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November 01, 2005

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TOPsecretk9

Clarice

Just about an hour or so ago he had a post, but with HUGE TYPE, about Cheney...then all I can thin is AJ's post (which links to LCJ)

I know it is a bit strange because I searched one of his posts, "MAMBO ITALIANO" and even in the cached the site was in tact

clarice

Well, the cached article I saw was slanderous. I know the people involved and I know the facts. I hope he got a letter from a lawyer.

MayBee

It's funny, because another anti-Bush cause celeb is Sibel Edmonds. She was fired after accusing another agent of being spies involved with some Turkish Group. The particular group is headed by Brent Scrowcroft. Just interesting.

Back to Wilson, I have a hard time believing JM would read what Kristoff had to say and not go snooping around his desk to find out who his source was. They are both at the Times, no? I can't imagine she wasn't all over him, trying to figure out who Mr. Important Envoy was. And what his story/background was. Even Andrea Mitchell at NBC says she was trying to figure it out. But JM being tempted with the knowledge that someone at her own paper knew the envoy? Come on- she'd run amok!

toPsecretk9

I know it is a bit strange because I searched one of his posts, "MAMBO ITALIANO" and even in the cached the site was in tact-----

I did this last week...and now when I do it I get only text

Chants

Seems like only the Cheny versus the CIA post is missing.

http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/11/more_on_the_nig.html

topsecretk9

I SWEAR tonights post was this HUGE headline post about that included Cheny...in like 24pt type font IN RED....WTF?

topsecretk9

Did you see it too?

topsecretk9

Chants--- that was to you.

clarice

I loved one of the cached ones--X was in Rome. 2 months later the Niger Embassy was broken into..therefore...

My goodness..

topsecretk9

But why the SCREAMING HEADLINE post and then POOF?

jukeboxgrad

kim: "[what do you think of Wilson's] belief in the existence of WMD through March, and his emergence, as if from a cocoon, a new Niger crusader, in May?"

Unlike Bush (and you, I guess), Wilson grasps the importance of being able to respond to changing circumstances. I realize you're trying to paint this as some kind of sinister character flaw. I call it being in touch with reality.

You treat Wilson's evolution as something extraordinary (and therefore suspicious) when in fact it's anything but that. Wilson was not the only one who knew things in May that he didn't know earlier. A lot of other people had a very similar experience. This is why he struck a nerve.

Pre-war, Wilson did what a lot of us did: he gave Bush the benefit of the doubt. He perhaps accepted at face value a lot of the WMD propaganda emanating from WHIG (especially the portions, like BW and CW, that were further from his areas of personal expertise). He accepted at face value Bush's pledge that invasion was the last resort. He assumed Bush would do everything within reason to give UN inspections a chance to succeed. Wilson probably made the assumption, like most of us, that the war was being planned carefully, and that proper steps would be taken to provide security subsequent to the initial invasion. Wilson made the assumption, like most of us, that we would go to war with a proper number of well-equipped troops. Wilson perhaps made the assumption that we wouldn't go to war unilaterally, and noticed with alarm in early March when France, Russia and Germany took steps against the war, and we proceeded anyway. Wilson was perhaps alarmed when Rummy hinted in mid-March that we might even go to war without the British.

Wilson was perhaps alarmed when "the leader of the Commons, Robin Cook, resign[ed] in protest at the government's decision to back a war without 'international authority nor domestic support', " and when other UK ministers resigned in subsequent days (nine of them, altogether).

Wilson was perhaps alarmed in early March when our intense lobbying efforts among UN Security Council members yielded support only from Spain and Bulgaria, and yet we proceeded anyway.

Wilson was perhaps alarmed when "the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Russia condemn[ed] the impending military action in strong terms," and yet we proceeded anyway.

Wilson was perhaps alarmed on 3/16, when Cheney said "we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Wilson had enough personal knowledge of the uranium situation to understand that even if Cheney meant to say "programs," that Cheney was still blowing smoke. (It took Cheney until September to say he "did misspeak.")

Wilson was perhaps alarmed on 4/12, when Rummy said "freedom's untidy ... stuff happens," (referring to massive looting) which made it pretty clear not just that Iraq was falling apart, but that Rummy was out of touch.

Wilson was perhaps alarmed on 4/18, when tens of thousands of protesters marched in Baghdad, calling for the establishment of an Islamic state.

Wilson was perhaps further alarmed on 5/1, when Bush pulled his Mission Accomplished stunt, which seemed to be a sign of a president out-of-touch with reality.

Wilson was perhaps further alarmed on 5/7, when Bush replaced Garner with Bremer. Wilson may have been coming to the realization that the recovery was in disarray as a consequence of Bush staffing it with ideologues and amateurs.

Wilson was perhaps further alarmed on 6/19, when Rumsfeld dismissed the growing insurgency as "pockets of dead-enders." Wilson may have been recalling what Wolfowitz said two weeks before the invasion: "like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator." Or what Cheney had said a week earlier: "we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." Around this time it was perhaps dawning on Wilson that the war was in the hands of people who were dangerously out-of-touch with reality.

Wilson was perhaps further alarmed on 7/2, when Bush incited our enemies by saying "we got the force necessary to deal with the security situation ... bring them on," another sign of a president dangerously out-of-touch with reality.

Needless to say, through this period it was becoming more and more clear that Iraq had no WMD. Wilson already understood (based on his personal knowledge) that the prewar nuclear hype ("mushroom cloud") was unwarranted. Now it was dawning on him that the corresponding BW and CW claims were also similarly distorted.

I think Wilson was far from alone when in the period following 3/19/03, he witnessed events that made him question his earlier attitudes about the war.

Wilson's pre-war statements prove that he is not some kind of pacifistic anti-war ideologue. Therefore his prewar statements don't detract from his credibility; on the contrary. I think the White House understood this.

By the way, that article you cite every few nanoseconds was dated 2/6/03. Where did you get "March?"

clarice

Beats me. You know those dastardly neocons..LOL (niters)

Chants

I did not see it, nope. I have been trying to access it, though.

The blog appears to be up; but the most recent post [Cheny versus the CIA] results in in a blank page whenever I try to view it.

I can access all previous posts.

Probably not a big deal. Could be some error with typepad.com.

clarice

Well, juke, I don't see a way out of that later donning of armor to champion for the right--If he knew we were acting on bad intelligence, he should have said so before we acted on it.

The tune "It's a fine time to leave me Lucille" keeps running thru my mind as I scrolled thru his latest tale.

clarice

More seriously, Juke--the NIE was signed off by all the intel agencies and it was unanimous on all the points in the SOTU.

And as I cited on the thread where we discussed this--as late as April of 2003 he said in an online WaPo chat that the wmd argument was only a part of our justification and if we found none, it wouldn't make much of a difference..So I'm not buying his latest baloney.

topsecretk9

Chants
Blank going directly and the cached has no screaming Cheney...I know cause I left a comment...could be type-pad, but then TM is type-pad and so ate alot of others i try (in tact)

Aj's got a link to LCJ tonight

http://www.strata-sphere.com/blog/

so maybe AJ hit a nerve

Chants

And there is this from his 2/28/03 interview with Bill Moyers:

"WILSON: I think war is inevitable.
Essentially, the speech that the
President gave at the American
Enterprise Institute was so much on the
overthrow of the regime and the
liberation of the Iraqi people that I
suspect that Saddam understands that
this is not about disarmament."

MJW

I don't see any contradiction between what Andrea Mitchell said on the Russert show and "Capitol Report" as long as you assume she learned about Plame from sources other than the administration.

Which leads me to a mini-rant...

Why she just doesn't come right out and say whether that's the case. What is the origin of this bizarre coyness that seems the be affecting reporters -- Reporters! People whose job is to report the news! -- such as Mitchell and Russert? Surely Mitchell was aware of the claims that she'd said Plame's CIA connections were known in the circles in which she ran. Why didn't she confirm or deny it, rather than waiting for someone to dig it up months later? Surely Russert knows how to say, "Before I read Novak's column I didn't know Wilson's wife worked at the CIA" if that's what he meant in the statement NBC released. Why didn't he say it? Why leave us in the dark?

clarice

I'm too tired to do it now--but we ought to pull together all the reporters stories and build a list of those who we knoeknew and those who are so ambiguous on the topic they appear to know.

MJW

Whoops, I meant to say: "Why doesn't she just come right out..."

Note to self: After rewording a sentence with cut-and-paste, make sure it makes sense before clicking "Post."

Chants

TS-9:

Interesting post on Strata, thanks for the link.

I am not sure if I buy all of it. But there is one salient point made that may cause a lot of problems for Larry J: The forgeries were generated in 2000, well before 9-11, the march to war, and before Bush took office.

MJW:

I think the reporters don't want to talk about this leaka-go-round very much because they may have to compromise sources if they do. Those sources are their life blood.

Gabriel Sutherland

This is what Cliff May wrote on 09/28/2003 on National Review Online.

That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of.

On the same day, Cliff posted a comment in "The Corner" that offered more detail.

In fact, one friend, a Democrat, cited his wife's occupation to me to suggest that Wilson was not as rabid a partisan as I believed (and as I had alleged in NRO).

Male, Democrat, former government employee, friend of Cliff May, is there more detail?

I'm still looking.

One thing to note about Cliff May's commentary on Joe Wilson is that he was criticizing Wilson way back in May 2003, after Wilson wrote a column that appeared in "The Nation" and was making public appearances criticizing the war in Iraq.

MayBee: You're referring to the American-Turkish Council. Though, there was another group Sibel mentioned. It is the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Scowcroft is on that too along with Richard Perle, Dick Cheney(left when he was named VP), James Baker, Kissinger, Armitage, Zbiginiew, Lloyd Bentsen.

Also, note that Sibel is not "anti-Bush". She may have been adopted by the anti-bush clique, but she's remained below the fray and stuck to her issues with the FBI leadership.

MJW

Chants: I think the reporters don't want to talk about this leaka-go-round very much because they may have to compromise sources if they do. Those sources are their life blood.

Though that may explain of of their actions, I don't see how Mitchell confirming she'd made an earlier statement, or Russert unambiguosly stating whether or not he knew Plame worked for the CIA before he got the phone call from Libby would compromise any sources.

MayBee

Thanks, Gabriel. Good information.

I didn't mean to imply Sibel was anti-Bush, but just as you said, adopted by the anti-Bush crowd. You know, a flattering profile in Vanity Fair, what have you.
I also don't think Scowcroft is anything but an honorable man.

MJW

I think we are learning that when Fitzgerald claimed in the indicment that Plame's job at the CIA wasn't "common knowlege," he meant it in the same sense as saying the color of her eyes isn't common knowlege. I wonder if his investigation into how widely her employment status was known to reporters was conducted with the same rigor as the last-minute PR stunt of questioning her neighbors.

MayBee

ha! Now I just read (via AJ Strata's link) that Joe met Val at the Turkish Ambassador's party and that he was an advisor to a Turkish Consulting company, CPS.

All roads lead to Turkey!
Sorry, that has nothing to do with anything, does it.

jukeboxgrad

JM: "I remember specifically being struck by idea that we were about to spend multi-millions on an official investigation in an attempt to discover something that Andrea Mitchell and/or several others could have cleared up in a 30 second phone call -- so much for the public's right to know!"

The "several others" include such people as Bush and Cheney. And they were so close to the action that they didn't even need to spend a dime on "a 30 second phone call."

jukeboxgrad

Kim: "it appears you have had a revelation about how much the Wilsons were the subject of inquiring minds from early May on."

But wasn't Plame's identity common knowledge long before May? I'm not sure you have your talking points in order.

It's true that I used to think the story started on 7/6. Now I know better. I think I'm not alone.

It's interesting that so many of those "inquiring minds" were on the federal payroll.

"was the intention to out Plame or debunk Joe"

Please explain why you think those goals are mutually exclusive. Why not kill two pesky critics with one illegal stone?

It's highly plausible that outing Plame was an explicit goal. It's hard to understand why mentioning Plame was considered highly material, if the goal was simply to "debunk Joe" and convince the public that Bush's 16 words were well-founded. It was a WSJ reporter, oddly enough, who said: "That Ms. Plame recommended her husband doesn't undercut Mr. Wilson's credentials for the job of trying to figure out whether Saddam Hussein was seeking the raw material for a nuclear weapon in Africa."

Since it's hard to understand why mentioning Plame was considered so important (important enough to take the risk of Libby getting into the kind of trouble he's in), that tends to create the impression that outing her was indeed the goal.

There are all sorts of indications that Cheney/Libby had been at war with the CIA for a long time, and playing hardball with Plame would send a chilling, unambiguous message to other CIA folks who might have been considering standing up to WHIG in some manner.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "We know?!?!"

You're claiming we're not in a position to know that Libby outed Plame to Miller on 6/23/03.

Let me remind you of a few basic facts. According to the WSJ, Fitz is "a respected prosecutor of unquestioned integrity." According to Fitz, on 6/23 "LIBBY informed her [Miller] that Wilson’s wife might work at a bureau of the CIA."

That's enough for me. The fact that it's not enough for you is just another indication that you're stuck in unreality.

By the way, your repeated comments about the "Bureau of Land Management" might confuse some innocent bystanders who make the mistake of thinking your words should be taken seriously.

jukeboxgrad

top: "you have trouble with reading comprehension ...Wilson WAS part of the Kerry campaign in May of 03."

Nice job moving the goalposts, weasel. I never denied that "Wilson WAS part of the Kerry campaign in May of 03."

Since you have trouble remembering your own words, here's a little reminder. You said this: "Wilson tells the Kerry Campaign about his CIA Mission AND the outing of his wife... BEFORE she is outed??? BEFORE Pincus's story?"

In other words, you weren't just claiming that "Wilson WAS part of the Kerry campaign in May of 03." You were claiming that Wilson told Kerry about the outing of Plame. This allegation is unsupported by the citation you offered; the vague text "allegations against the White House involving his wife" does not indicate that "outing" was discussed. Maybe Wilson told Kerry "the White House is sneaking around saying things about Valerie, but at the moment I can't tell you more about why that is." The citation makes only an extremely vague statement about what Wilson said about Plame, which means you're not in a position to claim that Wilson said anything to Kerry about "the outing of his wife."

You were further suggesting that Wilson did this "BEFORE Pincus's story." That allegation is also unsupported by the citation you offered, because the citation doesn't say that Wilson said anything about Plame in May. The citation says only that Wilson said something about Plame prior to 7/6.

In other words, you were going way beyond "Wilson WAS part of the Kerry campaign in May of 03" (a simple and innocuous assertion that is indeed supported by the citation you offered).

As I said, you're a weasel, and you're making shit up.

jukeboxgrad

Toby: "I think George Tenet is a miserable rat bastage"

Maybe you'd like to explain why Bush gave him a medal. Maybe "slam-dunk" had something to do with it.

Terrie: "as though everybody in Georgetown hadn't already known she was under cover"

How odd that neither Sidey, May, nor Peretz (or anyone else) can manage to give a single example of a conversation they were a part of where Plame's identity was discussed, prior to 5/6/03 (Kristof).

Jim E: "Andrea Mitchell said this about Joe Wilson's trip: 'He [Wilson] was sent over by some of the covert operatives in the CIA at a very low level, not, in fact, tasked by the vice president.' "

Excellent find. I agree with your analysis, and I agree that Fitz is probably on top of this.

jukeboxgrad

Sue: "If you can explain how he shopped his story without revealing his involvement"

I think you're mixing up two different things. I think there's no dispute that Wilson "shopped his story," and this involved telling people he went to Niger. That's not the issue. The issue is that various people are claiming that Wilson outed Plame (one timely example is here).

Wilson knew that discussing the Niger issue had nothing to do with Plame, and he avoided dragging Plame into it. What the White House did is very, very different. They explicitly dragged Plame into the picture, because aside from some forged documents, they had nothing else to use against Wilson.

So it's not that "he shopped his story without revealing his involvement." It's that he shopped his story without outing Plame.

"It wouldn't take long to figure out who his wife was."

The fact that Wilson's wife was the former Valerie Plame was not a secret. The fact that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA was indeed a secret. This is another basic distinction that is often obfuscated.

"it wouldn't come as a big surprise to learn they [reporters like Miller and Mitchell] had access to people who knew the Wilson/Plame connection"

Again, "the Wilson/Plame connection" was never a secret. They lived openly as man and wife. Finding out that her name used to be Plame was a trivial thing to accomplish. However, it was not common knowledge that she worked for the CIA. And there is no sign that folks like Miller or Mitchell knew she worked for the CIA until the White House started leaking like a sieve.

jukeboxgrad

JM: "On Tim Russert's personal show last week, Mitchell specifically stated that she was not one of the leak-ees."

Which simply means, if you trust her, that she didn't hear it directly from Rove or Libby (or someone else in the administration). This still leaves wide-open the possibility that she was only one step removed: that she heard it from someone like Novak, Cooper, Miller, Pincus, or any number of other reporters who were indeed part of the first circle of "leak-ees."

And especially if she heard it from Novak (who apparently was discussing it with random people he bumped into on the street), that would explain why she would regurgitate it in a manner so consistent with the spin that was reflected in Novak's own article, a spin that emanated from the White House.

Jim helpfully posted text where Mitchell denies what I've just speculated. I don't trust her.

jukeboxgrad

JBS: "I would think that Wilson pretty much went 'public' weeks earlier than his 7/6/05 NY Times editorial."

(I realize you mean 7/6/03. I've had my own problems with dates recently.)

As far my comments on when Wilson went public, I was trying to make a fairly narrow point about this exact text: "before going public with them this summer." In my opinion, that phrase is a reference to his oped (7/6/03). I was responding to a claim that the phrase was a reference to earlier articles (such as Pincus or Kristof). That claim doesn't make sense. One reason is that those articles weren't in the "summer."

"He claim to have been sent to Niger by our gevernment--not the CIA--but the governmnet. Now I always thought the CIA was part of the government, but apparently it is not to Joe and he is emphatic in making the distinction."

As I've said elsewhere, I have a feeling he did that (at least in part) as a way to protect Plame's cover.

"if you scroll to the bottom you can see that Joe's bio refers to his wife not as Mrs Wilson but as the former Valerie Plame."

The fact that Wilson's wife was the formerly Valerie Plame was never a secret (the secret was that she worked for the CIA). The repeated comments about this (such as yours) are meaningless.

jukeboxgrad

macranger: "Not necessarily"

You are disputing the claim that "Novak ONLY uses that word [operative] to describe spies." You're wrong. Novak's prior usage of the term indicates he uses it when he means to say "spy" (this is demonstrated here).

"Operative in washington journalese has a wide application."

You can make whatever generalizations you like about "washington journalese." The problem is that Novak has a track record of using this particular word in a particular manner.

"David Corn was in fact the first to use the term 'US intelligence officer working covertly' "

Corn started his article by saying "if conservative journalist Bob Novak can be trusted." Novak identified Plame as "an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." One definition of operative is "spy." As I've said, Novak's prior usage of the term indicates he uses it when he means to say "spy." It's also logical that someone working in the WMD area would be working covertly.

Novak provided more than enough information for anyone (including Corn) to reach the conclusion that Plame was probably undercover.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "Mrs. Wilson had no covert role involving weapons of mass destruction."

Notwithstanding various earlier leaks that created all sorts of confusion, I think it's now reasonable to treat Fitz as a reliable source. He says that Plame was a CIA officer working for the clandestine branch of the CIA, and her identity was classified. We also know that she worked in the Counterproliferation Division, with her area of expertise being WMD.

So I'm not sure what you mean by "no covert role," but for some strange reason I'll treat Fitz as more credible than you.

"Hawley told Novak that her covert role and her WMD role were completely separate, and that she had not worked in her covert role for a very long time."

Can you share your source for this information? This is an interesting detail that I don't recall running across before.

One summary of the Harlow/Novak statements is here. I can't find support for your claim, either there or anywhere else.

"So much for the notion that it the obstruction of justice is the only possible explanation for mixing up similar conversations with reporters a few days apart when looking back from a couple of months."

Libby's main problem has nothing to do with "mixing up similar conversations with reporters a few days apart when looking back from a couple of months." Libby's main problem has to do with conveniently forgetting that he heard about Plame from a bunch of people in the White House.

jukeboxgrad

Sue: "there was a link to a Novak column on the net in October 2003 where he used the name Valerie Flame."

The article is here. Discussion about it is here.

May: "I have a hard time believing JM would read what Kristoff had to say and not go snooping around his desk to find out who his source was."

It makes perfect sense that she would rush to Libby's office wearing kneepads, to ask him what he knew. Eventually, he gave her an answer.

jukeboxgrad

clarice: "If he knew we were acting on bad intelligence, he should have said so before we acted on it."

You're joking, right? It's hysterically funny that you'd like to blame him for speaking out, and then in the next breath blame him for not speaking out.

Funny how this reminds me of the Bush attitude towards the CIA. Before the war, neocons accused the CIA of being too soft on Saddam. (A good example of this phenomenon is here.) Now we're told the war is the CIA's fault because the CIA was too hard on Saddam. How peculiar.

Back to Wilson. He spoke up in many different ways, starting from the time he returned from Niger. He also pursued a variety of alternate channels before finally deciding to write the oped. In particular, before writing the oped, Wilson tried to communicate his concerns to Rice, privately. The message he got back was that "Rice was not interested and he should publish his story in his own name if he wanted to attract attention" (link).

In other words, Rice was apparently given a chance to say "please don't write this" and she passed on the chance.

"the NIE was signed off by all the intel agencies and it was unanimous on all the points in the SOTU."

Really? I guess that's why it said this: "the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious" (link).

You're using the special RNC dictionary which has a peculiar definition for the word "unanimous."

"he said in an online WaPo chat"

I would be happy to respond to that, but not without exact text and/or a citation.

Hairy Reed

"According to Fitz, on 6/23 "LIBBY informed her [Miller] that Wilson’s wife might work at a bureau of the CIA.""

Actually, Miller did not say Libby said Wilson's wife worked at a bureau of the CIA. Miller had in her notes "wife works a bureau?" It is not clear that Libby said anything. It could have been a question Miller wrote down to ask Libby. Miller's notes and memory are both suspect. Fitz asked her if bureau usually referred to FBI and Miller said yes, but it could have meant CIA. What? Cental Intelligence Bureau? Now Fitz turns it into "a bureau of the CIA". Puleeeeze.

jukeboxgrad

MJW: "What is the origin of this bizarre coyness that seems the be affecting reporters ... Why didn't he say it? Why leave us in the dark?"

I agree with you that reporters have been indefensively coy. However, I'm much more concerned about the way the White House has been, and still is, doing essentially the same thing (with a bunch of lying thrown in, for good measure).

"the last-minute PR stunt of questioning her neighbors."

You don't know what Fitz did long before that.

He addressed this in his press conference. He said there wasn't a last-minute flurry of activity. There was a last-minute flurry of attention.

This seems to be a case of you and the media assuming something didn't happen simply because you weren't paying attention, and didn't notice.

chants: "The forgeries were generated in 2000, well before 9-11, the march to war, and before Bush took office."

You surely understand that "the march to war" started long before "Bush took office."

If you really don't grasp that, a good place to start is here.

jukeboxgrad

Hairy: "Actually, Miller did not say ... "

I'm quite familiar with Miller's public statement. I have a feeling Fitz is too. Fitz, on the other hand, is also quite familiar with Miller's testimony. You're not. If you're relying on Miller's public statements, and if you trust Miller more than you trust Fitz, that's your problem.

"Now Fitz turns it into 'a bureau of the CIA'."

'CIA bureau' is a fairly common phrase. Yes, I think it typically means "local CIA office," which seems to not apply here, but I still think you're grasping at a very vague straw.

Syl

I'm just halfway through but want to point this out:

It's what we're not seeing. There is no disconnet nor confusion among Andrea's different statements. I think she's credible.

(1)Andrea Mitchell knew that operatives had sent Wilson on the trip.
(2)Andrea Mitchell knew that Wilson's wife was CIA.

She didn't make the connection between Valery and the trip until after Novak's article.

She was not the recipient of a leak.

Whereever she got the info that operatives had sent Wilson wasn't Libby or anyone in the WH or Cheney's staff...they were into 'Wilson's wife sent him'. Andrea did not receive that info.

Chants

Jukeboxgrad stated:

::You are disputing the claim that "Novak ONLY uses that word [operative] to describe spies." You're wrong. Novak's prior usage of the term indicates he uses it when he means to say "spy" (this is demonstrated here).::

That article by Josh M. is October 15, 2003. It is predated by a post on his blog dated October 9, 2003 where he states this:

::On September 18th, 1997 Novak referred to this same “Bob” on CNN as an “an undercover CIA operative.”::

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/002066.php

Color me unconvinced. If "operative" only means "undercover" to Novak, then his use of the phrase "undercover CIA operative" would be redundant. That's not precise at all.

Marshall probably realized this inconsitency in Novak's use of the term "operative" so he removed it from his October 15, 2003 article.

As for you march to war ponderings, you're missing the forest for the trees.

Syl

JBG

It would help if you got your boss to let you take more frequent breaks so you wouldn't have to post twenty messages in a row twice a day obsessively attempting to address every single point made by every single commenter in the preceding 12 hours.

I tend to just scroll past them. I can't be the only one.

kim

Hey Juke, what did the reporters know and when did they know it?
====================

kim

What did they report, and when did they report it? The jury(if) will get the chance to hear this all explicated.

Better try for foreman so you can keep them straight.
==================================

Rick Ballard

Syl,

You're definitely not the only one. The Lanny Davis style was mindnumbingly boring when practiced by the originator, as practiced by a wannabe it's the fifth circle of hell.

kim

Diabolical tactic to avoid interruption. It works, too.
==============================================

JM Hanes

Jukebox:
"The "several others" include such people as Bush and Cheney."

That falls under articles of faith, not observable phenomena. All we really need to know is that Novak cooperated with the special prosecutor, which means that Fitzgerald has known precisely who Novak's sources were almost from the start -- and yet chose not to indict them under any of the relevant, available statutes. The bullet Rove apparently managed to dodge at the eleventh hour was, in all likelihood, the same sort of perjury indictment which was delivered to Libby.

The only thing left to satisfy here is curiousity -- something I suspect that Andrea Mitchell could probably manage to do for us quite well, all on her own.

Jim E.

Just a heads-up: Supposedly David Shuster will file a report on tonight's Hardball that will move the Plame story further into Cheney's lap. We'll see how devastating it really is. Shuster's reporting is usually OK -- one just has to be able to separate the reporting from the sensationalist conclusions he sometimes draws. (And if it's that great a story, why wouldn't it appear on a "real" news show, like the Nightly News with Brian Williams?) Anyways, for us Plame-a-holics, it might be worth viewing.

TM

I am going to work my way through this thread to see how it is handled, but honestly, Jukebox, you already have a rock-solid reputation for relentless and uninformed hackery; there is no need to embellish it with nonsense like this:

We used to think that "before the hullabaloo" meant before 7/6/03 (the day Wilson went public in his oped). Now we understand that the real hullabaloo started at least two months earlier, when Kristof wrote about Wilson (without naming him).

Perhaps you have forgotten, although FOLLOWING THE LINK might help, that the Powerline quote as from July 2005.

Are you sitting here pretending to us that you are so uninformed as to believe that it was only *after* July 2005 that we learned that "the hullabaloo" started with the Kristof column?

Well, OK, I beleive it. However, for the rest of us, the fact that "the hullabaloo" started prior to July 6, 2003 was well established by, gee, this WaPo article from Oct 12, 2003.

Or Clue-seekers (a group that evidently does not include Jukebox) might have noticed that on my timeline, there is activity preceding the Wilson op-ed.

Welcome to reality, Jukebox.

[Note - on the off-chance that Jukebox has back-pedaled from this insult to our collective intelligence, let me re-emphasize, I have stopped to mock his first pass at this, and have not looked for subsequent back-pedaling. That said, if the impression that I am pissed off is coming through, well, I put up with a fair amount of shit from lefties whining about my pre-disposition to decline to admit that on ocassion I am wrong. With the shoe on the other foot, we are having a bit of a character test for the other side, and I am quite curious to see how it develops. Jukebox is damn close to exile here, frankly, FWIW, and his many, many words will not be missed, by me, anyway.]

Sue

Juke,

Once again, you ignore the words that are out there. The neighbors interviewed by reporters said they had not been interviewed by Fitzerald's office before that Monday and were wondering why they hadn't been. They also said they had asked around the neighborhood and none of their neighbors had been interviewed earlier.

Sue

Juke,

You are making a huge leap there. How do you know what Wilson told reporters? How do you know what reporters found out on their own when they were out sourcing his story? You don't. But possibly, Fitzgerald does. Hence, no indictments for leaking classified information. The only thing that makes sense.

cathyf
According to Fitz, on 6/23 "LIBBY informed her [Miller] that Wilson’s wife might work at a bureau of the CIA."

That's enough for me. The fact that it's not enough for you is just another indication that you're stuck in unreality.

So Fitzgerald is psychic? He looks at notes which are ambiguous, whose author claims that she doesn't know what they mean, and he knows what they mean?

By the way, your repeated comments about the "Bureau of Land Management" might confuse some innocent bystanders who make the mistake of thinking your words should be taken seriously.
By the way, your repeated assertion that it is possible to know what Libby told Miller on June 23, 2003, might confuse some innocent bystanders who make the mistake of thinking your words should be taken seriously.

The CIA is not a "bureau" and only someone utterly clueless about the government's national security apparatus would write "Bureau" and mean the CIA. Coming from someone who thinks that an "operative" can only be a spy, your repeated assertions that "bureau" can only mean a government agency whose name does not contain the word "bureau" in it are just getting tiresome.

cathy :-)

TM

For sleuths on a low budget (my hand is held high) - Lexis has what they call an "A La Carte" service at their website - search all sorts of news services, and view the pages for $3 per transcript.

Now, the wrinkle - their search results return five or six words arouund each "hit" - plenty to launch the complementary google search.

And sometimes (not every time), you get the free transcript elesewhere.

And in the particular case of Andrea Mitchell, I had the idea that someone re-ran the Oct 2003 clip on a recent show from July 2005. Since that is a very specific quote, the search is easy (and no luck).

Anyway, check it out - Lexis A la Carte at Lexis.com

And if I seem to have the fervor of the newly converted, yes, I am playing with my new toy that I found after that Chris Matthews transcript was dug up a few days ago. No more will I fight a nuclear war with a bow and arrow!

As for Creepy, and Mickey's analysis - you have not pushed Mickey's analysis through to the breakthrough conclusion (which I am about to unveil!)

Suppose that in July 2003, Libby should have found a reporter through whom he could have laundered his leak, but did not.

Come the announcement of the criminal referral, Libby blanches and realizes he *really* needs to tie down that loose end. But who might the pre-informed reporter have been?

Fortune presents itself - Andrea Mitchell conveniently announces on Oct 3 that she would have been the perfect alibi conversation.

Libby checks his phone logs, hoping to find a chat with Andrea Mitchell documented therein. No luck.

But wait! Here is a chat with Andrea's boss! Almost as good. Too bad it wasn't that motormouth fool Matthews, but Russert it is.

So Libby invents his backstory, picking Russert after seeing Mitchell in early October (before his first FBI interview.

Crazy? Sure, but lefties will love it.

[Sidebar - so far, Jukebox is not exactly having a credibility rally. Cliff May's Sept 29 piece implies he learned about Plame when he started digging around about Wilson after the july 6 op-ed. That was dubbed hackery. But no one told me at the time that it was hackery because it only counts if you knew about Plame before May 6.

I can go either way - do we vote JukeBox off the island, or do we let him blather on as a useful idiot? Or maybe he.she.it should go away for a few days and let me cool off?

Whichever way this goes, JukeBox, don't be calling any one else a lying weasel - the identity of the lying weasel has been made crystal clear.

TM

where he used the name Valerie Flame. Typo? Or something else?

A question for the young. As Bing Crosby said, trying to read something or other, "I'm playing the trombone myself". Novak and MIller are old enough to engage in typos.

Oh, Cathy, Novak wrote this:

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

One might see how Andrea Mitchell inferred from that that she was working with WMDs.

TM

Good remembering by Terrie on the Peretz admission.

That was in the time vault, but not the memory vault.

That idea of a central post for reporters who knew is excellent, and moments away. Well, minutes.

sue

TM,

I'm a newbie. This is your site. Which makes you king. :) If you say off with his head, his head will be offed. (I'm new here, but not to MB/blogging, and as such, well used to useful idiots, so whichever way you go, I'll be able to live with it.)

clarice

If juke stays I wish he'd identify himself at the beginning of his posts so I can save time and not be forced to read all the way thru them before ignoring them.

Creepy Dude

Brilliant TM. Both plausible and certain to get Libby indicted. You're right-I love it.

FWIW trust but verify with Taranto.

Creepy Dude

Excuse me-certain to get Libby convicted-I double love it.

cathyf
Libby's main problem has to do with conveniently forgetting that he heard about Plame from a bunch of people in the White House.
That's another thing I'm curious about. It's just as clear that Libby conveniently "forgot" that Judy Miller isn't a tree. Why didn't Fitzgerald charge him for obstruction there? Fitzgerald has sworn testimony that Libby had seen for himself that Miller walks around inside buildings, and talks. And we all know that trees are plants, and plants don't walk or talk.

cathy :-)

TM

Sorry, still working my way down - I want to give Jim E a HUGE "I'll be damned" - that Andrea Mitchell quote is fascinating:

He [Wilson] was sent over by some of the covert operatives in the CIA at a very low level, not, in fact, tasked by the vice president."

Now, Mitchell actually interviewed Wilson for his July 6 Meet The Press coming out that coincided with his op-ed. (And I need to get that Oct 3, 2003 transcript again, but she says Novak was on the same show and he and Wilson met in the green room. Well, that should be in Wilson's book).

But would Wilson have told her that, with the word "operative"? No.

Would Novak have heard that by July 6? Maybe, but I don't think so.

And if Andrea had Wilson on the show, and was on the intel beat, why *not* give her a record-straightening call?

FWIW, Andrea was on the extended list of reporters that showed up in WH phone logs, although it was WH records of contacts with those reporters that was subpoenaed.

Well, let's see, she also got the "Wilson's wife is fair game" call from Rove after the Novak column (but not on July 8).

OK - how is she all over and around this story with (a) no subpoenas (gee, maybe she had Kristof's lawyer), and (b) Russert knowing nothing?

Also - a very handsome step to the plate by Jim E, who may provide an inspirational example to the rest of us.

Gary Maxwell

TM

Leave him alone. Really, I find his posts as annoying and as devoid of anything useful as you do. The sheer volumn recently has such that like Syl I have taken to just skipping his posts. Works for me.

Now this is the guy who about three days ago on a previous post called me a moron because I pointed out Andrea Mitchell as having been on the record about this. I posted the Taranto quote a few hours before you but strangely no apology. That ok too. We all know who the moron is.

But think about this, The national leaders of the Democrat party are behaving as poorly as he is. Perhaps he should be forgiven for not having a role model to follow. It has to be really distressing after the last few days. No Rove indictment and nothing more than a lying to the GJ charge for a guy no one has ever heard of. DeLay is obviously on his way to whipping the ass of DA Earle and Alito is proving to be difficult to land a glove on. Its enough to make a poor Democrat wander around feeling mad at the world. Temper tantrums abound.

Gary Maxwell

Creepy :

you wrote:

FWIW trust but verify with Taranto

Typo right? You meant to type Larry Fing O'Donnell correct?

TM

Did Mitchell testify? Of course, Fitz already knows who leaked to Novak. I would suggest that it was the same exact person who leaked to Mitchell. Presumably Fitz already knows all of this, and it's damning to the administration, rather than exculpatory.

Well, sure, if she was hearing it for the first time on July 7. That is not exactly how she phrased it on CNBC, which clearly dates the buzz to the June Pincus era, when they were playing "Who's the envoy?"

...those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger.

And her source could easily have been someone at State or CIA - "Get's this - the source for Pincus and Kristof is an ex-ambassador whose wife sent him!"

It is not as if no one inside government knew until the WH did.

And Sue's response is so insightful, yet head-slappingly obvious, that I am agog.

Let's extend her thought, that if he shopped his story, any good reporter would start sourcing it. It wouldn't take long to figure out who his wife was."

Let's see - Wilson sits down with Kristof and tells his interesting story. Kristof does *nothing* to verify it? Or, when he calls around State and CIA, does he find someone who knows the story of Wilson and wife?

Same question for Pincus (and Kristof again), both of whom had clearly talked to a lot of people by mid June.

And (per the indictment) by late May State knew about the connection, and had told Libby.

One might wonder, how did they not know? People blabbing about Wilson's trip were blabbing about classified info, so it wasn't as simple as "its a secret".

And Pincus did say that when he got the leak in July, he did not believe it. What's not to believe, unless he had heard something earlier?

Patrick R. Sullivan

If there was any doubt, juke has definitely proved that a mind is a terrible wasted thing on him.

BurbankErnie

Juke is good for a laugh, and you give him a place to be so he won't hurt others elsewhere.
I see it as a community service thing you are providing TM. I say let him stay.

And he has also called me an idiot who makes shit up.

Rick Ballard

"I can go either way - do we vote JukeBox off the island, or do we let him blather on as a useful idiot?"

TM - as ruler of this island kingdom it is most kind of you to invite your subjects to express an opinion. Exile seems rather a merciful outcome considering that the crime of lese majeste can rightfully be punished by drawing and quartering with the disparate parts being sent to the four corners of the kingdom as a warning and the head displayed above gate of the castle.

I remain firmly against any such display of leniency as it can have no beneficial outcome. The potential costs of the negative externalities occasioned by the loss of the miscreant's income from Soros and subsequent probable reliance upon the public treasury for sustenance will occasion the depletion of funds that might be better used for other matters. The offence requires the use of the sword of justice.

In obedient fealty, etc.

cathyf
For sleuths on a low budget (my hand is held high)...
You need a tipjar, dude!

(Although, in retrospect, we screwed up here. Taranto is the OpinionJournal.com editor, and the WSJ's official blogger. And of course the WSJ has its own fully-paid-up, full-price subscription to Lexis/Nexis. So if we had thought to send him emails saying, "hey, can you find out if there is an Andrea Mitchell transcript of this conversation that multiple people remember, but we can't find any evidence of it?" we probably would have had our evidence months ago.)

Creepy Dude writes:

FWIW trust but verify with Taranto.
Yeah, but as TM points out, that is the beauty of Lexis Ala Carte. The WSJ pays the big $$$, and it only costs $3 to verify...

cathy :-)

boris

How about probation:

Single screen posts. Non consecutive.

clarice

About the shopping, TM, exactly. And not only would Pincus and Kristof have known, but if the WaPo and NYT still have editors, so would those people have known. Unless they have a special rule that anti-Administration articles like these do not need backup. And wasn't it Puncus who wrote of the Fourth of July part at the Wilsons? And didn't one or both quote a "CIA analyst" who backed up Wilson's claims.

It doesn't rise to the same level of certainty at Sidey or Peretz but I'd put them both in the most likely camp.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Let's see - Wilson sits down with Kristof and tells his interesting story. Kristof does *nothing* to verify it? Or, when he calls around State and CIA, does he find someone who knows the story of Wilson and wife?'

Since it happened at the Nat'l Press Club, it would have been simple for Joe to turn his head to Blondie, and ask, 'Well, Honey, do you want to explain it to him, or should I?'

jukeboxgrad

TM: "you already have a rock-solid reputation for relentless and uninformed hackery"

I have a long way to go before I could get even close to the standard you set. One recent example is your tricky approach to the fascinating "welfare reform" subplot, as I described here. If you've issued a correction or update and I missed it, I'd love to know.

"the Powerline quote as from July 2005."

I'm well-aware of the date of the Powerline quote. What I don't get is why you think it matters so much.

" ... decline to admit that on ocassion I am wrong. With the shoe on the other foot ... "

I've been wrong a reasonable number of times, and I've quickly made corrections and apologies as soon as it's been shown. I'm sure you realize I can provide examples of this. I'm interested in knowing if you can provide any counterexamples.

"on my timeline, there is activity preceding the Wilson op-ed."

How helpful that you're raised the subject of your timeline. I notice that after some introductory material, your timeline begins with four dated entries, in March, May and June. Entry number five jumps out, though. For some strange reason you bolded it! And here is the text of that entry, in full: "July 6, 2003: Enough prequel! The article that started it all: Ambassador Wilson, 'What I Didn't Find in Africa'."

My, my. "The article that started it all." And "Enough prequel!" (exclamation mark yours).

Hmm, let's see. When I suggest that the key initial event was 7/6/03 (or that at least it looked that way to many people for a long time), you sternly point out that anyone with a clue knows that " 'the hullabaloo' started prior to July 6, 2003." You claim that "for the rest of us, the fact that 'the hullabaloo' started prior to July 6, 2003 was well established by, gee, this WaPo article from Oct 12, 2003."

So I guess that means you're clueless, since your own timeline (posted 7/14/04, nine months after WaPo ostensibly "well established" the authoritative ruling on when "the hullabaloo" actually started) highlights 7/6/03, and describes what came before as "prequel," and identifies the article published on this date as what "started it all."

Anyway, if we recall where this ridiculous tangent began, it was Powerline in 7/05 saying "Andrea Mitchell was asked, on MSNBC, whether it was generally known to news people, before the hullabaloo, that Ms. Plame worked for the CIA. She answered, somewhat reluctantly, that it was."

What did Powerline mean by "before the hullabaloo?" I think they meant before 7/03. Why would I think this? Among other things, it's reasonable to suppose they have the same view you expressed in your timeline (which maybe you should correct/update since you apparently think this point is so momentous).

The irony of all this is that I was giving Powerline the benefit of the doubt by interpreting them that way (by assuming that "before the hullabaloo" meant prior to 7/03). If you interpret the Powerline phrase to mean "prior to 5/03" (for example), then it seems to indicate that Powerline was really stretching the truth about what Mitchell actually said (which is that reporter curiosity was triggered by Kristof, on 5/6/03).

In any case, the whole question of how to characterize "before the hullabaloo," or to pin down one day when the whole thing started, is much more a matter of opinion than it is a matter of fact. So your tantrum suggesting I've made some kind of major or obvious error is completely misplaced. Especially because the view I expressed is exactly the same view expressed in your own timeline. And because this particular question doesn't add up to much, in my opinion, and it's a mystery to me why you're making such a big fuss about it.

"on the off-chance that Jukebox has back-pedaled"

We'll see if you now backpedal from castigating me for expressing the exact same view you expressed in your own timeline.

"Jukebox is damn close to exile here"

There are lots more where I came from (and a bunch of them are already here, including several far more erudite than me), so it hardly matters.

Then again, I guess maybe you're eager to join the ranks of most righty bloggers, who are well-known for doing whatever they can to make sure only one side of the story is heard.

jukeboxgrad

chants: "If 'operative' only means 'undercover' to Novak, then his use of the phrase 'undercover CIA operative' would be redundant. That's not precise at all."

Marshall identified every single time Novak had previously used the phrase "CIA operative" or "agency operative." There were six examples. In all six instances, Novak was referring to a covert agent. Marshall also showed that every time Novak meant to refer to an analyst (someone not undercover), he said "analyst."

Your point is that in one of the six examples (where Novak said "operative"), Novak also used the word "undercover." You think this proves that if Novak meant "operative" to mean "undercover," he would have added the word "undercover" (when discussing Plame). Unfortunately, you haven't bothered to explain why Novak didn't bother to say "undercover" the other six times, if your theory is correct. The answer is obvious: because to him, "operative" means "undercover," in this context.

The fact that on one out of six occasions he threw in a redundantly redundant word ("undercover") is a very thin straw for you to hang onto.

Anyway, let's recall why we care about this. One reason is that the claim has been made that it was Corn, not Novak, that really outed Plame, because Corn suggested that Plame was working "covertly," and Novak didn't use that particular word (or the word "undercover").

How asinine. Anyone accustomed to reading Novak would know that in his writing, "agency operative" always means "undercover." The fact that on one occasion (out of six) he also explicitly threw in the word "undercover" means nothing, except for the fact that he's human and is going to throw in an unnecessary word every now or then. (More proof that he's human is that he once wrote "Flame.")

Again, Marshall's full analysis on this point can be found here and here. He provides other reasons, aside from the ones I've mentioned.

Creepy Dude

TM - I will speak up for JukeBoxGrad-of course let him stay!

I got banned from Polipundit for strictly arguing ideas. In all modesty, it was Polipundit's loss. Even where JBG and I are wrong (not that I can point to a spot offhand) there is value in having your assumptions challenged.

The righty sites that don't allow comments or continually ban lefties that dont kiss their ass have grown sclerotic in their dogma and lost all value.

jukeboxgrad

Syl: "I tend to just scroll past them."

You should appreciate that by grouping my messages together I make it easier for you to do so.

You, on the other hand, deposit dreck everywhere, fouling up the joint.

rick: "as practiced by a wannabe it's the fifth circle of hell"

No one is holding a gun to your head. Maybe you should go play in traffic.

kim: "what did the reporters know and when did they know it?"

What do you think?

jukeboxgrad

jm: "That falls under articles of faith, not observable phenomena."

The question was how to solve what was a mystery for so long: what is "the identity of either one or both of the administration officials who were responsible for the leaking."

I said that Bush/Cheney could have solved this mystery a long time ago. How? By finding out the truth and telling us. This should have happened within the first few days.

Why does it take an "article[s] of faith" to grasp what's obvious, that right from the very start Cheney had reason to understand that Libby was up to his eyeballs in this matter?

Are you defending Cheney's right to hide the truth about what goes on in the White House, or are you defending Cheney's right to look the other way while Libby is engaging in all these shenanigans? Both, I guess.

"Fitzgerald has known precisely who Novak's sources were almost from the start -- and yet chose not to indict them under any of the relevant, available statutes."

Fitz is extremely methodical and patient. And he's not done yet.

"The bullet Rove apparently managed to dodge at the eleventh hour"

You might want to keep the cork in the champagne bottle just a little longer: "Rove remains a focus of the CIA leak probe. He has told friends it is possible he still will be indicted for providing false statements to the grand jury. 'Everyone thinks it is over for Karl and they are wrong,' a source close to Rove said. The strategist's legal and political advisers 'by no means think the part of the investigation concerning Karl is closed.' Cooper's attorney, Dick Sauber, said Fitzgerald certainly meant it when he told Luskin last week that Rove remains in legal jeopardy and under investigation" (link).

TM

On Tim Russert's personal show last week, Mitchell specifically stated that she was not one of the leak-ees.

Ahh, she said this (Lexis a la carte, baby!):

MITCHELL: You know, I should have spoke--'cause there's been a lot blogged about all of this--I was called by the CIA because it was erroneously reported in The Washington Post that I was the recipient of the leak before Novak's column came out, and I had not been. So I was never questioned because I simply told the FBI--and, you know, NBC put out a statement that night--that I had not been a recipient of the leak; in fact, I had learned about it from Novak's column like everyone else. Then after the fact, a lot of us had gotten calls and conversations with people, you know, `Hey, how about the Novak column?' But that was after the fact.

Uh huh. She was asked about the "fair game" call from Karl Rove, IIRC. I wonder just how expansive a chat she had about her state of knowledge.

Oh, vex me - I think Chris Mattthews popularized the "fair game" quote. But she got a post-Novak call that attracted attention, and may have cleared that up with the FBI.

And I love the "I should have spoke...". What, and respect the public's right to know?

Rick Ballard

And with a roar of indignant flatulence, he departed.

jukeboxgrad

One more thing about the hullabaloo over "hullabaloo."

Yes, at a casual glance, 7/6/03 looks like the key start date (and TM's timeline reflects this). Yes, as early as 10/03 (WaPo), signs emerged that interesting things happened prior to that date.

However, in my opinion, the indictment give us important new information. In my opinion, the indictment is the first very solid indication that the White House was very engaged in this prior to 7/6/03. This overturns a certain conventional wisdom, which had said that the White House was mostly responding to what they read in the paper on 7/6/03. The indictment now makes clear to a wide audience that the White House was paying close attention at least a month prior to that time.

So what is the real start date? Kristof on 5/6/03? Cheney telling Libby about Plame on 6/12/03? Wilson's column? Novak's oped? There's a case to be made for any of those.

I don't think it really matters, as long as the underlying facts are portrayed clearly and honestly.

Creepy Dude

TM-it's so quibbling I'm challenging my sanity by asking-but have you got a Lexis cite for the purported quote featured by Taranto?

Because in the above quote Mitchell directly contradicts that quote.

TM

The Wilson excerpt:

I know [Karl Rove's] wife's name because we get a church newsletter. So, why he wouldn't know my wife's name, perhaps he doesn't read the newsletter.

Quick, get that church newsletter and see if she is in that as "Valerie Plame"!

I love Joe.

And I guess everyone knows that Cooper says he did *not* get a name from Rove. And the Novak side was "I heard that, too", or "You know about that, too". No names. Oh, well.

TM

OK, the Cliff May Corner posting noting that a Dem cited Plame's occupation is from Sept 2003.

It may well be that the Dem was citing that fact after Novak publicized it, as a general Wislon-boost. (I.e, he is not married to a flag-burning hippy, he is married to one of the Good Guys. Well, this must have been a Stong on Security Dem if they thought the CIA was the Good Guys).

Creepy Dude

Mrs. Maguire's husband has got to drop this stupid idea that because "no names" were mentioned means you didn't identify someone.

Mrs. Cooper's husband is going to testify he learned about Mr. Wilson's wife from Mrs. Rove's husband. Period.

TM

So your tantrum suggesting I've made some kind of major or obvious error is completely misplaced.

You have no idea what a tantrum might be. Not yet, anyway.

If your comments start disappearing, don't spend too much time wondering why.

You cannot possibly think I need to listen to this crap.

Or, if you do think so, you are, as usual, wrong.

TM

Irish - I found the same transcript as Taranto (and habe more excerpts), but its not on the net.

Creepy Dude

Ok-Thanks. Mitchell has now completely zero credibility with me.

Cecil Turner

Even where JBG and I are wrong (not that I can point to a spot offhand) there is value in having your assumptions challenged.

There certainly is. However, Juke's posts tend to be a very few cogent points amid collections of red herrings, converse arguments, and seemingly endless ad hominems (generally of the abusive sub-type). Those above are typical. The problem is not that it challenges, but the opposite: stupid lefties tend to drive away smart ones. (Or at least that's the theory.)

As to banning, I'm ambivalent. Her posts are mostly wasted space. (And grouping does, in fact, make it easier . . . it's not a bug, it's a feature.) And though those posts tend to disrupt discussion, not facilitate it (which I suspect is her intent), there is the occasional gem, and I'm not convinced we'd get a better replacement.

Randy

Certain factions in the media are really bending over backward to defend the indefensable.I'm hardly surpised Andrea Mitchell was in on the little Iraq Group secret. She's been a shill for the Bush insiders for years. Maybe Rove asked her to say those things. Maybe she got paid to say those things, like Armstrong Williams was paid. No matter. Her comments are immaterial. Fitzgerald has been investigating this crime for 2 years. Cockamamy wingut theories are of no relevance to him. He believes Plame's identity was a secret until Novak spilled the beans. That's good enough for me.

FITZGERALD (10/28/05): "In this case, it's a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn't to one person, it wasn't to Valerie Wilson, it was done to all of us. And as you sit back, you want to learn why was this information going out. Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused, or did he intend to do something else? And what are the shades of gray?"

jukeboxgrad

TM: "Jukebox is not exactly having a credibility rally. Cliff May's Sept 29 piece implies ... That was dubbed hackery."

You made an assertion about May that I don't think is warranted. You said "Cliff May's Sept 29 piece implies he learned about Plame when he started digging around about Wilson after the july 6 op-ed."

Here's what May actually said: "On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative. That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of. I chose not to include it (I wrote a second NRO piece on this issue on July 18) ... "

May seems to be saying that as of 7/14 (and certainly prior to 7/18), May already knew about Plame: "I had been told that."

You're assuming that May is trying to say this: "I didn't know as of 7/6, but then I started digging around, and by 7/14 or 7/18 I found out." But that's speculation. When May said "I had been told that," he could be saying "I had been told that on 7/14/03" or he could mean "I had been told that at a cocktail party three years ago."

Here's why that matters. In my opinion the problem is that many people citing May (although not you, to your credit), apply the latter interpretation (and May's words certainly do nothing to rule out the latter interpretation). In other words, May has often been cited as proof that Plame's identity was common knowledge.

When I mentioned May earlier (here, for example) I was merely suggesting that May's claim is not the proof that some people pretend it is.

By the way, I have not recently accused May of hackery (although I could, because he is indeed a hack). So I don't know where you got "that was dubbed hackery." And I can't fathom why you think my mild and defensible assertion about May constitutes a "credibility" problem.

The irony here is that your view of the reality regarding May (he found out about Plame in July) is essentially identical to my view of the reality regarding May.

jukeboxgrad

Sue: "They also said they had asked around the neighborhood and none of their neighbors had been interviewed earlier."

I understand your point, and I respect your opinion about this. But frankly, I don't take this hearsay via unnamed neighbors to be very conclusive, for a variety of reasons. For example, on a prior visit, an agent might have said "please don't discuss this interview with anyone." If this neighbor was later asked by another neighbor "did the FBI come see you," the person might think the proper thing to do is dodge question, or simply lie. There are lot of variations on this.

Also, a neighborhood has lots of people in it. I don't see how a random neighbor is in a position to authoritatively say "I've asked around and I know for sure the FBI hasn't been here before."

Fitz is extremely thorough and methodical. He did not wake up that day and say "oh gosh! I forgot to talk to the neighbors!" Was it a PR stunt? Not exactly. I think he was sending a specific message to a particular witness or target, perhaps in response to a new statement that person had recently made to Fitz.

"How do you know what Wilson told reporters?"

I don't, and neither do you. But it was you who said "If you can explain how he shopped his story without revealing his involvement." I explained why I thought you might be implying that Wilson outed Plame. Certain people are suggesting he did so, even though, as you point out, we don't know exactly what "Wilson told reporters," and there is nothing to indicate that Wilson outed Plame.

"You are making a huge leap there."

I really have no idea what leap you're talking about.

Creepy Dude

HER posts? I'm in love ;)

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "So Fitzgerald is psychic?"

I doubt it. But he has a lot of information you don't have. Therefore I think you're making a mistake when you assume he's making a mistake.

"your repeated assertion that it is possible to know what Libby told Miller on June 23, 2003, might confuse some innocent bystanders who make the mistake of thinking your words should be taken seriously."

The point I'm making is not so much that my words should be taken seriously. It's that Fitz's words should be taken seriously. You're not doing that.

Fitz made a statement regarding "what Libby told Miller." I think you would be well-advised to give Fitz the benefit of the doubt.

"Coming from someone who thinks that an 'operative' can only be a spy"

Straw-man alert. I never said that. I merely said that Novak has a very clear track record of meaning "spy" 100% of the time he has used phrases like "CIA operative."

"your repeated assertions that 'bureau' can only mean a government agency whose name does not contain the word 'bureau' "

Straw-man alert. I never said that. I merely said that "bureau" is not, a priori, incompatible with "CIA." Do some googling on it and you'll see what I mean.

jukeboxgrad

"The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him."

Thanks to TM posting this text from Novak, I notice something I never noticed before: "counter-proliferation officials." This is another clue that Novak knew Plame was covert, and that he communicated this to his readers (at least those readers who were knowledgeable about the structure of the CIA). The counter-proliferation division is part of the Directorate of Operations, which is the clandestine branch of the CIA.

The sentence doesn't prove that "his wife" works in the same branch as the aforementioned "counter-proliferation officials" (the officials could have reached across to another department to ask the wife to be involved). But it's implied. And it also happens to be true.

jukeboxgrad

clarice: "I wish he'd identify himself at the beginning of his posts"

A fair request. I really couldn't care less whether or not you read my posts, and I'd like to make life as easy as possible for you. So I'd like to call your attention to the fact that I usually start my posts in a distinct manner. It usually looks something like this:

clarice: "I wish he'd identify himself at the beginning of his posts"

As far as I can tell, no one else around these parts uses that exact style (at least not at the moment).

Here's another tip: tap the space bar, instead of scrolling.

Truzenzuzex

So.

I think we can now discern a very likely reason why Libby and others were not charged for mishandling classified information.

The fact of Plame's employment with the CIA was actually known by the press corps after all. IF that is in fact the case, Fitzgerald would not want to indict Libby or Rove for the leak, or anyone else for that matter. Why?

Well, if the "classified" information were already known by people in the press corps, it would be very difficult for Fitzgerald to obtain a conviction under 18 USC 793. A jury would not be willing to send people to jail for generally disclosing information that was already known outside the circle of personnel authorized to know it.

Can you imagine Libby or Rove's attorney calling Mitchell to the stand, who would testify that many in the press knew that Plame was employed at the CIA from sources other than Libby or Rove, then Fitzgerald trying to convice the jury it was still a crime for Libby or Rove to leak the information?

Maybe it sill is, but no jury is going to buy it. Fitzgerald knows that. That is why there were no 18 USC 793 charges against Libby.

Jim E.

It's TM's site and he can ban or not ban whomever he likes.

But since he did ask, I say JBG should definitely stay. Maybe I'm not clued into some backstory, but TM's skin gets considerably thinner when JBG enters the picture. I have no idea why TM would call JBG "uninformed" when the main complaint the righties have about JBG is that he provides too many informative links in his posts. In the context of the bile thrown around here (by both sides), I've always found JBG to be on the polite side. If TM thinks JBG has been unusually abusive and hackish, then TM doesn't read all of his comment threads. TM's been a little crabby ever since the indictment came down.

Speaking of reading the comment threads, maybe TM should work on that. I already provided the Andrea "I should have spoke..." Mitchell quote at 7:35pm above (although I didn't include that particular line). Hope you didn't blow $3 today on the quote I provided yesterday.

Truzenzuzex

Jukeboxgrad:

Thanks to TM posting this text from Novak, I notice something I never noticed before: "counter-proliferation officials." This is another clue that Novak knew Plame was covert, and that he communicated this to his readers (at least those readers who were knowledgeable about the structure of the CIA). The counter-proliferation division is part of the Directorate of Operations, which is the clandestine branch of the CIA.
I really don't see how the whole "covert" thing matters at all. In the first place, nobody with actual knowledge of Plame's status has suggested she was "covert", expecially Fitzgerald.

In the second place, "covert" status is irrelevant. As has been previously discussed here and in other places at lenght, the IIPA is simply not applicable in this case for various good reasons.

So why, exactly, is her "covert" status important?

TM

Mrs. Maguire's husband has got to drop this stupid idea that because "no names" were mentioned means you didn't identify someone.

Oh, for heaven's sake, Irish, read what Joe Wilson said, and what I am rebutting before you go calling people stupid.

If that is too much, I did *not* say Rove did not ID anyone. I said he did not give her name, contra Wilson.

let me know if this is too complicated.

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Wilson/Plame