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November 16, 2005

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Creepy Dude

The deprogramming is proceeding nicely.

Geek, Esq.

The VP has the same inherent authority as Peyton Maning's backup.

I don't think it's Cheney. The don doesn't walk the plank for a capo.

Sam Samstein

Re the siebar... I agree that Plame's outing probably didn't do much bad to our national security, but not because the discredited (by the Post) Bob Woodward and the partisan gunslinger Joe DiGenova say so. Rather, I think that this issue has been attracting so much attention that someone would surely have turned up something by now.

Marcel

It is more likely to be Hadley. But that is still close to Cheney. Libby and Hadley are both part of Cheney's inner circle, and he would know what they were doing. It is time for Cheney to visit his doctor, look into taking some time off.

Creepy Dude

Hadley's a good guess-rememember the rumor is Hadley felt strongly he was going to be indicted. So what's the deal?

It's all about the Big Encheneylada though.

Jeff

he very probably lacked any criminal intent or awareness that Ms. Plame's status was, in fact, classified

The indictment appears to speak against the second claim at least. #9 states the on June 12, 2003 Libby was advised by Cheney that Wilson's wife worked at CPD, which is to say on the operations side of the CIA, which they would know -- right? -- makes it much more likely that her status was classified. That Libby did so know gains further plausibility from #13, which states that Libby said to Edelman on the phone that sharing info about Wilson's trip with the press would cause complications at the CIA and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line. So it is not so hard to imagine that Cheney knew Plame's status was classified information (which is different from covert under the very restrictive definition of IIPA).

Geek, Esq.

Raw Story is reporting that it's Hadley.

Marcel

Woodward doesn't bother with minor officials. His sources are known to include the Presdient and Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, Deputies and Under Secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, and maybe one level down from that.

Whoever it was - and we know it wasn't Libby or Rove - here is one more senior administration figure known to have passed along information about Wilson's wife to reporters (whatever her status may have been).

Creepy Dude

The funny thing is Woodward didn't run it with it though-they forgot he's no longer a regular reporter. Of course, neither did Miller.

You can now see what happened:

The Big Encheneylada (BE) eagerly scans his morning Wapo...

BE: Goddamn it Hadley-I thought I told you to plant the Plame story.

Hadley-I did Boss

BE; Well I don't see it in here Assmunch. Get Scooter in here.

Next day, BE eagerly scans the NYT...

BE: Goddamn it !!! I told you morons to plant the Plame story.

Scooter: I did boss, I swear. I told Judy...

BE: Goddamn it-to the torture dungeons with you two...Get Rove in here pronto. That sneaky bastard knows how to get dirt out.

Jim E.

"Per the ABC Note, the White House isn't denying a Cheney connection - they are laughing at it. Parse that."

I'll consider it a non-denial denial.

Cheryl

Take a look at the comments over at the stratasphere. Maidmarion suggests Rand Beers as Seymour Hersh's "former CIA source".

I think it is a dot worth connecting. An dit brings into focus just how nefarious this scheme really was. Beers is it up to his eyeballs. And is good friends with Pal Joey Wilson. And perhaps Mr. John Kerry might have some 'splainin to do, since apparently Mr. Beers jumped ship 5 days before the war broke out - only to land in Mr. Kerry's lap.

Curiouser and Curiouser. No wonder the lefty blogs have gone utterly silent about this, and old Joe himself has slithered under a rock. Haven't seen or heard from him days.

Geek, Esq.

Btw, if Hadley told Woodward, there's a very good chance he's Novak's primary source who's no partisan gunslinger.

Creepy Dude

And now we know what Rove gave Fitzgerald on indictment eve...

Syl

Creepy

Now that's funny.

Wrong.

But funny. :)

David Walser

Can't the description of Woodward's source, an administration official, include someone at the CIA? (This is an honest question. I don't know the rules of attribution the press is required to follow.) If so, the possible suspects are too many to name.

That shouldn't keep us from speculating. One of us is bound to be right -- this time.

Syl

Creepy

I meant the 'I thought I told you to plant the Plame story' bit was funny.

Syl

Well, I think it's laughable myself that Cheney was a source. I mean like he didn't have anything else to do but pick up the phone and call reporters about a stupid story in the NYTimes?

He was more concerned at the time about finding out who this jerk Wilson was, why he went, what he found, what he reported, did he see it, what is right, anything else corroborate, how do we know, what else do we have.

The Niger thing was just one of hundreds of items.

Creepy Dude

Many a truth is spoken in jest, Syl.

Be sure and stay for the late show. The guy that follows me (Patty Fitzgerald) will have you in stitches!

DougJ

No way Big Time was the source. He's way too smart. More likely it was Richard Clarke or perhaps Wilson himself.

Marcel

Whoever told Woodward could not have expected him to report on it in the Post, as he was doing research for a book to be published much later. So maybe it was just gossip at this point, and not part of a smear campaign. Woodward found out about Wilson's wife in "mid-June", and Miller on June 23, but neither wrote about it. Most likely the pressure intensified to get the story out after Joe Wilson's July 6 op-ed. Hence Novak's article on July 14.

Geek, Esq.

The only CIA person considered a Senior Administration Official would be the DCI.

Marianne

It looks like we'll have to wait for Miller's book and Woodward's book to find out what they know (and want to tell us). Here are 2 of the most prestigious newspapers in the country, and neither one of them has been able to publish reporting done by their own paid staff. News reporting is not being managed by the Managing Editors.

Justin

Of course Cheney's not a source. If Cheney was a source, Libby wouldn't be a source. It's not like Cheney's chief of staff took it under his own accord to leak the name without first discussing it with (or more likely, receiving instructions from) the boss. Everyone whose worked in an office, political or not, knows that Cheney is a source, but only in the sense that Libby acts as Cheney's agent.

Thus, there are other sources, which Kevin Drum has noted.

Marc

Is Woodward's knowledge of Plame's identity the information Rove's attorney gave Fitzgerald that gave him "pause" in indicting Rove on the last day of the Grand Jury? Could Rove's attorney have said something like, look, we know another official in the White House told Woodward about Plame a month before Libby and Rove starting discussing it with Cooper, Miller, et al. And, is this same person who told Woodward Novak's source? Just a thought.

Justin

PS note that Cheney + Libby would not equal two independant sources, the gold standard for journalism.

Syl

Geek

Woodward didn't characterize his source as 'Senior Administration Official'. The reporters who wrote about it at the WaPo did.

The "Esq" can't possibly stand for Esquire

Geek-

Wrong. The DCI is not a CIA position, even if the Director of the CIA is also the Director of Central Intelligence. Those are two separate hats, my friend.

Geek, Esq.

SAO doesn't mean underlings at the CIA in any parlance.

Anyone below DCI would be described as a Senior Agency Official.

Geek, Esq.

Wow, a troll named him/herself after me.

I'm flattered.

Gary Maxwell

SAO of curse may not have any parlance since Woodward own words dont use the "senior" part. Lots of levels of admin officials and lots of agencies. Then there is that pesky comment from Woodward about a "former" admin official.

Colin Powell anyone?

Gary Maxwell

meant course but given the level of discourse today, perhaps curse is better in an odd sorta way.

FedUp

I said from the start to people I discussed it with that my guess was Colin Powell. He always seemed the most logical person because he felt he had so much to lose (like his reputation) if Wilson's "report" got traction.
It explains why Pres. Bush told Powell that his services were no longer needed when Powell let it be known that he would be amenable to staying on in the second term.
I made a bet with my fiance that Powell was the source.

TM

not because the discredited (by the Post) Bob Woodward

I may not be fully up to speed on the left's talking points, but I believe the reference is to the WaPo story that refuted Woodward's claim that a CIA assessmrent had shown tiny damage.

For folks who like to read past the headline:

CIA Yet to Assess Harm From Plame's Exposure

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 29, 2005; A09

More than Valerie Plame's identity was exposed when her name appeared in a syndicated column in the summer of 2003.

A small Boston company listed as her employer suddenly was shown to be a bogus CIA front, and her alma mater in Belgium discovered it was a favored haunt of an American spy. At Langley, officials in the clandestine service quickly began drawing up a list of contacts and friends, cultivated over more than a decade, to triage any immediate damage.

There is no indication, according to current and former intelligence officials, that the most dire of consequences -- the risk of anyone's life -- resulted from her outing.

But after Plame's name appeared in Robert D. Novak's column, the CIA informed the Justice Department in a simple questionnaire that the damage was serious enough to warrant an investigation, officials said.

The CIA has not conducted a formal damage assessment, as is routinely done in cases of espionage and after any legal proceedings have been exhausted. Yesterday, after a two-year inquiry into the leak, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald issued a five-count indictment against Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements during the grand jury investigation.

...Intelligence officials said they would never reveal the true extent of her contacts to protect the agency and its work.

"You'll never get a straight answer about how valuable she was or how valuable her sources were," said one intelligence official who would speak only anonymously.

I beleive the "no straight answers" part. Also the "no lives in jeopardy" bit.

As ot the notion that an assessment of the damage done by a critical leak has been put on three-year hold pending trials - uh huh.

Truzenzuzex
The CIA has not conducted a formal damage assessment, as is routinely done in cases of espionage and after any legal proceedings have been exhausted.
Maybe they haven't. Perhaps they are holding this as a trump card in case this whole thing blows up in their face. If Libby skates and the trial makes the leak inquiry look bad, the CIA can always recover by making a dramatic and harsh "damage assessment" that somehow leaks out.
Syl

Tru

the CIA can always recover by making a dramatic and harsh "damage assessment" that somehow leaks out.

And, voila, what do they reveal? That Wilson's career as a CIA agent with DoS cover has been ruined forever.

Such a tremendous loss.

Oy.

p.lukasiak

I strongly suspect that Cheney would not be guilty of anything - the Vice President may have an implicit authority to declassify information, and he very probably lacked any criminal intent or awareness that Ms. Plame's status was, in fact, classified (see SIDEBAR).

what sidebar?

First off, there is simply no "implicit" authority to declassify information. Either he had it, or he didn't.

Secondly, Cheney told Libby that Plame worked in Counter-Proliferation. That's Operations, and everything in Operations is classified. "Cheney didn't know it was classified" isn't gonna cut it.

Cheney's only defense, if he is a source of ANY reporter, is that the information was disclosed on "deep background" -- which (IIRC) means that the reporter CANNOT use the information, and cannot follow-up on the information -- at least not directly. That kind of defense --- that there was never any intent to disclose Plame's employment status, might keep him from being convicted on an IIPC charge.

Again, look at Fleitz and Bolton. What we may be looking at is a "whispering campaign" that got out of hand when Wilson went public. Bolton has never shown a lot of finesse and nuance when it comes to damaging those he doesn't like, and Fleitz was perfectly positioned to know that Plame was covert.....

p.lukasiak

I made a bet with my fiance that Powell was the source

Can I get some of that action?

(um, the bet, not the fiance) :)

Syl

We don't know that more than one of three of Woodward's conversations involved a 'former' anything.

And Libby is 'former'. So he might be the only one.

Kate

p. lukasiak, CP is a joint office. It has tons of analysts, it is not operational per se.

Cheney and Libby had security levels at the highest level of the US Government. Probably global access with access to the most sensitive information. They have the right to discuss this info with each other, and trust me they would guess that any info on Plame would be admin or internal use, nothing compared to what they had access to. I would bet trying to figure out who sent Wilson would just be another item on their discussion agenda, probably further down.

Plame was not that big a deal compared to what they saw. They probably didn't even know it was classified.

The only wrong thing would be to talk to reporters knowing her status was classifed. I doubt they did that.

Strick

I see that Raw Story says Hadley was Woodward's source, too. If that's the case, it's got to be someone else. Those guys don't seem to have gotten one right on this story yet.

Lots of sensational headlines, but no real meat in their stories.

Cecil Turner

Secondly, Cheney told Libby that Plame worked in Counter-Proliferation. That's Operations, and everything in Operations is classified.

You mean like their missions to Niger? When they're not sending faux missions, it seems they're too busy writing books critical of the war effort and leaking embarrassing details from personnel records to get much real work done. (At least that last incident led to a badly needed
shakeup and overdue resignations from the leakmeisters.) I'm also having a hard time keeping up the polite fiction that Plame had nothing to do with the leaks . . . or feeling the outrage over naming one of the anonymous leakers.

Cheney's only defense, if he is a source of ANY reporter, is that the information was disclosed on "deep background" . . .

I'm not sure where you get this stuff, but I don't recall anywhere in the statutes where "deep background" makes leaking okay. (I'm fairly sure it isn't in there.)

Syl

Cecil

I don't recall anywhere in the statutes where "deep background" makes leaking okay. (I'm fairly sure it isn't in there.)

No, it's not there. But strictly enforcing the statutes means the equivalent of an Official Secrets Act.

I think Fitz strongly hinted in his presser that one has to choose one's cases very carefully if they solidify the wall between govt sources and journalists.

stevesturm

There are two questions that need to be answered: 1) who was Woodward's source, and 2) who told Fitzgerald that Woodward knew something. They may or may not be the same person.

As I posted, Woodward only talked to Fitzgerald this past Monday.... so either Fitzgerald was just told about Woodward having these conversations two years ago or Fitzgerald just learned of Woodward from materials he already had in his possession... and given how thorough Fitzgerald is supposed to be, it's unlikely the latter possibility turns out to the case.

So, somebody told Fitzgerald just recently... and, given how Fitzgerald has been burned in the past for not having inquired about 'all' of the conversations with reporters his interview subjects have been, I'd guess it is.... actually, I have no guess.

But the possibility it is that Cheney is the one who passed the word to Fitzgerald is contingent on either Cheney not being the person who talked with Woodward, but somehow knowing of the conversation, or Cheney was the one who talked to Woodward and is absolutely positively sure that he (Cheney) won't be getting in any trouble for what he told Woodward.

As for the question you asked earlier, why now, it's possible that Cheney and Cheney's attorney have had some time to pore over the indictment, realized they had information that undercuts at a minimum Fitzgerald's claims that Libby was the first to tell, double and triple checked to make sure that Cheney was in the clear and then made a phone call to Fitzgerald's office (probably not to Libby's counsel, as that would be radioactive).

Cecil Turner

No, it's not there. But strictly enforcing the statutes means the equivalent of an Official Secrets Act.

If the contention is that leaking classified national security information to reporters is okay--as long as they don't publish--then I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

p.lukasiak

I'm not sure where you get this stuff, but I don't recall anywhere in the statutes where "deep background" makes leaking okay. (I'm fairly sure it isn't in there.)

I'm sure you are correct. But "deep background" raises serious questions about intent -- the IIPC was written to punish those who disclosed the identity of covert agents in a way that endangers them or national security, and putting information on "deep background" would be considered relevant to intent.

(And I didn't mean to imply that "deep background" meant an absolute defense against an indictment --- merely that it provided the possibility of avoiding an indictment, or avoiding conviction.)

Syl

Cecil

If the contention is that leaking classified national security information to reporters is okay--as long as they don't publish--

No. Not that it's okay, but that if you're bringing a case, you'd better be damned sure that the leak was damaging.

Syl

stevesturm

1)who was Woodward's source

Actually, this brings up a good point. We don't know Novak's source either. Nor Pincus. And, we don't need to know unless they did something illegal and are charged.

But there's no doubt that we'd sure like to know. :)


Cecil Turner

But "deep background" raises serious questions about intent -- the IIPC was written to punish those who disclosed the identity of covert agents in a way that endangers them or national security, and putting information on "deep background" would be considered relevant to intent.

By my reading, the only intent required is to leak the information, knowingly, to someone not authorized to receive it. (Which would include the janitor, let alone a reporter.)

p.lukasiak

You mean like their missions to Niger?

Cecil, IIRC, the Niger trip was arranged and approved through WINPAC, which is "Analysis", not "Operations." We don't actually know if she as assigned to CPD or WINPAC at the time Wilson was sent to Niger (given Libby's notes of his convo with Cheney, however, it seems likely that she remained assigned to CPD/Operations, and worked WITH but not FOR WINPAC at the time.)

(And please don't bring in irrelevancies like the fact that people from Operations have written books. That doesn't make Operations any less covert --- and doesn't foward the discussion.)

p.lukasiak

By my reading, the only intent required is to leak the information, knowingly, to someone not authorized to receive it. (Which would include the janitor, let alone a reporter.)

I would tend to agree.... but there is such a thing as prosecutorial discretion, and juries are unpredictable.

Lion

First, the Vice President has the absolute authority to declassify information, and can do so simply by saying, "I am declassifying this." Second, the point is immaterial, inasmuch as even if Plame's status was classified, and even if he disclosed it, he has committed no crime. Third, we now know that a public allegation made by Fitzgerald in his press conference--that Libby was not at the end, but rather was at the beginning, of a chain of phone calls--has been contradicted under oath by a witness with firsthand knowledge. Ted Wells is going to have a great deal of fun.

Cecil Turner

Cecil, IIRC, the Niger trip was arranged and approved through WINPAC, which is "Analysis", not "Operations."

Nope. In the first place, such a mission is obviously an operations function. In the second, the SSCI report, p. 41, states:

CPD concluded that with no other options, sending the former ambassador to Niger was worth a try.
(And please don't bring in irrelevancies like the fact that people from Operations have written books. That doesn't make Operations any less covert --- and doesn't foward the discussion.)

Nonsense. They were (and perhaps still are) leaking like a sieve. The supposed "crime" in this case is leaking the identity of a leaker. It is perfectly relevant.

Sue

Dick Cheney is not the source. He came out swinging against lying liars and the lies they tell tonight. If he was the source, I don't think he would be so bold. :) Especially on the eve of being frog marched.

Kate

I don't think Hadley is the source either. The nutty Larry Johnson keeps pointing the finger at Hadley and Raw Story always points his material.

Let's see what the New York Times says about this tomorrow. They have sources in the Prosecutor's office so their stories are always good.

The WAPO on the other hand. Now we have dueling reporters.

Jim Rockford

Bob Woodward has long been close to the CIA, and Tenet in particular.

Conclusion? Tenet who was best place to know, told Woodward, as part of idle gossip. Probably also told Novak too. Novak's long been plugged into Tenet as a preferred CIA conduit.

This case looks worse and worse for over-reaching Dems.

P Luksiak -- please explain how covert and "writing books" are compatible. Because they simply are not. The CIA is about as covert as the Jerry Springer show.

[What a pity because there are substantive policy issues to differ with Bush; they just aren't being made]

p.lukasiak

CPD concluded that with no other options, sending the former ambassador to Niger was worth a try

I stand corrected. In fact, i thank you for correcting me on this, because (despite having read the SSCI) I was laboring under the mistaken assumption that the trip was organized by WINPAC.

(and it resolves some cognitive dissonance i'd been experiencing. The guy who was pushing the aluminum tubes story was WINPAC, yet I'd been assuming that WINPAC was the source of dissent in the CIA --- apparently, its Operations. Indeed, a closer reading of SSCI reveals that one WINPAC analyst (perhaps the same guy behind the "aluminum tubes" myth) questioned Wilson's credentials (pgs 40-41) in an email in a most unflattering manner: "it appears that the results from this source will be suspect at best, and not believable under most scenarios.")

I REALLY want to know if Plame was assigned to WINPAC at this point, because if the trip was CPD, and she was involved in it, then where she was actually assigned makes a difference. If she was with WINPAC at the time, the disclosures about her working as an analyst--and the purported lack of knowledge about her covert status -- become much more plausible. But if she was still assigned to CPD, and the Niger trip was a CPD operation, why would anyone be telling people she was an "analyst" or that she worked for WINPAC.

Curiouser, and curiouser, as they say...

p.lukasiak

P Luksiak -- please explain how covert and "writing books" are compatible. Because they simply are not.

The CIA has a policy which allows its former employees to write books which contain unclassified information. (My guess is that the submission of a manuscript may trigger a review of whether information that is classified can be declassified.... but that is just a guess.)

Neo

the CIA did not act aggressively to (a) prevent Joe Wilson from calling attention to his won CIA activities, which were sure to attract attention, or (b) quash Novak's column.

Given (a), the CIA should have been ready for (b) or other likely possibilities. Since (a) was the exposure of a CIA hosted operation, the CIA should have already evaluated possible damage that this exposure may have the possibility to generate (i.e (b)). With the lukewarm defense that was thrown Novak's way, his reporting could only be viewed as risking a "low value" operative or a "no value" operation.

p.lukasiak

I don't think Hadley is the source either. The nutty Larry Johnson keeps pointing the finger at Hadley and Raw Story always points his material.

RawStory definitely tends to hype stories with headlines that suggest far more "meat" than its articles provide, but they also do some solid reporting.

(Full disclosure....I've worked with RawStory in the past on the whole Bush-National Guard thing. RawStory brought my research to the attention of a former Reagan-era Assistant Sec. of Defense, who basically said "yeah, this guy is right" about my work. And yeah, they did over-hype that story) :)

This story sounds like the latter. It is sourced to both "attorneys close to the investigation" AND "intelligence officials".
(note the plural in both cases.)

Johnson may, or may not, be "nutty", but if he has a working relationship with RawStory, it gives them access to "intelligence officials." My guess would be that "attorneys close to the case" are people working for the Post's law firm in this case.
(My first guess was "Wilson's attorneys", but this sentence:

According to the attorneys, he said Hadley dismissed the trip by saying his wife, a CIA officer who worked on WMD issues, had recommended him.

makes that unlikely.)

Bottom line: Rawstory isn't making this up. Either they have someone feeding them lies, or its true.

danking

But strictly enforcing the statutes means the equivalent of an Official Secrets Act.

I think Fitz strongly hinted in his presser that one has to choose one's cases very carefully if they solidify the wall between govt sources and journalists.

I think that it is for this reason that the papers ,with Woodwards "confession" starting it, will start the sandbagging of Plamegate and Fitzgerald's case and finally put Joe Wilson out of our misery.

They realize that this monster is of their own creation and understand the consequences concerning their business if Libby goes to jail for this ridicuolus case.

Cecil Turner

If she was with WINPAC at the time, the disclosures about her working as an analyst--and the purported lack of knowledge about her covert status -- become much more plausible.

You appear to be conflating "classified" with "covert," and they're not quite the same thing (e.g., while the director of ops may be the former, he is certainly not the latter).

But if she was still assigned to CPD, and the Niger trip was a CPD operation, why would anyone be telling people she was an "analyst" or that she worked for WINPAC.

From the VP's perspective, it might be because the question that kicked this off was a request for "the CIA’s analysis" (and the subsequent WINPAC report generated in response).

Jim E.

My hunch about the motivation of hte source coming forward to Fitz at such a late date: Woodward was threatening to write a story. I believe Woodward first told his editor about a month ago about his own involvement. Downie, the editor, probably pushed for a story. If Woodward went back to his source, the source figured Fitz would eventually learn about the source, and sp he decided to fess up ahead of time. That might explain the strange timing.

If Woodward's source is the same as Novak's source, I guess the significance of this escapes me. Big whoop. If this is a different source, though, it would seem an entirely new and significant part of the investigation has opened up.

It's apparent that the WH tried to get the NY Times and Wash Post to run with this story, and when that failed, they tried to get Time magazine. When their pursuit of respected (relatively speaking) media didn't work, they threw their hands up and said: We give up. I guess we'll have to give it to Novak.

Novak seemed like their last, if most reliable, resort. Then they spoon-fed him every damn bit of info, including Plame's name, so that he'd be able to publish the story the other sorry journalists couldn't correctly follow-up on their own.

p.lukasiak

You appear to be conflating "classified" with "covert," and they're not quite the same thing (e.g., while the director of ops may be the former, he is certainly not the latter).

My understanding is that people who work for operations are all classified, but working for WINPAC does not imply a classified job. So, if someone tells Libby (or whoever) that Plame was CIA, and he asks "where does she work" and the answer is "WINPAC" there is no presumption that her employment is classified. If she was transferred from Operations to WINPAC, her job would still be classified---BUT unless you had a "need to know" you (at least supposedly) would not know that she had once worked in Operations.

From the VP's perspective, it might be because the question that kicked this off was a request for "the CIA’s analysis" (and the subsequent WINPAC report generated in response).

possible, but I think that's less than likely. If WINPAC wrote the report, it seems likely that they would make sure that Cheney understood that Wilson's mission was "owned and operated" by CPD, and not WINPAC.

Seven Machos

"No partisan gunslinger" = Powell or Tenet. Period.

It will be interesting to see which one. However, if Fitzgerald has known all this time, why did he indict Libby? Why did Libbye feel compelled to lie?

Hmmmmmm...

p.lukasiak

It's apparent that the WH tried to get the NY Times and Wash Post to run with this story, and when that failed, they tried to get Time magazine.

I think this is far too determined and linear.

There is a consistent undercurrent that the White House thought that people the CIA were attempting to undermine the administration --- and thought that the CIA was using Wilson to achieve those ends. I think there was an effort to stop the media from using Wilson as an anonymous source -- it was an attempt to discredit him, but without actually going public about it.

Syl

but without actually going public about it.

Exactly.

The only reason it went public was Harlow.

p.lukasiak

The only reason it went public was Harlow.

syl, syl, syl... here I am, having a fairly reasonable discussion about the implications of the Woodward disclosures....

and you have to inject your "CIA conspiracy" nonsense into it.

Novak didn't call Rove for confirmation until after the Wilson op-ed came out. This suggests that the disclosure to Novak was precipitated by the Wilson piece -- SOMEONE wanted the "Wilson's wife" story to go public once Wilson himself went public, and they talked to Novak.

p.lukasiak

First, the Vice President has the absolute authority to declassify information, and can do so simply by saying, "I am declassifying this."

cite, please

Sue

P. Luk,

That doesn't fit your WH trying to put a bug in the ear of incompetent or uninterested journalists theory. Plus, it doesn't fit the timeline of when Rove talked to Novak and Cooper (Time Mag). Or when Cooper talked to Libby. Help me out. What am I missing?

narciso

Should I remind people, that Mr. Harlow's novel, is about , what seems to now be an
unlikely premise; a WMD strike directed by
Libya, against an unlikely but very symbolic
target. Next, Woodward has leaked a great
detailed information that must have been
classified; if not top secret; ie; CIA payments to King Hussein and Sadat (details
he repeated in Veil)US assistance with Lebanese Christian militias; not to mention
the whole panoply of American covert officials mentioned in Veil, and more cryptically in Bush at War, and the other
tome; information that clearly violates the
IIADC, among many other statutes

Lesley

I'm dropping in for my K-Lo contribution.

Nice to see TM get some well-deserved kudos from Instapundit ("Tom Maguire, call your office!") and Powerline ("I'll be looking for Tom Maguire at Just One Minute to read the tea leaves served up here."), both blogs awaiting TM's opinion on Woodward this morning. Tommy "Tea Leaves" Maguire would be a good press hit man name for TM, methinks.

Mr. Turner has announced he is back from "Globetrotting." Wow. Who would ever have guessed he was a celebrity basketball player? Talk about deep cover.

Sue

You kind of have to get into the frame of mind the WH was undoubtedly in during the relevant period of time. We have a 'slam dunk' WMDs story that isn't panning out. There is this anonymous source running around saying the '16 words' were based on forgeries. Everyone in the WH is scrambling trying to figure out what the hell happened? Who is the anonymous source? Their 'slam dunk' case is a dud. Libby is meeting Miller to discuss the dud aspect of the WMD case. They are friendly, having worked together on prior stories. He feels she is someone he can unload to. Some on the record, some just rambling. Bush and Cheney are in pissy moods, taking it out their frustrations on them. Sitting at the brunch table, he runs his hand through his hair and says "what the hell? We knew it, damn it. They were there. Now we have this former ambassador who is saying Cheney sent him. Hell, Cheney doesn't even know him. None of us do. What the hell was CIA doing sending him anyway? His f...ng wife works at CIA." Miller's ears perk up, she jots down a few notes, leaves, shakes the bushes and comes back a few days later to ask more questions. Meantime, back during the running around trying to figure out who the anonymous ambassador is, other reporters are shaking their bushes and the same harried WH and CIA personnel are doing the same running their hands through their hair act wondering what the hell happened and get a little too cozy with their own reporters. No intentional outing. No payback. Just everyone running around trying to answer questions that undoubtedly Bush is asking. :)

Sue

I'm writing the screen play of Plamegate. I'm thinking Donald Sutherland as Libby. Any thoughts on Miller?

BumperStickerist

-

This whole episode isn't "Wag the Dog"
It's 'Deworm the Mutt'

-

Sue

With Joe Wilson starring as the Mutt? :)

Jim E.

The NY Times says that Woodward was starting to work on a story a month ago, and that was probably the "catalyst" for his source coming forward to Fitz. My prediction on that point above holds up pretty well.

The NY Times also has a peculiar list of all of hte people who deny being Woodward's source. It notes that they weren't able to get in touch with every senior official. Lot's of people, including President Bush, Bartlett, Powell, and Tenet say they were NOT Woodward's source. Kind of strange that Bush would take the time to respond, no? Then the story reports this: "Vice President Cheney did not join the parade of denials."

Cheney's non-denial stands out like a sore thumb. Even if Cheney truly is not Woodward's source, it appears that the WH is not unified in its PR response. The president's office issued clear denials, while Cheney stuck to the old "we're not commenting during an ongoing investigation" line. Not smooth at all.

Rick Ballard

Bette Midler

Kathie

I'm thinking that the White House didn't think it was a big deal, they had tons of intel. and an Ambassador in Niger. Powel had a memo on the flight to Africa. Maybe it was him who spilled the beans.

Sue

Jim E.,

Bush is in China. He didn't respond. As you noted in your 2nd paragraph.

Sue

Rick,

Hmmm...wrong color hair.

Rick Ballard

Sue,

There are no hard and fast rules concerning facts and logic in Fantasy Fitzball - it's like Calvinball only not as structured.

Midler does ditz so well that wig might be in order.

Sue

Rick,

I'll work on it. Think ditz, slender, dark hair...we can do better than Midler.

I like Fantasy Fitzball. I might have to use that instead of Plamegate. :)

Rick Ballard

Jamie Lee Curtis can do fake ditz pretty well. I don't know about her doing it straight thru though.

I'd love to see a scene with her on the stand with her notebook in hand:

"How the hell would I know what this means?"

p.lukasiak

That doesn't fit your WH trying to put a bug in the ear of incompetent or uninterested journalists theory.

I can't have more than one theory? C'mon, Sue! :)

Plus, it doesn't fit the timeline of when Rove talked to Novak and Cooper (Time Mag). Or when Cooper talked to Libby. Help me out. What am I missing?

What we know is that the Rove conversation with Novak occurred "earlier in the week" of "July 10th or 11th" (Wilson's column appeared on July 6, which was a Sunday.) Libby's talk with Cooper was "on or about July 12."

We also know that Libby was "confirming" for Cooper what Cooper was told by Rove. And that Rove was "confirming" what Novak had been told by someone else.

I really don't see a problem with the timeline. Wilson publishes on the 6th, Novak gets his story on the 8th or 9th and confirms it with Rove soon after. Rove (if he is to be believed) passes on Novak's story to Cooper on the 10th or 11th, and Libby confirms Cooper's story on the 12th.

Or thereabouts.

Rove's "I just heard it from reporters" remains plausible based on what we know --- although Cooper's story on his talk with Rove didn't sound like Rove was just passing on unconfirmed information. (The first evidence in the indictment of Rove's involvement is when he and Libby discuss the Novak story on July 10 or 11.)

One key question is that if Rove claims he didn't confirm Novak's story...and just said "I've heard that too" --- from whom did Rove hear it?

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

btw....I think that putting yourself in the "frame of mind of the WH" is very important. A LOT of the speculation that goes on here is temporally disconnected from any kind of reality -- its essential to keep in mind what was happening at any given moment to come up with plausible speculations.

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

oh, and Judith Miller? Angelica Huston...but make the movie ASAP, Huston isn't getting any younger.

p.lukasiak

arghhhh!!!!

and arghhh!!! again

Jim E.

Sue wrote: "Bush is in China. He didn't respond. As you noted in your 2nd paragraph."

Actually, I didn't note that in my second paragraph. Bush's camp DID respond, just as I wrote. Here's the NY Times: "A senior administration official said that neither President Bush himself, nor his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., nor his counselor, Dan Bartlett, was Mr. Woodward's source."

Jim E.

[i]no italics[i]

Rick Ballard

off

PL - (/i)(/i)off - substitute the correct brackets for parens

p.lukasiak

thank you Rick!

(in other words, you close italics twice? you don't use the word "off" do you?)

Geek, Esq.

I think we're down to:

Cheney
Rice
Tenet
Powell
Hadley
Bolton

Tenet and Powell have denied. Rice and Cheney don't seem right. Bolton would be too good to be true.

Hadley sounds like a winner.

Rick Ballard

No, you don't have to post a word at all.

Rob W

From tonight's NYT:
"A senior administration official said that neither President Bush himself, nor his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., nor his counselor, Dan Bartlett, was Mr. Woodward's source. So did spokesmen for former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, former C.I.A. Director George J. Tenet and his deputy John E. McLaughlin.

A lawyer for Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff who has acknowledged conversations with reporters about the case and remains under investigation, said Mr. Rove was not Mr. Woodward's source.

Vice President Cheney did not join the parade of denials."

I think we have a winner.

p.lukasiak

Casting Plamegate -- The Comedy

Fitzgerald -- Leslie Nielsen
Rove -- DeNiro (have him gain 120 lbs...its method acting!)
Miller -- Angelica Huston
Cooper -- that nasty looking guy who hooked up with Kirstin Davis
Woodward -- Robert Redford (like ANYONE else could play him?)
Cheney -- Bea Arthur
Novak -- Milton Berle (and yeah, I know he's been dead for a while, but have you seen Novak lately?)
The President of the United States -- George W. Bush (no one said it had to be believable...)

Rick Ballard

"I think we have a winner."

Everyone who plays Fantasy Fitzball is a winner.

clarice

It's pretty clear that Fitz is in over his head..How many days until someone files a complaint with the DoJ Professional Responsibility office so he and his staff can answer some questions about how they found the factual predicates to proceed..LOL

She wasn't a covert agent
No damage was done
She wasn't deliberately outed

And he has no evidence for any of these predicates although he spent 2 + years turning the city upside down.


BTW did you notice J. Colyer just held Pincusin contempt in the Wen Ho Lee case..Maybe Judy can teach him some survival trips--Richardson is probably sending him candy and flowers already.

Rob W

Also, confirming the identity, saying "I heard that to" or saying Wilson's wife are not defenses. Remember that the statute prohibits disclosure of information identifying a covert agent. That's all. And that's the way it should be, becuase its the information confirming the identity that is the most useful to someone trying to compromise an agent.

rb

This is all a gold mine of mental self-abuse.

I posted on another thread about the relationship of these mainly empty comments about things backed up by little or no factual evidnce, as being like the story of the King's New Clothes, with the clear-seeing little boy blowing the entire trance by noticing that there is nothing there.

Nothing that you or I could not have remembered or misremembered with the same degree of uncertainty after two years about most anything in our lives, big or small.

It is just all ordinary people doing jobs in the midst of incredibly busy workloads.

If this is criminality, then we are all criminals.

An examination of any of our lives, compared with cross testimony from others who were there, would find far more conflicting statements than anything we have seen so far in this amazing farce.

Time to WAKE UP (finger snaps). Take a deep breath.

How was your trance?

Syl

Syl said: The only reason it went public was Harlow.

p.luk said: and you have to inject your "CIA conspiracy" nonsense into it.

Nonsense back at you. It doesn't have anything to do with any 'CIA conspiracy'. If Harlow had done his job it never would have gone public.

Period.

If that fact messes up your little theories, well tough titties.

clarice

So..How many are willing to join me in preparing and filing our Fitz complaint with the DoJ?

Syl

oops. Sorry about that word ;(

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Wilson/Plame