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February 01, 2007

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Dan S

"This investigation is long over."

Are we sure a real investigation ever started?

windansea

if anyone has a link to a tormented dead-ender conspiracist still explaining how (a) Plame's CIA affiliation was a big deal, (b) Fitzgerald's investigation is ongoing, and (c) Libby and Cheney led a massive conspiracy to punish Joe Wilson and make him cry by outing the wife, then I would love to see it.

Sid Vicious answers your dream:

How Libby became Cheney's pawn

The vice president knew the intelligence for the Iraq war was cooked. So he launched his aide to smear the man who took the information public.

By Sidney Blumenthal
link

Patrick

The best for the prosecution at this point appears to be the Agent, Bond. She seems a bit surly, and if I were coaching her, I'd coach her to be less so (but what the hell, I'm from the Midwest, we're nice). She mostly stuck to her story. Libby said this, others said that, etc. Ironically, she also is a micorcosm of Libby's defense, in that if the jury believes her (most juries like to believe cops, and they LOVE Feds, unless there is a large reason to do otherwise), but they will have to determine through her, if it is fair to hold Libby to a strict standard of memory when so many others (Miller, especially)who have failed to meet it remain unindicted.

The crosses of Miller and Cooper were the highlights for Libby. An NYT reporter archiving her notes in a shopping bag? The defense couldn't have hoped for better. If Fitz knew about that, he should have dropped or never brought the Miller charges. Ari helped Fitz, but at a price. In closing, Wells and Jeffress can insinuate and suggest that Gregory was told, and told Russert.

I think the defense really needs to get a witness to explain that Fitz kept the investigation open even after they knew that Armitage was the leaker and that it wasn't a crime. Jurors like prosecuters, but they tend to have a pretty good sense of fairness.

Usually. We will see. I think Martin is a little premature in measuring Libby's cell for drapes, but I'm not sure Libby is out of the woods. I doubt that LIbby will prevail on Rule 29's for any of the charges, and he has to overcome a jury that will have a few members who are out for some administration blood.

At this point, I would say Libby absolutely should not testify. So many others have shown that even after 85 days in the hoosegow, focusing on this, details large and small are forgotten. Fitz will have greater success addressing motive if he can cross Libby.

But, I'd like to hear what others think.

MJW

My biggest surprise is learning that Cooper's story originally said Libby said "Yeah, I've heard something about that," and Cooper's notes of the call contain the phrase "had somethine and about the wilson thing and not sure if it's ever."

Based on this, I believe it's highly likely Libby was truthful and accurate in his account what he told Cooper.

Pete

One last question - if anyone has a link to a tormented dead-ender conspiracist still explaining how (a) Plame's CIA affiliation was a big deal, (b) Fitzgerald's investigation is ongoing, and (c) Libby and Cheney led a massive conspiracy to punish Joe Wilson and make him cry by outing the wife, then I would love to see it.

There is no smoking gun. The closest I can get right now is Libby's testimony in the beginning of the investigation that he may have discussed with Cheney about leaking Plame to reporters.

Which is a ridiculous statement from someone who stated that he forgot about Plame and that reporters told him about Plame. So if reporters were leaking to them and telling them that all reporters knew - their strategy was what? To leak to reporters? Yeah, right.

Carol Herman

I'm afraid to pick anything. Since the OJ verdict, my faith in the average guy has slid into the sewer. And, I worry even more when I see affirmative action hires sitting on the bench.

That there was an agenda? Yes. But since Kerry didn't win, a lot of the macinations were for naught.

My biggest surprise? Libby is facing 10 years in jail on Cooper's notes?

He said he was "sure" because Libby was "disparaging" towards Wilson. Huh? Well, he pointed to "diss."

And, dat.

But this is crap.

As to Judith Miller, when she said she couldn't be "ABSOLUTELY certain," it dawned on me that the millions the NY Times is paying Bennett; that cute answer was cooked up by her lawyer! If this is how you sway a jury, we need to do something about the entire stinking justice system, with its revolving doors on jails. It's substitution of jail cells for the mentally ill. And, for the lackluster performances we are seeing. Deborah Bond works for the FBI?

Whatever her notes contain, I don't think she was the "single author." I think she was told what to write. What to take out. And, what to forget.

Libby's on trial? Our President was supposed to be driven from office? And, Tenet won the Medal of Freedom. Putting it up there with the Piss Prize. Nobel nothing.

clarice

I'm thinking back on Fleischer's testimony without notes and I don't remember why I thought his characterization of how he knew what Libby meant about "hush hush" was weak..Perhaps because I know that the effort was underway to try to get some coordinated response to these charges --in other words for strategic internal reasons , not because anyone thought there was anything specifically hot about Wilson's wife. In fact, when Fleischer told the reporters--HE SAID-- they brushed it off and didn't seem to think it important.
It is so uncharacteristic for the administration to respond with personal attacks (see Kinsley's piece in Time today "Free Scooter!" Kinsley acknowledges that's the case--the Administration generally just brushes off these things and refuses to get into this (Sid Blumenthal type stuff.)I think that was the case here..

Dan S

My greatest revelation to date (and I hope it affects at least SOME jurors the same way) is the fibby admissions about the laecunae in the interview notes. There's the already mentioned fairness issue, the cherry-picking, but there's the sheer shock at the primitiveness too. I mean, it's EASIER to video record it than take notes. Professional transcribers can then produce transcripts. Rather than concentrating on writing down as much as possible and "doing the best that I can," the interviewer(s) can focus on reactions and asking better questions. I put this right there with the shopping bag revelations. It's lame. It's unprofessional. It borders on negligence or deliberate malfeasance.

We who are critical of the "old" media laugh and call them dinosaurs who haven't noted the climate change, and then shopping bag archives turn up in the fossil record. Well, hand scribbled or hunt & pecked notes in an adversarial interview are as bad or worse.

And if it's a deliberate tactic, as Clarice appears to claim (and I defer to her on this as she has firsthand experience, my sole exposure has been phone interviews for clearances), that's... well, a legacy of old J. Edgar's worst side itself.

No, were I on that jury Bond would be a disaster as a prosecution witness. Reporters are reporters; I expect a MUCH higher standard from FBI. Silly me.

MJW

I agree with Patrick that Libby probably shouldn't testify. I doubt if he can add that much to the memory defense that was presented by the prosecution witnesses, and I think he's got a better chance on appeal, if convicted, if he doesn't. Walton seems to be on a campaign to force Libby to testify by forbidding the use of the CIPA material by anyone but Libby, and by admitting, as "state of mind," evidence the highly prejudicial newspaper articles calling Plame covert and the NDAs. If Libby testifies, he to some extent moots these issues.

clarice

I think whether or not to call Libby depends on what else the defense does with Bond and Russert and with its other witnesses.
If they decide not to call Libby,Cheney can describe the work load and in general terms the nature of the stuff..Let Walton try and stop him CIPA or not.

If the feds are now moving more aggressively re "false statements" made to agents, they are going to need more than this ridiculous note taking to be the evidence, and Wells may well prove it to them at last.

topsecretk9
How Libby became Cheney's pawn

The vice president knew the intelligence for the Iraq war was cooked. So he launched his aide to smear the man who took the information public.

By Sidney Blumenthal

deja vou????

Sidney's at work yet again it seems.

clarice

Cooper is the worst of the prosecution witnesses..Miller is no great shakes..You are "listening to her testimony" I am seeing the words, words that Wells will pull out of what she said to establish reasonable doubt--may have ha other sources, went tojail to protect them but can't remember who they are, doesn't know how Wilson's name and Phone no were in her notes, thought "Bureau" meant "CIA"(c'mon why? Because someone else told her CIA, can't be absolutely sure..there are fifty good items like that, string them together and without treating her as a liar, her "recollection" even with her notes isn't enough on such a bafflegab case to send a man to jail.

Dan S

I'm all for the Feds being tough. I just want them to have a nice clean and clear record to show beyond a reasonable doubt, or better, that the liars are lying. No handwaving, note-gapping, or cherry-picking, just straight up you said this before, now you say this; both can't be true; you lie.

Especially in silly political cases that probably shouldn't be cases in the first place.

Considering what the earlier witness said about the interview notes, this isn't (even in this case) an isolated incident.

ghostcat

Biggest Surprise: Matt Apuzzo's more than decent coverage for the AP.

clarice

He is doing an excellent job. Of course he actually is working very hard, not just sitting around for an hour or so, then primping for a quickie appearance on tv with some made up nonsense ..

topsecretk9

1. Biggest surprise helping the defense;
Grossman saying Wilson was mad he was regarded as low-level by Condi

2. Biggest surprises helping the prosecution;
um...none. I I mean I can't recall a clincher moment

3. Best evidence for the defense so far;
jurors establishing Miller went to jail for other sources -that was loaded jury question---if sources "one" (remember the juror?) would forget the sources they'd go to jail for -- who what when where is sorta silly.

4. Best evidence for the prosecution so far.
He's had a haircut and wears a grey suit.

Ari, I guess. I haven't heard what Hush Hush means - Ari said they were throwing Tenet under a bus --This seems to be at odds by both Rove and Libby - so Dickerson should help.

topsecretk9

Biggest Surprise: Matt Apuzzo's more than decent coverage for the AP.

HAH...seriously though.

topsecretk9

Also, if there was a question

Biggest surprise overall?

It would be how truly weak the gov't case is. EW/Jeff and others built in some big expectations.

I recall Jeff and i going around the fact Miller had other sources.

Patton

1. Biggest surprise helping the defense.

How totally lacking in real hard evidence the prosecution has been. With every witnesses testimony so poor; why don't we see phone records, sign in sheets, questions to verify the persons memory isn't playing tricks on them.
In additon, how lacking there is that any conspiracy to out Plame actually existed, there's just nothing there. And there's no hard evidence Libby outed her to anyone.

2. Biggest surprises helping the prosecution;

The judge actually has allowed testimony from people like Judy Miller who clearly has no memory of these discussions, her claims are not just not backed up by her notes, but contracted by her notes. Why don't they have her phone records to see exactly who she talked to.

3. Best evidence for the defense so far.

Not a single person has an even a fair memory of events; except for those that got immunity.
Wells should list the people outside government who were told about Plame prior to Novaks column being published. I think were up to 8-10 by now so that the jury doesn't convict Libby based on him being the 'leaker' and not based on false statements.

4. Best evidence for the prosecution so far.
Fliescher testimony about Libby talking about Plame, although that may be fixed if Wells can show Fliecher is confusing Libby with Bartlett.

Foo Bar

Fitzgerald is stuck for a motive

Could someone tell me again why trying to make sure that Bush gets reelected is not a plausible motive? Has everyone at JOM forgotten how biased, left-leaning, and prone to distortion the media is? Even if there wasn't anything actually illegal or consequential about telling reporters that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, if it had become public knowledge in late '03 or '04 that Libby had done so, surely there was enough raw material there for the traitorous liberal MSM to distort and exaggerate into a politically damaging frenzy, wasn't there?

I suppose some might point out that Libby's testimony was to be sealed, but do you really want to argue that Libby should have felt free to confess to leaking because there was no chance his confession would get leaked?

clarice

Well, Foo Bar, I'd be delighted to see Fitz argue that but for *some* reason I rather doubt he will.

MJW

Why is one of the government exhibits a draft of Tenet's statement on the "16 words," yet cross-examining Miller on her sources on Wilson's op-ed was too far afield?

MayBee

Excellent question, MJW.

FooBar- the problem I see with most of Fitzgerald's proposed motives to lie is that they are also motives to tell the truth if he truly felt he wasn't guilty. Furthermore, they were motives to do the right thing in the first place.

It seems to me that Fitzgerald is trying to prove that Libby's guilty-looking behavior is a bigger legal problem than Armitage's confidence-filled actual guilt.

MJW

Fortunately for Fitz, Walton will helpfully allow him to introduce articles claiming a top secret covert agent was outed, and NDAs that provide punishment for outing top secret covert agents. Not for the truth of course, just to show Libby's state of mind -- so, of course, no juror will conclude Libby outed a top secret cover agent.

MJW

Let me add that the government offered almost no evidence that Libby believed Ms. Wilson's status was classified, and no evidence at all that he considered the NDAs while talking to the FBI or testifying before the grand jury.

clarice

The Wa Po's David Ignatius provides us with a comic fiction narrative of the story--
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/01/AR2007020101784.html >comic narrative<

MJW

On the artcles claiming a covert agent was outed:

Walton: I would like to have you submit, there's one case which is analgous. US v. Yusef. A discussion starts on page 63. It involves a letter found in defendants computer relating to other threats to commit terrorist acts and defendant charged with terrorist related type threat activity. Court concluded that even though that letter related to other threatening acts. it was not unduly prejudicial.
How is that analogous? In that case, Yusef was charged with terrorist related threat activities, and the letter, on his own computer, concerned terrorist related threat activities. In Libby's case, he's charged with perjury and obstruction, and the articles, which were in publications, concerned national security violations that almost certainly never occurred.

MayBee

1. Biggest surprise helping the defense;

Cooper. In fact, had somethine and about the wilson thing and not sure if it’s ever played backwards says these charges are dead

2. Biggest surprises helping the prosecution;
Ari's definitive "Libby told me Valerie Plame works at CPD, sent Joe to Niger, and wears Chanel no 5". The stuff about not reacting to Bartlett when Bartlett was having his moment of outrage on AF1, and immediately spewing to Proxyman and Dickerson may be a bit of a believablity killer.

3. Best evidence for the defense so far;

The general weakness of everybody's memories. No wait- getting Judy to admit she was in prison partially because Fitzgerald wouldn't release her from talking about other sources.

4. Best evidence for the prosecution so far.

Miller and Ari and Grenier combined. They are weak tea, but perhaps could lead a juror to think that even though none of their stories make sense alone, perhaps they mean something on balance. Kind of like the way Mr. Burns on the Simpsons has so many diseases and maladies fighting each other, his health is kept in perfect balance.

5. Most personally gratifying moments
Grossman testifying that Joe was upset Condi thought he was low level.
Grossman testifying that when he talked to Wilson about the CIA sending him, Wilson simpered "I thought it was the VP"

MayBee

Hey MJW- was it you trying to determine if Cheney's briefing that set this off was on the 13th?
It http://wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/jan24/DX66.pdf>was.
(pdf)

MJW

MayBee, I don't think it was me. I am curious as to what the issue about the date was.

MJW

MayBee re Fleischer: Libby told me Valerie Plame works at CPD, sent Joe to Niger, and wears Chanel no 5

Ha! Fleischer was certainly the strongest prosecution witness, but that degree of detail is a tad suspicious. Enlightenment pointed out how nearly it paralleled Novak's column. Also suspicious is how he claimed Libby had used the name "Valerie Plame" until the Pla-may business made it questionable. Then he was sure of everything except that Libby used her name.

clarice

AND he said sometimes he mispronounses names IF the first time he saw the name was in writing..

MJW

Clarice, I'm not sure it was Fleischer who said that. I seem to recall someone else commenting on the testimony said that, then someone else quoted them, misattributing the comment to Fleischer.

clarice

No--I was there--MJW

MayBee

MayBee, I don't think it was me. I am curious as to what the issue about the date was.

I would have sworn it was you. Maybe Cecil.
IIRC, there is something about Joe's trip that is dated on the 12th, and it had long been assumed that was the very day of the briefing. That alone makes it a fast turn-around. But someone then noticed Cheney may have been briefed on the 13th, making it a time-bendingly fast turn-around.

I do think, whether or not Ari admitted he pronounces things wrong if he sees them written the first time, Ari saying Plam-ay did make him back off being certain Libby had said her name. I'm sorry, nam-ay.

MJW

Here's something I noticed that almost certainly means nothing. In the June 14 Schmall note, the comment that refers to Joe and Valerie Wilson ("Why was the Amb told this was a VP office question?") is clearly cut off on the left side. It wasn't in the last copying process, since the redacted area extends to the left. More significantly, the three punch holes -- presumably from the original notebook page -- are clearly visible to the left.

clarice

A wrap up of the case AND a mention of JOM and a JOM poster !!!

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02022007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_libby_farce_opedcolumnists_john_podhoretz.htm?page=0>We're in the NY Post

MJW

I was wrong that it was from someone's comment, but according to EW's semi-transcript, it was Jeffress, not Fleischer:

Fl I didn't pay attention to the name.

J The first newspaper story that came out with her name in it was Novak's column. It had had her name as Plame. If you had read that, it would be natural you might mispronounce. Some might pronounce Plamay and some Plame?

Fl and isn't that why you don't know how it's pronounced. What difference did it make to me what her name was?

J It didn't make any difference to you. That's why you say you think, but you can't be sure about that, can you?

Notably, part of Jeffress's question is attributed to Fleischer. (I forgotten how snippy Fleischer was in his answer. As if he didn't realize why it mattered.)

MayBee

OK, yes, the SSCI has Valerie's memo recommending her husband dated Feb 12.

Weird.

MJW- The defense seemed to only have a copy of that as well, and felt there was something hinky about it.

MJW

You are correct, MayBee, I was commenting on that issue (though it originated with Cecil). I saw it as if for the first time.

MJW

I hope the defense has something further on the note. If there did turn out to be something hinky, that'd be a minor bombshell. (Isn't there some rule of evidence concerning unauthenticated copies?)

MayBee

Thanks for the link, clarice. I heart JPod.
Petty is the perfect word for this case.

Jay Currie

"Reading these sites every day has a vertigo-inducing effect that probably resembles the suffering of those who have bipolar disorder." John Proderhz

It's even more fun when you are a Canadian. I just wanted to thank Tom and all the commentors here for doing the job the MSM can't even begin to.

Michael Smith

Here is something I have never understood.

The original accusation was that the Bush administration sought to publicize the fact that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was responsible for getting Wison sent on the mission as a means of retaliation against Wilson by 1)harming Plame's career, and 2)making Wilson out to be a liar for claiming that Cheney's office sent him on the mission to Niger.

But if this was the motive, why not do this anonymously with a few well-placed phone calls to reporters? Why do it in person with reporters you know would sell you out in a minute?


Seixon

I can't shake Mitchell's "widely known" to Libby's Russert "all the reporters know". If Mitchell or Gregory knew, Russert must have known. If all of them knew, who knows how many others did too. I almost have to believe that Nicholas Kristof knew. Is he going to testify?

In any case, I've been doing a lot of research about how all of this developed, including other media narratives than the uranium bit, and I've come across an interesting set of facts... I just wish I had more time to finish up and write about it.

Seixon

Oh, and I find it still funny that the Wilsonistas continue to claim that Valerie did not suggest Joe for the trip. They claim that Valerie's boss asked her to draw up a memo about her husband because he knew of Wilson and wanted him for the mission. Does that make any sense?

BOSS: Valerie, the OVP has asked us to look into the uranium intelligence. We could send your husband again. Write me up a memo of why he would be good for the job, even though I supposedly already know he would be since I am asking you to get him for the mission.

PLAME: Sure thing boss!

Or, in an alternate universe I'd like to call Reality:

BOSS: Team, the OVP has asked us to look into the uranium intelligence.

PLAME: We could send my husband, he's got good contacts in Niger.

BOSS: Alright, why don't you write up a memo describing his qualifications and we'll take a look at it.

So, Larry Johnson's version, or the alternate Reality version? Tough choice.

Patrick

Clarice,

I'm not sure John Pohoretz's mention of JOM and its denizens is all that flattering.

Pofarmer

O.K.

One question I have. According to Bond's testimony, Libby's statements regarding Russert from interview to interview, even after looking at his notes, and in the GJ. In fact, he was "adamant" on that point. So, if Russert says differentlly, isn't that basically then just Russerts word against Libby? Especially when Russert doesn't have any notes to back himself up? Is that anything to charge perjury on? Especially when notes that had been unavailable on a first interview back up the testimony? Did Russert forget what he knew and when he knew it? O.K. I guess that's enough for now. But, without hearing Russert testify, it looks like there is already a truckload of reasonable doubt there.

I also agree with other posters. Why put all these newspaper articles in as evidence, then not let the defense question on them? That sounds hinky, and self serving, and basically unfair.

Sara (Squiggler)

1. Biggest surprise helping the defense;

The bad or nonexistent memories of ALL the prosecution's witnesses.

2. Biggest surprises helping the prosecution;

I'm not sure there is a "biggest surprise" on the prosecution side. Maybe the defense saying in opening that Libby was concerned about being scapegoated by the WH. I think this will stick in the jury's mind and could make them think that even Libby thought their was a conspiracy.

3. Best evidence for the defense so far;

Miller taking Libby's story to the NYT and getting turned down on doing the story. Cooper virtually making up his War on Wilson story. The shoddy work of the FBI. (I think someone commented that they expect the next question from the jury to be, "why are we here?")

4. Best evidence for the prosecution so far.

Probably Ari, although it strikes me as odd that he would take Libby's "hush hush" to mean don't talk about this and then when he hears Bartlett venting, he turns right around and goes and blabs to reporters on the side of a road.

Bill in AZ

The most ironically amusing thing that went over the heads over pretty much everyone in the courthouse...
(spotted by AJ Strata)

F what discussed. [Judy uncomfortable]

M SAid plenty of info before Powell presentation was given, supporting Iraq hunting uranium, it had been shown that IRaq HAD acquired uranium in Africa, prior to 1st gulf war, in 80s IAEA stated taht Iraq had acquired, after that several different reports that Iraq in market again for uranium. 2 reports, for a long-term arrangement for large quantities, and then a shorter term amount, then referred to anohter report, a third report, the arrival of a delegation in 1999 this delegation was seeking a broader trade relationship, since Niger only had one export, officials had concluded that Iraq was interested in uranium, Author of this report was Joe Wilson. The report had gone up to the Hill. Talking about info provided to Hill, which had prompted VP questions.

F Did he indicate who provided this report

M CIA

Joe Wilson went to debunk Joe Wilson - and Libby is on trial for it.

Sara (Squiggler)

One question I have. According to Bond's testimony, Libby's statements regarding Russert from interview to interview, even after looking at his notes, and in the GJ. In fact, he was "adamant" on that point. So, if Russert says differentlly, isn't that basically then just Russerts word against Libby?

I think the fact that whatever Russert said to Libby was so disturbing to Libby that he took it to the VP is a good indication that Russert said more than he has let on.

I wish someone would remember where Libby was when he talked to Russert.

boris

MayBee, I don't think it was me. I am curious as to what the issue about the date was.

I would have sworn it was you. Maybe Cecil.

That was a Cecil get. It tended to come up from time to time with Jeff because the Jeffmeister maintained that "behested by Cheney" wasn't proven false since the mission probably was triggered by Cheney's request for CIA analysis of the yellowcake intel.

But if Val is suggesting Joe on the 12th but Cheney is "behesting" Joe on the 13th there is no causal linkage to support Jeff's claim.

Not relevant to much except net debate.

Sara (Squiggler)

Funniest moment so far:

Although I understand from Clarice, who was at the court, that this wasn't entered into evidence, the funniest moment was the Matilin statement that Russert hates Matthews.

jwest

Did anyone catch the reference to two phone calls between Scooter and Russert?

I’ve always thought it was only one. When Russert talked about the “customer complaint” with his carefully parsed story, he always made it seem as if it was a single call.

Maybe it’s nothing.

Pofarmer

Joe Wilson went to debunk Joe Wilson - and Libby is on trial for it.

Joe Wilson was trying to make Clintoon look good in the '99. After that? Had to change the narrative.

Wilson wouldn't know the truth if it hit him in the ass with a 2x4. Somehow, he needs to answer for this. But, I don't expect the MSM to do it, and I'm not overly optimistic about the judicial, or any other system.

politicaobscura

I made a prediction about stupid headlines in today's newspapers. I guess I was correct!! lol

FBI agent: Libby admitted talking to Cheney about war critic's wife

Tims

I can't keep myself exactly within the bounds of the question. My mind doesn't work that way.

I would say that so far the overall jury sentiment will be against Libby and the breakdown follows:

1. Against Libby, for the prosecutor , is
a) the fact that it is a trial first off (so the impression of guilt, hey what is he up there for if he didn't do something?),
b) the trial is in DC (obvious fairness problems -people lie to get on juries as well as to get off them, which side would be panting to get on the jury? yeah!)
c) a lot of prosecution witnesses (must be something there, even if they aren't much good)
d) (if Libby doesn't take the stand, there will be an impression of guilt, never doubt it)

2. For Libby, against the Prosecutor.
a) individual prosecution witnesses aren't very good
b) for those who actually know about the events (and I expect many on the jury to know a lot, despite what they said) the overall effect of all those weak witnesses.
[I mean one bad witness is bad, but a bunch, what the hell did they get us down here for?]
c)(if Libby takes the stand, he could be a good witness depends on his personality, he is supposed to be a likable guy socially)
d) finally and this is Libby's hope. 12 people on a jury, could be a maverick)

Pofarmer

Well, Tims

Only the Prosecution has presented so far. It would be somewhat dissapointing if there wasn't at least a hint
of guild, no?

Pat

It is simply not credible that Miller would suffer 85 days in jail to protect sources and then forget who they were. Nobody is going to believe that. Not even the an OJ jury would buy that. I think she was protecting Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. The biggest clue is that she had Wilson's name and phone number in her notes but doesn't know how they got there.

Dan S

"

Did anyone catch the reference to two phone calls between Scooter and Russert?

I’ve always thought it was only one. When Russert talked about the “customer complaint” with his carefully parsed story, he always made it seem as if it was a single call.

Maybe it’s nothing.

Posted by: jwest | February 02, 2007 at 06:10 AM"

I thought that was two calls between Cooper and Libby? But the way reporters are, I'm sure there were more calls in this mix than we've heard about so far.


I think the funniest moment for me was the Cooper "question mark" bit. In the EW "transcript" it comes across as sort of surprised defensiveness to my read (but have to see it, or read a real transcript to know). It seemed to me like, "But there's a question mark there! We aren't SAYING, we're just asking!"

Suuuure. And I have a whole pile of $100 bills just arrived from Macao I'll be glad to swap you for beat up old twenties.

Sara (Squiggler)

Pat -- I don't see anything in her history that would give me reason to think she would have any motivation to protect Wilson/Plame. However, her history, especially covering WMD and the Oil-For-Food scandal at the U.N. and stepping on a lot of toes in the process leads me to believe she is protecting Powell and/or Armitage.

I do agree, however, that no one is going to forget why they are sitting in jail for 85 days.

Sara (Squiggler)

Bomb sniffing dogs get hit at White House. Reporters evacuated, residence not.

Other Tom

First, I want to take exception to Carol Herman's derogation of Judge Walton as an "affirmative-action hire." He was appointed to the DC Superior Court bench in 1981 by Ronaldus Maximus, served until 1989; was appointed to the same bench again by Bush 41 in 1991 and served until 1999; and was appointed to the US District Court in 2001 by Bush 43. So if he's an affirmative-action hire, at least he's our affirmative-action hire. Also, while I am "rooting" for Libby, like most others here, I don't detect the anti-Libby bias that some seem to feel.

I continue to feel that Libby simply has to take the stand, and I think he can help himself immeasurably. I believe the issue of "motive to lie" is being overrated; even if he had such a motive, it doesn't matter if he didn't lie in fact. And (maybe I'm focusing too much on this) I think he could testify to huge effect along the lines of, "look, I gave the most truthful testimony that I could without the benefit of my notes. If I had had access to my own notes, I might have recalled things differently, as so many other witnesses have shown. But they took my notes from me and wouldn't let me refer to them."

sbw

"a hint of guild"

Believe me there is a hint of gild. It's evident in the pressroom. It's evident in the prosecutor's indictment of Libby and the presser.

Sara (Squiggler)

OH BTW, Happy Ground Hog Day to everyone. Weirdness: I have five friends who all share today as their birthday.

sylvia

I was surprised at how well the defense lawyers were able to chip away at the prosecution witnesses.

I was also surprised that Ari Fleischer told so many people, including Gregory.

On the other hand, this is the statement that gets Libby, in regards to his testimony about Russert:

"because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning".

Although the witnesses have been weak, I did not fully realize how many of them there were, and I think there were enough of them to show that Libby was definitely in the position to have learned something about Plame before Russert. Maybe the jury will buy temporary amnesia though.

Sue

Other Tom,

You are in a long list of people who have picked up on the racial bias spewed out by Carol Herman. Calling her on it does no good. Whenever I see more than one paragraph in a post, I scroll down to make sure the author is not her. If it is, I SOB...

Dan S

Hehe, me too, Sue.

The other dead giveaway is the one sentence paras.

Sara (Squiggler)

UPDATE: White House Conference Center evacuated. It is across the street from the WH and where the press is being housed during WH pressroom renovations. Pennsylvania Ave. shut down. Dogs got positive hit on a van or vehicle parked in front. Reporters standing in the cold on the street corner.

Sara (Squiggler)

** positive hit for explosives**

hit and run

My favorite moment of the trial so far?

Clarice having lunch with David Corn.

Sara (Squiggler)

Carol Hermann sometimes makes some very astute observations and then screws over her own good points with her obvious racism. Although a number of posters do that here when they snark about the OJ jury. I was hopeful that some would see that following a trial in real time gives an entirely different picture of the proceedings than is often (almost always) portrayed in the press. I followed OJ from Prelim, pretrial hearings, and trial gavel to gavel and I think the jury made the right and only verdict they could based on the evidence. Unfortunately, the majority of the public was prohibited from seeing most of that evidence and given a very one-sided view. It really comes down to whether the Prosecution proves its case, not necessarily whether someone is innocent. When the press only gives the prosecution side, it is easy to come to wrong conclusions.

I am one who thinks the defense does it most damage to the prosecution's case through cross-examination rather than with their own case in chief.

Pofarmer

"because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning".

Goes to state of mind to not confirm to Russert. I think this is the main reason Libby needs to testify. The whole thing reads like a huge(or made up) missunderstanding.

Florence Schmieg

Not being in the legal profession in any way, I bow to the experience of those of you who are. But I am surprised at statements suggesting that the jury is likely to want to believe the prosecution and that they love the Feds. Just speaking as a citizen (hopefully, that's what the jury is also), I think there is a tendency to sympathize with the defendent in most people's minds subconsciously unless you are talking about child molesters, murderers, corrupt politicians, or terrorists. Since the prosecution has not made this a case about the poor wife (something that could spark sympathy), I think the jury will have the most sympathy for the defendent. And we have not even seen the defense case yet.

jwest

Dan,

Here is the passage I was looking at yesterday:

W During first interview you asked questions about conversation with Russert. He told you he had telephone conversations on July 10 and/or July 11. Libby told you it was very possible that he had two conversations.

DB I don't know about the very, but it was possible.

It comes from EW’s transcript “FBI Agent Bond – Five”. Wells was rushing a bit to get the jurors as much a negative impression of her as possible before the weekend, but it hit me that he wouldn’t have wasted any time on this if he wasn’t planning on coming back to it on Monday.

Sara (Squiggler)

Florence -- I don't know about the sympathy for the defendant, I think much of that gets established by how the juror's relate to the attorneys. I disagreeable prosecutor gets no sympathy.

I am surprised at the number of people who think this DC jury will be favorable to the Feds/FBI. My experience, while working in DC, was that DC residents resent the Feds stepping on them all the time. I don't think there is much love lost between say DC police and the Feds. And I know they resent being under Congressional management.

Sue

corrupt politicians

I'm afraid that is what the jury thinks they are dealing with. If it was anywhere but DC...

Patrick

OT and Sue,

I agree that CH's posts are not worht the time it takes to read and decipher.

Walton is, from EW's non-transcript, listening to the lawyers, explaining what he believes, and then giving the attorneys a chance to respond. I detect no leanings one way or the other. He has the responsibility to allow the government to present its case fully, and to allow Libby to respond. After the government presents its case, if it is insufficient to support a conviction, he has the responsibility to dismiss. I've seen nothing to indicate he won't should it be necessary.

I've commented on this before, but I'm tired of Herman making race an issue, when it is clearly not. Frankly, it makes the rest of us look bad.

Of course, I won't comment on the length of her posts...

P

You missed the first part of Libby's sentence where he says he told Russert that INTENTIONALLY, because he didn't want him to take it as confirmation (You know like Cooper did).

"""And I said, no, I don't know that. And I said, no, I don't know that INTENTIONALLY because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning. And so I said, no, I don't know that because I want to be very careful not to confirm it for him, so that he didn't take my statement as confirmation for him."""

What he was simply trying to explain was that he was lying to Russert so Russert wouldn't use him as a source.

Pat

Sara, Powell/Armitage are another option. But even they aren't worth 85 days in jail, are they? Are there any other candidates for Miller's other sources?

boris
And I said, no, I don't know that. And I said, no, I don't know that INTENTIONALLY because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said.

You can't intentionally avoid confirming something you don't already know about.

Sara (Squiggler)

Pat -- I had never heard of Judy before this case and I haven't followed up on her since the Times booted her. If we knew what she is working on these days or the weeks following her leaving the Times, we might get a clue who she had been or was or is talking to that she might want to keep confidential. Sleuthing!

I would start with the roster of those who attended the Aspen retreat. Or is she another Dana Priest who uses her position with the WaPo to advance her husband's VIPs agenda? Is Miller married?

Sue

Sara,

I think that is the key. Aspen. I thought Libby was signaling to her he knew who her source was. I guess not.

hit and run

Biggest surprise of the trial so far?

Well, Hi there JPod, how ya doin'?

OK, not so much a surprise that he would read JOM, but that he would mention it in a column and quote a comment buried deep within the bowels of the blog was surprising.

Rick Ballard

1. Biggest surprise helping the defense;

The size of the door left open on the direct of Fleischer. He was the prosecutions best but there weren't any questions asked about the senior staff meeting and his meeting with Bartlett prior to lunch on July 7. If Wells believes his testimony to have been damaging he can use Bartlett to dispel any concerns about a coordinated effort concerning Plame.

2. Biggest surprises helping the prosecution;

Judge Walton allowing even the redacted portions of McClellan's pressers into evidence. If he lets the NDA's in then he will have allowed Fitz a fair shot at establishing a somewhat believable motive.

3. Best evidence for the defense so far;

Possibly the Cooper/Ignatius email. If Fitz tries to use the McClellan/NDA pieces to try and establish motive then Wells should be able to flip it with Rove. Rove was bound by a similiar NDA and covered by the presser statements yet he was chirping like a bird to Cooper on July 11. If there was something to worry about, why wasn't he worried?

4. Best evidence for the prosecution so far.

Addington's reference to having offered to provide Libby with a copy of IIPA. Fitz can tie it to the NDA's provision concerning duty to make an effort to determine classification status. It would go to motive, which is where Fitz's case is weakest.

It appears to me that Fitz recognizes that his "little case" is so damned weak that it's pathetic and that he's completely willing to ignore his agreement to keep to little case theory and fact.

Sara (Squiggler)

You can't intentionally avoid confirming something you don't already know about.

Sure you can. If you hear something from a source that they shouldn't know as much as they obviously do about a subject you have heard about officially in much lesser detail, and you work for the 2nd highest official in the land, you wouldn't want to say anything that would give official sanction to what they were saying until you yourself verified it.

I think that is exactly what happened. Libby had been hearing since June 10-11 from Grossman all the way through to Russert that, oh by the by, "his wife works at CIA." But to hear it from Russert shocked the system into realizing this is what the press is focusing on and I wasn't following up on that part of Grossman's original revelations about who the former Ambassador is and who authorized his trip.

I think that is why he wanted to speak to Cheney about it and find out if the VP wanted to address this part of the story or not.

I think we see three groups working on the same story -- State, WH, CIA -- independently. Each group addressing the part of the story that was their own interest. State is concerned about their reputation since Ambassadors answer to them. WH is concerned about the false allegations by Wilson that the VP sent him and that his public claims didn't match the private reports. CIA, well they don't want anyone screwing around in their business for any reason.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Things I didn't know before the trial started:

1. Ari got immunity before agreeing to testify. This helps Libby because it gives him an incentive to shade the truth to gain favor with Fitz.

2. Ari saying he told three reporters, in Africa, about Valerie. This helps Libby in several possible ways; if Gregory confirms it, Russert is impeached. If the Slate guy sticks to his denials Ari is diminished. At any rate, his saying he told, casts doubt on his 'hush hush, on the QT' story.

3. That there were two phone calls between Libby and Cooper. Cathie Martin not knowing this completely demolished any use Fitz tried to make of her not hearing Libby say anything about reporters to Cooper.

4. That Cooper was going to say, 'Up to this time [the talk with Rove] I didn't know he even had a wife.' That's like handing Libby a Get Out of Jail Free card--in closing, the Defense will argue Libby was told that by Cooper and misremembered it as he telling it TO Cooper. Unless the judge dismisses the two counts in question, which is, I think, more likely than not.

5. What a horrible impression Cooper was going to make. He came across as a fatuous frat boy. Obviously he helped Libby.

6. That Fitz was going to renege so spectacularly on his 'small case' promise. That opens the door for the Defense to expose Wilson as a liar; put him on the stand and invite him to recant or face a perjury rap. Which will make Fitz look like a vindictive fool.

7. That Judy Miller would cooperate with Fitz. I think she adapted the attitude she did, because she thinks it makes her look less professional to do otherwise. Unfortunately for Fitz she was so bad she even drove David Corn to despair.

8. That the idea Libby forgot he'd been told about Valerie in June by Cheney came from an FBI agent. That wasn't in the GJ excerpts released in the indictment. Given the agent's hostility toward Libby, unless it's also somewhere in that testimony, it's not credible.

boris

shouldn't know as much as they obviously do about a subject you have heard about

That was my point Sara. If you have NEVER heard about it you wouldn't INTENTIONALLY avoid confiming it. Because in that situation you can't confirm it even if you wanted to.

Sue

Whose comment was it? Who said "Feeb"?

hit and run

My favorite moment of the trial so far?

Clarice having lunch with David Corn.

Posted by: hit and run | February 02, 2007 at 07:25 AM

Sorry, but I acted hastily. That will have to be relegated to my 2nd favorite.

My bestest favorite part of the trial so far as evidenced by the fact that it is also the only part of this whole affair that I have invested the time to personally research extensively.

Penelope Cruz, of course. I just had to get to the bottom of what had Libby and others so preoccupied in the relvant timeframe. Wait, that's a poor choice of words.

Other Tom

"You can't intentionally avoid confirming something you don't already know about."

I emphatically disagree, Boris. If you suggested to me that John Kerry actually has a better sense of humor than Groucho Marx, I would intentionally avoid confirming it. If you suggested that Teddy Kennedy actually wasn't present at Chappaquiddick, I would intentionally avoid confirming it. And so on...

Sara (Squiggler)

In addition, I do not think Libby cared at all what the internal trip scheduling practices were at the CIA. Once he had it confirmed that Wilson's trip was a CIA op and not State or WH, that answered his question and he thought answered Wilson's lie of the VP having behested the trip.

boris

Both of your examples would fall into the category of things you DO know something about.

Perpaps there is an alternate parseing of my statement?

hit and run

Sue:
Whose comment was it? Who said "Feeb"?


Rick Ballard

Sue

Can anyone see the frustration the OVP must have been feeling? I just read EW and she is still accusing Libby of lying to Pincus about Cheney's involvement in sending Wilson. The articles I've read are still claiming Cheney was involved in sending him. The story hasn't changed since day one. Even the truth hasn't changed it.

Dan S

"

Dan,

Here is the passage I was looking at yesterday:

W During first interview you asked questions about conversation with Russert. He told you he had telephone conversations on July 10 and/or July 11. Libby told you it was very possible that he had two conversations.

DB I don't know about the very, but it was possible.

It comes from EW’s transcript “FBI Agent Bond – Five”. Wells was rushing a bit to get the jurors as much a negative impression of her as possible before the weekend, but it hit me that he wouldn’t have wasted any time on this if he wasn’t planning on coming back to it on Monday.

Posted by: jwest | February 02, 2007 at 07:38 AM"

Good one, jwest. I saw that and promptly forgot it. I suspect I was tired and thought it was a reference to the earlier similar case with Cooper (I think.)

Now that I re-read it, I DO remember that "very" dispute. Be interesting to see where this goes.

Sara (Squiggler)

Boris, I am taking his word intentionally to mean he was picking and choosing his words carefully so as not to confirm more of the story than he knew for certain to be true and/or unclassified.

boris

me too Sara

Sara (Squiggler)

Libby talked to Russert and Russert's boss, could this be the two conversations. Two different conversations, but part of the same call.

jwest

The most disappointing thing about this trial:

MSM reporting.

It is frightening how slipshod and misinformed paid reporters in both the print and television media are. I still hold an optimistic view of people in general and attribute the appalling coverage to ignorance rather than malice (for now).

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Wilson/Plame