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July 11, 2005

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SamAm

"There was clearly a lot of work for the White House to do."

No, I think by then they'd done quite enough.

I eagerly await Rove's resignation.

kim

For what? Discussing a political attack? Think again.
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Jason Smith

sorry about the multiple trackbacks... kept getting an error.

Jon H


It's Lewis Libby, not Libby Lewis.

He's also known as "Scooter" Libbby, if that makes it easier to remember.

thad

What people keep losing sight of is that Wilson, in his original NYT op-ed, strongly implied that he had been sent - ultimately - by Vice President Cheney to Africa.

Remove the references to the Vice President from Wilson’s original op-ed and it ceases to be newsworthy. Wilson probably couldn’t have gotten it published.

The intended upshot of Wilson's op-ed was that the White House was ignoring a report they themselves commissioned because it didn't reach the desired conclusions. Without that news hook, the story would never have gotten off the ground.

Link: http://senderfreies.com/?p=35

Thad McArthur

martin

Mr. Maguire-no matter what happens in this case-you are always prepared to show nothing happened.

Although I'm sure your previous sophistry showed Rove could not have been Cooper's source, you accomodate the new reality pretty well. Yes, we're at war with Eurasia this week, and always have been, etc.

So let's lay out some benchmarks please:

1. What do you think actually happened here based on current statements from the White House and your timeline?

2. What information could,just conceivably, be revealed that would convince you you have been lied to?

3. or are you so partisan, e.g. Powerline, that you could in fact NOT be lied to by the White House?

Quilly Mammoth

The biggest problem with this whole mess,and the one that should be focused on, is that Wilson is a habitual liar. He lied in his book about his wife's involvement. He has lied repeatedly to the press. I think it is fair to say he lied to the Senate.

Wilson has spread so much disinformation so wide, and so think that the actual truth will always be obscured.

TexasToast

Seems frog marching has become a much better bet, eh?

TM

He's also known as "Scooter" Libbby, if that makes it easier to remember.

I am *so* blocking on that name, although I am making progress - in some old post, I was sure that "Scooter" was a she.

And me a Phil Rizzuto fan.

So let's lay out some benchmarks please:

1. What do you think actually happened here based on current statements from the White House and your timeline?

2. What information could,just conceivably, be revealed that would convince you you have been lied to?...

Interesting. While I think about that, why don't you tell us what info might convince you that (a) the Admin has been cooperating with an aggressive, fair investigation by the DoJ; and (b) Wilson has been duplicitous on many points.

And feel free to guess at what it would take to convince Josh Marshall of that.

Appalled Moderate

An illustration of the problems Rove now faces:

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

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

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

Q Can I follow up on that?

Q They were not involved in what?

MR. McCLELLAN: The leaking of classified information.

Q Did you undertake that on your own volition, or were you instructed to go to these --

MR. McCLELLAN: I spoke to those individuals myself.

Link

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Link.

Then, there is this, where we gt all sorts of assurances Rove was not involved.

And, finally:

Q Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?

MR. McCLELLAN: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this, there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.

Q So you're saying -- you're saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you're saying?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct. I've spoken with them.

LINK

ArminTamzarian

$20 bets on whether Rove will be indicted for violating 50 USC 421 still being offered.

richard mcenroe

So what we have here so far is, Rove told a reporter something that we already know from other reporters was common knowledge among the Washington press corps and even the Washington social scene generally.

Yep. Fetch a rope, boys, they's justice t'be done,,,

AJStrata

Nice work, but some holes need filling. For one, Plame's employer was an open secret in the social circles of DC's power elite. This was confirmed yesterday by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and posted on Powerline by Scott. So there is no way this investigation has to do with outing Plame - she was out. Fitzgerald new this early on (if he is worth a dime as Federal Prosecutor). Next we have Plame who was a roque CIA employee against the war in Iraq. She and her husband probably cooked this up to get celebrity status and a key position in the Kerry administration (which was working until the truth came out on Wilson's report). Plame selected Wilson for this, did not say a thing when his obviously flawed and bogus report came back in, and said nothing when he went public in his Op-Ed piece (which is border line release of classified information since Saddam's nuclear intentions are classified, whether Wilson was right or wrong).

Clearly this is the true crime. Use of Federal resources to misinform the government and public on the critical national security issue of Saddam's nuclear intentions. Plus they probably released sensitive or classified information in the Op-Ed piece.

Those are serious crimes. More here.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/258

As for Powell's memo and Hunter's timeline stuff they miss the point. For Plame to send Wilson she would need to coordinate that with State. That is why Powell was called in, to understand who asked for permission to send Wilson (betchya it was Plame). Also, it would bring the entire trip up to the NSC level since CIA and State were coordinating an important fact finding mission. Which is why Rove and many others knew about the trip, the results and the players....

Simple really.

Martin

-"why don't you tell us what info might convince you that (a) the Admin has been cooperating with an aggressive, fair investigation by the DoJ"-

Umm..The fact that the DOJ is in fact aggressively investigating IS proof that the Admin is not cooperating. If the Admin cooperated fully what would be left to investigate?-it would be either indict or close shop as all the facts would be on the table.

What is Fitzgerald doing that Bush could not do better? Fitzgerald is beating up reporters to shake loose their Admin sources; whereas Bush could eliminate the middleman and beat up the sources themselves to reveal all.

IceCold

Yikes, we're so safe and coddled back in CONUS that this non-story is STILL playing out and captivating the elite masses? I don't mean the crushingly dull issues surrounding the Plame covert status stuff -- that'll play out and be of no consequence in the larger picture.

But the underlying "non-story" -- dissed thusly by some of us at the time it "broke" -- has attained a special status: a non-story even its own terms, which terms themselves turn out to be fraudulent. Don't know the word for that, but it's probably some synonym for "b.s.".

The SOTU didn't refer to Niger, the 16 words were validated as accurate the instant the Brits nodded and confirmed them, the assessed Iraqi WMD threat was inherent in the particular facts of the situation and didn't depend to any degree on one specific uranium ore initiative, and on and on. No "there" there.

And then the subsequent investigations showed that Wilson's uninteresting and non-material comments were themselves inconsistent with the inconsequential report he provided to CIA. In other words, a tangential matter about which a less than tangential figure lied.

That the mediocre minds in media and the blogs frequently mentioned here didn't see the essential emptiness of this tempestuous teacup is no surprise. That reasonably competent people at the WH didn't immediately frame things intelligently -- and still haven't -- has always been surprising and disturbing.

robert0

So, I'm sitting there with my wife and some guy I don't really like from down the block. He says to me, "Hey, was that chubby girl blowing you last night in the pool room? Cause she says she was blowing you. And she's teller her firends that she was blowing you. Was she blowing you?"

So I lied. Entirely reasonable.

Ralph

Martin,

"aggressive investigation"

You're still hung up on the concept that the leak MUST have come from the White House. That MAY be the final conclusion, but none of us "on the outside" have data to prove that yet. The fact is that a federal prosecutor has much more in the way of resources to carry on a full investigation, and his charge is to find out IF a leak occurrred (whether from the White House, or some other source), and to determine if a crime has been committed.

Even if the leak is from the White House, the Administration would be in no credible position to determine whether or not a crime has been committed. They would still have to refer the matter to the DOJ for that determination.

The only credible way for the case to be investigated and the TRUTH (not just what one side or the other politically wants it to be) to be determined is by the investigation by a Federal Prosecutor, who does have te power to indict.

Appalled Moderate

Beyond the simple question of there being any laws violated -- we have a lot of assurances back in 2003 that Rove was not involved in the leaking. Now it's still possible he was not Novak's source, and it was in this context all the bs was being dished in 2003. But let's just say that the statements made in September, October 2003 about Rove's involvement in leaking are hard to harmonize with what we know today with respect to Cooper.

Martin

Ralph (and Mr. Maguire)-note from todays NYT:

"Ms. Miller has been jailed for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena directing her to testify about "a specified executive branch official" whose identity is known to the special prosecutor in the case, according to court papers. But Ms. Miller refuses to rely on the waiver the source signed or the sort of assurances that have satisfied other reporters."

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

ArminTamzarian

Martin:

There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

SCSIwuzzy

Martin,
She could also be protecting her other sources. If she admits she asked question B, and got answer C, a decent investigator would ask about A, the thing that led to asking B.
So if she asked her source if Plame was behind Wilson's trip, and the answer was yes, how did Miller know about it to get confirmation?
And if Fitzgerald knows who the source is, and the source has waivered Miller, why hasn't he asked the source? He may have, but the NYT article you lovingly quote does not tell us either way.
Independent investigations go not imply guilt. If the WH did its own investigation, many people would not believe the answers (I suspect you are one of them), even if they were damning. And an aggressive investigation does not mean there is resistance at the White House, either. It just mean Fitzgerald takes his job seriously, and wants a thorough and timely investigation.

ArminTamzarian

SCSIwuzzy:

You, on the other hand, are thinking too much. It's not that complicated.

Prosecutor: Mrs. W, for the 34th time, what did Mr. D tell you?

Mr. D: Oh, Mr. Prosecutor, that won't be necessary. I just talked to her about the Mets and her daughter's graduation. Nothing incriminating, I assure you.

Prosecutor: I see, well that clears everything up entirely. Mrs. W, I don't need you any more. You're free to go.

vnjagvet

OK, Apalled Moderate and Martin. Based on the Cooper email, and any other evidence to which you want to direct the assembeled masses here, specifically what "classified information" was leaked on or around July 10, 2003 by Karl Rove?

David Walser

[W]e have a lot of assurances back in 2003 that Rove was not involved in the leaking. ... But let's just say that the statements made in September, October 2003 about Rove's involvement in leaking are hard to harmonize with what we know today with respect to Cooper." - Appalled Moderate

Hard to harmonize? Not really. So far, we know that Rove, without naming Plame, told one or more reporters that Wilson had been sent to Niger on the recommendation of his wife. Since Novak used Plame's name, it would not be unreasonable for Rove to conclude that he was NOT Novak's source.

TM

If the Admin cooperated fully what would be left to investigate?

Well, the prosecutor seems to be trying to verify their statements by chatting with uncooperative reporters.

Anyway, I mocked the notion that Bush should investigate this years ago - in short, how many Dems would take it seriously if Bush announced that he had interviewed his staff, looked them in the eye, and was sacking two unknowns? Wouldn't Chuck Schumer, Marshall, et al scream "cover-up"? Of course they would, and they would demand an independent counsel to investigate. Which we have.

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

Is there any reason th think they have not? If we believe all the WaPo reporting (whiuch they don't seem to be trumpeting today),Miller was subpoenaed along with four others to testify about Libby. The other four have spoken, as has Libby; Ms. Miller does not take at face value the general waivers Cooper accepted.

Very principled, but not a strong hint that Libby has not cooperated.


TM

Appalled - it sure look like McClellan was not in on the spin and parsing.

Someone has dragged up an old Rove comment to CNN where he denies giving Ms. Plame's name to anyone. Cute. But somone should have tipped Scott.

And there are at least three hints that Rove did not leak to Novak:

(1) Novak said source was not a partisan gun-slinger. Not real credible, but there it is.

(2) Luskin, Rove's attorney, says Rove only had one conversation, which apparently was with Cooper.

(3) In his e-mail, Cooper says that Rove said Ms. Plame "authorized" Wilson's trip.

But Novak reported that sr. admin officials told him "Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger".

Suggested, authorized - who knows?

cathyf

So Fitzgerald knows who the Admin official is-but apparently not what (s)he told Miller.

If the White House is "fully cooperating" why won't the specified executive branch official just tell Fitzgerald what (s)he told (or learned) from Miller?

Well if Fitzgerald wants testimony under oath from all parties to all of the conversations, then the testimony of the people who talked to Miller only does part of the job.

The other piece of this that is interesting is to wonder whether Miller had any discussions with the NYT op-ed staff as to Joe Wilson's credibility. I don't think that it's a crime to knowingly publish lies, so Miller can't take the 5th i