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August 22, 2006

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Comments

Other Tom

Public outrage about the disclosure of Plame's employment is not detectable, except among professional Democrats.

Great Banana

this again requires us to ask the question - why the hell is Fitz prosecuting Libby? B/c of different recollections of 2 year-old conversations? What is the point of this? And why did he not go after Armitage - b/c no crime was committed at the outset? Then why did he continue his investigation for so long and at so much expense?

I really think we need to start holding these runaway prosecutors accountable for the damage they do to people's reputations and for the taxpayer money they piss away in search of personal glory and fame.

Can anyone really name a time when a "special prosecutor" has obtained justice at a reasonable expense that did the nation the least bit of good?

- GB

lurker

GB, hence the razzle dazzle website, which was an attempt to write a letter to AG but hasn't seen much activity in a while.

Anyone know what kind of reactions from the leftwing sites to this news? Jeff having second thoughts?

owl

this again requires us to ask the question - why the hell is Fitz prosecuting Libby? B/c of different recollections of 2 year-old conversations?

Just guessing but I would say he took a perfect opportunity to go after Judy Miller. And he wanted whoever Miller was talking to ....phone records.

That's assuming he was not a card carrying sufferer of BDS who adored his drooling MSM fans.

Adsen

Fitz's job was to investigate Congressmen and have them banned for five years from Commmittees. He goes after poiticians and not the bad agents, they all get along just fine.

Bolton's goal was to find no WMD. Plame's job was at CIA and to sell off the covert CIA WMD program before the war: 'There is no WMD.' Bolton may not be CIA, but is probably considered a 'friendly.'

Leftwing news is that Rice, Bush, and Armitage had time. So, when the NASA Executive Program was moved to Langley and CIA analysts to NSA/DIA this makes sense that NASA is no longer in charge, but maybe someone like Plame. Second thoughts.....

'The One' a reference to the 'Matrix?' You know, its all about a computer programmer going insane and running a computer world after the corporations sells him off.......


Great Banana

Adsen,

What? Was that in English? Or in some kind of conspiracy code that only true disciples can decipher? I have no idea what you just tried to say.

- GB

SunnyDay

Haldol time.

Other Tom

Much as I hate to say it, special prosecutor Leon Jaworski did the nation a service concerning Nixon and Watergate.

mark c.

not to mention what he did for the Philadelphia Eagles.Getting them to the Super bowl and all.

Sue

What does NASA have to do with Plame? Other than I think she is "out" there? Spacey thoughts...

Jeff

Jeff having second thoughts?

Think again, dude! There's no news in the fact that Armitage was Woodward's source and Novak's first source. I'm proud to say I was one of the first people to confidently assert it - more confident earlier than Tom, more assertive about it than most others. Certainly Armitage's role complicates the story, but it hardly annihilates it, like the all-purpose fool Hitchens would like to assert.

There's news, though not big news, in nailing down the date of Armitage blowing Plame's cover with Woodward - the day after Pincus' article. I also would like to know why Armitage says he can't talk about it; is he just hoping to avoid feeding the flames, or does he not have the all-clear from Fitzgerald yet? What kind of cooperation is he talking about? Is that a gesture for sympathy from the left to which he does not belong, at all, or what? Much as you'd like to make Armitage into a Democrat, he's a rock solid Republican, as well as a serious guy and a smart cookie. Just look at who he's advising, perhaps the only politician in America who is still willing to voice the view that we should send many more troops to Iraq - which, let me add, strikes me as the only serious Republican proposal on Iraq.

vnjagvet

Jeff is a true believer, indeed. The detail that Armitage and Woodward had a meeting on June 13, together with the timeline with Libby's conversations with reporters at least tends to undermine the inference that the Office of the VP was running a vendetta against Wilson by "outing" Plame.

If that were not so, why did the prosecution protect Armitage to the extent of urging the Judge to keep his identity secret?

Now that it is established that Libby was not the first administration official to disclose Plame's identity to a reporter, the narrative recited by Fitz when he announced the indictment seems significantly undermined.

What am I missing Jeff?

Bob

adsen looks like he/she/it took the same "writing" correspondence course that semanticleo did.

Jeff

The detail that Armitage and Woodward had a meeting on June 13, together with the timeline with Libby's conversations with reporters at least tends to undermine the inference that the Office of the VP was running a vendetta against Wilson by "outing" Plame.

I don't think that's so. It's not a surprise that there was a lot of activity around the Wilsons in June-July 2003, not all of it coordinated. I do think Armitage's role as Novak's source tends to undermine the inference that OVP's vendetta directly produced Novak's column (though Rove's role remains to be clarified). But like Fitzgerald said at his press conference, Novak's column was the first sign of Plame's cover being blown; but when the FBI looks into $1 million dollars missing from a bank, it's not like they just go looking for wire fraud and if they find embezzlement, they fold up their tents.

Speaking of Rove's role, I recently came across an online righty who, honest to g-d, vehemently believed that Rove was not one of Novak's sources. It was hilarious.

Gabriel Sutherland

The President authorised officials in service to the White House to disclose information to Woodward for his book.

If Armitage is the Plame source for Woodward and Novak, does he go down or does he have a defense?

Does Armitage even care? He's been knighted into the Queen's court.

Jeff

That is a very good set of questions, Gabriel Sutherland.

SunnyDay

But like Fitzgerald said at his press conference, Novak's column was the first sign of Plame's cover being blown;

Then why hasn't Armitage been indicted? Do you think he will be?

According to the docs that were filed, Rove said "I heard that too" or "oh you heard that too" - does that make him a source?

Jane

I do think Armitage's role as Novak's source tends to undermine the inference that OVP's vendetta directly produced Novak's column (though Rove's role remains to be clarified).

Oh dear. Is the latest wingnut talking point that the OVP actually "produced" Novak's column. We are all Rove's puppets after all.

So does that make Kos the puppeteer on the left?

Jeff

does that make him a source?

Oy vey: Novak's original July 14 column cited two senior administration officials for the claim that Wilson's wife suggested his name for the mission. Those two senior administration officials were Richard Armitage and Karl Rove. Armitage was Novak's first source, and Rove his second. Get over it. Rove's casuistic, legalistic, technical way of getting out of moral responsibility for what he did and for spreading false information to the American people about it is not that he was not Novak's source, but that he didn't know that he was Novak's source. Hence, because he did not know he was Novak's source, he wasn't lying to McClellan and thereby to the American people when he told him he was not Novak's source. Even though he was Novak's source. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you honor and dignity restored to the White House!

And just for the record, there is some dispute between Novak and Rove over what it was that Rove said that Novak took as confirmation of the Plame information he'd gotten from Armitage.

Gary Maxwell

Jeff laughing about someone's vehement beliefs. The mind boggles. And quite hilarious.

SunnyDay

I really didn't expect anything else. I just couldn't resist seeing what he would answer.

It's just true. How stupid can I be?

Other Tom

If, like Karl Rove, I had said in response to Novak's question, "Oh, you heard that too?" (or "Oh, you know that too?"), I also would say that I was not a source for Novak. I would assume that Novak had a sufficient source for whatever he was going to write before he ever called me. In making that assumption I would be on an equal footing with the CIA spokesman with whom Novak spoke, and whom no one is calling a "source." And I would happily accept "moral responsibility" for stating the truth in response to Joe Wilson's now-established falsehoods.


megrez80

Hmm...I thought Novak's source of Plame's name was Wilson's Who's Who entry? So, in the context of what we're discussing, the outing (ie. identifying) of a CIA covert operative, no one in the administration was a source.

Jeff

Ah but Gary it was not the vehemence alone that was the hilarious thing. And for what it's worth, Other Tom, my online righty was not just calling Harlow a source for Novak (which is true) but calling Harlow Novak's second source blowing Plame's cover, in place of Rove. Rove certainly did not state the truth when he told McClellan and thereby the American people that he was not involved in the outing of Plame. The most that Rove is now claiming - his technical out into the land of honor and dignity - is that he thought he was telling the truth, even though it turned out to be false.

Of course, technically speaking, I believe McClellan's claim was that it was ridiculous to say that Rove was involved, not that it wasn't true. Ridiculous but true, now that's honor and dignity.

SunnyDay

What on earth is Armitage thinking? He knows everyone knows. Maybe there is more to the story?

(not Jeff's version, thanks anyway).

Jeff

megrez80 - Good variation on the main theme! The only trouble, aside from the fact that Novak's story about Who's Who remains completely unbelievable, is that it blew her cover to have his two senior administration officials tell Novak that Wilson's wife was CIA and suggested, or authorized, or sent Wilson on his mission. And of course, the Who's Who entry would have been meaningless unless Novak knew that Wilson's wife was CIA and had purportedly suggested his name for the mission. Nice try, though.

SunnyDay

Gotta go see how the armada is coming along.

boris

but calling Harlow Novak's second source blowing Plame's cover

Harlow was more a "source" than Rove. Who Novak and Jeff consider a source may be different than the reality.

Rove's statement confirms only the existence of the rumor, not it's validity. Harlow confirmed the validity.

Extraneus

The first time I read the "honor and dignity" comment, it just made me smile to think back eight years or so, but do we really have to recount the sordid litany of jailed cronies, thong-snapping bible-carrying cigar sex, miraculously-found missing billing records, unknown White House "security office" hires, FBI files, travel office firings, pork-belly fortunes, smelly pardons, crying mauled widows and witness coaching in a thread about Richard Armitage?

lurker

Jeff, I don't care whether Armitage was a democrat or republican. All's I care was that Armitage was either the original source or the confirming source of Who's Who, whichever you want to look at.

As for Rove, I see him as a confirming source but not a leaker. All's he did was to confirm what Armitage told Novak about Plame. I haven't seen anything that proved that Rove leaked the information.

I also haven't seen anything coming from OP, OVP, or Rove's office as a vendetta towards the Wilsons. Why would they want to make it a vendetta when Joe Wilson was proven to be wrong?

Lew Clark

So.
Armitage was the first to "commit a not-crime". Rove was complicit in the not-crime, but not the first to commit it, just aid and abet. Libby came along latter and may, or may not, have recommited the not-crime. So if we're prosecuting the not-crime, then Armitage should be indicted with the big indictment, Rove as an accomplish, and Libby with a lesser charge.

But, it's not, never has been, about the crime of disclosing the identity of a "CIA Operative". It is about political crimes against American leftism. The rank order of criminals against leftism are Bush, Rove, Cheney, anyone else in the White House. Libby is in the "anyone else in the White House" group and was not a prime target. But he was the highest ranking figure that they could indict. For perjury and obstruction of justice. Code for being a bad (rightwing) witness whose testimony contradicted the good (leftwing) witnesses.

Using that criteria, Armatage is a righty (by Jeff's assertion), but not in the bunch of righties they were after. A very broad prosecution for "political crimes" might have netted Armitage. But this was directed at a specific group of righties, to which Armitage did not belong.

Armitage belonged to the Powell group, whose crimes against American leftism were minor at best. So there was/is no reason to punish him.

BTW, I don''t think Fitzgerald was/is a true believer lefty. I think he is a "useful idiot" in this. A prosecutor who does what? Prosecutes. Although that does beg the point of why Libby and not Armitage. Since Fitzgerald knew, early on, that Armitage was the first kid on the block, not Libby. And certainly he had as much chance to convict Armitage by twisting the "classified nature of Plame's identity", as to prosecute Libby for perjury. Which makes you think Fitzgerald had some criteria for determining good leakers/bad leakers.

lurker

When did Fitz know about Armitage?

Did Libby know that Armitage met with Novak? Did Libby know that Armitage was the original source or the second source after Who's Who?

lurker

"Just look at who he's advising, perhaps the only politician in America who is still willing to voice the view that we should send many more troops to Iraq - which, let me add, strikes me as the only serious Republican proposal on Iraq."

Funny, we just increased the number of troops to clean out Anbar.

And history proves "so what?" We continue to learn lessons over the years. Warfare and technology have change so drastically, that the history books are being rewritten to accomodate new methods, procedures, lessons. We're not fighting an army but rather guerilla fighting so it's different.

lurker

Jeff, I have a question for you and hope you answer it.

What crimes were committed by Armitage or Who's Who leaking Plame's identity? And exactly what is Plame's status at CIA during those two or three months?

Lurker

And, Jeff, do you believe in Joe Wilson's report that Iraq actually purchased uranium? And exactly what did Bush say in that SOTU speech?

Lurker

Lew, if Fitz already knew that Armitage was the original source long before he indicted Libby, how can Libby perjure or obstruct justice?

This case continues to get bizarre every minute.

Jane

Someone asked what the left was saying:

This is part of what they are saying:

"Libby is not being prosecuted for being hte leak, but
for hindering an investigation. Perhaps yo may wish to do some more
research.

"http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Lewis_%22Scooter%22_Libby_indicted_on_five_charges"

"Mr. Libby is charged with obstruction of justice, two counts of
perjury to a Grand Jury, and two counts of making false statements to
the FBI in the Justice Department's investigation into the Plame leak."

How does the revelation that another government official spoke ot
Woodward change these charges?

Of course, you will ignore this direct question as it challenges your
percpetions. Please prove me wrong and answer it."

Sue

I see Jeff is bringing us the new, improved version of Fitzmas.

Sue

I have thought all along that Fitzgerald kept going because he wanted Miller.

Jeff

What crimes were committed by Armitage or Who's Who leaking Plame's identity? And exactly what is Plame's status at CIA during those two or three months?

Obviously, I'm not in a position to answer those questions - though i can say with confidence that you are relying on a false premise in your belief that Who's Who leaked Plame's identity, if by the you mean or include the crucial information that she was a CIA employee. It was never any secret that Joe Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame, and there is no problem with anyone publishing that Joe Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame. Moreover, it's impossible to leak information that's in Who's Who, at least under most circumstances. The problematic leak was the one that blew her cover as a CIA employee, and for that to happen there is no necessity to use her name - though it is hard to imagine why Novak would refer to her by her maiden name unless he had been told that that was her name, which of course it wasn't. Her name was Valerie Wilson.

But blowing Plame's cover per se is not necessarily a crime, as Fitzgerald made clear in the press conference. There are a number of requirements that have to be met, in terms of what the person who blew her cover knew and why and how he or she was doing it. So Armitage blew her cover with Woodward and Novak. Did he commit a crime? We don't know. So far, Fitzgerald has not charged him with a crime, and I suspect he is unlikely to charge him with a crime for blowing Plame's cover.

I will admit I still find it hard to see how Armitage did not commit a crime in not disclosing the fact that he blew Plame's cover with Woodward in June.

As for Plame's status at the CIA, we know it was classified. Beyond that, there have been reports that she was covered in some sense - was she covert under IIPA? Hard to tell, and a lot of the relevant information has been filed under seal in the case. But we do know that her status was classified. I don't think even Byron York is tooting his horn on that matter anymore.

vnjagvet

Jeff sez:

"Novak's original July 14 column cited two senior administration officials for the claim that Wilson's wife suggested his name for the mission. Those two senior administration officials were Richard Armitage and Karl Rove. Armitage was Novak's first source, and Rove his second. Get over it. Rove's casuistic, legalistic, technical way of getting out of moral responsibility for what he did and for spreading false information to the American people about it is not that he was not Novak's source, but that he didn't know that he was Novak's source. Hence, because he did not know he was Novak's source, he wasn't lying to McClellan and thereby to the American people when he told him he was not Novak's source. Even though he was Novak's source."

This boils down to Novack cited Rove as a source, therefore he is a source.

But the type of source is critical. Rove's "You heard that too?" is a confirming source in only an indirect sense, and certainly does not create the inference of a vendetta-like motive except to the most committed to that view like Jeff. It is to me more consistent with inadvertance than with other, more sinister motives.

The sheer mental gymnastics quoted above tends to show that Jeff does not subscribe to Occam's teachings.

Sue

is that it blew her cover to have his two senior administration officials tell Novak that Wilson's wife was CIA and suggested, or authorized, or sent Wilson on his mission.

One senior administration official tells Novak. Novak calls Rove, not the other way around, and Rove said one of 2 versions, i.e., heard that, know that. The senior administration official who started the questions was Armitage. And Jeff (and probably the entire left) have to suddenly tie Armitage and Powell's office as colluding with Cheney to out a CIA agent. Otherwise their theory doesn't work.

Jeff

And, Jeff, do you believe in Joe Wilson's report that Iraq actually purchased uranium? And exactly what did Bush say in that SOTU speech?

Oh, man, you've been snookered. Where oh where, my friend, are you getting your information that Wilson's report reported that Iraq actually purchased uranium? And I know precisely what Bush said in his SOTU speech. Even if you want to argue, in the most Clintonian fashion, that it was true - which is a little bit of a problem, because it requires you to argue that the British had learned something that wasn't true - the fact of the matter is that the US intel community had told the British they were too strong in their claim on the Niger story before the British published their White Paper, and CIA had even briefed Congress on the fact that it had told the British as much, and CIA had even worked really hard to get the claim taken out of Bush's October 7 2002 Cincinnati speech, not least because they had told the British they were too confident in their claim, and including having Tenet himself personally call Stephen Hadley and persuade Hadley, over his objections, to take the damn claim out of the speech. Those sixteen words attributing the claim to the British didn't belong in the speech. What's more, the other source for the claim, the October 2002 NIE, which the administration apparently didn't want to use publicly, had not included the Niger story among the key judgments, and in fact all the agencies involved in producing the NIE except one (DoE) had not relied on the uranium from Africa claim at all as a basis for the NIE's judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. Thus, it should never have been used as part of the public justification for the war, as evidence for the claim that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program.

boris

One senior administration official tells Novak.

Exactly ... Armitage. Rove's interpretation of the incident is different than Novak's, so Jeff's assertion is based strictly on Novak's. Novak considers Rove a source, true. Rove actually was a source, false (or at least not strictly true).

Jeff

And Jeff (and probably the entire left) have to suddenly tie Armitage and Powell's office as colluding with Cheney to out a CIA agent.

Sue, thanks for the offer of assistance, but no thanks. This is, in fact, the diametric opposite of what I believe.

PaulV

So Jeff it that an admission that Rove never told Novak Plame's name and neversaid that she was an operative?

David Walser

Jeff, I fail to see why anyone should be upset at the "corruption" evident in Rove telling what he thought to be the truth. Suppose my wife asks me if I've got the car keys, and, after checking my pants pockets, I tell her, "No." If the car keys are in my jacket pocket, have I lied to my wife? If I knew that the keys were in my jacket pocket (and the checking of my pockets was just part of my effort to deceive her), then claiming I did not have them would be a lie. However, if I did not know the keys were in my jacket, telling my wife I did not have the keys would not be a lie. It would be an honest mistake. A lie is a deliberate falsehood. There is nothing in the record that indicates that Rove knew Novak considered him to be a source. Assuming he did not believe he was Novak's source, there was nothing dishonorable in his claiming he was not. Demanding we be upset because Rove was mistaken is nothing more than a poorly played game of gotcha.

Sue

Sue, thanks for the offer of assistance, but no thanks. This is, in fact, the diametric opposite of what I believe.

Not buying it, Jeff.

Much as you'd like to make Armitage into a Democrat, he's a rock solid Republican, as well as a serious guy and a smart cookie. Just look at who he's advising, perhaps the only politician in America who is still willing to voice the view that we should send many more troops to Iraq - which, let me add, strikes me as the only serious Republican proposal on Iraq.

As much as you would like to make Armitage part of the Cheney cabal, it won't happen.

Great Banana

Jeff,

Well, it seems pretty clear that we now know that Rove responded to Novak - "oh you heard that too?" or something to that effect. And that Novak used that statement as a confirming source, along with Harlow, to apparently confirm what Armitage told him (Novak).

the question I have, is so what? Nobody has been indicted in a crime for "outing" Plame. thus, so what? Fitz has apparently deduced that no crime of "outing" plame was committed.

So, if no crime was committed in the "outing" of a file clerk at CIA, then what is your point?

Do you still believe in Fitzmas? Is that it?

That is so cute.

- GB

boris

Thus, it should never have been used

When it comes to national security the elected official in charge of that responsibility gets to decide what possible dangers to inform the public about. Considering the effectiveness of the CIA in general, taking all sources of intel, especially a close ally like the Brits is reasonable AFAIC, but then coming from a pro military family that have served in the last few wars I could be biased.

Lurker

"As for Plame's status at the CIA, we know it was classified. Beyond that, there have been reports that she was covered in some sense - was she covert under IIPA? Hard to tell, and a lot of the relevant information has been filed under seal in the case. But we do know that her status was classified. I don't think even Byron York is tooting his horn on that matter anymore."

So how can Plame's status as classified make it a crime, Jeff?

Classified doesn't mean that Plame was covert. Why? Because my government work tells me so.

There are enough evidence that provides strong indication that Plame was not covert at that time, at a minimum, listing below, but not including.

Ames.

Years of USA residence.

Her daily habits to work.

P.S. Byron York probably has nothing new to talk about.

Great Banana

Oh, man, you've been snookered. Where oh where, my friend, are you getting your information that Wilson's report reported that Iraq actually purchased uranium?

Actually, the 9/11 commission found that Wilson reported that Iraq, had indeed, SOUGHT (not actually purchased) uranium in Africa. Thus, the 9/11 commission pretty clearly found that Wilson lied in his Op/Ed that started all this.

And I know precisely what Bush said in his SOTU speech. Even if you want to argue, in the most Clintonian fashion, that it was true - which is a little bit of a problem, because it requires you to argue that the British had learned something that wasn't true - the fact of the matter is that the US intel community had told the British they were too strong in their claim on the Niger story before the British published their White Paper,

So, our infallible CIA, who has been proven wrong on every major world event in the last 20 years, is now infallible in your eyes? It is impossible for the British to believe something b/c the CIA says it is not so?

and CIA had even briefed Congress on the fact that it had told the British as much, and CIA had even worked really hard to get the claim taken out of Bush's October 7 2002 Cincinnati speech, not least because they had told the British they were too confident in their claim, and including having Tenet himself personally call Stephen Hadley and persuade Hadley, over his objections, to take the damn claim out of the speech.

Please - some citations to a credible source for this nonsense.

Those sixteen words attributing the claim to the British didn't belong in the speech.

According to the great and mighty Jeff, who is, apparently, better at gathering foreign intelligence than the British or the CIA, or Joe Wilson who pretty much confirmed what the British believed, if you are to believe the 911 commission.

You've been believing what the KOS kids and DUmmies are saying too much.

boris

the British had learned something that wasn't true

You don't know. Did Saddam seek uranium in Africa? You don't know. Do the Brits know? You don't know that either.

Asserting unknowns in the negative is dangerous wrt intel.

clarice

Even as to the discrepencies between Novak and Rove's recollections, one must consider that Novak had a motive to hear "you heard that, too" with "I know" because the first is so weak as a basis for claiming confirmation. He never said from whom he heard it nor indicated how reliable that report was.


The FOIA revelation adds nothing to the story that we didn't know when Woodward admitted he'd heard about Plame; his source wasn't Rove or Cheney or Libby; and that he heard earlier than any date Fitz picked as "the first" to tell date.

Worse, we have known for some time that Fitz knew Novak's source, before he made represenations to the CT of Appeals to compel Miller's testimony and before he called Rove or Libby to the stand.

lurker

HHHmmm, Jeff, that's the answer I thought would come from you.

Since there were findings (e.g., various reports, such as SSCI) after the fact proving that the SOTU's 16-words were absolutely correct, there was no need for any attempt to take those 16 words out of the SOTU.

And so what about the Niger story?

"What's more, the other source for the claim, the October 2002 NIE, which the administration apparently didn't want to use publicly, had not included the Niger story among the key judgments, and in fact all the agencies involved in producing the NIE except one (DoE) had not relied on the uranium from Africa claim at all as a basis for the NIE's judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program."

So? It turned out to be true after all. And Saddam was trying to get Europe to lift the sanctions so that he can reconstitute its nuclear program.

David Walser

Even if you want to argue, in the most Clintonian fashion, that it was true - which is a little bit of a problem, because it requires you to argue that the British had learned something that wasn't true... - Jeff

I know I should let this pass since, given everything else, it's just a minor point. However, the British did not learn "something that wasn't true." The claim was that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Africa. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests this to be true. Iraq had sent a trade delegation to Niger to encourage Niger to trade with Iraq. The only thing Niger had to trade was uranium. It does not take Clintonian efforts at parsing to claim what Bush said in the SOTU was true. (It may not have been supported, at the time of the speech, to the extent the WH wished, but that's another question.)

patch

"The problematic leak was the one that blew her cover as a CIA employee..."

So Valerie outed herself. She had a CIA parking decal on her car, drove to Langley every day, and entered the CIA building. Sounds like great tradecraft for a super-duper, secret, covert, undercover, classified agent/operative.

By the way, has anyone ever found the wedding announcement for Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame?

Gabriel Sutherland

There's little evidence to support the claim that Cheney would count Armitage as one of his "Administration Friends". Cheney doesn't count many uniformed or former uniformed players as his "Administration Friends".

Armitage comes from the former uniformed clique of Colin Powell. Powell's chief of staff was a Lt. Colonel. Armitage's chief of staff was a former Naval Intel Officer.

BTW, Armitage has gone international with his Armitage International, Inc. consulting firm. So if you want to know if Armitage was a source, hire him.

Jeff

Congratulations, Sue! You're not buying it. Guess what? I'm not selling anything, and I am rejecting your offer to put words in my mouth. My own view now as it has been for months is that there was a coordinated effort out of OVP to get the Wilsons and out Plame with that most reliable of hawk shills, Judith Miller, with that most prestigious of MSM perch's, the Grey Lady Herself, as the preferred target. Not surprisingly, in June-July 2003 there was a lot of activity in the administration around the Wilsons, and Armitage was one of the actors, blowing Plame's cover with Woodward and Novak for whatever reason he did it; but his activity was independent of OVP's, except to the extent that Rove may have been acting in coordination with OVP and may have just seized an opportunity when Novak came to him - but even if that's so, there was no coordination with Armitage on that, I strongly suspect.

So in other words, OVP coordinated action plus Armitage's action, perhaps intersecting in the person of Novak, perhaps not.

I take it it's at least partly for this reason that Fitzgerald was careful to say that Novak's column was the first sign that Plame's cover was blown, but was not the thing itself.

lurker

"Oh, man, you've been snookered. Where oh where, my friend, are you getting your information that Wilson's report reported that Iraq actually purchased uranium?

Actually, the 9/11 commission found that Wilson reported that Iraq, had indeed, SOUGHT (not actually purchased) uranium in Africa. Thus, the 9/11 commission pretty clearly found that Wilson lied in his Op/Ed that started all this."

Bush's SOTU 16-words said Iraq SOUGHT to buy uranium. Bush's SOTU 16-words never said Iraq BOUGHT uranium.

Therefore, Bush's SOTU 16-words were absolutely correct and did not need to be removed. That is, in spite of what Condi caved in. Condi's cave-in occurred before the Butler report and other reports proving Bush's SOTU 16-words were correct right from the beginning.

xrayiiis

I must say, I admire Jeff. It takes real courage for a one legged man to enter an ass kicking contest.

xrayiiis

That one leg would be the left, of course.

Jeff

Iraq had sent a trade delegation to Niger to encourage Niger to trade with Iraq.

That appears not to be the case. What trade delegation and when are you referring to? And where are you getting your information? Those two reports kind of botch this, I think, though it still hasn't been clarified.

The only thing Niger had to trade was uranium.

An overstatement of Hitchensian proportions, but I get your point. However, it leaves out the other direction of trade as a possibility - importation of oil for money, which appears to have actually been arranged, according to the Duelfer Report.

boris

coordinated effort out of OVP to get the Wilsons and out Plame with that most reliable of hawk shills, Judith Miller

That would be a true statment if you replace Plame with the INR. Conflation disease.

boris

still hasn't been clarified.

Even if so that's a far cry from "proven false". It's clear enough without blinders.

lurker

"there was a coordinated effort out of OVP to get the Wilsons and out Plame with that most reliable of hawk shills, Judith Miller, with that most prestigious of MSM perch's, the Grey Lady Herself, as the preferred target."

If this was true, why do you see this as an evil action?

All's they did was to put forth the facts that those SOTU 16 words were accurate. They declassified that one NIE report which proved those words to be correct.

AJStrata just did a good long post explaining the history of dem actions, which explains why the Bush adm had to push back these MSM / Wilson reports.

Demcrats' Failure on Terrorism

Why is this such an evil action or vendetta?

Jeff

boris - good to see you're still up to your old quackery. Doctor, heal thyself!

lurker

How did the CIA's special envoy miss Zahawie's trip to Niger

Yes, it indeed does seem to be the case, Jeff.

epphan

Either brilliant work by OVP to make the original source of their coordinated attack come from Armitage or stumbling effort by OVP since they couldn’t even get it leaked before Armitage is confirming facts. It’s a win-win for Jeff. He may be paranoid, but lots of folks are following him!

boris

importation of oil for money

Ok door to door oil salesman. lol

xrayiiis

Honestly, Jeff, you are probably the most civil and fair minded debater from the left that I have encountered. For that I commend you. I just could not resist the opportunity to use one of my favorite lines.

I have committed the crime I accuse others of, namely an unsubstantiated ad hominem attack, and for that I apologise.

Gary Maxwell

An overstatement of Hitchensian proportions,

Well no unless you think the Iraqi were ( are?) huge consumers of chick peas.

lurker

"The only thing Niger had to trade was uranium.

An overstatement of Hitchensian proportions, but I get your point. However, it leaves out the other direction of trade as a possibility - importation of oil for money, which appears to have actually been arranged, according to the Duelfer Report."

So, what's the point? Al-Zawahie was sent to Niger to seek the acquisition of uranium to build their own WMDs, especially if Saddam could get those sanctions lifted AND through Oil for money corruption.

lurker

Of course, I wasn't happy about Christopher Hitchens being part of that stupid ACLU case. That's one thing that is pretty dumb of him.

lurker

"Either brilliant work by OVP to make the original source of their coordinated attack come from Armitage or stumbling effort by OVP since they couldn’t even get it leaked before Armitage is confirming facts. It’s a win-win for Jeff. He may be paranoid, but lots of folks are following him!"

How does this make it such an evil action or vendetta?

boris

Doctor, heal thyself!

Ok then ...

... still hasn't been clarified.

Even if that were so it's still a far cry from "proven false". Nevertheless, it's clear enough anyone without BDS.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I guess that book advance wasn't as large as reported. US News reports:

'She might be the most famous ex-spy in America, but Valerie Plame is still a mom stuck with mommy duties. Like taking her daughter to ballet and trying to sell off the cute dancing ensemble that doesn't fit anymore. We know because her ad showed up on the DC Urban Moms site last week offering a complete outfit in "soft lemon yellow" from the exclusive "Ballet Petite" school in her neighborhood. It includes a size 5/6 Repetto bodysuit, matching chiffon yellow tie-shirt, kids size 12 pink ballet shoes, and white leotards. "All in excellent condition! If bought separately, would easily cost $75; selling for $45." Naturally, when we contacted her she was a bit cautious, having just sued the veep and others for blowing her cover in the Iraq weapons case. She did, however, stay on focus. "I guess my only comment is: Do you want to buy the Ballet Petite outfit or know someone who does?" she E-mails. "My 6-year-old daughter has outgrown it." '

epphan

Lurker: I don't understand the question. But I'm a conservative fool.

xrayiiis:
With all due respect, I appreciate that Jeff hasn’t dissolved into a blubbering pile of curse words. But, come on. His arguments are at the most basic level, premised on the idea that Cheney is evil and that the administration would “out” a CIA agent to “get back” at a critic. Given that premise, he works backward with a dump truck full of “facts” that fit the scenario. That’s easy, but it’s still just delusional crap. The same kind of thing you will find at KOS 24/7. Bonus: The President isn’t wiretapping to discover secrets about his “enemies.”

PaulinAz

Wow Jeff...the truest of True Believers. The mental gymnastics required to makes this work for you are truly entertaining to watch.

My question for you is, "Does it hurt?"

Jeff

Here's the problem with Hitchens' argument. There was nothing for Wilson to miss about the February 1999 Zawahie trip to Niger: it was known before his trip - apparently it was even covered in the newspaper at the time! plus the U.S. embassy in Niger duly filed a report about it at the time - and was in fact part of the intel reporting in February 2002 that prompted Cheney to ask the CIA, which prompted the CIA to cook up the idea of Wilson's mission in the first place! So Wilson didn't miss anything. The further trouble is that people conflate that February 1999 trip with the idea that there was another trade delegation that traveled to Niger and met with someone in Niger in summer 1999, and that had to do with uranium. This is based on that little item in Wilson's report about how a former Nigerien official found out at the sidelines of a OAS meeting that some Iraqis wanted to talk with him, and he had anxiety that maybe just maybe they wanted to talk about uranium. So they had a courtesy call and uranium didn't come up. Does that count as seeking uranium?

So Hitchens can continue trying to claim that Zawahie's trip to Niger - along with several other African nations - in February 1999 was really to do with uranium. But his case is substantially weakened by the fact that he makes it out like it was a big secret, which moreover Wilson missed. Not so. And it looks like instead what happened is that there was new reporting in February 2002 that that trip that was well known actually had to do with uranium. But the trouble with that is that that is the reporting that was based on the forged documents - yes yes the documents themselves weren't included, but verbatim text of them were, and so they were based on the forged documents. To all appearances, this involved the Italians making shit up.

PeterUK

How does Jeff know Plame was covert/undercover/clasified,has he been on that crucial third date?
We should be told.

boris

soooo ... it's true about seeking uranium but someone used text from a forgery which means that Bush should have ... what ???

not used it in a speech ???

this is really about TANG isn't it?

topsecretk9

Wait...they only thing Wilson reported to the CIA was (private sector contacts) deny the deal...that's it in sum and substance. That the left have built his big nothing into a monumental piece of intelligence gathering is embarrassing, for them.

PeterUK

"the fact of the matter is that the US intel community had told the British they were too strong in their claim on the Niger story before the British published their White Paper, and CIA had even briefed Congress on the fact that it had told the British as much,"

Here is the heart of the left's lie.the wotd was AFRICA NOT NIGER.

Jeff

topsecret - It's true, Wilson's report was only one of many reasons the Niger (and Africa!) uranium story should have died a dignified death, intead of being subjected to the horrific afterlife it suffered.

Bob
"I must say, I admire Jeff. It takes real courage for a one legged man to enter an ass kicking contest.

actually xrayiiis, it's very much like a moonbat. They find it very hard to give up on their dream... it wasn't too long ago they were all getting ready for Fitzmas!

And now they're being told there is no such thing as Santa Claus. It's gotta suck to be liberal! Moveon little moonbats!

Sue

Jeff,

We went around this mulberry bush back in the days when everyone was guessing who UGO was. Armitage, you claimed, was just as good a get as anyone, considering he was a republican. You are still claiming that. Starting with your earlier post today.

topsecretk9

Jeff
Of course I left this out

The intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996-1997). Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999,( ) businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted "expanding commercial relations" to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq."

it's true that Wilson's report only added to the seeking and all he could say is that Private Sector guys denied it, that's it. Not my fault you guys desperately hung your hat on "deny" to mean Joe Wilson is the single greatest intelligence gatherer, and dumbed down what Intel. gathering means in the process. And that is one of Hitch's points.

Jeff

topsecret - That quotation from the report based on Wilson's trip is quite interesting, since it makes it sound like the meeting took place and uranium came up but was dropped, whereas in fact it never came up. I'm willing to assume that is bad reporting by the CIA, though I would like to see the report itself, since at key points, the SSCi report has been known to misquote its sources.

topsecretk9

meanwhile, back to the presser

...In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked with Judith Miller in June [23rd] of 2003 about Valerie Wilson...

...It was known that there was a leak and we needed to figure out how that happened, who did it, why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove it, whether we should prove it...

I wonder if the person who called Novak (but apparently didn't know the person he represented talked to Woodward) to say the "leak" was inadvertent "IS" the "sand thrower" that prevented Fitz from finding out the truth to what Fitz thought he had done at the presser? That call still sounds like witness tampering to me.

Jeff

That call still sounds like witness tampering to me.

Agreed.

Specter

Jeff,

I know you won't answer this, but would you mind enlightening us as to how you know - more than the SSCI - that uranium sales never came up? How do you know that? The SSCI report is based on the oral report that Wilson made to debriefers. You happen to have other doucmentation that refutes what is said? Oh - and you said:

The further trouble is that people conflate that February 1999 trip with the idea that there was another trade delegation that traveled to Niger and met with someone in Niger in summer 1999, and that had to do with uranium.

Yet the SSCI actually says June 1999. So where is the conflation you speak of?

MayBee

since it makes it sound like the meeting took place and uranium came up but was dropped, whereas in fact it never came up.

In FACT? Where'd you get that fact?

Anyway, of course Saddam was going to try to build a nuke, and either was at the time or he was getting ready to after the sactions were lifted. Iran was. Libya was. You think he wouldn't?

One more odd and end about the Plame name and "Who's Who". The point is made in this thread that it didn't matter where Novak got the name, because her name was out there. But testimony states that Harlow told Novak that if he published the information about Wilson's wife's employment he shouldn't publish her name.
So the CIA source found the name important. I don't know why.

David Walser

Jeff,

I've never been compared to Hitchens before. Not sure how I feel about it. Certainly, I'd love to have his facility with language.

As for the substance, the Senate report said that Wilson's trip was thought of as weak confirmation of the British report that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Africa. The report was that the former Nigerian government official thought the purpose of the meeting was to start talks about how to Niger could ship uranium to Iraq. The fact the official claims the topic did not come up does not mean that was not the motive. (What was he going to do, admit Niger had been conspiring to circumvent UN sanctions?) After all, when a man and a women are on a date, the fact that neither sex nor marriage are discussed does not mean one or the other is not the objective of at least one of them.

boris

whereas in fact it never came up

The Niger official claimed it was never raised by the Iraq delegation. Another interpretation is that the official informed the delegation uranium was not available, after which they did not bring it up again.

PeterUK

It is ludicrous to think that if there were illicit uranium exports from Niger to anywhere,including Lybia,that Nigerien official would acknowledge them?
It is only three years from 1999 to 2003,a mere blink of the eye in nuclear development terms,certainly in terms of clandestine operations nothing at all.So connecting these is hardly conflating the two visits.
Since Niger is a dirt poos country with uranium ore being the only significant export,wht did prominent Iraqi officials make visits?
It is ridiculous to claim,
"importation of oil for money, which appears to have actually been arranged, according to the Duelfer Report."
The only commodity that Niger had to pay for oil with was uranium ore.
But even this is a sidetrack since there are other major uranium ore producers in africa.

clarice

IIRC A Q Khan also made a trip to Niger about that time.

clarice

Yes--My memory on such ephemera remains intact:
"Writes Siddique, "In February 1998 I received a call from Tahir Mian (Khan's Sri Lankan frontman who is also on the U.S radar)...saying Dr A.Q.Khan is planning a visit to Timbuktu and you are invited to join him. I reached Dubai on 19 February 1998 and met Dr A Q Khan. He had with him one Mr Hanks, a Dutch businessman; Lt Gen Dr Chauhan, former Surgeon General of Pakistan Army, and now Director-General of Medical Services Division of KRL; and Brig Sajawal. Dr Khan told us that we would fly to Timbuktu via Casablanca in Morocco and Bamako, capital of Mali."

"Next I met Dr Khan on 28 June 1998 in Kuala Lumpur at the wedding of Tahir Mian. It was decided there to make another trip to Timbuktu because the last visit was short... Dr Khan told us that this time we would take a different route to Timbuktu. We will fly there via Sudan and Nigeria."

"We left Dubai for Khartoum on 21 February 1999. The education minister of Sudan received the group and we were lodged at the State Guest House. After making a short stopover in a Nigerian city we reached Timbuktu on 24 February 1999. After spending a couple of days we were on our way back and our first stop was Niamey, capital of Niger."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow/497486.cms

PeterUK

Boris,
"The Niger official claimed it was never raised by the Iraq delegation. Another interpretation is that the official informed the delegation uranium was not available, after which they did not bring it up again"

Then again he would say that wouldn't he? Since Niger is a poor African country and the Yellow Cake mining is owned by the French company COGEMA,remembering Chirac sold Saddam Hussein his first nuclear reactor,how likely is rejecting millions of dollars in secret deals?

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