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December 19, 2006

Comments

clarice

Cecil's always right.

vnjagvet

Successful prosecutors are not in the habit of skipping over a witness they think will be favorable to their case. Trust me on that one. The reporter is speculating or spinning this without professional-level knowledge of the case.

Cecil is right about this one.

Jane

So who is gonna call Armitage?

clarice

Oh.let me guess..I doubt he's on Fitz' A list, don't you?

Patton

The defense should put OFFICIAL A on their witness list.

Don

If Cheney is going to be a great defense witness, why the hell won't Bush pardon Libby and have Cheney explain it in a press conference rather than a witness box?!

This isn't a separation of powers issue:

If the same executive branch that's prosecuting him is now his star witness-something ain't right.

Patton

Think the defense will be allowed to ask the reporters:

1. Have you ever lied to protect the identity of your true source?

2. Have you ever lied by omission knowing that the person would be misguided by your answers?

3. Have you ever lied to the public.

4. Has your news organization ever lied or created false stories for public consumption? Things like fake documents, blowing up trucks, etc.

5. Do you believe Dan Rather lied about TANG or was just utterly stoopid?

6. Can you honestly look these jurors in the eye and tell them that you and your news organization are not the tiniest bit biased against George Bush and his adminstration?

7. Who did you vote for in the last 4 elections?

clarice

Dan, Obviously they think the case is meritless, and that it is in their interest to have a jury determine Libby's innocence. If they don't, there's still the pardon option.

Cecil Turner

Man, I love I-told-you-so's. (But I'd rather have the popcorn concession for this circus.)

boris

Mayby cleo the clown can help out there.

SunnyDay

Cleo and Don. And Sam can punctuate it with the obituaries recitation.

Crew v1.0

The idea that Cheney's testimony will help the prosecution is fanciful. But hey, keep hope alive.

Memo to Matt Damon: shut up and screenwrite. I may not like Dick Cheney much, but I also know how I feel about faux heroes like Matt Damon dropping his sanctimonious chickenhawk dung-bombs on someone, like Cheney, who actually is entrusted with making decisions about and with our often limited, flawed national security intelligence, and doesn't merely prance around and play a super-duper secret agent in a Robert Ludlum fantasy land, or in a Kos Kids fantasy like Syriana, or this latest Very Important Movie, the one about the founding of the CIA, in which Matt gets to wear his Richard Helms glasses and his character gets to bed a wife played by Academy Award Winning humanitarian Angelina Collagen.

Hey Matt, the next time you are feeling full of yourself and awfully smart and you want to unload your opinions about our elected officials, I have three little words for you:
"THE BROTHERS GRIMM."

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I think I'm going to find my DVD of Team America: World Police and enjoy.

Specter

You just have to laugh at sam. I mean - if I was to gather up the news from every major city - say up to about a representative 22M in population - in the US, I could come up with a longer list on a daily basis. It's easier to scroll by....scroll by shooting...LOL

Jim E.

I think Cecil's "I told you so" moment is a tad premature given that we don't yet know what kind of witness Cheney will make. He hasn't testified yet, after all.

Of course, I realize that Cheney will be complimented around here no matter how he does. But even if your collective judgment of his performance is pre-determined, you still ought to wait until he's actually delivered it.

Jane

We've seen other Cheney moments Jim - like the v. presidential debate. I have no doubt that he will testify well.

SteveMG

Of course, I realize that Cheney will be complimented around here no matter how he does.

Geezus, how do you maintain such a charming persona? Remarkable.

It's amazing. Each post is more appealing than the last.

So persuasive, so filled with good will and good faith arguments.

SMG

PaulV

Wrong again Jim E. Richard Cheney testified before Grand Jury. Both sides have seen testimony. Wonder why Fitz does not want to call Cheney but defense does?

vnjagvet

JimE:

This thread is about prognostication, and not about judgment. By definition, prognostication requires a prediction.

Commenting on, e.g. a Super Bowl winner's performance after the Super Bowl takes a different skill than predicting how the contestants will perform.

Your scolding observation is somewhat off point in that context. Lighten up.

Looking at this thing objectively, can you honestly say that now that Fitz has passed on using Cheney as a prosecution witness, it is more likely than not that he would be more favorable to the prosecution than to the defense?

clarice

Somehow I rather think the VP has been waiting for this moment with anticipation. (And Fitz has not.)

maryrose

Jim E, JIM E., JimE.,...
Why all the doom and gloom.? Is it because Cheney is about to make mincemeat out of Fitz and CO. in front of the jury and all of America?
No wonder you are cranky- your boy Fitz is going down.. Libby can only benefit. Just ask John Edwards-that debate tape could kill his now presidential chances.

SunnyDay

that debate tape should be on you tube.

clarice

Fitz was very good at playing to the press with half-baked hints about Cheney which he let sit out for a while before retracting. Let's see how brave he is at slinging dirt when the two of them are eyeball to eyeball.

Pete

It is no secret that Cheney (or Bush for that matter) is sympathetic to Libby, but I fail to see how Cheney could save Libby's ass. Ultimately the trial is about Libby's lies to the grand jury.

I don't think that the "I was too busy to accrately testify" or "I was too important to accurately testify" defense will fly in front of a DC jury

clarice

Try, I knew I wasn't the source of the leak to Novak, I had really important shit on my plate 24/7, I testified to the best of my reccollection and, if in the middle of all that, I accidently misspoke, that's all it was.

SunnyDay

Oh dear! Too funny! They are saying that Cheney might just not show up, or take the fifth, or that this is a trick to throw Fitzgerald off, or to force Bush to pardon Libby.

What a bunch of nuts!

Jeff

Somehow I rather think the VP has been waiting for this moment with anticipation. (And Fitz has not.)

Somehow I rather think clarice is wrong, as usual. Consider. This way Fitgerald gets Cheney on the stand without any of those pesky executive privilege battles and delays and so forth.

Try, I knew I wasn't the source of the leak to Novak

But as Fitzgerald has already explicated, Libby knew very well that it wasn't just the leak to Novak that was being investigated. It was all leaks of Plame to reporters that he was going to be questioned in connection with. As Fitzgerald said in his November 17 2006 reply in support of his motion in limine regarding charging decisions (p. 6):

The defendant argues that it is disingenuous for the government to argue that the defendant frustrated the investigation because the investigation was limited to discovering who leaked information to Robet Novak and was limited to whether violations of the Foreign Intelligence Identities Protections Act had occurred. Resp. at 2, 10. Of course, the investigation was not so limited and, to borrow a phrase, the defense knows this. In fact, defendeant was on notice that the investigation concerned any government officials who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to any reporters, not just Robert novak, and that the investigation was not limited to determining whether violations of a single statute had occurred.

That will, of course, prove a problem for any number of arguments that have been floated by clarice and her delightful colleague Victoria Toensing. But in any case, it will prove something Libby has to find another response to besides, I knew I wasn't the source for Novak.

To say nothing of the fact that you cannot accidently misspeak and produce an extremely coherent narrative of events falsified in numerous key particulars by other witnesses, as Libby did. Whatever that is, it's not accidental misspeaking.

clarice

"you cannot accidently misspeak and produce an extremely coherent narrative of events falsified in numerous key particulars by other witnesses, as Libby did. Whatever that is, it's not accidental misspeaking"

Of course you can. If you remember something happening a certain way, that is how you narrate it. You may be in error--your memory can be faulty--but that memory may well be inherently coherent.

It may be that Fitz was looking for all leaks, but there remains no motive for Libby to have lied about it..Indeed, from what I recall of the reporters' narratives Russert says they never dicsussed it(no leak); Miller is incoherent (hard to make out a leak to her from her various versions),Cooper says HE raised it and Libby said he heard that, too.Libby recalls saying he heard it, too, FROM OTHER REPORTERS but Cooper didn't recall that qualifier. Nevertheless, in his pretrial ruling, the Judge seems to have signalled that Cooper's contemporaneous notes of his conversation with Libby show not a word was mentioned about Mrs Wilson/Plame and that no matter how he testified his testimony could be impeached by Time's records.

Jeff

clarice

I'm quite sure you're not accidentally misspeaking, and I suspect you're not misremembering. But the only one you've got right is the Russert conversation.

Wishful thinking plus lack of knowledge, now we're talking.

clarice

I'm sure I got it just right.

In any event, if you do not believe that two people cannot honestly remember a single short conversation quite differently and each have a perfectly coherent narrative of it without either of them deliberately lying, I suppose you've never been married.

Jeff

I'm sure I got it just right.

And I'm sure you're sure. Good for you, certain about your certainty. But you've simply got the substance of the difference between Libby's and Cooper's account completely wrong. And your judgment about Miller's account's incoherence is very weak.

if you do not believe that two people cannot honestly remember a single short conversation quite differently

But this is just evasive, since my point was not that Libby had a disagreement with one other person about a single short conversation, but rather that Libby had a whole narrative of an entire set of events, including numerous conversations, which was entirely coherent, and is contradicted at almost all the key points by the other parties to the conversations. And that cannot be the result of accidental misspeaking. It could conceivably, though highly implausibly, be the result of massive misremembering and fabrication of the substance of conversations. But not accidental misspeaking, as you initially tried to make out in your effort to defend Libby by minimizing to the fullest extent possible the hurdle he faces.

clarice

He told the SP he'd heard it from Cheney on I believe June 12, 2003 . As far as I can tell, that is absolutely correct. He also then related to the best of his knowledge his conversation with other reporters--all of those conversations were short, had occurred some time earlier, were not particularly memorable (with the exception of the complaint to Russert about coverage) and not memoralized in his notes.

Neither Russert nor Cooper had notes and Judy Miller's are cockeyed.

clarice

Excuse me--Cooper had notes--taken simultanously with the conversaation but they do not reflect one word of any reference to Plame/Mrs. Wilson.

Niters.

sam

25,000 Dead or wounded US troops.

12/19/06 Reuters: Gunmen kill police major in Diwaniya
Gunmen shot dead a police major on the doorstep of his home in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

12/19/06 Reuters: 53 bodies found in Baghdad
Police found 53 bodies in different districts of the Iraqi capital, many with signs of torture, an Interior Ministry official said.

12/19/06 AP: Iraq Troop Buildup Idea Worries Generals
A White House laboring to find a new approach in Iraq said Tuesday it is considering sending more U.S. troops, an option that worries top generals because of its questionable payoff and potential backlash. President Bush said he is ready to boost...

12/19/06 Reuters: U.S. soldiers’ suicide rate in Iraq doubled in ’05
Suicides among U.S. soldiers in Iraq doubled last year over the previous year to return to a level seen in 2003, U.S. Army medical experts said on Tuesday. Twenty-two U.S. soldiers in Iraq took their own lives in 2005, a rate of 19.9 per 100,000 soldiers.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 2)
Pfc. Joe L. Baines, 19, of Newark, N.J., died Dec. 16 at Taji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division...

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 1)
Staff Sgt. Henry K. Kahalewai, 43, of Hilo, Hawaii, died Dec. 15 at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, of wounds suffered Nov. 21 in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker vehicle.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 3)
Pfc. Seth M. Stanton, 19, of Colorado Springs, Colo., died Dec. 17 in Balad, Iraq...of injuries suffered when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 2)
Spc. Matthew J. Stanley, 22, of Wolfeboro Falls, N.H., died in Taji...of injuries suffered when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 1)
Staff Sgt. David R. Staats, 30, of Pueblo, Colo, died Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq... of injuries suffered when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq

12/19/06 AP: Iraq Executes 13 Prisoners
Thirteen men convicted of murder, kidnapping and other crimes were hanged in a Baghdad jail on Tuesday, lining up shortly before their execution in hoods and green jumpsuits, their hands bound behind their backs.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
Lance Cpl. Luke C. Yepsen, 20, of Kingwood, Texas...assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif...died December 14 due to injuries suffered from enemy action in Al Anbar Province

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
Lance Cpl. Matthew W. Clark, 22, of St. Louis, Mo...assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii...died December 14 due to injuries suffered from enemy action...


12/19/06 Reuters: Iraqi police battalion commander relieved of duty
An Iraqi national police battalion commander was relieved of duty on Monday after giving permission to two policemen to illegally arrest two brothers near a security checkpoint in Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement.

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
Capt. Kevin M. Kryst, 27, of West Bend, Wis...died Dec. 18 from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Light-Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39...

12/19/06 DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
Lance Cpl. Nicklas J. Palmer, 19, of Leadville, Colo...died Dec. 16 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton...

12/19/06 AP: Roadside Bomb Kills Colorado Soldier In Iraq
A Colorado City man who had been in Iraq for about eight weeks has died from injuries suffered in a roadside bomb attack in Taji...Pfc. Seth Stanton, 19, ...suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries.

12/19/06 Reuters: Gunmen seize at least $875,000 in Baghdad heist
Gunmen including some wearing police uniforms stole at least 1.25 billion Iraqi dinars ($875,000) in cash in the second major heist in central Baghdad in 10 days, a police source said on Tuesday.

12/19/06 Reuters: Mortar fire kills 1, wounds 3 in Rasheed
Three mortar rounds landed on a residential district killing one person and wounding three others on Monday in the town of Rasheed, just south of Baghdad, police said.

12/19/06 Reuters: Roadside bomb wounds 4 people in Baghdad
A roadside bomb in a popular market wounded four people in Zaafaraniya district in the southern outskirts of Baghdad, police said

12/19/06 Reuters: 12 bodies found in Baquba, 4 in Mosul
A total of 12 bodies, including two women, were found in different parts of the religiously mixed city of Baquba...police said...The bodies of four people were found on Monday in different parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

12/19/06 MCT: Navy veteran accuses U.S. military of holding him prisoner
A Chicago man who worked for an Iraqi contractor alleged Monday he was imprisoned in a U.S. military compound in Baghdad, held incommunicado for more than three months and subjected to interrogation techniques "tantamount to torture."

12/19/06 AP: Haditha case appears headed for court, criminal charges imminent
A massive investigation into the actions of a Camp Pendleton-based Marine squad in connection with the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians appears to be headed to court. A Marine captain has been told he will be criminally charged in the matter...

12/19/06 Reuters: U.S. working with Iraq over disappearing minister
The United States said on Tuesday it was cooperating with Iraq to find out how a former Iraqi minister with dual U.S. citizenship was sprung from his Baghdad jail cell, reportedly by armed, plain-clothes Americans.

12/19/06 townonline: Man given citizenship because son killed in Iraq
Carlos Arredondo came to America in 1980 after illegally crossing the Mexican border into Arizona on his way north from Costa Rica. And after being in the country that he calls home for 26 years, he is now a citizen of America after a Dec. 1 ceremony

12/19/06 MNF: One Marine killed in western Iraq
One Marine assigned to 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable died Dec. 18 from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.

topsecretk9

Oh dear! Too funny! They are saying that Cheney might just not show up, or take the fifth, or that this is a trick to throw Fitzgerald off, or to force Bush to pardon Libby.

What a bunch of nuts!

Posted by: SunnyDay | December 19, 2006 at 10:02 PM

HEH, isn't it?

Cecil is the bomb


And SAM, man? WHY don't you care about these people?

You never answer, I guess you like Saddma's bones and corpses'? Is that it?


And I thought you've said at least twice now you couldn't stand to post here, you were done? Why do you never keep your word?

topsecretk9

Somehow I rather think clarice is wrong, as usual. Consider. This way Fitgerald gets Cheney on the stand without any of those pesky executive privilege battles and delays and so forth.

Yes, Jeff....the 2006 Attorney of the year is not as smart as you and his team n e v e r considered this "trick"?

Impressive Jeff.

quest33

"In any event, if you do not believe that two people cannot honestly remember a single short conversation quite differently and each have a perfectly coherent narrative of it without either of them deliberately lying, I suppose you've never been married.

Posted by: clarice"

clarice, is there any chance that we were married once? You might be my number 2 or number 3.

Number 1 lied all the time. No mistakes there.

Jane

It's possible that Jeff is pushing 21 and therefore still believes everyone maintains a steel trap mind forever.

Slartibartfast

I see the possibility that Libby didn't remember it right because it just wasn't all that memorable still hasn't occurred to some people.

hit and run

Consider. This way Fitgerald gets Cheney on the stand without any of those pesky executive privilege battles and delays and so forth.

Woohoo. So, Fitz gets Cheney on the stand. Yeehaw!

Then what?

What question or line of question does Fitz use to bolster his case?

Or perhaps Cheney is just such a mean bastard Fitz figures ol' Dick is ready to see Libby fry for being a bumbling fool who brought this mess on himself?

Or if we concede that Fitz is so super smart to be pulling a fast one on the defense, perhaps we mere mortals should also concede that we simply are not capable of imagining his grand super master strategy for once Cheney is on the stand.

Ranger

Jeff,

1. If this information about Plame was so memorable, then why didn't Pincus remember it when Woodward told him in early June?

2. If this investigation was really about any and all leaks of Plame's name, why did Fitz limit his questioning of reporters to their conversations with Libby?

3. If this information was so memorable, and the investigation was about all leaks of Plame's name, why didn't Armitage remember telling Woodward a month before the Novak interview, and why didn't Fitz charge him with obstruction for concealing that fact?

Jeff

Cheney will out-perform the expectations.

I agree. This is almost a logical statement, given just how unpopular Cheney is and how low expectations are.

Woohoo. So, Fitz gets Cheney on the stand. Yeehaw!

Then what?

Yeah, in terms of Fitzgerald's case, I don't think Cheney will be indispensable, but Cheney's willingness to get on the stand without the executive privilege fight he undoubtedly would have pursued had Fitzgerald subpoenaed him will enable Fitzgerald to establish a variety of facts that are part of his case, having to do with how centrally Libby's boss was concerned with Wilson, how much they talked about Wilson during the week of July 7-13, just what Cheney directed Libby to do on July 12, what role the NIE played in all this, and so on.

Obviously, if the truth is that Cheney authorized Libby to leak Plame, Cheney is not going to get up and admit that on the stand. I for one am not expecting that.

But part of the point is also that the fact of Cheney's participation will guarantee that the trial gets a lot more attention and more intense interest than otherwise.

It's possible that Jeff is pushing 21 and therefore still believes everyone maintains a steel trap mind forever.

Alas, possible and possible alone. I actually don't believe everyone has a steel trap mind etc. I think y'all seem to be caricaturing Fitzgerald's case, as though he is going to just say, these three reporters say x whereas Libby says not x, end of case, no further witnesses. In fact, Fitzgerald is going to argue that Libby built a whole complex story around denying x in those conversations with reporters, and we've got a lot of evidence that Libby lied about all number of things and conversations; plus lots of that evidence and other makes it unreasonable to believe that Libby would have just forgotten.

1. If this information about Plame was so memorable, then why didn't Pincus remember it when Woodward told him in early June?

Nice try. It's not that Pincus didn't remember it. His story is that he never heard Woodward say such a thing, whether Woodward did or not. In fact, he's said he certainly would have remembered such a memorable thing. The reason he remembers no such thing is because either Woodward didn't tell him, or when he did Pincus did not hear him.

2. If this investigation was really about any and all leaks of Plame's name, why did Fitz limit his questioning of reporters to their conversations with Libby?

The premise of your question is wrong in several respects. Fitzgerald questioned several reporters about contacts with other members of the government besides Libby. Fitzgerald questioned the reporters who spoke with Libby about their contacts with other government officials. And more generally, Fitzgerald questioned all number of witnesses about leaks of Plame's identity, not limited to Libby.

3. If this information was so memorable, and the investigation was about all leaks of Plame's name, why didn't Armitage remember telling Woodward a month before the Novak interview, and why didn't Fitz charge him with obstruction for concealing that fact?

We obviously don't have enough information to answer those questions confidently. But one possible answer is that Armitage wasn't nearly as focused on Wilson, and hadn't heard about and discussed Wilson's wife on numerous occasions, the way Libby had by July 2003. Note that Libby himself was not charged with lying in testifying that he had forgotten by July 2003 that Cheney had told him in June 2003.

I don't believe either Libby or Armitage that they'd forgotten about those June conversations. But that's just me. So I really don't have a good answer for why Fitzgerald has not charged Armitage with obstruction-type offenses.

hit and run

It's not that Pincus didn't remember it. His story is that he never heard Woodward say such a thing

False dichotomy. It could be true that Pincus DOES remember it and is lying about remembering it - and made up his story that he never heard Woodward say such a thing to deflect.

Is that the truth? Who knows? (hint: Pincus) Is it likely? Who knows. But it is possible....

The reason he remembers no such thing is because either Woodward didn't tell him, or when he did Pincus did not hear him.

You assume he remembers no such thing. All we really know is that he claims to remember no such thing.

If it's a he said-he said with Pincus and Woodward - is there reason to believe one over the other?

Sue

Jeff,

It sounds like you are trying to say that Fitzgerald's strategy was to get Cheney on the stand through the defense so he wouldn't have to fight the executive privilege. What would have happened had the defense not called him either? What if the defense is saying they are going to call him and then say, oh nevermind? What then? Fitzgerald never intended on calling Cheney, for whatever reason. I suspect Tom is correct. He didn't like the answers he received from Cheney. They don't help his case.

Sue

or when he did Pincus did not hear him.

Is only Pincus hard of hearing? I believe it was alluded to that conversations with Grossman were not remembered by Libby. Maybe Libby was hard of hearing also.

SunnyDay

That's right. The answer is easy. Either Fitz will trick/force Cheney to say that Libby did lie, Cheney will be lying, or Cheney is another Bud McFarlane, and will turn on Libby (maybe even Rove and Bush!!!) out of guilt and mental anguish.

The only other option is that Cheney will not testify for some reason, like executive priviledge. Although Cheney has said he will not claim executive priviledge, we all know better than to believe that, because old dead-eye is a lying neocon, and evil to the core.

SunnyDay

Is only Pincus hard of hearing?

You are just missing the obvious. Pincus (and all the reporters) are honest. Libby is not. Libby is an evil lying neocon.

Martin

Wow. You people are so slow.

Read the indictment. Fitzgerald does not need Cheney's testimony to prove the charges against Libby.

lurker

OT to Clarice.

I just read Bookworm's article about Keith Ellison over at American Thinker and she needs to go further back into Keith Ellison's background, especially with his connections with CAIR. He used to call himself something like, "Keith Ellison Hussein".

I think bookworm needs to be more worried than she indicated in her last paragraph. Unless she's being satirical about it?

Cecil Turner

Consider. This way Fitgerald gets Cheney on the stand . . .

Jeff, you have one seriously convoluted view of the world. Excuse me if I take the default position: if Fitz didn't call him, it's probably because he didn't want him.

But as Fitzgerald has already explicated, Libby knew very well that it wasn't just the leak to Novak that was being investigated.

Investigated, perhaps. But it's an obvious problem for prosecuting a leak if someone else has already spilled the beans (even for a DC jury). Libby knew (or should have known) he couldn't be prosecuted for the crime of leaking. Which makes felony dissembling to cover a non-crime a bit hard to credit.

That will, of course, prove a problem for any number of arguments that have been floated by clarice and her delightful colleague Victoria Toensing.

No it doesn't. Fitz is implying he had some other plausible charge . . . which of course he didn't. In fact, that argument is another good spot for the defense to slap a "disingenuous" label.

Obviously, if the truth is that Cheney authorized Libby to leak Plame, Cheney is not going to get up and admit that on the stand.

Got any evidence for that fairy tale . . . or even that they discussed it? How 'bout the non-barking dogs (no pertinent mention of Plame in Libby's notes, Cheney's marginal note that makes zero sense if he's in fact ordering something illegal)?

In fact, Fitzgerald is going to argue that Libby built a whole complex story around denying x in those conversations with reporters, and we've got a lot of evidence that Libby lied about all number of things and conversations; plus lots of that evidence and other makes it unreasonable to believe that Libby would have just forgotten.

Make one assumption for the sake of argument: Libby conflated the Woodward conversation on June 27 with the Russert phone call. Are the resulting recollections of the reporter conversations plausible? What does it do to your "complex story" theory? I'd suggest that if Team Libby can sell that one premise, the prosecution's "reasonable doubt" hurdle becomes insurmountable.

Sue

Read the indictment. Fitzgerald does not need Cheney's testimony to prove the charges against Libby.

Well shoot, why didn't we think of that? In fact, why bother with a trial? Just present the indictment to the judge and we can save lots of taxpayer money.

hit and run

SunnyDay:

Is only Pincus hard of hearing?

You are just missing the obvious. Pincus (and all the reporters) are honest.

NO! Novak is not honest and he is evil.

Oh wait. He doesn't fit the definition of reporter...you know, if you don't hate Bush you really can't be honest, and if you can't be honest you can't be a reporter, therefore if you don't hate Bush you can't be a reporter.

Then you're right...he's not a real reporter...and the claim that all reporters are honest can stand.

hit and run

Sue - who needs a judge? Evidence this self-evident should be tried in the court of public opinion. Or blogs. Or something.

SunnyDay

Right, H&R, I was not counting Novak. Novak cannot be trusted.

SunnyDay

who needs a judge?

We must pretend to have a real trial - someone (deadeyedickCheneyhaliburton?) will slip up (or turn) and we will get evilRove and Bushchimphitler.

If not, then we have to wait for Conyers and Kucinich. :(

hit and run

SunnyDay:
The answer is easy. Either Fitz will trick/force Cheney to say that Libby did lie, Cheney will be lying, or Cheney is another Bud McFarlane, and will turn on Libby (maybe even Rove and Bush!!!) out of guilt and mental anguish.

You forgot the obvious. Fitz promised Cheney that if he flipped on Libby and helped secure his conviction, Fitz would push for Libby to be sent to Gitmo and tortured and Cheney would get to watch.

Jane

The prosecution (and Jeff's) entire case depend on the notion that anyone at the whitehouse actually cared about valerie plame, and I see absolutely no evidence that they did.

They cared about debunking Joe Wilson's lies, but they didn't care much about Joe Wilson, except in the democrat's dreams.

SunnyDay

Libby to be sent to Gitmo and tortured and Cheney would get to watch.

Hahahaha!!!! Ah yes, that's better than shooting him, himself. :D

boris

absolutely no evidence that ... the whitehouse actually cared about valerie plame

The physical evidence, (1) Libby's original note from the Cheney meeting (2) passing mention in the secret INR memo (3) and Cheney's note on the newspaper all indicate the factoid was of minor interest only as explanation for how Joe got the mission.

Jane

As I said, they didn't care about valerie plame, so why the hell would they remember anything about her. The left thinks everyone is as vindictive as they.

Other Tom

A couple of technicalities:

The defense no doubt has been briefed by Cheney's lawyer about his GJ testimony, but they don't have the transcripts yet. They won't get them until about 48 hours in advance.

More important, Fitz's cross of Cheney will be limited by the scope of the direct examination. Fitz won't "get him on the stand" for any purpose the moonbats would like to dream about. He starts asking all the questions they savor in their fantasy world, and it goes like this: "Objection, beyond the scope of the direct." "Sustained."

cboldt

O/T: has there been any report about any of the other three Motions in limine? That Cheney may be called to testify is old news, and the speculation/arguments on it doesn't cover any new ground.


I get a kick out of the angle that Libby knew or should have known (when? when he testified to the FBI?) there was no possibility of a leaking crime. That sure makes a monkey out of Ashcroft, Comey and the President, for calling for a Special Prosecutor.

cboldt

-- "The defense no doubt has been briefed by Cheney's lawyer about his GJ testimony, but they don't have the transcripts yet. They won't get them until about 48 hours in advance." --


Awesome. A new rule. The prosecution having a legal obligation to turn over past statements by a defense witness, that is.

boris

the angle that Libby knew or should have known (when? when he testified to the FBI?) there was no possibility of a leaking crime. That sure makes a monkey out of Ashcroft, Comey and the President

How so? If there was no OVP conspiracy to out Plame and Libby knows he was not the source for the Novak leak perhaps the administration expected exoneration and the exposure of what actually was going on. Something was actually going on, that much is Rather clear.

Tom Maguire

From Jeff, who we welcome back to the fray:

my point was not that Libby had a disagreement with one other person about a single short conversation, but rather that Libby had a whole narrative of an entire set of events, including numerous conversations, which was entirely coherent, and is contradicted at almost all the key points by the other parties to the conversations. And that cannot be the result of accidental misspeaking.

Well - as to the various folks who claim to have discussed Plame with Libby, Grossman is in June, before Libby "forgot", and will be impeached by his connection to Wilson (college roomates, best man at wedding, dog-walker - I don't know the connection, but it is insidious, I'm sure); Ari Fleischer's "weird" lunch on July 7 will be impeached by the fact (my speculation) that Ari leaked to Pincus and has a deal with Fitzgerald, the gist of which has been disclosed to the defense, as well as Ari's attmept to shift blame to Libby and away from the INR memo he read; and Cheney's contribution will be to square the mess created by Libby's question to Addington about the paperwork supporting a junket (July 8).

Cheny's testimony will be that he noted a question for Tenet in the corner of the July 6 Wilson op-ed about the wife arranging a junket, then asked Libby to check the paperwork requirements for Wilson's trip. The indictment says this:

18. Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President in an anteroom outside the Vice President's Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee's spouse undertook an overseas trip.

I have no idea how Cheney can dance past the apparent fact that Libby mentioned the CIA and a spouse to Addington, but... the fact remains (IIRC) that nowhere in the indictment or the follow-up filings has Fitzgerald asserted that Cheney discussed Plame with Libby other than in June.

Tom Maguire

Hmm - more from Jeff:

Cheney will out-perform the expectations.

I agree. This is almost a logical statement...

Almost? On a better day maybe I'll make a fully logical statement.

(OK, I *think* you may have meant somethng like "tautological", and since it is the holiday season I am taking it that way.)

The premise of your question is wrong in several respects. Fitzgerald questioned several reporters about contacts with other members of the government besides Libby. Fitzgerald questioned the reporters who spoke with Libby about their contacts with other government officials.

Huh? Russert had a very tight deal in which he recounted wht he said to Libby; Pincus had a tight deal; Kessler and Sanger gave nothing; Miller "forgot" all her other contacts, even though her notes were suggestive; Cooper held out for two subpoenas and left with a crytpic comment about other sources and "the prosecutor knows what I know", which I guessed at the time referred to CIA flack Harlow; and as best we know, Andrea Mitchell never spoke to the grand jury and may (or may not) have spoken with the FBI.

cboldt

-- "How so?" --

If the "knew or should have known" is based on the impossibility of outing the outee. Appointing a Special Prosecutor and spending taxpayer monies to investigate what is known to be a non-crime is as silly as felony dissembling to cover what is known to be a non-crime.

boris

Libby didn't call for a special prosecutor. The people who did were not dissembling anything. Please 'splain ...

Don

I agree. The point is ridiculous TM. If Bush believes Cheney-why not pardon Libby now?

Clarice's 'they'd prefer a jury vindication' is risible.

And I love your Grossman and Fleischer are the real dissemblers. I suppose if Fleischer was the one indicted and Libby the witness, you'd reverse your position as well.

boris

I love your Grossman and Fleischer are the real dissemblers

Suggesting a possible defense strategy is not asserting its truth.

boris

taxpayer monies to investigate what is known to be a non-crime ... is as silly as ... felony dissembling to cover what is known to be a non-crime

Ok the seperation 'splains it. Still it's not an answer. Politicians spend taxpayer money at all times in all ways great and small. Getting the referral into the MSM made spending lots of tax money inevitable so ...

cboldt

-- "Libby didn't call for a special prosecutor. The people who did were not dissembling anything. Please 'splain ..." --


I did. You didn't get it.

I merely observe that when it is known that events in question are a non-crime, anybody who treated those events as though they were a possible crime (e.g., Libby for risking felony charge by allegedly dissembling, or Ashcroft/Comey for appointing a SP, or President Bush for saying the investigation is serious) would be acting oddly.

cboldt

-- "Getting the referral into the MSM made spending lots of tax money inevitable so ..." spending taxpayer monies to investigate what is known to be a non-crime is not odd or silly?


LOL. I just get a kick out of that argument. Thanks!

Gire

The trial will be over soon and they'll indict Plame for treason and Fitz is probably going away too.

cboldt

-- "I have no idea how Cheney can dance past the apparent fact that Libby mentioned the CIA and a spouse to Addington" --

Cheney doesn't have to dance past that one, Libby does. And I think it's rather easy. First, Addington's recollection is irrelevant as to what Libby said to reporters, and the entire indictment revolves around alleged misrepresentation of what was said between Libby and reporters. Second, Addington's recollections are obviously flawed if they include any reference to Wilson's spouse. Libby had no awareness of a spouse, therefore wouldn't mention one, and there are plenty of other people that may have mentioned Wilson's wife to Addington. There is no way Libby would know who those people are, but it is beyond question that plenty of people knew, see, e.g., everybody who read the INR.

Cecil Turner

I merely observe that when it is known that events in question are a non-crime . . .

Try to observe that from day one Libby knew 1) he didn't know Plame's status was classified; and 2) he wasn't the leaker for the outing story. Try to reconcile that with any leak prosecution (I'd submit 1 is an absolute bar to prosecution, and 2 is a practical bar).

And generalizing Libby's knowledge of his innocence on the leak charge to derision of those folks calling for an investigation doesn't really follow (nor were Ashcroft and the President foremost amongst those, as I recall).

Semanticleo

Cheney actually taking the stand would be a gift from the God of Gonzo. But it's not gonna happen, and I'm a little surprised (surprised is becoming a jaded term here) that any are considering the possibility. It will be a taped deposition, with any questions by the prosecutor needing submission in writing.

The judge will act as guardian ad litem for the executive dodge.(revisited)

P

Pete:
""I don't think that the "I was too busy to accrately testify" or "I was too important to accurately testify" defense will fly in front of a DC jury"""

Then Armitage, Pincus, and Miller better not use them.

Libby has said no such thing. What he has said is although his testimony may not be the ground truth, it doesn't mean he had intent to testify untruthfully or to obstruct the investigation.
In fact if Armitage had told the whole truth to the GJ, Libby's testimony would have been completely unnecessary.

cboldt
Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Reggie B. Walton :Motion Hearing as to I. LEWIS LIBBY held on 12/19/2006 re [164 165,166,167]MOTIONS in Limine filed by USA; Judge will reserve/defer a ruling on all (4) of the motions; Defendant Continued on (PR Bond); Motion Hearing set for 1/10/2007 09:30 AM in Courtroom 16 before Judge Reggie B. Walton. Court Reporter: Phyllis Merana Defense Attorney: William Jeffress/Theodore Wells/John Cline; US Attorney: Patrick Fitzgerald/Peter Ziedenberg; (mpt, ) (Entered: 12/20/2006)

Doc 223 - ORDER as to I. LEWIS LIBBY; that any interested party who wishes to be heard on this matter shall file an Application for Relief pursuant to Local Criminal Rule 57.6 by January 4, 2007; Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 12/19/06. (erd) (Entered: 12/20/2006)

Doc 222 - NOTICE of Supplemental Exhibits by I. LEWIS LIBBY re 167 MOTION in Limine To Exclude Evidence Relating to Reporters' First Amendment Litigation, Contempt Proceedings, and Judith Miller's Incarceration (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits A-D)(Jeffress, William) (Entered: 12/20/2006)

Other Tom

"Awesome. A new rule. The prosecution having a legal obligation to turn over past statements by a defense witness, that is."

Well, you're right, it would indeed be "new"
in a federal proceeding. But it's not that unusual elsewhere--not simply because it's a "past statement," but because it's grand jury testimony.

"Some jurisdictions also give the defendant a list of everyone who testified before the grand jury, and several [but not the federal courts] give the defendant a full transcript of all relevant grand jury testimony." (Source: ABANet)

In any event, the pertinent point is that Libby's counsel is well aware of everything Cheney said to the grand jury.

Appalled Moderate

This prosecution is still going on? Whatever for? This is all so 2005!

(One doesn't need Wilson, Plame, Libby, et al to discredit Bush's policy. It discredits itself!)

Seriously, I tend to agree with Cecil on his point #2. The fact that Libby was not the Novak leaker, or associated closely with the Novak leaker ought to have been a practical bar to this prosecution. As for the specific minutia...Well, Fitz isn't nearly as bad as Nifong, and that's as much praise as I'm inclined to give.

hit and run

Well, Fitz isn't nearly as bad as Nifong, and that's as much praise as I'm inclined to give.

Hey, at least Nifong got some frog marching out of his escapades.

boris

spending taxpayer monies to investigate what is known to be a non-crime is not odd or silly?

Since the branch of government in charge of spending tax money was the main force behind the calling for the investigation maybe what they knew and when they knew it would be more to the point.

Clearly the small case approach wants to cast Libby's words in a complete vacuum.

It's like charging a homeowner with murder based only on her action while treating the axe weilding rapist as a completely separate issue (well we can't very well charge him with anything now that YOU WENT AND KILLED HIM now can we ???).

cboldt

-- "In fact if Armitage had told the whole truth to the GJ, Libby's testimony would have been completely unnecessary." --


I think Armitage did tell the GJ that he was Novak's source. What Armitage omitted was telling that he also mentioned it to Woodward - and that would not be a factor to the GJ, because the GJ didn't question Woodward in the first place.


And yet, even thought the GJ knew that Armitage was Novak's source (and that Libby was not), that prick Fitzgerald kept pestering Libby and fabricating a yarn that converted unimportant differences in detail testimony (differences between Libby's and reporter's versions of conversations) into a federal offense.

boris

Armitage did tell the GJ that he was Novak's source

When ??? After the Fitz presser wasn't it?

Sue


I think Armitage did tell the GJ that he was Novak's source. What Armitage omitted was telling that he also mentioned it to Woodward - and that would not be a factor to the GJ, because the GJ didn't question Woodward in the first place.

You can't possibly be saying that information didn't influence Fitzgerald. Read his presser again and see if Armitage talking to Woodward is a significant factor.

That prick Fitzgerald kept pestering Libby and fabricating a yarn that converted unimportant differences

I wonder if that prick would have questioned Libby the way he did if he had known about Armitage and Woodward? I feel certain he would like a do-over of his press conference, at the very least.

Sue

Fitzgerald was looking for a conspiracy in the White House to discredit a brave whistleblower. He set out to prove it and when he couldn't he did the next best thing. He has told us on more than one occasion that prosecuting for perjury, obstruction, false statements will serve as punishment for the larger crime. Of course, I paraphrased a bit there. If you weren't in the WH, you committed no crime by discussing Plame.

cboldt

-- "After the Fitz presser wasn't it?" --

After years of overheated media speculation that Ms. Wilson's identity had been publicly revealed as part of a White House plot to wreak revenge on her husband, Mr. Armitage (who was no White House ally) finally confirmed in August 2006 that he was Mr. Novak's primary source. See Neil A. Lewis, First Source of CIA Leak Admits Role, Lawyer Says, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 30, 2006, at A12. It turns out, according to Mr. Armitage's public statements, that the government learned of his role at the very beginning of its investigation, and before Mr. Libby was interviewed for the first time. Michael Isikoff, The Man Who Said Too Much, NEWSWEEK, Sept. 4, 2006, at 40.

See also Novak's July 12, 2006 article, My Leak Case Testimony, which strongly alludes that Fitzgerald learned (from Armitage), before Novak testified on January 14, 2004, that Armitage was Novak's primary source.

Ranger

1. If this information about Plame was so memorable, then why didn't Pincus remember it when Woodward told him in early June?

Nice try. It's not that Pincus didn't remember it. His story is that he never heard Woodward say such a thing, whether Woodward did or not. In fact, he's said he certainly would have remembered such a memorable thing. The reason he remembers no such thing is because either Woodward didn't tell him, or when he did Pincus did not hear him.

Well, if that's the case, then Libby's story that Grossman never told him about Plame, or that Libby simply didn't hear Grossman tell him about Plame is just as plausable. And maybe Libby didn't hear his boss tell him either, especially if there is not written note about plame in his notes of the meeting. In fact, it is starting too look like lots of people "didn't hear" or "Forgot" the tidbit about Plame early on.

boris

Ok, then he had to go back later (post-presser) and admit he also told Woodward *before* Libby became the "first leaker".

Tom Maguire

I am never sure why I play the cboldt game, but here we go:

What Armitage omitted was telling that he also mentioned it to Woodward - and that would not be a factor to the GJ, because the GJ didn't question Woodward in the first place.

That seems to be the assertion that is raising eyebrows. Yes, Armitage came forward early with his Novak story. However, Fitzgerald (in his presser) said Libby was the first known offical to leak the Plame story, which suggested that Libby's story (I heard it from reporters) defied normal rules of space-time.

The Woodward emergence cracked open the possibility that Libby did indeed hear it from some reporters, although he still heard it very early on from Cheney. And Libby seems to have picked the wrong reporter on the wrong day by naming Russert on July 10 (although I am skeptical of Russert's side, the date doesn't lie.)

Ranger

2. If this investigation was really about any and all leaks of Plame's name, why did Fitz limit his questioning of reporters to their conversations with Libby?

The premise of your question is wrong in several respects. Fitzgerald questioned several reporters about contacts with other members of the government besides Libby. Fitzgerald questioned the reporters who spoke with Libby about their contacts with other government officials. And more generally, Fitzgerald questioned all number of witnesses about leaks of Plame's identity, not limited to Libby.

Really? I don't recall Kristof ever being questioned about any conversations with Mr. or Mrs. Wilson regarding her employment when they had that breakfast meeting where Wilson talked all about his trip and personally debunking the forgeries. Or did I miss something?

There seem to have been many journalists who Fitz missed in this investigation.

Jeff

OK, I *think* you may have meant somethng like "tautological", and since it is the holiday season I am taking it that way.

Exactly what I meant. It's nearly a logical as opposed to an empirical statement.

Ranger

3. If this information was so memorable, and the investigation was about all leaks of Plame's name, why didn't Armitage remember telling Woodward a month before the Novak interview, and why didn't Fitz charge him with obstruction for concealing that fact?

We obviously don't have enough information to answer those questions confidently. But one possible answer is that Armitage wasn't nearly as focused on Wilson, and hadn't heard about and discussed Wilson's wife on numerous occasions, the way Libby had by July 2003. Note that Libby himself was not charged with lying in testifying that he had forgotten by July 2003 that Cheney had told him in June 2003.

I don't believe either Libby or Armitage that they'd forgotten about those June conversations. But that's just me. So I really don't have a good answer for why Fitzgerald has not charged Armitage with obstruction-type offenses.

And here we come to the crux of the issue. Armitage's incorrect testemony was much more damaging to the investigation than Libby's was, yet Armitage gets a pass, despite the fact that he deliberately told at least two reporters about Plame, and Libby gets indicted, despite the fact that his testemony was irrelivent to finding the "first leaker" and doesn't appear to have been the original source of Plame's name to any reporter.

Jeff

Huh?

First off, Ranger's original assertion remains wrong even if what you say were true, since Fitzgerald didn't just go after leaks from Libby. But your account is problematic even with regard to Libby-related reporters. Pincus was asked about more than Libby; MIller was asked about her other sources, and, as you say, "forgot" - what is Fitzgerald supposed to do, ask harder?; Sanger and Kessler we dont't know about; and Cooper was subpoenaed about any and all sources as soon as there was a basis for doing so. Russert seems to have been narrowly tailored, but did Fitzgerald have any basis for thinking he had other sources - and for all I know Fitzgerald also asked Russert about other sources; and Sanger and Kessler we just don't know much about.

And don't forget, Novak was questioned, Armitage was questioned, Rove was questioned, Pincus' source was questioned, and other government officials were asked about leaks to reporters. And so on.

boris

mock cboldt: Fearful of embarassment or job loss Libby dissembled feloniously when the truth would have set him free.

mock jeff: Cheney and Libby really did conspire to destroy Valerie Plame to get back at her husband for blowing the whistle on the adminstration's deceitful warmongering.

Both seem pretty sure they're channeling Fitz but they can't both be right. They can both be wrong though.

Bob

OT But Kerry is at it again!

http://news.bostonherald.com/international/view.bg?articleid=173046>Kerry and Dodd hold talks with Syrian president on Iraq

Can this man go any lower? He should be shot for treason... but then we'd miss him!

Sue

Fitzgerald claimed that Libby spun a story. A very compelling story. One that had him at the end of a long chain and not at the beginning. Fitzgerald continued on saying Libby was not only NOT at the end, he was the beginning. Fitzgerald was adamant, Libby was the FIRST known official.

But he wasn't. Armitage was the 1st and Armitage was the source for Novak. A double-whammy, so to speak. And Armitage is not facing charges. Go figure.

MJW

Pincus was asked about more than Libby; Miller was asked about her other sources, and, as you say, "forgot" - what is Fitzgerald supposed to do, ask harder?

So true! Even if you're Elliot Ness with a law degree, once someone says they forgot, that's it -- no use pursuing the matter further.

cboldt

-- "I am never sure why I play the cboldt game ..." --


LOL. Maybe because it's mildly entertaining.


Anyway, "context" usually helps understand the imperfect or imprecise comment. My comment, that seems to have worked up a lather, was in the context of rebutting the statement, "In fact if Armitage had told the whole truth to the GJ, Libby's testimony would have been completely unnecessary."


Armitage solved the question of "who outed Plame to Novak," regardless of Armitage mentioning Woodward. And the GJ didn't have any reason to think about Woodward - given Armitage's omission.


Put another way, either version of Armitage's testimony, with mention of Woodward or without - "Libby's testimony would have been completely unnecessary."


The point stands, I think, that Fitzgerald was being a vindictive prick going after Libby, because Fitzgerald already had his leaker -- Armitage.

cboldt

-- " ... but they can't both be right." --

  1. Fearful of embarassment or job loss Libby dissembled feloniously when the truth would have set him free.
  2. Cheney and Libby really did conspire to destroy Valerie Plame to get back at her husband for blowing the whistle on the adminstration's deceitful warmongering.

What? Can't both play at the same time? If Cheney and Libby conspired in fact, Libby can't be fearful of political embarrassment if it became known that the WH was involved in disclosing that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was involved in sending Wilson to Africa? No risk of job loss if there was in fact a conspiracy and public disclosure of conspiracy?

-- "They can both be wrong though." --

Or in a more assertive phrasing, "They are both wrong." No fear on Libby's part, because the OVP did NOT leak anything. And as we know, if he's not a leaker (or at least, thinks he isn't a leaker) then he has no motive to dissemble (to investigators). He didn't leak, therefore he didn't dissemble. QED.

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Wilson/Plame