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April 06, 2006

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MJW

Jake, is your point that the President can never declassify anything because that's equivalent to leaking classified information?

Rick Ballard

"A clandestine shipment would still have to be accompanied by documentation listing the contents, the shipper, and the destination."

Not at all. The Akouta uranium mine lies on the "Uranium Road" and is not too far from the Algerian and thence Libyan borders. In fact, the Akouta mine is closer to the Libyan border than it is to the site of Ambassador Munchauen's 'African Odyssey' in Niamey.

In a country with a per capita income of less than $300 per annum much can be accomplished with very small pieces of paper. Wilson knew that as well as he knew how important it was to COGEMA to keep illicit uranium traffic as quiet as possible. You know COGEMA - the company where his ex-wife worked? The one that sold the undeclared uranium to Libya - the stuff that the IAEA didn't know existed - that COGEMA. The very same COGEMA which was mightily miffed with Israel for flattening Saddam's nuclear plant in the early '80's - because they were going to sell him fuel for that fiasco, too.

Paper is not too important in Africa - unless ol' Ben's portrait is prominently displayed.

PeterUK

Jake,
"' Wilson did what he was sent to do. Investigate, analyze, synthesize, conclude."

Joe Wilson was an Ambassador,he doesn't know Yellow cake from Cupcake.He just asked around,"Did Saddam Hussein try to buy Yellow cake?" If the Iraqis paid a bigger bribe guess what the answer would be.
If Joe sat there drinking sweet mint tea he learned sweet FA.

Cecil Turner

All that being said, it is nonetheless not true to claim that there was no indication of the tubes dispute in the '02 declassified NIE.

More to the point, it's also not true to claim the tube qualifiers (down to the last nitnoid discussion in Annex A) weren't included in the NIE declassified in July '03.

Jake - but not the one

MJW, no, not at all. My question is about giving the impression that you oppose leaks and leakers on a very specific issue when you knew you were the source of the authority to disseminate the information. Without some finding to the contrary, I believe the President can decide what should be given out, and what should be held close.

I listened to the President speak on that day, and I did not come away with the impression that he authorized the dissemination of the NIE.

The specific question is, do Bush supporters believe, now that Libby has testified that Bush, througth Cheney, told him to disseminate information regarding the NIE, that the court of public opinion will not find the President lacking in some Presidential qualities.

It's just a question. In a way I guess I am asking if commenters here who support Bush believe he committed no error in using the words he did, given the knowledge we have today about who said what and when.

Jake

boris

If Jake is asking ... Was counteracting Wilson's falshoods in the nation's interest or just to protect W's poll numbers?

Ask rather ... were Wilson's falshoods in the nation's interest or just to damage W's poll numbers?

Jake - but not the one

Peter, I made no observations about Joe, or about Valerie. I tried to be careful to NOT speak of them. If, despite my efforts to not refer to them or to yellowcake or tubes of any kind, I included some reference in my comment, please disregard it.

Jake

topsecretk9

The specific question is, do Bush supporters believe, now that Libby has testified that Bush, througth Cheney, told him to disseminate information regarding the NIE, that the court of public opinion will not find the President lacking in some Presidential qualities.

No.

If Wilson wasn't lying, there would be no reason to declassify the truth.

Jake - but not the one

boris, in my comment I purposely included the idea that the President could make such a determination as to national security needs.

I do not dispute his authority to make such judgement, and make no observation as to whether he should or should not have released the NIE, redacted or not.

My question is only about his choice of words, and how his words are, or will be, seen in the light of this latest information.

Jake

Chants

So. Jeff Gannon and Special Counsel Fitzgerald appear to use the same investigative technique.

They both read the papers.

Jake - but not the one

TS, it is not the declassification that forms the crux of my question. It is the President's choice of words knowing that he declassifed the info.

Jake

PeterUK

Shame,it's stupid enough to be you,must be another idiot.

MJW

Fitzgerald claims that information that Libby wasn't part of a conspiracy to harm Joe Wilson by disclosing Plame's emloyment, and didn't believe Plame's status to be classified are immaterial to showing Libby had no motive to lie, because Libby may have had unrelated motives to protect the White House and his job.

The argument that Libby had other possible motives is valid, but I don't see how that leads to the conclusion that evidence rebutting other motives isn't material. Evidence isn't immaterial simply because it doen't cover every base. Libby may have separate evidence to refute the other motives. And, even if he doesn't, as Patton pointed out, the consequences he faced for violating a law are considerably worse than those of embarrassing the White House or losing his job, so his incentive to lie for those reasons would be less.

Sue

Jake,

I'm trying to follow what you are claiming. You are saying that Bush knew Libby/Rove revealed the information about Plame because he declassified information in the NIE? How so?

boris

his choice of words

Given what the "latest" information is, Bush's statements appear simple and clear, not "carefully worded" at all.

Law breaking not tolerated ...

Unauthorized disclosure (leaking) dealt with.

Carrying out policy is fine.

Perhaps you could illustrate what you mean.

boris

Try again

his choice of words

Given what the "latest" information is, Bush's statements appear simple and clear, not "carefully worded" at all.

Law breaking not tolerated ...

Unauthorized disclosure (leaking) dealt with.

Carrying out policy is fine.

Perhaps you could illustrate what you mean.

MJW

Jake: MJW, no, not at all. My question is about giving the impression that you oppose leaks and leakers on a very specific issue when you knew you were the source of the authority to disseminate the information.
What do you mean by "the information"? When Bush was talking about leaks, he was alluding the the leaking of a supposedly covert CIA employee; what he authorized to be declassified were parts of the NIE report on Iraq's nuclear program. Hardly the "very specific issue."

Sue

I didn't realize that Fitzgerald was investigating that part of the conversation Libby had with Miller concerning the NIE. Unless the classified part dealt with Valerie Plame, I don't see how that is relevant to the Plame investigation. It would not have even been brought up, as far as I can see, if Libby hadn't of been explaining his meeting with Miller.

topsecretk9

Jake

A a component the left loves to ignore is that the President ordered members of his administration to FULLY cooperate with the investigation AND sign waivers of confidentiality

I know that Bush hatred is deep, but this cooperation by comparison is unprecedented and highly, conveniently overlooked. Clinton fought and shielded many inquiries on the basis of executive privilege...not to say any exertion was not valid, but it is fact.

So I think it is a bit disingenuous for everyone to imply that the Presidents wording in retrospect is suspect and therefore insinuate I not exactly sure what

Jake - but not the one

Sue, I am not claiming anything about Libby or Rove or Plame or Wilson.

Libby's testimony says the President, through Cheney, authorized the release of the NIE. As I understand the issue, that release did unintentionally reveal Plames identity. No laws broken, nothing illegal done.

Then we have the whole brouhaha about Plame and Wilson, and the President speaks up and says what he said.

I may have misunderstood TM, but I read him to say that the President's words in Sep 2003, taken at face value, in fact reflected his knowledge that no law had been broken, no leaks made.

Or maybe TM said, the President's words meant that if the leak ocurred without his authorization he would take care of the leaker. I can't be sure what TM meant.

I listened to the President speak that day. He said, "If there was a leak..." Presumably he knew he authorized the release of the NIE information that inadvertently lead to outing Plame. So this choice of words strikes me as odd phrasing. Phrasing that may come back to haunt him. I am asking you all what you think about his phrasing, given his knowledge.

Jake

topsecretk9

I didn't realize that Fitzgerald was investigating that part of the conversation Libby had with Miller concerning the NIE. ...I don't see how that is relevant to the Plame investigation. It would not have even been brought up, as far as I can see, if Libby hadn't of been explaining his meeting with Miller.

Sue
You mean his supervisor wasn't able to supervise because the WAPO didn't report it?

Cecil Turner

I think the confusion is in the definition of "leak." American Heritage gives it as:

To disclose without authorization or official sanction: leaked classified information to a reporter.
By that definition, which I think is generally accepted, an authorized leak is obviously an oxymoron. Hence, anyone using that argument is engaging in oxymoronic behavior. But will various media outlets play it to the hilt? No doubt!

I don't see how that is relevant to the Plame investigation.

Probably isn't, but it makes a nice insinuation that Libby was cavalier with classified info, especially if he's not allowed to establish that a declassification review was ongoing.

Jake - but not the one

MJW, correct me if I am wrong, but was it not through the release of the NIE information that Plame's identity was unintentionally revealed?

Jake

larwyn

As I acquire the dry heaves watching now Chris Matthews with John Kerry and earlier Wooooof and John Kerry, I excerpt from an email I sent last night:

Harvey Mansfield, author of the new book "Manliness" was on the Colbert Report last night.I surfed in at this exchange:

Colbert: You're at Harvard?
Mansfield: Yes
C: And you're a Conservative?
M: Yes
C: "That must be like being a Danish cartoonist in a mosque"

and this one
C: Come on, who's the least manly man in Congress today?
M: John Kerry!

What CNN & MSNBC are doing today almost makes one long for the libel/slander laws of the U.K.

Socialists and the unmanly always believe, "The end justifies the means."

And speaking of the unmanly, Vanderleun in on it:
Like most members of the neutered media, its not the criticism you can't take, its the exposure of what you are to millions. Break out of your wussitude, Joel. Cowboy up.

Oh Lordy, Kerry is on both CNN & MSNBC "in sync".

MJW

Sue, I wonder that, too. In his latest filing, Fitz must say a dozen time, "this case is just about lies and perjury." Yet he wants to bring in stuff about the NIE that he doesn't even claim is improper.

Cecil Turner

was it not through the release of the NIE information that Plame's identity was unintentionally revealed?

Oh please. It wasn't even the same guy. Do try to keep up.

MJW

Jake - but not the one

So, it wasn't through the release of the NIE that Plame's identity was revealed? It was some other release of information?

Jake

topsecretk9

Sue

You know what I think is just crazy with a capital c on Fitz's part? If I have this right, that he is apparently really relying on Wilson honesty. Now when Wilson is called, and to task on all his "literary flair" and make sense of all his statements, who called and contacted and what he was saying to them too, I mean...forget about Plame.

topsecretk9

yet he wants to bring in stuff about the NIE that he doesn't even claim is improper.

Doesn't this speak to the SP guidelines the defense pointed out too (when referring to the presser?)

topsecretk9

It was some other release of information?

Jake
It was UGO yucking it up with Woodward, then Novak

Cecil Turner

It was some other release of information?

It was from an unidentified government official (probably Armitage, but he must remain nameless), in an unauthorized (but apparently innocent) leak. And if you're really confused about this basic point, I'd recommend against holding forth on the topic.

Jake - but not the one

UGO?

Jake

topsecretk9

Jake
First line of Cecil Turners response

unidentified government official = UGO

MJW

Jake: MJW, correct me if I am wrong, but was it not through the release of the NIE information that Plame's identity was unintentionally revealed?
By any theory I'm aware of, no. If you believe Fitzgerald, Libby had already told Miller on June 23 that Plame worked for the CIA. If you believe Libby (or at least what the indictment claims he said), Libby didn't discuss Plame in the July 8 NIE meeting. Even if he did, the information about Plame's employment wasn't part of the NIE, so Bush would have had no reason for assuming they were related.

Jake - but not the one

Hmmm. So it had nothing to do with the authorised NIE release, it was a GO, it was unintentional, but was not an authorized release, and definitely not a leak.

Ok.

So, no problems.

Got it.

Thanks.

Jake

topsecretk9

Jake

This is not snarky, but just in case TM has an excellent Plame Timeline with various updates...

Barney Frank

I have a question.

If Libby was 'specifically'(Fitz's word) authorized by Bush through Cheney to discuss issues dealing with Wilson prior to talking to Miller, is there any evidence UGO was?
Assuming Fitz still or ever thought revealing Plame's identity was a crime isn't he now punishing Libby for UGO's crime? He said it would serve the public interest if Libby was punished for something different than the underlying crime. Did he mean he should be punished for someone else's underlying crime for Pete's sake?
Seems like a bit of a miscarriage of justice, what? Anyone follow me?

Sue

Libby's testimony says the President, through Cheney, authorized the release of the NIE. As I understand the issue, that release did unintentionally reveal Plames identity. No laws broken, nothing illegal done.

Okay Jake, this is what I don't understand. Where are you getting that the release of information contained in the NIE revealed Plame?

Jake - but not the one

MJW, just a nitpick - the President was speaking in Sep 2003, some time after Plame's name was on everyone's lips. I recognize that in any conversations regarding the NIE prior to Plame being such an issue, her name might never have come to the President's attention. But by then? It's likely he knew who Plame was, it's likely he knew how her name came to be a part of the discussion, and it's likely he knew her connection to the NIE.

All supposition on my part, I assure you.

Jake

topsecretk9

MJW

Did the SP Guidelines (in reference to you MJW | April 06, 2006 at 04:36 PM and Sue) cross your mind?


Barney
Yes, I am following you and that is why he obviously isn't saying it, but his incomplete investigation was screwed when Woodward came to light.

boris

Did he mean he should be punished for someone else's underlying crime for Pete's sake?

VooDoo Justice

UGO accidently stabs the vicitm ...

later ...

Libby allegedly sticks a pin in a doll ...

Charge Libby with intent to harm.

Sue

..." Presumably he knew he authorized the release of the NIE information that inadvertently lead to outing Plame.

And here it is again. So I know I'm not misunderstanding what you are saying. Where is the information that backs up this assertion?

Jake - but not the one

Sue, I am not saying the NIE said anything about Plame. I only said that in the process of releasing that information - and I may be completely wrong here - Plame's CIA identity was revealed.

Did it happen some other way? Is there no connection between the NIE and the outing of Plame? Any connection between the two is completely coincidental?

Jake

boris

after Plame's name was on everyone's lips

So what ??? Plame's name is apparantly neither a crime nor unauthorized disclosure.

What is there about Bush's words you find so carefully parsed?

boris

Any connection between the two is completely coincidental?

Until UGO is revealed and his story told ... who knows ???

Novak didn't get his story from the Libby/Miller/NIE channel.

topsecretk9

Barney

AND Fitz at least until after he indicted, and Woodward came forward, know if Judy Miller also talked to UGO too!

Sue

Jake,

Any connection that I'm aware of is being put forth to show Bush lied. That is why I am asking you where you got the information that Bush declassifying the NIE revealed Plame, inadvertently or otherwise?

boris

Pardon me for speculating on your state of mind, but you appear to be fishing for an anti-W spin on a simple, if guarded statement.

Cecil Turner

Did it happen some other way? Is there no connection between the NIE and the outing of Plame? Any connection between the two is completely coincidental?

The NIE declass/release was through the WH/OVP and CIA. UGO is at the State Department. Fitz claims Libby brought up Plame with Miller before being authorized to discuss the NIE. I don't see any coincidence, because AFAICT there's no connection. (And apologies for the earlier snark . . . I had a hard time believing you were honestly confused.)

Sue

During this time, while the President was unaware of the role that the Vice President’s Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment

From Fitz's response. It doesn't sound like Fitz thinks Bush declassifying portions of the NIE revealed Plame's identity.

JM Hanes

Jake
"My question is about giving the impression that you oppose leaks and leakers on a very specific issue when you knew you were the source of the authority to disseminate the information"

The President was addressing the accusation that White House officials had deliberately leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent in order to punish and intimidate Joe Wilson.

Since the identity of Wilson's wife does not figure into the NIE in any way, its declassification in whole or in part has absolutely nothing to do with disseminating information on the "very specific issue" you're citing.

PeterUK

All this tosh about Plame's name being on everyone lips....I distinctly remember the WTF moments when several mispelled versions of her name emerged...for months it was Palme.
There is one thing certain bigwigs do not know the name of the hired help,since Val was an analyst,with respect,one of the lowest form of organisational life,it is utter horsefeathers to think that such lofty creatures,such as those accused of "outing" would even know she existed.
The whole argument is based on building up Val's status to create this utter Red Queen farce.
In all probability,they thought Joe parked the cars.

topsecretk9

(And apologies for the earlier snark . . . I had a hard time believing you were honestly confused.)

Funny, we've gone opposite on that...I did, but now I don't believe Jake's honestly confused.

JM Hanes

Jake

And no, I'm not contending that the two things were entirely coincidental. I'm saying that the only thing that has been clarified here is that the President intended to rebut Wilson-style claims with the NIE, not with the identiy of Wilson's wife. Let's not forget that Wilson himself was not the only one singing the yellowcake tune.

Rick Ballard

Jake's not honestly anything.

You ought to watch him screw his socks on in the morning.

Patton

JAKE says ""Sue, I am not saying the NIE said anything about Plame. I only said that in the process of releasing that information - and I may be completely wrong here - Plame's CIA identity was revealed.

Did it happen some other way?""""

YES, JAKE, a COMPLETELY NOTHER WAY.

If you will recall, Miller never published anything about Plame and she said she wouldn't unless she could attribute the information to a 'senior administration official". But Libby, if he provided anything on Wilsons wife, he did it on DEEP BACKGROUND for the purpose of Miller trying to straighten out the NYT BAD information it was publishing (Wilson OP-ED).

ACTUALLY PLames' CIA identity was REVEALED by Bob Novak who got it from UGO. The person Fitz is protecting because he say he didn't do anything wrong.

jerry

The commonly described context of "slam dunk" came from Woodward's book and is discussed in this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17347-2004Apr16?language=printer

Woodward's version says that Tenet was strongly supporting the case for WMDs. But Woodwards descriptions are often criticised.

I heard John McLaughlin, Tenet's aid, on CNN saying that Tenet meant something very different when he said "slam dunk," the press release for Tenet's book also suggests this:

"providing previously unreported context and background, including an insider’s account of how the controversial “sixteen words” made it into the President’s State of the Union speech, the real context of Tenet’s own now-famous 'slam-dunk' comment...."

So there is certainly debate about Tenet's meaning in saying "slam dunk," as well as the scapegoating of Tenet common to the right wing (see the WashingtonTimes article I referenced earlier in this thread for more of this context).

Patton

So Jake, how would you 'connect' UGO outing Plame to Novak and Libby discussing the NIE with Miller???

Jake - but not the one

Sue, I am saying that putting the NIE out there inadvertently led to the outing of Plame.

The NIE WAS released, at least in part to counter Wilson's claims.

Plame WAS outed.

All I am saying is that the President likely knew when he spoke in 2003 that there was a connection between the two things.

Boris, if Plame's identity was never an issue, then why not say so in Sep 2003? Why speak of leaks when there was no leak? If it was all above board why is it a problem?

The problem is made inobvious by the method chosen to out the NIE. Did anyone at that time claim that the President authorized release of the NIE to Judy and Novak? Libby speaks to Judy, Harlow and Rove speak to Novak, and Plame's name comes out.

The President knew all this in Sep 2003 - more than 2 months after Novak's article. Why not just clear it up? Why speak of leaks?

Jake

Jake - but not the one

Guys, I'm not focused on Libby on trial here. Only on his words that the President authorized the release of the NIE material - which, as I understand it, he has a perfect right to do.

Jake

Sue

How? How did revealing portions of the NIE reveal Plame?

Sue

The question Bush was responding to was not about the release of information in the NIE. I think you know that, Jake.

clarice

In the same way that Comey andFitz communicated Comey;s "intention" by inhaling deep and farting.

Nash

"A a component the left loves to ignore is that the President ordered members of his administration to FULLY cooperate with the investigation AND sign waivers of confidentiality"

Aw, that's so sweet of him. Yes, telling everyone to cooperate fully--yes, that made for a completely above-board exposition of the facts.

Yeah, sure.

topsecretk9

Nash

You are absolutely right. He shouldn't have ordered the waiver of confidentiality agreements, like Clinton claimed exec priv. and then even fired Fitzgerald..cuz you know, Fitz said he could.

Jake - but not the one

Yes, Sue, I do know that.

Which has no bearing on how the President might have answered.

Jake

Nash

Exactly, ts9. Of course, President Bush has never claimed executive privilege with anything but the purest of motives, to protect the power of the Executive Branch. He certainly would never NOT fully cooperate because such cooperation would land him in a heap of political or even legal trouble.

Perish the thought

Rick Ballard

He might have answered in a sonnet composed in perfect iambic pentameter with a compelling couplet to close. Or perhaps by leading a Greek chorus in an anthem announcing the auguries. Or maybe through an interpretive dance performed naked in a meadow in Central Park.

Might is the sophists delight.

PeterUK

"So Jake, how would you 'connect' UGO outing Plame to Novak and Libby discussing the NIE with Miller???"

The UGOvian mother ship landed a lizard woman with a prosthetic human skin identical to Miller's,it used the UGOvian mind control ray on Novak and libby,that is why everything is blank.Simple really.

topsecretk9

yeah ok nash. we get you hate.

Cecil Turner

Funny, we've gone opposite on that...I did, but now I don't believe Jake's honestly confused.

Yeah, I fell for the "UGO?" bit. I've since come back 'round . . . apology retracted.

Nash

"yeah ok nash. we get you hate."

Because it's quite clear that you don't hate. ts9. You are a paragon of rectitude.

And a hypocrite.

But that didn't need pointing out, did it?

Sue

Jake,

You have yet to explain to me how Bush authorizing the release of portions of the NIE inadvertently revealed Plame. And since you know the question he was asked, you also know he authorized Libby to discuss portions of the NIE. The NIE was not the question. The leak of Valerie Plame Wilson was what the question referred to and what he responded to.

topsecretk9

Because it's quite clear that you don't hate. ts9. You are a paragon of rectitude.

And a hypocrite.

But that didn't need pointing out, did it?

Well, I don't hate you

boris

No credibility for Jake's fake confusion here. The apparant sequence ...

Novak didn't get his story from the Libby/Miller/NIE channel.

Therefore the public disclosure of Val's spy gig had nothing to do with the NIA.

Wilson was in the news and UGO spilled the beans to Novak. Independent of the NIA.

Therefore it was Wilson, not Bush, who initiated the series of events that led to Val's public disclosure.

Nash

"Well, I don't hate you"

Thx I think. The feeling is mutual.

Here's an interesting twist on the Libby-Miller angle. It seems that Libby or someone leaked info that appeared in the 2002 NIE to Miller back in 2002, around the time of its dissemination.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Paper is not too important in Africa - unless ol' Ben's portrait is prominently displayed.'

Maybe not, but 500 tons is a whole lot to smuggle. I'll bet that shipping containers max out at 20 tons, which would mean 25 trucks. And, it's still in Africa.

Anyway, it isn't relevant to the point. It's a non-sequitur to go from forged documents = no shipment. Which is Wilson's 'analysis'.

Nash

It's a non-sequitur to go from forged documents = no shipment. Which is Wilson's 'analysis'."

Wilson's report/analysis was delivered in verbal form. Your description of its content is from the unsupported claims made by a couple of low-level peons in the CIA. Plame's superiors deny that he based his report on a discussion of the documents, but rather on interviews he carried out. Now, of course, you have deemed him incompetent to carry out those interviews, let alone analyze their meaning. Nevertheless, you are not correct in describing Wilson's analysis.

Nash

How could I forget? Your talking point answer to my comments about Wilson's report are that the CIA was/is at war with Bush and will say anything to get him in trouble.

Yes, indeedy.

Rick Ballard

Patrick,

12-14 trucks - those big Mercedes can move a lot of goods. It was never going to Iraq in the first place - it was going to Iraq's partner in developing the Pan-Arab bomb - Libya.

That German ship that was intercepted was carrying 10,000 centrifuges to Quadaffi. Made in Malaysia per AQ Khans design.

There's another reason why Tenet got his medal. The CIA does have some success stories. You have to look pretty hard to find them, though.

clarice

Why did Libya fold? Because Saddam was cooked..and the CIA or large parts of it worked against that,

Why didn't we know about the Libyan program at all before he told us?Wasn't it WINPAC's watch to know that? The same group that never knew about Khan or the Pak nuke program...

Once in a while even dunces get lucky.

danking70

What do we know now about Libya's program after its dismantling?

Details? Leaks? Specifics? I don't recall much reporting on this subject.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Wilson's report/analysis was delivered in verbal form. Your description of its content...'

I made no description of the content of Wilson's debriefing. I'm talking about what he told Kristoff, Pincus, and other reporters.

jerry

Here's my opinion of how these things are connected.

After Wilson's article in the Times the WH had Libby tell Miller about parts of the NIE, Novak went to Tenet and heard about Plame (Tenet trusted Novak not to publish classified information), the WH realizes Plame needs to be declassified, Rove tells Cooper and Novak that Plame's ID will soon be declassified, and Novak goes with the story.

Tenet is furious with Novak and the WH for outing Plame, and has entirely cooperated with Fitz (presently on hold for a Cheney conspiracy trial). Tenet won't be charged because there's no perjury or conspiracy, he's also the responsible authority for declassifying a NOC (neither he or Novak committed a crime). Rove and Hadley are presently on hold because their stories will support Tenet.

Maybe I'll think differently as the Battle of the Leaks between Libby/Fitzgerald proceeds.

Nash

Ouch, this just keeps getting worse for the administration.

NYT, tomorrow's edition:

"Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales left open the possibility yesterday that President Bush could order warrantless wiretaps on telephone calls occurring solely within the United States -- a move that would dramatically expand the reach of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program.

In response to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Gonzales suggested that the administration could decide it was legal to listen in on a domestic call without supervision if it were related to al-Qaeda.

"I'm not going to rule it out," Gonzales said."

Sensenbrenner was not amused by administration stonewalling. They are even losing their own staunch supporters.

clarice

Maybe you will jerry, but I wouldn't bet you'll come up with the right, or even a logical explanation, if we printed the answer in big letters with thick crayons.

Barney Frank

".......if we printed the answer in big letters with thick crayons."

LOL.

larwyn

TS,
Fitz, now totally embarrassed by Libby's attorneys and knowing what is coming - has made this release of NIE info now

-to get back at the White House

-to give the LSM/DEM talking points

-to set up comparisons to NSA, CIA PRISONS & SAT LEAKS

-to add President Bush's selective leaking of classified documents to their impeachment and censure lists.

If you watched MSNBC & CNN at all today, you would know that this is what the Dems/LSM are saying and foreshadowing.

FITZ is just being a "Cheney"!

Know it's a gamble for Mr.Libby, but I hope he's ready to completely slay these SOB'S - ALL OF THEM.

Hope Scooter watches just one of the Kerry interviews.

clarice

I think strategically this filing was a big mistake for Fitz for a number of reasons--So far he's been given a wide berth and every assistance he requested. He did not have to file what he did in the form he did. He just painted a bullseye on his rear.

sid

*The NIE WAS released, at least in part to counter Wilson's claims. - Plame WAS outed. - All I am saying is that the President likely knew when he spoke in 2003 that there was a connection between the two things.*

Has it been established that anyone knows today that there is a *connection* between the release of the NIE and Plame being outed? How could the Pres know back then what is not factual today?

The dots could be connected, but the page is blank - no dots to connect!

Nash

clarice, if you got paid by the word for predicting Mr. Fitzgerald's doom, you'd be quite wealthy.

on the other hand, if you are paid by the accuracy of your predictions, well, that's a whole nuther ball of wax, ain't it?

Sue

Where in the world did Jerry come up with the fact that Plame was going to be declassified by Tenet? Am I living in some kind of alternate universe where this informtion is only provided to those who have BDS? The information that was going to be declassified was Wilson's trip and what he reported, which wasn't much. As Rove told Cooper, don't get too far out there with Wilson. What exactly did Tenet say that day? It certainly wasn't anything about Plame.

clarice

Money isn't the object, but let's review Leopold and Waas etc's predictions:frogmaarching Rove out of the WH, 22 indictments, Cheney removed, Hadley indicted, No Hannah; etc. etc. Today as has been the case for days, no one is buying bets on Libby's conviction on anything--the last trade well under 50% stand on the Board. The two contracts on Rove being indicted passed without event (the last trade being for pennies) and no one has joinded Libby on the Board. That despite the rantings in the leftosphere being revived.

"Smart money" they call it--and there's a reason for that.

Rick Ballard

Nash,

You might profer evidence of your assertion.

I mean, if you weren't just another leftist idiot, you might.

Neo

A breif review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction (Butler Report)

Page 123:

501. We have been told that it was not until early 2003 that the British Government became aware that the US (and other states) had received from a journalistic source a number of documents alleged to cover the Iraqi procurement of uranium from Niger.

Page 125:

503. From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:
a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
b. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.
c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium and the British Government did not claim this.
d. The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it.

Page 123:

499. We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House
of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that:

The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

was well-founded.

Joe Wilson never got to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jake - but not the one

Sue, the authorization to which I refer is the one Libby claims - a release to Miller in Libby's case sometime shortly before Novak's article of July 14. Novak was told about the Wilson and Plame and the trip to Africa around July 6 (what I found was "8 days prior", hence July 6). Novak was told about this stuff by two senior officials, which bit I looked up in TM's timeline after the whole UGO thing, which is not even central to my question.

So it is this FIRST release of information, the one apparently to two or more reporters, to which I refer. Libby says in his testimony that he received instruction to speak to Miller on July 8.

This are from TM's post:

"Defendant testified that he was specifically authorized in advance of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the NIE was 'pretty definitive' against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the vice president thought that it was 'very important' for the key judgments of the NIE to come out," Mr. Fitzgerald wrote."

So, even though Libby is not Novak's source, the timing is what I think is important. Not to prove that anyone broke any laws, but to suggest that the same mechanism that prompted Libby to speak to Miller also prompted two officials, at least once upon a time believed to be Harlow and Rove, to talk to Novak.

I haven't called anything a leak. I have avoided that word except when quoting someone else, such as the President.

Here is the transcript of the Sep 30 meeting, just so we are clear about the questions and the answers, even though it is the Presidents own words that have stuck in my mind.

"Q Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.

Yes, let's see, Kemper -- he's from Chicago. Where are you? Are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? (Laughter.) Wait a minute. That doesn't seem fair, does it? (Laughter.)

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are."

This is months after Novak's article. The first question was specifcally about the CIA leak - presumably Plame. The second question was about Rove and maybe the CIA leak, but the Presidents answer was apparently about classified information in general.

The President wants to know the truth. I don't blame him. But the truth I thought he spoke of was who was the "leaker", while his truth seems to be, was it even a leak at all.

For the NIE part and any discussions with Miller, apparently not. I guess that's why Libby isn't on trial for leaking.

Is it so probable that the conversation Novak had was prompted by the same instructions as Libby received? I don't know. What do you think? I read the Novak article just now, and it is not exactly a Bush fluffer piece. So I don't get that part at all. Why would Rove be any part of a less than favorable article? Why would Libby talk to Miller about Plame prior the the NIE ok from the President? I don't know that either.

Why would the President not be more forthcoming? It seems like a lot of this could have been resolved long ago had he done so.

Today it doesn't look so good.

Jake

Sue

Jake,

So because Bush authorized Libby to discuss key judgments from the NIE to Miller, you are assuming he also authorized him or Rove to discuss Valerie Plame? Even though Fitz doesn't think so, if his response document was accurate. Of course, I guess you can say he didn't address Rove, only Libby, so you can hold out hope for the Rove bit.

jerry

Sue, what I tried to do is state things simply (the facts do get sort of byzantine).

If Rove was telling Cooper he'd "already said too much" and that things would "soon be declassified" about Plame/Wilson, and then telling Novak "you heard that too" about Plame, Rove was showing he knew information about Plame was classified and that he couldn't be straightforward about it.

I don't know what, if anything, has ever been declassified about Plame. My main speculation has to do with Tenet and I don't think I've said that he ever declassified Plame's status.

It would be interesting to know about the communications between the WH and Tenet about Plame in this time period.

Jeff

Uh oh Tom, looks like you're going to have to take your Plame-name parsifier to the President himself. It looked like Fitzgerald made clear that Bush did not know about Libby's role in disclosing info about Plame. But here's what the WaPo says, in one of its stories tomorrow, quoting an unidentified senior White House official:

Also, the official said, the president has not been accused of authorizing the release of the name of Valerie Plame, the undercover CIA operative whose unmasking in a July 2003 newspaper column prompted the federal investigation.

Ok, so Bush didn't authorize the release of the name of Valerie Plame. But what about Wilson's wife, right?

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Wilson/Plame