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September 30, 2005

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» Cheney, Libby and Miller Leads Where? from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
The New York Times reports: A lawyer who knows Mr. Libby's account said the administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney. This lawyer and others who spoke about the case... [Read More]

» Cheney, Libby and Miller Leads Where? from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
The New York Times reports: A lawyer who knows Mr. Libby's account said the administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney. This lawyer and others who spoke about the case... [Read More]

Comments

Jimmy's Attack Rabbit

Nada-gate is still going?

Jimmy's Attack Rabbit

Thanks for following it though. It hurts my head to try and keep up.

Jeff

I think I'm going with Hadley as Pincus' July 12 source. But would he have counted as a SAO for Novak's purposes? Maybe they're not the same person.

Also, the thing that is odd about what Pincus' source told him is that it seems to imply that the White House was aware of Wilson's trip and its origins long in the past -- like, when the report came in. Which is almost certainly not true, right? Which perhaps suggests that this administration official can't quite keep his or her story straight.

Also, don't we know that Pincus also talked to the CIA, which is perhaps how he came to believe the story about the boondoggle was not true. That doesn't rule out Tenet as his source, since you suggest a parallel account with Novak. As for Novak, don't you think any halfway decent reporter, having heard one story from Tenet, the boss of the CIA and then a totally different story from the CIA, would have gone back to Tenet and said, What's the deal? Your people say something contradictory to what you told me. Then again, look at the controversial sentences from Novak's column again. Maybe he's trying to present what the two SAOs told him and what the CIA told him as complementary rather than contradictory accounts.

Mark Amerman

Admist all the details of who said what to whom, there stands
a rather blatent ugliness. It isn't the business of Valerie
Plame, using her powers as an employee of the CIA, to fabricate
political propaganda or misinformation -- and that of course was
the result, the predictable result, of sending her husband
to Niger. Joe Wilson had no business being sent to africa,
and as her husband she had to have known his political views
and she had to have know of his propensity to lie.

Plame role as a former CIA agent empowered her to do this and
at the same time hid from being exposed as the one doing it.

Geek, Esq.

Whither Ari?

BurbankErnie

Mark,
I figure she sent Joe so he could pad his Resume for John F'n Kerry, who Joe had a very nice Job lined up.

Who could forget Joe Wilson's Web Site which was "absorbed" by John Kerry's Web Site when it was PROVEN in Senate Hearings that Jow Wilson was/is a BIG FAT LIAR.

Cookies are still crumbling. What a bunch of Maroons. Miller, Wilson and Plame. Clancey couldn't have written this any better.

jerry

I thought I'd take this opportunity to repost this article saying that Tenet will fight attempts by White House and their friends to make him a scapegoat for issues such as pre-911 anti-terror strategy, Iraq WMDs, and (I suspect) the Plame leak questions.

Looks like he's willing to finger the President if necessary:

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20050831-091719-1217r.htm

Jim E.

Judy's lawyer (Bennett) was just on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show. Bennett said Miller is not protecting any other sources in the Plame matter.

Bennett also said that if all male babies were aborted, AMerica might be a better place. (He was asked to defend his gambler brother, and he said he was "offended" that Wolf broached the subject since he thought he was on to only talk about Miller. Made for some awkward -- and awesome -- TV.)

Anonymous Liberal

What about Fleitz, Bolton's chief of staff? He worked in a dual capacity for the State Department and CIA. Wouldn't he fit with Novak's description and the rest of your analysis? Could he be the source for Novak and Pincus?

Jeff

Anonymous Liberal - I doubt Fleitz would qualify as a SAO for Novak's purposes. But it's an interesting suggestion that Fleitz was a source for Novak -- Novak does mention getting info from sources in the CIA before the rest of this business, I believe.

Mark Amerman

BurbankErnie,

Pardon me but would you mind explaining the case against Judith Miller?

I know what Joe Wilson did, his own acts and words make it clear
enough. It's conceivable although implausible that Valerie Plame
is innocent. But what has Judith Miller done wrong? I mean really
seriously wrong? Did she talk about the wife of Joe Wilson working
for the CIA and sending him to Africa. Do we know she actually
talked about Plame's role? Or are we assuming?

And just how many journalists do we know that would talk about such
a piece of info with someone, such as their colleagues, if they knew?

Are we demanding an implausible human virtue?

And is it wrong if she did? Kind of seems like an awfully relevant
piece of information in context. Maybe something people need to
know.

TM

Also, the thing that is odd about what Pincus' source told him is that it seems to imply that the White House was aware of Wilson's trip and its origins long in the past -- like, when the report came in. Which is almost certainly not true, right? Which perhaps suggests that this administration official can't quite keep his or her story straight.

OK, I am delighted and reassured that it is not just me that found that odd.

MAYBE the INR ignored Wilson's report back in 2002 because they had written it off in the famous meeting where Wilson's wife did or did not involve herself in picking him.

But, per the Senate Intel report, the report at least circulated in the CIA, and some analysts took comfort from it.

So no, this makes no sense, unless someone is confused, or (keep hope alive!) it is an outsider trying to guess what was happening on the inside of the WH.

Or put another way - since the INR did pretty much ignore Wilson, maybe that is who the soure meant - Pincus wrote "White House", but "Admin" would have been better ("State" would have been best).

Or maybe the source over-estimated the Colin Powell factor.

Or maybe Pincus's source meant "The WH thinks people should have ignored Wilson's report...".

Mark Amerman

Jim E,

Actually I ran into this topic of what Bill Bennett said, the other
day, a few mintues ago. Someone defending him quoted him:

Quote:

"Sure. Well, the context was a radio show that I was doing yesterday,
and the topic was abortion and we were talking about bad arguments
in regard to abortion. A caller suggested he was opposed to abortion
because he said if there were more babies there would be, eventually,
more tax payers and a larger GNP, a smaller deficit. I said you want
to be careful with that kind of argument because someone could postulate
a situation where child's not likely to be a productive taxpayer.
I said, arguments in which you take something that's far out, like
the GNP and try to connect it up with abortion are tricky. I said make
the case of abortion on the basis of life and protecting life. I said
abortion is invoked in another way -- you could make an argument that
if you wanted to lower the crime rate, you saw the quote -- you could
practice abortion in very large numbers. You could do it in the black
community. You could do it in other places."

End-quote.

More of that interview at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170880,00.html

I think it's credible. Bennett is opposed to abortion not for it.
He's in fact been pretty loud about this.

What he was doing was ridiculing the views of some of those who are in
favor of abortion.

His intent has been turned around into something opposite. Bennett
is probably also aware of the history of the abortion movement, something
that many are probably unaware of.

Jim, I have a question for you. Did you try to look up what Bennett
said and his defense?

topsecretk9

Okay now we know Jim E is a factually challenged HACK

Bennett also said that if all male babies were aborted, AMerica might be a better place.

Robert Bennett did NOT say the above. Jim E is taking out He said


Wolf:
"While you're here I am going to switch gears on you dramatically, and ask you a question about your brother. As you know he is in some hot water on some remarks he said oin his radio show Bill Bennett listen to this exchange he had with a caller..."

Bennett:

" No, let Let me say that I am rather disappointed in you that you would not tell me you would ask me about that. This was about
Judy Miller and I think that was a courtesy that your would extend to me

What I would emphasize is Bill's comment that such a position would be morally reprehensible I think it is largely making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I suppose I'll get in trouble by saying but it is well established that men are more violent than women, then maybe if we abort all male babies we would have a safer world. So that I think this really much ado about nothing"

VIDEO HERE
http://media.nationalreview.com/078158.asp

So JIME hears what he wants to hear and provides no context. Not surprising, just busted.

I will apply this to his subsequent comments

nittypig

"But what has Judith Miller done wrong? I mean really
seriously wrong? Did she talk about the wife of Joe Wilson working
for the CIA and sending him to Africa. Do we know she actually
talked about Plame's role? Or are we assuming?"

Well that's the question isn't it. What we know is that the prosecuter has proven, to a judge's satisfaction that her testimony about her conversation with Libby was critical to the investigation. Given that she didn't write anything about Plame it's unclear why her testimony is so important. So we speculate.

Jim E.

You guys are nuts -- of course the excerpt I provided was out of context. This thread has nothing to do with William Bennett -- I just thought it was funny, particularly as Bob Bennett was scolding Wolf Blitzer. It was strange TV, that's all.

Yeah, like I was trying to lie about a conversation that took place on national TV. Please.

So this hyperbole -- "Robert Bennett did NOT say the above" -- is stupid. My paraphrase was pretty on the mark. He DID say what I said he did. But, yes, I clearly and obviously took him out of context. He wasn't being literal. Duh.

BurbankErnie

I would add that what Miller's biggest crime seems to be is Ignorance. She did not have to spend a day in jail, but seems her thinking was she was being a "First Ammendmant Suffragette" with a nice pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. She seemed to have thought she was a little bigger then she actually played out to be. One thing though, she is not camera shy.

I still think she has been in bed with the Wilsons for some time though, and that will be her downfall.

topsecretk9

you know that is exactly why things get distorted JimE. Your blanket "if all male babies were aborted, AMerica might be a better place." and oh I meant to incorrectly paraphrase and post out of context is so lame.

If I had not seen it I would not have known to check out it out. Next time I'll get out my decoder ring so I can detect what you were or weren't meaning at a certain time and whether since it is off topic it is stated correctly.

And no it is not nuts to call it out. Because it is off topic, accuracy doesn't matter?

owl

A dog ran across the road and caused a 10 car accident. Car #11 reported on the wreckage but not the dog.

I think Plame was the dog.

Geek, Esq.

Ari Fleischer. Ari Fleischer. Ari Fleischer.

He will be the third. Perhaps as early as next week?

Jim E.

ts9,
You probably shouldn't take what you read in comment threads by anonymous people at face value anyways, so this little exercise may hopefully teach you a lesson. My comment was meant as an amusing aside, and I assumed (big mistake!!) that adults would realize I added the paraphrase of the totally unrelated topic for that reason. You should check out the video of the conversation -- the transcript can't convey the ugle stare that Bennett gives Blitzer. It was an interesting, unexpected, and awkward moment. Instead of just passing along Plame news, I thought I'd pass along the aside. The Daily Show will probably run with it next week. If so, you can write them a letter of outrage, too. It never occurred to me that anyone would think I was trying to allege Bennett, a male, was advocating killing male babies. Jeez.

That you would go all bold font on me and call me a factually challanged hack is quite the emotional reaction to what was intended as entertainment. Feel free to ignore my posts in the future!

Mark A,
Since I didn't even criticize William Bennett, there's no need for me to bother with any of this. I'm well aware of Bennett being anti-abortion and pro-gambling.

BurbankErnie

Geek,
You have been talking up the Ari angle for months.
Did Ari ever appear before the GJ?
Not that I remember ever hearing.

Please enlighten us, but please do not use the Air Force One Incident with Powell. I have tired of that one. Anything new?

clarice

I think your thesis is exactly right. She was running out the clock to [reclude inquiry into other conversations she had with other people.

Reading Novak's pieces on the story I, too, conclude that Tenet was probably one of his sources, and I find it passing strange that unlike earlier cases about leaks, the CIA did not undertake an internal investigation first but simply turned it over to DOJ to investigate.

In any event, I do not see a single person buying into her full full full, I really mean full waiver being a predicate to talking, especially since as far as I know all her lawyers have telephones.

But then I cannot understand why her lawyers didn't move to quash the subpoena in the first case on the ground that there was and could be no violation of the Agee Act.

Jim E.

Burbank,
Ari spent several hours (I think 6 or 9) in front of the grand jury.

topsecretk9

JimE

I will let this go after this, but

You probably shouldn't take what you read in comment threads by anonymous people at face value anyways, so this little exercise may hopefully teach you a lesson.

the smugness of the little lesson comment is beyond arrogant ( thank you oh wise grasshopper) but taking comments at face value?

Then what the frick is the point of commenting?

I read your post, you implied that Bennett suggested aborting male babies would make the world a better place, which he didn't and he was explaining a point, by way of comparison, the controversy associated with his brother statement.

If your comment was purely entertainment I guess I missed that part, because you explained it as Bennett defending his "gambler brother" which smacked of hack.

I probably over did it with the bolding, and for that I am sorry, but excuse me if I read comments and don't assume the person isn't earnest or intentionally misleading, but just having fun with words.

Jeff

TM - Thanks for the reply. My head hurts trying to figure out that Pincus quote, and I realized I wasn't quite precise: the story was that the White House knew nothing of Wilson's trip, so it is odd that this official -- and at this late date, relatively speaking -- couldn't keep his/her talking points straight on that. Which might suggest an outsider. But I take it Washington reporters are pretty precise with their use of "White House," "administration," "senior administration official," "administration official" and so on. One other option is that there is not confusion exactly: I've long suspected that Cheney's office did in fact see the report based on Wilson's trip, and did in fact ignore it, not because of alleged nepotistic origins, but because it didn't tell them what they wanted to hear.

On a related topic, you are almost surely right that Libby was lying to Miller, if what he is reported to have testified to is true, unless things moved incredibly fast on July 8. Remember that by some time later in the day, presumably the afternoon, Novak is confidently asserting to Wilson's friend on the street that Plame was a WMD CIA person and that she sent Wilson, who was an asshole. Just the administration's key talking points (as you pointed out a while ago). It would be awesome if the key info went from Miller to Libby at breakfast and made its way into the definitive mind of Novak by that afternoon. But I suspect instead the White House already knew what it was doing by that point. It's relatively late in the actual timeline, after all. They'd been on the case for a couple of months by then.

BurbankErnie

"Ari spent several hours (I think 6 or 9) in front of the grand jury."

Jim E,
Thanks for the info, but just one thing. I was curious about the time that you thought Ari was in front of the GJ, and I could find (Google)nothing about him spending such a long time under questioning, except on one Left leaning Blog.

Do you have a link to his length of questioning? From what I found (Googled) it was questions regarding the WH PR plans for Plamegate.

AST

I decided a long time ago that this whole thing was driven by the media's OCD when it comes to Karl Rove. Most reasonable people realized at the beginning that Plame isn't an undercover operative. So nothing since then has made any sense whatsoever.

It's Chinatown.

JayDee

Always amusing to check in and find that the desperate hope still exists that Fitzgerald is not investigating malfeasance at the highest level of government, but is instead pursuing the evil functionary Plame herself, for the crime of having a husband with African experience. It isn't that the government was abusing its relationship with the press by confiding classified information in an attempt to smear a critic. It's that Plame sought to undermine the government to which she has devoted a long and ,at times, dangerous career by actively pursuing unwanted truths. There's no evidence for this, mind you, nor any evidence that Fitzgerald is investigating anyone other than the obvious wrongdoers...but still the charges persist in right wing blogland.

As for Bennett, I think he could have chosen his words differently. Why not just say we should abort all babies born south of the Mason Dixon line in order to improve the overall intellectual level of the country. I'm sure no one would have been offended by that and that Fox News would have booked him immediately to defend himself.

Jim E.

Burbank Ernie,

I read about Fleischer's grand jury appearance online on David Corn's website (but I can't find it on Corn's site now). Here's the gist of it: http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2005/07/did_ari_fleisch.html

MeTooThen

RovEvil!

McHaliburton!

NeoCoNazis!

No Blood for Oil!

Not in Our Name!

BusHitler Lied!

...

And so it goes.

As it turns our, Ms. Miller has proved interesting, to say the least.

And no, there will be one "frog-marched" in front of the cameras, well, maybe Ms. Miller will be, but it's unlikely anyone else will.

All the same, when this Grand Jury expires, so too will L'affaire Plame.

Or not.

Curiouser and curiouser.

FWIW, Chinatown, LOL.

Sigh.

JayDee

Well, that certainly cleared it all up for everyone, I'm sure.

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