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April 08, 2006

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» A Sunday Libby News Feast from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
For the Plameaholics out there, the mainstream media is staying on the story and connecting the dots in Fitzgerald's latest filing(pdf). In addition to the three I talk about below, Christy at Firedoglake has several more while Jane provides snappy... [Read More]

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» YAY! Cheney's not indicted--yet. from Politics Junky
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» Saddam's Uranium Shopping from Political Animal
SADDAM'S URANIUM SHOPPING....Both the Washington Post and Tom Maguire bury the lead today in reporting about Iraq's alleged prewar uranium cravings. Here it is:Iraq's alleged uranium shopping had been strongly disputed in the intelligence community fro... [Read More]

Comments

JM Hanes

TM

In re: "Fitzgerald said the grand jury has collected so much testimony and so many documents that "it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to 'punish' Wilson."

This is just an outright misrepresentation. If the WaPo has an ombudsman, it really merits a complaint.

lemondloulou54

Tipping point.

holycow

Ohhh, now I get it. It's like "free speech zones". What I (and the WP and most other people) read as facts actually mean the exact opposite. Truthiness - I bow before you. Thanks TM!

JM Hanes

holy cow

Have you actually read the Fitzgerald filing in question?

holycow

Yep. NY Times offers additional proof (via Powell). Of course, we can dismiss him too, naturally ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/washington/09leak.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5094&en=ae8daa5efe411a3c&hp&ex=1144555200&partner=homepage

kim

Well if not him, then the Times. You have misplaced your authority figures.
====================================

ghostcat

You've wandered into tall grass, cow. Stick around.

topsecretk9

It's like "free speech zones".

Well, since TM actually does ALLOW the opposing view comment on his blog with out fear regular right wingers here will read or hear it - i.e. no deleting and banning, I'd say you are right.

vnjagvet

In his post, TM, in his acutely observant fashion, has identified a classic illustration of a "compound accusation":

"by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

In line with the "firm grasp of the obvious" technique, note that there are three accusations in the Post's reportage:

1. There was concerted activity among White Houst Personnel (i.e. at least Bush, Cheney, and Libby) to "discredit" Wilson, a critic of the Bush Administration;

2. There was concerted activity among White Houst Personnel (i.e. at least Bush, Cheney, and Libby) to "punish" Wilson, a critic of the Bush Administration;

3. There was concerted activity among White Houst Personnel (i.e. at least Bush, Cheney, and Libby) to "seek revenge against" Wilson, a critic of the Bush Administration.

Note that paragraph 1 describes a perfectly legal and proper activity, while paragraphs 2 and 3 imply (but do not expressly assert) the concerted activity was improper.

This is a weasel's tour de force.

vnjagvet

It is, of course, House, not Houst. I was a sissy again.

SteveMG

Holycow:
What I (and the WP and most other people) read as facts actually mean the exact opposite.

Your holiness, didn't you state just yesterday that TM was accusing Fitzgerald of anti-semitism because he (Fitz.) was prosecuting the Jewish Libby?

A complete misreading, of course, of what TM was talking about.

Sorry if some have doubts about your reading skills.

Apres moi, les deluge, my Lord.

SMG

holycow

I did not accuse TM, but some of the posters on that thread. Please Steve MG, read that thread again and tell me the posters were not implying just that.

Rick Ballard

It would seem that 'stoopidity in defense of lack of clarity is no vice'.

Just scoll on by ---- wait 'round the corner.

Vnjagvet,

Apologia pro vita Pincus, no? Who is ascendant in the WaPo schemata, Bob Woodruff or Wilson's water carrier (and mentor).

SteveMG

Holycow:
I did not accuse TM, but some of the posters on that thread.

Well, your quote was:
Okay, so let me get this straight. Fitz is going after Libby because he is anti-semite?

I'll acknowledge the lack of specificity in your post and withdraw my statement that you were accusing TM of making the charge.

My apology.

However, reading all of the posts above or before yours doesn't show one single poster accusing Fitz of anti-semitism.

One (apparently only one) poster did say that it shouldn't be "unconsidered", which is a rather vague comment but one that, to me doesn't indicate that the poster is directly making the charge.

Anyway, if you were directing your initial comment at posters and not TM, then I'll gladly withdraw my snark (and if you're reading this HerrDoktorProfessor Krugman, this is how you make a correction).

But I still think you may have, let's say misunderstood, what the other posters were saying since the main thrust of the thread was directed at accusations against Wilson and not Fitzgerald.

SMG

Javani

"three White House officials"

UGO is a White House official?

"line of attack"

more of the causation game.

So much nonsense. Bush can't defend himself from Wilson's lies? Responding to lies is "punishing" the liar? If the MSM wants to nail Bush on the "Bush Lied" meme there's plenty to work with in the immigration debate. But the MSM is too busy covering up lies and misinformation and spinning memes in that debate they would have a conflict of interest.

On the bright side, this MSM cheerleading to Fitz will make Fitz feel comfortable pushing his shoddy argument angle.

Still, the lattice of memes will fall if UGO is revealed. Fitz and the Judge got to make sure UGO is not revealed or they'll risk the big money speaking engagement fees from the NYTimes, etc. and academia.

Who is UGO?

MayBee

I'm baffled.

Why would Bush not make a considered effort to discredit a critic? They make it sound like a bad thing.
It's all ridiculous.

Foo Bar

FWIW I did ctrl-F searches for "National Intelligence Council" and "NIC" in the SSCI report and "National Intelligence Council" in the Robb-Silbermann report and quickly scanned the contexts in which they were mentioned and could not find a mention of this memo. Doesn't mean it's not there- those are some big docs, and I might easily have missed it.

Was also going to do an "NIC" search in Robb-Silbermann but then I decided to go drinking instead...

JM Hanes

I must admit, despite the downward editorial spiral of news "reporting," I still find it stunning to think that any self-respecting journalist would actually pen the words: "Fitgerald fingered Cheney...." Even if it weren't a completely inaccurate depiction of Fitzgerald's own professed intentions, it would be both doctrinaire and crude.

Is this a regular beat for "Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer" or are they just filling in?

jerry

Considering the "personal dynamics" between Cheney's office and the CIA I wouldn't be surprised if Tenet refused to EVER brief Cheney on anything (though he would brief the President). But another CIA person could of course.

MayBee

JMH- and the paragraph starts with "Bluntly and repeatedly".

TM

I have finally posted the excerpts for more context. The word "punish" actually was picked up by Fitzgerald as having come from a Libby filing - they need to reduce their bill for that one, letting it get thrown back in their face like that.

As to the NY Times noting discrepancies in the NIE, Foo Bar was on that in an earlier thread - havign checked Judy Miller's account, Libby clearly spent a lot of tinme going over the about-to-be-declassified reports on the Wilson trip. One might think that somehow he managed to blur the NIE and the Wilson report in his testimony, although geez - the one and only time the Pres does a one-off declassification in Libby's experience, and Libby can't remember what it was for?

One might even think the whole declassification story is BS.

clarice

Apparently, Addington confirmed Libby's account, didn't he, TM?

Jim E.

Fitz's filing solely credits Libby's account. Presumably Fitz asked Bush, Cheney, and Addington about the whole declassification thing, but Fitz's filing is mum on what they said. We don't know if they contradicted, confirmed, or what.

Initially, I figured Libby's version was BS given how Fitz *only* refers to Libby's account. It very well may be the case that this is another lie. But the White House response to this has got me figuring that Libby is telling the truth on this point. (But that doesn't really make sense since Libby only appears to have testified to the Miller disclosures, and not Woodward's. So perhaps that's more evidence of Libby lying?) And then again, Fitz has no motive to reveal anything other witnesses have said before he has to. That would only help Libby's lawyers. So it makes sense that he'd stick to only Libby's version in the filing.

Who knows? Maybe Libby did lie, but the White House, by kinda sorta backing him up these last few days, is sending a signal that they're not going to turn on him...yet.

I must say, that even though Libby likely has a pardon awaiting him, his lawyers are certainly not looking out for the White House's interests so far. I'm sure that thrills the folks in the White House.

TM

Apparently, Addington confirmed Libby's account, didn't he, TM?

I don't think anyone contradicted Libby, or else that is a pretty phony filing by Fitzgerald.

But maybe they just didn't recall.

I have a Bold New Theory posted by the way - in June Woodward had faxed to Libby a long list of questions, including some on the NIE.

And Woodward had some sort of clearance deal for his book interviews (Only Heaven and Bob know what is is, however).

Still - if Libby got the OK to talk about the NIE with Woodward, why not then talk about it with Judy?

I lean towards the semi-lie theory - Bush and Cheney may have cleared Libby to talk about the NIE, but I doubt it was a very specific conversation.

clarice

Libby asked in discovery for all the evidence relating to Tenet's decclassification.
I think there was clearance for both. I think Libby knows that prior to the official declassification, there were discussions between the WH and Tenet and agreement that the relevant portions of the NIE that Libby discussed with Miller were declassified, and they were waiting clearance on some other items for the full declassification which Tenet announced on July 18.

clarice

I don't think he'd ask for that stuff without knowing the answer which is the basis for my supposition BTW. I think they asked for the declassification on the Niger stuff early on. The scenario from fedora indicates the rats on the Hill were working early with Wilson and at least from the time of the Pincus article the WH had decided they needed the Niger stuff declassified to respond.

Patrick Henry

Poster writes , "However, I also noted that it was what Fitzgerald did not tell us that was important - it is obvious from this filing that Libby did *not* testify that Cheney instructed him to leak information about Ms. Plame."

from Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW Document 80 Filed 04/05/2006
-Nor would such documents of the CIA, NSC and the State Department place in context the importance of the conversations in which defendant participated. Defendant’s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW Document 80 Filed 04/05/2006 Page 19 of 39

Page 20 - Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE. Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller – getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval – were unique in his recollection. Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding
the NIE and Wilson.

clarice

Here's fedora's post again:
shortly after Wilson's NYT op-ed appeared in July 2003 a petition to Congress for an investigation into the Niger forgeries was made simultaneously by Dennis Kucinich (the head of the Congresional antiwar lobby that sent Jim McDermott to Bagdhad in September 2002) and Carl Levin (who on January 29, 2003 had asked CIA for details on what the US intelligence community knew about the Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa mentioned in President Bush’s January 28 State of the Union address; Levin and Joseph Wilson appeared together with the French and German ambassadors on Nightline about a month after this; Levin likewise--through prearrangement with the producer--followed up Wilson's appearance on Meet the Press with Andrea Mitchell the day after Wilson's NYT op-ed). While Levin was addressing the Senate on this on July 15, 2003, Kucinich held a press conference with VIPS’ Ray McGovern and retired Australian intelligence agent Andrew Willkie. The next day Wilson’s Nation friend David Corn accused the Bush administration of leaking Plame’s name to Novak, a charge echoed July 17 by TIME reporter Matthew Cooper. Tenet's request for a DOJ investigation came to fruition two months after this.

Wilson and the usuals on the Hill were making noise about the NIE's Africa assertions beginning in January of 2003--the issue was clearly perking along and I fully expect by late June, the WH had declassified that portion and Tenet was aware it had. I expect that when the op ed came out if not before the President had lit a fire under Tenet to formally announce the declassification. (Rather as the President repeatledy ordered the release of the captured Sadaam records and finally in a meeting with Hoekstra ,Bush and Negroponte,he lowered the boom to get that stuff out.

clarice

You must remember this is three d chess--the press/Kerry and the left wing of the Dem party on the Hill /the CIA and DoS dissenters,including some retired officers and diplomats v. the WH. And the opposition was working together..

Patton

Here is a good question to ponder?


WHAT IF WILSONS WIFE HAD NOT AT ALL BEEN INVOLVED IN SENDING HIM TO NIGER, BUT STILL WORKED FOR THE CIA.

DOES ANYONE THINK THE ADMINSTRATION WOULD HAVE MENTIONED HER TO ANYBODY?

SAY, IF SHE WAS A COMPUTER ADMINISTRATOR, OR A SECRETARY, OR SWEPT THE FLOORS.

The enire context of mentioning her was not to attack Wilson but to explain how/why he went on a trip supposedly at the cirection of Cheney.

Patton

Jim E. says ""I must say, that even though Libby likely has a pardon awaiting him, """

Yeah Jim, tons of evidence for that ehh...guess you just didn't have time to list it all.......by the way, just exactly what crimes would this be pardoning??

Or would this be more of a Marc Rich gave me a million dollars kind of pardon?

kim

I wonder what Levin thinks of Wilson, now.
==========================

Patton

"it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to 'punish' Wilson."

I HAVE THAT EVIDENCE!!!

IF I MAY MR. PROSECUTOR, I HAVE THAT EVIDENCE.

1. MR. WILSONS MILLION DOLLAR BOOK DEAL.

2. MR. WILSONS NEW BULGING BANK ACCOUNT.

3. MR. WILSONS ALMOST PULLED OFF GETTING KERRY ELECTED AND INSURING HIMSELF A COZY
JOB A STATE.

4. MR AND WRS WILSON FAWNING ARTICLES AND PICTURES SHOWING THEIR LOVING GLOW FOR THE SPOTLIGHT - -YOU JUST CAN'T PAY FOR THAT KIND OF PUBLICITY.

Face it Mr. Prosecutor, this plan to 'punish' Wilson only works if you figure it is 'punishment' to gett he guy a book eal, a million dollars, a high position with a potential future Kerry adminstration, and fawning press coverage along WITH A FEW MILLIONS DOLLARS IN SPEAKING FEES TO PUT THE TWINS THROUGH COLLEGE AND GET THAT NEW JAGUAR.

So where exactly was the punishment? Is Wilson destitute and unable to book a speaking engagement with even a rotary club due to this 'punishment'??

Patton

So lets put the evidence up Mr. Prosecutor:

Mr Wilsons bank account, pre and post punishment.

Mr Wilsons number of fawning articles pre and post punishment

Mr Wilsons speaking tours pre and post punishment.

Mr. Wilsons book sales pre and post punishment.

Then we can all go home once we see whether he was 'punished' or not.

Patton

Of course Liberals always scream that the Republicans are punishing them, claiming they are unpatriotic, etc. when Republicans just tell the truth about them.

I remeber one liberals wanted a colleague punished by the Congress becasue the Congressmen was simply reading the liberals own words from his own speeches. HOW DARE YOU ATTACK MY PATRIOTISM BY QUOTING MY OWN SPEECHES!!!

kim

I don't think Joe Wilson is a comfortable man, right now. All those brave exhortations in Florida and elsewhere are whistling past the graveyard. That man's been doomed from birth.
=========================================

MayBee

Well, there's one option a woman in a government scandal is always given to redeem herself: pose in Playboy. Let's see if Joe is given that offer, like Monica was.

kim

Boob back tattootain.
==============

DF

vnjagvet's comments on Fitzgerald's weasely formulation deserve to be highlighted. Incidentally, I have clear evidence of a plan by Fitzgerald to murder Libby, kidnap his dog, investigate him, gouge out his eyes, **OR** burn down his house.

lizzie

Maguire, you are a good man, and tireless. All of this effort, and it all gets ignored, anyway. Disheartening.

Semanticleo

keven Drum makes an excellent point.

What is 'unequivocal', and wouldn't it
be in the national interest to declassify
the document.

Howls of Protest!!!!!

Will Glenn Reynold link to this, Tom?

kim

Yef, DF, the compound accusation is the weasel's tour de force. Perhaps now his tour de la maison des poulets will have an abrupt end now that John, john, the grey goose is gone and the fox is on the town oh.

Poor ol' Jeffdog, the dog what had four eyes.
Two in front to look ahead; two in back seeing where he'd been.
Two eyes of blue, two eyes of brown,
There wasn't much he didn't see around.

Poor ol' Jeffdog, the dog what had four eyes.
He met a sad untimely end.
One day a rabbit hopped in front,
Just as a bunny jumped in back.
==================

maryrose

Clarice:
When you see all those forces you listed lined up against the WH it makes you wonder why they were expending so much energy on getting this administration instead of working on protecting the American people, and passing legislation in Congress. I am stunned by this blatant power play but then I guess I'm naive about hardball politics. It doesn't work very well for moving our country forward does it?

kim

maryrose, do you have any idea that you sometimes have the volume of sixty-one million people? When you shout, Drum Majority, do I hear moral silence?
==================================

Seixon

So I'm guessing no one looked into the SSCI?

The WaPo said:

"The council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest."

Hmmm. The SSCI report says the following about the memo:

On January 24, 2003, in response to a question for the Office of the Secretary of Defense/International Security Affairs for information on Nigerien uranium sales to Iraq, the DIA provided a background paper which described the original CIA Niger reporting and the November 25 Navy report on alleged storage of uranium destined for Iraq. The paper concluded that "DIA cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore or yellowcake from Niger. However, sufficient time has elapsed since the commencement of the recent alleged uranium agreement, that we cannot discount that Iraq may have received an unknown quantity." The report made no mention of the foreign language documents on the alleged uranium deal and did not indicate that there were any concerns about the quality of those documents.

What, does the WaPo think that I can't read? They are lying.

kim

This is part of eriposte's disinformation. The date of this little note from Africa is unknown, and if legitimate, probably entered the information stream too late to impact the State of the Union speech.
=========================================

clarice

maryrose, and the Fourth Estate for the most part keeps lying and directing our attention to the shiny mirrored toys and away from the gorilla in the room.

kim

Don't forget the sneering at the moral and silent majority.
==================================

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