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December 01, 2005



"Murray asked her if "we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?"

Mitchell replied that "It was widely known among 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."

But why backtrack now? What will all these journalists say when Libby's defense calls them to the stand?

TM, did you see Drudge's Wilson headline today?

"Joe Wilson Calls Bob Novak An ?A**hole? And A ?Jerk??..."


Geek, Esq.

I say she meant it, but had no foundation or basis for saying so. Just repeating CW.

Gary Maxwell

Cmon Geek you are a no nonsense guy. Surely you can see the difficulties piling up for the Prosecutor here.

Fritz Von Muffberger

Miller has always said she had other sources. Fitzgerald (aka "Ace Prosecutor")didn't think he needed to question her about it. We all know how well it worked out for Fitz that he didn't seek to originally question Woodward.


The conventional wisdom being that everyone knew Valerie Plame worked at the CIA?

Quick someone tell Fitzpatrick to subpeona Geek, Esq. LOL!


Wait a minute. Joe outed her. Ask her.

Jim E.

I didn't see the BBC interview with Miller, but I wonder about the accuracy of the excerpted sentence which claims Miller acknowledges having other sources (plural) for Plame.

In her NY Times essay, Miller wrote that she couldn't remember much aside from what was in her notes, but that she wasn't inclined to think that Libby gave her the Flame name. Libby *may* have given her the Flame name, but Miller didn't think so. So at best, Miller had one other source, but she can't remember who it was. I don't get how the BBC is reporting that she other other "sources."

For all we know, Libby was Miller's only source, and she purposefully "forgot" that as a favor to her friend. In any case, I think the BBC excerpt is misleading, if not totally wrong. Unless, that is, Miller's changed her story.

Is there any new info in TM's post other than AIM's interest in Andrea Mitchell? I like to Mitchell bash as much as anyone, but I don't see anything new here.

Jim E.

Oh, I see that the article says "one of her sources." That makes sense. SHe had two sources, max. I read it too quick. My bad.


Yes, another Fitzgerald mistake involved Miller. As part of the deal that got Judy out of jail, Fitzgerald allowed her to protect her other sources and testify only about her discussions with Libby. So the media, Fitzgerald are actively protecting some sources (the good leakers) and allowing Libby/Rove to take the fall.

The media relationship with Fitzgerald is beginning to remind me of Chief Moose from the famous DC sniper case. Day after day all we heard was how wonderful he was, how caring, how brilliant. It turned out his performance was mediocre at best. I believe the same is true of Fitzgerald.

mary rose

I don't want this case against Libby to go to trial but I sure would like to know what all these reporters knew and when they passed information on to others. I believe this case is multi-layered and that there is much more than meets the eye on the part of the msm reporters.


Good point Kate. The fact that some sources are protected and some are not , looks bad. Just another good point for the libby team to advance. I gather the same room will not be given to them by the defense .


I realize we don't know everything Fitzgerald knows, but how can he continue with this?


I highly recommend watching the actual interview with Miller -- you can get it on the Newsnight (or whatever the program is called) website at the bbc. It's reall an extraordinary performance on her part, and I suspect there are some other interesting tidbits hidden in there. One question: how do we know that Fitzgerald hasn't asked her, and perhaps even gotten answers, about other sources? Surely those who are making that assumption don't take Miller's own account of her grand jury appearance -- the only one we have so far -- to be exhaustive and complete, do you, with no omissions? I never saw it that way. And we know from others that it appears to be part of Fitzgerald's standard procedure to ask reporters about other conversation partners regarding Plame and Wilson, on the input and the output side. From what we can tell, he did it with Woodward and he did it with Cooper (who, if I recall, also intimated in media interviews that he had yet other sources besides Rove and Libby). I see no reason to imagine he limited himself with Miller.

Jim E.

From tomorrow's NY Times: "People involved in the case said that at a minimum Ms. Novak communicated to Mr. Luskin that Mr. Rove might face legal problems because of potential testimony from Mr. Cooper, her colleague. They said Ms. Novak had told Mr. Luskin that Mr. Cooper might have been in contact with Mr. Rove about Ms. Wilson in the days before her identity became public."

A reporter from Time mag secretly tips off Rove's lawyer to help Rove. Damn that liberal media!

Does make one wonder about Rove's (and Luskin's) feigned ignorance over being Cooper's source, doesn't it? They didn't give Cooper a personal waiver until the day he was going to jail. But, hey, it got them past the election.

Jim E.

In other news, Abramoff may be poised to cut a deal. I wonder what in the world he'd be able to tell prosecutors?

Gary Maxwell

Jim E you mean about his contributions to Harry Reid? Or Dorgan? I got more names and they are Dems want to hear them?

Jim E.

I'd love to hear about the Dems, too. Seriously. Clean house if necessary. Care to wager whether Republicans or Democrats are more likely to be shaking in their boots right now?

Rick Ballard

Jim E.,

Abramoff isn't the only lobbyist operating in Gucci Gulch. Careful what you wish for.

Gary Maxwell

Here is what I wager. The reason why you have heard almost nothing about Abramoff recently is that the Democrats fiugred out that they and their leaders were hip deep in it. It was gonna be hard to scream bloody murder and then act like their own should not have to walk the plank!

mary rose

Latest report: Dorgan in deep trouble for re-election in 06!


On what planet have we heard almost nothing about Abramoff recently? It's been a daily story.

richard mcenroe

ed — Especially the part where he's been shoveling money into top Democrats' pants... hehehehe...


Jim - Where are you getting that info on Abramoff? It's fun watching the Republicans here ignore and of course not match your willingness to let things play out as they will, regardless of who from which party gets indicted. But it is easy for you to say, since it will in fact be mainly Republicans who get indicted, and as far as electoral politics go, even if a Democrat gets tagged here or there, the Democrats have more of an opportunity to make the corruption theme work against the Republican-controlled Congress than Republicans do to make it work against the Democrats. It helps, of course, that the Republicans who control all three branches of government appear not to know what to do with that control, and that people are noticing, as the polls currently suggest.

Jim E.

So you folks think the Abramoff story is going to hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans? Or that it's going to impact the Democrats and Republicans equally?


As TM would write: Keep Hope Alive!!

Jim E.

Tomorrow's NYTimes has a story which says Abramoff might plea within the next 6 weeks.


Miller likely has other sources

Waas had this

Miller had spent 85 days in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify before the grand jury about her conversations with Libby and other Bush administration officials regarding Plame
Waas 10/11/05

The LATimes had this last June. (This is the only place hosting the article I can find)

Miller would not ask her sources to waive their anonymity. She said intelligence officials might feel coerced into admitting they had talked to a reporter.
LATimes 6/05

CNN pulled a headline that referred to another Miller source last October as reported by Jeralyn Merritt. This headline may have been in error. The CNN article, which was published the day Miller testified for the second time, did not backup the headline.

New York Times reporter disclosed conversation with second source
CNN 10/18/05

and I've always wondered about this Miller quote from June 2005

CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports Miller said: "I won't testify. The risks are too great. The government is too powerful."
CBS 7/7/05


Jim E - Thanks. I would not take your wager.



I did listen to the Miller interview and you are right, she clearly states that she heard about Plame from additional sources.


Jim E: In fact, Rove gave a blanket waiver. For some reason, Cooper wanted a special waiver and received it after it was communicated to Rove's lawyer. Actually, I suspect Cooper wanted a face saving way to avoid jail. Remember:

-he called Rove
-he brough up Wilson's trip
-the conversation was 2 minutes long.

Hardly the orchestrated, coordinated smear job the media keeps referring to.


Loosen the tape, guys. She's getting a little blue around the gills.

Jim E.


I have no idea how long the Cooper-Rove phone call was. But even it was two minutes, as you claim, that's more than enough time.

Rove told Cooper the conversation was on "deep background" and then, out of nowhere, brought up Wilson's wife. That's a 10 second leak. Why the "deep background" from Rove (and from Libby, too)? Why did Rove say "I've already said too much"? Why does the length of the phone call matter at all?

We know there were at least three officials (Rove, Libby, and Mr. X) that were telling reporters about Wilson's wife prior to the R Novak column. Why don't three "deep background" leaks seem like a coordinated effort to you?


Is there any new info in TM's post other than AIM's interest in Andrea Mitchell?

We are like Jack with his magic beans, hoping something tiny will grow into a giant beanstalk that we can climb to Andrea-land.

Rove told Cooper the conversation was on "deep background" and then, out of nowhere, brought up Wilson's wife.
So both Cooper's contemporaneous documentation of the call, and Rove's contemporaneous documentation of the call are lies, and you have some magical source of information as to what really was said? Does your magical source have any useful information? Tonight's Big Game numbers, for example? Next week's S&P 500 closing prices?

It seems rather pathetic that somebody with such awesome magical powers would be wasting it on a kerfuffle...

cathy :-)


Rove told Cooper the conversation was on "deep background" and then, out of nowhere, brought up Wilson's wife.

Well, Rove's version is that Cooper asked whether the Niger scandal was hurting the Pres, and Rove response was, roughly, "Don't get tto far out on Wilson". Rove said that Tenet would be releasing a statement (which came later that same day), and added that Wilson had other credibility problems.

Hardly "out of the blue".

As to three leakers (quite possibly one from State) being coordinated - why? If enough reporters ask enough different people, eventually some will get answers. And I like my story about Armitage believing that the Wilson and wife anecdote just makes the CIA look sloppy.

We have way more than three commenters here, but I daresay that "coordinated" is not the word that springs to mind.

Added wrinkle - folks who read between the lines of the SSCI can find what might be veiled criticism of Ms. Plame in several points. One of the conclusions (16?) was that Wilson should not have been apprised of the quality of the intel motivating his mission. His wife's request that he "check out this crazy report" comes to mind.

At another point, the CIA is criticized for relying on a spouse. The non-confidentiality is criticized.

The Wilson trip was not the CIA's finest hour, and Armitage or others had plenty or reasons to think so.


Jim E.,

I think that is where everyone is getting hit with sand in the eyes. The story about Plame was not the story. The "I've already said too much" was in reference to Joe Wilson's trip, which had not been declassified by Tenet at the time Rove talked to Cooper. Plame is incidental to the storyline. An explanation as to why he was tapped to go to Niger, nothing more, nothing less.

Jim E.

By "out of nowhere" or "out of the blue," I meant that Rove initiated the information and was not getting any Wilson's wife info from Cooper. I guess I was unclear with that phrase.

I actually agree with Sue that "Plame is incidental to the storyline." I've never understood the importance of bringing her up in the first place. Therefore I find it curious that at least three separate sources found it worthy of discussion. Libby, remember, pushed the Wilson's wife angle two or three times to Judy Miller alone. At a certain point, it's not crazy to start wondering whether it was "coordinated." They were all feeding the same bit of secret information over a period of a few weeks. I get that they were pushing back against Wilson, but I don't buy that they were all happening to bring up his wife as a coincidence. I think it was planned, and I don't think they saw the Wilson's wife info as incidental (even if I do).

I will admit that if Armitage was independently leaking the same info about Wilson's wife that the theory of a coordinated leak is undercut. It doesn't demolish it, however. Libby and Rove, after all, were leaking, and their leak could have been coordinated with each other -- Rove did run to tell Libby about his R Novak conversation, for instance. But, yeah, if Armitage is a source, and TM's theory is correct, it certainly places the leaks in a different light. I hope they go after Armitage, then (esp if he already testified and "forgot" about his own leaks).

Happily (for Fitz), Libby wasn't indicted for leaking, so none of this appears to affect his case (contrary to the hopes of commenters here). Nor would it affect a possible case against Rove for giving false statements.

Sure is curious that Libby and Rove (who is known for his memory, of all things) just happen to forget and misremember only the Plame related parts of their conversations with reporters. Strange, that. It might not have legal implications, but outside of the courtroom I think it's fair to question the liklihood of Rove's and Libby's faulty memories.

Sure is curious that ... Rove (who is known for his memory, of all things) just happen to forget and misremember only the Plame related parts of their conversations with reporters. Strange, that.
You're talking to your magic genie again. According to the reports, Rove claims that he has completely forgotten the entire conversation, and only has the contents of his contemporaneous notes to offer. The email which notes welfare reform, Tenet's presser, and the warning that Joe was lying about who sent him to Niger. Hardly a selective forgetting.

cathy :-)

Gary Maxwell

Jim E

In one post you are adament that Mitchell just misspoke which would have to be "forgot" a conversation or misremembered. Then you see it sinister that Rove forgot. Strange that.


Well, Rove's version is that Cooper asked whether the Niger scandal was hurting the Pres, and Rove response

Let's not forget the part where Rove leaks Plame to Cooper.

"KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip"
Newsweek July 18, 2005


The transcript of the Miller/BBC interview

BBC INTERVIEWER: Who was it who told you that Valerie Plame was a spy?

JUDY MILLER: I don't remember who supplied the name. I remember and I testified before a Grand Jury to who it was that told me that Valerie Plame worked at the agency in the WMD area and that individual was Lewis Libby.. Scooter Libby.

BBC INTERVIEWER: Was there anybody else who named Valerie Plame to you as a CIA agent?

JUDY MILLER: Yes, other people did, but I - my notes - these interviews were two years old. I never wrote a story about it. It wasn't - I didn't consider it very important information at the time and my notes have no indication of who those other people were - and I really couldn't remember.

BBC INTERVIEWER: But if it was Karl Rove, for example, you'd remember.

JUDY MILLER: I'm not going to talk about who my other sources were or were not.

Miller admits twice in this interview segment that others told her about Plame.

Jim E.

Gary Maxwell,

Stories on Rove -- predating the 2000 election, and thus also predating the Plame controversy -- made a point of mentioning his unbelievable memory. The dude supposedly doesn't forget anything. Until now, that is. Andrea Mitchell, on the other hand, is clueless, and I think her recent fumble-bumbling shows that pretty well. I've never heard anyone at anytime specificly rave about how great her memory is.

There's nothing "strange" about my argument. That Libby (given the documentation from the indictment listing his repeated June and July conversations about Wilson's wife with other officials) and Rove (he supposedly had a photographic memory until summer 2003) happen to forget the same, and possibily incriminating, information is indeed worthy of suspicion.

Actually, saying Libby "forgot" is incorrect. Libby consistently and repeatedly mischaracterized several conversation out of thin air. Thus the obstruction indictment. And thus the suspicion.

I'm in favor of piling on Mitchell, by the way. While I don't think she was leaked to, she deserves the scrutiny given her inability of telling a consistent story. It's just that given her obvious confusion, I do think people are cherry-picking her one comment from Oct 2003 and choosing to ignore her other comments.

Gary Maxwell

Stories on Rove blah blah blah great memory


By whom?

The MSM?

My answer to all of this is simple. Human Nature. Have you ever given a deposition? I would bet not. Otherwise you would understand how difficult it is to remember facts from an event 2 years hence.


I'm with Jim E. on this one. I don't believe Rove forgot anything. I just don't think it was done out of malice or to 'get' Valerie or even to 'punish' Joe. It was a non-issue until it was made an issue at which time Rove and Libby started losing their memories because they did not expect the Plame thingy to be a big deal. Wilson's lies was supposed to be the story. I'm sure they were scratching their heads wondering how the Wilson story morphed into an outing of his wife. At least, that is my theory of what happened. Everything from that point on has been to cover their a$$. I don't blame them, since Plame was/is/will be a non-issue, but like Clinton, they should have just told the truth.

I suspect if Armitage is the Woodward source, he will have done exactly the same thing. Thought the Plame issue no big deal, certainly not the big deal it has been made.

Which makes more sense than the bumbled, fumbled, cluelessness that has been the Plamegate/Nadagate.



I continue to believe that Plame is not the object of this investigation. Fitzgerald had a lot to say in his press conference about her so-called cover. Wilson was angry that he was about to be rendered unimportant and not as valuable to the Kerry campaign as he had hoped. I still remember the press interview he was supposed to have with some DNC honcho that got cancelled because of the appearance of partisanship. When he is not the center of attention he has to inject himself into the news in some way Hence the brou-ha-ha of someone outing his wife. How come he didn't ask for Libby to be frog-marched out of the white house?

Patrick R. Sullivan

'I actually agree with Sue that "Plame is incidental to the storyline." I've never understood the importance of bringing her up in the first place.'

After all these years of us 'spainin it?

It wasn't important, but it was factual, background info that helped expose Wilson's lie about having been sent at the behest of the Vice President.


Patrick hit the nail on the head.

Back in summer, '03 the punditocracy was totally focused on the Cheney angle.

Night after night Chris Matthews led with some version of:
***Cheney requested Wilson's trip!! Then, after being told Wilson had debunked the story, Cheney continued to spread the false story!***

In all his interviews during that time, Wilson did NOTHING to disabuse the MSM of their notion that Cheney had ordered the trip. He may not have exactly said it himself, but he wrote (and spoke) things like, "...a trip to Niger at the behest of Vice President Cheney". Dem talking heads turned that into "Cheney sent him" and that became the storyline (funny how the MSM storyline meshed so perfectly with the DNC talking points!).

Anyway, the administration knew Wilson was actually sent by his wife and that he was fanning the false reports. We now know much more than we did then, but there can be NO question that the allegation the administration was trying to shoot down was the one about Cheney's role in sending Wilson.


In fact, focussing on the origins of his trip simply intensified the search for the real origins. Certainly that focus was deliberate. If not, it was immensely stupid, and that is one of the main reasons I suspect Joe was a loner early in this(caveat tardive Dem or Kerry involvement) mess, that is, his utterly incredible stupidity to think that his lies would not be exposed. That stupidity is only matched by the uncritical ignorance of his supporters, or by their deliberate and cynical connivance.

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