Leon Panetta and Bill Richardson dance the dance: Are there any Democratic governors *not* getting spied upon by DOJ??

I previously went out on a bit of a limb to point out that the Blagojevich case was rather dubious - mainly since the all-encompassing nationwide atmosphere of corruption makes his crude pay-for-play look rather small and isolated in comparison. Too isolated.

These guys think too small: if you want to get away with it, Bush style, connect it to everything. Play an Abramoff - get a piece of every bit of conspiracy, foreign and domestic, you can possibly touch. [Nice chart!] Blagojevich should have gone way bigger to really 'win.'

As it turns out, Democratic governors appear to basically live in the crosshairs of ongoing wiretaps and private intelligence/prostitution schemes. To Spitzer, Blagojevich and the utterly blacked-out-of-the-media Alabama ex-gov Don Siegelman, we can now add Bill Richardson to the honor roll of targets.

Richardson gets double bonus National Security Agency panopticon bonus points: some time ago, the NSA used a "training exercise" to snoop on him, and passed the materials out to other agencies and in particular Supreme Neocon Tool John Bolton, who was playing a dirty Info Ops game to spy upon his far more diplomatically skilled (and much hated) rival.

In my book, when John Bolton is abusing the NSA's spy apparatus to fuck with you, that means you're doing SOMETHING right. Hence, I casually supported Richardson for president.

Back in 2005: NSA Intercepts: Bill Richardson's Name Emerges - The Washington Note

What I do have from a confidential and highly placed source is at least one name who appears in the NSA documents, and it is someone I had not previously considered.

Quite astoundingly, reports are that Governor Bill Richardson -- who previously served as a Member of the U.S. Congress, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Secretary of Energy -- was named in the transcripts dealing with diplomatic efforts he was making with North Korea.

I suspect that Ambassador Charles "Jack" Pritchard, our previous envoy for negotiations with North Korea, is also part of the NSA intercepts package -- but the Richardson revelation is new.

The mainstream press is going to have to do its own digging on this one, but there are sources out there who have some knowledge of the intercepts.

Evidently, now Democratic governors get to be wiretapped all the live-long day - mainly because they're not Wall Street's buddies, it appears. I have yet to see any of the more square corporate cats get smushed by these intelligence and wiretapping-powered stings. I wonder why.

More: Steve Clemons: John Bolton & NSA Intercepts: The Connection That Mattered Was International

Bill Richardson thinks he was monitored. I am not sure, but Bolton would have had an interest in what Richardson was doing with the North Koreans. It is not clear to me why it would be inappropriate to monitor North Korean interactions with anyone, including Richardson -- whose name would have been redacted from the intercepts. What does bother me was Bolton's interest in a policy area as well as the names of specific people in an arena he had been fenced off from. Bolton was working overtime to undermine Colin Powell and staff on its Korea Peninsula diplomacy...

This story is no longer online: The Albuquerque Tribune: Did NSA tap Dem Gov Richardson’s phone?

WASHINGTON - Gov. Bill Richardson is concerned that some of his phone calls were monitored by a U.S. spy agency and transcripts of them were given to the president’s nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.

Richardson called Sen. Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, to express his concerns after Dodd revealed that Bolton had on 10 occasions asked the National Security Agency for the intercepts of phone conversations involving Americans.

[snip] Sparks said Richardson’s call to Dodd was triggered when he read an online story by Washington journalist Wayne Madsen. The story said intelligence community “insiders” claim the NSA circumvented a ban on domestic surveillance by asserting that the intercepted calls were part of “training missions.”

Ohhh nooes Wayne Madsen exp0sed Neocon espionage skeme! [It might not be a coincidence that Richardson is not seen as a great buddy of AIPAC, getting this kind of heat on him...]

And now Richardson gets the boot from Washington -- no longer able to play the check against Hillary and the Great Washington Dumb Hawk contingent likely to congeal into her orbit.

[Hilary Mann Leverett, an old intel hand, just agreed with exactly my point about Hillary's dumb buddies on MSNBC Countdown. Neenar neenar...]

Meanwhile the Senate's top intel Dems Dianne Feinstein and Jay Rockefeller were forced to bitch about Leon Panetta getting appointed to run the CIA. Didn't see that coming. Anyway it's probably good - Feinstein and Rockefeller have let everything go to hell and have a LOT of explaining to do.

Feinstein not told about CIA pick - First Read - msnbc.com

I have not heard much of Panetta referred to negatively out in the antiwar land and even the shadowland of mirrors, AKA Internet conspiracy country. So that's probably good. It will definitely not be the normal Porter Goss style empire of corruption.

I have a conflicted angle on the Caroline Kennedy thing. Maybe she ticks off Hillary, who would have preferred a subordinate pawn in that seat. That would not be so bad, as we'd hope Kennedy has indeed a Clinton-independent power base. On the other hand, DNA dynasties suck, and have infested the body politic in this country.

There are a lot more layers going on - however we will see an interesting intersection or perhaps Limited Hang-Out as these staff levels roll over, and likely federal wiretaps continue to roam around, unable to persuade Grand Juries of their awesomeness.

It's like a really awesome episode of The Wire... Dammit McNulty!

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