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October 21, 2005

Comments

Creepy Dude

TV guy-I believe you. You have changed my entire thinking on this vitally important topic. Thanks for the wisdom.

politicaobscura

Freaknik:

That is called the "I am Spartacus" strategy...lol

macranger

Jim E.

You're ass aside....

It's been out there long enough for her to do so if she wanted to.

And lately, she has been making the rounds on right wing talk shows like Hannity, mostly saying it's not much of a case.

It's like that pesky SSCI.....

Creepy Dude

Macranger-your ability to lie directly into the face of Truth itself is pretty good. Are you auditioning to replace Rove?

TM

1. Is it within President Bush's power as President to ascertain whether Plame had covert status on the date her name was published by Novak?

Why do I bother?

I am perfectly inclined to believe that the CIA was classifying her status.

It *may* even be that Plame was *covert* as defined under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

However, the laws do seem to require either actual harm or (good point by Geek, who caught me sneaking by) reason to believe that harm might occur.

And (hold your breaths) not every piece of classified info needs to be kept classified! (Although there is a right way and a Rove way to de-classify it).

Which is why, throughout the post from intro to conclusion, I mentioned the *harm to national security* that resulted from her outing.

The post title may throw people off, I guess.

As to what Harlow might have said to Novak - how about, "Bob, you can't use that."

Follow up with a call to his editor. Look, Harlow is talking to two responsible Americans, not the North Korean Ambassador. How many reporters went as embeds in Iraq? They kept all sorts of secrets.

politicaobscura

More of Andrea Mitchell's blog.... I guess the last part could be understood a number of different ways...

Joe Wilson published his first critique of the administration's record on WMD in the New York Times on Sunday, July 6. That same morning he appeared on Meet the Press, which I was hosting for Tim Russert. Another guest that morning: Bob Novak. Novak and Wilson had never met before they each arrived at our studio. The next day, the president left for Africa. On the plane, I'm told, was a classified State Department memo from the department's intelligence office providing background information on Wilson's trip and his wife's role in suggesting him for the mission. Did someone from the plane share that information with people back in the White House? The independent counsel, we're told, has subpoenaed phone records from Air Force One. Somehow, the next day, Novak already knew about Plame. At the end of a conversation with Rove for another column he was writing, he switched the subject to Plame's CIA role, and we're now told, Rove said something like, "Yes, I heard that too."

One of a number of intriguing questions: During that 10-day period in July 2003, how many reporters were circulating information about Wilson's wife to administration officials? More than a few, but clearly some failed to realize how seriously the CIA would take the disclosure of a covert officer's identity. Nor, clearly, did at least two administration officials who were the sources for Novak's column.

Creepy Dude

No-why do I bother. This is the same we thing we discussed months ago TM.

If a spy set out to steal nuclear materials-but absconded with the wrong bag and ended up stealing someone's lunch-you can safely say there was no harm to national security.

Was a crime committed?

j.west

The Andrea Mitchell quote must be a lot like the Judge Tatel line on an “unanticipated shift” – nothing to back it up.

Just as some of the websites have perpetuated the “everyone in Washington knew about Valerie” myth, those comedians over at the Supreme Court even tried to push that “unanticipated shift” line in their decision.

If people would just stick to the main stream speculative thinking, we could put an end to all this craziness.

Geek, Esq.

However, the laws do seem to require either actual harm or (good point by Geek, who caught me sneaking by) reason to believe that harm might occur.

The reason I'm such a stickler for the "have reason to know" language is that anyone with a top security clearance has to sign a form where they acknowledge/admit that they have reason to know that leaking classified information might cause such harm.

In fact, form SF-312 is drafted specifically with the Espionage Act in mind. Leaking classified information after signing form SF-312 is like walking Rickey Henderson (ca 1988) with Mike Piazza behind the plate (ca 2004).

politicaobscura

j.west, you are correct to a degree... but Mitchell does come very close to agreeing with the mythical quote when she says:

During that 10-day period in July 2003, how many reporters were circulating information about Wilson's wife to administration officials? More than a few, but clearly some failed to realize how seriously the CIA would take the disclosure of a covert officer's identity.

She is not speaking opinion here, she is speaking with authority of first-hand knowledge. It appears that, from what she witnessed, reporters were circulating information TO the administration. Not the other way around.

Geek, Esq.

"She is not speaking opinion here, she is speaking with authority of first-hand knowledge. It appears that, from what she witnessed, reporters were circulating information TO the administration. Not the other way around."

Either that, or that's what she was hearing from administration officials.

Let's not also forget this scenario:

1) Scooter and Rove tell underlings to "seed the gold mine."

2) Underlings then spread rumors/actual facts about Plame to reporters.

3) Reporters, not feeling safe in taking underlings' word for it, go to Rove and Libby for confirmation.

4) "That's what I hear."

macranger

By the way, you might also want to check

http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may200309291022.asp

Aside from Andrew, Wilson outed his own wife.

Who didn't know?

ed

politicaobscura, didn't you read the end of your quote?

One of a number of intriguing questions: During that 10-day period in July 2003, how many reporters were circulating information about Wilson's wife to administration officials? More than a few, but clearly some failed to realize how seriously the CIA would take the disclosure of a covert officer's identity. Nor, clearly, did at least two administration officials who were the sources for Novak's column.

It's a two way street.

j.west

Politicalobscura, My point was that whatever the grand jury is investigating ceased to be about “administration officials leaking the name of a CIA employee” early in 2004.

politicaobscura

ed, I read that differently from you.

When she says that about the two administration officials, I take it that she was saying they didn't know how much trouble they could get in from repeating what the reporters had told them, not that they were primary sources in addition to the reporters...

Jeff

macranger - It's hilarious that you think the burden falls on Mitchell to retract a second-hand report on Powerline, without a cite or link, that makes its way like wildfire around the right and becomes a Known Fact. You think it was widely accepted by more than your right-wing friends. Even such a reasonable rightie as TM himself dropped it as untraceable.

And you say

Not everyone at CPO is covered/nor covert - the fact is that she had worked at WINPAC since the mid 90's.

Just out of curiosity, when was Winpac started?

clarice

Reading the timeline it appears the reporters (i.e. Corn, Kristoff and Pincus ) were the first to know Plame's identity and Libby and Rove, the last.

Jim E.

Proof that Pincus and Kristof and Corn knew of Plame prior to June 23, 2003? We're all waiting.

And for anyone to link to CLiff may -- I mean c'mon. He is literally the only notable right-wing kook (besides Rush) to make the claim he makes. May, a former NY times reporter (oh, the liberal media bias strikes again), is one of the biggest hacks in the biz. No one believes him. Well, besides liars like macranger. It's not in dispute. It's a fact. Not even May would retract it.

clarice

Corn was the first to say Plame was an undercover agent. Corn, Kristoff and Pincus had as their sources, Wilson and Plame.

On June 14, 2003 at the Q and A part of his EPIC speech, Wilson admitted he was the "envoy" who was the source of the earlier Kristoff and Pincus stories.

He coiuld have been lying once again, but nevertheless that is what he said. And who else would the "CIA analyst" quoted in those pieces have been. In context, only Plame.

Jim E.

Do you even know who Plame is? Kristof and Pincus had Wilson as their source, not Plame. Corn was speculating, and he did that AFTER Novak outed Plame. Still waiting for pre-June 2003 evidence. You need to bolster your idiotic point that Libby knew about Plame last.

Jon H

TM writes: "As to what Harlow might have said to Novak - how about, "Bob, you can't use that.""

And then Bob could write "Wilson's wife is an operative with the CIA. When asked for confirmation, the CIA tried to tell me not to print this."

That's the catch. Seeing as how there's a first amendment, there's no way to stop Novak if he wants to publish it. They can ask, they can cajole, they can threaten, but they can't force.

macranger

Yup,..

Source is right wing, so, Kook...

Ok.

By the way, Corn was a pretty good "speculator"...even knew about the kids and specifics about her job.

He knew things just impossible to know.

Jeff

Corn was the first to say Plame was an undercover agent.

No, no, no. Novak named Plame as an Agency operative in his column of July 14, 2003.

And who else would the "CIA analyst" quoted in those pieces have been. In context, only Plame.

It may well turn out to have been Plame. But at least in Pincus' case, the senior CIA analyst could very well be any number of people -- unless you are prepared to explain how "in context" it could only be her, where I take "in context" to be "in the context of senior WaPo reporter Walter Pincus, who is well-known for having great and lots of sources in the CIA, researching a story apparently over a period of days if not weeks, during the course of which he demonstrably spoke to a lot of people, only one of whom was Joe Wilson." But when you can explain to me how in that context it could only be Plame, I'm ready to agree.

Sue

Corn spoke to Wilson, by Wilson's and Corn's own admission, with the 'caveat' that Wilson was only speaking in the hypothetical when talking about his wife.

clarice

"operative" is not "undercover".

And about that "hypothetical" it was as transparent as writing a letter to the lovelorn saying your making the inquiry for a friend..LOL

 topsecretk9

Throwing this out...

Just got an email from Hilail Gildin

He wrote that the PowerLine quote was his, from an email he wrote to Scott at PLine. He distinctly remembers Mitchell having said this and he says he discussed it with others at the time. He said he could have been mistaken about her making the comment on MSNBC as distinguished from CNBC.

Jeff

Corn spoke to Wilson, by Wilson's and Corn's own admission, with the 'caveat' that Wilson was only speaking in the hypothetical when talking about his wife.

And what was the date of their speaking?

That's half a lame response, clarice, and half a non-response. It's true that the word "operative" is not the word "undercover." So what? Also, I'd still like to hear how it is that "in context," the senior CIA analyst cited by Pincus could only be Plame.

Jeff

topsecretk9 - The point is not that we thought Powerline was making up the part about Hilail Gildin. Nor is the point that Hilail Gildin was making it up. The point is that without some ability to look at what Mitchell said, it's impossible to just go by the game of telephone from Mitchell to Gildin to Powerline and consider the case closed. We'd like the opportunity to actually see what Mitchell said. I mean, if you look at the tendentious way some folks here interpret what others say, I think you'll see what I mean.

sue

Sometime before July 16, 2003.

Jeff

sue - And when was Novak's column published (and when did it hid the wires)?

kim

TSwoofer: Gilden is at Columbia, right? I've read a number of other commenters who saw the episode. A lot of it was body language and uh's.
=======================================

Creepy Dude

Clarice-you do a great job of keeping your intelligence classified.

 topsecretk9

Jeff I totally agree, but I do think a lot of the argument has been to dismiss, as ...oh it came from PowerLine=LIE. To deny that now is not fair.

clarice

Corn is in this up to his eyebrows--even to the point of appearing with him in the Kerry MoveOn adventure fiction "Uncovered".

Creepy Dude

Whereas-your intelligence is so top secret Top Secret, I don't think anyone has ever seen it.

Congrats to you all.

PantsB

Just a pack of lies.

One- Plame has been confirmed multiple times as being a non-official cover operative, which is by definition covert.

Two - The document states “By the authority vested in the Attorney General by law, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509, 510, and 515, and in my capacity as Acting Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 508, I hereby delegate to you all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department’s investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee’s identity, and I direct you to exercise that authority as Special Counsel independent of the supervision or control of any officer of the Department.”

So you are completely wrong. Either you are ignorant to the matter or are intentionally trying to deceive in order to prove a point. QEDMF.

Creepy Dude

Actually-sorry to Clarice and TS-I'm just in a super bad mood again.

R C Dean

C'mon, people, no one who drives to work at CIA Headquarters every day is covert in any meaningful sense of the word. Gimme a break.

That would be like putting a plain clothes cop in a black and white cruiser, and saying he was undercover because he was wearing street clothes.

 topsecretk9

apology accepted. Easy to get that way, I know.

P. Fitzgerald

Valerie was a "desk jockey" per 28 U.S.C. §§ 784, 230, 9983, 48576.34, 007, 34 1/2.

VividU

Cliff Notes Version
1. All spouses of CIA agents must never have public lives
2. Fitzgerald is out of control
3. I got a knot in my stomach

 topsecretk9

Kim
Yes he is. My intention was not to post his email as some sort of "see, see"...in fact, I think it is a valid argument to question absent a transcript or anything really. By emailing him, I thought he could have easily said he was completely mistaken.

clarice

CD--I'm afraid I follow the Montoya Method (Princess Bride) and I will have to track you down to the ends of the earth to get revenge..LOL

No harm. No foul. Menschy apology.


.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Seymour Hersh went so far as to speculate that rogue ex-intelligence officers had created the Niger forgeries...'

Which could be the way that Joe Wilson knew about the forgeries before they officially were turned over to the CIA by a European intelligence service.

Btw, Nick Kristoff met Valerie when he first met Joe Wilson, in early May 2003 at the Nat'l Press Club, and was told the 'what I didn't find in Africa was legit documents, they were forgeries' story. Kristoff later coyly wrote that he'd never used her as a source.

I think the most important thing about this post if being overlooked; that even if indictments are brought down, it would be an impossible case to prosecute without divulging a lot of classified information in the process.

 topsecretk9

this just a innocent question, devoid of intelligence (CD), but I just saw a transcript of an interview (panel?) of wilson and wass together. They are the ones being interviewed. Not a big deal, just wondering if this is common knowledge

Geek, Esq.

"I think the most important thing about this post if being overlooked; that even if indictments are brought down, it would be an impossible case to prosecute without divulging a lot of classified information in the process."

Oh really? All they have to show is that people in the WH knew that the information they got about Plame's employment with the CIA was classified.

And that doesn't even count the obstruction and perjury charges which are almost certainly going to come.

SteveMG

Jim E:
Cliff May is a rightwing kook?

Really?

Among the kooky things he has espoused or said are???

And the fact he worked for the NY Times several years ago proves that there isn't a liberal press?

Really (Part II)?

Let's see, the Times can't have a liberal perspective that filters or influences (consciously or not) its reporting today because several years ago right wing kook Cliff May was a reporter for the publication?

Either your mask is slipping or something else is falling down because that is about the strangest set of statements I've read on this site in a long time (and granted, those were probably from me).

SMG

Karl

The original topic of the post was this bit from Kaus:

"...while Dems might get a majority of Americans to agree that the Iraq War was a bad move, they'd get about 95% to agree that compromising covert American agents is a bad move. Why not make the latter the issue?"

The answer would be, "Because Dems generally don't care about that." And unless there's much more to this scandal than meets the eye today, the Dems will find themselves at a disadvantage until they start caring about such things beyond using them as a club against a POTUS who will not be on the ballot in '08.

windansea

hmmmm...unanticipated shift in the investigation....mishandling of classified info....forged Niger documents...a former ambassador....married to a CIA agent...describes docments in detail 8 months before....

I am very curious if Fitzmas will bring me any gifts

AndyS

What exactly is the argument here? That maybe Plame was in fact a covert, but not very covert?

Where in any of the relevant statutes does the author find a concept of the "degree of covertness"?

Is the author proposing a standard for the behavior of public officials, in which it is OK to expose covert agents as long as they're not too covert?

TM's entire argument is ridiculous!

pete

you are not a covert cia agent if you go to work for the cia everyday.

period

M. Simon

Hmmm. A desk job at Langley is cover?

Who knew?

macranger

since when did democrats care about the CIA?

Sue

Gosh, Mac, I hope that was a rhetorical question. ;)

Sue

Well, another day and no indictments. So much for the 'leak' about Wednesday.

politica obscura

AndyS, you might be late to the entire issue, but for this particular statute to take effect you have to "out" someone you KNOW to be covert ... so if someone appears non-covert then the crucial aspect of "knowingly" is not present.

MaidMarion

Does anyone know if Valerie Plame is still on a paid leave of absence? And if she is...WHY?

boris

Hmmm. A desk job at Langley is cover?

Postmodern cover. Consensus reality determined by wishful convergence of the enlightened.

kim

I think she was off for a year, 7/04-7/05; what, where, why, with whom, I don't know.
============================================

clarice

I think she was off longer--Her twins with whom she apparently stayed home were three years old in 2003 IIRC.

If she was covert within the meaning of Agee when she was "outed", I'm the Queen of Romania.

Jim E.

SteveMG,
May is the first one (and pretty much only one) to say Plame's status was an open secret in Washington. It is not credible, esp since Rove and LIbby can't name a single person (other than Russert, apparently -- and if the Russert conversation took place after June 23 it's not exculpatory no matter what) who knew about Plame before they did. May's been totally unable to name names, either. Other than Hugh Hewitt, May is about the biggest party line hack out there, and that's saying a lot considering I'm comparing him to the partisans at the Corner. You'd think Fitzy would call May in front of the GJ. He hasn't. Maybe May'll be a witness for the defense at the criminal trial? May is also the person saying Corn outed Plame, which defies common sense because any intelligent child this side of clarice could understand the importance of chronology (Novak published his "factual" report that definitively outed Plame before Corn published his "hypothetical" musings).

AST

I don't get any of this.

Valerie Plame had been outed by Aldrich Ames, so the Russians know she's a spook but nobody in America should know it?

She hasn't been covert for a good while and drives to work at the CIA hq everyday, but it's a felony to reveal that she works there?

And all this is important why? Was her life put in danger? Then why appear in Vanity Fair with her hubby?

And the yellowcake story. It's the basis of all the "Bush Lied!" claims, but it doesn't prove any such thing, since Bush referred to this information as coming from the Brits, not our own CIA. The whole argument is bootstrapped from the theory that his reference to the Brits was wrong and that they based it on forged documents. It's like saying if I had some ham, I could make a ham sandwich, if I had some bread.

Nobody I know thinks that the reason for the war was that Saddam had shopped for uranium in Africa. The question was, is Saddam capable of using WMD? He had already used nerve gas, for crying out loud! He had defied the UN and broken the terms of the 1991 ceasefire. His troops were firing on U.S. and British planes regularly. What more does anybody need?

So this whole story is about nothing except the fervent hope of the media types and Democrats that Karl Rove will get what's coming to him, as they believe. What will it prove? That administration officials shouldn't talk to reporters. If it dried up all the leaks in D.C. it would be worth it, but wouldn't that end up tasting a lot like dust in their mouths?

Cecil Turner

One- Plame has been confirmed multiple times as being a non-official cover operative, which is by definition covert.

The definition that counts is the one in the US code:

"(4) The term ''covert agent'' means - (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency - (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; . . ."
Seems to me that would be a finding of fact by a jury (with guidance from the judge on applicable law), not a determination by CIA or some other authority. And I haven't seen much discussion of the "5 year" requirement, but that's likely to be a close call as well.

clarice

AST--Bless you..every rational thinker is a joy ..

Sue

If you read the legal documents posted on Fitzgerald's website, you will see where he is going with his investigation. And it isn't looking at reporters or Plame/Wilson. I have read enough briefs to know you put a good spin on your argument, but I also know your argument is in the spin. If indictments come down, they will be directed at Rove/Libby and possibly others, in the WH.

Jim E.

AST admits not "getting any of this" and clarice blesses him. Figures.

Sue

Jim,

No offense, but why do you hang out here? You would be better served over at Huffington Post where you can all do the happy dance together. ;)

Sue

Hey, Mac, your rhetorical question about dems and suddenly caring about the CIA. You could carry that one step further and ask how they can use the argument 'outing' a CIA agent during a time of WAR. That seems to be the theme at the lefty's websites. They suddenly have a great need to win the WAR? The same war that Bush Lied, Kids Died to get us in? They find priorities in the strangest of places.

Rick Ballard

Any guesses on how much Novak will get for his book deal? I figure north of 2 mil but less than 4 mil. He should have it all written but the ending so if Fitzgerald doesn't indict (still my bet on probable outcome) the book could be in stores for Christmas.

Jim E.

Sue,

What, am I disrupting your little echo chamber?

Now I see you are no longer consider the war a "priority." Sad. Why do righties hate American soldiers (not to mention WMD analysts at the CIA)?

MeTooThen

AST,

Me too, then.

As it turns out, I'm late to this thread.

But, it appears that I did not miss anything.

Nope.

L'Affaire Double-O-Plame is like Seinfeld, about nothing. Or mostly nothing.

And what will be the outcome if Scooter is indicted?

As you suggest, there will be the very brief but explosive (and shrill) hue and cry from the Democrats.

But then what?

I envision something like the end of The Graduate where the exhausted and winded exhilaration slowly fades to quite contemplation.

And in this case, the "now what?" will not be so pleasant for the Blues.


macranger

AST,

The Senate Intel Report covers all that. The first document Fitzgerald aquired.

macranger

btw, AST, don't mention the SSCI,

It's kryptonite to the 'stuck on stupid'

Jim E.

Speaking of stupid, hi macranger. Still waiting for evicdence of the "fact" you keep talking about. Any actual, verifiable Andrea Mitchell quotes for all of us to read?

No? Oh, do you "retract" your statement then? If not, why not?

macranger

Sure Sue,

I'm dating myself, but just read up on the Vietnam 60s and early 70s. The CIA to the left is anathma as it equates for them, Nixon/Watergate/Westmoreland, and dastardly Secret involvement in Cambodia - except when it's a democratic presidential candidate with three purple hearts...then it's Ok, so long as it was during Christmas!

Sue

No Jim, I can see through my partisan glasses when I have to. You, sadly, can't. I supported the war from the get go. I still do. If I was lied to, then I was lied to by Clinton also. The same intelligence that Clinton cited to bomb Iraq was used by Bush. Bush put boots on the ground. Clinton didn't. The conspiracy began with the Clinton administration, if there is a conspiracy to lie about Saddam and WMDs.

Joe Wilson is a slimy person. That doesn't excuse Rove/Libby, or anyone else implicated, if they are, but Wilson is not 'innocent' in this. He lied to start it. And nothing would make me happier than to see him frog marched with the rest of them. He is an egotistical, 'my wife is a real life Jennifer Garner', has been, nobody. Those making him out to be a truth teller have partisan glasses on because they hate Bush.

clarice

sue, It appears to me that what's listed there are the only formal documents in this matter, and despite more breathlessly reported CW, the website is no indication of anything more than, I think, a wish to save support staff from endless phone calls seeking this stuff.

Sue

I hear you, Mac. It is a memory seared in my mind, too. :-)

Jim E.

Thanks, sue. There was absolutely no partisanship in your comment. None at all. Good thing you can so obviously overcome your partisanship. Congrats on such a partisanship-free comment!!! :)

macranger

Jim,

I think topsec9 covered that a while back, with an email from the author. But truly, knowing the left you wouldn't believe it if I tattooed it on your forehead.

Sue

Clarice,

I read the briefs, something I have a little knowledge with. If Rove/Libby's lawyers have seen them, they are sweating bullets. Fitzgerald is going after them, not Wilson/Plame, reporters, etc. He may pick up another person or two from the WH, but he is definitely looking at Rove/Libby.

Jim E.

clarice,
Yes, I'm sure that FitzGerald's office was deluged with "endless phone calls" for all of the three dated documents on his sparse website. Good point! That certainly explains everything.

That insight of yours is almost as good (almost, mind you) as the time you asserted Libby was the "last" to know about Wilson's wife. That tid-bit was your best work. You are full of gems.

macranger

Sue, there isn't going to be indictments - not in the way the media thinks.

Jim E.

macranger -- you have no idea what "evidence" is, do you? Having the lying (or "mistaken") author of the original post restate the lie (or "misstatement") is not evidence. Try again, liar.

Sue

You're welcome Jim. I had my partisan hat on when I posted it, but you wouldn't see the difference anyway. :)

Jim E.

P.S. If you tatooed it on my forehead -- no, that wouldn't help things at all. Unless you tatooed in the mirror-image of an official transcript. Otherwise I couldn't read it.

macranger

You don't post 'documentary' evidence on a website before the trial starts - IF one is going to start a trial.

and that's the point. Indictments if any come are only a charge - an accusation - not a verdict of guilty. It's still a burden of proof.

Actually I'm looking towards a further discovery in this case.

Sue

I hope you're right and I'm wrong, Mac.

macranger

Jim, dude, drop it.

Howard Dean, line one.

Sheesh...

Jim E.

You wear glasses AND a hat? And both are partisan? Weird.

Jim E.

Drop it? Does that mean macranger admits to being a lying liar?

Sue

Mac,

It isn't documentary evidence. They are briefs, which are submitted to support your argument. I am saying that the briefs show what direction they are going.

And I'm not sure why posting them on a website makes it a sign of anything either. Anyone could walk into the court and obtain a copy of them. If they were filed, and I assume they were, since they are posted. They are merely a convenience, but why post them now is the question.

macranger

Sue, think about it. You're not going to 'advertise' your case before any potential trial. Posting "documentary' evidence would make it that much harder to prosecute. It's unheard of.

Again, the jury - whoever they are - are going to make that determination. My experience with GJ's is that they harder to figure than trial juries.

Who knows. Another thing, even if they recommend what at this point would only be rudimentary charges as perjury and obstruction have such a high burden of proof, I just don't see it. Their not looking at moe and joe, but Presidential aides. Fitzgerald isn't a 'hotdog', it's not about making a name for himself.

Again, all the media speculation is simply that - speculation not based on any facts whatsoever.

clarice

Sue, what BRIEFS? All I see on the website are all the formal documents relating to the investigation.

And, yes, I am sure this was to forestall time consuming inquiries. Callers/writers will now be urged to check the website and told all public information will be exclusively available there.

AndyS

AST-

You're reduced to the same ridiculous argument as TM's article -- that Plame may have been covert in some technical sense, but that she wasn't really covert.

a) Even if your claim that the Russians knew about her was correct, are they really our only intelligence opponent today?

b) Many people who work at Langley do not have covert roles. But Novak correctly named her as an "operative" -- a different ketle of fish.

c) Individuals considering revealing confidential information don't get a pass because they feel the information isn't really all that confidential. You ask whether her life was put in danger -- not the point!

You don't get to reduce this to a matter of degree. Either she was covert, according to a fairly tightly-drawn legal definition, or she wasn't. The definition is posted above somewhere -- it's pretty clear -- I imagine the jury will make quick work of deciding whether she qualifies or not. (Frankly, I can't imagine Fitzgerald wasting two years if she clearly fell outside the definition.)

Some other issues:

a) The Vanity Fair appearance occurred more than six months after the Novak column.

b) If the yellowcake was irrelevant, why was it part of Bush's speech? And, maybe more to the point, why did the effort to discredit Wilson's op-ed article draw such intense focus from the Administration?

c) Just as you say that "nobody thinks that the reason for the war was that Saddam had shopped for uranium in Africa", I would suggest that nobody thinks the yellowcake story was the central lie told by the Administration. It's just another piece of a pattern of fundamental dishonesty that troubles some of us deeply.

Rove, Libby, et al may or may not be guilty -- I do not mean to argue for or against, since I can't know the facts. I am simply pointing out that you, AST, as well as that of TM and others, display a shocking lack of principles. Maybe she was covert, but not VERY covert -- and a politician in the know has the right to judge how covert an operative is and expose her if, in his judgment, she was only somewhat covert. That's really what you're arguing.

Dave S in VaBeach

Special counsel Fitzgerald has launched a website. I'd say it's a safe bet to expect inditments.

But maybe Rove will dodge the bullet.

Sue

I agreed it wasn't evidence. But it is like a road map and his need to find out what Cooper and Miller knew was in order to go after Rove and Libby. He told the court he was through with his investigation in October 2004. Here we are, a year later, still waiting to see what he does. That means he hasn't spent the last year trying to determine what the original crime was. If Rove and Libby were guilty of outing a covert agent, the rest would not be necessary. The cover up is what he is after. IMO of course.

macranger

Sue,

Hey you can indict a ham.....

But even in ordinary cases you aren't even going to see briefs made public before determination of charges is made. It would be a boon for the accused.

More likely it's 'instead' of the "report" that he isn't going to write. But we'll see. Like I said, regardless of what he comes up with the story continues and for that I'm glad. I didn't spend 2 1/2 years gathering memos and documents from within the DNC, Move On, etc, for my story on this.

If indictments come, then so be it, then we get all the story out, more witnesses etc. Can't wait. I hope that Joe and Valerie go for that LS as well, because even more will come to light of the plan behind this Plame Game.

Sue

I know indictments don't mean guilty. The documents were filed in order to force Cooper and Miller to testify. They don't relate to the main part of the case, but they give you a glimpse into what Fitzgerald is thinking. IMO, again.

macranger

Clarice,

Media inquiries will definitely be coming when Fitz says, "That's all - Goodnight!"

As just might happen - although not as simplistic. He would stay at the podium a little longer. Yet I can't wait to see the MSM turn on him and go from calling him a 'model' prosecutor to a partisan hack.

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Wilson/Plame