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May 03, 2007


I appreciate the clarification of the term "loyalty oath."


Placeholder to see if I can close the italics tag

Thanks for the background on DeBiagio, EW. It would be interesting to know even more details about his actions before his firing. Maybe one day they will be leaked.

Darn, should have done a view source. There were two opening italic tags

Please remind me why Comey resigned from DOJ. Did he jump or was he pushed? Seriously.

This may be old news to those who've been more attentive than I, but stuff seems to be coming into sharper relief.

First, we've got the basic hypothesis that there were direct efforts to corrupt & politicize DoJ so that it could function as an arm of Karl's Shop.

Then, one can believe that "straight arrows" like Comey, Iglesias, et al, were unwelcome at DoJ and pushed out, either directly, or because they were marginalized, or by virtue of their own disgust. On the other hand, "loyal Bushies" are those who would either help Karl & his shop or would look the other way why Karl's minions did their dirty work.

OK. So here's another timeline, all from Wiki (hi, EW!):

--Ashcroft departed 2/05
--Comey announced his departure 4/05, left 8/05
--Abu started 2/3/05

Hard as it may be to believe, was Ashcroft, relatively speaking, a "straight arrow"? Too much of one for Karl to have the freedom to do his deeds? IIRC, I was a little surprised that Ashcroft stepped down when he did -- he seemed like quite the Patriot, yet it appeared he'd been pushed out. But maybe he had enough respect for the rule of law that he was interfering with Karl?

Then, WH Counsel Abu relocates to Main Justice, even though he keeps his original job. Comey catches on pretty quick and bails. Just a theory.

On KO the other night, reacting to the news about Abu delegating hiring/firing to Sampson & Gooding, Turley wondered what it is that Abu does all day.

Maybe we know the answer: Nothing. Just as Karl said.

I really want someone to ask Comey -- under oath, so he can speak freely -- why he left, and if there was a difference in DoJ between Ashcroft & Abu.

I never thought I would see the day when I would regard Ashcroft as a "good guy" -- but I will say that in my opinion, he always seemed entirely consistent, a true believer's true believer. Hardcore Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist, but one who really walked the talk that he purported to believe in (remember how he drapped the nude statues at the DOJ?). So in that sense, it seems likely that he was a straight arrow in that he was consistent, according to his own internal version of Christian logic. Unlike Goodling & Sampson.

I also seem to remember that Jim Jeffords of Vermont(who was not by any stretch of the imagination a right-winger) was quite fond of him on a personal level when they were Senators together. They were in a barbershop quartet together. In an interview, after he left the Republican Party, he was quoted as saying that he was very sad that his defection interfered with his friendship with Ashcroft. Jeffords was a true straight arrow, in spite of his inherited Republicanism, from which he is now in recovery (he endorsed Bernie Sanders in the election to replace him).

Another tidbit for the timeline:

--Abu started 2/3/05 (wiki)
--Comey's 15-minute chat w Sampson about prosecutors who were considered weak managers on 2/28/05 (AP re today's testimony)

Quite a coincidence that conversation happened 3 weeks after Abu & Karl took over.

Based on the DiBiagio articles I could find, something else must have happened after the incident of the "three front-page indictments" of public corruption crimes that caused Comey to recommend that DiBiagio be dismissed. DiBiagio actually issued a public statement in July, 2004, after Comey's smackdown, that he understood Comey's concerns and would comply fully with Comey's request that all future public corruption cases be vetted by DOJ first. It is interesting to note that DiBiagio seemed to be bucking the White House orders previous to this time to concentrate on terrorism cases. DiBiagio actually complained that the FBI had become virtually useless in helping to prosecute white-collar crime cases because they were so wrapped up with looking for terrorism cases under every rock.


Keep in mind, though, that DiBiagio was definitely playing the press on this. I suspect there's a tremendous amount of disinformation out there on this. And consider what it took for Margolis to admit that DiBiagio was fired, on the record, to refure his leak to Eric Lichtblau that he was fired for no reason.

DiBiagio is a close friend of then Gov. Ehrlich. Ehrlich was reportedly using gambling money to push for legalizing slot machines in Maryland, but nothing ever came of an investigation into the matter. Ehrlich also had interesting ties to Abramoff. In addition to receiving generous political donations from Jack, there is this:


"Originally published January 4, 2006
"A company founded by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s deputy chief of staff was central to lobbyist Jack Abramoff's schemes to defraud clients and conceal kickbacks to himself and others, according to federal charges filed yesterday.

"A criminal information filed against the lobbyist says Abramoff used Grassroots Interactive, a purported advocacy and public relations firm based in Silver Spring, 'to charge clients prices that incorporated huge profit margins for the purpose of generating funds for and concealing kickbacks that would be paid to defendant Abramoff.'"

No shenanigans, indeed!

And the Baltimore Sun's articles following the investigation of the death of Jonathan P. Luna read like a murder mystery. It certainly looks like there was a cover-up at multiple levels. If you read these in chronological order, it will make your hair stand on end: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/crime/bal-lunacase,0,6385867.special?coll=bal-local-storyutil

John Dean gave us "Worse Than Watergate". So now we get "Worse Than Ashcroft"?

Superficially the choice here is between:

[1] on the one hand, a product of a religiotically twisted childhood and early education in the brewing of fortified KoolAid, followed by a pretty darn good education after high school, plus very long history success in getting elected and presumably being somewhat responsive to actual citizens, at least until 2000 when his opponent avoided debating him by a clever ruse and the voters of the Show Me state had an opportunity to actually listen to what he had to say, and

[2] on the other hand, a bootlick toady who by mere accident of birth missed out on his true calling as chief of crafts at a concentration camp.

Tough call. But then throw in the evidence that:

[A] on some occasions Captain Rapture actually listened and Did The Right Thing [eg. his long campaign fought from from his Senate seat to get the FBI to drop racial profiling; and a few other things here and there, including being able to understand Comey when Comey said to him "You're in a conflict of interest" and get to FEELING so conflicted first he gave up all tough calls to Comey for a while and then he got sick,

[B] whereas AlG - ever since recruited to bless ever moronic notion that Father Bush and Son Shrub have had with his legalish support - has never deviated - not once - from his unyielding faith in the Laws of Osmosis, and facilitated the carrying out of each and every one of the 57 death penalties King George wanted carried out in Texas, facilitated turning wing nut legalish rationalizations on rendition, torture, whimsical privacy invasion and unitary executive power into official DoJ postions and allowed Karl Rove to determine what activities qualify as worthy of investigation and prosecution as federals crimes,

and you too might get the impression that at least you could save your breath trying to reason with someone with all the passion and foresight of a water logged plant and move on.

Ms. E. Wheel - That part where DeBiagio wants equal standing with the purged eight seems to be part of a trend - as in, when you can't beat 'em then co-opt 'em.

Rep Rienzi also is claiming that HE'S a victim of DoJ politics - only thing is, it would have to be one of the purged eight [Charlton] going after him.


And what about this idea that now that the Dems went all crybaby at the King, and he snarled back with his veto, and those disorganized, didn't-think-it-through Dems lost the vote to set aside the King's veto, the lily-livered wimpy Dems went all weak in the knees so now its the RUBS who have to come in to the rescue and breathe life into the Will of the People from last November.


Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that this is the old DC comic Superman world meets Bizarro Superman world broght to life?


Yes, DiBiagio's reeks of TurdBlossom, if you ask my opinion. Think about it--it'd be a way to rehabilitate Ehrlich, clear him of his Abramoff-related stench, and at the same time cloud the discussion of the USAs.


Rep Rienzi also is claiming that HE'S a victim of DoJ politics - only thing is, it would have to be one of the purged eight [Charlton] going after him.

he IS a victim

renzi got the US Attorney fired, and those fuckers at the DOJ are STILL prosecuting him

the NERVE of those bastards

you just can't get quality political corruption anymore

nostalgia ain't what it used to be

ew: I love the way your mind works! With this adminstration it never hurts to be more cynical than you think you need to be in evaluating why certain statements are made--or not made.

I do not know the import of this, if any, (because I do not know the party affiliation of the official(s) indicted), but very soon after the appointment of Deborah Rhodes to replace David York as the USA for Southern Alabama, an indictment was unsealed (do not know when the indictment was initially issued) against the Mayor of a municipality called Orange Beach, I believe - - I think his name was Russo. I also don't know if the internal investigation of York had anything at all to do with the Russo case. The original indictment was for campaign money shenanigans, and a superceding indictment then expanded the charges to official corruption in connection with real estate dealings.


It looks like Steve Russo, the mayor in question, is a Republican (or his only donation at the FEC was to a Republican).

Looking at the indictment now--which was filed

Just an interested Canadian lurker here, excellent work as usual Ms.Wheeler....something struck me a while ago....

The 'plumbers' in this present day attorney watergate are the DOJ and its minions, in collusion and directed by Rover....obviously Bush43 learned his lessons from Nixon's weakness and went Nixon one better in getting the whole DOJ in his coopted matrix...

It is a singular event that your country may not recover from, as you would have to acknowledge wrongdoing and error and accept the consequences OR accept the fact that you have to start from scratch with respect to law and order there because there is taint involved in your justice institutions....

I am not sure your country is up to it...it is way past time for the intervention, and I would start by calling it that...I do see though that it is extremely hard for certain people in America to stand up to your President, but doing the right thing has never been easy....
Good luck

In the Washington Times article, linked by the word "accusations" the facts in the death of Mr. Luna are the following: he was found dead with 36 stab wounds
he drowned in a ditch
the authorities are considering whether this is a suicide
they are also looking into premeditated murder or a random murder

This man worked for Mr. DiBiagio and there is controversy as to Luna being under improper job pressure from Mr. DiBiagio. The person, Luna's colleague, who lodged complaints about DiBiagio is now working in a new capacity, investigating prosecutorial misconduct and abuse of power.

Today Josh Marshall posts an email he received about the murder of another AUSA, this one in Seattle. Is this normal? To have two murdered in the space of a few years? I know they go after some mean characters, but I wouldn't have imagined they get murdered with any great frequency.

USAGate started with people noticing a curiously high rate of "resignations" among USAs. Is it too tin-foilly to start looking systematically for their assistants' murders?

Jaysus, GOOD WORK Marci. Wish the press dug like you do.

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