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So, WTF Did Comey Mean When He SAID THIS??? (Or, The WP Get's A TRUTH 2x4 To The Head)

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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:44 PM
Original message
So, WTF Did Comey Mean When He SAID THIS??? (Or, The WP Get's A TRUTH 2x4 To The Head)
Edited on Wed May-16-07 09:47 PM by Beetwasher
First, there's this:

'"We had the president's direction to do . . . what the Justice Department believed was necessary to put this matter on a footing where we could certify to its legality," Mr. Comey said.'

Umm, sort of leaves you hanging, doesn't it? WTF does this mean? Does the WP (or congress for that matter) think that perhaps maybe a question to ask at this point might be (among a million others) "errr, duh, and was this actually DONE? Did you 'put this matter on a footing..."??? How could the WP not address this information here? It boggles the mind.

Which brings me to my next point, the clue 2x4 the WP received, as they are finally, apparently appalled at something the admin. has done. So, WP, can we expect screaming front page headlines and intense investigative journalism on behalf of this story? Or at least as strident and dedicated coverage as that you would give to the story of a Presidential blow job?

Well?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Serry, Beet. This trivial crap about wiretaps just isn't very
interesting. We know it's not, because we called up Karl Rove & he said he's not interested in us running any more on that story.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hmmm, I think it is a fight between an episode of the ...
Sopranos versus American Idol. American Idol wins hands down as does a blow job versus the crime family controlling the US government.


Not sure if my comment is sarcasm or the sad truth, unfortunately.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. translation
'"We had the president's direction to do . . . what the Justice Department believed was necessary to put this matter on a footing where we could certify to its legality,"

"We were directed by the President to lie, distort, obscure, whatever we had to do to get ourselves to be able to stomach saying his blatant violation of the Constitution was legal"

Footnote: that toady Gonzales was 100% for just lying, but we felt an obligation to somehow rationalize it first in our own minds. He said our attitude was "quaint."
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. I watched the testimony, but I don't have the transcript to reference.
I don't know the context you are quoting from. I can tell you Comy said they approached him with the proposal, and he said it wasn't legal and he wouldn't sign off on it. That's when they got pi**ed and went to Ashcroft in the intensive care room. He also said NO. After that, Shrub said "I take full responsibility for this action, and we're doing it!" I'm not sure what part of that story your quote was referencing, but Comey was very straight forward with his testimony.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. I tried to wrap my head around that one last night, too.
Wish I had an answer for you. I felt sure after this comment by Comey that more could have been asked. Here's the part from the transcript:

~snip~
SCHUMER: OK.

Anything else of significance relevant to this line of questioning occur on Thursday the 11th, that you can recall?

COMEY: No, not that I recall.

SCHUMER: Thank you.

Now, lets go to the next day, which was March 12. Can you tell us what happened then?

COMEY: I went to the Oval Office as I did every morning as acting attorney general with Director Mueller to brief the president and the vice president on what was going on on Justice Departments counterterrorism work.

We had the briefing. And as I was leaving, the president asked to speak to me, took me in his study and we had a one-on-one meeting for about 15 minutes again, which I will not go into the substance of. It was a very full exchange. And at the end of that meeting, at my urging, he met with Director Mueller, who was waiting for me downstairs.

He met with Director Mueller again privately, just the two of them. And then after those two sessions, we had his direction to do the right thing, to do what we

SCHUMER: Had the presidents direction to do the right thing?

COMEY: Right.

We had the presidents direction to do what we believed, what the Justice Department believed was necessary to put this matter on a footing where we could certify to its legality.

And so we then set out to do that. And we did that.


~snip~
http://thinkprogress.org/comey-testimony

I read a post by DUer magellan last night that attempted to explain it:

Essentially the Justice Department told Bush** they wouldn't approve his domestic wiretapping program because IT DIDN'T COMPLY WITH THE LAW, but Bush** did it anyway and supposedly brought it into compliance with the same law that the Justice Department had already told him it didn't comply with, WITHOUT their approval.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

But, I want to know what Comey meant, exactly.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Comey also said
he would not discuss any details of the program in question. Whether they asked or not.
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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Oh Emit, I was so embarrassed by that
I went back and tried to fix it, but I still didn't manage to accurately describe what it appears these bastards did.

I know for sure it all comes back to the Federalist 'Unitary Executive' thing, though. Bush** believes that as president he has the power to interpret the law as he likes, and to act on that interpretation. Hence the ultimate end run around Ashcroft and Comey, and the suggestion that Bush** himself would bring the domestic wiretapping program into compliance with the law.

Which is a bit like a judge rendering judgment without a trial.

Somebody needs to ask Bush** why, if he was willing to bring the program into compliance, he couldn't go the required step further and put it before Ashcroft again for his okay before running with it.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Well, magellan
it made sense to me. Comey is a man of integrity from all I've read (dating back to Fitzgerald/Plame threads) and the article you were responding to in that thread stated:

"Mr. Bush quelled the revolt over the programs legality by allowing it to continue without Justice Department approval, also directing department officials to take the necessary steps to bring it into compliance with the law, according to Congressional testimony by the former deputy attorney general, James B. Comey."

IMHO, I'm not sure that is exactly what Comey meant in his testimony, and if he were able to discuss it in further detail, we would know just what Bushco really did or didn't do -- or really wanted. I think Comey was telling the truth, mind you -- I just think that the article made it sound like Bush was the one who desired to "do the right thing..." I think Comey was trying to say that he and the others were demanding that "the right thing..." be done.

Okay, now I'm probably not making any sense! :crazy:
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. I Agree, The Article Goes Out Of It's Way To NOT Be Clear On The Point
And further, to make it seem like Bush was being reasonable and "doing the right thing" by telling them to "bring it into compliance".

Thanks for your efforts at explaining. Unfortunately, due to the sorry state of our media, this question is as muddled as ever and I'm not holding my breath for a clarification anytime soon.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. Thanks Emit
It still doesn't answer the question though, does it? Was it brought into compliance or not? Seems like a very, very important question that's amazingly not being asked or followed up on by our good ol' "liberal media".
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Here's a discussion I happened across today
~snip~

In January of 2006, the DOJ released its 42-page position paper purporting to set forth the "legal justifications" for the President's warrantless eavesdropping program. It advanced two arguments -- (i) that the President had "inherent authority" under Article II of the Constitution to engage in warrantless eavesdropping regardless of what Congress said, and independently, (ii) that Congress "implicitly" authorized the Bush administration to eavesdrop in violation of FISA when it enacted the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force against Al Qaeda and Afghanistan, which implicitly authorized them to use warrantless eavesdropping as part of that "war."

It has long been clear that when the NSA program began in 2001, the only legal basis cited was the Article II claim (which amounts to a declaration that the President can eavesdrop however he wants, including in violation of Congressional law). The AUMF "justification" was one that was only added some time later as an afterthought -- quite likely once Ashcroft and Comey advised the White House in 2004 that the program had no legal authority (the definitive background on that development is here, in a February 2006 post by A.L, who first suggested the late apperance of the AUMF theory).

In other words, Ashcroft, Comey and other DOJ officials did not accept the Article II theory that the President could simply ignore the laws passed by Congress in how he eavesdropped on Americans, and therefore wanted to create an alternative legal basis for the program -- one which claimed that Congress did authorize warrantless eavesdropping when it enacted the AUMF.

~snip~

In fact, given that FISA makes it a felony to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants, no changes could render a warrantless eavesdropping program legal. And whatever changes were made did not make it legal, as the federal court ruled last August. But the question still remains: what changes were made that convinced Comey and Ashcroft that the program was legal?

As indicated, it has been assumed for some time that what changed at that point was that the AUMF legal "justification" was concocted, and it was the addition of that argument -- one which at least had the appearance of being grounded in Congressional authorization -- that is what convinced the DOJ to certify the program's legality. In other words, what changed in 2004 was not the eavesdropping program itself, but merely the DOJ's theories about why the program was legal.

But Law Professor Orin Kerr offers some speculation on that question which strikes me not only as persuasive, but also as the only logically possible answer. He suggests that there were changes to the program itself -- i.e. changes in the operational rules of the NSA's eavesdropping -- not merely changes to the DOJ legal theories (emphasis added):

It sounds like the President personally either gave in or reached a compromise with Comey (it's not clear to me which) that refashioned the program in a way that DOJ was willing to approve.


The only real possibility for how the program could be "refashioned" in order to convince the DOJ of its legality would be tighten the nexus between the warrantless eavesdropping and the AUMF.

~snip~


More: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/22538

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. Comey said repeatedly he wouldn't say what it concerned.
Schumer obviously chose not to force him, else Comey would've resisted testifying at all.
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kansasblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
8.  Mueller instructed the FBI agents present not to allow me (Comey) to be removed from the room
Edited on Wed May-16-07 10:58 PM by kansasblue
"and Director Mueller instructed the FBI agents present not to allow me to be removed from the room under any circumstances"

http://thinkprogress.org/comey-testimony/
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. I suspect that a private agreement with Schumer was that he would not be directly asked
to acknowledge the later "compromise" agreement between Chimp & Comey, or describe it.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
12. The MFKR was using geek speak to explain their desire to make their crap legal
Edited on Thu May-17-07 03:35 AM by opihimoimoi
Its all they do...find a way to make it legal...fuck the moral part of things...typ Pub I might add.
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
13. take the necessary steps to bring it into compliance with the law
translation - find a loop hole
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Yup, remember, he STILL resigned over this. n/t
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