Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Read this

From the New York Times: I'll be selecting which terrorists to embolden

At least four top White House lawyers took part in discussions with the Central Intelligence Agency between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes showing the secret interrogations of two operatives from Al Qaeda, according to current and former administration and intelligence officials.

The accounts indicate that the involvement of White House officials in the discussions before the destruction of the tapes in November 2005 was more extensive than Bush administration officials have acknowledged.

Those who took part, the officials said, included Alberto R. Gonzales, who served as White House counsel until early 2005; David S. Addington, who was the counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney and is now his chief of staff; John B. Bellinger III, who until January 2005 was the senior lawyer at the National Security Council; and Harriet E. Miers, who succeeded Mr. Gonzales as White House counsel.

It was previously reported that some administration officials had advised against destroying the tapes, but the emerging picture of White House involvement is more complex. In interviews, several administration and intelligence officials provided conflicting accounts as to whether anyone at the White House expressed support for the idea that the tapes should be destroyed.

One former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter said there had been vigorous sentiment” among some top White House officials to destroy the tapes. The former official did not specify which White House officials took this position, but he said that some believed in 2005 that any disclosure of the tapes could have been particularly damaging after revelations a year earlier of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

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Some of these.... these folks...... names such as Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Miers, David Addington....... we've seen 'em before haven't we?

They sound familiar, that is.

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How might we see this play out?

Republican Pete Hoekstra (the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee) absolutely ripped the intelligence community last Sunday, December 16th:

"We want to hold the (intelligence) community accountable for what's happened to these tapes," Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan said on "Fox News Sunday." "We will issue subpoenas ... Our investigation should move forward.

He said he had no confidence in U.S. intelligence leadership. "You've got a community that's incompetent. They are arrogant. And they are political. And they don't believe that they are accountable to anybody....

Strong words. Strong strong words. But I want everyone to take notice of what comes after that series I left y'all hangin with.

...They don't believe that they're accountable to the president."

His point right there was that the President was not abreast of what was going on and that these incompetent, arrogant schmucks were essentially being insubordinate. Never mind he says nothing chastising President Bush (as if a President ought to be held accountable for his or her own government)... You wouldn't expect to see a Republican berating President Bush on Fox News, even if President Bush were to commit gay polygamous incest.

But of course, again, Congressman Hoekstra said that on December 16th. That was before the New York Times revealed the involvement of at least four lawyers extremely close the the President and the Vice President.

Here's what Congressman Hoekstra should say tomorrow morning:

"You've got a community that's incompetent. They are arrogant. And they are political. And they don't believe that they are accountable to anybody. The President, the Vice President, and their friends and advisers do not believe they're accountable to the People."

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