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May 13, 2006



Jerry, I promise you that if Tenet told the WH that Plame was "clssified" we'd have heard that from the prosecutor who as late as August 2004 told the Miller Court in an affidavit he was wrapping up the case and only needed Cooper and Miller's testimony AND that he had no evidence that Libby knew Plame was "classified".


leopold is getting eaten alive at the wheel and and kos...looks like they have caught him using sockpuppets

...here, on this thread. Lots of comments from various names on that thread that came from just two ISP addresses in Los Angeles, CA, including the one from which the comments by "Jason Leopold" were posted.

And yeah, we've been hit by major spam attacks in the last week, so I'm in the process of cleaning out thousands of damn spammed comments.

posted by DHinMi at kos, here is the thred at wheel where Leopold and friends show up



jerry, surely you aren't trying to make the point that Val's name was revealed after the CIA guy warned the room Libby was in about leaking? By then the horse was well out of the barn, and into the next county.


Rocco, that's a good point! If Sweetness & Light or macsmind can't use it email me and I will do a small blog on it.


RE: The Referral Letter

Does anyone know if Mitchell got a copy of the referall, or was just told about it?

IF she received it, I hope that Libby's team gets it with their subpoena.



Which is terribly unfair if he thinks that Libby (and possibly Rove) can't be punished criminally for a leak but punishment for perjury would satisfy against punishment of a political whistleblower (not a legal whistleblower).

Or he may see perjury not as a substitute, but rather as bad enough in its own right. Fitz may be defending what he sees as the need for truthful testimony. Pure speculation mind you.

Thanks for the very kind compliment, BTW.


syl--whistleblowers are supposed to report things thru channels, not to the press. The SSCI remarks re forgery claims by Wilson suggest that there are only 2 possibilities(a) he lied about seeing them or (b) he saw classified information he had no right to see.. Add that they were "forgotten" in the safe in Plame's office and we needn't have Fitz' creative abilities to warrant an investigation.


ts and windansea, Rightwing nuthouse has blogged on the JL matter, would you mind putting the updates on his comments line? I know he'd appreciate it and more people could see this.


Well, C.

You seem to be at the center of the comment storm tonight. And it's Mom's Day too! So I hate to press.

I will note again though, that Fitz is studying the RESPONSES to those stories by Libby and the OVP. Not the content or the truth of those stories.

...and how they compare to what Libby told the Grand Jury.

Come on! You all are Plame experts here and I am the rookie. I was hoping for an extended lab session of dissecting those Exhibits!

More specifically, how Fitz says he will use those Exhibits as he has laid it out in the May 12 response.


Ralph, I am certain Mitchell just got a tipp that the referral letter had been transmitted to DoJ.


kim, I think a room full of people can know Plame's classified info - they just can organise a campaign to tell it to the press.

clarice: first, Tenet's "The Supreme Mystery" for me (perhaps irrationally); second, I also think that there had to have been an ongoing struggle about declassification if the CIA had spent years developing contacts that were routinely sacrificed by the pols in the WH. If the WH then rushed Plame into the public without CIA approval, I'd fault the WH for this.



"they just can't organise a..."


jerry, why do you think she was classified? What was routine about the White House sacrificing CIA contacts? Where do you get this stuff?


Will do clarice...g'nite


I will add this:

The trial looks like it may be a doozy. A real knife fight over each of those Exhibits.

But to think that Libby could explained things more fully to the GJ and walked away from all this and watched it die a quiet death!

That was a valid possibility, I think.


Nite, Rocco.


jerry, why can't you get it through your head that the press knew about Val before the White House did?


JJ, Let's Play "Let's Pretend". I'm the prosecutor and you are someone hauled in for shoplifting. I have a wad of press clippings written by Jason Leopold the source of which is an enemy of yours who works at the shop from which you are charged with shoplifting which claims that you are a child molester, arsonist and thief.I tell the court, I don't want to call Leopold or the source to the stand, but I'd like to put the articles into evidence to show you had a motive to shoplift.

Now do you get it?



We parsed libby's words right after the indictment came out. End of last October into Novemeber. Extensively. Lots of fun.

If, as you say, it is JUST libby's words against reporters words, well then how much do you think jurors even in D.C. trust reporters? Their favorability rating is below politicians. :)

So it might nor turn out as you expect.

But there is another point to the administration fighting back on Wilson. It's not just that there was a difference of opinion. It was that there were specific facts to refute! And that has to be admissable. Because wilson's wife was of lesser importance than setting the record straight.

Fitz doesn't want to allow the fact that the wilson sputtered outright untruths that had to be countered. If it's only the administration vaguely fighting back, wilson's wife becomes more important than it was.

Fitz is cherry-picking and doesn't want the whole tree brought in to the courtroom.

I emphatically agree that this whole affair would have come off much better if the WH had openly attacked that liar Wilson, including shouting from the rooftop that the bozos at CIA even let his wife arrange the trip. I see no embarrassment to the WH in that at all.
But suppose, for argument's sake, that no one at the WH appreciated the gossipy attraction of the Wilson-Plame backstory. They were out there giving Miller a blockbuster exclusive declassified NIE, with all sorts of wonky details about Saddam and intelligence, etc. She shrugged and only wanted to find out if Victoria Flame sent her hubby Wilson. Chris Matthews froths on-and-on about the joooooz taking over the government and supressing Noble Joe's Vital Inteligence, and when Libby calls to complain Matthew's boss Russert giggles about Wilson getting sent by his wife. Cooper calls Rove, who probably told him newly-declassified NIE stuff, and all Cooper wanted to meow about was Plame. Next stop for gossip-columnist Cooper was Libby.

So the WH's political clumsiness can be plausibly explained by their fundamental seriousness and wonkiness and respect for questions of substance, as compared to the fundamentally unserious journalists who were only interested in catty gossip and soap opera-ish trivia. Libby's story, as detailed in the little snippets given to us by Fitzgerald in the indictment, is that yeah, probably officials were mentioning the little Plame detail occasionally in official meetings, but not in any way that caught the attention of anybody serious so that we paid attention to it and remebered it. But then when I talked to journalists they couldn't seem to care about serious things because they were so obsessed with the catty gossip. Then I realized that the press people were listening on AM while we were talking on FM and so I just gave up on talking about the NIE arguments and repeated back the meowing journalist talking points when the journalists called all a-gossipy.

How would events have been different if Libby's story were true?

cathy :-)


I'd support the idea that the WH routinely leaked classified info to the press, I think there's an easy case for this... though it hasn't been publically documented (just go through Judy's old articles to gather evidence).

About Val, I'd say that "the press" might well have known her socially but Not known she was in a sensitive position at the CIA.

So, when Libby et al start talking up her CIA work the press thinks "hey, I know Val... what's he doing telling me her secrets? I'm not sure I want to go along with him."

This is a rather different view than the typical idea that the press knew of her secret status before the WH.



Sweet! Not only that it has a ring of such truth that my head is reverberating.

wonkish vs gossipy

That about nails it.



This is a rather different view than the typical idea that the press knew of her secret status before the WH.

Um. I think neither the press nor the whitehouse knew of her secret status.

The press knew she worked at CIA. The whitehouse knew she was at CIA and involved in Wilson's trip.

What's the diff? You're calling people dirt for telling the press something they already knew.

NOBODY leaked to the press that mrs. Wilson was covert. UGO probably only leaked that she was CIA and involved with wilson's trip. Novak got the rest of his info from the CIA itself and even claims HE didn't use 'operative' to mean 'covert'.

Nobody, not one person we know, in the administration said anything close to 'Valery Plame is Wilson's wife and she's covert'. Their crime is to have revealed that she WORKED FOR THE CIA.

And that fact was already known by many in the press.

Just because you hate Cheney and all, doesn't mean their automatically guilty of something nefarious. Even some murderers love their dogs.


"I'm the prosecutor and you are someone hauled in for shoplifting. I have a wad of press clippings written by Jason Leopold the source of which is an enemy of yours who works at the shop from which you are charged with shoplifting which claims that you are a child molester, arsonist and thief.I tell the court, I don't want to call Leopold or the source to the stand, but I'd like to put the articles into evidence to show you had a motive to shoplift."

I get that...

Where am I going wrong here? Did you or Syl get this from my earlier post:

I will note again though, that Fitz is studying the RESPONSES by Libby and the OVP to those stories. Not the content or the truth of those stories.

It is NOT Libby's word against the reporters. It is NOT parsing Libby's words.

Syl, I agree that the WH had a legitimate right to pushback against Wilson. I really enjoyed the Washington Post editorial a short while back that supported that.

Fitz has information -- similar to the Cheney-annotated column -- that proves that Libby was exposed to more than what he told the GJ.

Do you understand this?:

Fitz is more interested in the annotations than the newspaper clipping?

Plus, I assume that he has more than just annotations up his sleeve as well that no one has yet seen.


And Cheese and Rice, I am not pro-Wilson or pro-Fitz!


I've got my prosecutor's hat on JJ and I;m telling the court I only want these articles in--thoughI don't vouch for their authenticity at all--to show the jury you may well have been motivated to shoplift IN RESPONSE to the fact that you knew the source, your enemy worked there.

Want your lawyer to put a stop to that or are you going to insist that if that's where he's going, he damned better put Leopold and the source on the stand so you can show the stories were a lie and they didn't motivate you to do anything wrong, because you didn't shoplift.


Syl, the trick would be if there are emails, documents, and tesimony, saying that your suggestions are incorrect.

I will note again though, that Fitz is studying the RESPONSES by Libby and the OVP to those stories.
But he is not "studying" the responses. He is attempting to introduce the barest of evidence of the OVP response, getting the judge to rule the actual details of the response inadmissable. Then he leads the jury in imagining those details, a fantasy which contradicts Libby's testimony. And to conclude that Libby must be lying if it contradicts the fantasy.

cathy :-)



Maybe I confused you with Jerry (horrors).

I know what fitz is trying to pull. All the emphasis is on how many times Libby may have heard/seen info re wilson's wife/trip. (Therefore it was less likely he forgot).

The problem here is that the other details are MORE important to Libby because there are actual misstatements that must be refuted and the administration simply cannot let them stand.

And fitz doesn't want a jury to know these are actual LIES that must be refuted. Because a jury would note that refuting these lies would be a top priority. Saying wilson's wife was cia and involved in sending him on the trip is a mere insignificant detail. The important detail is that the CIA, on its own, sent wilson. They don't need mrs wilson to even appear in any refutation.

Libby had seen the mrs wilson info before. It was a kind of 'oh really? that's precious' thing, but not important to refute wilson's lies. If he saw it again, he just filed it away in the least important slot. He didn't need to remember it.


Don't you know , cathy, that is what he did at the gj, that is what he probably does in other cases with less adept defense counsel? I do.


"Don't worry 'bout me, I'll get along. Forget about me, be happy my love."

Jerry, signing out.


I've been dumpster diving, but this is hilarious...DUer's are all a flutter that the lying, spinning, scared he got scooped by Leopold Byron York's "cold-water" post

so this is a crack up rebuttal at DU

National Review featured disgraced blogger Ben Domenech, exposed

exposed as a plagiarizer by 'liberal' blogs!! As I recall, National Review scrubbed all his articles from their site, and the Washington Post had to fire him two days after hiring him, without, apparently, doing much of a background check. So much for National Review's and the WAPO's investigative skills.

------oh th irony so luscious that this is IN DEFENSE of admitted plagiarist oracle Leopold. Snort.



Syl, the trick would be if there are emails, documents, and tesimony, saying that your suggestions are incorrect.

Yes, that would be a trick. We haven't seen any yet. In fact fitz said he had no evidence Libby knew she was classified before the journalists testified. And there's nothing in the journalists' testimony that indicates he knew.

So there's bupkis.


Cargo boat tied up on shoals! Maybe it will arrive Wednesday.


arrrrrghhhhh top

you made me go over there. :(

I didn't wanaa do it. the devil made me do it.


I feel like I have spiders crawling all over me.


@ C

That is *close* to the heart of the case, as you describe it in the first paragraph above.

Your second paragraph explains only one part of discrediting the distorted picture in the allegations. Which is essentially what Wells said he would do if he were given the prosecution's materials in the discovery process. Which he now has.

Yet, it is only half way toward disproving the case, I think. It's only half the job to reveal the true nature of the writer of the newspaper articles, the source who is my enemy, and the prosecutor's inappropriate use of them.

You also show that the assumptions that the prosecutor has made between the articles, important other evidence relating to those articles, and the testimony that you gave the Grand Jury are bogus and misleading.

I'm out. Laters.


I love this from LJ's site:

it sure looks like the rove indictment will be made public monday morning. notice how 'convenient' that bush's immigration speech is monday night -- to draw attention away from rove's indictment. the bush's are infamous for changing the subject when they're boxed into a corner.

notice when the bush white house came out with their announcement that bush would address the nation -- after ag gonzales had heard the indictment, and then rushed back to the white house to brief bush & crew." ROFLMAO


From Kos, another Joe Wilson as confirming source sighting:

I would ordinarily agree with you except

in my conversation with Joe Wilson on Saturday he told me something which caught my attention, which I clarified with followup questions, about which he was adamant, which if accurate would lend credence to Leopold's stor
Now, I won't go into the details, because although it was not an noff the record conversation, it was one remark in a tewnty minute exchange. Wilson seemed sure about his source. My only caveat is that I can imagine the possibility (NOT the probability) that Wilson and Leopold had the same source and it was deliberate disinformation designed to discredit both.

I tend to doubt what I have stated in the caveat, because of the specific nature of the information Wilson passed on.


God, I hope it was a disinformation plan !


Also I hope the source was a hidden supersecret agent that no one knows is supersecret and they out him and we can start all over again..LOL


OK, this is getting flipping hilarious IMHO

But here is Larry(?) confirming he was/is Larry posting :

The Real Larry Johnson

I, Larry Johnson, owner of NoQuarter.typepad.com, do solemnly swear that I am the one who posted the piece re Jason Leopold. Check it out on my blog. I spoke with Joe yesterday. We're all hopeful that the sources who spoke to Jason and Joe separately aren't doing drugs of some sort.

But notice Larry feels the need NOW to separate Joe and Jason...as in they spoke to the sources separately, but since he stepped in it it he pretty much can't get out of it, because they are working on it together...quit while you are ahead Larry.

and of course, since their tip to jason is swiss cheese, they're now reduced to HOPING their sources aren't drug addicts...and oh yeah, since we have to HOPE it's true then the whole story Jason wrote is pure speculation aka not true.


How did JL describe his sources for this one? IIRC his prior piece was sourced to people in the WH.


A spokesman for a top White House aide under scrutiny in a criminal leak probe, Karl Rove, yesterday vigorously denied an Internet report that the political adviser to President Bush was told that he had been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators.

"The story is a complete fabrication," the spokesman for Mr. Rove, Mark Corallo, told The New York Sun. "It is both malicious and disgraceful."



Just checked--this time JL sourced this as "sources close to the case". So Wilson and Johnson are now "sources close to the case"?


Maybe it was a sting to find out who was in cohoots with these guys?

JM Hanes


"I will note again though, that Fitz is studying the RESPONSES by Libby and the OVP to those stories. Not the content or the truth of those stories."

See my previous comment above, in re what Fitz is doing here. The context of those responses that he's trying so hard to set up is all Plame all the time.


If it does turn out to be true (which I doubt), it will be seriously interesting to know someone is talking to Johnson, Leopold, and Wilson about Fitzgerald's case.


JMH, I'm dying to see Libby's response to Fitz' newspaper filing. LOL

JM Hanes

Actually, Leopold sourced it to "high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting." Can't wait to see who they are, assuming he outs them as promised if things don't exactly pan out. "Direct knowledge" eh? Nice.


Wells did a good job getting Walton to have Fitzgerald submit these articles in advance. I am very curious to see how he rules on them. In the May 5 transcripts, I got the feeling that Walton was taking Fitzgerald at his word that he really really really just wants to talk about the perjury, not about the broader case at all.
It has seemed so far that Walton is trying to keep the definition of what is material very tight to the actual perjury charges, and I think he had thought he and Fitzgerald were on the same page.
We'll see if this changes his mind.


"It's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words." - Joe Wilson -
(Aug. 21, 2003 at a forum about intelligence failures on Iraq held by Rep. Jay Inslee)

Obviously, Wilson has an animus toward Rove. I'd love to know who told Wilson that Karl Rove had been a source wrt to "outing" Valerie. Novak? Cooper? Pretty early in the game (Aug 21) for Rove's name to have surfaced.

JM Hanes

Could be a really interesting week, Clarice!


Larry writes at Seixon:


I did not know about Jason's story until he posted it on Truth Out.

but at DU, he writes:

It is not just Jason Leopold. Joe Wilson heard the same from other sources. And, more importantly, Jason is reporting based on multiple, more than two, sources. His editors realized what a big story this is and did the appropriate checking before posting. They are called Truth Out for a reason. Getting the truth out.

Hmmm. Yeah, they did the appropriate checking BEFORE POSTING IT, did they?

JM Hanes


Fitz picked up right away on Walton's determination not to let this trial turn into a circus, and I expect that alarmist rhetoric from the SP along those lines will become a regular staple of his pleadings.

Walton does seem to do a lot of thinking out loud in the hearings, and this case is really complicated. Imagine trying to sort everything out if you hadn't been following along! In fact, I've been wondering what resources Walton might have in that regard. In a certain sense, part of the Defense team's job is to educate the Judge. It does seem like when Wells points out that Fitz is zigzagging, Walton pins him down pretty handily.

Thomas Esmond Knox

CIA Factbook. Niger. Uranium City. "Just the facts, ma'am"


What is LJ's motive here. Do a search on "22 indictments and Plame" or "Hadley and indictment and lunch" or "Hughes and indictment" and the name LJ is prominent. He is the one who was dealing out all that stuff in October. Now he hides behind Leopold.

This is really bad.

Cecil Turner

It really appears that the trial is going to focus exclusively on what Libby said to the Grand Jury, in that transcript.

So Fitz doesn't really need those articles, written almost a year earlier about something that happened a year before that? Seriously, I don't see how one can argue that, in a perjury trial, the Prosecution should be allowed to introduce five articles calling the Administration folks liars (whilst one of them is on trial for lying), and then not let the Defense point out the inaccuracies in the articles. That also seems to get back to one of Walton's preliminary statements about rulings:

THE COURT: If the government introduces this article, are you saying that you then would be able to introduce evidence that would undermine the accuracy of the information in the article?
MR. WELLS: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: That would be relevant to this case.
Fitz's current position seems to me inadequate: "subject to a limiting instruction advising the jury that the statements in that article are not offered for the truth of the matter asserted." Especially when the articles contain assertions Fitz recently admitted he believes inaccurate (e.g., "The vice president and Mr. Libby didn't know about the trip until . . .")

Fitz has information -- similar to the Cheney-annotated column -- that proves that Libby was exposed to more than what he told the GJ.

There's some evidence Libby saw the annotated article in question?


Novak's buddy on the street just had to be Larry Johnson. He insinuates himself into every aspect of this case.
He testified to the GJ (by 'he', I mean the friend on the street). I would lurve for Libby's lawyers to call him to testify. I don't even know for what, but I just want to see him bluster under oath.


The real mystery of LJ is why does he continue to appear and be quoted as a reliable intelligence source, rather than the nut he is.

And now we know Lying Joe was involved in this to. Is there anything Joe can do that will annoy Fitz?


Other sources? Joe heard form OTHER sources. So Joe knows Jason's sources and know his are different than Jason's? And the same for Larry, he knows Joe's sources are not the same a Jason's? GotCha

Excellent catch TSK9.



leopold is getting eaten alive at the wheel and and kos...looks like they have caught him using sockpuppets

Links please?

I can't find anything up on Kos or EW like that. Is it buried in off topic comments or something?


Whoa, missing CT post. Typepad alert.


Oh, there it is on May 5. Whoa, kim alert.


There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear. But it looks like LJ and JW are getting nervous. Jason probably never threatened to reveal them before. Funny, he's worried about credibility.


What happens when the most powerful people in the world can't get justice under the premier justice system in the world?


Yeah well.

If he's using Munchausen Joe as a source on this let's just say that reflects multiple layers of poor judgement.


Wouldn't you just love it if Joe's source of the 15 hours(if) were Fitz, testing, with one of his trademark last minute calls?


The strange thing is that Leopold could have gotten the same effect by simply stating that the GJ issued a seal indictment last Wednesday, although I think he may have used that one already.

His story reminds me of the kid who wants to stay home from school and tells him mom that his head hurts, his foot hurts, his hand hurts, his stomache hurts....scale back, Jason, scale back. Less is more.


Fitz can't help but notice that Wells is successively impugning his witnesses. Think of the special feeling he has when he tells the judge that he is not going to vouch for the accuracy of what he is putting into evidence. Maybe he's doing a little checking on his BIG witness.


Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

C'mon, the only satisfactory political resolution to this is that Fitz publically see the light.


It would be fitting, too; Joe's lies started this, they should end it. Ah, the symmetry is just too intoxicating.

But really, the miscarriage is that Fitz has been led astray by Joe's lies; why shouldn't Fitz find his way back when he sees the absurdities Joe's path takes him?


1. Search at AJStrata for Joe's first two wives and their connections. (search for "Cogema + Niger + Wilson"). Maybe Sweet n light, too.

2. How about the members of VIPS as the sources of Jason and Joe?

Wonder what Fitz is thinking about the recent Jason reports?


Ah...Seixon implied that Fitz was in Chicago last Friday! And Luskin was NOT in his office!



Oh, and TM- on the EW, thanks for the pro bono post. You are a much better writer of my thoughts than I am.


Seixon has the timeline of the news reporting of the Fitz indictments of various people. Interesting.


I wonder again about those two other trips Joe made that Larry announced to the public, while preening in his knowledge that the information wasn't public.

The Liar and the Dope. Slapping American jurisprudence around like a tarbaby.

Maybe we can portray it as slapstick, and get a laff. Larry, Mo Joe, and Curleopold.


Walton: So let me see if I understand the government's position. You want to introduce news articles that may be false relating to the outing of a CIA agent that wasn't covert and damage that may not have occured in order to establish that the defendant had motive to lie to the grand jury about his conversations with the same reporters based on their testimony.

However, you do not think the defense should be able to discover information in the government's possesion relating to her covert status, or to any damage, or that relates to the media personalities' involved and their credibility.

Does that about sum up?

Fitzgerald: Yes your honor.

Walton: Sounds good to me.


I was not so sure the GJ met on the Plame case last week. ABC's The Note did not report it. Fitz is on town in the Libby case this week so he could present on Wednesday and Friday on Rove, but who knows.

The question he asked Rove before the GJ on the last day has been intrepreted different ways, but it seems to me it is something you would ask a subject before you request a no bill.



since the WH was being accused of outing Plame, and the WH was denying outing Plame, it might be politically embarrassing (after denying outing) to find out that Libby and/or Rove did the outing

As to motive, no.

That would be motive to deny what Libby has not denied, discussing Wilson's wife. IOW he admits beating the dead horse that UGO killed.

As to Libby misleading Fitz by claiming he lacked means and opportunity to kill the horse, the only credible motive for that would be if Libby had some reason not to trust Fitz to discover the truth of his innocence. Like planted evidence or a setup.

That's certainly not where Fitz wants to go. If that goes on the table, bye bye http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/04/waas_on_rove.html#comment-16781109" target="_blank">case.


He also asked the grand jury if they had any questions, and there were none. That is either a very passive jury, or one not going further. I realize I am at the mercy of an unknown witness and unknown context.


There is mischaracterization of what Libby and Rove have essentially admitted. They were not trying to get public disclosure of Wilson's wife.

For Libby to say to reporters something like "you should check out who sent Wilson because some other reporters are saying it was his wife" is a way of letting them know Joe's credibility is questionable without giving them a quote for publication.

Rove's disclosure to Cooper is also along the lines of deep background. "Don't put too much faith in Wilson's story because there's stuff coming out soon to discredit the substance of his claims. And BTW it was his wife who sent him not us."


Without a credible motive to lie (absent a setup) it's more likely Libby wasn't lying. As Cecil points out, there are some obvious misstatements by Libby that can only be plausibly explained by an actual memory lapse. Further, many of the differences in conversation recollection can be explained by two observations.

  • Libby's quoted testimony may be just how the guy actually talks;

  • If Libby talks that way with reporters, they are going to extract a coherent soundbite to remember and forget the rest.

Thus Libby may have said a lot of rambling stuff that didn't register or the reporters didn't bother to remember. He may have been thinking he was saying things that never got spoken as well.

If that could be shown in court, it would be a good defense strategery.


Wow, quite a thread. Cathy f, I think you absolutely nailed it way up thread. The White House wanted to counter with the facts but the press didn't care. I can buy that, pretty easy actually.

"Oh my - no wonder you think I'm a nut. I meant to convey that since the WH was being accused of outing Plame, and the WH was denying outing Plame, it might be politically embarrassing (after denying outing) to find out that Libby and/or Rove did the outing. That would be a reason to not want to be ID'd as the outer."

That's the funny thing, Fitz KNOWS who the first source is, and won't tell. So, is this less about "protecting" this source, and MORE about keeping the shroud of guilt around Libby and Rove? If you don't have a name to attach something to, you naturally want to attach it to SOMETHING! I think Fitz wants as much scandal as possible attached to Libby and Rove, and this let's him deflect off the actual leaker.

Tom Maguire

Mr. Maguire, on My 13th, 2006, you spelled Cheney with 2 y's even though you very well know that Cheney is spelled with only one. Perjurer!!! 30 years in the hoosegaw for you!!!

When I finally had a chance to proofered that, I saw that spelling as if for the very first time. Fortunatley, it *was* the first (and hopefully, last) time.

I haven't worked my way all the way through this thread, but - I am stewing over the notion, and the implications for the defense, if both Russert and Libby lied about portions of their conversation.

Why not - this need not be zero sum. I posted it somewhere recently, and will agin shortyly, but the excerpt from Russert's GJ testimony that appeared in some 2006 filings contains the same ambiguity that marrred his press statement and every public utterance - he denies knowing Plame's name and job description, but *not* that Wilosn's wife was at the CIA.

And if Russert snuck one past Fitzgerald, his motive (like Woodward, and other) was to avoid a subpoena that would put him (or Amdrea) in a jail cell pending the outing of their source. And it worked.

That doesn't mean Libby's "as if for the first time" defesne makes sense, but it will be a real blow to the prosecution if Russert delivers a Perry Mason moment on the stand.


It would seem dereliction of duty for Russert to not know. Surely Fitz knows about duty.

Tom Maguire

Can we give Eli/Chuck an "Ignorance is bliss" prize for this?

To my knowledge, there's not one scrap of evidence that the press told the admin. about Plame.

I say it was the CIA briefer, and the State Dept. memo.

What's the evidence on the other side?

Well, Novak telling Rove and getting an "I heard that too"; ditto for Cooper telling Libby.

Or Bob Woodward reassuring us that, per his notes, Libby said nothing about Plame to him, but leaving open the possibilty that, since he doesn't always note his own questions, he mentioned Plame (or the wife) to Libby?

That is only the stuff we know ("We" evidently not including Eli). So why is it utterly inconceivable that, e.g., Andrea Mitchell ran the Wilson and wife scenario past someone?


I just read Doug Hanson's article and wondered in reverse regarding Larry Johnson's strong statements about Plame's NOC status.


Doug Hanson indicates that "Therefore, any NOC information passed along to any reporter or any government official outside of her select circle of supervisors and peers would be divulging classified information of the highest order."

Larry Johnson kept saying that Plame's status is NOC or covert (instead of the standard "unknown"), does it mean that Larry divulged classified information?

And Larry Johnson being out for several years, how would he have access to the highly classified list?

How about Joe Wilson and/or Plame?

When was the first time that Plame's status as NOC / covert / unknown reported? As Hanson pointed out, if Wells can point out the criteria of NOC status, what it means (e.g., "Unknown operatives don’t generally drive through the front gate every day to go to HQ, and the person’s status is not common knowledge in the building. And most of all, covert operatives don’t normally attend Senate Democratic Policy strategy meetings with their husbands.", etc.), Wells should have sufficient information, evidence, and proof that Plame was not NOC.

But in order to be NOC, wouldn't the person require some level of security clearance, at least some background checks, to make sure that this person is a US citizen, naturalized citizen, etc.?

Patrick R. Sullivan

Thanks to Professor DeLong we can read how Salon came to 'appreciate' the methods of Jason Leopold:


Some highlights from the Thomas White Affair:

Salon senior editor Kerry Lauerman, Leopold's editor at Salon, asked Leopold if he could explain what happened. Leopold told us he felt that the Financial Times' reporters had in fact based their work on his own earlier reporting on Dow Jones Newswires. We asked Leopold to send us evidence, and he e-mailed us a document that appeared to be a Jan. 15, 2002, Dow Jones Energy Service report by him. But when we contacted Dow Jones to verify the story, they informed us that they had no record of it in their database. Leopold told us that he believed Dow Jones had "deleted 420 of my stories" from its archive. We pressed Dow Jones for a formal statement ....

"...no one at Dow Jones can find a copy of the article you have sent to us that is described as having been published on Dow Jones Newswires on January 15; no one at Dow Jones has any recollection of ever working on or reading that article before it was sent to us by Salon."

At this point and throughout the remainder of this process, reaching Leopold became more difficult. We felt these issues were matters of considerable urgency, and at least two Salon editors were spending the bulk of their time on this problem, but Leopold would disappear for a day or two or fail to respond to us.

....As the questions surrounding the Dow Jones story began to multiply, we felt we had no choice but to review every aspect of Leopold's original story for us, again. It was only at this stage of our investigation, Sept. 20, that Leopold finally provided us with the evidence supporting his story's account of an e-mail from White. What he provided was a fax of a printout of an e-mail exchange. ....

The faxed e-mail contained no e-mail addresses or other headers, and that raised our concern, as did a published denial from White in a letter to the New York Times, where columnist Paul Krugman had picked up Leopold's story. We told Leopold we needed to authenticate the e-mail. He told us the name of his source for it, and Lauerman told Leopold he was going to call the source to verify the e-mail. The source denied ever having spoken to Leopold.

With sensitive investigative stories, it can happen that a source will get "cold feet," and that was certainly a possibility in this situation. Leopold assured us that he had cell phone records to prove that he had indeed talked to the source on numerous occasions. Then he told us that he didn't have the cell phone bill, but he would have the phone company send it to us by the morning of Monday, Sept. 30.

We were increasingly concerned that the process was becoming drawn out, but felt we needed to review the phone records. By early Monday afternoon we had not received them, and found that Leopold was not returning our calls or e-mails. Later that afternoon we received a call not from Leopold but from a relative of his who was also apparently serving as his attorney and intermediary.

First, this intermediary had a phone company representative in a conference call read off phone numbers and dates of calls to us -- but they were calls to a different source in the story than to the one Leopold had told us was his source for the e-mail.

Furthermore, all the calls took place after the story had been published. Next, the intermediary explained that the delay in getting the cell phone bill was because the phone belonged to Leopold's wife, not to Leopold himself, and that the bill had been at Leopold's home all along, and that he would fax it to us shortly.

When we reviewed this phone bill early Tuesday it contained numerous calls to the "other source" phone number (the same one the phone-service rep had cited the previous evening), but only one call to the number of the source Leopold originally named as the supplier of the White e-mail. The call was only one minute long, indicating that it was possibly unanswered, and in any case hardly long enough to conduct any sort of interview or obtain a fax of a sensitive e-mail. In any case, the call had taken place five days after Leopold had filed an early draft of the story that already quoted the e-mail.

At this point we concluded that we were never going to get the supporting evidence Leopold kept promising, and decided to remove the story.

Cecil Turner

Doug Hanson indicates that "Therefore, any NOC information passed along to any reporter or any government official outside of her select circle of supervisors and peers would be divulging classified information of the highest order."

If she were in fact covert, that would undoubtedly be true. (Though it's worth noting the IIPA has an exception allowing her to out herself.) I didn't find Hanson's fixation on "classified" vs "unknown" very sensible, however. CIA terminology differs from legalese (e.g., the difference between "agent" and "officer"). But in a court case, obviously the latter is more pertinent, and those definitions are in the IIPA:

(4) The term ''covert agent'' means -

(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an
intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency -
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States


Oh Boy, a trio of fabulists. Fitz look around, ils se moque de toi.


Tom Maguire

I am stewing over the notion, and the implications for the defense, if both Russert and Libby lied about portions of their conversation.

I think the implications are bad for Russert, and creation of a moderately beneficial smokescreen for Libby. The smokescreen is in the nature of "if Russert is a liar, I'm not the first leaker, and seeing as how I'm not the first leaker, then I didn't mislead investigators."

I'd love to see Russert in exactly the same jam Libby is in - being criminally charged with misleading investigators. I think Fitz would charge him too, if he figures out that Russert was deliberately leading investigators away from HIS prior knowledge.


cboldt: " The smokescreen is in the nature of "if Russert is a liar, I'm not the first leaker, and seeing as how I'm not the first leaker, then I didn't mislead investigators."

I must be misunderstanding you, because it is already known that Libby was not the first leaker. That has nothing to do with Russert's testimony.


I believe Russert did not want a subpoena and that he did slip by with that statement of not knowing Val's name. Andrea had to reinforce that in their on air talk and also to cover her "everyone knows" moment.
CathyF: Wonky vs Gossip ;exactly right.
Make it 4- Dwilkers, Kate TS and I do not think Rove will be indicted. Jason knows it too so wants to influence Fitz by printing it to try and make it happen. All results depend on how Walton rules. If Wilson and LJ are connected to Leopold all hell is going to break loose. Can Wilson be that dumb-still trying to influence this case? I just keep seeing his smug face at that correspondent's dinner and it really bothers me.

richard mcenroe

Patrick R. Sullivan — What I want to know is why Leopold isn't working for 60 Minutes with chops like that?


Cecil Turner

(4) The term ''covert agent'' means - [snippage]

(i) whose identity as [assigned to duty with an intelligence agency] is classified information

This goes to the quality or nature of the classified information protected by the IIPA statute. The way I understand this statute, it aims to protect people who have ZERO appearance of ANY connection with CIA. What is being protected is the very fact that a person has an assignment with the CIA. As far as the world is concerned, the person has no assignment or association with the CIA.

Fitz's call out that "her employment status [within the CIA] is classified" was a clumsy and unnecessary attempt to make the "outing" into something more important than it was. It was an effort to "legitimize the investigation," to make it important.

As a matter of fact, his pronouncement expressly excluded Wilson's wife from the universe of covert agents. As a matter of perception, it caused some people to leap to the false conclusion, and others to think that "covert status" might be true.





I must be misunderstanding you, because it is already known that Libby was not the first leaker. That has nothing to do with Russert's testimony.

Oh yeah. Guess that middle obfuscation/subject change needs to come out, changing Libby's smokescreen to "If Russert is a liar, then I didn't mislead investigators." That will fool most of 'em, I'm sure of it, and I' serious about that too.


cboldt, don't use &ltem>, use &lti> instead.


BRIAN DICKERSON: Rove rumor red meat to blue state audience

Was it an improbable outside-the-Beltway scoop on the ultimate inside-the-Beltway story? A criminal leak concerning the grand jury investigation of a criminal leak? Or just a red-hot rumor that caught fire in the dry tinder of too many trial attorneys?

Whatever it was, the news that White House adviser Karl Rove had been indicted for perjury electrified the 700 or so lawyers, judges and elected officials (including featured speakers Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.) gathered at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency for Saturday night's annual banquet of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association.

Until they found out that maybe he hadn't been.



I'm SO PROUD, to think that ALL of those LAWYERS and Politicians and people with Money were FOOLED and HUMILIATED, just wait until the Scarborough show or O'Rielly shows these STUPID DEMOCRATS STANDING AND CHEERING OVER A RUMOR.

"Do you really want the Democrats to run the National Security of this country, and protect US from the Evil Terrorists when they can't even tell the differnce between a RUMOR and a FACT?"

NOW we start getting ALL of our asses kicked.

Thanks Jason, thanks LOADS. You've done wonders for the Left.

Maybe you can take a break and go look for Jimmy Hoffa for a while.. take your time..


this is lovely...I hope someone has video of Hillary & friends cheering

don't use <em>, use <i> instead.

I'll try to remember that - I use both in general (as in "wherever I am posting"), and they come off as different colors on my text-only browser (lynx). I see that I didn't close a tag. I assume that puts me in contention for some prize?

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