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February 28, 2007

Comments

Syl

Wilson said in a recent interview: "I never said the vice president sent me or ordered me sent."

But he was certainly willing to let that impression stand which had been given in articles he sourced. He never corrected Kristof's 'behest', never said a peep to Chris Matthews. You'd think of all the zillions of times he was on tv he could have at least mentioned it to, say, Wolf Blitzer.

It's not as if Cheney never came up.

clarice

It was the most perfidious thing I've seen and I've seen a lot. Worse, when the firestorm built and everyone in the WH staff was hauled over the coals (and forced to pay enormous sums for counsel--even the very yound staffers) he kept his mouth shut.

Ralph L.

Perhaps Armitage really did fear prosecution, and silence was part of an immunity deal.
Didn't Jeffery Toobin write a book about the inside of Walsh's investigation? I'd like to see an honest and complete account of this one, but I won't hold my breath.

Foo Bar

The SSCI sliced him a new one on the forgeries.

Yes, it certainly did. I don't hold Wilson in especially high regard.

Let me take this opportunity to encourage you (probably futilely) to consider taking a more uniformly accepting view of the SSCI's conclusions over the past few years.

Well, foo bar, he said one thing--far more muted--

Excellent. The claim that he never said he assumed has been duly retracted!

Syl

Ralph

Armitage claimed it wasn't until a Novak article claiming his source was 'no partisan gunslinger' and Armitage recognized himself.

Is that believable? I'm not so sure, but that's what he says.

clarice

No foo bar--he made the stronger claims anonymously, then a muted oped and everyone in the media thereafter read all three pieces together (Kristof/Pincus and Op Ed) taking the most extreme account as the story. He made no effort to ever correct the Kristof and Pincus accounts until the SSCI called him a liar at which time he claimed these reporters had misquoted him. Under all the circumstances, one must say he was not misquoted and adopted those earlier accounts as his own if he had been..because he never refuted them, challenged them or discounted them until the SSCI held him accountable for them.

Rocco

I wish I could say for sure Clarice but here's what I'm thinking. Wilson served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998. He also served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995.

In an interview with Harry Kriesler Wilson said, "They invited me to talk about this. I was invited because I knew a lot about uranium and I had been ambassador in a country that produced uranium in West Africa, Gabon. And I knew a lot about Niger, and had been in office at the time this memorandum agreement had supposedly been executed."

We also know that in the mid 90's Clinton privatized a government owned uranium company called US Enrichment Corp and flooded the market with yellowcake.

I'm reminded of Hitchens article in Slate...

"The Duelfer Report also cites "a second contact between Iraq and Niger," which occurred in 2001, when a Niger minister visited Baghdad "to request assistance in obtaining petroleum products to alleviate Niger's economic problems." According to the deposition of Ja'far Diya' Ja'far (the head of Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear weapons program), these negotiations involved no offer of uranium ore but only "cash in exchange for petroleum." West Africa is awash in petroleum, and Niger is poor in cash. Iraq in 2001 was cash-rich through the oil-for-food racket, but you may if you wish choose to believe that a near-bankrupt African delegation from a uranium-based country traveled across a continent and a half with nothing on its mind but shopping for oil."

clarice

Further in his June 14, 2003 EPIC appearance he clearly siad he was sent "By the government, not the agency"--emphasizing that.

Ralph L.

So we infer Armitage fell for Wilson/Corn's WH plot canard, and thought he wasn't the primary leaker. Revealing, but still no excuse for the delay. And not very manly for a retired Naval officer.

MayBee

Foo Bar- did you see the articles I excerpted at 10:33?

You are probably correct if your position is that Wilson had on occasion said he assumed. The issue is that at other times he said he knew. Which Jeff must have missed: I'm sorry, I must have missed that, where did Wilson say he KNEW that Cheney had heard about it? .

Wilson had no reason to say that KNEW Cheney had heard about it, but Wilson indeed said it.

His wife, on the other hand, knew she had written the rec before the VP asked a question.

clarice

Rocco, I remain stumped. Either the CIA was playing CYA, was involved in some skullduggery...or some portion of the agency was.
BTW Wilson also said his first trip was to persuade the leaders who'd lost their positions in the coup to leave the country for a while to restore stability.He also said at EPIC we'd probably find nuclear weapons in Iraq.

What is a mystery to me is how the agency could have missed the Libyan nuclear program and taken so long to unravel the AQ Khan nuke souk.

Foo Bar

Maybee:

Yes, I said in my original comment that he may have at some other point said that Cheney knew. I objected to Clarice's claim Wilson never said he assumed. Clarice was wrong to say "never".

Strictly speaking, the TNR article you link to only makes the (evidently incorrect) claim that the report was circulated to the office of the VP, and the referent of "they" in "They knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie" is a bit vague. I.e., there's no specific reference to Cheney himself.

In any event, the report apparently did have wide circulation within the White House, if not the office of the VP.

MayBee

Jeff-
one more thing:

you said:
is it inconceivable to you that Wilson did not know about it, because his wife did not tell him about it, because, after all, she wasn't supposed to?

Pincus/Milbanks 2005
Wilson has maintained that Plame was merely "a conduit," telling CNN last year that "her supervisors asked her to contact me."

It sounds like she told him about it and he admits she told him about it.
Do you have a better answer?

I really do like it when you come visit, even if it seems like we're all tugging your shirt sleeve.

clarice

And then there was this later WaPo correction to the Pincus correction (which appear on the cached IT version:
"Correction to This Article
An Oct. 25 article incorrectly said President Bush asserted during his January 2003 State of the Union message that Iraq was seeking nuclear material in Niger. The president said that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa."

clarice

Keep playing w/ this foo bar--it's like watching a rat in a maze --Niters.

Syl

even if it seems like we're all tugging your shirt sleeve.

or pulling his pants down.

::I did not say that::

Syl

Foo Bar

In any event, the report apparently did have wide circulation within the White House, if not the office of the VP.

You mean the unatrributed sentence at the bottom of the report.

Or do you mean a report that said;

Our very special envoy Joe Wilson said THE SALE IS A FAKE IT'S A FORGERY DON'T EVEN THINK OF EVER EVER PUTTING IT IN A SOTU ADDRESS EVER EVER. THERE IS NO URANIUM IN AFRICA AND SADDAM DOESN'T WANT IT ANYWAY.

Syl

I think I'd better go to bed. I'm beginning to channel...other people.

I probably got singed a little too hotly by dragon breath.

MayBee

"They knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie" is a bit vague. I.e., there's no specific reference to Cheney himself.

Cheney or not, Wilson had no basis to say he knew anybody in the admin knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie.
He made that up, just as he made up the "confirmation" that his report had been circulated to VP's office. And just as he made up any knowledge of the forgeries.

But you've already said you don't have a high opinion of Wilson. I think it's fair to think his wife was wronged even though he himself has been discredited.
What I'm trying to figure out is how anyone has come away from this trial thinking Wilson acted honestly.

sylvia

"They argue, how can they be certain Cooper's note wasn't a reflection of Libby saying: "heard something about the Wilson thing and not sure if it's even true"? Cooper testified his recollection now is that Libby said "Yeah I've heard that, too or words to that effect."

My idea is not that the Count 3 Cooper charge is that strong, however I believe it is stronger than the Russert charges, which are the weakest of all. I think that testimony about Russert fibbing about some past media conversation is a real killer to his credibility, among other factors.

There is of course a strong he/said squared factor to the Cooper 3 charge, as well as not much difference between the two versions, and Cooper slightly changing the wording. However, despite all that, I do not think it is a lock on acquittal at all. The jurors are not just comparing and contrasting the exact words between the testifiers, they are finding fact of intent to commit false statements, such as did it seem that Libby portrayed a different meaning or tone to the conversation than what they believe actually happened. Even if the words are similar.

The important concept for that charge is, did Libby confirm it as true or not to Cooper. Not because we care about the specifics of the conversation exactly, but because this later change in wording could show Libby's intent of trying to cover his tracks to the jury after-the-fact and pretend that he didn't even had enough definitive knowledge TO leak at the time. And of course to portray that he didn't "knowingly" divulge. Cooper testified that Libby did not equivocate on Plame. However, if the defense got the jurors to believe that Coopers notes of "if it's ever" actually means "not sure if it's even true", then the match will be so close that the hook will be lost and they probably will be successful in getting that charge acquitted.

sylvia

""I didn't know it was true and I wanted them to understand that." The question is about why Libby was attributing the wife rumors to reporters. He was very clearly characterizing a group of past comments. Unfortunately, you seem to have missed the entirety of the answer in your above quote."

Sorry, I read the entire paragraph for Libby in Count 5. Although I agree there is some room for interpretation on what he meant, I think a reasonable person would conclude that on the whole, taken in its entirety, Libby meant that he didn't know Wilson was married at the time he was talking to Cooper. To interpret otherwise is to pick it apart and apply a little wishful thinking.

But - you never know what the jury will do. OJ and Robert Blake got off, didn't they? What makes sense to you or me is not necessarily what happens.

MJW

Jeff, regarding Miller's sources: Look, you saw Libby's lawyers didn't get anything more out of her.

Well, perhaps the fact that Walton denied the defense discovery on most of Miller's notebooks had something to do with that. Or perhaps it was because Walton prevented them from cross examining her about any sources on the Wilson op-ed beyond those dealing directly with Mr. and Ms Wilson.

In any case, Fitzgerald surely knew Miller was lying when she denied remembering any sources except Libby -- lying under oath about a material fact in the investigation. That's called perjury. So Fitzgerald put a witness on the stand, knowing she'd commit perjury, to help convict Libby of . . . perjury. Of course, we can't actually prove Fitz wasn't dumb enough to believe Miller.

sylvia

Okay this is what Theo said about me:

"You are failing to distinguish exasperation over disagreement and an unwillingness to prolong a discussion with someone who does not seem to be able to follow basic arguments. "

However, this is an example of a "basic argument" and wisdom I am supposed to follow: (from Theo)

"Sylvia -- We disagree. The weakness in the "Cooper counts" is that it is totally Cooper's recollection against Libby's recollection.."

Umm. Okay. Theo's wisdom is that the Cooper's counts are just TOTALLY recollection differences - and it's all just plain old he said /he said - nothing else.

But is this really a "basic argument"? (basic meaning accepted as true.) Hmmmm. I seem to remember a little thing called ... COUNT 5 PERJURY! And in Count 5 Perjury, we have Libby words to the Grand Jury, about what he, Scooter Libby, knew in his own head in June and July 2003, and where he thought he heard it from. I don't think we have Coopers testimony on what Libby knew inside his own head at this time. I think we have Libby's words on what Libby knew in Libby's head at the time. Hence, it is not just a he said/he said. We have ANOTHER factor - which could be thought of as "Libby said Libby said". Other factors aren't "totally".

The "basic argument" that it's ALL just he/said/he said on the counts seems to fall apart a little bit when you actually, oh how shall I put it, THINK?! So sorry if I have trouble following Theo's basic facts there, but I don't like to follow logical blunders. It's just a little quirk of mine. On the whole, I think it is I who should be exasperated. But I'm not. I just did this post as a little fun exercise to show what people say and what is the truth, is sadly, often at odds. Kind of like Cooper and Libby really.

Jane

Good morning! Will today be the day?

hit and run

Good morning! Will today be the day?


No. Everyone ratted me out to Jeralyn.

Tom Maguire

in fall 2005 it was an unsubstantiated conclusion that it would have been wild to jump to (as evidenced by the ultimately discredited evidence you based your hypothesis on);

Well, the fact that Novak referred favorably to Armitage on multiple occasions in his column did not (we have been told) actually mean that Armitage had been a regular source for Novak prior to their special meeting.

As to the point that both were war skeptics, I think that point stands.

in spring 2006, it was well substantiated, and I jumped, perhaps not wildly, but I jumped sooner than you and many others right and left.

I am surprised that you don't want to offer any evidence - I put forward my leap (well hop, anyway) from Dec 2005, and can toss into the mix others from from Feb 24 2006 and Mar 13. Both would precede "the spring", and both were based on the mysterious UGO court hearing.

Well. I have no independent memory of the evolution of either your position or mine. (I do remember there was a subtle "UGO" controversy about which you may have been right, but I can't remember what it was). But in any case, I very much doubt that I was dragged kicking and screaming into the light on the question of whether Armitage was a source for Novak.

Well. To do a site-specific Google search, try something like this.

Ralph L.

I paid good money to get the truth out about a dilettante gigolo backstabber.

Oh, I'm not on the Kerry thread?

hit and run

Tom, I'm not talking about you when I say people ratted me out.

You saying that I'm "a bit of acquired taste was almost wingmanesque.

Jane

Did Jeralynn hand you your hat H&R?

MayBee

You saying that I'm "a bit of acquired taste was almost wingmanesque.

I think Tom didn't feel right calling you beloved, essential, and hilarious. Guys are so different than girls that way.

hit and run

I think Tom didn't feel right calling you beloved, essential, and hilarious. Guys are so different than girls that way.


I am open about my feelings for Tom...

hit and run

Jane:
Did Jeralynn hand you your hat H&R?


I have the hat. I have the hat to this day.


Ralph:
Oh, I'm not on the Kerry thread?

Huh, me neither?

PeterUK

"Did Jeralynn hand you your hat H&R?"

Yes, but she kept the head.

miriam

Good morning.

Is today the day?

Pofarmer

If Jeff and sylvia would put there names at the top of their long screeds, it would certainly save time.

centralcal

Sure, Pofarmer, stir the pot again today. You saw where that got us yesterday? LOL.

Pofarmer

Hey, I'm leavin, till after lunch. Ya'll have a hoot.

WA Moore

So, the jury asked at 3:45 PM yesterday for another pad of very large post-it notes. Someone in the group has had training on meeting/group dynamics. They're probably being careful not to criticize the others of others in the group. Maybe the next request will be for a professional facilitator. This could last for weeks.

clarice

We need a Note IV thread, don't we?

Elliott

No, I think the Roman numeral for 4 is reserved for a certain special someone.

Elliott

Shouldn't FDL's Washington headquarters be called "The Lake House?" They must be getting mail from 2009 if they think Fitz will bring down Cheney next.

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Wilson/Plame