Angry Bush will stonewall CIA probe

President George W. Bush tried to stop Attorney General Michael Mukasey from launching a criminal investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency’s destruction of tapes showing torture of a prisoner and has ordered top White House officials to stonewall the probe, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

Bush is reportedly “livid” that Mukasey went ahead with the investigation and even discussed firing the attorney general but senior administration officials talked the President out of taking an action that would add fuel to suspicions of a cover-up.

While the administration may put on a public face of cooperation, the White House will take a tough stance from prosecutors who will seek interviews with current and former administration officials who participated in a meeting where destruction of the videotapes was discussed.

White House insiders describe the President’s mood as “dour” and “resigned” to the implications of a Justice Department investigation but legal observers in Washington believe the administration can successfully stall the probe and doubt the effectiveness of an administration trying to examine its own criminal behavior.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, says a special prosecutor independent of the Justice Department is needed to fully investigate the destruction of the tapes. A Justice Department probe, Turley adds, can and most certainly will be hindered by the Bush Administration, which has a long and proven history of manipulating examinations of its wrong doing.

Turley calls the Justice Department investigation “questionable” because it is hamstrung by the White House.

Adds Turley:

There are at least six identifiable crimes here, from obstruction of justice to obstruction of Congress, perjury, conspiracy, false statements, and what is often forgotten: the crime of torturing suspects.

If that crime was committed it was a crime that would conceivably be ordered by the president himself, only the president can order those types of special treatments or interrogation techniques.

Since evidence already points to White House involvement, the odds increase that the White House will try to stop any real probe of wrongdoing in much the same way it hampered the investigation into the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of Bush critic Joseph Wilson.

Reports The New York Times:

Justice Department officials declined to specify what crimes might be under investigation, but government lawyers have said the inquiry will probably focus on whether the destruction of the tapes involved criminal obstruction of justice and related false-statement offenses.

Mr. Mukasey assigned John H. Durham, a veteran federal prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the criminal inquiry in tandem with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The appointment of a prosecutor from outside Washington was an unusual move, and it suggested that Mr. Mukasey wanted to give the investigation the appearance of an extra measure of independence, after complaints from lawmakers in both parties that Mr. Mukasey’s predecessor, Alberto R. Gonzales, had allowed politics to influence the Justice Department’s judgment.

Mr. Durham was not appointed as a special counsel in this case, a step sought by some Congressional Democrats. He will have less expansive authority than a special counsel and will report to the deputy attorney general rather than assume the powers of the attorney general, which he would have had as a special counsel.

Mr. Durham has spent years bringing cases against organized crime figures in Hartford and Boston. In legal circles he has the reputation of a tough, tight-lipped litigator who compiled a stellar track record against the mob.

A C.I.A. spokesman said that the agency would cooperate fully with the Justice Department investigation. Current and former officials have said that the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the tapes in November 2005 was Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time was the head of the agency’s clandestine branch.

The White House press office did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article.

Comments

  1. SEAL

    The amazing thing to me is how the idividuals in the administation stand together. There is never anyone who breaks ranks to beome an informant. Not even a “deep throat” as in Nixon’s case.

    The history of investigations into mob or large scale criminal enterprises has always been that someone involved, usually a lower ranking member, runs to make a deal and save their ass. But this bunch makes “omerta” seem like a childs tree house pledge. I wonder if they all have a cyanide pill?

    Old curm You are abolutely correct that they are far beyond impeachment and should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, I’m not sure if the US ould do that to one of their own. Most certainly they would not. I don’t know the law on this but I believe these charges would have to be brought by another country.

    The only time this has ever been done is when a country has been defeated in war and its leaders were charged and tried in the world court. I would think Iraq would have every right to file these charges against Bush et al.But that would have to include a demand that we withdraw our troops from their lands. That would pit the United nations against the US. They would have to send troops as peace keepers to replace ours. What if Bush refused? Impeachment would be mandatory then.

    However, this is a fantasy. Iraq would never do such a thing. That would cut off the money spicot for the Iraqi leaders who are making a fortune from us. I would bet good money they all have fat Swiss bank accounts.

  2. JudyB

    This torture probe requires an independent investigation, but it will never happen with Bush at the helm. Bush’ outlandish abuse of power will not end until he is no longer President.

    Can charges ever be bought against Bush and his henchmen after they leave office? I am not sure, but feel certain there have been war crimes committed…and I cannot help but thinking of the Neurenburg trials and wondering “what if?” and “why not?”

    The overt abuses of Presidential power that have taken place during this regime are not only mind boggling but criminal. Legal steps must be taken assuring “we the people”, that those guilty of crimes and abuse of power be legitimatly & unbiasedly investigated, brought to trial and punished. These actions must be undertaken, warning all future leaders, they best take seriously, that what this administration has gotten by with will NEVER be tolerated again

    “THE CHECKS THAT ARE CONTAINED IN THE CONSTITUTION RESTRAINING ABUSIVE PRESIDENTIAL POWER MUST BE ENACTED”

  3. Carl Nemo

    Congressional Republicans; in hoping to survive their incumbencies and to insure any future for their party need to contact their Democratic counterparts immediately and simply say we “need” to impeach both Bush and Cheney’s belligerent asses NOW…!

    It amazes me that we are still talking about George W. Bush’s antics after seven years of this nation having sufferred it’s worst nightmares under this ongoing criminal regime!?

    There were enough grounds to impeach Bush and Cheney during his first term once it was discovered that the WMD story was a function of cooked intelligence by the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney rogue intelligence pipeline, the outing of Plame etc. ad nauseam ad infinitum. So much more has either happened or is being discovered and these two evil clowns are still in office…?!

    All those who have either lost their lives or have been maimed for life on both sides of this deadly, engineered debacle; ie., US servicemen and Iraqi citizens are simply victims of corporatist sponsored lies for the purpose of stealing a nations oil reserves.

    How much more must this nation suffer under these two mattoids. For the love of you God and Country get motivated people and demand impeachment now!

    It’s mandated by the Constitution that we must do so regardless of the amount of time left in office, the upcoming elections and a zillion other convenient excuses for not doing so. Now is the time to let not only the Bushistas but future presidencies know that “we the people” have drawn the line in the sand and will not tolerate this level of criminality in our nations highest office.

    Dare to be great and contact your elected reps today and say you’ve had a bellyful of Bushco and if they fail to act you will not be voting for them again. It’s time for our congressional reps and Senators to get roughed up for their ongoing shufflebutting on this grave matter.

    http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm
    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Jenifer D.

    ARGENTINA OR BUST!

    I absolutely believe that preparations are being made, by Bush and Cheney, to spirit away their families to South America just prior to the upcoming presidential election, if it happens. There is still that possibility of another staged ‘terror attack’ to lay the groundwork to declare a state of ‘national emergency’ and suspend the election indefinitely.

    After what happened to Bhutto, I wouldn’t trust these punks any farther than I could throw Big Moe! When Bhutto let the cat out of the bag by telling the world that Osama Bin Laden is dead, she signed her own death warrant.

  5. ekaton

    “All those who have either lost their lives or have been maimed for life on both sides of this deadly, engineered debacle; ie., US servicemen and Iraqi citizens are simply victims of corporatist sponsored lies for the purpose of stealing a nations oil reserves.”

    There is also the intent to surround Russia in order to “contain” that country, thinking left over from the cold war. What arrogance. What folly. Its just so surreal and unbelievable that so much of our resources are being wasted in such a fruitless effort while other countries are expanding and maintaining infrastructure and working for the benefit of their peoples’. Our government, for whatever nefarious reasons, is destroying our economy and our solvency and ultimately our national strength.

    In the end it all just amounts to class warfare on a worldwide scale. The very wealthy against the rest of us, and so far we are letting them win. There are 6 billion of us and a million of them. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!

    — Kent Shaw

  6. ekaton

    “There is still that possibility of another staged ‘terror attack’ to lay the groundwork to declare a state of ‘national emergency’ and suspend the election indefinitely.”

    There will be severe consequences if that happens.

    — Kent Shaw

  7. DejaVuAllOver

    Do any of you lawyer types know if there are any statute of limitations clauses or laws preventing Der Fuehrer from being tried (and hopefully hung in Guantanamo) for war crimes after the 2008 elections? (I know Bush believes there won’t BE 2008 elections…. but Hitler believed the same thing and the German Army dealt with him, eventually)

    Just curious how long we have to send Satan back to Hell.

  8. ekaton

    ” … the German Army dealt with him … ”

    The official story has Hitler committing suicide. But since then, he was spotted several times having dinner with Elvis in Argentina.

    — Kent Shaw

  9. SEAL

    Unknown to our generation there are alliances formed between the large gangs of young people in this country in preparation for the upcoming war with the government. They believe it is inevitable. Rap music is their communication vehicle.

    What we have missed is that gang X in LA is not confined to LA. It has chapters all across the nation numbering in the thousands. And then there is gang Y and gang Z and gang A,B,C and so on. Hundreds of them all talking to each other through their music. Secret meetings to make plans for “D” day. They are armed to the teeth.

    Sure, they fight among themselves sometimes. There are power struggles and local turf wars. That’s the only time we hear about them. We dismiss it as fighting among local gangs and in most cases that is true. But they all know the “real” turf war for the nation is coming. They’re ready for it.

    Pay attention to your teenagers. The vast majority of them belong to gangs. You may not know it and think they just have friends they hang out with. They don’t act like what you believe a gang member acts like. They don’t wear “colors” and get into trouble. but the plain fact is, if a kid does not belong to a gang now-a-days, he is in trouble. Unprotected.
    And, as offensive as it is, listen to the rap he is listening to. That is what he/she is thinking. That is where your kid is really at in his/her mind.

    I have 3 sons 36 and 37 and 19. One daughter twin of the 36 year old. She has a doctorate in matematics and is a professor at one of the leading Eastern schools. The two older boys have good careers going with 3 children. The youngest has stayed home to take care of disabled mom and dad. But they ALL belong to gangs. This isn’t something new. They’ve been preparing for it for years and their ranks are swelling with each new batch of teenagers.

    Accepting the reality, I created 4 little SEALs to give them the edge in survival.

  10. Pablo

    My main fear is we have already set the precedent. If we haven’t held dushbag accountable for his repeated constitutional violations over these years, we never will. The last two times we had “investigations” (911 commission and the Fitzgerald “investigation” of the Plame outing), they turned out to be jokes. My god, how much more blatant and numerous could the law breaking have been?!? And whoever of the current list of liars who becomes president knows that there will be no accountability; we can only pray that they have mercy on us, because we know congress will do nothing, and as long as the people continue to have their drugs of choice available (television, beer, cola and a variety of monosodium-glutomate-ridden substances), they will do nothing either. Perhaps our only hope is that they stage a terrorist attack right before they lose the election to a republicrat, which might, just might, wake up the populace to what is going on. Excuse my negativity, but it just isn’t looking good.

  11. Carl Nemo

    Truly, solid advice concerning gang activity SEAL! Most Americans don’t realize that gangs have branched out across the nation and have even moved to Mayberry.

    Who knows, once this society collapses maybe gang affiliation is the only way many of the young will survive? Lone survivalists, unless in remote locations will be eaten alive figuratively and even possibly literally too when food supplies disappear…!

    Our traitorous, criminal leadership has sown the wind and “we the people” shall unfortunately reap the whirlwind…!

    For sure, your four, now adult SEALS won’t become an endangered species… 🙂

    Carl Nemo**==

  12. ekaton

    You will surely think me naive, but I had no idea. Do you mean real, “formal” gangs, like the Bloods, the Crips, and MS-13? I already knew that these particular groups had spread far beyond Los Angeles. Are you talking about actual organized gangs or informal groups of friends or what? How large are some of these gangs that you know of? I’m truly taken by surprise by this. Especially that professionals in their mid 30’s would actually still be gang members. Can you elaborate somewhat? Hey, I’m 58 years old, but I’ll feed ’em, quarter ’em and clean their guns for ’em. Actually, I don’t know if I find your revelations comforting or disturbing.

    — Kent Shaw