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July 21, 2005

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Miracle Max

Somehow or other this is all Bill Clinton's doing.

SteveMG

TM:
Dammed, home run. More than 500 feet too.

Problem is that the press doesn't tell us what to think, they tell us what to think about. And in this case, they don't want us thinking about the reporters above who also knew (reportedly) about Plame's identity.

Kaus will link to this for sure. This is a huge, huge part of the story.

SMG

Jim E.

I completely agree with this post. The media are an integral part of this story, yet this is one of the best kept secrets in the country. Too bad the liberal media is in cahoots with the Bush administration! In all seriousness, though, the media has done a great job keeping secrets from the public, and a horrible job reporting on this story.

Speaking of reporters, Murray Waas' homepage, until 15 minutes ago, said he'd be breaking more Plame news "soon." That note has just been taken down, so maybe a story just dried up.

SteveMG

This is a fantastic scoop by TM. Huge.

I cannot emphasize enough how big this is. This takes the story to an entirely new level.

At least, it should.

SMG

Jim E.

When Russert interviewed Cooper this weekend, did Russert disclose his own connection to the case?

Tom Ault

Maybe all this time Fitzgerald has been working up a RICO indictment against the mainstream media. Wouldn't that be something ;)

PaulS

By way of clarification: so far, what link does Rove have to any of this outside of statements by Matt Cooper and a single e-mail, written not by Rove, but also by Matt Cooper? Is Matt Cooper the only person solidly linking Rove by name to this whole story?

If this went to court, especially if the charge were perjury based on a contradiction between Rove's statements and Cooper's, wouldn't it be extremely easy to generate reasonable doubt about Cooper's veracity and motivations?

Cooper's wife is Mandy Grunwald, after all, a Democratic strategist and good friend of Hillary. Add to that the fact that Plame's husband is an outspoken partisan, and all of this starts to look extremely fishy. Not automatic proof of innocence, but at least enough to considerably increase the prosectuter's burden of proof.

Somehow I think Fitgerald would need much more than statements by Cooper to make anything stick in a court of law.

David

You know, this isn't about Wilson or Plame and only tangentally about Karl Rove. This is about the Democrats belief (and their poodles in the press) that GW is an idiot. Get rid of the genious of Karl Rove and the Democrats with their poodles will have their way with Bush. And yes this is about the Iraq War that the press dearly wants us to lose. And guess what, there is a quagmire today, it is in the press and the Wilson thing.

Miller

Any testimony from the Press would likely reveal more evidence of communications between reporters and White House officials. That might take some of the heat off Karl Rove but redirect it to other officials.

The only way that information from the press could help the White House is if it points to leaking from the CIA or State Department. It isn't likely that Agency people would out one of their own. But State did produce the June 10 report, and who knows how many staff there were aware of it?

The only problem is that, so far, the only known leakers are Libby and Rove.

TM

When Russert interviewed Cooper this weekend, did Russert disclose his own connection to the case?

He did not, and the Anchoress was quite funny - "Just a Coupla Implicated White Guys, Sittin' Around Talkin'."

SteveMG

Miller:
"That might take some of the heat off Karl Rove but redirect it to other officials."

No, it would direct some of the heat towards the PRESS. Officials in the W.H. reportedly state that they learned about Plame's covert status from other reporters.

How did these other reporters learn of her status? Did Judith Miller, who spent most of her time working on WMD issues, spread the word to other reporters? Did she learn about Plame 7-8 years ago? From who?

Who the hell exactly is Miller protecting? And what?

TM's observation potentially takes this story to an entirely different level.

SMG

Martin

"I believe there may be a substantial, ongoing press cover-up in the Plame leak investigation."

Interesting. I believe there may be a substantial, ongoing White House cover-up in the Plame leak investigation.

Martin

And what a coinky-dink. Bloomberg is reporting tonight the reporters and the White House told different stories to the grand jury.

Davis

The last time that attention in this issue was focused on the Press, it was all about Miller and Cooper not testifying. Since Cooper found a way to spill the beans, things have gone straight downhill for Karl Rove and probably Scooter Libby as well.

Matt Cooper and Time have not fared so badly.

Be careful what you wish for.

Seven Machos

"The only problem is that, so far, the only known leakers are Libby and Rove." This is opinion masquerading as fact. Please make a note of it.

Marianne

Bloomberg has a story out tonight that reporters and White House officials gave conflicting accounts about who told who about the connection to Wilson's wife.

Conflicting testimony! Someone must be lying. And who are the bigger liars - reporters or politicians? (or Joe Wilson?) It is all so confusing with so many lies and so many liars.

Seven Machos

If Rove or Plame or Libby or Wilson or Powell or Judith Miller or whoever broke the law or behaved unethically, they should face the consequences. My position is:

1. Rove leaked nothing he thought to be confidential. Hence, the entire spectrum of crimes he has already been convicted of in this forum do not apply.

2. Rove couldn't have leaked anything confidential about Plame because her position was not confidetial. Hence, again, the entire spectrum of crimes he has already been convicted of in this forum do not apply.

3. This is a witch hunt solely intended to damage the Bush administration on the part of Big Media and sectors of the CIA and possibly other bureaucracies.

4. I agree that the biggest cover-up here has been by an incestous Big Media, which insists that it has a privilege to WITHHOLD information -- a claim ridiculous on its face because a free press exists for the express purpose of disseminating information.

SteveMG

"Bloomberg has a story out tonight that reporters and White House officials gave conflicting accounts about who told who about the connection to Wilson's wife."

Congrats, Tom, you got to it first.

This story is taking off again.

'Course, we'll need Akira Kurosawa to make sense of it.

Intrepid blogger played by Tom Cruise? Harrison Ford?

Eccentric posters played by a cast of thousands.

SMG

DW West

Seven, I agree with you. It is hypocritical for the Press to stick their noses into everyone's business and think that they are exempt.

You may not agree with me, however, that the Administration is far too secretive. As citizens we deserve to know much more about many things including how the Iraq intelligence could have been so wrong.

RedDan

I will make a solemn promise to you all:

If it turns out that you are correct, that this is a massive, coordinated media conspiracy undertaken for the benefit of the DNC and created out of whole cloth simply to discredit the President, the GOP, and the entire Executive Branch, will videotape myself eating a hat, and post it on the internet.

Marianne

More from Bloomberg:

Libby says that Tim Russert of NBC told him, but Russert denies it.

So who do you believe? Cheney's top dog or the big bad corporate (GE) media?

SteveMG

RedDan:
I don't think Tom is arguing that this is some conspiracy between the press and the DNC to screw Bush. He's saying - and the evidence is getting pretty strong - that the press itself was circulating the information that Plame/Wilson was a covert CIA agent/operative (whatever).

And that many (some? all?) of the reporters listed above new this or were privy to the information and have been keeping their knowledge of her status out of the news.

This aspect of the story has NOT been reported by the various news figures. E.g., Russert et al. They've been keeping it quiet among themselves.

Now the key question in this is did the press tell W.H. officials about Plame and then they circulated the rumors/story or did someone in the W.H. tell a reporter and then it was circulated from there. Whatever the case, the press is a big part of this controversy. Or bigger part then they've let on.

Rashomon on the Potomac.

SMG

Seven Machos

DW - -The Senate Intelligence Report does a very nice job of laying out how and why intelligence was so wrong.

The thing you and I probably disagree on is that I think the Iraq invasion was a smart thing to do, and that the weapons of mass destruction was just an argument put forward for the invasion -- in retrospect, a bad argument.

I can't point to anything the administration has been overly secretive about. In fact, and I think this is inarguable, Tempest-in-a-Teapot-Dome boils down to a shrill charge by David Corn that the administration was not secretive ENOUGH.

The fact is, the Left in this country hates the president and they want to tarnish his image in any way possible.

MGmidget

What about Kerry? Did not he bomb Cambodia, while wearing a Green Beret?...from a PT Boat that was once skippered by his uncle, JFK?...while motoring Valerie across the border in the middle of the night?....right before he slote 3 PurpleHearts?....from Bob Dole?...while Clinton was smoking dope with Hillary...

Seven Machos

I, too, will make a solemn promise to you all:

If it turns out that you are correct, that this is a massive, coordinated Bush administration conspiracy undertaken for the benefit of something (I'm not sure actually, but motive has never seemed important to the Left when the chum is in the water) and created out of whole cloth simply to discredit a has-been diplomat and his wife, Big Media, and the entire left in this country, I will videotape myself eating a hat, and post it on the Internet.

JOM Reader

Who are you? I can't find a bio anywhere. What do you do?

Geek, Esq.

TM:

I really hate to break bad news to people, but:

That stuff you've been hearing about White House Staffers hearing about Plame from reporters?

It's a damn lie.

Wake up, people. The information was on Air Force One. Scooter Libby and Condi Rice aren't going to tell press whores stuff they wouldn't tell Karl Rove. Common sense.

The press people have undoubtedly been interviewed by DoJ people. Guess what they found? That all of those people didn't leak to WH officials, but rather got their information from Karl and Scooter, who just happened to be spearheading the administration's response on the Africa/Uranium issue.

No press conspiracy, just an administration that considered itself above the law.

SteveMG

Geek, esq.:
That's right, reporters in Washington don't have their own sources. People like Judith Miller, who's worked in D.C. for over a decade covering WMD and the CIA, are incapable of finding out things on there own.

None of these reporters listed above is capable of finding out sources or the names of CIA agents or assets. They just sit on their asses and regurgitate press releases from the W.H. or the RNC.

Reporters and Administration officials don't exchange gossip and rumors to one another.

Did you read, Geek, about how Woodward met Mark Felton? And how Woodward cultivated sources? How do you think reporters cover their beats? Establish sources of information, et cetera?

SMG

Malph

Yep, above the law. Yep, yep. Above the law....all of 'em...those SOBs!


BWWWAAAAAAAAAAA HAAAA HAA huh huh huh heh

Seven Machos

Geek: You cannot possibly verify a single statement that you have just made.

You don't know who was on any plane. You don't know who is lying or telling the truth. You don't know who has been interviewed by DoJ people. You don't know what the DoJ people found if, in fact, they conducted interviews. You don't know who, if anyone, spearheaded the administration's response on the Africa/Uranium issue.

I really wish that you would stop making stuff up.

ArminTamzarian

Seven Machos:

He just finished his first year of law school. Go easy on him.

tommy V

Geek,

TM seems to have more data backing up why he's asking the question than you do for your bold statement of fact.

I'm going to go with the data on this one.

For the record, Andrea Mitchell has stated that she and others knew Plame worked for the CIA and it was not considered a secret (as did Plame former boss at the CIA, as did the MSM lawyer's brief when trying to save the reporters from jail).

The press is very clearly keeping information from the public and reporting selected bits of information. This may be groupthink and self-serving, but that doesn't make it a conspiracy. (A word attributed to people to discredit them more than it is actually used).

Geek, Esq.

Steve:

Is there ANY evidence that people in the press knew before Scooter and Karl? Does it make sense that Newsday would know this before Libby and Rove?

Read the morning papers, guys. Brutal stuff for your side.

Tommy V

Does anyone have any idea why Miller is still in jail?

This seems to have dropped from the story completely. I don't believe for a second she is protecting Rove.

Seven Machos

1. Who is Steve?

2. Know what? That Valerie Plame had been working since 1997 every day at an office at Langley? I don't see how someone at Newsday couldn't have known that a long time ago.

SteveMG

Geek:
Yes, there is evidence. According to Libby, Cooper broached the topic of Plame/Wilson to him. This means at the very least that Cooper was willing to discuss the Plame/Wilson issue with other officials.

We also know that Wilson intimated to David Corn that his wife was a CIA operative. Corn says that Wilson suggested a "what if" scenario and never openly revealed his wife's covert status.

It's conceivable to me that Plame/Wilson's status was known in segments of the press and that some reporters told others about it.

It's also conceivable that Rove revealed her status as well. It doesn't have to be either-or. Both could have happened. Rove could be guilty and Libby et al. innocent.

I would suggest to you that this is more complicated than the evil W.H. scenario that you appear to be embracing.

SMG

Seven Machos

Tommy: Miller is in jail for contempt of court because she refuses to answer Grand Jury questions and, probably more importantly, to turn over other evidence. She will stay in jail until she agrees to cooperate or until the Grand Jury adjourns, which I think will be sometime in the fall (unless it gets extended).

I'm sure the proscutor is happy to let her rot in jail. Certainly no skin off his back.

Mr. Snitch!

Great post with some great comments. Especially this:

"Problem is that the press doesn't tell us what to think, they tell us what to think about. "

Engrave that one.

Randolph

If you want questions asked of these reporters, ask them. Pick up your telephone, use your e-mail, tell us what you ask, and keep us posted on the responses or lack thereof. Then, persuade other high-profile bloggers to do the same. You guys can get the answers if you want them, or at least you can do it as well as the mainstream press you are properly excoriating. SIC 'EM!!

Geek, Esq.

Steve:

A probable defendant's self-serving statement doesn't count as evidence in my book.

SamAm

First, it's totally ridiculous to charge Fitzgerald with being less than aggressive by nature with the press. Simply implausible. Miller (who he already hated) is sitting in a county jail. Cooper avoided the same by thismuch. Or let me refer you to a quote about the special council from someone who covered him in NY; "He's relentless, and he doesn't give a flying fuck about the press or the First Amendment. He'd throw us all in jail if it would help him make his case." He questioned Bush and Cheney; if he wanted Evan Thomas, he'd have gotten him. He may have. To charge Fitzgerald with negligence in the matter is also without any factual basis. If he needed their testimony, he'd have gotten it.

Furthermore, neither Rove nor Libby, nor any other White House figure for that matter can remember which journalist they heard it from first (and Luskin says, oh, whoops, maybe it was from a gov't official). Now, that might be because they're lying about that fact (look at Russert's testimony) but I'm sure if they did come up with a name, or even a couple possibilities, the candidates would have been interviewed.

Third, you're asking us to believe the Plame leak was the first virgin birth in 2000 years. Not possible. This was top secret information (if you believe the WSJ). It doesn't get to the press by osmosis, especially when the White House is digging around for info on the subject, getting memos made about it.

What you would have us believe, TM, is that a reporter is the original source, without a single government official being involved. It's just not on. The timeline goes too far back. The memories (of both Karl "4 seperate political regions of West Texas" Rove, and the VP's chief of staff) are too "fuzzy." And the information was too classified. Rove and Libby are lying.

Someone fathered this poor leak into the world. And it wasn't a media conspiracy.

And I really grow tired of every single Republican mistake being nothing more than the media's fault.

Alphonse

Well, if Rove and Libby did hear about from a reporter then WHERE DID THE REPORTER LEARN OF IT?

Geek, Esq.

The old rightwing rallying cry: It's never our fault--it's the damn media.

It's not the media's fault that Rove and Libby lied about their role in this.

Geek, Esq.

"Well, if Rove and Libby did hear about from a reporter then WHERE DID THE REPORTER LEARN OF IT?"

Funny how those believing Rove and Libby's version of events face the same kind of question as the people pushing 'Intelligent' Design.

Seven Machos

So, Geek, I take it you hold little stock in all of what Joe Wilson has said? He is certainly as probable a defendant as Rove is.

Further, I like to think that we do give defendants' statements serious weight. After all, we take great pride in the United States in both the substantial and procedural fairness of our court system. The burden is on the prosecution to prove every element of every claim against a criminal defendant.

You are especially shrill tonight, Geek. And you are embarrassing our already battered profession.

Geek, Esq.

Are there people who really think that Wilson is as likely to be a defendant as Rove?

Wow, makes me appreciate the sanity and logical powers of Democratic Underground.

G'night lads.

Seven Machos

What government official made the first material statement that caused Valerie Plame's name to be dragged through the press?

Jim E.

SamAm,
I agree with much of what you wrote in your 8:40pm post. But I don't think TM is necessarily saying this is a 100% percent media creation. (At least, that's not how I read him.) I think what he's saying is that a boatload of journalists have personally been involved in the investigation without ever publicly 'fessing up to it or explaining what their exact role was.

For example, Tim Russert sat there and interviewed Matt Cooper last Sunday without (apparently) ever disclosing his own role in the investigation. Russert's name will be in one of the new stories out tomorrow. How in the world is Russert interviewing other players in this story when he himself is one of the players?

Seven Machos

Jim E. -- I agree completely.

Jim E.

Machos,
You blame rape victims, too?

Jim E.

Er, I was responding to your 8:51.

Seven Machos

Not sure I understand that, but not usually, no.

TM

And what a coinky-dink. Bloomberg is reporting tonight the reporters and the White House told different stories to the grand jury.

The NY Times has been trying to teach me poker, as part of their new "Outreach to America". I think I got lucky on the river (or the flop, or somewhere).

Jim E.

You sometimes blame rape victims? Um, ok.

I understood your comment to mean that since Wilson wrote some words that were published in a newspaper, then his wife was fair game as a target of political retribution.

Jim E.

You know, blame the victim. (I meant to add that above.)

And TM's comment went right over my head.

Seven Machos

As you know, I think Big Media and the Left want Rove to be indicted, in order to hurt the Bush administration. So, even though Rove is a bit player in an investigation, the spotlight unfairly remains on him. I am on record as saying that I think Rove did nothing wrong, and the reasons why.

As for Wilson, compare him to Rove. Both are/were government officials. Both could have known classified information about Valerie Plame's covert status. (Who would be more likely to know more about Plame?) Both discussed WMD and Niger to reporters. Both could have mentioned Plame to reporters. If Wilson did, it is considerably more likely that he did so before Rove did.

Someone above suggested that this is far more complex than Bush-Rove-evil-bad. It is.

Geek, Esq.

John Dean says Karl Rove = Jonathan Randel

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20050715.html

It's a matter of when, not if.

Jeff

All I'm gonna say about this is that some of us were mighty surprised, TM, when you referred to Russert the other day as a well-respected something or other. Nobody I know respects him much at all. Which is of course not to say that he's lying while Libby is telling the truth, or that Bloomberg is or whatever.

Fredrik Nyman

Jim E.,

a boatload of journalists have personally been involved in the investigation without ever publicly 'fessing up to it or explaining what their exact role was.

I think this is quite undisputed when you think about it. We're talking about a pretty small group (conveniently named by name and media association in TM's very post). If these folks actually cared to inform their readers, they could, for example, report on whether they had heard Valerie Plame's name before it became known to the public. They could also report on whether they personally have been interviewed by the FBI (or the grand jury or other relevant authorities) in connection with this case, or if the FBI has tried to get information from them that they refused to provide.

While we're on the subject: I always thought that what happens in a grand jury is a secret. If that is true, how come Cooper has been able to disclose what he was asked and what he said?

Will Franklin

Meet the Pravda is right. Nice post.

SamAm

Jim E.-

Disagree about the implications of this post. It's clearly designed to explain away the real issue here, as are repeated attacks on Wilson's cred. If this story "is not about a whistle-blower", it's certainly not about the media. And Fitzgerald hates the media more than our fellow righties do. So, you know, let him do his job.

Should Russert have recused himself from MtP last Sunday? Probably, almost certainly. But he's no more involved with Cooper than with every WH official he interviews. Cheney, for example, whose CoS (lied) about Tim to a grand jury. So let's not blame him just for last weekend.

But I really dislike watching people like Glenn "imbecile investigation" Reynolds and RedState pick this story up as vindication or, more likely, muddying the waters. Oh, maybe Rove did something bad, but so did the MSM. The Democrats are over-reaching. Rove-a-dope! It's just baloney, pure baloney.

If someone wants to take the time and argue that the media were the principle actors here (the "immaculate deception" position) I'd like to read it, especially after tommorrow's papers. But this, this is mainly about ignoring what's important in the story.

Seven Machos

Fredrik -- I have often wondered the same thing, regarding Cooper. Perhaps you yourself cannot be made to keep quiet about your own grand jury testimony...

Jim E.

"I think Big Media ... wants Rove to be indicted."

Ah yes, that explains why Judy "I Love the Iraq War" Miller is in prison. By keeping her mouth shut, Miller's going frame the Bush White House, when she's knows they're innocent. Your "conclusion" (that's whay you call it, right?) also explains why the media sat on this story through the presidential election. They wanted Bush to be re-elected so that they could frame Rove. Am I following you correctly?

ArminTamzarian

Hmm, so Libby and Russert have different stories. That proves Libby lied! Hell, let's just shoot the bastard now!

Seven Machos

Certain people here seem to be under two mistaken impressions.

1. Most CIA people are not James Bond. They are regular shmucks. They know people. It would not be strange at all, for example, for Judith Miller to come to know that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA through their mutual interests in WMD.

2. If a fact is classified in a report, but you never saw the report, and you know the fact through some unclassified channel but never know that it's classified, you commit no crime in telling people the fact. (This is why someone is spending A LOT of time and energy trying to connect the Bush administration to an INR report.)

kim

There has to be some reason the press has had elements unco-operative with Fitz. There has to be some reason the press isn't interested in Yellow Cake. There has to be some reason Joe is still talking to the press, and why Val hasn't. There has to be some reason Rove has been the subject of damaging leaks when it seems the soup he is in is political rather than legal. There has to be some reason the press isn't curious why the IAEA was so much quicker at exposing the forgeries than the CIA.

I'm not saying that all those are for the same reason, but one wonders.

And one thinks: the blogospere is to journalism as the printing press was to orthodox religious hierarchy.
==================================================
=================================================

Seven Machos

Jim E.: Perhaps Judith Miller's source is not who you think it is. Perhaps it is Wilson, Plame, Powell, or John Q. Analyst at CIA. Perhaps she was Novak's source.

You continue to assume that Rove is guilty, and work backwards from there.

SamAm

Seven Machos-

I think you're wrong on point 2, and if I knew the law, I'd quote it to you. Gov't officials have a legal responsibility to not pass on classified information.

Jim E.

SamAm,
Yes, such media-smearing posts are perhaps motivated by wanting to cloud the waters so as to better protect -- if only politically -- the White House. TM's motives -- like Reynolds -- aren't pure on this point.

With that said, I still think that on its own merits, this post -- whatever its motivations -- is spot on. And I write that as someone with political views very much opposed to, and to the left of, TM.

Lesley

What is amusingly ironic to me is that we are compelled get our "facts" about the Plame debacle from the MSM (especially the above-named sources) and we are bickering back and forth over the things they CHOOSE to tell us.

If I'm wrong about Rove, I won't eat my hat on the internet (I have a number of Frank Olive hats and it would KILL me to dispose of one of them in that fashion). However, I will post a picture of myself on the "I'm sorry I believed in Karl Rove" website, complete with dorky head-tilt and near-to-tears grimace.

ArminTamzarian

SamAm: I think you're wrong on point 2, and if I knew the law, I'd quote it to you. Gov't officials have a legal responsibility to not pass on classified information.

I think you mean you believe they have an ethical responsibility.

Seven Machos

SamAm: If you find that source, then I am wrong.

I contend that a more basic legal principle is at work: mens rea. Usually, you can't be guilty of a crime if you had no intention of committing that crime. The mens rea concept certainly is at work with the 1982 law at issue, which appears to manifestly require purposeful intent. (I say "appears" because there is no case law; I read that the law has been applied exactly once since it was passed.)

Jim E.

Machos wrote: "Perhaps Judith Miller's source is not who you think it is."
I have no clue who her source is. But your implication is that Miller must be liberally biased, when, in fact, Miller's public associations and reporting place her very firmly with the neocons in this administration (not to mention Chalabi). She's not a liberal, and she's very sympathetic -- to the point of unprofessionalism -- with the Bush foreign policy. Judith Miller -- employee of your "Big Media" -- is not out to get Rove. That's the point I was making.

Machos also wrote: "You continue to assume that Rove is guilty, and work backwards from there."

Are you a mind reader, too? That's a rich assumption coming from someone who has confidently and repeatedly said Rove is innocent and repeatedly posts lies about the public record in order to "defend" the infallible White House. Good one.

Kim asked about Val Plame. My understand (sorry, no link) is that she penned a long account to be published (to tell her side of the story), but that the CIA forbid it.

SamAm

Eh. The media is a walking talking conflict of interest. GE owns NBC. Jack Welch influenced Florida 2000 coverage. This is just another instance, and especially so because the DC media elite (Gang of 500) is so incestuous. I don't like Russert, Mitchell, Brit Hume, etc. and what they do with the power they have. But even though the Plame scandal is a good example of that perpetual conflict, it's still not that big a deal within the Plame scandal itself.

TM

From Jim E:

Yes, such media-smearing posts are perhaps motivated by wanting to cloud the waters so as to better protect -- if only politically -- the White House. TM's motives -- like Reynolds -- aren't pure on this point.

With that said, I still think that on its own merits, this post -- whatever its motivations -- is spot on.

Hmm, thank you, I agree.

As to how reporters might have learned about Ms. Plame - Judy Miller is an obvious link - she is a woman in a "man's field" - CIA, WMDs, foreign travel - just like Valerie. Mightn't somoene have thought that these two oddities ought to meet? Don't women network in defense against the Old Boy network?

Or, Andrea Mitchell covers the Foreign Service. Shouldn't she have met Joe Wilson, the Lion of Baghdad (1990)? And in a social setting, might Joe wanted to impress Andrea and Alan Greenspan with the news that his wife was *much* more than just a pretty face? Is there any self-promoter in Joe?

Seven Machos

Right, Jim E.: Judith Miller, who has her own column in both National Review and the Weekly Standard, if I am not mistaken. And Chalabi, well, that guy is practically the Arab William F. Buckley.

Also, do you not think that Rove is guilty? Do you not wish ill upon the Bush administration? Do you not just know that BUSH LIED!!! I think you clearly do.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

SamAm

Also, the broadcast media's toothless conduct throughout the Bush administration, especially with regards to this whole affair, serves to remind that their default mode isn't reflexively liberal, but deference to power and Georgetown. And the NYT's editors continue to confound me, what with their proud endorsement of Miller's criminal conspiracy.

TM,

If it was Plame, she would be liable to tell who she told, not who told her. Rove or Libby would lean on her for that. But neither can remember. And, what about Libby's claim he learned it from Russert? How could he learn it from Russert and someone else (learn it twice?). And if he remembers Russert, mightn't he remember who else told him?

As for Mitchell, I swear I read a doc NBC released saying she didn't know about Plame til after the story broke. If either Rove or Libby mentioned her, she'd have testified, they'd have made sure of that, even if they weren't sure if they got it from her.

Mitchell has not, to my knowledge, testified. Nor have Libby or Rove mentioned her as a source.

As for AT and SM, it's still classified information no matter how you come by it. If Rove heard from Miller he would still have a legal responsibility to not go blabbing it around. Same as for any other bit of TOP SECRET information. And a crime (wish I knew the law itself, part of the Esp. Act at the very least I assume, but there are probably other statutes) to leak it again.

ArminTamzarian

There's a legal responsibility not to break the law. That's why we call it the law. There's no legal responsibility "not to do bad things."

kim

T and G, the tilt and grimace of so much ridicule lately is a universal human expression. Liberals have felt the need of it so much lately, at least partly, because it is a mirror gesture, asking for a similar response. They are sorry, and pitiable.

Forbade it why(?), I wonder, Jim E. Valerie Plame, as far as I'm concerned, remains covert, after a fashion. There is still much mystery about her.
==============================================

SamAm

Whoops. Meant "if it was Miller." Though the same is true of Plame. But the point is, Miller.

Geek, Esq.

TM:

"As to how reporters might have learned about Ms. Plame - Judy Miller is an obvious link - she is a woman in a "man's field" - CIA, WMDs, foreign travel - just like Valerie. Mightn't somoene have thought that these two oddities ought to meet? Don't women network in defense against the Old Boy network?

Or, Andrea Mitchell covers the Foreign Service. Shouldn't she have met Joe Wilson, the Lion of Baghdad (1990)? And in a social setting, might Joe wanted to impress Andrea and Alan Greenspan with the news that his wife was *much* more than just a pretty face? Is there any self-promoter in Joe?"

TM:

You're a smart guy, but that's really weak. Not to mention pure fiction.

I imagine that Andrea Mitchell would have squealed on Wilson or would be sitting in a cell.

As far as the Queen of Iraq is concerned, Fitzgerald found out about her involvement through WHITE HOUSE phone logs.:

http://talkleft.com/new_archives/011451.html

Jim Rockford

Occam's razor.

Press by all accounts all seemed to learn about Plame/Wilson at the same time. All seemed to make lots of calls to various contacts to confirm said info. Conclusion: Powell etc. were very sloppy or deliberately careless in letting reporters take a peek at the memo on Air Force One or discussing said info openly in front of them. Maybe they were just careless, or maybe Colin wanted payback for Wilson painting him as a chump by painting Wilson right back as being dependent on his wife for assignments.

BR

Great work, TM. There are so many elephants in the room on this Plame Affair, it's beginning to look like Africa.

***

In response to:
Posted by: Fredrik Nyman | July 21, 2005 09:08 PM

"…I always thought that what happens in a grand jury is a secret. If that is true, how come Cooper has been able to disclose what he was asked and what he said?"

I've had the same question on what's what with Grand Jury secrecy. I've wondered if the recent flurry of MSM anonymous sources leaking GJ and Fitzgerald info might be an ex-grand juror. Hopefully, not a current one.


However, there was one important thing Cooper did not say: who his other sources are:

" MR. RUSSERT: In your piece, as I mentioned, you said "some government officials," and you said it may be more than just Rove and Libby. Did you get waivers from those additional sources when you testified before the grand jury?"

[I taped the show – there is a noticeable pause here.]

"MR. COOPER: I don't want to get into anything else, but I don't--anything I discuss before the grand jury, I have a waiver for."

Transcript of 7/17/05 NBC Show, thanks to TM.

Syl

I think issues of the media's reasons for doing thus and so as well as attributing pro/con motives to Judith Miller are a bit misplaced...no matter which side one argues from.

It is possible, you know, that Judith is standing on principle and _only_ on principle which means it means squat which 'side' of the issue her protected source would break.

It is also possible that the media harping on Rove is not so much because 'they are out to get him' as the fact that Rove is a flashpoint (is that the right term?) and the biggest number of eyeballs can be had by implicating him....whether or not the press has any bias towards or against Rove being guilty of something. If it bleeds, it leads, and Rove bleeding is a big draw for news viewers/readers of BOTH sides.

That the media has had little or nothing to say about anyone else involved is probably only because that is deemed quite boring detail. The fact that some unknown journalist was not questioned by the FBI makes little sense to report when you do have a big named journalist (Cooper) who has his story to tell that involves Rove. The media isn't investigating this issue, Fitzgerald is. They're only reporting the details that they believe will garner them the most eyeballs.

We DO have a right to know as many details as are available, and I think the media can be excoriated for not giving us all they possibly know. But I think it's groupthink and their desire for the sensational rather than pure bias which is motivating them to do a semi and selective coverage.

Seven Machos

Syl -- I disagree. Let's play shoe-on-the-other-foot. Suppose Sandy Berger had been a Democrat. Would his felony conviction be a bigger deal? Suppose Nixon had been a Democrat. Suppose Dick Morris had been a Republican consultant cavorting with prostitutes. Suppose Bill Clinton had avoided service in Vietnam and run against an alleged war hero (oh wait, that actually happened, twice).

It's not blood in the water. It's Republican blood in the water. Big Media in this country is an interest group with a program, as Howard Fineman astutely observed. Overall, Big Media clearly favorably disposed toward the Left.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6813945/

Lesley

I wondered why Cooper caved (beyond a possible 18 months in jail for contempt) Here it is: WSJ.com June 30, 2005.

"In a Washington, D.C., courtroom yesterday, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald told U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan that Time Inc., as a big corporation, ought to be forced to comply with the law. The judge agreed and threatened to raise the ante by requiring Time to pay steeper fines than the $1,000 a day he already had proposed, and that they be paid retroactively. The fines themselves wouldn't be material for an $80 billion company, but they could anger shareholders and perhaps even spawn litigation."

"One way in which Time is in a different position than the New York Times is that it published an article naming the agent, while Ms. Miller's reporting on the subject was never published. Moreover, Time refused to hand over documents -- Mr. Cooper's notes -- to the grand jury, while it isn't known if the Times even possesses any documents."

Jack Risko has a great piece June 17, 2005 on the NYT and its declining stock price. One point he makes is:

"Can a public company get away with this?

Normally, in a public company, you would expect the independent directors to take action to stem the losses and to enhance shareholder value. The New York Times is not a normal public company, however.

The New York Times gets away with its appalling stewardship of its franchise, because it is not in business principally for its readers or its shareholders. There are around 144,000,000 shares of the New York Times that trade freely, but these do not have any power. Control of the New York Times resides in a mere 738,810 shares of non-trading class B stock which reside in a family trust and have the power to elect 70% of the Board of Directors. Pause a moment to take this in: one half of one percent (0.5%) of the stock of the New York Times gets to elect 70% of the directors.

The New York Times is upfront about all this of course in its Proxy Statement filed with the SEC, in which it details the objective of the family’s 1997 trust:

The primary objective of the 1997 Trust is to maintain the editorial independence and the integrity of The New York Times and to continue it as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free of ulterior influence and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare…

Evidently the term “public welfare” does not include the welfare of shareholders."

Just alittle food for thought on the difference between these two media giants.

EDK

I read all the posts and it's disgusting that all this talk and bullshit is wasted.

Plame was not covert so there is no crime.

Five years she worked out of Langley, and once at Langley an agent is NOT covert and will NEVER be covert again!

So they never updated her paperwork, nothing unusual! What a waste of everyone's time!

Davod

Any Republican, especially a white Republican, brought before a DC jury for this type of allegation (Political) will be found guilty regardless of the circumstances.

jukeboxgrad

STEVE MG: "it would direct some of the heat towards the PRESS"

I realize you think heat should be directed toward the press. How odd that Fitz has a different idea of who to put on the hot seat: the president, the vice president, Secy. Powell, "Bush White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, political adviser Karl Rove, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis I. Libby, Republican National Committee consultant Mary Matalin, former Cheney press aide Catherine Martin, White House press secretary Scott McClellan, communications director Dan Bartlett, deputy press secretary Claire Buchan, and former assistant press secretary Adam Levine" (link).

This is completely consistent with what Geek said: "The press people have undoubtedly been interviewed by DoJ people. Guess what they found? That all of those people didn't leak to WH officials, but rather got their information from Karl and Scooter, who just happened to be spearheading the administration's response on the Africa/Uranium issue."

"We also know that Wilson intimated to David Corn that his wife was a CIA operative"

Hmm, sounds suspiciously like something I once read somewhere: "his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction" (link).

You're saying that Wilson "intimated" exactly what Novak had already published. How shocking.

jukeboxgrad

PAUL S: "Cooper's wife is Mandy Grunwald, after all, a Democratic strategist"

I gues that's why Cooper covered for Rove all through the pre-election period. I'm sure this made Matt popular with Mandy.

By the way, Cooper would be in jail now, still covering for Rove, if not for some interesting last-minute behavior on the part of both Pearlstine and Luskin. This tends to undermine your theory.

"Is Matt Cooper the only person solidly linking Rove by name to this whole story?"

By the way, Luskin has not exactly been reticent, and he has not made any meaningful challenge to the core of what Cooper said: Rove told Cooper about Plame.

DAVIS: "Since Cooper found a way to spill the beans"

Yes, Cooper exercised mind control over Pearlstine and Luskin. Cooper is not in jail only because of some interesting last-minute behavior by those two.

RED DAN: "if it turns out that you are correct, that this is a massive, coordinated media conspiracy undertaken for the benefit of the DNC and created out of whole cloth simply to discredit the President ... "

Indeed. A "conspiracy" that arrived in the form of the Republican special counsel who was appointed by the Republican John Ashcroft, subsequent to a complaint referred by the Republican George Tenet.

And don't forget the mind control that was used to get the Republican Rove to tell Cooper that Plame was CIA/WMD.

jukeboxgrad

TOMMY V: "Andrea Mitchell has stated that she and others knew Plame worked for the CIA"

Unkillable meme syndrome.

"The press is very clearly keeping information from the public and reporting selected bits of information."

I guess you prefer Power Line, which is spreading unfounded gossip that folks like you treat as proven fact.

SAMAM: "I really grow tired of every single Republican mistake being nothing more than the media's fault."

How dare you say that. They definitely do not blame every mistake on the media. Sometimes it's the CIA's fault. Sometime's it's the fault of the judiciary. Sometimes it's the Democrat's fault. It's just never the Republican's fault.

KIM: "There has to be some reason Joe is still talking to the press, and why Val hasn't"

Val still works for the CIA. They have rules about this sort of thing. No surprise that we don't hear much from her. (Jim E also noted this.)

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "If a fact is classified in a report, but you never saw the report, and you know the fact through some unclassified channel but never know that it's classified, you commit no crime in telling people the fact."

Wrong. First of all, even your ideological pal Bumper has finally noticed that "Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified." Second, if there was any doubt, Rove had a duty to ask: "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it" (link).

I've mentioned both these points many times.

FREDRIK: "always thought that what happens in a grand jury is a secret."

The witness is free to discuss his own appearance.

LESLEY: "I wondered why Cooper caved"

Not because of the fines you mentioned. Rather, because of some interesting last-minute behavior on the part of both Pearlstine (i.e., finally deciding, against Cooper's request, to release Cooper's notes) and Luskin. With regard to the latter, see this.

EDK: "Plame was not covert"

I guess that's why a bunch of CIA people said she was (link).

betsybounds

Thanks, EDK. I'm reading all this **** flying around, and the only thing that comes to my mind is, "Don't these people remember that it was apparently common knowledge for a very long time in the interested Washington circles that Ms. Plame-Wilson worked for the CIA?" The notion that it was some kind of secret is not only risible, but without that, the thing pretty much vaporizes. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Truzenzuzex

BR wrote:
"…I always thought that what happens in a grand jury is a secret. If that is true, how come Cooper has been able to disclose what he was asked and what he said?"

I've had the same question on what's what with Grand Jury secrecy. I've wondered if the recent flurry of MSM anonymous sources leaking GJ and Fitzgerald info might be an ex-grand juror. Hopefully, not a current one.

The officers of the court, stenographers and members of a grand jury may not disclose information about the proceedings according to FRCP rule 6(e) unless ordered to do so by the presiding judge. All others, including witnesses, are free to tell all. Most don't either at the request of the prosecutor or on advice of counsel.

Leaks from the grand jury are punishable by civil contempt (i.e. same as Judy Miller's contempt citation). Of course, prosecutors can always escalate this to an indictment for criminal contempt or obstruction of justice if they feel it is waranted.

Disclosing leaked information is protected by the First Amendment if you are not the leaker. However, the judge and/or prosecutor could subpoena you to testify about your source. See Judy Miller above.

Geek wrote:
"What government official made the first material statement that caused Valerie Plame's name to be dragged through the press?"

Seems to me like you need to add "if any" to that question. It is not out of the realm of possibility that a reporter found out about Plame through other means (i.e. followed her to work, overheard a conversation, etc.)

Why would somebody who discovered it that way not have stepped forward now? Ask Judith Miller. Maybe she could tell you. My guess is she would rot in jail first (oh, that's right - she is rotting in jail...).

But as Tom wrote in his original blog post, this is all speculation. Some facts are known, some are thought to be known but probably aren't, and the rest is just guesswork. Those that have convicted Rove & Co. are engaging in wishful thinking. Those that think there is no way he could be charged or convicted are being naive.

Prosecutors at this stage of an investigation almost always know exactly who their target is, and their eyes are pretty much fixed on the prize. Others may catch an indictment for obstruction or perjury, but that happens rarely. Perjury, even under grand jury conditions, is hard to prove.

Of all the people I know of involved at this point, Judith Miller is in the most jeopardy of a criminal indictment. She could be charged with obstruction and criminal contempt. Fitzgerald has reason to exact a price from her because of unrelated dealings. I'd much rather be Rove than Miller right now.

jukeboxgrad

BETSY: "Don't these people remember that it was apparently common knowledge for a very long time in the interested Washington circles that Ms. Plame-Wilson worked for the CIA?"

I wonder if you have some source for that other than your imagination. I also wonder why you think you know more than the CIA people cited here.

TRUZ: "It is not out of the realm of possibility that a reporter found out about Plame through other means"

Cooper stated in plain English that he heard about Plame from Rove, and that it was the first time Cooper ever heard anything about her from anyone. Let me know if you need the citation.

jukeboxgrad

OK, here's that citation.

Here's what Cooper said recently: "Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the C.I.A. and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the 'agency' on 'W.M.D.'? Yes." (link)

Here it is, plain and simple: Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA.

TM

Hmm, I see the peril in leaving half a comment (earlier) while listening to Jason Giambi hit home runs.

As to Miller or Mitchell learning independently about Valeri's status - I threw that out as a possibility.

However, I have been talking up the INR memo since OCt 2003. I missed the Aug 2004 Newsweek story which put the memo on the plane to Africa (I was pulling Swift Boat duty), but I have been touting that connection since Cecil Turner spelled it out in Feb 2005.

Now, I don't rule out a "memo to Hadley to Russert to Libby" scenario by any means, but I would be shocked if *nobody* leaked from that memo and the *only* source was reporters independently obtained knowledge of Ms. Plame's status.

And I'll admit - I was a lot more fond of that memo when (per Newsweek) it did not say she was covert. Petard, auto-hoist (maybe!).

Good link on "Why Judy" - phone logs! Still, they must have someone at the other end of the phone, who has waived privacy.

And she appears right on the Newsday WH list with Kristof and Sanger.

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

Cooper stated in plain English that he heard about Plame from Rove, and that it was the first time Cooper ever heard anything about her from anyone. Let me know if you need the citation.

Thanks, but I said "a reporter" not "Cooper", since it is clear that other reporters besides Cooper knew (i.e. Novak at least, and perhaps others). So your cite won't be necessary.

TrueLiberal

Considering the connection between Cooper's wife, the DNC and HRC. It wouldn't be that surprising that this is all about sidelining Rove for 2008. The Clinton's have smeared rape victims and whistle blowers, Rove would be a warm up for 2008. Can you say Matt Cooper "Press Secretary"?

Slartibartfast
Wow, makes me appreciate the sanity and logical powers of Democratic Underground.

There's no context and no amount of tongue in cheek (even if you're as orally well-endowed as Gene Simmons) that's going to make this right. Please, step away from the hookah.

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Wilson/Plame