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With Cuban troops surrounding Camp X-Ray, a red faced State Department was forced to hold a press conference to admit that their most recent communications efforts with the Cuban government may have left a few things lost in translation.

"Yes, we did advocate that the Cuban government take action immediately to release political prisoners," said a stuttering spokesperson for State, "but who could have foreseen they would think that we were authorizing them to release OUR prisioners?" he finished.

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The Washington Post has a brief piece describing Mike Mukasey's new gig.

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McClatchey is reporting the arrest at Baghdad International Airport of Ali Faisal al Lami, a top aide to Ahmed Chalabi.  The arrest is reported to be related to a June bombing that killed four Americans and six Iraqis.  Chalabi and McCain have assoications extending back into the the 1990s and McCain also received Chalabi's enthusiastic support in the 2000 Presidential election.

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Such were the words of 'advice' given to military interrogators at GITMO from  Jonathon Fredman, chief counsel to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.  

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In an earlier diary I alluded to the possibility that, with so many stories on torture and tapes hitting at once, it would be easy for details to be lost.  

One example of a buried lede that seems determined to stay buried is found in the Washington Post story by Warrick and Eggen (assists White, Pincus and Tate) about the Congressional briefings on torture.  Sources for that story seem to have had a virtual laundry of goals, but in the efforts to frame the story in a way that makes sources comfortable that "their side" has been told, WaPo flits right past the aspect of the story that shows unequivocally that the Bush administration was breaking the law in its briefings.

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There are so many stories floating around about video tapes found, and video tapes destroyed and who knew what and when about torture, that it is easy not only to confuse the stories, but for details to slip through the cracks.  

So lets break out some of the details separately.  Starting with September 13, 2007 and the "separate" CIA investigation that started this ball rolling.  

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Cross posted as a grateful guest at folo

A boy admitted to starting one of more than a dozen wildfires that ravaged Southern California last week, state detectives said Tuesday night.

The child admitted to playing with matches Oct. 21 and accidentally starting the Buckweed Fire, Los Angeles County sheriffs said. Officials have released the boy to his parents.

Link to MSM  & MSNBC Story That Just Does Not Get It

For the REAL story - see below the line.

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Spencer Ackerman at TPMmucraker has a story up about a letter sent today (pdf) from Waxman to Rice.  

That letter details incredible steps being taken by the State Department to protect Blackwater, misinform America and thoroughly disenfranchise Congress. Foremost is that Blackwater will be withholding documents from Waxman's committee at the request of Rice's State Department.

Read Spencer, read the letter and/or read below.  

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Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 12:41 PM PDT

The Bork 12

by Mary2002

It's a bit disturbing when Robert Bork channels Freddy Mercury and, not content with his Archibald Cox scalp, just has to see if he can make another one bite the dust. Couple that with the sight of "12 legal scholars" collectively donning their linguistic lycra and, concepts fluttering behind them like capes in a breeze, rushing off to do battle on behalf of obstruction and perjury, and the day is off to a bad start.  Now that the Bork 12: Vikram Amar, Randy Barnett, Robert Bork, Alan Dershowitz, Viet Dinh, Douglas Kmiec, Gary Lawson, Earl Maltz, Thomas Merrill, Robert Nagel, Richard Parker and Robert Putshaw, have joined forces, Libby can ditch that ineffective legal counsel he had and, like Richard Nixon, harness the power of the Bork.    

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In connection with the Gonzales hearing yesterday,House Democrats released a transcript of an interview with a Sr. Counsel to Gonzales, Matthew Friedrich.  The Muckraker and McClatchey have been all over the portions of the report dealing with Sampson's use of Friedrich to try to put more pressure on USAs in certain states to bring voter fraud cases.  

But my attention was caught by a reference in the law.com coverage of the hearings.  

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While the House Committee questioning of former Dep. Atty Gen. James Comey left a lot to be desired for depth and breadth, one reference that was elicited as interesting.  It was a response by Comey in connection with firings of USAs that took place when he was Deputy AG and one element of that response seems to have gone by virtually  unnoticed.

Did Comey testify that it takes a President to fire a US Attorney?  And if so, where the purged U.S. Attorneys fraudulently induced to resign?  Or did President Bush and his spokespersons engage in lies?  It's all a bit murky, but the events Comey described, coupled with recent news reports, certainly raise the question.

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Former Dep. Atty General James Comey will be appearing tomorrow to testify before Congress.  He will be there to discuss the purge of the USAs, but his appearance will provoke memories of another Bush/Gonzales scandal, one where Dep AG Comey is reported to have figured prominently.  That scandal, which eventually resulted in the direct intervention of the President of the United States to shut down an ethics investigation, remains largely unexamined.  

With the issues relating to the USA purge on the table, it might seem that any questions relating to an ethics review, especially one in which the investigators had specifically said they would not be reviewing the legality of the program, might be a paltry affair.  But I can't help speculating and wondering, "what if?"

"What if" the story of the OPR investigation, as reported so far, leaves out or misinterprets some very significant facts?  "What if" the President directly intervened to shut down the OPR investigation because it was likely to reveal something that would cause most lawyers to lose their license?  What if"  one or two questions to Mr. Comey might raise the possibiity that Gonazles should be facing a judge instead of a Congressional committee?

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