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April 26, 2006


fascinating reading.

why bother to write a spy novel when you can read court documents that are almost as convoluted, entertaining, and a bit scary.

my thought at the end, though, was:

good lord,

where will this go next?

where will it end?

e'wheel, a request:

maybe at some future time you could answer a question i asked at tnh recently:

why is vp cheney willing to work with the neo-con foreign operations (formerly known as foreign policy) folks?

how is vp cheney connected to these guys (wolfowitz, et al.)?

time spent together in prison? similar goals? ideological blood brothers? any family or personal ties?


It's a good question. Maybe I'll work on it in a post. But I guess a good question would be, which came first, the mercantile imperialists (represented by big oil and big construction) or the neocons that provided the mercantile imperialists ideological cover? You could ask the same question about religious fundamentalists: which came first, teh mercantile imperialists or the politically active religious fundamentalists that provide popular mobilization to support the mercantile imperialists?

It's a question Kevin Phillips doesn't quite answer in his latest book.

Off topic, but I thought I'd pass on the MSNBC report a few minutes ago that Rove is testifing today before the JG. Nora O'Donnell reported.

thanks, polly

Hmm, by my count, that five times????

It may support the argument that Rove is ostensibly cooperating. Or that so many questions have been raised about missing emails he needs to be given a chance to lie one more time.

I get the feeling Rove's eventual indictment will be a lot longer than the 20-pages or so of Libby's indictment.

The mercantile imperialists have been with us for over a century, in one guise or another. You have to read Phillips' last 3 books together. (Wealth & Democracy, American Dynasty and American Theocracy.) The current ideologues giving them cover are just the latest to perfom this function. The neocons think they are really smart, and in on the con because of that, but I'd be surprised if they really were.

I should have said that the mercantile imperialists have been with us since the 1870's at least. That's 135 years.

Yep five times is correct.

Sidney Blumenthal had this last week.

Having successfully completed his most extensive investigation and prosecution, ending with the conviction of former Governor Ryan, Patrick Fitzgerald returns to the unresolved case before him. The federal grand jury considering his evidence began meeting again this morning. Karl Rove remains a subject--for now. UK Gaurdian 4/19/06

I never watch TV, but today I'm traveling and have it on. Just saw Jeralyn Merritt on Fox talking about the Duke case and caught the Rove news. I'm going to have to start watching more often.

I get the feeling Rove's eventual indictment will be a lot longer than the 20-pages or so of Libby's indictment.

I agree. And I'm willing to bet there are more than 5 counts thrown at him.

This is just a guess, but with the Dems putting every republican scandal front and center from now until November, the defense lawyers are not in a position to drag this trial out for years and then hope for a lenient sentence. Therefore, they are doing what any good and expensive defense team would do: pull out all the stops and the White House be damned. If this weren't an election year, this case would fade into the woodwork and everybody would plea bargain their way to minimum sentencing. But not now and not this year. With the Dems poised to take back at least one house of Congress, the defense and the defendent are freaking out and going to the mat.


As far as Cheney's connection to the neo-cons, a good place to start is PNAC. Take a look at the signatories on this page (http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm) and marvel at how many of them are involved in the various shenanagins we discuss here. However, the Stephen Rosen on that page is not the Steven Rosen in the AIPAC case.


ideological cover sounds like a sensible explanation. i just wondered if there was any personal, or professional bonds.

i would have added "intellectual bonds", but dick cheney does not seem to have much of an intellectual reputation - or should that be, not much of an intellect.


To clarify my answer on Cheney--my point was that (as Mimikatz points out) the mercantile imperalists have been around a lot longer than the neocons. And at a critical level, the neocons are simply idealistic intellectual window dressing for a really aggressive and violent outlook on life.

EW -- you describe the summer of 2001 as follows:

"Apparently , this investigation was at least partly a response to Condi's determination to discover the source of a August 2001 leak.

On September 9, 2001, the New York Times published a story by then-State Department correspondent Jane Perlez, who reported a major shift in what had been the Bush Administration's rejection of the Clinton Administration's deep engagement in trying to broker a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. Perlez reported that after months of refusing to meet with Yasir Arafat, George W. Bush would grant the Palestinian leader his first audience with the new US President at an upcoming UN General Assembly gathering in New York "if progress were made in high-level talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis." That meeting between Bush and Arafat never happened. Two days after the Times story appeared, Al Qaeda terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing almost 3,000 people."

There is another element from that summer that absolutely needs adding to the leak and the semi-Bush agreement to meet with Arafat, and that is the Saudi Crown Prince's letter to Bush.

The summer of 2001 was very violent in Israel and the Occupied Terrotories -- many suicide bombings with high tolls in Israel, and a massive response by the Israeli Military in both Gaza and the West Bank. We perhaps remember the boy who died in his father's arms in the cross-fire which ran over and over again on Arab TV -- but it was massive on both sides. One upshot of it all was the letter from the Saudi heir to the throne, Prince Abdullah, to Bush saying that if it was not stopped, Saudi Arabia and the US would have to go their seperate ways. The letter was personally delivered by Prince Bandar when Bush was on vacation in Texas (same time as the Intelligence briefing on Arabs learning to fly big planes) -- and Bush's response shortly after he returned to DC was his little nervous speech in the Rose Garden when he announced the US policy would be to support a two-state solution -- a Palestinian State. This was the first time this had been articulated as a US Policy Goal. When Bush made that little speech -- no more than two minutes -- you could tell his heart was not in it. But it was the least he could do as a response to the Saudi letter. So it was not just an agreement to maybe meet with Arafat -- it was a public change in US policy objectives -- a Palestinian State alongside Israel. Reportedly that calmed down the Saudi Prince Abdullah -- but it is important to remember the demand was made, and Bush blinked.

Eventually, of course Prince Abdullah did manage to get reasonably broad Arab agreement to his own peace plan -- 2002 Conference in Beirut. It has rather been forgotten, but I don't think it is at all off the table.

OK -- so what might be going on among the neo-con's -- well they probably got word of Abdullah's letter as soon as it was received, and they probably strongly opposed Bush's decision to clarify policy as a two state solution, (One can well imagine someone in Cheney's circle passing this over to neo-con circles in the Pentagon.) My own guess -- and it is strickly a guess -- is that all hell broke loose, and the critical actors were very busy trying to figure out the depth of Bush and his circle's committment to the Two State Policy -- and perhaps looking for the means to undercut it at some future date.

emptywheel and mimikatz,

Are you tracing American mercantile imperialism back to Alfred Mahan? Because if we're going to talk about mercantile imperialism, we have to talk about the British before that. And the Spanish. And before that the Portugese and the Dutch. We can't forget the Byzantines and the Arabs either... Oh, forget it, pretty soon I'll be explaining what the Cro-Magnons did to the Neanderthals.

Seriously, I think there are some differences in the neo-con vision from traditional mercantile imperialism worth exploring in regards to the AIPAC case. The PNAC crowd have personal and professional connections that go back to the 60's when they were all supporting the war and avoiding the draft. For example, Wolfowitz was Libby's Poli. Sci. professor at Yale in 1970-71. Cheney and Rumsfeld started working together in the Ford administration. By the time the Bush I administration rolled around, the whole crew was together as a team.

Here are the defining characteristics of the neo-cons:

1. Complete distrust of non-ideologue foreign policy professionals.
2. Belief that Israeli and U.S. interests are essentially the same.
3. Belief that back-channel diplomacy with "dissidents" is a sound policy alternative.

Wrap all that stuff up and you can see how Larry Franklin wouldn't have thought what he was doing was wrong.

for those like myself who don't know:

who is naor gilom?

israeli official?





Gilon was a official at the Israeli embassy, though he is often assumed to have Mossad connections. He left town in June 2005, though he did come back on an official visit last December.


I actually think there was a post-New Deal effort on the part of the mercantile imperialists to win the battle for hearts and minds the next go-around. The Neocons did not arise out of thin air--they had funding and direction from early on, and developed a very convnient Trotskyite ideology with very little sincerity behind it.

re: rove:

I think there is a much simpler answer. The "new" GJ is ready to indict Rove, but wants to hear him lying with their own ears before doing so -- so they asked Fitz to arrange it. So Fitz goes to Luskin, and says "your boy gets one more chance to tell the truth, if he wants it, if not, indictments will be handed down next week." And Rove gets "demoted" and winds up talking to the GJ this afternoon....

Acording to NBC rove asked to speak. Not the other way around.

As far as legal strategy is concerned, some of the motivation behind the subpoenas is clearly a form of greymail by Abbe Lowell. However, I would hesitate to assume that Lowell would make such a specific charge against Rice knowing that it is groundless.

Lowell would face sanctions, at the very least, from the Judge and potentially from the bar association if such a subpoena were found to be wholely unfounded. So, there may well be some substance to the accusation made that Condi shared classified information with Rosen.

As we haven't been told the basis for the subpoenas issued for the others, its difficult to speculate about the motives of the defense or what, specifically, they are seeking to establish with Zinni and the others, except that it is something exculpatory of the defendants.

And Feith's Father was a founding member of Likud.


I'm not saying the subpoenas are baseless. You're right, Lowell wouldn't do that.

What I'm saying is 1) the FBI supposedly already asked this question, though apparently the Prosecutor is surprised to hear the implication, and 2) Rosen et al are suggesting that Condi leaked info willingly after the time when Condi knew the FBI was investigating AIPAC.

juan cole said that AIPAC "continue(s) to secretly employ Rosen under the cover of the Zionist Organization of America , while publicly declaring that it had cut all ties with the indicted spy."

I suspect that the legal bills are also being paid through the ZOA.

The reason I mentioned Phillips' first book is that it does discuss the Spanish, Dutch and British Empires. "Wealth and Democracy" is its title. It is "a political history of the American rich." It discusses the contradictions between democracy and income inequuality, and the incompatibility of democracy and mercantile empires.

Rather the first of Phillips' last three books. The first was "The Emerging Republican Majority." Then "The politics of Rich and Poor." He is not a fan of the rich, and believes the GOP betrayed his vision of the Republican majority. He is not a fan of the theocrats either.

Hi, emptywheel -

The timing of Rice's alleged leak is inexplicable, unless one assumes that prior to that time Bush essentially gave his top aides carte blanche to leak classified documents. I can imagine the line of conversation. "If the FBI raises questions, we'll just declassify by the President's authority. Too bad about Franklin and the AIPAC guys, but we have to throw someone to the wolves to get the DIA off our backs."

Yes, I can see that as a line of defense that Lowell might bring up. Raises some interesting questions about Equal Protection and Selective Application of the Law and all that. If proven, it might be enough to get his clients off, if the case even gets that far. If you ask me, McNulty made some poor prosecutorial decisions, particularly about charging under the Espionage Act.

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