Emptywheel

Obama Administration Considers Hiding Details of CIA Torture

Just to lay out a few details based on this article explaining that Obama continues to waver on what parts of the 2005 Bradbury torture memos to reveal. (h/t Steve)

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Who Watched the 92 Torture Tapes Before the CIA Had Them Destroyed?

[Editor's note: For more on this story click here.]

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Republicans On Why They Hate Unions

If you need any more proof that the Republican attempt to break the UAW a week ago Thursday was really just a political stunt, read this article. In it, Republican after Republican attacks Bush for providing relief to the auto industry. That includes four of the Republican Senators who--Bob Corker has assured us--would have supported his "compromise" deal from last Thursday:

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A Look at the Auto Bridge Loan Plan

Here's a copy of the draft plan. It closely resembles what we've been hearing: the designation of an "auto czar" (AC--though it is called a President's Designee) who will dispense funds to those auto companies that need it, with the requirement that by March 31, the companies restructure with the oversight of the AC. The AC is empowered to assist in negotiations with retirees, unions, dealers, and creditors right now, but can come back to Congress and ask for more authority if need be (presumably, in case this person had to make bankruptcy court type decisions). The taxpayers get warrants and or a piece of Cerberus in exchange for their trouble.

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Lieberman to Lose His Committee Chairmanship?

Gosh, you think this is why Sanctimonious Joe got all complimentary of Obama the other day?

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Mukasey Will Not Prosecute Bush Officials Who Politicized DOJ

In May of last year, I questioned whether, after Monica Goodling won immunity, we'd get anything from giving her immunity.

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What Is Michael Mukasey Helping Dick Cheney to Cover Up?


Never mind. I know the answer. Attorney General Mukasey is helping Cheney and Bush hide the fact that they played insta-declassification games that may have--though they'll never tell--included leaking Valerie Wilson's identity.


Apparently, DOJ responded to Waxman's subpoena for the Bush and Cheney interview reports by telling Waxman to go fuck himself (h/t WO).

On June 16,2008, having been informed in writing by the Justice Department that it would not produce the interview reports of the President and Vice President, the Committee issued a subpoena for those interview reports, as well as other responsive documents not previously produced, with a return date of June23,2008. On June 24,2008, the Justice Department informed the Committee by letter that it would not comply with the subpoena and would not "provide or make available any reports of interviews with the President or the Vice President from the leak investigation."

Waxman Closing in on Dick Cheney for Outing Valerie Wilson


Henry Waxman noted the same thing that I did about Scottie McClellan's book. He noticed that Scottie McC's book sure came close to saying Dick Cheney and George Bush were personally involved in the outing of Valerie Wilson.

New revelations by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan raise additional questions about the actions of the President and the Vice President. Mr. McClellan has stated that "[t]he President and Vice President directed me to go out there and exonerate Scooter Libby." He has also asserted that "the top White House officials who knew the truth - including Rove, Libby, and possibly Vice President Cheney - allowed me, even encouraged me, to repeat a lie." It would be a major breach of trust if the Vice President personally directed Mr. McClellan to mislead the public.

Now, I've been quietly trying to find out whether or not Michael Muksaey had handed over Bush and Cheney's interview transcripts to Henry Waxman. Seeing as how he's asking again, I'd say the answer's no.

On December 3, 2007, I wrote to request that you arrange for the production of documents relating to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson, including copies of FBI interview reports of White House officials. I appreciate that you have since made redacted versions of the interview reports of Karl Rove, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and other senior White House officials available to the Committee.


I am writing now to renew the Committee’s request for the interview reports with President Bush and Vice President Cheney and to request unredacted versions of the interviews with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, and Cathie Martin. I also request that the Department provide all other responsive documents that were approved for release to the Committee by Mr. Fitzgerald. [my emphasis]

And in the remainder of Waxman's letter, he makes it clear that doing anything less than turning this information over to Waxman's committee is a deliberate attempt to cover up the fact that Dick Cheney outed Valerie Plame, with Bush's involvement.

Did George Bush Authorize Plame Leak?


Scottie McC doesn't know it yet. But that's basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show (h/t Rayne).



During the interview, Scottie revealed the two things that really pissed him off with the Bush Administration. First, being set up to lie by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. And second, learning that Bush had--himself--authorized the selective leaking of the NIE.

Scottie McC: But the other defining moment was in early April 2006, when I learned that the President had secretly declassified the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq for the Vice President and Scooter Libby to anonymously disclose to reporters. And we had been out there talking about how seriously the President took the selective leaking of classified information. And here we were, learning that the President had authorized the very same thing we had criticized.


Viera: Did you talk to the President and say why are you doing this?


Scottie McC: Actually, I did. I talked about the conversation we had. I walked onto Air Force One, it was right after an event we had, it was down in the south, I believe it was North Carolina. And I walk onto Air Force One and a reporter had yelled a question to the President trying to ask him a question about this revelation that had come out during the legal proceedings. The revelation was that it was the President who had authorized, or, enable Scooter Libby to go out there and talk about this information. And I told the President that that's what the reporter was asking. He was saying that you, yourself, was the one that authorized the leaking of this information. And he said "yeah, I did." And I was kinda taken aback.

Now, for the most part, this is not new. We have known (since I first reported it here) that Scooter Libby testified that, after Libby told Dick Cheney he couldn't leak the information Cheney had ordered him to leak to Judy Miller because it was classified, Cheney told Libby he had gotten the President to authorize the declassification of that information.


Thus far, though, we only had Dick Cheney's word that he had actually asked Bush to declassify this information. We didn't have Bush's confirmation that he had actually declassified the information. In fact, we've had Dick Cheney's claims that he--Dick--had insta-declassified via his super secret pixie dust declassification powers.





Now, though Scottie refers, obliquely, to "this information," he explicitly refers only to the NIE. But as I've described over and over again, it's not just the NIE Bush authorized Dick to order Libby to leak.
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