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November 18, 2005

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Raw Myazz

But, but, but how can Hadley be off the list? Rawstory assured us it was him???!!!!

p.lukasiak

One name missing from the list is Bolton's Chief of Staff, Fred Fleitz -- who had two titles....one was working with Bolton, the other was working for WINPAC.

And its probably just coincidence, but Card and Libby are both Chiefs-of-Staff.

Hadley is still in the running....he didn't deny it (according to this article) nor is the person who "eliminated" him identified.

Kate

It's not Hadley. Nutty Larry Johnson keeps throwing out Hadley's name. Hadley would have resigned a while back if he was the original source.

So it's Grossman or Armitage. I think Armitage is the one. He is a favorite of Woodward and was well liked by the Powell wing of the media.

However, I got the impression the first leak to Woodward wsa in early June.

Reg Jones

Friday's NYT:

Grossman denies. Armitage yet to respond.

Jim E.

"a National Security Council official eliminated Stephen Hadley, the head of the NSC, as a possibility."

Normally, I would consider this a solid denial. Maybe it is. But Hadley was asked today if he was the source and he wouldn't deny. I don't know if he's being cute, or what, but all he said was that he'd read reports saying he wasn't the source. When pressed further, he said, "it is what it is," or something like that.

I also think the AP's version of the Cheney denial is a tad more convoluted than the Wall St Journal version.

And let's say Armitage is the original leaker. Do the righties want to throw him to the wolves now? Or will they defend Armitage and from the "disgraceful" Fitz, too? For some reason, I get the idea that people will be giddy if it's Armitage, and they won't be quite as enthusiastic to defend him as, say, Scooter.

Anonymous Liberal

This process of elimination strategy is so simple. Maybe our brilliant press corps can use the same strategy to find out who Novak's source is (or Pincus' source). If only they were smart enough to figure this out two years ago, they could have saved us an investigation.

By the way, I'm leaning toward Armitage now too.

Geek, Esq.

If an NSC spokesperson can clear Hadley, then Scotty's denial on behalf of Rove should have been enough.

Regarding Armitage: He and the Cheney crowd were bitter antagonists. I can't see him coming out of the woodwork to help his good friend LIBBY.

Unless Woodward told him "I'm gonna sell you down the river to get publicity for my new book, so you might as well come forward."

Jim E.

Have Hannah, Wurmser or Fietz offered denials yet?

TM

Do the righties want to throw him to the wolves now? Or will they defend Armitage and from the "disgraceful" Fitz, too? For some reason, I get the idea that people will be giddy if it's Armitage, and they won't be quite as enthusiastic to defend him as, say, Scooter.

(a) I guess you're a wolf - what do you think?

(b) Why would I be reluctant to defend Armitage? The theme that it was an innocent leak with no malice aforethought seems utterly plausible, and bolsters the ideas that (1) it was a newsworthy bit of gossip, and (2) some folks had no idea her status may have been a big deal.

TP

Actually, I would think that Libby's co-counsel, James Baker, might be able to lure his old friend Armitage in to coming forward.

Geek, Esq.

I'm confused.

It's no longer the Vast Cia Conspiracy of evil librul bureaucrats trying to take down the administration.

Rather, it's Colin Powell's wimpy group of moderate RINO's.

Hmmmm. Is it too late to blame Clinton?

Reg Jones

Key question for Woodward:

Did you ever discuss the Plame matter w/ your source after the Novak's column and if so when?

If we assume the source gave testimony to Fitz and didn't disclose the leak isn't the obvious defense "I forgot"? But that defense would be impossible if Woodward and the source discussed the fallout from Novak's column before the source denied the leak to Fitz.

Of course, another possible scenario would be Woodward recently reminds the source of the previous leak. The source calls Fitz, revises his previous testimony and uses the "I forgot defense". Very possible and it might even be true.


Geek, Esq.

Hadley Coy on Whether He's Woodward's Source.

Accompanying President Bush at a summit here, Hadley was asked at a news briefing whether he was Woodward's source.

Referring to news accounts about the case, Hadley said with a smile, "I've also seen press reports from White House officials saying that I am not one of his sources." He said he would not comment further because the CIA leak case remains under investigation.

Leaving the room, Hadley was asked if his answer amounted to a yes or a no. "It is what it is," he said.

And folks on the right getting giddy about this Woodward thing should remember:

1) LIBBY is not on trial for leaking. Whether he was the first leaker or not is legally irrelevant to his indictment; and

2) Y'all don't want this case discussed in the press, and you certainly don't want speculation running wild.

boris

Whether he was the first leaker or not is legally irrelevant.

Sure, the entire investigation turns out to be a giant game of peekaboo where the only people spilling their guts were in the administration. So Libby says a little too much and Fitz says "Gotcha sucker". Unfortuanately for Fitz the group he relied on to provide the "truth" to Libby's rambling recollections turns out to be a bunch of riddleparsing clowns.

Dwilkers

I thought Fleischer was a better candidate yesterday, but if the denial is true then he's out.

So Armitage is really starting to glow neon red as the best candidate. He seems to me to fit all the qualifiers. He had access to the info early on, he was deeply involved in the issues, it is easily arguable he would be defending Powel, and as an extra added mega bonus, he's a former official of the administration.

And for argument's sake let's say it is Armitage. Isn't it reasonable to assume Armitage learned it through the State doc with the info marked "S" for super duper secret? Of course it is. And that leads to the conclusion that Fitz thinks he can't get an espionage conviction in any case, no? Moreover, if it is Armitage it makes a conspiracy very difficult I'd think.

TM

Did Armitage even testify?

One would think so, since Powell and Grossman did.

I would love to see some evidence of that.

jerry

impeach the whole bunch

Lion

Geek's a bit confused. This right-wing kook, for one, loves seeing all the press speculation; the more the better. The press collectively has lost sight of what is happening to them: in their zeal to do anything to hurt Bush, they seem oblivious to the fact that leaks as we have known them for decades are going to all but disappear. As to whether the source is at State or CIA, that's a matter of indifference to me. Both entities have been disgraceful sources of leaks of classified information in both Democrat and Republican administrations, and all of that is likely to come to a screeching halt. Both the mainstream press and the professional leakers are the big losers here, and that's a truly wonderful thing. And the icing on the cake is seeing Bob Woodward, the Hero of Watergate, getting thrown under the bus by his colleagues. Oh, this is rich!

Dwilkers

"Geek's a bit confused."

As he admits upthread. No wonder, since he keeps arguing with himself.

JM Hanes

AnonLib -

"If only they were smart enough to figure this out two years ago, they could have saved us an investigation."

That's the real irony here, isn't it? If the public's right to know were the entirely sacred trust it's made out to be, the press could have cleared this whole thing up in under an hour.

TP

Maybe I am just stupid, but I think Scowcroft ultimately comes in to play with Woodward. He had known Wilson for a long time. Wilson was sending him, James Baker and Bush I articles on his opposition to Bush II policies. He had enough contact with Valerie that she apparently had a crush on him. My guess is that he knew who Valerie was and assumed everybody else did. I could see him innocently spilling the beans to Woodward and possibly others. Nobody, including Woodward, was going to believe he was out to get Wilson.

In any event, I'll bet he gets called to the new GJ.

Jim E.

Maybe's it's just me, but the AP version of Cheney's denial seems, as I noted above, a little strange. Normally I'd trust TM to parse every syllable of something like this, but I given that it's Cheney, I guess I won't hold my breath. Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on what, exactly, I find strange about the denial. It just doesn't seem too cut-and-dried to me. It seems too specific. Of course, it's not a verbatim statement -- it's the AP reporter's summary, which could be to blame for its strangeness.

Anyways, here it is:
"The vice president did not talk with Woodward on the day in question, did not provide the information that's been reported in Woodward's notes and has not had any conversations over the past several weeks about any release for allowing Woodward to testify, said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity."

What the heck, I'll give it a stab:
- The exact "day in question" has never been publicized, so that sets off alarm bells right there. He seems to concede that he spoke with Woodward before and/or after the "day in question." Nothing sinister about that, but is does seem to be extraneous information.
- The phrase "did not provide the information that's been reported in Woodward's notes" could mean that he was, in fact, a Plame source for Woodward, but the news reports about Woodward's notes are (conveniently) incomplete. This allows Cheney to claim, for example, "I didn't tell him about Wilson's wife. I told him about the covert agent Valerie Plame!" A guy can dream, can't he?
- The line about how Cheney "has not had any conversations over the past several weeks about any release for allowing Woodward to testify" does single-handedly negate my suspicions. But it does seem to imply that Cheney was definitely a Woodward source, and the specificity about "did not provide the information that's been reported in Woodward's notes" could mean he was also a Plame-related source. Maybe its Cheney's way of sending a message to Woodward: Do not call me. And don't forget that I haven't cleared you to cooperate in any way. I will let you rot in jail if it comes to that. Keep your pie hole shut.

I dunno. It just seems fishy to me. It's too specific and too needlessly detailed.

JM Hanes

Jim -

Cheney may be a pre-emptive parser by nature (and I do think the dates in question have been specified), but his denial does seem extremely careful doesn't it?

JM Hanes

TM -

In re Andy Card: There's the denial your NYTimes update, but there's also this from Len Downie on Wednesday's Hardball.

It took a while to reach Andrew Card, who is traveling with the president, the president‘s chief of staff. We now have his waiver to be able to write about. We can write about that in tomorrow‘s paper. We‘ve already done so on the Web site today.

I'm not clear whether he's "officially" on or off the list, but maybe I've just missed something between then and now.

clarice

I can't access it for some reason--but Time apparently has an article in which Woodward says why his source waited so long to come forward--If someone can get it wqe might find more clues...

TP

Clarice, Try this.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1132544,00.html

TP

It looks like it might be somebody that was not required to give a waiver by the WH.

clarice

Yes..and get this, Woodward's name is on the logs which Fitz had for years and never called him. Woodward says he tried to get the source to give him a waiver for a while.

clarice

From the article:

[quote]Woodward said he had tried twice before, once in 2004 and once earlier this year, to persuade the source to remove the confidentiality restriction, but with no success.

Asked if this was the first time his source had spoken with Fitzgerald in the investigation, Woodward said "I'm not sure. It's quite possibly not the first time." But it is the first time Woodward had contact with Fitzgerald, even though Woodward's name shows up on various White House officials' calendars, phone logs and other records during June and July, 2003, the time frame that is critical to determining whether a crime was committed when information about Plame's employment was shared with reporters. Those White House records were turned over to Fitzgerald long ago. [/quote]


So--His source may have already been questioned by Fitz! And Fitz' investigation couldn't have been more narrow and myopic, could it?

Reg Jones

Previous Key Woodward Question:
Did you ever discuss the Plame matter w/ your source after the Novak's column and if so when?

Answer: Almost certainly, yes.

Time article:
"Woodward said he had tried twice before, once in 2004 and once earlier this year, to persuade the source to remove the confidentiality restriction, but with no success... Asked if this was the first time his source had spoken with Fitzgerald in the investigation, Woodward said "I'm not sure. It's quite possibly not the first time."

Huh? Source covers up when he leaks but when he discovers he was the first leaker he suddenly thinks he must fully disclose? Is this credible?

New Questions:
What "fact" did Woodward discover that led him to tell Downie? Was it that you got the first leak? Did you in anyway force the source to come clean to Fitz? Did you say something along the lines of "confidentially agreement holds but if I find out that you publically lied about it to Fitz I'll break our agreement"?

Dwilkers

"Maybe's it's just me, but the AP version of Cheney's denial seems, as I noted above, a little strange."

I think that's just because Woodward is (apparently) at the White House daily and given extraordinary access for his books. They had to carefully craft it to be accurate.

So even though he talks to Woodward all the time and (one assumes) did in this time period he's saying 'I didn't talk to him that day [I talk to him a lot though], I didn't provide him that information [I do provide him other information though], and I haven't signed any waiver.'

I've been a bit worried about Cheney but I don't find anything weird about that release.

Dwilkers

"Yes..and get this, Woodward's name is on the logs which Fitz had for years and never called him."

That's been bothering me since Woodward made his little revelation. I brought it up the other day and a couple people said 'nah, DoJ guidelines on reporters etc' but I'm just not buying it.

How would you go about investigating a leak from the White House to the media? Get the phone and visitor logs and make a list of everyone that had access during that period and that needed to be questioned would seem to me like the way you start. DoJ guidelines or not that means you've got to start asking reporters if they talked to anyone about the matter.

All of them. That doesn't mean you have to break out the water boards and rubber hoses but if you are going to find out what really happened you have to talk to all of them. How many could that be? 30? 50? All you have to do to start is ask a basic 'have you ever talked to anyone about' type question. Some percentage of them would simply say "no", some would refuse to answer, some would say "yes but I can't...", but that gives you the starting point for the investigation.

He's had 2 years after all. If they haven't done this basic due diligence what the hell have they been doing? Why were they interviewing Wilson's neighbors the Friday before the indictment?

I have no reason to think Fitz is anything but a good, honest, straight shooting prosecutor but this calls that into question. Its almost like he bought the media storyline as gospel and had a predetermined course for his investigation, then after 2 years of not being able to establish the 'truth' of that he cried "Obstruction!" and indicted the best candidate.

Mind you, I'm not saying Libby isn't guilty, I'm not even arguing that point. I just don't get what Fitz is doing getting ambushed with this sort of thing 2 years into the investigation. If I were Fitz, I would have made DAMN sure something like this wasn't going to happen.

I heard on one media report yesterday that he's asking for another grand jury too.

Jim E.

In defense of Fitz and his late discovery of Woodward:

1. He *was* following DOJ guidelines, and if you review his press conference he explained that while he would have loved to bring in dozens of reporters, he went as narrowly as possible

2. There's a possibility that Fitz was too focused on the post-July 6 (Wilson's op-ed) time period. Until Judy Miller's testimony, and her late "memory" of her notes regarding the June 23 testimony, he may not have realized that the leaking started as soon as it did

3. Knowing he was purposely seeking only the most essential reporters, it appear Fitz mainly went after those that Libby claimed he heard the information from. Libby sent Fitz on a chase of reporters, and Fitz followed Libby's claims. Since Libby didn't mention Woodward, why would Fitz know to go after him? (I would also point out that Libby's lawyers haven't even claimed that Libby heard about anything from Woodward.) Basically, Fitz critics are angry that he didn't go on a fishing expedition, which is a strange critique for administration (and newspaper reporter) defenders.

4. And, finally, how is it Fitz's fault that the SAO didn't come forward sooner? For all we know the SAO already testified. Woodward claims he went back to his source twice (starting in 2004) to try to get him to release Woodward from the confidentiality agreement. If the SAO had already testified, he can't claim he just remembered the converstation -- Woodward had been reminding him of it a few times already.

Jim E.

According to the WashPost: "A person familiar with the investigation said [Woodward's] source had testified earlier in the case."

If so, this really shows that Fitz HAD done due diligence with regard to Woodward and Woodward's source. It's possible (I'd say likely) that Woodward's source lied to Fitz. The source only came clean once Woodward was poking around to write a story.

JM Hanes

Jim E -

Don't you just hate it when papers use something like "a person familiar with the investigation" to describe a source? Shoot, I'm "familiar" with the investigation.

clarice

Quite a leap JimE..We have no idea what Fitz' crack investigators asked the source who may not have even been under oath when he was questioned.

Since Fitz seems to have bought into Wilson's storyline, my guess is that the questions had nothing to do with his statements to reporters and a lot to do with the distribution of the INR--the lamest of red herrings.

Dwilkers

Jim-

1. Not good enough. If he didn't find out the truth then whatever his reason for not doing it is insufficient. Obviously he hasn't done that. Whatever the DoJ guidelines are obviously they cannot be construed to prevent him from doing his job.

2. Fair enough as far as it goes. The idea that he missed this because he was focused on some specific time period doesn't speak well of his competence.

3. Your point assumes he was investigating Libby. He was supposed to be investigating who leaked in response to the CIA referral, not Scooter Libby.

Remember, Fitz was supposed to be investigtating a potential leak of classified information, not the media's or the left's presupposition about who or what had happened.

Your 4th point and next post blend. I don't agree with the thrust though. "If so, this really shows that Fitz HAD done due diligence with regard to Woodward and Woodward's source." No way. We know he didn't talk to Woodward, so how can he be said to have done due diligence in this regard?

As to this "If the SAO had already testified, he can't claim he just remembered the converstation -- Woodward had been reminding him of it a few times already." fair point. Do we know over what period of time Woodward was doing this?

I wouldn't be surprised at all to see whoever this is indicted - in fact I'm expecting it. Of course, we don't really know what his/her supposed excuse is for not telling Fitz about it before. Still, whoever it is better have a good lawyer, because you can bet Fitz is PO'd about this. I can't be the only one wondering WTH he's doing getting ambushed like this.

In any case color me unimpressed. It was his entire purpose to find this out. Excuses about DoJ guidelines on reporters don't cut it after 2 years, especially when he's already been throwing reporters in chains.

Jim E.

clarice: "who may not have even been under oath when he was questioned."

What's the difference? What about false statements, then? Sheesh.

Dwilkers: "If he didn't find out the truth then whatever his reason for not doing it is insufficient."

If his witnesses are lying, how is he supposed to get at "the truth"? What about "sand in the eyes"? What about the responsibility of Bush administration officials for all of this?

"The idea that he missed this because he was focused on some specific time period doesn't speak well of his competence."

After I posted my comment, it occurred to me that Miller's testimony should have clarified things for Fitz, and he should have focused more on June. On the other hand, and I think I'm remembering this correctly, didn't Fitz already know about the June 23 Miller-Libby meeting prior to Miller testifying? He showed her proof of the meeting, kept her in contempt, and called her back to testify, by which time she "remembered" to bring her notes. Therefore, my #2 point is inoperative. Good catch.

"Your point assumes he was investigating Libby. He was supposed to be investigating who leaked in response to the CIA referral, not Scooter Libby."

It's pretty clear that Fitz thought he was being lied to very early in the case, hence his clarification to go after perjury and obstruction two months into his job. Not sure what else he's supposed to do when Libby (according to Fitz) was in the way of the leak investigation. You disagree that Fitz investigated Libby? I didn't "assume" he was investigating Libby -- the indictment proves it!

"We know he didn't talk to Woodward, so how can he be said to have done due diligence in this regard?"

So I take it that you would have endorsed a fishing expedition?

"Do we know over what period of time Woodward was doing this?"

According to his Time interview: "Woodward said he had tried twice before, once in 2004 and once earlier this year, to persuade the source to remove the confidentiality restriction, but with no success." Clearly, the SAO had his memory "refreshed," to put it generously, and could have come forward long ago. As we saw with Rove, Fitz welcomes witnesses who seek to "correct" the record. This SAO did not seek to do so until he realized Woodward was supposedly pushing ahead on a story. This doesn't reflect well on the source.

"he's already been throwing reporters in chains"

Nice purple prose. Judy Miller is the only reporter who served time in jail.

Dwilkers

Actually Miller was literally thrown in chains, and the point remains in any case; the DoJ guidelines stopped where the perceived needs of the investigation began.

Libby's alleged lies have nothing to do with Fitz missing Woodward. And Libby is the only one that has been accused of misleading Fitz. Fitz pulled off missing Woodward all by himself. Apparently Woodward has been sitting around waiting to be called like a girl the week before the prom.

"You disagree that Fitz investigated Libby?" No, I'm saying his mandate was to find the leaker, not to investigate Libby. That he 'got' Libby is meaningless in terms of what he was supposed to be doing, 'getting' Libby wasn't his job. Fitz wasn't supposed to be trying to "get Libby" or "get Rove" - what bothers me is this makes it appear that that was what he was doing.

"Woodward said he had tried twice before, once in 2004 and once earlier this year, to persuade the source to remove the confidentiality restriction, but with no success." Well there we go. There goes the "I forgot" defense. I expect whoever this was to get indicted.

clarice

Help--On FR someone posted that on Jan 12, 1996 Pincus wrote an article describing a former NOC who worked in France and sounds remarkaly like Plame--which would indicate he knew her long before this. (Pincus was at one time with the CIA). The poster regrettably gave no citation and because of the legal kerfuffle with the WaPo the administratoe severely excerpted the text of the piece. Can anyone figure out how to get this article? Thanks.

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Wilson/Plame