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November 10, 2005

Comments

boris

Been there done that.

"I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said,"

There's no reason to withold conformation of information not known or forgotton. Indicates that Libby was well aware of what Fitz claimes he was well aware of.

Another No There There for Fitz like the Cooper "I heard that too".

p.lukasiak

Also, wouldn't you, P.Luk, be a little taken aback if Russert admitted he had revealed to Libby that Plame worked for the CIA?

absolutely, because the indictment alleges that "a. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA", which one assumes is based on Russert's sworn testimony (and possibly his notes.)

**************

like I said earlier, I think Andrea Mitchell is holding something back from the public --- that when she started asking questions about the "Niger trip" she was told about "Wilson's wife." But I also assume that she told the special prosecutor that she never communicated this to Russert -- probably because she considered it insignificant gossip at the time.

My theory is that until Wilson published his op-ed, the effort to smear Wilson was fairly subtle---the goal being to raise suspicions about his credibility so that journalists did not use him as an "anonymous source." There is nothing in the public record that suggests that prior to 7/6/03, that reporters were being told that "Wilson's wife was involved in Wilson's trip" -- just that she worked for the CIA.

It was really an effort to ascribe guilt by association --- Libby was telling people that the CIA did nothing to prevent erroneous intelligence from being publicly disseminated, and now that it was turning out that the CIA had screwed up in its analysis, it was trying to pin the blame on the White House. The message was, in essence "This is all a CIA plot. This Wilson guy is part of that plot -- did you know that his wife was CIA?"

When Wilson went public, this effort got out of control, and someone (not Libby, my guess is Bolton or Fleitz) told Novak that Wilson's wife was Valerie Plame, a CIA operative who had sent her husband on the trip.

...and the rest, as they say, is history.

p.lukasiak

Libby was found not guilty yesterday. : ^ )

yeah, i know. but I still hold out hope that Fitzgerald will nail Rove for lying about the consistency of his phone logs :)

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Cliff May is simply not credible.'

On page 444 of The Politics of Truth, Wilson grudgingly admits that May well be correct that Valerie's employment was widely known among May's neo-con crowd.

' Given your list of reporters and their connections, claiming that Plame's CIA job was common knowledge is a little bit like Martha Stewart claiming "everyone knew what was up with ImClone stock", and giving as examples a bunch of people who just happen to have also had close ties with Sam Waksal.'

Of course, Martha Stewart never made any such claim. However, you've just conceded that Fitzgerald had no business pursuing an investigation of the leak of a secret agent. Since it wasn't a 'secret'.

Sue

I think Fitzgerald got Libby on what he could get him for in the hopes he will flip on Cheney. I re-read the indictments last night and the quotes really are gobbledy-gook. I think it was enough for Fitzgerald to bring the indictments and now he is working on the "sand in the eyes" part of the case. Conspiracy, involving Cheney. We'll see...I don't think Libby will give up Cheney, if there is anything to give, I might add.

cathyf

pluka, you keep repeating over and over that there is no question that Libby lied in his testimony where he was describing his mindset while talking to Russert. But it seems to me by your logic it is even more unquestionable that Libby lied when he said in his letter to Miller that he thinks that Judy Miller is a tree.

So why didn't Fitzgerald depose 10 administration staffers who could testify that they had seen Libby with Miller, and that Miller had been talking and walking? And had some expert testimony from a botanist or 2 who swore under oath that trees (even aspen trees) are plants, and plants neither walk nor talk?

By your logic, this is even more of a "slam dunk" than the Russert conversation state of mind. Why didn't Fitzgerald pursue it?

cathy :-)

p.lukasiak

By your logic, this is even more of a "slam dunk" than the Russert conversation state of mind. Why didn't Fitzgerald pursue it?

cathy, you would be advised to let others handle the snark.... you just look stupid when you try it.

cathyf

No answer, eh?

I thought not...

cathy :-)

Sue

Cathy,

I was amused by your snark. I guess it depends on who you are snarking. :)

cathyf

I'm waiting for the trial -- when the jury says, you spent how much money!?!?!?!!! and wasted how much time of government officials!?!?!?!!! to "prove" that something was not literally true, when only an idiot would have thought it was meant literally!?!?!?!!!

I'll bet the jury won't think it's funny, either. Even though I suspect that Libby's $1000/hour lawyers are gonna be WAY more snarky than I could ever hope to be...

cathy :-)

TM

...he thinks that Judy Miller is a tree..

Well, per the Times, didn't she make like a tree and leave?

This may be real breakthrough stuff - Libby was right all along!

p.lukasiak

I'm waiting for the trial -- when the jury says, you spent how much money!?!?!?!!! and wasted how much time of government officials!?!?!?!!! to "prove" that something was not literally true, when only an idiot would have thought it was meant literally!?!?!?!!!

not surprisingly, cathy doesn't know that as of the most recent accounting, FitzGerald's less than two year investigation cost less that $800,000.

What did Ken Starr cost us? $11 millior or so? And that was for a defective investigation--one that leaked like a sieve.

regardless of what you think about the results, there is no question that FitzG is the "best buy" in special prosecutors.

Gary Maxwell

you just look stupid when you try it.
Puke

As I have said before, my granny had it nailed. "It takes one to know one."

Gary Maxwell

I think we have figured out Puke.

First off someone has stated that he got himself kicked off other sites. Anyone wonder why?

Then several have begun to notice he never admits he is wrong and changes the topic or attacks the messenger and not the message.

More troubling is his tendency to just make **** up, as TM has now just called him on.

He is pretty loose with facts, never provides sources and could not be bothered to get the FIRST NAME of his host correct when slamming him about some post.

Anyway my suggestion with him is just like JBG, scroll right by his post and just pretend like he does not even exist. He may continue to post three and four posts in a row for awhile but soon he will disappear.

I am not against him because he is from the other side of the aisle. I enjoy reading several of our obviously lefty posters, mostly because they challenge me to think about what I believe and know and support their position with facts and logic.

Jon H

Patrick Sullivan writes: "On page 444 of The Politics of Truth, Wilson grudgingly admits that May well be correct that Valerie's employment was widely known among May's neo-con crowd."

I've never read it. It's just common sense that Cliff May is not independent of the leaky Iraq war hawks who would most want to lash out at Wilson and who don't take national security seriously.


"Of course, Martha Stewart never made any such claim."

I didn't say she ever said that, nor did I imply that she ever actually said it. You need to work on your reading comprehension.

"However, you've just conceded that Fitzgerald had no business pursuing an investigation of the leak of a secret agent. Since it wasn't a 'secret'.""

Er, no, my point went right over your head.

Jon H

"Help me? I have no idea where Jon H. was going with his 10:48 post"

Er, the comment I responded to suggested that Fitzgerald might have trouble going after someone more sophisticated than some Illinois hayseeds.

I obliquely suggested that, maybe, the Al Qaeda people he prosecuted were a bit tougher than a pampered bureaucrat named Scooter.

Jon H

Patrick Sullivan writes: ""However, you've just conceded that Fitzgerald had no business pursuing an investigation of the leak of a secret agent. Since it wasn't a 'secret'."""

Let me put this way. You're basically arguing that a valid defense for Waksal or the White House is to say that "everybody knew", when the "everybody" consists of "my friends".

Make sure all your friends know the secret, and then you can't get in trouble for releasing the secret? What kind of logic is that?

boris

Make sure all your friends know the secret, and then you can't get in trouble for releasing the secret?

Except releasing secret information to friends will get them in trouble. Duh.

What kind of logic is that?

Somehow I doubt you understand the concept.

cathyf

ONLY $800,000? Heck, for $800,000 I'll prove that Judy isn't a tree -- where do I sign up? (I might need more budget, though -- as TM points out, she just did that leafing thing...)

cathy :-)

Gary Maxwell

Andrea Mitchell is a Republican

since when?

cathyf
Er, the comment I responded to suggested that Fitzgerald might have trouble going after someone more sophisticated than some Illinois hayseeds.

I obliquely suggested that, maybe, the Al Qaeda people he prosecuted were a bit tougher...

Yeah, Jon, I appreciate your point. But the main characteristic of prosecuting corrupt Illinois politicos is that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. When I read the indictment, and especially the presser, my horrified thought was, "O my God, after just a few years in Chicago, Fitz has gone native!" I keep half expecting him to announce his candidacy for governor, ala Big Jim.

I'm sorry to say that this indictment has the classic look of Chicago, not New York.

cathy :-)

Jon H

"Except releasing secret information to friends will get them in trouble. Duh."

But if they tell enough friends, it's not a crime, right? Because 'everyone' (of their friends and buddies) knows already?

That's the logic here.

Jon H

Regarding Andrea Mitchell being a Republican:

"since when?"

Since she started dating Alan Greenspan in 1984, presumably, probably earlier. They married in 1997.

A political divide in a marriage might work for Matalin and Carville, but I find it hard to see working for Mitchell and Greenspan, given that Greenspan is 21 years older than she.

Gary Maxwell

You know she is a Repub or you just assume that no self respecting Dem ( ergo that leaves Carville out ) would be seen with someone serving in a Repub admin, let alone married? Now Grenspan served both Democrat and Republican administrations so where is your proof he is a Republican? Is it that he is saner than Krugman so he must be a Repub?

I think you are just making this up but if you know something definite let me know your source. That is why I asked the first time. So far you got nothing.

Jon H

"you just assume that no self respecting Dem ( ergo that leaves Carville out ) would be seen with someone serving in a Repub admin, let alone married?"

I'm just guessing that in 1984 when they started dating, a 30-something Democratic journalist in DC would probably not be real keen on dating a 50-something Republican government official.

Not because of 'not wanting to be seen with a Republican', but for a more prosaic reason: having little in common.

"Now Grenspan served both Democrat and Republican administrations so where is your proof he is a Republican?"

The man is a former Ayn Rand friend and acolyte. That is not the making of a Democrat.

JM Hanes

Jon H -
"That's the logic here."

No, that's you, turning out another strawman.

Gary Maxwell

So you at least admit you made the whole arguement based upon how you feel about the polices of the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan ( despite him being renominated by Clinton) and that, here's a glimmer, that at least once upon a time Mitchell was a Democrat. Small and grudging progress should be encouraged, however.

Jon H

Hanes writes: "No, that's you, turning out another strawman."

Er,no strawman. That's exactly what TM's doing. He's listing a bunch of friends-of-Iraq-Hawks who 'knew Plame was CIA', and trying to make the case that because of this, 'everybody knew', and therefore "no crime".

Jon H

Gary Maxwell writes: "So you at least admit you made the whole arguement based upon how you feel about the polices of the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan"

Er, where are you pulling this from, your ass?

At no point did I even touch on Greenspan's policies, let alone how I feel about them. All that is entirely irrelevant.

And at no point did I provide a glimmer that Mitchell was once a democract. Her relationship with Greenspan strongly suggests she never was.

At least I'm providing circumstantial evidence for my case. You're just assuming without evidence that, because she's media, she must be a democrat.

cathyf
The man is a former Ayn Rand friend and acolyte. That is not the making of a Democrat.
Not the makings of a Republican, either. I can only imagine how viciously Rand would express her dripping contempt for the evil red-state christers...

cathy :-)

Jon H

cathy writes: "Not the makings of a Republican, either. "

I'll grant you that. (First time that's happened. ;) )

Maybe he's mellowed a bit since the 50s.

Gary Maxwell

You provided no circumstantial evidence or any other kind of evidence. You either did not like Greenspan or his policies and hung the whole argument on that, without so much as a fig of proof.

Why then did you say Greenspan was a Republican, cause you heard him listening to country music in his Volvo?

Jim E.

Greenspan is an Ayn Rand devotee -- he went to her dinner parties. This is documented, it is not made up info. I've seen a picture of them from the 1950s. They were lifelong friends, and I think he even invited her to White House ceremonies in the 1970s.

There is zero question that Greenspan is a righty -- the question has always been how much of a righty is he? Other than Clinton, every other appointment Greenspan has received has come from Republican presidents -- Ford, Reagan, the Bushes. Nixon didn't appoint him to anything, but it was because Greenspan, who worked on Nixon's 1968 campaign as an advisor, declined.

What this means in terms of Andrea Mitchell's politics, well, it's circumstantial and suggestive. I tend to think Jon H is correct, but, hey, who knows for sure.

But for the hate-Joe Wilson crowd, there is an over-abundance of evidence to know everything there is to know about Andrea Mitchell. I mean, look at who she's MARRIED to. For you folks, this should be an open-and-shut case.

JM Hanes

Jon H -

"Er,no strawman. That's exactly what TM's doing."

Er, no. That's what you say he's doing, when in fact he's the one looking at specific names and you're the one extrapolating. You own the guilt by association gambit here, and if you actually knew anything about Washington dinner parties, you'd realize that your argument is absurd on it's face.

Gary Maxwell

WTF?

You dont know even if Greenspan is a Repub and have no evidence Mitchell has ever been anything but a Dem.

So how is this any kind of evidence of anything?

Now I do understand that Greenspan is not Krugman so you may think he is far right but that could be you not anything about Greenspan.

There are such a thing as Independent in DC. Hard to believe I know.

But the whole point was that Mitchell should be discounted because she is a Repub. there is zero evidence of that and therefore I called BS.

Jim E.

Prior to 1999, Krugman, as he has written, was reviled by the lefty/Michael Moore crowd. Krugman is not a lefty. That he has staunchly criticized Bush ever since the 2000 campaign has earned him the devoted following he has. A year from now, once his book has come out, Bruce Barlett, a lifelong conservative Republican (and like Krugman, an economist), will also have new left-of-center fans because he, too, will rip Bush a new one. But that won't mean Barlett is not conservative.

Gary Maxwell

Krugman is not a lefty.


OK this looks like a fun game. all you have to do is find someone some Democrats ( one or two is enough apparently) criticized in the past and then you can claim it as bonafides that the person is not a liberal ( lefty ).

I will start. He is one ( drumroll):


Fidel Castro

TADA

What do I win and who is next, step right up!!!

Jim E.

I try to be precise with my descriptions. I do not equate lefty and liberal, since they aren't the same thing. (For example, study American political history in the 1960s. Lefties would be offended to be labelled "liberal.") I don't even know if Krugman is a liberal or moderate Democrat, but it seems clear that he's overall left-of-center in terms of American politics (but not in everything -- read his academic stuff). Anyways, when I wrote that Krugman's not a lefty, was NOT thinking that lefty=liberal=left-of-center.

But I see that you do equate lefty with liberal (even though Castro's a lefty, not a liberal), something that is commonly done as shorthand in political discussion. When I read "lefty," I think Chomsky, Michael Moore, socialism, etc., and when I read "liberal" I think FDR, LBJ, Wellstone.

Anyways, this was my long-winded way of acknowledging that we're unintentionally talking past each other at this point.

MJW

P.Luk, nowhere in the indictment does it accuse Libby of denying any of the times he learned from official sources of Plame's CIA affiliation, which is the "direct false statement" I referred to.

The statement from the indictment you quote: "At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA."

Matches up with: "At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was surprised to hear that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA."

NOT with, say: "LIBBY first learned Wilson's wife worked for the CIA from Russert."

So the indictment is accusing Libby of exactly what I claimed it did: Lying about his reaction to an event the indictment says didn't occur.

Perhaps you believe it didn't occur to Fizgerald to ask Libby, "When did you first learn Wilson's wife worked for the CIA." I may not agree that Fitz is the smartest guy in the room, but I don't think he's a dunce.

MJW

P.Luk replies to my query, "Also, wouldn't you, P.Luk, be a little taken aback if Russert admitted he had revealed to Libby that Plame worked for the CIA?":

absolutely, because the indictment alleges that "a. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA", which one assumes is based on Russert's sworn testimony (and possibly his notes.)

My point -- which, admittedly, I didn't make too clearly -- is that P.Luk, like Libby, might be surprised to learn Russert knew of Plame's CIA job, rather than being surprised to learn of the job itself.

kim

cf, that was an interesting comment yesterday at 9:17 AM about half expecting Fitz to announce for governor. I've two thoughts.

Can you imagine a person who plays his cards that close to his vest getting elected? Secondly, can you imagine a person who plays his cards thusly, ruling?
================================================

Steve J.

"Wilson never claimed that Cheney sent him to Niger." Anon lib

This is a looney liberal talking point canard.

No it isn't. In Wilson's op-ed piece, he said CIA officials told him that the VP's OFFICE was interested in checking out the Niger/Iraq uranium claim.

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm

"In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report."

Steve J.

And without Russert, it gets tougher for the prosecution. Not impossible, of course.

Posted by: TM

Not at all. Libby's own notes prove that Cheney told him about Plame in June, contrary to Libby's claim that he learned about Plame from a reporter.

Steve J.

Cheney is quoted as saying I dont even know him.

Cheney lied when he made this claim. He told Libby about Wilson in June.

Rob W

What does this have to do with anything? This lawyer is tired of this old GOP talking point. It matters not a whit that anyone knew who she was. The requirements of the IIPA are simple (1) person must have access to information identifying a covert agent.
(2) person must intentionally disclose information identifying said agent (note: need not be name only "information") to another person without access to such information.
(3) person passing information must know that United States is taking active steps to keep identity of person secret.

I don't care if anyone, including Wilson stood in front of Novak's office with a bullhorn and screamed anything. It doesn't matter. The fact that the information may have been previously disclosed is utterly irrelevant to whether a crime was committed. It may be well-known. If the government is not releasing said information, the agent's identity is being protected by the United States.

So what is the origin of this canard? Simple. The White House knew Libby was dead to rights and tried to support the "I heard it from reporters" defense by insinuating that the reporters who denied having told Libby about Plame did know and did tell.

So let's put this one to bed. There's no legal signficance to the fact that a single person knew of Plame's identiy. None. You're welcome to go back and pour over these things as much as you like but they mean nothing.

MJW

Steve J.: Not at all. Libby's own notes prove that Cheney told him about Plame in June, contrary to Libby's claim that he learned about Plame from a reporter.

I'll ask again, and I'll keep asking: If Libby actually claimed in his GJ testimony that he first learned that Plame worked for the CIA from Russert, why doesn't the indictement contain a simple question and answer to prove it. Something like:

Q: Did you first learn that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in a July 10, 2003 telephone call with Tim Russert?

A: To the best of my recollection, yes.

(Might as well make it realistic. I'm pretty sure Libby wouldn't just say "Yes.")

Is smartest-guy-in-the-room Fitzgerald not smart enough to ask a direct question?

The indictment does not, in fact, allege that Libby claimed he first learned from Russert that Plame worked for CIA. What it alleges is that Libby lied by claiming he forgotten Plame worked for the CIA when he was talking to Russert. As the false statement charge puts it (in regard to Libby's earlier FBI interview): "During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President." Through a bit of sleight-of-hand, the indictment leaves the impression that Libby claimed to have first leaned about Plame from Russert, without actually charging it.

MJW

Rob W, presumably referring to Mitchell's possible knowlege of Plame's CIA affiliation: What does this have to do with anything? . . . It matters not a whit that anyone knew who she was. The requirements of the IIPA are simple . . ."

Perhaps if Libby were charged with violating IIPA, it might not matter a whit. Since he's charged with lying about what he talked about with three reporters, and two of the alleged lies are that he told Miller and Copper he heard Plame worked for the CIA from other reporters, while the other alleged lie is that Russert told him Plame worked for the CIA, the believabilty of Libby's version depends a great deal on whether other reporters knew of Plame's employment.

Rob W

MJW:

Actually, no. It only depends on whether or not Tim Russert and other reporters he said told him that Plame was a CIA agent knew. I'll assume you are a lawyer, like everybody else commenting on everything on the blogs these days. It matters not a whit if every damn person on Earth other than Russert knew. The defense must show Russert did know in order to impeach him. You can't impeach a witness who claims no knowledge of something by saying "gee other people in his profession knew." That's not relevant evidence to the question at issue--whether Russert knew. Its irrelevant if Novak or Chris Matthews knew unless they can say they told Russert. Otherwise, I could very easily argue that the Vice President had full knowledge of what Libby was doing--because they worked in the same profession. This is 2L stuff.

MJW

Rob W, I can't imagine how you can say with a straight face (assuming you typed the last post with a straight face), "You can't impeach a witness who claims no knowledge of something by saying 'gee other people in his profession knew.'" Of course you can. If Russert claims he didn't know something most reporters he worked closely with knew, concerning a topic he was heavily involved with, a reasonable juror might question Russert's memory.

You also assume that Russert will deny knowing Wilson's wife worked for the CIA (as opposed to knowing Valerie Plame was a CIA operative), and that Andrea Mitchell will not testify that she discussed Ms. Wilson's employment with Russert. Neither assumption seems to be justified by what we outside observers currently know, and both are made less likely if Plames's CIA job was widely known among reporters.

(Just for the record, I ain't no lawyer.)

kim

He also assumes Russert is not a weasel, which is a stretch.
==================================================

MJW

Kim, whatever we think about Russert, I think we can at least say Andrea Mitchell isn't a complete weasel. Fibbing seemingly doesn't come easy for her. Just contrast her clear, concise statement that she knew Plame worked for the CIA with that stammering attempt to deny she'd said it on Imus. The denial reminds me of one of those scenes from a situation comedy where a character tries to say something, but just can't force the words to come out of her mouth:

I didn't kn-kn-know that P-P-Plame . . .
I didn't know that P-P-Plame w-w-worked f-for . . .
I didn't know th-th-that, uh, th-thing aboutPlameandtheCIA.

kim

The jury will notice.
========================

daveinboca

An "anonymous liberal" says

"Wilson never claimed that Cheney sent him to Niger."

Wilson's NY Times Op-Ed piece stated that "Cheney's Office" was behind his trip to Niger, so liberal dishonesty retains its record unmarred by any occasional accuracies that could confuse readers accustomed to the avalanche of lies, disinformation, exaggerations, misleading statements, and other nitwittery from the Left.

Wilson's reputation as a self-serving careerist user remains intact. He employed his wife's connections to give him a run at a career comeback, as he was slipping into well-deserved obscurity.

Bob Woodward was right this year on Larry King. The entire Plame affair is a shoddy attempt to criminalize politics, possible only because a pliant MSM will advance any Democratic Party disinformation campaign, no matter how ludicrous.

As a journalist, I'll take Woodward's credentials and integrity over Mitchell's ten times out of ten.

Bruce R

TM, you have got to get the transcript from Andrea Mitchell's appearance this morning on Imus, he asked her again about the October 2003 CNBC appearance where she says it was widely know that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, she now says she doesn't know what she was talking about? and that she didn't know Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. Gimme a break! Then a few minutes later contradicts herself...Unreal!

bruce

as a civil service worker if i did what miz.flaming ass hole did i would be fired.this cunt thinks she make foreign policy by undermining the president this whore belongs in jail with her wastrel husband.

seal cegel

When you have seal cegel, you can get more!

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Wilson/Plame