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May 20, 2006

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clarice

Interesting but a bit thin, isn't it?

verner

Nope, Mary McCarthy wasn't around then. And She never served in WMD as far as I can tell.

PeterUK

Sorry about the multiple posts,I got into this loop that posting the previous post.

clarice

happens to all of ushappens to all of ushappens to all of us happens to all of ushappens to all of ushappens to all of us happens to all of us

Lurker

Strata-sphere has another post called, Plaming Reporters

Hope I did the link correctly this time. Here it goes.

PeterUK

Yes Clarice,but it raises the important point of who actually had sufficient authority to despatch Wilson to Niger.
What did they ask him to do,bearing in mind the forgeries were probably classified? Who debriefed him.Was a report actually sent to the VP,or did they just say "Thanks Joe,leave you name in the bin on the way out?"
If a report wasn't forwarded,was it kept for release at the same time as the forgeries in Plames safe,in other words the two were intended to be mutually reinforcing,but only after the invasion was underway.

Lurker

So Wilson and Ray McGovern knew each other for a long time, which made Ray less credible as Seixon wondered...

JJ

Just skimming the long thread, I like Cecil's point @ 1:17 that starts with --

"There is an interesting dynamic in the discovery for this case..."

At this point, it seems to me that Fitz's case is very focused and very SMALL. After all this investigation, it appears that Libby's big crime is insulting the investigators.

Essentially, what Libby has done is knock off a policeman's hat. If the JOM crowd goes overseas, maybe this would be like stealing the bobby's helmut, or something...

But! the larger question is still who leaked Plame, who still thinks Plame was covert...no, wait, that one is settled.

JJ

...at any rate, more fun reading!

This is better than an Agatha Christie!

BTW, where on the timeline did Libby talk to Russert again? Before any of the Exhibits? Spliced in time among the Exhibits?

clarice

PUK--because they simply expensed the trip I doubt anyone above Plame's immediate supervisor (Foley) or his (Pavitt) knew. I may have an idee fixe myself but I think that fact plus the failure to get a non disclosure agreement and fact that the report was oral explains why Tenet had no idea (per Miller's account of Libby's statement to her.)

verner

A CIA agent at the LSE...that is rich.

It obviously rubbed off on her.

windansea

as AJ notes...the Libby request for Jordan about the (as Jeff might put it) "incredibly lucky" friend of Wilson who just happened to bump into Novak at the precise time he might be walking from his house to tape CNN show...or a Joe put it

He had been walking down Pennsylvania Avenue toward my office near the White House when he came upon Novak, who, my friend assumed, was en route to the George Washington University auditorium for the daily taping of CNN’s Crossfire. He asked Novak if he could walk a block or two with him...

cough!

clarice

Yeah--Novak lives in a condo near the DoJ..It would be easy to spot him leaving the building..this was a VIPs special sauce meeting.

PeterUK

Clarice,
I was all appallingly casual on the run up to a shooting war,almost as if it were irrelevant,
Definitely an odour of Langoustine Chaise Longue.

windansea

those smelly shrimp keep poppin up all over the place

windansea

liars usually telegraph their guilt by offering too much corroborating info

:)

clarice

so true windansea..

verner

Peter UK, if you read the Senate Select Intelligence Committee's report, a lot of those questions are answered--except the most important one-- who exactly sent him.

To answer your questions, as best I can remember, he was debriefed by one person from State, and one from the CIA at his home in the den. Val was there, but left the room when the debriefing began.

According to the record, what Joe claimed, and what he found was of little or no worth.

He said the people he talked to in Niger stated that the Iraqis had been there to discuss trade, and that they had a feeling they wanted yellow cake, but that they (Niger) avoided the topic. The committee, and other analysts concluded that Joe's report of that bit of info actually strengthened the Brit's case--that in fact the Iraqis had been shopping. They had found documents that are indeed authentic that back up these claims. Sure did make Val's group look bad...

Joe's debriefing report never made it to the VP's office. It wasn't worth Cheney's time. So when those articles appeared, they were a complete surprise. Joe just kept on telling lies about it though, until the senate select committee outed him.

As we can see though, because the Dems on the committee refused to sign off on unrefutable evidence--including Joe's own statements, they've kept hope alive for the faithful--and Joe remains their hero.

kim

An irony that I continue to relish is that if Kerry had not dumped Joe, and stuck with the Bush Lied meme, he may have won and they would have gotten away with all this crap. Now, did Kerry dump him because he figured out Joe was an unreliable liar, or because he thought he was too big a risk to the campaign?
================================

verner

Catch me up Clarice. Did Foley and Pavitt leave in the mass exodus after Porter Goss took over? I certainly hope so.

Do you know their first names and anything about their history?

kim

verner, you silly, it's obvious who sent him. Rove did; he knew even then he'd need something for the '06 midterms.
===============================

clarice

Verner, they're both gone..I'll see if I can retrieve their first names.

clarice

James Pavitt and Alan Foley

verner

Well, can you blame Rove? It worked so well in 2004 when he sent that hispanic lady to the rodeo in Houston--you remember, the one who gave Bill Burkett those Texas National Guard letters that Mary Mapes still claims are authentic...

Why oh why do the democrats and their media friends always fall for this crap? Answer--their blind hatred for George W. Bush.

Lurker

"Yes Clarice,but it raises the important point of who actually had sufficient authority to despatch Wilson to Niger.
What did they ask him to do,bearing in mind the forgeries were probably classified? Who debriefed him.Was a report actually sent to the VP,or did they just say "Thanks Joe,leave you name in the bin on the way out?"
If a report wasn't forwarded,was it kept for release at the same time as the forgeries in Plames safe,in other words the two were intended to be mutually reinforcing,but only after the invasion was underway."

Now...who paid his way to Niger?

kim

Hey, w&s, anyone over there wonder why Harlow knew on a cold call that Val didn't send her husband, but had to look up that she was covert?
=============================

windansea

Kim

what the wheelies think is a moving target

Val is covert & Brewster Jennings is dead

doesn't matter...Libby lied

it's the obstruction stupid

Armitage was part of the Bushco smear

Armitage is not guilty because naming Plame and her job are ok if you are not a neocon

Armitage is cooperating and will nail Rove and it's ok if he forgot about Woodward just because..

cites by "the CIA" trump all statements on record about who sent Joe

Armitage was cooperating even though he forgot about Woodward and

kim

Big Wheel Keep on Turnin'.
=================

Sara (Squiggler)

2008: THE NIGHTMARE

By reliapundit

President Hillary Clinton.
Vice President Barack Obama.

Secretary of Defense John Murtha.
Secretary of State Joe Wilson.
Secretary of Homeland Security Richard Clarke.
DNI Ray McGovern.
DCI Valerie Plame.

Attorney General Russ Feingold.
UN Ambassador Jimmy Carter.
Secretary of HUD Jesse Jackson.
Secretary of Education Bob Kerrey.
Secretary of the Interior AL Gore.

Surgeon General Jack Kevorkian.
Secretary of Labor Gerald W. McEntee.

Speaker Pelosi.
Majority Leader Reid.
Chairmen Kennedy, Leahy, Biden. And Conyers.
Justices of the Supreme Court: Reno, Bill Clinton, Anthony D. Romero, Ralph G. Neas.

http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2006/05/2008-nightmare.html

owl

June 13 MTP w/Condi puts Russert in the picture. He is asking about Wilson's claims, we know Mitchell knows the Wilsons but she doesn't give him background if he doesn't know?

This is a hot issue over there. Just read an interview Matthews to Michael Smerconish(11/01/05) where he asks if Russert then called him and he says no but ....

“Well, let me just tell you this, without getting into that, because I know the answer generally to your question, is that, because all of this involves testimony that Russert is probably going to have to make, and let me just tell you this, that those people in the White House, especially Libby and the Vice President, working as a team, ‘connected as a root’ to use Libby’s favorite phrase, basically pulled off an Alleyoop play to get us into war in Iraq, by feeding to the New York Times stories about nuclear potential in the hands of Saddam Hussein, to get it into the Sunday paper, and then deploying the Vice President on Meet the Press and other Administration officials like Condi Rice on the other Sunday talk shows in a kinda Alleyoop play. So they put the ball in the air, and then on Sunday mornings, these guys put it in the basket, and then all of a sudden we’re at war over Iraq because a lot of Americans in the middle politically say ‘I don’t know how we’re getting into that mess or why we’re getting in it, but I guess we have to protect ourselves against a mushroom cloud’, that is Condi’s phrase.
So having pulled this masterful move of moving the undecided middle into the war, they then became very sensitive to the charge by Joseph Wilson that they had done the very thing, pushed the nuclear button and then covered up any threat to that nuclear button, and Wilson was that threat, and then, going volcanic against anybody including me, who dared to say ‘Wait a minute, there is a pattern here of how we got into the war, and how they promoted the nuclear case and how they protected the nuclear case against Wilson’.

They didn’t like me doing that, I know that a number of Administration officials were screaming at my network at all levels about me raising this issue, the very points I’ve just made. They don’t like hearing it, Libby is in trouble now because he doesn’t like hearing it, the Vice President is very much a part of this, and the answer to your question is that you are on the right trail, Michael.”

Lurker

I am NOT looking forward to having to live with those people over us as listed at astute blog.

clarice

In Oct ober Mac raised an interesting point about Wilson's 1999 trip to Niger--he hints it's related to the OFF program and the Iraqi uranium. http://macsmind.blogspot.com/2005/10/plame-game-golden-goose.html

H ehas also at some point suggests the agency itself was involved in skullduggery to fund activities they need to have off the books.

Rocco

Here’s a common denominator that may or may not be useful down the road. The left is portraying Plame as an active NOC. Claims that Val was working on Irans’ nuclear program saturate the left leaning blogs. Some try to validate this claim citing Sibel Edmonds and her FBI fiasco. Edmonds has made claims that the FBI was investigating various organizations including the American Turkish Council.

One would assume the ATC is more of a right wing organization considering those affiliated with the organization. Scowcroft in particular is a Republican although he didn’t support the war. But there’s also a name on the Board of Directors list that links the ATC to Wilson…Tulu Gumustekin. She’s also listed as the Chief Executive Officer-Board Member on the Corporate & Public Stategy Advisory Group webpage. Joe Wilson also appears on CPSAG as a Strategic Advisor. Edmonds claims the FBI was investigating the ATC and the ATC is linked to Wilson through Gumustekin.

clarice

I'm not sure what to make of Edmonds. Is she nuts or not? I think this is something of a blind alley in any event.I think any American company that wants to do business in Turkey deals with these organizations and that is the only relationship.

verner

Oh Lurker, I found the May 2, 2003 meeting--and it was an important one indeed.

Both Valerie ands Joe attended the Senate Democratic Policy Committee conference meeting and had breakfast with Nicholas Kristof.

I knew that happened, but did not remember the date.

Lurker

And...take note of Brewster Jennings & Associates...

This happens to be a front company set up by the CIA for Val Plame, of course!

Company name

The front company likely took its name from the late Brewster Jennings, a president and founder of the Socony-Vacuum company, which would later become Mobil Oil, and then merged to become part of Exxon-Mobil.

(curious connections is a bad link)

So this company "smuggled" nuclear weapons to various countries?

clarice

Sorry, verner, I didn't know you were looking for that. The problem is that meeting is not on the SDPC website although all the others are there. Plame was there at some point for it is at the conference that she and Wilson spoke to Kristof.(The next meeting of the group featured VIPers.

verner

Clarice,

Thanks,

You probably know this but Pavitt is now working for Scowcroff (lordy lordy)

And Alan Foley is at the Argonne Labs as assistant director.

Both left--Pavitt with Tenet and Foley soon after. Good riddence.

I had forgotten Foley's role in the 16 words.

And he certainly was one who "resented" Cheney. Hmm. Just like his gal Val.

clarice

Now let's assume that Foley was someone the Plame investigators wpoke to early and he confirmed a lot of her lies? Was he the one who filed the false referral letter? Hmph

Lurker

http://macsmind.blogspot.com/2005/10/plame-game-going-back-over-past.html

verner

Hey Clarice,

Ray McGovern is on a first name basis with Alan Foley...check out his interview with Amy Goodman in September 2003:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4736.htm

This interview is partially reproduced here:

"The Crazies Are Back" ["Crazies" were former CIA officers
who 'disclosed' some of the most horrifying information]:

Bush Sr.'s CIA Briefer Recalls How the First Bush Administration
referred to Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney.

Former CIA analysts Ray McGovern and David MacMichael accuse
President Bush of waging the Iraq war based on a series of lies,
discuss the unprecedented pressure that VP Dick Cheney put on
the CIA before the invasion and call on CIA analysts and agents
to come forward with information that will reveal the lies of
the Bush administration.

AMY GOODMAN: "But then the famous 16-word statement in the
State of the Union address, which brings us to one of the
people who is leaving Intelligence. Can you talk about him
and the role that he played?"

RAY MCGOVERN: "Alan Foley? Alan announced just three days ago
that he was leaving, and he was head of the analytic section
that had purview over weapons of mass destruction.

It was he who suggested that those sixteen offending words
not be included in the president's State of the Union address.

He was finally arm twisted into condoning that, with the
assurance that it would be blamed on the British."

"... finally he [Alan Foley] was persuaded that well,

let's blame it on the British.
Let's say, according to a British report.

And Foley said, I suppose that would be alright to blame
it on the British.

Now, they didn't even say 'according to a British report'.
What the President said was 'the British have learned'.

That's a lot different. We are pretty careful with words
in the intelligence community, but that is what the President
said, 'the British have learned that Iraq was seeking uranium
from an African country...

Now, Foley took the fall with that, along with Tenet,
but it was really sort of Tenet saying 'I confess,
she did it'. Because Tenet doesn't write these speeches.

Condeleezza Rice is responsible for that. So what is Tenet
was confessing? He's confessing to being a lousy proofreader.
He didn't read the final draft, and there it was.

We'll use it [report] anyway and we'll pin it on the British

Tom Maguire

I was chatting with a (very left) former prosecutor who assured me that perjury/obstruction infuriates prosecutors because it undermines the process.

Now, my impression is that some think Fitzgerald will only go after the architects of the war (others think Congress or the voters have that job).

For folks who think that Fitzgerald actually cares about obstruction of his investigation, consider this:

There is an excellent chance that Armitage leaked to Woodward and Novak, but only testified about the Novak leak to the GJ; after prodding from Woodward, he went to Fitzgerald in Nov 2005 (AFTER the Libby indictment) and copped to the Woodward leak.

But add this - *SUPPOSE* Armitage also leaked to Tim Russert (or Andrea Mitchell), that the Libby version of the Russert phone call is accurate, and that Russert gave false/misleading testimony.

By waiting until after the Libby indictment, Armitage got to see the outline of Russert's testimony - he knows Russert is (subject to careful parsing) on record as not knowiong about Plame, so Armitage can go in to Fitzgerald and continue to conceal that leak, confident that Russert has protected him.

Slick, yes?

And just how is Fitzgerald supposed to be sure that did *not* happen? Maybe ask them both again, but real nicely? Double promise, and crossies don't count?

Fitzgerald is stuck, the defense can look for reasonable doubt on this point, and all because Armitage obstructed the investigation by making it perfectly obvious that he was willing to sit back with incomplete testimony until all the cards were exposed.

Well - clearly, I have made some unprovable assumptions there - we don't know, for example, just what Fitzgerald asked Armitage. But it seems to me to be entirely likely that Fitzgerald ought to have a real beef with him.

clarice

I agree, but since Fitz only interviewed some reporters about some sources, he obstructed himself.

clarice

Maybe he should really drill Armitage and then recall Cooper and Russert and Miller. Then he ought to call in Mitchell for the first time and drill here about "everybody knew".

He ought to ask all three as well about whether Wilson told them.
Oh, and call in Calabresi about , inter alia, his calls with Wilson when Cooper called Libby.

topsecretk9

AJ posted this (from Jo Jo Mojo's book)

When the interview aired on the Monday evening news, NBC had systematically edited out every one of my qualifiers regarding Valerie’s status, no doubt because of time constraints. They thus substantively changed the tenor of the interview and gave CIA lawyers cause to briefly consider whether or not I myself might have been in violation of the same law as the senior administration officials who had originally leaked the information about Valerie to Novak. I later called Andrea to request a copy of the full interview, so as to be able to defend myself, but NBC policy disallows providing transcripts of interviews in their unedited versions. I asked Andrea therefore to make sure that the full interview was preserved on tape in the event legal questions arose in the future. She agreed to do so.

-------------

Really? and how does WIlson know what if anything CIA lawyers consider? Wouldn't that be a "secret"? and I am sure there are 50 more questions this passage raises

clarice

He's always misquoted. Amazing.
TM, Fitz should also call in Pincus whose report is virtually identical with Woodward's about what his source told him. Virtually word for word.

topsecretk9

--
But add this - *SUPPOSE* Armitage also leaked to Tim Russert (or Andrea Mitchell), that the Libby version of the Russert phone call is accurate, and that Russert gave false/misleading testimony.--

And suppose because they were Aspen Institute buddies Judy Miller got an early Armitage leak too - and wrote it in her notebook.

(PS. just those 2 names, Miller and Armitage have now after years been scrubbed from the Aspen Strategy Group ...But I have a screen shot)

clarice

Three visits does seem a lot to be just talking about Woodward.

clarice

Hamsher has to eat crow--Mitchell early on suggested Armitage was the leaker and Hamsher made fun of that:


"Andrea Mitchell on October 3, 2003, on Robert Novak's source:
MITCHELL: Joe Wilson, he now inappropriately suggested that Karl Rove may have been the person ... But it's really
... Inappropriate, I think, for any of us to suggest that someone might have been involved, because we're talking about a possible crime, and we have no evidence of that.
Right-o, Andrea. Oh you are so right, how very white of you, you are the very model of a responsible journalist. No, you are certainly not one to indulge in idle speculation about the identity of Robert Novak's source, especially since a crime has been committed and all. Bad, bad Joe Wilson.

Mitchell on Don Imus, November 12, 2005 (via Crooks & Liars)
IMUS: Did you talk to the same source Woodward talked to?

MITCHELL: I don't know who Woodward talked to. I have my own suppositions but I have no factual basis.

IMUS: Well who do you think it was?

MITCHELL: I think a lot of people are speculating about Dick Armitage because he the only one of now a legion of Washington players who have said, "I wasn't the source." Everyone's coming forward to say they weren't Woodward's source. And of course now there's also speculation Don that Woodward's source and Novak's secret source could be one in the same person.
Let's revise that initial axiom just a bit. It's irresponsible for Joe Wilson to speculate that your boss Karl Rove might be Robert Novak's source, but it's fine for you to throw Dick Armitage under the bus with absolutely no evidence at all because he is after all BushCo.'s Fantasy Dream Team Leaker, and doubly so when you're trying to pry Don Imus off your back for busting you on your all-too-convenient memory lapses.

We'll save you a seat for you between Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams at the next Blogger Ethics panel, Andrea."http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/2005/11/andrea-mitchell-watch-day-2.html>Hamsher strikes out

clarice

And then TM summarized Pincus' reports about what he learned and from whom--and I bet Armitage is being asked about it..Wonder if he was asked to give Walter a waiver yet?

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/03/walter_pincus_k.html

Kate

Armitage sounds like a creepy guy. I'm interested in the dynamics around Time's article "The War on Wilson". It seems like dishonest reporting to me, an attempt by Grossman/Wilson to deflect attention to the White House with collaboration with the media.

How could they go forward with this article if their only confirmation was Cooper calling Rove and bringng up the topic.

That's why I think Cooper has a motive to lie as much as Rove does. That's why I'd be surprised if Fitz indicts Rove.

Jane

"But seriously, if Libby didn't see the op-ed, what do y'all think Cheney did with it? "

If he's at all like me, he put it in the file and let it percolate. Clearly it was an indication that something was going on, and there was a need to find out what. You write something down so you remember it - at least I do. The op-ed was found in Cheney's files not Libby's, correct?

I'm still percolating about Fitzy. I can't quite figure out what is motivating him. The closest I can come to something that sits right is that he zealously pursued what he thought was a wrongdoing - without zealously pursuing it since he appears not to have investigated about 80% of the people I would have talked to, and now that his case is falling apart, can't let go.

But that doesn't fit quite right for me, since I don't yet get fitzgerald. I'd like to know more about prior prosections.

Kate

Here's my read on what happened with Fitzgerald. When he took over the case, his first order of business should have been to see if there was a crime committed. That is: he should have looked at Plame's status, reviewed the Espionage Act and the Identity Act. If there was no crime he should have closed up shop after several months.

Instead, he was briefed by investigators who already believed that Rove/Libby had lied to them and they told him that. So he's already got the bad guys now he needs to build the case. The investigators probably sent him off to see Grossman who piled on.

So now he had the bad guys and the narrative. He's in too deep now.

kim

There is a reference to Joe's book here to poke fun at his lies, and a reference to Joe's book at emptywheel to support the argument. They still believe Joe!
===============================

PeterUK

Verner Thanks
"He said the people he talked to in Niger stated that the Iraqis had been there to discuss trade, and that they had a feeling they wanted yellow cake, but that they (Niger) avoided the topic. The committee, and other analysts concluded that Joe's report of that bit of info actually strengthened the Brit's case--that in fact the Iraqis had been shopping. They had found documents that are indeed authentic that back up these claims. Sure did make Val's group look bad..."

Ties in with what Joe waf saying earlier,

"Inspired by the report, Joseph Wilson first put his anti-war sentiments in writing for the San Jose Mercury News on October 13, 2002, two weeks after the report’s completion. At this time, he did not argue that Saddam had no WMDs. That would be implied later. At this time, he cited the CIA report as proof of the opposite. Deposing Saddam, he argued, “will ensure that Saddam will use every weapon in his arsenal to defend himself.”By every weapon, of course, Wilson meant the soon-to-be mocked WMDs. “As the just-released CIA report suggests,” Wilson continued, “when cornered, Saddam is very likely to fight dirty.”

Wilson had reason to be concerned. “ Iraq [has been] vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake,” read the October 2002 report. “Acquiring either would shorten the time to produce nuclear weapons.” Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a WMD specialist at the CIA. Her husband’s famed trip to Niger eight months earlier, in February 2002, had obviously failed to persuade Plame and her colleagues that Iraq was not seeking yellowcake.
Scroll down

noah

Good point Tom! I wonder how what you have outlined will play with the jury at trial? (I realize that Armitage cannot be accused of perjury without evidence but surely he can be asked WTF?)Can Walton rule it irrelevant? And what is the status of the argument that the "UGO" is not being protected by Walton? I seem to recall mystifying (to me) exchanges in a prior thread.

Kevin B

I came to this thread late, but to respond to Jim E's gloating, (miles upthread), it's not the NYT article that's being introduced here but Cheney's priceless scribbles

Like in CSI, it's not the cocktail napkin itself that's the crucial evidence, it's the trace of lipstick from which our heroes manage to extract, not just the victim's DNA, but the suspect's. And when confronted with the evidence, the suspect, sitting in the interview room without a lawyer, confesses all. (Why do they do that. Don't answer, I know it's only TV).

noah

PUK, how did Wilson know about the 2002 report which had not been declassified at that point?

PeterUK

Exactly Noah,and when did he make his complete volte face concerning Iraq's nuclear ambitions.

Dwilkers

By waiting until after the Libby indictment, Armitage got to see the outline of Russert's testimony - he knows Russert is (subject to careful parsing) on record as not knowiong about Plame, so Armitage can go in to Fitzgerald and continue to conceal that leak, confident that Russert has protected him.

But he didn't know about it before his own testimony, TM.

That posits Armitage playing a very dangerous game. Of course there is evidence he was doing exactly that with the Woodward thing.

I am very disturbed by the report in the update about Armitage being escorted in and out of the GJ as if some sort of VIP. I can only hope Fitz is running his own scam on Armitage at this point, or that the report is just ArmiSpin.

My confidence in that and Fitz in general waxes and wanes though - with a lot more waning than waxing here lately.

We have to find a different way to do these investigations when this comes up, as it does with every administration nowadays. This method is broken.

PeterUK

Dwilkers,
We have Royal Commissions empowered to investigate these kind of issues.Usually chaired by a judge or senior QC,they have to power to investigate and recommend ,but they don't drag the whole dismal affair through the law courts.
There are the usual,leaks and selective readings but not the toxic political fallout you get.
I take it Fitzgerald is a one off,with greater powers than the President?

Jane

"Instead, he was briefed by investigators who already believed that Rove/Libby had lied to them and they told him that."

Who are these "investigators"?

PeterUK

"Who are these "investigators"?"
..and what departments do they come from?

boris

I seen it alleged they were Comey's crew from the FBI.

boris

This is from a Cecil Turner timeline:

Sep 26, 03: DOJ authorized the FBI to investigate "the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information regarding the disclosure of Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA to various reporters in the spring of 2003."

Oct 14 and Nov 26, 03: Libby was interviewed by FBI agents (and told substantially the same story as later).

Dec 30, 03: Ashcroft recused himself from investigation, Deputy AG James Comey delegated to Patrick Fitzgerald "all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity"

Dwilkers

Well PUK, technically the president can fire him, but in practice that won't work from a political perspective. The last president that tried that one was Nixon IIRC.

I really think they need to be strictly limited to investigating under their original charter and nothing else. That way they can come and go but they don't end up in some kind of weird lala land where they are on the patroll for a decade. They're almost incentivised to do what Fitz appears to be doing if you think about it.

PeterUK

Dwilkers,
That is what I thought,Special Prosecutor For Life,a wonderful power base,Stalin started with less.People can be dragged in front of a GK until the make a slip,then indicted.Not quite as good as lettres de cachet,but getting there.

PeterUK

Sorry,GJ

boris

Who's GJ?

Lurker

Comey's crew? Makes sense. What a great way to...avoid neutrality of the investigation!

I think Kate is right about Fitz being influenced by that close-knit group for persuing obstruction of justice and perjury against Libby. Not only have they been successful in kicking Libby out of the office but keeping the Rove situation alive. If Fitz had not yet indicted Rove by now, as still attested by TO, Fitz should think twice and thrice before submitting his indictment against Rove to the GJ. Surely he has to know how weak his Libby case by now.

Regarding Novak making comments about Wilson, "“Wilson’s an a**hole. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She’s a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him.” to a person that approached him...

Would Noval make comments like these to...a stranger or someone he knows? Or this implies that it's well-known fact within the Beltway?

Surely he was aware at this time that the information was unclassified.

Emptywheel's analysis is based on her belief that Joe Wilson is right as opposed to what I believe that our analysis is neutral and based on facts that are available to us.

Lurker

GJ = Grand Jury.

Lurker

Is there a timeline that depicts the memberships and meetings of these various organizations?

- VIPS
- CPIP
- IPIP

Wasn't there a connection between a Rockefeller granddaughter and Paul Volker and the Paul Volker study against Kofi and UN (OFF)?

PeterUK

One would think,that since Mr Fitzgerald is deemed an able prosecutor and presumably interested in the course of justice,that he would have realised from the outset that his powers were extraordinary,too far reaching,and would have thus declined them.That he did not casts a shadow on his integrity.

Lurker

And as for the FBI investigating CIA...

were there turf wars between FBI and CIA or they were getting along amicably?

Lurker

"Well PUK, technically the president can fire him, but in practice that won't work from a political perspective. The last president that tried that one was Nixon IIRC."

Thought Clarice said that Congress approves the fundings of a SP?

If that's the case, then the letters need to go to our conservative senators and representatives. The letters should also say that a law needs to be passed to add term limits for a SP; not for life.

Jeff

Tom - That is an awful lot of speculation; although it's clear clarice will give you a pass, since she likes the sound of it. Hey, she's even okay with Mitchell speculating, as long as she likes the sound of it.

I'm not sure how this fits with your rank speculation, but here's one guess as to how Armitage might not be on the legal hook: when he went in to Fitzgerald at the beginning of November to change his account by adding that he blew Plame's cover with Woodward as well as with Novak, he made the case to Fitzgerald that he was doing so voluntarily, since, after all, we're talking about Bob Woodward here, and if Armitage had commanded him to keep quiet, Mr. Deep Throat would have. Therefore, Armitage wasn't motivated by fear of his false testimony being exposed.

That said, my current effort to save my claim that Armitage faced legal trouble is that Armitage went in to Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald made clear he faced real trouble, and Armitage started being really really cooperative. This idea would gain plausibility if it's really the case, as the NYDaily News article seemed to imply, that Armitage has testified twice since Libby's indictment.

Finally, here's some speculation to match yours (except mine is less rank). The White House knew right before October 28 that Woodward was sitting on a story identifying Mr. X, i.e. Novak's source, as Isikoff stated on Larry King the night before Libby's indictment. I suspect that's the piece of information Woodward came across the finally prompted him to tell his editor that he had a Plame source. How did the White House know? One possibility is that the information circulated from Woodward and the Post to the White House. But of course the other possibility is that the White House knew because they had told Woodward. Would it be shocking if the White House, facing indictments of one or perhaps two (or perhaps even three) of its top officials, tried to blunt that blow a little by getting America's allegedly top investigative reporter, Mr. Credibility himself, Bob Woodward, to reveal that Novak's original source was not in the White House at all, possibly doing so on the very morning of indictments, thereby making the indictments look a little odd?

And wouldn't it be funny if the White House's effort was stopped by the coincidence, unbeknownst to them, that Novak's source also outed Plame to their conveyor belt (i.e. Woodward) - since there's no way Woodward and the Post could publish that story without also revealing that Woodward also had a source, and it was also the same person, and they couldn't do that?

clarice

I can't even diagram that one, Jeff, let alone find it plausible.

I reviewed what Pincus has said and I think Armitage was not only the source for Novak and Woodward but may aw well have revealed Plame's identity to Pincus and Miller as well and in the same terms. Perhaps he told others as well.

I believe Wilson was the likely "discloser" to Corn and Calabresi and Mitchell.

boris

Tom - That is an awful lot of speculation

Self parody alert!

boris

except mine is less rank

I guess that's true if you define "rank" as "coherent".

Rick Ballard

"(except mine is less rank)

I'm positive that in your mind that is true. If a point could be woven from gossamer thread you would have one but reliance upon Isikoff as the anchor to your argument is certainly no less specious (or rank) than what Tom has proposed.

Cheney's notes make the concept of a concerted high level decision to "out" 0036D rather problematic given Fitz's reliance upon June 23 as the first of firsts. Or did Cheney forge his notes in retrospect, realizing the deperate need to prove his level of disinterest? Or is that resolved by the Miller/Libby encounter of July 8, so articulately described within Miller's notes?

A febrile imagination is a wondrous thing.

PeterUK

Rick,
Everything in this case looks as if it were pre-emptively fabricated.

Dwilkers

Yeah well. Jeff is quick and free with his ridicule of others.

Jeff has a good command of the inventory of Lego blocks represented by the investigation, however like an idiot savant that can recite the 1905 Yankees roster and batting averages of each player but that cannot find his seat in the stadium without supervision, Jeff cannot comprehend that when you start with an OVP/White House lego kit you end up with one result and when you start out with a State Department Lego kit you end with another.

Jeff thinks both kits end up as a shiny new bicycle for the left but in fact while the OVP kit does indeed assemble into a nice toy the State kit comes together as a lump of coal. And Jeff sticks by that even when led around by the nose slowly and carefully to various blog posts of his fellow travelers and shown that it is not in fact true.

boris

Now now ... Jeff's likely point is simpler than his prose. Woodward couldn't ride to the defense of the White House crew and reveal that Novak's source wasn't them without Woodward violating his own confidentiality with that same source. Oh the irony!

clarice

The thing is this:Comey is a long time friend of Fitz' and knows how he works--i.e., tunnel vision and dogged sniffing on the trail he's been set out on coupled with what Toensing has described as an inappropriately "creative" reading of the law.

Set him down whatever path you choose and he will prosecute whomever you point to because he is the kind of moron who thinks personal notes so late in the game signal an "attack" that he says began earlier..

Kate

The investigators were FBI. They convinced Fitz that Rove/Libby lied to them, so he thought he had a crime already, and they would not have lied if there wasn't a core crime--the purposeful disclosure of Plame's name.

If someone could refreseh my memory, I believe Fitzgerald was assigned in December 03 and sent the note to Comey expanding his authority to obstruction/perjury (process crimes) in January 04...are those dates right.

noah

Yep...but must the point be embroidered with invidious WH machinations for which Jeff has zero factual basis? Of course...no fun being fair!

Armitage is unlikely to have followed TM's scenario but his silence certainly had the effect of "throwing sand" in Fitz's eyes!

OBSTRUCTION!!

PeterUK

Would Fitz be this eager to protect Plame if she looked like Helen Thomas? There is an air of White Knight in all this.

Dwilkers

Heh. I'm not a fan of Goldberg but his take on the TruthNot "apology" is pretty funny.

Jeff

Jeff's likely point is simpler than his prose.

Always a good bet.

Kate

Oh, lonely bachelor to the rescue.

Patton

Given Cheneys notes on Wilsons article, how can anyone still believe their was a conspiracy to out Plame when it happened BEFORE Cheneys notes. At a minumum both
Woodward and Miller were told BEFORE the article and Mitchell said she knew but now says she misunderstood, or mispook, or hey, I'm just a dumb semi-blonde.

Or do we now believe Cheney wasn't part of the conspiracy?

Or was Cheney just making fake notes to fool a future prosecutor?

Lurker

"

The thing is this:Comey is a long time friend of Fitz' and knows how he works--i.e., tunnel vision and dogged sniffing on the trail he's been set out on coupled with what Toensing has described as an inappropriately "creative" reading of the law.

Set him down whatever path you choose and he will prosecute whomever you point to because he is the kind of moron who thinks personal notes so late in the game signal an "attack" that he says began earlier.."

Ah...Comey must have taught him well!

Jeff

I can't even diagram that one

Self-awareness alert!

On another note, unless Pincus is pulling a Woodward and lying about his source to protect him/her, it's not Armitage: Pincus has identified his source as a White House official.

My leading candidates are Cathie Martin, Dick Cheney, and Ari Fleischer.

Lurker

Oh, Jonah Goldberg's comment about Marc Ash's "partial apology" is hilarious. Wonder what his take would be on Marc's interview from yesterday.

Lurker

And how are those letters coming along?

PeterUK

Kate,
From time immemorial,beautiful women have been used as spies,one the honey trap and two,the human race,especially males, find it difficult to impute evil motives to pretty people.
This is probably why we end up with good looking vacuous or immoral politicians.
Another point is the good looking don't have to get one with people,people get on with them.

noah

Russert was in typical form this AM on MTP. He repeated every lefty/MSM talking point and reacted to Condi responses as if hearing them for "the very first time".

Cecil Turner

On another note, unless Pincus is pulling a Woodward and lying about his source to protect him/her, it's not Armitage: Pincus has identified his source as a White House official.

I'm more interested in Pincus's other sources. You know, these:

  • a former government official;
  • A senior intelligence official;
  • a senior CIA analyst.
Any bets on Val being the latter?

Rick Ballard

"My leading candidates are Cathie Martin, Dick Cheney, and Ari Fleischer."

My leading candidate as primary source for Pincus is a pet turtle that he carries at all times in one of his pants pockets. I believe it to have telepathic powers and to be in constant communication with the tiny green elf which lives in Jason Leopold's left ear.

Now from your list, I would say that Ari Fleischer (waving the June 10th INR memo) might be correct but I think Marc Grossman (who applied the whip to Ford to generate the memo - at the behest of Armitage?) might need to be included.

I appreciate your effort to keep your rowboat off the dangerous State shoals but I believe that you need to bend yourself to the oars with more effort. You're on a lee shore with a high wind, an incoming tide and no anchor.

Best of luck.

Jeff

I will take that bet, Cecil. I'm not surprised you're more interested in those other sources, since the source who actually blew Plame's cover to Pincus appears to be in the White House.

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Wilson/Plame