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CHENEY HAD NO LEGAL POWER TO DECLASSIFY CIA DOCS

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:46 AM
Original message
CHENEY HAD NO LEGAL POWER TO DECLASSIFY CIA DOCS
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 10:51 AM by leveymg
Yesterday, Cheney claimed in a televised interview that he may on his own authority make public classified documents. This assertion comes in the wake of accusations made in Grand Jury testimony by Cheneys former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby, that he was authorized by his superiors to release to Judy Miller and other reporters a classified CIA National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) related to Iraq WMDs issued the previous October.

The Vice President is quoted by AP as stating during an interview on Fox News last night: There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president.'' See, AP, 02/16/2003, Cheney Says He Has Power to Declassify Info http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Cheney-CIA-...

***

A review of relevant laws, executive orders, and presidential directives reveals that the Vice President has no lawful power to unilaterally declassify CIA documents. Court documents released last week revealed that Dick Cheney stands accused of having told his aide to release a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) ten days before it was declassified by the Agency. See, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/10/politics/10leak.html ; http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/10/105540/799

Cheney appears to be referring here to Executive Order 13292, issued March 25, 2003 which gave the Vice President the authority to request the classification of his own documents, and to exempt some of these from release under the Freedom of Information Act. See, E.O 13292, Sec. 3.5 (03/25/2003) http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/2003032...

However, there is nothing contained in that Order, or any other law, executive order or presidential directive that gives the Vice President the power to unilaterally de-classify secret agency documents, or to authorize others to do so on his behalf. Such a power by the Vice President simply has never been provided for in any written statute, executive order, presidential directive, or agency regulation. It simply didnt exist as part of American law until Cheney announced it yesterday.

***

Quite to the contrary. Federal law states that it is a felony for officials to disclose the contents of classified documents to persons who arent authorized to receive them. It is a separate offense to disclose the identity of an undercover intelligence officer. If the Vice President desires that his subordinates desire to make such disclosures, Executive Order spells out the precise procedures whereby any official must first request that a document be declassified, and recisely who in the government has the authority to carry out declassification. As before, that authority rests with the head of the originating agency, which in this case is the Director of Central Intelligence.

At that time, Cheney would have first had to request that George Tenet authorize Agency declassification. There is no record that such permission was ever sought or obtained. Tenet resigned a year later without explanation.

Since the beginning of the Bush Administration, EOs have been published and posted at the White House website, and are not classified. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/orders / Additionally, there is a second category of presidential orders, National Security Presidential Directives (NSPDs), the contents of some of which are classified. But even these have been numbered and indexed, and NSPDs issued since February 13, 2001 are posted by the Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/index.html

A series of EOs spell out the precise procedures whereby any official may request that a classified document may be declassified, and who has the authority to carry out declassification. The Executive Order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information. The first one still in effect was issued on April 17, 1995 and took effect on October 14, 1995. E.O. 12958 was amended with E.O. 12972, dated September 18, 1995, E.O. 13142, dated November 19, 1999, and E.O. 13292, dated March 25, 2003.

As before, that authority rests with the head of the originating agency, which in this case is the Director of Central Intelligence. While the President may overrule the head of the agency regarding declassification, the matter must first be considered by the CIA Director or his designate. That is clear from the language of the controlling document. In this particular, Executive Order 13292, Sec. 3.5 (03/25/2003) remains the lawful directive for declassification of CIA documents. See, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/2003032...


PART 3--DECLASSIFICATION AND DOWNGRADING
Sec. 3.1. Authority for Declassification. (a) Information shall be declassified as soon as it no longer meets the standards for classification under this order.
(b) It is presumed that information that continues to meet the classification requirements under this order requires continued protection. In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official. That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure.
SNIP
(c) If the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office determines that information is classified in violation of this order, the Director may require the information to be declassified by the agency that originated the classification. Any such decision by the Director may be appealed to the President through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The information shall remain classified pending a prompt decision on the appeal.

SNIP

Definition of terms is essential to a full understand in of what is meant here. As before, these terms contained in the 1995 Order remain operative. Consider the following, and it become clear that Mr. Cheney was not following the law when he told Mr. Libby to reveal the contents of the NIE to Ms. Miller.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/clinton/eo12958.html


(e) "Classification" means the act or process by which information is determined to be classified information.
(f) "Original classification" means an initial determination that information requires, in the interest of national security, protection against unauthorized disclosure.
(g) "Original classification authority" means an individual authorized in writing, either by the President, or by agency heads or other officials designated by the President, to classify information in the first instance.
(h) "Unauthorized disclosure" means a communication or physical transfer of classified information to an unauthorized recipient.
(i) "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.
(j) "Senior agency official" means the official designated by the agency head under section 5.6(c) of this order to direct and administer the agency's program under which information is classified, safeguarded, and declassified.
(k) "Confidential source" means any individual or organization that has provided, or that may reasonably be expected to provide, information to the United States on matters pertaining to the national security with the expectation that the information or relationship, or both, are to be held in confidence.
(l) "Damage to the national security" means harm to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States from the unauthorized disclosure of information, to include the sensitivity, value, and utility of that information


CONCLUSION

As one should expect with such bureaucratic matters, the law is not in the least bit vague about the steps that government officials are required to take before they can release classified documents to the public. The Vice President is no exception.

In Mr. Cheneys case, there is no evidence that he requested the Director of Central Intelligence to declassify the NIE before its contents were revealed by his aide, Scooter Libby, to Judy Miller of the New York Times on July 8, 2003. That document was not in fact declassified until ten days later. Dick Cheney and any other official who might have issued such an authorization was thus in violation of law in carrying out that disclosure. There is no murky presidential delegation of powers, as has been suggested by some, that might change that fact.


Therefore, the Vice President should be prosecuted for this.


MARK G. LEVEY, 2006.


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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Fantastic post!
This is the single best post I have read on DU in a long time, and I do not say that lightly, or without recognition that there have been several outstanding posts in recent days alone.
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I second that.
Cheney is desperate. The power has definitely gone to his head.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. But what about the Theory Of The Unitary Co-Managing Executive?
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 11:10 AM by cryingshame
They'll figure out a way to tie it into Unitary Executive crap.

Just like extending Executive Priviledge to VP's.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Yup, just asked the same question
Cheney's cavalier attitude during that discussion, and the reasons I point out in my post below about Faux News, leads me to believe, or at least suspect at this stage in the game, that that will be Cheney's planned response to his actions.
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mediaman007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
78. But then why do they pass the powers of the Presidency to the
vice president, when a president has surgery or is under anesthesia? There is too much "past-practice" to let Cheney* get away with this theft of power.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
44. Yep
:mad: But will anything happen to him?
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PurpleChez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
90. I third that. But to paraphrase Bill "Gamblers Anonymous" Bennett:
Where is the outrage? For the brazillianth time, if this had been Clinton/Gore, NASCAR Nation would be having kittens over this issue alone, to say nothing of the myriad other crimes, atrocities, and abuses they have perpetrated.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. And I third that!
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 11:08 AM by Emit
Thanks, leveymg, for the detail and taking the time to break it down. I was wondering over here what the legality and ramifications of Cheney's statements made yesterday were, and I thought it suspicious that Hume would direct the conversation toward that. Maybe I'm assuming too much, but given that it was Faux News, the only interview Cheney agreed to -- an obviously calculated, pre-planned and managed interview, they could very well have edited out anything they did not want disclosed, especially if Cheney had insisted. Was this a purposeful thing, or was Hume/Faux really doing their job?


Do you suppose they will apply the unitary executive theory to the VP, as well, claiming that, in war time, laws like the one you so eloquently summarized, can be suspended and the Pres and VP can do as they like for 'security' purposes -- that their unitary executive power combined supercedes this law?
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. Need a fourth?

:patriot:

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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. Cheney: "Do too."
Same "defense" Chimpy has for authorizing domestic wiretaps without a warrant.

The question is whether Republicans will do anything about it -- or whether it can stay undecided until January 2007, when a Democratic majority may be in place.
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Good points.
:toast:
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
4. Recommended! Excellent info and analysis.
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Talismom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. Supurb post! K&R!!! n/t
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. This is simply outstanding research - This should be Front page news!!
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 10:55 AM by stop the bleeding
Mark, I was wondering what the big post would be today and I have found it,

Thank you your research never ceases to amaze me.

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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. Cheney's using the Newton's Third Law in Politics
For every democratic action there is an equal and opposite Cheney reaction.
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Rebelry Donating Member (72 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
48. PERFECT!
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The Witch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R. IMPEACH the filthy bastard.
NOW! :mad:
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
10. K & R
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
14. K+R
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. This is a great post. Bookmarking, nominating and kicking.
:kick:
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
17. A reading of 4.1(c) in that order also supports your conclusion
This is a portion of a post at kos-

snip>
...let's examine another section pertaining to declassification, Sec. 4.1. General Restrictions on Access:


4.1(c) Classified information shall remain under the control of the originating agency or its successor in function. An agency shall not disclose information originally classified by another agency without its authorization. An official or employee leaving agency service may not remove classified information from the agency's control.

It reads that "an agency" shall not disclose information without authorization. Does "an agency" include the Vice-President of the United States? Yep. In the definitional section of the order:


(i) "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.

So, if we accept that "entity" includes individual entities like the Vice-President, it looks like Cheney should have asked permission from the "originating agency" (the CIA) before authorizing Libby to leak. Also, it may be that Cheney's declassification--even if it was consistent with this order--should have gone through the mandatory declassification review in Section 3.5(a).

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/16/104857/925

This means he'd need Tenet to back him up, right? Or was Goss in by then?
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Goss was sworn in Sept., 24 2004
Looks like Tenet would have to back him up. Hmmmm
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
18. Excellent - now there is work to do - this must be explained to the
Congresspeople. They've got to understand this. But first, he has to reiterate or retract what he said. Either way this is the perfect vehicle to re-start the campaign to expose him.

Air America. Then try to get those right wing propaganda networks picking up on this.

It's time to drop the Whittington shoot and get back to the really serious stuff. There are enough shallow focused people to continue to dwell on the shoot. Though it was a fun ride.

The key is to keep him in the spotlight, but not on that issue. This is the more important lie along with the NSA lie.

Dig into his motive for bringing down Brewster-Jennings.
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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
19. K&R n/t
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
21. Mr. Levey, you have proven (QED) that Cheney has cooked his goose!
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 11:29 AM by EVDebs
Hoist upon his own petard, as they say. Excellent scholarship and sleuthing.

BTW, others like H2OMan and Autorank, along with leveymg, have my personal nomination for 'League of Extraordinary Gentelmen' !

The only problem I've encountered along this most excellent journey of UNDERSTANDING this entire mess the administration has made is this: guys that should be enforcing the law, aiding the whistleblowers (there are legion of them now) are sitting on their hands. Guys like the NSA's Inspector General, a certain Mr. Gimble

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Gimble avoids investigating these issues like the plaugue. I wonder why ?
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. DOJ's Inspector General, Glenn Fine, also is fiddling while Rome burns
Mr Fine's bio
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/glennfine.htm

I've already posted on the DOD/NSA Inspector General Thomas Gimble.

At least we know whom to blame for this mess, huh ? Their reasons/rationale will eventually come out at the trials and investigations starting in '06-07 once the Democratic House of Representatives is seated and sworn in...

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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
22. Is it possible that Fitzgerald is folding this matter
and consequently a Cheney indictment, in his continuing investigation of the Plame case? Since no Rove indictment has materialized post-Libby, it seems the scope of his investigation has expanded or its destination shifted.

Great post.

If Cheney believes he can unilaterally declassify documents, what role does he bestow upon his boss, the President? Does Cheney feel he can make this decision without consultation with a higher-up and execute it all unto himself, or is he (indirectly) implicating the President?
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Fitz!!!!!!!!!!!!
Peace.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #22
95. This is why I believe the Libby indictment to be a stroke of
genius. It left the possibilities open without tipping Fitz's hand. I :loveya: Fitz.
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spuddonna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thank you!
I was looking through the EO's and could find nothing that changed declassification processes, but was wondering if they had slipped a classified NSPD in that had some bizarre new powers...

Like, "Cheney and I are SunGods! We are all powerful! Longhorns rule!" - signed GWB

Seriously, why did Cheney announce this on TV yesterday - that he has this power? Does he really think people will just believe him because he 'says so'? I'm trying to figure out how such a blatant lie could benefit him... :shrug:

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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Sometimes they dump lies like this on their hard core voting base so
that it takes root as the absolute truth. While it keeps their core pumped up defending the WH, the real-end result is that it screws up Congress. When so many of the voters in their area are blind or passionate on an issue, the more careful and inept the congresspeople become. This is a form of planting, spreading, and growing right wing dis-reality. The sides fold in upon each other and PNAC and the barons ride off to the next battle - but people who care don't give up.
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spuddonna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. "Growing the right wing dis-reality"... that's an awesome quote...
And I think you're absolutely right. It gives their core followers 'parrot points' and is just another example of catapulting the propaganda...

I have a feeling we will hear this "Cheney has this power via executive order" over and over again in the next few weeks...

Thanks for such an excellent post! :)
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you, everyone.
You may be interested in reading some other excellent articles on this subject. See, Georgia10's diary at DKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/16/104857/925

Also, Steve Aftergood's piece at Federation of American Scientists:

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy /

Steve thinks it's not clear whether the VP has the power to declassify. I responded to Steve in an e-mail as follows:

Hi, Steve -

The power to classify clearly doesn't give an official the power to declassify. Otherwise, the Secretary of Agriculture could release secret CIA documents. The key to understanding the distinction rests in the power to decide appeals of declassification orders issued by heads of originating agencies, and that power to overrule is the President's alone. Even there, the President has an appellate power, not a plenary power to declassify. See my article below, and tell me what you think.

- Mark
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Why Plamegate and NSA wiretap scandal converge...
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 12:12 PM by EVDebs
See No Evil: What Bush Didn't (Want To) Know About 9/11
TomPaine.com
Saturday, March 1, 2003
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=195&row=1

""Despite these tantalizing facts, Abdullah and his operations were A-OK with the FBI chiefs, if not their working agents. Just a dumb SNAFU? Not according to a top-level CIA operative who spoke with us on condition of strictest anonymity. After Bush took office, he said, "there was a major policy shift" at the National Security Agency. Investigators were ordered to "back off" from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks, especially if they touched on Saudi royals and their retainers. That put the bin Ladens, a family worth a reported $12 billion and a virtual arm of the Saudi royal household, off-limits for investigation. Osama was the exception; he remained a wanted man, but agents could not look too closely at how he filled his piggy bank. The key rule of any investigation, "follow the money," was now violated, and investigations -- at least before 9/11 -- began to die.""

NSA's pre-9/11 'policy shift' away from OBL tow Bush's domestic 'enemies' (read US citizens exercising lawful right to dissent). BTW, the old '73 war plans of Nixon to seize Saudi oilfields were simply shifted and tweaked to 30 years later and moved to Iraq's oilfields:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. Some GOOD NEWS on the NSA wiretapping, which could help here
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 12:19 PM by EVDebs
in the Plamegate/CIA outing...why it happened and motive etc. Judge orders release of info

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Does Fitz know about this ?
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
27. Slam dunk, Mark.
Superb.

:thumbsup:
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
29. Wow, did I enjoy reading THAT ! WELL DONE!!! n/t
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
30. Thanks for the informative post! Another example of acting above the
law.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
33. Wonderful post! ... Thanks for all the work that went into it. Bookmarked
and kicked. :yourock:
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
34. He should be prosecuted, but he cares nothing about the law.
He and his ilk have proven that over and over again.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
35. Please submit as an op-ed to the NY Times & WaPo
And FindLaw.

K&R
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Innoma Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
36. Outstanding Post!
Wow! Good work.
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
37. Mark, I am still more worried about what Cheney decides to
keep classified (pejorative info on Libby and himself and any other pal) Note, This is a separate issue from the crime of leaking and the timing of that classification, I am referring to docs he can hide from Fitz.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Sounds like classification is subjective and cheney thinks he has the authority to do it or not do it. If Fitz wants a classified doc, and it is pejorative, Cheney says no, its classified, and it went up to the SC - an exec privilege case on it, oops, we lose.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #37
53. Theoretically, Cheney can classify anything within his own office -
truly sensitive to the national security or merely derogatory to his own reputation, and the only way to dislodge it would be by going to court.

But, classification is a political process perhaps more than a legal one, and I doubt he wants a head-to-head confrontation with Fitzgerald. That seems to be what this is coming down to -- and it's going to bleed the Republicans dry. The GOP needs another "final days" Watergate style scandal during an election year like they need a hole their heads.
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Wind Dancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
38. Excellent work, leveymg.
This is significant information that we need to send to every media outlet. People that are only slightly familiar with the Plame Case will understand Cheney broke the law by declassifying these important documents.

I'm feeling more optimistic about this case everyday.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
39. Excellent post!!!!
K & R

:kick:
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Klukie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
40. Excellent Post!
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 01:48 PM by Klukie
Having no legal backround this makes for a hard read, but it raises many questions for me. For instance, what is the fundemental changes implemented with executive order 13292 in reguard to executive order 12958. In other words, what was the Bush regime trying to accomplish with this ammendment to the executive order?
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
42. kicking for impeachment!
:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick:
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
43. and one for indictment
:kick:
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
45. Terrific post. nm
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freefall Donating Member (617 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
46. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You did is all a wonderful service by posting this.

K&R
:kick:
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Rebelry Donating Member (72 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
47. Thank you thank you for this concise explanation
If only our President could speak this clearly.

yeah, right.

Not going to happen.
Reb
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
49. And another THANK YOU, Mr. Levey (nt)
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
50. Great post
K&R
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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
51. Impeachment City!
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 01:51 PM by Independent_Liberal
Impeaching this fascist, fraudulent administration will be the impeachment to end all impeachments!

:D
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
52. Thank you for the good news!
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
54. Kick & Recommend!

Excellent post.

Keep it at the top or home page it.
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
55. Kyra Phillips whipped out old EO 13292 -said they'd worked all
morning to get the info for us :eyes:

Of course, she only quoted the part that made it sound like dick *could* declassify material unilaterally.

Thank God Bob Barr was there to correct her. I cannot believe I just said that
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
56. Cheney is sooo royally fucked!
:D



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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
57. Oh, just an error in judgment, Cheney will say
Just like shooting off his damn shotgun without looking first.
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
58. Bookmarked & recommended. Thank you.
Wish I could write more but I'm headed into an all afternoon (PST) meeting.


Peace.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
59. There already existed a declassified sexed-up version of the NIE
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 03:18 PM by chill_wind
I'm a little lost in terms of the NIE matter. There already existed well before this a nice glossy brochure version, released on the CIA website, all sexed up in its alarmism and peddled to the outer Congress and the media.

What advantage would there have been in later leaking the far more nuanced, more equivocal classified version?

But we do know there did exist an unclassified version even before Congress voted...

quote:
In Mr. Cheneys case, there is no evidence that he requested the Director of Central Intelligence to declassify the NIE before its contents were revealed by his aide, Scooter Libby, to Judy Miller of the New York Times on July 8, 2003. That document was not in fact declassified until ten days later. Dick Cheney and any other official who might have issued such an authorization was thus in violation of law in carrying out that disclosure. There is no murky presidential delegation of powers, as has been suggested by some, that might change that fact.


Therefore, the Vice President should be prosecuted for this.


endquote.


"One week before lawmakers were to vote on the use of force in Iraq, the CIA released an unclassified version of its just-completed National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). As the intelligence community's definitive judgments on key issues, NIEs are always important documents on which great care is expended. However, this NIE was unusually important because it was the authoritative assessment of the Iraqi threat available to members of Congress on which to base a decision whether to support or oppose a war.

A close comparison of the unclassified version (CIA White Paper: "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs," published in October 2002) and the original classified NIE (parts of which were declassified and released after the war), reveals striking differences. In addition to changes presumably made to protect sensitive sources and methods, the differences are of two types. Some convey the impression that the intelligence community was much more confident and more united in its views than it actually was. Others appear designed to portray a sense of heightened threat, and particularly of a threat that could touch the U.S. homeland. Sentences and phrases in the classified NIE expressing uncertainty were deleted while new formulations alluding to gathering danger were added."

from A Tale of Two Intelligence Estimates
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm...
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Anybody?
?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
61. Steve Clemons concurs:
Can Cheney be His Own Declassification Machine?




In my view, the law says "No". . .but I have little doubt Alberto Gonzales and his minions will construct a rationale that says otherwise.

But I have run across some interesting information -- and have some questions that we should all pose to those at the helm in the White House.

Executive Order 12958 on "Classified National Security Information" was promulgated by President Clinton on April 17, 1995.

This Executive Order "prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information."

<snip...more @ link>

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #61
80. This is what I was wondering
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 09:17 PM by Patsy Stone
Like the other times this administration has used these "gray areas" of constitutional power and legislative loopholes to foist their awful schemes upon the unsuspecting public (i.e. the unitary executive, NSA spying, torture, etc.), I worry that this definition in the excellent OP is how they're going to justify this:

(g) "Original classification authority" means an individual authorized in writing, either by the President, or by agency heads or other officials designated by the President, to classify information in the first instance.

(i) "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.

(j) "Senior agency official" means the official designated by the agency head under section 5.6(c) of this order to direct and administer the agency's program under which information is classified, safeguarded, and declassified.

Here's my stab at this twisted plan (and, before you laugh, I must say that I called early on that the word "reasonable" in the Fourth Amendment -- which comes way before all that nasty talk of warrants in the amendment's language -- was how they were going to try and justify that mishegos):

(g) could describe Cheney; (i) could describe Cheney; (j) could describe Cheney two ways (official and agency head).

Sure, it sounds a bit :tinfoilhat:, but these people parse the law as they see fit. I would not be one bit surprised if they find a way to make Cheney an official "Agency" and "Agency Head".
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
62. Kick!
Good information here. :kick:
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
63. Phenomenal post. Cheney broke the law here plain and simple. K&R
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Justice Is Comin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
64. Wonderful collage to show Cheney is screwed.
I reviewed the entire executive order 13292. There are so many waivers and exclusions in each definition head that they may claim there is some mushroom Cheney can crawl under.

But for any air hole I found, there was one equally as prohibitive. This is hard to get around:

) "Declassification" means the authorized change in the status of information from classified information to unclassified information.

(l) "Declassification authority" means:

(1) the official who authorized the original classification, if that official is still serving in the same position;

(2) the originators current successor in function;

(3) a supervisory official of either; or

(4) officials delegated declassification authority in writing by the agency head or the senior agency official.


Giving the V.P. powers to classify documents in this order as someone who assists the president, may be their lily pad they cling to.

But there is one GLARING point missed here that I haven't seen anyone point out.

This was the NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE that supposedly Cheney authorized Libby to disclose parts of to Miller. One of the most sensitive documents we ever prepare. There is no reason under the sun that this information would have been disclosed under ordinary guidelines or procedure. It was nowhere NEAR the automatic declassification period of ten years.

So all of a sudden Cheney decides that Iraq related intelligence is something that deserves immediate declassification? That is preposterous! His only reason to do it, (and was never intended to be discovered EVER) that he did, was to discredit Wilson.

The fact that it was declassified in it's entirety ten days later, was--- BECAUSE CHENEY HAD ALREADY TOLD LIBBY TO LEAK IT AND LIBBY WAS CAUGHT DISCLOSING IT ! .

Of course it was declassified then. What good is having something classified that is already known by everybody? It was only declassifed by the agency after it was useless to have it classified anymore.

Let Cheney explain why all of a sudden this was meaningless enough for him to declassify BEFORE it was fully declassified. There's your check and mate.

:kick: and :thumbsup:

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PhilipShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. Cheney states he is the "Declassification authority"...
I am no lawyer -- but is Cheney not by defacto law and/or under current law -- the "Declassification authority" until it is proven otherwise in courts or Congress?

Gonzo, used the same tactic -- which was he argued prove that he is wrong, and the Congress backed down -- so now he has defacto rights to not follow the FISA law and/or the Congress will just rubber stamp any amendments that Gonzo wants.
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Justice Is Comin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Nothing in this order
gives him declassification authority that I can find in explicit language. It's all written with emphasis on classifying and safeguarding classified material. It clearly and unequivocally states he can classify material.

So as I said, they may try to argue that because he can classify documents, it should certainly authorize him to declassify. But not so grasshopper. There is no damage done when a document is classified. None whatsoever. But when a document is declassified , it can have monumental consequences.

That's why as shown in my post above, the agency head or their authorized designees must authorize in writing that they concur with the declassification.

So take it to the bank, legal experts will show and I'm certain Congress as well, that you don't unilaterally decide to declassify information unless you are the president.

But even worse, the fact that Cheney is admitting responsibility for authorizing Libby to disclose the NIE is incredibly stupid. Because how does he justify that this sensitive Iraq community assessment of intelligence from all the agencies, was suddenly something he felt needed to be urgently declassified. What was the reason? The CIA certainly didn't rush him into it. The statute of automatic declassification was years and years off.

Do you see now?
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PhilipShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. Why not just Revoke the law?
Why not say the whole -- Executive Order -- is unreasonable and should be revoked?

That is what I would do if I was a lawyer, then the burden is on the Repukes to defend the law.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
65. Nice work. They did that to Clinton's conversations with Barak
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 04:38 PM by robbedvoter
to try to imply malfeasance in pardongate. Unfortunately, laws are for you, not the empire...
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
66. Careful, Mark, or we'll draft you for Congress. n/t
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. The House of Representatives must Impeach VP.
If they do not do so within the next few weeks they should resign.
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Burried News Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
68. Looks like Cheney has made Valerie Plame Wilson's civil suit
a whole lot easier. Keep shootin from the lip Deadeye Duck.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #68
70. The hunting accident story has run it's course.
It is now time to push for the Impeachment of Cheney. I feel strongly that the VP should be Impeached first, then the Silverspoon Sociopath, Sock Puppet that usurped the office of Pres. of the USA.
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cry baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
72. BUSTED!!!
but will this story just get a glance by the media, or will it take cheney down?
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. It would be nice if this post was frozen to stay...
on the page for a few days. The hunting accident is case closed and now keeping the focus away from a real important matter. VP Cheney must be Impeached!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #73
84. I agree
This is the meat of the whole case against Cheney. THIS is the constitutional crisis that SHOULD bring them down.
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redacted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
75. Thank you Mark! K&R!
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
76. Pay attention to that man behind the curtain.
Cheney, in his trademark low-key, nearly inaudible delivery, causes listeners to have to drop everything to hear what he is saying. It is a subversive tactic he uses to command attention to himself as *a powerful, unassailable force in control of the situation.* Sadly, this comforts people who are too consumed by fear even to think logically.

His attempts to simplify that which is desperately complex reassures those people who do not want to think for themselves or consider the terrible ramifications of Cheney's and the rest of the neocons' total assault on this country.

Yet, when one examines Cheney's growly assertions that there *is an Executive Order* to that effect (VP authority to declassify), his arguments fall flat.


I think Patrick Fitzgerald is having a field day with this.

1. Cheney cannot declassify on his own.

2. He passed classified information to Libby, with the intent to use it against political enemies Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.

3. 10 days later, this info was declassified.


Means, motive, and opportunity.

Cheney is in deep, deep trouble.


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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #76
98. Cheney IS lawyered up...
he has a (criminal) attorney on board... maybe Cheney's lawyer is the man to watch...
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
77. Excellent post
Thank you for taking the time to put it together for us all.
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
79. And...
These guys don't care what the law is. They make it up as they go along. I'm sure, if it's illegal now, Congress will make it legal, retroactively. So, quit worrying about it and go buy something.
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
81. The prison jumpsuit is neatly pressed and waiting Mr Cheney
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Trevelyan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
82. It's just another unbelievable outrage...All in a day's work for Cheney
Whose gunna make him. Who will prosecute? Will Fitzgerald? I didn't follow what happend to Earle and I think another prosecutor of one of the many bush scandals was also removed either through bribes or threats. Which prosecutors are still on the job?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
83. Wow! No wonder Tenet was pissed at the outing of Plame
He wasn't consulted or informed. And it seems that that is a violation of EO 12958.

I'm amazed at just how codified this process is.
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bud E. holly Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
85. Many thanks, leveymg, I'm glad to be armed with this info
Edited on Thu Feb-16-06 11:05 PM by bud E. holly
As someone just said in another post: this is the meat of the case against Cheney. It's obvious importance underscored by how it managed to make it's way into Cheney's FOX interview. Very curious about how this played out. It would seem FOX wouldn't have brought the subject up without Cheney's approval. Surely, Hume didn't accidently do his job and get Cheney on record saying something he didn't want out there. Yet there is another thread showing how carefully they edited the transcript for "clarity". As smart as Cheney is getting out in front of this, he's still vulnerable to getting tripped up by his own actions.
Edited to add link to Stephanie's FOX transcript edit thread.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
86. Apparently you missed the "Make Shit Up" Executive Order


that Bush issued at the beginning of his Presidency that allows them to make up whatever they need whenever they need it and make it retroactively applicable.
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threadkillaz Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #86
88. lol.
;)
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Tristan Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 02:43 AM
Response to Original message
87. The real question is...
Edited on Fri Feb-17-06 02:46 AM by Tristan
Will the Democrats attack fierce enough for anything to be done with this, or will republicans join in on this...We have watched this kind of crap happen again and again, and nothing happens against it, we have our freedoms and constitution taken away, and yet no one fights hard enough, how is this a democracy if the people feel powerless...There must be a point where republicans realize what their leaders are doing, and fight back with us...Im not getting my hopes up, just watch, Osama will pop up soon and all attention will be diverted...

Thank GOD for DU...Only place I can get real news, and be a part of a community who wants change...
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
89. Outstanding sum up Mark, one of your best - K&R
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
91. He's Deputy Fuhrer
He'll shoot your ass, or have it done!
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
92. Questions - If Cheney had declassified Plame's status
IF Cheney had declassified Plame's status as a covert operative:

1) Why would CIA have asked for an investigation into the leak? If she was declassified, there was no crime.
2) Why would Ashcroft have to recuse himself from the DoJ investigation & then appoint a special prosecutor?
3) Could not Cheney have stopped the whole thing with a quiet message to George Tenet (then CIA head) - "hey, I had to declassify her status for national security reasons. no more questions"?

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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #92
93. Because Cheney didn't ask for Tenet's approval to declassify - he's done
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #93
96. I know
Those were semi-rhetorical questions...

If Plame was really declassified - even by Bush, who does have the authority, I believe - they could have put the kibosh on the investigation 3 years ago!
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #96
97. yeah I know that you were being rhetorical - that was my way of
highlighting your point because that is the point people need to take away from this. Some people connect the dots better than others and when we have the those connected dots highlighted it helps in getting everyone up to speed.

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Loge23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
94. A mere technicality - they'll change the law
I agree, it's outrageous and your post is thorough and well-documented. But, so what?
With this gang, they just chnage anything they don't agree with or anything that doesn't support their evil agenda.
Senate investigation? No problem! They own the Senate.
I am trying desperately to stay optimistic, but everyday passes without any checks on this group.
I'm afraid we've been hijacked.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #94
99. That wouldn't make his action legal - laws are not retroactive
he still broke existing law - not that I believe he'll pay for it.
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BookemDano Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. Well we now know that Cheney has been the Res in thief all along
shrub has no clue about whats going on I don't think he will ever get a clue!!!Most Excellent post really one of the best!!! :toast:
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plcdude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
101. excellent work
this needs to be sent to Keith O for publication on his show.
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sundancekid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #101
102. YES, especially because he seemed to NOT question dikk's assertions
about his "declassification authority" on the Countdown show last night ... I cringed!
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