Constant's pations

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

Friday, March 23, 2007

GOP Has No Hope of Defending Their Illegal US Attorney Firings

Fielding claims he's an attorney, but wants to pretend he can't speak for his client. That means one thing: There is no attorney-client relationship that includes a power of attorney. Time to remove Fielding from the discussions with Congress and find someone who is willing to provide timely responses.

The timeline to gather facts should accelerate. The GOP has provided no credible argument to inspire belief that they are "concerned" about a backlash against the DNC. If the GOP really was "concerned about a backlash against the DNC" the GOP would do things to exploit this, and accelerate the fact finding: "Here's the proof that nothing was wrong."

The GOP's assertions are not consistent with the law or their oath to the Constitution. Americans should not be surprised why foreign fighters are able to recruit people to expand lawful opposition to the Americans.

* * *

The White House would have us believe that Fielding isn't able to negotiate. Fine, let's talk directly to the people who Fielding "can't talk for." Despite an agreement to retaliate, the White House cannot agree whether they are or are not going to "negotiate." The e-mails show they can agree if they want.

The White House decided to take action. There is no reason to delay reviewing the issues. The adverse inferences have been made. The legal counsel for the defense has not made consistent arguments. Someone is lying.

Examination should continue. Claims that there might be a backlash are absurd. If we find nothing, then that will be the conclusion. Until there is a review, there is no basis to assert there is or is not anything.

It is a problem if illegal activity can be suppressed, but there is "no time" to enforce the law. That is not permissible. The excuse of the election is meaningless. The election is to inspire people to do the right thing; not the opposite and argue "there is no time" to do the right thing. That is wrong.

If the DNC wants to pick and choose whether they do or do not assert the rule of law, the Voters are not required to pick DNC non-sense over GOP lawlessness. There are other solutions.

If Gonzalez wants to stay focused, he needs to focus on his oath of office, and in finding new legal counsel. His DoJ staff is reckless. Gonzalez' record is meaningless. The issue is whether he did or did not engage in war crimes and obstruct lawful inquiry to review GOP efforts to expand illegal warfare.

Gonzalez' lying to Congress shows he is not serious about working with Congress or providing them with any useful information. The Attorney General voluntarily agreed to support illegal activity and blocked lawful DOJ OPR inquiry. If the Attorney General’s actions were proper, there would be no reason for the inconsistent testimony under oath; or the delays in providing an explanation.

No need to waste time with the White House counsel's office. They want to delay, not solve problems. Let's talk to the people who have the answers, not excuses for absurdity. No sense wasting time "negotiating" with Fielding: He's delaying.

This President started the confrontation when he engaged in illegal activity: retaliating against US attorneys. If there was a good reason for this, we would not have inconsistent statements from counsel under oath.

It is folly that a "delay" will be good for a "deal." No, it means there’s a compromise with criminals. The law doesn't work that way. The public needs more information on what the "terms of the deal" are.

It is a problem when Members of Congress talk in private, especially when they are not given the information and assistance that they need. "Private talks" gave us the FISA violations and NSA illegal activity.

It is not acceptable that the number of questioners be limited. This is only the first round. There can be no agreement to limit anything. If there are additional questions, the witnesses will be called back. Any agreement to not keep all options open is a problem for the GOP Senate.

If Rove and others do not agree to cooperate, there is sufficient evidence from other sources to show whether he did or did not coordinate and support an illegal effort to obstruct justice and retaliate against US Attorneys.

* * *

Ref There are some issues with this article.

1. Untimely

One arguing is that "Clinton did it too" or "Clinton did something." That's interesting, but meaningless.

GOP would have us believe that they can compare [a] an initial Presidential change of US Attorneys; with [b] a midterm change of attorneys; with [c] a change three years after the election.

The problem is that failure of the GOP to explain why the basis of their comparison is valid. Without conducting an investigation, there is no basis for the GOP or anyone to say that "this Bush firing is or is not comparable." It is the burden, in the vacuum of evidence, for the GOP to [1] point to evidence that shows why the comparison is or is not valid; then [2] explain why the comparison between (a) an initial Presidential firing upon assumption of office is comparable to (b) a midterm-change of US Attorneys; or (c) changes unrelated to an election, as is the case here.

The GOP has failed to meet its burden of proof.

* * *

2. Dubious Assertion GOP Not Exploiting.

Some in the GOP have suggested, without evidence or proof, that if the DNC does X, Y, or Z that bad things will happen. OK, let's accept -- for the sake of argument -- what the GOP is saying: That unless X-Y-Z happens, then something will happen to the DNC.

Here's the problem: If the GOP were concerned with a bad outcome for the DNC, how does the GOP explain why it is thwarting something that would supposedly bring bad results for the DNC? This makes no sense. This is politics. If the GOP really believed that "bad things will happen for the DNC" if the DNC does something, then the GOP should be exploiting that "bad outcome" and pushing for what supposedly would cause problems for the DNC.

The GOP is doing the opposite. This tells us several things:

A. The non-sense about "what bad things may happen as a backlash against the DNC" is illusory;

B. The GOP is not serious about "bringing these bad things" or "exploiting the DNC on this issue" because the backlash is not credible.

C. The GOP leadership has failed to explain why [a] if they supposedly believe something is going to be a problem for the DNC why [b] they are not taking advantage of this "inevitable result" and [c] providing leadership to the GOP to do the very thing the DNC supposedly "cannot afford to have happen": Investigations.

D. The GOP is not concerned about anything that "might be" a backlash for the DNC. IF there was a real way to exploit the DNC, the GOP would silently do this and let the DNC shows themselves in the foot. The fact that the GOP is attempting to prevent something the GOP would have us believe will cause "bad problems for the DNC" is absurd. The GOP leadership is not more concerned than the DNC leadership with the impact of the DNC "backlash." This is absurd. This would have the world believe that the GOP - that cannot manage its own party -- has more influence and "concern" with something outside its control. No, the GOP is absurdly arguing this because it has less control and is pretending a fiction is possible.

* * *

3. GOP devoid of factual basis for assessments

Let's take a broad view of the US Attorney firings. There are may things we do not know. Yet, without any evidence and no clear story, the GOP would have us believe [a] there is a basis to delay; [b] there is no basis to ask questions; [c] there is no need to gather facts. This is absurd. They have a shifting argument on whether their decisions do or do not link with fact finding. Consider the absurd implications of this assertion:

___ What is the basis for the GOP to argue that "doing nothing" is the right action?

___ How can anyone in the GOP credibly argue that "delaying" is the right action? Supposedly, there’s nothing to be seen: If the event is over, as we are told it is, then delaying will not give us anything new. Rather, it does the opposite: Gives the GOP more time to hunt through the evidence. That is the error.

The correct approach is to quickly take testimony, and give the GOP less time to get their story straight. There are thousands of pages that are in the public domain. The "correct approach" is not to delay to "give" the DNC "more time" to "get clear" on their questions.

No, the GOP -- because they are connected with the supposed "real story" would be able to present their story now. The questions do not need "time to be reviewed." Rather, the real issue is the opposite: The GOP has no basis to credibly answer anything: And the way forward is to accelerate the timeline, give the GOP less time to get anything straight, then give the public the time to openly compare [a] the e-mails; and [b] the responses under oath.

* * *

Let's take a broad view of the US Attorney firings. The issue is broadly two things: [1] The original firing; and [2] The subsequent mad scramble to explain things.

For the moment, put aside the illegal activity under [1]. Let's focus on the observable behavior in [2].

In a static world, where there is a simple issue in [1], then the explanation for that issue [1] is readily put together. The responses to questions should be known, especially when the same players are linked, and have communicated on the issue.

Recall what we were told in the e-mails: The GOP leadership had been given approval to proceed with the plan. This implies that the White House, GOP, and legal experts agreed on something. It doesn’t matter what they agreed to. The point is simply: They came to an agreement to proceed. Yet, contrast that with what we are led to believe several months later: Despite this "clarity of an agreement" on the eve of the go-ahead decision, suddenly the White House needs time to put their story together. That's absurd. They cannot explain the contrast between (1) the original agreement to proceed, that must have linked with common understandings, communications, and [wait for it] and agreement to move along a common path; and (2) the reverse that the GOP would like us to believe: That suddenly they don't know.

The focus of the issue shifts from [1] what original was or was not done with the US Attorneys; to [2] the open evidence of the following which indicates they have a major problem:

A. Inconsistent stories

B> Pretending that the DNC will get a "benefit" to delaying

C. Attempting to pretend that there will be a "benefit" to "taking time to slow down"

No. There is no benefit to anyone but the GOP to give the GOP more time to pretend the DNC will or will not benefit. Again, the issue goes back to the absurd GOP assertion: Why are they attempting to do something -- proposing a delay as a "benefit" to the DNC -- when the GOP as a faction has an interest in making the DNC look bad. If the "benefit" was real for the DNC to delay, then the GOP should be pushing for the opposite: Acceleration. But the GOP is asking us that they are "good guys" doing something "for the DNC" and "keeping them honest." Baloney. The GOP isn't concerned about the DNC's interests; the GOP cares only about one thing: Avoiding consequences for illegal activity.

This sham story about what will or will not happen as a "benefit" for the DNC in delaying is absurd. The emphasis should be on accelerating timelines, getting the GOP to commit to something under oath; then spend time comparing [a] the e-mail evidence; with [b] the testimony under oath. It will not match because the GOP has no time to review everything.

The error is for the DNC to believe "we need to review everything" before we ask a question. No. There are multiple reviews possible. Time to lock in the hearing, get subpoenas, and accelerate the questioning to ask some very basic things.

More hearings are possible to follow-up on the inconsistencies. This does not have to be coordinated to greater detail: There is not reason to give the GOP any heads up of what may or may not be coming.

I would prefer the DNC leadership stop pretending that the GOP is "trying to help the DNC out" with anything, and move on some basic issues: Let's get their testimony under oath as quickly as possible; shorten the time the GOP has to get a consistent story and make up new things; and openly talk about the absurdity of what the GOP has done: They came to agreement to do something; but would have us believe they don't know what happened.

Let the GOP explain their mess: A quick agreement to execute a plan; but this many months later confusion over what they agreed to. There is no confusion over anything: they know what they did. The "confusion" is a smokescreen: They are delaying to fabricate a line of answers. Arguably, the GOP is attempting witness tampering right now, coaching witnesses, and attempting to incorporate into subsequent testimony the new information.

Again, the key is to remember: The GOP was on the inside of this agreement: They were there; they had access to all the information; and all decisions they've made has been documented; and they proceeded along a common plan. There is no confusion what they did. The only "story" the GOP has is to explain [a] why their real agreement is not fully explainable; and [b] why they are attempting to "do things" that supposedly "benefit" the DNC: Delay, avoid fact finding, and "not doing things that will cause a backlash" for the DNC.

This is non-sense. The real issue is that the DNC leadership is getting distracted by this smokescreen and not doing what needs to be done: Openly talk about the simple issues with the public: The GOP supposedly agreed to something; they have the records and did whatever they did; the issue is less what they did, but the absurdity of them still not being able to provide a straight answer to something they agreed to in writing. It defies logic.

Going back to the big picture: The issues is less than the [1] original illegal activity; than [2] the absurdity of the explanations about that original illegal activity. It shouldn't take this long; and the only benefit to delaying is for the GOP: It gives them more time to review the information. Again, the "perceived disadvantage for the DNC" is really a benefit for the DNC: The GOP is in the same boat: Having to digest all this information, and then create a story. The DNC doesn’t need to delay: They can ask simple questions, then follow-up with more questions later as we see more inconsistencies.

* * *

War Crimes Implications

One of the issues the US and NATO looked at in re Yugoslavia was how quickly the leadership assented to their international obligations. Once the Yugoslavian government said the standards do not apply, NATO intervened. The concern was law and order had broken down. During the punishment phase, one factor to consider whether the defendants should or should not receive lighter sentences was whether they were or were not remorseful.

Similarly, the GOP approach to these US Attorneys is problematic: Decisions to delay, and ask for "more time" to review an "agreement that they already agreed to" means they are asking for delays, not facts; and asking for more time when they should not need any time to share openly what they commonly agreed to.

* * *

The issue going forward: Once the DNC asks questions about the US Attorney firings, the DNC needs to focus on the preparation for these hearings.

Recall the Foley discussions: Staff counsel connected with Foley and others were apparently coordinating recollections. This is happening now inside the GOP.

The GOP defense counsel is preparing their witnesses. As they go through the details, the Defense counsel is going to conclude with a short statement, "If you recall nothing else, recall that I told you to tell the truth."

This statement needs a review by the DNC. Bluntly the DNC needs to ask the witness:

___ Did you interpret this "direction to tell the truth" as something other than open honest truth?

___ Did you interpret the "if you recall nothing else" as a signal to suggest that it was OK to say, "I do not recall anything"?

Then the issue for the DNC becomes: Why should anyone believe that they "don't recall" something that was documented in an e-mail; and part of an agreement; that agreement was coordinated; and the DOJ Staff dutifully reported that the plan had gotten approval; and that they had a "go" for implementation?

It doesn't matter whether the witness during testimony remembers anything. The only issue is: Did the witness write the e0mail; and does the witness have an explanation why they agreed to do something which makes no sense?

They witnesses can't claim "They can't remember" when the e-mails they wrote are before a plan that they coordinated on; then they reported they had approval; then they reported they confirmed was complete. It doesn’t' matter whether they do or do not remember anything. It is the job of the witness to explain:

___ why did they approve a plan that is not linked with any lawful purpose;

___ Why are they arguing that the firing was "appropriate" when they still have no clear story on "what the appropriate thing is or is not"

___ How can they argue that "delaying a review" of this is a "good" thing for the DNC: yet they are in the GOP, supposedly trying to make the DNC look bad?

___ when did the GOP suddenly become "loyal Democrats," and are "concerned" about the "boo-hoo, backlash this might cause for the DNC"?

___ How does the GOP explain the inconsistency between [a] a clear agreement to proceed on something; yet [b] not explanation for the e-mails which confirm this illegal plan to retaliate had been completed?

___ why should anyone believe that a "decision to fir a US Attorney in 2007" has anything to do with a supposed election-related event in 2004?

___ How does the GOP credibly argue that actions and discussions in 2007 is related to the 2004-election?

___ What is the GOP view of a "timely" reaction?

___ IF the GOP view of a "timely reaction" to a 2004 election is something in 2007, why was there such a "big push" in 2003 to "get the war in Iraq done; why not wait, as the GOP has done with these US attorney firings, three more years until 2006?

___ How does the GOP explain the contrast: [a] in Iraq, there was a "fast timeline" to get things done; yet [b] with the US Attorneys, it took three years to do things?

___ How can the GOP possibly have anyone believe that a three year gap between 2004 and 2007 "is related" but a simple problem with a 2005 NSA surveillance issue is "not related" to a July 2005 Bolton revelation on reviewing NSA transcripts?

___ Does the GOP have any explanation why they have two standards on what is or is not an acceptable timeline?

___ Why is the GOP saying that an "appropriate link" between one event is "OK" if there is a three year gap; but when talking about Saddam, waiting just a few more days was "intolerable?

* * *

No Evidence: No Basis for GOP To assert there is "no problem"

For the GOP to assert there is "no problem" there must be something they are using to back up that assertion. Fine, let the witness explain:

___ What was their basis to assert openly that there was "no problem"?

___ what evidence did they have to conclude that there was "no problem"?

___ What kind of review was conducted to conclude that there was "no problem"?

___ How was it determined that there was "no inappropriate inactivity"?

The problem for the GOP is that they are not being consistent: First arguing for not fact finding; but then asking for more time to review what they say isn't needed: More fact finding.

___ If the GOP says there is "no problem" and "no need for a review" why does the GOP need time "to review"?

___ How does the GOP explain their inconsistency: They claim the issues do not need to be explained; yet, the GOP wants time to come up with an explanation?

___ How does the GOP witness explain the inconsistency: They took the time to develop an agreement; but now claim there is "not time possible" to review what they did?

___ Why is the GOP giving itself "time" to develop a plan; but then arguing the opposite: "There is no time" to review that plan?

* * *

As you review this consider two contrasting Memos: The Cheney Iran-Contra comments; and the Cheney memos in re the Watergate issues. Go back to the original memos and you'll see the problem. Cheney has two positions on investigations. First he wants to take time as a means to delay; then he wants to delay as a means to get more time. Same thing is going on today with the US Attorney Firings.

* * *

Illegal Activity v. Constitution

It is absurd to argue that this is "in" the Constitution. No, the Constitution does not permit retaliation for efforts to enforce the law. This defies the oath.

The GOP's problem is its failure to discuss their point. What' they're doing is asserting that something is legal; but they fail to offer any access to review the details of what they are claming. The President claimed he would hide the testimony, not offer a transcript, and doesn't want anyone under oath. That is hardly a basis to believe that the GOP can prove anything. Without a transcript, what will the GOP be able to do to "respond" to the "DNC lies"?

The GOP has no answer: The issue isn't a desire to debate or make sound decisions, but to hide evidence, block review, and discourage debate: The same things in re the Iraq WMD and FISA issues. Recall what the GOP did in re the FISA warrants and NSA surveillance activity: Banned Members of Congress from discussing the issues with counsel. This is not acceptable: Open debate of publicly available information is required.

If the Condition -- that there is no ability to discuss this issue -- is a precondition on an issue that shows the GOP is lying -- then the GOP is doing itself no favor by not taking the time to share what really happened, and prove that they are not lying. Again, if the GOP is right -- that there is "no issue" here -- then why isn't the GOP taking "this chance" to put the facts on the table and show the world that the DNC is "wrong, wrong, wrong"? No answer. The failure of the GOP to do this -- and get a "slam dunk" as the CIA director Tent likes to say -- means that the GOP is the one that needs the slam dunk.

* * *

These issues are not complicated. There has been questionable conduct relative to a documented, agreed to, coordinated, and well understood plan. It is meaningless to argue over what has been well documented and is well known: The e-mails show there was something.

The issue turns to the subsequent inconsistent disclosures: Nothing adds up because the GOP has a major legal problem. They've been spending too many hours on a weekend going over "things that don't matter." There multiple law firms and many legal counsel assigned to this issue because there is a major legal problem for the President, Gonzalez, Miers, and Rove. If there was "no issue" here, then counsel and their associates would not have been going over these legal issues at work, on a weakened, and having multiple conversations between DC and outside-DC law offices. Multiple associates, multiple offices, and many conversations on "something that is not an issue" is laughable.

It doesn't matter what the counsel are talking about on this issue: The issue is simple -- they would not spend time on something that is minor. Counsel would look for any excuses to ignore anything. The White House's problem is that they are spending too much time coordinating with outside counsel on something that should be "idle chatter". Legal counsel is spending too much time chasing non-sense information because they have no other information -- they haven't yet reviewed all the e-mails in the 3,000 pages. Counsel has no clue what is in there other than knowing: They have a disaster that they're trying to spin away.

* * *

The GOP assertions that this is "allowable" or "consistent" with anything are meaningless. This is unprecedented: Firing this many attorneys this far away from the election, but pretending it is "no problem"; but then being unable to provide a clean, credible, and coherent story that make sense.

if the GOP has a "good reason" for this action; or there is "nothing wrong" with this, it should not take this long to patch together a story. The original "good reason" should have been part of the original agreement; and all that the GoP needed to do was review the original agreement and say, "This is reasonable because of these reasons." The problem: The original agreement was not reasonable; and they're still trying to patch together something that makes sense. This means that the original reasons were not good, but vague, probably illegal, and not for a good motivate that they believe the public would accept.

* * *

It is absurd to assert that there are "questions" about what people are being accused of; but then claim no fact finding is required. If fact finding -- as little as there has been -- indicates there are legal issues [obstruction, witness tampering, illegal retaliation, unlawful firing, and illegal efforts to interfere with ongoing investigations] -- then imagine what might be going on, and what facts might exist to confirm or deny these early indicators.

Fact finding is needed.

The US legal community has a problem: Where is their leadership to take these DOJ emails, and forward the information to the state Disciplinary boards for disbarment reviews.

* * *

Saying that there is "proof of nothing" is meaningless: The GOP has refused to permit open discussions under oath. That is not proof. To suggest there is "nothing" yet there is no proof that there is or is not anything is non-sense.

* * *

GOP cannot say that anything is "acceptable" when what they agreed to is not something they are able to patch together an acceptably explain. They have no explanation despite an agreement. That defies logic.

Saying that the situation is the "exact" same thing as something else -- without proof or review -- is absurd. If there is the "election-related"-defense; then the action needs to be close to the election, not almost three years after the supposed election-related event.

The GOP is in no position to demand anyone provide answers when the GOP is not providing the answers to themselves: How are we going to explain this mess despite our written agreement, coordination, and common understanding of what we were doing? The GOP has a problem which it cannot solve: How to explain the illegal; and how to reconstruct what they have no defense. IT is impossible.

* * *

Until there is fact finding, there is no basis to have confidence in the President, the Attorney General, or the American government. American citizens should not be surprised why the Taliban and Iraqi insurgency -- upon seeing this mess -- shake heir head saying, "The stupid Americans are making our job that much easier: Inspiring more people to join our cause against the American animals who are lawless and cannot follow the written word."

Written words are important: They are laws. Americans, when they ignore their written word in law, cannot credibly argue they are serious about considering, much less having an open mind to discuss, what is written in the Koran.

* * *

The Congress has the power to shut down funding for the Executive Branch. The Congress gets to decide when or if that funding can get shut down.

The Speaker of the House is not required to approve any money for anything the President wants. Nor does she have to "ignore" an issue the Senate wants to avoid.

The speaker may choose to actively thwart the Senate and President. A President cannot make the House provide funding; and a Senate "threat" to filibuster is meaningless: IT doesn't make the President "get money."

The President can check Congress by enforcing the laws and conducing investigations. It is absurd to argue that one branch of government does or does not have the power to check another. Checks and balances are part of the Article 1 Section 8 powers which outline the dual role the Congress and President share in conducting warfare: Congress has the exclusive power to raise and support an army. What the Congress does not provide, the President may not use.

The Congress has the power to review why the President is engaging in illegal activity. They are allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry to review whether there is or is not a basis to impeach. The Congress has the legal power to gather facts and define their rules on who they will or will not believe.

The President cannot do anything unless the Congress agrees to cooperate: If the President wants to wage illegal warfare, the Congress must decide whether it will cooperate or not cooperate. Congress has the right to debate anything; and the Speaker has an effective power to reject anything the President attempts to do.

* * *

Without proof we are being told that the firings have "nothing" to do with ending an investigation. If this were true: How is this known? We've had no fact finding to know the impact. Again, the GOP is arguing that "There was no impact" but saying, "Oh, you can't figure that out, or review whether there has or has not been an impact, trust us." It doesn't work that way.

There is no basis for anyone to assert that an investigation is "still there".

without a review or a question, there is no basis for anyone to say that something was or was not done; or whether something was or was not partially or completely correct. Despite taking action, the GOP still doesn't know. That's not certainty, but absurd uncertainty.

The GOP has asserted that there was a "failure to enforce the law" yet they've got nothing to support this claim. Again, we need fact finding, not assertions that there was or was not something the US Attorneys did or did not do. The GOP has no straight story despite their written agreement to do what they cannot explain.