CommunityEmptywheel Archive


It has been kind of wrath of god-y over here for the last hour. Just as I heard that OVP, NSC, DOJ, and WH have been subpoenaed, a big (much needed) thunderstorm took out my Toobz. Let’s hope the wrath of god thing continues for the bad guys, as this is the move that will either give Anthony Kennedy the opportunity to roll up our Constitution … or begin (four months down the line, at the earliest) to shed some light on the Administration.

Here’s what SJC is looking for:

The subpoenas seek documents related to authorization and reauthorization of the program or programs; the legal analysis or opinions about the surveillance; orders, decisions, or opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) concerning the surveillance; agreements between the Executive Branch and telecommunications or other companies regarding liability for assisting with or participating in the surveillance; and documents concerning the shutting down of an investigation of the Department of Justiceâs Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) relating to the surveillance.

And if you care, the stated timeline (which is practically meaningless, since BushCO is sure to refuse this) is three weeks:

The deadline for providing the Committee the information is July 18.

Update: Indie Voter made an important point. Either this is a bipartisan action, or Orrin Hatch has snuck away and joined the Democratic Party, along with Chuck Grassley and Arlen Specter. Because those three Republicans voted along with all the Democrats on the Committee in favor of the subpoenas.

Update II: From TPMM, the subpoena requires the testimony of four people:

  • White House chief of staff Josh Bolton
  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
  • Cheney chief of staff DavidAddington
  • National Security Counsel executive director V. PhilipLago

That’s nice, for several reasons. First, it gives us a chance to hold individual people in contempt, rather than just get cranky as we have been doing with the DOJ subpoena. And if they refuse to testify, it means we can hold people in contempt of court.

Plus, as I repeat all too often, David Addington was my favorite witness from the Libby trial. You think they’d be willing to invite Fitzgerald in to do the questioning? Because then you’d all get to see on CSPAN what I keep babbling about.

Though my best guess is they’ll come and repeat over and over and over and over "deliberations in the executive" and "classified program." Besides Bolten, of course, who will have the convenient excuse that most of the fun precedes his tenure at the position.

Update III: Kickass!! I just remembered something, as I looked at the subpoena. I was bemoaning the fact that David Addington could just invoke Attorney-Client privilege and say exactly nothing.

Except that he’s no longer Cheney’s Counsel (thanks to PatFitz for the indirect assist). As Cheney’s Chief of Staff, I’d imagine he’d have things to say about what he’s been up to for the last year and a half…

Previous post

I Was A Ghoul For the GOP

Next post

CA-37: Primary Election Win For Black, LGBT Communities



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.