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April 17, 2006

Comments

Lew Clark

1. If Valerie Plame/Wilson were a covert agent, and if her status was driving the classification of the document, that portion would be labeled "top secret", not just "secret".

2. Never, never, never is the identity of a covert agent revealed in a document relating to any activity by that agent. Even if the recipients are "cleared", they do not have the "need to know". Thus the document would have been viewed as "blowing her cover", if she actually had a cover.

3. What is more likely, is that the "appropriate checks" had been made. Assurances of her non-covert status had been given. And a "your free to discuss this among yourselves" existed.

4. Which does not hinder Libby's defense, but enhances it. Since there were other classified things involved here. But , “Our pal Val works for CIA”, was not one of them.

brenda taylor

well it seems to me that the cia was out to get this administration there scenario is not playing out the way they planned it,and im sure there are more agencys involved.its amazing what tax payers are willing to pay for.

Jeff

TM - If you were as vigilant about policing the reporting on this that comes from the right as you are that comes from the mainstream and the left, you would not be satisfied with Gerstein's strained interpretation of what earlier reporting had said about the status of Plame in the document, or his strawman attack to the effect that, well, the whole damn thing was classified S/NF, so how was anyone supposed to know there was anything sensitive about her status. You read a document 90% of which is marked secret no foreign; you see someone involved in the matter under consideration identified as CIA; and you don't think, "Well, that person probably shouldn't be blabbed about"?

I do have a question along those lines: Valerie Wilson is identified as a CIA WMD manager. Does that term of art indicate anything interesting about what she did at the agency - say, that she was a case manager of case officers? that she wasn't an analyst? Anything like that?

Furthermore, 1. is "direct evidence" the only kind of evidence? 2. "being engaged in covert work" is not equivalent to her employment at the CIA being classified information. And anyway, what do you expect Libby's lawyers and Libby to say? That he was aware that her employment was classified information?

clarice

Seems to me Lew has answered your question before you even asked it.
That Comey-Fitz mind meld is catching.

Or is it the conspiracy by saying and doing nothing that ensnared Libby?

Cecil Turner

[[repeated from previous thread as much more appropriate here]]

I don't know what a "CIA WMD manager" is (and it appears to be a description, rather than a title, so I suspect it only exists in Mr Ford's lexicon). But it seems to me this is close to the worst possible document to support the "must have known she was classified" theory:

  • it's in a S paragraph in a TS document;
  • that paragraph is obviously background;
  • her identity is mentioned in passing;
  • the statement is parenthetical; and
  • other, more important (and obviously classified) bits are in the same paragraph.
Further, if the contention is that it was briefed the month previous to Libby from Mr Grossman, it's hard to see why he'd retain that particular fact (considering Wilson's identity wasn't public at the time).

Further, since we now know the actual leak came from someone at State (Armitage or Grossman, probably), the latest revelations that Mr Grossman is making perhaps overstated claims very interesting. Especially as it is now clear he was very much a part of the leak (and perhaps, if he is Novak's source, the main part).

Patrick R. Sullivan

'You read a document 90% of which is marked secret no foreign; you see someone involved in the matter under consideration identified as CIA; and you don't think, "Well, that person probably shouldn't be blabbed about"?'

Well, Joe Wilson is mentioned in the document too, and he was blabbing about himself.

windansea

Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the Washington Post quoted the senior administration official, whom sources have identified as Grossman, as saying. According to sources, Grossman told the Post that the Plame Wilson leak was "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."

guess we know where Fitz "bought" his press narrative from

windansea

and this from AJ Strata

(1) Grossman held the same position in the Turkish Embassy Joe Willson did in the Iraqi Embassy at the same time during Gulf War I. (I bet they met!)

(2) Grossman was in charge of the European area for State when Valerie Plame was under cover in Europe and pulled out due to the Aldrich Ames leak. (I bet they met!)

(3) Who else would Wilson call in the State Department in spring 2003 whom he knew well enough and who was high enough in the ranks to pass a threat to Condi Rice to set the record straight on the SOTU or else?

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1640

Strick

Am I the only one who's noticed (at least in this particular discussion of the memo) that this couldn't be the only source of information about Valerie PLAME since it refers to her as Valerie WILSON?

Why would anyone suddenly starting using her maiden name if this were the primary source for the leak when the document makes both her relationship and married name clear?

Well, unless they already knew who she was and that she still went by her maiden name in the Agency? Or, perhaps, more likely, that the true source of the information was something different that referred to her by her maiden name and probably described the trip itself as a boondoggle.

Maybe those things aren't mutually excluive after all.

clarice

She knew Grossman and Armitage and Scowcroft personally, and they probably all knew her maiden (professional) name. Just sayin' and speculatin'

windansea

everybody knew it

indeed

TM

Grossman was The One in the 1 x 2 x 6 theory! I actually noted the significance of that in a comment at TalkLeft - it sort of leaves Grossman out to sea if Armitage leaked to Novak as well as Woodward.

clarice

Isn't that the funnest thing of all, TM? How long before Fitz drops this with an apology?

PeterUK

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,"

Why is this nonsense allowed to stand,in what way has it been a punishment for the Wilsons? Joe was an over the hill diplomat and Val had been shunted onto a desk job because of depression.Now look at them,celebrities,the money is rolling in,their futures are assured,there has been no fatwah from an irate nonproliferated mullah,the whole thing is a huge con.

TM

And anyway, what do you expect Libby's lawyers and Libby to say? That he was aware that her employment was classified information?

Well, if Fitzgerald had proof of the opposite, I would expect an indictment focused on perjury/obstruction to cite that.

For example, if that INR memo seemed to be conclusive, or if Grossman was emphatic that he warned folks about her status in the meeting with Libby, one might have expected Fitzgerald to have worked that tidbit into his hints about a conspiracy.

Anonymous Liberal

Are we positive that it wasn't Libby's people who were hyping the significance of the INR memo in the first place? Based on the most recent court filing, it seems that Libby's attorneys are planning to argue that Ari Fleischer, who is a key witness against Libby, read the INR memo and that's how he knew that Valerie Wilson's CIA affiliation was sensitive information.

Fleischer has testified that he learned about Plame from Libby (something Libby denies). And I would bet that Fleischer has also testified that he understood that he was not supposed to talk about Plame, that the information was sensitive. Libby's attorneys want to argue, I suspect, that Fleischer made this inference based on reading the INR memo, not from talking to Libby. That would explain why Fleischer knew he was not supposed to talk about Plame, but Libby did not.

I think it may have been sources close to Libby who were hyping the significance of the INR memo last summer, particularly the it was marked "S" for secret. If it's not clear from the memo that Plame's status was classified, that might actually hurt Libby, not help him. Remember this is trial for perjury and obstruction, not the underlying leak.

topsecretk9

Remember this is trial for perjury and obstruction, not the underlying leak.

Posted by: Anonymous Liberal | April 17, 2006 at 10:49 AM

just a really interesting observation, isn't it? The really weird part is if Wilson had not lied to Kristof there most likely would be no trial at all.

ed

Fitzgerald will be giving a press conference today! Sure it's about the conviction of Gov. Ryan but who knows what sorts of fantastical things will come from his mouth.

Jeff

Are we positive that it wasn't Libby's people who were hyping the significance of the INR memo in the first place?

The general thinking on the left for a while - led by emptywheel, I believe - has been that the leaks about the INR memo were generally White House efforts to push attention back toward Air Force One and 1)State, and Powell in particular; 2)Fleischer. But there may be leaks upon leaks: maybe Powell was out to get Fleischer as well, since he is supposedly the source of the information that Fleischer was seen perusing the memo on AF1, which Fleischer has apparently denied. But maybe Powell as the source was disinformation. Who knows. It's also possible that State was trying to spread the idea that the INR memo was a red herring, since there has been one report that Armitage saw the memo in mid-June after coming back on the job - in which case, by the way, I don't think Grossman is twisting so much.

clarice

AL, I am positive that the person who made the INR the issue was Fitz. And I agree with Thom, that nowhere has it even been alleged that Grossman told anyone that that parenthetical bit of information was classified. Finally, I do know that there was a good reason why Fitz told the Miller court that he had no reason to believe that Libby knew Plame held a "classified" status and why he never charged Libby was leaking classified information.

b

George Ryan: found guilty - all counts.
Larry Warner (co-defendent): found guilty - all counts.

windansea

Fitz...quit while you are ahead!!

clarice

Powerline squeezes this extra from the memo published by the Sun:
This line from the Sun's story seems significant; it may have been public before now, but if so, I don't remember it:

A cable attached to the key memoranda indicates that on September 10, 2001, one day before the terrorist attacks on America, Prime Minister Amadou of Niger told embassy officials "that there were buyers like Iraq who would pay more for Niger's uranium than France."
This is consistent with what Amadou's predecessor told Joe Wilson, i.e., that Iraq had sent a trade delegation to Niger that made overtures about buying uranium.
http://powerlineblog.com/archives/013786.php

clarice

ts--Please check your emails. AJ Strata is trying to reach you.

b

One of Josh Marshall's reporters talked to the guy who wrote the memo ...

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000392.php

Cecil Turner

Grossman was The One in the 1 x 2 x 6 theory! I actually noted the significance of that in a comment at TalkLeft - it sort of leaves Grossman out to sea if Armitage leaked to Novak as well as Woodward.

Yes, and since Grossman is the other prime candidate for the leak, either way his "cooperation" is looking a bit sleazy. (Especially since 1x2x6 hasn't held up so well . . . nor is it obvious how he'd know that was true, even if it were so.)

clarice

Woo Woo, if this case goes to trial, people will be paying big bucks to watch the cross-examination of the prosecution's chief witnesses.

In fact, I'm thinking Libby could get rich auctioning off the right to conduct those examinations to lawyers around the country.

ed

That's actually pretty funny, the reporter gets the memo and to see what it all means, rather than contacting the guy who wrote it, contacts the lawyer of one of those under investigation.

clarice

Not as funny as Kristof not mentioning that Wilson was working with Kerry and Johnson was anti-Administration and part of a group asking for intel officers to leak.

ed

He was an anonymous source, maybe Wilson asked Kristof to reference him as a former hill staffer.

clarice

And his wife as "a CIA analyst"

clarice

Isn't it interesting that the Sun got this by filing a FOIA reqeust and all the other papers who've been babbling about the INR and Libby leaked, didn't apparently try to get it?

windansea

I sense a "plaintive" tone in the opposition today

whiners!

jerry

Govenor George Ryan, guilty on all charges.

windansea

interesting comment at AJ's

IIRC, the person that Joe Wilson went to see to intercede with Condi was her mentor, none other than Brent Scrowcoft. And that he was the one that suggested that Wilson write the Op-ed. Definately there were people at State that knew all about the personal and professional relationships of Wilson and Plame. Think Marc Grossman mentioned anything in passing to Libby? Why not.

Left by jforrik on April 17th, 2006

Lew Clark

I haven't followed the Ryan case very closely, and have no reason to believe he wasn’t guilty as hell. But I did note, they tacked on to the racateering charges, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. Apparently, Fitz works from a template, your always guilty of perjury and obstruction, and maybe something else if Fitz gets lucky. I also noticed a charge of money laundering. I don't think that was Fitz's charge. I think Ronnie Earl called that one in. He's in charge of campaign contributions as money laundering.

clarice

See, in Fitz' mind, Grossman and Scowcroft and Armitage are FREINDS of Wilson and they can leak but you have to go after the guy who didn't leak but who simply noted that Wilson's story was completely at odds with the truth.

clarice

**FRIENDS**

AJStrata

TM or Clarice,

I am not getting the connection that if Armitage leaked to Novak that leads to Hadley. Sorry, just a bit slow today.

Cheers -0 AJStrata

Patrick R. Sullivan

Pretty obviously, the 1x2x6 story Grossman told, he got from Joe Wilson.

clarice

I don't get that AJ . Maybe someone else does.

AJStrata

OK, at least I am not the only one. Hopefully TM can elaborate.

Cheers

Cecil Turner

I am not getting the connection that if Armitage leaked to Novak that leads to Hadley.

I think it's:
Grossman, who'd be more likely to know if it was Armitage, told a completely different story. Hence it (very slightly) favors Hadley.

Dwilkers

Armitage leaks to Woddward. A month later his underling Grossman is the lone dessenter when "two top White House officials" called "at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife."

A special prosecutor is appointed to investigate who leaked. No original leaker is found, but a guy a month down the info chain is charged with obstruction. And nothing happens with Armitage.

This is starting to stink to high heaven.

What. A. Joke.

Maimonides

This website needs reformatting. The current format stinks.

Squiggler

After reading hundreds or is it thousands of posts and all kinds of filings and documents, I admit that I am now hopelessly confused. So, I would like to get some simplicity back into this who equation.

Point One ... the investigation was started to determine who leaked Valerie Plame's name ... is this correct?

Point Two ... it is now determined that Libby did not leak Plame's name ... is this correct?

Point Three ... Libby is charged with perjury, assuming this means he lied under oath ... is this correct?

Point Four ... What did Libby lie about?

Squiggler

who equation = whole equation, although it works as who too. :)

AJStrata

Cecil,

I think I see the angle - but it just doesn't make sense. Assume Grossman told Armitage who it was for starters. He would report what he knew to Armitage, probably before the WH. He'd better! Armitage never told Grossman he told Woodward, it would violate the embargo Woodward would demand. So Grossman knows before anyone else. The question for Grossman is does he have a record of being told by the CIA when after Libby supposedly asked! If he knew before even the CIA was getting its act together then he knew well before most. If Grossman cannot show how someone other than the Wilson's told him, then we have some real news. My guess is Fitzgerald did not check the timing of who learned what and when at State too carefully. I have not checked the timeline, but did Armitage know before Libby asked or was told? I still say Grossman told Armitage.

clarice

From my favorite poster here, this:

Yep, they did -- http://www.ucsbalum.com/alum_dir_plus/notable/politics.html


Marc Grossman '72- Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Before being sworn in as Under Secretary for Political Affairs in March of 2001, Grossman served in a number of Foreign Service positions. From 1994 to 1997 he was the Ambassador to Turkey. Other positions include Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.


Joseph Wilson '72- former ambassador to Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome. He served in Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy from 1988 to 1991.


clarice

Now, what are the chances that 2 college classmates from a smallish (then) college find themselves in the same circles in DC and do not know the names of their wives and where they work?

Rick Ballard

Squiggler,

The first assumption is derived from an unknown - the content of the CIA referral. The premise that the referral concerns disclosure of Plame/Wilson's name is a construct that rests upon the Corn/Wilson article claiming her status was 'covert'.

Reliance upon the assertions of notorious liars may yet prove to have been a serious error.

On your point two - I'd say that nothing has been 'determined' other than the fact that Libby was not 'first' in doing just about anything involved.

Point Three is correct

Point Four involves an understanding of semantics and pettifoggery which I do not possess. It appears to rest upon the inability of the investigators or Fitzgerald to ask direct questions compounded by Libby's attempt to structure answers in a manner that matches the idiocy of the questions being asked.

clarice

Clarification--Rick and Cecil and a couple others are also my favorite posters.

windansea

don't know if this is important but a hacker at empty's site has uncovered another version of the INR memo dated June 10...the one in the Sun article is July 7

http://www.nysun.com/pics/31062_2.php

http://www.nysun.com/pics/31062_1.php

Squiggler

>>It appears to rest upon the inability of the investigators or Fitzgerald to ask direct questions compounded by Libby's attempt to structure answers in a manner that matches the idiocy of the questions being asked.<<

Thanks Rick ... I think. LOL

clarice

I believe the story always was that Ford repared a second version for transmission to Powell.

clarice

***Prepared*****

AJStrata

Good catch Clarice - I posted the news on my site. Grossman is tainted goods.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Rick and Cecil and a couple others are also my favorite posters.'

Or, as Bob Newhart put it, 'A guy can have two best friends.'

TM

One of Josh Marshall's reporters talked to the guy who wrote the memo ...

and

That's actually pretty funny, the reporter gets the memo and to see what it all means, rather than contacting the guy who wrote it, contacts the lawyer of one of those under investigation.

Interesting. Of course, Gerstien was pushing for a Monday story, which is when Carl Ford was called, but why not wait until Tuesday?

That said, that is awfully weak pushback. Should Plame's NOC status have attracted a higher designation that "S" - how about "TS" or my fave "STFU"?

And thank you, Mr. Turner, for deciphering my Armitage-Hadley point. My idea was that *IF* Armitage had leaked to Novak *and* Grossman knew it, the 1 x 2 x 6 would be ridiculous.

Therefore, either Grossman did not know who leaked to Novak (but why so certain with the WaPo that he did?), or Grossman knew that someone else closer to the WH was Novak's source. Hadley looks like the consensus second choice behind Armitage.

topsecretk9

how about "TS"

Hey, that's ME! :-)

AJStrata

TM, Thanks. My experience would lead me to speculate Armitage never told Grossman he was talking to Woodward or Novak. And Grossman is now pointing fingers madly at Libby to throw people off his scent. He has been way too concerned about a nothing issue. Inside the government people are still wondering what all the fuss is about. The only people in a rage are those legally exposed. Grossman's constant media spin tells me he is on a CYA mission. Otherwise he would lay low and let it blow right on by!

Cheers, AJStrata

ed

That second version of the memo was posted a the Sun and quickly removed, probably for reasons of repitition.

topsecretk9

My experience would lead me to speculate Armitage never told Grossman he was talking to Woodward or Novak.

Crosshairs. This is a CIA vs. State "tinkle"(clean word) match, I suspect Grossman got wind Novaks source was State right about the time Tenet wrote a letter to DOJ.

TM

Very cool - the other Sun link includes the "managerial type" memo.

http://www.nysun.com/pics/31062_1.php

Cecil Turner

He would report what he knew to Armitage, probably before the WH. He'd better!

In this particular case, I think he didn't:

Senior administration officials said there was a document circulated at the State Department -- before Libby talked to Miller -- that mentioned Plame. It was drafted in June as an administrative letter and addressed to then-Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, who was acting secretary at the time since Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage were out of the country. [. . .] Grossman wanted the letter as background for a meeting at the White House . . .
Armitage never told Grossman he told Woodward, it would violate the embargo Woodward would demand.

I can see Woodward demanding, but I can also envision Armitage blowing him off (and despite the document spacing evidence, I still like Grossman as the leaker).

clarice

(I learned this from my father-in-law. He told my husband not to tell his brothers but he was truly his father's favorite. And my husband believed that until he overheard his father saying that to another brother, and on comparing notes with the remaining two brothers learned they'd all been told the same "you're my favorite son" story.)

clarice

Armitage has never denied the story. Has Grossman? Can there be two leakers --Grossman and Armitage--or can there only be one favorite son.(For example, could Grossman have talked to others, say, Andrea?) (Or even, three--add Scowcroft)

Rick Ballard

CT,

Armitage must be aware of the speculation concerning him being the leaker. Why would he not step forward with a simple "'T'ain't me, folks." and foreclose the speculation?

clarice

Yup! If it is any of those three and they did it to cast blame on the Agency, isn't it ironic that (a) they only added wings to the CIA gambit of discrediting the WH and (b) the most innocent of all--Libby--is the one charged. Not the goofballs at the Agency or the bigmouths at State.

clarice

And now to brass tacks--Haven't we made out the wisdom of Libby's discovery requests.If all these folks knew (well before he did ) and some were definitely talking to reporters, isn't he establishing that he may well have heard this first from reporters or from other WH personnel reporting to him their inquiries from reporters?

Cecil Turner

Why would he not step forward with a simple "'T'ain't me, folks." and foreclose the speculation?

Would a denial foreclose it? Or heighten it? I don't know (and trying to second-guess a bunch of guys leaking makes my head hurt).

clarice

It foreclosed it re those who denied it, I think. No reporters sitting outside their doors.

Cecil Turner

Back to the documents, one of the most interesting things was the classification markings. Both the Sun and TPM said they were "SECRET" but I don't think they are.

On the first classification line on top, the four-space gap in front of "SECRET" looks like it probably was space for "TOP ". The footer markings on the front page appear to be centered, but with four missing spaces on the left side of the first line (suitable for "TOP "). The same appears to be true for each of the subsequent pages' headers and footers (though less obvious). Also, the paragraph marking in the fourth paragraph has a space before the "S" (that probably held a "T"). I suspect the overall document (and paragraph four) were Top Secret.

But the most interesting marking is ORCON, which means “Dissemination and Extraction of Information Controlled by Originator” (normally an indicator of sensitive intelligence sources), and is one of the most restrictive markings. The only place in the document it's used is the same paragraph four (which has no redacted portions and seems relatively unremarkable). The document appears to be overclassified (except for the Plame paragraph), and not really warranting the ORCON restriction.

clarice

The Sept 28, 2003 article in which Grossman points fingers and claims it was a "revenge" outing was one of the articles that Fitz presented to the grand jury. (Exh D of Libby's last filing.)

windansea

one interesting diference between the two versions...The June 10 one (first paragraph) states that the two INR staff members most familiar with all the files etc were not present to help (one reassigned and one on leave)

The July version just mentions the one who has been reassigned

It seems this memo has a lot of CYA in it...lots of "we think this is accurate but" and the writer definitely seeks to keep all things Jow Wilson at a distance

Squiggler

So what does it all mean?

To a confused citizen, it looks like the Kerry factions at State and the Kerry factions at CIA were both working independently to screw the WH and most especially the OVP. In so doing, it looks like they actually screwed each other and poor Libby is taking their rap.

So, President Bush should say he is satisfied that his WH people are in the clear and that Fitz ought to give it up or else go after the real troublemakers at State and then hang the Wilsons for their complicity in advancing this fallacy of revenge agains them in the first place.

PS: I dearly hope that the NYT goes down big time.

clarice

I think TM should send the entire thread to Fitzgerald with a note saying "You may have overlooked this in your extensive investigation"

clarice

Fitz introduced that article into evidence before the gj I suspect when Grossman testified. He'd ask him on the stand if he'd read it and asked him to confirm he was the source of the "revenge" remark and if it were true.

I wonder if he bothered with much more--like what his basis was for such an incendiary and damning charge. And if his source wasn't his classmate and decades long acquaintance and professional colleague, Wilson.

topsecretk9

Quick question, Woodward said his source was not smearing and mentioned in a sort yuck yuck --"casual"-- was his word.

Why then would Grossman -- if he was the source -- that has been pretty much identified as both Woodward and Novak...

Be floating later a "smear" BEFORE Fitz was on board and would he not come forward as Woodward's urging, and with holding that from the SP?

clarice

I do think that Woodward's source and Novak's was Armitage. But it is clear that Grossman was stirring the pot and finger pointing and knew a great deal about Wilson and Plame. (I also think without necessarily trying to harm the Administration Scowcroft got involved. Largely to block a policy he disagreed with..)

jerry

Stimulated by the recent INR release, I was re-reading Novak's column where he disputes Harlow's description of their conversation about Plame. I'll bore you all and make another comment about Tenet.

Novak says the following about revealing Plame's ID:

"I have previously said that I never would have written those sentences if Bill Harlow, then CIA Director George Tenet or anybody else from the Agency had told me that Valerie Plame Wilson’s disclosure would endanger herself or anybody."

Is he saying that neither Harlow nor Tenet dissuaded him when he contacted them about Plame? If so Novak's contacts would have been: Tenet > Rove > Harlow. (I realize Clarice will think me a dolt to continue with this but I enjoy it)

AJStrata

Clarice,

Of course each person leaked to their preferred source as they wish. Armitage is not going to embroil Powell in this petty BS - so I doubt he leaked with intent one way or the other. The fun thing about being at the top is you don't need to play office politics.

IIRC, the memo was 'to' grossman, but really meant to be passed to Powell on travel. Grossman drafted it and then had Ford pretend he was the source to Grossman? Folks, Grossman could have pulled all that together and sent it to Powell under his name - easily. Why the dodge?

TS or Cecil (lost track now!), I understand there was infighting between the agencies, etc. But infighting takes the form of people standing tall and beig a proud warrior for your group. This memo was an "I told you so" from state to the world. But that means Grossman would want his name on it. To show Powell and Armitage he was fighting for their reputations.

It is not making sense to me, knowing how civil servants think and act. I think Grossman worked with the Wilson's to fabricate a story about Niger Forgeries leading to war in Iraq. This Plame nonsense, if handled correctlym could have (and should have) been killed off easily. The Plame outing is such a weak argument it is not an election year winner.

Dubya duped by obvious forgeries - now THAT could get Kerry elected. And who held the forgeries from the IC? Plame's group. Just color me skeptical. The Plame angle was a last ditch effort to divert attention from a blown story about forgeries. It got more legs than it should have (which is why I am convinced it was the accidental issue).

No one would have planned this one out.

Cheers

AJStrata

TS,

Excellent point on Grossman not fitting Woodward's description. Anyone want to lay odds the Wilson friend who talked to Novak on the street may have been Grossman? Just some fun speculation.

clarice

No, it wasn't Grossman or Novak would have said so..It was someone--maybe Johnson--who Wilson put up to it, AJ.

Rick Ballard

Cecil,

Did you note that the last page appears to be written by the person who actually attended the 2/19 meeting? It appears to be the basis for Ford's memo but it sure has a different tone -as in , what the hell am I doing wasting time with this boondoggle. The 'apparently convened' is an unusual allocution that can be read in two ways. Ford dropped "apparently" in his version and I would bet that the actual meeting notes were not attached. The note taker may be "INR" within the memo - using the third person as a simple device.

I would also note that the 'Note' page is definitely 'Secret Noforn' without room for Top unless the alignment not kept.

Jerry

This note is fairly late in the context of more recent comments, but it does go to the Grossman factor. Earlier, Jeff had noted:

“You read a document 90% of which is marked secret no foreign; you see someone involved in the matter under consideration identified as CIA; and you don't think, "Well, that person probably shouldn't be blabbed about?”
-------------
First off, the document under discussion is an internal State department memo. It is unlikely that Libby ‘read’ the whole thing, but you can be sure Mr. Grossman did. Now back to the quote above.
-------------------
Blabbing is apparently exactly what Marc Grossman did, according to Jason Leopold, writing in TruthOut. “At least a half-dozen witnesses who testified before a grand jury over the past two years said that they were at the meeting when Marc Grossman, the former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told Libby that Plame Wilson worked for the CIA –“
Mr. Grossman’s ‘blab out’ looks to have occurred after he received the original draft (addressed to him) of the document written about by Josh Gerstein in the NY Sun. In discussing this document, Mr. Grossman probably did not emphasize the Plame connection since the document mentions her in only one sentence of a three-page memo with 6 major attachments. If Mr. Grossman did not specifically warn about the Plame status in this meeting, then one could see Libby not remembering. The new question is, unwarned, did the other participants widely discuss Plame?
Joe Wilson and Marc Grossman appear to be wired at the hip in this ‘dissention’ game. According to Mr. Leopold, “Speaking to the AP on background, Grossman said the INR memo "wasn't a Wilson-Wilson wife memo. It was a memo on uranium in Niger and focused principally on our disagreement" with the White House.” I very much disagree with Grossman’s characterization of the memo – sounds like spin to me. But I really am enthralled with his “our disagreement” statement -- ‘our’ ?.
Mr. Grossman is shaping up to be a very interesting cog in all of this machinery.

windansea

why the dodge?? If Grossman wrote the memo he sure looks like he's trying to distance himself from Wilson and the forgeries...and why the rewrite of paragraph 1?? Someone needs to track down those 2 INR staff members that were not around to help....that "we think this is accurate but" line just smokes

AJStrata

Clarice, I know Johnson is the popular choice. But Novak would not feel any need to cover for him all this time - he is nothing. Grossman - now he would be a 'source' you would not cross if you could avoid it. But, you are probably right!

Cheers

Patton

It kind of puts some of Fitz's statments in the indictment in a little more context. So when Grossmen supposedly told Libby about Plame he was sitting in a room full of other people.

It was some nefarious, dark hallway just the two of them, alone (Clinton/intern style). Which put in context, Grossman didn't 'tell' Libby...he told a room full of people and that room included Mr. Libby
who we know after all absolutle heard every word like we all do in meetings.

Rick Ballard

I believe that the "memo of the meeting prepared by INR's West Africa analyst" mentioned at the bottom of Page 1 of Ford's memo is probably that last page headed "Notes Niger-Iraq Uranium Meeting CIA 2/19/02".

Ford "grew" his three pager from that one pager - I don't see additional factual information to do with the CIA meeting in the three pager although he does reference ancillary material as well as a summation of the WINPAC opinion concerning nuclear WMD.

topsecretk9

So when Grossmen supposedly told Libby about Plame he was sitting in a room full of other people.

I am getting confused, but is this the meeting of which there is a transcript of Powell? saying "everyone knows" in the Situation Room? -- that Libby's defense said, or did this SItuation meeting happen later?

Patton

In addition, I'd love to pen a letter to the idiots at the NYT for their Bad Leak
lunacy.

To think the paper that published and has stood behind Wilsons Op-Ed has the audacity to claim others CHERRY PICK INFORMATION.

Wilson didn't just Cherry PICK information, he MANUFACTURED HIS OWN CHERRIES, He planted FALSE CHERRIES IN THE PRESS, THEN USED THEM TO JUSTIFY HIS ARGUMENT.

At least the CHERRIES picked by Bush were real...they were the intelligence communities assessment of Iraqis programs at the time. Wilson went to the press and told them that that the documents were forgeries PRIOR to the SOTU....THAT WAS COMPLETELY FALSE...then Wilson CHERRY PICKED that false nugget and put it into his OP-ED (ALL THE TIME THE NYT STOOD BY AND WATCHED THE SELECTIVE, FALSE CHERRIES BEING PLACED BY WILSON).

Everything Bush said was TRUE at the time while Wilson repeated made FALSE CHERRIES his stock in trade.

His wife had nothing to do with it.
The names and dates were wrong
The VP had to have seen my report
and on and on.

Apparently the NYT standard is that the 15 intelligence agencies overall assessment is a false cherry and ONE of 15 agencies disagreeing on ONE particular aspect of Saddams program on Page 27, subnote 4, subpara b. is NOT SELECTIVE CHERRY PICKING but giving a straight story....GIMME A BREAK.

clarice

AJ, I have always supposed Novak didn't name the mystery stranger because the man was not someone whose identity he knews. Novak lives in a modern coop right near the DoJ. Anyone wanting to set him up need only linger on Penn. Ave. until he walks out the door and start to chat him up.

clarice

Patton, Did I ever tell you you are my favorite poster?

clarice

ts--IIRC the Powell "everyone knew" meeting occurred later--in September of 2003.

windansea

yes...I don't think Novak knew Mr X either but he could describe him

windansea

anyone want to email Novak and ask for a description?

novakevans@aol.com

Patton

"""“You read a document 90% of which is marked secret no foreign; you see someone involved in the matter under consideration identified as CIA; and you don't think, "Well, that person probably shouldn't be blabbed about?”"""""

NO, and I have 23 years in intelligence. Most trip reports, meeting reports usually identify the briefer/meeting attendees and that is the LAST thing anyone would think was classified. If a person was identified as working at the CIA I would think they are a regular old employee. If they are NOT identified as working for anyone in particular - then I think non-associated individual, i.e. their association would be classified.

People don't go around saying...by the way, I work for the CIA, and that's classified, because I'm a secret agent, got it, mums the word. Except maybe on TV, which appears to be where you got your expertise.

clarice

Fedora at FR--an outstanding researcher says this of Grossman:"That is very interesting, especially in light of the fact that Grossman like the Wilsons is linked to the American-Turkish Council, Grossman was the one who first helped get Wilson booked for TV appearances in 2002, and Grossman was involved in handling the State Department response to Walter Pincus' pre-Novak inquiry into Wilson."

Cecil Turner

Did you note that the last page appears to be written by the person who actually attended the 2/19 meeting?

Yes. And the tone does differ rather markedly from the rest, as you said.

I would also note that the 'Note' page is definitely 'Secret Noforn' without room for Top unless the alignment not kept.

Concur. And the infamous paragraph four (which refers to disagreements between intelligence agencies months after the trip) is missing. So it appears that's the part considered highly sensitive by the author.

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Wilson/Plame