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October 08, 2005

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topsecretk9

yes but TM, via Joe Wilson--What I didn't find in Africa

"...Before I left Niger, I briefed the ambassador on my findings, which were consistent with her own. I also shared my conclusions with members of her staff. In early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau. There was nothing secret or earth-shattering in my report, just as there was nothing secret about my trip..."

Seixon

So basically Wilson could blab about this all he wanted to, and select the facts that were convenient for him to leak. The White House was then completely screwed over and couldn't nip this in the bud with more facts to fill out the truth?

How come that seems incredibly unfair?

We later found out that Wilson wasn't exactly being a beacon of truth...

Kate

So the reporters found out from reporter friends of Wilson and start asking officials who answer. Who the heck are all these officials. I doubt 22 reporters each had their own senior official.

In a way, I wish this would happen because it would be such an overreach it would discredit this prosecutor. Grant it, I've heard he hates leaks, but this will really scare offical DC and the reporters.

It crimializing business as duty in DC.

JoeDuke

Per the WaPo:

"Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, has testified that he learned Plame's name from Novak a few days before telling another reporter she worked at the CIA and played a role in her husband's mission, according to a lawyer familiar with Rove's account. Rove has also testified that the first time he saw the State Department memo was when "people in the special prosecutor's office" showed it to him, said Robert Luskin, his attorney.

"He had not seen it or heard about it before that time," Luskin said."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/20/AR2005072002517_pf.html

How can Rove be in trouble from the IVR memo when he had not seen it or heard of it before Fitz showed it to him?

David Walser

I am not disputing that discussing the mere fact of Wilson's trip would be a technical violation of the law. I am saying such a result would be ludicrous! Wilson discloses to the world the nature and purpose of his trip. After that disclosure, government officials would violate the law by acknowledging that Wilson went on the trip? If so, Dickens was right: The law's an ass!

Sue

Which brings us back to the shopping the story theory. What started all of these reporters looking into the story to begin with? Why did Pincus start asking Libby questions about a trip that was still classified? I think we are back to sqaure one only the outing of Plame isn't going to be the story.

topsecretk9

notice the "modified" time stamp

Published: Oct 8, 2005
Modified: Oct 8, 2005 4:05 AM
Prosecutor in CIA case taking new tack, lawyers say
Focus may shift from White House

By DAVID JOHNSTON, The New York Times

WASHINGTON -- The prosecutor in the CIA leak case is exploring a range of possible crimes, lawyers in the case say, suggesting that the investigation has moved well beyond its initial focus on whether anyone in the Bush administration illegally disclosed the identity of a CIA operative.
In recent days, the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has accelerated the pace of his inquiry in an apparent effort to conclude the case before the grand jury's term expires on Oct. 28. He has indicated to several lawyers that he might be preparing to bring charges.

Fitzgerald has asked to meet Tuesday with Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times who, after spending 85 days in jail, testified last week to the grand jury about her conversations with I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

The meeting is expected to focus on newly discovered notes compiled by Miller that refer to a conversation she had with Libby on June 25, 2003, according to a lawyer who did not want to be named because Fitzgerald has cautioned against discussing the case. Until now, the only conversations known to have occurred between Miller and Libby were on July 8 and 12, 2003.

The notes refer to Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador to Gabon. An Op-Ed article that he wrote for The Times, on July 6, 2003, which was critical of the administration's Iraq policy, started the events that led to the disclosure of the identity of his wife, Valerie Wilson, a CIA operative, and subsequently to Fitzgerald's inquiry.


http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/2813064p-9258411c.html

Dwilkers

"As to indicting Wilson on this basis? Apparently he had not signed a non-disclosure agreement, and he is a private citizen, not a government official relying on his access to classified info."

Do you know that to be true TM? I don't think that (his being technically civilian) would matter. I know it doesn't matter for military officers (they remain bound by secrecy agreements) and I really doubt it matters for career foreign service officers either.

I could be wrong though. /shrug

SteveMG

Did Wilson pull a sting on this White House?

Knowing that he could discuss his trip but that they couldn't, Wilson would accuse the Administration of lying about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium.

He knew that they couldn't respond and that if they did respond, they'd be discussing classified information that they were forbidden to reveal.

They walked right into his trap.

clarice

Neat! Than the intel officers run the country don't they? They can just hire stringers like Wilson and roll them out to undercut the Administration's foreign policy at will and the Administration cannot get to the bottom of the plot or respond to it? Possible, I suppose, but untenable.

topsecretk9

I guess I meant this as the strongest hint the media has been willing to give, that it aint just about the WH

WASHINGTON -- The prosecutor in the CIA leak case is exploring a range of possible crimes, lawyers in the case say, suggesting that the investigation has moved well beyond its initial focus on whether anyone in the Bush administration illegally disclosed the identity of a CIA operative.

AJStrata

Wilson had clearances, and they probably remained active. Ambassadors have clearances.

topsecretk9

Wilson had clearances, and they probably remained active. Ambassadors have clearances.

surely he mentions this, like 200 times, in his book!

Kate

TM: I'm not sure why Fitzgerald would have to bring 22 indictments as bargaining chips. I would assume by now he has all the information he needs.

So the indictments would serve what purpose. I could see it in the early phases of a GJ if he wants to put pressure lower ranking people to flip on the higher ups. This is just not that kind of case. This is just about a lot of people talking.

clarice

I had a top secret clearance , too. It ceased being calid the minute I left the government. At the time of this trip, Wilson was in private business (largely in Turkey) and in a group (largely funded by Saudi money). I seriously doubt his clearance was still in effect. And I find the failure to compel him to sign a non-disclosure agreement so suspicious that it was the thing that first alerted me to a potential CIA setup..

If he was not barred from disclosing the trip or its purpose and what he found or didn't, how can that possibly be classified information? Idiotic!

clarice

GRRR "calid" is "valid"

Syl

I'd like to know WHY Wilson did not sign an NDA. Did he refuse? Did the CIA want him to talk?

Jon H

It seems to me unlikely that Wilson's trip itself was secret. He was probably open with the people he dealt with in Africa on that score. Otherwise, when his op/ed ran, there probably would have been the usual complaints by the Niger government at being subjected to that kind of secret investigation.

However, inside the government, the information generated by the trip may have been wrapped up with other information from classified sources, making declassification more difficult. I dunno, I'm just guessing.

Or maybe the information about the trip was over-classified, as is often the case, especially with this administration.

JayDee

Pssst...Wilson told the truth.

Admin needed to cover its ass because it was in the process of lying a nation into a voluntary war in order to realize the utopian nation building fantasies of an elitist intellectual fringe group. One person realized he had some minimal power left as a citizen of a free society to stop his government from perpetrating a murderous fraud upon its citizens, a fraud that has since been fully revealed as a hopeless fiasco. He wasn't able to do much, but he tried, as free citizens have a right to do.

Take your punishment like men. Stop whining.

Jon H

"I'd like to know WHY Wilson did not sign an NDA. Did he refuse? Did the CIA want him to talk?"

Maybe they didn't think it was important, and would complicate the investigation in Niger. If he had an NDA, he'd need a cover story, etc.

Realistically, the only problem caused by the lack of an NDA was the embarrassment of the Bush administration when they over-reacted. That's really not a good justification for an NDA.

"Better put him under an NDA, there's no limit to what the White House is capable of if Wilson makes them look bad."

JoeDuke

Even at my crummy job we make all outside contractors sign non-disclosure agreements. We have nothing to do with the government and we do not work on anything as sensitive as uranium sales in Niger and nuclear weapon development.

You would think the CIA would make everyone sign a NDA. It is very strange.

Plus even if Joe did not sign one, you would think he would realize that he should not talk about it. Especially since his wife worked at the CIA.

SteveMG

"In order to realize the utopian nation building fantasies of an elitist intellectual fringe group."

Thanks for that wonderful and uplifting contribution to the thread.

We appreciate it.

You may go now. Have a nice day.

SMG

Jon H

JayDee writes: "Admin needed to cover its ass because it was in the process of lying a nation into a voluntary war in order to realize the utopian nation building fantasies of an elitist intellectual fringe group."

Except when Wilson wrote his op/ed, the war was already months old. It was a fait accompli, not something that Wilson could stop with words.

It was purely about covering Bush's image.

Jeff

It's fun watching you drive all your right-wing fans a little crazy, TM. But it is worth noting that, as topsecretk9 mentions, the Times today does observe that the Espionage Act can be applied to private citizens, though topsecretkp may misread the opening of the Times piece, placing the emphasis on Fitzgerald moving beyond the Bush administration rather than moving beyond, in effect, IIPA, if he was ever there to begin with. Then again, if the target were Wilson, would Fitzgerald be phoning Wilson personally, as opposed to his lawyer? But maybe Wilson doesn't have a lawyer? There's not necessarily any reason to think Fitzgerald can't go after both Bush administration follks and Wilson, at least in principle.

One other thing: you are throughout this post assuming that the relevant classified information is what Tenet declassified on July 11. Maybe, but there are the lefty alternatives you've mentioned, such as the report from Wilson's trip; and even, I would add, information from Wilson's earlier, 1999 trip, which Ari Fleischer, for instance, may have been peddling in a muddle in Africa during July 2003.

sue

Jay Dee,

If Wilson told the truth, why has so much of his truth been debunked? He told the truth that he went to Niger and sipped tea. Beyond that, he spun it to fit an agenda, one which had everything to do with advising the Kerry campaign.

SteveMG

Jeff:
It's equally funny watching you leftwingers try to bring down this Administration using a standard of proof that you never employ against our enemies.

Any hint of impropriety by this W.H. is immediately seized upon by lefties as evidence of Administration criminality.

On the other hand, when there are reports connecting Saddam and Iraq with OBL and al-Qaeda, the very same individuals dimiss such reports as indicative of really nothing because the secular Baathists would never align themselves with the radical Islamists.

One standards for the evil neocons; an entirely different one, if one at all, for terrorists and dictators.

Because after all, the leftwing thinks Bush is more evil and more dangerous than the terrorists.

Which, at the end of the day, is the major reason you lefties will never attain political power in this country. You haven't figured out who the real danger to the nation comes from.

SMG

JayDee

Except when Wilson wrote his op/ed, the war was already months old. It was a fait accompli, not something that Wilson could stop with words.

Jon, if only we could go back to those months, before the full incompetence of this pathologicaly lying administration had had its chance to destroy all chance of success in Iraq. If only the idea of accountability could have taken root then, when we still had a chance to suppress this vile insurgency. But unfortunately, as most rightwing blogs demonstrate, the American public had been coddled into childish acceptance of anything the admin told it needed to be done, and believed, again in a childlike way, that they knew what they were doing. We're seeing not only the results of a callously incompetent group of elitist ideologues running American foreign policy like their own personal chopshop, but the results of a passive, uninformed electorate, the antithesis of the American ideal.

clarice

Why did he call Wilson and not his lawyer? Let's hope that stupid egomaniac never got a lawyer..

Jon H

"You haven't figured out who the real danger to the nation comes from."

In the 90s, the right wing thought the real danger to the nation came from oval office blow jobs.

Forgive me if I don't believe the right wingers have any particular brilliance on this score.

JoeDuke

Are we allowed to say "blow jobs" on this board?

JayDee

Whatever the outcome here, I must admit it has been utterly hilarious watching rightwingers scurry around looking for excuses and legal lifelines under all the couch cushions. And yeah, the same folks whose little pink undies were all in a twist because big Bill got a hummer. Thanks for this show. However it turns out, it has been a blast.

SteveMG

"In the 90s, the right wing thought the real danger to the nation came from oval office blow jobs."

They did? I don't recall the thousands of rightwingers marching in the streets with pictures of Clinton on signs and banners calling him a "murder" and a "terrorist". I don't recall right wing elites saying that Clinton was the greatest threat to the world.

I don't recall rightwing military moms saying, while cheered on by thousands, that Clinton was the greatest terrorist in the world or a mass murderer.

You must have been receiving different editions of the Times and Washington Post that I did.

You really don't want to go down this specious road paved with fradulent analogies.

SMG

JoeDuke

"Hummer" seems ok, but "blow jobs"...that just sounds wrong.

Al

Yeah, I don't understand TM's point either. Is he saying that people outside of government (i.e., Wilson) were free to disclose the fact of Wilson's trip, but people in government were not? On what basis does TM make this distinction? The statute (Espionage Act, at least) does NOT make any distinction between people in government and people outside of government.

sue

You know when someone on the right shows up on Kos with their comments, they get booted and deleted. Does the same policy apply here? Or does this blog allow dissenting opinions? As long as they are civil, which is, at the moment, being stretched to the limits.

Syl

OO

I see some people are a little spooked by the possible direction the investigation is going. Crying 'Bush lied. People died' is like calling for mommy.

------

Sue mentioned in the thread below that the original complaint from the CIA to the Justice Dept mentioned a leak of classified info, not specifically anything about outing an agent.

Beyond the fact that an agent's status, if covert, IS classified info, this case may be about, as Tom opined, something else entirely.

The 'outing' may be a red herring.

It's very possible that the classified info is some tidbit somewhere that we don't even realize is classified. Not the fact of the trip, or who sent Wilson, or his wife's name, or that there wasn't a sale...but something specific. Some detail that got out and we don't see it for the all the details surrounding it.

sue

Syl,

In lawyer speak it is called smoke and mirrors. When the smoke clears and the mirrors are removed, we all may be in for a big surprise.

JayDee

I don't recall rightwing military moms saying, while cheered on by thousands, that Clinton was the greatest terrorist in the world or a mass murderer.

See, usually, SMG, when middle aged men do bad things with younger women, mothers and fathers don't have to go out and pick up any flag draped coffins containing the body of a child they adore. That might explain the difference.

Syl

JayDee

Stuff it.

Go read Zawahiri's latest instructions to Zarqawi. This is war and you'd better get used to it.

SteveMG

"Mothers and fathers don't have to go out and pick up any flag draped coffins containing the body of a child they adore"

Child? These are adult men and women who have voluntarily joined the military to serve the nation. And they are proud to do so with the full knowledge of the dangers they face.

And the overwhelming - overwhelming - numbers of them completely endorse Bush and the liberation of Iraq. In fact, they overwhelmingly re-enlist to go back to Iraq once their tours are up.

And right about now, this thread is getting way off path. Let's get back to the Plame matter, please.

You may have the last word if you'd like but I don't feel like veering this off onto the war since the "chickenhawk" charge is probably just about ready to make its appearance.

SMG

topsecretk9

Are we allowed to say "blow jobs" on this board?

dunno, but "sexual relations" is perfectly acceptable.

don

Mentioned this in earlier threat, but the mere fact that potential indictments are being considered based on violations of non-disclosure agreements indicates to me that there is "real life" and "make believe" in Washington DC. I was involved in intelligence and the military and signed many non-disclosure agreements (what a joke), and never once was anyone ever "prosecuted" for violating one, and the serious, serious violations for mishandling were handled administratively. However in the world of cut throat politics, so-called violation means indictments throughout the Administration? 22? Interesting drama but clearly another world.

sue

The number 22 was first floated by Reuters. Suspect right there. However, if there are 22 indictments, that doesn't in and of itself mean there are 22 different people. It could be Rove and Libby with 11 indictments each. Each time they talked to a reporter would be considered a separate offense.

richard mcenroe

Oh, screw it. Let's just lock up Little Pinch Sulzberger and call it even.

Jeff

Jeff:
It's equally funny watching you leftwingers try to bring down this Administration using a standard of proof that you never employ against our enemies.

Funny, SMG, I thought we were all offering informed speculation about what Fitzgerald is up to and what actually happened with the Plame affair. Just out of curiosity, if Fitzgerald indicts Bush administration officials (or former ones), does that by definition make him one of your leftwingers? Or might you acknowledge that there's something more than a whiff of impropriety there?

Which, at the end of the day, is the major reason you lefties will never attain political power in this country. You haven't figured out who the real danger to the nation comes from.

Yeah, many on the left hold ridiculous views, though I don't think it's more than on the right. And surely it is possible to say that there are multiple real dangers, and they may be of different degrees of seriousness. I do as a matter of fact believe that certain kinds of violent extremism represent a grave danger to the U.S., even to its existence. (I don't, by the way, think the Bush administration has done a very good job of protecting us from those dangers.) But to see something as dangerous, it need not rise to the level of, or be the moral equivalent of, such existential dangers. It might be a danger, for example, not to the existence but to some of the best features of the U.S. and its form of government. I think I've seen this line of argument before from you, and it has a kind of childish quality, as though the fact of not being in power is some kind of moral deficit on the part of those not on the right.

Kate

Don-I agree with your NDA. Even a former DCI received a slap on the wrist for an issue with classified material.

How do you think this mass indictment will play with the American people. I think there may be a backlash because it will be so obviously unfair.

SteveMG

Jeff:
Yes, you've seen this line of argument from me because it goes to the very substance of the failure of the contemporary left to identify the real dangers to this nation. You may sneer at it but you haven't been able to respond to it.

Let me use Christopher Hitchens as an example. He has stated that following 9/11 that he receieved hundreds of letters of correspondence and has engaged in dozens if not hundreds of debates with his fellow liberal/left friends on the issue of the terrorist threat.

And repeatedly, Hitchens says, the argument was that the threat to the nation came not from OBL or Islamic terrorists but from Bush and the neo-cons and Christian believers.

That was why, inter alia, he left The Nation magazine and took up arms with the conservatives.

I will submit to you that a movement that regularly calls Bush and his supporters terrorists and evil while lecturing others not to use those "simplistic" terms when describing Osama Bin Laden or Zarqawi is a movement that is fundamentally misguided and wrong.

A movement that says that 50 million Americans are a danger and cannot be trusted (those Christers) with power because they go to church on Sunday while at the same time lecturing us to understand the root causes and grievances of radical Islamic terrorists is a movement that is distinctly not to be trusted with political power in this nation.

The tribalism of politics leads to people saying and doing extreme things. Neither side has a monopoly on outrageous or slanderous statements against the other. But even that tribal warfare, if you will, has its limits. There's a point where the rough and tumble exceeds acceptable limits.

And those limits have been egregiously surpassed by the liberal left at this time.

Nope. You guys aren't running things around here. You've got to be as pissed off at the terrorists as you are at the neocons before you get to run things.

And by "you", I don't mean you specifically; I've using it generically.

SMG

JayDee

Go read Zawahiri's latest instructions to Zarqawi. This is war and you'd better get used to it.

And show me the faintest whiff of proof that this letter is legit. I mean, they aren't even trying to "catapult" this propaganda, it's so transparently bogus. Pardon me for not believing a single freaking thing this administration says on face value alone. My momma taught me this around the time I learned to talk: Don't tell lies or else on one will believe you when you tell the truth. Thats where this admin is now. So much lying, so much corruption, so much spin. Why should any intelligent person believe anything they say? In fact, the only reason I take the recent NYC subway threat seriously, is because it didn't come from the feds. (In our new bizarro-land, the feds apparently objected to NYC informing its citizens of a possible threat upon their lives.)

SMG, I agree we want to keep the discussion on point. I know the "they're adults" defense plays well in the winger blogosphere, but please try not to be so disingenuos as to ignore the difference between the pain caused by having your son blown into a trillion bloody pieces and the pain caused by some fat dude you never met having oral sex with some fat girl you never met.

Seven Machos

WHICH IS IT, JAYZEEDEE? Is President Bush a slobbering moron who drags his knuckles and is the worst president ever? Or is President Bush an evil genius who writes Mapes/Rather-style letters IN ARABIC for the consumption of the press, creating a fake terror threat?

Either way, BUSH LIED!!!!, right? And you are smart and morally superior.

boris

J D has jumped the shark.

boris

Excerpt from a couple of threads ago:

There are two parallax illusions relevant to this caper:

(1) Valerie and Joe spoke truth to power by exposing the fake intel behind a rogue administration’s march to unjust war. Then the dastardly Rove and Co. conspired to take revenge on intrepid truthsayers by blowing Valerie’s cover, ruining her career and impugning false motive to their heroic endeavor. (nutter nonsense)

(2) Valerie and Joe conspired to lure the administration into revealing her employment at the CIA using as bait Joe’s carefully worded implication in the NY Times that he made the Niger trip at Cheney’s behest. Valerie’s covert status was no longer a career asset and was about to expire anyway so using it as legal force to spring the trap was maximum gain at no loss. Joe could barely conceal his glee when the scam worked and practically yelled “Aha ! Gotcha !!!” when he demanded Rove be frog marched out of the White House. (the real deal)

Which one Fitz is operating under depends on his immunity to BDS, which may be more widespread than just lefty blog nuts. It can be argued that Blanco’s BDS put thousands of lives at risk and may have cost more than a few. If Fitz is of the opinion that the 16 words were an example of presidential abuse to mislead the country, then it is quite possible he subscribes to parallax illusion #1

sue

I don't guess it would do any good to point out that I didn't question the WMD story told by Bush because the same story had been told by the previous administration, for 8 years.

Okay, back to Plame. I think everyone is focused on who has testified as the targets of the indictments. I will point out that GJ testimony by the indictee is not a prerequisite to an indictment. Case in point, Tom Delay.

Smoke and mirrors, being used by the same news organizations that are under investigation. NYTs should recuse itself from this story, since it is the story. How can you believe what they say when they preface it with 'according to our sources close to the investigation'. Those sources are probably their reporters being questioned and/or their lawyers. Same with Time magazine.

SteveMG

Jaydee:
"disingenuos as to ignore the difference between the pain caused by having your son blown into a trillion bloody pieces and the pain caused"

Point taken.

Just remember, the people blowing up these sons and daughters are the enemy. Not Bush, not the neocons, not Halliburton.

Fine, oppose Bush. Condemn the neocons.

But every now and then, please, just throw in a denunciation of the terrorists killing women and children in Iraq. They're blowing up schools, restaurants, mosques. Cutting off heads.

They're not freedom fighters or liberators opposing an unjust occupation. They're thugs.

Even worse than, horrors, Cheney. Believe it or not.

I said you'd have the last word but I violated the agreement. Mea culpa.

All yours this time, I promise.

SMG

Jon H

boris writes: "Valerie and Joe conspired to lure the administration into revealing her employment at the CIA using as bait Joe’s carefully worded implication in the NY Times that he made the Niger trip at Cheney’s behest. Valerie’s covert status was no longer a career asset and was about to expire anyway so using it as legal force to spring the trap was maximum gain at no loss. Joe could barely conceal his glee when the scam worked and practically yelled “Aha ! Gotcha !!!” when he demanded Rove be frog marched out of the White House. (the real deal)"

So are you saying that it was entirely predictable that the White House would do something so dishonorable for political leverage?

You must think very little of the character of the people you voted for.

Jon H

"But every now and then, please, just throw in a denunciation of the terrorists killing women and children in Iraq. They're blowing up schools, restaurants, mosques. Cutting off heads."

Cutting off heads is barbaric, and no doubt excruciating, but I'm inclined to think that more pain was suffered by the innocent Afghan guy whose legs were pulverised by our troops, and who was then left to hang. At least getting your head sawed off is over relatively quickly, rather than being an hours-long slow death in agony.

And, anyway, I don't pay the salaries of the terrorists. I don't even drive an SUV. On the other hand, I do pay the salaries of Bush and his cronies, and I will be paying for their mistakes for the rest of my life.

boris

do something so dishonorable for political leverage?

There has been no indication that Rove and Co. knew about Valerie's covert status. Only She and Joe knew they had that surprise to invoke legal scrutiny.

Jon H

"There has been no indication that Rove and Co. knew about Valerie's covert status. Only She and Joe knew they had that surprise to invoke legal scrutiny."

They're professionals with security clearances. It was their responsibility - legally - to check before talking about someone who works at the CIA.

You think very little of your political favorites, don't you? You seem to think they're a bunch of 16 year old morons who don't know what they're doing and can't be expected to act responsibly.

Of course, as events have shown, that's exactly how they behave.

boris

It was their responsibility - legally - to check before talking about someone who works at the CIA.

No it wasn't, that was Harlow's responsibility.

Seven Machos

Jon H -- I can see that you think you are a real intellectual.

1. The phrase "parallax illusions" suggests that both views are inaccurate.

2. You sneered that it's better to die when a terrorist cuts your head off than to get your legs pulverized (whatever the #$%&* this comparison is). You further sneer that you don't pay terrorists' "salaries." SO WHAT, BIG GUY? Do you support the U.S. military or don't you? Are you for the other side or aren't you? Or, is your view so much more complex and subtle, like the fair-trade coffee that you no doubt drink in your non-SUV while you are busy helping the poor and speaking truth to power?

Idiot.

Jon H

"No it wasn't, that was Harlow's responsibility."

No, it is their responsibility. It was their responsibility to find out about her before blabbing.

And this is really the weakest possible defense for your side. You're saying they can't be blamed for not making the simple step of asking themselves, "She works at the CIA. Is she covert or overt?" and calling Tenet to find out.

The Harlow defense is *no* defense. A journalist could well have run the story without getting a confirmation from Harlow.

Jon H

"Do you support the U.S. military or don't you? "

I don't support members of the military, at any level, when they act like Soviet prison guards.

Not then, I don't.

Don

first, 22 indictments for each passing of information. Well, without giving out too much information for fear of identifying myself, now that would be very typical of federal or non-federal prosecutors. Just bury them. Overcharging, thats a real factor in real America and Americans will smell that.

The other issue asked was how this plays in middle or real America. Most people have no idea either way, they may sniff a little unfairness in air, but will have no idea what side to believe - the "daily Kos" fanatics calling for the pen and limbaugh spin machine calling for prosecutor overreach.

My hope is that Fitzgerald although an aggressive prosecutor has dealt with many types of crimes before so he has some sense of proportion - he has prosecuted some real crimes in the past and hopefully he gets a real knowledge base to give context to what happened (for example, what a nondisclosure really means and the whole reporter-Government whisper relationship)

Why are we now prosecuting officials for disclosing classified information - the NYTimes would be out of business if we did so on a regular basis.

Perhaps, Fitz just wants to slap everyone on the wrist, like the former Clinton official, for taking classified info out of the Archives and the former CIA head who has the stuff on his computer at home - no one was thinking felony indictments there - but an example had to be made.

topsecretk9

i smell a CBS memo like melt down for the press...

from Kristof in '03 (you don't even need to read the whole thing)...

"...In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the CIA..."

hmmm, wonder who that could be? Joe may have been able to freely talk, but would a "covert" CIA agent have clearance to be speaking to the NYTimes about anything pertaining to the CIA

just asking.

Seven Machos

Jon H. -- Can retired diplomats with security clearances who go on CIA-sponsored trips to Niger spout off about their trips in the New York Times with impugnity? Can people with security clearances just up and do that sort of thing? You seem to be a real expert in this area, so I am interested in your sanguine and obviously unbiased opinion.

I predict that you are going to be flush with RIGHTEOUS ANGER when the indictments come down, and they don't go your way.

I'm sure you will find a way to call Fitzgerald a Bush lackey.

Seven Machos

Do you support the U.S. military or don't you?

boris

The Harlow defense is *no* defense

Harlow works for the CIA and knew there was a difference. If he is not going down for what was his clear "responsibility" then pushing that rap on political operatives whose responsibilities pertain to public relations not CIA internals is just leftoid nutter ranting.

SteveMG

JonH:
"I don't pay the salaries of the terrorists. I don't even drive an SUV. On the other hand, I do pay the salaries of Bush and his cronies, and I will be paying for their mistakes for the rest of my life"

Well, we now know where you're coming from.

As for me, I condemn both.

I also distinguish, as you apparently won't or can't, between a movement that celebrates and has as its fundamental policy terrorizing people and uses that tactic against innocent men women and children and another movement that punishes those who terrorize both innocent and guilty people.

Furthermore, this isn't about your or my "feelings". It's about others. There's an entire world outside your room with real human beings. Turn off the computer and visit it.

Then your solipsistic view of reality might disappear.

SMG

Jon H

"Harlow works for the CIA and knew there was a difference. "

Doesn't matter. The law was broken when the White House passed the information to reporters.

It doesn't matter if those reporters never wrote a story. It doesn't matter if they ever called Harlow for confirmation. The law was broken by passing the information to unauthorized persons.

They had an obligation to perform due diligence before going to the press.

Jon H

"As for me, I condemn both."

Funny, if I condemn a medical quack, I don't feel an obligation to condemn cancer. That would be redundant.

boris

The law was broken when the White House passed the information to reporters.

Actually not. The information they gave reporters did not contain classified information. It has been suggested that they conspired to set in motion a series of events leading to the release of, or devaluing Valerie's covert status.

JayDee

SMG, I realize it was buried, but I did say that one of the reasons to despise this admin is that their incompetence enabled the rise of this "vile insurgency". I am fully cognizant that we are dealing with the kind of evil that would blow up the little kid living next door to rise a few notches in the estime of the mafiosi who run the neighborhood. Monsters, no argument. Evil, no argument.

But what gets lost in all this foolish partisan blather is that we didn't need to do it this way and we are now getting nowhere. I'm tired of being lied to. I'm tired of pretending we are fighting a finite evil that can be vanquished by traditional means. I'm tired of having elitist incompetents pretending to run a war they don't understand and didn't expect. I'm astonished that so many otherwise intelligent conservatives are able to keep up the pretense of believing the meaningless platitudes this President BBBrain coughs up whenever his poll numbers dip.

I don't advocate an immediate withdrawal from Iraq because I fully realize it would mean that the incubator of terrorism our action has created there would then take full advantage of the resultant chaos to destabilize the world and target American civilians at will. We're in the deep shit. But let's try - just try - a little honesty now and then. We need a new approach. We need an unfettered, uncensored military leadership to feel immune to express every last bit of their input on the subject, no matter what shame it heaps upon the administration. We need to accept the fact that we need more troops but have less than ever available, and we need to uncover an ingeniuous solution to that real time dilemma. We need real diplomats, true professionals, not assholes who make Johnny Freeper feel empowered.

And I'm in a pretty solid state of despair because I know as well as you that Bush is in over his head, that he doesn't know what to do, that the most likely outcome is he'll meander and blow smoke and allow things to only deteriorate further. And every day another American kid gets blown up by an enemy he can't even shoot back at. I don't want to hear any crap about this. I listen to the radio. They come in clumps, but they average out to about one a day. Last week, 19 American mothers got the phone call they dreaded.

I think this whole thing happened because we, the people allowed ourselves to believe we had big bad daddies taking care of our national security in Washington and instead we had millionaires playing war games looking for jobs for their golf buddies. I look forward to these Plame indictments, not because they'll improve anything about this debacle, but because they just might be the thing that wakes up the fat, lazy American people and reminds them that you get the government you deserve.

Jon H

" The information they gave reporters did not contain classified information. "

Saying 'Wilson's wife works for the CIA' involves the passing of classified information.

SteveMG

Jaydee:
Very well put.

SMG

Syl

Jon H

" don't support members of the military, at any level, when they act like Soviet prison guards."

That's just your friggin' rationalization for your total cynicism. It is not our military's POLICY to act like Soviet prison guards, or to indulge in cruel torture. There have been individuals who have so indulged and they have been punished!

Al Qaeda is all about murder and cruelty and slaughter. It's what they live for. It's their job. And you dare speak of them in moral equivalency terms?

You're not fit to even wipe Bush's feet.

(I'm sure you enjoy the thought of doing so though.)


SteveMG

JonH:
Nice row back attempt but the waters too high for you.

Again, your words:
"I don't pay the salaries of the terrorists. I don't even drive an SUV. On the other hand, I do pay the salaries of Bush and his cronies, and I will be paying for their mistakes for the rest of my life."

You "don't pay the salaries" of the terrorists so you don't really care what they do. You're only concerned - since this seems to be about your feelings and your sense of culpability - about actions taken on your behalf or taken using your funds.

And the left wonders why Americans don't trust them to national security? One standard for us, no standard for our enemies or adversaries.

SMG

boris

Saying 'Wilson's wife works for the CIA' involves the passing of classified information.

Actually not. Novak.

Jon H

"It is not our military's POLICY to act like Soviet prison guards, or to indulge in cruel torture."

No? Al Gonzales thought differently.

Kate

Don - if Fitzgerald does indict 22 people for disclosure this could be a indication of a weak case not a strong one. He can't nail anyone on the identity disclosure act. He may not get obstruction or perjury for Rove or Libby.

This way he gets to indict Rove/Libby and alot of other people so it looks big. He can't just indict Rove/Libby on that charge or it would look like selective prosecution.

I doubt anyone would serve anytime for this but it would be messy.

Remember everyone knows Fitzgerald despises Judy Miller because of their history of the leak re the Islamic Center, but who he really hates is the person on his side who leaked it.

These indictments, if he chooses to actually charge, which I doubt, would sent a powerful message to government officials and terrify the press.

Jon H

SMG writes: "You "don't pay the salaries" of the terrorists so you don't really care what they do."

No, I do care, but they don't represent me in the world. And my taxes aren't funding their activities. I'm not *responsible* for what they do. I *am* responsible for what our government and military are culpable for. To the extent that they engage in evil behaviors, *I* am responsible.

Further, I have no influence on terrorists, apart from my government's ability to track them down and kill or arrest them. I do, or should, have some kind of influence on my government (hence the responsibility mentioned above.)

topsecretk9

Okay, now the press is feeling sorry for Libby and Miller and painting Fitz as less than nice- and things get murkier, but then again it is Reuters...because Judy just said on Lou Dobbs that she wanted assurances the prosecutor would limit her sources...Rueters is back on to the Libby -no really testify waiver??

"...The prosecutor's encouragement, in a letter obtained by Reuters, has prompted some lawyers in the case to question whether Cheney's aide was acting completely voluntarily when he gave Miller the confidentiality waiver she had insisted on....

..Miller maintains she only agreed to testify — after spending 85 days in jail — because she received what she describes as a personal and voluntary waiver of confidentiality from her source. She dismissed an earlier waiver by Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, as coerced....

...But Libby offered a new waiver that Miller accepted after he received a September 12 letter in which the prosecutor, investigating a possible White House role in the leak, repeatedly encouraged him to do just that.

"I would welcome such a communication reaffirming Mr. Libby's waiver," prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald told Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate.

"It would be viewed as cooperation with the investigation," Fitzgerald said.

Some lawyers in the case called the letter a thinly veiled threat seeking Libby's cooperation, and said it raised questions about whether Libby's waiver was as voluntary as Miller and her lawyers had described..."

Oh, no...NYTimes is feeling a little burned by Fitz?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1195627

Don

I would be very suprised if there are indictments for the following reason.

In real federal prosecutions, federal prosecutors don't wait until the last 15 days of a grand jury to send a "target letter" or to allow potential targets to testify 3-4X. That is a joke. In this case, still no "target letters" , at least that we know about.

For those who are involved but have not testified yet, I would be very, very afraid -don't know all the details of who that is - Bolten, Wilson, Novak......so beware. A good prosecutor fools everyone in the end. So the question is WHOM have we not heard of testifying?????????????.

Waiting until the last week to send a target letter is like saying "wow, i just got this last piece of evidence and now you are a target"...no one believes it and that is a ethical lapse....not giving target letters to potential suspects really borders on unethical behavior, and prosecutors take pride in their ethical reputation with fellow prosecutors and defense attorneys.

If a prosecutor hasn't decided whether to indict at this point, he won't in the end....a prosecutor should go into the grand jury investigation knowing the suspects whom he is probably going to indict. If you are unclear at this point, you must resist the pressure to indict.

SteveMG

JonH:
"Further, I have no influence on terrorists"

You don't think expressions of condemnation for their acts, for their beliefs, for their ideology has an effect on their cause? On their ability, among other things, to garner more supporters?

The law of public opinion, as John Locke called it, doesn't apply to those embracing radical Islam?

Why do we want the more moderate elements in Islam to condemn them? Why do we try and use public diplomacy to unite other nations to fight them? Isn't this, in part, a war of ideas as well as a war of force?

So, you're reaction to the recent bombings in Bali was??? Ho-hum, what's for dinner?

SMG


Syl

JayDee

You express your position very well. I don't agree. But I wish I could present my own viewpoint with such clarity.

That said. I do not believe for one minute that Bush is over his head here. He knew what would happen and that Iraq would become the central battle in the war against al Qaeda.

He may not have known exactly how or when it would develop, or how long it would take. Those are things you try to set conditions for and then be ready for the consequences.

Bush from the beginning said he was taking the fight to the terrorists and that's exactly what he did. He knew very well that al Qaeda would deem our establishing of democracy in the Arab world the most severe of threats to their ideology.

Iraq is the central battle in the war and when al Qaeda is defeated there, the movement will have been dealt a severe blow. It is the prime focus of al Qaeda and where their resources are going.

And it's not as if our military in Iraq is sitting around waiting to be blown up, they are out there cleaning out towns and killing jihadis and training Iraqi forces.

And it's possible to train Iraqi's because they actually want to protect THEIR country. Something not possible earlier before the first elections. Each step forward in the political process makes the Iraqi people feel better about themselves. You can read it in the Pew polls.

Bush is playing chess, not checkers, and their or so many levels to this war it's hard for even supporters to keep track of them all. The military battle in Iraq. The ongoing political process in Iraq. The promotion of democracy in other muslim lands. The military in other countries, under the radar, taking down al qaeda cells and destroying camps. Drying up monetary sources. Tracking nuclear proliferation. Confronting terror-supporting states.

And Bush has already had many successes in just four years! Libya. Saddam out of power. Khan's network busted. Afghanistan! Iraq well on its way. And there even seems to be a solution with NoKo. Syria out of Lebanon.

Still so far to go. And public diplomacy needs a lot more work. But defeating al Qaeda in Iraq will be so much more demoralizing to their movement than simply destroying their camps in Afghanistan.

sue

Again, I think everyone is missing something. The prosecutor doesn't hand down the indictments, the GJ does. The prosecutor merely presents the evidence that will show a possible crime has been committed for the GJ to either indict or no bill. I'm not sure, unless the GJ has already handed down indictments and they haven't been announced (is that possible?) how anyone would know what the GJ was going to do.

Kate

I don't believe any indictments were announced. My understanding is that Karl Rove hasn't even been indicted. I'm not sure where the number 22 came from or how it got circulated. Did target letters come out and the lawyers leaked that. This would contradict the statements on Friday that no charges have been made. Is Fitzgerald in the process of seeking plea agreements.

If he indicts 22 on disclosure charges that would indicate his case was very weak. It would probaly mean he couldn't indict on the identities case charge, obstruction or perjury.

This way he gets to indict Rove but can't single him out for selective prosecution.

And, don't forget, Fitzpatrick hates leakers so this would be a good way to send everyone a message.

Jon H

SMG writes: "The law of public opinion, as John Locke called it, doesn't apply to those embracing radical Islam?"

Not *my* opinion, no. If my opinion is persuasive, then great, but I doubt that's going to happen. I doubt my opinion is going to end up in venues where it could be effective.

But this is, frankly, beside the point. I have a Constitutional connection to the American government and its institutions. I do not have any formal connection to the vague masses of Muslims.

In the current context we're in (US blogs with an American readership) saying "the terrorists are evil" amounts to little more than empty ritual. It goes without saying, like nobody ever has to make clear that they're 'anti-cancer'.

kim

Anti-terrorist, but rejoicing at madness in Gaza and innocence slaughtered in Iraq.
================================================

sue

The # 22 came from a Reuters story. I still don't know how anyone could know the possible # of indictments that might be coming unless the GJ has already handed them down and they haven't been announced. It is possible that someone knows how many he is going to ask for, with the evidence he has presented, or is going to present, but knowing how many indictments, ahead of time, smacks to me of something fishy. A GJ is secret. What they are going to do with the evidence presented should not even be known to the prosecutor. He should not even be in the room with them when they deliberate the evidence.

Don

Normally, a prosecutor is straightforward with the GJ about who or whom he is seeking to indict by the evidence he brings forward to them. He doesn't leave it in their hands by saying "whom would you like to indict". They affirm his request. The grand jury doesn't just indict on its own, that is very naive. This is a prosecutor's show. If he doesn't know who the target or focus is, then he is hurting. In this case, it truly is hard to focus because of all the theories. However, the focus seems to be on Libby (fair or unfair), so to be frank there are two possiblities for the current down to the wire "seemingly" lack of direction to this investigation.
1. The investigation and handling of the GJ has been dysfunctional on the part of Fitz
or
2. The evidence isn't there for a solid indictment.

Because Fitz is a absolutely qualified prosecutor, then the evidence is simply not up to snuff for a solid prosecutor to want to indict and take to trial. If he wants to indict a coffee maker, the GJ will but the prosecutor must take the case to trial and win. Must be open and shut. This doesn't seem open and shut from our point of view, but we don't have Novak's testimony which could be damning for libby

sue

Something else to remember, an indictment doesn't mean guilty. Grand juries are known to indict and let the trial court sort it all out.

Anyways, it will be interesting to see what happens and who might have guessed right, because, unless you are in that GJ room, that is all we are doing, guessing.

Kate

Sue-I follow this story pretty closely and I don't think Reuters reported the number 22. That number was making the rounds of leftist websites and I thought someone just made up the number. My pet theory was that a leftist on one of those goofy sites did a search on "CIA" and "charges" and pulled up another story on 22 spy types being charged by some prosecutor in Italy.

Now that TM is reporting that the number has some creditbility, I'm guessing it came from someone claiming to have access or from counting up the Admin witnesses.

I doubt Reuters reported 22, even Larry O'Donnell hasn't reported 22, but if TM says 22-I'll go with it.

sue

I read the article, which was attributed to Reuters on a reputable website. The # 22 was in the article.

topsecretk9

i think the 22, eminated from gossip site "radar" first and then R. ran with it...it was ans till is all rumor.

2nd one down

http://www.radaronline.com/the-wire/2005/10/05/index.php

sue

Don,

So if we are take what you are saying, why have a GJ to begin with? Just let the prosecutor hand out the indictments. That isn't the way it works. He presents the evidence and they indict or no bill. As to whether he has asked for indictments yet is still up in the air.

JoeDuke

The 22 indictment was originally reported by Radar.com. That site makes "The Globe" and "National Enquirer" look like the Wall Street Journal (I was going to say the "New York Times", but I thought otherwise).

http://www.radarmagazine.com/the-wire/2005/10/05/index.php#wire_003399

JoeDuke

Oops, sorry for the repeat, didn't see topsecretk9's post.

sue

Okay, I stand corrected. The original Reuters article (which I don't know how to link here) does not say 22. I guess I got that number in my head after reading what TM posted here.

Kate

A Reuters article came out the same night the 22 figure was making the rounds on the #22. Howevear, the number 22 was not in the Reuters article. They may have added it in a later number. If it was in a Reuters article that would make me more nervous since it is a major newswire service who wouldn't run with a number that they could not support.

Hugh Frank

I am not going to speculate on what might or might not happen in the criminal case; the news will come out soon enough. But as someone who worked with classified information in the past, I will judge harshly anyone who may have played fast and loose with classified information. If people in the White House knowingly disclosed classified information, there should be harsh consequences, whether these were criminal actions or not. And if such disclosures were done purely for political reasons, we should all be upset, regardless of which side of the aisle we represent.

Cecil Turner

"I'd like to know WHY Wilson did not sign an NDA."

I've read deep dark significance into that fact before, but now think it's incorrect. According to the SF 312 briefing booklet:

The prior execution of at least one of these agreements, as appropriate, by an individual is necessary before the United States Government may grant that individual access to classified information.
And later in the Q&A:
The terms of the SF 312 specifically state that all obligations imposed on the signer "apply during the time [the signer is] granted access to classified information, and at all times thereafter."
My reading is that executing the nondisclosure agreement is required only once, and binding thereafter. If that's correct, the previous NDA (Wilson presumably signed when he was an ambassador) would remain in effect. I'd note, however, that violating an NDA is a civil issue unless there is a criminal statute covering the same ground--it merely removes the "I didn't know" defense--which might otherwise be effective, since most of those statutes require intent (I think . . . but IANAL).

That said, my amateur legal analysis suggests Fitzgerald will not be bringing indictments against Wilson/Plame for the original leak. The whole concept of an independent counsel is to remove a conflict of interest for the government investigating itself. There's no conflict in the DOJ prosecuting Wilson, hence any prior crime committed by him would presumably not be part of Fitzgerald's brief (as opposed to obstruction charges for witnesses hindering the current investigation).

As to whether Wilson's trip was classified, or leaking parts of it being a violation, it seems to me Joe Wilson already broke that particular story to the point that what remained wasn't worth keeping. And if he's going to get a pass . . .

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Wilson/Plame