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December 19, 2005

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» He's Right, You Know from Funmurphys: the Blog
Tom Maguire explains the symbolism behind Time's photograph of the publicity twins, Joe and Valerie Wilson. The only thing he left out is that Joe not only outed Valerie in his NYT op-ed, he followed up with David Corn to... [Read More]

» Odd Plame/Wilson photo explained from Sister Toldjah
Did yall happen to catch this bizarre photo of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame/Wilson? If so, you were probably scratching your head trying to figure out the symbolism of it just as I was. Wonder no more: Tom Maguire, who has been a blogging mac... [Read More]

» So Crazy It Makes Sense from A Blog For All
If you haven't seen the Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame photo in Time, Tom Maguire has it figured out. And his explanation is so silly that it just might be hidden in plain sight. [Read More]

» First Roundup of 06 from The Anchoress
Overheard in NY: Toddler boy: Look, Daddy! The airport! Dad: Thats the moon, Milo. 86th 3rd The moon is where I feel like Ive been! If I ever tell me kids they can have all their friends over, and that everyone can sleep ... [Read More]

Comments

Jim E.

Simple -- the White House, via Robert Novak, ended her career and she is now retired. No need for her to rush off to work, so she stays in her PJs!

Gary Maxwell

JIm E

Why was she on a leave of absence again?

Jim E.

Gary,
You tell me.

Gary Maxwell

Oh thats right we ( you included ) dont know. But it is at least feasible that the LOA was other than voluntary and other than a vacation.

But 20 years in govt service gets you a cushy govt pension.

maryrose

What self-respecting spy would let herself be photographed like that? Once again it"s all about Joe. Covert my Aunt Tillie!

Dan Granite

What about the tears in his eyes?
What does that mean?

MJW

In regard to Plame's one-year leave of absence, this newspaper article says to it was unpaid and enforced.

wadikitty

Dan Granite

What about the tears in his eyes?
What does that mean?

He didn't get what he wanted for Fitzmas?

Beto Ochoa
"Odd that TIME would make such an obvious statement."
And this is why you're Tom and we're....., well, just the rest of us.
MJW

Here is a question that perhaps someone here can answer.

As I understand it, the Novak column that revealed Plame's CIA association went out on the AP newswire on July 11, 2003. My question is, what exactly does it mean to say it went out on the wire? Was it accessible to anyone who had an AP feed -- which would include, I assume, most news organizations and the White House; or did it only go to the newspaper editors in charge of publishing Novak's column?

If it's the former, I find it surprising that by July 12, when Libby talked to Cooper and Miller, everyone concerned hadn't already heard the news. I'm not saying I think they did -- in fact I doubt they did -- I'm just saying it's strange they didn't. It would also be odd that Cooper wouldn't know Plame's name until the next week. I would assume someone who claimed to be "all over [the] story by midweek" would keep up with what other people were writing about it.

Of course, if it's the latter, and only a few editors had access to the column before it was published, my puzzlement is considerably reduced.

topsecretk9

ummm baaaa TM.....Jeff's gonna be mad, mad, mad at you!

J2

I think it's a re-staging of a scene from "The Desperate Hours".

richard mcenroe

She's suffering from post-sedition depression and hasn't got the energy to get dressed...

chuck

Yes, Joe Wilson outed her. It had absolutely nothing to do with the 1/2 dozen admin, officials having near simultaneous "off the cuff" conversations with reporters about her identity.

And it's not Fitmas, it's fitnukah. It isn't even near over.

Bob in Pacifica

You guys are pathetic. The Great Leader admitted he was breaking the law the other day. You're still pretending that the Plame Affair, which was clearly Cheney's attempt at discrediting Wilson in order to cover up the phony Italian documents scam.

True believers: Your Homeland equals Fatherland. Wake up.

kim

Out. Out, damned spot.
========================

Jeff

Mad? Are you kidding? I would have been so disappointed if you all hadn't had a new chance to show how bonkers the Wilsons make you. Grateful is more like it. Plus it's nice to have a respite from the unreadable nonsense on that spying business. You know things are bad when TM himself descends to Powerline-like depths of up-is-downism. It's all the Democrats fault, if there's a problem, but there's no problem, it's the President! Is that it?

Moonbat_One

Uh, no Bob. The president was not breaking the law. He consulted Congress and federal judges every 45 days on the matter, and many methods of NSA SIGINT does not require warrants. Also, these operations thwarted several terrorist attacks. Your concern for the civil rights and secrecy of terrorist plots over national security doesn't make you more patriotic-than-thou. It makes you and other liberals appear to be reckless and unconcerned about national security, which voters keep in mind when they go to the polls.

As for the photo, I think the impression (a false one) the Wilson-Plames and Time was trying to make was that the White House ruined Plame's career, and so now she was relegated to sitting around the house while her husband fights on for her honor and justice. In reality, Plame finished up her 20 years and is now drawing retirement and her husband's a narcissistic publicity hound.

Don Meaker

Oh, brother. A picture of twice outed used-ta-be spy, outed by her husband, enjoying her government pension after an enforced year of vacation, and Bob In Pacifica feels the need to complain about intercepting Al Queda communications.

I wonder why I can't trust the Democrats on National Security?

kim

OK, I got the subject, 'Plame Affair'. What is the verb? Are you just rambling? What is your mother tongue? Why didn't you just say Vaterland, and completely let your argument fall on it's face in the vater?
==============================================

Soak

Bob needs to slip on the pjs they wear in the looney bin. And don't forget those floppy slippers.

kim

Lilli Marlene and Valerie Plame.
Marlene Dietrich, yeah she got game.
She's got the look and Jayne Mansfield fame.
Why is she stuck with a man who's so lame?
==========================================

topsecretk9

ah shucks Jeff I thought you would be vexified by the rascally leakers that outed Clinton's revamped Echelon project.

kim

Whaddya bet they's shugah in the offing?
=======================================

topsecretk9

You're a superstar, yes, that's what you are, you know it

Jeff

Oh yeah, two other things. maryrose - Newsflash for you. Valerie Wilson's cover was blown July 14, 2003.

MJW - It's never been clear how accessible Novak's column was as of July 11, though it appears not to have been too accessible. However, I suspect part of the reason the White House went, relatively speaking, nuts with the news on July 12 is that they knew Novak's column was coming out -- Rove had previously relayed that information to Libby, according to the indictment, and again according to the recent Waas article -- and perhaps even knew that it had already crossed the wires, so they figured they couldn't break the law by disclosing Plame's CIA status. And it wasn't just Libby talking to Miller and Cooper that day, it was also a source talking to Pincus (and apparently Fitzgerald asked him the time of their talk, so he is interested in precise details of that day, I suspect). And if it happened at all, I think it is a distinct possibility that the famous two top White House officials calling six reporters to out Plame happened that day. The other interesting thing is that, per the indictment, Libby consulted with other officials -- per a not-quickly-enough retracted Washington Post story Cheney Cheney Cheney -- on board AF2 about what Libby would say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including Cooper. How much do you want to bet that, if Cheney didn't already know, Libby told Cheney during that conversation that Novak was going to blow Plame's cover, and Cheney said, Well, then, go for it, my friend, the cat's out of the bag so smear that cat around as widely as possible. Was this illegal? Perhaps not, depending on what was going on with Novak's column, though perhaps.

Gary Maxwell

Bob In LaLa sure likes to call people Nazis. It seems to be his fall back "argument". As Kim so rightly points out sometimes his sentences are not even complete thoughts, and I wont go into the general lack of logic in all posts. Ignor may be the best response.

kim

Jeff, the Wilsons, one or both, are soon going to be the object of our pity rather than our scorn.
================================================

Jeff

vexified by the rascally leakers that outed Clinton's revamped Echelon project

Wait, but I thought TM was blaming the Democrats for not speaking up about this? Oh wait, now it appears they did what little they could without breaking the law. Now can we start being good troubled Americans about arguments for unlimited executive power? Oh, okay, it's the Clintons fault, I get it, I guess.

Jeff

How, Kim? Are you clinging to delusions of indictment? Or do you have something else in mind?

kim

It's unbecoming when you whine, Jeff. Of course, it's the Clinton's fault; isn't everything? I mean seriously, do you think Dole would have let bin Laden get through the net dozens of times, like Berger did? Hell, he'd have taken him out himself with a hand grenade. He still might. What a way to go.
======================================

ThomasD

Am I the only one who caught the reference to twin FIVE year olds. So is Valerie one of the Incredibles too?

ThomasD

Am I the only one who caught the reference to twin FIVE year olds. So is Valerie one of the Incredibles too?

kim

If the MSM has a chance to redeem itself in this matter, it must repudiate Joe and maybe, Val. Whether it is done willingly or under crossfire on the stand, it will happen. And then, I'll pity Joe. I do already. He is a sick man.
==========================================

topsecretk9

Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery
Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice your voice can take me there

Oh wait, now it appears they did what little they could without breaking the law.

no dice.
be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Jeff

It's unbecoming when you whine, Jeff. Of course, it's the Clinton's fault; isn't everything?

What's that about a pot and a kettle again?

topsecretk9

What's that about a pot and a kettle again?

Depends on what your meaning of "pot" and "kettle" is.

Jeff

topsecret - You've got t be kidding, right? You think the Democrats should have just gone into the House and the Senate and given speech after speech about this stuff. You really think that would have been alright?

kim

Jeff, I suspect that you have fairly accurately outlined some of the mechanics of the process of that weekend's spreading of news, but I think you mischaracterize the legitimacy of that process. By then, it was probably not illegal, no matter what is what with Novak's column. It can certainly also be characterized as a pragmatic and effective response to what was turning into a devastating and disinformational political attack.
=============================================

topsecretk9

Um, Jeff...they just pulled "closed door" out of their hat, no?
cry wolf.

Jeff

topsecret - Again, Rockefeller was prohibited from talking with anyone else including his own staff who would have been able to deal with some of the specialized, technical and legal, issues beyond his particular (very particular in his case, right?) competence, to say nothing of his fellow senators. You think he should have just flouted that and gone public with his fellow senators?

topsecretk9

technical

wow that was quick, did you see before it went public?

topsecretk9

Did I say Rockefeller?

kim

Naw, Jeff, Clinton's arriviste. It's Carter's fault, or Johnson's. Roosevelt.

Oh hell, let's blame Nixon and Alf Landon.
===============================================

Gary Maxwell

Jeff

Did you just use Jay Rockefeller and competence in the same sentence?

topsecretk9

I believe this

Funny, I never said Rockefeller

topsecretk9

I believe this....is what Jeff was referring to

rej

Nice forlorn expression, Joe. Wouldn't be hard for the KGB to coax secrets out of a pantywaist like that.

Jeff

Did you just use Jay Rockefeller and competence in the same sentence?

I know, I know, but note how tightly I circumscribed it. It's only someone with his level of competence who would have allowed Roberts to roll over him with the SSCI report that way.

In this case, topsecret, Rockefeller is just one example among a small handful.

topsecretk9

Fade in...Elongated speech, think someone scratching their chin wearing an ascot while saying suspiciously-- "Right"

anyhoo Merry Christmas Jeffer...missed you!

Jeff

topsecret - I'm getting suspicious you're paying me a serious compliment. Care to make it explicit? And come on, let's be politically correct. It's: Happy Birthday, Santa!

r flanagan

Meanwhile the Iraq election results seem to
show that Hakim's SCIRI ( pronounced scarey-which he is)and Moktada will have the two biggest blocs .

JB

"Meanwhile the Iraq election results seem to
show that Hakim's SCIRI ( pronounced scarey-which he is)and Moktada will have the two biggest blocs ."

Yeah. And according to the latest presidential election exit polls, John Kerry is our new president.

kim

Careful, rf, or the bogeyman will get you. Funny how the Iraqis don't fear him anymore.
============================================

topsecretk9

Care to make it explicit?
Noooo way, Jose!

TM

You've got t be kidding, right? You think the Democrats should have just gone into the House and the Senate and given speech after speech about this stuff.

If the only alternative is a leak to the NY Times, then yes, they should have settled for a floor speech - it would have been legal, and at least we would have had a chanvce to judge whether Rockefeller (or whoever) was a hero of the Constitution and civil liberties, or a traitor giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Of course, it would take guts, and might not poll well. Also, they have to fight off Rove's mind-control rays.

The NY Times is not elected, not accountable, and not my first choice to judge whether senstitive information should or should not be disclosed in wartime.

All that said, I think any functional Senator could have figured out a way to get satisfaction on this point. For starters, Reid and Rockefeller could have declared the Patriot Act DOA until their concerns about a secret program were satisified.

In a representative democracy, our representatives really ought to be able to sort out these classified programs without resorting to the front page of the Times.

And, regardless of how confused he was in 2003, Rockefeller did get a suspension of the program in 2004 until his concerns were addressed.

John Burgess

Hmmm... after 25 years in government service, I can certainly testify that "cushy" is not the right adjective to use when describing it...

Kristen

Not to change the subject from the photo, but I have to just ask.....

How long can 5-yr old twins be five years old?

Lloyd

I think Joe got up early to catch a plane to Niger.

richard mcenroe

"You think he should have just flouted that and gone public with his fellow senators?"

Not like it hasn't happened before... ask Senator "Leaky" Leahy...

TM

What about the tears in his eyes?

Those aren't tears - Rand Beers and Richard Clarke had just finished waterboarding him as a training exercise, to make sure he wouldn't crack and reveal his connection to the Kerry campaign under tough questioning from Andrea Mitchell.

paul

"If Woody had gone to the police, none of this would have happened."

Jeff

TM - I'm still unclear on what you actually think about the program, and why you seem fixated on the Democrats, as though the balance in our government referred to partisan balance, rather than branches of government. What do you think of what we know of what the executive branch has done, and the legislative branch in response? Setting aside, for the moment, how bonkers the Wilsons make you.

And richard - and you think it was alright, what Leahy did, on your account? You approve? Or is it just more fun being anti-left than being Right?

I'm doing my best to live up to topsecret's imagination (it is his, right?) that I'm the godlike JMM.

Brent

Jeff, I think that TM, like me, thinks that eavesdropping on US phone numbers found on terrorist's computers in Afghanistan and Iraq is a good thing and in fact help thwart several pretty nasty terror attacks here in the homeland. And I think that TM, like me, thinks that you and other lefties are probably upset just a little bit about that. How else to explain the overwhelming push from the left to make it easier for terrorists to operate unbothered here and abroad? One vomits a little in one's mouth comptemplating it, but one does what one has to do to understand the thought processes of defeatists and appeasers.

topsecretk9

it is his

yet another leftist sexist, sigh.

topsecretk9

JMM?
NOT even what I am thinking, nice segue though.

Syl

Good Grief

'People Who Mattered in 2005'

Look at them both posturing. Such sadness. Such grief. Such phonies. No wonder they're moving to CA.

topsecretk9

TM, you Revolutionary....NOW Drudge is sponsoring a caption contest!

Jeff, apparently they drive many people bonkers. My personal Favs

"Joe, I just dreamed I was a secret agent"

"Sleeping With the Enemy"

"Honey, I think I lost my cover"


Actually they are pretty good.

davod

The picture is a take on the Cloony movie about McCarthy. They are trying to show how terrorized Wilson and his wife have been by the government. When will these people be exposed for the political hacks they are? Probably not for fifty years. History will show they and a large part of the left to be a third colunm. The word Wilsonian will take on a whole new meaninfg.

Lew Clark

Duh,

Her outfit is obvious! She has now retired from the CIA and is starting her new career as a blogger. Thus the "blogger uniform".

arrowhead

Potential captions:

Joe: I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.

Valerie: Oh God, he's at it again! Why, oh why did I ever marry such a jerk?

urban Pirate

God, they're even starting to call it the homeland. Fascism in America, who would've guessed it?

MJW

Jeff, thanks for you comments on my question of how accessible the Novak column was on July 11. I find it surprising that, as far as I know, this question hasn't been definitively answered. Especially considering the type of people who would know the answer -- news reporters -- are the ones writing about the Plame business.

I also find it a little surprising that the indictment didn't even mention the publication of the Novak column, beyond the mention of the conversation between Novak and Rove, and the subsequent conversation between Rove and Libby.

MJW

urban Pirate: "God, they're even starting to call it the homeland. Fascism in America, who would've guessed it?"

Started? I guess you slept through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security back in 2002.

Extraneus

The thing I don't get about this NSA thing, and maybe Jeff can explain, is what the Left thinks Bush's sinister motivation could have been. A fetish for reading transcripts of phone-calls? Is that really what they think?

Dwilkers

TM-

"All that said, I think any functional Senator could have figured out a way to get satisfaction on this point."

No kidding.

Actually the easiest way for the Leg to deal with this if they really didn't want it to go on would be to exercise the power of the purse. It would have been relatively easy for Dems to have blocked budgets until their concerns were addressed about this program (if they really had any) without even going public at all.

Obviously that's too difficult for our Dem friends on the board to contemplate though. They'd rather scream ChimpyMcHalliBusHitler than think about what their representatives should have done if what they are saying about their 'deep concerns' is true.

_______________________________________________

On the photo, Freud would have a field day.

dorf

maybe Val is blogging in her jammies. Get it? I'll be here all week..........

noah

On the other hand, Roberts and Rockefeller could have got together and come up with a law to provide for this obviously necessary surveillance.

Altho I must admit they would have great difficulty in passing such a law without exposing the program as leaky as Congress is.

Tough conundrum, this democracy business in a time of war, eh? So we are full circle...back to the President's powers during wartime.

sbw

Actually, the real problem isn't the photo... it's Time's headline, "People who mattered - 2005" -- now there's a presumption.

Nobody Important

True believers: Your Homeland equals Fatherland. Wake up.
Posted by: Bob in Pacifica | December 19, 2005 at 06:43 PM


Like the president said after the terrorist attack:

...I would like to say something to [those of you] who believe the greatest threat to America comes not from terrorists from ... beyond our borders, but from our own government.

I believe you have every right, indeed you have the responsibility, to question our government when you disagree with its policies. And I will do everything in my power to protect your right to do so.

But I also know there have been lawbreakers among those who espouse your philosophy....

...The people who came to the United States to bomb the World Trade Center were wrong....

...How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in tyranny....

...[T]here is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government.....


-The President of the United States
Michigan State University

And, for those who didn't get the point, in his weekly radio address at the end of the year, he said:

"We recognized, once again, that we can't love our country and hate our government."

-The President of the United States
Weekly Radio Address

Rich Berger

Nobody important-

Pretty clever. How soon we forget.

r flanagan

Extraneus.

A .The far left always thinks this President's motives are sinister.

B.The mid left thinks that whatever his motives if the wire tapping happens to pick up politically useful information Rove
will use it.

C. The near left like me thinks that
even if neither A nor B is true in this case , if Bush is successful
in establising that his powers as
War-time Commander in Chief allows him
to act "illegally" for what he considers a
very good purpose some future President
(Hillary , McCain , Feingold ) may
feel he/she is justified in acting illegally for what really is a sinister purpose.

think

Jeff

thinks that eavesdropping on US phone numbers found on terrorist's computers in Afghanistan and Iraq is a good thing

Agreed.

And I think that TM, like me, thinks that you and other lefties are probably upset just a little bit about that.

Incorrect.

How else to explain the overwhelming push from the left to make it easier for terrorists to operate unbothered here and abroad?

Nice strawman, vomiter, you appear to have learned your rhetorical lessons from the master. Nobody on the left wants to make it easier for terrorists blahblahblah. The push from the left is to ensure that we have limited government, and that there is a check on executive power in particular -- and the execustive telling something to congress and swearing to uphold the law is not a check, as that has been understood from roughly 1788 to the present. And if it's a massive technical innovation we're dealing with here, get the Congress to change the law as required (and yes, while the bill is being debated, urgent measures can be taken, and consequences dealt with transparently with congress - that's why we call it limited government).

Thus, Extraneus, Cheney's sinister motivation is the mounting of an argument for and practical assertion of in principle unlimited executive power.

topsecret - My apologies. For what it's worth, it was a considered misjudgment, not an assumption.

MJW - Agreed all around. That's a good point about the indictment, though it's significance is hard to tell. I take it that Libby's alleged criminal activity ended on July 12, so the timeline does not encompass July 14, the date of Novak's article. Still, the timeline would encompass the 11th, when Novak's column perhaps went on the wire, whatever that means.

rXapt

Valierie in tears? She's frustrated with Joe and asking: "why are you such a damn liar, Joe?"

r flanagan

TM Your premature in saying the Democrats have resorted to this leak to the Press . The Times article claims its sources were government officials. It doesn't mention politicians.

I know you hypothesize that Beers or Clarke did this at Kerry's "behest" but you've seemlessly moved from hypothesis to certitude.

r flanagan

"your" should have been
you're

TM

you've seemlessly moved from hypothesis to certitude.

Did I seam to do that?

Appalled Moderate

All the picture shows is Joe Wilson's greed for attention and Ms. Plame's puzzling willingness to aid and abet this. Bletch! If I had done something like this to my wife, I would be divorced and broke and in physical pain.

Remember, folks, though, that two wrongs do not make a right. What Rove did was scummy (if not especially illegal) and what Libby did was lie to investigators.


maryrose

When I look at this picture I see two people who don't know that their fifteen minutes are up.

Extraneus

Jeff:

Thus, Extraneus, Cheney's sinister motivation is the mounting of an argument for and practical assertion of in principle unlimited executive power.

Thanks for the reply (and to r_flanagan, too). I think I get it now.

I can understand the concern with executive power, but ascribing sinister motives seems a little paranoid and partisan to me. I can only imagine how heroically a President Kerry would be portrayed in the press right now if the tables were turned.

If the constitutional concerns really were sincere, this certainly could have been handled in a way less injurious to national security, and the speculation on Rockefeller's silence sure does suggest the possibility that his concerns might have already been addressed. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.

So, how will it play out? Will Gonzalez expand Fitzgerald's scope, since he's already got a new grand jury and apparently bipartisan support, or will we see a different prosecutor?

machsplanck

kim:

Didn't you know she's not Marlene, but Mata.

Patrick R. Sullivan

' Nobody on the left wants to make it easier for terrorists blahblahblah. '

George Orwell exposed this rhetorical device for what it is a long time ago. If it's objectively favorable to the bad guys, then you're aiding them by being in favor of it.

What the left is doing is more of the same thing they've always done. Pace Ann Coulter, they're rooting against America. It's in the marrow of their bones.

Jeff

patrick - What rhetorical device on earth are you talking about? And in what sense is the position I laid out objectively favorable to the bad guys, in a sense different from a sense in which the Constitution is objectively favorable to the bad guys? Is a limited government objectively favorable to the bad guys? Is the first amendment? the second? the fourth? If I say let's disregard the second amendment so that we can take guns away from the bad guys, and you reassert the existence and importance of the second amendment, are you being objectively favorable to the bad guys?

b

"The push from the left is to ensure that we have limited government..."

This should be on a bumper sticker.

Gary Maxwell

The left wants a limited government? Now I have heard it all.

Jeff

Gary - You don't get out much, do you?

Gary Maxwell

By all means Jeff, if that is your story you should stick to it. Torpedos be damned, full throttle ahead.

Gary Maxwell

That is of course why exactly zero Democrats voted for the modest budget reduction just passed in the House, right?

Cecil Turner

NOW Drudge is sponsoring a caption contest!

Heh. Thanks, Hidden Hound. "Honey, I think I lost my cover" and "sleeper cell" had me in stitches.

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