« Dusting off "Inherent Contempt" | Main | Cheney Tries to Juggle Two Allies--and Drops One? »

March 27, 2007


It occured to me that Abu may have just looked into Fitz's face and seen for the first time the intent stare of a Special Prosecuting Attorney looking at Abu. That Fitz stare, that never gives anything away, could have jarred Abu right out of his skivies!

Wouldn't we all love to know how much money the WH has invested in this bogus publicity stunt that AGAG is on. It allows him to get out in the public eye with one of those "can't argue with that" policies and not have to answer any real questions. Pure political genius. Rove is nothing if not inspired.

I keep reading that the "special prosecutor law" has lapsed. What does this mean? By what means might we get some sort of independent prosecutor involved in this since have the DOJ investigate itself seems patently ridiculous.

On the other hand, are we better off without another 4 year, slow moving, ultra-secretive, low-yielding investigation?

What, in your humble opinion, is the best game plan?

Obsessed, there was a law that defined the role of a 'special prosecutor'. It lapsed and it was not renewd. The last person to act under that authority was Ken Starr. It's been said that his $75 million tab and the results he delivered - he turned his investigation of the Clinton whitewater deal into a national symposium on sex - is the reason the statute was not renewed.

When the AG (finally) recused himself from the CIA leak case investigation, the AG's office needed to appoint a 'special counsel' to investigate the smoke to determine if there was fire. Fitz got the job. His authority was differnt than a special prosecutor. He had no authority to write a report or to disclose the proceedings of secret grand jury testimony.

There is no indication that a 'special counsel' will be appointed to investigate DOJ in the termination of the US Attorneys. Congress is investigating using its oversight powers to determine if the terminations were proper.

There's lots of news in the case. Keep reading!

This drip-drip-drip is not doing the WH or the Republicans any good. Abu is on TV every day and each time he comes across as trying to hide something and not being truthful. Which of course is the fact.

The American people may not be able to connect all the dots like EW does but they realize where there's smoke there's fire.

Let the WH continue to stonewall as more leaks and documents pop up. Hopefully Conyers and Leahy will start to lay it out in black & white the concerted effort by the WH to use the power of the executive and specifically the DoJ to disenfranchise Americans (particularly Dems) with regard to their vote and to use prosecutorial powers as witch hunts on Dem officials and candidates while at the same time obstructing investigations and prosecutions of Republican criminality.

I really hope the Congress will start a specific investigation into the role of the WH in trying to obstruct the Cunningham/Wade/Foggo; Abramoff and all related matters; NH phone jamming; and other key activities of the Rovian operation to "cement" a Republican majority enterprise to loot taxpayers and subvert the constitution.

EW: "If you ... watch the video, you will see precisely what question got Abu Gonzales so scared he ran away: When did you approve the final list of USAs to be sacked?

"It was sometime in the Fall of 2006," Abu Gonzales answered, then showed Chicago the hand and walked away.


Call me crazy, but I suspect there's a very good reason Abu G is being so vague--and skittish. Wanna bet that November 27 meeting is not what he's most worried about?"

You may be right, in fact I'm sure you are -- but I also suspect Gonzo is shellshocked. He can't even handle the most basic of his PR duties anymore. If he can't do that, then even Gonzo himself must know he has to resign soon.

Gonzalez is probably experiencing very deep depression right now, something he may have no prior experience with. I don't think he's reacting rationally anymore, just desperately repeating whatever platitudes have been vetted by the WH, appropriate or not, and hoping they'll deflect the attention.

Then he cuts and runs when they don't.

So I'm not sure how much we can really read into Gonzalez's responses. If he's no longer acting rationally, it could become easy to overanalyze his responses. He might not be reacting to the outside world anymore so much as an internal feeling of "I can't take this anymore" helplessness.

Not that I'm recommending pity or sympathy for Gonzalez. He's still a totrture-endorsing, manipulative, toadying, scum. I'm just pointing out that it's likely he's not even remotely mentally healthy at this point. And that we need to take that into account when assessing his reactions.


"What need we fear who knows it, when none can call
our power to account?

--Yet who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him?"

Macbeth | Act V, Scene 1

"Today, the only way to get to the bottom of the United States attorney scandal -- which involved the administration's firing of nearly 10 percent of America's top prosecutors -- is to ...appoint a special prosecutor."

- Neil Katyal, New York Times Op-Ed


Though, Neil, I vote against Fitz, for several reasons (too polarizing). My pick is Peter Zeidenberg, who worked on teh Libby case and put Safavian in jail. Probably not as strictly apolitical as Fitz. But he'd have more time to make the case I think. And he'd have a bit more fun with it...

When Gonzo blurted out that "I've already answered that question!" last night, it was almost like one of those possessions on TV where you see this other face ghost over his, only this time it was Bush's. Scary.

If Abu doesn't want to answer questions, perhaps we can hand him over to the CIA for delivering to one of their black holes until he is ready to talk? Since he approved torturing suspects, and stripped habeas corpus from our bill of rights, he can't possibly object to being treated as he has treated others!

Justice may be a lady, but she is a lady with a sword.

I gotta tell ya, this is gettin' interestin'. Let me see...WH (in fact office of the VPOTUS) contracts with MZM, $140K to screen for anthrax. The Dukestir gets $140K shortly thereafter from MZM's Wade. Wilkes is a lifelong friend of Foggo, #3 at the CIA, who invited his boss, Porter Goss, to poker/cigar/hooker parties at the Watergate, and fed his lifelong friend contracts for black ops, which are untraceable. Wilkes brags that he's got the VP in his pocket. Doolittle's involved. So is Jerry Lewis. Abramoff and Doolittle are tight. Abramoff and Buckham are tight. Abramoff and DeLay are tight. Abramoff and Doolittle's wife, and Buckham's wife, and his own wife are tight, and Abramoff lends his closest aide to Rove (Ralston), who uses unofficial email routes to communicate with Abramoff, and Rove uses the RNC web 95% of the time, and Rove outed Valerie Plame, and Rove arranged for all the US attourneys to get sacked for not being loyal bushies, and Lam's investigation is languishing, and the tobacco case was gutted, and Abramoff is getting his sentence reduced and Griles gets off nearly Scott free.

Am I forgetting anything?

Gonzo knows where Shrub's skeletons are stashed. Shrub is, as we've seen, vindictive as well as secrecy-obsessed - he won't want Gonzo loose where he can talk.

Gonzo needs to become paranoid and also needs to tell all to the friendly committees in Congress. That's his protection.

Is it Murphy's Law that says 'people get promoted to the level of their incompetence'? Or is it, 'if anything can go wrong, it will'? In either case they are both describtions of what is happening in this administration.

I don't think this Texas gang can successfully coordinate this thing. They're too accustomed to shooting from the hip. If you look at Rove's and Bush's responses, they're just as incoherent as Gonzalez's have been. Their usual tactic in times of exposure, as we know, has been to unite to smash their opponents one by one then hide behind a simplistic denial. ('I never met Joe Wilson'). I don't think the gang ever expected to face a complex, morphing Congressional inquiry or the public's gaze head-on, and they're clearly not prepared. Fred Fielding is surely an experienced lawyer, but I don't think he can save them.

If Bush is looking for a 'way out', he may be ready to use it. A Russian news article claims that Good Friday, April 6th has been selected at the day for bombing Iran. "Operation Bite: April 6 sneak attack by US forces against Iran planned, Russian military sources warn." See Online Journal or Intelligence Daily.com.

A search for operation bite on Goggle finds numerous referances to the above. I wouldn't know how to begin to get a grasp on the credibility of the reports, but it comes from a supposedly credible Russian journalist, and carries some seemingly credible quotes from Russian authorities. I've long thought Bush would move on Iran at some point. However, I have a very tough time believing we'll know specifics like this before the first bomb falls.

My cubemate and I are having an on-going debate re whether the botched DOJ purge is just politics as usual but very badly done or truly insidiously polarizing politics. Is this new stuff really?

My cubemate and I are having an on-going debate re whether the botched DOJ purge is just politics as usual but very badly done or truly insidiously polarizing politics. Is this new stuff really?

Check out former acting AG George Terwilliger's Op-Ed in todays WSJ. He is arguing that the Pres has the right to direct USAs to prosecute (or not) specific cases.

"Should the attorney general, with or without prompting from the president, direct a U.S. attorney to prosecute or not to prosecute a particular case, or to take care to do or refrain from doing something in the prosecution of the case, he is doing no more, or less, than exercising his constitutional and statutory responsibilities -- to, as the Constitution requires, "take care that the laws be faithfully executed.""

I haven't seen this before. So far the RW noise machine has been pushing the line that firing the USAs is perfectly legal. Arguing that the Pres is within his rights to interfere in specific cases is a new one. Its obviously a tougher sell so I wonder why Terwilliger feels the need to make it.

EW, I agree. There are good reasons not to choose him again so soon and there are other people (almost as good) to take on the task. As you can tell, I have a strong Fitz bias.

I learned over the weekend, the original Amherst Rugby Club was founded around 1962. A group of guys wanted to play rugby in the spring. Many of them were football players. The football coach helped get them funding and became their faculty advisor and first coach. He was 39 at the time and he practiced with them. Now I'm curious to find out how soon after Amherst went coed in 75 they formed the women's club.

Did you catch this article last Tuesday? If there was an attempt to separate Fitz from his job, he surely wouldn't have been too happy to see his boss yesterday.

Imagine any credible rating system marking Fitzy's performance at less than top rated? I cannot.

Fitzgerald Ranked During Leak Case
Justice Dept. Fired 2 With Same Rating

By Dan Eggen and John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 20, 2007; Page A01

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.


In March 2005, while preparing for the firings, Mr. Gonzales’s now-jettisoned chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, produced a chart rating all 93 United States attorneys nationwide. Mr. Fitzgerald, widely admired as one of the nation’s best prosecutors (most famously of terrorists), was somehow slapped with the designation “not distinguished.”

When Will Fredo Get Whacked?
Published: March 25, 2007


"WH (in fact office of the VPOTUS) contracts with MZM, $140K to screen for anthrax."

A little thing that bothers me is, if you were really worried about an anthrax-like attack penetrating the White House, why would you hire a newby firm to screen for it? I suppose they might've subcontracted out the work. Still …

prostratedragon -- the first thing I thought of when I saw that news item about the anthrax contract being a cover for money laundering is that they did not consider mail-borne anthrax a genuine threat. Kinda raises some questions, no?

so, whatever DID happen to the anthrax investigation???
and why did it only get sent to the media and to Dems on Capitol Hill in the run up to the War Big Sell?

Is Rove behind this too?
Why no news on this? Our vaunted FBI can't figure out who did this?

Just asking.

Since the MZM maiden Fed contract is so inanely put together, here's a fun thought. Mr. micromanager VP takes on protecting the Pres of the United States by hiring a no experience contractor to screen the Pres's mail for anthrax & bios. Did he do this because he really didn't care if the Pres got contaminated mail and fell ill; did he do this because he was certain the FBI couldn't do the job and they needed other help; OR did he do this because he knew something about the Anthrax threat...that we don't know to this day...that made him feel safe enough from it to use the scare as a coverup for his games with MZM. Just asking who the real perpetrator of the scare is here.

A little thing that bothers me is, if you were really worried about an anthrax-like attack penetrating the White House, why would you hire a newby firm to screen for it? I suppose they might've subcontracted out the work.

Posted by: prostratedragon

So what are you saying...Cheney wasn't seriously concerned about the potential for an anthrax letter attack in his office? Even after attacks on The National Inquirer, Sen Leahy and Sen Daschle? Why?

So here's a question.
Let's say that the Dems win the White House in 2008. Seems reasonable, even likely.
They might be in need of an extremely able Federal prosecutor for the Attorney General posistion currently prostituted by AbuG.
I wonder where they might find one...
Do you think Fitz might be interested?
Boy, that would make me feel good...

What if the MZM contract was really a cover for black ops run out of OVP?

EW--Your observation on the 18 day gap stopping right around the point where they are wondering if they should get the Prez involved is genius. Although I just don't understand why the White House just wouldn't say the President approved it instead of this, "He has no recollection..." The cover up is always worse but then it seems pretty clear that these people don't read the history books.

I defer to your judgement on all things but I don't think Fitz's suit is seersucker. I think it's a light colored wool suit that gives that appearance because of the color. I totally agree that it is a mistake and as a Catholic, he should know that this suit shouldn't come out until after Easter.

Mainsailset wrote:
"Did he do this because he really didn't care if the Pres got contaminated mail and fell ill"

The man doesn't even read a newspaper. Despite his celebrated contest with Rove where he dispatched _The_Stranger_ and a couple o' Shakespeares, I really doubt he reads anything delivered by the USPS.

One more thing on a completely superficial note. It looks like Patrick Fitzgerald has a large scar coming down from the middle of his forehead to in between his brows. You rugby players are nuts!


So Ken, I take it you're opting for the 3rd option of Cheney recognizing that there wasn't a real threat but instead a great opportunity to launder the $140,000 for Duke's bribe?

Jane S

It's not seersucker, I agree. But on the closed circuit TV (and in the wrinkled state it was, on occasion, in DC), it looked like seersucker.

Though now that I look at it I think it might be a different suit.

"So Ken, I take it you're opting for the 3rd option of Cheney recognizing that there wasn't a real threat but instead a great opportunity to launder the $140,000 for Duke's bribe?"

I probably would lean toward that explanation but I was just pointing out that the "not caring" option concerned a staffer and not the President.

Lisa asked: "What if the MZM contract was a cover for black ops run out of OVP?"

If by "black ops" you mean "intelligence fraud, money laundering, and bribery scheme," I think it's clear by now that's exactly what it was.

Speaking of Easter, would Bush attack iran on Good Friday? Or did they just think of that as a slow news day?

The one reason I might credit leaks about such an attack is that there are many in the gov't and military who think it is an insane idea.

That said, I don't think it will happen then, and hopefully not ever. If Bush/Cheney think there would be a "rally 'round the flag" they are mistaken. The people are growing tired of war, and Iran isn't going to give us a provocation big enough to overcome that. A sneak attack would backfire on so many fronts it is hard to believe it is taken seriously within Bushdom.

from lemondloulou above
"Pure political genius. Rove is nothing if not inspired.." Einstein was a genius, Rove is a bully, and yes, he is nothing.

If they are attacking on Good Friday, I don't think the USAF would call it Operation Bite. I think it is Operation Band Together.

Remember that these are Christian crusaders trying to bring about the second coming, rapture, and thousand year war by unleashing Armageddon. With the C130s known as "Angels", nuclear tests called "Divine Strake", new weaponry named "Rods of God", the American Christian Flag (which is supposed to be displayed >>>ABOVE<<< the US flag), and an Academy of evangelists molding the minds of young officers, etc., and etc., there is a lot of momentum building towards a religious conflagration.

George Bush said that God told him to smite Iraq, and so he smote. Then he backed away (probably because Iraq was looking like a mess, and saying that God was responsible for a mistake would get him in trouble with the fundies). However, between the cocaine and alcohol and whatever meds he is on now, he is certainly delusional enough to start WW3 on a religious holiday and declare it as God's will.

So, three days of war and then Jesus will come Easter Sunday (of a much-revised calendar) at dawn (it's always dawn somewhere) in a nuclear cloud (pillar of fire) and take Bush by the hand (sure hope he learns to pronounce nuclear by then). Well, that's one way to avoid taking responsibility for the mess e'd leave behind.


http://euphoria.jarkolicious.com/journal/2006/04/03/2096/ (watch video)


“I pledge allegiance, to the Christian Flag, of the United States of America, and to the Lord, who made us great and free. I purpose, to band together, with all believers, to protect the truth and liberty of God.”

"We envision a battle being staged that is liken to none other..."


And, yes, these guys ARE that crazy! When it is a matter of belief and not knowledge, no amount of reason will break through. Meanwhile, after dredging up those sites, I have to go wash my mind with a good strong dose of reality.

Cheney was almost surely behind the Anthrax attacks. It's the only explanation that makes sense of the specific targets: Daschle and other key democrats whose cooperation would be central to the passing of the patriot act legislation. It also explains why the Bushies always forget about this one when they say that there have been "no terrorist attack on US soil sinc 9/11." They forget because they know it wasn't a terrorist attack. In fact, I wonder if the $140,000 contract was not for testing mail for anthrax, but rather payment/hush money for having been behind the anthrax attacks, or at least for being involved in covering up who WAS behind those attacks). Think about it-- to do their "job" of "preventing" more attacks, the company presumably would be made privy to all sorts of classified information ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION into those attacks! How convenient if you are really being paid to obstruct that investigation. Time to look for Wilkes' links to the lab that may or may not have provided that strain of anthrax.

And normally I am not a conspiracy theorist-- but the anthrax attack never made any sense to me unless it was an inside job.

Obsessed & Neil:
Not quite. The Independent Counsel statute is the one that lapsed and was not renewed. That statute was enacted post-Watergate as a reaction to the fact that thjere are serious problems with part of the Executive Branch (DoJ) investigating the Executive Branch, especially when a whole lot of folks in that part of the Executive Branch "serve at the pleasure of the President."
What we have now is more like what we had during Watergate, a mechanism by which the DoJ appoints a "Special Counsel" where the DoJ would have a conflict of interest. While still located within the DoJ, a Special Counsel so appointed has a good deal of autonomy, all spelled out in the regulations -- 28 C.F.R. Part 600-600.10

The revised Patriot Act gives Mr. Gonzales authority to replace USA's on an interim basis - without any obligation to submit interim appointments for Senate confirmation. But only the President could fire them.

Any President would be mucho annoyed if his AG fired nearly ten percent of his USA's in a highly political and controversial maneuver unless he had first signed off on it? In BushWorld, that requires Miers and Rove to have signed off on it, even ignoring that one of Mr. Gonzales defining characteristics is that he follows orders and does not take controversial steps on his own authority. That's why he's at the DOJ.

So, both would have had to approve The Plan. What documents that that was what they did?

I watched some of the hearings on C-span and all the clips on all the media since then. I am one of those civic-minded troublers of society, I guess. . .

There is an awful lot missing on your local TV news, but the best first step is six minutes of Olberman and his selection of clips. The MSM selection of clips mostly focuses on irrelevant things or Sampson saying that Gonzales was at the Nov 27 meeting. That is only a very small first step.

The first major thing to note is that we have a complete disagreement between Gonzales and Sampson about who was the principal decision maker for this process. Sampson says it was the pair: Gonzales and Harriet Miers. Gonzales says it was Sampson. It seems to me that additional testimony should be taken to determine which of these 3, if any, was the principal decision maker.

According to Harriet Miers, who was the principal decision maker? If there is a White House spokesman who takes questions, isn't this a fair question? And, according to the persons at the Nov 27 meeting, who was the principal decision maker? Personally, I would guess that Sampson is right and that Gonzales and Miers were the chief decision makers. Someone came up with the idea to fire some and put in others, and to do so based on some criteria. We may agree that the criteria are as yet imperfectly clear, perhaps even to the Democrats. It wasn't Sampson's idea; it was that of Miers. Presumably, Sampson, with Gonzales's permission and instruction, carried out her wishes. So, in that case, Miers is the principal while Gonzales watched passively as the DOJ was politicized and Sampson carried out her wishes?

Also, in the testimony on C-span, one of the senators goes over with Sampson the alleged reasons for getting rid of Iglesias and shows how the alleged and purported reasons can't be squared with known facts about Iglesias performance, notably, his being tasked by the DOJ to instruct other US attns about combatting voter fraud.

So, the claims that there are no improper reasons for the firings appears impossible. Perhaps Sampson honestly somewhat believed it, but after his testimony re Iglesias with the senator, how could he believe it now? If there were no improper reasons for the firing of Iglesias, why has the DOJ lied and produced obviously false ones?

And, if he admits that the official reasons for firing Iglesias can't be squared with the facts, shouldn't he be recalled and asked again to reaffirm his belief that no one was fired for improper reasons?

Even Sampson, after reviewing the record with the Senator, agrees that Iglesias was doing a good or excellent job, and should not have been fired, or, at least, that his firing cannot be justified based on the reasons officially given heretofore. If not, that leaves only that Iglesias did not keep some Republicans happy as the reason, and Sampson believes that that is a sufficient reason to fire any US attn at any time!

Nice narrative there David, but I think Rove was the primary decision maker and filtered the instructions through Miers. It's hard to imagine poitical fat boys out in armpit USA calling Harriet on this. They'd call Rove. Rove is nothing if not good at covering his tracks. He passes the word to Harriet and she's to dumb to know she's being used.

As for the Antrax attacks. I figured that for an Op from day one. And I, like Sara more and more all the time have come to the gut feeling that someone at a very high level (and probably not bush) let those happen. I doubt the poor sap ever saw the intel. Did I say sap, I meant mushroom.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad