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Thursday, March 15, 2007

White House Retroactively Created Smokescreen To Hide Narrow, Targeted Firings

Ref I disagree with the assertion that they wanted to fire all 93 Attorneys; or that they actively discussed firing all of them. The e-mails, as they were written do not support this conclusion.

ABC appears to have the wording wrong in the original quote attributed to Rove. [ABC Story WaPo accepts that ROve didn't specifically state this. Speaker quoted 93, but the e-mails do not support this. Kos and America Blog parrotting the same nonsense: Someone interested in sending them a wakeup: What happened to independent journalism?]

If this was an "acceptable" action -- that of firing anyone -- why would the White House go to the effort to pretend that it was authorized; or not provide truthful statements.

The appearance of a ruse, smokescreen, and inconsistent statements suggests the White House knew the approach was questionable. The issue is: What did the White House hope the public and DoJ OPR would not find out about.

Ref: I stand by this assessment.


1. There are other lines of evidence, meetings, conversations, and other written documents, e-mail, and meeting notes related to earlier conversations which Rove, the President, and Attorney General discussed findings from an NSA-affiliated contractor.

2. The Status of the US Attorney investigations was never released outside the US Attorney's office directly to the President or Attorney General. NSA intercepted the status communications. The GOP has focused on the external, publicly visible FBI actions related to the US Attorney prosecutions as a ruse to distract attention from the ongoing monitoring of the US Attorney classified investigations and not-released indictments.

3. Fleishman-Hilliard, using intercept data from NSA, might have been the contractor who provided a summary of issues to the GOP via an existing contract attached to the AT&T support contract for NSA. This data was provided to the Attorney General and President.

4. Discussion of this classified data by the President, Attorney General, Rove, and White house counsel indicates that the White House is implicated in a breach of security, and has inappropriately accessed, used, and disseminated classified information related to ongoing, classified US Attorney and FBI investigations. They were not authorized to receive this information; nor did they use this information for a lawful purpose.

5. These judgements have been independently developed outside the analysis supporting these conclusions. The Vice President appears to have relied on classified information from NSA to monitor the status of the ongoing US investigations; then brought this information to the attention of Rove, Gonzalez, and the President.


A. Do this test.

B. Revisit Dayspring's accusations in light of the White House e-mail: What was his accusation designed to do, distract attention from. Ref

C. Encourage the Speaker to support this line of inquiry for purposes of an assessment of President's plans in re the Legislative Branch. [ Details ]

* * *

I've previously covered the claim that there the White House wanted to fire all US Attorneys.

Even using the e-mail cited, I come up with a different conclusion. The key question is: What prompted Rove to review the US Attorneys, and ask the question then.

___ Was there a meeting?

___ What memorandum from the President prompted this question?

___ What information did Rove or someone else get from the NSA, as did Bolton, related to intercept informatin?

___ What information did Fleishman-Hilliard provide to the GOP -- based on their analyusis of intercept information, media discussions, or other analysis done on the NSA intercepts through AT&T -- that prompted Rove, the President, Attorney General, or the political division in the GOP to raise this issue? [ Details on AT&T and Fleishman-Hilliard Contract ]

Contrary to the "concerns" the White House had with voters, the real concern appears to be the GOP inability to explain away their lack of success other than pretend there was fraud.

___ Did Rove's "math" not add up because his models were wrong?

___ What information was Rove using to justify "concerns" with voter data?

___ Is there the chance that the GOP was paying for bad polling data, but didn't realize it until too late?

* * *

Note the language:

Karl Rove stopped by to ask you (roughly quoting) "how we planned to proceed regarding US Attorneys, whether we were going to allow all to say, request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or selecively replace them, etc.

Breakdown of E-mail Into Six [6] Steps

[1] Karl Rove stopped by to ask you (roughly quoting) [2] "how we planned to proceed regarding US Attorneys, [3] whether we were going to [4] allow all to say, [5] request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or [6] selecively replace them, etc.

1. "Karl Rove stopped by to ask you (roughly quoting)"

It seems odd that Rove would "walk by" and not call direct for a meeting.

___ What meeting did Karl just exit that prompted this question?

___ Why not a telephone call?

___ Did Rove want to leave this out of the phone log?

___ Why no e-mail?

___ Did Rove, as with the Iraq WMD issue, make a ruse story; and hope to leave a trail?

___ What did Rove hope to accomplish in person that he could not have done in a meeting?

___ Is it normal for Rove to wander the hall after a meeting?

___ Was Rove carrying his black 8X10 pad of paper?

2. "how we planned to proceed regarding US Attorneys,"

This seems odd to raise the issue of "US Attorneys." saying "proceed" implies that they had discussed something elarier; or were concerned about soemthing.

___ What prompted Rove to start this conversation?

___ What previous discussion is he referring to?

___ What was the concern Rove and others had discussed earlier?

___ What work had Rove expetted teh Staff to have accomplished since this previosu meeting?

___ Was Rove disappointed in that there was no progress made?

___ Why make a personal visit on something that was a first time issue?

___ Who did Rove talk to prior to this messge?

___ Was the PResident concerned US Attorneys were geting close?

___ Which GOP contractor caled the President?

___ Which Members of Congress were upset?

___ How did the President respond to these calls from the CIA?

___ Was the contractor concerned that they would face retlation despite assurances that nothing would happen?

___ What pre-award assurances were made to this contractor making this Call to teh Persident?

___ How did Rove use his experiene with teh Libby investigation to cover his tracks ohn this?

___ Is there a reason taht Rove wasn't using the phone, e-mail, or logging his call?

___ Do we have a complete record of all calls coming into the WHite House from Members of Congress and GOP lobbysits and contractors?

___ Where is the Abramoff investigation on these issues?

3. "whether we were going to"

___ Why would he ask a qustion this way?

___ This suggests they talked about an issue, and was following up?

___ OR was this the first time he raised the issue?

4. Option 1: "allow all to stay,"

This is not firing any.

___ Why "resolve" an issue iwth US Attorneys by doing nothing?

___ Did Rove offer this as an option to "sound complete" but he intended this to be rejected, in that they had agreed to target some US Attorneys?

5. Option 2: "request resignations from all and accept only some of them,"

This isn't firing them, this requesting their resignations, and only accepting some of them. This isn't a mass firing, but the opposite: a pre-planned list of peole they wanted to get rid of; and a smokescreen of resignations to hide the ones selected for replacement.

6. Option 3: "or selecively replace them, etc."

Agaiu, this isn't firing all of them, but some.

* * *

All three of the options did not include firing all of them; only asking for a ruse resignation, then acceptin some

They never discussed firing all of them; they did the opposite: Create a method to target some, but ac reate a smokescreen.

It appears the "concern" with voting issues is another smokescreen.

* * *

The Attorney Memo

Even if we look at the Attorney Memo where the "option" of firing all of them, that was not a serious proposal: It was more of an upper bound: If we fired all of them, we would have -- on top of the 6-9 months to get a few of them -- what it would take to physically replace all of them.


The e-mail they've provided does not support the conclusion that the White House was serious about firing all of them, but the opposite: Creating ruse to hide the fact that they were targeting some.

For some reason it appears as though there is a ruse "fire them all"-approach; but this is not supported by the e-mil after Rove visited. It looks more like Rove and others knew they had to create a plan to target the selected US Attorneys, and sell the plan.

Given the Plame lessons, and Libby perjury, it appears the White House was involved with a double story: The Staff appears to well know that the e-mails were subject to review; and they knew enough not to include things. Elston stated that this was "deliberative" suggesting hew was thinking this could be protected.

There is something else going on here: And the story about firing all 93 attorneys was retroactively created. The White House will have to produce the evidence to show that this was a real discussion.

* * *

Which leads us to the ABC Report

Colin Newman's e-mail stated the three options: As discussed above, none of the options listed in the e-mail -- connected with Rove -- mentioned firing all of them.

However, Samptson to Leitch did include the word "wholescale" as a discussion point, not as a real option. It appears Sampson misread the memorandum [the note from Rove] or is relying on something else.

ABC hasn't pointed to something specific; Rather, the inconsistencies between the e-mails suggests there were other conversations that were not being documented.

At best we have White House counsel misreading a memo; at worst, they've fatally opened a line of inquiry into their secondary communication system:

___ Why are they discussing things that were not in the original e-mails;

___ What other information, not provided to the Committee as it should have been, exists that would explain why they are talking about "firing all of them", but the e-Aimil that they're supposedly referencing does not mention this?

___ What is the method of communication they used to discuss these issues;

___ Why weren't the e-mails related to the original conversations -- which prompted Rove to raise this issue -- included?

___ What discussions did Rove and the Staff have on the US Attorneys above and beyond what have been presented here in this package to the Judiciary?

* * *


The inconsistencies in the versions -- whether deliberate or an error -- need to be explained. Either Rove has othe e-mails related to other discussions which prompted this coneration, question; or there is a misreading of the Rove message for a reason.

___ Why is counsel talking about "wholescale" removal as an opton; but the reference e-mail does not mention this?

___ Is Counsel unable to read?

___ Is Counsel fatally disclosing another conversations, series of meetings, and other things which have not been disclosed and provided to the Committee when requested?

___ What's the explanation for counsel mentioning "wholesale" in the subsequent e-mai; but they email supposedly triggering this assessment does not include this?

There appears to be another line of questions, e-mails, and discussions which the Whtie House has not provided.