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July 24, 2007

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Nothing happens until the Reps switch sides, and they don't switch until there is a smoking gun.

Is this it?

I adopt and incorporate my statements made on the Gang of Eight thread below as if set out in full again. Fucking unbelievable.

Gonzo was asked point blank who sent him to Ashcroft's hospital room, and said it was on behalf of the Preznit. Asked again, repeated previous answer. [incompetent lying SOB that he is]

Any bets it was Cheney who had him go there?

PJ Evans

I offered up a $700 million bet that it was Cheney who gave the order.

So far, no takers.

Gonzo was asked point blank who sent him to Ashcroft's hospital room, and said it was on behalf of the Preznit. Asked again, repeated previous answer. [incompetent lying SOB that he is]

Any bets it was Cheney who had him go there?

P.J. he may only be contradicting himself de jure, not de facto. The extent to which Cheney is operationally in control is far, far greater than anyone in the Exectutive Branch is willing to admit.

$700 million? Wow!

EW, I wouldn't take that bet either.

Cheney appears to be president in fact if not in name. That's one reason why I want him impeached rather than Bush. It's hard to get people to see that.

I had a feeling you were going to like this part. I only caught it in passing, but I guess one question is, was this done just for general OVP access to DoJ's ongoing investigations and prosecutions or whatever, or for something in particular, or both?

Now, did anyone ask him about that call to Ashcroft's wife? And presumably the question about who sent him was prompted by some information, or no?

I was left with the impression this morning that AG's medical mission-of-mercy to Ashcroft was actually at Cheney's behest.

It's becoming increasingly clear that in late 1999 or early in 200 Cheney had Bush acquiesce to a deal by which the operational functions of the Presidency would be performed by the former, as a quasi-prime minister, and the ceremonial functions would be performed by the latter, as a quasi-monarch.

The memoirs will be interesting....

PJ, it is getting easier every day. A Cheney impeachment might not lead to conviction, but it would sure stop this executive pribilege nonsense tootsweet.

I think Whitehouse has uncovered a simple conspiracy, but between major players.

What good it "separation of powers" when you want to rule like a dictatorship?

Join those powers behind the scenes, all the while breathing fire about patriotism, and the public will never know their precious Separation has been unified under a profane umbrella of lawlessness, conspiracy and subterfuge, all powered by greed and the lust for power.

I ahve also noticed something here, about how willing these lawmen are to lie.

When Gonzo claims he has no idea who put that clause in there, he's covering for Cheney, and covering with a felonious lie.

They all seem willing to instantly, immediately, automatically commita felony perjury, instead of crossing Deadeye.

And they do the same for Rove.

It is as if their concept of truth vanishes when confronted by questions concerning those two. They (Gonzo, Goodling, COMEY, Taylor and Taylor, Doan, Griffin, etc. ad infinitum) INSTANTLY go into liar's mode when confronted with a Cheney or a Rove query, as if their fear of Cheney's extended power octopus completely overrides any moral conscience they might have once possessed.

I once thought it was due to blind party loyalty.

Now, though, I think it is due to intimidation and fear. These people don't look "loyal" when they lie, they look fearful.

But, regardless of his motivations, there is no doubt Gonzo KNOWS it was Cheney who had that access language inserted, and this is just one more lie he will have to recant before it is all over.

Vegas books it at 100 to 1 on Cheney.

What's NOT in Cheney's portfolio? We already know he was instrumental if not the key player behind the run-up to the Iraq War; we already know he was the official who ordered USSTRATCOM to develop a contingency plan post-9/11 in case of a terrorist attack, access to which Congress has been denied.

And now Cheney's meathooks in all of DOJ, which Miers and Bolten would probably document if they were ever to testify truthfully under oath.

What is NOT in Cheney's portfolio? It's as if the only things DeadEye won't do is act like a traditional Vice President and kiss babies for photo shoots. What tack can Congress take to subpoena DeadEye directly and simply ask him, "What aren't you doing?"

"On Behalf of the President" was the Gonzo reply to Schumer concerning who sent him. Gonzo dodged and bobbed and weaved around that one. Ya, after listening to that exchange I would go the Fourth Branch of Government being involved. So, when will the school text books be changed from 3 branches to 4 branches?

so, puts "sealed v.sealed" in a new light, huh? sealed from whom?

$700 million, hmmm.

FWIW, Jeff and Posaune, I'm more worried about Cheney interfering with the Mitch Wade investigation than the Plame one. Wade has bragged he had Dick in his back pocket. Dick hired Wade for his first contract, and MZM appears to have been intimately involved in the other domestic surveillance program, the TALON/CIFA program. You know, the one from whihc the records were unfunded and disappeared when people started looking closely.

You don't suppose this gave OVP access to any of Fitzgerald's case against Libby do you?

I'll be glad to hold the bet money for all of you...

EW - That is a fair point; however, I am worried about a whole raft of investigations, both ongoing and that have yet to be initiated. the concept is the same as the DOJ conundrum. Hell, it IS the DOJ conundrum. In addition to the investigations and prosecutions that Cheney actually involves himself in, the taint permeates EVERY significant matter they work on because of the appearance and potential for impropriety. It is almost more corrosive than the actual interference you know about because that is, well, a known; where appearance of, and potential for, impropriety affects every nook and cranny imaginable.

In fact to add to my earlier comment that I think this is Wade/MZM and not Fitzgerald: the date of the memo was May 2006 (per Christy's liveblog). Right when DOJ got freaked about Lam, right when the investigation turned to MZM, right when Cambone and HPSCI made bogus moves at a self-investigation.

I think I'm finally beginning to understand what Gonzo is doing.

He's trying to secure the position of greatest douche in the history of American Politics for himself.

Yellow showers ain't nothing to this guy.


Gonzales can offer nothing more than an explanation that he continues to study why Ashcroft made the change, and that he has no idea how the changes got into the memo that he himself signed.

It would be so convenient to have executive privilege:

"I have no idea how, 'I am responsible for all charges,' clause got into my credit card agreement. I am continuing to study the matter. While this ongoing investigation is in progress, I cannot answer any further questions about the matter. I will continue to use the card. Don't bother to send me any more bills, as my boss has made a determination that I am not going to pay them."

"I don't know how this weapon got into my hand and where the blood came from. Well, I have to be going now. I have an appointment with the VP."

Shifting themes a little, I have to wonder how well the MSM will pick up on what came out today. It is beginning to appear to me that the MSM have hired all their reporters (especially TV reporters!) from an institution similar to Regent (does Regent have a School of Journalism, by chance?). Is no one paying attention out there? When I was in J-school, we were hammered to ask questions and delve into the facts!

Today's hearing is MAJOR news, in my opinion. I hope to God that it is treated as such.

It is hard to believe Cheney wasn't able to see any or ALL communications about any investigations before May 2006, including the Plame case. I suspect he got them straight from Gonzo. I suspect somebody must have questioned the practice so that Cheney demanded a memo giving him official access.

From the Dept. of Things That Don't Surprise Me

CNN headline on their only front-paged AGAG story: "Gonzales explains bedside meeting with ailing Ashcroft."

Explains. I see.

Emptywheel @ 14:19: Forgive me if I am repeating old news as I have been out of pocket for several days. McClatchy Newspapers had an interesting story over the weekend about a major accounting fraud investigation that got dumped last year. A federal prosecutor, David Maguire, was removed as lead prosecutor after he wrote a draft indictment in May 2006. That coincides with what you were referring to... (See http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/18223.html)

Do you know the dates of both the Ashcroft memo and the follow up memo by AGAG?

Any guesses what secret signings and actions Acting President Cheney may have effected during the two hours he was legally President this weekend? I am too cynically to think Cheney sat quietly on his hands for the two worrying about Bush's health when there was power to play with.

Sadly, yes, Regent has a journalism graduate program.
But they're not entirely to blame here.
We have an MSM (I'm talking about print journalism here) where selling papers has become paramount, where circulation is dropping (and profits with it) and they're all about selling papers to "young people" (who, they think, are not particularly interested in such heavy stuff as this). They're also working with a shrinking news hole, and a world that offers early retirement to the best and brightest as a way of reducing payroll and number of employees both.
That said, there are still bright stars and hope out there: Charlie Savage at the Globe, the folks at McClatchy, the Knight-Ridder guy Clark Hoyt who's done some amazing critiques of the NYTimes in the month or so that he's been public editor, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot of other folks.
To me, the great awakening that needs to occur -- for both TV folks and print folks -- is that this is a story of great import in which everyone -- my 20-something kids included -- are deeply interested. I don't know how they look at the polls and fail to see the big message -- that our rank and file population is tired to death of lying, deceitfulness, self-aggrandizement, incompetence, political convenience and destruction of our legal system and Constitution. And people will blow off as irrelevant news shows and newspapers that don't cover the issues they care about -- which makes me very worried about the future of the MSM.

Slightly OT about MSM lack of interest:
Didn't chimpies people (most likely the Big Dick) threaten to, or retaliate against the WH Press corp in the beginning? I can't find it right now, but I seem to remember something about revoking WH press passes for unfavorable stories early on. Obviously, if this retaliation was extended for ANY story in a given MSM company, it would have a very quieting effect. I remember a discussion about how a paper could wind up losing standing if they were forced to only use other papers quotes etc. Right after that was 9/11 so the story went no further. Maybe it was the seating arrangements. Anyone remember this?

Just for "context" here are a few quotes from May 2006 news sources:

The Senate confirmed Gen Michael Hayden as head of CIA . "It was Hayden who oversaw data- mining of domestic phone calls at the NSA, and testified to Congress there was no such program."

"Attorney General Al Gonzales has raised the possibility that New York Times journalists could be prosecuted for publishing classified information about the National Security Agency's surveillance of telephone calls."

"Hastert vehemently protested the FBI's incursion directly to the president. Soon after, reports began to surface that Hastert may be tied to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal."

Sheesh- I see Big Dick behind all of this. The Hastert thing is interesting because he appealled to the prez but was then hit with some thuggery. looks like Big Dick has been using DOJ investigations as "tools" for a long time.

Bmaz,

You point is not lost on me, detail disordered that I am, but pretty good at getting the more simply and elegant point. This should be making BIG news. We don't need the stinkin' details just the fact that it puts every investigation unders suspicion, is enough to impeach...(start an investigation) Gonzalez and dick.

Ugh...I thought I practiced patience during the Reagan years and never imagined how much worse things could get...but this is intolerable.

Gonzo said he acted "on behalf of the Presnit." Cheney holds the power of the office and seems to have an agreement with Bush to act "on behalf of the Preznit." So when Cheney told Gonzo to do it, Gonzo knew it was "on behalf of the Preznit" and so his statement was truthful. You prove he was lying.

They need to get Mrs. Ashcroft in there and they need to get Comey back before the Committee.

Between the "delegation" to Cheney and the possibility of a new secret program, there ought to be enough to get someone besides us excited.

Cheney's behind the firings. It makes perfect sense now in light of Whitehouse's question ( Gawd, I loves that man!) Ashcroft leaves DoJ after 2004 elections. Gonzo is sworn in, writes the changes into allowing OVP and minions access to DoJ investigations. Therefore Cheney knew all about Fitz's case against Scooter, but he was also able to derail the Wang stuff in LA by getting her a job, and get Carol Lam fired, and that will help protect MZM more than if she weere still investigating. We always thought Karl and Gonzo were the uber loyal Bushies, but something in, I think the WaPo 4 parter on Shooter, made me wonder weather Rove might have 2 masters. And there was something Gonzo said a few months back, I'm blanking sorry, but it made me wonder if he too was a Cheneyite.

And let me tell you another scary thought I had watching todays hearing. Gonzo even smirked whilst his butt was being chewed by the Reps on the committee. I turned to my mother and said, OMG they're planning a coup. No one as smart as Gonzo is supposed to be, wouldn't be terrified right now, and the sociopath is smirking, he knows he'll never be punished! And this was after Spector was taliking about Special Prosecutor or impeachment.

Un coup d'etat? Shit la merde! Mais, c'est impossible! Les membres du Congres ont beaucoup d'alternatifs. Non? Aide-moi!

When Reagan ran for office the 1st and 2nd time, I thought it was a joke, that there was no way--after Watergate and Vietnam that he would ever be president. When he won in 1980, I was shocked and thought it could not get any worse. But it did. I did not make that mistake with Shrub--when his Junta was installed in 2000, I was sure that it would be much worse. Only I did not have the capacity to imagine that it would ever get this bad.

MK -- maybe we should just start referring to the MSM as "Regent grads" and eventually they will catch on. Maybe they will even be embarrassed! Sadly, though, you are correct. Young people today do not seem to have the attention spans necessary to dissect what is going on -- and when Lindsay Lohan is the lead story, I guess that says it all...

TPM is saying that Cunningham is now in a secure cell in San Diego cooperating with investigators. So maybe MZM is not as dead a matter as Cheney wishes - or maybe he's told Cunningham and Kontogiannis exactly how far they can cooperate.

I think I need a tin-foil hat.

The Gonzales policy memo giving OVP access to DOJ came less than a week after the Cunningham-Wilkes-Foggo story broke. Coincidence?

Can any of the attorneys out there answer these questions. Should there be an impeachment of Gonzo would this be considered a criminal proceeding? If the answer is yes, can this criminal proceeding be used as a way to get at the WH documents and testimony that the WH/AG refuse to give up?

The AP wire story (seen at the LA Times) is actually reasonably informative and un-spun, although it does give the threat of the special prosecutor more space than it needs.

jazz

Yes, which is one of the reason some of us are behind impeachment.

Sojourner --
I don't think it's a matter of young peoples' attention spans tho -- just what the bunch of marketeers who are running MSM publications/etc. THINK of young peoples' attention spans. There's nothing that says the newspapers couldn't do something more like what Jon Stewart is doing -- except that their boardroom consciousness doesn't allow (for the most part) for that kind of risk. It's sort of what EW said about Ford marketing earlier -- that kind of lazy, sloppy thinking is (sad to say) almost everywhere.

I remember reading a few years back about repercussions to the people of the US if Impeachment Proceedings was ever started against this administration.The article said that if the people of the US thought that 9-11 was bad...we hadn't seen anything yet.Did anybody else read the article..if so do you remember where it came from.My son accused me of wearing a tin foil hat..now i'm not so sure with everything that is coming out.

Um, gee, if Gonzo wanted to understand the Ashcroft memo, couldn't he just ask Ashcroft about it? I mean, they do know each other - I hear Abu even went to visit Ashcroft in the hospital when he was sick. (snort) Won't Ashcroft take his calls?

Who does he think he's fooling with this "uh, gee, we're still trying to figure out why he did that" act? It's been over two years since Ashcroft left, and I assume as White House Counsel G. was in on the discussions before Ashcroft wrote the memo. Couldn't he be bothered to come up with a better story?

I swear, it's like he just hawked up a huge loogie and spat it all over the Committee.

PJ-
Although Lam has been removed- the case against Wilkes/Foggo and Wilkes/Michael is progressing. The US Atty who is now "acting" USA in San Diego - Karen Hewitt- seems not to be a political appointee AFAIK. And the same Prosecutors are working on the case. However, there seem to be a certain air of secrecy about certain aspects of the case that may or may not be justified.

The UT published the Feb 2007 interviews with Cunningham on Wed. Cunningham did a lot of co-operating in this interview although he may not have earlier. But the prosecution wanted the document kept secret. Today the paper revealed where the reporters got ahold of the documents.

Granger, the attorney for defendant Michael, attached a copy of the FBI interviews along with his recent court filing. And he sent a copy to the UT's lawyers as a "professional courtesy" since they sent him their brief. USA Forge complained because Granger had not blacked out "personal information" but the Judge "took no action on it."

I read the interviews and couldn't really find a reason that they would be sealed. There did not seem to be anything classified in them. And originally Forge had told the judge they would release them, but then changed his mind, citing that the information needed to remain sealed. Perhaps someone in Washington DC changed his mind for him. This, and an earlier "leak" that gave the defense a flimsy grounds for acquittal seem to make me suspicious that somebody is tampering with the case.

Kontogiannis' personal info is available from other sources- so I'm still wondering about why this was sealed in the first place.

Chris - Nice info. Thanks. If you see this and have a link, that would be cool; otherwise, I will try to find it on the Union Tribune site later tonight. A couple of weeks ago, maybe longer (can't remember) EW wrote something about this and I couldn't for the life of me come up with a satisfactory explanation for the vacillating position of the AUSA on sealing the transcripts.

To the point of the MSM and the marketing apporach to viewership. The major outlets are owned by the rich side of the republican coalition. Not the bible thumpers, the rich guys. I understand that Jack Welch is very proud of himself when it comes to Pumpkinhead and Tweety. Disney/ABC, hello Jack Tapper, CBS ... ditto, CNN ... ditto, Faux ... blech. MSNBC if it wasn't for the economics of Olbermann would go right along with GE/NBC. Sinclair, News Corp, the list just goes on and on. They figured out a long time ago that they need a whole lot of information control in order to make the wurlizter work. The FCC and FTC have been disgraceful for a long time.

Big Dick is one of the enforcers of the Rich Guys. They want total information awarness and control. Wars without end and emergency powers.

I wonder how many politicians of both parties (and judges) have had CIFA spying done on them. and OVP directed NSLs used against them.

Remember in the movie running man when Dawson tells Arnold that they have been controlling the masses via the media.

Did anyone notice that Brit Humes show listed Arlen Specter as D-PA god what an insult.

bmaz
Here are some links:
Today's UT article
July 17 UT article plus link to FBI transcripts

July 10 UT article re not unsealing Cunningham's interview

One interesting point in the first (Today's) article is that Judge Burns expects Wilkes to keep Geragos as a lawyer for the Wilkes/Michael case because Geragos wont need a security clearance for it but Wilkes will have to get a new lawyer for the Wilkes/Foggo case as Geragos refuses to get a security clearance. Wilkes had been ordered to show up with a new attorney today- but didn't. Geragos asked to speak to the Judge "out of earshot." Judge Burns agreed to do that tomorrow.

ralph -

great idea.

i wonder if chase will agree?

From AGAG's repeated testimony, I assume that he is illiterate and brain damaged. (He can't read, and he can't remember.) His testimony proves that he is not competent to stand trial. I suggest HJC/SJC subpoena his doctor and his psychiatrist, and ask if AGAG is fit to stand trial, or fit to serve. He may bring this up as a defense if impeachment proceedings are forthcoming.

AGAG knew exactly what he was doing. The hair splitting he does and the places where he doesn't remeber are too perfect. The one thing here is he is not incompetent, corrupt to the core yes, but he is doing exactly what he is supposed to do.

He is the official spear catcher and firewall. And unless somebody actually impeaches him, he doesn't give a flying f*ck about it because Bush/Cheney are saying good job AG. good job.

bille

Thanks to the Daily Show, America's youth are learning about the ongoing lawlessness that exists in the highest offices of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of governments. But unfortunately when serious news is lacking, humor tends to mitigate, abate, diminish, detract, minimize, degrade, and erode the seriousness of the issues. I had the same complaint about broadcasting Archie Bunker's intolerant racism as being "kinda cute." But at least back then we had an adequate free press that had yet to be shackled by America's media oligopoly. --- Indeed, Archie Bunker today, instead of being the butt of jokes on the Daily Show, would be a highly paid pundit eviscerating liberals.

Well, Gonzales may not be incompetent mentally, but he is certainly not competent as a lawyer. I could walk into the local municipal courthouse (city court , not even superior court or federal court) and find a 100 lawyers with better and more refined attorney skills than Albertoady Gonzales.

Chris - Thanks for the links. A couple of months ago, I don't think you were around here then, we had a pretty good discussion about Geragos and his antics on this case. He also had some fairly, shall we say unique, theories he tried to throw against the wall on an earlier motion to dismiss. Needless to say, they didn't stick any better than the "I won't get a security clearance" schtick.

EW, Darth Cheney unfortunately has had the keys to the whole kingdom since 2001. That's why the Constitution has been eviscerated and the country in doo doo.

Frankly, I'm getting sick & tired of the Dems "process" excuse for inaction. Makes me wonder/question how dirty their hand's are? If the shoe was on the other foot we'd be having impeachment hearings right now and a huge legal staff pouring over docs and every Repub Congressman on the toobz decrying the lawlessness of the Administration and BillO and Savage and OxyContin spewing froth and foam.

What Fitz accomplished is nearly miraculous.

MSM:
Did not know this hearing was yesterday!

I would wonder about the chances of Fitzgerald's moving for mistrial in the Libby matter on appeal, based on the DoJ's having relinquished access to investigation records to the VP, in contravention of the special prosecutor's attorney-client privilege.

Well, Gonzales may not be incompetent mentally, but he is certainly not competent as a lawyer. I could walk into the local municipal courthouse (city court , not even superior court or federal court) and find a 100 lawyers with better and more refined attorney skills than Albertoady Gonzales.

What, you have never seen before the "my client is paying me lots of money to come here and argue this silly theory... please don't get mad at me judge, baby needs new shoes" line of argument before? If Congress stops treating him like a principal, but as an attorney subject to a stiff dressing down/rule 11 action, they will make some convincing theater. Also, impeachment can then be based on willful stupidity, which Joe Sixpack can appreciate.

Xenos - Seen tons of it; engaged in it myself when convenient. He just doesn't seem very bright in the way he appears to process information and in micro decisions he makes in a variety of settings. It is hard to put into words exactly what I detect and observe. It is no more than one man's opinion, but I stand by it.

A further scary part of this is that Gonzales was a judge. How the hell does an attorney prepare to argue to a cipher like him? Just wing it, I guess.

Xenos - That is amazing isn't it? The only time the twit had ever been in a courtroom was when he walked through one on one occasion to the judges chambers trying to inappropriately get Bush out of jury duty on a DWI case. That would pretty much indicate that it was only a city court, or justice court at most and he was supposedly there for about 15 minutes. Other than that, he couldn't find a trial courtroom with a map and a GPS device; yet he was appointed by Bush to the Texas Supreme Court where he served with absolutely no distinction for about one year before leaving like a yip-yip little dog on Bush's heels to help ruin the federal government. since he was never a trial judge, he would have been but one of an appellate panel. My preparation would have been to ignore him completely and focus on the other panel members who were capable of understanding my arguments; same as I would do for Clarence Thomas (who might be able to understand, but it doesn't matter because he is a mute at oral argument).

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