March 26, 2007

Gonzales Explains While His Aide Takes The Fifth

Two major developments took place in the controversy over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the firings of eight federal prosecutors late last year. Gonzales offered his first public explanation of the apparent discrepancy between his statement on March 13th and the release of a memo on Friday, while one of his aides revealed that she would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if forced to testify.

First, Marcia Goodling announced through her attorney that she would not cooperate in any Congressional probe into the firings and the documentation:

The senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, her attorneys said today.

Monica M. Goodling -- who is on an indefinite leave of absence from Gonzales's office -- also said that at least one senior Justice Department official blames her for failing to fully brief him prior to a Senate appearance, leading to "less than candid" testimony. ...

In the declaration presented to the Senate committee and released by her attorneys today, Goodling, 33, says Schumer, Leahy and other lawmakers have already "drawn conclusions" about the U.S. attorney firings. As a result, Goodling says, she has decided to "invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination and decline to answer any and all questions from the committee or its staff."

"I have decided to follow my lawyer's advice and respectfully invoke my constitutional right, because the above-described circumstances present a perilous environment in which to testify," Goodling says.

It sounds like Goodling fears a perjury trap. It's how Fitzgerald nailed Scooter Libby, after all, and Goodling probably sees a likely repeat. However, having a senior aide to the AG taking the Fifth in front of Congress will do no good for Gonzales' political fortunes. People will rightly wonder why senior Justice officials cannot testify honestly to Congress without incriminating themselves -- and they're not going to blame Congress. The assumption will be that some crime got committed, because without a crime there's no chance of incrimination, at least not in the legal sense.

Gonzales took a stab at explaining himself to Pete Williams of NBC in an attempt to head off any more political damage. After sounding wounded about having his integrity challenged, he offered this explanation of how he could have attended a meeting which approved the firings and the response plan while claiming on March 13th that he had seen no memos or had been involved in no discussions on the terminations:

Williams: Can you answer some of the questions that have come up over the weekend? As you know, there was a — an email that came out Friday night that showed that ten days before the firings there was a meeting in your office which you attended to discuss the firings. And yet when you talked to us here at the Justice Department two weeks ago, you said you were not involved in any discussions about the firings. Can you — can you explain what seems like a contradiction?

Gonzales: Let — let me just say — a wise senator recently told me that when you say something that is either being misunderstood or can be misunderstood, you need to try to correct the record and make the record clear. Let me try to be more precise about my involvement. When I said on March 13th that I wasn't involved, what I meant was that I — I had not been involved, was not involved in the deliberations over whether or not United States attorneys should resign.

After I became attorney general, I had Kyle Samson [sic] coordinate a department review of the performance of United States attorneys. And I expected him to — to consult with appropriate Department of Justice officials who had information and knowledge about the performance of United States attorneys. From time to time, Mr. Samson would tell me something that would confirm in my mind that that process was ongoing.

For example, I recall him mention to me that — inquiry from the White House about where were we in — in identifying underperformers? And there are other similar type reminders that occurred during this process that I'm going to discuss specifically with the Congress. I was never focused on specific concerns about United States attorneys as to whether or not they should be asked to resign. I was more focused on identify — or making sure that the White House was a prop — was appropriately advised of the progress of our review. And I was also concerned to ensure that the appropriate Department of Justice officials, people who know — knew about the performance of — of United States attorneys, that they were involved in the process.

Now, of course, ultimately at the end of the process or near the end of the process, the recommendations were — were presented to me. There had been a lot of work done to review the performance of the United States attorneys. And recommendations were presented to me that reflected the recommendations of Kyle Samson and of others in the department. And so there was obviously a discussion with respect to that — that recommendation.

And, of course — having decided there will be changes, there was — there was a discussion about how do we implement this change? And so that is in — in essence — the context of my involvement and the substance of my comments on March 13th.

First, let me make an observation about MS-NBC's transcription. It stinks. Not only do they misspell Kyle Sampson's last name repeatedly, but they refer to a "Senator Menacheet" later. It took me a moment to realize Gonzales said Senator Domenici. Doesn't MS-NBC employ editors and fact-checkers?

More to the point, Gonzales offered an extended version of the Scolinos explanation over the weekend. His categorical statement of March 13th that he "was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on" still doesn't square with this version of events. He claims that he never had any discussions about the selection of the attorneys to be fired, but then acknowledged at the end of the process that Sampson presented him with the list for approval. It's certainly possible that Gonzales had so little interest in the project that he never asked a single question about why these people missed the cut, but if so, it hardly paints Gonzales in a good light as a "CEO", as he has described himself.

Later in the interview, Gonzales insists that he was committed to ensuring that no one got terminated for "improper" reasons, such as interfering with ongoing investigations and the like. In fact, he insists that none of them got fired for partisan reasons -- but how could he know that if he never discussed the reasons for their termination with Sampson? Williams asked Gonzales to explain that, but Gonzales only will say that "I know the reasons why I made the decision," which means that he had to have understood the reasons at the time of the November 27th meeting when he approved the terminations. Either he learned them by osmosis, or he and Sampson discussed the selection process for the terminations, which again makes his March 13th statement a lot less than candid.

This explanation and Goodling's use of the Fifth will do nothing to calm the waters. All of this could have been avoided had Gonzales followed Bush's example and told everyone what appears to be the truth -- that he had been involved in the decision to terminate federal prosecutors who hadn't pursued the administration's objectives to their satisfaction. A competent AG would have spoken plainly, just as Bush did with the NSA surveillance program, and taken what political benefit the terminations might have held. Instead, now we have administration officials taking the Fifth and Gonzales still ignoring the First Rule of Holes.


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Comments (71)

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 6:31 PM

Memo to Gonzales: When you're in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. He should save his boss a lot of grief and just resign.

Posted by das411 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 6:54 PM

rbj, who (besides, I suppose, Chuck Hagel and his ilk...ew) would this President want to nominate and this Congress want to approve, to replace him?

Hmm I wonder what Mr. Ashcroft is up to these days...

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 6:58 PM

Some insider "dish" that I read in passing.

Harriet Miers (BOOK: Supreme Conflict), refused at first, Andy Card's request, to withdraw her nomination for the supreme court seat!) It took 3 attempts. And, FINALLY it was shown to her that she was heading for failure. Though the donks were not exposing their cards! Before she stepped away. So that John Roberts could get the nod.

Now, that's INSIDER dish. INSIDE the White House! Where everybody takes advantage of the DUMMY.

Bush is too stupid for the job he has. And, he's surrounded by lots of incompetents; that snag the headlines, one by one. "Brownie" was the "other."

Just in case you "forgot" about Katrina.

By the way, this is NOT just an American problem. Heck, look at the headline, where iran was able to head off two rubber rafts; and the commander (Woods), on the battleship CORNWALL, "wired home." Were those the instructions in the manual?

Do you know that warships have guns? Heck, the CORNWALL could have been turned a bit at sea; and the engines revved. Those doozies who did the kidnapping of the 15 British personnel? They'd have needed swimming lessons; AFTER their crafts flew in the air. And, landed back down, again.

But, no. Woods "phoned home." Hello?

Well, at least not everybody elected to public office is as dumb as Bush. Gonzales can't count on the GOP IN Congress, right now, for instance! Bush hasn't got the ability to twist arms. Both the House and Senate are full of people who have taken "wind directions." Bush is gonna be lost at sea.

We'll get the full frontal reminders of what it looked like when Jimmy Carter last held the White House. Remember? He appeared so busy. What did he gain from it, though? (Okay. The House of Saud gave him millions. Or chump change. You pick.)

Reputations have been blown to smithereens, here. And, I"m not talking about Libby!

While the future happens, in spite of watching Bush blowing away what he had been given; including scared trust.

The Mideast? Expect no changes. Years from now, just like the gangs in LA kill each other; the Mideast will be the same. Lebanon? 3 factions. Don't get along. Iraq? Ditto. Iran? Well, do you know it's also fractured? Just glued together by terror.

We're not going to intervene.

Things will look the same ten years from now.

Unless? In 2008 we elect someone into the White House who brings with him MAINSTREAM AMERICA.

Mainstream. Once locked out from the primary process.

Seems like politics changes, every time someone invents a better boat in which to gain a hefty leverage.

And, when they change? They don't go back to Square One.

Will the donks change?

Yeah. Too many ambitious men.

While in france, when this type of sitation happened; and it was very bloody, ONLY Napoleon understood. So he bend down. And, picked up the french crown. That was floating in the gutter.

Again. Despots. They have a range of about 30 years. And, then countries tend to snap back.

Anyway, I think Gonzales leaves before the full two years ahead, "keeps him in the White House." Heck, have you noticed? Harriet Miers is ALSO gone. And, the dreck Bush faces, today? Comes from the mischief made by "friends."

By the time Bush leaves the White House, he will have fewer of them!

While condi is wasting her time in Riyadh. Looking for the "tunnel of money" that flowed so easily to Jimmy Carter, and the Clinton's.

On the other hand. Money doesn't buy you all that much when the foundations for excellence are not there.

It's like warships. You can build them. But if you want to test them, you have to hope they work, and are not just used for "pracitce," and "calling home."

I don't even have sympathy for Bush, these days. He'll be known as the man who "picks the wrong fights." And, then falls in, way over his head.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:02 PM

As a political junkie, I re-read Gonzalez's interview twice. All I got was gobbly-gook from him. Is he just not articulate, not a good liar, or just plain that stupid? Now his aides are taking the 5th, you can't make this stuff up. Eager to see how this continues to play out. Memo to gwb: have your people get their stories straight, right now you seem to be running a 3 ring circus!

Posted by wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:25 PM

Just a BTW, incidental to the main point in the post: "incriminating yourself" does not imply that a crime has been committed; otherwise taking the 5th would be considered an admission of guilt. A perfect justification for taking the 5th is that the deck is stacked, which it clearly is.

Another reason to take the 5th, of course, is to signal that if one is given immunity one would testify against one's superiors.

Posted by dwightkschrute [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:25 PM

Why has this guy not resigned yet? It makes absolutely no sense. ESPECIALLY if (and I for one totally disagree with the Captain's belief in this) there's no fire behind the smoke. But let's be honest that the person making that decision is Bush. Gonzales is a complete albatross at this point but Bush for whatever reason refuses to either ask for or accept his resignation. It would seem the only plausible reasons would be a. Bush is just that stubborn that he doesn't want any one to tell him what to do, b. he has no concept of how this is playing out with the American public, or c. he's taking all the blows right now for Bush and Rove, so that when they finally do put his head on the chopping block the entire mess will stick only to him and his staff leaving little desire left to pursue the WH involvement. Clearly if there's anyone worse at being "CEO" right now it's Bush.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:30 PM

I talked to someone who saw the interview and they said he did very well. Of course people have complained so much about him that the guy was expecting a lot worse.

I think that something else that would have helped would have been for people to back off making judgments without the facts. But they decided they were going to turn this noncrime and nonscandal into a big deal and so they ran with it. That was not all Gonzales's fault either. A little restraint from the media and the pundits would have been refreshing.

I am glad Goodling is taking the fifth. I think it should become standard operating procedure. Her attorney said that no matter how truthful and accurate her answers were there were Senators who have already made up their minds.

Will this look bad? I don't know. Hillary Clinton said I can't recall hundreds of times in her testimony to avoid perjury charges and she is running for president.

I think it should become standard operating procedure for people trapped in a witch hunt. It might make these people think twice about turning our Capitol into a circus.

Posted by Rob D [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:36 PM

Only Democrats should be held accountable for their actions.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:36 PM

ONe reason he has not resigned is that this is not your call to make Dwight.

And I also hear that Gonzales is working on the NSA leak case. There is a grand jury convened in Alexiandria VA and a lot of high ranking people have had to testify. It could be that someone wants to get rid of the guy for reasons that have nothing to do with these attorneys.

Something I have noticed about a lot of people on the right, is that they complain that Bush does not have a back bone, but when it comes right down to it....they will go up belly up long before he will.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 7:41 PM


Considering the number of scandals the country endured during the Clinton administration that is almost funny.

And remember the 5th Amendment is a constitutional right and I thought that meant something to progressives.

I tell you what, pretend she is a terrorist at Gitmo...

Posted by OldDeadMeat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 8:24 PM

Taking the 5th was the worst possible thing to do - you have an aboslute right to take the fifth, yes, but it's only a defense against prosecution. As political damage control, it ranks right up with sticking a match in a gas tank to see if it's empty.

Barring Hagel's shooting off his mouth, no one was really talking about prosecuting anybody. Certainly not anyone who wanted to avoid overplaying their hand.

If you had walked up to Nancy Pelosi 2 weeks ago and said you'll get a free shot at AG and Karl Rove, and here's why, she would never have believed anyone could be so stupid and inept at political damage control.

Michael Moore couldn't even sell this storyline.

Goodling may as well put up a sign saying, "I'll sell out my ex-bosses for immunity." If Congress gives her immunity for any past offenses, then she has to testify in the face of a subpoena or go to jail for contempt. She will not be able to remain silent at that point.

It may be too late for AG's resignation to end this whole affair.

Posted by pilsener [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 8:24 PM

Terrye -

I saw the interview replayed on Hardball.

My belief is that Gonzales needs to appear to be intelligent, competent, and in-charge. In this interview he appeared as none of those things. He took on the role of happy-talk, public relations guy - smile, talk softly, and deflect direct questions.

I came away believing that Gonzales still is not sure what happened or who did what. I wasn't for Gonzales removal before, but I am now.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 8:38 PM

The only reason to plead the 5th is because you don't want to incriminate yourself, period. I can understand why Goodling's lawyer bloviated about perjury traps to the elephant peanut gallery, but that isn't fooling anybody except those who want to be fooled. Honestly, I think Goodling's pleading the 5th isn't to protect her from self-incrimination but to cover up for Karl Rove, who surely gave Goodling her marching orders. Hey, what's one more fall guy for Rove anyway? If Scooter Libby could lie to cover Rove's butt, Goodling can as well.

Posted by dwightkschrute [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 8:48 PM

Ah this is rich seeing all these Republicans whine about this being a non-issue that's being blown out of proportion. Pardon me if I have a few doubts about the Republican sense of importance, lets briefly review:

Hours spent by the Republican Congress investigating the president Clinton's alleged misuse of his Christmas-card greeting list - 140

Months spent investigating 'damage, theft, vandalism, and pranks' in the transition from the Clinton Administration to Bush in January 2001 - 12, Money spent on investigation - $200,000 Result according to final report - "little corroborating evidence" to support Republican claims.

From October 1996 to March 1998, the Clinton White House staff spent over 55,000 hours responding to over 300 congressional requests.

Seems to me that asking a few Bush Administration officials and those who work for them for some straight answers is hardly out of line. Or are the rules different when Republicans are involved?

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 8:52 PM

Couple of things here.

1) We can all now see openly the damage Bush's failure on leadership on both this issue and the Scooter Libby trial has caused. If Bush had taken the bull by the horns and gotten behind Gonzales 100% three weeks ago, Gonzales' inadequate statement to MSNBC would have been unneeded and unnecessary. Likewise, I have to believe a swift pardon of Scooter Libby would have directly avoided Goodling taking the Fifth.

2) Goodling *does* need to go. The leave of absence needs to become permanent. You don't pay back the boss by making him look like a crook. Besides, I have tremendous trouble believing that a trained lawyer can't outsmart a Democrat Senator and navigate around a perjury trap the lawyer is fully aware of.

3) What the hell is the White House doing at this juncture other than *not getting a hold on the situation*?

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:04 PM

Captain ...Hmm, that's how Fitzpartrick caught Libby? Silly me, I thought he was convicted of lieing? Afterall it was the evil Darth Fitzpatrick who put a gun to Libby's head and MADE him lie.

Terrye ... here is a job for you, since I am sure you were all for Clinton's aides to get to Congress ASAP and take an oath and testify ... why not use some of that rabid display of Bush support you have and demand the same of his staff.

You and your kind wanted nothing more than for the Dems to get before congress and the GOP congress did it with zeal and relish ... now the shoe is on the other foot and all of a sudden "it's not right". You are a killer.

Hypocrite ... same sort of reasoning that so many of the wackos in the right were so upset when the nuclear option was taken off the table by the so called gang of moderate GOP/DEM senators. just think where you would be NOW if it were not for these moderate senators ... you should be thanking those who you openly dismissed as traitors a mere 12-15 months ago.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:06 PM

In case I wasn't clear, I think the reason why Goodling pleaded the 5th isn't because she might incriminate herself, but because she would incriminate Karl Rove by revealing his involvement in the firing of the U.S. attorneys. It's a damned shame her life should be ruined to cover up for Karl Rove, as she at least hasn't lied under oath like Scooter Libby did to protect the White House from being held to account for the outing of Valerie Plame. Congress may well give Goodling immunity in exchange for her testimony under oath about the communications from the White House to the Department of Justice, because she certainly isn't the one who is the "decider" here.

Posted by OldDeadMeat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:16 PM

sorry starfleet - the 5th only protects the person invoking it. Goodling can't use the 5th if she only wants to protect someone else.

Posted by capitano [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:28 PM

I think Bush has his cabinet and senior advisers must draw straws to see who gets to spend a few weeks in the barrel.

Rummy, Libby, Gonzo have been the lightening rods for the past year. I sure hope W is using the misdirection for something worthwhile.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:37 PM

OldDeadMeat, I agree completely. Which is why I think this is a bit of stonewalling and that Goodling should be called on it via a grant of immunity.

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:38 PM

I find it ironic that Goodling would rely on an Amendment to save her behind while her bosses were doing end runs around the Constitution in the first place.


I've seen others refer to it as:

IOKIYAR -- "It's Okay If You're A Republican!"

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 9:54 PM

From US News (via Josh Marshall), why Gonzales will be doing the crappie flop by Good Friday at the latest:

When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee this Thursday about the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, he's unlikely to throw any big bombs at the Bush administration that are of the magnitude of a direct link between Bush's political advisor Karl Rove and the dismissals, a close associate of Sampson's tells U.S. News. But Sampson will set off some fireworks by contradicting a key assurance that Gonzales made to Congress and the American public last Tuesday that he was not in the loop during the long deliberations leading up to the firings.

As OldDeadMeat said though, it may come as too little, too late for the White House by then.

Posted by Tom Holsinger [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 10:03 PM


You don't understand. The danger to Goodling, and the reason why so many people in the Justice Department had panic attacks last week, is 18 U.S.C. 1001 (the Martha Stewart offense), not perjury (18 U.S.C. 1621, et seq.)

Anything Goodling says to Congress can be used to convict her of an 18 U.S.C. 1001 violation for something she had already said, unsworn, in the ordinary course of business to another Justice Department "official" before the firings of the U.S. Attorneys took place, let alone what they said to each other once that became a political football.

At Goodling's level, they're ALL persons to whom statements can be made which can give rise to 18 U.S.C. 1001 liability.

"...whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully -

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry ...;"

The price of ciminalizing political differences, and in particular of prosecutorial mis-use of 18 U.S.C. 1001, is to deter federal officials from speaking on the record, whether under oath or not, to federal law enforcement officers or Congress on potentially touchy subjects.

What does surprise me is that no one has picked up on the implied slam at the Bush administration here - the absence of loyalty down has produced the absence of loyalty up.

President Bush throws underlings to the sharks, so one of them right here is showing how they can take him with them.

What makes this really delicious is that there was no underlying wrong-doing - the U.S. Attorney firings fuss is just a partisan football.

But Bush's people taking the 5th will convince the public that something really illegal happened when it didn't.

IMO this is evidence of an impending implosion by the Bush administration. His own appointees are refusing to take a dive for him because they know he won't protect them from mutual enemies.

His chickens are coming home to roost.

President Bush has shown that he lacks the energy of even an incompetent Executive. Now we see the consequences of managerial skill rivalling that of Al Gore and John Kerry.

It is fun to speculate on how Bush can stop the bleeding from this self-inflicted wound. How about a round of pardons?

Bush administration political appointees have just served President Bush with notice that they won't keep his administration from looking bad if there is any risk of criminal prosecution for doing their jobs, because they know he won't protect them and has in fact created precedents which put them in criminal jeopardy for doing their jobs.

You have NO idea what deep s**t the Bush administration is in from Goodling's 5th Amendment privilege claim.

It coudn't happen to a more deserving person.

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 10:04 PM

Monkei observed:

"Captain ...Hmm, that's how Fitzpartrick caught Libby? Silly me, I thought he was convicted of lieing?

"Lieing", Gracie???"

Normally I would not be a spell check zombie a-hole, but in this case you really should have used spell check.

There/their will be a quiz on this later.

Posted by Marinetbryant [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 10:07 PM

Terrye, It seems the leak investigations are dead, due to stonewalling by the intelligence agencies.


Posted by Marinetbryant [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 10:13 PM

Terrye, It seems the leak investigations are dead, due to stonewalling by the intelligence agencies.


Posted by John in Nashville [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 11:29 PM

Gonzie, you're doing a heck of a job.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 26, 2007 11:45 PM

This money graf from Josh Marshall absolutely nails the matter of Goodling pleading the 5th:

Just watching this from the outside, it looks as though that is the bad act she's afraid to testify about or -- and somehow I find this more believeable -- she's afraid of indictment for perjury because she has to go up to Congress and testify under oath before the White House has decided what its story is. And yeah, I'd feel like I was in jeopardy then too.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 1:29 AM

That's how Fitzgerald got Libby, by stressing that he had a boss who did things the prosecutor thought were criminal, and, since Libby worked for him, Libby had to be convicted. It lead to jurors convicting Libby and then publicly questioning why the VP wasn't on trial.

That's why Gooding's promising to take the Fifth. If Schumer et al didn't like her answers, they can call up a special prosecutor and she'd go to prison for what 12 Americans think of Karl Rove.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 5:41 AM

OK, my patience is at an end.

Gonzales needs to go and go now. I don't think he did anything criminal (unless he pulled a Libby and lied about his involvement in a non-crime), but the man comes across as embarrassingly stupid. I mean, honestly! For the USAG to claim that he wasn't really involved in the firing of several of his US Attorneys??? If he wasn't involved and just sort of let the machinery work, then he's demonstrated unequivocally that his management skills aren't up to the task of running a country law practice, much less the DoJ. And if he WAS involved, then he's been lying. Either way, out he goes.

What is it about Republicans giving these free gifts to the filthy democrats???

Posted by Mr Lynn [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 7:49 AM

Asks Terrye, "Will this look bad? I don't know. Hillary Clinton said I can't recall hundreds of times in her testimony to avoid perjury charges and she is running for president."

That's what Scooter Libby should have done, say "I don't recall."

And A.G. Gonzales and his staff should have clammed up and refused to discuss internal deliberations with the Senate committee, on grounds of executive privilege.

Instead, the A.G. made a fool of himself, and now he's got an underling taking the Fifth, which is much more damning than "I don't recall." Everyone will ask, "What's she hiding?"

The Democratic sharks now smell blood in the water, and they won't give up. They will tear through the Justice Department until there is no one left, and if they can find a hint of illegality (i.e. an employee taking the Fifth) they will be on much stronger ground when issuing White House subpoenas.

Two days ago I argued that shutting up and saying nothing was the best way to fend off the sharks. Now it may be too late. President Bush may have to ask for Gonzales's resignation "because the investigation creates too much distraction from the important work at hand."

Feed him to the sharks, and then steam away as fast as possible.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 8:27 AM

Pineapple, not here to spell, maybe you are here to be a spell checker ... either way I am just here to be amused and read how some people can somehow scratch the bottom of the barrel and still somehow find ways to support Alberto ... priceless.

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 8:27 AM

Pineapple, not here to spell, maybe you are here to be a spell checker ... either way I am just here to be amused and read how some people can somehow scratch the bottom of the barrel and still somehow find ways to support Alberto ... priceless.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 8:53 AM

For someone working for the U.S. Department of Justice to invoke the 5th amendment is just shameful, and in addition it blows the "executive privilege" excuse out of the water for the White House. No President can claim executive privilege in order to prevent an inquiry ingo possible wrongdoing. In any case, Goodling can't invoke the 5th to keep from being asked any and all questions, buy only those questions that might incriminate her. If she refuses to testify before Congress, she should be jailed for contempt.

Posted by OldDeadMeat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 9:34 AM

It doesn't help that GOP appointed attorneys are running out now explaining why they all were canned for political reasons. For goodness sake, these guys were Republicans, whether they will be in the future may not be so certain.

When the GOP begins eating its own for not being sufficiently Bushie, you know something has gone badly wrong.

Frankly, I partially blame Tom Delay for his win at all costs, scorched earth approach - he was such a great fundraiser his attitude permeated the party very quickly.

With Newt Gingrich, even if you didn't agree with the guy, he at least was motivated in his actions by something more than scoring a political point.

The Republicans had better change their mindset back to the good of the country instead of the good of the party, because when you know what, if winning political points is your priority you wind up where GWB, Rove and AG are right now.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 9:48 AM

SF Dude, you are wrong on every point. Freedom from providing anything that can be used against you is a basic right--you might as well declare it is shameful for a member of the Administration to pray or vote or give interviews. The President has not asserted executive privilege as a barrier to Goodings testimony. Yes a President can use executive privilege to prevent testimony before a Congressional fishing expedition. Gooding will not refuse to testify, she will testify that she refuses to answer questions. Yes, asserting the right to avoid self-incrimination generally involves a blanket refusal to answer. Because as we saw with Libby, the witness' conduct will be presented to the jury with a lot of 'context' and 'background'.

Mr. Lynn
that reaction is just what the Mccarthyites want of you.

Posted by Brooklyn [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 9:54 AM


it is up to interpretation...

as suspected, it seems his testimony was simply incomplete, and led to a potential misinterpretation.

(unless you assume he is not being honest, but this requires a stretch).

he was delegating the job, and when the AG stated he was not involved, he meant the details of each Attorney.

* sorry, seems it is much to do about nothing...

not the best handling, but not negligent, just a level of a lack of understanding of the issue, poor testimony, coupled with a great deal of hyperbole.

the hype is created by unethical partisans on the Democrat side, desperate to build anything into something...

some cynics are included, and some reasoned Conservatives wanting the best, but in the context of Washington today, this is simply something we probably will not find, nor will we probably know it, if it ever happens.

those wanting spotless cups in the mess hall, must pay more attention to ship in the water...

better to focus on the direction of the boat, for it is going the right way, even with the DNC trying to sink her...

there is simply far too much smoke involved, and we can blame this on the negligent partisan press, and liars like Chuck Schumer.

long ago, when the House passed the bill for the 700 mile fence, a number of Conservative critics (not the fine Captain), perceived the worst case scenerio, that President Bush wouldn't sign the bill.

one of the more popular Conservative bloggers (she is wonderful) actually wrote, 'i told you so', but was proven completely wrong.

GW did sign it, and had every intention to, making it clear he did desire more border security.

but this was another example, of a moment revealing a certain jaded view of this Presidency, by those who are served fairly well by it.

Elite pundits and Conservative critics grew tired of the Reagan Administration as well...

the blogger i referenced is very popular (for good reason), but the problem with her going overboard, is that a number of her readers would repeat her negative view of the Bush Administration and Republicans to a greater extreme.

this happened with a number of the new high profile pundits, who grew in the scene after 9-11.

much of the expression was all entirely unfair, far too harsh, which actually worked to undermine support for the Conservative interests, and eventually helped empower the Democrat Party.

we encountered this often...

some years ago, the blogger i mentioned actually called Ms. Meirs a 'bellhop' and referenced the supporters of the Bush Presidency as 'dupes'.

it was simply not productive, constructive, in context to the larger issues of the day.

anyway, i just mean to point out, that some critics lack an objective insight (not speaking of the Captain - who is one of the finest of all).

these lacking a certain reasoned perspective, seem to use the same disdain for a liberal slandering US Troops, with a trying, but imperfect Administration serving their interest.

the MSM and the Democrat Party has so unethically slandered the Administration, the Conservatives on the other side, grow tired of seeing this disgusting effort.

leading to the rejection of reasoned questions of smaller issues, and unintended mistakes.

constructive insight is always welcome, even the question of the AG's performance.

but in this climate, it seems the usual suspects from the Democrat Party are more interested in their pathetic war on Republicans, their own power, then they are concerened about the safety of the American Public.

in total, the Democrats should be rebuked again, the AG given a fair chance.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 10:16 AM

Yell, the relevant portion of the 5th Amendment reads as follows:

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

Please note the highlighted portion above. It doesn't say anything about being allowed to duck any and all questions out of fear of committing perjury, but only those questions that may incriminate you directly. If Congress asked Goodling about a communication with Karl Rove, she can't invoke the 5th because that isn't a question about an actual criminal act, such as "Did you shoot your husband, Ms. Goodling?" where she could properly plead the 5th. Basically, the 5th isn't a shield that allows you to not truthfully testify in a court of law about everything under the sun. Scooter Libby couldn't avoid giving testimony by invoking the 5th amendment either, for the same reason.

President Bush can't use his executive privilege to prevent his entire administration from having to testify before Congress either. Executive privilege only extends to the President and those the President directly communicates with. It doesn't extend to Karl Rove's communications with Goodling or anyone other than President Bush himself.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 10:29 AM

It's fascinating watching the D.C. circus parade on its way to the big tent. The carnival barker? Various heads of Congressional committees which happen to be in Democrat hands.

The Democrats promised endless investigations and hearings before the election, and that is just about the only promise they intend to keep. It's politically smart if they manage not to overplay it, but it is likewise toxic.

The strategy as I see it is to stymie any Executive action on everything without looking like obstructionists. Hard to do. So, you charge the Executive under your new Congressional majority with malfeasance and incompetence denying it the ability to conduct day-to-day operations. The MSM in your hip pocket spreads that meme whether it is valid or not. So, stir up controversy, have endless hearings, create chaos. What happens? The public observes an endless series of critique and concludes it's the President and his staff that is not conducting Americas business and not the witch-hunting Democrat majority Congress.

Meanwhile, the Democrats need not work towards all those other campaign promises they made during a close election, promises they are unlikely to fulfill when the majorities are so slim. The majority guaranteed Congressional chairmanships. It didn't guarantee them overwhelming control of floor votes. In essence the Democrats are prepping the political battlefield for '08 in the hopes that a cynical (due to endless browbeating of the Executive) public blames the President for perceived government failings and/or incompetence and not them for their obstruction of his policies and government operations.

And Republicans are helping them.

This has nothing to do with a search for truth and justice despite all the Puritanish bleatings of Presidential critics.

Posted by OldDeadMeat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 10:52 AM


you do have a point, and after thinking a bit I can see how it will hurt the Democrats, if a few things come together.

The problem is that the administration made it too easy for the Dems to duck responsibility for anything.

Between the FBI abusing the Patriot Act powers (not denied, but many Dems now get to crow that they said this would happen), and this fiasco, no one in Washington is paying attention to the surge in Iraq and that it is at least partially improving things.

If GWB and the WH had their act together, the GOP in Congress could be browbeating the Dems over how they are hamstringing American forces with their pandering to the antiwar base that hates the country.

But every time the AG thing starts to quiet down, they shoot themselves in the foot and fan the flames.

And you can tell the GOP is sick of it - for goodness sake even John Cornyn (a most Bushie Senator) warns them no more surprises and is immediately surprised and is now doubt wondering why he bothers to try to protect them anymore.

As for the Democrats - of course they want to score political points, they don't have coherence enough to do anything else. So do you blame pigs for porking out when you dump a ripe big ol can of trash in front of their snouts? The white house just keeps dumping it out instead of cleaning up.

At this point the GOP should be pointing out how the Dems can't run Congress, instead it is too easy for the Dems to keep hammering away at how GWB can't run diddly.

If the admin stops screwing up (big IF), then in'08 the Dems will have bupkis to show the public, and maybe a GOP candidate can pull things out by completely distancing himself from the current administration.

Meanwhile, anybody in the White House should get started now on a resume for their next job, and probably should just claim to have been on sabbatical for the past six years. Being a Bushie will be a political kiss of death in '08.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 11:02 AM

O.K., it turns out that Goodling does have one reason to invoke the 5th amendment. Via Talking Points Memo:

Under the federal False Statements statute, 18 USC 1001, it is a felony to cause another person to make a false statement to Congress. Since McNulty has allegedly told Senator Schumer that he made a false statement to Congress based on information provided to him by Monica Goodling, Goodling could very well be prosecuted for a Section 1001 violation.
All the rest of the crap in her lawyer's letter is intended to sooth as much as possible WH anger at her for invoking the Fifth.

Posted by runawayyyy [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 11:16 AM

Every one of you leftists has failed the most important test here. not one of you has named a single shred of evidence that actually implicates an actual crime.

Perhaps whining about Karl Rove will be enough. Let's assume the worst, that Rove was in fact involved in the completely political firings of these USAs. So what? What is illegal about that?

Perhaps you'd like to whine about an official taking the 5th. Let's assume the worst, that she is covering up for Rove's completely political involvement in these firings. So what? You still haven't shown any illegality.

Maybe you'd like to whine about the AG's mishandling of the aftermath of these perfectly legal firings. So what? You STILL haven't shown any evidence that he did anything illegal.

This is exactly what leftists wanted from the start, making any and all statements by any and all republicans illegal by congressional fiat. You'd plead the 5th too, knowing full well that no matter what you say, no matter how accurate you may believe it to be, leftists have all the prosecutorial powers of the US Congress at their disposal to legally hound you out of your job, your reputation (and possibly your freedom) irretrievably lost.

Thanks. Stalin would have been proud.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 11:36 AM


I agree with just about everything you said. One big difference, however, is that operational incompetence does not equal political incompetence. I may be using the wrong terms but I hope you get my drift. It is here that the GOP and the President have performed poorly.

Bush is not a political animal. Rove most certainly is which is why the Democrats want him so badly and repeatedly try to catch him in their widely cast net. Should they succeed, then it's on to Bushitler. Now, the Executive must get out its message as Rove's strategy is coordinated with the Bush agenda (if Rove is still running that part of the show). This to me is where there is the disconnect. Who runs the message machine? Tony Snow is the front man and works with what he's got... but who actually runs Executive "propaganda"? And does that communications arm hold its fire because Bush has superseded their more politically driven advice?

There will exist disagreements on how the endless list of operations need be managed. Add politics and it's a recipe for, um, nutcake - some good, some bad, and some "what the hell was that?". The thing is that these disagreements are normal. Recollection of events will differ. Mistakes will be made. These are not crimes.

The Democrats are insinuating/charging that they are. We all know that ham sandwiches are on the indicting menu. Nevertheless, this is not utter failure on the part of the administration operationally. There is a problem, however, with the message machine that is tasked with serving the President to aggressively confront dishonest charges. Is that the President's fault? Could be. Not an impeachable offense. Is it the fault of administrators down the line? More than likely. Again, not criminal but politically damaging.

I'm not a fan of Gonzales given the limited access to real information sans partisan spin. I ignore what various hacks present. They behave contemptuously and are deserving of no hearing on my part. But I have reached the threshold where I'm not going to carry politically Democratic water in a witchunt even if the current AG is not the best representative and someone for whom I'd just as soon fire, again, considering my own observations of his actions on law enforcement. This is beyond competence and speaks to the bigger picture of sabotaging an Executive for the sake of destroying it for political gain. Some political gamesmanship is expected, but the Democrats crossed the line with me on Wilson/Plame. I'll make my stand with Gonzales while holding my nose and hope that Bush makes his here. If necessary I'd bring in another body to conduct AG duties but I'd dismiss Gonzales on my own timetable and not one dictated by opposition hacks.

Then I'd double my communications staff and order them to do some dirty work at least until the Democrats back down. So, they'll be doing dirty work until January '09.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 11:54 AM

Oops! Fruitcake, not nutcake. Kinda loses the flavor if I use the wrong dessert.

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 12:05 PM

This thread is dominated by Liberals for a very good reason. Many CQ regulars have moved on.

Trent Lott absolutely destroyed Senator Feinstein "on this topic" Sunday in front of millions.

Following the Scooter Libby travesty, zero trust remains in the legal process.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 12:30 PM

Unless there's a good reason given for the firing of the U.S. attorneys (not the "performance" excuses that have proven to be bogus), Congress has every right to demand one. The fact that the Bush administration has not been able to come up with any decent explanation ought to give one pause about why they did fire them, and whether or not some illegal effort to use the DoJ to promote the GOP has taken place. We don't know, and it's now necessary to find out thanks to the lack of honest answers coming from Gonzales and the White House on the matter.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 1:16 PM

THANK YOU Starfleet_dude. You've made my point for me. Mr. Schumer wants to be a witness in his own prosecution, offering unsworn testimony --and hearsay at that-- to help crucify anybody within the Administration. Mr. Waxman has done the same thing in the Plame hearing. Against such hacks the fullest use of constitutional protections is necessary.

Apparently you haven't seen people take the Fifth. They do indeed offer a blanket refusal, and the courts sustain that practice, because the individual has the best sense of what may be interpreted as incriminating themself. I don't have to testify I shot Cock Robin, but I also don't have to testify I was in town when he was shot, that I was alone, that I didn't like him, or that I fought through Holland with the 101st Airborne and have killed with a rifle...because all of that could be offered as circumstantial evidence of my guilt. I don't have to cooperate.

Anonymous--I agree with you. An ethics complaint should be handled differently from a performance issue, or a policy argument.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 1:39 PM

Yell, it's McNulty, not Schumer, who gave what he considers now to be false testimony under oath before Congress, based on information he claims he received from Goodling. I don't doubt McNulty will be called to testify again to give further details now, and I doubt Goodling's lawyer would have instructed her client to invoke the 5th amendment if there was nothing to what McNulty said.

Regarding the pleading of the 5th amendment, you're assuming that the alledged killer of Cock Robin is being accused of a crime! But if Little Miss Muppet is the one being accused, I'm afraid he's out of luck and has to testify as to the whereabouts of Miss Muppet whether he wants to or not.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 1:50 PM


I think in all fairness this thread has been abandoned by many conservatives because Gonzales has acted like SUCH an idiot. I'm no friend of the filthy democrats, but I don't see much I can (or want) to say in defense of an AG who can't get his story straight.

Gonzales is starting to give Janet Reno a run for the money in the "How Stupid Can You Get?" Sweepstakes.

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 1:58 PM


Much more to this story than has been revealed by the attack dogs to this point. All I can say is, watch how this plays out. No argument from me as to the stumbling and fumbling of Gonzales and so many others from both sides of the isle. This is a widespread experience; and I would include myself in the experience if the eyeglass was indeed focused on me 24/7...

Regarding the choice of the 5th....

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 2:12 PM

Docjim and fellow comrades,

AD put up a link to this "FORMER BILL MAHER JOKE WRITER UNLEASHED: 'How Modern Liberals Think'..." a few days ago on a AG thread here at CQ. Now it is up at Drudge; connection? Probably not; however this video is a "must see" if you haven't already done so...

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 2:56 PM

Do you, Senator, feel that you are above Washington, D.C.’s gun law?

WEBB: I’m not going to comment in any level in terms of how I provide for my own security.

Note how he didn’t answer the question. Note how he is an elected member of the party which is against citizens having the freedom to carry concealed weapons.

The story continues:

“I believe that it’s important — it’s important for me, personally, and for a lot of people in the situation that I’m in, to be able to defend myself and my family,” Webb said. “Since 9/11 for people who are in government I think in general there has been an agreement that it’s a more dangerous time. Again, I’m not going to comment, again, with great specificity about how I defend myself, but I do feel that I have that right.”

Uh, “a lot of people in the situation ‘you’re’ in” huh? Which situation is that Senator Webb? Is he suggesting one set of rules for Senators and one for everyone else?

Is Webb invoking the 5th...... Will this non story become a story that lasts (1) single news cycle, let alone (8) days of consistent coverage..... We all know the answer to that question.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 3:17 PM

Keemo's link explains it.
As Goodling is in jeopardy of being prosecuted if her testimony clashs with other testimony OR the hearsay conversations the Senators have off the record--as YOU suggested be done to her!-- she can legitimately refuse to testify, unless promised immunity. It is THAT potential charge she has every right to avoid.
Merry Fitzmas!

A loaded pistol and three clips...that's plenty of self-defense. I guess his situation is, he might have to stand off a few dozen guys by himself.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 3:19 PM


Coincidence, I'm certain. It's bubbling around and starting to get some traction. Notice by Drudge will certainly get it wider distribution though I wish he didn't emphasize the Bill Maher connection in his headline. The speech is much more important than the fact that Sayet once worked on Maher's show.

I hope Ed bumps it up to a blogpost because Sayet's thesis is quite provocative and, perhaps, politically profound. He is as close to describing the disconnect I observe from Liberal thought as I have ever seen. Yeah, I'm no political anthropologist, but so many things seems to fit.

Really, a terrific presentation and quite thought provoking.

If anyone has a few minutes to spare (~40), here's a direct link to the Heritage Foundation's presentation of Evan Sayet's "Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals 'Think'". I dare you to turn away after watching just the first 5 minutes. ;)

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 3:45 PM

Yell, as I said before, McNulty's testimony before Congress is already on the record and isn't hearsay. If Goodling did pass along information to McNulty that led him to give false testimony, she can certainly plead the 5th in order to not incriminate herself. Goodling would not be in contempt of Congress for doing so on those grounds. IMO, Goodling might as well be given immunity since she's definitely not the once calling the shots but is merely a contact person between the DoJ and the White House, where the "decider" called the shots.

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 4:07 PM

Keemo, it is dominated by liberals because for once this is not a shades of gray issue, but is turning out to be a black and white issue. Maybe Alberto did notthing wrong, but he sure has backed himself into a corner with the 3rd variation of the story ... he has no credibility left and should do the decent thing for this already loser of a President and resign.

Just think in about 15 months you and the rest of the righties will be able to move on, like you said, and blame GWB for everything bad in the previoius GOP party ... and I see it coming!

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 4:11 PM

I thought it was interesting that Goodling's attorney cited a number prior cases to justify her taking the fifth.... all cases which involved officals from the governement lying. Also, the fifth is not technically a menas to avoid giving testimony... it is a means of avoiding self-incrimination.

This does look very bad for the Justice Dept.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 4:24 PM

FYI, on Hardball just now Schuster is confirming that McNulty said to Schumer that he was given false information by Goodling.

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 4:31 PM

Run Alberto, run! From the Chicago Tribune this afternoon:

Gen. Alberto Gonzales today cut short a press conference about Internet safety, leaving the room at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago when reporters questioned him about the firings of U.S. attorneys.
The questioning was to have lasted about 15 minutes, but it ended after less than three.

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 4:57 PM


With all do respect; they are all a bunch of stumbling and fumbling politicians. The are all in crap up to their necks. Both parties are full of it. The only real difference is that Republicans stumble and fumble in the right direction; a direction that has it's motive's eyes directly on American tradition and Americans. Democrats stumble and fumble towards socialism and elitism; a direction that has it's motive's eyes directly on a new America, a world with no countries and no religions and no system of values; as they will all have been removed.

No monkei, you are just enough of a fool to follow this path "hook, line, and sinker." You come off a proud man, a man of knowledge, a military man; then you reveal your true nature on these threads; a Liberal man with all of the Liberal attributes and characteristics. You see evil with confused eyes; you see good in a tunnel only. I can't see 15 months ahead, but one thing I know for sure; I won't be blaming Bush as you have predicted. I don't think like that. I was always admire Bush for having the moral courage to have stuck with his commitment to protect the American homeland and fight this war with those evil people whom attacked my homeland; to have withstood the personal assassination methods of the Liberal Media 24/7 - 365........ Bush loves his country and his countrymen; of that I have no doubt.

No monkei; this thread if full of Liberals for entirely different reasons.

Posted by The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 27, 2007 5:30 PM


you remind me of the old saw about having neither the facts, nor the law, and yelling like hell...

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 28, 2007 11:30 AM

Ah, so it comes out now that the White House folks have systematically been using RNC email accounts to communicate about the firing of the U.S. attorneys. Well then, there goes the neighborhood as well as the possibility of Bush now invoking excutive privilege. I'm expecting a few RNC email servers to be served now as they have information that Congress is definitely interested in. Maybe that'll teach the Mayberry Machiavellis a lesson, but I doubt it.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 28, 2007 2:37 PM

Dems: More lawyers needed for Bush probes
By Jon Ward
March 27, 2007

House Democrats are set tomorrow to bring in private sector lawyers -- at a cost of up to $225,000 over the next nine months -- to help committee staff investigate the Bush administration.


Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat, who has headed countless investigations as chairman of the oversight and government reform committee, said he could not recall ever paying for outside legal help.
"We usually rely on staff," Mr. Waxman said.

Is anyone naive enough to still think that this has anything to do with seeking truth or justice?

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 28, 2007 7:05 PM

Is anyone so naive to think that the U.S. attorneys were fired for "performance" reasons? Hell no.

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 1:12 AM

$225,000 is a piddling amount compared to the ~100 MILLION spent investigating Clinton only to end up with a BJ from a fat intern.

However, this is NOT to say that I am in favor of waste of any size or proportion. Waste is a sin, period.

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 2:38 AM

The thing that kills me is the using the rnc email accounts for official business - The security involved!!!! My god, official communications being tossed around on the internet? I don't know if you guys know any russian hackers, but there's a hell of a lot of them - 1 kid over there could have known what our president is saying!

Does anyone give a damn about that?

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 12:10 PM

RE: TyCaptains (March 29, 2007 01:12 AM)

It's not the money, though I dislike waste, too. It's Waxman's comment that of his countless investigations, "he could not recall ever paying for outside legal help." Yeah, Waxman tried to downplay it with his "we usually rely on staff" quip, when the term is much more than likely to be always.

This is a notable aberration and suggests (signifies?) a dishonest quest.

RE: ck (March 29, 2007 02:38 AM)
"Does anyone give a damn about [online security risks]?"

On that I agree. I don't know what protocols were or were not used. If they used encryption over VPN, they were probably fine. On these particular emails, it's unlikely that anything was a security risk should it be discovered, for example, that Person X was going to be replaced by Person Y for not prosecuting crimes according to administration guidelines/preferences. But to the bigger picture that an unsecured communication was made outside of government (if it was made), then that should be addressed as a different issue.

And while addressing that bigger issue, maybe they could readdress leaks to the press which also are not typically spoken in code or wrapped via a non-eavesdropped, uncrackable hash.

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 7:30 PM

A VPN is nothing anonymous - Otherwise known as a Virtual Private Network (meaning its not a real private network, its software based - i.e. virtual) -- You mention encryption - That's nice and all - Something every email company in the world provides to some extent - But in no way does that ensure privacy -

When it comes down to that type of stuff, all one needs is a password - individual or network - I'm not sure if they have pw requirements, but it could be a 5 letter password (very easy to crack), or maybe an 8 letter number and letter password (a bit harder) or maybe they have 30 letter and number passwords (pretty damn hard to break) - But more likely is that they have an 8 letter and number password like most companies do - Again, there are numerous ways to break that - Just a brute force attack has the possibility to break it - And that's about as simple of an attack as you can get -

Of course they probably have at least 128 bit encryption when they send things out - But again, that encryption means nothing if you can get the password -

There's a reason this is not allowed - It is not secure

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 7:37 PM

oh and one of the ladies was using an AOL account - LOL - 8 year old kids commonly break into those - wowzors

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 8:14 PM


A VPN requires a validated handshake and ensures a reliable connection to limited, defined nodes. That's one good level of connection and anonymity isn't the point of the method. Next, encryption ensures that even if the VPN is being snooped, the likelihood of decrypting its packets (the data that makes up the message) is practically nil. Yeah, it could happen, but the effort to do so would be cost prohibitive. For all intents and purposes, it is a private network even though it traverses a shared internet line. Government probably couldn't work in the modern age without VPN's to bridge the gap between hardlines. There's not much inherently different between the two considering any network communication can be eavesdropped despite the virtuality and software wrapping of it all. There's nothing inherently superior to hardware versus software either. It's all software working at different levels in the OSI.

As far as cracking by password, what network connectivity issue isn't vulnerable to that? Are you suggesting that we should no longer use networks to communicate in government because in the hypothetical, it could be broached due to careless use of passwords? That's just silly.

As far as using an AOL account, a bad idea. As far as 8-yr olds commonly breaking in to those... bullcrap. Don't start discrediting one of your few reasonable points with that kind of nonsense.

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 8:55 PM

Anonymous - you sound like you know what you are talking about - Why, though, you don't think an 8 year old could break an AOL account is beyond me -

I'm sitting right next to a guy that used to crack aol accounts constantly - when he was 8 years old -

What you might not understand about aol is that the kids aren't hacking the whole aol system - they merely grab a widely available program that attacks a certain screen name with thousands of passwords and is usually successful in matching one - It's literally a program you can download -

Anyway - The VPN thing - I think you are putting too much trust into VPNs - You are even admit it can be done, but cost prohibitive - I would ask what cost wouldn't a foreign gov't pay to know the inner workings of our white house? But for the most part you are right - VPNs are more secure than most - But still hackable - Because, after all, its still in the public domain, just encrypted -

good points though -