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April 05, 2007


This strikes me as too clever by half. The fact that Gillespie isn't a lawyer should have disqualified him right there, since they can't claim attorney/client privilege with him. If they bring him on as a "story editor", he's going to be subject to future subpoenas. That's a big misstep, IMHO.

Abu's choice, or the choice foisted upon him, indicates they're going for the spin defense, not substance. I noticed when Tom DeLay made the rounds as with Bush in the last week, they've been trotting out strings of the old talking points without the slightest context (as if there is any) - trying to revisit those days of yesteryear when they didn't need a silver bullet just a lot of smoke.

I thought of Ted Olson too, but wasn't he a partner in the firm that hired the other USA from CA the day after she walked out w/o explanation from her post?

Leave it to you, Marcy, to come up with an answer to a question I wasn't even sure I was asking. How'd you git so dern smart?

If Gillespie is not an attorney, no prilviledge exists to prevent detailed questioning over the nature of communications with Gonzales; and, arguably, his presence could waive any priviledge that may exist between Gonzales and Flanigan. As you have noted, it seems unlikely that either would give a straight answer to questioning anyway, but it might be interesting if they were placed under oath. I guess my real point here is how incredibly sloppy these clowns are getting. Involving "coaches" outside of both the protective umbrellas of executive and attorney/client priviledge is certainly not a tactic I would have implemented.

Bullseye, as per usual emptywheel!

It's really critical imho, that the netroots very quickly tie Flanigan back to Abramoff, Tyco, and L. Dennis Kozlowski. We cannot allow white collar thugs such as Flanigan to reappear without making them pay the price in the media for their past thuggery.

Ok - Qs for the Committee -

Mr Gonzales, it appears you have spent the past week preparing for your conversation with us. Does this mean you have brought with you all the documents we have requested or are pertinent to our concerns?

I am sure you spent all that time researching exactly what was happening in your department while you were not paying attention. So we are ready for a full briefing on the reasons for and process followed when 8 or more Bush appointees were asked to resign and how the response from your department became so mangled.

The simple truth does not need so much preparation. So what have you been doing. Since Mr Gillespie is not an attorney, we would like to know what advice he has given you. Oh, and why have you needed an attorney to prepare you to testify to simple truths?

Your WH Liason, Ms Goodling has told us she will take advantage of her 5th Amendment rights. Can you please tell us what she may have done to need to not incriminate herself? What kind of leave has she taken at the DOJ? Have you asked for her resignation? Why not?

Which of these things is going to happen:

1. Gonzales goes to Congress, lays out an articulate, thoughtful and documented explanation for the USA firings that is sufficient to address concerns about the politicization of the DOJ and about Gonzales' own credibility and leadership. (Doubtful).

2. Gonzales stonewalls, stammers, blusters, and makes Republicans who have already jumped off the ship that much more certain they made the right choice. In the meantime, career DOJ attorneys provide leads and documents to investigators to undercut Gonzales further. (Seems to be the direction things are going).

This has very much the summer storm cloud feeling of the original Watergate hearings....A public generally convinced of the crookedness of the adminstration gets evidence of that crookedness, drip by drip, with the administration battling all the way down.

The only way that Gillespie can participate in these prep sessions is if he is
(1) someone employed by, and necessary to "assist," Abu G's counsel in representing him. This exception usually applies to paralegals, secretaries, etc., who come into contact with privileged documents on behalf of counsel;
(2) part of a "joint defense" or "common interest" agreement in which Gillespie is (a) deemed to have similar interests as Abu G in connection with the investigation, (b)is being represented by his own lawyer in connection with the investigations, and (c)represented by counsel at the prep sessions; or
(3) is a closeted attorney who has been concealing the fact that he has a law degree and a license to practice.

In any event, Gillespie's presence at the prep sessions, and the identity of any other persons present at the prep sessions, are not subject to any claim of privilege. It's going to look really odd, to say the least, that the Attorney General of the United States needed the help of the head of the RNC to prepare for testimony before Congress in which he would take the position that the US Attorney firing were not politically motivated.


Though he's not the head of the RNC anymore. He's been promoted: now he's head of the VA GOP.

Watching Abu and his twirps is getting a little like watching Laurel and Hardy push a piano up stairs.

We have legislative elections in Virginia this year (this is the year in the cycle that all state senate and delegate seats are up for election.) So if Gillespie is distracted by his real loyalties and paying less attention to his new job, that's just great! If he ends up pulled into Gonzales' disgrace, so much the better.

abu gonzo only has to explain one thing

why is there not a Special Prosecutor in charge of this case right now ???

monica goodling has flailingly tried to invoke her 5th Amendment rights, indicating that a top DOJ official thinks there is criminal behavior within the DOJ

is that not a special circumstance that would require a Special Prosecutor ???

This is all so baroque and interesting. Wheels within wheels. And thanks, Albert Fall, for stimulating that fascinating little historical digression.

I just think it demonstrates how incompetent Gonzales is. He needs three days of practice; a seasoned attorney would not be so intimidated.

Attorney-client privilege is not necessary when everyone's forte is stonewalling and all conversations never happened.

Listening to all this gives me feelings of senselessness of purpose mixed with equal parts introjections therapy and hamburger Gestalt Helper, now with knuckles and femurs. And just like a voyage of innovation unto unexplored territory, listening to the blather of you right wing yokels reminds me of the first time I opened an owl pellet. What a world of discovery! I had stumbled across a Barn Owl roost in an abandoned nun’s dildo one spring afternoon while skipping along the banks of the river Dung. Below the chute where all the naughty bits did their disgusting and unsightly business away from the prying eyes or our lord, was a small pile of damp, furry boluses (soft masses of chewed food). I examined each one, picking them up and carefully placing them on an old sack that belonged to the kindly old flatulent Father Flannigan, for what use had he of such underused apparatus. The fact that they were tough enough to survive the long gestation within the nun’s perch left no impression of sin nor the eternal torment and suffering me and my loved ones were now damned to eternity for, as essentially my sinful transgression not only cooked my goose but all the assholes I lived with at the time. This was my finest discovery to date, and I treated the pellets with the care and respect they deserved, just like those Egyptian artifacts I had watched archeologists excavate on T.V. or the current GOP spin on their latest blunder or fuckup. But then I said fuck it and put on “Cranked up really high” by Slaughter and the Dogs and awaited Sister Ann Daniel with a handy 5 iron and an uncontrollable urge to tee off her fucking skull.

emptywheel - "Anyway, if these are the guys that are prepping Gonzales, it shows where their priorities lie. They've chosen two guys experienced in stonewalling to prevent the disclosure of the true corruption of this Administration. Who knows? With all the prep he's doing, Gonzales might actually pull off yet another stonewall for injustice."

You know, I can't remember when - no: IF - I've ever taken on our Fearless Leader. But your suggestion of it being within the realm of possibility that Gonzales succeeding in erecting a stone wall - it's got to be a set up [Surely I'm not the only one here so old to remember the classic Laugh In scene segue line: Here Come the Judge].

Can the RNC make-up crew get Gonzo up for a boffo performance on April 17? Well, in my experience, given a sufficiently fortuitous confluence of circumstances, a well-conceived plan, and a willing candidate, even a pot-bellied pig might win a ribbon in a minor league dog show. But the pig doesn't stand a chance if you just can't get it to stop squealing.

These circumstances - pending return to a hostile arena and the scene of an virtually unbroken string of hapless appearances by the man from Humble, going all the way back to right after his confirmation, on inherently controversial programs such as the National Security Letters & the DoJ's fencing with the FISA court - are far from fortuitous.

It only serves to add stench to the entrails that these interim reports of who has been entrusted with rehearsing AlG portend a very tricky - if not irreconcilable - conflict between AlG's personal goals and those of the RNC & Kustodian Karl.

Where I come from, the process by which Flanigan & Gillespie appear to be preparing AlG is known as "wood-shedding".

Wood-sheddding is one among several 'tried-and-true' methods for getting the head of a critical witness in a space best suited to serve the client's case. It is generally conceded as among those methods of witness prep best suited to achieving a client goal of stone-walling. However - stone-walling doesn't make a case - it just reduces exposure to a case already made. Put slightly differently for emphasis: wood-shedding is NOT a method suited IN ANY RESPECT to the task of rehabilitating a witness.

The choice on which method to use in preparing a witness to submit to testifying under oath depends on two elements:

[1] The Goal - that is, what point is sought to be proved thru the witness which serves the interests of the Client, and

[2] The Witness - that is, how the mind of the witness works when it comes to dealing with the quite-distinct tasks of presenting the narrative in the friendly confines of examination in chief [in which the witness has to be able to tell his or her story in a way which both technically supports the Goal, but also adds something which compels listeners to take into serious consideration some special fact or special value in the perspective of this particular witness.

Who is the Client here? The Bush Administration? Or Abu G? Perhaps Abu G would mouth the same answer as Flanigan & Gillespie - but he wouldn't mean it.

What is the Goal here? Keeping a lid on Karl's little Shop of Horrors? Covering up that Rove's insatiable need for political intell & Comstock's unrelenting campaign to turn over every rock to get it no matter how far out of bounds, have turned the DoJ into an political oppo research facility of a scale inconceivable to those who thought the Watergate burglary the nadir of native authoritarian excess [I include Bob Woodward among those so Naive.]?

Or is the goal, to paraphrase Mel Brooks' frontier mayor character in Blazing Saddles, to save Al's phoney baloney job?

To be clear, I don't see ANY of those Goals capable of being reached in these circumstances: a Committee packed with Democratic former prosecutors sorely aggrieved from years of frustration in fencing with the A.G. over his vaguely disingenuous disengagement from debating with them over the details & inherently disturbing nuances of the several programs the Bush Administration employs to invade the privacy of the citizens who imagine it's supposed to serve their interests - and the privacy of all others who stray into American communication streams.

Having closely watched this Committee drag useful revelations from the parsings of a witness who struck me so peculiarly adapted by both nature & nurture to testimonial evasion as D. Kyle Sampson, in comparison the witness Gonzales looms like an inflated Donald Duck hovering past on Macy's Parade day. And since the AG walks the walk & talks the talk so authentically, I'm pretty sure that's all he is.

So, do we agree that these is not exactly first-grade material the RNC make-up crew are working with here? Anyway, since Bush has chosen to go to the Senate Judiciary Committee with the A-G we have & not the one we want, shall we just move on to consideration #2?

What is the nature of this witness?

I think it's worthwhile bearing in mind that AlG has already BLOWN the soft-toss section of this competition in January.

Somehow, I don't see three weeks in practice taking hard cuts at balls set up on tees as adequate prepartion for the repetoire of 100 mph fastballs, vicious hard sliders & tantalizing knucklers - not to mention serious chin music - this Committee is going to serve up to him.

Was it just my partisan eyesight, or have others here noticed as well, how Gonzo's lips went all a-quiver from mid-February on, his mouth totally out of synch with the efforts of his larynx to form words, and his words failing to match up into anything remotely approaching human communication.

Now I ask you - how is it possible that Flanigan & Gillespie - or anyone - could turn this puddle of goo into Milli Vanilli - ever, let alone in three weeks?

In the reality-based world, I think April 17 holds only one truly achievable goal for the Bush Administration - that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who apparently attended and somehow graduated from a law school with more claim to accreditation than Regent U., who apparently did not embarrass himself as a judge [For some reason - respect? ironic humor most side-slapping?] is referred to among both the dojos of DoJ & the WHO's of the White House, as "the judge"] were to break down under questioning to the point that drool starts to run down his face & urine down his leg, a certain segment on one side of this bipolar nation will be heard crying out for a mercy kill. If that happens, then watch the Wall Street Journal & National Review mark that up in the Win column - because in today's BushWorld, that's what qualifies for unfurling the banner: Mission Accomplished.

Thanks, I’ll accept that as a complement. The little demon perched upon the sleeping maiden of my under-utilized talent (which automatically eliminates any of my sisters – putana!), the horse with the opaque eyes representing GOP Myopia (blind = night, horse = mare), the young lassie in a rather suggestive (for Victorian sensibilities) reposeful stance, arms askance, legs akimbo thusly, beckoning for the light of reason and the free mule she’s been dreaming of. But you got the metaphor all wrong. My dreams (and part of my waking hours) border on grotesque, not merely nightmares. I could go on about oddly shaped ornaments found within Roman dwellings, or grottoes, during the first century, but eight years of Catholic schooling implies a mutation of character, plants and/or animals. Whilst it served me well in surviving my “formative” years, this mutation transformed normal features and/or behaviors into genuine extremes, meant to be frightening and/or disturbingly comic. Within this tale of tragedy and trifle, the flowers of youth found within my garden have been mutated into beautiful harbringers of death. While the physical features of the plants have grown more exquisite, their interior workings have become a frightening caricature of normal plant-life (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). Grotesque also defines two separate modes of my existence, comedy and tragedy. The result is a disturbing fiction wherein comic circumstances prelude horrific tragedy and vice versa, the “true” nature of God discovered, during one of my youthful outbursts, and accompanying chemical heavenly vision, whilst standing in a hog-pen. Now smarty-pants, let’s see you de-construct that one!

Three days of practice? The man needs three days and a team of experts to practice telling the truth? Yeah, I know how naive that sounds.

"...the truth is the engine of our judicial system. And if you compromise the truth, the whole process is lost." Patrick Fitzgerald's words at the press conference announcing Libbey's indictment. Simple. True. Just saying.

If Flanigan hires Gillespie as a paralegal to be on his legal staff, then the information that Flanigan's ~office~ receives would come under attorney-client privilege, wouldn't it?

Just a thought.

If Flanigan hires Gillespie as a paralegal to be on his legal staff, then the information that Flanigan's ~office~ receives would come under attorney-client privilege, wouldn't it?

Just a thought.

3 days of practice? He still has a week before his House Committee meeting and 11 days before the Senate's. I don't think the rehearsals are over.

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