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July 16, 2005



You're getting close.

I expect soon to read this wrap-up in the NY Times:

"One day, at band camp, a current or former administration official told a high-ranking official that a well-placed anonymous source had told him that he had heard that the White House was saying that a former operative was complaining that his wife, a former administration official, wasn't getting any juicy assignments anymore, thus drying up his opportunity to get free boondoggle trips to Africa."

The source of the leak, in my view, will turn out to have been ... presto ... Joe Wilson.

He's the only source who could be making the press go through this many contortions to avoid having to write what is obvious: a guy with a pre-election beef against Bush, who then went on to become a John Kerry campaign advisor, was the guy spilling his guts about his wife to all those reporters.

Joe Wilson and his pals in the press outed his wife.


As fantastical as Joe's mind works, I'm beginning to wonder if the rope noose incident isn't all it was played up to be either. Remember, Kerry was portrayed as a war hero.

Just what was Wilson's role in the run-up to Gulf One?


Responding to Mrs Seven Macho and Martin's comments yesterday: I guess there's just a lot that is unknown about this investigation, and blogs just speculate.

Elite news sources lend credibility to our speculation, true.

I did find your reactions extreme, and interestng. That's the spirit... much better than RNC talking points!


I'm beginning to wonder if all of this is made up by the so called news media. It seems that most all of the news media these days pushes an agenda--everyone has one. In most cases, these so called confidential sources don't exist or are used as a cover for agenda reporting. It seems that the outing was just rumor looking for a source. The news media took people's knowledge of the rumor as confirmation that the rumor was true and printed it as truth. Thus the so called news media outed Plame based on so called confidential sources. After all, a confidential source is just someone unknown, whether real or fictitious, that the so called news media can use to spread their agenda.


There is a sense of bewilderment that 'truth-seekers' could get this so wrong.


Everyone keeps coming close, but nobody seems to have the courage to assert that it was Colin Powell who was Novak's primary source. Today's NYT is running an article about a State Dept. memo that Powell had in his hand while running around Air Force 1.

Guys, this whole thing is a classic Powell modus operandi. I am shocked that nobody has the balls to state the obvious, especially now that the State Dept. memo is out there


Is this the same Powell who refused to put the Afica-uranium spiel in his U.N. presentation?

yes-he would definitely want to burn Wilson.

The Kid

John --

I share your wonder at the MSN’s representations and so look forward to Time magazine reporter Cooper’s appearance on Meat, The Press tomorrow. On July 7, 2005 WaPo staff write Carol D. Leonnig reported the shock and awe reported the shock and awe of Cooper’s dramatic walk to freedom:

Cooper told the judge that he said goodbye to his 6-year-old son yesterday morning and was expecting to go to jail for as long as four months. But minutes later he received a surprise phone call from his government source, who, Cooper said, freed him to break their confidentiality agreement and to tell a grand jury about their conversations in July 2003.
Cooper told reporters who congratulated him as he left the court that he did not feel lucky.

"There's no congratulations here," he said. "It's a very sad day . . . when journalists just doing their jobs face the prospect of jail."

Cooper declined to identify the government source who called and freed him to speak to the grand jury and Fitzgerald about their conversations in 2003.

One of the government officials Cooper talked to during that period was Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, according to Cooper's notes and Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin. Luskin has said that Rove did not identify Plame to Cooper and did nothing wrong.

In an interview yesterday, he said Rove was not the source who called Cooper yesterday morning and personally waived the confidentiality agreement.

"Karl has not asked anybody to treat him as a confidential source with regard to this story," Luskin said.

But today we learn from Howie the K that instead of shock and awe, it was “aw shucks” – Cooper's lawyer worked out the last-minute deal which arguably was done at the last minute because the lawyer was returning from a vacation in Alaska.

Cooper left the impression he had talked to Rove that day when he said his source had released him in "somewhat dramatic fashion." He said yesterday that "I definitely should have been more clear."
I ain’t claiming there’s collusion or conspiracy among the MSM journalistas, just that there’s enough exaggeration, innuendo, outuendo, and understatement to make PR types look clear, concise, and objective by comparison.

The Kid

Karlito – See Tom’s previous post, The INR Memo Strikes Again!. The memo writer refers to Plame as “Mrs. Wilson.” Also, the memo writer had no way of knowing if she was or ever had been covert (NOC). Read the whole thing.


TM said:

(...)a Post reporter was told by an administration official that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction.

hmmm... another anonymous admin official. By this time, there was a ton of "anonymous admin officials" fighting off similar accusations re: GWB's aluminum tubes, drone aircraft, mobile labs... and virtually every Iraq WMD citation they'd made. Two lawmakers said "adiminstration officials" briefed them in closed session that SH could "hit the east coast" w/AB missiles.

Respectfully, if you're still regarding GWB's many WMD claims as sincere, it's time for a reality check. A reading today of Powell's UN presentation is beyond embarrasing... wrong on everything. And Powell stripped out a good part of what GWB wanted in there!!!!

(I know, I know... Bill Clinton believed all this crap. sigh...)

I'd remind of Larry Johnson and colleague's (eg: CIA operatives) testimony on capitol hill on this matter:

(...) Our joint training experience forged a bond of trust and a sense of duty that continues some eighteen years later. It is because of this bond of trust that the authors of this piece and two other colleagues, all former intelligence officers, appeared on ABC's Nightline to speakout on behalf of the wife Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a sensitive undercover operative outed by columnist Robert Novak.(...) We acknowledge our obligation to protect each other and the intelligence community and the information we used to do our jobs. We are speaking out because someone in the Bush Administration seemingly does not understand this, although they signed the same oaths of allegiance and confidentiality that we did.

Clearly some in the Bush Administration do not understand the requirement to protect and shield national security assets. Based on published information we can only conclude that partisan politics by people in the Bush Administration overrode the moral and legal obligations to protect clandestine officers and security assets.

Beyond supporting Mrs. Wilson with our moral support and prayers we want to send a clear message to the political operatives responsible for this. You are a traitor and you are our enemy. You should lose your job and probably should go to jail for blowing the cover of a clandestine intelligence officer.

You have set a sickening precedent. You have warned all U.S. intelligence officers that you may be compromised if you are providing information the White House does not like.

It was this sentiment which initiated Fitzgerald's probe. There is no question in CIA about what happened. I'd bet $$ to donuts these same people (CIA), reading WH surrogates daily expanding smears, are being firmed in resolve to make sure offenders pay.

WH is violating "first law of holes" in most dramatic fashion.


Martin: You err to attempt to fathom Powell's motives. And he is known to use side-channel political devices, like the press.

I still think Tenet told Pincus, what he assumed many knew already, at least partly because of Powell's loose cannon behaviour on the flight.

Why do I despise Wilson so much, besides all the obvious ones? Well, he betrayed his wife, unless she is in it, too.
Also, the anti-war faction has armoured up the wrong hero here. If this was a deliberate attempt to diminish Bush by rogue(I so much prefer the occaisional slip 'rouge') elements then Wilson's poor aim has not only not hurt the object, it has revealed the presence and impulse of his team.

Hmm, maybe a Presidential Medal of Freedom for him for outing the CIA conspiracy. Or at least a letter from Bush. W could get his Dad to knock it out from boilerplate lying around the library.


@ The Kid

"outuendo" and "Meat, The Press". Great! Hadn't heard those before.



@ jdm

Larry Johnson "... a sensitive undercover operative outed by columnist Robert Novak ..."

That's curious. Wilson stated clearly that Valerie Plame wasn't undercover or covert at the time of the Novak article.

So how does Larry Johnson know differently?

Larry Johnson company bio

We are talking about the period of time 1997 to present. But Johnson's bio clearly states that the last time he was in a position to know anything about Plame's supposed covert status, was in 1993.

So jdm, how does Johnson know anything about this? If Plame is covert, then he couldn't know as he is no longer in any intelligence service. If Plame wasn't covert, as her husband Wilson stated, then Johnsons is talking out of his ass.

Which is it?

Or, I suppose, someone could have told Johnson, but isn't one of the arguments being pushed by you guys that repeating classified information, even if it's all over town, is still a crime?

So. Is it shackles time for Johnson?

WH is violating "first law of holes" in most dramatic fashion.

Well you can hope.


Larry Johnson worked for the CIA for 4 years? And he's the expert opinion here? Ahahaha.


Let's throw in the latest information exculpatory of Rove, from none other than the Gray Lady -



I would like to here comments on my thesis the remaining targets of the investigation are Wilson, Plame and possibly some other rogue CIA employees who obviously leaked classified information.


I'll keep checking back here for the debate over the weekend.


Larry Johnson's a liar and an incompetent. Anyone remember his "there is no terrorist threat" editorial from 2001? No, of course not.


@ AJStrata

"Rogue" CIA employees? Surely you don't mean those partisan Democrats within the Agency that have put politics above country. Yes, those same ones that supported Clinton's WMD claims as justification for his pinprick attacks against Iraq and Sudan.

Look on the bright side. There's fewer "rogues" within the CIA than within the State Dept.


A little rouge can cover up battlescars and embarrassment.


This half-baked story of Cake, Yellow,
Forks like it's smarts to the heart of Plamo.
Operate and douche,
Cover it with rouge.
The Rogue of Rogues is her Ole Man Joe.


Here's what I believe:

I abhor any "leaks" of confidential, proprietary, or classified information. That includes those that can not be successfully prosecuted under the laws of our land. BUT, I will only advocate nonjudical punishment (like firing) IF
it is fairly and equally applied.

What do I mean? Even though it seems clear that Plame was NOT a covert operative who was covered by the "5 year" time limit, I would, under fair and equal circumstances, advocate firing "anyone" who outted her. To make the circumstances fair and equal though, it would require this principle to be expanded to others. This would require the removal of Reid & Durbin from the Senate for leaking "classified" FBI documents. And it surely requires the dismal of Leahy for his leak of classified information to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Who on the Left will join me in a fair and equal treatment/punishment for "leaks"? And please, don't try to put (Democrat) Senators above the law by somehow implying that they are not bound by confidentiality or classified. You see, they can use that information they are entitled to, beyond closed doors and in closed session without leaking it to the public.



yep, those would be the ones I was thinking of!



this is rich...from a drudge screamer...

...Begala's presence on the panel created a stir when he declared that Republicans had "done a p***-poor job of defending" the U.S.

Republicans, he said, "want to kill us"....



the Fat Steve timeline linkfest is spot on!



Re leaks of secret information.

As a sidebar to what Tierney calls "Nadagate", it is interesting to note that about a month ago the NY Times had a front page piece revealing in great detail a CIA operation regarding the capture and transportation of terrorists.

This included the airport where the operation was staged, the specific aircraft (including numbers), the front companies, et cetera of this operation. My guess is that a lot of personnel had their covers blown by someone doing a simple google search.

The story went by with hardly a peep.



This is gonna be an exciting horse race to the finish. Too bad we didn't create a "Super Bowl of Leakage" betting pool or an Iowa Electronic Markets-like futures setup.


Still waiting for any Lefty in joining me in advocating a fair and equal treatment/punishment for "leaks". It's the weekend so I can be patient.

@ Lesley

Start the the betting pool. I'm in. If there can be so broad a bet - I'm putting my money on a Non-Administration employee of either the CIA or State Dept with proven Democratic Party proclivities.


And the winner loses all.


Old Stewkarl was a dark horse.
And I wish he were mine.
For battling the dark force,
He always comes from behind.

I bet on the Plame Mare.
Put mo' on the Joe.
Now who's dancin' and a prancin'?
But that noble Stewkarl.


Tenet & Pavitt resigned suddenly on June 3, 2004 -- contemporaneously with Bush & Cheney consulting personal counsel in relation to their being interviewed by the Fitzgerald investigation.


See this
(pages 2 & 8 of the PDF)



"The story [CIA private airline] went by with hardly a peep."

Yes, exactly. Including not a peep, as far as I can tell, from any major righty blogger. Until just now, when various folks like you suddenly notice it.

I wonder what to make of that?


You just weren't paying attention. It met plenty of outrage in the hemiblogosphere.


The eternal referee: I didn't see it so it didn't happen.

Well, get a pair, Ump. Of glasses. We're telling you your vision is obscured.



"It met plenty of outrage in the hemiblogosphere."

I've looked and found not a trace (except recent mentions in the context of Plame). Proof, please. I have now asked this question several times in several places, and the silence is deafening.

I'm not saying proof doesn't exist. I'm saying if it's this hard to find, that doesn't say much for the quality of the point you're trying to make.


So where have you looked and not found a trace?



Why don't you start searching on this blog. Try this.



None so blind as he who will not see.

It is willfullness.


Several blogs talked about it.

Besides, that shouldn't matter.


Of course not. He had an awfully weak point pointing out my weak point. And he doesn't even see stuff like that. Vision, delusion, See, Mon, See.


"So where have you looked and not found a trace?"

Instapundit and Power Line, which I think of as perhaps the two best-known righty blogs.

Thanks for the link to Tom's article. With all due respect to Tom, this still doesn't explain why the bigger righty blogs passed on the story, if it was really such a big deal.

"Besides, that shouldn't matter."

It does matter, because it's an indication of hypocrisy.

A few days ago Power Line suddenly wakes up and tells us the NYT did something to "endanger the lives of real covert agents." If that's true, why didn't Power Line bother to mention it at the time (as far as I can tell; if the article is there and someone else can do a better job of finding it, that would be great)?

The day Tom wrote about the NYT report on the "CIA secret airline," Power Line wrote 12 articles. None of them were about the "CIA secret airline." Hmm, I wonder why. Oh, I see now. Hinderaker was up late the night before digging up this sexy photo of "Miss Canada!"

Hmm, lots of time for cheesecake, but no time to warn us that the NYT was engaged in an effort to "endanger the lives of real covert agents." No time, that is, until the story becomes useful as a way to distract us from Rove.

Not to mention the fact that newspapers are supposed to be in the business of telling us what the government is doing (and not only what the government wants us to know about what the government is doing; if that's all the press ever told us, we wouldn't call it a "free" press). The folks who wrote that article did not sign an agreement promising to protect the government's classified information. As far as we can tell, Rove did. By the way, here's what one of Tom's commenters said at the time: "If a few NYT reporters can figure it out, sure as hell any other interested parties could too. We should thank the NYT for pointing out this transparent cover so that it can be fixed. The reaction to sloppy operations and tradecraft should not be 'keep the flaws hidden' but 'find it and fix it.'" Exactly.

One more thing. Tom is less of a hypocrite than Power Line, because at least Tom covered the "secret airline" story before the Plame case got to the current very dramatic stage (unlike Power Line, who apparently couldn't manage to get excited about the "secret airline" story until 7/13, when Plame was suddenly front-page news).

But even Tom's behavior is questionable. Tom's own article (see the update at the bottom) points out that months earlier, there had already been major media coverage of the "secret airline" story. Where was Tom's outrage back then?


I see you've been graduated to editor of Powerline. Just pathetic.


By the way, let me know if you think Tom's article (and a number of others in blogs most people have never heard of) is what you consider "plenty of outrage in the hemiblogosphere" given that, as far as I can tell, the biggest righty blogs were completely silent on the story.

Update: now I see that Glenn gave Tom a link (here, also see this; these didn't come up in my search earlier). Glenn also says something about Hewitt, but following that link doesn't get me anywhere.

So I think it's fair to say there was some attention, but I think it's a stretch to call it "plenty of outrage in the hemiblogosphere." I also still stand by my comments about Power Line, unless they have an earlier article I can't find.

Also, As far as I can tell, there's nothing earlier, even though 60 Minutes apparently had the story weeks or months earlier. So even the mentions we found (Tom and Glenn etc.) are apparently in the context of the Plame story heating up.

Seven Machos


Sometimes I think you might be dense like me. Nobody on the right is outraged at all over the outing-the-airline thing. That's the way the ball bounces in a free country with a press that is very often hostile to intelligence and military sectors, unless journalists sense some possibility that a Republicn political figure could be hurt.

No, the issue is: clearly, somebody leaked something to the press about the airline, yet there is no clamoring for jail for those people. In fact, those leaks are seen as good. Here, we have a similar leak and all-a-sudden, the leaker has committed treason -- if the leaker is Karl Rove or any Republican official. (If the leaker was Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame or Judith Miller or Matt Cooper or some Democratic-leaning lifer at State or CIA: move along, nothing to see here.)

It's not ourtage about leaks. It's outrage about hypocrisy and double standards with regard to reporting and to leaks.


Well which should be the cause of outrage. Revealing a complex and expensive chunk of our intelligence gathering network or commenting that the wife of a political hitman pushes paper for the CIA and was out to lunch on the day she was asked about her specialty?



"Nobody on the right is outraged at all over the outing-the-airline thing"

Really? Kim just said "It met plenty of outrage in the hemiblogosphere." And when I looked, I definitely found a
what I would call a moderate amount of outrage. So Kim's "plenty" is wrong, but your "nobody" is also wrong.

"somebody leaked something to the press about the airline, yet there is no clamoring for jail for those people"

That's true. As far as I can tell, the folks on the right who got worked up about this placed all the blame on the NYT, and none on the leakers. Interesting how that works.

"Here, we have a similar leak"

I think some folks might give consideration to the question of motive, before they swallow your claim of "similar." In the case of the secret airline, my guess is that some folks at the CIA thought that the public should know one of the means our government was using to conceal torture. In the case of Plame, it's really hard to imagine any reason for Rove outing Plame, except sheer revenge.

I've asked this question repeatedly: why did Rove mention Plame? (This issue and closely related issues are described here.) So far I haven't heard any answers.

By the way, I think some of the outrage in this case is that the leaker has spent a couple of years trying to cover it up. Also the fact that this particular leaker has a track record of previous vicious personal smears.

The whole question of leaks and anonymous sources is very interesting and not simple. It's probably a good thing the public is getting a chance to think hard about it. Sort of like what happened with Schiavo.

Seven Machos

Schiavo? SCHIAVO??? Where did that come from? By the way, the sad case of dead Terry Schiavo is another thing that Big Media covered like crazy and that the Left was (remains?) sure will hurt Republicans electorally. And yet? And yet?

Face it, Juke, you don't like President Bush or his political team and you want to damage him politically. You see this as an opportunity to inflict damage. The facts don't really matter. Rove is guilty because he is Rove, an enemy of The People.

If you could just admit that your callous disregard for the actual truth completely and your hatred for people who disagree with you color your judgment, I would have a lot more respect for you.


My lord, silly, moderate can be plenty. You're getting asinine or inane

Seven Machos


First of all, your questions are leading and intended to trap. (1) Rove was not the leaker, and (2) the thing leaked was not classified.

Why did Cooper mention Plame? Why did anyone mention Plame?

The administration wanted to discredit Wilson because Wilson attempted to discredit the administration after traveling to Niger on a trip that the administration did not approve or care about, but which was making headlines because Big Media was and remains blatantly against the war effort.

People have said this here a million times. For you continue to pretend that your questions about motive haven't been answered is absurd. Either that, or you are stupid. But you can't be stupid, because everyone knows that you are smart, by virtue of your political beliefs.


Seven, "I would have a lot more respect for you" if you actually made even a slight pretense of an attempt to address the very simple issues I raised here.



"Rove was not the leaker"

Then please explain the meaning of this (Cooper): "Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes." (link).

"the thing leaked was not classified"

Better tell Fitz he's been wasting his time, then.

"Why did Cooper mention Plame?"

Cooper didn't "mention Plame" to Rove. Rove outed Plame to Cooper.

By the way, "I would have a lot more respect for you" if you managed for a few nanoseconds to put aside your pathetic practice of answering a question with another question.

"The administration wanted to discredit Wilson"

Please explain why the White House needed to out Plame in order to "discredit Wilson." As I said earlier, it was a WSJ reporter, oddly enough, who said: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa."

If the message Rove wanted to deliver was "Wilson was not sent by Cheney; rather, he was sent by slimy traitorous insignificant low-level operatives," let me suggest the following way he could have said that, which would not have posed any threat to our national security: "Wilson was not sent by Cheney; rather, he was sent by slimy traitorous insignificant low-level operatives." Please explain the critical importance of Rove using words such as "Wilson's wife" as part of that sentence.

Also, nice job continuing to sidestep the various other very simple issues I raised here.

Seven Machos


So, if Karl Rove says one thing, and Matt Cooper says another thing, it must be Matt Cooper who is telling the truth and Karl Rove who is not telling the truth.

That's the bedrock principle on which your argument stands? I would think that a genius such as yourself would be able to do better.

Also, and I think this just may be germane, so I feel compelled to bring it up again and again: Plame was not covert, at least not for many years before Tempest-in-a-Teapot Dome. Further, if Plame was covert, her husband had no business hurling partisan charges all over Big Media. If he expected her covert status to remain, he was grossly negligent. However, that doesn't matter, because Plame did not have covert status at any relevant time.


"if Karl Rove says one thing, and Matt Cooper says another thing, it must be Matt Cooper who is telling the truth and Karl Rove who is not telling the truth."

Please refer me to any statements by Rove/Luskin which are at odds with what Cooper said (unless you mean the statements from the White House a couple of years ago, that Rove simply wasn't involved).

Rove has claimed (indirectly via a leaky Luskin, it seems) that Novak had already heard. Rove has not made that claim with regard to Cooper, although various people (like you, maybe) are trying to suggest otherwise.

"I feel compelled to bring it up again and again"

The things you "feel compelled" to bring up again and again are a feeble way to avoid dealing with various issues I raised here. You're a good stonewaller. Are you gunning for Scottie's job?


Eventually we may get to see what Cooper told the Grand Jury and compare it with his casual jabber on TV. Expect to see the discrepancies enumerated in the newsworld? Well, yes, some blogger will do it.


Some blogger on JustOneMinute?


"Eventually we may get to see what Cooper told the Grand Jury and compare it with his casual jabber on TV"

Ever hear of a guy named Luskin? He hasn't been shy about commenting about Cooper's email, and Cooper's other public statements. Sometimes Luskin has been on the record, sometimes not, but he hasn't kept his mouth shut for very long over the last few weeks. For example, this is what he said about Cooper's email: "Rove did not mention her name to Cooper ... This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren't true" (link). In other words, just some very questionable spin, but not really a denial.

So if Luskin actually thought that anything Cooper has said isn't true, or will ultimately be shown to be untrue or in conflict with his grand jury testimony (in particular, Cooper's recent statement, in plain English, making it very clear that Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and this is something Cooper didn't already know), Luskin would be screaming bloody murder right now. How interesting that he's not. All the current GOP spin is going off in numerous other directions, but no one (aside from characters like you) is seriously disputing the simple statement Cooper made a few days ago: Rove told Cooper that Plame worked for the CIA, and this is something Cooper didn't already know. And of course this is exactly what the White House has spent a couple of years telling us was "totally ridiculous" (link) to suggest.

Hope springs eternal, I guess.


I'm with you Jukeboxgrad. And frustrated by the obsessive, misleading, mostly predictable (RNC), and dense, commentary here.


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