6 min ago- Ex-aide: Gonzales had role in firings By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer *PIC*

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6 min ago- Ex-aide: Gonzales had role in firings By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer *PIC*
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TNT MadDog
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Friday, April 06, 2007 11:17 pm

Ex-aide: Gonzales had role in firings
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales former Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 29, 2007, before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Justice Department firings of U.S. Attorneys. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
AP Photo: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales former Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson testifies on Capitol Hill in...

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wrongly stated he was not involved in discussions about the firings of federal prosecutors, his former chief of staff told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
\"I don\'t think the attorney general\'s statement that he was not involved in any discussions of U.S. attorney removals was accurate,\" testified Kyle Sampson, who quit this month as Gonzales\' top aide. \"I remember discussing with him this process of asking certain U.S. attorneys to resign.\"
Sampson said Gonzales attended a crucial meeting on the firings Nov. 27, 10 days before they were carried out.
Under questioning by Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., Sampson said Gonzales also was wrong when he said other senior Justice Department aides gave Congress inaccurate information because they hadn\'t been fully briefed about the firings.
\"I shared information with anyone who wanted it,\" Sampson said. Asked by Schumer if Gonzales\' statement was false, Sampson replied, \"I don\'t think it\'s accurate if the statement implies that I intended to mislead the Congress.\"
In earlier testimony Sampson said the prosecutors were fired last year because they did not sufficiently support President Bush\'s priorities, defending a standard that Democrats called \"highly improper.\"
\"The distinction between \'political\' and \'performance-related\' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial,\" he said. \"A U.S. attorney who is unsuccessful from a political perspective ... is unsuccessful.\"
Gonzales planned to meet with U.S. attorneys from the mid-Atlantic region at Justice Department headquarters Thursday. It\'s part of a nationwide series of meetings to discuss the issue.
The Judiciary Committee\'s senior Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, scolded Sampson for causing an uproar that has distracted the Justice Department and jeopardized Gonzales\' job.
\"It is generally acknowledged that the Department of Justice is in a state of disrepair, perhaps even dysfunction, because of what has happened,\" Specter said. The remaining U.S. attorneys are skittish, he said, \"not knowing when the other shoe may drop.\"
Democrats rejected the concept of mixing politics with federal law enforcement. They accused the Bush administration of cronyism and trying to circumvent the Senate confirmation process by installing favored GOP allies in plum jobs as U.S. attorneys.
\"We have a situation that\'s highly improper. It corrodes the public\'s trust in our system of Justice,\" said Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record). \"It\'s wrong.\"
Sampson, who quit earlier this month amid the furor, disputed Democratic charges that the firings were a purge by intimidation and a warning to the remaining prosecutors to fall in line. Nor, he said, were the prosecutors dismissed to interfere with corruption investigations.
\"To my knowledge, nothing of the sort occurred here,\" Sampson told the committee.
Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, backed up Sampson, saying he had seen no evidence that the dismissals were \"designed to impede or actually did impede a criminal investigation or prosecution.\"
Sampson testified that federal prosecutors serve at the president\'s pleasure and are judged in large part on whether they pursue or resist administration policy.
\"I came here today because this episode has been personally devastating to me and my family,\" Sampson told the panel. \"It\'s my hope that I can come up here today and share the information that this committee and the Congress wants, and frankly put this behind me and my family.\"
The Justice Department admitted Wednesday that it gave senators inaccurate information about the firings and presidential political adviser Karl Rove\'s role in trying to secure a U.S. attorney\'s post in Arkansas for one of his former aides, Tim Griffin.
Justice officials acknowledged that a Feb. 23 letter to four Democratic senators erred in asserting that the department was not aware of any role Rove played in the decision to appoint Griffin to replace U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in Little Rock, Ark.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling said that certain statements in last month\'s letter to Democratic lawmakers appeared to be \"contradicted by department documents included in our production.\"
That admission, only hours before Sampson\'s testimony, took some of the sting out of Democrats\' key pieces of evidence that the administration had misled Congress.
Still, Sampson provided plenty of fodder. He acknowledged planning the firings as much as two years ago with the considered, collective judgment of a number of senior Justice Department officials.
Sampson strongly denied Democrats\' allegations that some of the prosecutors were dismissed for pursuing Republicans too much and Democrats not enough in corruption cases.
The Feb. 23 letter, which was written by Sampson but signed by Hertling, emphatically stated that \"the department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin.\" It also said that \"the Department of Justice is not aware of anyone lobbying, either inside or outside of the administration, for Mr. Griffin\'s appointment.\"
Those assertions are contradicted by e-mails from Sampson to White House aide Christopher G. Oprison on Dec. 19, 2006, saying that getting Griffin appointed \"was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.\" Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers was among the first people to suggest Griffin as a replacement for Cummins.
___
Associated Press Writers Lara Jakes Jordan and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

AGENTS: BUSH OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE IN FIRINGS

Foggo sex ring probe linked to forged Iraq dossier, Israeli espionage, convicted lobbyist Abramoff

by Tom Flocco
Washington—March 19, 2007—TomFlocco.com—According to U.S. intelligence sources, President Bush obstructed justice last December when he had senior advisor Karl Rove and White House Counsel Harriet Miers instruct Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to fire eight U.S. attorneys who were among several others conducting ongoing public corruption and secret national security grand jury investigations connected to an espionage–linked prostitution / pedophile sex ring operating at the Washington Ritz-Carlton and other DC hotels, whose clients included U.S. senators and congressmen, elite Washington news reporters and high government officials—some of whom were named by an intelligence insider.

Central to the scandal is fired U.S. attorney Carole Lam of California who was reportedly conducting testimony before grand juries linking indicted former Bush CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff to the sex ring, Israeli espionage, GOP Under Secretary of Defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, a forged British intelligence dossier used by Mr. Bush to deceive Americans into supporting war against Iraq and an attempt to plant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the war via an intelligence pipeline through Dubai and Turkey.

During her House testimony before Democrat Chairman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last Friday, “national security” concerns were given as the reason for prohibiting covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson from revealing that her CIA energy front company Brewster-Jennings had prevented the planting of WMD in Iraq by the White House-linked intelligence pipeline, resulting in the forged British dossier being used for building an artificial case for war against Iraq.

Curiously, intelligence operatives said yesterday that Valerie Plame-Wilson recently had dinner with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Lam, widely known for recently sending Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham to prison in a major government corruption case, garnered “glowing performance ratings” along with the other fired attorneys who were career professionals according to Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Schumer (D-NY) who declined to confirm whether sealed indictments of White House officials at the highest levels of government already existed under national security protocols.
LA Times: Border Politics May Have Cost U.S. Attorney
Judiciary Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) confirmed Lam’s Foggo and Abramoff probe on ABC News Sunday, while she also implicated Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-41-CA); but Feinstein also told ABC that Lam \"sent a notice to the Justice Department saying that there would be two search warrants\" in a criminal investigation of defense contractor Brent Wilkes and Kyle \"Dusty\" Foggo—but the next day on May 11, D. Kyle Sampson, then chief-of-staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sent an email to William Kelley in the White House counsel\'s office saying, \"Please call me at your convenience to discuss the following,\" referring to the \"real problem we have right now with Carole Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires.\"
Those Republican and Democrat members of Congress who may have been in the crosshairs of Lam and the other prosecutors can be assumed to have an important stake in facilitating presidential obstruction of justice and soft congressional hearings—if only to protect their own careers and potential criminal liability of prosecution for bribery, blackmail, compromised legislation or a corrupt vote to send American troops to die in Iraq based on lies.
Two days prior to leaving office after being fired, Lam won criminal indictments against # 3 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official Foggo and GOP businessman and top Bush contributor Brent Wilkes; but Lam’s firing due to “performance issues,” prevented her from completing her investigation which will now fall to successors hand-picked by Mr. Bush which career law enforcement officials may probe in a case against the President.

Before the scandal broke publicly, federal intelligence agents said Senate Democrats permitted President Bush to obstruct justice regarding the firings which could delay or quash indictments against former Bush CIA Director Porter Goss, who agents say is implicated in the Capitol prostitution ring with Senate Judiciary Ranking Republican Arlen Specter according to daily U.S. intelligence Special Operations Group (SOG) reports seen by intelligence authority Thomas Heneghan.

Capitol Hill sex ring

In an interview with TomFlocco.com last week, Heneghan alleged that federal agents have linked Michael Duffy of Time, John Meacham of Newsweek, George Stephanopoulos of ABC, Mike Allen, John Harris, Mark Halperin—of the Washington Post, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, Anderson Cooper of CNN, Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), former CIA Director Porter Goss and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the sex ring.

Given Heneghan’s explosive allegations culled from U.S. intelligence reports, we sought additional clarification by asking the insider if it was accurate that federal agents with whom he was in contact were in possession of 1) electronic transmissions, 2) video/photographic evidence and 3) whether operatives had observed the U.S. senators, reporters and other high government officials participating in prostitution or pedophilia at the Ritz Carlton and/or other Washington, DC hotels, to which Heneghan replied, “yes—for all three.”

There have been no public investigations or hearings to determine the extent to which the controversial vote for war or other U.S. legislation may have been compromised by senatorial or congressional blackmail related to the sex ring or the number of important news reports which may have been diluted, slanted, or eliminated if any reporters were compromised; and given the extent of the corruption, Congress will be hard-pressed to investigate their fellow members involved:

AGENTS SAY FOLEY SCANDAL TIP OF ICEBERG
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PROSTITUTES SERVICED HOUSE, SENATE MEMBERS, MEDIA HOSTS, TOP MILITARY, OTHER FEDS
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Last December the San Diego Union-Tribune partially confirmed the sex ring allegations, reporting that a source close to the San Diego U.S. attorney’s grand jury investigation said lobbyist Mitchell Wade—indicted for bribery—“periodically helped arrange for a prostitute for then-congressman Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham,” that former business associates “were present on several occasions when Shirlington Limousine & Transportation of northern Virginia brought prostitutes to suites” at the Watergate and Westin hotels which had “several bedrooms where lawmakers and other guests could ‘relax.’ ”

TomFlocco.com has also reported extensively regarding actual court testimony and state child protection agency documents linking former President George H. W. Bush and U.S. legislators to Washington, DC child abduction and pedophilia obstructed for years by Congress:

WITNESS SAYS 20-30 LEGISLATORS ABUSED ABDUCTED CHILDREN
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PHOTOGRAPHER TIED TO WH CHILD SEX RING ARRESTED AFTER THOMPSON SUICIDE
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“George W. Bush is trying to obstruct justice on a massive scale involving pedophilia, blackmail, homosexual whorehouses and the espionage scandal which engulfs the entire Bush administration regarding the Fitzgerald inquiry which is the conspiracy to take the United States of America to war based on a lie via the forged British intelligence dossier,” said Heneghan.

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann went so far as to say that parts of the Patriot Act have nothing to do with national security as originally designed, but have instead been used by the Bush administration to neuter Congress, in effect rendering Democrat and GOP oversight capacity as relatively inconsequential since the Act permits the Chief Executive to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without oversight or consent from Congress among other stipulations.

The legislation enabling the curious firing of eight federal prosecutors late in a presidential term was a little–noticed provision in the Patriot Act allowing interim appointments, an amendment sponsored and endorsed by then Senate GOP Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), known historically for his lone gunman, single magic bullet theory promulgated in the John F. Kennedy assassination probe and employed by the Warren Commission to cover up substantial evidence of a government conspiracy.

BUSH 41 REVIVES LINKS TO JFK WARREN COMMISSION OBSTRUCTION
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Obstructing espionage and Franklin grand jury?

Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, resigned last week after reports linking him to the firings through White House counsel Harriet Miers began to surface, even as Senator Schumer charged the White House with “a breach of trust and abuse of power,” adding, “Kyle Sampson will not become the next Scooter Libby, the next fall-guy.”

This, as Capitol news reports revealed on March 5 that Michael Battle, Executive Head for U.S. Attorneys, also resigned, perhaps to distance himself from coming repercussions forced upon Congress as more documents, allegations and resignations surface.

“Congress is reportedly considering a subpoena for Battle to testify whether he was forced to fire the Little Rock and San Diego attorneys due to the “Dusty” Foggo case and its accompanying sex ring links to espionage and ongoing investigations of criminal acts involving the Bush-Clinton crime families,” said Heneghan.

Several agents who spoke with long-time federal whistleblower Stewart Webb [StewWebb.com] said Miers’ original plan to fire all 93 U.S. attorneys was hatched because the White House is aware that other national security grand juries are hearing testimony, but Mr. Bush and Karl Rove wanted to ensure that all were either obstructed or shut down by attempting to fire everyone—a plan that ultimately gave way late in Bush’s term, likely the result of ongoing and ill-timed scandals—to firing eight who they felt would probably give Bush the most trouble politically and criminally.

SOG intelligence reports say that Douglas Feith is still being probed regarding his use of subordinate Larry Franklin, convicted of espionage and sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in 2005 for passing classified information to Israeli diplomat and American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby group employee Steven Rosen from 1999 to 2003 before the Iraq invasion.

Feith has reportedly refused comment on the investigation regarding Franklin who was employed in Feith’s Pentagon office—while Feith used Franklin repeatedly for national security sensitive meetings in the Pentagon Office of Special Plans involving foreign citizens overseas which federal agents say are linked to an Israeli cell in Iraqi Kurdistan that was involved in attempting to plant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq via an intelligence pipeline through Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

Heneghan said the espionage investigations are also linked to GOP operative Mel Sembler and the Bay Point School in Florida where Choice Point software was used in the Bush-Gore 2000 election fraud ultimately endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision placing George Bush in the presidency despite reportedly damaging testimony by one of the Justices and several Supreme Court clerks, some of which was reported in Vanity Fair Magazine.

Largest corruption case in U.S. history

Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carole Lam is best known for acquiring the conviction of Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, now in federal prison for tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, after the GOP representative admitted to accepting $2.4 million in bribes, making his case many times larger than the next biggest public corruption case in the history of the United States—and the case indicated Cunningham participated in the Foggo and Abramoff sex ring.

Those Republican and Democrat members of Congress who may have been in the crosshairs of Lam and the other prosecutors can be assumed to have an important stake in facilitating presidential obstruction of justice and soft congressional hearings—if only to protect their own careers and potential criminal liability of prosecution for bribery, blackmail, compromised legislation or a corrupt vote to send American troops to die in Iraq based on lies.

Executive Director of the CIA Dusty Foggo ran day-to-day operations of the agency, but also had responsibility for all CIA contracts and procurements, while “occasionally hosting poker parties at his house in northern Virginia” and is under investigation by the CIA inspector general regarding CIA contracts.

Intelligence reports seen by Heneghan reveal that some taxpayer funds Foggo procured for Halliburton via the Pentagon were diverted for use in the Washington, DC prostitution and pedophilia ring instead of medical care and commissary operations for U.S. troops in Iraq, said the intelligence authority.

In a September 13, 2006 e-mail to Miers, Sampson listed one prosecutor, Bud Cummins in Little Rock, as “in the process of being pushed out.” Five others—in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, San Diego and Seattle—were listed as U.S. attorneys “we should now consider pushing out.”

Read all the documents
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While some cable news reporters attempted to spin the firings by saying “Bush just got greedy, wanting to make wholesale changes,” Schumer called the firings “a blatant manipulation of the U.S. attorney system and purely biased politics, despite their glowing performance ratings,” indicating that some legislators on Capitol Hill may be aware that the real reason for firing so many at once was an administration attempt to obstruct grand jury probes of White House criminal acts.

Republican Senator Pete Domenici, who has reportedly hired a defense attorney, raised concerns with the Justice Department last fall regarding New Mexico U.S. attorney David Iglesias who told House members that Domenici called him to move forward on indictments of a high-profile corruption case involving a Democrat before the November, 2006 election.

Kenneth Gross, a Washington lawyer who specializes in congressional ethics rules, indicated that Domenici’s conduct may have violated Senate ethics rules which generally bar communications between members of Congress and federal prosecutors about ongoing criminal investigations, according to reports.

Iglesias told reporters that New Mexico GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson called him before the November, 2006 election, asking, “I want to know if there are any sealed indictments,” to which Iglesias answered, “Sealed indictments? We only do that for juvenile cases or national security cases. It’s fairly unusual,” adding later to the reporters, “I know that members of Congress should not be making phone calls about pending matters, pending investigations, indictment dates—things of that nature.”

Wilson’s question “raised red flags in my head,” said the fired prosecutor, raising serious questions as to Wilson\'s knowledge of congressional corruption cases serious enough to be classified under national security protocols.

This also raises serious questions regarding how Representative Wilson became aware of sealed indictments which are only sealed in national security cases and child welfare cases and whether Wilson may also have violated House ethics rules.

U.S. attorney Bud Cummins said in an email released by the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, had called and expressed his displeasure that the fired prosecutors were talking to reporters about their dismissals.

John Kroger, a federal prosecutor under Clinton and Bush now teaching a Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, was quoted in reports as saying, “It’s really remarkable to have a wholesale removal of an administration’s own U.S. attorneys, particularly this deep into the term,” adding, “Clearly there was a concerted decision made to ask a bunch of them to leave. It suggests a desire to more tightly control policy.”