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September 15, 2006

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clarice

In the WSJ Toensing has a good piece today. She hits Fitzgerald and the agency hard but Armitage is her target (What a Load of Armitage) is the title.

My piece has been edited and will be online at the WS after midnight and on the newsstands Monday. It is very detailed and is over 7 pp.

I hope I covered all the relevant bases and if I did I thank Tom and all the posters here for their contributions.

Other Tom

Here is the cite for Toensing's piece: http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008948

Among many other wonderful things, she absolutely trashes the notion that Plame was "covert." One thing that had slipped my mind (but probably not the minds of the true buffs here) is that on May 2, 2003 Plame and Wilson attended a breakfast meeting with a group of Democratic senators. Some covert agent!

Tom Maguire

Let your conscience be your guide, but I would be delighted to post some bootleg excerpts of the Toensing piece.

Will your piece be free, or should we bootleg that, too?

Sue

Unless you are talking about another http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008948>piece that Toensing has written, I think you can view it there.

Other Tom

That's the one, Sue.

Bob

But all this hasn't satisfied the moonbats!

Over at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/09/15/more-legal-trouble-for-ro_n_29488.html>Huff 'n' Puff Post they are all excited about Roves next legal battle.

And some more background over at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/12/ap/national/mainD8K3E7CO0.shtml>CBS News

Sue

I read backwards. Sorry Other Tom. I didn't notice you had already posted the information.

I read backwards.

I can also do that, a childhood trick to outsmart my mother, but what I really meant is I read the posts from bottom to top when I come back in a thread. ::grin::

Verner

Clarice! I'm so excited for you. I subscribe to the WS, and I'm going to put your issue with my most treasured books.

As for Toensing. She nailed the covert stuff. I don't know how David Corn will ever be able to show his face again after the partisan flim flam he has executed on the American people.

Wilson's a Liar

My WAG is that Armitage got the info on Plame straight from Marc Grossman. That isn't hard to figure out. Armitage was a gossip and would have wanted to know everything about Missus Wilson before talking to Novak about her.

Tom Maguire

Unless you are talking about another piece that Toensing has written, I think you can view it there.

Isn't that silly - if you start at WSJ.com and click to "Opinion", that column is offered but a login is required.

But if you click on "OpinionJournal", it is free.

I would not think that software problem is insolvable.

Neo

Armitage got the info on Plame straight from Marc Grossman

I not sure of the order, but Grossman was probably the guy who tipped of either Wilson or Wilson's friend who "ran" into Novak outside the White House. Or was Wilson's friend outside the White House Grossman ?

SunnyDay

Woohoo!! Bush is giving 'em hell.

topsecretk9

Victoria:

Mr. Armitage, who came forward after Mr. Libby was indicted, was told in February 2006, after two grand jury appearances, he would not be indicted. Mr. Rove, however, after five grand jury appearances, was not informed until July 2006 he would not be charged. Mr. Fitzgerald made the Rove decision appear strained, a close call. Yet of the two men's conduct, Mr. Armitage's deserved more scrutiny. And Mr. Fitzgerald knew it. Each had testified before the grand jury about a conversation with Mr. Novak. Each had forgotten about a conversation with an additional reporter: Mr. Armitage with Mr. Woodward, Mr. Rove with Time's Matt Cooper. However, Mr. Rove came forward pre-indictment, immediately, when reminded of the second conversation. When Mr. Woodward attempted to ask Mr. Armitage about the matter, on two separate occasions pre-indictment, Mr. Armitage refused to discuss it and abruptly cut him off. To be charitable, assume he did not independently recall his conversation with Mr. Woodward. Would not two phone calls requesting to talk about the matter refresh his recollection? Now we also know Messrs. Armitage and Novak have vastly different recollections of their conversation. Isn't that what Mr. Libby was indicted for?

Excellent point. Sort makes the left's handwring look really petty.

Neo

The line When Mr. Woodward attempted to ask Mr. Armitage about the matter, on two separate occasions pre-indictment, Mr. Armitage refused to discuss it and abruptly cut him off sort of gives the feeling that Armitage should, at the very least, be going Libby for obstruction.

windansea

Woohoo!! Bush is giving 'em hell.

sure is, glad he got the message to fight back and give more pressers

Neo

From Novak's statements and Armitage's retort, it is becoming clear that the possibility for perjury from the grand jury statements of Novak vs. Armitage is a whole lot better than that against Libby. But it is a he-said he-said.

Sue

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2509>AJ has an article up from one his posters.

clarice

Tom M, I don't know if they will be making it available to non-subscribers. I hope so. They did so with Barnes' piece on Plame last week. I think you make have to ask for permission, but I can't imagine they wouldn't give it to you. We mention your name, cite you and refer to your work on the matter.

SunnyDay

sure is, glad he got the message to fight back and give more pressers

Made David jackass Gregory sit down and shut up, too. :)))

clarice

Milbank is in rare form today:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the woman who will become speaker of the House if Democrats get lucky in November, began her weekly news conference yesterday holding up a red-white-and-blue brochure.

"I hope you all received 'A New Direction for America,' " she said, standing at a lectern that bore the same slogan. She called the manifesto "a compilation of many of the initiatives taken by our House Democratic Caucus that encompasses our new direction for all Americans."


It was a handsome booklet, full of homey photographs and popular proposals, but there was a problem. Democrats have had more "New Directions" recently than MapQuest.

Among the party's campaign slogans this year: "Culture of Corruption," "Culture of Cronyism," "Do-Nothing Congress," "Rubber-Stamp Congress," "Together, We Can Do Better," "Together, America Can Do Better" and, most recently, "Six for '06."

For those keeping score at home, Democrats arrived at "New Direction" yesterday by downgrading one of the "Six for '06" issues (health care) and upgrading three others (honesty, civility and fiscal discipline), for a total of eight items on the contents page.

By contrast, Republicans have settled on a single, unofficial slogan, which essentially says: Vote Democrat and Die. And in politics, scary and scurrilous usually trumps elaborate and earnest -- something Pelosi has experienced firsthand in recent days.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/14/AR2006091401575.html

Other Tom

As a charter subscriber to the WS, Clarice, I'm extremely proud of you, and I just can't wait to see it.

clarice

Thanks. It was a treat to be able to write at such length about the case and pull some disparate thoughts together.

Sue, elendil is a very smart guy and his post is good. Before AJ posted it in the body of his blog I asked Elendil and got permission as well from him to post it on F R so it can be cached in google for future researchers.
He has been very attentive to something we have not yet been --what the heck was going on in the DoJ at the time and why there was certain enmity with the OVP, Addington and Libby.

hit and run

A New Direction for America as the dems chosen slogan?

Say that again and see if you can hear it.

Or, move the "d" from direction over to new and then read it out loud again.

A NewD irection for America

And you think it's coincidence that Bill has been popping up in the news recently?

clarice

Heh--You know I'll never be able to hear this new slogan without hearing it in your version, hit and run.

noah

OT, but I thought Bush did extraordinarily well at his new conference today. Passion seems to overide some his unfortunate public speaking problems.

hit and run

Not original to me. Would h/t if I could remember where I saw it.

Did you see the one about "Golden Promise". The dems new slogan for social security. Don't have the link with me at the moment - but again, was a Pelosi presser where it was revealed. Someone (on NRO, can't remember who) decided to google "golden promise" to research the dems efforts at selling their ideas on social security. The first google entry? A company that sells.......turkeys.

But of course, I repeat myself.

Jeff

Novak "would hope" that President Bush would pardon Libby.

Since Novak seems pretty emphatic that he has not followed and does not know much about the Libby case, how on earth can he make an informed judgment about this? What? it's not informed? Oh.

Novak was asked about being a subject of the investigation, as has now been reported by both Waas and Hubris. He got all huffy and outraged, but in fact all he denied was being a target of the investigation, twice. A classic non-denial - we know that Fitzgerald didn't make subjects targets until he was on the very verge of indicting them - so I take it Novak is refusing to deny that he was a subject of the investigation, probably because he is incapable of it because he was.

However, Mr. Rove came forward pre-indictment, immediately, when reminded of the second conversation.

Oh that is funny! 1. Rove failed to produce the email that ultimately showed there was a Cooper conversation when it was subpoenaed. 2. Rove specifically denied in his first one or two grand jury appearances that he had had a relevant conversation with Cooper. 3. The email to Hadley showing there was a conversation with Cooper was printed out in November 2003. 4. Rove turned over the email on October 15, 2004, when he appeared before the grand jury, just days after it became clear that Matt Cooper was likely to be compelled to give up his source, that is, Rove.

And Luskin says maybe he screwed up with regard to the email. Too funny.

JJ

ummm...been trying to put together all the pieces of emptywheel's argument that Novak changed his story four times.

Help with that? In the front? In the back there? Anyone?

Neo

Wonder if the NewD irection will consider this issue ?

noah

"Lunatic retard" alive and well.

Neo

Jeff:
Rove failed to produce the email that ultimately showed there was a Cooper conversation when it was subpoenaed.

OK, who exactly was subpoenaed ? Only an idiot would believe that Rove got the subpoena.

topsecretk9

A New Direction for America as the dems chosen slogan?

Far better than the expensive yet short-sided - 6 and 6 in 06

666.

Tom Maguire

By contrast, Republicans have settled on a single, unofficial slogan, which essentially says: Vote Democrat and Die.

Ain't it the truth.

A NewD irection for America

And you think it's coincidence that Bill has been popping up in the news recently?

Is that one of Pelosi's new pamphlets in his pocket or is he just excited to see us?

noah

Lunatic retard is more accurate that idiot.

Jeff

OK, who exactly was subpoenaed ? Only an idiot would believe that Rove got the subpoena.

The email was covered by the subpoenas for documents issued early in his tenure by Fitzgerald, to say nothing of the earlier uncoerced demand for documents transmitted by Gonzales in fall 2003.

clarice

Are you arguing that Fitzgerald wasn't rigorous enough in going after Rove, Jeff? Good luck with that one.

In any event we now have to deal with the present:Rove and Armitage have been told they won't be indicted. Libby has been indicted and has reportedly racked up $7 million in legal fees already.

And the leaker is an "innocent accused".

PHEH

verner

Pelosi is from San Fransisco--I mean really, what should we expect. Bill Clinton must have been their subconscious inspiration...either that or it's one of Rove's plots.

The Democrat Party's NewD irection. Kennedy, Kerry, Murtha, Howard Dean...I think I want to throw up.

Other Tom

Give it up, Jeff: Rove has been cleared. You're skating pretty close to the Keep Hope Alive folks at TruthOut.org. Next you'll be telling us that the man was actually indicted on May 13, but the indictment remains under seal while he cooperates in the ongoing investigation of Cheney. We know your dreams have been shattered, but it's time to Man Up and, as we like to say, Move On.

cathyf

Ok, you'll have to humor ole broken-record cathy again... Toensing:

To be charitable, assume he did not independently recall his conversation with Mr. Woodward. Would not two phone calls requesting to talk about the matter refresh his recollection?
Well, NO!!! Why should two phone calls from Woodward have any such effect?!?!? If he forgot it, then that means that his knowledge of the conversation was gone! To "recall" something which does not exist requires not just some phone calls, but psychic powers or other equally powerful magic. (Hmmm... If Toensing thinks that such powers are commonplace, maybe it's because she has magical powers. Do you think she could use her powers for something useful like telling me what tonight's Big Game Lottery numbes are going to be in time for me to buy a ticket?)

JM Hanes

"On July 8 Andrea Mitchell claimed that CIA sources told her that the Wilson trip was arranged by 'some of the covert operatives in the CIA at a very low level'."

With the possible complicity of low level operatives at State as well, who ended up needing to do some butt covering of their own? The pieces fit together either way in my New Improved Unified Theory: Joe & Val weren't high enough on the food chain to know how Joe's "report" actually played into the C.I.A. assessment. His "findings" were circulated, just as he suspected. It just never occured to him that his debunking was circulating as confirmation. This would explain a lot.

Why did Joe make the trip when State was so dubious (having claimed he wouldn't have gone without State Dept. approval), with a restricted list of people he could speak to and questions he could ask? It makes no sense if the C.I.A. were looking to dispute State's position; it only makes sense from Val (and/or likeminded cohorts in the basement) and Joe's perspective.

Val did indeed want to get back into clandestine ops -- not at the C.I.A. where she had clearly stalled out -- but at the I.N.R. Hence the mysterious "transitioning to State." Joe wanted back in the game at State himself. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when he outlined "his plans and his reasons for going." By the time Joe left, he knew what State wanted to hear, and on return from Niger, that's what he thought he gave them. It may have come as quite a shock when he eventually learned he'd managed to do just the opposite (see Capt. Ed on the newest from SSCI).

But back to the narrative: Joe is beating down the doors at State, thinking he'll be welcomed back with open arms, but they won't touch him with a ten foot pole. His ticket home is going nowhere fast...till he turns to Kerry and his political pals.

cathyf

Neo's to the point question:

OK, who exactly was subpoenaed ? Only an idiot would believe that Rove got the subpoena.
I'll repeat the question: who was subpoenaed? who was subpoenaed? who was subpoenaed?

Jeff's response:

The email was covered by the subpoenas for documents issued early in his tenure by Fitzgerald, to say nothing of the earlier uncoerced demand for documents transmitted by Gonzales in fall 2003.
Ok, if, as Neo asserts, "an idiot" is someone who thinks that Rove was the party required, by the subpeona, to search the backup tape archives of the White House computer system, what do you call someone who thinks that "Fitzgerald" and "Gonzales" are somehow the answer to the question?

clarice

cathyf, Let's assume you are right (you alsmost always are). Still, he should have given Woodward a waiver and gone into the SP himself and said Woodward telle me this but I don't remember.
By not granting him a waiver, he kept the SP from knowing anything about it at all.
(And it is doubtless true that the assumptions the law makes about the workings of the human mind is odd, but I've read in translation German court opinions and you haven't seen odd until you do.)

noah

Yeah cathy, but he actually does recall the converation with Novak!

JM Hanes

Jeff:

Novak "got all huffy and outraged"? That's not a sign of wrongdoing, that's his signature.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

"By not granting him a waiver, he kept the SP from knowing anything about it at all."

It's funny to hear Jeff going on and on about Rovian failures, when the White House crew all issued blanket waivers and Armitage issued not a one -- despite being repeatedly begged to do so. Does anyone think Novak wasn't asking too? As far as we know, Army hasn't actually granted any official waivers to this day; he's just technically voided confidentiality by putting out his purported side of the story. A huffy Novak is sinister. A squirming Armitage can, no doubt, be easily explained away.

Sara (Squiggler)

Jeff -- From the time of the Armitage confirmation, your postings have become increasingly snarky and coming close to bordering on mean. I don't know about anyone else, but I now find I'm skipping over most of what you have to say because it is so predictable and so locked in to so many naive or uninformed ideas on how government and/or politics actually works.

Your point about Novak being a subject or target, not being one, failing to deny or whatever is an example of how your reasoning and logic has deteriorated.

Why would Novak deny being a subject? That would be ludicrous. Of course, he was a subject and once the investigation was called for, I'm sure he would have been astounded if he hadn't been a subject. Now, I do not believe that he thinks that he, personally, was the subject. It wasn't his life or background that was under investigation. It was his article. His article WAS the investigation, it was the entire subject of the investigation.

I don't know why you keep trashing the man with your innuendo. He has a long and distinguished journalistic career. He has a reputation for being an honorable man. By his own admission, he has spent a lifetime building up low level sources to get to his stories. He is probably as knowledgeable about Washington as any person working inside the Beltway today. And he witnessed most of the skeletons in real time before they became skeletons. The one thing about Bob Novak is that he knows how Washington works and you can bet that he always has his ear to the ground.

JM Hanes

How about this as an alternative to a pardon?

Bush orders Gonzales to close down Fitzgerald's operation, dismiss the charges against Libby, appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate possible wrongdoing in the former SP's office, suspend Fitzgerald from the DoJ, without pay, pending the outcome -- and instruct everyone not to talk about it.

Sara (Squiggler)

And one more thing ... Bob Novak is known primarily for exposing government screw ups. He has pissed off both sides of the aisle for writing it as he sees it. In this case, I do think there is much more he could tell us, but not about Valerie Plame or any ginned up WH/OVP plot to out her. I think Bob Novak thinks that whole kerfluffle is a nonstarter waste of time. I do, however, think he believes there is a massive government screw up here and that it goes back to what was the real reason Joe Wilson was picked to go on his tea drinking trips to Niger. I also think he understands very well that this boils down to a turf war between State and CIA with the DOJ jumping in to add even more complication to getting at the truth in the mix.

Novak may not even know exactly to this day why, but I'm sure he was seeing all kinds of red flags when he realized that both CIA and State were doing a whole lot of CYA and it all circled around Wilson. I think both State and CIA knew that the AQ Khan network was about to blow up in the media and they had a lot of 'splainin' to do.

clarice

Just as Ashcroft failed in not undoing the Gorelick wall he failed in turning over tha metter to Comey. And Comey failed in appointing Fitzgerald and creating the extra-regulatory form of the appointment.

In trying to figure out what was behind preposterous official conduct in DC, you can't go wrong by first considering ego (including bruised egos) and pusillanimity.

Steve

Clarice,
Glad to hear you will be in the WSJ! Great News. I too, hope it's on the free side. I know when Rush has a piece posted on the pay side, he is allowed to reprint it the next day on his site. So, perhaps, you would be allowed to reprint it at A/T the next day.
Victoria's piece today was very good as well.

Other Tom

A note on responding to subpoenas: The normal practice would be for the named recipient (Rove) to hand the thing to his attorney, and for the attorney to have a number of associates go through all of the places where responsive documents might be located, cull out the ones that are not responsive or are covered by attorney-client privilege, and then prepare the responsive documents for production. Before producing them to the prosecutor the lead attorney would undoubtedly go over them with Rove simply to keep him apprised of what was being turned over, and to discuss any issues (e.g. privilege) that Rove would be aware of where the attorney might not be.

I believe I recall that after the initial document production, additional responsive documents were found in a site not previously searched. This is pretty routine stuff, and Fitzgerald evidently regarded it as such. At this level, unless you're talking about Haldeman and Nixon, you don't detroy or withhold responsive documents--partiuclarly where, as here, there was nothing to hide, as Fitzgerald and we now know.

clarice

Steve, Thanks. But it will be in the Weekly Standard, not the WSJ and I don't know their policy.

Neo

There has been so much written about this story. It's been so long now since anything new advanced the Wilson's story. It merely forments discord and has made the Wilson's look like fools.

Fitz should declare it over and go back to Chicago.

TallDave

Am I missing something here?

Doesn't this whole thing mean Fitz lied when he said Libby was the first to talk to a reporter? Of course, he was later contradicted by Woodward, but that seemed like an honest mistake at the time. But of course if he had talked to Armitage before the indictment of Libby, then he would have known what he said at the time of the indictment wasn't true.

Surely proof of Fitz lying would be big news, but I haven't heard anything along these lines. Am I missing something on the timeline here?

clarice

I'm pretty worn out about it, but everytime I see a new lie, I see red and can't stop myself.

It's less sexy, but it would be interesting to review a number of the high profile Fitz and Comey cases out of the SDNY in which I think we might find a pattern of similar abuses. Just saying.

We never pay attention to such things because the defendants are terrorists or mafia or unpopulat (i.e Quattrone or Martha Stewart or the blind sheik) and this is not where the ACLU any longer has its focus so it all gets swept under the rug.

Neo

Tall Dave: you see Bob Novak is a "columnist" and not strictly a "reporter," so Fitz really didn't lie .. and pig will fly. You're right.

Tom Maguire

However, Mr. Rove came forward pre-indictment, immediately, when reminded of the second conversation.

Well, that was just one of the assertions from the Toensing piece that could be challenged. Per 'Hubris', Luskin found out that Rove had a "Cooper problem" in like, October 2003, and got a folder with hard copy of emails printed in dated Nov 2003.

Yet Luskin failed to review adequately the folder, and Rove only testified to the email in October 2004 (apparently he was reminded sooner, but plumb forgot the conversation; IIRC (again from Hubris?), his current testimony is that he still does not recall the conversation, but has produced the email.

I have a hard time squaring that with "came forward immediately".

In fact, if I had a better mix of time and pride I would go through that Toensing piece - some I like, but some is dubious.

Another example was noted already by Cathyf - those two "reminders" to Woodward may not have sparked anything at all. Per 'Hubris', Armitage stopped Woodward in the first sentence of requests to talk about Wilson and Niger - that could just as well be Armitage ducking a fishing trip about the Novak leak, his thoughts on the White House sources, or anything case-related.

JM Hanes

Tall Dave:

Fitzgerald knew about the interview with Novak, but most folks believe he really didn't know about the earlier interview with Woodward till after the indictment when Armitage finally told him about it and gave Woodward a waiver to confirm it.

clarice

Well, that's Armitage's story, isn;t it?

And Fitz made it clear from the outset that he was uncocerned about "good leakers" . We know he never interviewed critical reporters like Kristof and Corn who'd been the recipient of "good leaks".

As to Rove, V. Novak came forward and testified. We do not know what she testified to . And Luskin testified as well about their conversations.

I tend to believe they made out a strong case that (a Rove had no independent recollection of the coversation, his email had been misplaced, Luskin hadn't noticed it in the file, he rechecked after Novak told him and they were producing it but had little independent recall of it.)

Of course, from what we learned in the May discovery hearing, it may be worse (and the Judge's rulings on the Time docs provide some support for that). Wilson was on the line to Calibressi before and after the Cooper-Libby talk; there was lots of stuff in the Time files suggesting independent knowledge of Plame; and Cooper's contemporaneous notes (contrary to the Time story) show NOT ONE THING about Plame was recorded in them or in his email to others about it.)

lurker

"1. Rove failed to produce the email that ultimately showed there was a Cooper conversation when it was subpoenaed."

Why does the "Cooper conversation" and this specific email matter when Judge Walter ordered Cooper's testimony impeached?

Apparently, Judge Walton had some very serious issues with Cooper's testimony or felt Matt Cooper could not be trusted on the stand.

If that is the case, then who should be trusted? Rove or Cooper?

And specifically what was the date of this email? If it is after Armitage's leak to Novak, then Rove is not the original leaker. Armitage is proven to be the original leaker. Anything happens after Armitage makes absolutely no difference at all.

lurker

Hey! I subscribe to Weekly Standard so I get to read Clarice's article! Yay! My brothers and parents also have subscriptions.

Looking forward to it. Thanks for letting us know about your article. Hope the WS editors are pleased with it.

clarice

No--the Judge ruled that the documents in Time's possession would tend to impeach (discredit)Cooper's testimony no matter how he testified. It's a slight but important difference, but it indicates that Cooper will have a credibility problem on the stand.

jthomas

here's the funny thing about everyone commenting on this site and others. None of you are reporters. None of you ventured out of your house or office to try and get first hand information. All your left with is (un)educated guessing. In a nutshell everything you say is bullshit. You have not seen the letter to Luskin and you cannot say with any degree of certainty that Rove is not cooperating. So STFU. For that matter, you have no idea if Armitage is cooperating. Tom, Deaf Jeff and the rest of you brain surgeons here and over at the Next Yippe Kye Yay Motherfucker blog don't have firsthand info so anything related to the investigation or what is truly going on behind the scenes doesn't pass the smell test. Stop acting like you know everything when you don't. For all we know, Rove was indicted. Or Rove is gay, or Rove fucked a sheep. Who knows? No one has any evidence to say for sure that it's not true.

cathyf
Still, he should have given Woodward a waiver and gone into the SP himself and said Woodward telle me this but I don't remember.
Well, I think that Armitage has a plausible "out" for that, too. IF he really forgot, then he would have not known what Woodward was going to be talking about before cutting him off. But he might have thought that he knew. We aren't the only people who had Armitage fingered as a possible Novak source. Maybe Armitage cut Woodward off in those earlier conversations because he "knew" that Woodward was talking about the July 8 Novak-Armitage conversation. Perhaps other reporters also knew or suspected that Armitage was Novak's source and had been badgering him for a response. It would be completely logical for Armitage to assume that Woodward was just one more journalist badgering him about Novak.

Sure, I'm speculating, but it's a reasonable story, and maybe it even happened that way. My main point is that all of the "Armitage should have told the truth to Fitzgerald about Woodward" are just like the "Rove should have told the truth to Fitzgerald about Cooper" or "Libby should have told the truth about Russert/Cooper/Miller to Fitzgerald" statements. If the person didn't know the truth (because he forgot it) then "not telling the truth" is not lying. It's simply doing exactly what he has been asked to do, to the best of his ability, and it's not some terrible crime not to have magical powers.

One of the most dangerous conceits of law enforcement is the notion that each person knows every single thing that the person could know, and if a person claims not to know something that they had the opportunity to learn, then that the person is lying. No, some people just aren't paying attention, or are distracted, or whatever. And even if you put them in the back room and beat them with rubber hoses, they aren't going to suddenly magically become more knowlegeable.

JM Hanes

Guys:

I'm not sure why my new Unified Theory is getting zero traction here! My post was already long, so I didn't try to catalogue the ramifications which strike me as substantial. I can't figure out if the point I made was only new to me, or if folks don't see the import or see it and think it makes no difference.

TallDave

JM,

Well, that being the case, how do you square that with Armitage's claim he didn't come forward because he was asked by Fitz not to talk about the case? If Armitage didn't talk to Fitz until after the indictment, then he could have come forward any time before that, including, obviously, when Libby was indicted!

Doesn't make sense. One or the other is lying, or at the least being a weasel.

Jeff

A huffy Novak is sinister. A squirming Armitage can, no doubt, be easily explained away.

This misses my point and attitude on both counts. The point about Novak is that while he's getting all huffy and outraged, he actually evades the question on substance. There's nothing sinister or unsinister about it. Novak was under suspicion of a cover-up, which made him a subject of the investigation. That's all.

As for Armitage, as I've been saying for months, I don't think his conduct can be easily explained away. You seem to be doing exactly what you're accusing me of doing: of treating things in black and white terms, and assuming you know which side someone is on, when you don't.

clarice

JMH It is not implausible. OTOH Joe is such a serial liar it is hard to imagine what he thought.

One might argue that he thought all the details were classified and wouldn't be released. Or that he projected and assumed others behave as he did.

It's as big a mystery to me as why he spoke of seeing the forged docs when he apparently could not have in the timeframe.

Propspector

From the start of this fiasco, I've suspected an orchestration within CIA to de-fuse the Iraq WMD time bomb. I believe that after a number of years of issuing dire warnings to the Clinton administration about the suspected WMD program in Iraq and after the atrocity of the WTC bombings, it became inevitable that the President would press the issue and actually implement the legislated U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq. Wilson was sent to Niger to intentionally perform a farce of an investigation to discredit one of the points of evidence that would be used to support an armed interdiction. Armitage, with Powell's knowledge, took advantage of this situation and nursed the damage of the Wilson attack on the Bush Administration in retribution for the loss of face that the State Dept. experienced for Powell's UN moment which, by June of 2003, failed to produce WMD's. I don't understand Fitzgerald's desire to prolong the phony investigation and can only attribute it to some procedural constraint or more nefariously, "piling on" to the Wilson onslaught for some future favor under a Democrat administration. Many in the media added to the rampage by taking a purely activist and subjective approach to the story. The White House, and especially, President Bush and Karl Rove should be commended for the proper way they conducted themselves and insistance on following the rules during this ridiculous episode. The one true miserable failure is Joseph Wilson IV, who attempted to disgrace his president, discredit his country, and dishonoured his wife by bringing forth a new phrase into our lexicon for a failed conspiracy -- "Plamed-out".

TallDave

Clarice,

Scuttlebutt was he thought by maximizing the "Bush lied!" FUD he could get increase the chances of getting Kerry elected (which, remember, looked very likely in summer 2004) before anyone figured out the details, and by then he would have been rewarded with a high-level position. Of course, the old saying about never attributing to malice what can be more easily explained by stupidity probably applies to Wilson too.

Patrick

JThomas,
You are confused. Certainly, there are many things unknown about this case. There are, however, many facts that are known, with certainty. There are other facts believed to be true, with varying degrees of certainty. There is also idle speculation. Finally, there is "wishful" thinking. What people on this site do is combine elements of the first category with elements of the others to come up with "reasoned speculation." Some (TM, Clarice, others) are able to take it pretty far, and others (myself) are along for the ride. Plus, there's always Jeff to "test the hypothesis" by pointing out some long forgotten obscure fact. Usually, he's wrong, but we appreciate it anyway! But, this is fun!(as long as your name isn't Scooter).

Plus, I'm pretty sure Rove doesn't go in for that sort of thing.

In short: Lighten up Francis.

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/09/novak_would_hop.html#comment-22463625>Scary, is that you?

jthomas

I think I'm starting to sound like Rumsfeld...

"there are known knowns and things unknown"

Neo

I would like to believe that something as systematic as some sort of conspriacy (or something a bit less sinister) as proposed by "Propspector" as it would indicate that it would be possible to take back control of this whirling derbish.
Unfortunately, then I would also have to believe all the theories about explosives bringing down the WTC and alternate theories about the JFK assasination.

After the latest stuff from Novak and Armitage, it has become more and more clear that this was more the stuff of CYA (Cover Your Ass) than CIA. Except for a number of small plots to accomplish a CYA op for certain small groups within agencies, this seems to be an enthropic adventure of individuals.

Sue

As for Armitage, as I've been saying for months, I don't think his conduct can be easily explained away. You seem to be doing exactly what you're accusing me of doing: of treating things in black and white terms, and assuming you know which side someone is on, when you don't.

Are you still holding out hope that Armitage will be charged? He received a letter in February of this year saying he wouldn't be.

Enlightened

Peeuw - Something smells like dirty old socks. I mean, something smells like Jason Leopold's dirty old socks. Maybe he likes to huff 'em when they get really old and stinky.

Carry On.

Jeff

No, Sue, but I didn't take that to be the question.

Jeff

In fact, if I had a better mix of time and pride I would go through that Toensing piece - some I like, but some is dubious.

That's generous. It's just dreadful.

lurker

Jeff, that doesn't answer Sue's question. You must still think Rove is a leaker and a bad one, too.

Jim Hanes, some portions of your theory must may turn out to be correct.

Patrick R. Sullivan

The Best of Toensing:

'Now we also know Messrs. Armitage and Novak have vastly different recollections of their conversation. Isn't that what Mr. Libby was indicted for? '

and;

'By the time he indicted Mr. Libby on Oct. 28, 2005, Mr. Fitzgerald knew two conflicting facts about the classified nature of the Niger trip: since at least early May 2003, Mr. Wilson was discussing his Niger trip with the press (Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times) and claimed in his July 2003 NYT op-ed that his mission was "discreet, but by no means secret." Yet, the indictment states that around June 9, 2003, the CIA sent "classified" documents to the vice president's office discussing "Wilson and his trip to Niger." If the trip was classified for the vice president, why was it declassified for Mr. Wilson? Did Mr. Wilson violate any law by revealing his trip or did Mr. Fitzgerald choose not to know?

'Did Mr. Fitzgerald subpoena Ms. Plame? He could have asked her why, if she were truly covert, was she attending an Eastern Shore meeting in May 2003 with Democratic senators. ....Did Mr. Fitzgerald subpoena Mr. Wilson to attest he had never revealed his wife's employment to anyone? If he had done so, he might have learned [David] Corn's source.'

Anarchus

why exactly is it that if you or I or Martha Stewart lie to an FBI investigator we can go to jail, but Fitzgerald can dissemble and prevaricate ad nauseam without consequence?

Just askin' . . . . . . as for myself, I will never under any circumstances say anything to any official investigator from the government.

Florence Schmieg

I still think the Democratic senators were involved in this somehow.

Jeff

Yeah, that's about the best of Toensing. And I'd say there are dozens of JOMers who can answer most of those questions she poses.

clarice

Smart decision Anarchus. Neither would I especially since they don't tape the interviews, and it's your word versus their notes.

Patrick, the only thing which makes me think there was something more diabolical going on was the peculiar nature of the Mission, the failure to require a non disclosure agreement, the failure of the CIA to shut Wilson up when he started yakking and the utterly inexplicable insistence of the agency on an investigation.The referral letter had to be full of lies.

Syl

Tom

Per 'Hubris', Armitage stopped Woodward in the first sentence of requests to talk about Wilson and Niger - that could just as well be Armitage ducking a fishing trip about the Novak leak, his thoughts on the White House sources, or anything case-related.

Did they interview both Armitage and Woodward for Hubris? or just Armitage?

If Novak's and Armitage's characterization of their meeting differs as much as it does, seems to me Armitage and Woodward might each have different 'recollections' of those attempts by Woodward to get Armitage to come clean.

Also, if Novak's characterization of Armitage's revelation to him as a bit more than mere gossip is correct, wouldn't that imply that Armitage to Woodward was a bit more than idle gossip as well?

In which case it would be more likely that Armitage did remember his convo with Woodward because he was purposely planting the information then as well.

JM Hanes

Jeff:

If you're not implying anything about Novak's putative evasion, then I am, indeed, missing the point of bringing it up.

As for Armitage, I should think an experienced fencer like you would be the first to realize I leveled no accusations at all. Nor did I presume to know whose side you're on, though if I had to guess I'd say mostly your own. You pad your opinions in qualifiers, then crow about being right when things pan out or claim you've asserted nothing when they don't. The closest thing to unequivocal judgments I can recall are the opinions you express elsewhere about the folks posting here -- Tom always thoughtfully excepted, of course.

clarice

Mac is hinting that Schumer may be in trouble re this case--how or why I've no idea:
"Now Rockefeller isn’t the only Democrat who has deliberately tried to thwart our Nation’s security (Durbin and Wyden mentioned above). As the Plame Game now goes into another phase you will also see why most Democratic pundits want it to go away, for it seems that there may have been more than a little manipulation to “bolster” the game via another Democratic Senator, who seemed to appear whenever Joe Wilson appeared."

clarice

Schumer:
Chair of the DSPC (?) when Wilson testified before it in May 2003
Called for--indeed, demanded the appointment of a special prosecutor

Big backer of Comey for Deputy AG

__Anything else?

JM Hanes

Syl:

Actually, I think all we have is info from Armitage surrogates fed through the Corn/Isikoff grinder, and almost nothing substantive from Woodward himself, to whom Armitage has yet to grant a public waiver, I believe.

I initially thought it was rather bizarre when Armitage claimed that he didn't go public immediately after Fitzgerald finally granted him permission in August, because he didn't want to be accused of trying to take advantage of the summer lull. I've since concluded that he was really fending off questions from folks like me who immediately wondered why his surrogates were telling all to Corn & Isikoff while he said nothing to the Prez. Has he ever stated when -- or even if -- he personally informed the President of the part he played?

BTW, I've been meaning to tell you how much I've been enjoying your incisive comments of late.

clarice

Yes. I had a very different impression (and so it seems idid Victoria) from Woodward's account.

"Of late"? Syl, is always worth reading.

topsecretk9

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/196914.php


NYT Now Advising Reporters On How To Falsify Records In Order To Protect Classified Info Leakers
One word for this is "cute."

Another term for it is "a conspiracy to obstruct justice."

To this end, as the New York Observer reports, the Times is now giving lessons to their reporters on how they can best "dispos[e] of story drafts and [cut] back on telephone and e-mail contact with sources--or us[e] disposable cell phones for important calls." In addition, New York Times reporter David Barstow has recommended other subterfuges such as "altering Times expense-sheet forms so that a reporter does not have to list the names of sources who have been taken out for lunch or dinner." Barstow adds that even company e-mail should conveniently disappear in a short time in order to hinder any investigation of who might be leaking secrets to the Times staff.

PeterUK

"a compilation of many of the initiatives taken by our House Democratic Caucus that encompasses our new direction for all Americans."

Followed by a double album "LIES LIVE", a boxed set and a DVD of the promo video.

PeterUK

Go easy on Jeff,he is "pining for the Fjords".

lurker

We Deserve The Whole Plame Story

AJStrata does it even better!

MayBee

how on earth can he make an informed judgment about this? What? it's not informed? Oh.

Of course he's informed enough to have an opinion on this.

I would hope that he would hope that any criminal investigation involving a source giving information to a reporter would never go forward in the first place.
I'm sure he would hope Libby is pardoned, and would further hope this whole incident doesn't set a precedent.

Novak, I'm sure, would hope there is no chilling effect.
He doesn't have to have the court transcripts memorized to know what he hopes for, it's journalism he's worried about.

lurker

AJStrata says:

"But what people will forget to note is Valerie Plame’s name was probably all over the Hill by this time. Here is what would happen in the wake of the Ames fiasco - Congressional oversight. Congress would want to know the damage and what was being done about it. The list of agents compromised would be circulated, and the fact they were being moved off covert ops noted as they were re-assigned to Langley. This list would be known as ‘the survivors’, those not killed by Ames’ treason. Wilson marrying someone on this infamous list would not go unnoticed in Washington DC either. And so when Val and Joe show up at events she will be known as one of the few who escaped Aldrich Ames"

lurker

Michael Barone comments the Toensing article, even using the same title!

What a load of Armitage!

Gene Dillenburg

I could have sworn that at one point, perhaps last summer, Novak said he *didn't* just look up Plame's name in Who's Who?

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Yeah, that's about the best of Toensing. And I'd say there are dozens of JOMers who can answer most of those questions she poses.'

Oh, yes, we can. How about you, Jeff?

Patton

Bush could have added in his press conference today, that he wants the Democrats to clarify whether they regard FROG MARCHING as covered under their definition of degrading and humiliating activities.

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Wilson/Plame