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October 01, 2003



Why can't Bush just order whoever talked to Novak to step forward? For that matter, if they have nothing to hide, why don't those officials just step forward on their own? Seems there's lot of easy explaining that could be done IF everything was hunky dory. Yet silence... When Holmes asked Watson if he noticed the unusual behavior of the dog, Watson said "Why the dog did nothing," to which Holmes eplied, "Exactly."


Hmmm, sliggy, that's a familiar analogy!

If you read Talking Points Memo, you'll see that the WH spokesliar got caught on that very question today . . .

QUESTION: No, no, that an undercover official of the United States government had been outed. When did the President of the United States know that? When was he informed of that? And what was his reaction? Where's the outrage, I think, was the question that was asked.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the outrage has always been made known. If someone leaks classified information -- are you -- when did --

QUESTION: When did the President know it, and what did he do about it?

MR. McCLELLAN: When did someone make the allegation that this -- that someone had leaked classified information?

QUESTION: On July 14th or 15th, it was clear that --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'll look back at the timing and post the information --

QUESTION: -- that the American taxpayer had invested a lot of money in the undercover status of a woman who had been outed in the newspaper. What did the President know that and what did he do about it?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'll look back at some of this and try to get some information for you.


Do not attempt to shave me with Occam's razor!

As to the individuals in question, they may be having a bit of an "oops" moment - maybe they checked with the same CIA source Novak had (maybe they gave him the source, who knows), and now thet are wondering if their source blew them up.

Maybe they saw her flying a desk at Langley, or saw her name on a memo, and just never thought that a few years ago, she was running agents in Iran. And now they really don't want to find out.

As to Bush's inactivity, my only plausible hopeful guess is that he is waiting on the CIA assessment to tell him if there is really a problem that needs to be addressed. Or, in my dreams, I figure the WH already has sorted out "whodunnit", and is just waiting for Tenet.

Why they would not say any of this, rather than chanting "we are cooperating with the investigation", is a puzzle. The obvious explanation, they are in denial, is not exactly out of the question. Works for me! But who knows, a better explanation may occur to someone.

Oh, Scarlet Blaze.


Scarlet? Frankly, I don't give a damn. But let that be a reminder not to type while someone is screaming at you. Let's try "Silver".

Jon H

TM writes: "Maybe they saw her flying a desk at Langley, or saw her name on a memo, and just never thought that a few years ago, she was running agents in Iran."

Theory I've seen is that she was one of the CIA people Cheney met with at CIA HQ.

I'd think that VP-level people, talking to "report-to-VP-face-to-face-level" CIA analysts, would think that maybe these analysts are under cover of some sort.

It's not like the CIA would have the VP meeting with temp analysts from Manpower.


From USA Today:

In Washington, Plame was assigned to the CIA's Non-Proliferation Center, an organization of analysts, technical experts and former field operatives who work on detecting and, if possible, preventing foreign proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, met with officials at the Non-Proliferation Center before the invasion of Iraq to discuss reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. A U.S. official with knowledge of those meetings said Plame did not attend. But the former U.S. intelligence official said she was involved in preparing materials for those meetings.



In the effort to figure out which two officials ratted out Plame to Novak, has anyone looked to see when Novak used the same label before? Searching through www.townhall.com and www.newsmax.com, I could only find two other examples. Here's the one that caught my interest, from 12/7/03: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20021207.shtml

"A prominent Wall Street investor has been informed by a senior administration official that President Bush, seeking to stimulate investment and the economy, will propose much lower taxation of stock dividends -- 'something you will like.'

"Such a proposal would reduce the actual taxes paid rather than just reduce the amount of dividends taxed. As such, its first impact would be a big revenue loss.

"While the White House was privately talking about this big tax cut, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was going in the opposite direction in Manchester, England. Reporting on an interview with O'Neill, the Financial Times said: 'Far from promising a hefty tax cut, he . . . hinted at looking at some proposals to boost tax revenues, not cut them.'"

This column appeared on the same day the White House announced O'Neill would be leaving. I'm sorta a newbie at this, but couldn't this be a lighter form of the same leak-n-smear tactic as the Plame thing? (In this case, trying to create the meme among conservatives that O'Neill is an unprincipled tax-raiser.) I don't follow economics much, would the policy outlined have been something new at the time? Someone who followed the O'Neill saga might be able to shed some light on it, because it kinda looks like the same thing to me.

The other example--less interesting--is about the President's 2003 State of the Union address, and Novak identifies this official as "a source officially described as a 'Senior Administration Official,'" inclining me to believe it's not the same person. This source tells Novak that at the time of the address, he had not yet made up his mind about troops.

Alex Parker


If she was just preparing materials... well, we're back to square one, aren't we?

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