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October 25, 2005

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» Plaming Around from The Strata-Sphere
UPDATED Links at the end! (yes, way down there..) I am still stunned at the incredibly poor reporting on the Plame Game and key facts of this case. Seems that when the press is part of the story, they apparently are unable to keep their role in this... [Read More]

» NOW IT GOES BIG TIME from The Heretik
NOW IT GETS WEIRD Libby heard about Plame from Cheney. And this story that was big before hits Big Time.[story]I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart [Read More]

» Today’s Plame Gate Round Up from Ace of Spades HQ
Most of today's internet energy has been expended hypothesizin over the Times story Ace linked to last night. And if you're just getting up to date, in short, it stated that Libby’s own notes, possessed by the prosecution, reflect Libby... [Read More]

» Today’s Plame Gate Round Up from Ace of Spades HQ
Most of today's internet energy has been expended hypothesizin over the Times story Ace linked to last night. And if you're just getting up to date, in short, it stated that Libby’s own notes, possessed by the prosecution, reflect Libby... [Read More]

» Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today from protein wisdom
From Steve Clemons at The Washington Note:An uberinsider source has just reported the following to TWN (since confirmed by another independent source): 1. 15 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher... [Read More]

Comments

politicaobscura

How is it possible that a supposedly smart man like Lewis Libby could ever get tripped on a perjury charge based on White House guest sign-in books and his own notes!! Something sounds very strange. Did he give Fitz the notes and think that Fitz's staff would not read them? That is what I am wondering about, how can Libby have "lied" about something he KNEW Fitz would find?? It doesn't make any sense based on any scenario I can think of... or Libby might just be stupid, or these supposed leaks via the Times are untrue.... thoughts?

Strick

Looks like you nailed it. I couldn't imagine why Fitzgerald wouldn't have known this all along and you spell it out. Thanks.

As for a smart man like Libby getting involved in perjury, it's worse than that, isn't it? How does an extremely competent lawyer get caught up in it? There's got to be more to this part of it.

Jeff

Even some aficionados are growing weary of this speculation and leak-parsing

Ok then, onward and upward -- to the Niger forgeries. TM, clarice, topsecretk9, kim, and the rest, get ready. How about we start with this:

HADLEY NAMED. La Repubblica has a dynamite series this week on the origin of the yellowcake forgeries. Laura Rozen reports:
With Patrick Fitzgerald widely expected to announce indictments in the CIA leaks investigation, questions are again being raised about the murky matter that first led to the appointment of the special counsel: namely, how the Bush White House came into possession of discredited Italian intelligence reports claiming that Iraq sought uranium "yellowcake" from Niger.
The key documents supposedly proving the Iraqi attempt turned out to be crude forgeries on official stationery stolen from the African nation's Rome embassy. Among the most tantalizing aspects of the debate over the Iraq War is the origin of those fake documents and the role of the Italian intelligence services in disseminating them.

In an explosive series of articles appearing this week in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, investigative reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo reveal how Niccolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, known as SISMI, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002.

Today's exclusive report in La Repubblica reveals that Pollari met secretly in Washington on September 9, 2002, with then–Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Their secret meeting came at a critical moment in the White House campaign to convince Congress and the American public that war in Iraq was necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons.

The La Repubblica article quotes a Bush administration official saying, "I can confirm that on September 9, 2002, general Nicolo Pollari met Stephen Hadley."

September 2002, that's about a month before October 2002, isn't it? I wonder what the head of SISMI was talking about with Hadley. I hope we can find out, and maybe you all can persuade your Republican colleagues to be more aggressive about getting to the bottom of the Niger forgeries, so that wrongdoers can be identified and the innocent cleared. Like Hadley.

larwyn

Mrs. Greenspan????

"Early" appointment of Bernanke as
Fed Chair to replace Mr. Andrea Mitchell??

Mrs. Greenspan's leak of classified
CIA information started all this
when she went public with the information that the CIA sent the
"outing" up to Justice.

FACTS:
Wall Street HATES uncertainty.

GW likes PREEMPTION.

Any dots here????

Anonymous Liberal

You're right. It seems that we are left with one of two possibilities: 1) a grand far-reaching conspiracy or 2) a devilishly deceptive misdirection campaign by the attorneys representing the potential targets (particularly Libby). Both of those scenarios sound entirely implausible, but I can't think of any other possibilities.

I hope Fitzgerald doesn't string us out much longer.

clarice

I posted it elsewhere--the Telegraph reports today that Martino has admitted that he forged the documents while in the pay of French intelligence in order to undermine the US and British justification for war.

Now, since Wilson consistently told everyone that he'd seen the documents at a time which preceded our having them, and since Russo said they were prepared in 2000, maybe that is the one part of Wilson's story that is true and that he did see them before we did and he saw them because French intelligence made then available to him, in which case the necon Fitzmas may be a banquet.

Remember, he was in Niger in 1999 when the Niger Embassy was broken into and some documents taken.
His ex-wife was a French consular official , widely believed to be a cover for French intelligence.
And he did stop over in France before returning from his Mission to Niger.
Finally, Fitz did spend time reviewing these forgeries in the course of this case.

Geek, Esq.

Who the hell knows?

Things still don't add up. They just fail to add up in a different manner now.

Keith

So, in other words, the White House has been playing the media all along by leaking "testimony" that didn't quite match what the real testimony actually was. That way, they kept the attention focused on the media and away from Cheney.

Brilliant.

TM

Ok then, onward and upward -- to the Niger forgeries.

Keep hope alive, Jeff! But I may collapse of terminal brain fog any day now.

Oh, I *HATE* her lead paragraph, which asks, How did the "Bush White House" come into possession of the forgeries?

Is she breakig news here - I thought the documents were at CIA, INR, DIA, etc. When *did* the WH come into possession of them?

I suppose should read on...

fitzgerald & the notes

OK...none of this makes any sense, but I love being a tea-leaf reader nonetheless.

Explain this to me mr. just one minute - the use of the word "now" in the article below. He may have known about the contents earlier, but if the Times story is true, he has only recently received them (thus, they are "now in Mr. F's possession."

"But the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson - who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame - from Mr. Cheney."

Rick Ballard

Keith,

Separating the pros from the yokels in this has never been too difficult. Making jackasses of the Demsm is pretty easy - look what you have to start with.

I have to start working on some lyrics for "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fitzmas".

Corn, Kristof and Pincus should have to wear 'Kick Me - I'm Stupid' signs as a condition of further employment.

Jeff

clarice - Are you referring to today today, or September 19, 2004 today? I can't find anything in today's Telegraph. In any case, I may be skeptical of the Telegraph report, but who cares? If you buy it, all the more reason to pursue the question, and we'll see where it leads. I sure want to know what Pollari and Hadley were meeting about on September 9, 2002.

I also still don't get how your grand conspiracy is supposed to work. 1)The documents were forged in 2000 to undermine the US and British justification for war? The French have that much foresight? 2)Can you give the source for the 1999 Niger break-in. I was under the impression it was the Nigerien embassy in Italy, and it was 2001 or 2000. 3)Did Wilson really tell people that he had seen the documents? Who, where? Kristof says otherwise. Maybe it's Pincus? And remember, seeing documents is different from learning the contents of them, from, say, what is said to be verbatim text of documented agreements between Niger and Iraq, which is what we've heard the U.S. got from the Italians in February 2002.

Marcel

Karl Rove looks to be a bit player in all of this, as the focus shifts towards the Office of the Vice President. Maybe Rove won't be charged with anything, and survive to help Pres. Bush and the Republican Party get back on track.

Gary Maxwell

WTF I dont see any there there again. I watched a smug Larry O'Donnell on Scarborough last night so I may be predisposed to discount something here simply because Loquacious Larry thought it was a big deal. Is there anyone dumber than this guy?

TM you are dead on. Lewis Libby was a good enough lawyer to defend Marc Rich. Rich guys like Rich dont hire blithering idiots ( nice contrast here with O 'Donnell ). He aint stupid and would know what he produced to a grand jury and if it existed at all. Plus talking about it with another person who has security clearance is no crime.

Geek, Esq.

It appears that France and the Niger documents are to the Bush administration as some dirty trickster was to Dan Rather.

Jeff

clarice - That's you misleading over at dkos, isn't it? Classy.

Jeff

clarice - That's you misleading over at dkos, isn't it? Classy.

Jeff

clarice - That's you misleading over at dkos, isn't it? Classy.

Geek, Esq.

It appears that France and the Niger documents are to the Bush administration as some dirty trickster was to Dan Rather.

Jeff

clarice - That's you posting misleading things over at dkos, isn't it? Classy.

Geek, Esq.

It appears that France and the Niger documents are to the Bush administration as some dirty trickster was to Dan Rather.

Sue

Huh?

If I was confused before, I'm totally baffled now. :)

Sue

Huh?

If I was confused before, I'm totally baffled now. :)

Thomas

That would be a brilliant feint. But counterproductive, if he had nothing to hide. If nobody lied in the grand jury, his name was going to come out eventually and if he all Cheney did was tell Libby her name, then he should have come clean with some Friday afternoon leak that he told his aide her name. It would have been news, sure, but he at least doesn't come off looking some manipulator, which by making Libby look guilty, he really does. Plus, the whole move being simply political, it seems far worse to have an ongoing trial of Libby with Cheney hanging over it as some sort of mastermind who orders his aides to screw themselves publically.

Rick Ballard

Jeff,

Here is the original article referenced in the Rozen tickler. Take a moment and scroll down to the date at the bottom. July 16, 2003 doesn't exactly qualify as "news" in any sense I'm aware of. The paragraph just above the date gives this statement from the Italian government:

"Le notizie di trasmissione da parte italiana ad altri organismi d'intelligence di documenti di provenienza nigerina o irachena sono destituite di ogni fondamento: i servizi italiani non hanno mai fornito alcun documento."

I can translate it for you but I don't think that you will like the result.

nandrews3

"...and Dick Cheney was kept out of the story until the final week."

Question: Why would any of those "lawyers whose clients work for the Administration" be *putting him in* to the story now?

Thomas

That would be a brilliant feint. But counterproductive, if he had nothing to hide. If nobody lied in the grand jury, his name was going to come out eventually and if he all Cheney did was tell Libby her name, then he should have come clean with some Friday afternoon leak that he told his aide her name. It would have been news, sure, but he at least doesn't come off looking some manipulator, which by making Libby look guilty, he really does. Plus, the whole move being simply political, it seems far worse to have an ongoing trial of Libby with Cheney hanging over it as some sort of mastermind who orders his aides to screw themselves publically.

Rick Ballard

Jeff,

Here is the original article referenced in the Rozen tickler. Take a moment and scroll down to the date at the bottom. July 16, 2003 doesn't exactly qualify as "news" in any sense I'm aware of. The paragraph just above the date gives this statement from the Italian government:

"Le notizie di trasmissione da parte italiana ad altri organismi d'intelligence di documenti di provenienza nigerina o irachena sono destituite di ogni fondamento: i servizi italiani non hanno mai fornito alcun documento."

I can translate it for you but I don't think that you will like the result.

nandrews3

"...and Dick Cheney was kept out of the story until the final week."

Question: Why would any of those "lawyers whose clients work for the Administration" be *putting him in* to the story now?

Sue

Huh?

If I was confused before, I'm totally baffled now. :)

John P

"As to the current gloomy atmospherics at the White House - well, they aren't staging that."

Maybe. Although I don't recall the exact details, I remember the Clinton White House playing up some key piece of testimony (I believe Lewinsky's) as being borderline disastrous. People were talking about rumors that there was cocaine on the blue dress (in addition to the other stuff) and Lord knows what else. Then...

fizzle.

Expertly managing the "expectation" game--hell, that almost sounds Rovian.

clarice

It's in today's Telegraph--Russo has completely recanted of his prior tap dance. I cited this on the prior thread.


And here's a report on why reporters , not just Miller,had painted such a dire portrait of Saddam's WMD programs and possession--because long before Bush came into office they were hearing the same thing from Clinton officials.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/24/AR2005102401405.html

Thomas

That would be a brilliant feint. But counterproductive, if he had nothing to hide. If nobody lied in the grand jury, his name was going to come out eventually and if he all Cheney did was tell Libby her name, then he should have come clean with some Friday afternoon leak that he told his aide her name. It would have been news, sure, but he at least doesn't come off looking some manipulator, which by making Libby look guilty, he really does. Plus, the whole move being simply political, it seems far worse to have an ongoing trial of Libby with Cheney hanging over it as some sort of mastermind who orders his aides to screw themselves publically.

Sue

Huh?

If I was confused before, I'm totally baffled now. :)

John P

"As to the current gloomy atmospherics at the White House - well, they aren't staging that."

Maybe. Although I don't recall the exact details, I remember the Clinton White House playing up some key piece of testimony (I believe Lewinsky's) as being borderline disastrous. People were talking about rumors that there was cocaine on the blue dress (in addition to the other stuff) and Lord knows what else. Then...

fizzle.

Expertly managing the "expectation" game--hell, that almost sounds Rovian.

steve sturm

Since I can't get trackback to work, here's my post on why this memo isn't bad news for Libby

Jeff

Rick Ballard - Funny, i didn't see anything about Hadley in that old Repubblica article, and yet Rozen appears to say that today's article talks about Hadley. Funny too, I didn't catch the link to that old article in Rozen's tickler. Could it be that you're wrong that the 2003 article is the one Rozen is referring to? Would it make a difference to you?

clarice - Could you please provide the link? And while you're at it stop bsing here and over at dkos? It makes you seem desperate and ready to give up the game already.

Sue

I'm even more baffled as to why my post keeps posting itself.

clarice

I think Thom is right on. And I bet this isn't the only head fake by the WH.

pollyusa

Jeff

Thanks for the information, this is bit interesting.

brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002

Cecil Turner

Okay, time for an attempt at a unified leak theory. First, the kickoff, Kristof's May 6 article, and Wilson's story:

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. [points of contention in bold]
Kristof later snarked: "And now an administration official tells The Washington Post that Mr. Cheney's office first learned of its role in the episode by reading that column of mine. Hmm." (I suspect that's exactly what happened.) The question was put to Condi Rice on June 8th. She was clearly unprepared:
The president quoted a British paper. We did not know at the time, no one knew at the time in our circles—maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew—that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.
Two days later, the famous INR memo is drafted; (Tenet involved?) two days after that, Cheney and Libby discuss it. The leak fest begins, apparently directed at trip initiation and Wilson's report.

Judith Miller didn't write a story, but apparently Libby was selling the story on June 23rd:

  • the C.I.A. "took it upon itself to try and figure out more" by sending a "clandestine guy" to Niger to investigate.
  • "Veep didn't know of Joe Wilson"
  • "No briefer came in and said, 'You got it wrong, Mr. President.'"
Pincus:
  • "Wilson's mission originated within the CIA's clandestine service after Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing. 'It was not orchestrated by the vice president,' the official said."
  • "He added that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention Wilson's name and did not say anything about forgeries."
Novak:
  • "The CIA's decision to send retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa in February 2002 to investigate possible Iraqi purchases of uranium was made routinely at a low level . . ."
  • "CIA officials did not regard Wilson's intelligence as definitive, being based primarily on what the Niger officials told him and probably would have claimed under any circumstances."
Cooper:
  • [Administration officials charged] "that his 2002 report, made at the behest of U.S. intelligence, was faulty and that his mission was a scheme cooked up by mid-level operatives . . ."
The story is recapped by Tenet:
  • "CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn."
  • "There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all."
Best guess: hamfisted news management, with legitimate points about Wilson's trip. Leak of Plame working at CPD (covertness unknown) was added for convincing detail. Both sides leaked some classified information, possibly inadvertently, probably believing it justified.

Sue

Cecil,

That has been my guess all along. The leaks were made, an oops moment occurred, and the rest is history...maybe. Unless I'm wrong. ;)

Rick Ballard

Jeff,

No, you didn't see anything in that old article - except that it was the origin of today's article which doesn't have a single named source in it for all of Bonini and D'Avanzo's conjectures. These guys are less credible than Corn.

The Telegraph article that Clarice cited shreds Bonini and D'Avanzo's fairy tale with Martino's confession. The provenance of the Niger forgeries seems to lie in Provence - rather unsurprisingly.

Keep shoveling though - there's gotta be a pony in there somewhere.

Cecil Turner

On re-reading, it strikes me that I'm assuming a single leak, and that the known facts would be more sensible if there were a second leak from the INR memo circulating on AF1 on July 7th or so (best guess: Fleischer). That might explain both the time lag and why Rove and Libby were apparently confused. (And whether they are or not, I certainly am.)

Karen

Isn't the leak today a crime? How can a prosecutor investigating a leak allow a crime to occur? It seems to me Joe Wilson is going to look like Linda Tripp when this is done: an out of work, lazy husband who needs his wife to get him a job. If he was working for the CIA, anything he told a reporter is a crime. I can't wait to see Joe Wilson find his fifth wife in a jail cell.

Bruce Hayden

I think that that is really it. This is really political, from the get-go. And you can really see the politics here with the NYT trashfest of Judith Miller going on right now.

I remember my original impression reading the Novak article before all this blew up - that he and the Republicans believed that the Democrats had been playing politics with the CIA and WMD. That this whole Wilson thing was political from the first. After all, why should a Clinton political operative be giving this sort of job in the first place?

And, yes, maybe there is a little paranoia in the Administration about the CIA. The CIA has been leaking like crazy for a long time, and many there seemed to be going out of their way to bring down the President.

Add to that that the really big story here is that of the CIA desperately trying to shift blame away from their massive Iraqi WMD intel failure. This seemed to really be the big thing on the mind of at least Libby when he was talking to Miller.

Lastango

I doubt Libby or the White House would orchestrate a leak campaign in this situation, because the leaks have kept the story on the front page, where the White House doesn't want it.

That's an entertaining theory though, and if I had the time I'd work one up myself just for the hell of it.

Geek, Esq.

The story involving France is over a year old.

TexasToast

this debate has the feel of ruminating about which team has the best chance to win the World Series with two outs in the ninth inning of the seventh game.

Albert Pujols, anyone?

andrea mitchell

Please god, let them take Viagra and Cialis off the market...

The 'old man' is starting to shows signs of inflation.

topsecretk9

Rick
Larry C. Johnson is complaining about Kristof's whinny new story in NYT....Did Kristof's towel go in too?

topsecretk9

And TM has a new post, a welcome home party for Walter!

Tom Ault

Here are my tounge-in-cheek predictions:


  • Late Friday afternoon, Fitzgerald announces that he's not issuing any indictments. The grand jury records are sealed.
  • Denied any closure, the DC media and Plamegate fans go into overdrive. Wilson-lovers and haters tear each other apart over conspiracy theories constructed from leaks by anonymous sources printed in the back pages of the NYT and Washington Post.
    Entire theories about "what really happened" are spawned from the careful parsing of one of Fitzgerald's leaked grocery lists from 2004. The rest of the world yawns and looks forward to Fall sweeps on TV. This goes on for years. (Come to think of it, this part isn't all that different from now.)
  • Eventually, Oliver Stone knits the most ridiculous conspiracy theories into a script for his new movie about Plamegate, in which it is revealed that a rogue black ops agency within the CIA in concert with an unnamed defense contractor (read: Halliburton) orchestrated both Joe Wilson's trip and the outing of Valerie Plame to discredit the current administration (who they put in office during the 2000 election) so that they could boost profits by prolong the war in Iraq and prevent Bush from achieving any meaningful reform of the CIA.

paul

If no indictments come, I'm getting a frog costume and plan on marching thru the streets of dc for Halloween.

The Unbeliever

Good one, Ault. If I were a betting man, I'd say that right now, the only the safe money in all this is to option the rights for the PlameGate screenplay.

Major Combs

What am I missing? Is it a crime to talk about a "covert" agent who was no longer covert? Who had not been for over five years? It appears that the investigators are using outstanding methods to acheive meaningless results.

Jon H

"TM you are dead on. Lewis Libby was a good enough lawyer to defend Marc Rich."


Which resulted in Marc Rich fleeing the country for years, and having to rely on a last-minute pardon from Bill Clinton.

Not exactly a winning record for Mr. Libby.

Jon H

" Is it a crime to talk about a "covert" agent who was no longer covert? Who had not been for over five years?"

Prove that she hadn't been covert for over 5 years. You can't. You can assert it, but you have no proof of it.

A Florida Lawyer

Has anyone noticed that the notes refer to Ms. Wilson, not Ms. Plame. In other words, Tenet confirmed that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in June - so what! The question is did they leak her identity as a covert operative - Valerie Plame. I also find it interesting as a woman who kept her maiden name and has never used her husband's name that they refer to her as "Ms. Wilson" in the article, not "Mrs. Wilson." Generally, I go by Ms. Smith but my children's friends and my husbands colleagues call me Mrs. Jones, because they are unaware of my maiden name.

briefman

"For example, perhaps Libby testified that he only talked with reporters about Wilson's wife after hearing about it from other reporters, and in leaks to the press that conveniently morphed into 'Libby only knew about it after talking with reporters'."

What other reporters?? If my timeline is right he learned it from Cheney on June 12th and told Miller about it on June 23. He didn't talk to Russert until "early July". So, somewhere in that short timeframe (between June 12th and 23rd) he talked to some third reporter we have never heard about and that reporter told him Plame works at the CIA? If there was some third reporter it would seem that the admin would have leaked that type of very favorable infomation by now. I think your scenario is unlikely.

TM

Prove that she hadn't been covert for over 5 years. You can't. You can assert it, but you have no proof of it.

Jon H will now deliver the proof of the opposite. Keep hope alive!

clarice

Tom Ault, I plan to beat Stone to the punch. I'm doing this up as an opera buffo..My casting couch is ready--I want Tom to do the lyrics.
(Can't decide if I want Lesley or Topsecret to play Plame..depends which one is nicest to me.)

Rick Ballard

"Keep hope alive!"

Really, TM, most mental health professionals would disagree strongly with that statement. Encouraging a continuing belief in the Alterman Reality is akin to leaving anonymous threatening notes under a paranoiacs door.

clarice

LOL RB..Can you imagine the sturm und drang if the left realizes they actually have to win an election to govern and can't count oon run amok judges and prosecutors to do that for them?

Ever since 2001 D.C. seems like an updated version of HBO's Rome .

TexasToast

Clarice,

You must be the ">http://www.romeguide.it/domus_aureaeng/madre.htm"> Agrippina wannabe.....

TexasToast

Stolen from Delong ....

They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Aides would start singing!
They'd sing! And they'd sing!
AND they'd SING! SING! SING! SING!
And the more the Bush thought of the Aides' Fitzmas Sing
The more the Bush thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
I MUST stop Fitzmas from coming!
...But HOW?"
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE BUSH
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!...

Andrew

I keep having the delicious thought that there will be indictments - against Joe Wilson and David Corn.

That would cause a world-class case of shadenfreude. But I'm not holding my breath...

Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest)

This is really a most excellent post, full of facts, interesting analysis and, above all, fun to read.

I need to learn to blog like you. :-)

Electrolux

Certainly sounds like this leak came from the prosecution side.

Given its timing and content, I'd guess that it's meant to prepare the general public for some kind of obstruction-of-justice charge against Libby.

(Of course, I don't know much about law or politics, so my guess is certainly no better than anyone else's.)

Anarchus

FROM THE RUMOUR MILL:

Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today (Latest Lib Rumor)
thewashingtonnote.com ^ | October 25, 2005 | Steve Clemons

An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.

More soon.


Major Combs

Jon H

"Prove that she hadn't been covert for over 5 years. You can't. You can assert it, but you have no proof of it."

It should not be on me to prove she was not a covert agent. Instead, let it be ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox, Gannett, NBC, Reuters, AP, Hearst, Knight-Ridder, the Tribune Company, the Washington Post, and about two dozen other news organizations. They filed an amicus curiae brief appealing the grand jury subpoenas for Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller filed on March 23, 2005. In it they examined relevant law (the Intelligence Identities Act of 1982) and concluded:

“At the threshold, an agent whose identity has been revealed must truly be "covert" for there to be a violation of the Act. To the average observer, much less to the professional intelligence operative, Plame was not given the "deep cover" required of a covert agent. ... She worked at a desk job at CIA headquarters, where she could be seen traveling to and from, and active, at Langley. She had been residing in Washington -- not stationed abroad for a number of years. ... [T]he CIA failed to take even its usual steps to prevent publication of her name.”

The same news organizations breathlessly reporting the minutiae of “Plamegate” concluded long ago that she was not a covert agent based on information readily available in the public record.

More proof is readily available.

Anarchus

Now ABC News is reporting that Scooter Libby has been indicted . . . . .

Anarchus

Oops.

ABC News threatened White House with "double sourced" information on Libby indictment; White House did not respond; not responding not the same as confirming; ABC News busily chasing its tail as this is written

Alex

I can't wait for Scooter Libby's defense lawyers to call Joe Wilson, his wife, her bosses, etc., etc., to the stand and live on CSPAN!

TM

FWIW, there is a bit of a Rove rally on TradeSports - his probability of indictment is down to about 45% (as of Tues evening.)

Libby is somewhat steady around 80%.

Harriet Miers is at about a 35% chance of being confirmed - seems high, especially since
Fitzgerald will be indicting her tomorrow.

Anyway, it must be something in the water, btu I am feeling bullish about Rove.

My official, better to be wrong than gutless picks:

Rove walks - he turns down a plea deal, Fitzgerald backs down.

Hannah and Wurmser get wrist slaps for misuse of classified info - their CIA links do them in, since they can't plead ignorance.

Libby is the sticking point - he has been offered a wrist slap on both misue of classified info (Miller) and perjury, and is thinking of fighting.

Also, they are negotiating the details of the indictment if he pleads, and that is becoming a deal-breaker.

So, Libby will go to trial (and he better lose, or win,by Jan 19, 2009.

Hannah was Novak's source (not currently in the WH).

Wurmser was the Pincus source.

Now, wavering is not allowed, but...

Hadley was begging for a role in this, and he got written out. However, if there is a fourth guy in trouble, he is it.

Or, he may swap places with Hannah, and the hint that Novak's source is out of the WH does not hold up, leaving Wurmser, Hadley, and Libby as fall guys.

Typepad is frozen, so my offical picks are right here.

Jon H

"The special prosecutor was assigned to look for serious crimes, not to uncover evidence that bureaucrats blame other bureaucrats when things go wrong."

You think this is a good line, TM?

It's just the rather dumb RNC talking points.

If Rove had tried to physically assault or kill Wilson, the RNC and Tierney would be spinning ways in which it is entirely justifiable, and merely a political contretemps, nothing to trouble the police with.

Jon H

"More proof is readily available."

That's not proof, that's assertion.

Doesn't matter that a bunch of media orgs made the assertion in a court filing.

They have nothing to back it up.

Funny that the Right spends so much time demonizing the media, but grabs at it like a security blanket whenever it offers a thread of possible protection.

Jon H

TM writes: "Jon H will now deliver the proof of the opposite. Keep hope alive!"


Prove? Not needed. There's no conclusive evidence that she was not.

Five years would be a long time in which she could have taken a short undercover trip. The IIPA doesn't require a long-term assignment. An undercover stroll across the border for lunch in Tijuana with a contact would suffice. Plenty of time, before she had the twins, for short trips.

The best the "not" faction can argue is that she wasn't assigned long-term anywhere. But that is irrelevant.

The fact that her neighbors and friends had no clue she was CIA strongly suggests that she was keeping the association secret as late as 2003.

So, you have her keeping her cover until Novak blew it. And there is no conclusive evidence to suggest she hadn't traveled undercover *at all* between 1998 and 2003.

Seems to me those claiming she wasn't covert, hadn't traveled in five years, etc, are the ones puffing at the tiny dying ember of hope trying to keep it lit.

Jon H

TM writes: "Jon H will now deliver the proof of the opposite. Keep hope alive!"


Prove? Not needed. There's no conclusive evidence that she was not.

Five years would be a long time in which she could have taken a short undercover trip. The IIPA doesn't require a long-term assignment. An undercover stroll across the border for lunch in Tijuana with a contact would suffice. Plenty of time, before she had the twins, for short trips.

The best the "not" faction can argue is that she wasn't assigned long-term anywhere. But that is irrelevant.

The fact that her neighbors and friends had no clue she was CIA strongly suggests that she was keeping the association secret as late as 2003.

So, you have her keeping her cover until Novak blew it. And there is no conclusive evidence to suggest she hadn't traveled undercover *at all* between 1998 and 2003.

Seems to me those claiming she wasn't covert, hadn't traveled in five years, etc, are the ones puffing at the tiny dying ember of hope trying to keep it lit.

TM

As to her being "covert" - take the example of a hypothetical CIA agent who worked covertly until his retirement in 1970,who then died in 1990.

I will bet that his status at the CIA is *still* classified, even though it would be hard to argue he was "covert" in the present tense.

Similarly, I'll bet that Ms. Plame's former status as a covert agent was still classified, but that she was not covert in an IIPA sense.

kim

Please Fitz, get it right. You may be the only one with the bipartisan support to do so.
===============================================

kim

deus ex machina.

I hinted at that earlier. Even publicly exposed, what V does at the CIA may still be classified(do you know what it is?). That, combined with the marital immunity, makes her a perfect vehicle for a stealth, legal(?), attack. Was she, or wasn't she? And is it with her own license, or is she chauffeured? Or is Joe just crazy?
==============================================

Syl

(If Jon H weren't so goshdarned rude about it, I'd agree with him.)

We only have public sources saying Valery hasn't worked out of the country the past 5 years.

(But Jon H doesn't know how to explain anything without insulting anyone he has to turn his head to see. So I maybe I should take it back.)

Syl

::waving to Kim::

Been a while!

Like almost 24 hours or something. :)

jukeboxgrad

Clarice: "I posted it elsewhere--the Telegraph reports today that Martino has admitted that he forged the documents while in the pay of French intelligence in order to undermine the US and British justification for war."

Are you making some kind of mistake? The text of the article you posted (in an earlier thread) seems to be an altered version of the original article. For example, you posted this text: "admitted that he did this in the pay of France to undermine the British and American justification for the war in Iraq."

I cannot find that text at the link you offered.

"since Wilson consistently told everyone that he'd seen the documents"

Please provide a single reference indicating Wilson said he had "seen" the dccuments. Sources indicating that he made statements about the documents, implying he had heard detailed information about the documents, don't count.

"he was in Niger in 1999 when the Niger Embassy was broken into and some documents taken"

Are you referring to the Nigerien Embassy in Niger? Embassies are usually in another country. What on earth are you trying to say?

I realize Jeff has asked much the same questions.

"long before Bush came into office they were hearing the same thing from Clinton officials"

Lots of people said Saddam was dangerous. Bush went a step further. He said Saddam was so dangerous that the only solution was a war of choice, and that this war needed to start on 3/19/03 and not a day later. Bush was wrong.

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