When Does Dick Cheney Become Merely an Historical Footnote?

Dick Cheney is whining about how Bush didn’t pardon Scooter Libby, calling the Libby conviction a “miscarriage of justice.” The real injustice here is that anyone other than historians are puclishing any of Cheney’s words. Would that Cheney went the way of the Evans-Novak Report, which ceases publication next week.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Dick Cheney is out of office, and already an ugly footnote in history, a man who learned dirty politics and a lust for power early, and then put those values into practice over the last eight years. American history will come to see Dick Cheney as arrogant and as an enemy of the constitution. But for now the media is covering everything Dick Cheney says, though he’s only talking to the few people who are friendly to him for the moment, like William Kristol at the Weekly Standard. So what’s Dick Cheney whining about now? He’s whining that George Bush didn’t give Scooter Libby a pardon. Here’s the scoop from CNNPolitics:

Former President George Bush should have pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney said after stepping down as vice president this week.

“He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush’s decision,” Cheney told Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative Washington magazine.

Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the revelation that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. Bush commuted the sentence, which he called “excessive.” But he did not pardon Libby, much to the aggravation of many influential conservatives.

My view is that Cheney is simply a greedy mother who wants everything his way. Cheney orchestrated the exposure of a CIA agent as an instrument for him to gain politically. Everyone knows that is shameful. Libby got caught lying, and in this country lying to authorities has consequences. Well, Libby didn’t have to pay those consequences because Bush commuted his sentence. Sucks, but what are we going to do. Now Cheney whines because Bush didn’t give Scooter a full pardon?

I suggest Cheney go whine to historians or something. Better yet, go whine to Bob Novak, the big mouth who published the story exposing CIA agent Valerie Plame. Then Cheney will get what he deserves, absolutely zero press, because the Evans-Novak Report is shutting down. There’s something poetic about that timing, just three days into the transformative Presidency of Barack Obama.

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Executive Privilege to Silence McClellan?

Congress may ask Scott McClellan to testify, but what will the effect of that testimony have on the Presidential race in the Fall? Of course, the White House, through Dana Perino, is making noises about preventing such testimony on the basis of “executive privilege.” Isn’t Scotty a private citizen now?


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It’s beginning to look like the attacks from commentators on FauxNews, from people still in the White House, from Rush and his dittoheads, from Karl Rove and Bob Dole. . . it’s beginning to look like these attacks are not going to be enough for the Republicans. The Democrats who run the House, including Reps. Conyers and Wexler, are talking of having Scott McClellan testify before the House about revelations in his book. The White House appears to have something to say about that. But first. . .

What good is Scott McClellan’s testimony going to be? If you really want to get to the bottom of the deception and criminality that has been the routine at the Bush White House, all the testimony in the world from Scott McClellan isn’t going to get you there. But does such testimony have value in relation to the election in November? Surely the Democrats would like the election to be a referendum on the Bush Administration, and hearings would write this story large, though if Scotty doesn’t testify to anything that isn’t in his book, it’s just a ramping up of what’s already out there. On the other side, the GOP attack machine is energized by this story like they haven’t been in the last several months. Is it wise to wake them up? I don’t have the answer to that. But I suppose I’d approach this based on how such hearings starring Scott McClellan would relate to the candidacies of Barack Obama and John McCain.

If the McClellan testimony focuses like a laser on the lead-up to the War in Iraq, and the ways in which the White House made the case through PR and what Scott McClellan calls the “permanent campaign,” then the hearings might just have a bearing on the Presidential race in the Fall. There’s nothing that separates Barack Obama and John McCain more than Obama being against the War in Iraq from its inception and John McCain carrying water for the Bushies on that same subject. Sure, there would be little in the way of testimony directly about John FlipFlopTalker McCain, but America is tired of this war. Still, I’m betting the wingers and independents who were fooled by Bush’s permanent campaigning about the War in Iraq are not likely to take kindly to being reminded that they were so duped. Yeah, I’m unsure whether this testimony would help or not.

Be that as it may, the testimony may not happen, as Dana Perino has left open the door that the White House may bar such testimony on the grounds of Executive Privelege, even though they vetted McClellan’s book on such grounds already. From ThinkProgress (they’ve got video goodness, as usual):

QUESTION: Could the White House block him from testifying, if he wanted to testify? Or how does that work?

PERINO: Conceivably?

QUESTION: Yes.

PERINO: Hypothetically, which I’m not supposed to answer a hypothetical, yes, I think so. The law would allow for that. But by saying that, I’m not suggesting that that’s what would happen or not happen.

I think this is a riot. The White House has already vetted the book on the topic of executive privilege, according to quotes from Perino in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Perino also said White House lawyers routinely had reviewed the book before publication “for any possible classified information or any needs for executive privilege to be asserted.”

“None of them were in this case,” she said, adding, “So we’ve known for a little bit of time that this was coming.”

So it looks like they’ll assert executive privilege just to get this thing off the news. After all, they’ve already vetted everything in McClellan’s book, so what else is there to assert that is “executive privilege.” This seems a whiney excuse to get the whole thing out of the news to me.

Saturday, May 31st, 2008 by Steven Reynolds |

Fair Game, Fair Plame

For some, Valerie Plame will always be fair game.


Commentary By: The Xsociate

Valerie Plame Wilson, whose covert status with the CIA was revealed in 2003 by members of the Bush administration, has a new memoir out today. In the heavily redacted tome, Plame reveals some details of her life with the agency, her efforts to cultivate sources in operations to thwart the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the threats put upon her and her family by her outing. Finally, she says, she is able to tell her side of the story.

But that is not to say that there are no longer those still willing to peddle the various claims made against her and her husband, Joe Wilson. Plame sat down with CBS’ Katie Couric in advance of the book’s release and we are once again treated to examples of why the Beltway media has become so worthy of derision. Here’s a brief exchange from the interview (video here).

COURIC: You never for a moment thought this could potentially jeopardize my career?

PLAME: It’s called –living your cover.’ This had nothing to do with what I was doing. He was part of the debate.

COURIC: But admit it, it comes awfully close to what you were doing, even covertly. I mean, you were trying to ascertain if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He’s writing an article saying –it’s really not valid, this one assertion.’ I mean, can’t you see how those two things might collide and in a very dangerous way?

Couric seems to be suggesting that Plame should have assumed her status with the CIA would be brought into the debate and because she did not heed this bit of conventional Beltway wisdom, is deserving of what she got. Of course in any place other than BushWorld, revealing Plame’s status still remains a crime, one which is considered so egregious that it is punishable by death.

But for the likes of Couric, being outed at the expense of political expediency is to be expected.

Katie, do us a favor. The next time you get that memo from Karl with the subject line “Please read on air”, how’s about you just toss it in the garbage, a place I’m sure you are all too familiar with.

See also Tristero and Christy.

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files)

Monday, October 22nd, 2007 by The Xsociate |

Mr. President…Democracy Is As Democracy Does

When the President characterizes the quest to bring freedom and democracy to the world as the fundamental struggle confronting civilization, I can’t help but think of the Michael Jackson song…the one that says “I’m starting with the man in the mirror”. Mr. President, may I sincerely suggest you take a look?


Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

I like it when a simple situation can provide insight into more complex matters…and a new article in the Washington Post delivers the goods. It has long been thought that the Bush administration has sought to orchestrate events…big and small…for political advantage. In fact, if one has read much of what has been written about Karl Rove since his announced departure, the Bush administration rarely missed an opportunity to exploit an event for partisan gain.

The latest example involves a lawsuit filed by two individuals who were ejected from a Bush event because they wore objectionable clothing that wasn’t favorable to the President. As a byproduct of that lawsuit, the Bush administration was forced to release an instruction manual which details the measures taken to insure that presidential appearances were partisan events…events where protest and dissent were quickly quashed.

In viewing some of the detail contained in that document, one is able to see the degree to which this administration was willing to circumvent opposing views. It also helps explain the concerns that this President has chosen to isolate himself from those who do not share his vision or his views…leaving him unaware of the other relevant arguments and convinced that his thoughts are not only mainstream; they are majority mandates that must be maintained.

Not that they’re worried or anything. But the White House evidently leaves little to chance when it comes to protests within eyesight of the president. As in, it doesn’t want any.

A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of “deterring potential protestors” from President Bush’s public appearances around the country.

Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by “rally squads” stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out.

But that does not mean the White House is against dissent – just so long as the president does not see it. In fact, the manual outlines a specific system for those who disagree with the president to voice their views. It directs the White House advance staff to ask local police “to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in the view of the event site or motorcade route.”

The “Presidential Advance Manual,” dated October 2002 with the stamp “Sensitive – Do Not Copy,” was released under subpoena to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two people arrested for refusing to cover their anti-Bush T-shirts at a Fourth of July speech at the West Virginia State Capitol in 2004.

The manual demonstrates “that the White House has a policy of excluding and/or attempting to squelch dissenting viewpoints from presidential events,” said ACLU lawyer Jonathan Miller. “Individuals should have the right to express their opinion to the president, even if it’s not a favorable one.”

I find it interesting that a man who likes to fashion himself as a champion of freedom and democracy has so little regard for enabling it…when it may take the form of dissent…and therefore not agree with his vision of it. Even more ironic is the fact that the President, just this week, chose to label himself as a dissident. Its difficult to avoid the contradictions.

As to providing insight into more complex matters, I can’t help but wonder what can be discerned about other policies enacted by the White House that have yet to be exposed. I also can’t help but think back to the presidency of Richard Nixon…the last occupant of the Oval Office who had a compulsive streak with regard to those whom he regarded as his opponents.

As I allow myself to explore the possibilities, I find no comfort in my thoughts. Permit me to offer some plausible concerns. There are many. They include the surveillance programs discussed in the NSA scandal and subsequently monitored by the FISA court, issues of torture with regard to enemy combatants, the holding of prisoners in Guantanamo and other unidentified facilities without due process, the possibility that U.S. Attorneys were fired for failing to better serve the partisan goals of the GOP, the institution of signing statements designed to modify legislation which fails to meet with the President’s favor, and the outing of Valerie Plame in order to discredit her husband’s contentions with regards to WMD’s and the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Let’s look at one particular item. With the recent expansion of the surveillance measures allowed under the FISA court…a move the Bush administration argued was essential to combat terrorism…we clearly see an area vulnerable to the abuses of power one might expect from a leader who is obsessed with conformity and who has a history of seeking to silence those who would undermine his message (as evidenced by the “manual”.

Yes, we can all agree that it is important to prevent terrorist attacks…but just this week we saw the Pentagon cancel the TALON program…an anti-terror database used to gather information…information that included the activities of anti-war groups as well as LGBT advocacy organizations…groups clearly unrelated to the purpose underlying the establishment of the program. Again, if abuse exists in this program, what other abuses are taking place that we have yet to uncover?

The questions raised by this and other examples are many and they all center on concerns about the misuse of power. If a president is willing to create a manual to manage and monitor those who attend his public appearances…and such activities typify a mentality prone to pushing the partisan envelope…one must wonder what other measures have been established…or what other legitimate programs have been hijacked in order to carry out other similar activities.

Once one begins to explore this area of thought, another concern emerges…the one that became known as “stonewalling” during the Nixon years…and is now being called “executive privilege” by the Bush administration. Let’s again look at the contradictions.

Here we have a President who has made the exportation of freedom and democracy the flagship of his administration…and at the same time…here at home…he has made it a practice to circumvent both under the guise of national security. Am I alone in seeing the inconsistencies? I struggle to understand a man who would…on the one hand…be willing to risk his legacy upon a doctrine of creating democracies around the world and accepting of the likelihood that history will be unkind in recounting his actions …and then on the other hand, be willing to approach issues of established democratic process at home with such disdain and a seeming disregard for all that he so firmly and fervently espouses.

If he has done no wrong, then no wrong can come from allowing the democratic process to verify as much. In doing so, would he not be demonstrating his commitment to the form of government he insists can bring peace and prosperity to the world? When his actions seem just the opposite, one must view the dissonance with skepticism…all the while looking for a palatable explanation. Stepping back, his actions with regard to public appearances and the creation of a manual offer the necessary blocks upon which to build a reasoned rationale.

The President’s apologists would contend that his actions at home are simply a reasonable response to the partisan proclivities of his detractors which have been designed to cast disfavor on the President and the GOP. In the absence of his unpopular and controversial actions with regard to Iraq, I might accept that argument…an argument that could sensibly conclude that no president should do that which is detrimental to his retention of power…especially if it is part and parcel of a partisan effort to undermine his support.

Unfortunately, this President casts himself as a man of principle and conviction…arguing that while his actions in Iraq may be unpopular with the voting public, they are the right thing to do. Is it logical for a man of this ilk to take a completely opposite approach at home? If democracy is the holy grail for the people of Iraq and other oppressed nations, why subvert it here in the United States? If the President has done no wrong, why not let the democratic process do what it does best…expose truth…and therefore illuminate the promise of a free and open society.

The fact that he hasn’t and the fact that he continues to employ efforts to obstruct and obfuscate serve to invalidate his intentions…leaving objective observers suspicious as to his sincerity. Let me be clear…I’m not suggesting that a President should never refuse to cooperate with Congress…but in looking at the Bush administration it becomes a question of degree. Clearly, this President has made it a matter of practice…a quantitative fact which must be viewed in its proper historical context…leaving one doubtful and disturbed by the persistent patterns.

In the final analysis, the difference between the activities of the Bush administration and those of Richard Nixon are little more than the fact that the Bush administration has had the benefit of a war on terror upon which it has been able to legally piggyback it’s efforts to monitor and manage those who are viewed as opponents. Regardless, the intentions and the abuses which have resulted are no less heinous and no less indicative of a man obsessed with maintaining power and silencing or stifling those who might seek to unseat him.

When the President characterizes the quest to bring freedom and democracy to the world as the fundamental struggle confronting civilization, I can’t help but think of the Michael Jackson song…the one that says “I’m starting with the man in the mirror”. Mr. President, may I sincerely suggest you take a look?

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 by Daniel DiRito |

An Epitaph For Karl Rove

For those of us who have been scapegoated and betrayed by these GOP giants, today’s farewell was little more that a glaring reminder of Gethsemane. As I watched these two men walk towards their waiting helicopter…there to whisk Karl Rove and his political puppet away from the White House…together…for the last time…I had but one epitaph in mind…good riddance Karl Rove!


Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

Epitaphs are typically reserved for the dead…but after reading the many views on the passing of Karl Rove…from his role in the George Bush White House…one might conclude that the “Wicked Witch” has had the misfortune of being under a falling house…one of his own mean spirited making. All that remains is to find the correct words for a fitting close.

Ironically, what looked at one point to be an invincible house…a virtual dynasty devised to withstand all efforts to bring about its demise…has seemingly crumbled under the weight of far too many cards dealt by a master of sleight of hand and an illusionist who was one rabbit shy of completing his final hat trick…perpetual GOP domination. In what one might call Mr. Rove’s house of mirrors, at some point the image that reflected back undoubtedly transformed the once invincible domicile into a house of horrors that became far too frightening to endure.

Unlike the great Houdini, who went on with the show even after receiving what would be his final and fatal blow, Karl Rove has chosen to make his escape…an escape more fitting of the resident church mouse…the one that inhabits the dark corners and travels from room to room…not out in the open…but in quiet calculating silence inside the walls…mindful of the smoldering infrastructure and the pending collapse of a metaphorical electrical grid that the ravenous rodent himself has stripped of its essential sheathing.

Karl Rove made a practice of sinking his self-aggrandizing and savaging teeth into any and all who stood between the weasel and the White House…and once he was able to inhabit its hallowed walls…walls he made hollow…he continued his drive to divide, defeat, and devour.

When I read the gratuitous remarks of his apologists…men like Peter Wehner…who not only wax on about the political genius of Karl Rove, but seek to paint him as “a deeply wonderful human being”, I am sickened at the apparent shortsightedness of these sheltered scions of society.

Karl Rove never met a man or a constituent group he didn’t seek to exploit for political gain…and as best I can tell, his scorched earth approach rarely, if ever, left him wondering about the welfare of the many innocent individuals that may have been consumed in the carnage he created with calloused and cunning calculations.

Mr. Wehner makes the mistake of many who live with the promise of privilege…those who have neither built the trough at which they feed nor done the hard work to harvest the feast that fills it…they stand shoulder to shoulder with other gluttonous and greedy purveyors of pain…sopping up the spoils while pushing the powerless under the proverbial bus. Pardon my disgust, but fine men aren’t made by driving on and over others.

While Karl Rove and his cronies see themselves as king makers, they climbed the pole of power on the backs of those they sought to sacrifice. His legacy of unleashing hatred upon homosexuals in order to herd the holier than thou hoards into the ballot box may be his hallmark…but calling him an honorable human being is simply another symbol of the corrupted Christian cacophony he sought to coerce.

While George Bush and Karl Rove gathered this morning in the glorious garden to exchange their eisegesistic epistles intended to honor the end or an era, millions of Americans continued to mourn the moment these men managed to maneuver and morph themselves into mythical moralists.

For those of us who have been scapegoated and betrayed by these GOP giants, today’s farewell was little more than a glaring reminder of Gethsemane. As I watched these two men walk towards their waiting helicopter…there to whisk Karl Rove and his political puppet away from the White House…together…for the last time…I had but one epitaph in mind…good riddance Karl Rove!

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Monday, August 13th, 2007 by Daniel DiRito |

Genarlow Wilson: GOP DA Distributing Kiddie Porn?

The Genarlow Wilson case got stranger a couple of days ago.
As a refresher, Wilson was prosecuted in a Georgia court for engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl when he was 17. If I remember my adolescence (and, I freely admit that those times are quite a distance in my [...]

Commentary By: Richard Blair

The Genarlow Wilson case got stranger a couple of days ago.

As a refresher, Wilson was prosecuted in a Georgia court for engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl when he was 17. If I remember my adolescence (and, I freely admit that those times are quite a distance in my rearview mirror) this isn’t a particularly dramatic violation of social mores. Teens have sex. But what the kids in my day didn’t have were cheap digital video recorders to film an entire party.

David McDadeThe Republican DA who prosecuted the case, David McDade, has now released 35 copies of a video showing Wilson engaged in the sex act. The video was the primary evidence used to convict the young horn dog Wilson. Interestingly enough, the act that Wilson engaged in was a felony at the time he was charged (ergo, the 10 year sentence he received), but has subsequently been downgraded to a misdemeanor by the Georgia state legislature. Never-the-less, even though a judge ordered Wilson freed in early June, Wilson remains in jail because DA McDade appealed the ruling to the Georgia State Supreme Court.

When Scooter Libby’s sentence was commuted, Genarlow Wilson became a bit of a cause celeb in Left Blogistan, the thinking being: if George Bush could commute the sentence of a true evil-doer, certainly, he could commute the sentence of a young man doing excessive time for a victimless crime.

Well, to make a long story short, we know what the chances are of that happening.

But in a bizarre twist, in releasing the video, GOP DA McDade may have cost himself his job (at a minimum) and may be facing charges of distributing kiddie porn. While Wilson was “of age of consent” at the time the video was taken, the young woman was not. So, whether or not she consented to the act itself, she was still a minor, and McDade has released a sex video of a minor into the wild (or surely, it will make it into the YouTube wild eventually). Ergo, there are those who are calling for his resignation, and for kiddie porn distribution charges to be brought against him:

Douglas County District Attorney David McDade violated federal law when he distributed a videotape from a rape and child molestation case to legislators and journalists, the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta said Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a statement that federal law prohibits the distribution of the Genarlow Wilson videotape because it depicts minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He warned that people who had received it would be in violation of federal child pornography laws…

I see it a bit differently. In my opinion, the release of the video was done as an act of pure GOP malice, to blunt the comparisons of the Libby and Wilson cases. As I noted, when Libby’s sentence was commuted, Wilson’s became an example of overzealous prosecutors and unreasonable sentences – almost the same excuse that George Bush used to give Scooter a “get out of jail free” card. Wilson had even served time (unlike Libby). Why do I say “GOP malice”?

When the comparisons between the Libby and Wilson cases started to get some traction online and in the media, it’s not a stretch to believe that someone in the Bush regime contacted someone in the Georgia GOP organization, and started sniffing around for something to make the “jailed honor student” and “youthful indiscretion” story go away. (Did I mention that Wilson is black?) So, GOP DA McDade had this great “mandingo” video of Wilson, and either offered it up or was directed by someone to release it in response to a media request. And voila – the specter of the over sexed black man is tossed into the public domain once again. Kind of a reverse Willie Horton, if you want to look at it that way.

It’s clear that McDade didn’t have to release the video. A simple motion could have been filed to seal the video because it contained graphic images of a minor. But no. Once someone like Al Sharpton started making comparisons between Scooter and Genarlow Wilson, it would have been very important for the GOP to rush copies of this video into production in order to discredit Wilson from a moral perspective. The bottom line is that a Republican District Attorney, an officer of the court and an officer of the law, either just didn’t think or made the distribution of the video at someone else’s request.

After doing a bit of research on the case, it seems pretty clear to me that the release of the video was premeditated and well-considered, for reasons that had nothing to do with a media request.

Georgians should be clamoring for McDade’s resignation today, and investigation into the circumstances of release of the video. And then, if warranted, child porn distribution charges should be filed against him. Since McDade has a history of being a strict “law-and-order” type of DA, and wouldn’t give anyone else the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he shouldn’t receive such a benefit either.

Update: I diaried this story at Daily Kos, and one commenter brought up an excellent point:

He may have been legal to have sex, but not to appear in the tape. Federal law and most states have defined minor as 18 yrs of age with respect to child porn images. So Wilson, and anyone else under 18 in the footage is considered a victim, under federal law. Someone will have to check Georgia law to see if it’s the same as federal law.

Everyone in receipt of the tape, with knowledge of its content, are subject to federal indictment, as is McDade and those who conspired with him. This conduct reveals the hypocrital position most GOPers have on this and other issues. Child safety is only important to the point it can’t be used to retaliate against an opponent or to support an agenda. And if I’m not mistaken, the victims could sue under “Masha’s Law”, who is also from Georgia…

“Masha’s Law” was introduced last year by GOP congressman Phil Gingrey (R-Ga). It was attached to H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Does that sound familiar? It should.

So, by Masha’s Law, could Genarlow Wilson sue the pants off of Douglas County, Ga. because he was a minor at the time the video was taken? I’m not a lawyer, and don’t play one on TV, but I think there’s a case – and it would probably be settled out of court – at which point, a further civil case could probably proceed against McDade by all parties in the video. This could get very interesting, indeed.

Strange case factoid: The name of Wilson’s attorney in the oral sex case against him is B.J. Bernstein. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

Saturday, July 14th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Plame: Did Bush Know?

Since the time that Valerie Wilson Plame was outted as a CIA operative, it’™s been clear to anyone paying attention that the Bush regime was digging hard and deep to cover up their involvement. Whether it was Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, or whoever committed the original leaking sin, the question is and remains, who [...]

/wp/

Since the time that Valerie Wilson Plame was outted as a CIA operative, it’™s been clear to anyone paying attention that the Bush regime was digging hard and deep to cover up their involvement. Whether it was Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, or whoever committed the original leaking sin, the question is and remains, who knew and who put Plame’™s name into play?

These questions have been receiving new scrutiny as Libby’™s defense lawyer tries to get his client off the hook. The old saying goes, ‘œthere’™s no honor among thieves’, and it’™s looking more and more like there were a lot of thieves involved in the retribution against former ambassador Joe Wilson’™s debunking of the regime’™s Iraq nuclear nightmare scenario.

Dick Cheney kept some notes – or at least, his staff missed shredding some of them when federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald started the investigation into who blew Plame’™s cover and endangered or stopped some important work in progress. One of the notes has emerged in Libby’™s trial, and on the face of it, the note seems to implicate knowledge on the part of the White House, if not George Bush himself.

TruthOut breaks down Cheney’™s note (and implications of the note) in an article published this afternoon:

‘¦But Cheney’™s notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby’™s perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush’™s vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame’™s undercover role with the CIA?

Further, the highly explicit nature of Cheney’™s comments not only hints at a rift between Cheney and Bush over what Cheney felt was the scapegoating of Libby, but also raises serious questions about potentially criminal actions by Bush. If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby’™s lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush’¦

Many moons ago, I opined that Watergate started from a much smaller incident than the Plame affair. A seemingly insignificant scribble on the (for all intents and purposes) back of a napkin could have major implications down the road for the regime. I have little doubt that much more will be revealed in the coming days regarding the Bush regime’™s involvement in a federal crime and coverup of the crime.

I’™m starting to get the feeling that Patrick Fitzgerald hasn’™t yet dropped the last shoe in this case. This could get really good.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

In Search Of Memories Lost…

‘¦ Libby’™s defense team hires a hypnotist.

Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’™s former chief of staff, has hired a renowned memory-loss expert to assist him with his legal defense. Harvard psychology professor Daniel L. Schacter tells NBC News he has been retained by Libby as a consultant. An official familiar with the Libby defense [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

‘¦ Libby’™s defense team hires a hypnotist.

Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’™s former chief of staff, has hired a renowned memory-loss expert to assist him with his legal defense. Harvard psychology professor Daniel L. Schacter tells NBC News he has been retained by Libby as a consultant. An official familiar with the Libby defense team confirms the news.

Schacter, who has been at Harvard since 1991 and who has a 29-page resume, is the author of ‘œThe Seven Sins of Memory’ and ‘œSearching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind and the Past.’ His books offer explanations for the ‘œvulnerability of memory.’ Schacter writes that if we are distracted as an event unfolds, ‘œwe may later have great difficulty remembering the details of what happened.’ Time, of course, often weakens our memory. And, he writes, it is easy to ‘œunwittingly create mistaken ‘” though strongly held ‘” beliefs about the past.’

Libby’™s lawyers hinted in court filings last week that memory loss will be ‘œcentral themes’ of Libby’™s defense. Libby’™s lawyers write: ‘œ’¦any misstatements he made during his FBI interviews or grand jury testimony were not intentional, but rather the result of confusion, mistake or faulty memory.’

The CRS** defense.

**Can’™t Remember Shit

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

Libby – The Tip of the Iceberg

One thing we can all be certain of – I. Lewis Libby’™s involvement in TreasonGate is but ice shavings on the very top of a large iceberg. For months now, speculation has run rampant that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is making a much larger case – in fact, yesterday he went out of [...]

/wp/

One thing we can all be certain of – I. Lewis Libby’™s involvement in TreasonGate is but ice shavings on the very top of a large iceberg. For months now, speculation has run rampant that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is making a much larger case – in fact, yesterday he went out of his way to a) confirm that notion, and b) establish some borders around his continuing investigation.

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times wraps up yesterday’™s events in a very tight column this morning. It’™s well worth a read, and gives a sense of the direction that Fitzgerald’™s new grand jury will be moving. For all intents and purposes, it seems like he hasn’™t even presented an argument yet for whether national security was compromised in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

With a day worth of introspection now behind me, it’™s just a bit disturbing that it’™s taken so long to develop the ‘œnational security’ aspect of the case. To a layman such as myself, it would seem that this angle would be the easiest to confirm (just ask the CIA about Brewster Jennings, fer chrissakes), but perhaps the most sensitive to deal within an open court proceeding.

But then, ‘œopen court’ proceedings are not always necessary in national security cases. Just ask Sibel Edmonds.

Update, 12:30PM: This is floating around on several blogs today, but apparently (even this far into the investigation) the CIA has not yet conducted a formal damage assessment of operations compromised by TreasonGate. Back to you, Porter.

Saturday, October 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: TreasonGate

Judy Miller Cracks

Breaking news’¦Judy Miller walks’¦agrees to testify in the Plame investigation.

What a blockbuster week this has been. What’™s Friday gonna bring?

/wp/

Breaking news’¦Judy Miller walks’¦agrees to testify in the Plame investigation.

What a blockbuster week this has been. What’™s Friday gonna bring?

Thursday, September 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: TreasonGate
Next Page »