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December 19, 2005


Intriguing! The immediate correlation I have is of Laura Rozen's post this evening that seems to indicate the "football" traveled with Cheney to Afghanistan. WTF is that all about? I thought the football (i.e., the "nuclear suitcase") travels with POTUS...

So I'm left with the burning question, What's really going on?

A vicious battle indeed. The arm-twisting that the moderate Republicans will have to suffer will be extraordinary. But I agree with you--the stakes are at their very highest. Bush and Company are "all-in" on this. Excellent post.

There are jokers in this deck, though. I hear Fitzmas isn't over yet.

This is also bound to affect the Supreme Court appointment of Alito, one of the most aggressive defenders of executive power and denigrators of Congressional power. If Spector really intends to put Bush's feet to the fire on this one, the Alito nomination would present a ready forum, given the memos and briefs he wrote when he was in the Reagan Admin. See Laura Rozen for more on this score.

And with the Supremes taking the Texas redistricting case, his views on Baker v. Carr (one man, one vote) are germane as well.

This was a really bad time for Bush to be pissing off Congress. Such arrogance. There is no way to avoid the Alito hearings on national TV--they are ready made for an exploration of the limits, if any, on executive power. No need to wait for a bipartisan commission. It's all ready to go in just 2 weeks.

Could Cheney be faking a realliance with Bush, telling Bush that he should stand strong about doing no wrong in order for Bush to get impeached and Cheney takes the lead?


It's certainly possible, particularly when you factor in the Rozen story dqueue links to. I have to admit, I just (finally) saw Revenge of the Siths this weekend (lame, I know--ask my blogmates about my pop culture failures). And I can't help but think of the moment when the emperor gets Annikan for good.

Josh Marshall has comments from readers who have looked carefully at Senator Rockefeller's letter and who say that it is possible that they couldn't get FISA warrants because what they were really doing was looking at everyone's (or big batches of) e-mails and data-mining them for key words. Then they would go back retroactively and get everything the person had sent--or something like that. Something like Poindexter's TIA program. Something FISA isn;t set up to do. And they are just lying and obfuscating.

The Washington correspondent for KCBS radio in SF this morning commented that while most people may be willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt on "terrorists", if it turns out that they are indeed looking at ordinary people's or enemy's communications, then the public will probably be very upset. That looks like a distinct possibility, and would explain why Bush went so far as to try to personally bully Sulzburger and Keller to try to kill the story. (See Laura yet again--she's indispensible today.

I may be getting ready to start talking impeachment, after having pooh-poohed it for the past 4 years. If this is what they were really up to, they really need to be removed, and pronto. 2008 is too long to wait.

"But I'm quite certain Cheney and his allies were behind the program."
agree... note Senator Rockefellor's letter of complaint was addressed to Vice President Richard Cheney

Heck of a job, Chenie!


I'd add (and have) to the comments on JMM's thread.

It's not just massive data mining.

It's reverse data mining. I bet they're taking laptops and cell phones captured from AQ, developing a profile based on that hardware of a "typical" AQ member, and THEN data mining using that profile (recall that in all the discussions of Able Danger, they said the problem was they didn't know what a hit was--well, if you've got a laptop and you believe that person is somehow typical, you've got a hit). And then they monitor everyone whose data use looks like the guy's who owned the laptop.

Not a chance it would pass FISA review.

Sterling Newberry has a detailed post up describing how Fitzgerald could use the NSA intercept issue to find his way to a criminal conspiracy indictment that he believes could penetrate Bush's Presidential immunity.

It is a complicated, tortuous route, especially considering Fitzgerald's predisposition to maintain himself squarely at the center of his assignment.

On the other hand, It would be interesting to know what sort of NSA intercept issues Fitz has run across so far. It seems unavoidable that he would have crossed the intercept trail given the tight nexus of WINPAC, BOLTON, PLAME, WHIG and OVP.

Surely Bolton was infighting when he requested the intercept names and not busting terror cells. At the time that was reported it was generally assumed that the illegality was in his access but what if the intercepts were illegal ab initio?

If Fitz can get a good grip on the intercept thread it might give him an opening that is otherwised blocked to the hapless public which is dominated by a Rethug government and doesn't have "standing" to sue to defend our constitutional democracy.

On the one hand, seems that there are a couple of footballs, and veeps seem generally to carry one, at least nowadays. On the other hand, this is quite an outstanding post emptywheel has written.

I'm sure there are a couple of footballs. But do we really need to take them to warlord-infested Afghanistan (and, presumably, to Iraq)?

There's also the fact that Rove still might get slapped with an indictment by Fitzgerald, removing him from the circle of power.

This is a post that is deeply intuitive. Bush probably at the time that the NSA program was initiated paid little attention. It is clear that Bush has little interest in the true nature of the Presidency from a constitutional and legal perspective, and he has little interest in the being deeply involved in the details of the office. What with Rove's skill at crafting political messages that reach deep into the reptile brain and Cheney's deeply studied strategies of advancing a conservative agenda which harkens to a kind of constitutional monarchy and with Rove now under fire Bush truly has no option but to seek cover in Cheney's rationalizations. Cheney's rationalizations have driven the agenda of the administration from day one and allowed Bush the role the majestic warrior which is so needed by him to compensate for his fundamental disinterest in the realities of an engaged executive in a modern secular participatory democracy.

But these issues have to do with the psychological dynamics of the White House.
Remember Bush was recruited quietly by a faction that has a long standing political agenda. What other resources could he turn to to extricate himself from those have exploited his insecurity to the ends of their imperial global strategic agendas. Remember in 2000 Bush was hard pressed to show that he was informed or aware that there were parts of the world beyond the borders of the United States much less that Central Asia was in play. The fact that Sen. Rockefeller's note was addressed to Cheney is indeed telling.

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