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April 20, 2006

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» Fitzgerald Knows No Crime Committed from The Strata-Sphere
Robert Novak made what should be a stunning statement to the press, and those in the country not following the Plame Game closely: Fitzgerald knows that no crime was committed in providing Valerie Plames name to reporters and he has known this f... [Read More]

» The Best Laid Schemes O' Mice an' Men ** from The Pretend Pundit
Novak said today that the Feds have known for years who "outed" Valerie Plame: "The question is, does Mr. Fitzgerald know who the source was? Of course. He's known for years who the first source is. If he knows the... [Read More]

Comments

Cecil Turner

No kidding - as to "the Feds know", that has been clear from court filings for quite some time.

You know that, and we know that . . . but most of America does not. And the fact that it is news is a serious indictment of those news organizations, like the WaPo and NYTimes, who cover it regularly.

Jane

Tom,

What do you see as Fitzgerald's motive?

windansea

good leak bad leak??

fletcher hudson

"No-news" more aply should be attached to Russert--at least Novak has a good excuse for not telling the public critical facts. Russert has only revealed that in a 20 minute interview he told the investigator that he didn't mention "Plame" and that Libby didn't leak to him. He has kept secret-apparently only to protect his reputation- whether or not he mentioned that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Because of an incomplete investigation, Libby may have been wrongly indicted on this point. If Fritzgerald had been properly supervised I doubt he would have been allowed to limit the Russert inquiry as it did when it struct the deal with with NBC. Shouldn't the Libby team try to discover if anyone approved this deal?

Neo

The subpoena pattern seems to indicate that Libby's attorneys are trying to find out just how Wilson got to know about the forgeries ?

It seems obvious that the answer is Ms. Flame did the leaking to Joe about the forgeries, and her outing was the simple way to get her out of the CIA. Thus, there was no negative impact from her outing.

Jeff

at least Novak has a good excuse for not telling the public critical facts.

And that "good excuse" is?

It seems obvious that the answer is Ms. Flame did the leaking to Joe about the forgeries, and her outing was the simple way to get her out of the CIA.

Is Neo doing what I tried yesterday - deadpan facetiousness?

Dwilkers

He's known for years who the first source is.

Hyperbole perhaps?

If Fitz has 'known for years' who the first source is then Fitz would be a damn liar for saying Libby was first or first known at his press conference and in the indictment.

I'm going to chalk this up to exaggeration by Novak.

I am far less confident than Novak that Fitz "knows" any such thing. From what I can tell he isn't even interested in that.

TM

What do you see as Fitzgerald's motive?

I think (and he said as much in a filing, as I recall) that he has undertaken to investigate whether the White House set out to punish a noble whistleblower.

That is not an necessarily absurd task, but it is a bit of a switch from investigating who outed a CIA spy.

And the biggest problem with Fitzgerald's new direction is, there is no law against mounting an organized response to one's critics.

Hence, the perjury/obstruction charges. One might think (I do) that Libby brought that upon himself - he should have either gotten Arkansas Alzheimers, like Hillary, or told a better version of "the truth".

For example - he may sincerely believe that Russert told him about Plame; that may even be true (how will we ever know?).

But how can anyone make sense of his notion that he was hearing it as if for the first time? Even if that was true, he should have given different testimony noting the oddity of his memory there and emphasizing his earlier Plame conversations (and yes, I would *LUV* to see a transcript to learn if he did just that. Of course, the defense can release one anytime.)

Well. I don't see how his actual testimony obstructed anything, or deflected Fitzgerald from the truth.

All that said, I think that when Fiztgerald took over there was the odd problem of Rove having initialy forgotten his talk with Novak. That was compounded by the Libby-Cooper switcheroo, discovered in the summer of 2004 - Libby said he leaked Plame to Cooper, but Cooper eventually said he leaked Plame to Libby.

That set Fitzgerald wondering who Cooper's first source was, and Rove (eventually) popped up again.

So to say it looked like innocent lambs at the White House is not quite fair - Rove looked like a problem, and Libby's odd testimony at least partly shielded Rove, for a while, so Fitzgerald may have smelled a rat. And maybe there is a rat to be smelled, but what is it - a conspiracy to obstruct an investigation into a fundamentally legal (and arguably seemingly trivial) activity? Weird.

fletcher hudson

The good excuse is that he was under threat of indictment himself if he talked. Russert had no reason not to tell his story.

Sue

Tom,

Close enough to have been written by me. I'm not you by any chance, am I (alluding to weird things at the LATimes here)? ::grin::

topsecretk9

"If I had gone before a grand jury and taken the Fifth Amendment, Mr. Fitzgerald would have that on the street in about two minutes."

Leaking? Selective leaking is going on? Shutter.

Pofarmer

I'm no legal eagle. But, if it was determined that "outing" Valerie Plame wasn't a crime, assuming somebody even did it, why did the investigation continue? After all, there wasn't even a crime to investigate.

Pofarmer

I'm no legal eagle. But, if it was determined that "outing" Valerie Plame wasn't a crime, assuming somebody even did it, why did the investigation continue? After all, there wasn't even a crime to investigate.

Semanticleo

"the odd problem of Rove having initialy forgotten his talk with Novak."

Odd. Indeed. Especially for a creature
who is known for perfect recall.

Syl

Well, Fitz has 'known for years' who Novak's source was. Even before Libby ever testified. It seems, though, that Fitz didn't know the source also told Woodward.

We don't know absolutely positively for sure that the same person told Woodward as told Novak though indications are it is. If it is the same person it is unacceptable that Fitz didn't ask him if he told anyone other than Novak.

He didn't even ask WHEN the source himself learned about Plame.

Think about it.

If fitz did ask and got lies for answers, why isn't Novak's source charged with obstruction?

If fitz did ask and got the correct answers as to who and when, then why did fitz call Libby the first?

This is really screwy.

Jane

>So to say it looked like innocent lambs at the White House is not quite fair - Rove looked like a problem, and Libby's odd testimony at least partly shielded Rove, for a while, so Fitzgerald may have smelled a rat. And maybe there is a rat to be smelled, but what is it - a conspiracy to obstruct an investigation into a fundamentally legal (and arguably seemingly trivial) activity? Weird.

So what is propelling him today? Has he since decided that the WH is evil, and he is the white knight? Or has he just never sat back long enough to figure out where he is going and why?

I've never been a prosecutor, but I've gotten so involved in a case that I can't see the forest for the trees. Thankfully that tends to be temporary, often eclipsed by the discovery demands by the other side. Fitzgerald appears to have his eyes on a prize, and it may indeed be to have Rove "frog-marched out of the Whitehouse", and I agree with you, that it is probably not the motive he started out with.

I'm wondering if I'm failing to see something that is there.

topsecretk9

--If fitz did ask and got lies for answers, why isn't Novak's source charged with obstruction?

If fitz did ask and got the correct answers as to who and when, then why did fitz call Libby the first?

This is really screwy.--

It is a problem for Fitz.

Syl

This is really screwy.

Not if you pick up Tom's argument that Fitz wasn't investigating the outing of an agent, he was investigating the possible 'punishment' of a noble whistleblower.

In which case Novak's source didn't matter to Fitz---he wasn't from the Whitehouse.

TM

I'm not you by any chance, am I

Let's keep 'em guessing, Sue - some lefty is diligently pursuing the notion that I am Clarice's sock-puppet.

Syl

The 'you' in 'Not if you pick up Tom's argument...' above refers to myself.

Weird. I know I know. ::grin::

Sue

Sock puppets for everyone...

TM

So what is propelling him today?

Good question - competitive zeal, no supervision, and/or a belief that he has the bad guys in his sights.

His recent filing showing that he was *this close* to getting Cheney had a certain poignancy which was overlooked by my friends on the left, who did not see it as a high water mark and hope that new evidence is still coming in.

Rick Ballard

TM,

I agree that Libby's answers are damn near incomprehensible but we still don't have the initating series of questions that led him to the babbling bafflegab. I can almost generate a series of questions that would stimulate such a response but I don't think I could do so and call what I was doing an investigation.

If Fitz used the same lead up questions before the gj as the investigators did then Libby responding in the same manner is understandable to a point. The factor that is really puzzling is the set of notes (or was it a single note?) by Libby which seem to contradict his testimony.

Since Fitz is putting his theory in his motions, I wonder if TeamLibby will provide an explanation reconciling notes and testimony in one of their replies. They are certainly artful enough to make a run at it.

Jeff

some lefty is diligently pursuing the notion that I am Clarice's sock-puppet.

If there really is such a lefty, that person is a total and complete idiot. No one could mistake clarice for TM.

I think (and he said as much in a filing, as I recall) that he has undertaken to investigate whether the White House set out to punish a noble whistleblower.

I don't believe that's true, except insofar as he may have been investigating such a purported campaign as part of the context that made sense of a purported outing of the CIA agent and disclosure of classified information, as Neo sort of suggests. Such a campaign, which ended up blowing the cover of a CIA agent (even if that cover-blowing isn't prosecuted as a crime, maybe isn't even a crime), also may help to make sense of obstruction of justice and perjury.

But how can anyone make sense of his notion that he was hearing it as if for the first time?

Thank you. As for the transcripts, Team Libby says that Fitzgerald has indicated he intends to submit the entirety of Libby's grand jury transcripts into evidence. (I'm not sure that's true, but that's what Libby's lawyers say.)

Rove initially didn't recall his leak to Cooper, not Novak. There were other ratty smells too, what with all the testimony contradicting Libby on so many points. Not least Fleischer's testimony, according to which Libby not only told Fleischer that Plame was CIA three days -- three days! -- before Libby claimed he heard from Russert as though for the first time, but Libby told Fleischer this was hush hush information, not well-known, on the qt. And Fleischer found it weird and striking and unusual. He also appears to have gotten the message, walking at least one journalist - John Dickerson - right up to the information, pushing him in that direction, without actually blowing her cover himself. As Dickerson nicely puts the point in a piece that really stands up well,

It seemed obvious that the people pushing me to look into who sent Wilson knew exactly the answer I'd find. Yet they were really careful not to let the information slip, which suggested that they knew at the time Plame's identity was radioactive.

Fleischer's testimony makes it smell like he got that message from Libby, which makes it smell like Libby knew that, which makes it smell like Libby knew perfectly well what he was doing when he disclosed Plame's CIA affiliation was a no-no. And of course Fleischer's testimony, along with a host of others, make it smell like Libby was lying, and had a reason for lying, about learning from Russert three days later about Plame.

And all of this is to say nothing about Cheney's smelly role.

Jeff

The good excuse is that he was under threat of indictment himself if he talked.

Funny, when i floated that idea, it got roundly ridiculed around here.

jerry

I'll stick with the idea that it was the WH conspiracy (group activity) to deliberately tell the press about Plame (and perhaps other misuses of classified info, like Brewster-Jennings) that Fitz is after.

Semanticleo

"who did not see it as a high water mark and hope that new evidence is still coming in."

Basic rule;

Don't aim too high, because if you miss,
everyone feels a little safer.

Anyone here have any doubts that Rove's
change of desks has a lot to do with the
loss of security clearance?

Daddy

It would be interesting if The President held a public news conference to announce today that he was appointing a Special Prosecutor to specifically determine the following:

1) The name of the Government offical who first leaked CIA agent Valerie Wilson's identity to the Press.

2) The name of the the reporters that the Government Official leaked that information to.

3) An official determination of whether the leak of that information to reporters was a crime due to Agent Wilson's covert status under current anti-espionage laws, and if so, the Government official will immediately be prosecuted.

Bush should announce that the completed findings from this new investigation will be announced at the correspondants dinner on 29 April by his invited guest of honor, Scooter Libby.

This week long investigation might finally get the ball rolling as to educating the public about what Fitz was supposedly tasked to investigate, as opposed to what he is actually spending two years and millions of taxpayers dollars investigating.

Barney Frank

Jeff,
"Funny, when i floated that idea, it got roundly ridiculed around here.'

That's cause you're a lefty and we only like sensible ideas from lefty's after they've been appropriated.

Javani

"The good excuse is that he was under threat of indictment himself if he talked."

Novak? Long ago he said he won't reveal the name because the investigation was continuing. Others spoke saying Fitz's admonishments were only voluntary.

Then starting, say, nine months ago Novak changed his tune. When asked "Who was it?" he deflects. Examples "The white house knows who it is" and the latest version "the feds know who it is." No kidding. This statement of the obvious is taken as a legitimate excuse.

Part of the Novak adoration (not you) club buys into his "they didn't warn me enough" excuse. He admits he was told not to reveal the name but argues something to the tun of "They told me it might hurt her career, but not that she would be in physical danger."

Novak decided in his agenda to out the "liberals" Bush was appointing to various posts to give up this information. Novak is self-serving, self-important, and destroyed (perhaps for the better) the chummy world of sharing secrets between the government and media.

Novak won't reveal the name because it will only compound the appearance of betrayal on his part.

Also the MSM will put no pressure on him and will not focus on the origin of this story because it does not push the narrative of strategic leaking for evil purposes from the White House. Also it will create the appearance that many people were talking about Wilson's wife, which undermines the narrative of a strategic and singular leak from Cheney's office.

Fitz and his "noble whistleblower" recasting is retroactive garbage. If UGO is identified the concocted mystery of this case subsides and so do reflexive anti-Bushy memes. If too many of those memes fall apart the Democrats might have to take policy positions on something or another to fill the vacuum of the news media.

Syl

Jeff

You want it both ways? You've got it. If Libby thought the information was so sensitive then it explains his bafflegab re Russert. His state of mind and his care in trying not to confirm the info to Russert.

I myself am pretty sure Libby thought wilson's wife's employment by the CIA was something not to be revealed. Not because he knew she was covert, but that the fact she was CIA was possibly/probably classified.

Libby had more important things to worry about--like getting the NIE out there to counter Wilson's claims.

Ari was an insider, and though he may not have had the clearance and Libby shouldn't have, he told Ari anyway as a bit of gossip. 'Not only did Cheney not dispatch Wilson, the CIA did, and not only the CIA, his WIFE. LOLOLOL. Shhhhhhh. don't tell anyone. But I think some in the press already know.

cathyf
I think (and he said as much in a filing, as I recall) that he has undertaken to investigate whether the White House set out to punish a noble whistleblower.
...
His recent filing showing that he was *this close* to getting Cheney had a certain poignancy

It also has a certain irony, since in this little morality play, Cheney is the whistleblower debunking fraud (perpetrated by Joe Wilson and the VIPS boys), and Fitzgerald is the one conducting the smear campaign to punish him, partly by outing his (work-)wife's covert role in (disseminating declassified) intelligence.

cathy :-)

Patton

TM: ""But how can anyone make sense of his notion that he was hearing it as if for the first time?""

Jeff says: "Thank you."


Would you also be surprised to learn that Judith Miller says she was SHOCKED to learn Libby had talked to her about Wilsons wife in their June meeting? She had COMPLETELY forgotten the conversation until she saw the information written in her notes.

Jeff

If Libby thought the information was so sensitive then it explains his bafflegab re Russert. His state of mind and his care in trying not to confirm the info to Russert.

It's funny that you accuse me of wanting to have it both ways, when in fact it is Libby's defenders here who read his testimony on Russert that way, if they believe Libby knew (and if the claim is that he didn't know but didn't want to confirm for Russert anyway, then we're back to the Fleischer problem). I simply don't accept that Libby testified that he was lying to Russert, so there is nothing to explain in that regard. Consequently, I'm not the one trying to have it both ways. If you believe that Libby was lying to Russert and in his testimony describing his performance of being struck as though for the first time, then the fact that he knew the information was sensitive can provide you with an explanation. But from the fact that Libby knew the information was sensitive, it does not follow that he would necessarily lie to Russert, or did.

Patton

Did you know there are 77 AMA recognized disorders that cause forgetfulness??

You may remember very well where you were when you first saw a plane hit the WTC, but do you remember where you were the first time you saw Punky Brewster?

Valerie is Punky.....

flenser

Fitzgerald certainly seems to share Novak's opinion about "no crime", since they are insisting that the source's name be kept quiet to protect his reputation, and, per the judge, he faces no charges.

If we take it as given that "the source" committed no crime and faces no charges, then can anyone explain how and why his reputation is in need of protection?

Perhaps a journalist can ask Fitzgerald about this.


To me, this as incomprehensible as the assertions that the revelation that Wilsons wife worked at the CIA somehow "discredited" him.

I mean, its not as if somebody in the WH had looked up the FBI files on Joe and Val and had revealed that e.g. one of them had been busted for shoplifting as a teenager, as the Clintons did with their political enemies. Having a spouse in the CIA is not generally considered to be a sin.

cathyf
You may remember very well where you were when you first saw a plane hit the WTC
Do you remember where you first saw the picture of the first plane hitting the first tower? Amazingly enough, only a minority of Americans surveyed say that they do.

cathy :-)

TM

Did you know there are 77 AMA recognized disorders that cause forgetfulness??

Hm, I can only remember about 60... and I'm afraid to ask. but who's Punky?

Rove initially didn't recall his leak to Cooper, not Novak.

Unless I miss my guess, Rove did not tell the FBI he had anything to do with the Novak leak. I beleive he corrected that to the GJ, after Fitzgerald took over. In fact, IIRC I have argued that Rove's error on Novak led to the Ashcroft recusal. Hmm, what else am I remembering today?

And do I detct doubt here?

If there really is such a lefty, that person is a total and complete idiot. No one could mistake clarice for TM.

Maybe I'm wrong about the lefty (it was a cursory check, but no cursing), but here we go:

I’ll make a confession, here. When I first saw Clarice’s posts on JustOneMinute a few months ago, I wondered if she was a creation of Tom Maguire’s imagination.

I’ll look into it and see what I can come up with.

Haven't heard back on that - maybe he is on a golf course with OJ.

Gary Maxwell

Who is Punky Brewster? Oh I know the founder of Brewster - Jennings! What do I win?

Jeff

TM - I stand by my assessment. Only an idiot could imagine that you and clarice were one and the same. To be fair, however, I think that person was saying that clarice was your sock-puppet, not vice versa.

As for Rove, the reports seem to be ambiguous, though they tilt toward the idea that Rove was open about his contact with Novak from the getgo - although maybe he denied being Novak's source, later claiming that when it turned out he was one of Novak's sources, he was surprised. And of course these reports originate, to a considerable extent if not completely, from Rove and his allies themselves.

Sue

Punky Brewster was a cute little girl on a sit-com in the 80s that started the trend of multi-colored converse hi-tops.

AJStrata

TM,

All you say is true about Libby and Rove not having bullet proof recollections accurate to the hour. The problem is none of this was within Fitzgerald's mandate and,as you noted, none of it is against the law.

If you start with the idea Libby and Rove were simply explaining how they never tipped off reporters to Plames job, then you can understand why they did not pay attention to HOW they heard of plame and in what order. It did not once occur to them this would be material. They were allowed to know, so how they learned is irrelevant.

Fitzgerald is the one committing the most serious crimes right now. Prosecutorial abuse is far worse than flimsy perjury charges. No one should be a victim of a rampaging prosecutor.

Which crime do you think will do more harm to this country? Learning of Plame's CIA job or an unchecked prosecutor creating precedence everyplace he tramples?

AJStrata

Jeff

If you start with the idea Libby and Rove were simply explaining how they never tipped off reporters to Plames job, then you can understand why they did not pay attention to HOW they heard of plame and in what order. It did not once occur to them this would be material. They were allowed to know, so how they learned is irrelevant.

This is just totally wacky. First off, by his own account Libby was explaining how he did tip reporters off to Plame's job. And that's precisely why he was so careful, according to his testimony, to source the information back to reporters. It's precisely because he was allowed to know that makes how he learned relevant, in light of his own testimony that he told reporters. The idea is that Libby has this elaborate story, which turns out to be contradicted in rather precise ways by multiple witnesses independently, but it's all just a hash because he wasn't really paying attention to his testimony because none of it mattered?

Rove's case is less clear, because we know less about his role, what he testified to, and what others testified to about his role. But since it's pretty well-established and acknowledged on all parts that Rove was one of Novak's sources, it certainly does matter for him too where he got the information.

brenda taylor

aj is totally right and people should worry about these unchecked prosecutors.look at whats happened to rush and delay and now libby and also the lacrosse players.this kind of justice sounds political and it stinks.

Syl

Jeff

it does not follow that he would necessarily lie to Russert, or did.

Of course it doesn't 'necessarily' follow, but it certainly can. That's all we need. If Libby knew the info was sensitive, in fact it is likely he fibbed to Russert. Though not necessary.

The thing about you wanting it both ways is that you want Libby to have known he shouldn't reveal the info and did anyway.

Oh, and one more thing.

'I heard that too' is NOT a confirmation of anything. And that's what Fitz says Rove said to Novak. That won't hold up.

Syl

Er, that's what Novak says Rove said.

cathyf

Has anybody else noticed the oddity of Novak claiming Rove said "I heard that too" and Cooper claiming Libby said "I heard that too"? I wonder -- is this some smart-alecky phrase which Libby, Rove, or somebody known to both Libby and Rove, uses all the time? Or alternatively, is it used by somebody in the press corps that Cooper and Novak might have in common?

cathy :-)

Jeff

The thing about you wanting it both ways is that you want Libby to have known he shouldn't reveal the info and did anyway.

How would that be wanting to have it both ways?

PaulV

"I heard that too" is likely a widely used term of the art for "nonconfirming confirmation". Neither confirming or denying. Sort of like warning someone away from a story without giving reasons why

windansea

my eyes are starting to glaze over...this whole Plame affair went from Chimpeachment, Cheneyfornication and 22 Roves being frogmarched in front of the graves of countless NOCS to arguing about where (?) should be placed and WH press dinner invitations

we're all going to die!!

Squiggler

Jeff:

I wonder how you think a prosecutor is going to convince a jury of ordinary people that any of this is worth a hill of beans? Libby is not charged with outing Plame and even if he were, who gives a rat's a$$ about that? I've followed this case on and off since it began (admittedly not as carefully as you or those here), and I have yet to be convinced by either side that (1) it mattered at all who Wilson's wife worked for, (2) that there was anyone childish enough at the WH to indulge in "gotcha" tactics to discredit Wilson (3) or that the motives for correcting the record as to Wilson's idiocy were based in "gotcha" and not the legitmate motive of wanting the truth to be told (re: the NIE) rather than the lies concocoted by the Wilson-Plame-CIA cabal at work on the other side.

I also don't see how a prosecutor will be able to convince any thinking juror that any member of the press can be believed over anyone else, even someone in a Bush WH.

Frankly, all I get out of all this is that the CIA and a bunch at State are enemy collaborators who have done everything they can to hinder, hamper, and discredit a legitmately elected President and his policies in order to aid and give information to our enemies.

I know this is a harsh assessment, but that is how I, an ordinary middle class citizen of average education and slightly above-average intelligence sees this situation.

windansea

Squiggler...great minds think alike

topsecretk9

Wind

I'm burnt too.

Daddy

No no no. What both Libby and Rove were obviously saying was not "I heard that too", but instead was "I HERD that too." See, in addition to their other nefarious roles for the White House these 2 conspirators were both behested by Dick Cheney to go out like sheep-herders and punish Wilson by carefully 'herding' negative top secret info under the ears of gullible reporters, just exactly as one might herd a flock of sheep in any particular direction. "I HERD that too", not "I heard that too." That's what they were saying. Sheesh! (Or words to that effect.)

PeterUK

"What do you see as Fitzgerald's motive?"

It is simply the beggest game in town,this kind of gig can propel a prosecutor into the big time for life.

Squiggler

I've been sitting here thinking about memory and how it works ... well, how mine works to be more specific.

My Mother used to call me and ask me to recall certain things and she always started with, "I know you will remember, you have a photographic memory." And usually, I would remember pretty exactly. However, you could tell me a joke and a couple days later someone else can tell me the same joke and I will remember that I heard the joke before, but if I had to come up with the punch line I'd be lost. That's why my joke telling friends think I'm a great straight (wo)man ... each telling of joke is as if I am hearing it for the first time.

I also need context, be it who was there or what was I doing at the time of the incident or conversation I'm being asked to remember. I need to put myself back in time and walk myself back through that moment and then I have near perfect recall. But, without those nudges of context to who, what, where, when or why, I may remember that "an" incident took place but cannot reconstruct my part in it very well. The busier I am at the time of the original incident, the more specific I need the context to isolate one event/conversation that occured within the broader incident. In other words, my memory works on a form of instant replay I go through in my head and then dredge up the memory by rewatching the movie as it scrolls through my mind. But without the initial scene as context, forget it, no instant replay possible.

azredneck

The big time--is that like Leavenworth? For wasting our money, pros misconduct, etc???

boris

First off, by his own account Libby was explaining how he did tip reporters off to Plame's job.

Language fubar. No reporter has claimed they first learned of Valerie from Libby. Nor has Libby claimed he was the first to inform any reporter. Jeff claims Libby and Cooper disagree about who first brought up the subject between them but Cooper already knew. What I've seen doesn't constitute disagreement, only that Cooper claims to have brought it up and Libby wasn't specific on that point.

Fitz appears to claim Libby tipped Miller, but nothing I've read from her confirms.

Regardless, Val's CIA gig was not made public via Libby. Jeff either doesn't get it, of believes with every fiber of his being that Libby is unworthy to breath the same air as her should be convicted for the way Cheney smells.

Cecil Turner

Okay, I feel the need for a companion timeline for the one about the leak to cover what happened afterward:

  1. Sep 26, 03: DOJ authorized the FBI to investigate "the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information regarding the disclosure of Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA to various reporters in the spring of 2003."
  2. Oct 14 and Nov 26, 03: Libby was interviewed by FBI agents (and told substantially the same story as later).
  3. Dec 30, 03: Ashcroft recused himself from investigation, Deputy AG James Comey delegated to Patrick Fitzgerald "all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity"
  4. Feb 6, 04: Comey clarified Fitzgerald's authority "includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses;"
  5. Feb ?, 04: Fitzgerald learned "who disclosed the CIA identity of Valerie Plame Wilson to Robert Novak."
  6. Mar 5 and Mar 24, 04: Libby testified before grand jury (same story line as earlier . . . excerpts border on incoherent).
  7. Oct 28, 05: Libby was indicted on five counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice.
  8. Feb 24, 06: Libby requested the name and information of the actual leaker in a discovery hearing. The information was ruled immaterial, and the request denied.
  9. Mar 31, 06: Libby's reply memorandum stated that Fitz has known who leaked Plame's name for over two years.

PeterUK

What kind of reporters ae these that didn't know the background details of Joseph C.Wilson IV,hero of Baghdad? When Joe and Val got hitched did nobody ask ,"Who's the blonde?" Do none of these papers have society pages,in all the goldfish bowl of the political and media environs of the Capital,did nobody know,were the media totally incurious?
Was Val wearing her CIA cloak of invisibility?

danking70

I'm surprised Fitz's supervisor's are sitting on his latest report as submitted by Novak.

Squiggler

What supervisors? Isn't that the whole point, he has no one supervising?

topsecretk9

FYI

WHERE'S FITZ? [Byron York]

A left-wing website, citing "sources close" to the CIA leak investigation, reports that:

Just as the news broke Wednesday about Scott McClellan resigning as White House press secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove shedding some of his policy duties, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case and introduced additional evidence against Rove, attorneys and other US officials close to the investigation said.
The grand jury session in federal court in Washington, DC, sources close to the case said, was the first time this year that Fitzgerald told the jurors that he would soon present them with a list of criminal charges he intends to file against Rove in hopes of having the grand jury return a multi-count indictment against Rove.

The only problem, according to, well, sources knowledgeable about the investigation, is that Fitzgerald was in Chicago on Wednesday.


Posted at 07:47 PM


--leads back to you know who...

topsecretk9

oh should add...I think Sid Vicious might have said this too...so grain of salt alert -- again

windansea

I think Sid had it first...do these guys ever get tired of being wrong?

topsecretk9

do these guys ever get tired of being wrong?

Are you kidding? They managed to get many a blogger to plaster those babies up top...the creepy part is the people who run with every dang time, and I guess don't notice it never pans out? or don't care.

owl

Fitzgerald is the one committing the most serious crimes right now. Prosecutorial abuse is far worse than flimsy perjury charges. No one should be a victim of a rampaging prosecutor

Ditto to AJ. Fitz has created a textbook case that explains why the law sometimes has very little to do with justice. The lying attacking liar becomes the victim. Scary.

JM Hanes

TM

"Let's keep 'em guessing, Sue - some lefty is diligently pursuing the notion that I am Clarice's sock-puppet."

Hey! Wait a minute! I thought I was Sue? [or someone].

Sue

JM,

Trust me...there is only one Sue...and that is a good thing. ::grin::

Barney Frank

Cecil,
"Mar 5 and Mar 24, 04: Libby testified before grand jury (same story line as earlier . . . excerpts border on incoherent)."

That's one problem I've had the whole time. The excerpts are so weird its hard to tell what the heck he is even saying. Given that, how can you tell a guy is committing perjury when he doesn't even make sense?
Maybe he should change his plea to an insanity defense.

JM Hanes

Jeff

"Not least Fleischer's testimony, according to which Libby not only told Fleischer that Plame was CIA three days -- three days! -- before Libby claimed he heard from Russert as though for the first time, but Libby told Fleischer this was hush hush information, not well-known, on the qt."

Can you refresh my memory on this one? I'm not sure enough to dispute it, I just remember thinking that folks were assuming that the hush factor was/had to be Plame when Fleischer himself hadn't actually made that explicit connection.

Sue

JM,

I think everyone assumed it was Plame that was the hush/hush part of his conversation. What if it wasn't Plame, per se, but the NIE itself?

Squiggler

Could someone post the link to the "incoherent" Libby testimony? Pretty please.

Cecil Turner

Maybe he should change his plea to an insanity defense.

I'd earlier suggested (semi-jokingly) that was the reason for writing that "aspens" letter. Kinda makes you wonder what a conversation with him would be like. (It also makes me wonder about the conversation with Fleischer--which Ari said was "kind of weird"--and whether Fleischer was reading the INR memo's information, which he was reported to've read about the same time, into whatever weirdness Libby spouted.)

Could someone post the link to the "incoherent" Libby testimony? Pretty please.

You have to dig through the indictment. They don't give the questions, but I can't imagine a query that'd make some of those answers seem sensible.

TallDave

Biggest investigation ever for a non-crime ever. No one cared who Valerie Plame was except her husband, who was claiming she had nothing to do with the trip to Niger she recommended him for, and which the CIA says he subsequently lied about, publicly, repeatedly, and in his book the so very aptly named "Politics of Truth."

So how's the investigation of the people who leaked the NSA program going? You know, the one that has actual national security ramifications but doesn't implicate Republicans? Why isn't that in the headlines? Oh wait, I guess I already answered that.

Jeff

JM Hanes - There's some material from Fleischer's testimony in the partly unredacted version of Tatel's opinion, p. 32. And if you look at the references from the two most relevant passages, it sure looks like Fleischer was describing what Libby said specifically about Plame's role in Wilson's trip.

Squiggler

Thanks Cecil.

richard mcenroe

If Fitzpatrick knew "for years" who the original leaker was, then he should be disbarred.

Jeff

Squiggler - That's a funny post, asserting how neither side have convinced you of what one side asserts and the other - the one, coincidentally, that you belong to - denies. It's also funny the way you take your stock right-wing hatred of the MSM to be so widely shared - sort like if taking stock left-wing hatred of Bush as widely shared, and citing Bush's 33 percent approval rate in the latest Foxnews poll as evidence.

boris - You evidently haven't seen Tatel's partly unredacted opinion and Fitzgerald's 8-27-04 affidavit. And most of what you say is irrelevant to the point I was dispuring AJStrata on.

Squiggler

Hmmm, I must be missing something. I reread the indictment material that Cecil links as indicating Libby's "incoherent" testimony. I don't see what is being referred to since the indictment is Fitz's recounting of what Libby said, not direct quotes of Libby's. I never trust a recounting. This is nothing more than a Fits editorial.

woof

Has anybody else noticed the oddity of Novak claiming Rove said "I heard that too" and Cooper claiming Libby said "I heard that too"? I wonder -- is this some smart-alecky phrase which Libby, Rove, or somebody known to both Libby and Rove, uses all the time? Or alternatively, is it used by somebody in the press corps that Cooper and Novak might have in common?

-----

Or is it evidence that all these elite information sources are talking in an echo chamber? Journalists interviewing journalists about journalists.. Nuts!

Rick Ballard

Squiggler,

If you really want to start your head spinning you have to read the Note appended to the INR, then the INR, then think about Woodward/UGArmitage, then toss in Grossman, Grenier and Edelman.

After that run through the fact that the NIE was in the process of declassification and that Libby went to Addington to make sure that he had absolute corroboration that what he was doing was legal.

Then read the letter from the CIA to Conyers explaining what their referral was supposed to be about and then Comey's confirmation of Fitz's elevation to Super Duper We Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules Prosecutor.

Then read the indictment.

Kinda makes ya proud to be an American. Very few countries could afford to waste resources on this scale with this little at stake. 'Course, very few countries have a justice system that specializes in low farce when applied to politics. Italy comes close at times but they generally show a bit more sophistication.

Squiggler

The point is Jeff that I'm average citizen.

My stock ring-wing hatred of the MSM? Where do you get that? I'm saying that there is nothing about being a part of the media that makes any individual when testifying any more deserving of being believed than anyone else, even someone from the Bush WH or the VP's office. It seems your bias shows through with your conclusion.

I'm looking at this as being a given that Wilson is a proven liar, so everything that grows out of him has to be looked at with a whole lot of scepticism.

The only thing that might affect my opinion on the political side is behavior. I see the WH/VP side acting and responding the way I would expect educated and responsible grown ups to behave, while I see the "get Bush/crucify Cheney" crowd to be very immature and rather juvenile in their assessments of how responsible adults would react to given stimuli. The anti-Bush, anti-Libby prosecutorial side sound too much like Deaniacs to me to have any credibility. Smearing dissidents is a democratic party core principle and they got very good at it during 8 years of Clinton, and Howard Dean over at the DNC thrives on it, often at the expense of the truth. The Bush WH and Dick Cheney and those around him have far better ways to destroy someone if they are so inclined than some "hey did you hear the one about" whispered in a reporter's ear. These are men very comfortable with who they are, where they are and also very comfortable being in positions of authority and command. They don't need to play all the silly games that Joe Wilson, et al accuse them of having time or inclination to play.

So, as that "potential" juror, I have been convinced of Joe Wilson's lack of credibility and I have been convinced that the motive put forth makes no sense and is about as credible as Joe Wilson's word. And I am as inclined to believe that a reporter is as apt to misremember or confuse a memory as is Libby, making that area a wash, (putting aside the obvious political bias of a few of the reporters and their editors) so the bottom line is "where's the beef?" Dismiss the case or aquit.

kim

I know squiggler, only a dud like Joe Wilson would think that outing his wife would be a cool way to get back at him. Remember, it his guilty conscience at the bottom of this. Liars like him really believe everyone else is just as duplicitous.
===========================

ben

It's funny how guys like Jeff are left grasping at straws that just maybe, after it's clear no crime was comitted by anybody regarding "Plame's Outing" (great title for a trashy novel), someone did or said something that might salvage a perjury or obstruction conviction for somebody, anybody, anywhere...It's pitiful..Jeff's already convoluted reasoning has now been so battered by facts and shredded by the meager bounty from Fitzmas past that all that is left is token jabs here and there about "Libby must have thought that Ari said that Rove thought that Russert wanted ....."

Jeff

Oh yeah, Squiggler, you sure sound like an average citizen. Your views just happen to coincide in each and every particular with the right wing view. But you're just an average citizen.

Beyond that, trouble is, the poll results on the question of the CIA leak case don't support the idea that yours are at all representative views of the average citizen. Blame the press, blame Howard Dean, blame the enemy collaborators you conjure at the CIA and State. Now, those - especially that last one - are really the views of the average American citizen.

el juez

my two cents is that the entire washington establishment is rooting for this case NOT to be tried. it will expose all the smugness, arraogance, double dealing, lying, and misquoting of all persons involved. the msm is concerned because if this case goes to trial the public will see that all these reporters for waht they are. it is not going to be a pretty sight to see all the msm reporters being outeds for their use of annoynous sources, etc. be careful post and times what you wished for when you demanded a special prosecutor because you got it and it will be libby and you on trial
not just bush and the gang

Jeff

ben - Go back to Powerline. I know they don't allow comments there. But that's all the better in your case.

Squiggler

And Jeff, my original post asked how you would convince a juror of your side. Are you saying by your reply to me that you would advise Fitz to attack the juror and acuse that juror rather than prove his case and convince that juror that his premise is based on provable material fact.

I've told you why the arguments advanced so far would not go very far with me, after a year of trying. I wouldn't send a man to prison based on what I've seen so far. It seems like the equivalent of "junk science," or in this case, just plain junk cooked up in the head of a press/political savy con man who is demonstrably a pathological liar. Add in my natural suspicion that he had help from his wife and the "circle the wagons," "protect one of our own" mentality at the CIA and the turf wars that abound in Washington.

ben

Wow, Jeff knows about Powerline and even quoted the Fox News poll...he is better read than I thought....

Squiggler

Oh, and Jeff, in case you've forgotten ... Bush's poll numbers have nothing to do with the verdict in a criminal trial. The case must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. It only takes one to have doubt and no guilty verdict.

Given what we know now, I have buckets of doubt.

Jeff

I wasn't referring to Bush's abysmal poll numbers. I was referring to polling on the public's views on the CIA leak investigation and the administration's role in it. And don't get me started on how many people with preset views like yours there are in the DC jury pool.

Jeff

ben - I know you might not be ready for sentences with more than two proper names in them, but it's actually quite simple. Libby testified Russert told him about Plame on July 10 or 11, and he learned the info about Plame as though it were for the first time. In fact, three days before that, Libby himself was sharing the very information about Plame with Fleischer. Got it?

I'm curious, by the way, what facts you think have shredded by reasoning, since you didn't, you know, offer a single one.

ben

Well Bush's poll numbers probably do reflect a lot of the MSM's screaming headlines...

BUSH OUTS PLAME...huh, well, we nailed Libby, maybe, on a testimony discrepancy..

RUMSFELD TORTURES ENEMIES...hmmm, ok we convicted a couple dog faces of criminal mistreatment of prisoners...

BUSH SPIES ON INNOCENT AMERICANS..well, actually, Al Quaeda suspects making calls to foreign countries...pretty much same kind of surveillance past President's have conducted

CHENEY SHOOTS DEMOCRAT...uhhhh, turns out it was a Republican in a hunting accident..but did he have one beer or two at lunch..we have to get to the bottom of it...

Ben

Jeff

The problem with your post is that what Libby said Russert said and what he told whomever has absolutely nothing to do with the initial MSM created "scandal" that "someone illegally outed a valuable intelligence asset"...after 3 years nobody has been accused of outing anyone, Plame was no valuable asset, and her husband is a partisan hack and a proven liar. So what I said in my original post, that you are reduced to pitiful diatribes about what Libby remembered hearing or telling in conversations held years ago stands...

topsecretk9

Strata...has a pretty interesting perspective post on Judith/Bennet motion up:

partial

"I find this stunning! It sounds initially like, outside what was provided to Fitzgerald before, there is nothing more in Ms. Miller’s posession regarding the Wilsons. Now I emphasized the use of ‘Ms. Plame’ because the subpoena asks for information that refers to ‘the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whether by name or otherwise‘ [from item 3]. I hope Miller’s council is not playing semantic games here.

This is a truly risky gambit. If Team Libby know of something that does discuss the Wilsons, then Miller is going to be in a world of hurt. Which is why I am confused. Why move to squash if there is nothing of any relevance to provide? This makes no sense, which is why I am wondering about the semantics dodge.

Squiggler

Jeff I would caution you about the DC jury pool and your obvious try at sterotyping them. You would be wise to keep in mind that the pool is made up of low level bureaucrats and service people who work in government buildings. As a former low level staffer in DC, I can tell you from personal experience that when you want to know something, these are the very people who know.

Think about the number of parties or diplomatic events the Wilsons attended, for starters, then try to imagine the number of "invisibles" there were around, from waiters, to parking attendants, to body guards, to other dignataries and VIPs, to attending staffers, to caterers, florists, dates and spouses and the general entourages of important people, including secretaries and receptionists who process phone calls or correspondence to security, to the reporters and photographers and lobbyists.

When the Congresswoman I worked for wanted to know something, she didn't call up a Cabinet Officer or some high level Admin. person, she asked one of her staff, who asked around and asked the staff of the next person who might know. And when all else failed, there was always the cafeteria lady or the elevator operator, they seemed to know everything. :) But, when you wanted to discredit someone, you didn't rely on rumor and innuendo, you held a press conference and announced your position and the reasons why and the reasons why the person you want to discredit is flat out wrong.

topsecretk9

Sue

I the reason you haven't been able to log on to AJ's site to comment because you never receive a return email? I haven't and when I try and reapply (thinking maybe I input my email incorrectly) -- it's now and says I am already registered or something?

topsecretk9

Is=I and now=not

clarice

I've been traveling today and rethinking yesterday's discussion about the subpoenas. If Fitz' case was that Libby leaked classified information, it might not matter that he had so circumscribed an investigaion in which he confined his questions to reporters to their conversations with Libby and no other sources. And in that case, the media would have a strong claim that they need not provide evidence about conversations with other sources about Wilson.

But Fitz was "inventive" and charged perjury and obstruction
, and the gate was opened wider..and the press cannot be allowed to continue
what Fitz started,a trial on such a selective view of the evidence available as to be certainly false

TM is not my sock puppet and he's not mine, but I'm flattered anyone would think so..(I am, however, Rick Ballard's nom de plumeria)LOL.

p.s. Good catch by York..I take it this was a Truthout/FDL special bulletin..

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