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October 27, 2005

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CroolWurld

I've heard of suspended animation, and I wouldn't be surprised if that accurately described the Washington press corps, but animated suspense? I thought that was a Pixar thing.

BurkettHead

Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to un-know.
SIR RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON

Florence Schmieg

The one good thing to come from indictments is a chance, finally, for the defense to issue subpoenas for reporters, Wilson, Plame, and a variety of State and CIA people. Last night Jonathan Turley had some very disturbing things to say about the history of Patrick Fitzgerald and the type of prosecutor he is (calling grand juries for the purpose of getting someone to perjure themselves, inventing creative readings of the statutes to prosecute someone) that has gotten him chided by the judiciary, etc. Disturbing.

Jim E.

It's interesting that you brought up blog coverage. It's clear that a lot of the reporters on the Plame beat do NOT read the blogs, which is weird. You'd think out of curiousity, they would read them semi-regularly. Chris Matthews, who is pretty much devoting most of every single show to the Plame case, not only doesn't read blogs -- it's not clear that he reads all of the print coverage correctly.

Howard Fineman and Olberman, on the other hand, have demonstrated their familiarity with various blogs. I'm not a blog triumphalist, but it is disappointing to see the drivel on cable news that passes for "analysis." If the panelists were better informed, they'd have more interesting (and factually accurate) things to say.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Inside baseball has been berry berry good to Joe Wilson:

http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0543/051026_news_josephwilson.php

' Joseph Wilson is uncertain how events will shake out, though he personally is doing just fine. He recently told an audience that he wasn't interested in public office, being someone who had "too many wives" (Valerie's his third) and, when young, took "too many drugs. And, yes, I did inhale." With a best-selling book, The Politics of Truth, and a speaking tour under way, Wilson's now making a living off the White House's apparent indiscretions. "I've got a great life, and what I'm doing now is the right thing to do," he allows...'

Syl

Foxnews reported this morning that Fitzgerald's office said no announcements today.

We'll see.

BurkettHead

My guess is that the indictments come on Monday. I think Fitz will leave the grand jury open until 5:00 on Friday. He'll rattle everything & everyone he can just to see if anyone wants to come in and "correct" any testimony, or if they suddenly "remembered" something. And he'll play Let's Make A Deal.

But what do I know (besides not to practice criminal law)?

paul

Who told Wilson that he was going at the behest of the VP's office? It is a sign that there is a 'cabal'(sorry Wilkerson) in the CIA.

Are we ever going to find out about that?


Also...MSNBC has been playing the clip of the 'neighbor' of the Wilson's-who incidentally was a dining guest of theirs. The guy say he just knew Plame as an analyst...msnbc cuts it there...but on Tucker's show, the original interview...the guy goes on to say that he thought Joe Wilson was also an analyst.

Joe couldn't tell him he was a diplomat? That he has his own business? That he was famous for his Iraq work in 91? The guy was covering for them...plain and simple.

Joe is not the type of guy who would discuss his importance with anyone..let alone calssifed docs.

Better still, there is a report of two non-WH people who are the targets of indictments...leaves some wiggle room.

Can't wait to see his tesitmony at trial.

owl

Okay, I'm lazy. So someone tell me again who Kristof and Pincus say confirmed their May and June articles. Who do they claim as their confirmation sources for Wilson? Do they claim to have checked with the CIA?

Syl

I found something.

Is this the first I've seen admitted that a reporter said something first? This is from AP, yesterday, about Fitz meeting the judge.

FBI agents working for Fitzgerald checked facts this week that could be used in a case, including whether Rove made any comments to a former colleague about his contact with one of the reporters who disclosed that Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson's wife worked as an undercover CIA officer.

Sure sounds like it.

BTW...typepad/typekey is having a terrible problem with their content-type headers. IE half the time is showing garbage instead of the page. Referesh usually fixes it. There's probably an error in the back and forth between typepad and the browser, and that's messing the timing of reading the content-type headers.

Something like that, I surmise, anyway. I had this problem yesterday at one other typepad blog also.

Also, this problem only appeared yesterday? the day before? when typepad took everything down while they did some (emergency?) maintenance.

Jimmy's Attack Rabbit

*** Note to Future Historians***

When reading these dusty digital archives please wrap your head with an Ace Bandage to prevent your head from exploding trying to follow the story known as Nada-gate.

topsecretk9

Owl

Raises good points.

topsecretk9

Just a thought...per the rumor of lease on more office space and expansion on this investigation reached its limits...

Good news, what else is he investigating?

Geek, Esq.

This Russert thing is a red herring. Since Libby found out about Plame from Big Time in early June, it's pretty obvious that the whole "we heard about it from reporters" line was just a smokescreen. They just didn't figure that Fitz would grill the reporters on the subject.

cathyf
Last night Jonathan Turley had some very disturbing things to say about the history of Patrick Fitzgerald and the type of prosecutor he is (calling grand juries for the purpose of getting someone to perjure themselves, inventing creative readings of the statutes to prosecute someone) that has gotten him chided by the judiciary, etc. Disturbing.
Extremely disturbing if true -- Fitzgerald's reputation has been exactly opposite. Here in Illinois we have an ancient and dishonorable prosecutorial tradition called "logrolling perjury." A prosecutor starts with some low-level corrupt official (in Illinois there is basically an unlimited supply of them, alas.) He is offered immunity or at least allowed to cop a plea if he turns in a bigger fish. The prosecutor repeats this with the next fish, and the next and the next. Eventually he gets to a fish who doesn't know of any bigger fish than himself. So he makes something up against some innocent guy. Who can either perjure himself and make something up against yet a bigger fish, or surrender to total destruction. At some point somebody calls the prosecutor's bluff (since there is no corroborating evidence other than the accusations of some poor slob who is essentially being blackmailed into making them.) The last charges are quietly dropped (unlike when they were front-page news and the poor slob was on all the local news channels making his perp walk.) The prosecutor counts all the copped pleas as convictions, and wins 4 terms as governor based upon his "tough on crime" record. People remember the sheer volume of his press conferences announcing charges and don't really pay attention to the details. As long as the prosecutor stays away from people close to hizzoner da mare, and The Outfit, it's a great career.

Fitzgerald was supposed to be different. He was supposed to have the integrity to go after da mare and da mob, and to know the difference between prosecuting crimes that actually occured and suborning perjury. I'm holding out hope that this was some sort of unjustified smear campaign.

cathy :-)

owl

ts--Did the NYT let Kristof publish with only Wilson? And I keep seeing Pincus promoting that Wilson was telling the truth. AJ linked to an article on this yesterday. Who confirmed Pincus info from Wilson. Wilson had to have been shopping this stuff to every media to have printed in May and June so how did the NYT and WaPo confirm Wilson's story. Someone needs to ask Kristof and Pincus if Wilson's wife was ever present and were they asked these questions under oath.

clarice

As I recall at least one of thos stories included comments from a "CIA analyst". Let's play,Name that Source.

owl

Yep clarice. Also think Pincus article used the plural a couple of times. Wonder why we have not seen signs of Fritz tracking from the Kristoff through Pincus era when NYT and WaPo had to have investigated Wilson. All those reporters and they never heard a thing until Libby and Rove till July? Gimme a break.

topsecretk9

Someone needs to ask Kristof and Pincus if Wilson's wife was ever present and were they asked these questions under oath.

AJ made this point...In Kristof's case, he sourced it to "someone present with the briefing" (paraphrasing) referring to Wilson's brief of his trip to CIA,

AJ points out that Kristof either didn't realize that the briefing took place at Wilson's home and their were only 4 people present =1 Envoy, 2 CIA Debreifers and 1 "Hostess" thereby revealing Valerie as his (Kristoff's) CIA reassurance...or Kristof knew and didn't care because it fulfilled his wildest desires

clarice

Still no correction from Kristof who I think is in China (probably bowing at Mao's gave) after last week's book review where he quibbled about how many millions of deaths Mao caused and argued he'd done lots of good. PHEH--Time to send a semi full of mooses to the NYT.

clarice

Yipes--"grave", not"gave".

topsecretk9

Yipes--"there", not "their"

Docbar

RE Pauls comment above:

I've been puzzling over the reports concerning the late visits to the Wilsons neighbors by SP investigators. This seemed a bit clumsy (Keystone Kops). But something occurred to me: What if the Wilsons are operating under assumption that the thrust of the investigation exclusively concerns the criminality of the "outing". This might lead them to take active measures to ensure that she could plausably present herself as "covert".

SPECULATION ALERT I:
Is it possible that the Wilsons (one, the other, or both) paid their neighbors a few "discreet" preliminary visits, and suggested that they disavow any knowledge that she worked at the CIA (even feigning astonishment or surprise)?

SPECULATION ALERT II:
Assuming ALERT I is correct, is it possible that one or more of the neighbors "cracked", and admitted to a bit of coaching from the Wilsons?

If all this is true, then there exists a conspiracy to obstruct justice, perpetrated by either of the Wilsons, or both. The late visits by investigators could be an effort to shore up information, and possibly "sting" the ones who stuck by the original story.

Do I need to use bigger bolts for my tin foil hat?

clarice

Wouldn't that be lovely? Someone posted here or at Mac's an msnbc report in which a neighbor reportedly indicated she thought both of them were "analysts"..For what it's worth.And IIRC one or both of these "neighbors" were Kerry supporters.

Was it Kristof or Pincus who reportedly met the dashing pair at a Fourth of July party at chez Wilson?

cathyf

Hey, Docbar, got any spare tinfoil fer me?

How's this for a scenario:

1) Fitzgerald dismissed the IIPA question the first week he was in business because of the "within 5 years" rule. Fitzgerald's "specialness" as special prosecutor is about the inherent conflict of interest with the Justice Department investigating the president and/or VP, and there was never any allegation that anybody in the WH or VP's office discussed Plame before dates more than six years since she came home from overseas. Since he is a cagey prosecutor, he found it useful to allow the chattering classes to chatter endlessly about "outting Plame" and has never made any indication that he's not interested in the IIPA.

2) There is a separate investigation by the FBI and a regular prosecutor into who in the CIA and other not-white house agencies has leaked in the Niger caper and otherwise mishandled classified docs.

3) Fitzgerald has found no crimes on the part of his original "special" targets (WH, VP) but he spent time yesterday meeting with Hogan to discuss whether the Wilsons and the hypothetical "CIA cabal" are sufficiently politically sensitive that they need a special prosecutor to investigate them.

4) In other words, Fitzgerald is arguing to Hogan that he should take over the other investigation that is being done by the "regular" troops (FBI and US DA). The investigations of the neighbors were sort of a "sample" for Hogan -- if Fitzgerald is going to investigate whether Wilson was blabbing about girlfriend-then-wife Valerie's romantic secret agent (very recent) past in 1997 or 1998, this is where he would start.

Ok, wild right-wing fantasy fer sure, but it fer sure explains some data! It explains why nobody interviewed the neighbors before. It explains why the men in black are interviewing neighbors now. It explains why there haven't been any indictments yet. It explains the meeting with Hogan. It explains the office space.

I admit I will be more shocked than anybody if this turns out to be even approximately true, but I'll be happy to claim you heard it from me first!

cathy :-)

clarice

I do not think Hogan is who he would go to. In fact, he needn't go to anyone to investigate this.

His mission is broad enough I think and the facts of the "outing" case so minimal and easy, he could have been doing both things all along. BTW --whoo whoo tinfoil hat--someone elsewhere pointed out that the original phone number on his new website originally listed as his the phone no of the Dept's counter intelligence unit..

cathyf
I do not think Hogan is who he would go to. In fact, he needn't go to anyone to investigate this.
Would he need to go to somebody to empanel a new GJ and extend his special prosecutor mission? I can understand if he was the regular US DA for DC or northern VA he wouldn't need anybody's permission to proceed, but he's not. His DC mission is strictly about being "special."

cathy :-)

clarice

He's been given broad authority to investigate leaking from the CIA, I believe.IIRC the AG delegated all power to him as if he were the AG himself in this matter.

I think he need only ask the Clerk to empanel another GJ if he needs more time .

topsecretk9

I thought I read somewhere that the extensions for this GJ investigation have all been used up. Is that not the case or is it ridiculous to think there is ever really a limit?

arrowhead

cathy

Elegant summary and masterful dot connecting!

BurkettHead

Q - Assuming (1) Pflame works at Langley and (2) Novak asked whether he could publish her name, but only received a wishy washy response, is the US taking "affirmative measures" to conceal Pflame's (allegedly) covert status?

cathyf

ts9 -- It's just the extension that's been used up. If Fitzgerald is going to continue, he needs a new grand jury and to allow the current grand jury off the hook. (If I understand it correctly, these grand jurors have been meeting every Wednesday and Friday for almost 2 years. I'm not sure how close this is to regular jury duty, where the pay doesn't come close to covering parking and lunch, but I think that we have probably vastly overstayed our imposition on these fine citizens' time. If it was allowed to keep some poor citizen chained to a grand jury for decades it certainly ought to run afoul of the 13th amendment. Heck, 22 months ought to run afoul of the 13th amendment...)

So if Fitzgerald is going to change tacks, this would be a good time, since he has to bring a new grand jury up to speed anyway.

cathy :-)

clarice

ts--the time for this panel will be up Friday and as I understand it they've already been extended and lost some jurors.That panel cannot be extended. They could issue sealed indictments or regular indictements and end their work.

If there is another area Fitz wants to go into, he could seek to empanel a new gj to deal with new issues.

cathyf

BurkettHead, you are way behind the curve. Your second assumption is false. Hawley first confirmed to Novak that she was CIA. The CIA was not protecting her identity. Then Hawley got into a substantive argument where he kept telling Novak he was wrong (Novak wasn't wrong, according to SSCI.) Then he told Novak not to publish her name. Because he had already told Novak she was fair game (non-covert) when he confirmed she was CIA, and because his statement not to publish was in the midst of his blizzard of bullshit, yes, it is true that the CIA was not taking positive steps to hide her identity. Even though the CIA did technically ask Novak not to print her name, the CIA did so after telling him (by confirming her CIA employment) that she was not covert.

cathy :-)

windansea

BH...I've been asking the same for weeks...

topsecretk9

Thanks Clarice and Cathy

Legal beagles are good for my brain

Rick Ballard

TSK9,

I believe that legal eagles is the generally accepted formulation. Not that there are no legal beagles - it's just that nominating them as such invites negative repercussions.

Clarice and Cathy definitely fall into the eagle category, while.. well enough for the moment.

topsecretk9

Rick--
Yes, I have this problematic Yogi Berra tendency! I think it is a right brain/left brain thing. Leaves people scratching their heads, I know.

Gotta love Kaus

Doubts have been expressed about the big front page NYT scoop of yesterday--the one that said George Tenet told Cheney about Plame's status, and that Cheney then told Libby. Obvious Problem #1: If Tenet was such a key figure, wouldn't he have testified before the actual grand jury? Obvious problem #2: Would Libby really have been dumb enough to contradict his own notes (which the prosecutor has had from the start) under oath? ... If the Times story falls apart, will reporters Johnston, Stevenson and Jehl get fired like so many people think Judtih Miller should be fired (given that her WMD stories fell apart)? What if Jehl's big front-page Able Danger scoop turns out to be a crock too? That would be two big strikes against Jehl! Hey,what do you have to do to get fired at the New York Times? ... This principle of actually holding reporters accountable for the accuracy of their stories could get out of hand. ... P.S.: I do think sacking Miller now is a bit harsh, no? Her WMD reporting was discredited in 2003. It's not like she wasn't convinced it was right at the time! What's she done over the past year that's horrible enough to justify going from hero to the sidewalk, except spend 85 days in jail as part of a misguided crusade ginned up by the paper's publisher? (OK, so she didn't remember a few things under oath, maybe, to protect her source.) ... The publisher, on the other hand, is facing a multiple count indictment:

1) Falling for Howell Raines' con and hiring him as editor over Bill Keller, only to have to fire him after a scandal and staff rebellion, during which the publisher made an idiot of himself by brandishing a stuffed moose--Bad Move;

2) Bullying his way into control of the International Herald Tribune--probable Bad Move;

3) Leading the aforementioned misguided Judith Miller crusade that has now ripped his paper apart--Bad Move.

4) Taking his star columnists out of the public discourse by trying to charge money for Web access to them--Bad Move.

And, of course, Pinch's overarching, original crime: Freeing a respected national newspaper to become an unashamed cocooning organ of New York liberal political and aesthetic prejudices (with a few exceptions, like Miller, that are slowly being corrected). ... Go Class A Stock! ... 5:51 P.M.

cathyf

Hey, you calling me a dog or sumpin??!?

woof!

cathy :-)

clarice

I love Kaus, too--

clarice

BH--Add to that , not requiring Joe to sign a non disclosure agreement or even yanking his chain when he (and quite obviously she) started their pree tour..Sheesh Or allowing him to post her top secret super duper undercover name on the EPIC and Saudi funded chowder society bios--Double sheesh.

topsecretk9

Sad part is I have been corrected on the beagle thing before...Don't you mean eagle?? Scratch, scratch.. crunched up brows...once it is "seared" it's hopeless

cathyf

The "legal beagle" is, of course, Snoopy. In his bow tie, bowler hat, and briefcase.

cathy :-)

Jeff

Cecil, this one's for you and your trust in the SSCI and its completeness.

Seven Machos

When Kaus is wrong he is hideous. Mickey did predict that Spetember 11 would be eclipsed by domestic concerns by Thanksgiving, 2001. However, he is oen site I read every day. he is always reasonable; hie take is unique; and he is never shril. He is far and away my favorite left-liberal American. (My favorite left-liberal: Hitchens.)

clarice

We're all wring sometimes. He's more right than wrong. He skewered Marshall who was attacking Bush's refusal to apply Davia-Bacon in NO, And he was right and persuasive. Unfortunately, today the President under pressure from members of his own party, shifted his position. %^(. Tomorrow, I suppose Marshall will declare Kaus was right.;).

topsecretk9

this is pretty stupid (but kinda funny too!). Enter this in to google

"niger forgery investigation"

and check out the text discription under the 5th site down (TM's site)

topsecretk9

WindanSniff---
Your Time Share sales man apparently made a wager to Cliff May...

Here is a response: WARNING...FUNNY smack down of LCJ

http://media.nationalreview.com/080987.asp

Geek, Esq.

Cliff May was the idiot/unprincipled hack who claimed that David Corn outed Valerie Plame. He deserves every bit of scorn that hits him.

BurkettHead

cathy - thanks for bringing me up to speed (well, closer, at least) & into the curve (closer, at least).

It seems to me that, even if Fitz can prove that V. Pflame was a "covert agent" under Section 426(4), defense counsel can easily prove that the CIA was not taking "affirmative measures" under Section 421.

Based on the "facts" available to me at this time(whatever track I'm on, whatever speed I'm running, whatever curve I'm in, on or approaching), I just don't see any indictments under IIPA.

On to the Espionage Act? Or should I just wait for Fitz & see what track he's on?

Corn's ESP

David Corn was the idiot/unprincipled hack who claimed that senior Bush officials outed Valerie Plame. He deserves every bit of scorn that hits him.

BurbankErnie

Grand Jury participants get $40 per day and $4 for parking.

This GJ started with 23 folks, 8 have since left for hardship reasons. It is unclear if they had been replaced with Alternates.

75% of the GJ is African American Middle aged women. there are a couple of Middle Aged African Americans and a few White Middle aged men.

The GJ was extended in April for 6 months, after which time a new GJ will have to be enpaneled for the Investigation to continue.

reliapundit

tom;

we must assume that fitz has covered all this ground - thoroughly. he is not stupid.

therefore, we must assume that he will not indict based on IIPA, but based on the espionage act, based on the fact that merely CONFIRMING any classifed data is technically a crime.

also he will indict for obstruction and perjury.

all other indictments will be for effect - to get those indcited to cop a plea.

but expect rove and libby to plead innocent and to win.

clarice

Pincus's correction has been corrected (Spruiell )http://media.nationalreview.com/081010.asp

Just one half of one sentence and he will finally have the facts correct after almost 2 1/2 years..

Sue

If indictments are coming tomorrow, why are there no leaks? Or have I missed them?

Sue

On Hardball tonight, they said Fitzgerald had expanded his office space. I wonder if they forgot to check their source. :)

The source of mine in the real estate brokerage arena has called to retract information shared with me that the Office of the Special Counsel was expanding into 1401 New York Avenue. He states that "he just got it wrong."

In addition, the second source -- in the building -- says that he had a miscommunication with someone about this.

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/>Oops


clarice

Gosh, this is so boring--it would be wrong, but the devil keeps telling me to go to the fever swamps and start spreading rumors..*smacking self* but that would be wronggggggg

Sue

Something is odd. The 'oops' source above says the indictees received their letters on Tuesday. Of course, he did have an oops moment about the expanding office space. But NYTs is saying that the WH is still left guessing what Fitzgerald is going to do tomorrow. Okay, either oops is wrong again about the letters, people in the WH are actually keeping their mouths shut and carrying on as usual, or the letters weren't sent to Rove/Libby.

Sue

And another possibility, the letters weren't sent and they are still indicted. Since I don't believe letters have to be sent.

clarice

Well, if they weren't sent,they didn't receive them on Tues. so I'd file that story with the new space one.

I have to believe , as I said earlier, if any high official were indicted, as a courtesy the sp would notify him and if that happened he wouldn't be at work.

Newsguy

The one good thing to come out of all this is the fact that this administration is so corrupt, and so incompetent that it can no longer pretend to be anything but a disaster.

The American people are seeing this. Long-time Republicans are seeing this.

Bush has three more years to embellish on the disaster he has visited on the country. If we survive him and his foreign and domestic policies, I think the neocon agenda will be discredited forever and we can be rid of these fools forever.

It is the silver lining to the cloud that Bush has brought upon us all.

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