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July 06, 2005

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SteveMG

The scales are dropping from my eyes.

Cooper got his information from Libby. Novak probably too.

But Libby got it (allegedly) from the press. He was passing on rumors he had heard (so he says) from other reporters.

Makes sense. Clifford May has stated (others too) that it was cocktail talk that Plame was in the CIA. "Hey, who's the hot blonde?" "Plame, you know she works for the CIA?"

But now it's Miller Time. It's not Libby and it's not Rove (sorry Creepy).

SMG

Dave J

Please remind me why we should care about this D.C. "Drama"?

I can say for a fact no one outside of the Media a nd a few Blogs do.

Seven Machos

Only in Washington DC would anyone EVER consider Valerie Plame a "hot blonde." Washington -- Hollywood for ugly people, where the beer goggles need to be extra thick, where a "4" is a "7" and a "7" is a perfect "10."

Armin Tamzarian

I'll put $10 on Wilson or Plame as the source of the leak. Any takers?

Fresh Air

I dunno. I suspect there is only one source. Matt Cooper holds the keys to the jail for Ms. Miller. Once he makes his grandiose tesimony, her information either becomes superfluous or redundant, e.g. Cooper will clear the case for Miller, thus allowing her to become St. Judith while washing her conscience clean. And all of this because Norman Pearlstine actually decided it was best to obey the law. Figures a Republican would.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Only in Washington DC would anyone EVER consider Valerie Plame a "hot blonde."'

Well, when a President of the U.S. can't do any better than Monica Lewinsky....

SteveMG

Dave:
"Please remind me why we should care about this D.C. "Drama"?"

I'll toss out 4 in 60 seconds (okay, I'm not at TM's skill level; _several_ 60 seconds):

(1) We have the outing of a covert CIA operative that probably cost us several hundreds of thousands of dollars to train. There's goes my tax contributions for the past, er, 5 years;

(2) We have the outing of a CIA agent possibly as political retaliation against a critic of the White House;

(3) We have the outing of a person who risked her life for the country going overseas as a CIA agent. Little dramatic here; but many CIA agents literally put their lives on the line for us. I don't think we want to go around outing them. Not a good recruiting tool for future applicants.

(4) We have possibly the government going after critics for no other reason than they (possibly) exposed malfeasance.

SMG

Fresh Air

SteveMG--

Come on, man. Parlor games are expensive!

PersonFromPorlock

Well, when a President of the U.S. can't do any better than Monica Lewinsky....


Ms. Lewinsky isn't all that bad looking - and after all, we're talking about a guy who doesn't know which end of a woman is the cigar end....

TM

We are scraping underneath the Clue Barrell now, but today's WaPo has an interesting tidbit:

On Saturday, Rove's attorney said that Rove spoke with Cooper during the critical period in July 2003, just after Wilson's piece appeared, when reporters were calling the White House to ask questions about Wilson's assertions. But he said that Rove did not reveal Plame's identity and that Fitzgerald has assured him Rove is not a target of the investigation.

...Cooper's source has also waived Cooper's promise of confidentiality.

OK, we got confirmation today that Fitzgerald was telling the truth about the confidentiality waiver, but...

In the course of making the case for Karl, why did his attorney *not* mention the waiver, if, in fact, Karl is the fellow Cooper was protecting?

That seems like a strong point to have overlooked. Unless Karl has not waived confidentiality.

Thoughts?

Abu Qa'Qa

Anyone who believes that the NYT and Time/Warner would protect Karl Rove from public humiliation, during the height of the 2004 campaign is really into smoking medical marijuana.

BoghRD

I just want to hear from the vaunted mediaDemocratic Party of professional journalists that cocktail hour gossip counts as an unimpeachable source...

By the way, what 007 trolls around Washington D.C. (I guess I have to limit that question to American 007s). What was our intrepid spy doing that was soooo super secret. The Left keeps talking up that her exposure resulted in her spy rings exposure. In D.C.

SteveMG

Fresh Air:
Look, I don't think, in Gertrude Stein's immortal words, there's any "there there".

Appears to me that Libby was the source. Or at least _a_ source. And there really appears to be little evidence of any wider willful actions on the part of the W.H. Looks like Libby (or whoever) shooting the breeze with reporters, passing rumors and hearsay.

But this was potentially a bigger scandal than the denouement appears to render.

I won't accept government officials - even ones I voted for and support - retaliating against critics by violating the law.

That didn't happen here (it appears); but I want to make sure.

SMG

Lion

Rove's attorney had, indeed, previously disclosed that Rove had made a written waiver of confidentiality. I think one outcome that is not entirely unlikely is that we don't have an "outing" at all. There are a number of sources (Cliff May, Novak himself) who say that it was common knowledge around town that Plame worked for the CIA. First somebody tells a reporter that Plame influenced the decision to send Wilson, somebody else says "hey--she used to work undercover overseas," and a third guy, in response to questions, says "Jeez, you mean you heard that too?" and before long you have what used to be called a circle jerk. You could give all the players truth serum, and all of them would deny that they outed an undercover operative. And they'd believe it.

Fresh Air

TM--

Rove's lawyer said he waived confidentiality. I think that ends that line of inquiry.

Here's my latest thinking, TM: Miller says her source has signed a waiver, but asserts it must have been "coerced" by the White House, therefore it doesn't release her from her obligation to the source.

Doesn't this strike you as funny? The White House is apparently desperate to get out the name of the source. While the NYT is desperate to protect him!

I am predicting the source is a State or CIA type, former Democrat and longstanding feeder of misinformation about the Bush Administration. That is the only explanation as to why the NYT would go to the barricades on this.

The perfect candidate is Greg Thielman, though there are surely others.

creepy dude

-In the course of making the case for Karl, why did his attorney *not* mention the waiver, if, in fact, Karl is the fellow Cooper was protecting?-


Actually Luskin did say Rove signed the waiver. See your own July 4 post, i.e.[Luskin said Rove] "signed a waiver authorizing reporters to testify about their conversations with him."

And Cooper's source could do a last minute release (nice guy/gal) since Cooper's notes had already been turned over.

TalkLeft

Libby gave authorizations to all reporters to disclose his identity and their conversations eons ago.

But maybe it's Dick Cheney. Joe Wilson raised that possibility in his book.

ed

Hmmm.

Does it get better than this? I wonder what the next evolution in this nonsense will be.

Beldar

Fresh Air wrote,

I am predicting the source is a State or CIA type, former Democrat and longstanding feeder of misinformation about the Bush Administration. That is the only explanation as to why the NYT would go to the barricades on this.

I respectfully disagree. I think it's at least as likely that Ms. Miller's source or sources are the same as Cooper's; that Ms. Miller is absolutely determined to be a "martyr" for her views as to what she thinks the law ought to be (but clearly isn't); and to the question of whether she's been released from any commitment of confidentiality that she ever made, she just refuses to take "yes" for an answer.

TM

See your own July 4 post, i.e.[Luskin said Rove] "signed a waiver authorizing reporters to testify about their conversations with him."

Oh, for heaven's sake! Why did I even bother to re-read that post *and* the WaPo story!

Well, let's add a new WaPo reporeter to the mix - Charles Lane, from Nov 2004:

Cooper, too, initially negotiated a deal to testify about his contacts with I. Lewis Libby, an aide to Vice President Cheney; but, after that, Fitzgerald asked for additional testimony, apparently based on new information he had developed about Cooper's contacts.

Fitzgerald wants Miller to testify about her talks with Libby, even though she never wrote a story about Plame. Libby has signed a letter saying he waives his anonymity, but Miller still refuses to talk. Her position is that no such waiver under pressure from a prosecutor can ever be voluntary.

He may just be recycling older WaPo reporting, but at least they stuck to their story for a while.

BumperStickerist

The underlying question permeating the atmosphere is of a different nature. It's this:

What kind of pictures does Tom Maguire have such that he's averaging 3+ Instalanches per week?

I mean, seriously, the mind boggles:

A picture of a Knoxville-based blender repairman pulling a battered dog tag out of Glenn's Waring Chili Red WPB04 Professional Series Blender?

A Tennessee tagged Mazda RX-8, license plate, NNOTECH, with a bumper sticker that reads "My Other Digital Camera is Also a Nikon" parked in front of a Chrisian Science Reading Room?

A picture of Glenn with Juan NonVolokh?

More importantly, can I get tack sharp yet inexpensive 20x30 prints of them from ExposureManager?

At a discount.

Just Curious.

and, Tim's previous mentioned point about the unlikelihood of the NYT protecting Rove or - gasp - Cheney remains operational.

Gerry

"In the course of making the case for Karl, why did his attorney *not* mention the waiver, if, in fact, Karl is the fellow Cooper was protecting?"

Tom, are you confusing what Luskin said with what the WaPo reported? Here's Newsweek:

Luskin told NEWSWEEK that Rove “never knowingly disclosed classified information” and that “he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.” Luskin declined, however, to discuss any other details. He did say that Rove himself had testified before the grand jury “two or three times” and signed a waiver authorizing reporters to testify about their conversations with him. “He has answered every question that has been put to him about his conversations with Cooper and anybody else,” Luskin said.

(From the post on my site-- shameful plug)

Seven Machos

I have a small, minor point to make. Valerie Plame is a CIA OFFICER. Anyone who gives an officer information is an AGENT.

There. I feel better.

Jon H

"Doesn't this strike you as funny? The White House is apparently desperate to get out the name of the source. While the NYT is desperate to protect him!"

Maybe Miller's source has information about *her* that would be damaging to Miller and the Times?

After all, she *was* closely allied with Ahmad Chalabi.

It wouldn't look good for the Times if, say, it came out that, before the war, she was working for the INC and/or the Vice President's office, planting bogus evidence in stories about Iraqi WMD, in order to foment an invasion.

Toby Petzold

Beldar's right about Miller choosing martyrdom. She is widely perceived among the Left as a sell-out on Iraq, and this is probably just her way of trying to regain her street creds with them.

I keep asking the anti-Bush people why they think that outing Plame was either an efficient or effective way of punishing Wilson. It's Wilson who insists on that rationale for what happened, but it just doesn't ring true.

Anyway, what's the moral of the story? Don't contribute money to the Gore campaign and then put the name of your easily-uncovered cover job on the accompanying FEC documentation.

Gerry

And I see others pointed it out. So the only thing of value in my comment was the shameless self-plug.

:-/

Feel free to wax it, Tom.

Jim E.

"Anyone who believes that the NYT and Time/Warner would protect Karl Rove from public humiliation, during the height of the 2004 campaign is really into smoking medical marijuana."

Riiiight.

That conveniently overlooks the fact that Judith Miller is a pro-Bush lackey. It also ignores how Lawrence O'Donnell, an actual liberal pundit, kept his mouth shut until a holiday weekend NINE months after said election. Why didn't O'Donnell pipe up sooner?

Fresh Air

Beldar & Co.--

I considered the martyr card. I don't know the two have to be mutually exclusive. She can be a martyr and protect her source, knowing that once Cooper testifies her jailing is moot. Agree on the "street cred" thing; lefties think she is Exhibit A as to why the press has been soft on the administration. LOL.

Jon H

"It also ignores how Lawrence O'Donnell, an actual liberal pundit, kept his mouth shut until a holiday weekend NINE months after said election. Why didn't O'Donnell pipe up sooner?"

I actually think the press gets hooked on the drama, and wanted to see how it played out.

Mac

Miller apparently stated that she wouldn't recognize the waiver because it was coerced from the source's employer and that strikes me as truly odd. The usual suspects such as Libby, Rove, etc. don't strike me someone who could be described as "coerced by employer" types. They're too high powered or would have simply resigned long ago if they were worried about it. No, this would indicate someone who needs his or her job or the something from their employer.

Jim E.

"She is widely perceived among the Left as a sell-out on Iraq, and this is probably just her way of trying to regain her street creds with them."

Yeah, by not testifying about her secret source -- a source that could hurt the Bush adminsitration -- Miller's really helping her "street cred" against the anti-Bush crowd. That makes no sense. By not testifying, Miller is HELPING Bush, or a member of the administration, stay out of hot water, genius. This is just yet another reason the anti-Bush left hates Miller.

creepy dude

-I keep asking the anti-Bush people why they think that outing Plame was either an efficient or effective way of punishing Wilson-

I don't think it was effective at all at punishing Wilson-it was so anti-effective Rove's been to the grand jury more than once. Like all things Bush it was stupid, incompetent, and a net negative for the country.

It was effective at ruining Plame's work with the CIA- and do we really know what her position re: Iraqi WMDs pre-war was anyway? She probably wasn't in Cheney's office all that much, else they never would have outed her.
Maybe she was a potential whistleblower.Maybe the goal was to retaliate against Plame, not Wilson!

Why did Novak see fit to publish that little nugget anyway, Toby?

Jon H

"She can be a martyr and protect her source, knowing that once Cooper testifies her jailing is moot."

Only if Cooper's evidence applies to the same person or persons.

If Miller's source is someone else, then her evidence is still needed.

Seven Machos

Jim: Could the fact that the Supreme Court had not decided Miller's and Cooper's imaginary "journalistic privilege" case have anything to do with the silence of journalists? Would it matter to you that the judge did not order Miller and Cooper to talk or face jail until recently?

Also, do you really have any reason to believe that Lawrence O'Donnell is a guy with inside knowledge? I mean, besides the silly hair...

Jon H

"Maybe the goal was to retaliate against Plame, not Wilson!"

Or maybe against all those troublesome CIA analyst types.

Hey, they could slap down Wilson *and* the noncooperative CIA analysts. That's a twofer! It was probably irresistible.

"Why did Novak see fit to publish that little nugget anyway, Toby?"

Especially if "everyone knew" Plame was CIA. If it was "common knowledge", then I'm sure Novak would have known, so why bother?

Seven Machos

Jim -- When the source turns out to be a lefty, will you do an about-face and go on about how noble Ms. Miller's actions have been?

Jim E.

"Would it matter to you that the judge did not order Miller and Cooper to talk or face jail until recently?"

You are incorrect. The judge issued his ruling over a year ago. Only now that the Supreme Court appeal is over, Miller is facing the music. They have been in contempt for a long, long time.

I have no clue what O'Donnell "really" knows, but I do know he kept his mouth shut until last Friday even though he supposedly had inside info for a long time.

I couldn't really understand your first two questions, so I can't respond.

Seven Machos

Jim -- If they've been in contempt for so long, why did Ms. Miller just go to jail today?

Perhaps you should investigate the U.S. judicial appeals process, particularly in relation to not-yet-decided cases, and particularly before you try to tell others they are "incorrect."

I do admire your chutzpah.

Jim E.

"Jim -- When the source turns out to be a lefty, will you do an about-face and go on about how noble Ms. Miller's actions have been?"

No. I value national security over partisan politics. Plame's name really was leaked, people. The motivations behind that leak are secondary.

I find it strange that the Republican special prosecutor has inspired so little trust among you all. He he liberally biased, perhaps?

Novak's sources were from the administration, so we already know that several (conservative) people were acting unethically, even if what they did was perhaps technically legal. If we find out it was a right-winger like Rove behind all of this (or a right-winger has perjured him/herself), will you admit how scummy he and this adminsitration is?

Jim E.

"If they've been in contempt for so long, why did Ms. Miller just go to jail today?"

Um, the appeals process?

They were originally sentenced to 18 months in prison, but Miller's only facing 4 months because the sentence can only last as long as the grand jury is in session and her appeals took over a year.

Perhaps you should "investigate" before questioning my grasp of the legal process. You think she was found in contempt just today????

Moe Lane

"What kind of pictures does Tom Maguire have such that he's averaging 3+ Instalanches per week?"

Hey, Glenn's just doing what the rest of us are: handing off coverage of the ongoing beating of this particular dead horse to somebody with the intestinal fortitude to still keep an eye on the proceedings...

Seven Machos

No, Jim, because, as the prosecutor has himself indicated, "no crime has been committed" in relation to the underlying facts. The only criminals here are two contemptuous journalists.

As an aside, I especially like the leftish people who try to connect this with the ado about Jeff Gannon and the "Downing Street Memo." The fact is, this administration is not craven and not evil and not "scummy," despite the best efforts of the left and many in Big Media to portray it as such.

Seven Machos

Jim -- If that was their sentence then, why didn't they go to jail then? Martha Stewart is appealing her sentence, but she spent time in jail. What about all the criminals currently in jail who wish to appeal?

I take it that you are about three years shy of a law degree.

Arturo

Follwing Beldar and Tony Petzold's ideas of "martyr"dom and regaining "street creds":

I see short-term hardship and the potential for enormous long-term gain for Miller. She nobly heads off to jail until October, 3-4 months or so, and comes out with, well, what?

A lucrative book deal, for sure, probably a TV dramatization or maybe even a movie, big-ticket speaking engagements and a lifetime of cable news show talking-head-itry.

This will be worth millions. If she just spills now, even though it looks like she credibly could, everyone will forget about her in a few weeks.

Not many journalists get such a chance for canonization. This is her opportunity to join the ranks of Woodward and Bernstein and she just may be willing to take the risk.

Lion

Contrary to Creepy Dude, I think the whole episode has been enormously effective and a huge success. Time Magazine and one of its reporters have been humiliated, a New York Times reporter reposes in jail as we speak, Joe Wilson has been exposed as a serial liar and has been dropped as a media darling like a hot rock, and the Supreme Court has settled the question of a federal shield for journalists. Not bad, not bad at all. Well done, Karl.

Jon H

" Martha Stewart is appealing her sentence, but she spent time in jail. "

Whether you go to jail pending appeal, or not, is up to the judge.

It also, obviously, has something to do with when the appeal is filed.

I think Martha *chose* to go to jail immediately, and get it over with, rather than waiting for her appeal.

Jon H

"This is her opportunity to join the ranks of Woodward and Bernstein and she just may be willing to take the risk."

Maybe. Depending on how the case goes, she could come off looking like a stooge for nasty people who abused their power.

Seven Machos

Yes, Jon. Sentencing is up to the judge. Clearly, then, if the two reporters were not in jail, then the judge did not sentence them to jail.

Q.E.D.

Arturo

"Maybe. Depending on how the case goes, she could come off looking like a stooge for nasty people who abused their power."

Yes. Agreed. That's what differentiates a risk from an inevitability.

I am being highly speculative here of course, and approaching this from a possibly inappropriate branding/advertising perspective.

But people, and companies, are willing to take big risks when there's the potential for big gains.

Never misunderestimate the power of name recognition. Opportunities like the one gaping at Miller don't come easy or often.

Is she, or are her advisors, objective and coldly calculating enough to see the upside in this? I don't know. I'm just saying that upside is there, and this otherwise-kerfuffle could be the thing that pulls Miller's face out of the crowd.

Trial by fire, suffering, iconoclastic rebellion, oppression... followed by triumph and redemption. Makes a good story.

I suppose the real test will be in 5+ years or so, when we can compare the public importance of Matt Cooper vs. Judith Miller.

My money's on Miller.

Jim E.

SM,
Neither Miller nor Cooper is a "criminal." Both were charged with -- and Miller is serving time for -- "civil" contempt. There's a difference, Mr. Perry Mason.

Martha Stewart agreed to go to prison before her appeal was completed. You can "investigate" this one, too, Judge Wapner.

Please provide the citation where the prosecutor has claimed definitively that "no crime has been committed." If he's already made that conclusion, why is he still investigating? Please let us know, Nancy Grace. (Seriously, you need to provide evidence for this one.)

From tomorrow's NYTimes: " Judge Hogan held the two reporters in civil contempt in October." I thought they were found in contempt over a year ago. I stand corrected. Still, I was mostly correct in saying Miller wasn't held in contempt just today, and you remain totally wrong, Lance Ito.

Are you always so wrong about everything? My advice: learn how to use google before ridiculing the adults that actually know the basic facts of the case at hand. Thanks!

TM

ongoing beating of this particular dead horse

If it's July, I must be writing about Joe Wilson. The rest of you get to barbecue, or hit the beach, or whatever...

Well, I was a skeptic about Wilson even before I saw the Novak column, so I'm stuck with him.

Neo

I wonder if Joe Wilson ever considered that publicly announcing that he had gone on a outing for the CIA would make him and his family suspect by any aspiring double-naut spy chaser who had gradiated the 5th grade.

This whole thing is an exercise in making an example of
being careful what you wish for because you might get it.

Your Conscience

I have to comment before my brain explodes.... Does anyone here actually believe that Valerie Plame was "undercover," and thus "exposing" her put her in "danger"!!??!! She was living in DC for christsake, and taking care of their kids. Where exactly is the freaking danger, pray tell? This the entire basis of the "retribution," "payback," "scummy," "immoral," "un-American" charges that Uncle Joe and his leftist stooges keep tossing about. There is simply ZERO evidence to support the notion that Ms. Plame was ever in any danger whatsoever. Nor is there any evidence that Rove (or whoever) would ever have imagined that she would be in danger. (I am assuming, of course, that the sinister leaker actually has a grasp on reality).

What was the leaker's motive? I dunno, but it was NOT to endager Ms. Plame because there was absolutely no way that she could be put in danger given her current job at the CIA. The leaker knew this... because and moron who lives in DC knows this!!!

If I had to guess, I would say that the Plame/Wilson connection was made for one reason-- to undercut Wilson's status as an "expert," and to reveal that he got the job by simple nepotism. The "spooky danger" aspect was tacked on by Wilson (and his idiot chorus on the Left) to make a mountain out of a mole hill. The story has been wildly oversold!!

bob

It was Rove. Libby is a straw man. Good thing for Karl though is he will gain ready entrance into prison neonazi gangs.

Fredrik Nyman

I vote for Colonel Mustard with the candlestick in the Billiard Room.

Mac

Holy cow! Was that a comment upthread by the infamous Moe Lane?

creepy dude

Don't forget that one SAO ratted out the others.

Remember this golden oldie:

"Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

WAPO: September 28 2003


Jim E.

"Does anyone here actually believe that Valerie Plame was 'undercover.'"

Not only do I think Plame was undercover, so does the CIA -- and presumably they would know. The Justice Department started its investigation (which ultimately led to the special prosecutor) after a formal referral by the CIA. The initial reason for the investigation is a federal law that says it is illegal to knowingly blow the cover of a covert agent. The CIA requested this investigation because they believed one of their agents was illegally compromised.

The motive of the leaker is irrelevant to the law. Whether Plame's life (or the lives of her various contacts) was ever in danger is likewise irrelevant to the law. Neither you nor I know if Plame's life was ever in jeopardy, and it really makes no difference.

At this point, Fitzgerald may not even being pursuing that particular law and may instead be pursuing a perjury case. I just wanted to point out that you don't have your facts straight about Plame's deep-cover status.

I find it fascinating that the Bush fans on this thread "know" everything about this case and aren't very committed to law-and-order. Is it OK for Miller to defy a court order?

karl rove

EX-cellent....

Fresh Air

Jim E--

You are the one who doesn't have your facts straight. Plame was brought in in 1997 after the Agency determined there was no way of knowing whether Aldrich Ames compromised her. The alleged leak was in 2003. The applicable statute is U.S. Section 421. In U.S. Section 426, a covert agent is defined thusly:

The term ''covert agent'' means - (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an iintelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency - (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States...

So do the math. In 2003, it would have been at least six years since Plame was in the field.

As to your last question, Miller is not above the law and she should testify who her source was.

Harry Arthur

I find it fascinating that the Bush fans on this thread "know" everything about this case and aren't very committed to law-and-order. Jim, I hate to be disagreeable but I think you've tagged the "Bush fans" wrong. From what I've read so far I get this:

1. Lots of guessing and supposition but none of us really "knows" or claims to know other than with tongue firmly in cheek.

2. I've read several posts that concur that this should go wherever it goes as opposed to any knee-jerk reaction that the WH should be immune from compliance with the law. Though most of us have difficulty believing the WH was involved in any wrong-doing, that is not the same as believing there should be no legal consequences if there was illegal activity.

3. No. I may have missed it but don't believe anyone seriously suggests that Miller should be immune from jail time in defiance of a court order.

I don't believe it was on this particular thread but it has certainly been strongly argued recently by some conservatives & libertarians that there is no particular constitutional right for journalists to withold sources pursuant to their first amendment rights to freedom of the press.

Of course I could be wrong ...

Will Franklin

I am so sick of this whole thing. Mostly, I am sick of how full of themselves journalists are.

RattlerGator

Just curious (I haven't been following this at all) but would Colin Powell qualify as a senior White House official at the time of the supposed leak? How about Richard Armitage?

It is that quote of a supposed official "ratting" on other White House officials that makes me think of the State Department.

Jim E.

Fresh Air,
Why did the CIA issue a referral to the Justice Department? Why did Fitzgerald get assigned this case in the first place?

Even with the explanation you provided, Plame's status fell within a few months of the technical language of the definition of covert agent as of 2003. You are splitting hairs to say I don't have my facts straight. Give me a break.

"I've read several posts that concur that this should go wherever it goes as opposed to any knee-jerk reaction that the WH should be immune from compliance with the law."
Well, I'm not a regular to this site. Much of this specific comment thread (not the main post, just comment thread) belies your general statement.

Appalled Moderate

Jon H:

That's an interesting theory you have up-thread -- that Miller is keeping silent to protect herself. But you don't have to spin Chalabi stories to assume this. Suppose Miller took the same approach as Cooper with her source: "Yeah, I've heard this Mrs. Wilson is CIA". Source says "Yeah, I heard the same thing too." Well, Ms. Miller is not only on the hook for saying what White House person told her, but who that other person was. And it might be some State Department gnome, Nick Kristoff, or any number of current "good guy" sources Miller does not want to send to jail.

Explains a lot of actions.

Jim E.

"there is no particular constitutional right for journalists to withold sources"

You are correct. That's why Miller is sitting in a jail cell.

RattlerGator

Sorry -- watching Victoria Toensing now on C-SPAN. White House only, not administration official. These conventions, I assume, are rigidly followed -- senior administration official and senior White House official -- but . . .

creepy dude

Game over re: was she undercover: Judge Hogan says a crime has been committed: "This is not a case of a whistle-blower" revealing secret information to Miller about "dangers at a nuclear power plant," Hogan said. "It's a case in which the information she was given and her potential use of it was a crime. . . . This is very different than a whistle-blower outing government misconduct."

Appalled Moderate

While trying to run down a link to creepy's quote, I found this story from a couple weeks ago. This quote (which alas, is not direct) is intriguing:

"Miller would not ask her sources to waive their anonymity. She said intelligence officials might feel coerced into admitting they had talked to a reporter."

By the way, swamp irish, where did you find that quote by the judge?

creepy dude

Front page of today's WAPO:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/06/AR2005070600283.html

Paul Zrimsek

Well, if we're going to accept Judge Hogan's verdict in a case that isn't even before him, the game's not just over regarding whether Plame was undercover, it's over regarding everything. Wonder whether the federal rules of procedure will let us go back after the fact and get us a defendant.

creepy dude

Innocent until proven guilty to the end Paul Z.

But it's time to drop the charade that this is a wild goose chase, or TM's theory that Fitzgerald is merely going through the motions before closing up shop.

It's quite clear Fitzgerald is actually prosecuting. And I won't go dredge up (the very conservative) Judge Sentelle's quotes from the appellate opinion slamming Cooper and Miller-but some of the asides in there were pretty damning too.

Seems the judges who have actually seen the preliminary evidence are taking it pretty seriously.

If more Republicans were like Fitzgerald and Ashcroft, we'd all be better off.

Paul Zrimsek

Oh, it was time to drop the charade that Plame wasn't undercover after the first few weeks; that would have been the first thing Fitzgerald looked into. But nothing Hogan says has anything to do with that. The possibility that the investigation will wrap up with no indictments is still a very real one-- not that I expect you, as Swopa's Ambassador of Mysterious Certainty, to accept the possibility.

creepy dude

I never expect justice to be done in this world, Paul Z.

Jon H

Arturo writes: "I suppose the real test will be in 5+ years or so, when we can compare the public importance of Matt Cooper vs. Judith Miller."

Well, I'm sure Miller will always have access to cushy sinecures at AEI or Heritage, where she can spin her own bogus "intelligence".

And fallen figures have done well in the right wing media. She could probably get a consulting spot with FOX News.

Jim E.

"But nothing Hogan says has anything to do with that."

Nothing? So what's he referring to?

TM

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

Irish, I will look it up a bit later, but (IIRC) the WaPo had a follow-up within a week (or two) in which that very source backpedaled from the "revenge" explanation.

It ought to be in this timeline, for Oct. 2003.

creepy dude

Yep-Rove promised him a Medal of Freedom for the retraction!

Seven Machos

"What evidence of serious crime does he have that makes the testimony of Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine so urgent? We don't know - eight pages of his contempt demand are secret - but some legal minds think he is falling back on the Martha Stewart Theory of Prosecution. That is: if the underlying crime has not been committed, justify the investigation by indicting a big name for giving false information."

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:Yws1-TeQgmEJ:www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/6/29/151409.shtml+miller+cooper+crime+committed+fitzgerald&hl=en

Jim E.

Machos,
I figured you had slithered away. I already wrote my response to you below (see above), but since you're still here, I thought I'd once again urge you to bolster your lie:

Please provide the citation where you assert that the prosecutor has claimed definitively that "no crime has been committed." If he's already made that conclusion, why is he still investigating? We're all waiting for you evidence.

Jim E.

--silence--

--soft breeze--

--tumbleweed bouncing along--

--more silence--

. . . and still no response from Machos . . .

The Kid

I’m in with Armin Tamzarian.

As I’ve written elsewhere on this blog, there’s plenty of reasons to suspect that WMD expert Plame was a source for WaPo’s Pincus and had a likely connection to WMD expert Miller.

One of the links in the previous post is to Susan Schmidt’s 9/10/04 WaPo article that mentions that Fitzgerald has also asked questions about the disclosure of other classified material that appeared in news reports about the Niger uranium issue. It’s clear from the SSIC report that Wilson was aware of classified information regarding Iraqi WMD even though he had no clearance; the likeliest source is his spouse.

TM

Rove promised him a Medal of Freedom for the retraction!

OK, he may have belatedly decided to become a team player.

Now, as to the "game over" quote from Judge Hogan, I will see you and raise you two Fitzgeralds, both from today's Times:

Mr. Fitzgerald, who has relied on secret evidence in persuading courts to order Ms. Miller jailed, said the law now requires her to testify.

"The law says the grand jury is entitled to every man's evidence," he said. "We're doing our honest best to get to the bottom of whether a crime has been committed."

OK, this second one requires a positive attitude, but I see it:

At the hearing here Wednesday, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for Time, said Time's move should obviate the need for Mr. Cooper's testimony.

Mr. Fitzgerald opposed that request. "Mr. Cooper's testimony is essential," he said. "We need to get this right one way or the other, and we need Mr. Cooper to testify."

"[O]ne way or the other"! Whatever does he mean?

And as to the Kid's point about Plame being a possible source, well... she was pretty quiet, but her hubby was on every talk show in the world, and had been leaking all over Washngton for two months prior to going public.

But let's go to my excerpt of Kevin Drum for more speculation.


TM

Rove promised him a Medal of Freedom for the retraction!

OK, he may have belatedly decided to become a team player.

Now, as to the "game over" quote from Judge Hogan, I will see you and raise you two Fitzgeralds, both from today's Times:

Mr. Fitzgerald, who has relied on secret evidence in persuading courts to order Ms. Miller jailed, said the law now requires her to testify.

"The law says the grand jury is entitled to every man's evidence," he said. "We're doing our honest best to get to the bottom of whether a crime has been committed."

OK, this second one requires a positive attitude, but I see it:

At the hearing here Wednesday, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for Time, said Time's move should obviate the need for Mr. Cooper's testimony.

Mr. Fitzgerald opposed that request. "Mr. Cooper's testimony is essential," he said. "We need to get this right one way or the other, and we need Mr. Cooper to testify."

"[O]ne way or the other"! Whatever does he mean?

And as to the Kid's point about Plame being a possible source, well... she was pretty quiet, but her hubby was on every talk show in the world, and had been leaking all over Washngton for two months prior to going public.

But let's go to my excerpt of Kevin Drum for more speculation.


johnnydeer

So... "IT"'s NOT Ari Fleischer, then? His (ex-)"Employers" may have forced him to sign the waiver... [what do THEY care?]... the resignation thing... Where's he been lately, anyway?

BR

Appalled Moderate - wow, that's an amazing admission by Miller that you found. What a pity LA Times didn't give an exact quote. If true as reported, Miller is protecting someone from the group described as "intelligence officials."

Fresh Air - I can't believe I found you again! Hee, after all this time since my early pajamahood days at Ace's site during CBSgate. I spoke sweet words of you in a recent wizbang thread on the Plame matter, and your "Greg Thielman" teaser had me up all night :)
(I left you a message there, sort of like a note in a bottle on the cyber ocean…)

But while Googling Thielman, I got side-tracked onto Rand Beers. Wouldn't that be funny, if Miller were protecting a disgruntled ex-NSC staffer who left the Bush WH in early-to-mid 2003, who then volunteered to be Kerry's national security advisor just weeks before Bush's speech. And just weeks before Wilson discredited the Niger sentences of the speech. I wonder if Rand Beers had any role (from his position in the NSC under Condi Rice) in the initial WH order to the CIA to investigate the Niger matter, long before Wilson was sent. I wonder how well Rand Beers knew Valerie Plame over the years, whether he had a role in choosing Wilson for the assignment or knew about it, whether he had input on the text of Bush's speech just prior to his leaving the NSC. Anyway, more of that in above-linked Wizbang thread and two earlier ones, there and there.

Thanks to the author (TM, is it?) here at JustOneMinute for all the interesting data and analyses. I've been reading your 2003 Time Line.

AlanDownunder

Bush ignores Wilson and puts the yellowcake story in his SOTU address. So
Wilson writes in the NYT that the yellowcake story was a crock.

Safire blows Plame's cover in an anti-Wilson effort, sourcing his info to two people from the White House. CIA complains to Justice Dept. Ashcroft recuses himself and appoints Fitzgerald.

So CIA & Justice have concluded that Plame's status falls within the crime's definition.

Next part of the crime's definition is that someone with the requisite security clearance who knew Plame's status disclosed it to someone who didn't have the requisite security clearance.

That is the part where it has to get tricky. No wonder Fitzgerald is after as much cross-checking and corroboration as possible.

The attack on the White House intelligence fixing for Iraq provoked a counter-attack from White House people who either or both didn't know the law and didn't have either the security level or the knowledge of Plame's status to themselves be guilty.

This was before Rove became deputy chief of staff so it's doubtful he would have had the necessary security clearance, no matter how otherwise guilty he may have been.

All the sources Fitzgerald knows about have now been identified or given waivers. Bush said he wanted complete co-operation, but Miller says there's no waiver from her source.

This suggests 2 alternatives ...

1. Miller's source may be other than sources now known to Fitzgerald - and judging from the absence of a waiver, one with enough knowledge of Plame's status and with a high enough security clearance to be guilty.

2. Miller's source is non-White-House and Miller herself told the White House that Plame was CIA and now she prefers 4 months in the slammer and claims to principled martyrdom over admitting that she was even more of an extension of the White House than even her existing reporting showed her to be.

Whatever, there is no possible principled appeal to source-protection in these circumstances. A CIA operation has been compromised and a CIA operative has been disabled.

How ironic that Plame was working on anti-WMD and she got shafted by a White House that her husband disclosed was fixing false anr--WMD intelligence.

kim

CIA and Justice did not have to believe that Plame's status was covered by the statute. This was too politically hot to ignore. Imagine what would have happened had the CIA not referred it or had Justice not investigated it.
==============================

me

I'm confused. Plame, Rove, reporters, Wilson. Who's on who's side?

Appalled Moderate

me:

Everyone is out for themselves. (Except maybe Miller, who may be defending principle.)

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Wilson/Plame