McClellan: Bush DID Authorize NIE Leak, Plamegate

The Scott McClellan story implicates the president with such red hands, it almost seems like the White House will be set on fire by it’s two-term disaster of a tenant solely to incinerate all of the evidence. I exaggerate, of course. But on several talk shows today, one day after Politico.com leaked the juiciest bits from his upcoming autobiography, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” McLellan said what he never had a chance to explain to the press or even Patrick Fitzgerald: Bush personally and explicitly authorized Cheney and Libby to anonymously leak the bogus 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on WMD in Iraq to select members of the media such as Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, and Robert Novak:

Continue reading “McClellan: Bush DID Authorize NIE Leak, Plamegate”

The latest from a New America

Bush to Press December 19 (CTK)[updated at bottom] Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was one of the few Congressmen who were told of the NSA secret wiretapping in confidentiality. Today he released the handwritten letter he wrote to Vice President Cheney in 2003 voicing his concern. View the letter here (.pdf).

The web site of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has release this statement tonight:

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on former White House Counsel John Dean?s statement that President Bush admitted to an ?impeachable offense? when he said he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge.

Mr. Dean says impeachable. Do you agree?

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) suggested impeachment this morning on WAOK radio:”He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not king, he is president.””

Kitty Felde’s 20-minute interview with Sen. Boxer last night before her return to D.C. was broadcast today on KPCC and can be heard here.

Orin Kerr finds constitutionality may not be the issue in an extensive legal analysis at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Confirm Them can’t confirm Kerr’s admittedly tentative analysis, but is certain that this will be a huge issue come next month’s Alito hearings.

Digby refutes the statements supporting Bush’s secret spy program made by Gonzales and Hayden

Will Bunch elaborates on yet another New York Times revelation by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter:

I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president?s desperation.

SoCalPundit goes spin-cycle on the president’s Monday morning press “smack down,” calling it too entertaining to be flagged by AP for its numerous inaccuracies lies. Ezra Klein posts Good Job. Liar, “but only because it deserves repetition.”

———–

UPDATE 1: AP Military Writer Robert Burns reports Tuesday morning from Iraq:

The number of U.S. airstrikes increased in the weeks leading up to last Thursday’s election, from a monthly average of about 35 last summer to more than 60 in September and 120 or more in October and November.

UPDATE 2: Total number of FISA applications rejected, 1979-2004: 4 (two of which were later granted, 1758 were approved in 2004). source: EPIC

UPDATE 3: (via Daily Pundit): The Washington Times reports:

U.S. forces yesterday flew eight newly released “high-value” Iraqi detainees out of the country aboard a special military aircraft, in a move other officials said was aimed at furthering a secret peace process with Sunni hard-line groups.
….An additional 16 high-value detainees — most of them depicted in a U.S. pack of cards identifying top Saddam officials — are to be released imminently or have already been freed, according to a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

This wouldn’t amount to negotiating with the…….. nah.

Hold Bush Accountable for Admitted Criminal Acts

Bush Spies on Americans By: Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune
NYTimes editor Bill Keller offers up a most pathetic statement “excusing” the publication for the Bush/NSA story. Hannity, O’Reilly, et al would be pleased.As Matt Stoller proclaims in MyDD:

This spy scandal is a very important development. One of the problems with the blogosphere and the media landscape in general is that it feels like the outrage-meter is always turned up to maximum hot setting. You’re hearing a lot of chatter on the blogs, and I would suggest that this time, you pay special attention to it. This story cuts across all the themes of modern Republicanism – national security, 9/11, abuses of power, political opportunism, media manipulation, violation of civil rights, attacks on privacy, and the evisceration of checks and balances in the American system. Rarely is there such a narrative that ties so many threads together.

See AmericaBlog’s call for action.

Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) even got in on the qaction during a heated debate with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on CNN Friday:

Barr is far from a usual suspect in raging against the president, as Shakespeare’s Sister illustrates:

Barr is no left-winger, he?s a fire-breathing conservative who tried the case against Clinton, strongly supports the Second Amendment, drafted the Defense of Marriage Act, staunchly apposes abortion, and has been a speaker before the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been noted as becoming increasingly ?radical and racist? by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who classifies the CCC as a hate group.

I previously posted in disgust and dismay that the Times published this “groundbreaking” story a year after they had it, and even apologized within the text of the front page indictment. David Sirota assails the media in general and NYT in particular for sheer deference to the “powers” of government and profit in a must-read post:

..[T]he Times tells us Bush “secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans.” The paper also refers to “the powers granted the N.S.A. by President Bush.” “Authorized” and “granted.” The word “authorize” is defined as “to grant power or authority to,” and the word “grant” is the act of giving something one has. The media’s use of these terms, then, is the media trying to make the public assume as fact that Bush actually had the power or authority to grant in the first place.

Its more than just the NSA and Bush. Matt Rothschild of the Progressive points to MSNBC recent detailing of Rumsfeld’s DoD sending out teams to track even the most “innocuous and lawful” protests.

The Pengaton?s partial file on the spying is available here (.pdf).

As the president proclaimed at a recent Oval Office meeting (h/t Capitol Hill Blue):

I don?t give a goddamn,? Bush retorted. ?I?m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.?

?Mr. President,? one aide in the meeting said. ?There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.?

?Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,? Bush screamed back. ?It?s just a goddamned piece of paper!?

For more on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, click here.

President Bush said What?!?!?

Plenty of discussion continues today regarding the President’s one-hour press conference yesterday.

Many are hung up on his idea that the military will move in and secure things martially in the event of an avian flu outbreak. While Bush mentioned – and highly recommended – “Mr. Barry’s book on the influenza outbreak of 1918,” we must assume that, as per usual, Rumsfeld will want complete control over any plan (or lack thereof) to combat avian flu ? hence the reference to the military.

Bush remains insistent on the “progress” in Iraq, invoking the convenient “let me remind you that we are at war” phrase in his address – proving for certain that he doesn’t read the papers. His claim that 30 Iraqi troops are now in the lead (in defense of General Abizaid and General Casey’s claims that only one Iraqi batallion is battle-ready) only infers that they’re helpless pawns on the frontlines of stronger U.S. forces – probably the reason Iraqi troops face twice the amount of casualties as Americans. At least he’s conceding his Social Security reform plans, or so writes DailyKoz.

As for the Harriett “pit bull” Miers announcement, nobody says it quite like George Will in today’s WaPo.

On the gov’t deliberate process of removing and clearing damage caused by the hurricanes:

BUSH: How about getting this debris removed?? Now that you’re interested, I’ll tell you.

They didn’t want to be moving federally paid dozers on private property. Imagine cleaning up a debris and the person shows them, says, “Where’s my valuable china?” or, “Where’s my valuable art?”