Missing White House Emails Match Plame Time Frames

What a f*cking surprise.. You’re surprised.., shocked.., right? I’m stunned.., simply stunned.. (Snark turned off now).

via: Truthout

At 8 PM on September 29, 2003, former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales received a phone call from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Gonzales received formal notification that evening that the DOJ had launched a criminal investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

Curiously, the Justice Department, which at the time was headed by John Ashcroft, officially launched the investigation on September 26, 2003, but Ashcroft waited more than three days before notifying Gonzales and the White House, whose high-level staffers were reported to be responsible for disseminating Wilson’s affiliation with the spy agency to the media just two-and-a-half months earlier.

Gonzales asked the DOJ if he could wait until morning before notifying White House staffers about the probe, thereby delaying the issuance of a directive to preserve emails and other documents related to the leak of Wilson’s undercover status federal investigators would need as part of their investigation.

The DOJ agreed.

But after Gonzales hung up the telephone, he immediately contacted Andrew Card, who was White House chief of staff at the time, and told him about the investigation.

Twelve hours later, Gonzales sent out an email to more than 1,000 White House staffers stating, “you must preserve all materials that might in any way be related to the [Justice] department’s investigation” of Wilson as well as any emails or documents that mentioned her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose criticism of the administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence led White House officials to leak his wife’s identity to the media.

What happened during those 12 hours is anyone’s guess. Did Andrew Card provide top White House officials such as Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby – the two top Bush administration officials who were responsible for unmasking Mrs. Wilson’s covert status – advance notice of the investigation in an attempt to get them to destroy smoking-gun evidence linking them to the leak?

Read the entire article…

Why is it so impossible to go after these guys just because they are SO corrupt and play SO dirty? Is there NOBODY in Washington with a set of brass kahonies willing to go after these guys – regardless of how low they are willing to go? No matter how many laws they are willing to break and how many steps they are willing to take to cover up their misdeeds? Come on…

Those pesky CIA tapes..

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, of the 9/11 Commission, came out today with a scathing op-ed piece in the New York Times.

via: Truthout
Stonewalled by the CIA

By Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton
The New York Times

More than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001″ – and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes – and did not tell us about them – obstructed our investigation. Read on..

Following this was the announcement of the opening of a criminal investigation into what happened with the tapes, and the appointment of a federal prosecutor that will be conducting an investigation.

via: Yahoo! News
Criminal probe opened over CIA tapes

By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer

The Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation Wednesday into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, putting the politically charged probe in the hands of a mob-busting public corruption prosecutor with a reputation for being independent.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced that he was appointing John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the investigation of a case that has challenged the Bush administration’s controversial handling of terrorism suspects.

The CIA acknowledged last month that in 2005 it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice into whether the CIA violated any laws or obstructed congressional inquiries such as the one led by the Sept. 11 Commission.

“The Department’s National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation,” Mukasey said in a statement released Wednesday.
Read entire article…

More on Raw Story.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has written extensively on this today with updates. He offers background through links of the characters involved in this production, and points out that as the day wears on and with each new report, it is looking like this ‘investigation’ will not be so independent after all.

TPM Muckraker: Conyers “Disappointed” Mukasey Didn’t Appoint Special Counsel for Tapes Probe

Looks to me like business as usual, ‘theater’, and yet another ‘whitewash’.

Congress Challenges Bush Over CIA Tapes

via: AP

In a direct challenge to President Bush, a House panel said Wednesday it has prepared subpoenas to force CIA officials to testify about the agency’s secret destruction of interrogation videotapes.

The Justice Department had blocked the officials from appearing at a closed hearing before the panel this week, citing the department’s ongoing investigation into the destruction of videotapes of the harsh interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002. The CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005.

The House Intelligence Committee’s threat marked the second challenge to a White House attempt to shut down independent investigations into the matter, and escalates a fight over which branch of government properly has jurisdiction. On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected an administration effort to keep the courts out of the investigation, and summoned Justice Department lawyers to court on Friday to discuss whether destroying the tapes violated a court order to preserve evidence about detainees. Read on…

Who is Don Siegelman? And, why should we care?

This first part is from Mark Crispin Miller’s Blog:

Siegelman Speaks! Alabama Ex-Gov Calls ’02 Election “Stolen” by the White House!
by Mark Crispin Miller

Here is some amazing video: a very candid interview with Don Siegelman, who spoke to Julie Sigwart of Take Back the Media on Sept. 13, 2004–months before the Governor was finally put away on trumped-up charges by the Alabama GOP.

As he himself makes clear, Siegelman’s ordeal began back in 2000, when he came out early on, and publicly, against the presidential bid of his fellow governor, George W. Bush, and backed Al Gore instead. It was a move that Karl Rove never did forget, and never would forgive, says Siegelman.

Rove’s long drive to destroy the Alabama governor resulted in the theft of the 2002 election for Republican Bob Riley. Here Siegelman describes that theft–which took place primarily in Baldwin County–and also talks about his handling of that matter.

So far, the mainstream press coverage of Don Siegelman’s ordeal has pointedly ignored the theft of the 2002 election. Clearly, Siegelman himself does not regard that theft as a side issue, but as a major crime, and one that is quite relevant to his whole story.

Today, the Alabama governor is not allowed to speak up on his own behalf. He’s locked away inside a federal prison cell, and, for good measure, has been silenced by the Alabama courts. As Scott Horton has so aptly put it, Don Siegelman is the Man in the Iron Mask.

So let’s do everything we can to get this interview played far and wide, so that his fellow citizens can finally hear him, and see him, talk about the criminal campaign against him.

PART ONE

PART TWO

On Harpers’ Magazine website, Scott Horton has done a series of 41 blog posts on Don Siegelman and what has happened to him, and why. This takes a while to get through them, but they are VERY worth the read. Scott started writing on this story June 1, 2007.

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DOJ John Tanner Resigns as Voting Chief

via: BradBlog

The controversial head of the DoJ Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, John Tanner, finally resigned from his position as of 11am ET this morning…

Today, John Tanner resigned from his position effective immediately as chief of the Civil Rights Division’s voting section. His resignation email, with the subject line “Moving On” was sent out at approximately 11 AM to voting section staff. He said that he will be moving on to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

More from TPM Muckraker:

With Tanner, it had seemed like a matter of not if, but when. As we reported late last month, his travel habits had angered attorneys in the voting section, leading to an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

And that was after his comments about the tendency of minorities to “die first” led Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and others to call for his removal. When he went before the House Judiciary Committee in October, he was lambasted for his tendency of “basing your conclusions on stereotypes” (like, say, claiming that African-Americans have IDs more than whites because they’re always going to cash-checking businesses).

But most of all, Tanner’s reign is notable for his collusion with the political appointees who oversaw the section, an ongoing effort to reverse the Civil Rights Division’s traditional role in protecting minority voters, particularly African-Americans, into one of aiding thinly disguised vote suppression measures (most infamously Georgia’s voter ID law). It was an effort that some career DoJ attorneys later described as “institutional sabotage.”

I will hold my enthusiasm until I see who they replace him with..

Friday News, Views, and Blues

Its Friday, December 14, and there’s only 10 shopping days left..

The long awaited Mitchell Report came out yesterday with a LONG list of ballplayers, many well-known, many not so much. Discouraging.. Now, what will they do with that information?

NY Attorney Stands Up For Hand-Counting Paper Ballots. Its a start..

Seven Senior Federal Engineers and Scientists Call for New 9/11 Investigation . These are experts in their fields, they’re not wearing tin-foil hats, and their questions are valid. We’ll see where this goes..

Glenn Greenwald offers his thoughts on the Senate today taking up debate on the new FISA bill. Firedoglake has more on this. Here too.

In case you missed it, I am linking once again to Randi Rhodes and her “We Believe” speech in Detroit on Addressing The 50th Anniversary party of PEACE ACTION of Mich. nov 11 2007 . It is worth revisiting for a shot of what matters to us as American citizens, and a reminder of who we are.

Justice Department Accused of Delaying Iraq Rape Inquiry . I wonder why? Maybe they share this ‘conservative’ view of the rape and the victim’s need to just ‘suck it up’ and stop trying to ‘undermine the war effort’? (If you read this, prepare to be thoroughly disgusted). I personally can’t believe these people inhabit the same planet, let alone same country, as I do.. There aren’t words..

Rudy Giuliani and his business dealings, now the list including a company (Seisint) gathering personal information and making profiles of millions of Americans.. (Giuliani Partners (GP) pulled in more than $30 million for just one year’s work on Seisint’s behalf). Is there anything he won’t sell (or hasn’t sold) his soul for?

Seisint’s premier product — MATRIX — had proved controversial. The databases it searched contained personal histories of millions of Americans, their relatives, past addresses, property records and credit ratings. Civil-liberties groups said MATRIX would create detailed data profiles of innocent Americans.

Will the Senate Dems back down to Bush, giving immunity to phone companies?

According to the Telegraph, an agreement has been reached in Bali on deforestation.

Congress considers staying in session over Christmas break in order to avoid Bush recess appointments.

John Dean weighs in on the missing CIA Tapes.

Kagro X at The Daily Kos has an interesting post this morning listing out 53 vetos that Bush is poised to whip his pen out for.. I am guessing Bush is planning on vetoing absolutely EVERYTHING Congress passes so that he can claim they haven’t accomplished anything..

According to ThinkProgress, Bill O’Reilly’s ‘War on Christmas’ apparently doesn’t stretch to Barnes and Noble (who sell his books..). Hypocrite.. You can’t have it both ways Bill..

Oh, and this just in.. Obama edges ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire in the polls…
UPDATE: In polls today, Obama leads Clinton in Iowa by 9%.

And now for the blues…

Here’s “Merry Christmas Baby” ~ Charles Brown blues

Photo by pintong. Used by permission.
Photo of Washington Square Mall in Beaverton, OR.

The Core: Part 1, The Economy of Lies

Willyloman, over at the American Everyman has a post called The Economy of Lies, which he promises is the first in a series of six, including an introduction yet to be written. This is an amazing post, and I’m looking forward to the next five parts.

By Scott Creighton

The current administration that occupies the Executive branch of our government lies to us on a daily basis. So often, in fact, we have begun to expect it. It is not enough to say that governments have always mislead the public, as that is indeed true, in varying degrees, but these lies are of a specific nature and the pattern has been depressingly obvious for some time now, to anyone that cared enough to look.

Perhaps we have been collectively suffering from some form of mass Stockholm syndrome; where we not only expect our paid officials to lie to us constantly, but actually would feel cheated somehow if they didn’t.

Who can forget Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney all claiming right after the attacks of 9/11 that “no one could have imagined terrorists would use planes as weapons against us”; and then the revelation that just one year before the Pentagon, and FEMA had run drills for that exact scenario? How about the PDB with the title “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the US“. That was nice, huh? Remember Rice twisting in the Congressional hearing about that one?

Oh yes, there’s more…

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Justice, CIA To Hold Inquiry Over Tapes

via: CBS News

The Justice Department and the CIA’s internal watchdog announced a joint inquiry Saturday into the destruction of videotapes of interrogations of two detainees.
The review will determine whether a full investigation is warranted.

Don’t you just love how these guys always want to investigate themselves..? And we are expected to just accept their results..?

A number of people weighed in on this today.

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Bush Doesn’t Remember Hearing About Destruction of CIA Tapes

Lawmakers are angry, really, about the revelation that the CIA destroyed tapes documenting the interrogation of two al Qaeda operative in the agency’s custody.

 Senators Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin have both called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate the incident.  The senators believe this could be a case of obstruction of justice.

 Senator Kennedy said in a speech on the Senate floor, “We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18½ -minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon.”

Representative Jane Harman who was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee in 2003 said she warned the CIA not to destroy any video pertaining to interrogation practices.  “To my knowledge, the Intelligence Committee was never informed that any videotapes had been destroyed,” Ms. Harman said. “Surely I was not.”

President Bush “has no recollection of being made aware of the tapes or their destruction before yesterday,” the chief White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said today.   Of course he doesnt.

There is much more on this story at The New York Times.

“We Believe..”

Randi Rhodes of Air America gives an awe-inspiring speech on November 11, 2007 at the 50th Anniversary party of Peace Action of Michigan.
She says it all. Truly awesome.

Here is the link to the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America.

Good Afternoon from Europe – 432 Days to Go

 Swing at the “Tenuta Le Piane”

Who wants to rule France? “Le Petit Nicholas” will have to try and overcome the French’s resilience, when it comes to giving up their cherished vested rights. Sarkozy will find out presently, whether his plans to cut pensioner’ rights, social security and many other long-fought-for privileges, will stand a chance against the rebelliousness of his people.

If all else fails, the French still have their wine and even find an upside to global warming.

A German saying goes: “Ein Affe, ohne zweiten, kann nicht streiten!”  (One monkey, without another one, can’t get into a fight). Apt, when one considers the USA-Iran conflict. Whenever the Bush Administration is toning down the language even one tiny bit or remains silent for a change, rest assured, Ahmadinejad will step up the warmongering rethoric. Now, to keep the tempers up, there is infighting in Tehran, seasoned with a slight against Britain.

The well informed neo-con elite knows, that Iran is not a nuclear power, but claims it’s plenty dangerous. Pakistan, however, has nukes. And Pakistan is in political turmoil. Worrying, isn’t it?

Well, no, not really says the Pentagon:

 “At this point, we have no concerns,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell. “We believe that they are under the appropriate control.”

Ohokay…

And finally a ray of hope.

 Michael Mukasey, who was sworn in Tuesday, has reopened a dormant inquiry into the US government’s warrantless wiretapping programme which was effectively blocked by the president 18 months ago.

 “Europeanview” will go to sleep now and hopefully wake up to a better world tomorrow morning. You all stay safe and take care!

Remember Sibel Edmonds?

According to BradBlog, Sibel Edmonds, an FBI translator between December 2001 and March 2002, who was fired after reporting corruption, incompetence, and illegal (and treasonous) activities within the FBI and Departments of State and Defense, (who then became a whistle-blower and one of the most ‘gagged’ persons in US history), is now ready to talk.

“Here’s my promise to the American Public: If anyone of the major networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX — promise to air the entire segment, without editing, I promise to tell them everything that I know,” about everything mentioned above, she told us.

“I can tell the American public exactly what it is, and what it is that they are covering up,” she continued. “I’m not compromising ongoing investigations,” Edmonds explained, because “they’ve all been shut down since.”

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Was this the screwup of the century (so far)?

via: TPM Muckraker

This summer the House Judiciary Committee launched an effort to collect tips from would-be whistleblowers in the Justice Department. The U.S. attorney firings scandal had shown that much was amiss in the Department, and with the danger of retaliation very real, the committee had set up a form on the committee’s website for people to blow the whistle privately about abuses there. Although the panel said it would not accept anonymous tips, it assured those who came forward that their identity would be held in the “strictest confidence.”

But in an email sent out today, the committee inadvertently sent the email addresses of all the would-be whistleblowers to everyone who had written in to the tipline. The committee email was sent to tipsters who had used the website form, including presumably whistleblowers themselves, and all of the recipients of the email were accidentally included in the “to:” field — instead of concealing those addresses with a so-called blind carbon copy or “bcc:”.

Continue reading..

Screwup? Or message to whistleblowers to keep their mouths shut. Is this another step in a shift to fascism (I’m just finishing Naomi Wolf’s book “The End of America”)? I know the White House leaks what they want leaked (for their own purposes), but it seems the quickest way to close down anyone else leaking information would be to draw them out and then expose them. They lose their jobs, and everyone else gets the message and shuts up. But, then again, perhaps this was just the SCREWUP of the century..

UPDATE: The names were sent to Darth, the Dick, Cheney… Oh… shit…

Michael Mukasey: Another Loyal Bushie

by Marjorie Cohn

The Michael Mukasey Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing has demonstrated that Mukasey cannot be relied upon to function independently as U.S. Attorney General. Nevertheless, Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee seem so thrilled that Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales that they’re willing to vote for him even though he’s another loyal Bushie. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, backed down on his promise to hold up the confirmation hearing until the administration turned over material his committee had requested regarding several investigations. Leahy said of Mukasey after the hearing, “He’s at least answered the questions, which is better than his predecessor. He’s going to be different than Gonzales on all the issues, I think. He will certainly be better than Gonzales on morale.”
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Cheney’s Law

In case you missed it last night, PBS: Frontline ran an episode called “Cheney’s Law”.

For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy — without congressional approval or judicial review.

Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the investigations over wiretapping and U.S. attorney firings, FRONTLINE examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney’s way of looking at the Constitution.

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