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March 20, 2006

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Comments

Sue

From Josh Marshall...

What tipped them off were calls from two reporters at the New York Times who'd been leaked information about the investigation by folks at the White House.

I'm not sure why Josh Marshall thinks the leaks came from the WH, if he said, I missed it in my brief skimming of his article and link, but isn't it strange that Fitzgerald might think someone in the WH tipped Miller on the Islamic charities story? If he (Fitzgerald) really thought it was someone in the WH, man, this Plame case is a ready made payback. Especially if he suspects Libby telling Miller. He has already 'got' Miller, now Libby is in his sights.

Of course, this is all predicated on an Marshall being right.

topsecretk9

golly, they weren't this coy when the case was filed last November:

I LOVE the word "Golly"! This is a fun one. Op, what's that? One more irony...

was accused of lying to a hedge fund manager, who was not identified, about the nature of a $25 million investment.

Wouldn't want to "sully" his reputation or anything.

Sue

You know, I really, really want Fitzgerald to be the smartest man in the room.

topsecretk9

Or is that the "unidentified" hedge fund manager is one of those "whistleblowers"?

Take yer pick.

(O.K., I'll stop. Sort. Of.)

clarice

Maybe instead of beautifying him and then leaving out his name when he stumbles, the press should go back to the old NYT' trick. They'd do a man of the hour piece, basically flattering (but not beatifying someone they hoped would then become a major source for them). Since they hadn't actually crowned him with laurels, once he'd been pitched off the chariot they had no probel saying so.

Rick Ballard

The MSM doesn't generally administer the 'Death of a Thousand Cuts' by running a front page 'Inspector Clouvert (Botch to his friends)... lede on A-1. The first thing to watch for is the absence of superlatives (who successfully prosecuted...), then a bit of silence, then some stories (such as these) that don't actually name the person in disgrace and next - a little bit of 'overzealous prosecutor' news that doesn't specify a particular person. Then the directly negative stories will pop up - linking these two stories and Fitz 'as if for the first time'.

OTOH - St. Patrick did drive the snakes from Ireland so there may be some real fear on the part of the MSM.

clarice

I meant "beatifying" him..
Oh well, Rick has brought the appropriately gimlet eyed view of how the press will demolish the man they built up, I think.

Though to our credit most of us did it first.

windansea

TM...you may like emptywheel all right...but he seems miffed that we have our own views on Libby's motions

William

LOL. You should go present your Abu Gonzales theory at Tom Maguire's site. They're in a bit of a frenzy over there, and they could probably use their heads rattled.

I think you're partially right, that this is part of the larger cabal defense. In addition, I think they're trying to spin cabal activities as dissociated from Cheney's office. Thus, if there IS a revenge on Joe Wilson document produced in Bolton's office, Libby is trying to present it as the work of State, rather than the work of Cheney and his allies. Now that's comical.

But at the heart of this motion is a legitimate request. It seems that Libby has a right to ask for the evidence the government has that might impugn their witnesses. Now, since Libby actually knows more about this leak than he pretends, he can ask for things in such a way that he shields or spins things to benefit the cabal. But about the only way he can legitimately get off of this charge is if he proves the Ari was lying about their July 7 meeting. Of course he's going to go after Ari.

Posted by: emptywheel | March 19, 2006 at 15:55

Rick Ballard

Sue,

I wish Fitzgerald were the smartest man in the room too. I don't fault him at all wrt the document screwup in the charities case - he didn't screw it up anymore than the guy prosecuting the death penalty phase for Moussaoui screwed up when the TSA attorney went off the reservation. They are both finally responsible though and in this VA case I would say that Fitzgerald screwed up on a level that requires administrative review.

windansea

they don't seem to be covering this screwup at emptywheel and hamsterwheel sites...

Fitz as inspector clouseau must be a hard pill to swallow

maryrose

Fitz is not the sharpest knife in the drawer anymore.

Sue

If Fitz is as dumb as we now think he is, heaven help us in the future. He isn't going away after Libby's case is over.

cathyf

Rick, in both the hedge fund and the Islamic charities case Fitzgerald's responsibility would be in supervising the particular attorneys working on those cases. While a lot of this is just plain old snark, a serious point can be made that Fitzgerald has sacrificed doing his real job so that he can do the Star Chamber act with the white house. And it also goes to the statutory argument that Team Libby has made -- presumably one of the reasons that special prosecutors are not supposed to have "day jobs" in government is that congress didn't want the holder of an important government post to be distracted by SP duties.

And the most salient point is that there seems to be a pattern here where Fitzgerald screws up, and blames the screwup on somebody else, and then tries to use the full force of the federal government to throw his scapegoat in prison.

cathy :-)

spinbabyspin

"After a very, very exhaustive 3 1/2 -month investigation, they came up with the right conclusion"

Libby - 2 years. Still guilty. But please, oh please, oh please - Libby's defense team, keep on trying. Me likey what we see so far. We may learn why we went into Iraq yet.

emptywheel

TM

Good catch on the VA case. But it appears that this Holy Land case is different from the Judy/NYT/Fitzgerald Holy Land case--or at the very least, the prosecutor's office involved is the Dallas one, not Chicago. From the linked article:

Federal court records in Dallas make it clear that in the case against Holy Land's officials, prosecutors rely heavily on secret surveillance, anonymous FBI informants and intelligence provided by Israel.

According to the government, authorities in the case have compiled thousands of hours of wiretaps and more than 1 million pages of documents that are classified and unclassified.

A belated attempt to recover the inadvertently shared portion of the documents is described in court records. They relate an unsuccessful showdown with defense lawyers over the mistake.

Dallas Assistant U.S. Atty. James T. Jacks acknowledged in court documents that on April 5, 2005, the government turned over "a large number" of electronic communications collected on three of nine unidentified "subjects" of top-secret surveillance by the FBI.

The materials, 16 boxes of classified information, were delivered to a secure room in the federal courthouse in Dallas that served as an office where defense lawyers — with security clearances — were able to review the government's evidence as approved by the court.

topsecretk9

Sue
I don't think he's dumb, but he isn't superman either. One other thing that sort of stuck in my mind after reading many comments and now more recently Comey's press conference...Comey sort screwed the pooch in more ways than one, but here is one

Q: Pat Fitzgerald works a lot with national security and intelligence issues as well, however, does he not? I mean, he's running one of the largest U.S. attorney's offices in the country. He's overseen some major prosecutions. Where's the line between the contact you two have versus the kind of contact that he -- he's also fairly well-known, I think, for his work in national security.

MR. COMEY: He is, but his -- not to say what he's doing now is not real important, but his role is very, very different. I mean, every day Chris Ray and I are dealing with the key national security intelligence agencies. Mr. Fitzgerald is not. He may have a case that occasionally brings him into contact with that, but he's running a U.S. attorney's office, working on corruption cases, drug cases, gang cases. It's a very different sort of connection. And so that's why I thought this was appropriate.

1. I think Fitz is a "typical" prosecutor, -- hard wired to go for gold and force/expect a plea

and

2. He TOO BUSY!

Rick
I totally agree with you assessment. Doc fiasco? Only that it is on his watch. VA, the man WAS ARRESTED pre-investigation, resigned his post, spent money defending himself with a cloud over his head for months!

topsecretk9

"Assistant U.S. Attorney" + But it was more than four months before FBI agents discovered, on Aug. 12, that the documents included still-secret data not intended for release.

Sue

"When you're a pitcher, you throw the ball over the plate and if you think you threw a strike and the umpire says it's a ball, it doesn't matter how much you think it's a strike. You put your case on. You don't walk into court out of fear that when you do it, either a judge will disagree with some of what you say or a defense attorney will call you overzealous."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A55560-2005Feb1?language=printer>
February 2, 2005

Seems Fitz likes baseball...

topsecretk9

"After a very, very exhaustive 3 1/2 -month investigation, they came up with the right conclusion"

Libby - 2 years. Still guilty. But please, oh please, oh please - Libby's defense team, keep on trying. Me likey what we see so far. We may learn why we went into Iraq yet.

Wow, don't let that "until proven" thing get in your way!

topsecretk9

Sue,

Go ball go!

topsecretk9

Gee Sue...this was a "how do you do" (from your link)

"His thoroughness, his relentlessness, his work ethic are legendary," says terrorism expert Daniel Benjamin, a former member of the National Security Council.

topsecretk9

google that name.

Sue

Top,

This caught my eye...

James B. Comey, deputy attorney general and unofficial president-for-life of the Pat Fitzgerald Booster Club, says no high-profile prosecutor ever provided less evidence that he was "doing something wacky."

topsecretk9

Sue,

The whole passage is "wacky".

Anyhow, talk about 0 degrees of seperation...CSIS, NSC and so on above.

cathyf
But it appears that this Holy Land case is different from the Judy/NYT/Fitzgerald Holy Land case--or at the very least, the prosecutor's office involved is the Dallas one, not Chicago.
It's the same case -- one charity is in IL, while the other is in TX. Scroll Down to New York Times v. Gonzales
A subpoena was issued in September 2004 to two New York Times reporters, Philip Shenon and Judith Miller, by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald seeking the telephone records of the two reporters. Fitzgerald is investigating who leaked information of impending government action against two Islamic charities, Holy Land Foundation of Texas and Global Relief Foundation in Illinois. Before the government blocked the assets of the charities and raided their offices in 2001, Fitzgerald said, a Times reporter called each charity for comment, effectively alerting them to the coming actions. Fitzgerald said the reporters themselves were not the targets of his investigation, though whoever told the reporters about the government plans might have violated the law. The Times sued the government, asking the court to stop Fitzgerald from gaining the records from telephone companies and from reviewing any phone records the government already had.

On Feb. 24, 2005, federal Judge Robert W. Sweet of the Southern District of New York ruled that the Times had a First Amendment right to protect the confidentiality of its sources by refusing to give the phone records to the government.

The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press reports that an appeal was filed in late May 2005.

The reports say that the reason that the classified info was handed over is that the staff in the Dallas office and the FBI agents familiar with the case were busy with two other cases, and so they "borrowed" agents to copy the stuff and then didn't supervise them. Yes, this is probably a bit of a cheap shot, but on the other hand maybe Fitzgerald's staff familiar with the IL part of the case could have gone to TX to help out, if only Fitzgerald's attention hadn't been taken up with his idle curiosity over a political battle.

cathy :-)

Rick Ballard

Todays chapter in 'The Return of the Boomerang'.

nittypig

"But please, oh please, oh please - Libby's defense team, keep on trying. Me likey what we see so far. We may learn why we went into Iraq yet"

Who says there can never be agreement between left and right? I suspect we'll all be disappointed though - it's not really in anyone's interest to hold the trial.

TM

If Fitz is as dumb as we now think he is...

Just to be clear, I don't think he is dumb at all; I just don't think he walks on water.

And here is the HTML version of Judge Sweet's ruling in "Fitzgerald v. Miller" on the phone records.

.pdf here.

Why Fitzgerald of Chi-town for a Texas charity? Seems simple:

According to the article, targets of this investigation included two U.S. entities: the Global Relief Foundation, Inc. ("GRF"), located in Bridgeview, Illinois, and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development ("HLF"), located in Richardson, Texas. See id.
TM

Yes, this is probably a bit of a cheap shot...

Well, yes but... if/when he gets convictions, he will probably get the headlines.

emptywheel

cathyf

My correction stands corrected. It is the same case, different US Attorney's offices. But yes, I do think that counts as a bit of a cheap shot.

Thanks for the detail though.

topsecretk9

I do think that counts as a bit of a cheap shot.

Yeah, we all get a pass after four months, just ask Frank Cowles. It's not a cheap shot, it just is what it is.

topsecretk9

TM, thanks...it's like a game of leap frog...CathyF...one big happy family!

clarice

Daniel Benjamin--another of Clinton's "counterterrorism experts", and if that isn't the Mark of Cain what is? Heritage has a little fun with him here. http://www.heritage.org/press/commentary/ed092303d.cfm

My guess:He is not a Libby well wisher.

topsecretk9

try CSIS...and get creative with the "search within results" feature.

clarice

co-author "Age of Sacred Terror"http://tinyurl.com/qtfxu

Beto Ochoa

And my co-workers wonder why I read this blog. In the words of Mister T "I pity de' foo' who dawn't read Jus' One Minute!"

clarice

Critical of Cheney's work on intel--likes Hadley and Wilkerson--drivel about cooking intel..Browbeating intelligence officials, disregard for the National Security Council's traditional leadership of the interagency process—this kind of behavior, plenty of Bush administration officials privately attest, was typical as the Cheney-Rumsfeld axis that took the country to war. "Who knows," Larry Wilkerson wondered to me, "how many other people they intimidated."http://tinyurl.com/oep23

maryrose

Well let's hope when this latest Libby investigation goes belly-up Fitz will be banished to Chicago never to darken our doorstep again.

Beto Ochoa

The bad thing about Fitz and his kind maryrose, If you get into thier sights you're fooked for time and treasure in a big way. If you assert your fifth amendment rights you get banged for "Obstruction". Federal Law, Cathch 22 be thy name.

Beto Ochoa

Arghh... bandaids on four fingers.

Rick Ballard

Beto,

When I read someone who suggests "Fight this through the courts to a just verdict." I'm pretty sure they've never seen an attorney's bill.

After bill.

After bill.

maryrose

OT:
Jim Guy Tucker lost his last appeal in the Whitewater case and has to pay 63000. Prosecutor said in agreement with Jim Guy that the case probably would not have been brought were it not connected distantly to the Whitewater boondogle of the Clintons. Another life ruined-he was sentenced to 18 months house arrest} and Clinton gets off scott -free.

clarice

The Clintons are the Ferris Buellers of American politics. Aren't they?

topsecretk9

I liked the EPIC compendium of useful info - links to Ben and Joe on the same page!

topsecretk9

make that Dan

larwyn

OT - SOME PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES EVERY SINGLE BROADCAST DAY.

Yesterday, American Thinker had a great essay, "A letter to Robert Redford" encouraging him to make "Motorcycle Diaries II" with the true story of Che, including his own quoted statements.

On Hardball this evening, a few mins ago, Matthews interviewing a pro war and anti war vet stated that it disturbed him to see people wearing UBL T-shirts in Africa. The pro-war vet said what do think about people wearing Che t-shirts in America.

Matthews said it's just "camp" - my kids wear them. The pro war vet said they represent those who hate America.

I hope I can get Mr. Lifson to send that letter to Matthews.

topsecretk9

Wow TM, I think that's twice in one month, and maybe really like in the last week!

MayBee

I will admit to having a Chairman Mao umbrella. I consider it high camp. A brutal leader, reduced to a waving figure against a blue sky.

When I was volunteering for an incoming naval fleet, I saw one of our US Sailors wearing a Che t-shirt. I thought that said a lot about our country in many ways.

The UBL t-shirts aren't campy.
The idea of the Motorcylcle Diaries bugged the crap out of me, romantizing the life of a brutal fraud because he was handsome and seemed all counter-culturey.

clarice

TM.Kudos! Funny Fitz' NRO friend who kept telling us how great he is has become strangely silent. Well Fitz cannot count on all defense counsel being of Lynn Stewart caliber, can he?

Major John

Maybe we'll get "Young V.I. Lenin" or ""The Early Adventures of Stalin"?

Neo

We should be so hard on poor Fitz, after all he isn't the only legal houdini to blunder a bit. Just a few weeks ago, during a hearing of the SCOTUS the subject matter was extremely technical, and near the end of the argument Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dozed in her chair. Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito , who flank the 72-year-old, looked at her but did not give her a nudge.

Or perhaps Fitz can team up with those 72 virgins that await martyrs in paradise. I don't mean he should blow himself up or such, I understand that these are not earthly girls who died but heavenly creatures, and, it would appear, they can be deflowered and then automatically reflower. Fitz could just reflower his career, or perhaps he could refer his unwitting legal victims. Ray Donovan call your lawyer.

clarice

Listen--what kind of guy puts a pizza in his oveforgets about it and doesn't notice the stench for three months?

Sue

Someone not married.

clarice

Maybe--My husband was a terrible bachelor but Fitz, I think, is the winner of clueless--You mean to say he couldn't SMELL IT?

Sue

God had a funny sense of humor when it came to men. He gave them a nose but failed to provide the critical part that allowed them to smell bad odors. Only fresh baked pies.

danking70

Mmmm, pies....

Gary Maxwell

OK girls that will be quite enough of the male bashing. You dont want me to start a riff about women being unable to read a road map or some such now do you? (Arms folded across chest and deep hurt look on face.)

cathyf

Whine whine whine, Gary...

;-)

topsecretk9

Gary
Doesn't the map come out because you won't stop to ask for directions? :-)

Sue

Gary,

I can read a map. But I didn't inherit that trait from my mother. On a long road trip, as the exits were passing us by, one after another, my mother, in charge of reading the map, finally in frustration said take the pink road. ::grin:: Something my father never let her forget. ::grin::

maryrose

I just think Fitz is clueless and out of his element in this case. I myself am surprised there is so much back-biting and infighting between CIA WH and State. Aren't we all on the same side or are people's egos and positions on the food chain more important?

maryrose

SUe:
I prefer the yellow-brick road myself.

clarice

Oh, Maryrose..DC reuns on ego and turf battles..and Bush set off the hivesd in the CIA and Dos when he decided their advice wasn't worth heeding.

clarice

Here--it's (Bush versus the Beltway)on supersale--the first book to say what was going on:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002TX560/qid=1142911043/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0170919-4693530?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

Gary Maxwell

TS

You never need to stop and ask when you have a Road Atlas at hand. Well that and an assistant to read and interpret while traveling along at a cool 75 MPH.

Grin

patch

Get a Humvee and a GPS device, and you don't need a map.

Gary Maxwell

NO just a rolling refueling station.

Semanticleo

Back to topic;

Why don't we wait and see just how the
cards play with Libby. Your innuendo
teeters on the beam of AdHom. Fitzgerald
may not be the bad guy here.

Ever think those thoughts?

topsecretk9

Get a Humvee and a GPS device, and you don't need a map.
You need to own the rolling refuling station first Gary.


Ever think those thoughts?

Archive links to the right, I think.

richard mcenroe

"it's not really in anyone's interest to hold the trial."

Well, it's in the country's...

As for Fitzgerald, the mark of an intelligent man is that he never makes the same mistake twice. Let alone over and over and over...

kim

Sue, we have a 'nasty little dotted line' in our family archives.

I'm a little curious why some of those smart people working for Fitz can't haul him into line a little. Is there a management problem?
====================================

topsecretk9

Seman

Fitzgerald
may not be the bad guy here.

Back to topic, it's interesting or sad that you read the post and came up with sympathies for Fitzgerald and didn't happen to notice or care about Frank L. Cowles

Ever think those thoughts?

Semanticleo

Topsec;

Yeah, he got a tough break.

But I would take his place anyday over
the 15,000+ horrifically wounded and
2300+ dead troops the idiots at the helm
sqandered as though CRV soda cans.

how about you?

topsecretk9

But I would take his place anyday

Yeah, I bet you would.

They haven't died in vain">http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/27000.htm">vain to me and I sure as hell appreciate their sacrifice and service fighting an enemy that would not hesitate for one second to chop off your fingers for typing your laptop or your head just because.

Sanctamony's swell when a Mountain Dews just down the road at the 7-11.

boris

sqandered

Unless they'd rather be sitting on their hands while terrorists murder US civilians, one should consider they're doing what they signed up to do. This is a change the world event and the job has risks. So does driving to work everyday.

Semanticleo

Uh, Sue, the larger picture is Libby's role
in lying about an minor subplot in the entire
lie about WHY WE INVADED IRAQ. The deflections
into diversionary subjects only serves to
relieve (those non=sociopathes who actually
have functioning consciences) of their
peoperly guilt-ridden roles in mindless
support of idiots masquerading as experts.

get it?

Semanticleo

topsec;

I like Mountain Dew and prefer it to
the brew concocted by those of your ilk;
"The Koalition of the Kool-Aid Swilling"

kim

Rhetoripussy: So what do Duelfer and Rossett have to say about WHY we invaded Iraq? And what do you say?
===================================

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/03/anyone_can_make.html#comment-15263329>Seman

Ahhh...it all makes sense now. Bush lied, kids died. BDS at its best.

richard mcenroe

Ignoring the troll detour, if, as is posited on the next thread, "...I think he indicted because he believed the 'cabal in the WH out to get poor old Wilson'. Didn't he say something along the lines of punishment is punishment? He couldn't prove what really wasn't happening, but not being able to prove it didn't stop him from believing it, so he took the next best thing, in his mind..."

What is the difference then between Fitz and Ronnie Earle?

Sue

Illinois & Texas. Federal & state.

kim

Fitz is edging into needing an investigation of himself. This is getting egregious. Certainly, I'm not the only one thinking that understanding Fitz's process might be good for the nation, in order to avoid future miscarriages.
=====================================

clarice

The LA Times link is no longer working..anyone have any idea where to find the story?

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