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Garbo 2004's Journal
Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jan 31st 2010, 10:34 PM
yes, I do have a problem with it. (And just as points of fact, SCOTUS ruled while the tribunal was ongoing, the defendants were convicted after the ruling, and evidently two of the defendants were American citizens.)

As you've been already told, that decision is legally controversial. The SCOTUS, in a hastily arranged special session, issued a statement of their decision within a day after hearing 9 hours of oral arguments and then spent three months cobbling together a written opinion (the actual legal justification) for its decision. Yes, that's correct: the SCOTUS made its decision before it had determined and agreed upon the legal basis for such a decision. Considering that 6 of the defendants had been executed over two months before the court released its written opinion, it's no great surprise that the SCOTUS, despite some concerns within the court regarding issues the case raised, rendered a legal justification supporting what was already a fait accompli. The SCOTUS acted as little more than a rubber stamp to the Executive and the military and then put together an opinion to justify itself.

Furthermore, FDR issued the proclamation directing a military prosecution in this case not because the case was nonjurisdictional to the Federal judicial system (the case was indeed jurisdictional to the civilian court system) but due to expediency and a desire to ensure a specific outcome. Others who were arrested and charged with aiding the saboteurs, however, were tried in the civilian court system.

Additionally, some of the legal circumstances that existed when FDR issued his proclamation and Quirin was decided have been superceded by subsequent changes in Federal criminal law and other court decisions.

Subsequent Administrations' practice (until that of George W. Bush) was to prosecute terror suspects under Federal civilian criminal law. (Even the Reagan administration prosecuted terror suspects in civilian court.) GW's administration as we know sought extralegal, extrajudicial and in fact illegal means of doing what it wanted in a variety of areas. It cited the questionable authority of the "unitary executive" (aka, "if the President does it, it's legal") as a basis for its actions. In this instance it also proffered the dubious Quirin as its legal authority. Although the Bush Administration also wound up trying terror cases in the Federal court system.

You cite Quirin. Another FDR action upheld by the SCOTUS (Korematsu v. United States) was Executive Order 9066 which was used as the legal basis for the rounding up and internment of Japanese Americans (as well as to a significantly lesser extent, some German Americans and Italian Americans). That executive order was not rescinded until 1976 by Gerald Ford. The constitutionality of FDR's order also has not yet been explicitly overturned by a subsequent SCOTUS ruling. Would you now support a similar action by a President since a previous SCOTUS ruling said it was OK?
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Oct 25th 2009, 01:02 PM

Someone should make an ad based on this. As health insurance CEOs' compensation scrolls across the screen: "Blue Cross fears real competition in the marketplace. Why don't they want you to have a real choice in healthcare options? They and the other insurance corporations want to keep premiums high and be the ones to decide what healthcare you can have. Tell Congress you want real consumer choice and real competition. Support the public health care option and tell those insurance executives that you don't want to pay for their multimillion dollar lifestyles anymore."
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Oct 11th 2009, 06:50 PM
reason than they are gay and his DOJ actively defending DADT and DOMA in court. (One DOJ DOMA related court brief cited incest and marriage to children as examples....with the implication that gay marriage was a comparable circumstance.)

In regards to DADT yes, it is the law, but it also is up to the Administration how to implement the law via administrative regulations and policy. The "best interests of the armed forces" is a factor that applies here, especially given the need for troop retention. Changes can be made in regulation and policy. Or the Administration could, for example, take it full on and institute a moratorium on such discharges pending further review and (legislative) action. Most recent study on DADT policy will appear in Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and concludes that openly gay troops will not hurt combat readiness. / (As have other studies in the past )

Another point for example, the armed forces currently implement stop loss measures due to need for troops during a period of national emergency and yet continue to discharge service members with good records simply for being gay. Fed law provides the President with the authority to suspend laws relating to separations from the military in such times in the interests of national security.

Continuing to discharge service members for no other reason than they are gay and to defend such discharges in court is a choice the Obama administration has made. And undoubtedly a political choice, because it's not the only choice the Administration could make and it's not the case that the Executive's power is effectively constrained and cannot do otherwise.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jul 19th 2009, 06:03 PM
their obligatory respects and moved on. As much as Russert may have indeed meant to his colleagues, NBC and, let's not forget GE, MSNBC's performance as a (purported) news network, spending days on the Russert hagiography, was IMO embarassing at best and at worst, just a tad disturbing.

I wondered at the time if Jack Welch & his GE buds had influenced MSNBC's coverage. Speaking of Jack Welch, Russert's former lord, master and mentor, here's a transcript of Jack Welch on Faux's Hannity & Colmes, wherein Sean Hannity nearly wets himself in praise of Russert. Has a bit of a "Through the Looking Glass" effect.,2933,367622...

Russert was a relatively youngish man, a contemporary and, importantly, a member of the club: an insider in the symbiotic world of media and politics. I think his sudden death really shocked a number of them, not just as a loss of a friend and colleague, but also as a reminder of their own mortality. A jarring reminder that regardless of how much they may have it made in their profession and life, they're not above or immune to the human condition. They could be gone in a blink, just like any of us. It was as if, perhaps, they needed Russert to be all those wonderful things they said he was, to be as significant as they said he was, to give themselves some meaning. Or something. We all have to tell ourselves stories of how things are in order to get by, I think. To try and make sense of what makes no sense, to restore some sense of order...even if we know it's only an artifice we make up to get by. So strange to see a major media organization apparently going through that process for days on the air over one of their own, selling their story to us.

But on the other hand, as Paddy Chayefsky knew, that's what they do. That's what they've always done: create stories and sell them to us. They create versions of reality and sell them to us along with laundry soap, cars, and pills for diseases specifically invented to sell pills. How perfectly apt perhaps, if one is thinking of "Network," that it was the GE-owned NBC/Universal, the embodiment of the military/industrial/entertainment complex, mourning one of its own, the "tough newsman" whose program Cheney liked to use as a friendly venue for peddling his lies. Perhaps I'm just jaded. Over the years I found Russert's reputation as a tv "journo" to be overblown and the cloyingly sentimental re-envisioning of his hallowed youth a careful literary construct, an artifice just like Russert's own persona and reputation. JMO.

For many of the current crop of media folks, Cronkite was an historical artifact. He wasn't a contemporary or a colleague. He wasn't one of them and the world he came from was long gone. He wasn't telegenic, he wasn't a personality. Likely the networks praising him wouldn't have given him a job if he started out now. Perhaps as a producer or correspondent, but never an anchor. What network would spend millions on a guy who looked like a sad sack, a guy who never looked really young even when he was, a bit pudgy with a dubious hairline and who looked as if he got his suits from Nixon's tailor? Even with a major makeover, he would never approach the sleek and stylish Brian Williams, the very model of a major network anchorman. (h/t to Gilbert & Sullivan.) The corporate media will praise Cronkite, bury him and move on without a ripple.

And frankly I think that it will be a good thing if in death Cronkite's memory is spared the hours of maudlin sentimental bloviating that accompanied Russert's demise. It would be good if Cronkite is not be blown up to be something far more than he really was. A fitting tribute perhaps would be to feature his work, run some of his programs, specials. More clips: like when he was pissed off at the Chicago '68 Dem convention. Cronkite was a pro: when he got pissed and it showed, we noticed. Cronkite had a good long life spanning most of the 20th century and almost a decade of the 21st, he was a TV presence for many of us in our youth at a troubled time, and seems to have been a person of some values and integrity. I didn't realize he himself held some liberal views until long after he retired. Cronkite likely would have appreciated that. Good night, Walter.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in Latest Breaking News
Fri Jul 17th 2009, 04:44 PM
Or not touching tax loopholes for wealthy, corporations while targeting and cutting programs for poor, disabled, public health and safety, etc.

For example, re: tax break on corporations passed in February of this year while State trying to close deficit:

Budget Includes Billions in Corporate Tax Breaks

Corporate Tax Breaks in Last Budget Deals Benefit Few, Says Report

Feb LA Times article: California budget plan includes corporate tax breaks, individual tax hikes
Business would get nearly $1 billion in breaks, while the average person would pay higher taxes five ways. Republicans say the plan would create jobs, but others dispute the claim.

A 2005 LA Times article on leaving intact tax breaks/loopholes for wealthy, corporations:
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jul 15th 2009, 03:58 AM
in the propositions put before the public. What was before the voters were a combination of more shell game budgeting: more borrowing of funds to cover deficits. The CA Legislature does not need to put fee/tax increases before the electorate.

But a two-thirds majority in Legislature is required to raise taxes and fees and the Repubs block substantive revenue measures. Although the Repubs do vote to pass regressive taxes such as the latest sales tax so it hits the most folks, including the poor and working class. And that reinforces people complaining about "tax and spend" gov't, the Repub mantra. And thus the Repubs crow and pretend that they are the champions of working folks.

But what isn't getting attention are the tax cuts/breaks to big business passed by the Legislature (Dems and Repubs) over many years that have contributed to reduction in revenue to the state. The public never gets to vote on those. Just last February, for example, while cutting the budget due to the "spending problem" the Leg passed what amounted to tax breaks to major corporations that would result in a loss of billions in state revenue. Brilliant, eh? In the midst of deficit and cash flow problems, let's cut revenue further.

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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 18th 2008, 12:05 PM
There were some dissenters, but as with the corporate media in general, they largely went along. Ceded their constitutional power and responsibility to an imperial presidency.

And when the government goes mad, that's not an excuse for the media largely to go along, serving as a giant megaphone to "catapult the propaganda." What do we call that when it happens in other countries?

How many stories were not told by the corporate media when it mattered? Various outlets/journos as previously noted did their mea culpas after it was evident that the Iraq "intervention" was not going the way the Administration assured us it would.

But what about afterward? I recall Time mag, CBS and the NYT admitted to sitting on stories detrimental to the Bush Administration before the 2004 election. CBS didn't run its postponed piece on the Niger yellowcake fraud because it claimed it was now too close to the election and didn't want to perhaps influence the outcome. Time also held a piece because it said they didn't want to possibly influence the election. (I found those to be remarkable statements for a frequently self-congratulatory press that claims it serves the public's right and need to to know. But these outlets made these statements without any sense of irony.) The NY Times sat on Risen's illegal wiretapping story for over a year (urged to do so by Bush) and only eventually "broke" the story in December 2005 when they were about to be scooped by their reporter's book publication. ("State of War" is a good read. How much of the info from 2002/2003 in the book was contemporaneously in the hands of the NYT? The NYT and Risen wouldn't say. There was an agreement between them not to publicly discuss the "internal deliberations" of the NYT.)

Blame Bush and Cheney? Sure. Blame complicit politicians? Sure. But also blame a complicit corporate press who as we have seen had the giant megaphone, the resources and the means to find and tell the truth (and in many instances had the truth at the time) but largely chose not to do so.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jun 17th 2008, 04:31 AM
the Administration during the build up to war. There was a view that "we know it's going to happen and we don't want to be on the wrong side of this."

And I'm not just pulling this out of my butt. There have been books, articles on the subject, assorted mea culpas by journalists, newspapers.

One example: MSNBC. Jeff Cohen, formerly of FAIR, has written of his experiences on MSNBC, working with Phil Donahue's program, and the strictures MSNBC placed on them re: criticism/questioning of the Bush Administration in the build up to war. Who was not to be on the program, if an antiwar guest was booked, how many war supporters had to be also booked, etc. At the time Donahue's program was MSNBC's highest rated show. A NBC-commissioned study advised that Donahue was a "'difficult public face for NBC in a time of war......He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives.' The report went on to outline a possible nightmare scenario where the show becomes 'a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.'" Donahue's program was canceled in February 2003. (Link to quoted material: )

Another example, if recollection serves: at the WaPo Walter Pincus' articles that included info that questioned/contradicted the Administration's claims regarding Iraq (using sources in American intelligence) were often relegated to the back pages. In one instance the WaPo wasn't going to publish one of Pincus' articles until Woodward interceded. It was published but in the back pages.

In contrast, Knight-Ridder was notable for its prewar reporting. It didn't merely take dictation from Administration officials and Chalabi and his ilk. It committed journalism: investigative reporting, independent of Administration spokespersons. Here's a link to a recent blog by the Knight Ridder team (now McClatchy) on what they reported: .

There have been mea culpas and criticism by the media on their prewar reporting. The NYT, WaPo and others. (More recently, even Katie Couric.) IIRC it wasn't so much "we were fooled" because they were believers but "we dropped the ball, we weren't skeptical enough." But it was more than that...skeptics, dissenting voices, experts in WMD etc., were available. But they rarely were given significant exposure and credibility in the media. That wasn't accidental. If they appeared on TV, for example, they were "balanced" and outnumbered by war hawks and retired generals spoonfed by the Pentagon to parrot propaganda. Not fair or balanced. Dissent was "unpatriotic."

Perhaps one of the first notable articles on the subject was "Now They Tell Us," a 2004 article by Michael Massing in the NY Review of Books.

Bill Moyers' "Buying the War" transcript and video available at PBS' website:

More recently, Scott McClellan of all people, elicited howls from some in the media when he suggested they didn't do their job sufficiently. So on that occasion and as a result, Glenn Greenwald interviewed Jeff Cohen and blogged in Salon. His blog has links to the Cohen interview audio and other articles/info. (I'm a Salon member but I think a non member can read the articles by simply letting an advert play.)

I would suggest that anyone who claims to be an independent, impartial journalist with an inquisitive mind in search for the truth cannot credibly simply claim "I was fooled, I believed." I'm not particularly extraordinary, did not have the vast resources of a major news organization and yet, I was skeptical. More than skeptical when an Administration clearly launched a campaign to lead us into war. It was marketing a product and on what basis? I read not just the Judy Millers but also Knight Ridder, Pincus, foreign press, Scott Ritter, IAEA info, a variety of sources. Am I to believe that professional big name journalists near or at the top of their respective food chains are simply naive and credulous and had no way to ask the questions and seek out people with the answers? When I buy a used car, I don't just take the word of the seller and his friends and family, I take it to my mechanic and have it checked out. When a high paid corporate journalist wanted to find out the "truth" of the need to go to war, who did he/she ask? Most often, the Administration that was making the case for war and its supporters and adherents. If that's their idea of "due diligence" I have some used cars they should look at. There some some known knowns and some known unknowns and some unknown unknowns about them, but hey they're a great deal. Trust me.

(And as for Congress, they weren't all fooled, merely hapless gulls, and believers. No accident that Bush pushed for a vote right before the 2002 elections. Profiles in courage most of them were not.)
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Jun 16th 2008, 02:21 AM
of NBC News).

2. Russert didn't exactly "tell on" Libby. He confirmed what the Feds already knew: that he wasn't the one who told Libby about Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA employment. Libby had told the Feds that he first learned of Plame's CIA employment from Russsert around July 10, 2003. But the investigation documented that by early June 2003, Libby already knew Valerie Plame worked for the CIA...several people had told him, including Cheney himself. Later in June Libby was feeding the Plame story to Judy Miller and again on July 8.

Russert initially fought providing info to the grand jury in 2004, but he'd already previously willingly told the FBI in late 2003 that he didn't tell Libby about Plame and couldn't have because he didn't know she was CIA. Russert did wind up providing info to the grand jury in summer 2004, but why did he initially fight it since he'd already willingly gone on record with the FBI in 2003? Well...

Russert Resisted Testifying on Leak
By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 10, 2006; A05

Lawyers for NBC News reporter Tim Russert suspected in the spring of 2004 that his testimony could snare Vice President Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in a lie and Russert resisted testifying at the time about private conversations with Libby, according to court papers released yesterday.

Russert was aware that a special prosecutor probing the leak of a CIA operative's name knew of his summer 2003 telephone conversation with Libby, and that Libby had released him from any promise of confidentiality. But Russert, the Washington bureau chief for NBC News and host of "Meet the Press," and his attorneys argued in previously sealed court filings in June 2004 that he should not have to tell a grand jury about that conversation, because it would harm Russert's relationship with other sources.

Remember as Cathy Martin later testified, MTP was Cheney's Office's favored venue for "controlling the message:"

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format."

And even after summer 2004 when Russert provided info to the grand jury and NBC News released a public statement encapsulating the content of Russert's deposition, Russert still kept mum about his involvement for a year on MTP when the Plame case was discussed.

Actually, a more interesting media guy in the Plame affair perhaps was Matt Cooper. When Rove leaked to him, Cooper didn't write about Plame, he wrote about the Administration engaged in a campaign to discredit Joe Wilson. That, after all, was really the story.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jun 15th 2008, 08:45 PM
Remember how the Bush Admin and RW'ers were blaming the local jurisdictions so as to absolve the Bush Administration from its failure to respond in a timely and effective fashion to a foreseeable disaster and a catastrophe unfolding live on our TV screens? (As I recall Chertoff "didn't know" there were people at the NOLA convention center until Thursday of that week when the media told him. The rest of the world knew days before, they had been seeing it on the TV for days.) The RW bloggers and RW noise machine chimed in: the locals were to blame, not the Feds, not the Bush Administration.

I saw MTP with the President of Jefferson Parish, Aaron Broussard. Clip One:
And then Russert's subsequent follow up interview transcript and video:

In his follow up interview, Russert cited his news organization's and blogger's "research" when it came to disputing the details of a death cited by the President of Jefferson Parish, who had criticized the Fed Gov't's response to Katrina. One can see in the second interview how dogged Russert was in pursuing the circumstances of the woman's death. (While not addressing the larger story of the Fed's catastrophic response to Katrina that we saw with our own eyes.) But when it came to the buildup to the Iraq War, Russert told Bill Moyers he would have wished to hear from those who questioned the basis for the invasion of Iraq but no one picked up the phone to call him and he didn't have access to them. Although Russert was known to pursue people when he wanted them on the show he just waited for someone to call him? He read all those newspapers in his scruplous study to prepare for his programs, but evidently he missed Knight-Ridders' reporting that seriously questioned and contradicted the Bush Administration's claims. The aluminum tubes claims had been debunked by DOE and IAEA before the war. In 2001 Powell and Rice had said Iraq was no threat (especially in terms of nuclear capabilities). One year later these same folks were talking about "mushroom clouds" and "imminent threat." Too bad Russert wasn't as rigorous in his research and questioning on the matter of taking this nation to war as he was in nailing the president of Jeffereson Parish over the details of his staffer's mother's death.

No doubt Russert was a caring family man and a good friend and mentor to many. But it was not entirely an accident that Cheney, et. al. regarded MTP as a favored venue where they could "control the message." Russert's role and function was complex. He wasn't simply a mere shill as some have said: it was more subtle and complex than that. In many ways Russert was a purveyor of an American mythology, a political mythology and also the mythology of a "hard-hitting" American establishment press whose "stars" and careers depend on their relationships with the vested interests they are supposed to be covering.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Feb 24th 2008, 09:06 PM
vacancy/appointment during the next administration. Well actually, I find it more than just "sad." After the last 7 years, WTF is the matter with people?

I wasn't and am not thrilled with either (D) candidate. But I'll vote for the Dem nominee this November since this election is not just about me. Despite my deep cynicism about politicians, the political process and the powers behind the scenes, I still think the more likely greater good is with the Dems, however flawed and yes, compromised, they may be. Hillary said I think something to the effect of "Let's get real." Well yes, let's do "get real."

The Repubs are in disarray and are trying to unite while burdened with a "legacy" of the last 7 years that the country is fed up with. They are vulnerable on so many fronts, most of them long standing tenets of conservatives. Fiscal prudence? A nation burdened with national debt and much of it owed to (Communist) China. Taxes? Tax cuts and "incentives" for the wealthy and corporations so the working folks get to bear a disproportionate tax burden. And working folks are the "consumers" who help keep this economy going, by the way. National security? Allowed 9\11 on their watch and then squandered our military, national wealth and the lives of those who swore an oath and their lives to this nation on an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with it. And then let Iraq become a "catastrophic success," a boon to war profiteers (with our tax dollars) as well as a recruitment poster for extremists across the world. Keeping the power of the Fed gov't in check? The Bush administration increased the power of an imperial presidency and Federal government while repudiating limitations of that power in the Constitution, Federal Law and conscience. They've got a damned shitty legacy to run on.

The Republicans need a fractured Dem party. Have no doubt, the Republicans won't stand on "core principles" and the fight for the Dem, whoever it will be, in the GE will be tough. Despite all that is against them, they will try to pull it out.

A Repub administration and SCOTUS won't give a flying shit about working mothers (or fathers), health care for all, separation of church and state, limitation of corporate power, habeas corpus, civil liberties or your "core principals."

For those who say they won't vote for the Dem nominee, then go ahead and stand aside. Hillary's a fighter? Well then good, because in whatever capacity she may be by that time, the nation will need her and everyone else who gives a shit about the Constitution and the rule of law in the GE. And the rest of those who want to stand on "principles" and not "sully" themselves by working and voting in the GE for the Dem candidate (and I've seen this from a few supporters of Hillary and Obama), if you won't stand up then just stand fucking aside while the rest of us do fight against another four years of a Repubican administration that will carry on the Bush legacy. And if the Dems are successful in the 2008 GE, come back and then bugger the hell out of them with your core principles. If the last 7 years are instructive, it is not "politics as usual" and we cannot afford to be complacent or indifferent.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Jan 26th 2007, 03:32 PM
points, what to say to the media for not just Libby but also Ari Fleischer IIRC, orchestrating the response to Wilson's op ed.

Libby's defense is that Wilson & "the wife" were nothing to him, he was far to busy with really important things to bother with the Wilsons. Hence he didn't remember what he knew, what several people told him. Yet here's Martin showing that it the Wilsons were very important to Cheney and thus also Libby, clipping newspapers, making transcripts of tv talk shows. The Vice President of the United States giving written instructions to senior aides on what to say to the press? Put together with other testimony and docs, it appears the OVP was obsessed with Wilson and how to respond to his allegations. Cheney and Libby. (Libby's own grand jury testimony told of how Cheney specifically instructed him to meet with Judy Miller and reveal classified info on July 8.)

Martin's testimony is one part of a portrait Fitzgerald is creating for the jury. There is and will be other testimony. There also are documents from the OVP, both Cheney's and Libby's. To date, her testimony while bolstering the "what Libby knew and when did he know it" basics (and Libby's own notes indicate Cheney had told him of Plame around June 12 so that Libby knew Wilson's wife worked for the CIA is not news) goes beyond that and gives a glimpse of how consumed Cheney was with Wilson.

Her testimony is very bad for Cheney IMO, not just Scooter.

An interesting note: "Emptywheel," one of the live bloggers at the trial, noted during jury selection that David Shuster of MSNBC raised an intriguing possibility and she perhaps presciently speculated:

January 18, 2007
A Really Good Reason to Call Dick, Part Two
by emptywheel

David Shuster is stumped. Is it possible, he asks, that a witness will contradict Dick's testimony?

Libby lawyer Ted Wells then said, “Vice President Cheney will be a witness in this case. If his testimony is contradicted by another witness, who you don’t know or have no feelings about, would your feelings about the vice president make it difficult for you to fairly evaluate the credibility of the vice president?”

What was Libby’s lawyer referring to? Is there a witness who will undermine the Vice President?

Shuster goes on to say there is no hint of such a witness in all the filings.

Despite all of the pre-trial filings, documents, and evidence released...this is the first time such a suggestion has been made in the CIA leak case.

In the filings, perhaps. But I've made such a suggestion, guessing (and it is a guess, mind you) that Cheney is being called to discredit one of Fitzgerald's most important witnesses, Cathie Martin.

It was clear as early as last March that two of Fitzgerald's most important witnesses are Cathie Martin and Ari Fleischer. Fleischer we believe to be the immunized witness. Libby has already laid groundwork to suggest that Ari testified to save his own ass.

But Martin may not be so easy to impeach. And if, as Murray's latest seems to say, the July 12 conversation aboard Air Force Two is really incriminating, then Libby's team needs to find a way to discredit Martin. Moreover, she was a witness to Libby's conversation with Cooper.

So I think it very likely that Cheney will come in and say that Martin's version of events is a bunch of baloney. Particularly given the way Wells described this hypothetical witness: "who you don’t know." Martin is, after all, the least known central witness in this case.
link to Shuster's blog:

In the portrait Fitzgerald is creating for the jury, Martin's testimony IMO places Cheney deeply involved to the point of writing talking points, what senior aides should say to the media. Amazing. The Vice President of the United States himself providing scripts for staff to use with the media. Talk about a hands on kinda guy. Just in case anyone is tempted to think Libby, Cheney's loyal acolyte and right hand man, just turned rogue and went off on his own.

Fitz has considerable evidence from various sources that Libby already knew about Plame long before he claims he "forgot" he knew...Martin just corroborates that. But beyond that she provides a rare glimpse into the lair of the Cheney and how hands on involved he was regarding the Wilson matter and feeding the press info. What may come of it, who knows, but one can hope....
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun Sep 24th 2006, 10:51 PM
where we are today if Gore had taken the oath of office in January 2001. And I would similarly argue that there also would be a significant difference if we had had a Dem controlled Congress rather than a Republican controlled Congress.

As jaded as I've been in the past about politicians in general regardless of party, the corruption under this Administration and Republican ruled Congress is just staggering in both small and large matters. Congress under this cabal has abrogated its reponsibilities and turned over the government to an Executive run amok, an Executive that does not recognize the rule of law.

And while I honor the founders of the Republic for the Constitution, the system of checks and balances intended to avoid a concentration of power and despotic rule (and btw to also keep direct power out of the hands of the people lest anyone forget), let's also not forget that they largely were among the elite of their time. Not everyone could vote, of course, but how many remember that in some states white adult males were disenfranchised if they weren't property owners? It's easy to get misty-eyed about the founding fathers for their enormous accomplishments, especially when faced with the government we have today, but a read of the Federalist papers makes it clear that they were not all populists and egalitarians by any means. But they left the tools for us to grow and change and reminded us that eternal vigilance was required against the inclination of those with power to further their own power and interests over those they were sworn to serve.

For all its faults, errors and outrages, and there have been many in our history, the US and its Constitution has been a grand experiment that has inspired many others over the years. We "exported" freedom and democracy by example, our rhetoric and our vision of a better life, a better nation, a better world, through opportunity for all. Over time more civil rights were recognized and expanded to include more and more people. Progress, not regression. Greater liberty for those not previously represented or free to participate fully in society, not repression. Greater opportunities for those previously limited by circumstances of birth, social class, income, race or gender.

Among those classic "Americanisms" in our cultural naiviete perhaps, has been our optimism for the future, a belief in progress and improvement and that old "betterment of mankind" line. And as cynical as we many of us are, we haven't entirely discarded that vision that inspired us and others...we want to live up to the rhetoric, to that vision. But now instead of hope and optimism, we are fed a daily diet of fear and hate, fear of enemies abroad which now our nation's policies and actions help to further create (release the NIE and let us see just how the "WOT" is going under this administration), and hate against "enemies" at home, those who dare speak out, who exercise the right to criticize and judge our own government, a fundamental right the founding fathers established for good reason: a government that cannot bear, tolerate or listen to the judgment of its own people does not deserve to stand.

The current cabal wants to not just turn the clock back but to turn the nation into a banana republic, where the pretense of democracy is paraded for the masses and unchecked power is in the hands of a few. Oligarchy. As bad as I may have thought it was before, the current cabal in power is far worse and dangerous. When some folks say, there's no difference between the parties, well I'd venture to say the last 5 years have shown otherwise. Dems couldn't get away with this shit.

True campaign finance reform has been and will be fought by both Republicans and Dems. Getting the big money out of politics may be well nigh impossible but it's something that has to be worked for. But the Repubs currently in control sure aren't going to do it.

The threat to the Republic IMO is so great that getting Dems, as flawed as they may be, back in control is the priority and we must then hold them accountable. And a restoration of checks and balances. It hasn't been "business as usual" for years and its taken a long time for many Dem pols to realize it IMO as they played the old game but the rules had drastically changed. The Repubs and the interests behind them were playing for absolute power, not a balance of power. They're also gradulally learning IMO that in these times they need the grassroots, not just the big corps and interests to keep them around. Because the big corps and interests also have the other team to play with, co-opting the media and the message. And the Dems as a party perhaps are slowly learning that the grassroots have to have something to get motivated behind a candidate. Not just "I'm not as bad as the other guy." And then once that's done (no small feat of course) the grassroots has to hold them accountable. Be the pain in their butts that just won't go away after election day.

Yes the issues are beyond a matter of partisanship, but right now we've got to deal with the immediate needs. As we've seen from others' history and our own, it takes but little time for the culmulative progress of centuries to be turned around and our essential liberties and rights to be threatened, not by enemies abroad who could never undo our constitutional republic, but by those in power here at home. We can't ever let it be "business as usual" again.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed May 24th 2006, 09:59 PM
from Jeralyn Merritt at Talk Left:

Posted by TalkLeft
May 24, 2006 04:43 PM

Re: DiSalvo, Case is US v. DiSalvo, 34 F.3d 1204 (3rd Cir. 1994) It's a very long opinion, but the sealing stuff starts in headnote 10 (lexis version)

Basically, two were indicted in mob case, one of them, Simone was a lawyer. Both get convicted. The codefendant, DiSalvo appeals and says the indictment was improperly sealed as to him.

The indictment had been sealed not because they were flight risks, but to avoid publicity and because the investigation was ongoing. Simone had been in another trial when the indictment came down and they didn't want to announce it until his trial was over, which was expected to last four months. Simeone was told of the indictment and agreed with the decision to seal it.

I'm not saying this case is similar to Rove's just that if the Government wanted the indictment sealed the court can grant the motion for any number of reasons, including the high media interest in the case and an ongoing investigation. And even though sealed, the government can request an exception to tell the defendant.
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Posted by Garbo 2004 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Mon May 08th 2006, 04:53 AM
US Code (law), not per Part 600 of the DOJ's regulations. (And fed regulations, which you've cited, are not statutes. Federal regs are drafted and adopted by fed agencies. They are not laws passed by Congress. And in this case statute takes precedence over the regulation you've cited.)

An excerpt from the GAO's General Counsel's 2004 letter to Congress on funding the investigation from a special permanent appropriation clarifies that the AG or Acting AG was not limited by Part 600 in the appointment of Fitzgerald, who was appointed pursuant to statute:

Acting Attorney General Comey appointed Special Counsel Fitzgerald under 28 U.S.C. 509, 510 and 515. <16> The Department has relied upon such authority in the past to appoint regulatory independent counsel from outside the government.. In 1994, the Department first determined that it was authorized to finance the activity of a regulatory independent counsel who was appointed from outside the government pursuant to such authority from the permanent indefinite appropriation. We agree with the Department that the same statutory authorities that authorize the Attorney General (or Acting Attorney General) to delegate authority to a U.S. Attorney to investigate and prosecute high ranking government officials are "other law" for the purposes of authorizing the Department to finance the investigation and prosecution from the permanent indefinite appropriation. It should be noted that we have not objected to the use of the permanent indefinite appropriation to fund the expenses of regulatory independent counsels appointed from outside the government pursuant to such authority. <17>

The remaining issue is whether Part 600 can be waived by the Attorney General or acting Attorney General. We examined Part 600 and found it was issued in 1999 to replace the procedures of the expired Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 1994. In our view, Part 600 is not a substantive (legal) limitation on the authority of the Acting Attorney General to delegate departmental functions to Special Counsel Fitzgerald. First, 28 C.F.R. 600.10 states that the regulations are "not intended to, do not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by any person or entity, in any matter, civil, criminal, or administrative." Further, in the supplemental information accompanying the issuance of Part 600, the Department explained that the effective date of the rule did not have to be delayed 30 days after publication because it was not a substantive rule, citing 5 U.S.C. 553(d), 552(a)(1)(D). 64 Fed. Reg. 37038, at 37041 (July 9, 1999).

Finally, the only statute cited as authority for 28 C.F.R. Part 600 that expressly authorizes the Department to issue regulations is 5 U.S.C. 301 (2000). It provides that the head of executive agencies may "prescribe regulations for the government of his department, the conduct of its employees, the distribution and performance of its business, and the custody, use and preservation of its records, papers and property" The power conferred by 5 U.S.C. 301 is administrative and not
legislative. Chrysler Corp. v. Brown , 441 U.S. 281, 309 (1979); United States v. George , 228 U.S. 14, 21-22 (1914). It follows that such regulations governing internal procedures issued under this statute do not have the force and effect of law. See Einhorn v. DeWitt , 618 F. 2d 347 (5th Cir. 1980) (IRS procedural rules issued under 5 U.S.C. 301 governing the internal affairs of the IRS do not have force and effect of law). Thus, 28 C.F.R Part 600 does not act as a substantive limitation on the Attorney General's (or Acting Attorney General's) authority to delegate authority to a U.S. Attorney to serve as a Special Counsel to investigate high ranking government officials and it may be waived. See 60 Comp. Gen. 208, 210 (1981) (an agency could waive its internal guidelines prescribing the specific evidence required to demonstrate a grantee's financial responsibility when the agency was otherwise satisfied that the government's interests were adequately protected). The Department was not limited by 28 C.F.R. Part 600 when it exercised its authority under 28 U.S.C. 508, 509, 510 and 515 and appointed Special Counsel Fitzgerald from within the Department to investigate the alleged unauthorized leak of a CIA employee' identity.

Complete document and footnotes at
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