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February 21, 2007

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Pete
As much as I might prefer it otherwise, this case was about memory and reasonable doubt, not about the conspiracy that was proven to exist at the Administration's highest levels of power.

I don't understand why you neocons keep claiming that we lefties are ignorant, lunatic conspiracy mongers... sheesh!


p.lukasiak

Even if Libby actually had that conversation with Russert, or even if the jury accepts that he is sincerely confused and actually had that conversation with Bob Novak (a seemingly innocent substitution), I think they will still choke on the notion that he did not even remember hearing and forgetting the Plame info earlier.

which, of course, is the heart of the case.

Libby obviously made dozens of false statements to the grand jury --- but it was only those statements regarding his state of mind that could be disproven "beyond a reasonable doubt". For instance, Libby probably remembers he told Ari about Valerie... but its impossible to prove that Libby remembers that specific conversation -- or any other specific conversation that Libby had about Plame with others.

Its the cumulative impact of all the testimony --- its how Libby's memory is consistent with everyone elses except on the matter of Valerie Plame, its how Libby can remember very minor details of conversations with Rove and Ari, but forgets not merely that he'd been told by Cheney that Valerie worked for CPD, but that he didn't know Joe Wilson's name until Wilson's column came out, and that he didn't know for a fact that Wilson even had a wife when he talked to Matt Cooper.

And, unless the case gets Scalia'd, I don't see any real chance that Libby's conviction will be overturned on appeal, or remanded back for retrial. Libby is going to need a pardon, period.

One final thing.... because the investigation into the leak is ongoing, I think there is a good chance that Libby will not remain free pending his appeal -- a conviction in a perjury case in an ongoing grand jury investigation is very similar to a finding of contempt for refusal to testify in front of a grand jury....and will be treated as such by the judge.

LOL

^ Don't quit your day job.

Terrye

I think the whole case is a waste of time and money. I also think watching a bunch of lefties salivate at the idea of putting some guy in jail for something he may or may not have forgotten has be enlightening. These people are ghouls.

Terrye

I also wonder when exactly is Congressman Jefferson going to jail for the 90 grand in his freezer? Hell Pelois put him on the Homeland Security Committee.

How is it Murtha can get caugh on tape 'doing business' with some guy dressed up like a Saudi prince and that is just forgotten? Hell he is bleeding the troops now and doing his best to disgrace his country yet again.

How is it Berger can hide classified info under a construction trailer after which he sneaks it home and destroys it.... and the response is, Ah that Sandy he is such a pistol.

How is it that cabinet members in Clinton's administration can be indicted for a myriad of offences and none of that matters compared to this sad silly exercise in gotcha?

The left are such hypocrites.

Feedup

Terrye,

Ditto

Terry Gain

The suggestion that, if convicted, Libby should be held (until he fingers Cheney) demonstrates the extent to which the criminal law has been used to advance a political agenda.

Conspiracy? It's regrettable Libby had to become involved in a conspiracy to get the truth out. Bush should have called a press conference and exposed Wilson as someone using the CIA, and the media, to launch a scurrilous attack on the CIC in a time of war.

The investigation that ought to have occurred is how an organization charged with protecting the country could send someone on an investigation without a confidentiality agreement and then allow that person to submit an oral report and then stand by and do nothing while that person goes on a smear campaign against the CIC claiming that what he learned on his trip -which he says undermines the credibility of the CIC -is the exact opposite of what he in fact learned, and reported.

The story is so strange that I sometimes wonder that the MSM has buried it because it is utterly fantastic and unbelievable.

If Libby is convicted Bush should pardon him before he is led from the Courtroom.

Syl

p.luk

Its the cumulative impact of all the testimony --- its how Libby's memory is consistent with everyone elses except on the matter of Valerie Plame, its how Libby can remember very minor details of conversations with Rove and Ari, but forgets not merely that he'd been told by Cheney that Valerie worked for CPD, but that he didn't know Joe Wilson's name until Wilson's column came out, and that he didn't know for a fact that Wilson even had a wife when he talked to Matt Cooper.

I think your memory isn't so good either.

All his memory lapses don't go one way. It's possible he forgot he heard it from Novak, or even Woodward--both reporters. He remembers he told Kessler, but he didn't tell him. He testified he told Cooper, but it was the other way around.

And why is it so important to you that he forgets details only about the wife when that's what all the prosecution testimony was about. You think fitz is going to put someone on the stand that says 'I didn't tell Libby anything about the wife and he didn't tell me either'?

And being accused of forgetting it was specifically Cheney he forgot is kind of silly. Why didn't fitz just say he forgot he heard it from anyone official (as opposed to a reporter)? Why? It makes no sense especially since fitz pounded on the official vs unofficial sourcing.

That seems like a mistake to me. And Cheney was the furthest back in time. Easier to forget. Some activity during the days of Pincus article, then nothing more about the wife for weeks.

It's a fitz hole.

PeterUK

Pete,

"I don't understand why you neocons keep claiming that we lefties are ignorant, lunatic conspiracy mongers... sheesh!"

Because you keep presenting abundant evidence of the fact.Do get your definitions right,Neocons are former liberals who had their epiphany through the war on terror(ism),some here are long time conservatives,some are small "l" liberals,there are many different perspectives in between,once again you have confirmed the "ignorant" part of your statement.

Jane

Last nite I had a bit of an epiphany about this whole case - and it's not anything new but suddenly a lot of things made sense to me.

I think from the beginning this was not a confluence of circumstances - Wilson op-ed , pushback by the administration, Libby caught in the middlle, etc, but rather a purposeful ruse to get the administration. I think it was a planned witch hunt, a lot like the whole Foley matter was. And when TM and Clarice write their books, I think they have to start earlier, from the time this story was cooking in the Kerry campaign.

And if you don't I bet Woodward will.

PeterUK

Much of the significance of Saint Valerie's identity arose post facto,before the left and the MSM began the cannonisation of this middle ranking nonentity she wasn't even worth a fatwah.Nobody even knew her name Wilson,Plame,Palm,Palme? Or even how to spell it,it would seem that Fitzgerald (AG 2008 under a Dem President?)clutched the accretions of glory to his heart in order to exacerbate the evils of outing Plame.
That the original CIA referal has never been disclosed puts this travesty of justice on a par with the Communist Bloc show trials in the early part of the 20th century,Kafkaesque.

hit and run

::wheeeeeeewwwww::

The CIO just stopped by and has someone from overseas he wants me to meet with for a couple of hours this morning.

What if it had been yesterday during closing arguments!?!?!?! ::shudder::

I'm sorry. But if that's not evidence for the existence of a merciful and loving God, I don't know what is.

Pofarmer

That the original CIA referal has never been disclosed puts this travesty of justice on a par with the Communist Bloc show trials in the early part of the 20th century,Kafkaesque.

Thumbs way up. Rather chilling, actually. Also amazing that Pete, and others can continue to get it so wrong. Conspiracy? Only in the lefts world is getting the facts out a conspiracy. Why, that can't be left to stand!!!!!

lurker
not about the conspiracy that was proven to exist at the Administration's highest levels of power.

This case made it very clear that there never was such a conspiracy existing at the Adm's highest levels of power.

As for me, I *KNOW* Libby should be acquitted but I sure cannot predict what the jury will do.

As for this part:

"I think reasonable doubt washes away Russert and Cooper, but this charge (as an example) sticks:

2. During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Mr. Libby was surprised by Mr. Russert’s statement that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA because, while speaking with Mr. Russert, Mr.Libby did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President."

Why would this stick when Russert's credibility as a witness has been destroyed.

Great Banana

Will I be disappointed if there's an acquittal? Yes, but in Fitzgerald, not the system. And if there's a conviction? Then I'll be disappointed in the Judge, for refusing to allow a memory expert to testify at trial. As much as I might prefer it otherwise, this case was about memory and reasonable doubt, not about the conspiracy that was proven to exist at the Administration's highest levels of power.

A "conspiracy" was proven? Do tell. If by conspiracy you mean that the administration responded purposefully to lies and attacks, then I suppose you are correct. It is a very strange definition of conspiracy though, wherein "conspiring" to respond to lies and political attacks is thought to be bad or "evil".

lurker

The conspiracy came from Wilson, his VIPS friends, the Democrats, and the Kerry campaign team.

Notice how quiet the Democrats have been since they won the majority other than doing serious blunders with their decisions, actions, and resolutions.

Great Banana

Also, if a "conspiracy" has been proven (and I am assuming he is using the criminal definition of conspiracy), why was no one charged with conspiracy? Why was no one convicted of conspiracy?

Also, is Fitzy's investigation still ongoing? What on earth can he possibly be investigating? He knows who the leak was - Armitage. If the investigation really is ongoing, something needs to be done, b/c this guy is out of control.

PeterUK

Pofarmer,
Chilling yes,even more chilling is the precedent that has been set,anyone,absolutely anyone, can be questioned,without having recourse to notes or a lawyer,until they make a mistake,then indicted.I guarantee even Sir Fitz Gallahad would fail the test
"You must be guilty of something,why else would you be here"?
Slippery slope America,slippery slope.

royf

Thumbs way up. Rather chilling, actually. Also amazing that Pete, and others can continue to get it so wrong. Conspiracy? Only in the lefts world is getting the facts out a conspiracy. Why, that can't be left to stand!!!!!

The fact that Wilson was hired by the Kerry campaign before becoming "a critic". True

The fact that Wilson said he was sent by the OVP. Wrong proven false by two investigations into the facts.

The fact that Wilson said his wife wasn't involved with his being appointed for the mission. False proven by the above mentioned investigations.

The fact that Wilson stated that he warned of the forged documents. False etc.

The fact that he said his junket showed the Iraq/yellow cake story wasn't true. False his sworn testimony actually supported the connection.

The fact that mr Washington insider Evan Thomas said that the medias coverage of the election in 2004 was worth as much as 15% points in the polls for Kerry.

Now there is your conspiracy for you moonbats.

Appalled Moderate

Don't be too tough on Ms. Meritt, who is demonstrating significant intellectual honesty, though the conviction of Libby Cheney for lying about the war is what she really believes is right.

Fitz's close, on the other hand, I think, was a disgrace, showing significant intellectual dishonesty. He talks of Libby denying the American perople the right to know. But, frankly, if DISCLOSURE was the goal, once it was determined that there were really no crimes involved would have been to issue a public report of the grand jury's findings -- including a revelation of Armitage and Rove's and Ari's leaking -- and, if Fitz felt it appropriate, a disclosure of Libby's lies, the problem that really caused with the investigation (which still is not particularly clear to me).

Ordinarially, this little scandal would have been the stuff of Congressional investigation, as the scandal was essentially political. Since the GOP Congress had no interest in investigation, a independent prosecuter was probably the only way to get anything about this out. Nevertheless, one of the things our political system has not managed to figure out is how to handle executive branch scandals. I don't know what the answer is -- but it's surely not noxious little perjury trials.

Rick Ballard

AM,

What 'scandal'? Since when is the rebuttal of lies told by a political operative a scandal? You're buying the big lie and rejecting the little lie.

Cecil Turner

You're buying the big lie and rejecting the little lie.

Jeralyn did, too. I'm pleasantly surprised by her intellectual honesty in admitting the case against Libby wasn't proven . . . Less so by the persistence of discredited conspiracy theories.

[No, you see, they hid the actual talking points, from the investigation they foresaw . . .] Wow.

Alcibiades

Completely OT:

I just heard Imus tell Mike Barnicle, re the WPost's Walter Reed hospital story "you guys are a bunch of liberal p*ssies and all you want to do is blame the Bush administration for everything." Man, he was worked up.

Appalled Moderate

Val should not have been outed by anyone and there should have been care batting her name around. But I do believe both Val and Important Hair Man showed a lack of concern about her status. Part of keeping a secret is not thrusting yourself into a position where it is plausible that secret will be revealed.

Also, I believe, on a preponderance of the evidence standard, but not a reasonable doubt standard, Libby is guilty of lying to the grand jury regarding the Russert conversation.

MayBee

AM: Nevertheless, one of the things our political system has not managed to figure out is how to handle executive branch scandals. I don't know what the answer is -- but it's surely not noxious little perjury trial

Agree completely.
I think the first solution is to not be so easily scandalized.
I'm fascinated that you found Fitz's close a disgrace. That's something.

bio mom

Jane, Absolutely correct!! It was all about the 2004 election. And Chuck Schumer was very involved also. Wilson went to a Democratic Senatorial meeting before going on the attack. Who appeared at every press conference with him?? Schumer!!

May the good Lord give all of these despicable people their just desserts. Libby could be imprisoned for 30 years!! Let's release the terrorists but punish this man for being a member of the Bush administration.

I may never recover from the loathing all of this has bred in me of the media and the justice system. I have a hard time writing the words "justice" system.

Jane

Also amazing that Pete, and others can continue to get it so wrong.

For answers as to why, check out Dr. Sanity today (via instapundit if that is easier)

Regarding the missing "r" - I swear until this weekend I always read your name as "profarmer".

Jane

Also amazing that Pete, and others can continue to get it so wrong.

For answers as to why, check out Dr. Sanity today (via instapundit if that is easier)

Regarding the missing "r" - I swear until this weekend I always read your name as "profarmer".

Rick Ballard

As a committed leftist Merritt will always buy the big lie. Her embrace of big brother means that her life's work consists of promulgating the same tired cliches forever. She is 'honest' in the same way that Winston Smith was 'honest' and deserves recognition of her 'honesty' solely on that basis.

This 'little lie' has failed, Merritt pins blame on Fitz for its failure and moves on in her pursuit of a 'higher truth' known only to leftist sycophants. She's not very impressive at all in that respect.

I expected to see additional defense filings this morning. Walton is going to have to do a little more to address Fitzgerald's egregious behavior in his closing.

windansea

"you guys are a bunch of liberal p*ssies and all you want to do is blame the Bush administration for everything."

hehe...just like (redacted)

jwest

AM,

Do you think you would still feel the same way about the Russert charges if Wells had been able to call Gregory and Mitchell to the stand?

Are you sure Russert’s version would hold up if all the circumstances were fully investigated?

Appalled Moderate

jwest:

I am more than 50% sure (preponderance of the evidence).

Wells could have called Gregory to the stand for impeachment purposes -- he didn't. (probably as he did not know what he was going to say). With respect to Mitchel, I felt Fitz's objection was likely accurate -- it was a defense attempt to bring in otherwise inadmissable evidence

sbw

AM: it was a defense attempt to bring in otherwise inadmissable evidence

Like Fitz did in his closing?

Appalled Moderate

sbw:

Yes, like Fitz did in his closing. (Hey, I said his closing was a disgrace)

clarice

Byron York has a very good piece on the Fitz nutsiness in his closing argument (the same nutsiness he displayed in his presser, actually).

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjZiMjQyY2RlMjM5YzY1ZTQ4M2JkZTMyZTVlMWYxYTM=>Eviiiil Cheney v. Emma Peel

Alcibiades

With respect to Mitchel, I felt Fitz's objection was likely accurate -- it was a defense attempt to bring in otherwise inadmissable evidence.


I don't see why pushing Mitchell on the facts she clearly was aware of when this was ongoing should have been inadmissible.

Did you read MarkO's analysis of the NBC lawyers? The only thing was a ruse to protect the NBC brand - they could care less if Libby gets punished for it.

Meanwhile, they are destroying NBC all on their own.

Alcibiades

---the whole thing--- not: the only thing

Alcibiades

BTW, thank God we have MM to give us a view of what was going on with the jury, because Dana Milbank showed up in the media room just so he could write up his "objective" impressions of what he thought was going on:

The Defense Rests, and Not a Minute Too Soon

Makes Wells seem like a scatter brained loony. And totally misses MM's point about how well Wells read the jury and connected with them, like delivering a piece of performance art. Moreover, he also misses Jeralyn's point, about the conviction in his body and face being absolutely clear to the jurors and the weight that will have.

TexasToast

I don't know what the answer is -- but it's surely not noxious little perjury trials.

AM

I'm pretty sure that this "noxious little perjury trial" is not the case Fitz wanted to bring. That seems fairly obvious from the Fitzgerald closing. Unlike Ari, Libby wouldn't flip.

As you point out, a political solution was (and is) simply not available. IMHO, Jeralyn Merritt's criticism that the focus was too narrow does not take this into account. Whether or not Libby lied or simply misremembered has become a political issue - as evidenced by the comments on this board and elsewhere. It shouldn't be, of course, but imagine a broader proceeding against the VP and Libby for the alleged campaign against the Wilson's. The "truth" would become even less of an absolute and even more a political opinion.

I doubt that Fitz's "animus" against Libby in this case is a political opinion - it is rather a prosecutor's frustration at having his investigation derailed - and derailed it was. A pardon is in the bag.

azaghal

Byron York has a very good piece on the Fitz nutsiness in his closing argument (the same nutsiness he displayed in his presser, actually).

Eviiiil Cheney v. Emma Peel

Posted by: clarice | February 21, 2007 at 07:24 AM

It is a fine piece, well argued and stated in gentlemanly terms. But it's not news. No one with eyes to see has doubted since the very beginning of Plamegate that this was a put up job to do in the Bush administration. I don't say York should have been ungentlemanly, but at a minimum couldn't he state the truth forthrightly: Fitz wasn't a gentleman; he wasn't even a conspiracy monger; he was a coup monger--in a political sense.

Several lawyers on the forum yesterday expressed the shame they felt at Fitz' behavior. This is a legitimate view based on abundant facts. It deserves expression by established voices, not just commenters on blogs.

Other Tom

I think Appalled Moderate and Jeralyn Merritt are both being rigorously and scrupulously honest about this, and I commend them both. For my part, I wish I could be as "optimistic" as AM is about Libby's chances. I temper my innate pessimism with the fact that I have no idea how the jurors were reacting to any of the evidence or arguments, other than the somewhat favorable (for Libby) accounts we received from Maid Marion last night.

clarice

Yes, azaghal It was obvious to anyone watching the nature of the investigation. It was clear from the presser. It is patent in his closing.

It is an outrage.

Ashcroft and Comey and Schumer (who I am persuaded played a key role in this appointment) are equally to blame. I wonder when any reporter will get around to asking them about this charade and their role in it.

Cecil Turner

Wells could have called Gregory to the stand for impeachment purposes -- he didn't. (probably as he did not know what he was going to say).

Gregory, like most BDS sufferers, is convinced there was a conspiracy to out Plame. (Ditto for Dickerson: note his ridiculous extrapolations from Rice telling them to ask CIA.) That'd certainly come out. And whether or not Walton ruled it irrelevant, it's part of the trial. On balance . . .

(Hey, I said his closing was a disgrace)

It was a disgrace, but I bet it was effective. (Unless it managed to annoy--and thus harden--one or two holdouts, which is certainly a possibility.)

clarice

A little sherbet:

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e62/rawcatslyentist/fitzmas.jpg>Fitzgoofus

Cecil Turner

I doubt that Fitz's "animus" against Libby in this case is a political opinion - it is rather a prosecutor's frustration at having his investigation derailed - and derailed it was.

Oh, nonsense. Fitz knew from day one the leaker was Armitage. He did his absolute best to hide that fact, spun himself in circles about the perfectly legitimate NIE declassification (for about 2/3 of Libby's GJ testimony, by my reading), and tried to pin something on Libby that clearly wasn't Libby's doing. Based on his closing, I think he actually believes there was a conspiracy to out Plame. But that just shows how unhinged his prosecution was.

azaghal

Last nite I had a bit of an epiphany about this whole case - and it's not anything new but suddenly a lot of things made sense to me.

I think from the beginning this was not a confluence of circumstances - Wilson op-ed , pushback by the administration, Libby caught in the middlle, etc, but rather a purposeful ruse to get the administration. I think it was a planned witch hunt, a lot like the whole Foley matter was.

Posted by: Jane | February 21, 2007 at 04:52 AM

Jane, re your epiphany, the link below may interest you. Since it's dated in 9/06 it may well need to be updated in some respects, but it certainly accords with your conspiracy theory. It has been my complaint all along, including in my recent comment regarding Victoria Toensing's generally excellent article, that few commentators have been willing to openly state what should be obvious to all.

The
Path to Plamegate

clarice

I called it on Nov 4, 2005:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-11_4_05_CF.html>The Wilson Gambit

azaghal



November 4, 2005
The Wilson Gambit
By Clarice Feldman

Senate Democrats employed a stealthy maneuver the other day, to reinforce their demand into an affair they like to call “Plamegate.” They are right that an investigation is required. But they have gotten the subject matter wrong.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that the real scandal is the genesis, not the unmasking, of an irregular and highly questionable mission: “the Wilson Gambit.” It is time for serious examination, equipped with the tools of subpoena and testimony under oath, into the genesis and conduct of this anomalous operation.

The mainstream media, of course, is entirely uninterested in determining why the Wilson Gambit was undertaken. Once upon a time, the New York Times and the rest of the American liberal establishment worried about CIA dirty tricks aimed at influencing domestic politics. The more effervescent leftists fulminated about a “secret government” and muttered darkly about a threat to democracy itself, emanating from Langley.

How times (and The Times) have changed! Today, the darlings of the American left and its house organ are a CIA employee and her husband, who set up and implemented a highly irregular operation which, if not explicitly designed to do so, has had the net effect of discrediting an elected leader and his foreign policy. The Wilson Gambit was a stealth operation undertaken outside normal procedures and supervision, used as a political weapon, complete with lies spread by a cooperative media establishment interested in bringing down a leader and his policies which they detest.

clarice, aren't you the one who has been claiming all along that Senate Democrats were behind this--that Comey signalled a willingness to appoint a Special Counsel at his confirmatin hearings?

clarice

Yes, azaghal. I believe that Comey sailed thru because he gave an off the record promise to Schumer to appoint Fitz to handle this , both of them knowing full well that he was to get the Administration.

clarice

azaghal, here's what I wrote on those confirmation hearings:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2006/09/what_did_schumer_know_and_when.html>Set Up

Alcibiades

Didn't Macranger suggest that Val was at that Kristof meeting before the documents came out to prove his assertion? I remember reading that a long time ago.

Alcibiades

Clarice,

Why do you think that the Admin was so blind to the danger of the appointment of Comey? I hadn't followed that angle until recently, nor the fact that Comey as well as Fitz had an animus against Libby based on the Mark Rich pardons.

Pofarmer

Ashcroft and Comey and Schumer (who I am persuaded played a key role in this appointment) are equally to blame.

I'm gonna have to defend Ashcroft a little bit on this. When all this was coming down, I beleive he was ill with Pancreatitis, which can be painful and debilitating, and Comey took advantage of him. He was a 2 term governor in MO, and well liked.

Pofarmer

Also, what role would Specter and the Judiciary committee have had in this? Specter is no freind of the administration.

clarice

Azaghal, says he was aware at that time that the Administration was not reappointing him and just didn't care. I think he was noseringed thru/out his tenure by careerists who figured him for a weal sister too afraid of critical press to carry out the job. Others might argue that the careerists and Eckenrode sold him a bill of goods (which might explain the reason why when Libby said "he couldn't recall", Eckenrode's summary said "he adamantly denied".I have also heard from the inside, that the day after 9/11 Bush yelled at Ashcroft that he held him personally responsible ..and for someone like Ashcroft that must have smarted and made him unwilling to stick his neck out against the media-generated Plame firestorm.

Make no mistake, Eckenrode and the DoJ careerists viewed Schumer as their supervisor.

__________________Per fdl:
Lots of jurors taking last looks at Libby before they started deliberating. And apparently the juror's conflict with the Baker Botts lawyer wasn't that big a conflict–she appears to remain on the jury. So the final total is 8 woman, 4 men (we gained one of the PhDs from the alternates), two African Americans. Now busy deciding Scooter Libby's fate.


Pofarmer

Why do you think that the Admin was so blind to the danger of the appointment of Comey? I hadn't followed that angle until recently, nor the fact that Comey as well as Fitz had an animus against Libby based on the Mark Rich pardons.

I think the administration thought they had dotted their i's and crossed their t's. After all, the NIE had been properly classified and that was the thrust of what they were trying to get out. I think they got broadsided by a prosecution that was decidedly more broad than what they were expecting.

Clarice, it would be interesting to know the truth of Bush yelling at Ashcroft. I can't see that, not less than 9 months into his job. Wasn't it more like 3? Why not yell at Clarke, or Tenet, or Berger? That doesn't make sense.

Alcibiades

Yes, but why did they not understand more about the character of Comey, is that I mean. That he was willing to be led around by Schumer.

clarice

I don't know, but he left the wall in place and stories were out about the Moussaoui computer, etc..He was over Mueller after all.That story has never been in print, but I have it on very good authority. It was in a cabinet meeting, not privately, and it must have deeply wounded a moral perfectionist like Ashcroft.

clarice

Alci--Comey and Fitz mae their bones in the WTC and African Embassy bombing cases, and were considered hard boiled, tough prosecutors. Schumer knew them best because they worked in the SDNY.
If you recall the SSCI was critical of the way they'd worked those cases, indicating that they may,in fact, have been counterproductive to the anti-terrorism cause.
Their boss, Mary Jo White refused to share w/ the FBI what their records showed of Iraqi incolvement in the WTC bombing, and it was only after 9/11 that the stupidos in the CIA learned that those cases having been complete--the full files were publicly available in the courthouse.

boris

he left the wall in place and stories were out about the Moussaoui computer, etc

My impression of Ashcroft is that like W he is a trusting fair minded person unwilling to suspect deception and always insists on playing by the numbers no matter what the opposition is up to.

Wrong type for that job.

Pofarmer

From Wikipedia on John Ashcroft.

John Conyers

When Karl Rove was being questioned by the FBI over the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity in the press, Ashcroft was personally briefed about the investigation. U.S. Representative John Conyers described this at the time as a "stunning ethical breach that cries out for an immediate investigation."[15] Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter asking for a formal investigation of the time between the start of Rove's investigation and John Ashcroft's recusal.[16]

So, Specter would have been involved. Figures.

Pofarmer

My impression of Ashcroft is that like W he is a trusting fair minded person unwilling to suspect deception and always insists on playing by the numbers no matter what the opposition is up to.

That sounds about right. I doubt if he would have taken down the wall without cause. 9/11 was cause.

clarice

Absolutely, Boris. With Schumer and Kennedy et al on the judiciary committee, the Reps never figured out that Orin Hatch and Ashcroft were no match--it's like taking candy from babies. Kennedy's Jim Flug does thru CREW what the Dems on the Committee don't care to do in public. And then there's the outrageous play on the memos lifted off an openly accessible computer program which revealed the Dems' dirty tricks on judicial nominations--something Manny Martinez is still be held in legal limbo about--by the SDNY US Atty.

sylvia

"Even if Libby actually had that conversation with Russert, or even if the jury accepts that he is sincerely confused and actually had that conversation with Bob Novak (a seemingly innocent substitution), I think they will still choke on the notion that he did not even remember hearing and forgetting the Plame info earlier."

Wow. Kind of a turnaround there. Glad to see that TM can take into account all factors and adjust according to the latest on the big picture.

Again, I think the situation with Tim Russert is too bizarre to merit a conviction. Did they speak, did they not speak - it is Russert's word against Libby - so Libby words about hearing it as if for the first time are irrelevant in that situation. Libby got lucky in that way. Ditto with the obstruction charge. The Cooper charge I think will be more likely to stick.

Irregardless of any convictions, it seems clear to me, especially after I read that little blurb about Libby telling Cheney that he first heard about Plame from Russert, and Cheney not responding, that Libby is not telling the truth and this may have been an orchestrated coverup. However whether this rises to the type of offense where someone should go to jail for - not really. If everyone who told lies to get out of trouble was sent to jail, the prisons would be full. Since there was no real underlying harm here, I think the jury will be loathe to convict.

Pofarmer

Libby telling Cheney that he first heard about Plame from Russert, and Cheney not responding,

The easier answer is that Cheney found the fact that Russert was fishing was interesting, since he may very well not have remembered the exact info, or knew Val sent Wilson at that time either.

sylvia

"since he may very well not have remembered the exact info"

Possible. But not especially likely. But that's what a jury has to do - make up their own minds on the odds and make a decision. Again, I think it's possible they won't convict. That doesn't mean we can't draw our own conclusions on what happened.

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Wilson/Plame