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February 25, 2006

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narexbyrnes

Huh, noticed you didn't mention the 250 new pages of emails the OVP just turned over.

Anonymous Liberal

Have you seen the latest story at Raw Story?

The White House turned over last week 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Senior aides had sent the emails in the spring of 2003 related to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed during a federal court hearing Friday.

The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said.

Sources close to the probe said the White House “discovered” the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife’s undercover status to reporters.

This can't possibly be true. But damn, if only it were...

clarice

On the other hand they may NOT prove explosive and may NOT show that Cheney orchestrated any campaign against Wilson. Instead they may show him saying WTF is this about? At my behest? Get that idiot Tenet over here pronto.

Javani

Maybe Woodward and Novak are guessing they shared the same source. As for the "everyone knows" excerpt...maybe it was an excerpt traded in discovery, not a whole transcript? Could the Circuit Court have referenced it in the "eight pages" of their opinion that was formerly redacted? Mystery indeed, choppy reporting might be the problem.

"As to Armitage being a foe of the neocons,"

Isn't the better way to frame the question is "Who is a foe of Joe Wilson?" George Tenet didn't think much of him, to say the least.

Sue

Tom,

I wonder if the judge said it wasn't relevant? I know that is a picky point with me, but the Forbes article didn't mention relevance and the WaPo article did. There is a difference between relevance and the privacy issue.

Javani

"Have you seen the latest story at Raw Story?"

Isn't that the website ex-writers for "High Times" contribute? Just a rumor...I don't know for sure.

vnjagvet

If the RS story is true (there is a first for everything), Fitz has no choice but to indict the VP. He'll probably include an assault charge, just to make sure he can get to the bottom of Quailgate.

After all, the public has the right to know.

Satire and sarcasm are great entertainment, aren't they?

Sue

Anyway you slice this, the unidentified government official ("ugo") told reporters about Valerie Plame. When did this ugo spill the beans? Prior to Libby's conversation with Miller in June? Prior to his conversation with her on July 8? I am going to assume that Libby's team knows when ugo talked. And if ugo misremembered speaking to Woodward, who else might ugo have misremembered speaking to? And why are they being afforded privacy? So many questions...so little answers...

Javani

"A quick guess - the WaPo could not duck this because Woodward is one of their guys; the NY Times is engaging in professional courtesy by letting the WaPo handle its own laundry."

AP leads with the leaker identity angle. Naturally, since that's the human interest, "big secret," whiz bang part of the story. Notes? Boring. New York Times reporter either has a deaf ear for news, or is telegraphing Times readers not to worry their little heads over this issue.

Sue

If Fitz is about to indict the VP of the US, he better settle the question as to whether he is a properly appointed prosecutor first.

Sue

Now, the judge is currently keeping this from Libby. What does that suggest? Some guesses would be: (a) the judge does not think it is relevant, or (b) Libby's team can get what they need by questioning Woodward and Novak.

Now Tom is doing it. Did the judge say it wasn't relevant or is this a guess on the part of the WaPo reporter?

I'm drowning in this question...and I need answers...

danking70

So Novak's source for the column that revealed Plame's CIA work to the world is not relevant?

Sue

Why was it so important for everyone to know that Libby and Rove leaked but ugo is being afforded privacy?

2 guesses on ugo...Tenet or Powell. Armitage, to me, doesn't rate the privacy standard. But that may be simply because I don't like him.

Sue

And Novak says Bush knows who it is. Both Powell and Tenet are 'retired'. Makes it hard to pick a winner here.

maryrose

I concur Tenet or Powell but what is their motivation?

Sue

If the judge actually said the word relevant, as in the identity isn't relevant, then it can't be Tenet. But that is if the judge said it wasn't relevant. If Tenet is the source, then it is damn sure relevant to Libby's case if the head of CIA is talking about her. So, depending on whether he actually said relevant, I will pass on Tenet. Powell, however, could still be not relevant (how anyone leaking her name is not relevant, since Fitz made it clear that leaking her name could have damaged national security, is beyond me) to the charges of perjury, obstruction and false statements against Libby. Unless, of course, ugo told a reporter that talked to Russert who in turn told Libby. I hope you were able to follow this mumbo jumbo post, because I'm not sure I even did.

I am invoking Clarice's midnight rule. Nothing posted after midnight has to make sense. ::grin::

Jeff

If it is the case that the source never worked in the White House, the source cannot be Pincus', since he has identified his source as a White House official.

Sue

Maryrose,

There was no motivation. Ugo was responding to a question raised by the reporter about the story going around about the ambassador. Something along the lines of "the boondoggle trip by that quack Wilson who would look good in a clown suit if they could find one that would fit over his ego...his wife over at CIA got him the gig...I don't remember her name...Plame, Flame, Victoria, Valerie...". I probably added some words that ugo didn't actually say, but he should have...

topsecretk9

entitled to know the identity of an anonymous administration official who revealed information about CIA operative Valerie Plame to two journalists,

I.E. ---Presser, sucks to be you V.Plame, cuz this means NO covert

Jeff

TM - No attention to this from the AP:

The defense was told that the White House had recently located and turned over about 250 pages of e-mails from the vice president's office.

Surely that is a striking development. Do you think it had anything to do with that mention of emails not archived by the normal process by Fitzgerald? Is it possible that it didn't? And do you think it didn't have anything to do with Cheney's setpiece with his pal Brit the other day? Was that just a coincidence?

Forget Rawstory for a moment. (And forget poor Harry Whittington.) In itself the location and production of 250 pages of emails some two years after the issuance of a subpoena for such stuff is an astonishing development, no?

maryrose

But if that much info was given out then why is that person immune from any charges and why are they protecting his identity.Rove and Libby and Cheney{by innuendo} have been dragged through the mud and this person gets a pass? I don't get it.

Sue

Jeff,

If Libby has the same problem I do, then no freakin' wonder he can't remember who told who what and when. I've been so confused over the knowns sources as to the 'guessed' sources that I'm starting to believe my own rhetoric. I thought Ari Fleischer was Pincus' source. Did I dream that up too?

Sue

Jeff,

had cautioned Libby's lawyers that some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed.

Only if you are reading more into what we know than what we know. That's my job, BTW.

Rick Ballard

Look for The Lady in Red in the VP's office. She's been leaving clues everywhere.

Sue

And I do plan on informing the Goddess of your encroachment into my territory. Just not tonight...I'm outta here. Hopefully, this will be solved by the time I return tomorrow. The identity of ugo, not the encroachment infraction. ::grin::

Night, ya'll.

MJW

Jeff, if the newly found email were as explosive as the oh-so-reliable "Raw Story" claims, would Fitzgerald really allow it to be turned over so quickly to Libby, or would he hide behind the "grand jury secrecy" shield?

Rick Ballard

Bon soir, cherie.

Jeff

MJW - I said forget Rawstory. You find nothing remarkable in the fact that 250 pages of emails from the OVP have recently been turned over to the prosecutor, two years after the issuance of a subpoena for such stuff? Nothing? And you would find nothing remarkable about it if, say, someone you really really didn't like occupied the OVP?

But anyway, I don't see where it has been reported that Fitzgerald had turned over the 250 pages of emails to Libby's team. All I've seen is that the defense was told about this, not that they actually got the emails, or even were told they were going to get them. Have I missed it?

topsecretk9

Forget Rawstory for a moment. (And forget poor Harry Whittington.)

Moralistic dunbasness aside, this is rewarded and I am the (bad, bad gir) - what-ev

In itself the location and production of 250 pages of emails some two years after the issuance of a subpoena for such stuff is an astonishing development, no?

Do you have evidence of a criminal withholding or are you asserting <>belief unwarranted or otherwise.

JM Hanes

I've got to think that RAW story's version is skewed somehow -- maybe as to characterizing the emails as plamegate related -- because I agree this would be a pretty huge story. Yet it's also a "last week" story, which seems surprising if it's a blockbuster as advertised. There are just too many reporters following this thing with magnifying glasses to miss it altogether, regardless of what hits the fan elsewhere. I could be overestimating the MSM, but that's not usually where I find myself.

maryrose

It was stated by Fitz a couple of weeks ago that some e-mails were archived in a different manner and hard to retrieve. My guess they found a way to get them and then turned them over to the prosecutor. To make something more of it is just dumb.
Sue; Thanks for a tremendous effort to get to the bottom of THE HIDDEN SOURCE!

JM Hanes

maryrose

I've decided just to wait till Sue & TM et al get it figured out for us, because my own gears on this one whirl around without meshing anywhere any more, & all I get to show for it is a headache. Thank heaven we finally got some court filings to ponder!

Jeff

topsecret - I've never been called a moralist dunbas before. I suppose it's better than being called a complete lunatic retard by noah.

The point about Whittington is, let's not even get into speculation that Cheney is so off his game because of the pressure from the Fitzgerald investigation that he would slip up and shoot a 78-year-old man by mistake. And the point about Rawstory is, let's not even put any stock in that latest report.

Those aside, it is remarkable and worthy of attention that two years after the fact of the subpoena, a substantial bulk of emails (not huge, but 250 pages is not nothing either) from the OVP, by all accounts the center of activity in response to Wilson, has been produced in response to those subpoenas. That's quite late. I neither have evidence nor am I asserting that it was criminal withholding. Who knows whether it was. But you don't find it surprising, astonishing, remarkable, noteworthy or anything like that? It's just to be expected, no reason even to wonder about this the way we wonder about most of the details in the Plame matter we get our hands on? If we don't have definitive evidence here and now that it was criminal withholding, there's nothing to wonder about? Like, say, the possible connection between the recent production of these new documents and that little possible bombshell dropped by Fitzgerald in his letter the other week? Or the possible connection between this stuff and what Cheney was saying to his pal Brit about being able to declassify stuff? There's no interest there?

clarice

You also don't seem to be a good reader. The problem was at the archives where the stuff had been sent under legal procedures, not at the WH.

topsecretk9

NO Linky Jeff (which is cool cuz it happens) but I do resent that you get to be a monumental "DICK" but I am a "@@@@" (that's 4 words, start with a "c") if I respond.

Funny how that works.

topsecretk9

"letters"
i meant

topsecretk9

and "dumb-ass" is what I was going for(obviously)) but since YOU made a mistake...nevermind

I did still be interested in you *assured* belief that Fitz was aggressive on Miller's "other sources" now.

JM Hanes

Yeah, but he's our dick, tops, and a lefty to boot, which is rara avis material residency-wise, & which comes with certain minority protections -- so never mind all that. We need you back in the saddle, pronto, mainstay that you are. Woof! Top Dog. Bad Girl. Whatever.

JM Hanes

Jeff

Think you must've forgotten to close your link = underline extending forever.

topsecretk9

Yeah, but he's our dick, tops,

apparently, JM (and I respect this),,,, he's TM's dick. TM owns, not me and TM lets me post here too.

but Jeff knows
I've "joked" around with him, and it is just stunning that he is or allowed to be vapid on this point (very kind to polly, total jerk to Clariice), but ignored to much fan-fare

(BTW JM, why aren't you "url'ing? on your comments, because I've been checking in...and it's worthy of a double daily read????)

kim

TENET

But why everyone is bending over backwards to protect him, I don't know. Maybe it's in Jeff's 250 pages.
======================================

kim

'Not entitled' to know this dude's identity? Rest assured Libby's team knows who it is. For some reason the judge has refused to let Libby use this obviously germane information in his defense. Bingo goes the appeals judge. But why is this such a big secret? This has got to be something to do with future investigation of the CIA. Anybody else with any bizarre Sat AM theories?

And I've run out of spit trying to masticate the latest emails. I'm finding them dry and tasteless, else why hasn't Fitz been frothing about them already?
=================================

Dwilkers

I wonder how the WH archiving system works. I was a bit disturbed by the whole missing e-mail thing when it came up a few weeks ago. I'm relatively confident that it isn't Rove or Cheney's job to set the back up tape every night before they go home. It is pretty weird to me that they don't even have a solid backup system at the White House. I mean, that's so 1990's.

Anyway, I'm glad they found...is it just some of them or all of them? Hmm. And Raw Story says they're explosive eh? I'll believe it when I see it.

kim

How inconsistently gullible Raw Story is. They assume this stuff is explosive because they assume it was sequestered for a reason. Yet don't they know that had it been so sequestered it would now be defused? Such suspension of belief, at the root of many delusions.
========================================

Patton

So let me get this straight:

A self-admitted unaccountable to anyone ACTING Attorney General Fitzgerald who does not have to follow DOJ guidelines (such as media subpeonas being approved by a real AG), claims in a public speech and in an indictment that Mr. Libby was the first to disclose Valerie Plames identity.

He also hints that convicting Libby of Perjury and Obstruction serves the same pupose as convicting him of revealing a covert operative.

THEN WHEN THE LIBBY DEFENSE LEARNS THAT ANOTHER PERSON WAS THE ACTUAL FIRST LEAKER AND FITZGERALD KNOWS HIS STATEMENTS ABOUT LIBBY WERE UNTRUE, FITZ not only doesn't apologize, nor amend the false statements in the indictment, but convinces a judge to cover up his mistake by denying Mr Libby the right to pursue his defense.

I would think this would be reversed on appeal after trial because Libby should have the right to impeach Tim Russerts testimony. That impeachment should include the right to puruse whether Russert was aware of Valerie Plame prior to his conversation with Libby.

This Gov official talked to Novak and Woodward, and a fellow Russert NBC News employee (Andrea Mitchell) has stated in was common knowledge in her circles, yet Libby is denied the ability to pursue his defense.

kim

You know, it's kind of reassuring to see that a prosecutor given unlimited powers is still not quite going to be able to pull off this miscarriage of justice.

Now, who's going to be the Big Boy. Will the judge call a halt, or will it have to be Bush?

I can just see Dems attacking Bush for relieving a man of his otherwise unlimited power?

Thank you, Karl.
===========================================

kim

Fitz is just too much like scrambling out of check, and throwing his case out on appeal just to keep it going now. He's getting frantic. Rove's lawyer's chat started this, and probably provoked Fitz's defensiveness at the presser.

Oh just quit and go home and fight bad guys. DoJ can take it from here.
===============================

kim

Somebody upthread hasn't realized that the so-called 'amen chorus' is in fact a mock jury, emphasis on the 'mock', and we've been peering around. Judge us by the jeers.

Catcalls at the cavewall. Jeers of the realm. There's got to be a joke in there somewhere.
==============================================

kim

Time to fluff up and pan some yellowcakes.
======================================

kim

Thursday special at the Red Maple was bean soup with fresh cut onions. The cornbread was made in waffle irons, and not just on Thursday.
==========================================

kim

Caney, or cain't he?

Dewey, or don't we?

Sedan, and shut up!
================================

noah

Jeff you couldn't be a lunatic retard because your presence as liberal dunce is essential. Next thing ya know K9 will be offering certain favors just so you will keep coming around.

That make any sense? No not at all, but if you wrote it you probably would be proud.

kim

Hey, think of the kids.
========================

Cecil Turner

It was win some, lose some for Libby in court today.

Yes, and interestingly, it wasn't the same set of questions we'd expected. Referring back to Libby's filings, I thought we had 5 discovery disputes (notes, PDBs, intel inquiries, damage assessment, and Plame's status). This only talked to the first two or three (and so far I'm feeling pretty good about this prediction, especially after Fitz conceded Libby "dealt with weighty matters"). The "sources" question may be tangential to status, but damage assessment wasn't discussed at all, AFAICT. Looks to me like we're missing something significant. The missing e-mails doesn't appear to be much, only discussed in the AP report, and attributed to a failure of the White House's archiving system.

. . . your presence as liberal dunce is essential.

Some diversity in viewpoint is certainly essential (otherwise it gets real dull 'round here), and it's difficult being the odd man out. I'd counsel restraint in personal comments.

kim

We luv ya', Jeff. Just don't be so mean to the Queen. We're right, you know. Yeah, yeah, too right. Now you're right.
=====================================

Kate

Ain't it sweet. Fitz wants to protect an earlier leaker than the evil Libby and/or Rove and the judge concurs.

Fitz took the MSM and Joe Wilson narrative and never looked anywhere else. In his mind there were always good leakers and bad leakers who must be punished.

kim

I expect Fitz is surprised. I'll bet he is following his usual modus operandi to the letter, but his previous experience was that it would roll up criminal conspiracies. The trouble is that the technique works when there is a conspiracy, but it creates the impression of one when there isn't one. Very interesting, and it gives me an out to forgive Fitz. Always before he's been pointed in the right direction. Not a weapon to loose unrestrainedly on the innocent,though.
================================

kim

Here might be how to replace the bit. Rule on several dismissal motions at once, in order taking apart Fitz on materiality, on Libby's right to defend himself, etc., and only finally on no constituted authority.

Then it's on to Joe.
===================

noah

I agree CT but Jeff's density on that particular thread was approaching neutron star stuff.

I promise to impose prior restraint on myself in the future unless provoked. LOL.

noah

Jeff doesn't really exist anyway...TM's alter ego is my guess.

kim

I wondered that once, a long time ago, Noah. I've seen that done.
====================================

Jeff

topsecret - All I'm gonna say is, don't blame me, I haven't called you names or even complained.

As for Fitzgerald and Miller, I'm not clear on why I'm supposed to give up my conviction that with Miller, as with the other reporters, Fitzgerald went after her other sources on Plame, and could not get information about them because Miller was unable or unwilling to give him any information, and that's about all he could do. When this started, my contention that he did in fact ask her about those other sources was denied by some righties here. I then produced the evidence that he did in fact ask her. Then the counter-assertion seemed to be that he didn't ask her aggressively enough. But surely once she has denied that could remember who or when her other source(s) on Plame were, she was just going to repeat that line if Fitzgerald went down a list and said, "Was Rove your source? Was Wilson? Was Cheney?" and so on.

I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that neither of the Wilsons was a source for Miller. It's possible Miller could have learned about Plame from some of her earlier reporting. But as I read her statements, that would not fit what her sources were about here, or when. See, I think that Miller's other sources were administration figures unfriendly to the Wilsons, I think she is holding out to protect them. That fits the general pattern of where Miller is well, and where she isn't, well sourced. Miller is well sourced among the harder liners in the administration.

kim

Are you hanging your whole hat on Miller abhorrence?
============================================

R C Dean

The leaker's identity angle is a no-lose deal for Libby's defense team. If they get the name and the chronology is that Plame's identity was leaked before Libby talked to anyone, great.

If they don't get the name, well, that sets up a jury-friendly (and appeals-friendly) argument that the government is trying to have it both ways. If this leak was such a big deal that "lying" about conversations relating to it is material, then why aren't they going after the other and possibly original leaker(s).

But if leaking about Plame wasn't a crime, then why the hell are we trying to put someone in jail here?

And I for one am very not sold on this new prosecutirial trick of jailing people for secondary offenses when no crime was committed in the first place.

noah

I suspect that Miller's phone is not exactly ringing off the hook from admin sources anymore.

I sure hope they get to bottom of this thing short of a trial, because otherwise the lefties are going to be whining about it for the next century. If it does go to trial, the country will be hurt, the press will be hurt, and in the end, even if convicted, Libby will be pardoned.

noah

People keep on bringing up the Martha Stewart prosecution inappropriately in my opinion. As I remember the timeline she may very well have been trading on inside info but the government couldn't prove it. But there was a definite prosecutable crime there.

In this case, the DOJ had several months to determine if there was a prosecutable crime before Fitz was named. Maybe there are guidelines against it or something but wouldn't it be better if the government announced exactly what crime it is that they are investigating so that targets have some idea of what the deal is?? As it is, Kafka would be getting new story ideas if he were alive today!!

Which brings up an old complaint of mine about the defense thus far. Why is it not a legitimate discovery request that Fitz reveal what crime he was investigating?

maryrose

Kate:
Your idea of good and bad leakers is pivotal in this whole discussion. Unknown leaker -good
Libby-bad. I thought justice was supposed to be impartial. The blindfolded image is what I conjure up. I also agree that Fitz was defensive at the presser because he realized while sweating that his case was shaky but I think he stii thought he could get away with it. It's passive aggressive behavior and throwing things at the wall to see what will stick-a distinctly dem tactic.

Dwilkers

"I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that neither of the Wilsons was a source for Miller."

Really. Pretty bold statement.

The fact that they all live in the same place and that Miller reports on the very subject Plame worked on at the CIA make that a sucker's bet. Add in the Wilson/Plame anti-Bush (or anti Iraq war, or anti-whatever you wish to call it) agenda and the well established fact that they were shopping it to reporters (IE Kristoff) and I'd say you're taking a sucker's bet.

But then again I've about decided we're all being suckered by the entire lot on both sides.

maryrose

Noah: Good point about revealing what charge are we investigating here. Tell all.
My bottom line scenario- rulings come down, after 06 elections and repubs hold the House and Senate Bush shuts it down.

Cecil Turner

Then the counter-assertion seemed to be that he didn't ask her aggressively enough.

The bottom line is that she had another source and relied on a convenient memory lapse to shield 'em. The perception that Fitz didn't care is reinforced by his expressed lack of interest in leaks unless they attacked Wilson:

One key factor in deciding whether to issue a subpoena has been whether the ‘source’ to be identified appears to have leaked to discredit the early source (Wilson) as opposed to a leak who revealed information as a "whistleblower" (e.g., the source for the September 28 Washington Post column). The First Amendment interests are clearly different when the "source" being sought may have committed a crime in order to attack a person such as Wilson who, correctly or incorrectly, sought to expose what he perceived as misconduct by the White House. Indeed, failure to take effective steps to identify such sources might chill future whistleblowers such as Wilson, thus impairing "a reporter's responsiblity to cover as broadly as possible controversial public issues."
But the big issue isn't what Fitz failed to get from Miller . . . it's in not asking other reporters the question unless he thought Scooter was their source. The result was predictable from the search methodology. Similarly, Fitz apparently never pursued the possibility that the initial leak was through Kristof and Pincus; which if true would seem to provide ample reasonable doubt to get Libby off the hook.

Moreover, it now appears this has little or nothing to do with the actual leak, and Fitz had to know it. Miller never published, and Libby's other conversations were after Novak's story was already on the wire. Why we're chasing this one down is a bit of a mystery to me, and seems to be a further indication we're looking for a particular result, rather than the truth.

kim

He didn't exactly say it was his money he was going to bet. Besides, it's probably an unsettlable bet anyway, so it's Monopoly money. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
==========================================

kim

Why unsettlable? Because she won't remember well enough to satisfy a referee or jury. Hahahahahaha!
==========================================

kim

OK, CT, you write the forward for Tom and Clarice's book. How about co-writing the whole thing? You already have.
============================================

jerry

It's a bit of a strech to say that the unknown official mislead Fitzgerald.

emptywheel

TM

What about the reports that this person (the Woodward Novak source) is NSC? That would rule out Armitage, definitively (WOodward himself says that Libby is the only non-principal who attended NSC meetings, which might leave John Hannah as a possibility, but leaves out Armitage). Or, you could argue this is a person on the National Security Advisor's staff, which would mean Eliott Abrams is a possibility, but not any of the other favorite suspects.

Two other people on NSC who have been mentioned as possible sources (and who are not now in WH) are Condi and Rummy. I think the refereces is LIKELY a reference to Eliott Abrams. But I'm kind of enjoying the possibility that it's Rummy.

emptywheel

One more comment. THis person is described as an "administration official," not a "former administration official." Don't know if that is the characterization of Walton (who presumably knows the identity) or Jeffress (who may know, or may be talking out of his arse). Needless to say, Armitage wouldn't qualify as the former.

topsecretk9

OK, CT, you write the forward for Tom and Clarice's book.

I second that.

clarice

CT, It is astonishing to me that something so obvious--the methodology dictated the result--is overlooked by so many people.

PeterUK

I find this Byzantine political scandal fascinating,some questions:_
Why would anyone in the Whitehouse know Plame worked for the CIA,she was supposed to be classified? If she were covert Whitehouse officials would not even know of her existance.

If officials were asked to find out what Wilson's wife did,why did they ask,more to the point who disclosed the information?.

What rank did Plame hold that she would come to the attention of the Whitehouse? Politicos don't usually know the name of the hired help.

Lastly does anyone think that when Plame married a diplomat,albeit a C lister,that it would not come to the attention of the gossip pages?

"I think my wife is having an affair",.."Why's that Joe?"
"Well I keep asking her where she goes every day and she said "If I told you that Dahlink,I would have to kill you"

"Nah,Joe she's CIA"

clarice

I think Fitz assumed that no one in the WH would know except that there was a concerted effort to smear Wilson and op research had disclosed the link.
In fact, both were well known to NSC and DoS types and the press.

topsecretk9

Clarice
About your revelation last night...if Fitz charges someone else they have this dismissal as a guide to file an immediate dismissal. So, knowing that...assuming the mystery person is being investigated (I don't think the person is, see Cathyf) ...your theory might prevent anyone else being charged, but then the defense can rightly be peeved and I'm guessing the court would side with them (the peeved ones) right?

clarice

Well, I don't know about "peeved" but the absurdity grows. After all we now know that it was perfectly okay for some reason for a NOON WH official to divulge her name to --apparently two--reporters, but not okay for Libby to have said "he heard that too " to Cooper and to say nothing to Russert and to say God knows what to Miller.

Perhaps that super secret written in invisible ink criminal statute Fitz was working on had a special clause for people who did the heavy lifting in the WH and not for crumb cake pushers at DoS(where I'm now fairly certain this tale arouse)

clarice

NOON--should of course be NON..(Abject apologies)

clarice

And *DAMN* arose, not arouse.........

topsecretk9

Thanks Clarice,
and "peeved" was poor choice, how about ...use to make an argument

clarice

Well certainly in the court of public opinion. As a legal matter selective prosecution is a hard road to virtually nowhere.
Why do I grow more certain the mystery blabber was a DoS type? Becuase I am increasingly certain Fitz is a dim bulb who would think it perfectly okay if someone fluffy around the edges like Powell or Armitage released this to attack the agency and perfectly awful for the WH to do so to protect its credibility for truthfulness at a critical moment (the start of a war).

PeterUK

Just to interpose a touch of reality here,we need to see the depths of degradation that Joe Wilson and valerie Plame have fallen to since Valerie was "outed".

clarice

Yes, gives you a good idea of their sense of judgement.

PeterUK

Yes,Dirty Harry and Doesn't Mata Hari.

Syl

Oh yes. Cecil and Clarice see the forest. It's been fun counting and arguing about the trees and their individual worth but the forest is blighted and has to be completely razed.

I see where fitz is coming from. I even agree up to a point.

A whistleblower has the right to accuse the administration of wrongdoing, whether the whistleblower is right or wrong, and that right is very important and shouldn't be chilled. I agree.

So, to fitz, the underlying crime is not outing a covert agent, it is the attempt to discredit a whistleblower which would, indeed, have a chilling effect on future whistleblowers.

Thus the fact that Libby wasn't the one who actually 'outed' her does not matter. What fitz believes is that Libby tried to discredit Wilson by using his wife's employment to 'smear him' by reducing the importance of his trip to Niger and that's all that counts to fitz.

The individual who actually 'outed her' to Novak is not from the Whitehouse so that doesn't count as retaliation against a whistleblower. No motive.

[Damage to national security would be icing but is irrelevant because Libby didn't out her to anyone who went to print. Damage to the Wilson's is implied but never pursued or proven.]

But fitz got stuck on motive. He can't prove that Libby was trying to discredit Wilson. And since he can't prove that, he believes Libby obstructed his investigation.

And that's where the whole case of discrediting a whistleblower breaks down.

Fitz seems to be claiming that the administration has no right to set the record straight if the whistleblower is indeed wrong or gives misleading information because fitz didn't even look into the truth or fiction of what wilson claimed.

Doing so would have revealed what Libby's motive was: to set the record straight.

But I still see fitz' point here. A whistleblower usually never has the full picture but that fact shouldn't prevent someone from speaking out against the administration. A whistleblower does have the right to be wrong.

Yes, but...and this is a big huge B U T...discrediting a whistleblower should be censured but it is not criminal.

So the underlying 'crime' that seems so important to fitz is not a 'crime' at all if no criminal statutes can be applied to the 'outing' of Valery.

And this entire case is simply criminalizing politics.


clarice

Bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We have another winner!

coolpapa

Syl-

"So, to fitz, the underlying crime is not outing a covert agent, it is the attempt to discredit a whistleblower which would, indeed, have a chilling effect on future whistleblowers."

Oh, you mean a whistleblower has a penumbral right to expect his/her allegations to be unassailable?

DC would become a whistle-stop overnight.

topsecretk9

Here is another stray question - how can it be that Libby's team knows this official is a source for two reporters, but does not know the official's name? Or do they know the name perfectly well, but just want the grand jury transcripts?

The AP provides another headscratcher:

Libby's lawyers and Fitzgerald disagreed over whether the unidentified government official - who does not work at the White House - was referring to Plame or her husband when he said, "Everyone knows," during a taped interview with investigators.

The defense said the official meant that most reporters knew that Plame worked at the CIA, as Libby testified before a federal grand jury. But Fitzgerald said the reference was to Wilson, who was not identified in initial media reports about the trip to Niger.

I'm going out on a limb here, but could this person be Brent Scowcroft? He encouraged Wilson to take his story to the papers. He was on the Presidents Foreign Intel Committee at the time and for some time after working closely with State and peddling Wilson's tale and anything Wilson had to say to WH (asking Wilson permission to take the San Jose Merc. Op to Bush?) He has his anti-neocon bona fides. I could easily see identifing him "SAO", is he a favorite of Novaks? I can also see Woodward speaking with him ofetn on his book (Prior Iraq stuff)

Also, months before Woodward came out, Wilson was whinning and mocking Woodward, something like "Come on Bob, your were in the WH, you must have picked up on this"

Also, he sits on that Aspen Group with Nic Kristof and Judy Miller...

Now in rereading Libby's letter
to Judy Miller (by passing the Aspen roots) he wrote:

...Why? Because, as I am sure will not be news to you, the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me, or knew about her before our call. I waived the privilege voluntarily to cooperate with the GJ, but also because the reporters' testimony served my best interests. I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all

I admire your principled fight with he Government. But for my part, this is a rare case where this "source" would be better if you testified..."

It is just sort of interesting that he seems to be aware that Miller had other sources on this and sounds to me the SHE communicated it, most likely inadvertently.

topsecretk9

Brent Scowcroft fits with the "whistleblower" investigation concept, He is a "good" leaker and why Fit is arguing the te person is referring to Wilson in the "everyone" comment.

Also, Novak said the purpose of his article was that HIS interest was "piqued" why a prior Clinton appointee and Kerry Campaign guy was popped for this job. So HE started snooting around, I can see him seeking perspective from Scowcroft who was a Wilson cheerleader and that is how Wilson was alerted Novak was writing about him (and probably that person told Wilson that no matter how hard he cheer led, he sensed Novak was not sympathetic to Wilson)

Because really, the chance friend/Novak encounter on the street is just preposterous.

topsecretk9

actually I don't know if he used the word "piqued", but that was the gist...also sorry about the tag (Safari people)

PeterUK

"What fitz believes is that Libby tried to discredit Wilson by using his wife's employment to 'smear him' by reducing the importance of his trip to Niger and that's all that counts to fitz."

But it was known that Wilson went on the behalf of the CIA,how does revealing his wife worked for the CIA smear him?

I am not arguing with your conclusions,but this is regarded as a smear because Wilson says it is a smear.That Plame is Wilson's wife does not discrdit Wilsons conclusion,but rather supports them.It might be an accusation of nepotism,but then again it was.
Since the CIA has charged that one of their,covert/classified/a bit secret,worked behind a desk, operatives was "outed" thus putting her at risk,why is noone asking why the CIA put Plame at risk by sending her husband on a politically and militarily sensitive mission.A mission that Wilson was totally unqualified to undertake.
Finally do all CIA subcontracters publish their findings in the NEw York Times?

TM

What about the reports that this person (the Woodward Novak source) is NSC?

Wait - do you mean that NSC people are *not* in the White House?

Physically, I assume many of them are not. Actually, upon reflection I would guess that Libby is in the old EOB across the street (but within the WH security fence.)

But metaphorically, when, e.g., Pincus says he has a White House source what are folks including, or excluding?

Here at the WH, the Executive Office of the President" includes the NSC.

So my current view - *IF* the WaPo story is describing a courtroom exchange (and not a hallway clarification for the press) in which the defense described the source as *not* in the WH, and the prosecutor did not correct that, then the NSC would seem to be out.

Obviously, those caveats don't equal the Great Wall.

But I'm kind of enjoying the possibility that it's Rummy.

Oh, I would pay extra for that scoop, after I stopped laughing. Its easy to think of objections, starting with, DIA is just about invisible in the indictment, but they should have had a guy at the fateful meeting which sent Joe, and Rummy is an ear-to-the-ground sort of guy.

kim

But why, tsk9, is everyone protecting Scowcroft, or whoever at DoS? I still like Tenet, or who knows, Rice.
====================================================

Lew Clark

I'm not so sure Fitz sees himself as the holy defender of whistleblowers or of national security. It has become obvious to me that (despite the assurances to the contrary of his bestest buddy Andy), Fitz saw this from the start as a political witch hunt and a hunt his personal political leanings made him more than willing to take. That it was his duty to take out Bush or at least those thugs close to him. That is the only way I can understand his prosecuting a crime that never happened. But only selectively prosecuting it. Because he wasn't prosecuting a crime, he was prosecuting those bad people. And anyone who was on the other side of the divide were allies to be supported, not punished. Wilson, because he was at the heart of the other side. But also anyone in the government and media that was "after Bush" were on his team, not in his sights. Going after Miller, Cooper, etc. (even considering the previous bone he had with Miller) was about their getting between him and the crooks in the WH.
Which makes this whole thing even more abhorrent. A prosecutor with exceptional authority and no controls out on a political witch hunt.

Kate

Lew-I agree 100% with your assessment of Fitzgerald. Once again, the naive attitude of the Bush White House created tons of problems. Why did Ashcroft appoint Fitzgerald, apparently Ashcroft did not know Fitzgerald was such a partisan.

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Wilson/Plame