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July 28, 2005

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Tom Maguire congratulates the paper of record on discovering the identity of one of their main rivals (but if you've been reading the MinuteMan, you're way ahead of the curve)... [Read More]

Comments

Steven J.

So, exactly how many WH people were involved in outing Plame? Would this be covered under the RICO Act? Is there another taping system in the Oval Office?

Will Karen Hughes get to bunk with Judith Miller?

Man, gimme a beer and pass the popcorn!

RedDan

Indicative of what, exactly?

What's your point, TM?

RedDan

May I also suggest that you note the time of that reported communication: July 12th.

Well after several of the other now-reported (I hesitate to say "documented" because so little "documentation" exists, only single-source reports)...

So, source number three to Pincus seems to be a latecomer to the action.

Again, indicative of what?

Veeshir

The best part of this is that the media knows the deal and they aren't telling us.
They think this is going to hurt Rove, all I can see is that it is hurting the NY Times, Time and the Washington Post most as they keep changing their stories.
It's really quite fun watching the media totally implode in such spectacular fashion. This is even better than Rather's wacky memoes because it involves just about every, major print publication.

ArminTamzarian

Yes, there will be indictments on RICO, mail fraud, marijuana trafficking, grand larceny, felony murder, and perjury against all department heads, all White House staff above the rank of secretary, Ken Mehlman, Bob Novak, Jerry Falwell, Jonah Goldberg, and Mel Gibson.

kim

Mel Gibson? Marijuana trafficking? I thought that was gasoline in that big tanker.
==========================================

kim

Speaking of blood for oil.
==========================

Martin

So an SAO reported 6 reporters were leaked to by 2 SAOs. This NYT story confirms that six reporters have been questioned by Fitzgerald: Mr. Pincus, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Novak, Mr. Russert, Mr. Kessler, and Ms. Miller.

Pincus, Cooper, Russert, and Novak are all on record as saying the administration gave them the info that Plame was CIA.

The CIA says she was undercover.

Why the denial?

AcademicFascist

It turns out the source for all this was CONDI RICE. Who knew?

http://www.counterpunch.org/

These people are nuts.

AcademicElephant

Sorry for the inappropriate name on the above post. That's only supposed to be for Blame Bush!

Appalled Moderate

There are aspects about the way the NYT is covering this story that are driving me nuts. First, there's the blythe assumption that Pincus source is neither Rove and the mystery source we all know to be Libby. How does our NYT reporter know this? Well, the guy who gave the story to Pincus volunteered the info, and Rove's lawyers and Libby's friends said he didn't do that. Hmm. The idea that Libby and Rove's friends muight be putting out a self-serving message cross anyone's mind?

Second, we are told by the headline the investiation has taken a "new turn". Bullarkey! It's just the press coverage of the story has taken a new turn, probably because nobody was leaking yesterday. The investigation into the leak is done and has been since last Fall), with the exception of Ms. Miller's testimony. The only reason this story has gnerated motion is that folks keep leaking tantalizing little bits of info on a daily basis.

Boy, all of this sharp-edged reporting makes me really want a reporter shield law!

RedDan

Again, given the reported facts as they currently stand, and recognizing that we do not, by any means, have all the information we would need to make a solid determination, what do those facts indicate?

That on July 7, 2004 a memo marked secret that came from INR travelled on Air Force 1 with Bush, Fleischer, Powell and ?who else?

That on July 8 or 9, several journalists talked with Libby, Rove and ?another SAO named?

That the recounting of who said what, who initiated the exchange of information is unclear, with multiple journalists and one SAO (unnamed) claiming that the administration officials (Libby and Rove and unnamed) proffered info, and Libby/Rove, but not "unnamed" claiming the opposite.

That several CIA officials (former, and possibly present) have testified that they did, in fact warn Novak off the story in the strongest possible terms without actually breaking secrecy, asked him not to mention Valerie Plame, and said that the story was incorrect anyway, and confirmed that Plame was, in fact, a covert operative at that time...

Are the above reported facts accurately described?

If so, what do they tell us?

Appalled Moderate

RedDan:

On the CIA part, only one CIA person talked to Novak, and while that person claims he was firm, he did not say Plame was covert (because by doing so, he would have broken the law).

With respect to Rove, the known contradictions (whether Cooper called regrding welfare reform or not) are not material. Rove has not contradicted Cooper's account. How Rove came upon the information is unknown, and Rove doesn't remember.

With respect to Libby, there is contradiction. Libby says he heard about Plame from Russert. Russert says he did not give Plame's name to Libby.

I think you have the INR memo facts stated correctly. For the record, both Rove and Fleisher have testified that they did not see it. I don't know if Libby has been quoted on this matter.

What do these facts tell us? An investigation is in progress and Novak's a jerk. But multiple speculations are possible. (And I have indulged in a few)

Steven J.

ARMIN - "marijuana trafficking"

Once again, you get your facts wrong. It's not grass, it's heroin! (Afghanistan)

boris
On the CIA part, only one CIA person talked to Novak, and while that person claims he was firm, he did not say Plame was covert (because by doing so, he would have broken the law).

This is the catch 22 all the moonbats are trying to ignore. That V.P. was CIA was not classified. Her dormant status as an undercover operator was classified. The spilling of those beans are the likely focus of the investigation.

The CIA did not want her employment for them made public because it would devalue her ability to ever go undercover again. But they could not give a valid reason to Novak not to publicize her CIA employment because the relevant information was classified.

Pretty stupid for an intelligence agency.

Dwilkers

"On the CIA part, only one CIA person talked to Novak, and while that person claims he was firm, he did not say Plame was covert (because by doing so, he would have broken the law)."

Is it really against the law? I'm wondering because it would seem to me they could throw down the gauntlet if a reporter called to ask about 007 and they wanted him to stop.

Or maybe what the CIA guy said is the normal warning off that they do in a case like this? If so, that makes Novak look really sleezy, especially since he's acted like he had no idea there was any real problem with his column.

The problem is its hard for me to tell, and since it has become obvious there are warring political factions at the CIA (!!!) it doesn't seem prudent to take it at face value.

Tulsan

Libby, Rove and Hadley ... the Vice President's office, the White House political staff, the National Security Council. ... all working together in that fateful week in July 2003 ... to devise a strategy on handling the retraction of the "16 words". But these 3 also coordinated the effort to deliberately leak the identity of Wilson's wife.

Coincidence? Conspiracy?

No ... just routine business ... 2 of the 3 have been promoted ... the other has kept his important job.

Davis

In partial defense of Novak ... His famous July 14/03 column did not headline the information about Plame, but included it near the end. He didn't deem it all that important. Also, this was his Monday column (his regular columns appear in the Sun-Times on Sun, Mon and Thurs.) The Sunday column would have been picked up by more papers and read by many more people; if he had thought this was a huge revelation he would have printed it on Sunday.

Dwilkers

Then why print it at all when the CIA guys asked him not to?

Mind you, I don't dislike Novak or particularly like him either, it just doesn't make sense to me. He's been doing what he does for 50 years. Why would he put it in a column at all if he thought it wasn't important when the CIA asked him not to do it?

Assuming, of course, that its true. I may be crawling out on a limb there.

kim

You know, when an organization is not getting good information, warring factions develop. God help Dr. Goss.
===========================================

Syl
"On the CIA part, only one CIA person talked to Novak..."

Well, there was also that Man on the Street. Who was he? CIA? Reporter? Administration Official? Neighbor of Wilson? Taxi driver?

We have only one name, Harlow, to go on. If anyone else from the CIA had any conversations with Novak, we simply don't know about it.

Patrick R. Sullivan

The most important thing about Pincus is that, as of his WaPo piece yesterday, he still doesn't understand what Wilson brought back from Niger:

'In a 2002 trip to Niger at the request of the CIA, Wilson found no evidence to support allegations that Iraq was seeking uranium from that African country and reported back to the agency in February 2002.'

Even Joe Wilson himself is admitting he did find such evidence.

Tulsan

The Press will never tell all that they know ... it isn't a conspiracy amongst them ... they would all like to have the big scoop.

The reason they keep quiet is because they, and their big media companies, want to retain access to "senior administration officials". It is obvious that the President and Vice Pres. will never dismiss loyal staffers short of a criminal conviction. So all the players will likely stay in place until January 2008 ... and there are a lot of stories to file and publish between now and then.

Patrick R. Sullivan

From Bobby R. Inman, former Deputy Director of the CIA:

http://media.nationalreview.com/070913.asp

'[The leaking of Plame's identity] is still one I would rather not see, but she was working in an analytical organization, and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers. I watch all the hand-wringing over the ruining of careers… there are a lot of operatives whose covers are blown. It doesn’t mean the end of their careers. Many move to the analytical world, which is where she already was. It meant she couldn’t deploy back off to Africa, but nothing I’ve seen indicated that was possible in the first place.'

Marcel

Patrick, Wilson's July '03 op-ed stated his reason for the trip was to check out a report that "referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake - a form of lightly processed ore - by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's". That would have been a serious matter, except that Wilson found NO evidence of such an agreement. Nor has any other credible source found any such proof. The attempt by an Iraqi official to discuss "trade" with Niger is suspicious, but hardly rises to the same level as an actual agreement.

Slartibartfast

It ought to be noted that Admiral Inman is yet another former CIA employee who wasn't in a position to know Plame's status.

scott ferris

With at two, and possibly three, sources for the Plame leak coming from the administration is there any question the WH is the source of the leaks? Blaming the media seems a little far fetched when there are so many confirmed sources of the leak inside the WH.

Davis

Maybe the "I got it from a reporter" defense is not as far-fetched as many believed. Even within the New York Times there are those who believe that Judith Miller got the "Joe Wilson's wife is CIA" information from someone at the CIA, then discussed it with White House officials. If that is the case, Rove would be in the position of discussing information already made public.

scott ferris

Did Rove check with the CIA, if not, why not? Does the WH repeat every rumor it hears? Incompetence isn't great defense.

Jeff

TM - I eagerly await the deployment of your superior interpretive skills on the bizarre paragraphs about Miller in the NYT piece. On this subject, see the Times gossip -- er, debate -- that Huffington is (and now I am evidently) working to get into circulation. I'll admit I'm still skeptical of the theory of Miller as a more active player.

On the Pincus source, I'm now inclined to think it was Hadley and not Tenet (although the idea you suggested that Tenet was reporting tp Pincus what the bozos at the White House were saying, and discounting it, rather than pushing their line is intriguing). Hadley keeps popping up as part of the pivotal trio with Rove and Libby working on the twin attacks on Wilson and on the CIA during July 6-14. And rereading the Pincus piece from the 13th, it's clear he spoke to a bunch of people on the 12th, and Hadley shows up as a subject -- and I suspect as a source -- prominently in the second paragraph. Plus Hadley fits Novak's description of his first source as not a partisan gunslinger -- fits it better than Libby, certainly. Of course Tenet fits Novak's description as well. The idea that it's Hadley requires reading the WaPo's "current or former administration official" as a piece of in- or misdirection. Finally -- I will attribute no explanatory power to this -- I can't resist observing that Hadley has gotten an awesome promotion.

I'm glad you like my idea of campaigning to get Cliff May to tell us who his cocktail party interlocutor is, and when s/he told him about Joe Wilson's wife. Let's get to work. And I'm still waiting for clarification from Russert. Russert, May, Miller, Novak -- not exactly the liberal MSM!

Patrick, you might want to check out Inman's disappointment with the way what he said was used by the good folks at the National Review, reported by Larry Johnson over at tpmcafe, and the clarification of it there.

boris
Former Deputy Director of the CIA: and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers

The money quote right there folks.

That V.P. was CIA was not classified. Her dormant status as an undercover operator is what was classified. The spilling of those beans is the likely focus of the investigation.

Forget the blown cover crap. There's no there there.

Lesley

Joe diGenova interview:

“I believe the agency didn’t properly protect [Plame’s] identify because they didn’t want to and clearly didn’t try,” he said. “To think that journalists are being put through this is crazy. Where we are now is absolutely absurd.”

DiGenova says he hasn’t changed his mind from what he told me in March, when we had a long conversation just before I left for a reporting trip to Iraq. He pointed out that the statute that protects the identity of covert agents “has a very high standard for prosecution.

“The only way an investigation can begin is if the agency swears — swears — that it took every conceivable step to protect this person’s identity.”

For example, the CIA had to answer 11 specific questions about what steps it took to protect the identity of a covert agent. But diGenova questions whether some of the information the CIA provided the Justice Department on those 11 questions “was materially false.”

In addition, he pointed out that the CIA paid for Wilson’s trip, didn’t ask him to sign a confidentiality agreement, didn’t object to his writing the op-ed article in the Times and allowed him to conduct TV interviews and to appear in a photo with his wife in Vanity Fair, he noted.

“The CIA isn’t stupid,” he said. “They wanted this story out. I’m raising the question: Did the CIA mislead Fitzgerald?”

http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/AlbertEisele/071305.html

Appalled Moderate

Jeff:

The Huff piece makes for fun speculation, but is there a scintilla of evidence for any of it?

On the same set of assumptions Huff offers -- one can construct a theory that Miller talked to colleague Nicholas Kristoff about the Niger leaks he had in his column, and learned about the Wilson mission and the Wilson spouse that way. One can also presume, in order to protect Kristoff, Wilson and Plame, Miller, who -- given the NYT's humiliating renunciation of her WMD reporting -- has got to be feeling a little bit of job stress right now, feels that she has to take one for the home team.

If Miller's guilty, by the way, wouldn't Rove and Libby been innocent of anything criminal? (Unless Miller also passed along word of her covert status)

Marcel

Jeff, another person who claims he knew Valerie Wilson was CIA before Novak's column is Fred Barnes at Fox News and The Weekly Standard. For each of them, it is important clarify how and when they knew. Unless both of them have been blowing smoke.

boris

... reported by Larry Johnson ...

Who is Larry Johnson ???

[Cliff May]: You’ll recall the July 10th 2001 New York Times op-ed by Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA and State Department counter-terrorism specialist (now one of those campaigning against Karl Rove).

In it, Johnson wrote that terrorism that “Americans have little to fear” from terrorism, Fears about terrorism, he added, were only being stirred up by “24-hour broadcast news operations too eager to find a dramatic story,” by “pundits who repeat myths while ignoring clear empirical data,” as well as politicians who “warn constituents of dire threats and then appropriate money for redundant military installations and new government investigators and agents.”

Hmmm ... July 10 2001 ... 2 months later what happened ??? anyone .... Bueller ??

Yessssssss 911

Who is Larry Johnson ??? Naysaying poopoo spouting moron, that's who.

spongeworthy

That's pretty weak from Larry Johnson. Since when is quoting someone directly a "lie"? If you follow the link to the Spruell column, the subject is the culture of CIA leaking. The Plame reference is more of an aside, so there's no context there for Inman's quote to be plugged into so it can be misconstrued.

I call BS. Inman said it and Larry Johnson has no response except that NR lied. Well, unless Inman claims they're making his words up (he doesn't), then Johnson's the only one playing fast and loose with the truth.

Weak.

Tulsan

Who was the 3rd source? Maybe John Bolton was one of the 3 ... Novak might have considered Bolton to be "no political gunslinger".

Until now there has speculation about 2 sources ... now there seem to be 3 ... how many more might there be? They will still try to pin it on Ari Fleischer.

Dwilkers

"If Miller's guilty, by the way,..."

Don't get caught up in that one. Miller cannot be guilty of being "the source" in the way that Huff piece implies. She's just a reporter, whoever told HER is the guilty one...if anyone here is guilty of anything besides politics.

Jeff

Marcel - can you get me a cite and/or link on Barnes? I'd appreciate it. Isn't it interesting that these journalists making these claims are all certified right wingers. It would be really interesting if the circulation of this info was all happening in the relevant time period - say March or April 2003 to July 2003. And of course I'm dying to know who was telling them this. So let's add Barnes to Russert, May, Novak, Miller -- long live the liberal MSM!

AM - I agree, hence my remaining skepticism and also my observation that Huffington was putting it into circulation, the idea being getting others to start asking questions and do some reporting. It is interesting to note that today's NYT piece, as Mark Kleiman notes, does take the media and the Times itself in particular as players in this story and targets of reporting.

boris - I'm sorry, but here as usual you're not worth responding to.

spongeworthy - note the congruence of your "there's no context here for Inman's quote" and the idea of being quoted out of context.

jukeboxgrad

DAVIS: "[Novak] did not headline the information about Plame, but included it near the end ... The Sunday column would have been picked up by more papers"

I think Novak knew exactly what he was doing. He had been dispatched on a mission to exact revenge on Wilson by outing Plame. He knew even "near the end" of a Monday column would be more than sufficient to accomplish this aim, while still giving him some of the kind of cover that is impressing you.

"If that is the case [if Rove got if from a reporter], Rove would be in the position of discussing information already made public."

Nice try. "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information" (link).

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "Pincus ... still doesn't understand what Wilson brought back from Niger ... allegations that Iraq was seeking"

"Was seeking" sounds like present tense. It's not the same as "had once been seeking, some time ago, maybe."

Wilson did indeed find no evidence that Iraq was currently "seeking." By the way, even Bush didn't say "seeking." He said "sought."

What you're doing is an interesting variation on the tense-manipulation that is used to defend Bush's statement "he wouldn't let them in." An example of that can be found here.

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "That V.P. was CIA was not classified."

How do you know?

AM: "If Miller's guilty, by the way, wouldn't Rove and Libby been innocent of anything criminal?"

I don't see why. In my opinion, it doesn't matter much where they heard. What matters is what they said.

Martin

Ok-I'll respond to Boris.

Boris-perhaps Johnson would have amended his July 2001 statement on terrorism if somebody had, oh, lets say, given him a memo on August 6, 2001 based on the latest intelligence and titled "Bin Laden determined to strike in the US"

At least I hope he would. There can't be another person as stupid and lazy as Bush can there? After all, we know what Bush did the next day-go on vacation.

(I still can't believe that btw!)

Dwilkers

"I don't see why."

As Yoda would say JBG, "That is why you fail".

Marcel

Jeff; Fred Barnes made the comment (that he had known about Plame's CIA identity) earlier this month when he was filling in for Brit Hume on Fox News. I'm sorry that I don't know how to find old Fox clips or transcripts.

Al

"In my opinion, it doesn't matter much where they heard. What matters is what they said."

Why is "what they said" the only important thing and not "where they heard" it?

Seems to me you have it precisely backwards: repeating what a reporter tells you is not wrong in any way; repeating the very same information that you learned from a classified source very well can be wrong.

Heck, are you saying that every person in the entire government stating what they read in Novak's column was doing something wrong or illegal? Or is there a difference between hearing it from Judy Miller and hearing it from Bob Novak via his column?

TrueLiberal

The main person on the African trip with this report in hand was Colin Powell. He would certainly not be described as a partisan gunslinger by anyone including Novak. Ya think the Times etc ... know this, but figured a run at Rove was better for the Dem's in 2006 and 2008?

boris

BORIS: "That V.P. was CIA was not classified."

How do you know?

Former Deputy Director of the CIA: and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers

How do I know ??? Know what ??? Oh you mean like how you moonbats know what Rove did and why he did it ??? Is that what you mean by know ??? No thanks.

Why is it a logical claim ...

Hint ...

Former Deputy Director of the CIA said so.

pamela

Martin-
You often have a good perspective, but spoil it (and make me question your 'good' perspective) when you call people names and question the president's intelligence. Please. Just because you think he's a moron doesn't mean he IS.

And your characterization of the PDB of Aug 2001 as 'the latest intelligence' then suggests to me that, perhaps, YOU are the one lacking in brain power. I read that declassified PDB back during the hearings into Sept 11. NOTHING in that PDB was more current than 1999. (Actually, IIRC, it wasn't more current than 1997 or 1998, but I'm giving the latest possible year.) So, not only was it NOT 'the latest' info on Al Qaeda and Osama, but it surely was then, by your own implication, available to Larry Johnson before he wrote his July 2001 column.

I haven't come down on one side or the other on who is 'guilty'. Mainly because none of us can possibly know until such report as Special Counsel Fitzgerald releases, along with any indictments the grand jury returns.

ALL leaks to newspapers are treated by me with suspicion, given that all such leaks will be self-serving and designed to influence public opinion so that, no matter what eventually the 'truth' is determined to be, it likely will not dent the 'facts' that people are convinced they already know.

But I have noticed that you, and others posting here, take tpmcafe and mediamatters as only posting truth, while you write with derision about the postings of 'right-wing' sites, as though 'truth' and 'facts' are only dealt with on the former, while 'spin', 'lies', and 'conspiracies' are only trucked on the latter. The reality would seem a bit more complicated than that.

spongeworthy

Jeff

spongeworthy - note the congruence of your "there's no context here for Inman's quote" and the idea of being quoted out of context.

I don't know what you're getting at. Maybe you should read the piece and explain how Inman's being taken out of context. While you're at it, defend LJ for calling a direct quote a lie.

Inamn's not even claiming he was Dowd-ified, though I may make that claim for your editing of my own statement.

The important thing to note is that to take him out of context, there would have to be some surrounding context to be taken out of. What context would negate Inman's direct quote? Feel free to use your imagination because I cannot imagine any that would make NR the liars here.


Martin

Pamela-perhaps you didn't read the last 2 paragraphs of the August 6 memo:

"Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for HIJACKINGS or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives."

That's the latest intelligence to which I referred.

And believe me-I would heap contempt on the left as well-IF THEY WERE IN POWER.

When the status quo is unsatisfactory-you attack the powers that be.

Martin

Actually maybe Bush didn't make it that far down the memo either...

ArminTamzarian

Boris-perhaps Johnson would have amended his July 2001 statement on terrorism if somebody had, oh, lets say, given him a memo on August 6, 2001 based on the latest intelligence and titled "Bin Laden determined to strike in the US"

So, Marf***tardtin, what exactly was Bush supposed to do in response to the SHOCKING SURPRISE that Islamic terrorists wanted to attack the United States, using all sorts of means they'd never used before, like bombs and hijackings? Get a nightstick and start walking the Mall? Yeah, such news.

Martin

You're right Armin. Bush was entirely helpless.

ArminTamzarian

Oh sure, Mardogf***ertin, maybe he should have made sure the FBI was on it. Oh wait.

pamela

Actually, Martin, the paragraphs you quoted, especially the rather indeterminate 'since that time' and 'recent', would seem to be indicative of the over-hyping Larry Johnson was accusing the powers-that-be of engaging in.

It's only because Sept 11 happened that we can now read urgency into a briefing that contained no urgency whatsoever.

I also seem to recall the hearing discussing that the claim of '70 full-field investigations' was determined to be overstating the truth of the matter.

And frankly, even if you take it at face-value, the briefing indicates that both the FBI and the CIA have a handle on what's going on in those 'investigations', and, since the president reinstituted the 'daily' part of the Presidential Daily Briefing' in January 2001, it would be assumed that the directors of the FBI and CIA would be letting the pres. know of any urgent updates re those investigations asap. The complete failure to get any hard intelligence about the attacks on Sept 11 is not the president's fault. Period. Again, IIRC, the Sept 11 hearings eventually determined that it was a systemic failure. Frankly, it would seem that Larry Johnson's column was an indicator (only seen in retrospect) of that failure.

Just trying to put the info in that briefing into the perspective that existed PRIOR to Sept 11, as opposed to the way it is so often used.

And btw, the president didn't stop getting daily briefings just because he was on 'vacation'. Vacation for the POTUS isn't anything like vacation for the rest of us.

Syl

Martin

"Actually maybe Bush didn't make it that far down the memo either"

Puhlease

I'm sure you know Laura read him the whole thing. ::eye roll::

Americans don't have all that much respect for authority and I'm certainly among that crowd. But the insinuations that Bush is a moron are, frankly, a bit much.

TexasToast

OT ad hom - You have been warned!

If your government is not lying to you and shading the truth for its advantage then it is not trying to win.
- M Simon

Wow – a statement of moral principle – Winning is more than everything – it’s the only thing! Winning is certainly more important than truth or honesty or all those other quaint rules for the suckers of this world.

That one goes right up there with these!

“When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.”
-- Arthur Ponsonby in “Falsehood in Wartime”.

“The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.”
-- Aldous Huxley

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.”
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne

“It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory.”
Albus Dumbledore

If Dumbledore had just listened to M. Simon, he wouldn’t be dead! :)

Martin

"It's only because Sept 11 happened that we can now read urgency into a briefing that contained no urgency whatsoever." Is it anybody's job to anticipate and plan for the future Pamela?

Hadn't they already try to blow up the WTC? Doesn't the memo at least indicate Rice's "we never imagined" line was either a flat out lie or a blatant admission of incomptence?

"even if you take it at face-value"- as opposed to assuming Bush read lies for breakfast?

And I brought up the August 6 memo exactly to defend Johnson from the charge that idiots like Boris made upthread that "Johnson's not credible-look what he said he in July 2001" So maybe you could explain that to Boris since it's the position you're advocating as well.

"Again, IIRC, the Sept 11 hearings eventually determined that it was a systemic failure." Another memo you missed-it was Clinton's fault.

Look-I'm not going to rehash the 2004 election. Bush won a majority of the vote. Great. I live in a Red State. I didn't need that to show me a majority of my fellow citizens are stupid-I live it every day.

I'm just frustated that I too get the government you deserve.

pamela

Oh, another 'and frankly':

Armin, stop calling Martin obscene names. I've been reading the many comments (hundreds!)on several of MinuteMan's recent posts, and even Martin's deplorable habit of calling the president a moron (assuming facts not in evidence, your honor!) doesn't rise to the level you've taken it.

It also doesn't give one reason to think seriously about anything else you say in your post. You may have something productive to add to this discussion, but you discredit yourself when you engage in obscenity.

Slartibartfast
If Dumbledore had just listened to M. Simon, he wouldn’t be dead! :)

Um, bad case in point.

Seven Machos

So, let me get this straight one more time. Some definitively left-biasd reporters and commentators (e.g., Cooper and O'Donnell) say they Rove blew Palme's cover. We hear from "sources" that other administration officials did this.

According to all available information, White House officials have given sworn Grand Jury testimony indicating that they heard about Plame through reporters.

This is classic he said/she said.

The White House initially denies all allegations, but decides its best course is to simply avoid the whole matter.

Everyone who has posted here knows these basic facts and not much else. However, a certain group of clearly anti-Bush people has already determined that Rove and a bunch of other Bush administration officials blew Plame's cover (and want to invoke RICO, though they don't have any idea what it is).

Here's the rub: you can't possibly know what happened. The prosecutor himself hasn't even finalized his theory of what happened, and could indict everyone (including Wilson and Plame and Powell) or no one. I contend that by adamantly, shrilly arguing that the administration is guilty when they can't possibly know, these people look hopelessly partisan. Their ultimate motivation is clear: harm President Bush at any cost because they disagree with his policies.

Knemon

Martin, it's sickening to read you preening like this.

I'm sure your Red State neighbors are a bunch of idiots; so are my Blue Staters. (Well, on one side I've got Hare Krishnas, but they're not really "blue" so much as "nucking futs.")

And I know all about the angst, and pain, and torment, of being the only one sensitive and insightful enough to pierce the Veil of Maya and Know The Truth About What's REALLY Going On, Maaaan. So stuff it.

Suffer in silence, my big-brained better.

Martin

Hey. Thanks for sticking up for me there Pamela. I won't call Bush a moron for the rest of this thread in return.

Seven Machos

"a majority of my fellow citizens are stupid" -- Marty. July 28, 2005 11:24 AM.

I think that about says it all. If only the best and the brightest like you could be in charge, Marty, all of our problems would be solved.

TexasToast

If Dumbledore had just listened to M. Simon, he wouldn’t be dead! :)

Um, bad case in point.

We don't know that yet. You are speculating based on incomplete facts! ;)

Slartibartfast
We don't know that yet. You are speculating based on incomplete facts! ;)

Or, more accurately, incomplete fictional facts. I'm a Dumbledore-is-alive kinda guy, though, what can I say?

kim

Pssst, Marty, you heard it wrong. It's maven not moron.
=======================================

Martin

Knemon-that's a constant trope you guys adopt on here-that I'm trying to say I'm smart. Fine. Deal with. I'm not very smart,b ut it's all relative you know. I only have one not very good eye -but I can see with it that you conservatives are blind

The internet is an archive. Not that you care-but I used to post exclusively on Metafilter in 2001-3 as "Quercus"-go look at the record. My pre-Iraq analysis has held up a hell of lot better than Bushes-and I didn't even have access to faulty intelligence.

Where are your posts from 2002-2003 on this mighty web? Show me what you used to think so I can judge your thought today.

bridge_to_tomorrow

When you constantly call others idiots it kinda follows that you think you are smarter than they are.

Martin

Here, Let's quote todays Washington Times. I defy anyone here to explain how the following isn't, well, STUPID:

"Senate Republican leaders pulled the plug on the defense bill yesterday, rather than face a host of votes on base closings, veterans benefits and the administration's detainee policy that could have embarrassed President Bush.

That decision came just moments after the Senate voted 98-0 to make sure that the Boy Scouts of America will be able to continue holding camping events on U.S. military bases. The vote was an amendment to the massive defense bill, which authorizes nearly $450 billion in spending for fiscal year 2006.

But then the entire bill came to a halt when Republicans pushed a cloture vote, which would have limited debate and made the contentious amendments out of order. The 50-48 vote to end debate fell 10 votes short of the 60 needed, and rather than allow a showdown with the president, Republican leaders withdrew the bill and went instead to a measure protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits."

Seven Machos

"My pre-Iraq analysis has held up a hell of lot better than Bushes" -- Marty. July 28, 2005 11:43 AM.

"a majority of my fellow citizens are stupid" -- Marty. July 28, 2005 11:24 AM.

Slartibartfast

Yes, if people like me are a minimum of 30 IQ points below you (assuming you're at least average), you're definitely laying claim to genius.

pamela

Martin, please don't mischaracterize my responses to you. I am discussing this with you honestly and openly. If you'd rather not, continue to respond as you just did, I'll go away.

The 'even if you take it at face-value' was simply taking into account the Sept 11 hearings response to the '70 full-field investigations' claim. Not an attempt to claim the entire pdb was a lie.

Our government could have instituted a police-state on reading that a violent Muslim extremist group was planning attacks in the US. But considering that the info in the pdb was so vague, they would rightly have been excoriated for that as over-reacting.

Look, I don't happen to think that Larry Johnson's writing that column discredits him forever. But it was a credible point to bring up in a civilized discussion. If boris reads this and my other post, he can take my opinion as he wishes.

Also, I originally wrote of the Aug 2001 pdb from memory. So the snarky comment about Bush not reading to the bottom simply didn't follow from my comment or your original response. And, I've responded to your bringing up those paragraphs. When I originally read it, and when I read it now, assuming pre-Sept 11 mentality, it contains no urgency whatsoever. It's only because of hindsight that we can say anything else.

Yes, Al Qaeda had tried to blow-up the WTC in 1993, and the investigations the FBI and CIA conducted post-attack were consistent with the mindset at the time: This can be handled using traditional law enforcement mechanisms. It should be obvious, post Sept 11, that that method was unsuccessful and a new approach would have to be tried.

And really, where in the briefing, read prior to Sept 11, does it say anything that would have made you think, again prior to Sept 11, that the hijackings would have been for the purpose of using the jets as guided missiles?

And the snarky response about the 'missed' memo, that it 'was Clinton's fault'? Not worthy of the serious discussion we were having on the pdb. The hearings DID NOT blame any administration, despite the attempts by partisans on BOTH sides to make it so. The Bush administration didn't lay blame either, and any attempt to do so was shut down (I'm assuming by the elected and appointed officials in that administration, since we didn't hear anymore about the so-called 'blame' after a few off-hand comments shortly after Sept 11, and those comments themselves were repudiated by elected and appointed officials).

BTW, I live in a Blue State. Perhaps you can tell how I voted, but I've tried to keep partisanship out of my comments to you. And regardless, I don't just say that the people in this country are 'stupid', no matter who they voted for. That's the kind of thing Michael Moore says, and again, it's not worthy of this discussion.

Martin

Don't try to bring me out of the gutter.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Marcel:

'Wilson found NO evidence of such an agreement. Nor has any other credible source found any such proof. The attempt by an Iraqi official to discuss "trade" with Niger is suspicious, but hardly rises to the same level as an actual agreement.'

You're missing the point. Pincus wrote:

'Wilson found no evidence to support allegations that Iraq was seeking uranium'

Flat out false.

juke:

'"Was seeking" sounds like present tense.'

Grammar impaired as well as logic impaired!

Lesley

Here's what Larry Johnson wrote in July 2001:

"Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism.

"None of these beliefs are based in fact. ... While terrorism is not vanquished, in a world where thousands of nuclear warheads are still aimed across the continents, terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way."

I think it is worth noting that Mr.Johnson is a partner in BERG LCC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) whose mission statement includes the following:

"To help businesses achieve financial security, protect their assets, preserve hard earned corporate reputations and compete successfully in the global economy.
To assist communities and nations in combating organized criminal enterprise."

"Mr. Larry C. Johnson, an expert in security analysis and crisis management, served in the Office of Counter Terrorism at the US Department of State."

Everything I have quoted above comes from the BERG LLC website.

So, Mr. Johnson has a business and a reputation to protect. I think that should be factored in when he comments on the Plame Affair.


boris

Two months before 911 Larry Jophnson wrote:

“Americans have little to fear” from terrorism, Fears about terrorism, he added, were only being stirred up by “24-hour broadcast news operations too eager to find a dramatic story,” by “pundits who repeat myths while ignoring clear empirical data,” as well as politicians who “warn constituents of dire threats and then appropriate money for redundant military installations and new government investigators and agents.”

That's what should be factored into his comments about the Lame Plame Blame Game

Syl

Lesley

True. But it also shows he has a stake in terror as criminal problem rather than war.

This was Kerry's background as well in that in the Senate he did a lot of work on how to deal with criminal drug rings in South America. And his ideas of fighting terrorism was to fight al Qaeda cells like they were extra lethal drug cartels.

Not that the same methods aren't being used now, it's just that those methods are not sufficient to eradicate the ideology at the root.

Lesley

Boris, yup, that too.

Syl, double yup.

It is important to question each and every player's agenda (overt or covert) because without that skepticism, I think we'll miss the bigger story, which, in my estimation isn't Valerie Plame.

TexasToast

But it also shows he has a stake in terror as criminal problem rather than war.

Syl

You are reading from the old hymnbook. Its now called the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.

Apparently, the war metaphor is “so last week”.

“Officials say that phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.”

“We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

Update folks!

Slartibartfast
“We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

Whenever I see things like this, I wish for the making-real of a Night of the Living Dead Orwell.

TexasToast

What's your beef?

Every PR guy I know attempts to "adjust" perceptions by choice of words. GWOT was a slogan intended to reinforce public opinion around the idea that we are at war. Among the reasons for this was a claim that the laws of war were more applicable to the struggle against AQ and other non-state actors than civil law - with all of the messy rights inherent in "law enforcement." This meme was widely picked up and incorporated into the world view of lots of folks - and Syl's comment is a perfect example. The applicability of the laws of war (per the Gonzalez torture memo, for example), can lead to a mindset that creates the horror of Abu G and the “Men in the Iron Masks” at Gitmo. Why use such rhetoric unless one wants to avoid things like habeas corpus and right to counsel - particularly in the context of a war with no definable end point?

All the sudden, however, the powers that be need to change the message as it is becoming clear that military force just ain’t cutting the mustard.

I ask you – what better way to point out this disconnect than the most famous quotation regarding PR/propaganda in English literature? Perhaps you would like it better if I used GWB’s phrase about Social Security and described this change as an effort to “catapult” the propaganda? I wonder how many times the now “inoperative” GWOT will rise again like the zombies in The Night of the Living Dead?

I suspect they will really have to oil that old catapult to kill the GWOT meme.


Syl

Toast

'Violent Extremism' LOL

That's the PC version. 'Islamist extremism' is the term our enemies our now referred to in the Plan of Attack, or whatever it's called, the end result of Rummy's snowflake.

I guess certain people don't want to hurt the tewwowists feelings.


Syl

Toast

All the sudden, however, the powers that be need to change the message as it is becoming clear that military force just ain’t cutting the mustard.

Some more of that cognitive dissonance you're famous for. Man, you haven't been paying much attention. Iraq is not the only front in this war using military. We've got guys in several countries besides Iraq and Afghanistan who are out there knocking out al Qaeda types. The missile that hit that car in Yemen just happened to make the MSM's radar.

Do you think the guys at Gitmo are only from Iraq or Afghanistan? We're in several countries other than those two. The new plan just organizes our forces better, lays out the command and control, and details the plan. We're already doing most of it. But we may be going after sheiks and mullahs and imams now too among other things.

According to the report in USNews re the new Plan of Attack our military has this list to work with: ideological support, weapons, funds, communications and movement, safe havens, foot soldiers, access to targets, and leadership.

I don't think your dreams of getting rid of Gitmo will come true just because of a word change. Anyway, according to polls, a big majority of the American people approve.

We're NOT going back to the State Department control of the counterterrorism agenda from the Clinton years. It's been handed to the CIA, the Pentagon and Homeland Security.

Syl

Arghhh. I'm very sorry. I missed an end tag.

How do I fix it?

Syl

Nevermind.

The first paragraph is Toast's. The rest is mine.

MaDr

Martin

I thought I'd successfully posted this before, but where'd it go?

Please indulge me by answering a few questions.

First, I'll admit I haven't followed this very closely - like OJ, Blake, Peterson etal, I usually wait for things to run their course and wait for the outcome of the trial. Speculation (in judicial matters) is sometimes fun, but in general I usually avoid it.

I'm singling you out, because you seemed honest when you stated that you had an axe to grind, ie - Iraq war was wrong and you'll take any payback you can get. I respect that, I sincerely do.

Could you now please state what your position is on the following:

Are all classified government leaks wrong/illegal (choose your term) and should be prosecuted to the fullest, and if that fails (prosecution) there’s a higher standard, maybe the spirit of the law, that requires the guilty to be fired or resign?

If “government” above is too broad a term and you’d like to make distinctions between the CIA and FBI vs State Dept, HEW, etc, please do so. If you don’t make a distinction by government agency, could you please state your standard, ie national security, the common good, etc. Then tell me who your arbiter is in deciding these.

Is everyone who is a party to “communicating” classified information, before said information is formally declassified guilty? Are there any different degrees of guilt among these? If so, what?

Is anyone in this country above the law or above the spirit of the law?

Will Franklin

It'll be great to read about this when it's all said and done, but it's wearying to try to follow this daily like this.

TM

Dumbledore is about as dead as Gandalf.

global yokel

It's amazing how little we are hearing the name Sulzberger in conjunction with the godawful reporting that the NYT Times has produced in recent years. The sonofabitch controls the paper, and is clearly a rightwing partisan.

TexasToast

Some more of that cognitive dissonance you're famous for.

Famous? Moi?

Apparently, General Meyers doesn’t agree with you – at least on the record.

“Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require ‘all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities' national power.’ The solution is ‘more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military,’ he concluded.

I don’t doubt that we have special forces all over the Middle East knockin’ heads – but we are still unable to stop the Iraqi insurgents from setting off car bombs wherever they please, we haven’t rolled up the AQ leadership, and we seem to have assisted, rather than hampered, recruiting. Further, I’m glad to hear from you that the Pentagon, CIA and Homeland Security are getting ready to gear up the diplomatic, economic and political “solution”. That’s just the kind of mission they are trained for - Right?

Finally, I have no illusions that the new slogan means dismantling Gitmo or any real change in “strategy”. It’s just the beginning of a “lowering of expectations” with respect to a military solution – nothing more.

PS

TM

I really don't know if D is dead or not - but ISTM that he had to get out of the way for purposes of the plot.

Lesley

Good catch, Yoke. Yes, the NYT is clearly a right-wing newspaper even though it cleverly tries to trick the general public into thinking otherwise. Why, did you know ALL their Directors are white? And did you know that one of their Directors, William Kennard, is with the (gasp) Carlyle Group? Its all a VRWC, I'm telling ya.

Lesley

Oh yeah. And another dead give-away: "Pinch" Sulzberger. Only Republicans give their kids goofy nicknames like that. I mean, what were Scooter Libby's parents thinking?

Syl

Toast

I love that they have a plan in writing now. I really really do. Just thinking it through clarifies things. But just because you hate the war does not mean that the military is the only tool used up til now.

However, actually, think that way. That's okay, because maybe the Dems will shut up about that icky war stuff now.

And I see Karen Hughes fingerprints all over "Global struggle against violent extremism". It just rolls off the tongue so easily. Ugh.

BTW, I was hoping for something more like 'Cowboys vs Zombies'.

I’m glad to hear from you that the Pentagon, CIA and Homeland Security are getting ready to gear up the diplomatic, economic and political “solution”. That’s just the kind of mission they are trained for - Right?

You just love twisting meanings into knots, don't you. In 1995 Clinton signed some executive order giving the State Dept the lead role in counterterrorism efforts abroad. That did us a lot of good.

They will still have a diplomatic roll, of course, that's what they do by definiton. Of course, many tend to forget which country they work for, a problem with many diplomats abroad, so maybe now they won't feel so uppity about deciding US policy.

rosignol

The CIA says she was undercover.

Why the denial?
-Martin

Last I heard, the CIA's response to inquiries RE Plame being undercover was 'no comment'. Has this changed?

bmcburney

Further to Patrick Sullivan's response to Marcel:

Wilson's assertion in the NYT op-ed that he had been sent to Niger to validate the existance of an agreement for the sale of yellowcake is probably a lie. Certainly, it is misleading. The CIA did not receive a copy of the "Italian forgeries" until eight months after Wilson's trip so it is highly unlikely that the CIA would have had the detailed information concerning the forgeries (i.e., names and dates) necessary to send Wilson out to directly validate or debunk the forgeries themselves (as opposed to the general claim that Saddam attempted to obtain yellowcake from Niger).

More importantly, the "16 words" did not concern the existance of an actual agreement for the sale of yellowcake but rather the existance of an attempt to obtain yellowcake (from Africa). At the time that Wilson wrote his op-ed Wilson knew that his own report would have tended to confirm what Bush said in the SOTU speech. Thus, even if Wilson's tea drinking had debunked the agreement (very unlikely) it would have confirmed the 16 words. Indeed, Bush could have said "Joe Wilson has learned that Iraq has attempted to obtain yellowcake from Niger" and he would have been 100% correct.

jukeboxgrad

DWILKERS: "That is why you fail"

You reacted to me disputing the idea that if Miller is guilty, that means Rove is off the hook. This is wrong, because "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information" (link).

Your sole apparent basis for countering this is an oblique Star Wars reference. That is why you fail.

jukeboxgrad

AL: "Why is 'what they said' the only important thing and not 'where they heard' it?"

Because rules and regulations regarding the circulation of classified information do not place primary responsibility on the person receiving the information. They place primary responsibility on the person transmitting the information. The former person is essentially in a passive position. The latter person is not. This fits what law and common sense tell us with regard to all sorts of other improper disclosures, such as gossip and slander.

"repeating what a reporter tells you is not wrong in any way"

No. "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information" (link). In other words, it doesn't matter where you heard it. What matters is that it's classified. If it's classified information, the fact that you heard it from a reporter in no way amounts to a free pass to shout it from the rooftops.

Here's an example. Let's say reporter A walks down the street and trips over a package marked Top Secret. He rips it open, and finds it has all the secret passwords used to control our nuclear arsenal. Reporter A thinks this is cool, so he calls his friend Karl at the White House, and tells him the secret passwords. Karl thinks this is cool, so Karl then calls Novak, to tell him the secret passwords. As Karl is being marched off to jail, he says, but Al, I thought you said "repeating what a reporter tells you is not wrong in any way."

"repeating the very same information that you learned from a classified source very well can be wrong."

The source is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the information is classified.

"are you saying that every person in the entire government stating what they read in Novak's column was doing something wrong or illegal? Or is there a difference between hearing it from Judy Miller and hearing it from Bob Novak via his column"

Yes, there is a material difference between something being whispered in a conversation where only two people are present, as compared with something being published on the pages of a major magazine.

By the way, there was a point after Novak's article came out where a CIA official said that the cat was out of the bag, and it was no longer a problem to talk about Plame. But prior to that time, I think responsible people (in government and in the press) were being careful with regard to what they said about Novak's article, and about Plame.

Along these lines, consider what Wilson said to Blitzer on 8/3/03: "with respect to my wife, I don't answer any questions. And anything that I say with respect to that, the allegations about her are all hypothetical. I would not confirm or deny her place of employment. To do so would be, if she were, a breach of national security; and if she were not, at a minimum, what they have done is they have forced her to answer a lot of uncomfortable questions from neighbors and friends and whatnot."

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "Former Deputy Director of the CIA said so [there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers]"

He also said "[The leaking of Plame's identity] is still one I would rather not see."

If your assertion ("That V.P. was CIA was not classified") is correct, why would Inman say "[The leaking of Plame's identity] is still one I would rather not see?"

By the way, Inman doesn't work there anymore. Is it your claim that he's in a position to specifically know whether or not Plame was an "analytical officer?"

By the way, is Inman's remark all the proof you have?

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