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April 06, 2006


Which has me thinking about Fristie.

Now, his insider trading is a marginal case--it is kind of tied to patronage, making sure his family gets favorable legislation.

But I do wonder whether Fristie was threatening to go off the reservation last Fall when the insider trading scandal hit.

And one more thought. Someone (it may have been Laura Rozen, it may have been Cannonfire) has suggested that the San Diego Onion reporter who first busted Cunningham received a tip, perhaps from one of the other conservative nutcases who populate San Diego. Does that mean Cunningham's exposure was the result of some other faction trying to accrue power? Or did the Poway mafia (I love saying that, having been scarred by Poway as a teenager!) go off the ranch in some fashion?

" I also propose that they're picked because their depravity helps keep them in line."


emptywheel - I apologize for going off topic, but you have to check out Fitzgerald's latest filing. It is a goldmine, particularly regarding Libby's story about disclosing parts of the NIE to Miller. His story is that Dick wanted him to do it, he had concerns about it being classified, and Dick went to Bush and got approval for LIbby to disclose parts of the NIE to Miller. Libby asked and Addington opined that presidential approval to disclose material would count as declassification. So he did. Fitzgerald observes that only the three of them - Bush, Cheney and Libby (Addington's level of knowledge is unclear) - knew about the deal, and they didn't tell even other key officials, including Cabinet level officials (which appears to include at least Hadley, and presumably also Tenet), during that week in July even as those officials were being pressed to declassify that exact NIE, along with the report from Wilson's trip and another January 2003 document. Fitzgerald tells us at least that there are documents relating to meetings that week regarding declassification of the NIE that both Hadley and Libby were at.

Is Fitzgerald skeptical of this story from Libby, presumably backed up by Cheney and Bush? Or does this point to the fact that Cheney and probably Bush as well may have been in on the plan to leak to Miller about WIlson as well, not just the NIE stuff?

Presumably this is what Team Libby were fishing for info on with their question about 404(b) other crimes - and presumably the fact that Fitzgerald lays it out in such explicit detail here means that there is unlikely to be any charges relating to this dimension of the story.

So Bush was in the middle of decisions that week in July about what to release to reporters, participated in some kind of weird informal declassification that he may not even have been explicit about, and may well have known about the part about disclosing Plame's CIA affiliation, which might explain some of Libby's motive to lie.

There's other interesting stuff too, including a bit on Libby's actions in October 2003 to push the White House to publicly exonerate him - we get a look at the ridiculous text he gave to McLellan to publicly exonerate him alongside Rove, and how it fits with what McLellan said, and points to the significance of what was going on to Libby.

It's pretty extraordinary stuff.

Agree with Jeff. ReddHedd has a great analysis up at FDL and an attorney commented this:
"looseheadprop says:
April 6th, 2006 at 7:23 am
Skipped to bottom of thread, and have not yet finished the Fitz filing, but got to the part where he says he does not entend to call Hadley, Rove or Tenent to testify…
They have gotta be targets. He can’t call em and use them for his case in chief and have them take the 5th w/o risking a mistrial.
Jaw on floor."

Guys, I'm sorry, but I'm trying to get some day job stuff out so I'll have to read this on the plane. It's a 8 hour flight to my 4-hour layover, so I'll post if I can there!

Plame junkies see Greg Sargent's article from yesterday.

On EW's post--That was one theory about Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert--have there been male prostitutes who enticed politicos to ensnare them as a way to keep them in line?

Or is it just that repressed people who try to live up to some impossible "moral" standard have more than the usual problems with their "dark side"?

Steve Clemons' headline says it all:

"Does the Presdient Plan To Fire Himself?"

Can you say blackmail? Seems to explain a lot of Wong Wing Flip Flopping of late - maybe some Dem violet shrinking as well?

Now you, emptywheel, are clearly as virtous as Caesar's wife - and a rival of Cicero for eloquence.

is it just that repressed people who try to live up to some impossible "moral" standard have more than the usual problems with their "dark side"?

I think the technical description for this side of it is: the pressure builds and builds and their raincoats burst open. It is well to remember what the prostitute Jimmy Swaggart hired said of him: 'I wouldn't allow him to be around children'.

This post makes all kinds of sense. 'Mafia' is the right word.

travel safe, EW.

It is a neopolitan three flavor confection of corruption. Republican replete with claims of the moral true pathism; then there were Democrats which we forget already, Rostenkowski House Speaker, and bipartisn check kiters and congressional postoffice stamp scandal participants; checks and balances are in order; Specter wants retroactive exoneration for wiretap; Graham wants retroactive court stripping. Government by approximation. I dont know about the more lurid scandals, though, as my interests point more toward policy goals than human private behaviors which require no checkbook. It sounds so noble when the reactionaries proclaim the pristine thesis of human behavior and fairness; but then arrives the sanctimony and preacher scandals of all sects.
It's enough to make one seek solace in the law. There are some good folks who are driven to make the system work, and fortunately a lot of them give a measure of their careers to government work. Fitzgerald continues to appear to be one such individual.

per semiot, travel safe emptywheel.

Travel safely!

Dammit EW...

FDL is way too crowded for intelligent discussion of Plamegate anymore! Get off the plane and start postin! :)

Safe travel, EW. You're an amazing postess, and I follow your analyses closely. Happy trails, and please met with us again. This GOP onion is peeling slowly, horribly, but so nicely!

so everybody ask your Senator;

"Is george bush blackmailing you ???"

cause we really need to know

I like your idea of categories. Let me rephrase them, however, to demonstrate both the differences and the comanalities.

* the guys who approach elections as unrestricted warfare and don't mind breaking the law to win: Libby, Noe, DeLay, the phone jammers.
* the guys who just want to accumulate unlimited power or money and don't mind breaking the law: Abramoff, Cunningham, Lay, Santorum, and Rudy.
* the guys who break the law for some purely personal other reason: Allen, Fristie, Brian Doyle.

The commonalities are the willingness to ignore the rule of law. The differences are the motivations they have to make the efforts and take the risks.

Years ago the Masonic P2 lodge in Italy was THE club to belong to. Even Clay Shaw belonged to it (at the same time as being a CIA agent). The top brass from politics, business and the military were members. You didn't get anywhere in Italy if you weren't a member. Did I mention that archbishops and cardinals were members, too?
But the trick to joining was you needed to provide evidence of your corruption before they would regard you as safe enough to join. It was, of course, insurance that you wouldn't get off the reservation.
It seems Skull and Bones and no doubt their equivalents do the same thing. I would expect the same process to go on wherever these Klepto/Pedocrats gain position and power. So I would also expect that we are just seeing the very tip of the iceberg. The thing that they will try above all else to keep hidden is the fact they they are networked.

add to the mix Bob Livingston's temporary slot as Speaker - before abramoff & scanlon got their claws into him

griffon - Ledeen was at P2 as well

griffon - Ledeen was at P2 as well

Picking up on the shift in the news today: I just finished reading what this one Booman has to say about the textual evidence that portions of the NIE and assertions constitutings its eventual contents had been continually and consistently leaked to Judith Miller since the fall of 2002.

It occurs to me that if this pattern of release goes back that far and was authorized by the President moving back that far that the essence of this selective declassification would be a contempt of Congress in a full blown technical legal sense.

In other words, while the rationale of classification was being used to deprive the peoples' representatives of the complete evidentiary picture for the lead up to war this material was yet subject to an ad hoc decalssification to create some kind of media based justification for the actions of the administration including media based arguements for the invasion and extending to the push back against Joseph Wilson. And this double dealing was deployed to the extent that Sen. Durbin allows that he felt compelled to bite his tongue as to what he knew of the Administration's causi belli out of respect for the system of classification. Remember classification is used to justify the scope of the membership of Congress entitled to review of classified information.

In maintaining the assertion to Congress that certain information was classifed which had in fact been leaked or shall we say subject to some species of de facto declassification, the Administration has in fact deceived the Congress by relying on classification to justify limited disclosures to that body. And because the information sourced to classified material has otherwise been publically disclosed one would expect that any "national security" justification for limiting the disclosure of information to Congress would be strainded at best but more likely untenable. The disclosure of any classified material, cherry picked or not, necessarily involves a suggestion of "sources and methods." And the way these particular disclosures were used was an attempt to circumvent Congressional inquiry by manipulating a public sentiment. If this pattern of disclosure to Miller was in fact authorized at the highest level it is all the more egregious in that the information disclosed has been proven to be unreliable by being taken out of context. The very context one would hope Congress would provide if given all the facts.

It seems to me that this might be a fruitful line of inquiry in moving forward in understanding the problems this latest revelation may present for the argument that the President has at all times acted in good faith in pursuing his policies.

Just a thought.

Thanks, lukery. Well that explains why he spends so much time there of late. So it isn't the pasta. Hooda thunk it?

And J. Thomason, hold that thought! What a tangled web we......eh?
It's such beautiful poetic justice seeing these worms (apologies to any worms reading) getting squeezed in a double bind of their own making. Oy!

My mother used to say, "If you're goning to tell lies, you need a bloody good memory".

My day just keeps getting better. Thanks

EW: I agree with your theory and I suspect that the reason for the lack of oversight with regard to the NSA spying issue may be very much tied with what you describe.

Emptywheel's theory could also explain why Tony Blair is in so deep. --- Although, I don't know much about him, I've always just assumed that the Brits were a little more level headed. (--- Perhaps it's because I lived there as a kid and I'm slightly prejudiced.)

this is the theory that covers almost every politician. you have to ask why they spend 30 million to get a job that pays them160K or so. How do they make up the difference? and why?
there is something notably wrong with them to do something as irresponsible as this, and they are the ones that deal with our money? this is batshit insane ( I just like this new description, it seems to fit so many)
maybe it is to enable them to commit crimes, profit by bribery, and still get a pension when they get out of jail. those that are wealthy and care are some, but few.

as groucho wants mentioned, he would never want to belong to a club that would have him.

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