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September 18, 2006

Comments

JM Hanes

Jeff:

Your idea of "tackling Toensing" is calling her a "partisan hack masquerading as a dispassionate legal observer"? Now there's a debater's trick, though I'd stop short of calling it a good debater's trick. Perhaps you thought TM had tackling the messenger, not the subject, in mind.

cathyf

Clarice, I might want to lard on a little more about how misleading the courts is an affront to justice, and how it is important that a lawyer who makes a mockery of the federal courts -- all the way up to the Supreme Court -- needs to be disciplined because that affront cannot be allowed to stand.

But then again, as everybody knows I always lard on too much. Not to mention, but you'd have to figure out how to say all that without using the phrase "dicking around" ;-)

Jeff

What does the legislative history say? What were the votes? How do those two things differ from what the drafters say?

To the extent that they don't differ, Toensing's statements now are superfluous for the purposes of interpreting the statute. To the extent that they do differ, Toensing's statements now carry no particular weight.

As a matter of fact, as far as what the committee put it, it's quite ambiguous in relation to the definition of a covert agent, sort of all over the map, and there's nothing specific defining "serve abroad" as far as I have discovered so far. There are all sorts of statements, not all of which seem consistent, and the point someone made above about Toensing talking about revising repeatedly the bill to placate the liberals (which sort of messes up the coherence of the whole idea of original intent, but whatever) jibes with my suspicion about what was going on, which is that people seeded in all manner of things, for the later use of those who would turn to the statute in prosecutions and other contexts. In other words, for liberals who wanted to interpret the definition of covert agent very very narrowly, there was material to work with. For conservatives who wanted to interpret the definition of covert agent more expansively, there was material to work with. And yes, I see the irony of who is on what side in this battle, for the most part.

Jeff

Just to be clear, I've got no problem with Toensing saying that she thinks Fitzgerald is misinterpreting the statute, that he's wrong, that in fact it can't be applied to Plame (as far as she can tell), and so on. What I've got a problem with is her saying that Fitzgerald himself knew the law didn't apply from day one, and giving as her reason the fact that she helped to write the bill, as though there were no question of judgment involved. So boris' "Fitzgerald should have known" formulation - yeah, fine.

clarice

I'm adding this:

Footnote 15, p. 28 of this filing was markedly misleading:
“If Libby knowingly disclosed information about Plame’s status with the CIA, Libby would appear to have violated Title 18, USC Sec. 793 if the information is considered information respecting the national defense. In order to establish a violation of Title 50, USCSec.421, it would be necessary to establish that Libby knew or believed that Plame was a person whose identity the CIA was making specific efforts to conceal and who had carried out covert work overseas within the last 5 years. To date we have no direct evidence that Libby knew or believed Wilson’s wife was engaged in covert work.”


That it is so is clear from this portion of Judge Tatel’s opinion in that case:

Addressing deficiencies of proof regarding the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the special counsel refers to Plame as “a person whose identity the CIA was making specific efforts to conceal and who had carried out covert work overseas within the last 5 years”—representations I trust the special counsel would not make without support. [Emphasis added] There is no indication on the record that the Prosecutor informed the Court that this was a misreading of the affidavit.

boris

It's fair for Toensing to say "Fitzgerald should have known". AFAIC he did know and presented the issue in a misleading indirect fashion.

Jane

What I've got a problem with is her saying that Fitzgerald himself knew the law didn't apply from day one, and giving as her reason the fact that she helped to write the bill, as though there were no question of judgment involved.

It seems to me Fitzy's actions alone allow you to get to that conclusion, unless you want to argue in the alternative that he was actively protecting Armitage.

sid

Clarice

Great job on this and also on your many fine articles. Below are some items that drew my attention.

Some statements do not reference the source. I suggest citing the source for almost every statement of fact. The sentence regarding good leakers bad leakers and whistleblowers drew my attention to the lack of a source for the allegation. At other places you did note the source for the factual statements you made.

I think a few sentences could be added regarding the “The media published more information in the fall of 2003 confirming that Novak was not the only reporter contacted during the relevant period.” And the 1x2x6 “before Novak published”. You know the DOJ position on this, but my thought is that it is not proper to imprison a reporter (or anyone else) based on the accuracy of a news article (that has since been proven incorrect) that was not material that carried an “under oath” penalty for being incorrect, nor should a reporter be imprisoned just to determine if another reporter’s story is correct. The reporter who wrote the story maybe could be charged with contempt, had this actually been the investigation of an important criminal or national defense matter. When the extra-special prosecutor filed this affidavit, no such investigation was ongoing.

I may have more thoughts later… work beckons.

Daddy

Clarice, I have a slight misunderstanding about exactly what you meant in your letter to Mr Jarrett posted above, so instead of asking you exactly what you meant when you wrote it (since you wrote it) I will instead ask Jeff and Boris, because according to Jeff Logic, that is the way to figure out what you meant. When I find out from them what you meant when you wrote what you wrote, I will happily pass that on to you, but if you don't exactly understand what I write when I write back, please ask Semanticleo and Maybee and ah what the hell, maybe even Victoria Toensing, to explain what I meant when I wrote. Hope that clears things up.

boris

lol

Sue

This argument bothers me. What if there are covert agents that have to live here but travel overseas? Why wouldn't they be covered by the IIPA? And if they aren't maybe it should be re-written to cover them. I have never thought Valerie was covert and I still don't. But assuming there are none out there that live in the US for cover purposes, but spy overseas, seems kind of naive.

clarice

Heh!

Sid, I did reference those statements to the press conference. Perhaps I should add the citation to it.

Jeff, assuming Toensing is right and Fitz was misled by what she called some "good old boys in the agency" into thinking the IIPA applied--that is, that Plame was covert. When do you think he found out?

At some point wouldn't a non-partisan, with full knowledge about the circumstances of the disclosure to Novak, have called it a day? Is there no obligation to exercise reasonable judgement?
(When I was at the DoJ and had to justify the initiation of a case BTW we did have to. )

boris

What if there are covert agents that have to live here but travel overseas?

Like 007? There should be some distinction from people maintaining a foreign cover, or acting as an agent for the CIA in their homeland who are subject to elimination if revealed. That seems to have been the intent of the IIPA.

Gary Maxwell

Daddy gets funny ass quote of the day award. Jeff we definitely are making fun of you in case you were at all wondering. Why you make it so damn easy is still the mystery to me. Great job by the way, DADDY.

Sue

boris,

I am talking about a citizen of the US. Surely there are some CIA covert operatives that have to maintain a residence in the US for their cover to work overseas.

boris

CIA covert operatives that have to maintain a residence in the US for their cover to work overseas

Are they covered by IIPA? Should they be? It doesn't seem to have been written with them in mind.

Perhaps the IIPA is more for prior-restraint than prosecution. In the Wilson case it has clearly been used as facade for a counterfit investigation.

lurker

"The law was never meant to provide "cover" for a bleached blonde gold-digging hustler, sitting on her ass in Langley, who took it upon herself to try and take down the president through lies."

Except in a James Bond 007 movie! :)

Sue

Did you know that it isn't a violation of the IIPA to out yourself if you are a covert operative?

lurker

"That's what Toensing meant. And it appears that Comey, his ex-Kennedy staffer assistant, and a few CIA lawyers may have been playing fast and loose with the original intent of the law for blatant political reasons. And they, and Fitzgerald, are hiding it from us."

And that would be a wise move for Team Libby to add Toensing to its defense witness list.

Bill in AZ

clarice,
great letter!...

...but in various ways he deliberately left the Court with that impression in order to >>affect<< the rare contempt order and jailing of a reporter.

I believe this usage should be "effect"

boris

My simplistic interpretation is that IIPA is meant to prevent agents from being rounded up and shot. If they're in the US that isn't going to happen, but if they have associates still in that situation the IIPA tries to take that into account.

For me, understanding the simple intent is a guide when trying to interpret the legalese. Certainly not foolproof, but obvious twisting from clear intent is very suspicious.

Based on that interpretation a 007 type would not qualify.

Jeff

assuming Toensing is right and Fitz was misled by what she called some "good old boys in the agency" into thinking the IIPA applied--that is, that Plame was covert. When do you think he found out?

Since we know that when Fitzgerald made clear in August 2004 that he and his team had analyzed the statutes, he judged that the IIPA applied to Plame, the good old boys at the CIA whom Toensing assumes misled Fitzgerald must have been misleading him on the facts of the matter, not on the law. So what facts do you think they misled him on? That she served overseas?

cathyf
This argument bothers me. What if there are covert agents that have to live here but travel overseas? Why wouldn't they be covered by the IIPA? And if they aren't maybe it should be re-written to cover them. I have never thought Valerie was covert and I still don't. But assuming there are none out there that live in the US for cover purposes, but spy overseas, seems kind of naive.
Are you thinking of someone posing as a business person, where the business is in the US, and then the person travels internationally using the business as cover, but is really spying, then I'm pretty sure that qualifies as serving overseas. What matters is the posting as per the CIA's books, not the posting as per the business's books. Clearly the government has figured out how to do this -- for example even though Valerie's employer of record was Brewster-Jennings, she was still accumulating pension and benefits as a government employee. (Allowing her to get to the 20 year mark in 2005.)

But in the businessperson case you have somebody who is going overseas undercover and spying on people. The Jordan uranium-tube gander was overseas but not spying undercover. The living in DC and driving to Langly while being paid by Brewster-Jennings was under "cover" but not overseas and not spying. (And, I have maintained, was about violating some administrative rule in order to keep her on the payroll. The only people that her "cover" was hiding anything from were legitimate US supervisors.)

But anyway, before Agee none of these people had protection from anything like the IIPA, and had to rely on the CIA's tradecraft for protection. When the IIPA was under consideration, there were serious people with serious objections about how to write it in such a way that it did not unduly interfere with legitimate debate over the government's conduct of intelligence operations. We are a free society, the intelligence services are government operations, and they are accountable to us.

So, as Toensing describes the process, they were trying to balance the need to provide some protection to agents from Agee-like traitors, while at the same time not chilling legitimate debate about and scrutiny of intelligence operations. So, no, the act clearly was deliberately constrained so that it doesn't give protection to everybody who could hypothetically need it. And, notice, nobody has ever been prosecuted under the act. Which means that agents (of all kinds) have been protected as they always have been, by good tradecraft. If ever another Agee-like character pops up, we'll have a law in order to punish him (if he doesn't escape to Cuba first).

But otherwise, agents need to be protected by tradecraft. Which means that your spouse can't make up lies about your work product and publish them in the NYT. It means that when you are in a foreign country snatching a terrorist you can't get frequent-flyer miles on your account. It means that when you have snatched your terrorist in the foreign country and are in the getaway car you have to pay your tolls in cash, even though it costs a bit more than using the easy-to-trace electronic account gadget...

Sue

What if they are overseas at the time of the outing? On a business/spy trip? I think it covers them. The question should be whether or not Plame was in Jordan, for instance, as an analyst for Brewster Jennings or an agent of the CIA. Fitzgerald should know the answer to that, and judging from his actions, he does know the answer and that is why the underlying charges were not charged. But in Fitz world, just because she didn't fit the statute to the letter, he was able to find something that he could use to punish the bad leaker.

I still find it interesting that Plame could out herself as a covert operative and not be charged. I thought the whole idea behind the IIPA was to protect the covert operative and that operative's assets?

boris

we know that when Fitzgerald made clear in August 2004 that he and his team had analyzed the statutes, he judged that the IIPA applied to Plame

Can you go beyond assertion to make the case that Fitz actually made that judgement and wasn't simply finessing the issue?

Something more than "Fitz is a god who would never ..."

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Is there a particular reason not to follow Fitz chronologically?

1. Improper appointment
2. Misleading affidavit
3. Inaccurate (and improper) presser.

A citation to Comey's response to Schumer, Comey's pitching out the conduct reference and Fitzgerald's close personal relation with Comey might be points worth making.

boris

What if they are overseas at the time of the outing? On a business/spy trip? I think it covers them.

When 007 is on a mission to take out Blowfeld, blowing his cover could get him shot. Perhaps it should apply but not sure it does.

If Val in Jordan wasn't in a situation where being rounded up and shot applies, then don't really see any application.

lurker

"No, to authoritatively interpret it when there is dispute, as there evidently is over what the meaning of "serve abroad" means. Cecil, if you look at my post interpreting that footnote in the affidavit, I've addressed the issues you raise. For one thing, Fitzgerald is not misstating, he's glossing the statute, that is, expressing his interpretation of the clause about serving abroad. He's not trying mislead anyone; he's taking a position."

I didn't think a prosecutor is allowed to take a position but abide by the US law?

clarice

Rick, here's the latest version. I am so bad at word processing I cannot bear to mess with it more. If you want to rearrange them into chronological order and send it to me, I'd certainly consider your suggestions:


Dear Mr. Jarrett:

I am writing to suggest that if one is not underway yet, it is long past due to undertake an investigation into the circumstances of the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald and the way in which he has conducted this matter.

As a general overview of the inappropriate way in which he handled this matter, I reference this article in the Weekly Standard. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/720lutwz.asp

As to more specific references to inappropriate conduct not outlined there, I draw your attention to his statements in the press conference announcing the indictment and particularly ask that you read those statements in light of recent developments: It is now apparent that Mr. Fitzgerald knew from the outset of his appointment that the source of the "leak" to Robert Novak was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. In spite of this, Mr. Fitzgerald appears to have never fully explored with Armitage whether Armitage had spoken to other reporters in addition to Novak--although it is now known that Armitage spoke about Plame to at least one other reporter, Bob Woodward, and quite possibly other reporters who have testified before the Grand Jury. Nor did Mr. Fitzgerald seek waivers of confidentiality for any reporters with whom Armitage spoke with regard to Plame (with the possible exception of Novak himself). The “good leakers” “bad leakers” and “whistleblower” distinctions made by the prosecution are a frank prescription for criminalizing politics and were unprofessional. And the suggestion in those statements that the defendant had deliberately disclosed the identity of an undercover agent and harmed national security in so doing, prejudiced the defendant, slandered him in the public eye, and far exceeded the evidence in the prosecution’s possession and the indictment itself .

Further, the affidavit he filed in the Miller appeal was a model of misdirection and disingenuousness clearly designed to mislead the Court. Taken as a whole, the affidavit conflates the Armitage leak to Novak with Libby’s quite apparently innocent conversations with other reporters, presenting a materially false impression of the facts the prosecution already had determined. Whether Libby’s recollections of those conversations were accurate, or his conversational partners' recollections were more accurate, both sides to each conversation recall something entirely benign.
I ask you to focus attention in particular on paragraphs 9-17 and 81 of that affidavit and read them in light of recently revealed facts: that Armitage told Novak and Woodward earlier and in far greater detail about Plame’s role and identity than did Lewis Libby or Karl Rove who were pilloried for three years for innocent, passing comments to reporters who asked THEM about information, reporters who already seem to have known about Plame’s identity due to the indiscretions of Plame and Wilson. From these facts alone it is readily apparent that these reporters already knew about Plame's employment and her relationship to Wilson. These obvious facts should have lead an unbiased investigator or prosecutor to examine the source of that knowledge--whether it was due to the well documented indiscretions of Plame and Wilson themselves or whether, like the leak to Novak, their knowledge derived from conversations with Richard Armitage.


Significantly, Mr. Fitzgerald’s reference to a Newsday article suggesting that Plame fell within the IIPA failed to note that the source(s) for those claims were Wilson allies in the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group which ironically was urging intelligence officers to leak classified information. Even more ironically some of them reportedly are connected through interlinked organizational ties with Mr. Agee, whose own deliberate revelations of undercover CIA agents was the very impetus for the Statute. At no time in the unredacted portions of the affidavit did Fitzgerald directly say that Plame met the test of the IIPA—which she clearly does not—but in various ways he deliberately left the Court with that impression in order to effect the rare contempt order and jailing of a reporter.

Further, while portions of the affidavit remain redacted, it doesn’t appear that the Prosecution was adequately forthcoming to the Court in revealing that the disclosure to Novak was by someone who did not get that information from Libby or Judith Miller. Indeed, Miller herself may have received it from Armitage as well. Her notes reflect other sources, prior to the June 23 meeting with Libby and she had in the recent past written interviews with Armitage. Fitzgerald's grand jury interrogation of her respecting those sources, moreover, seems to conflict with the agreement he'd reached with her not to ask about sources other than Libby.
Footnote 15, p. 28 of this filing was markedly misleading:
“If Libby knowingly disclosed information about Plame’s status with the CIA, Libby would appear to have violated Title 18, USC Sec. 793 if the information is considered information respecting the national defense. In order to establish a violation of Title 50, USCSec.421, it would be necessary to establish that Libby knew or believed that Plame was a person whose identity the CIA was making specific efforts to conceal and who had carried out covert work overseas within the last 5 years. To date we have no direct evidence that Libby knew or believed Wilson’s wife was engaged in covert work.”


That it is so is clear from this portion of Judge Tatel’s opinion in that case:

“Addressing deficiencies of proof regarding the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the special counsel refers to Plame as “a person whose identity the CIA was making specific efforts to conceal and who had carried out covert work overseas within the last 5 years”—representations I trust the special counsel would not make without support. [Emphasis added] .” There is no indication on the record that the Prosecutor informed the Court that this was a misreading of the affidavit he submitted..

Finally, I think it important to investigate the circumstances surrounding the extra-statutory appointment of Fitzgerald as Special Prosecutor by Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey. In view of the now well known fact that the appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald took place 2-3 months after the true source of the leak was known, I believe it is of great importance to determine 1) whether the appointment was made by arrangement with any members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 2) whether any members of that Committee were informed by anyone in the Department of Justice or the Special Prosecutor's office of Armitage's admission that he had been Novak's source and, 3) if so, when such disclosure was made and by whom.

I recognize that the special prosecutor is acting in a unique capacity. On the other hand, since the appointment of a Department of Justice employee as Special Prosecutor created a special circumstance that was not contemplated by the Statute, it seems logical that Mr. Fitzgerald should be covered by the operations of your office. In support of that position, I draw your attention to the fact that both Mr. Comey and Mr. Fitzgerald provided affidavits to the Court in support of their own contention that the operations of the Special Prosecutor were under Department of Justice supervision. If you feel that this is not the case, I would appreciate your disclosing that to me even though I appreciate that non-jurisdictional issues are and should remain non-public during any investigation. Because I am convinced that the above described conduct imperatively demands investigation, I will seek it in another forum if this matter is beyond your jurisdiction.


cathyf

Feel free to ignore these, since the additional length may not be worth it. (Notice that I never suggest cutting things out...LOL) I notice you managed to write this without using the phrase "dicking around the Supreme Court." ;-0

In spite of this, Mr. Fitzgerald appears to have never fully explored with Armitage whether Armitage had spoken to other reporters in addition to Novak--although it is now known that Armitage spoke about Plame to at least one other reporter, Bob Woodward, and that conversation happened a full month before the Novak article was published. Mr. Woodward has volunteered that he himself told other people during the month in question, but it seems that Mr. Fitzgerald was uninterested in whether this provided an alternate path for information to spread through the Washington press corps, including quite possibly other reporters who have testified before the Grand Jury.
...
The “good leakers” “bad leakers” and “whistleblower” distinctions made by the prosecution are a frank prescription for criminalizing politics and were unprofessional at the least and at worst a serious violation of multiple individuals' constitutional rights.

Clarice

Thanks, Cathy.

Tom Maguire

And I refer, of course, to motions from Libby's defense as well as from Fitzgerald.

The defense has tried very hard to pry something out of Fitzgerald's hand on this, without much success.

However - I have a hunch they are plannning to push this point hard at trial.

There is an additional reason why she's wrong, which is that the grand jury was also investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act.

First, how do we know what the grand jury was investigating (in terms of actual evidence presented to them?)

Second, under my "Don't ask, don't tell" theory, Fitzgerald never pushed the grand jury or anyone else to resolve (or even contemplate) the five year issue. He may have presented endless testimony on who leaked and who lied without ever asking for an indictment or presenting the pros and cons of an IIPA indictment. In fact, I would be stunned to learn that the grand jury *ever* contemplated an IIPA indictment.

So the point is that if Libby believed Plame was covert under the IIPA...

Are we really arguing tha tLibby was sufficiently familiar with Ms. Plame's resume to know her hostory of foreing service?

As best we can tell, Fitzgerald can't even prove that Libby knew her status was *classified*, let alne that she was also "covert" as per the statute.

Toensing is not a partisan hack masquerading as a knowledgeble source. She is someone a lot more familiar with the law than Wilson Plame or Corn or for that matter YOU!

Yes, but it is twenty years later and this is a partisan case. I think she has relevant expertise, but she is not the last word. That said, "the last word" would be case law, precedent, handbook definitions or whatever, and no one has produced anything to refute Toensing. (The scraps so far all go her way).

You seem to be suggesting Toensing can't be trusted because she isn't saying what you want her to say.

Well, it is not a matter of trusting her - I am sure she is sincere, and may be accurately representing the views of the Rep chairman she served all these years ago.

But Scalia, to pick a name, is not a big "legislative history" buff, and he would have an aneurysm if the opinion of the staffer was introduced in his court.

I would take Toenisng's view as encouraging evidence that a deeper search will produce an answer we ("Jeff" excluded) will like.

OK, I am not going to make it to the bottom of this thread. Clarice, OK if I steal that letter and post it, or would it be better to hold off?

verner

OK, enough. The DoJ receives dozens of referrals a year form the CIA when the names of "covered" agents are revealed into the public sphere, and I would imagine that quite a few Staff Operations Officers could be included in that number. Now tell us, how many people have been prosecuted under the IIPA for outing a Langley based Staff Operations Officer? Huh? How many now???

Case Closed. Next.

Clarice

Tom, I made a few changes in it and am about to mail it. I offered it first to AT. Let me call Thom and see if he wants to be the first to post it. I'll get right back to you.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Regarding Toensing's expertise, it seems she's the only true expert to have surfaced on this. The Fallacy of the Appeal to Authority isn't a fallacy if the person to whom you're appealing is 1. a true expert, and 2. the experts DON'T disagree.

So far, no experts of equal stature of Victoria have come forward to dispute her. And, if I'm understanding her correctly, the give and take that occurred during the drafting had the effect of NARROWING the scope of just who would be covered.

verner

PRS:And, if I'm understanding her correctly, the give and take that occurred during the drafting had the effect of NARROWING the scope of just who would be covered.

Exactly PRS. They were trying to stop what Agee did from ever happening again. It was never meant to cover every agent with any cover from ever being revealed for any reason. Think of the implications of that. You could have a puny little Staff Operations Officer using cover to impliment her own little political/foreign policy agenda from the bowels of Langley, and the public would never know about it, because no one would be allowed to utter her name in the press. That's rather scary if you ask me.

But that's exactly what Comey and Fitzgerald appear to be trying to do. And there's no legal basis for it.

clarice

Printed it, signed it, got stamps and mailed it.

MJW

Jeff at 4:54 A.M. responding to my comment last night at 10:54 P.M.: The place where the leaks are specified is almost certainly paragraphs 12 and 13, which is part of the section setting forth the general factual background on the investigation. That's where they fit chronologically (not where you try to say they're missing) and observe that footnote 4 is attached to part of the redacted material, and it goes into the meaning, as understood by various officials interviewed, of "on the record," "background," "deep background," and "off the record" comments.

As much as I hate to admit it, Jeff is very likey correct.

Sara (Squiggler)

Bill Gertz has a new book called ENEMIES in which the review states:

* The untold story of one of the most damaging enemy spy penetrations in U.S. history -- and of the FBI’s criminal negligence and cover-up in the matter

* Why the repeated calls for intelligence reform since 9/11 have gone unheeded

* How al Qaeda and other terrorist groups use official identification, uniforms, and vehicles to infiltrate secure areas and carry out attacks

* Why Russia has as many spies in America today as it did at the height of the Cold War

* How Communist China’s intelligence and influence operations may have reached the highest levels of the U.S. government

* How some 35 different terrorist groups target the United States through espionage

* A startling account of the many enemy spies the U.S. has let get away

* How in November 2005 the U.S. government rolled up a massive spy ring that had been stealing U.S. defense technology for more than twenty years

* How a Cuban mole operated high up in the Pentagon—undetected—for sixteen years

* How the U.S. can defuse the North Korean threat through aggressive counterintelligence

* How enemy spies have infiltrated every single U.S. national security agency except the Coast Guard -- including the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Department, the State Department, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency

* The gross ineptness that led U.S. officials to hound an innocent man while the real mole -- one of the most infamous spies in U.S. history—operated right under their noses

* How the U.S. is overwhelmed by spies even from our so-called friends, including France, India, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and many other countries

* The alarming truth about the utter disarray at the nation’s top counterintelligence office, and why it leaves America vulnerable to foreign threats

* A remarkable case study showing how the U.S. can infiltrate terrorist groups and other foreign organizations

* Why the 2005 arrest of a Filipino spy in the White House should have set off alarms -- but didn’t

* Why aggressive counterintelligence represents the only real protection against terrorists and enemy spies -- and why the U.S. bureaucracy has nearly destroyed our counterintelligence capabilities

Sounds like a book we should all be reading. I have it highlighted thru the above link. If you are so inclined to buy it, please consider using my link so I can get the affiliate credit (only if you don't already have your own). Thanks.

It would seem a little less time trying to find the bottom of a Wilson/Plame lie and a little more time on what they and their friends are doing to harm us would be in order.

verner

Clarice,

Bless You Bless You Bless You.

Thank God that someone with your brains, experience, talent and stamina is on this case.

clarice

I regard it as a joint effort to get to the truth. I'm glad to be in a position to take the laboring oar, but everyone's been rowing.

Patton

Fitz caught in another lie.

Fitz claimed he couldn't reveal Armitage due to Grand Jury secrecy, BUT, Armitage didn't reveal he was the culprit to the GJ, he revealed in an FBI interview back in October, long before the Grand Jury. Fitz simply lied straight out claiming a non-existent GJ for not being able to
reveal the original leaker.

I won’t repost Fitzs press conference, but reading it again, it is pretty clear what Fitz was doing. He believed Libby was the
ORIGINAL LEAKER (OL), so he charged him with other crimes to punish him for being the OL.

BUT, his investigation was shoddy to say the least, and Armitage was actually the OL and he played Fitz. Now Fitz is stuck,
all through his presser, he talks about how important it was to find the real truth, and to not have his investigation side tracked or impeded, which he blames Libby for, not Armitage. He was basically saying ‘WE GOT OUR ORIGINAL LEAKER, NO MATTER WHAT ACTUAL CRIMES WE CHARGE HIM WITH’. Right after that, his whole investigation crashed in on him with the Woodward revelation, but
he had already gone public, already made his speech, gave his press conference. He’s clearly not man enough to admit his error.

ALL THIS TALK ABOUT PLAME STATUS IS A SIDE SHOW AND MEANINGLESS. FITZ WAS TASKED WITH SIMPLY INVESTIGATING THE LEAK OF THE IDENTITY OF A CIA EMPLOYEE, PERIOD.

He mistakingly believed the original leak came from Libby, that's why he went after him and not Rove or Armitage, but Armitage had fooled him, by not revealing Woodward it made it look like Armitage was not the first.


Sara (Squiggler)

Clarice -- now that your letter is reproduced on AT, can the rest of us publish it also? I would like to.

clarice

If Thom had no problem with JOM publishing it, I can't imagine he has a problem with you doing it. But it would be nice to note that I'm a regular here and a frequent contributor on AT though to give credit to both sites which have been so generous to me..

Sara (Squiggler)

Oh certainly. I intended to reference JOM and link to AT. Thanks.

cathyf

Patton, I'm not sure that "grand jury secrecy" isn't a bit of a shorthand that would also properly cover things said to FBI investigators.

But speaking of GJ secrecy, what about last spring's appalling Fitzgerald violation of just that, when he publicized that

  1. The vice president of the united states exercised the authority of the office that he was elected to in order to declassify the NIE.
  2. The vice president of the united states exercised the authority of the office that he was elected to in order to exercise supervision over an executive branch agency, questioning their procedures and policies.
Neither of these two incidents is even slightly related to any criminal acts even suggested let alone alleged. Both of these incidents were disclosed to Mr. Fitzgerald incidental to his investigation. Isn't keeping such information confidential one of the central pillars supporting the entire grand jury system? Has Mr. Fitzgerald broken any laws by revealing this information?

Patton

Not that it means anything, but I thought I would just point out that in 2003, when Joe Wilson gave his speech at the EPIC conference and declared he knew this unknown 'Ambassador', etc., that the conference was followed up by the people attending the conference spending the next two days LOBBYING CONGRESS.

This included lobbying from 14-17 June meeting with members of Congress and their staffs. So you can bet Wilson came up.

Patton

"""Patton, I'm not sure that "grand jury secrecy" isn't a bit of a shorthand that would also properly cover things said to FBI investigators."""

I would hope he could be accurate since no GJ was seated at this time and the FBI investigators are in now way connected to the GJ.

He certainly led us to believe he didn't receive the information until he was taking testimony in the GJ and not that it was known as early as Oct, three months before
his appointment.

The press and the left were screaming for an independent investigation even though the facts were already known - Armitage was th leak to Novak, period.

What was Comey doing appointing Fitz in December if the DOJ had discovered the leaker.??

Cecil Turner

For one thing, Fitzgerald is not misstating, he's glossing the statute, that is, expressing his interpretation of the clause about serving abroad.

Okay, fine. Show me the part about "believe" in the statute. Then show me "covert work." It's not there, because that's not what it says. "Believe" doesn't get it, it's "know." "Covert" has a definition, which has nothing to do with "work." That ain't interpretation, that's "misstating."

He's not trying mislead anyone; he's taking a position.

Show the same charity toward Libby's statements, and this whole case goes "poof."

What if there are covert agents that have to live here but travel overseas?

I believe the contention is that they shouldn't be driving back and forth through the front gate at CIA headquarters daily. (Or hanging out at diplo functions, attending breakfasts with reporters to discuss their CIA specialty, sending their spouse on CIA fact-finding missions that result in OpEd's, etc.)

clarice

Now you tell me about that lobbying follow up, Patton! *cuffing Patton about the eras*

I think those statements about Cheney, cathy, in the climate in which they were made and the tardy explanation add to my suspicion about the poor judgment, if not the partisan nature of the SP. But I think we got the big stuff.

lurker

Congrats, Clarice! Now that your letter has been mailed, does DOJ owe a response?

Sue

I believe the contention is that they shouldn't be driving back and forth through the front gate at CIA headquarters daily. (Or hanging out at diplo functions, attending breakfasts with reporters to discuss their CIA specialty, sending their spouse on CIA fact-finding missions that result in OpEd's, etc.)

I have not been arguing that Valerie Plame fit the description, just that there might have been others who did.

Sara (Squiggler)

Clarice - I have posted it HERE.

Sara (Squiggler)

Clarice - I have posted it HERE.

lurker

Congrats, your letter just got posted at Lucianne.

clarice

Good, Sara.
Lurker, I do not expect a response if they are investigating. That would be inappropriate, and they can't reject it without an investigation unless they take the position that DoJ lacks supervisory authority. If they say that, I expect Libby will revive --and win--his motion to dismiss.

Sara (Squiggler)

Goodness, gracious, Mac just called for impeachment of the Supremes who voted on Hamden and he calls McCain a collaborator. Yikes! is he ever mad.

Minutia,">http://www.macsmind.com/wordpress/2006/09/19/minutia-bs-and-static-ii/">Minutia, BS and Static - II

lurker

Iraqi Documents Rebut the Senate Intelligence Report on WMD.

Thanks, Clarice! :)

Cecil Turner

I have not been arguing that Valerie Plame fit the description, just that there might have been others who did.

The contention isn't that she couldn't be covert because she worked in the US (though she'd time out after five years--which she apparently did), it's that she couldn't be covert if she did the daily commute to a desk job at CIA HQ. (And I'm not even sure I buy that as a stand-alone argument, absent the other considerations of this case, but that was Toensing's point.)

boris

that there might have been others who did

I read the description as "Yes, but the contention is that they shouldn't be driving back and forth ... "

Patton

To be accurate at the Press conference what Fitz should have said is that Novak published an article on July 14th naming a CIA employee.

On or about October 1st of that year, a government official, whom doesn't work within the Whitehouse, admitted to the DOJ that he was responsible for revealing the identity of the CIA agent.

THREE MONTHS later, the DOJ, my friend Mr. Comey to be specific, tasked me with finding out who leaked the identity of a that CIA agent that he knew about three months earlier.

clarice

We've been talking about the cost of the investigation and have come up with surprisingly low figures. The editor of Newsbusters just wrote and said this:

"Hello. I recently wrote and asked your editor about the cost of the Plame/CIA Leak Investigation. Here's what I have found: According to the CBS Evening News, the bill to the taxpayers so far is about $20 mil. " http://newsbusters.org/node/7470

lurker

What They Omitted, by Laurie Mylroie!

Sue

it's that she couldn't be covert if she did the daily commute to a desk job at CIA HQ.

Okay.

Kevin B

I posted this on the Kaus thread, but I should have posted it here.

Clarice, you are a Star

Seriously, the work you've done in exposing this travesty of justice has been exemplary. Thank you.

clarice

Thanks, Kevin.

Patton

I sure would still like Jeff to explain (using Fitzs own words in his public pronouncements), why Libby was indicted and not Armitage.

Tom Maguire

Here is a CRS (Congressional Research Service?) report dated Oct 3, 2003 discussing the IIPA.

Nothing on our point, but lots of footnotes to the legislative history.

Sara (Squiggler)

Missing baby, Abigail Woods, found her family confirms and kidnapper is in custody per Breaking Fox News.

topsecretk9

Public Eyes asks (well, someone else really asks)

What happed to the story? Where's the reporting? Brooms and Rugs?

Bruce Hayden

A couple of things.

First, the mention above about the timeline for the forged documents seems to give credence to a theory that Ms. Plame knew of them and that they were forged long before her husband's NYT article. Of course, she wasn't supposed to tell him because that was classified...

Second, the problem with esp. informal legislative history, and even more formal history is that the same debate, to some extent, is going on with FISA, only some of those claiming legislative history are opposed to the NSA TSP program.

Finally, I don't know if Clarice's letter will have any effect, but still, good job.

Enlightened

Bravo Clarice - Now then, can't we get ANYONE in the MSM to do a lede on the letter and start the tide of misinformation to start turning into facts in evidence? Is there anyone on the forum that can get this to a compadre in the MSM?

I'm so frickin outraged that something this important won't get to John Q Public except by way of brilliant and determined bloggers, but I will be regaled by Brian Williams interviewing a Bush-bashing terrorist.

clarice

Thaanks Bruce and Enlightened.

Elsewhere people have asked if I minded if they copied and sent this in their own names.
Of course I would not mind at all.


Isn't it odd that in the Clinton investigations the press reported regularly how much federal money was being spent on Whitewater. Newsbusters says this has already cost the govt $20 million and we hear nothing about that.

maryrose

TM:
Thanks for the response. Every time I've seen Toensing on television she seems very credible to me. So far no one has mounted a challenge that holds water.I just didn't like Jeff's dismissive attitude toward her expertise.

maryrose

Way to go Clarice. Give em hell in Foggy Bottom.

verner

And here's the legislative intent:

Much of the focus of attention during the consideration of the measure was upon subsection 421(c), and its First Amendment implications.7 The Senate Judiciary and the
Conference Committee addressed these concerns at length. Both concluded that the
language of the measure would pass constitutional muster.8 The Conference Committee
characterized the goal of the provision as follows:

The record indicates that the harm this bill seeks to prevent is most likely to
result from disclosure of covert agents’ identities in such a course designed, first, to
make an effort at identifying covert agents and, second, to expose such agents
publicly. The gratuitous listing of agents’ names in certain publications goes far
beyond information thatmight contribute to informed public debate on foreign policy
or foreign intelligence activities. That effort to identifyU.S. intelligence officers and
agents in countries throughout the world and to expose their identities repeatedly ...
serves no legitimate purpose. It does not alert to abuses; it does not further civil
liberties; it does not enlighten public debate; and it does not contribute one iota to the
goal of an educated and informed electorate. Instead, it reflects a total disregard for
the consequences that may jeopardize the lives and safety of individuals and damage
the ability of the United States to safeguard the national defense and conduct an
effective foreign policy..

The standard adopted in section 601(c) applies criminal penalties only in very
limited circumstances to deter those who make it their business to ferret out and
publish the identities of agents. At the same time, it does not affect the First
Amendment rights of those who disclose the identities of agents as an integral part of
another enterprise such as news media reporting of intelligence failures or abuses,
academic studies of U.S. government policies and programs, or a private
organization’s enforcement of its internal rules.

And her so-called "outing" was anything but gratuitous.

Hey Jeffie, pound sand.

MayBee

please ask Semanticleo and Maybee

Oh, geez. Daddy wracked his brains to come up with who had the wit and intelligence to go up against Semanticleo. Poor me.

verner

And now we see why Joe to this day insists that she didn't send him, and that her outing was "gratuitous." Sorry, not according to that memo she wrote.

Her role in this tale in integral to understanding what happened. So, according to the original intent, as Toensing has been repeatedly saying, even if she was covert--and there is absolutely no proof that she meets that legal definition--this law would not apply. Not to Armitage, not to Novak, and especially not to Libby who never told a single reporter what they didn't already know.

So, now we have to stick to perjury trap and Fitz-obfuscation in order to bring it home for our best bud Comey and his democrat friends in the senate.

Rocco

Jeff

That DOE analyst you’re referring to was the recipient of an e-mail initiated by an INR analyst. The INR analyst was questioning why his “Two” dissenting views weren’t being acknowledged. I’m wondering why also? Take a look at the passage on Page 60 of the http://web.mit.edu/simsong/www/iraqreport2-textunder.pdf>SCCI

An e-mail from the INR Iraq nuclear analyst to a DOE analyst on December 23, 2002 indicated that the analyst was surprised that INR's well known alternative views on both the aluminum tubes and the uranium information were not included in the points before they were transmitted to the NSC. The DOE analyst commented in an e-mail response to INR that, "it is most disturbing that WINPAC is essentially directing foreign policy in this matter. There are some very strong points to be made in respect to Iraq's arrogant non-compliance with UN sanctions. However, when individuals attempt to convert those "strong statements" into the "knock out" punch, the Administration will ultimately look foolish - i.e. the tubes and Niger!"

The INR analyst is referring to a report written by WINPAC which included “TWO” points INR objected too. The procurement of the tubes and the procurement of uranium from Niger. These “TWO” points, were classified on Dec 17 when WINPAC published that classified report. How then, did those "TWO" points make their way onto the http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/16118.htm>State Department Webpage on Dec 19?

A month before the SOTU, the State Department leaked classified intelligence that the press questioned...why?

Oct 2002...IC receives childlike forged documents that they inspected, discussed, ignored and forgot about.

Nov 2002...France changes mind, thinks a deal took place

Dec 2002...State Department posts classified intel on internet.

President uses infamous "16 words."

"the Administration will ultimately look foolish - i.e. the tubes and Niger!"

Truer words were never spoken!

lurker

Reformatting verner's post for easier readability:

"And here's the legislative intent:

Much of the focus of attention during the consideration of the measure was upon subsection 421(c), and its First Amendment implications.7 The Senate Judiciary and the Conference Committee addressed these concerns at length. Both concluded that the language of the measure would pass constitutional muster.8 The Conference Committee characterized the goal of the provision as follows:

The record indicates that the harm this bill seeks to prevent is most likely to result from disclosure of covert agents’ identities in such a course designed, first, to make an effort at identifying covert agents and, second, to expose such agents publicly. The gratuitous listing of agents’ names in certain publications goes far beyond information thatmight contribute to informed public debate on foreign policy or foreign intelligence activities. That effort to identify U.S. intelligence officers and agents in countries throughout the world and to expose their identities repeatedly ... serves no legitimate purpose. It does not alert to abuses; it does not further civil liberties; it does not enlighten public debate; and it does not contribute one iota to the goal of an educated and informed electorate. Instead, it reflects a total disregard for the consequences that may jeopardize the lives and safety of individuals and damage the ability of the United States to safeguard the national defense and conduct an effective foreign policy..

The standard adopted in section 601(c) applies criminal penalties only in very limited circumstances to deter those who make it their business to ferret out and publish the identities of agents. At the same time, it does not affect the First Amendment rights of those who disclose the identities of agents as an integral part of another enterprise such as news media reporting of intelligence failures or abuses, academic studies of U.S. government policies and programs, or a private organization’s enforcement of its internal rules.

And her so-called "outing" was anything but gratuitous.

Hey Jeffie, pound sand."

verner

Thank You L.

verner

And know we know why Fitz spouted all of that "good leak" vs. "Bad Leak" garbage. He is trying to twist this to imply that the sole purpose of revealing Plame's name was to hurt her, completely ignoring the role that she played. He was still trying to somehow justify his raison d'etre by twisting the IIPA, and implying a "gratuitous" conspiracy to get Valerie that he had absolutely no evidence to prove at all. And when Woodward came forward, all that went up in smoke--cause unless it's "gratuitous," the glove don't fit and you must acquit.

What.A.Total.Slimeball.

Chants

So the legislative intent WAS the result of a balancing test: protecting coverts versus prior restraints on speech.

That certainly explains both the five year limitation in the covert definition section, and the "affirmative measures" factor.

The government and the agent has five years to get thier affiar in order. After that, people can talk.

Furthermore, even within the five year period, the government must at least act like the agent is important to national security. It's the duck test. And the de minimus no curat lex test. Act like the agent is covert before you expect to be able to restrain speech.

Thanks for bring that out folks. Clears up a lot for me.

Chants

Oh, and Clarice, the "Clarice 'I'd Look Good in a Bentley" Foundation has gone gang-busters.

What color Bentley matches you best? Or would you like a classic two-tone? Hmm, we better make it two Bentleys, just to be safe. Err on the side of caution, I always say.

topsecretk9

Rocco

Known alternative views on both the aluminum tubes and the uranium information were not included in the points before they were transmitted to the NSC.


This is a puzzle to me too. We keep hearing about all this pressure, but don't you get the feeling the "available" intelligence was enough, but some were "pumping" the new on their own?

Also, on the forgeries...the Rome station chief was able to document (take notes) on the copies Italy "had" and sent a report back to Headquarters October 2001...that is not copies.

Even Wilson is quoted as saying "our boys got a hold of them and sent them back" or some such

(not sure why he'd refer to the Rome Station chief as a boy of his, or know this specificity -- sounds like a slip, because his usual line is "I was given an oral briefing on what the documents contained" apparently from a "FOREIGN" report, ALSO, interestingly IIRC the actual foreign report (that the VP was reading and the one that caused him to personal request a Joe Wilson to check out ::wink::) did not contain actual specific details of their docs, - so this is a crinkle to me. On the one hand Wilson used the Pres. inquiry to advance his tall tale, on the other it's apparent someone informed him the CIA had culled info from their "boy" in Rome with actual details of the docs. Italy had)

Also, Rocco (not you!) apparently had some real documents and hankies in 2001....

I can't put my finger on it, maybe the CIA dropped the big friggin ball by not checking into what their "boy" sent in Oct. 2001 and so they were flat footed in Feb. 2002 when the VP asked what they knew.

OR after the meeting, someone walked Wilson out and told him the specifics of what the "boy" sent...wink. "Oh and maybe you should tell your contacts in Niger what these documents say" wink.

The "burglaries" do not make sense, because the Docs Rocco was trying to peddle were given to him by Nigerien Embassy employees, so?

Also, the same boy in "Rome" told Rocco to beat it in the Spring of 2002 because on cursory view the docs Rooco had we fakes...that is, the station chief who had seen Italy's set 6 months earlier in Oct. 2001 and detailed and reported back to HQ - booted Rocco in the Spring of 06 because the Doc he presented to the "boy" were obvious fakes. These are the same set of docs we obtain from Rocco via the Italian Journo in OCt. 2002 via the Rome Embassy....and keep in mind the lefts wet-dream is Italy got them from Rocco...


Question:

Why would station chief detail the Italy docs in 2001 and report to HQ and then what is supposedly the same docs via Rocco he'd decline 6 months later, because they were fake and then another 6-months take with open arms and ship to the US as real?

topsecretk9

-booted Rocco in the Spring of 06 --

that would be '02

topsecretk9

--The government and the agent has five years to get their affair in order. After that, people can talk.--

tangent to my Niger comment above...--The government and the agent has five years to get their affair in order.--

Could this be a case of the government (CIA) and the agent NOT getting their affairs in order in 5 years, and so Plame exploited this gross lapse? And the CIA was none-too eager to telegraph another embarrassing lapse?

Something about Plame seems like she wanted to be outed.

verner

Great point. Why would he judge them "sound" if he had previously judged them "fake." (and from reports, they were very obviously fake.)

If I'm not mistaken TS, Rocco's forgeries had nothing to do with the 16 words, and nothing to do with the British intel. They had their own, other stuff that they had procured before those things ever surfaced. At least, that's what factcheck.org said, based on the Butler review. And if it's changed, I haven't heard it.

Lots of people think that the forgeries were used to discredit the real stuff. And that's exactly what the left has tried to do. Very convenient for Joe.

topsecretk9

They had their own, other stuff that they had procured before those things ever surfaced.

That is exactly right, and when I said:

This is a puzzle to me too. We keep hearing about all this pressure, but don't you get the feeling the "available" intelligence was enough, but some were "pumping" the new on their own?

To Rocco's (the JOM commenter, not the Italian) comment...

Like I said, can't put my finger on it, but it seems like -- to me at least - there was an intentional "gin up" or "creating" of stuff and not due to pressure. The previous admin Intel was pretty darn damning, (I'm at uncomfortable computer so I am not articulating well)

but:

Something about Plame seems like she wanted to be outed


Maybe I meant to say "needed" to be outed.


BTW...from the May 2003 Spencer Ackerman peice, it is pretty clear that Valerie is a quoted source on the Aluminum tubes.

topsecretk9

BTW...if Valerie was a source for the May New Republic and NYT's and WAPO...has the statutes of limitations passed on prosecuting her if those disclosures were her?

Maybe this is the very reason for making a big outing?

Sara (Squiggler)

Heads Up: I was flipping channels and just came across a Discovery special called "Why Intelligence Fails." I'm going to have to tune in for the full replay, but what I've seen in the last five minutes, the conversation is about the INR and State intelligence regarding Iraq WMD. The guide says it will run either again as a repeat or continuation clear to 11pm PDT.

Sue

Roccoes here and Roccoes there...I'm confused. ::grin:: I think I got it, Top, but you may have to repeat that in plain English someday.

topsecretk9

Verner:

Wilson said in a Hersh story:

In late February, the C.I.A. persuaded retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson to fly to Niger to discreetly check out the story of the uranium sale.
...Before his departure, he was summoned to a meeting at the C.I.A. with a group of government experts on Iraq, Niger, and uranium. He was shown no documents but was told, he said, that the C.I.A. "was responding to a report that was recently received of a purported memorandum of agreement" -- between Iraq and Niger -- "that our boys had gotten." He added, "It was never clear to me, or to the people who were briefing me, whether our guys had actually seen the agreement, or the purported text of an agreement."

Well, no the "boys" didn't get them as of Feb. 2002 when he was at that meeting 2-19-02 at the CIA (the CIA had, apparently been sent a report in Oct. 2001 from the Rome station chief detailing "documents" Italy had, but no copies)...interesting isn't it?

Especially, given just a mere month or 2 later the Rome station chief would say no thank you to the obvious fakes (keep in mind, the RSChief was apparently capable of recognizing they were fakes on quick glance ((PERHAPS because he had seen REAL ones 6 months before)) - something the CIA HQ was not able to do for a full 5 months or ever, and it wasn't until they were turned over to the IAEA that the IAEA made that determination) ...Also, just months after Wilson's so called debunking of the forgeries trip the RSChief is booting Rocco out on his but-- who had the same doc's we special delivered 6 months late via the Journalist!

Also, there are prolly about 10 different points to make about this timeline, these are just a few.

There is something definitely hanky on Wilson/Plames part...appears to me they have been playing CYA all this time or were trolling for an "outing" to deep six their previous leaks...or something.

topsecretk9

Sue...I don't even think I get it...and I am starting to think that is the pernt Edith ::wink::

Cecil Turner

And when Woodward came forward, all that went up in smoke--cause unless it's "gratuitous," the glove don't fit and you must acquit.

Just a caution. That section (c) applies only to folks who don't have "authorized access" (i.e., reporters):

Disclosure of information by persons in course of pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents . . .
So it'd protect someone like Novak, but not someone like Libby, or Armitage, or . . .

granny

FYI - Yet another article on the subject tonight on Slate, "Armitage Was Never 'Off The Record'" by Timothy Noah

http://www.slate.com/id/2149982

Syl

Patton

I sure would still like Jeff to explain (using Fitzs own words in his public pronouncements), why Libby was indicted and not Armitage.

Let me try ;)

Because Libby sounded like he had a guilty conscience.

Of course fitz assumed he knew what Libby felt guilty about.

It's like the stories you hear about lie detector tests--they always ask if you've ever cheated on your income tax. Even people who never cheated start acting guilty 'cause they wonder if, maybe, somehow, someone would consider something they did as cheating and maybe that deduction back in '88 was $50 more than they really paid. In fact, if they DON'T exhibit guilt, the test is somehow deemed invalid.

I don't know if that's true, but that's the story.

And I think that's what happened to Libby.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

"Newsbusters says this has already cost the govt $20 million and we hear nothing about that."

Do they break this figure out? When I walked through the GAO figures for funds disbursed by DoJ in a previous thread, it was clear that their total -- around $800K through last Sept. -- wasn't all inclusive. But a difference of more than $19 million? If you've got a link that would be great.

clarice

JMH--He said he got it from a cbs report. I gave his cite and probably the best thing is for you to contact him and see if he can give you the date of the report.In the back of my mind, I recall that Comey allowed Fitz to operate out of a separate fund(OMB reported to Congress on it and it was raised in the dismissal pleadings), not controlled by Congress. Perhaps the difference is DoJ is simply reporting expenses it has borne out of budgeted funds for the case.

topsecretk9

--around $800K through last Sept.--

I have to say, on the face of it...3 years and and a team of lawyers and investigators? $800k sounds seriously, impossibly cheap...hence the results?, but really, that's like roughly 250+k a year? That just, to me, does not sound even possible...especially in government.

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Wilson/Plame