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October 08, 2005



Yes, I believe the Email is exonerative, because it supports the relative Rove innocence compared to Cooper's. He wanted Miller to flesh out the gestalt. Why are White House people so eager to testify, and journalists so loathe?

I just can't believe Fitz is missing Joe's central malfeasance.


Now if I were a skeptic I'd want to know the provenance of the Email.


I guess it depends on what the meaning of "effort" is.

I agree that they are not trying to throw Rove overboard. On the contrary, they are setting up a plausible explanation for how on earth Rove gets to keep his job, just in case he doesn't get indicted. But they are also seeking to cushion the blow of word getting out that Rove told something to Bush that -- to those of us not living on Planet Luskin -- involved an underlying untruth, and that Bush repeated it to Fitzgerald, which doesn't look good even if it was all innocent. Now, Rove's story has so many implausible pieces to it that I don't think any reasonable 10-year-old, much less an adult, would believe it. But so far he seems to have it hanging together pretty well for legal purposes. We'll see what Fitzgerald has.

It's really quite astonishing that, on Luskin's version, Rove doesn't even have any reason to go back to Bush and tell him, you know what, when I told you I wasn't involved, I was wrong, I forgot, etc etc. Back in the real moral and political world, it's even more astonishing, in one sense, that Rove still has a job. But for some of us, the astonishment is eased by the consideration that this confirms for us that the theme of the Rove-Bush relationship is: Without you I'm nothing.


You just don't understand, Jeff, there is a Board of Directors and Bush is it's chief executive. Not a whole lot of autocracy there. Rove is only the strategic executive.


Are you kidding that this article is an attempt to protect the Pres and throw Rove overboard? There is no need to get this story out since Fitz already asked Rove and the Pres about their discussions and knowledge of Plame. This is not new news. Rove has always said he did not know Plame's name or CIA statue. However, it is the first time Rove has said there was no conspiracy to payback Wilson for his lies by "outting" his wife.

Rove came forward and volunteered the email and discussion with Cooper after his first testimony to the GJ. Which is too bad for Cooper since the email exposes Cooper's lie about the call not being about welfare. Cooper did not learn of the Rove email until after Cooper testified.

Pincus, Kristof and Miller knew of Wilson and his wife well before anyone at the WH.


WSJ July 13, 2005:

"For Mr. Rove is turning out to be the real "whistleblower" in this whole sorry pseudo-scandal. He's the one who warned Time's Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson's credibility. He's the one who told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not by Vice President Dick Cheney as Mr. Wilson was asserting on the airwaves. In short, Mr. Rove provided important background so Americans could understand that Mr. Wilson wasn't a whistleblower but was a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign. Thank you, Mr. Rove."


Strappado Bravado and Bravo ta ad yo.


If this whole thing were fiction, an editor would reject it as just too doggone implausible.


TM, I usually find your analyses brilliant, but I read this one differently. As a lawyer (now retired) I always advised clients just to answer the questions, and we have no idea what the questions were on the occasion of Rove's first appearance. As I recall the reports (hey we are like Plato's cavemen watching a shadow play) the SP went into lots of preliminary matters.

As to how and why the story about what Rove told the President , it could be as you suggested a backup in case of an indictment; it could have been given to show that their was never any plot to get Wilson (the Corn meme which has permeated this mendacious reporting). Who knows?

But I agree absolutely with your take on the Reuters (and Loening today's Wash Po) piece that the spin on the June conversations with Miller is unbelievable. Where is it written that the WH is forbidden to discuss with reporters common knowledge about the source of smears against it? PHEH


It seems to come to a matter of assessing the relative motivations of the White House and the Press. Which has been more forthcoming?

Joe's motives are as well known as his perjuries.


I admit to being a little dense so would someone please explane, in simple terms so I can understand it, why it would harm Ms. Wilson or Joe Wilson to "out" her? She still has her job. It would harm national security not V. Plame or Joe Wilson. And yes I have kept up with this from the start, guess I may denser than I thougt



Don't consider yourself dense. That's the part that makes no sense. Here's another one for you. Why does the CIA allow Wilson to even write the op-ed in the first place, considering they know the entire backstory? Didn't they think there would be some pushback from the WH that would inevitably lead to how Wilson got the gig? I realize the CIA's performance has been less than stellar these last few years, but can't they at least read a Tom Clancy novel for inspiration??


rwallis--Corn set the spin in his Nation article--that Plame was "undercover', that Wilson was a "whistleblower", and that the WH "outed " her to retaliate. Every single bit of that is nonsense , and it says a lot about the intelligence or cupidity of the press that they continue (despite the SCCI report that Wilson was a damned liar) to spin the story this way.

My recollection of the GJ hearings is that they began in January of last year. The first witnesses were staffers re preliminary matters--My guess is authenticating phone logs, records, etc and describing the process of keeping these. It may have been since Libby was a fully cooperating witness that in his first appearance he was being asked about preliminary stuff, and in the course of that he made some further inquiry about the phone logs and emails and that triggered his memory..

After all it was a damned 2 minute conversation in which, if we credit him (and I do for there is no contradiction on this from Cooper) he never outed anyone..just gave Cooper a heads up.


From my own experience, I see nothing odd about Rove dealing with Cooper and Rove email about Cooper coming in GR round #2...

I mean we were involved in a law suit, submitted material as directed by our attorney (1st) in answer to interrogatories, and it wasn't until after my husbands deposition, after questioning, that the opposition tried to make a big deal that he wasn't given this and that.

Well this and that really had nothing to do with the claim, and since we are still in discovery we hand it over. It isn't as if we were trying to hide anything (because it had really nothing to do with lawsuit, so we don't know) it is that we weren't advised or asked for it.

It started with Novak.

Does anyone know if Cooper was in the line up since the beginning? Or did he enter the equation after Rove's #2?


And, which is what I suspect, Judy's notes could turn out to be like Coopers re-reading of his emails and realizing he was writing a story on Welfare Reform...Judy's note may well be a...sorry I said this Mr. Fitz, I re-read my notes, and well I did call Libby (becuase Libby said) about X not Z...


actually, on that note...Coopers re-read and then writing about it, may be Judy's chance to head off a Cooper type situation

Since Fitz has Coopers notes and emails (assuming he has the ones that refreshed Coopers memory on Welfare Reform), could Coopers story after GJ, been an attempt on damage control for himself

they asked a lot of questions about Welfare Reform...and he said he told GJ he doesn't recall Welfare Reform, but then re-reads his notes and sees...ooops, I was working on Welfare Reform (I still have a hard time with him completely forgetting a story he was working on at the time, that Time pushed aside)


Now that the tide of opinion on this site has washed into the tide pool where this rumor crab has been all along, that release of classified info, Valerie’s covert status, was the focus of investigation instead of her nonexistent blown cover, let me trade on my lucky skepticism with some wild ass speculations. (yeah I know, read it a few times till it makes sense)

There are two parallax illusions relevant to this caper:

(1) Valerie and Joe spoke truth to power by exposing the fake intel behind a rogue administration’s march to unjust war. Then the dastardly Rove and Co. conspired to take revenge on intrepid truthsayers by blowing Valerie’s cover, ruining her career and impugning false motive to their heroic endeavor. (nutter nonsense)

(2) Valerie and Joe conspired to lure the administration into revealing her employment at the CIA using as bait Joe’s carefully worded implication in the NY Times that he made the Niger trip at Cheney’s behest. Valerie’s covert status was no longer a career asset and was about to expire anyway so using it as legal force to spring the trap was maximum gain at no loss. Joe could barely conceal his glee when the scam worked and practically yelled “Aha ! Gotcha !!!” when he demanded Rove be frog marched out of the White House. (the real deal)

Which one Fitz is operating under depends on his immunity to BDS. There is a saying, “When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras”. Sad to say BDS has become the horse equivalent rather than zebra. It can be argued that Blanco’s BDS put thousands of lives at risk and may have cost more than a few. If Fitz is of the opinion that the 16 words were an example of presidential abuse to mislead the country, then it is quite possible he subscribes to parallax illusion #1.


Why in the hell won't Novak be prosecuted? Much of the blame of this whole fiasco is his overhyping a story and naming names when it wasn't even necessary.


I would add that Waas relies on Gillers to make the point that Rove risks more every time he testifies. Gillers is considered to be an expert in legal ethics, but I don't know whether his expertise extends to criminal matters. I do know he's a liberal Democrat. And that further testimony by Rove correcting the record might make an indictment less likely.


Now Karl, that is interesting, because it suggests that you are - I mean he is - not going in to recant, because at this late date there's no way he can meet either of the last two requirements specified in the link. I suspect recantation has already happened, or been attempted. So what is going on now?

franklin st

When is David Corn going to appear before the GJ. ? Has he received a ' target letter " ?


It is obvious that most of the punditry never participated in a document discovery response or a trial.

Responding to a demand to the WH to collect all email, correspondence and logs in which Wilson's name occurred is not easy.Even if you find everything in the search, it is not easy through the xeroxing and organizing process to keep it all where it ought to be. Remember support staff does this and the lawyers generally check it over to see if there's anything in there which doesn't belong and they set the parameters of the search, they do not gather, xerox and collate it themselves. Even if everything is done properly the papers can stick together, get detached from the staples, etc. Obviously, Luskin is thorough and reexamined everything.

I expect that, as is usual, when Libby and Rove testified they relied on this same material to refresh their recollection of their conversations with who knows how many people two years ago. Libby undoubtedly forgot the memo or it wasn't in the materials and he remembered it but couldn't find the documentation.

Probably something like that happened with the late June Libby-Miller conversation. Perhaps, there was no documentary record of it--maybe the conversation occurred face to face and there was no record of it in the WH records when Fitz prepared his subpoena to Miller. Perhaps Libby or Miller or both testified that it wasn't in his written records but he remembered it. Perhaps when that happened, someone at the NYT was asked to search to see if Miller 's notebooks were all turned over, could they check to see if there was one they overlooked. They did and found it.Fitz undoubtedly is speaking to her to get her to authenticate those notes. If she can , she may not be called back before the gj--He will just present to them the new notes and a report of her conversation authenticating them.

With so much reporting involving legal proceedings, it would be nice if someone doing this had a clue.


In the 3d graph "Libby" should be "Rove"--


clarice -- Would it make a difference to you if it were a matter of recalling what happened two or two and a half months ago? Would that seem more suspicious?


I would be reluctant to testify in such an important matter about a 2 minute conversation without reviewing my notes were there any, and if you ever find yourself a witness under oath, I recommend you follow that same procedure.


clarice -- That is undoubtedly good advice, and I appreciate it. But you've avoided the question. Let's be more straightforward: isn't it more suspicious that Karl Rove apparently omitted mentioning to investigators that he talked with Matt Cooper about Plame a mere two or two and a half months after the conversation came out -- not two years, as you suggested, presumably to emphasize that there was a long gap between event and testimony, making forgetting more understandable? Especially since Cooper published at least one article that used their conversation, something Rove, I suspect, saw? especially since we know this topic was one of great and continuing interest to Rove, since after Novak publishes his column (for which -- apparently unbeknownst to himself!! -- he was one of two senior administration sources on some of the key info) on Julu 14, Rove calls reporters to egg them on? Not even a little bit? You're going to stick with, if he hadn't found any notes, that's that?

Cecil Turner

isn't it more suspicious that Karl Rove apparently omitted mentioning to investigators that he talked with Matt Cooper about Plame a mere two or two and a half months after the conversationt -- not two years . . .

It still isn't very suspicious. In fact, if the conversation went as Rove's e-mail suggested (starting on welfare reform and him refusing to "take the bait" on Niger), it'd be surprising if he remembered it two months later. It's also entirely believable that both parties remember the conversation exactly as they described.


Ok, Cecil, so you admit that it is more suspicious not to remember a conversation that was a support for an article a few days laters, a conversation on a topic that would soon consume a good deal of your time, a couple of months after it happened than not to remember it a couple of years after it happened. You just think it's still not that suspicious.

Sorry for blowing it on the html tags again.

Cecil Turner

Ok, Cecil, so you admit that it is more suspicious not to remember a conversation that was a support for an article a few days later . . .

Unfortunately for the deep dark significance you want to read into this, you're talking about remembering a small part of a short conversation. The e-mail focuses on welfare reform, and even when it gets to uranium in Africa, doesn't mention Plame:

"When he finished his brief heads-up, he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him, I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."
Assuming Rove had more than a couple conversations about the "16 words" in the previous couple of months (which seems pretty safe), it's hard to see how this one would stand out. It's also not hard to see how the e-mail would be overlooked, since it resists some of the obvious word-searches (e.g., "Plame," "Wilson"). Again, "suspicious" seems a stretch.


Regarding, Brilliant walk to nowhere, I have a theory in this slightly edited post at Anon liberal..

I've been thinking about Waas source on the Rove/Bush conversation as well.

I'm thinking it's McClellan.

McClellan fits on the "close to the president" criterion. Waa's article spends as much time getting McClellan off the hook as it does Bush.

Rove did not disclose his conversation with Cooper to White House press secretary Scott McClellan..


As a result, McClellan mistakenly told a White House press briefing on September 29, 2003, that it was "simply not true" that Rove was involved in any way in the Plame leak...

If the WH wanted to start to distance Bush, why not Waas? The only people talking and Plame on on the left except for TM.

Clearly the WH planted (McClellan?) this story everywhere, they would want it spread far and wide.


Clearly you have suspicions.

Grace Wyatt

I find it hard to believe that Rove Wasn't involved in the leak of Plame's name to the News papers. Why wasn't Novak done the same way that Miller was done. We still don't know who outed Plame to Novak and the other News man.


Well, it was Joe, but since they should have known he was a liar then they should have known that she didn't work for the CIA. That's probably why they didn't put that in their articles.

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