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April 08, 2006

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jerry

The Dems would say why not hold a press conference to discuss the declasified info, why go to Judy Miller?

I guess one reason would be that this Administration abhors letting the public or press question it's actions (for example, the President only talked to loyal Repblicans at his town hall meetings until recently).

ajacksonian

Being Chairman of the Department of the Obvious is a full-time job. Once you start, you can't stop. That is what you get for answering the obvious.... just like I do not like being 'The Shell Answer Man' to any and all topics, it comes with the territory. I have tried to point out that I do not have white hair, necessary for that post, but then I am not Chairman of the Department of the Obvious, just a lowly student of the Oblique...

kim

It'll be amusing to watch, if they ever regain power, the Democrats struggle to maintain civil worldwide order.
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Cecil Turner

This silliness requires willful ignorance of what a "leak" is: an unauthorized disclosure. And of course the President, as classifying and declassifying authority for all US information, wants to protect his authority and stamp out all unauthorized disclosures. There's nothing particularly righteous about it; it's just his rice bowl. But the claims of hypocrisy because he wants to be in charge of information disclosures is an oxymoronic howler. (And in many cases the proponents appear certifiable.)

The Dems would say why not hold a press conference to discuss the declasified info, why go to Judy Miller?

Which of course they did. They were obviously trying to hype it as well . . . but of course nobody noticed.

Paul Zrimsek
The Dems would say why not hold a press conference to discuss the declasified info, why go to Judy Miller?

I daresay they would, and will. But it's rather like asking, why don't strippers come out on stage already peeled down? It would save time, after all.

kim

Which pinpoints, CT, the problem the left had with Judy Miller. You might even view her as a whistleblower, exposing the false stories of the rest of the crew at the NYT. Let's go after Fitz for punishing a 'whistleblower'.

Wouldn't it be ironic if papers detailing the truth of some of Judy's pre-war writing come out of translation, as they probably will,, and the NYT would have to re-correct to admit that some of that was correct.

All the News that's Fit to Print, Whenever.
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Dwilkers

This silliness, and I include Sullivan's idiotic posts and all the rest of the horsie asses out there being stupid about it, my hometown paper among them today, may be the absolute dumbest, most willfully ignorant, deceptive and ridiculous attack on Bush yet.

I swear I don't know what to think about these people. Just when I think I've seen it all I get ambushed with something so stupid it is simply beyond my previously bottomed out expectations.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'The Dems would say why not hold a press conference to discuss the declasified info, why go to Judy Miller?'

I agree the President himself should have simply called a press conference and exposed Wilson as the liar he is by relating the Iraqi 'trade' delegation bit, rather than hoping Judy would carry the ball for them.

That said, she was the logical choice of reporter. She's a WMD expert with a book already published on the topic. I think that's why she was in Iraq in the Spring of 2003, to write stories about the WMD they expected to find.

kim

Joe's guilt driven paranoia, that his wife was being attacked unfairly(if), has amplified into a meme that won't die, mainly because journalism continues hopeless resuscitative efforts. The alternative, that she deserved to be attacked because she was involved, as the dogwhistle blower while Joe had the more audible one, is sinister. So which is it? Did he think she was being attacked because she and he had 'whistleblown', or was it guilt over what he knew in his heart was a lie. Did't know in his heart it was a lie, you say? Then he is very stupid.
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Barney Frank

Seems to be a troll free zone today. Wonder what happened.

Perhaps the various local hemp merchants are having a not-to-be-missed early bird sale on this fine Saturday morning.

kim

I just had another thought. Maybe he doesn't remember what he reported after his mission. That really fits.

Perseveratin' Joe.
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topsecretk9

Wouldn't it be ironic if papers detailing the truth of some of Judy's pre-war writing come out of translation, as they probably will,, and the NYT would have to re-correct to admit that some of that was correct.

Kim, get out of my head! That day is coming.

kim

I know.

Calame, calame mucho.
Why don't you just tell us what the hell is going on?
Pinch is,
Mad as a hatter.
Truth as a batter can bring you the game winning hit.
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Lesley

Patrick Sullivan: "I agree the President himself should have simply called a press conference and exposed Wilson as the liar he is by relating the Iraqi 'trade' delegation bit, rather than hoping Judy would carry the ball for them."

Patrick, here's an alternative thought: perhaps the Administration thought that the President directly coming out against Wilson would give Wilson "too much stature" (and the harsh implications of the power of the Presidential bully pulpit to attack one critic among the thousands) and hoped the press would remedy the issue, so to speak. It would be a difficult, time-consuming, and seemingly petty process for any President to personally address every critic of his administration. That hasn't been the "Bush style" - recall the recent hoopla over Bush's use of the word "some people."

Just a thought.

Florence Schmieg

These constant pseudo scandals the press rigs up against Bush will become less and less effective. Hurt his credibility? What have they been doing all along? Those who believe Bush is a liar already believe it. I can't see this stuff making that much more of a difference. It's like the boy who cried wolf too often. Eventually people shrug their soldiers and say, "so what else is new". People care about their own lives and their families. Only the rabid Bush-haters like Chris Matthews and company eat this stuff up.

Patton

'The Dems would say why not hold a press conference to discuss the declasified info, why go to Judy Miller?'


Because it was the NYT that published Wilsons OP-ED.

If the Times would have corrected the OP-ED and simpy stated:

THE JOSEPH WILSON OP-ED WRONGLY CHARACTERIZED WHAT THE GOVERNMENT KNEW AT THE TIME OF THE STATE OF THE UNION AND WRONGLY CHARACTERIZED THE NATURE AND CONTENT OF THE FORMER AMBASSADORS REPORT AND WHO IT WAS REPORTED TO AT THE TIME IT WAS SUBMITTED.

Foo Bar

A quibble:

So Libby gave to one reporter a sneak preview of info that had been partly de-classified when a public version of the NIE had been released in October 2002, and more of which was released on July 18, 2003. Hold the front page.

I don't think the fact that the October '02 declassified NIE had been published contributes much to your argument that the current "Bush Leaked" story is a yawner.

Libby says he was authorized to tell Miller "a key judgment of the N.I.E. held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

No such judgment was contained in the October '02 declassifed version. It only discusses uranium in the context of Iraq's enrichment capabilities.

The fact that the classified version of the NIE had claimed that Iraq had been trying to get uranium from Africa was genuinely fresh info in the July 18 '03 declassification, and this info was the specifically Wilson-rebutting info.

Cecil Turner

I agree the President himself should have simply called a press conference and exposed Wilson as the liar he is by relating the Iraqi 'trade' delegation bit, rather than hoping Judy would carry the ball for them.

Sorry, but this doesn't wash. The Administration corrected the record, repeatedly, through several conduits:

  • Jul 7 (Fleischer): But the fact of the matter is in his statements about the Vice President -- the Vice President's office did not request the mission to Niger.
  • Jul 11 (Rice): But going back to the President's speech, which is really the issue here, the President of the United States went up to give the State of the Union on the basis of information that was in his National Intelligence Estimate and that everybody thought to be true.
  • Jul 11 (Tenet): The NIE states: “A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of pure “uranium” (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. [much more, including some of the caveats Waas&co. pretend weren't released]
  • Jul 12 (Fleischer): This is in Wilson's report back to the CIA. Wilson's own report, the very man who was on television saying Niger denies it, who never said anything about forged documents, reports himself that officials in Niger said that Iraq was seeking to contact officials in Niger about sales.
  • And then, on Jul 18, the NIE and press conference with all the caveats Waas&co. pretend weren't released.
They did a full-court press on this, with data that all turned out to be correct, and the media still bought Wilson's bogus story. Calling another press conference wasn't the ticket, and trying to get the Times to run some balance on their Kristof/Wilson disinformation was perfectly appropriate.

kim

jerry, have you ever heard of 'press bias'? No I'm not talking about Faux News.
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clarice

Cecil, Excellent job!

clarice

Cecil, I don't know if it'll be printed but I blogged this crediting you for your fine work and JOM posters for the generally high level of discussion here.

Cecil Turner

Thanks Clarice.

The fact that the classified version of the NIE had claimed that Iraq had been trying to get uranium from Africa was genuinely fresh info in the July 18 '03 declassification, and this info was the specifically Wilson-rebutting info.

Well, almost. It was covered in Tenet's statement on July 11. And much of that was essentially the same as the British Dossier from September, and the document story was of course months old, so little of the subject matter was really "fresh."

Foo Bar

Well, almost.

OK, let me rephrase that slightly. At the time of the July 8 '03 Libby-Miller meeting, the fact that the U.S. government's official intelligence document claimed Iraq had been seeking uranium in Africa was fresh information, as far as I can tell.

A minor point, in any event.

TM

Good point from Foo Bar:

Libby says he was authorized to tell Miller "a key judgment of the N.I.E. held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

No such judgment was contained in the October '02 declassifed version. It only discusses uranium in the context of Iraq's enrichment capabilities.

Interesting. I am in a small and unpublicized camp that thinks that Libby's testimony was wrong or incomplete on this uranium point.

Even the declassified NIE was not real strong on the uranium procurement story. However, from Miller's account it is pretty clear that Libby also presented the (classified) info about Wilson's trip that Tenet discussed on July 11.

For all we know, Libby was referring to, and got permission to discuss, both items. (Bonus - just what did Karl Rove mean when he told Matt Cooper on July 11 that stuff was going to be declassified soon?)

Let's keep in mind - it is tough parsing the excerpted testimony of a guy indicted for perjury who is going with a faulty memory defense.

vnjagvet

It is amazing how the "repeat it often enough and maybe someone will believe it" approach now seems to be endemic to the Old Kahuna Press.

Now they are conflating the Plame/Wilson caper with the NSA leak situation. Soon, it will be abundantly clear these are much different situations.

With the internet, our host,TM, and folks regularly commenting here like Cecil, TS, Clarice, Rick, Sue, JMHanes, et al, it ain't working.

TM

With the internet, our host,TM, and folks regularly commenting here like Cecil, TS, Clarice, Rick, Sue, JMHanes, et al, it ain't working.

Without Jeff, Foo Bar, Jim E, the Tejano Charboy, Polly, and others to beat on us (or let us sharpen our swords), who knows where we would be?

And don't even tell me who I left out. Well, unless I mortified myself...

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

If the case becomes United States v Sulzberger, Keller, Risen, Lichtblau and The New York Times, then a close reading of the penalty for those found guilty as described in TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 37 § 798 will explain a great deal about what will be published in the Times over the next year or so.

I think the US Printing Office will do a fine job in running the Times while its management learns to love Kansas.

Cojones. Alberto, cojones muy grande.

noah

Not familiar with the law in this area but doesn't the President's authority to release classified information relate to his inherent authority? Are we going to find ourselves hearing new cries about Presidential lawbreaking?

kim

Not only is he spying on your secrets, but he is revealing them, too.
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coolpapa

Rick -

"If the case becomes United States v Sulzberger, Keller, Risen, Lichtblau and The New York Times..."

Don't get too far out on that front yet. L'affair Plame is only Gettysburg. Rice has moved on Atlanta, but hasn't made it to Savannah yet. US v Pinch et al will be Appomattox.

coolpapa

TM -

"Let's keep in mind - it is tough parsing the excerpted testimony of a guy indicted for perjury who is going with a faulty memory defense."

Just happened to find this comment from "liontooth" at AJStrata's -

“In light of today’s shocking revelation, President Bush must fully disclose his participation in the selective leaking of classified information,” Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.)

Hey Harry, the guy making the disclosure is charged with PERJURY!

Apparently, it's not too tough for a Senator.

james thurber

Grant surrendering to Lee at Appomattox:

"We dam near licked you. If I'd been feeling better we would of licked you."

kim

What? Are you drunk? You're seeing the scene backwards.
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compguy135

Bush is the coach, not one of the players.

The reason Bush and other CEO types don’t like leakers is that leakers pursue their own agenda, not the agreed upon team agenda. It’s the same problem as the coach calling a play, and then having all the players on the team decide what they really want to do. Complaining about Bush authorizing the release of information is like complaining about the coach calling the plays.


Matt

Actually, it may not be a good point from Foo Bar. What was released was a *portion* of the October 2002 NIE, not the whole thing.

The "key judgement" that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium may well have been in the still-classified portion.

JJ

I was wondering if I could apply for the vacant Chairmanship at The Department of the Obvious.

Feels like a perfect fit, from here.

And speaking of the need for clarification, didn't this Plame story really get turned on its head when Bob Woodward's confession turned the (near) simplicity of the story/meme upside down for those of us interested in the only the merely obvious?

Just asking. If this is obvious, it will go onto the new Chair of the Obvious. If not, y'all can have it back to continue sorting.

From the Department of Muddy Waters comes this from today's WSJ paper edition:

"The special prosecutor trying the case against former...[blah, blah]...will try to show that the leaking of a CIA agent's name grew out of a highly organized administration effort that commanded high-level attention, a court filing this week shows."

Given the balance of additional information that is out there, this lead is way too over-simplified to qualify for us in Obvious Land, I judge. As my first act, I would throw this one in the round file.

...to quote Mr. T: "I love it when a plan comes together."

PS: Poor Joey Devine got absolutely trashed by the SF Giants. That was obvious.

kim

Did you note that the highly organized administration effort commanded the high level attention of Bush and Tenet, who asked each other, " What the....? Who the.....? Why the....?" about Joe Wilson.
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woof

Not only is he spying on your secrets, but he is revealing them, too.

I read this site just to catch the aroma of simple minds. You are today's "winner", Congratulations!

kim

Not only are you peeing on my pearls, you are reviling them, too.
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kim

You did, by the way, catch that the meme is designed for simple minds. Strike a chord?
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Wilson/Plame