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The 12-hour gap is worse than you think


Posted By Carpetbagger On 25th July 2005 @ 09:03 In General | 4 Comments

Yesterday, the New York Times' Frank Rich reminded a lot of the political world that there was lengthy gap between when the Plame investigation began and when the White House started preserving documents related to the probe. My concern, however, is that the gap is even worse than Rich made it out to be.

As White House counsel, [Alberto Gonzales] was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation. This 12-hour delay, he has said, was sanctioned by the Justice Department, but since the department was then run by John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist who refused to recuse himself from the Plame case, inquiring Senate Democrats would examine this 12-hour delay as closely as an 18½-minute tape gap.

"Every good prosecutor knows that any delay could give a culprit time to destroy the evidence," said Senator Charles Schumer, correctly, back when the missing 12 hours was first revealed almost two years ago. A new Gonzales confirmation process now would have quickly devolved into a neo-Watergate hearing. Mr. Gonzales was in the thick of the Plame investigation, all told, for 16 months.

As much as I appreciate Rich bringing the 12-hour-gap question back to the forefront, his characterization was understating the case.

On Friday, Sept. 26, 2003, the CIA directed the Justice Department to launch a criminal probe into the leak. Three days later, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2003, the WH counsel's office was formally notified about the investigation. And then 12 hours after that, Gonzales told White House staff to preserve materials. In other words, the amount of time Bush aides were given to, perhaps, discard and destroy relevant evidence after the DoJ began its work wasn't just 12 hours; it was several days.

It's not as if the Gonzales notification — on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003 — told Rove & Co. something new. MSNBC told the world about the investigation that Friday night. This means Rove & Co. learned on Friday night that they were being investigated, but weren't formally told to start securing relevant materials until Tuesday morning. In case the MSNBC report wasn't clear enough, a front-page article was published in the Washington Post about the Justice Department's criminal investigation a full 48 hours before WH staffers were told to preserve potentially incriminating evidence.

There are new questions about when Gonzales told WH Chief of Staff Andy Card about the investigation, but this seems largely irrelevant. Card and the rest of the Bush gang didn't need word from the WH counsel's office on Sept. 29, 2003, to know that an investigation was underway; they, like the rest of us, learned about the probe days before hand.

The Bush gang didn't have 12 hours to cover their tracks — they had a whole weekend.

It's also important to note that Rich's discussion of the 12-hour gap, while important, isn't new. Senate Dems tried to raise hell about this two years ago, but no one — in Congress, the administration, or in the media — listened.

I appreciate Patrick Fitzgerald's reputation and believe him to be a credible prosecutor, who appears to have run a fair and thorough investigation. That's not the problem here. The question is whether Fitzgerald's probe has had access to all the information it should have received.

As Sens. Daschle, Biden, Levin, and Schumer said in October 2003, "We are at risk of seeing this investigation so compromised that those responsible for this national security breach will never be identified and prosecuted."

A scary prospect, indeed.

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Can Firzgerald call in SS to testify.
As the president and vice president have 24 protection,maybe they can fill in the gaps.

It appears we have treason coming out of the whitehouse,this put's America and world at risk.

And under these circumstances,I do believe Fitzgerald and the grand jury have all power as this involves the safety of the American people.

Lets hope so..... But then again look what they have done and
... KEEP DOING....Fitzgerald better watch his backside....The KEY IS THE TRUTH...

Read about the chairman and "covert"

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/4801.html

I don't get this post at all. There is nothing to Plamegate. There are no "tracks" to cover.

I guess these types of posts are made on this site because there is nothing particularly damming in the DSMs either, so you have to have something to feed to the rabid Bush haters

Schmat,
You represent the closed mind of the blind Bush lovers. You can't see the corruption, coverup and conniving perpetrated by this cabal of criminals.

We've been getting way too serious, lately.

"If Plame wasn't COVERT, why did Ascroft bring in the Special Prosecutor?"

Try to get your facts straight before you post.

This site covers ALL problems with this administration. Keep reading and ranting cause we've only just begun. And, Schmat when it is all over we will accept your apologies with glee.

I've wondered that myself, because Ms. Plame had been driving to CIA headquarters every working day for several years.

I believe it was to placate MSM / Democratic baying. It also could have been to find out what happened, though I'm not so blind as to not see that ALL politicians play games with the truth.

Do you have a problem with the English language? Do you read any part of a post other than the headlines?

You are a joke. Something tells me you are connected with the whitehouse. True or false?

We won't get off message, we won't let up on our representivatives in congress, we won't let up on the MSM and we will win. We will bring bush and his gang to their knees.

I don't understand your post.

I resonded to your original post, which had four sentences. The first sentence asked about why Ashcroft appointed a special prosecutor, the others were swipes at me. I responded to the 1st sentence, was that supposed to be a link?

Valery Plame was not a covert agent and had not been since 1998. She worked at CIA headquarters and had been outed by a Russian spy in the mid 90's.

Ashcroft appointed a special council because Valerie Plame was a covert agent.

How much clearer can we spell it out to you?

What part of the word covert don't you understand?

Good Evening Mr. Schmat,

Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to comprehend what you read and not react like a programmed robotic machine; you know, sort of like a Nazi Stormtrooper. I realize that actually comprehending what you read may be beyond your intellectual capabilities, I still believe there may be some hope for you.

Let's try a basic civics test:

1. What are the three branches of the federal government?
2. What are the functions of the three branches of the federal government?
3. Which branch of the federal government interprets the Constitution of the United States?
4. Which is the deliberative branch?
5. What is the significance of the phrase to ". . . preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America"?

I think that is enough for your first pop quiz in basic civics. I'm sure I speak for all the rest of us who follow ADS.org in saying we await your answers with baited breath!

ok, I'll bite, though I don't esquire, so may be wrong / incomplete:
1) Executive, Legislative, Judicial
2) Provide leadership /administer, make laws, interpret law
3) All three (I believe Marshall was wrong)
4) Legislative
5) That is what government officials pledge to do. (I don't know if all of them are required to do so.)

Good Try!

You revealed yourself with your answer to number 3. That answer demonstrates just how distorted you and the rest of the neocons thinking has become once the power is concentrated. The essence of the Constitution is in the system of checks and balances. Concentrating power is completely contradictory to what the framers sought to create. Recall that they were revolting from the tyranny of the King of England whose power was so concentrated such that he could do anything he wanted. Sound familiar? The other answers were fine. Since this is not a quiz for credit, no grades are necessary but I will say I think there is still some hope for you.
Call me an optimistic liberal!

Look, obviously these guys went for blood when Wilson pointed out that the intelligence was bogus. It was bogus before he went and still found to be bogus when, at the request of the VP, he went and checked again.

So why would these guys use such a big gun to shot down this op-ed piece on this bogus intel?

Because they even took it out of the speech at one point and then put it back in!

So this national security breech is horrific but what about deliberately lying to the public about WMDs and such and then invading a country to keep their private business ventures profiting.

Remember they really lost out on allot of Enron real estate when they couldn't get that LPN pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan because they didn't want to share the gas to help them rebuild their infrastructure, they wanted it all so they could sell it out of India for a profit.

No worries though because now they have plenty of profits to sweep up as we continue to pummel Iraq at US expense and they continue to profit as they sort of put it back together.

Meanwhile over 20 thousand innocent Iraqi civilians have been wasted.

Outrageous!

Look, obviously these guys went for blood when Wilson pointed out that the intelligence was bogus. It was bogus before he went and still found to be bogus when, at the indirect request of the VP, he went and checked again.

So why would these guys use such a big gun to shoot down this op-ed piece on this bogus intel?

Because they even took it out of the speech at one point and then put it back in!

So this national security breech is horrific but what about deliberately lying to the public about WMDs and such and then invading a country to keep their private business ventures profiting.

Remember they really lost out on allot of Enron real estate when they couldn't get that LNG pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan because they didn't want to share the gas to help them rebuild their infrastructure, they wanted it all so they could sell it out of India for a profit.

No worries though because now they have plenty of profits to sweep up as we continue to pummel Iraq at US expense and they continue to profit as they sort of put it back together.

Meanwhile over 20 thousand innocent Iraqi civilians have been wasted.

Outrageous!

Looky, looky . . our dear "friend" Schmat is back.

Ah, a day without a NEO CON toadie is like a day without hemorrhoids.

For those new to the list, Schmat loves to crawl out every now and
then to inform all we "ignorant" and "foolish" people that
"BUSH IS GREAT, BUSH IS GOOD, LET US THANK HIM FOR OUR FOOD" and
that we are all a bunch of "Liberal Meanies" that just don't
understand the "issues." And in traditional COINTEL fashion,
to try and convince us that we should all just give up,
fall back asleep and accept our fate at the hands of the PNAC NEO CONS.

So, Schmat . .. heard any good music lately? seen any good films?
any good art? read any good books actually written by a person rather
than a "ghosted" team? gone on any holiday romance vacations lately?
laughed with any children lately? Volunteered to help out any less
fortunate than you? Stayed up late with a friend or family member
having a rough time? . . . . thought not . . . such a shame.

Here's my summer reading assignment for you and all the other little
NEO CON toadies that just "don't get it." Go and find a copy
of "The Little Brute Family" by Russell Hoban and read it to a
group of children that haven't been forced medicated. Try to
remember . . . "Remember is a place from long ago" - Harry Nilsson.

peace.

.

NOT

This is a good point. But keep in mind the point brought up By David Ray Griffin in chapter 4, titled "The president's behavior: Why did he act as he did" of his book "The New Pearl Harbor". There may be some individuals in the Treasury Dept. involved in this enough to lie to protect them.

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