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August 27, 2006

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Rick Ballard

I'm not sure why the WaPo liar's bureau should be given credence for anything but steering the public away from the truth wrt the One x Two x Six angle. I believe that looking at the timing of Sec. "Blabby" Powell's acquisition of the relevant information with a further look at his calendar might be worthwhile.

Armitage was gushing to reporters, not to secure his own reputation, but to protect the reputation of his boss. Why would we think that Powell wasn't doing his bit to polish his image? After all, it's the only thing he has.

Barney Frank

Yeah, topsecret, that passage doesn't bolster your case.

At least she has a case, unlike, oh let's see... Jeff for instance.

topsecretk9

--That certainly does raise questions about Fitzgerald's judgment.--

Well it does a bit, especially given that someone on Armitage's behalf called Novak to tell Novak, Armitage's "motivation"...which given the sequence appears to have happened before Novak met with Fitz.

boris

The 1x2x6 claim is not credible.

Where 2 = Libby Rove ...

Even if they passed on gossip or set the record straight, that's not revenge.

The whole enchilada is really a stand in for declassifying and disclosing the NIE thereby committing the real crime, "discrediting" noble whistleblower Joe Wilson. Discrediting Joe's lies using actual facts isn't "nasty" enough to sell in the MSM so substitute "when will they stop beating my wife?".

That means the 1x2x6 claim was most likely a comment from someone not in the know mistaking buzz actually from State for a kook admin conspiracy. JMH is credible about food chain position, a nobody given unwarranted credence by those afflicted with BDS.

Jeff

Oh, brother. Here's what topsecret said was in the presser:

He belived the only reason Libby said he heard from reporters was because he, Libby, leaked it to them so it would come back to him.

Nothing in the presser supports that idea. I said the actual reason Libby said he heard it from reporters, the prosecution is alleging, is because Libby knew it could get him into trouble if he sourced his knowledge back to classified information.

topsecret's was also in response to my comment that Fitzgerald did not hinge charges on the question of who the first leaker was, and obviously the proof of that is that Fitzgerald has not dropped the charges since learning that Armitage was, apparently, first with Woodward.

Now, it may be that Libby's defense will argue that Libby's story is rendered more plausible by the fact that a reporter did know about Plame before he ever leaked that information. Sure. Fitzgerald is evidently confident that he can show beyond a reasonable doubt that Libby was lying to the investigation even in light of that possibility. I'm not saying Libby's defense won't work. I'm just saying Fitzgerald did not hinge his case against Libby on uncovering who the first leaker was.

clarice

Jeff's denial of the clear and unambiguous meaning of Fitz' words at the presser is the capper for me. I will scroll past his posts in future even faster than I do know.

I have always thought that the DoS and CIA misled the investigators, but I would not let Comey's office off the hook either.

I used to think that the leak about the referral came from the CIA. Now, I'm not so sure. I'd also look there for some of the NSA leaks.I think there's a good reason why the NSA refused to give DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility security clearances .

topsecretk9

He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter.

boris

knew it could get him into trouble

How ??? Libby wasn't shopping the info to reporters in the first place. How does he get into trouble not doing what's being "investigated"?

If Libby was worried about "getting into trouble" (somewhat credible) that wasn't the reason. Noticing the big red bullseye painted on his back by Grossman is far more likely.

clarice

Knowing as he did that their were snakes throughout the Mandarinate out to get him, might have been another gut constricting point--plus the tone of the investigators' questioning. (I have reason to believe that brought to it the prejudices most of us have noticed in Fitz' approach.)

clarice

**THERE, not their** Sorry..

boris

just saying Fitzgerald did not hinge his case against Libby on uncovering who the first leaker was

Based on the presser, that's exactly what Fitz did.

just saying Fitzgerald did hinge his case that Libby lied on the determination that the first leaker was Libby himself
lurker

Thanks, Clarice! (P.S. Am aware of your email and will get back to you later).

As for pgl, her last comment "...And now Tom Maguire argues that Armitage had to know that Plame was a covert agent. As usual – Tom has made a charge without a shred of evidence."

Was Tom Mcguire arguing that Plame was a covert agent?

And was Tom Mcquire arguing that Armitage knew Plame was a covert agent?

I believe that the answer is no to both question.

I think the whole argument by this group of posters is that Plame was not a covert agent during those months.

So I don't understand her entire post, anyway.

"Fitz IS claiming than being first PROVES LIBBY LIED!"

So, if this is what Fitz is using to build his case against Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice, then he's lost the case. At least with me!

Byron York isn't altogether happy with this case either. Seems odd that he was quiet when the AP news came out but he's talkative this time. Wonder if he knew about this Corn / Isikoff book and waiting for this to be announced before he opened up his mouth?

Oh, well, just a speculation!

Barney Frank

Jeff,

Smart guys who see the ten spinning plates they're trying to keep up all start to wobble grab them before they fall and bow out gracefully.
Not so smart guys just keep adding more plates and don't think anyone notices all the broken china.

lurker

Thanks, Clarice! (P.S. Am aware of your email and will get back to you later).

As for pgl, her last comment "...And now Tom Maguire argues that Armitage had to know that Plame was a covert agent. As usual – Tom has made a charge without a shred of evidence."

Was Tom Mcguire arguing that Plame was a covert agent?

And was Tom Mcquire arguing that Armitage knew Plame was a covert agent?

I believe that the answer is no to both question.

I think the whole argument by this group of posters is that Plame was not a covert agent during those months.

So I don't understand her entire post, anyway.

"Fitz IS claiming than being first PROVES LIBBY LIED!"

So, if this is what Fitz is using to build his case against Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice, then he's lost the case. At least with me!

Byron York isn't altogether happy with this case either. Seems odd that he was quiet when the AP news came out but he's talkative this time. Wonder if he knew about this Corn / Isikoff book and waiting for this to be announced before he opened up his mouth?

Oh, well, just a speculation!

lurker

"I used to think that the leak about the referral came from the CIA. Now, I'm not so sure. I'd also look there for some of the NSA leaks.I think there's a good reason why the NSA refused to give DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility security clearances."

Remember how the dems howled so much about this Plame story back in 2003? Remember how the dems DEMANDED a special prosecutor and Ashcroft recusing himself? And anyone take notice of how QUIET these same dems have been of late about this story? Think these dems are RUNNING the opposite and as far away as they can from this story.

lurker

AJStrata agreed with James Lewis except for one thing: Fitz needs to be removed and investigated himself.

Well, Fitz needs to remove himself / fold up, call off the case against Libby Lewis entirely.

Am I gonna buy Isikoff / Corn book? Nope.

Bob

I applaud you all for an extraordinary effort in trying to penetrate the inner most cavity of Jeff's thick skull.

jeff you must get better drugs... looks like all the other http://http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364x1996711>moonbats have moved on. Rove has got them all worked up again!

Jane

Funny we have heard no reaction to the Corn - Newsweek piece from the Wilson's or their, ahem, esteemed council. Does this mean Joeyboy doesn't want Armitage frog-marched from the cave he currently lives in?

(If you don't turn on the natural gas in your NY city apartment, won't the pipes freeze?)

Ranger

Jeff,

Fitz's claim to have identified Libby as the first leaker and his use of that to justify his charges against him [Libby] is exactly why Woodward told his source he had to come forward after waiting so long to go to the SP.

If it wasn't relevent to the case, why would Woodward feel such a need to set the record right about the time line? Woodward knew that what he had to say would sink the prosecution (at least as presented at the presser).

As to why Fitz hasn't dropped the case yet, I would say it is out of a sense of need. If he droppes the case without getting himself out of the box he has created, then his career is over. If, on the other hand the case goes to trial and Libby is found not guilty, then he can say he tried without admitting how he F'ed up the job by never bothering to ask UGO what other reporters he talked to and when.

His only other option is to drop the Libby case at the same time he hands down a new indictment for obstruction against who ever put him on the wrong trail (which allows him to explain how he managed to wrongfully charge Libby in the first place).

Rick Ballard

Boris,

Accepting JMH's premise, is there any reason that you would eliminate '2 = Armitage/Powell'? I think she is probably right about the status of the 'anonymous source' but prior to the media planned Joefest of July 6th, State seems to have been much more actively involved in preparing for rebuttal than the WH. Armitage/Powell may have taken a much more serious few of the Kristof/Pincus fluff than did the WH throughout this farce. The WH has assigned a true value number to the NYT and WaPo since inauguration and it isn't a very high number. Powell, OTOH, actually seems to care about what the MSM has to say.

topsecretk9

--His only other option is to drop the Libby case at the same time he hands down a new indictment for obstruction against who ever put him on the wrong trail (which allows him to explain how he managed to wrongfully charge Libby in the first place).--

Marc Grossman.

vnjagvet

What is clearer today that was not clear the last time this case hit the news?

1. That Armitage in fact was the first "leaker";

2. That Armitage's "leak" was of either of the genus "leakus inadvertansus" or "leakus gossipus transitatus" but not of the genus "leakus destructivus opponantatus";

3. That it is likely that the facts disclosed in the Armitage Leak were the same facts disclosed in the Novack article, to wit: that Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson's wife, worked for the CIA and had a part to play in his trip to the Dark Continent;

4. That Scooter, Karl, and others in the White House Staff may well have found out that information in the same way that Armitage found it out;

5. That neither Scooter nor Karl nor others in the White House Staff purveyed the information in Novack's article with the criminal intent asserted by many of the Democratic persuasion;

6 That the White House was not involved in a cover up of any kind.

As the months inch towards Libby's trial, those 6 facts will become clearer, and Fitzgerald' case will, therefore, dissolve before his very eyes, because they undermine the essence and logic of his indictment.

Jeff, please tell me, were am I wrong on this analysis?

Tom Maguire

I'm still briskly straddling the 1x2x6 question:

I suspect the source was a politically-motivated liar, and probably friends with the other famous liar in this charade: Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Arguably supporting that is the Feb 10 2004 NY Times story telling us that the prosecutors were focuing on 1x2x6;

At first, the investigation seemed narrowly focused on trying to identify who at the White House provided the information about Ms. Plame to Mr. Novak. But more recently, prosecutors have focused on a Sept. 28, 2003, article in The Washington Post, which said the newspaper had been told that "yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife."

Prosecutors, referring to the story as "one by two by six," **have sought to learn the identity of the senior administration official** or the two top White House officials, believing that whoever provided the information to the Post knew who spoke with Mr. Novak.

A seemingly easy question - why was "1" hard to find? Surely this earnest public servant would have told the FBI all, protected by the secrecy rules governing grand juries and investigations.

Now, maybe they weren't asking earlier, or maybe they had asked the wrong people. But it does seem that someone was awfully hot to call the WaPo but less eager to call the Feds.

As to the status of "1" - I am virtually certain that the WaPo downgraded the source from "senior" a few days (or a week) into the story, and changed the revenge story. The last time I tried to verify that, however, WaPo re-archiving had killed all the links.

Bah. I even recall (perhaps incorectly) that Josh Marshall commented on the downgrade.

clarice

vnjagvet..I always wondered how Libby could have obstructed an investigation which was so one-sided as to be risible in the first place. I wonder how Fitz can sustain an obstruction case when it turns out (a) he never asked Armitage about other reporters he spoke to or (b) he did, Armitage lied was never charged.

Tom Maguire

Here are two from the TPM archives.

In the earlier, Marshall speculates about "1", and is open to the possibility thet "senior Admin official" is meant to disguise a WH person.

In the next, we see this:

The Washington Post continues to own Wilsongate, though Monday's article by Mike Allen has smaller morsels rather than another one of Sunday's bombshells. Let me try to quickly note the ones that jumped out at me.

1. The descriptions of sources is now vaguer. Top White House officials have become White House officials. *Senior administration officials* are now administration officials. There are several possible explanations for the change.

However, his links have gone sour as well.

maryrose

Vinjaqvet:
You are completely correct in your analysis.

vnjagvet

I agree, Clarice. I think the materiality element of the charged offenses becomes more and more problematic for the prosecution by the day.

This last revelation makes it more obvious.

Jeff

Tom

It's not clear whether it's a downgrade or just a more vague description, but on October 12, 2003 the second story with 1x2x6 appeared in the Post, and described the source just as an administration official, not an SAO. There's no backing off the revenge story from the source, as best as I can see. In fact, the source appears to reiterate the idea, saying

"It was unsolicited," the source said. "They were pushing back. They used everything they had."

It does cite an administration source, who could be but probably isn't the same one, at the end of the story saying

An administration source said, "One of the greatest mysteries in all this is what was really the rationale for doing it and doing it this way."

So the Post raises a question about the motive. But 1x2x6 appears to stick with it.

Jeff

For those of you pushing the idea that State was 1x2x6 - and maybe even Armitage! - here's a helpful quote from an old Murray Waas article:

"If they find 'one by two by six,' then just maybe… they have also found their guy," said one attorney familiar with the criminal investigation.

Sara (Squiggler)

Mark Levin:

A Sham of an Investigation 08/28 11:21 AM The more I think about this Fitzgerald investigation, the more astonished I become. Richard Armitage was Bob Novak's "source" — i.e., he identified Valerie Plame — which, incidentally, is clearly not a crime and Armitage has not been charged with any offense. And prosecutors knew Armitage was the "source" almost immediately after beginning their investigation because Armitage confessed. Indeed, when he thought he may have done something wrong, he appears to have cried on many shoulders. Armitage told his boss, Colin Powell, that he was the source, as well as other State Department and Justice Department officials. He told the Special Counsel's people. And not one of them — Armitage, Powell, Patrick Fitzgerald, et al. — had the guts or integrity to tell the public that the original source was Armitage. Why were they protecting him from public scrutiny? By their silence, Armitage and Powell allowed two innocent men, Lewis Libby and Karl Rove, to be smeared as speculation about them being Novak's original source ran rampant. Liberal commentators and politicians had a blast. The truth be damned.

I also believe two things are very apparent. First, the media like Armitage and Powell. They've been great anti-Bush sources over the years. They run in the same social circles in Washington. So, many in the media protected Armitage and Powell. Not until later, when Bob Woodward had to come forward and admit that Armitage had also fingered Plame to him, did it become more difficult for the media to continue to cover-up for their favorite Bush administration officials.

Second, Fitzgerald's investigation is a sham. That's right, a sham. He knew several things early on: 1. Armitage was the original source; 2. disclosing Plame's identity was not a crime; and 3. the investigation was launched due to political pressure from Capitol Hill, especially Chuck Schumer (who was working with Joe Wilson, and who is also the head of the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee). Rather than put an end to this, Fitzgerald appears to have enjoyed the spotlight and adulation from the president's opponents, pursuing "the case" as if he were chasing mobsters or terrorists. He sought and received from his long-time friend, James Comey, extraordinary authority which Fitzgerald used to put pressure on reporters and news organizations as he widened his investigation in pursuit of anyone who might have revealed Plame's name. But to what end? That's not a crime in itself. To catch officials in memory lapses or — to be charitable to prosecutors — false statements or perjury? You don't conduct investigations to catch people in lies. You conduct investigations to uncover or expose crimes and punish those who are responsible. Meanwhile, the president's top advisor sat in the dock, waiting for word whether he'd be indicted, during a good portion of the administration. Only a few months ago did Fitzgerald finally inform Rove that he was in the clear.

The fact is that there was never an underlying crime, period. Yet, as I wrote at the time, many of Fitzgerald's comments at his press conference, at which he announced the Libby indictment, were wildly deceiving. The indictment had nothing to do with any underlying crime. This entire enterprise is disgraceful, from beginning to end.

owl

Good analysis vnjaqvet.

The group that coordinated this remains CIA(Val & Joe)/MSM/DNC. Not one of these could have been successful without the other. Where I differ from several on this site...I give shy gal Val more importance than Joe as a ringleader. She was key and present at each point on the trail.

Fitz could even be given a pass as being mislead by the above group as related to him by the FBI, except for two things. There is no way to explain putting Miller (who had not written a word) in jail unless he hooked it to Libby. I believe Miller was Fitz's personal target and he saw a way to get to her through Libby.

There is no way to explain Fitz's presser or conduct in perjury traps, when you look at what he knew and what he said.

arrowhead

As I recall, Rumsfeld once stated that he would never have Armitage work for him. Looks like his opinion of Armitage was right on point.

Tom Maguire

The donwgrade from "senior" had ocurred by Sept 30:

In addition to Novak's column, an administration official told The Washington Post on Saturday that two White House officials leaked the information to several journalists in an effort to discredit Wilson.

And we might note that "discredit" is not nearly as inflammatory as "revenge".

As to the Oct 12 story - "pushing back" as a motive is a far cry from the first story:

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

Here is the Oct 12 passage with a bit more context:

That same week, two top White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to least six Washington journalists, an administration official told The Post for an article published Sept. 28. The source elaborated on the conversations last week, saying that officials brought up Plame as part of their broader case against Wilson.

"It was unsolicited," the source said. "They were pushing back. They used everything they had."

If the WaPo or the source had wanted to stand by "revenge", that would have been a great time to do so; one might argue (I think I will!) that when the WaPo writes "the source elaborated on the conversations" what they mean is either, (a) the source forced us to put our original, juicy "revenge" quote into context, or (b) we are simply correcting our bum story.

Hmm - by Sept 30, the official had been downgraded and the motive was to "discredit" Wilson, and they stuck with that for Oct 12.

That could work with someone like Card screaming that he had been quoted out of context, or it could work with horribly sloppy reporting.

Well - Grossman fits in terms of motive, but how would he know that six reporters had been contacted? Of course, if he is making stuff up, who cares?

cathyf

Is this timeline possible?

1) Armitage forgot about Woodward, but remembered Novak.

2) Armitage volunteers about Novak to the FBI. They ask him about other reporters and he replies "No." This is not a lie, because Armitage really doesn't remember about telling Woodward.

3) Months later, Woodward calls Armitage and asks to be released from his confidentiality agreement. Armitage refuses. (And thinks to himself that everybody knows that the whole thing is bogus, and like every other DC leak investigation the reporters will all stonewall, and the investigation will hit a brick wall and fizzle out, and there were probably a bunch of other people at state and cia and the white house who told all sorts of reporters, and him telling Woodward was no big deal.)

So if at the time the FBI asked Armitage was truthful, and the FBI never came round again, and Fitzgerald never subpeonaed him for the grand jury, is he in any legal jeopardy? What sort of obligation does somebody have to go back to the authorities if they remember something later that they had forgotten at the time of the initial interview? Does it matter if it's FBI interviews vs. grand jury testimony? Theoretically, the whole investigation phase is secret, so how could the hypothetical Joe Schmoe in the hypothetical investigation know that something he knows is material and should be volunteered? Isn't that why the burden should be on the investigators?

cathy :-)

Jeff

That could work with someone like Card screaming that he had been quoted out of context, or it could work with horribly sloppy reporting.

Good point, especially since they also silently back off the specific claim that the two White House officials called the six reporters, simply saying that the two disclosed Plame's identity. I suppose I should embrace the idea that the October 12 story backed off the revenge idea somewhat, since that jibes more with the source being in the White House anyway.

As for Grossman, yeah, the idea that he was 1x2x6 fits much more with the idea that the story is completely made up, and less well with backing off the inflammatory version.

clarice

The very notion that one could track down the source of such a well spread rumor in DC is laughable. The conceit that the Plame/Wilsons kept Valerie's job under wraps preposterous to anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention to Ambassador Munchausen. The idea that by restricting reporter inquiries only to conversations with Rove and Libby one could find the first to leak was a grand delusion.

I do not agree with the notion that the investigation should be reopened, that others should be charged, etc. Once something like this has gotten off to such a ridiculous start, has involved so much time and money and received so much (often mendacious) coverage, it cannot be repaired.
The case should be dropped. The Special Prosecution appointment should be withdrawn.
The OPR should be called in to see what happened, Libby should be repaid his expenses, and Armitage should crawl on his hands and knees to Libby's home to beg his forgiveness.

And the next person who calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor should be blindfolded and shot without trial.

Jeff

cathyf - That timeline is perfectly possible, but it is my understanding that a grand jury witness has an obligation to modify any false testimony - and gets in trouble for it if s/he modifies it only because s/he believes the falsity is about to be revealed anyway.

Sue

I believe Miller was Fitz's personal target and he saw a way to get to her through Libby.

Me. Too.

maryrose

Owl:
I concur with your belief that little miss Valerie is in this up to her eyeballs and knows who to contact and how to push her agenda. Her Big mouth husband is the perfect vehicle to get this biased untrue story out. She didn't want to come under fire for sending Joe on a boondoggle mission because they probably would have sent her on another leave of absence. Two selfish people hurting others with impunity to further their own self-interest. Despicable behavior.

windansea

I wonder if ol Fitzy was seeking revenge on Judy for her role in leaking info on that terrorism case he worked on.

maryrose

Jeff:
You are searching in vain for that top WH official. Card is not involved in this much as you would like him to be. Look closer at your friends the Plames-that is where this all originated.

maryrose

Windansea:
You are correct.

topsecretk9

1x2x6....Sept. 28 ....also Wilson is source for this article, I believe, snugged right in there with "revenge person"....I have another hunch, as soon as I'm done delivering sandwiches to the boys out front building their quarter pipe.

Ranger

Cathy,

Your timeline might be reasonable, but I would say less believable then Libby's.

First, it is not incumbent on anyone to volunteer information to the FBI, especially if they are a potential target of the investigation (which Armitage clearly was at that point). Armitage is liked by the press because he talkes to everybody and is very chatty. If he told Novak, odds are he also told several other reporters, not just Woodward. What makes Woodward's place in the story so important is when he talked to him (13 June, several weeks before he talked to Novak) and that Woodward passed the information along to Pincus almost imidiately, thus invalidating the idea that Libby was the first to tell a reporter when he talked to Miller about it on June 28th.

My guess is that Armitage told several reporters, but he was under no obligation to tell the FBI that unless they asked. Either the FBI didn't ask, or they asked in a way that Armitage could say no (ie, they asked about specific reporters such as Cooper, who Armitage never talked to).

If the FBI never asked "what other reporters did you discuss "Wilson's Wife" with and when" or if they asked about specific reporters but never the ones that Armitage had talked to, then he is in the clear legally. Morally, he is a PoS in my book for not coming forward voluntarally, especially after the Libby indictment presser, when it was clear that Fitz had the timeline all wrong, and Armitage can't say he'd forgotten at that point because Woodward had been pestering him for over a year to come clean and only got him to do so by putting himself on the line by deliberately talking on TV to get himself called into the SP's office, thus forcing UGO to come forward.

My guess is that Armitage told Woodward,
Andrea Mitchel, Novak, and probably Judy Miller (since he seems to be the only one that has refused to grant waivers to reporters, thus explaining Miller's reluctance to answer questions until the scope of questioning was limited to Libby, from whom she already had a waiver).

JM Hanes

cathyf:

I believe Woodward said he queried his source about coming forward more than once, but said source didn't agree till after the Libby indictment was handed down.

cathyf
...but it is my understanding that a grand jury witness has an obligation to modify any false testimony...
Did Armitage testify before any grand juries? And if he didn't, then does he have the same sort of obligation to modify false and/or incomplete information given to FBI interviewers?

I can just imagine how insane the FBI would go if every witness they ever talked to called in multiple times to "correct" every irrelevant triviality. ("When you talked to me before I said that right before the bank robber ran by I was trying to decide whether to order the hamburger or the chicken, but I just remembered that I had already decided on the burger and was actually deciding between fries and onion rings when the crook ran by.")

cathy :-)

Jeff

Tom

if (I say *IF*) the "Plame" name came to Novak via Armitage and Grenier

The question of her name is interesting because it is not random, since Miller got a close variation on it too. And your speculation that it was Armitage would tie things together nicely. But just to be clear, it would require that Novak be lying when he says none of his sources used her name with him; and it would probably require that Novak somehow know that Armitage would be testifying that he didn't give Novak the name. Or some variation thereof: maybe Novak is lying in public, but told the truth in testimony. It is possible that when Armitage's friend coached Novak's testimony, he told Novak not only that Armitage's revelation was inadvertent but that, to Armitage's recollection, Armitage had not used Plame's name with Novak. But would Novak go to bat for Armitage and tell a completely implausible, false story that he got it from Who's Who?

Speaking of which, just when did Novak, according to his version, get the name from Who's Who. Because the window between the time Novak talked to Armitage and the time Novak used Valerie's name with Wilson's friend on the street is rather small: it happened on the same day, not leaving a lot of time for Novak to go look up who Wilson was married to. The other alternative is that Novak looked up Wilson in Who's Who beforehand, just to collect info on Wilson, and remembered her name from there on, so he had a grasp on her name when Armitage mentioned "Wilson's wife."

noah

For the non-Plameaholics here, Taranto has a succinct summary of the implications of the Corn/Isikoff revelations @Best of the Web Today.

jerry and Jeff your assignment is to explain why anyone should care any longer. (Cue Mission Impossible theme.)

cathyf

I just had a lightbulb moment that probably everybody else has already figured out by now.

UGO never testified before the grand jury.

Un. F***ing. Real.

cathy :-)

JM Hanes

I'd like to throw Turkey back into the mix, because I suspect it's more than just the nexus of the Grossman/Plame/Wilson connection. In a previous post I mentioned that "somebody(?) controversial" once called State "the most corrupt Dept. of all." That someone was Sibel Edmonds. Scroll down to "State Department the Source of All Evil?" The three sections which follow caught me eye, as did the link which took me to Deliso's Lesser Neocons of L'Affaire Plame. While caveats as to sources certainly apply, Deliso's sections on Marc Grossman are worth pondering as is the Edmonds advice he quotes: "don't overlook him -- he is very important." Grossman spent a lot of time in Turkey:

Following a three-year stint in the private office of NATO Secretary General Lord Carrington in Brussels, Grossman went on to become deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Turkey from 1989-1992. Two years later, he was appointed ambassador, representing U.S. political, commercial, and military interests in Turkey until June 1997. In this position, he would have been well informed of everything in these realms, and worked with leading lobbyists from both America and Turkey, as well as the firms they represented. A comprehensive study shows the staggering scope of American military aid to Turkey during the period in question. This largesse depended and continues to depend on the good offices of influential governmental and near-governmental officials and businessmen.

Grossman's stint in Pakistan is of interest too, but in terms of Iraq-related butt covering, I don't think anyone has paid nearly enough attention to the disaster that Turkey's last minute reversal represented. It's been vaguely attributed to contemporaneous political upheaval & "new" Turkish governmental inexperience. In fact, it was a major, crippling, State Dept. fiasco and the loss of a second front contributed directly to the persistent insurgency which has plagued our operations in Iraq. Yet in the great push for "accountability," the folks at State have pretty well managed to avoid the spotlight, haven't they?

I wish I knew enough to connect the dots I'm promoting. What strikes me is the idea of Turkey, and the State Dept. itself, as a nexus of corruption (ironically -- and perhaps significantly -- in terms of military procurements). We tend to focus on Joe Wilson's African adventures, but I'm convinced there's more to the Turkish angle out there. Assuming he was ultimately positioning himself to beome French Ambassador, I wonder if he saw himself playing the unusual on-again-off-again relationship between France & Turkey to some advantage -- the potential benefits of French African ties may only seem more obvious.

Now I don't believe that Powell sabotaged anything, I think he unfortunately prefered his office phone to working the field. Who are the other players at State here, really? We know Wilson claims to have called in with his assessment on Niger(?) before going to the press -- to no avail, which can't have pleased a guy with diplomatic ambitions. Was that the sum & substance of calls? Who was giving him the brush-off before the Armitage leak, or was the leak part of the brush-off? What to make of the fact, as yet unexplored (unconfirmed?) that Plame was supposedly "transitioning" to State -- and do we have any clue what that even means? The idea that it was the State Dept. which pulled the rug out from under the Edmonds suit on the basis of State Secrets is certainly a tantalizing factoid if true.

topsecretk9

Not only of many months, at least a year of prodding...when confronted with Woodward indicating to Armitage that Fitz said libby was the first...Armitgae responded

"I have to tell the truth"

As in, for a long while, he hadn't been.

cathyf

Noah's right - go read Taranto. This line made me laugh out loud!

The only winner in this whole deal is Joe Wilson's ego--and think of the toll it's taken on his poor little superego.

Ranger

Ok, this one really takes the cake for me:

-In October 2003 Armitage confessed to his boss, Colin Powell, that he was the "leaker." The State Department decided to withhold this information from the White House, because "Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source--possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy."

So, in other words, the State Department crowd that had been waging a relentless was against the Iraq policy by selectivly leaking to the press, decided not to inform the president about an issue of significant political importance at the time because they feared that the same tactics they had been using agianst the White House would be used against them (to set the record right by the way and lay blame where it belonged).

No wonder Powell was replaced. If the president even got a whiff of that decision Powell should have been fired in a heartbeat for disloyalty to the president.

If Powell were a serious leader he should have called a press conference and publicly announced what he knew and fired Armitage for not coming forward sooner and letting the whole situation get out of control in the first place.

Rick Ballard

Ranger,

Why set aside the possibility that Powell was doing precisely what Armitage was doing? Powell is known to jabber at length with journo jerks and he was definitely in possession of the same info as Armitage.

Bush promised to get rid of people over this. The speed and enthusiasm with he booted Powell after the election may be evidence that, once again, he meant what he said.

Some have questioned why Fitzpatrick gave Armitage a get out of jail free card - perhaps it's because once Armitage started into the net room would have to be made for Powell.

Bob

OT http://www.9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=5647dd32-0abe-421a-01cb-49517318e6a4&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf>Karr's DNA not a match, charges won't be filed

Samples of Karr's saliva and hair were taken in Boulder after his arrival on Thursday. Those samples were tested over the weekend inside the Denver Police Department's Crime lab.
Sue

The other alternative is that Novak looked up Wilson in Who's Who beforehand

That would be my guess. He wanted to know why they sent Joe Wilson. That was why he was asking the questions. He had probably already researched him, after the July 6 op-ed.

clarice

Help, a reader of JOM questioned my remark that Fitz' selective questioning of reporters to those who had spoken to Rove and Libby skewed the outcome of the investigation. I wrote about this so long ago I can't find the article, but I recall he didn't interview many of the reporters once they said they had not spoken to Libby or Rove and entered into agreements with others only to disclose those conversations.

Can anyone help me out here?

clarice

Help, a reader of JOM questioned my remark that Fitz' selective questioning of reporters to those who had spoken to Rove and Libby skewed the outcome of the investigation. I wrote about this so long ago I can't find the article, but I recall he didn't interview many of the reporters once they said they had not spoken to Libby or Rove and entered into agreements with others only to disclose those conversations.

Can anyone help me out here?

topsecretk9

Now look at this...it appears that it even took prodding by Woodward to even go to Fitz...hence succumbing to the notion he

"..had to tell the truth"

WOODWARD: An excellent question. The week of the indictment I was working on something and learned another piece of this puzzle and I told Len Downie about it and I told him about the source and what had been disclosed to me and there was a sense before the indictment, well, this is kind of interesting but it's not clear what it means.

Then, the day of the indictment I read the charges against Libby and looked at the press conference by the special counsel and he said the first disclosure of all of this was on June 23rd, 2003 by Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff to "New York Times" reporter Judy Miller.

I went, whoa, because I knew I had learned about this in mid- June, a week, ten days before, so then I say something is up. There's a piece that the special counsel does not have in all of this.

I then went into incredibly aggressive reporting mode and called the source the beginning of the next week and said "Do you realize when we talked about this and exactly what was said?"

And the source in this case at this moment, it's a very interesting moment in all of this, said "I have to go to the prosecutor. I have to go to the prosecutor. I have to tell the truth."

And so, I realized I was going to be dragged into this that I was the catalyst and then I asked the source "If you go to the prosecutor am I released to testify" and the source told me yes. So it is the reporting process that set all this in motion.

KING: Did you also ask -- I'm sorry. I don't mean to interrupt. Did you ask the source...

WOODWARD: No.

KING: ...then in view of that why can't I announce your name to the public?

WOODWARD: I did later in the week and the source said no...

...WOODWARD: Yes, exactly and this is where reporting, just like this prosecutor here every bit of information I have he's trying to find out what happened. A reporter, it's not always a straight line from A to B to C and I did jump and I thought what is the significance of this? What is my obligation to get information out to the public?

And that's why I went to my source. And also in that press conference Patrick Fitzgerald said something that really kind of struck me. He said that truth is the engine of the judicial system. And when I testified to him under oath this came up and I said "I like to think that in my business journalism that truth is also one of the engines. At least it's what we aspire to."

And so there is this moment when I realized I have a piece of something. I truly don't know what it means but then I go in a mode where actually some people said, you know, why did you do this? Why not stay out of it? Why get involved?

And all of the juices, my wife Elsa told me this is you could almost just almost hear it the reporting news juices running. And so, I started talking to people and I talked to the source and that process now led us, you know, what a couple of weeks later we know a lot more about this case. And that's what we do in journalism. We try to get more out and this has happened in this case....

...KING: Do you have concerns about why this source doesn't want he or her to be known for us to know him or her? Wouldn't that concern you?

WOODWARD: Sure, always....

...KING: Doesn't it appear a little that way though when your other source won't let it be public who he or she is? That sounds conspiratorial.

WOODWARD: It may be but I pressed that source as much as you can and I'm not going to...

...WOODWARD: And then as he has said, as Len has said, we would have worked. And, you know, it's a matter of record, and it's a matter of my sworn testimony.

I made efforts to get the source, this year, earlier, and last year, to give me some information about this so I could put something in the newspaper or a book. So, I could get information out, and totally failed...

Jeff

but I recall he didn't interview many of the reporters once they said they had not spoken to Libby or Rove and entered into agreements with others only to disclose those conversations.

The reporters we know have been questioned: Novak, Miller, Russert, Woodward, Pincus, Kessler, Cooper. We do not know of a single reporter who was not interviewed after they said they had not spoken to Libby or Rove. Fitzgerald entered into various agreements with the reporters to limit the questioning and testimony. Russert, for instance, only had to testify as to what he said to Libby. Pincus did not have to give the name of his source. He was questioned about his source - who is not Libby and appears not to be Rove (though it's possible) - and about Libby. Whatever agreement was made, Woodward was asked about Armitage and about whether he told any other government officials about Plame. Whatever agreement was made, Miller was asked about her other sources besides Libby for Plame information; she testified that she could not remember who they were or when she talked with them, though she affirmed that she had other Plame sources. Cooper has said that the grand jury knows everything that he has on sources about Plame, including Rove and Libby and perhaps another source. Novak was questioned about Armitage, Rove and Harlow.

Sue

Something occurred to me this weekend while I was looking at old articles about the Plame leak. I decided to look back, pre-disclosure, for some mention of her name on the internet. You know, Valerie Plame, associate at Brewster-Jennings. Valerie Plame, analyst extraordinaire. Valerie Plame, anything. She either didn't use her name while undercover or she has done a very good job of erasing all traces of her private sector work.

MayBee

Is it worth noting that Card is not on Libby's defense witness list, but Grossman is?

If Card were the phony 1x2x6, wouldn't they be interested in talking to him? Yet so far, they haven't named him or (I believe) tried to get discovery about him.

Tom Maguire

Re: Fitz' selective questioning of reporters to those who had spoken to Rove and Libby skewed the outcome of the investigation.

Well - since Fitzgerald was trying to conform to DoJ guidelines, he didn't just haul reporters in. E.g., I think the consensus is that Nick Kristof and Andrea Mitchell were never put in front of a grand jury (Mitchell once said she had spoken to investigators, then backpedaled, IIRC).

As to the reporters he did speak to, he negotiated fairly restricted agreements - with Russert, Russert was asked to describe what he siad to his source, but not what his source said to him (and Russert did not have to identify the source, IIRC; nor did Pincus or Kessler).

On the question of re-opening the investigation - a big problem is that folks are on the record now, and a lot of the record is public. If Armitage *had* leaked to Russert, for example, Armitage can be pretty confident that Russert won't be giving that up at this late date.

BTW - since Andrea Mitchell covers the State Dept, what are the odds that Armitage *didn't* leak to her?

Oh, per Corn Armitage did talk to the grand jury:

Carl Ford Jr., who was head of the State Department's intelligence branch at the time, told us--on the record--that after Armitage testified before the grand jury investigating the leak case, he told Ford, "I'm afraid I may be the guy that caused the whole thing."

Newsweek omits the "after he spoke to the grand jury" detail.

clarice

Thanks, TM and TS for your help. And then there was the good leak/bad leak ...TS reminded me by email of a Feb 2006 article I wrote remarking on the selective calling of reporters and the agreements as a sure fire way to skew the results of the investigation.

larwyn

Darn dial up and full comment thread

Isokoff on MSNBC NOW
Nora filling in for Chrissy

MayBee

Jeff- Do we know that Novak used Plames name when talking to friendy on the street? I didn't think we knew that.

I said the actual reason Libby said he heard it from reporters, the prosecution is alleging, is because Libby knew it could get him into trouble if he sourced his knowledge back to classified information.

The Armitage news is sourcing Armitage's knowledge back to classified information, no?

Waas's quote makes no sense because they already had their guy. The reporters at the time were all following what investigators might have been doing to figure out Novak's source. We all know now they already knew Novak's source.

TM- One more change in the 1x2x6 reporting is that the first story said, " White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and *revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife*"

The specifics of what they revealed also got downgraded with time.

Cecil Turner

Well - Grossman fits in terms of motive, but how would he know that six reporters had been contacted? Of course, if he is making stuff up, who cares?

Were six reporters contacted? Not by my count. Which makes "making stuff up" look pretty good.

But would Novak go to bat for Armitage and tell a completely implausible, false story that he got it from Who's Who?

Why is that implausible? (Perhaps because Google was so much easier?) Seriously, if you wanted her name, knowing his, it was the work of a few seconds to get it. And any search on Wilson's background would turn up "Plame" in short order.

Because the window between the time Novak talked to Armitage and the time Novak used Valerie's name with Wilson's friend on the street is rather small:

Do you have a reference, other than Wilson, for the mysterious friend meeting? Because it reads like a fish story to me.

MayBee

Clarice--

Found this at http://talkleft.com/new_archives/012616.html>TalkLeft:

Miller lawyer Floyd Abrams confirms Libby's reaching out was a factor in Miller's change-of-mind, but also reiterates that a major component of her decision was Fitzgerald's agreement to limit questioning to Libby.

Mr. Abrams said another important factor in Ms. Miller's agreement to testify was Mr. Fitzgerald's willingness to respect the confidentiality of the reporter's other sources. "He agreed to focus his questioning on Libby," Mr. Abrams said. "The real protection we were getting was other sources with whom she spoke at about the same time, though not on this particular matter."

Abrams previously told Adam Liptak of the New York Times,

The second factor in Ms. Miller's decision to go before the grand jury was a change in the position of the special prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, concerning the scope of the questions she would be asked, according to Mr. Abrams. Mr. Fitzgerald only recently agreed to confine his questions to Ms. Miller's conversations with Mr. Libby concerning the identification of Ms. Wilson, Mr. Abrams said.

Abrams also told Liptak that the notes she turned over "were redacted to omit everything but the notes taken concerning discussions with Libby about Plame."

Sue

"The real protection we were getting was other sources with whom she spoke at about the same time, though not on this particular matter."

I've always thought he was trying to backdoor his way into who leaked the information on the Holy Foundation to her.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...a senior White House official was quoted as telling The Post at least six reporters had been told of Plame before Novak's column, "purely and simply out of revenge."'

It's hard to find anyone other than Grossman who would have said the last six words above. Because, 1. it isn't true according to every reporter who's admitted having been told.

2. it's the theory Joe Wilson created up out of whole cloth. Who else but old buddy Grossman would promote that whopper?

clarice

Thanks, MayBee.

Now, see this has been my thinking: If you were concerned about a single event--say the approval of a financial transaction or the witnessing of a murder, such a limitation might make sense, but if like Fitz claims, he was seeking the first to tell, such a limitation was preposterous and could only lead to a foregone conclusion. No one has ever tried to get at reporters this way so the issue never arose before, prior DoJ efforts having been limited to specific events to which the reporter was a party or witness.

larwyn

Tony Blankley now on MSNBC finds
it "absolutely stunning" that
Powell did not call GW with a heads up when 3 weeks after Powell knew it was Armitage, GW was "still out there thrashing around saying he had no idea who
did this".

The SOB!

Kate

One good thing about this revelation-it should make it easier for a presidential pardon for Libby. Don't see how anyone could get too outraged about it. Oh, I forgot about the attitude of the left in this country, they are in a constant state of anger. Let's limit it to the average folks out there won't be bothered by a pardon.

Clarice

The key admission was in Fitz' affidavit in the Miller case:

“One key factor in deciding whether to issue a subpoena has been whether the ‘source’ to be identified appears to have leaked to discredit the early source (Wilson) as opposed to a leak who revealed information as a whistleblower’....The First Amendment interests are clearly different when the ‘source’ being sought may have committed a crime in order to attack a person such as Wilson who, correctly or incorrectly, sought to expose what he perceived as misconduct by the White House.”

topsecretk9

Pat...Yep, and especially when you read it with Wilson's little "fair game" sourcing.

Which BTW is where I think they get the so-called 3rd reporter (Matthews) when referring to Rove.


--I've always thought he was trying to backdoor his way into who leaked the information on the Holy Foundation to her.--

Who did she credit her sources for that story?

clarice

Pat, who else? Ironically, it was Corn who first said that though in his June EPIC presentation Wilson warned that he might become a victim in revenge for being a whistleblower.

ts, Fitz is still javerting Judy on that one and just got a Ct ruling giving him access to her phone records.

Patton

Can't wait to see Bush un-leashed when the November elections are over. The lamestream media know he won't be beholding to anyone after that and they are desperate to get the Democrats in control of Congress
to stop him.

boris

he won't be beholding to anyone after that and they are desperate to get the Democrats in control of Congress to stop him

Look out Iran !

topsecretk9

Clarice...

“press leaks plagued almost every [raid on Muslim charities] that took place in the United States” after 9/11. [Washington Post, 9/10/2004]

I just can't understand what agency/department would want to leak raids -- although "

in a December 4, 2001, New York Times article, Miller writes that President Bush is about to announce that the US is freezing the assets of Holy Land and two other financial groups, all for supporting Hamas.

tangentially related to the financial tracking that was later leaked?

Patton

HEADLINE WITH DEMOCRATS IN CHARGE:

2015:
IN A HISTORIC ACT TODAY PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA SIGNED THE FIRST SHARIA LAW IN AMERICA ALLOWING ISLAMIC AREAS TO IMPLEMENT THEIR OWN COURTS, MARRIAGES AND PERSONAL
LEGAL LAWS GOVERNED IN PART OR WHOLLY BY ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW.

Senior diplomat Howard Dean hailed the deal with American Hezbollah in Detroit to end the bombings of schools and daycare centers in the MidWest.

Dean and Former President Hilliary Clinton both remarked that the Southern States still voting for Republicans could learn something about comprimise and living within a big, multi-cultural tent that recognized that the US Constitution was a living document and needed to have room for people of all beliefs.

The senior statemen Albert Gore stated he had actually implement the first Sharia in his Senate office over 30 years ago.

clarice

ts. I don't know who Judy's sources were..suspects have to be DoJ, coordinating local LE, court personnel, treasury dept people.

Patton

The last remaining Republican state of Texas' effort to rescue the hostages Hezbollah of Nevada had seized in the last border incursion was thwarted when details of the rescue attempt were printed on the front page of the Al New York Timezeerah.

The Al New York Timezeerah stated they didn't want to take sides in the fighting but the Texas Republicans were just mean spirited and had to be taught a lesson.

kate

Well, now after 3 years Plamegate has officially fizzled.

But this weekend is Labor Day, and since every holiday weekend this summer was a military bashing atrocity weekend, what does the media have planned for Labor Day.

Now that the media has lost Plamegate (they actually lost it in June when Rove was not indicted, except in JL's imagination), they really want Haditha, really bad.

SunnyDay

Patton, you should publish an online future newspaper/broadcast. Those little satires could be very effective.

MayBee

but if like Fitz claims, he was seeking the first to tell, such a limitation was preposterous and could only lead to a foregone conclusion. No one has ever tried to get at reporters this way so the issue never arose before, prior DoJ efforts having been limited to specific events to which the reporter was a party or witness.

And the reason for the DoJ guidelines (or at least, my understanding of the reasons) is what makes it so ironic.

Reporters aren't supposed to be used for fishing expeditions into other events to which they might have been a witness. In this case, Miller was used *specifically* to go after an event other than that which was originally being investigated. Or perhaps more accurately put, she was limited from having to talk about those involved in the initial investigation.

Andrew McCarthy, in an NRO post, used Miller's testimony as evidence that Fitzgerald had been led, by following his investigation, to suspect Libby's story.

I'm with you, I think just the opposite is true because Miller's testimony came after Fitzgerald had limited that part of his investigation to Libby. He suspected Libby's story and, like Nifong giving the Lacrosse roster as the lineup, made sure the input from the witness could only point to his suspect.

Chants

GROSSMAN: No! I said 1 state department official told 2 reporters who then to 6 white house officials. I swear!

kate

I watched that weasle Isakoff on Hardball and he is still pushing the evil Libby/Rove line. It is past time for these clowns to be held accountable for their sloppy reporting. He finds it shocking that anyone would want to criticize Joe Wilson.

lurker

Aren't the leftwing bloggers still hoping that Cheney would be indicted for this story?

Amazing that Armitage still hasn't come forward after today. Powell, too.

Amazing that Fitz still hasn't come forward after this story.

Maybe as long as the bloggers continue to keep the story alive, the angrier the bloggers are and begin to demand a drastic change with Fitz?

Oh well, one can hope!

verner

I don't think I can add much to this excellent thread. But would just like to say that David Corn is a pathetic POS and it is absolutely obscene that he should make one dime off of his ridiculous book.

topsecretk9

Aren't the leftwing bloggers still hoping that Cheney would be indicted for this story?

Ironically fed to them by Joe Wilson and Larry at Yearly Kos.

lurker

OT:

If I had Known by Iraq the Model Poster

Verner, ya think the leftwingers will rush to the bookstore to buy this book? Nah, I don't think so...

lurker

OT: Looks like Kofi Annan was fooled...

Hezbollah's propaganda exposed during Annan's visit

lurker

That's right...

Pathetic...

Class Act by Elder Bush

verner

Lurker, I doubt the loonies will be too put off by Corn's book. Remember, Corn, the jerk who started all of this "covert" BS in the first place is still claiming that the Bushies were out to get clueless Joe Wilson. This stuff should go into the journalism hall of fame as a perfect example of trying to make ice cream out of polar bear poop.

Corn and his buddies manufactured this non-story for one reason only, to hurt the Bush administration because they don't like the war against islamo-fascism and think America should be taken down a notch to be more like the euro-socialists utopias that they so love. They could care less about the truth, the facts must be tooled to fit the narative.

I hope they all rot in hell if there is one.

topsecretk9

Well Corn got himself in hot water with the lefties when he piped up and said he happened to be buddies with Vivaca Novak.

lurker

verner, add this year's Pulitzer awards in with the polar bear poop.

Merkel received a second letter from Ahmanijihad of Iran:

Second letter

topsecretk9

V Novak...pretty funny. After early retirement it appears she took the logical next Journalistic turn. Appears, she is now at factcheck.org...what do they say about life imitating art?

http://www.factcheck.org/miscreports70.html

verner

Yeah, that's right Lurker. A big fat EU investigation and still no proof of Dana Priest-Goodfellow's imaginary "secret gulags." When will the Wa Po give her Pulitzer back?

By the way, what's she been doing lately? Very quite from that quarter.

Other Tom

Cathyf--You raise a good question about one's obligation to correct the record after an FBI interview. (By the way, it is my understanding that that is all Armitage gave, i.e. he did not testify before the Grand Jury.) Regardless of what the hard-and-fast law might be, I would certainly think that if the FBI learned about it after the fact, it would probably seek to have the guy charged. And incidentally, imagine how different things might have been if Armitage had in fact testified to the g.j. An inquiring grand juror might have asked Fitz, "what the hell are we doing here?" I think Armitage is in disgrace at this point; I have always known Powell to be a reptile of the first water; and Fitzgerald's balloon is leaking very badly.

Gary Maxwell

But would just like to say that David Corn is a pathetic POS and it is absolutely obscene that he should make one dime

I am down with this.

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Wilson/Plame