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July 07, 2007


Think of all the Bush cronies under invesitgation or those recently charged who can benefit from this confusion. Clearly it is the intentional Fred- not sloppy Fred.

Talk about your dialectic behavior. Submit "tougher" sentencing guidelines legislation and then follow that with the confusing "get out of jail" card called the "Libby Motion!"

But then true to form, your party can continue to talk out of both sides of their mouths at election time. "We are tough on crime - see our tougher sentencing guidelines for criminals (then raise doctor evil pinky figer to corner of their mouth and think, 'but the Libby Motion saves our beloved, devoted crooked buds who illegally fund and fix our way into office.')"

Fred is all about intention.

We need an independent counsel because the Administration is stonewalling Congress in their attempt at oversight.

Why is it that the topic of an independent counsel is not being discussed (at least in the blogs I read)?

I know what they want, they want us to give up the good fight. They want us to close shop and go away. They want us to sit back and just let them lead the way.

We need to keep talking. Keep the discussion going. We need our democracy and it's laws utilized at levels we have never done before. We need a libb..eee....(not libby) liberal, think tank. Here. FDL, but I want it on t.v. Bill Moyers. I want to here the grand discussion, with the greatest minds. I want to hear from consitutional lawyers and I want to hear from Stephen Hawkings. I want discourse on the path for this nation.

Keep up the good work Empty Wheel, you are doing your part. So too is every person willing to argue and present their position. Keep it rolling. Interest is the emotion we need to develop and grow.

Ew boy with all this going on he has to have a hell of alot of shit on Dick and Jane oh I mean George keep up the fight

The independent counsel law was either repealed or lapsed after the Clinton Admin. If Congress passed one now (assuming they could get it through the Senate when nothing else can get through), Bush would veto it. They will pass it in 2009, just in tiome for it to be invoked against the next Dem President.

I do think the Libby get out of jail free card ties into the theme of GOP corruption and specioal favors for the rich and well connected, and will hurt them in 2008.

Assuming we have an election, and aren't under martial law because of the Iran War blowback.

Forget independent counsels. Bush won't make that mistake again. It's time for impeachment. There's no other recourse. Let's get on with it.

"Assuming we have an election, and aren't under martial law because of the Iran War blowback."

Is this possible, everytime my husband says this I say you are going too far- is he? (I am assumming you are less of a conspirancy theorist than he )

I agree with WO.

Impeachment is the process the Constitution defines to address probable cause of high crimes and misdemeanors. I have no question about probable cause for high crimes. The Libby sentence commution and Cheney's role in the CIA leak case is sufficient, plus the research has already been done by Fitz, the FBI, and the grand jury; and it could all be made available to Congress by with articles of impeachment relating to these matters. Let the House and Senate ajudicate this criminal conduct.

The question of impeachment is popular. Check out these poll numbers:

Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney?

……… Favor…Oppose….Undecided
All Adults 54% 40% 6%
Voters 50% 44% 6%

And since Tony Snow is all fired up to compare George Bush's Libby payoff to Bill Clinton's pardons, would someone in the White House press corps please ask him about America's support for the Clinton impeachment?

Phase I: Aug-Sept 1998 (Before Impeachment)
Average support for impeachment and removal (10 polls): 26%
Average support for hearings (6 polls): 36%

(Source FDL)

It's time. Impeach now.

Begin impeachment hearings. Begin with Libby and Gonzales: both of which are no brainers. Use the impeachment proceedings to get ahold of evidence which is supposedly protected by exectutive privilege, and get the goods on Cheney and Bush and impeach them as well.

So what if it shuts the govt down. Nothing of any import is happening now anyway, at least nothing that can't wait until 2009 (what's another 18 months after the last 61/2 years).

And part of the shut down would be to cut off funding for the Iraq war.

eyesonthestreet: Anything is possible. Here's one scenario:

The current crop of GOP candidates continues to underwhelm. None of them are impressing the public, and they are all weakened by the exposure of damaging info of one sort or another. Slowly, business types in the Northeast especially, also West Coast, warm to Hillary Clinton. She is smart, cautious and centrist, and they remember that business did pretty well in the '90s. She is clearly an adult. So they coalesce behind her.

Even Gingrich getting into the race can't save the GOP. The only really credible candidate they have is Jeb Bush, but the public won't tolerate another Bush. Rove/Cheney sees the election and thus the gov't slipping out of their grasp and toward the hated Hillary, who has now gotten the nomination and announced she will make Obama her running mate.

In desperation, and because they believe (probably wrongly) that Hillary won't do it, they launch the Iran War on July 4, 2008. Iran retaliates with Hizb'ullah attacks in the ME and cyberwar and financial manipulations, aided by the Chinese. The markets crash. Oil goes to $100 a barrel as the Iraqi Shi'a blow up oilfields.

When rioting breaks out in the streets of the US, martial law is declared and the election is "postponed" until the country can return to "normal."

Shortly thereafter bird flu arrives from Asia.

Most of this is certainly within the realm of possibility, and if it all happened, what do you think they would do?

EW and Friends - Both the White House and their literal partners in crime, the Libbyistas, knew full well the ramifications on Scooter's sentence to supervised release that the pardon (commutation) would create. This was an intentional and designed play all the way. Pretty much any good criminal lawyer doing a lot of trial, and therefore sentencing, work knows quite well the jurisdictional and operational parameters of the probation office. You have to know things like this in order to be effective and creative in negotiating and drafting favorable plea agreements and cooperation/plea agreements. The Claude Rains/Captain Renault pretension of shock was simply theater at its best. EW, there are a lot of lawyers that have participated in the Practitioner's Advisory Group over the years; I have been acquainted with several. It is a nice feather in your cap, and they have had a couple of different junctures where they accomplished substantial things, but it is not a huge deal. Now being a commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission; THAT is a big deal.

Well Mimikatz, you've gone and said what I can't help thinking about. But we have no recourse but to keep on pushing against the bastards on all fronts. We'll never know until afterward whether a particular bit of friction in the gears helped or hurt. Gotta keep it up with throwing the sand.

And yes, I think they'd be wrong if they concluded Hillary wouldn't do it.


I think the chances of the Bush Administration starting a war with Iran are almost non-existant. Take a look at how hard they had to work to start the Iraq war. Without the help of the Iranians, that war would never have gotten off the ground. The situation now is much different. Rumsfeld has been replaced by the more cautious Gates. The uniformed military leadership is well aware that a war with Iran would lead to a humiliating defeat. The administration is harassed at every turn by their opponents. I suspect that even air strikes against Iran would rouse the somnabulent Democratic majority in Congress to action. The Iranians now that as well as I do. They know that all they have to do now is what for our eventual withdrawal and they will achieve their short-term goal of regional hegemony. They've got no incentive to provoke an attack and are wily enough to respond to any of our provocations with a pose of aggrieved victimhood.

How do you spell "corruption"?

I just have to chime in with an idea that is totally off the wall but it is fun to think about. Since Bush has clouded up his own DoJ's guidelines and rules because he does not feel that anything applies to him, couldn't the Honorable Judge Walton declare that he cannot honor the clemency order due to the uncertainty it has created? That would force Team Libby to go for the full pardon, or try to fight it all out in court.

In other words, since the President likes to think in terms of absolutes, this would force him to live that way...

Of course, Judge Walton, being the honorable jurist that he is, will play it by the rules, just as we all do -- but that is why Bushco keeps winning. They don't...


WO: Did I say I thought the Iranians would provoke a war? It's not the Iranians I'm worried about it's Cheney, he of the One Percent Doctrine, who believes that if there is a 1% chance of something happening, we should treat it as a certainty and act accordingly. (That is, excepting natural disasters and bird flu and foreseeable crises that don't involve terrorism).

Cheney and all the neo-con warmongers see Iran as a big threat; the solution is to nuke'em. The military doesn't want it, but since when has that stopped Cheney? I'm not sure Bush wants it either, but Cheney seems to be able to talk him in to almost anything.

Without evidence one way or the other, I don't attribute malice or forethought where oversight or stupidity will explain the action.

If the case of the effect of the commutation on supervised release, the president has the ultimate power to reduce the imposed punishment, and the form the president chooses need not be anticipated by statute.

In Libby's shoes, I'd argue that the supervised release portion is against the law, and that the judge's order, being against the law, can't stand. But that's not the winning argument, and I'll be surprised if it does prevail.

Compared with unilaterally commuting prison time from 30 to 0 months with a feeble rationale, the supervised release matter is small potatoes.

Not everyone who was loyal to Bush got a get out of jail free card.
Duke Cunningham, and Jack Abramoff are just 2 loyal Bushies who are spending time in the slammer. A congressman and a lobbyist. And Mitchell Wade, a defense contractor.

Now Scooter is very special. Because if Bush is really loyal to anyone, it is to himself. IMHO, he is a narcicist. He isn't protecting Scooter because he wants to cheer up his base, he is protecting him because Scooter could bring him down if he quit throwing all that sand in Fitz's face.

I am kindof wondering if Stevens, Doolittle and Domenici (from a few threads down) weren't trying to send a message to Bush- not about Iraq- but about their loyalty. They want assurances they can get the Scooter treatment. Otherwise, they might be thinking they don't feel so loyal anymore. I wonder how that would play out in, say, some impeachment hearings.

as always, great stuff here. . .

in an attempt to set the table for
the house judiciary committee hearing on
july 11, 2007, i've edited some of
the best recent john dean sound-bites
together into a video of "what to
expect from chairman conyers
" on wed.
the whole thing is only 1 minute, 15 sec.
long, and includes some archival photos
of a very young john conyers, with the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from 1968
. . .

do enjoy.

As much as anyone else, I think the Republicans suffer from ADDS, Acquired Democracy Deficiency Syndrome. As much as they deserve punishment, I only want our country back from the brink to which these masters of brinksmanship have pushed it.

I want withdrawl from Iraq, a rebuilt military, a rebalancing of government where the Congress actually does things like declare war, rather than just rubber stamp every thing, and a Justice department that has been deBaathified.

If I have to go the punishment route, most of the punishments I have in mind are probably not permitted under eighth amendment to the Constitution, so it isn't like I would get satisfaction that way. I'll settle for just righting the country.

I don't think impeachment will get that done. America loves an underdog, and if impeachment proceeding were started, they would lift Bush's ratings. Hauling Gonzales in front of one committee after another to answer questions about the civil rights division would be a great start. Force Bush to either dump Cheney or cut him out of the loop and get some other guys in there to save the government works better for me.

those who want impeachment need to do more then talk about it on blogs.. i hope you all are.


I think we'll be lucky if we get out with oil at $100. :)

Why do we always assume that Cheney is pulling Bush's string? Maybe Bush doesn't have to be talked into anything. He already agrees with everything Cheney wants to do and is content to let Cheney do the 'dirty' work.

Also, for those that doubt there are intentions to attack Iran, with or without the military agreeing, why go into Iraq if not to have a base from which to attack Iran? In the original PNAC papers wasn't Iran the ultimate target (how long did it take the Israelis to break out the 'attack Iran' rhetoric after the invasion of Iraq?)? Are we really to think that no one in the neocon/Likud/AIPAC crowd was competent enough to know before the invasion of Iraq that the only way to pacify the internal fighting that was certain to break out in Iraq was to ultimately control Iran (and by extension Iranian allies)and prevent them from supplying fighters in Iraq (and elsewhere in the area). I'm against everything those groups support but isn't it about time that we cease underestimating their intelligence? What they have now in Iraq may be exactly what they wanted all along and what they talked about while having after dinner drinks in expensive DC hiedeaways.



I'd really like to know how much of that arms-supplying is *actually being done* by Iran. At this point, all we have for that is the word of people who already have a track record for lying.

(I'd also like to take JoeL and the others who are pushing an attack on Iran to the Persian Gulf, hand them .22 rifles and compasses, and put them in small motorboats so they can stage their own f*cking attack, without getting any more valuable people killed. And a million dollars so I can retire.)

Adam Liptak story on the commutation just posted at the NYTimes concludes that it's an unlikely course in view of Bush's record as governor of TX. Duh. But I did hear an elephant in the story inaudibly quoting Tony Snow: "this case. not this kind of case. THIS case." And what's this case about? Obstruction of justice -- in which the White House is intimately involved.
And the obstruction continues in the Cunningham prosecution and the Abramoff prosecution and in the US Attorney matter and the Halliburton contracts and -- well, the list is pretty endless, isn't it? Can all those people expect to get a GOOJFC? And if they don't get one, what then?
Thanks, EW, for your tireless analysis.
The idea that I'd finally have to figure out a way to stew my husband's hat and render it edible is not one I want to entertain (he's told me for 18 months or more, since Sy Hersh's first Iran story, that he'd eat his hat if we bombed Iran). But the one thing we know for sure is that Bushco would turn it into an even bigger FUBAR than we've seen yet -- as Molly Ivins, God rest her soul, would say, it's the one thing we can count on from Shrub.

I agree with GulfCoastPirate

$100 a barrel oil is possible WITHOUT attacking Iran

if we DO attack Iran, $100 a barrel oil will seem REALLY CHEAP

when you consider that Iran could close the Strait Of Hormuz in 5 minutes, and consider that about one-third of the world's oil travels thru Hormuz, you begin to understand that there AIN'T gonna be any oil in America

Oh, did I mention that Hugo Chavez likes Iran more than he likes America ???

so you can forget about receiving 15% of our oil imports from outside the Mideast too

$100 a barrel for oil ???

$100 a gallon for gasoline is more like it

and btw, did anybody consider what happens to a consumer economy when the trucks can't deliver the goods cuz the trucks ain't go no gas ???

and YEAH, I know that semi trucks don't really use "gas", but I generalize a lot ...

Back to EW's original thoughts: smart lawyers working on behalf of the "evildoers" and a judiciary which is stacked with sympathetic judges. Not a lot to create optimism. But, Congress can still make things messy for Bush, et al, and they should do so, even if the clock runs out. Accountability means having to get your lawyer and head on down to the Capitol and/or the courthouse. It's one process, and Impeachment is the ideal one, but, hey! Let's take what we can get.

And, Mimikatz, smart person you are, but Hillary Clinton will just be more of the same corporate darlinghood.......no long-term solution to balance of powers issues.

Mimi Katz,

Last night on Glen Beck he said exactly that the reason we attacked Iraq was not because of 9/11. He said that we will not have been successful in Iraq until Iran's people are free from their oppressive government. He said the reason along was to free Iran.

I about choked.

That's the plan.

They are working hard to convince americans that it's necessary and that it was part of the plan all along. No big deal, we were always after Iran. No mention of al-queda, by the way.

It is a very old trick. Keep a nation at war to silence the critics and to solidify power. One of the oldest stories in the world.

These people do not care about the price of oil or who is in power in this or that country. They only care about money (ie, power) and the smartest way to keep a citizenry distracted from real issues, and to make the argument that govt should not be held accountable is to create a 100 yr war. They kinda had that with the Cold War, but then Gorbachev went and ruined the plot by doing a Buddhist bowing-out. It only took them less 15 yrs to figure out another version...and I think mimikatz is onto something here, they are not going to let go of this distraction easily. They being the facist Reaganites, of which Shrub is on a latter day incarnation.

Margaret: I was playing out a scenario, explaining how it could happen that the 2008 election is cancelled. I agree that Hillary is pro-business--that is why I find it plausible that non-ideological business types would coalsesce (actually are coalescing) around Hillary. She is not my choice, far from it. I'm just repeating what I've heard.

P J Evans @ 15:59

I'm sure the Iranians are probably supplying the Syrians, Hezbollah and others (and they have as much right to do so as the US has to supply its surrogates with arms) but I think what happened in Iraq is there was so much material stolen/hidden during the invasion and its aftermath that the Iranians haven't really had to do much in terms of supplying anything, much to the consternation of the neocons I'm sure. That's one of the reasons they are having such a hard time making the case for an attack on Iran.

It will be interesting to see what the military would do if Bush/Cheney decides to pull the trigger. Odom's article on the strain in the military with its comparisons of the amount of battle time required of soldiers in different eras was very interesting. I think the biggest mistake the neocons made was severely underestimating the resources that would ultimately be needed in Iraq. I'm sure some of them were aware it wasn't going to be a 'cakewalk' but I don't think any of them believed any resistance wouldn't have been put down by now. Most of them probably thought by now the mullahs in Iran would be gone.

Best laid plans and all that .............



I believe that someone switched the meds for the blog this evening.

I have never seen such way out thinking before on THN. Yeah, maybe a little bit on FDL, but not here.

Excuse me TNH. (I guess they got to me too.)

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