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October 20, 2007


Exactly. The whole little process of "arguing that their sources were true whistleblowers, exposing an illegal program, rather than leakers guilty of the espionage act" would not only be an excellent forum for rehashing what we have already had on this, but also to dig deeper, both journalistically and through legal process, into the sordid facts. And Risen, Lichtblau and Priest ain't "Sweet Judy Blew Lies" (Jeebus, you just gotta love that one). The investigative reporting community will all come out to bat for these three. That would be game on; and, as usual, when it really gets down to it, the thugs never have the stomach for a battle that is not rigged and might be fought hard. Exactly why it is so inconceivable that the Democratic Congress can't muster a better effort....

It was interesting that the local one party system in the az town was following the communities of interest profiling in its request for cookiefiles, kind of a third-worlding of several articles, amendements, to the US constitution, on the coattails of the newspeak act of 2001-2007. Also illuminating was one student's retrospective comparing learning from a talk given recently at UT by Rove vis-a-vis adapting to the research capabilities incorporated in the search engine by Google; article. Besides the link from 2003 from PhxNT which bmaz posted the other day, I had another Google anecdote which related to how that searchengine populates its lists; at the time of the sale of the million dollar alfalfa acreage e.w., NYT, and others wrote critiques, and a contemporary search on Google produced only AZ's MSM Republic and Star archives. A personal links list at an advocacy organization's website actually yielded more than Google which one month later still was capable of only a paltry list of found materials; namely the western lands project, which had posted a rare 2007 pdf of a news article from the PhxNewTimes about the congressman involved in the prior 2003 incident but explaining more about alfalfa. To follow those several facets of the now tapering congress career of that out-of-district gentleman, consider a blurb from this past week regarding the immigrant fence in the same riparian area in a local newspaper there. I wonder, if it comes to be that Sulzberger's recently enunciated vision of his willingness to transition the entire output of that news entity to wholly electronic and absolutely treeless publication takes place over the next few years, whether Google also might find at that stage NYT actually will have better archives for historical research purposes. kx has written of some of the complex of opposing strategies which might 'pinch' Risen and Lichtblau, maybe DanaP; interestingly, Mukasey hails from that district. I see Mukasey as interested in limiting access to justice in business friendly ways, much aligned with views like JRoberts' and SAlito's; but maybe capable of independence in some other pursuits such as the rash of propaganda, payola, and stateSecrets postures the administration has used in domestic courts as novel tools; but Rove just made all this up, with Addington's contributions and the encouragement of the compartmentalized few; on the right.

The last place the administration wants to end up is in a court where the extent of their unitary powers may finally be curtailed. Much better to just assert those powers without risking judicial review. I would be surprised if issuing subpoenas to Risen and Lichtblau is really a fight they want to choose.

We need an Official Secrets Acts that clarifies what is secret and what is not.

Bush is reluctant to let much actual news happen on this topic; I found that linked article surprising, though in conformance with the history of this administration. Cutting to that chase: RedCross reports are states secrets?

The update here is outsourcing the subpoenas. The elected official claims the outsource entity failed to let the pols know of the subpoena's existence or the extent of demands; part of the reporting is ire that taxpayer money was spent to recruit outside attorneys to do the skullduggery of jailing the press execs but it looks like $300.K mostly went to members of the official's former employer, a lawfirm, to perform this and other assignments.

John - Yeah, I probably should have posted something about that aspect earlier. This has been going on for a while here with Thomas and Arpaio using Wilenchik as basically a hired hit man on their enemies. Andrew Thomas states and acts to the media like he didn't really know that much about what his "special prosecutor" Dennis Wilenchik was doing in his name; but he knew, and he authorized every bit of it. Wilenchik is not only Thomas' former law partner or boss, he is also Thomas and Arpaio's boy as I said above; they are all connected at the hip. Wilenchik was Thomas's hired thug on not just the New Times case, but also the case attacking the judges, the attack on our Attorney General Terry Goddard, a local immigration rights group and a couple of other cases that are not particularly public. Wilenchik also represented Arpaio in a recently concluded civil trial where one of his former Chief Deputies sued him for campaign fraud, abuse and civil rights violations. The civil work is what Wilenchik has always done. He has no criminal prosecutorial experience other than a very brief stint as an entry level line misdemeanor prosecutor, lasting probably less than two years before he went into private civil practice. There have been allegations of improper contact with judges on more than one of the "special prosecutor" cases he has done for Thomas; and rumors of it on the Arpaio civil defense case. The state bar here has indicated they are taking the judge attacks and actions in relation to Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin of the New Times, as well as the other ethical allegations, extremely seriously as to both Thomas and Wilenchik. Good; they couldn't be more deserving.

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