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May 08, 2006

Comments

hcow

Fitz is such a hack. Just look at what he is doing in Chi town.

http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_129143817.html

maryrose

TS.
Absolutely ! But remember Fitz was about to indict Official A until he talked to Luskin at the eleventh hour-so the danger of that happening now has lessened.

Patton

Well, according to our great news media, not a single one of them had any clue that Joe Wilsons wife was CIA.

Yet, the Russians knew, the Cubans knew, etc. etc.


You really have to love Chris Mathews, although I find his show unwatchable anymore.

If Mathews had been in Dallas in 1963, he would have reported that President Kennedy died of lead poisoning.

BUT CHRIS, HE WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD!!

Well, yeah, but essentially he died of natural causes, lead is an unnatural substance to have in your brain, so essentially he died of natural causes.

BUT CHRIS, HE WAS ASSASINATED!!

Yeah, you could look at it that way, but essentially its a story about bad timing...ya know, that's how I see it essentially.

maryrose

Patton;
technically speaking that's how it went down.

Syl

--and, get this, any body named as Offical A has gone on to be indicted by the brilliant Fitzgerald.--

Which only shows that Fitz' was aiming his guns at Rove from the beginning. Fitz had totally embraced Wilson's desire to frog-march this guy.

In fitz working notes, Libby is probably Official D, or E, or F and fitz was only using Libby to turn on Rove.

Didn't work out too well, did it?

Javani

"--and, get this, any body named as Offical A has gone on to be indicted by the brilliant Fitzgerald.--"

An example would be? What "Official" A has been indicted by Fitzgerald?

maryrose

Syl:
No it didn't work out and now all Fitz has left is a nothing set of indictments against Libby. How the mighty have fallen. Time to fall on his sword or take a powder!

clarice

Obviously he thought this was another one of those grabage truck scandals in Chicago and miscalculated.

clarice

*********GARBAGE****8888

Sue

IMO, Libby needs to start with the reasonable doubt...he mistook his conversation with Russert as the one he had with Woodward. Or something. I doubt seriously Russert lied under oath. Libby has a good shot at getting rid of Cooper and getting rid of Miller, but Russert is going nowhere. How did we get to Matthews as being in on a phone call?

kim

Long distance operator, get me Memphis, Tennessee.
I need to get in touch right quick with my sweet Valerie.
I called her Mrs. Wilson, instead of her name Plame.
Now Fitzy's got the willies, and I'm the one to blame.
=============================

Sue

LOL. If he went for the nuance he may indeed be having the willies. I can't imagine he hasn't come clean with his attorney if that is the case, though.

kim

Look carefully again at everything he and Andrea have said. Someone here suspected it over a year ago, I think, and even Tom is curious about this. Wait'll Fitz wonders.
===================================

Sue

I know. But I can't see him allowing Libby to go to jail if he has different information. If that comes out, he is finished.

Sara (Squiggler)

But I can't see him allowing Libby to go to jail if he has different information.

I don't know. I used to have a whole lot of respect for Tim Russert. I thought he was very fair and that his interviews were always balanced. Somewhere along the line, my opinion of him changed and it predated this Plame affair. I now look at his as a real snarky snake and frankly, I don't think he has a conscience, so I doubt it would bother him one whit to let someone go to jail. Like all the others, he'll wrap the 1st Amend. around himself and gloat.

Sara (Squiggler)

look at his = look at him

Jeff

--and, get this, any body named as Offical A has gone on to be indicted by the brilliant Fitzgerald.--

Which only shows that Fitz' was aiming his guns at Rove from the beginning.

This is a joke, right?

Sue

Jeff,

That's what we said too, but come to find out, Shuster is serious. ::grin::

Sue

Sara,

I'm not buying it. I don't think Russert would intentionally lie. Maybe he forgot too? ::grin::

Maybe he did fudge the truth thinking this wasn't going anywhere, like I figure most of them thought, since Plame isn't covert. No harm, no foul. Then Libby gets indicted for perjury and Russert is afraid to correct his testimony. I guess that is possible, but I'm not there yet.

owl

I'm not buying it. I don't think Russert would intentionally lie.

So what was he doing with Broussard? He had purpose when he put him on for a full segment to end that show. It was the Katrina Prime Time spot. It ran .....then they come in and do a correction.....too late. The Lie Stands.

owl

If allowed, Libby could run a heck of a filmfest of attacks by MSNBC=Mitchell/Matthews/Russert

maryrose

I'm with Sue on this one. Russert will probably at some point either clarify or give Libby a hand on this by saying people could confuse which reporters they talked to. Russert has so much to lose here probably more than anyone else with the exception of Libby. I still go back to mistaken identity on Libby's part but Matthews and Mitchell-I think they might have known.Not sure about Russert- I don't think he would let someone go to jail if he had info that could clear them. He's Jesuit educated-that has to count for something.

maryrose

owl:
I think Broussard duped Russert.

clarice

Russert has no notes of the conversation and apparently there's no documentation he sent to anyone relating to it. On cross, he may have to admit that his memory may not be perfect either.

Jeff

Sue - The point is that Rove was dubbed Official A in the indictment; it's not like he was called Official A from the outset of the investigation, and was first on the list. He's just the first (and as it turned out only) official identified in the indictment who was still under investigation.

MayBee

I think Libby just got his reporters mixed up. I don't see what incentive he had to lie, although Fitz seems to think losing his job if he were involved in the "leak" would be enough incentive to make up a story. Having said that, all the reporters have that exact same incentive, do they not?
Who among them could keep their jobs if they changed their story now, or if it looked like they had "entanglements"?

JM Hanes

Jeff

I responded to your question on a previous thread here.

Tom Maguire

As to Russert lying in his testimony - I have trouble with that, too, but...

Suppose Russert has sources he wants to protect and is a better chess player than Matt Cooper.

Cooper told the truth - 'I leaked to Libby' - and won himself a new subpoena so Fitzgerald could find his source.

If Russert *did* leak to Libby and admitted it, he might have figured he was taking one step closer to dire doo-doo. Go to jail, give up a source, shade the Libby testimony, what to do?

So he shaded his testimony. Whatever. But now Libby is indicted - oops!

There is probably never a good time to admit that you have walked up to the line of perjury and ruined a once-serious investigation, so Russert lays low, hoping the case will crater for other reasons. And we drift along.

This seems possible to me - a somewhat remote possibility. As an alternative solutions to his original problem, maybe Russert could have been more vague in his testimony, or somehow waved Fitzgerald off last fall.

And weirdly, this does not need to effect Libby's fundamental guilt. There is still the question of whether Libby sourced his leaks to other reporters, and whether that matters if he had, in fact, not forgotten the Cheney talk, the Fleischer talk, and so on.

Although obviously, if Russert's story collapses, Libby's version gets some oxygen.

clarice

On the question of Niger uranium, there's this interesting old story from the Financial TImes.'(excerpt)
"Illicit sales of uranium from Niger were being negotiated with five states including Iraq at least three years before the US-led invasion, according to senior European intelligence officials.

Intelligence officers learned between 1999 and 2001 that uranium smugglers planned to sell illicitly mined Nigerien uranium ore, or refined ore called yellow cake, to Iran, Libya, China, North Korea and Iraq.

These claims support the assertion in the British government dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme in September 2002 that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from an African country, confirmed later as Niger. George W. Bush, US president, referred to the issue in his State of the Union address in January 2003.

The claim that the illicit export of uranium was under discussion was widely dismissed when letters referring to the sales, apparently sent by a Nigerien official to a senior official in Saddam Hussein's regime, were proved by the International Atomic Energy Agency to be fakes. This embarrassed the US and led the administration to reverse its claim.

But European intelligence officials have confirmed that information provided by human intelligence sources during an operation in Europe and Africa produced sufficient evidence for them to believe that Niger was the centre of a clandestine international trade in uranium. "Niger

MayBee

TM-
I do think we have enough general information to realize that some didn't take the investigation too seriously. UGO would be one of them. I'm guessing they all thought it would go away, like the investigation about Clarence Thomas's sexual harrassment leak. Everybody said they didn't know anything and it all went away. The default ending for these things seems to be no charge filed.

I'm like you in hesitating to believe Russert would have just lied. But I agree with you that anyone that shaded the truth a little has much to fear from walking back now.

My pet theory is everyone just gave an idea of what they thought was said and by whom (knowing that they hadn't committed any crime), and Fitzgerald turned it into a perjury investigation.

MayBee

By that last paragraphy I mean, they were all a little sloppy and a little loose in talking to Fitzgerald and the GJ. I think they all thought it was a non-crime, the investigation was political in nature, and it would just go away.

Jeff

And weirdly, this does not need to effect Libby's fundamental guilt. There is still the question of whether Libby sourced his leaks to other reporters, and whether that matters if he had, in fact, not forgotten the Cheney talk, the Fleischer talk, and so on.

The thing is, it's not so weird. Fitzgerald put together a smart indictment, among many other things building in a hedge against just the possibility you mention. In fact, it is a more central contention to Fitzgerald's case that Libby must have been lying when he testified that he was surprised by what Russert told him, and was learning it as though for the first time, than that Russert did not as a matter of fact tell Libby about Plame. On Fitzgerald's account, it is more central to Libby's deliberately false narrative that he learned about Plame from Russert than just that Russert told him about Plame. And that central alleged lie is more robustly contradicted than the one about whether or not Russert told him.

Thus, even if Russert recants and slinks off in shame for ever and ever (it almost makes you wish for it), Libby is still on the hook, though it's true Libby gets some oxygen.

Jeff

they were all a little sloppy and a little loose in talking to Fitzgerald and the GJ.

The thing is, Libby was anything but sloppy or loose with his narrative. But I agree that he thought the investigation was going to go away, because it was political, that is, being overseen by Ashcroft. It also involved reporters, who are generally not quick to give up sources (as they were not in the event).

Carol_Herman

This is the Dreyfus case deja vu. Just waiting for Emil Zola. (Or Clarice Feldman) to scoop up sales when the books start to flow.

If the donks had this plan, that they could impeach Bush if a prosecutor moved this story into our court system, shows ya what passes for intelligence in DC.

Are they counting on black jurors railroading Libby? Is that the ticket?

I know Martha Stewart didn't do any crime. Her broker called her! But she had a black judge. And, a jury that hated the rich bitch.

Then Martha had to make a decision. To live under a cloud for a long, long time. Or to go to jail. And, then get back her life. She chose the short cut.

I'd even bet Martha once supported donks with money contributions. But I doubt if she does so now. She's learned a thing or two about choices.

As has the rest of the country.

I'll tell ya something else. I was around when Nixon's popularity plummeted. And, I can tell ya there's something wrong with the polls! (Well, those same polls told ya Kerry was ahead on election day.) And, all the MSM did was hide the truth. The donks took a beating. And, Bush had COATTAILS. But that was 2004.

2006 is upcoming. Ya think people will stay away from voting in high enough numbers the donks can steal seats? How come you don't notice the Net is alive. And, the comments you get to see from ordinary folks aren't supporting the methods used by the donks at all. Even if eyes glaze over when math is mentioned. So the polls can be skewed enough.

Never was a time you could fool all the people.

And, even if it feels like it takes forever for justice to move through our courts; Libby has chosen to fight. Soon enough the contest will have a noticeable winnah.

topsecretk9

The thing is, Libby was anything but sloppy or loose with his narrative.

The thing is all them reporters led Fitz to believe they really justa bunch of dopey know nothings...


Woodward agreeing to the sup - bastard...what do they have to fight to hide?

A.K.A...you don't fight if you got N O T H I N G

MayBee

The thing is, Libby was anything but sloppy or loose with his narrative. But I agree that he thought the investigation was going to go away, because it was political, that is, being overseen by Ashcroft. It also involved reporters, who are generally not quick to give up sources (as they were not in the event).

Well, I wasn't really thinking of Ashcroft's 2 seconds of oversight. I was thinking more like Walter Pincus, when he said he thought "the Democrats were too wound up thinking that a crime had been committed".

I also see Libby as pretty darn sloppy. Whether it was a sloppy lie or sloppy truth, I don't know.


Tops- I can see them fighting on principle. They don't think they can be seen to be cooperating, because they think they need to protect their sources. Although in this case, they would be cooperating to protect a source, no? So that's kind of the opposite of their usual not cooperating to protect a source.

MJW

TM, Jeff: I disagree. If Russet admitted he mentioned to Libby that Wilson's wife works at the CIA, the whole case falls apart. The Russert conversation is the only resonable basis for charges. Without the support Russert testimony to add suspecious context, the Cooper allegations are a minor difference in recollection. Miller is the definition of a weak witness, and isn't even part of a seperate perjury or false statement charge. The supposed failsafe of Libby's unlikely surprise would be overwhelmed by the blockbuster revelation that the only other witness to the conversation had morally, if not legally, lied about his part in it, and that the more substantive part of the related charge was founded on that lie.

Having said that, I don't expect Russert to admit he mentioned Ms. Wilson's job to Libby. I will even say I find it hard to believe Russert flirted with perjury by misleading Fitzgerald, or that Fitzgerald is so stupid that he'd fall for such a transparent ploy.

But still -- I can't explain why Russert has never issued a simple, clear public denial, or why Fitzgerald, when citing Russert's testimony in the affidaivit, can't provide something more definite for Russert than "wow."

JM Hanes

"Although obviously, if Russert's story collapses, Libby's version gets some oxygen."

If Russert's story collapses, Libby walks, notwithstanding anything in the indictment. I really don't see Russert collapsing though, beyond admitting that he doesn't lay claim to a perfect memory.

JM Hanes

"The thing is, Libby was anything but sloppy or loose with his narrative."

His testimony, on the other hand, was anything but a model of clarity.

MJW

This has been posted many times before, but here is what Mitchell said on Oct. 3, 2003:

It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact that she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it.
I bring it up to make two points. First, there can be no doubt she understood the question and was saying she knew that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. She was lying then, or she's lying now. Second, to compare it to Russert's denial (while keeping in mind Mitchell was saying she did know about Plame):
Mr. Russert told the Special Prosecutor that, at the time of that conversation, he did not know Ms. Plame's name or that she was a CIA operative and that he did not provide that information to Mr. Libby. Mr. Russert said that he first learned Ms. Plame's name and her role at the CIA when he read a column written by Robert Novak later that month.

Is there an echo in here?

fletcher hudson

Keep in mind that at the time the reporters were asked to testify the focus of the investigation was on who leaked "Plame". Cooper and Miller chose to fight while NBC negotiated a deal to give limited testimony. I believe the deal was that Russert would only testify on whether Libby leaked to him and whether he mentioned "Plame" to Libby. He gave an affidavit in which denied both. Recall that on MSNBC in the week of the indictment Russert explained his involvement in the case as simply a 20 min. FBI statement in which he denied that Libby leaked to him or that he mentioned Plame to Libby. "Bang", that, according to him was all there was to it. Making the deal was either a deliberate plan by Russert and Fritz to get libby for lying (which I doubt) or a major mistake by Fritz. It is hard to believe that he is indicting for perjury when he has an incomplete version of the other side of the conversation, but that is what I think has happened. I believe it is not necessary to conclude that Russert deliberately lied or fudged but rather that he simply testified to the points he agreed to testify to.

I agree that he has alot to lose. He either has to (now or at the trial) lie about whether 'Wilson's wife" was mentioned,, say he doesn't remember or tell the truth. He probably will admit he knew Wilson's wife and maybe even that he knew she worked at the CIA. This could help Libby but not as much as it would if he told the truth. Too many people probably know of Russert's knowledge of these facts for him to lie about his knowledge. Libby believed Russert told him and felt free to discuss Wilson's wife "as if" he heard it for the first time. If I was Libby's attorney I would be spending my time finding out who was in the Wilsons' circle and any connections to Russert.

Does anyone know if Libby subpeoned the Wilson's wedding invitation list? Team Libby needs to, and probably will, go after documents showing NBC's and Russert's knowledge regarding Wilson's wife.

kim

If Andrea was right, that 'everyone' knew, it can be shown.
==================================

MaidMarion

Clarice,

On the forged Niger documents...

I've always been somewhat curious why the "forged" aspect of the Niger document Joe was sent to investigate "proved" Saddam hadn't sought/acquired the yellowcake.

Seems "forged" docs is the only way a clandestine acquisition such as this could/would be transacted. "Forged" sales documents provide the plausible deniability to the supplier, to include any Niger government official who might be participating in the illicit trade.

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/05/judy_miller_res.html#comment-17092843>Owl

I wasn't referring to what he did on-air.

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/05/judy_miller_res.html#comment-17093574>Jeff

So? Fitzgerald was after Rove from day one. And Libby and anyone else in the WH.

Sue

<http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/05/judy_miller_res.html#comment-17095844>Tom

Sort of what I said http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/05/judy_miller_res.html#comment-17092531>here.

kim

It has always been extremely interesting, and not accented enough lately, that these forgeries may have been designed to be exposable as frauds.
====================================

kim

Jesuit education is one thing. And the one educated is another. We'll see.
=====================================

Jeff

Sue - The evidence cited was non-evidence. The fact that Rove is Official A in the indictment tells us nothing about what Fitzgerald believed from the outset. It is, of course, reasonable to think that Fitzgerald believed from early on that Rove was involved in the leak, since Rove was involved in the leak, and Rove appears to have acknowledged that early on. But in fact it appears increasingly likely that Fitzgerald was not focused on Rove until Cooper testified.

Sue

Jeff,

You really want to argue that we don't know what Fitz was looking at when he started? Rove was definitely a target from day one in Fitz's conspiracy to smear Joe Wilson campaign.

clarice

Maid Marion, I can see only two reasons for such bad forgeries--and maybe that explains why there were two sets (a) to hide a real transaction (b) to undermine the Administration and the decision to go to war. As to (b) I've harbored suspicions that this one was to be used as we worked thru the UN and we left the UNSC too soon for it to have been popped and it was later used to help Kerry. It would have been useful during the UN deliberations only if the timing was right--say, just before a final vote. After the French perfidy we left that venue and the forgery was not useful for that purpose.

cathyf
The thing is, Libby was anything but sloppy or loose with his narrative.
Unless you are an FBI agent who interviewed Libby, you are simply making shit up here, jeff. None of us knows how sloppy or tight Libby's testimony was. (Given that the FBI interviews are not recorded in any way other than notes made by the FBI agents, even Fitzgerald and the grand jurors don't really know much more than we do on that accord.) The best guess is that Libby's testimony was like the aspens letter, and the little bit of heavily elided stuff we have in the indictment is consistent with that. But that's just a guess.

cathy :-)

cathyf

And another thing about the loose vs tight narrative question. The "narrative," especially in this case, is what formed in the FBI guys' minds and Fitzgerald's mind and the grand jurors' minds. The whole obstruction argument is based upon what narrative should reasonably have been created in those minds according to the alleged obstructor's narration. If the alleged obstructor can show bias to the point of unreasonableness in the listeners, or any other material cause of unreasonableness, then he is off the hook as far as being the one who is guilty of creating the false narrative.

cathy :-)

clarice

Rick nailed that, cathy--we do not see much in the way of a non-elided clear question to Libby, and from his pleadings and presser, we have every reason to believe that Fitz was not a simple sentence interrogator. Remember in the gj there's no counsel or judge to interject and seek clarity or object to the form of the question.

maryrose

fletcher hudson:
You have brought out some excellent points and helped me understand this whole scenario.
As to Russert- I does have a moral backbone and hopefully a sense of fair play. I hope he hasn't been that corrupted by fame and fortune. We'll see.

JM Hanes

cathyf

Interesting, isn't it, that the one demonstrably false narrative here was provided by none other than Fitzpatrick, himself, when he pegged Libby as the first official leaking Plame to press. Actually, make that two false narratives, because that key faux pas can't be blamed on any putative sand thrown by Libby either.

JM Hanes

Then again, there's also the narrative Fitzpatrick provided the Court to rationalize his fishing expedition in the press. In fact, I don't think I've really got the time to do justice to the Pandora's Box I've just opened, so I think I'll just snap the lid back on till later.

topsecretk9

DId anyone link ?Byron York today?

Fitzgerald rose to answer. "I'm not going to stipulate that Mr. Wilson was accurate on every thing," he said.

topsecretk9

From that point on, the question of Joseph Wilson's credibility shadowed the discussion of other evidence. Wells argued that Wilson had made "inaccurate" statements quoted in a number of news reports. What if prosecutors cited any of those reports?

"The truth of what is in those articles would not be relevant," the judge said. Then he turned to Fitzgerald and said, "Does the government intend to introduce articles?"

"Yes, your honor," Fitzgerald said. Wilson's New York Times op-ed would be introduced, Fitzgerald continued—"but not for the truth." It would, in other words, be given to the jury to show what started the whole Plamegate affair, but Fitzgerald did not intend to argue that it was fully true.

fletcher hudson

Maryrose-
As to Russert's backbone. Now will be the time we will find out if "Big Russ" was half as great as Tim says he was in his book, whether Tim will be the "man for all seasons" because of what he inherited from Big Russ and , more importantly, whether "Little Russ" will, in the future, be an man of honor because of what Tim does today. Or we will find that they all three, have, are now and will be in the future bags of sh-t like most everyone else in Washington. Very few people have been or will be given such an opportunity for greatness as Tim now has. Let's see how he deals with it.

clarice

TS--Thanks for alerting me to that excellent article.

Kate

On the York article, how can Fitzgerald decide not he wants a "small case" when he stood up at the press conference and implied that Libby damaged us all. Now he wants a triffling perjury case.

clarice

Besides us who is paying attention? Besides us who caught his fib to the Miller Court? Besides us who noticed that he knew who "leaked" before he called Libby to testify before the gj? Besides us who noticed that the claim that Plame was covert was a crock? Besides us who knows that Ambassador Munchausen is a serial liar?

Kate

clarice-once again President Bush decided to take the high ground and not criticize Fitzgerald or let anyone criticize him. That worked, right. Fitzgerald is a mediocre prosecutor at best, and he has gotten a free ride on this case. I blame the White House on this one too. It's the legal equivalent of taking the blame for Katrina. They have to learn to fight back effectively and hard.

Sara (Squiggler)

Besides us who is paying attention? Besides us who caught his fib to the Miller Court? Besides us who noticed that he knew who "leaked" before he called Libby to testify before the gj? Besides us who noticed that the claim that Plame was covert was a crock? Besides us who knows that Ambassador Munchausen is a serial liar?

Well, we can only hope that Team Libby makes sure that besides us, the jury knows.

hcow

Re: Fitz. You may be interested in this ....

http://cbs2chicago.com/politics

Looks like a partisan to me ... oh. wait.

JM Hanes

Maybe you can start a blog on the Sorich trial, hcow. That one looks like it may really be worth watching. If Fitz ever actually bothers to wind this investigation up, we might have time to tune in. I'm beginning to think he may be getting far too fond of his comfy sinecure in DC, as Big Fish In The National Pond With All The Other Fish At His Beck & Call & Hanging On His Every Word, to give it up voluntarily though.

Patton

Jeff says:

""It is, of course, reasonable to think that Fitzgerald believed from early on that Rove was involved in the leak, since Rove was involved in the leak, and Rove appears to have acknowledged that early on. """

I thought the leak was from UGO to Novak to the public. CIA then confirmed UGOs story for Novak, who published.

What did Rove have to do with that?

Sue

In the days after Libby was indicted, the left went crazy thinking they were going to have Cheney on the witness stand, and it might go all the way up to having Bush on the stand too. Until saner heads prevailed and brought some of them back down to earth. This wasn't going to be a case about the leak. Very narrow, perjury, false statements and obstruction. I think we are trying the leak case. And I think we are on the right track, because most of the defense documents have tracked our speculations fairly well, and I don't think they are reading this blog for ideas. I think it would have been better to try the leak case, everything would be pretty much relevant, including Joe's lies that started everything. I'm afraid we are getting off the narrow track of what the judge is going to allow. And I'm afraid we are going to be left wondering just what actually happened, until the day some enterprising journalist decides to ferret out the real truth.

Sue

Unless, of course, they are going for perjury trap. But how to convince a judge who isn't looking for a trap? Clarice?

Sue

What happens if after Walton sees the referral letter he doesn't shut this down? Will that mean Plame was covert? I've been thinking about this, in the event that happens. What if, instead of Plame being covert, which I steadfastly refuse to believe she was, it was the NIE itself that was being investigated?

clarice

All nice questions. I do think if the Court has suspicions about the referral letter, he's going to let Libby have the letter and if he wants he can argue perjury trap. If there's nothing apparent he may allow him a redacted or summary copy.

Sue

I think we have shown why Fitzgerald didn't bring charges for leaking. He would have had to wade through Joe and he knew he couldn't.

JM Hanes

Sue

"And I'm afraid we are going to be left wondering just what actually happened, until the day some enterprising journalist decides to ferret out the real truth."

Don't you really mean when some reporter actually puts his money where his mouth is on "the public's right to know" and condescends to tell us?

JM Hanes

Or as Byron York, per tops' link, put it:

After two and half years of investigating, after putting every conceivable witness under oath, after jailing one journalist and threatening others with jail, Patrick Fitzgerald argues that it doesn't even matter if Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA at all.

JM Hanes

Actually, this formulation from earlier in the same article (sorry about previous missing link) puts it even better:

The Big Case is what Fitzgerald originally set out to investigate: Who leaked Mrs. Wilson's identity, why was it done, and did it violate the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the Espionage Act, or some other law? Fitzgerald has spent untold amounts of money—unlike the old independent counsels, Fitzgerald is not required to report what his office has spent on the case—and has covered every conceivable aspect of the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's identity. He has questioned officials across the executive branch, including the president and vice president. He has learned about the Big Case as much as one man with subpoena power, no supervision, unlimited funds, and no hesitation to threaten reporters with jail can learn. He just doesn't want to talk about it.

Sue

Don't you really mean when some reporter actually puts his money where his mouth is on "the public's right to know" and condescends to tell us?

Yes.

Sue

JM,

I re-read the Fitzgerald presser last night. Nowhere does he mention the IIPA, but he does talk about the Espionage Act. Which got me thinking, a scary thing, if I do say so myself. He isn't and wasn't investigating the outing of a covert operative. He is/was investigating revealing classified information. Which would fit her, classified but not covert, and the NIE. And Fitz spent a lot of time asking Libby about the NIE, and as we know, it doesn't mention Wilson's wife, by name or otherwise.

Sue

If you re-read the http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801340.html conference with the knowledge we have today, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.

...

And all I'll say is that if national defense information which is involved because her affiliation with the CIA, whether or not she was covert, was classified, if that was intentionally transmitted, that would violate the statute known as Section 793, which is the Espionage Act.

That is a difficult statute to interpret. It's a statute you ought to carefully apply.

I think there are people out there who would argue that you would never use that to prosecute the transmission of classified information, because they think that would convert that statute into what is in England the Official Secrets Act.

Let me back up. The average American may not appreciate that there's no law that's specifically just says, "If you give classified information to somebody else, it is a crime."

Jeff

I saw that Byron York article this morning, noting that York has joined the ranks of those who don't seem to understand the difference between a legal case, on the one hand, and what happens in the world more generally, on the other. I too would very much like to know what happened; but it's part of Fitzgerald's job to keep quiet about that beyond the bounds of the case he's trying. And Fitzgerald has put together a smart, tight case against Libby, crafting the charges in such a way as to be as airtight and with as few pitfalls as possible. My lawyer friends tell me this is standard practice among federal prosecutors in particular.

Sue

I feel like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes...Damn you...

::grin::

If you re-read the http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801340.html>press conference with the knowledge we have today, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community. ...

And all I'll say is that if national defense information which is involved because her affiliation with the CIA, whether or not she was covert, was classified, if that was intentionally transmitted, that would violate the statute known as Section 793, which is the Espionage Act.

That is a difficult statute to interpret. It's a statute you ought to carefully apply.

I think there are people out there who would argue that you would never use that to prosecute the transmission of classified information, because they think that would convert that statute into what is in England the Official Secrets Act.

Let me back up. The average American may not appreciate that there's no law that's specifically just says, "If you give classified information to somebody else, it is a crime."


maryrose

Jeff:
you are living in a dream world. Fitz does not have an airtight case against Libby because he didn't investigate all the journalists or Val and Joe thoroughly enough. He needs to go back and get definitive answers from all the people he gave special privledges to as he was interviewing them and that includes UGO.

JM Hanes

Jeff

Don't be silly. He understands the distinction just fine, and expresses the kind of frustration I certainly feel about how Fitzpatrick has run this operation quite nicely, thanks.

As for standard practice, I'm sure there are a whole lot of prosecutors who would love to have virtually unlimited resources and all the time in the world to go after crimminals who have done a lot more than perjure themselves in the course of an investigation. As a taxpayer footing Fitz' bill, I'm not going to be a happy camper whether Libby goes to jail or not, are you?

Any US Atty who can't put an indictment together that looks real tight has been promoted to his level of incompetence.

kim

The Patrick Principle; given the power of a wizard he hasn't a clue.
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Wilson/Plame