Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Obstruction of justice: White House dissuading DoJ from investigating contracts supporting unlawful wars

Update: 26 July 2005

Schumer's 2003 letter and 2003 request didn't factor in a 67-day delay.

There are many opportunities for obstruction of justice. With this delay I'm not convinced government property has been protected. [ Title 18 ]

What was done to delay DoJ action, where they have a clear statory requirement to act?

Quote: "Department of Justice investigative agencies will promptly notify the appropriate Department of Defense investigative agency . . . "Ref

What types of delay was there in communicating the information to a criminal investigator?
For the statute to be violated there is no requirement that an investigation be underway. United States v. Leisure, 844 F.2d at 1364. But cf. United States v. Van Engel, 15 F.3d 623, 627 (7th Cir. 1993) The requirement is only that there is an obstruction of a communication to a criminal investigator. United States v. Lippman, 492 F.2d at 317. The scienter requirement is satisfied by showing that the defendant had a reasonably founded belief that information had been or was about to be given. United States v. Abrams, 543 F. Supp. 1184 (S.D.N.Y. 1982).Ref

67-day delay: Broadens scope of grand jury investigation into obstruction of justice

Has the grand jury directed the FBI to target the President and Vice President for their alleged role in obstructing the Plame investigation and timely notifying to the DoJ criminal investigators?

Did the White House, White House counsel, DoJ Attorney General, or others within DoJ delay notifying this matter to criminal investigators within DoD, NSA and/or CIA?

Has the alleged Rove-White House-RNC smear effort against the CIA witness been compared to 18 U.S.C. § 241?

How do the apparent inconsistent statements betweeen Cooper, Rove, and Libby before the grand jury square with 18 U.S.C. § 1001?


The investigation broadens. Who in the White House:

  • A. put pressure on DoD to continue spending money for unlawful purposes; and

  • B. dissuaded criminal investigators from gathering contract-evidence related to these unlawful wars?

    It looks like Fitgerald knows.

    It appears the White House pressure on NOCs extends to intimidation efforts to dissuade FBI agents from looking into DoD contracts related to unlawful wars and war crimes.

    Will Congress put pressure on DoD to respond to reasonable FBI concerns about war crimes and the apparent obstruction of justice?


    It's been almost 2.5 years since the US launched formal combat operations in Iraq; and more than 3 years since the actual ramp up to the war started.

    However, there is one problem. The Downing Street Memo shows the war has no legal foundation.

    Thus, we are left with a curious quandary: What else is Fitzgerald looking into?

    Surely, given there has been smearing against CIA NOCs to keep them silent about reality, we might also inquire into who within DoD has been threatened to be quiet about the war crimes contracts that have been issued.

    Moreover, we have yet to understand what pressure the White House has put on FBI investigators from examining DoD documents showing that contracts were issues to support unlawful wars despite those personnel knowing the war had no legal foundation.

    Notice what Fitzpatrick has done. He took evidence. Got statements. And now is showing us that, in fact, Rove did review documents showing that the State Department did mention that Plame's identify was classified.

    Thus, it would be prudent to ask: What other documents exist that DoJ has been denied; and once they surface, how will they show the pattern of misconduct is larger?

    My concerns

    At this juncture, I am not happy that DoD continues spending money on what is unlawful. The Geneva Conventions clearly state what is unlawful: Attacking a sovereign nation where there is no imminent threat.

    The Downing Street Memo shows the war has no legal foundation. Thus, we have to ask ourselves: If there is no legal foundation, who in DoD that was privy to these "Downing Street Memos" continued to spend money despite there being no lawful foundation?

    That's where the budget documents come in. Those documents are signed off. They get approved. And in the end, the money is ultimately spent by the President.

    However, once the President submits that budget to Congress, it becomes the national budget.

    But just because Congress "approves" the budget, it doesn't mean that the Congress is saying, "Do what you want."

    Rather, the money may only be spent on lawful purposes.

    So I want to know: Who created the budget documents sent to Congress that knew this budget appropriation was for a war that was not lawful?

    I think Fitzgerald knows. And I suspect there are someone people in the White House who know exactly what kind of trick they are in.

    Because now that we have a reasonable basis to conclude that Fitzgerald is going to file perjury charges against Libby and Rove, we now have to take a step back.

    What will this do for the White House?

    Well, Fitzpatrick likely knows the bigger prize: Truth.

    And the deal could be this: Less charges in exchange for information.

    Or the deal could be this: If you didn't cooperate [as you have already shown you have not done], then your perjured testimony will be introduced as evidence to impeach you as a witness in the ongoing investigation into war crimes.

    So the issue before Fitzgerald could be exactly what is most needed: If Rove and Libby have proven themselves to be unreliable . . .Where would this "known veracity problem" be used to trip up DoD and expose those in the White House who knew the war was not lawful, but submitted the budget documents to Congress?

    Fitzgerald is doing what Congress should have done: Reviewed facts and evidence.

    Has it come to this: Where all information out of the White House has to be examined by criminal investigations? Yes.

    Do all statements the White House personnel make have to be second guessed? Yes.

    Does the Justice Department have to use the threat of jail time to get the truth? Yes.

    That is not a government. That is a criminal enterprise.

    Let's call this White House what it is: A mafia that has no plans on being accountable to the rule of law unless compelled.

    Congress seems to enjoy mafias. It likes them. It is a distraction from their incompetence.

    It remains to be understood how many in the RNC leadership and Congressional leadership have known the money was being appropriate for unlawful purposes but have assisted the criminals by obstructing lawful investigations.

    Let the world know: Congress is broken. The only thing keeping this government in check is Fitzgerald.

    Congress has it's place full

    How did we get into this mess?

    It was fabricated information. And debates that were shut off.

    It was a desire to take action, regardless reality.

    It was a fixing of facts to justify an outcome.

    But it has all come undone.

    And now the coverup continues. But it too is coming undone.

    The issue before us is, regardless the short term accountability issues, what is to be done before Congress.

    How is the American Congress going to move forward?

    I hate to think that the "way forward" is to keep doing what we've been seeing: Whitewashing investigations, justifying outcomes based on the images not reality.

    This is a common pattern. And it needs to be corrected.

    Some talk about the "way forward" or "who is more qualified" to do the job.

    It's actually not all that hard. For all things that are in motion can be stopped; and all things, before they start, have to have a decision.

    So why is there not a "down day" for Congress?

    Why is there not a "time for reflection" on your ethics?

    Why is the leadership continuing with the pace of things?

    We look to DoD. What do they do when faced with credible evidence their recruiters are encouraging teens to violate the law, fake records, or take drugs to pass drug tests?

    DoD had a stand down.

    I don't know what to say for Congress. It's like this huge behemoth of people that goes along its merry way, complaining about this and that, but I ask you: what's going to be done about this non-sense.

    Let's get serious. America has a legislature that is based on debate.

    We've seen that the evidence for that "debate" in the run up to the war was compromised.

    What is going to ensure, in the future, that the information is credible?

    If Congress is in this auto-pilot mode of just rubber stamping everything, then why bother with Congress?

    Why not simply let the President have what he wants?

    Why is anyone bothering to work for him?

    Apparently, the President knows all. Apparently, Congress is no longer relevant. Apparently, whatever the CIA says is ignored.

    So why not just shut down the government. Go home. Let this tyrant have his way.

    Let him bumble around. Let his troops suffer from poor leadership.

    Let him have exactly what he wants: Tyranny.

    Then what

    At this juncture, it is clear that the Tyrant wants the Congress to be there as a rubber stamp.

    But what is the real problem for this tyrant? His own Justice Department knows what the rule of law is.

    And that is the fatal trap for this tyrant.

    What I think Congress should do is just shut down, and send all information they get over to the Justice Department.

    Send everything. Let them sort through the evidence. Make it the Justice Department's role to question the White House; make it the DoJ's job to sift through the non-sense.

    Once DoJ certifies from the FBI agents in affidavits that the "information is good to go,' then Congress should come back into session, examine the affidavits, and find evidence to either confirm or invalidate the affidavits.

    At this juncture, we know that the White House when it appears before Congress is not reliable. It fabricates information about WMD.

    There is no higher obligation than the decision to go to war.

    I am not sure what Congress plans to do. But I do know that the present course we find ourselves is one that is not acceptable.

    What will Congress do to really ensure the debates are credible; that the evidence; is real; and that the "imminent threat" or "deadline" is one based on reality not illusions?

    In short, what is Congress going to do when it no longer can demonstrate that it passes legislation based on sound reasons, but illusions fabricated by those who have no other goal that to violate the laws.

    Congress has been lied to. And it embraces that lie.

    Congress shows little inclination to address what will be done to ensure this doesn't happen again.

    Will Congress actually ask the tough questions? Self-evidently, Rove and WMD issues who that Congress doesn't want to know.

    If Congress doesn't want to know, why is Congress bothering to do anything?

    Why bother showing up?

    The answer is: To remain silent is unacceptable.

    What is to be done

    The RNC-electorate need to be shown the consequences of their RNC "leadership":

  • Troops sent into battle unlawfully

  • Troops sent into battle without sufficient gear

  • Leaders planning for war that is not needed or lawful

  • Leaders planning for war, not considering warnings, and freely sending their fellow citizens into battle without sufficient legal foundation or equipment support

    There needs to be a draft

    The RNC needs to be held accountable for this. And the problem is that they are stretching the forces.

    It is time Congress quit funding the war.

    It is time there are lawful consequences on legislators who vote for unlawful wars, and continue to appropriate money for unlawful wars.

    Why isn't there some sort of investigation going on into the "continued appropriations of funding for unlawful objectives."

    Isn't there a clause that says, "No money shall be allocated for unlawful purposes. . . ." even if the Congress votes that way anyway?

    Congress cannot vote to spend money on a war that violates the Geneva Convention. That is through Article VI of the US Constitution: The Geneva Conventions are the supreme Law of the land.

    So why isn't there are criminal referral made to DoJ by the Congress to investigate who within DoD is spending money on an unlawful war?

    Why wasn't that appropriation spent on "something else" that was lawful?

    Why didn't DoD send the money back?

    Why didn't someone within DoD say, "We can't spend that money on an unlawful war?"

    Why didn't someone in DoD say, "The Geneva Conventions clearly show what the standard is. Congress is asking us to spend money on what is not lawful."

    I want to know who within DoD was threatened.

    I want to hear DoD personnel speak out about these appropriations. I want to hear form the OSD staffers who are the budget people who are marking up these documents.

    How do they justify going to work and going through these budget reviews?

    How are they able to hold up?

    How are they able to justify their actions?

    How can they continue to go to work knowing full well they contribute to an unlawful enterprise?


    Either way, I do not understand how money can be allocated to something that is not lawful; nor how people who take an oath to preserve that constitution can spend money knowing full well there is no legal foundation.

    Yet, Congress does nothing.

    It looks as though Congress is pretending to engage in oversight.

    I'd like to see some questions by the FBI into DoD personnel: Why is this money being spent.

    Clearly, if the White House is willing to fabricate information to justify a war; then smear those who speak out [Ritter, Wilson], surely there is a reasonable basis for DoJ to investigate allegations of witness intimidation in re war crimes.

    That's what I want to see: DoJ and Fitzgerald expand this investigation into Plame-Wilson-name-leaking and look at the pattern of conduct from the White House and get some straight answers:

  • Who authorized funds to be used for an unlawful war

  • Who was aware of the Downing Street Memo and knew the war was not lawful

  • Who threatened witnesses like Plame-Wilson or Ritter

  • What evidence is there of other witness intimidation to be silent about war crimes

  • To what extent can DoJ show that DoD personnel went along with unlawful orders, continuing spending money on programs that were known to be not for lawful purposes

    Those are the kinds of things that I want answers to.

    Because if Congress isn't' willing to find the answers, then I want to know why Congress is there.

    And I want to know what Congress really plans to do to make sure that this doesn't happen again.

    I encourage the public to press Congress and DoJ to look at these issues. If you don't want to know the answers, then keep your mouth shut.

    But if you want to make sure that your country debates things based on facts, then there needs to be a criminal investigation into who in DoD knew about the Downing Street Memo, but continued to mark up budget documents, approve contracts, and continue launching combat operations despite no legal foundation for those orders.

    A military doesn't "suddenly find itself" in Iraq. There are budget documents, contracts, operational orders, and other admissible evidence that can link the current combat operations and the original orders.

    If you're telling me "nobody knows" then you're telling me that things suddenly show up, but there is not contract.

    That is absurd. You're living in a fantasy world. And you don't want to really dig into what already exists.

    This stuff could be subpoenaed directly from the Defense Contractors. Send in the Criminal Investigators from DoJ, CID, or other defense contracting units to get copies of these contracts.

    The contracts may be classified, but there are people in the US Department of Justice who have the necessary clearances to review these contracts.

    And if Rove, Libby, or others are getting in the way of DoJ reviewing these matters, then there needs to be an investigation into that obstruction of justice.

    The broader picture

    It's all coming together in a single snapshot.

    The key will be to mark up this timeline, and make it know who has the credibility problems. Their testimony is not probabitive.

    Given there are misrepresentations, we can reasonably conclude fraud.

    In turn, given the issues related to war crimes, these frauds can be reasonably inferred to be both high crimes, and more specifically obstruction of justice to avoid accountability for the abuses, smearing innuendo, misrepresentation to continue funding what is an unlawful war of aggression.

    Fitzgerald is likely running with this timeline and asking for more evidence.

    The grand jury certainly will be a busy one.

    Too bad Congress didn't do the same prior to the vote for war. But why expect Congress to focus on facts when they want to rubber stamp legislation.

    Thank goodness Fitzgerald continues to sink his teeth into Rove and Libby's neck. The indictments will spread into DoD.

    Which side will the DoD budget wizards choose: A constitution or a tyrant?

    They are foolish. And do not realize they have already been caught. Fitzgerald is just looking for an excuse to make it worse.

    And DoD budget analysts are gladly cooperating. In their own demise.

    Fools. It's going to get far worse for them. They don't know about "all the other evidence" available overseas, outside their control.

    Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury have it. There is no escape. And the fear within DoD continues to spread.

    RNC set them up. So much for loyalty from DoD.