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April 16, 2007


At his stage, Gonzaliars disembowelment is nearly complete.

The DOJ is dysfunctional almost to a pathological degree, so
it is likely the missed deadline is due to Fubar, rather than disrespect. But we shall see. We shall see.

The Gonzales hearing was just delayed for the VT massacre.

BTW, is anyone even remotely surprised he missed the deadline? Why not just impeach him right now?

I am glad to see that Conyers has issued a subpoena. I was under the impression there were no subpoenas. I realize the Administration is trying to run out the clock to prevent accountability for their malfeasance. Hopefully, Congress will continue to be diligent in getting some sunshine into how our Justice Dept and Administration in general became an extension of the RNC and a cesspool of corruption. Maybe some could be held to account. Don't have much expectations for that however.

All "dog ate my homework" quips aside, it looks to me like the DOJ, like the WH, will give Congress just enough to say they've complied and dare anyone to force them to turn over more, or to deliver the material requested. I think we are setting up for a showdown over who has the "ultimate power" over documents, emails, and other material. I think the WH believes they can call Congress' bluff...and win. So are we looking forward to two years of blustering confrontation, non-stop constitutional crisis? Sigh.

I love it when Conyers says he's "disappointed." IMO that translates to "The thousand pound shithammer is about to drop."

abu gonzo does Pesci

you was serious ABOUT THAT ???

our government is run by a bunch of stooges

or is that being unfair to stooges ???

He's already gone, why not snarl the relationship between Congress and DoJ a little more on his way out? I'll be surprised if he doesn't leave a shit on top of his desk for the next AG.

They couldn't comply with the subpoena because of the shootings, today..., or they couldn't comply with the subpoena because the only documents they could find, show that something improper happened, and they don't want to send those over, or they lost all remaining documents in the DOJ because Clinton used to be president,... or Barney ate them,... or they couldn't comply with the subpoena, because no one works at the DOJ anymore. Take your pick.

LS: Hmmm... I'll go with option B.

Didn't they have to at least provide a list of the documents that they haven't turned over, and the reason why? Regardless of any privilege, this request seems to be completely beyond any question. Personally I would have started out with a list of everything, with 'ran out of time' as the reason, and then when the deadline gets near, turn in the list minus the provided documents.

Next subpoena needs to have them fill in a checklist for each step and each doc. Providing no information, like the metadata of the search itself, makes it easy to stonewall.

I'm wondering how this train wreck is going to get fixed.
Seems like a thorough house cleaning would be in order.
Does GW have the capacity to nominate someone for AG capable of independent operations, as well as understanding how to run the federal law enforcement org? I dunno, asking a lot.

Via Atrios:


Oh, this is getting good.

As sad as the Virginia Tech shooting was, I wish they'd left the schedule alone. I'm ready for action here. Not one spontaneous word is going to come out of Gonzales' mouth. He's so rehearsed, he probably can't even recall his childhood without notes. So what we're going to get from this hearing will be a function of the skill of the panel asking him questions in such a manner as to undermine his prepared, scripted answers. I hope they also grill him on the topic of email servers. He won't answer, or maybe even know, but again, the questions will keep the issue on the front burner.

Does a supoena give Congress a force to go collect the documents themselves? Like, send the F.B.I.? Or, since our own justice department is so compromised, could we borrow the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

EW: Lemme guess here -- the press can't figure out that Gonzo's DoJ documents ARE NOT IDENTICAL to the documents required by the subpoenas, that DoJ documents [a1] != Congressional documents [a2]?
My interps are inserted in bold.

ABU GONZO: In order to appear to be cooperative, I have ordered the release of thousands of pages of internal documents...although these may include menus from take-out pizza joints or other innocuous fluff pulled from the desks of unwitting DoJ staffers. I fervently hope tossing DoJ trash bins at Congressional overseers will create so much excess work for them that I can buy more time to cover my arse. All of these documents and public testimony indicate -- but do not prove -- that the Justice Department did not seek the removal of any U.S. attorney to interfere with or improperly influence any case or investigation. DoJ did not seek these things; Rove and Bush43 directed me and the Minions. However, I'm hoping that if I toss enough Chinese take-out menus at Congress, maybe they won't connect the dots. Neither will the press, at least, not the teevee pepl.

CONYERS: We are disappointed that the Justice Department failed to produce the documents and other materials for which we issued a subpoena last week. I know how to draw Venn diagrams, you morons. I realize that a1 is a donut, and a2 is a square. The two are not congruent; you arrogant knaves are stoopid enough to insult me with take-out menus?!! You lying weenies can twist in the wind while I decide how many extra toppings I'd like you sorry wretches to serve up -- start by adding Rove's Blackberry logs to the ham-fisted, cheesy Minion Special you've tossed my way. Leahy will have to order separately, although I assume that he'll need slices of Sampson and Goodling to spice up his Gonzolia Surprise.

Is the "breaking" ABC flash anything new or are they just catching up with last week?


obsessed, this flash is different, it claims he was discussing Lam, six months before she was fired.
Lam, the San Diego attorney who DID have an ongoing investigation...

I read that ABC news piece linked above, "Gonzales Contradicts His Own Testimony"...and thought about it on the way home on my motorcycle. I'm bugged that while an MSM outlet (finally) has the nerve to call a liar a liar, it's about "Carol Lam's lackluster record on immigration enforcement in San Diego that he supported firing her months before she was dismissed, according to a newly released e-mail from his former chief of staff."
IIRC, Ms. Lam was #3 rated in the country on prosecuting immigration. While maybe #3 doesn't rate a medal of freedom or an "outstanding" rating at review time, it certainly doesn't rate firing, let alone a poor performance review. I'd say "Excellent; would like to see an increase in this activity over the next year."
This pisses me off. While the article discusses the fact that AG lied about being involved early on, nowhere do the authors dig a little and introduce the truth about Carol Lam's excellent performance. Is it too much to ask that media news reporters actually inform us and not just pass on the Bush Admin's spin and lies? Bah!

Is it too much to ask that media news reporters actually inform us and not just pass on the Bush Admin's spin and lies?

Yes. [This has been another edition of simple answers...]

Oh, you want them to actually do real work and report real news? Good luck.[/sarcasm]

Dear EW.
Being, as you know, a bear of little brain, I can't help but gasp in awe at the (pardon the alliteration) au. dacity. of the AG, and the DOJ, in their evident efforts at obstruction of justice. I can't think of a more quintessential example of the disdain in which the Bush administration holds the people of the US (Republican party members included). Sheer arrogance was never better illustrated than by this presumed arm of the Executive Branch. Talk about an activist judiciary. My God! the Supreme Court has nothin' on these people. I'm overwhelmed. My head can't hold it all in. What gives these bastards and the (maybe) 30% of the people who still support them the right to hold the principles of this country to hostage, or worse, to hijack the legal system? It's.... it's.... Rovian in its proportions. The sooner that bastard is brought to heel by an independent investigative organization (i.e. not the FBI, not the DOJ), the sooner the rest of the putrescence of this regime will be revealed. Not until. We love you, EW!

Delaying his testimony might actually work towards the furtherance of truth.


1) If you've ever crammed for a test, you've forgotten much of the material a few days later. By doing some more cramming, Abu is apt to get even more confused as stuff falling out of short-term memory gets mixed up with incoming data.

2) If he was planning to tell the truth, this wouldn't be as much of a problem as trying to keep a pack of lies balanced. His testimony will resemble a house of cards built upon a unsteady table with fitfull gusts from various congresscritters harumphing their disbelief through virtual moustaches. As soon as his hands twitch, it's all over the floor. With dozens of staffers lying over a period of years, how can he keep his own story straight and consistant with other evidence?

3) A couple more days searching, analysing, and cross-checking the existing data-dump allows even more interesting nuggets to be discovered: the mention of a chart or of a meeting or of an instruction from the WH. Whatever. Even redacted materials can reveal a clue in theri construction. A nugget to be tripped over while balancing those lies. More nuggets means that other questions can be raised while he is in the Siege Perilous.

4) The investigators can be quietly questioning other people. Wasn't Goodling supposed to be interviewed before Gonzales? Who did they have scheduled for Wednesday?

5) Not everybody in the DoJ is a graduate from Regent Law. Even somebody who is, might remember that admonition against bearing false witness. Someone who is competent and principled among the staffers might at the last moment decide that loyalty to the Constitution (that oath they all took) outweighs loyalty to Bush, and some missing documents might appear "over the transom". Not all career staffers can be happy with the current state of the department or of grandiose managers. If the Titanic is going down, do you continue to whitewash the decking under a martinet and her color guard?


I agree. This ABC story is misdirection. NO ONE has ever, on paper, attacked Lam for being anti-immigration. So inventing this email right now is a convenient dodge against the most politically charged case.'

Agree, this is BS.

Slightly OT, but I haven't seen this observation made too much.

as far as I can tell:
Several times, DOJ flacks have said that Lam's current investigations did not play a role in the decision to fire her. In fact, they have gone so far as to say that they did not even discuss those cases, and although I haven't been reading the emails, I think that her caseload did not come up in them either.
That is a huge red flag all by itself. There's no question that Abu G. and his hench-christians knew the importance of Lam's investigations; therefore, if they did NOT act to ensure that firing her would not disrupt her work, they were grossly negligent.
In fact, since there is no criticism of her Cunninghama palooza work, we should infer that Abu G. strongly approved of it. There is no non-damning way to read the failure to ensure a smooth transition for her non-immigration cases---none.
I'm really surprised a bigger issue has not been made of this.

NO ONE has ever, on paper, attacked Lam for being anti-immigration.

Some DOJ staffers were providing backup on immigration prosecution policy for Lam against Issa and Tancredo, in the summer of 2006. Not much later, Monica Goodling and her little helpers were using Issa's complaints as part of their oppo research to justify Lam's firing.


An effective tactic to deal with slow document production is to follow-up the previous requests with very narrowly drawn document requests that have two parts. The first part requires that the respondents submit a schedule within 48 hours detailing how they intend to fulfill the document request in the required time frame. The second part of the document request details the information, data or documents to be produced. This type of document/data request forces the responding party to detail how they are going to respond to the request. This accomplishes two objectives: it quickly shows whether they intend to respond substantively to the request and it obligates them to follow through in a timely manner. In effect, this type of document/data request sets up an obstruction trap. If they fail to produce the required "means and method" response and/or follow up with the actual document/data production in a timely manner and do so in such a manner as to establish a pattern then they can be more easily exposed as engaging in an attempt to obstruct or thwart the oversight function and the ongoing investigation.

It is much more difficult to claim that the response of the Administration to a broad document request is insufficient and therefore obstruction than it is to set markers and show that the respondents are engaged in an ongoing effort to thwart or obstruct an investigation. The Administration can simply respond that they were given insufficient time to respond to the document request given certain restraints (which may or may not be true but it is generally very difficult to say beyond a reasonable doubt that this is not true). Or they could say that the document request was so broadly drawn that it is impossible for them to meet such broad requests. In other words, the investigating authority has drawn such a broad request that no matter what the respondent produces the investigating authority can always say that it is not enough. This can be a sympathetic position if it can be supported.

Frankly, I would have expected the oversight committees to issue broad requests for document retention to preserve all doucmentation possible, to engage in interviews with the key personnel to discover where the documents reside and in which format and finally to draw up document requests that fulfill two functions: "sweepers" which gather up as much information as possible for sifting and document/data requests that are much more narrowly drawn in order to gather key information from key people quickly. One very effective method of monitoring or testing the compliance of the respondents is to require them to produce within a short time period a schedule that details how they are going to fulfill each document request. This also gives the investigating authority the opportunity to determine quickly whether the response will be adequate. If it appears that the scheduled response will be insufficient then they can quickly respond that this will not be sufficient and request a more detailed or more focused response within a short time period. The back-and-forth process allows the investigating authority to effectively manage the process and to also keep the respondents in a tight box which severely limits their ability to engage in delaying or stalling tactics such as slow document production, insufficient document production, off-target (gum it up with lots of junk) document production, etc.


I think Waxman is doing some of that with the RNC document requests--requiring a schedule.


abu gonzo does Pesci:

"I'm stupid like that"

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