Feb 18

Former Bush Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove has a new president urging Congress not to force him to testify next week.

President Barack Obama.

In a court brief quietly filed Monday, Michael Hertz, Obama’s acting assistant attorney general, said it was necessary to delay an effort to force Rove to be deposed in a congressional investigation into the firing of nine US Attorneys and the alleged political prosecution of a former Alabama governor.

Hertz said an effort was underway to find a “compromise” for Rove, and requested two weeks to broker a deal before proceeding in court.

“The inauguration of a new president has altered the dynamics of this case and created new opportunities for compromise rather than litigation,” Hertz wrote in the brief released late Monday by McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. bureau. “At the same time, there is now an additional interested party – the former president – whose views should be considered.”

The House Judiciary Committee sued the Bush Administration to force Rove to testify last year, saying that Rove shouldn’t be covered by executive privilege. They won. But their case has been held up by an appeal, and Hertz’s filing was the Obama administration’s first legal weighing-in on the matter. Obama’s Justice Department has supplanted the role of Bush’s Justice Department in the case, and their position will likely inform the terms under which Rove is questioned by Congress.

Hertz’s statement mirrors a statement from Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig published Saturday.

“The president is very sympathetic to those who want to find out what happened,” Craig told The Washington Post. “But he is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency. So, for that reason, he is urging both sides of this to settle.”

Both Hertz’s and Craig’s statement point to an underlying challenge Obama faces with regard to Rove. Since former President Bush still claims that Rove is protected from testifying to Congress by executive privilege, even after departing office, Obama must decide whether he wants to risk diluting his own executive privilege in the future.

These statements, however, stand in contrast to Obama’s previous rhetoric.

In 2007, while in the Senate, Obama rebuked Bush’s White House as “the most secretive in modern history,” which aimed “to hide its abuse of our justice system.”

Responding to a Bush claim of executive privilege, he said, “By continuing to act as the most secretive White House in modern history, the Bush Administration has once again placed itself above the law in order to hide its abuse of our justice system from the American people. On the first day of an Obama Administration, we will launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history to shed sunlight on the decisions made by government and put the interests of the American people at the center of every decision that’s made.”

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), who subpoenaed Rove as recently as last week and demanded that he come before Congress Feb. 23, refused a request from Rove’s attorney seeking a delay. Rove didn’t show up on two previous occasions he was subpoenaed, once in 2008 and again in January. He didn’t honor a 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena either.

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Dec 20


Originally published on Sunday, December 21, 2008

Source: Seattle Post-Intellibencer

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Dec 20

To: STATE EDITORS

Contact: Ilene Proctor PR, +1-310-858-6643

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him.

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Dec 17

Despite the facts, the vice-president still insists that Saddam Hussein could have produced weapons of mass destruction

Scott Ritter was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998 and is the author of Iraq Confidential.

In yet another attempt at revisionist history by the outgoing Bush administration, vice-president Dick Cheney, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, took exception to former presidential adviser Karl Rove’s contention that the US would not have gone to war if available intelligence before the invasion had shown Iraq not to possess weapons of mass destruction. Cheney noted that the only thing the US got wrong on Iraq was that there were no stockpiles of WMD at the time of the 2003 invasion. “What they found was that Saddam Hussein still had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction. He had the technology, he had the people, he had the basic feed stock.”

Related article: ‘I think we’ve done pretty well.’ Dick Cheney has no regrets about eight years in office

The vice-president should re-check both his history and his facts. Just prior to President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, the UN had teams of weapons inspectors operating inside Iraq, blanketing the totality of Iraq’s industrial infrastructure. They found no evidence of either retained WMD, or efforts undertaken by Iraq to reconstitute a WMD manufacturing capability. Whatever dual-use industrial capability that did exist (so-called because the industrial processes involved to produce legitimate civilian or military items could, if modified, be used to produce materials associated with WMD) had been so degraded as a result of economic sanctions and war that any meaningful WMD production was almost moot. To say that Saddam had the capability or the technology to produce WMD at the time of the US invasion is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Continue reading »

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Sep 16

A GOP congressional leader who was wavering on giving President Bush authority to wage war in late 2002 said Vice President Cheney misled him by saying that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon.

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Jun 28


Source: You Tube

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Jun 21


Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON – Former presidential spokesman Scott McClellan on Friday said President Bush has lost the public’s trust by failing to open up about his administration’s mistakes and backtracking on a promise to tell all about the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

“This White House promised or assured the American people that at some point when this was behind us they would talk publicly about it. And they have refused to,” McClellan told the House Judiciary Committee. “And that’s why I think more than any other reason we are here today and the suspicion still remains.”

The former White House press secretary suggested that Bush could do much to redeem his credibility on the Plame matter and his reasons for going to war in Iraq if he would embrace “openness and candor and then constantly strive to build trust across the aisle.”

“This is a very secretive White House,” McClellan said. “There’s some things that they would prefer not to be talked about.” Continue reading »

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Mar 06

This morning on Fox News Sunday, former White House adviser Karl Rove claimed that redeployment from Iraq would cause oil prices to shoot to $200 a barrel:

If we were to give up Iraq with the third largest oil reserves in the world to the control of an Al Qaida regime or to the control of Iran, don’t you think $200 a barrel oil would have a cost to the American economy?

 

Occupying Iraq has hardly helped oil prices stay low. Last week, oil prices reached a record high of over $102 a barrel. On March 19, 2003 — the day the Iraq war commenced — oil was trading at $36 a barrel. A look at the rise in oil prices:

oilprices65.gif

None of this should have come as a surprise to the Bush administration; before the war, economists were widely predicting a prolonged presence in Iraq would lead to a rise in oil prices. As Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz recently noted in Vanity Fair, “The soaring price of oil is clearly related to the Iraq war. The issue is not whether to blame the war for this but simply how much to blame it.”

Rove is also out of step with the American people, a majority of whom believes that the Iraq war is tied to the current economic downturn. A recent AP poll found that 68 percent of Americans say that redeploying from Iraq would help the economy.

Digg It!

Transcript:

WALLACE: All right. But Obama has found a clever way to link the war in Iraq to our domestic problems with the economy here at home. Let’s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We are spending $12 billion per month. That is money that we could be spending here in the United States, rebuilding our infrastructure, building schools, sending kids to university.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: If he’s able to define Iraq in terms of where do you spend that $12 billion, on the battlefield over there or on infrastructure and social programs here, doesn’t Obama win?

ROVE: Well, Obama — it’s a good argument for Obama, but I’m wondering where it goes, because it really is a very neo-isolationist argument. It basically says, you know, We should not be involved in the world because of the consequences to the budget here at home.

Well, we were not involved in the world before 9/11, and look what happened. Look at the cost to the American economy after a terrorist attack on the homeland. We lost a million jobs in 90 days after 9/11.

If we were to give up Iraq with the third largest oil reserves in the world to the control of an Al Qaida regime or to the control of Iran, don’t you think $200 a barrel oil would have a cost to the American economy?

So you know, it’s a cute thing in a primary. I’m not certain over an 8-month general election that you can make the argument that we ought to take a look at every foreign policy commitment in the United States and measure it on the basis of the number of dollars that we’ve got there.

I happened to be in Los Angeles on Monday, and somebody had heard Obama say this to me, and they were Democrat, and at dinner they said,

I’m worried about that, because does that mean he’s going to be looking at our support, for example, for the state of Israel and looking at it in terms of what could we be doing at home with those dollars?

And it was a nice line, but I’m not certain how durable a line it necessarily is.

Source: thinkprogress.org

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