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Valerie Jarrett, Anita Dunn the new John Ehrlichman? White House, private investigators.
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Tony’s first assignment? What was Ted Kennedy doing that night at Chappaquiddick with Mary Jo Kopechne?
Noted Theodore White of this business:
Whether or not a White House counselor is entitled to command intelligence operations by agents on the official White House payroll is questionable, but probably legal. Whether a White House intelligence operation can, however, command intelligence, search and espionage paid for by private political funds is something else again.
Now. Let’s pull out the news quotes from these two graphs about Tony Ulasewicz and put them together:
His assignments, as he recalls — and he might get thirty or thirty-five assignments a year — concerned the sex, drinking and family problems of political opponents of the President, or contributors to the President’s rivals. All reports were verbal — to Caulfield. Where they went, up from there, he did not know.… Whether a White House intelligence operation can, however, command intelligence, search and espionage paid for by private political funds is something else again.
What exactly, in the increasing flow of information from the Daily Caller about the Obama White House and Media Matters, sounds strikingly similar to the Watergate tale of Tony Ulasewicz?
That’s right. It’s this:
A group with the ability to shape news coverage is of incalculable value to the politicians it supports, so it’s no surprise that Media Matters has been in regular contact with political operatives in the Obama administration. According to visitor logs, on June 16, 2010,[Media Matter founder and head David] Brock and then-Media Matters president Eric Burns traveled to the White House for a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, arguably the president’s closest adviser. Recently departed Obama communications director Anita Dunn returned to the White House for the meeting as well.
It’s not clear what the four spoke about — no one in the meeting returned repeated calls for comment — but the apparent coordination continued. “Anita Dunn became a regular presence at the office,” says someone who worked there. Then-president of Media Matters, Eric Burns, “lunched with her, met with her and chatted with her frequently on any number of matters.”
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.
So. Media Matters, we learn, is having weekly strategy calls with the White House, they meet with Obama aide Jarrett and ex-aide Dunn, who returned to the White House for the meeting after she departed. Anita Dunn also “became a regular presence” in the Media Matters offices, the then-president of Media Matters “lunched with her, met with her and chatted with her frequently on any number of occasions.”
And what else? What raises the specter of Tony Ulasewicz?
This. From Media Matters’ Karl Frisch:
“We should hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff.”
Now. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is exactly the behavior that got Tony Ulasewicz parked in a chair in front of the Senate Watergate Committee, sitting under the hot klieg lights staring into television cameras on July 18, 1973. Being grilled by Tennessee Republican Senator Howard Baker and liberal Connecticut Republican Senator Lowell Weicker. Ulasewicz proved to be a hilarious witness, his breezy descriptions of delivering cash in paper sacks finally causing his interrogators to laugh. But in light of what we now know about Karl Frisch, David Brock, the relationship of Media Matters to White House aide Jarrett, ex-White House aide Dunn and the money paying for Media Matters’ operations, it’s worth a look back at some of Baker and Weicker’s grilling of Tony. Because in the end, what Tony was talking about helped send John Ehrlichman to jail — and force Richard Nixon to resign on threat of impeachment:
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