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October 19, 2005

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Geek, Esq.

File this post under "Extremely Wishful Thinking."

There's absolutely no reason to think the information went from Russert to Libby instead of vice versa.

Geek, Esq.

And those leaks are obviously coming from the chief bamboozler himself, Don Luskin.

Seven Machos

Geek -- Why give no credence to this article credence but give full credence to other articles which seem to suggest culpability on the part of your "political enemies"? Is it really true there is "absolutely no reason to think the information went from Russert to Libby"? None?

You are like a wind-up doll who prattles conclusionary arguments exclusively. You are going to make a horrible lawyer if you ever pass the bar exam.

windansea

SM

well said!

Doug

Here I go with my first post. This has become very entertaining. We are now in the last 9 days of the GJ and everyone is sweating bullets -- The NYT, the moonbats, the WH, the guy who predicted 22 indictments, Wilson who won't be happy until Rove is frogmarched out of the WH, etc. Even Fitzgerald must be sweating. There is just no 'clear' target. For example, today we aren't hearing anything about the VP resigning. It is like playing spin the bottle. The 'conspiracy' theory has seemed to drop away. Some of the 'leaks' and commentary seem to have been designed to "scare" people so as to make sure somebody "paid" a price because it doesn't look like anyone is going to jail.

My prediction: Friday the 28th will come and go and we will be reading and writing our guesses as to what happened in the Prosecutor's office. That should keep us entertained for another week or so. Then we get to start the SCOTUS hearings.

windansea

Geek "left leaks only" Esq

Rick Ballard

7M,

Ya gotta admit, he's got a future as a spin doctor. Tunnel vision, deaf in one ear and flexible about meaning - could be the next Stephanoupolos.

Geek, Esq.

Libby
Russert
Rove

Two of these three had a very intense interest in Joe Wilson and had top-level security passes.

Logic indicates that those two knew about who his wife was before Timmay.

Think about it. If Russert knew, that means HE had a source who was illegally leaking stuff to him.

The idea that Russert was both Libby and, indirectly, Rove's source is just stupid.

 topsecretk9

Think about it. If Russert knew, that means HE had a source who was illegally leaking stuff to him.

hmmm...wonder who that could be? Cocktails anyone?

pete

Fitzgerald is required to notify anyone, prior to their testimony, that they are a subject of the investigation.

who was notified?

no one!!!!!!!

Syl

Geek

"Two of these three had a very intense interest in Joe Wilson and had top-level security passes."

Intense interest. Yes.

Top-level security passes? I don't think so for Rove. At all.

Not even sure about Libby.

What was that info that Tenet spoke about..that was de-classified? Cheney could have requested it be de-classified, let Libby know what it was and Libby planted the little seed that Wilson's wife sent him on the junket.

The reporters took it from there.

The name, Valery Plame, was never de-classified. It also was never disseminated, nor even known, by Libby and Rove. They learned that from the press.

Gossip. I heard that too. What have YOU heard. Nothing illegal there.


Syl

As I said in an earlier thread:

A conspiracy to commit....gossip!

If that's prosecutable, we're all in deep doo-doo.

clarice

[IF] Waas is correct..LOL

Libby is a fine lawyer. Since virtually all of us concede those early conversations with reporters were not particularly meaningful and could easily be forgotten. I'd be astonished if Libby categorically states that there was not a possibility the issue had come up in other discussions with others.

As to how Judy's June notebook came up when it hadn't even been subpoenaed----my guess is that Libby looked at the WH logs, noted that he'd met with her beyond the dates in the subpoena and indicated he thought it was a debriefing from her about her Iraq reporting..

Again. Anyone who relies on Miller and or her notes to make a perjury case is an idiot.

About Aspen--no one knows what that means--but IIRC someone at Macs place noted she'd been at an Aspen Institute meeting in the summer of 2003 and I believe he said some of the other names involved here (Was is Wilson and McGovern? I don't recall specifically) were also there.

Toby Petzold

I think we all know now that the answer to these mysteries lies somewhere in the world of Faye Resnick.

clarice

Well, I googled aspens connected at the roots, and it is apparently a well-worn sermon about people needing people. Here's one cite to the sermon. http://216.109.125.130/search/cache?p=aspens+connected+by+their+roots&sm=Yahoo%21+Search&toggle=1&ei=UTF-8&u=www.sermonillustrator.org/illustrator/sermon3b/we_need_each_other.htm&w=aspens+connected+roots&d=HOfIn2FULmCY&icp=1&.intl=us

tom unplugged

I've been singing about yellowcake in San Francisco coffee shops for months now.

It’s called, “Feels Like I’m Gonna Die (In Iraq) Rag”

http://www.tomunplugged.com/pages/6/index.htm

Jeff

TM - There's a new WaPo article that seems to be designed to introduce the presumed main players, and most of it is familiar territory, but there are a few interesting things. One has to do with Pincus' July 12, 2003 source -- a topic I think it is time to revisit. The WaPo gives a detail that I have never seen before, though presumably they know what they're talking about:

Pincus, who spoke with Fitzgerald early in the case after his source said he could, has never revealed who told him that Wilson's wife helped arrange Wilson's trip to Niger. Pincus has said the source was not Libby, and has described the person as a "White House official" who called him. The source came forward to the prosecutor and released Pincus to discuss their conversation with Fitzgerald but not with the public.

That rules out Tenet, your longtime guess. But then, via Swopa, check out this nugget from the ever-amazing Murray Waas from April, believe it or not:

Two days before columnist Robert Novak named Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative, a Bush administration official told a reporter for The Washington Post that Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, had been sent to Niger on a sensitive diplomatic mission only because his wife recommended him for the job. The administration official admitted his role to federal prosecutors during their investigation into the leak of Plame's identity.

The Bush administration official, according to attorneys familiar with his testimony, told a federal grand jury that he made the claim to the Post reporter and others in an effort to undermine Wilson's credibility, who was alleging at the time that the Bush administration was relying on faulty intelligence to bolster its case to go to war with Iraq. But the official just as adamantly denied to the federal investigators that he had ever told the Post reporter, Novak, or anyone else that Plame was a clandestine CIA operative.

The Post reporter, Walter Pincus, confirmed in an interview that the administration official attempted to discredit Wilson by claiming that Wilson had been sent to Niger on a boondoggle arranged by Wilson's wife. But Pincus says that the official did not tell him that Plame was anything other than an analyst.

It is of course interesting to get Pincus confirming that the official was himself attempting to discredit Wilson with the boondoggle claim, rather than reporting what the White House was up to. But who is it? My guess for a long time has been that Hadley was Novak's source and/or Pincus', and he seems like a good prospect for Pincus' in light of this new (and not so new, but new to me) information. But I suppose it could be either Hannah or Wurmser as well. It's still unclear if this White House official is one of the two who called six reporters, according to the other administratino official who spoke to the WaPo in September 2003. It's also unclear how cooperative this official was being as he acknowledged his role.

In any case, I do think that Hadley is the main person who has gotten disproportionately little media attention in all of this. It was reported in the WaPo, by Pincus himself I think, after all, that it was the trio of Hadley, Rove and Libby who were in charge of the dual attacks in 2003 on the CIA and the Wilsons. I am in fact inclined to think Libby and Hadley did much more of the overt acting, while Rove was mainly just a conspirator.

SteveMG

It seems to me, irony of ironies, that we can reasonably conclude (hah) that there is (almost) zero chance that Fitzgerald will charge anyone with violating the IIPA statute. How he will be able to walk the dog back to the source of Plame's outing mystifies me. Granted, he has much more evidence and testimony than we can begin to imagine; but that testimony likely only complicates things and doesn't clarify them.

Ironically, because of course it was allegations that that law had been violated which set off this opera bouffe.

Out of that conclusion then, any linkage, i.e., conspiracy, to Cheney also must be removed. If you can't prove who revealed Plame's covert status (if she had one), then you sure can't connect Cheney with orchestrating the outing.

So, we're left with mishandling of classified information (pretty iffy), perjury (bye bye Scooter) and obstruction of justice (bye bye Scooter).

I see Rove walking (unfrog-like). Hannah's a guess. Scooter's wearing stripes.

Hell, I don't know.

SMG

BurbankErnie

I have a hard time taking the majority of the "leaks" seriously. Watching the whiplash from day to day, depending on the "leak" is most amusing.

I have it from an unimpeachable source that Joe The Liar Wilson will be indicted tomorrow. My unimpeachable source has it from verified sources that Joe The Liar Wilson will be handed 22 indictments.
Yep. unimpeachable. source.

 topsecretk9

Clarice-
As to how Judy's June notebook came up when it hadn't even been subpoenaed----my guess is that Libby looked at the WH logs, noted that he'd met with her beyond the dates in the subpoena and indicated he thought it was a debriefing from her about her Iraq reporting...

This is exactly the scenario I had in mind and like you mentioned, Libby being a lawyer, I can't see him saying anything unequivocal. If Fitz asked if they talked about Plame, Wilson or even the Niger trip in general pre July, my guess is his answer would leave open the possibility.

As to Aspen,I read on a lefty blog (Washington Monthly?) that this is typical gooey Libby writing. The person indicated it was similar to a book he wrote on Japan? I think they described it as he writes in an sappy haiku style.

Quilly Mammoth

Geek spouted:
"Think about it. If Russert knew, that means HE had a source who was illegally leaking stuff to him."

Uhhh...duhhhhhhhhhh! Not unthinkable because Novak has claimed all along that the _primary source_ was outside the Administration. Unfortunetly for your reality all sorts of people...and not just stooges of Chimpy McBusHitler...commit crimes.

Please don't do anything drastic when Fitzmas comes and the worse charge is "Mishandling Classified Information" against Scooter.

Jeff

Has anyone else noted that the righties here have become more intense, have started posting at an almost manic rate, and have become poorer arguers since things started heating up in the last week or so?

clarice says

Since virtually all of us concede those early conversations with reporters were not particularly meaningful and could easily be forgotten. I'd be astonished if Libby categorically states that there was not a possibility the issue had come up in other discussions with others.

If by "virtually all of us," you mean, "virtually all of us serious rightwingers who shift interpretations as necessary to salvage the reputation of the Bush administration," then I suppose you're right. Otherwise, yours is not a concession, it's an assertion, and not a widely shared one at that. If by "early conversations" you mean June 2003 (and why does that count as early, given that Kristof published at the beginning of May?), why on earth do you assert that they were not meaningful, other than to rationalize them as easily forgettable? Also, you have to confront TM's point that Libby has not reappeared before the grand jury, as Rove has, presumably to try to fix his testimony.

SteveMG says

Ironically, because of course it was allegations that that law had been violated which set off this opera bouffe.

Of course, of course. Only, could you show me where you're getting that information? Where in the CIA referral to Justice does it say that IIPA was violated -- my understanding is that that is not the case, though I could be wrong. Are you referring to Joe Wilson? And you think Joe Wilson says jump, and the CIA says how high? Oh, you probably do.

clarice

top secret--this is the book Libby wrote

Apprentice

Author: Libby, Lewis
Paperback
Griffin / St. Martins Press
ISBN: 0312284535

A gripping novel of suspense, The Apprentice takes place in a remote mountain inn in northernmost Japan, where a raging blizzard has brought together wayfarers who share only growing suspicion of one another. It is the winter of 1903 and the apprentice, charged with running the inn during the owner's absence, finds himself plunged headlong into murder, passion, and heart-stopping chases through the snow.
__________

Jeff, you're talking to a person who had nightmares as a kid watching the McCarthy hearings because she's so forgetful she thought she'd be trapped like those witnesses saying she didn't know someone only to have a picture show up with her and that person!

I note, that Arianna just confessed she'd forgotten she'd been at Aspen with Miller , something she noticed in looking through old photos. LOL

These are busy people who regularly clock in 12-14 hours a day during which they have more conversations with more people than we can imagine. And as TM has noted early on this doesn't appear to have been high on anyone's radar.

Toby Petzold

Jeff, the CIA is statutorily obligated to refer that stuff to DOJ, but the DCI could have sat on it if he hadn't been so interested in settling some old scores.

But if it's not the IIPA and it's not the Espionage Act of 1917 that were violated, then what law was it?

All I know is that if George Tenet happened to walk past me right now with that Medal of Freedom around his neck, I wouldn't be able to resist the urge to choke him with it.

Cecil Turner

Well, if Mr. Waas is correct that Libby's testimony is that he first learned about Ms. Plame (or Wilson's wife) from Russert, the June 23 meeting with Miller, and Libby's possible reluctance to see Ms. Miller testify on that point, may be backbreakers for Libby.

If you parse Russert's denial carefully, does it preclude his knowing Wilson's wife worked at CIA? Or providing that information to Libby in June? I can't see that it does (though one would hope such sophistry would be illegal). Further, I'd agree with Clarice about relying on Miller's notes to prove a discrepancy, if Libby denies talking about Plame in June.

Think about it. If Russert knew, that means HE had a source who was illegally leaking stuff to him.

I can think of at least one scenario where that needn't be true.

Syl

Jeff

"Has anyone else noted that the righties here have become more intense, have started posting at an almost manic rate, and have become poorer arguers since things started heating up in the last week or so?"

We're much more relaxed these days, and actually having some fun with this. The Lefties are terribly serious and getting more so. Reading desparation in rightie comment style is all they've got.

Syl

Jeff

"And you think Joe Wilson says jump, and the CIA says how high?"

No, Joe Wilson thinks that. He may even be CIA himself, for all we know, with State being his cover.

Jeff

We're much more relaxed these days, and actually having some fun with this. The Lefties are terribly serious and getting more so. Reading desparation in rightie comment style is all they've got.

Ah yes, that's it, that accounts for the rapid response to my post from you all, and the self-contradictory arguments (Toby Petzold wins on that one), and the perhaps uncharacteristic inability to follow TM's argument (Cecil), and the irellevancies (Toby again, and you Syl). Wilson just gets your all goat, doesn't he?

And before you start citing his early knowledge of the Niger documents, believe me, I would be more than happy for some competent individual or body to look into the origins and circulation of the Niger documents. Truly. Frankly, it's your party that has been unwilling to do so, as they have the institutional capacity. I wonder why.

Meanwhile, and this is mainly for you Cecil, your seemingly blind trust in the SSCI might want to have a look at some excellent journalism from Laura Rozen here and her comment on it here to get a sense of cause for suspicion, especially of the respective roles of Roberts and Rockefeller, and oh yeah Cheney.

Syl

Jeff

Rapid response happens when we're here at the same time.

Some people read stuff into absolutely everything.

Like Rozen.

Brent

I've no dog in this fight but Jeff lost the argument. Badly. LOL.

TexasToast

Actually Brent - I would disagree

AST

Forget Russert. Judy Miller was one of the authors of the book "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War." One of the reviewers on Amazon says that Miller cites sources in the CIA for her reporting in the book. Where does Valerie Plame work?

A caller to the Hugh Hewitt show today made the same point, that Miller had sources in the CIA for her reports on WMD.

Fitzgerald agreed that Miller wouldn't have to testify about anybody other than Rove/Libby. How hard would it be to connect Plame, WMD and Wilson? This would explain why Miller went to jail to protect her source Plame and took a deal that kept that source out of the picture.

If Rove and Libby only stated that Wilson's wife worked in the CIA, and Miller made the connection on her own, how would that affect Fitzgerald's case? Maybe Plame outed herself!

Cecil Turner

your seemingly blind trust in the SSCI might want to have a look at some excellent journalism from Laura Rozen here and her comment on it here to get a sense of cause for suspicion

Sorry Jeff, no sale. The declassified NIE makes it abundantly clear that the information CIA provided to the White House was every bit as alarmist as was reported. That makes "Phase II" a waste of time. Rozen's allegations of "sliming" Wilson, misrepresenting what we now know of the intelligence, and her overwrought "alternate narrative" (which also happens to be the truth) is ample evidence of bias. She also misses the obvious reason for Rockefeller's muted criticisms: it's a political loser, and he knows it.

TM

Thanks, Jeff, I had not seen the April Waas piece on Pincus (but I am betting that the Wash Post runs a correction, and gets Pincus back to "administration official".

At the risk of waking up the Geek, I want to understand his idea of stupid. Novak told the Wilson and wife story to Rove, yes? And Cooper told the Wilson and wife story to Libby. But it would be "stupid" to think that Russert told the Wilson and wife story to Libby.

Nicely argued. On one side, we have the example set by two other reporters, a leak of Libby's testimony, and Russert's non-denial.

On the other side, we have "stupid".

AST - it is hard to figure why Fitzgerald gave up on Miller - she may have had other sources within the Admin, such as Hannah, Wurmser, and Bolton; and she may certainly have crossed paths with Ms. Plame.

But he did seem to give up.

 topsecretk9

ummm, has this (col) Lawrence Wilkerson's (the coo coo in foriegn paper spouting those oh so familiar words..."Cheney Cabal") name been thrown in the ring...chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January...at least as a source to Pincus???

I mean he is a Joe Wilson/Richard Clark/Larry Johnson stand in

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/afdb7b0c-40f3-11da-b3f9-00000e2511c8.html

 topsecretk9

He even has all the G-HERBERT-WB lovey dovies parts to hide the radical extremist parts down!

Syl

Never heard his name mentioned before.

But, good grief, what a scandal that Condi Rice, appointed by the President of the United States, DARE implement his policies.

After all, everyone in the bureaucracy just knows so much better...having been elected and all.

I'll stop here. :)

JayDee

If Fitzgerald has Hannah and/or Wurmser testifying that senior officials in Cheney's office ordered Plame's covert status to be leaked to the press, then everything else Fitzgerald is going after is merely identification of the players and their precise roles.

All the detailed arguments of wingers aside, what you're trying to argue is that a frantic round robin of reporters were randomly playing telephone with WH officials ... passing around the exact same tidbit of information... in almost exactly the same words...at just exactly the time the WH was irate at Joe Wilson and wanted to take him down....and no one can remember exactly who told them what when.

Yeah, I guess it was just an unfortunate coincidence. I'm sure that's what's Fitzgerald is in the process of concluding.

Jeff

Cecil- You've given no evidence of bias in Rozen's account. Indeed, all you've given evidence of is that you didn't pay attention to what she wrote, particularly on the NIE. It's actually funny that you evoke scientific sounding terms all the time as your watchwords -- logic, Occam's razor -- but you utterly lack the attitude of a scientist in approaching evidence. You've got a theory, and every piece of evidence is made consistent with it. In other words, your theory is unfalsifiable, the very hallmark of a bad theory. Or maybe I'm being unfair. Here's an example: are you ready to rethink the idea that the INR memo is merely a red herring (and the alternative, by the way, is not that it explains everything, which I take to be Powell's point in commenting to Larry King the other night that the memo does not contain the name "Valerie Plame") now that we know that its addresse, Grossman, got it in preparation for a meeting at the White House where they were going to discuss the Niger-uranium business and how to deal with it, a meeting that he in fact went to (though we don't know what was said or whether he took the memo with him)?

TM

If Fitzgerald has Hannah and/or Wurmser testifying that senior officials in Cheney's office ordered Plame's covert status to be leaked to the press

IF.

My short answer - "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest".

Slightly longer - Libby and plenty of the rest of the WHIGs are lawyers, or know the law. *MAYBE* there was a misunderstanding, but I will be shocked if Libby actually ordered these guys to do something they all knew was illegal.

For example, suppose Libby said to Hannah "Gee, Wilson's wife is at the CIA? That seems like an important part of the story - see if you can get it out there".

That is not exactly an order to out a covert agent. Libby might have expected that Hannah would, for example, check to see if she whether she was covert.

OTOG, blame-shifting by Bolton loyalists is a possibility.

I have a two non-unifed Pincus theories, but I have a separate Pincus post, so I am putting them there.

Well, unless I forget the second one. But the first one is that Rove leaked to Pincus onthe 12th.

kim

JayDee, what is propaply important to Fitz is whether or not the White House knew that V was covert, and exposed her to punish her husband. Far more likely is that they were impugning his testimony with nepotism(poor offense) and were unaware she was covert. However, the press seemed not to be unaware.

I doubt indictments come from that except for the press and Joe.

I'll stick with last weeks confident prediction, though I have less confidence this week.

PERJURY

Miller, Cooper, Russert, and Joe 'Look at me' Wilson.
===============================================

paul

Geek-

Your exuberance seems very similar to that expressed by dems in response to the 2004 exit polls-

Best advice? to avoid repeating the catastrophic low that you felt, and probably continue to feel about Bush being reelected, don't get to far in front of yourself.

Your denial regarding the fact that Russert was probably a source to the Whitehouse, via Andre Mitchell, who knew the Wilson's...is telling.

I'm buying stock in tri-cyclic anti-depressants, the dems are going to need them.

drjohnk

Isn't this all premised on the exposure of a covert agent? The problem with it is that she was not covert, and had not been since 1994.

Cecil Turner

Cecil- You've given no evidence of bias in Rozen's account.

Fair enough. Here:

  • But that was then. Today, committee Republicans view their mission as being not oversight but cover-up.
  • When Congress is in cahoots with the administration in stifling oversight, who can investigate the investigators?
Possibly it's my own bias, but that looks to me more like advocacy than journalism.

Indeed, all you've given evidence of is that you didn't pay attention to what she wrote, particularly on the NIE.

Indeed, I must be reading the wrong articles (because I don't recall more than indirect passing references to the NIE). Is it one of those two links you provided?

you utterly lack the attitude of a scientist in approaching evidence

Jeff, your attempt to intuit my motives are no better than Rozen's on the Republicans she derides. Yes, I'm trying to fit the data into a coherent narrative. (And having to modify hypotheses constantly to incorporate new evidence.)

Here's an example: are you ready to rethink the idea that the INR memo is merely a red herring . . .

Here you misread my position. I continue to believe the INR memo is the central issue. In fact, it's putting too much emphasis on that (and it being bandied about AF1 on 7 July) that caused me to incorrectly predict that the 23 June Libby-Miller meeting wouldn't be about Plame. Now I have to find an earlier leak to explain it, or conclude Miller's notes are incorrect (so far having little luck with either).

JayDee

what is propaply important to Fitz is whether or not the White House knew that V was covert,

This may sound simplistic but I'm just going to guess that Fitzgerald is smart enough to have uncovered sufficient evidence that her status was known by the WH before spending two years of taxpayer money investigating what otherwise would be a non-crime.

It's funny how partisan bias can suddenly make the beloved "Occam's razor" theory inoperative.

paul

Geek-

Your exuberance seems very similar to that expressed by dems in response to the 2004 exit polls-

Best advice? to avoid repeating the catastrophic low that you felt, and probably continue to feel about Bush being reelected, don't get to far in front of yourself.

Your denial regarding the fact that Russert was probably a source to the Whitehouse, via Andre Mitchell, who knew the Wilson's...is telling.

I'm buying stock in tri-cyclic anti-depressants, the dems are going to need them.

In regards to Libby instructing subordinates to leak classified info-unless he directed them to contact certain individuals in the press, ones he could trust...I don't see how they can help.

Clearly the contacts with Judy were that attempt-so did those guys screw it up?

Maybe, possibly, Pincus's sources were Wurmser or Hannah is the offical that came foward. IF Libby denied instructing them to do it, there is probably no paper trail.

Plus...Pincus found out very, very late in the game...which is well after Libby could say that the knowledge was gained from the press.

Someone did tell Fitz that Libby's favorite contact was Miller, and that someone did want to point Fitz in Libby's direction, but Fitz needed Miller to squeal. She didn't.

Hannah and/or Wurmser- if the source tying Libby to Miller, did not have the actual goods on Libby, ie no first hand account, all they could provide was speculation.

That would explain the contempt charge being allowed to jail Ms. Miller. She was crucial, according to, maybe, wurmser/Hannah.

The reality is that the reason the names of Hannah and Wurmser are circulating is the apparent lack of a case otherwise. A last attempt to shake the tree failed.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'A caller to the Hugh Hewitt show today made the same point, that Miller had sources in the CIA for her reports on WMD.'

And the name Valerie Flame appeared in a part of her notebook with info about Iraq and WMD, not in the part with her notes on Libby.

kim

JayDee, it seems apparent that public knowledge of the investigation is just now revealing that the White House was attacking Joe Wilson's testimony, and the nepotism of his involvement, not the covertness of his wife. Maybe Fitz is just getting the evidence for this now, too.

If he's had Hannah for awhile, and hasn't yet indicted WH personnel, he's laying for press, or others(hope, hope, hope).
============================================

JayDee

kim, "the public" may have just been getting this favored rightwing spin on the investigation, but surely you realize that the rightwing noise machine has been spewing that line from the start. You say you respect Fitzgerald, but have no problem thinking he's also oblivious and a little dim?

The lack of leaks by a prosecutor with real integrity (unlike say, Ken Starr, the porno publisher) should not be equated with lack of evidence.

Syl

JayDee

"This may sound simplistic but I'm just going to guess that Fitzgerald is smart enough to have uncovered sufficient evidence that her status was known by the WH before spending two years of taxpayer money investigating what otherwise would be a non-crime."

That's a very good point. Except the investigation's aim is to uncover exactly that.

Fitz had his first few months taking initial testimony and interrogations. Then he had to get corroboration (that word looks so weird to me....) from reporters.

Remember, Cooper didn't testify until last July. And Judy not until just a couple weeks ago.

Syl

JayDee

"The lack of leaks by a prosecutor with real integrity (unlike say, Ken Starr, the porno publisher) should not be equated with lack of evidence."

Agree.

That's why nobody is jumping up and down, from either side.

Syl

::off topic...waaaaay off.

Speaking of Ken Starr ;)

There are two people who drive partisans on the other side nuts. Both of them, I've heard, are really very nice people.

Ken Starr and Nancy Pelosi.

::back to our regularly scheduled topic

kim

JayDee, I think we are talking past each other. My point is that it seems that Fitz is just now honing the evidence that the White House effort was innocent of evil intent toward Val. I think that has just been proven to his own satisfaction in the last fortnight. Until then he didn't have mus
ch beyond Hannah's testimony(Oh, well thirty or fifty others) and now he does.
======================================

kim

Intent, my fine-fesathered friends, has much to do with justice. That's why tongue-scorching works.

Instead of a report from Fitz, I suggest a round of tongue-scorching for all the principals.

Heh, heh, whaddya think Fitz is up to; doesn't this look like tongue-scorching to you?
=========================================

Jeff

Cecil - First off, my bad on the NIE thing: I conflated stuff from Rozen's site, and failed to include the relevant post, the NIE stuff is from this post citing Newsweek. My apologies on that, my pissedness got ahead of me.

As for your attitude, it's not a matter of intuiting (or otherwise gaining access to) your motives, it's just looking at the patent acts you perform. In other words, it's about your intentions, which are not things stuck in your head, but part of your actions themselves.

As for the INR memo, I'd be curious to hear what your position is, since either I am misunderstanding it or I wasn't clear. You seem to believe the INR memo could not be a source for the alleged bad guys in the White House of info on Wilson's wife in June. We now have information showing how quite plausibly it could have been: the memo was created to prepare the acting Secretary of State for a meeting about the Niger mess in the White House that took place some time between June 10 and June 15. We don't know whether he took it with him, or whether he talked about its contents, but it's certainly plausible that he might have. In case you missed it, here's Tuesday's WaPo:

Senior administration officials said there was a document circulated at the State Department -- before Libby talked to Miller -- that mentioned Plame. It was drafted in June as an administrative letter and addressed to then-Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, who was acting secretary at the time since Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage were out of the country.

As a former State Department official involved in the process recalled it, Grossman wanted the letter as background for a meeting at the White House, where the discussion was focused on then growing criticism of Bush's inclusion in his January State of the Union speech of the allegation that Hussein had been seeking uranium from Niger.

The letter to Grossman discussed the reasons the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) did not believe the intelligence, which originated from foreign sources, was accurate. It had a paragraph near the beginning, marked "(S)," meaning it was classified secret, describing a meeting at the CIA in February 2002, attended by another INR analyst, where Plame introduced her husband as the person who was to go to Niger.

Attached to the letter were the notes from the INR analyst who had attended the session, but they were written well after the event occurred and contained mistakes about who was there and what was said, according to a former intelligence official who reviewed the document in the summer of 2003.

Grossman has refused to answer questions about the letter, and it is not clear whether he talked about it at the White House meeting he was said to have attended, according to the former State official.

cathyf
Further, I'd agree with Clarice about relying on Miller's notes to prove a discrepancy, if Libby denies talking about Plame in June.
Yeah, I have this vision of Matlock up there in his seersucker suit laying it on real thick: "So, the prosecutor claims that there was this big ole conSPIRacy to OWWt the CIA agent... (looking at the jury with a perplexed expression) ...by tellin' REporters that she worked for the FBI..."

Yeah, somehow I think Fitzgerald has had this vision, too...

cathy :-)

Epphan

Forest...not trees...all will be well.

kim

Can we see the INR memo? Does it mention Plame? And why are we so terribly concerned about the condition of the barn when the horse is now three pastures away?
==================================================

TM

As to Miller being the star witness - that would be a laugh riot, and I agree that Fitzgerald wiouldn't dare, but...

As a supplemental count to something else, the missed June 23 meeting, the suggestion that Libby claimed he first learned about Wilson's wife from Russert, the weird Aspen letter, the hold-up with the waiver - there is a simple, unifying explanation, which would be, obstruction to cover perjury.

Obviously, if Fitzgerald can't find a crime or conspiracy, one might ask - what was Libby hiding, other than a faulty memory?

Cecil Turner

it's just looking at the patent acts you perform

Again, I think you're misinterpreting them. This is a complex subject, and a lot of pieces have to be shifted with each hypothesis change. I'm filtering that through my own experience, and the results may well not match yours.

You seem to believe the INR memo could not be a source for the alleged bad guys in the White House of info on Wilson's wife in June.

Not at all. It's possible, just not nearly as likely as it would be starting about 7 July. But there are several other competing possibilities (e.g., CIA, or reporters who've been talking to Wilson since May), and I'd assess those as being just as likely as an earlier INR memo leak.

As to why: I'm a bit skeptical about that minuscule a detail being pulled from a background paper during a meeting by an agency without primary responsibility for that subject (especially if he happens to be a junior representing a principal, since the usual standard is for those guys to be seen and not heard and brief their boss later). It also seems to me they'd initially be focused on whether they actually missed something, and that'd be primarily a CIA show. Again, I just see that as a data gap, rather than "probably the INR memo."

Cecil Turner

As a supplemental count to something else, the missed June 23 meeting, the suggestion that Libby claimed he first learned about Wilson's wife from Russert, the weird Aspen letter, the hold-up with the waiver - there is a simple, unifying explanation, which would be, obstruction to cover perjury.

All those beg the question: "why?" An earlier leak seems to me to support the theory that they got the information from one of the reporters who'd been talking to Wilson since May. Leaking secondhand gossip from the INR memo isn't criminal if they don't know it's classified (and my experience with classified information suggests it's very unlikely a detail like that would be passed along with a warning note). Why cover it up?

And if Libby doesn't want Miller to testify, just don't send the letter--he has all the plausible deniability needed with his earlier blanket waiver. Fitz's letter to him is almost as weird as the aspens one he sent to Miller. None of this makes any sense, if Libby is of even average intelligence, and everyone keeps claiming he's smart. I don't get it.

clarice

Let me get this straight, TM, the SP asks Libby once again to give Miller assurances that his waiver--the same one in gave Cooper--and one he already repeated was valid, he encourages Libby to contact her directly by mail, and then he says that some cockamamie personal haiku (apparently typical of his writing style) is a double secret warning to shut up, even though it says TALK already? LOL with that one.

And again, I suspect the June 23 meeting was first flagged by Libby, not Judy..and he testified (not inconsistently) with her own scrambled testimony that it was a debriefing about her Iraq trip--remember she said the notes re Flame or Victoria Wilson were elsewhere and may not have related to their conversation and even that she may have raised those names herself hoping to trap him into saying her real name.

If I were the Prosecutor, I'd not try that gambit. I'd not try anything, in fact, that depended on her testimony. Period.

Jeff

As to why: I'm a bit skeptical about that minuscule a detail being pulled from a background paper during a meeting by an agency without primary responsibility for that subject

One thing that should ease your skepticism a little bit is that people in Cheney's office were reportedly quite upset, perhaps even obsessed, with Wilson, and already by early-to-mid June.

Also, as Powell reminded us the other night, there have to have been more than one stream of info leading to Novak's column, since the INR memo did not use the name "Plame."

As for Fitz's letter to Libby, it seems pretty clear to me that the speech act he is performing is basically, "It's all up to you, but from here on out if you don't persuade Miller to testify, it will be just as good as affirming that you don't want her to testify to protect yourself." Fitz evidently knows from hardball.

Cecil Turner

One thing that should ease your skepticism a little bit is that people in Cheney's office were reportedly quite upset, perhaps even obsessed, with Wilson, and already by early-to-mid June.

And so they'd turn to State for answers? Sorry, but that's the equivalent of "my toilet's overflowing, better call the electrician." I accept they were concerned, but that concern was primarily directed at CIA, who'd presumably be telling another story. It might have happened, but there's little evidence to suggest it, and Fitz's focus on the 7-12 July time frame argues against it.

Also, as Powell reminded us the other night, there have to have been more than one stream of info leading to Novak's column, since the INR memo did not use the name "Plame."

Wilson's online bio (first hit if you googled, since taken down) said he was married to "the former Valerie Plame."

As for Fitz's letter to Libby, it seems pretty clear to me . . .

Concur. But so what? If Libby's main vulnerability is an obstruction charge, he ought to sit on his hands. And if a dumb ex-Jarhead can figure that out, a smart lawyer ought to have no trouble with the concept.

kazinski

After closely parsing all the leaked testimony, articles, and interviews I've come to a firm conclusion: The only possible indictment will be for perjury, and it will have to be unambiguous perjury, not a misleading statement, or an ommission. Fitzgerald knows that the first thing any defense attorney is going to do is get all the reporters on the stand and ask them all questions that they will refuse to answer. No matter what the truth of the allegations or the real source of the Plame leak, if it was a leak, the trial will collapse into an easy aquittal or a mistrial. That is unless Fitzgerald for some reason just wants an indictment to damage the administration, ala Ronnie Earl, and doesn't much care about a conviction or looking foolish later.

kim

But how about if it is reporters and the Wilsons who need defense lawyers?
========================================

Jeff

And so they'd turn to State for answers?

I'm not sure if I'm missing something here, but remember, what the WaPo story is telling us is that they wouldn't have had to "turn to State" in any relevant way. There is a meeting at the White House on the matter, in preparation for which the acting Secretary of State has received the INR memo: is it so hard to imagine that either 1)he takes the memo into the meeting with him, and passes it around? or 2)at some point he talks about Wilson's wife? For 2), isn't it possible that someone -- say, Libby -- says, "Did you see Pincus' piece? Goddamn that Wilson," and Grossman says, "Wilson? Did you know that Wilson's wife was involved in that trip?" And voila, they're off and running -- specifically running to the CIA for more info.

Wilson's online bio (first hit if you googled, since taken down) said he was married to "the former Valerie Plame."

I don't know how many times I need to say this, but that entry just heightens the suspiciousness of the fact that both Novak and Miller arrived at the idea that Wilson's wife's name was "Valerie Plame." Wilson's online bio identifies his wife's former name, which means that her name is "Valerie Wilson." So why does Novak use "Valerie Plame"? And why does Miller write down "Valerie Flame" -- the mistake making it all less likely that she got it from his online bio (JPod's loony theory notwithstanding).

TallDave

The idea that Russert was both Libby and, indirectly, Rove's source is just stupid.

File that under wishful thinking. It's extremely believable Russert could have access to this knowledge. He's a journalist, and that what journalists do: find stuff out.

And why would Libby or Rove know? Do you think they can call the CIA and ask if someone's wife works there on a whim?

This whole non-issue was cooked up by Wilson, Demsw, and the media to cover up the fact that WILSON LIED. That's the only real story here.

TallDave

Libby
Russert
Rove

Two of these three had a very intense interest in Joe Wilson


Russert didn't have intense interest in Joe Wilson, the man strutting around on every talk show claiming Bush lied about the WMD?

clarice

Valerie Plame is listed as his wife's name on the program for his June 14,2003 speech to EPIC and was (until pulled off it) his bio for the Saudi funded chowder society in which he is engaged as an associate. His claims that in that pre-Novak period she was publicly known as Mr.s Valerie Wilson is as much B.S. as everything he has ever said.

cathyf
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. The prosecutor asked me whether the word "bureau" might not mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, I told him, normally. But Mr. Libby had been discussing the C.I.A., and therefore my impression was that he had been speaking about a particular bureau within the agency that dealt with the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. As to the question mark, I said I wasn't sure what it meant. Maybe it meant I found the statement interesting. Maybe Mr. Libby was not certain whether Mr. Wilson's wife actually worked there.
I just went back and read that again. Yikes! This woman really is a dolt -- or at least she puts on a damn good show! Anybody who knows anything about the CIA knows that its nickname is The Company.

cathy :-)

groundhog

To: JayDee. If Fitz had the incriminating evidence two years ago, Indictments would have been handed down along time ago. So far only a reporter has gone to jail and another was held in contempt. Fitz may be trying to handle a run away grand jury that doesn't see things his way. Best thing to do: run out the clock.

KL duPre'

Haven't checked to confirm, but it's been published that Mrs. Wilson is named as "Valerie Plame" in Joe Wilson's bio in the printed version of Who's Who that Robert Novak kept at his desk.

Cecil Turner

And voila, they're off and running -- specifically running to the CIA for more info.

It could happen that way, but busy people generally don't dig through footnotes at meetings. (Some do, used to drive me nuts.) We appear to be arguing whether the probability is .05 or .95, and there's just no way to tell. I'd guess it at the lower end, and suggest the detail shifts were probably the result of it making the rounds.

I don't know how many times I need to say this, but that entry just heightens the suspiciousness of the fact that both Novak and Miller arrived at the idea that Wilson's wife's name was "Valerie Plame."

We had this discussion a long time ago (can't find it). I note that most of us use "Plame" when discussing the two, because it's easier and avoids confusion. I'd also note that Novak called CIA about her, we don't know how that went, exactly, and there's been some reporting she used that name there. Wilson initially claimed that was evidence of dark significance, but I really don't see it. It also doesn't appear to fit in with the INR memo, which is still my favorite scenario.

MJW

I seems to me that if Fitzgerald is to make a convincing case for perjury or obstruction for some omission -- such as Miller's June discussion with Libby or Cooper's phone call to Rove -- he's got to find something fundamentally more nefarious about the omitted conversation than the conversations they testified about.

Though a modified limited hangout may be tempting in some situations, it's difficult to see what Libby or Rove would have to gain be admitting to some discussions about Plame, while concealing other, very similar, discussions.


clarice

I think the suggestion is that if Libby knew this on June 23, 2003 he could only have gotten it from classified documents and that he deliberately hid the meeting and hinted to Judy not to raise it.

Piffle.

Wilson was blabbing from May and on June 14 admitted he was the source. And that Valerie Plame was his wife. It certainly didn't take more than minutes for people to figure this out.

We still don't know how and when the June meeting was disclosed to the sp--the date is outside the subpoena to Miller, and I think it may have shown up only on the WH visitor logs and overlooked when the subpoenas were written.

And I have already said why I think that the aspens turning language claim of obstruction is hooey--The SP requested a private letter from Libby who'd twice before given Miller a waiver. And no fair reading of the letter can yield any message except I want you to testify, Judy.

clarice

I think the suggestion is that if Libby knew this on June 23, 2003 he could only have gotten it from classified documents and that he deliberately hid the meeting and hinted to Judy not to raise it.

Piffle.

Wilson was blabbing from May and on June 14 admitted he was the source. And that Valerie Plame was his wife. It certainly didn't take more than minutes for people to figure this out.

We still don't know how and when the June meeting was disclosed to the sp--the date is outside the subpoena to Miller, and I think it may have shown up only on the WH visitor logs and overlooked when the subpoenas were written.

And I have already said why I think that the aspens turning language claim of obstruction is hooey--The SP requested a private letter from Libby who'd twice before given Miller a waiver. And no fair reading of the letter can yield any message except I want you to testify, Judy.

boris

Double piffle

clarice

Heh--sorry.Posting problems for a couple of minutes, Boris.

kim

I suspect that through Hannah Fitz has had a pretty good understanding of the events in June, and he is watching, for intent, the manner in which Miller and Libby have confronted that evidence. Remember Hannah protested that the White House effort was not vengeful toward Plame. I think this is Fitz recognizing that the White House effort was legitimate, and the 'outing' aspect a figment of Joe's tortured imagination.
=====================================

TG

Can someone answer this question?

The MSM argues that violation of the Intell-ID law that Fitz was asked to investigate is no longer important - the focus has shifted to release of classified info (Espionage Act) and perjury, etc.

Why then no renewed focus on Wilson? The Amb went on a classified trip for the CIA. Before writing his op-ed in the NYT - he blabbed to every reporter that would listen - about his trip to Niger.

Isn't such "leaking" of classified info a crime?

Isn't that much more clear-cut that whether Rove or Libby "outed" Plame by not saying her, but alluding to her as Wilson's wife who works for the CIA?


Kenneth

Tim,
Can you give (the general public) a slide show of sound bites from various adminisrative apologists(damage control spinners)re: the Plame/CIA investigation over the past 2 years.

vch

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