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March 21, 2006

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MJW

It looks like Tim Rutten has the same opinion as Fitzgerald: Libby should stop being such a pest, and simply stipulate that everything Russert, Miller, and Cooper said was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

clarice

Pejmanesque said it best:
"SHORTER TIM RUTTEN

The CIA was lying when it said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But the CIA is clearly telling the truth when it says that Valerie Plame never recommended her husband, Joe Wilson, for a fact-finding trip to Niger.


The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Butler Report were right to say that the intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was mistaken. But the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Butler Report are wrong to say that the statements about Iraq trying to purchase uranium from Niger are "well- founded" or justified in any way.


Now that Wilson has been found to be lying, "the Plame/Wilson affair is a bit of a footnote."

There. I just saved you the time you might have taken instead to read this.

UPDATE: I won't give you a "shorter Tom Maguire." Unlike Rutten, Tom Maguire is always worth reading at length."

http://tinyurl.com/zga2m

topsecretk9

Public Service Announcement

New donation drive starting... for a crate of Kleenex and a teeny, tiny violin for Tim Rutten.

End of Public Service Announcement

topsecretk9

Anyone seen restorehonesty.com lately?


clarice

HEH!

Chants

Well. Is that what constitutes a Motion to Quash Subpoena for the press? Odd that the same right to confront witnesses and to present a vigorous defense stems from the same set of rights ensuring freedom of the press.

Oh well. Constitutional rights for some, but not for others. And just like the leaks of classified information, we have just to rely on the press to tell us what rights are good, and which are bad.

cboldt

Be careful about converting the case from a "misleading investigators" case (which it is) into a "who's the leaker" case (which it isn't).


Libby is charged with lying to investigators, and because the investigation (but not the charge) was about leaking, it is logical that the "venue" of the misleading statements to investigators would be conversations with reporters.


The simplest reduction of the case is that Fitz says Libby knew that Plame worked at the CIA. "Worked at," not "covert" or "classified." That Libby knew that for a fact. But that Libby mislead investigators away from that fact (that Libby knew for a fact that Plame worked at the CIA).


The legitimate reason to probe the Wilson affair all over again is to put flesh to the preoccupation defense; but if Libby is preoccupied with affair de Plame/Wilson, well, I'm not sure that helps sell the case that Plame was a fleeting and minor "event" in Libby's busy schedule.

Patton

So if we found an e-mail from Andrea Mitchell to Tim Russert telling him of Vals employment two days before he talked to Libby - -that would not be considered
material to his defense??

Patton

cboldt says:
""The simplest reduction of the case is that Fitz says Libby knew that Plame worked at the CIA. "Worked at," not "covert" or "classified." That Libby knew that for a fact. But that Libby mislead investigators away from that fact (that Libby knew for a fact that Plame worked at the CIA).""""

So your saying turning over his notes, turning of the briefings in his possesion
and knowing Fitz was interviewing everyone who had talked to him about Plame, that he simply believed he could pull a fast one by getting Fitz to believe a false verbal story? Even my 5 year old knows to make the evidence match his story when he steals a cookie and blames the baby.


boris

Libby claims reporter's were discussing Mrs Wilson first.

Fitz claims Libby is lying because reporters didn't know about Mrs Wilson until Libby told them.

Show that logic is busted (reporters were already discussing Mrs Wilson) and the Fitz case becomes "Libby claims he forgot about Mrs Wilson".

A claim unbelievable to those who assume the administration had a conspiracy to punish Joe by outing his wife. Remove that assumption and Libby can demonstrate that without hindsight Mrs Wilson was indeed a forgettable detail.

Pretty clear cut I'd say.

Dwilkers

Well, I decided to go read the piece because I wanted to see how he answers the question posed by his headline.

His answer seems to be that having reporters subject to the same behavioral norms and rules the rest of us abide by is destructive, but it isn't clear to me exactly how since he doesn't offer and evidence to support that assertion. Instead we are treated to repeated - viscious really - comparisons of Libby to foreign spies.

About half way through I thought I'd Fisk the piece a bit but it is so loaded with unsupported assertion innuendo it isn't worth the effort.
___________________________

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see a reporter or columnist come out and say that reporters have a responsibility to tell the truth, or to reveal information in their posession that bears on the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime?

You know....basic civic responsibility stuff.

capitano

Reporters basic civil responsibility?

Rid the White House of the Bush Administration and its like-minded successors so the MSM can return to its rightful place near the top of the information/power food chain, of course.

cboldt

Patton says: "So your saying turning over his notes, turning of the briefings in his possession and knowing Fitz was interviewing everyone who had talked to him about Plame, that he simply believed he could pull a fast one by getting Fitz to believe a false verbal story?"

I don't know what's in Libby's head, but the indictment reads as I summarized - "Libby mislead investigators regarding whether or not he knew Plame worked at the CIA." That's pretty much what the indictment boils down to.

Not "who knew first, Libby or reporters?" But simply, "Did Libby know, for a fact, that Plame worked at the CIA?"

nittypig

I am SHOCKED that the defense attorneys want to use subpoena power to talk to the prosecution;s star witnesses. What on earth is this country coming to?

Neo

Mooooooooooo! What a bunch of "Sacred Cows" !

azredneck

And the consequences if we find that others lied?
Russert?
Cooper?
Kristof?
Joe(say it's not so!)?
Fitz????

Sue

Libby mislead investigators regarding whether or not he knew Plame worked at the CIA.

Someone clearly needs to re-read the indictment and the documents filed by Fitz thereafter. We know Fitz said Libby kicked sand in his eyes, but we don't know why Fitz's rose colored glasses didn't deflect the sand.

clarice

cboldt, the heart of the prosecution's case is that Libby lied about his conversations with Russert, Cooper and Miller--making their accounts of these conversations critical to the defense.

(Don't forget that Libby provided the SP with his notes and emails, etc respecting his earlier conversations with others about the Wilson affair.)

You have truncated the case so that the issues are lost.

Libby says , in essence, I may well have heard about this non significant bit of news before I spoke to reporters but it was conveyed in a context where other things were so much more important I forgot about it until reporters raised the issue with me and with others in the WH who told me the reporters were calling and asking about Plame's connection to the Mission.

Read that way, it is important to learn if the reporters' notes indicate they DID know this before their conversations with Libby, for if they did (And most of us here believe they did) his defense is strengthened.

Patton

cbolt...you are reading a different indictment.

cboldt

Patton said: " ... you are reading a different indictment"


I'm reading http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801086.html>the one linked in the article. Is that the wrong one?



33. It was further part of the corrupt endeavor that at the time defendant LIBBY made
each of the above-described materially false and intentionally misleading statements
and representations to the grand jury, LIBBY was aware that they were false, in that:
...



At the time of this conversation [Russert], LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's wife
worked at the CIA
...

Count 2



4. As defendant LIBBY well knew when he made it [to agents of the FBI], this statement
was false in that when LIBBY spoke with Russert on or about July 10 or 11, 2003: ...



b. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's wife worked at
the CIA
...

Count 4



3. In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony [to the grand
jury], it was false in that: ...



b. At the time of this conversation [with Russert], LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's
wife worked at the CIA
...


clarice

cboldt, here and elsewhere you have demonstrated a singular reading of the case. Fitz might like to have the case be limited to when Libby first heard that Plame worked at the CIA and recommended Joe for the job, but Libby did provide the material that indicated he'd heard if first elsewhere and had forgot it until the reporters raised it. If in fact it appears the reporters are not credible about their version of events, and if it turns out they did have this knowledge before talking to Libby, I am certain the jury will consider it exculpatory. Most of us here do.

cboldt

clarice said: "Libby did provide the material that indicated he'd heard if first elsewhere and had forgot it until the reporters raised it. If in fact it appears the reporters are not credible about their version of events, and if it turns out they did have this knowledge before talking to Libby, I am certain the jury will consider it exculpatory."

I would consider it exculpatory too. If Libby forgot that he knew Plame worked at the CIA, or was confused on the timing of said knowledge when he interacted with investigators, then he is not guilty.

What is being discussed here is a filing by Libby that aims to turn the case toward being a leak case - it's a great strategy - but we don't know what Judge Walton is going to rule on this motion.

clarice said: "here and elsewhere you have demonstrated a singular reading of the case"


Oh? Well, I've said my piece. More than happy to go mute here. Y'all can commence with saying my point is indefensible on account of I won't defend it.

cathyf
Be careful about converting the case from a "misleading investigators" case (which it is) into a "who's the leaker" case (which it isn't).
Your "misleading investigators" is, well, misleading. Because you are implying that the "investigators" were misled when carrying out their official government law enforcement duties. If it was already known to be impossible that any laws were broken in revealing Plame's identity, then it was improper to be interviewing Libby at all.

If the clerk at the Dunkin Donuts tells the cops that the chocolate frosted donuts have the same number of calories as the chocolate glazed donuts, this is a false statement to a police officer, but it is not perjury and it is not obstruction of justice.

cathy :-)

Patton

Again, it is not whether what he claims to have said to Tim Russert was true or not, it is not illegal to lie to Tim Russert.

If he told Tim Russert he didn't know about Plame or he acted like he didn't know, or acted like he was shocked...that is not a crime.

The crime would be if he knowling lied to the FBI/GJ about that conversation.

If Fitz is going to prove that what he said to Russert wasn't true, Libby can say, your RIGHT, I lied to Russert...can I go now.

cboldt

cathy wrote: "If it was already known to be impossible that any laws were broken in revealing Plame's identity, then it was improper to be interviewing Libby at all."


Likewise, Miller, Cooper, Russert, Novak, etc.


I'm sure there is reason (not necesarrily good reason) why the case unfolded the way it did. But Fitz was appointed, and an investigation there was.

Sue

More than happy to go mute here.

Why do people make these kinds of remarks?

Patton

In fact, Fitz has to go beyond just showing what Libby said to the FBI/GJ was false, he has to show that it was INTENTIONALLY false.

He has to show that their is no reasonable way Libby could possibly believe his own testimony and in fact intentionally lied about material facts.

If Libby presents evidence that maybe he was mistaken about Russert, he may have confused him with Bob Woodward..he was very busy with important National security matters. Woodward had the information, had interaction with Woodward at the appropriate time and isn't sure whether he brought it uo...ITS CALLED REASONABLE DOUBT.

coolpapa

cdoltb's "simplest reduction of the case":

begin LibbyLoop;

if Libby = Guilty then
LibbyDefense = null;
else goto LibbyLoop;

end LibbyLoop;

If you start with "Libby = Guilty", it resolves the loop.

kim

Sometimes, Sue, it's because it seems a more graceful exit than admission of error, in this case a unidimensional view of Libby.
================================

Dwilkers

Is anyone else having trouble understanding what exactly the point is that cboldt is trying to make, and how it relates to TM's blog this morning?

kim

He seems awfully calm about an investigation possible lacking a good rationale.
=========================

clarice

He has to show what Libby said was (a) intentionally false and (b) material to a legitimate inquiry.Good luck with that..

Rick Ballard

Nice shot at thread theft but Rutten's article is the giggle of the moment. I read it and came to the conclusion that he has made the case very well for stripping any existing privilege from reporters at any time. Just as a matter of protecting the public from a group of self proclaimed "truth" tellers who wouldn't know the truth if it had six inch fangs buried in the journo's butt.

If Rutten wants a "Propagandists Shield Act" passed he's going to have to do a much better job of justifying it and his article provides ample evidence of his inability to perform that job. A pack of liars writing about a perjury trial in which the prosecution is dependent upon the jury buying the notion that an aggregation of the bafflegab spouted by Cooper and Russert is more believeable than the bafflegab spoken by Libby is not precisely a 'slam dunk' ab initio. Citing seven people in the indictment as having knowledge of Plame's strange attachment to Ambassador Munchausen doesn't really make the case that her "status" was of great concern to anyone - particularly her bosses at the CIA who might have urged discretion in naming her.

kim

He's objecting to Libby mounting an effective defense.
===============================

clarice

Rick--Just as a matter of protecting the public from a group of self proclaimed "truth" tellers who wouldn't know the truth if it had six inch fangs buried in the journo's butt.

LOL

kim

Curious intellect at work, there. It is not a defense because he cannot imagine it as one. There is an interesting effect on display from our visitor, and from Rotten, that is insistence on focussing now on making plain perjury out of an ambiguity, ignoring the jist of the whole affair. It's like: 'Please just nail Libby so we can all go home. It's getting late, I'm tired, and my Mom wonders where I am'.
===============================

cboldt

Wasn't trying to "thread theft" or divert - just making the point that Judge Walton won't necessarily agree with Libby's motion that "all of the requested reporter's notes about Plame" are "part of a legitimate defense."


In that vein, I cautioned on the (tempting) angle of rearguing the leak case. I also cautioned that the more Libby argues that Wilson or the leak of Plame was important, the less he can argue that Plame issue was (in his mind) unimportant.


I do agree that the thrust of the article is reporters' reactions, and not the Libby case, per se.

kim

I especially like the meme about 'Miller, who didn't even write about the case'. Is he too dumb to realize how irrelevant that is, or does he just think his readership is? Or both? I mean, really. Aren't there 4 layers of editors out there? I can undersatnd the persistence of that meme among the Kos Dancers, but journalists?
===================================

boris

If reporters were already discussing Mrs Wilson then Fitz's logic for DECIDING Libby is the one who's lying is broken.

There are disagreements in the testimony between Libby and the reporters. Fitz's logic claims that Libby is the liar because the leak came from him. If it didn't then we're just back to different people remembering past events differently.

Don't want to be unkind and call Rutten and others that pretend they don't understand the point drooling morons but ...

kim

Well, sure the judge may not go along with the defense. That doesn't mean there isn't a better rationale to that defense than there is to Fitz's prosecution.

You don't get that Libby believed that Wilson was important, and that debunking Wilson's lie was also important.
===================================

Gary Maxwell

Kim how many degrees of separation are there on a good day between "Kos Dancers" and large metropolitan area journalists?

clarice

Well, the point of the investigation was to track down the leak and in an effort to fool the public into thinking that is what he had done, Fitz' press release repeatedly suggests that Libby leaked "classified" information that affected national security.

Libby didn't invent the "leak" angle to this case. Fitz having raised it and post-indictment having learned that someone else--probably Armitage "leaked" this information first to a reporter and apparently failed to tell that to investigators--would perhaps like to drop the subject now, but I'm afraid the issue is at the heart of the case even if it clear to most of us that that "leak" never violated US law no matter who was first..

Rick Ballard

Cboidt,

Judge Walton will be weighing the absence of an underlying offence very carefully. The absence of materiality (horntossing and sand pawing on the part of Fitz notwithstanding) makes the entire indictment an exercise in the construction of an ephemera.

What was Libby hiding? The fact that Plame's position and responsibility for the African Odyssey was common knowledge from the CIA to State to the WH and in various newsrooms around the country?

Btw - had you clarified your position initially nothing could be said about thread theft.

Dwilkers

Fitz's logic claims that Libby is the liar because the leak came from him.

And in fact we now know the leak didn't come from him.

But folks on the left don't care who really leaked Plame, and whether or not she was really covert, or whether it really harmed the country. That never was what they cared about.

They think they have Libby, and the idea of finding out the truth about what happened is threatening to them.

So now Libby defending himself in a criminal case to the best of his ability and in the most agressive way possible - the most fundamental right in our legal system - is a miscarriage of justice.

Which, to try to bring it back on topic, is exactly what the reporter writing this piece apparently feels. There seems to me to be a serious moral blindspot on display here.

clarice

BTW another post- Arthur Andersen case which shows the courts are wising up to over zealous prosecutors favorite tool-- crackpot obstruction(the defendant kept me from proving he was guilty ) charges. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/20/business/20cnd-star.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1142917200&en=0902e7cdb0ecdeb5&ei=5059&partner=AOL&oref=slogin

topsecretk9

I'm going commit thread theft...has the NYT's run a story on the scope of subpoena and notes concerning anyone other than Tenet and Fliesher?

You know, because there a few suggesting the other 6 not named of course would be somewhat damaging to Bush and Libby...

...oh, the NYT's hasn't yet?

Gary Maxwell

Inconvenient that Libby wants to put on a vigorous defense? That seems to be the only contervailing weight on the Prosecutor here given his lack of any supervision. He clearly decided he needed to go forward. He as "Acting Attorney General" weighed all this already and he as the head of the government law enforcement arm is "the government". He ( and therefore WE ) has decided the need to prosecute these horrendous crimes outweighs any damage that might befall the press and their sources. Another argument why the Prosecutor needs supervision? Quite possibly but to ask a guy who was barred his 5th Amendment rights to lose more of his constitutional rights sure sounds like whining to me.

topsecretk9

Fitz's logic claims that Libby is the liar because the leak came from him.

It's NOT a leak investigation. Even the left doesn't care anymore that "a" UGO leaked to Novak.

Patton

Why would Libby make up the Russert angle in the first place...he knew Fitz would go running to Russert. If he was really making up a concealable story, he could have just said that he couldn't remember which journalist it was.

Libby is no Joshua Steiner who 'lied to his diary'...he's an old lawyer. He had to know what Fitz would do next.

Is it plausable that a man of his stature and experience would intentionally tell such an easily discoverable lie??

boris

True, Libby is not charged with leaking, he's charges with lying.

Any proof of lying that relies on Libby being the 1st leaker or having that agenda, is diminished by showing Libby was not the original leak and did not have that agenda.

For example, if Russert didn't know about Val then Libby's version of their conversation can't possibly be true. If Russert did know then it might be true.

Another, if Libby had an agenda to leak the story about Val then he couldn't possibly have forgotten she worked at the CIA. If he didn't have an agenda then he could have forgotten.

Another, if Libby was the first leak then he couldn't possibly have heard it from reporters before discussing it. If he wasn't the fist leak, then he could have heard it from reporters before discussing it, even if he can't remember exactly who or when.

Patton

The whole linked article makes little sense.

First he complains about reporters being subpeoned and then relates that to requesting National Security information to
get a plea.

That only makes sense if you believe the reporters are the holders of the National Security information.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...the more Libby argues that Wilson or the leak of Plame was important, the less he can argue that Plame issue was (in his mind) unimportant.'

This is clearly faulty logic. Libby is saying Plame wasn't important in the summer of 2003, but now that he's been indicted about his knowledge of her back then, that's central to his defense.

There's no contradiction here.

Sue

Patton,

He could have made up Russert because he thought the journalists would not testify.

nittypig

Obviously it's hard to know how the judge will rule. But when the indictment says the Libby lied because his accounts doesn't match those of Russert, Miller, and Cooper, it is obvious that the prosecution's case rests on the testimony of those individuals, and it's inconceivable that the judge won't let Libby subpoena them. And Ruuten says:
"no legitimate defense request for exculpatory information"!

Isn't the credibility of these 3 critical to whether Libby's guilty or not? It's absurd.

Heck Kristof might be able to get out of a subpoena, and the others may well be able to limit the scope of theirs, but to say that the request is illegitimate is ridiculous on the face of it.

As to cboldt, IF it can be shown that Libby's statement to the grand jury meant, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was testifying that he found out about Plame from Russert then Fitz's case does look a lot more simple. cboldt believes that this is how Libby was testifying, most other don't. But even under cboldt and Fitz's reading of the testimony, Libby still needs to be able to subpoena the triad of journos to fight the other charges in the indictment.


topsecretk9

Fitzy's the one backed into a corner. His premise is--- It's really, really bad to lie.

of course the left hyperventilated of the "too busy" defense even though it never was "too busy" but rather "bigger fish to fry"... once the defense A- shows there was nothing there to investigate in the first place, B- The CIA's own PUBLIC SPOKESPERSON didn't even know her status (and had miscommunicated it to people in Govt.) C- Reporters were actually more informed than some in Govt. but more importantly D- Here the real issues Libby was dealing - Far more heavy and substantial than he or Hermes ties...So did Libby misremember something? Sorry.

And, as a bonus...the investigation was so flawed the Prosecutor didn't even know about Woodward.

Rick Ballard

"the investigation was so flawed the Prosecutor didn't even know about Woodward."

Because of idiotic DoJ rules deifying dimwits.

topsecretk9

BTW...that Bonus is even better than I first realized...The defense can literally put Fitz on trial for not having conducted a thorough investigation...like the Frank Cowels one...put the focus on Fitz

Fitz indicts people before he gets all the facts.

Oh, that's the accurate narrative thing in the motion.

Patton

Sue: "He could have made up Russert because he thought the journalists would not testify.""

Then why sign the blanket waiver? Or why give the specific waivers..why not just retire, say your burned out, want to spend more time with the family, etc. Why hand over the smoking gun so to speak.

And everyone knows you can't have a confidentiality agreement for a conversation that never occurred.
That's just dumb.

cboldt

Apologies in advance for thread hijacking ...

I was trying to point to a risk, not assert an "either or" proposition regarding the relative importance of Wilson/Plame in the overall activity in WH 2003.


Libby's motion is very clear in pointing to a difference between being very concerned with Wilson and the 16 words, and being unconcerned with who sent Wilson. In other words, there can LOTS of discussion about Wilson where NONE of that discussion involves Plame.


But the more important Wilson is (to WH 2003), the more likely somebody in WH 2003 will "dig into" Wilson. OTOH, if Wilson and the 16 words dispute was literally a non-issue, nobody talking about it, then it is much easier to convince a jury that Wilson/Plame barely registered on the mind, if at all.


The truth lies somewhere between those two extremes. There is a spectrum or range of possible Libby interest and concern (in WH 2003) with who sent Wilson.

boris

somebody in WH 2003 will "dig into" Wilson

So if "somebody" likely did then Libby must be lying?

That's not evidence.

The evidence indicates somebody in DoS did the digging into, started the buz as pushback at the CIA, and Libby was a latecomer to the story.

cboldt

Just to add another point that should go without saying, the more that Libby's team argues the Plame leak itself was important in WH 2003, the less it can argue that the Plame leak was a minor detail in Libby's busy schedule.

Arguing that Wilson or the Plame leak were important (to WH 2003) weakens the preoccupation defense.

I'm surprised that this is a contentious assertion.

cboldt

Me: somebody in WH 2003 will "dig into" Wilson



boris: So if "somebody" likely did then Libby must be lying?

I don't say or imply anything of the sort.

topsecretk9

Libby was a latecomer to the story.

Yeah and once Wilson is called and he starts the war between himself and Pincus and Kristof, no ones going to think the less of Libby for wondering who was lying about the Veep in the newspapers.

cathyf
Just to add another point that should go without saying, the more that Libby's team argues the Plame leak itself was important in WH 2003, the less it can argue that the Plame leak was a minor detail in Libby's busy schedule.
I'm confused -- where is Team Libby arguing that the Plame leak was important in WH 2003? Is there a typo in that paragraph and you left out some word(s)?

(And to add precision, the only problem is with asserting that the Plame leak had importance in the WH before July 8, 2003, not the entirety of 2003.)

cathy :-)

cboldt

Instead of "Plame leak," I'd have better said "who sent Wilson." Libby isn't arguing that the Plame leak was important in WH 2003 (using that term to distinguish "then" from "now," not for any more precise purpose than that). At any rate, Libby's defense is doing a good job of admitting interest in Wilson and the 16 words, and separating interest in "who sent Wilson" from interest in the Wilson Op-Ed.

But as for the timing of "importance," it is to Libby's advantage to show that he was unconcerned and uninterested in "who sent Wilson" at any time, "then."

Dwilkers

...the more that Libby's team argues the Plame leak itself was important in WH 2003...

They are arguing the opposite.

cathyf

No jury will possibly believe that Libby was completely uninterested in who sent Wilson -- clearly he had an interest in convincing the world of the truth about who did NOT send Wilson, and who did send him is peripherally related, after all.

But Libby certainly doesn't have to prove that his level of interest in Plame was as low as normal people (y'know, like everybody but us plamaholics...) And in the case of the Russert charge, Libby isn't going to claim that Plame was so totally uninteresting to everyone that it is not plausible that Russert (or Woodward or some other reporter) would have brought it up and had an exchange more or less like what Libby testified to.

cathy :-)

maryrose

I prefer to see us as plameologists investigating the unknowable at this poit.
Patton:
I think Libby is smarter than people are giving him credit for at this time.
He wouldn't make up a story or play cute with the prosecutor. Again I reiterate that this is a case of faulty memory and miscommunication.

boris

I don't say or imply anything of the sort

Since Libby is charged with lying and if you had any point to make at all, then the inference is that your point relates to Libby's credibility. Otherwise your on the wrong thread at the wrong blog.

There's no need to be coy, just say it right out.

Patton

Boris,
Libby is not charged with lying.
In fact lying isn't even a crime.

You are allowed to engage in lying, this is still a free country.

Gary Maxwell

Boris:

Perhaps in charity, you have confused coy with confused. It happens with our pop in visitors a lot and who knows what kind of drivel they have been being fed elsewhere.

Sue

And everyone knows you can't have a confidentiality agreement for a conversation that never occurred.
That's just dumb.

Russert isn't saying he didn't have a conversation with Libby. He is saying the conversation they had is not the one described by Libby.

The possibility that Libby is/was lying is very strong. Like Jeff, you go to opposite extremes.

clarice

Really, sue? What was the question Libby was asked?

And is the difference between their accounts so enormous? Both concede Libby was calling to complain about MSNBC's coverage--apparently of the Wilson story. Russert says they never discussed Wilson. Libby says they did. Neither said Libby told Russert that Plame worked at the CIA and played a role in Wilson being sent on the Mission.

As for Cooper, the difference is Cooper says Libby said "I heard that, too". Libby says he said<"I heard that, too, from other reporters".

Patton

Again, no confidentiality agreement for a conversation that didn't take place, regardless if you had other conversations
at literally the same time.

You are not bound to not discuss something that wasn't told to you under an agreement.

Libby certainly knew that if he had no discussion with Russert about Wilson/Plame, there was not confidentiality to be waived.

Sue

Clarice,

You know the difference in Russert and Libby's testimonies. You described it fairly well. And the possibility is there that Libby indeed lied.

Sue

Again, no confidentiality agreement for a conversation that didn't take place, regardless if you had other conversations
at literally the same time.

Are you going to pull a Jeff and try to say Libby and Russert didn't discuss the Wilson story during their phone call?

clarice

And there is an equally good possibility under all the circumstances that he simply misremembered in which case there is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict.

Sue

Clarice,

That is fine. And I certainly hope that is what happens. But none of us can say there isn't a chance Libby is indeed lying.

clarice

If there's only a chance--as opposed to no reasonable chance he isn't--there can be no conviction. There's a chance I'm a long lost Romanoff.

Barney Frank

Let's not forget the context of Libby's testimony. Fitgerald was supposedly on a crusade to find who revealed Plame's name and or status at the CIA, which if it violated either one of the possible statutes could lead to serious time. People make a very good case that neither one of those statutes does apply, but even an experienced lawyer being asked to testify, knowing he had dropped Plame's name could very well have felt enough heat to try and get away with being less than truthful. Testifying is a nervewracking experience when you don't even have any possible exposure. People do stupid things when they think they might have done something they shouldn't have. Anybody remember a guy named Nixon? He was a pretty smart lawyer too.
Did Libby lie? Maybe not, but I'm with Sue. I think there's a good chance he did.

Gary Maxwell

Well for me I cant deny that I have always felt there was a strong possibility that Libby did in fact speak other than the truth. But I will be damned if to this day I can articulate a reason why. Noone else has done a credible job either.

Now I also understand why an attorney first advise to his client is "dont say anything and ask for a lawyer". In trying to assist, you can end up in hot water and will get no credit for the cooperation. That is quite apparent to me here also.

Sue

Bareny,

I don't Libby dropped the name Plame. I think UGO did that.

Sue

Barney,

I have typo dyslexia. It should be I don't think Libby dropped the Plame name.

Patton

One better, Cooper has stated publicly that he doesn't remember exactly what Libby said.

On MTP Cooper said:
Libby replied, `Yeah, I've heard that, too,' or words to that effect."

Now which is it Mr. Cooper, did he say those words or were their other words. If you say 'words to that affect', you must mean he may have used other words? So you can't tell us for sure his exact words can you?

If he said, We heard it from reporters too..that would also be 'words to that affect', would it not?

Please stop sobbing Mr Cooper, I'm not going to hurt you.

Barney Frank

Sue,
OK, 'revealed her identity' might be a better, more nebulous term. Or am I wrong there too?
This thing is so convoluted now I can't remember if Scooter is his nickname or his ride to work. Is everybody here but me retired?

Rick Ballard

Anastasia - is that you?

Sue

Barney,

I don't think Libby ever mentioned her name at all. Wilson's wife is about the most you will get. UGO outed her to Novak. At least, that is my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sue

Patton,

How did we get from Libby/Russert to Cooper?

JM Hanes

cboldt

I'm surprised that this seems to be a contentious issue too. Arguing that "everybody knew" and that everybody was talking about Wilson, and wondering about where the hell this guy came from, in the context of major ass-covering maneuvers across the departmental boards (& a miscalculated apology for the 16 words, with a mea culpa from Tenet) is a tricky proposition for the defense. Essentially they seem to be saying that Plame's status at the CIA never crossed anybody's radar as an issue, that in the in the big picture the fact that she worked at the CIA was no big revelation, the fact that she had a vested interest in her husband's excursion was the bombshell.

As you point out, Fitz has worked very hard to make this trial revolve around whether Libby "was well aware" that Plame worked at the CIA, and the defense simply can't afford to let him do that. While it may mean wielding a double-edged sword, they've got to establish that that specific bit of info was an incidental piece of the Wilson puzzle (Libby was aware, just not "well" aware), and that the Wilson fracas itself was incidental to the exponentially bigger national security puzzle represented by the PDBs.

maryrose

I disagree with most posters here saying they think Libby lied. Maybe I'm naive but what possible reason could he have to do so? Please don't say he is covering for someone else. That's Fitz"a argument. I'm prepared to eat crow if proven wrong but I think it's a case of people remembering conversations differently that's all. Like Gary I've seen no good reason not to be straightforward.

Barney Frank

OK Sue,

Excuse me for having to go back to square one on this thing, but if the worst he did was mention 'Wilson's wife' doesn't that somewhat reduce the odds he was lying? Like Gary and Mary I cannot summon a reason for him to lie, other than he thought he might have stuck his foot in it by revealing her identity. If he didn't do that then he must simply be a moron; the only other possiblity that immediately suggests itself.

Gary Maxwell

Moron I will buy too.

Sue

So simply because we can't think of a reason why he would need to lie then automatically the possibility that he did lie is not there?

JM Hanes

Gary

"Moron I will buy too."

I admit to wondering if Libby's legal savvy hasn't been overestimated here. Aside from the CW about lawyers/doctors representing themselves, he has spent his career in politics, not law, and given his unexpected tendency to rhapsodize, there may be good reasons why he's always been an inner office, not a public face, type of guy. It's entirely possible he's not the smartest guy in the room either.

Rick Ballard

JMH,

I've been wondering if the overarching defense strategy is to put the press on trial rather than the prosecution. Wilson is a man of easy virtue whose EPIC political epihany would have gone unnoticed were it not for Kristof and Pincus. I have no doubt that the WH public relations side watches notorious prevaricators quite attentively and noted the meme creation in May. The July 6 trifecta required a response or the meme would have become a trope without ever going through adolescence.

The primary resonsibility for smothering the baby meme in the crib lay with Fleischer and Martin (with assistance from Rove and perhaps Matalin). Should the matter go to trial I would think that the responsibility path as well as the genesis of Joe's elevation to pawnhood would be explored by the defense. The actual response wasn't really within Libby's purview to begin with.

Barney Frank

Sue,

No, I said it made the possibility less likely.
My perspective is as a person who has had to testify many times in civil trials, as recently as a couple of weeks ago, often about incidents and conversations from years and years ago.
It just does not ring true to me that anyone could have that bad a memory when questioned about stuff a few months later. That is why I have a hard time swallowing the 'just misremembered' line. He either has to be a chunkhead of the first order or a liar or, of course, perhaps both. It is easier to believe he is a chunkhead if there is no discernible motive for a lie. Doesn't mean it isn't possible just a little harder to figure.

JM Hanes

Whether or not Libby needed to lie, or did, I certainly don't have a lot of trouble coming up with reasons why he might.

JJ

On behalf of Aunt Margaret's everywhere, I am appalled!

"...wider than your Aunt Margaret's rear end"

Heh! How can you take anything seriously that denigrates Auntie M's derriere.

Sue

Barney,

Well, my whole thing is I don't really care if Libby was lying or not. Everone else was too, including Wilson. If they know who told Novak, and it appears they do, and he is facing no charges, then shut the damn thing down and go home.

Barney Frank

Well there are always lots of reasons to lie.
Presumably those reasons are significantly narrowed when under oath to the FBI and a Federal Grand Jury.

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