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October 30, 2005

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» Why do I know more about the Plame Leak the MSM??? from Another Rovian Conspiracy - St Wendeler
After watching the Sunday morning shows and the primetime "exclusives", I'm amazed at the lack of knowledge on display by the journalists. It's as if they haven't been following the details of the case, as uncovered by bloggers like Tom Macguire. Her... [Read More]

» Fly By 11/01/05 from The Strata-Sphere
Just to start with something different, there has been an interesting discovery in our solar system: two very small moons around the planet Pluto. There is a lot of debate on whether Pluto is a planet (when is a orbiting mass a planet?)... [Read More]

» Wilson lies, Press Club laughs from Error Theory
In his National Press Club speech yesterday, Wilson flat out called Kristoff a liar for writing that Wilson had claimed to have debunked the forged Niger-Iraq-uranium docs on his trip to Niger in 2002. (It later came out that the forgeries did not co... [Read More]

» Wilson lies, Press Club laughs from Error Theory
Wilson repeated his lies in a National Press Club speech yesterday. Some very revealing moments... [Read More]

Comments

topsecretk9

This what I think Kristof is grappling with

"...In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged..."

SSI report details this meeting took place at the Wilson's home with 2 de-briefers (that ultimately interpreted Wilson tale different than Wilson) and a "hostess"...

kim

And this is a witness for the prosecution? Must be the first time around the block for this prosecutor. Oh, wait.

Hey stop, that's a one-way street.
===================================================

TP

Would Kristof have to disclose to his editors the identities of the people at the Wilson's home?

Toby Petzold

Kristof is apparently still coming to grips with how Joe Wilson used him at the start of the Restore Honesty Tour '03.

But Kristof really should come clean. For one thing, he can explain the following bit of prose from his 6 May 2003 op-ed in the NYT (emphases mine):

I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

If any of those four descriptions is not of the same person ---which make Kristof a sneak, anyway, for the way they're worded--- then Kristof has an obligation to now say who else was feeding him information about a CIA-sponsored investigation in Africa in the spring of 2002.

Come to think of it, I'd say he and Wilson were using each other.

SteveMG

Would Kristof have to disclose to his editors the identities of the people at the Wilson's home?

Well, it was Joe Wilson, the hostess Valerie Plame and two CIA analysts/de-briefers. My guess is that we're not really interested in the names of the briefers.

Unless it was Vincent Cannistraro and Ray McGovern doing some part-time work (bit of an inside joke for the more conspiracy-minded).

We want to know more about the briefees and what they "briefed" about.

Especially liked to know what the one serving the tea and cake said.

SMG

SteveMG

Toby:
If any of those four descriptions is not of the same person

Has to be Valerie Wilson/Plame.

Someone present at the meetings

Present at the meetings were Joe Wilson, Valerie Wilson and two CIA de-briefers.

The CIA de-briefers were clearly not told about the forged documents. So, Kristof's source could not have been one of them.

Kristof's two sources were Valerie and Joe Wilson.

SMG

topsecretk9

Really, Kim points it out...Plame will be called, and there will be some very uncomfortable questions for her to answer...can Fitzgerald ignore it?

MaidMarion

I have been piecing together a timeline on a guy named Walter P. Lang (aka W. Patrick Lang; Pat Lang). I don’t know if you are familiar with him or not, but I noticed these interesting confluences: Democratic Policy Committee, Larry Johnson, Vince Cannistraro, James Marcinkowski, and Lang. The timing of the articles/events below, especially the May 5th and 6th 2003 articles, is interesting since there had been a Senate Democratic Policy committee conference around this timeframe. And Seymour Hersh’s 20 October 2003 article talking about the possible origin of the “fake Niger document” sure is curious…

5 May 2003

Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, “Selective Intelligence: Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?”(12 May 2003 issue; posted 5 May 2003) http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030512fa_fact

“W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”

6 May 2003

Nicholas Kristof, NYT, “Why Truth Matters” http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/06/nyt.kristof/

I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.
--
Patrick Lang, a former head of Middle Eastern affairs in the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that he hears from those still in the intelligence world that when experts wrote reports that were skeptical about Iraq's W.M.D., "they were encouraged to think it over again."
--
"In this administration, the pressure to get product `right' is coming out of O.S.D. [the Office of the Secretary of Defense]," Mr. Lang said. He added that intelligence experts had cautioned that Iraqis would not necessarily line up to cheer U.S. troops and that the Shiite clergy could be a problem. "The guys who tried to tell them that came to understand that this advice was not welcome," he said.

(NOTE: The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti reported over a year later, that Kristof had met Joe Wilson only a few days earlier at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference. (WS 7/26/2004 http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=4337&R=9F0E3879F): “The first public mention of Joe Wilson's February 2002 mission to Niger appeared in a May 6, 2003, column by Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times. Shortly before, Wilson had met Kristof at a Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference in the capital. As Wilson later recounted to Vanity Fair, he told Kristof about his trip to Niger over breakfast the next morning, and said "Kristof could write about it, but not name him.")

29 May 2003

Jim Lobe, Asia Times Online, “WMD: Will the real culprit stand up”
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EE29Ak01.html

As explained by W Patrick Lang, former director of Middle East analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, to the New York Times, the OSP "started picking out things that supported their thesis and stringing them into arguments that they could use with the president ... It's not intel," he said, using an insider's word for intelligence, "it's political propaganda."

4 June 2003

James Lobe, Asia Times Online, “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…”
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EF04Ak02.html

The controversy over whether the administration of President George W Bush either exaggerated or lied about evidence that it said it had about the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the US-led invasion has mushroomed over the past week.
---
Much of the evidence on which the WMD case was based came from defectors supplied by the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group headed by Ahmed Chalabi that has been championed by the neo-conservatives - including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney chief of staff I Lewis Libby and Defense Policy Board members Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman and James Woolsey - for more than a decade.

Retired senior CIA, DIA and State Department intelligence officers, including the CIA's former counter-terrorism chief Vince Cannistraro and the DIA's former chief of Middle East intelligence W Patrick Lang, have also spoken bluntly to reporters about what they call the administration's corruption of the intelligence process to justify war.

20 October 2003

Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, “The Stovepipe: How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred reporting on Iraq’s weapons.” http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact

Who produced the fake Niger papers? There is nothing approaching a consensus on this question within the intelligence community. There has been published speculation about the intelligence services of several different countries. One theory, favored by some journalists in Rome, is that sismi produced the false documents and passed them to Panorama for publication.

Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, “Somebody deliberately let something false get in there.” He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.

“The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney,” the former officer said. “They said, ‘O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.’ ” My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. “Everyone was bragging about it—‘Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.’ ” These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.

“They thought that, with this crowd, it was the only way to go—to nail these guys who were not practicing good tradecraft and vetting intelligence,” my source said. “They thought it’d be bought at lower levels—a big bluff.” The thinking, he said, was that the documents would be endorsed by Iraq hawks at the top of the Bush Administration, who would be unable to resist flaunting them at a press conference or an interagency government meeting. They would then look foolish when intelligence officials pointed out that they were obvious fakes. But the tactic backfired, he said, when the papers won widespread acceptance within the Administration. “It got out of control.”

24 October 2003

Democratic Policy Committee Hearing “National Security Implications of Disclosing the Identity of an Intelligence Operative” http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-hearing.cfm?A=5

Members: Daschle, Rockefeller, Levin, Harkin, Graham, Lautenberg

Witness: Vince Cannistraro, Larry Johnson, James Marcinkowski

"If left unpunished, this cowardly act will not only hinder our efforts to recruit qualified individuals into the clandestine service, but it will have a far-reaching, deleterious effect on our ability to recruit foreign intelligence assets overseas." (Larry Johnson)

27 October 2003

Media Research Center article about CBS coverage of the 24 Oct DPC hearing: “Rather Uses Staged Democratic Event to Justify Leakgate Story”
http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20031027.asp

“Without ever explicitly identifying it as a Senate Democratic Policy Committee event, Stewart moved on to the story about the Senate Intelligence Committee preparing a report critical of the CIA on pre-war intelligence about Iraq.”

31 October 2003

UVA Newsmakers “A Conversation between a Military Strategist and a U.S. Ambassador on Post-War Developments in Iraq” October 31, 2003
http://www.virginia.edu/uvanewsmakers/newsmakers/wilson.html

Guests: Amb Joseph C. Wilson IV with Ret. Col. W. Patrick Lang

22 July 2005

Democratic Policy Committee Hearing; House Government Reform Committee Minority
http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpchearing.cfm?A=23

Members: Dorgan, Schumer, Waxman, Conyers, Slaughter, Inslee, Holt

Witnesses: Larry Johnson, Colonel W. Patrick Lang, ret., James Marcinkowski, David MacMichael, Mel Goodman

EricH

Plame will be called, and there will be some very uncomfortable questions for her to answer

And CNN and ABC and CBS will all interrupt their regular broadcasting to break this report?

Plame's admissions, if there are any, will be on page A-42 in the NY Times. Right next to a report on a mudslide in Bulgaria.

Toby Petzold

Steve:

Kristof's two sources were Valerie and Joe Wilson.

But, Steve! That would mean that Valerie Wilson disclosed to a reporter with the NYT that she was present at a CIA debriefing.

What would the neighbors have thought of that?

topsecretk9

EricH
Can't a girl dream? Quit dashing my hopes with reality, please.

Cecil Turner

Present at the meetings were Joe Wilson, Valerie Wilson and two CIA de-briefers.

I know he said "debriefing," but he also said "February" (and the debriefing was March 5th, according to the SSCI). I suspect he was talking about the Feb 19-20 briefings, and the sentence just got edited (for brevity, probably). I think you're still correct (that it has to be Plame), but the case isn't quite as strong as stated.

boris

Drudge claims Fitz plans to call Cheney in open court. Also a plea deal went south because Fitz wants Libby to do serious jail time.

Now tell me this guy isn't BDS.

TM

FWIW, in the Vanity Fair article, we learn that Wilson told his story to Kristof over breakfast, with his wife there.

IIRC, in his Oct 11 column, Kristof asserts that he never knew Ms. Plame was a spy, and (I'm glad I looked) tells us she was never a source:

I know Mrs. Wilson, but I knew nothing about her CIA career and hadn't realized she's "a hell of a shot with an AK-47,'' as a classmates at the CIA training "farm,'' Jim Marcinkowski, recalls. I'll be more careful around her, for she also turns out to be skilled in throwing hand grenades and to have lived abroad and run covert operations in some of the world's messier spots. (Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I've written about the intelligence community.)
SteveMG

(Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I've written about the intelligence community.)

About the intelligence community.

What about intelligence? What about covert operations? What about Niger documents?

What about. . . geezus, we're all becoming James Jesus Angleton paranoids.

Mirrors and mirrors and mirrors. No wonder the guy went nuts.

SMG

topsecretk9

WTF...we learn that Wilson told his story to Kristof over breakfast, with his wife there.

Are we supposed to believe Valerie turns into Helen Keller at all these curial times ?

Jeff

Wait, so TM and you all are in favor of Cheney coming clean, as long as Kristof does too? Sounds good to me.

demosthenes

WHY ISN'T JOE WILSON BEING PROSECUTED FOR LYING TO CONGRESS?

WHY HASN'T ANYONE AT THE CIA BEEN FIRED FOR LETTING VALERIE PLAME SEND JOE WILSON (her house husband!) TO NIGER - WITHOUT HIM EVEN SIGNING AN AGREEMENT NOT TO DISCLOSE HIS CIA MISSION?!

WHY IS NO ONE - NO ONE - ASKING THESE QUESTIONS?

DOES THE MSM HAVE US ALL HYPNOTIZED??

SteveMG

Jeff:
TM and you all are in favor of Cheney coming clean, as long as Kristof does too? Sounds good to me.

Okay, you've been hinting about this for awhile (if I've been following your posts to any degree of accuracy).

Lay your cards on the table for us.

You think Cheney and his staff manufactured the Niger documents?

Or knew who did, e.g., Ledeen or Chalabi or Perle?

My guess is you think Ledeen with Chalabi were in cahoots with Libby or Hadley to manufacture or exagerrate the issue of Iraq reconstituting its nuclear weapons program?

SMG

pollyusa

The details from Drudge


Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is planning to call Vice President Dick Cheney as a witness in the trial of Lewis Libby, the DRUDGE REPORT has leaned.

But the high stakes move could result in an executive privilege showdown between the White House and Fitzgerald, a top government source said Sunday.

"If Mr. Fitzgerald is going to demand a public recounting of conversations between the vice president, or even the president, and his staff, on matters he, himself, has acknowledged are 'classified,' executive privilege will obviously be invoked."

Fitzgerald has made it clear to lawyers involved in the case that he prefers Cheney appear as a witness in open court.

"Mr. Fitzgerald is starting from the position that this should not be done on remote or videotape," the well-placed source said.

This new from Time.

"Mr. Fitzgerald is starting from the position that this should not be done on remote or videotape," the well-placed source said.


Fitzgerald and Libby's attorney Joseph Tate discussed possible plea options before the indictment was issued last week, TIME magazine reports in new editions. But the deal was scotched because the prosecutor insisted that Libby do some "serious" jail time.

topsecretk9

Wall Street Journal pretty much sums it all up

http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110007476

Cecil Turner

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is planning to call Vice President Dick Cheney as a witness in the trial of Lewis Libby, the DRUDGE REPORT has leaned.

The only possible material point from the indictment would be whether the VP told Libby about Ms Wilson's employment. There may be an argument over privilege, but the idea that this will be some sort of dramatic denouement seems farfetched. (Further, since it has so little to do with the actual substance of the charges, I suspect the parties will stipulate to the pertinent content of the conversations.)

RedDan

That crow seems to be sticking in your collective craw.

Facts: There was a coordinated effort to hammer Wilson, and that coordinated effort involved the revelations of his wife's status as a NOC.

Facts: Scooter Libby lied repeatedly to the point where efforts to reveal and lay out that coordinated effort were hampered.

Facts: Libby goes first, and gets squeezed, hard. In the process, he is going to be used as a lever to pry open some more tighly zipped mouths.

Facts: Bush, Cheney, Rove, Hadley, Hannah, Bolton, Wurmser, Fleitz, and a host of other players are incompetent idiots at the very best, and are more likely criminals who knowingly revealed damaging and sensitive information as a means of political retribution. In either case, they are liars.

Facts: Your spinning, whining, and tearing of hair and beating of chests, while amusing at first glance, actually seems to be indicative of some serious mental difficulties.

You folks need help.

Jim Rockford

Don't forget that celebrity trials are like catnip for media. And the record for celebrity trials for prosecutors are not good.

Losses: Michael Jackson, OJ, Robert Blake, Scrushy.
Wins: Martha Stewart.

Yes the media won't be able to stay away from the sheer spectacle of Cheney, Wilson, Valerie, Russert, Mr. Mandy Grunewald, Mandy and perhaps Hillary herself, Judy Miller, Kristof, Bill Keller, Andrea Mitchell ("Everyone knew about Valerie Plame"); and a host of others.

Mesereau painted the Michael Jackson alleged victim mother as a far out money grubbing whacko, which seems pretty accurate. Blake's lawyers did the same with the stuntmen witnesses. Even though there was corroborating evidence and rather unsympathetic and unbelievable defendants, the witnesses for the prosecution were so disliked by the jury that the jurors simply tuned out everything else and focused on obvious liars. That's the danger for Fitzgerald.

Expect the full impact of Wilson's many, many lies and being on the pad of the Saudi Dinar to come out; Wilson and Plame being willing to flaunt her CIA status; and frankly incompetent nepotism at the CIA with Wilson being hired while working for the Saudis. If Libby's lawyers can make the case that it's reasonable to assume that Libby WAS told of Plame's status by reporters who socialized with the Wilsons it's likely to fall on the Michael Jackson side and not the Stewart side.

Anyway, the tabloid media will paint a picture of the Media and Democrats as being one and the same, with some unflattering things about the nature of the media being exposed. Defense lawyers can be guaranteed to make that and Fitzgerald has no idea what's coming with top-of-the line lawyers like Spence or Meseraeu or even Geragos.

Creepy Dude

"since it has so little to do with the actual substance of the charges"

??? The essence of the charges is Libby constructed (and repeatedly told FBI and swore to the GJ) an untruthful scenario for how he learned of Plame's employment, i.e. he learned it from reporters.

So you're willing to have him stipulate he learned it from Cheney before talking to any reporters? A brilliant defense-almost worthy of the great libby himself.

True if his only defense really is "I forgot" the stipulation doesn't matter, but if that's truly the case, we see why Drudge is reporting the plea deal collapsed because Fitz wanted Libby doing serious time.

RedDan

Jim,

You really believe that? Really?

Wow.

flackcatcher

Uh SteveMG. You know James Angleton was right. Only the CIA and FBI spys were PRC, not KGB. Angleton bias were alantic, not pacific.

clarice

I think the drudge piece is, as Cecil does, a considerable bit of hype. The alphabets are parading Joe around for smurfball interviews and there's not much more to keep the story going after that until a trial.

Back to Aruba for a while.

TM

From Irish:

??? The essence of the charges is Libby constructed (and repeatedly told FBI and swore to the GJ) an untruthful scenario for how he learned of Plame's employment, i.e. he learned it from reporters.

So you're willing to have him stipulate he learned it from Cheney before talking to any reporters? A brilliant defense-almost worthy of the great libby himself.

C'mon, guy you have to at least read the indictment - Cheney's role was neot in dispute by November 2003 at the latest.

Let's see:

As part of the criminal investigation, LIBBY was interviewed by Special Agents of the FBI on or about October 14 and November 26, 2003, each time in the presence of his counsel. During these interviews, LIBBY stated to FBI Special Agents that:

a. During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President.

We don't know from this indictment what other of Libby's contacts were identified early on (presumably, in Cheney's case, from Libby's own notes), but Cheney is a given.

BurkettHead

Fitzmas turned to Fizzlemas. All the MSM got was a Scooter. Their Next Big Hope is the Wilson's civil suit against, well, whoever it will be against. They hope that the Wilsons will be able to prove the conspiracy & the heinous crimes for which Fitzgerald somehow neglected to issue indictments. So out comes Joe to tell us how horrible all of this has been, when all he was doing was trying to save the free world as we once knew it. Or, as he once knew it, anyway.

Can you imagine a decent lawyer taking that case on a contingency fee?

clarice

I take it--since he's saying the leak has wrecked his wife's career, that her employment will be an issue..After all, what damages did he suffer? And to prove her case, the CIA will have to testify anf provide employment records. Do you see that happening?

Since Novak leaked his name, I do hope he is the defendant in any such suit, not that I don't love the old paleocon gasbang.

topsecretk9

After all, what damages did he suffer?...that Vanity Fair didn't take of?

BurkettHead

If this civil suit does somehow materialize, will Valerie Pflame be a co-plaintiff? What can she testify about? Will she testify from behind a partition, her voice disguised? Or with a scarf & sunglasses, just like the Vogue photos? Will the CIA have to clear her testimony?

I hope they do file a civil suit. It'll be so much fun to watch.

clarice

Would it be wrong to start a letter writing campaign telling him to do it, that we weep with him and his wife and want him to have his day in court?

topsecretk9

Did Campbell Brown ask if Wilson had revised his only regret about Vanity Fair? and I relish the thought of an attorney asking Wilson to explain what he meant by the "generic blonde" regret.

Jeff

Okay, you've been hinting about this for awhile (if I've been following your posts to any degree of accuracy).

Lay your cards on the table for us.

You think Cheney and his staff manufactured the Niger documents?

Or knew who did, e.g., Ledeen or Chalabi or Perle?

The comment about Cheney coming clean is considerably more narrow than all this business. All I mean is that there is so much outrage at the hypocrisy of Kristof calling for Cheney to come clean when he has a lot to come clean on himself, and lost in all the outrage is the evident implication that the outraged should want -- as I do -- both Kristof and Cheney to fully clarify their role in all of this mess. I'd be more than happy to see both of them do so. Of course, I'm confident that the result would be a lot worse for Cheney than for Kristof and the Wilsons, and repression of that fact explains the odd blindness of TM and posters here to the implications of their own comments. But I'd be fine too if Cheney came out looking good. I'm genuinely for maximum transparency. So let's have at it!

As for the Niger documents, the same principle holds. There are lots of righties here who are convinced, just convinced that the forged documents lead back to Wilson and the French -- based, seemingly, on no more than one article in the Telegraph which, on my take, was just a successful piece of disinformation planted by the Italians. But since those righties are clamoring for investigation of the forged documents, I'm happy to join in, convinced that the results will not be to their liking -- but again, if I'm wrong, so be it, who cares, as long as transparency and openness are served. As for my theory, I genuinely have no idea who forged the documents, but I am convinced 1)that the Italians put them into circulation to 2) a number of different governments, including at least the British, the French and the Americans so that 3) what looks like a variety of different evidence of Niger-Iraq uranium business all goes back to the same, flawed source: the forged documents. I am further convinced that both the SSCI and the Butler Report went out of their ways to obscure this last fact. As for who knew the documents were forged when, and who circulated them how, I have my suspicions, but they are no more than that, and I'm happy to have a more resourceful investigation find out. Only trouble is, the Republicans in charge of investigatory power in the executive and legislative branches of government in the U.S. seem not just uninterested, but downright hostile to finding out. Which should make you wonder.

topsecretk9

want him to have his day in court?

I suspect that was the point of tonight, right? Trying to sway public opinion?

BurkettHead

It might be very wrong to start that letter writing campaign, but it would be so very, very rewarding. Unless you do want the Wilsons to have their day in court. It does seem that Fitzgerald did deny them that. I suspect that there are many others who want the Wilsons to have their day in court, as well.

MJW

From Kristof: I know Mrs. Wilson, but I knew nothing about her CIA career and hadn't realized she's "a hell of a shot with an AK-47,'' as a classmates at the CIA training "farm,'' Jim Marcinkowski, recalls. I'll be more careful around her, for she also turns out to be skilled in throwing hand grenades and to have lived abroad and run covert operations in some of the world's messier spots. (Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I've written about the intelligence community.)

Perhaps the mealy-mouthed Russert statement has made me over-parse things, but I notice a couple of oddities.

First he says: I know Mrs. Wilson, but I knew nothing about her CIA career and hadn't realized she's "a hell of a shot with an AK-47 . . ."

He could still know she worked for the CIA without knowing anything about what specifically she did; i.e., her career. That he immediately follows up with a detail about her career makes this suspecion more reasonable.

He concludes: Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I've written about the intelligence community.

I wouldn't characterize the column about Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger as one "about the intelligence community"; maybe Kristof wouldn't either. More telling perhaps, why didn't Kristof say: "Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this or any other of my columns"?

JayDee

So, to be clear, you all disagree with Kristof that a Vice President of the United States has some responsibility to behave ethically in office and to be honest and forthright with the American people. Can someone explain Pubby "Patriotism" one more time? I know you believe that we should do lots of military adventuring, and any criticism of any military adventuring - no matter how incompetently and dishonestly it is waged - is considered sedition. But beyond that, I'm very unclear on what your vision for this great democracy is supposed to be. I get that we're all supposed to behave like passive subjects, and that we're supposed to believe in a priori American goodness, meaning the USA has carte blanche to rampage around the world on any pretext it's unethical leaders cook up. I just don't get where this makes us a democracy. It kind of reminds me of the status of serfs in the old European feudal system - where the rich deserved their privileges through their inherited moral superiority and the rest of us lowly beings had no earthly purpose other than to fill their pockets and die in their wars of choice.

Oh, and yeah, it does look like the old Dick will have to testify in person and be cross examined if this goes to court. Luckily we're not really in your feudal paradise. No noblesse oblige for elected servants like Dicky.

kim

Your rampage is my prudent pre-emption.

And I'm sorry you feel so servile. I don't.
============================================

Jeff

And I'm sorry you feel so servile. I don't.

It comes that naturally?

Syl

JayDee

"I get that we're all supposed to behave like passive subjects"

This is just silly. Democracies are NOISY. Everyone has the right to criticize and argue about policy. Nobody should be passive.

The problem I see is that those who are criticizing current policies aren't willing to accept that those who agree with the policies have the right to argue back.

I don't have a problem at all with the fact that you criticize, I have a problem with you characterizing my, or anyone else's, criticism of your arguments as some weird mind meld effort of 'pubbies' to stifle dissent.

MaidMarion

Jeff,

Is Seymour Hersh a rightie?

I'd like to know the source of his 20 October 2003 article (see above) who claimed it was disgruntled CIA guys who were behind it.

clarice

A Tale of Two papers and a new word "mediagenic" http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4951

clarice

Pardon Libby. The NY Sun makes a powerful argument that the President should so it now. http://www.nysun.com/article/22258?access=249292

Saturday's Washington Post (a major figure in this mediagenic scandal) said in a Saturday editorial that his indictment criminalized a political dispute. TM, why not ask them publicly if they'll join the Sun in asking for this?

kim

Yes, not feeling servile comes naturally.
==========================================

Jeff

Maid Marion - What's your point? My basic position is, let's all work together for a real investigation to get to the bottom of who forged the Niger documents and who put them into circulation, and why. If it turns out it was disgruntled CIA guys out to get the Bush administration with a plan that, on its face, makes no sense, but that somehow worked, fine with me. Find out and punish them.

Is your point that there's another source of info out there (Hersh's article) besides the one Telegraph article, with a theory floated as one possibility that is beloved of righties, even though it appears to be utterly inconsistent with the Telegraph article? Fine. Let's pursue it, and see where we end up.

Meanwhile, there's lot of other reporting going on right now that suggests we may end up somewhere quite different, which also would be fine with me.

Here's another question about your question: who do you think Hersh's source for the Stovepipe article was? If your suggestion is that it's someone like Cannistraro, Lang et al, you may be right, but I don't think you've thought through the implications of that idea.

Jeff

kim - being, being, not feeling.

kim

Jeff, no one leashes my mind. Well, except Tom.
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JayDee

I'm left wondering once again if Clarice is really a lawyer. A lawyer who condones perjury ? Love that moral core value publicanism. Party before country, party before the law.

kim

What is your guess, Jeff, about the origin of the Yellow Cake Papers? I've previously listed my guesses in descending order of likelihood; Greedy Martino, Crazy Joe, and/or rogue CIA, Stupid French, Ignorant Italians, Sloppy Chalabi, Disappointing Disinformadministration.
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kim

Is it perjury or is it parsible? Let's ask a few lawyers.
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clarice

JD--You taking issue with Judge Ginsburg who says the "Martha Stewart" law is bad?

Perjury of parsible? Well. I often think the law is an ass, but when it comes to perjury it is a lawyer and logician's dream--if precise communication were so simple people wouldn't need lawyers to defend them..LOL

As for Congress and prosecutors, one reason it is so hard to get perjury convictions is because so few have mastered the art of asking a direct, simple question.

Jeff

What is your guess, Jeff, about the origin of the Yellow Cake Papers?

I actually have no clear guess as to who initially forged the documents, though if I had to guess I would say that it was someone in Italy. As interesting to me is what happened with the documents once they were forged. Here I think SISMI played an exceptionally large role, with the help of Rocco Martino (and clarice you might as well get his first name right, since your singular incorrectness on this gives away every effort you make to plant your bs over at dkos --unless it's one of your admirers here following your mistake?). The documents or reports of them appear to have been sold or given to a variety of intelligence services by Martino, including the French and the British and the Italians. Martino tried and failed with the Americans -- he was laughed off by our fine folks. But somehow we managed to end up with them anyway, which raises the interesting question of how that happened. We know that eventually a reporter at Panorama (coincidentally, owned by Berlusconi) got the docs from Martino, and was told by a higher-up to stovepipe, er I mean give them, to the Americans, even though that reporter was able to figure out that they were bs pretty quickly (after having given them to the Americans, however). We also know that a month before this happened (in October 2002) the head of SISMI met in DC with Hadley and, seemingly, Rice. It would be interesting to find out if those dots are connected at all. There are many more dots too that might be connected -- the SISMI guy, Pollari, had, let's say, some good connections with a variety -- or rather a certain species -- of Americans who he liked to meet with. That's about as far as we can go right now.

Isn't it interesting that with all this news popping right now, Berlusconi and Bush have apparently canceled their news conference today? I'm sure clarice has a perfectly innocent explanation ready to go.

Isn't it interesting that the U.S. government has seemingly not pursued an aggressive investigation of the matter? The FBI appears pretty passive, and the Republican-controlled branches of government with investigatory power seem, strangely, uninterested. But they can get the French! And the CIA! And Joe Wilson! all in one ball of wax. Why not go for it?

I will observe this in addition: if it's true that Martino shopped the documents around aggressively to a number of different nations' intelligence services, you would get exactly what we got: impressive sounds from lots of different places about Iraq seeking uranium which were in fact echoes of the same bs at bottom. If true, that was neat, and tragic.

kim

Very good. Do you believe Fitz is not interested in their origin, or alternatively, is unable to determine their origin?
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clarice

I have never posted at Kos.

I have no idea why Berlusconi and the WH cancelled, though yesterday I read a report that Berlusconi said he'd tried to warn us not to go to war with Iraq, it may be that Alioto is the reason.

I think that SISMI did not forge the documents, but that in any event Martino has admitted he procured and shopped them and did it for French intelligence.

A fine researcher has been working long on this and said he'd be posting the fruits of his research today. If he does, I'll cite it here. We've been exchanging thoughts and cites for a few days, and I am impressed with his accuracy and thoroughness.

In any event, I consider the efforts of Cannistraro and Sales to deflect attention to Chalabi and Ledeen a clue that they know who did it and that they want to throw sand in our eyes so we don't find out.

kim

It's just way too cute for it to have been an administration plot. Not for some of the other sources. It fails the cuteness test, as administered by me.
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kim

Which of these two is more likely a sinister source of the forgeries? A. A clique of CIA patriotically assuming dark powers. B. An administration that can't get its story straight about a crazy critic.

Which of these two is more likely to effectively disseminate disinformation because of misunderestimated bias. A. MSM. B. The White House.
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Jeff

in any event Martino has admitted he procured and shopped them and did it for French intelligence.

Incorrect, clarice! At least on the assumption that you are basing that claim on the Sept. 19, 2004 article in the Telegraph, which wants the credulous reader to believe as much, but does not actually claim that. Plus, look at the sources for the strongest claims in there: it's the Italians, who, to say the least, had a vested interest in attention being diverted from their own role. It certainly appears that Martino got paid for the documents by the French -- along with a host of other nations' intelligence services! I hope your learned researcher friend (who I sincerely hope is not mac or ajstrata) is relying on more than just the Telegraph and the Hersh article. I don't have a lot of faith in some of those ex-CIA guys either as sources.

I take it your narrative is that some ex-CIA guys did it, but then the French paid Martino to procure them from them and circulate them? Pursue it with truth as your guide!

One other thing: is your friend on the trail, or interested at all, in the role of SISMI officer Antonio Nucera? Are you? There have been a number of interesting reports about his role in this recently.

clarice

Somebody asked about Libby's pretrial discovery options. An interesting question and one I must rely on my rusty memory --so don't bank on it.

As part of the defendant's right to confront his accusers, the prosecution must make available pre trial to defendant all witness statements and materials relating to any witness he intends to call. Here's a lead case. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=484&page=400

He must also turn over all exculpatory evidence in his possession to the defense.

But Fitz was very constrained about what he went into with reporters so those things may be of limited use to Fitz. How does he get to fully explore these things with reporters before trial?

He can ask them to subject themselves voluntarily to interviews and if they refuse point this out at court.
I don't recall seeing this, but perhaps under the unique circumstances of this case, he might persuade the court to allow him to depose the reporters and seek additional documentation from them.

Interesting question and , again, that's not something I've researched or have a firm recollection of. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure may offer more useful information than I can.

Jeff

clarice - has your fine researcher posted his/her findings today yet?

MaidMarion

Jeff,

"What's your point?"

I wasn't trying to make a point. I was asking a question: Is Seymour Hersh a rightie?

"Is your point that there's another source of info out there (Hersh's article) besides the one Telegraph article."

Sorry, I don't know about the Telegraph article...could you please give me a link?

"Here's another question about your question: who do you think Hersh's source for the Stovepipe article was? If your suggestion is that it's someone like Cannistraro, Lang et al, you may be right, but I don't think you've thought through the implications of that idea."

My answer: It looks to me to have been someone who agreed with the original purpose of the forgery (i.e., to prevent the Bush Administration from going to war with Iraq.) We don't know when, in March, Hersh was talking to his source but most likely it was early March when the distribution of this "evidence" was critical. But that effort obviously failed, because it didn't stop us from invading. So now what do the forgers (assuming they were "anti-Bush") do with their failed forgery? They try to peddle it as "evidence" that Bush "lied" in his reason for taking us to war.

So Jeff: Tell me where I've failed to think through the implications of this scenario.

New question: Why, since Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 article, have Joe Wilson and company been singularly focused on the "outing of Valerie Plame" than on proving who forged the Niger documents? (Their disinterest in this reminds me of OJ Simpson's lack of interest in finding out who killed his wife.)

If Novak had never written his article, what would have happened to the anti-Bush crowd's efforts in peddling the "forged Niger Documents"?

TM

Sorry to veer off the forgery topic, but in the course of prying into something else, I came across this comedy classic featuring Chris Matthews, Sen. Rockefeller, and David Gergen as the straight man.

The point, as will become painfuuly obvious, is that what Wilson *wrote* in his op-ed meant nothing compared to his previous leaks.

July 9, 2003 Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to David Gergen on the question of who may be culpable here, because we do have a paper trail, thanks to Joe Wilson, the ambassador. He said he was sent to Niger, the government in Africa that is in question here. There we have a picture of him. He was on "MEET THE PRESS". He also wrote a letter, an op-ed piece for the "New York Times" this weekend.

He made it very clear he was sent down there at the behest of the vice president's office last year. Months, almost a year before the president's State of the Union Address, he came back with the information that there was, in fact, no deal. Isn't vice president's office responsible, right now, to come out and say why they didn't act on that information? Why the CIA, which also must sign off on presidential speeches, they didn't come out with the information and clear the president so that he wouldn't have to, in his own words, by the way, to use his words, revise history as he seems to be doing, saying that this was not a mistake.

GERGEN: Chris, it was my understanding that he went to the -- to Africa at the request of the CIA, not the vice president's office. Vice president's office was...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: At the behest of the vice president's office, the CIA was tasked by the vice president's office to do it. Senator, isn't that right?

ROCKEFELLER: That is correct.

GERGEN: Well, I thought what he said in "The New York Times" was -- in his piece, was that he was asked by the intelligence agencies for whom he had worked, they paid his way. He went pro bono in terms of his...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: At the request of the vice president's office. Right, Senator?

ROCKEFELLER: Absolutely correct.

GERGEN: Well, if that's the case, if there is a paper trail back to the vice president's office and if there were papers filed with the vice president's office, that's one thing. If it was filed with the CIA, that's quite another. And I think we should be -- I certainly accept Senator Rockefeller's characterization of the facts here, but I -- my understanding was that he was a former head - that he was a former state department person...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: True...

GERGEN: ... who had done CIA work...

MATTHEWS: ... he was a former (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GERGEN: ... and he was reporting to...

MATTHEWS: That's technically how it happened. Let me ask you the big question, gentlemen. I want to get into a very important -- A lot of people watching right now may say, so what. A lot of people may say this is wild, especially the critics of the war. But, those who supported the war, what does it say to them? Senator?

Why Gergen bothered to read the Wilson op-ed is a mystery, since no one else did.

TM

Sorry, the fun continued a bit further in the show - Gergen actually *read* the op-ed out loud. More wasted oxygen:

GERGEN: Chris, can I add one thing? I want to quote from the "New York Times" piece that Joe Wilson wrote. In February, 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions. It strikes me from that piece -- what I understood that piece to say, was the agency was the one who requested Wilson to go make this report, not the vice president's office directly. It came from the vice president's office to the agency then to Wilson.

MATTHEWS: The vice president went to the CIA to get some answers, and they used Mr. Wilson to get the facts.

GERGEN: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: I think that's the chain.

ROCKEFELLER: If I can interject...

MATTHEWS: Yes, Senator.

ROCKEFELLER: I don't think there is any question but the vice president asked the CIA to send him over. And this is a man who had served as an ambassador under Clinton as well as President Bush.

MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and David Gergen, an expert on the presidency.

What is interesting is that today, all proper lefties swear up and down that Wilson never even hinted that Cheney sent him. Oh, well.

clarice

Maybe Rockefeller's just as bone stupid as Chrissy.
Or maybe he's lying.

Or maybe Rockefeller was too busy wheeling and dealing to turn the Senate Intelligence Committee into an arm of the Kerry campaign to pay attention to the Wilson op ed. After all he's the one who took advantage of the new Committee rules ( step one of the sedition plan was to quit the practice of having all staff be Committe not party staff and to channel all investigative requests thru the Chair)to request the FBI initiate an investigation into the leaks from the CIA.

How much less mischief would there be on Capitol Hill if the staff were reduced to one-fourth it's present size..and if more of them had to be old enough (25)to be able to rent a car,

clarice

Jeff. not ywt. As soon as I see it. I'll post it. I have never met this person but have read other things he's done and I expect it will be very detailed and well researched. He seems very punctilious.

kim

He's on the intelligence committee? This is an orwellian locution, no?
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arrowhead

"Maybe Rockefeller's just as bone stupid as Chrissy."

That's the understatement of the year.

Jeff

"Maybe Rockefeller's just as bone stupid as Chrissy."

That's the understatement of the year.

Now that you all finally realize the truth about Rockefeller, will you all stop trumpeting the wonderful bipartisanship of the SSCI report, please. As long as we assume that Roberts is a smart and competent man, which I think we can.

kim

Brownback was appointed. He's never run for Senate except as an incumbent. Pat Roberts is more like Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum. Kids out there can dig in the ground with true belief that they may unearth a dinosaur.
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Dave

MaidMarion,

I believe that you'll find that the gentlemen that you named are all members of VIPS (and two of them are former classmates of Ms. Plame's). As to who forged the documents, it might be useful to look at Col. Lang's own comments on the matter: http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/07/niger_mischief.html

As I interpret them, they appear consistent with the fingers being pointed at Dewey Clarridge and Alan Wolf, but I don't know that that is what Col. Lang meant to say, and is speculation on my part...

MaidMarion

Dave,

Exactly what is it in Pat Lang's comments which lead you to interpret the forgers as having been Clarridge and Wolf?

Dave

There's nothing in Col. Lang's comments that leads me to the conclusion that those two specific individuals were involved. I am led to that conclusion by media speculation identifying them (either in veiled ways "former chief of station for Rome" [actually, as I understand it, both held that position sequentially] or specifically, by name) as the forgers. Col. Lang's comments do not contradict that assessment (i.e., are consistent with that interpretation).

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