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April 06, 2006

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» Plamegate update from Sister Toldjah
The blogosphere is buzzing today over this story from the NY Sun that has the headline Bush Authorized Leak to Times, Libby Told Grand Jury - heres a brief snippet from the story: A former White House aide under indictment for ob... [Read More]

» The MinuteMan Reconvenes PlameGate Class from Decision '08
You know, theres really no point in me even trying to get further into what the latest Libby defense filing means - after all, we have the illustrious MinuteMan to guide us. More from the great Maguire: Our quick reaction is this: (a) Some of... [Read More]

Comments

Barney Frank

Well Fitz says Libby testified he was authorized to disclose the 'relevant' portions of the NIE, meaning relevant to Wilson's claims I assume.
What was declassified on July 18th was possibly much broader. I Don't see anything odd in Libby's story there.

Jim E.

I do wonder why Libby was so hesitant to trust Cheney's assurances that he (Libby) could disclose the NIE to Miller. Why did Libby go to Addington for further legal assurances? (What, Cheney's word isn't good enough for him? Does Libby hate America, or something?)

And when the filing says "the vice president later advised him [Libby] that the president had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE," does that mean that even *after* Libby leaked to Miller that he was still running to Cheney to talk about whether it was legal or not? Libby wanted still more assurances that what he did wasn't illegal, even after the fact? (Or does the quoted excerpt mean that Libby didn't leak *until* Cheney assured him the president had personally signed off on it? Either way, it seems that Libby was pretty darn concerned about this method of doing business.)

It seems that Libby, hardly a lone-wolf, was reluctant to do stuff on his own. Seems he needed a team behind him anytime he reached out to reporters. Every utterance out of Libby's mouth seems orchestrated by Cheney. (Does that hold true for his GJ testimony, too?)

On the other hand, Libby's extreme due diligence could be spun to show that he was extra-super-dooper careful when dealing with classified info, and that it would be totally out of character for him to be so cavalier with Plame info. I don't buy that, for it seems that the White House had a policy of disclosing select information at will, as long as it could conceivably help their public position.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I agree with Barney. Cheney wanted Libby to tell Judy about the real tidbit of info--that turned out to be the infamous Baghdad Bob--that was relevant to uranium seeking question. I.e. Wilson was lying.

There was much more in the NIE that still was classified.

However, the Fitz motion really betrays their flawed logic in how they see the case. Absent a belief in Joe Wilson as a valiant whistleblower who was done a dirty trick by the Bush Admin. this thing goes nowhere.

Once you realize that Valerie Plame is merely background info that came out while Joe Wilson's pack of lies was being refuted, and that no harm was done to national security by that, you pack your bags and go back to prosecuting crooked Illini politicians.

And, it's pretty clear Fitz has now realized that too.

Jim E.

Jeff,
Did you e-mail Laura Rozen? Just curious.

Patton

Jim E. All it shows is that Libby didn't consider Plame to be classified.

Sue

Where's Jeff? I told you Libby wouldn't satisfy the hungry pack. They wanted Cheney. And if they couldn't have Cheney, Rove was second best. But don't give them no stinkin' Armitage.

So Libby was indicted in hopes he would turn on Cheney? That is the standard MO of Fitz. Get them to flip on the bigger fish.

Patton

Not classified, not memorable..

and apparently not memorable to Miller or to UGO.

sigh

"If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Politicians are all the same.

Patton

I think Fitzs filing has more to do with the news media subpeones, he's signalling how they should fight Libbys lawyers.

The should claim everything else they know is 'NOT RELEVANT as to whether Libby lied.

larwyn

Nothing new here file:

MSNBC & CNN report:
"Libby LEAKED CLASSIFIED info."

"President Bush LEAKED CLASSIFIED info."

FOX NEWS reports:

"President Bush OK'd the RELEASE OF INFORMATION."

A Congressional hearing is going on, not on CSPAN or CSPAN 2 currently.

Weimer(D NY)asks AG Gonzales about President Bush LEAKING CLASSIFIED information.

Gonzales replies that that is the right of the President and it is NOT leaking when the President does it. President is in charge of all information.

Weimer: (Big Surprise! reply)
"That's what Nixon said!"

Chris Matthews, Blitzer, Jack A** Cafferty and their guests will be in full rant begining with the "Day Room".

Think strategy is to get this out far and wide and "bumper stickered" to cover what is coming down on the heads of Rocky and Durbin, another set of "good whistle-blowers", don't ya know.

As usual the LSM writes the Dem's talking points.

TexasToast

"No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States. If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates."

Scott McClellan


Is this why he is quitting?

Jeff

TM - Re (c), I think you're hanging too much on a literal-minded reading (which is in fact not literal-minded enough) of Bush's legalistic, casuistic statement and its import, as well as a misunderstanding of Fitzgerald's point. If it had come out that Libby had leaked about Plame, it would have been quite damaging to the White House's credibility, even if by the literal meaning of phrases out of the White House, Libby didn't do anything inconsistent with what the White House had claimed. Second, if it had come out in that environment that Libby had leaked, he would have been fired. That's what would have happened, and that's the impression Bush sought to convey, even if he was parsing his words legalistically.

In fact, by the letter of the letter, Bush doesn't say he'll fire anyone who broke the law. He just says they'll be taken care. But of course Bush wanted it to be known that he would fire anyone who broke the law, just as he wanted it known that he would fire anyone who was involved in leaking classified information. And that's the context Fitzgerald is talking about. What's more, the credibility of the White House was on the line, and Libby would have blown it. And his job really was on the line.

Appalled Moderate

Libby has a right to defend himself. One of those is a right to demonstrate that any lies he might have told were not material to any crime the grand jury was investigating. The Supreme Court has ruled that materiality is a question of fact heard by the jury.

Now, I do not know whether there is a correspondng right to discovery as regards to addressing this materiality. I really do not see much in Libby's own filings (feel free to correct me Clarice, as I defer to your familiarity with these filings) regarding this issue, and that may explain Fitz's "Just the perjury, ma'am" approach in
his own filings. Love some learned commentary (Jeff, clarice, Anon Liberal?) on this subject. It might explain what we've seen thus far.

One frustration I have is that the Fitz charges are so narrow, that this trial will not serve the public purpose of getting to the bottom of this matter and holding some people accountable for what they did. We don't know if Val did some leaking (I would say that would be material to this story, wouldn't you.) We don't know who Novak's original source is, after all this time. We have a lot of speculation as to motive, but no non-partisan findings on this. All we know is that Libby is grammatically challenged when talking before a grand jury. (I think he lied knowingly, but that's yet to be litigated.)

I do say that Fitz's speculation as to Libby's motive for lying was interesting. What I noticed, though, was that Libby denied speaking to Novak (true!) in his notes, but that McClellan broadened the denial in his press conference to any involvement in the matter.

If Fitz was going for the flip...he goofed. I'm thinking he's frustrated by a cover-up of embarassing/obnoxious actions that don't clearly rise to the level of criminality, and indicted in the hopes of making someone pay somewhere.

Maybe there is something in that supervision argument after all.

Huggy

I think that the Democratic party in general and the TV, NYT .. in particular hope this case gets dismissed.

topsecretk9

Fitzgerald seems to have misunderstood or mis-stated the public record in this regard.

What? You mean the public domain is unreliable or open to interpretation? What will the phantom supervisor do?

Foo Bar

I have a question about the law regarding the President's perogative to declassify information.

Suppose the President instructs someone working for him to supply a journalist with what previously had been classified information. Now suppose that journalist chooses not to publish that information; e.g., the journalist chooses to sit on it indefinitely (this is a hypothetical; not saying this matches what happened). Without the journalist publishing the information, and without any further action on behalf of the government, there is no meaningful sense in which the information has been declassified. Would the government be obligated to go back and officially recategorize the information as declassified and make it as accessible as any other already-declassified piece of information? In other words, is the president's decision to "informally" declassify by supplying previously classified information to a journalist supposed to trigger, immediately or within a reasonable amount of time, a formal declassification? Or do things work such that the President can give the option to a journalist to publish the info, and if the journalist declines to do so, then the information remains effectively just as classified as before?

SteveMG

If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

Bush de-classified it.

No "classified information" was leaked since the President can de-classify information.

I recall reading a story that Kennedy was so angry with leaks from his Administration that he ordered a investigation as to who was doing the leaking.

Two weeks later they came back and said, "Sir, it's you."

Not sure if Schlesinger included that anecdote in his "A Thousand Days."

SMG

topsecretk9

without annoying the judge.

Already done, I don't think he can put the annoying the judge thing back in the bottle.

PWT

On point (c), Libby's motivation to lie: he wanted to cover the ongoing affair he was having with Joe Wilson and Jeff Gannon.

Nash

"Their point is that, absent this information, Libby had no obvious reason to lie when talking to the FBI or the grand jury. Fitzgerald attempts to address this by explaining that Libby wanted to spare the White House political embarrassment..."

Waas' recent stories provide the tie-up for this, TM. The obvious reason for Mr. Libby to lie are because he has been ordered to do everything and say anything that deflects any attention from whether President Bush had been informed that the Niger yellowcake story was false and that the centrifuge tubes being one use only (nuclear) was questioned by two units of the intelligence community.

I'd call that a strong, obvious motive.

Dwilkers

SMG-

And I'm old enough to remember Carter leaking the stealth bomber development when he was in trouble during his re-election campaign.

In fact, I still remember the goofy (and totally inaccurate) drawing of it in Newsweek.

For good or ill, presidents have the right to make these decisions. I must say I am a bit unimpressed with the high dudgeon on the left today about Bush authorizing the NIE to be leaked. Dime a dozen, that sort of thing.

topsecretk9

Nash, apparently you missed TM update

Fitgaerald's response, as noted above, is that Libby did not want to embarrass the White House or get himself fired by admitting involvement in the leak.

However - there is a peculair discrepancy in the testimony of Matt Cooper and Lewis Libby. Per Libby, it was Libby who told Cooper that Joe Wilson's wife was with the CIA.

But Matt Cooper testified that it was he who disclosed the Plame tidbit to Libby; Libby responded with somehting like "I heard that, too".

So Fitzgerald's position is what - that Libby feared to tell "the truth" about his chat with Cooper, to wit, Cooper had disclosed Plame to him? That in order to protect his job and spare the White House, Libby invented the lie that he had leaked to Cooper? How does that make any sense?

Now, Libby's story might fit into a a theory about a conspiracy to protect Rove (who did leak to Matt Cooper). But Fitzgerald notes repeatedly in his filing that Libby is not charged with any conspiracy counts; presumably, he cannot make that argument now and then reverse field and introduce that at trial without annoying the judge.

On the question of Libby's motivation, Fitzgerald's filing misrepresents the President's own words and leaves one baffled by the underlying logic.

Nash

"Bush de-classified it.

No "classified information" was leaked since the President can de-classify information."

I'm guessing that even a president must "make a finding" in writing in order to intentionally declassify information.

In addition, SteveMG, if he de-classified it in instructing Libby to selectively leak information from it, why did he need to re-de-classify it several weeks later for release of the exact same selectively chosen information to a wider group?

K Ashford

"If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

I would like Tom Maguire to explain what he THINKS "appropriate action" means (in Bush's view), bearing in mind that the Bush Administration has made a very strong point of prosecuting leakers of classified information (see Wiretapping, NSA).

If Fitzgerald is wrong in his interpretation of the "public record", and Bush DIDN'T mean "firing leakers" with that statement, I would like the White House to say so.

Nash

"...Libby did not want to embarrass the White House"

is another way of saying that he'd become involved in an intentional effort to deflect attention from President Bush's knowledge of the key findings concerning Niger yellowcake and centrifuge tubes.

Your invocation of the "who said what" concerning Matt Cooper is just smoke and mirrors, because Libby told Judy Miller about Ms. Plame more than a week before he spoke to Cooper.

TexasToast

FooBar has an excellent point. This must have been "double-secret" declassification since apparently only Bush, Cheney and Libby were aware of it.

Does Bush get a kings X if someone else besides these three had revealed (“leaked”) the newly declassified info? If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

topsecretk9

Note to all the lefties flying in here to demand Tom Maguire answer your questions

Your blog hosts regularly --DELETE COMMENTS and BAN COMMENTERS - that leave polite requests, so um get off your high-horse.

anon

Also Bush, Cheney et al could not authorize the outing of Plame. (And let me be clear, the stories today do not say they did so.)
But it is strange that Libby would seek legal cover for leaking part of the NIE but would not for info on Plame. That part smells.

Patton

Jeff, please stop with the wild speculation...if you have ANY evidence that shows Libby believed Plame was classified, please share with the group.

Javani

Nah writes:

"Waas' recent stories provide the tie-up for this, TM. The obvious reason for Mr. Libby to lie are because he has been ordered to do everything and say anything that deflects any attention from whether President Bush had been informed that the Niger yellowcake story was false and that the centrifuge tubes being one use only (nuclear) was questioned by two units of the intelligence community. I'd call that a strong, obvious motive."

The reason he "lied" was he didn't want to implicate himself in the leaking he thought was ok at the time since he and others told more than one person. You're mixing up Libby's possible lies about who said it to whom first with the Joe's Niger Yellowcake Fantasy and the tubes issue. You're whistlin' in the wind.

Blame Novak for screwing up the clubby world that once was.

Sue

OT, but listening to Hannity on the news about the immigration bill...his question...what happens when these illegals become citizens? Will they no longer want to do the jobs Americans won't do? What then? More illegals?

Javani

"But it is strange that Libby would seek legal cover for leaking part of the NIE but would not for info on Plame. That part smells."

Um, perhaps because he had legal cover for the NIE and not Plame?

And maybe he didn't think he needed cover for Plame?

Tom, Fitz is playing with fire again. This whole Bush/Cheney-centered narrative goes out the window if UGO is revealed. Consider that.

Nash

Um, Javani? That Niger Yellowcake Fantasy you seem to be so excited about? Both the White House and the CIA have disavowed the claim made in the SOTU. The CIA did this in Oct 2002 and the White House did so in the week following the Plame outing.

What I'm not mixing up is that the Plame Traitorgate was just a very tiny part of a much larger effort to keep the public out of the know concerning the now demonstrated fact that the President knew in the fall of 2002 that the yellowcake claim was bogus and the centrifuge tube claims were disputed. We now have the PDB summary that demonstrates he was told both of these things.

Barney Frank

Nash said......
"The obvious reason for Mr. Libby to lie are because he has been ordered to do everything and say anything that deflects any attention from whether President Bush had been informed that the Niger yellowcake story was false and that the centrifuge tubes being one use only (nuclear) was questioned by two units of the intelligence community.

I'd call that a strong, obvious motive."

That might be a strong obvious motive to say things to reporters to deflect attention from Bush but it is not a motive to say something different to the FBI or GJ.
At best, it is a motive to say "I forget" as the much more accomplished liars of the Clinton years knew.

Jim E.

If Bush declassified the NIE via Libby to Miller on July 8, what exactly needed to be declassified on July 18, 2003?

Nash

"...but it is not a motive to say something different to the FBI or GJ.
At best, it is a motive to say "I forget" as the much more accomplished liars of the Clinton years knew."

Under most circumstances, Barney, I would agree with you, but I think there's enough evidence to support the theory that the Administration was caught off its guard by the Wilson column and thus made mistakes in response and further that a growing hubris led them, including Libby, to conclude they could get away with lying, as long as the reporters kept their secrets secret.

Nash

"If Bush declassified the NIE via Libby to Miller on July 8, what exactly needed to be declassified on July 18, 2003?"

That's a much more succinct way of saying what I tried to say earlier.

Recall, the parts that weren't declassified on July 18 were (1) the conclusion by the intelligence community that the Niger yellowcake story was bogus and (2) the non-concurrence by parts of the intelligence community on the significance of the centrifuge tubes. In other words, the administration declassified what appeared to help their case and kept classified everything that harmed it.

boris

We now have ...

Who's we ...

The aluminum tubes were restricted no matter what Saddam wanted them for, undisputed. The Brits still maintain Iraq sought yellowcake.

Believer of lies knows not the truth.

Javani

Nash writes:


"Um, Javani? That Niger Yellowcake Fantasy you seem to be so excited about? Both the White House and the CIA have disavowed the claim made in the SOTU. The CIA did this in Oct 2002 and the White House did so in the week following the Plame outing."


Nice try. I wrote "Joe's Niger Yellowcake Fantasy." Be so kind as to contextualise. You're mixing up Joe's story and the sory from British Intelligence. As for "October 2002" read the bipartisan Senate Intelligence report.


This site is for discussing Joe, mostly. He's entertaining!


Nash

Joe's basic story that there was no such attempt to procure yellowcake is what the CIA and now the White House agree to, with differences on the smaller issues of how he came to be sent and exactly when it was that he found out that the documents behind the story were fakes.

The CIA discounted and discredited the story from British Intelligence, and it has been shown that they were working from precisely the same documents, not different ones as some have claimed.

The "story" from the British Intelligence was just

topsecretk9

This site is for discussing Joe, mostly. He's entertaining!

Correction. He and his very important hair. is entertaining.

Nash

I agree, Joe is indeed entertaining, not the least because he's an example of someone who can be a complete cad and a--hole whose professional conclusions nonetheless prove to be valid.

It kinda stinks when a crummy person says something that is correct.

Catch22

"People who broke the law will be fired; folks who leak classified info will be treated appropriately."

So long as you are setting the record straight on what Bush and the White House said or didnt say, you should know that his statement on September 30, wasnt the only statement. Elsewhere he and his official spokesman were more specific in what was appropriate:

McClellan said in a Sept. 29, 2003, briefing: "The president has set high standards, the highest of standards, for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

In June 2004, Bush replied "yes" when asked if he would fire anyone who leaked the agent's name.

Insofar as his postion was that anyone on his staff would be fired if they were found to have committed a crime - thats not the high standard he said he had when he came into office when he said he wouldnt just follow the rules but ensure the White House didnt even create the appearance of impropriety. Is that the kind of high standard you want from a president? Are such lowered expectations of, by golly I would fire them if they are convicted, the best we can expect from George W. Bush.

pollyusa

Tenet vs Cheney

Cheney told investigators that he had learned of Plame's employment by the CIA and her potential role in her husband being sent to Niger by then-CIA director George Tenet, according to people familiar with Cheney's interviews with the special prosecutor.

Tenet has told investigators that he had no specific recollection of discussing Plame or her role in her husband's trip with Cheney, according to people with familiar with his statement to investigators.
Waas 4/6/06

topsecretk9

Joe's basic story that there was no such attempt to procure yellowcake is what the CIA a

No, Joe's basic story was that he was sent at the behest of Cheney and he reported to the CIA that documents were bogus because the names were wrong and the dates were wrong, which were...as we know now, lies.

Kate

My sense is that Fitzgerald and the White House are dueling in these filings. Fitzgerald wants to get his friends in the MSM to pay attention again. I am unclear why Hadley would be in any trouble.

I believe Fitz want to keep Rove dangling. The Democrats got a real asset when Fitzgerald was appointed SP on this case. He clearly bought David Corn's narrative on this.

I now suspect Fitzgerald will eventually indict Rove. He will be the hero of the left and will have a high profile position in a Democrat administration.

I now expect Fitz to do the expedient thing, not the right thing. He's a hack.

Barney Frank

Nash,

We don't know that Bush declassified the NIE via Libby. Fitz merely says that Libby was authorized to discuss 'relevant' info in the NIE, presuambly relevant to Wlson's story.

And in fact the aluminum tube and yellowcake dispute was also declassified on July 18th in an annex. Follow TM's link.
I don't believe the annex was added later. If it was I will stand corrected.

Lew Clark

The left's response here is too much like a convoluted British comedy for me to make any sense of what they're trying to say. I'll just wait for PeterUK to come on and explain it, because I could never understand those things!

Nash

"The aluminum tubes were restricted no matter what Saddam wanted them for, undisputed."

Yes, Boris, but that is not what the Administration was saying, was it? You have Ms. Rice saying several times that US intel had concluded without exception that the tubes had one use and one use only, nuclear enrichment. That was a lie.

"The Brits still maintain Iraq sought yellowcake."

Actually, British intel does no such thing. The whitewash investigation that looked into this made that conclusion. British intel itself has distanced itself from that claim.

In addition, I point out again, the CIA had concluded decisively that the yellowcake claim was a fraud, so citing what British intel thought is weak beer.

pollyusa

Libby had the CIA analysis on uranium before he met with Miller. Note the CIA memo refers to "uranium from abroad", not just Niger.


CIA analysts wrote then-CIA Director George Tenet in a highly classified memo on June 17, 2003, "We no longer believe there is sufficient" credible information to "conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad."

snip

Sources familiar with the matter say that both Cheney and Libby were informed of the findings in the June 17 memo only days after Tenet himself read and reviewed it.
Waas 2/2/06

SteveMG

In addition, SteveMG, if he de-classified it in instructing Libby to selectively leak information from it, why did he need to re-de-classify it several weeks later for release of the exact same selectively chosen information to a wider group?

As noted at the very top of the thread, I'm not sure that that's what happened. The papers filed in court say that Libby was authorized to leak "certain information" that was in the NIE. Parts of the NIE, apparently, are classified and others aren't.

My guess on second blush is that since the Administration was going to release a de-classified NIE that Libby was told it was okay to disclose ahead of time to certain favorable reporters (i.e, Judy Miller) highlights or "certain information" in the estimate.

Apparently.

As we all know, what appears to have happened often turns out to be quite wrong on later review. I'm amazed at the brilliant folks who post here and their ability to keep the facts (as we know them) straight.

I've given up trying to keep track of this story about six months ago. Makes me woozy.

SMG

Jim E.

And Kate makes another disingenuous appearance. ("I now expect Fitz to do the expedient thing, not the right thing.")

Two can play this game. Try this one, from me: I used to think Libby was wrongfully accused and a great, great patriot, but now I'm starting to think Fitz might be right, after all. I'm just beginning to think that Libby might be a lying, partisan hack.

Nash

"No, Joe's basic story was that he was sent at the behest of Cheney and he reported to the CIA that documents were bogus because the names were wrong and the dates were wrong, which were...as we know now, lies."

First direct lie I've read in this thread. Joe's basic story was in answer to the question he'd been sent to investigate. Did Iraq try to purchase yellowcake from Niger? He reported no. No. Long before he started to get himself tied up in knots about when he knew that the documents were forged. He made his report and said "no" before he even knew about the documents. In addition, when you say he claims he was sent at the behest of the VP, you seem to be trying to replay the funny wording game, making it seem as if Wilson claimed that the VP personally tagged him to go. Wilson never made that claim.

boris

that the tubes had one use and one use only, nuclear enrichment

The reason they were restricted is that the specs they were constructed to had "one use only, nuclear enrichment".

Thats why those specs made them contraband.

Jim E.

If declassified, why did Libby asked to be sourced as a "former hill staffer"?

pollyusa

White Space

Note who's not appearing for the government; Hadley, Rove, and Tenet.

Because the government does not intend at this time to call three of these individuals – Mr. Tenet, Mr. Hadley, and Mr. Rove – defendant is not entitled to discovery based on the need to prepare to cross-examine those individuals.
GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S
THIRD MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY

topsecretk9

Nash
It's what he said to reporters, and he also did not debunk that an Iraqi did approach Niger in what the Minister knew to mean he wanted the cake.

Nash

"And in fact the aluminum tube and yellowcake dispute was also declassified on July 18th in an annex."

You are misinformed. As late as 2004, in the SSCI investigation, this information was claimed as classified by the administration and they were backed by Senator Roberts.

SteveMG

Nash:
The CIA discounted and discredited the story from British Intelligence, and it has been shown that they were working from precisely the same documents, not different ones as some have claimed.

The CIA discounted it, IIRC, after the SOTU address, correct?

Second, when did the British acknowledge that their source(s) were wrong? As you probably know, the Butler Report still stands (or did) by the allegation (that Iraq sought to acquire uranium from Africa).

Third, again as you probably know, Wilson has stated (in his book and elsewhere) that he never proved that Iraq did not seek to acquire uranium from Niger.

SMG

Nash

"he also did not debunk that an Iraqi did approach Niger in what the Minister knew to mean he wanted the cake."

It's fun reliving the golden oldies. He didn't need to, because that has been debunked by a thorough rundown of the forged documents.

What you will never be able to get past is that what Mr. Wilson reported back to the CIA was CORRECT.

boris
  1. the CIA had concluded decisively that the yellowcake claim was a fraud;

  2. the CIA no longer believes there is sufficient credible information to conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad;

If 2 is accurate is 1 a lie?

Nash

SteveMG, I thought you were going to tune out???

But ok,

"The CIA discounted it, IIRC, after the SOTU address, correct?"

Correct. And they also discounted it in Oct 2002. And they also discounted it when Mr. Wilson got back from his trip, which was earlier. And they also discounted it before they sent him, since he merely confirmed what they had already concluded.

"Second, when did the British acknowledge that their source(s) were wrong? As you probably know, the Butler Report still stands (or did) by the allegation (that Iraq sought to acquire uranium from Africa)."

Yes, the Butler Report "stands" but the problem is, its conclusion were based on the same forged documents that got the Bush Admin hot and bothered in 2002. Initially, they claimed that they were working from different intel, but when asked to prove it, could only cite the same debunked docs.

"Third, again as you probably know, Wilson has stated (in his book and elsewhere) that he never proved that Iraq did not seek to acquire uranium from Niger."

This is quite true, technically. He was unable to prove that Iraq had sought uranium and he concluded that they had not. So?

topsecretk9

because that has been debunked by a thorough rundown of the forged documents.
Nope, wrong there.

But Joe will have plenty of time on the stand clarifying his "tied up in knots" because looks like the defense will be spending a lot of their time questioning him.

Nash

Sorry, Boris, but that doesn't make any sense to me? Aren't you saying the same thing twice?

Kate

Jim E. you really have to let that go. At one point, I actually thought Fitz was a decent person and competent prosecutor. I still believe that he is most likely a decent person who is kind to his parents and friends.

However, I now believe he's a partisan and a sloppy prosecutor.

I'll surprise you, I'm not a Libby fan. I just don't think he should be imprisoned for 30 years for having conversations where he forgot whether he discussed an unimportant mid-level bureaucrat and her blabbermouth Democratic operative husband. (he didn't) It's not like he did something serious and punched a cop.

Nash

Nope, ts9, not wrong. I know it's a place you can never go, but you really oughta take a peak at the uber-analysis by eriposte at The Left Coaster.

Alas, since they are evil lefties, they are by definition, incorrect.

Barney Frank

OK Nash,

This is a test of whether you are utterly dishonest.

Follow the 'July 18' link above that TM provides.
If you do you will see that the INR dispute over both the aluminum tubes and the attempted acquisition of yellowcake are discussed in the July 18th 2003 declassification of the NIE. If you then click on the link on the right you will see that in the press conference on July 18th both of these issues were discussed with the press.
So please acknowledge that you were either wrong or are an intentional liar.

clarice

Hoe many times do we have to endure troll swarms where they spew adhoms and regurgitate false facts? What a disgusting disply on a day when there was a lot of interesting stuff to discuss.PeeUU

boris
  1. he never proved that Iraq did not seek to acquire uranium from Niger;

  2. he concluded that they had not

If 1. is accurate 2. is spin ...

Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense. Forming a conclusion on that basis is "making sh!t up".

boris

but that doesn't make any sense to me

No suprise, what else is new ???

Nash

You are correct, Barney, and it is my mistake. I am thinking of what the Admin left out of it's key judgments declassification in Oct 2002, before the war started.

Nash

"

1. he never proved that Iraq did not seek to acquire uranium from Niger;

2. he concluded that they had not

If 1. is accurate 2. is spin ...

Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense. Forming a conclusion on that basis is "making sh!t up"."

Argh, Boris. Forming a conclusion on that basis is precisely what intelligence analysts are paid to do. They get some right and some wrong. Good heavens, man. You are trying to make a logic problem out of silliness.

Wilson did what he was sent to do. Investigate, analyze, synthesize, conclude.

Good grief Boris.

boris

intelligence analysts ...

... deemed Wilson's report "inconclusive"

Nash

What galls you, Boris, is that Wilson's conclusion has not been debunked and our own intell community agrees with his findings.

But we'll always have the British. If not before, certainly now.

Patton

""""Fitgaerald's response, as noted above, is that Libby did not want to embarrass the White House or get himself fired by admitting involvement in the leak.""""

SO GETTING INDICTED AND RESIGNING AND EMBARRASSING THE WHITE HOUSE AND DRAGGING THIS OUT FOR YEARS WAS WHAT LIBBY PREFERRED?

THEN WHY DIDN'T LIBBY JUST RESIGN LONG BEFORE FITZ AND THE INVESTIGATION CAME ALONG?

boris

agrees with his findings

Hardly

JM Hanes

Nash
"What you will never be able to get past is that what Mr. Wilson reported back to the CIA was CORRECT."

When will you figure out that what Wilson claims he reported back to the CIA and what he actually reported back are not the same thing? You conveniently ignore the fact that the CIA said Wilson's report tended to confirm that the Saddam was testing the waters and that the forgeries were never the sole basis for the Brits belief that he was doing so.

Butler Report Reader

Acutally, the Butler Report states that the "Iraq sought yellowcake in Africa" claim was in fact based on more than just the forged documents (known to be so at the time of the report).

How could the report come to this conclusion otherwise?

boris

Tenet: Slam Dunk

Foo Bar

Actually, Nash, even the October '02 declassified NIE acknowledged the tubes dispute to a limited degree:

All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use, but some believe that these tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs.
jerry

polyusa,
I also thought that Fitz's witholding of Rove, Tenet, and Hadley, was intriguing (after TM pointed this out). For a Cheney trial IMO.

If irresponsible WH leaking of classified information, for (partisan) political purposes, was burning/killing CIA assets abroad Tenet might well fully cooperate with Fitz's investigation (tell the truth about what Cheney and Bush knew of the leaking).

These aren't anonymous facts after all.

See today's earlier post here on Libby, also re: "what the president knew and when he knew it":

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20050831-091719-1217r.htm

Nash

"... deemed Wilson's report "inconclusive""

Ah, the SSCI whitewash rears its head. Yes, one or two unnamed said that. But overall, US intel concluded the claim was a fake. Analysts other than your probably politically motivated ones used Wilson's report as further support for their conclusion. Fake claim.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Per Libby, it was Libby who told Cooper that Joe Wilson's wife was with the CIA.'

What?

Patton

Nash claims:
"""What galls you, Boris, is that Wilson's conclusion has not been debunked and our own intell community agrees with his findings.""""

Wilson didn't make any conclusion, Wilson watched the IAEA news conference a YEAR LATER to make his argfument/conclusions.

In no way to Wilson show that Bush new Iraq was not pursuing Yellowcake from Niger BEFORE the SOTU.


In addition, go read Tenents letter where he says Wilson never even mentions documents in his report and Tenent says that the TOP 6 reasons HE (THE DCI) concluded Iraq was pursuing a Nuclear program didn't even include the Yellowcake Caper.

Barney Frank

Nash,

You got half way there. You admitted you were wrong about 2003. But then you futzed it up by saying you were thinking of what they left out in 2002.
Upthread you said this info was still classified in late 2004 before the SSCI. I can't reconcile those two statements. If you were only confusing the disclosure in 2003 with the one in 2002 you should have known when you said that it was still classified in 2004 that that wasn't true. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but it appears you say whatever is convenient for your preformed ideology.

Nash

Foo Bar, contrast the declassified NIE of 2002 with the then still-classified form and tell me if there weren't any caveats left out of what was declassified.

jerry

The context for the Tenet "slam dunk" comment has been reported to be that he'd just presented a weak case for WMDs in Iran, Bush said "is that all you've got?," and Tenet replied "it's a slam dunk."

Of course a sense of irony is required to realize that Tenet was speaking ironically.

Nash

Barney, portions were declassified and portions were not. I don't see how that is irreconcilable. But I do see why you need to make ad hominem attacks.

Take a look at eriposte's work. Go through the whole analysis and then tell me what you think.

I'm less skilled at correctly laying it out than eriposte.

boris

Analysts other than your probably politically motivated ones used Wilson's report as further support for their conclusion. Fake claim.

Conluding anything from Wilson's report would not be analysis, it would be fortune telling.

boris

I'm less skilled at correctly laying it out

Less than zero

Patton

Nash, Wilsons entire report consisted of TWO things:

1. The Iraqis had attempted to make contact with a government official and that official thought they wanted to talk Yellowcake.

2. He didn't believe Iraq could get Yellowcake out of Niger without good old Frenchy knowing about it...you know those Frenchy's that just hate Saddam and want to rat him out whenever they get a chance.
(Why didn't Chirac even vacation with Saddam ...ehhh..to keep tabs on him I guess.

THAT'S IT! Thats all Wilson brought to the party.

Now we ALREADY know that Wilsons' claim is ridiculous becauuse we have the FACT that Pakistan kick started their Nuclear Weapons program with...TADA:

NIGER YELLOWCAKE THAT WAS SMUGGLED THROUGH LIBYA.

So when Wilson says..it can't be done...and we know it had in fact been done....color me skeptical.

Javani

""The context for the Tenet "slam dunk" comment has been reported to be that he'd just presented a weak case for WMDs in Iran, Bush said "is that all you've got?," and Tenet replied "it's a slam dunk." Of course a sense of irony is required to realize that Tenet was speaking ironically.""

Jerry, you're wrong. Gardening the perfect anti-Bush discourse will take you down roads laid by paranoids.

Unless you're speaking ironically...then you're quite the comic!!

Patrick R. Sullivan

' Wilson did what he was sent to do. Investigate, analyze, synthesize, conclude.'

You're a blithering idiot.

Wilson was sent to gather information. Period. The CIA has professional analysts they pay good money to for the rest. Which is why Wilson's story is so stupid.

Even if Wilson had somehow found out about the forged documents, that wouldn't have proven there was no sale of uranium. A clandestine shipment would still have to be accompanied by documentation listing the contents, the shipper, and the destination.

Guess what kind of documents those would be.

Jake - but not the one

Ad hominems come so easily to the tongue, don't you think?

Jake

boris

a sense of irony is required ...

... to read your comments. Really, when Tenet said "Slam Dunk" he meant the OPPOSITE !!! But dummy W TOOK HIM SERIOUSLY because W lacks the required sense of irony.

Ok that is funny. In a shark jumping sort of way ...

JM Hanes

Patrick R.

"Guess what kind of documents those would be."

Interesting point.

Patton

In addition, Wilson wrote an OP-ED in the Los Angeles Times 9 days AFTER the SOTU and had NO qualms about Bush's speech.

http://www.politicsoftruth.com/editorials/big_cat.html

In fact Wilson said HE believed Saddam had WMD and would use them against us.

SHOULD BUSH HAVE BELIEVED WILSON WHEN HE CLAIMED SADDAM POSSESED WMD AND WOULD USE THEM??

Jake - but not the one

A President lives, or dies, not so much in a court of law as in the court of public opinion - at least during he presidency. After, the court consists of historians.

I read over TM's old post about GW's Sep 2003 words. The thing that strikes me is that the plain understanding any American might gain from the President's words,

"And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."


is that the President abhors leaks, and would act forcefully to both find and appropriately "take care" of any leakers. Given the President's propensity for Texas tough talk, "take care" could reasonably be construed to mean "punish". I don't think a reasonable citizen of this county, at that time, could have understood or even imagined that the President was really saying that HE authorized the dissemination of the information, and so there was no leak and therefore no leakers. I did not understand him to say that.

Then again, I may not be reasonable.

Even so, in the court of public opinion - read voters - maintaining that he spoke as he did, knowing that he had authorized the dissemination of the information, is not likely to be an effective defense.

So, did I misread, or is it the position of the President's supporters that:

a) the President authorized the release of the bits and pieces of the NIE for national seurity purposes;
b) the President's carefully phrased Sep 2003 words are not harmful to him personally.

"Harmful." I kind of think that if something a President does is personally harmful, it is harmful to all Americans.

That is no less true for Clinton, so don't even go there. :)

Jake

Foo Bar

Nash,

I agree wholeheartedly with you there. There were indeed many caveats left out of the declassified NIE, and the Phase I Roberts report is quite critical of some of those discrepancies between the declassified and classified versions. What's interesting to me is that the Phase I report has been interpreted as only being critical of the intelligence community. The New Republic, however, claims that Sen. Graham, who was on the intelligence committee and therefore knew of the discrepancies between the classified and declassified versions, pushed for more to be declassified, but then

he received a call from the CIA, informing him that the White House had ordered Tenet not to release anything more

All that being said, it is nonetheless not true to claim that there was no indication of the tubes dispute in the '02 declassified NIE.

Cecil Turner

Take a look at eriposte's work. Go through the whole analysis and then tell me what you think.

I think it's silly. Butler's conclusions are discounted because they don't reveal their sources (ignoring the simple fact that intel agencies rarely reveal sources unless they're proven liars). The arm-waving claims that there was nothing to the DR Congo reports ignores considerable information coming from the Congo of concern, including an undisputed visit by DPRK mining egineers:

Reports have surfaced that have implicated North Korea and Iraq in schemes to re-open Shinkolobwe to obtain uranium, but these remain unconfirmed. In August 1999 it was reported that the DR Congo was suspected of trying to reopen the Shinkolobwe uranium mine with help from North Korea. Mining engineers from North Korea arrived in 1999. A inferred that North Korean had been paid for their advice by being awarded a mining concession around Shinkolobwe."
But this howler topped it off:
Thirdly, the IAEA's comments in 2004 indicates that all the Niger intelligence cited by the British ultimately relied on the same forged Niger documents, despite the British denials.
I'm not sure why the IAEA is a source for British intel reports, but mostly it ought to be obvious to anyone who read Butler that intel reports of Iraqis seeking uranium predate the 2001 forgeries (Butler):
Unconfirmed intelligence indicates Iraqi interest in acquiring uranium . . . [JIC, 1 December 2000]
Absent a time machine, this one is busted.

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