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June 07, 2007

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Nice post, Kargo. Bush will be the first president in history to be able to say, "It's not my fault, I wasn't really the President."

It's just so clear to me that Cheney has pulled a silent coup with the tacit approval of a figurehead. My gut tells me he'll go down quick if we can get Abu out of the way.

I also love how Cheney just made up his own little stamps. At the end of the day he's no more than a powerful, dangerous twirp.

wow -- i spit some orange juice onto
the keyboard -- 707, at your headline!

more seriously, excellent analysis, here!

i especially love the 1974 analogy to
the nixon white house -- in which, of
course, both mr. rumsfeld, and mr. cheney
had (albeit then-smaller) roles to play. . .

they learned their respective lessons well. . .

as to the broader cheney -- "damn the law" -- per-
spective, we need look no further than this afternoon's
hearings over at the house judiciary committee,
to gather the immensely cogent counterpoints
offered by louis fisher, a well-known expert
in constitutional law, and privacy rights
. . .

his full-text-remarks today read, and ring, true. . .

p e a c e

There's still a layer of discussion (in the WH) which we haven't touched. Was Cheney acting alone or as part of the entire WH plan to build the case for the war?

How can that veil be penetrated? Does anyone really think Cheney (that tough s.o.b.) would cough up some names if he's under pressure? If Cheney is impeached would Libby (also an advisor to Bush during that time) begin talking to protect Cheney?

What would break through?

mark h. -- hello, but that
is just silly -- and i mean
that in the nicest possible way.

it's silly -- when people talk
about a unitary executive -- they
mean only one thing:

dick cheney IS the "unitary" exectuive.

he is the president -- he is "the white
house" -- he is the decider -- just ask him.

Mark, Schlesinger comes at this a couple of ways, including this one:

Obviously a President need not be impeached because an obscure official buried deep in the endless bureaucracy, someone he does not know and probably has never heard of, does something wrong. But it is an extraordinary idea that a President is not responsible to some degree for the behavior of those intimates with whom he chooses to surround himself in the White House and the Cabinet.

[...]

If [the President] did not know what his right-hand men were doing, it was only because he did not wish to know. He had every facility in the world for finding out. And if Congress should decide that a President is no longer to be held broadly accountable for the ocnduct of his most personal appointees, it would obviously encourage future Presidents to wink at every sort of skulduggery so long as nothing could be traced to a specific directive from the Oval Office.

I also found this passage interesting and relevant, with respect to Gonzales as much as to Cheney:

Madison in the First Congress successfully argued that the President must have power to remove his appointees. Assuring the President this power, Madison said, would "make him, in a peculiar manner, responsible for their conduct, and subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses. On the Constitutionality of the declaration I have no manner of doubt." If the [110th] Congress should now decide that it understands constitutionality better than Madison and the First Congress, if it concludes that [the President] has no responsibility for the conduct of his closest associates, it would confirm [the President's] success in breaking the Presidency out of the historic system of accountability and in fastening a new conception of Presidential responsibility on the American republic.

What a radical, that Schlesinger.

Wow, just wow. Schlesinger harkens back to a time when experts could be experts--and came fully equipped with hearts and minds. I would bet Yoo, Gonzales, Goodling have never read--or known of--Schlesinger. Thank you for this.

I believe there has been since at least the Iran contra times a vast right wing conspiracy. Having read a couple articles about watergate, perhaps it began then. But these scandals share many of the same patterns, values, and outcomes. Presidential power that is unquestioned(able), conflict of interest, making money from violence, drugs and on the backs of the middle class and poor. Values used as a shiney object as the opposite behaviors were pursued behind closed doors intentionally and then covered up.

Vast right wing conspiracy...to keep the rich, rich and the poor exactly where they should be...making more money for the rich.

If Fitz and the Grand Jury have never been formally dismissed, can't this 'investigation'and its parameters, as defined by Comey to Fitz, continue wherever it leads? So whatever happens or develops within the next 12 months+, it can still have the cover of a Special Prosecutor: Patrick Fitzgerald. I believe that the Grand Jury MUST serve a total of 18 -22 months from the date they were convened (we are on the second Grand Jury for the Plame investigation). And I haven't read anywhere where Gonzo has taken away Fitzgerald's SP.

Just to give everyone a clue as to the WaPo's real "position" on this issue: they buried this article on p. A3, the front page being too full with articles on the price of baseball tickets.

nolo -- I respectfully disagree. If Bush made the call to Mrs. Ashcroft at the hospital, then he is not out of the loop as you suggest. Bush is not the brightest bulb in the box, but I don't buy the bumpkin ruse either. He sees the world in black and white. He is a child really and when he doesn't get his way he throws a temper tantrum. Children demand the attention of those around them, so I cannot imagine he would tolerate being shunted aside while Cheney ran the show. They are both in this together and they are both evil.

Excellent post Kagro. Another step closer to impeachment, I hope...

I am struck by the WaPo's choice of words for this article: "Vice President Cheney told Justice Department officials that he disagreed with their objections to a secret surveillance program ..." While the statement may be correct, to a person who knows little to nothing about this controversy (which is most Americans, even educated ones) the use of the term "disagreed with their objections" is confusing and doesn't even begin to sound like a problem most people would be interested in. I'd be willing to bet if you stopped people on any street and gave them that article to read, the vast majority would fail a test on what they'd read. Reading comprehension ain't what it used to be. People need pictures and somebody's going to have to get shot in the face again before The Public puts Cheney back on their radar screens.

This emphasizes how the Bush Crime Family situation differs from Watergate and why impeachment for Bush, however warranted, is unlikely. If you ask most people why Nixon left office, they will say "because of the burglary at the Watergate." Thanks to the plumbers, the average American had a crime they understood to hang around Nixon's neck. It may not have been the crime for which he was guilty, but Joe and Jane Average GOT IT. Nixon became "The Crook." Bush's crimes are much more serious and more of a threat the the very core of our democracy, but people don't GET IT. They don't FEEL violated. They don't SEE enough amiss.

It's our loss that the WaPo and NYT can't put headlines like Kagro's at the top of their articles. It might save our country.

And Conyers and Leahy have responded to Cheney's comments re: Libby. Essentially, they're telling Cheney to remove himself from any consideration of Libby's legal woes, including the pardon thing-y.

on-topic here, and. . .

B R E A K I N G !

scooter libby’s team just filed their
arguments in favor of his being
free on bond during his appeals. . .

and i will show you — in images and
in text — why scooter ought to buckle
up for the bus to camp-fed
!

he is not likely to be free on appeal.

their best argument, isn’t much of
an argument, at all. . .

. . .no — it seems his best argument is that
judge walton himself made reference to “a
tension” between two cases on the issue of
patrick fitzgerald’s authority under the
special counsel statute — but it is not
a particularly momentous one.

if an appellate court were to rule there
was no authority to bring the case, mr.
libby would be home free, true enough — but
to say so, would be, as a policy matter, to
say that there is effectively no law that
the president, the vice president, or their
respective staffs, could break, that could
result in any proper criminal investigation,
indictment and/or conviction — at least, and
most-importantly, where (as here) the normal
channel — the DoJ — is “conflicted” out.

and — note to EW — not even
silberman is going to be willing to
rule in favor of that proposition. . .

do take a look!

ps: confidential to

mark h. -- i was.kidding.mostly.

btw, i do agree bush is evil, too!

How will we ever get our country back?

All the Republicans learned from Watergate is...BURN THE TAPES. From Iran-Contra, the lesson learned was...Don't cooperate, Bush will pardon you.

Remember the report and photo last Oct '06 of an industrial grade truck marked as ...for all your shredding needs... parked out side of the VP's residence...just before the election?

These bastards must be removed from power in shame and handcuffs prior to the end of this administration. Unless this criminal element of the Republican Party is excised from the body politic and subjected to the full penalty of the law, our country will never restore the Constitution or the Rule of Law. The current edition of anti-American Republicans is led by Watergate and Iran-Contra alums....Cheny, Rumsfeld, Rove, Elliot Abrahms, etc. The new generation of Republican accolytes is being schooled in this administration by the "old masters" and will be the head criminals in the next American political tragedy ... in a decade or two.

Cheny and then Bush must be removed and tried criminally. No pardons, no clemency. Prison. No parole. And all their yes-men and yes-women.

Or this will remain a recurring pattern for each generation .... or until a second American Revolution.

The stakes are too high to not agressively pursue these unAmerican traitors aggresively ... doggedly.

I am an increasingly ENRAGED Independent.

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