Powered by TypePad

« When Was Last Week? | Main | A Question For Tim Russert »

May 22, 2006

Comments

maryrose

On Hardball crawl at the bottom says classified status is key element in Fitzgerald investigation.
Shuster on ;Fitz- Cheney level of attention by Cheney and Libby on NYT article.
Libby wants notes of any other official who has Plame in their e-mails or documents.
Decision at anytime on Rove one way or another. Weds-gj meets again.

Lew Clark

Can we really believe Luskin when he says Rove was not indicted. Fitz has established that he is supervised by the "media". His supervisor says Rove was indicted. Are we going to believe the prosecutor's supervisor or the defense attorney?

maryrose

lew clark:
remember that is Fitz's pretend supervisor.
AM: very good. I notice if the thread is about Plame the comments go through the roof.
I saw Russert on Imus this morning. I am going to be crushed if he turns out to be a weasel in this Plame case.

verner

You know Maryrose, you just made me think of something. Remember in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street", when the mailman brings sack after sack of letters to santa into the courtroom?

Maybe Libby's team should bring in the stacks of pieces of paper that Cheney scrawled notes on from May to July--you know, just to show how important that little NYT article was in the scheme of things.

This is getting really really ridiculous.

clarice

so, msnbc deprived of their usual source, JL, is now relying on the only slightly less credible Walter Pincus to keep those homefires burning..
How much do they pay Chrissie? For the right amount of money I could act crazy and lie 24/7 , too.

Lesley

"You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover – Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work – and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers." Lewis Libby to Judy Miller

There has been speculation that this letter contained some sort of secret code to keep Judy quiet. I'm not sure about that. However, those tree/root allusions reminded of something I couldn't quite put my finger on until today. I wonder if "Literary Lewis", in the far recesses of his brain, was subconsciously alluding to this poem:

The Coming of Wisdom and Time

Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.

WB Yeats

PeterUK

Rick,
Considering Val is a woman of a,shall we say certain age,Joe is unlikely to be the first man in her life,so...how did she survive as "covert" if it is a case of dinner for two,perhaps the theatre and "Take me I'm a spy?" A kind of inverse Mata Hari.

Sue

Peter,

That isn't really fair. Prior to her outing by Ames, she probably was very careful with her status. Afterwards, not so much.

PeterUK

"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work – and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers." Lewis Libby to Judy Miller"
Now if Scooter had written this to Val,none of this would have happened.
Conspiracy? It is easy to tell Fitz is a batchelor.

PeterUK

Sue,You ever been to the LSE?

Kate

And what's with Shuster. He had the same info over months that Leopold had. Shuster is almost as bad as Leopold as far as I'm concerned. Shuster is clueless. All they know is that a general Grand Jury meets every Wednesday and Friday. He does not know if it's meeting on the Plame case or soemthing else. Wait for Waas, NYTimes, Drudge. I'm beginning to think that decision in weeks on Rove came from the Rove camp and was wishful thinking that he would be cleared soon.

verner

"How much do they pay Chrissie? For the right amount of money I could act crazy and lie 24/7 , too."

Clarice, did you see the video of CM acting like a chimp? Priceless. It's just a preview of what will happen if Rove gets his letter of declination. Seriously, they might have to take him away he has so much invested in the lovely Wilsons.

Sara (Squiggler)

Maybe Libby's team should bring in the stacks of pieces of paper that Cheney scrawled notes on from May to July--you know, just to show how important that little NYT article was in the scheme of things.

I've seen this work effectively in two different Congressional hearings. One was when they passed the disastrous Catastrophic Health Care bill and then seniors discovered that against their wishes the AARP lobbied for passage. Bags and bags of letters from disgruntled seniors were delivered and dumped on the floor during a Congressional session and within a couple of weeks the vote was reversed.

The second time was during the Ollie North hearings. Ollie had been trashed for weeks leading up to the hearings and everyone thought he was this terrible person who had done terrible things. Then he testified and the second day he was on the hot seat thousands and thousands of letters/telegrams arrived and the stack was about 4 feet high sitting on the witness table string the Committee in the face.

Kate

Don't understand Matthews' strong desire for a Rove indictment. Even the Libby case could make several of the MSNBC crowd look really bad.

I'm guessing that they feel confident the media will control the message and judging from the coverage so far, they are right. However, if Rove is indicted it would be a different story.

Sara (Squiggler)

string = staring

Sara (Squiggler)

"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work – and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers." Lewis Libby to Judy Miller"

I've seen references to Libby's Aspen letter to Judy here in comments, but this part of the case all took place before I was paying any attention. My only knowledge is what I've picked up here. So, in reading it today, my question is: could this be code for referencing their Aspen Group membership rather than Libby's bafflegab "literayspeak?"

If he is actually referencing the group and what the root members of the group are doing, does it change the whole picture? Have I read too many spy novels?

"aspens are turning" (Aspen Group? members?)

"they turn in clusters" (different cliques? some pro, some con?)

"because their roots connect them" (former or rogue CIA?)

topsecretk9

Since Leopold's story is soooo fluid and Jane Hamsher said how flipping fantastic it is Leopold is going to give up his sources so as to illustrate how much more transparent bloggers are compared to MSM, when exactly is Leopold scheduled to make good on his word of outing his sources? I mean, he can't seriously be lying about that too...Jane Hamsher said it was fantastic, so he can't let her down can he?

Kate

I think Libby was talking about fall in the west. Libby got in trouble with that letter and Fitz was waiving it around before the GJ. There was also something about urging Miller to testify and the way it was worded that made Fitz suspicious, of course.

Libby is a fiction writer and I think he gets carried away. But, where was his lawyer?

verner

Not only that PeterUK, but something else to remember. How much did she really know about Joe?

And how much do we really know about Joe? When he left the NSC (around 1998), he went to work for the Rock Creek Corperation, owned by the Saudi billionaire Mohammad Alamoudi and run by Elias Aburdene, two rather questionable characters with rather shady backgrounds.

Now of course, Joe tried to tell us in VF, that he really just rented space in Rock Creek's office...yeah right. But there's plenty of proof to the contrary. At a conference called "War with Iraq: a cost-benifit analysis." put on by the Middle East Policy Council (Where fellow IPIP member Chas Freeman is president) on Oct. 9, 2002, Joe is listed as a stratigic advisor, Rock Creek Corporation. Yet another one of his fibs is outed. Maybe VF should issue a belated correction.

I have not kept up with the "Oil for Food" scandal as well as I should. I don't know if Alamoudi's name has popped up yet, but if it doesn't, I'll be very surprised. It might be something worth looking into--though our partisan, biased, lazy, clueless press corp would never bother. They've already got their story programmed into the keyboard, as Mr. Pincus showed us today.

Sara (Squiggler)

Maybe I just have a suspicious mind, but this group seems to have some strange bedfellows and it just seems weird that a letter being sent to someone in jail would be worded that way, fiction writer or not.

Aspen Strategy Group:
The Board of Trustees is made up of high-level individuals from the public and private sectors who have been elected by a majority of the membership of the board. The board is responsible for providing counsel to the President, as well as governance over the business, affairs, and property of the Aspen Institute. The board meets three times per year and its ten standing committees meet regularly to discuss, in depth, the key issues facing the organization. These committees are as follows: Executive, Audit, Development, Finance, International, Marketing/Communications, Program Strategy, Seminars/Public Programs, Trustee Affairs and Leadership Programs. Board of Trustees in PDF format.

Active Trustees | Lifetime Trustees
William E. Mayer
Chairman of the Board
Henry E. Catto
Vice Chairman
Lester Crown
Vice Chairman
Walter Isaacson
President & CEO
Active Trustees
Madeleine K. Albright
Principal
The Albright Group LLC Leonard A. Lauder
Chairman of the Board of Directors
The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
*Paul F. Anderson
Senior Advisor
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc *Frederic V. Malek
Chairman
Thayer Capital Partners
Mercedes Bass
Sid R. Bass Inc. Robert H. Malott
Retired Chairman and CEO
FMC Corporation
*Berl Bernhard
Partner
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP James M. Manyika
Partner
McKinsey & Company
William D. Budinger
Founder, Former Chairman and CEO
Rodel, Inc. *William E. Mayer
Partner
Park Avenue Equity Partners
Stephen L. Carter
Professor of Law
Yale University Law School Bonnie Palmer McCloskey
President
Cornerstone Holdings, LLC
*Henry E. Catto
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Chair
Atlantic Council of the United States Ann Welsh McNulty
Senior Director
JBK Partners
*Lester Crown
Chairman
Material Service Corporation Philip Merrill
Chairman and Publisher
Capital-Gazette Communications
F. Peter Cundill
Founder
Cundill Investments Research Roberto H. Murray Meza
Chairman
Fundemas;
President, Agricola Industrial
Salvadorena, SA
Andrea Cunningham
Chief Executive Officer
CXO Communication Karlheinz Muhr
Managing Director
Credit Suisse First Boston
Tarun Das
Chief Mentor
Confederation of Indian Industry Clare Muñana
President
Ancora Associates, Inc.
**William L. Davis
Chairman and COO
WLD Davis Holdings, LLC Elinor Bunin Munroe
President
Elinor Bunin Productions, Inc.
John Doerr
Partner
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Jerry Murdock
Managing Director and Co-Founder
Insight Venture Partners
Sylvia A. Earle
Chairman
Deep Ocean Exploration & Research William A. Nitze
Chairman
GridPoint, Inc.
Michael D. Eisner
CEO
The Walt Disney Co. Her Majesty Queen Noor
Humanitarian Activist; UN Expert Advisor
Alan Fletcher
President and CEO
Aspen Music Festival and School Olara A. Otunnu
President
LBL Foundation for Children
**Henrietta Holsman Fore
Under Secretary of State for Management
Department of State Elaine Pagels
Professor of Religion
Princeton University
Stephen Friedman
Senior Advisor
Stone Point Capital Michel Pebereau
President
BNP Paribas;
Chairman
Institut Aspen France
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities
Harvard University Thomas R. Pickering
Senior Vice President, Int'l Relations
The Boeing Company
Manfred Gentz
Chairman
Aspen Institute Berlin Lord Powell
Chairman
Sagitta Asset Management Limited
David Gergen
Professor of Public Service
John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University;
Editor-at-Large
US News & World Report Michael K. Powell
Chairman
The MK Powell Group
*Alma L. Gildenhorn
Honorary Trustee
Kennedy Center Margot L. Pritzker
Chairperson
Zohar Education Project Incorporative
*Gerald Greenwald
Managing Partner
Greenbriar Equity Group Peter Reiling
Executive Vice President, International and Policy Programs
The Aspen Institute
Patrick W. Gross
Chairman
The Lovell Group *Lynda Resnick
Co-Owner and Vice Chairman
Roll International Corporation
Arjun Gupta
Founder and Managing Partner
Telesoft Partners Ann W. Richards
Former Governor of Texas;
Senior Advisor
Public Strategies, Inc.
*Sidney Harman
Executive Chairman
Harman International Industries, Inc. Isaac O. Shongwe
Chief Executive Officer
DNA Supply Chain of South Africa;
Chairman
Letsema Consulting Company
Hayne Hipp
Chairman and CEO
The Liberty Corporation Albert H. Small
President
Southern Engineering Corp.
Gerald D. Hosier
Law Offices of Gerald D. Hosier Ltd. *Robert K. Steel
Senior Director
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Ann Frasher Hudson
Partner
Javelina Partners Andrew L. Stern
International President
Service Employees International Union
Jérôme Huret
President
Institut Aspen France Giulio Tremonti
Chairman
Aspen Institute Italia
Robert J. Hurst
Managing Director
Crestview Advisors, LLC Jack Valenti
Former Chairman and CEO
Motion Picture Association of America
*Walter Isaacson
President & CEO
The Aspen Institute Roderick von Lipsey
Vice President
Goldman Sachs & Co.
William N. Joy
Partner
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Vin Weber
Managing Partner
Clark & Weinstock
Yotaro Kobayashi
Chairman of the Board
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. Frederick B. Whittemore
Advisory Director
Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.
David H. Koch
Executive Vice President
Chemical Technology
Koch Industries, Inc. Alice Young, Esq.
Chair, Asia Pacific Practice (U.S.)
Kaye Scholer LLP
**Ann McLaughlin Korologos
Chairman Emeritus
The Aspen Institute;
Senior Advisor
Benedetto Gartland & Company Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Chairman
Boston Properties, Inc;
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief
US News & World Report
Timothy K. Krauskopf
Principal
Round Lake Designs, LLC

* Executive Committeee

** Trustees on Leave of Absence
Lifetime Trustees
LIfetime Trustees consist of former board members and other prominent individuals who have been elected by a majority of the membership of the Board. Their mission is to create a more involved and informed way for retiring board members and other members to stay in touch with fellow trustees and with the work of the Aspen Institute. They are a key arm of the Institute, responsible for providing advice concerning strategic issues facing the organization.
James C. Calaway
Chairman of Lifetime Trustees
Robert O. Anderson
Retired Chairman
ARCO

John P. Mascotte
Former President and CEO
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Bandar bin Sultan
Former Saudi Ambassador to the United States Robert S. McNamara
Former President
The World Bank
Raymond Barre
Former Mayor, Lyon;
Chairman, Advisory Board
Institut Aspen France Olivier Mellerio
Interfinexa
John Brademas
President Emeritus
New York University Martin Meyerson
President Emeritus
University of Pennsylvania
James C. Calaway
Chairman, Lifetime Trustees
The Aspen Institute;
Investor Hisashi Owada
International Court of Justice
Lisle C. Carter, Jr.
Attorney John J. Phelan, Jr.
Retired Chairman and CEO
New York Stock Exchange
William T. Coleman, Jr.
Senior Partner and The Senior Counselor
O'Melveny & Myers Warren B. Rudman
Partner
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison
Umberto Colombo
Former Minister
Universities and Scientific &
Technological Research Jay Sandrich
FB&Co
Al Dietsch
Chairman
Best Year Yet LLC Lloyd G. Schermer
Retired Chairman & CEO
Lee Enterprises
William H. Donaldson
Donaldson Enterprises Carlo Scognamiglio
Honorary Chairman
Aspen Institute Italia
James L. Ferguson
Retired Chairman and CEO
General Foods Corporation Kathy D. Smith
Former Board Member
Daubert Industries
Jacqueline Grapin
President
The European Institute Phillips Talbot
President Emeritus
The Asia Society
Irvine O. Hockaday, Jr.
Retired President and CEO
Hallmark Cards, Inc. Solomon D. Trujillo
Chairman, CEO and President
Graviton, Inc.
Nina Rodale Houghton
President
Wye Institute Paul A. Volcker
Former Chairman of the Board of Governors
Federal Reserve System
Shirley Hufstedler
Senior Counsel
Morrison & Foerster Leslie H. Wexner
President and Chairman of the Board
The Limited, Inc.
Robert S. Ingersoll
Former U. S. Ambassador
to Japan Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Former Chairman and CEO
TIAA/CREF

Henry A. Kissinger
Chairman
Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Dolores Wharton
Founder and Chair
Fund for Corporate Initiatives
Gerald M. Levin
Retired Chairman and CEO
Time Warner, Inc.

Kate

sara-a lot of people, left and right, interpreted Libby's comments in similar ways to yours. Some of the left's theories were funny, the aspens are turning, people are turning on Cheney..things like that.

I'm in the minority in taking it as: Judy, get out of jail because you love it out west and it's pretty there.

Lurker

Awww...shucks! Here comes David Shuster over at Raw Story:

MSNBC: Rove's legal team expects decision 'at any time'

Another Internet theorizing of the Rove Indictment?

Sara (Squiggler)

Hmmm, Kate, I find it hard to go with that interpretation, but I also don't take it as turning against Cheney. I think it is a broader reference to those at either CIA or State that he is saying that she and he know about. But I defer to those who have followed this more closely. I'm just so distressed over the MOM affair and those leaks and how the same players in that investigation seem to be the same ones pulling the Wilson/Plame strings in this one.

maryrose

Agreed Kate:
I always look for the simplest explanation though I do love spy novels and would like to look for a "hidden meaning".
But logic tells you Libby felt bad Judy was imprisoned by Fitz and wanted her to be free again. Fitz can be tough letting Miller rot in jail for 80 days. Does that make him some macho prosecutor that nobody better mess with?

maryrose

lURKER:
Shuster reported that on Hardball breathlessly-I just make it a point to ignore him now.

Kate

Great. Now Raw Story is reduced to quoting Shuster, since Leopold's credibility is now, er, questioned.

Any time...that could be spring time, summer time, winter time, any time.

Sara (Squiggler)

Well Marc Ash just made the big time with Brit Hume mentioning him on his show ending with a quote on the screen about looking "stupider and stupider."

Pete

"Wilson is a liar" may be a satisfactory answer to some people, but it does not answer many of the fundamental questions.

The spotlight needs to be on the admin. Why couldn't Cheney simply call the ambassador to Niger before embarking on a series of speeches where he made all kinds of announcements about Iraq's nuclear program? One may be able to shove under the rug why Wilson's report never made it to Cheney. But there were other reports as well. Hadley was himself twice told that the Niger information was unreliable (fans of the SCCI conveniently omit this point). And it gets better - instead of firing Hadley for his lapse, Bush promotes him. Everyone who enabled Bush in his quest is rewarded. The administration knows about all the supporting evidence, but none of the exculpatory evidence. Pretty amazing I may say.

And it was revealed recently that the words immediately following the "sixteen words": "Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." was something for which the Bush administration KNEW that there was significant dissent, yet those words were presented as the undisputed truth.

Pete

"Wilson is a liar" may be a satisfactory answer to some people, but it does not answer many of the fundamental questions.

The spotlight needs to be on the admin. Why couldn't Cheney simply call the ambassador to Niger before embarking on a series of speeches where he made all kinds of announcements about Iraq's nuclear program? One may be able to shove under the rug why Wilson's report never made it to Cheney. But there were other reports as well. Hadley was himself twice told that the Niger information was unreliable (fans of the SCCI conveniently omit this point). And it gets better - instead of firing Hadley for his lapse, Bush promotes him. Everyone who enabled Bush in his quest is rewarded. The administration knows about all the supporting evidence, but none of the exculpatory evidence. Pretty amazing I may say.

And it was revealed recently that the words immediately following the "sixteen words": "Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." was something for which the Bush administration KNEW that there was significant dissent, yet those words were presented as the undisputed truth.

Kate

Sara-you may be right. Fitzgerald was certainly interested in that letter.

maryrose. I can't stand Shuster. He is as bad as Leopold. He clearly hasn't talked to Rove's team. He's just quoting what they said weeks ago. And what does prosecutors tracking the case mean? Then he goes to his talking head, that's it I guess. I can't stand the guy.

Lesley

Hush, y'all. No more conspiracy theories. I'm giving Libby's (he's a novelist, doncha know) legal team a mini-Jungean LITERARY explanation for the letter. I'm throwing poetic pixy dust in Fitzgerald's eyes. I'M DOING MY PART FOR THE TEAM!!

PeterUK

Pete,
You are repeating the canard concerning the sisxteen words,there the word is AFRICA,now Niger is in AFRICA,but it isn't AFRICA,nor is it the sole uranium producer in AFRICA.
Now just think,North Korea,Pakistan,Dr Khan,had nuclear weapons,Lybia was developing them as is Iran, where are they all getting their uranium from? Please note that it is all Illegal and clandestine.

Lurker

Err...from Brewster Jennings, PUK?

Cecil Turner

The spotlight needs to be on the admin. Why couldn't Cheney simply call the ambassador to Niger . . .

Oh please. Like the Ambassador to Niger was an expert on Iraqi WMD programs, or he didn't already have her report. Speaking of which, the main problem with Wilson's report is that it had less information and was less credible than the reporting already proffered by State.

. . . was something for which the Bush administration KNEW that there was significant dissent . . .

Look, dissent! The problem with the lefty view on this is that it's so busy touting the minority report that it can't acknowledge the majority one. People actually running a country tend to rely on the latter. (I realize you guys aren't really familiar with that sort of thought process, but still . . .)

Sara (Squiggler)

Kate, I'm not sure I want to be right. I am reminded of a time when I worked in the Classified Ad dept. of a major daily newspaper and we had a big kerfluffle over a series of ads that were alleged to be coded messages or some such. It wasn't my account so I have no direct knowledge except to know that the actual ad takers were subpoenaed and had to give depositions. It was all hush hush and very weird at the time although grist for the rumor mill all over the paper.

PeterUK

Lurker,Whilst I would not want o go there,it would answer a lot of questions,for example,why the CPD missed all those bomb builders,especially Dr Khan who was practically selling the things on eBay.

verner

PeteUK
They lack the intellectual capability to understand that Saddam's money and scientists could be working on nukes in places other than Iraq.

Then there's the excellent book "A Bomb in My Garden"

And the deal Saddam was trying to broker with North Korea on the eve of the war.

And Saddam's past history and obsession with nukes.

And his willingness to commit genocide.

And the terrorist camps on Iraqi soil etc. etc.etc.

By the way, hear about that New Government they've just sworn in!

Kate

sara: Libby's lawyer should have broken his wrist before he let Libby write that letter. Libby has a great legal team now.

Most people think it's a code and that he was trying to communicate to Miller what days of their meetings to testify to.as well.

Miller said it was because the last time she saw Libby was in Aspen.

Sara (Squiggler)

Saddam just this morning claimed to the Iraqi court that he is still the President of Iraq. The judge informed him that he is no longer the President and is now only a defendent. According to the American left including our illustrious media (GAG!) Saddam is a poor misguided soul who got robbed of his country by the big bad American satan George Bush and that Saddam is in fact still the president of Iraq.

Sara (Squiggler)

Miller said it was because the last time she saw Libby was in Aspen.

I can buy that explanation. Now, I'd like to know why they were both in Aspen at the time of their last meeting? Was it a family vacation or did they attend meetings together and the letter is referencing the subject of those meetings or perhaps the other attendees?

Rick Ballard

"why the CPD missed all those bomb builders"

The decision to train WMD analysts or "managers" or whatever at the LSE might have affected the quality of their output in some small way. The ability to exchange yellowcake recipes in three languages would appear to have limited utility in regard to significant aspects of controlling NBC technology.

Kate

sara-don't know. Miller tells the story that she saw a man in a cowboy hat and boots and the man came up closer and said:

Judy, don't you recognize me, it's Scooter Libby.

PeterUK

Verner,
I think it is worse than that,I don't think they know where Africa is,Fundamentally though,they are linguistically lazy,thinking in cliches and sound bites,thought becomes a ritual where these are regurgitated and repeated...seems to give them comfort.

PeterUK

Rick,
Val seems to have missed the module on Bombe Suprise when she was at the College of Europe

clarice

Bruges--I'd go study there on the goverment's dime anytime.

richard mcenroe

"If I was Libby's team, the first thing I would do is call Valerie on the stand, throw that VF article in her face, and ask "If you were NOC, why did you tell a married man that you were sleeping with on your third date with him? Wasn't it just a fling at that point? Did you check with the agency before you did?"

Verner -- It's the Sydney Bristow rule. After fifteen minutes of flashbacks before the titles, you HAVE to have a dramatic revelation before the mid-episode station break...

Jane

Why couldn't Cheney simply call the ambassador to Niger before embarking on a series of speeches where he made all kinds of announcements about Iraq's nuclear program?

Why on earth would he? Clearly Cheney was aware - (given the notes in the margin), that Wilson wasn't qualified to give an opinion.

PeterUK

"Did you check with the agency before you did?"
Yes and the gave her the third date suvival kit,condoms,bottle opener and a bag for joe just in case her's came off,thoughtful the CIA.

sad

Peter

The ole double bagger....

verner

"Verner -- It's the Sydney Bristow rule. After fifteen minutes of flashbacks before the titles, you HAVE to have a dramatic revelation before the mid-episode station break..."

Yeah Richard, and she's wearing Armani too.

I bet they've already handed Sharon Stone the screenplay.

Sara (Squiggler)

she's wearing Armani too

...thereby supporting the claim by Wilson that they couldn't live on two government salaries.

Other Tom

Pete:

I don't think you get the nature of intelligence. You are always confronted with conflicting evidence and you have to make a judgment as to what action is or is not required. The administration had to decide whether or not it was necessary to take military action to deprive Saddam of WMD. It had very substantial evidence (concurred in by every Western intelligence agency) that Saddam did indeed have them. There were some in the CIA, and undboubtedly elsewhere, who read the tea leaves differently--there always are. If the evidence were so clear that every intelligence analyst agreed on every issue, there would be very little need for intelligence. Even when presented with both sides, the president still has to decide: go or no-go. If he thinks the likelihood that WMD are there is 70%, or 20%, he can't initiate a 70% or 20% war. If he had declined to act, and WMD traceable to Iraq were later used anywhere in the world, try to imagine the second-guessers coming out of the woodwork to tell us that the administration "knew" that Saddam had WMD. They would be calling for Bush's impeachment for not acting on all the information that was right there under his nose.

Sara (Squiggler)

...can't initiate a 70% or 20% war

This is the point that the left and the anti-war crowd just do not get. It was said about terrorists attacks that it doesn't matter if they discover and stop 1000 of them, if one gets through the net.

The President could not ignore the majority report. In fact, I'm not sure he could ignore a minority report if it said there was a risk.

If you knew that some guy had taken out 6 girls, 3 who said he got them drunk and raped them and 3 who said he was a perfect gentleman and never touched them, and you believe all stories to be true based on supporting evidence, would you let your daughter go out with the guy?

verner

Sara,

They have a script--Bush Lied--and they're going to stick to it. Joe and Val are a huge part of that.

Never mind all the evidence to the contrary--like the SSIC report, or the Butler Review.

Nevermind that every major intelligence agency in the world thought Saddam had them in Iraq (And I'm not convinced he didn't ship them somewhere--he had a year to do it, and it would fit his pattern)

Nevermind all the good things that have happened--like a newly elected democratic government in Iraq, or five years without another strike on the American homeland, or the elimination of A.Q. Kahn's network, or shipping Libya's nuclear program to Oak Ridge, or crushing Al Qada, or 5% unemployment and a good economy, or fewer American deaths in three years liberating 40 million people from totalitarian regimes than the US suffered in one of many Civil War battles when our population was one tenth the size that it is now--and the list goes on.

One thing we can all agree on--right now, Saddam don't have no WMDs, and he never will again. I'm kind of happy about that. How aboout you?

Pete

Other Tom - It is reasonable that intelligence is not perfect. However when one is waging a pre-emptive war, the bar for the intelligence is a lot higher.

I've heard the phrase often that every intelligence agency believed that Saddam had WMD. Yet the UN inspectors did not say that. On the Niger information - ElBaradei declared BEFORE the war that the Niger papers were forgeries. The Bush administration just ignored that. Before Bush's SOTU speech the IAEA said that the tubes were not suitable for nuclear weapons production.

However much one may try to malign Wilson (and I for one think that he had the credentials to go on the mission to Niger), there were other sources too. I don't see what is wrong with Cheney or his aides picking up the phone and talking to our ambassador in Niger, who is after all our representative and does deal with these kinds of issues. The thing which I find incredulous is that in this case, the administration knew everything about the nuclear angle that pointed to waging war, and knew nothing about the nuclear angle that did not point to waging a war. They knew what other governments were saying, yet they claim to know not what our own intelligence had found.

War should not to be taken lightly, and the least that we should expect from our government is that our government be totally honest about the dangers we face and not paint a false picture. Bush's SOTU speech painted a very misleading picture.

Tom Maguire

I don't see what is wrong with Cheney or his aides picking up the phone and talking to our ambassador in Niger, who is after all our representative and does deal with these kinds of issues.

IIRC, the Niger-uranium story was not even included in the declassified NIE released in Oct 2002 because it was considered to be a minor point in a much bigger story.

Obviously, after the Niger story went south it became the central reason for going to war, in some tellings.

topsecretk9

I'm kind of happy about that. How aboout you?

Yes and not bribing UN members, but most importantly not taking daily pot shots at our Military patrolling the no fly zone - Oh and Iraqi's have a chance at freedom, not gas parachutes and body shredding.

Pete

TM - And yet the Niger information was mentioned in the SOTU speech. Cheney made several speeches where he talked about the nuclear issue. Cheney went so far as to say that the IAEA was wrong on the AL tubes.

Murray Waas has a great article on the al tubes:

http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/
0330nj1.htm

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews.

.....

clarice

You know Pete, I've searched the SOTU address repeatedly and here's the closest thing I can find is this:"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. " Not only was this true, not only did the Butler Commission confirm the British intelligence was accurate, BUT Ambassador Munchausen reported the very same thing.

Now if you find Niger anywhere in that speech, I'll kiss your butt on the Capitol steps. If you can't you can do the same thing to me or stop repeating this idiocy.

Hadley persuaded the Administration to remove that and frankly that was so stupid a move, I'd personally kick his butt down those same stairs.

Pete

clarice - of course everything in the speech was correct. But it painted a very misleading picture. One can say sentences which can be 100% true, and at the same time present a very misleading view (And I think that Tom Maguire has an article about Tim Russert which says the very same thing). And that is what hurts Bush now, considering that Bush was packaged and sold to the public as a "straight shooter".

clarice

I think it was crystal clear. Pick a time to meet me on the Capitol steps.

topsecretk9

LARWYN IS OK
(maryrose would like to know)

just a bit more blinder than a bat than usual with her allergy meds -- they swell the nostrils and pinch off the eye nerves-- or something.

Her email came in like 24 pt type - But the good news is she is on the mend and by golly I hope her tank style comments come shining through soon.

and well it is tempting to Larwyn the thread on purpose, I think I will just let her have the honors when she's home...


(she, sneaky funny sense of humor did start the email with a bold tag and well didn't close it)

clarice

Thanks for the report, Ts...

ATM

Well then ElBaradei is being misleading. Only some of the Niger papers were forgeries. The rest were genuine.

Which begs the question: why was Iraq trying to buy uranium if they didn't have a nuke program? My theory is they were setting up a program in a third country.

Sara (Squiggler)

According to the recently translated documents they were certainly trying to do something and they didn't want the U.S. or the Inspectors to know about it.

kim

Hey, Pete. Saddam's still President of Iraq. Go salute him.
========================================

kim

I mean, the Democratic Party still supports democratic processes. We salute you.
=====================================

PeterUK

Where to start?


"It is reasonable that intelligence is not perfect. However when one is waging a pre-emptive war, the bar for the intelligence is a lot higher."

Let us begin with "pre-emptive war",MOST wars are pre-emptive,WWII was a classic of pre-emption..unfortunately it was the enemy who got a strike in first.

"I've heard the phrase often that every intelligence agency believed that Saddam had WMD. Yet the UN inspectors did not say that. On the Niger information - ElBaradei declared BEFORE the war that the Niger papers were forgeries. The Bush administration just ignored that".

The IAEA,which under Blix, had previously, given Iraq a clean bill of health concerning his existing nuclear programme,you know the one Pete,the one at Osirak that the Israelis had to bomb.Hardly a credible source is it.


"Before Bush's SOTU speech the IAEA said that the
tubes were not suitable for nuclear weapons production."

Not suitable does not mean impossible to use,perhaps they were the best that that could be obtained .The main consideration is why the tubes were acquired in a clandestine fashion if they were for legitimate use.Rocket tubes for example,permitted in the ceasefire agreement.

"However much one may try to malign Wilson (and I for one think that he had the credentials to go on the mission to Niger)"

Well Joe had been before,so he was probably less likely to get lost than members of CPD,but his contacts were with previous government officials,IIRC he was not permitted to talk to them.Do you think Pete,knowing Africa as you do,that an American turning up and asking," Have the Iraqis been trying to buy yellowcake?" is going to ellicit any other response than,"Non Monsieur,it is forbidden by the UN and the French company COGEMA ?" Oil For Food, Pete,Oil For Food!"

, "there were other sources too."
There were indeed,there was the British intelligence on the subject.

"I don't see what is wrong with Cheney or his aides picking up the phone and talking to our ambassador in Niger, who is after all our representative and does deal with these kinds of issues".

Well it would have been nice if Cheney had been given the report.But anyway it is usually the Commercial Attache or the Military Attache who handles this kind of thing. Ambassadors do cocktail parties.

."The thing which I find incredulous is that in this case, the administration knew everything about the nuclear angle that pointed to waging war, and knew nothing about the nuclear angle that did not point to waging a war. They knew what other governments were saying, yet they claim to know not what our own intelligence had found."

The concensus was that Iraq did have WMD even your own masters Pete

Doubt only set in when,France, Russia the UN et al realised that their,arms sales,colossal contracts for oilfield development and their income from Oil For Food were in jeopardy.

PeterUK

continuation.

, "there were other sources too."
There were indeed,there was the British intelligence on the subject.

"I don't see what is wrong with Cheney or his aides picking up the phone and talking to our ambassador in Niger, who is after all our representative and does deal with these kinds of issues".

Well it would have been nice if Cheney had been given the report.But anyway it is usually the Commercial Attache or the Military Attache who handles this kind of thing. Ambassadors do cocktail parties.

."The thing which I find incredulous is that in this case, the administration knew everything about the nuclear angle that pointed to waging war, and knew nothing about the nuclear angle that did not point to waging a war. They knew what other governments were saying, yet they claim to know not what our own intelligence had found."

The concensus was that Iraq did have WMD even your own masters Pete

Doubt only set in when,France, Russia the UN et al realised that their,arms sales,colossal contracts for oilfield development and their income from Oil For Food were in jeopardy.

Syl

Pete Pete, oh Pete!

Did you get the point of this blog posting?

(1)Fitz said Libby knew or should have known.
(2)Pincus said Libby knew but didn't find out 'til after the outing.
(3)America blog says Libby knew while revealing her.

America blog read Pincus who read Fitz and the story gets more untrue down the chain. Are the readers at the end of the chain going to go back and read fitz? No. If they do, are they going to twist fitz' words to mean something else because they know what AmericaBlog told them is the truth and by god they're going to discover what fitz really means?

The same damn thing has happened with the entire WMD thing. Especially Niger, Iraq, and Nuclear.

The same damn thing.

The end of that chain says Bush misled us into war. But there is nothing at the beginning of the chain that shows that. But if you believe what the end of the chain says, you are going to be totally skeptical of what the beginning actually was.

And there you are!

It's amazing America survives at all.


verner

I have to add this little paragraph from Stephen F. hayes, IMHO one of the best reporters out there. Unlike Priest, Pincus, Risen etc., who sit behind their desks filing their nails, and waiting for the phone to ring with the latest pre-packaged blockbuster from the CIA malcontent du jour, Hayes digs into the documents.

Weekly Standard May 22:

If there were any doubt that these leaks--and many others--were designed to undermine President Bush's reelection effort, those doubts were put to rest a short time later. "The fact that the agency was leaking isn't denied by some," according to a November 2005 account in the American Prospect. W. Patrick Lang, former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Middle East division, spoke openly about the effort in an interview with the magazine. "Of course they were leaking. They told me about it at the time. They thought it was funny. They'd say things like, 'This last thing that came out, surely people will pay attention to that. They won't reelect this man.'"

They thought it was funny. Great.

And Libby is the only one on trial. Go figure.

maryrose

Larwyn:
Glad you are on the mend.
TS:
Thanks for the update,now find some more scoops. You are counted on to be on the cutting edge of what's happening.
Syl;
Once again you are right on target.

Syl

Fitz: You were going 45mph and you knew or should have known what the speed limit is!

Chorus: What was the speed limit?

Fitz: I don't know and I don't care.

verner

"Fitz: You were going 45mph and you knew or should have known what the speed limit is!

Chorus: What was the speed limit?

Fitz: I don't know and I don't care."


Chorus: But what about the bleach blonde wearing the scarf and sunglasses who blew past us in the Jag convertible?

Fitz: Who? That's irrelevant.

Cecil Turner

Fitz: Who? That's irrelevant.

[snort] Nice one.

Lesley

Two to Testify Against Libby

Lesley

Two CIA Officials named: Grenier and Schmall

"But subsequent documents allege Libby asked top CIA official Robert Grenier on June 11 why the agency sent Wilson to Niger to see if Iraq tried to buy uranium. Grenier replied that Plame was an agent and "believed responsible" for arranging her husband's trip."

"The other official was Craig Schmall, a CIA briefer whom Libby complained to about the Wilson trip on June 14, court files allege."

boris

Two to Testify Against Libby ...

"Libby has said journalists told him about Plame - not Cheney"

A little oversimplified.

Patrick R. Sullivan

From the Daily News story linked to by Lesley:

'Libby has said journalists told him about Plame - not Cheney or the six witnesses named so far by prosecutors.'

Professionalism.

maryrose

So they testify against Libby. What does that prove? Wilson wasn't honest about who sent him. It's important when he claims that the VP sent him or authorized the trip for the administration that Wilson's falsehoods be corrected.

Lesley

Boris, I particularly enjoyed the following:

"The U.S. alleges he learned about Plame from one of the CIA officials when he went after dirt on her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson shattered a pillar of President Bush's rationale for war - that Iraq was seeking to build a nuclear weapon."

PeterUK

""But subsequent documents allege Libby asked top CIA official Robert Grenier on June 11 why the agency sent Wilson to Niger to see if Iraq tried to buy uranium. Grenier replied that Plame was an agent and "believed responsible" for arranging her husband's trip."

In which case it was Grenier who outed Plame,she was after all a "classified,Covert,supersecret,undercover analyst manager of Waste Material Disposal"

boris

So ... the CIA will admit that they told Libby that Val was believed responsible for arranging her husband's trip. Seems their claims have been all over the map on this point. Oh yeah but when it comes to charging Libby "We told him she done it!".

ooooookaaaaaaay

Then when the bosses decide to disclose the portions of the NIE and facts about Wilson's trip, would that be understood to include Valerie's role since the CIA put it on the table?

If they also said "but don't you dare say anthing about our secret spy chick!" Fitz would have included that rather than admitting not having official notification for Libby that she was classified.

So once again in addition to CIA's Harlow "outting Plame" there's now Grenier and Schmall too.

Barney Frank

".......Grenier replied that Plame was an agent and "believed responsible" for arranging her husband's trip."

Sounds like they're testifying against Wilson.

clarice

What, Harlow's chopped liver?


How long do you think the Daily News' crack DC correspondent spent in the press club bar researching that article? And was the bottle of bourbon on the paper's tab?

********
Strata reports on the OPR letter project:
"I am watching efforts by readers of Just One Minute to begin a complaint against Fitzgerald’s prosecutorial misconduct. We shall see if he is truly under DoJ control or not. There is no way for DoJ not to investigate Fitzgerald if they want to retain the charade he is not running open loop and, essentially, violating the constitution."http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1846


PeterUK

Wouls not the "outing" by fellow spooks indicate that Plame was not ccc etc.It could also be an indication that the CIA is staffed with blabbermouths.

verner

I hope you folks noticed this:

This year, as CIA Counterterrorist Center chief, Grenier oversaw the failed missile strike aimed at Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Shortly afterward, Grenier was demoted.

But Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, said Grenier lost his job over his "concerns about aggressive interrogations [of terrorist detainees] at secret sites."

Calling Dana Priest....

clarice

Funny, at a later date, before the SSCI, agency officials still couldn't get their story straight. Perhaps Libby can show that by subpoenaing Alan Foley who certainly took a counter position as he seems circumstantially to be so involved in the Mission, the 16 word kerfuffle and a lot of skullduggery. BTW, he hasn't responded to my email.

From the SSCI report:
"Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador[n.b.:humph], however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife "offered up his name" and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." This was just one day before CPD sent a cable DELETED requesting concurrence with CPD's idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports[n.b.:fastest action in CYA history if we are to believe this wasn't greased]. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there's this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq. "

clarice

Good catch, verner..Anything Cannistraro says is coming from the enemy..What a snake he has become.

Sue

SHUSTER: (on-camera) "The CIA leak grand jury is scheduled to meet again this Wednesday.

Someone really needs to slap Shuster around. There is no CIA leak grand jury. It expired in October.

verner

Hey Clarice,

Remember what Zel Miller wrote when all this first broke?

Think Scott Joplin music and Robert Redford.

clarice

To "Sting a King". Indeed, I do."Instead of you violating secrecy laws, it is your victim who is guilty because he tried to set the record straight. Heads, you win; tails, he loses.

It sounds unbelievable, a fiction, perhaps to be called "To Sting a King." But it is no fiction. This is the story behind Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson and the Bush administration. And it appears that Plame and Wilson will get away with the biggest sting operation ever.

No one seems to care that our intelligence agency has crippled our president. Certainly not the media. They are determined to make Wilson a hero. Recall the dozens of times the Washington Post and The New York Times carried his lies on the front page, above the fold. The conclusive story discrediting Wilson was buried 6 feet deep, back by the obituaries." http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:9XMNd2UW0hEJ:www.sweetness-light.com/archive/zell-tells-it/+Zell+Miller+%22sting%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4>Sting

Rick Ballard

"But Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, said Grenier lost his job over his "concerns about aggressive interrogations [of terrorist detainees] at secret sites."

Which he shared with MOM? Cool, that would tighten the noose a bit. Has the date of MOM's return to the CIA ever been established?

verner

"The conclusive story discrediting Wilson was buried 6 feet deep, back by the obituaries"

Which is why we have to continue dealing with the "Petes" of the world...and why the liberation of Iraq, by all historical measure a great military victory, is spun in the pages of an enemy press into a defeat.

There has never been anything like it in American History. I don't even think Benedict Arnold was as damaging or deceitful.

PeterUK

Rick,
MOM's CV in case you want to offer her a Job

clarice

Rick, IIRC early in 2004 is the date we've got for MOM's return and placement in the IG's office.

Jack Kelly in RCP today repeats what Mac has been saying "she's singing like a bird"..

I do so wish I'd hear back from Foley.

clarice

Hmm Wikipedia citing a Larry Johnson piece says she returned to the agency early in 2005..

verner

But Clarice, she wasn't in the IG's office at first. They stuck her in science and technology for a while, according to the WaPo.

verner

Besides, as Stevphen Hayes notes, the "Disgrunteled camp" had already set up their tents before MOM arrived. She just joined around the campfire.

I'm still trying to get over the "they laughed about it" part.

clarice

If she had been in any other office, compartmentalization I should think would have made it hard for people to give her"dirt" to leak..But telling someone in the IG's office is what you are SUPPOSED to do---it was a perfect set up.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame