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December 08, 2005

Comments

Dwilkers

"The inquiry has focused on whether any government official disclosed her identity as part of an effort to disparage the findings of her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador who had accused the Bush administration of misinterpreting intelligence about Iraq's unconventional weapons program to justify the war."

You know, there really is a large amount of either inaccuracy or outright mendacity in that sentence.

I often wonder when I read something like that if they do it out of ignorance or if it is an outright attempt to...um, let's call it spin. Or is it just laziness?

maryrose

Why is it a crime to disparage someone's findings or to actually disagree with them. Isn't that a Ist amemendment right? Since when does the Times get to determine what a crime is. Today the paper in Minneapolis is talking about an appearance for some Democratic hack. In the article they state as fact that Bush manipulated intellegence to go to war in Iraq. They believe by repeating the lie often enough that people will accept it as fact while ignoring all of Wilson's lies.

DougJ

It makes me sick to think that Scooter Libby might be facing jail times for acting in a way that can only be described as heroic. Joe Wilson had to be stopped. He was undermining the war effort and advancing the cause of the foreign intelligence agencies that employed him. Libby was just trying to get the press to stop buying Wilson's lies. And furthermore, there was no underlying crime since Plame was just a desk jockey. It's just awful for poor Mr. Libby, who is one of the best White House aides we've ever had.

maryrose

I forgot to mention in previous post that Wilson is the guest speaker at this fundraiser in Minneapolis.

kim

Completely deliberate. One of the things I find most despicable about much of MSM is their use of their skill with language to obfuscate rather than clarify things. Truth is hard enough to get at when there is no agenda. When the agenda becomes the object of the communication skill rather than the truth, then you see the sort of bullshit we have to put up with. It is the action of corrupt people or people who are unable to see the truth. In either case, MSM seems doomed. Good information drives out bad.
===============================================

maryrose

Doug, I completely agree with you but take heart: as regard to Wilson: the bigger they think they are the harder they fall.

kim

CT, it is just a little too pat. Consider it a window on to the pathology of the left. Er, maybe, right.
=================================================

Jeff

The Sun evidently has a very odd notion of bipartisan, to say nothing of distinguished. I presume they are basing the first term of the characterization of the people involved in Libby's defense fund on the fact that Woolsey was CIA director under Clinton. But Woolsey is a well-known (or notorious, depending) so-called neocon and hardly counts as a Democrat, it seems to me. It's kind of like calling Hitchens a leftie. As for distinguished, the groups mentioned are certainly distinguished by something, but I'm not so sure by what, except getting a whole lot wrong in the recent past.

kim

Take heart, indeed. It must be awful for poor Mr. Jibby, one of the best trolls we've ever had, to be reduced to this variety of humour for succor.
===============================================

kim

More details of wrongness, please, Jeff, as if it were particularly relevant. Don't bother with detailing Jeanne's past.

What's Forbes had wrong lately except Presidential Election strategy?
=================================

Geek, Esq.

That list about is about as bi-partisan as Ronald Reagan was.

I expect that next the NY Sun will be advocating a joint Nobel Peace Prize for Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay.

Jim E.

Yeah, how is the "Free Scooter" group bipartisan?

TM wrote: "This careful positioning by the Times is certainly consistent with my suspicion that their columnist Nick Kristof received an early leak and is playing his own private Bob Woodward game."

I read the NY Times sentence in question as merely a boilerplate summary of the investigation, not "careful positioning." In order for the sentence to be consistent with your suspicions, it would mean Nick Kristof disclosed his leak to reporter David Johnson, which makes no sense.

Anonymous Liberal

Tom, surely you jest. I find it hard to believe that conservatives have been reduced to this sort ends-justify-means stuff. Even if you furvently believe that Libby did no wrong in the first instance, does that really justify lying and obstructing a federal criminal investigation? And why should Libby, who is more connected than anyone in Washington (and likely to be pardoned because of it) be entitled to the best defense that other people's money can buy? If conservatives are suddenly so concerned that every criminal defendant be entitled to an O.J. Simpson-esque dream team of lawyers, can't they find more deserving people to give their money to? I can point you toward plenty of defendants facing serious charges that have no powerful connnections, no hope of pardon, and will be forced to go to trial with a just-out-of-law-school public defender. I'm sure they would appreciate donations, too.

And finally, regardless of what you think of Libby, isn't it pretty clear that any money provided toward his defense will just go toward meaningless legal posturing meant to delay the resolution of this matter and prevent Libby from having to come clean. If you really think he did no wrong, save your money for the pardon phase. At this point, giving him money just makes it more likely that whoever he's protecting will never be exposed and the truth will never come out. If we just knew all the facts, then we could have a genuine and informed debate about whether pardons should be issued. Giving money to the Libby Defense Fund just makes it more likely that we'll never know what actually happened.

maryrose

Anonymous liberal,
Libby deserves our financial and moral support,
cause;
A. He is wrongly indicted.
B. There has been no crime committed.
C. The only liars here are Wilson and reporters.

Geek, Esq.

Maryrose and DougJ sound like they're the same person.

Which is hilarious.

noah

Libby deserves our help because the whole deal was apparently dishonest from the get go. Dishonest by the CIA because even if Plame was on the books as being NOC, the CIA knew she didn't fall under the statute. Dishonest by the NYT and others clamoring for an investigation which they would not welcome if their publication of sensitive national security related info came under similar intense scrutiny.

And finally he deserves our support because he may be entirely innocent!!!

maryrose

Geek,Iwon't include the esquire because I don't what it means.
I can assure you that Doug and I are not the same person we just happen to think ali ke.
Noah, Thank you for your cogent summary.

TM

In order for the sentence to be consistent with your suspicions, it would mean Nick Kristof disclosed his leak to reporter David Johnson, which makes no sense.

Hmm, I could ask Viveca Cooper how much sense it makes. But actually, I am thinking that the Times editors are in on Nick's little surprise.

I haven't rallied myself to write up my full Kristof theory, only partly because the audience that cares is down to the Few and the Proud. I've also been awaiting developments, of which there have been few.

And, I still hope to uncover a smoking gun, but that has gotten harder since I more or less quit looking.

I find it hard to believe that conservatives have been reduced to this sort ends-justify-means stuff.

Have we? I am no fan of his conduct before the grand jury - as I have said before, I think he may have panicked and invented a silly story.

And donating money to well-connected millionaires does seem a bit odd (I have read elsewhere that the Libby fundrasing will all be very private, which is why contact info is scarce).

But I would surely contribute a few bucks towards a rollicking defense - maybe he really does have some reporters who leaked to him, and it is quite possible that his "deception" of the grand jury was irrelevant to the investigation.

*IF* his only deception was his characterization of his own knowledge and state of mind when he spoke with Coooper and Miller, and *if* he is truly confused about his Russert conversation...

Oh, shoot, time does not permit...

Chants

What, exactly, were the Joe Wilson "findings" that the government official(s) in question purportedly wanted to disparage?

Findings are fact determinations resulting from, among other things, a hearing or an investigation. Joe Wilson did conduct an investigation for the CIA. He issued his findings orally which were recorded in a report.

I do not want to get too far into how well controlled and formal Wilson's investigation was, but "Clown Show" has been used to describe it. And the clarity and certainty of the report resulting from Wilson's findings has been described as a document vulnerable to wishful and subjective interpretation, (hat tip: Cecil Turner). Suffice it say that Wilson's investigation and resulting findings constitute exactly the sort of poor spy-craft that State and the INR found worthy of disparagement. He was not the "goal" and neither was his wife. They were collateral damage.

What the NYT wishes its readers to beleive is that the "findings" that the government wished to "disparage" were the same as those expressed by Wilson (via Kristof) in May 2003 and Wilson himself in July 2003. But those were not at all findings. Those were Wilson's informal speculations based on a Clown Show investigation resulting in a meaningless report.

So no, the NYT is not just repeating a "boiler plate" summary of the investigation.
They are carefully crafting thier words to obliquely bolster the credibility of Wilson's speculations as they were printed in thier own pages. They also are crafted to deflect attention away from the CIA and to keep the story focused on an "Administration vs. Wilson" theme.

As for the bipartisan team leading Libby's Defense Fund, it does not appear to be very bipartisan. I could not care less. Libby's trial is going to be the forum which will either prove or disporve much of the rampant speculation engaged in by all of us.

creepy dude

Jesus H. Vishnu Almighty TM! I honestly thought all these years you only played dumb...

clarice

Good work, Chants.

kim

Props to Chants, not by chance.
Libby's defense shows happenstance.
====================================

Terrie

Bipartisan schmipartisan. It's New York journalism, which is tantamount to London journalism without the naked women. At least the Sun clearly identified this opinion piece as an editorial in contrast to the Times.

At one time, Woolsey and Kirkpatrick were - and perhaps still are - conservative Democrats a la Zell Miller. Thus the guardians of the Libby Defense Fund are bipartisan like the Clinton administration, which prominently featured liberal Republican William Cohen, was bipartisan.

If you are feeling really charitable, I am sponsoring a Salvation Army Red Kettle on my blog, which you can find by clicking on my name.

Jim E.

Well, Ronald Reagan used to be a New Deal Democrat, but if he were resurrected from the dead to serve on a panel with Gingrich, Rove, and Hugh Hewitt, no one would consider the panel "bipartisan."

Gary Maxwell

Boy it seems to me that I heard about David Gergen being a Republican for a long time both during the Clinton administration and since.

But this is a bit of press bias that the left finds truly objectionable. Why this guy is a "neocon" !!! LOL

And Chris Hitchens is not a leftie? News to me. He is just a liberal who saw the face of evil in terroism up close and personal. To me current knowledge, he and I would disagree most of the time on other matters.

Rick Ballard

Jim E.,

You make a very good point. Given that 38% of the Republican party consists of Democrats who have seen the light it is difficult to come up with a precise appellation. I am sure that the use of "former" must be painful to hear for some who have found solace in making the correct decision. There must be a locution that does not bear some taint of self-disdain or regret. Certainly worthy of some thought.

Geek, Esq.

You make a very good point. Given that 38% of the Republican party consists of Democrats who have seen the light it is difficult to come up with a precise appellation. I am sure that the use of "former" must be painful to hear for some who have found solace in making the correct decision.

The "Segregation Now, Segregation Forever" Dixiecrats had to go somewhere. They followed Strom Thurmond into the Republican party.

Cecil Turner

Even if you furvently believe that Libby did no wrong in the first instance, does that really justify lying and obstructing a federal criminal investigation?

I just love the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach. It's so much easier than tedious things like trials. On at least some of the specifications (e.g., those involving lying about the Cooper conversation), it's amazing to me the charges were even brought. Libby could stipulate to Cooper's version of the conversation (words to the effect of "I heard that too") and still prevail. The rest are at least "not proven."

And why should Libby, who is more connected than anyone in Washington (and likely to be pardoned because of it) be entitled to the best defense that other people's money can buy?

Considering he was essentially forced to self-incriminate, I'd think liberals (especially the ACLU) would be falling all over themselves to complain about his rights being violated. The deafening silence on that score strikes me as the worst sort of "ends-justify-means stuff." Personally, I think he's a little weasel and wouldn't spend a dime to help him pull off that bit of Clintonian BS he attempted. But I'm also acutely aware of the double standard I'm seeing from those on the left.

maryrose

Geek,
In 1968 , if I was old enough to votr I would have voted for Humphrey. 4 years later I voted for Nixon. As the daughter of an AFL-CIO member I followed his lead in determing even then that democratic party{get out of Dodge in this case Vietnam } was the wrong way to go. Today as Yogi Berra would say it"s Deja Vu All Over Again."

JM Hanes

Cecil

"Considering he was essentially forced to self-incriminate..."

Libby chose not to invoke the 5th Amendment, ergo his rights were not, in fact, violated. Nor was he forced to lie to the grand jury, if in fact, that is what he did. With that proviso, however, I'd agree that double standards proliferate on this topic; I just don't think they're confined to one side or the other.

I might be inclined to contribute to Libby's defense fund if he & his legal team were making a credible commitment to take this case to trial. At this point, however, I'd have no interest in assisting any effort to avoid further public scrutiny. I really want to hear what all the parties involved have to say -- on the record, for a change, under oath, in open court.

Gary Maxwell

on the record, for a change

What he said.

JM Hanes

Geek

"The "Segregation Now, Segregation Forever" Dixiecrats had to go somewhere. They followed Strom Thurmond into the Republican party."

Yeah, and with a few notable exceptions, they're all, like, mostly dead now. Get a new talking point.

JM Hanes

Gary

"What he said."

Actually, make that she.

Truzenzuzex

Cecil:

Considering he was essentially forced to self-incriminate, I'd think liberals (especially the ACLU) would be falling all over themselves to complain about his rights being violated.
Well "forced" is probably the wrong choice of words. He was undoubtedly coerced into not invoking his 5th amendment rights. However, he retained the option to them, even if the administration made that option unpalatable.

As usually happens when a case is tried in the media, the defendant is placed in the uncomfortable position of having to prove his innocence. Fortunately, if Libby can make a good stab at doing so without making a fool of himself, he stands a pretty good chance of getting a full pardon. Since most criminal defendants are not fortunate enough to know the President personally, his 5th Amendment trade-off was wise.

What wasn't wise was lying, if he actually did. That might cost him a shot at a pardon. So really, Libby has two chances to beat this rap - introduce reasonable doubt and win over the jury, or make a strong affirmative case for innocence. If he does a good job of the latter, he will be able to increase his chances for a pardon in case the verdict goes against him. Another tactic would be to try to put the prosecution on trial, but I think that would be an uphill climb.

As far as contributing to a defense fund goes, I will have to wait a bit - I want to know if there is "any there there."

Gary Maxwell

OK make that she. (As long as you are not spoofing me too). We have had enough of that for a tad.

maryrose

JMHANES: Agirl: Who would've thunk it?

Rick Ballard

Tru,

I wonder how much could be raised by auctioning off the opportunity to generate questions for use in examination of press witnesses?

topsecretk9

Sorry if someone already made this point, but...TM

""The inquiry has focused on whether any government official disclosed her identity as part of an effort to disparage the findings of her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV,"

In an early Kristof leak, does the leak have to be necessarily disparaging?

A "Kristof" earlier source, could perhaps have been complimentary and/or encouraging!

Or am I nuanced-challenged and that WAS your point?

topsecretk9

Rick

I'm sorry, but..

"auctioning off the opportunity to generate questions for use in examination of press witnesses?"

this is truly a brilliant idea!

I mean how about just auctioning off potential witnesses. The top 10-15 earners get called!

topsecretk9

On my last point, pretty sure it was Brent Scowcroft who encouraged Wilson 'to go public' with his story!

Since he was encouraging Wilson, Wilson would be happy if Scowcroft were encouraging Kritof too!

Rick Ballard

TS,

If the D-Team doesn't have TM's archives on a hard drive in their office and hasn't hired you to provide analysis, then I don't think much of them.

When they come knocking, don't go cheap. $200 per hour and double if you have to go anywhere.

kim

I agree, JM Hanes' voice is gender neutral. Not easy to do.
============================================

topsecretk9

THAT IT! Scowcroft is Kristof's "earlier source"
Scowcroft was (and for a while after) on the Presidents...drumroll please..."FORIEGN INTELLIGENCE COMMITEE"

From the Next Hurrah:
But they grew to know each other better through their mutual involvement in the American-Turkish Council. They discussed the rising push for war, but Scowcroft assured Wilson that the “right-wing nuts” would not “win the policy.” (Wilson 290) In Fall 2002, as both Scowcroft and Wilson started publishing op-eds against regime change, Scowcroft was at least partially responsible for bringing Wilson to the attention of the Administration. Scowcroft brought a copy of Wilson’s San Jose Mercury News column to show some people in the White House.

...The last straw came when Dr. Rice, in a June 8 appearance on Meet the Press, told Tim Russert: “Maybe somebody in the bowels of the Agency knew something about this, but nobody in my circles.” That was a lie, and I knew it. She had to have known it as well. The next day, I called a former government official who knew Dr. Rice and expressed my disgust at her continuing refusal to tell the truth. He replied that the interview had not been one of her finest moments. (Wilson 332)

...For four months, from March to July, I did what I could to encourage the White House to come clean on what it knew, including speaking to people close to the administration, senior officials at the State Department, and to staffs of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. [emphasis mine]
…suggests Wilson may have been working through Scowcroft (and others) for months to try to get the Administration to admit they knew the Niger claims were bunk...

A call to a senior official in the administration elicited the suggestion that I might have to write the story myself. I took the remark to heart and called David Shipley, the editor of the op-ed page at the New York Times. He immediately offered me fifteen hundred words to tell my story.
Still, I hesitated, in the hope that pressure from journalists would force the hand of the administration. But two weeks after the Rice remark on Meet the Press, with my name now openly circulating among the press, it was clear that sooner or later my anonymity was going to be sacrificed on the altar of the story. (Politics of Truth 332)”


AND do you think THIS is how Scowcroft introduced or suggested Kristof? Aspen at the Dem's Wye River retreat!

Rick Ballard

By George, the roots do appear to be entertwined. Libby was right.

Mebbe $250 an hour, TS.

TP

TS. According to Joe (I don't quite have the page reference in his book), Val had a crush on Brent. Brent also sent copies of the editorial to GHWB and to James Baker (now Libby's co counsel).

Those Aspens are all connected at the roots. : ^ ).

The interesting thing about the realists is the high level of amorality in their foreign policy outlook. They may be pissed at the Neo-cons, but they are more likely to rally around a successful fait accompli than they are to go off the deep end and run. A lot of these people will, in my opinion, end up as core foreign policy thinkers in the Democratic Party--a big step up from no thinking at all.

topsecretk9

TP
a big step up from no thinking at all. some might argue this in fact, could be a big step back....And yes she did have a crush on Scow and I thought the passage of Wilson describing Scow's "jaguar" as his ONLY lifes little indulgences... COMEDY.

A call to a senior official in the administration elicited the suggestion that I might have to write the story myself.

I mean doesn't that just say, "listen, the Kristof and Pincus stories just aren't working"

OR does it say

"listen, the Admin. is taking issue with Cheney "behesting" you. Their pushing back on this and starting to talk about Valerie's role"

and so Wilson panics.

Rick Ballard

"A lot of these people will, in my opinion, end up as core foreign policy thinkers in the Democratic Party--a big step up from no thinking at all."

Or the new party that will rise Phoenix like from the ashes.

Got a match?

topsecretk9

Rick

Mebbe $250 an hour, TS. split a 100 ways with everyone (almost everyone) with TM getting a hefty percentage, no?

TP

Rick. My ass and their face. : ^ )

clarice

ASpens--Armitage was also at that Aspen COnference...

Rick Ballard

TS,

No split - we kick in to make sure you get paid (BTW - experts get their check upon arrival - not departure - that's the rule right before Rule 1).

Tom gets named "of counsel" and cuts his own deal.

Cecil Turner

Well "forced" is probably the wrong choice of words. He was undoubtedly coerced into not invoking his 5th amendment rights.

I'll allow as how "forced" might not fit perfectly. But as his testimony certainly appeared to be a condition for continued employment (and in light of the fact that the prosecutor was parsing testimony from very early on), I think it clearly violated his rights. Considering I'm not exactly a civil rights proponent, I can't see how any self-respecting ACLU member would believe otherwise.

Gary Maxwell

Got a match?

rick we used to play this game in high school.

Your teeth and the yellow pages?

Your breath and a buffalo fart?

TP

I always thought Joe was trying to leverage his connection with Scowcroft for a job. When a paying job was not available with Bush, he went home to momma. Kerry was his second choice.

Scowcroft has to feel like he was played.

TP

Gary and Rick. We might be showing our age.

topsecretk9

"Brent called me when he received the article. He kindly asked if he could “take it over to the White House,” only about two blocks from his downtown office. He said that he thought senior officials ought to read the views of somebody who actually had experience in Iraq and with Saddam’s government. By this, I took him to mean that he intended to share it with the national security adviser, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, or her deputy, Stephen Hadley. (Wilson 295-6)"

I think this is leading back to Wilson.

If, as a great commenter here but can't remember who (sorry) said, Armitage is Woodward's source, Armitage likely heard the water cooler gossip making the rounds at State or straight from Scowcroft's lips BEFORE any background memo was called up. ALSO, since Scowcroft is on the "Foreign Intel Committee" he has some clearances and he is WELL aware of where and what Valerie work entails. This would also be why Wilson has no problem openly using Val as cred. to Scowcroft.

The difference is Armitage saw the trip as a "boondoggle", not the hand-wringing importance as dunce cap Scowcroft did.

THIS would be why Armitage is so "casual" about it. If Scowcroft is pushing this around, doesn't seem to be such an earth shattering secret. Presumably Armitage would be privy to a little more "war reliance" intel than "dunce cap" too.

I am betting Armitage illustrated this to Fitzgerald.

Rick Ballard

TP,

Yeah, that might have been an error. I forgot that no one lights up anymore. Cigarettes, anyway.

topsecretk9

Correction
TM said this"Armitage is Woodward's source"
Great Commenter said"Armitage likely heard the water cooler gossip making the rounds at State"

topsecretk9

this is it, I'll lay off the coffee, but did TM highlight this as well? (am I still nuanced challenged?)

"The inquiry has focused on whether any government official disclosed her identity as part of an effort to disparage the findings of her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV,"

Let hope Fitzgaerald is not focus his investigation to find ONLY whether a leak was "disparaging" or "NOT" but I guess the TIMES is telling us that the investigation drifting past the White House and past the Administration but to ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL"

Anyone care to define that for me?

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Libby chose not to invoke the 5th Amendment, ergo his rights were not, in fact, violated.'

Actually, he was ordered not to invoke them by the Leader of the Free World. Or the Vice LOTFW. How that is consistent with Miranda will be interesting to see, if Libby is convicted.

Syl

"The inquiry has focused on whether any government official disclosed her identity as part of an effort to disparage the findings of her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV,"

This is the lying twist.

It's not 'the findings', it's what Wilson claimed his findings were.

Rick Ballard

TS,

Now you're back to my hobby horse from a few days ago,

From Novak's piece:

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.

Who is "The CIA says"? Mebbe the two SAOs are Armitage and Scowcroft (I've always figured that journos will stretch SAO down to the G-15 level when they feel like it). Even if they are - who is "The CIA" - Clarice votes for Tenet and I feel that way too sometimes. What's your take?

topsecretk9

Rick

I think Tenet too! I think he was PISSED at the underlings.

However, since you brought it up...

Novak could have easily USED his sources (i.e. Scowcroft AND A pro-Wilson CIA'er) just to hear their story and get more specifics...

BUT like Armitage, Novak thought it to be a "boondoggle" too!

That would explain some of the EXTRA venom Wilson shows Novak (I mean he only hates the ones that didn't see it as a smear)

Also, can "ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL" = "ANY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE", is "official" code for ambiguous term?

Syl

Rick

Actually I think 'the CIA' was Harlow himself.

topsecretk9

HEY

That would explain some of the EXTRA venom Wilson shows Novak (I mean he only hates the ones that didn't see it as a smear)

Maybe there were a few "pro-Wilson" CIA'ers talking to Novak and Wilson knew it (thinking it was a GREAT thing, Novak (who anti-war Like Scowcroft) would be publishing a story too!

Maybe it wasn't until Wilson got work that Novak thought he was an "asshole" Wilson thought things were going south with Novak.

Maybe that is why Wilson didn't take Novaks Val talk so seriously, serious enough to warn the Harlow's and Wislon felt somewhat burned by Novak.

He thought a conservative was going to write a Pincus like piece, Novak used them.

Syl

In fact, Harlow disputed the 'wife suggested him' bit. It was either Novak or Harlow himself who said as much.

Harlow was so distracted by 'correcting' a detail in Novak's piece that he 'forgot' to look up Val's status 'til later.

topsecretk9

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

No Bob, her superiors only asked her to CONTACT him, Bob.

"Would you contact your Husband and see if he free for a little fact finding in Niger next week"

topsecretk9

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

No Bob, her superiors only asked her to CONTACT him, Bob.

"Would you contact your Husband and see if he free for a little fact finding in Niger next week"

Rick Ballard

Syl,

So the scenario could play as:

ArmScow talk to Novak

Novak talks to Harlow who gets so confused on the details that Novak has that he forgets to check our gal's status. Puts down phone, has an epiphany, grabs phone only to have Novak laugh at him. Calls Tenet only to hear "Gee, that's tough, Harley, I hear lot's of ex-CIA people do well in the private sector, bye." and starts to sweat - arriving at his most assertive denial in front of the gj followed by a public declamation.

That works for me.

topsecretk9

Rick
Yep. Me too! I think you fleshed that one out.

clarice

Very plausible hypothesis.

topsecretk9

Also RIck

I think you are right about source attribution...I could totally see Scowcroft, a former and current Foreign Intel. Committee being enough to be a "Senior Admin Official" ESPECIALLY since Foreign Intel. was central to all things war.

topsecretk9

countdown for V.Nov's thoroughly boring and useless expose about her hour with Fitz today!

Rick Ballard

So the WH is playing a parallel game with the journosmurfs that's running concurrent with Novak's piece. "How Wilson Got The Niger Gig" is common gossip on the Georgetown circuit and Libby (and perhaps Rove) drag the "I heard that, too" lure around to see who rises to the bait.

libbylegalfund

Actually, the print edition (but not the online edition) of the NY Sun does have the address of Libby's defense fund:

Libby Legal Defense Trust
2100 M. St., N.W.
Suite 170-362
Washington, D.C. 20037-1233

clarice

WSJ hits the nail on the head:
[quote]It is bitterly ironic that this most apolitical of prosecutors has come to Washington and is sucking into his legalistic maw one journalist after another, while the press privilege to protect sources is put at risk. Yet the legal raccoon hunt continues. The impression remains that if the Beltway press could tree Karl Rove or Dick Cheney for an IIPA violation, the sacrifice of their colleagues and any potential damage done to newsgathering would be regarded as well worth it. The relish with which the pack descended to chew on Bob Woodward for not joining them is proof enough of that.

If the Libby case goes to trial, Mr. Libby himself will be a sideshow compared to what his lawyers are likely to display to the public about the practice of journalism. It has been reported that his lawyers plan to make wide demands for reporters' notes. One can imagine them issuing subpoenas for the pen-and-pencil reporting notebooks of Matt Cooper, Judith Miller and others, having a hand-writing expert transcribe the notes, and then asking the reporters to read--or try to read--their notes on the stand against a transcript onscreen. That won't be pretty. Unless these reporters have the handwriting of nuns and recall of Garry Kasparov, they will look like fumbling fools. Any of us would.

The press requires the protections of the First Amendment because it could never survive legal challenge without it. But the reporting on the Plame case more resembles the Singapore press model, with its penchant for placing absurdist legal fastidiousness above knowing anything useful. In the Plame affair ideological animosity overwhelmed clear-sighted journalistic aggression.
Reporting the news is an informal, imperfect exercise. Journalism was never meant to have the unforgiving, precise exactitude of the law's needs imposed upon it. But because of Plame, it's about to be. Last month an appeals court in a civil suit ruled for nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee that reporters for the Washington Post, AP, New York Times, L.A. Times and CNN had to testify about confidential government sources who leaked information about Mr. Lee.

Someone in authority should have called off the Plame dogs. But it's too late for that. Now everyone's blood is in the water.[/quote] http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110007658

topsecretk9

Clarice--- My favorites

"It has been reported that his lawyers plan to make wide demands for reporters' notes. One can imagine them issuing subpoenas for the pen-and-pencil reporting notebooks of Matt Cooper, Judith Miller and others, having a hand-writing expert transcribe the notes, and then asking the reporters to read--or try to read--their notes on the stand against a transcript onscreen. That won't be pretty. Unless these reporters have the handwriting of nuns and recall of Garry Kasparov, they will look like fumbling fools. Any of us would."

"In the Plame affair ideological animosity overwhelmed clear-sighted journalistic aggression. "

"Now everyone's blood is in the water."

Cooler, wiser heads sigh a collective "DUH"

TM

From CT:

Personally, I think he's a little weasel and wouldn't spend a dime to help him pull off that bit of Clintonian BS he attempted.

We'll note that as "Undecided".

One can imagine them... having a hand-writing expert transcribe the notes, and then asking the reporters to read--or try to read--their notes on the stand against a transcript onscreen.

Pretty good imagination - is that an obvious ploy, or was that leaked to them?

Matt Cooper and Judy Miller are going to be terrible witnesses for Fitzgerald.

And Russert's real story (my guess - whatever he said with Libby, he knew there were rumors of a significant Wilson and wife backstory) won't go well either.

At TradeSports a few days ago, Libby was about 50/50 for conviction.

(DeLay was about 22%). Thanks, Clarice.


topsecretk9

I said (excuse my Jim.E - ness here, but)
I think this is leading back to Wilson.

the new Time MAG Kelly statement includes

"Obviously other people are involved."

How many and what were they saying?

Obviously, "hampsterwheel" at RockPaperScissors sees it differently, as an ominous for Rove? Luskin apparently testified differently than V-Nov. ? HMMMM

Like TM says

"Matt Cooper and Judy Miller are going to be terrible witnesses for Fitzgerald.

Like Time Mag says "other people are involved"

and remember, Luskin the 'democrat" was the first one to point out to us that "Matt Cooper BURNED Rove"

Welfare Reform.

Also, If Armitage and Scowcroft are "possibly: at the Dem sponsored panel Kristof and Wilson shared...is it a stretch to think that D.Corn who met Corn ERLIER that year in the Fox Green Room (and then encouraged Wilson to write for Nation) to be in attendance??...

As well as Anne and Walter Pincus and Matthew and Mandy?

topsecretk9

Luskin the 'democrat" was the first one to point out to us that "Matt Cooper BURNED Rove"

he pointed it out to Byron York via the email "Welfare Reform"

Clarice's "plan to make wide demands for reporters' notes."

Matt Cooper
"After [PANIC} my grand jury appearance, I did go back[PANIC] and review my e-mails from that week, and it seems as if I was, at the beginning of the week , hoping to publish an article in TIME [I HOPE THIS BS WORKS] on lessons of the 1996 welfare-reform law, but the article got put aside, as often happens when news overtakes story plans[I HOPE THIS BS WORKS]. My welfare-reform story ran as a short item two months later, and I was asked about it extensively. "

topsecretk9

okay my tag placements suck. i know.

kim

I'm circling back to my hope that Fitz figured out early that the devious parties were journalists, and he is using Libby's defense to get at them in ways he can't.
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kim

Just one of the perversities engendered by exceptions to rules, that is journalist's privilege.

Journalists are easy. How can you both extend that privilege to the internet and prevent the sort of excursion like Fitz engendered by an instance of abuse of that privilege? Will truth suffice to judge? Let's hope so.
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MayBee

[i]But two weeks after the Rice remark on Meet the Press, with my name now openly circulating among the press, it was clear that sooner or later my anonymity was going to be sacrificed on the altar of the story[/i]

Oh! The hyperbole!

Seriously- his name is circulating. The Press is obviously talking to each other about their anonymous source. Is nooobody in the press talking about his wifey?

When did Campbell Brown get to be such a close friend she'd invite him to a going away party?

kim

The irony of a prosecutor expecting the defense to eat his witnesses alive is too delicious to actually be on the tongue. But absent a guilty plea or dropped charges, that is how it is shaping up. It's the only way the journalists' feet can be held to the fire.

This may end up making tongue scorching look sophisticated.
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kim

How can you call off dogs when they smell coyotes?

Uh, that's my comment on the insightful All See Journal bit brought to us through the courtesy of Clarice.
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kim

Well, you don't have to call them off. They don't leave the Green Zone.
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Jim E.

In this post, TM made a point of highlighting this sentence in the NY Times: “The inquiry has focused on whether any government official disclosed her identity as part of an effort to disparage the findings of her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador who had accused the Bush administration of misinterpreting intelligence about Iraq's unconventional weapons program to justify the war.”

Instead of seeing it for what it was – a virtually meaningless boilerplate summary – TM read quite a bit into it. Other commenters followed his lead to guffaw how crazy and biased the Times was. TM even went so far as to say it was consistent with his Nick Kristof suspicions. (The suspicion being that Nick Kristof received his own Woodward type leak, lied about not receiving any such leak in print, but then told his editors about the leak, AND told the reporter covering the case, who could then bias the one sentence summary of the controversy based on this single, years old leak. Did I get that right?)

Well, hold the presses, because here is this morning’s WashPost, with their boilerplate summary, er, I mean conspiracy: “Fitzgerald has spent two years investigating whether White House officials leaked Plame's name in the summer of 2003 to discredit allegations made by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.”

Looks like Nick Kristof has been leaking to the Wash Post! (Either that, or I’m about to hear how “disparage” and “discredit” have entirely different meanings.)

Bill in AZ

heh heh, kim, you're immortal now - your poetry is being quoted on Free Republic...

see post20

JM Hanes

Jim E

I have to agree with you on this one, although I do think that the NYTimes, & now the Post as well, could conceivably be faulted for conflating the accusations which led to the investigation with the investigation itself.

The Sun's version of the Special Prosecutor's mandate ("to investigate whether any laws were violated...") really only sounds more neutral by virtue of what it left out. The pivotal component of the law(s?) in question is intent, and it certainly seems like a stretch to deny that the White House wanted to neutralize Wilson because of the allegations he was making. The Sun also characterizes the Fitzgerald investigation as a "witch hunt" -- which is not exactly a model of journalistic detachment.

JM Hanes

MayB

"When did Campbell Brown get to be such a close friend she'd invite him to a going away party?"

Journalists invite everybody to their parties, and the guest list for Brown's bon voyage was no exception.

Cecil Turner

Instead of seeing it for what it was – a virtually meaningless boilerplate summary – TM read quite a bit into it.

Ummm, how about "wrong boilerplate"? Fitz was tasked with investigating the leak, and prosecuting as appropriate, not to scry the political motivations behind it.

Either that, or I’m about to hear how “disparage” and “discredit” have entirely different meanings . . .

Might want to expand the parsing a bit: "disparage the findings" vs "discredit allegations." Are those really the same? Is either accurate? "Findings" implies it's "reality based" (AH: "a conclusion reached after examination or investigation . . ."). "Allegation" is just a claim ("asserting something without proof"). Since Wilson later admitted "that he may have 'misspoken' to the reporter," "false allegation" would seem to be closer to correct, the WaPo buffed it up just a bit, and the Times gilded it.

We'll note that as "Undecided".

[Note to self: stop sugarcoating.]

clarice

Thanks ts and TM, I said this early on because it was obvious.
Libby's defense was that he heard it from reporters and they didn't hear it first from him but the way the investigation was framed, the SP never fully explored that point.

Did you notice BTW that in the Ho case, Pincus says only one of his sources has given him a waiver..undoubtedly the Court will demand his testimony anyway and the damage to the press for carrying Wilson(that is, Kerry's water) in this fight continues.

Sue

TS9,

Okay, hound dog, help me out here. ::grin::

Libby and the Aspens, coincidence? Or is he trying to tell us something or someone or somebodies?

BurkettHead

Many, many comments ago our now famous Poet in Residence commented that Fitz might be using Libby's defense team to go after the journalists. I think that, if Fitz really wanted to go after the press, he'd do it himself, no matter what the DOJ guidelines say. He can do it, he just has some extra hurdles. he doesn't seem like he would let that stop him (or even slow him down).

If he wanted to.

Jim E.

My main point was that it is a waste of time to parse one-sentence summaries. Cecil clearly disagrees. (My god, does he disagree. Wow. Lotsa parsing. Imagine what he could do if let loose on Bush administration speeches!) My lesser point is that given the apparent concern over the NY Times sentence, the Wash Post sentence is deserving of at least as much concern and outrage and befuddlement and charges of bias given that it says basically the same vague thing. (It’s actually worse, for you right-wingers, in that it singles out White House, rather than government, officials.) My even lesser point is that TM’s strange Kristof suspicion was bolstered by the NY Times sentence in exactly the same way it was bolstered by the Wash Post’s sentence. As in, not at all.

While Cecil does directly say the summaries may be wrong (“how about "wrong boilerplate"?), he then goes on to parse them in a way exactly OPPOSITE as what TM wants (or at least suspects).

This is all silly. The stories aren’t breaking news, or brainwashing readers, in the stupid summaries, which at one sentence couldn’t possibly summarize the controversy. (Although I prefer the one sentence deal to the wasted ink used on 5 paragraph summaries.)

Cecil Turner

While Cecil does directly say the summaries may be wrong (“how about "wrong boilerplate"?), he then goes on to parse them in a way exactly OPPOSITE as what TM wants (or at least suspects).

TM and I don't agree on everything. (And I'm quite parsimonious when it comes to conspiracy theories.) But there's little doubt that the media--and especially the Times--has been biased and uninformative on the subject, and always generous in its treatment of Wilson's clearly erroneous statements. I agree with TM that it says something about their approach; just not exactly what.

kim

Burk, it seems tremendously perverse that Fitz would use Libby's defense to get at the journalists. I hope you are right, and I hope he starts really getting them in the hot seat. If he doesn't the defense will.

CT. When you have the deadly mixture of conscious and unconscious bias and the desire to cover their own and their fellows' asses, truth falls by the wayside. MSM is thrashing around. Death throes? I dunno. The blogosphere may well be therapeutic. Competition often helps all competitors thrive.

B & B. Thank you. I wish my muse were more consistent, but she delights me first.
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Wilson/Plame