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December 10, 2007

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Neo

This also puts an end to Fitzgerald's oversight by Public Domain.
Leaving no one, except the DOJ, to talk to about those transcripts of conversations with Bush and Cheney.

Semanticleo

Perino will have her first chance to talk about Plame shortly, since the final "Plausible Denialism" of the pending Libby appeal is now moot.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070703-6.html

MayBee

Remember when the pro-Plames were decrying the politicalization of intelligence?

While Congress is investigating, and setting aside some time for Plame, I vote they investigate what the CIA was doing while Joe was gallavanting around town, lying about debunking the forgeries.

cboldt

"Dropping" his appeal, I presume. Not "dripping."

[Hmm, would you believe he was going to release one page per day in a steady drip, drip, drip until Valentines?

Ok, me neither.]

No pardon required ... or at least not at this moment. It would open up a can of worms that need not be opened (for the decider, that is) right now. He can issue the pardon on his way out the door, thereby removing the felony stain as a matter of formality.

The real question now is "Did Libby mount an appeal?" Yes or no? I dithered on whether or not he would, back when the commutation was issued.

Other Tom

The iron would seem to be white-hot if a strike against our friends at the CIA is contemplated. This is from today's Telegraph:

"Iran 'hoodwinked' CIA over nuclear plans
By Tim Shipman in Washington, Philip Sherwell and Carolynne Wheeler
Last Updated: 2:13am GMT 10/12/2007

"British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran.

"Analysts believe that Iranian staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation

"The timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely.

"The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA.

"The report used new evidence - including human sources, wireless intercepts and evidence from an Iranian defector - to conclude that Teheran suspended the bomb-making side of its nuclear programme in 2003. But British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war - as their reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes did in Iraq - that they got it wrong this time.

"A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

"The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation."

Don't we all feel much safer?

MayBee

I like "dripping his appeal". Sounds sexy.

I agree with cboldt's second sentence.

Jane

Off Topic - anyone wanna bet how long it will take Huckabee to tank? I say a week altho that could be wishful thinking.

Jeff

The real question now is "Did Libby mount an appeal?"

Explain, please. Libby's brief was due tomorrow.

SunnyDay

I think something big is about to break.

MayBee

via talkleft.com, here is Joe Wilsons (as always, insightful) email:

“By dropping his appeal, Mr. Libby has finally abandoned the pretense that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice. Mr. Libby’s decision suggests, however, that he may have received word that President Bush plans to pardon him shortly. Of course, a pardon is completely at odds with the president’s earlier claim that he would not tolerate anyone on his team leaking a covert CIA officer’s identity, but this is the kind of inconsistency representative of this administration. Given the White House’s extensive and continuing efforts to cover up how and why Valerie Wilson’s identity was leaked to the press, the only way that remains to get at the truth in this sordid matter is through our civil suit against Libby, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove and Richard Armitage.”

Semanticleo

Well, I'm not surprised. Perino dodged the question this morning with a 'no comment'.

Probably wise. Over the weekend she admitted
she flubbed a question about the Cuban Missile Crisis....


"Appearing on NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me" over the weekend, Perino said she "panicked" when she got the Cuban missile crisis question because she wasn't exactly sure what the Cuban missile crisis was. "I really know nothing about the Cuban missile crisis," Perino said. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

Good guess.

Jane

How's Joe Wilson's appeal going? If he loses it will he admit that he's a big fat liar?

Sunny Day - what kind of big thing are you talking about? We need a hint.

Other Tom

"...the only way that remains to get at the truth in this sordid matter is through our civil suit against Libby, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove and Richard Armitage.”

Good luck with that one, you dope.

Semanticleo

Perino dodged the question this morning with a
'no comment'. Probably wise.

Over the weekend she flubbed a question about the Cuban Missile Crisis......

"Appearing on NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me" over the weekend, Perino said she "panicked" when she got the Cuban missile crisis question because she wasn't exactly sure what the Cuban missile crisis was. "I really know nothing about the Cuban missile crisis," Perino said. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

Good Guess.

Other Tom

I think Cboldt is wondering whether he expended any money to prepare an appellate brief. Inasmuch as he is in hock well into seven figures for trial prep and trial, my guess is that he probably didn't. Ted Wells doesn't like to work for free any more than the rest of us. There's plenty of that kind of work around, and for good reason.

Topsecretk9

Semanticleo

Over the weekend she flubbed a question about the Cuban Missile Crisis.....

Cleo -- is this a Perino post?

Also, is her flubbing CMC question on par with the the Dem Intelligence Committee head not knowing what Sunnis and Shia are?

Jeff

Inasmuch as he is in hock well into seven figures for trial prep and trial

I'd be very curious to know how you figured out that there was a shortfall of well over a million dollars in Libby's defense fund, or well over a million dollars in costs for trial prep and trial that had to be personally covered.

I appreciate that mounting a vigorous defense is prohibitively costly for far too many defendants, and that this is a major problem with our justice system. But I didn't take Libby to be a victim of it, given his special circumstances. To be sure, Libby was not limited to getting the best of the best in defense lawyers, as he did. Even so, though, I was unaware that the defense fund hadn't covered costs.

MayBee

Maybe Libby was afraid his appeals process would get news coverage, thus taking attention away from Joe and Valerie.

SunnyDay

Jane, I'm a clairvoyant. ;)

Other Tom

I have no idea whether or not the defense fund ultimately covered his costs. The last figure I saw had him over a million in arrears well before the trial. I also have no idea how the IRS treats contributions to such funds. If Libby is not financially strapped now, I'd be very surprised, and I don't know how he's going to support himself down the road. Here's hoping he gets a good book deal.

Other Tom

"...mounting a vigorous defense is prohibitively costly for far too many defendants, and that this is a major problem with our justice system."

Why is it a problem, and what would you recommend be done about it? Should the lawyers work for free? If they don't do so voluntarily, should they be forced to?

SunnyDay

I get regular mail re Libby's defense fund - if they are out of money I didn't know it.

There are some wealthy people helping him. A lot of us not so wealthy people donate regularly.

Jane

Sunny,

I predicted the Clinton bombing the morning it happened. Mr. Right was a witness. So I'm truly appreciative of those little glimpses into the future. I just wondered what category of big thing had entered your clairvoyantness.

SunnyDay

How did Ollie North do it?

Jeff

Here's hoping he gets a good book deal.

Agreed.

Why is it a problem

Because mounting an effective defense should be dependent on the strength of your case, not your ability to pay, and because everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense, and because a vigorous defense is a condition of an effective defense.

what would you recommend be done about it?

No idea, but it better involve higher taxes! otherwise the libs won't be happy, will they?

SunnyDay

Jane, all the little things come together at some point. Assume Libby has the money to appeal - this is a big little thing - an indicator that there is a different kind of relief in the near future.

Doesn't this free up the parties involved, so that they can talk publicly about the case? Or am I mistaken about that?

MayBee

what would you recommend be done about it?

No idea, but it better involve higher taxes! otherwise the libs won't be happy, will they?

They might be satisfied with a cap on attorney's earnings, like they want to do with oil companies.

anduril

Other Tom, I suspect there's one helluva book waiting to be written. Question is, is Libby the aspiring novelist any good at non-fiction?

Jeff

Question is, is Libby the aspiring novelist any good at non-fiction?

No, unless you mean by "non-fiction" an account of the real world, regardless of whether it's true - his grand jury testimony was truly a remarkable performance in that regard.

Libby, by the way, is not an aspiring novelist. He's a published novelist.

Other Tom

I agree, higher taxes is the key to a better life for all.

An alternative might be to limit severely the amount of money available to prosecutors, and to abolish the institution of special counsels, in order to level the playing field.

Jeff

he lied to conceal Cheney's involvement and keep Dick on the ticket for 2004 - neither Cheney nor Libby faced any criminal penalties (prior to testifying) but the political embarrassment might have prompted Bush to annoint a Vice-Presidential successor, rather than go with the Ticker Guy.

Just to be clear on this, your position is that, since for all Libby and Cheney knew Plame really was the most covert of covert officers under the IIPA, Libby's confidence that he was in no danger of criminal prosecution hinged entirely on his ability to persuade an aggressive prosecutor that he really didn't know that she was covert, and that the government was taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence identity, right? And let's be clear, whatever you happen to think about that latter issue, you've got to figure that Libby would look at it and see such affirmative measures as something the prosecution would likely be able to show pretty easily, so it would not be grounds for confidence in getting off. So, in other words, Libby would have to feel confident that he'd be able to convince the investigators that he did not know that Plame was covert and her status classified.

My point, in part, is that is a distinct consideration from whether or not Libby did in fact know that she was covert under the IIPA.

Jane

Because mounting an effective defense should be dependent on the strength of your case, not your ability to pay, and because everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense, and because a vigorous defense is a condition of an effective defense.

He had an effective defense. He also had a shitty Judge and an overzealous prosecutor egged on by a media overcome by BDS.

Taxes are the cause not the solution.

MayBee

Now Libby has chosen not to pursue vindication at all. A felony conviction with no prison time apparently suffices for him...Will people see this as a tacit admission of guilt?

Isn't it the same in effect as agreeing to a plea?
Isn't there a big portion of our justice system- both criminal and civil- that depends on people being willing to take legal responsibility for something they say they aren't actually guilty of- just to make it all end?

boris

affirmative measures as something the prosecution would likely be able to show pretty easily

Sometimes Jeff's delusions are just too much.

CIA's Harlow and Grenier both admitted they blabbed "It was Wilson's wife" far and wide. Also Val outed herself at Joe's introduction meeting. But apparently any token classification is good enough for officious Jeffians regardless of actual practice or tradecraft.

Cecil Turner

So, in other words, Libby would have to feel confident that he'd be able to convince the investigators that he did not know that Plame was covert and her status classified.

He apparently was confident on that point, as he claimed precisely that in response to a Fitz query on whether he thought hearing it from reporters made it a non-crime:

My understanding, when I heard it from Vice President Cheney, was that it wasn't classified information. I didn't understand it to be classified information. So my understanding would be, if I didn't think it was classified information, if it wasn't presented to me as classified information, if I wasn't intending to release classified information, that it wouldn't be a crime.
Fitz must've bought it, since he pursued the reporter angle doggedly, but apparently gave up on the more pertinent knowledge-of-her-status question. Moreover, even the government witnesses supported Libby on that point:
At trial, the government produced three witnesses who said they, too, had told Mr. Libby that Ms. Wilson worked at the CIA: Marc Grossman; Robert Grenier; and Cathie Martin. None of them testified that he or she had told Mr. Libby that Ms. Wilson was covert or classified.
Because mounting an effective defense should be dependent on the strength of your case, not your ability to pay . . .

Would that it were so. I'd have a lot less heartburn with this whole thing if they'd allowed the memory defense at trial. (And perhaps had a venue that wasn't so inimical to the defense.) In any event, it's hard to justify another couple million dollars looking for a replay.

clarice

OT--contributions to legal defense funds like Libby's are not tax deductible.
If he won on the argument that the appointment was unconstitutional there would be no further proceedings to be had. Winning on any other point, however, wuld probably get him a new trial--in D.C. with the same jury pool, and a million or more bucks bill again. Considering the most onerous part of his sentence was commuted, I can see why he dropped the idea of an appeal.

Jeff

boris

You missed my point. Adopt the stance of Libby circa fall 2003. Libby had no reason to think he could get off because the government wasn't taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence relationship with the U.S. To be left with only Tom's explanation for why Libby lied, you need to believe that Libby was confident that he could convince investigators that he really didn't know that Plame was covert. And note that, from Libby's perspective, that's not only a judgment about whether he knew she was covert or not. It's also a judgment about how what he said would be received by investigators.

Jeff

He apparently was confident on that point, as he claimed precisely that in response to a Fitz query on whether he thought hearing it from reporters made it a non-crime

Yeah, if only so much of the rest of his story wasn't made up. This is completely non-responsive. My point was about his confidence, not whether he would try to so convince investigators.

Fitz must've bought it, since he pursued the reporter angle doggedly, but apparently gave up on the more pertinent knowledge-of-her-status question.

Incorrect. The knowledge-of-her-status question was explicitly described as part of the reporter angle. And there's no evidence to suggest he gave up on the knowledge-of-her-status question in the sense of buying that part of Libby's story.

If he won on the argument that the appointment was unconstitutional there would be no further proceedings to be had.

Good point, which gives the lie to Wells' purported explanation for why Libby gave up his appeal, especially since this argument seemed to be the defense's first line of appeal.

MayBee

Libby had no reason to think he could get off because the government wasn't taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence relationship with the U.S.

He would have had some reason to believe the US wasn't taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence relationship. All of the people at the CIA that talked about her, apparently, talked about her quite freely.

It's also a judgment about how what he said would be received by investigators.
I think he made a serious misjudgement about how investigators would receive anything he had to say, or how they would treat the case in general.

cathyf
Good luck with that one, you dope.
Gee, and I thought I was the only one who noticed the uncanny resemblance between Joe Wilson and Sheldon J. Plankton. (Not to mention the resemblance between Valerie and Plankton's W.I.F.E. Karen...)
kim

I don't know, SunnyDay; there are about three different shades of 'rouge CIA' displayed on my color monitor right now. Mine's always been sensitive to the Rove Rays, though, maybe it's static or jamming.
=======================

boris

Libby had no reason to think he could get off because the government wasn't taking affirmative measures

What about all the witnesses who claim they told Libby about her without clearly informing Libby of classification?

Doesn't your presented theory require that Libby didn't remember or register those conversations now?

MayBee

And there's no evidence to suggest he gave up on the knowledge-of-her-status question in the sense of buying that part of Libby's story.

There's also no evidence that he investigated the CIA end of things to discover the source of whoever it was that supposedly told Libby of her covert status.
Nobody at the CIA was charged with obstruction for hiding the fact that they'd told Cheney of her IIPA status.

Sue

he gave up on the knowledge-of-her-status question in the sense of buying that part of Libby's story.

And we are still waiting on UGO to be prosecuted for revealing the identity of a super-dooper secret agent woman. Because we all know Fitzgerald was seriously looking at charging someone, anyone, with the IIPA.

::grin::

kim

For Christmas, the Yellowcake is revealed to have been bombed in Syria by the Israelis, and Mukasey's DoJ pursues the Independent Prosecutor into the Supreme Court.
=========================

boris

It's also a judgment about how what he said would be received by investigators

And I have always maintained that the most reasonable explanation for Libby's bafflegab had more to do with exactly that issue. On a general plausibility scale the situation Libby faced (witch hunt and frame) was one where simple truth seemed more fraught with risk than pointing the finger elsewhere.

In retrospect there was no evidence to convict Libby on IIPA and the "simple truth established" at the trial would not have resulted in conviction. So why didn't Libby just present that "simple truth"?

Speculation on that point from Jeff, cboldt and even Other Tom has never been at all compelling IMO.

MayBee

What I love is that Libby deciding not to appeal is somehow evidence he admits his guilt, but Fitzgerald deciding not to charge Rove, Armitage, or Cheney is not evidence of their innocence.

And yes, nobody being charged with outing a covert spy or treason!, is not evidence that no such crime was committed.

It's that cloud, man.

kim

The Gang that Could't Shoot Joe Wilson Straight, was the last to know about Val Plame's real role. Except for us, of course.
=============================

cboldt

cboldt: The real question now is "Did Libby mount an appeal?"

Jeff: Explain, please. Libby's brief was due tomorrow.

It was just a silly comment, to probe whether or not the prediction "Libby won't appeal" was accurate. Said prediction coming hot on the heels of his sentence being commuted, before he filed the appeal in chief.

Although I did wonder how Wells' rationale, "winning would result in a retrial," plays into the grounds of appeal that amounted to "Fitz's appointment was defective." If the appointment was defective, how/why would there be a retrial?

Patrick R. Sullivan
If he won on the argument that the appointment was unconstitutional there would be no further proceedings to be had.

Maybe...maybe not. I don't think he could count on it. With Mukasey being another Southern District of New York guy, he'd probably still need a Presidential pardon to insure he wouldn't be re-prosecuted.

The worst outcome would be to win his appeal, and then get convicted on retrial when Hillary was President. No commutation or pardon from her. Tactically, he did the smart thing.

clarice

As I said upthread, that would be the onlu ground for appeal which, if successful, would not result in a retrial. Had Libby pursued an appeal and won on any other ground, his victory would e to go thru this ordeal again before another panel of jurors in D.C.

MayBee

retrial when Hillary was President

Especially since the Wilsons and the wife of one of the star witnesses are working for Hillary.

vnjagvet

Sometimes, Maybee, you have to stare reality in the face. There is the possibility that you do not think you are guilty. Then, you may plead not plead guilty and make the prosecutor prove the case. Even if you are convicted, you can be convinced that mistakes were made which caused the jury to go off the tracks.

If you appeal, though, usually the best you can do is a new trial. If you do not want to go through that pain again, and you are not sure the result will be different, it may be that an appeal is not appealing.

Especially when there is a very good chance that the "pardoner of last resort" who will be in office at the time of the next trial (if any) will likely not be as sympathetic as the one now in office.

Under these circumstances, doubling down may not be the most wise decision, even if one is convinced of his innocence.

Other Tom

Re the IRS, Clarice, that's my understanding as well. But my question was prompted by my wondering how that agency treats the contributions as they regard Libby, i.e., are they taxable income? And it seems that they must be considered thay way.

But hell--I just wish him well because in the final analysis, he's on our side, and those who pontificate against his sins are guilty of worse, and are in any event on the other side. So damn them, and bad luck to them, I say.

vnjagvet

BTW, that was in answer to MayBee's 2:20 post. Sorry for repeating points upthread, but I was on the phone and didn't refresh before I posted the comment:>)

MayBee

Sometimes, Maybee,...

I agree. Did I say something to make it look like I think otherwise? Am I talking gibberish (as usual?).
Captain Ed, however, is sure this refusal of Libby's to double down is an admission of guilt. Or something.

Other Tom

"...that way." Two-martini lunch just concluded. Nonny-time looms.

Jeff

the wife of one of the star witnesses are working for Hillary.

David Addington? Ari Fleischer? or do you perchance mean a defense witness?

MayBee

ah, funny! The 2:20 post. I absolutely agree, vnjagvet, but apparently I was talking gibberish. I disagree with Captain Ed. And maybe TM, because I'm not sure if he agrees with that part of what Ed says or not.

MayBee

Mandy Gruenwald

Sue

So damn them, and bad luck to them, I say.

I say it too, OT.

Cecil Turner

My point was about his confidence, not whether he would try to so convince investigators.

You imply he wasn't (or that confidence was dubious). From his statement, he obviously was confident. And that confidence was apparently warranted.

Incorrect. The knowledge-of-her-status question was explicitly described as part of the reporter angle.

Wasn't charged that way. Fitz had a direct statement from Libby saying he didn't know (of something that was actually an element of the IIPA). He didn't challenge it, and in fact, none of the disputed statements have anything to do with Libby's knowledge of her classified status (which Fitz maintained was irrelevant, right up until sentencing).

PeterUK

"British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran."

But wasn't one of the reasons given for the volte face on Iran's nuclear development program said to be based on intercepts by GCHQ?

The contradictions seem to be growing exponentially.

vnjagvet

The only thing that can save Libby's reputation is Clarice's upcoming book on the entire Plame affair, including the trial.

Right, Clarice?

I hope you pitch it and get a damn good advance.

clarice

Not doing a book on it vnjagvet. Sorry.

PeterUK

If Valerie Plame were truly covert,how did Libby find out,how did anyone find out?

cathyf
Adopt the stance of Libby circa fall 2003. Libby had no reason to think he could get off because the government wasn't taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence relationship with the U.S.
Look, we know as a well-documented series of facts (established via congressional investigation, since neither the FBI nor Fitzgerald were interested in conducting an investigation of the possible disclosure of classified information) that Valerie Plame Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was unclassified, because we know that, starting Feb 19, 2002, each and every time a government official, acting in his/her official government capacity, communicated this piece of unclassified information to someone inside or outside the government, it was always communicated as unclassified information. This includes all of the communications between government officials and Libby on the subject -- while Libby claims to have forgotten all of those conversations, the other party testified, under oath, that they presented the information as unclassified.

Logically, there are two possibilities:

1) Libby told the truth. When all of the various government officials told him in June 2003 that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA as a non-covert agent whose CIA affiliation was unclassified, it "went in one ear and out the other" and so in July 2003 when reporters told him that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA he was hearing it "as if for the first time." Although he did discover in October of 2003 by reviewing his notes that his July impression was incorrect, since he found notes of the thing he forgot.

Summary -- Libby told the truth, therefore Libby knew in and after October, 2003, that before David Corn's July 16, 2003, column he had no reason to know that Valerie Plame's CIA affiliation was supposed to be classified.

2) Libby lied. He actually remembered one or more of the various government officials telling him in June 2003 that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA as a non-covert agent whose CIA affiliation was unclassified.

Summary: Libby knew, starting in June 2003, that Valerie Plame's CIA affiliation was unclassified.

Either Libby told the truth, and he didn't know whether or not Plame's CIA affiliation was classified, or he lied, and he did know that Plame's affiliation was unclassified.

Either Libby told the truth, and he didn't know whether or not the government was taking affirmative measures to protect her intelligence relationship with the U.S., or Libby lied, and he did know that the government, i.e. multiple government officials acting in their official capacities, was taking affirmative measures to disclose and publicize her intelligence relationship with the U.S.

In order for Libby to be in legal jeopardy, the information had to be classified, and he had to know it was classified. Either Libby told the truth and he didn't know, or he lied, and he did know, that it wasn't classified. The information was clearly not classified -- if it was classified before Feb 19, 2002, it became unclassified the moment that Mrs. Wilson's official government superiors allowed her to attend the meeting and disclose it as unclassified information as part of her officially assigned government duties.

MayBee

Of all the people outside the CIA that should have known Valerie was covert, it would be Grossman.
He knew the Wilsons. He would know if Valerie said she worked as a contractor.
Are we to believe that he saw the information that she was a CIA manager-type written down on a piece of paper for his boss and he didn't say "HEY! Wait a minute! She doesn't work at the CIA, she's a consultant for Brewster Jennings."

Did Fitzgerald investigate that? I mean, if he was looking for how Libby might have known about Val's covert status, did he wonder if Grossman told him? (I'm not even going to get into whether Grossman would have mentioned it to Armitage)

When the CIA was emailing Valerie to find out what Joe said to Grossman about CIA business, did the CIA ever ask her what Grossman might know about her? Did anyone at the CIA contact State and warn them not to talk about the meeting that happened Feb 19?

Sue

Did anyone ever ask Valerie why her transition to state came to a sudden halt?

Sue

Did anyone ask Val who sourced the VF article? And how the source got some things correct and others wrong?

Enlightened

Was it really confirmed that covert Valerie Plame officially changed her cover to Valerie Wilson - and why?

Was it official that Valerie Plame was indeed cover, her cover was blown and she changed her name to Valerie Wilson?

Did the CIA ever register Valerie Wilson as covert? Wasn't it something like they never officailly rescinded Valerie Plame's covertiness, and in so doing, since Plame and Wilson are one and the same, they allowed her to proclaim her covertiness as Valerie Wilson?

It bugs the crap out of me that Amb Wilson never says Valerie PLAME was outed?

Sara

I don't blame Libby for not wanting to open up another media onslaught or spend the millions necessary to go for appeal and the expense of a new trial. I also think there will be a pardon, but not until the last day of GWB's term. The only thing winning an appeal would do is give Libby back his law license, and a pardon would do the same thing, wouldn't it? I know we feel he owes us the appeal so we get our questions answered about Fitz's bogus appointment and the destruction of the FBI documents, but does he really "owe" us?

And on Perino not knowing about the Cuban Missile Crisis. How old is she? I was in high school at the time of the crisis and I never heard a word about it and didn't know it happened until I saw a documentary when I was at least 10 or 15 years older. Of course, I never watched any TV back then, nor did most of my friends. We were too busy living life, studying and having a good time.

Someone who is always dealing in the present, might have a "junior moment" about a crisis that wasn't generally known outside the hallowed circles of politics and happened 45 years ago.

Sara

And I'll add, the Cuban Missile Crisis was very old news within a couple of years after the event. The JFK assassination, Vietnam and the Civil Rights riots, followed by the slaughter at the 1968 convention, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy wiped it from people's minds.

Sara

OT: I was just listening to a clip on Gore receiving his Nobel "Peace Pies." The commentator said it twice before realizing his tongue-tied mistake and correcting himself.

Enlightened

I'm 50 and I know nothing about the Cuban Missile Crisis other than what I've seen in print and/or documentaries. I was what - 5 years old?

I thought if "you remember the 60's you weren't really there?" She was born in the 70's fercrissakes. I guess she's just American-History Challenged.

Sara

I asked my d-i-l and got a blank stare and a shoulder shrug. She never heard of it. My son knew about it because he says he saw the movie that came out in the last couple of years.

TM

So, in other words, Libby would have to feel confident that he'd be able to convince the investigators that he did not know that Plame was covert and her status classified.

I wonder what Jeff is seeing as the competing hypotheses here. Possible entrants:

1. Libby lied to avoid personal liability under IIPA.

2. Libby lied to keep Cheney out of the story.

3. Libby lied for both (1) and (2).

4. Libby told the truth as best he remembered it and got muddled. OK, the jury didn't buy (4), and neither do I.

As to (1) - fessing up worked for Rove (who tipped to Novak quickly) and Armitage (who forgot to mention Woodward), so one might think that it could have worked for Libby.

But maybe there is a variation - Libby had been told of Ms. Plame's status through a channel not later detected by Fitzgerald, but of course Libby couldn't know the future, so he lied because, unlike Rove and Armitage, he did have an IIPA problem.

Other than impugning the Fitzgerald investigation (works for me) and requiring the invention of yet more sources for Libby's knowledge when we have several at hand, I suppose it is a fine theory.

But rather than invent new witnesses, why not stay with what we have? Cheney mentioned Plame to Libby in June, as part of that June push for info; Libby later claimed to have forgotten all that because to say otherwise made Cheney look like a sparkplug for the inquiry.

Come July and the Wilson op-ed, Cheney mentioned her yet again, and yet again it seemed beter to move past that, so Libby invented the "heard it as if for the first time" story from Russert.

And it was not a terrible lie, as lies go - first, the investigation was likely to quit before the reporters cracked, but secondly, I think it was close to the truth - I am pretty sure Libby *did* hear it from either Novak or Russert, but he either got the name wrong (i.e., it was Novak) or Russert lied him out to protect his own sources.

So Libby's story would have been, a couple of casual, forgettable mentions in June, only one of which (Cheney) made my notes, followed by the Russert reminder/revelation in July.

*IF* Russert had confirmed that, would Libby have been indicted? I doubt it.

boris

Since Libby's notes brought Cheney into the picture right off, I never bought the "keep Cheney out of the story" speculation.

That always seemed to me like: Libby lied therefor he had a motive, lets use "common sense" to figure out what it must have been.

Where the logic always fails is ... even if he had a motive to lie he had no motive to tell a stupid lie.

Also ... most people have "instinct blindness" when it comes to the limitations of their own perception and memory. Natural selection wants critters to trust their senses and did a pretty good job at hiding the differences between reality and perception. The more confident one is about their own grasp of reality, the less likely they are to grant muddled narrative possibly influenced by emotional factors like being hung out to take the fall.

MayBee

How about

5- Libby lied because he knew he hadn't told Novak, and he knew he hadn't told Cooper, and he knew that Judy already knew. So he thought he was out of the way of the investigation.

Remember, if he's reading that 2 admin officials called 6 reporters out of revenge, then he know that refers to someone else. So he thinks that's who's going to get the focus of the FBI.

It didn't turn out that way, and once he realized he was in the crosshairs, he already had his (half-cooked) story.

In my interpretation, what he lied about was a conversation with Judy (Judy already knew), and not remembering having talked about Wilson and his wife in those weeks.
What he didn't lie about was Cooper.
What I'm not sure happened was the Russert thing, but I'll bet that was Cooper.

Sara

I think the simplest explanation is the best. He was busy and didn't know this was going to be a big deal. It just was not an important fact that he committed to retrievable memory. To make it more than that is to try to write a narrative that can't be written without projecting personal motives and thoughts into someone else's mind.

I also think, as I've made quite clear in the past, that Grossman's hands are all over the Plame story. He is the rat in the silo. Every instinct and intuition in my body says so, but I doubt we'll ever know.

PeterUK

"I am pretty sure Libby *did* hear it from either Novak or Russert, but he either got the name wrong (i.e., it was Novak) or Russert lied him out to protect his own sources."


Nobody has satisfactorily answered the question whether Libby knew the CIA employee as Ms Valerie Plame or Mrs Valerie Wilson.

cathyf
Nobody has satisfactorily answered the question whether Libby knew the CIA employee as Ms Valerie Plame or Mrs Valerie Wilson.
Actually, there isn't any evidence for either. The people who claim to remember telling Libby claim to remember "Wilson's wife" or even less, "the wife of the guy that the CIA sent to Niger."
narciso

The Perino story, is essentially a non story. She knew it involved Cuba and missiles. She doesn't know that it was
the result of Kennedy ignoring the exile's
intelligence reports going back tothe fall of that year.(This seems to be a pattern with Democrats, no?) She's not aware of the
whitewash that Schlesinger, Goodwin, et al
spun it as a victory for the brave Kennedy; when it showed his recklessness and capitulation to the Soviets; in pulling the missiles and surrendering any hope of removing Fidel. It would take another 20 years and another former Democrat to challenge the Russians in their own backyard with the Pershing 2 missiles,(an idea that liberals thought would lead to nuclear confrontation; best exemplified in the "Day
After. What the hell did she think she was
doing ; going on "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me"?

PeterUK

cathyF,
"Actually, there isn't any evidence for either."

So it is no surprise that Mr Libby could not remember.

My view is Valerie Plame was rather insignificant until Corn produced his "outing piece".Political grandees tend not to notice the hired help.

centralcal

Life has gotten hectic and I have not been able to keep up with the posts here.

So I ask what may be a dumb question, a question that may have already been answered, so please forgive me.

What are the implications (i.e., dropping the appeal) to Libby? Is he "done" with the legal system, now that he has the commutation? If so, then I can't say I blame him. There is always the chance that Bush will pardon him on his way out the door.

PeterUK

The decision by Mr Libby to forgo an appeal probably has many components,not least his home life.Whereas prosecutors and judges do this kind of thing for a living,the accused has his whole life disrupted.For example spouses often split up under the stran.No doubt has examined every angle and decided he has had enough,Who can blame him?

kim

I'm with cathyf's #1. When, months later, Libby reminded Cheney that he'd first heard of her from Cheney in June, something that Libby himself had just discovered, Cheney looked at him and said "From me?". That tells me that both of them forgot her until July, when I believe they were the last to know what was going on. The media and the CIA enjoyed their little Bush bash, and now the media has reaped less protection for confidential sources, and the CIA, well, they call the wind Maria. Those dervishes have whirled themselves into insensibility.
=========================

kim

So damn them, and bad luck to them, say I, too. I immediately thought of 'and bad cess to them', and looked it up; 'cess' is cognate with 'assess', 'success', and 'excess', but not, apparently, 'cesspool'. I think they all four fit.
=========================

JM Hanes

I thought Captain Ed's item was pretty smarmy. Since taking the Well's statement at face value seemed to be the only possibility he was unwilling to entertain, I posted the following -- and then felt like a defector for having commented on this topic elsewhere first! So I'm cross posting it here:

"However, given the short period of time since his conviction and sentence commutation, it appears more that Lewis doesn't believe he can achieve any kind of vindication, at least not through the court."

I wouldn't leap to any such conclusions, even if it were, in fact, a short time since his conviction, but it's not. Libby was convicted over 9 months ago back in March, and his sentence was commuted in July.

Perhaps you've never been involved in a protracted, life altering, legal action, but I'm here to tell you that it can take over your world and suck in everyone you care about, whether you like it or not. A year, or in this case, years, in the lives of your young children is a huge chunk of time you will never get back along with your good name. I think it's entirely plausible that after an unvarnished look at what an appeal would really entail, Libby, as I once did, ultimately chose his family over personal vindication. Sometimes, life really is too short for both.

Even if I didn't think Libby had a decent shot on appeal, I believe there are serious outstanding legal & technical (& political!) issues fairly crying out for resolution which, unfortunately, will have to wait for potentially more egregious circumstances elsewhere in the future. Just for starters, Congress needs to codify the regulations governing special counsels through legislation.

Those concerns happen to be the basis of my own disappointment, and they have nothing to do with any belief in Libby's guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, I applaud Libby for making what I know from personal experience can be a decision fraught with unwelcome consequences -- not the least of which is the knowledge that folks like you will feel free to draw entirely superficial conclusions about what it means and make arrogant assumptions about what he does or does not value.

The poltical timeline, the likelihood of success, and the array of potential results are certainly very real considerations, I just thought it was worth pointing out that the proffered explanation is not entirely unreasonable either.


MayBee:

"It's that cloud, man."

LOL!

dick

Narciso,

You are so right. I was in the Army section of the Pentagon that processed all those intelligence reports that Kennedy ignored for months before he finally realized that it was for real and did something. In my mind what the Kennedy fan club has done over the years was a huge PR job for a president who was vastly overrated because he could talk well. It is good that he could communicate well but we could have been far better served by someone who was better at doing things. If you look back at it almost all the things Kennedy is praised for are the result of LBJ arm-twisting, not actions by Kennedy himself. I think JFK and Bubba are actually a lot more alike than they are different in that both had to be scootched into doing the things they had to and both tended to put off decisions as long as they could. Kennedy eventually made them; Bubba, not so much. JFK in my mind has a lot of his reputation because of Jackie more than himself.

kim

Slosh enough stumphole over the rocks and you can get anyone to believe.
=============

BR

Hi Kim :) - what kind of a drink is stumphole?

Dick at 2:07: Wow! You were there! My late husband told me it was a tense time, when most Americans were watching with baited breath, expecting imminent nuclear war, during JFK's ultimatum to the USSR to remove their missiles from Cuba. And some years ago, I saw Gen. Haig on TV saying JFK secretly gave in to Khrushchev by removing US missiles from Turkish soil, aimed at the USSR.
Btw, did you ever meet Col. Molloy Vaughn?

BR

PS to Kim - trees uprooted - Watergate echoes - aspens and meetings at rodeos - did that strange coded letter from Libby to Miller ever get explained? Gosh, what fun we had in those threads! Where's the October 05 Archives link?

clarice

JMH, What a good rejoinder to Capt Ed..President of the clean toga club.

Jor

but I am stuck on the fact that I more or less considered Libby to be guilty of some of the specific acts with which he was charged. My hopes for an appeal essentially rested on technicalities,

A defense on technicalities, thats sounds like something a stinkin liberal would do. Not those of us who know right from wrong.

davod

"A defense on technicalities, thats sounds like something a stinkin liberal would do. Not those of us who know right from wrong."

It is these technicalities that run to the heart of the problem with Fitzgerald's appointment and powers.

MayBee

JMH-
I'm sorry to hear you, too, had to go through a difficult trial. Your comment to Captain Ed was much needed. You're great.

Sue

I have always thought that Libby and Rove didn't think anything about mentioning our gal Val (regardless of what Ari testified to) other than it would seem like they were attacking Wilson through his wife. Political implications. It was not protocol to be discussing a covert operative with the CIA, after all. After Corn's article, I think they both kind of freaked.

And I have never thought the 2 hour meeting with Judith Miller was anything other than Libby giving her an exclusive on the information in the NIE, and Wilson would have come up in the conversation since he started the whole thing to begin with by lying to reporters. The meeting with Judith would not have been necessary if Wilson had told the truth, or better yet, kept classified information classified.

And that is why I have always wanted Libby to get off. Because Wilson will never face a jury to explain his own lies. Lies that lead straight back to his gal Val.

MayBee

Exactly, Sue.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Another Kingsies on the five year rule:

U.S. intelligence officials confirmed Kiriakou was a CIA employee involved in the capture and questioning of Zubaydah. Kiriakou left the agency in 2004 after 14 years and now works as a consultant for a private Washington-based firm.

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