23 October 2005

frogmarch! frogmarch! frogmarch!

It's been years since reading the news has been this enjoyable! Josh Marshall points out that we should still watch out for Administration damage control, specifically trying to get everything to stick to Libby, and letting Bush float above things the way Reagan did. More fundamentally, we shouldn't be fooled when the press starts saying that they've changed, and really do love democracy, and while they might mumble a lot over their apology for all that Iraq WMD reporting, everything's under new management and it's all going to be better now; despite this, let's not start trusting our abusers any time soon.

In any case, I think this is a good time to post some of my favorite links related to the scandal. (Drafted months ago, as with many of my recent posts...)

First, let's just take a moment to savor the word "frogmarch":

sadly, this was created using photoshop and is not a photo of actual events

Now, here's a video of the press trying to sweet-talk us into letting them back into our confidences. It's a beautiful sight, and if you haven't seen it before you should definitely watch, but don't let yourself be seduced.

Much less well-known is this gem from Josh Marshall about Robert Luskin, who is Rove's personal lawyer. You should just read the whole thing, but here's the key excerpt.

One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin [now Rove's lawyer] took up his case on appeal.

Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?

Another key moment in this saga: the emergence of the line "double super secret background" on the national stage.

Mr. Cooper said he spoke to Mr. Rove on "deep background," saying the sourcing description of "double super secret background" he used in his e-mail message to his boss was "not a journalistic term of art" but a reference to the film "Animal House," where the Delta House fraternity was placed on "double secret probation."
Speaking of Rove, it's worth noting that he was fired by Bush Sr. for---you'll never guess---retaliating against an opponent by leaking a damaging story to Robert Novak! I have to admit, though, that I only learned about this via Mark Fiore.

Finally, in the recent Times coverage of the Miller fiasco, the google ads at the bottom were:

Cheap Flights - Iraq
Last minute deals and cheap flights to Iraq

Security Iraq
Convoy escorts, personal security, base security details

Jobs in the Gulf - US$79
Send your resume to 200 Consultants in the Gulf through Monster-Resumes

Lest we forget what this First Amendment crap is ultimately all about.

The first ad has a link to "Saddam Airport" in Baghdad with airport code SDA. Unfortunately, there weren't any flights available, and the page that says this seems to think that SDA stands for Shenandoah. On the other hand, the second website seems well-maintained...

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