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February 01, 2006

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Jeff

Not just the OVP, also the executive office of the President. But Fitzgerald's letter -- and the two of them included in Libby's filing as exhibits are rich with new info -- starts off by saying that the prosecutor is aware of no evidence pertinent to the charges against Libby that has been destroyed.

cathyf

So, Cheney has been deleting his porn spam?

cathy :-)

kim

A simple statement of agnosticism.

Ah, let's watch the interpretations ladled on that.
============================================

TM

Now wait, Jeff, if you have those docs you ought to give us a link (and I am working on it...)

Rick Ballard

Lyn - was that 2 gallons of milk and one dozen eggs or 2 dozen eggs and 1 gallon of milk?

L,

D.

PS - I'll be late again - gotta wait for a telecon from Tommy in Iraq.

kim

Did I just hallucinate, or was that the woodrose.
=================================================

pollyusa

Here it is

More on the Fitz letter. Rawstory has the link to the Fitz letter to Libby's lawyers. This is a portion of the letter I found interesting, the letter has a great deal of information and I highly recomend you read the whole thing.

We also advise you that we understand that reporter John Dickerson of Time magazine discussed the trip by Mr. Wilson with government officials at some time on July 11 or after, subsequent to Cooper learning about Mr. Wilson's wife. Any converstions involving Mr. Dickerson likely took place in Africa after July 11th.

Fitzgerald Letter PDF

TM

Thanks, Ms. USA.

OK, I am posting links to the new court filings in the UPDATES, but this might work, too:

Main Document

Exhibits A-C

Exhibits D-F

Proposed Order

justcurious

I hope this is not going to be a case of drip, drip, drip from the prosecutor's office. If emails were removed, wouldn't that tie in to the obstruction charge?

TM

Bah! Typepad is hung up again.

Well the best bit I saw early in the Fitzgerald letter is the plausible point that Ms. Plame's status hardly bears on whether Libby did or did not lie. Fitzgerald makes the same point about Wilson't trip to Niger (but on shakier ground, since the defense also asked for all info about with whom Wilson discussed the trip.)

The defense response is in the Jan 31 filings - their gist is, Ms. Plame's status speaks to Libby's motive to lie. Ah, well - the real issue would seem to be, what did Libby *think* her status was, but I can see how a judge might want to play along with Libby on this.

Side Point (or not) - in the indictment I recall mention of a phone call where Libby told someone he couldn't discuss a complication about the Wilson trip on an unsecure line.

clarice

I think this part of the Fitz letter is interesting, TM (accidentally posted it on the wrong thread)

I find this on p. 4 interesting:The Prosecutor concedes that Woodward,Miller,Pincus Novak and Cooper knew about Plame prior to July 14 though they may not have known her name.

clarice

TM, about that secure line--I think that was before Tenet's statement and and may have related to the trip itself.

TM

Clarice - I was thinking that, too, (that the whole trip is classified) but I haven't checked the darn indictment.

Interesting point about the only five reporters known to Fitzgerald who knew about Plame (or Wilson's wife) prior to July 15 (Woodward, Miller, Novak, Cooper, Pincus) - it means that Russert and Mitchell denied something, and convinced Fitzgerald they knew nothing. We pretty much knew that with Russert, anyway, or why the indictment?

And somewhere in the Fitzgerald letter it says that he has no documents suggesting that Ms. Plame's status was *not* classified in the relevant time frame (it is declassified now).

clarice

It could mean Mitchell was never asked--remember her tap dance about when and if she was questioned.

And what about Kristof, was that Wilson lunching with Nick and NICK'S wife?

clarice

To paraphrase marvelous Max --to say there are " no documents suggesting that Ms. Plame's status was *not* classified in the relevant time frame " is not to say she WAS classified in the relevant time frame.

Lew Clark

You have to assume that Libby was "in the loop" until the indictment and his resignation. Therefore, you would have to also assume that he knows the answers to the questions about Plame/Wilson's status and the damage assessment. He isn't trying to learn something, he's trying to get the prosecution/CIA/DoJ, etc. to fess up that she was not a covert agent at that time. If the prosecution is saying that she wasn't covert during the period stated, but used to be covert and thus exposing her as a non-covert analyst in the present, exposes her previous covert status, they are on really shaky ground. Nothing that I've seen reported about Libby's version or the reporter's version of conversations implies that Libby told anyone that she used to be covert. So to connect those dots, the prosecution has to prove that no one outside the "intelligence community" had a clue Mrs. Plame/Wilson worked for the CIA. That one is going to unravel quickly.
I'm also not surprised that Libby/lawyers are making a case for "what was going on in Libby's world" at the time in question. Not only did he have more important things on his plate than Mrs. Wilson's employment status, but until the Novak article followed by the Corn "assumption", she was a bit player, a footnote. The concern was Joe Wilson and why the hell did CIA send him to Niger. The answer "His wife works at CIA and got him the gig". Libby, like many of us, know that most CIA employees are not covert agents. And I bet he asked. And I bet someone at CIA (Tenet?) told him (directly or through Cheney, etc.) that she was a WMD analyst and was not covert.
The whole idea that there was a plot to punish Joe Wilson by outing his wife, is the real fantasy here. Libby (and Rove and Cheney) have been around long enough that, even if this far-fetched plot was cooked up, the leak would be so laundered through so many people, there would be no way in hell to trace it back to the source. To imply that Libby was "shopping" the leak directly to hostile reporters (and when it comes to keeping juicy secrets they are all hostile) would be strong support for an insanity plea.

TM

...is not to say she WAS classified in the relevant time frame.

Yeah, Fitzgerald's letter is pretty weak on that point - he has not sought, much less obtained, all relevant documents about her employment status.

On the one hand, that may be fair enough - one memo saying she was classified ought to cover it.

OTOH, if there are other memos saying other things (a plan to de-classify her by July 1, 2003, as a mad guess), that could be a prbolem for Fitzgerald.

And Vanity Fair did say there was some plan to change status:

In fact, in the spring, Plame was in the process of moving from noc status to State Department cover. Wilson speculates that "if more people knew than should have, then somebody over at the White House talked earlier than they should have been talking."

Well, her new status might still have been classified.

maryrose

Lew: You have avery good summation, especially this line:
" The whole isea that they were punishing Wilson by outing his wife is the real fantasy here" Yes it is a fantasy promulgated by Wilson, Corn and MSM et al.
This is their story and they are sticking to it and they won't let the facts get in the way. The whole idea and concept that somehow she{Plame} was some big player is ludicrous.

Rick Ballard

If Woodward, Novak and Pincus knew of Val's status prior to July 14th and without being told by Libby, then why hasn't Inspector Clouvert indicted someone else on the grounds that he was hired to investigate? I think that it is fair to assume that all three coughed up their sources to him.

This thing stinks worse everyday - and Fitzgerald has tied it around his own neck like it was a garland of flowers.

maryrose

As we have discussed here all these reporters did know about her so why does Libby have to take the fall?
Blitzer is only concerned about-wait for it- the missing e-mails and compared it to -you guessed it- Watergate! I'm starting to believe that some of these msm reporters are a bit deranged.

clarice

I think so..And they we have Peretz,May, Vallely and to my certain knowledge at least 2 people whose names have not yet been made public.

boris

one memo saying she was classified ought to cover it

I claim it's a little more complicated than that. Cathy asserts on a previous thread that there's classified and then there's "classified", where the jepordy for "classified" is administrative rather than legal.

My non lawyer rule of thumb for classified is secret, hidden, and protected. Plame's official status revealed by Wilson/Corn:

Secret? yes
Hidden? yes
Protected? yes

Plame's employment at the CIA:

Secret? not very
Hidden? no
Protected? Hadley blew it

What Libby revealed may have been administratively "classified" but not legally classified.

boris

Ooops, not Hadley, Harlow blew it.

Dwilkers

I find the missing e-mail thing to be mildly disturbing. I'd like to know what's up with that.

clarice

I do not pretend to be an expert in the rarely successful charge of "perjury trap" and there is little scholarly work available online to help me. But here are the DoJ guidelines about it, and it seems to me that the entire obstruction charge is a scam if Plame was not covert and disclosure of her name didn't affect national security for if they weren't what was all this about? I think obstruction was charged just to provide cover for a perjury trap defense. Here are the DoJ guidelines..

_________

1756 Perjury Cases -- Special Problems and Defenses -- Perjury Trap

The perjury trap is a form of entrapment defense, and thus must be affirmatively proven by the defendant. The defense is rarely proven, even though the claim is relatively common when grand jury testimony gives rise to perjury charges. See Gershman, The Perjury Trap, 129 U. Pa. L. Rev. 624 (1981). The defense requires that the defendant show the false answer was illegally procured by the government. Thus, when the grand jury is attempting to obtain useful information in furtherance of its investigation, the perjury trap doctrine does not apply. United States v. Brown, 49 F.3d 1162, 1168 (6th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 377 (1995); United States v. Chen, 933 F.2d 793, 797 (9th Cir. 1991).

PRACTICE TIP: The United States Supreme Court has ruled that there is also no duty to warn the witness of the consequences of committing perjury. United States v. Mandujano, 425 U.S. 564 (1976). Department guidelines, however, require prosecutors to give warnings resembling Miranda warnings to subjects or targets of grand jury investigations and to advise putative defendants of their status as such. See USAM 9-11.151. When the defendant claims a perjury trap, those warnings demonstrate that the prosecutor did not call the witness to induce perjury, but rather to seek truthful testimony. United States v. Williams, 874 F.2d 968, 974-75 (5th Cir. 1989). Failure to give those warnings does not constitute grounds for dismissal of an indictment. United States v. Washington, 431 U.S. 181 (1977). ___________________

If she wasn't a NOC, what was Fitz investigating?

richard mcenroe

Rick Ballard -- "Inspector Clouvert?"

A literary and pop media reference all in one! Well done!

richard mcenroe

Rick Ballard -- "Inspector Clouvert?"

A literary and pop media reference all in one! Well done!

clarice

In simple terms I'm saying if it is clear from the beginning that Plame was not a NOC and the other conditions of IIPA are inapplicable, what kind of investigation was going on that required these officials to be called to testify and forced to provide all these documents? What could this search have turned up relevant and material to the Prosecutor's charge?

What, indeed, except the likelihood that there'd be some difference in testimony between various witnesses and that some people called to tesify more than once would not be able to provide perfectly consistent recollections? And that, it seems to me , is what a perjury trap is.

ph&d

If she wasn't a NOC, what was Fitz investigating?

I believe it is called lying (to FBI) perjury (to the court) and obstruction of justice.

Rick Ballard

Could the initial referral be a CYA move on the part of the CIA to protect their administrative suspension of Val? Let's say that they took a look at what she'd been up to said "She's out for a year." If the CIA is like every other bureaucracy she had an appeal process that could have been used to block the suspension - so she sits on a chair in an office with no windows and no desk while her administrative appeal wends its way through the labrynth. Someone says, "Hey, wait a minute - this has political ramifications - shouldn't we double dot every i and cross every T with a Sharpie on this? Shouldn't we refer it to DoJ?"

Because as far as I can tell, a referral to DoJ is not uncommon but an actual trial of a matter referred is a hen's tooth. It was only after the leak of the referral that things got out of hand politically and Fitz was hauled in to set up the circus.

topsecretk9

oh joy, has pluk misidentified himself again?

clarice

Yeah--Well the LEAK to MITCHELL made it different didn't it? Still, Fitz could have said that upon investigation it appeared that no violation of law occurred even if the charges were assumed to be true.

OR--the CIA could do what it always has done in cases involving charges like this against high level officials. Conduct an internal investigation to see if there was a violation of law (it has never found one at this level) and can the investigation at that point.

clarice

Let me put this another way if Plame was not a NOC within the meaning of the IIPA, how could Fitz " obtain useful information in furtherance of its investigation" that she was? If this is so, the obstruction charge is ridiculous.
If that is discarded we have the remaining discussions and the perjury charges on which they are based.

If Libby had been a CIA employee in charge of personnel and lied about her status, we have obstruction.If she was a NOC and he "outed" her, if he lied about the circumstances in which he did so, there could be a legitimate obstruction charge. I don't see how anything Libby said --under the factual circumstances of this case--could constitute obstruction.

cathyf

Is "obstruction of idle curiosity" a crime?

cathy :-)

clarice

Heh,Cathy.

Gary Maxwell

Does Libby really have Paul Weiss, Baker Botts AND Jones Day all working on his defense? It sure looks like it to me. Whoa! You can get dizzy watching the meter spin on the legal fees.

And to this layman eyes, it sure looks to be like there is a whole of stuff that the Prosecutor does not know about. The Judge and Jury are going to eventually hear about this stuff, methinks. Perhaps we can have the spectacle of Libby telling us " He is hearing it again, as if for the first time."

Sue

Cathy,

I've given up. I think I'm convinced. I can't believe there is no crime for revealing classified information.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I vaguely recall a discussion concerning perjury by a federal official from the '90's. If my memory serves there was much ado about a concept called "materiality" with regard to the investigation.

If there is no underlying charge and never was a reasonable possibility of a criminal statute applying, would that theory also tend to apply in the present case?

topsecretk9

Not new, but mildly amusing Cooper jab.

Hey, why did Cooper lie about Rove contacting him in a startling "dramatic" fashion the day he was set to go to the slammer?

One more embellishment by Cooper.

Jeff

TM - I had no link, just pdfs, and I have no idea how to embed those in a comment. Sorry.

As for the email thing, the Daily News did a bad job of presenting that one. Fitzgerald prefaces the comment by saying that as far as he knows no evidence pertinent to the charges against Libby has been destroyed. Then he says that out of an abundance of caution he should not that he's learned that not all email from OVP and P has been preserved in the normal WH computer archiving. This could be utterly incidental and unimportant. It could relate to the famous Rove-Hadley email. Or there could be yet more to it. But the Daily News is also wrong to specify that it is many emails, since that is in no way suggested or specified by Fitzgerald.

clarice

Materiality is always a critical element of perjury. To constitute perjury--the statement must be delibereately false, about a material matter and made before a competent tribunal.

Cecil has been banging the materiality drum from day one so I haven't gone into it much. If Libby had in his possession information relevant to determine if a crime had been committed in this case, a delibereate misstatement before the gj on that point would be material. But for the life of me, I do not see how if it was clear from the start--as it had to be--that IIPA facts didn't exist-- how anything Libby said could be material. Just as I don't see how anything he said could have obstructed the investigation because there is no way the investigation could have changed the essential fact that IIPA didn't apply.

Jeff

It's funny that clarice sees Fitzgerald's statement that as far as he is aware, only Woodward, Miller, Novak, Pincus and Cooper knew that Plame worked for the CIA as a concession. (The Dickerson comment I suspect is out of an abundance of caution. His published account strongly suggests that he did not learn about Plame on AF1.) I read its significance rather the same way that TM does. A followup question: since May has spoken with investigators, does that mean that he told investigators that he did not in fact know before July 14 2003 that Plame worked for the CIA? Or is Fitzgerald being a little cute with the fact that May is not in any real sense a reporter?

Jeff

It's funny that clarice sees Fitzgerald's statement that as far as he is aware, only Woodward, Miller, Novak, Pincus and Cooper knew that Plame worked for the CIA as a concession. (The Dickerson comment I suspect is out of an abundance of caution. His published account strongly suggests that he did not learn about Plame on AF1.) I read its significance rather the same way that TM does. A followup question: since May has spoken with investigators, does that mean that he told investigators that he did not in fact know before July 14 2003 that Plame worked for the CIA? Or is Fitzgerald being a little cute with the fact that May is not in any real sense a reporter?

cathyf

Well, there are really two issues -- 1) did the information satisfy the legal definition of something that is illegal to disclose as given in the 1919 statute? 2) did the information satisfy the requirements of the administrative order that defined what is and is not allowed to be classified?

Executive Order 13292 contains this section:

Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:
  1. conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
  2. prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
  3. restrain competition; or
  4. prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.
It seems to me that you could make a very good argument that Plame's "NOC" status violated 1, 2 and 4. The agency screwed up her career, and then they didn't have a job for her that she was qualified to do. (Her qualifications are for covert work; because the agency blew her cover twice(!) she couldn't do it anymore. Sort of like slashing the face of a model, or blinding an umpire.) So it appears that the agency gave her busywork for years (around her maternity leave). They should have moved her to a non-covert status, but if she was not qualified for the non-covert job, or was only qualified for a much lower-paying entry-level job, then they couldn't do it, and the whole "NOC" thing was about hiding this goldbricker on the payroll.

If it is true that Plame's "NOC" status had a 17 (a) (1,2,4) purpose, then according to my definition of "shall" then her status was no more "classified" than stamping "secret" on pages of a newspaper would make the information in there "classified."

The question I am wondering about is this... If Plame's status was marked classified, but not national security information in the sense of the Espionage Act, why was the DoJ the recipient of the referral rather than the Inspector General? The minute that a prosecutor figures out that no laws were broken, but regulations may have been, doesn't he have the obligation to step aside and give jurisdiction to the Inspector General for administrative investigation?

cathy :-)

clarice

te--this thing from Wonkette is rich:

Mr. Cooper, it turns out, never spoke to his confidential source that day, said Robert D. Luskin, a lawyer for the source, who is now known to be Karl Rove, the senior White House political adviser. The development was actually the product of a frenzied series of phone calls initiated that morning by a lawyer for Mr. Cooper and involving Mr. Luskin and the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald. What’s more, it looks like this “frenzy” of phone calls could have been carried out in a more leisurely fashion, since the permission Luskin granted to Cooper Wednesday simply repeated what has been true since January: Rove was fine with Cooper testifying. Of course he was: Cooper’s own emails suggest that Rove didn’t reveal the name of Joe Wilson’s wife. The real scandal of this story may be that Cooper’s source for “Valerie Plame” was Robert Novak.

clarice

Again, since Libby didn't tell Novak, how could he have been first in the telephone chain as Fitz claimed in his presser?

Jeff

Aside from it being funny that I don't know how to avoid double posting, it's funny too that once clarice gets an idea fixed, there's no dislodging it. (Perhaps it's related to the fact that she never acknowledges she is wrong, even on the most straightforward factual matters.) As TM states in this very post, the original CIA referral did not cite the IIPA. Here's what TM says:

the original CIA referral to the Department of Justice did not cite the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, but simply asked the DoJ to investigate a leak of classified information.

That means that even if it were impossible to violate IIPA in the present case, that does not mean that Libby could say nothing material. So that line of defense won't work. I'm sure this will not stop clarice from asserting that there is nothing material in Libby's statements (nor will the fact that, if I'm not mistaken, the indictment states that the grand jury did investigate possible violations of IIPA). Just as the fact that it is false, as far as we know, that Pincus was at the Wilsons July 4 barbecue has not stopped her from reiterating that point, and not acknowledging that it is wrong when it has been once again pointed out to her.

Rick Ballard

Jeff - a PDF links like any other file - as a matter of etiquette a large (over 5 page) PDF should be identified as such imeediately after the link as in link (PDF) so that people on slow dial ups can think for a moment about how much time they want to spend watching it load.

Jim E.

Jeff brings up an interesting point. How come Mr. Cliff May isn't mentioned alongside the other reporters in Fitz's letter? Unlike the other folks who piped up way, way late (Peretz, Vallely), Cliff May was quick to say Plame's status was well-known around town and was actually interviewed by the FBI. Yet his name doesn't show up. Can this mean (gasp!) that May is full of it?

clarice

There are only two laws applicable to such situations. The IIPA is very narrow and the facts don't fit.
The Espionage Act is very antique and also is inapplicable. Three days of inquiry should be enough to determine that. Victoria Toensing has written about this extensively and she does know what she's talking about.
That the referral letter doesn't mention a Statute is irrelevant. There are no other statutes which could apply. Special Prosecutions are no different than regular prosecutions in this important degree--you have to be investigating something relevant. (If you will recall i n the CLinton case when the Lewinsky matter--not part of the original charge came up--a new referral was made,

Here, when the SP sought to extend this to cover perjury and obstruction, it didn't mean I think, perjury and obstruction that was not material to the original referral.

clarice

I have no idea why May's name isn't listed. Neither is Peretz'. Was the SP playing games with the definition of "reporters"? Who knows?

Remember, he said Libby was the first in the chain and we know he wasn't.

Cecil Turner

I'm also intersted in the missing e-mail story. And y'know, I find prosecutors' claims to missing evidence a whole lot more convincing when it comes attached to an indictment for (or even just an assertion of) obstruction of justice . . . and much less so when it's in response to a discovery request. Maybe it's just me being cynical, but . . .

narciso79

Did they mention the fact, that Ames gave her name, & probably her picture, to the
SVR before he was caught in 1994. And that
information, along with the tip from the
DGI (Cuban secret service) probably circulated to more than those entities.

topsecretk9

Aside from it being funny that I don't know how to avoid double posting,

it's a sneaky type-pad hang up thing (most of the time)...I have significantly reduced my own accidentals by resisting all impulses to hit post again even after a full minute of waiting...it eventually goes through on it's own.

topsecretk9

Yet his name doesn't show up. Can this mean (gasp!) that May is full of it?
wait a hooty sec...May's article was after D.Corn and he identified his source as a former WH official (former for who?) and he didn't receive a leak from WH...so I am not entirely surprised Fitz wouldn't find May helpful to Fitz (Where is Kristof?) and there is also the possibility May didn't reveal his source (either not asked or not permitted)

Jim E.

"I have no idea why May's name isn't listed. ... Was the SP playing games with the definition of 'reporters'?"

If Fitz is designating Novak as a "reporter," than surely a former NY Times staffer--Cliff May--would be considered one as well. The most likely explanation is that Cliff May's testimony to the investigators was much, much different than what he's peddled publicly.

Rick Ballard

TS,

If Typepad is 'hanging' after you click post, close the window and reopen it through the main page. 'Course, you do want to copy your comment before closing the window.

topsecretk9

BTW May (IIRC) identified his source to be a Democrat...they are demonstrably more waiver of confidentiality phobic

topsecretk9

Thanks Rick, good tip...didn't think of it

Dwilkers

"Jeff brings up an interesting point. How come Mr. Cliff May isn't mentioned alongside the other reporters in Fitz's letter?"

I agree, it IS an interesting point.

Contrary to what has been posted from time to time May has not backed off of his statement that he knew of Plame's status.

Could it be that Fitz is referring to people that knew of it through the WH as the result of this leaking incident, and he is ignoring people that say they knew of it around town?

Dwilkers

Wait, TSK9 is right. He also doesn't list Kristoff.

WTF?

Jim E.

Cliff May wrote that the revelation in Novak's July 14 column about Plame "wasn't news to me. I had been told that." He also says he knew about it when he wrote an anti-Wilson screed on July 11 but purposely didn't include it "because it didn't seem particularly relevant."

Cliff May is full of crap. Since May (unlike Kristof) *has* spoken to investigators, and is (loosely-defined) a "reporter," he should be listed in the Fitz letter, no matter how he learned of the Plame info.

If May's really not full of crap, I trust he's working on a column about this very point right now. But the dude has access to "the corner" and he's been silent on this point thus far. How many days does May get before we all label him a fabricator?

topsecretk9

OT ---NEWS FLASH

Apparently, get Kennedy a scotch...dark ages didn't happen...put your coathangers away

"New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservative Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.

Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution."

Sue

said Robert D. Luskin, a lawyer for the source, who is now known to be Karl Rove, the senior White House political adviser.

I read this part and thought someone was playing ya'll's game with you. Karl Rove in his role as Robert D. Luskin. ::grin:: Had to read it 2x to be sure they weren't.

clarice

Jim E perhaps May is not poring over this site, because I do not believe this letter has been widely reported.

Also, does anyone recall Wilson being in Africa AFTER July 11, 2003 and for what he was there?

Rick Ballard

"for what he was there?"

COGEMA wouldn't mail him his check from Niamey?

Lew Clark

I think Robert D. Luskin is known to be that brilliant legal scholar "A source close to the investigation".

clarice

That's all I can think of, Rick..Unless it was an Al Alamoudi family gathering.

kim

Thanks, Jeff for clarifying what Fitz said about the emails. I'm with CT that it is interesting that it shows up now rather than earlier.

Phud apparently doesn't understand the difference between creating perjury and investigating it. Someone didn't shut their trap.
==============================================

vnjagvet

Is knowledge about Plame/Wilson's CIA employment by five reporters on the DC beat "widely known" as Andrea Mitchell seemed to suggest on TV in October?

Sure seems to corroborate that particular observation, AM's later protestations notwithstanding.

I wonder if the SP or his staff has ever bothered to ask her whether at that time (i.e mid July) she was one of the "wide" group of reporters who knew about Plame's identity?

Probably should have, donchathink?

Jeff

Jim E. is right. As far as I can tell, May's only out is that Fitzgerald isn't considering him a reporter, and that seems unlikely, or it's not actually true that May has talked to investigators, as David Corn reported May told him (and May, as far as I know, has never contradicted that, as you might expect were it not true and coming from David Corn). Fitzgerald's letter is categorical: as of January 18, the only reporters who knew before Novak's column that Plame worked at the CIA, as far as Fitzgerald was aware, were Woodward, Miller, Novak, Pincus and Cooper. No qualification about where they learned it from etc. So if May talked to investigators, he evidently did not tell them that he knew Plame worked at the CIA before July 14 2003. I await clarification from May.

I'm sure if this thing ever gets to trial that Kristof will have an opportunity to clarify things. Though it would be great if he would do so now too.

kim

How come no one has mentioned Beers, Clarke , or Berger as people involved in the information flow?
===========================================

Jeff

Rick - Thanks for the help on linking to pdf docs.

clarice - Since you run in the same circles, could you get word to May that he needs to clear this thing up asap if he's going to prove himself better than Russert, Kristof, Mitchell and the rest of the dread liberal MSM? That would be awesome. Also, if, when you ask

does anyone recall Wilson being in Africa AFTER July 11, 2003 and for what he was there?

you are following up on the reference to John Dickerson in Fitzgerald's letter, while it might be fun to watch the wild goose chase, the result would just be more Known Facts about Wilson, so let me try to nip it in the bud. Dickerson was on Air Force One with Bush et al on the trip to Africa July 7-12, and he has reported that White House officials (I believe Fleischer and Bartlett) talked about Wilson's trip and walked him right up to info about Plame without actually getting into it. They encouraged him and perhaps others to look into the bureaucratic origins of Wilson's trip and so on. Dickerson was not in Africa with Joe Wilson some time after July 11 2003 and before July 14 2003. If your question about Wilson has nothing to do with Dickerson, never mind.

Mescalero

If I'm not mistaken, Valerie Plame's cover was blown by Aldrich Ames during the Clinton Administration. If she commuted to CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia for several years, how in the Hell can anyone is his/her right mind consider her CIA employment as being of "secret agent" status when any street dude with a video camera could have revealed her "real" employer? By the way, being a CIA "analyst" is not in any way considered classified information. I have several acquaintances in this category at the CIA.

topsecretk9

here is the wording

We advised you during the Jan. 18 conference call conference call that we were not aware of any reporters who knew prior to July 14, 2003, that Valerie Plame, Ambass. Wilson's wife, worked at the CIA, other than: Bob W, Judith Miller, Bob Novak, Walter Pincus and Matthew Cooper.

he refers to all of the discussions with Libby

Here is Cliff May on SEPTEMBER 29 2003

"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) because it didn't seem particularly relevant to the question of whether or not Mr. Wilson should be regarded as a disinterested professional who had done a thorough investigation into Saddam's alleged attempts to purchase uranium in Africa."

"May explained: "Somebody else told it to me with a different spin. He said, 'Cliff, you've been too tough on Joe Wilson, accusing him of being a Bush basher and a leftwinger, because, you know, his wife works for the CIA. I mean, he's really not quite that bad.'

"So I think it may be something of an open secret," the NRO'er concluded."

clarice

I wrote to May, gave him a cite to the Fitz letter and asked him. How's that for a thought? Instead of calling him a liar, why not see what he says?

You know, I'm not giving automatic credit to the word of a man who says Libby was first in the gossip line when he obviously wasn't and who says he had to prosecute because of the importance of this classified information to national security when I am certain she was not a covert agent and there was no national security damage.

topsecretk9

I am certain she was not a covert agent and there was no national security damage.

my reading was Fitz tapped danced around this as much as he could.

Jim E.

TS9,
No where does Fitz identify those reporters as have *only* gleaning their info from Libby conversations.

Jeff

he refers to all of the discussions with Libby

Fitzgerald makes no such reference. What in the world are you talking about, TS?

I await clarification from Cliff May, so that he may not be in the same category as such dread MSMers as Mitchell, Kristof, Russert and so many others.

topsecretk9

Did I write ONLY?

clarice

ts--He didn't tap-dance fast enough to fool me.

narexbyrnes

Interesting snippet ....
"testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors. We expect that such conduct will be the subject of proof at trial in that we intend to introduce Libby's grand jury transcript in evidence and Mr. Libby has testified that the purpose of his July 8 meeting with Ms. Miller was to transmit information cocerning the NIE. Our anticipated basis for offering such evidence is that such facts are inextricably intertwined with the narrative of the events of spring 2003, as Libby's testimony itself makes plain"

You can delete my comments, you fascists. But the tide is turning and you can't stop it.

MARS, BITCHES!

Jim E.

"Did I write ONLY?"

You put "with Libby" in italics, which I read as being your significant point.

clarice

What is that snippet from?

Jeff

While we're on the topic, I would love to hear from Mr. Peretz. As far as I can tell, here's what he's told us:

Ms. Plame, as though everybody in Georgetown hadn't already known she was under cover, so to speak. Under cover, but not really.

Has he elaborated on this? Because it sounds like pretty thin gruel to me, or a load of crap. Is he saying he knew, or reporting that he's learned that everyone in Georgetown knew? How does he know? Who in Georgetown is everybody?

Sounds to me like he's just giving vivid imagery to a general claim ("Everybody knew") he probably can't back up. Oh well. And Vallely is clearly unreliable, especially since he came forward -- or should I say spouted off on air only -- so late in the game. So that leaves clarice's two as-yet-unnamed sources. I can't wait.

Jim E.

I believe the snippet is from pg 6 of the Jan 23 Fitz to Libby letter.

topsecretk9

I guess I put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle and really I had no significant point.

vnjagvet

It's from the last letter to Libby's counsel by the SP's ofc.

topsecretk9

did pluk just do a drive by?

PaulV

Jeff and Jim E.
You are aware that DOJ policy restrict Fitz on when he can compell testimony from a reporter. Catch 22 situation. May's testimony must be umavailable from another source and essential in proving Fitz's case.
Since it would not help his case he cannot require May to talk to him. May is lawyered up and knows this.
PYV

PaulV

those DOJ restrictions explain what is lacking in all the reporter's testimony and why Fitz will ahve tough time in court

Jim E.

PaulV,
Cliff May says that he was interviewed about his knowledge about the Plame stuff. Then again, the source for the story about Cliff May cooperating with the FBI comes from Cliff May, so, who knows if it is true or not.

kim

narexbyrnes: What if that was Tenet who authorized him to talk?
======================================

Jeff

PaulV - So you're saying investigators asked, and May refused to give them information that would be exculpatory of any alleged wrongdoers in the White House? And refused to confirm that he knew about Plame before July 12, 2003? I await the shock and outrage from commenters here that this reporter is not telling us everything he knows.

Furthermore, since May allegedly received the information about Plame casually in a casual setting, would this really be covered by reporters' privilege? If it was all so casual that May understood it was common knowledge among DC insiders, why won't he tell us who it was, when it was, the details of the conversation, and so on? And why won't he tell the investigation? With you scenario, questions about May's ethics just multiply.

My assumption, by the way, has been that May was questioned by the FBI (I presumed before the special prosecutor was appointed), and not subpoened, which I thought was where the DoJ guidelines came in.

narexbyrnes

narexbyrnes: What if that was Tenet who authorized him to talk?
======================================

The letter says very specifically "his superiors". There were only two superiors to Libby. Tenet wasn't one of them.

PaulV

Jeff and Jim E.
DOJ policy restricts the questions that can be asked of reporters. Just like with Russert and Andrea they do not ask the right questions. You think that May would blow his source(s). Would you expect any other repoter to do so? If so explain and give examples.
These restrictions on questions explains why the investigation is so fouled up.

PaulV

Jeff, what basis do you have that DOJ guidelines do not apply to FBI. BYW guideline apply to all prosecutors, not just Fitz. It would be incredibly stupid to allow FBI to bypass those guidelines, otherwise the policy would be ineffective.
The know it upsets you to have holes in your pet theory but grow up.

kim

Oh, so you're reading Fitz's mind? It is a very interesting tidbit.
=======================================

kim

Might not Tenet be able to authorize Libby to talk?
====================================

clarice

TM, I read the last graph about archiving the emails as a protective thing--they cannot be sure everything was properly catalogued though they don't believe anything was destroyed..That means he's saying if he later finds something he should have turned over in a discovery request and it turns out it was improperly filed, he wants to be able to say he warned of that ahead of time.

We know there is something to this--i.e. Rove's email re his conversation with Cooper which seems to have been misfiled.

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Wilson/Plame