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July 11, 2005



It doesn't matter, because her name was never a secret, as I so aptly reiterate on my blog.

In my post, I point out that the media, and the Wilsons, are playing a game with the whole idea of the name.

They are pretending that her name was a secret, so that it sounds more sinister, yet now we find out that Rove didn't even say her name!

As you can see from the media's coverage: that doesn't really matter, they continue acting as if Rove's information led to her name being revealed.

The Seattle Times goes into the twilight zone with a byline for the Washington Post story, as you can see on my blog. I cannot even begin to imagine how these editors and journalists can look themselves in the mirror each morning.

What I want to know is: who was the one who actually first stated that Plame was a covert agent?

From my cursory views of the JustOneMinute timeline, it seems to be David Corn. Miller's whole situation might be the missing key as to who actually revealed that Plame was a covert agent... because it wasn't ROVE!


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/politics/12rove.html?ei=5094&en=16c3d47ac4005a3d&hp=&ex=1121227200&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print>NYTIMES with tomorrow's big article drudge flashed about, surprisingly the only new info comes at the end of the article.

"It is clear that Karl Rove's conversation with Matt Cooper does not fall into that category" of criminal conduct, Mr. Sanford said. "That's not 'knowing.' It doesn't even come close."

richard mcenroe

OH MY GOD! Karl Rove lost the confidence of Democratic Leaders! How could this happen?!

What the hell, it will give McCain something to bloviate about next Sunday...


this really has nothing to so with anything...but this post made me think of the other Joe Wilson website that was sponsored and hosted by the Kerry campaign site (what was it? something like "patriots for kerry", or some such)

...and then when it became clear that Wilson lied about his wife suggesting he be the mission man...the Kerry campaign did a black out on the site...

like I said nothing to do with nothing, only made me think of it...any one have a screen capture or cahe of that site?


it was called


Mick Wright

The old Wilson bio is saved here.

Mick Wright

And here's a Google cache of restorehonesty.com, which now redirects to johnkerry.com, after the Wilson page was airbrushed from the site, along with some a few other things, a year ago this month.


hey thanks...memory lane!

I just found this Joe Wilson "guest" on Kerry's blog on the free republic site

the whole thing can be found here

but these nuggets are interesting (I guess if only because it is the hot topic)
(forgive if these are posted everywhere)

Knight_of_the_Star (Oct 29, 2003 11:18:57 AM)
Ambassador Wilson, what was your initial reaction when you found out that your wife's identity as a CIA operative was leaked to the press?

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:07 AM)
My initial reaction was unprintable

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:11 AM)
but it starts with an F

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:18 AM)
But then I asked myself 2 questions:

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:26 AM)
-what did my wife's name add to the article

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:29 AM)

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:19:48 AM)
-and what part of no didn't Bob Novak understand when the CIA told him not to use it

Guest (Oct 29, 2003 11:23:51 AM)
one from email: Given the fact that you've been labeled a "liberal", were you surprised when you were asked to vet the Niger uranium story supposedly at the request of Dick Cheney's office?

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:24:01 AM)
First and foremost

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:24:13 AM)
I'm an American, and the national security of my country is not a partisan issue.

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:24:31 AM)
I have a set of unique experiences related to Iraq, Niger, and uranium.

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:24:53 AM)
I would remind you that had Mr. Cheney taken into consideration my report as well as 2 others submitted on this subject, rather than the forgeries

riverrat (Oct 29, 2003 11:17:37 AM)
The leak about your wife was a clear violation of a specific law about exposing the identity of CIA agents. But most leaks don't violate this particular law, although they often involve the release of other kinds of classified information that is illegal under other statutes. Can we really expect to have a government that doesn't leak? Don't people in the executive branch often use classification to hide policies from the public they think would be unpopular?

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:17:50 AM)
That does indeed occur.

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:17:57 AM)
But there are legitimate reasons to classify information.

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:18:16 AM)
The problem in my case was that what was leaked was the name of a national security asset, my wife, which is unprecedented

Guest (Oct 29, 2003 11:07:37 AM)
At what point did you lose faith in the Bush Administration and why exactly do you fell that John Kerry is the best candidate?

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:09:25 AM)
When Bush the candidate went to South Carolina and ran a subrosa campaign against McCain accusing his wife of being a drug addict and his kids of not being white (as if that mattered). That is not the change of tone I was looking for. When the neoconservatives got control of our national security policy, I knew we needed to mobilize to fight


Why exactly should I care that he listed his wife's name on a website? Why is that relevant? So he's married to Valerie Plame. Where does he ever associate her with the CIA. Rove did that, not Joe Wilson. If her name appears on his site does it not make it easier to point the finger at Rove given that the name is already out there, all he had to do was supply the occupation. Luskin's excuse, that Rove never mentioned her name would therefore be moot, as the name was already in circulation, the job however was not. At least until Rove made it so.


Rove(to Cooper): I don't "know" Wilson's wife's name, but you could contact.......



To eglider:
Andrea Mitchell said on MSNBC the other night that it was common knowledge before the Novak column that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. It is unlikely that Matt Cooper was unaware of this fact. It is, however, likely that he was unaware, until allegedly told by Karl Rove, of what he wrote in his much quoted e-mail: Joe Wilson's wife, aka Valerie PLame, recommended that her husband Joe Wilson be sent to Africa. Maybe the Ney York Times should poll its Washington Press corps about Andrea Mitchell's coment-they are the Newspaper of Record-not.

The Kid

The New York Post’s John Podhoretz offers a good top-level review, setting the context for the Rove-Cooper interaction and listing Ambassador Wilson’s misleading statements, noting:

As many of Joe Wilson's own hottest defenders would no doubt argue in relation to President Bush, exposing a liar is not only not a crime, it's a public service. And Wilson lied. Repeatedly.
He then proceeds to list some of the lies.


Did Joe Wilson get his belief that he'd been sent by Cheney from someone else(like, uh V; shush) or did he make it up? If she told him, why did she?

Patrick R. Sullivan

Joe Wilson's Op-ed was the THIRD version of Bush Lied...

The first was Nick Kristoff's column in May. The second was Walter Pincus June 12 WaPo article (in which he uses--as the Kid has shown us--Valerie Plame as a source). So, the fact that the Wilsons were engaged in a partisan assault on behalf of their preferred candidate (John Kerry) had been known to Rove for two months by the time Rove talked to Cooper.

That's the point of Rove in his conversation with Cooper. That, and that they were lying about what Wilson found in Africa. That Valerie Plame recommended her husband for the gig isn't being used to 'discredit' him (why would it?), it's merely factual background information. The kind of thing that Bob Novak logically asked about.


fwiw - can anybody clarify whether Rove had put any other reporter on 'double super secret background' or does this reflect on the reporter's mindset rather than Rove's?

Or does Rove use different phraseologies for putting reporters on background such that if a story leaks out about a 'super double secret background' briefing from a 'White House Source' Rove knows that it was a reporter from NBC, if the story says 'ne plus ultra secret background' it was AFP, if it was 'off the record' it was Fox, et cetera.

But have any reporters come out and talked about their involvement with Rove and his role in leaks?

Is the press restraining themselves from commenting on this because there's an Inside Baseball aspect to the discussion itself?


As to "deep background" my understanding (from the halcyon days of Watergate and Henry Kissinger) was that it meant, I am telling you this as a guide to the truth, but you can't even print this *unless* you can find someone else to tell it to you.

In other words, you give the guy a hint as to where to look - in Cooper's case, Rove was telling him to check Wilson credibility and background.

Not a bad hint, as these things go.

Eqglider, who insists that the specific detail of her name is irrelevant - well, yes (practically, if not legally) - so why were Corn and Wilson screaming about it two years ago?


Patrick - I am having brain-lock - can you remind me where The Kid linked Valerie to the Pincus article?


OK, good job on the Podhoretz article (annoying registration required). I half want to strangle Podhoretz - he leads with the theme that Wilson was unqualified, and needed the work, and I think the stronger thehe is that he was (arguably) in bed with a CIA faction.

But he has a good finish:

What isn't controversial is this: Karl Rove didn't "out" Valerie Plame as a CIA agent to intimidate Joe Wilson. He was dismissing Joe Wilson as a low-level has-been hack to whom nobody should pay attention. He was right then, and if he said it today, he'd still be right.

OK, I'm rolling (I should get my own blog...). This is from the Walter Pincus June 12 piece, and certainly indicates the presence of CIA anlaysts cheering Joe on. But was it his wife? Pincus later denied believing the wife was involved in picking him.

However, a senior CIA analyst said the case "is indicative of larger problems" involving the handling of intelligence about Iraq's alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and its links to al Qaeda, which the administration cited as justification for war. "Information not consistent with the administration agenda was discarded and information that was [consistent] was not seriously scrutinized," the analyst said.

Ahh, Wilson's report was "indicative of larger problems"! We approach the old "fake but accurate defense.


Re: Corn and Wilson

Who the hell knows! I can't speak for them. Probably had something to do with the specifics of the case not being as clear as they are now (not that they're clear or anything, but we do have a better idea of what was going on). But I'll say it again, the name's irrelevant. It's that job description that matters.


Re: Corn and Wilson

Who the hell knows! I can't speak for them. Probably had something to do with the specifics of the case not being as clear as they are now (not that they're clear or anything, but we do have a better idea of what was going on). But I'll say it again, the name's irrelevant. It's that job description that matters.


All those online bio's are good for is illustrating how Rove could have gone about outing her as an operative without stating her name.



I may be missing something but I don't think anyone ever claimed her name was a secret. What does that even mean?

What was secret was that she (it seems) worked for the CIA as a covert operative. That's the issue. If Rove simply said Wilson's wife and not Plame I don't see how that gets him off the hook. Just like I don't see the relevance of the bio you link to. Everyone that knew Wilson knew he had a wife and knew her name. What they didn't know, and what Rove made known, is that she worked for the CIA. Fitzgerald will have to see if he did it knowingly or not.


Also Tom whther Wilson lied or not is totally irrelavnt to what is being investigated. Heck, hew could be a mass murderer and it wouldn't change anything.

The investigation is not dependent on anything Wilson said but rather on what Novak published and what Rove said and when.

You are quite the nitpicker but you tend to stay on topic. Attacking Wilson for what you preceive as his biases is of no relevance to the whether a crime was committed or not.


Look I'm a liberal and I don't want to see Rove indicted.

It's clear, however, that the poor guy needs therapy.

Ralph Tacoma

I don't have the actual act in front of me at this time, but I THINK that we're all ignoring an important fact about the act.

The act makes it a crime to reveal the identity of a covert agent IF the person doing so does it intentionally, AND has that information as a result of having obtained it through his authorized access to classified information.

IF that is correct, then Rove MAY be completely innocent if he obtained the information as a result of a casual comment made by some one else, either in a White House meeting, or at a cocktail party, or from a reporter. IF the White House meeting itself was not classified on a national security basis, Rove would be completely in the clear, and the real leaker would be whoever made the information available in the meeting.

The law appears to be written that way in part to protect the press, since they are not guilty of a crime for passing on information leaked to them by some one who did have access to classified information.

Related to this, as others have pointed out, is Andrea Mitchell's admission that Plame's CIA employment was "common knowledge." IF that is true, then Plame was NOT a "covert agent" as covered by the Act. You can't be guilty of "outing" an agent who is already "out." Some people will say, "but the CIA says she was covered, and the proof is that they asked for the investigation." That argument is totally unimpressive to me. The CIA almost had to ask for the investigation as a CYA matter given the political heat of the media frenzy. The mere fact that the CIA alleges that she was undercover does NOT mean it is true. (and the rather weak suggestion not to publish her name that the CIA's spokesman made to Novak --- assuming that Novak is telling the truth --- would tend to confirm the fact that she truly wasn't "undercover" in the definition of the Act.)

There's simply too much information that is not KNOWN by any of us outside the prosecutor's office at this time for us to KNOW what the facts really are. The media is enjoying this chance to get as much mileage out of the charges as they can.



Yes, Rove may well get a pass on a technicality. It will help him legally but I wonder about the political consequences.

As for Andrea Mitchell's comment not having heard it I have no idea what she said exactly. But I doubt there is much truth to that. If Plame's job was so clearly known why did neither Novak or Cooper or Miller know about it, all very well connected DC journalists.

In the end I agree we need to wait to see what Fitzgerald tells us.


BillMon gathers Administration quotes about Rove. Some are silly - McClellan's answer to the July 22 question about whether someone "deliberately" blew her cover is, even today, operative. Others are problematic.

Problematic? I thought the opposite of “operative” was “inoperative”. Lets be parallel, eh Tom?

While we were in full denial mode, they weren’t “problematic”. They were forceful denials trying to forestall further inquiry. Now that we are in “he didn’t actually say her name” mode, McClellan can no longer discuss it. In the light of this entire list of denials that approach outright lies, the best you folks can do is throw mud at Joe Wilson?

It’s the old lawyer trick when your guy is wounded – do anything to make everybody else in range as dirty as your guy. Throw mud, cause ya never know what might stick!

Whatever Wilson did or did not do, there is little doubt now that Rove was leaking from inside the White House – the remaining questions are were his leaks a crime and was he actually the first guy inside the White House to leak on “double secret” background. Since such behavior is “not tolerated” in the White House. In fact, leakers “will no longer be in this administration.” Except for Karl. After all, to paraphrase Barry G, “leaking in the defense of liberty is no vice.”


The two most salient aspects of the SSCI "report" were challenged as false by Democrats on the committee and were challenged in writing by Wilson.

Whether or not you "agree" with the report, it is misleading to expect others to react as if the report is a final word on any of the discussion about Wilson. Many do not accept the report's claims.


I remain puzzled about the whole name thing, although from Cecil's comments I see that the relevant classified documents probably did not refer to her as Valerie Plame. But here's one thing that I think has been missed. Clearly part of what set Wilson off about Novak's column was that he chose to refer to her as "Valerie Plame," which is certainly odd. Wilson's online bio, for instance, did not say, "He is married to Valerie Plame." It said, "He is married to the former Valerie Plame." That means that her name is not Valerie Plame, her name is Valerie Wilson or Wilson Plame or Plame Wilson -- but NOT Valerie Plame. Yet Novak referred to her as "his wife, Valerie Plame" in his column. The point is not that Novak did not get his info from Wilson's bio (though that is probably true), the point is that this is why his use of her maiden name -- her name during much of the time that she was abroad as an operative -- raised a red flag for Wilson. That said, it appears that Wilson and Corn may have fallen into a trap set by the Bush administration in this regard. At the very least they played perfectly into Rove's hands.

One other note: I reread Novak's column linked above from October 2003, and it is filled with falsehoods and instances of Novak doing exactly the kind of casuistic misleading-with-a-technical-truth (or unprovable lie) that is currently getting the Bush administration into so much trouble with the press (or at least did so for a day). Falsehood: the very first point Novak wants to stress to protect his own integrity and credibility is that "I did not receive a planned leak." I think by now we can all agree that that is false -- though I cannot prove in a court of law that Novak knew at the time it was false (though I suspect he did). Casuistry from Novak: "The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue." This makes it sound like Novak is saying it's untrue the White House passed relevant info to numerous reporters, but he's weaselling here in one way of another. For instance, it's probably impossible to prove he was a willing as opposed to an unwilling pawn. Maybe the number was seven. Maybe he's claiming they weren't trying to plant a story, again difficult to prove. Also, there's this: Novak's CIA contact asked him not to use her name because it might cause "difficulties" if she ever traveled abroad, yet Novak says the contact never suggested his using her name might put her in danger. What on earth did he think the contact was suggesting? Then there is just what looks like a downright lie -- though again hard, though as JMM has suggested perhaps not impossible, to prove -- about his use of the word "operative." Yuck.


'Mispoke' is not a satisfactory explanation from Joe. He has yet to explain that one away.


By the way, the most deeply distressing thing about this whole incident is the shoddy word done by the CIA at establishing a covert operative.

I yearn for the days when all the really good covert ops worked for 'Potomac Greeting Card Company' and used Cones of Silence.


What, DC socialite doesn't work for you? It's very 007, no?



Looks like nothing would be a satisfactory explaination from Joe. Why aren't you asking for an explaination for Karl saying he didnt "inhale"?

Ralph Tacoma


It MAY be much more than a "technicality." After all, the media made it into a "big deal" based on the "criminal activity" and referred to a specific act. In large part, of course, that was a way to insure that Wilson's comments got a lot more publicity than they otherwise would have garnered. It was only after the "outing of a covert operative" that Wilson becomae the darling of every TV news show, etc.

IF the fact that Valerie Plame was Joe Wilson's wife, and that she worked for the CIA, were well known, then there was, in truth, "no leaking" of classified information.

Rove was, apparently, tryint to discredit Wilson, and that's a completely legitimate portion of the debate. The issue is was he doing so by leaking classified information. IF the information was classifed, then what he did was wrong, if the information was not classified in reality (because it was already widely known, for example) then what he did was a crime, and should be dealt with.

In the "Old Days," as recently as 2000, I'd agree completely with your suggestion that whether or not what he did was actually illegal might not have made any difference. The MSM had the ability at that point to completely control the basis of the public discourse. In the current situation with "alternate media" being a real factor, the situation MAY be quite different.

Of course, all of this is, as we agree, subject to the fact that its based on a LOT of inference. The actual facts when they come out may greatly change the situation.

Ralph Tacoma

Another interesting point that we've skated over is that the original "feeding frenzy" was the result of NOVAK'S COLUMN. So far, I've seen no FACTS that establish that "Cooper's Source" was the same as Novak's Source.

What we're seeing is a "oh boy, we can get Rove" pheonomenon. Cooper got deep background information that was intended to provide understanding of why there might be reason to question Wilson's claims. The media gets leaks that clearly involve classified material quire frequently, and they offer no protest about how "those people have betrayed the trust of the American people."

Cooper's contacts with Rove, did NOT result in the public "outing" of a covert operative.

The media is all in feeding frenzy mode because of a chance ot "get Rove," but so far we have no DATA that shows that Rove was the source of the information in Novak's article.

We're forgetting that the alleged crime was based on Novak's article. PERHAPS Rove was a source for that, perhaps not, once again, we don't KNOW the FACTS. That's why the prosecutor is at work.


From th eAP wire: "President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove — in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond."

So is that good or bad for Rove?

I agree that Rove is not going anywhere unless it's in handcuffs, but, really, when the Boss(or key employee, ymmv) won't even say one word in your defense, it makes you wonder.


I concur with this:

Of course, all of this is, as we agree, subject to the fact that its based on a LOT of inference. The actual facts when they come out may greatly change the situation.

But this talking point is irrational to everyone except, apparently, those who use it:

In the "Old Days," as recently as 2000, I'd agree completely with your suggestion that whether or not what he did was actually illegal might not have made any difference. The MSM had the ability at that point to completely control the basis of the public discourse..

How anyone "framed" it before is relevant to you, but not most others, I would suspect.


Has Joe ever had a satisfactory explanation for anything?

One wonders now about the episode that made his name, defying Saddam a decade and a half ago. Has that also been Munchaused?


Regarding the Wilson bio,
where exactly does it read "He is married to the former Valerie Plame, who is currently an undercover operative for the CIA, and has two daughters"? What does his old bio have to do with any of this?



IF the fact that Valerie Plame was Joe Wilson's wife, and that she worked for the CIA, were well known, then there was, in truth, "no leaking" of classified information.

Yes, of course. But there is currently no evidence showing that Plame's job status was well known.


Well, her status apparently wasn't known to Rove. The journalists, on the other hand, apparently knew. We'll not likely pin down why the journalists knew, so some can always claim 'outing'. Truth and justice, however, lie elsewhere; let's see if Filtzgerald is as advertised.


The prosecutor's overlying mandate is to see that justice is done. This whole sick farce is a creation of Joe Wilson's deluded mind, or of more insidious forces behind him.

Ask most any Iraqi. Or perhaps check with the Master of the Bazaar.


Kim-you are so off the wall, delusional, and misguided, I have to ask:

Are you Hugh Hewitt?

Joe Mealyus

Jeff: "That said, it appears that Wilson and Corn may have fallen into a trap set by the Bush administration in this regard."

JOM: "But surely Mr. Pincus would have noted that by now...."

I don't have a comment, I just like the extremes of credulity.


fyi...just watched day two of the McClellan press grill. Let me just say that the whiney, persistent, self-important one-track questioning by the "press core" just a scant hour after the Scotland Yard announcement (i.e. REAL NEWS) did them no favors. Even the moderate or casual observer is left wondering why the press these days even draw a paycheck.



However, I'm vastly complimented. Sadly, 'tis true I could be wrong, but if wishes were horses, Joe Wilson would march frogs.


Joe Mealyus - You don't know how to read. So I'll leave it alone.

I've got a question that TM probably knows the answer to as well as anyone: Is the basis for the idea that Clifford May told us that Valerie Plame's job was well-known in DC his comment in NRO Online of September 29, 2003 that

"On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of."
If this is the basis, then it seems to me there's a pretty good chance the conventional wisdom that Plame's status was well-known is not true, given what we now know about the way the White House performed the pushback against Wilson and Plame. Or more precisely, it becomes really important to know when May got this information, to say nothing of whom he got it from. It seems to me there's a good possibility it was part of the concerted effort to push back, rather than evidence of the essentially public nature of knowledge of Plame's work.


There is circularity. Wilson's attack was predicated on knowledge of 'classified' information. He can be challenged about his source. What did V tell J? Inquiring minds want to know.


Joe Wilson's ability to gather the truth together into a coherent presentation is commensurate with his ability to herd cats, or march frogs.

Be kind to your web suited friends.
That new source might be somebody's uncle.
Don't tell what you know anywho.
Because, for else,
You'll be sorry.
We'll yap, what we say neen't be,
What is what, rather just what we wish for.
You watch, you will see, we'll get Rove.
And Val and Joe will jump, and call it macaroni.


Here it is from Scotty's lips:
Oct. 10, 2003

Q: Earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

A: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

Q: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

A: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

Q: They were not involved in what?


That was easy enough...



Once again slowly, class: How was Rove to know that information was classified?


How was Rove to think that the undercover status of an operative would not be classified?


What makes you think he thought she was an operative?


Once again slowly, class: How was Rove to know that information was classified?

If it wasn't classified, and he didn't know it, than why would Karl say that Wilson's wife was "fair game"?

What about Wilson's wife would be "fair game" other than her status at CIA? Why would Karl defend outing her if her status was widely known? If that were the case, wouldn't she instead be "flushed game"?


Or that she was undercover?


So you think the only 'fair game' for Rove is 'classified' people? How rudimentary. He may(n't) have been going after her for other reasons.


Why else would Rove tell Cooper it was "double super secret" information or whatever childish elocution those devious shrimps use.

Ralph Tacoma


RE: the "basis that Plame was already known."

First, let me clarify that I don't personally KNOW whether or not her CIA employment was already well known, but there have been several reports that it was. The most recent one I've seen referenced is that Andrea Mitchell --- who is certainly no "friend of the White House" --- acknowledged that on a talk show "recently." I believe it was this past weekend, but I'm "referencing" from my admittedly poor memory. My point at this time is that there is reason to SUSPECT that it may be true. It's up to Fitzgerald to determine of the facts of the matter.

It's always quite plausible that she was known to work for the CIA but that it was not widely known that she was not widely known that she was doing/had done undercover work.

Rove's alleged statement (remember, we're dealing with what we THINK Cooper's notes said --- they've not been reproduced for the public --- and they, as reported, are not verbatim quotes of the discussion) was that "she works for the CIA." That statement was true, but does not say that she's an "undercover operative." So unless the mere fact that she worked for the CIA was a "secret" which sounds doubtful since she has also been reported to have been at, at least, a couple of non-classifed seminars about weapons proliferation where her CIA affiliation was known, then even Rove's statement didn't "out her" as an undercover operative.

Again, I freely admit that I DO NOT KNOW the facts of the case, but neither do any of the rest of us. We're stuck, for now, with inferences from what are often third hand statements.


than why would Karl say that Wilson's wife was "fair game"?

Perhaps because he might not have? Or do you have a cite that isn't thirdhand hearsay from a not always credible sweet tea hound?


Indeed -Why won't Rove won't come out now and say "Sure I told Cooper-but it was no big deal because... (insert the idiotic wingnut explanation offered on this thread of your choice here)?


convienent that rove went ballistic on liberals, two weeks ago right?

Anyway, apparently Rove's lawyer is not denying Rove knew that she was classified.
Game, est, match?

The Kid

Patrick – thanks for the hat tip.

TM -
I believe that I first tried to out Plame as Pincus’s source here, and then meandered about a little more here. I brought it up again the other day here.">http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/07/judy_miller_pro.html#comment-6998547">here.

Through the Rosen tirade you linked to the other day, I found this by Pincus interesting:

It turned out that my source, whom I still cannot identify publicly, had in fact disclosed to the prosecutor that he was my source, and he talked to the prosecutor about our conversation. (In writing this story, I am using the masculine pronoun simply for convenience). My attorney discussed the matter with his attorney, and we confirmed that he had no problem with my testifying about our conversation.
Interesting because he carefully avoided the use of “he” or “she” in his June 12, 2003 article.

I’m rather busy at work but am trying to piece together some links on Miller’s possible involvement. So far I know that she returned from Iraq in May 2003. She was embedded with the 75th Exploitation Task Force’s Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha to report on its search for WMD. She left Iraq some time before this June 25, 2003 Kurtz article detailing some of her exploits with MET-Alpha. She apparently directed the team to Ahmed Chalabi’s HQ where it arrested and interrogated Jamal Sultan Tikriti, Saddam’s son-in-law, one of the deck of cards.

It’s not clear if she was still in Iraq when this critique of her reporting appeared on May 25, 2003, but she was there as late as May 7.

If she knew Plame and surmised that Nicky the K had been talking to Wilson, she may have talked to Plame or Wilson by some time in early June. It’s likely that Miller did speak to Plame / Wilson, but was not sympathetic to their mission and misstatements, leaving Wilson to find a reporter at WaPo; Walter was the second choice.

Why no sympathy? This left-winger’s report of a talk Miller gave in early 2004 contains this:

Miller began her talk by describing the political situation in which we in the US today find ourselves, with the country the most polarized since, she said, the days of Vietnam. Sounding implicitly liberal enough with some sarcastic criticism of the Bush administration, she ended her opening remarks with a surprisingly (or not) glorifying description of president Bush and a surprising ultimatum for the audience. In short, she declared that we must take Bush very seriously as a man determined to wage a war against terrorism, and further, that we need to decide whether we are with him or not.
The left is not pleased with Ms, Miller. A left-wing assessment of her work includes this: Miller’s connection to these elements stems from her ties to an interlocking network of right-wing and pro-Zionist think tanks that includes the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Forum. It also offers this observation: The Miller-MET Alpha affair is a devastating exposure of the degeneration of the American media and its incestuous relationship with the American ruling elite.

But back to Wilson / Plame and the timing of what Judy knew and when she knew it. This report of her interview by Investigative journalists Lowell Bergman of the Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism has these nuggets
Ultimately, Miller said, she "wrote the best assessment that I could based on the information that I had." She attempted to tie the controversy over her WMD reporting to her current struggle by saying that she had heard after the fact — after she returned from being embedded with an infantry division in Iraq — that there had been people who had reservations about the WMD intelligence she was receiving.

"I wish they had come forward at the time to express those reservations," she said. "To me, this case that I am now involved in emphasizes the importance of getting as many people as possible to come forward with a dissenting view, or allegations of wrongdoing."
"These waivers are really pernicious," said Miller. "They're yet another way in which the government is trying to make sure that the only people we talk to are the authorized spokesmen cleared to speak to journalists. And if that the kind of news that people want, that's what they're going to get."

Bergman posed a question that some in the media (and many bloggers) are asking: are the sources she may go to jail in order to protect actually whistle-blowers? Or is she protecting people who were trying to manipulate the media into a backlash against Joe Wilson?

"We don't know what their motivation was. People leak for all kinds of reasons," replied Miller. You can't afford to pick and choose your battles when you're fighting for a principle, she implied. "You can wait for the 'perfect' whistle-blower case … [or] go with what you've got."

Another report of the interview, with a few oddities of its own, is here.

Perhaps I can add more much later tonight.


From Kos,

Melman said...
It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks.

SPIN CENTRAL. Rove is in trouble. Otherwise there would be no point in all this.


What woulda have happened if clinton was in office right now? HMMMMM... I wonder?


The White House spokesman dismissed as “ridiculous” the charge that Rove outed Plame. A source familiar with Rove’s conversation acknowledged that Rove spoke to Matthews a few days after Novak’s column appeared, but said that Rove never told Matthews that Wilson’s wife was “fair game”—rather, that it “was reasonable to discuss who sent Wilson to Niger.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3129941/site/newsweek/page/3/ “>Newsweek 10/06/03

I guess we could ask Chris Matthews or the “ridiculous” Scott M. Now there is a man af verified integrity!


And don't forget this snippet of Cooper's e-mail:

"he [Rove] implied strongly that there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger..."

Great-a college drop-out political hitman was deciding whether the intelligence to start a war or not was valid.

Rove and his sycophants are disgusting people.


That, "a college drop-out political hitman" illustrates why you continually misunderestimate him.


Ralph - I appreciate the modesty, and agree. I think you've got some catching up to do on the case, as I did a few days ago. This is a good place to do it. As for knowledge of Plame's work, it's been what redstaters call a Known Fact on the right that Plame's work was widely known in DC for quite a while, well before whatever Andrea Mitchell said. Clifford May is the standard reference for this, when given. Given what we now know, if the answer to my original question is yes, then this Known Fact looks pretty shaky. So my original question stands. As for the Andrea Mitchell thing, the only references I have seen have all been to Powerline's report of a report from a correspondent who saw some unspecified show on MSNBC. So I'd love to get a reference on an actual transcript or video. As for whether Mitchell is a friend of the White House, that too seems to be one of those Known Facts. Recall who her husband is. And while we're at it, recall that Mitchell is a part of this case. She's been subpoened, and there's evidently a hint that the reason Gerald Ford's 90th birthday party guest list was subpoened has to do with Mitchell. And given the casuistic hairsplitting we know has been going on from all corners, it would be nice to actually see what Mitchell said, rather than hearing multiple-hand reports. Do you have any reference? Thanks.


I did underestimate him Kim. Although I thought Bush and Rove would harm the country with their rotten corrupt souls, I never even guessed it would be to this extent.


Bill Gates: The College Dropout Cyber Hit Guy.


Bush and Rove, and Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al have hearts of lions and souls of righteousness.


And Rove has the face of a toad and Bush of a chimp.


See what is in me, not what is on me.


Monica Lewinsky should have tried that defense.


Can't hang your story on an unstainable surface.


New juicy Luskin details up by Byron York, NRO


I am a little gloaty, because this what I asked GT yesterday, what part of 'release" don't you get Cooper? ( for a year and a half this question kept you up at night? call you lawyer for clarification?)

Starting to look more and more like the reporters are indeed protecting THEMSELVES not old Karl Rove, so much for that noble protection.

...It was not until that Wednesday, the day Cooper was to appear in court, that that changed. "Cooper's lawyer called us and said, "Can you confirm that the waiver encompasses Cooper?" Luskin recalls. "I was amazed. He's a lawyer. It's not rocket science. [The waiver] says 'any person.' It's that broad. So I said, 'Look, I understand that you want reassurances. If Fitzgerald would like Karl to provide you with some other assurances, we will.'" Luskin says he got in touch with the prosecutor — "Rule number one is cooperate with Fitzgerald, and there is no rule number two," Luskin says — and asked what to do. According to Luskin, Fitzgerald said to go ahead, and Luskin called Cooper's lawyer back. "I said that I can reaffirm that the waiver that Karl signed applied to any conversations that Karl and Cooper had," Luskin says. After that — which represented no change from the situation that had existed for 18 months — Cooper made a dramatic public announcement and agreed to testify...


Her fabric was covered by Young Foolniture Spray. His was inadequately protected by Old Fartniture Guard.


Peapies, that whole article is pure spin by Luskin trying to CYA the fact that they inadvertently let Cooper out of his pledge. Cooper always says he thought the general waiver was coerced (Miller still holds that), and wouldn't respect it. So Cooper jumped at the chance to get out of jail by citing Luskin's quote to WSJ that "if Cooper's going to jail,it's not to protect Rove" as a specific waiver. This totally caught Rove/Luskin by surprise, and now they're trying to spin it into shinola. Cooper...oh yeah...he was always free to talk...sure..right. BS.

If you think they weren't surprised look how totally flatfooted it caught the whole White House. There's a reason McClellan went into robotic "no comment" mode. They had no prepackaged spin. These guys are dropping the ball everywhere now.


I'm sure our host will have lots to say about the implications of that Byron York piece. I would add to Martin's response to you, peaples, your gloss makes no sense. Cooper protecting himself? Huh?

Also, you leave out the other juicy bits. The issue of Plame's name per se, Luskin agrees, is not a defense Rove is trying to hide behind, it's too legalistic. That settles that with regard to the legal case, and I think it will make life more difficult politically for Rove. Perhaps more significantly, Luskin did not say how Rove learned Plame apparently worked at the CIA, and even more, in the LA Times today Luskin declined to say whether Rove knew she was covert. That strikes me as pretty significant. And Luskin appears to confirm that Rove is a subject of the investigation.


Nice to see your pulling for Rove?

Cooper always says he thought the general waiver was coerced (Miller still holds that), and wouldn't respect it.

who exactly coerces Rove?

And yes, I do think Cooper (and Miller) are protecting themselves...I don't think their cause is noble but a dramatic CYA and...a Time magazine reporter (and apparently his high priced attorney) is perplexed about the meaning of "any person" in the waiver...yet waits a year and 1/2 to get some clarification?

again speculation, but since you did with this

pure spin by Luskin trying to CYA the fact that they inadvertently let Cooper out of his pledge.

how do you know it was inadvertent and why are Coopers word earnest, Luskins' spin?

I am not into pissing matches ( I swear) but it is my feeling this is all being TOO parsed and is much more simple.


Think what you want bro'. Obstinate stupidity gets people to the highest levels of our government.

But tell me this then:

Why didn't Rove himself ever tell us he was a Cooper source?

Cooper was about an hour from jail. If Cooper's lawyer didn't call Roves's lawyer, when was Rove's lawyer going to call Cooper's?



I am not going to get into he stupidity thing. thats lame. Does this scenario sound plausible to you?

Luskin: Cooper lawyer...um I am just calling to make sure that you understand the definition of "any" and "person". Any means "all" and person means 'human being".


and I add J.Podhoretz recent post (not to incite)...even with all the incoming insults that will arise (studipity blah, blah, blah)...is just what I believe

Stick with me--this is a long post.

Byron York has a vital detail in his must-read piece right now on the main part of the NRO website. Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, tells Byron that Time's Matt Cooper called Rove to talk about something else and that only secondarily did the subject of Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame come up.

This is important, because it suggests Rove wasn't "retailing" the information about Wilson and Plame -- wasn't reporter-shopping to drop a dirty dime on those involved -- but was rather a passive source, answering a phone call at the reporter's behest and presumably changing topics to the sexier one at issue at the reporter's behest as well.

Since Rove-centric psychos can devise any scenario whereby he manipulates people into doing everything he wants, I doubt this detail will change any minds in Daily Kos-ville. But it offers an important and nagging clue to the continuing antics of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. What do I mean?

It means that clearly information was circulating around Washington about the identity of Wilson's CIA operative wife Valerie Plame. The presumption has thus far been in most quarters that the only people who could have known about this were administration officials.

But what if that's not right? What if the original source for the "Wilson got the job from his CIA wife" was, in fact, a reporter? After all, we know that the vice president's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, has testified he learned of Plame's identity from a journalist....

the whole thing here



I don't know any ins and outs of this story but I heard it was a big deal for Valerie Plame to be outed because she "worked" for a subsidiary of a big company that was part of a group that dealt with oil and Saudi Arabia or some such and then she was blown for a political revenge type deal because Joe Wilson was right about the deal in Niger -there was none. Another reason to attack Iraq undone. But....Carl Rove had to have a real beef for the guy (and maybe the CIA) to name a CIA operative even if rumors were present. Her neighbors didn't know. I didn't know. But all the big deal about this is because it was a big deal.

Ralph Tacoma


Sorry, I don't have a link, but besides having read it a couple of places, at least, including Powerline, a couple of local friends who are avid political talk show watchers reported it to me. Of course, they may have been "remembering it" based on a blog reference, I didn't cross examine them on that point, and I agree that it's a bit of a "soft data point" at this stage.

Hard to KNOW anything in something this complex when one lacks subpoena powers!

Ralph Tacoma

This has, I'm certain, been posted here in the past, but just for reference, here's link broken into multiple iines for the actual text of what most of us assume is the "applicable act," though, of course, Fitzgerald is not restricted to only this piece of US Code:

Here's the link broken into multiple lines:


You can past each line follwing the ending slash on the former line to get the complete code.

Ralph Tacoma

Does anyone KNOW what security clearances Rove held at the time of his discussion with Cooper?

A related issue is whether it would be reasonable to assume that the identities of covert agents would be general knowledge in the White House. I would think that there would be know "need to know" for such material in the White House.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Rove wasn't "retailing" the information about Wilson and Plame -- wasn't reporter-shopping to drop a dirty dime on those involved -- but was rather a passive source, answering a phone call at the reporter's behest...'

Which confirms what Novak said, the information came almost off-handedly, as an answer to a question he asked about why Wilson was chosen to go to Niger.

In and of itself, that Valerie recommended her husband does NOT discredit him. She's saying he's got qualifications that would be useful. Perfectly logical.

It's Wilson's odd reaction, and the consistent lying about the recommendation, that is interesting. It tells me he (and she?) has a guilty conscience.

Ralph Tacoma

Oops, that should have read:

"I would think that there would be know NOT "need to know" for such material in the White House."


Patrick-one more item from John Podhoretz.

"...Wilson had gotten very cozy with a couple of them -- Walter Pincus of the Washington Post and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times among them. What if he spilled the beans to enhance his own standing in the story somehow, to bolster his supposed findings?" and then from the posting above about Wilson blogging on Kerry

Guest (Oct 29, 2003 11:07:37 AM)
At what point did you lose faith in the Bush Administration and why exactly do you fell that John Kerry is the best candidate?

*** Joe Wilson (Oct 29, 2003 11:09:25 AM)
When Bush the candidate went to South Carolina and ran a subrosa campaign against McCain accusing his wife of being a drug addict and his kids of not being white (as if that mattered). That is not the change of tone I was looking for. When the neoconservatives got control of our national security policy, I knew we needed to mobilize to fight


Patrick, so it was sometime in 2000 or early 2001 that Wilson mobilized?


Your attack on Wilson looks pretty lame now that I've read todays Republican talking points:



Thanks, Jerry.

Given how each of the facts forming the basis for those talking points are extremely well-documented (coming as they do from a Senate Intelligence Committee report, in which Wilson's own sworn testimony undermined his earler, non-sworn, hysterical, public claims), it looks like claiming "attacks" on Wilson is all you have left.

This story won't damage Rove, but it will end up burning a bit more of the Beltway media's and Dems' credibility. Crying wolf once again.

Jon H

"coming as they do from a Senate Intelligence Committee report,"

Well, sort of.

Many of them, including most of Sue Schmidt's WaPo article, come from an APPENDIX to the report, which was only approved of by three Republican members of the committe.

They don't appear in the main body of the report which had bipartisan support.

ie, much of the stuff against Wilson is partisan and questionable, because it appeared in a partisan appendix to the report.

The Kid

Ralph –

Even if Rove had a top secret clearance (which is likely), neither he nor anyone else in the White House would have a need to know the identities of covert agents. Such information is very closely held within the agency that manages the agent.


Ok, Jeff wants to know if the Cliff May NRO piece he cited is the ur-source for the "her status was common knowledge" theme. I will say that I think it is (and I recall Josh Marshall disputing it, and noting that May is hooked into Perle and the neocons).

And recently, Andrea Mitchell was mentioned in an Update at Powerline. I spent five minutes casting about for a transcript and quit.

And this Oct 2003 Post story certainly does not say that her cover was widely blown.

GT - I am not saying that emphasizing the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's maiden name back in 2003 made sense - obviously, "his wife is CIA" uncovers her. I am pointing out that that, in focusing on it, partisan Dem critics made no sense.

But to the extent there was any logic, their theme was, anyone who took the trouble to learn her maiden name must have done a bit of research, which proved this leak was planned.

Well, her name was not included, and maybe the leak was not particularly well planned.

The Kid, Master of Pronouns - I'll Be Damned.

I have read that Pincus has done national security for years, so I assume he knows many CIA analysts. I don't know how you turn it into something, but that sure is interesting.

I suppose someone could ask Pincus, but he won't be saying. Some days we think we are peeling the onion, other days we think we are reading it.

Also Tom whther Wilson lied or not is totally irrelavnt to what is being investigated. Heck, hew could be a mass murderer and it wouldn't change anything.

In the court of public opinion, establishing a plausible motive for Rove is helpful. What Tex calls slinging mud, I call establishing context - rebutting Wilson and gauging his credibility was a reasonable exercise (from the perspective of a right wing hack, anyway - heck, I was doing it myself on July 14, 2003, and how little I knew).


"Which confirms what Novak said, the information came almost off-handedly, as an answer to a question he asked about why Wilson was chosen to go to Niger."

Righto Patrick Sullivan, it confirms you spin just as incompetently as the worst of them.

Here's what Novak said just one week after his infamous cloumn ran:

"Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."



And check out Murray Waas-he's saying Novak cooperated with the feds-and the feds dont believe him!

The Kid

Well, Tom, I’d rather be a master of pronouns that a master at putting worms on a hook.

Since Pincus used Wilson as a source, it seems likely that he’d take as gospel what Wilson’s designated CIA analyst had to say about Iraqi WMD. This is an assumption, the result of analysis, but seems to track with what else we know, and it’s a case where the pronoun did not bark.

Given the timeline, it’s likely that Wilson or Plame tried to contact her before talking to Pincus, but Judy wasn’t interested in helping the opposition out.

I’m surer now after reading John Podhoretz’s NRO Corner post. Don’t forget that Miller managed to get a clearance for her WMD-search trip to Iraq. Fitz may be wondering if she disclosed / disseminated classified information that she acquired while her clearance was active.

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