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November 23, 2005

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kim

And when push really comes to shove, they can't be made to testify against each other. Pretty as a picture. Should be a nice cover layout someday.
=================================================

r flanagan

A perfectly reasonable theory as with others. Dwilkers is right that
humans behave that way. Except when they
don't.

r flanagan

Yet another theory. According to rw cole , quoted in Firedoglake , maybe Fitz decided
to indict Libby using the OLD GJ and then
switched to a new one "to be used for the big case" to prevent Libby's team from having
access to the more important evidence that will go to this new GJ.

Not my theory(sounds too complicated) just
reporting.


kim

It has been hard for me to believe that a man as complicated as Fitz was settling for this piddly little Libby bittle.
=====================================================

kim

Another bone I have to pick with him is that with illegitimate sourcing he helped seduce a generation of reporters into agenda journalism. Old-timers(but not really old time) would, may are, be appalled. Woodwqrd has yet to answer for that chicanery. And I think there was abuse of power aplenty back then.
======================================

dick

AL,
I am surprised that you are accepting that there is more pressure to be truthful now than then and so she is not telling the truth. I thought that one of the standards of being a journalist was telling the truth. If she was indulging in puffery then and not now and we should be accepting of that, that speaks very ill of our MSM IMNSHO. Of course, our MSM deserves to be spoken ill of, also IMNSHO. They have not served us well for a long time and they are certainly not doing well by us now.

richard mcenroe

Kim — He's a complicated man, but no one understands him like his woman...

Patrick R. Sullivan

' I wonder why no one bothered to as Kerry why he so blindly and illegally ran guns.'

Because if they had talked about the Democrats having nominated a guy who was living a Hemingwayesque fantasy life it would have destroyed the illusion that they are a serious political party. Just one of those things you don't talk about in polite company.

Which is what Mary Mapes is complaining about whenever she can get onto a talk show to hawk her book--and she hasn't had that many opportunities lately. 'Those awful bloggers are actually looking at the facts. How gauche. Don't they know who I am?'

That's what's going to save Andrea, at least within her profession. It's etiquette. Even Imus feels he can't go all the way and state the obvious, but has to settle for suggesting what is going on.

But Fitzgerald doesn't have that excuse. He claims it wasn't 'common knowledge' that Valerie was CIA, yet in October 2003 Andrea Mitchell said publicly it was, and her attempts to explain that away have been risible. Clearly, by pursuing Mitchell Fitz will destroy his case, so he has no incentive to do so.

But, Libby's defense team has every incentive to pursue it. Which would make Judy Miller's 1st Amendment issue child's play by comparison.

TM

...maybe Fitz decided
to indict Libby using the OLD GJ and then
switched to a new one "to be used for the big case" to prevent Libby's team from having
access to the more important evidence that will go to this new GJ.

I love Jane H, who has been doing a great job on this, but honestly - for all their jibes about Bush as "Dear Leader", libs really, really seem to want to believe in an all-powerful, all-wise Special Counsel.

The idea that two years ago Fitzgerald decided to ignore Plame's covert status and focus on obstruction and perjury, while saving her covert status for the Big Case - please.

For starters, isn't the jury going to b even a teeny bit interested in a possible motive for Libby to lie? Or is Fitzgerald going to go with the criminal sociopath attack?

And the obvious motive is, Libby thought she was covert. Fine, but the defense is quite likekly to say, wrong, he didn't think so, he had no reason to think so, and BTW, it wasn't so.

The idea that Fitzgerald can keep that conversation out of the Libby trial strikes me as absurd.

And the Rep spin, if the trial craters because the CIA claims the details of her status are too sensitive? The CIA chose to end the prosecution rather than have their dirty trick revealed. (Some call it spin, I happen to believe it).

boris

... if the trial craters because the CIA claims the details of her status are too sensitive? The CIA chose to end the prosecution rather than have their dirty trick revealed

The MSM as well. They are in position to crater the prosecution as well and for similar reasons. Of course their excuse will be 1st amendment and shield law.

kim

You can't catch us, we're the gingerbread people.
===================================================

TallDave

Sheesh. If she HAD been questioned by Fitzgerald, it's pretty clear she'd be up on the same perjury charges Libby is facing.

Which just goes to show again how ridiculous it is to indict someone for remembering year-old conversations differently than other people.

Neuro-conservative

Can anyone get access to old Imus transcripts? Mitchell appeared on Monday Sept 29 (I think at 8:05 for 12 minutes), but I can only get this from Nexis:

Interview - Andrea Mitchell, reporter, discusses her knowledge of the CIA operative's name and why she chose not to reveal it, the entire subject is discussed in depth.

On that date, Tom wrote the following here at JOM:

Andrea Mitchell is mentioned in the WaPo as a recipient of the leak, but gave the "no comment". She phoned in to "Imus In the Morning" and yes, she did get the call. Imus did not ask whether she double-checked with the CIA (as Novak did), nor did she say. Her take was, this info did not advance the story, the Ambassador was credible, can it.

Jeff

their dirty trick revealed

I agree that that particular theory of Jane Hamsher's is, to say the least, not persuasive. But what dirty trick of the CIA's are you referring to? Sending Wilson? or the original criminal referral? If the latter, I suspect you're attributing more foresight and power to the CIA than it has (even with all the power it has). To end up anywhere close to where we are, the CIA had to be confident not just that there would be a full-blown investigation, but that Ashcroft would recuse himself, that the Bush administration would make the -- from its perspective -- tactical error of appointing someone like Fitzgerald, and that Libby would lie, to all appearances, repeatedly and egregiously under oath. Or is your view just that they figured they would take their chances? That's not much of a dirty trick, is it? Or is the dirty trick withholding the formal damage assessment? But what difference does that make to the charges?

boris - How is the dread MSM in a position to crater the prosecution? They rather play more straightforwardly into Libby's hands to the extent that they hold out on the prosecution, in that they delay a trial while legal issues get sorted out, thereby raising with each passing day the odds that this will go on until January 2009, at which point Libby receives that pardon that both Bush and Cheney forecast for him with their very public love-letters to him upon his indictment.

Art

I believe the alleged CIA dirty trick was to have their partisan hack employee send her partisan hack husband to Niger to "prove" that Iraq never imported Nigerian yellowcake, in contradiction to Bush's assertion, in an attempt to discredit Bush, knowing full well that the liberal MSM would eat it up- and never bother asking how a hack like Wilson got sent on such a mission in the first place- BY HIS WIFE... or something.

Dwilkers

Jeff-

"...that the Bush administration would make the -- from its perspective -- tactical error of appointing someone like Fitzgerald..."

Why do you think it was a tactical error from their perspective? I don't see how they had much choice in the matter. Or do you mean Fitz specifically?

TM-

You have a reader I bet you didn't know about. Check your e-mail. ;-)

boris

But what dirty trick of the CIA's are you referring to? Sending Wilson?

Undermining the president's policy in time of war. Even had W engaged in selective advocacy it was not the CIA's responsibility to hold W accountable by publicly leaking disinformation.

They rather play more straightforwardly into Libby's hands

Yes. Having tarnished the administration with scandal they are less interested in a real trial and can render prosecution so unlikely that it's dropped.

Jeff

Dwilkers - Fitz specifically. Tactically, they should have just appointed Kenneth Starr.

boris - Russert, Mitchell, Miller, Woodward, Novak, May -- not exactly charter members of the dread liberal MSM-State-CIA-Dem-France-Clinton axis. Or do you attribute superhuman powers to David Corn?

Jeff

Even had W engaged in selective advocacy

Ah, so that's what you would have called it.

r flanagan

TM no one suggested the idea that Fitz dedided two yeas ago to ignore Plame's status and focus on obstruction etc. RW Cole's actual idea (via Jane )was that
at OME POINT Fitz decided to orchestrate
the INDICTMENT(s) that way.

As actually stated it seemed OK to Jane and
I'm not about to challenge her
competence to evaluate it.

kim

'Selective advocacy' is a redundancy. Jeff, it has less meaning than you think.

And, though, I'm not a big fan of the CIA plot idea, your pitifully ironic depiction of a plot won't make anyone's screenplay. It doesn't add to the lustre of your argument, which generally shines with intrinsic worth.
===================================================

JM Hanes

rflan
"And my theory is he is actually restrained by knowing who leaked to Novak which means that he is now limited to interviewing people who can help him indict that perp."

Interesting point which might explain a great deal.

"TM no one suggested the idea that Fitz dedided two yeas ago to ignore Plame's status and focus on obstruction etc."

Well, I certainly have. I believe he already knew that he wasn't going to indict under the covert status statute in Feb. '03 when he asked for explicit authority to pursue ancillary crimes.

boris

Russert, Mitchell, Miller, Woodward, Novak, May

I suggest no conspiracy beyond self interest. Just sayin they're not as interested in a Libby conviction as they are in some scandal. A conviction would be bad for the leak business and the defense could raise some troubling issues. If I suspect some might derive partisan enjoyment from the scnadal, well that's just my personal take.

TM

To end up anywhere close to where we are, the CIA had to be confident not just that there would be a full-blown investigation,

The dirty trick I had in mind was the criminal referral - I'll guess they figured they would get some headlines, have the Feds ask some questions, scare the White House, and then it would go away.

Libby lying was a bonus.

But the more convincigly you can argue that we were unlikely to reach this point, the easier it is for me to argue that the CIA thought they had essentially a free shot at the hoop - file a referral, let the DoJ chase the WH for a while, then all go home.

Now that we may have a trial, their underlying phoniness may be revealed. Oops!

kim

Oops, or ops?
===============

Jeff

But the more convincigly you can argue that we were unlikely to reach this point

Ah, but the point is that it is only unlikely on the presumption of a dirty trick at the beginning. Start without the assumption of a dirty trick and it is much more likely. Anyway, if those referrals are as routine as your commenters and Novak suggest, then there's no pop even from the referral in and of itself.

boris

Start without the assumption of a dirty trick and it is much more likely.

Back at you.

referrals are as routine

But the leaking of them is not.

kim

And who leaked the referral?
==============================

Dwilkers

If they refer every leak they must have a whole department typing the suckers up.

The issue of the referral is a whole different subject. Who leaked the referral of the prison leak? And is there a referral on the leak of that referral?

owl

Who leaked the referral so that Andrea could report it?

Andrea admitted she knew in Oct ...it was too clear. I watched a Hardball where she agreed with Matthews that everyone knew. He was doing his fast talk-over and she was more nodding her head and grunting, but she knew what he was saying and she was agreeing. No TM, I am not going back through transcripts because I suspect it will be listed as one of their thousands of "talkovers". I looked a couple of times, back when, and could not find it but I know what I watched.

Dwilkers, I can go along with you except for the part about Plame as the victim. This woman is CIA and sent hubby TWICE. The CIA was having breakfast with Kristof, as Joe was spilling his guts. She had to be there when the forgeries were being discussed. So did she put in ear plugs with a piece of tape across her mouth, or what? She was at the debriefing of hubby and hosted a party? with Pincus? These reporters have a constant stream of CIA leaks. Look at Dana Priest/Mike Allen. They have to know. Not only do they know, but their wives have strong DNC connections. Look at Russert's wife over at Vanity Fair, who happens to run the "spy pic". Cooper's wife at DNC. So no, I do not buy victim Val. Nor do I think David Corn has ESP.

This thing has too many ties back to DNC. MSM/CIA/DNC. Still in a state of shock over that little "story" that Fitz told and I don't think anyone could accuse him of being a news junkie.

TP

This is off subject, but Rove's "didn't take the bait" email to Hadley has always been an indicator to me that the WH had its ears up for dirty tricks--particularly from Cooper and other reporters whose families were up to their necks at the DNC. Does anybody have a take on this?

Jim E.

TM wrote: "The dirty trick I had in mind was the criminal referral - I'll guess they [the CIA] figured they would get some headlines, have the Feds ask some questions, scare the White House, and then it would go away....Now that we may have a trial, their underlying phoniness may be revealed. Oops!"

Wouldn't this also mean that Aschcroft's recusal and subsequent appointment of the "special counsel" was also a dirty trick, then? (A reverse "dirty trick" -- Ashcroft was playing games in order to get the CIA itself under the microscope?)

Seems to me that the appointment of Fitz -- and the indictment of Libby, rather than, say, Wilson, Plame, Tenet, ANY other CIA folk -- pretty much negates your "dirty trick" theory.

Jim E.

I meant to write special "prosecutor," not special counsel.

MayBee

This thing has too many ties back to DNC

And for heaven's sake, Kristoff and Wilson met at a Democratic event! Who came to that? What did Wilson say on the panel there? Do you think it was anything like his Epic speech in June (I'm betting no. I'm hoping no)?

TP- yes, my take is the same as yours.

MJW

I noticed that Clifford May mentions JustOneMinute, and this thread in particular, on National Review's "The Corner" blog. So maybe if we're really, really nice, he'll let us in on who told him about Plame. Well, maybe not.

JM Hanes

owl -

I could have sworn I heard Mitchell on Hardball too. When the quotes from Capitol Report surfaced, I wondered if maybe I was mistaken. Maybe not, after all.

kim

Yeah, TP, what bait?

Yeah, Owl, Val is likely in it up to her CIA balls. We haven't heard boo from her, or boo from any investigation of her. Boo who.

Yeah, MayBee, there are enough donkeys in the woodpile that the shit won't stay stacked.

Yeah, Jim E, the dirty trick is requiring reporters to tell the truth.

Yeah, JM, she wonders if maybe she was mistaken, too.

Yeah, Dwilkers, that department typing up referrals is filled with monkeys borrowed from the pool typing up intelligence reports.
==========================================

r flanagan

Of course one or another of these theories
might be true .


Another theory is that everyone was just
doing his/her normal thing: Wilson talking ; Scooter leaking to shoot down a critic;
Kristoff , Russert , Cooper earning their pay checks; their collective dem spousi (Alan Greenspan!) no doubt trying to come to the aid of their party ; and Fitz being
Fitz-like.

As Henry Green ended a novel "and the next
day they all went on the same".

Jon Lester

We've all been giving Russert and the other journalists testifying to Fitzgerald's grand jury the benefit of the doubt, trusting as Americans always have that journalists would not perjure themselves. Will we someday find we were wrong, and will we be especially shocked when that day comes?

kim

Yeah, rf, and just how did a great big powerful self-perpetuating structure such as American society is get stuck with a mechanism by which powerful elements of it can so seduce the truth in the ordinary performance of their functions?
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owl

JM, it was Matthews.

Jon, about the reporters, couple of things I picked up that have not heard mentioned. I have heard Matthews on more than one occasion say to the effect that this WH really played Hardball and "went after it's enemies". Now he was referring to himself, even though he did not say it. This probably goes back to the "anti-semitic" charge. He also was the one that pushed the Rove said Wilson's wife fair game and also the one that phoned Wilson with that, immediately. Wilson/Matthews.

Talk about Hardball.....look what Russert did with the Katrina mess. He made the headlines with Aaron Broussard. Remember the lying, crying Broussard headline seen around the world? Guess that was an accident that Broussard got that air time.

Today, Russert's round table was David Broder, Eugene Robinson, David Gregory and Judy Woodruff. You think they had a fine time trashing or what? Now ask me if I think they might "shade the truth".

kim

Saddam spoke loudly and carried a small stick. All those previously afraid of his loud words are ashamed that he had such a small stick, and want to deny they were afraid.

Such little children with such pettiness. Most Iraqis would be stunned at the unseriousness of what passes for dialogue among the blitherheads.
====================================================

Kevin

Did Mrs Alan Greenspan think she would have an easy time on Imus? Imus had some balls for once. He must be worried about the IRS checking up on his retirement ranch....er I mean childrens ranch....

kim

He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
=================================

Patrick R. Sullivan

' Today, Russert's round table was David Broder, Eugene Robinson, David Gregory and Judy Woodruff.'

Self-awareness is not the strong suit of NBC News.

Patrick Meighan

Johnson challenges May "And, again, I'll bet Clifford May $5,000. Find the reference prior to Robert Novak's column in which that information was out there."

Does THIS get anyone $5,000 bucks?

No, because "that information" is not that Joseph Wilson is married to a woman named Valerie Plame. "That information" is that Valerie Plame, purported Brewster-Jennings employee, is in reality a CIA operative.

Valerie Plame's existence is not, and never has been, a national secret.

Valerie Plame's occupation, by contrast, was a national secret. It isn't anymore.

kim

How come, PM. How came the beans to be spilled? Overfilled bowl? Clumsy Joe? Gravity? Deliberate Tip?

How came the cat out of the bag? Dumped by White House cleaning staff? Joe tied a firecracker to it's tail? Sniffed out by the barking of media tailwags? Cats don't hide in bags forever?

So tell me, since it is not longer a national secret, what Val did and does there? Details, please, no secrets.
=================================================

TM

Here is what I presume to be the first appearance of Walter Pincus, on Sept 30 in the WaPo:

Another journalist yesterday confirmed receiving a call from an administration official providing the same information about Wilson's wife before the Novak column appeared on July 14.

The journalist, who asked not to be identified because of possible legal ramifications, said that the information was provided as part of an effort to discredit Wilson, but that the CIA information was not treated as especially sensitive. "The official I spoke with thought this was a part of Wilson's story that wasn't known and cast doubt on his whole mission," the person said, declining to identify the official he spoke with. "They thought Wilson was having a good ride and this was part of Wilson's story."

TM

We're rolling now! Here is Tom Brokaw clarifying the Andrea Mitchell situation on Sept 29, 2003:

TERENCE SMITH: Ambassador Wilson disputes Novak's characterization of his wife's work; the CIA also says it tried strenuously to dissuade Novak from identifying Wilson's wife so as not to endanger her or any agents she might have worked with. Sunday's Washington Post reported that six journalists had been called by White House officials with the information on Wilson's wife. One was later identified as Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. On last night's broadcast, anchor Tom Brokaw explained the circumstances.

TOM BROKAW: NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell has been identified by some as one of the recipients of a leak about the undercover agent. But tonight, Mitchell said that was not the case, that her first discussion with an administration official about the matter was after the Robert Novak column was published. And that discussion, she said, was off the record.

That has some holes in it - "her first discussion with an administration official about the matter" may have some wiggle room, depending on what "the matter" is.

Clearly, if "the matter" is Ms. Plame's specific role at the CIA, this does not cover the point in question - did Ms. Mitchell know that Plame as at the CIA in some unknown capacity?

Or earlier, Brokaw mentions a leak about "the undercover agent". Well, same problem - did she get a leak suggesting Ms. Plame was an analyst, and would that be covered by this statement?

clarice

Yes, TM , I remember that.

C'mon,Mitchell, Mays, Marty Peretz, High Sidey, half of the Dept of State and certainly Clarke. Beers. probably Lehane , Kristof, Corn and Pincus knew she worked at the CIA.
And that is the information which Fitz so artfully syas is "classified"..I can't believe we are still going around about this. It was not a frickin' secret..

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Wilson/Plame