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April 10, 2006

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Jeff

Oh please, clarice, larwyn would not put together three other people in like (distinct) circumstances. larwyn is off her rocker on this. Just listen to her.

larwyn

Thank you Clarice for explaining the relationship of the three.

And my reference to hate crimes was how happy they are to slap on any white that in any fight uses an identification of race, the federal charge.

In the case of the young while NYU student that was chased by four "youths" screaming "get whitey" and other similar things - but it is just not P.C. to charge anyone who is not white with a HATE CRIME.

Note how quickly I was labeled for pointing out what many Americans are totally feed up with - the sacred victim status and how the LSM convicts immediately based on the that anointed status.

Hey Jeff, heard about the W Va Congressman - goes from net worth of 100,000 to 11.4 million in 6 years. And WOW he was raking if off NGO'S?

Again thank you Clarice. I'll bet that Jeff doesn't know the Al Sharpton/Tawana Brawley tale - if it came under his radar it was quickly deleted. After all Sharpton was one of their candidates for President of the USA!

I lose patience.

Jeff

the sacred victim status

For a second, larwyn, I thought you were talking about rightwingers in America who, despite the fact that their preferred political party controls all the branches of government, often still act and whine like they are victims of the big bad liberal conspiracy in the media and who knows where else. Seriously, the victimology on the right is astonishing these days. Just look at your post on Bush. He's just so victimized by the MSM!

I will look for you to tie together every three white people who do things we don't like that can be remotely connected together. And to do so consistently.

As for corruption in Congress, I won't defend a corrupt Democrat just because he's a Democrat. Let's get rid of all of them, fine with me - and the more anti-Washington sentiment there is this fall, the better it will be for Democrats. But let's not pretend the corruption is fair and balanced. It tilts shaprly toward the Republicans.

As for Tawana Brawley and Sharpton, yeah, I know the story.

Good, you lose patience, don't let me detain you from MSNBC and CNN.

larwyn

Jeff,
Tawana Brawley accused a policeman of raping her.
The Duke accusation is also now being proved to be false.
Cynthia McKinney accused a member of the U S Congress's police/Security force of "inappropriate touching" and of doing so because she was a black.

Sorry that you do not want to comprehend what the LSM did in reporting all of these stories until the actual truth came out.

That is why they relate on more than one level.

Jeff

clarice - It's pretty amazing how little of the evidence Bush adduces in the 2003 SOTU held up. And again, if he wanted to make his main case without the evidence he should not have included (yes, at the time, at the time), then fine, let's see how the argument plays out. But that's not what he did. He did include a bunch of unwarranted evidence.

Jeff

larwyn - You're simply wrong on the facts. From the moment it was reported, the Cynthia Mckinney story portrayed her negatively. The Duke accusation was mixed - and certainly does not fit your conspiratorial penumbras and emanations. The Tawana Brawley case was far worse all around.

kim

So let's put Saddam back up if he'll give us a trillion in reparations.
=====================================

clarice

Actually, I think if you'd take time to read the Duelfer report, the evidence held up quite well. Some of the forbidden weapons were found. And it was clear that he retained the capacity to resume his bio-chem weapon making within a very short time after the sanctions were lifted.

Moreover, much of the argument was made on the inability of the international communicty to contain Saddam and his unwillingness to conform to any restraint.

As to the Brawley/McKinney/Duke Lacrosee team case similarities..I fail to see what is distinct about them. It appears to me that in all three cases, fake charges of violence by whites against blacks received wide coverage and sweeping indictments of the purported victimizers . In Brawley a prosecutor who was falsely charged sued Sharpton for defamation. He won but I doubt he ever collected and the case propelled Sharpton into the front ranks of the Dem party at no cost to himself but at great cost to others.In McKinney's case, a cop trying to protect Congress was physically attacked and blamed by his attacker. And in the Duke case, a coah lost his job, a student was thrown out of school, the reputation of the team and the school was injured, and apparently by another liar's doing.

larwyn

Wowie Zahawie By Christopher Hitchens
Wowie Zahawie by Christopher Hitchens
SNIPS
In the late 1980s, the Iraqi representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency—Iraq's senior public envoy for nuclear matters, in effect—was a man named Wissam al-Zahawie. After the Kuwait war in 1991, when Rolf Ekeus arrived in Baghdad to begin the inspection and disarmament work of UNSCOM, he was greeted by Zahawie, who told him in a bitter manner that "now that you have come to take away our assets,"

.....At a later 1995 U.N. special session on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Zahawie was the Iraqi delegate and spoke heatedly about the urgent need to counterbalance Israel's nuclear capacity.
In February 1999, Zahawie left his Vatican office for a few days and paid an official visit to Niger, a country known for absolutely nothing except its vast deposits of uranium ore. It was from Niger that Iraq had originally acquired uranium in 1981, as confirmed in the Duelfer Report. In order to take the Joseph Wilson view of this Baathist ambassadorial initiative, you have to be able to believe that Saddam Hussein's long-term main man on nuclear issues was in Niger to talk about something other than the obvious. Italian intelligence (which first noticed the Zahawie trip from Rome) found it difficult to take this view and alerted French intelligence (which has better contacts in West Africa and a stronger interest in nuclear questions). In due time, the French tipped off the British, who in their cousinly way conveyed the suggestive information to Washington. As everyone now knows, the disclosure appeared in watered-down and secondhand form in the president's State of the Union address in January 2003.
....
.....If the above was all that was known, it would surely be universally agreed that no responsible American administration could have overlooked such an amazingly sinister pattern. ...

.....the waters have since become muddied, to say the least. For a start, someone produced a fake document, dated July 6, 2000, which purports to show Zahawie's signature and diplomatic seal on an actual agreement for an Iraqi uranium transaction with Niger. Almost everything was wrong with this crude forgery—it had important dates scrambled, and it misstated the offices of Niger politicians. In consequence, IAEA Chairman Mohammed ElBaradei later reported to the U.N. Security Council that the papers alleging an Iraq-Niger uranium connection had been demonstrated to be fraudulent. But this doesn't alter the plain set of established facts in my first three paragraphs above. The European intelligence services, and the Bush administration, only ever asserted that the Iraqi regime had apparently tried to open (or rather, reopen) a yellowcake trade "in Africa." It has never been claimed that an agreement was actually reached. What motive could there be for a forgery that could be instantly detected upon cursory examination?There seem to be only three possibilities here. Either a) American intelligence concocted the note; b) someone in Italy did so in the hope of gain; or c) it was the product of disinformation, intended to protect Niger and discredit any attention paid to the actual, real-time Zahawie visit. The CIA is certainly incompetent enough to have fouled up this badly. (I like Edward Luttwak's formulation in the March 22 Times Literary Supplement, where he writes that "there have been only two kinds of CIA secret operations: the ones that are widely known to have failed—usually because of almost unbelievably crude errors—and the ones that are not yet widely known to have failed.") Still, it almost passes belief that any American agency would fake a document that purportedly proved far more than the administration had asked and then get every important name and date wrapped round the axle. Forgery for gain is easy to understand, especially when it is borne in mind that nobody wastes time counterfeiting a bankrupt currency. Forgery for disinformation, if that is what it was, appears at least to have worked. Almost everybody in the world now affects to believe that Saddam Hussein was framed on the Niger rap. According to the London Sunday Times of April 9, the truth appears to be some combination of b) and c). A NATO investigation has identified two named employees of the Niger Embassy in Rome who, having sold a genuine document about Zahawie to Italian and French intelligence agents, then added a forged paper in the hope of turning a further profit. The real stuff went by one route to Washington, and the fakery, via an Italian journalist and the U.S. Embassy in Rome, by another. The upshot was—follow me closely here—that a phony paper alleging a deal was used to shoot down a genuine document suggesting a connection. Zahawie's name and IAEA connection were never mentioned by ElBaradei in his report to the United Nations, and his past career has never surfaced in print. Looking up the press of the time causes one's jaw to slump in sheer astonishment. Here, typically, is a Time magazine "exclusive" about Zahawie, written by Hassan Fattah on Oct. 1, 2003:
.......
......the wonderful and unchallenged words from Zahawie: "Frankly, I didn't know that Niger produced uranium at all." Well, sorry for the inconvenience of the questions, then, my old IAEA and NPT "veteran" (whose nuclear qualifications go unmentioned in the Time article). Instead, we are told that Zahawie visited Niger and other West African countries to encourage them to break the embargo on flights to Baghdad, as they had broken the sanctions on Qaddafi's Libya. A bit of a lowly mission, one might think, for one of the Iraqi regime's most senior and specialized envoys.

If I didn't "spy" on the "loyal opposition" on CNN & MSNBC I would not
have caught Joe Wilson referring to Zahawie and the TIME article
as proof that Iraq did not try to buy yellowcake from Niger

Jeff, I am truly truly truly sorry that my reporting on the "reporting"
of CNN & MSNBC annoys you.

Jeff

clarice - Yeah, I read the Duelfer report, along with a bunch of other stuff, and I think your claims are delusional.

How about this: it seems pretty clear to me that Armitage was Woodward's source. Don't you think it's time someone asked Cheney if he was Pincus' July 12 source on Plame? There are two things of interest in Fitzgerald's latest filing in this regard: there is evidence that after Wilson's op-ed, Cheney voiced concern that Wilson's trip might have been a junket set up by his wife. In other words, a pretty close paraphrase of one of the central components of the effort at discrediting Wilson. That's news. Second, on July 12 Cheney took the usual person, Cathie Martin, off the job of talking to the press when it came to the NIE and Wilson, and specifically assigned Libby the task. And we know that Libby was not Pincus' source on Plame. I wonder whether Cheney might have helped out on the effort.

Seems like it's at least worth asking the Vice President.

larwyn

And Jeff I will stand by any of the reports that I put in JOM's comments as to what is going on on the cable news and CSPAN stations.

I don't have the time or inclination to be riled by what is not actually happening. I have no need to make things up.

Check the transcripts or later reports on the events I have noted at places line NewsBusters and NRO'S Media Blog and you will find I have nothing to take back.

larwyn

Clarice,
Did you notice how he just began new challenge?
Also, weren't there race riots in the Brawley case that resulted in some deaths?

And right now on the rebroadcast of H&C, Hashim Nzinga is on saying that what happened to McKinney wouldn't have happened to a white woman. Hitting was "knee jerk" reaction. (He's with the New Black Panther Party) Combs is also spinning McKinney's position.

So news to you Jeff - it is not over yet!

clarice

Well, if larwyn is "off her rocker" and I'm elusional, perhaps you might find it usefil to engage others in debate.

clarice

Delusional--that is.

I-heart-santions!

things were swinging and sweet in Iraq.

April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said he wasn't shown 21 cables detailing claims that AWB Ltd., the nation's monopoly wheat exporter, was paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein.

Downer's evidence to an inquiry into allegations that AWB funneled $222 million to Hussein's regime by inflating transport fees under the Oil-for-Food program follows testimony from Trade Minister Mark Vaile yesterday...

...The Australian wheat exporter paid the money to Jordan- based Alia Transportation for grain delivery inside Iraq, a United Nations report by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker found. AWB, formerly known as the Australian Wheat Board, has denied knowing Alia was a front company that channeled the money to the Iraqi dictator."

Kickbacks ROCK! Why did we screw this gravy train?

turnip

paid a Jordan- based Alia Transportation for grain delivery inside Iraq, Alia was a front company, that channeled the money to the Iraqi dictator...funneled $222 million to Hussein's regime by inflating transport fees under the Oil-for-Food program

You mean front companies and coordination with other middle eastern countries?

Saddam was able to coordinate and pull off all these operations and no one knew or detected them? Not even our intelligence agencies? Wow.

I wonder what else he was doing we don"t know?

larwyn

He also felt compelled to throw in the control by the Republicans of all three.

It took days and many comments for me to get him to finally admit that Pubs have not been in control for 5+years. Convenient forgetting of Thomas Daschel.

So at least we've made slight progress.

But if he knew the rules of the Senate he would know that even tho Pubs have a majority - it is only 55. Therefore, they may chair the committees and set the schedules for presenting bills, but they don't really have control of passing anything without a minimum of 5 Dem or Independent votes.

It is certainly not the control that the Dems/Left implies in their daily memes/talking points.

Actually Jeff, I make an effort to ignore you and the others that play the circular argument game and when proven mistaken, do directly to new meme or spin. It gives me a headache. But on occasion I do see things that I can address with facts, and then against my own better judgement I do step up.

I'll have to survey the others, but I may be the only one who has ever received a concession from you, that Tommy Daschel thingy. So I can understand that you have been waiting to pounce. As I have written before, your attacks on Clarice and others on this site puts me into a company of persons I have great respect for.

But now I must get back to "spying"
on the LSM.

larwyn

TURNIP & i HEART SANCTIONS:
Tks for the info.
Wonder what Saddam was planning to use all that money for?
Certainly not "sanctioned" items or say yellowcake - Nooooo,
he wanted to build more hospitals and schools.

Patton

The left apparently has COMPLETELY forgotten that according to THEM, Clinton and the rest of the world LIED to us for EIGHT YEARS...
BUT, the left says...they didn't take us to war?
THEY DIDN'T?? Then why did sooo many Iraqis DIE during those years?
Why were sanctions on the Iraqi public?
Why were they denied food and medicine killing millions?
Why was Clinton bombing the country weekly?


I BET THE COUPLE MILLION DEAD IRAQIS THOUGHT IT WAS A WAR THAT CLINTON AND THE LEFT WAGED AGAINST THEM.

The big difference between what Bush did and what Clinton and the UN, etc. did was BUSH PUNISHED THE GUILTY AND FREED THE INNOCENT, CLINTON PUNISHED THE INNOCENT AND REWARDED THE GUILTY.

Patton

And you have to look at motive:

Bushs motive was pretty clear, after Sept 11thy, we weren't going to let terrorist dictators dictate to us and the UN the terms of their surrenders.

During the Clinton years, we have now discovered that the motives were GREED. The oil for food program was making big bucks for the UN ( A billion dollars a year) plus all the bribes Saddam was throwing around.

DURING THE CLINTON YEARS, THEY LET MILLION STARVE, MILLIONS BE DENIED MEDICINE, MILLION WHO WILL HAVE LIFE LONG DIABILITIES DUE TO MALNUTRITION, JUST TO POCKET A FEW DOLLARS.

Patton

t is amazing that the same people who supported Clinton starving the population of Iraq (Especially hitting hardest the most vulnerable children and elderly)
are the same people who attack Bush as a torturer for a terrorist missing a meal.

Patton

Jeff says: ""Libby did represent the uranium claim as one of the Key Judgments from the NIE."""

DID HE? How do we know this?

Foo Bar

DID HE? How do we know this?

Patton:

I'm not sure. Here is what I can gather from this Newsweek article:

1) Libby testified that he had been authorized by Cheney to disclose the key judgments of the NIE
2) The uranium-from-Africa stuff was not a key judgment, but was something Libby discussed with Miller.
3) Libby said nothing to Miller about the the dissent in the NIE about uranium-from-Africa that was included in the 7/18/03 release 10 days later, i.e., he said nothing to her about the fact that State considered the story "highly dubious".

It doesn't necessarily follow from that one way or the other that he represented it to Miller as a key judgment, but that seems like some relevant info.

MayBee

FooBar- State didn't agree with the story, ok. How many intelligence agencies did? All the rest,right? But how many is that?

Oh wait, here's http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh041006.shtml>Bob Somersby
Pincus is right in one narrow way—that wasn’t listed as a “key judgment” in the National Intelligence Assessment. But this statement does come from the NIE (fuller text below)—a fact you surely won’t understand from this misleading presentation by Pincus. Meanwhile, the “key judgments” section did include this: “Although we assess that Saddam does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them.” And the next “key judgment” said this: “If Baghdad acquires sufficient fissile material from abroad it could make a nuclear weapon within several months to a year.” In short, it was a “key judgment” of the NIE that Iraq was seeking uranium/fissile material from abroad. And the NIE did say that Iraq was “vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake” —it just didn’t include this precise statement in the “key judgments” section. (Pincus isn’t even willing to provide that full quote). Pincus is slicing it very thin in that passage from today’s paper.
---
Patton, this may answer your question (also Somersby)
By the way, one last point: Note the way Pincus seems to quote Libby. But Fitzgerald’s filing only presents a paraphrase of what Libby said to Miller. Pincus doesn’t know exactly what Libby said. But so what? He pretends to quote anyway.

MayBee

http://media.nationalreview.com/094632.asp>Nathan Goulding covers it too.

1) While the "vigorously trying to procure uranium" is not a key judgment, a similar key judgment says: "Although we assess that Saddam does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them."

2) The "vigorously trying to procure uranium" phrase is in the NIE (page 24): "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake; acquiring either would shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons." Shuster said that the phrase was "not in the document at all."

3) Bush did not ignore several agencies. He listened to several agencies and only discounted the views of one.

boris

When it comes to deceit, the left likes to treat it like fire. They like to fight fire with fire.

The problem with that strategery is when there was no fire to begin with, it looks a lot like arson to us.

Patton

So perhaps Libby talked about Uranium in the context of the Wilson OP-ED...which doesn't necessarily mean he categorized it as a 'key judgment'....just an issue of importance to the NYT who had run an OP-ED on the issue.

SteveMG

Jeff:
It's not just a matter of which theoretical framework you choose that determines how you read the evidence

I cannot see how any president reading the opening or lead key judgment of the NIE, which states:

We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)

can be accused of making up Iraq's WMD threat.

One can criticize the W.H. for its wording of the uranium issue or the aluminum tubes dispute or probably a dozen other matters. They should have, admittedly, qualified many of their charges.

But it is explicitly clear to my reading - using whatever theoretical framework one can produce - that the president was told by the overwhelming consensus of the intelligence community that Iraq continued to have WMDs and was intent on making nuclear weapons.

SMG

boris

They should have, admittedly, qualified many of their charges.

Disagree.

#1 It wouldn't have helped. Bush is still accused of spreading the lie that Saddam was behind 911. Bush said there was no evidence, doesn't matter, people believed it anyway so he lied, somehow.

#2 Saddam's noncompliance on WMD inspections was a UN justification, not the reason for the invasion. Claiming it was is dishonest.

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/04/who_was_woodwar.html#comment-16037167>Jeff

I think you missed my point. The document would be used by you to show Bush ignored the intelligence if indeed he had not taken out Saddam and something had happened...say another 9/11 style attack...with Saddam involved. Bush could never satisfy someone with BDS.

Cecil Turner

It doesn't necessarily follow from that one way or the other that he represented it to Miller as a key judgment, but that seems like some relevant info.

Sorry, but this is another stupid lefty talking point from people too lazy to read the material. The term "key judgments" crops up several times in Fitz's summary of the testimony, but the pertinent parts are where the Prez/VP authorize its release, and this:

Defendant testified that he thought he brought a brief abstract of the NIE’s key judgments to the meeting with Miller on July 8. Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was “vigorously trying to procure” uranium. Defendant testified that this July 8th meeting was the only time he recalled in his government experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the President’s authorization that it be disclosed.
Ten days later, the NIE extract is released. The title?
Key Judgments [from October 2002 NIE]
And, of course, it has the statement Pincus claims was "inaccurate" as well as the caveats folks like Waas claim weren't there. Further, since we're dealing with a testimony summary from Fitz, it's impossible to tell if Libby said "I read it from the Key Judgments abstract" (which would be exactly correct), or something else. In any event, it's clear that some of those trying to manufacture a "liar" case against Libby aren't above telling a little fib themselves . . . and in this particular case are far more misleading.

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/04/who_was_woodwar.html#comment-16037697>Steve

That is what I would have said had I the ability to say what you said. ::grin:: It was my point to Jeff. There was more evidence than not that Saddam had WMDs and more evidence than not that he would continue to seek nuclear weapons. That evidence is ignored and the anti-cherry pickers are turning into cherry pickers themselves.

SteveMG

Boris:
They should have, admittedly, qualified many of their charges.

Disagree.

I think statements saying, "The consensus of the intelligence community is that Saddam tried to acquire uranium. However, like nearly all intelligence, there are dissenting views. But we are dealing with a Stalinist-closed regime where it is difficult to get information. And because of that closed nature, because of the past history of violating agreements, because of the past history of gassing his people and killing opponents, we will use a harsher and more critical standard when evaluating Saddam's behavior."

IOW, use the "doubts" about Saddam to buttress the need to remove him.

And by including some of the dissenting views within the intelligence community, they (maybe) could have prevented much of this malarkey that we're now engaged in.

Probably not; we'd still here accusations that they ignored the contradictory intelligence. But at least they would have mitigated the charges that they withheld those judgments from the public.

SMG

Rick Ballard

I wonder if the WaPo editors will get around to a denouncement of Fitz for the extent to which he injected a political apologia into this last reply? Certainly the Sunday editorial recognized (rather circumspectly) what he had done and I'm sure that they were aware of the little funfest involving Kerry/Wilson and Sunday shows didn't occur without a bit of planning.

Will they come out with a "Mr. Fitzpatrick needs to quit playing politics and finish the job he was illegally appointed to do?" piece or just let ol' Fitz run his train off a cliff without comment?

Cecil Turner

But at least they would have mitigated the charges that they withheld those judgments from the public.

It seems to me that including caveats on things like the aluminum tubes isn't warranted. They were already well down on the list of indicators, and only chosen because they were a clear violation of the sanctions. Putting a caveat on something like that in the SOTU would be tedious and unhelpful. Once they decided to release the information, including the caveats made sense. But even then, the charges of selectively releasing appear inevitable.

maryrose

Larwyn:
Great responses to Jeff and your vigilance in checking out what is happening on all cable networks helps us to understand the events that transpire hourly. Your posts are most helpful. Keep up the good work. You rock!
My heart was in my throat on 24 last night when the little girl called 911 and then that scumbag showed up. That show is so intense.

Jeff

Cecil - You are spinning like a top. Libby lied. p. 24 of the NIE was not a part of the Key Judgments. The relevant players know the difference between the Key Judgments and the rest of the text, and the significance of that distinction. Libby took the passage from p. 24 and represented it as a Key Judgment. It was not. The fact that the formal declassification ten days later may have obscured the fact that p. 24 was not part of the Key Judgments does not make things better. If anything, it makes things worse, as it suggests the lying may have been more widespread, as the text was meant to give the impression that the section on uranium was part of the Key Judgments, which it was not. As Tenet himself had emphasized on July 11, pushing back against the White House.

MayBee

Jeff- how do you know what Libby said about the NIE? Where is it written?

clarice

Cecil never spins.There are many excellent posters here. Of all of them, Cecil is the most punctilious and fair minded.

His catch on the weasely "or" conjunction in Fitz' last filing is an example of how carefully he reads the underlying material and with what a careful hand he reports on it.

maryrose

SteveMg:
Thank you for an excellent analysis which concisely sums up the situation. It has helped my understanding of events immensely.

maryrose

Jeff:
Let's agree to disagree, at this point you won't convince me.

Cecil Turner

I wonder if the WaPo editors will get around to a denouncement of Fitz for the extent to which he injected a political apologia into this last reply?

I actually wonder how much of that Fitz intended. The most inflammatory bit in his latest filing was a statement taken completely out of context:

it is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to “punish” Wilson.
What Fitz appears to be saying is not that there was a plot to punish Wilson, but that:
  1. it's impossible to prove a negative (or the absence of a plot)
  2. no piece of paper could possibly help Libby in that regard
  3. thus it fails the Brady test of being exculpatory.
Personally, I think Fitz is right on the point, and digging for negative info is not a proper discovery request.

Libby lied. p. 24 of the NIE was not a part of the Key Judgments.

He's reading it off a piece of paper entitled "Key Judgments," and you don't even know what he said. "Libby lied"? On that point? Prove it.

Jeff

MayBee - Are you suggesting that all I am warranted to claim is that Libby testified that he understood from his discussions with Cheney that he was to lie to Miller, and we don't know for certain that he did in fact lie? It's true that I take it that from what Fitzgerald tells us on p. 23 of his recent filing, that Libby indicated that he did in fact lie to Miller at the July 8 meeting. (I take Miller's own account to be consistent with that, though I won't claim more than that for it.) But if you think that for the moment we should stick with the idea that Libby testified only that he understood from Cheney's instruction that he should lie to Miller, and we don't know with 100% certainty that he did lie to Miller, okay, I'll go with the probabilistic judgment from what Fitzgerald tells us that Libby lied.

boris

And by including some of the dissenting views within the intelligence community, they (maybe) could have prevented much of this malarkey that we're now engaged in.

Too much hindsight. Had we found WMD nobody would be complaining about the lack of caveats. Since they weren't NOTHING could have prevented this malarkey.

Re: Aluminum tubes ...

Catch a known gang member on school grounds with a cell-phone-gun capable of firing a 22 round ...

... caveats about intent or lousy ballistics are not the issue.

TexasToast

Cecil is a great guy - but of course he spins. He just spins in your direction so you don't notice it.

clarice

To my mind Spinning and advocating a position are two different things. Spinning, to me, involves lying and distorting the evidence and Cecil never does.
Advoacting is taking the facts and presenting them persuasively which he does well.

boris

Jeff: Libby testified that he understood from his discussions with Cheney that he was to lie to Miller

Cecil: He's reading it off a piece of paper entitled "Key Judgments," and you don't even know what he said.

Jeff would have every statement made by the administration qualified to the nth degree, or it's a lie.

Sue

I am so lost. Where do we know that Cheney told Libby to lie to Miller?

sad

Thanks to all of you regular posters at JOM. Your analysis and links are most helpful. Clarice, love your articles. I'm learning to read the news with a different eye.

richard mcenroe

If the WaPo is like most newspapers, the editorials page is much more closely controlled by the ownership than the news pages. Could the "schizophrenia" represent an attempt by management to cover the paper's ass, now that subpoenae are flying, against the meme-bot "coverage" of this story?

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Oh please, clarice,'

The word you're struggling for is; 'touche', Jeff.

AB

Let's keep this simple folks.

Bush selectively authorized the declassification of information which he already knew was inaccurate, NOT the entire briefing that also contained contradictory information, in order to buttress the lying case he was trying to make for an unnecessary war... NOT through proper channels, not through standard declassification procedures, NOT to the public...but through leaks to the press of which he then publically claimed to be ignorant.

This really isn't that complicated. Even the average American high school dropout can understand it if they try. And now that they've finally realized just how callous this administration was with our soldier's lives, they are extremely receptive to this simple truth. That's what is scaring you all into the mammoth spinathon you've had going here for some time.

You all should try and remember how with the American TV public, perception is EVERYTHING. In this case, not only is the perception of deception becoming hardened, the underlying facts are kicking the administration every which way from Sunday.

Rick Ballard

Cecil,

If it is necessary to write "What Fitz appears to be saying is" then it is possible that the writer is doing more than one thing. I would argue that both in this reply and in the original indictment Fitz took an inordinate amount of time in framing his argument in political rather than legal language. He is a clumsy writer with a limited gift for bafflegab and the political bent shows through fairly clearly to me in the amount of time and effort he spends outlining Ambassador Munchausen's specious charges as opposed to his throwaway "whether true or not" caveats.

If you contrast his presentation of lyin' Joe's case with his rigid insistence that the existence of the possibility any underlying law may have been broken is strictly immaterial, one reasonable inference is that the is engaging in the practice of politics rather than law.

I would note that the seizure by the press of some of his equivocal statements is indicative of that possibility.

boris

authorized the declassification of information which he already knew was inaccurate

Not all of the pre-war intel was accurate. The problem with your "logic" is that before the war nobody had access to post-war intel.

The disclosure of the actual pre-war intel use to decide policy reubts lies about pre-war intel. Comparisons to post-war intel is either foolihs or dishonest.

Rick Ballard

Jack Kelly does a nice job on the subject this morning. Be sure and read to the last sentence. Actual 'news' might break at any moment.

AB

No, boris, you are wrong. This SELECTIVE declassification (meaning NONE of the rebutting evidence was declassified)happened in July 2003. Yet FOUR MONTHS EARLIER: United Nations inspectors had exposed the main evidence for the uranium charge as crude forgeries in March 2003, but the Bush administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair maintained they had additional, secret evidence they could not disclose. In June, a British parliamentary inquiry concluded otherwise, delivering a scathing critique of Blair's role in promoting the story. With no ally left, the White House debated whether to abandon the uranium claim and became embroiled in bitter finger-pointing about whom to fault for the error.

And this does not even address Bush USING our national security information to save his own butt by leaking to the press while silmultaneously condemning such behavior and feigning ignorance.

Go on with your regularly scheduled spinathon. Why you still feel the need to defend this dolt and his gang of miscreants is beyond me. Your party knows they need to run from him now. You all are like the last of the Mohicans.

Cecil Turner

If anything, it makes things worse, as it suggests the lying may have been more widespread, as the text was meant to give the impression that the section on uranium was part of the Key Judgments, which it was not.

Oh piffle. They're taking the main points off the NIE and declassifying 'em, and they have to call it something. The section is clearly delineated with the little "p. 24" thing you like so well, and ellipses to show they've snipped the intervening pages. The only way to get that impression is by willfully misinterpreting the obvious.

As Tenet himself had emphasized on July 11, pushing back against the White House.

I take it you're reprising this statement because nobody called you on it:

Even Tenet's July 11 statement, when you look at it, is a very complex performance that at once slams Wilson but also points the finger back at the White House, specifying clearly that the African uranium claim was not one of the NIE's Key Judgments.
"Points the finger back at the White House"? The point of Tenet's statement is that "uranium from Africa" was a sideshow, not the main event. It directly, and effectively, refuted this bit of hyperbolic overstatement from Wilson:
If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses.
Tenet's statement makes it clear that even if Wilson had been right on the specific point, he'd have been wrong on the larger issue. As it happens, Wilson was wrong on the minor point, but it was also one of the few pieces of intelligence that has stood up to scrutiny.

I would argue that both in this reply and in the original indictment Fitz took an inordinate amount of time in framing his argument in political rather than legal language.

I agree his underlying bias comes out clearly. And I rather doubt he is the political naif who doesn't understand the impact of his words. Still, that particular passage is a rather good argument, and there are several pitfalls (e.g., insulting the intelligence of the reader on the "prove a negative" thing), which he avoids skillfully. Also, it was somewhat surprising to see the magnitude of counter-clockwise spin some commenters managed to impart to that particular statement. Speaking of which, thanks for the kind words Clarice.

boris

There is a big Hindsight-Logic-FUBAR going on regarding the NIE issue. AB and Jeff obviously are confused on purpose, but some others lend credence to it as well.

When WMDs were not found, some started to say it was all a lie, we knew they were'nt there to begin with.

So the admin releases pre-war intel that predominantly asserted a WMD threat.

That's valid rebuttal to the criticism.

Minor caveats relative to the predominant consensus are not relevant. The public is not in a position to REDECIDE the invasion.

People.

No need to engage the issue in Trollandia on Moonbat ground.

Sue

Where is Jeff getting the information that Cheney told Libby to lie to Miller?

MayBee

Sue- you and me both

Jeff-"MayBee - Are you suggesting that all I am warranted to claim is that Libby testified that he understood from his discussions with Cheney that he was to lie to Miller,"

You may certainly claim whatever you like. I'm just wondering where you have found the information about Libby testifying he understood he was to lie to Miller. Before that, I was wondering where you found what Libby had specifically said about the NIE at all.

AB

No boris engage on the FACTS.

FACT: Four months prior to the after-the-fact selective declassification of PARTS of tne NIE, the administration had every reason to believe the Niger connection was based on a known forgery and should never have been used as part of any case for war.

FACT: The President did NOT authorize declassification of the (chosen portions of the) NIE through normal procedures, but LEAKED IT TO THE NEW YORK TIMES! (I absolutely love how you can gloss over this unavoidable tidbit.)

FACT: The President went before We, the People on numerous occasions to condemn both leaking to the press and this specific leak. At all such times, he was knowingly lying to We, the People.

You can't continue to call the majority of this country traitors, fools or moonbats. We are the People, buddy. Live with it. We have every right to make these inquiries and there is literally no power on earth that can stop it all from coming out now. It was only a matter of time all along.

Cecil Turner

No, boris, you are wrong. This SELECTIVE declassification (meaning NONE of the rebutting evidence was declassified)happened in July 2003. [emphasis added]

You guys keep trumpeting this obvious nonsense, and folks keep providing the link to the declassified data. Why not try reading it? Then you'd see stuff like the "State/INR Alternative View of Iraq's Nuclear Program":

In INR's view Iraq's efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets.
And then in Annex A:
But such efforts (which began well before the inspectors departed) are not clearly linked to a nuclear end-use. Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious.
"NONE of the rebutting evidence was declassified"? Try again, Chingachgook.

TexasToast

No need to engage the issue in Trollandia on Moonbat ground.

It must look really bad from your side - that is the first time I have ever seen Boris encourage "disengagement". It is interesting that the NY Times was the recipient of the bull-session "declassifications" - on background and from an unknown source. They must love that paper almost as much as Tom does!

boris

the administration had every reason to believe

The NIE is the pre-war intel that's relevant to the decision to invade.

Trying to claim that the consensus turned out to be wrong on the WMD issue does not make the pre-war case any less compelling.

The decision was properly made based on the consensus, not the caveats.

MayBee

FACT: Four months prior to the after-the-fact selective declassification of PARTS of tne NIE, the administration had every reason to believe the Niger connection was based on a known forgery and should never have been used as part of any case for war.

FACT: The Africa connection was not based on the forgery. See http://www.slate.com/id/2139609/>here.

boris

encourage "disengagement".

Say what? Don't make shit up and pretend you're quoting me.

AB

From the filing: the president had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE.

Not to disclose the NIE, but to disclose RELEVANT portions...i.e. cherrypicked intelligence to support their pre war cherry picking fiasco.

This was not after the fact. They knew the Niger information was false when they left it in the SOTU speech. They knowingly lied to the American people and sent their kids off to a hellhole for nothing but their own geopolitical fantasies.

I really don't know why you think the American public should ignore this enormous crime, but you really need to stop pretending to yourselves that they are going to continue to suck up any more propaganda.

boris

the president had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE

Revelant to the lies being debunked.

AB

Maybee, I know that the wingnut distaste for actual FACT has made them big fans of EDITORIALIZING rather than REPORTING. Despite that fondness, there is still a difference between the two. Relying on crazy Hitch for fact is like relying on Bush for the truth. There's no connection.

MayBee

Jeff- Sue and I are dying here. Where is the information about Libby testifying Cheney told him to lie?

Sue

I want to know why Plame's boss, Alan Foley, okayed the 16 words that started Joe's crusade? Everywhere you turn, Plame pops up.

MayBee

Well, AB, if you can point out some reporting from someone that we could both agree is printing only the facts, I would be happy to take a look at it. Who reported that the Africa information included in the Sotu was based on forgeries? Where has that FACT been established?
Give me the FACTS, AB. Don't just assert it.

Cecil Turner

Not to disclose the NIE, but to disclose RELEVANT portions...i.e. cherrypicked intelligence to support their pre war cherry picking fiasco.

Still on that "no rebutting evidence" BS? Dude, do yourself a favor, read it. And while we're on the subject, let's take a look at your "facts."

. . . the Niger connection was based on a known forgery . . .

No. It began with a 1999 Iraqi trade delegation, still unexplained, and pre-dated the forgeries. Furthermore, it's almost certainly true.

The President did NOT authorize declassification of the (chosen portions of the) NIE through normal procedures, but LEAKED IT TO THE NEW YORK TIMES!

It's obvious from news reports (and Fitz's affidavit) that the NIE excerpt was declassified through the normal process, and bits were divulged through various spokesmen before the official release (including Tenet's July 11th statement). And a "leak" is an "unauthorized statement." When the President authorizes it, it's [by definition] not a "leak."

The President went before We, the People on numerous occasions to condemn both leaking to the press and this specific leak.

The President condemned the leak of Plame's name, which you appear to be conflating with the NIE release.

You can't continue to call the majority of this country traitors, fools or moonbats.

0 for 3 on "facts," we go to name-calling. Impressive, this isn't.

Rick Ballard

I want to know when Judge Walton might rule on (or boot upstairs) that Motion to Dismiss.

Oh, and when the first NSA indictments might come out.

topsecretk9

hey knew the Niger information was false when they left it in the SOTU speech.

See, why'da the CIA sign off on this when they were so convinced by Wilson fact finding trip? I mean if his trip, they arranged, was so successful in disproving this very question...I guess Wilson's verbal report wasn't as explosive to the very agency that sent him. Don't get it.

Lew Clark

AB, do you get a lot of your stuff from "Alice In Wonderland". You are enamored with the concept "It means what it means, nothing more nothing less".
When it is convenient, a word means only one thing, can't mean anything else. In your "alternate universe" when something is "leaked", that is bad. But something can only be "leaked" by someone you oppose. If it is someone you support it is "whistleblowing" and that is good.
When the president decried "leaking" he referred to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by someone without the authority to do so. Anyone authorized to declassify and release information (by whatever means they deem appropriate, including informing the press by whatever means they deem appropriate) it is not a "leak" it is communication. Leaking is bad! You can go to jail. Communicating is good. Live with it!
And BTW, what country do you live in? Because a majority of the people in the United States support active national security. You know, that majority that voted for George Bush. Now I won't disagree that a majority in your country are anti-American. But it would be hard to tell, because it's probably a totalitarian state and it's really hard to get a true reading of the people's feelings in those places.

daodv

Some of the trolls have the same writing style. Are they different people working from the same text or just one person.

AB

Hitchens again! You guys love this little alky, don't you. He imputes motive to the Iranian diplomat and presto! imputations become FACTS.

You all have no problem with the administration creating an unnecessary, destabilizing and bloody war on the basis of shaky intelligence. You don't care that they never tried to do the necessary vetting and verification of this intelligence. You don't care that there is ample evidence that key players in the admin wanted exactly this war all along and abused the nation's reaction to a grave tragedy to enable their deadly dream.

That's fine. Just don't expect the American public to go along with it. Because they won't and they aren't. Peek outside of JOM once in awhile. They're waking up.

Gary Maxwell

Every once in awhile TM will check their IP addresses and report that the trolls are in fact a solitary troll. One who has been caught on several occasions is AB who also has posted in the past as JayDee and Katrina as well as several other names. His INTL A.N.S.W.E.R. style of rhetoric is pretty comical really. You can expect corporations are bad and poor people are growing in numbers kind of stuff out of him. Just laugh at how pitiful he is.

Appalled Moderate

1. Pay attenion to Cecil on Fitz's filing. His argument is the best reading of the passage I've seen. Remember, Fitz is out to win a perjury case against Libby. (And maybe nail Cheney and/or Rove on a conspiracy to commit perjury, obstruct justice charge.) Fitz is interested in politics only to the extent that it provides motive for Libby's misstatements.

2. To me, the NIE stuff is the Bush administration using soon to be declassified stuff to defend itself against someone who was talking about stuff it is likely the Bushies thought was classified. It's hardball, but Wilson's column was in no way anything but hardball. The right least recognized in internet precincts seems to be the right to defend oneself against attack.

3. Look at the narrative Fitz is forming -- Libby, an employee given a job to do, goes beyond the scope of his authority and leaks the name of an agent. To avoid discharge by a poed President, he then goes and lies about his role. Frankly, I see an invitation in this narrative line for Libby to say: "No, I did not leak Plame's name without authority. Dick told me to do it." "No, I did not lie about my role on my own.Dick told me to do it."

4. The weakness in Fitz's case is whether there is an underlying grand jury matter to be influenced by Libby's misstatements. Has Fitz, beyond his news conference and the original indictment, truly addressed this?

AB

Laugh all you like, Maxy, but unfortunately for you I'm a completely ordinary working American, a veteran, a parent, a 100% law abiding citizen who loves my country, flies the flag and even takes it in at night (unlike my wingnut neighbor who has his nailed to his tree, rusting and torn). I don't even know what ANSWER is, except that wingnuts seem to be obsessed by it, despite it's obvious fringe significance.

Laugh away. Won't change what's happening. If the American people were willing to tolerate what this admin has pulled on us, this wouldn't be America anymore. Thankfully, it still is.

clarice

Rick, I keep forgetting what date the judge has set for oral argument on the Motion to Dismiss. If anyone has recorded that date, I'd appreciate it.
I'd be astonished if he ruled from the bencch, but I am certain he's been reviewing the pleadings and I don't suppose his order will take forever after the oral argument on the motion.

You say he sees through Fitz. I hope you're right.

Rick Ballard

Now, Gary. How do you know that their ship isn't just over the horizon? How do you know that that today or tomorrow the teeming ignorant masses won't wake up and realize that all they have to lose is their chains? That they won't rise up in righteous indignation and implement a system that has failed in every instance in which it has been applied?

You can't know that for sure. You're simply relying upon common sense regarding the public's ability to distinguish which path probably leads to a better life. Tomorrow could be different. We could all wake up with our IQ's diminished by 40% and actually start to think that AB is a rational being.

It won't happen but you can't deny that it could.

The Unbeliever

You realize, AB, that you've basically moved from having any FACTs at your disposal (which Cecil politely removed from your column and moved to the other side), and now you're arguing "you're wrong because a lot of people agree with me that you're wrong"?

That's not much of a way to win an arugment, but it is mildly entertaining. Pardon us while we chuckle at your expense.

Gary Maxwell

Rick you have me nailed.

clarice

As for Hitchens, I'd venture to say if any of us could write sober half as well as he writes "drunk" we'd be happy. I am frankly jealous of his incredible talent for writing.

AB

Chuckling in your oblivious little vacuum here is what you guys do best, Unbeliever. (Lord knows it's a lot easier than actually fighting the war you so admire, isn't it?)

Might want to check out todays Gallup Poll . Seems 63% of Americans now believe that Bush acted either "illegally" or "unethically" in the Plame affair. That would rise to 70% if you only counted Independents.

He who laughs last last best, my little yellow bellied non-enlistee. Not that there's much to laugh about when you survey the layers upon layers of devastation done by this reign of Wingnuttia upon our country and the world.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I'm not sure 'sees through Fitz' is precisely where I stand wrt Judge Walton. I just don't see the Judge as being impressed by Fitz's desire to plead ex parte about a continuing investigation. Given Fitz's 'just wrapping up a few details' pronouncements, the Judge shouldn't be.

The oral argument will be public, will it not? I don't recall any assertions relating to security concerns being raised that would require a closed hearing. 'Course I barely recall what day it is, so I might be wrong about that.

The Unbeliever

Ah, I see. It doesn't matter if you're correct, so long as you're popular. I wouldn't make that the official Democratic party plank if I were you, but I'm one of those fabled Independants so I don't get to vote for Dem campaign slogans.

clarice

And they have easy access to information that would disabuse them of that mediagenic notion?

IBD, noting the absurdity of the Demedia response to the President's disclosure of the NIE report versus their response to the NSA leaks, and the SSCI and Butler Commission findings on the claim that Iraq sought uranium in Africa, concludes:
"After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, whose 39-page filing revealed this "leak," has charged no one with leaking Valerie Plame's name, or established that it was even a crime.

We wonder what this revelation has to do with Fitzgerald's investigation, which has produced nothing except a claim that Libby "misled" investigators about a crime for which no one has been charged.

We also wonder, in this scenario where the only proven liar is Joe Wilson, whether Fitzgerald is out to get the truth or out to get the Bush administration."http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20&artnum=1&issue=20060410

Sue

Who actually authorized the trip to Niger? Has anyone ever said? Was it Foley?

clarice

Rick, as far as I know it's an open hearing. If I can find out the date and am able to go, I will.

Rick Ballard

Sue,

I think it was Levin or Waxman but I can't remember which.

sad

Has anyone kept track of how much money Joe is raking in during this whirlwind of speaking engagements? This has nothing to do with truthtelling or whistleblowing speaking truth to power or sticking up for the country. This is about a retirement fund.

Spiker555

I wonder if Joe Wilson ever relinquished that $10,000 and the award back in 2003? I just read the transcript of the recent Blitzer interview with Wilson. GAG.

Would like to hear your summary of the Fitz open hearing, Clarice.

clarice

I think that Sue posted once upon a time the hearing date and I forgot to write it down. Maybe I'll contact the Cleark of the Court to see if I can find the date.

AB

What makes it such a killer this time, little yellow Un, is that the public this time is both ACCURATE and in CONSENSUS. In fact,the more they know about this issue, and the closer they are following it, they MORE likely they are to think the Pres did something wrong. Sucks, doesn't it? This "We the People" thing is so inconvenient for would-be monarchs.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Are recording devices allowed in DC court rooms? If so, don't forget fresh batteries. Hmmm, I wonder where the closest WiFi outlet is to the courthouse? 'Scoop' Feldman prepares to strike again.

clarice

Well, I don't think batteries are allowed and the wifi? Don't think so. I'll be lucky if they let me take notes. They didn't used to unless you were with the press. But I called the cleark for the date, and if I can get there and take notes, I'll try to do it.

Sue

Clarice,

When is the hearing? I can't remember.

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Wilson/Plame