesting times are ahead. The plan may be to clean up Jorge's act by blaming Dicko for everything bad that's happened and, once Darth is gone, install a presidential wannabe as his replacement. My money is on Darth scuttling any such caper.

Marcy: Great work!

Mimikatz: "So this may also be a battle for Bush's soul . . " He has one?

Minnesota chuck--that's just a figure of speech, not a judgment on Bush himself.

masterful work. fascinating!!
and much appreciated. as this adminstration rapidly unravels

What happens if they are throwing Cheney under the bus........so they can pick another VP......... ala kkkarl (maybe COndi) to run in 08. I think I am going to be sick, Cheney can resign because of health (cough) problems. (I hope not) I think COndi and Poppy are trying to clean up Juniors mess for the history books.

lolo

lolo, I don't think Karl could get confirmed without a major fight and a lot of blackmail or something. I'm not really sure anyone who'd be a viable candidate in '08 could be confirmed, at this point. (Condi isn't a viable candidate for much of anything in the way of political office.)

We have gone for fairly long periods, a couple of years, without a VP. Why would the (Dem) Congress approve one when Nancy Pelosi is in the #2 spot if Cheney is gone?

But I don't think that's what's happening. And Condi has zero cred. I'm not sure she even wants elective office. I bet she'd rather slink back to Stanford.

I can't see much of GHWB in this one. If he was involved, it would be that he somehow freed people to talk without fear of sanctions. How can Poppy protect them? He won't even be with us long, and he has no power in today's republican party.

I think this is the result of careful work. You probably start with flunkies who tell the truth under strict background rules, so they can protect themselves, with the idea that they would eventually take credit if it worked out, and stay silent if it didn't. Then that information is presented to higher ranking people for confirmation. They won't do it unless they can see how it will benefit themselves. It only comes when they feel safe, or when the alternatives to talking seem less safe.

I say, kudos to Gellman and Becker for acting like real journalists.

The only thing I hate is letting Yoo get anything that might resemble positive press. That man treats law as a game, with no purpose other than satisfying the client. He cannot ever be allowed near power again.

Olson could make Cheney's argument that courts had no jurisdiction, but he wanted to "show them that you at least have some system of due process in place" to ensure against wrongful detention, according to a senior Justice Department official who closely followed the debates.

If you are sure that it is a current official, then ? but if you aren't sure, then I'd have to go with Goldsmith. This issue is one that seems to have been a remaining bee in his bonnet - bc he helped (he was spec asst for Haynes at DOD before heading OLC) with the whole GITMO experience and has since tried very hard to make the arguments that the whole thing is fine - except, well, yeah, maybe it should have a teeny bit more due process.

E.g.,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080301257.html
(note that is a WaPo editorial too)

Congress should require a rigorous process for determining the status of enemy combatants that includes some form of representation for the detainee. It should establish periodic review, perhaps yearly, to determine whether the detainee remains dangerous and thus warrants continued detention. It should insist that detainees live in genuinely humane conditions appropriate for very long-term detention. And it should urge the president to endeavor to transfer detainees to their home countries when feasible, and with appropriate human rights guarantees.

So he would have been not only following the debates closely, but active in them. But Clement isn't a bad guess either.

With respect to the "suicide mission" keep in mind, there wasn't just one "suicider" (as Bush might say).
Via War&Piec, a CNN link http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/03/11/padilla.decision/index.html
and the case docket shows that all that happened while Comey was in charge of the case in NYC and Comey was the co-signatory on the suicide pact:

Mukasey is the same judge who ruled last December that the president's use of the "enemy combatant" classification is lawful. He also ruled that defense attorneys should be permitted to visit with Padilla, but Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement and U.S Attorney James Comey asked Mukasey to reconsider that. "The government's arguments here are permeated with the pinched legalism one usually encounters from non-lawyers," wrote Mukasey, who had signaled his impatience with the government's views at a January hearing.

Comey also added a follow up letter appeal to the Judge:

03/25/2003 49 Letter filed by U.S.A. addressed to Judge Mukasey from James B. Comey, dated 3/20/03, re: continual belief that Mr. Padilla poses danger to the national security of the United States. (db) (Entered: 03/26/2003)

Considering the case started in June of 2002 ...

The problem with you people is that you think like the liberal Democratic activists that you are.

Most of the country doesn't think like you. You haven't yet understood why the Democratic Congress is polling at 14%, light years less than Bush on his worst day. On the other hand, most of the country would be disturbed at the notion of Dick Cheney running a "secret government".

What's going on here is a series of "hidden hands", most likely Rice, Bob Gates, and Josh Bolten working with Pops on the outside to undermine the once-reliable Dick Cheney, who has decided to run an off-the books operation that has shades of Ollie North's Basement to it.

Cheney and Rumsfeld have been dissing Rice for years. But she's the Last Man Standing. It is an article of faith among liberals (simply because they cannot stand the notion of a black woman choosing to be a conservative Republican) that Rice is in over her head. Yet there she still is. And she'll see the back of Dick Cheney.

If Dick were to go, and I expect he will, his replacement would most likely be Rice, who is very popular in the Republican Party. The fact that you clowns say that she sucks is irrelevant: you are left wing Democratic activists. Out in the larger electorate where people lead real lives, your opinion counts about as much as that of Pat Robertson. Nobody likes an extremist.

Most of the country likes Rice and thinks she's a competent lady who would be a good Vice-President. They would expect that she would be approved by both Houses of Congress. This would be a win-win for us, as Hillary would insist that she be turned down.

Instant martyrdom for Condi and a spot on Rudy or Fred's ticket. One of these guys will probably be the next President anyway, since your party has decided to nominate a candidate with 45% negatives.

It does suck to be you.

looking through the ' cast of characters ' i just see a lot of people that should be indicted for War Crimes, Treason or just shoved up against the wall.

Section 9 is really Section 8, I see.

What I don't see here is cooperation from Caligula himself, our little Georgie. He knows damn well that Agnew went before Nixon. And that NOBODY wants Cheney to be president, even for an hour. Push comes to shove, I think our stubborn, spiteful sociopath will dig in his heels to keep Cheney.

EW- great insights.

Yet, crazy as it sounds, this series reads like a "let's rehab the party". We are all reading the polls each week. The Pres' poll numbers dropping each week, along with Cheney's poll numbers being absolutely horrid, has motivated someone to position themselves in a beneficial stance via WaPo. This series seems more like a "let's look tough on Cheney and it might cause a bump up in the polls" RNC move. Yet it comes off as an investigative piece seeking the truth and ferretting out the "evil" Cheney. Very effective. Self-criticism has a way of sounding genuine. The series has an effective "man behind the curtain" in Oz move by the WaPO and the Republican Party. This series will not work to win me over. But it has potential for the rest of the country, unfortunately - and that's key here. As I read it, I asked myself who has the most to gain from this politically? Indeed, Condi and the RNC. All the while, we (progressives) will enjoy a sense of vindication against Cheney and perhaps Bush. Some slight of hand! A "Cheney bad" parade of words to distract us from Iraq, Plamegate, Rule of Law, the DOJ and many other major issues. My guess is some other GOP scandal news is about to hit and this helps to distract. The Reps trying to look as though they "understand what they are dealing with in Cheney and need to move on it" is quite slow and extremely hollow. The series also has the look of appealing to the Christain base as a "self" rebuke or admonishment of the party and Cheney. Any other "election" views seen by anyone in this series? Really, this article just seems to confirm many views that have been pieced bit by bit in the news to date. What is honestly "new" news in this series?

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