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November 28, 2005

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boris

he's obliged to represent all Americans

Lame and expected from a confused liar.

Nobody believes you have forgotten the context was the campaign. "Vote for me and I promise you this" is how it works. I did and he made good on the promise. You didn't so your blather about "promises" is a stupid cheat. What a suprise!

MayBee

Here's why the Cooper/Rove confusion makes sense.
Cooper called Rove, ostensibly to discuss welfare reform, but he (Cooper) knew the Welfare Reform question was just a cover to ask what he really wanted to know: about Niger. He doesn't really recall what made-up reason he used to get past the switchboard.

And Rove, the receiver of the call, thought Cooper really wanted to talk about Welfare Reform. That would be a bigger policy issue to Rove than Niger. Rove is a political guy, not an intelligence guy. He figures the second part is just shooting the breeze, although Rove doesn't want to get into it(doesn't take the bait).

TomJ

cecil

pretending to be someone else

Great minds think alike.

When you're ready to deal with the merits of the arguments that have been presented, let me know. Otherwise I'll assume you prefer to cut and run.

kim

define specific actions which mean involvement

Rove told Cooper about Plame. In my book, that qualifies as "involvement." If you disagree, please explain why.

all that blather still doesn't constitute proof of 'outing'

Feel free to continue to create your own reality. There are lots of facts you have not attempted to address, such as Cooper's email, and such as the fact that Luskin has pointedly declined to dispute the essence of what Cooper said ("Rove told me Plame=CIA").

Does the 'first time' apply to both clauses separately or to both together?

You're suggesting that Cooper already knew, and is coyly hiding that with some very tricky language. One problem with your theory is that Cooper would get laughed out of town if this was ever found out (and the risk of such an outcome would probably be high). There are also some very interesting implications for Cooper if he was equally coy with the GJ, and/or if his public statements are at odds with what he told the GJ.

A bigger problem with your theory is that it doesn't get Rove off the hook. Even if Cooper already knew Plame=CIA, this did not make it OK for Rove to tell Cooper that Plame=CIA. And Cooper's email makes it very clear that Rove indeed told Cooper that Plame=CIA. And it's also very clear that Rove denied this ("I wasn't involved"), less than three months later.

In other words, all your contorted parsing does nothing to address the basic issue: Rove told Cooper that Plame=CIA, and then denied doing this. Why is it OK with you for public servants to tell us lies?

TomJ

tp

the same reason Joe Wilson wanted anonymity from Kristof and Pincus. He wanted the story out there as a news story reporters would run with so that the administration, rather than he, would have to deal with its consequences.

You've offered an explanation for why Wilson started out anonymously. We could have an interesting discussion about whether your explanation is correct, and whether Wilson behaved correctly (and I realize some people would gladly avoid discussing Rove's behavior and discuss Wilson's behavior instead).

But that's not what I asked. I asked why Rove acted anonymously. Your answer ("so that the administration, rather than he, would have to deal with its consequences") doesn't seem to apply. I'm trying to imagine if you're really saying that it was Rove's intention that "the administration, rather than [Rove], would have to deal with [the] consequences [of Rove speaking to Cooper]." Somehow I don't think that's really what you mean.

TomJ

jm

only works if you assume that Rove knew the conversation was significant

According to Fitz, Libby discussed Plame (not just Wilson: Plame) on at least 11 occasions, in the period 6/11 to 7/12. These conversations were with at least 9 different people, 6 of whom are government officials, including Cheney and Rove.

Keep in mind these are just the conversations Fitz knows about, and is in a position to prove, and chose to mention in the indictment. Most likely there were other conversations. And if Libby was discussing Plame with people like Cheney and Rove, then most likely people like Cheney and Rove were discussing Plame with people other than Libby.

Keep in mind this is exactly when the country is three months into a war. Nevertheless, various very important people had the time and energy to be discussing Plame (not just Niger; not just Wilson: Plame) on a fairly regular basis. This factual reality is at odds with the premise that Plame was an insignificant subject to the White House and to Rove, during this period.

If Plame was significant enough to warrant being mentioned this many times in conversations among senior people like Cheney, Rove and Libby, that tells me it's implausible to suggest that Plame was so unimportant to Rove that he couldn't remember discussing Plame with Cooper, less than three months after that discussion took place.

Note that Fitz's statements about Libby's Plame-related conversations are probably based, at least to a great extent, on Fitz questioning various government employees (including Libby, Cheney, Fleischer and others). Note that Fitz didn't start this questioning until roughly 10/14/03, which was after McClellan told us Rove wasn't involved. In other words, various senior people apparently had no trouble retaining specific memories of various Plame-related conversations (and these memories became available when Fitz asked questions). I guess this makes Rove the dunce of the bunch, since he couldn't manage to remember discussing Plame with Cooper.

I'm not sure you'd have any better luck on the other side of the aisle

It's a sign of the times when Republicans are reduced to the following marketing slogan: "possibly slightly less unethical than Democrats (if you're willing to ignore people like Cunningham, Safavian, DeLay, Abramoff, Scanlon, Libby, Ney, Frist, Rove, and a host of others soon to be named)."

Anyway, let me know about the Dem who outed a CIA officer and then lied about it. Dems are weak on national security and sloppy with ethics, so they probably do that sort of thing all the time, right?

Rove almost never talks on the record to reporters about anything

Exactly. Why?

You've provided a highly circular answer. I guess what you're telling me is that Rove is routinely doing sneaky things that he hopes will never be traced back to him.

just like almost everyone else we've been getting info from on this topic for the past two years

I tend to focus on the information coming from sources that are not anonymous, and there has been some very important information in that category. Cooper is an example.

TomJ

boris

he made good on the promise [to restore honor and dignity to the White House]

Last week the WSJ reported that "64% of Americans believe the Bush administration 'generally misleads the American public on current issues to achieve its own ends.' " In an ABC survey a few weeks earlier, 58% said Bush was not "honest and trustworthy." A CNN poll a couple of weeks ago reported that a plurality (48/36) trust Bush less than they trusted Clinton.

All this tells me that many Bush voters have probably reached a conclusion contrary to the one you expressed.

TomJ

mb

He doesn't really recall what made-up reason he used to get past the switchboard

This part of your theory makes a certain amount of sense to me.

That [welfare reform] would be a bigger policy issue to Rove than Niger.

Really? Fitz demonstrated that Niger/Wilson/Plame was frequently discussed by senior officials in the White House during this time (June/July 2003). Are you really suggesting welfare reform was discussed just as frequently? That's a novel outlook. I wonder if you can offer any tangible indications that Rove was paying any attention whatsoever to the subject of welfare reform during this period.

Rove doesn't want to get into it(doesn't take the bait)

But he did get into it. And by the way, Cooper didn't ask about Plame. Cooper asked about Niger. It was Rove's idea to bring up Plame.

You seem to be suggesting that Rove is a helpless, passive naif who feels compelled to spill his guts about any random subject a manipulative reporter throws at him. This doesn't seem to be an accurate characterization of Rove. And if it was, it would mean that he certainly shouldn't have a security clearance, especially during wartime.

TP

TomJ. I'm sorry. I guess I didn't make myself clear. Joe was anonymous so that the administration, rather than he, would have to deal with the consequences. Rove was anonymous so that Joe, rather than the administration, would have to deal with the consequences.

Kate

TomJ: my understanding is that Joe Wilson was probably 59th on the list of important subjects talked about during that time frame.

In the words of Mary Matalin, discussions about the liar Wilson took up about 1% of their time.

Remember, it was Rove's job to talk with reporters, even bores like Cooper. As for "don't tell anyone". That is a typical gossip statement.

Rove wanted to get Cooper off the phone so he could go on vacation but wanted to make him feel important.

MayBee

TomJ-
No, I'm not indicating that Rove is a hapless naif in any way.
I'm saying that any administration has a million balls in the air at any given time. Not to mention, dozens of administration officials. That Fitzgerald says administration officials were talking about Niger proves neither that 1)Rove was necessarily part of those discussions - and wouldn't have been when they are at the VP's office or State Dept or
2)Other issues were not being discussed more vigorously or have higher priority.

Of course, I have no idea what issue was foremost on Rove's mind at the time. I would actually propose neither of these issues were. BUT I don't have a problem imagining Rove took Cooper at his word that he actually was calling to talk about Welfare Reform.
As for who brought Niger up in the conversation- isn't that a bone of contention right now? Rove says Cooper, Cooper says Rove?

JM Hanes

Tom

"Most likely there were other conversations."
That about sums it up the state of the evidence. You extrapolate from Libby to Rove based on the basis of your own assumptions.

"It's a sign of the times when Republicans are reduced to the following marketing slogan..."
You missed the point. I was talking about double standards, not sloganeering, but never mind. Libby's resignation was entirely in order. As for Rove, you may be indignant about what he did -- or didn't -- tell McClellan, but if you want to make that sort of generic denial a firing offense, you'll need to spread your indignation pretty thin, because it's going to cut both ways. You won't find me ignoring or defending the Delays & Abramoffs, although I'm afraid Ronnie Earle is not exactly looking like an instrument of doom.

"Anyway, let me know about the Dem who outed a CIA officer and then lied about it."

Well there's always Patrick Leahy, who more than earned the nickname "Leaky Leahy," and who may have actually cost some covert ops their lives. He got booted off the Senate Intel Committee for such infractions, although that was a long time ago. These days we've got Harry Reid citing a nominee's confidential FBI file on the Senate floor; more recently, he's apparently clammed up about precisely where he "heard" that bin Laden died in the Pakistan earthquake after talking about it on a local Nevada tv show. In 2002(!) Jay Rockefeller privately told Syrian leadership (key antagonists, no less!), along with the Jordanians & the Saudis that Bush had already decided to invade Iraq -- in complete disregard of any U.S. negotiating position. Last year, Rockefeller, Durbin, & Ron Wyden decided to take a funding disagreement public and revealed the most intensely guarded secret development of a stealth satellite -- Iran & N.Korea, just for starters, really appreciate the heads up and will plan accordingly, no doubt. There's a criminal referral pending over at Justice in that case too, but apparently Chuck Schumer (whose aides fraudulently parlayed Michael Steele's social security number into a copy of his personal credit report) sees no need to rush the delivery on that one.

With the exception of the FBI file, which was just downright dirty politics, the potential real world consequences of the leaks above are of an entirely different order than Plamegate.

"I guess what you're telling me is that Rove is routinely doing sneaky things that he hopes will never be traced back to him."

No, that's what you're saying.

"I wonder if you can offer any tangible indications that Rove was paying any attention whatsoever to the subject of welfare reform during this period."

I thought you tended "to focus on the information coming from sources that are not anonymous"-- like Cooper, for example. Cooper says he didn't remember the subject of welfare reform coming up, until Rove's email note on the conversation surfaced. That's when Cooper went back to review his own records and realized that in fact, that was the big story he was working on at the time.

kim

From their respective emails, it almost seems as if Rove and Cooper didn't have the same conversation. In fact, they didn't; each only participated partially in the totality. You, TJ, are hanging your point only on Cooper's side of it.

There's more.

Furthermore, Rove could easily have truthfully stated, months later, that he was not involved in outing Plame if he didn't remember the Cooper conversation.

Besides, Joe outed Val.
================================================

Cecil Turner

When you're ready to deal with the merits of the arguments that have been presented, let me know . . .

Sorry, but there are no "merits" to your argument. It's typical jukeboxgrad accusations of dishonesty, shirking the burden of proof (paraphrased: "he's a liar, now prove me wrong"), followed by the obligatory ad hominem.

However, I do like your DKos collection of flash-in-the-pan "gate" scandals . . . I also suspect we can find the answer there to your motivations:

As I noted in my earlier diary, righty blogs and media have been relatively silent on the Downing Street memo. But as the story continues to gather steam, they'll inevitably be forced to speak up. We need to be ready to bulldoze the crap they'll be excreting. A very good set of rebuttals can be found here. Below are some further points to support and extend that work.
So it appears the visits to righty sites, under various pseudonyms, is in order to discredit their "crap" . . . and that is laudable "work" in your book? (Well, that'd certainly help explain the pithy writing style that's repeatedly gotten you banned from commenting.) The really funny part is that you apparently think your one-person propaganda campaign is winning friends and influencing people. Do you really think you're that much smarter than everyone else?

JM Hanes

Meant to credit Betsy's Page for info on the leaky state of the Democratic ship. Should have proofread the whole dang thing before I posted it too.

TomJ

tp

Rove was anonymous so that Joe, rather than the administration, would have to deal with the consequences

Thanks for the clarification, and sorry for this slow response on my part.

I basically agree with your analysis of why Rove was anonymous. I don't consider this a valid or appropriate reason for Rove to be anonymous. I don't know whether or not you agree. At the risk of making an unwarranted assumption, I'll assume that you do.

As far as your analysis that this is also why Wilson was anonymous (at first), I don't agree. The situation is not symmetrical. When Wilson went to Kristof, Wilson was knowingly exposing himself to fire from the administration, despite being anonymous. This is so because right from the start Wilson was well aware that someone like Rove reading Kristof would easily be able to correctly figure out (perhaps after a little bit of research) that only Wilson or someone close to Wilson would be in a position to be Kristof's source (for Kristof's article of 5/6/03).

Wilson wouldn't be in a position to anticipate that the White House would retaliate by outing Plame, but Wilson would be in a position to anticipate that he was getting himself into trouble with the White House (merely by virtue of talking with Kristof), and they would come down on him in some manner. History proves this is true; post-Kristof, but pre-Wilson's own oped, the White House was frequently discussing Wilson and Plame, with itself and with multiple reporters (at least Miller and Woodward, as we now know thanks to Fitz).

So why was Wilson anonymous (at first)? I think a simpler and more logical explanation (than the one you offered) is that he was using a small gun before using a big gun. His core motivation was that he wanted to get the White House to come clean about the 16 words (as it finally did, via Tenet, once Wilson spoke up under his own name). Kristof (5/6/03) should have been more than enough to elicit that response. It wasn't, so Wilson escalated. A statement under his own name would be more powerful, and turned out to be more powerful, than an anonymous statement.

There's other evidence Wilson was trying to take small steps before taking big steps. He pursued various alternate channels before finally deciding to write his oped. In particular, before writing the oped, Wilson tried to communicate his concerns to Rice, privately. The message he got back was that "Rice was not interested and he should publish his story in his own name if he wanted to attract attention" (WaPo 10/11/03). It looks to me like Rice was daring Wilson to escalate. So Wilson escalated.

Back to the Rove side of the story. When Rove outed Plame, Wilson guessed correctly that Rove was involved. But it was easy for the White House to convince a lot of people that Wilson's guess was wrong. It took a lot of time, and a lot of effort by Fitz, before the public would discover that Wilson's guess was right.

In summary: when Wilson spoke anonymously, he knew this would be little or no protection from Rove's revenge. But when Rove spoke anonymously, he assessed correctly that it would be a long time (or never) before the public found out what he did. This is a fundamental asymmetry.

Here's another asymmetry: when Wilson's anonymous report didn't have the desired effect, he soon went on the record. This is pointedly different than Rove's behavior. Rove has still not come clean with us (the folks who pay his salary) about what he did and why he did it. This is a pretty good indication that what he did was wrong, and he knew it was wrong when he did it. This is my basic point.

TomJ

kate

Joe Wilson was probably 59th on the list of important subjects talked about during that time frame

Wilson should have been about 59th on the list. Plame shouldn't have been on the list at all. The problem is that in a period of about 30 days, Libby discussed Plame (not just Wilson: Plame) on at least 11 occasions, on 8 separate days, with a variety of very important people, such as the Vice President of the United States. (And we have reason to think Cheney himself had at least two conversations about Plame, because we know Cheney told Libby about Plame, and we know Cheney was conveying information he got from the CIA.)

This tells me there's a big difference between the importance Plame should have had, as compared with the importance Plame actually did have. And given the importance Plame actually had, it's implausible to suggest that Rove had a convenient case of 3-month amnesia.

By the way, I think history will show, and perhaps already does show, that these folks were putting more energy into Plame than they were into post-war planning.

it was Rove's job to talk with reporters, even bores like Cooper

Rove talks to exactly the reporters he wants to talk to, and only to the reporters he wants to talk to. If you don't understand that multiple people screen Rove's calls very, very carefully then you are extremely naive.

As for "don't tell anyone". That is a typical gossip statement.

Since you're now acknowledging that Rove was simply doing his job, which was to spread gossip about people who disagree with Bush, then I guess maybe you're not that naive, after all. (Maybe you should look up the word in the dictionary.)

And just to be clear, let's remember that Rove didn't say "don't tell anyone." On the contrary. He said "don't tell anyone you heard it from me." Big difference.

Rove ... wanted to make him feel important

If Rove thinks that sharing classified information is a good way to make reporters feel important, then Rove shouldn't have a security clearance.

TomJ

mb

That Fitzgerald says administration officials were talking about Niger proves neither that 1)Rove was necessarily part of those discussions

The indictment indeed indicates that Rove was part of those discussions. He is described as "Official A." I think it's pretty well-accepted that "Official A" is Rove. According to Fitz, Rove discussed Plame with Novak and Libby. And of course we know via Cooper that Rove also discussed Plame with Cooper. So we know that Rove had at least 3 conversations about Plame (not just Niger; not just Wilson: Plame).

Other issues were ... being discussed more vigorously or have higher priority

One would certainly hope so. No one is suggesting that the White House was treating Plame as the most important issue. My point is that Plame was being discussed frequently, by very important people. This doesn't prove that Plame was the most important issue. This proves that Plame was an important issue.

As for who brought Niger up in the conversation- isn't that a bone of contention right now?

No. No one denies that Cooper asked about Niger. And no one denies that it was Rove who raised the subject of Plame.

TomJ

jm

You extrapolate from Libby to Rove based on the basis of your own assumptions

I think you, like someone else, are overlooking the fact that Fitz indicated that Rove himself had at least two conversations about Plame. That part is not extrapolation, it's fact.

When I observe that Libby had 11 conversations about Plame, including with a bunch of different people inside the White House, including Cheney and Rove, I conclude that this means that the subject of Plame was generally important inside the White House at that time (at least important enough that Rove wouldn't thoroughly forget a conversation he had on this subject, less than 3 months after-the-fact). If you consider this to be some kind of unreasonable extrapolation, I wonder why.

if you want to make that sort of generic denial a firing offense, you'll need to spread your indignation pretty thin, because it's going to cut both ways

You won't find me claiming that every Dem who ever deserved to get fired actually got fired. But two wrongs hardly make a right, especially given that this was the administration that was supposed to be all about restoring honor and dignity.

I also have a hard time remembering the last time a senior official outed a CIA officer, and then lied about it, and then got caught lying about it, and still kept his job. Extra credit if the outed officer is a WMD operative, and is outed during a global war that is supposed to be, to a great extent, about the threat of WMD.

And sorry, but I'm not impressed by your examples. I don't defend Leahy, but he paid his price. Rockefeller talking to Syria was arguably doing Bush a favor, by spreading the word that Bush should be taken seriously. Rumors about OBL's death are a dime-a-dozen. In the satellite matter, nothing was said that wasn't already in the public domain (I could offer the relevant citations but I prefer not to get wildly off-topic).

potential real world consequences

Even if one assumes that Plame was a worthless desk-jockey (speaking of making unwarranted extrapolations), outing her is a serious matter, because it tells lots of people that our government doesn't care very much about keeping secrets and protecting identities. If Rove actually killed anyone by outing Plame, one way this could have happened is by convincing a potential Iraqi source not to come forward and risk his life by giving anti-insurgent intel to US troops. That (potential) source now understands that the US government shouldn't necessarily be trusted when it promises to protect someone's identity. After all, the US government promised to protect Plame's identity, and then broke that promise for fairly trivial political reasons. And the president has shown that he doesn't care a whole lot.

This kind of message is heard loud and clear. Getting sources to trust us is very, very important, especially if we are trying conduct a competent counter-insurgency. Iraqi sources are endangering themselves and their families when they trust us. We can't afford to give them any reason to think that we don't take secrets seriously.

Iraqis already understand that the prison abuses they hear about and experience are directly connected to attitudes that emanate from the White House (this is hard to deny when Cheney opposes the 90 senators who want to ban cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment). Iraqis also understand that US troops shouldn't be trusted to keep secrets and protect identities if the White House plainly can't be trusted to keep secrets and protect identities. If the US government is willing to throw one of its own WMD agents overboard, because it serves some momentary political purpose, then surely it places an extremely low priority on protecting the confidentiality of some random Iraqi civilian intelligence source.

There is a similar analysis regarding our ability to recruit new covert operatives. Likewise for the morale of our existing covert operatives. Many of them are probably Democrats, and now have good reason to wonder if their careers are at risk, simply because of their political affiliation. I realize some people probably think that driving every Democrat out of the intelligence community is probably a good idea. I see a few problems with that concept.

No, that's what you're saying

The question was, why did Rove speak anonymously. Your answer was "he always does." I don't think that answers the question.

[welfare reform] was the big story he [Cooper] was working on at the time

It's a story he was working on. There's no indication it was "the big story" (speaking of unwarranted extrapolations). In any case, it moved lower on his list when the Niger story popped up. I imagine this is how Cooper started the famous conversation: "earlier this week I had left a message indicating I'd like to discuss welfare reform with you; I'd like to perhaps return to that subject at a later date, but what's on my mind right now is Niger." This would be an entirely appropriate, courteous, and non-sneaky way to start the conversation. And it should go without saying that Rove, at that moment, was free to do all sorts of things, including decline to discuss the subject. Rove was also obviously free to discuss the subject without spontaneously and unilaterally deciding to drag Plame into the discussion. But that's what he did.

Anyway, I think my speculation about Cooper's words is highly consistent with what Rove said in his email to Hadley: Cooper started with a "brief heads-up" about welfare reform, and then "he immediately launched into Niger." It's also consistent with Cooper saying, two years later, that he didn't recall them "talking about" welfare reform. Because they didn't talk about it (it's quite possible Rove didn't say a single word on the subject). Cooper only mentioned the subject very briefly, simply as a way of acknowledging his earlier message on that subject.

In any case, I had asked if anyone had any indication that Rove was taking even the slightest interest in welfare reform, around this time. I guess the answer is no.

TomJ

kim

from their respective emails, it almost seems as if Rove and Cooper didn't have the same conversation

I've just offered my speculation regarding the way Cooper started the conversation, and I've explained why it's highly consistent with Rove's email and with Cooper's email.

If you don't follow what I've explained, maybe it just indicates that you and I are not having the same conversation.

You, TJ, are hanging your point only on Cooper's side of it

No. I have read Rove's email very carefully (or at least part of it, since we don't know if we've been shown the whole thing), and my explanation carefully takes Rove's email into account.

Luskin's statements are another story. I haven't addressed this in detail (and I'm still not, at the moment, choosing to address this in detail), but he takes liberties, acting as if Rove's email said things that it does not say.

he didn't remember the Cooper conversation

You've failed to explain why in less than three months Rove would forget subject matter that was important enough for Libby to be discussing on almost a daily basis (and it was subject matter that was important enough for Rove himself to discuss on at least three occasions).

You've also failed to explain why various other government employees (who are presumably not universally smarter than Rove) were apprarently able to remember their Plame-related conversations, when questioned by Fitz more than three months after the conversations occured.

Joe outed Val

Quick, tell Fitz. He's waiting for your call.

TomJ

cecil

in order to discredit their "crap"

I think discrediting crap is a good thing. It's pretty revealing that you would suggest otherwise.

By the way, I appreciate you pointing out where various helpful facts can be found. That's the next best thing to providing helpful facts yourself.

TomJ

An important question that is still unanswered: if what Rove did wasn't wrong, why did he do it secretly? Not to mention telling lies in order to keep it a secret.

Some other important questions: why did we need a special prosecutor, and a two-year investigation, to find out what Bush should have been able to find out in a day or two (and then tell us what he found)? Why did Bush give us the impression that he was sure that no one close to him was involved, given that people like Cheney, Libby and Rove were discussing Plame so frequently? If he didn't know about those conversations when they were happening, why wasn't he able to find out about them after they happened? And if he did find out about them after they happened, why did he lead us to believe that he had no idea who was involved?

All explanations lead to ineptness, dishonesty, or both. And also the attitude that we are not entitled to know what our employees are doing in our name, in our house.

Cecil Turner

I think discrediting crap is a good thing. It's pretty revealing that you would suggest otherwise.

Let me see if I have this straight: you, a Kos diarist, visit "righty blogs" and insult the host. When booted, you assume a new identity (and complain that your other persona was booted for speaking up). You then take up where you left off, and, when called on it, weasel around the subject to pretend it might not be true. And the goal for which you are willing to sacrifice your integrity? Why, in order to "discredit crap," of course. Revealing? Yes, I'd say it is.

By the way, I appreciate you pointing out where various helpful facts can be found.

Yes, I think it was very helpful to point out the connection. You've managed to epitomize what Kos critics have been claiming for some time now. Nice job, Juke.

TP

TOMJ. Actually, you only get an asymmetric situation if you think of Wilson as some kind of a crusader for Justice and I just don't see him that way. I have always felt he was working for Kerry. He took great pains to start a political firestorm and he got singed a little. One must admire his ingenuity for getting such a fire from such a small amount of material. I see him as involved in the same political process as Rove--except that he was the moving party. We still don't really know what Rove did or didn't do (I guess that is why Fitz was hired).

As for me, I am more curious about how the CIA hired Wilson and why they didn't make him sign a non-disclosure agreement--particularly if the mission was important as Wilson seems to believe it was.

TomJ

cecil

let me see if I have this straight

You don't. Your current assumptions are as well-founded as the analysis you did recently of someone's gender. And as relevant.

TomJ

tp

you only get an asymmetric situation if you think of Wilson as some kind of a crusader for Justice

That characterization of Wilson has nothing to do with my analysis of why the situation is asymmetrical. In other words, I think you're addressing what you imagine I said, rather than what I actually said.

The essence of the asymmetry is in the fact that many people inside the government would be in a position to out Plame. Therefore Rove's anonymity was an effective way (for a long time, at least) to protect Rove from the need to be accountable for his actions. In contrast, only Wilson or someone close to Wilson would have been in a position to give Kristof the information Wilson gave Kristof. This means that Wilson's (initial) anonymity would be expected to do nothing to protect Wilson from Rove. And history proves that such an expectation was well-founded. The White House started responding against Wilson before his oped (in other words, while he was still theoretically anonymous).

One must admire his ingenuity for getting such a fire from such a small amount of material

Yes, he was cleverly able to anticipate that the White House would engage in a secret "plot" against him (Judge Tatel's word), and then dig itself in a big hole by stubbornly covering it up.

This is sort of the same way Saddam ingeniously anticipated that we would fail to plan for post-war security and do all sorts of dumb things to incite and enable an insurgency.

We still don't really know what Rove did

This is true, provided you're willing to ignore various sources of information such as the indictment, Rove's email, Cooper's email, Cooper's statements, Luskin's statements, etc.

Likewise, we still don't really know that the earth is round, provided we're willing to ignore all the proof that it is.

I am more curious about how the CIA hired Wilson

He was hired because he was qualified. This included having done a similar mission previously.

I've seen many, many instances of people claiming he wasn't qualified. Here's what I haven't seen: a single instance of anyone providing an example of one person who would have been more qualified, based on background. Let me know if you can name anyone who had his level and duration of diplomatic experience in Iraq and Africa, the two relevant places.

Also, let's remember what kind of track record this administration has for picking qualified job candidates. It's a hall of fame, filled with people like Michael Brown, Harriett Miers and Bernie Kerik. So it's funny to hear complaints about Wilson's alleged lack of qualification.

And if you object to various aspects of how the CIA did its job, it would be interesting to hear your theory for why Tenet won a medal.

particularly if the mission was important as Wilson seems to believe it was

In a sense it's true that the mission wasn't important. Various people understood that the trip would only confirm what was already obvious: there wasn't much reason to be concerned about Nigerien yellowcake reaching Saddam.

Cecil Turner

You don't. Your current assumptions are as well-founded as the analysis you did recently of someone's gender. And as relevant.

So you deny you're a.k.a. Jukeboxgrad? Or not? Or will the dance of deception continue?

kim

No need to tell Fitz that Joe outed Val. He knows.
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Wilson/Plame