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July 11, 2005

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Lola

Boy, somehow this smells like a very smelly fishing expedition with a touch of amateurism. Much ado about nothing. Especially when it's an open secret in certain circles, what with a pretty blonde who causes heads to turn everywhere she goes.

ed

Hmmm.

Newly revealed documents now show that another of Cooper's secret sources, and quite possibly Novak's source as well, is a well known entertainment figure with a long and checkered history of political manipulation.

Click to view this source.

Joe Mealyus

Following your link, Kleiman says that Cooper's testimony is "likely to send [Rove] to prison," by which he means he thinks Rove could go to prison for outing Plame (following his own link, it's clear).

But yesterday in the comments to the JOM post "Approaching My Quota" commenter Geek, Esq. linked to the Newsweek article, suggesting prison for Rove because "he fibbed to the grand jury."

I think Geek, Esq. reads the tea leaves correctly - the Newsweek article, if accurate, means there's no real chance of Rove ever being indicted for outing Plame - so if he's to be frog-marched, perjury will have to do.

ed

Hmmm.

I find it amazing that so many people predict perjury on the part of Rove, when they haven't the slightest idea what Rove's testimony was.

It's funny really. I've got a friend who believes in Creationism, and he's got more proof for that than you folks for your own ridiculous theories.

On another note, does anyone else find it rather ridiculous that people who wholeheartedly believe in evolution are doing their very best to stop it?

I.e. Endangered Species Act.

Isn't the entire premise behind evolution that some species will adapt and others will die out?

*shrug* sorry. Usually I'm interested in the discussions here, but the facts are rather thin and there really isn't much basis for a debate.

Jeff

Here's my current question. Where does this idea that naming an agent in and of itself is an issue come from? As far as I can see, the IIPA says nothing specifically about naming a covert agent. The law forbids intentionally disclosing "any information identifying such covert agent."

Here's the WSJ today: "Mr. Rove hasn't denied speaking to Mr. Cooper but has said all along that he never named Ms. Plame, who is Mr. Wilson's wife. If he did -- before Mr. Novak's article appeared and her name became public -- he could be in violation of a 1982 law prohibiting the leaking of CIA agents' names. It isn't clear whether Mr. Rove mentioned Ms. Plame by name to Mr. Cooper or even knew she was undercover, which special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald would need to know to prove Mr. Rove violated the law, known as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. That law says it is a crime to knowingly expose the status of an active-duty CIA agent, and it is unclear whether "naming" would literally have to be the person's name." On the one hand, Rove could very well have said "Valerie Plame" instead of "Wilson's wife" without that in and of itself being a violation of the law. The key issue there is rather whether he knew of her covert status. On the other hand, what's with the WSJ putting "naming" in quotes in that last sentence? Where does that come from? I see that Pejmanesque seems to go in for this too, and I think I heard Wolf Blitzer fall for it too. Is this what they call a Known Fact? I take it the idea is being fostered by Luskin's and Rove's insistence that he did not tell, and did not know, Plame's name. But what is that about?

Lesley

The witch's brew in this cauldron just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

When was it that Joe Wilson made his Karl Rove + "frog marched" comment?

Tom, thanks for staying on top of this story. Its been a mental tilt-a-whirl and I don't know how you've managed to avoid the motion sickness.

gt

So when can we expect Rove to be fired, as Bush promised two years ago?

Or will the Right come up with new excuses as to what Bush meant?

Cecil Turner

"I take it the idea is being fostered by Luskin's and Rove's insistence that he did not tell, and did not know, Plame's name. But what is that about?"

Early on several folks, including Kevin Drum read some significance into the name thing:

Here's the thing: the Washington Post article I blogged about this morning said, among other things, that a Post reporter was one of the targets of the White House leakers back in July. However, the reporter says that his source didn't mention Valerie Plame's name, only that "Joseph Wilson's wife" worked for the CIA. This supports the theory that perhaps no one was really trying to expose Plame's covert activities, but instead did it inadvertantly. [sic]
He goes on to suggest there's no rational explanation for using "Plame," and Novak's using it is an indicaton of guilt. Wilson said something similar right after the scandal broke, and McClellan specifically denied Rove used her name. I suspect that's what they're trying to address, but I agree it comes off as a Clintonian "is" exercise (as do McClellan's earlier denials on Rove's behalf).

guy

Jeff --

I imagine the "naming" semantics are a way for Rove to possibly slip off the hook (if there is a hook) -- he claims that he didn't actually "name" a covert agent, he just said "Joe Wilson's wife".

Seixon

Plame's name was never a secret, so the fact that Rove didn't even know it, and didn't say it, shows that he was even more out of the loop than most people.

The whole "name" thing is a red herring.

The real truth here is: Rove did not blow Plame's cover. He never said she was a covert agent, and neither did Cooper in his column.

Thus, Rove is not guilty of anything, and thus there should be no reason for Bush to fire him at all.

So the question remains, did anyone actually blow her cover? Or did the Wilsons, and the liberal press, actually blow her cover on their own?

Novak's wording was ambiguous, and Cooper's unambiguous language stated merely that Plame worked at the CIA, nothing about covert status.

See a summary of this at my blog (My trackback isn't working atm)

gt

Seixon,

That makes no sense. How would you know if Plame's name was a secret or not? Obviously the CIA thought it was. You know more than they do?

Why do Rightwingers continue repeating this nonsense that Plame's status was well known. If it was so well known how come neither Novak nor Judith Miller nor Matt Cooper knew about it? How come the CIA thought it was a secret?

kim

Just as what AG would not recuse himself from such a sensitive investigation, what CIA bureaucrat would take the initiative to not refer the matter for investigation?

So much, qt, for what the CIA thought.
=============================

gt

Kim,

You seem to not know what the facts of the case are. Ask Tom.

If it was clear from the beginning that Plame was not a covert operative then the CIA would not have made the referral, the DoJ would not have accepted it and Ashcroft would not have named Fitzgerald. It's the very first question they need to ask, is there a crime or not. If Plame's status was widely known, as so many now claim without a bit of evidence, then there can be no crime.

Jeff

Thanks for the responses, guy and Cecil. guy, you're begging exactly the question I was asking. Where do you get the idea that there is something specifically problematic about *naming* as opposed to otherwise identifying Plame? As I said, this is certainly not a part of the IIPA. Is there some other law Rove is trying to wriggle out of by this means?

Cecil, I believe Drum way back when was probably on the right track. The insistence now that Rove did not name Plame accomplishes two objectives. First, it means that, by the most casuistic of rules, what we are discovering now is consistent with what McLellan et al said back at the start. From what I hear of McLellan's press conference today, the press is not impressed by the Bush administration's casuistry thus far. But second, and more significantly for Rove's legal fate, the name issue allows Rove to deny that he knew she was a covert agent because, I am guessing, "Valerie Plame" or "Plame" is how she is referred to in the relevant classified documents. So by never using her name, Rove can now claim some plausibility for the claim that he never saw the classified documents and never heard about them -- thereby slipping through one of the loopholes in the IIPA. For my own part, if that is the scenario, it was all done too deliberately to be believable. But as ed likes to say, there's no proof.

Unless, unless Rove told Cooper on triple secret background that Wilson's wife was a covert agent, but told him not to tell anyone, even his editors. Hence it's not in the email, but it is in the forthcoming testimony. But I seriously doubt that. Who knows? Maybe Fitzgerald has some other evidence. And this of course doesn't address the obvious real-life issue that Rove did some awful stuff, even if he's safe from legal sanction.

kim

How tiring to have to be so explicit. This case was TOO HOT to leave alone, thanks to the wailing of the Wilson and the gnashing of the NYTwyts.

Now I am hoping Fitzgerald has gone on with this because he is investigating the fraud of the Yellow Cake Papers and the perjury of Joe.
===============================
================================

Seixon

gt, apparently the media has you completely bamboozled. You don't seem to know the difference between exposing someone's name, and exposing their position.

Her NAME was never a secret. Her POSITION was a secret.

Try to keep up, mk?

You might have started by reading my blog post. ;)

gt

Seixon,

Is that what you are reduced to? Playing word games?

Please let me know in the future and I'll just avoid pointless discussions.

Kim,

I suggest you read Tom's posts on the subject.

peapies

I am probably wrong, but something tells me that these reporters are "doing the noble" thing really to save their own asses, not the other way around. I think the only sources their protecting is themselves (and other reporters) and that is why Luskin is perfectly happy to play the word game, drip, drip, drip! I think Rove knows they can't finger him, and he can actually finger them (for lack of a better phrase) and so he is havin' a bit of fun! I mean come on, if Rove and Co. signed the dang release in 2003---HELLO, 2003? what is quite so complicated about that Cooper? you think you could have gotten a little clarification in a year 1/2 time if weren't sure release meant release?

I could be wrong, but I'm thinking these reporters and their employeers are wiggling out of mess they created and committed.

Much more noble to go to jail under the "protecting my source" card, then the- UH I am my own source, I knew the story and I've been lying about what I KNEW, pushed, pumped.

gt

Peapies,

Er, exactly what mess do you think Cooper created? What did Cooper or Miller lie about?

kim

I have read them. The technicalities of the referral have been made irrelevant by the importance of the story. Remember, I asked you to imagine this story not being referred for investigation.
=================================

gt

Kim,

What are you talking about? Technicalities of the referral?

Either Plame was covert operative or she wasn't. If she wasn't the CIA would have never made any referral and Fitzgerald would be doing something else right now.

Not even Tom pretends that Plame's position was widely known prior to Novak's column. This is just made up stuff which has nothing to back it up.

Cecil Turner

"the name issue allows Rove to deny that he knew she was a covert agent because, I am guessing, "Valerie Plame" or "Plame" is how she is referred to in the relevant classified documents."

Doubtful. The available description of the most likely source (the "INR memo") provides all the deniability he needs:

The report stated that Wilson's wife had attended a meeting at the CIA where the decision was made to send Wilson to Niger, but it did not mention her last name or undercover status.
The name issue is more likely an attempt to bolster the claim that his motive was news management as opposed to retaliation against a whistleblower.

"And this of course doesn't address the obvious real-life issue that Rove did some awful stuff, even if he's safe from legal sanction."

Perhaps, but pointing out Wilson's story wasn't entirely kosher doesn't appear to be all that heinous. And if it was an inadvertent result of the meeting where Plame suggested he be sent, it seems like a bit of poetic justice.

kim

And I'm directly addressing your assumption that the CIA would not have made the referral unless Valerie Plame was a covert operative. That assumption ain't necessarily so.
=============================

Guy

Jeff wrote
guy, you're begging exactly the question I was asking. Where do you get the idea that there is something specifically problematic about *naming* as opposed to otherwise identifying Plame? As I said, this is certainly not a part of the IIPA. Is there some other law Rove is trying to wriggle out of by this means?

In answering your first question, I don't get that idea. But this case has political as well as legal ramifications, and Rove might be doing his wriggling with that in mind.

gt

Sorry Kim I have no idea where you got that idea from. That is the central point of this whole debate. The CIA would have never made the referral and, even more importanly, Fitzgerald and the DoJ would have never taken the case if she was not a covered person.

peapies

GT, funny you should ask...I just stumbled on this...

http://www.aim.org/aim_column/3833_0_3_0_C/

except...

Why Judith Miller Should Stay In Jail
By Cliff Kincaid | July 11, 2005

This doesn't make sense because her "source" provided a waiver, releasing Miller from any promise of confidentiality.
Something doesn't add up about why Judith Miller went to jail. The New York Times reporter didn't write a story about the Valerie Plame case and had a waiver from her source in order to talk about it to the grand jury. But she insisted on going to jail anyway. Speculation is mounting that Miller is protecting herself─that Miller was herself a source of information about Plame that made it to several Bush administration officials and was then recycled to columnist Robert Novak. He, then, disclosed Plame's employment by the CIA and her role in arranging for her husband Joe Wilson's mission to Africa to investigate the Iraq-uranium link.

This would help explain why Miller didn't write a story about the case. It would be difficult for Miller to write a story when she was so deeply involved in how it developed. Disclosure of her role then or now would be extremely embarrassing.

Wilson had written a column for the Times bashing the administration's Iraq policy and it would have been natural for Miller to write something when Novak's column was published. But Miller didn't write anything. Why? Defenders of the Times have used this fact to allege that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, is out of control and that free-press rights are in danger. But there could be another explanation of Miller's behavior and why Fitzgerald wants her testimony. She could be the key to exonerating Bush administration officials of possible violations of the law against knowingly disclosing the identities of covert intelligence agents. If they were simply passing along information from Miller or some other journalist about Joseph Wilson's wife, then they can't be accused of deliberately disclosing classified information about Plame's identity.

The assumption all along has been that Miller is going to jail to protect a source. This doesn't make sense because her "source" provided a waiver, releasing Miller from any promise of confidentiality. These waivers have enabled several reporters to testify in the case. Why should Miller be any different, unless her relationship with her "source" is different? In other words, what if the "source" was an official who may have given some information to Miller but received some important information in return and then passed it on to others already questioned by Fitzgerald? This would explain why Miller, who didn't write a story, got dragged into the case.

KC

Doesn't anyone find it odd that news outlets are calling for Rove's firing, when they could have merely advised their own reporters to testify and have him indicted months ago? Or that there was concern that "the source's" waiver was "coerced?" If the source is Rove, by whom was his waiver coerced? His boss, G. Bush? Who now must fire him for . . . .?

kim

A central point on which we differ. Ashcraft recused himself, and the CIA made the referral because Wilson and MSM made this a huge deal. The only way to settle it politically was to get an independent(apparently) investigator. Part of his job is to determine whether or not Plame is a covered person.

See? That's where I get the idea.
==============================

ed

Hmmm.

My goofy idea that Wilson was the original source of the leak is starting to look pretty good. There's no evidence whatsoever, but that's not stopping anyone else so I'm still in this race.

:)

peapies

KC- excellent point! Actually that is the central head scratch for me...Rove is the guy reporters are willing to go to jail to protect? Since when? I mean the alternative -- which you suggest--I would assume that the press would be sending flowers to Cooper and Miller if it were.

and for what it is worth...to the debate...

Hilail Gildin writes: "Andrea Mitchell was asked, on MSNBC, whether it was generally known to news people, before the hullabaloo, that Ms. Plame worked for the CIA. She answered, somewhat reluctantly, that it was. In the light of this, I don't understand the ensuing fuss."

gt

Kim, two points

First, I think you have the timeline wrong. Other than Wilson nobody paid attention to this for several weeks after Novak published his column. There was an article in The Nation (IIRC) by David Corn but that's about it.

This became more widely known when the CIA made the referral, about two months after Novak's column. A lot of liberal bloggers had been trying to puch this story with no success. That changed, a bit, whe the CIA made it official by making the referral. In other words it's the exact opposite of what you say. It wasn't the CIA that was "under pressure" from the MSM but the MSM reacted to what the CIA did (refer it to the DoJ). I'm working from memory here so I could be wrong but that's what I recall.

Second, if you were right then Ashcroft and Fitzgerald should be jailed for incompetence, no matter how much pressure they were under. Particularly Fitzgerald. The very first question they need to ask before any investigation is whether a crime could have been committed. If Plame was not a covert operative then there is no crime. Period. If that's the case the CIA, the DoJ, Ashcroft and Fitzgerald are all fools, to put it mildly.

Your theory doesn't fit the timeline and really doesn't make much sense. Everyone agrees Fitzgerald is a top notch prosecutor. The idea that he forgot to ask whether Plame was covered by the law or that he decide to continue the investigation even if she was not covered makes no sense at all.

ed

Hmmm.

Or here's a good one. What if Plame/Wilson were the conduit for leaks coming from "an unnamed source in the CIA"?

Plame tells her husband things she, or others in the CIA, want leaked. Her husband, the publicity hound, then talks to reporters and then leaks to them.

In this scenario Plame signs the standard waiver releasing Miller, but it doesn't absolve Miller at all because Plame isn't her source. Her source is, technically, Wilson, who hasn't signed anything.

Hey! I'm getting pretty good at this. In a couple minutes I'm going to weave in Boris and Natasha from Bullwinkle. Why?

Because I gots da talent!

Jon Sandor

ed

I'm taking Miller. She never wrote a story on this, yet she was called to testify, and refused. Why?

Plus, the NY Slimes, after initally demanding this investigation, backed away from it and suggested that perhaps there was no crime here after all.

And now that the investigation contines (gets close to home?) they are launching an all out attack to get Rove. The best defense is a good offense?

gt

Doesn't anyone find it odd that news outlets are calling for Rove's firing, when they could have merely advised their own reporters to testify and have him indicted months ago?

Not at all. The news media is very protective of the confidentiality of its sources (a lifeblood of sorts) and would have no interest in doing something that would put that in jeopardy.

Plus I think you are confusing the editorial pages with the reporters. An editorial page chief has no influence of any kind over an investigative reporter.

Finally it was Bush that said he would fire anyone who had leaked the information. But he may have to http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2005_07_10.php#006049>change his mind.

flenser

gt

"The very first question they need to ask before any investigation is whether a crime could have been committed. If Plame was not a covert operative then there is no crime."


There is a very obvious logical flaw in that that chain of thought.

Robin Roberts

Actually gt, it is clear that you do not understand this issue at all.

The fine details of what Karl Rove said and what he knew are important, not as semantics, but as elements of the crime. If the prosecutor cannot satisfy all the elements of the crime, then there wasn't one. But this seems to escape you. It doesn't escape Kleiman but in his case he's intentionally misrepresenting the facts for his own partisan reasons.

It simply isn't true that the CIA's referral itself establishes that Plame was covert within the meaning of the statute. The referral could have been made for political reasons, or the CIA may be attempting to push an interpretation of the statute that is much broader than its language. No matter how often you keep repeating it, it remains that the referral itself is not proof of anything.

And its been often reported that Plame's status was DC cocktail party gossip before Novak's column as the Andrea Mitchell quotation reveals.

The real core issue is that Joe Wilson has been shown to be a serial liar and Democrats are trying to pump hot air into the Plame matter to conceal that fact.

kim

I see you've decided to become droll. You try to tell me nobody much paid attention to this at the same time we are being treated to a litany of the gossip of the powerful and influential who apparently could think of little else to talk about at the time.

What makes you think Fitzgerald is limited to investigating a so-called Plame outing?
=========================

flenser

gt

"Finally it was Bush that said he would fire anyone who had leaked the information."

Have you considered, even for a second, the possibility that the leaker may not be employed by Bush?

That the leaker may well be a journalist?

peapies

gt-
no offense, but

Not at all. The news media is very protective of the confidentiality of its sources (a lifeblood of sorts) and would have no interest in doing something that would put that in jeopardy.

puleese

I mean in general, maybe, but "sources" is a loose term these days--I don't think I need to site all

and
this exception (on the part of Cooper and Miller from the beginning) would not even horrify the most ethical of reporters if the prize was Rove

gt

Kim,

We are discussing it NOW. We were not discussing this particular angle (outing of Plame and the link to the WH) until the CIA made the referral, which was about two months after the Novak column. Check the timeline.

Robin,

The CIA referral may not prove that Plame was an operative but if she wasn't then there would be no need for a referral. Assume that the CIA did it for political reasons (which they could be I have no idea but let's assume); first the DoJ and then Fitzgerald had an opportunity to check this. And yet they continued. Plus you can read what the judges have said of this, posted by Tom among others.

This particular line, that Plame may not be covered by the statute after all, is somehting I've only seen in some right wing blogs but nowhere else. There are doubts whether whoever leaked her name did it knowingly and who that person is. But nowhere other than right wing hangouts have I seen anybody pretend that Plame wasn't even a covert operative.

gt

Peapie,

No offense taken, I don't think you know how the media operates or how important the confidnetiality of their sources is.

Plus you confuse the editorial pages (which I assume are the ones you have in mind when you say the newsmedia is calling for Rove's resignation) with the investigative reporters who talked with Rove directly. The editorial page staff has no leverage over the reporters.

kim

QT: The conversations that Fitzgerald is pursuing were THEN. We are talking about 2 years ago, not NOW.
================================

gt

Kim,

Your theory is that the CIA was pressured to refer the case to the DoJ because the newsmedia kept talking about a potential leak from the WH.

I am telling you that that's not what happened. that in fact it was the exact opposite. The newsmedia mostly ignored this story despite the efforts from several liberal bloggers. It caused a little commotion right after Novaks' column but by the time the CIA made the referral the newsmedia had forgotten about it. It became a hot topic only after the CIA made the referral becasue it was the first time that we had any proof that a crime may have been committed.

flenser

If memory serves, right after this came out, Wilson was running around demanding that Rove be arrested. That struck me as very odd at the time. It strikes me as even odder now.

Did Wilson and Plame plant this whole story to begin with? Is that why Miller is being questioned, and is that what FitzGerald is looking into? It seems highly unlikly he is sending Miller to jail just for kicks. There is a lot more happening here than the (leaked?) emails indicate.

KC

gt;
Well, it's also a pretty big story on the front page of the Times right now, which is not written by the editorial staff.
Somewhere in all this mess, the prosecutor recently stated that Judith MIller's source was known, and had signed a waiver releasing her to testify. Miller stated that she would still not testify because she was concerned that the waiver was "coerced" and not sincere.
By whom would Karl Rove's waiver have been coerced? If Bush had to coerce a waiver out of him against his will because he knew he was guilty, why not fire him then?

kim

You are willing to hypothesize that the CIA referred it for political reasons. Now go one step further and see that DOJ and Fitzgerald also have to pursue it to its end for political reasons. And the judges? They have a reputable prosecutor saying he needs more info to do his job.

That this has proceeded this far is no proof that Plame was outed.
===============================
==============================

sammy small

IIRC, Plame had been under covert status in the past but currently not acting in that capacity. Still I suppose the law would apply.

The Kincaid article referenced earlier really puts forward a superb premise. My thought since day one was that knowledge of a covert operative would not be privy to Rove or anyone else in the WH. The CIA doesn't keep operatives covert by trotting their names out on any report or briefing outside the walls of Langley.

If one buys that premise, then her name would have had to come from inside Langley. The connection between Miller, Plame (as proposed in the article) and Wilson sure points in that direction.

gt

Kim,

Well, we shall see. You may be right but if you are all involved should be fired.

I have a hard time believing, based on what I read of him, that Fitzgerald would participate in something like this without making sure that Plame was covered by the statute. This is a guy who said no to Ashcroft (his boss) when he was asked to lobby for the Patriot Act.

kim

QT: You've overly emphasized my contention that it was political pressure from MSM that forced the referral. The pressure was from the Washington Echo Chamber. You don't know that the impetus for the referral didn't come from Tenet's boss.

I think you are naive or perhaps, simply hopeful, but I fail to understand why you can't imagine that Fitzgerald is not investigating things other than an 'outing' of Plame. He is not allowed to ignore evidence of other criminality and Joe Wilson alone can keep him busy for awhile.
=============================
================================

flenser

Speaking of other criminality, somebody leaked the selected portions of Coopers email that everyone is going ape over. Clearly that was a deliberate and malicious act on someones part, and grounds for another investigation.

Somebody, it seems, was not very confident that the investigation was going their way, and thought it proper to try to steer it back in a different direction.

kim

Yes, we shall see. That there is this much suspense is a testimony to Fitzgerald's style, the complexity of the case, and the passions enflaming all sides.
==============================

Seixon

gt,

Word games?

So revealing someone's name, and revealing someone's role as a covert agent, is the same thing?

Her name was never a secret, it was on the internet for all to see.

Her role as a covert agent, was a secret.

Rove did not reveal her as a covert agent, and did not even say her name.

What you got gt?

Rove is not the one you're looking for. The person who blew Plame's cover is someone else. Judy Miller probably knows, which is why she is not telling.

And no, she is not covering because of any principles.

She is not protecting a whistleblower, she is protecting a potential criminal. That has nothing to do with freedom of the press, and confidentiality of sources. It has all to do with being an accessory to a crime.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "The CIA referral may not prove that Plame was an operative but if she wasn't then there would be no need for a referral. "

Evidently you've never heard of "neither confirm nor deny". The simple fact is that the CIA responded the way they did, requesting but not demanding redacting her name, because they don't want to create a process where undercover officers can be confirmed.

2. "Did Wilson and Plame plant this whole story to begin with? Is that why Miller is being questioned, and is that what FitzGerald is looking into?"

I should have my own TV series. Hmmm. What to name it. "Magnum Ed"? "The Ed Files"?

Now that's going to take some work.

3. It's pretty obvious the Bush administration doesn't like leakers. It's also fairly obvious that the very public "hue and cry" over this issue was perfect cover for a complete investigation of Washington journalists and the intelligence services.

There really isn't any other situation or scenario that would have afforded the Bush administration an opportunity such as this. Under any other circumstance the news organizations would have scream bloody murder at the presumption of the WH to investigate them.

So the existence of a crime is pretty much moot. There is no way you can infer that a crime has been committed by the simple existence of this prosecutor.

It seems the most logical, and simplest answer to me.

ed

Hmmm.

"Ed: For Hire"?

"The Adventures of Ed"?

"Murder Ed Wrote"?

peapies

GT
No offense taken, I don't think you know how the media operates or how important the confidnetiality of their sources is.

Yes I do understand how the media operates, and in theory their protection of sources. It is just that I simply do not believe it (or that it is so honorably protected anymore). In other-words I do not believe the media (at least the crowd today) employs such ethics. I believe they are agenda driven therefore lapses in Jouno- 101 are more than accepted overall. Additionally, I am not very persuaded these days by the loose term "source"...as evidenced by recent various big stories. AND even more recently, not very convinced the sources are even breathing...ie, NYT Blair, Sac Bee's Erwin and the notorious 43.

Plus you confuse the editorial pages (which I assume are the ones you have in mind when you say the newsmedia is calling for Rove's resignation) with the investigative reporters who talked with Rove directly. The editorial page staff has no leverage over the reporters.

Maybe. However, I am not 100% convinced that EB never confers, consults, coffees or cocktails with news staff in general. However, it is interesting that the NY Times would construct such huge inter-departmental communication barriers, yet every member of the Bush Administration participated in all the PRE- Iraq intell., gitmo, abu garib conference calls.

Look if Rove intentionally outed Plame, the bye-bye a-hole. But sorry... my respect and trust in journalist is not very high. So I find pretty plausible that much of this is self-protection.

Slack

Let's see here: Each and every time the Left gets in a conspiratorial lather and demands the resignation of an administration official, it blows up in their faces.

Remember when the demanded the resignation of Ashcroft, Ridge, Powell? How about Delay? How about Rumsfeld?

And each and every single time, they fail because they want to believe things that don't withstand scrutiny.

This case is no different. Liberalism has become a comedic disease that keeps on giving. They gleefully step into the minefield over and over again - and they never, ever learn from their mistakes.

peapies

stack..doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results? Isn't there is a technical name for that?

nigetufnel11

Go ed go!

CSI: ED
NYED Blue
The EDtouchables
Starsky, Hutch...and ED!

Random Numbers

Ed Hammer?

Random Numbers

Considering this stems from a column by Bob Novak, let's see what he had too say about it...

The current Justice investigation stems from a routine, mandated probe of all CIA leaks, but follows weeks of agitation. Wilson, after telling me in July that he would say nothing about his wife, has made investigation of the leak his life's work -- aided by the relentless Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. These efforts cannot be separated from the massive political assault on President Bush.
...
During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." 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.

....
How big a secret was it? 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.

A big question is her duties at Langley. I regret that I referred to her in my column as an "operative," a word I have lavished on hack politicians for more than 40 years. While the CIA refuses to publicly define her status, the official contact says she is "covered" -- working under the guise of another agency. However, an unofficial source at the Agency says she has been an analyst, not in covert operations.

The Justice Department investigation was not requested by CIA Director George Tenet. Any leak of classified information is routinely passed by the Agency to Justice, averaging one a week. This investigative request was made in July shortly after the column was published. Reported only last weekend, the request ignited anti-Bush furor.

From Novak's Townhall Archive.

How much do you want to bet Rove was the one who said,"Oh? You know about it?"

Jabba the Tutt

Mister Ed.

Slartibartfast
Rove is not the one you're looking for.

These are not the droids you're looking for.

kim

A source is a source,
Of course, of course.
And no one can talk to a source, of course.
Unless of course the source is a sorcerer,
Whose name is Mr. Karl.
=============================

Cecil Turner

"This particular line, that Plame may not be covered by the statute after all, is somehting I've only seen in some right wing blogs but nowhere else."

Perhaps the best argument to that effect was put forward in the Washington Post by Victoria Toensing and Bruce Sanford:

As two people who drafted and negotiated the scope of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, we can tell you: The Novak column and the surrounding facts do not support evidence of criminal conduct.
They also address the specific question of whether she was "covert" under the statute:
Since Plame had been living in Washington for some time when the July 2003 column was published, and was working at a desk job in Langley (a no-no for a person with a need for cover), there is a serious legal question as to whether she qualifies as "covert."

Martin

Plamegate is just like the Lewinsky scandal except the rightwing is playing the part of the blue dress.

Appalled Moderate

My two cents.

Rove's possible involvement was discussed ad nauseam in September - October 2003. White House officials went out of there way to say Rove was not involved in the leak and Bush would fire people responsible for the leak.

It turns out Rove was involved in discussing "Wilson's wife" with at least one reporter. And Rove is still employed.

Why wouldn't the press be interested? They were clearly deliberately misled earlier? How do you expect them to react?

None of this means Rove committed a crime. If lying to the press were a crime, all public officials would be in jail. But that doesn't mean they are not going to make an issue of it. And iot's a bit much to expect that Democratic politicians will not use the opportunity to beat up on Karl a bit. If I were a Democrat, I'd want to see Rove depart. Why not make his life tough on an issue where he's caught out denying the fact he worked to slime someone's integrity?

kim

And if the apparent DNA test, Miller's testimony, reveals a donor other than Rove, then who is dragged in, adorned by the dress?
==============================

kim

And if the apparent DNA test, Miller's testimony, reveals a donor other than Rove, then who is dragged in, adorned by the dress?
==============================

Cecil Turner

"Why not make his life tough on an issue where he's caught out denying the fact he worked to slime someone's integrity?"

Rove's (proxy) denials do appear to be the worst part of this. But the "slim[ing]" accusation would be a lot more convincing if the guy whose integrity was in question hadn't made a similar denial:

"Valerie had nothing to do with the matter," Wilson wrote in a memoir published this year. "She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."
And been engaged in serial deception himself at the time. Podhoretz doesn't even mention his biggest "whopper" (claiming he'd debunked the bogus Niger uranium documents):
"Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said. Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.

Appalled Moderate

Cecil:

I actually had the unfortunate Ms. Wilson in mind as the person being slimed (she being identified as the type of person who would assign a junket to her husband). I agree that Amb. Wilson is a hopeless showboat and likely liar. I'm not going to waste pixels discussing him because I figure he just might get a tiny bit of joy out of the attention.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Starsky, Hutch...and ED!"

ROFL! But where do I sit? In the back? Oh that'll suck. :)

2. "Mister Ed."

HAHAHA! Da Winner!

3. "It turns out Rove was involved in discussing "Wilson's wife" with at least one reporter. And Rove is still employed."

Interesting. Saddam deserves a trial, but Rove is automatically guilty.

What I'm curious about is how Wilson/Plame handled her employment at the CIA. Was it in fact a secret at all since marrying an Ambassador isn't exactly a low profile thing.

Cecil Turner

"I actually had the unfortunate Ms. Wilson in mind as the person being slimed (she being identified as the type of person who would assign a junket to her husband)."

If she weren't involved, that'd undoubtedly be fair. But it's worth remembering that this is her field of expertise, not his. And ISTM the most logical explanation for Wilson's involvement is the disaffected-CIA-analyst-group theory. The curious assignment process, and fact that he apparently did not execute a non-disclosure agreement, which would normally be required, seems to bolster that argument:

The prior execution of at least one of these agreements, as appropriate, by an individual is necessary before the United States Government may grant that individual access to classified information.
It also seems to me that Wilson protested too much subsequently that his wife wasn't involved--despite clear documentary evidence to the contrary. If she was intimately involved, as seems likely, then . . .

peapies

I only add this, not incite a riot but becuase this is close to what I have thought...
via on Podhoretz (just wrote)...

THE PASSIVE KARL ROVE AND THE ACTIVE JUDITH MILLER [John Podhoretz]
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.

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?

What if -- and here's where it gets really interesting -- what if the real object of interest where Fitzgerald's investigation is concerned is now none other than the jailed Judith Miller of the New York Times? What if she let it all slip and in the giant game of telephone around the nation's capital, Miller was the original source of the "Plame's in the CIA" info? What if Fitzgerald needs her notes to discern whether Miller knew or didn't know of Plame's supposedly covert status?

Fitzgerald already has a major bone to pick with Miller. He believes she materially and dangerously impeded his investigation into a terrorist-financing scheme run by the Holy Land Foundation.

When Miller found out that Fitzgerald was on the verge of indicting Holy Land, she called the Foundation for comment -- and right after her call Fitzgerald believes the Foundation may have commenced a shredding party that ensured prosecutors would find little paperwork to go on when they raided the Holy Land offices.

As the Washington Post put it, "On Dec. 3, 2001, Times reporter Judith Miller telephoned officials with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity accused of being a front for Palestinian terrorists, and asked for a comment about what she said was the government's probable crackdown on the group. U.S. officials said this conversation and Miller's article on the subject in the Times on Dec. 4 increased the likelihood that the foundation destroyed or hid records before a hastily organized raid by agents that day."

Fitzgerald sought her phone records on that occasion to uncover the source of a potential leak in his own office and was blocked by a liberal New York judge named Robert Sweet. Miller didn't get so lucky this time. Fitzgerald thinks Miller has a loose tongue, and for good reason. It's possible he's trying to figure out what other mischief her loose tongue might have caused.

Chew on that for a while. I'm exhausted.
Posted at 05:55 PM

http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_07_10_corner-archive.asp#069334

TM

Second, if you were right then Ashcroft and Fitzgerald should be jailed for incompetence, no matter how much pressure they were under. Particularly Fitzgerald. The very first question they need to ask before any investigation is whether a crime could have been committed. If Plame was not a covert operative then there is no crime. Period.

I am with GT on this - I'll accept that the CIA referral is not definitive proof of a crime, and it may not even be proof that she was covert (maybe their lawyers figured, heck, there was a leak, someone must be guilty of something).

However, for Fitzgerald to have gone on this long, he must have established at least some of the elements of some crime - if he was satisfied that she was *not* covert, then someone ought to suggest a statute for us to look at.

That said, this did give me a laugh:

This particular line, that Plame may not be covered by the statute after all, is somehting I've only seen in some right wing blogs but nowhere else.

Introducing the latest right-wing blog (in the closing paragraphs)!

kim

Who leaked what and who blew what whistle?
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Wilson/Plame