“History Doesn’t Echo, But It… Rhymes” Dept: No NEED To “Make It Up” Any Longer — Under Bolton’s Stink-Eye — It IS Happening.

About one year ago, now (my last post here) I wrote that one could not make up a crazier set of… coincidences. Cough.

I. Was. Wrong.

It only took a year… for 45 to use a “dawn of the dead” style dangling Scooter Libby pardon — as a hoped-for signal flare — to his co-conspirators (Manafort and Cohen — but also several others not yet named in Mueller indictments)… that he would save them, if they “played nice” with Der Kaiser. Marcy Wheeler explains overnight why that is — like so much else Trumpian — a half-baked idiots’ show. Ineffectual, as an end game.

But it brings us full circle — if Scooter is pardoned, he has no Fifth Amendment rights, and we may finally get an admission that Cheney and Bush outed Plame and lied us into Gulf War II.

But none of that will stop the roaring dumpster-fire of the Trump presidency erh… crime spree.

As commenters at EmptyWheel, and Marcy herself well note, there are too many venues — and too many actors. 45 is now certainly… toast — not whether — but when, is the most salient question.

I’ll close with a satirical but accurate comment from Avattoir, at Marcy’s joint — of the CURRENT state of 45’s lunacy — and yes it plainly eclipses Cheney/Bush — by several orders of magnitude:

…We’re now well past viable cable serial drama plot cred, with:

– The Door Man Cometh

– Yet Another Funny Hat Hits the Screens on Cable TV News

– Porn Star To Win ($omething) Via Mob Consigliere’s Own Goal

– Mob Consigliere Recorded Everything, and Everything’s Been Seized…

– Total BS-Spouting POTUS Declines To Talk To Attorney in Own Admin

– PlameGate Cross-Streams With Don John’s Crime Wave

– Two Consecutive FBI Directors (Each A Candidate for Most Boring Straight-Laced White Dude Federal Civil Servant Of The 21st Century) To Publish NY Times Best Selling Books Within One Month

– Same B.S. POTUS & Allies Crank Right Wing Noise Machine Up To Eleven and Trains Same on Said Two Boring Former FBIDs Plus Current Boring White Dude Assistant AG…

…yet no one – not Garry Kasparov nor any other chessmaster, nor any attorney pundit in or out of a funny hat – can possibly foresee the endgame….

Yep — that about covers it (last image at right is a panel, about 15 years ago, at Netroots Nation). Whoda’thunkit — just a decade ago? But here we are. Me? I am actually relieved that it may all be tied up with… a bow. A Scooter Libby smutty novel style… bow.

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I Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up — If I Tried…

The truth is seems — is often… far stranger. And disgusting….

Erik Prince — whose sister is now Secretary of Education, under 45 — apparently (allegedly) held Logan Act violating meetings, on behalf of then only citizen Trump. To open a back channel to… Putin. What a pig — per The Washington Post tonihgt:

The United Arab Emirates arranged the meeting — nine days before Donald Trump’s inauguration — between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and the president-elect, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The White House said it was not aware of any meetings and Prince had no role in Trump’s transition….

It makes me wonder — what did Dick Cheney know — and when did he know it. Even though we know he is a never Trumper,
Erik Prince was his pit-bull. What on Earth was up with that?

UPDATED: apparently Erik hisself had been doing some cover black-bag style meeting arrangement work — on an island off the coast of Africa — to help Caesar Disgustus win the White House. Crazy pants time: will we see a return of Libby/Plame nuttiness?

Well — That Only Took 13-1/2 Years. . .

But I, for one, am glad it has finally happened.

Of course, I favor complete repeal of the Section 215 style bulk collection, as I’ve said for over a decade — unless supported by full-on probable cause — but a curtailment may be all that is politically achievable, even now.

Even with a sitting President who is a Constitutional Scholar. So, I’ll take what I can get — for now.

Here’s the Gray Lady’s opening, on it all:


. . .In a remarkable reversal of national security policy formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Senate voted on Tuesday to curtail the federal government’s sweeping surveillance of American phone records, sending the legislation to President Obama’s desk for his signature. . . .

Nice. Onward. And take that, Mr. Cheney — history is obliterating almost all of your wrong headed follies from the rule of law, here in our truer, bluer version of 21st Century America.

Blackwater Guards’ Nisour Sentences: One — Life In Prison, And 30 Years. . . For Three Others. Justice.

Here was the October 2014 verdict(s) — yesterday was the sentencing. Deeply delayed, but plainly the right outcome.

The New York Times has it all:

. . .One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq. . . .

In Iraq (pre 2006), Blackwater was perceived as so powerful that its employees could kill anyone and get away with it, said Mohammed Hafedh Abdulrazzaq Kinani, whose 9-year-old son, Ali, was killed in Nisour Square. . . .

No longer. Good riddance, Mr. Prince. Once again — all this blood is primarily on Dick Cheney’s hands. But it is on W.’s, too.

ACLU’s Take — On Today’s Five Year Torture Report

I too find this idea repugnant — which is why the logic is. . . in fact. . . compelling.

Establish that crimes were committed by Cheney, by pardoning him. Perfect. Here’s the Gray Lady’s reprint of Mr. Romero’s fine opinion — do go read it all:

. . .Mr. Obama could pardon George J. Tenet for authorizing torture at the C.I.A.’s black sites overseas, Donald H. Rumsfeld for authorizing the use of torture at the Guantánamo Bay prison, David S. Addington, John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee for crafting the legal cover for torture, and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for overseeing it all.

While the idea of a pre-emptive pardon may seem novel, there is precedent. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederate soldiers as a step toward unity and reconstruction after the Civil War. Gerald R. Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon for the crimes of Watergate. Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam War draft resisters.

The spectacle of the president’s granting pardons to torturers still makes my stomach turn. But doing so may be the only way to ensure that the American government never tortures again. Pardons would make clear that crimes were committed; that the individuals who authorized and committed torture were indeed criminals; and that future architects and perpetrators of torture should beware. Prosecutions would be preferable, but pardons may be the only viable and lasting way to close the Pandora’s box of torture once and for all. . . .

Sickening.

Blackwater Outcome — In Nisour Square? Murder.

Finally. Some form of rough justice — via the NYT today:

. . .Jurors found one defendant guilty of murder and three others of manslaughter and weapons charges, roundly asserting that the shooting was criminal. . . .

Seventeen Iraqis died when gunfire erupted on Sept. 16, 2007 in the crowded Nisour Square in Baghdad. The shooting inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad and helped solidify the notion that Blackwater, America’s largest security contractor in Iraq, was reckless and unaccountable.

The former contractors said that they were ambushed by insurgents and that civilian deaths were the unfortunate, unintended consequences of urban warfare.

The defendants were Blackwater guards. One of them, Nicholas A. Slatten, who the government said fired the first shots, was convicted of murder. The others — Dustin L. Heard, Evan S. Liberty and Paul A. Slough — were convicted on manslaughter and firearms charges. . . .

Backgrounder here. Namaste — one and all.

Sen. Feinstein Is Right. This Smells. Dick.


Just go read EmptyWheel.net on it — timeline especially.

You may certainly trust that every word she writes is true — and would channel my thoughts on the matter. Only she will lay it out far more artfully than I might ever hope to.