Wednesday, April 25, 2007

protect them from their enemies

* Josh:
"In the Roman Republic, particularly in its last century or so, as the system slid out of control, there was a key interplay between absolute power and legal vulnerability at the center of the political system. A consul had near limitless powers during their one year in office. But if they offended too many people during their term, they could be prosecuted for their acts once they left office.

So as they readied to leave office, consuls would try secure positions or dispensations that would protect them from their enemies.

Our system is different of course. But not altogether so. So as these various investigations move forward -- how are Al Gonzales and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and a lot of other people ... what arrangements are they making for their safety and immunity after January 2009? Immunity from prosecution in the US? Abroad? We should pay close attention to the details of legislation the White House puts forward over the next eighteen months. You may not be thinking about this issue. But they are."

* mcclatchy:
"WASHINGTON - In a burst of activity over the last eight days, FBI agents and federal prosecutors have won a guilty plea from a former congressional aide, implicated two more House of Representatives members and put the scandal surrounding onetime super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's influence-peddling back into the headlines.

The pace of the inquiry, which now has bagged a veteran congressman, a deputy Cabinet secretary, a White House aide and eight others, appears to be accelerating.

And it portends to be a major new headache for the Bush administration and congressional Republicans still reeling from a furor over the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. attorneys and from last fall's election, which put Democrats back in command on Capitol Hill.

The newest figure to face serious FBI scrutiny is Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., who said bureau agents have asked for details of a 2003 golf trip to Scotland that he took with Abramoff - a trip that the House ethics committee recently found violated House rules."

* everyone was excited, briefly when they heard that the OSC was investigating karl. The OSC is a bunch of hacks, and scott bloch one of the evilest. people are know aware of this. CREW (for example):
"The fact that OSC has been charged with handling these matters suggests the possibility that the White House is orchestrating a cover-up of its illegal and improper activities.

Bloch has come under widespread criticism for his gross mismanagement and politicization of the office. Bloch is currently under investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for his mistreatment of career appointees, who have alleged the exact kind of retaliation that OSC is designed to investigate. OSC employees have alleged that Bloch has tossed out legitimate whistleblower cases to reduce the office backlog. The probe into Bloch’s conduct has been stymied by the fear of OSC staff that speaking to investigators will result in reprisal. "

... Cannon has a different take:
"OSC head Scott Bloch is a "loyal Bushie" -- a homophobic hack who considers whistleblowing a sin. If the automatons at OSC are now active, someone must have activated them. Someone told Bloch Do this, and Bloch replied: It shall be done.

It's a thought so lovely that one can hardly bring oneself to think it: Has someone in the White House finally decided that Karl must go? The obvious suspect here would be Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten or his Deputy.
If the Republicans are to have any chance of a win in '08, the Bushies must at least pretend to clean house. There must be a scapegoat, or perhaps a scape-cabal, a designated bad guy or group of bad guys who can be blamed for everything that went wrong. "The problem was not the Republican Party; the problem was Person X. And maybe Person Y. And now Person X and Person Y are gone. Everything will be better from now on. We promise."

The fall of Rove. Dare I dream it? Do I delude myself? Or can such a thing actually occur?"
ftr - some of my favourite people hate scott bloch.


profmarcus said...

actually, what makes the osc investigation even more interesting is that it was launched on a complaint from david iglesias, the dumped new mexico u.s. attorney...

Anonymous said...

On Bush being Bin Laden's ally, you really must read Imperial Hubris by Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

This came up:

"...what arrangements are they making for their safety and immunity after January 2009? Immunity from prosecution in the US? Abroad? We should pay close attention to the details of legislation the White House puts forward over the next eighteen months. You may not be thinking about this issue. But they are."

I thought they have already been working on these issues. They have passed legislation making soldiers and others immune to prosecution for commiting crimes against international legislation including geneva convention crimes.

See discussion here:

Where we hear back in 2006:

"The recent US Supreme Court decision in Hamdan removed a potential defense from war crimes prosecution that the Bush team had been relying upon. So now the Decider is quietly changing this US law to exempt himself and other officials from criminal prosecutions that may not occur until the next administration."

And here:

Where we hear the same...

"...The Bush Administration’s real agenda likely has at least three goals: first, to allow CIA interrogators to continue to engage in “soft torture,” so long as it doesn’t “shock the conscience”; second, to provide immunity for all those interrogators, civilian and military, who committed outrages upon detainees’ personal dignity and engaged in humiliating and degrading treatment in the past few years; and third, to give congressionally-granted immunity to senior Bush Administration officials for their having encouraged field operatives to inflict degrading treatment and outright torture in the past."

The same here:

and here:

...where we are told that the Bush people have not just recently been preparing for their post-Bush admin retirement immunity, but they started out making such arrangements...

(by Karen Greenburg on Tomdispatch)

"...the administration confessional was open for business within weeks of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. It could be found wrapped in persistent assertions of immunity, assertions that none of their acts to come could ever be brought before the bar of justice or the oversight of anyone. The first of these documents was issued on September 25th, 2001. Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, writing for the Office of Legal Counsel, laid out the reasons for the President of the United States to assume broad executive powers in the war on terror. The last footnote of the memo declared, "In the exercise of his plenary power to use military force, the President's decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable."

This notion of unreviewable behavior, then still buried in the land of footnotes, has characterized the administration's general stance on its war on terror policies. On January 9th, 2002, just as Guantanamo opened for business as a detention facility supposedly beyond the review of American courts, John Yoo and fellow Office of Legal Counsel member Robert Delahunty explained why a breach with international law would not constitute a crime for the Bush administration. In their secret memo, the United States, through the Justice Department, was to exempt itself ahead of time from the laws it was about to break. In essence, it was to give itself the equivalent of a hall pass for future illegal activities in the new policies and practices of detention."

Anonymous said...

Holy Moly, Steve Andresen. I knew it was horrid but this is a kick in the head.

lukery said...

Prof - thnx for that. I'm still trying to understand how all that fits together. EW has been trying to unravel it - and i suspect she will...

Kax - I'm never quite sure what to make of Scheuer

SteveA - thanks for that - FP'd

Anonymous said...

One thing to make of Scheuer is that Bin Laden and Al Quaeda are CIA.

Anonymous said...

Kax-- They are. "Al Qaeda" is a C.I.A. sock puppet. Why do you think "Al Qaeda" tapes always seem to surface whenever the Cheney administration needs a boost or when they feel they can use it to make political hay out of it? Remember the "bin Laden" tape released on the eve of the 2004 presidential "election"? It basically said "Vote for Kerry, Al Qaeda feels you'd be better off with a Democrat in the White House". Come on now.

lukery said...

E - sometimes i think that rather than AlQ being CIA, AlQ might not even effectively exist.

Anonymous said...


I never doubted that Al Qaeda was/is CIA. For those who do doubt it, Imperial Hubris makes quite a convincing case.

Anonymous said...

Lukery- I tend to think Al Qaeda exists however is a C.I.A. puppet, but is very small. I think Al Qaeda is to the C.I.A. what Jemaah Islamiya and Laskar Jihad (and the faction of the Free Aceh movement, M.P.-G.A.M., that split from G.A.M.) are to Indonesian intelligence, what K.M.M. is to Malaysian intelligence, what Abu Sayyaf is to Philippine intelligence, what T.A.K. is to Turkish intelligence etc.