"And there seemed to be no effort (by addington) to protect Libby--or even Cheney. This became most clear when Fitzgerald started talking about the document on which Cheney mentioned Bush (then crossed it out). Fitzgerald's point was that OVP had stamped a classification that is not really a classification on these documents--Treated as Top Secret/SCI--that is, as Addington explained, not really a classification, "treated as." Pretty damning stuff, catching Cheney and Libby protecting their own deliberations by classifying the hell out of them, inventing new classifications.ew calls the post "The Banality of the Unitary Executive" - lol
And Addington just described this as he had everything else, wandering on in a seemingly endless mumble. He showed no hint of trying to hide this information, no hint of embarrassment that the guy who is, after all, still his boss was trying to pull a fast one to protect his own actions."
"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday he will turn over secret documents detailing the government's domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.
''It's never been the case where we said we would never provide the access,'' Gonzales told reporters.
''We'd obviously be concerned about (how) the public disclosure may jeopardize the national security of our country,'' he said. ''But we're working with the Congress to provide the information that it needs.''"
* justin's out the door at TPMM, g'luck justin.
* amy: "
Doubts Raised over US-Iraq Claim on Najaf Battle
In news from Iraq, there are new doubts about the US and Iraqi claim hundreds of people killed in a battle in Najaf were members of a messianic cult. London Independent correspondent Patrick Cockburn reports the official story could actually be covering up for a massacre. The Iraqi government says it battled members of the “Soldiers of Heaven” who were planning to disrupt the Shiite holy festival of Ashura. But independent reports indicate the fighting actually centered around an entirely different tribe called the Hawatim. According to these accounts, the Hawatim were on their way to the celebrations in Najaf when Iraqi soldiers opened fire -- killing their chief, his wife and their driver. The tribesmen are said to have responded by attacking the Iraqi military checkpoint. Two US soldiers died after their helicopter was struck as it backed the Iraqi forces. The new account has not been verified as Iraqi authorities have barred reporters from speaking to survivors."
Germany Charges 13 US Operatives in CIA Kidnapping* amy:
In Germany, prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for thirteen CIA operatives linked to the kidnapping and torture of the German citizen Khaled el-Masri. Masri was seized along the Serbian-Macedonian border and flown to Afghanistan where he was tortured inside a secret prison. He was released without charge after five months. Masri tried to sue the CIA in federal court but his case was dismissed on grounds a trial could harm national security. The news comes as an Italian court is considering whether to try two dozen US agents over the kidnapping of the Egyptian cleric Abu Omar.
Negroponte: Chavez Threatens Democracy
Back in Washington, Chavez has come under new criticism from National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. On Tuesday, Negroponte said Chavez is a threat to democracy who exports “radical populism.” Negroponte was speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is considering his nomination to become deputy secretary of state.
* NCTimes via tpmm:
"The U.S. attorney's office in San Diego is close to seeking an indictment against Brent Wilkes, a Poway defense contractor whose company received millions of dollars in government contracts after allegedly bribing the now-imprisoned Randy "Duke" Cunningham, two federal officials with intimate knowledge of the case said Tuesday.TBTF?
"I know we are so close," said one official"
"Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, Bush's choice to be the nation's next spy chief, "could face an unusually daunting challenge avoiding ethical entanglements over his decade-long work as a senior vice president for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., the consulting giant with sales of $3.7 billion worldwide."