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March 07, 2007




Rush just read your Fitz Stand Up comedy post on air!


I'm told Rush just cited JOM, TM. Maybe we'll start getting classier more expensive ads?


Wilson's wife did not send him on the trip. She didn't have the authority. She suggested him to the people who did have the authority, because of his experience and knowledge of the region.
The CIA wanted to send someone based on a "request" by the OVP, not necessarily Cheney.
I fail to grasp why that point is so hard for some to understand.


Becuase the trip was already in the works before Cheney was even briefed on the subject the OVP supposedly requested CIA analysis.

Shirley Atristain


Rush mentioned you and AT yesterday also. He obviously respects you and your writing talent.


Heh, the Times has a short memory. According to their former general counsel, the Times basically formulated the "press privelage" protection from the SCOTUS ruling in the Daniel Ellsburg case regarding the Pentagon Papers.

This was the invented privelage that the Times organized through a campaign to get States to create a "press privelage" protection. It was criticized by Judge Richard Posner as an invented civil protection that wasn't valid, but was rather a fabricated process absent a basis in case law. Apparently, once Posner wrote about this the lawyers for the commercial press started scrambling because it was eventually going to be read by the Department of Justice.


OT: I just saw that Seixon has signed off for good.

Rush mention, advertising, more original material, mergers and acquisitions can be useful marketing promos. :)

George was a great blogger.


Good job on these editorials. Now, I wish you'd take on the NPR Interview that aired this morning with someone from "The National Security Archive" (which is actually a nonprofit affiliated with George Washington University). I woke up to hearing them re-airing all of Wilson's allegations as though they were fact and then the person from the archive started discussing some of the evidence from the trial, with the underlying message being one of shock and horror that anyone in the White House would have considered a media strategy for responding to Wilson's inflamatory (and subsequently discredited) allegations.


. The former ambassador will be remembered as a blowhard.


jeff z

(Sorry to those who saw this when I put it on the wrong thread earlier!)

For what it's worth--and I'm using my job experience, which is considerable in this one area--I think the WSJ had it right.

One crucial accomplishment in advancing a business agenda is to be certain that the you have addressed the interest(s) of the person "sitting across from you." For example, if you are a salesperson, you'd better know how the buyers make their bonuses. Otherwise, no matter how advantageous your product/service is to the buyers' company as a whole, unless it helps them achieve their ends, forget it.

By Fitz's own admission, he's wrapped things up. In fact he did it before--this is crucial: BEFORE--the trial, meaning that he had accomplished what he wanted. Nothing the trial would have revealed was of any further use or interest to him (Sorry to those who wanted Rove and the VP on the stand. Never was going to happen.)

So, what was in Fitz's interests? What did he actually do? Who did he prosecute? Where did he direct the resources of his office? Most to the point: Who did he go after? Who did he hurt? Who did he put in jail?

Answer, of course, Miller and Libby.

So here's another question: Who in this whole complex affair, with numerous potential targets, charges, activities, etc, did Fitz feel he had a score to settle with?

Answer, of course, Miller and Libby.


As Sherlock Holmes put it (more or less), "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever's left, no matter how improbable, is the solution."

Or, as an even better detective, Nick Charles (William Powell, The Thin Man), said: "It's the only way it makes any sense."


nice article, clarice. this one's not perfect, but it's pretty darn good:

The Fitzgerald One


Clarice: welcome back.



The last lines of that piece by Dean Barnett sum it up for me: "As J-Pod suggests, Patrick Fitzgerald sought a symbolic victory in court. He got it. But the life he ruined was real.

That doesn’t feel like justice to me."

I also know Scott Harshbarger and any number of the prosecutors who worked for him. Many of my law school classmates chose precisely that career path.

And I remember the Amirault case well. One of Scott's prosecutors actually gave me a tour of the room where the kids were interrogated.

Harshbarger is now the head of Common Cause - or at least he was, the last time I checked. And most of those prosecutors have moved on to private practice, or politics, or gigs with the media.

Mrs. Amerault and her daughter got out of jail after many years, and Mrs. Amerault promptly died. Tookie Amerault got out of jail after serving 18 years and over many strong objections which I believed at the time to be political.

And that is my trip down memory lane.


Clarice: Rush reading you now.


Thanks, azaghal.I have read 2 people, noe, Barnett and Debra Saunders, both of whose work I respect and admire , making the same misstatements--that Libby lied. *sigh* It takes me back to my childhood nightmares where HUAC was eviscerating me because I said I didn't know womseone whose name I had simply forgotten.




I also liked Fred Thompson's article:

Law and Disorder

However, I dispute his claim that

Two crucial decisions were made in order for this sorry state of affairs to have played out this way. The first was when the Justice Department folded under political and media pressure because of the Plame leak and appointed a special counsel. When DOJ made the appointment they knew that the leak did not constitute a violation of the law. Yet, instead of standing on that solid legal ground they abdicated their official responsibility.

I strongly believe that the investigation was launched by liberal career employees at DoJ with a political agenda, that they were aided and abetted by key, high ranking officials at State and the CIA (and probably by Democratic Senators), and that this had little to nothing to do with political pressure. They could easily have made the case to the press that Thompson outlines--had they the will to do the right thing. But their will was to do something else entirely.


Clarice - Outstanding article at AT. I feel a lot better today hearing Rush just tear Joe Wilson to shreds, and Clarice mopping it up by tearing everyone else into shreds.

The left has happily displayed their complete lack of honor, morals or integrity. That is their everlasting legacy. Since they so hungrily vye for a taste of that legacy, I say have at it.

I can rest assured that I have not contributed to the absolute cesspool that is Liberal and/or Democrat.

Team Libby needs to step up. As does Team Bush.

Just git 'er done folks.

Other Tom

Off-topic, but I saw a reference on an earlier thread to the effect that David Boies had laid out some appellate theories on H&C last night. I didn't see the progream, and asked if someone could summarize what Boies had to say. I apologize if anyone has done so, but I have scanned the earlier threads and can't find anything. Anyone?


I enjoyed your article very much. Youare a gifted writer and an excellent communicator. Thanks for representing us and for printing the truth about this entire sorry episode.


You should see the way the Norwegian media is covering this. I'm not even joking when I say that the press has actually written here that Libby was convicted of leaking about Plame. Read the indictment? Pwuuaaah, why bother? We're Norwegian journalists reading the New York Times and ad libbing on the side!



Tom Delay pointed to your AT article on his blog.



They must have watched Howard Fineman on Keith Olbermann's show last night.

Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report

Personally, I preferred the editorial from the Wall Street Journal:

The Libby Travesty: Mr. Bush owes the former aide a pardon, and an apology.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

Barney Frank


I wonder if you might give me your perspective on a question I have.

Fitz said he inherited Libby's FBI lies when he was appointed. Is it SOP at that point to confront such a person with these inconsistencies, especially as it might lead to a clearer understanding of what has occurred with regards to what they're actually investigating, or is it common to not inform such a target that there is contradictory testimony and see if they'll repeat their story to a GJ?
To my amateur's mind it would seem the first option is a better path to the truth of what is being investigated, which is what one would think was important, while the second is merely a path to a scalp. The second also seems to denote a desire to have sand thrown in one's face, if one truly believes the subject is lying.


Thanks jeffz and maryrose.


Thompson's closing lines:

Among the results of this investigation and trial, there will be less cooperation by public officials in future investigations and less ability of reporters to get information. We should ask ourselves: Are our institutions or is our sense of justice stronger because of this prosecution?

are a welcome antidote to moronic, myopic statements like Captain Ed's:
Regardless of the pettiness of the probe, people cannot be allowed to lie to the police or under oath at hearings and trials. It undermines our system of justice even more than out-of-control special prosecutors.

Aside from the surreal mischaracterization of "pettiness"--an investigation whose whole life and purpose is to entrap a man in circumstances that will allow a prosecutor to charge him with a crime is anything but "petty"--CE gets the real priorities almost exactly backwards. Abusive official conduct, misuse of the law, by officials who are charged with administering justice do far more harm to our system than do the peccadilloes, real or merely alleged, of individuals--even of officials who hold public office themselves.

Jane, re your trip down memory lane, I well remember the Amirault case, which I followed through Dorothy Rabinowitz's series of WSJ articles, and this case leaves me with similar feelings. I cannot fathom the enormity of going after someone just to count coup or collect a scalp. I cannot fathom the mindset that can distance itself from placing oneself in the other guy's shoes. I cannot fathom the mindset of politicians and pundits who encourage or avert their gaze from this degree of dishonor.

Gary Maxwell

Well the WaPo and I reached the exact same conclusion. Now it took them a little longer than me, and no doubt several private scoldings from Bob Woodward, but in the end we both the conclude that Joe Wilson is a 4 door blowhard. As close to justice as we may see here.


I guess the new ethical standard for the White House is its refusal to comment on the conviction of a top aide?


No shhh, Boies was on H&C last night. I was posturing yesterday that Libby should have hired Boies as his defense counsel. It's not too late to hire appellate counsel.

I'll go ahead and accept my foresight awards now.

Allow me to pull a muscle patting myself on the back.

Gary Maxwell

Oh almost forgot Clarice there is only one word for your most recent effort



Well, I'm off to tell the ombudswoman I'm having a crisis, I've lost my childike faith in the Post editorial board (guided no doubt by Novak and Broder), they should take notice of the outraged public outside the beltway (me) and retract that outrageous editorial, right now.

bio mom



Sigh. Is he even paying attention? The decision must be respected?

Bush 'sad' about Libby's conviction
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Wednesday he is "sad" about the conviction of former vice presidential Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges of lying and impeding a CIA leak investigation, but he said the decision must be respected.

"This was a lengthy trial on a serious matter and a jury of his peers convicted him and we've got to respect that conviction," the president said in an interview with CNN en Espanol correspondent Juan Carlos Lopez.

But the president wouldn't respond directly when asked if the conviction breaks his promise to bring honor back to the White House.

"This is an ongoing legal matter ... at this time it's inappropriate for me or the administration to be issuing comments on this serious matter," Bush said.

The president and other members of his administration had vowed that anyone found to be involved in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson would no longer work in the White House.

Libby resigned in October of 2005 after he was indicted in connection with the matter. The president said that personally, he was sad about the conviction.

"I was sad for a man who had worked in my administration and particularly sad for his family," Bush said.


Thanks, Gary.


Kurt...I'll call your NPR and raise you the ABC. Bad stuff coming out of that place.


Other Tom: Foxnews - click on Hannity and Colmes tab, they have a video of Boies and Novack from last night.

Barney Frank


Great piece at AT.
Let me ask you a question.
As I recall the statute, it specifically says any SP must be a non federal gov employee. Is that correct, and if so how would the appeals court get around it, if they were intent on letting the conviction stand?


Kurt srites:

"Now, I wish you'd take on the NPR Interview that aired this morning with someone from "The National Security Archive" (which is actually a nonprofit affiliated with George Washington University). I woke up to hearing them re-airing all of Wilson's allegations as though they were fact and then the person from the archive started discussing some of the evidence from the trial, with the underlying message being one of shock and horror that anyone in the White House would have considered a media strategy for responding to Wilson's inflamatory (and subsequently discredited) allegations."

Was that person's name "Thomas Blanton?"


Barney, nothing about this investigation was SOP, since Fitz was his own personal AG for purposes of the investigation. My understanding, subject to correction, is that 1) it is not SOP for DoJ to call a target before the GJ. What the circumstances are that would justify it I'm not sure of, but setting of perjury traps is not one of them.

In this case, by Fitz's own admission, seeking a perjury or other "process" rap was the sole purpose of the investigation. That Fitz came up with nothing against Rove and so little against Libby--given Fitz's willingness to go with "he said/he said" counts--to me says something about the righteousness of his targets. 2) The repeated summons before the GJ is also contrary to SOP and pretty much gave Fitz's game away.

I also believe that you are correct and that targets are usually given a chance to correct themselves. SOP is that perjury is only charged in aggravated circumstances, whereas Fitz has made it pretty clear that it was the true focus, since all his rootling around couldn't come up with even colorable violations of a substantive violation.

jsyk, Bush has really disappointed me on this.


On the pardon issue, I like what Ann Althouse had to say.

I really don't understand how these asserted shortcomings connect to lying to a grand jury. He was convicted of perjury. Whatever you think of the Plame affair and the whole investigation, why should Bush condone that?



That's right, Javani--it was Thomas Blanton. You can find the NPR piece here:

And Owl, I've no doubt you're right about ABC, either. I turned off the TV before any of the national morning shows started today, so I don't know what sort of information they've been peddling.


Barney, COmey appointed him outside the special counsel provisions. And when he did, IMO he violated not only the statute but the constitution, I cannot improve on the arguments the defense made on that in their motion to dismiss. It's in the attice somewhere and I wrote a piece on that which I think you can find on google in which I did a somewhat streamlined version of their brief. The sum and substance of this is that the Congress having purposely dumped the independent prosecutor statute for the excesses it caused, agreed to a far more limited prosecution, and yet Comey EXPANDED the very powers Congress rejected and gave Fitz(never confirmed by Congress) the right to operate completely outside DoJ procedures, outside any supervision and in circumstances where even Congress could not cut off his funding. If that's constitutional, I'd be astonished.


The National Security Archive is a joke. The press likes it because they have a lot of old NSC material. But you cannot go to them for commentary on this trial. It was a trial regarding perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators. It wasn't a trial about National Security.



"It sounds like Donald Rumsfeld," said National Security Archive Director Thomas S. Blanton. "It shows the same kind of arrogance and hubris that got us into Iraq."


Check out Tom/Thomas Blanton. He always has a anti-American comment, apologizing or minimizing Marxists, etc.

And he's in charge of the archives?


If Bush had a spine, he'd stand up at a podium with Gonzalez today and fire Fitzgerald and announce the indictments of Fitzgerald, Eckenrode and Bond for suborning perjury and conspiracy to suborn perjury. All the evidence is there in the trial record -- they first conspired with Russert to commit perjury in his false affidavit, and then they used the existence of the false affidavit to blackmail Russert into perjuring himself at the Libby trial. And conveniently "lost" the notes of the first FBI interview which could have been used to impeach the perjured testimony that they had secured.

So, which spin do you think Russert will prefer? Helpless victim of blackmail? Or willing shiv-man for the government facing 5 years in prison and $2000 fine for each of the three perjuries (affidavit, not-GJ testimony, trial testimony) plus a couple of counts for the conspiracy? Either way he has no reputation -- ruined reputation vs. ruined reputation plus fine plus jail.

Jeez -- Bush is the chief law-enforcement officer in the country who took an oath (twice!) to uphold the law. When is he going to get off his butt and "see that the laws are duly executed"?


"But you cannot go to them for commentary on this trial."

Sure you can, and media does. And doesn't report that the "National Security Archive" is not connected to the federal government, although the name misleads so.

Blanton is always available for a pseudo-governmental/insider marxist/leftist spin, launder and gloss.


Javani: The National Security Archive isn't a government agency. It is not affiliated with the US government in any shape or form.

It's a private institution of George Washington University.


As Althouse says, Bush doesn't need to support perjury.

There are, however, enough oddnesses to this whole trial that it needs review. Especially Fitz's gaps.

Name your gaps, there are plenty.

After the trial is examined, a pardon ought to be an simple step.

Many similarities to the Floyd Landis case. FFF!


I don't want to compare the Libby trial to the OJ trial, but the analogy just seems to work...a jury found OJ not guilty. How many of us think OJ was not guilty? I don't believe Libby was proven guilty of lying. I believe the jury got it wrong.


Javani: I know the media goes to them for commentary, but they should not be doing that. The archive is a good source for material that would otherwise require a separate FOIA request. You can get facts from the archive, but the media should not be seeking commentary from them. That isn't the mission of the National Security Archives.



Well what do you want Bush to say? That since he did not get the verdict he wanted the decision will not be respected? I like Fred Thompson and I think he makes a lot of sense, but he is not the President, he is not personally involved in any way.

I think this whole thing was a farce, I really do and I wish Libby had just done what Hillary Clinton did about 150 times during the Whitewater investigation and said "I don't recall"...but until and unless Bush pardons Libby he can not really say a lot else. Besides, it is obvious that this was not good news to Bush, he most certainly did not need this so even if he did not care about Libby I doubt very much if he wanted this kind of press.

I think the WaPo editorial board is pretty much right this time. That is something I don't often say.


re that NPR piece this morning, it reminded me once again why I don't feel bad never offering money to my local station. I'm tempted to send over the Washington Post editorial to wake up STeve Inskeep, but anyone in the press so oblivious by this point just doesn't care. There's another fatuous NPR piece from this morning, Agents See Dangerous Precedent in Plame's Outing, in which they talk to Larry Johnson... to predictable effect, and Bob Baer, who leaves me wondering if he really ever was a CIA officer by saying that the takeaway message of this affair is that "If you're sitting in Baghdad or Kabul or anywhere else, you can be exposed by someone else in the government. And there's no consequences."


Andy — By my count, juror Denis Collins' trial memoir in the Huffington Post is about 7,900 words. Perhaps he wrote it all since about 2 p.m. yesterday. On the other hand, I might have trouble pounding out 7,900 words in such a short time, especially if I were also appearing on television and becoming one of the world's most sought-after guys. So my question is this: If Collins was working on the diary during the trial, with an eye for publication immediately after the verdict, is that OK? Would a prosecutor or defense lawyer or a judge have any problem with that, if he or she knew that about a juror?

Hi Byron! I know you are lurking here. You pick up on too many of our thoughts. ::grin:: Glad you are asking that question for us.


With all of this guy Collins antics, I wonder if the defense was smart like a fox to leave him on the jury unchallenged with the idea that he would most likely bias or overstep the jury bounds and give good grounds for a mistrial.

Barney Frank

Thanks azaghal and clarice.

One thing that's interesting with regard to Comey and Fitz is their (laughable) attempt to comply with DOJ SP regs regarding AG oversight of Fitz. This appears to be a tacit admission that his appointment had to comply with those regs, no matter how bizarre their explanation of that compliance was.
Since they acknowledge the applicability of the regs I have a hard time seeing how an objective appellate court would find a way for them to comply with that portion of the reg which says an SP must be from outside the Fed Gov.



Spine? Bush has enough spine to put with the Demcorats trying to impeach him while a backstabbing right often as not bails out on him when things get dicey. If it was easy as you say then why did we go through all this for years? sheesh people. My God, the man is not a KING.

I am not sure if Bush can legally do what you want and if he did, the question arises...why wait til now? Are you saying that if Libby had been acquitted then the process would have been legal?


Well, I would say we just saw Woodward's first shot at Fitz. I have a feeling the book Woodward writes about this will make Fitz look like the petty little man that he is. I don't think anyone is going to be looking very good by the time Bob gets done with them.


Washington Post Editorial Board Spits Out Baseless Right-Wing Talking Points On Libby Verdict

In a substance-less diatribe, the Washington Post editorial board this morning tried its best to downplay the significance of the Scooter Libby verdict. Here’s a fact-check on some of the Post’s most absurd claims:

CLAIM: Libby’s guilty verdict was “propelled not by actual wrongdoing.”

FACT: The Post Editorial Board Highlighted The ‘Seriousness’ Of Perjury Charges Against Clinton. In a Jan. 22, 1998 editorial, the Washington Post write, “The allegations against President Clinton are allegations of extremely serious crimes. … Subornation of perjury is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.” On Feb. 2, 1998, the Post wrote that the “seriousness” of the charges against Clinton had “to do much more with possible perjury than with sex.” And on Dec. 13, 1998, the Post wrote: “There is no question that President Clinton committed grave offenses and aggravated them by refusing to acknowledge either the offenses themselves or their seriousness.”

CLAIM: Calling it a “sensational charge,” the Post writes that there was “no evidence that [Plame] was, in fact, covert.”

FACT: CIA, Former Colleagues, And Special Prosecutor All Report That Plame Was Covert. The CIA filed a “crime report” with the Department of Justice shortly after Novak’s column, stating that an undercover agent’s identity had been blown. Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer, said “Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. … All of my classmates were undercover.” Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done “covert work overseas” on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA “was making specific efforts to conceal” her identity.

CLAIM: The Post claims that senior White House officials had not “orchestrated the leak” and that the trial “provided convincing evidence that there was no conspiracy to punish Mr. Wilson by leaking Ms. Plame’s identity.”

FACT: Cheney’s Point-man — Libby — Carefully Leaked Plame’s Identity To Reporters, White House Staff. In an article published on Jan. 26, 2007, Post writers reported “Vice President Cheney personally orchestrated his office’s 2003 efforts to rebut allegations that the administration used flawed intelligence to justify the war in Iraq.” As of that effort, handwritten notes prove that Cheney assigned Libby to be the point man for disseminating the information about Plame’s identity, which he revealed to reporters Judith Miller and Matt Cooper. Libby also enrolled Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove in his effort to disseminate Plame’s identity.

CLAIM: “It would have been sensible for Mr. Fitzgerald to end his investigation after learning about Mr. Armitage. Instead, like many Washington special prosecutors before him, he pressed on, pursuing every tangent in the case.”

FACT: Armitage told the truth; Libby refused to. Indeed, it was “sensible” for Fitzgerald to pursue Libby and question why the Vice President’s chief of staff could not tell him the truth, while Armitage could.

The Post editorial concludes: “The Wilson-Plame case, and Mr. Libby’s conviction, tell us nothing about the war in Iraq.” This naïve comment is hardly surprising, coming from a publication that bought the false Iraq intelligence that Cheney, Libby, and company were trying so hard to sell prior to the war. More distressing, however, is that the Post has been an accomplice in the White House’s effort to cover up what it knew.

Contact the Washington Post ombudsman to inform them of the factual inaccuracies in their editorial.



Thinkprogress squeeling like a stuck pig.


There's one for the ages--WAPO spews right wing talking points. How far to the left do you have to be to believe that one?


thinkprogress does not feel the need to prove any of its "facts."

For example (randomly chosen): thinkprogress asserts that "Libby also enrolled Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove in his effort to disseminate Plame’s identity."

How could anyone know this as fact? An eyewitness is the only thing I might believe. But thinkprogress offers no proof of any kind.

To "progressives," truth is whatever you repeat often enough.

I am beyond disgusted.


One of the joys of the Libby trial was to come to this site and see just how wrong a small group of like-minded people could be on a particular subject. Now to see that some of you are pleased that a drug-addled blowhard like Rush Limbaugh mentioned this site confirms how clueless and pin-headed the Bush Dead-enders really are. Fitzgerald did a masterful job with a narrowly defined case. There is a bigger story, an adminstration lying their way into a ridiculous, tragic war. The US can recover from this debacle, but it will take clear thinkers. None to be found here unfortunatley.

Barney Frank

--Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer, said “Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. … All of my classmates were undercover.”--

There's a reason Larry looks like the twin of the guy who played the retard on LA Law.


(Sorry to those who wanted Rove and the VP on the stand. Never was going to happen.)

What ? No "Sealed vs Sealed" ?

My stomach just won't allow me to go over there to see if Jason Leopold has "outed" is source for the "24-hours to get your house in order" Rove story, but I bet he will pull a "Clinton".


Look, nobody likes the fact that Scooter was convicted, but arguing that the nature of Fitzgerald's appointment is grounds for appeal seems to be an awfully long stretch. It seems to me he was appointed in a manner to keep the politicians out of the case. Remeber, Karl Rove, very close advisor to the President, did leak classified information to the press in this case (Fitzgerald's words not mine). Ashcroft had to recuse himself because of his personal relationship with Rove, and with Comey he had the foresight to eliminate the appearance of impropriety by making the investigation/prosecution independent of the Executive Branch. They did everyone a favor. Would you rather be defending the President for interfering in this investigation?

We can continue to cry in our beer, but lets find good reasons for our outrage.


In a 1996 Esquire interview, Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey remarked that Clinton is "an unusually good liar."


I see Sexion is over at Strata's blog.



How come Fitzgerald isn't pursuing the leak? Wasn't that the important thing?

Your side has lost all credibility. I cannot believe anyone remaining on the Left cares remotely about the facts.

Great Banana


you state that: Fitzgerald did a masterful job with a narrowly defined case.

While I disagree with you on his performance, he did win the case - which to me says more about the jury than Fitzy. But, he did win, and credit must go to him for that.

But then you say: There is a bigger story, an adminstration lying their way into a ridiculous, tragic war.

both cannot be true from this one case. Either you have a rational mind and understand that this case was a very narrow and proves nothing that the left is claiming (i.e., Bush lied us into a war), or you believe your second statement, which is a statement of ideological belief, not fact.

I'm sure that the left is going to do wonderous things for the U.S. in the future, through taxing any people who make the economy work to death and then redistributing that wealth, while at the same time destroying the economy through junk-science and idealistic faith in man-made global warming, and then secure our nation through "understanding" why the terrorists hate us, as well as providing free health care for everyone and promoting racial healing by creating many subsets of victim classes and awarding them things based upon their race. That type of clear thinking will "save" the country from it current predicament of a growing economy, exceedingly low unemployment, etc., etc,.

But, that cure will be worse than the alleged malady.


Hah - The lefties are just frothing over Rush - again. So sad his show goes out to so many listeners. The truth is out there - but no one ever expected the left to seek it.

I am not sure if Bush can legally do what you want and if he did, the question arises...why wait til now? Are you saying that if Libby had been acquitted then the process would have been legal?
Well, full disclosure, I'm the JOM resident oddball who believes Bush should be impeached for allowing someone with an unconstitutional appointment to act as if he were an agent of the US government. (Every time I read in a Libby filing where it refers to the prosecution as "the government" -- several times a page -- I want to puke. I dunno what government Fitzgerald was representing in this case, but it certainly wasn't the one set up in the US constitution.)

And that opinion is independent of conviction or acquital. As for the subornation of perjury, that would have been only slightly less serious had there been an acquittal.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines recognize two types of circumstances that enhance the criminal sentence for subornation of perjury. An offense causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person, or property damage, in order to suborn perjury is one circumstance. The other is when subornation of perjury resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice, which includes a premature or improper termination of a felony investigation, an indictment, a verdict, or any judicial determination based on perjury, false testimony, or other false evidence, or the unnecessary expenditure of substantial government or court resources.
This suggests that, even without the conviction, the indictment and trial itself are enough aggravating circumstances.

Of course Fitzgerald, Eckenrode and Bond couldn't have been indicted for conspiracy to suborn perjury until recently -- their crime was only uncovered a few weeks ago during trial testimony. Get the trial transcript together, write out the indictment, take it to a grand jury, and let's get on it. There is way more evidence here than in a lot of the ham sandwiches that grand juries indict.

Great Banana

They did everyone a favor. Would you rather be defending the President for interfering in this investigation?

The problem with this analysis is the left is unwilling to give the admin any credit for going along with the fitzy witch-hunt, and for ordering their people to fully cooperate.

Instead, they make the insance claims that this verdict somehow proves everything they believe - "bush lied", "plame covert", etc., etc.

The left will never engage honestly, or have honor and stick to one point of view. They, after all, are post-modernists who believe there is no objective truth, no real facts, and only power. thus, you can't have an honest debate with the left b/c they will never be honest, and this is a perfect example of that.

They think what libby was convicted of was worse than what Sandy Berger did. They believe perjury is the worst crime of all time from an admin official, but their hero, Bill Clinton, is an admitted perjurer (president v. assistant to the vice president). yet, their own inconsistincy does not bother them at all. their "intellectuals" are never called on this.

You see, if you have no values or objective morality, then you can never do anything wrong. therefore, the left never does anything wrong.

while we, on the right, continue to struggle with trying to be intellectually consistent and honest (nobody is 100% all the time), they don't even bother.

It's well past time for the right to wake up and stop pretending we are in simple policy debates with the left, where everyone is being a good-faith arguer and willing to accept the results. The left (including the media) no longer plays by those rules.

INstead, everything is politics and everything is war. The end for the left is electoral success not what is best for the nation. thus, there is no willingness to set aside political partisianship on foriegn policy or national security. There is no long term view - only what is good for me politically right now.

As long as we pretend the left acts in good faith debate with us, we are defeating ourselves.



MR. RUSSERT: Why were you so wrong?

SEN. EDWARDS: For the same reason a lot of people were wrong. You know, we—the intelligence information that we got was wrong. I mean, tragically wrong. On top of that I’d—beyond that, I went back to former Clinton administration officials who gave me sort of independent information about what they believed about what was happening with Saddam’s weapon—weapons programs. They were also wrong. And, based on that, I made the wrong judgment. ...

MR. RUSSERT: But it seems as if, as a member of the intelligence committee, you just got it dead wrong, and that you even ignored some caveats and ignored people who were urging caution.

SEN. EDWARDS: Well, I, I, I would—first of all, I don’t want to defend this. Let me be really clear about this. I think anybody who wants to be president of the United States has got to be honest and open, be willing to admit when they’ve done things wrong. One of the things, unfortunately, that’s happened in Iraq is we’ve had a president who was completely unmoving, wouldn’t change course, wouldn’t take any responsibility or admit that he’d made any mistakes. And I think America, in fact the world has paid a huge price for that. So I accept my responsibility. I’m not defending what I did. Because what happened was the information that we got on the intelligence committee was, was relatively consistent with what I was getting from former Clinton administration officials. I told you a few minutes ago I was concerned about giving this president the authority, and I turned out to be wrong about that.

Oh, but I forgot, Clinton is "an unusually good liar", guess the Clinton administration officials that Edwards talked to were too.


So now that the trial is over, when will we see Fitz's Miller docs that were held until the conclusion of the trial.

They do have the potential to be included in the appeals process. No?

I would also imagine the defense going over Russert's subpoena response to be looked over with a fine-tooth comb.

Sara (Squiggler)

The CIA wanted to send someone based on a "request" by the OVP, not necessarily Cheney.

The CIA may have "wanted to send someone based on a request by OVP" but the inquiry from OVP came AFTER the CIA set up the trip because of a "request" from the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). Why does no one want to follow up on the actual request and instead keep insisting it was the OVP?

Oh silly me, it would screw up their whole story!


Aw, c'mon Clarice, Fitz had plenty of supervision. Don't you remember, Comey could read the newspapers?


I'm afraid Great Banana is right. The right still thinks it is trying to win some sort or rational debate on policy, while the left is committed to winning by any means necessary and lies without compunction.

Sara (Squiggler)

Couey verdict:

Guilty of 1st degree murder
Guilty of burglary/battery
Guilty of kidnapping
Guilty of sexual battery on child under 12

If looks could kill, Mark Lundsford's would.

Other Tom

Centralcal, thanks for the link to the Boies transcript. While I agree with everything he said, it doesn't appear to me that he said anything that would constitute any new or imaginative ground for appeal.


Bostonian: Is ¿Think Progress? crafting the facts around the policy?

That places always brings up Sir Dearlove's oh so famous, unconfirmed, memo to the Prime Minister about the Americans crafting facts around the policy. You'd think they'd heed Sir Dearlove's warning.


One improvement could be made on the Team Libby brief re Fitz's appointment.

The statute that Comey expressly relied upon is a standard administrative housekeeping type provision: it allows the AG "from time to time" to delegate some of his "functions" to someone else.

But Comey, in his delegation letter to Fitz, doesn't say that he's delegating a "function" to Fitz; rather than use the actual wording of the statute ("functions") he changes it in his letter to "all the authority of the AG." Any further challenge to this delegation should beat that distinction of function/authority to death. Comey, the DAG, may have had the authority of the AG while the AG was incapacitated or recused, but Comey was confirmed by the Senate. The clear meaning of the statute doesn't provide for further delegation of "authority" but only allows the AG to delegate "function." Comey's wording put Fitz above all guidelines and made him unaccountable to anyone since, in Fitz's own words, he was the "functional equivalent of the AG" for purposes of the investigation. That also made him unremovable. No one who has been delegated a "function" to carry out has that kind of "authority".

There is a bigger story, an adminstration lying their way into a ridiculous, tragic war.
Which administration to you mean, the Clinton Administration in 1998 or maybe you mean the Administration of Abdallah Ibn Ubayy? I do agree, though, it is a ridiculous, tragic war started by a ridiculous, tragic 7th-century nutcase. Who may very well win in the 21st.

Neo: lol, Edwards

Two Americas, Two faces

Edwards is my favorite Dem '08 candidate. I'll have get my way onto his campaign aircraft. It's bound to be carbon offset, but what about the honesty offsets.

"The Tale of Two Edwards', by Gabriel Sutherland, foreward by Howard 'Yeeaaaaaaaaaahh' Dean"


GB - My point is that whether or not what Fitzgerald did qualified as a "witch hunt" the prosecution for obstruction of justice without prosecuting an underlying crime is not completely without precedent (would such a charge even exist if it couldn't be used without an underlying charge). Spending your time claiming some sort of injustice resulted from Fitzgerald's appointment ignores the perils of this investigation going nowhere while being supervised by Ashcroft/Gonzales. Note the current hearings about the fired USAs. All in all, at the moment the administration with the possible exception of Cheney and Rove gets out of this looking alright. What did they do wrong? When it appeared someone might have done something wrong they separated the investigation from DOJ supervision. The President even "respected" the verdict yesterday. If the political weight of Cheney and Rove is too much there is a solution to those problems as well.

Barney Frank

--When it appeared someone might have done something wrong they separated the investigation from DOJ supervision.--

The question is whether it was done legally and constitutionally. Not a small consideration in a legal proceeding one would think.

Steve Rosenbach

Tom - thank you for your tireless and excellent work on this issue. I'm only sorry that I didn't discover your blog until early this year.

One thing I keep reading again and again is something like this is today's WaPo editorial:

"...The former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney told the FBI and a grand jury that he had not leaked the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame to journalists but rather had learned it from them. But abundant testimony at his trial showed that he had found out about Ms. Plame from official sources ..."

NYT news story yesterday said pretty much the same thing - i.e., that Libby claimed that he only heard about Plame from reporters.

But am I not correct that Libby said to FBI and testified to the grand jury that he actually first learned about Plame from Chaney in June 2003, forgot about it, then heard it from Russert as if it were new on July 10, 2003?

I'm almost sure I read this several times, but now can't find it anywhere. If I am correct, can you point me to a source?

Thanks again!



BF Do you think the nature of Fitzgerald's appointment will really lead to victory on appeal? Do you know that the appointment was not legal. From a non-lawyer that paid attention to the case, admittedly not checking in here until I became concerned the verdict would be guilty, it seems like splitting hairs. Isn't Fitzgerald a US Attorney for his day job? Did he do something that amounted to misconduct that should have resulted in his dismissal but didn't because of his "special" status?


Larry Johnson's complaints would have more validity if he had stood up againstfor Jason Vest's outing of at least two undercover CIA operatives in the Boston Phoenix/Nation; the outing of the North
Carolina 'Air Rendition' contractors, the
Munich base chiefs re; Khaled el Masri,
the Milan base chief; Robert Seldon Lady,
who left-anarchist Cryptome; released
confidential data about; which GQ of all
people have actually written a fair account
about (they make up for it with a 'we must
impeach Cheney' column, using many of the
same falsehoods, referred by Plame defenders) or how about this; from the German publication that took up Agee's
Naming Names; after the passage of the
Graig Buck, Frühjahr 2002
Michael Metrinko, Frühjahr 2002, (u.U.CIA-Chief of Station)Ironically this was at a
time that Mr. Grenier was COS there

John H. Frese, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Kairo)
Willard Pearson, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Kairo)
Rick L. Roberts, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Kairo)
Gene A. Cretz, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft Kairo - u.U. Chief of Station)
Ann S. Syrett, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft Kairo)

James Goggin, Herbst 2004, CIA
Jonathan Kirkpatrick, Herbst 2004, CIA
Caryn McClelland, Herbst 2004, wahrscheinlich CIA-Chief of Station
Fred Stolper, Frühjahr 2004, CIA

Michael J. Rishling, Frühjahr 2003, CIA (Chief of Station)

Janice Mastorio Worth, Herbst 2004, CIA (Botschaft Berlin)
Michael F. Walker, Frühjahr 2004, CIA (Chief of Station, Botschaft Berlin)

Willam D. Murray, Sommer 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)

Craig Hall, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Konsulat von Surabaya)
Desaix Meyers, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft Jakarta)
Stephen Mull, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Konsulat Surabaya - u.U. Chief of Station)
Robert Pollard, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (u.U. Chief of Base, Konsulat Surabaya)
Robert Weisberg, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft Jakarta)
Jacob Wohlman, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft Jakarta)

(The name of John Maguire does not appear)
Robert Ford, Herbst 2004, CIA
William Francisco, Herbst 2004, CIA
John Frese, Herbst 2004, CIA
Roger Johnson, Herbst 2004, CIA
Steven Montgomery, Herbst 2004, CIA
James Smith, Herbst 2004, CIA
Spike Stephenson, Herbst 2004, CIA

Robert Gorelick, Frühjahr 2004, CIA-Chief of Station in Rom (Actually Robert Castelli)

Peter C. McDevitt, Sommer 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)
Todd J. Brown, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Amman)
Leslie R. Hickman, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Amman)
Scott M. Kennedy, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Amman)
Douglas A. Silliman, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Amman - u.U. Chief of Station)

Robert Carnahan, Herbst 2004, CIA
George Frederick, Herbst 2004, CIA
Christopher Murray, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)
John Schilling, Herbst 2004, CIA
Georgeanne Ranzino, Herbst 200, CIA

Emely Jeffers, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)

Mark E. Kelton, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)

Robert Gorelick, Frühjahr 2003, CIA (Chief of Station) (Rome future station chief
Arnold A. Chacon, Frühjahr 1999, CIA (Botschaft in Lima)
Maria D. Guillory, Frühjahr 1999, CIA (Botschaft in Lima)
John Hamilton, Frühjahr 1999, CIA (Botschaft in Lima)
Timothy Pounds, Frühjahr 1999, CIA (Botschaft in Lima)
Gordon A. Sjue, Frühjahr 1999, CIA (Botschaft in Lima)

Philip F. Reilly, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station >2003)
Gary R. Weber, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Chief of Station)
Michael H. Anderson, Winter 2001, CIA (Bitschaft Manila)
Patricia K. Buckles, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Manila)
Cinnamon N. Dornsife, Winter 2001, CIA (Asian Development Bank - Manila)
Richard W. Nelson, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Manila)
Kim T. Starke, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Manila)
Steven E. Zate, Frühjahr 2001, CIA (Botschaft Manila - u.U. Chief of Station)

Ronald J. Czarnetzky, Frühjahr 2004, CIA (Chief of Station >2002)
Lance Hamilton, Winter 2001, CIA (Chief of Station >2000)
James R. Sporn, Winter 1999, CIA (Chief of Station >1998)

Saudi Arabien
Norman T. Roule, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)

Josef J. Koza, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)
Mathew Chin, Winter 2003, CIA (Chief of Station)

Bradley R. Wride, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)
Michael Butler, Frühjahr 2000, CIA
Colin M. Cleary, Frühjahr 2000, CIA
Heather M. Hodges, Frühjahr 2000, CIA
Stanley J. Joseph, Frühjahr 2000, CIA
Marc J. Meznar, Frühjahr 2000, CIA
Yvette Torres, Frühjahr 2000, DEA

G. P. Hamilton, Herbst 2004, CIA (Chief of Station)
Tedd Archabal, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Johannesburg)
Gayleatha B. Brown, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Pretoria)
Johnnie Brown, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Pretoria)
William Center, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Johannesburg)
Thomas Colin, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Kapstadt)
Phyllis Coven, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Johannesburg)
Dirk Dijkerman, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Pretoria)
Liam Humphreys, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Durban)
Edward Jones, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Pretoria)
Mary B. Leonard, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Kapstadt)
Marilyn Wanner, Herbst 2002, CIA (Botschaft Pretoria)
Stephen Weed, Herbst 2002, CIA (Konsulat Durban)
Mary Sue Conaway, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Konsulat Johannesburg)

Janice L. Elmore, Herbst 2004, CIA
Richard Ingram, Herbst 2004, CIA
Martin Nolan, Herbst 2004, CIA

Lisa M. Carle, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Damaskus)
Philo L. Dibble, Winter 2001, CIA (this has got to be a pseudonym)(Botschaft Damaskus - u.U. Chief of Station)
Roberto Powers, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Damaskus)
George N. Tietjen, Winter 2001, CIA (Botschaft Damaskus)

Michael K. Winograd, Frühjahr 2003, CIA (Chier of Station)
Parker F. Schofield, Winter 2002, CIA (Chief of Station >1999)
E. Mattingly, Winter 1999, CIA (Chief of Station >1996)

Emely Jeffers, Sommer 2002, CIA (Chief of Station)
Joseph E. Evans, Frühjahr 2002, DEA
Thomas E. Ochiltree, Frühjahr 2002, CIA (Botschaft in Caracas)
John M. Davis, Herbst 2001
Frederick B. Cook, Frühjahr 2000, (u.U. CIA-Chief of Station)

Magazin GEHEIM Postfach 270324 D-50509 Kölnfon + 49-221-2 83 99 95/96 fax /97http://www.geheim-magazin.de/index.php?do=kontakt


LFAWO, the Appointments Clause is not some triffling technicality. One of the formative experiences of American democracy, and indeed the Enlightenment, was the British experience of the Star Chamber. This was a court which existed from 1487 until it was abolished in 1641.

Initially well regarded because of its speed and flexibility, it was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges, and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. In a sense, the court was a supervisory body, overseeing the operations of lower courts, though its members could hear cases by direct appeal as well. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes.

Star Chamber sessions were closed to the public. King Henry VII used the power of Star Chamber to break the power of the landed gentry which had been such a cause of problems in the Wars of the Roses. When local courts were often clogged or mismanaged, the Court of Star Chamber became a site of remittance for common people against the excesses of the nobility.

Under the leadership of Cardinal Wolsey (the Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor) and Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury) (1515-1529), the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon for bringing actions against opponents to the policies of King Henry VIII, his Ministers and his Parliament.

Although it was initially a court of appeal, King Henry, Wolsey and Cranmer encouraged plaintiffs to bring their cases directly to the Star Chamber, bypassing the lower courts entirely.

The Court was used extensively as a colonial legal weapon to control the Celtic fringe, most notably Wales, after the Acts of Union of 1538-43. The Tudor-created gentry in Wales turned to the Chamber to evict Welsh landowners and protect themselves, and in general protect the English advantages of the Acts of Union.

Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing.


In 1641, the Long Parliament, led by John Pym and inflamed by the severe treatment of John Lilburne, as well as that of other religious dissenters such as William Prynne, Alexander Leighton, John Bastwick and Henry Burton, abolished the Star Chamber with an Act of Parliament. The Chamber itself stood until demolished in 1806, when its materials were salvaged. The door now hangs in the nearby Westminster School.

The excesses of the Star Chamber under King Charles I, including the case of John Lilburne, constituted one of the rallying cries for those who eventually executed King Charles.

In the early 1900s, American poet, biographer and dramatist Edgar Lee Masters, 1868-1950, commented:

"In the Star Chamber the council could inflict any punishment short of death, and frequently sentenced objects of its wrath to the pillory, to whipping and to the cutting off of ears. ... With each embarrassment to arbitrary power the Star Chamber became emboldened to undertake further usurpation. ... The Star Chamber finally summoned juries before it for verdicts disagreeable to the government, and fined and imprisoned them. It spread terrorism among those who were called to do constitutional acts. It imposed ruinous fines. It became the chief defense of Charles against assaults upon those usurpations which cost him his life. . . ."
The founding fathers recognized the danger since they were only a few generations removed from the horrors of unchecked power. Having grandparents who actually experienced the result of the common-sensical "necessity" of having a body unaccountable to anyone in order to ride herd on the powerful, they wanted no part of such a thing.

So they wrote the constitution with an interlocking set of checks and balances. Every single agent of the government of the United States falls into one of four catagories:

1) Elected.

2) Appointed by the president (who is elected), confirmed by the Senate (also elected).

3) Appointed by, and actively supervised by, someone who is in catagory 1) or 2).

4) Appointed by, and actively supervised by, someone who is in catagory 3).

The logic (I would claim genius) of the American model of democracy is that every government agent is ultimately responsible to the voters. To claim that this doesn't really matter is as stupidly "common-sensical" as to think that the Star Chamber was a good idea. And we know how that turned out -- publicly torturing a guy because he refused to plead guilty to charges unless they read the charges to him in English rather than Latin.

The DoJ has all sorts of regulations and policies that Fitzgerald simply ignored in this case. Things like not calling targets to testify in front of grand juries under the ruse that they are witnesses rather than targets. And not disclosing any information collected in grand jury proceedings not relevent to any charges brought. Not to mention the policy against committing perjury in sworn affidavits to the Supreme Court. Sure you can argue that some supervisors are incompetent, but a supervisor would have at least had the opportunity to have input into whether Fitzgerald would have been allowed to do such things.

The truly amazing thing about Walton ruling that Fitzgerald was supervised according to the rules in the constitution is that the only people who filed briefs claiming supervision were Fitzgerald and Comey -- and Comey had not been a government employee for 1/2 a year when the brief was filed one year ago. No one at the DoJ filed a brief saying, "He's supervised -- I'm his supervisor." There was only this extremely lame argument that Comey could read the newspaper and supervise him that way -- leaving unanswered the question of how Comey could supervise Fitzgerald for the last year and a half when Comey hasn't been a government employee. It also, of course, pegs the irony meter in that the only way that much information about Fitzgerald's activities could appear in newspapers is if someone in Fitzgerald's office, the FBI or the grand jury violated the law against leaking grand jury testimony!


Has anyone heard from "Dale in Atlanta" in the last day or two? I'm beginning to get worried.


Picking up the pieces

Ten out of 19 of the witnesses in Mr. Libby’s trial were journalists, a spectacle that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.


But am I not correct that Libby said to FBI and testified to the grand jury that he actually first learned about Plame from Chaney in June 2003, forgot about it, then heard it from Russert as if it were new on July 10, 2003?

That is correct.




See how lucky America is? We have TWO attorney generals. One supervised by both the Executive Branch and Congress, and the other supervised by a private citizen accountable to nobody but himself!

I bet the Democrats would be screaming bloody murder if that citizen were Tom Delay!


See how lucky America is? We have TWO attorney generals. One supervised by both the Executive Branch and Congress, and the other supervised by a private citizen accountable to nobody but himself!

I bet the Democrats would be screaming bloody murder if that citizen were Tom Delay!


See how lucky America is? We have TWO attorney generals. One supervised by both the Executive Branch and Congress, and the other supervised by a private citizen accountable to nobody but himself!

I bet the Democrats would be screaming bloody murder if that citizen were Tom Delay!


I bet the Democrats would be screaming bloody murder if that citizen were Tom Delay!

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