Powered by TypePad

« Open Thread Saturday | Main | Open Thread Sunday »

February 24, 2007

Comments

MayBee

First attempt to get 1x2x6 article in (by the prosecution):

The FBI agent will testify they were investigating the 1X2X6 allegation, the FBI just like Libby had a copy, the FBI would have been remiss not to be seeking if there's anything behind the allegation. The article is not being offered for the truth. Ari did not believe for a second that he telephoned a reporter…

Syl

Maybee

Could the FBI or Fitzgerald not at least called Priest or Allen and asked if the 1x2x6 thing was even *true*?

It's amazing, isn't it, that fitz uses a press article to give him direction but never determines if the information is correct.

I assume fitz figured he'd figure it out. Well I'd assume that if I'm feeling generous, which I'm not at the moment. ISTM that fitz simply swallowed it whole with no skepticism at all.

And I don't think the 1x2x6 thing is as bad as the 'revenge' thing which really set fitz on fire. :(

And for Priest and Allen to get SO MUCH of it wrong took more than simple error. Yes, I'm being unkind.

Getting sleeeeepy.


Syl

MayBee

the FBI would have been remiss not to be seeking if there's anything behind the allegation. The article is not being offered for the truth.

Is this more fitzgab?

The article may not be true, but the FBI has to see if the allegations in the article are true, [without determining if the article was a misquote/misattribution which of course never happens so why bother checking with the authors.]

Again, I think both fitz and the FBI think they can figure out if the 1x2x6 part is for real. By the time they're scratching their heads about that, the 'revenge' is implanted so deep in the brain nothing would knock it out.

MJW

One thing I find outrageous was that Fitzgerald introduced unredacted versions of the two WaPo articles into evidence, even though, in a response to a request by the court to provide a list of the news articles he intended to introduce into evidence, Fitz responded in May that he would introduce the annotated Wilson op-ed in full, along with the following articles in redacted form:

May 6, 2003, New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof;
June 12, 2003, Washington Post article by Walter Pincus;
June 30, 2003, New Republic article by John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman;
July 14, 2003, Chicago Sun Times column by Robert Novak; and
July 17, 2003, Time.com article by Matthew Cooper and others.
He didn't even mention the the Oct. 2003 WaPo articles. What's more outrageous, than Fitz attempting to introduce them, is Walton allowing him to do so. As Fitz rebuttal made clear, the articles are state of mind evidence mainly in the sense that Fitz hoped to put the jury in the state of mind that Libby was endangering the lives of CIA agents.

JM Hanes

MJW

I suspect when Fitz began to realize that the defense might actually decide not to put Libby on, he started getting desperate. He'd been trying every way he knew to push the defense into a commitment on Libby taking the stand, but I don't think he really believed they would decline to do so. I originally thought he put all that gj testimony in the record in case Libby decided not to testify, but on further contemplation, I think he was seting up fodder for his own cross examination. I'd bet Fitz spent a lot of time mapping that out, and expected to score some big points with the defense's own witnesses.

When the defense just rested their case, Fitzgerald probably felt like he'd been cheated, perhaps even outrageously, and just decided to throw the kitchen sink into his rebuttal. OTOH, someone here (wish I could remember who) said Fitzgerald's rebuttal sounded like the closing he intended to make after Cheney & Libby testified.

Patton

JM Hanes, that was me.

Its pretty clear the Libby team had both the judge and Fitz fooled. And most of us.

Patton

The Libby teams plan seemed to work very well. They made Fitz spend alot of time working on the Cheney and Libby testifying, they made them use resources to go through all the briefing materials, etc. when it probably wouldn't have had great affect on the jury because it would have been like reading newspaper headlines, once you take the meat out.

Meanwhile, it was clear the Libby team spent alot of time researching impeachment of the memories of Fitzs witnesses. Finding instances where they told a different story to the FBI, or to the Grand Jury, or to their own notes.
And even found the Russert whopper of claiming he never said something when in fact he had, he had just completely forgotten. Fitz was caught flat on that and tried to act like the jury should just dismiss it out of hand simply because Fitz was blindsided and didn't have a come back.

Your key witness had lost his memory and claimed he never had a conversation, the exact same thing Russert is claiming here
and Fitz has no explanation, no comeback, no way to assuage the reasonable doubt that he is doing it again. Fitzs response was FORGET ABOUT RUSSERTS TESTIMONY AND LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT OUTING A COVERT AGENT AND RISKING LIVES.

Clearly Fitz was knocked off his game and went into the spiel he wanted to give about orders going from Cheney to Libby to talks to reporters and then get in the juries mind that Plame may have been a covert agent and people could die.
As Fitz would say, you can forget about Russert and just convict because they tried to get people killed by outing a covert agent.

Bottom line: Fitz lost it.

dorf

Forgive mw for asking, but where is there a transcript of Fitz's closing?

MayBee

Absolutely, MJW

Here is the (3rd) argument over the 1x2x6 article:

Jeffress takes this in stride, and goes on to start disputing passages. He wants to redact the specific 1×2x6 quotes:

That same week, two top White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to least six Washington journalists, an administration official told The Post for an article published Sept. 28. The source elaborated on the conversations last week, saying that officials brought up Plame as part of their broader case against Wilson.

"It was unsolicited," the source said. "They were pushing back. They used everything they had."

Fitzgerald wants it kept in, because it shows the case goes beyond Novak, so Libby had legitimate cause to worry.

Jeffress says that the passage is completely false. Fitzgerald disagrees, he says the two top White House officials is true. Walton asks Fitzgerald to explain.

LONG pause.

I'm racing to catch up here. It's 10:55.

At length, Fitz says, we've heard about Rove already, we've heard about Fleischer, and there's also Libby. Then he lists all of the reporters who were known to be leaked to (Novak, Miller, Cooper, Pincus, etc.). He's clearly improvising(!). Fortunately, the defense doesn't press him about how one source could know about all this in October 2003.

This was an article Fitzgerald had mentioned in affidavits as motive, and that the FBI was investigating!

Then the Brewster-Jennings article to which MJW refers:

Now they're debating the Oct 4th WaPo article, about destroying the Brewster-Jennings front the CIA had used with Plame. The defense considers this hearsay evidence that Plame was covert, and the very subject of the article is unfairly prejudicial. Fitzgerald argues that it's nevertheless relevant to Libby's state of mind, and therefore fair to submit.

Jeffress says that this article was not mentioned by the government in an earlier phase when they were supposed to identify articles to be used at trial — if they had mentioned it before, Jeffress says, Libby would have been justified in engaging in graymail discovery regarding Plame's actual status.

Walton and Jeffress are starting to get a little testy — Walton is saying that the government has a right to argue motive based on articles that were in Libby's possession without implying that the information in the articles is true. Jeffress is openly dismissive of Walton saying he'll give the jury instructions not to consider the truth of the article ("We know, you're going to give an instruction," he says in a so-what voice. I didn't look up to see if he rolled his eyes.)

hit and run

Posted by: MarkO | February 24, 2007 at 08:47 PM


Well GET ME A BEER!!!! MarkO is FREE!!!!

Ranger

Its pretty clear the Libby team had both the judge and Fitz fooled. And most of us.

Posted by: Patton | February 25, 2007 at 03:18 AM

I'm not sure they had them fooled as much as they got very lucky. I think Wells was ready to put Libby and the VP on the stand if they had to, but they worked very hard to avoid that too. I do accept Wells' argument that they really thought Fitz had a better case then he presented (hense the whole "scapegoating" stuff in the opening). Then, when Wells started presenting the defense, and the prosecution didn't challenge their witnesses at all, he knew that Fitz was saving up for the "big show."

Jane

Morning everyone.

You guys did an incredible job last night. I'm constantly and consistently amazed!

hit and run

I'll second that Jane. Such an incredible job, I knew better than to get in the middle of it when I got home last night and potentially slow it down. Sit back, read, learn, marvel.

Jane

I'm not sure they had them fooled as much as they got very lucky.

No prosecutor should ever be fooled, surprised or even blink an eye when a defendant doesn't testify. Most don't. That is sort of prosecution 101. Fitz certainly should have prepared the case both ways. If he was led down the garden path for a while by Wells, he clearly knew it was very possible he was being led. So the idea that his "little error" on closing was an unplanned response to some sort of surprise, is not credible.

MayBee

I knew better than to get in the middle of it when I got home last night and potentially slow it down.

What? That's crazy talk. Especially if you'd been drinking. Then it's practically required that you get involved.

hit and run

Heh, MayBee - but I was on a beer strike.

hit and run

Not to mention that when our gracious host is in the room - I feel a little less inclined to pull any antics.

miriam

Good morning.

The discussion here has been eye-opening on all the threads.

Thank you Tom for providing this site.

I am so thankful for the insight and information presented here.

tomh

I am truly puzzled by all this speculation of who said what to whom in the Libby case. Unless I was hallucinating, there was just a trial in which all this could have been thoroughly examined IF it were relevant to the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against Libby. Either he did not have competent counsel--I have heard no one make this argument--or the speculation about Armitage and Woodward culpability is nothing more than navel gazing. It does not matter. If Fitzgerald engaged in conduct that is santionable, either by DOJ or the bar, then bring those issues to the appropriate authorities. This is just a silly, juvenile attempt to divert attention from the alleged criminality of a high Administration employee. It should be beneath those who claim to value the rule of law.

Pofarmer

Although I appreciate the indignation at the possible untruths about Fleischer, I don't really think they have that much relevance in this case against Libby

Good god sylvia. How dense are you? The whole damn case is Fleischer, and Armitage. There is no Libby case.

hit and run

PeterUK

Can this be turned on its head,if the "No WMD no War point of view had prevailed,what would have been the result?

The invasion force would have been stood down.

By now only a skeleton force would remain.

At least one aircraft would have come down over the "No Fly Zone"

The weapons inspectors would have been out of Iraq slicker than deer guts on a door knob.

Saddam Hussein,or one of the Brothers Grim would bee ruling Iraq.

They would be frantically reconstituting Iraq's WMD programmes in the light of a nuclear armed Iran.

I too have been wondering why,as the world goes to hell in a handcart,the political elites of the West are playing with themselves.

MayBee

It should be beneath those who claim to value the rule of law.

If you think this is beneath us, you have no idea who you are dealing with.

tomh

I guess I don't. I thought in our justice system the grand jury charges and the prosecutor must a very heavy burden of proof through the trial. My confusion may come from my understanding that if there is misconduct, the defendant may bring that out in his defense and may raise questions through the DOJ and bar association disciplinary process.

Am I mistaken? What is this post about, other than to accuse the prosecutor of misconduct, a very serious charge. Have you or anyone else filed ethics charges with DOJ or the bar?

Rick Ballard

"Have you or anyone else filed ethics charges with DOJ or the bar?"

Yes. A complaint has been filed with the DoJ OPR. You can find it in the archives while we finish discussing the elements of the second complaint.

Start in, oh 2002, you'll find it rather quickly. It's not actually a post - just a series of comments.

It's really a better use of your time than popping into comments with something totally asinine.

Pofarmer

I just find it odd that Armitage is very critical and dismissive of Libby in Woodward's book. Powell even moreso about Cheney.

Arrogance.

Pofarmer

Well Tomh, if you're actually interested. You'll find that the prosecutor didn't even interveiw everyone he knew to be involved in the "leaks". The defense can't compell anyone to testify. Thereby, by conducting a halfassed, possibly biased investigation, the prosecution took us to the point, through incompetence or intrigue, that the actual facts of the case are very hard to discern.

Get crackin, the letters to the DOJ are in the mail.

Sue

I'm confused. Which will come as no surprise to anyone.

Pincus thought Fitzgerald knew his source was Ari but Fitzgerald thought his source was Libby? And during questioning, neither mentioned the source's name? Is that freakin' odd or what?

Pofarmer

Didn't Pincus come forward after the GJ?

royf

tomh

How closely have you followed the Libby trial? After reading your post it doesn't appear you have followed it at all.

PeterUK

"Otherwise, his posts are a waste of time.

Her posts.

All the rest is correct."


I think Semanticleo's post are a good reminder to us all that there is still much work to be done in Care in the Community.

Charlie (Colorado)

It damn sure better be worth sacrificing Libby and the VP's rep over.

An observation: the only thing worth sacrificing a non-CIA person and the OVP for would be something that otherwise would mean sacrificing CIA's rep.

Alcibiades

I wonder if Clarice is off writing last nights insights into a new paper. Or, heh, maybe she is just off enjoying Florida in the morning.

Charlie (Colorado)

If Fitzgerald engaged in conduct that is santionable, either by DOJ or the bar, then bring those issues to the appropriate authorities.

Funny you should mention that, Tom. Clarice, who is a member of the Bar in DC, has already filed one complaint against Fitzgerald for sanctionable misconduct even before the trial. Now it looks like there's a good bit of information here for a second complaint.

jerry

Figured I'd post this here as it's the topci of the moment (from the WaPo ombudswoman today, sorry if someone's already done this, I haven't read all the posts):

"David Ignatius trusts his CIA sources that she was a covert agent. Ignatius is not a partisan; he supported the Iraq invasion but has been highly critical of how its aftermath was handled. While the legal argument about whether Plame was technically covert is complicated, CIA officials say privately that the revelation of her identity and corporate cover may have put contacts abroad at risk, Ignatius said. The CIA referred the matter for a criminal investigation, and its public affairs office refuses to talk about it."

boris

she was a covert agent ...

... at one time who's IIPA coverage had lapsed.

PeterUK

How many generals and who?

royf

jerry

Gee I guess that explains why Fitz went after the people who leaked her name to Novak.

PeterUK

ask the man mick@michaelsmithwriter.com

Charlie (Colorado)

Jerry, I don't think the issue is whether Ignatius is a partisan -- I want to know the motivation of his sources. The first law of anonymous sources is that anything anonymously sourced has been slanted to suit the source's agenda.

In this case, based on my experience in the field, I can't believe that Plame was "covert" under the terms of the IIPA; she just wasn't operating like she was covert.

royf

In this case, based on my experience in the field, I can't believe that Plame was "covert" under the terms of the IIPA; she just wasn't operating like she was covert.

That and the fact that when Novak called the CIA they would have denied that she worked at the Agency. Instead they verified that she did work at there.

Ranger

The CIA referred the matter for a criminal investigation, and its public affairs office refuses to talk about it.

Gota love that line. Can they really say that without laughing? They should have added a parrenthetical: (unfortunately not until after they had confirmed her employment to Robert Novak).

sbw

PeterUKHow many generals and who?

Shouldn't that be how many ex-generals?

clarice

I promised OT (who's still locked out) that I'd post whatever he wanted me to and then slept so late his message sat in my inbox for hours. Sorry, OT--Here's what he wants me to post:
"Just a thought on this ongoing squabble about “covert,” “classified” and etc.

It occurs to me that the term “covert” may have an entirely different meaning, historically and culturally, within the CIA than it does in the IIPA. That statute was not written until 1982, and it was not written by the CIA, nor exclusively for the CIA. It was, of course, a congressional enactment (as opposed to, say, a CIA regulation or procedure), and it was intended to define covert status for agents in roughly a dozen US intelligence agencies.

It seems entirely likely that Toensing et al., in drafting the IIPA, wrote their definition out of whole cloth, and in an attempt to the Philip Agee mess. There was, of course, lots of pushing and pulling, and due regard was necessarily given to concerns about civil liberties. I suspect that in crafting their definition they paid little or no attention to whatever the CIA may have historically meant by the term. I also suspect that the label “covert” had been in use in the Agency from the creation, going back to OSS days. And it may have had uses unrelated to IIPA concerns; as Tom has indicated, covert status affects pension benefits, for example. Are we certain that, in order to obtain the added benefits, the employee must meet the IIPA standard of covert, or must he simply meet some other standard, crafted long ago for entirely different purposes?

Notice, for example, that when Spymaster Larry and his supporters weigh in, they invariably talk about things like NOC and Official Cover—all well and good, but as far as I can see irrelevant to the IIPA.

Lest you think it impossible that the term covert could have different meanings for different statutory purposes, I could (but won’t) regale you with examples of the differing meanings of “combat” for purposes of awards, pay, length of tours, prpmotions and the like within the armed forces—and within different branches of the armed forces.

That’s my thought for the day—so far. And just so you know what kind of nut you’re dealing with, it’s now 5:07 Sunday morning out here on the Coast.

Still locked out of TypePad. I unplugged the modem and router overnight, but no change in IP address. No response yet from the Help people.

What great work you’re doing.

Other Tom"

boris

It appears that Fitz and some segment of the CIA are making a claim unsupported by law or constitution. That affiliation with the CIA of non covert employees can be classified.

Fitz: "because her affiliation with the CIA, whether or not she was covert, was classified"

Victoria Toensing: "It's not against the law to reveal the identity of someone whose position is classified at the agency. That's why we wrote the covert law in 1982."

Of course CIA can SAY whatever they want, I can say different. (Other Tom's point certainly applies within the CIA.) The key phrase is "That's why we wrote the covert law in 1982".

In reality there is no spook privilege that gives a class of CIA employees special powers. If there was it would have been written into IIPA, which in fact was written to preclude the category of non-covert but classified individual. Probably because such category is a really really bad idea. The Fitz prosecution of Libby illustrates about 6 of the top 10 reasons why it's a really really bad idea. Constitutional issues of classified individuals having more equality than the rest of us aside there is the problem that classified individual belongs in the same wing of the mythical beast zoo with unbreakable code right next to the section with accurate climate model, perpetual motion machine and faster than light space drive.

Consider the unbreakable code, that's the one we would always use for the really important stuff because it's unbreakable by definition. No such thing and pretending there is would be suicidal.

“Ha Ha I'm classified, I can scam the MSM and run black ops against you and you can't say sh!t because I'm classified! Ha Ha”

PeterUK

Well GET ME A BEER!!!! MarkO is FREE!!!!

Hold it right there H&R,you have a peerage for Clarice to pay for,down in black and white for millions of witnesses.

ARC: Brian

Can this be turned on its head,if the "No WMD no War point of view had prevailed,what would have been the result?

The invasion force would have been stood down.

And everybody would be praising ol' Qusaay and how well he can hold back Iran. In fact they'd be talking about arming Iraq with nukes to keep Iran at bay.

Meanwhile, where is Osama?

All the "realists" care about is (false) stability. So they can get back to universal health care, and school lunch programs.

clarice

Here's a hypothesis of what I think about Pincus:
His wife was a Clinton appointee to the DoS.
He knew who Wilson was thru her..and probably about his wife as well.
When Fitz did that short interview of him it was on how he learned about Wilson and determined it was a "good leak".
Fitz did not believe that Libby was telling the truth when he denied telling Libby.
He believed Ari was telling the truth when he said he was not Pincus' source.
[When did he interview Pincus? Was it after Libby's gj testimony or before? Let's pin this down.]
Until he learned that Pincus was a defense witness he did not know that he was going to say Ari was his source. He thought he was going to name the "good leaker" which would have been unfortunate for him, but not as devastating as the direct hit on his key witness was.

Pofarmer

And everybody would be praising ol' Qusaay and how well he can hold back Iran. In fact they'd be talking about arming Iraq with nukes to keep Iran at bay

I don't know who the "they'd" you're talking about is, but it certainly isn't anybody sane. Surely the Dims.

owl

Owl Student Newspaper, Regis High School, NYC
Joseph Santo exclusive with Patrick J Fitzgerald
Interview 2/13 published 4/5/06

“The law is often unclear, and where it is unclear, you must make a reasoned judgment about what the law should be,” Fitzgerald commented. In order to make that reasoned judgment, “you must find out the facts as accurately as possible.”

Fitzgerald later explained that all federal prosecutors should have a “sense of what motivates people” since they are “dealing with a lot of very human situations.”


Alcibiades

Clarice, I'm not clear here on what you mean:

--- He thought he was going to name the "good leaker" which would have been unfortunate for him, but not as devastating as the direct hit on his key witness was.----

Who is the good leaker in this context? His wife?

MarcUSA

Whether Valerie was covert or not at the time of Wilson's trip became mute. The CIA would need to be taking active measures to conceal her identity. No reasonable person would say that the CIA was taking active measures when they allowed her unqualified husband to go on a trip for the CIA without signing a confidentiality agreement and then to publicly write about and discuss and even misrepresent his findings and the source of his trip. If anything was going to possibly draw attention to a covert employee, it would be the overt participation of one's spouse in a CIA mission. Allowing Wilson to go and publicly report is contrary to taking active measures to conceal his wife's identity. If Valerie was covert at the time of Wilson's mission, the CIA forfeited the protections that IIPA would have provided her by failing to take affirmative measures to conceal her identity, i.e., maintaining the secrecy of her husband's involvement with the CIA. Furthermore, if Walton admits that he doesn't know her status then you can be sure that Libby or any of the others did not. If it was a crime to reveal Valeries identity, it was committed by the CIA by allowing her husband to publicly disclose his affiliation with a CIA mission.

clarice

"--- He thought he was going to name the "good leaker" which would have been unfortunate for him, but not as devastating as the direct hit on his key witness was.----

Who is the good leaker in this context? His wife? "


Whoever in the DoS told him..

(Also..don't forget that 2 1/2 years after his June 2003 article, the WaPo made him retract most of it, so Wilson had used Pincus to peddle his lies, then denied he'd said what Wilson said he'd said, and finally all of it proved false.)

clarice

Yes, I checked--At trial Pincus was asked in court about the source of his July article, not about the source of his original piece in June of 2003.

clarice

From this article, I take it that Pincus was asked by the SP about his conversation w/ Libby and told him that Plame did not come up in the conversation he had w/ Libby:

"If you recall, much earlier in the investigation, another one of our reporters, Walter Pincus, testified in a deposition also, with permission of the source, about a conversation which turns out that Mrs. Wilson didn't come up.

But nevertheless, that source gave permission for Walter to testify, but not permission for Walter to write about the details of the conversation or identify the source, and we still haven't. It is sacred at this newspaper, as it is at most newspapers, and I assume at your network also, to not reveal the names and contents of conversations unless we're given permission to do so by our confidential sources."

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:3n3gq1Qnm4cJ:www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/16/cnna.downie/index.html+Walter+Pincus+testified+to+special+prosecutor&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us>Pincus

hit and run

PUK:
Hold it right there H&R,you have a peerage for Clarice to pay for,down in black and white for millions of witnesses.


I said I would donate 2 month's worth of beer money.

I didn't say it would be this month's beer money ::grin::

hit and run

Oh and Other Tom, of course. I had hoped that if MarkO got in, OT was in too.

But don't worry. I am not in the practice of throwing beers back before church.

Still fasting.

pldew

Posted by: Patton | February 25, 2007 at 08:30 AM on the Sunday Open Thread:

Here is another point that Fitz tried to confuse the jury. Here was the Number 1 talking point:
“The vice president’s office did not request the mission to Niger,”

Fitz equates that with:
“The question of who sent Wilson is important,” Fitzgerald told the jury. “It’s the number-one question in the vice president’s mind.”

Where did he get that that question was the number one question in Cheney's mind??

In arguement over discovery, Fitz had a different view:

And we're not going to
22 dispute the fact in 2002 neither Mr. Libby nor the vice
23 president knew about it.
24 That's my point. That's why we plead in the
25 indictment that the trip was done at the CIA's behest and they
00029
01 reported to the CIA. So when Mr. Wilson's says, I assume the
02 vice president heard about it back then, we disagree. We agree
03 with Mr. Wells he didn't.

(Libby Court Hearing transcript, May 5, 2006, pdf p.13)

I'm cross-posting this here, since the other thread doesn't seem to be speaking much Plamish right now.

sylvia

""If you recall, much earlier in the investigation, another one of our reporters, Walter Pincus, testified in a deposition also, with permission of the source, about a conversation which turns out that Mrs. Wilson didn't come up."

How do you know that third source is not Libby? Weren't they supposed to have brought up the whole Wilson issue? And if not, then if the third source is Fleischer - is Libby not on the list of the three sources (Armitage and Card the first two?) If the third source is not Fleischer and not on Pincus's list as a source at all, that would be troubling. What do we know about the circumstances in which Fleischer said he told Pincus? Perhaps Fleischer is the one who is mistaken. And how did Woodward know that Pincus knew?

PeterUK

H&R,
Piker this is going on your fridge door

hit and run

PUK, ok, I'll take it off the dart board straight away. Which is just as well, it's hardly discernable as Hillary any more.

PeterUK

Neither is she.

Pofarmer

sylvia

Give it up, already.

JM Hanes

Patton:

Thanks for refreshing my memory! I thought that was the most penetrating assessment of Fitz's close that I read anywhere -- and you managed to sum it up in a single sentence which I also really admire, for obvious reasons.

JM Hanes

sylvia:

Fleischer denied that he told Pincus.

Syl

Clarice

Until he learned that Pincus was a defense witness he did not know that he was going to say Ari was his source.

Well, I'm not so sure fitz knew even then. The defense named a lot of potential witnesses. Many of whom simply said 'Libby did not mention the wife to me'. Kessler, Thomas, etc.

Perhaps fitz thought that was what Pincus was called for--he would say Libby said nufink.

But I could very well be missing something pre-trial.

clarice

No. That's true, Syl. Perhaps I should have said he had no idea until Pincus said that on the stand. Amazing, isn't it?

And that was just after the jury heard the gj testimony where Fitz tried to waterboard Libby into conceding he'd told Pincus.

Sara (Squiggler)

No. That's true, Syl. Perhaps I should have said he had no idea until Pincus said that on the stand. Amazing, isn't it?

And that was just after the jury heard the gj testimony where Fitz tried to waterboard Libby into conceding he'd told Pincus.

Posted by: clarice | February 25, 2007 at 12:40 PM

I would love to hear what the court watcher's reactions were when Pincus named Ari. Were there audible gasps? Or no reaction at all. Even here just a day or two earlier, everyone was opining that Fleisher's testimony would ultimately be Libby's undoing leading to conviction.

sylvia

"Fleischer denied that he told Pincus."

Yes but how do we know that Pincus is telling the truth. I would have to hear a little more background on where and when this info exchange occurred. If Pincus's story sounds credible and we hear how Fitz inquired about this and see that Fitz specifically asked Fleischer in a way that leaves no wiggle room for Fleischer to say he didn't understand the exact question etc, then I see that as a problem for Fleischer's credibily. As for now, I haven't seen all the details to convince me of that yet.

clarice

You make my brain hurt, Sylvia, and I'm sure I'm not the only one you have that effect on.

sylvia

Okay this must be what went down with Pincus and Fitz. Pincus testified, ala Clarice's link above, that he had three sources - Armitage, Card and a third source. Pincus said the third source did not leak to him about Plame, although they spoke about her in some way. Apparently Fitz and the Wapo did not reveal the name of this third source, and probably because of confidentiality agreements Fitz didn't know it for sure either before the trial, but Fitz assumed it was Libby. He assumed this because Libby admitted to him to having a non-leaking conversation with Pincus, and Fleischer didn't. Fitz didn't further pursue this because he wasn't naming Pincus for charges in the indictment. However come trial time, Pincus points to Fleischer, and Fitz is surprised. This throws a wrench on all affairs.

sylvia

Just asking questions Clarice. Sorry if that hurts.

MaidMarion

Clarice,

"[When did he interview Pincus? Was it after Libby's gj testimony or before? Let's pin this down.]"

I've got in my notes that Pincus was subpoenaed in Sept 2004, but he was no more specific than that. Defense then asked P. whether at the time of his deposition Ari had given him a waiver; Pincus answered yes..."Ari had already come forward to the Prosecution by then."

clarice

Thanks, MM.

bad

I find it hard to believe that a woman who had been out on maternity leave and then suffered PPD so severely she joined a therapy support group would be welcomed back to a highly sensitive job at CIA.

Do we know for a fact that Val had post partum? Joining a therapy group could just be cover for taking a year off. Before someone gets nutsy about "insensitivity" etc., think about it. Maybe the CIA needed some separation and a reason to begin the transition to State. Or amaybe Val needed somw time to deal with the transition to family.

Tom Maguire

My Ari-Pincus theory may not fit all the facts on offer but:

1. Ari and Pincus agree that they talked on the morning of the 12th (or whenever).

2. Ari provides waiver, believing he only talked about "X".

3. Pincus takes waiver, talks about his Sat AM phone call (everyone knows this is Ari on the other end, but Pincus won't say so), and says "I got the Plame leak in this phone call".

So - Fitzgerald knows both the Ari and Pincus stories. That is not perjury, for a lot of reasons, starting with, Ari may be sincerely confused. Or Pincus may be.

However, Fitzgerald does not call Gregory or Dickerson, because if too many reporters contradict his witness against Libby, he can't use him.

And why did Fitzgerald grill Libby about Pincus? Timing is everything - Ari talked in Jan 2004 (maybe Feb?); Libby was March; Pincus worked his deal in the summer of 2004. So Fitzgerald didn't know "the truth" when he talked to Libby.

As to discovery - there was talk at a May 5 hearing (IIRC) about a mystery witness with immunity, whose testimony would be discoverable pre-trial. My guess then was that we were talking about Ari and the Pincus leak (And we did find out a bit later that Ari was the immunized witness).

That said, Ari's denial in the trial was a shocker.

Anyway, that is my guess as to how Pincus got his waiver - Ari really did not know what Pincus would be saying, but they both agreed as to the time of the phone call and other points discussed.

clarice

Interesting, TM. There is no discovery for the defense ..Pincus must have voluntarily told Libby's counsel what Fleischer told him or they'd not have called him to the stand. And if Fitz had been better prepared he could have discredited Pincus as an addle pated old man because just days before he testified he erroneously pawned off a Carl Levin presser as an anti_feith IG report.

clarice

Also, I was wondering how the questioning of Pincus could have been so lame--and then I recalled he got a presidential treatment, too--written depositions in his son's law office..ones which apparently never made him divulge what the conversation had been about.

Another gold star for Elliott Ness and his merry band.

MayBee

Ahhh...yes TM, that makes much sense.

MayBee

As it was, Fitzgerald lamely brought up other Libby-sourced articles, I think in an attempt to make it look as if Pincus could have gotten it wrong.

Clarice- would defense get any discovery on that because Pincus's testimony would differ from Fleisher's?

clarice

I think they called Pincus and he told them. I can't think of how else they got that. And I don't believe they'd have called him to testify w/out knowing.

MayBee

Of course, the prosecution did not ask Fleisher about Pincus.

clarice

MayBee, if the prosecution knew that Pincus's story contradicted Fleischer's that would be exculpatory information the SP would have to turn over to the defense, but it is--as TM's scenario makes clear--obvious the SP did not know Pincus would contradict Fleischer.

MayBee

I seem to remember the WaPo reporting that some of its reporters were not quashing their defense subpoenas.

MayBee

as TM's scenario makes clear--obvious the SP did not know Pincus would contradict Fleischer.

I thought TM was saying that by virtue of knowing the date of the conversation during which Plame was outed, the SP would know-but-not-know that Pincus's source was Fleisher. I'm not sure if that is the case, but that is what I understood Tom to be saying.
However, I defer to your expertise as to whether that oblique kind of knowledge would qualify as exculpatory. I am with you in believing that Pincus spoke with the defense and told them what he would testify to.

clarice

For the same reason the prosecution didn't ask Gregory or Dickerson--If they contradicted Fleischer they'd have to disclose it. They were counting on Gregory and Dickerson not to cooperate with the defense. When Dickerson on his own wrote to deny the account, the prosecution notified the defense of the article.

MayBee

So by the SP knowing-but-not-knowing and so not asking more, the SP would have been able to keep it out of the hands of the defense?
Heh. Just like they never wrote anything down about Fleisher's immunity or Tim Russert's testifimony deal, or Judith Miller protecting more sources.
Sneaky.

clarice

Yup.

gumshoe

"...This was a CIA effort to punish the OVP for declassifying the parts of the NIE dealing w/ uranium in Africa.
Why, I don't know, but of that I am certain.

(Among the theories--Rocco's--to hide the fact that Wilson's original report was false; Macmind's that there was a rgoue CIA uranium operation in Niger; other's that Wilson and perhaps others were in on a deal w. Cogema to secretly sell uranium in Niger to Iraq and others."
- Posted by: clarice | February 24, 2007 at 06:44 PM


"Macmind's[theory]that there was a rogue CIA uranium operation in Niger..."

i'm no J C Wilson supporter...i tend
to agree with Mac's evaluations of him...
and i don't like the implication of this speculation...

....but "what if" CIA had a "legitimate"
uranium operation in Niger...
a sort of "catch-lure/release/track"
sales program??

perhaps it is harder to box-uranium-stocks-up-tight
than to sell some to an ant you
track back to the hive.

Val may have sent Joe to blow smoke
coz they did n want the Sting uncovered.

gumshoe

Val may have sent Joe to blow smoke
coz they did.not.want. the Sting uncovered.

clarice

Then Joe should not have gone on his speaking jag.
It's an interesting thought, but I consider it the least likely of all possibilities. i think the most likely is that uranium from Niger made its way to Libya where it was being held for Iraq until sanction and inspections were over. I think Joe missed it (perhaps on purpose) on his first trip and went back to try to hide any traces on his second.
When Iraq fell to the coalition, Libya turned over its nuke program to us and we learned of unaccounted for uranium stocks in their arsenal.

clarice

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/niger_2000_pol.jpg

clarice

"According to International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who led a December 2003 inspection team to Libya, Libya's nuclear weapons program is in the very initial stages, about three to seven years away from producing a nuclear weapon. Libya admitted having secretly imported raw uranium and the necessary equipment to convert it for enrichment into weapons-grade material but added that the enrichment plan had been dismantled and that no highly enriched uranium had been produced over the past decade. IAEA inspectors did not find either, though they did find imported equipment and technology at a number of previously secret nuclear facilities in and around Tripoli. It has been revealed that Abdul Qadeer Khan of Pakistan is responsible for providing Libya with its nuclear warhead plans, raw uranium and enrichment centrifuges through his black market network."

http://216.109.125.130/search/cache?p=uranium+stocks+libya&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&ei=UTF-8&u=www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Libya/index.html&w=uranium+stocks+stock+libya&d=NjC5nexsON3K&icp=1&.intl=us>Libya

gumshoe

good point about joe's speaking jag,clarice.

that said...i still don't see the muddy water getting that much clearer
with or without Joe's interminable 15 minutes.

i can buy Joe and Val as partisans
playing politics with gov't secrets,
before i can buy them stashing away cash for their dacha and twins college fund
based on international uranium sales.

clarice

We just learned a high official at the CIA roggio rigged contracts for his nephew which cost us millions in something so ordinary as drinking water for the troops. Never say never.

gumshoe

i said "before"...not "never".

;0p

have a good nite.


clarice

They didn't even have to be direct beneficiaries--all they needed to know was to cover up what they found.

Now that is just speculation..but the trips make no sense at all..and the fact that he missed AQ Khan and Zawahiri on his first trip along w/ the contract is as Hitchens notes very suspicious. and the rational for the 2d trip has been proven false (He was tagged to go on it before Cheney even saw the report.)

gumshoe

"i can buy Joe and Val as partisans
playing politics with gov't secrets,
before i can buy them stashing away cash for their dacha and twins college fund
based on international uranium sales."


looked at again in the light of a new day...

if A then B.

if they were willing to try the "Wilson(Plame)Gambit" for partisan political gain in the midst of a regional/global war with US troops on the front lines,then
un-numbered bank accounts don't require any sort of ethical swerve.

lgcv mejfac

hltv duny lqhtgpacd zfjosrw zkfghw dnugo vubhkrdq

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame