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July 29, 2005

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SamAm

TM, were that the case, she'd be protecting no one. No reporter-source privilege would apply. And seeing as how the US has no Official Secrets Act, she wouldn't be obviously guilty of anything were she Libby's source. Though there's always the danger of an espionage charge, that would seem rather tenuous. How's telling Libby different from writing an article? Unless she's actually a government agent (not impossible) she wouldn't be liable under the IIPA. Plus, where does Russert fit into this? Why drag him before the grand jury? And why can't Miller strike a deal similar to he did? Why the deliberate ambiguity on the part of Rove and Libby as to where they learned the information? Why woludn't they lean on her to talk? Plus, can't Fitzgerald get testimony from whoever her possible source might be as to what he told her (and that source would never lie, right Tom?) If she interviewed or observed Plame, why not admit it?

It just seems clear to me that unless she was a government agent or somehow obligated to keep certain information classified under whatever deal she struck pre-war with Rumsfeld, that she's in jail to primarily protect someone involved with illegal activity that may also implicate her. If she acted alone she's not protecting anyone and has probably committed no crime. And admitting to doing so would no doubt aide Rove and Libby and the "but everyone knew Plame was a CIA employee, what, didn't you?" defense.

I don't like Huffington's theory. Miller's protecting someone, and her interest, the interest of that source, and the interest of Rove and Libby all broadly align, at the very least.

SamAm

Also, even if Miller was the original source and got her information about Plame directly from Plame herself, what are the chances either Libby or Rove didn't confirm the information? Zero. And how could the confirm it without learning her status? They could not.

peapies

covert speaking to a "friendly" reporter, that turns around and floats 'few too many details" BEFORE Karl and Rove know the "full" status of Plame, IE reporter knows more than them! I am telling you, Wilson and Plame outed themselves (because one of the reporters they chose perpped out a few too many things AND MORE) and the target is Mr. Hermes "Didn't you see me in Vanity Fair celling Eason Jordan" Wilson...it is all so Mark Feltish, no?

Seven Machos

1. Sammy -- There is no federal reporter-source privilege. It doesn't exist. Note that Miller is in JAIL.

2. Sammy again -- You don't really know if Rove or Libby has been ambiguous or straightforward because their grand-jury testimony is secret. You are making up facts.

3. Sammy yet again. Indeed, what ARE the chances either Libby or Rove confirmed Plame's status? Aren't you of the belief that Plame's true identity was a closely-guarded secret? How, then, would a mere political consultant or a lowly aide to the vice president confirm her identity?

4. Generally speaking, I think there is a wrongheaded perception here about what spies do. Tom: above, you say "covert agents probably handle their networking a bit differently than lawyers or bankers." Why? What is it that spies do? What is their job? Their job is to obtain information, especially otherwise secret or closely-held information. Where do they get it? Well, they get it from lawyers, bankers, journalists, professors, etc. I most definitely am not accusing Valerie Plame of spying in or against the United States. (I have said many times that I don't think she was spying for several years.) However, I think it is fairly expected that any spy (from any country) would network aggressively, all the time. You never know who you are going to meet...

ArminTamzarian

Miller is in jail for civil contempt because she refuses to testify. Nobody has accused her of a crime, and it's highly unlikely she could be charged with any, unless she too shoved top secret documents into her socks.

If she's refusing to testify because she's the one who passed the information to the White House, when such testimony could exculpate everyone there, possible motives are obvious. First, she covers her own ass. Second, while she has to spend three months in jail, she gets to be a martyr to be remembered in press history for generations. Third, and most importantly, the Left accuses her of lying, or doing something or other, about intelligence, because she is an evil warmonger who wanted blood for oil. She naturally blames the administration for supposedly lying to her. This helps her discredit the administration and get satisfying revenge.

This, to me, seems far more plausible than that she is in jail to cover for Rove.

peapies

Rea;ity Check-----form ABC's "the note" blog

"...If the Bush White House weren't so completely distracted by the Wilson leak investigation, perhaps the President would be able to actually get something done — besides sign CAFTA, the highway bill, and the energy bill into law; read all the improving economic figures; celebrate his still-bullet-proof Supreme Court nomination; and continue along semi-stealthily on 2006 fundraising and candidate recruitment.

And if the Democrats weren't so sure that a one-sentence party platform ("Karl Rove should be in jail.") was a sure winner, perhaps they would Notice that the Republican majority is likely to get at least some credit with voters for passing these laws; that the Bill Clinton Democratic Party of free trade just might have been dead and buried shortly after midnight; and that the AFL thing — along with the America Coming Together thing, along with the DNC thing — leaves the party with some serious money and organization questions.

And/but there's still the Iraq war and Social Security for the White House to deal with, but does anyone think Democrats are scoring political points galore on those?

And/but perhaps Democrats will be able to convince the country by votin' time that Washington is a corrupt, Republican-dominated cesspool of special interest greed and that the macro economic numbers mean nothing. (Just like in 2002 an7d 2004. . .)

So completes our snap-shot summary of everything you have to know about American politics in fewer than 250 words..."

peapies

and this excellent point via Andrew McCarthy via the corner

RE: PLAME, BOLTON & BIDEN [Andy McCarthy]
Not for nothin', but particularly given that the Democratsare the ones who demanded this independent counsel investigation, and given that -- by a rule of federal criminal procedure (Rule 6(e)) enacted by congress -- grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret, isn't a tad unseemly for a senior Democrat, on the Judiciary Committee no less, to be asking for information about a grand jury investigation? And to be doing so despite the fact that the independent counsel has asked government officials to maintain the secrecy of the grand jury proceedings for purposes of the integrity of the investigation? Just askin' .

Emphasis added. But hey a Democrat would do nothing unseemly, no? just askin.

SamAm

Sevenny-

2. Both Libby and Rove's repeated public prnouncements reflect a similar and deep ambiguity as to where they learned the information. Are their memories crystal clear in the grand jury room? Er, no, not going by Rove not disclosing his Cooper call in his first round of FBI testimony, and not going by Russert and Libby's discrepancy and Novak and Rove's discrepancy.

3. Libby had acces to the information, indeed many people in the White House had access to the information, whether or not the specifics as Bloomberg reported them ar correct (Ari using the INR as the in-flight reading, in particular). Same goes for Rove, the #3 man in the administration. Back channel or not, to suggest this didn't get confirmed is lunacy. The INR memo says it did, unless you're of the opinion that Rove and Libby both often go spreading unsubstantiated rumors about national security (and that may well be your positon).

Armin- If Miller had no source, there is no reason for her to be in jail other than a desire to thwart the will of the court and spend months in jail. No principle, no reason, and she wouldn't be protecting herself from criminal prosecution. Don't forget she is facing criminal contempt, so she could spend years in jail. The only explanation is that she's covering for someone either directly or almost directly implicated in the investigation. The idea that she doesn't have a damn good reason to be in jail is simply wrong.

And "The Note" is what happens when an incompetent press corps and a contemptable government hook up in a drunken stupor at 2 AM and decide to make babies. It's worthless as anything but the latest minutes from the Kool Kidz Clubhouz.

SamAm

off

Seven Machos

Sammy -- You are wrong in many ways, but I don't want to keep picking. Plus, I know you are so smart.

However, I'm not sure there is much of a difference between "criminal" contempt and any other kind of contempt. "Civil" contempt, perhaps? "Frilly floroscent green" contempt? I think it's all pretty much the same.

Whatever the case, Judith Miller will not "spend years in jail." She can be in jail only for as long as this particular Grand Jury for this particular case is in session. (Note that grand juries have a fixed period of existence.)

SamAm

Civil contempt lasts at maximum only as long as a grand jury is empanelled. It's purpose is to compel testimony. Criminal contempt is a punitive measure for which there is no maximum sentence. If Miller is really the lynchpin Fitzgerald and the judges believe her to be, a sentence of years in jail is not out of the realm of possibility. Fitzgerald for one isn't going to be shy about throwing the book at Judith Miller.

Tony

I commend you for trying to keep all this nonsense straight. I did for a while but became so completely bored by it that it almost makes me vomit when I see V.P.'s name.

Seven Machos

1. Sammy, you are in luck. I just read the code and there is some formal distinction between criminal and civil contempt. However, you are wrong on every other point:

2. How do you know that Fitzgerald believes that Judith Miller is any kind of lynchpin? Has he told you this? Did you read it somehwere? STOP MAKING UP FACTS!

3. Miller has been sentenced "for as long as 18 months or until the grand jury's term expires, whichever was shorter. The term is set to expire at the end of April."

4. Note also that for criminal contempt involving imprisonment of more than six months, the person in contempt has the right to a jury trial. Hence, if Miller is in jail in six months, she will become eligible for all the rights that any criminal defendant has, including a bail hearing and, interestingly, a Fifth Amendment right not to testify in her own trial against herself. (I doubt she'd invoke it. Her best bet would be jury nullificiation, which means she'd have to make the jury like her.)

5. All of this is meaningless. Miller will be out of jail in six months.

SamAm

1. Luck?

2. Because the judges threw her in jail. She wouldn't be there if she weren't important. And seeing as how she's the only holdout for testimony, she's become the lynchpin, if she wasn't originally.

3. This GJ ends on October 28, so she'll be out by then unless there's a GJ extension. Either way, not too long from now. But I'd say a criminal contempt prosecution is likely. Fitzgerald is an aggressive prosecutor, and I'd be shocked if he didn't go after her for that. For good cause, too.

4. I imagine a criminal contempt trial would be helpful in trying to shake loose the details Miller has refused to proffer. She has much more to loose in a criminal trial than the prosecutor.

5. There's just no reason to be sure of that. Miller's already in jail, has a good reason to be, and will either talk or face a criminal contempt trial. She could well be found guilty. The stakes of this investigation are not bean-bag, and will not grow less serious as time passes.

Steven J.

SEVEN - "How do you know that Fitzgerald believes that Judith Miller is any kind of lynchpin? Has he told you this? Did you read it somehwere? STOP MAKING UP FACTS!"

According to press reports, Fitzgerald had pretty much everything wrapped up in Oct. 04 except for testimony from Miller and Cooper.

Etienne

Thats a nice elitist perspective from The Note, peapies. I can see that might make sense from the ivory tower they write that blog from. But down here, the unwashed masses aren't going to be giving anyone any credit for the highway bill (doubt they'll ever know what it is or what it does) or the energy bill (though they DO notice it costs them almost twice as much to commute as it did only five years ago). As for CAFTA, even the Repubs who voted for that had to be armtwisted in many cases, due to its massive unpopularity amongst working class people who DO understand they'll never see goodpaying jobs again in their poverty stricken communities. The economic figures are also pretty meaningless. It's nice to know more crap jobs are being rolled out, so families can add on an extra job to the 3 or 4 they're carrying, and it's nice that the upper classes are skyrocketing into previously unknown heights of luxurious gluttony...but us regular folk can't pay for health care, can't afford to drive our cars or fix our roofs or send our kids to college, can't afford to pay our property taxes inflated by the real estate bubble ...well you get the picture.

People are going to vote on what they LIVE, what they know, not what carefully groomed government propaganda tells them, certainly not on "macro economic figures".

The Rove thing isn't going to convert any voters on its own. It's just that they're going to get a look at the slime that rots behind this White House - the lies that took their children to an unnecessary war and the arrogance of the government that thought they had the right to manipulate history for political fantasies.

It's kind of funny when you reread that Note blurb. They mention Iraq and Social Security in passing, as if THOSE were the frivolous irrelevancies that the American people don't care about. The American people care about little beyond the edge of their noses. Iraq and Social Security, however ... those they recognize. The tax breaks for profit mad oil companies that the energy bill created may fly under the radar, but the homepaper stories of dead soldiers and the fears that their already bleak retirements may be further bankrupted...that they understand.

Martin

So again we see the theory that Miller's in jail to prevent herself from going to jail. Outstanding.

Seven Machos-how did you pass the bar without knowing the difference between civil and criminal contempt?

kim

Nothing less than eloquent, Etienne. You are probably partly right though certainly not wholly so. How the issues you raise resonate is still a tabula rasa.
I think you fundamentally misunderestimate the bona fides of this administration.
================================================

boris

Too bold this early in the morning.

Hows this?

cahmd

Could Judith Miller be the new Susan McDougal? I suppose hard time will tell.

Tulsan

We have now learned with certainty that John Bolton gave at least one false statement to Congress, failing to disclose that he was interviewed during an IG's investigation ... the State Department backed up the false statements as late as yesterday ... White House officials also misled reporters ... all of them must have know the true facts.

This is relevant because Bolton was questioned about uranium and Niger on July 18, 2003 ... less than 2 weeks after Wilson's article and 4 days after Novak's. And he doesn't remember?

Had Bolton (and State) been honest when completing the form, the Senate Committee may have asked questions about Bolton's connection to the Niger/alumiunum issue ... his false statement may have saved Bolton and the Administration from questioning on this sensitive topic ... perhaps that was the intention.

Can anything coming out of this Administration be believed? Or is it all just spin?

Martin

I'm with you Tulsan-even if we generously grant Bolton "forgot' how could the State Dept. get it wrong 2 days ago???

It's mindboggling.

no1dad

Is anyone hearing anything about Tony Blair being called to testify re: UK intelligence wrt yellow cake? I heard it on a message board so it may be bogus, just wondering if anyone heard about this

boris
even if we generously grant Bolton "forgot' how could the State Dept. get it wrong 2 days ago???

Rank Speculation:

Bolton makes his statement in March 2003 and "forgets" to mention that he will be interviewed in July 2003.

First State Dept. statement was : "Bolton Truthful" which is not too big a stretch. In March he hadn't been interviewed yet.

Second Statement : "Bolton was interviewed"

I have no idea if this is how it went, but it would explain a lot.

Etienne

Boris, I think you have a job waiting for you at the RNC, if you want one.

Why didn't they use that explanation I wonder?

And why are Republicans so eager to cover up for and apologize this constant stream of ethical lapses?

Martin

"Bolton makes his statement in March 2003"

What statement are you talking about? He was interviewed in July 2003-but filled out the form well after that. He was only nominated in March- for god's sake man get a grip.

and again-how did the State Dept. get this wrong 2 days ago?

Steven J.

ETIENNE - "And why are Republicans so eager to cover up for and apologize this constant stream of ethical lapses? "

The principle seems to be IOKIYAR --> It's OK is you are Republican.

These creeps still whine about 18 dead in Somalia but say nothing about unarmored Humvees.

Steven J.

Oops - "if" not "is"

boris

constant stream of ethical lapses

What ??? You mean this isn't the most ethical administration in history ???

Oh that's right. the most ethical administration in history was the co-presidency of BJ and Hil.

Steven J.

MARTIN - "and again-how did the State Dept. get this wrong 2 days ago?"

Reminds of that State Dept. terror report which claimed attacks decreased worldwide but - oopsy - they left out the last 2 months of the year!

boris

The Somalia decision to deny armor was political and wrong. Armor was available.

Humvees were never intended to be armored vehicles. The decision to armor them was an adaptation to the situation and proceeded as fast as possible.

Complain about something else, people who serve or served are likely to take a dim view of ignorant rhetoric about our fallen.

boris

Boris, I think you have a job waiting for you at the RNC

Gee if everyone who bothers to speculate consistent with reality works for the RNC, that would explain a lot about the looney left.

At least I noted that I was making a guess based on sketchy data.

Steven J.

BORIS -

1) making the EPA state that the air was safe around Ground Zero when the EPA investigators knew it wasn't.

2) forcing the chief Medicare actuary to hide the real cost of the prescription drug plan.

3) falsely claiming that the treasury bonds that Social Security buys are worthless. (Since Bubble Boy changed his mind on this one, we get double-bonus flip-flop points)

4) Paying journalists like Armstrong Williams to spew the Party Line.

5) Lying about knowing Ken Lay

There's a lot more but you get the idea.


Martin

Could you explain your guess again-I still don't understand it-or was that the point?

Etienne

See that's the thing, Boris. Repubs keep trying to keep themselves on their high horses (i.e. "those who serve or have served" and the general condescending tone) but the evidence is now crystal clear that they only care about unethical, immoral or illegal behavior when it's done by Democrats. The mere fact of Republicanism seems to be a carte blanche granting of immunity these days - from accountability of any kind.

The sheer volume and frequency of lying, corruption and um, dissembling, on the part of today's Repubs is not going to escape public notice indefinitely. They've drawn a shroud of flag and church around all their misdeeds, to try and fool the gullible masses. But eventually people get fed up. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but where I live, I hear more and more people talking about needing a change.

And, Boris? The Clinton thing? Really lame at this point. Not to mention irrelevant and juvenile.

Steven J.

BORIS - "The decision to armor them was an adaptation to the situation and proceeded as fast as possible."

No it didn't. Right after Rumsfeld claimed that the shortage was a matter of physics, the manufacturer said he could boost production right away by 100 vehicles a month.

Slartibartfast
but the evidence is now crystal clear that they only care about unethical, immoral or illegal behavior when it's done by Democrats

Actually, some of us like to wait for evidence. Berger admitted to swiping the documents; no one's come forth to confess guilt as yet in the Plame case, so we're stuck with the slow ekeing-out of information from the investigation.

Martin

They still don't have enough armor! 3 guys were killed in IED attacks on Wednesday-2 days ago-Specialist John O. Tollefson and two names not released yet.

Jeff

I like how when boris gets something factual completely wrong, he's content to just move on to the next point.

peapies - Sometimes I wonder whether NRO ever gets anything right. It's not the Democrats, after all, asking about Bolton's participation in a grandy jury proceeding. It's the Senate Foreign Relations Disclosure Form that asks the question. Presumably those who put together the Disclosure Form knew all about Rule 6(e), and saw no problem. So that point is utterly irrelevant. As for Fitzgerald's request that those who have been questioned in one way or another not speak publicly, is it your view that such a request trumps the evident requirement to be truthful on the Disclosure Form? Finally, say Bolton had participated in the grand jury investigation: do you genuinely believe it would be impossible for Bolton to answer truthfully that he had participated and to explain his participation without saying anything about the content of his answers to whatever questions he was asked? What about Karen Hughes' reply as a model?

Steven J.

SLART - "no one's come forth to confess guilt as yet in the Plame case"

BORIS, in this most ethical of all possible Administrations, why hasn't someone come forward?

Florence Schmieg

Finished reading you guys from now on. Are you 16 year olds on summer vacation?

Slartibartfast

Were those deaths due to not having enough armor? Were these guys on foot or in vehicles? Will Martin ever learn to link his claims?

Slartibartfast
BORIS, in this most ethical of all possible Administrations, why hasn't someone come forward?

You make an assumption that it was someone in the administration. Are you looking for the guilty party, or a sacrificial lamb?

boris
Boxer conceded it was possible that Bolton's answer was true when he gave it; he could have cooperated in the CIA leak case after he filled out the questionnaire in March. The Biden letter asked Rice if, and when, that cooperation occurred.

Boxer said she believes the special counsel had completed interviewing witnesses by March, and that even if Bolton's alleged cooperation came later, "ethics tells me you go and amend" the questionnaire.

A little support for my earlier speculation.

Seems to be in conflict with some assertions made as fact rather than identified as speculative interpretation.


Martin

Boris-you're a clown-the admitted "inaccuracy" is whether he was investigated by the State Depts. own IG-he was-on July 18 2003.

Etienne

Slartibart, when you all get the evidence, you just find a way of "dissembling" it away.

Look, you have all the evidence you need that Rove behaved at the very least in a very unethical and unprofessional manner in the Plame affair. We KNOW he discussed classified information with a reporter. We know that he did so of his own volition, without provocation. We know that, after having done this, he either lied to McClellan or (far more likely) McClellan lied to the country about it.

What do Repubs say? "She wasn't covert" (despite CIA assertions and prosecutor's determination that she was). Or "Wilson is a liar/fraud/girlyman" (totally irrelevant to Rove's behavior). Or "Who cares?". Or "Look over there at some Democrat picking his nose". It has become a joke how obviously Repubs are clearly NOT offended by unethical, even un-American, behavior when it's one of their own.

And this is only one incident. You can almost throw a dart at a newspaper and find another one at random. Giveaways to lobbyists and corporate buddies. Corrupt local parties Ohio rigging elections and voting. Nine billion dollars misplaced in Iraq. Mistreatment and underfunding of vets. Coverups and scapegoating of torture policies. Political timing of terror alerts last summer, one even leading to the rollup of the sting that may well have uncovered the London bombers. Lies on Social Security. Lies about the cost of the Medicare drug benefit. Just yesterday, a defense bill shelved because they didn't want to include anti-torture oversight, and a valentine to the NRA substituted in its place.

Americans have a right to a government that has some purpose other than funding the gluttonly of the rich and powerful. They've been pretty complacent so far, but the bullshit-meter is starting to peg.

Steven J.

SLART -

Marine units found to lack equipment
Corps estimates of needs in Iraq are called faulty

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | June 21, 2005
http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2005/06/21/marine_units_found_to_lack_equipment?mode=PF

WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps units fighting in some of the most dangerous terrain in Iraq don't have enough weapons, communications gear, or properly outfitted vehicles, according to an investigation by the Marine Corps' inspector general provided to Congress yesterday.
The report, obtained by the Globe, says the estimated 30,000 Marines in Iraq need twice as many heavy machine guns, more fully protected armored vehicles, and more communications equipment to operate in a region the size of Utah.
The Marine Corps leadership has ''understated" the amount and types of ground equipment it needs, according to the investigation, concluding that all of its fighting units in Iraq ''require ground equipment that exceeds" their current supplies, ''particularly in mobility, engineering, communications, and heavy weapons."
But the report says that about a quarter of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force's Humvees lack sufficient armor to protect troops against roadside bombings, including 1,000 vehicles that have yet to be fitted with armor plates to protect the undercarriage.
The report also says that if the current demands in Iraq continue, the Corps will need another 650 Humvees, which have been logging an average of 480 miles a month, mostly over rough terrain. And despite an agreement with the Army to repair broken vehicles at a maintenance facility in Kuwait, the Marine Corps had not scheduled any repairs as of last month.
Meanwhile, those Humvees that have received full armor -- which the report says have significantly improved the safety of troops -- are suffering excessive wear and tear because they were never designed to carry the additional weight.
The report also found that Abrams tanks and other combat vehicles are being so overused that replacements are needed quickly. It found that all of the Marines' battle tanks in Iraq have passed the normal criteria for replacing them.
Meanwhile, units need at least twice as many of the .50-caliber machine guns that are mounted atop vehicles and designed to protect an entire unit from enemy fire, the report said.
The units also need more M240G machine guns, a heavy gun used in battle, and more of the lighter MK19 machine guns, used at checkpoints to thwart insurgent attacks.
''Most infantry, logistics, and security battalions require approximately twice the number of .50-caliber machine guns and more M240G and MK19 machine guns than they would normally possess," according to the 40-page report, entitled ''Marine Corps Ground Equipment in Iraq."
Communications gear, too, is lacking. The Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, known as Multinational Forces-West, ''has command responsibilities that far exceed any level contemplated by organizational and equipment planners," the report said. Radio and satellite tracking systems are ''in critical demand and constant use."
The inspector general also determined that even with recommended changes, including replacing damaged armaments, the war will continue to take a toll on the Marine Corps' equipment, from having nearly all of its fighting gear ready for combat this year to having less than two-thirds of it in battle shape by the middle of 2008.

Slartibartfast
Look, you have all the evidence you need that Rove behaved at the very least in a very unethical and unprofessional manner in the Plame affair.

No, actually, we don't, and if you'd been paying the least amount of attention to the multiple threads Tom has started on this, you'd know better.

What do Repubs say?

I'm not all that concerned with what Repubs say, any more than I'm concerned with what Democrats say.

but the bullshit-meter is starting to peg

Given the dearth of fact with which you've equipped yourself, I'd submit that your bullshit meter is wildly out of calibration.

Martin

Slarti-here you go buddy-go to Centcom for more details:

July 28, 2005
Release Number: 05-07-20C

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TWO TASK FORCE BAGHDAD SOLDIERS KILLED BY IED

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Two Task Force Baghdad Soldiers were killed when their patrol struck an improvised explosive device at 2 p.m. July 27 in north Baghdad.

One other Soldier was wounded in the attack.

The names of the Soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The incident is under investigation.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS RELEASE, CONTACT THE TASK FORCE BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE AT TASKFORCEBAGHDADPAO@ID3.ARMY.MIL.

Go ahead-argue they were on foot if you want. It's possible-but I strongly doubt it myself.


Slartibartfast

Uh, Steven, when I asked for a link, I was actually asking for a link that says something about the incident Martin was alluding to. Which, unfortunately, yours doesn't.

Slartibartfast

An actual link, Martin. You do know what a link is, don't you?

Steven J.

SLART -

I understood Martin to be alluding to a widespread problem simply because I KNOW more about it than you do.

Slartibartfast
I understood Martin to be alluding to a widespread problem simply because I KNOW more about it than you do.

Please, Steve. If you knew more about it than I do, you wouldn't have quoted that ridiculous Globe story. There's no amount of armor that can keep soldiers in a Hummer alive, given arbitrary-sized IEDs. You have no idea whether those guys were in a Hummer, and if so whether that Hummer was up-armored.

Etienne

Slart, sorry, can't read through all those threads, but I've skimmed them.

This is a fact, unless Matt Cooper perjured himself: He called Rove to ask about Wilson. Rove volunteered (on super duper double secret, or something) that the CIA wife actually put him up to the job. Which wasn't Cooper's question. Cooper had only asked if Bush was feeling heat over the Wilson op ed. Rove ended by saying, "I've said too much."

Ok, that's a fact. So here's the question. Do you have any problem, ethically, with a government official giving unsolicited information about a covert CIA officer to a reporter, for the express purpose of discrediting another government servant who happened to criticize the President?

If you have no problem with that, then we are just operating in a different moral universe, and it's not the one I learned about in civics class in that halcyon past when we were all one country. You can't silmultaneously claim the moral high ground and live in the moral sewer.

Martin

Here Slarti:

http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/
Casualty_Report.asp?CasualtyReport=20050720.txt

Slartibartfast
Do you have any problem, ethically, with a government official giving unsolicited information about a covert CIA officer to a reporter, for the express purpose of discrediting another government servant who happened to criticize the President?

I really hate to have to bring you up to speed, but exactly how do you think Rove knew Plame was covert? Not: how do you think Rove heard about Plame, but rather how do you know that Rove knew about Plame's status?

Slartibartfast

Thanks, Martin. Our next lesson will be how to embed links in text.

The link you supplied giving no information at all leading to your conclusion that it was lack of armor killed those soldiers, I'll wait for more links that support that conclusion.

Martin

And if it's impossible to protect against IED attacks-why the hell are we even sending out patrols? Rumsfeld just said we're bugging out in Spring '06.

WTF can riding around Baghdad playing Russian roulette between now and then accomplish?

Martin

Exactly Slarti-Centcom withholds the embarassing details. I'll report back when the kids local paper reports on the funeral. That's where all the real details are.

Slartibartfast
And if it's impossible to protect against IED attacks-why the hell are we even sending out patrols?

And if it's impossible to defend against RPG or sniper or suicide bombers, keep everyone indoors. Okie doke, Martin.

Slartibartfast
I'll report back when the kids local paper reports on the funeral.

Rest assured I'll be hanging on your every word. In the meantime, though, it'd be the honest thing to do to admit that maybe this isn't a news item that supports your thesis very well.

Martin

Ok-Slarti-what's your thesis?

Etienne

Slart, I don't KNOW it. That is what we're all waiting for from Fitzgerald, clearly. However, he had a responsibility, if he had an ounce of ethics, to confirm for himself she was not covert before he decided to open his big yap and bawl to a reporter. Since there was no need to mention it to the reporter in the first place. Who sent Wilson on the mission was entirely irrelevant to the conclusions he reached and the manner in which he revealed them. It was unsolicited, unnecessary information that Rove clearly knew was "saying too much".

The honorable thing to do was to criticize Wilson on the merits, or lack thereof, of his op ed. Instead, Rove stooped to a. dragging his wife into it and b. mentioning she was CIA without (at the least) confirming she was not covert (which he would have discovered she was).

Did he do this to protect our country? No, he did it to protect a known fraud that his administration was attempting to perpetrate on the country and to defame a lifelong government servant for the crime of free speech.

Do you honestly find no breach of ethics there? Of any kind?

It gets more and more difficult the deeper in you go trying to defend these creeps.

Slartibartfast
Ok-Slarti-what's your thesis?

My thesis, Martin, is based on the report, there's insufficient data to support your thesis.

Martin

Ok-I'll accept that.

Do you have enough facts in your possession to conclude Bolton lied on his disclosure form?

Slartibartfast
However, he had a responsibility, if he had an ounce of ethics, to confirm for himself she was not covert before he decided to open his big yap and bawl to a reporter.

On the other hand, if he didn't have any reason at all to suspect that she was covert, checking would be silly.

Who sent Wilson on the mission was entirely irrelevant to the conclusions he reached and the manner in which he revealed them.

I agree, but this is irrelevant to our discussion.

Do you honestly find no breach of ethics there? Of any kind?

Where, again? It seemed to me that you took a side trip into the whole Wilson affair, which...who brought that up?

It gets more and more difficult the deeper in you go trying to defend these creeps.

I'm actually defending logic and reason. You'd do well to do the same.

Slartibartfast
Do you have enough facts in your possession to conclude Bolton lied on his disclosure form?

No. Neither do I have enough facts in my possession to conclusively disprove that you, Martin, are Queen of the Space Unicorns. That's neither here nor there, granted, but neither was the Bolton thing.

Martin

Do you have enough facts in your possession to conclude Bolton's original answer was not accurate?

Slartibartfast
Do you have enough facts in your possession to conclude Bolton's original answer was not accurate?

Which answer are you referring to? Sudden subject changes leave me a little disoriented.

Etienne

He had no reason to suspect she was covert? Working at the CIA provided no hint whatsoever that maybe he should y'know check????. I mean, if he cared at all about national security, which one would like to assume the highest levels of our government might. No, since he's a Republican, that would be, get this kids - SILLY.

I agree, Rove's past indicates an enjoyment in irrelevantly dragging family members into slime campaigns against his opponents, but geez, you'd really like to have a little confidence that he'd respect the integrity of the CIA enough to make a phone call.

The issue is ethics, Slart, if you forgot. And yes, the fact that the entire issue emerged out of an entirely irrelevant need to slime Wilson, rather than debate him on the merits, is relevant to our discussion.

I know myself how difficult it is to engage conservatives on discussing the merits of an argument. They'd always rather deflect conversation into some area where they can insult and condescend, i.e. "I'm actually defending logic and reason. You'd do well to do the same."

Martin

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee questionnaire is straightforward:

"Interviews -- Have you been interviewed or asked to supply any information in connection with any administrative (including an inspector general), Congressional or grand jury investigation within the past 5 years, except routine Congressional testimony? If so, provide details."

Bolton was interviewed by the State Dept. IG regarding the uranium/Niger matter on July 18, 2003.

Bolton answered "NO" to the above question.

Was that answer accurate?

boris

Barbar Boxer may actually be more informed than Martin on the subject.

Boxer conceded it was possible that Bolton's answer was true when he gave it; he could have cooperated in the CIA leak case after he filled out the questionnaire in March. The Biden letter asked Rice if, and when, that cooperation occurred.
Martin

Boris-the Stae Dept. IG investigation and the CIA leak provbe are separate investigations.
Do you grasp that?

Martin

So I'll ask you Boris-was Bolton's answer accurate?

(Here'a hint-the State Dept. has already said it wasn't-I'm just testing the threshholds of Slarti's epistemic certainty)

Slartibartfast
Working at the CIA provided no hint whatsoever that maybe he should y'know check????.

Lots of people work at the CIA; few are covert. Normally, the names of covert officers aren't passed around as gossip.

mean, if he cared at all about national security, which one would like to assume the highest levels of our government might. No, since he's a Republican, that would be, get this kids - SILLY.

I'm sorry, your disbelief may be constitute compelling evidence for you, but it doesn't for me.

The issue is ethics, Slart, if you forgot.

Actually, there are two issues: whether a crime was committed by Rove, and whether Rove simply and out of malice made public the identity of a CIA agent. There's plenty of overlap, but there are places where one may apply and the other not. There are also places where neither may apply, and I'm suggesting we don't know anywhere near enough about the case to know what to say about Rove's behavior in the matter.

They'd always rather deflect conversation into some area where they can insult and condescend

No, I'm simply reminding you that maybe you ought to apply some reason to this. By all appearances, you have a great deal of emotional stake, and that tends to cloud reason. If you'd like to keep things civil, though, I suggest you refrain from accusing me of defending illegal and/or immoral activities; I tend to take that sort of thing personally.

boris
Former Deputy Director of the CIA: and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers
The money quote right there folks.

That V.P. was CIA was not classified. Her dormant, inactive status as an undercover operator is what was classified. The spilling of those beans is the likely focus of the investigation.

Forget the blown cover crap. There's no there there.

Steven J.

(ahem) ETHICS:

NewsMax.com Wires
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2001
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/1/22/213715.shtml

WASHINGTON (UPI) – President Bush witnessed the swearing-in of his White House staff Monday and said he expected them to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and to conduct themselves with humility and civility at all times.

Bush warned that he expected his White House staff to meet the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only violations of law, but even the appearance of impropriety.
"We must remember the high standards that come with high office," he said. "This begins careful adherence with the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries [that] define legal and ethical conduct.

(Using NewsMax to pound the Busheviks gets me two free kittens!)

Slartibartfast
Forget the blown cover crap. There's no there there.

To that, I also suggest that you don't know. The reasons you've given for saying this are insufficient. Her cover having been previously blown is explicitly, under statute, not an automatic declassification of her identity. Forget what McCarthy says; he doesn't know any more about this than I do.

Martin

"No, I'm simply reminding you that maybe you ought to apply some reason to this."

Good Lord Slarti -you are too much. Look, the Bush White House has two sorts of associates- co-conspirators and tools. You're looking increasingly like a tool.

Steven J.

In case you missed it:

Bush warned that he expected his White House staff to meet the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only violations of law, but even the appearance of impropriety.

Martin

Just to back that up-you won't even admit Bolton's answer was inaccurate after the State Dept. has-what else can I conclude?

Martin

A chance at redemption:

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee questionnaire is straightforward:

"Interviews -- Have you been interviewed or asked to supply any information in connection with any administrative (including an inspector general), Congressional or grand jury investigation within the past 5 years, except routine Congressional testimony? If so, provide details."

Bolton was interviewed by the State Dept. IG regarding the uranium/Niger matter on July 18, 2003.

Bolton answered "NO" to the above question.

Was that answer accurate?

Slartibartfast

OTOH, she may have been near the end of her stretch as a covert officer, in which case her identity was still technically classified. Whether exposure of her identity meets the rather stringent criterion of being damaging to national security is a question for the courts.

And people are making a stink about congressional investigations backstopping Fitzgerald's. Folks, there are big, gaping holes in statute law surrounding this sort of thing. Maybe, just maybe, Congress ought to patch up those holes.

Slartibartfast
Good Lord Slarti -you are too much. Look, the Bush White House has two sorts of associates- co-conspirators and tools. You're looking increasingly like a tool.

Given that I'm not an "associate", nor even in fact a Republican, I have to say you're putting the partisan shoe on the wrong foot, here.

Etienne

Boris, if there was no there there, there'd be no Grand Jury. Y'all really have to give that one up.

Slart, you're right I have an emotional stake. Like a great many Americans, I'm appalled at the damage this administration is doing to our country. However, I think I have kept my arguments straight. I realize we aren't discussing the illegality of Rove's behavior, as that is the job of the duly convened Grand Jury. We ARE discussing the ethics of his behavior.

I honestly believe you are being disingenuous when you say that "all kinds of people work at the CIA", therefore it's silly to think Plame might have been covert. Rove was contending that Plame had the power to send her husband on a WMD intelligence gathering mission, which implies some degree of influence within the CIA on an issue of immense sensitivity. (That was another lie, of course, adding to the ethics dilemma, but whatever.) To drop the name of such a person without confirming the propriety of doing that was, if not unethical, incredibly negligent or incompetent. Take your pick. Emotions aside here, it is simply incredible that any patriotic American would want to defend this guy, let alone work so hard at it.

Martin

Would you believe I am a registered Republican? I am. I was a strong supporter of the 1994 takeover. To call me disillusioned is an understatement.

P.S. Was Bolton's answer accurate?

Steven J.

LIE or PSYCHOSIS?

THE PRESIDENT: And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html

boris

Her dormant, inactive status as an undercover operator is what was classified. The spilling of those beans is the likely focus of the investigation.

Forget the blown cover crap. There's no there there.

if there was no there there, there'd be no Grand Jury

Your reading comprehension sux rox dood.
So does little marty's.

Slartibartfast
Rove was contending that Plame had the power to send her husband on a WMD intelligence gathering mission, which implies some degree of influence within the CIA on an issue of immense sensitivity.

"Some degree of influence" doesn't in any way imply "covert".

To drop the name of such a person without confirming the propriety of doing that was, if not unethical, incredibly negligent or incompetent.

This is territory we've already covered multiple times; the pretense that we haven't is, well, not very effective.

Emotions aside here, it is simply incredible that any patriotic American would want to defend this guy, let alone work so hard at it.

Again, your incredulity isn't, for me, a compelling argument. Rove may not be the world's nicest fellow, but to make the assumption that he's the one and only guilty party in this case is to do national security a disservice. I find it simply incredible that you're willing to throw national security to the side to the end of getting Rove.

There. How's it look coming back at you?

Slartibartfast
Her dormant, inactive status as an undercover operator is what was classified.

Please explain what you mean by this, and how that distinction might look in print.

boris

Was Bolton's answer accurate?

Boxer conceded it was possible that Bolton's answer was true when he gave it; he could have cooperated in the CIA leak case after he filled out the questionnaire in March.

Demonstrate some basic understanding of the subject.

Martin

You are truly an idiot.

Why is Bolton going to amend his answer?

millco88

I think we all know what happened to those people in debate club in high school. The namecalling fits as well. You guys would argue over the i before e rule -- is it neighbor AND weigh or neighbor OR weigh.

Etienne

"Some degree of influence" doesn't in any way imply "covert".

No, it implies that Rove should have acted like a responsible government servant and refrained from playing petty political revenge games with such an incredibly senstive issue.

I don't believe for a second it was just Rove. Rove is the High Priest of Republican dirty tricks, but he's not the only culprit here.

Jeff

boris - I'm not sure whether you addressed this. Your original post on the subject of Bolton here showed that you were confused about the years of the dates you keep talking about, and perhaps to that we can add that you are unaware of the distinction between the question of Bolton's participation in the Fitzgerald grand jury and the question of his participation in the State-CIA IG investigation. Please clarify what you are talking about instead of repeatedly quoting Boxer. Boxer's point is, he could have answered "No" accurately and still participated in the Fitzgerald investigation if that participation occurred after he filled out the Disclosure Form in March 2005. This is possible, but not likely, she continued. IN ANY CASE, it is utterly irrelevant to his participation in the IG investigation -- which he claims he forgot about -- which happened YEARS BEFORE MARCH 2005, when he apparently filled out the Disclosure Form. Got it? Or am I missing your point?

Slartibartfast
No, it implies that Rove should have acted like a responsible government servant and refrained from playing petty political revenge games with such an incredibly senstive issue.

Again, Etienne, you're assuming facts not in evidence.

Rove is the High Priest of Republican dirty tricks, but he's not the only culprit here.

He's not even a culprit, as far as you've been able to show.

Martin

Slarti-quit defending the White House and start defending the country-their interests are not always synonymous you know.

Slartibartfast

If defense of logic and reason is defending the WH, Martin, I think that takes you somewhere that you don't want to go.

Martin

Reason and logic abilities are tools not ends Slarti.

P.S. Was Bolton's answer accurate?

Etienne

Slarti, what are you defending? Are you saying Rove is an idiot? That he had no sense of the importance of WMD intelligence operations and no sense of safeguarding their confidentiality? That it never occured to him that this kind of thing should not be dropped randomly into conversations with reporters for Time or the New York Times or NBC?????????

And if not for petty political revenge, what was his motive then? No one here needs any evidence to know that no one in this White House is concerned with accuracy of reporting in the media.

Martin's point is the cogent one here. When will Republicans stop putting the good of their party ahead of the interests of our country?

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Wilson/Plame