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December 02, 2005

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Marcel

All of the leaks on this issue must be coming from Luskin or someone else in Rove's camp. They must be trying to make a public relations case to save Rove's job pending a conviction, and/or to build public support for an eventual pardon. Bottom line: attempted damage control. Chance of success: minimal.

Tom, when you started blogging about this in the summer of 2003, did you expect the story to last this long?

j.foeter

Why would thet try so hard to convince fitz that rove is not guilty of the non crime ? unless it is about misleading the court.

Jim E.

Is Luskin going to testify? I got shot down yesterday for even asking this. But is that what I'm hearing now?

Marcel

It is understandable that Rove's lawyers are trying to persuade Fitzgerald not to indict. But why make this effort public? If it ends up that Rove is not charged, this process has had a needless negative impact on Rove's reputation.

Jim E.

Marcel,
Good point. One wonders why these leaks are necessary. As commenter Jeff has speculated, is Luskin sending messages to his personal friend Viveca Novak? And I can't imagine that Fitz is thrilled with all of this. I assume he'd put Luskin under oath first (if, in fact, Luskin will have to testify).

Jim E.

I assume Luskin will say he never passed along the info he learned from the V Novak conversation with Rove until late Oct 2005? Is this believable?

Mime Loozer

It's obvious that Rove is in the clear. The only question left is if Fitz will quash Libby's indictment before a judge dismisses the case. Plus many news organizations are now calling for an investigation of the CIA itself. It is only a matter of time before Joe and Val's house of cards comes tumbling down.

Paddy Cakes

Hey Jimbo, Oct 2005 is not believable, but Oct 2004 may be. Plus if Fitz didn't think Luskin's statements were credible, and Luskin and Rove where hiding something, then Rove would have been indicted by now. Don't worry, the libs will make up some new phony "scandal" you can fantasize about to pass the time. Or maybe the terrorist supporters can bring back the Downing Street Memo, that was a good one!

Marcel

Mime Loozer may be right about Rove being in the clear. But there is a reason that Fitzgerald continues with his investigation and has started with a new Grand Jury. There could be additional charges against Libby, or someone else could be indicted. But if not Rove, then who?

kim

Well, Marcel, Joe is the most obvious miscreant to this observer. I don't see why Fitz wouldn't think likewise.
===============================

DougJ

"It's obvious that Rove is in the clear. The only question left is if Fitz will quash Libby's indictment before a judge dismisses the case. Plus many news organizations are now calling for an investigation of the CIA itself. It is only a matter of time before Joe and Val's house of cards comes tumbling down."

There are two big questions remaining:

(1) Will there be an investigation of Joe Wilson's connections with French and German intelligence services?

(2) Will Walter Pincus of the Wahington Post be jailed for contempt of court?

kim

All in time, Doug, all in time.
================================

Specter

I got it. Fitz is actually now investigating another leak. According to the Astute Blogger, it is another instance of skewed intelligence causing the administration to escalate war. The title of the article is, "US Vietnam intelligence 'flawed'". You can read the article here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/americas/4492190.stm

lol.

Specter

DougJ

When the truth comes out about Wilson, Kim, it will be the biggest scandal in the history of the American intelligence community. I think the repercussions will go all the way up the food chain to Tenet himself, who had to know that Wilson was working for a European intelligence agency.

Marcel

It makes absolutely no sense that the CIA would refer this case to the Justice Department if their employee's identity was revealed by the employee herself, or by her husband who had undertaken an assignment for the CIA.

kim

Gawd, I hope you are not just pulling my chain, DougJ. Is that what the medal was for?
==========================

Rick Ballard

Marcel,

Think Kerry in the WH putting a nice damp blanket on the DoJ. The CIA rolled the dice and lost.

Big time.

DougJ

Marcel, there is much more to this story than meets the eye. Remember, most of the documents in the cas have not been released to the public at all. There's another plot thread you're not hearing about and it has to do with Joe Wilson's treasonous activities on behalf of European nations that opposed the invasion. Just wait and see what happens over the next few months.

kim

The fact is, Marcel, there isn't a hell of a lot of sense about the whole referral. Why was it done?
==============================================

DougJ

Kim, it is entirely possible that Tenet knew what Wilson was doing and was just "giving him enough rope", as it were. It is also possible that when Tenet was given the medal, the White House didn't know yet how big the Wilson scandal was. I really don't which is the case. But I'm fairly certain that Wilson was working for a foreign intelligence service, probably the German or French.

kim

Ooh, Rick, how enticing the biggest floating crap game sounds.
=========================================

Marcel

Doug J, I haven't read every comment every day, and don't know what you mean about Wilson's connections to European intelligence agencies.

kim

Oh, yeah, the medal is a running joke. But why the certainty about Joe's involvement with those Intel agencies? I'm only certin of his surpassing villainy.
================================================

DougJ

Here's the link to an article about Wilson's involvement with foreign intelligence

http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4970

kim

All very interesting, even plausible. I've long operated under the assumption that Joe was in the pay of Saudi interests, where his sympathies lie, but, of course, he speaks French better than he does Arabic.
===========================

Marcel

Doug, thanks for the link. The article certainly expresses some interesting theories. One - attributing the Niger forgeries to French intelligence - does not seem realistic. The French would not have been complicit in providing the Bush Administration with "evidence" of Iraqi WMD's, and the article gets the timing wrong on the forgeries. Still, there is always a place in the discussion for new theories.

maryrose

Once again Iagree with Rick and believe the CIA never thought it would go this far. Nor did the reporters. What's the big deal that caused all the judges to insist that Cooper and Miller testify? Seems like they really didn't get what they were after.

Rick Ballard

Kim,

Perhaps some day the relationship between COGEMA, the IAEA (which quickly declared the Niger docs forgeries), French intelligence and Wilson will be clear enough for all to see. Wilson hung a shingle out at the Saudi home for purchased diplomats, that's true enough. But the MEI doesn't run through enough cash to pay all the retired dips in the manner to which they have become accustomed. It does provide a nice C-O-V-E-R though. Shhh - don't tell anyone.

clarice

Marcel, the forgeries were crude..they were not intended to fool anyone that they were real. Rsther, I maintain that they were designed to cast doubt on real evidence of Niger sales to Iraq..

And here, hot off the presses--very good evidence that contrary to the much quoted J. Tatel statement in the Miller case--an admission from Fitz that he was always after Libby on perjury and obstruction charges , and not the leak making it hard to see why the jailing of Miller was necessary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/03/politics/03leak.html?ei=5094&en=ee8d092a44169243&hp=&ex=1133586000&adxnnl=1&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print&adxnnlx=1133587625-c4HlpR/D9FlzWjHURF1MJA

Tom Maguire

OK, we ahve a newsbreak here.

The Times has an article by Adam Liptak about a new court filing by Fitzgerald - Fitzgerald gives the OK to release most of the mysterious eight redacted pages from the Feb 2005 ruling that (eventually) sent Judy Miller to jail.

But here is the lede (not Liptak's, naturally) - there is no classified info in those eight pages. Most of it was grand jury testimony detailing why the testimony of Miller and Cooper was critical to the investigation.

As to classified info, Fitzgerald wrote this:

"After being served with the instant motion,the Special Counsel arranged for the classification review of the redacted portions of this Court ’s February 15, 2005 opinion by the relevant agency.Based on that review, it has been determined that the redacted pages contain no references to information that is classified as of November 30, 2005. Thus, the presence of classified information no longer provides a reason for maintaining the secrecy of the redacted pages."

Well, well. My memory needs refreshing - as I recall, the two pillars upon which the notion that Plame was deeply covert and her outing was a blow to national security rested were (a) the fact that the CIA delivered a criminal referral, and (b) the mysterious eight redacted pages, presumed to be chock-a-block with classified info.

I am holding off on the cigar because I have a nagging feeling I am forgetting a talking point, but... this looks like a bit of a blow for the notion that national security was harmed by her outing.

I hope to post this if one day Typepad allows it.

clarice

EXACTLY, Tom--Exactly.And Fitz knew this very early on in the case..

clarice

How many times have we had p 29 of Judge Tatel's opinion thrown in the face of those of us who have argued Plame never was a covert agent?

Rick Ballard

Tom,

What sort of offerings have you been making to TypePad? Remember - it's supposed to be first fruits or burnt - otherwise the problems will continue to mount.

clarice

Rick, you fool, this year the sacrifice is a virgin.Last year it eas first fruits or burnt. %^)

Rick Ballard

It will be interesting to guess what was considered to be "classified" then that does not deserve to be "classified" now. Could there have been a transfer of the person responsible for classification? Is she moving to California having put in her twenty?

clarice

Was it ever classified? Or was it just under seal as it contained secret grand jury testimony?

Rick Ballard

"Thus, the presence of classified information no longer provides a reason for maintaining the secrecy of the redacted pages."

I don't think that English was Fitzgerald's first language but it's hard to parse that sentence any other way. Somethin' got declassified. I think.

clarice

Yes, I think you're right, Rick.Thanks .OTOH there is a new DCI since the motion was filed..and is it possible that he determined the original classification was in error?

clarice

The article says the filing was made in spring and fall of 2004. Goss was confirmed on September 23, 2004. Is it possible that HE found the original classification was in error or that he declassified the information after the filing by Fitz/

danking

"The revelation," Mr. Abrams said, "that Mr. Fitzgerald advised the court as early as the spring and fall of 2004 that his focus on Mr. Libby related not to potential threats to national security but to possible violations of perjury and related laws raises anew the question of whether the need for the testimony of Judy Miller and Matt Cooper was at all as critical as had been suggested."

So Libby obstructed and perjured himself on a non-crime?

I wonder if the press will be happy about being forced to testify after this as well as losing a major first ammendment battle in the Supreme Court.

"No threat to national security". I wonder if the CIA will come under more scrutiny since they referred the case in the first place. I sure hope they do because I think Wilson is a scoundrel.

Finally, I'm having a hard time believing the "Joe Wilson - French Agent/Spy".

That's this Neo-con's wet dream. But I'll keep an open mind in case more information gets leaked.

clarice

I don't see him as a French agent/spy either. More like a two but hustler. Still his many stories about when he saw the forged documents and which ones he saw, makes as much sense as Andrea Mitchell's backstrokes. I think someone showed those documents (or described them to him) before he first spoke to the reporters in May. And I do not think he's being truthful about that.

clarice

Two bIt--not two bUt

danking

That's OK Clarice. I thought "two but" was appropriate along with "two bit".

MJW

I'm looking forward to seeing the "quotations from testimony summarized in the indictment."

Cecil Turner

And I can't imagine that Fitz is thrilled with all of this.

Yeah, I suspect he isn't. But he can hardly complain about it as this point. One thing that struck me from his latest filing was this footnote:

The Special Counsel strongly disagrees that any comments made during the press conference concerning the indictment provide an independent basis for unsealing all or part of the redacted pages.
It makes one wonder about the propriety of those comments, and why the Special Counsel felt he needed that conference. In any event, just as the White House is appropriately held to a different standard than Wilson, Fitzgerald is the one with the power in this particular case. If he's going to make accusations in press conferences, he can't legitimately claim a need for secrecy afterward.

I think someone showed those documents (or described them to him) before he first spoke to the reporters in May. And I do not think he's being truthful about that.

It's illegal for his wife to leak classified information to non-cleared personnel (reporters or hubbies), and it's also apparently a violation of CIA policy just for her to talk to reporters. He's stressed about any indication she may have been involved in his shenanigans, because it gives a legit reason to fire her (or worse). Which is a lot better explanation for his subsequent claims that "Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter" (or attempting to change the subject by claiming they blew her cover for revenge) than any objective review of the facts would warrant.

Kate

I received the narrative from the media and I know I am supposed to be gasping in admiration of Fitzgerald-his brillance, his goodness, his integrity, his seriousness.

I am beginning to think he is a mediocre prosecutor who took a 5 month investigation and turned it into a ridiculous 2-3 year witch hunt.

kim

The prosecutors overarching duty is to see that justice is done. Perhaps even Fitz's talents don't measure up to that task. But the evidence so far, little and leaked that it is, doesn't support that he is getting around to the task. Either he is subtly fooling us all, or he has let his investigation become the cause, source, and rationale for further prosecution. This is justice? Even this non-lawyer knows better than that.
========================================

TP

It is interesting that the Wall Street Journal seems to have been the only major news organization that filed to have the information unsealed. Is this unusual or are the other organizations just saving money?

kim

WSJ is the only MSM that ain't acting like it. Remember, MSM does NOT want this story out. It destroys MSM credibility and the Democrats, maybe both permanently. Oh what a dreamily hyperbolic morning we're having.
=======================================

maryrose

Iagree completely with Cecil,Kate and Kim.Time for Plame to collect that pension and skeddaddle.

DougJ

"Time for Plame to collect that pension and skeddaddle."

Don't be sure she won't be facing some kind of charges herself. She must have known about the angle her husband was working. That makes her an acessory.

clarice

Only if we weren't dealing with people even stupider than Wilson and Plame on the L.E. end of things. *SIGH*

kim

I'm still not sure about Val. Maybe she couldn't stop her husband from working that angle. We really don't know a hell of a lot about their relationship. I know enough about him to be reminded of the joke about how all the good parking spaces are like men; either taken or handicapped.
=============================================

topsecretk9

The French would not have been complicit in providing the Bush Administration with "evidence" of Iraqi WMD's, and the article gets the timing wrong on the forgeries. Still, there is always a place in the discussion for new theories.

Unless the forgeries were so crude the idea was they were concocted to embarrass thereby stopping a war. And when that didn't work because the forgeries were not the Intel basis for war, they tried to make them into the Admins. ONLY intel basis for war.

Which is really silly that this meme has worked. Do you really think the these docs were the only our intel community provided the ADmin? It that is the case then the intel community is beyond sucking.

clarice

Let's pretend you were a forger. If you wanted to create a false currency for financial gain you'd make a good forgery of a ten, twenty or hundred dollar bill.

Why would you forge a $3 bill except to get the holder in trouble?

In other words, I still cannot find a single reason for these drecky forgeries EXCEPT to discredit real evidence of real sales to Iraq.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Covering a trail from COGEMA's mines under IAEA phony "inspections" to Khadafy's nuclear cupboard has a value separate from pre-war intelligence. The confluence of interests running from UNSCAM through an IAEA corrupted by COGEMA and circling back (through France again) to Desmarais/Strong/Martin is a wonder to behold.

French whores held most of the secrets in this - how curious that Francophone Wilson learned about uranium mining from COGEMAR contacts in Gabon.

Fitz could really be doing something useful if he could drop the Clouseau/Jarvet bit and look in the right direction.

clarice

Fat chance of that..%^(

narciso

So let me get this straight; they blacked out 8 pages of text, because their was no
classified information, in the filing, who
was marking up the report; Monica Lewinsky
(she did have a security clearance, after
all)

DougJ

The fact that some on the left are comparing this to the Lewinksy situation at all is ridiculous. That was a clear case of perjury and not by some staffer, by the president himself. And the security issues there were much, much greater: as narsicsco pointed out, Monica Lewinsky had a security clearance. How frightening is that?

kim

RB, if wishes were horses, prosecutors might strut les Champs Elysee. If in fact The Yellow Cake Papers are French disinformation we may not see it. Chirac is on his knees and Bush ain't Clinton. Remember that the FBI has been investigating their source for two and a half years now and we've heard nothing. That means something's up and Fitz is privy to it. Or not.

If not, is it not up or is he not privy?

Disclaimer: I meant to suggest Paris with the first paragraph, not heaven.
===========================================

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