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July 03, 2007


Bullseye emptywheel, as per usual, thanks.

FWIW, the usually conservative Chicago Tribune blasts Bush: DO THE CRIME, DO THE TIME.


Great questions.

After reading some Turley articles and listening to Turley yesterday, I am starting to agree with him. He is not a big fan with how JPF conducted this case. Turley states that with the evidence we know of, there is enough to have put Cheney on the stand under oath.
Thus, I think your questions are on the right path. However, I think JPF in the end, will go down as failing to protect the rule of law. If WE The People do not stand up to this injustice and corruption, we will have said, by virture of a lack of cohesive action, that Rule of Law does not matter. I hope we are ready to live in a society lacking freedoms and accept the death of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The 70+ % are looking for a voice to guide a move of justice against this corruption. Whoever takes it, will save the republic and affirm justice and liberty.

When I am calm and in the mood for facts, I am able to see that the power that this administration has demonstrated scares people. I believe it should. I think as a result Fitz and Pelosi are erring on the side of caution. Whether or not this is the most effective path, can be argued. My sense is that these crimes are so important that a slow meticulous build is the only way to achieve the end result of getting to the truth.

For those of us who remember Iran/Contra, there was nothing more frustrating in my young life than seeing the corruption and it ending with the voice of the corruption going down in history as one of the best presidents ever. I think this has added to the caution. Those of us who gathered around our t.v sets for that investigation were so thoroughly disappointed by the result. The Iran contra scandal was so deliciously spun by this mobster crew that Ollie North became a hero and Reagan a favorite president. It was sick then and it is sick now. Same folks are breaking the law today. I am grateful for cool heads, as long as we keep moving forward. Make some noise people.

I pray that Fitz will continue as he said he would in his statement to use the justice system to fight this corrupt government. I pray that Pelosi as the third in line to be president is just using excessive caution for appearance sake and waiting for the American people to demand justice.

There has never been a more important time for the American people to demand it. I think it has to come from us, this time. I think the press is truly the opium of the masses and that the republican party continues to dope america. Sometimes it feels like the only person who has the truth on this is MARCY!! But she's out there telling it.

So make those calls. Call every leader you know and let them know your position...make sure you mention obstruction of justice and investigations.

I am not sure I can touch the soggy cigar thread of this post but what is weighing on me this morning is how this commutation really "seals" the case of Bush's contempt for We the People. I have no doubt that once again Bush has completely disregarded the hard work of many people in and out of Government who are acting in good faith. Bush's intention is to protect his self interest to conceal the invovlement of his administration in illegal activities. A reasonable inference can indeed be drawn that the jail sentence was commuted to keep Libby from telling more.

Who are these People: There are the soliders who believe there is sound reason in their cause. There is the intelligence community who act normally under an expectation of having there identities protected by the government. There are those that drafted the pardon and commutations guidelines for the DOJ who expected that were providing a service to the People and not just holding office at the pleasure of an executive who displays a regular and deep contempt of Congress. There are those in the public who have a reasonable expectation of honesty in the public statements of the president, especially in the signing statement era, that for instance only a few bad apples were responsible for incidents of torture, that those who responsible for Plame's outting would not be part of his administration, that there was reasonable intelligence that Iraq was seeking weapons grade uranium from Africa. And this does not include those who participate in good faith in a market economy with the expetation that the government will protect the privacy of proprietary matters, not leer in on these affairs in binges of swashbuckling greed.

Bush seems to have little understanding of the conscious sacrifice that the People make daily to create a more perfect union. Life is not all about cut throat games in climbing up the ladder of money and power and scorning those who find more in conscious limitation.
Until Congress can articulate clearly that Bush's intentions are utterly inimical to the notion of self-governance and the rule of law, and his actions taken in furtherance of these intentions are indeed "high crimes," the black hand of tyranny will yet rule from the White House. The case is there to be made.

Who even thinks there is going to be an election in 2008? That Bush/Cheney and the rest of the cronies are simply going to walk away and let a Democratic Administration/Congress roll over them for who knows how many years to come? If you were Bush and/or Cheney would you really consider that an acceptable future possibility?


My greatest fear (and I admit it's emotional not factual) is that Bush will use his newly defined executive privilege to attack Iran. My fear is that this attack will create a crises that allows him to stay in office and pushes back the elections. My fear is that Bush will continue to use his control well past his presidency if we do not impeach him now.

I am not saying this is an entirely rational fear, but he did sign an order that allows him to be fully in charge instead of the national guard, and instead of homeland security as was the rule of law before him. My fear is that this corrupt government did in fact allow 9/11 and that they will do it again, blaming Iran. That this will then be used to give Bush absolute power and to push back the elections stating that the country is in a crises and that the elctions would not be safe.

This is my fear...and now I just can't imagine what WOULD stop this president. There has been no concern for life shown. There has been no concern for the poor or underprivilege and there has been no respect shown for our constitution, democracy or laws.

Those are facts. Where they lead is unknown, but certainly there is continued potential for abuse.

Did Bush unilaterally declassify Valerie Plame's covert identity and the CIA report on Wilson's trip? Did Cheney ask him to specifically?

And if Bush did declassify, what day did he do it- before, or AFTER, Libby's conversation with Novak? Where are the documents showing declassification?

Katie, I think it is a completely rational fear based on the consistent irrationality of this administrations actions(and the spin) that completely seem to disregard public opinion and Congressional power. It is not too far a step to imagine the constitutional battle in the Judiciary would take years and years while this cast of criminals sticks around doing their thing, racking up the $$ into their portfolios, before packing it all up and moving to the beaches of Dubai.

...with big, arrogant, greedy smiles.

Henry Waxman got a White House security person to testify that no investigation of the leak was conducted inside the White House.

Pulling harder on that thread might be useful. Like having some one say they asked Bush to look into and were told not to do so.

Bush and Cheney are the leaders of the Plame treason, and the cover up, and they know with investigation the facts will come out.

And if you thought Scooter was going to squeal if he had to go behind bars, wait until you get to Rove.....

I'm beginning to think the best idea would be to wait until Bush is out of office to charge Rove with anything, so no pardon is possible, I think, I hope. One can not be given a blanket pardon for uncharged crimes, can one?

Good stuff, but a) I would rather see SJC handle it than HJC [HJC hasn't been all that well prepared or coordinated on these things] and b) please don't buy in and conflate authorizing covert leaks of classified info with "declassification." They are not the same in any way, shape or form and the President has no more right and ability to covertly leak or plant classified info than anyone else. With respect to a matter such as a covert agent's identity, subject to Congressional statutes separate from the Exec Order on classified info - there is also the fact that "declassifying" would not relieve anyone from liability under the IIPA, but the bigger point is declassification and lanting/leaking classified info, covertly, are not the same thing. Don't buy the narrative.

Department of Gratuitous Biblical References:
Psalm 82! Song of the Day for Tuesday!


Um, that's not a narrative. That's what Bill Leonard, the guy who oversees this says. Bush does have absolute power to declassify--to leak something to one person or to the whole world. Morally, politically, yes, it's different. But not legally.

"One can not be given a blanket pardon for uncharged crimes, can one?"

Nixon hadn't been charged with any crimes when Ford pardoned him. Bush could do the same for Rove and the rest of the criminals in his inner circle.

Here wew are again trying to put the facts in front of the American people with the idea that they will take the time to listen and come out our way. Either they already have, or they won't at all.

Sara is on the right track here. What we need is symbolism and theater.

Paris Hilton did more time than Scooter Libby and he burned a secret agent!

The message is, Bush takes care of his own, and he doesn't give a flying fig for ordinary people. The Republicans are all like that. That has to be the message. Explode the Big Con that the GOP has been running for decades.

And Katie expressed my fear too. Now that he has gotten away with this, Bush is planning to attack Iran, and the Dems are going to go along with him. Take a look at the debate at TPM Cafe this morning taking off from Glenn Greenwald's book excerpt about how Bush is exacerbating things with Iran. We need bumperstickers everywhere saying NO WAR WITH IRAN! so that the public understands that this is Bush's plan. Newspaper editorials. More critiques of tripe like Michael Gordon's NYT piece on Iran.

I've been watching then stock market carefully, and so far the big money doesn't think we are going to war. But they will know if we do. The bottom of the market was just before we attacked Iraq, and it has been steadily upwards since.

any point on getting Gonzales--with his robust support of capital punishment and harsh sentencing--on the record about the commutation? talking about whether he cares if the Prez blows off the hard work of a DOJ prosecutor? I mean this snarkily--but it might be of some use in the USA purge if the AG says, nah, don't care, doesn't matter what happens to the work done by this USA and upheld by the appeals court. just a question...

While I am not a fan of war, another fear is that we will create a problem similar to the one Clinton had when he was accused of "wag the dog". If I were Iran, this would be the time to escalate. I would do it now, because the country is split and not behind the leader. This president has put this country in a truly perilous position.

As we face Iran, our foreign policy is no policy. It is reactionary, instead of carefully planned strategy. It will miss the nuances that Iran will surely use to it's advantage.

I think we need to push this side of the issue as well. Bush's policy has put our country in grave danger. There is danger in going to war and not going to war. We are caught between a rock and hard place when it comes to Iran.

Marcy - he's wrong and there is a part of the National Security Act dealing with that. Declassification is a process seperate from covertly planting information in domestic press for propaganda purposes without attribution.

The without attribution is a big part of the difference. Bush could have shared the information with all kinds of people under his declassification authority. Bush acts illegally to have the information covertly planted in the domestic press for propaganda purposes without attribution.

EW: this is all well and good, but unless someone scripts actual questions, that crowd will screw it up. Any chance you could talk to someone and provide some specific direction? Asking questions is a real art, requiring patience and skill. There are several accomplished lawyers who comment here regularly, bmaz, and looseheadprop spring to mind. I might add that I talked to someone at my congressman's office who mentioned noticing the incompetence of the questioning, so I suspect the problem is known.

Mary, amazing point about the difference between declassification and planting info without attribution in the domestic press for propaganda purposes. Let's talk it up.

However, if the president is allowed to declassify to one or as many as he or she chooses, how would we distinguish gossip by the person to whom the president revealed classified info from covert planting of info?

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