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February 06, 2007

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windansea

before

fails to note that Ms. Wilson’s employment status was material to the grand jury’s investigation.

after

Fitzgerald says he never sought all the evidence of that because it is not material"

windansea

oops..reverse the above :)

windansea

Fitzle pretzel logic at it's finest

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

If it's true that Plame was punished. Pay was kept from her for one year. 2002-2003? And, then she was asked to leave the CIA, this is the "big secret super-duper classified cover?"

I can see all sorts of reasons it would work in Russert's interests to come clean. And, not weasel. Rhetorical, "I wonder," if Fitz will keep objecting that Russert goes beyond the testimony entered on Direct. And, then, he has to live with the tapes. And, how it hones in on MORE THAN ONE PHONE CALL with Libby. It may be hard to listen to the tapes. But I doubt that they'll prove to have been boring.

Walton's rulings are key. I came to the table, here, so unware of the judge's role.

Dan S

I believe there was a qualifier in Walton's statement about Plame's status. I think it was something like "based on materials he's reviewed" or something. I read it like some of Russert's replies to questions. A little to precise.

That's not to say I think Walton necessarily knows. But I do think his language allows for him knowing, and if he does, he feels he would not know based solely on what he's had officially submitted to him as part of the case.

But it's too late to hunt down.

anonymous

""""some newspaper articles """

After all we've been through, who would possibly believe a newspaper article is an authoritative source.

Ranger

Well, one thing that helps Libby out in this is Addington saying that he gave Libby a copy of the IIPA to read. That means that Libby did know that he was not in jepardy under that statute. I remember the FDL scribe making some kind of snide remark at the time and thinking 'they don't realize Addington just gave Libby his get out of jail free card in terms of state of mind.'

It doesn't matter what press accounts Libby read about Plame being covert before going into the FBI interviews, Addington has confirmed, under oath, that Libby knew it didn't matter where he as concerned. Libby didn't know her status at the time, so it doesn't matter what her status was under the IIPA.

Syl

Just some clarification here and a possible scenario.

I had forgotten something and misled MayBee. A CIA employees status may be classified even if the employee is not covert.

So even if Libby knew she didn't fall under IIPA, he still had to deal with the fact her status may have been classified. But for the statute that covers release of classified info, he had to have KNOWN her status was classified.

However, ignorance is not bliss when you've signed that NDA. Procedure requires that you find out from an official source before you reveal the information to a non-official person.

So we have a situation where Libby wasn't worried about IIPA, but could have been concerned about classified status when he testified. Even though there were no criminal penalties involved, a conviction for revealing classified info would lose him his security clearance--may as well lose him his job.

And remember that GJ member who asked 'If you thought she wasn't classified, why were you so careful to not reveal the info?'

Looks hinky. No?

No.

Because at the time Libby was talking with reporters, he did not know whether she was classified or not, so he was careful about confirming the info.

But before he testified he was informed by Cheney ::waving to Maybee:: that she had been de-classified before the relevant time period when he spoke to reporters.

That would explain both his care (sourcing to reporters - I heard that too, but don't know if it's true -) which is how he would have handled it, though maybe he didn't remember the exact words he used

and

Not having a motive to lie. He knew he was in no jeopardy, either legally or administratively, for leaking. He had no reason to make stuff up.

Now we come to the very interesting part of the trial. How can Libby prove this? Fitz and the judge have made clear that knowledge of Val's actual status is off limits.

So I don't think Wells can even ask Cheney (assuming Cheney) what he told Libby about what Val's status was and when.

:(

Syl

Just want to add that I got part of this idea from Rick (re timing of de-classification). Also I had gone off to bed, thought about this, and here I am again.

Reallllllly going to sleep now.

Ranger

Well, I think Libby's reluctance to confirm comes from the idea that Cheney was telling his people not to get sidetracked by the gossipy tidbit and focus on the factual pushback. Add to that the fact that OVP is still trying to work with CIA and 'the wife sent him on a junket' story line makes CIA look bad. I would say that those are two very good reasons for Libby to not want to confirm the issue with reporters that have nothing to do with if she was classified or not.

sad

Cheney was telling his people not to get sidetracked by the gossipy tidbit and focus on the factual pushback.

That explains the press hatred of Cheney. The man insists on focusing on the facts while ignoring the gossip. Furthermore, he expects his staff to do so as well.

Jane

In response to discovery motions by Libby’s defense, Fitzgerald says he never sought all the evidence of that because it is not material"

My obvious question: Material to what?

I really don't think I know what Fitzgerald thinks this case is about anymore.

Jane

In response to discovery motions by Libby’s defense, Fitzgerald says he never sought all the evidence of that because it is not material"

My obvious question: Material to what?

I really don't think I know what Fitzgerald thinks this case is about anymore.

hit and run

sad:
That explains the press hatred of Cheney. The man insists on focusing on the facts while ignoring the gossip. Furthermore, he expects his staff to do so as well.

Well, that.

But think of his name and think of envy, and you may have another reason as well.

Cecil Turner

Even though there were no criminal penalties involved, a conviction for revealing classified info . . .

A quibble: administrative action under the NDA could've conceivably lost Libby his clearance (and hence his job) . . . but it wouldn't be a "conviction." And even that's a bit hard to credit, since the actual leaks came from CIA and Armitage. Whatever hand Libby had in adding to the mix was tangential at best. (It also opens up the whole "properly classified" can of worms, which regarding Plame's status is dubious.)

So I don't think Wells can even ask Cheney (assuming Cheney) what he told Libby about what Val's status was and when.

Don't think so. Actual status is off-limits, but Libby's perception of Val's status is perfectly material.

cboldt

FWIW, I commented some time ago (but after Libby published his theory of defense) to the notion that the prosecution has to "rule out every possible defense." My comment was that usually, the defendant provides a single theory, thus narrowing the field of relevant speculation and doubt.

Jane

From Captain ed this morning:

Did Plame Initiate The Niger Investigation?

One of the accepted facts of the entire Valerie Plame scandal has been that Plame suggested her husband, Joseph Wilson, for the Niger investigation after Dick Cheney requested the research into Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa. That timeline paints Plame as responsive to the VP's office and not an initiator of action on the "sixteen words" controversy. Byron York, who has followed the Scooter Libby trial for National Review, reports that the timeline has been proven incorrect, casting doubt on the tenor of Plame's request and Wilson's assignment:

The accepted version of events is that Vice President Dick Cheney got things started when he asked for information about possible Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa. After that request, CIA employee Valerie Plame Wilson suggested sending her husband to look into the question, and after that, the CIA flew Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate. But the new documents suggest that Mrs. Wilson suggested her husband for the trip before the vice president made his request. In other words, Joseph Wilson’s visit to Niger, which everyone believes was undertaken at the behest of the vice president, was actually in the works before Dick Cheney asked his now-famous question. And if that is true, our current understanding of the chronology of events is wrong. ...

A CIA official told the committee that Mrs. Wilson “offered up [Joseph Wilson’s] name” for the job, and the Senate report quoted the e-mail written by Mrs. Wilson saying, “my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.”

According to the Senate report, Valerie Plame Wilson sent her e-mail on February 12, 2002 — the day before the vice president was briefed on the African uranium matter. The discrepancy between the two dates seems glaring, but was not included in the Senate report. That is because, according to a source familiar with the committee’s investigation, the CIA did not include the document in the materials it turned over to the committee. Senate investigators apparently never knew the exact date of the vice president’s request, so they never knew it came after Plame’s e-mail.

What does the new information mean? On February 12, 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency released — inside the government, not publicly — a report covering the Africa uranium issue; its title said that Niger had “signed an agreement to sell 500 tons of uranium a year to Baghdad.” CIA officials told Senate investigators the report spurred requests for information from both the State Department and the Department of Defense. Knowledgeable sources speculate — and they stress, they are speculating — that those inquiries from State and Defense were made on the 12th, the day the Defense Intelligence Agency report was sent around, and that Valerie Plame Wilson, in suggesting her husband be sent to investigate, was reacting to those requests, and not to the vice president’s question, which came the next day. In this new version of events, Dick Cheney was the last guy to request more information, not the first; the notion that his request started the whole affair seems wrong.

In his book, Wilson claims that he had been asked to take the assignment on February 19th, a week later and after Cheney's request for more information. However, another memo entered into evidence suggests that Wilson had already accepted the assignment by February 14th, when a CIA message to Cheney states that the agency had "tasked our clandestine source[s] with ties to the Nigerien Government and consortium officials to seek additional information on the contract."

Wilson, the man who received that assignment, would almost certainly have been that clandestine source. He had, as the memo describes, "ties to the Nigerien government," which he himself has argued as the reason why his wife promoted him for the job. In any case, he was the one who went to Niger and reported back that the Nigerien PM believed that the Iraqis had indeed attempted to smooth the way for uranium sales in the future. The memo of the 14th would apply to few men outside of Wilson.

I've written at length about the lack of credibility Wilson has on this topic. He has misrepresented his own findings for political purposes, a conclusion that this trial has reinforced. Now it looks like he has lied about the nature of his assignment from the beginning. It did not come from a request by Cheney, but apparently as an independent initiative of his wife in reaction to intelligence developed outside of her discipline -- which calls into question the motives of both parties from the beginning.

sad

I really don't think I know what Fitzgerald thinks this case is about anymore.

We are so used to the defense attorney being portrayed as the slimy, underhanded scallywag and the prosecutor as defender of truth, justice and the American Way. Fitz and Nifong have changed the perceptions in a big way for the average American.

During our freshman year (1977) in a history class at UW, a very left wing prof told us to sell our children and the farm to get the best attorney money could buy if we were ever accused of a crime. He had very important hair in a Robert Redford sort of way and was edgy and exciting to a bunch of rubes just a few days removed from small towns and farms. I've thought about his advice often since Libby was indicted.

sad

But think of his name and think of envy, and you may have another reason as well.

Absolutely!! And not just cause he's the real smartest man in the room. He's also really hot.

Molon Labe

New media angle: "Cheney slow to respond to Niger uranium threat"

Jane

Sad,

The thing is there are good and bad prosecutors and good and bad defense lawyers. A few years after I became a lawyer I was completely outraged about how horrible I thought most lawyers were - how so many didn't really care about the case, just the money, and so many lacked integrity, etc etc. Over the years, I've come to realize there are a lot of very good lawyers out there, with lots and lots of integrity, on all sides of the fence.

I do think that the politicization of the law has rendered some very bad results. And that's what we are seeing with Earle, Nifong and Fitz.

centralcal

Jane, you beat me to it. I read Byron York's piece at NRO this morning.

Patrick

Jane, that is stunning in a few respects. First, (and this is not so stunning) it's even more clear what a mendacious weasal Wilson is. Next, given that this information has not come to light before this, it is more evidence that the bureaucracies truly were at war with the White House. Finally, in all of the picking over of the evidence at many levels, not the least of which occurs at JOM, it is surprising that no one has picked up on this until now.

boris

Fitz may be trying to get the jury to infer a motive for Libby to lie that he does not or can not state openly. That is: just before the election the administration did not want to acknowledge exposing poor Val because of the hysterical MSM coverage that would follow. Look at how the NIE disclosure was hyped as leaking secrets. Even a reasonable disclosure of fact to set the record straight from false accusation is spun as lies and hypocrisy. Libby sent out to lie to the public about the "key findings".

So even if there was no "legitimate" motive to lie the volatile BDS fumes were an explosive atmosphere in which to operate requiring Clintonian deceit and vindictive personal destruction on the part of the administration.

Less plausible to me than the "scapegoat" scenario, but it also does motivate away from "don't recall" testimony.

So ... the Libby testimony options based on this ...

  1. Accurate and True
  2. FUBAR memory
  3. Bafflegab of a scapegoat
  4. Stoopid Lies to protect admin from BDS MSM (but depend on BDS MSM to not tattle)
  5. Smart Lies that (in hindsight) any competent pol could concoct in their sleep.

The plausibility of (4) seems to depend heavily on ones suceptibility to BDS logic, which is why Fitz believes the jury will buy it (his BDS or theirs?).

Ranger

Patrick,

I recall those exact points being discussed here just a few weeks ago (and probably before that too, just don't have an independent recollection of it). The issue of 'behesting' has been a topic much analyzed here.

sad

The thing is there are good and bad prosecutors and good and bad defense lawyers.<.I>

Spot on, Jane. But prosecutors are taking a big hit in the headlines and so much of the public only absorbs the high profile scuttlebutt. Many of us who are political junkies, and cynical to boot, are shocked by Earle, Nifong and Fitz.

sad

Jane

Patrick,

Do you think Fitz knew?

MayBee

Ahhh....so the answer to my question about why Libby called Wilson "clandestined guy" when talking to Miller. It didn't make sense to me otherwise, because Wilson and the INR report made it clear he was going to announce he was there with the whole Government (not the CIA, but the government!).

I don't do intelligence, he said in his book, I do diplomacy!

boris
that those inquiries from State and Defense were made on the 12th, the day the Defense Intelligence Agency report was sent around, and that Valerie Plame Wilson, in suggesting her husband be sent to investigate, was reacting to those requests, and not to the vice president’s question

Early last year Cecil Turner pointed out that a causal relationship was unlikely between Cheney's request for CIA analysis and Valerie's recommendation of Joe. Since then it has been a recurring discussion point with Jeff, who claimed Cheney “triggered” the mission. My take was that the DIA report itself was more plausible as the cause for both Valerie's recommendation and Cheney's request. Within the last couple of weeks that "unlikely" became "impossible without time travel".

cboldt

-- Finally, in all of the picking over of the evidence at many levels, not the least of which occurs at JOM, it is surprising that no one has picked up on this until now. --

The timing between Cheney's expressed curiosity and the decision to send Wilson was discussed here at length in the past couple weeks. The most plausible conclusion is the one Morrisey makes - CIA sent Wilson on it's own initiative, "brilliantly anticipating a future question from the OVP." I made up that last part.

Chants

Joe was the CIA's "[c]landestine source[s]" with ties to the Niger government? I thought Joe said his trip was "discrete but by no means secret".

Rick Ballard

Chants,

I think it better to say 'Ambassador Munchausen said'. That way readers know they are entering into a fabulous area of imagination.

Alternatively, for those wishing to remain in reality, 'Joe Wilson lied' is always more appropriate than 'Joe Wilson said'. It's just a matter of probability.

hit and run

Molon Labe:
New media angle: "Cheney slow to respond to Niger uranium threat"

Good catch on that. Be careful, though. When trying to think like the media, sometimes it's hard to come back to reality.

Kinda like how mom used to say don't cross your eyes, they may get stuck like that.

Patrick

Ranger: I think this is different from the "behesting" issue. We knew that Wilson claimed to have been sent at the "behest" of the VP, and we knew the VP denied that. We knew, or thought we knew (or I thought I knew) that they sent Wilson in response to the VP's request, but never told the VP "we're sending this Wilson fellow to Nigeria, to follow up on your request about the attempted uranium purchase." These memos show the CIA was looking into the leads before the VP asked for further info, and had settled on Wilson (at his Wife's prompting) before the VP's request.

Or I could be wrong. Help me out here, Martin, Jeff, Leo. What have I got wrong?

Jane, I have no idea if Fitz noticed this or not. But, he is a guy with the most knowledge about this case, and has connected lots of dots before this. All of the dots he has connected, however, are the ones that support his case. Other facts and theories that do not support his case seem to be ignored.

hit and run

Jane/centralcal - I like that Cap'n and Byron have picked up on the idea that Val behested before Cheney knew.

And let me point out that at JOM, you can get Today's Headlines Last Night (At 2 Freakin' AM)

Rick Ballard

Lance reports that the audio will be available in MP3 on CD - for the media. PDF's of the transcripts will be posted "a short time later".

Blech. Txt or doc would be so much better.

boris

we knew (or I thought I knew) that they sent Wilson in response to the VP's request

The final authorization for the Val and Joe mission may have included incentive provided by Cheney's request on top of inquiry from State and Defense, but discussion on the point by several regulars here have always suggested the mission was in the works already and Cheney's request was seized upon as an excuse.

MayBee

Patrick- a few weeks (or maybe months ago), someone here (cecil or mjw) noticed some reports indicated that while Valerie wrote her memo on the 12th, Cheney was briefed on the 13th. There was an involved discussion about what time of day the briefing was held, and when the briefing report was completed, etc.

When the trial started, it was noticed that Cheney's brief was definitely on the 13th, at 7 am. Testimony was that the briefer put it together at around 2 am.
So...the date discrepancy had been noticed, in addition to what Boris described.
I don't remember anyone noticing the memo on the 14th saying we've tasked the clandestine guy vs. Wilson's previous Feb 19 story.

JM Hanes

Jane:

Thanks for drawing attention to the piece from Captain Ed! I think it's worth highlighting this killer paragraph:

According to the Senate report, Valerie Plame Wilson sent her e-mail on February 12, 2002 — the day before the vice president was briefed on the African uranium matter. The discrepancy between the two dates seems glaring, but was not included in the Senate report. That is because, according to a source familiar with the committee’s investigation, the CIA did not include the document in the materials it turned over to the committee. Senate investigators apparently never knew the exact date of the vice president’s request, so they never knew it came after Plame’s e-mail.

This explains so much! I remember JOM folks thinking there was definitely something hinky about just how fast Joe ended up enroute, if his trip was really engendered by the VP's query. (And did we ever figure out who the "we" on that trip happened to be?) As CQ constructs it above, one might even get the impression that the CIA was being deliberately vague about the sequencing...

File this under Jason Van Steenwyck's "Missing Headlines." Assuming it's true (and I do!), anyone really following this case ought to recognize how truly explosive it is. I don't think even Jeff can explain this one away.

MayBee

**by briefed on the 13th, I mean the briefing at which Cheney asked his question about Niger.

clarice

Good for Byron--we focused on those dates the other day but all I could recall from the SSCI discussion was a scepticism from the committee re the remarkably short turn around. He called the committee and reports--get this--although that was something the committee was looking into, the CIA never provided the documentation. Had it, this would have been crystal clear years ago.
Now, why did it do that and how did they get away with it?

MayBee

Oh, I want to add that I am thrilled to see the Cap'n and Byron pick up on this. I'd like to know the answer, even if the dates turn out to be wrong.

JM Hanes

TM:

"So, is Libby a movie fan, are other phrases or ideas in his testimony coming from movies, and could that possibly be helpful?"

A movie fan and a novelist! And there's that suspicious meeting with Cruise & Cruz...

Jane

It's this part that fries me: the CIA did not include the document in the materials it turned over to the committee.

I tell you, there has been a coup going on for a very long time!

hit and run

Jane:
I tell you, there has been a coup going on for a very long time!


Well, we can at least be grateful that the coup is being run out of the bureaucracy.

Gives us time to defend ourselves at least.

Ranger

And since we have drifted onto the subject of OVP asking questions initiating things, lets take one more look at that discrepency between Libby's and Grossman's GJ statements. Grossman says that the commissioned the INR because of questions he was getting form Libby. Libby says he never asked Grossman for information about the "un-named envoy." So, my question is, why didn't Fitz put that in as a charge in the indictment? That clearly seems to fit a patter of "obstructing the investigation" if Libby denied asking questions of Grossman that lead to Grossman passing along information about Wilson's Wife. Could it be that Fitz feared that if he did indict on that, the whole Grossman-Armitage 'cooking the books' issue would be investigated and it might come out that it really was Armitage and Grossman who conspired to obstruct the investigation on the night before Grossman's first FBI interview by hidding the fact that Armitage asked for the INR, read it on the 10th or 11th of June, then started passing the bit about Wilson's Wife to every reporter he talked to after that?

Just askin.

Jane

it might come out that it really was Armitage and Grossman who conspired to obstruct the investigation on the night before Grossman's first FBI interview by hidding the fact that Armitage asked for the INR, read it on the 10th or 11th of June, then started passing the bit about Wilson's Wife to every reporter he talked to after that?

Ranger,

Sorry to be so thick, (and having no memory to boot) but what do you think was Armitage's motive?

hit and run

it might come out that it really was Armitage

New Plame Game: Six Degrees of Richard Armitage

Nah, too easy. Try Two Degrees.

Pete

Where is the evidence on when Cheney was briefed on the Niger matter?

Ranger

Sorry to be so thick, (and having no memory to boot) but what do you think was Armitage's motive?

Posted by: Jane | February 07, 2007 at 06:51 AM

My turn to be thick. Not sure what you're asking. To obstruct the investigation or to leak Plame's name in the first place?

Cecil Turner

Good for Byron--we focused on those dates the other day but all I could recall from the SSCI discussion was a scepticism from the committee re the remarkably short turn around.

Yes, good for him. And part of the reason for not remembering so well is probably because the initial discussion was almost a year ago:

So apparently the DIA report was briefed to the Veep on the morning of the same day it was published, his request got to CPD, was discussed, and Plame suggested his name in a memo, all on the same day. Coulda happened, but dang, that's quick work. Alternate explanation: the State and Defense inquiries provided the actual impetus, the VP's question was tacked on.
(And I'd like to throw in a little Snoopy dance on this one as well):
It's far more likely the ongoing dissension among CIA (and DIA and INR) analysts provided the initial impetus for Wilson's mission (especially since you'd expect a report dated the 12th would normally be briefed on the morning of the 13th).
I'd like to know the answer, even if the dates turn out to be wrong.

Byron's info looks incontrovertible to me. The question was dated Feb 13 (just as one would expect), Plame's recommendation memo was on the 12th. No way the VP coulda caused it.

clarice

Ranger, I always had suspicions about the 2d pressing of the INR memo but that is an interesting question about the first distribution.I had assumed that was in the indictment to reinforce Fitz' suggestion that Libby could not have forgotten. In any event, there isn't any evidence he saw the report.

Other Tom

What are the chances that the SSCI will want to pursue this further? Sorry I even asked...

clarice

Again--Why the hell did the CIA fail to turn that over to the SSCI and why did the SSCI not demand it?
"Nitwits and incompetents" all around.

Jane


Ranger,

Are you speculating that Armitage and Grossman conspired to do what Libby and Rover were initially accused of doing, because Armitage was the leaker and wanted to protect himself?


Ranger

Well, it just seems odd to me that Fitz, who clearly likes to throw in as many charges as possible didn't add a count relating to Libby denying that he ever asked Grossman for information about Wilson. That's a pretty big discrepency and it would seem to help Fitz build the pattern of obstructing the investigation. You would think Fitz would have loaded it on, since he mentions the conversation in the indictment itself.

Harry MacD

I posted this on FR under my nome de plume there:

The CIA gave the SSCI enough to prove that Wilson was lying in several particulars, so why did they hold back on these documents showing that the [initiation of] Wilson trip pre-dated the VP's request for more info?

I'll indulge in some rank speculation.

To protect themselves - the bureaucratic prime directive.

But from what?

From disclosure that the CIA was running an active disinformation op and "silent coup" against the WH and Cheney in particular. Wilson was sent out with the mission of first inducing reliance upon and then discrediting the African uranium reports. Like the forgeries themselves, he was intended to suck people into relying on his actual substantiation of Iraqi uranium scouting in Afrida, and to then repudiate it and pull the rug out from under them and discredit them. The CIA sent him. The CIA let him lie in the NYT. The CIA very reluctantly on a Friday evening issued a statement contradicting Wilson. The CIA first supported the 16 words, but then withdrew the support when it was completely unnecessary to do so, severely discrediting the President. The CIA resisted decassifying NIE portions that discredited Wilson, but was obviated by the President's declassification decision - a decision that was kept from the CIA at first. It was Tenet who first said Iraqi WMD was a slam dunk but later allowed Wilson to spread his lies, and later demanded a DOJ criminal prosecution over the WH's rebuttal of Wilson's lies. The target of that referral was Cheney.

The President might want to ask Tenet to give back that Medal of Freedom.
---
Supporting this somewhat was Wilson's statement to SSCI, later retracted as an "error," indicating he had foreknowledge of the forgeries before anyone else did "officially," and his various suspected links to the French.

Occam's razor would make short work this, but I reckon I'm not alone in these suspicions.

Jane

Again--Why the hell did the CIA fail to turn that over to the SSCI and why did the SSCI not demand it?

I'd go for "puposeful" rather than negligent ommission.

JM Hanes

You absolutely, positively, ROCK, Cecil!

windansea

Where is the evidence on when Cheney was briefed on the Niger matter?

LOL..."Cheney sent me" is looking pretty weak eh Pete?

Where's Jeff...I want to see him try to weasel his way out of this one

Ranger

Ranger,

Are you speculating that Armitage and Grossman conspired to do what Libby and Rover were initially accused of doing, because Armitage was the leaker and wanted to protect himself?


Posted by: Jane | February 07, 2007 at 07:01 AM

Yes, that is exactly what I am speculating they did. Armitage only confessed after it was clear that Novak was going to give him up and the 2x6 story gave him cover for the Novak leak. His entire defense was that his leak was "late" and "inadvertant." Grossman telling the FBI that Armitage had asked for info on the envoy the CIA sent would have put the information in Armitage's hands a month before the Novak leak.

Armitage concealed his leak to Woodward until forced to go forward. It seems that Armitage only remembers talking to reporters when they signal to him that they are going to give him up as their soruce. Until then, he just doesn't remember the conversation.

vnjagvet

Harry:

Truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes (though rarely) Occam's razor has it wrong.

In any event, you may become the new Tom Clancy if you expand your theory into a novel.

clarice

Me, too. While I won't go so far as to suggest the entire agency was involved in this,or that Tenet knew, it seems obvious to me that some group in the agency was involved in a coup like venture.(Congressman Hoekstra has said as much when he was head of the Congressional intel committee .)

Why?
Just politics? Some hidden interest jeopardized by the President's policies?

Macranger insists the group was involved in some uranium trafficing and both trips by Wilson were to cover it up but I still see no hard evidence of that. If there was this deal , was it a rogue operation to get hidden funds for the agency (a real Catch 22 "corporation" thing where they work against our interests to fund their hidden ops) or was it for their own pockets?

Wilson's testimony about seeing the forgeries when he couldn't and describing them as they were not still remains inexplicable except as an inadvertent admission that he saw some version of the forged docs which never made it to the CIA.

Appalled Moderate

Ranger:

he also did not throw in the Ari F. conversation. Fitz's charges focus on things he allegedly told people, rather than conversations Libby denies having. I don't know the reason for that. But it's worth noting.

hit and run

Cooper thought there was a "War on Wilson?"

Perhaps better put, was there a "War Over Wilson?":


DOS: What the hell are you doing sending Joe Wilson on a mission?

CIA: Hey he's your guy. Former Diplomat

DOS: Oh no he's not - you sent him.

CIA: Well, we thought his important hair could get the job done discreetly

DOS: Did you ever stop to think there was a reason he is 'former?"

CIA: Doesn't matter, we're gonna tie him back to State

DOS: Hah! You just try and we'll unleash Armitage

CIA: Bring It On!

DOS: Oh, it's already been broughten!

JM Hanes

Ranger:

"You would think Fitz would have loaded it on, since he mentions the conversation in the indictment itself."

Too smart to go there? Grossman's got potential credibiity problems & baggage, conflicts of interests, gov't infighting etc., Wilson "pal." Everybody just luuuuv's Tim Russert. He may not be a Walter-Cronkite-most-trusted, but he's about as close as you get these days. Which guy do you pick to hang your case on?

Jane

Armitage concealed his leak to Woodward until forced to go forward. It seems that Armitage only remembers talking to reporters when they signal to him that they are going to give him up as their soruce. Until then, he just doesn't remember the conversation.

Did Fitz figure this out and ignore it? Or did he just not bother?

clarice

Of course, Cecil rocks!!

Ranger

Which guy do you pick to hang your case on?

Posted by: JM Hanes | February 07, 2007 at 07:11 AM

True. But then why pick Cooper, who just seems like a lazy guy riding his wife's high connections to get work?

Cecil Turner

You are too kind. And I promise not to gloat the next time Jeff brings this subject up . . . [As if! Chortle!]

Patrick R. Sullivan

'However, is he really going to convince the court that as of October 2003 he was "confident" that Ms. Plame's status was not classified?'

It's a slam dunk. 1. CIA press guy Harlow divulged the info to Novak. 2. Her husband had appeared on MTP talking about her work.

Any rational individual would think there was no secret about her job.

Ranger

Did Fitz figure this out and ignore it? Or did he just not bother?

Posted by: Jane | February 07, 2007 at 07:11 AM

Well, to date he seems to have studiously ignored it, and even gone so far as to try and keep Armitage's name secret (UGO) because he "did nothing wrong" (unless you count forgetting you leaked three weeks before you claimed you first mentioned it to a reporter as wrong).

Appalled Moderate

Ranger:

To clarify the earlier statement, in the case of Cooper and Russert, Libby said that he told them specific, rather implausible things. Grossman and Ari conversations (not cited in the indictment) are easier to dispose of with an "I forgot".

William Casey,PE

If Fitz is Mr. Steel Trap, Mike Defong is Sherlock Holmes.

Chants

What is the CIA's motive in discrediting the Bush administration?

Ranger

Appalled Moderate,

What is so implausible about saying "I'm not sure it's even true"?

maryrose

Ranger:
You are absolutely right in your assertions and this is dynamite information.. Now let's see how fast MSNBC picks up on this and we hear about as if for the first time on Hardball or Countdown.

JM Hanes

Patrick:

Per TSK9:

"My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

Joe Wilson, CNN 7-14-2005

clarice

Harry McD, How wonderful to have such a famous blogger onbroad the JOM express.

Appalled Moderate

Ranger:

The whole Libby "I forgot I ever knew" is implausible, given the nature of some of his contacts and the number of them. Which makes Libby's claim he told Cooper and Russert that seem implausible.

Harry MacD

But what have I done for you lately?

Ranger

Ranger:

The whole Libby "I forgot I ever knew" is implausible, given the nature of some of his contacts and the number of them. Which makes Libby's claim he told Cooper and Russert that seem implausible.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate | February 07, 2007 at 07:24 AM

Hmmm... In which case I am sure you are expecting Fitz to indict Armitage on the same grounds. Or is it completely plausable that Armitage did forget, but implausible that Libby did?

Also, it is completely plausable that Libby would tell them that if his boss was telling him to leave the issue of Wilson's Wife out of the response (which is exactly what Libby says his boss told him on AF2 before he talked to Cooper).

Sue

I think the thing that is going to get Libby is the phrase that includes reporters. So far, there has not been one witness who has testified that Libby said reporters were telling him, or any variation thereof. If I were Wells, that would be my concern.

clarice

Harry, you achieved something of such incomparable value it is sufficient to ride on for a lifetime. Can I introduce you to the crowd?


BTW what do you suppose the odds are that the folks who failed to turn the memo over to the SSCI are the same folks who peddled the phony referral letter tothe DOJ?

hit and run

Byron York's latest on the Corner. Did this turn into the War Over Wilson?



JOE WILSON'S TRIP TO NIGER, CONT'D [Byron York]


A Washington veteran of the intelligence community adds a little perspective to my story about just how Joe Wilson's trip to Niger came about:


Let me add a bit of inside baseball to your Libby story: There is an intense and mutual rivalry between CIA and DIA. One time at a top secret meeting in Reagan I, I made the mistake of taking a chair between the CIA and DIA experts on a certain subject and they threw venom at each other across my nose for an hour and a half. Most unpleasant experience.

As I read your story, CIA [Val and pals] were reacting to a very important DIA story. In my experience, their gut reaction would have been to knock it down from the get-go. Hence the initial bureaucratic purpose of sending the husband out would have been to skewer DIA, not advance the issue. Obviously, they wouldn't have said this or put it in print but everyone in the system would know what the real game was.

Appalled Moderate

Ranger:

If you accept the theory that the prosecution of Libby was to get at Cheney (and I do), then it's pretty clear why Fitz would indict him, and not indict Armitage. Doesn't make it fair. Doesn't make it right. Does make it explicable.

Rick Ballard

"What is the CIA's motive in discrediting the Bush administration?"

The CIA wishes to be thought of as eternal. Passing administrations are irrelevant.

I'd actually make a small wager that the Niger angle was a small part of the Khan play. The CIA did have some success with Khan and COGEMA may have been playing a double game.

Thinking about intelligence matters for very long tends to be rather dizzying.

MayBee

FWIW, Joe and Val were in Vanity Fair in January 2004. This was months before his GJ testimony.

Chants

Harry, you achieved something of such incomparable value it is sufficient to ride on for a lifetime. Can I introduce you to the crowd?

Posted by: clarice | February 07, 2007 at 07:30 AM

Buckhead?

Ranger

Appalled Moderate,

I completely agree with you there. I just don't see much in the indictment itself. And I think choosing Cooper as one of his pegs to hang his hat on indicates just how weak the indictment is. And if you were going to hang it on Cooper, why not Grossman as well, unless you were afraid that in doing so would open up your case to serious question given Armitage's talk with Grossman before Grossman talked to the FBI.

clarice

Well, Rick, that theory makes some sense except for the success part. We never had a clue about Libya, for example.

MayBee

I think the thing that is going to get Libby is the phrase that includes reporters.

If that is enough to be convicted of perjury, I will cry for my country like CheChe's daughter.

clarice- yes, introduce us to your friend!

hit and run

Clarice:
Harry, you achieved something of such incomparable value it is sufficient to ride on for a lifetime. Can I introduce you to the crowd?

If Harry doesn't mind, I would love for him to be introduced -- a recommendation like that from someone like you cannot be ignored.

(I feel very dim for not knowing Harry or of his accomplishment already; and am secretly hoping that I do, but that I just am not making the connection yet)

JM Hanes

Ranger:

"But then why pick Cooper, who just seems like a lazy guy riding his wife's high connections to get work?"

Because he's not an in-house guy. Grossman's there to establish the OVP's interest & and Libby's guilty knowledge of Plame's status. Cooper is there to estblish a conspriatorial sort of pattern & practice. He may be weak be weak, but a single discrepancy between Libby & Russert just wouldn't be enough to persuade a jury to convict for perjury, let alone obstruction -- and it's the obstruction charge that Fitzgerald really wants.

A conviction on obstruction is the only thing that Fitzgerald can really use to justify his entire existence as SP. Without it, his tenure goes down in history as the witch-hunt it's been from the start. Obstruction means there was an underlying crime and a (successful) conspriacy to cover it up. So you punish the obstruction instead, and, per Fitz' pleading to Tatel et al, voilá: Justice is Served.... and Fitzgerald's reputation is salvaged from the junkyard heap.

clarice

Yes, Chants. We may all tip our hats to a champion.
h/t

Pete

Libby's Grand Jury testimony L: Discussed Wilson during that week, it's just the part about the wife I don't recall discussing during that week (chuckling in media room).

Innocent by reason of insanity :)

Ranger

Appalled Moderate,

One other option of course is that Fitz wanted to confuse everyone into thinking this was a case about leaks rather than false statements by only referencing reporters in the charges .

clarice

Harry MacD is "buckhead" ladies and gents, the blogger who exposed the Dan Rather TANG fraud..Three cheers!!!!!!!!!

cboldt

Yes, buckhead.

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Wilson/Plame