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August 29, 2006

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Chants

Dale,

I agree 100% that the Bush Admin was feckless in its defense against the Plame fiasco. They were beaten nearly every play. But they did try to fight back, by declassifying parts of the NIE, for example.

Slartibartfast

"The links work for me just fine, what serious problems?"

Click on the link. There's an unclosed tag that pretty much ate the whole entry.

Sara (Squiggler)

You must be talking about somebody else's link. Mine both work the way they should, directly to AJ Strata's page and to the two different posts referenced. They are in bold, nothing missing.

cathyf
Where things went off track was that somehow Fitz figured out that Libby talked about "Wilson's Wife" with Judy Miller in late June. This fit the theory, so he ran with it.
Well, according to Judy's version of her testimony, it was more like, "Geez, I dunno whether either of us said anything about Mrs. Wilson in June or not. Your guess is as good as mine." And then somewhere between that and the indictment this transmogrified into a definite declarative statement that Libby told Miller about Mrs. Wilson's identity on June 25th.

I've asked this before, and lawyers here have opined that court filings are the equivalent of affidavits made under oath. Suppose Miller's account of her testimony is accurate. (A big if, since of course it is no crime to lie in the pages of the NYT so she could have said something very different under oath before the grand jury and we won't know until/unless her testimony in made public at a trial.) If Fitzgerald's misrepresentation of her testimony is as severe as it appears, then Fitzgerald has committed perjury.

Slartibartfast

Ah. It's just all underlined. At least, that's the way it shows up in Explorer. Underlined looks almost identical to an unclosed "a" tag.

Well, I offer instead a style-point demerit: it's way ugly.

Sue

So the conspiracy was for Libby to get the leak out through Miller.

For once we agree. Sort of. If you want to call setting the record straight a conspiracy. Libby did meet with Miller for a specific purpose. We differ on the purpose. The NIE (which didn't mention Wilson's wife) was what Libby was to disclose to Miller. Plame, IMO, was a chatty-Cathy moment for Libby with an old confident. Kind of like what Armitage did with Novak. Which you don't see as crime or a conspiracy.

Thomas Morrissey

Sara,

I believe everything I read in the media, Fitz should investigate those secret C.I.A prisons,Red Cross ambulances hit by Israeli missles and Green-Helmets guy's heroic saving of lives and prevention of excessive child cannibalism at the Superdome after Karl Rove blew up the levy's last year.

Clarice,

This was an immensely stupid appointment considering the power the S.P on Steroids could wield.

How Pat "wrong way" Fitzgerald, who indicted the wrong man once, as well as sending secret, sensitive Government to the lawyer of a terrorist got the job is an act of insanity only to be seen in the highest reaches of Government.

cathyf
My working theory for months now has been that in July, Libby was acting at the direction of Cheney to out Plame specifically by targeting Miller for a leak, in such a way that she would publicly blow V Wilson's cover.
So, did the pink unicorns from outer space tell you this? (The next time you do the Mork-calling-Zork routine, maybe you should tell the unicorns that blaming OVP for their conspiracy isn't going to work.)
clarice

As long as we're speculating Jeff--How's about this? Rove aimed mind bending rays at Armitage's head , got him to tell Woodward and Novak so that he wouldn't be tagged with leaking it. Just saying.

cathyf

Sara -- your links to AJ's articles are fine -- it's Aj's article with the html problem. The second article appears to start with an unclosed <a> tag.

Slartibartfast

It's nothing that actually clicking the link and inspecting the article wouldn't reveal.

Maybe I'm just way too picky, though.

Sara (Squiggler)

Ranger: I still think you might be wrong.

1st Novak article:
July 14, 2003 Novak 1st article

Oct. 1 - 2nd article that causes the following as detailed in the opening of the Hubris excerpt:

Sept. 4, 2006 issue - In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."

Armitage or maybe the attorney called Gonzales who referred them to DOJ. So Fitz knew a long long long long time before the indictment.

Presser: October 28, 2005
That's two years.

Armitage talked to Woodward in June 2003, but did not release Woodward to reveal him as a source and Woodward did not reveal that he too had talked to someone who told him about Plame until Nov 2005 after the presser. I don't think he has even yet revealed Armitage's name.

I think I have the dating correct. Maybe not.

Sara (Squiggler)

Well leave a note for AJ on his site and point out the problem. No one from here can fix his links.

JM Hanes

Sara & Slart:

AJ needs to close his html tag. I opened the page, clicked on the text, and for one the few times ever, Safari totally froze up & required multiple force quit commands, where one would normally suffice!

Sue

I would like to know which reporters Powell met with during the same time frame that Armitage did.

Cecil Turner

If Armitage had read Plame's name in this document and had blabbed based on that reading, he'd committed a crime.

I don't think so. It clearly doesn't fit in with the IIPA (which requires the leaker know the agent is covert and that the government is taking affirmative action to conceal the relationship). Nor does it appear to fit with the Espionage Act, unless leaking her identity harms national defense. And in any event, both those statutes require intent, which appears to be absent. (If he was still active duty military, it'd be a lot easier to prosecute as an orders violation, but again, that doesn't apply.)

Bolstering that argument is the fact that this is exactly the violation Fitz was charged to investigate, and he gave him a pass on it.

My working theory for months now has been that in July, Libby was acting at the direction of Cheney to out Plame specifically by targeting Miller for a leak, in such a way that she would publicly blow V Wilson's cover.

Nonsensical. Did "outing" Plame help the Administration or Wilson? Obviously Wilson, who was able to change the subject from the demonstrable falsehoods in his story line. If they'd stayed on who sent him (CPD) and what the intel said (NIE), Wilson looks like the lying fool he is. As soon as Plame gets named, Wilson screams "felony" and "frogmarch" and every tinfoil headgear type immediately assumes a conspiracy . . . even though it makes no objective sense whatsoever, and there's no evidence it happened.

topsecretk9

Well I for one think Cheney's conspiracy worked really, really good...because not ONLY did he luck out Armitage blabbed to so many reporters so early (reporters are people and dine and wine and gossip together) he struck gold that Armitgae did it in just a laissez faire, casual way and forgot to tell those reporters (that dine and wine and gossip) it was super secret crap and Valerie Plame was covert

Ranger

Sara,

Your timeline is correct, but everyting up until this:

"Armitage talked to Woodward in June 2003, but did not release Woodward to reveal him as a source and Woodward did not reveal that he too had talked to someone who told him about Plame until Nov 2005 after the presser."

deals with Armitage's contacts with Novak. No where does it say that the lawyer at State even knew then Armitage had spoken to Woodward on 13 June. So, the only time we are sure that Fitz knew that Armitage had spoken to Woodward three weeks before he spoke to Novak was after the indictment presser.

The fact that Woodward had to coerce Armitage into going to Fitz indicates that Fitz didn't know until Woodward came forward that someone (not Libby) talked to a reporter about "Wilson's Wife" on June 13th.

In my mind, the question isn't 'did Fritz lie?' The question is "Why didn't he know UGO was the first leaker?"

There are only three possible answers:

1) Fritz never asked UGO after his confession about Novak what other reporters he talked to and when

a) because it never occured to him to ask.

or

b) because he didn't want to know becuase it might derail his theory about the whole thing being a conspericy out of the OVP's office.

2) Fritz aksed and UGO lied.

I think Fritz is trying to keep UGO's identity secret to deny Libby's defense team the opportunity to ask those quesitons use the answers as part of their defense.

topsecretk9

Isn't the slightest bit weird that the only person in the entire affair that seems to know Valerie Plame is covert is her husband?

Cecil Turner

I do think your "savvy-reader" argument caves in to Dale's arguments;

Sorry for the second hit, and thanks for the kind words on the marking stuff, but to clarify, I don't subscribe to the "savvy-reader" theory. I think, rather, that the average sloppy reader would get through that document thinking the only truly sensitive thing was the INR dispute with the NIE, and that most of it was OBE. And, following that, perhaps mention Ms Wilson in an offhand remark either to bolster the "sent by low-level CIA" argument or to demonstrate insider knowledge. Which would be sloppy, and possibly a firing offense, but not criminal.

Sara (Squiggler)

So, Armitage and Taft went to DOJ on or about Oct 2003 and Fitz doesn't find out until late 2005. That makes no sense. Most everyone had been in front of the GJ at least once by that time.

topsecretk9

--The fact that Woodward had to coerce Armitage into going to Fitz indicates that Fitz didn't know until Woodward came forward that someone (not Libby) talked to a reporter about "Wilson's Wife" on June 13th.--

Take with that, Armitage's response to Woodward (When Woodward called **about** the presser info that Fitz said Libby was the first)


"I have to go to the Prosecutor. I have to go to the prosecutor. I HAVE **to tell** the truth"

topsecretk9

--So, Armitage and Taft went to DOJ on or about Oct 2003 and Fitz doesn't find out until late 2005.--

Sara...I think there is a disconnect. How do you know that Armitage told anyone he had talked to Woodward earlier than Novak...did you see a report that said Armitage told Powell he had ALSO talked to Woodward?

maryrose

This is so much fun today because we are back to our favorite topic. Plameologists on parade!

Ranger

Sara,

Yes, Armitage and Taft went to DOJ to notify them about Armitage's conversation with Novak. No where does it say he ever told Powell, Taft, or DoJ about his conversation with Woodward weeks earlier. It was Novak's column that rattled Armitage, so that was what he confessed to.

The fact that Woodward had to shame Armitage into going in and telling Fritz about the conversation after the presser indicates that this was new information for the investigators, not simply a reminder of previously reported information.

topsecretk9

Sara...

See Woodward's appearance on Larry King

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0511/21/lkl.01.html

Sara (Squiggler)

The Armitage/Woodward interview predates the inadvertant revelation to Novak approx. 3 weeks later. Then a couple months later Novak does a followup article and that is when the bells went off in Armitage's head that he was Novak's source and the source for the original article that got the ball rolling. Woodward's interview doesnt' come into play at all, except that Woodward kept quiet for a long time. I give him a smidgeon of credit for coming forward when he sees an innocent man being railroaded with the Libby indictment.

Whether Armitage told about his conversation with Woodward when he came clean about being Novak's source is important in hindsight in many ways, but it should have also been important to Fitz and his investigators the minute Armitage stepped forward. Either Armitage lied to the invesigators/GJ, or he told all, or the invesigators/Fitz limited the questions to Novak/Libby/Rove/OVP/WH and never asked if Armitage had talked to anyone else, especially other reporters. Either way, Fitz is a sleazeball. If he didn't know, he should have known, afterall Andrea Mitchell told us "everyone knows." And if he did know then he should go to jail himself.

cboldt

Thomas Morrissey noted ...

How Pat "wrong way" Fitzgerald, who indicted the wrong man once, as well as sending secret, sensitive Government to the lawyer of a terrorist ...


Contrary to popular belief, Fitz didn't make the two bumbles you refer to.


Re: "indicted the wrong man" ... The indictment of Cowles was not "by" Fitz. Cowles was charged by a Mr. Sawant of the Secret Service. Fitz's office dismissed Cowles from the prosecution.


http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/files/Cowles_Complaint.pdf>http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/files/Cowles_Complaint.pdf


Re: "sending secret documents" ... There is no record of contact by the US District Attorneys Office in the Northern District of Illinois (Fitz's place) with the Holy Land case in Dallas, where the secret documents were improperly produced to defense.


http://patfish.blogspot.com/2006/04/political-tidbits-wilsonplame-now-we.html>http://patfish.blogspot.com/2006/04/political-tidbits-wilsonplame-now-we.html

(see comments for discussion and links)

Sue

Which is why I would like to know who Powell met with. Odds are Fitzgerald's questions to Powell were as limited as Armitage's appear to have been. Such as when did you learn that Armitage had discussed Plame with Novak? Shoring up Armitage's testimony. No questions about whether Powell himself might have discussed Plame with someone...inadvertently, of course.

Dale in Atlanta

Cecil: don't you agree though, that as Armitage was some who supposedly "knew" his way around Classified stuff, for Years; that you KNOW that classification digraphs are there for a reason? And, you KNOW you don't disclose it to journalists; or, was it an indication that in fact, Armitage was USED to dislclosing information, to journalists, REGARDLESS if it was classified or not?

I can tell you that a group of analysts that I belonged to handled information at the TS/Codeword/Codeword/Codeword/Program/Codeword level for YEARS!

And we wouldn't even discuss it with people who we worked with, who were Cleared for it, past the third Codeword or particular Program!

So, we can pick nits, as to whether my experiences and paragraphy classification experiences apply to "civilians" or not; or if it applies to every single word, in a paragraph, including "if" & "the"; but the point is, I NEVER met someone in my experiences that thought it was all a joke, and that it was okay to talk about it with Uncleared personnel, depending upon whether I agreed with it, or, whether I thought the Paragraph header was classified, but the rest of the paragraph was not!??

cathyf

There are a whole bunch of cases in various courts where various reporters are trying to keep secret the identities of sources, right? Would it be appropriate to write an amicus brief, submitted in each case, arguing that since Fitzgerald's harassment of reporters was not part of a legitimate investigation, then the USSC ruling forcing reporters to talk shouldn't be considered a precedent?

Ya' know, just on the general principal of making trouble and all...

I got this from AJ's posting:

At the end of its opinion in Branzburg, the Court noted that “news gathering is not without its First Amendment protections.” 408 U.S. at 707. The Court stated that, in cases where grand jury investigations are being conducted in bad faith, without legitimate law enforcement purposes, or to harass the press or disrupt relationships with news sources, a court would be authorized to grant a motion to quash on First Amendment grounds. Ibid.9
Pretty damning, eh? Let's put the idea out there that, on top of everything else, Fitzgerald has slimed all prosecutors with guilt-by-association with him.

Sara (Squiggler)

I think we are diconnecting. I understand the whens of the Armitage/Woodward revelations. But what does that have to do with what Fitz knew or should have known. Armitage/Woodward are secondary since the charges stem from Woodward/Novak and who was Novak's source and when. What the heck was Fitz investigating between Oct 1, 2003 and Oct 28, 2005. All these people had testified at least once by then. Did Powell lie to the GJ, did Armitage? Novak was cooperating so Fitz knew what Novak knew and who he knew it about. The minute he learned Armitage's name, Armitage should have been on the hot seat. He wasn't and still isn't. Yet Libby gets charged with lying and obstruction because he claims not to be "the first." Fitz knew he wasn't the first from Novak if not Powell and a few others.

Sara (Squiggler)

Grrr ... Woodward/Novak should be Armitage/Novak.

JM Hanes

Does anyone know if Libby can appeal the ruling on the constitutionality motion at this point in time?

topsecretk9

Yes, Sara...that was much discussed here...either Armitage was dishonest to Fitz or F-Team didn't ask, either way it should have been a bigger red flag...hence Byron York challenging Izzy and Corn's statement that Armitage was vigorously investigated....WHY Fitz could have made a Freedom of Information request too!

MayBee

Tops-
I'll have to think about the Joe Wilson as source thing, although you are correct that the sourcing seems to switch around quite a bit in the story. And it definitely is hearsay/second or third hand information.

I do think Leopold's new story puts the Wilson lovers/Leopold haters in an odd position. Don't people like Jeff and EW see they are a package deal?

JM Hanes

Sara:

"Fitz knew he wasn't the first from Novak if not Powell and a few others."

No, Libby's comments to Miller predate Novak's article, so Fitz could not have learned that from Novak. He ultimately learned that Armitage leaking to Woodward predated Libby's leak to Miller, but only after the indictment apparently. Of course, if he had been really thorough with Armitage, he would have discovered that info himself. I suspect that if Armitage confessed to the Novak leak when originally questionned, Fitz simply assumed that's all there was to that story. And I also suspect that Armitage stuck as close to yes and no answers as humanly possible with the grand jury.

Ranger

Sara,

Fitz's mission was not to find who talked to Novak, it was to find the "first leaker." Fitz didn't think that Armatige was the "first leaker" because he learned that people were talking about "Wilson's Wife" before Armatige told Novak. Fitz then set out to find the first leaker and focused on Libby based on the theory that the leaks started in the OVP or White House and rippled out from there. Libby's iffy story put him in Fitz's cross hairs. Once he got confirmation that Libby talked to Miller about "Wilson's Wife" in late June, he thought he had found the "first leaker." Of course, Fitz was totally wrong. He had the "first leaker" (Armitage) all along, he just never bothered to ask the right questions or Armitage lied about it.

To me it is a waste of time to try and build an argument that Fitz lied in the presser because Fitz either conducted an amaturish investigation, carefully structured his investigation to ensure he did know who the real first leaker was, or was mislead.

You don't have to prove Fitz lied to argue he should be fired, you just have to show what a terrible job he's done in the investigation, and his failure to figure out that one of his initial suspects (Armitage) was the "first leaker" and he missed that for over two years is enough.

boris

Plame, IMO, was a chatty-Cathy moment for Libby with an old confident. Kind of like what Armitage did with Novak. Which you [Jeff] don't see as crime or a conspiracy.

Here's why. Declassifying and disclosing the NIE to discredit Joe Wilson was itself way beyond the pale. Certainly Armitage had never and would never do something that low down nasty mean to a noble intrepid whistleblower speaking truth to power.

Unfortunately, nobody but fellow BDS sufferers see how evil that was. Joe's factually challanged misstatements reveal "greater truth" which should be inviolable and sacrosanct you see. So the vile conspiracy claim became NIE + PLAME leaked to the obsequious snitch Miller allowing Joe to tearfully wail "When will they stop beating my wife ???".

cathyf

Since last spring, and Fitzgerald's breathtaking violations of grand jury secrecy, I have thought that what Fitzgerald "leaked" might be indicative of just what the heck he had been doing for 2 years. On what subjects did Fitzgerald violate GJ secrecy? Cheney's attempts at supervising the bureaucracy by asking questions about their procedures and judgement, and Cheney's and Bush's declassification of the NIE in order to debunk Wilson's lies about what the NIE said and did not say.

If this is what Fitzgerald really had spent 2 years trying to do -- charge Cheney with the "crime" of supervising the bureaucracy, and charge Libby with the "crime" of disclosing declassified information or perhaps to charge Cheney and Bush with the "crime" of declassifying information that made Joe Wilson look like an ignorant fool -- then this really is truly breathtaking.

clarice

Fitz needed have made a FOIA request. He would have used the far faster subpoena to get the appointment calendar if he'd been interested, ts.
MH, I suppose if Fitz had learned about Armitage's disclosure to Woodward, he'd have tried to suggest Libby hummed the name in the hallway. I no longer believe for a minute he had any interest in getting to who was the first except as a means to justify non-disclosure of Armitage's name.

Ranger

Doh...

"carefully structured his investigation to ensure he did know who the real first leaker was"

should read:

carefully structured his investigation to ensure he didn't know who the real first leaker was

clarice

******needn't, not needed**Urgh


Armitage has confirmed his role.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/washington/30armitage.html?ei=5094&en=8147a124a4926c40&hp=&ex=1156910400&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print>F*&(er Fessus Up

topsecretk9

-----If this is what Fitzgerald really had spent 2 years trying to do -- charge Cheney with the "crime" of supervising the bureaucracy, and charge Libby with the "crime" of disclosing declassified information or perhaps to charge Cheney and Bush with the "crime" of declassifying information that made Joe Wilson look like an ignorant fool -- then this really is truly breathtaking.-----

CathyF

UNfortunately I think this was all due to Marc Grossman telling different things to different people...call it a pickle-- he either deliberately threw the sand or found himself having to throw sand for what he had done.

boris

Armitage was some who supposedly "knew" his way around Classified stuff, for Years

In a job where he could be relatively cavalier with the use of information to diplomatic ends.

I for one do not believe there was anything classified about Valerie except her record as a one time covert agent. So someone as knowledgable as Armitage could confidently assume they knew what in that memo was actually secret and that Valerie's employment was not.

Possibly a mistake, but I still don't think so.

MayBee

Isn't the slightest bit weird that the only person in the entire affair that seems to know Valerie Plame is covert is her husband?

Yes, and he apparently had a hard time pulling it out of her.

MayBee

Clarice!
Thanks for that.
What a whitewash here:

He was also the source for another journalist about Ms. Wilson, a reporter who did not write about her. The lawyers and associates said Mr. Armitage also told Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post and a well-known author, of her identity in June 2003.

Mr. Woodward was a late player in the legal drama when he disclosed last November that he had the received the information and testified to a grand jury about it after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors.

topsecretk9

Well there you have it, thanks Clarice.

AND he learned -apparently from the INR memo- I go back to what I said to CathyF...WHERE did Marc Grossman learn she was covert? (**IF** she was?) And it is apparent that Wilson was the 1x2x6 "source" and Grossman added a little bit more than "I heard that too"


BTW...still don't know who called Novak to witness tamper and say the boss told you all that stuff "inadvertently"

cathyf
To me it is a waste of time to try and build an argument that Fitz lied in the presser because Fitz either conducted an amaturish investigation, carefully structured his investigation to ensure he did know who the real first leaker was, or was mislead.
My "Fitz lied" argument is much narrower than that -- it is entirely based upon the discrepency between what Miller says that she testified to and what Fitzgerald says that she testified to. There is a huge if there, of course -- perhaps Miller's testimony is what Fitzgerald says it was and she lied in the NYT. (No crime in lying in a newspaper article. Otherwise the jails would be overflowing...)

But the important thing here is that this is not "he said she said" case. What he said is a legal document (the indictment) filed in court. What she said was in front of witnesses (the grand jury) and there was a court reporter making a transcript.

If Fitzgerald just invented the Judy Miller testimony that he wanted and substituted it for her real testimony, then that is way past prosecutorial misconduct. We're into perjury, filing false affidavits, false imprisonment... (Not to mention -- if Fitzgerald was just going to invent the Miller testimony that he wanted, why did he need to send Miller to jail for 84 days? Seems like Miller's testimony was unnecessary in a pretty fundamental way...)

Sara (Squiggler)

This sounds new and interesting:

In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Mr. Armitage disclosed casually to Mr. Novak that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. at the end of an interview in his State Department office. Mr. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a written memorandum by Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby’s inquiry was prompted by an Op-Ed article on May 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof and an article on June 12, 2003, in The Washington Post by Walter Pincus.

The two articles reported on a trip by a former ambassador to Africa sponsored by the C.I.A. to check reports that Iraq was seeking enriched uranium to help with its nuclear arms program.

Neither article identified the ambassador, but it was known inside the government that he was Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ms. Wilson’s husband. White House officials wanted to know how much of a role she had in selecting him for the assignment.

topsecretk9

See this is why I have my nit picks of sudden "Admin official" morphing into 'WH official" etc., etc.

Mr. Woodward was a late player in the legal drama when he disclosed last November that he had the received the information and testified to a grand jury about it after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors.

ARE they BREAKING NEWS? Or are they just lazy...cuz to my recollection Woodward was just questioned by Fitzgerald, Woodward DID NOT go before the GJ!

Sue

Good grief. About the only thing I can say is I am vindicated with Jeff. I told him Armitage wasn't going to be a 'get'. What a fluff piece.

MayBee

Neither article identified the ambassador, but it was known inside the government that he was Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ms. Wilson’s husband. White House officials wanted to know how much of a role she had in selecting him for the assignment.

I don't think that's right. I think it was known inside the *State Department* that it was Joe that went. WH officials wanted to know who it was.
Isn't that why Libby first contacted State?

It was in asking who went that they found out about Valerie, the managerial type.

Sara (Squiggler)

Mr. Woodward was a late player in the legal drama when he disclosed last November that he had the received the information and testified to a grand jury about it after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors.

See, Fitz did know before Woodward came forward publicly. He and Armitage had already testified to the GJ.

Sue

Sara,

I don't think so. Armitage only came forward after the press conference because Woodward told him he had to. The special gj had already recessed and Fitz had to take them before a different gj.

Ranger

Notice this subtle attempt to protect Armitage's reputation:

"after learning that his source had disclosed the conversation to prosecutors."

Hmmm. I thought Woodward disclosed his role after he shamed his source into disclosing the conversation with prosecutors after begging for over a year to be allowed to write about it to clue in people that the investigation was way off on the wrong track and because he couldn't sit by while Libby was railroaded as the "first leaker."

cathyf
Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry from I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

...munch...

Neither article identified the ambassador, but it was known inside the government that he was Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ms. Wilson’s husband. White House officials wanted to know how much of a role she had in selecting him for the assignment.

Do we have any evidence that White House officials "wanted" to know anything about Mrs. Wilson? Or did Grossman just put it in the report for some unknown reason, and that this was the first hint that anyone in the White House knew that there was a Mrs. Wilson or that she was involved?

Or is the NYT attempting to compete with The Weekly World News, The Star, and The National Enquirer on the "just making shit up" front?

MayBee

No no no. That's the whitewash.

Woodward begged Armitage to go to the GJ. OK, maybe Woodward didn't say it publicly until after he went. But Armitage only went because Woodward urged him to go.

Here it morphs into Armitage simply trotting off to Fitzgerald to correct the record, Woodward finding out about it and then deciding to testify. A whitewash.

Sue

But Mr. Fitzgerald did indict Mr. Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, saying Mr. Libby had testified untruthfully to a grand jury and federal agents when he said he learned about Ms. Wilson’s role at the agency from reporters rather than from several officials, including Mr. Cheney.

Is that true? I could have sworn Libby testified he knew from Cheney but had forgotten. There is a difference.

JM Hanes

MayBee:

"What a whitewash..."

Sheesh. Let me count the ways! Aside from all the Fisk-bait, though, I love this bit:

Apart from Mr. Ford, as quoted in the book, the lawyer and colleagues of Mr. Armitage who discussed the case have spoken insisting on anonymity, apparently because Mr. Armitage was still not comfortable with the public acknowledgment of his role.

No shit Sherlock, eh?

Sue

Or did Grossman just put it in the report for some unknown reason, and that this was the first hint that anyone in the White House knew that there was a Mrs. Wilson or that she was involved?

So Cheney and Libby already knew there was a Ms. Plame and only wanted official confirmation that she sent her husband? Or did Libby ask Grossman to find out why they sent an unqualified, pissant ambassador to sip sweet mint tea and Grossman came back with his wife sent him?

clarice

cathyf I vote for just making shit up.

Ranger, Woodward said he had to go and that he was going..(This isn't the first time in my life BTW that in a crunch it turned out the big guys were the pussies and the little ones the bravehearts).

Sue

How come everytime a new 'news' story is written, it is full of errors? After this much time, and after this much scrutiny by bloggers, you would think reporters would take extra special time in making sure their facts are correct. And leave out the bullshit in what is supposed to be a straight news story.

MayBee

Aack. We're all posting at the same time. My second post is to Sara.
Cathyf, I'm with you on that observation.

I think the WH wanted to know who Kristof's anonymous source was. In telling the WH it was Joe Wilson, State introduced them to Ms. Wilson.

Sue

has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation

See, they start off the piece by making you feel all gooey inside. It was just a simple conversation that went haywire. Don't pay any attention to the fact that Armitage did, in fact, learn of her role from a document marked secret. It was just a conversation...however, when it was Rove/Libby they were gunning for, those same conversations were sinister...

MayBee

See?

This demonstrates how easy it could have been if Armitage had gone to the press early on.
Soft landing for Armitage, no harm no foul, no Special Prosecutor.

Ranger

Well, I guess they had to make it look like Armitage fessed up on his own. Can't have the brave "barrel chested combat veteran" being shamed into doing the right thing.

topsecretk9

--See, Fitz did know before Woodward came forward publicly. He and Armitage had already testified to the GJ.

Posted by: Sara (Squiggler) | August 29, 2006 at 08:39 PM

--

No, I am pretty sure that Woodward only met with Fitzgerald, Woodward did not go before a GJ -- does someone have a report that says otherwise...I think this is just a lazy mistake.

Sue

Mr. Grossman had taken up the task of finding out about Ms. Wilson after an inquiry

Where do they get this? Jeff? Why are you never around when your vast knowledge is really desired? ::grin::

Did Libby ask Grossman to find out about Plame?

Sue

Where is MJW? Has her (his?) wonderful sleuthing on figuring out who UGO was been applauded?

Sue

http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/29/potty-break-mic-snafu-cnns-phillips-chats-in-the-loo-during-bush-speech/>Holy Cow

as she went to the loo in the middle of President Bush’s speech commemorating the Katrina anniversary. So instead of getting the president’s remarks, CNN’s audience got that and Phillips in some girl-chat.

Sara (Squiggler)

TS, GJ or prosecutor, what's the dif, they both mean Fitz and this article clearly states that Woodward talked to the prosecutor, then he finds out that Armitage had already talked too, so he goes public about having been an earlier recipient of the leakers leak way back in June 2003. So both Woodward and Armitage had talked to THE PROSECUTOR, either in or out of the GJ, before Woodward ever went public on Larry King.

Sue

Sara,

I'm going to bow out for the night, but I think you have your timeline confused. Woodward did not talk to the prosecutor (or gj) until after Armitage's 2nd appearance. And that happened after the press conference.

Goodnight y'all.

Chants

Does anyone recall TM's funny list of Do's and Dont's for NOC's?

Here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/hcax4

"After a careful reading of John Le Carre and Tom Clancy, I have compiled some Helpful Hints for NOCs everywhere:

1. Don't put your name and employer on a publicly available Federal Election Commission disclosure form, especially if your cover is pretty thin.

2. Don't stroll into an inter-agency meeting for no purpose other than to introduce your hubby; folks at the other agencies may fail to pick up on your subtle "NOC vibe" and infer that you are a "CIA WMD managerial type". Unhelpful gossip and memos may follow.

3. Urge your husband not to write an op-ed for the NY Times in which he admits that he does free-lance consulting for the CIA; rival intel services may follow up on that and investigate his family ties, starting with the devoted spouse. Or, why are you sure they won't - is it worth the risk?

4. If Bob Novak is ranting to a friend of yours on the street that your wife is at the CIA, don't wait two days to contact the CIA press office. The sooner you alert them, the sooner they can begin quashing the story.

5. If you are at the CIA press office and a reporter calls, verify that the person they want to ask about is a NOC *BEFORE* chatting with the reporter; calling back afterwards looks unserious.

6. If you are at the CIA press office and you ask a reporter to sit on a story, make sure the reporter reads you loud and clear. If he doesn't, or there is any doubt, have one of your higher-ups call one of his higher-ups. it worked on the secret prisons, it worked on the NSA surveillance program, and it might work for you."

"Subtle NOC vibe". Classic.

Anyway. Now that the INR memo appears to be the certain leak vector, (Cecil Turner had this idea first in August of 2004?), I think I am going to put Valerie Plame herself on the very fronts of the idiots and liars parade. Even before Armitage, Fitz, and Wilson.

If indeed she was a NOC, then she is the most responsible person tasked with protecting that secret. Her Convening an interdepartment meeting at the CIA attended by persons with no knowledge of her purported NOC status was stupid a reckless in the extreme. And now she is sueing of all people -- Libby -- because of her own screw-up.

No. She doesn't get a pass in this at all. She is an incompetent spoiled brat too self-centered to realize that she set herself up. Instead, she has to take it out on Libby, the real victim in this matter.

To the front of the line, with you little-miss-wear-my-noc-like-a-fur-coat ditz.

topsecretk9

JIMINY

You gals are on it and fast tonight!

topsecretk9

And guys (don't want to make Gary mad)

JM Hanes

Sara:

There's hardly anything in this article that's not either a minor or a major misrepresentation of the history of this case! The Woodward/Armitage bit is just totally ass backward.

MayBee

Chants- watch how you talk about Val, or Larry Johnson will ban you from this blog.


ps. Every time I read Seixon's blog, I think about that and I laugh. I don't know if I've told you that before.

Cecil Turner

Cecil: don't you agree though, that as Armitage was some who supposedly "knew" his way around Classified stuff, for Years; that you KNOW that classification digraphs are there for a reason?

My experience is that the longer people work around this stuff the more lax they get, not less. (For example, the phrase "it's only SECRET" is fairly common in SCIFs.) Also, once you start having to classify your own working papers, you get a fair appreciation for what's overclassified, as this document clearly is. And that is especially true for operators (my background), for whom getting things done often requires sharing sensitive information.

but the point is, I NEVER met someone in my experiences that thought it was all a joke

Nor have I, but I think as one goes up the chain one is more likely to see folks who are cavalier with classified info, especially if they think it doesn't warrant the classification (and especially if it happens to've been classified by a junior in the same department, as it was in this case). What I'd really like to know is if Ford thought Ms Wilson's identity was sensitive. From the document, I suspect he didn't, which would make Armitage's apparent assumption more understandable (though admittedly wrong).

Sara (Squiggler)

I don't know. Do we know when Woodward "encouraged" Armitage to step up? It could have been months before and then Woodward finds out he did later and then goes public. When did Woodward talk to the prosecutor and how long before he talked to them had Armitage talked to them? I'm betting Armitage talked to someone not long after Oct 1, 2003. That doesn't mean that Woodward had any clue Armitage had talked.

AJStrata

I think I found a candidate for Leopold's mystery man who was the one who 'bumped into' Novak who then dissed Wilson. It might be one Ed Morse, ex State Dept under Carter and Reagan, publisher, oil consultant (pipelines) and democrat fundraiser

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2392

Cheers - AJStrata

PATRIOT SHOUT CAPS LARRY "THE PATRIORT" JOHNSON

YOU KNOW ASSHOLE, WHOOPS, I MEAN MAYBEE, THE NICE THING ABOUT RUNNING MY BLOG IS THAT I DON'T HAVE TO TOLERATE TROGS LIKE YOU. YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NOT READ WHAT I WROTE NOR DO YOU KNOW MY HISTORY ON THESE MATTERS. NO PROBLEM. YOU ARE A MORON AND ARE BANNED.

clarice

AJ, I know Ed Morse very well, and find that unlikely.

JM Hanes

The original Ford INR memo was addressed to Grossman who may have been inquiring on behalf of the OVP, as I recall. I'm not at all sure that he was supposed to be finding out about Mrs. Wilson, per the article, as opposed to Mr. Wilson's trip. He did not, however, share that document with the OVP. Grossman subsequently asked Ford to redo the memo, addressing it to Sect. Powell, at which point it became the infamous INR memo.

cathyf

Yo, AJ you've got an un-terminated <a> tag in your USSC posting on your site.

(Don't have a login over there to tell ya...)

MayBee

Sara-
Tops pasted almost the whole Larry King/Woodward conversation a few Armitage threads ago.

After the indictment presser which claims Libby was the first to talk, Woodward called Armitage and said "Do you know what this means? We talked before this!"

And so Armitage went to Fitzgerald. And then Woodward went to Fitzgerald.

JM Hanes

Sara:

Armitage testified early on about the leak to Novak. When the indictment came out, Woodward called Armitage. Acc. to Woodward, he was concerned because Fitz named Libby as the first person to discuss Plame with reporters, and he knew that wasn't true. As a result, Armitage went back to Fitz to tell him about his earlier "conversation" with Woodward and finally released Woodward to confirm their conversation to the Prosecutor -- but not to the public.

JM Hanes

tops:

Yeah, I know what you mean. I posted on Corn's blog that the book I'd pay to read would be called: What Reporters Knew and When They Knew It.

topsecretk9

--Where is MJW? Has her (his?) wonderful sleuthing on figuring out who UGO was been applauded?--

Hat Tip to MJW

Sara (Squiggler)

Well JMH, if that is their story, I ain't buyin' it. Armitage didn't go to the prosecutors without tons of careful preparation and there is no way he could not have had his memory thoroughly jogged on every little detail, including his conversations with Woodward and probably others he blabbed to. Lies of omission of this magnitude would be obstruction in my book. Sins of omission on Fitz's part is prosecutorial misconduct.

JM Hanes

Aw shoot, posted that last one on the wrong thread.

JM Hanes

Sara:

"Lies of omission of this magnitude would be obstruction in my book."

Well, yeah, that's what's so crummy about Armitage. If he were prepped by a legal eagles however, I'd suspect the first thing he'd be told would be to stick to yes and no answers, and not to volunteer any info he wasn't asked about.

cathyf

JMH -- you left out that Woodward asked Armitage repeatedly over a period of at least a year to be released from his confidentiality pledge. So that would be approx fall of 2004 to fall of 2005. After the Libby indictment, Woodward called Armitage one more times and said confidentiality promise or not, he was going to Fitzgerald and was going to give up Armitage. THEN Woodward went to Fitzgerald, and Armitage went to Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald "borrowed" a different grand jury (the original one had been dismissed already) to hear Woodward's and Armitage's testimony.

Sara -- if you've managed to miss this very important detail and you have been following the case closely, think about the average Joe Schmoe... This isn't some little detail -- I think that there is a pretty significant chance that if the first grand jury had known that Armitage had told a reporter about Plame 3-1/2 weeks before Libby claims to have heard it FROM a reporter, they may very well have refused to indict.

topsecretk9

Sara

Read Woodward's transcript...not to sure HOW many times we can assure that --yes you are right that it is a puzzle that Fitz did not A- find out before and B- not do anything after the fact.

topsecretk9

--Well, yeah, that's what's so crummy about Armitage. If he were prepped by a legal eagles however, I'd suspect the first thing he'd be told would be to stick to yes and no answers, and not to volunteer any info he wasn't asked about.--

Interesting, but I read that Armitage said on Charlie Rose show recently that not only was he not worried --he didn't have (to that point!) ever have a lawyer representing him.

Ranger

"Armitage said on Charlie Rose show recently that ... he didn't have (to that point!) ever have a lawyer representing him."

Yet another example of what a dishonest PoS he is. He had Taft representing him as the house lawyer at State when this whole thing started. Granted, Taft was not his personal counsel, but he did have legal representation when this whole thing started.

Sara (Squiggler)

I think all who are answering and getting slightly snarky about it in the process have forgotten the original premise wasn't about Armitage, it was about Fitz and his role or lack of it. You all keep feeding back to me my own points, so I guess I haven't been doing a very good job. This goes way back upthread to when Clarice was asking for help and suggestions. It is so long ago, I've forgotten exactly what started the discussion off, but my entire point, I think, was that Fitz should not be able to claim he knew nothing before the presser about Armitage's role because I don't believe that is true. You all seem to think I'm wrong because of the Woodward timing, which to me is incidental to anything I was talking about originally.

JM Hanes

tops:

You're everywhere! Just reposted the Matthews thing next door. I thought he said he didn't have a lawyer, present tense, not that he never had one, but I could easily be wrong on that. Don't you just know he worked out that weasel ploy in advance? How could I possibly be involved? I don't even have a lawyer! (What, me worry?)

topsecretk9

Sara

I'm not intending to be snarky (if me is who you are addressing)...

--Fitz should not be able to claim he knew nothing before the presser about Armitage's role because I don't believe that is true. --

Agreed. But I think the point is...that Fitz didn't know about Woodward and without Woodward, Fitz felt confident to a level to "allude" that Libby was the big baddie and if it meant charging him with things other than the "outing" that WAS just the same/ **or a way** to punish - i think Fitz said as much to Judge tatel(?) i think

AJStrata

Lurker,

S/NF means Secret, No Foreign (which means we cannot divulge it to NATO partners with Secret clearances).

BTW, Dale is generally right - with the exception that (a) sometimes information transitions into and out of classified status and (b) if "Albany, NY" is in a classified paragraph and in the public domain the city is not classified. What was associated in the paragraph is classified. I.e., there was some "object" with some "relationship" to Albany. The Object and Relationship are classified. You can say "Albany"!

AJStrata

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Wilson/Plame