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October 13, 2005

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kim

Think, Casey, think.

His role in deciding whether or not we would act based on Nigerien info was minor, certainly much smaller than he thought. His role in the Plame kerfuffle is major, and might well make him the target of Fitz. Certainly enough lies were detailed in the SSCI report to give Fitz a few leads.

This is mighty elementary, my dear. Has Casey struck out?
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Cecil Turner

What I'm interested in at this point, and what I have yet to hear, are any objective signs (not wishful thinking; not conspiratorial spin; not blog-comment echo chambering) that Wlson *is* a target of Fitzgerald's investigation.

Maybe I'm missing something, but as far as I can tell, you're the only one proffering the claim that Wilson's a target. It seems to me dubious, mainly because Fitzgerald is charged to find who leaked Plame's identity, not investigate other leaks. However, pointing out that Wilson may well have leaked classified information is pertinent, because it affects how people treat related classified information (cathyf's "reasonableness" point above).

Syl, thanks for that superb recap from Hayes. Clear, concise, and complete . . . amazing.

kim

Simply virtuous.
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Jim E.

If Wilson was a target, surely Nick Kristof and David Corn would have been asked to testify for the GJ. Neither has. Therefore, I think it's clear Wilson is not a target.

Another point: Since certain folks are quick to label Wilson a liar, I'm wondering where all the angst is for Rove and Libby. After all, each specifically told McClellan that neither had anything to do with the Plame story. McClellan then told the media it was "ridiculous" to suggest Rove and Libby were involved in any way.

Well, now we know they were lying because by their own admission, they were involved in the Plame thing. (Whether their involvement was illegal is another matter.) They lied to McClellan, who lied to the American public. They may have even lied to the president. For all of you throwing around the "liar, liar" charge, where's the outrage over Rove and Libby? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that they're Republicans, could it? Naah...

Jim E.

Cecil,
Various folks (esp kim) on these threads have claimed Wilson is the target of the investigation. It's not an uncommon assertion 'round these parts.

Jim E.

Stephen Hayes is the guy that made the argument that Saddam was behind 9/11. Not the most credible of sources.

kim

If wishes were horses beggars would ride after the hounds of hell pursuing Joe.
==================================

kim

Was that an Ad Hayminem, there, Jim E?
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Syl

I have no idea who is the target of the investigation, if anybody.

JimE

As far as Rove, he did not recall his conversation with Cooper until his email regarding it to Hadley? showed up later. And Rove and his lawyer immediately turned the mail over to Fitzgerald. Thus the difference in statements from McClellan before and after that point in time.

'I heard that too' does not constitute involvement in any legal sense.

Stephen Hayes laid out what intelligence exists that supports some Iraqi involvement in 9/11. That does not make him credible or not credible. He just laid it out.

You seem to think the if someone has the temerity to look at stuff that you dismiss out of hand, that makes him unworthy. That's just silly and partisan.

Cecil Turner

It's not an uncommon assertion 'round these parts.

I recall it coming up a few times, but few supporters and not much enthusiasm for defending it. On this particular thread, it's a bit of a strawman. (And I think Kim's mostly waxing lyrical on the point.)

Syl

Casey

"I already know what the Right says about Wilson."

Do you reject what 'the Right says'? Or do you believe Wilson's trip was to learn more about a document that was forged?


"Saying It could be a point of info we totally ignore in his blatherings for all we know, rather than something we all discuss doesn't cut it."

I've never claimed Wilson is the target. I'm only educatin' you on the fact that we, as layman, have NO idea what may or may not be classified info and wouldn't know it if it were right before our eyes.

I do think, however, that if Wilson divulged something classified, it would be a separate inquiry initiated by the CIA unless they deemed it not damaging enough to even bother with more than a reprimand.

kim

I would be the first to admit my guesses are largely guided by desire. I'm tremendously biased against Joe, if only because I suspect him of doing Val wrong. But the target of a roll-up will be the last in the fold.
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kim

Just how would a reprimand be directed to Joe? Part of the dynamic of the affair is Joe's irregular relationship with the CIA and the marriage relationship of the Wilsons(Plames?). Those can cause a lot of slippage, or shimmering, as Jay Rosen might see it. Cloak and dagger, indeed.

Out, out, damned spot. Now who is Lady MacBeth here?
=================================================

j.west

One unexplained point that relies on facts is the “unanticipated shift of the investigation”.

As has been stated here numerous of times, Fitzgerald was tasked with:

….”an investigation into whether federal law had been violated in connection with the unauthorized disclosure by government employees of information concerning the identity of a purported CIA employee.”

By definition, this investigation would include the possibility of witnesses perjuring themselves and/or a conspiracy to commit the described crime.

However, in the Miller/Cooper appeal, Judge Tatel felt that the subpoenas needed to be upheld because they:

"stem[med] from legitimate needs due to an unanticipated shift in the grand jury's investigation,"

Now, if the assumption that an investigation into any crime would naturally encompass the full realm of possible perjury concerning the crime or conspiracy to commit the crime, the “unanticipated shift” must mean Fitzgerald is looking at something else.

Also derived from the appeal is the description from Tatel that tends to bolster the case for something completely different:

"considering the gravity of the suspected crime and the low value of the leaked information….”

My personal feeling is that Joe and Valerie are going down.

CaseyL

[W]e, as layman, have NO idea what may or may not be classified info and wouldn't know it if it were right before our eyes.

"We, as laymen" aren't the ones making that determination.

The CIA can make that determination, did determine that Plame was an NOC, and referred the disclosure matter to the DOJ.

Neither Libby nor Rove are "laymen" either, not when it comes to classified data. They're WH chiefs of staff. WH Chief of Staff isn't an "any idiot can do it" job. It's their responsibility to check whether data are classified before they blab to anyone, and they're supposed to err on the side of caution if they're unsure.

Let's put it this way. Let's make believe Bush was telling the truth about Iraq's WMDs. Suppose Plame's agents knew Iraq had them, and exactly where they were. Suppose her agents were with Saddam's government, and their meetings with her were on record, but covered by her front company as innocuous.

Now: suppose the Bush Admin, in order to bolster its case for war, leaked the fact that Plame had confirmed the existence of WMDs in Iraq, and the reporter they leaked it to ran with the story. Saddam or his Minister hears about it, goes over the records of who had any connection to Plame, or to Brewster Jennings, finds the informant, and has the informant executed.

Further, any other government that might have WMDs now goes through its surveillance records to see who might have any connection with Plame, her agents, or her front company. And anyone who did is imprisoned or executed.

Still think leaking Plame's actual work, and her front company's actual work, is a triviality?

But the target of a roll-up will be the last in the fold.

Meaning... what? Wilson is a target, but doesn't know it? Wilson is a target, but will be the last witness Fitzgerald calls?

Seven Machos

Caey: Come on, big guy. You are better than this. People who are getting indicted by grand juries don't normally get called as witnesses.

Think for a second. Let's say you are any kind of crime suspect. There's a grand jury investigation. Do you expect to be called as a witness AGAINST YOURSELF before you have been indicted. Do you expect to be called to testify against yourself FOUR TIMES????

You and your lefty cohorts are not facing objective fact. It is far more likely that Wilson is in trouble than Rove.

CaseyL

People who are getting indicted by grand juries don't normally get called as witnesses... Do you expect to be called as a witness AGAINST YOURSELF before you have been indicted.

I'm not sure about that. IIRC, Nixon's various minions testified a lot before GJs, and were indicted. Ditto the minions of Iran-Contra. Are you describing GJ procedure, or your take on GJ procedure? Which 'objective facts' are you referring to?

I'm not an expert in GJ procedure, but I would think a possible target would be called to testify, esp. if that person had been mentioned in another witness' testimony, and the result was a question of fact that needed to be clarified.

I don't know when or how that contradicts the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Maybe the possible target can sit there and plead the 5th throughout the entire GJ appearance.

So, in your scenario, wouldn't Wilson:

1. Be aware that his presumed illegal disclosure was being discussed; and therefore
2. Volunteer to testify to give his version of events; and/or
3. Be called back, as Miller and Rove have been, to answer questions about inconsistencies in his testimony, in light of other witnesses' testimony?

kim

One would hope Wilson has volunteered much already.
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Jim E.

Cecil,
On Oct. 8, TM acknowledged a "reader revolt" after TM wrote that he thought Wilson was in the clear. Hardly the fringe attitude you claim about the comment-thread. jwest at 12:39 comes to my rescue! But I'm glad you agree it's a wacky idea. (And yes, TM's "revolt" comment was slightly tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn't negate how widespread the assertion about Wilson is.)

Syl,
If you re-read my comment, I wasn't referring solely to illegal behavior. And neither was McClellan when he said Rove and Libby had absolutely no involvement in the matter. Libby and Rove were Cooper's two sources. Rove was a confirming source for Novak's article. They were involved. Plus, Rove is apparently known for his amazing memory. Therefore, Rove and Libby are liars. And I ask again: where's the outrage? Either Bush allowed them to lie to the public, or Libby and Rove lied to the president. What'll we tell the children?

kim

Are you dubious then that Rove forgot the email to Hadley about the Cooper conversation? Amazing memories are often selective. Remember, Plame was considered relatively insignificant to them at the time. It was Wilson's falsities that would create permanent neural complexes.

Wilson has never been in the clear. It is his delusions and megalomania that created this fantasy. He'd have made a perfect fit for NSC under Kerry.

May the quality of mercy not be strained.
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windansea

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/national/16leak.html?pagewanted=8&ei=5094&en=ae9961705f60a5d9&hp&ex=1129435200&partner=homepage

the long awaited NYT article

windansea

just finished it...NYT is throwing Judy under the bus....she starts out protecting Libby but then later seems to throw him under the bus....her quoted testimony contradicts itself bigtime

where's JM??

Seven Machos

Casey: Do you think that a person can just volunteer to testify at a grand jury proceeding and, voila!, their wish is granted? Can they say whatever they want?

I have an idea. How about you give Fitzgerald a call! You can testify yourself, all about your theories of the case.

windansea

and here is Judy's very own article...don't have link to full article yet

http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/national/16miller.html&OP=10b3b549Q2FNPmUNu-wQ7Bl--iQ2FNQ2FkkQ7CNQ2AkNQ2AQ25NxWif-xWSNQ2AQ25.fSSmlIQ22i.S

Patrick R. Sullivan

'WH Chief of Staff isn't an "any idiot can do it" job. It's their responsibility to check whether data are classified before they blab to anyone, and they're supposed to err on the side of caution if they're unsure.'

Karl Rove was not a chief of staff, he was a political adviser to George W. Bush. It's not clear he even had clearance to handle classified information.

The reason Joe Wilson and his wife could be in trouble is that every scenario that paints Libby or Rove as having committed a technical violation applies in spades to the Wilsons.

Nick Kristoff indisputably met Valerie Plame, and Walter Pincus' column of June 2003 can be read to indicate he did too.

Valerie clearly revealed classified information to her husband before he was given a temporary clearance by the CIA; 'there's this crazy report, honey'. And Joe had to have been given classified information for him to have been able to nose around Niger. He discussed that information with several reporters.

The result of all this activity led to Valerie being identified publicly as CIA. IF...IF, that is a deal big enough to be a crime, then why wouldn't both of them be indicted?

kim

For Joe to give all his versions of the events might take a while.
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windansea

anyone have a login/password to NYTimes?? bugmenot no help

don

1. These reporter really have an aggrandized view of themselves.
2. all the whiny NYT reporters and editors begging for federal protection, so unseemly. Screw the so-called Federal Journalist protections being considered - the more journalists in jail, the better. Forget it, if Rove and libby hang, I want all the liberal leakers and journalists who whisper all this classified military information to pay for with in jail time.
3. Is that the case against Libby? a notation in a reporter's book that she says wasn't given by him, in a separate part of the notebook, that she didn't even use in a story or any publication. In fact, Miller didn't even get the name right, how is that a crime. Clearly even if Libby did try to give Miller the name, he didn't even know it.
4. The NYT sucks. I mean what a dysfunctional paper.

windansea

more quotes from Judy's own article

"Mr. Fitzgerald asked if I could recall discussing the Wilson-Plame connection with other sources. I said I had, though I could not recall any by name or when those conversations occurred."

"I said I couldn't be certain whether I had known Ms. Plame's identity before this meeting, and I had no clear memory of the context of our conversation that resulted in this notation."

"I believe I spoke to Mr. Libby by telephone from my home in Sag Harbor, N.Y."

"I told Mr. Fitzgerald that Mr. Libby might have thought I still had security clearance, given my special embedded status in Iraq. At the same time, I told the grand jury I thought that at our July 8 meeting I might have expressed frustration to Mr. Libby that I was not permitted to discuss with editors some of the more sensitive information about Iraq.

Mr. Fitzgerald asked me if I knew whether I was cleared to discuss classified information at the time of my meetings with Mr. Libby. I said I did not know."

windansea

more from Judy

"The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me,"

"The prosecutor asked my reaction to those words."

It was after her response to the above sentence that Fitzgerald went on to the specific 'aspen' reference followed by her totally ludicrous explanation:

"Mr. Fitzgerald also focused on the letter's closing lines. "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning," Mr. Libby wrote. "They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

How did I interpret that? Mr. Fitzgerald asked.

In answer, I told the grand jury about my last encounter with Mr. Libby. It came in August 2003, shortly after I attended a conference on national security issues held in Aspen, Colo. After the conference, I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyo. At a rodeo one afternoon, a man in jeans, a cowboy hat and sunglasses approached me. He asked me how the Aspen conference had gone. I had no idea who he was.

"Judy," he said. "It's Scooter Libby."

Don

Read it as well....

Hmm. My impression is that the case is weak but Fitzerald is looking to indict on obstruction of justice - Amazing but true. Miller even after months in the can did not understand the intensity of Fitzerald - and it hit her right in the head in that grand jury room. Thats all we need - a weak case against such high-ranking officials. Looks like it might be years of litigation; obstruction or perjury are very difficult to prove. I think his case is easier if he indicts Miller with perjury and obstruction but again IF THAT IS ALL THE EVIDENCE, then it aint' much

Jerkweed

Never mind Top Secret-now I see why Cheney is scared.

Miller testified Libby mentioned Plame on June 23!

Fitz then had her read Libby's letter to the Grand Jury.

Wanna bet Libby didn't testify about the June 23 meeting?

And thats just the tip of the iceberg.

don

Puts a lot in perspective. If this prosecutor is looking to indict on "mishandling classified intelligence", then the leak game is over for good in DC. Frankly, it is unfair, considering the CIA, FBI, and different branches of Government are all leaking to make themselves look pretty, BUT we are going to criminalize Libby's actions. No other word but unfair.

Then, Fitzerald is trying to indict Cheney on the theory that he "allowed" Libby to talk to a reporter and "allowed" him to provide sort of maybe classifed materials.

This guy is a partisan zealot. Indict the Vice President on a weak theory. Jerk.

Jim E.

Dearest Cecil,
I also direct your attention to Mr. Patrick Sullivan's post at 2:49pm.

The hits keep comin'.

Jim E.

don wrote: "I want all the liberal leakers and journalists who whisper all this classified military information to pay for with in jail time."

Actually, Novak is not a liberal.

topsecretk9

"Miller testified Libby mentioned Plame on June 23!"

She did? Are you sure that is what is said?

Did you read too fast? Flame? Different part pf her notes?

whatever, jerkweed

Patrick R. Sullivan

Clearly Fitzgerald is looking for a case on leaking classified information, but he hasn't got it here, because Libby seems to be talking carefully to someone who recently had security clearance. Now then, would Joe Wilson have any reason to think Nick Kristoff did?

Also noteworthy, Judy is confirming that Valerie Wilson's work was no secret.

don

We need a special DOJ unit to hunt down all the NYT and WP reporters talking with Pentagon leakers. Novak freaking called the CIA and they blew him off.

Imagine Watergate without classified leaking. For libs they are good leaks and bad leaks.

kim

That ol' Man River, he keeps on rollin'.
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Jerkweed

That's what she said.

Syl

CaseyL

""We, as laymen" aren't the ones making that determination."

I never said we were. I'd appreciate it if you'd not quote me then go on to argue against something I never said. That goes for your wmd example as well. That has nothing to do with refuting me on anything.

Syl

JimE

"If you re-read my comment, I wasn't referring solely to illegal behavior. And neither was McClellan when he said Rove and Libby had absolutely no involvement in the matter."

If you re-read MY comment I explained why McClellan said what he said. You act as if McClellan said it while KNOWING that Rove had spoken to Cooper. He did not.

Keith

If Fitz charges Libby based primarily on what Judy told the grand jury, I think Libby will almost certainly be acquitted. There's nothing that she said that proves that he did anything illegal. Miller herself provides plenty of reasonable doubt, even before Libby's denials.

topsecretk9

"And when the prosecutor in the case asked her to explain how "Valerie Flame" appeared in the same notebook she used in interviewing Mr. Libby, Ms. Miller said she "didn't think" she heard it from him. " I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall," she wrote on Friday, recounting her testimony for an article that appears today."

But Ms. Miller said Mr. Libby first raised questions about the diplomat in an interview with her that June, an account suggesting that Mr. Wilson was on the White House's radar before he went public with his criticisms.

Mr. Wilson had already become known among Washington insiders as a fierce Bush critic. He would go public the next month, accusing the White House in an opinion article in The Times of twisting intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.

But Mr. Libby was already defending Vice President Dick Cheney, saying his boss knew nothing about Mr. Wilson or his findings. Ms. Miller said her notes leave open the possibility that Mr. Libby told her Mr. Wilson's wife might work at the agency.

On July 8, two days after Mr. Wilson's article appeared in The Times, the reporter and her source met again, for breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel, near the White House.

The notebook Ms. Miller used that day includes the reference to "Valerie Flame." But she said the name did not appear in the same portion of her notebook as the interview notes from Mr. Libby.

During the breakfast, Mr. Libby provided a detail about Ms. Wilson, saying that she worked in a C.I.A. unit known as Winpac; the name stands for weapons intelligence, nonproliferation and arms control. Ms. Miller said she understood this to mean that Ms. Wilson was an analyst rather than an undercover operative.

Ms. Miller returned to the subject on July 12 in a phone call with Mr. Libby. Another variant on Valerie Wilson's name - "Victoria Wilson" - appears in the notes of that call. Ms. Miller had by then called other sources about Mr. Wilson's wife. In an interview, she would not discuss her sources.


WHERE DOES IT SAY :"Miller testified Libby mentioned Plame on June 23!"

Jerkweed

Read her own version Shylock:

"On the afternoon of June 23, 2003, I arrived at the Old Executive Office Building to interview Mr. Libby....Soon afterward Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson's wife for the first time. I wrote in my notes, inside parentheses, "Wife works in bureau?" I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the C.I.A."

Kate

As I read Miller's case, it seems like the prosecutor's case is very weak.

However, I'm beginning to think the prosecutor may be a little, er, obsessive.

He keeps asking about classified information like he is some GS-10 government security officer. He seems to be planning to bring charges on mishandling classified info.

He definitely wants scalps and seemed to be trying to get the VP too. What did Cheney know? Does he know of the conversations.

My prediction. there will be indictments but they will be weak.

Jerkweed

No shinola Kate? Gee...I wonder if other right wingers will adopt that position?

CaseyL

One would hope Wilson has volunteered much already. - kim

Casey: Do you think that a person can just volunteer to testify at a grand jury proceeding and, voila!, their wish is granted? - Seven Machos

Get it straight, willya?

I don't know whether a person can 'just volunteer' to testify.

It does seem to me that, if a person is a potential investigation GJ target, the GJ would jolly well want them to testify.

And it seems to me that if a person was a potential target for a GJ investigation, they could make it known through their attorney that they want to be called as a witness.

And it seems to me that if a person is or becomes a potential target for a GJ investigation, there are questions of fact that need to be answered, and that person would need to be called to testify in order to answer those questions of fact.

I think, in this case, if Miller or Libby or Rove or anyone tried to put a case that Plame had already been outed by Wilson, Fitzgerald would have asked when and how. And I don't see anything in Miller's cri de coeur, or the NYT's apologia, or even in Libby's purple-prose letter, that indicates Fitzgerald asked about that or that any of them volunteered the information.

If they thought for one instant they could save their own skins by accusing Wilson, you can bet the rent and the grocery money they would have done so. And if their attempts had any credibility, you can bet that Fitzgerald would have noticed, and followed up on it.

Why? Because one thing we know about Fitzgerald: he hates to be lied to.

Wilson has made it clear he blames the Bush Admin for outing his wife. As many of you have pointed out, he's made a cause celebre of it. If Fitzgerald, in the course of his investigation, learned that Wilson had outed Plame - and had not only accused the Bush Admin of doing so, but allowed the CIA to refer the case to the DOJ, and allowed the DOJ to mount an investigation, and let Fitzgerald spin his wheels questioning everyone but Wilson...well, it seems to me that Fitzgerald would regard that as a lie, as a lie that makes him (Fitzgerald) look stupid, and he would come down on Wilson with both feet.

He hasn't done so. He's given no indication that he will do so. He hasn't called Wilson in to testify, or (if he has) to testify some more.

topsecretk9

Yes Shinlock,
this does say that Libby mentioned "PLAME"

Soon afterward Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson's wife for the first time. I wrote in my notes, inside parentheses, "Wife works in bureau?" I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the C.I.A."

Jerkweed

Oh good god.

The offspring of your great-grandmother's granddaughter who is not your sibling is a total moron.

Jerkweed

Yes-I'm talking about your cousin.

Jim E.

Syl,
I never accused McClellan of lying. I've accused Rove and Libby of lying to McClellan, who then passed along -- in good faith -- Rove and Libby's (false, it turns out) denials.

CaseyL

Here it is. An actual cite from the actual USAM:

When a target is not called to testify pursuant to USAM 9-11.150, and does not request to testify on his or her own motion (see USAM 9-11.152), the prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury, subject to the conditions set forth in USAM 9-11.152.

Notification would not be appropriate in routine clear cases or when such action might jeopardize the investigation or prosecution because of the likelihood of flight, destruction or fabrication of evidence, endangerment of other witnesses, undue delay or otherwise would be inconsistent with the ends of justice.

So:

1. A person can request to testify.

2. A prosecutor, at his or her discretion, can (but isn't required to) let the person know they're a target, in order to give that person a chance to testify on their own behalf.

3. Notification is inappropriate if notification could lead to jeopardizing the investigation.

So:

1. If Wilson was a target, he'd know about it, and he would have volunteered to testify on his own behalf.

2. If Wilson has testified, Fitzgerald would have called him back to clarify if his testimony was contradicted by others' testimony.

2. Apprising Wilson of his status as target would not put the investigation in jeopardy. Wilson is not in possession of any documents that he might destroy (what documents could he possibly have?), nor is he a flight risk (he could never come back, and he knows it).

QED. It has been demonstrated.

kim

Anybody else find it a little strange that an expert reporter would write Valerie Flame, and Victoria Wilson to describe the same person?

And be wrong both times?
================================================

CaseyL

No, not if you're listening and thinking and writing all at the same time.

Valerie "Flame" is an obvious, unconscious pun on burning a CIA operative.

Victoria Wilson is... dunno, maybe Miller was thinking about the upcoming weekend's shopping expedition to Victoria's Secret.

topsecretk9

"don't get war out on Wilson"

dbn

Jerkweed, you seem ready to convict Libby on testimony by MIller that Libby, in June, mentioned that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, without mentioning her name or her job or her status. Do I read you correctly? If so, why do you believe that is a crime (i.e., which crime, how are all the elements satisfied, etc.)?

Clarice

Casey..According to Wilson. Fitz called him on Sept 29. Do you think that was to offer him an opportunity to testify? To ask for a yellow cake recipe? Some other reason? What other reason?

dbn

Boy, the NYT sure did a number on Miller in that article. Can you imagine the cringe moment the day Miller returns to the offices, gives this dramatic speech about how heroic she is, and the whole thing falls flat because everyone hates her?

What bothered me most about the article, though, were the quotes from the top people at the Times about how, well, sure, they're going to defend Judy because, you know, she's a reporter and all, but they sure wish they had a more attractive case to get behind, you know, like some low level government employee trying to blow the whistle on some dasteredly Republican official. Which means, it's okay with them for Wilson to use them to lie the public and try to illegitimately undercut the administrations policy moves, because it's somehow wrong for Rove and Libby to tell the truth about him. They are so clueless there, they don't even see their bias.

topsecretk9

dbn-
that was risky, don't be surprised if Jweed calls you a name in the process

windansea

This is also interesting...

I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I was not sure whether Mr. Libby had used this name or whether I just made a mistake in writing it on my own. Another possibility, I said, is that I gave Mr. Libby the wrong name on purpose to see whether he would correct me and confirm her identity.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

kim

Whoa Ms Judy. Did you just say maybe that's the first you heard of her that day or maybe it was just a randon test name you threw out there? Those two explanations do not make sense together. I hope you had a few more.
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kim

"All I know is what I write in the newspaper."
===============================================

CaseyL

Casey..According to Wilson. Fitz called him on Sept 29...

Thanks, I thought I remembered reading that somewhere, but couldn't remember exactly, and I try not to mention things I can't verify.

Do you think that was to offer him an opportunity to testify? To ask for a yellow cake recipe? Some other reason? What other reason?

Well, that's just it. If he offered Wilson a chance to testify, did Wilson take it? Wilson would have to be dumb to turn it down - and, for all the spleen discharged hereabouts at him, nobody's ever claimed he was anyone's fool.

If he didn't offer, and if Wilson didn't volunteer, then I have no idea what they talked about or what it portends. All I know is that Wilson hasn't been called back, and hasn't asked to come back. If Wilson thought other witnesses' testimony was damaging to him, don't you think he'd want another shot?

Syl

dbn

Amen!

Imagine a newsroom and editorial staff that is basically anti-war and anti-administration. This traitor, Judy, had swallowed the WMD stuff hook, line, and sinker.

Well, isn't she just the uppity one? I mean, she lied along with the administration and she has the nerve, NERVE, I say, to try to protect an administration source!

Nobody likes her anyway.

That article was spitting all over Judy, and implying she lied in her testimony.

Can you imagine the frustration in the Times newsroom that one of their reporters is protecting Bush and they can't say a word!

Sod the lot of them.

But the Iraqi people voted today!! That counts more than snooty Times reporters snit over Judy.

A'ash Al-Iraq!

CaseyL

One correction to my previous post: If an SP 'offers' you a chance to testify, it strikes me as doubtful that you can 'turn it down.' I think a subpoena would be in your immediate future.

So if Fitzgerald 'offered' Wilson a chance to testify, it's a reasonable bet he did so.

Clarice

Casey, you seem to be waltzing around. Fitz called Wilson on Sept. 29. On Oct 28 the gj term is over. One month seems to me to be a "reasonable amount of notice" under the provision of the manual.
It is altogether possible that if Fitz believed he had sufficient evidence to indictWilson, he'd have called him on Sept 29, told him he was a target and offered him the opportunity to testify before he acted.

I cannot think of another reason to call Wilson. There may be one--but I can't think of it.
Normally such a call would be made to his counsel but it may be that Wilson has no counsel of record in this proceeding.(Earlier an attorney threatened suit for slander might be coming, but that lawyer is not a criminal lawyer and may not have entered an appearance in this case.)

Syl

From the Times article:

"The Times incurred millions of dollars in legal fees in Ms. Miller's case. It limited its own ability to cover aspects of one of the biggest scandals of the day. "

Oh, boo-hoo. You were the ones that MADE it into a scandal!

You all were so upset that Judy believed there were WMD in Iraq that you turned around and believed Wilson. You thought he was your savior!

When Novak came out with his article you were all over it. Wilson is whistleblower! How dare the administration try to destroy him! They must be punished! It's got to be Rove! We need an investigation! This is a scandal of momentous importance!

It's your own damn fault, NYTimes. You had not one shred of evidence that Wilson was telling the truth. You didn't even have confirmation!

But you got your investigation, didn't you?

Oh, NO! Not Judy! We have to protect Judy?!?!?!? Oh, NO!

Jerks.

sue

If the Times account is correct, it doesn't look good for Libby.

topsecretk9

MacR has another example of what it means to be covert

http://macsmind.blogspot.com/2005/10/photo-finished.html

Keith

Sue, I'm not sure if I get the same impression that it looks bad for Libby. I mean, it surely doesn't look good, and he looks like target number one of the special prosecutor at this moment. But nothing Miller said seems too airtight to me--she herself gave Libby an argument for reasonable doubt on all the key points (she couldn't remember, he didn't mention her name, he was "very careful", he didn't give her the name, she had talked to other people first and got the name from them, etc., etc.).

In other words, she's hardly an airtight witness and hardly convincing on her own, and if she's the ONLY witness they have, then Libby should be able to get out of it. Fitz might indict him anyway, though, just to send a message. If that is the case, then that's unfortunate.

clarice

Sue, if what Libby said is sufficient for an indictment, half of DCV will be indicted next month. LOL

I think nothing in her article indicates Libby is in trouble, but if he is on the basis of that conversation, so are about 7 reporters, Wilson, Plame, Johnson. McGovern, etc.

Syl

Sue

Only if Judy perjured herself. She said she did not get the name from Libby.

I'd really really like to know whom else she spoke to. More than one other person, it seems, about wilson's wife and/or plame, according to her article.

No memory. No notes. No desire to testify about any source other than Libby. Fitzgerald promised her.

Maybe Judy's testimony is just tying up loose ends anyway.

Remember what j.west posted earlier re the miller/cooper appeal. Judge tatel said "considering the gravity of the suspected crime and the low value of the leaked information….” And that the investigation had gone in a different direction.

That could mean Fitz is only looking at conspiracy and/or perjury rather than leaking classified info. Or it may mean something else entirely.

CaseyL

Casey, you seem to be waltzing around.

How? I had a vague memory of a comment somewhere that Fitzgerald called Wilson. I couldn't remember exactly where I'd heard it, or in what context, so I didn't want to claim that it had happened.

I have now found the LA Times story that mentions the call:

Fitzgerald] phoned [Joseph] Wilson on Sept. 29, the same day Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for refusing to divulge her confidential source, was released from jail after agreeing to testify in the case. She testified the next day.

Wilson declined in an interview to discuss the nature of their conversation, but confirmed that it occurred.

Wilson isn't talking. Fitzgerald never talks. I can surmise, as you do, that Wilson had not hired an attorney, because professional ethics and procedure would have required Fitzgerald to contact the attorney, not Wilson directly. Beyond that, I can't surmise anything - though if Wilson is supposed to testify, it better be soon, since everyone's expecting indictments next week.

Though, it occurs to me that if Fitzgerald was calling Wilson to tell him he is a target of the investigation, Wilson ought to've gone right out and gotten lawyered up. Which he apparently has not, because, if he had, it's hard to believe it wouldn't have been in the news or at least the rumor mill.

Why else would Fitzgerald have called Wilson, if not to tell him he was a target?

Excellent question. I don't know. I doubt very very much Fitzgerald was updating him on the investigation: that's not Fitzgerald's style and I'm not even sure such extra-procedural comments are allowable. It's possible Fitzgerald wanted some matter cleared up - but I can't imagine what, or why he would do it informally, rather than as testimony.

So we wait and see.

JayDee

Oh, man, this is going to get ugly around here.

topseckret is still trying to prove Plame wasn't covert, which would mean Fitzgerald would have to be retarded to have kept this thing running so long.

Syl seems to believe that this entire investigation was done at the behest of the New York Times.

Clarice, kim, et. al. still think it will be Joe Wilson who gets indicted....which will make them psychics, since there's no one outside of ultra-winger land who is reading the tealeaves that way. Like zero.

This is going to be a hot week in blog-o-land. Judy Miller has taken a leave of abscence from the Times. The Times ends up getting screwed over by Little Miss Wingnut worse than they ever were by Jayson Blair. And I'm thinking Rove and Libby these days are feeling kind of like Butch & Sundance watching that man with the white hat follow them across the desert: Who is that guy? This is going to be a hot week in blog-o-land.

Syl

Maybe Fitzgerald asked him if he were planning to move to Paris. :)

JayDee

Oh, man, this is going to get ugly around here.

topseckret is still trying to prove Plame wasn't covert, which would mean Fitzgerald would have to be retarded to have kept this thing running so long.

Syl seems to believe that this entire investigation was done at the behest of the New York Times.

Clarice, kim, et. al. still think it will be Joe Wilson who gets indicted....which will make them psychics, since there's no one outside of ultra-winger land who is reading the tealeaves that way. Like zero.

Judy Miller has taken a leave of abscence from the Times. The Times ends up getting screwed over by Little Miss Wingnut worse than they ever were by Jayson Blair. And I'm thinking Rove and Libby these days are feeling kind of like Butch & Sundance watching that man with the white hat follow them across the desert: Who is that guy? This is going to be a hot week in blog-o-land.

Syl

JayDee

"Syl seems to believe that this entire investigation was done at the behest of the New York Times."

The CIA, through normal channels, opened an investigation. The New York Times made it into a scandal of monumental importance.

Cecil Turner

Hardly the fringe attitude you claim about the comment-thread. jwest at 12:39 comes to my rescue!

Yep, looks like y'all finally got a couple o' nibbles. (Though most don't seem to want to go farther than acknowledge the possiblity.) Might want to direct these comments at those who do.

I think nothing in her article indicates Libby is in trouble, but if he is on the basis of that conversation, so are about 7 reporters, Wilson, Plame, Johnson. McGovern, etc.

Concur. An indictment is probably doable, but a conviction based on this evidence looks impossible, even if he could link Libby to a classified reference for Plame. Maybe some of the other witnesses were more definite, but Judy wasn't much help. (She also appears to have a pretty flexible policy on source protection.)

Jon H

Keith writes: "But nothing Miller said seems too airtight to me--she herself gave Libby an argument for reasonable doubt on all the key points (she couldn't remember, he didn't mention her name, he was "very careful", he didn't give her the name, she had talked to other people first and got the name from them, etc., etc.)."

Libby told Miller that Wilson's wife works in CIA, and told her the department she works in. He may or may not have given her "Plame", but that's irrelevant, because "Wilson's wife" is sufficient information.

Miller could have obtained "Plame" from public records. It's not important. The important part is the link to the CIA, which Libby provided.


Kate

Any thoughts on the emphasis on classified information. Is there any evidence that a document was shared with reporters.

Also, I noticed that Fitzgerald questioned Miller about Cheney? Didn't seem to go far, but I find that surprising.

Jon H

Syl writes: "Oh, boo-hoo. You were the ones that MADE it into a scandal!"

No, the scandal was created by the White House, when they decided to burn a CIA agent during a time of war, an illegal act. And then they exacerbated the scandal by conspiring and obstructing justice.

Don't blame it on the Times. Blame the White House's poor ethics and poor judgement.

(As an aside, I wonder if the foot-dragging by the White House and the DOJ would count as obstructing justice? The DOJ didn't exactly hurry when the CIA asked for an investigation, and they gave the White House advance notice, before seizing administration documents.)

Jon H

"Any thoughts on the emphasis on classified information. Is there any evidence that a document was shared with reporters."

A document isn't required. The information is classified whether or not it's passed in the context of a document.

sue

I hope Fitzgerald has a better system of keeping up with all the various players than I do. :) So where does Novak fit in?

Kate

Jon-you've been reading the leftist websites. The White House did not out an intelligence officer during a time of war.

An intelligence office used incredibly poor judgement to send her husband, an administration critic and unknowlegable on the topic at hand, on a "fact finding" trip.

The husband talked to anyone who would listen, wrote about his trip, and lied that he was sent by the VP's office.

The WH set out to set the record straight and walked into a trap set by the patriots who root for the enemy during time of war.

Jon H

"Do I read you correctly? If so, why do you believe that is a crime (i.e., which crime, how are all the elements satisfied, etc.)?"

Oh good lord, do some reading, don't expect to be spoonfed. Use your brain.

Syl

Jon H

"No, the scandal was created by the White House, when they decided to burn a CIA agent during a time of war, an illegal act."

You're over the top. There has been not one word of testimony that we've heard about from anybody at any time that indicates that anyone who spoke to reporters actually KNEW she was covert.

I repeat, the New York Times (and the Democrats--same thing) were the ones who made this into a monumental 'scandal' and asked for heads to roll over the 'outing of a CIA agent in a time of war'.

The judge in the miller/cooper appeal said "considering the gravity of the suspected crime and the low value of the leaked information….”

This 'scandal' is piddling.

Syl

Besides which, it is rather hypocritical to invoke a 'war' the New York Times and the Democrats don't even believe in.

Terrorism is just a nuisance, don't you know.

Cecil Turner

Any thoughts on the emphasis on classified information. Is there any evidence that a document was shared with reporters.

Probably because he knows he has no chance of proving an intentional outing of a covert agent under the IIPA, which requires proving the leaker: 1) had access to classified info which identified the agent; 2) intentionally disclosed it; 3) to an individual not authorized to receive it; 4) knowing the information identified the agent; and 5) knowing the US was taking "affirmative measures" to conceal the relationship. (In this case, 1, 2, and 5 appear problematic.) Disclosing classified information is a related offense that's a lot easier to prove, especially if Fitz isn't hung up on the part about Plame's identity.

Also, I noticed that Fitzgerald questioned Miller about Cheney? Didn't seem to go far, but I find that surprising.

Under the "outed for retaliation" theory, Cheney would be the obvious ringleader. Fitz had a duty to ask (probably perfunctorily, since that theory appears increasingly dubious).

topsecretk9

Kate--
ignore ad hominem rudeness. you are fine

Jon H

Syl writes: "The judge in the miller/cooper appeal said "considering the gravity of the suspected crime and the low value of the leaked information….”"

The 'low value' no doubt was in reference to the fact that the information was being used for petty political purposes, not for anything really significant. It was only used because they couldn't take Wilson on by rebutting the substance of his statements. So they played dirty by burning an agent.

That's the only interpretation that is consistent with the judge's belief that the crime was grave enough to jail a reporter.

What, exactly, do you think the judge meant by 'gravity of the crime', if not that the burning of a covert agent is the grave crime?

Jon H

Cecil writes: "5) knowing the US was taking "affirmative measures" to conceal the relationship."

That would probably be fulfilled by the notation on the State Department memo, where the passage describing Plame was marked secret/NOFORN.

Jon H

Syl writes: Besides which, it is rather hypocritical to invoke a 'war' the New York Times and the Democrats don't even believe in."

It's far more hypocritical for the people screaming about the threat of WMD to burn an agent working to defend the United States from WMD.

Considering the feckless conduct of the war, it's clear the White House never really believed in the war either. They certainly never believed in WMD, considering how they made zero effort at actually controlling any WMD that might have been in Iraq.

sue

The part that gets Libby, if Miller is telling the truth, is where she met him, on June 23, to discuss WMDs and he wanted to talk about Wilson. Goes back to the original 'shopping to reporters'. Libby is toast. Rove may or may not be. However, I still believe it will be Libby, Rove and possibly Fleischer, who is my guess for the 1st Novak source. Not sure how a plan to 'out' his wife was supposed to damage Wilson though. That part of the story doesn't work. For me anyway.

vnjagvet

Kate:

John H is another of the would be prosecutors at this site who suffer from their misunderstanding of the word "evidence".

What he has not explained is what evidence proves each element of the crime Cecil Turner has described. Without such evidence, an experienced, honest prosecutor like Fitzgerald will not attempt to indict. Such evidence is lacking to prove a violation by anyone of the IIPA.

If the "classified information" statue, as broadly construed, is stretched to the limits of its language, virtually all of the alleged "leakers" and "leakees" will be subject to indictment. This includes, among others, Wilson, Miller, Cooper, Pincus and Novak, the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as possibly Tenent, Libby and Rove. Such a string of indictments would be a monumental attack on the time honored beltway tradition of leaks and counter leaks on all sorts of confidential and classified information.

This presents a significant dilemma for Fitzgerald. Selective prosecution will be difficult.

My guess is he will not stretch that ambiguously worded statute to its limits in this case.

millco88

Feckless conduct of the war?? Are you serious? Were you paying attention to what happened in Iraq today, you know the vote on a new constitution that didn't include Saddam Hussein at the top? That seems like pretty effective conduct, not exactly feckless. But maybe you're using a different definition. Please provide.

Sue

John H,

Could you please tell me how Bush and Company managed to get Clinton and Company to play their game with them? I know you guys think Rove, et al, are super duper at manipulating people, but I can't figure out how you think Rove, et al, got Clinton to play along, for years before Bush and Company were even in the WH. In fact, they even managed to get Clinton to write an op-ed for Tony Blair, discussing these imaginary WMDs that Iraq had.

I don't think Rove, et al, knew they were outing a NOC. They would have had to be stupid to have leaked knowing that. And you can't tell me you think they were stupid, not if they were able to get the Clinton administration to set up the Iraq WMD story for them, years in advance.

As someone said earlier today, you can't have it both ways. Either they are brilliant manipulators or they believed Iraq had WMDs, just as the prior administration believed it. They were trying to get reporters to look at Wilson, because they knew Wilson was lying. Just as everyone who has looked at Wilson has figured out. In the process, they screwed up.

millco88

Sue,

That's Wilson's claim for the motive and it's never made any sense except to sell books. That's why so many have questioned what else he said.

But I have a general question for all. When was Wilson's op-ed actually written? I doubt he could have published just ANYTHING without CIA approval for security reasons, so it seems reasonable to assume the CIA saw a draft prior to its publication.

Could THAT have coincided with the end of June, giving us a reason for Libby's June 23 conversation with Miller??

Think about it. I'm sure Libby has someone he feels he can trust at CIA. Suppose that someone gave him a warning about Wilson's impending op-ed. Libby reads/hears the implication that Cheney's office sent Wilson and then ignored his report (that's basically Wilson's claim).

Considering Wilson wouldn't have been Cheney's 1st, 2nd or 10 millionith choice to investigate the yellowcake claims, isn't the logical question to Libby's CIA someone why Wilson was sent? Then you get into "his wife" who works in the group recommended him. If it went down like that, who's really in trouble?

Kate

vnjaqvet: thanks for the answers. That helps clarify matters. Could Rove and Libby be in danger for perjury/obstruction. I have a hard time believing they's get nailed for conspiracy.

This is sad really, because it looks like Libby was just doing his job. Defending against a critic and explaining what really happened with his trip. Unfortunately, he walked into a trap.

The whole discussion of the wife was to explain how Wilson got picked for the trip.

Sue

millco88,

If I knew the answer to that, I would be Fitzgerald and not Sue. :)

I think indictments are coming. I also think the larger story will come out once a defense is put on. Something that isn't happening in GJ testimony.

I also think Wilson is as much to blame for outing his wife as anyone else is. If you know your wife is NOC, and surely he knew, if she was, why would you draw attention to yourself and her, vicariously, by writing an op-ed in the NYTs? My guess is she isn't NOC, not since she married an ambassador and clearly put herself in a position to having ties with the government. My other guess is the indictments are going to be everything but the original intent of the SP.

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Wilson/Plame