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January 25, 2007

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clarice

Well, won't their readers be surprised at the outcome..


Wonder how surprised the NBC shareholders and officers will be, too.

roanoke

Walton said Time magazine must provide Libby's lawyers with drafts of first-person stories that reporter Matthew Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby because the judge said he noticed inconsistencies between them.

All of the news organizations had asked Walton to review the materials sought by Libby — including e-mails, drafts of articles and reporters' notes — in hopes of convincing him that they were not relevant and that the defense was on a "fishing expedition."

During that review, Walton said, he found "a slight alteration between the several drafts of the articles" Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby and the reporter's first-person account of his testimony before a federal grand jury.

"This slight alteration between the drafts will permit the defendant to impeach Cooper, regardless of the substance of his trial testimony, because his trial testimony cannot be consistent with both versions," Walton wrote.

It is unclear from Walton's ruling what those inconsistencies are.

Link

Walton's decision on Cooper.

Patrick

I am following this far too closely for one who has a job, and I am surprised at a few things:
1. Cathie Martin's blatant statement about how they "used" MTP press to get their message our. Wonder how Russert feels about that.
2. How willing Fitz is to put witnesses on the stand who have such scant memories of these "crucial" events, knowing that at least a portion of Libby's defense is lack of memory. Every witness has little recollection, except for the Tom/Penelope Cruise part.
3. That so far, no one has stated that Plame was a significant part of the discussions, or that Libby ever referred to her directly (the note on Schmail's briefing is pretty Skinny also). I know it's not an element, but Fitz better damn well show that Libby had some motive to lie about Plame.
4. I keep thinking the directed verdict is a good possibility at this point, although EW noted that Walton said Libby not testifying on the memory defense is "suicide." That's not a signal that Walton is considering taking this case from the jury, even though I don't think that Fitz has even shown that Libby made andy false, let alone intentionally false statements.
5. Yeah, I know, there's a lot of time left.

Javani

New thread! Good, I couldn't load the previous one on my Commodore 64, it was too enormous.

Any big revelations today? Any embarassments? Can Clarice recount them here at the top of this new thread?

clarice

I'm sorry Javani but the best I can do is add Rick's from the previous thread.
"From indictment:

23. On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too.
Martin testimony:

Once they landed back at Andrews, Libby made a call to Cooper in her presence. Not on speaker phone, so she only heard Libby’s side.

Cooper new to WH beat, so had not previously spoken. No discussion about Amb. Wilson’s wife.


Just a tiny problem that I'm sure Fitz will straighten out"


Martin said Harlow told her that Wilson's wife worked at the agency.
Harlow said reporters, including Andrea Mitchell were asking about Wilson and the trip to Niger.


Boris has this:
"Matt Apuzzo:

“We didn’t send him,” Martin recalled saying. “If we didn’t send him, you must’ve sent him. Who sent him?”

That’s when Martin said the CIA spokesman told her that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.


Suggest the CIA spokesman did not actually say "It was his wife Valerie Plame who sent him, the CIA had nothing to do with it". It probably went more like this ...

CIA: "Yeah we sent Wilson ... "

Martin: "Why him instead of an agent?"

CIA: "Well his wife works here and he knows the region and we used him once before"

More Apuzzo:

Cheney took a personal interest in the issue, Martin said, and in the following days dictated media “talking points” making it clear that his office was not responsible for the Wilson trip.

James Joyner requests clarification:


I asked Matt what he meant with “the issue,” and he says he means the issue of who initiated the trip; i.e., that it wasn’t the Vice President’s office. As written, though it might lead people to think it was Plame’s role. No testimony so far has given that impression.

Seems like there's a lot of conflatin' goin' on out there. Interest in Joe Wilson and his disinfo = interest in Valerie Plame. Aint necessarily so. Not until the MSM turned it into a scandal."


jwest

Patrick,

That "suicide" quote from EW might have been a bit of editorializing on Marcy's part.

I can't imagine a judge actually saying anything like that in the middle of a trial.

clarice

A friend of mine with a long distinguished career in law enforcment has been following our discussion and observes:
"Every witness so far has been a disaster for Fitz. Not just for people with a legal or investigative background, either. That business of Armitage and Grossman meeting and comparing notes, for example, I have to believe that's the kind of thing that will leave a very bad taste in the average juror's mouth. And memory improving with age, like a fine wine or something? I can't imagine there won't be more than one juror who'll be saying, hey, this is all bullshit. That's what AJ was saying about a couple of the witnesses--their stories don't make sense in the real world. Who get's interviewed by the FBI and doesn't remember whether or not he talked to house counsel before the interview? That doesn't pass the laugh test. So, why is that guy saying such ridiculous things? I'd be willing to bet the defense has documents to show that he did consult with house counsel and it was the woman named Nancy. Are these witnesses deliberately throwing their testimony out of sympathy for Libby? What's going on is really pretty incredible.

And Armitage still to come. A more unsympathetic witness I can't imagine."

Martin

"Fitz better damn well show that Libby had some motive to lie about Plame"

Gee Patrick-you mean besides the Vice President's personal CIA briefer telling Cheney and Libby after being asked by them specifically what he thought about Novak's article and replying that such leaks could get people killed?

Patrick

Thanks, jwest, although I've been in front of some pretty bold judges! Put them on a federal bench, they think they own the place or something.

The other thing about Martin's testimony is that SHE "nagged" Libby about getting the story out. TM made a rack about Rove "ruthlessly" waiting for Cooper to call, waiting for him to bring up Wilson's wife, and saying , "yeah, I heard that too." (OK, TM did a much better job at that). At any rate, with the Aide having to prod him about the whole thing, it doesn't look like it was at the top of his list, does it. I know my kids' birthdays rank a lot higher than my work. Then again, I'm not a cog in the Bushlerburton oil machine of fascist doom.

hit and run

Javani:

Any big revelations today? Any embarassments?

---

W: Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I on this wall? Where is clarice?

I: Let me 'splain.
[pause]
No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Trial will recess for weekend in less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the coming MSM memes, steal the princess, make our escape... after I kill the court's wifi.

W: That doesn't leave much time for dilly-dallying.

F: You just wiggled your finger. That's wonderful.

W: I've always been a quick healer. What are our liabilities?

I: There is but one working court entrance, and... and it is guarded by 60 men.

W: And our assets?

I: Your brains, F's strength, my steel.

Steve

Patrick- re your number 4-
do you think Fitzgerald asked Libby if he had all these conversations with all these people?
I've asked the same basic question here and at FDL in the past and nobody can really answer- but do you think it's likely that Fitz asked Libby "On such and such date did you have a convo with Grossman/Grenier/Ari/martin/Etc about Wilson, his wife, etc"...
If he justs says "I don't remember" that's not really a false statement or perjury, is it?
But if he's got his story, and sticks to it, and Fitzgerald has 11 people telling him something different, isn't that at least suspicious?

There's a couple of posters here who claim that Libby's too smart to lie. Wonder why he wasn't smart enough to just say I don't remember over and over and over...

clarice

James Joyner is doing a wonderful job.
He compares Corn's view of the evidence to date with his and concludes:
"Corn and I both come to this with more knowledge than the jurors and, if they were honest in their answers during voir dire, much stronger opinions about the politics. Still, if Libby gets a fair hearing, it’s going to be hard not to have reasonable doubt as to whether he intentionally lied to the grand jury or he simply didn’t remember. After all, none of the prosecution witnesses so far has any non-reconstructed memory of the events. "

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/01/libby_trial_subtle_distinctions_difference_between_guilt_and_innocence/>Gornisht for Fiz


Sue

M It helps me make logical sense of when I talked to Harlow. I remember things in pictures, and I don't have a picture of this.

Has it dawned on anyone but me that the people who work in Washington are just plain strange? Gut feelings and pictures and Fitzgerald had sand thrown in his eyes? I think he dunked his head in a bucket of sand and blamed Libby.

roanoke

Well here is Cooper on Meet the Press-

MR. RUSSERT: You also write in Time magazine this week, "This was actually my second testimony for the special prosecutor. In August 2004, I gave limited testimony about my conversation with [Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff] Scooter Libby. Libby had also given me a special waiver, and I gave a deposition in the office of my attorney. I have never discussed that conversation until now. In that testimony, I recorded an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew"--of--"or played any role the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, `Yeah, I've heard that, too,' or words to that effect."

Did you interpret that as a confirmation?

MR. COOPER: I did, yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: Did Mr. Libby say at any time that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?

MR. COOPER: No, he didn't say that.

MR. RUSSERT: But you said it to him?

MR. COOPER: I said, "Was she involved in sending him?," yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: And that she worked for the CIA?

MR. COOPER: I believe so.

Meet the Press transcript

I'm not an expert but hat sounds like hedging to me.

Martin

Clarice, none of the witnesses so far (except Martin, whose memory is correspondingly the clearest) had rebuffing Wilson at the top of their to-do list.

roanoke

Ooops! hat=that

If you want to hang your hat on Cooper's testimony-you're in trouble.

Patrick

Martin - I understand Grossman's testimony, but I find it sort of funny that that particular feeling evolved over the years, and he decided to feel guilty about it. Nevertheless, if Libby didn't out her, why would her status matter? And I don't even think anyone at FDL believes Libby outed her anymore (maybe some dead enders). If Libby actually did, then maybe there's a motive, but even then wouldn't Fitz have to prove that Libby thought she was covert (not just classified).

Som Martin, in answer to your question, yes, besides that.

Martin

What does Cooper mean he "recorded" it? You don't think...

jwest

I'm following this in real time jumping from Marcy to Joyner and the comments here, but none of us will know the true story until Shuster reports on Hardball tonight.

Syl

What is all the snark about the Administration getting their story out. Through MTP or an editorial or to a reporter? Over at FDL (and comments by I think Martin here) indicate that somehow that is indicative of something bad?

Look, they're trying to manipulate us!!!! Is that what is meant by the snark? Trying to manipulate us by getting the facts out? Puhlease.

The VP did not order Wilson's trip. True or false?

The VP did not get a report of the trip. True or false?

In fact, the VP didn't know anything about the trip at all until it was reported in the press. True or false?

All those are true.

So wtf is wrong with the administration trying to get this info out, as well as what was in the NIE?

How else do you expect the public to learn this information?

danking70

What's the matter Javani?

Too busy with the DrudgeRegort?

clarice

He took simultaneous notes of the conversation and kept all the drafts of the story. The Judge reviewed them and ordered they be turned over to Libby before Cooper testifies because, he said, no matter how he testifies his own notes will impeach him. The pre-trial hearing record reveals BTW not a single mention of Wilson's wife in any permutation of that--i.e., Mrs. Wilson, Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife, Valerie Wilson.

Before Armitage takes the satand, you might find a review of this article worthwhile to establish his animus toward Libby and the OVP:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2006/08/the_powellarmitagewilkerson_ca.html>Get Cheney and Libby

Patrick

Syl - I don't think there's anything wrong with it from the Admin perspective. They should get the message out (and far better than they have been doing lately). But the press in general holds itself out as such an independent and adversarial entity, when in fact it is clear that they are easily manipulated. They never seem to realize that all of their sources - sepcially anonymous ones - have their own agenda.

In other words, you are right. Nothing is wrong with any admin using the press like that. But Russert would never admit that he is that easily manipulated.

Javani

Clarice:

Your friend is 100% perceptive.

"I can't imagine there won't be more than one juror who'll be saying, hey, this is all bullshit."

#1 candidate: the consumers attorney on the panel. He's business is much to do with deflating corporate and government lies. Good for Libby he'll respect the "beyond a reasonable doubt" principle.

"Are these witnesses deliberately throwing their testimony out of sympathy for Libby?"

No, it's CIA institutional payback for the Tenet apologia and embarassment their nepotisitic junket schemes got exposed--remember it was Grossman who said it was inappropriate, and he's State, not CIA.

Also mixed in is the stunning revelation to some that our top security officials are peter principle factotums and twits yet our safety is entrusted to them! And even if we can expect our leaders need be liars sometimes, esp. in diplomacy, they are so incompetent at it!

steve

Syl-
the VP may not have ordered Wilson's trip, but the CIA may have in response to a VP question, no?
And might the CIA have reported back 'we sent someone to Niger, didn't find diddley"?

I mean, if Dad asks if the trash is taken out, and Mom tells kid to take out the trash, Mom may have ordered it, but it was at dad's direction...

But let's go ahead and parse words- it balances out what I've long believed- that both sides are just as dirty...this will make a nice bookend to whatthe meaning of is is...

clarice

Well, I can see why the EW crowd thinks it a crime to respond to serious and false charges--As far as I can tell the special special prosecutor holds to that belief as well, having bought hook line and sinker the Wilson-Corn version of the events. (Emma Peel tied to the tracks by evil warmongers to punish a brave whistleblower.)

Rick Ballard

"But Russert would never admit that he is that easily manipulated."

Those years shilling for Cuomo and Moynihan might have given him some small insight on manipulating the press...

He seems to know how to roll over and let any Dem around scratch his tummy, that's for sure.

Javani

Martin, re: motive,

""Gee Patrick-you mean besides the Vice President's personal CIA briefer telling Cheney and Libby after being asked by them specifically what he thought about Novak's article and replying that such leaks could get people killed?""

LOL, Martin, his opinion was obviously coached. Comrade Martin, you are spreading active disinformation when you write he told them such, he didn't, and admitted it on cross.

That bit of garbage will be destroyed with Novak's appearance, I'm sure you can figure out why.

clarice

How do you think such a second rate show gets top newsmakers to appear on it? By NOT carrying their water?

I admit his questions especially of Republicans is less oily than Larry King's treatment of guests--but after all those promises Kerry made to release his military records, did Russert ever point out on later appearances that Kerry had not kept his word to Russert?

C'mon possums, you are getting a rare opportunity from the testimony in this case and from the press coverage of it to see why the mainstream media is rotten.

maryrose

If Mitchell and Gregory knew then Russert knew and their on screen bafflegab to cover up their knowledge is an exercise in CYA. Best witnesses are going to be Russert and Mitchell with Cooper thrown in for good measure.

roanoke

jwest-

Gad! Shuster-I swear Chris Matthews must be the "dark hole" of IQ points or somethin'.

Syl-

I think it was jwest who slummed through the threads yesterday at Firedoglake and they were complainng about Wells getting int he way..or something to that effect.

Damn Libby getting a defense attorney...

Oh the humanity!

Now they are complainng about MTP working for "the man"?

[wow..]

Rick Ballard

It appears that Wells is stalling - no Fleischer for the jurors to carry home. Good tactical move. Otherwise the jury carries away the prosecutions direct as if it were something other than whole grain fiction.

Javani

"Well, I can see why the EW crowd thinks it a crime to respond to serious and false charges"

Try explaining to them Joe Wilson actually believed Iraq had WMD programs.

clarice

Yup--

Jane

I'm not as confident as everyone else about this being a slam dunk so far. First of all I've tried far too many cases to think any jury is a slam dunk, or that you can rely on them to put their prejudices behind them. Most do, and I hope this one does, but they all don't.

Secondly memory is generally triggered by adrenelin. Ever get a bad diagnosis? I bet you can remember everything about that hour - who was there, etc etc. Same with good news. If Libby was angry that he was getting scapegoated by Rove (and that understanding was contemporarious with the events he was getting blamed for) a credible argument can be made that enough adrenelin would be surging thru his system that he would remember who said what to whom. I think WEll's has to overcome that notion.

(Nothing in the above opinion should be construed to mean that I don't think this case is absolute BS and gets more so with every passing day)

Javani

"But Russert would never admit that he is that easily manipulated."

And he'll never admit as what Miller would call a "trick" that he BS'd Libby to get a confirmation.

Media will drop all interest in this case soon. They don't want to advertise how their sausages are made.

Walter

Me, several months ago:

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

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

Me, today:

Whoops! Boy is my face red. "Trivial", he says... "Credible" he says...

Maybe Cheney will meet those exalted expectations of long ago.

Dan S

"Now they are complainng about MTP working for "the man"?

[wow..]

Posted by: roanoke | January 25, 2007 at 12:44 PM "

I guess they missed, or decided it not worth mentioning, the three or four fantasy items of Cheney grasping his chest during the SOTU. Something about him teasing them.

Nice people.

Ranger

It looks like Wells is using Fitz's own instruments against him. Fitz argued to get all these press accounts in front of the Jurors, and now Wells is reading them to stall for time, and getting a prosecution witness to state how inaccurate they are.

roanoke

Dan S-

Ya I read that yesterday-I guess it was something I wanted to forget.

Walter

Steve,

We covered your question some time ago, but TM™ and his Virtual Mongol Horde™ are so darn popular that it's tough to slog through every thread.

Here's how Fitzgerald summarized Libby's grand jury testimony about the six non-Cheney government witnesses:

"When confronted on whether he had discussed Wilson's wife with other government officials earlier that week -- including White House press secretary Ari Fleisher, Director of Communciations for the Vice President Cathie [sic] Martin and others -- Libby's repeated refrain was that he could not have discussed the matter earlier in the week because he specifically recalled that he learned about Wilson's wife from Russert that week as if it were new information (Exh I. at 156-60)."

Would that he avoided that specificity with the reporters as well. But given that he and Rove were the only ones to have forgotten any detail relating to the ever-fascinating Ms. Plame, that might not have kept him out of trouble in any event.

Walter

danking70

Is Martin allowed to explain why the articles are innacurate, Ranger?

clarice

Walter, don't blame yourself. Why shouldn't you have fallen for Fitz' narrative then. It's just that I have a credible eye witness to the way he handled previous cases and believed from day one that every single word he says including the "if, and and but" must be taken with a large grain of salt.

(I once worked with someone like that who wanted to bring cases based on the kind of "really strong circumstantial evidence" like the fact that the two parties were on the same continent on the same day. )
In sum, he tends to start with a scenario useful to him and gnaw off the bits of the puzzle that don't fit--announce he's solved the jigsaw and suggest the gnawed off, ill fitting pieces are a figment of your imagination.

Ranger

Is Martin allowed to explain why the articles are innacurate, Ranger?

Posted by: danking70 | January 25, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Looks like. This is FDL's take:

W Kristof article. [reading from article]

3:32

Wells is reading the whole damn thing, down to the copyright. Including the lines, After all, "as Ari said…"

W Could you explain how the forged documents fit into Wilson's allegations.

M Documents we got from the French.

M Sorry. The Italians that suggested Iraq was trying to get yellowcake from Niger. At some point these documents were learned to be forgeries.

W did you find out the docts were forgeries after Wilson trip?

Objection/Withdrawn.

M I don't believe we talked about forged documents.

W WRT claim that VP requested the investigation. Did that correspond to the talking points.

M Our talking point was that VP did not know of any former Ambassador sent on this trip.

W and your talking points were true at all times.

M Correct

[Wells keeps reading the article]

W Is it correct that Cheney at no time received a report from CIA or Wilson?

Objection, Sidebar.

3:39

She's looking toward her lawyers. Pouring more water.

Walton: He's upset you put your water up there bc if it falls on our computer, we have no money to replace it, because we have no budget.

W To your understanding, Cheney never received a report from CIA or Wilson on the substance of his trip?

M To my understanding that is correct.

Javani

Jane,

thanks for your comments.

Take a look at the GJ transcript.

Libby, being a square, was frank and honest to the GJ and the FBI that he was effectively lying to the journalists to get the story out. At first he told Miller to source his information to a vague "hill staffer". Then Russert, or whomever, effectively gave him an "out", he didn't have to continue sourcing to himself.

This might be how sausages are made in DC, but it didn't look good to Fitz on the FBI notes, and he pressed Libby at the GJ. Libby was admitting he fibbed or such to the journalists, then sensing the glares of the GJ and the gleam in the eye of Fitzy he ramabled, conciously or not making up the statement he might have forgotten about it at the time.

To state it strongly, it was an illegal lie about a legal lie, spurned by embarassment. Read the GJ transcript, you'll see.

It wasn't political. He, at first, had no problem telling the FBI and GJ that he kinda played around with the journos to get the info out, to rumor monger about a truth -- Joe Wilson, despite his NYTimes imprimatur, was a liar.

I think it was a fumble and doesn't meet the standard of perjury.

Florence Schmieg

Just in case you missed this post on the long thread:

Actually, one Saturday on the "Tim Russsert Show" Russert, Mitchell, Gregory, and someone else I don't recall who were sitting around discussing the investigation. They began talking about the FBI and Mitchell admitted that yes, she was interviewed by the FBI but that after that one encounter they never pursued anything with her again. That's all she said about it on that show. On that show also, Russert told them that Libby had called him as a viewer, not as a source, to complain about a program. They were all very casual and relaxed with one another and I thought it strange that Mitchell said what she did to them. They seemed surprised. I do not recall Gregory saying anything about what he knew.

Enlightened

Clarice - was that Freudian - Armitage/Satand? That's a cool typo.

steve

Walter-
thanks for that...

clarice

When it comes to my typing, God alone guides my hand,Enlightened.

maryrose

Florence Schmeig:
Very interesting comment.

sylvia

This is from the indictment:

LIBBY did not advise Matthew Cooper, on or about July 12, 2003,
that LIBBY had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA,
nor did LIBBY advise him that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;

rather, LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without qualification, that LIBBY had heard that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA;

------------

And from the MTP interview from Cooper excerpted above:

MR. COOPER:...On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, `Yeah, I've heard that, too,' or words to that effect." ....

MR. RUSSERT: Did Mr. Libby say at any time that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?
MR. COOPER: No, he didn't say that.


Now that I see this interview - it seems that the difference is too small for a perjury charge - at least from Cooper.


roanoke

Ranger-

From your excerpt of FDL-

She's looking toward her lawyers. Pouring more water.

Walton: He's upset you put your water up there bc if it falls on our computer, we have no money to replace it, because we have no budget.

That's weird.

Sara (Squiggler)

I cannot see, so far, that any of the witnesses called by Fitz has established that the OVP/Libby showed any interest in the detail that "Wilson's wife" arranged for him to make the trip. They have, on the other hand, made a good case for the OVP position that they were concerned that this heretofore unknown trip for unknown reasons was being attributed to their behesting. It seems that whenever it is added that it was a CIA trip and the details were arranged by the CIA wife, the subject was still THE TRIP and not the wife.

Except for a few editorializing remarks, rather off hand, about maybe it was odd, this detail of the story seems to have been totally unremarkable to anyone.

It is the media and their need to gossip and the Washington media's need to turn every story into a scandal that took this up to then insignificant detail and turned it into THEIR STORY at the expense of the real story.

________________________________

PS: I would like to remind everyone that I was thoroughly mocked when I said I first lost faith in the integrity of FBI investigators during the Hastings' impeachment. I think you are already getting a taste of how lax they are. Wait until they testify. I have no doubt that their completed product made the witnesses think the words don't match their own memory of their own testimony. The facts are written up to fit the theory, instead of formulating a theory based on the raw facts.

clarice

So, we may get into the French connection?
Well, here's a fine piece on that to get up to snuff on:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/11/joseph_wilson_iv_the_french_co.html>Wilson and the French

Sara (Squiggler)

Yeah, the French. I was going to comment on that. Everyone wonders why Wilson was sent. I would say he was sent to Niger because he had very close ties to French intelligence and that the purpose of the trip was to contact French intelligence.

Patrick

Cathie Martin, taking shots at Chris Matthews: He was saying some outrageous things, I wouldn't limit it to just that week."

How cool is that?

roanoke

sylvia-

Cooper is looking like the proverbial moth to the flame of fame.

Ironically he was followed by Woodward and Bernstein.

sylvia

Okay Cooper is down. I'm not sure about Miller. The main stumbling block is still Tim Russert though. If Libby hadn't said he thought he heard it first from Russert, he wouldn't be in any of the hot water he is in now - as that made it look like he was trying to finger Russert to save his own skin. I still don't see how he is going to get out of that one. So my prediction now - just one count of perjury and obstruction related to Russert, as compared to all counts.

clarice

Florence, as I recall it, Mitchell was asked about the 1x2x6 report and said that no one in the WH told her about Plame, that like some other reporters after Novak's article came out she called and was referred to the Novak article, Period.

OTOH it is a mark of the incompetence of the investigation that she was never further questioned in detail about her knowledge from other sources.
Russert is the government's chief witness. We know now that Gregory knew from Fleischer and we know that Mitchell said everyone knew and was leaking DoS stuff and both she and Gregory worked with Russert.
A decent investigation would not have trated whatever flapparo Russert gave in what a friend has characterized as a "presidential appearance" before the FBI as the end of the inquiry.


topsecretk9

Clarice

Are you planning on writing up a synopsis up to this point? (hoping, wishing, praying) I keep missing so much I need a "For Dummies" version.

clarice

ts--I have a house guest and a dinner party I'm hosting tomorrow night, but I hope to have something this weekend.

***would not have trEated whatever **********

Javani

"Now that I see this interview - it seems that the difference is too small for a perjury charge - at least from Cooper."

Cooper wrote a four or so days after his grand jury appearance that Libby told him "I've heard that too." Which begs the question could he have meant reporters, and then, maybe Libby did say reporters and what's the big difference anyway? Add Cooper's big memory issues, and what did his co-worker tell him, Cooper's off the map.

I think what really happened Cooper couldn't remember but was repeating, verbatim, what Rove leaked was what Novak told him, akin to Novak's publicized signal in his October 1, 2003 article. I bet a lot of journos testifying are taking the "I've heard that too" line. I don't see at this time how pointing that out will help either side. Also take into account the arguments at the time that people who receive leaks might be guilty under secrecy laws, this could explain why journos were taking cover too.

Sue

EW is back to editorializing. Very, very boorish.

Ranger

Here is an interesting statement about the drafting of the Tenant statement:

"M There was mutual understanding, We weren't trying to embarrass Tenet we were trying to set the facts state."

Nope, don't want to make Mr. Slam Dunk look bad over pre-war intel, even if the facts lean that way.

sylvia

Russert is the most important because from what I remember (correct me if I'm wrong) he said he never even spoke about Wilson or Plame with Libby on July 10. You would have to flat out believe Russert is lying on that. And even if Russert did know about Plame at that point, or even brought it up to Libby,- that wouldn't then lead to Libby thinking he heard it first from Russert, when we know Libby had so many other ways to get that information.

Syl

Jane

If Libby was angry that he was getting scapegoated by Rove (and that understanding was contemporarious with the events he was getting blamed for) a credible argument can be made that enough adrenelin would be surging thru his system that he would remember who said what to whom.

Yes, but, that adrenalin only occurred after Novak, after the whole Plame thing blew up in the press. Memories he forgot, or never retained, were already gone. No?

Wonder what Cathy would say about this.

Javani

"The main stumbling block is still Tim Russert though."

Yes, he's a very cool customer.

"M There was mutual understanding, We weren't trying to embarrass Tenet we were trying to set the facts state."

No, you were trying to protect Bush's "Truth Quotient", accurately for a change, but didn't need to yet if you took a closer, and longer look. Probably at George or Laura's instigation via Rove.

clarice

Everybody was taking cover because they had a mad unsupervised prosecutor and they are all spineless,self centered pussies. The higher up the chain they are the weaker they are.

Except for Cheney..God bless him.

topsecretk9

Don't break your neck Clarice, it can wait, but I look forward to it.

cathyf
Secondly memory is generally triggered by adrenelin. Ever get a bad diagnosis? I bet you can remember everything about that hour - who was there, etc etc. Same with good news.
Wrong. The neurotransmitters involved in stress chemically interfere with the neurotransmitters involved in forming memories. I'd put money that if you really remember a bunch of ancillary details about a stressful (good or bad) event, then it's because your brain invented them whole cloth later because you wanted to have all of those details, not because you had any physical capacity to store them at the time.

(I had a 53-hour-long labor with baby #2. Between approx hour 42 and hour 47, I have a grand total of about 2 minutes of memory. Including one point where I came out of a contraction, looked at the clock, duly noted that I was completely blank with no memory at all back to coming out of a contraction a half-hour before, and thought, "Yeah, that's because relaying all of this excruciating pain is consuming every neurotransmitter I have. Hmmm... I've read about it, but it is kind of freaky cool to actually experience it." And then the next contraction hit. And the next thing I knew it was 45 minutes later and I was noting this next gap.)

Walter

Thanks, Clarice.

I had suspected that he had reached a teeny bit with some of the descriptions. But I'm amazed that he put those first two witnesses on the stand without preparing them for questions about their disparate recollections.

Feathers piled upon feathers do not add enough weight to shift the scale from presumption of innocence to guilty.

OT geek challenge: Which is heavier: a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?

The feathers, of course. Proof left to the reader.

Ranger

Now wells is rehabilitating the 16 words. Laying the blame on CIA:

"Introduction of Tenet statement of 11 July 2003 into evidence.

“It was your personal position that the Tenet statement didn’t go far enough?” “I didn’t think it was detailed enough.”

“And Mr. Libby had the same view as you?” Yes.

Introduced 24 January 2003 document saying White House made aware Iraq had large yellowcake supply and acquisition program. This was four days before SOTU.

Neither you nor Mr. Libby were successful in getting this mentioned in Tenet statement? No.

Introduction of Martin’s hand-written notes on draft of Tenet statement made on July 10. She noted that the CIA’s only notation in the NIE that there were any doubts on the yellowcake report was buried in a footnote 50 pages later.

You wanted the January 24 document mentioned in the Tenet statement, right? Yes."

Javani

""So, we may get into the French connection?""

Are you intimating Joe's a Parisian Candidate?


sylvia

I think we can't refresh our memories enough on this - from the indictment:

During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President.
---------
As defendant LIBBY well knew when he made it, this statement was false in that when LIBBY spoke with Russert on or about July 10 or 11, 2003:
a. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
b. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA;
----

I don't know - hard to get out of that one.

topsecretk9

Sue...what's worse editorializing or this

She has a way of setting her mouth to prepare for this. She's looking at lawyers again. Now looks toward Defense table. Back to lawyers. Looking for someone in the audience. Bites her lips.

For some reason both Fitz and Wells wore gray suits today.

She's drinking water.

She moves mike down to her mouth. Unbuttons her jacket.

Hmm for some reason, some odd and suspicious reason they both wore grey suits today. Also, "moves mike down to her mouth,, unbuttons jacket"...sounds like a little boy peeping through a hole - all other little boys begging, "what's she doing now"

Ranger

Well, it is now officially the "Big Case" on pre-war intel. Wells is laying it all at the feet of the CIA, showing all the intel they provided supporting the 16 words. NIE was after Wilson's trip, so CIA must not have viewed his report they way he presented in in the NYT.

clarice

Well what do you know? Libby and Cheney are not defending the pissy little case. They have decided to take on the lying press, the lunatic prosecution,the perfidious DoS and the incompetent CIA. Bravo! (Don't think the DoJ will get off easy either as the case progress. This may be the case of the missing crime, but it is also the case of "incompetents and nitwits" and those who promoted them to hurt the Administration and the war effort.)

They thought that Libby would just take the shit they dumped on him and leave unanswered the "Bush Lied" story for history to resolve years later..No, they are going to show that the evidence was there , that they were perfectly punctilious in what they told Congress and the people, and in the process the snakes are going to be exposed.

sylvia

I guess the only thing Libby can try is, considering Russert said they never even spoke about Plame, that Libby got Russert confused with his talk about Plame with Cooper a few days later. Hard to get out of "Russert told him first" though and that he was "surprised" when he heard it.

MJW

sylvia: Russert is the most important because from what I remember (correct me if I'm wrong) he said he never even spoke about Wilson or Plame with Libby on July 10.

Libby called to complain about the coverage of Wilson's trip, so Russert surely said Wilson was discussed (even though, curiously, NBC has studiously avoided mentioning the subject of Libby's complaint). Russert has been cagey in all his public denials that Plame was discussed, denying her name was used and that he knew she was a CIA "operative." Even in what we know of Russert's deposition, his denial was never direct and unambiguous.

Florence Schmieg

Oh Clarice, I so hope what you say does happen.
It seems to me that all of this so far shows the meme that they were trying to hurt Wilson through his wife for revenge is a pile of nonsense. Am I being too partisan in that interpretation?

Sue

Top,

It's funny, but you can tell when EW is worried about what Martin is saying. I wonder if she realizes it comes through in her own writing?

topsecretk9

Introduced 24 January 2003 document saying White House ***made aware*** Iraq had large yellowcake supply and acquisition program. This was four days before SOTU.

Whoa.

clarice

Florence, because I know those things to be true, I think they will come out. I don't see how any rational person could view the testimony of the witnesses to date and conclude that Fitz is making his case,

sylvia

Okay thanks MJW - I got that impression from the NYT a day ago. Here's the excerpt:

Further, he said, Mr. Russert will testify that his July 10 telephone conversation with Mr. Libby did not include any mention of Ms. Wilson. Mr. Libby, he said, had telephoned instead to complain about a talk show on the network.

“The evidence will show the conversation he claims took place about Wilson’s wife never happened,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “And even if it did happen, he couldn’t have been surprised.”

----
I suppose you are right and there could be a weasly way for Russert to parse words on that -i.e. not discssing Valerie Wilson but Valerie Plame, not Plame but Wilson's wife, etc. I guess we'll have to get the cross for that.

topsecretk9

Sue
I was wondering if that was what was going on. Wasn't Martin supposed to have been a clincher - explosive? Maybe too early but I am not getting that at all.

JohnH

I have followed the discussion over the last year about how careful Russert has been in his wording of what he didn't say. However, given the words used by Fitz in the indictment, that Russert did not ask Libby if Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, if Russert is hiding behind words like "name" versus "wife", he has let Fitz get out there with the "wife" version. I find it hard to believe that Russert would not say anything to Russert on the basis of such a transparent sham over the precise wording.

MJW

I suppose you are right and there could be a weasly way for Russert to parse words on that.

Could be and was. The NBC press release:

Mr. Russert told the Special Prosecutor that, at the time of that conversation, he did not know Ms. Plame's name or that she was a CIA operative and that he did not provide that information to Mr. Libby. Mr. Russert said that he first learned Ms. Plame's name and her role at the CIA when he read a column written by Robert Novak later that month.

JohnH

sorry
that Russert would not say anything to FITZ

Ranger

Wells is amaizing. He just took the most prejudicial stuff Fitz was going to slip to the Jurors (Kristoff's stuff and Wilson's oped) and used one of Fitz's own witnesses to destroy it all.

Now the jurors go home for the weekend having just seen all the stuff supporting the 16 words and the notion that rather than cherry picking intel, the administration was force fed bad info.

Sue

I'm not sure on Martin so far. She is credible, IMO, and she claims she told Libby and Cheney on the 6th. It seems that Libby's attorney is trying to get her to move that date. I'm of the opinion, at this point in the trial, there is reasonable doubt. Hopefully, for the prosecution, they weren't counting on Martin knocking it out of the ballpark. Joyner thinks she hurt Libby though. So maybe my bias is showing up here. Even though I'm looking for proof he lied, since I think he did, and haven't really seen anything that couldn't be maybe, maybe not.

Javani

Sylvia,

The jury will have to believe Russert, and his memory.

Notice how he never mentions what the call was about? It was, IIRC, a show about...Joe Wilson! What are the chances Wilson's wife didn't come up in that conversation? 50-50 I'd say.

Dan S

"I don't see how any rational person ...

Posted by: clarice | January 25, 2007 at 01:48 PM"

That's the crux of the problem, I'd say. I sure hope there's one, with a strong will, on that jury. But 12 would be nice.

Rick Ballard

Top,

"Clinchers" are pretty rare on redirect. You're right about the lefties dreams about Martin - there were some great fantasies woven from gossamer thread floating out there in the alternate reality.

Wells is an excellent tactician to this point. I'm pretty sure that the jurors are going home thinking either "jumbo shrimp case" or "Wow, Saddam had that much uranium and was looking for more? And it came from Niger?

Sue

Now the jurors go home for the weekend having just seen all the stuff supporting the 16 words and the notion that rather than cherry picking intel, the administration was force fed bad info.

And with the words of Grossman ringing in their ears. Wilson was pissed because they referred to him as low level. Hopefully they will realize they are wasting their time over a man's overinflated ego trip.

Molon Labe

"Russert would not say anything to Russert"

Aargh. Trying to follow this story is absolutely maddening.

Obscure abbreviations, Martins on the stand and posting comments, EW is both the judge and a lib observer...I'm going crazy

Syl

It's funny, but you can tell when EW is worried about what Martin is saying. I wonder if she realizes it comes through in her own writing?

And EW should be worried. Here, front and center, IS THE PUSHBACK and what constituted setting the record straight.

If the administration has these facts going for it, who cares who Wilson's wife is?

Martin's testimony destroys the notion that the wife was the chosen way to get back at wilson.

Slam dunk?

Heh

Dan S

Sue,

Note that Joyner's headline, and post, predate the cross. I think Joyner's points were reasonable (though I didn't entirely agree) at the time they were made, but the cross undercut them more than slightly.

sylvia

Well all of this should be determined upon cross, as Wells will make sure there is no weasely way for Russert to get out of it anymore. He will def ask Russert about the wife, Plame, CIA officer, Wilson, Wilson's wife, and any other possible way to talk about the lady. Unless Russert is willing to perjure himself, we will get the truth soon on this.

roanoke


From Joyner-Martin defense-cross

Your understanding was that Vice President Cheney’s intention was to get all the truth out about Wilson’s trip? Yes.

Is it correct that “at no time IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE” did the VP indicate to you that Mrs. Wilson or her status was part of getting that story out? Correct.

“Do you have any knowledge of Libby EVER discussing with ANY reporter information about Mrs. Wilson and her employment status?” No.

Did the conversations with Andrea Mitchell or deal with Mrs. Wilson? No.


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Wilson/Plame