“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Who's the Goat?

Criminal Probe Opened Over CIA Tapes

Wed Jan 2, 4:32 PM EST

Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed an outside prosecutor Wednesday to lead a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes.

The CIA acknowledged last month that it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice.

"The Department's National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation," Mukasey said in a statement released Wednesday.

Mukasey named John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the case. Durham has a reputation as one of the nation's most relentless prosecutors. He served as an outside prosecutor overseeing an investigation into the FBI's use of mob informants in Boston and helped send several Connecticut public officials to prison.

"The CIA will of course cooperate fully with this investigation as it has with the others into this matter," agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said.

CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, who worked with the Justice Department on the preliminary inquiry, has recused himself from the investigation. Prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Va., are also recused.

Mukasey named Durham the acting U.S. attorney on the case, a designation the Justice Department frequently makes when top prosecutors are recused. He will not serve as a special prosecutor such as Patrick Fitzgerald, who operated autonomously while investigating the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity.

The CIA has already agreed to open its files to congressional investigators, who have begun reviewing documents at the agency's Virginia headquarters. The House Intelligence Committee has ordered Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed the tapes be destroyed, to appear at a hearing Jan. 16.

Rodriguez's attorney, Robert S. Bennett, had no comment.

Is the administration looking for a fall guy. Someone who can take the wrap and the heat. A sacrificial lamb or a scapegoat to be turned out into the wilderness?


  1. Why not Mr. G.W. Bush himself taking executive responsibility?

  2. Looks like that's going to be Rodriguez.

  3. In her final appearances, she has stressed the likelihood that the next president will face challenges and crises "none of us can predict now" and, in effect, asked voters who they trust to pick up the receiver when the phone rings in the White House in the middle of the night. That argument -- reminiscent of the famous "red telephone" ad that another front-runner, Walter Mondale, effectively used in 1984 against another insurgent opponent, Gary Hart -- may have been given added weight for Democratic voters with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last week.

    But neither that experience argument, nor Obama's insistence on "fundamental change, big change, not tinkering around the edges change," nor Edwards' promise of "an epic fight" with "entrenched interests that are standing between you and the country... you deserve" shows any signs of completely trumping the others. The relentless polls blowing through Iowa like snow squalls vary in whether they show Clinton, Edwards or Obama leading, but they converge in showing the three bunched tightly together.

    Not only is the overall Iowa electorate closely divided, so are many individual voters. It's not uncommon to meet Democrats who perceive offsetting strengths in each of the major candidates and the alternative electoral and governing strategies they offer.

    Big 3

  4. Hillary Don't Know Her Arse From A Hole In The Ground as some of the folk out here say. Can barely identify Pakistan on the map. Hillary USA American.

  5. Campaigning in New Hampshire, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani called for a doubling of U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan as part of a broader military expansion.

    "We need to bring a surge to Afghanistan and make it effective right now," he said in Wolfeboro. He was referring to the increase of U.S. troops in Iraq credited with dampening violence there.

    Giuliani, who has not focused on Iowa to concentrate on later voting states, has seen his poll numbers decline nationally and in the states in recent weeks.

    Iowa Vote

  6. Iowa prediction:

    1. Huckabee
    2. Romney

    1. Obama
    2. Clinton

  7. Twisting in the wind
    bettin' on a losin' friend
    Makin' the same mistakes we swore
    we'd never make again ...

  8. Hey, this Rodriguez fella sounds like a Mexican!
    Just throw him in Solitary where the two Mexican Border Agents waste their lives away, as their families become poverts.
    Compassion, GWB style, ala Libby.

  9. I posted a question 2 threads back on the great Joo Debate Thread.
    Thanks in advance for your attention.
    The Polite One.

  10. The Frontpage of Townhall has a neat video by Geraldo, of all people, about the reopened Russian Tunnel and other reconstruction efforts.

    Just wait for the blink blink jump jump menu to come up with the Tunnel link, then clik FAST before it cycles on, and you wait, wait.
    F..... Web Design!

  11. Exit some but not all of the CEOs who presided over the misappraisal of risk, clutching multimillion dollar golden goodbyes. Enter the sovereign wealth funds, and the beginning of the reestablishment of the Caliphate, with cold cash rather than hot lead and suicide bombs powering the revival.

    Having written down the value of so many assets that they needed infusions of equity, Citigroup, UBS, and others followed the money, which turned out to be in China, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. The sovereign wealth funds of these countries dipped into their petty cash drawers for the odd billions, and ended up with significant positions in many U.S. banks.

    George Bush says he is happy to see this money come home; others worry about the political influence China and the Arab nations might choose to inject into what were once purely commercial decisions.

    Wealth Funds

  12. Doug,

    I've posted a reply to your question. I think it's accurate. dRat can correct me if it's wrong.

  13. doug wrote (two threads back):

    "Bubba and the Joos offered everything but the Kitchen Sink, but were rebuffed in the end,"

    weellll, I'm not convinced that the kitchen sink and all was really offered back in Clinton's day with the Right of Return being just one of the faucets not on offer.

    There seems to be a general agreement as to what a solution would look like (Two States based on the '67 borders with trades made for settled lands, compensation for denial of right of return, and shared admin/international city for Jerusalem) but the Palis and Israelis don't seem too keen on signing on...most others seem able to live with it.

    Then there is the cynical armaggedon solution.

    ummm, a bit o chocolate and a cognac as I ponder when the "endgame" started and ended...

  14. "Is the administration looking for a fall guy."

    Lemme see: WH is satisfied to have it demonstrated that its counsel recommended against destruction; Justice, which along with the WH could have but didn't at any point order the tapes' preservation, gets to strut its stuff; and Jose, who is spoken of (a tad bafflingly perhaps) in reverent terms, is shown to have acted under the authority of his office, according to the letter of the law, and in the interests of his own people. No one needs a get out of jail free card; everyone's happy.

    It's Emily Litella's Never Mind Investigation. Your tax dollars at work.

  15. but doesn't one of the legal issues turn upon the supeona issued by the 911 commission not being obeyed? It was intentionally violated was it not?

  16. Neither intentionally nor otherwise.

  17. “We talked this morning about getting two deputies off calls and do nothing but speed control,” White County Sheriff Ricky Shourd said.

    Four new Arkansas Highway Police officers will be assigned to the county, Shourd said, and he has requested more troopers be assigned to White County by the Arkansas State Police (ASP). The ASP will begin saturation patrols after the first of the year, Shourd said.

    Saturation patrols are intense efforts in which a proportionately larger number of troopers are active in a given area during a certain time period in order to catch lawbreakers.

    Don't Speed in Arkansas

  18. There seems to be a general agreement as to what a solution would look like (Two States based on the '67 borders with trades made for settled lands, compensation for denial of right of return, and shared admin/international city for Jerusalem) but the Palis and Israelis don't seem too keen on signing on...most others seem able to live with it.

    the palios/arabs have refused to sign on to any real peace, the problem? the arabs wish to keep it legal to hunt and kill jews...

    ya see, it is really simple, it aint the land, it is israel being

    it is also "how dare the fucking jews think they are our equal" syndrome, the christian world finally shook that concept and the islamic world hasnt even begun to think that

    the islamic world doesnt see it to be a crime to ethnically cleanse jews from 649/650th of the middle east, they do not see it as crime to kill people that sell land to a jew, they do not see it to be a crime to kill an apostate....

    the peace treaty aint about land, it's about the arabs finally realizing that jews have as much right to land in the middle east as they do (let alone actually even more rights to a tiny sliver)

    no, peace cannot come as long as genocide is the islamic goal...

    as for those who think i am in denial? I am not, i just see if the violence of islam is not stopped, and stopped soon, you will have a nuke exchange.

    in the end, i HIDE in Ohio, knowing all to well that the black rockers from iran, hezbollah, hamas & arabia among many more, are seeking the complete murder of every jew.

    but we will not go quietly into the night, there will be a price to pay if these retards again try for genocide....

  19. "[Olmert's punishment], and the punishment of [Vice Premier] Haim Ramon, and the punishment of [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, and all these people, like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, should be to hang from the gallows," Wolpe said to the cheering crowd.

    The comment came after news circulated during the conference that one of the terrorists who killed two Israelis in the South Hebron Hills last Friday was a PA security officer.

    Among those attending the conference were MK Arye Eldad (National Union/National Religious Party), MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), Kiryat Arba-Hebron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, Kise Rahamin Yeshiva head Rabbi Meir Mazuz, and former MK Elyakim Haeztni, who joined in the accusations that Olmert was responsible the deaths of the two Israelis last Friday.

    Calls for PM's Death

  20. Romney

    slick air

  21. I know, WiO, let's pay Ash to walk around the arab countries with a skull cap on his head for a summer. If he came back, it'd be with a different opinion.

  22. He can walk in to a saudi real estate office and make an offer.

  23. Celebrate Hanukka(sp?) in Gaza.

  24. Do archeological work in Yemen.

  25. Interview jihadis in War - i - stan.

  26. 12:01 should read slick hair, not air, I get shakey thinking about the man.

  27. Earlier Wednesday, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband both announced Britain's agreeing to the Pakistani request.

    Miliband said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, at the request of Musharraf, "has agreed to send a UK Police team of technical experts to assist the government of Pakistan in the investigation of the death of Benazir Bhutto. The team is due to leave the UK by the end of the week.

    "As the terrible events of last week show only too clearly, Pakistan faces a very serious threat from extremism. The UK is already closely engaged with the Government of Pakistan on counter-terrorism cooperation.

    Too Late?

  28. Not to worry folks, those special forces teams are set to Grab The Paki Nukes when the need arises.

  29. I just heard a man on the radio saying the Congressional Black Caucus supports amnesty for illegal aliens. If that is true, why?

  30. bobal,

    Having trouble with, and/or criticizing the Israeli position on some issues does not imply a wholesale acceptance of all that is the 'arabic' approach. The Israelis and the Palestinians seem to be caught in a Siamese twin like embrace doing a macabre dance to the death. It would be nice to be able to help them find a way to just get along.

  31. ash said...

    Having trouble with, and/or criticizing the Israeli position on some issues does not imply a wholesale acceptance of all that is the 'arabic' approach. The Israelis and the Palestinians seem to be caught in a Siamese twin like embrace doing a macabre dance to the death. It would be nice to be able to help them find a way to just get along.

    Thu Jan 03, 09:07:00 AM EST


    again, forget the :palestinian angle...

    it's the israeli - arab conflict, the palios are pawns

    they were CREATED to do what could not be done via traditional force.

    the egyptians and the syrians FAILEd to exterminate the nascent israel, and then failed to exterminate the fledging israel, and they decided to CHANGE tactics...

    arafat the egyptian was propelled into the leadership via the egyptian secret police as a tool to be a thorn in israel's side...

    here is a lifted bio of the man:

    Key Events in Yasir Arafat's Terrorist Career

    – Aug 4, 1929: Born in Cairo. Arafat, then named Muhammad Abdel Rahman Abdel Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, is fifth child of prosperous merchant, Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini.

    – 1933: Arafat's mother dies. He and his infant brother are sent to live with uncle in Jerusalem.

    – Late 1950's: Arafat co-founds Fatah, the “Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine.”

    – Jan. 1, 1965: Fatah fails in its first attempted attack within Israel — the bombing of the National Water Carrier.

    – July 5, 1965: A Fatah cell plants explosives at Mitzpe Massua, near Beit Guvrin; and on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem near Kafr Battir.

    – 1965-1967: Numerous Fatah bomb attacks target Israeli villages, water pipes, railroads. Homes are destroyed and Israelis are killed.

    so you see, the use of terror STARTED BEFORE 1967, when gaza and the west bank were firmly in arab control

    and yet, no call to create a state from 1948 - 1967 in those lands....

    nope the problem aint "palestine" the problem is the fact that israel is... and sits on .7/650th of the middle east...

    so it aint "Siamese twins" it's an elephant and an ant...

    as for the palios? israel COULD destroy them in an instant given the right mega murder..

    the reason Israel did not INVADE lebanon with 45,000 troops and killed 10's of thousands?

    hezbollah wasnt GOOD enough even with 4400 rockets to kill more than a typical suicide bombing's aftermath...