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May 02, 2006

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» The Scooter Libby Story Is About To from The Hedgehog Blog
Tom Maguire is all over the story arising from "Scooter" Libby's lawyers request yesterday that a federal judge order several MSM organizations to produce "e-mails, drafts of news articles and reporters' notes they say the former top White House aide... [Read More]

» Libby Takes On The News Media from The Strata-Sphere
Tom Maguire has begun his analysis of the latest Libby filing here. Tom also has links to the documents. It is a large 45 pager which I will be reviewing and commenting on in this post as time permits. Keep checking back for updates as the day (or d... [Read More]

» So When Did Miller Know About Plame? from Flopping Aces
Second day in a row Im referencing AJStrata. No one better at analyzing these things. This one is about the Libby filing today which is quite large, 45 pages long (JustOneMinute has the whole thing in .PDF form). AJ has gone through it and fo... [Read More]

» Miller Attacks Libby in Latest Court Filing, Other Media Responses Now Filed from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Bump and Update: All of the media Replies to Libby's Response to their motions to quash his subpoenas are now in. Here they are: Andrea Mitchell and NBC News; Matthew Cooper; and Time Magazine. Tim Russert is included in the... [Read More]

» Miller Attacks Libby in Latest Court Filing, Other Media Responses Now Filed from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Bump and Update: All of the media Replies to Libby's Response to their motions to quash his subpoenas are now in. Here they are: Andrea Mitchell and NBC News; Matthew Cooper; and Time Magazine. Tim Russert is included in the... [Read More]

» Colored Round Floaters - Dark Blue from Colored Round Floaters - Dark Blue
Colored Napkin (Available in large selection of colors) example, by labeling crayons and the scenes to be coloredWestern... [Read More]

Comments

kim

Hold it, the Fourth Estate has privileges, earned through their monk like dedication to the truth.
=================================

kim

Clarice has a late night hint that Miller had Plame in her notes long before the 23rd. Why then would she write 'Flame' on that day?
==================================

maryrose

Cooper is going down. He is going to fold like a cheap suit when the hardball questioning starts. IMHO he was blabbing all over the Times newsroom about Plame and Wilson et al and I think V.Novak has fingered and marginalized him as an unreliable source or witness. He's been compromised and if Fitz is smart he'll take Cooper's testimony and dump it in File 13.

kim

If he's really smart, he'll charge Cooper with obstruction.
===============================

kim

Clarice, please tell me more about Miller's notes. I'm trapped in an echo chamber and can't get out.
===========================

cboldt

Thanks for links to the filings. I wonder if there is some concerted effort to provide these filings in "scanned" form, rather than a form that is amenable to easy conversion to text.

owl

Cooper was tasked with snaring ROVE. Even he seemed confused as to why he captured Libby (Isinkoff/Cooper/PBS).

Geesh...wonder if the birds have eaten all the breadcrumbs from the Kerry headquarters?

kim

cb, are you beginning to catch on that the reporters were way ahead of the White House on the information curve. Which would make it very plausible that Libby would have 'as if for the first time' moments with Russert.
================================

Tom Maguire

The Times is covered first, so check Part 1.

cboldt

kim

are you beginning to catch on that the reporters were way ahead of the White House on the information curve. Which would make it very plausible that Libby would have 'as if for the first time' moments with Russert.


Not beginning to, I had (believed) that notion in November last year. I think it's possible, and maybe likely that reporters "knew" before Libby did. That plays into the legitimacy of the investigation - an angle that is being well probed and attacked by Team Libby. But as to the specific charges in the indictment, that reporters knew before Libby did results in a "So what?" from me.


I've bothered this forum more than enough with my thoughts about the indictment. I've beat a handful of points more than enough, among them being the "first leaker" and "only leaker" points. Agree or disagree, I have nothing to add, and don't mind if my comments are taken out of context and/or misconstrued.

clarice

Let me write this up for AT..I stayed up very late and slept late. Once I send it there i'll give you the highlights. C

Al

NOTE TO PACER FANS:

Shoot, I thought the update might have something to do with Vince Carter.

Cecil Turner

How interesting. If, as I suspect, Judge Walton upholds the majority of these subpoenas, what next? Are we going to see the Miller-Cooper case redux, with the same arguments that were fruitless last time? Civil disobedience? Where's my popcorn?

topsecretk9

OK, no ones catching on to Clarice's catch that Millers note show Wilson's contact information (Phone number) BEFORE she talked to Libby.

Lew Clark

Me too Al. What did Libby know about the NBA, and when did he know it? I got a lot of money riding on the playoffs!

Appalled Moderate

Wait a minute:

Cooper has no notes.

Russert has no notes.

Miller's notes are hard to decipher.

I can understand why Russert would not have notes (given the nature of the conversation). The other two folks are goping to have to be awfully credible on the stand to sustain anything other than the Plamed for the very first time charge.

kim

I'll say it again, cb, if the reporters knew about this before Libby, and it will be shown so, then 'as if for the first time' makes sense. Bingo, no perjury.
=============================

kim

Yes, ts, and I want to know why she wrote 'Flame' after she apparently knew who Plame was.
==========================

Lew Clark

Did she write Flame? They say her scribbles are almost undecipherable. Did she write Plame and when the heat was on turned it into Flame to redirect the spotlight from herself. Remember, she had just become an ex-con thanks to “Affair Plame” and was probably a little antsy about any further revelations.

Cecil Turner

OK, no ones catching on to Clarice's catch that Millers note show Wilson's contact information (Phone number) BEFORE she talked to Libby.

Cooper's group did as well (and though there's no indication Cooper did personally, they apparently shared information). Not sure that adds much, though.

Neo

Interesting how Ms. Mithcell used the term "recipient of the leak" instead of knowledge of Ms. Flame's job at CIA.

Dwilkers

The defense also slips a bit in describing Ms. Mitchell's situation vis a vis the investigation - they criticize Fitzgerald and cite Ms. Mithcell's statement that she has never been asked to testify, but overlook her earlier statement that she had spoken to investigators.

Speaking to investigators and testifying to the GJ are 2 different things though, true?

I think the point would be that perhaps she had information that was on point - for example that everybody knew, or at least that was her position at that time - but she wasn't called to the GJ. I can see the logic in bitching about that.

I couldn't find that part in the filing though.

sad

Neo

That phrase of Andrea's is fascinating.

sad

Tops
***********OK, no ones catching on to Clarice's catch that Millers note show Wilson's contact information (Phone number) BEFORE she talked to Libby*******


I can't wait to read Clarice's article on that angle. That is what she is referring to right?

maryrose

sad:
"recipient of the leak"
Remember Andrea is an MSNBC gal and of course is part of that SPIN machine. That's why her appearance on Imus where she spilled the beans about "everyone knows"was so damaging because she inadvertently let the cat out of the proverbial bag. Soon the Russert interview with Tim and Andrea was also pulled to cover their tracks. Let the games and bafflegab begin and someone hold their feet to the fire.

jerry

My minority view has been that Plame and Miller are certainly aquainted and could be friends (the worlds of WMD-scheming and DC diplo-social-politics being rather small after all).

Libby's Wilsons whispers might have found an unhappy home in Miller's ears.

So, Judy could become a surprising witness in this case (and thus the Libby team two-step mentioned by emptywheel's blog today) IMO.

Jim E.

It's interesting to note that Libby's lawyers cite a Jason Leopold article to bolster their case.

Jeff

Right, by June 23 everybody -- everybody in the relevant government agencies, and all the reporters working the story -- knew that Wilson was the unnamed ambassador in the Kristof and Pincus stories. As Wilson himself knew, by this exact time his name was circulating openly among the press.

maryrose

JimE and Jeff:
we knew you would be back to see what happens to Rove. I for one am not going to sit around and wait for the"Big Indictment Announcement" like everyone did every Friday for about a month in Oct. Whatever happens Fitz has to know that what goes around comes around. He has already overstepped based on incomplete, false information.Let's see what happens if he ventures down that winding road again.

Cecil Turner

Right, by June 23 everybody . . .

Is this date based on something other than Miller's recollections? Because if not . . .

cboldt

Exhibits List

.A - 18 Apr 06 NBC letter - we have nothing responsive

.B - 31 Mar 06 CNN letter - we have nothing responsive

.C - 14 Apr 06 WaPo letter - we have been fully responsive

.D - 16 Oct 05 NYT article (Miller), "A Personal Account"

.E - 16 Oct 05 NYT article (Van Natta, Liptak, Levy), "The Miller Case: A notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal"

.F - 01 May 06 screen capture of http://judithmiller.org/news/ including "Responses to Byron Calame's Questions"

.G - 30 Oct 05 WaPo article (Gellman), "A Leak, Then a Deluge"

.H - 18 Jul 05 Bloomberg story (Keil, Roberts), "Special Prosecutor's Probe Centers on Rove, Memo, Phone Calls

.I - 17 Jul 05 MSNBC/Newsweek story (Fineman), "White House: Rove at War"

.J - 07 Feb 06 Slate article (Dickerson), "Where's My Subpoena?"

.K - 12 Jul 03 NYT article (Stevenson), "Bush has Praise for Uganda in Its Fights Against AIDS"

.L - 14 Apr 06 truthout article (Leopold), "Libby Filing: A Denial and a Mystery"

.M - 28 Sep 03 WaPo article (Allen, Priest), "Bush Administration is Focus of Inquiry"

.N - 01 Oct 03 Novak column, "The CIA Leak"

.O - 01 Aug 05 Novak editorial, "The allegation against me is so incorrect I feel constrained to reply."
.P - Pages 333, 334 & 346 from Joe Wilson's book, "What I didn't Find in Africa"

.Q - 27 Jul 05 WaPo article (Pincus, VandeHei), "Prosecutor in CIA Leak Case Casting a Wide Net"

.R - 01 May 06 screen capture of http://judithmiller.org/news/p20051101.php including "Oct 23, 2005 Letter to Maureen Dowd"

.S - Date ???? Vanity Fair article (Marie Brenner), "Lies and Consequences: Sixteen Words that Changed the World"

.T - 03 Oct 03 Transcript of CNBC Capital Report (Andrea Mitchell)

.U - 23 Nov 05 Transcript of MSNBC Imus (Andrea Mitchell)

.V - 10 Nov 05 Transcript of MSNBC Imus (Andrea Mitchell)

.W - 12 Jul 03 Transcript of NBC Nightly News (David Gregory on Tenet accepts blame)

.X - 17 Jul 03 Time magazine article (Cooper, Calabresi, Dickerson), "A War on Wilson?"

.Y - 25 Jul 05 Time magazine article (Cooper), "What I told the Grand Jury"

.Z - 30 Oct 05 Time magaizne article (Cooper), "What Scooter Libby and I talked About"

AA - 30 Apr 06 MSNBC/Newsweek article (Isikoff, Thomas), "Back on the Stand - Rove's Latest Trip to the GJ ..."

BB - 17 Jul 05 Transcript of Meet the Press (Russert interviews Cooper)

CC - 12 Dec 04 Transcript of CNN Reliable Sources (Kurtz interviews Cooper)

Jeff

Cecil - I'm not getting what you're after, exactly. I don't think there's much dispute that Miller and Libby talked on June 23. And Team Libby itself wants to say it's significant that Miller knew Wilson's identity and contact info before that date, no?

Squiggler

Kim -- I've got a bad head cold, so I slept late this morning and haven't had a chance to look at the filings, but Clarice's comment in the middle of the night was regarding the fact that one of the things it contained was info that Joseph Wilson and the former Valerie Plame, etc --- wedding announcement that appeared in the NYT. So much for secrets and makes the "everyone knew" pretty much a given.

Squiggler

Plame vs Flame -- I like the explanation I read the other night. She was the "flame" who snagged her man away from another woman after a meeting at an embassy party.

clarice

I'm exhausted and am taking a break. I have a first draft done and will try to pick up someother goodies..Basically excedpt for Miller's bafflegab which she herself contradicted repeatedly, the reporters have no documentation that Libby said what AFitz said he did, have been chatting about wwith other officials and reporter at the same time who did know, and no one has doceumentation of any other reporters at these media reporting Libby or any of his staff told them about Plame or her employment.
Plus Plame and Wilson talked to Harlow and Wilson talked to Calabresi before and after the Cooper-Libby discussion (stnch of set up in the air).

Much later, if I'm still alive.

We have another TANG case but this time Fitz decided to believe Mary Papes and Burkett.

clarice

**Mapes, not Papes, dammit****

Patrick R. Sullivan

'I don't think there's much dispute that Miller and Libby talked on June 23.'

Wilson publicly identified himself as THE 'former ambassador' on June 14th at EPIC. So, any DC based reporter could have known him before he became Desi Arnaz.

danking70

"OK, no ones catching on to Clarice's catch that Millers note show Wilson's contact information (Phone number) BEFORE she talked to Libby."

So Libby's obstructing to protect Miller?

This theory brings the whole Libby/Miller love affair back in the picture. Plus we get the Fitz/Miller battle royale carried over as an added side dish.

Squiggler

So Libby's obstructing to protect Miller?

Huh?

danking70

"are you beginning to catch on that the reporters were way ahead of the White House on the information curve."

I've long thought this. But if this is found in court to be true that a number of reporters and editors knew about Plame/CIA long before Libby, how else can the MSM look besides complicit as they continue their silence and awful reporting.

I don't think an awfully late correction by Pincus or "A Good Leak" editorial by the Post cuts them any slack after the countless number of Plamegate reports.

sad

danking

You are forgetting the HUGE wall separating the editorial side from the news side of the business.

Cecil Turner

I don't think there's much dispute that Miller and Libby talked on June 23.

The dispute is over what they talked about (team Libby):

That, in turn, would make it more likely that it was Ms. Miller, and not Mr. Libby, who raised this topic during their initial conversations--or, alternately, that it was never raised at all.

Patton

I think some of the NBC stuff and the Cooper stuff is revealing.

If I read it right, it appears the press knew:

''''Wilsons wife had something to do with sending him to Niger"" THUS THEY KNEW SHE WAS AFFILIATED W/ CIA, JUST NOT IN WHAT CAPACITY

But they were then surprised when Novak said she was an 'operative' on WMD..because they took 'operative' to mean under cover NOC when Novak just used a term he had used a hundreds times before to discuss people in DC.

I thought it was interesting that Andrea Mitchell says they CIA called her about the report she knew about Plame. What was the CIA doing calling her?

That is why they can claim they were shocked by the revelations in Novaks piece.

Can anyone find a denial from Mitchel, Cooper, Miller or Russert where they specific say they did not know
'Wilsons wife was involved in his trip to Niger'.

danking70

Squiggler, I know it's a reach.

Just speculating is all.

Seeing as how Fitz had/has previous anger issues with Miller (Global Relief/Holy Land tip off) and that Miller, according to Clarice's hint, knew long before talking with Libby about the Plame/CIA connection and a vague remember of a weird Libby/Miller letter about Aspens and Love(??? lol).

Did Miller mis-speak when she first appeared before the GJ? Maybe she could have saved us a whole lotta time too.

Walter

What I find interesting is that Libby has completely avoided the "bafflegab" approach so common here.

He is claiming that he answered truthfully, to the best of his recollection, to each of the questions.

He is not offering (and he has the full transcript in front of him) to show that the question was so confusing that he didn't understand what was being asked.

He is not offering any theory that the grand jury or Fitzgerald misunderstood the point he was trying to make (along the lines of: "I was making a distinction between classified and public information in my head when I said it was as if I heard it for the first time.").

Makes the case somewhat more straightforward, even if it does cut down on some of the more interesting interpretations of his commments.

Tom Maguire


It's interesting to note that Libby's lawyers cite a Jason Leopold article to bolster their case.

Jim E, they would quote one of your comments (or mine) to make their case.

But I agree.

maryrose

Dana Priest on Hardball:
Says WH and CIA didn't get along. Dana says administration cherry-picked the intelligence.DANA says admin didn't trust CIA so went with other sources. Evidence not clear.Chris says WH complained about His coverage in the run-up to the war.

larwyn

You will all be glad to know that Chris Matthews is getting to the bottom of the whole question of "uranium from Africa/Niger" today.

He has two sterling witnesses:

Tyler Drumheller and Gary Berntsen

who are answering all of Chris' HARDBALL questions.

"Was there an attempt to purchase Uranium from Niger?"


Both answered as expected with
Bernstsen "I don't believe"

"Was there any evidence of a relationship between AQ and Saddam?"

Both deny that with Berntsen adding
" I was in the field at that time....

Chris, proves to his miniscule audience how important his show is today with:

"...intelligence work by you, real pros not get to the President...?

CHENEY, WOLFOWITZ, AND THE DIA ARE EVIL MANIPULATING LIERS.......

JOE WILSON WAS TELLING THE TRUTH...

Peeked in late - did Schuster make his normal "breaking fantacies" appearance at beginning of show?

Oh Lord,
DANA'S ON!

maryrose

Tyler Drumhellier on Hardball also spinning his distorted view of things. Dana brings up Iran and says there are problems there. Tomorrow Trainor and Odom. Odom of course anti-Rumsfield

larwyn

Dana put intelligence on Iran in same basket with Iraq.

That administration was playing same games but that the "good guys" were already pushing back on the administration's assessments.
(paraphrase)

Dana doesn't listen to what the President of Iran is saying or what his ministers are saying. Bush/Cheney are the bad guys -
"and that's the truth...:op tttwwweeeerrrr!"

These people can never get back into power - never!

Squiggler

I know Chris Matthews at one time worked for Tip O'Neill and I know he is a Catholic from Philadelphia and that he spent some time in the Peace Corps, but that is about all I know on his background. Does anyone know anything else or anything about his wife's connections? Why is he throwing in with the "shadow gov't." group? Is this just more Washington inbreeding or is there more, i.e. Dana Priest and her husband's connections? Anyone know?

PeterUK

Larwyn,
Since this is all old ground,it might be pertinent to ask why the media is rehashing all this now?

Squiggler

These people can never get back into power - never!

I agree, but these people are very convincing. Look what happened to our dear Tom after just a couple of days of field trips. He came back completely brainwashed. If someone as knowledgeable as TM can be flipped, imagine how the general public is influenced. It is scary.

SteveMG

Does anyone know anything else or anything about his wife's connections?

His wife is a news anchor for a Washington D.C. ABC news affiliate (Bio)

After college, Matthews worked as a Capitol Police officer (insert Barney Fife joke here:____________________)

Back in 1990, he was vehemently opposed to removing Saddam from Kuwait and warned about the "hawks" in the Defense Department (read: Cheney) who he said were the greater threat. He clearly has an animus against Cheney.

And when his mother was pregnant with him, Mrs. Matthews was assaulted by Leo Strauss and a young Irving Kristol. Norman Podhoretz cheered the assault on. Baby Matthews was scarred for life.

Okay, so I made that part up. Anyone have a better explanation for his "The Neocon Jacobins are ruining the world" rants?

Although, to be fair, Matthews is/was a very strong anti-communist.

SMG

fyi

Chris Matthew's brother is running for Lt. Gov of Pennsylvania .... as a republican.

topsecretk9

And when his mother was pregnant with him, Mrs. Matthews was assaulted by Leo Strauss and a young Irving Kristol. Norman Podhoretz cheered the assault on. Baby Matthews was scarred for life.

HAH, that was funny.

Squiggler

Whew! If you read through the comments of this post over at AJ's site, some of those things are downright frightening to contemplate.

SteveMG

Although, to be fair, Matthews is/was a very strong anti-communist

And on several occasions, he has sat in for Rush Limbaugh on the radio when Limbaugh was on vacation (IIRC, mid 1990s).

Doubtful you'll see him do that again in the near future.

SMG

maryrose

Chris Matthews's brother is the Republican I believe state representative for his district in Philadelphia. He has democratic and republican background in his family. I've seen his wife Kathleen on his show and she seems pretty straightforward and knowledgable. He went to Holy Cross College in Massachusetts and was relentless in his coverage in the Clinton scandal. He is very anti-war especially this Iraq war and has been from the get-go. I sse him as co-opted and misguided and it's a shame his show has degenerated into this partisan slug-fest.

maryrose

I stand corrected lieutenant-governor of Pennsylvania.

Squiggler

If you all get a chance to see a repeat of Bolton's (U.N. Bolton, not WH Bolton) appearance at a congressional hearing, be sure to watch. He really gave it back to them. It was great to watch. I saw it in a Fox news clip and now will try to catch the whole thing later on CSPAN. I loved one remark when one of the Congressmen wanted him to read some New Yorker article that was critical ... Bolton: I don't have time to read fiction. This after the Congressman offered to pass a copy down to Bolton to read while they waited.

clarice

Okay, I finished the draft and before dinner I'll give you one of my observations..More later:

"Russert has no contemporaneous notes of the conversation; Cooper’s make no reference to Plame or the CIA although they are virtually verbatim and Miller’s notes contain evidence that she knew about Wilson before she spoke to Libby and further evidence that she knew about Plame and her job from other sources , and finally her notations upon which the Prosecutor relied seem to come from sources other than Libby. But there’s more: All three had colleagues in communication with Wilson and others during the time of the conversations at issue, colleagues who seem to have well-known of Plame and her position, the worst kept secret in Washington. Finally, with respect to both Miller and Cooper there is a clear stench of a set up to nail the White House or, at least, extreme carelessness about their work .All of this occurred in the context of a prosecution so fixated on Rove and Libby that it failed to subpoena relevant documents, allowed reporters to testify only about Rove and Libby and in every other way so manipulated the investigation as to predetermine it’s result. "

sad

Looking forward to the entire article.

Patton

Walter says:

"""He is claiming that he answered truthfully, to the best of his recollection, to each of the questions.""

I read the whole brief...I didn't see anywhere where Libby made that claim. Please point out page and sentence...

Thanks.

maryrose

clarice:
I stand in awe of you! Thank you for your hard work- can't wait to read more!

maryrose

Squig:
I'm going to look for the Bolton hearing on C-Span-thanks for the tip.

clarice

Thanks--I anticipate the article will be on AT tomorrow morning.
Here's another tidbit from the draft re Judy Miller:

"
(1) Even the highly redacted notes she provided Libby indicate she had Joe Wilson’s name and phone number in her notebook BEFORE she
first spoke to Libby;(And it doesn’t appear that Fitzgerald even questioned her about that. Why, after all, complicate an investigation with a predetermined outcome with inconvenient facts?)

(2) These same redacted notes suggest that Miller’s notation “Victoria Wilson” were made BEFORE her conversation with Libby on July 12, perhaps again from another source.
Notes on preceding pages, not provided to Libby, may allow the defendant to ascertain from whom Miller obtained these bits of information and whether she confused those conversations with her talks with Libby. Similar questions obtain from Miller’s redacted notes where in her account of the June 23 conversation she has recorded “(wife works in Bureau?”) and an entry in the July 8 notations “(wife works in Win Pac)”.Miller says she doesn’t recall the meaning of the question mark or parentheses, and Libby suggests these may show they were added later and from other sources.(Some careful note taking! )

(3) But even more curious is this. Her notebooks are replete with variant references to Ms. Plame: “Valerie Flame”,”Valery Plame”, Valerie P”, “VF?” and “Victoria Wilson—works in unit” (this last permutation appears pages away from the end of her July 8 Libby interview notes). All of these, of course, suggest a multiplicity of sources. Added to her conflicting recollections of what she said to the grand jury, I do not think she’ll prove to be a dream prosecution witness. On the other hand, she may prove one for the defense. Libby contends that given all the documentation about her notes, emails, etc. he may be able to show at trial that if the topic of Plame was raised at all it was by Miller as was any mention of Wilson and his trip and that further it is evidence that he neither knew nor had reason to believe at that time that Plame’s position was “classified” as it was so widely known in relevant government and press circles. Surely, it will be entertaining to watch Miss Run Amok and her bizarre note taking skills examined by real lawyers."


Sue

I should have spoke--'cause there's been a lot blogged about all of this--I was called by the CIA because it was erroneously reported in The Washington Post that I was the recipient of the leak before Novak's column came out, and I had not been. So I was never questioned because I simply told the FBI

Either Mitchell was questioned 2x, or she has problems with the alphabet.

Sue

Larry is getting his ass handed to him by his own bunch.

http://www.tpmcafe.com/node/29413#comment>TPM

They aren't buying his line, hook or sinker. ::grin::

cathyf
"""He is claiming that he answered truthfully, to the best of his recollection, to each of the questions.""

I read the whole brief...I didn't see anywhere where Libby made that claim. Please point out page and sentence...

The part where he says he's "not guilty" of what the indictment accuses him of? (Or are we to that part yet?)

cathy :-)

PeterUK

Sue,
I love it,the final breakdown,lefties are defending the CIA,the internal contradictions of their world view is tearing them apart.

Sue

Peter,

The part that did him in was claiming CIA victories. They remembered they hate the CIA as much as they hate Bush. ::grin:: Nothing better than moonies eating moonies.

cathyf
What I find interesting is that Libby has completely avoided the "bafflegab" approach so common here.

He is claiming that he answered truthfully, to the best of his recollection, to each of the questions.

As time passes, that appears to be more and more credible a story. Libby was told 2 or 3 times that it was not just the "CIA a**holes" who set up the who Wilson debacle, but that one of the "CIA a**holes" was actually Wilson's wife. But each of those times that a government person told him, it was pretty offhand, and he immediately was engaged with something else (of the gazillions of important things that he was worrying about.) Then, at some point a journalist, and he remembered it being Russert but maybe his memory is faulty about which one, but hes sure it was a journalist, told him the wife thing in some way that he paid attention. If for no other reason than whatever the journalist said next wasn't very important. Then when Cooper asked him about it, he said, "I heard that, too," because he had heard it from reporters, and after he said it, he said something about hearing it from reporters. Or maybe he didn't say it, but he thinks he said it because he was thinking it.

It looks to me like Libby is claiming that something like that was his story to Fitzgerald, and that what Fitzgerald has done is to create a conflation between what Libby claimed (didn't know from official sources more than a few seconds past the time he was told each time by an official source) with what is obviously false (didn't know until a reporter told him because nobody official told him.) And that any bafflegab in the indictment is a result of Fitzgerald mangling what he said by taking out the words needed for things to make sense and replacing them with ellipses.

As for the plausibility of Libby not retaining the Plame thing until a reporter told him, well, I don't have any trouble believing this at all. My husband is a teacher, and he explains the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again. And by the exam, some of the students actually know some of it. He stands up there at problem sessions and does the same problem 6 times in a row, but with different values in the one equation, and the students seem to have no clue that it's the same problem that they just did. And that whole, "as if for the first time" thingy, yeah, clearly the students are seeing it "as if for the first time" when they get to the exam, and they have no clue as to what they are doing.

So, anybody here who ever got less than 100% on an exam sometime in your life, answer me this -- for each thing that you ever got wrong in your whole life, does the fact that you got it wrong prove that the teacher was lying when s/he claims to have taught that particular thing to you? Or is it just that you are normal, and normal people don't retain everything they hear the first time, and some things you have to hear many times before you retain it?

cathy :-)

clarice

I am so happy we're back in business. The article will run tomorrow on AT..Just finished proofing it.
(I hate pdf files. Damn, why aren't those court filings copyable on Adobe. My eyes are shot.)

I think it absolutely amazing how much the investigation didn't go into.
I find it amazing that the prosecutor is so naive that he thought asking a couple of reporters a few questions about a finite number of sources would get him anywhere near the truth. NBC,the NYT and Time look very bad.

Amazingly, time and again the media says they have documents of conversations with Libby and others in which Plane and CIA were never mentioned. Some "vigorous campaign" to smear Wilson.

An interesting note on Harlow..He spoke to a number of people including Novak. Libby says the record suggests Harlow's statement to Novak was cleared by Tenet and Grenier. That may explain why Harlow wasn't targetted, but it makes even more curious the CIA referral. If they played a part in the disclosure of Plame's identity, how do they have the chutzpah to seek an investigation of others for "outing" her?

clarice

I am so happy we're back in business. The article will run tomorrow on AT..Just finished proofing it.
(I hate pdf files. Damn, why aren't those court filings copyable on Adobe. My eyes are shot.)

I think it absolutely amazing how much the investigation didn't go into.
I find it amazing that the prosecutor is so naive that he thought asking a couple of reporters a few questions about a finite number of sources would get him anywhere near the truth. NBC,the NYT and Time look very bad.

Amazingly, time and again the media says they have documents of conversations with Libby and others in which Plane and CIA were never mentioned. Some "vigorous campaign" to smear Wilson.

An interesting note on Harlow..He spoke to a number of people including Novak. Libby says the record suggests Harlow's statement to Novak was cleared by Tenet and Grenier. That may explain why Harlow wasn't targetted, but it makes even more curious the CIA referral. If they played a part in the disclosure of Plame's identity, how do they have the chutzpah to seek an investigation of others for "outing" her?

Rick Ballard

It would be interesting to see Libby's defense team put him on the stand and read the gj questions to him and have him give the full response (including all the parts Fitz clipped out). It might make for a rather short trial on the perjury charges.

Calling the investigators first and tieing them in knots as to their questions would be fun to see too. I wonder if Libby recorded his interrogation?

I hope so.

Jeff

Cecil - I thought the issue was about how striking it was that Miller knew Wilson was the unnamed ambassador and had his contact info before June 23. My point was: not that striking. And I would imagine none of the fans of EPIC around here could disagree.

when Novak just used a term he had used a hundreds times before to discuss people in DC.

I find it almost impossible to believe anyone actually still believes that explanation of Novak's for his use of "operative." Truly.

I recall being told here that contemporaneous notes were meaningless. But I guess the story is changing now.

What I find interesting is that Libby has completely avoided the "bafflegab" approach so common here.

I made a similar observation a little while back. But to no avail. And it's true, the bafflegab defense could still be the secret weapon Team Libby is holding in reserve.

Tom - Greenwald overgeneralizes, but reading the threads here you can see what he's overgeneralizing from on the central case, no?

For what it's worth, I hope Libby gets as much as possible of what he's asked for in the media case (though there are some things around the margins that are just silly). I believe strongly in the rights of the accused.

PaulV

Jeff,
Would Novak really use operative if he really thought she was an operative? Especially after his talk with Harlow. Why are you not more suspicious about the CIA lack of action to stop column than Novak use of the word "operative" in trying to explain how and why WIlson was sent to Niger. Just another failing at a ligtweight CIA?

PaulV

Clarice.
Do you consider Fitz investigation similiar to Joe Wilson's. Sit around the hotel (office), drinking green tea and asking questions of former government officials (questions of journalists and reading the newspapers).

tommy higbee

This all reminds me of what a businessman -- a steak house owner -- told us once about his "three times" rule. The rule was that if you want people to remember something, you need to tell them three times. If you have a special deal you want people to but, you need to put it on the sign, on a flyer as they come in the door, and remind them once they get in line. Most people remember what they come across three times.

In other words, it's perfectly normal for most people to not notice or remember something you say until they hear it multiple times.

clarice

Wouldn't that be something, Rick--Actually I think he can have the entire testimony read into the record by anyone.
I still think it amazing that the FBI interviews are not videotaped. There is no way to question a witness and take verbatim notes of the interrogation at the same time. Usless. And with the Martha Stewart case (thanks again , Comey) as a precedent, no one should be so stupid.

Jeff

Would Novak really use operative if he really thought she was an operative?

Yes.

clarice

WaPo has an article up (from AP). You can find out very little from it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/02/AR2006050200086.html

ghostcat

I looked up "operative" in my Funk & Wagnalls (really!) as well as my Webster's. The #1 definition in both is "skilled worker". From my 20 years in DC, I know the term is thrown around there very loosely ... it's essentially synonymous with "player". When I first read the Novak quote, I assumed that's all he meant.

Walter

Cathyf:),

Thanks for the assist.

Patton,

As Cathy mentioned, my point was a summary, based on positions taken in the brief which are inconsistent with a misunderstanding/"bafflegab" defense.

Until Noah comes through with that $64,000,000, I am unwilling to take on uncompensated open-ended research projects. If you'd like me to address a particular area, and show how the position taken in the brief would undercut any claim that Libby did not understand what he was saying or that he does not stand by it as his actual recollection at the time, I'd be happy to do so.

I admit to being surprised that he would not leave some wiggle room around the "surprised" by Russert portion of the charges. I, personally, have burned many a pixel arguing that it was immaterial and excusable.

(Insert shoutout to CBoldt, who bore the brunt of disabusing me.)

Libby intends to show that he was, indeed, actually, not figuratively or poorly expressing his recollection of his state of mind at that time, surprised. He intends to show that that memory of being surprised is not only true, but reasonable for him to remember as being true (Cathy analogized his position better above). This takes me by surprise (note present tense), because I have repeated (perhaps excessively) that it is trivial for Fitzgerald to show (and invites Fitzgerald to parade 7 credible witnesses to show) that it is implausible for him to have forgotten.

It's Fitzgerald's strongest point, the one on which he has the most evidence (see Clarice's point about the lack of contemporaneous notes by reporter-witnesses), and Libby is addressing it head-on.

Pages and quotes available to refute specific instances of "bafflegab" interpretations on request.

Rick Ballard

CLarice,

Libby had counsel present during the FBI interrogation. If that counsel is not part of the current defense team is there a reason why (s)he could not present corroborating testimony? I know that there is a fair possibility that Libby may not testify but I'm hoping that he does. It would be nice to hear him without ellipses.

larwyn

E-mailed this to Clarice when
site was down. Found on AbleDanger Post - Weldon would have called him on the 26th- post is from 27th.
Just look at the list of the other contributors. Hope Weldon is scouring Sestak's list.
This is very current - think Sestak announced beginning of this year. Sorry if Clarice already posted - too tired and unwell to try to catch up to all threads this late.


High-ranking members of Bill Clinton's national security team have joined together to defeat Pennsylvania Republican Curt Weldon's House re-election bid this November - in what looks like retaliation for Weldon's efforts in exposing the Clinton administration's Able Danger scandal.

SNIP
Though the media downplayed Weldon's bombshell, a number of high ranking Clinton officials apparently haven't forgotten - and they're pouring money into the campaign of Weldon's opponent, Joe Sestak.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has given $500 to Sestak.

Disgraced former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger has given Weldon's opponent $1,000.

Disgraced ex-Clinton CIA director John Deutch gave $500.

Former Clinton Navy secretary John Dalton ponied up $500 to defeat Weldon.

Former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta - $300.

Berger's predecessor as national security adviser, Anthony Lake - $500.

Even Hillary Clinton has gotten into the act, contributing $2,500 to defeat Curt Weldon.


Actually, they forgot one more Clintonista:

U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon called yesterday for Democratic opponent Joe Sestak to return $350 in campaign contributions from Mary O. McCarthy, the CIA investigator fired last week for allegedly leaking classified information to the news media.

Sestak's spokeswoman noted, in reply, that the CIA employee had not been charged with any crime and said she saw no reason for the money to be returned "at this time."

McCarthy, who worked at the National Security Council when Sestak worked there in the 1990s, donated $100 to Sestak on March 1 and $250 on March 11, according to a campaign finance report the Seventh Congressional District candidate filed with the Federal Election Commission.

clarice

Rick:If that counsel is not part of the current defense team is there a reason why (s)he could not present corroborating testimony? I don't see why not. Sometimes there is no choice. Note that Luskin, after Rove agreed to waive atty-Client privilege on that point only, testified before the grand jury about what Luskin told him, and apparently, about Rove's reaction to that report as well.

AJStrata

My posts on the matter

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1742

and

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1746

Summation: Fitzgerald is in serious trouble. Miller knew the name Wilson before her first meeting with Libby, and did not learn about Plame until the time between their 2nd and last meeting - and apparently from someone other than Libby. Moreover, the Plame name came out after Wilson outed himself. But by the time Wilson penned his Op Ed Miller knew the 'clandestine guy' in the Kristof-Pincus stories has help from his wife. Once Wilson came out Mrs Wilson was a known quantity - just without a surname.

topsecretk9

Rick

The bit about the phone/contact information...whadda ya bet the crack team never thought to check those numbers for relevance, presuming, if they even noticed them, they were random Miller contacts ranging from work people to her hairdresser?

Has anyone dipped into why Judy would have Wilson's phone number info BEFORE she talked to Libby?

clarice

Isn't that something, ts..Blind, deaf and dumb.

Once after a long fight we got a precedent setting new union election and DoL monitors placed in the union hq to preclude the destruction of records. When we won and took over, the file cabinets had all been moved to the rear entrance corridor to the parking lot in back of the building and they were completely bare. Neighbors asked what had been going on? There had been so many records burned repeated complaints had been made to the authorities about air pollution.

The monitors , of course, had not wanted to "intrude" and never examined where the records were kept nor checked them.

Good enough for government work. And damned good preparation for the IAEA.*wink*

kim

Walter, could it be that the 'bafflegab' defense is not being pursued because it would require Libby's testimony about what he meant. This may be an indication that Libby's team is confident that they can chew up and spit out Fitz without putting Libby on the stand.
==========================================

kim

Do I dare hope, Clarice, that once Fitz digests all this he may look up and see the writing on the wall? Dare I hope he changes the direction of his investigation? I've been accused by a commenter on another board of regularly predicting Joe's indictment, for which I've hoped but not expected; is the commenter prescient?
===============================

kim

Surely, with his tendencies, Joe lied to Fitz or to investigators; that's one reason Fitz got off on the wrong track. Now that it is plain to see how out Plame was, might not he start wondering about the one who sent him, and so many others, off on a wild goose chase?
========================

clarice

I think Wilson lied to Fitz, but I think some govt officials did , too. Libby notes the articles citing Marc Grossman as one of them.

I am not sure that Fitz yet sees how weak his case is. I hope if the DoJ doesn't call him in ans ask for an explanation of where he is going and why, J. Walton does.

clarice

One of the interesting things is Libby's suggestion that Tenet and Grenier okayed Harlow's conversations about Plame with Novak and others. That would explain why he wasn't disciplined or charged with leaking, but it doesn't explain why the CIA made the referral.

kim

We've all heard the idea that the referral was in a stack. Now that it might have been put there by Mary McCarthy it all gets curioser and curioser. Fitz seems not to want to disclose the referral letter and the lefty sites are all horrified at the suggestion that it might not prove Val's covertness.

Months ago I speculated that Tenet's medal was Bush recognition that Tenet had been hornswoggled about the referral. I would bet the referral is why he left. I think that's about when the White House figured out that the referral had to be bogus.
===============================

zennurse

"but reading the threads here you can see what he's overgeneralizing from on the central case, no?"

Wow. clearly.

Kate

On Matthews: I think he so wants this case to be about big things, he wants this to be about pre-war intelligence, why we went to war. Things he thinks are important.

Even goofy Fitzgerald declines that mandate. And if you look at the surprisingly balanced report from Reuters on Libby's filing, it is about memory, notebooks, reporters' bias.

I also think that Cooper and Miller look uncomfortable/guilty consciences. Maybe this was the typical MSM gotca game with the White House that got out of hand and might now be destorying the careers of 2 senior Bush officials.

As for Bush, if Fitz indicts Rove, it's time to take off the gloves. Hints of a vast left wing conspiracy, media setups. Why wait until Jan of 2009 for the pardon. If he plays it right he can do it sooner.

Syl

An aside. A different angle on the investigation.

I watched part of the Judiciary Committee hearings on the FBI rerun tonite on C-SPAN.

Spectre was grousing about sending reporters to jail. He's involved in working up some legislation re a federal journalist shield law and he wants to make some distinction between contempt of court for a journalist in a national security issue vs perjury.

Spectre was saying Miller went to jail for a perjury investigation, not a leak investigation, and he's steamed about it.

Well, I thought, that's dumb because it was a leak investigation until the reporters were compelled to testify then their testimony led Fitz to indict Libby for perjury and obstruction. And obstruction is a serious matter when an investigation is attempting to get facts and determine motive.

But, wait. Before we guffaw too much at Spectre, note this. By the time Miller was sent to jail Fitz already knew who the leaker was, though there still could be other leakers, but he also stated that there was no evidence that Libby knew Plame was classified. Which takes prosecution for a leak of 'national security information' right out of the picture. No?

So Spectre is actually correct. Miller was sent to jail to testify in a case that had moved from prosecuting leaking national security secrets to ancillary charges such as perjury.

And I actually think Spectre has a point.

But at this point in time, though the charges are for perjury and obstruction, the defense is entitled to journalists' testimony.

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