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October 30, 2007

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During her Waxman Committee testimony last week, she even plaintively wailed: "I'm being as candid with you as I can!"

Time to ask for a group rate for Waxman's hearings. Unless he starts bringing in a bucket to hold the stacks of Contempt of Congress charges he'll never get through this herd. Talk about a new meaning of obstruction of justice...hey, it's the sheer volume he faces.

The construction "I'm being as candid with you as I can!" begs the very question it's supposed to be answering.

Has Griffin indicated he did not know? I find that hard to believe. He had to have been contacted during the process. Quite frankly, I would be shocked if Rice wasn't contacted during the process; at a minimum, immediately thereafter. If Rice did not fully know by the time she was in front of Waxman, everybody in that chain of command ought to be fired and out on the street already. This is BS. Listen, I thought prosecuting these mercenaries was going to be problematic, if not next to impossible, to start with; but the immunity actions just take the cake. And I say that not because it kills the already wafer thin chances for prosecution (although it does significantly muck it up beyond the already difficult state), it is because it just screams cover up. I cannot think of any other explanation for immunizing, Garritizing, whatever, ALL of the involved individuals. That is ridiculously beyond the pale; nobody in their right mind would do that unless they were trying to monkeywrench any chance at all of effective investigation and prosecution. Offering Garrity agreements to a couple of actors, that you think are not the main culprits, I can easily see; although I would not have done it. garrity agreements are for members of your agency; the people here were not State. But to give it to all of them, when they are not even State employees, that is flat out an attempt to bring them under the umbrella of State and protect them from any harm; which is absolutely rotten to the core.

This is a story that was on every national network, prompted the Iraqi parliament to pass practically the only law they could all agree on in the last four years, sent Condi to the Hill for the first time, and resulted in the CEO of the company being called before Congress. And we're supposed to believe for more than fifteen milliseconds that in the midst of all that, someone lower in the chain of command freelanced an immunity decision?

It's bad when you know from the start that it's going to be hard to decide which is worse, the truth, or the cover story.

There's a little gremlin in the back of my brain suggesting that this immunity deal is backdated and didn't exist when Condi testified.

Appears pretty clear to me that the immunity debriefing occurred pretty early on. If rice did not know by the time she was in front of Waxman, she and her entire command structure should be fired immediately. If she did know, they should be fired immediately. The link is to an ABC story describing the actual immunity language.

Til noon on 2 November....wonder what additional lies State will come up with by then? It's fustrating nobody ever gets canned for their (supply your preferred terminology) but the man sure puts on some of the most enjoyable hearings in the Village.

Can Rice be impeached?

RFW, Rice saying "I'm being as candid as I can" perfectly parrots Alberto Gonzales's valedictory protestation to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was constantly saying "what I'm at liberty to tell you is...".

The state secrets dodge continues to bump up against clear evidence of illegality, and now stands poised to sink another senior Cabinet official.

There are two months still remaining in 2007. This administration is scheduled to leave office in 15 months. A presidential election is not a suicide pact. Impeach. Our Founding Fathers say we can, even if our current Speaker doesn't.

CNN is still reporting at the start of their 4 PM EST Situation Report show that immunity was offered.

Here's my latest guess as to what is happening:

The State Department now says that "Since we don't have authority to give immunity, we couldn't have given it."

This is just another example of "Condilogic" that is mandatory at the State Department such as:

1. If I didn't read it, nobody wrote it.
2. If I didn't hear it, nobody said it.
3. If I can't remember it, it didn't happen.

Except we don't want Condi's ouster if she's standing in the way of Cheney, Podhoritz and WW3.

So who in the White House in backdooring Condi at State?

And when it was time for her to be "read in" she got word from above to support the done deal offered by the White House plant in State.

Yep Mad Dogs, but that deaf, dumb, blind Condi sure plays a mean pinball.

Just for grins, I sent my above comment into CNN in response to Jack Cafferty's Situation Room question of the hour.

He asked: "What message does it send if the State Department offered immunity to Blackwater guards?"

And I responded as above. Jack read it in its entirety as the last (as in "save the best for") response. *g*

Kickass Mad Dogs. Did he identify you as Mad Dogs??

So will Condi end up on a human rights group's violation list charge as guilty and be unable to travel to France? I hope so. She'll be in unsurprising company.

From the ABC News story linked by bmaz, perhaps "immunity" is irrelevant ...

The panel's report, drafted by Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, concluded that even if a private security guard committed cold-blooded murder, there may be no legal basis for prosecuting the guard in U.S. courts under current law.

"The panel is unaware of any basis for holding non-Department of Defense contractors accountable under U.S. law," the report concluded.

cboldt,

Do you interpret this as being able to be tried in a non-US courts?

Hmmm, I wonder if the Iraqi's will take a page out of the Bush playbook and make their new revocation of immunity for contractors retroactive, a bit of a mirror-image of the telecomm retroactive immunity.

Whether or not a non-DoD contractor is accountable is the subject of some substantial debate. It is highly unlikely that they are amenable to trial under Iraq law.

Without deep study, my impression is that it's technically possible to prosecute them under US law. But it'd be a stretch -- a first, if you will. And then there is the matter of having the will on the part of DoJ to prosecute a crime roughly "out" of their jurisdiction.

Yeah cboldt, but I think criminal culpability had been a concern and discussed, at least in terms of a theoretical possibility, for some time when this event happened in mid-September. For one, there had apparently been quite the simmering issue over the mercenary who shot the Iraqi official's aide back during the Christmas time period (I think it was December). I have yet to see anything to sway my opinion away from the thought that State did this intentionally in an attempt to do everything they could to stop and otherwise bugger up any potential investigation and prosecution. There may not have been a good chance of a successful prosecution to start with, but they sure did everything they could through delay, obfuscation, removal of evidence and witnesses, and, now we find, immunization, to screw up any possibility of prosecution. The pattern of conduct by State is neither that of an entity that thought the Blackwater conduct proper, nor that thought there was no potential culpability. The conduct of State screams cover-up and insolence from start to finish.

EW, no. I used my real first name, so he called me Greg. Shhhh! That's a secret, so don't tell anyone. *g*

Nicely done Mad Dogs :)

OT - Another Waxman missive.

It’s the War stupid, it’s the Corruption stupid:
Waxman puts Fielding nuts in logic vice.

Happy Halloween. In a letter dated today, Waxman asked Fielding to release “hundreds of pages of documents about the activities of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff” stating that “unless the President is prepared to assert executive privilege over these documents, they should be turned over to the Oversight Committee without further delay.

Waxman further points out “When Mr. Abramoff pleaded guilty to corruption charges in January 2006; White House officials stated emphatically that Mr. Abramoff was a virtual stranger to the White House. President Bush said, "I don't know him." If Mr. Abramoff was a virtual stranger to the White House, then he cannot have been involved in discussions that would qualify for executive privilege.

Waxman is not done, the oversight committee reviewed documents from Abramoff’s employer, Greenberg Traurig, which were summarized in a bipartisan staff report released last year. It determined this virtual stranger and his associates had “hundreds of lobbying contacts with White House officials, billed clients more than $24,000 for meals and drinks with White House officials, and provided White House officials with high-priced tickets to sporting and entertainment events.”

If the White House documents would be embarrassing to the president, then we will never see them but Fielding will have to assert executive privilege and Bush will have admitted the corrupt convicted lobbyist Abramoff was a presidential advisor. pdf

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