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May 29, 2006

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windansea

RUSSERT: Yeah, much to my surprise. And what we now have learned from Patrick Fitzgerald is that Mr. Libby talked to the vice president, at least six other government officials, several reporters and two officials of the CIA about Valerie Plame before he even talked to me.

excuses excuses...why not a stark denial?

kim

Would Wolf have phrased the question so carefully that Russert is still hedging, here? I can see the hedge, is it deliberate?
===========================

hrtshpdbox

I may need to give Russert a pass.

Unless he's just a lying sack of merde. I don't see how the possibility of that can be considered very remote.

Sue

Was there a follow up question? What did Libby call to complain about?

Tom Maguire

Unless he's just a lying sack of merde.

Like Andrea? Well, if he's going to lie, parsing his answer is sort of a waste of time.

JJ

And what we now have learned from Patrick Fitzgerald is that Mr. Libby talked to the vice president, at least six other government officials, several reporters and two officials of the CIA about Valerie Plame before he even talked to me.

I'm surprised that what are considered alledged conversations are now "we now have learned".

So, ah ha, this is what "sources close to the investigation" actually means in journalistic parlance. It certainly helps me understand Murray Waas better.

Us informed/pre-formed readers do learn new things all the time in these modern days!

windansea

I'm surprised that what are considered alledged conversations are now "we now have learned".

uh huh....back to the future hindsight

sad

Tim is just out in front of the news cycle.

Jeff

If you count Edelman, it's actually six plus two, and Russert was probably meaning to distinguish between six administration officials plus the two CIA guys. Then there's Rove, who supposedly talked with Libby after Libby spoke with Russert. I am very curious as to whether Rove testified that Libby told him about Russert telling him about Plame.

MayBee

BTW- where are we on the 24-business hour cycle? Have any of Leopold's blog supporters said they no longer believe him? He seems to have gotten a very soft landing.

Pete

The "librul media" is not so liberal after all. I think that when (or if) we know all we will find that the media sided with the Bush administration.

They failed to ask the tough questions before the war. They needed the administration contacts and support.

Russert was sitting on a blockbuster story before the 2004 elections. Surely he could have said on his show that the he was asked if he told Libby about Plame/Wilson, and that he did not.

I have a hunch that if Andrea is holding back something, she is holding back something that would hurt the Bush administration.

JM Hanes

TM

"It's not hard to segue from there to a chat about Wilson's wife!"

Keeping hope alive, since 7/10/03!

ghostcat

Colin Powell is no longer part of the Bush Administration.

Thomas Esmond Knox

June 11 Robert Grenier, senior CIA officer, tells Libby that Plame is responsible for her husband's trip. Then Grenier entered a Trappist Monastery, or not, and if not, told how many others per day, and they each told how many. Work out the numbers of people who knew by early July. But hell no! The American people don't deserve to know.

american in europe

I don't know why you are giving so much credit to Blitzer. He gave Russert a total pass. Look what he actually said: "And the whole Valerie Plame, the wife of Joe Wilson -- that never came up..." To me that could be read as "did you know that that Wilson's wife's name was Valery Plame. (wink)." He just gave Tim a chance to repeat his talking point. If Wolf had said "And the wife of Joe Wilson -- that never came up...", I wonder what Russert's answer would have been then. "I had no idea about Valery Plame..." or some such nonsense.

kim

Notice that Blitzer asks about Joe Wilson's wife, and Russert answers with Valerie Plame.
===========================

Dwilkers

Like Andrea? Well, if he's going to lie, parsing his answer is sort of a waste of time.

That's the problem, and why I tend to think he may be telling something fairly close to the truth.

Its one thing, although a very big thing, to decide to lie under oath in a federal court. Its another thing entirely to make that decision when someone else that's going to testify knows you're lying.

FWIW I don't think Russert has the huevos to lie about this. Also from what I can tell he doesn't really have much of a motive either, outside of shame.

kim

So what's Russert's motive in saying on the interview that Libby had talked to at least 11 people about Valerie Plame, before talking to Russert? We suspect that, if he talked at all, it was using the form 'Joe Wilson's wife'. Here Russert distinctly says he talked about Valerie Plame. I see him still parsing; maybe with Blitzer's help.

What's he doing declaiming about it on television? Desperate to spin?
===========================

Dwilkers

What's he doing declaiming about it on television? Desperate to spin?

Who knows kim. He's a worm. But all those media guys are worms.

We have a default idea that they are at least employed in the pursuit of reporting but I don't think that's even close to true anymore.

Teode

Robert Grenier made an error whem he said Plame, a CIA Operations Officer by her own admission sent her husband. It was a conflict of interest since the The Directorate of Operations sent Wilson. All this was denied by CIA. Grenier did some favors before he left. He bombed pakistan.

TM

From Jeff:

I am very curious as to whether Rove testified that Libby told him about Russert telling him about Plame.

We got a leak to that effect at one point, but it would have to be from the Rove-friendly crowd, so who knows?

In testimony shown to Rove, Libby stated that numerous journalists appeared to have learned about Plame's identity in the period before her name was published and that he and Rove talked to each other about their contacts with reporters.

Libby's testimony stated that Rove had told him about his contact with Novak and that Libby had told Rove about information he had gotten about Wilson's wife from NBC's Tim Russert, according to a person familiar with the information shown to Rove.

Offhand, I can't say whether a court filing confirmed any of that. Polly?

Syl

I still think Russert doesn't remember and simply assumes they didn't discuss it at all. And now he probably even believes it.

All these questions asked of him just make him more resolute in his beliefs. It's almost (if not actually) influencing a witness.

Cecil Turner

Well, if he's going to lie, parsing his answer is sort of a waste of time.

Concur, but as noted above, both the question and answer had "Plame" in 'em.

maryrose

Syl:
You have it correct I think. I don't believe Russert is lying;I surmise that Libby and Russert may have mentioned that his wife sent him but neither used her CIA name. And now that is Russert's way out on the question.

richard mcenroe

Look. OBVIOUSLY Tim Russert is now in the clear. Why the odds that a major American TV newsman would lie to cover his ass are as small as the odds of an American president wagging his finger at us and telling us he did not have sex with that woman...

maryrose

Cecil:
All Russert answers seem to have Plame in them because I don't believe initially he knew her CIA name. She was Valerie Wilson to him.

Pete

TM said: "Or, ask Russert point-blank if he is honoring a request from Fitzgerald to keep quiet - let us know if the viewers come first, or not."

Even without asking this question now, it is pretty clear that the viewers do not come first.

Had the viewers come first, Russert would have mentioned on his show what he was asked. And that would have exposed Libby's lies.

Sue

If someone would ask him what he and Libby discussed when Libby called him to complain, he would have a much harder time convincing everyone they didn't discuss Wilson's trip.

Sue

Reasonable doubt could be raised if Russert and Libby discussed Hardball. If Libby called to tell Russert Matthews was full of it, that the VP didn't send Wilson, check into it, etc. Reasonable doubt would then be in play that Russert might not remember saying something about rumors, which I will never believe Russert and Mitchell (Andrea) were not aware of.

Sue

Just to be clear, I don't think Russert is lying. I don't think he knew who Plame was. I think he knew the rumors that were flying around, someone other than the VP sent Wilson, someone at a low level at the CIA.

kim

He's on thin ice, Sue; notice he and Wolf just skimmed the surface.
=======================================

Sue

Kim,

I don't know. At this point I believe him. But I still think Libby could raise reasonable doubt if Russert tells the jury what he and Libby discussed.

kim

Remember, too, parts of this conversation were angry; that can block recollection very effectively. Russert will collapse on the stand.
===========================

kim

I think he's still parsing the Plame/Wilson distinction and hoping that Fitz doesn't take his deceit as perjury. Better yet, that Fitz doesn't catch on to the deceit. Here he was with Wolf, supervising the prosecution.
==========================

Sue

I mean, what if instead of saying this...

did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife works at the CIA. And I said no, I don't know that. And then he, Russert, said, yeah -- yes, all the reporters know it. And I said again, I don't know that.

...what if the conversation was this...

did you know that we are hearing someone at CIA, some low level, sent Wilson. And I said no, I don't know that. And then he, Russert, said, yeah -- yes, all the reporters know it. And I said again, I don't know that.

How easy would it have been for Libby to confuse that, knowing who the low level person at CIA was, with Russert telling him about Plame? Just guessing here, but I can't believe Libby made up an entire conversation without some basis in fact.

lurker

Hhhmmm...sounds like Russert and Libby DID discuss the complaint over Plame / Niger trip, etc., but Russert did not connect the dots until the Novak article connected the dots for him.

Also, sounds like Russert did not research the topic when he talked to Libby.

ed

Hmmmm.

It's an incredibly sad and terrible thing when I view a return to the Plame nonsense as a refreshing change. Particularly since the other issue is Kerry's neverending Vietnam silliness.

Could we have another scandal please? The ones we currently have are all boring and stale.

lurker

The other scandal would be William Jefferson, Akitu's wife, Niger, and possibly, Joe Wilson's wife.

kim

Leaving aside for now whether or not Russert knew about her, shouldn't he have? This was a top story. I mean, he's claiming his innocence and ignorance, but validating his incompetence.
=========================

lurker

Anyone notice Mac Ranger's post about Akitu's wife, Jennifer, being indicted due to the Jefferson investigation? Supposedly, this Jennifer's Joe Wilson's first wife?

Can't find out if this connection is accurate.

Sue

Kim,

I said that earlier, on another thread. If Russert didn't know about her he is the only reporter in Washington who didn't.

kim

I think Akita is Nigerian, not Nigerien, but it is all Africa. This scandal may lurk in the wings for another 6-7 weeks, now, with the embargoed evidence.

Don't want to get too far ahead of the news cycle, after all.
===================================

maryrose

Sue:
I think you have hit on the right answer. Libby knew they talked about who sent Joe but the Plame name did not come into the conversation. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. That's why Libby remembers Russert's contribution re;Valerie Wilson.Hence his testimony.

kim

Yep, Sue. He'll not stand the stand.
===================

Sue

Maryrose,

I don't think, at this point anyway, that Russert and Libby discussed Wilson's wife in any fashion. I think they discussed Wilson's trip and that low level operatives at the CIA were responsible for sending him, not the VP. And I suspect Russert alluded to some rumor to that effect and Libby assumed he knew about Plame.

At least that is my theory as to why Libby felt he could use Russert as a 'source' for learning about Plame.

kim

Oh, I see, Lurker, Niger is stand alone in commas. I mistook your meaning.

I've a gut feeling that this is why Justice won't turn over the seized evidence This may be Justice's entree to Fitz's case, on the side of justice, I might add.
==========================

Patrick R. Sullivan

I'd say Russert is deflecting the question by talking about Libby's conversations with Admin. officials. And it worked. Blitzer didn't ask him if Libby said anything about Andrea interviewing Joe Wilson on the preceding Sunday on MTP.

topsecretk9

I just don't get why Russert feels the need for context all the time on why he might have not have said something or because he NOW know things unrelated to him it gives him and out....He did that when he and Andrea talked...

If I had known then A B and C would have happened and then you Andrea, would have done E F and G and so

And Wolf, we now know...

Joe wilson does this all the time. He did from the beginning by wheeling out his Bush 41 medals and letters...as if to say, because I have these, they make everything I say right

Cecil Turner

I don't think, at this point anyway, that Russert and Libby discussed Wilson's wife in any fashion.

Then you'd think at some point Mr Russert (a lawyer who learned Jesuit logic-chopping in high school, in case anyone forgot) would say just that. His careful phrasing makes me think he's dancing around something, and the distinction between "Wilson's wife" and "Plame" appears to fit all his answers.

kim

Where would sanctuary be, Persia? Waziristan? Nomad's Land.

So long, it's been good to Joe you.
=======================

lurker

"Oh, I see, Lurker, Niger is stand alone in commas. I mistook your meaning.

I've a gut feeling that this is why Justice won't turn over the seized evidence This may be Justice's entree to Fitz's case, on the side of justice, I might add."

Sorry for the confusion.

Yeap, but Mac Ranger's posts lead me to think that the corruption is much bigger than the Jefferson / Akitu / Niger / Jennifer / Wilson / Plame.

Then this will help Fitz meet the original objective, huh? I also wonder if this influenced Fitz into holding off on Rove as well? Probably not. Perhaps he already made a decision about Rove but that this level of corruption may have confirmed his decision regarding Rove? All speculation, of course.

Sue

Cecil,

I know. I am a lone wolf here, mostly, but I just don't think Little Russ is lying outright. If he is lying or parsing his words, I will write on the blackboard 1,000 times, I was fooled by Litlle Russ. ::grin::

Sue

But I'll try to spell it correctly...Little Russ. ::grin::

Dwilkers

Leaving aside for now whether or not Russert knew about her, shouldn't he have?

I used to think so. But the basis for that thought is the idea that he's really a reporter devoted to ferreting out facts for his viewers rather than a blow-dried talking head babbler.

Pete

Surely there are a lot of Bush administration friendly reporters. Yet none of them has stepped forward to prove that the reporters all knew (without being told by the administration) about Plame/Wilson.

Cecil Turner

I am a lone wolf here, mostly, but I just don't think Little Russ is lying outright.

Well, I think TM's point is telling: it makes no sense to parse if you're lying anyway. But if he isn't parsing, he's awfully careful to say it the same way each time. Not that that's necessarily dispositive: people have a tendency to "deliver" talking points after they've been over something more than once. (And in fact, I think a couple of Libby's statements appear to be rehearsed phrases for talking to reporters.) But it is suspicious.

Economist

Sample questions for Plame/Wilson might include: Did you work with the Canadian diplomat the Italians found in the sewer last weekend?

The forgeries from Niger were sold off in Italy. The Canadian diplomat was outed for working on the issue?

Kim,

I think this is why Powell was chosen to 'leak' Plame. He had to read the memo. Don't forget CIA blames Rice for the covert WMD program for OOs at CIA. She taught Bush what this was and it bacame popular after she got her degree.

Wilson's first wife was eaten by a shark or something. It's in his book and, yes, it's just like the original Bond movie where his new wife is shot right after the wedding, but, hey, Kim, do you want dinner?

Oh ya, Fitz's entry in the case was as a criminal conspiracy investigator, traditionally how bad CIA agents are handled. He chose to go after politicians - per his past, which is funny considering this is what Plame and CIA seem to do.

Uncle BigBad

Lurker

If your information about Wilson's first wife came from a comment posted at AJ Strata, you missed the retraction.

I think it was Crosspatch who posted it, and later came back and posted that he had confused the name Jennifer with Jacquelyn (who was Wilson's first wife).

Carol Herman

The only thing I can get from RUSSERT's rehearsed responses, is that there really was a conspiracy!

And, it won't be too hard for Theodore Wells to set Russert up on the stand. Since he's admitting that RATINGS are an important item on his agenda.

As to "he said, she said," Russert's ploys, if he reaches the witness stand, will be something lawyers watch and then debate for a long, long time.

Unlike something complicated you have to unravel. ALL YOU HAVE TO SEE IS THAT CHENEY and LIBBY both said they wanted the ENTIRE truth out. Blitzer didn't get to the truth of the matter at all. Handled Russert with kid gloves. And, let him spew the talking points.

Someday, HOW such a conspiracy begins sets in. I know we don't go back BEFORE JFK got his brains shot out in Dallas. But there was a lot of preliminary activity. And, a terrible fear that this Kennedy would usher in an "age of kennedy's." That it didn't come to pass has something to do with the kennedy stock, than anything else.

But it doesn't mean conspiracies aren't concocted all of the time.

How did this one start? With the CIA and the french, forging documents about Niger. (There's also stuff on Rep. Jefferson that will gut the African money pit that's been used to pass graft. And, Wilson, by Clinton, was sent to Gabon, and other places in Africa, to set these money pits up.

So the story's not over.

The french LIED, with Chirac even lying to President Bush's FACE! (This was once unheard of.) Then, Colin Powell got Devillipin's lies to his face. All about EU support for the claims of WMD's, that's vanished.

At some point there was a conspiracy to go after Bush's White House through scandal that was supposed to topple our government. (Cooked up in france, you can see that their experiences with toppled goverments is quite large. But they're a PARLIAMENTARY system. Where factions come together to destroy governments. OURS IS NOT LIKE THAT.) Whew. Tip came from Winston Churchill, who was in America in the Winter of 1929. He noticed it. And, he wrote to exclaim how wonderful our system really,really is.

As to congressionsal attempts to nullify Presidential elections; it worked ONCE, with Nixon. (And, Nixon was deeply flawed, too.)

Didn't work against Reagan.

Didn't work against Clinton. Though Ken Starr gave the story a pair of legs (on a very fat behind), that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Bush? He seems to own the media's playbook.

By the way, with the C-BS journalist in critical condition; and her two team mates ... the soundman and cameraman blown to smitherines; Americans are learning a lot about plots. For instance, how did the car with explosives get set up in such a way that the news crew left the safety of their vehicle, "to go have a look." You know they were being watched. How many hours of work? The plan, itself, how expensive?

It begins answering questions when people recognize they're not like the others, at all.

Inside the media was a set up. And, now extreme silence. No real follow ups. How many hours, for instance, went into Blizter's question? How many lawyers were pouring over this crap?

And, why in the end it won't matter.

Truth has a way of catching up.

Should be an interesting case! Valerie's white. (Just like Nicole.) The jury pool isn't. All of Fitz's stuff looks whiter than white bread. He was counting on blacks having a visceral hatred for Joooos. And, Libby's being accused by people's whose own memories may just come down the pike looking DISHONEST. Not just paltry.

Sue

Carol,

I think you are smoking something. I can never follow your disjointed statements. I seldom try anymore. There is just a hint of racism in everything you post.

vnjagvet

Some observations:

Russert is a law school grad who never practiced law. He is a also a very clever wordsmith. But he is constantly in the public eye, and most everything he says on the subject of the Libby/Plame affair is on the air and is being carefully monitored by a very skilled team of trial attorneys.

Fitzgerald cannot win the "Russert counts"
if there is they slightest chink in Russert's testimony. Every questioning session on air like the one featured on this post supplies more ammunition for cross-examination by one of the nation's best trial attorneys. I trust my trial lawyer instincts. If Russert is dissembling, he will be outed, it will be painfully obvious at trial, and Fitz will be embarrassed.


Cecil Turner

I trust my trial lawyer instincts.

At the least, it makes you a sharper-than-most observer. So what does your gut tell you? Is he dissembling (e.g., discussed Wilson's wife, but not "Plame"), or just being careful?

maryrose

I am attending the :
Conversation With Tim Russert"tonight so perhaps I can get a feeling for or a sense of duplicity or truth from him in his presentation. I don't know about a Q and A session but their is a dessert reception afterwards. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.

Dwilkers

Pete-

Sure they have. Well they've reported it at least. I don't know how you'd expect them to "prove" it.

-->Linky<--

"On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of."

This is pretty old stuff though.

Pete

I knew the Clifford May article from Sept 29 2003 would come up. Has he written anything after that? I thought that he has been thoroughly debunked given that he has not been claiming that any more.

Here are a couple of interesting related blogs:
http://www.anonymousliberal.com/2006/02/is-cliff-may-lying-liar.html
http://www.anonymousliberal.com/2006/05/rove-novak-may-trifecta.html

"I think the much more logical conclusion is that May was not being truthful in his 2003 article. When he was approached by the FBI, he likely told them the truth, that he didn't know about Plame prior to Novak's column, and that was that. He didn't have any useful information to contribute to the investigation, so they never talked to him again. That would explain why he hasn't repeated his claim since then. He's just hoping people will forget about it."

I believe even Tom Maguire wanted Clifford May to reveal the truth, yet May has reportedly been silent for a long time.

vnjagvet

Cecil:

You got me. I was trying to hedge. Since you asked directly, based on the rote answers, my instincts say he will be taken apart on cross.

kim

I agree, v, but what makes our instincts work best is not in play here. The smell, the echoes, the hesitations, where the eyes look, what the feet and hands do. I could go on.
============================

PaulV

Pete.
You forget Fitz's modus operandi. He has always limited the questions he asked so as not to get any information that would hurt his case. If this was a normal investigation you would have a point, but there is too much information out there he he deliberaltely choose not yp follow up leads from UGO, Judy Miller and others that people realize that he is not looking at anything that is off his predetermined path.

maryrose

kim and PaulV.
You are both right. Something about this doesn't pass the smell test. Hedging and retracting and engaging in bafflegab instead of direct factual statements makes the ordinary person question more what you are NOT disclosing. Russert has yet to say flat out -Wilson and his wife were not discussed. However I believe Fitz has asked Russert to cool his jets and his mouth re: Russert's interview because he nows sees this as the only thread left in his case.

Pete

PaulV - I don't agree with your conclusions. Given that much of the grand jury testimony is secret, I fail to see how anyone can jump to conclusions about what has been asked and what has not been asked.

But even if Fitz is going on a "predetermined path", that does not stop Clifford May from elaborating on what he said more than two and a half years ago. Even Tom Maguire has several questions for May which remain unanswered:
http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/02/is_cliff_may_a_.html

The silence from May is deafening.

Syl

Pete

Because it fits your beliefs you choose not to believe Cliff May. There could be any number of reasons why he hasn't spoken of it much since then. IIRC, it was democrat who told him. Perhaps silence was requested and granted. Perhaps the investigators asked him to keep silent. If he were the type to make something up from nothing he wouldn't be in the position he is.

And why do you want him discredited so much? That's unjust and I thought you guys were all about justice.

Besides Libby's team has FIVE people who are willing to swear in Federal court that Wilson told them. Do really think there aren't any more people out there who knew?

Syl

Pete

Did it ever occur to you that the person who told him may be denying it? Perhaps because he doesn't want to get involved.

maryrose

pete:
i think you are in for a lot of surprises once this case hits th fans. many of your assumptions about Libby and his account of how things went down just don't add up. By every standard Fitz looks to be holding a losing hand. Time to fold the Plame Blame Game.

JM Hanes

Cecil:

"But it is suspicious."

Have you lost your Occamizer?

Jesuitical logic and legal training both suggest that when you're going to be the central witness in an explosive case, you keep your trap shut. This would be especially true if you're the least bit hazy about any aspect of your testimony and are aleady worried about the defense taking you apart, very publicly, on the stand. Russert has got to know Team Libby, like Tom, is religiously tracking his every word.

As a high profile political commentator/inquisitor, Russert has an even more serious conflict of interest problem than the other reporters involved and a professional incentive for minimizing his role as a player. There's also every reason to suspect that Fitzgerald has, at the very least, asked his star witness avoid discussing his involvement like the plague.

In short, save for the fiction of "the public's right to know," everything suggests the wisdom of turning this matter over to NBC's legal department, lock, stock & barrel. Given Russert's value as a corporate asset, can anyone doubt what their advice would be? As a business matter, neither he nor his bosses can afford to put his credibility at risk. Ditto that advice from any lawyers Russert might personally consult. They would necessarily be concerned about their client's own potential legal jeopardy, however inadvertant, tangential or unlikely.

I'm no Russert fan, but it seems every bit as reasonable to characterize his evasive behaviour as an awkward attempt at recusal than to parse his public statements into tokens of deceit. With the possible ironic exception of Team Libby, every faction here, including the Prosecution, is desperately trying to protect its own work product -- lest the true nature & extent of sausage making in Washington be exposed for all to see.

I could be wrong, but when it proves inordinately difficult even to formulate an adequate question, maybe its time to cut Russert some slack for not handing us the specific disclaimers we want to hear. Why wouldn't he avoid answering questions if he can? The belief that Russert is hiding something bears a suspcious resemblance to an idée fixe. Perhaps even more surprising, however, is a certain tacit assumption that whatever he might hiding would necessarily redound to Libby's benefit.

Semanticleo

" if he's going to lie, parsing his answer is sort of a waste of time."

Is withholding some of the truth, truthful?

Dwilkers

Well Pete, you asked "Surely there are a lot of Bush administration friendly reporters. Yet none of them has stepped forward to prove that the reporters all knew (without being told by the administration) about Plame/Wilson.", then when shown that isn't true you say in effect 'I don't believe him'.

As far as AL is concerned he seems to have a problem with May for some reason. He was on here months ago saying May had made a "dramatic retraction" but when asked for a cite he admitted there wasn't any retraction at all.

And yes, TM and all of us would like for him to say more but he hasn't. My guess is he was asked not to speak about it and has honored that request and in fact your own link quotes Corn saying that very thing, "But, he added, he had been asked not to discuss what he had said to them."

Although he did go so far as to say in an interview with NRO's media blog later that he stood behind his column, and believe it or not he's been known to e-mail people in the comments section of this very blog saying that. ;-)

But back to your original question again, IE why hasn't anyone said it? Thay have. What you really mean is you choose to not believe them. That's different from them not saying it, you see.

topsecretk9

Maybee

BTW- where are we on the 24-business hour cycle? Have any of Leopold's blog supporters said they no longer believe him? He seems to have gotten a very soft landing.

No Maybee...I think everyone is supposed to pretend Jason's story never happened OR pretend there is some super secret sealed indictment really out there and that Fitz is the only prosecutor in the world availed this unheard of procedure and that Rove's people, denial after denial are spinning like never before.

Dwilkers

Or really what's interesting about that is it would seem then that you are saying that you think Plame's status or job or whatever wasn't well known right?

Well. Off the top of my head there's May, then Vallely, Mitchell of course although she's changed her story. Then we have the recent Libby filing wherein the defense states that they'll call 5 witnesses that will swear that Wilson told them.

That's getting to be a pretty long list of liars and future perjurers dontcha think? Every single one of those people is lying?

maryrose

Did Leopold ever tell us who his sources were?
I know we assumed Wilson but was Larry Johnson the other one?

Dwilkers

No, he never said maryrose. Not that that's all that surprising.

Pete

Syl said - "There may be a number of reasons...."

ABSOLUTELY.

Similarly for the Fitz probe. There may be a number of reasons for why he may or may not have spoken to some reporters. He may be tied by Justice Department rules. He may have already found something which rules certain things out, etc.

Syl - If you are protesting so much about what I say about May, shouldn't you be protesting about what others are saying about the Fitz investigation?

Regarding the five people Libby's lawyers are calling (and note that they say "people" not "reporters"), lets hear what they have to say under oath before we come to any kind of conclusions.

Vallely's story has inconsistencies:
http://mediamatters.org/items/200511090011

Meanwhile I am still waiting to hear from reporters who claim that everyone knew. I have yet to see the evidence.

Dwilkers

Meanwhile I am still waiting to hear from reporters who claim that everyone knew. I have yet to see the evidence.

Er....

Pete

Within the past year Cooper, Miller, and Woodward have all published their story. It just does not make any sense that Clifford May is unable to do the same.

topsecretk9

---and note that they say "people" not "reporters"--

Right. Reporters are not people.

Javani

"based on your testimony"

Wolfie gave Russert an "out".

Russert is not free and clear yet.

Pete

reporters are people, but not all people are reporters.

Cecil Turner

. . . my instincts say he will be taken apart on cross.

I think it's close to a coin flip, but agree.

Jesuitical logic and legal training both suggest that when you're going to be the central witness in an explosive case, you keep your trap shut.

If he'd kept his trap shut, I'd have a different theory. Instead it's denials citing "Plame." My Occamizer says "parsing."

maryrose

Parsing it is but I agree with JMHANES the NBC lawyers have to protect the "franchise" Russert. If it were Matthews they would throw him under the bus. Russert has to keep his mouth shut because once he opens up-all hell breaks loose!

topsecretk9

--reporters are people, but not all people are reporters.--

Oh. They are a special class that require distinction? NO, and expecting Libby's team would take special care to reveal their witnesses' occupation as reporters, let alone any profession, is silly. IOW I wouldn't take any special comfort parsing "people" vs. "reporters" - they be holding all that close to their chests.

Look at this way. What if 3 out of 5 ARE reporters...if we do find that before trial it will be on a day of Libby's lawyers choosing and will be advantageously revealed.

Syl

Pete

There may be a number of reasons for why he may or may not have spoken to some reporters. He may be tied by Justice Department rules. He may have already found something which rules certain things out, etc.

Yes, there are reasons he didn't speak with other reporters, nor ask Miller, for example, about her ostensible conversation with someone else re Valery Flame. That, in itself, is not the gripe.

It's that Fitz KNEW he didn't know BECAUSE he wasn't asking but went ahead and claimed that nobody knew outside of intelligence circles and that Libby was the first to plant the info among reporters and did it on purpose so he could pass it along as gossip.

All the while knowing there was that Valery Flame in Judy's notebook.

THAT is what we complain about.

clarice

I have received this reply from Alan Foley who was reportedly Plame's supervisor:

"I didn't know that Valerie Plame or Joseph Wilson existed until after the Novak article. I have never met nor communicated with either of them. Nor did I have any responsibility or authority relating to them, the reported trip to Niger, or the subsequent leak investigation. As for Ray McGovern, I don't believe that I have either seen or talked to him since before his retirement from the Agency. That was many years ago; probably sometime in the late 1990's. Please do not contact me again. "


Now, I regard this as very mysterious..Her immediate supervisor never heard of her before the Novak article?

I am away and have llimited access to the IT until tomorrow night, but I would be interested in hearing from you about this very surprising--to me--response/

JohnH

Clarice
When he says "Nor did I have any responsibility or authority relating to them..." he seems to be saying that he was not in fact Valerie's immediate supervisor.

Lurker

Hhhmmm...interesting! What article implied that Foley was Plame's immediate supervisor?

As for reporters outside the Beltway knowing something about Plame, Wilson, CIA employee, etc., in any way, shape, and form, don't forget the democratic meeting thingy in early May. Also, there's that Who's Who book plus other interviews plus the spy that supposedly "outed" Plame out of covert status.

As for "non-reporters", Plame's status was known to many friends or friends of a friend of mine. This friend of mine has plenty of connections with WDC, whose grandfather was a senator, who ran a "Meet the Press"-like show in CA several years ago. She claims that some of her friends will testify to Plame's identity.

Lurker

And you want to know if any conservative reporters would know Plame's identity? I can only speculate but Ed Morrisey, Byron York, Jonah Goldberg, Andre McCarthy, etc., would know, for sure. Did they publicize the information? I do not know. How come their names are not involved in this case? Well, because they knew exactly what the MSM was doing the whole time and they were not part of the game.

topsecretk9

Lurker

How many friends?

Lurker

I did not ask her so I do not know. She says several friends and also that they would testify, if necessary. How many would it take to convince Fitz otherwise that Plame's identity is common knowledget outside the Beltway?

topsecretk9

Lurker

The more the merrier!

Sue

Lurker,

The VF article named Foley as Plame's boss.

JM Hanes

Clarice

Wow! Now there's a denial. Someone should send it to Russert as an example. Be sure to print it out with the address headers intact for your files.

Sue

I didn't know that Valerie Plame or Joseph Wilson existed until after the Novak article. I have never met nor communicated with either of them. Nor did I have any responsibility or authority relating to them, the reported trip to Niger, or the subsequent leak investigation.

Now that is downright crazy. Why did the VF name him as her boss and why is this the first denial of that I've seen or heard? Has anyone else seen him deny being her boss? Did VF do a retraction? If not, he is lying for some reason.

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Wilson/Plame