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July 20, 2007


Confidential shoudl be reserved for take-down-the-country-if-it-gets-out - theings like the Manhattan Project, or D-Day planning. Otherwise, require that it be justified. I can't see that any of the things you list above are break-the-country-secrecy level.
If the president or VP would be impeached if the news got out of the meeting or the action, that's a sign that it shouldn't be secret, and more, that they shouldn't have done it in the first place.

I think it may have been Kurtz or JMM who also pointed out that Congress is entitled to inquire into the conduct of any agency that Congress established and that derioves its powers from acts of Congress. That means the Dept of Just-Us and the Dept of Defense. Bush's latest is a real emasculation of oversight that has to be joined.

I'd like to see Congress file a declaratory relief action in USDC. Would they have to file it in DC or could they pick another forum? Given the curent state of the DOJ, if Congress for some law professors and crack litigators, they could probably walk all over the Pres.

And begin impeachment, starting with Gonzo, who can't do his job because the entire DOJ os FUBAR.

OfT, but I'm still missing how the MSM allows Bush to skate on these specious EP claims, especially when it concerns emails that were saved outside of WH servers and their robust security fixes.

The point about "clear and unfettered advice" sounds good, but makes absolutely no sense when applied to individuals and entities from outside government with a stake in what is being discussed. I think that is the difference. It is one thing to sit around and analyze and play "what-if" scenarios in government. It is something else again to invite "Kenny-boy" and others of his ilk into the White House to discuss energy policy. Then, the "clear and unfettered advice" becomes more of "what is my cut of the pie?"

Bush, Cheney, etal just never got any genes that help them understand ethics... For that reason, they need to be removed from our government.


The MSM doesn't understand or care about "process" issues. He said-She said rules the day. If a Republican administration says something, it is, by definition, a valid point of view.

So far, the scope and scale of the usurpations have, in a strange sense, insulated BushCo from particular scrutiny. It's one stinking theft of liberty after another, the next one distracting the ADD-afflicted, media-corporate-celebrity-chase-scene gaze, onto the next "breaking" stink-bomb.

Have we reached some mythic, collective tipping point? I come back to the blogs and the news, day after day, asking myself "WHEN?"

What is to be done?

The leverage points right now are the House Judiciary Committee and the leadership of the House Democratic caucus. They have to make a collective decision to say enough is enough. There are no other tools in the box that are designed to cut through the BushCo wreckage.

i am tired of these endless debates on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin... we do not need to be engaging in these discussions when the house is on fire... our country is in grave danger and it's way past time to take serious ACTION, not to engage in serious DISCUSSION...

glenn greenwald...
It has been six months since the Democrats took over Congress. Yes, they have commenced some investigations and highlighted some wrongdoing. But that is but the first step, not the ultimate step, which we desperately need. Where are the real confrontations needed to vindicate the rule of law and restore constitutional order? No reasonable person can dispute that in the absence of genuine compulsion (and perhaps even then), the administration will continue to treat "the law" as something optional, and their power as absolute. Their wrongdoing is extreme, and only equally extreme corrective measures will suffice.
there can be no more delay... we've put off the inevitable for far too long... every day that passes, the danger to our constitutional republic increases dramatically... what's even worse is that in-your-face confrontation is only going to increase the danger, a reason perhaps why it hasn't been yet undertaken, but, seriously, what other choices do we have...?


Hi, EW.
semiot is right. Bush says, "I can do whatever I want. Congress can't touch me. Nyah, nyah. What are Leahy, Waxman and Conyers/Sanchez gonna do? Hold their breath until they turn purple? My party is behind me, even if 3/4 of the people aren't. The Justice Department is behind me. The generals are behind me (and if they so much as fart in my general direction, I find some more who are behind me). I don't give a fuck about the soldiers or the Iraquis. Just the oil. I don't give a shit about democracy. It's an outmoded concept. Let the corporations rule. Then we'll see some real progess in this country! But, as for the Congress, it's feckless (except POTUS wouldn't use a word like that)."
It's the members of Bush's party in Congress that we need to get to. Until they start acting like Americans, first, and Republicans, second, Congress will remain powerless. But how? How do we get to the fascist party in Congress? How about an add campaign that points out how un-American the Republicans are being? You know.
The Republicans in Congress--they're the party that wants to listen to your private phone conversations, and open your mail; they're the party that wants to search you, your car or your home without a warrant; they're the ones who want our soldiers in Iraq to stay there, indefinitely. Republicans in Congress, they're the ones who've handed complete control to the President, who is now claiming that no matter what or his government do, we, the people, can't do anything to make sure they're doing it in the people's best interest. Republicans in Congress are the people who let the Vice-President get away with revealing the identity of an undercover agent of the CIA. They're the ones who've worked hard and long to deny poor people the right to vote, for fear they'd vote for a Democrat. Republicans in Congress. They're the ones who think it's more important to maintain their grip on power than to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Republicans in Congress: Republicans, first, Americans, second.

Sunshine the best disinfectant. Isn't that why FOIA and other legislation were passed. I think it is time for a serious review of classification and the use of "state secrets" to hide wrongdoing and even criminality. It does not make sense when the government can get away with warantless spying on Americans on the grounds that no American can certify they were injured. This type of circular logic and constant kabuki in DC is what has to be illuminated.

Unless and until the American people demand more transparency it aint gonna happen as the politicians have no incentive. Their whole world is today constructed on a theme of passive acquiescence of the voting public and an egregious money machine that bankrolls the political machinery to loot the taxpayer into servitude.

Bush & Co are trying to force a decisive fight NOW while they still have some Senate Republicans supporting them.

Dems need to be patient and apply force across the board to gain more and more public support.

In a sense it's political, but it's not about partisan gain. It's about gaining public support to smash the Senate Repubs; after that Bush & Co will disappear like so much swamp gas.

But, it does take patience and at some point it will become completely obvious that their house of cards is going to collapse -- then the Dems (and stupid Repubs who think they can save themselves by turning traitor) can attack without restraint.

How high must the crimes be piled? How misanthropic must the misdemeanors become? - before our constitutional officers arrest these usurpers? Inherent contempt may seem like a nice little scene to play out. But only if it is launched under the color of an investigation of high crimes and misdemeanors is it worth the candle. Having Harriet Miers in the DC jail, in and of itself, will only produce another minion sacrifice for the Comstock-media complex to drool over. The game changing move is issuing the paper with the words "impeachment" and "investigation" inscribed thereon. Everything else is playing loaded dice with the devil.


That was poetry.

You should write speeches for Sen Reid.


That was poetry.

You should write speeches for Sen Reid.


That was poetry.

You should write speeches for Sen Reid.

In a similar vein to MarkH's comment, let me say that current developments, along with his argument, are part of why I have been leery of impeachment.
There is a LOT to lose potentially if impeachment fails---possibly more than could be gained by removing Bush. If the Republicans in the Senate and on SCOTUS stick with Bush, the Democrats can't impeach, period. Do you see any way around that? On the other hand, if the fight the monarchial claims Bush is making without laying the groundwork, they may lose the fight, establishing a de facto principle of the Unitary Executive, if not de jure.

Two weeks ago, I was against impeachment because I thought the Democrats had failed to lay the groundwork over the previous years to enable impeachment now. Most readers here remember that the Republicans had a STATED intention of impeaching Clinton by Jan. 1993, if not earlier. All the WhiteWater nonsense, the Jones lawsuit, the Starr investigaton of the Clenis---all of these were part of a grand long term strategy to oust Clinton. Had Clinton not been so personally popular, they would have succeed, Monica or no. Do you really think they wouldn't have tried to impeach some other way if Monica hadn't turned up? Hell no, they were still looking for ANY way to impeach Clinton.

Now look at the Dems. Look at all the things they've done to mould public opinion towards the possibility of impeaching Bush. A big fat nothing.
Now they HAVE to impeach Bush, but they must not fail. This is very dangerous territory now, and winning public support for impeachment over the next few weeks is the most important thing.

I know many of you will be contacting your Democratic Congressmen over the next few days, but I think that a concerted effort to get Congressional Republicans on record now is vital.
Does Senator LesbianPorn think that the President has an inherent constitutional right to order his staff to ignore Congressional subpoenas? I want to hear from him! Does Senator ClosetCase think that Bush has an inherent constitutional right to violate the law in order to protect the public (re---the illegal wiretaps to which Bush has confessed). Etc.
I am willing to bet that you can find Republicans who will state support for the most outrageous abuses---let's not forget the authority Bush now possesses to secretly detain, secretly try and secretly execute American citizens. The Republicans are so damn stupid.. the only reason the public doesn't realize this is that they are always reading from a script. Get them off their script and hear their real views on shredding the constitution.
What do you think?


You touched on 'inherent contempt' a while back but did not cite
the 1934 Postmaster's arrest for contempt as an example (that I recall). Since the grey area around Cheney's role in the Senate
it may be conducive to focus on the House;

The last time this occurred was in 1934, when the Senate brought inherent contempt charges against a former U.S. Postmaster. The upshot? The President filed a Habeas Corpus claim on the Postmaster's behalf, but the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted legally.

I doubt that the present Supreme Court would be so objective. Nevertheless, it would be cute to see this President rely on Habeas Corpus.

In the 1934 case, the Vice President presided over a trial in the Senate. I wonder what would happen if the Senate invoked inherent contempt against a Vice President?

Fortunately, the House may act independently of the Senate. Which means that the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives could, conceivably, arrest the President of the United States during the State of the Union address to face charges of inherent contempt. On what grounds?

18 U.S.C. Sec. 1505 : ... Whoever corruptly ... influences, obstructs, or impedes ... the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress ... [s]hall be fined under this title, [or] imprisoned not more than 5 years ... or both.

18 U.S.C. Sec. 1515(b): As used in section 1505, the term "corruptly" means acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including ... withholding, [or] concealing ... information.


I agree with PJ Evans that classification should be the exception not the rule. It should be used very sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Too often secrecy is just an excuse to hide behind...

And Marky, FWIW, even though I am staunchly in the impeach-them-right-this-damn-minute camp, I think your idea of getting the Republicans on record as to what level of abuse they are on board with would be quite useful in the long run. How do you propose to get them on the record though? I could call up the Republicans on the HJC for example and post what they say here, but it would be far more useful to get recordings (either audio or video) of them stating their positions. Any suggestions on how to do that?

"There is a LOT to lose potentially if impeachment fails---possibly more than could be gained by removing Bush. If the Republicans in the Senate and on SCOTUS stick with Bush, the Democrats can't impeach, period. Do you see any way around that? On the other hand, if the fight the monarchial claims Bush is making without laying the groundwork, they may lose the fight, establishing a de facto principle of the Unitary Executive, if not de jure."

IMVHO, Democrats should begin an "impeachment inquiry" on Cheney, he's much easier for the Senate to convict. The point of the impeachment inquiry is Conyers can get Fitz's GJ testimony and the Press has a field day with work that has already been done. It's that process that prepares the country for impeachment and conviction. If that doesn't happen, if the Press and the country are not interested in the impeachment inquiry, then I agree with you, it's probably pointless to proceed. I don't think that will happen though, because I think people will be interested in the work that Fitz has already completed.

And, as I know you are well aware, it doesn't make any sense to impeach Bush, so we can replace him with Cheney. If the Senate convicts Cheney, then we'll probably have enough momentum to impeach and convict Bush.

Wrt what we have to lose, if the Senate doesn't convict, respectfully, I don't agree. Large portions of the Federal Judiciary and SCOTUS already support the Unitary Executive. The only hope I see remaining is in legislative solutions, such as emptywheel proposed in this thread.

Also wrt the inability to convict Cheney and Bush in the Senate, please recall, so many of those GOP Senators are up for re-election. Harry just peeled four off in the last Iraq vote.

OT, even if we fail to convict in the Senate, it will only galvanize progressives in 2008. I think that's important, because I don't think the Unitary Executive is single largest threat heading into what I expect will be a a Democratic Presidential victory in 2008. My biggest concern is Vichy Democrats taking money from lobbyists who used to grease the GOP. Publicly funded national elections, divorcing the process from corporate money, is imvho even a higher priority than getting out of Iraq.


Arrest the president during the state of the union address?

Nothing I would like to see more.

Given that we can not even gin up a contempt citation for Harriet Miers, though, it seems like that would be a stretch for Congress to actually do.

Continue the two-track strategy. Harry Reid was smart to pull the Defense Authorization Bill and make it clear to the GOP that if they wanted to vote on one of their figleaf amendments to look like they were "doing something" about the war, then they had to allow an upperdown vote on Levin-Reed and the others. So they got nothing, for now, and the bill comes back in Sept.

But now BushCo is moving the goalposts and saying it will take until November to tell if the splurge is working. All the worse for the GOP, who promised in the slumber party debate that they would vote in September after Petraeus reports.

Bush expects them to just follow him off a cliff. Maybe they will, but they should have to vote on all kinds of Bush/Cheney overreaches between now and then.

Bush is only going to get weaker, Iraq is only going to get worse. Start impeachment of Gonzo now as a way to get the DOJ documents and use them as evidence to impeach Cheney. Then Bush is naked and scared.

I also think the Dems should take all sorts of political offices out of the budget, starting wioth the VP and the press office and the top echelon of DOJ.

Mimikatz - I like it.

I have followed talkingpointsmemo on several of these campaigns to get Congressmen on the record. I don't have any specific advice, but I imagine that it wouldn't be hard to get Republicans' staff to make some comments on these issues.
I'll think about some specific questions.

Ok, BooRadley, here is a hypothetical for you.
Suppose impeachment hearings on Cheney are convened, and Fitzgerald's grand jury testimony is subpoenaed.
I predict that the White House will order Fitz not to produce them, based on a new and even more expansive reading of Executive Priviledge, the "Grand Unified Calvinball Theory". At this point, I want to know who has physical possession of the evidence, because that's what will determine whether it will be produced.
I understand that such an act would be obstruction of justice, and impeachable, but will the press report it accurately, or will it be just another confusing, partisan squabble, where both sides have their points?

IMEMHO, the Democrats should prepare for a completely stonewall, even after impeachment hearings begin. Against such a development, they have two ways to gain leverage: winning over the public, and the power of the purse, as Mimikatz indicates. I am now of the belief that defeating Bush will require a courageous use of the latter tool. For public opinion, I recommend gradually ratcheting up the pressure (over a few weeks, not months), requesting the presence of more White House officials, perhaps at a lower level, and more documents, fully expecting to be refused at every stage, but using this maneuver to force the White House to come up with a new legal theory every week to justify stonewalling.
If Congress can demonstrate that the White House has no legal theory at all except for the raw use of power, then impeachment seems more feasible to me.

Sumbuddy please remind Reid to keep the Senate open during the time the shrub is clearing brush and making twisted appointments
during recess. He cannot get away with it again.

Sumbuddy please remind Reid to keep the Senate open during the time the shrub is clearing brush and making twisted appointments
during recess. He cannot get away with it again.

Seems that there are legitimate concerns about failure to convict by the Senate in the event the House impeaches.

My point of view is that an impeachment inquiry that collects a range of evidence including Fitz's GJ testimony as well as testimony from Comey, the CIA whistleblower that disclosed rendition & torture and others will provide sufficient damning evidence that the House can vote to impeach. If in the process the Dems and the progressive blogosphere and a few outlets in the corporate media like KO keep with a consistent message that Cheney & Bush are running a rogue Administration that is abusing power and obstructing justice it will start to solidify what the public suspects but does not know for sure. IMO, an impeachment inquiry on Cheney and Gonzo will have enough theatrics to keep it on the air. Just like in the Scooter case there was a lot of public interest and despite all the disinformation and propaganda from Comstock/Corallo PR the majority of the American public believed Scooter should have been convicted. An impeachment inquiry will turn the tide completely and those supporting conviction will become the overwhelming majority of American public opinion. It will be in this environment that the Senate trial will take place. All those Repubs and maybe even some Dems who vote not to convict in the face of all the evidence will pay their price at the polls.

Is this risk scenario a worthwhile risk to take? IMO, absolutely, yes! And furthermore I believe there is no other option to confront Cheney's usurpation and abuse of power.

Ab initio,
I think if the Democrats get hold of the evidence they seek, the gig will be up. In particular, the White House will flatly refuse to divulge any more information about domestic spying programs.
Expect the stalling to become a total stonewall, regardless of impeachment. What is the strategy at that point? Can you expect impeachment to succeed on the purely "technical" basis of obstruction of justice? I don't think Republicans will have a problem covering for Bush and rejecting impeachment if there isn't any evidence. So what then?
I don't know.

"Suppose impeachment hearings on Cheney are convened, and Fitzgerald's grand jury testimony is subpoenaed.
I predict that the White House will order Fitz not to produce them, based on a new and even more expansive reading of Executive Priviledge, the "Grand Unified Calvinball Theory".

Excellent point Marky, I would strongly encourage the Dems to move forward. Everytime he invokes EP, he looks sillier.

per pow wow, everything below, it's a Rule 6e exception.
"My crystallizing focus for a way forward if our Legislative Branch (or at least the House of Representatives) would only roust itself, and its (our) inherent powers, to life:
I thought Bush and Rove had successfully insulated themselves from any (further) Libby fall-out, last June. I figured they'd let Cheney's guy go down, and Cheney with him, if need be. I'm now convinced by Bush's panic to commute Libby's prison time before he served a day that Rove and/or Bush are still very much exposed to criminal/political jeopardy from the information they know Libby harbors about their involvement in the outing of a covert CIA officer and its subsequent cover-up. [EW's point about and analysis of the June 9th evidence (that came out of the trial) of a Bush-initiated string of events, as well as the mysterious vanishing Libby defense that was previewed in opening arguments and then promptly retired, undergird the impression that Bush gave yesterday with his hasty, otherwise-illogical action.]
We finally have a point of the spear with which to open impeachment hearings - a subject of inquiry, out of all the possible subjects to choose from, that particularly targets the men of bad faith at the very top of the Executive Branch, who have been operating our government in an isolated, secretive fashion, and can therefore be isolated and targeted for intense Congressional investigation with regard to a matter of national security [which was either a literal crime or at best 'recklessness' and abuse of office with regard to a matter of grave import that has dismantled at least one of our rare and valuable national security spy assets]. A subject that is also intimately connected to the war crimes of this administration in Iraq and the sales job that they used to lead us there. In other words, the outing of Valerie Wilson and the Bush/Cheney involvement in the Niger-Uranium Fraud should be the opening salvo for impeachment hearings by the House Judiciary Committee. Why?
An impeachment proceeding can access years of grand jury testimony and evidence already compiled by the Special Counsel's team (thus end-running Pelosi's lame 'there's not enough time' argument). Coordination with the Special Counsel and the Wilsons to safeguard the Wilson civil suit if Judge Bates lets it proceed, and the Special Counsel's ongoing defense of the Libby conviction would need to be undertaken by Congress if they pursue access to this evidence. While remembering, and accounting for the fact (if possible), that there are corrupt Republican moles spying for the Executive Branch (including the civil suit defendants) on all these Congressional committees (and I don't just mean staffers). Very strict, enforcable rules of non-disclosure as appropriate would need to be formulated by those running the investigation.
Henry Waxman and his Oversight Committee have apparently already made great progress on the Niger-Uranium Fraud, largely behind closed doors. His evidence could be rolled into the evidence about the outing of CIA Officer Wilson to kick-start the process.
Gonzales should probably be ignored for now. He's a known liar, subservient to his bosses, his crimes are ultimately Bush's crimes, and Gonzales will eventually slink away when his role as a firewall no longer works. We need to target the bosses: namely Bush, Cheney, and Rove. Perhaps starting with Addington and Novak and a request for their testimony to Congress about their involvement in the outing of Valerie Wilson. When one or both refuses, if this is an impeachment hearing, we go to court to enforce compliance [without concern for whether a legislative remedy will be the result of the hearing, as would be true for non-impeachment, regular oversight hearings]. If everyone pleads the Fifth - we select our immunity target(s) with an eye to impeaching Bush and Cheney and letting the others walk (which at this point they seem to be doing anyway).
Other than possible complications to Fitzgerald's ongoing work (if any, besides Libby's appeal), or the Wilson civil suit if allowed to proceed (which we should soon know), what are the drawbacks to this scenario? [Assuming a very, very limited, targeted amount of any Congressional immunity is given.] We have pre-investigated potential crimes which were unable to be prosecuted or proven under criminal statutes, but which Congress can easily determine to be abuse of power, misuse of office, dereliction of duty, and similar "high crimes and misdemeanors" sufficient to impeach those involved but still holding offices of public trust in our Executive Branch of government.
Two lower court decisions of note have upheld congressional access to grand jury materials in aid of that branch's constitutional power of impeachment. In Grand Jury Proceedings of Grand Jury No. 81-1, 669 F. Supp. 1072, 1074-75 (S.D. Fla.), aff'd, 833 F.2d 1438 (11th Cir. 1987), the court held that the House Judiciary Committee was entitled to receive the record of grand jury proceedings in furtherance of its impeachment investigation of Judge Alcee Hastings. Although the committee's access to the materials was separately justified on the basis of Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(3)(C)(i), the court held that the disclosure was also justified on the basis of, inter alia, the Impeachment Clause. U.S. Const. art. I, ยง 2. See also In re Report and Recommendation of June 5, 1972 Grand Jury, 370 F. Supp. 1219 (D.D.C.), mandamus denied sub nom. Haldeman v. Sirica, 501 F.2d 714 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (district court's decision granting the Watergate grand jury's request that its report on the matters it investigated be submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, upheld by court of appeals in denying mandamus relief).
These decisions should be read with some caution because the disclosures of the grand jury materials at issue were directly related to impeachment proceedings -- which have been viewed as within the coverage of the Rule 6(e)(3)(C)(i) exception -- and were undertaken only after obtaining prior judicial approval. Nonetheless, they demonstrate the courts' willingness to recognize an independent constitutional basis for disclosures of grand jury information outside the provisions of Rule 6(e). Thus, if congressional access to grand jury materials may be independently justified on the basis of its Article I power, it would be anomalous to contend that Presidential access to such materials could not be justified on the basis of the President's Article II powers.
Happy Independence Day, America.
Posted by: pow wow | July 04, 2007 at 00:01"

I have a favor to ask of someone with Lexis-Nexis access. Can you find a quote from a Republican Congressmen from early 1993 discussing the need to impeach Clinton. I have a strong recollection of this, but I never found a quote with google. I believe it was Delay, but maybe Armey. It would be nice to have this quote handy, if it exists.

Evidently Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH is carrying a House version H.3045 of the Specter's latest iteration of S.1747 the neoSigning Statements bill. I think those efforts noble, if quixotic. If even the ABA can only muster a meek report like the one issued with fanfare July 23, 2006 regarding ways to normalize presidential signing statements, there is a thicket of intellectual dissent in that arena, albeit filled mostly with folks who emphasize the go-along part of getting-along in governance.
However, the putative "recess" appointments clearly is ripe for renovation by congress. What is so time-critical about having an envoy in the US that a Bolton has to be appointed during a 10-day hiatus, in an era when most folks are on the internet with instantaneous connectivity. That is one tool the legislature can remove from the executive quiver and even improve constitutionally intended checks and balances.
I agree with the energy task force allure by presenting CA energy dereg as an exemplar of what the new administration was planning; I think that is why Fourth Branch had to guarantee the barter never saw the sunshine of day. CA has a strong AG now; maybe CA will take a re-look at the billion$ its prior AG's suits claimed remained owing. When the Energy crisis subsided after 2000-2001, FERC imported the state energy czar from TX.

Also, what about the firing of the Mariannas prosecutor in 2002? Is the HJC looking into that? As I recall, that act was even more blatant obstruction of justice than the Lam firing. In fact, avoiding a repeate of the (limited) fallout back then may have been a motive for the plan to fire all USAs to cover up the key firing of Lam.

Can someone explain to me why the Democratic presidential candidates are so meek about these issues?

Which one has called the President a lawbreaker?
Which one has demanded that the rule of law be reinstated at the White House?
Which one is clear and forceful and passionate about impeachment?

Somebody help me out here.

CNMI still a hothouse for capitalism, according to this report today about the resumption of interest in those islands, after the quiet period during the first trials. See this notice about Senate hearing this week.


The reality is that there will be a stonewall on everything with the goal to confuse and obfuscate and make it into a big inside the beltway technicality - a fight between the Dems and Repubs on process and procedure and all its inanity and Murdoch will happily spin that. The goal being the American people get so confused they switch off and all the Broder's can decry partisanship.

So what gives? Let's assume that HJC opens an impeachment inquiry on Cheney and Gonzo (my preferred state). Bush says go Cheney yourself. HJC calls on people in the government to come forward and provide evidence under immunity. Some will testify because not everyone is a neocon. I am willing to bet that the odds are even that a Fitz will respond to a Congressional impeachment inquiry despite Cheney's wall of silence edict. The Dems and the progressive blogosphere keep hammering the message of an outlaw Administration neck deep in corruption and abuse of power and Congress is the only thing preventing an outright dictatorship. My bet is that evidence will come out. And the public will overwhelmingly support the investigation and conviction because they already suspect it since there are so many serious allegations that are being prevented from being investigated.

IMO, as the impeachment drama builds and then the House votes to impeach the pressure on the rubberstamper Repubs will be so intense that some may break. It may still not add up to the 67 votes but the public revulsion would sweep many of these co-enablers out of office. And there will be demands to get to the bottom of it even with the new Administration. And we can hope they will not sweep it all under the rug in the name of moving forward. We are suffering the consequence of that attitude with Nixon, Iran-Contra, etc.

If the Congress does not confront this outright usurpation and abuse of power with everything its got including the power of the purse we are really only one step away from a dictatorship.

EW- excellent posts and we all thank our lucky stars you're here.
Great comments as well...
ab initio- I think we're past one step away from a dictatorship. As boo radley points out, the neocons have prepared for this event since Regan, possibly earlier. We didn't see it coming or fully appreciate the fragility of our system of government. Dems in congress have spent the past 6 months just trying, in large part, to restore reasonability as if the Republicans could be presuaded into rational logic and abandon the silliness (childishness, selfishness) of their emotionally charged bent and the bullying they have engaged in for too long.
But thank you all for shining light on us.

A linked reference within that article at American Constitution Society this month, discusses ways to restore the litigation which Scotus suppressed in the Energy Task Force matter.

Hey, here' s a bunch of us desperate for Marcy's next post:


John Conyers, chairman of the HJC, said at a reception in San Diego, CA, that inherent contempt is his remedy for the contempt shown his committee and its subpoenas. link

To all you who think there will be a sweeping them out at the next election. What makes you beleive there will be a next election? I see these guys doing something to actual provoke Iran or some other form of the USS Maine and declare emergency powers ( martial law ) via the Executive Orders I read.

The uncomfortable reality is these people are all in. They don't care about anything but power. They want to use it to rape the country and make your great grandkids be in debt to the world, then escape to some country (Paraguay) with there ill gotten goods. It worked for the SS after WWII. Other than the boogeyman ( muslim instead of jew ) there really isn't much different between the Cheney cabal and the reich.

They don't care for anything that stands in their way. Some are neocons wanting endless war, but there are others ( Cheney, Rumsfeld, ... ) that just want to steal the treasury blind and get out of town before the shit hits the fan.

-- bille

Once again, the US stands out a beacon of regressiveness among the "first world" nations.

In Europe, much of Latin America, Canada, it is assumed that transparency is a fundamental condition of democracy. Admittedly, it's an ideal that's still often honored in the breach, as with the mutual disregard between the European Parliament and the European Commission.

But here, now, what we seem to be emulating are the models of Franco and Peron. Yet another jarring disparity between what we actually are, and the high regard we have for ourselves.

Looky here Miz Doctor Empty, we important people, see we need input from other important people so we can know how to take care of the rest of you folks. If you find out what we say, how can you understand it? No, you don't clutter your little mind with all of our high level talk. We'll do right by you. Just trust us and go on about your day.

Okay, I am still concerned that all this buzz about alqueda is just to stoke the fires. My fear is that if he gets cornered and desperate enough a big attack inside america will cause the electorate to turn a favorable glance at the fearless leader bad boy who follows no laws. My fear is that this will increase the "tough boy" rhetoric and enage lots of americans in a philosophy about how it's "not patriotic" or "smart" to confront "commander in cheif" about "high crimes and misdeamnors" when we are being attacked.

I hate to sound this paranoid but the facts leading up to 9/11 make it clear that the facts regarding an imminent attack were ignored. That at the very least neglect was being practiced. We cannot prove it was intentionally neglected but we can prove that the warning were given, that they were significant and that Bush did nothing to counter these warnings.

I don't need to sound like chicken little if people just say those facts out loud, and if we keep in mind the people who died in Katrina, the war dead in Iraq. Death and destruction do not stop or scare this administration. This is not something that causes them to "pause" or to "change course". (unless its a highly publicized white woman who is brain dead). The facts support the notion that this is not an important issue for them.

I think that an attack is coming. I think that Bush will not care that some of us think he allowed it, and I think too many americans will be shocked and traumatized and unable to lay the blame where it belongs. Like the abuse survivor, if the attack is bad enough, many will be looking for the person in charge, even when the person in charge has shown himself to be incompetent in the saving of american lives.

We need to move fast. I support an impeachment inquiry. Let's begin the process, we don't have to be at the end game, just start it.

You know, just thinking like a private sector guy here, if you want to recruit somebody really top notch in a hurry to lead a particular project, you throw money at that person, plus whatever status/perks/street cred you can use to make the job attractive to that candidate.

So how about if Congress creates a House/Senate lead investigator position, private contract and not in federal pay system, paying $2 million per year for a couple of years, to pull existing committee information on high crimes and misdemeanors into a meaningful brief, and identify the areas in which additional evidence or investigation is needed.

A Constitution czar, if you will....

Someone with credibility, unimpeachable integrity, a desire for justice, and--most important--the ability to connect with the ultimate jury of the American public.

You know, maybe someone inside DoJ who is sick of watching the DoJ cesspool, is not afraid of a high level challenge, and knows he wants to move on to the right opportunity....

So, Albert, do you have anybody in mind? Heh heh.

Albert and bmaz

Make sure he gets a housekeeper. Otherwise there'll be three-month-old lasagne in the oven again.

Hey, I have a question on some old news, but concerning unfinished business.
What happened in the end to finish the fight over the release of the Abu Ghraib videotapes.
My recollection is that after a lengthy court battle, the administration lost its final appeal, and was ordered to turn over the tapes by a certain date.
Then, as I recall, no tapes were released, but nothing happened. There haven't been news stories on the videotapes for ages. Does anyone know the story?
Isn't it odd that there hasn't been ANY news on this subject for so long?

Ok, here is a partial answer:

I thought there was some question as to whether everything was released though.

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