Monday, April 23, 2007

did Larry Franklin slip through the cracks?

* Liz De La Vega (thnx Mr U):
"Certainly, Gonzales is unfit to be the nation's chief law enforcement officer. We knew that before he testified on April 19. We knew that before he was even confirmed. No one who signs off on tortured legal memos authorizing torture, kidnapping and illegal detentions is fit to be the attorney general of the United States. But the departure of Alberto Gonzales will not right the listing ship that is the Justice Department.

Why? Because the problem with Alberto is that Alberto is only part of the problem.

The real problem with the Bush administration's Department of Justice right now is that it is run by the Bush administration. Gonzales's Justice Department is the Bush administration's Justice Department. Therefore, Gonzales's story about the US attorneys scandal is the Bush administration's story. And even though the Bush White House has come up with some fabulous tales over the past six years, this one is a corker: Amazingly - the White House would have you believe - the list of US attorneys who should be "pushed out" was spontaneously generated without the benefit of human agency! Can you believe it??
Most important, however, no one should be fooled into thinking that shoving Alberto Gonzales into the drink will get the Department of Justice back on course. The Department of Justice, like the Department of Defense, the Department of State and every other agency of the federal government, has lost its way because of the motley crew that is commanding the entire fleet: Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, in no particular order."
De La Vega also lets us in on this little secret:
For cases involving public figures, the US Attorney's Manual requires that "appropriate officials, including the assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, the associate attorney general, the deputy attorney general and the attorney general" be advised of the initiation of any case "in which public figures or entities are subjects of the investigation." Bottom line? The attorney general is notified immediately, not just when charges are brought in a public corruption case, but when the file is opened and every time that any activity, even procedural, occurs in the case. It was precisely such an Urgent Report that former San Diego US Attorney Carol Lam used to notify the Attorney General's Office on May 10, 2006 that search warrants were going to be conducted in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham case. The next day, of course, was when Alberto Gonzales's top aide wrote an email talking about the "very real problem we have right now" with Carol Lam.
The gazillion dollar question: how and why did Larry Franklin slip through the cracks?

1 comment:

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Damn it, I made a comment for this which reflected a couple hours' work, and it's gone. It was Juan Cole vs. Michael Ledeen. I just lost another one on a post below.

The question is what happened to the criminal investigation of whether or not Franklin leaked U.S. intelligence on Iran to AIPAC. Cole says someone at the Pentagon realized people throughout the ranks could be implicated, so they leaked news of the investigation, thereby giving notice to testimony prospects to shut up and shred everything.

Revealing the existence of or details about a criminal investigation is itself a crime. My rudimentary search didn't show a clear culprit.

Ledeen's article joked around about how such things don't happen, especially not in restaurants, but if it did happen it was informal and friendly, and doesn't matter. Besides, wouldn't Franklin have gone down if they'd had the goods on him?

Prosecutors will invariably dump any investigation that is publicly disclosed, not only because it's prejudicial but also because it becomes impossible to get people to testify and produce evidence. It's a clever but chickenshit strategy, and there was probably no pressure to penalize the leaker. I didn't save the links and it's too close to bedtime. Just my opinion. I lost another cool link and can't remember what it was, but am curious to know if anyone will comment to my comment here. (Robert seems to like it.)