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#1 ... ead=101352

Posted By: billym
Date: Friday, 23 March 2007, 9:04 a.m.

Were Attorney Firings to Obstruct Sex-ring Probe?
Heneghan & Flocco Allege Obstruction of Justice

In a recent article by Tom Flocco whistleblower Tom Heneghan says that the firings of U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration were an attempt to obstruct justice in a number of investigations and grand juries dealing with "an espionage-linked prostitution / pedophile sex ring."

Full Article:


Foggo sex ring probe linked to forged Iraq dossier, Israeli espionage, convicted lobbyist Abramoff

by Tom Flocco

Washington-March 19, to U.S. intelligence sources, President Bush obstructed justice last December when he had senior advisor Karl Rove and White House Counsel Harriet Miers instruct Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to fire eight U.S. attorneys who were among several others conducting ongoing public corruption and secret national security grand jury investigations connected to an espionage-linked prostitution / pedophile sex ring operating at the Washington Ritz-Carlton and other DC hotels, whose clients included U.S. senators and congressmen, elite Washington news reporters and high government officials-some of whom were named by an intelligence insider.

Central to the scandal is fired U.S. attorney Carole Lam of California who was reportedly conducting testimony before grand juries linking indicted former Bush CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo and convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff to the sex ring, Israeli espionage, GOP Under Secretary of Defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, a forged British intelligence dossier used by Mr. Bush to deceive Americans into supporting war against Iraq and an attempt to plant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the war via an intelligence pipeline through Dubai and Turkey.

During her House testimony before Democrat Chairman Henry Waxman's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last Friday, "national security" concerns were given as the reason for prohibiting covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson from revealing that her CIA energy front company Brewster-Jennings had prevented the planting of WMD in Iraq by the White House-linked intelligence pipeline, resulting in the forged British dossier being used for building an artificial case for war against Iraq.

I don't know if any of the story is true but certainly bringing in the notion of a sex scandal is the one sure fire way to get the American public interested in something. (What's wrong with us?) Bill Clinton was impeached over lying about a blow job yet Bush's wholesale attack on the Constitution has not been enough to get impeachment "on the table" for him. Maybe the only way to get rid of evil leaders is to find some sex connection.

Here's a partial list of some whom Heneghan says "federal agents" have linked to the sex-ring:

* Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, former Bush CIA Executive Director

* Jack Abramoff, convicted Republican lobbyist

* Michael Duffy of Time

* John Meacham of Newsweek

* George Stephanopoulos of ABC

* Mike Allen, John Harris, Mark Halperin -of the Washington Post

* Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune
* Anderson Cooper of CNN

* Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report
* Arlen Specter (R-PA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dick Durbin, Senators (D-IL)

* Porter Goss, former CIA Director

* Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

I'll leave it to readers to sort out the various details in Flocco's article containing Heneghan's allegations.

What seems important to me is the idea of blackmailing of members of congress. I've often felt that only bribery and blackmail can explain the fact that congress has appeared completely impotent to protect the constitution from the ravages of the Bush administration.
"Confusion... first sign of a bad relationship-whether personal, societal or governmental"
Cunningham seems only to be the tip of the iceberg.

From SourceWatch:

Quote:Political corruption investigations led by Attorneys

The firing of the seven U.S. Attorneys raised questions about whether they were fired to stop investigations into high ranking Republican Party officials. In four states the fired Attorney had pursued an investigation into the activities of Republican Members of Congress, administration officials, and high ranking state officials. The idea that Attorneys were removed to stymie investigations of political figures looms over the Attorney firing scandal. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has stated that, "If any U.S. attorney were removed because of a public corruption investigation or prosecution, this could well comprise obstruction of justice."[36]

Carol Lam investigates Rep. Duke Cunningham, Rep. Jerry Lewis, Brent Wilkes, and K. Dusty Foggo

Lam began investigating Randy "Duke" Cunningham on June 6, 2005 after the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the congressman's overvalued house sale to a connected defense contractor, Mitchell Wade. The investigation led to a series of revelations about Cunningham's misconduct as a government official that included that existence of a bribe "menu" matching the worth of earmarks Cunningham would insert into appropriations bills to bribe money a contractor could give to Cunningham. Cunningham and Wade plead guilty to multiple felonies and Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison, the longest sentence handed down to a sitting Member of Congress. Wade is still cooperating with prosecutors.

The revelations in the case led Lam to open investigations into the defense contractor and Republican fundraiser Brent Wilkes, Wilkes' best friend and the number three at the CIA, K. "Dusty" Foggo, and then-Appropriation chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA). On May 10, 2006, Lam told the Justice Department she intended to serve search warrants on Foggo, who had just resigned his post at the CIA. The next day, May 11, the Los <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/angelic005.gif" alt="Angel" title="" />es Times reported that Lam's investigation into Cunningham had spread to Rep. Lewis.[37] That same day, Kyle Sampson, Gonzales' chief of staff, wrote in an e-mail to the White House about "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires."[38]

The day before Lam left her position she brought multiple indictments on felony charges against Foggo and Wilkes. The investigation into Jerry Lewis is ongoing. The FBI was investigating potential criminal wrongdoing on the part of Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) at the time of Lam's departure.[39] Lam would have been in charge of leading the investigation at the Attorney's office had she not been fired.

On March 19, 2007, Think Progress reported on suspicious ties between the first contract that Mitchell Wade received and the purchase of a yacht for Duke Cunningham that may implicate White House officials in the congressman's corruption schemes. Wade's first contract was a one month $140,000 contract, July 15, 2002 to August 15, 2002, with the Office of the Vice President to provide office furniture and computers. Two weeks later on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a $140,000 yacht for Cunningham with a cashier's check.[40] In September Wade was rewarded with a blanket $250 million contract from the General Services Administration to provide "specific computer services" to the Pentagon.[41]

Paul Charlton investigates Rep. Rick Renzi

In late October of 2006, two liberal blogs revealed, later confirmed by the Associated Press and the Washington Post, that U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton had opened an investigation into a land deal made by Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) and a business partner James Sandlin.[42] Days after this investigation came to light the New York Times reported that the Attorney's office had also opened an investigation into whether Renzi introduced legislation that benefited a military contractor who donated heavily to his campaigns and employs his father.[43]

Renzi was a top target of Democrats in the 2006 election and won a close election 51%-43%.[44] Since Charlton's abrupt departure there has been little revelation as to the status of these investigations.

Daniel Bogden investigates Rep. Jim Gibbons

On February 15, 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that Daniel Bogden was investigating the newly elected Governor of Nevada, former-Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV), for allegedly accepting unreported gifts and/or payments from a campaign contributor and earmark recipient, Warren Trepp. The investigation examined the relationship between the former congressman and Trepp between the years 1997-2007). The Journal did not report when the investigation was opened. Bogden was since removed from his position as U.S. Attorney.[45][46]

Bud Cummins investigates Gov. Matt Blunt

In January of 2006, Cummins opened an investigation into "allegations that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt had rewarded GOP supporters with lucrative contracts to run the state's driver's license offices." Cummins handled the case because the U.S. Attorney for Missouri recused themselves over conflict of interest concerns. Cummins states that he was told he would be fired in June as he was wrapping up the case. Cummins eventually brought no indictments against Gov. Blunt, the son of powerful Republican congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO). Cummins has since questioned whether he was fired for opening an investigation into a powerful Republican in a battleground state.[47]
&quot;The stupidest samurai in the Universe is here, you bastards.&quot; --Sakata Gintoki, &quot;Gintama&quot;
Ohhhh, juicy stuff!

From the Washington Post:

The Rovian Theory

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, March 23, 2007; 1:50 PM

Why are President Bush's Democratic critics so focused on getting White House political guru Karl Rove's testimony regarding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys?

Because based on Rove's history, the whole thing may well have been his idea -- and may be even more complicated than it initially appeared.

Rovian theory suggests the following: The eight U.S. attorneys were fired not only to purge the Justice Department of some prosecutors who were insufficiently willing to use the power of their offices to attack Democrats and protect Republicans --- but also to install favored people who wouldn't have such scruples. And, thanks to a provision snuck into law by a Bush administration henchman (who has since been granted a job as -- you guessed it -- a U.S. attorney) there would be none of those pesky safeguards to prevent those jobs going to unqualified hacks.

Or, as White House Watch reader Charles Posner wrote to me in an e-mail yesterday: "Dan - I think everyone is looking at the Justice Dept. scandal form the wrong end - it's not the firing, but the hiring that's the crux of the issue. Rove has a plan and a list. The plan is to install partisans in the prosecutors' office in order to target Democratic congressmen. Of course, Rove can hand pick each prosecutor without Congress's involvement as allowed by the secret provisions of the Patriot Act. Now, where's his list?"

The Smoking Gun?

Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein write in The Washington Post: "Two months before Bud Cummins was fired as U.S. attorney in Little Rock, a protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove was maneuvering with the Justice Department to take his place. . . .

"Rove and Harriet Miers, then the White House counsel, were keenly interested in putting [Tim Griffin, a Rove aide and longtime GOP operative,] in the position, e-mails reveal. . . .

"Some of the thousands of pages of e-mails released this week underscore the extraordinary planning and effort, at the highest levels of the Justice Department and White House, to secure Griffin a job running one of the smaller U.S. attorney's offices in the country.

"The e-mails show how D. Kyle Sampson, then the attorney general's chief of staff, and other Justice officials prepared to use a change in federal law to bypass input from Arkansas' two Democratic senators, who had expressed doubts about placing a former Republican National Committee operative in charge of a U.S. attorney's office. The evidence runs contrary to assurances from Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that no such move had been planned. . . .

"Griffin declined to comment yesterday but said in a previous interview that he was being unfairly maligned by Democrats. He has announced that he will not seek Senate confirmation to become Little Rock's chief federal prosecutor but will remain until a replacement is found."

The Cummins case also suggests that Bush himself, contrary to Tony Snow's insistence yesterday, may indeed have been a party at least to this one firing.

"By July 25, a White House aide wrote to Sampson to ask whether she could begin trying to win over [Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark] Pryor. 'Is that a problem since he has not yet been nominated for U.S. attorney?' the aide wrote, referring to Griffin.

"'If the president has already approved Griffin, then part of our "consultation" (to meet the "advice and consent" requirements of Constitution) would be to tell them we were going to start a BI on Griffin,' Sampson replied six minutes later, using shorthand for a background investigation. 'I assume this has already happened.'"

Eggen and Goldstein also note: "Cummins's dismissal differs from the firings of the seven other ousted federal prosecutors in several respects. Cummins was told he was being removed last June, and the rest were told on Dec. 7. Justice Department officials also have not publicly said Cummins's departure was related to his performance in office, as they have with the others. They acknowledged last month that he was fired simply to make room for Griffin.

"But documents show that Cummins was clearly a target of Sampson's two-year effort to fire a group of U.S. attorneys who did not qualify as what he called 'loyal Bushies.' He was recommended for removal as early as March 2005."

And as Richard A. Serrano wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "Congress called a timeout Thursday in its confrontation with the Bush administration after a Senate committee voted to authorize subpoenas to compel White House officials -- including political advisor Karl Rove -- to testify about why eight U.S. attorneys were fired last year. . . .

"[M]embers of Congress said they would not issue any subpoenas for at least a week, a move that allows time for negotiations in what had become a rapidly escalating constitutional showdown. . . .

"The cooling of rhetoric on both sides seemed to reflect a political calculation that each could be damaged if the confrontation were to proceed further and land in court. Courts have rarely intervened in such disputes between the legislative and executive branches of governments, and Democrats acknowledge that a legal battle could outlast the 22 months left in President Bush's term."

Reynolds also notes: "At the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, the administration's allies were unusually taciturn and eschewed taking a roll call vote that would have put them on the record as supporting the administration.

"One of them, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, actually voted with the Democrats in favor of subpoena power and made a point of noting his vote in the record."

Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes for the Associated Press: "The brokering has already begun. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania floated a compromise with Bush's counsel Fred Fielding... The White House said Fielding would pass the proposal to Bush."

Here's a letter from House Judiciary Committee Democrats to Fielding: "We write this because your proposal will not facilitate a full and fair inquiry. We believe the failure to permit any transcript of our interviews with White House officials is an invitation to confusion and will not permit us to obtain a straightforward and clear record. Also, limiting the questioning (and document production) to discussions by and between outside parties will further prevent our Members from learning the full picture concerning the reasons for the firings and related issues. As we are sure you are aware, limitations of this nature are completely unsupported by precedents applied to previous Administrations -- both Democratic and Republican."

To Review

USA Today summarizes what we know about each of the eight firings.

I just checked, and in none of those cases has Bush actually sent a nomination for a replacement to the Senate. All eight positions are currently filled with actings or interims.

Fitzgerald Stays Mum

Matt O'Connor writes for the Chicago Tribune: "U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald on Thursday carefully sidestepped the political firestorm over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys but conceded he's been the butt of ribbing from friends over a mediocre rating from the Justice Department.

"'Look, it really is not that big a deal to me,' Fitzgerald said at a news conference announcing the latest public corruption indictment under his leadership. 'I just do my job.' . . .

"James Comey, a close friend and a former deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald special counsel in the leak probe, agreed that it has been 'the source of great merriment' among Fitzgerald's friends.

"'I called him when it came out, and he said "I'm just an average guy having an average day," Comey said. 'He just laughed about it. It doesn't require its own rebuttal. It's sort of like saying, "Derek Jeter is an average shortstop."'"

The Talking Point That Won't Die

David G. Savage writes in the Los <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/angelic005.gif" alt="Angel" title="" />es Times: "Three weeks ago, Justice Department officials settled on a 'talking point' to rebut the chorus of Democratic accusations that the Bush administration had wrongly injected politics into law enforcement when it dismissed eight U.S. attorneys.

"Why not focus on the Clinton administration's having 'fired all 93 U.S. attorneys' when Janet Reno became attorney general in March 1993? The idea was introduced in a memo from a Justice Department spokeswoman.

"The message has been effective. What's followed has been a surge of complaints on blogs and talk radio that it was the Clinton administration that first politicized the Justice Department.

"The facts, it turns out, are more complicated."

No Oversight Role?

Press secretary Tony Snow repeatedly advanced a dubious talking point yesterday in his tour of the morning shows -- and again at his press briefing.

Think Progress has some quotes from the morning shows: "There's another principle, which is Congress doesn't have the legislative -- I mean oversight authority over the White House," Snow told CNN. "First, the White House is under no compulsion to do anything. The legislative branch doesn't have oversight," he told MSNBC. "Congress doesn't have any legitimate oversight and responsibilities to the White House," he told Fox News.

Here he is on ABC: "The executive branch is under no compulsion to testify to Congress, because Congress in fact doesn't have oversight ability. So what we've said is we're going to reach out to you -- we'll give you every communication between the White House, the Justice Department, the Congress, anybody on the outside, any kind of communication that would indicate any kind of activity outside, and at the same time, we'll make available to you any of the officials you want to talk to . . . knowing full well that anything they said is still subject to legal scrutiny, and the members of Congress know that."

And here he is a bit later, at yesterday's briefing, toning it down slightly:

"MR. SNOW: There are -- in this particular case, the Department of Justice -- the Congress does have legitimate oversight responsibility for the Department of Justice. It created the Department of Justice. It does not have constitutional oversight responsibility over the White House, which is why by our reaching out, we're doing something that we're not compelled to do by the Constitution, but we think common sense suggests that we ought to get the whole story out, which is what we're doing."
&quot;The stupidest samurai in the Universe is here, you bastards.&quot; --Sakata Gintoki, &quot;Gintama&quot;
Tony Snowjob doesn't look so good lately. His face looks thin and skeletal. Maybe lying for a living on behalf of psychopaths makes people sick?
And maybe not lying enough or well enough makes them even sicker?

Whatever happened to Ari Liarman? He was a real good liar, wanted to spend a little more time with his family...
&quot;Confusion... first sign of a bad relationship-whether personal, societal or governmental&quot;

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