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August 02, 2005

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TM

Jeff - if you are having trouble with the image of Cheney sitting in his office being told that the CIA knows nothing more, then smiling and saying, "well, next order of business", I have to admit - that doesn't sound like our boy.

OTOH, regardless of wht it was that confused Cambell Brown's pretty little head, she does sound funny saying "BROWN: Hey, look, come on. I talked to him. I interviewed him right after his...".

Now, lots of newsies were confused about just what Wilson was alleging - I ran the Wolf Blitzer quote from , too " BLITZER: Supposedly, it came at the request of the vice president.". But that can't all be blamed on Admin spin and Strawman Creationism, after Wilson's phony chats with Kristof and Pincus.

As to the "enforced leave of absence" - maybe that means something else to the Brits, like "fixing the intelligence".

But the SSCI report came out July 9, 2004, one year ago. And the Telegraph says:

While Miller languishes in jail, Mrs Wilson has quietly returned to work at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, after a year's unpaid leave. Her work remains classified, although she is no longer a covert operative.

She spent much of her enforced leave of absence helping to counsel women suffering from postnatal depression...

from which we infer she has gone back recently. Odd coincidence.

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "Wilson had been spending months talking to reporters ... went public himself ... the truth was going to come out, and Valerie Plame's role was part of it."

Irrelevant, with regard to the behavior of Rove et al. Even if one accepts the idea that both Wilson and Plame are creeps, liars and traitors (or even, horror of horrors, Democrats), none of that gives Rove a free pass to out an agent.

For Rove to claim "Wilson was already outing Plame, so I figured I could do it too" is like a teacher saying "I saw a kid throwing rocks at the school bus, so I figured I could do it too."

"it [Wilson's oped] withheld from readers what the CIA thought was the single most important bit of info he'd brought back from Niger."

If the CIA thought the 1999 matter was so important then it's hard to explain why Tenet reacted to Wilson's oped by admitting that the 16 words never should have been in the SOTU. Likewise for why the CIA moved to remove similar words from Bush's earlier speech (October, Ohio).

By the way, Wilson explained why the 1999 matter didn't add up to much (pdf): "The fact that there was a meeting or a visit in which uranium was not discussed does not translate into purchased a significant quantities of uranium. The fact that there was a meeting that was not taken, that was not held, but had it been held, one of the participants opines that perhaps uranium might have been one of the things that this guy might have wanted to discuss, does not suggest uranium sales or significant quantities of uranium from Niger to Iraq. So, those were both--I thought those were both really red herrings."

"evidence to support allegations that Iraq was seeking uranium"

We've been through this. "Seeking" implies currently, as Bush approached by saying "recently." The idea that Saddam might have once done it a long time ago is not support for "seeking." And even Bush in his SOTU did not claim "seeking." He said "sought."

In other words, part of what Wilson said is this (paraphrase): "as far as I can tell, Saddam is not currently seeking uranium from Niger." This in itself is not a direct challenge to Bush, since Bush did not say "Saddam is currently seeking uranium from Niger." Bush came damn close to that, though (by saying "recently").

You're taking exactly the same kind of propagandistic approach to semantics that is used to defend Bush for saying "he wouldn't let them in" (as if it was OK to pretend that this continued to always be true, merely because it was once true some time ago).

jukeboxgrad

GOY: "IIRC, there was pervasive opinion within the CIA that favored a hands-off approach to Iraq, wasn't there?"

Pre-war, Bush et al complained that CIA was too soft on Iraq. Now Bush et al want to put the blame on CIA for being too hard on Iraq. Not impressive.

"Why should the WH have graced Wilson's accusations with a direct response?"

It's not as if the White House is claiming that Wilson's oped was unimportant. If they did make such a claim, you might have a point. But they didn't. On the contrary. The White House claims that Wilson's oped was important and wrong, and that the White House needed to set the record straight. So why not set the record straight by simply presenting facts which were contrary to Wilson's findings? Answer: because they didn't have any.

"And how was his character 'assassinated' by the WH?"

By essentially calling him a liar (example), and almost exclusively with regard to issues which at best were only indirectly related to what really mattered, which is the factual content of his report.

"Do you think UN inspectors spent all those fruitless months in Iraq"

What's all this about inspectors? Are you really sure there were inspectors there? Because Bush told us (on at least two occasions) that "he [Saddam] wouldn't let them in." Sen. Roberts said essentially the same thing. So I think you should check your facts. Bush wouldn't lie about something like this, would he?

Jeff

Patrick - What I'm talking about are the discrepancies within the SSCI itself between what Wilson told the Committee staff and what the intelligence report based on his trip, drafted by others, said. If you look at the SSCI report pp. 43-44, it's clearly true that Wilson thought, and told the Committee, that his trip refuted the possibility that, as least with regard to the allegations at that point, Iraq sought urnaium in Niger. The intelligence report hung a lot on one comment from a third party and how the report reported the former Nigerian Prime Minister interpreted that remark at the time, apparently leaving out what actually happened at the meeting, which had nothing to do with uranium, a futher fact that Wilson had to supply to the committee. There was, evidently, little or no discussion of trade of any kind. One interesting question, then, is why did what the intelligence report said and what Wilson said differ? Did the DO officers who drafted the report selectively use and interpret contra Wilson's own intentions what he told them on March 5 2002?

jukeboxgrad

RALPH: "The British still stand by that claim"

The British have shown nothing resembling proof. The best they can do is "trust me." Now that most Americans believe Bush misled us (with UK collusion), "trust me" doesn't cut it anymore.

"The White House never claimed that yellowcake had been purchased."

Bush did indeed make a claim regarding "recently" and "significant quantities." I guess I should add you to the long list of people who have failed to show any meaningful basis for those words.

By the way, Bush hiding behind "don't blame me, I only quoted the British" is very much like Power Line saying (implicitly) "don't blame me, I only quoted Hilail Gildin." It's almost like Bush and PL are working from the same "How to Be a Republican Propagandist in Ten Easy Steps" playbook.

"that does not make the Administration's words a 'lie.'"

That's not exactly what Wilson said, at least not at first. Wilson made this somewhat different claim, which I find moderate and appropriate: "if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them."

jukeboxgrad

BORIS: "Since the PDBs did not mention teams of suicide terrorists weilding box cutters killing the pilots and flying into buildings"

The PDB also didn't specify flight numbers and seat numbers. So what? There had indeed been a prior warning about suicide terrorists flying planes into those exact buildings. And there had been one or more previous attempts regarding suicide terrorists using commercial planes as a missile. So the PDB was a serious warning, and it was not treated as such. It's not just that Bush didn't prevent 9/11. It's that there's no sign that he even held a single meeting to discuss the various warnings that were being circulated. Too busy clearing brush.

"at the time boxcutters were not considered a security problem"

The "boxcutters" story is fiction (link).

"enforced leave of absence"

Maybe May is somehow referring to what was mentioned here weeks ago (Mac also mentioned this). And more about "unpaid leave" here.

jukeboxgrad

TM: "My idea is that, if I bug them enough, the Powerguys, or somebody, will respond."

I wonder if your idea of bugging them includes holding them accountable for failing to run a correction/update.

Then again, there's your own missing update regarding the CIA/airline story, so I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.

Caution: if you do the right thing (on either of these points), your hard-earned status as a partisan hack might be endangered.

"Ms. Mitchel was admitting that *after* Wilson ID'ed himself, lots of reporters learned about his wife?"

Not sure where you're going with this, but I want to point out again that even _if_ Wilson was careless (or worse), that was not a free pass for Rove to out Plame.

"this 'what are you going to believe, me or your lying ears' exchange is a classic."

I have no idea what about that exchange you find presumably damaging to Wilson.

Joe

Mrs. Wilson's disclosure of suffering from post-partum depression could have had some implications as to the status of her own clearance and presumably if her clearance was in question the whole issue of cover would probably follow as well. Total speculation on my part, but, hey, a little more grist for the rumor mill.

Jeff

TM - From my experience here, it is difficult to get righties to acknowledge that Wilson's trip was triggered by and responsive to question(s) about Niger-Iraq-uranium asked by Cheney (and perhaps his office). I presume that is because once you admit that, then Wilson's claim that Cheney asked a question and his trip was part of answering it is pretty difficult to deny -- and the issue of whether Cheney either specifically requested that Wilson go to Niger or even that anyone take a trip to Niger becomes basically irrelevant. Cheney wanted more information on the alleged deal or the alleged seeking of a deal -- which is how both the CIA and the INR understood it. Wilson was highlighting the fact that his trip was caused by the Vice President's interest. What difference does it make whether the VP said, send someone or send Wilson to Niger? Evidently, newsies didn't make the distinction. But, again, so what?

On the output side, as I have begun tirelessly repeating, we still don't know what Cheney (or someone in his office) actually learned of the info gathered from Wilson, and when he knew it. Wilson is right that it should have gotten to Cheney, and he was on good grounds in assuming it did. Now, if the White House had said, those 16 words never should have appeared in the SOTU, but in fact Joe Wilson is wrong, no word of the results of Wilson's trip ever reached us, which is a monumental screw-up, and here's how it happened -- then, fine. But instead they went on their twin attacks of Wilson, bringing in the utterly irrelevant business about his wife, and on the CIA.

jukeboxgrad

CATHYF: "the notion that a guy [Saddam] who has stolen 20-some billion-with-a-b dollars can't buy whatever he wants [uranium] in a poverty-struck 3rd-world country is PIMP laughable."

It isn't necessarily that Wilson was claiming Saddam _couldn't_ do it. Wilson was claiming that Saddam couldn't do it (spirit away several weeks or months worth of Niger's uranium production, which is what is implied by "significant quantities;" note that 500 tons would be two months of production, for all of Niger) without being _found out_, promptly and easily. I haven't seen anyone present a serious argument contrary to this.

"So the February 23, 1998 al Qeda Fatwah gives as causus belli the invasion of Iraq"

The document you cite is explicitly signed by groups based in Egypt, Pakistan and Bangla Desh. But because one of things it complains about is our ostensible "aggression against the Iraqi people," this is tantamount to proving that Iraq was behind 9/11? This is way over my head. Maybe you can explain this huge leap you've taken.

This would be like if McVeigh claimed he was upset by anti-Catholicism, so we decide to respond to Oklahome City by razing the Vatican. Logical, right?

jukeboxgrad

ETIENNE: "Bush's decision to include unverified rumors in such an important SOTU"

Yes. And it is often overlooked that similar words were wisely removed from an earlier speech, and then they mysteriously crept back in, apparently due to suspiciously convenient memory lapses. And then Rice "disassembled" in her description of what happened (link).

jukeboxgrad

JIM E: "That quote -- even if written in jest -- pretty much exemplifies the tribal nature of many of the right-wingers on this website."

You were referring to this from Kim: "If he can find his way through the maze to find Joe as the villain, we'll declare him intelligent."

That goes hand-in-hand with this from Kim: "If you can't accept my sweeping declarations as truth, despite repitition, then I'll hope you can change."

jukeboxgrad

TOMMY: "You could use unedifying as something other than distasteful depending on the dictionary you use."

A bit of an understatement. I'm having a hard time finding any dictionary that provides support for the claim you seem to still be making, that "unedifying" is, even sometimes, some kind of a synonym for "distasteful." Just curious if you actually have such a dictionary.

"You're still harping about 'mission accomplished'?"

It's not "harping." It's appropriately calling attention to a major example of how Bush et al are outlandishly out-of-touch with reality ("last throes," anyone?).

"I've been reading you for a while and I still have no idea what you believe other than if Bush does it, you don't like it."

I've been reading you for a while and I still have no idea what you believe other than if Bush does it, you're likely to make a knee-jerk defense of it.

"So even if Wilson concluded ... who and what exacty was he correcting?"

He was making an important comment about "recently" and "significant quantities" (I realize those words had not yet been said publicly, but the specious ideas behind those words were already floating around, at the time he returned from Niger). He was also underlining what many in the IC already knew: that even if Saddam had made attempts, or did make attempts, he was unlikely to succeed because there were significant barriers (especially barriers to doing it without getting caught). This is something important that Bush et al never got around to mentioning, for some strange reason.

"If my memory serves that [Plame sent Wilson] was never Cheney's assertion."

It appears to have been Rove's assertion. Last time I checked Rove and Cheney were on the same team (to say the least).

jukeboxgrad

JEFF: "Cheney clarifies his role in Niger-Iraq fiasco"

Very nice job taking a close look at Cheney's weasel-words on this subject.

"it makes no difference whether in her professional capacity his wife played some, apparently minor role in the trip -- which, moreover, Wilson would have been bound by law not to reveal, right?"

Good point, which is consistently overlooked. It should also be understood that Wilson did acknowledge in his book (p. 5) that Plame played a minor role.

(For some reason those amazon links eventually go stale, but it's easy enough to find the page.)

jukeboxgrad

STEVEN J: "It's in HTML so text functions like 'find' work on it, unlike the PDF for the SSCI."

There's a SSCI pdf floating around that is not text-searchable. However, this one is.

I realize the html version might have certain advantages, nevertheless.

Speaking of text-searchable, Wilson's book is on Amazon in that form.

cathyf

jukeboxgrad:

However, I think it's not necesarily helpful to go too far in the direction of treating Novak's call as something routine (and therefore easy to handle via generic guidelines).

But you can also interpret Harlow's statement as the call was too routine. Novak called Harlow and asked if Plame worked for the CIA, and Harlow, knowing that she was an WMD analyst, just assumed she was non-covert. Since Harlow is (obviously) a non-covert CIA employee, we know that he would eat in the non-covert-employee cafeteria. If he saw Plame-Wilson there all the time, too, even had lunch at the same table a couple of times, then that would be another thing that would naturally make him assume that she was non-covert.

We have this little mystery of Harlow's own description of his actions -- first he told Novak that Plame was CIA in the process of telling him that the "Plame sent Wilson" story was wrong, and then he went back and "confirmed" that Plame was undercover by checking. And THEN he called Novak back to ask him not to publish her CIA connection. If what happened is that he just assumed that she was not covert because she was an analyst and because she didn't act covert, and then when he checked discovered that she was (inexplicably) still classified as undercover, then he was sh***ing in his pants because he knew he had disclosed classified info.

It also fits what has been Novak's story from the beginning -- that he knew Plame was an analyst and it never occurred to him she was undercover until Joe Wilson started sqawking, and that when he used the word "operative" he meant "hack bureaucrat" not "secret agent." Yes, yes, I understand that Novak may not have the highest credibility around, and the story is obviously self-serving. But on the other hand, the "it was all a freak accident because I used the word 'operative' and this set Joe Wilson off and then we all started wondering if she was covert and figured out that she was" story has its own rather simple credibility in and of itself. As Billy Occam taught me, I always prefer an explanation of sloppiness and misunderstanding as opposed to a complex evil-genius conspiracy.

cathy :-)

boris

which had nothing to do with uranium ... There was, evidently, little or no discussion of trade of any kind.

So which is it? little ... or no ?

Funny how this poster knows that a mystery inquiry between Iraq and a country who's most notable export is uranium ore, has nothing to do with that particular export.

What was the inquiry about ??? don't know

Possibly uranium ??? definately not

How do you know ??? because if had been about uranium we would know that and since we don't know, it couldn't have been

What kind of kook logic is that ??? because nothing is as it seems

I am always skeptical about what someone with an agenda "fails to report evidence of".

Tommy V

Oh my God, Juke. Stop. You are killing the conversation.

You do not get points for length. It does not somehow add to your credibility.

Jeff

boris - It's unclear to me what "inquiry" you're talking about, and I suspect once again you've simply bought in, as authoritative, to certain right-wing spin. Look at the SSCI report, p. 44: Wilson clarifies what appears from p. 43 to be a rather misleading characterization in the intellegence report based on his trip, which makes it sound like the meeting whose substance concerned expanding trade relations, interpreted to be about uranium, took place. On p.44, Wilson makes clear that at the meeting between the Nigerien and Iraqis there was no discussion of uranium -- at least, that's how I interpret the line that Mayaki and the Iraqis "never discussed what was meant by 'expanded commercial relations'," which, remember, was never uttered by the Iraqis from what we can tell, but only by a third party. When I said that there was little or no talk of trade at all, I was being careful in how I characterized what Wilson said Mayaki said about what was said in the meeting. Mayaki made a successful effort to steer the conversation away from a discussion of trade with the Iraqi delegation. Does that mean that Mayaki opened the door and said, "Welcome, gentlemen and -women, let's talk about how how regard we have for Iraq as the cradle of civiliation etc etc"? Or did the Iraqis say, "We're here to talk about trade," at which point Mayaki said, "Isn't it hot in Iraq this time of year? How's the air conditioning there? How is Dear Leader? etc etc" In either case, what Wilson says means, it seems pretty clear, that there was little or no talk of trade in general, and none about uranium. From the ISG report, it sounds like the Iraqis may wanted to invite the Nigeriens to Iraq, since they had been willing to travel to Libya under sanctions. And it sounds like when there was talk of trade later -- in 2001 in Iraq -- it was the Nigeriens looking for assistance in obtaining petroleum products, with no discussion of anything other than cash payments.

peapies

Cliff May at the corner points to curious employment of Plame via the London Telegraph...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/10/wcia10.xml

"...Mrs Wilson has quietly returned to work at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, after a year's unpaid leave. Her work remains classified, although she is no longer a covert operative.

She spent much of her enforced leave of absence..."

Here is C. Mays post

"NEW CLUES IN THE MYSTERY OF VALERIE PLAME [Cliff May]
A recent article in the London Telegraph reports that Valerie Plame has been on an “enforced leave of absence” -- that she has been on “unpaid leave for a year.”

Now at first you might think, OK, sure, after Bob Novak wrote that she was a “CIA operative” and the Nation’s David Corn wrote that she had been a “top-secret” agent -- providing details about her work and even her cover story -- the CIA would give her a vacation.

But Novak and Corn wrote about Plame in July 2003.

If the Telegraph is correct, she was not put on “unpaid leave of absence” until a full year later, around July 2004. Why?

One also might think she voluntarily decided to take some time off but then it wouldn’t be an “enforced leave of absence,“ would it?

There also is this intriguing tidbit: According to The New York Times, a former CIA officer, whose name remains secret, is filing a lawsuit against the agency because he was dismissed in 2004 – the same year that Plame was put on “enforced leave of absence.”

What’s more, the fired CIA officer “worked in the same unit of the agency” as Plame. And his lawyer “likened his client's situation to that of Valerie Wilson, also known as Valerie Plame.”

I don’t claim to know how to put these pieces together. You have any bright ideas, Dr. Watson?"

http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_07_31_corner-archive.asp#071961

Jeff

Wilson Makes News! Responsive to TM's plea? Talked to Fitzgerald

Wilson today on Democracy Now, along with Waas:

I mean, I – again, I haven't seen the special prosecutor for almost a year-and-a-half.

Still reading for more.

Steven J.

I'd be a little skeptical of anything the Telegraph reports. They broke the Alexandra Polier/John Kerry story, complete with faked quotes.

boris

I characterized what Wilson said Mayaki said about what was said in the meeting.

so .... basically right wingers are not credible but this is ???

ok

there was a meeting yes? yes

no further questions

jukeboxgrad

CATHYF: "Harlow, knowing that she was an WMD analyst, just assumed she was non-covert"

Is there any basis (aside from pure speculation on your part) that Harlow ever "assumed," or said, or acted as if, Plame was "non-covert?"

"when he [Novak] used the word 'operative' he meant 'hack bureaucrat' not 'secret agent.'"

This is a quite a tooth-fairy story, since when you look up the word in the dictionary you don't see "hack bureaucrat," but you do see "secret agent."

Some very interesting research on Novak's historical use of the word "operative" is here, also demontrating that Novak said what he meant and meant what he said.

"it was all a freak accident"

Rove told Cooper Plame was CIA, and worked in WMD. This was far from an accident.

"I always prefer an explanation of sloppiness and misunderstanding as opposed to a complex evil-genius conspiracy."

Those two perspectives are far from mutually exclusive. By the way, if it was all just an innocent misunderstanding, it's hard to understand why Rove said something like "double super secret background." It's also hard to understand why the White House covered this up for a couple of years.

Jeff

boris -- ooh, there was a meeting, case closed. Seriously, what on earth do you take the fact that there was a meeting between Mayaki and an Iraqi delegation to show?

boris

Seriously, what on earth ...

After 911 connecting dots was considered a good thing. It's a dot.

Jeff

After 911 connecting dots was considered a good thing. It's a dot.

First of all, it was not a dot. The whole question was whether it was a dot. Wilson judged it was not -- and, to paraphrase Judith Miller, he was proved fucking right. What's more, this judgment made perfect sense at the moment. Second, your first sentence effectively describes the stance of the Bush administration: they wanted the dots of Iraq and 9-11 connected, and so they pushed hard to find dots connected with issues connected with either of those, and then to connect them. That is just no way to run a foreign policy.

J Mann

Is there any basis (aside from pure speculation on your part) that Harlow ever "assumed," or said, or acted as if, Plame was "non-covert?"

Well, Harlow told Novak that Plame was employed by the CIA. I call that acting as if she was non-covert.

MJW

Jeff says: "From my experience here, it is difficult to get righties to acknowledge that Wilson's trip was triggered by and responsive to question(s) about Niger-Iraq-uranium asked by Cheney . . ."

I asked before, and I'll ask again: Why does it matter whether Cheney sent Wilson?

As far as I can see there are only two reasons. First, if the VP's office was involved in selecting him, they, in a sense, vouched for his credibility. Second, if the VP's office sent him, it would be hard to deny that they were apprised of his conclusions.

If, on the other hand, Wilson was sent on the mission without the approval or knowledge of the VP, even if the trip was "triggered by and responsive" to some questions posed at some time by Cheney, neither of these reasons for mattering apply. So, what does it prove?

boris

First of all, it was not a dot. The whole question was whether it was a dot. Wilson judged it was not

In hindsight what is and is not a dot is a lot easier to determine. At the time I would have considered it a dot, but then I'm a right winger. If you don't want right wingers deciding what is or isn't a dot then you shouldn't vote for them. When you lose elections you don't get to decide how things get done.

After 911 ... Iraq ... Niger ... meeting ... DOT

Patrick R. Sullivan

Coals-to-Newcastle-like, juke hauls in more impaired logic:

'Even if one accepts the idea that both Wilson and Plame are creeps, liars and traitors (or even, horror of horrors, Democrats), none of that gives Rove a free pass to out an agent.'

Nice serving of red herring. Rove's story is that he told one journalist what other journalists had told him. That's no crime, even if it turned out that Plame was covert.

' For Rove to claim "Wilson was already outing Plame, so I figured I could do it too" is like a teacher saying "I saw a kid throwing rocks at the school bus, so I figured I could do it too." '

No, Once Plame's CIA job was out in the open, she's a 'public good', like a radio broadcast that, if one person can hear it, everyone can. Throwing rocks at school bus is 'rival and excludable', hence each discreet act is new damage. (And, I fully expect that Samuelsonian analysis to go over your head)

'If the CIA thought the 1999 matter was so important...'

They didn't. They only thought it the best bit of info Wilson returned with. Read the SSCI report, "No one" thought he had much of anything, so his information was not transmitted to the VP.

'... then it's hard to explain why Tenet reacted to Wilson's oped by admitting that the 16 words never should have been in the SOTU.'

It's not hard to explain, but it was stupid of him to do so.

'By the way, Wilson explained why the 1999 matter didn't add up to much...'

Backing and filling.

' "The fact that there was a meeting or a visit in which uranium was not discussed does not translate into purchased a significant quantities of uranium.'

Right there Wilson is changing his ground. Bush didn't say, 'purchased'. He said 'sought'. Personal friend of Al Gore,Bob Somerby, even saw through that.

'...The fact that there was a meeting that was not taken, that was not held, but had it been held, one of the participants opines that perhaps uranium might have been one of the things...'

And the other thing Baghdad Bob wanted to buy was...goat's milk?

' "Seeking" implies currently'

The phrase 'was seeking' is past tense. 'Is seeking', present. But, Bush said 'sought'.

'... The idea that Saddam might have once done it a long time ago is not support for "seeking." And even Bush in his SOTU did not claim "seeking." He said "sought." '

Meaning Wilson is really, really stupid.

'In other words, part of what Wilson said is this (paraphrase): "as far as I can tell, Saddam is not currently seeking uranium from Niger."'

Which isn't what he was sent to to look for. Nor, was it his job to come to a conclusion. He was supposed to gather information, and leave it to the pros to analyze it. Which they did, and their conclusions were different from his (again, read the SSCI FACTS).

'This in itself is not a direct challenge to Bush, since Bush did not say "Saddam is currently seeking uranium from Niger." Bush came damn close to that, though (by saying "recently").'

Which is followed by a nice bit of projection on your part:

'You're taking exactly the same kind of propagandistic approach to semantics...'

Patrick R. Sullivan

'If you look at the SSCI report pp. 43-44, it's clearly true that Wilson thought, and told the Committee, that his trip refuted the possibility...'

About which, he was wrong, and the analysts who saw his debriefing knew it. Speaking of reading the SSCI report.

'...The intelligence report hung a lot on one comment from a third party...'

Otherwise known as Wilson's source. But, the report DIDN'T put a lot into that. READ THE DAMN SSCI report, it said that no one thought Wilson found out much, but that the one thing he did bring back that was new was the meeting with an Iraqi (later identified as Baghdad Bob) who wanted to talk about 'trade'--which would mean uranium.

'...why did what the intelligence report said and what Wilson said differ? Did the DO officers who drafted the report selectively use and interpret contra Wilson's own intentions what he told them on March 5 2002?'

DUMBKOPF, Wilson wasn't the analyst, he was a mere data gatherer. They didn't ask him to make a conclusion, that was their job. All this proves is that Wilson is an egomaniac living in a Walter Mitty dreamworld where he's the only thing standing between civilization and Bushitler.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'From my experience here, it is difficult to get righties to acknowledge that Wilson's trip was triggered by and responsive to question(s) about Niger-Iraq-uranium asked by Cheney . . .'

That's because the righties have better command of the facts and logic. Wilson's trip was 'triggered' by reports of a sale of uranium. The embassy in Niger send a cable saying it ought to be looked into.

That PRECEEDED Cheney's inquiries, so making a big deal out of Cheney's interest is clearly gratuitous. Unless you're a Kerry supporting, Bush-Cheney hating, washed up third rate former diplomat who'd like to get a foreign policy in a Kerry White House because you're a hero to them.

jukeboxgrad

J MANN: "Harlow told Novak that Plame was employed by the CIA"

As far as I can tell, Harlow didn't issue a denial when Novak said he already knew Plame was at the CIA. Is this for you the equivalent of "Harlow told Novak that Plame was employed by the CIA," or do you have some other basis for your assertion?

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "Rove's story is that he told one journalist what other journalists had told him."

On the output side, I think it's pretty clear that Rove talked with at least Novak and Cooper, so I don't know where you get "one."

On the input side ("what other journalists had told him"), you're still insisting that it matters where Rove heard it. It doesn't, because "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information" (link).

By the way, you're even twisting "Rove's story." In its latest of various incarnations, he says he might have heard from another SAO, who in turn may have heard it from a journalist. Not exactly what you said.

"Once Plame's CIA job was out in the open, she's a 'public good', like a radio broadcast"

Let me know which part of SF-312 supports your argument, or how your argument takes precedence over the SF-312 language I cited. Aside from that, the idea (assuming it's true) that a small number of unauthorized persons knew Plame's status is hardly the equivalent of "out in the open," or "a radio broadcast." That's the whole point of the SF-312 language I cited.

"it was stupid of him [Tenet] to do so [retract the 16 words]"

Maybe you'd like to explain why Bush gives medals to people who do stupid things.

"And the other thing Baghdad Bob wanted to buy was...goat's milk?"

Iraq was trying to gain support for fighting sanctions, and this included trying to achieve closer relations with several African countries, including trade in both directions.

" ... leave it to the pros to analyze it [Wilson's report]. Which they did, and their conclusions were different from his"

I guess you must be talking about this pro: "An INR analyst said when he saw the report he believed that it corroborated the INR's position." This position had previously been expressed as follows: "INR explained its skepticism that the alleged uranium contract could possibly be carried out due to the fact that it would be very difficult to hide such a large shipment of yellowcake and because 'the French appear to have control of the uranium mining, milling and transport process, and would seem to have little interest in selling uranium to the Iraqis.'"

By the way, which "pros" cited in SSCI seem to be convinced that Wilson's report was a basis for making a claim such as "recently" and "significant quantities?" That page seems to be redacted in my copy.

"The embassy in Niger send a cable saying it ought to be looked into. That PRECEEDED Cheney's inquiries"

I don't know what cable you're talking about. SSCI (p. 40) mentions a cable on 2/18/02. This was after Cheney's inquiry (one way we know this is that Plame's memo was dated 2/12).

Presumably you're not talking about a cable of 11/20/01 (see p. 37) which indicated "there was no possibility" that Niger had diverted any yellowcake.

Anyway, SSCI makes it clear (p. 39) that Wilson's trip came as a result of Cheney's inquiry. Again, you should share the redacted pages in your version which tell the story your way.

"righties have better command of the facts"

Heh, as the Instahack says.

"READ THE DAMN SSCI report"

Indeed.

jerkweed

So Novak is now totally losing it on national television, cursing and stalking off the set.

Wilson always looks cool, calm, and collected.

Can appearances be as deceiving as the White House?

kim

You have failed to demonstrate a sense of humor, JBG, repeatedly misconstruing a joke of mine. You've also forgotten your own locution and accused me of it. You have a peculiar, and twisted, understanding of these events. But I've still managed to have a couple of good conversations with you. I have an exercise: Try imagining we're right and you're wrong. It might help you to further understanding.
===============================================

Patrick R. Sullivan

As I predicted Paul Samuelson's distinction was totally lost on juke:

'Let me know which part of SF-312 supports your argument, or how your argument takes precedence over the SF-312 language I cited. Aside from that, the idea (assuming it's true) that a small number of unauthorized persons knew Plame's status is hardly the equivalent of "out in the open," or "a radio broadcast." That's the whole point of the SF-312 language I cited.'

SF-312 is irrelevant, because--if Rove's story has been reported accurately--he did not know, nor could he have known, that Plame's status at CIA was classified information when several journalists told him where she worked. There is no law, as I say, against discussing that.

And, this is like a radio broadcast, because it was going to appear in a NEWSPAPER COLUMN--and, by July 11, when Rove told Cooper, it already had gone out on the wire and Rove seemed to know that.

Though, I must say I'm stunned to see that juke can't count in single digits:

'PATRICK: "Rove's story is that he told one journalist what other journalists had told him."

'On the output side, I think it's pretty clear that Rove talked with at least Novak and Cooper, so I don't know where you get "one." '

Cooper is ONE journalist Rove told what he'd heard FROM other journalists including Novak (and likely J. Miller). That's not a crime. He didn't TELL Novak, he was TOLD BY Novak.

'Iraq was trying to gain support for fighting sanctions, and this included trying to achieve closer relations with several African countries, including trade in both directions.'

I ask again the question you tried to finesse with the above: "And the other thing Baghdad Bob wanted to buy was...goat's milk?"

'I guess you must be talking about this pro: "An INR analyst said when he saw the report...'

Nice try, but you know I'm talking about the pros who WROTE THE REPORT, not someone who 'saw' it. And, who, btw, said it could be read in different ways.

'SSCI makes it clear (p. 39) that Wilson's trip came as a result of Cheney's inquiry.'

Which came about because of REPORTS that existed before Cheney could ask about them. And anyway, Kristof was told by Wilson that he was sent at the 'behest' of Cheney, which is clearly not true.

Glad to see you finally got your verb tenses straight.

owl

Sometimes you need to actually be watching the tube when the words are said. Half of the story is in the facial expressions, nods, etc.

That is what I saw the one time with Andrea. I also saw the interview with Brown and the lawyer. She was disgusted with the spin the lawyer was feeding her. If you had seen her face, you would know she tried hard to interrupt him and say she knew different because Wilson told her.

Wilson knew his wife arranged his visit. Wilson outed his own wife. Dunno why exactly but he had to have known she would be "outed" if he put his face before every camera. I can't move beyond anyone not believing that Wilson did this deliberately. I doubt if it is everyday that a husband outs his own wife. So why did he do it?

kim

I've wondered for awhile if Val is co-villain or victim.
====================================

boris

So why did he do it?

Dunno, but it is tempting to suggest that the contortions of logic and devious shenanigans that moonbats ascribe to Rove is actually projection.

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "repeatedly misconstruing a joke of mine"

I never said you weren't funny. Some fine examples can be found here ("if you can't accept my sweeping declarations as truth, despite repitition, then I'll hope you can change"), here ("if he can find his way through the maze to find Joe as the villain, we'll declare him intelligent") and here ("try imagining we're right and you're wrong. It might help you to further understanding").

"You've also forgotten your own locution ... "

No. Here I acknowledged that I said it first.

" ... and accused me of it"

It's not my fault that you picked up the ball and ran with it. It's quite remarkable that you insist on acting as if you didn't.

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "he did not know, nor could he have known, that Plame's status at CIA was classified information when several journalists told him where she worked."

It's extraordinary how you can hardly get through a sentence without pulling something out of your hat. "Several?" At most, Rove claimed (indirectly, via leaks by Luskin) he heard from two journalists (Novak and someone else Rove mysteriously couldn't remember). This is documented here: "Rove told the grand jury that by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another member of the news media but he could not recall which reporter had told him about it first, the person said."

Maybe in your dictionary, several means "two." But wait a minute, don't blink, Rove changed his story. Now it looks like this: "Rove testified early in the investigation that his information about Plame came from Novak, his attorney said. Rove testified he also may have heard about her from another reporter or administration official who had heard it from a reporter, but he could not recall the second source of his information, his attorney said."

So now Rove is even more vague. Maybe his second source was a reporter, and maybe not. Anyway, nice job with your weasel-word "several."

As far as "nor could he have known ... Plame's status ... when ... journalists told him," you're doing a nice job of bringing up something irrelevant. Let's assume for a moment that "journalists told him," and let's assume for a moment that Rove didn't know Plame's status at that exact moment. Trouble is, that's not the point. No one is claiming that Rove behaved improperly in the act of listening to what anyone said to him. Rove's misbehavior wasn't done with his ears. It was done with his mouth.

So the question is not what he knew, or could have known, "when ... journalists told him." The question is what he knew, or could have known, when he outed Plame to Cooper. And the simple, obvious truth is that he "could have," prior to his conversation with Cooper, done exactly what Novak did, i.e., put a dime in the phone and check with the CIA regarding Plame's status. And in fact he had an explicit duty to do so (unless he was certain Plame's identity was not classified, and it seems highly doubtful that he was in a position to be certain about that). Rove signed a form that said: "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it" (link).

"There is no law ... against discussing that."

Another nice weasel-word from you: "discussing," which seems to be designed to elide the important distinction between listening and speaking. As I said, no one is claiming that Rove did something wrong by listening to a reporter say things about Plame (if that's indeed what happened). However, Rove did indeed do something wrong by telling a reporter (Cooper, at the very least) about Plame.

As far as "no law," I'm not particularly interested in a legalistic discussion about whether or not this was a criminal act (Rove outing Plame to Cooper). However, it was clearly a violation of SF-312, which specifies that a leak of classified information is still a leak of classified information, even if your source was an unauthorized person (e.g., a reporter).

It's remarkable that you're still sticking with the premise you stated weeks ago: "it is not illegal to tell one reporter what another reporter knows." Here you stated the same nonsense in a slightly different form: "information given to Rove by a reporter is not classified information." Here I provided a simple example to illustrate the obvious absurdity of this notion. You're coming up with enough new nonsense that you don't need to also be recycling the same nonsense you peddled weeks ago.

"this is like a radio broadcast, because it was going to appear in a NEWSPAPER COLUMN--and, by July 11, when Rove told Cooper, it already had gone out on the wire"

I notice you have a hard time deciding which story you want to tell. "Going to appear" and "it already had gone out" are two different perspectives. Which is it? If it's "going to appear," please indicate the part of SF-312 that says "it's OK to leak classified info if you believe someone else is going to be doing it soon anyway." And even if "it already had gone out," SF-312 plainly indicates that it's still not OK to compound the damage by adding confirmation.

Aside from all that, your assertion "by July 11, when Rove told Cooper, it already had gone out on the wire" deserves a closer look. Novak's column appeared on Monday 7/14. Cooper and Rove talked on Friday 7/11. We know this conversation happened before 11:07 am, because that's the time on an email Cooper wrote, describing the conversation. Various people have pointed out that Novak's column was distributed via wire service before it was printed, and perhaps as early as Friday. But as far as I know, no one has confirmed that it was available prior to 11:07 am. I think it's safe to assume that if this were true, we would have heard Luskin crowing about it a long time ago.

So if you have any sort of proof for your assertion ("it already had gone out"), I think Luskin is waiting by the phone. But you don't have proof, and this is something else you've pulled right out of your hat. By the way, this was all discussed weeks ago, here.

"He didn't TELL Novak, he was TOLD BY Novak."

Rove's story seems to be at odds with Novak's story, who claimed he heard it from two SAO. But even if you take Rove's story at face value, he's still not off the hook with regard to Novak. Even Rove does not claim that he was only "TOLD" things by Novak. Rove acknowledges that he said "I heard that too." "I heard that too" is a form of confirmation (albeit a coy form), and confirmation is a form of unauthorized disclosure: "Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified ... before disseminating the information elsewhere or _confirming_ the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or _confirmation_ of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure" (link; emphasis added).

"I ask again the question you tried to finesse with the above: 'And the other thing Baghdad Bob wanted to buy was...goat's milk?'"

It's not a question of "finesse," it's just a question of you being unable to grasp the obvious: Iraqis attempting to initiate trade are not necessarily interested in buying something: they might be interested in selling something.

"I'm talking about the pros who WROTE THE REPORT, not someone who 'saw' it"

I ask again the question you tried to finesse with the above: which "pros" cited in SSCI seem to be convinced that Wilson's report was a basis for making a claim such as "recently" and "significant quantities?"

"[Wilson's trip] Which came about because of REPORTS that existed before Cheney could ask about them"

What's your point? Everyone understands there were certain reports, and Cheney asked about them, and this led to Wilson's trip.

Anyway, nice job hoping that everyone forgets your nonsense about cables that travel backward in time ("The embassy in Niger send a cable saying it ought to be looked into. That PRECEEDED Cheney's inquiries").

jukeboxgrad

OWL: "Wilson outed his own wife."

I guess that why Fitz just called in a couple of people who worked for Rove. Those darn Republican special counsels. Then again, maybe he's going to great lengths to lull Wilson into a false sense of complacency, and then Fitz can head in for the kill.

kim

What? No link to you resenting my pointing out to you that your recollection of the origin of 'sweeping generalization' was yours and its use was self apt. Got over it so quickly?

And I notice your criticism of my argument has degenerated into illustrations and criticisms of style preferences. Look, you shouldn't crab about style when you can't even recognize your own words. That's why it was so immeditely obvious to me that you had incorrectly attributed those words to me. Get a style you can recognize later; it can be useful.
Your links don't create a symphony masterfully conducted. Why don't you just say what you mean instead having the links say it for you? If you have linked in pursuit of truth, what you say instead will end up true anyway, so why bother with the distractions of links? You do want to speak the truth, don't you? Or are you the despicable variety of sophist, rhetorician for hire, now covering for a liar?
=================================================
===============================================

jukeboxgrad

"No link to you resenting my pointing out to you that your recollection of the origin of 'sweeping generalization' was yours and its use was self apt."

Huh? Try English next time.

"I notice your criticism of my argument"

You're giving yourself way too much credit by claiming that what you do rises to the level of "argument."

Jeff

Patrick R. Sullivan said

That's because the righties have better command of the facts and logic. Wilson's trip was 'triggered' by reports of a sale of uranium. The embassy in Niger send a cable saying it ought to be looked into.

That PRECEEDED Cheney's inquiries, so making a big deal out of Cheney's interest is clearly gratuitous. Unless you're a Kerry supporting, Bush-Cheney hating, washed up third rate former diplomat who'd like to get a foreign policy in a Kerry White House because you're a hero to them.

Patrick, I know that there are good reasons to doubt various aspects of the SSCI report. But what cable that preceded Cheney's inquiries are you talking about? I can find no mention of this cable that you use to justify your claim that Cheney's inquiries did not trigger Wilson's trip in the SSCI report. Could you also explain why you doubt what is contained on p. 39 of the SSCI report, where CPD discussed ways to respond to the VP's questions, along with State's and DoD's; and where by Feb. 13, the day after the Vice President's question(s), CPD was already sending a cable out requesting somebody's concurrence on sending Wilson to Niger.

Otherwise, are you willing to change your mind, just a little bit?

As for your other abusive response, it's tempting just to say, man, are you schmucky. But I'll add that in speaking of the differences between what Wilson evidently came up with in Niger and what apparently made it into the intelligence report, I was not talking about the difference between data and analysis of the data, but rather facts and their characterization -- it appears from the SSCI report that some relevant facts were left out by the officers who composed the report, and it also appears from the SSCI report, in any case, that there was a misleading characterization of facts in the report. If that's so, it's not such a stretch to seek an explanation in the well-known disagreements among the different individuals and agencies involved over Iraq.

The one other thing is that talking about trade did not equal talking about uranium, as we learn from both the Butler Report and the ISG Report. What's more, not even trade was discussed much, if at all. All you had was that third party -- not Wilson's source, but rather a third party whom Wilson heard about second-hand from his source -- telling Wilson's source prospectively that the Iraqis wanted to talk trade. And once the meeting actually happened, according to Wilson's source, it was pretty easy to change the subject, or not have the subject come up at all.

Man, are you schmucky.

Jeff

MJW - If I understand your point, I would say that Wilson certainly was never trying to tie himself to Cheney in order to up his credibility. Truly. I'm sure from his perspective his own experience, as well as the fact that the CIA chose him, was enough. And I do think your second reason is right on target, in the sense that Wilson emphasized the role the Vice President played in causing his trip in order to make it harder to deny that the VP was apprised of the information he gathered, because harder to imagine otherwise. But if Wilson really were claiming that the VP sent him, then he wouldn't have to go through that other rigamarole of explaining how things are supposed to work in government, what standard operating procedure is, and so on. Which he did go through. To make his case that it was hard to imagine Cheney did not learn of the results of his trip, Wilson has to supplement his claim about the VP's question triggering his trip with a claim about the answer the VP should have gotten. He wouldn't go through that additional step if he could just say, the VP sent me. In order to make your second reason apply, as you say, he had to say something more and other than what he said about the VP's role in the origins of the trip -- otherwise, as you say, that reason does not apply.

kim

I didn't expeact you to understand the english phrase 'self-apt'.

I wanted you to read last Saturday's Daily Howler, because Bob Somerby took up my 'argument' about you.

I have a fair amount of faith that my 'argument' of the development and denouement of this affair will end up closer to the truth than your journey into the maze of press illusion, the minutiae of 'he said, she said', and the paranoia of Bushatred. You might notice that I'v been hammering on Yellow Cake and Joe Wilson for a month, and there is more curiosity about that now than when the Rove-Cooper stuff came out then.
============================================

kim

Jeff, speaking of the minutiae of 'he said, she said", I'd like you to reread your last post and stop and think how much you are just speculating about people's motives and unheard words. You are making that up. Is it soothing to see it in print?
=================================================

jukeboxgrad

"I didn't expeact you to understand the english phrase 'self-apt'."

Oddly enough, searching for that phrase on google (either "self-apt" or "self apt") returns lots of lines of computer code (e.g., "def make_appointment(self, apt, attendees)") and apartment listings (e.g., "Thomas N · Hamilton, Self/apt Rentals, $200, 2004-10-22"), but nothing along the lines of the usage you've created.

So you deserve credit for being original. As the saying goes, they broke the mold before they made you.

Jim E.

"Bob Somerby took up my 'argument' about you."

Somerby's writing about JBG? Wow!

owl

Making one more comment before I quit this endless loop.

I am not a detective but I am a witness. I repeat, I saw (more than heard) Andrea Mitchell agree it was an open secret around town. I did not get the impression she meant AFTER. She meant BEFORE. Only heard her once, but seemed to back off of it on later shows.

I was a witness to the Brown/lawyer interview. A piece of that transcript is posted here. Now if you just read that transcript, you could disagree on what was actually said. If you were a witness, you know that transcript does not even begin to tell what happened in that interview. You can't see her facial expressions but you can notice something important. Look for (CROSSTALK). She was disgusted. She tried to tell him to stop because she knew better than what he was saying because Wilson, himself, had told her.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I'd suggest that juke read the material he links to, but I suspect he has, and simply can't understand it:

' A party to the SF 312, SF 189 or SF 189-A may be liable for disclosing "classified information" only if he or she knows or reasonably should know that: (a) the marked or unmarked information is classified, or meets the standards for classification and is in the process of a classification determination; and (b) his or her action will result, or reasonably could result in the unauthorized disclosure of that information. In no instance may a party to the SF 312, SF 189 or SF 189-A be liable for violating its nondisclosure provisions by disclosing information when, at the time of the disclosure, there is no basis to suggest, other than pure speculation, that the information is classified or in the process of a classification determination.'

And there are plenty of other provisions in the paper clearly saying that it is only information you had access to by virtue of your security clearance that can't be disclosed. Which Rove did not, because he did not have a 'need to know' about covert CIA operatives.

Karl Rove did nothing wrong by talking with reporters about something he learned outside of any access to classified information. Besides, it isn't clear that he even had a security clearance in July 2003.

He didn't get his current Homeland Security gig until February 2005 (iirc).

jukeboxgrad

JIM E: "Somerby's writing about JBG? Wow!"

It's more than enough that Kim's writing about me. Having attained that, who could ask for anything more?

OWL: "I saw ... Andrea Mitchell agree it was an open secret around town."

I'm not at all suggesting you're a liar. You saw what you saw. However, if it was indeed "an open secret around town," it's peculiar to notice a distinct absence of a single, credible, named source ready, willing and able to make a clear statement about that, such as: "I was at a party on date X and I heard person Y say Z about Plame." (And Rustmann's words don't rise to that level.)

By the way, I'm not suggesting that absolutely no one knew. That's unrealistic. But if it was a significant number of people (as in "open secret"), it's hard to understand the absence of such proof, especially at this late date.

kim

All you have to do is look up 'self' and 'apt', look at the context, and, if you are clever, you'll see that 'self apt' means that you were making a sweeping generalization when you accused me of making sweeping generalizations. A dictionary, my man, the context, and a well-trained mind; that's what's needed to make sense of an English phrase.

Google? Yes there is information there, but why you thought that would help you understand my sentence I fail to see. Do you suppose googling might help me figure out what you're thinking?

Are you tired of defending Joe Wilson yet? Wait'll you hear what his wife thinks of him.
================================================

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "only if he or she knows or reasonably should know"

Given that "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" (link), Rove "reasonably should know" (or should have known) that Plame's identity might be classified information. Especially since SF-312 also says "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it" (link).

"no basis to suggest, other than pure speculation, that the information is classified"

Since a non-trivial number of CIA employees are undercover, there was indeed "basis to suggest," going far beyond "pure speculation," that Plame's identity might be classified information. Especially since SF-312 also says "I understand that if I am uncertain ... ."

Why are you citing evidence which is contrary to the specious point you're trying to make? I guess because there's a lack of evidence to support your point, so maybe you figure that contrary evidence is better then no evidence at all. I suppose there's a certain exquisitely perverse logic to that.

"there are plenty of other provisions in the paper clearly saying that it is only information you had access to by virtue of your security clearance that can't be disclosed"

If "there are plenty of other provisions ... " it's odd that you don't cite any of them. Anyway, it's pretty clear that since your recent arguments have fallen apart you're dredging up another one that's just as idiotic. I have a feeling this is something you read on a blog somewhere. I even have a feeling I know which blog it was. And I clearly demonstrated the insanity of this particular proposition a couple of weeks ago, here.

"it isn't clear that he even had a security clearance in July 2003."

Rove was a "regular participant" in the "White House Iraq Group" (link). According to some reports, he chaired this group. It's extremely hard to imagine he did this with no security clearance. If that's true, it's perhaps an even bigger scandal.

By the way, here is some additional information underlining Rove's obligation to protect classified information even if it had already been published in a public source. This is relevant to your earlier assertion that Novak's story was already available via wire service at the time Novak outed Plame to Cooper. In other words, your assertion is not just wrong, but also irrelevant.

Speaking of pulling unsubstantiated assertions out of your hat ("it already had gone out on the wire;" link), we're still waiting for you to clear up the nonsense about mysterious cables that travel backwards in time ("The embassy in Niger send a cable saying it ought to be looked into. That PRECEEDED Cheney's inquiries;" link). I assume you'll continue to entertain us by making things up.

kim

JBG, what an ignorant thought. Do you suppose people who did hear are going to run around and tell everyone now that they heard it from so and so. Sometimes I wonder about you.
================================================

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "if you are clever"

Not clever enough to make sense out of you.

jukeboxgrad

"Do you suppose people who did hear are going to run around and tell everyone now that they heard it from so and so."

If it was "common knowledge," why not? Especially because there isn't anything particularly wrong with passively receiving classified information, or gossip; the misbehavior is primarily and appropriately assigned to the transmitter, not the receiver. So someone could come forward and admit no wrongdoing: "at a party on date X I heard person Y say Z about Plame, but I never repeated this to anyone until today, because I'm not the kind of person who transmits gossip or rumors."

Why haven't we heard anyone make such a statement? By the way, depending on the identity and role of person Y, it's quite possible that person has no moral or legal liability. For example, if they are not a government employee who signed SF-312, they arguably have little or no responsibility for protecting Plame's identity.

By the way, we haven't even heard this more moderate statement: "at a party on date X I heard a person say Z about Plame; I am choosing to protect the identity of the person who made the statement."

And here's yet another variation: a source who makes a statement along the lines of one of these examples, but does it "on background." In other words, their own identity is protected.

Why hasn't even that happened?

kim

Bang, Bang, Maxwell Silver Subpoena come knocking on your door.
================================================

jukeboxgrad

True, no one wants to get a phone call from the FBI. But if it was "common knowledge," then surely one of the scores of people who knew was a Republican. Even if one assumes the DC press corps is mostly libruls, there are at least a few rightys sprinkled in (e.g., Novak, Moonie Times, Fox, WSJ etc.). Surely there we would be at least one person, perhaps someone young, underemployed, ambitious, with Gannonesque aspirations, who would like to help the team and have their 15 minutes of fame (sort of like Kato Kaelin). And they would not necessarily be implicating themselves or anyone else in a crime, so a little grilling from Fitz would not be such a big deal, given the bigger picture. Their memory could be Rovistically vague: "I heard it at a party, but I don't remember who said it." Or "I heard it on the subway, or while waiting in line at the movies." Or "it came up in a casual conversation I had with a total stranger walking down the street" (kind of like Novak spilling his guts to Wilson's pal).

If it was "common knowledge," how come we still haven't heard from a single person, along these lines?

kim

Given my obsessive need to show that a lot of people figured out Plame in early July, or should have, I'll agree that the lack of evidence is curious.

But to the should have. Why wouldn't thousands, if not tens of thousands, suddenly get curious about Joe's connections to the CIA? I simply think that scenario is a lot more plausible than the 'single source' leak model.
=============================================

kim

Here's another thought. The White House may well have a number of such witnesses lined up for the defense, if necessary. The ones with real data wouldn't want to be telegraphing it now, but I wouldn't be surprised if Fitz knows about them or suspects their existence.

jukeboxgrad

"The ones with real data wouldn't want to be telegraphing it now"

I can't imagine why not. Luskin has been anything but reticent with regard to trying to spin press coverage.

kim

Defense won't and need not inform the prosecution.
==================================================

Jim E.

"Here's another thought. The White House may well have a number of such witnesses lined up for the defense, if necessary."

Looks like kim has "telegraphed" her own talking points for the future. It doesn't matter if anyone in the White House is indicted, because they'll have a bitchin' defense ready to go at the criminal trial! Even if Turd Blossom is convicted, kim will be confident that his appeal will be successful. If kim's not a nutty true believer, I don't know who is.

kim

So you think they haven't thought of that defense?
===================================================

kim

And speaking of nutty true believer, you and a few others I could mention sure have some meaty credulity bound up in your vision of an evil White House, on awfully thin evidence.
===========================================

Patrick R. Sullivan

Again from juke's own source:

----------quote-------------
Question 19: If information that a signer of the SF 312 knows to have been classified appears in a public source, for example, in a newspaper article, may the signer assume that the information has been declassified and disseminate it elsewhere?

Answer: No. Information remains classified until it has been officially declassified. Its disclosure in a public source does not declassify the information. Of course, merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure. However, before disseminating the information elsewhere or confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.
---------enquote---------

Since juke is obviously reading impaired, let's highlight: 'If information that a signer of the SF 312 *knows to have been classified* appears in a public source...'

And also: 'merely quoting the public source in the abstract is not a second unauthorized disclosure'.

Perhaps you should change your name to jukeboxtoast?

Jim E.

kim,
Please point me to something specific that I've written that will be discredited. I've never called this White House "evil" or predicted indictments or any such thing. You and Machos are the ones making bold predictions (and putting your own credibility -- what little there is of it, anyways -- on the line) on the basis of thin evidence, not me.

Patrick,
You think that language HELPS your argument? In what "public" source was it disclosed that Plame worked for the CIA prior to Novak's column? Please provide it. Besides, the last two sentences of the paragraph you quoted aren't very helpful to Rove and Co. either. Toast, indeed.

kim

It is true I have confused your positions with those of JBG and others. And I agree I'm also making predictions on little fact. Why are we all so sure of the certainty of our beliefs? There is precious little evidence.
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boris

In what "public" source was it disclosed

My interpretation; this is an example which would also apply to discussions with the press, Miller, Cooper, and Novak. Your interpretation seems to be that this is in a strict literal sense the one and only exception.

kim

It is true I have confused your positions with those of JBG and others. And I agree I'm also making predictions on little fact. Why are we all so sure of the certainty of our beliefs? There is precious little evidence.
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boris

Wow ... A new characteristic symptom of the double posting bug !!

Patrick R. Sullivan

Jim E, the argument (beginning, I believe, with Tim Russert on MTP) is that Rove was obligated to tell Novak, 'No comment' rather than, 'I heard that too". That's clearly not what the official handbook that juke has thoughtfully provided for us, says.

And Novak, not having a security clearance is a 'public source'.

Paul A. Miller

Tom,

I think your suggested headline pertaining to Wilson should be: "Wilson's 'secret friend' revealed to be xxxxxxxxxx."

The secret friend is clearly in the media (who else would Novak be talking to about a column he was working on?). The secret friend obviously knew about Plame's employment and status with the CIA (why else would this 'friend' be probing Novak?). The secret friend was clearly troubled by the thought of this going public (why else would this 'friend' do Wilson's bidding?).

It seems like this 'secret friend' is in the middle of everything.

As per an earlier comment here and my post (http://pamillerblog.blogspot.com/2005/07/column-for-week-of-717-well-we-asked.html) of a couple weeks ago, I think all roads lead right back to ... Joe Wilson.

jukeboxgrad

PATRICK: "Novak, not having a security clearance is a 'public source'."

You're posting the same nonsense in multiple places. I've answered you here.

Jim E.

kim wrote: "Why are we all so sure of the certainty of our beliefs?"

"We all"? Speak for yourself, not "we all," please.

Patrick wrote: "That's clearly not what the official handbook ... says."

Really? What does this mean to you?:
"Before disseminating the information elsewhere . . . the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, further dissemination of the information or confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure."

Rove was a confirming source. Yet there's zero evidence that Rove did any due dilegence. Without Rove, the Novak article presumably wouldn't have mention Plame or her alleged role. (I say "presumably" because responsible journalists are supposed to have more than one source. It's debatable whether Novak acted responsibly.)

kim

L'etat, c'est nous.
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Wilson/Plame