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February 06, 2007

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Jane

I assume Mitchell is on the witness list -yes?

Syl

And the part that would make Libby angry and want to respond is the assumption that what Wilson said he reported back to CIA was true.

See how Andrea has discredited ALL the statements ever made by the administration on this subject? Because she, too, assumed Wilson told the truth about 'what he didn't find'.

The press was eating around the periphery of the REAL story. That Wilson had lied.

And before they could ever get close to the truth, 'Plame' came out.

And THAT's where the focus went instead.


clarice

I like Rory one of today's MBA bloggers but his latest piece on the media gets it all wrong--he's complaining that they are too close to the govt!!

sbw

"his latest piece on the media gets it all wrong--he's complaining that they are too close to the govt!"

Democratic government. ;-)

born again

Brewster Jennings died for Cheney's sins.

clarice

From today's Apuzzo:
"Libby came back for a second appearance and said he remembered discussing Wilson's connection to the CIA with Grossman.

"He's one of yours," Libby recalled telling Grossman.

"Not one of ours, one of theirs," Grossman said, pointing toward the CIA seat in a conference room, Libby testified.

"It's a sad state of affairs when the CIA has to get their own ambassador to go to a country to ask questions about what our own ambassador could be asking about," Libby recalled saying.

Libby said it was a joke and that Wilson's wife never came up.

He said he still could not recall the conversations others said they had with him about Plame."


http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/16629703.htm>Tapes

centralcal

oh, Clarice, there you are ...

I just commented on the other thread - can it be possible that Fitz has had NO follow-up with Russert, except the original 20 minute interview?

I find that really hard to believe, since so much seems to hinge on his testimony.

Your thoughts?

clarice

Centralcal,They echo yours.

Seixon

Larry Johnson has a post up, making stuff up as he goes along, trying to avert everyone's attention away from Kristof who was a stenographer for the Wilsons and VIPS.

Johnson tries, again, and perhaps with a straight face, to claim that Kristof is the one who got it wrong from Wilson. That would be fine and dandy if there weren't two other reporters who go the story wrong from Wilson in the exact same way...

More to the point, Wilson's wife being at the CIA, if he had any questions as to whether his report was given to the OVP or the State Department, his wife could have found out.

So either Wilson did not have his wife check this out for him, and then through his assumptions around to three reporters, or he and his wife knew what they were telling reporters wasn't true and did it on purpose.

I know which version I believe. Larry Johnson wants us to forget all about why in the world the OVP had to actually state to the press that, no, Cheney did not send Wilson. It was because Wilson and VIPS lied to the media to start this whole brouhaha.

Sue

Tom,

That is interesting. If Russert says there was only one call, then what?

clarice

Or--Kristof "sexed" up the story a bit.
It took Pincus 2 1/2 years to throw Wilson under the bus for lying to HIM.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/10/a_tale_of_two_papers.html

Rick Ballard

Sue,

If Russert refuses prep by Fitz (and he will) do you think Fitz's playing the whole damn tape will be enough to clue Russert in on how to testify?

Why wasn't Russert's testimony taken before these tapes were played?

centralcal

Sue: Libby isn't sure, from his statement if there were two calls or if there was a delay in the first call (like being put on hold for a really long time - ha ha).

"I think Russert said he had to call me back. And I think in the second phone call, if there was one, or a delay in the first call, we had a fuller conversation."

clarice

Rick, in this case the witnesses aren't being sequestered--It would be futile with all this coverage.

Here's a different question. What if Fitz' agreement with Russert was limited only to what he told Libby in the first conversation?

topsecretk9

Does anyone know if Miller's notebook pages are in public now?

Dwilkers

Man I can hardly believe all this nonsense comes down to those two measly, weaselly paragraphs by Libby. In-freakin-credible. If he gets convicted over that I'll write GWB asking for a pardon myself.

Sara (Squiggler)


JAILED BORDER PATROL AGENT BEATEN IN PRISON...

Rick Ballard

"What if Fitz' agreement with Russert was limited only to what he told Libby in the first conversation?"

Doesn't matter. Mitchell, Russert and Gregory have already conducted public perjury practice. "Honest, injun, nobody told us nuffin'."

I understand the nonsequestered aspect but Judge Walton should not have allowed prep by audiotape - he could have allowed Fitz to play them only after all witness testimony was in.

clarice

Rick, I don't recall Libby's very capable counsel arguing for that. Why do you suppose that's so?

Unless Russert has cooperated with the defense, the defense will not get the deposition testimony Russert gave until after he testifies.(Russert as I recall said he had no notes)

He will get Mitchell's
notes if she testifies (per a recent ruling reversing an earlier ruling.)

owl

Yeah..there really ought to be a law against Nifongs.

centralcal

I had a post, but it got lost in the ethers.

About Russert hearing the GJ testimony and being able to, perhaps, prep himself for his testimony -

Russert' partisan political background and now the esteemed moderator of his own show, probably contributes to quite an ego. He is used to boring in, to questioning those on his hot seat, to grilling - he is the InterviewER. People like that don't usually perform well at being the InterviewEE. Not only does his own ego potentially get in his way, but he's going to be questioned in a federal courthouse, questioned by a seasoned pro - Wells. This won't be the NBC studios where Russert rules the roost and the Nielsen ratings.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Back in May 2006 I argued that it was probable that Libby was conflating conversations of journalists, and that a memory expert should be called to explain just how to the jury:

---------quote---------
...get a memory expert on the stand to explain how the mind has a capacity to trick itself by 'filling in the blanks'.

To steal an example from 'Stumbling on Happiness', if you are shown a list of words such as; rest, bed, doze, snore, tired, dream, wake. Then the list is taken away, and 30 seconds later you are asked if 'sleep' was on the list, most people will swear it was.

That's because it's a key to the other words. Similarly, if Libby heard from Russert that all the reporters are talking about how Wilson got sent on the trip. That they all know something is funny about Wilson's claim to have been sent 'at the behest of' the VP. Libby's mind could fill in the blank; 'wife', but not tell Russert.

Later, Libby might well believe Russert told him the wife sent Wilson to Niger. Hence, his testimony in the GJ was truthful *as he understood it*.
----------endquote--------

Unfortunately, Walton ruled out the memory experts. That's looking really bad in hindsight, now that we know just how many reporters Libby talked to in the week following July 6th, 03: Andrea Mitchell, Russert, Novak, Cooper, Evan Thomas, Kessler, Judy Miller (and maybe someone I'm missing). It'd be a miracle if he could keep separate and accurate memories of all those.

But Cooper's testimony gives two lines that appear in Libby's GJ; 1. 'didn't know he had a wife til then' and 2. 'didn't even know if it eve[n was true]'. In addition to the two phone calls in short order. Three things Libby testified to, appear to be true.

Seixon

clarice,

The "sexing up" thing doesn't really work when all three reporters Wilson leaked to reported virtually the same narrative. Let's not also overlook the likelihood of Plame herself being a source for Kristof, not to mention the FACT that VIPS members were a source for Kristof's articles.

To this day, the press has never reported the fact that Valerie Plame was an old friend of Larry Johnson, member of VIPS, a group which were quoted quite often by many reporters in connection to the uranium story.

Kristof quoted Patrick Lang in his May 6 piece, whom you will find in the company of VIPS quite often. After Walter Pincus's June 12 article where he let the administration get a few quotes in, Kristof and VIPS counter-attacked the next day on June 13.

Kristof quoted Mel Goodman, an alumni member of VIPS, and Greg Thielmann, who like Mr. Lang has the odd habit of popping up everywhere VIPS goes. In addition, Kristof quoted yet another "former military intelligence officer".

Kristof was, and from the looks of his newest article today, still is VIPS' point man.

MikeH

Clarice said, "It took Pincus 2 1/2 years to throw Wilson under the bus for lying to HIM."

I guess WaPosters Leonnig and Goldstein today didn't get that memo from Pinkus and the WaPo editors (as per the linked AT article):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/05/AR2007020500831.html

Sorry, been lurking, but greatly appreciative of all the great and informed discussion that goes on here. Thanks to all!

clarice

Didn't the forgery bit appear only in Kristof's piece, Seixon? My fading recollection is that the Kristof piece went further than did the Pincus article.

Jane

Rick, I don't recall Libby's very capable counsel arguing for that. Why do you suppose that's so?

I don't think they are all that worried about Russert. Because he has no notes the only thing he can do is testify to what he recalls. In this trial, by definition, that's mush.

And I doubt if Wells asks: "Are you sure that is exactly what you said?" Russert will not make the mistake of saying "yes". His testimony is going to be rife with with, "As far as I recall" and "to the best of my recollection". It's just not to Russert's benefit to be the witness that hits the Libby conviction out of the park. If only for the reason that he doesn't want to lose that much audience. So he's gonna soft-peddle, I predict.

What I want to hear is his lawyer's testimony. That will be great!

MayBee

I have to say I am surprised at the number of reporters that Libby says he talked to or told. In saying that he told Kessler about it, he sure doesn't seem to be hiding that he talked to reporters. The Cooper charges seem more and more petty to me, even if you believe that Libby had some grand plan to lie. Are the Cooper charges the best, most reasonable way to prove that? I don't see how.

Jane

But what he told, consistenly, was that Wilson's report was wrong, not that his wife worked at the CIA. There was a push-back going on, and he wanted to get it out.

I still believe after all this evidence that Val's status never entered into any of this. She simply was not important enough to care about.

hit and run

So, a suggestion might be that Libby conflated a conversation that took place with Cooper with one that took place with Russert?

Ol' Tim finds out that Libby can't tell him from Cooper -- and Russert's pissed.

Russert: "Damn Right I Ordered the Code Red! I turned Matthews loose on his ass."

vnjagvet

Except, Jane, by the Dems and the Press -- to keep the "BushCheneyRoveHalliburten Lied and leaked CIA secrets" story on the front page -- and the to keep the truth that Saddam's Iraq did seek uranium in Niger off.

maryrose

Libby's testimony appears staightforward and upfront. I can't believe Fitz decided to try and frame him with this flimsy evidence and can't remember conversations...

PaulL

With all these good threads, TM, it's hard to know where to go. How about a sticky thread at the top for commentary on each day's testimony?

Then there can be other threads below on specific things.

maryrose

My prediction -Libby doesn't take the stand unless he absolutely has to. Cheney doesn't testify-he doesn't lower himself to this dumb level and Matthews and Schuster end up with egg on their faces.

Jane

Libby doesn't take the stand unless he absolutely has to.

That's true in every criminal trial. That's why it is never promised in advance (unless the lawyer is really really dumb.)

PaulL

I think the jurors are going to absorb from the grand jury tapes that Fitz is obsessed with Libby, grilling and badgering him, over a bunch of nothing. And yet Libby tries continually to be helpful.

The jurors will contrast this with how incompetent all of Fitz's witnesses have been.

As Wells said in the beginning, the only way he loses this case is if the jurors break their oaths.

MayBee

Right, Jane, but he does say he told Kessler about the wife:

L: After I finished talking points, Cooper continued to ask questions — if Wilson is wrong, why is he saying what he is? C

F: What was Cooper's response?

L: I don't recall.

F: And you attributed your knowledge about Wilson's wife to reporters?

L: Yes. (goes into already-published excerpt from indictment about "I don't know if he has a wife," etc. I'm not retyping this.)

F: Any other reporters you talked to?

L: I talked to three other reporters that day. I talked to Judith Miller, and I know I talked to her about Wilson's wife.

F: Tell me about that conversation.

L: (walks through Tenet statement again) I don't know exactly how it came up, but I told her I didn't know if it was true, but reporters are telling us (etc., etc.) I also talked to Evan Thomas.

F: Let me finish with Judith Miller. Was there something in your conversation that made you mention Wilson's wife?

L: I think there was, I don't recall exactly what. You know, it was something important to Tim Russert, it seemed important to Matt Cooper — it seemed like this unanswered question, who told Wilson that the VP had requested his trip? He wouldn't have learned that officially, so maybe he was told unofficially (i.e., by his wife).

F: Tell me about Evan Thomas conversation.

L: Drew his attention to the Tenet statement, Thomas said "I got it." (conversation apparently stopped there, no mention of Wilson's wife)

F: And did you talk to Glenn Kessler that day?

L: We got him on a cell phone when we were driving back to my house from Andrews. Cathie Martin and Jenny Mayfield were with me, along with my family. Kessler was mostly interested in the Feb 2003 Colin Powell presentation to the UN. What I remember is that Kessler was at the zoo with his kids, and he was able to have this lucid conversation.

F: Talk about Wilson's wife?

L: I'm pretty sure I did. I'm not sure if it was in that conversation, or a later one.

So if he's lying or obstructing justice, why bother over-confessing? At this point, it is obvious Libby has some things wrong, but it isn't obvious he is trying to keep Fitzgerald from knowing he talked. He's giving the names of reporters Fitzgerald should talk to-- that's obstruction?

topsecretk9

Paul

I think the jurors are going to absorb from the grand jury tapes that Fitz is obsessed with Libby

Trying to impart on the jury how obsessed Libby was with Wilson he inadvertently reveals his obsession with Libby?

I like that.

Rick Ballard

"As Wells said in the beginning, the only way he loses this case is if the jurors break their oaths."

I don't think so. Well's is doing an excellent job but it's going to come down to Fitz's close, the jury instructions and the presence on the jury of a few people able to summarize "reasonable doubt" in a manner which allows the entire jury to look closely at whether Fitz has provided sufficient proof.

If Fitz closes with a strong presentation on motive then Libby could easily be convicted of at least some of the charges.

clarice

Yes, MayBee I've been saying that all along--Kessler, as I recall, denied libby told him about Ms Wilson and Cooper says HE asked Libby about it ..Now, how does that fit in with any hoked up motive to lie?

Bruce Hayden
L: I think there was, I don't recall exactly what. You know, it was something important to Tim Russert, it seemed important to Matt Cooper — it seemed like this unanswered question, who told Wilson that the VP had requested his trip? He wouldn't have learned that officially, so maybe he was told unofficially (i.e., by his wife).
Everyone else here probably noticed this a long time ago, but Maybee' excerpt of Libby's testimony pointed out that Wilson said that the OVP sent him to Niger, but that he shouldn't have known that information. And the implication that that was possibly the initial reason that the OVP and Libby had any interest in Plame - through how Wilson found this out.
Syl

H&R

Russert: "Damn Right I Ordered the Code Red! I turned Matthews loose on his ass."

You owe me a keyboard!

Pofarmer

The press was eating around the periphery of the REAL story. That Wilson had lied.

I think you assume to much by thinking the press was interested in the real story at all. Most of them were interested in keeping the Wilson Gambit alive, not into trying to decipher what the facts of the case were. That takes actual work and knowledge and all that.

topsecretk9

Huh...

He wouldn't have learned that officially, so maybe he was told unofficially (i.e., by his wife).


Sue

I am going to step into the way-back-machine and try and recall something that has niggled at me. Wasn't there speculation at some point that Libby copped to telling Cooper, rather than Cooper telling Libby, in order to keep Fitzgerald away from Rove?

hit and run

You owe me a keyboard!

I'll send you 5. There's more where that came from. ;-)

Pofarmer

Ya know.

There's one aspect of this story that's really interesting.

The story went from "The administration lied on the 16 words" to "The administration outed a super secret agent to get at her husband"

Where, in the narrative, was the, "By the way, Wilson's information was wrong?"

Bias, ain't no bias. The media just reports the story, they can't control how people view it.(sarc off)

hit and run

Uh oh. Site acting funny? Not funny ha ha. Funny hinky...anyone else seeing weird stuff?

Or is this what happens right before you get locked out?

I will not go quietly!!!

topsecretk9

Well, shoot I can't find them now but I have whined a 100 times just why Wilson knew anything about Cheney...and how it relates also to the non-NDA of Wilson.

Libby and Cheney it seems were wondering that too.

topsecretk9

H&R

Yep...it's fritzing

Syl

it seemed like this unanswered question, who told Wilson that the VP had requested his trip? He wouldn't have learned that officially, so maybe he was told unofficially (i.e., by his wife).

Actually, this notion of who told Wilson that the VP requested the trip hasn't been hashed out in any depth because none of us caught the procedural need-to-know aspect of this.

IOW this wasn't a movie where the super-duper secret agent with his hair on fire is telling his colleagues: 'The Veep wants this answered..and NOW! Get your a**es moving!'

That just isn't the way things work at the Agency.

So...who told Wilson Cheney was asking? Was it the wife? That doesn't make sense either because how would the wifey know that Cheney was asking. The 'who wants to know' would have been stripped early in the bureaucratic process as it went down the chain.

So, ISTM, the entire business of Wilson saying anything at all about Cheney's question was all made up in 2003 well after the fact.

(Wifey could have learned any time LATER than the trip that the Veep had been curious and imparted that fact to hubby.)

Jane

Kessler, as I recall, denied libby told him about Ms Wilson and Cooper says HE asked Libby about it ..Now, how does that fit in with any hoked up motive to lie?

It is utterly consistent with everything else that has gone on in this case. Wells better have a bang up closing to pull it all together.

topsecretk9

Syl...I promise I was griping about that.

Also

That doesn't make sense either because how would the wifey know that Cheney was asking.

Add to it, she authored the "good french contacts" memo on the 12 - the day BEFORE Cheney asked his question to his briefer...

Syl

tops

I'm sure you did. But did any of us get it that the fact Cheney asked a question wouldn't procedurally be part of the process of answering it?

Jane

I think mixing up reporters would be understandable. The problem comes in in the official vs unofficial sharing of information. 'I heard it from other reporters, blah blah'.

That's the part that Wells has to address. That's the basis of fitz' case.

MayBee

clarice- I remember you saying that about Kessler. There was something about him just saying it straight out that struck me.

I think mixing up reporters would be understandable. The problem comes in in the official vs unofficial sharing of information. 'I heard it from other reporters, blah blah'.

That's the part that Wells has to address. That's the basis of fitz' case.

It's hard to know from this transcript the exact way Libby says he told Kessler. Did he tell Fitzgerald that he told Kessler all of the reporters are talking about it?
If so, that seems Fitzgerald could have charged on that, if he thought he was really charging on a grand plan to hid behind "all the reporters knew".
It would still be obstruction and perjury if Fitzgerald thinks he is watching Libby concoct a official vs. unofficial path cover story.
If Libby didn't explain that he told Kessler "all the reporters are talking about it", where does that leave us?

Fitz thought he was being lied to, but even so he seems to have mischarged on the Cooper counts. "I think you are making up a story" is different than "You lied when you said all the reporters are saying it". He wanted to charge something he couldn't, but that doesn't make what he did charge valid. Am I making any sense?

My guess is- and you see the way Fitz kept dancing around Novak- he thought there was something up with Novak. Maybe he thought Armitage, the repentant possible source, wasn't really the Novak source at all. Armitage seemed like he wasn't hiding anything. Libby seemed like he was.

MayBee

sorry for the novel-length post.

clarice

Fitz theory was that Libby was the first to leak. Therefore he over relied on the testimonial variances assuming that was to hide the date and get it behind the Novak leaker. In fact, the leak to Woodward was the first and all this confusion is trivial and irrelevant and no proof of intent at all.

RichatUF

from clarice...it wasn't addressed to me but Wilson mentioned he "debunked forgeries"
in the following venues:


1. May 6th 2003-Kristof NYT
2. June 12, 13, 22nd 2003- Pincus WaPo
3. June 14, 2003-EPIC forum, Wilson speaker
4. June 19th (30th), 2003-Ackerman, Judis New Republic
5. June 22th(?), 2003-Buncombe, Whitaker Independent (British)

His story changes slightly when he did his bigsplash trifecta on July 6th, 2003
[from "Wilsongate", list is not exhaustive]

RichatUF

MayBee

F: Tell me about discussing Wilson's wife.

L: After I finished talking points, Cooper continued to ask questions — if Wilson is wrong, why is he saying what he is? C

---------
Hilarious. Cooper was digging for more meat for his War on Wilson? piece.

Sue

Maybee,

Had Cooper's associate, Calibresi?, already talked to Wilson by the time Libby talked to Cooper?

RichatUF

pofarmer...

Most of them were interested in keeping the Wilson Gambit alive, not into trying to decipher what the facts of the case...

As Evan Thomas said-the press can contribute some 15 points to a Kerry campaign.

I'm still working on the thread-but Sexion mentioned something about VIPS (sorry to go OT)-does anyone have a complete list of the membership or was it an ad hoc group.

RichatUF

maryrose

H&R:
You are really feeling your oats today. You're on a roll and ready to rumble. Not only has Russert let loose Matthews he has Ohlberman chomping at the bit..Schuster is clearly off the hook at this point.

vnjagvet

Rick:

Wells has his final prepared already, I'm pretty sure, and it should be a s***kicker, unless I miss my guess. I wish I could hear it. I will await publication of the transcript with great anticipation, because I believe it will be a classic.

I believe the long, detailed grand jury testimony has to help the defense. When you see the extraordinaly small snippet the Fitz says is perjurious next to the hundreds of pages of detailed testimony and the massive amounts of material Libby deals with in a day, quantitive analysis shows how trivial the charges are. This is especially so because the Prosecution's evidence shows Libby told both the FBI and the Grand Jury that he learned the information about "the wife" from Cheney, yet told only reporters not investigators or gj he learned that information from other reporters.

Perjury? About what facts material to the investigation?


MayBee

Fitz theory was that Libby was the first to leak. Therefore he over relied on the testimonial variances assuming that was to hide the date and get it behind the Novak leaker

I agree. This is why I don't think Fitzgerald was going after Cheney or thought he could get to an IIPA or espionage violation.
Libby told Fitzgerald Cheney told him.
I think Fitzgerald thought Libby started talking about it then, and Libby was lying to him about waiting. Saying he'd heard it from reporters back-dated (in Fitz's mind) the information.
If he really thought he had IIPA violation, the Kessler lie is as big as the Cooper lie.
Andrea Mitchell saying 'covert' operatives sent Wilson would have been worth investigating more.

That's all I see- Fitzgerald kept going because he thought he had a liar. The lies Libby supposedly told would not have gotten Cheney off the hook, if he was ever on it.

clarice

Yes. vnjagvet--my theory is he made the immaterial and material to fit his theory of first to leak and was too stubborn to see that was silly after the Woodward-Armitage story came to light.
With that change of fact, this whole edifice comes tumbling down.

clarice

"Yes. vnjagvet--my theory is he made the immaterial AND IRRELEVANT material to fit his theory of first to leak and *********

RichatUF

pofarmer...

"By the way, Wilson's information was wrong?"

It was Tenet's mea culpa on July 11, 2003 when the White House was on the Africa trip. Wilson hit his 3-run homer on July 6th, the day before the WH was going to Africa. It gave Wilson the field. This is one of the reasons I think that Plame-Wilson was talking to the IG and House and Senate intelligence committees (seeking whistleblower protection) and Wilson was publicising the Plame-Wilson version of events (both begining on or about May 4th).

I never really understood the outrage over the Novak piece-it was balanced and presented Wilson in a good light. I think overall that detail-"Valerie is Wilson's wife"-was too early in the gambit because Valerie was only talking to Rockefeller (or his staff) and the grapevine being what it is, exposed who was confirming the details of Wilson version. Valerie then abuses the IG's office and the Intelligence committee staff-which most likely is the reason for her year suspension and eventual dismissal. My theory, for what its worth...

RichatUF

MayBee

Wilson was talking to the IG and House and Senate intelligence committees (seeking whistleblower protection)

I disagree with the idea they were seeking whistleblower protection. Wilson admits he was talking to Senate Dems. He was giving them political red meat.

RichatUF

from TSK9...

Well, shoot I can't find them now but I have whined a 100 times just why Wilson knew anything about Cheney...and how it relates also to the non-NDA of Wilson.

Libby and Cheney it seems were wondering that too.

That might have been the reason Libby wanted the copy of the IIPA-wondering if the mission as described in th press violated the law?

RichatUF

RichatUF

Maybee...

disagree with the idea they were seeking whistleblower protection.

I don't think I was clear. It was Valerie Plame-Wilson who was seeking whistleblower protection from the committee. If she was only talking to the same staff members that Joe Wilson was the Senate Democrats could have kept that pretty tightly controlled.

RichatUF

Pofarmer

I think overall that detail-"Valerie is Wilson's wife"-was too early in the gambit because Valerie was only talking to Rockefeller (or his staff) and the grapevine being what it is, exposed who was confirming the details of Wilson version.

Well, that explains a little bit of the deal. The cover was blown too early.

I keep hoping Rockefeller still has some things to answer for, but, alas, with the power switched, I'm sure his ill deeds will just be swept under the rug, as it were.

RichatUF

Sly...

So...who told Wilson Cheney was asking? Was it the wife? That doesn't make sense either because how would the wifey know that Cheney was asking. The 'who wants to know' would have been stripped early in the bureaucratic process as it went down the chain....

It could have been a tasking from Schmall. To the best of my recollection their was a report of an Iraq delegation sniffing around in Niger(like a news clipping, etc.-no detail) and Cheney asked about it. This was late-Jan or early-Feb. It gets kicked down the Iraq Support Group (or whatever that interagency group called themselves) where Valerie Plame-Wilson says, "there's this crazy report" about Iraq and Africa and uranium and that Joe Wilson, sense he has such "good relations" with all those corrupt Africa officials in Niger "(not to mention, lots of French contacts)" is proposed on Feburary 12th, 2002. Feburary 20th(?) 2002 Joe Wilson leaves...

RichatUF

hit and run

RichatUF:
As Evan Thomas said-the press can contribute some 15 points to a Kerry campaign.

See the latest from Evan Thomas?

Newsweek's Evan Thomas: 'Our Job Is To Bash the President'

Posted by Tim Graham on February 5, 2007 - 18:09.

On Friday night's edition of Inside Washington airing locally on Washington PBS station WETA, the first topic was whether the media's been unfair to President Bush, given his abysmal approval ratings. NPR reporter Nina Totenberg said Bush received a "free ride" for years, so now the worm has turned and the coverage is fierce. Then the host turned to Newsweek's Evan Thomas, who was frank in his assessment of the media's role:

Gordon Peterson: "What do you think, Evan? Are the mainstream media bashing the president unfairly?"


Evan Thomas: "Well, our job is to bash the president, that's what we do almost --"

(there's more at the link, of course)

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, I've got to ask, as someone who's been following this thing from the start:

Does anyone understand what the hell is going one with this while trial?

I'm increasingly sure I don't.

RichatUF

TSK9...

Add to it, she authored the "good french contacts" memo on the 12 - the day BEFORE Cheney asked his question to his briefer...

I had no idea...Val's interagency group was working on the Iraq-Niger-uranium thing even before the VP had requested someone to look at it...that's news to me, disregard the previous post

RichatUF

Chris

Evan Thomas spoke again recently declaring the media's job is to bash Bush.

http://newsbusters.org/node/10631

Pofarmer

NPR reporter Nina Totenberg said Bush received a "free ride" for years, so now the worm has turned and the coverage is fierce.

That's precious. 2000 election coverage, anybody? Anybody want to go back and look at the coverage of "No child Left Behind"? Kennedy's bill, BTW.

Bush got kind of a free ride right up till the press figured out we were going into Afghanistan, then the Quagmire talk started.

It's that kind of crap that made me drop Newsweek. My bloodpressure is much better.

RichatUF

Evan Thomas says...

"the Congress has never been comfortable about the leading the way on war, since the Spanish-American War..."

a historian and scholar that guy...hum...Spanish-American War, Phillipines=Iraq, "American colonalsim"...at least they are freshining up the script, all those frames and all.

Totenberg says...

"They got suckered on the war, there was no WMD, it was in the aftermath of 9/11..."

Wow-the Senate democrats got 'suckered' (by the evil Rove?)...'suckered', by Chimpy McHalliburton, too dumb to even tie his shoes. I am am supposed to support those guys, when the dumbest guy in the room can 'sucker' them. Know wonder Iran and North Korea don't give a s### about what the US says...'suckered'

RichatUF

hit and run

"They got suckered on the war, there was no WMD, it was in the aftermath of 9/11..."

I just read it and already forgotten where???????

But John Edwards new schtick has an element of "The Clinton administration lied about Iraq".

See? He can still say his vote for the war was a mistake --- and take a shot indirectly at Hillary at the same time.

I'm too lazy and tired to go look it up. I suggest one should "trust but verify"

hit and run

Fine, I went and looked. It's at Ace's....he got it from QandO

Publius

From the bleachers:

You guys are cooking on this thread!
Best one yet! This is riviting stuff!!
Can't wait to read the last chapter.
Congratulations all!

BTW: Might I suggest a title for the book Clarice,
"The Weasels In The Woodwork".
Subtitled: "A Conspiracy To Bring Down A Presidency". :)

clarice

HEH!

Pofarmer

So...who told Wilson Cheney was asking?

What if Wilson just pulled it out of his, well, you know? He needed a cover to write the story, and needed to cast the administration in the worst possible light.

Pofarmer

"They got suckered on the war, there was no WMD, it was in the aftermath of 9/11..."

The problem is, all through the 90's they were writing the print? Is this perjury, obstruction? And Fitz takes these guys words over Cheney and Libby?

topsecretk9

Yeah...rich.

If you buy into some fashion of the Seymour Hersh article, then it could be

A) Val's fingerprints were on the constant memos pushing those forgeries to be discovered before the war and maybe they weren't counting on the US's good faith effort turning them over the the IAEA (no other country did!) which served as an embarrassment to not only the Admin but the CIA who had them and never analyzed them --- so who was it pushing these unanalyzed documents?

OR

B) it was Val who made it so --WE did turn them over in a good faith effort (no other country did!) thereby laying the groundwork for the Bush admin lied (which they didn't) and went to war on the basis of those documents which we didn't)

If A - and Libby says they were most angered by these selective odd leaks in the CIA - then I guess there would be a need to distance the cheerleader of the most obviously crude forgeries googling was all that was needed

OR

If B- same as A essentially.

topsecretk9

but you have to remember, whoever goes to Hersh with a story goes with intention of getting dis-info out. He's most reliable for that.

Syl

RichatUF

It could have been a tasking from Schmall.

Well the point was that official procedures at the Agency preclude those from carrying out a task from knowing who requested the task.

Thus Wilson, as the carryer-outer wouldn't have been told that the request came from the VP. Period.

And it's probable Val wasn't informed of that fact either.

RichatUF

to TSK9

The Sy Hersh piece you are referring to is "The Stovepipe", I believe, and he refers to back to some of his other pieces; sourced, you guessed it to VIPS (Vincent Cannistraro and friends).

To maybe cut it a little thinner-the SSCI redacted all the info about who sent over the forged documents to the IAEA. It goes to the bafflegab of Miller's notes (and testimony)-she could have been working on the forgery story (how did they get in there) and shook loose who "works at bureau". Wilson was also shopping his tale, Miller puts 2+2 together: Plame-Wilson was in a position to spread the forgeries like the flu and Wilson could go and say "the names were wrong and the dates were wrong". Plame-Wilson knowing that it would eventually be found out looks to "whistleblower protection" as insulation and Joe Wilson looks for political cover.

It seems to have worked.

The question then becomes why? If Plame-Wilson was such a partisian she couldn't support the policy why not just resign.

RichatUF

Syl

Tops

I don't think we're positive that Cheney's question came a day after Val's note. AFAIR, there was only one reference that indicated that?

clarice

Rich, neither strikes me as particularly bright. As I recall she finally retired early , not realizing that she wasn't old enough to begin collecting her pension .

Syl

RichatUF

Dynamite.

RichatUF

to Sly...I retracted the previous comment...I understand your point.Val wouldn't be in a position to know who the request was for. Sorry for any misunderstanding (I keep my notes in a shopping bag under my desk, sometimes ketchup stains obscure what they say).

to TSK9

B) it was Val who made it so --WE did turn them over in a good faith effort (no other country did!) thereby laying the groundwork for the Bush admin lied (which they didn't) and went to war on the basis of those documents which we didn't)

I seem to remember something in the SSCI about an interagency meeting where the forgeries were discussed (sometime in mid to late Oct 2002). An INR analyst said something about a funny looking stamp. All the departments picked up a copy except no one from the CIA remembered picking up a copy (4 CIA officers were in attendence). I'm hazy on this but I think they all agreed that the doc were crude forgeries and dismissed them. Until 17 Dec 2002 when elements of the docs were being used in the State Dept fact sheet. (Hence the DOE analyst email later in Dec about "the tubes and Niger").

The documents were eventually found in a CPD vault-oops. If Val would have only remembered to have shread the documents she could have gotten away with it perfectly.

RichatUF

topsecretk9

--n't think we're positive that Cheney's question came a day after Val's note. AFAIR, there was only one reference that indicated that?-

Ok, fair enough, but I was sold on Cecil Turner's observation that the memo on the same day seemed borderline unbelievably quick.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

"If I recall correctly," in today's court session, after lunch, for about 40 minutes there was Well's request to have Russert's LAWYER's correspondence come in. Or? The letter of agreement Russert got with Fitz. (Sure looks like Wells is loaded for bear.)

The judge said that IF Wells can't get Russert to flesh out the agreement, while he is on the stand, he will "consider" Russert's lawyer's information at a later date. My guess? Impeachment. But if Wells HAS THIS? Why would Russert begin to weasel? Especially if "all he had to tell the GJ was ONE PHONE CALL." I still can't see why Fitz has opted to play these tapes? I don't see his advantages. Even if one of his lawyers is the discussed "secret witness." And, even if all he would cover would be to "back up Bond." Doesn't Wells get witness lists BEFOREHAND, so he can INVESTIGATE AND PREPARE FOR CROSS? It boggles the mind that there are rules that exist on Bar Exams, and then disappear in real life.

Clarice, you're always marvelous! I think you connected the dots that RUSSERT has been cooperative with Wells! No wonder Fitz didn't call him for "direct."

What's the worst that could happen to Russert? Those insiders won't have lunch with him, anymore?

Oddly enough, IF Russert has cooperated with Wells; he won't go the way Dan Rather did, for "fake but accurate" forgetting. He might get credit for being a real investigative journalist, too. More exciting than a high stakes game of Texas Hold Em.

topsecretk9

Also, Syl...my theoretical premise was that regardless of the date of the question - Val was pimping Joe on her own - that the 2 dates ultimately collided - later realized by you know who - seems to be the exploit. A lucky backtrack excuse for the bad tradecraft junket.

RichatUF

from clarice

Rich, neither strikes me as particularly bright. As I recall she finally retired early , not realizing that she wasn't old enough to begin collecting her pension .

I'm not familiar with federal payscales or how retirement is credited but I would think a year suspension without pay for cause would be a permenate bar. I don't think she could retire early (87-05 (w/ 05 not credited), 17 years?). She either resigned or was fired (my speculation). No loss to the intelligence community however.

neither strikes me as particularly bright dangerous, in a Kofi Annan sort of way


RichatUF

Rick Ballard

Rich,

If I understood the pension board determination correctly overseas serve gets supplemental pension credit. She got her twenty, I think, she's just not old enough to start collecting.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Anticipation can really make the mind race.

First, I'm going to guess that when the jurors were listening to the tapes, any reference to "famous people," like Mary Matalin, would make their ears perk. I think it's easier to remember Libby's note, where Mary said "call Russert,he hates Matthews." And, the other one about Joe Wilson where "everybody knows he's a snake."

Now? If Russert works out well as a witness for Wells, wouldn't that cement the stuff the jurors would find easiest to recall? Oh, yeah. Libby, on the tape, said Mary Matalin has a very spicy way with words. (Just my kind of gal person.)

There's an expression: Just tell it like it is. Wouldn't it be nice if that's the impression the jurors got, too?

RichatUF

thanks Rick...can't believe were going to have to fund both their retirements. Maybe we can look forward to them going away to France to tell their brave whistleblower tale. Maybe some crappy French film will be made about...can see the drudge headline now..."Former Kerry Advisor, Wife Defect to France"

RichatUF

topsecretk9

--Posted by: RichatUF | February 06, 2007 at 08:49 PM--


Right on....

Wilson's book (at various places - front and then end)

In late June, the story began to spin out of control as journalists started to report speculation as fact. At this point I was warned by a reporter that I was about to be named in an article as the U.S. official in question. (3;)...

...I called the staffs of both [intelligence] committees and volunteered to brief them about my trip and findings. I ended up briefing them separately within a few days of each other in mid-June, disclosing what I knew to the appropriate oversight bodies.

A week after those briefings, I learned from a journalist that my name was soon going to be made public. I finally decided to write the story myself, and called back David Shipley at the New York Times to accept his offer of space on their op-ed page. (419)

http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2005/07/is_this_judy_mi.html

topsecretk9

Rich

If what you propose is true, sounds like a catfight at NYT's...Kristoff set out to throw Judy under a bus - she in turn found out who and what he was dealing with and was about to bust his butt - and so he he tipped it off to throw her under the bus again?

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Wilson/Plame