Powered by TypePad

« Away We Go | Main | Notes Ex Machina »

October 24, 2005

Comments

PaulS

Bush and Cheney were interviewed by Fitgerald--neither under oath.

If Cheney lied but not under oath, does that get him off the hook? Well, for perjury, yes, but for obstruction of justice? But the article, despite how it's framed, does not in any way indicate a lie by Cheney.

The NYT story is another example of leaked information which is old news within the context of the investigation being spun as some startling new revelation.

There's a massive difference between "hearing about someone" who is Joe Wilson's wife and works at the CIA and knowing about Valerie Plame, an undercover operative. The NYT is egregiously blurring this distinction in their pursuit of senational news.

windansea

if Tenet is the ORIGINAL source for the info that Wilson's wife works for the CIA, and he did not reveal her "NOC" status as this article implies (haven't read it going on previous posts) then the CIA Director is indictable according to many on the left who say whoever identified her job first and has a "security clearance" should have checked first...LOL

Can the Director of the CI freakin A find out if someone is NOC????

outing a covert agent is out the door...

We have the CIA Director and Harlow aiding the conspiracy to out covert agents

clarice

So, true, windsea--What a joke.But I have ti hand it to the NYT--their reporters are certainly creative.

topsecretk9

This story reminds me a on the earlier raw story. The media seem to be crafting a story-line that criminalizes any communication in the WH. I would be scandalized if that were true (no communication in the WH)

TexasToast

Isn't it interesting that Kay Bailey pops up yesterday hoping we won't see a "Martha Stewart" prosecution. I thought it was just rich hypocracy, but it looks like they knew they were going to get Cheney's name out there to soften the blow when the hammers fall.

Wheels within wheels.

topsecretk9

yes Texas...those were the evil gop talking points...pretty evil huh?

topsecretk9

Windansniffer

fits as his last parting shot, no?

Keith

I guess George Allen didn't get the talking points, and neither did President Bush! The GOP spin machine really is in trouble now that Rove is going to be executed, as Al Franken says.

clarice

Isn;t it interesting that tomorrow's Wash Po (Milbank and Pincus) finally note that much of what Wilson said was discredited by the SSCI, and that his showboating and campaigning for Kerry have also undercut his credibility.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/24/AR2005102401690.html

I find the NYT non-story a marvel of creative writing which when fisked says only that Libby may have not told investigators something that was perfectly legal that was in the notes he provided the prosecutor and neglects to note adequately that absent any evidence of intention to mislead or relevance to the central question the omission is no basis for an indictment.

PSST--The head of the CIA told classified information to the Vice President.LOL

And further, there is not a word in this unsourced story that says a word about Rove.

topsecretk9

keith...lol

Clarice- NYT needs to stop listening to the spinners, and sounds like Pincus threw in the towel

Thomas

Seven Machos, having access to info and knowing it are two different things. I'm well aware that the President and VP (not sure about chiefs of staff) are cleared for information. It doesn't mean they get a list of every secret agent in the CIA.

And Clarice, that's a great story, aside from the fact that Iraq did not get uranimum from Niger, nor was there evidence in the country that they had a program or made attempts to get it. Instead of making him a hapless imbecile worried about a mythical faction in the CIA, give Cheney some credit: he wasn't keen on having the pre-war intelligence gathering being looked at.

PaulS

Tenet, Libby or anyone could easily have assumed that Plame was not NOC because the actions which drew attention to her in the first place were administrative and totally unrelated to undercover work.

If ANYBODY goes down over the Plame affair, the precedent offers anybody who'd care to use it a nice little trick for destroying political enemies.

Find somebody deeply involved with somebody else who has NOC status--certainly there must be thousands of them. Then get them to launch a high-profile public attack in the media. Then, if anybody takes notice or talks about you, you can bring the law down on their heads.

topsecretk9

Had to stop real quick...I can't believe my eyes...Pincus put his name to this

Possessed of a flamboyant style and a love for the camera lens, Wilson helped propel the unmasking of his wife's identity as a CIA operative into a sprawling, two-year legal probe that climaxes this week

windansea


Headline

Former CIA Director TENET and former CIA spokesman Harlow indicted for outing covert agent Plame

in related news, anti war Bush opponents win a matched set of Taiwanese steak knives for the indictment of Scooter "who" Libby who got caught up in the CIA confusion whether Val "the generic blonde" Plame was actually covert

Rick Ballard

TSK9,

I wonder if there is a "stupidest story of the day" contest in the WH mess. If I were Tenet and there was a process available to do so, I would have deNOCed our gal Val the day after Kristof's piece. Fitzgerald's writ from the AG simply says "alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity" which doesn't exactly spell out covert or NOC.

People keep looking in the wrong direction based on NYT/WaPo drivel. Does anyone believe that Fitzgerald is guided in any manner by the press?

clarice

ts--even then there's some fudging in the WaPo article, but I think the editors put Milbank (Conyers Playhouse Hearings) on that piece for a reason--he must have held a club to Pincus' head as he typed.

Seven Machos

Tommy: "having access to info and knowing it are two different things." Let's explore this.

I have access to a dictionary. I look in the dictionary for the meaning of a word. Crime? I have access to a washing machine. I use the washing machine. Crime? I have access to premium cable channels. I watch premium cable channels. Crime?

And, yes, pookie, chiefs of staff have access to classified information.

jukeboxgrad

Several key points have been mentioned, which are often overlooked. Thomas pointed out that Novak said "operative," which means spy (look it up). This tends to create the impression that Novak's source(s) knew she was covert.

Anyway, it doesn't matter if they explicitly outed her as a spy. Simply identifying her as a CIA employee was enough to blow her cover. And, as Casey pointed out, it doesn't matter if they knew. If they weren't sure, they had an obligation to check first, under SF-312.

This has been pointed out on many occasions, such as here.

There's also no effective difference between "Joe WIlson's wife" and "Valerie Plame." For most practical purposes, they are interchangeable.

A good example of getting all this wrong, in one neat sentence, is here: "There's a massive difference between 'hearing about someone' who is Joe Wilson's wife and works at the CIA and knowing about Valerie Plame, an undercover operative."

Wrong on all counts.

clarice

Porter Goss works at the Cia. There I said it. Arrest me.

Dave S in VaBeach

Clarice, you're under citizens' arrest for the unauthorized discloser of a CIA employee's identity. Please surrender your self at the nearest DNC headquarters.

windansea

Jukester

I rest my case

see above post re: Tenet and Harlow

enjoy your steak knives

pollyusa

I have always found the timing here interesting.

"Bush Consults Lawyer About CIA Name Leak"
WAPO Thursday, June 3, 2004

"CIA Director Tenet Resigns"
WAPO Thursday, June 3, 2004

"Cheney Reportedly Interviewed in Leak of C.I.A. Officer's Name"
NYT Friday June 4, 2004

Thomas

Seven Machos, I'm sure if the VP looked in the Dictionary of George Tenet for 'Valerie Plame' he would find 'NOC'. My original point was that even though the DGT says 'NOC', in general the DGT would not just go out and say 'NOC' unless specifically asked. That's kind of what the DGT does. Unless Cheney or Bush possess amazing ESP skills and somehow sensed that she was an agent, I don't see that happening. And unless it came up specifically in some briefing, Cheney had to be fishing for info on Wilson. He just didn't know it a priori. Maybe Tenet gave him the wife's name, and Cheney or an aide dug up other info later. Either way, it's so not good for the White House. They'll be happy with your undying support.

Dave S in VaBeach

Juke,

"Spy" is the secondary definition. The primary meaning associated with the term "operative" is: "A skilled worker,"

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/operative

Seven Machos

Thomas -- You can argue until you are blue in the face that what the White House did was wrong. I'm sure you will.

But the question in a grand jury investigation is has a CRIME been committed? This isn't a purge.

topsecretk9

to all

I am just speechless...over the Pincus WAPO...I can't believe it.

TexasToast

Just how many redacted pages were reviewed by those appeals court judges? Was their an inkling of dissent? Anybody for an over/under bet on how many times Cheney's name appears?


clarice

Thomas, perhaps on June 14 someone in the WH walked a few blocks away to the EPIC speech Wilson and McGovern made where Wilson admitted he was the source in the WaPo And NYT articles and where hw listed his spouse as Valerie Plame.LOL


Or they looked in Who's Who.

Or they went a few blocks further away to a Georgetown cocktail party where Wilson introduced his wife as a spy.

Rick Ballard

TSK9,

You've never seen the DeMSM throw someone under a train? They do eat their young, you know. Not a very pleasant group.

topsecretk9

Rick--

do you think this Pincus stoty will make the rounds? What took you so long Walter.

Also, I noticed Walter didn't address Wilsons accusation this summer that Walter misquoted him... directly. Like he lied to me too!

PaulS

Jukeboxgrad, that's nonsense.

Novak also explained that he routinely uses the word "operative" to describe a political operator, that he didn't know Valerie Plame was undercover, and that he would never have mentioned her name if he did. Novak, according to all the evidence, folded like a tent at the first sign of the SP and spilled whatever beans he had--he's clearly not going to lie or obfuscate on this one point and endanger whatever deal he has with the SP. So put down your dictionary.

It's absolutely correct that SF 312 prohibits confirming or repeating classified information to unauthorized individuals even when that information is already leaked.

The whole question here, however, is whether the key players even KNEW it was classified information.

If you apply SF 312 by the letter, Wilson AND Plame would have to go to jail. After all, Plame and Wilson had security clearance, Plame's "cover was blown" but they appeared in Vanity Fair anyway. According to SF 312, the fact that Plame's cover was blown wide open was immaterial and they commited a crime.

jukeboxgrad

"'Spy' is the secondary definition."

You're right. I'm sorry I oversimplified and suggested it was the only definition. That was lazy writing on my part.

But as I explained, it doesn't matter.

Also, it's pretty clear Novak meant "spy." A good argument along these lines (based on Novak's historical use of the word) is here.

clarice

Thomas--you are wrong--the Administration never said Iraq bought uranium in Niger. The President said they sought to buy uranium in Africe. And contrary to Wilson's claims the SSCI said his report confirmed rather than contradicted that claim.http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-b.htm

paul

Base the following on the premise that the NYT article is true:(it is a big stretch, but weed your way through the poor editing, and the misattributions (I believe at one point they confuse Rove and libby in regards to Cooper)

The problems come from Cheney's office. Bush says fix it, get Karl out of this and then you guys can do what you want to. Rove discovers notes, getting him permission to return to 'amend' his earlier statements in front of the gj.

Libby wants back to the Grand Jury too, but Fitz doesn't let him. Presto, notes appear, which will require some investigation and get Libby back to the grand jury. He fesses up when he gets back, and lifts the last potential charge of perjury out there.

The perjury only works if you continue in the lie, I mean mistatement. The last charge of perjury removed, the only thin left is obstruction. But obstruction of what?

This was libby's last play, when the clock was running out. Fitzgerald has to figure this out in 4 days,

and this all assuming that the notes were just recently discovered. I didn't get the idea that the NYT knows if this is a recent occurrence, or may have happened a week ago.

Clearly Rove is going to walk. Libby wouldn't have given Cheney up for the world, unless he knew he was safe. If he faces obstruction of justice, he will have obstructed no crime-very dificult case to get a guilty on..if it has ever been done.

The perjury charge has been publicly dismantled, in the same manner rove did. By publicly stating that what your testimony should have been, by providing a note to the prosecutor with a reason for your recollections, is kind of hard for Fitz to pass on. He'd never get a perjury charge.

If true, they all walk.

Otherwise Fitzgerald starts his opening statement at trial with, "These men are guilty of hiding no crime from me because one did not occur, but they initally lied to prove their innocence...

Perjury might have been worth a trail, or a plea-obstruction of a non-crime, when the final source is the director of the CIA?

(Thank god we gave that medal...)

Jim E.

"Novak also explained that he routinely uses the word 'operative' to describe a political operator"

It's true that Novak wrote/said this. However, people have researched it and found that Novak has reserved the word "operative" not for political operators, but only for clandestine or covert agents. Only.

Jim E.

NY Times is correct about Libby/Cooper conversation.

jukeboxgrad

"Or they looked in Who's Who."

Let us know where in that book it indicated that Joe's wife worked for the CIA (I guess it must have been redacted in my version). Likewise for his bio on the web.

"a Georgetown cocktail party where Wilson introduced his wife as a spy."

How interesting that not a single named source has come forward to proclaim that they ever heard such a thing, pre-Novak.

jukeboxgrad

"people have researched it and found that Novak has reserved the word "operative" not for political operators, but only for clandestine or covert agents. Only."

Exactly. And I gave the link a couple of minutes ago. Here it is again.">http://www.hillnews.com/marshall/101503.aspx">again.

Thomas

Right Clarice. They learned her name, whispered it to a man in a black hat and red suspenders. That was Cliff May, who told them all about what everybody knows but left out a very important detail. 'Ask Russert,' he said, and off Dick and Scooter and the Hadley Boys (as they called Hadley and Fieth) to Russert's house they went, where they did shots of Wild Turkey with Tim, called up strippers, got an eightball, and listened while Time ended up confessing everything the Wilsons had put him up to. The End.

Rick Ballard

TSK9,

I'd say that Pincus is reponding to that email plea from Joey that was published at Dummies United (I think it was DU?). Journos are always right behind the people they use - it's easier to push them off the subway platform that way. Watch for a Kristof walkback soon. Corn is too dumb - he'll be shilling this 'til they pry him off the keyboard.

!

http://iheartimperialism.blogspot.com/2005/08/where-is-indictment.html> This answers much on all of the possibilities

Basically, we should all keep in mind that there are not only 2 laws that could have been violated, there are also numerous statutes. Some of which were Executive Orders, like the one which amended a previous E.O.. That updated E.O. was signed in March of 2003 by the President (google it). It specifically mentions that unauthorized disclosure of classified info. and of classified "assets," either knowingly or unknowingly, is in violation of the law and is prosecutable.
I had hoped to find an article on the only successful prosecution of a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 but could not. (of course, any of you can if you search for it) It involved a person who worked in a low-level capacity at an African embassy who identified CIA agents to someone she knew. She just pointed them out in a lassaiz-faire manner while at an outdoor cafe(?). She didn't do it maliciously; but, she did violate the 1982 Act(!).

Whatever happens with Fitzgerald's investigation, keep in mind that there are numerous possible violations which can be prosecuted based upon numerous laws and statutes. If it turns out there was simply violations of non-disclosure contracts with the government, Rove, Libby and others could go down. But, they and others could be prosecuted under other laws and statutes, too.

Again, don't get so caught up in minutia and the constant flow of new info that you lose sight of the bigger pictures. Believe me, it is probably safe to say that Fitzgerald's team has sweated the minutia for almost 2 years now. So, we--being so out of the loop-- are just playing parlor guessing games.
That said, I post this to add to what you already know. ;)

paul

This thing is over.

Libby's lawyer leaked it, and it does ring true.

After careful recollection and the discovery of notes, Libby learns of his earlier misattribution.

Apparently the fear was over the lesser charge of perjury and obstruction, confirming the 82 Identities act was not violated in the defense lawyer's minds. Once they were sure it was off the table, they moved it away from pejury.

Unless Fitz wants an obstruction trial, over a non-crime, where he drags in the VP and the former director of the CIA in as witnesses, to prove a man lied to avoid going to jail, over a crime he didn't commit...

I can't believe they pulled it off.

windansea

Thomas--you are wrong--the Administration never said Iraq bought uranium in Niger. The President said they sought to buy uranium in Africa.

anyone not understanding the above go to Aesop's Press Corps at www.dailyhowler.com

this freakin lie is like the energizer bunny

topsecretk9

Rick

sorry, it's "greatest common factor" night in the homestead...
yes you have it nailed...and you making me laugh! Stop it. I almost feel sorry for Corn.

Jim E.

Regarding the WashPost article: For people into inside baseball, it does show Pincus giving Wilson the middle finger regarding what Wilson said (on background) about the Niger docs, but otherwise isn't particularly interesting. Early in the article it says that Wilson's fundamental assertion has been "validated."

But even if the article tore Wilson a new one -- it's apparently subjective whether it did or not -- I fail to see how Wilson is in any way accountable for the (alleged) perjury and obstruction committed by Libby. Wilson is pretty much irrelevant to the legal situation faced by Libby and others right now. Politically, Wilson will be in the crosshairs again (if there are indictments), but legally, this has nothing to do wtih Wilson anymore.

Rick Ballard

Hang in there, big fella. The Wilsons may be indicted yet. Pincus and Milbank wouldn't shove him off the platform so violently if they weren't afraid he was going to jail.

Jim E.

Regarding the WashPost article: For people into inside baseball, it does show Pincus giving Wilson the middle finger regarding what Wilson said (on background) about the Niger docs, but otherwise isn't particularly interesting.

But even if the article tore Wilson a new one -- it's apparently subjective whether it did or not -- I fail to see how Wilson is in any way accountable for the (alleged) perjury and obstruction committed by Libby. Wilson is pretty much irrelevant to the legal situation faced by Libby and others right now. Politically, Wilson will be in the crosshairs again (if there are indictments), but legally, this has nothing to do wtih Wilson anymore.

jukeboxgrad

"he [Novak] would never have mentioned her name if he [knew she was undercover]"

Novak admitted openly that he used her name even though the CIA asked him not to. Why would they ask him not to use her name if she wasn't undercover?

"he's clearly not going to lie or obfuscate on this one point and endanger whatever deal he has with the SP"

I think you're claiming that Novak's public statements which you cited came after he made a deal with Fitz. Really? Can you demonstrate this?

"It's absolutely correct that SF 312 prohibits confirming or repeating classified information to unauthorized individuals even when that information is already leaked."

True. Which is why the "everything is fine because they supposedly heard it first from a reporter" defense is nonsense. (I'm not claiming you've offered that defense. But many have.)

"The whole question here, however, is whether the key players even KNEW it was classified information."

Wrong, because according to SF-312, if you're not sure, you're obligated to ask: "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it" (link).

Some say "how were they supposed to know she was covert; not everyone who works for the CIA is covert." True. But many are. A reasonable person knows that if someone works at the CIA, there's a significant chance that person might be a covert agent: "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" (link).

Bottom line: they knew she was CIA. This meant they knew, as a matter of common sense, that there was more than a trivial chance that her identity as a CIA employee might be classified information, for one reason or another. Therefore they had an obligation to ask first, before taking chances with what might be classified information.

If the next leak from Luskin is "Rove checked with Tenet first, who said it was OK," that changes everything. But I guess we've been waiting a long time to hear a leak like that.

"they appeared in Vanity Fair anyway"

It's a safe bet Val checked this out with her boss before she did this. If you could prove she didn't, you might have a point.

Jim E.

Sorry for the double post -- it didn't show up for me the first time. Oops.

Is Drudge out at the clubs or something? Still no link.

topsecretk9

Jim E

I think Drudge is in Flordia

clarice

Thomas, again I suggest you review the SSCI findings to assure yourself that there was no deliberate WH effort to manipulate the intel on the Iraqi uranium issue.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-k.htm

clarice


Jim, I'm with Rick..they threw him under the train and I'd be interested to know why this tardy acknoeldgement that he duped Pincus and is a rather unsavory, incredible person.

You can bet Wilson will not find the article flattering.

topsecretk9

God love Aj Strata...

So now the NY Times has realized that Cheney was interested in who could possibly be claiming Bush went to war based on forgeries Bush knew where forgeries! Kristof made the claim May 6th, which everyone who knows anything about this topic caused the WH to find out who was the ex-ambassador who went to Niger.

Somehow this obvious reaction is now evidence Cheney told Libby about the Wilsons (but didn’t?)…

"Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said."

Except Miller met with Libby on June 23rd and discussed the same matter. Does anyone at the NY Times READ the NY Times?

Thomas

Yes, I was in a happy coma the last two years and I happened to miss that argument.

Here's what I deduced: Wilson really wasn't sent to Niger to determine whether or not an Iraqi envoy once happened to say something suspicious and never return. The CIA, unlike the White House, has a much lower asshole-game-playing quotient. It's even possible they were concerned about real Iraq, rather than the Iraq Cheney and Bush had in their heads and were trying to prove. 'What are they trying to do', the crazy CIA asked. So vain bad-hair Joe Wilson was sent there to determine whether a serious and active effort was made by the Iraqi government to get yellowcake. 'Serious and active', wondered the White House. 'Does that mean a statement we can get away with so to convince the rubes who need convincing (as opposed to those who thought Iraq planned 9/11)? Let's find out.'

Unfortunately, Wilson came back with the report we all are so deeply familiar with. The CIA thought that Iraq was not seeking uranium in Niger. They may have sent one guy once, but what kind of self-respecting rogue nation does that? What's more, the reason Cheney didn't even hear about Wilson's report was that it was not news to anybody who wasn't looking for reasons to go to war. There were other reports saying the exact same thing. Imagine. And the CIA did not think it plausbile that Iraq, the nuclear program of which they doubt was remotely operative, was seeking uranium, even if they ordered some nefarious aluminum tubes. The SSCI did conclude that Wilson's report added more not less to the 'sought' claim. Since it knew it's duty, it made sure to treat this with the utmost seriousness, although they also concluded that that meant squat in the scheme of things.

But for the White House, all was not so bleak and dire as an Iraq without nukes. 'Screw plans, the world, all of it,' said the White House. 'We'll make it work.' So the only reason you guys can assuage yourselves with the 'admin didn't lie' is the incredibly weak claim Bush made about Iraq in Niger, which of course, to an audience was meant to be Iraq is desperately trying to get bombs, which they could use on malls, SUVs, Wal-Marts, because, as we all now know, the Baathist regime shares certain components of the liberal worldview. End of story.

pollyusa

TM

On Kessler, I was also troubled by the earlier accounts of Kessler's deposition. Apparently so was Allan Wolper.

Kessler wrote his more detailed explaination in response to Wolper's article entitled "Ethics Corner: Time for Russert to 'Meet the Press'" [Wolper's article is subscription only, I have not read it].

Jeff

Jeff -- Lying is not a crime.

And lying to (federal) investigators?

topsecretk9

I am still stunned by Walter...maybe the after nightly page swap...WAPO decided enough... they were not going down the same hole

Jeff

topsecretk9 - Could you please explain to me that last part of Aj Strata, its brilliance seems to have escaped me. The NYT claim is that Cheney told Libby about Plame on June 12, contra, apparently, Libby's testimony. AJ Strata seems to take exception to this, noting that Libby talked to Miller on June 23 about the same matter. How does that call into question the fact or significance of Libby learning of WIlson's wife from Cheney?

TexasToast

We learned (maybe) two new things tonight.

Libby probably took a bullet for Cheney (the, ummm, Vice President of the United States) and Joe Wilson is a camera hog rivaling the famous Phil Gramm (the old joke being that the most dangerous place in DC was between Phil and a camera).

So, lets talk about Joe!

topsecretk9

I'm think what AJ is stating is if Libby is so enlightened by Cheney, then he either didn't remember all this juicy info when he spoke to Miller or he choose not to tell her all his juicy info...if were all true

topsecretk9

did I say briallant?

Rick Ballard

And lying to (federal) investigators?

Let's see, shall we use the copyrighted "It depends on what the meaning of is is." Or does "I don't recall." have a higher utility? Which one worked better in the past when dodging questions from the bloodhounds? Better go with "I don't recall" - it's obviously evasive but it kept Hillary out of the crowbar motel.

Jeff - what makes you think that any lies at all were told? Aside from listening to the Demsm echo chamber. Something dispositive would be helpful.

PaulS

Jukeboxgrad:

"If you're not sure, then you're obligated to ask."

Agreed. But again, that's precisely the point. What if you ARE sure in your own mind that someone is not NOC because of actions they took which were highly likely to bring them to public attention--but then you turn out to be mistaken? Have you committed a crime? The threshhold for evidence is extremely, perhaps impossibly high.

You can't be sure at this moment that I'm not NOC because my behavior isn't anything you'd expect from a deep cover agent. Plame's involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip was NOT something anyone would reasonably suspect of someone trying to remain in the shadows.

Plame's relevant actions were administrative in this case--hence a reasonable person migh assume, even wrongly, that she was an administrator and not deeply undercover.

topsecretk9

brilliant

jukeboxgrad

Clarice: "there was no deliberate WH effort to manipulate the intel on the Iraqi uranium issue."

It would be great if you could please explain how it is that no senior US intel official was awake enough to listen to the various people saying the documents were forged.

It would also be great if you could explain why the unclassified NIE (which was released just before Congress voted on the war) is so slanted, compared with the classified NIE (link).

Geek, Esq.

Didn't Colin Powell show that INR memo to Cheney and Bush on 6/8/2003?

Geek, Esq.

Oops, that was July.

But, if Libby testified that he found out from reporters, he's toast. The really crispy kind.

clarice

Thomas, this is getting quite OT--but the Additional views of Roberts, Bond and Hatch make crystal clear that Wilson did not debunk the uranium claims but supported them and while Plame's office and others provided crap review of the information , the Administration did not manipulate the evidence but related what the intel agencies had provided them http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_pat-roberts.htm

Geek, Esq.

Quick timeline:

June 10, 2003: INR memo drafted

June 12, 2003: Big Time and Scooter discuss Plame's employment with the CIA.

I would wager that the INR memo found its way from Grossman to Cheney.

Is it really possible that Grossman has never been interviewed or given testimony?

Jeff

Rick Ballard - I'm not sure any lying took place. I was responding to ARC: Brian's of 7:44 p.m., which appeared to accept, if only for the sake of argument, that Cheney had lied, and went on to suggest he was not on the hook legally because he was not under oath. I was suggesting that might not be correct. I'm not sure what your defense of the Clinton administration has to do with it.

jukeboxgrad

"Plame's involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip was NOT something anyone would reasonably suspect of someone trying to remain in the shadows."

You seem like a reasonable person, so I'm sorry to say that this is very weak.

You might have a point if "Plame's involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip" consisted of her walking around Times Square with a bullhorn yelling out "I'm seeking retired diplomats who would like to go on a secret mission to Niger, please drop your resumes in the box."

Since that's not at all what she did, there's no contradiction between her alleged "involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip" and her status as a classified CIA employee. On the contrary. His trip was to investigate WMD. It makes sense that arranging his trip would be a sensitive matter, and people involved in arranging his trip would be likely to have a classified status.

Aside from all that, there is little or no definitive information on the subject of "Plame's involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip," so it's a very weak basis for forming any kind of definitive argument, one way or another.

"Plame's relevant actions were administrative in this case"

You're making it sound like her job was to make sure he had his boarding pass, clean socks, and secret CIA decoder ring. Trouble is, you really don't know what her "relevant actions" were with regard to his trip. And even if you did, they are no basis for you to be sure she wasn't classified.

SF-312 doesn't say you should assume something is unclassified if the "behavior isn't anything you'd expect from a deep cover agent" (that's kind of like saying "he wasn't wearing a trench coat so I assumed he wasn't a spy"). It says if you're not sure, ask. This murky business about her alleged role in his trip does not rise to the level of giving you reason to be sure she's not classified.

Rick Ballard

Jeff,

Thank you for clearing up your reference. I simply think that truly professional attorneys and politicians are extraordinarily unlikely to actually lie to an investigator and further, that the possibility that they would commit perjury is nil.

Would they lie to reporters? I certainly hope so. Everyone should lie to reporters. It's only fair if one considers the number of lies they put into print each day. Besides, it keeps them on their toes and sharpens what little wit they possess.

jukeboxgrad

Clarice: "Wilson did not debunk the uranium claims but supported them"

It would be great if you could please explain where in SSCI, Butler, Wilson or anywhere else there is meaningful support for "recently" and "significant quantities" (essential parts of Bush's SOTU claim).

topsecretk9

petty OT moment

"The Vanity Fair photos, in particular, hurt Plame's reputation inside the CIA; both Wilson and Plame have said they now regret doing the photo shoot."

1. I would have taken a nine month leave too
2. They're regrets are diametrically different (generic blonde)

clarice

The inquiry by the SP is into who told Novak (and other reporters) about Plame, did who did this know that she was covert(if she was) and was the disclosure made deliberately.

It may very well be that the vice president was never asked how he learned this information, but only what reporters he had talked to and whether he had leaked this information to them.

He is the damned Vice President and there is nothing inappropriate about HIM knowing this.He's cleared to get it. It's what he does with it that's the issue.

Jeff

The Milbank-Pincus story appears to make news in at least one interesting way: if they are right, we now know that the report based on Wilson's trip did in fact make its way to the White House:

Former CIA director George J. Tenet has said that "we did not brief it to the president, vice president or other senior administration officials." Instead his report, without identifying Wilson as the source, was sent in a routine intelligence paper that had wide circulation in the White House and the rest of the intelligence community but had little impact because it supported other, earlier refutations of the Niger intelligence.

You gotta love that last part explaining why the report from Wilson's trip had little impact, silently correcting the SSCI report the WaPo article otherwise relies on too credulously for my taste. The article simply refuses to buy the SSCI (and now John Hindrocket) line that the report from Wilson's trip actually was not a refutation of Niger intelligence. And it notes multiple refutations of that intelligence.

In any case, if this report is correct, we now know that WIlson's report did in fact circulate in the White House. I wonder if anyone in the VP's office saw it, and whether Cheney learned of it.

Lesley

Top, I think Valerie might also have a few regrets that her blabbermouth husband told the entire world she out-ed herself to him as a Super Dooper Super Secret Covert CIA Agent on the third date.

Yeah, I bet that revelation went over real well at Langley.

clarice

It does NOT refute the claim. He reported that there had been no SALE but he confirmed an Irawi trade delegation had been there trying to reestablish relations and since cow peas and uranium are Niger's only trade items, the SSCI found his report tended to confirm not debunk the Administration's statements.

As to his report not having been sent up as Wilson claimed, the SSCI confirmed that, too. They found that it ws confirmatory, added nothing new (Note: he did not tell them as first reported that they were relying on forged docs) and received no special notation in the report that went up the chain to the vice president's office.

pollyusa

You can add this to your timeline Geek. Nicely done.


It was drafted in June

snip

Grossman wanted the letter [INR memo] as background for a meeting at the White House,
WAPO 10/18/05

topsecretk9

Jeff

that is not news...the Senate Repot details the routing, and curiously notes that the report was not routed in routine way, but rather through regular white house mail. IE...nothing to look at here.

Additionally, which I can't quite understand why people aren't getting, even if i had been sent with an armed guard and a siren on top, the report generated simply did not state what the envoy claimed

Geek, Esq.

When was that meeting, polly? I've been hunting for the date.

If that meeting was June 11 or even early in the day on June 12, there's Big Time trouble.

windansea

His trip was to investigate WMD. It makes sense that arranging his trip would be a sensitive matter, and people involved in arranging his trip would be likely to have a classified status.

uh huh...that's why they didn't have Wilson sign a non disclosure form...cuz it was soooo sensitive

Aside from all that, there is little or no definitive information on the subject of "Plame's involvement in arranging Wilson's Niger trip," so it's a very weak basis for forming any kind of definitive argument, one way or another.

of course!! that memo she wrote recommending hubbie Joe cited in the Sen Intel report means nothing

the very next day her unnamed boss at CIA independently channeled the name Joe Wilson as the perfect guy to go sip tea in Niger

it's just a coincidence!!


clarice

She "couldn't remember" her role when the SSCI asked her. Though it was conceded on his prior trip to Niger she was instrumental in his being selected for that Mission.


Again why did Wilson on Oct 22 email Pitt and ask him to post his note on DU asking them to help him as he was about to be under attack? LOL

topsecretk9

memo to meeting timeliners---

the evil meeting was a failure. ask miller and cooper.

pollyusa

Geek

Sorry forgot the link.

Here is the link to the only story to report the WH meeting. The Pincus article does not state the date.

The meeting had to be after the INR memo was created on 6/10/03.

However it is interesting that the meeting and the need to draft the INR memo occured when both Powell and Armitage were out of the country.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

A visit to AJStrata led me to this site where I found a claim that Valery Wilson had contributed to this Soros/Bing/Lewis 527. Just a tidbit for you to tuck away and consider.

PaulS

Jukebox, there's no definitive information about Plame's having arranged Wilson's trip--perhaps not, but in the same sense that's no definitive information about any of these questions you doubt until they square with your conclusions--at which point you're absolutely certain.

But there IS at least reason to believe that Plame DID suggest Wilson for the job, or that if she didn't, someone might have believed she did since she had a desk job in the same office that sent him.

She wouldn't have needed to march around Times Square looking for somoene like him because (are you really unaware of this?)--they're MARRIED.

MJW

"Basically, we should all keep in mind that there are not only 2 laws that could have been violated, there are also numerous statutes. Some of which were Executive Orders, like the one which amended a previous E.O.. That updated E.O. was signed in March of 2003 by the President (google it). It specifically mentions that unauthorized disclosure of classified info. and of classified "assets," either knowingly or unknowingly, is in violation of the law and is prosecutable.

I ain't no lawyer, and I know executive orders have been used for things I believe go beyond what the Constitution permits, but I'm skeptical they can be used to enact criminal laws -- that's a legislative function. Executive Order 12958 doesn't make anything a crime. Sanctions are limited to "reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation." Also, the two "laws" that could have been violated -- the Espionage Act and the Agent Identity Protection Act -- are federal statutes. Statutes are laws enacted by a legislature.


topsecretk9

no Paul,

The CIA has a big hat with a bunch of names in it.

Polly and Geek
Would you perhaps in your research project have any information on the Niger trip circa 1999.

Jeff

Yeah, clarice, you do a good job of simply reiterating the parts of the SSCI I said the article silently corrected, though I would be interested to see where the SSCI acknowledges that the report from Wilson's trip made it to the White House. Every time I make that claim -- and hence raise the possibility that the VP's office may have seen the report after all, and Cheney could possibly have heard of it -- it seems like multitudes of righties here can't accept it, always citing the not-quite-on-point July 11 statement from Tenet.

polly and Geek - The memo itself was apparently dated June 10, and it must have taken place before Powell or Armitage got back from their travels and retook the position of Sec of State from Grossman. I think TIME reported last summer that they saw the memo in mid-June (which is not very precise). So June 11 or 12 appears to be quite possible, even plausible, as the date of the meeting. And remember that the senior intelligence person thinks it unlikely the White House first learned of Wilson's wife from Tenet -- which does not, however, rule out Cheney learning from Tenet.

As for topsecretk9, he or she still needs some work. He or she says

memo to meeting timeliners---

the evil meeting was a failure. ask miller and cooper.

I presume s/he is saying this because Libby didn't divulge the info to Miller or Cooper. But so what? As TM has noted several times, administration officials lie or omit when talking with reporters all the time. And there's even a plausible motive for Libby to do so with Miller in this case, especially since we've gathered he did drop a series of clues.

jukeboxgrad

"that memo she wrote recommending hubbie Joe cited in the Sen Intel report means nothing"

Presumably you understand the difference between a "memo" and a "sentence." SSCI didn't give us the former, it gave us the latter. So where's the rest? In other words, it's not at all clear she wrote a "memo" recommending Wilson. It's not even clear she wrote a sentence recommending Wilson. All that's clear is that she wrote one sentence listing his qualifications. For some odd reason, we are prevented from seeing the context of that sentence.

If Plame truly wrote a memo "recommending hubbie," then presumably it would have contained some language along those lines. For example, "I recommend Joe," or "I think you should send Joe." If the memo contained any sentences such as those, why didn't we get to see them?

Instead we get one lousy sentence, and the rest of the memo is withheld. Why?

According to Wilson, Plame's boss asked her to specify his qualifications. This makes perfect sense, given that Plame's boss had already picked Joe (no surprise, given his previous trip to Niger) and was about to send a cable to Niger to discuss/announce his choice (this cable is mentioned in SSCI). It would be natural to include details about Wilson's bio in this cable, and it would be natural for Plame's boss to ask Plame to provide him with this detail (she would recall it more easily than he would).

"the very next day her unnamed boss at CIA independently channeled the name Joe Wilson as the perfect guy to go sip tea in Niger"

Yes, the very next day, Plame's boss sent a cable. Nothing "independently channeled" about it. Simply the normal course of events.

topsecretk9

Clarice.......

Looky what I just caught...

Prosecutors have questioned former CIA director George J. Tenet and deputy director John E. McLaughlin, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, State Department officials, and even a stranger who approached columnist Robert D. Novak on the street.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/26/AR2005072602069.html?sub=AR

Geek, Esq.

"Somehow this obvious reaction is now evidence Cheney told Libby about the Wilsons (but didn’t?)…

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

Except Miller met with Libby on June 23rd and discussed the same matter. Does anyone at the NY Times READ the NY Times?"

Tommy Franks called Doug Feith the "stupidest fucking guy" he'd ever met.

He's obviously never met AJ Strata.

clarice

It's true--Harlow and Tenet are going doen.

Jukebox--The only person who said the documents were forged was Wilson and the SCCI said he couldn't have said that when he said he had because we didn't have it until 8 months after his Mission. They also found the adminstration never relied on those documents. AT ALL>

jukeboxgrad

Paul: "perhaps not, but in the same sense that's no definitive information about any of these questions you doubt until they square with your conclusions"

I have no idea what you're trying to say. If you're trying to say that everything is equally murky, that's nonsense. Some things about this story are murky. Some are quite clear and well-established.

"or that if she didn't, someone might have believed she did since she had a desk job in the same office that sent him"

None of this is any reason for anyone to feel sure she wasn't classified, which is where you were trying to go with this.

Also, the fact that Wilson didn't sign an NDA for his trip is also a very weak basis for anyone to assume that Plame was not classified.

And yes, of course I know they're married. I think you took my example too literally.

MJW

Jeff: "Former CIA director George J. Tenet has said that "we did not brief it to the president, vice president or other senior administration officials." Instead his report, without identifying Wilson as the source, was sent in a routine intelligence paper that had wide circulation in the White House and the rest of the intelligence community but had little impact because it supported other, earlier refutations of the Niger intelligence.

You gotta love that last part explaining why the report from Wilson's trip had little impact, silently correcting the SSCI report the WaPo article otherwise relies on too credulously for my taste.

Observe how the line that Jeff rejoices in isn't in quotes. It's just Pincus's spin.

windansea

KING: I mean, were they on tops of things?

POWELL: They were following what was going on. And I think we have been forthcoming in what was known within the department about it, the famous State Department memo that I was given by one of my staffers, which, by the way, never had the name Plame anywhere in the memo.

KING: No?

POWELL: No. A lot of press reports suggest the name was in the memo. It was not.

topsecretk9

geek

I guess you missed the part where Miller testified that Libby didn't tell her all of this evil meeting information on June 23

pollyusa

Something new from Bloomberg
10/25/05

A fissure may be opening between Vice President Dick Cheney and his top aide over the investigation into the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity.

snip

The disclosure doesn't indicate that the vice president did anything wrong, said a senior Republican with ties to Cheney. The person declined to make a similar statement about Libby.

Geek, Esq.

"I guess you missed the part where Miller testified that Libby didn't tell her all of this evil meeting information on June 23."

No, I didn't miss it. It's just doesn't prove a thing.

It's a completely idiotic point.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame