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October 30, 2005

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Truzenzuzex

Rick:

Sorry for my lack of clarity. I realize the indictment concerns Libby but it wasn't Libby who disclosed Veronica's "covert" status to David Corn.
I'm not so sure it wasn't my lack of proper caffination rather than any lack of clarity on your part.

One does wonder about Corn's role in all this, as well as Wilson's. Apparently not Fitzgerald, though. He either thinks he knows the facts, or at least the ones that are within his scope of operation.

Still, as TM has documented here, there are quite a few obvious questions from the liberal side of the equation which make one wonder. On the other hand, as Red Dan points out in the very first post, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

Anyway, your point brings us back to a central fact: Fitz isn't done yet.
Well, Fitzgerald says the investigation was not totally complete, and I take him at his word.

However, I am also in the way of knowing that investigations are never over after an indictment. There are numerous reasons for this, not the least of which is the prosecutor needs to verify his evidence and strengthen his case. In the process of doing so, he may well come across evidence of another crime, or leads that he may want to check out.

With all that said, usually the part of the investigation that leads to indictments are over at the point the empaneled grand jury ends. Clearly, Fitzgerald isn't totally satisfied with his understanding of Rove's involvement, and I'm confident he will tie up his loose ends there. I am also reasonably confident (in the area of 75 or 80%) that Rove will not be indicted. I see nobody else in any legal jeopardy at all barring some extraordinarily unexpected development.

Gary Maxwell

Look what I just found a cite of two journalists who independently have stated that they knew about Plame!

Among the letters submitted by [Time's Matt] Cooper [to the judge considering whether to compel his testimony] was one from a former Time White House correspondent, Hugh Sidey. "In this case it seems to me the protection of a source transcends the other considerations,which do not seem to threaten national security," he wrote.

Mr. Sidey said in an interview that the identity of the CIA operative, Ms. Plame, was widely known--well before Mr. Cooper talked to his sources. "You know this game as well as I do," Mr. Sidey said. "That name was knocking around in the sub rosa world we live in for a long time."

And this is an exchange between host Alan Murray and guest Andrea Mitchell on CNBC's now-defunct "Capital Report," Oct. 3, 2003 (transcript not available publicly online):

Murray: Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?

Mitchell: It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact that she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it


Amazing one of them is Andrea Mitchell even though JBG assured us that she said no such thing. Was he lying or did he just forget?
Now when will JBG be coming back to apologize and reclaim his everrenewing Moron of the Month award.

kim

Joe is either traitor or coward. His pre-war stance suggests traitor(at least to the Iraqi people) and his post-war stance suggests an opportunist no longer afraid of the bogeyman.

And I'm not Johny come lately to the Wilson Pisspot. I've despised him ever since I heard about him.

Clarice, I like your term 'credulous or complicit' which you applied to the press. It should also be applied to the anti-war effort and to the Kerry campaign, if not the Democratic Party formally.

And I hope someone is settling whether rogue CIA are involved or if this is just a product of Joe's rich imagination. Provacateurs like he is have had varied treatment by history.
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R FLANAGAN

Gosh ,304 comments. Why ? There are two explanations.

1. either Libby or Russert misremeber their conversation. Could be. They're bush guys .
2. either Libby or Russert is lying. But if
that's the case which one had enough to
gain from the lie to justify the risk
of getting caught ?
End of story.

jukeboxgrad

Apologies for the slow response.

cathyf: "Judy's representation of Judy's notebook can be best summarized as 'Your guess is as good as mine.' So sure, if you want to rely on Judy's 'rorschach test' notebook as evidence of anything, go right ahead."

I think you're confused about who made what claims (in this thread) regarding Judy's notebook. It was Syl who suggested (here) that Judy's notebook somehow amounted to proof that other reporters (aside from the ones leaked to by the WH) knew about Plame.

I objected to that, because my opinions about Judy's notebook are similar to yours.

I appreciate your support, even though I have a feeling it's inadvertent on your part.

jukeboxgrad

Cecil: "the only one to write an article (Cooper) cited both Wilson and a presumably different 'source close to the matter.' "

I had said "Let us know when you find anything remotely resembling proof that Russert, Miller or Cooper ever had any source other than Libby et al." I think there's some confusion between us on this point, which could have been avoided if I had said "any source other than Libby et al regarding the information that Plame worked for the CIA."

The Cooper article you cite indeed refers to an unnamed source, but there's no reason to think this unnamed source outed Plame to Cooper, which is what I think the issue is.

The original question was about imagining reasons why Cooper would be motivated to lie. You said to protect a source. In my opinion, he would only be motivated to lie in order to protect this other mysterious source if this other mysterious source had outed Plame to Cooper.

In other words, if Mystery Source X had indeed outed Plame to Cooper before Rove outed Plame to Cooper, it is plausible that Cooper would claim "pre-Rove, I knew nothing about Plame." This would have the effect of protecting Mystery Source X.

The Cooper article you cite refers to an unnamed source, but there's no indication this source told Cooper anything about Plame. This source apparently just said some things about Wilson's trip. I realize Cooper could still want to protect this source, but lying about where Cooper first heard about Plame would not be relevant to that goal (protecting this source), unless you assume this source was a source of information about Plame.

So the original challenge still stands: let us know when you find anything remotely resembling proof that Russert, Miller or Cooper ever had any source (for information about Plame) other than Libby et al.

"at least you've stopped pretending 'covert' is the same as 'classified.' "

Uh, I never did pretend such a thing. There you go, making things up again.

"But apparently you didn't read the parts about 'serving outside the United States' "

Apparently you didn't read my comment too carefully, because the paragraph immediately preceding the text you quoted explicitly acknowledged the part about "served outside the US anytime in the last five years." (Your failure to notice this is ironic, since you just said "I'm beginning to think you just save time by not reading the material.")

"and the IIPA requirement for 'affirmative measures to conceal' the intelligence relationship with the US"

Earlier you had said this: "If they took the time to look up the term 'covert' in the applicable statute, I expect they'd conclude nobody working at CIA HQ would qualify."

You were suggesting that someone "working at CIA HQ" couldn't be defined as "covert" under that statute.

The interesting thing about the statute is that there's a definitions section, where "covert" is defined. What it says boils down to two things: the officer's identity is classified, and they've served overseas within the last five years. The idea of "affirmative measures to conceal" is noticeably absent from the definitions section.

Where does that phrase appear? In the section discussing knowledge and intent. You're not breaking the law unless you do it knowing that the "United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States."

I think the bottom line is that the statute is murky and not well-written, which could help explain why Fitz is steering clear of it.

As far as this particular difference between us, it boils down to semantics. I think you're wrong to suggest that the statute takes into account "working at CIA HQ" as part of the definition of "covert." It doesn't, and therefore I maintain that your original statement ("If they took the time to look up the term 'covert' in the applicable statute, I expect they'd conclude nobody working at CIA HQ would qualify") is incorrect. The statute provides a definition of "covert," and that definition doesn't correspond to the statement you made.

But I agree that there's a cousin of that statement which is correct: "if she's working at CIA HQ, that could make it harder for the prosecution to show that the US was taking 'affirmative measures,' and this could be a problem with regard to satisfying that language in the statute." And the key thing is not just the US is taking measures, but that the defendant knows that the US is taking measures.

"A desk job at CIA would certainly not qualify"

I hardly think you're in a position to say "certainly." The words "taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States" could be interpreted lots of different ways. The statute doesn't say "taking perfect and comprehensive measures." The implication is "is the US doing something, anything."

Let's say there's a CIA internal phone directory. Certain people are listed. Certain people aren't. Arguably this is sufficient to demonstrate that the US is "taking affirmative measures." Let's say Libby has a copy of this directory on his bookshelf, which means he could very easily check and see that Plame is not listed. Arguably this shows that he knew about the "affirmative measures."

As I said, I think this is a murky area, based on a murky, poorly-written statute. I am not claiming I'm sure the statute would apply. Likewise, I think you're not in a position to make sweeping statements like "certainly" a desk job would not qualify, without knowing more details.

jukeboxgrad

clarice: "I was misled by a post, not making it up"

Your credibility is not enhanced when you're careless in this manner.

By the way, this is the text we're discussing: "Wilson says he talked to the Kerry people in May of 2003 about his Mission and the role his wife played."

Several people around these parts (including you) have been throwing this idea around. If the idea keeps popping up, I would invite you to open your mouth and correct the record, since you were part of spreading the false meme to begin with (and for the moment I'll accept your explanation that it was just carelessness, rather than a conscious lie).

"I think that surmise is not the least bit farfetched"

Obviously you're entitled to surmise to your heart's content. Just don't treat it as a fact, unless you have proof, or unless you don't mind discrediting yourself.

jukeboxgrad

Jim: "If he could have been charged for outright lying based on the testimony of others in government, then Mr. Fitz would have charged him with doing so."

I think you're misunderstanding the indictment, because what you say Fitz didn't do is indeed exactly what Fitz did.

"The fact that he (Fitz) relied on Russert's 'statement' "

I wouldn't say Fitz is relying on Russert's statement. The statements of the reporters are helpful but not essential. The government witnesses are more important.

"That's the only reasonable explanation for the way that Libby testified."

No, there's a more reasonable explanation. He lied because he thought he could get away with it. Keep in mind he started lying in 10/03, at a time when he easily could have believed the investigation was going nowhere and didn't need to be taken seriously.

"Libby didn't break any law."

It's nice to know that perjury is legal all of a sudden.

jukeboxgrad

Truz: "I am also reasonably confident (in the area of 75 or 80%) that Rove will not be indicted."

Maybe you haven't seen this: "Rove remains a focus of the CIA leak probe. He has told friends it is possible he still will be indicted for providing false statements to the grand jury. 'Everyone thinks it is over for Karl and they are wrong,' a source close to Rove said. The strategist's legal and political advisers 'by no means think the part of the investigation concerning Karl is closed.' Cooper's attorney, Dick Sauber, said Fitzgerald certainly meant it when he told Luskin last week that Rove remains in legal jeopardy and under investigation" (link).

"I see nobody else in any legal jeopardy at all barring some extraordinarily unexpected development."

I invite you to familiarize yourself with the way Fitz took down Gov. Ryan of Illinois. On the road to nailing Ryan (which took years), there were 59 other convictions.

jukeboxgrad

Gary: "Amazing one of them is Andrea Mitchell even though JBG assured us that she said no such thing."

Indeed, Mitchell did not say what you claimed she said. I explain this here.

kim

I presume, JBG, that parsing 'common knowledge in the community' is losing favor as a tactic?
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Wilson/Plame