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November 16, 2005

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FedUp

p. luk,

Can I get some of that action?
(um, the bet, not the fiance) :)

Cute! No, sorry. The bet involves action with the fiance and I don't share him.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I'm in. Can we fit "dumber than a sack of hammers" into the complaint?

Syl,

It's OK - I ran to the bathroom and washed my eyes out - no harm done.

p.lukasiak

i gotta go with hadley as Woodward's source.

He's the kind of guy who, at the time, would have been flattered by Woodward's attentions.

And Hadley was seriously involved in making sure the "Niger-Uranium" nonsense played a big role in the PR campaign for the war.

And Hadley appears to have been to the NSC what Bolton was for the State Department --- Cheney's plant, there to keep an eye on someone he didn't trust. (Hadley played a similar role during the START negotiations-- he was Cheney's rep there, even thought James Baker was doing the negotiating...)

Syl

Nah

It had to be someone who didn't know she was CPD, who thought she was WINPAC, and not covert. That doesn't fit Hadley.

Syl

Rick

::censored::

Back to the casting:

Bush: Richard Dreyfus
Cheney: Fred Thompson
Libby: Tootsie
Miller: Goldie Hawn
Rove: Danny DeVito!!!
Fitzgerald: Dick Van Dyke


p.lukasiak

It had to be someone who didn't know she was CPD, who thought she was WINPAC, and not covert. That doesn't fit Hadley.

syl, I don't think it was necessary for Hadley to have known Plame's history of employment with the CIA. I keep going back to how "State Department personnel were talking" about how Plame was involved in Wilson's trip right before June 11/12. Bolton or Fleitz could have been Hadley's source.

Syl

Wait!!

It was Paul Volker!

That little devil.

Pillow secrets!

clarice

Start drafting Rick

Dumber than...can be in the conlcuding graph..I'd like to start with the three factual predicates for his investigation and detail from the public record how little they did to see if they were met; how he misrepresented the facts to the Ct of Appeals in Miller and in his indictment and presser; what we know of conflicting evidence (i.e. Mitchell, Sidey, Vallely) that he never tried to follow up on; etc..

p.lukasiak

It was Paul Volker! That little devil.
Pillow secrets!

LOL!

Free associating? Or one too many vodka-tonics? :)

Syl

p.luk.

Cheney's plant, there to keep an eye on someone he didn't trust.

I would hope so. We didn't elect the bureaucrats to make policy.

p.lukasiak

I'm in. Can we fit "dumber than a sack of hammers" into the complaint?

geez Rick! I haven't even gone that far? You really think President Bush was involved?

:)

Jon H

TM,

Declassifying by the White House would require an executive order.

Last I checked, Vice Presidents don't have that authority.

Jon H

p. luk: "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."

I'm pretty sure Chinese spies wouldn't publish news stories with leaked classified information, but telling them on 'deep background' wouldn't make it okay.

Syl

Free associating? Or one too many vodka-tonics? :)

LOL Ah the memories. Free association will have to suffice.

Neuro-conservative

Two observations/speculations that I haven't seen mentioned:

1) Bob Woodward wrote a book dedicated to the greatness of Mr. Andrea Mitchell ('Maestro'). Are they friends, and what is their level of contact on the G'town cocktail circuit? For Andrea Mitchell to have believed Plame was 'widely known' (I don't believe her non-retraction retraction), she must have been referring to conversations she had with other reporters who knew (and not just Russert).

2) I have always believed that Powell was Novak's source -- look at the sourcing of Novak's Iraq-related stories throughout the spring and summer of 2003. Moreover, Woodward's favorite source (at least since Bill Casey died) appears to be Powell -- he always comes out smelling like a rose in Woodward's books. I think it is likely that Powell is lying in his denial today, but is it possible that the name "Powell" could be replaced by "Armitage" as the source for both Novak and Woodward?

clarice

I think you're right on both scores, neuro.

clarice

I first thought his source was Tenet--who I do think was Novak's--but on thinking about his long relationship with Powell, I think you're right.

JM Hanes

Clarice -

You left out making deals with reporters to procure limited targetted testimony. That dance may ultimately end up in front of the Supremes.

clarice

Yes. Although the courts played a part in that--Fitz should have recognized that no real investigation could take place with those limitations in THIS matter--because (a)if Plame was overt, there then is a second question(b) Did the agency take all the steps necessary to keep her employment secret? And (b) could not be resolved in this kind of investigation.

If she was not covert, then he should have stopped the thing early on as well.Everything else was irrelevant.

It certainly had to have been clear early on that the factual predicate for the investigation under the terms of the referral couldn't be met.

JM Hanes

Clarice -

I think he already knew that when he asked the Acting Atty Gen. for explicit authority to pursue ancillary crimes -- 3 months into his investigation. He has never officially stated that Plame was covert. In his press conference he said her "cover was blown" -- a notably non-legal formulation.

AST

Look, this is looking more and more like Libby was telling the truth when he said he thought Plame's identity was going around among reporters.

This uncovers a huge hole in Fitzgerald's case. How can he ever prove that reporters didn't know this before Libby said anything? Judy Miller testified only about Libby. She could have known Plame already from researching her book on WMD, but she didn't have to answer that question. She says she doesn't remember who told her about Plame being married to Wilson. If that's true, she has a pretty poor memory for an experienced reporter OR so many people talked to her about it, that she can't remember which one was first.

If I were Libby's lawyer that's the pitch I'd make. If there are all these potential vectors for this story out there that haven't been questioned and who wouldn't talk if they had been, how can there not be a reasonable doubt about Libby being the key leak? Plame herself could have told a friendly reporter. If witnesses testify that they can't remember something like that, it's pretty hard to make a criminal case that they lied about it.

Cecil Turner

Declassifying by the White House would require an executive order.

Last I checked, Vice Presidents don't have that authority.

Ummm, don't think so. The classification system is implemented pursuant to executive order 12958, which establishes various classifying and declassifying authorities . . . specifically including the Vice President "in the performance of executive duties." My reading is that the VP explicitly does have that authority.

Interestingly, the older version was not nearly as explicit, at least as regards the VP. In fact, when the latest version was signed, the NYTimes ran a story complaining: "for the first time, it gives the vice president the power to classify information." (As the FAS gurus pointed out, that was really not the case, since even Big Al had TS classification authority delegated via the Federal Register--still, Big Time obviously has more inherent authority--fueling FAS complaints the Bush administration is too secretive.)

The bottom line is this mess is a big leak war. Plame, in cahoots with her VIPS buddies (and in direct response to a request for leaks) had her hubby spreading convenient fables, and cried "foul" when her involvement was uncovered. The effect of the subsequent investigation is an apparent attempt to secure sacred cow status for leaks critical of the Administration, whilst criminalizing the inevitable response. Seen in the larger context as an argument over the go-to-war decision, it's a sideshow within a sideshow. Might make a good screenplay . . .
L E A K W A R S

  • JCW4 Protocol Droid: "There I was, stuck on Dantooine, sipping mint tea . . ."
  • Libby the Hut: "Dude, you're boring me. Hey, who's the blonde?"
  • JCW4 Protocol Droid [sidling up to podium]: "May I introduce evidence, pretending I got it myself . . ."
  • Libby the Hut [confiscating microphone]: "Dude, you're losing it. Hey! Isn't that the spook chick that was supposed to analyze. . .?"
  • Victoria Flamewalker [grabbing microphone and speaking into it]: "I must be allowed to leak."
  • Libby the Hut [clapping hands over ears]: "She's using an old VIPS mind trick."
  • JCW4 Protocol Droid [waving arms madly]: "She must be allowed to leak . . ."
  • Libby the Hut [slapping droid]: "weak-minded fool."
  • Victoria Flamewalker [shifting cloak to enhance camera angle]: "Libby, the gravitas shift favors the VIPS Alliance--you can either profit by this, or . ."
  • Libby: "Your DNC talking points won't work on me . . ." [licks Judith Miller's face]
[audience]: "Eeeeeeeeuuuwwwww."

Okay, on second thought, maybe not.

Terrye

For what it is worth I heard Mort Kondracke say it was not Cheney. His reasoning is deductive.

According to him we are looking at the possibility of three people, at least one of whom is a former official. The two current officials do not include Cheney or Rove or Libby.

I guess we will find out someday.

Smithy

Meanwhile, while the virulent liberal media spend their entire lives spewing out anti-Bush hate, it turns out they turn into whiny cry babies when their pampered, overpaid lifestyles is threathened in any way.

From Fox:

"Former Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer is whining about the paper's decision to fire him last week and blames the conservative media for getting him sacked. The longtime liberal columnist attacked the Times' publisher, calling him a "wise guy accountant, a bean counter from Chicago," whose "golf buddies probably warned him about me — that flaming leftie."

Speaking at a gathering for the liberal political journal The Nation, Scheer added, "Probably the main reason they got rid of me was O'Reilly and Limbaugh made a living out of attacking me and using me as a punching bag." The Times, meanwhile, says it's expanding its editorial page to include more liberal and conservative columnists and that letting Scheer go had nothing to do with ideology."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
That poor misunderstood liberal hater.
I am just prone with grief about it.
NOT!

BurkettHead

Do Libby's attorneys care whether they can prove that reporters already knew about Plame? All they have to do is create a reasonable doubt. Isn't enough that they can prove that Fitz didn't know because he didn't ask? Seems like all Libby's attorneys need to do is convinvce the jurors that they want to know.

p.lukasiak

Look, this is looking more and more like Libby was telling the truth when he said he thought Plame's identity was going around among reporters.

Well, Woodward's disclosure doesn't make it look like "more and more". He says he told Pincus. Pincus denied it. And today, we have a full account of this "conversation", which is that Woodward relayed the info as he was walking past Pincus, and Pincus said "What?". Woodward now concedes that "What" probably meant "I didn't hear you".

***********

keep in mind what Mitchell actually said, which was that before Novak's column came out, the reporters who were asking about the "abassador goes to Niger" story knew the ambassadors wife was CIA.

There were at least three White House officials that were making it their business to ensure that reporters knew about Wilson's wife --- Rove (volunteered it to Cooper), Libby (volunteered it to Miller) and at least one other source (Novak's source, Woodward's source, and possibly Pincus's source).

With at least three White House officials engaged in a push-back against Joe Wilson that involved disclosing "Wilson's wife is CIA", its no wonder that Mitchell said what she did.

Sue

P. Luk,

I can't write the ending. I don't know it yet. :)

How do you explain Libby talking to Miller earlier than your timeline?

Sue

Jim E.

Kind of strange that Bush would take the time to respond, no?

As I said, you answered that in your second paragraph. He didn't take the time to respond. His office did.

p.lukasiak

Look, this is looking more and more like Libby was telling the truth when he said he thought Plame's identity was going around among reporters.

the question is: a reasonable doubt about what? FitzG's indictment does not claim that other reporters were unaware of Plame's work with the CIA. The indictment centers on Libby's claim that his only source of information for passing on the info to Cooper about Wilson's wife were reporters.

But we know this is not the case. Libby told Miller before talking to Russert. And Libby acted upon the information he'd received from official sources, making it impossible to believe that reporters were his only source of information.

Its relevant that "reporters" is plural -- the "multiple reporters" point was raised in one of the questions, yet as far as we know, Russert is the only reporter identified by Libby as giving him the information. (which of course, Russert denies).

Q. And it's your specific recollection that when you told Cooper about Wilson's wife working at the CIA, you attributed that fact to what reporters –

A. Yes.

Q. – plural, were saying. Correct?

A. I was very clear to say reporters are telling us that because in my mind I still didn't know it as a fact. I thought I was – all I had was this information that was coming in from the reporters.

The indictment doesn't shed any light on who else Libby is referring to. And the question suggests that Libby had not identified a second reporter as a source.

This, of course, is not damning evidence. Libby can claim that Novak was the second reporter for his Cooper conversation. (Libby had talked to Rove about Novak before talking to Cooper.) He might have identified another reporter who confirms that he told Libby. Or he could just say "I don't remember--I talk to so many reporters" and not have a problem. (FitzG was prohibited by Justice Department guidelines from demanding testimony from all the journalists that Libby talked to during that period, so FitzG can't effectively dispute an "I forgot" claim in this instance.)

Sue

P. Luk,

You just ignored my scene between Libby and Miller entirely. There was no push back involving Wilson's CIA wife. She was a non-entity to the players, other than to answer the question on why the clown was chosen to travel to Niger. The push back was against Wilson's lie that seemed to be popping up all over the place in the papers and from reporters who were chasing down the it wasn't exactly a 'slam dunk' part of WMDs.

TP

Does anybody know if Brent Scowcroft was used as a source in Woodward's book on the war?

Mike Timmons

Simply put, anybody who thinks outing a NOC agent in a time of war is not treason is putting party ahead of country.

Now the President is trying , as usual, to hide his own duplicity and dishonor behind the bodys of honorable dead American soldiers.

The Democrats may be the party of no ideas. For sure, the Republicans are the party of no conscience.

cathyf
She says she doesn't remember who told her about Plame being married to Wilson. If that's true, she has a pretty poor memory for an experienced reporter OR so many people talked to her about it, that she can't remember which one was first.
Well, strictly by logic, AND is just as reasonable as OR there -- it's pretty well established that Miller's memory and note-taking skills are a joke even for a non-reporter.

cathy :-)

p.lukasiak

The push back was against Wilson's lie that seemed to be popping up all over the place in the papers

Sue, read Miller's own account of her talks with Libby. It is clear that Libby is blaming the CIA for Wilson's disclosures, going so far as to say that the CIA made no effort to get the fact that the Niger allegation was questionable to the administration. (Something which was subsequently determined to be false.)

Cecil Turner

Simply put, anybody who thinks outing a NOC agent in a time of war is not treason is putting party ahead of country.

Simply put, Plame was in no danger . . . in stark contrast with a couple hundred thousand servicemen in Iraq. Wilson's spreading false propaganda could be expected to enhance enemy morale, resulting in our servicemen fighting a more determined enemy. Care to run that treason thing by me again?

Now the President is trying , as usual, to hide his own duplicity and dishonor behind the bodys of honorable dead American soldiers.

At least you've managed to identify the injured party. As to the "conscience" displayed by liberal hand-wringing over casualty figures, I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

p.lukasiak

She says she doesn't remember who told her about Plame being married to Wilson.

no she doesn't. She said she did not know about Wilson's wife before the June 23 conversation with Libby, in which "Wilson's wife works at bureau?" was discussed.

What Miller clains she doesn't remember is who game her the name "Valerie Flame" that appears in her notes. (And on this point, I think she's being economic with the truth. She probably does remember, but not to an absolute certainly. The truth is probalby something like, "I was talking to Bolton and Fleitz when the name came up and I wrote it in my notes, but I don't recall which one of those two said her name first.")

Lion

Vice President's authority to declassify: Executive Order 12958 Section 3.1c.3.

The ANchoress

I think it's Karen Hughes.

Jim E.

Sue,
So you're alleging that Bush's "office" issues denials on the president's behalf without checking with him first? Is that how it works in your world? Funny, I was under the impression that when Bush's people issue a denial, they're speaking on behalf of Bush. And if the denial is worth anything, they would check with him first. And if they checked with him, he was therefore taking time to issue a denial.

I must disagree with sue. On this specific point, unlike her, I choose to trust our president, and the president's office. I believe his denial to be true and accurate, and that his underlings were not just acting on their own to make the story go away.

Sue

P. Luk,

Make up your mind, please. Either I take everything Judy Miller says as gospel, or you post a list of those things she says that are correct and those that are incorrect or highly doubtful. :)

Sue

Jim E.,

You are questioning my loyalty to Bush? :) That would come as shocker to others who post here. You act like no one was aware of the testimony of Woodward prior to it being published in the WaPo. Come on. You seriously think the WH wasn't aware of what was happening over at Fitzgerald's office? I think not. And I seriously doubt they had to check with Bush to find out if he had told Woodward anything about Plame. There is actually no evidence Bush even knew himself, or if there is, I am unaware of it. Do you have something?

Sue

The Anchoress,

What about Mary Matalin?

Jim E.

Sue,
So you don't think the denial is a real denial. Weird.

Sue

Jim,

I think the denial is real and unnecessary. Bush wasn't Woodward's source. Period.

Mickey Kaus thinks it's Powell, for what it's worth.

Marcel

It is interesting that the White House would issue a denial that Bush, Card or Barlett was Woodward's source. Interesting because (1) for several months they have been refusing to "comment on an ongoing investigation" and (2) the list did not include anyone from the Office of the Vice President.

Creepy Dude

Leakwars-very nice CT. Your posts always make me laugh, but I'm glad that was your intent this time ;)

Jay Rosen

I don't know who Woodward's source is. But here's my guess on a smaller issue-- the discrepancy in dates between Woodward and Pincus.

In writing about Bob Novak and Judith Miller's statements, I found it helpful to start not with what we know happened, or what sounds logical, but what they want to accomplish with their spin: proving themselves innocent of sins they recognize as real and damning in their world-- professional journalism, newsroom culture, collegial opinion.

Thus Miller freely tells us about "former Hill staffer," which is pretty damning, because that's not a sin to her, being business as usual in the world of secret sources. But she lies and says she cooperated fully with Times reporters, when the Times own reporting says she didn't, because to not cooperate would be damning in the newsroom and she knows it.

Woodward can remain innocent in his own eyes by saying he's protecting his sources, which is okay in the newsroom. But now it's clear that he was sitting on news. Not okay in the newsroom. He does that a lot, but he can still remain innocent because a.) the facts emerge later in his book in the fuller context he provides; and b.) if he learns something newsworthy but it's not part of the book's narrative he provides tips to Post reporters. So: still a journalist, still a "good" colleague, still living by the code.

In this case what he learned about Plame is not part of the book's narrative, so a.) is not going to work. He went to plan b.) "I couldn't use it, so I gave it to Pincus." Trouble is, if he gave it to Pincus in October, he's guilty of what he's trying to avoid by revealing this tidbit-- sitting on news. The date has to be June 2003, same month he learned it, for innocence production purposes.

This is how "no partisan gunslinger" emerged from Novak as a description of his original source. At the time he said that, Novak was trying to prove himself innocent of a particular charge in circulation: being the one who finally bit after officials shopped the Plame story to other journalists. No, no, I didn't learn it from one of those political people, Novak says.

I find that if you work backwards from the professional sin they think they're avoiding with their statement you can sometimes learn more. Cheers.

clarice

On Hugh Hewitt in a discussion on the ethics of Woodward's sitting on this evidence, Mickey Kaus sais he's been sitting on some ,too and hints it'll be in a column today.

Maybe the whole press corps will start coming clean. TM has long been critical of them reporting on this as if they were neutral observers when, in fact, they are in the thick of it.

Creepy Dude

Why the focus on the reporters Clarice?
If it's not ethical for Woodward to sit on the evidence-shouldn't that go double for government source?

Yet we still have senior officials coming clean as recently as November 3rd. Why can't they all just obey President Bush's order and cooperate with investigation?

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

This matter should be Exhibit 1 in hearings on the proposed "shield" law. A claim for special status needs, at minimum, evidence of adherence to standards of conduct that are measureable and the existence of a body charged with examination of adherence to those standards and rectification of transgressions against the standards.

The performance of quite a large number of the "top notch" journalists involved in this fiasco is prima facie evidence that the craft of journalism has no measureable standards, let alone any concern with ethical duties of citizenship.

Jay Rosen makes an excellent point as to what the alleged transgression of Woodward amounts to in the journalism craft. He hid "news". Not he hid "evidence" that would have been meaningful in the investigation of an alleged crime from the duly appointed prosececutor. No, that's no transgression of a citizen's duty because journalists aren't really part of society are they? They are God like observers who do not deign to descend to actual involvement in the society upon which they report.

I would argue that a certain segment of the journalist craft are in fact mendacious propagandists worthy only of contempt. They want a legal "shield" to hide behind in the same way that they want to twist the 1st Amendment like a pretzel to cover their propaganda efforts. They merit contempt - not elevation to a status unwarranted by their actions.

Jim E.

Jay Rosen,
Your aside about Judith Miller and the "former hill staffer" thing is spot on. She seems genuinely clueless about why people are upset about that sourcing promise. (She now claims, unconvincingly, that she never would have used that description had she written a story.) It seems such a clear violation of journalistic ethics that you'd think she'd never have admitted to it. But if it weren't for her own NY Times account, no one would ever have known about it. That she would dare to write about it so casually -- when she didn't have to go out of her way to bring it up -- is quite revealing. She clearly didn't realize how hackish her behavior was until AFTER people criticized her for it.

Your Woodward approach to Woodward's "defense" seems to make sense. Woodward, unlike Miller, seems to at least be aware of the journalistic ethics he's supposed to be upholding. So I take it you are doubtful of Woodward's retelling of the Pincus exchange?

There's one thing I'm surprised no one has brought up about Pincus in all of this. Back when the Wash Post was doing their partial mea culpa on the WMD stories, they needed to account for why their Pincus reports -- which were quite consistently skeptical of hte pre-war intelligence -- were buried on A12 and A20, rather than on A1. I recall a story in which editors basically said that while Pincus had good stories, he was so disorganized and such a bad writer, that they needed to spend extra time editing his stories and were unable to save the A1 space for him. Does anyone remember that? It seems that that could be spun as a Woodward defense in that Pincus was too disorganized to remember Woodward's scoop. While I'm more sypathetic to Pincus's account than Woodward's (esp since Woodward seems to be kinda sorta backtracking at this point -- he's now said that maybe Pincus never heard him!), I figured there would be more Pincus-bashing based on that Wash Post story.

Finally, is it an open secret that Pincus hates Woodward? That's the drift I'm getting from Pincus's various quotes.

TP

Nobody in their right mind would volunteer to give testimony in a criminal case in which there is a political aspect. This is not a murder. Nobody knew if there was even a crime until indictments were brought and could not know if their testimony would even be helpful. Everyone knew they might be involved in a potential perjury trap. In addition, nobody in their right mind would want to spend 3 hours on a fishing expedition with a government attorney.

As an aside, I would still not overlook Joe Wilson as a non-official source of information that got to reporters other than those being investigated. It doesn't take much imagination to think of what kind of questions a guy like Scowcroft would ask a job seeker like Joe before he sent him over to talk sense to the Bushies.

Scowcroft: How did a guy who dresses like you and who is not a member of the CFR club get a gig like that with the CIA under this administration.

Wilson: My wife is a WMD expert at the CIA.

Jay Rosen

So I take it you are doubtful of Woodward's retelling of the Pincus exchange?

Yes.

Gary Maxwell

Why can't they all just obey President Bush's order and cooperate with investigation?


Creepy drop the partisanship for just a second and contmeplate a parellel universe but you are the one with some facts that the prosecutor never approached. Even without counsel advice, you see that even if no crime is committed that you can get into trouble with the whole investigator/prosecutor/grandjury set up. Aint it better to sit back and keep your head down

Creepy Dude

Yes Maxwell-it's only the most grotesque hardcore Democratic partisanship that would urge people to obey one of Bush's orders.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'I've worked with RawStory in the past on the whole Bush-National Guard thing.'

That explains a lot.

Syl

Jay Rosen

(1)Are you saying Novak actually lied when he said 'No partisan gunslinger'?

(2)Why do journalists think 'I heard that too' is confirmation of anything? Or can even be used as a second source? Why so sloppy?

owl

Diss Miller...diss Woodward is the only sound you will hear coming from MSM supporters. I still want to know does anyone know for a fact that Plame sat down and ate breakfast with Kristoff? Wilson/Plame started it w/NYT. Wilson/Plame published NYT. Miller was NYT. Small world that NYT.

p.lukasiak

Jay...

how do you feel about Woodward's "expanded" version of the story (i.e., he mentioned it to Pincus literally in passing, Pincus said "What?" which Woodward interpreted as surprise, but which was really just Pincus saying "I didn't hear you".

(and whuts up? are you getting nostalgic for wingnut theories? Its been awfully civil over at Pressthink! :) )

p.lukasiak

(2)Why do journalists think 'I heard that too' is confirmation of anything? Or can even be used as a second source? Why so sloppy?

syl, no journalist has said they got their story confirmed with an "I heard that too" statement. Novak says Rove told him (paraphrase) "Oh, so you know about that", and the distinction between the two statements is significant in terms of confirming a story. (Although its insignificant in terms of a perjury charge. You'd never get a conviction based solely on the difference between those two statements.)

Syl

p.luk.

Huh?

What does Rove say he said?

p.lukasiak

Syl..

Rove claims he said "I've heard that too".

now, I'm somewhat suspicious, because Novak was calling him for confirmation, yet on July 10 or 11, Rove told Libby that "Novak would be writing a story about Wilson's wife"

(again, the difference is not sufficient for a perjury charge. Its not a direct quote, and Rove may have said, or meant, that Novak was working on a story about Wilson's wife. But the language of the indictment sounds like Rove confirmed Novak's story, and didn't just acknowledge that a rumor existed.)

clarice

Rick, As usual, I wholeheartedly agree with you. This is the worst case scenario for a claim to reporters' privilege. And you didn't even factor in the fact that the reporters were gulled into shilling for that partisan hack Wilson and many didn't correct re the SSCI findings to this day.

In fact, one of the reasons the indictment is so awful is the concessions given journos made it impossible to fully investigate the matter and made the one-sided gj proceedings and even bigger farce than they usually are.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

What I'm wondering now is how many journos saying 'yeah, I knew Plame was CIA and I knew she had something to do with promoting her husbands trip' it will take before Fitz tosses in the towel?

When is someone going to sit down with him and explain to him that the next step will involve the MSM destroying him with death by a thousand cuts? Because that is what is going to happen.

Maybe he should fly out to California for a nice lunch with Judge Starr. Or arrange a tete a tete with Walsh to find out what a "successful" high stakes political prosecution does for a career.

clarice

Heh--You know that's true--They just wanted to bash Bush, get some headlines and scream coverup--they didn't actually want an investigation, particularly one that was going to end with every smart officeholder in town refusing to take their phone calls..

Syl

p.luk

But the language of the indictment sounds like Rove confirmed Novak's story, and didn't just acknowledge that a rumor existed.

I agree that's what the language of the indictment sounds like. Same type of language was used with regard to Cooper. And Cooper testified Rove said 'I heard that too'.

Seems fitz is under the impression that 'I heard that too' is confirmation and second sourcing.

R flanagan

TM and Woodward believe the CIA assessment found no damage . The CIA claims it hasn't done an assessment. Either way that's irrelevant to the determination of guiilt since the leaker couldn't have known at the time .

Probably the leaker thought he was acting for the good of the country and simply didn't consider the possible downsides -
sort of like overall planning for the
War itself.

Cecil Turner

Either way that's irrelevant to the determination of guiilt since the leaker couldn't have known at the time.

It's not, however, irrelevant to whether it's a critical leak of a covert agent's identity (IIPA violation) and a garden-variety leak of classified information. If, as it appears, it's the latter, it's hard to see how that's worse than Wilson's leaks.

Probably the leaker thought he was acting for the good of the country and simply didn't consider the possible downsides . . .

A presumption of good intentions that's increasingly difficult to extend to the opposing side.

sort of like overall planning for the War itself.

Next time I'm sure the Pentagon will expend more planning effort to counter the fifth columnists among the fourth estate.

Jon H

Lion writes: "Vice President's authority to declassify: Executive Order 12958 Section 3.1c.3."

But even then, the VP has to request declassification, which leads to a Mandatory Declassification Review, before the material is released.

The VP can't just declassify on a whim, by fiat.

That's probably why Rove told someone (Cooper?) that they were in the process of declassifying the information.

MJW

Jon H, I think you misunderstand the purpose of section 3.5, the Mandatory Declasisification Review. It isn't some procedure required before anything can be declassified; it's more like a Freedom of Information provision. If someone outside the government (or inside as well, I suppose) believes something is improperly classified, they can request that the appropriate government agency determine whether the informantion should be declassified. I assume to don't believe if the VP wants some calassified information from an agency, he must file a Freedom of Information request. Same thing.

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Wilson/Plame