Constant's pations

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

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Implications: CIA investigating leak in re CIA torture in Eastern Europe

Thankfully, the CIA whistlebloers spilled the beans. Again.

And the Republican staffers are horrified what they learned from the Vice President.

RNC: "Duh . . torture is bad?!?"

The diversion is to look into the leaking about the CIA's torture chambers in Eastern Europe.

Please wear your painting attire, the white wash is running thin.

One suspected location is Timisoara, Romania. [Romanian sources]

The media is already cooperating in the information vacuum.

Lott confirmed the WaPo article, prompting JM Marshall of TPM to opine on the lies, cover-ups, and scandals:
What we have here is an administration under the sway of men with lawless and authoritarian tendencies. Betraying one of the country's own spies to cover up revelations about dishonest actions in leading the country to war, attempts to squelch the press to hide government policy of supporting torture. These actions are all cut from the same cloth: cover-ups and secrecy to hide lies and dishonorable acts, all backed by force and disregard for the law.

* * *

As you read through the comments below, keep in the back of your mind: The Congress is shifting attention from its failed oversight, and hoping to pin the blame on the CIA.

The White House did the same during 9-11 and the Iraq WMD.

How can we have credible oversight or checks and balances, when for the sake of protecting their rice bowls, both the Legislature and Executive are willing to apparently conspire to find a common scapegoat in the CIA?

That's not a Republic, that's RNC Tyranny.

* * *

Curiously, but not surprisingly, the focus of the CIA investigation isn't the original torture and mistreatment of prisoners in Eastern Europe, but "how did everyone find out" what was going on: How do we create the illusion that Congress didn't know; all the while deflecting attention from both the Vice President and Congressional leadership, and blame it on the convenient kicking dogs in the CIA -- the ones who dared to speak of the illegality.

In Germany, as in the CIA, there are illegal orders. They are not from within the bureaucracy, but from the leadership, whether it is Hitler or Bush makes no difference: There are orders directing the CIA to do this. And that the Congress can confirm the accuracy of the claims suggests that the orders were not only published and known, but their existence denied.

* * *

The RNC and White House hope to ignore the initial violations and focus on the disclosure of that original illegality. [Other blogs]

"Let' us violate the laws, but if you talk about it, you're in trouble."

* * *

Then there's the real surprise via Kos: RNC calling for investigation into their own leaking on the subject.

More of the "Hay, you are bad," only to find out the people-bloggers-media who are pointing the finger are part of the problem. Where have we heard that before: Iraq, WMD, and 9-11.

Same issues, same pointing fingers, same distractions. I sense a pattern here which both the RNC and DNC enjoy participating. "Hay, it keeps the focus of us, and on someone else."

* * *

What do you do if you're in trouble? You call for an investigation, and make the investigation of the leak, not the RNC knowledge of the original abuse, the focus of the inquiry.

The real questions:

  • Why is Congress publicly acting surprised about this issue, when it appears as though the Senior Congressional leadership were openly discussing the illegal torture centers in Eastern Europe with . . . .[wait for it] the Vice President? They want to blame the convenient scapegoat.

  • Will the RNC retract the "call for an investigation" or call the "request for an investigation" irrelevant;[No, if it works to distract attention to the CIA, so be it]

  • Was the "RNC request for an investigation" made on the assumption that it would never get acted on; [They don't care: If it gets investigated and the Congress finds bad things about Congress, they'll suppress the report; if there's an investigation and the report finds bad things with the White House, the White House will suppress the report; if there's an investigation, but the Congress and Legislature can agree on a common scapegoat, that will be leaked with the hopes of rallying the public against the scapegoat]

  • Has the RNC called for a "full and complete investigation" with the hopes of then slow-rolling the progress since they are they target of that investigation? [Of course -- it makes people think the RNC leadership is concerned about something, when it appears they knew enough in advance to be able to confirm the Washington Post article. It's unclear how many CIA IG notifications made to Congress, if any, were not appropriately acted upon.]

    Don't count on those questions getting answers soon. There's confusion, by design, over what they agreed to report on 14 Nov 05 in re the "Phase II" report. They can't/won't agree on the report of the report of the investigation of the scandal.

    Sounds like bullshit, America's Business Decision Rule.

    * * *

    This is fairly typical for the DC-approach, but also misses an important issue.

    Normally, a "real" criminal investigation is secret; when an agency is asked about "the status of an ongoing investigation" the normal procedure is to make no comment, "I'm sorry, we don't comment on ongoing investigations."

    At the same time, the focus of the issue isn't the problem of detaining people in violation of the law, but on a side issue which neither the Senate nor the intelligence community have a very good track record.

    You can always "leak the existence of an investigation" when the goal isn't to find facts, but to shift attention from the original wrong and the Congress-White House knowledge of that wrong to the desired scapegoat.

    * * *

    Bluntly, it's been many months since 9-11; why should we believe that this "investigation" will produce results prior to the 2008 election? Self-evidently, the goal is to shift attention, delay, and find a scapegoat.

    We've also seen the intelligence community take it in the chin over 9-11 and WMD, when the real problem lies with the flawed White House leadership, moving without regard to the rule of law, but quick to find a ruler to point the blame. This appears to continue.

    * * *

    Recall back to the days of the "CIA investigation of itself into the Iran Contra and drug running". Personnel returned blank forms in the survey.

    This time, Congress and the White House can play the same game: Make up a rumor about "CIA leaks", and then never require the Congressional leadership to submit to DoJ investigations over what they knew, why they failed to stop what is illegal, and the effort to intimidate witnesses, or obstruct justice.

    * * *

    The Senate Intelligence Committee, rightly or wrongly, appears to have convinced itself that it is "in national security interests" to remain in the dark about torture in Eastern Europe.

    Then again, subsequent information shows that the Congressional leadership fully knew what was going on, and many in Congress are playing stupid about allegations of war crimes. They appear to have the false notion that only military or executive personnel can be charged. However, those in the position of leadership that knew, or should have known but failed to stop the conspiracy under Hitler, were also charged in Nuremburg. The same thing can happen in the United States.

    * * *

    Where are the CIA IG reports in re this issue?

    If the Congressional leadership knows, and the Washington Post has information from CIA personnel, then it is reasonable that the CIA IG knew, or should have known, about these events, and either reported without getting a response; or failed to report the information. This is a subject for the Grand Jury to review when assessing whether the CIA IG did or did not meet its statutory requirements in re reporting war crimes or violations of the law to Congress.

    * * *

    How were personnel within the CIA treated when concerns were raised?

    It remains to be understood when the Congressional leadership was notified; whether the apparent intimidation against the CIA or threats of retaliation were made prior to the Congressional confirmation of the Washington Post details; or whether the Congressional leadership have decided to cooperate with the White House in retaliating against more CIA agents.

    Translation: The Plame Outing was nothing compared to what the Congress and White House may jointly do.

    Alert: If you are in the CIA, how do you sleep at night knowing that you could be outed by two branches of government; have you ever wondered who the real enemy was; and what values are you really fighting for if you, as a scapegoat, are targeted simply because Congress and the White House do not want to accept responsibility for what they failed to do: Lawfully do their jobs?

    * * *

    There are a few reasons to doubt whether both [a] the original problem of torturing people in Easter Europe is real; or [b] whether the subsequent "investigation" is real.

    Let's suppose that the initial reports are bogus. What would prompt anyone to discuss a matter? Perhaps as a distraction from another location.

    Or perhaps a distraction from the real problem: No longer can the White House and Congress be trusted to preserve the laws of the nation. The real risk is that Congress, despite its authority to impeach the president, may be part of the corrupt enterprise that dares not point the finger at the White House.

    Bluntly, checks and balances have failed.

    * * *

    Let's consider the possibility that the subsequent announcement about a "CIA investigation into these camps" is also bogus -- namely, that it's a ruse investigation simply to distract attention, or create the illusion of interest and oversight.

    The ruse is to distract attention from what Congress appears to have known all along, and pretend that this is a rogue operation.

    It remains to be understood why, if the circumstances are such a surprise to all, why the Congressional leadership can affirmatively confirm that the details in the Washington Post article is true.

    Surely, there must be fact finding; or are we to say that the facts are already known, the only issue is how to delay the "appearance of fact finding being completed" until . . . never?

    * * *

    The timing is curious. It appears as though the camps have been around a while, but suddenly now the issue surfaces.

    Are there personnel who seek to discredit a policy, leadership, or another plan?

    Then again, perhaps the issue is that staffers in the Congress and White House have had enough and see that the scope of the lawlessness is not only wide, but a threat to the rule of law.

    * * *

    Is there the goal of confirming "this is why we need the McCain Amendment", or discrediting the White House at the very time that Libby is under indictment?

    It doesn't appear as though this is carefully orchestrated with a single objective. Rather, there are too many different stories floating around over what Congress did or didn't know, that the default answer has been to blame the CIA.

    But this doesn't work: Congress and the White House are known to have been involved.

    * * *

    Let's presume both actions are true: That the initial Washington Post report is based on a real effort; and the subsequent announcement of an investigation is real.

    We're also seeing evidence of multiple errors:

  • First, the initial establishment of the detention centers [Nuremburg: The common objective and illegal acts];

  • second, the detention of the personnel in violation of the law [Initial illegal acts];

  • third, the cover-up and apparent threats against personnel who had reservations [Witness intimidation];

  • fourth, the apparent DoJ "approval" of these efforts despite their illegality [Common purpose: Illegal legislative acts are immune; but if there is an agreement between individuals that does not enjoy legislative immunity];

  • fifth, the initial denials all around [Denials are admissible];

  • sixth a public admission that the "issue we can't comment on" is under investigation [revelations of red herring investigations are by design to distract attention from the White House and Congressional leadership involvement]; and

  • Sixth, confirmation that the entire story is fictional in that Congress and the White House have long known of the details and are hoping to distract the investigation from the two branches onto a single agency [Obstruction of justice].

    * * *

    Let's suppose that the issue is actually under investigation. This would imply that the timing of the announcement was deliberately after the Eastern European denials were issued.

    Yet, there isn't enough time for Congress to "know about details which are still not known," but then be able to confirm what is in the article -- suggesting the public Congressional denials over "what they knew" are not credible.

    This is important from a legal perspective. Denials are admissible evidence, especially when there is apparent factual information to warrant a formal investigation. This would amount to an out of court statement that is not consistent with the facts; or what is likely to appear in the court record.

    It appears as though there are specific by-name Congressional leaders who are at risk of having statutory requirements ignored, or they failed to act when they had a duty to act. The issue becomes: What consideration, if any, were they given or promised in exchange for this apparent cooperating with the White House.

    The following is the type of thinking that would distract attention from the initial conspiracy and divert attention to the CIA:

    However, the agency has a problem: Why, if the issue is supposedly "so sensitive that it warrants an initial denial" that the agency would then openly admit to the opposite: That they're investigating a matter that supposedly wasn't occurring; and despite the requirement to make no comment on investigations, they issued a statement that an investigation was occurring.

    The reason for the inconsistent statements is that there's a mess and nobody is in charge. Inconsistencies are the play ground for prosecutors and grand juries.

    * * *

    We are asked to believe is that the CIA has started an investigation into what they term an "illegal release" of information about the detention centers the CIA was running. The real issue is the scope of the leadership knowledge not just in the White House but also the Congress.

    We also are asked to believe that the members of the Intelligence Community didn't know what was going on. If this is true, why are members of the Senate able to confirm the details without there being any fact finding; and why are the facts so quickly known in 2005, but it takes years after 9-11 for the truth to bubble around?

    The answer is that the truth was known before 9-11; and the current inconsistent statements by the Congressional leadership point to a larger conspiracy within the US government: To what extent has the congress failed to investigate because they are part of the failed system that is liable for what happened?

    If the original detention was lawful, then why not publicly discuss that legality?

    Surely, if there were public relations problems with DoD "having a bad reputation for committing torture," DoD and the CIA have yet to explain why they didn't produce "these detention centers in Eastern Europe" as evidence that the problems in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo were isolated.

    If Congress is promised "we won't shut down your bases," then Congress has an incentive to say nothing about illegal acts. Again, the issue becomes: What was Congress promised to say silent about, or take no action in re illegal torture chambers in Eastern Europe prior to the discussions in the Washington Post?

    * * *

    Does the CIA statement on an investigation confirm the initial Washington Post report has merit? This appears to be an affirmative, "Yes" with a qualification.

    One might suspect that the investigation would only occur if there was a bonafide problem.

    However, we've already discussed the "error of publicly discussing something that should have a no comment". It's curious that the CIA would comment on an investigation related to a matter that is illegal. This appears to be something that, by design, will trap the CIA, and shift attention from the White House and Congress over what they knew and when.

    It is possible that the entire leaking to the Washington Post and the subsequent "investigation" are part of another distraction effort, designed to shift attention from other issues: Congressional leadership:

  • material misstatements to the public about what they knew; and/or

  • apparent failure to timely call for DoJ to review the matter; and/or

  • knowledge of illegal acts and their failure to withdraw from the alleged conspiracy; and/or

  • taking affirmative steps to "dissuade knowledge of the conspiracy" by shifting attention to the CIA.

    However, if DoJ and other law enforcement officers have been called in, but the underlying problem is either unreal or not consistent with what the investigations have been led to believe, then the CIA has an additional problem on their hands: Making up a story, then having no consistent story to ensure the subsequent facts are consistent with the original story.

    * * *

    The irony is that the CIA is investigating the "illegality of leaking information" related to an original action which appears to be illegal.

    So we have to ask what happened within the CIA IG and Congressional oversight prior to the discussions with the Washington Post. Normally, there would be internal discussion among the personnel over the issues; this appears to have failed, and agents appear to have discussed their concerns with senior management, then the internal oversight, and finally with the Press.

    The investigation will need to show that the CIA IG is responsive, and not at the same end as the American public with the mushrooms, about to get run over by the train of tyranny.

    * * *

    Let's presume that the initial detention operation was classified, was real, and there were bonafide concerns.

    Now that the CIA is supposedly "investigating" this matter, we now know that the CIA does classify illegal operations; conversely, just because something is classified "secret" it doesn't mean that that classification is to prevent disclosure of sensitive operations.

    Rather, as we learned in Able Danger, classifications are imposed to avoid lawful oversight.

    But in this case, we have a third level: Not only was it classified, but Congress and the White House knew about it.

    Thus, the real issue is that it was classified not to protect national security, but to prevent the public from finding out the larger Congressional and White House knowledge of what was going on.

    * * *

    It remains to be understood whether the systemic problems in oversight and investigations we've seen in the wake of 9-11 and WMD in Iraq are entrenched that we should anticipate nothing more than another whitewash.

    This is a resounding, “Duh. It’s the same non-sense. There’s been no catalyst for change.”

    The CIA does have a problem: Either it is running unlawful detention centers and the EU allies lied about it; or it is conducting a ruse investigation into something that doesn't exist; or the investigation is real and the initial denials will become admissible.

    Either way, Congress can no longer hide from the problems in the White House. Rather, Congress and the White House are both part of the problem. And Congress knows this, thus the interest in focusing on the CIA: A scapegoat.

    This isn't a crisis. It is a mess. Just as we had in the wake of Katrina.

    There's a common element to these disasters, bungled operations, and convoluted stories: George Bush, failure of Congressional oversight, and many knowing about something that is more than a problem, but a violation of human rights.

    * * *

    The problem the already discredited Congressional oversight has is how to both investigate the Iraq-WMD oversight failure; identify the systemic recurring problems with the 9-11 issues; and at the same time, take a step back and look at the recurring problems across all three: The CIA detentions, Iraq, and 9-11.

    Self-evidently, the problem isn’t that they can’t do it, or that there’s a communication problem [they can get the information about illegal acts]; the issue becomes the accountability for those acts.

    The difficulty with investigations has nothing to do with the facts, but with the hope of delaying accountability until after a material decision for voters. They just keep dreaming new excuses to lie to the public.

    The Senate has shown poor leadership until McCain introduced the torture bill. Then both Houses got involved with the ruses.

    It is possible that we're seeing new vigilance; then again, maybe the White House is telling the truth and Rovian Pigs can fly.

    * * *

    We have little confidence the CIA investigation will be credible; or that the Congressional oversight will have the perspective and leadership needed to ensure the situation is aggressively investigated.

    Bluntly, the scope of the alleged criminal conspiracy in re the CIA torture in Europe should be broadened to include the senior leadership in the Congress, White House, DoD and CIA.

    We may ultimately find the truth, but it remains to be seen whether that revelation is linked directly with accountability or pardons.

    Civilians can be removed from office, and then face jail time for their involvement in planning and/or covering up war crimes.

    We would hope that the Senate and House Judiciary Committees review the nature of the "CIA announcing it is conducting an investigation," when the normal practice is for the US Attorney to take the lead, and make no comment.

    Then again, why expect Congress to do the prudent thing, when Congress imprudently failed to act when it first became aware of the problem?

    Are we to believe that the US Attorney is not involved in the investigation? Let’s hope the DoJ is chartered to look at the apparent speediness which Congress confirmed the details that were supposedly unknown.

    The next step is to compare the times Congress took to investigate 9-11 and Iraq WMD, and then understand why Congress is able to confirm the facts in the Washington Post so quickly.

    Or should we take the CIA at its word and believe it is leading the investigation?

    At this point, all bets are off, and the likely list of conspirators in the Congress and White House is long.

    We've had many investigations into the CIA in re 9-11 and the Iraq WMD, and all of them appear to be cursory and whitewashes to protect the White House, and blame those who are most in the know.

    It is ironic that those in the know, the CIA agents, who appear to be speaking out about war crimes, may find themselves the target of a criminal investigation.

    It is curious how quickly the CIA appears to be moving on this issue, yet the responsiveness from DoD in re Able Danger or the 9-11 and WMD issues appear to be glacial. Perhaps the Congress if the weather permits might follow up with the respective agency legislative liaisons and ask why the timelines are not consistent.

    Why be consistent when the public is mislead about what Congress did or didn’t know; or when Congress has agreed to do nothing in exchange for Presidential support. Yet, at this point, Presidential support is meaningless.

    One day they can move fast, another day they can move slowly. It appears as though there are factors driving speedy investigations; and those factors, although unremedied, appear to not be a factor with others issues. Curious how the bureaucracy can move when it wants, and get so "confused" about the laws of war when that is convenient.

    Are we to believe that the EU will ultimately have to be the ones that investigate this matter, and dutifully report through the media to the American public what is going on in their own countries?

    If the US can browbeat the UK to follow it into an unlawful war, what does the US propose to do to hide the truth about what was going on with the detention facilities in Eastern Europe?

    Are we to presume that, despite initial denials, the CIA finds credible evidence to ignore these denials, and seek additional information not into the initial unlawful detentions, but who dared to speak of the illegality?

    How many in Congress have known about these detention centers, but failed to timely report or send a referral to DoJ?

    With time we'll learn more about what drives the timing of these statements and whether they are convenient payback to those who muddied the waters during previous elections. The most likely driver is the common purpose of avoiding accountability for war crimes.

    Elections appear to be the catalyst for timely leaks about illegality. Then again, it appears as though the catalyst is something else: People waking up and realizing their days are numbered.

    If the White House can't stop the election-timed-leaks about war crimes, is the "only option" to discredit the election? Perhaps those plans are in place.

    Indeed, the RNC appears well poised to do the same in 2006, especially when the "stakes of accountability" are high in the land of slumping ethics.

  • Why is a discussion of illegality illegal? It called changing the subject.

  • Where was Congress? Aware, and playing stupid.

  • Did the CIA IG fail to provide information to Congress? This does not appear likely as the Congressional leadership was able to confirm the details of the Washington Post article.

  • Who in the DoJ "approved" these detention centers? This is irrelevant: The approval was contrary to local law in Eastern Europe. Giving one the permission to violate the law does not make the knowledge of that illegal-permission a state secret to be enforced..

    Why, if the White House and DoD were having a public relations problem over prisoner treatment, did they not point to the "fine example of all the other detention centers" of what was going on to show that the problem was isolated?

    How many of the tapes related to the detention interrogations have been destroyed; where are copies of these tapes kept; and how do the agencies controls related to this evidence compare to what was supposed to be remedied after the DoD and CIA IG reviews into the abuses at Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib?

    It would be a shame, but not surprising, if despite the IG findings that evidence control procedures were not followed, that the Congress failed to follow-up to ensure that the evidence preservation problems earlier found were not subsequently improved in Eastern Europe.

    * * *

    It's disingenuous to suggest that "the investigation into the CIA detention leakers, not the detentions" will interfere with the Senate doing its work into the review of the Iraq WMD and 9-11 issues: The Senate was already late and slow despite being fully capable; further, the Senate and CIA are in two different branches of government.

    We have a system of checks and balances, and many policies can concurrently run. We are not a nation that is a single-focus issue, although that is apparently more than what this system appears capable of handling.

    * * *

    It remains to be seen whether the "grab back of unresolved intelligence issues" becomes so big that it becomes a default reason for more inertia.

    They couldn’t handle the oversight when the issues were simple, recurring, and in the distant past. There’s no prospect that throwing this issue into the mix is going to expedite the process.

    This doesn't mean "don't look into it." Rather, it means, "We need to have a more responsive system to review the matters, staffed by people who are willing to move, not sweep."

    * * *

    This is not a crisis. The American constitution remains in place.

    The issue is one of responsiveness and effectiveness. This is but another example in the minds of the public of a system that proves to be unresponsive, lawless, and puts itself above the rule of law.

    This is not news.

    What is news is that the scale is tipping more than a minor amount, but it noticeably at odds with the RNC.

    The only option the RNC has is to hide the scales of justice. Rest assured, they looking for ways to accomplish this objective, regardless the legality.

    Their days are numbered. Think of the German defenses imploding around Berlin.

    Fitzgerald and the other prosecutors continue to make headway.

    We can only imagine the carnage we'll find in the proverbial RNC bunker when they make the ultimate decisions to avoid accountability.

    * * *

    Maybe they'll make the ultimate sacrifice in the form of a reality show: "Under Siege" -- a show about a DC politicians who escape, in search of Paris Hilton's "Simple Life."

    * * *

    Overall, we're not impressed with these events. Not only is the original detention arguably illegal with the DoJ asserting otherwise; but the media has leaked selective information, and used the "DoJ approval" of that detention as the basis to limit inquiry and reporting.

    Congress and the IG have a demonstrated track record of not digging deeply.

    Despite the lessons of 9-11, Iraq WMD, and Able Danger, it appears as though the Congress is equally poorly poised to investigate, much less oversee these recurring problems.

    The easy solution is to do more of the same: Sweep the problem under the rug with a cursory investigation; the more difficult challenge will be for the RNC leadership to swallow their pride and point the finger where it belongs -- at the White House -- and start formal impeachment hearings.

    Sadly, the Congressional weather vane has not cooperating, and there are other excuses and ruses to showcase before the American public.

    * * *

    The CIA IG will likely identify the personnel who leaked the information, and hang them quietly out to dry. Subsequent litigation three years from now in the DC Court of Appeals will likely be suppressed over the issues of "importance of keeping whistleblower testimony about allegations of unlawful CIA activity" protected for the proverbial national security.

    Even though the real issue is with Congress and the White House failing to assert the rule of law, this ACLU lawsuits in re DHS whistleblower is a likely model for a distraction: Make the issue "about the whistleblower" and keep Congress and the White House out of it. Self-evidently, a "hands off approach to government" translates into a "hands off approach to continued wins at the ballot box."

    The leakers, despite their intentions, will possibly be smeared with accusations that they have violated their oaths, and not followed the proper reporting channels, however unresponsive they were, or the illegality of the original infraction. Let us hope that when the leadership issues illegal orders, those who report on that illegality are given protection of the law.

    This issue of "reporting on illegality" has already been raised before DHS:
    In the original lawsuit, dubbed Air Marshal X, Terreri challenged Federal Air Marshal Service rules that prohibited him from speaking publicly about his job or criticizing the Air Marshal Service. The ACLU called the policy a clear violation of Terreri’s First Amendment rights.

    The Department of Justice agreed and said that the original rules were "unenforceable as written."Ref

    We fully expect this issue to be appealed to the US Supreme Court -- what may be the final check on abusive and unlawful detentions -- and defer back to the CIA on what the prudent CIA employee discipline should be. The law should be clear: Those who assert the rule of law and report unlawful conduct should be rewarded; demands that the agencies impose "discipline" to stifle reports of misconduct does nothing to address the abuses Sibel Edmonds, Lt Col Schaeffer, or Ian Fishback are suffering.

    The issue before the new Supreme Court will be whether the agents, despite the leaking, are protected when they do so after demonstrating the action was both illegal and the senior management was unresponsive. [Sample: Illegal government operations can be suppressed from court evidence if shrouded in the cloak of secrecy. The B-52 case shows us the Government does lie, not to protect national security, but to avoid embarrassment or accountability for violations of the law.]

    Some did face some problems for leaking material about the Nixon Crimes. It remains to be seen whether today’s CIA leakers will turn over their evidence where it could be buried in the unresponsive Congressional Committees.

    Despite the claims of "national security" it appears as though the CIA and Congress are jointly pointing to this goal as the basis to impose discipline on those mindful of the rules, and not ensure compliance with the laws of war.

    This is the law of tyrants, full entrenched.

    It is likely that the targets of this combined Congressional-White House smear effort will have to rely on civil action to remedy their good name. Would it not be lovely if that burden were lawfully imposed on the President, and not those reporting the illegality.

    In short, it would be nice if the Constitutional checks on tyranny worked and were not circumvented by a joint Congressional and Executive action to identify a scapegoat. The issue is how to preserve the system of checks and balances when the branches of government refuse to check or balance each other, but shift then checking on the citizenry they are supposed to serve.

    * * *

    Congratulations. The White House and Congress have what they wish for:

  • A. Free reign to ignore the laws of war;

  • B. no credible system of checks and balances, and Congressional leadership playing stupid about something they were clearly discussing with the Vice president;

  • C. A systematic destruction of ethics within the White House, but shifting the blame to the intelligence community; all the while the leaders, when caught, point to others as in "need of ethics training"; and the real problem lies with the White House and Congressional leadership.

    Are Americans willing to vote for change and kick out the Republicans in 2006?

    Or will the RNC, seeing its days are numbered, resort to more egregious abuses, smearing, and distractions?

    * * *

    The real person who needs attention is George Bush in the form of an impeachment hearing. Without one, there's no prospect the Congress or the public are going to find out what's been going on with Iraq WMD, 9-11, or the unlawful detentions in Eastern Europe.

    Then again, why expect Congress to act when it apparently has made deals with the White House to keep quiet about something in exchange for something else.

    The ever present weather and election cycle are conveniently "not cooperating" today, or at any time.

    Plan on more smearing, illegality, surprises, and more whitewash investigations.

    Too bad DoJ and Fitzgerald aren't allowed to take on this issue and smack around those who are willing to endorse illegal conduct, then find others to take the blame. What else would you expect from the arrogant SES who supported the lies behind the unlawful invasion of Iraq.

    Clear the restrooms, the public vomiting shall commence.

    * * *

    It is clear the White House and Congress know far more than they would have us believe.

    It is time we start to find out, even if the Congress and White House do not wish to participate in the rule of law.