Powered by TypePad

« Battling The Cult | Main | When Hacks Attack »

February 18, 2006



Hey, that meme can persist forever behind the $50 barrier, for all I care. Good place for it.


Why pay Fifty Dollars when you can be misled for free anywhere else?


She's lost more than her fan base.


Periodically our hometown paper with its liberal bent reprints Ms Dowd with all her Dowdisms for free.Ugh! These are the musings of a frustrated old maid!


How was Fox's Brit Hume able to sneak that question in (about declassification)in the interview about Cheney's bird hunt?

Look at the all the articles derived from the "Wha, Cheney can declassify intelligence" realization light bulb...

Is it a Rovian plant or ....


TM - I'm curious what you make of the actual argument emptywheel makes in the item you linked to - namely, that it's not just mistaken to claim that Cheney authorized Libby to leak classified info about Plame (as far as we know), it's also mistaken to claim that Cheney declassified the NIE for Libby to leak to reporters. Rather, as far as we can tell, the NIE was not declassified by Cheney, and the actual issue is that Cheney appears to have authorized Libby to leak classified information, not declassified information. (And as danking may be suggesting, Hume was dutifully playing his role as a political ally rather than a reporter in setting up Cheney to distract from what really is at issue.) I'm persuaded by that, although today I realized that maybe there's not really a difference, that if Cheney just says, "Leak it," it is declassified, or so they migh claim. Although then the question is, how did it happen that the NIE was announced as being declassified in part and released to reporters on July 18 or so. Was that a separate process? Did Cheney say, "I hereby declassify the NIE for you, Scooter, to leak it in a misleading way to Judy Miller, and once you're done, I thereby reclassify it"? Is that how the process may work?


my impression is that Ms. Dowd has lost her fan base.

Fan base? She can't even find a man!

Other Tom

A few days ago acouple of posters on this site made the same mistake as Dowd just did. Last night I saw Charlie Rangel doing the same thing. People slip these things into the conversation often enough without being rebutted, and suddenly the booboisie has its conventional wisdom.


Jeff - I think the Cheney questions founders on the difference between literal and actual power.

*IF* Libby had been charged with leaking on July 8 a document that was declassified on July 18, he *may have* been able to offer a "Cheney OK'ed" it defense. Context would count, but if, on 50 previous occasions, Cheny had told his subordinate, "I am working with the President to declassify this so you can tell our story to the press", and on the 50 previous occasions the info had been declassified as advertised, Libby might very well persuade a jury that he had either reasonably relied upon Cheney's instructions, or honetly misunderstood them. The fact that Cheney does not have specific authority to declassify something would be a sidebar.

OTOH, if Cheney had never previously hinted at his ability to guide the declassification process, this defense would be trickier.


Other Tom, it's not a mistake...it's an art


At this point in the poker game with Fitz and Libby's lawyers it is time to say : ALL IN. This scenario of classifying and declassifying and reclassifying is like a merry go round . It just doesn't make sense and you are attributing byzantine motives to all and not in the realm of reality. The administration tried to correct inaccurate and lying statements by Joe Wilson. Once he realized they were going to expose him as a fraud and poseur he went into his defensive crouch and made up this accusation that someone ouited his wife.He's a grifter, charlatan and a fool.


On July 11 Tenet officially declassified the NIE as I recall. I expect that Libby was tasked with a general rebuttal to cetain press about generalities--for what Fitz said Libby testified to (I remind all again) is that he was paying attention to those details in the NIE about which he could talk, and if he was told about Plame in those meetings, it didn't particulary register. In other words, Wilson to the contrary, she just wasn't that important.


Val and Joe are nobodies trying to be somebodies!


Jeff - on second thought, the first bit of the Espionage Act says this:

(793) (a) Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation...

In light of that opening clause the "Cheney OK'ed it" defense might hold up pretty well despite the lack of clarity in his declassification power, and regardless of whether he had previously exerted such power.

Put another way, the prosecution would have a brutal time establishing criminal intent by the subordinate.

And indicting Cheney? Well, first of all, does he get indicted or impeached? Secondly, can he invoke Executive authority as a defense?

Well, we are pretty far from those questions.


"lost her fan base"
Sirius Radio paid the foul mouthed
mysogynist anarchist very big bucks
and found out tha anarchists really
don't like to support capitalistic
Several "online radio stations"
bootleg his daily show.

These guys also have "universal
passwords" they use to get into sites - but geez MoDo,Kooky, Tommy
et al can's use MF or AH or any of
those wonderfully expressive words.

I just really miss Don Luskin's
weekly fisking of Kooky. And think
it was NRO's Media Blog that was trying to figure out how to reverse
all the K's in his Krugman takedowns - that's how wrong he is.

"The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on"

Pity MoDo.

Other Tom

I have personally been present when senior US Naval Officers (flag officers) have said, "I'm declassifying this--send it to so-and-so right away." (Nothing ulterior here--just a dedicated officer seeking in good faith to get important information to someone he felt needed it, but having to remove a classification barrier to do so.) I have read and re-read the Executive Orders, and can't harmonize the procedures I saw with the Orders. This was back in the 60's and 70's, and it was not an unusual occurrence. So far as I can recall, the information being declassified had originated with, and been classified by, that officer in the first instance. It does seem to me that classification and declassification of national security information is the exclusive prerogative of the Executive Branch, and that every president has the inherent authority to declassify anything at any time--the remedy for his exercising poor judgment in this regard would seem to lie at the ballot box.


Is it legal to disclose unclassified parts of classified documents? I do know from intimate experience that large percentages of classified documents aren't classified. In my recollection, each page has its own classification, including "not classified", stamped on the page. Just can't for the life of me remember if we were allowed to talk freely about unclassified parts, but I bet it was okay.

Clarice, I think it was declassified July 18th. Or not, lol. That's when it was announced according to what I've seen. I'm too old and lazy to go find links.


Come on Ladies and Gentlemen,

why on God's green Earth would the administration want to declassify the NIE in such a hurry?

It's not like they were getting lots of questions (But why?) regarding their rational for the March towards War.

Really. Now who can name 1 follow-up article/op-ed/talking point derived from Joe Wilson's op-ed in the NY Times.

They just declassified the NIE, not to rebut Joe "Truth to Power" Wilson's op-ed points, but to out his wife.

See told ya. much ado about nothing...

Boy, I really think the MSM is really going to regret going so far out on that limb....But hey, I could be wrong.

mike studzinski

Maureen's a babe . How did I stumble into this den of Bushies .


That's another point,Larry, The Fitz statement did NOT say Libby claimed he was told to discuss with reporters "classified" information,


While Modo coins "Scooty and the Shooter"

Gateway Pundit posts this outrage"
Bill Clinton Urges Convicting Muhammad Cartoon Publishers

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bill Clinton Urges Convicting Muhammad Cartoon Publishers

** Former US President Bill Clinton becomes the first Western leader to urge nations to convict those who published the Muhammad cartoons!! **

This was not the first time that Bill Clinton spoke out against the Muhammad cartoons but it was the first time he spoke publicly about prosecuting Westerners for their freedom of speech choices in regards to the cartoon controversy.


IMHO Bill is triangulating Hill as Senator of New York and himself as
King of World at Turtle Bay.

Now we know why the LSM did not publish the cartoons - DIRECT ORDERS

. Way to go PINCH!


To clarify my 10:12 a. m., I don't THINK it's illegal to discuss unclassified parts of classified documents. During my security-cleared time, it wasn't widely practiced, out of caution. Further, a classified document page may have only one or few classified word(s) out of 500-1,000. The page is given the classification of that one or few words. We were not allowed to disclose any contents of that page to anyone without clearance AND need to know.


Larry -
Bingo! You fell on the magic words: NEED TO KNOW! Everything else is BS. Nothing can be disclosed to anyone without the recipients' NEED TO KNOW! If NCA (National Command Authority - The President in this case) has determined that it is important to release info to clarify an on-going dispute, then the recipient has NEED TO KNOW.

Gary Maxwell


I think the press report is wrong. Some Pak did not translate the English spoken thru his own toungue and then back to English very well. If it had been Jimmy Carter or Al Gore I would be more inclined to believe such a foolish quote, but Clinton has to worry about what may be used against his wife in her upcoming campaigns so he would not deliberately say something this stupid. follow your own link there is an update there now.


TM - To rephrase the question I am after: if we assume that Cheney has some kind of declassification power, is it inconceivable or logically contradictory to imagine him saying to Libby, "The NIE is super-sensitive, and highly classified, and I think the CIA would freak out if I declassified the thing, but leak the good parts of the damn thing anyway"? And maybe Waas was being insufficiently precise, but although Fitzgerald's letter doesn't specify that the NIE was classified when Libby blabbed about it, Waas' article does specify that it was classified, just as Libby blabbed about other classified info in the run-up to war.

And on a related note, why did Fitzgerald include the information about Libby transmitting info about the NIE, with the authorization of his superiors, in the letter to LIbby's team at all? There would be no need to include it there if there was just no doubt it was all fine and dandy. So what was Fitzgerald up to?


Be he brute or bete?


OK, ok, okay! Is he standing in a crowd seeking to limit executive power, or is he a lone stupid fool?


Gary M,
But are the power's just covering
tracks. Does Clinton speak Paki?
So words were in English - and fact
that the British spent a lot of time there being Imperialistic -
most of Pakistan SPEAKS ENGLISH


Dave in W-S

In a previous life, I spent some time as a classified document custodian. I also wrote and distributed plans, briefings and operation orders based on classified documents. Frequently, those items had to be either unclassified or classified at a lower level than the source documents, because of the intended audience. Here is how that works, at least in the DoD.

A document is given an overall classification, based upon the highest classification of any specific item in the document. In other words, you could have a 100 page document in which only one piece of information was classified, yet the entire 100 pages, when taken as a whole, would be classified.

However, each paragraph within a classified document also carries a classification, based upon the specific information contained in that paragraph and that paragraph only. A paragraph that is marked (Unclassified) is just that and the information contained in that paragraph can be discussed, quoted, reprinted, etc., freely.

Classified documents also contain page markings. The classification for a page is determined the same way as that of an entire document - by the highest paragraph classification on that page. It is marked top and bottom, front and back, with that page classification.

The existence and title of some documents is classified, and they can therefore not be identified, but this does not seem to be one of those cases.

The long and short of it is that if Libby disclosed information from the NIE that was marked (Unclassified), then this should be a non-issue, even though the document as a whole was classified and could not be released as a whole.

Furthermore, if declassification was in process, and competent authority vouched for the fact that the document was being declassified, that the decision had been given, and that official declassification would occur when the paperwork got through channels, then I believe that no violation occurred, even if information marked as classified was released. At least, no violation that would impress a competent authority that a security violation existed in other than a technical sense. Like 'Other Tom', I have seen that happen on several occasions.



I wondered the same thing. Fitz seems to throw things out that are not relevant to the case, as he himself will tell you, then cries foul when Libby's team asks for documents to back it up.


Jeff and Sue - if you check back to Fitzgerald's letter, it looks (to me, anyway) pretty bland - roughly, Fitzgerald notes that there is a 404(b) issue of "other crimes", that Libby has testified that he met Judy Miller on July 8 to chat about the NIE, that Libby claimed authorization from his superiors, that the transcript would be in evidence...

I am not sure what this 404(b) stuff is, but the rest looked like background.


Thanks, Dave in W-S. I knew I had the gist of it. You articulated very well and from authority as opposed to the way this senile, old f*** put it.

Dave in W-S


You definitely had the right of it.

The other thing I ought to say is that the reason each paragraph is given a classification is precisely because there is often a need to disclose information from classified documents. In fact, I would say that it is the rule rather than the exception. Need to know can protect sensitive information from unnecessary disclosure, but it also requires the people who classify information to constantly review it and declassify as necessary. Which, of course, counters the snide innuendos that declassification occurs for political expediency.There is in fact, a strong pressure to declassify as soon as practical. In fact, most classified documents carry a time limit, after which continued classification has to be justified. The notion of a secretive, paranoid government just doesn't hold water when you've seen how the process is structured to declassify things as soon as they are no longer necessary for national security.

In my mind, that makes the NSA leakers (or wherever they are from) that much more criminal.

Other Tom

Jeff is going to drive himself nuts with his rhetorical questions. Why not ask some others, while you're at it? Such as, why did Fitz bother to allege that Plame's status was classified? Why did he allege that her employment was not widely known? Why did he give us all the blather about making these valiant people reluctant to put their lives on the line for their country in the future? Such assertions are utterly irrelevant to the offenses charged, and do nothing more than give his adventure a little more sex appeal. Now, as discovery proceeds, he may be having second thoughts about his grandstanding.


He had second thoughts already; why do you think he put all that crap in the presser? I'm starting to worry a lot about him. The New York Times claims he thinks the defense is thwarting the prosecution. And he is surprised?


When will a judge decide on the requests by the defense? I know they have a progress report meeting on Friday but when do we know about the disposition of the obstruction charge?


Do you mean Fitz's obstruction, Miller's obstruction, The NYT's obstruction, the Wilson's obstruction, the CIA's obstruction, the rest of the press's obstruction, the obstruction of whoever handled Joe at Democratic headquarters, or are you talking about the barbecue obstructing the twins' tricycle path?


MoDo ante, I raise a Mark Steyn!

Cheering tidbits lighten otherwise grim week


In an otherwise grim week -- at least on unimportant peripheral matters like Iranian nukes -- three things cheered me up
So anyway David Gregory's going bananas and yelling "I will yell!" and "Don't be a jerk!" at the White House press secretary, and there's more smoke coming out of his ears than from Ronald McDonald in Lahore, and I'm thinking, you know, maybe Karl's latest range of Rovebots that he planted in American media corporations are just a wee bit too parodically self-absorbed to be plausible And then this lady pipes up and asks, "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"


,,,,,,another excerpt:

On CNN, out of "sensitivity" to Islam, they show the cartoons but with the Prophet's face pixilated so that he looks as if Cheney's ventilated him with birdshot and it turned puffy and gangrenous. C'mon, guys, these are interesting times. Anyone can unload the umpteenth round of blanks into the bulletproof Chimpy Hallibushitler, but why not take a shot at something that matters?

You gotta read the whole thing!

Click here: Cheering tidbits lighten otherwise grim week



why did Fitzgerald include the information about Libby transmitting info about the NIE, with the authorization of his superiors, in the letter to LIbby's team at all? There would be no need to include it there if there was just no doubt it was all fine and dandy. So what was Fitzgerald up to?

Certainly you're not that naive, Jeff. Fitz is looking for anything to find he can charge on. Why not charge Libby with leaking parts of the NIE to Miller? You know, that bank robbery where he can't prove that the guy robbed the bank, so he finds some embezzlement and charges him with that instead. Justice served.

That darned bank analogy was totally screwy because robbing a bank IS a crime. The analogy would only work if fitz thought he was investigating a bank robbery but forgot to check his source for the charges.

In fact no bank was robbed at all, it was a pink piggy with a little slit on top, and it belonged to Libby's wife, and it had only 127 pennies in it.

Well that wasn't a nice thing for Libby to do but it isn't a crime. Yeah, but Libby lied and said the pig was green!

So what! Let his wife deal with it.


And, in case anyone wonders, Plame is nowhere to be found in the NIE.


At all!


This just popped in my head, and sorry if it has been considered, any chance the reason Fitz. took the whistleblower route was that Plame admitted to being the main source and their plan was for Mojo Jo Jo to be the coduit, take the public role in "team whistleblower" in order to protect her from work
"reprisal "...it's just those "names were wrong, dates were wrong" and weird Fitz wasn't interested how Joe knew that


Down boy.


Can't turn off italics?


I wonder what Rove's lawyer had for Fitz that was enough to throw one wheel off the track, but not both.


Now I wonder if the railroading will continue or if Fitz's train has become a wreck.


Ok Lawryn, you win. 11 posts affected.

Kim--I go with no indictment. Fitzgerald hinted at that at his presser, and the overarching rationales that he mentioned in his press conference are a bit undermined by the disclosure of earlier leaks.



The comments to this entry are closed.