A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

« This Week In Tyranny | Main | With all due respect, Mr. President. But are you fucking nuts?!?!?! »

Dick Cheney's Unpersuasive Case for Keeping the Public in the Dark

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

Several weeks ago the Washington Post reported on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) efforts to keep Dick Cheney’s voluntary statements to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald from being made public. A year ago Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit seeking this information and the Bush DOJ vigorously opposed it. After the election there was a possibility that the Obama DOJ would stop opposing it and allow the information to be released, but in this as with other issues there has been remarkable continuity between administrations. Perhaps we should call the new Attorney General Eric Holdover.

I am not a lawyer but the original reason given for keeping notes of the statements out of CREW’s hands (“that it’s going to get on ‘The Daily Show’”) does not seem especially persuasive, and fortunately the judge agreed. Last week David Corn reported the DOJ took another stab at it, this time claiming their release “could cause public officials in the future to not cooperate with criminal investigations.” Jeralyn Merritt agreed that CREW’s motion should be denied “in order to protect the privacy and reputation of those who are mentioned or discussed by the subject of a law enforcement interview…I’d rather have that than a precedent that allows reports of law enforcement interviews of the average citizen who ultimately is not indicted, and who may have slandered Tom, Dick and Mary during their interview, subject to public disclosure.”

Cynthia Kouril then took issue with Merritt, writing that Cheney’s interview was not Grand Jury (GJ) material, which “consists of information, including testimony, that is presented to the Grand Jury as well as material that has been subpoenaed by the GJ, whether or not the Grand Jury actually ever sees it. Everything else is regular investigative material and therefore subject to the Freedom of Information Act.” Later she adds, “this whole mess exists because Congress did not do its job as a co-equal branch of government and appoint a special prosecutor of its own.” Ahem. Marcy Wheeler then blew everyone out of the water by pointing out the debate was a purely academic exercise because Cheney’s lawyer had already leaked the content of the interview. Still, I suspect we have not seen this kind of issue raised for the last time, so it still may be worthwhile to continue bouncing ideas around.

I side with Kouril for several reasons. First, her reasoning is more persuasive to me than Merritt’s. We already have a good, longstanding definition of what gets protected by the GJ. If anyone thinks it needs to be changed then start lobbying to have the law changed to cover it, but do not go with an ad hoc sort of “oh, that too” approach. I am not as concerned with the precedent Merritt cites as I am with the precedent of allowing the cover of secrecy to be further stretched in such an informal way.

Another danger to keeping it from public view is that it will validate a key strategy of Cheney: Never testify to anything. He bent over backwards to be able to work behind the scenes and not be subject to formal processes and procedures. Overall that seems like a bad long term strategy because scrutiny is inevitable. If, for example, you think torture is fine then you need to make that case to the public instead of adopting tricky legalisms in classified memos. Policies implemented in furtive back channels will likely not be very durable when exposed. For purposes of this discussion there is another drawback, namely the protection frequently provided by formal channels. He did not want to testify to the GJ; fine. But then he forfeits GJ protection. We cannot allow people to game the system by providing the wiggle room of unofficial statements with the privacy protections of official ones. Cheney decided not to testify. His interview is therefore not protected.

Finally, I disagree with Merritt’s conflation of average citizens with high public officials. If her concern is for equality under the law then it seems more urgent to provide for that by investigating the possibility of war crimes committed by White House officials, not by allowing creative interpretations of existing standards in ways that might theoretically benefit ordinary people down the road. More importantly, vice presidents should expect for there to be a bias towards openness in the conduct of official business. In this instance we are talking about an investigation into the outing of a CIA operative, not some personal affair. He and his successors should get the unambiguous message that under those circumstances transparency will be expected and that the law will be interpreted with an eye towards disclosure. Secrecy has ruled for long enough.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>