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August 10, 2004


The Kid

Time’s article (I write Time because Cooper is but one of the three authors) seems to be a fine piece of reporting that accurately portrays many events and utterances that the recent SSCI report verifies. I am struck by two points, one in Time’s reporting and one about when the report’s information was collected.

Time writes:

Wilson says a report by Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the American ambassador to Niger, addresses the issue of Nigerien government officials disputing the allegation.

How did Wilson know about this classified report?

Time concludes a quote of Libby with this:

The Vice President was unaware of the trip by Ambassador Wilson and didn't know about it until this year when it became public in the last month or so.

Cooper’s interview with Libby (if it was Cooper) seems to have come after Novak’s exposure of Plame; moreover it was for attribution. Why then is Fitzgerald interested in Cooper? Is Libby not the point?


Shame on Cooper and other reporters for delaying the inevitable -- they will eventually testify or go to jail. In the mean time, traitors are in the White House, and the delaying actions of reporters and their lawyers may allow these traitorous crooks to be re-selected.


Are traitors in the White House? Or is that just Democrat spin? The thing is that it is possible that whoever leaked it, did so without knowing that Plame was covert. (And it is still unclear to me just what her vertness is or was.) It should be remembered that Wilson got a job that he obviously bungled, based on his wife's lobbying.

Plame's name was leaked as a possible explaination for how Wilson got the job. So was that a case of wistle blowing, nepotism uncovered with the unintended consequence of outing a covert operative? That is still the likely explaination.


Gee, rlm, didn't you get the memo? Such sentiments are "un-American" and even worse... "un-Pennsylvanian". Actually, I've been running into a bunch of these Moore-ian posters with three initial sigs... all lower case. I think it is a horde of 'bots on the Smarter Child model. Fairly convincing though.



Or did Democrats out Plame in order to generate a specific scandal when nothing else was available?

Frankly I always thought it was a bit wierd that all of these liberal reporters suddenly couldn't tell the difference between "Niger" and "Africa". Especially since the latter is so much larger than the former.

So.... Was it all a put up job? No idea. But I've been thinking for awhile now that the reason this investigation has gone on so long is that the person, or persons, responsible are a lot more left then right.


Hmmm, don't you think the TIMING IS SUSPICIOUS? Oops, only Democrats say things like that. Never mind... ;-)



was a crime commited?
was she an active covert agent? did the leaker knopw it?

one would think so - since the USAG is still pursing the case. but it seems to me that the facts show she was NOT an active cpovert agent, and therefore no crime was committed.
so why the supoenas?

i do not get it.


Look for a "September Surprise", engineered by the Democrats, in which the leaker is identified right at a key point in the RNC.

You heard it here first.

Oh wait, sorry, that's the way Dems think. Nevermind.

Andrew X

This story is very confusing, so I might be off base here...

But it suddenly occured to me -- What if there really was some significant wrongdoing here? And what if, were all truth known, it turns out the REAL wrongdoer(s) turned out to be people in, of all places, the PRESS! What if THEY were the ones who deliberately leaked this name, having gotten it from who knows where, or did similar conduct of a manner that they really don't want to be called on? What if it became patently obvious that this was one or two reporters desperate to smear the Bush admin with SOMETHING.... ANYTHING.....? What if THEY are the ones desperately clamming up to protect their own hides? What if such people are well aware, right now, the that if the above truth (assuming) DOES get out, it will be a catastrophe for the liberal media giants and mannah from heaven for Bush?

Might that explain both the administration's seeming confidence that they are reasonably clean here, paired with the absolute stone wall being put up by reporters over this?

Gots ta wonder.


Everybody knew Plame was CIA and Wilson is a proven liar, so what the hell difference does it make?

That's what I hear anyway, but I've been stranded in Cambodia since Kerry ran off and left me in '68, so I ain't sure.

Counterrevolutionary (Ret)

Maybe I'm doing a bit of wishful thinking here, but what if they are now investigating Wilson?

After all he claimed to know that hte signatures are forgeries before he was supposed to know (ie before it was general knowledge). He now claims that he was confused, but maybe that's a cover-up?

Is it possible that Valerie brought the papers home to show her husband? That would certainly be a violation of law.

That would explain why the investigation is "complex" and why only certain reporters -- ones who interviewed Wilson are being subpoenaed. So it is possible (although not likely) that the reason that there in confimation of the Novak subpoena is that one was not issued?

Anyway we always knew that the leaking of Plame's name was not the only fishy business going on (see Tom's posts and my posts from last year when this scandal broke). Could the investigation have shifted that way? Am I missing something? Did I get my timeline right?


Answers for The Kid and misc tidbit for TM

1. How did Wilson know about this classified report?

Re-read your SSCI report pages 37-42. Note Amb. Owens-Kirkpatrick's three Niger/uranium cables [Wilson: "report"] last cable sent on 2/24/02. Note Wilson arrives in Niger on 2/26/02 and then meets with Owens-Kirkpatrick to discuss Niger/uranium issues. Enough?

2. Cooper’s interview with Libby.. seems to have come after Novak’s exposure of Plame; moreover it was for attribution.Why then is Fitzgerald interested in Cooper? Is Libby not the point?

Look again at the second paragraph in the Time article:

"And some government officials have noted to TIME in interviews, (as well as to syndicated columnist Robert Novak) that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official..."

Obvious question for Time: When did these interviews take place and with whom? Why assume (your word "seems") anything on who said what when? Furthermore, though the Libby on-record quote is not directly relevant it is not unheard of for a source to give off and on the record quotes for the same article.

3. TM Tidbit:
Due to the overwhelming response to my Wilson's flip-flop chronology (in these comments) I feel duty bound to add to the list this very same Time article which quotes Wilson as saying--falsely--that the Niger/Iraq "meeting" was "declined" by the Niger official, Mayaki. Adjust your Wilson self-contradiction score cards accordingly.


The prosecutor must be at the end of the investigation since he is trying to interview the journalists, and he had to show the court that he had exhausted every other source of information. Senate Intel says Ms. Plame recommended Mr. Wilson for the assignment. It's possible no one can be prosecuted because they can truthfully say they gave up the name to explain to the reporters how Wilson was hired, not put her at risk or compromise national security. It's also possible Wilson or Plame lied to the prosecutor about how he was hired. She told Senate Intel that she didn't remember whether or not she recommended him for the assignment, classic evasion. If either speculation is true, a high powered prosecutor wasted a lot of time and resources on a wild goose chase, and may be looking more closely at Wilson and Plame. Prosecutors never seem to have much of a sense of humor.

Zev Sero

Since this story broke last year, I have yet to see any explanation for how the leaker (assuming there really is one) of the fact that Plame worked at the CIA could possibly have known that it was meant to be a secret (assuming that it really was). Why would this person (assuming it's someone on the political side of the White House, and not, say, Powell or Rice) have a need to know that? And without a need to know, how could anyone who did know have told them?

It sounds to me as if this is how it really went down: Wilson starts leaking his story, and finally goes public with it. Cheney and others in the White House go 'who?'. Someone sends an urgent message to the CIA asking whether they've heard of this Wilson character, and if so what the hell had he been up to in Niger, and whose bright idea was it to send him? Someone at the CIA answers 'his wife got him the job'. 'Huh? What's his wife got to do with anything?'. 'Well, she works here, you know.'

Oops. They shouldn't have said that. They should have made something up, like, er, well, I'm not sure what they should have said, but 'she works here' wasn't it. Now this White House person knows Plame works for the CIA, but has no idea that was meant to be secret. So he tells Novak. Wilson sees this in the paper, and he does know that this was meant to be secret. He is convinced (perhaps correctly) that his children's safety depends on his wife's employer's name being kept secret. So he panics, and calls the entire world's attention to it. He makes some wild accusations about Karl Rove, and about his wife's maiden name being secret, because he's not thinking straight. But now the whole world knows, not just that Plame works for the CIA, which they could have read in Novak's column, but that she was covert, which they could not have learned from Novak.

Now the CIA is interested. Between Loose-Lips at the CIA, Leaker at the White House, Novak and now Wilson, the secret is well and truly blown, and someone is going to pay. And so we arrive at this moment.

Any questions?

capt joe

masterful summary Zev. very plausible

The Kid

Yo Zev – just watch out for trolls seeking traitors in the comments that follow.

I agree with most of your post except for your characterization of Wilson’s motives. He understood that his wife had been brought in from the cold in 1994. The CIA suspected that Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson's name (along with those of other spies) to the Russians before his espionage arrest in 1994. So her undercover security was undermined at that time, and she was brought back to Washington for safety reasons. See this for the citations, additional background, my thoughts, and TM’s response.

Wilson was not concerned about keeping his wife’s maiden name secret. He’d included it on his biographical sketch at the Saudi-funded think tank with which he was associated.
Here’s a copy of the bio that used to be at this page: http://www.mideasti.org/html/bio-wilson.html

He was undoubtedly concerned about publicizing her employment with the CIA, but:

It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in National Review Online, that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's "Who's Who in America" entry.


But the suspense is killing me and I’m burning out. Fortunately, it looks like there may be indictments or the end of the investigation pretty darn soon.

brennan stout

It's Libby. He will be put on trial. He will be pardoned.

Any gamblers here?

brennan stout

That sounds bad. I should that I like Libby. I think he's pretty much an all around smart guy. But he's incredibly naive when it comes to the law and how that applies to him. He's far too experienced in covert operations and understanding of espinoge with his experience advising Israeli government officials and US government officials to fail to realize the danger of leaking a covert operative. He knows more than any of us about Valerie Plame's actual duties.

Libby is the figure that got the White House to back away from Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich. Why? Libby lobbied Clinton for the pardon.

The Kid

Regarding Libby and the Marc Rich pardon – it’s the LaRouche folks and far left that have boosted that story based on an op-ed Bill Clinton wrote after he left office. Here’s a good overview and an excerpt:

Although Clinton said his former White House counsel Jack Quinn -- a Democrat -- supported Rich's pardon, Clinton wrote "the case was reviewed and advocated ... by three distinguished Republican attorneys: Leonard Garment, a former Nixon White House official; William Bradford Reynolds, a former high-ranking official in the Reagan Justice Department; and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, now Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff."

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Saturday that Libby was one of Rich's lawyers, dating back to 1985, but he vehemently denied that Libby advocated a pardon for Rich.

"In no way, shape or form was Mr. Libby involved in the pardon of Mr. Rich," Fleischer said. Garment also disputed Clinton's claim.

Clinton also addressed suggestions he granted the pardon because of contributions Rich's ex-wife, Denise, made to the Democratic Party and the Clinton presidential library.

Denise Rich has donated more than $1 million to Democratic campaigns, including the successful U.S. Senate bid of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and she also has contributed roughly $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library foundation.

"The suggestion that I granted the pardons because Mr. Rich's former wife, Denise, made political contributions and contributed to the Clinton library foundation is utterly false," Clinton wrote. "There was absolutely no quid pro quo."

Who are you to believe? Clinton or your lying eyes?
(Scroll down.)

brennan stout

The Kid: I think your reply is telling. The defense is against an argument never made.

I'll have more later, ie Marshall Defense, but for now you can have the fact that John Podesta and Bruce Lindsey both opposed the Rich pardon.


Silliness at the Times:

To unmask a confidential source as part of a criminal investigation, the government should have to show two things: that the information is central to the investigation and that it cannot be obtained any other way. In Mr. Cooper's case, the information could more than likely be provided under oath by government officials, including those implicated.

Wait until they read the rest of the Constitution, and get to the Fifth Amendment.


Pincus caught Fitzgerald's eye with this story from Oct. 12, 2003:

On July 12, two days before Novak's column, a Post reporter was told by an administration official that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction. Plame's name was never mentioned and the purpose of the disclosure did not appear to be to generate an article, but rather to undermine Wilson's report.

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