There is one IG the left cares about


It’s hard to know what will rile up the left, or ekg, since some things that seem innocuous to me will set off her red alert button.  To be fair, it works both ways.  The allegation that the President was breaking the law in firing an Inspector General who was investigating a supporter of the President draws not even a yawn from her or the left.  Whether or not a real crime comes from that remains to be seen, but I doubt it will ever be a story on the level of Bush’s firing of his Justice Department Attorney Generals, which generated quite a bit media angst and airplay, even though Bush’s actions were perfectly legal.


That’s why I don’t get wound up at each Bush/Rove/Cheney “war crime.”  I expect the media to pick apart the Bush administration memo by memo and I have a perfect ironic faith that the media will leave no stone unturned.  If the Bush administration is guilty of crimes, they won’t stay hidden.  Every parking ticket will generate a Congressional committee to investigate the heinous atrocity of double parking by the evil denizens of the Bush White House.


So, when I’m told that the Bush administration falsified CIA threat assessments to justify shitting (once again) on the Constitution, I tend to think, “been there, done that.”  Like a conspiracy theorist, no amount of debunking will disprove it.  For the conspiracist, debunking is always proof of just how far reaching the conspiracy is.


So, when presented with this:


The IG report said an unnamed White House official inserted a paragraph into the first threat assessment prepared by the CIA after the Sept. 11 attacks, which was used to justify the extraordinary intelligence measures.

The paragraph said that the “individuals and organizations involved in global terrorism possessed the capability and intention to undertake further terrorist attacks within the United States,” according to the report. It also said that the president should authorize the NSA to conduct the surveillance activities.


I admit it, I shrugged.


So with my ironic faith in the media, I assume that if there was something really to this, Brian Williams would have informed me promptly at 6:30 pm, every single evening until Bush was arrested and perp walked to a paddy wagon.  Mr.  Williams has not made a peep.  If taken at face value, it does sound bad, but then I have to remember, if it’s so bad, why isn’t it a bigger story?  So I went right to the source material itself.


The unclassified version of the IG report on The President’s Surveillance Program is the source of the blurb in the above news article.  What’s interesting to me is what the news article left out.  Editing I suppose although the purpose of that article was more general than the insertion of one paragraph into a threat assessment: 


After the terrorism analysts completed their portion of the memoranda, the DCI Chief of Staff added a paragraph at the end of the memoranda stating that the individuals and organizations involved in global terrorism (and discussed in the memoranda) possessed the capability and intention to undertake further terrorist attacks within the United States. The DCI Chief of Staff recalled that the paragraph was provided to him by a senior White House official. The paragraph included the DCI’s recommendation to the President that he authorize the NSA to conduct surveillance activities under the PSP.  CIA Office of General Counsel Attorneys reviewed the draft threat assessment memoranda to determine whether they contained sufficient threat information and an compelling case  for reauthorization of the PSP.  If either was lacking, an OCG attorney would request that an analysts provide additional threat information or make revisions to the draft memoranda.


The threat assessment memoranda were then signed by the DCI.  George Tenent signed most of the threat memoranda prepared during his tenure as DCI.  On the few occasions he was unavailable, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, John E. McLaughlin, signed the memoranda on behalf of Tenent.  McLaughlin also signed the memoranda in the capacity of acting DCI in August and September 2004.



So the paragraph added by the unnamed White House official was inserted by the DCI Chief of Staff, and signed by the DCI, George Tenent in this case, every 45 days.  This sounds a lot less like threat assessment fraud by the White House and more like standard boilerplate on the threat assessment template in Word.  So forget the White House for a second, these threat assessments were reviewed by the CIA lawyers as well; presumably before Tenent signed each version.



There were no occasions in which the DCI or acting DCI withheld their signatures from the threat assessment memoranda.  The memoranda were co-signed by the Secretary of Defense, reviewed by the Attorney General, and delivered to the White House to be attached to the PSP Presidential Authorizations signed by the President.



Well if the former President goes down for this, he will be taking a lot of people with him. 


My take?  No laws were broken and nothing will come of this.  If there is something to it, I have faith in the old media routing it out.  They are constantly on the look out for a new Watergate  In the meantime, if you’ve ever seen a threat assessment, there is a lot of boilerplate to them.  I suspect this is more of the same.  In the meantime, the left screams.  They are in charge and they still can’t purge the old guard that’s already gone home.


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9 responses to “There is one IG the left cares about

  • ekg

    Thank you for the link to the report.. I will get back to your blog after I’ve read some more of it…


  • Andy

    Hey guys, I like how this shaping up, you all need to get a twitter account so you can tweet when the newest blog is up!

  • ekg


    Nice to see you again… 🙂

  • ekg

    interesting choice of copying.. thank you for saving my fingers the trouble…

    CIA Office of General Counsel Attorneys reviewed the draft threat assessment memoranda to determine whether they contained sufficient threat information and an compelling case for reauthorization of the PSP. If either was lacking, an OCG attorney would request that an analysts provide additional threat information or make revisions to the draft memoranda.

    but to make sure neither was lacking.. the white house inserted it’s own language.. and Tenent signed off on it…

    interesting that you’ve gone this far to prove the MSM and me wrong.. but instead, backed us up.. Thanks 🙂

    these threat assessments were done by an independent group of analysts with no knowledge of what was being authorized by their assessments so they wouldn’t have been skewered on way or the other.. and since they didn’t find enough threat, the White House added it’s own.. and like I just said, my boy Tenent signed off on this..

    I love how you of all ppl are using Tenent signing off on these as some kind of proof…LOL.. when you know his more corrupt that I do..

    now con’t to page

    pg 26


    Blah-blah-blah.. in a departure from past practice of having the AG certify the Authorization (and after the hospital incident that had heads of the FBI,DOJ and others threatening mass resignation)..Bush has Gonzales certify the authorization..because he says the President is above any law, including FISA..

    “it also stated that in approving the prior Presidential Authorizations as to form and legality, the AG previously has authorized the same activities now being approved under Gonzales’ March 11 authorization(17)..”

    But the clarification of this at the bottom is the ‘gem’ in this story..

    “the DOJ OIG determined that this statement subsequently was removed from future authorizations after Ashcroft complained to Gonzales that the statement was ‘inappropriate’. In a May 20.2004 memorandum, Ashcroft wrote that it was not until Philbin and later Goldsmith explaining to him that aspects of the NSA’s other Intelligence Activities were not accurately described in the prior Authorizations
    that he realized that he has been certifying the Authorization prior to March 2004 based on a misimpression of these activities..”

    well, I give Ashcroft some credit.. I always thought he was a whack job-but he had bigger balls than Tenent it seems.. or well, when going up against the POTUS and what is and isn’t right that is..

    I mean actually coming out and saying he was lied to on what he was authorizing all those other times?–ballsy… very ballsy..

    but, thanks for proving all of this for me..

    btw, you going to address the Comey statements and the run around Bush/Card and Gonzales did that almost costs us our FBI leaders and DOJ heads?

  • Howey

    I’ve got too many things on the plate right now to worry about disgruntled Bush-era employees whining about being fired from a job. Is Walpin one of those Bush-era appointees who refused to sign the Ethics agreement?:

    If he is, he should have been fired. But even if he isn’t, how does this not fall under the guidelines of the Inspector General Act?

    On June 12th, he was suspended for 30 days with pay. The President notified Congress of the suspension per the IG Act. The 30 day period was per the IG act.

    (b) An Inspector General may be removed from office by the President. If an Inspector General is removed from office or is transferred to another position or location within an establishment, the President shall communicate in writing the reasons for any such removal or transfer to both Houses of Congress, not later than 30 days before the removal or transfer. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a personnel action otherwise authorized by law, other than transfer or removal.

    The suspension was niether a transfer nor removal, it was a personnel decision made under the terms of the IG Act.

    Now. Also per the IG Act, the IG should be non-partisan. Did Walper negate the standards of his position, therefore committing an act substantiating discharge when this occurred?:

    Quote: Walpin had introduced Mitt Romney at a meeting of the conservative Federalist Society — on whose board Walpin sits — by saying that Romney served as governor of a state, Massachusetts, run by the “modern-day KKK … the Kennedy-Kerry Klan.”

    That doesn’t really portray a dedicated employee does it?

    More at TPM:

    Quote: “So here’s what it sounds like: Johnson and his non-profit ran a very loose operation, which deserved some kind of sanction. But Walpin’s action — in publicly suggesting, without much apparent evidence, that Johnson might have committed a crime, and having Johnson barred from receiving federal funds, ultimately jeopardizing the fortunes of the city as a whole after Johnson became mayor — was out of all proportion to the wrongdoing. (That’s especially true given that it could have affected the outcome of a closely fought election — which is exactly why the FBI has specific policies forbidding public comments about ongoing investigations during political campaign season.) Then, even once the relevant authorities had determined that no crime had been committed and agreed on an appropriate remedy, Walpin worked to undermine that agreement by appealing to Congress.”

    Seems to me like Walpin got what he deserved.

    Oh. And comparing this to scores of AG’s resigning rather than break the law is a tad too much, even from you, LilMike. 🙂

  • lil mike

    It’s not like I’m trying to blame Tenent, but surely you’ve noticed for the past couple of years, when we’ve had these discussions, guess who is in the middle of it?

    As for Ashcroft, was he tricked into signing on to the full PSP, as opposed to just the TSP that has been publically outed, or was he just careless and miss that? Hard to say now since none of us have any idea of what the PSP encompasses, so I don’t have any way to give an intelligent answer to it.

    Once again, we are getting vastly different interpetations from the same text. I think it was fairly innocculous, BUT… I could be wrong. There could be a crime here. So, if there is, are you afraid that this won’t be followed through? You guys are in charge, and the crazy leftie blogger types have the President’s ear. If there is something to this, I’m sure there will be a Congressional investigation, a special prosecutor, and handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit in someones future. Particularly with a rapid Bush administration hating, Obama loving, tingly feeling media.

    So if you’re right, how could this end in any other way then mass arrests,and pogroms?

    You just have to be right.

  • ekg

    this statement

    So if you’re right, how could this end in any other way then mass arrests,and pogroms?

    answers this question..

    So, if there is, are you afraid that this won’t be followed through?

    yes, I am afraid… afraid not that it won’t be followed through.. which is my 2nd biggest fear… but that it will..

    you and I both know, even if a massive crime was unequivocally committed.. a crime so reprehensible that the very fabric of the constitution was at stake… the (R)’s would still stand behind their man and rip this country apart before ever admitting the crime…

  • lil mike

    The “R’s” are about as relevant to this as the Whigs. They have no power, and couldn’t stop an investigation or special prosecutor if they wanted to. If the “D’s” want this to happen, it will happen.

    In fact, hasn’t enough time passed when you realize that your guys are in power? Even Obama is doing it, using the Republicans as a straw man for why his healthcare plan is stuck in the weeds in Congress. This isn’t about the Republicans, it’s dems fighting dems. So if there is any ripping of the country to be had, it will be the dems who will be doing it.

  • “The Taliban can save us alot of legal hassles and legal bills” .. are you kidding me? | The Velvet StraitJacket

    […] this is the conservative way I hope you are as relevant as the Whigs , then please hurry and go the way of the dodo, because 1st and foremost this liberal knows we get […]

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