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June 05, 2007

Comments

Sue

Bush should do what I suggested he do right after Libby was found guilty. Declassify all of Plame's employment records. It would make a pardon much easier if it is proven that she was not covert, in the sense that the IIPA would have applied. And the fact that the judge denied Libby access to those files and then tells him today he should have asked again for sentencing is mind boggling. Just totally mind boggling. Almost as mind boggling as enhancing Libby's sentence on the basis of Russert fighting the subpoena.

Maybeex

Agree, Sue.

Rick Ballard

"I don't think even OT starts this early."

Of course not. Nobody counts an eye opener and a cafe coretto - or three.

Enlightened

Jason Leopold interview with Joe-tea Wilson -

In a recent interview, former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson told me that he and his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, both strongly feel that Vice President Dick Cheney is behind efforts to block her from discussing her work for the Central Intelligence Agency before 2002 in a memoir to be published in October.

"This is Richard Cheney's last attempt to try to stifle free speech in this country, and we'll beat the son of a bitch on that too, if we have to,"

"We will find the work-around to make sure this happens - that she will be able to tell her story, so that somebody other than Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Rich Armitage and Karl Rove can talk about her."

Anyone else find the the statement I bolded - disturbing? Looks like their "work-around" to snag Libby worked.


The Wilsons are obsessed with Dick Cheney. I think "bordering on insane" was crossed a while ago.


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060407A.shtml

Semanticleo

"No reason to think of this as Berger protecting a former President; think of it as Berger protecting a future First Spouse.

Well, Berger can become an issue as Hilary runs. And her supporters can claim she is being swift-boated, and the media will continue to ignore Berger, and the right (yes, me, dammit!) will seethe... Barack, anyone?"

Semanticleo

Political expedience aside, would Berger's demise assuage ANY of the 'seething' rage
you harbor toward the vermin who have derailed
your 'Citizen of the Year', Libby?

Go ahead and knuckle under to your resident
Matriarch and ban me again. Just ask her to keep your balls in a jar so you can retrieve them afterwards.

>Knucklehead

Other Tom

"I don't think even OT starts this early."

Depends on what you count as stopping.

glasater

Fred Thompson is on Hannity and Colmes.

Specter

What's with that return key Tic? Any idea how to use word processing programs yet?

JM Hanes

Specter:

I think she uses the magnets on the fridge method.

Cecil Turner

Unbelievable. Libby's original claim was this:

My understanding, when I heard it from Vice President Cheney, was that it wasn't classified information. I didn't understand it to be classified information. So my understanding would be, if I didn't think it was classified information, if it wasn't presented to me as classified information, if I wasn't intending to release classified information, that it wouldn't be a crime.
There's no evidence to suggest he's wrong on the point, all the witnesses tell the same story, and Fitz admits he has no evidence he was lying on the point. Yet, with the assistance of a DC jury and a complacent judge, we manage to see him sentenced for the offense he has an ironclad defense for.

This would be a gross miscarriage of justice, if only we didn't know who actually leaked Valerie Plame's name and occupation. As we do, it's not just that, it's also a violation of Libby's civil rights. And at this point, it's not primarily Fitz's fault, but Walton's. Confidence in the Judicial system? Hah! Pardon him now.

JM Hanes

The problem with a pardon is that it doesn't change his status as a felon.

Other Tom

Actually, JMH, I think it does. Here's some Supreme Court language on the subject:

"In Ex Parte Garland, the Supreme Court summarized the reach of a presidential pardon as follows:

'A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offence and the guilt of the offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offence. If granted before conviction, it prevents . . . the penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity.

"Garland, 71 U.S. at 380-81."

glasater

See that's where I see the problem is. If he is pardoned he will still be a pardoned felon. I want to see Libby exhonarated for all charges. That's why I don't see the president pardoning at this point.
Fred Thompson gave a so-so interview at first with Sean Hannity but got pretty wound up over the Libby "question".
Fred Thomspon is an intriguing future candidate but until he gets his "act" together as far as TV presence is concerned and starts to make it snappy in his comments--I don't think he will convince and persuad the wider television audience.

glasater

OK--so OT says otherwise on the pardon question and that's all to the good.
I want these lefty idiots to pay.
Ever since the Bork hearings and the travesty that took place with someone who had traveled an intellectual journey, all I ask for is a time bomb on this thinking.

topsecretk9

Bush should do what I suggested he do right after Libby was found guilty. Declassify all of Plame's employment records. It would make a pardon much easier if it is proven that she was not covert, in the sense that the IIPA would have applied. And the fact that the judge denied Libby access to those files and then tells him today he should have asked again for sentencing is mind boggling. Just totally mind boggling. Almost as mind boggling as enhancing Libby's sentence on the basis of Russert fighting the subpoena.

Hmmm. This (today) may be just the cover Bush needed, to declassify the file in order to be able to issue a pardon.

If he had declassified her file earlier it would be seen as a political interference...NOW would be a huge F&^% to the smartest boy scout in the room. (and possibly screw her fiction book)

Seriously, we all need to keep email bombing the crap out of Davis/Waxman at Oversight, House Intel and Senate Intel and demand it!

RichatUF

kim says...

...My understanding is that Berger was caught with copies of documents, so the originals weren't destroyed there... though the behavior is about as ridiculously stupid as Jefferson's money in the freezer...

Your understanding of the Berger matter is wrong.

IG Report

RichatUF

JM Hanes

OT: I'm delighted to be corrected on that score. Thanks.

topsecretk9

OK -- I am supposedly on a live teleconferece call - I push the pound key to be in line to aks a question --- anyone have a question --- they want questions to defeat the Kennedy -McCain-Bush Ammensty bill

topsecretk9

OH -- with Duncan Hunter...

Elliott

TM:

I think Fitzgerald was handed a perjury/obstruction case and ran with it, which is fine as far it goes, since those are crimes, too.

It seems to me that it would be more accurate to say that he was handed a false statements/difficult to prove obstruction case that he turned into a perjury/obstruction case. Also, as I believe has been pointed out here before, that would probably not be "fine as far as it goes."

Fitzgerald's claim that he and the Grand Jury were seriously pursuing violations of the IIPA and the Espionage Act was crucial to bringing charges, since it allowed him to bring Libby (and presumably Rove) before the Grand Jury as subjects of the investigation. Had he reached the determination that neither the IIPA nor the Espionage Act could have been violated, wouldn't Libby and Rove have been receiving target letters about false statements/obstruction and, thus, in spite of Bush's demand of cooperation from his staff, realized that it was in their best interests to plead the fifth?

In my view, it comes down to whether Fitzgerald was pursuing violations of the statutes he said he was in good faith or whether he was trying to make a very weak case stronger using the IIPA and Espionage Act as a pretext. I have yet to be convinced of his good faith.

RichatUF

LadySara says...

...Who was supposed to pick up those docs? Who might have picked them up? ...

He did the drop across from the Justice Department Building. That whole part of the report is odd. It relates how Burger folded the documents (into a V shape) and stashed them away for safe keeping in an unsecured construction site under a trailer.

I was bored and tried folding some papers as discribed, and it is a really good way to take papers out-I would estimate based on my experiment one could easily walk out with 40 pages (10 pages per side of each ankle) without someone noticing.

Also the IG report hems-and-haws on a point but some of the documents were not indexed (the EOP files). It was stupid of him to take the printed emails (different copies refering to the Millennium AAR). I have been thinking it wasn't the emails themselves that were the problem or the AAR, but the distribution list.

I'm a sad clown today, maybe h&r has some spare bourbon. Maybe thats what Libby should have done-claimed that he was drunk when he talked to Russert-worked for Mitchell, kept her off the stand.

RichatUF

cathyf
and that those lies legally supported a finding of obstruction of justice
OT, you've said this a couple of times. By what logic do you think this? Libby claimed that he was an eyewitness (ok, earwitness) to evidence that supported the conclusion that at least one person out there was gabbing about Wilson's wife before the Armitage-Novak conversation. The information which Libby claimed about the Russert conversation really wasn't very interesting: a person with a crushing workload of really important stuff ignored unimportant stuff -- no s***, sherlock. The only thing of the slightest bit of relevance to a leak investigation is that Libby's story pushed the timeline for the first leak before the Armitage-Novak conversation.

Now suppose that the Armitage-Novak conversation had been the first leak, and Libby lied to protect Armitage, now that would have been obstruction of justice. But, as we found out, somebody was talking about Wilson's wife before the Armitage-Novak convo -- coincidentally enough, Armitage. Libby's "lie" was potentially exculpatory for only one person -- the first person who told Novak about Plame.

At the time that Libby told his story, what Libby told investigators was some information that suggested that one reporter was claiming that reporters in general knew the story, and another reporter knew and asked Libby about it, and both of these events happened before Novak published. There are lots of possibilities for how a legitimate investigation (i.e. one that followed the leads wherever they led) of those stories might have played out: they might have interviewed Armitage again and discovered that he talked to Woodward; they might have interviewed the guy that Novak met on the street and discovered that he told some reporters; they might have interviewed Harlow again and discovered that he told one or more of those other reporters that he complained about to Cathie Martin. All that is speculation, because of course it wasn't a legitimate investigation that followed leads wherever they led. But anyway, Libby's story, true or not, seems to me to be at least marginally helpful in leading to what we now know is the truth.

I can see an argument (worthy of a Law and Order episode at its twisted best) that says that Libby lied with the intention of obstructing justice, but because of his own ignorance of actual events (he wasn't the leaker and didn't know who the leaker was or the circumstances of the leaks), he made up lies which accidentally pointed towards the first leaker instead of pointing the investigation away from the first leaker. And because it was his intention to obstruct justice, then it was obstruction of justice. Ok, fine, I will admit that isn't impossible (although there is no evidence it happened.) But that hypothetical is still a situation where Libby's story was not, in fact, obstructive, independent of his intention for it to be obstructive.

Looking_For_a_Way_out

"Bush should do what I suggested he do right after Libby was found guilty. Declassify all of Plame's employment records."

Won't help with this problem. The one thing you will never see is evidence that makes Plame not eligible for IIPA protection. The defense team seemed to make a tantalizing "mistake" today, but that was only to keep the faithful in line, prepare the ground for a pardon, and keep the donations flowing into the defense fund. Every single individual that has reviewed the actual information regarding Plame's employment status has come to the same conclusion - covert. Libby's attorneys want no part of confirming her status. And if Bush pardons Libby, he'll have Plame's employment documents destroyed first.

kim

"'Interesting that Libby admitted no guilt and showed no remorse in his short statement, would 'contempt' be a more accurate descriptor?'

Amazing how the left, and indeed totalitarians in general,demand their victims recant,a popular sport for both the Inquisition and the KGB."

But Peter, it's not me that Libby was (and you are) comtemptuous of... but the US trial-by-jury process itself.

Maybe this is another one of those "generational" issue, the Inquisition and KGB are so over for me.

lurker9876
Every single individual that has reviewed the actual information regarding Plame's employment status has come to the same conclusion - covert. Libby's attorneys want no part of confirming her status. And if Bush pardons Libby, he'll have Plame's employment documents destroyed first.

I don't agree with it. There is nothing in the actual information that says she was covert. But even if she was covert, all factors as described in the IIPA must be met for a violation to take place. CIA failed its job; therefore, there were no violations of the IIPA.

I think that Libby's defense team does want to know Plame's status but they have evidence showing that there were no violations of the IIPA and other two criminal acts. Bush wouldn't have Plame's status destroyed either.

Maybeex

But Peter, it's not me that Libby was (and you are) comtemptuous of... but the US trial-by-jury process itself.

He was?

glasater

OK--"generational" kim--what goes around comes around and somewhere down the road I predict you will end up squealing like a stuck pig.

Other Tom

"...but that was only to keep the faithful in line, prepare the ground for a pardon, and keep the donations flowing into the defense fund. Every single individual that has reviewed the actual information regarding Plame's employment status has come to the same conclusion - covert."

1) Sure. That's what those skilled trial lawyers are always trying to do: keep the faithful in line. They wake up every morning wondering what they can do to please their rooting section.

2) Please identify each and every person who has "reviewed the actual information," state what actual information was reviewed, and cite to the time and place where each such person stated that "Plame is covert within the meaning of the IIPA." (By now every sentient being recognizes that "covert" for any other purpose means nothing at all for these purposes."

topsecretk9

oh for petejameemiesakes....via hot air

Video: Reid calls illegals “12 million undocumented Americans” Update: video added

Here, this is what he want's to say

Video: Reid calls illegals “12 million undocumented Americans hopeful VOTES” Update: video added

Other Tom

"...and that those lies legally supported a finding of obstruction of justice."

Cathyf, I may very well have been in error in that statement. But all I meant was, I believe Libby lied, but I don't think that he ever thought, "I'm going to tell this lie in order to throw the investigators off the trail." I think it's not necessary to prove the latter in order to make out the obstruction offense--but I haven't gone back to look at the statute.

glasater

After cruising through the Berger .pdf and getting a pretty good idea of what Clinton was trying to hide--Berger gets off pretty much scott free and then Libby gets thirty months plus a quarter of mil fine.
As Dole said in '96--"where's the outrage?".
We're going to end up like Venezuela--rebelling only when the TV stations and the internet are shut down.

Other Tom

"And if Bush pardons Libby, he'll have Plame's employment documents destroyed first."

Why would he do that? First, to do so would constitute the felony offense of spoliation of evidence, and any number of people would be aware of his doing it. Second, if he pardons Libby, neither he nor Libby could care less what's in those documents.

topsecretk9

--Posted by: Other Tom | June 05, 2007 at 11:24 PM--

I hope you are not holding your breath in expectation of looking's knowledge of anything...

The defense team seemed to make a tantalizing "mistake" today, but that was only to keep the faithful in line

Yeah, uh huh, this is exactly what Wells did for Mike Espy...as Emptyhead says Mike Espy is "one of our guys"

This is the same stupid mindset that sort of just learned that Libby's wife is a devout Democrat who was key on the judiciary committee questioning Anita Hill.

RichatUF

OT says...

...a pardon could subject Bush to conspiracy charges is an overwhelming favorite to win the trophy for the dumbest of the day...

I'm thinking the Impeachment train will leave the station with a pardon. Kucinich and Conyers would pick up the torch and run it all the way down to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


kim says...

...Maybe this is another one of those "generational" issue, the Inquisition and KGB are so over for me...

It always starts as just an academic theory, you know just throwing the idea out there

With its misanthropic substance

Leading to disaster

A bit off topic to the Libby issue, but it should be a generational concern-

RichatUF

Maybeex

Looking- what tantalizing "mistake" did Wells make today?

DouglasS

ts: "the cover Bush needed, to declassify the file"

Bush doesn't need cover to declassify anything. He's clearly willing to declassify things when it suits him.

There are undoubtedly many unseen documents that fill in the gaps in this story. If those documents were remotely favorable to Bush, he would have declassified them (either overtly or covertly) a long time ago.

other tom: "By now every sentient being recognizes that 'covert' for any other purpose means nothing at all for these purposes."

Simple question: if Libby et al sincerely believed her employment status was not classified, then why all the hiding and lying? Why not simply speak on the record?

Elliott

Cecil Turner:

There's no evidence to suggest he's wrong on the point, all the witnesses tell the same story, and Fitz admits he has no evidence he was lying on the point. Yet, with the assistance of a DC jury and a complacent judge, we manage to see him sentenced for the offense he has an ironclad defense for.

I have also been wondering about the mechanics of this and I am quite certain that you are correct.

Since neither Libby nor any other witness was going to walk into the grand jury and say he knew Plame was covert under the IIPA, Fitzgerald was always going to need other evidence (i.e., notes, memos, Grenier testimony, taped conversations) to show that Libby knew Plame was covert under the IIPA.

He doesn't have it, and the charges on which Libby was convicted are unrelated to Libby's knowledge of Plame's covertiness. And, unlike the Berger case, there are no allegations of theft and destruction of evidence which could have shed light on whether Libby's knowledge of Plame's status met the threshold for violation of the IIPA.

Perhaps we should take the approach of the IRS agent in the Black case and operate under the assumption that Libby and Cheney are both lying about the code red. That might make Walton's decision appear more sensible.

topsecretk9

Bush doesn't need cover to declassify anything. He's clearly willing to declassify things when it suits him.

Again -- UH HUH. Riiiiight.

There are clearly many bureaucrats and newspapers are willing to illegally leak crap when it suits them.

I take it you were one of those chagrin the NYT's leaked the NSA or Swift program after Bush asked them not to?

Maybeex

Since neither Libby nor any other witness was going to walk into the grand jury and say he knew Plame was covert under the IIPA, Fitzgerald was always going to need other evidence (i.e., notes, memos, Grenier testimony, taped conversations) to show that Libby knew Plame was covert under the IIPA.

Yes! Exactly!
It seems to me that if Cheney or Libby know that she was covert, there must be a CIA person out there that is very guilty of obstruction. Did Fitzgerald look for that person? Is that persona going to be prosecuted?

Walton danced around that a little, I think, by saying Libby should have known to check again if the information was classified before he released it. That sounds good in theory, but he'd been told about her by either 2 or 3 separate sources without hearing that she was classified. Is he supposed to re-check everything before he says it aloud?
When he did that with the NIE (double check to see if it was legitimately declassified), it was used to make him look more guilty.

Other Tom

"He's clearly willing to declassify things when it suits him."

You mean, as opposed to all those presidents who used to declassify stuff when it didn't suit them?

"[I]f Libby et al sincerely believed her employment status was not classified, then why all the hiding and lying?"

Could you be a bit more specific about the "et al.?" Who or what was hidden? More important, please report back when you have done enough homework to know the distinction between "classified" and "covert within the meaning of the IIPA."

Anyhow, Douglas, we're glad to see you've recovered from that sinking-feeling illness you suffered the other day...

Sara

Dick Cheney speaks out about Libby

Scooter has dedicated much of his life to public service at the State Department, the Department of Defense and the White House. In each of these assignments he has served the nation tirelessly and with great distinction. I relied on him heavily in my capacity as Secretary of Defense and as Vice President. I have always considered him to be a man of the highest intellect, judgment and personal integrity-a man fully committed to protecting the vital security interests of the United States and its citizens.

Scooter is also a friend, and on a personal level Lynne and I remain deeply saddened by this tragedy and its effect on his wife, Harriet, and their young children. The defense has indicated it plans to appeal the conviction in the case. Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man.

This does not seem to be a very strong statement for a man known for his straight talk. Worrisome and rather weaselly.

DouglasS

ts: "There are clearly many bureaucrats and newspapers are willing to illegally leak crap when it suits them."

It's true that people leak stuff. It's also true that people like hanging on to their paychecks. That has an inhibiting effect. There are probably certain important documents that had a limited circulation, where a leak would be too easy to trace.

There's only one person with essentially unlimited power to leak whatever he likes, with freedom to be unconcerned about consequences: POTUS. I notice you haven't bothered explaining why he's still keeping so much of the Plame story under wraps.

It'll be fun watching you spend the next couple of years waiting for him to release stuff that he obviously decided a long time ago to never release.

"I take it you were one of those chagrin the NYT's leaked the NSA or Swift program after Bush asked them not to?"

I take it you are one of those who didn't notice that "after Bush asked them not to," NYT sat on the NSA story until post-election, for a year. How nice of them. So much for your theory that Bush has no power to hang onto secrets.

Speaking of hanging onto secrets, you can also explain why it took until 2006 to hear about the now-famous 2004 hospital visit, and why it took until 2007 to find out that Bush went ahead with the program even though DOJ said no.

Not everything leaks, and not everything leaks fast.

Sara

Interesting article by Beldar:

With a 30 month sentence for Libby, the urgent question now is: Bail pending appeal?

... The grant or denial of bail pending appeal is governed now by statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b). The presumption, or the default value, is that a convicted, sentenced defendant goes to prison pending appeal. However, if the judge finds by "clear and convincing evidence" (a high standard, higher than "preponderance," but less than "beyond a reasonable doubt") that the defendant "is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released," and (my paraphrase) the appeal isn't just for delay, and it raises a substantial question of law or fact that's likely to change the result in an important way, then the prisoner may be released.

Libby's team can likely meet even the higher proof standard to show he's not a flight risk or dangerous. They can probably show that their likely appellate arguments would, if successful, be likely to change the result in a substantial way. They can probably show that the appeal isn't just for delay.

But where the prosecution will likely make its stand is on the subject of whether the Libby team's likely appellate arguments indeed raise a substantial question of law or fact. The prosecution will say, in effect, "Judge, the appellate court is going to sustain all your rulings. We've been over this before, and you know they're wrong, so why pretend that these are close questions where there's much likelihood of you being reversed?" Since they're just asking the judge to confirm what he's already ruled, that's a powerful argument, especially for a judge who seems not much inclined toward second-guessing himself.

But this case is so very, very far from a run-of-the-mill prosecution that I think the Libby team ought to be found to have met this requirement too. They don't have to show that they're probably going to win on appeal — just that they've "raise[d] [at least one] substantial question of law or fact." And one ought to be enough; they'll have a long list, some strong and some less so. On the other hand, there's some circuit court caselaw which says: "The term 'substantial' defines the level of merit required in the question presented, and the phrase 'likely to result in reversal [or] an order for a new trial' defines the type of question that must be presented." U.S. v. Montoya, 908 F.2d 450, 450 (9th Cir. 1990). I'm far from an expert on whether this caselaw loops back around enough to swallow the apparent generosity of the statute.

The best news for the Libby team, though, is that the D.C. Circuit is likely to be more confident second-guessing the trial judge on evaluations of the legal appellate arguments than they would be in second-guessing him on pure matters of fact. "Is this particular guy likely to be dangerous? Is he likely to flee?" — those are questions that an appellate court isn't comfortable substituting its own judgment for the trial judge's on, because he's seen the defendant during the trial, heard all the testimony, and has the best handle on facts. Appellate judges are famously proud in general, though, of their own intrinsic ability to make determinations of purely legal issues.

Beldar's revised hipshot opinion remains: Libby ought to get bail pending appeal, and the trial judge might well be reversed if he denies it. But that, plus $2.75, will buy you a small mocha latte from a Washington street vendor. And I wouldn't be willing to bet that much on my revised hipshot opinion — not in this case.

topsecretk9

-- but he'd been told about her by either 2 or 3 separate sources without hearing that she was classified. Is he supposed to re-check everything before he says it aloud?--

What I find fascinating - if you all recall, early on Fitzgerald said the government would NOT stipulate that Joe Wilson was HONEST - i.e. Fitzgerald admitted that Joe Wilson was a lying sack of hack and crap.

So in essence Fitzgerald agreed that Joe Wilson is lying sack and everything he said was potentially full of crap

I think Libby's lawyers were wrong not to exploit this. I know that Fitz was pulling a swindle by saying this, but Libby's lawyers were wrong to assume that Fitz was honest and would hold to this (see closing arguments) - they were remiss - they needed to go after Fitz himself - show what a lying sack Wilson is - and in essence ask the Jury why on earth was Fitzgerald - an acting AG - sanctioning/excusing and supporting this kind of blatant lying.

topsecretk9

BTW -

I do love that they reiterated today they had 5 witnesses who would testify that her dickhead husband Joe outed her -- HELLO CIVIL DEPOSITIONS!!! --- if it's not dismissed.

I'm mixed on this -- I am leaning on hoping it's not dismissed

4 sets of lawyers in depo go after Joe and Val and 5 witnesses who say National Command Authority outed his own wife!

that's pretty tasty

Prevailers get attorneys fees right?

MikeS

Those people with BDS will never approve of Bush pardoning Libby. To satisfy everyone else I don’t think Bush has to prove Libby is innocent, but merely provide a reasonable justification for a pardon.

I think Bush should use the occasion to remind people that Joe Wilson's claims were inaccurate.

topsecretk9

I take it you are one of those who didn't notice that "after Bush asked them not to," NYT sat on the NSA story until post-election, for a year. How nice of them. So much for your theory that Bush has no power to hang onto secrets.

Snore...go back in the archives - OR WAIT -- find that Keller admitted it would be a little risky for Kerry,

It's true that people leak stuff.

Get out? democrats also illegally tape US citizens phone calls - so?

clarice

Re bail pending appeal--there are at least two novel issues of law in this case:the apapointment question and the memory expert question. A decent judge would acknowledge that and grant it. But we have Walton whose performance today was an outrage so who knows.

Other Tom

In the world of DouglasS, Bush has already reviewed all of Plame's file, discussed it with Karl Rove, and decided to keep it under wraps. Right, Doug...

"Speaking of hanging onto secrets, you can also explain why it took until 2006 to hear about the now-famous 2004 hospital visit, and why it took until 2007 to find out that Bush went ahead with the program even though DOJ said no."

It's easy to explain, Doug--all the people who knew were threatened with death if they came forward, but now they have decided to risk it. And Bush "went ahead with the program" because it had long been in place and operating successfully. I take it you long for the days of those great presidents who would have called it off when a brand-new player [not "DoJ"] voiced his reservations?

I think you need some more time in Triple-A.

Other Tom

TSK9, unfortunately the prevailing parties don't get attorney's fees (except in the UK). Here, all they recover are costs and expert fees, which are trivial compared to the attorney's fees.

When the Wilsons' case is dismissed, I look forward to their presser expressing their gratitude that the justice system works.

DouglasS

ts: "Fitzgerald admitted that Joe Wilson was a lying sack"

I missed this. Can you remind us where Fitz said this?

I also didn't realize that Fitz relied on statements made by Wilson. Did Wilson testify? I missed that too.

"they reiterated today they had 5 witnesses who would testify that her dickhead husband Joe outed her"

Big mystery: why have those people been silent so far? Have they been on an extended vacation in outer space? Maybe they hadn't heard there was a trial.

Or maybe they've been trying to speak up, but couldn't find any reporters at Fox willing to print their story. Seems a bit odd.

mike: "I think Bush should use the occasion to remind people that Joe Wilson's claims were inaccurate."

Yes, Bush should use the occasion to claim that Iraq really was seeking yellowcake from Niger, even though Duelfer, SSCI, and Robb-Silberman all concluded otherwise.

Which of "Joe Wilson's claims were inaccurate?"

topsecretk9

Thanks Sara

--But this case is so very, very far from a run-of-the-mill prosecution----

Via Beldar and many in the legal community

The dirty little secret - which I think Merritt let crack - was this sentencing is a joke and would never be handed down to you and me

Now conversely William Jefferson - who was never asked to give waivers of rights - is fighting his indictments and did NOT resign but stepped down from home land security and small business committees - Pelosi reminds that he is innocent until proven guilty after all.

Seeing that the Justice department does not care that Sandy Berger stole ALL copies of important classified documents and then plugged them into a dead drop for any foreign govt intelligence agency to steal? Like he and everyone wasn't tailed at the archives? yeah.

-- do we really believe that Berger shredded them with scissors (DO NOT ask yourself why the former National Security of a Clinton didn't say he used a shredder but his scissors...UH HUH!

DouglasS

ts: "Keller admitted it would be a little risky for Kerry"

That's rich. Bush worked hard to keep the program secret because he knew that a story about the program "would be a little risky for Kerry." Very logical.

Where was it that "Keller admitted it would be a little risky for Kerry?"

"democrats also illegally tape US citizens phone calls"

Really? What on earth are you talking about? Do you have some proof? And I'm sure your proof meets the same strict standards you're currently calling for with regard to claiming an IIPA violation.

topsecretk9

I missed this. Can you remind us where Fitz said this?

what they said.
20
If he says, I was focused on trying to correct
21 inaccuracies that Wilson had come back from Niger and related,
22 you said you're not going to seek to try and suggest that
23 Wilson was correct.
24
MR. FITZGERALD: On the points that Mr. Wells cited
25 yes. For example, we put in the indictment that the vice
00016
01 president didn't send him on the trip because that's one of the
02 talking points that Mr. Libby was saying out there. So I am
03 not going to stipulate that Mr. Wilson was inaccurate on
04 everything.
05
THE COURT: Right.
06
MR. FITZGERALD: I'm not going to stipulate that
07 anything Mr. Libby might have said about Mr. Wilson was
08 inaccurate. What I'm saying is if he is trying to establish
Page 8
09 that the vice president didn't send Mr. Wilson on the trip, he
10 can look at the indictment. It says so. If he's trying to
11 establish, the witnesses will say that Mr. Libby was asking in
12 May '03, what about this trip, and they didn't know about it.

for one

http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/files/LibbyCourtHearingTranscriptMay5.pdf

Elliott

If I understand today's events correctly, Libby got enhancements for Russert's unwillingness to testify and for not checking Plame's status before he mentioned her to reporters.

As Armitage also qualifies for these enhancements and Fitzgerald isn't shy about seeking punishment for a crime on which there was no conviction, I expect the Special Counsel's "Armitage Sentencing Memorandum" as soon as his team gets Libby packed off to prison.

DouglasS

other: "In the world of DouglasS, Bush has already reviewed all of Plame's file, discussed it with Karl Rove, and decided to keep it under wraps."

In the world of Other Tom, Bush thinks the Libby/Plame matter has no political significance whatsover for him and the GOP, and therefore sees no reason to release the documents which prove that Plame sent Wilson, and that the White House was telling the truth when it made this claim.

How could Bush have time for such a thing, when he's so busy clearing brush?

"all the people who knew were threatened with death if they came forward, but now they have decided to risk it"

Uh, no. There's actually a different explanation for why Comey finally spoke up, and never did before. It has to do with certain events that happened on 11/7/06. Look it up.

"Bush 'went ahead with the program' because it had long been in place and operating successfully"

If those were sufficient criteria for continuing with the program, then why was Bush trying to get Ashcroft's signature?

"a brand-new player [not 'DoJ'] voiced his reservations?"

What do you mean "not 'DoJ' ?" When Comey and Ashcroft refused to approve the program, they weren't expressing an opinion as private citizens. They were expressing the official position of the DOJ.

Other Tom

"Which of 'Joe Wilson's claims were inaccurate?'"

(1) The claim, made by others relying on his statements (which he allowed to remain uncorrected), that he had gone to Africa "at the behest" of the Vice President;

(2) The claim that his wife had "nothing to do" with his assignment;

(3) The claim that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" on documents he had in fact never seen. (“The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article (‘CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data; Bush Used Report of Uranium Bid,’ June 12, 2003) which said, ‘among the Envoy’s conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because “the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.’” Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the ‘dates were wrong and the names were wrong’ when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. The former ambassador said that he may have ‘misspoken’ to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were ‘forged.’" [SCCI Report]

(4) The claim that the Vice President had been briefed on his findings; and

(5) The claim that he had reported to the CIA that there had been no effort by Saddam to obtain uranium from Niger. ("Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately 'twisted' intelligence 'to exaggerate the Iraq threat.' The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium." Washington Post, 4/9/2006)

You're doing very badly tonight, Douglas. Back to the minors for another stint for you.

Unusually lame crop of trolls tonight. Time for bed, even on the Left Coast.

RalphL

If Bush doesn't pardon Libby, I hope Cheney resigns in protest. Which Bush may actually hope for, who knows? Then he could nominate Condi to replace him, and dare the Dems to spend an election year villifying a "strong black woman."

Other Tom

Poor fellow--the documents that disprove Wilson's claim that his wife had "nothing to do" with his assignment have been public for years, and are the basis for the bi-partisan SCCI's findings that she had recommended him. What's to release?

And who here really thinks that the president calls up the CIA and says, "send me her file," and it gets sent? Are you quite sane, lad?

I still maintain Comey was under fear of death all this time. No other reason why he wouldn't have made his earth-shaking revelation sooner.

topsecretk9

Elliot

the way I take it is Armitage said "oops", "sorry" and Fitzgerald when faced with his "oops I didn't tell you about Woodward" because Fitz never looked at Armitage's calendar (great investigation huh?) he was then faced with "I don't have Rove"

SO he --after all this time - was faced with getting someone.

In essence, when Woodward came forward Fitz searched for a save face,

It is really that stupid.

Elliott

I just saw Rudy's answer to the Libby pardon question on the replay of the debate. Politically, it was a great answer: he stated clearly that the sentence was much too harsh, which should help him with some segments of the base even though he didn't commit to granting a pardon.

When the court of appeal shortens Libby's sentence, Rudy will point out his immediate opposition to Walton's sentence while continuing to avoid committing to granting pardon.

clarice

OT-The NYT's Risen published the Comey story in 2004. Who do you suppose was his source? Ashcrift's floor nurse?

Elliott

tsk9:

My own view is that Armitage, as a street magician might, had the FBI so focused on his conversation with Novak that they were too mesmerized to ask him whether he had mentioned Plame to any other reporter. I cannot believe he would have avoided indictment had the question been posed and had he answered dishonestly. But, if he had been asked and he had answered truthfully, Fitzgerald would have known about Woodward.

Nice to see you, RalphL.

DouglasS

ts: "for one"

You're joking, right? You made this claim: "Fitzgerald admitted that Joe Wilson was a lying sack"

As proof, you cite a pdf where Fitz says this:

I'm not going to stipulate that anything Mr. Libby might have said about Mr. Wilson was inaccurate.

That's not support for your claim. That's Fitz simply saying his case doesn't require him to prove that everything Wilson said was true.

Let's say Maguire says Pelosi is a liar. Imagine that I then say "I'm not going to stipulate that anything Maguire might have said about Pelosi was inaccurate."

Now you show up and say "DouglasS admitted that Pelosi was a lying sack." Wrong. That's not what DouglasS said. All that DouglasS said was that his current focus of attention had nothing to do with the question of whether or not Pelosi was a lying sack. And therefore DouglasS was explicitly not taking on the burden, at the moment, of proving that Pelosi was not a lying sack.

Elliott

What would really be wonderful about electing Fred D. Thompson as the 44th President of the United States is that not only would he pardon I. Lewis Libby, but he also might appoint him as National Security Advisor. And, of course, the Democrats would be powerless to stop it.

On the other hand, should a Democrat win the presidency, Patrick J. Fitzgerald would have to endure at least a couple days of sharp questioning on Capitol Hill before eventually receiving a recess appointment as Attorney General.

topsecretk9

--Who do you suppose was his source? Ashcrift's floor nurse?--

Crap! and so goes the no go investigation James Comey signed the Kill order on (McNulty too )--- go re-read the Josh Gerstein (foia) they fought == so many national security secrets violated client agencies referred...but the CIA etc. didn't pick up or return calls.

No offense - but didn't pick up or return calls. seems to be the only consistent and reliable quality of any govt. employee.

topsecretk9

==Posted by: DouglasS | June 06, 2007 at 01:46 AM--

sigh. Swampers are so indoctrinated - it's really sad.


But Wells argued that he still needed the documents. There was a storm of controversy, Wells said, after Wilson published a blast against the Bush administration, an op-ed entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa," in the New York Times in July 2003. Administration officials, including Libby, scrambled to respond—to, in Wells' words, "tell the public and the press that what Mr. Wilson said was wrong."

Libby and his colleagues in the Bush White House, Wells continued, had their hands full trying to get out the word that "Mr. Wilson's report contained some inaccuracies." Chief among those inaccuracies, although Wells did not dwell on it, was Wilson's assertion that he had proven that papers purporting to document a sale of uranium to Iraq had been forged. The Senate Intelligence Committee later showed that Wilson could have done no such thing, because the documents which he had supposedly debunked were not even in the possession of the government at the time Wilson said. Because of the inaccuracies in Wilson's highly-publicized story, Wells argued, Libby and others in the White House had to work very hard to answer his charges—something the jury should be allowed to know.

Fitzgerald rose to answer. "I'm not going to stipulate that Mr. Wilson was accurate on every thing," he said.

From that point on, the question of Joseph Wilson's credibility shadowed the discussion of other evidence. Wells argued that Wilson had made "inaccurate" statements quoted in a number of news reports. What if prosecutors cited any of those reports?

"The truth of what is in those articles would not be relevant," the judge said. Then he turned to Fitzgerald and said, "Does the government intend to introduce articles?"

"Yes, your honor," Fitzgerald said. Wilson's New York Times op-ed would be introduced, Fitzgerald continued—"but not for the truth." It would, in other words, be given to the jury to show what started the whole Plamegate affair, but Fitzgerald did not intend to argue that it was fully true....


Misquotes - Misstatements - Misattributions

Fitzy made a good call

DouglasS

clarice: "The NYT's Risen published the Comey story in 2004"

Really? On this planet? Do you have anything remotely resembling proof?

I used to think the story was first published on 1/1/06. I'll be very interested in seeing the earlier version you're talking about.

topsecretk9

Dougj(S)

I see that the Swamp is still doing fundraising begging - Doug, are you on the limited payroll of the Swamp or Empty via the swamp - the swamp takes the funds FIRST -- OF COURSE - lol.

DouglasS

other: "which he allowed to remain uncorrected"

You're making the same asinine claim you made here. And I explained why it's asinine, here. Funny thing: you were never heard from again, in that thread, after I responded.

"The claim that his wife had 'nothing to do' with his assignment"

You're making the same asinine claim you made here (although at least this time you're not using a fake quote, which is what you did previously). And I explained why it's asinine, here. Funny thing: you were never heard from again, in that thread, after I responded.

Interesting system you have: duck counterarguments, and then simply pop up on another thread and trot out the same claims as if counterarguments were never presented.

"on documents he had in fact never seen"

He never claimed he saw them. He didn't need to see them in order to know that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong." He merely needed to be familiar with (either directly or indirectly) the verbatim text of the documents that was in US hands prior to his trip.

Rightys like to pretend that we didn't have the documents until 10/02, when in fact we had the verbatim text of the documents no later than 2/02. Robb-Silberman pointed out that this text was sufficient to reveal the forgery. We've never heard an explanation for why we treated the documents as genuine for more than a year, after this point.

"The former ambassador said that he may have 'misspoken' "

I think this is simply Wilson covering for someone who gave him information about the verbatim text (prior to his trip), perhaps in the absence of official authorization to do so. Not surprising, and not a big deal.

"The claim that the Vice President had been briefed on his findings"

Uh, that's not quite what Wilson said. Here's what he said in his op-ed (on this point):

I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.

I don't see anything ojectionable in that statement. Do you?

And here's what SSCI says about this point (p. 45):

The former ambassador told Committee staff that he had no direct knowledge of how the information he provided was handled by the CIA, but, based on his previous government experience, he believed that the report would have been distributed to the White House and that the Vice President received a direct response to his question about the possible uranium deal. He said,

"Whether or not there was a specific response to the specific question the Vice President asked I don’t know for a fact, other than to know, having checked with my own memory when I was in the White House at the National Security Council . . . any time an official who is senior enough to ask that question, that official was senior enough to have a very specific response. The question then becomes whether the response came back as a telephone call, a non-paper-- in other words, talking points -- or orally briefed, or a specific cable in addition to the more general report that is circulated."

(Emphasis added.) Wilson is making very clear that he doesn't know for a fact that Cheney was briefed, but that Wilson is merely expressing an opinion based on his experience. There's nothing wrong with that, and the only way to make it wrong is to quote him dishonestly.

By the way, speaking of dishonest quoting, maybe you'd like to explain why gop.com makes this claim:

Wilson Insisted That The Vice President’s Office Sent Him To Niger

Really? When did Wilson say Cheney (or OVP) "Sent Him To Niger?"

And notice how that same gop.com page quotes Wilson out-of-context on the prior point, and leaves out the text I emphasized.

"The claim that he had reported to the CIA that there had been no effort by Saddam to obtain uranium from Niger"

This is indeed what he reported to the CIA. That's documented in SSCI (p. 42):

Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick told Committee staff she recalled [Wilson] saying 'he had reached the same conclusions that the embassy had reached, that it was highly unlikely that anything was going on.'

"his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium"

You're quoting a WaPo editorial. That's an opinion, not a fact, and it's an opinion that's based on ascribing a great deal of unwarranted importance to three words: "expanding commercial relations." Fred Hiatt has a long history of making similar statements. Let us know when you're in a position to offer facts, and not just Hiatt's unsubstantiated opinion.

"the documents that disprove Wilson's claim that his wife had 'nothing to do' with his assignment have been public for years"

Actually, what's been known for years is that Wilson never claimed that "his wife had 'nothing to do' with his assignment." What Wilson said, essentially, is that she didn't send him. That's true; she didn't. Trouble is, the White House said she did. Wilson told the truth. The White House lied.

"the basis for the bi-partisan SCCI's findings that she had recommended him"

Uh, one small problem. You're claiming SSCI reached the conclusion that "she had recommended him." Trouble is, they didn't. On the contrary (p. 442):

Despite our hard and successful work to deliver a unanimous report, however, there were two issues on which the Republicans and Democrats could not agree: 1) whether the Committee should conclude that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s public statements were not based on knowledge he actually possessed, and 2) whether the Committee should conclude that it was the former ambassador’s wife who recommended him for his trip to Niger.

In other words, the committee explicitly failed to agree "that it was the former ambassador’s wife who recommended him for his trip to Niger."

Why are you making things up?

"who here really thinks that the president calls up the CIA and says, 'send me her file,' and it gets sent"

If at this point Bush is not capable of getting the CIA to send him files he wants, then he's even more of a weak, ineffectual boob than anyone ever imagined.

"Time for bed"

English translation: "I'm going to do exactly what I did the last time you proved I was full of it: run and hide."

DouglasS

ts: "I'm not going to stipulate that Mr. Wilson was accurate on every thing"

Before you cited a court document indicating that Fitz said that. Now you're citing a National Review article indicating that Fitz said that. I guess you don't grasp this simple fact: no matter how many times you cite Fitz's words, they still don't mean what you claimed they meant: "Fitzgerald admitted that Joe Wilson was a lying sack." One more time: Fitz was simply saying that his case does not require him to make any claims about whether or not Wilson is honest. This is not the same thing as Fitz admitting "that Joe Wilson was a lying sack."

But I'm glad you cited this article, because it brings up a critical issue. Consider this passage:

Libby and his colleagues in the Bush White House, Wells continued, had their hands full trying to get out the word that "Mr. Wilson's report contained some inaccuracies." Chief among those inaccuracies, although Wells did not dwell on it, was Wilson's assertion that he had proven that papers purporting to document a sale of uranium to Iraq had been forged. The Senate Intelligence Committee later showed that Wilson could have done no such thing, because the documents which he had supposedly debunked were not even in the possession of the government at the time Wilson said. Because of the inaccuracies in Wilson's highly-publicized story, Wells argued, Libby and others in the White House had to work very hard to answer his charges—something the jury should be allowed to know.

The essence of the entire Plame story can be understood if you understand the very important lie at the heart of this passage. One more time, here's the key sentence:

the documents which he had supposedly debunked were not even in the possession of the government at the time Wilson said

Strictly speaking, that's true. The actual documents weren't in US hands until 10/02. But York is still lying, because we indeed had the verbatim text of the documents "at the time Wilson said," i.e., prior to his trip. And this text was enough to reveal the forgery.

Robb-Silberman explains this very clearly:

To illustrate the failures involved in vetting this information, some details about its collection require elaboration. The October 2002 NIE included the statement that Iraq was "trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" and that "a foreign government service" had reported that "Niger planned to send several tons" of yellowcake to Iraq. The statement about Niger was based primarily on three reports provided by a liaison intelligence service to CIA in late 2001 and early 2002. One of these reports explained that, as of early 1999, the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican planned to visit Niger on an official mission. The report noted that subsequently, during meetings on July 5-6, 2000, Niger and Iraq had signed an agreement for the sale of 500 tons of uranium. This report stated that it was providing the "verbatim text" of the agreement. …

While the DO made some efforts to try to validate Curveball, its failure to authenticate the Niger reporting also reflected a tradecraft error. The CIA made no effort to authenticate the documents on which those reports were based—even though one of those reports was a “verbatim” text of a document, and even though there were doubts emerging about their authenticity. ...

The errors in the original documents, which indicated they were forgeries, also occur in the February 2002 report that provided a “verbatim” text of the agreement, indicating that the original reporting was based on the forged documents.

(Emphasis added.) Here's what "verbatim" means: "in exactly the same words as were used originally." So even though CIA didn't have actual page-image copies of the documents until 10/02, we had the exact text of the documents in 2/02. (How do we know it was complete? CIA said that it was so complete they didn't feel a need to try to obtain the originals.) And that text was more than sufficient to reveal the forgery. R-S states plainly that CIA had enough information in 2/02 to know that the documents were forged.

(Complete unredacted images of the documents are here. An analysis clearly explaining the many obvious signs of forgery is here.)

Now it's clear what so dangerous about Wilson, and why he kept Cheney awake: because Wilson was revealing that we had enough information to realize the forgery in 2/02, and yet we spent over a year pretending the documents were real. And it's also clear why York told the lie he told, suggesting that prior to 10/02 we were not in a position to know the documents were forged. This lie serves two purposes: it makes Wilson look like a liar, and it deflects the most difficult question Wilson raised: why did we spend a full year pretending that forged documents were real?

The crucial point, that we had the verbatim text in 2/02, is mentioned this many times by leading righty commentators, as far as I can tell: zero. Instead, they consistently push the bogus idea that prior to 10/02 we were not in a position to know that we were being fooled by a forgery. This is not an accident, because it's a very critical point.

DouglasS

"Libby and others in the White House had to work very hard to answer his charges"

Oh yeah. That's something else York said, and it's too funny to pass up. Yes, they (the White House) indeed "had to work very hard to answer his charges," because his charges were true. They had a distinct absence of proof to show otherwise. If they had actually had any proof (like, say, non-forged documents), then it would have been very easy "to answer his charges."

In the absence of proof regarding the salient point (the yellowcake allegations), all they had "to answer his charges" was to smear him and his wife, by making it a story about how Val gives good junket. So that's what they did. And of course they did this covertly.

One more time, the question everyone here loves to duck: if they were only trying "to answer his charges," then why not do this openly, on-the-record? Why not simply call a press conference and show proof that Saddam had, indeed, recently sought to buy significant quantities of yellowcake from Niger? Simple answer: because the only "proof" was forged documents. And the White House was very eager to obscure the fact that way back in 2/02, it already had enough information to know the documents were forged.

This is a very troublesome fact, and many people are still working hard to obscure it. York's article does this, and you do this when you cite York's article.

Maybeex

One more time, the question everyone here loves to duck: if they were only trying "to answer his charges," then why not do this openly, on-the-record?

That's what they were trying to get Tenant to do. He finally did on July 11.

Davod

Douglas:

Where have you been. Everything Wilson said has been proven to be a lie.

PeterUK.

"Despite our hard and successful work to deliver a unanimous report, however, there were two issues on which the Republicans and Democrats COULD not agree: 1) whether the Committee SHOULD conclude that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s public statements were not based on knowledge he actually possessed, and 2) whether the Committee SHOULD conclude that it was the former ambassador’s wife who recommended him for his trip to Niger.

English is a subtle language Witless,especially in its legal interpretations,the difference between COULD and SHOULD is quite significant.
In fact Wilson's oral report only gained significances after the NYT op-ed.Wilson was,if you remember,debriefed at his home by the CIA,he never submitted a formal report.

Rocco

If the CIA had "verbatim text" of the accord in February 2002 and knew the documents were forged, why did they send Wilson to Niger?

DouglasS

"Where have you been. Everything Wilson said has been proven to be a lie."

Where have you been. The idea that everything Wilson said has been proven to be a lie has been proven to be a lie. Right here in this thread (along with lots of other places).

You probably also still think Saddam had "reconstituted nuclear weapons."

Maybeex

If the CIA had "verbatim text" of the accord in February 2002 and knew the documents were forged, why did they send Wilson to Niger?

Heh. Excellent.

lurker9876

If the references were made to SSCI part 2, forget it. It became way too partisan and biased. If part 1 says that Joe's wife "sent" him to Niger, then it's what it says.

Remember the Butler Report?

Wilson's proved to be a liar and proved by several sources already.

Saddan's reconstituted or non-reconstituted nuclear weapons have or have not been proved. They could have been moved.

So here we have a new strange troll...what's up with him?

lurker9876

As for dismissing Wilson's case, I dunno. After what Walton did his really excellent stretching exercise and Bates was unconvinced by both sides, I am not sure that Bates will dismiss the civil case.

But in a way, I hope they don't dismiss it providing that the defendants have good evidence disproving the Wilsons. Which I think they have excellent evidence against the Wilsons.

In this case, the defendants should win against the Wilsons.

lurker9876

The Appellate Court should also reduce the fine of 250,000....A LOT! Equal to Berger's or less or none.

Jane

I'm at least buoyed by the fact that Rudy, the ex prosecutor recognizes what a travesty this was. If nothing else it will make some people realize that we aren't just whining because we don't like the result.

DouglasS

Oh yeah, a bit more about that.

davod: "Everything Wilson said has been proven to be a lie."

Here's the most important thing Wilson said: Saddam wasn't trying to buy yellowcake from Niger. Has that "been proven to be a lie?"

Here's another important thing Wilson said: the documents were forged. Has that "been proven to be a lie?"

boris

Actually Wilson reported that Iraq sent a delegation to Niger that was interpreted as an attempt to buy yellowcake. What Wilson claims is that the Nigerian official told Wilson that by ruling out the possibility up front he prevented further discussion on the subject.

As usual, troll facts = dumb lies.

hoosierhoops

From WAPO:
If Bush were to decide to pardon Libby, he would have to short-circuit the normal process. Under Justice Department guidelines, Libby would not qualify for a pardon. The guidelines require applicants to wait at least five years after being released from prison. The review process after the submission of an application typically can take two years before a decision is made. During more than six years in office, Bush has pardoned just 113 people, nearly a modern low, and never anyone who had not yet completed his sentence. He has commuted three sentences.

But the president's power to pardon under Article II of the Constitution is essentially unrestricted, so he can ignore the guidelines if he chooses.

lurker9876

The Butler Report proved that Saddam [and Iraq] sought to acquire yellowcake from Niger [Africa].

So Wilson lied.

As for the documents being forged, Check Christopher Hitchens' article about Wowie, Zahawie.

lurker9876

I supposed Bush can commute Libby's sentence.

Does the Probation Office determine whether a convicted felon can be pardoned and released from jail at any time? The Probation Office can always pardon Libby the day after he enters the prison, right?

Take a look at Paris Hilton....

Other Tom

Is Douglas the reincarnated version of the poor clown we used to torment about the whole "reconstituted nuclear weapons" thing?

Good morning, folks. Want some great news? Some really happy news? Here we go: The Attorney General of Nebraska has announced that he will challenge Chuck Hagel in the Republican Senatorial primary in May, 2008. A poll (commissioned by, and taken for, the challenger) shows him up by nine. Won't it be great to see Hagel looking for honest work?

Other Tom

Lurker, I don't think the probation office has that authority.

The president is not obligated to follow the pardon guidelines, and they have repeatedly been ignored by past presidents (Ford, Bush I and Clinton come to mind).

lurker9876
What Wilson claims is that the Nigerian official told Wilson that by ruling out the possibility up front he prevented further discussion on the subject.

From what I've read in the past, the Nigerian official did NOT want Wilson in their meetings at all. They want nothing to do with Wilson. Wilson ended up sitting by the pool sipping tea. Wilson had no way of knowing what was truly going on. If you ask the Nigerian official, he evades the questions regarding Wilson and his trip.

OT, about time for someone to challenge Hagel. Think Hagel will end up losing to the challenger. How do the Nebraskans think about Hagel? Great news!!

Someone needs to challenge Ron Paul. And Kucinich. And James Webb.

It's also time to see more fresh democrats and republicans in Congress.

DouglasS

may: "That's what they were trying to get Tenant to do. He finally did [answer Wilson's charges] on July 11."

You're claiming that what Tenet did on 7/11/03 was "answer his [Wilson's] charges." That's complete nonsense. Here's what Tenet said on 7/11/03:

Legitimate questions have arisen about how remarks on alleged Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa made it into the President's State of the Union speech. Let me be clear about several things right up front. First, CIA approved the President's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my Agency. And third, the President had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President. …

… the subject was not included in many public speeches, Congressional testimony and the Secretary of State's United Nations presentation in early 2003.

The background above makes it even more troubling that the 16 words eventually made it into the State of the Union speech. This was a mistake. …

This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.

Tenet said various other things that are interesting to discuss, but I'm focusing on the portions that are most relevant to the immediate question.

Your claim, that Tenet answered Wilson's charges, is almost the complete opposite of the truth. What Tenet did on 7/11/03 was acknowledge that Wilson was right; the 16 words didn't belong in the speech. Further, Tenet did the loyal Bushist thing: he fell on his sword and took the blame for the whole mess. He acted like it was his fault that the words were in the speech. This despite the fact that CIA had already warned Bush to stay away from the Niger claim. CIA had done this in connection with Bush's Ohio speech (10/02), and we've never been given a clear explanation of how the words crept back in to the SOTU, despite the earlier warning by the CIA.

You're obviously very confused, so I'll make this very simple. We're talking about Byron York's article. We're talking about it because topsecret was helpful enough to mention it, and because it's a particularly clear, archetypical example of how the Bushist yellowcake narrative tramples on the truth.

Let's start with a very basic fact, that I think no one here has any trouble accepting: four government employees told various reporters that Plame worked for the CIA. This raises an interesting question: why? The Bushist narrative provides this answer: to answer Wilson's charges. Take a look at how York says this:

The Big Case is what Fitzgerald originally set out to investigate: Who leaked Mrs. Wilson's identity, why was it done …

What was going on when Mrs. Wilson's identity was revealed—the ongoing battle over pre-war intelligence, the "16 words," the attacks of Valerie Plame Wilson's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, against the Bush administration, the White House's effort to push back—what was going at the time Libby was talking to reporters? What did he have on his mind? What was he trying to accomplish? The Big Case is the story of an administration under attack from Joseph Wilson and many others, trying to defend the reasons it went to war in Iraq. …

… after Wilson [wrote his op-ed], Administration officials … scrambled to respond—to … "tell the public and the press that what Mr. Wilson said was wrong."

[Bush et al] had their hands full trying to get out the word that "Mr. Wilson's report contained some inaccuracies." … Because of the inaccuracies in Wilson's highly-publicized story … the White House had to work very hard to answer his charges …

Here's a summary of what York just said: Wilson lied in his column, and therefore Bush had "to answer his charges." And that's why reporters were told that Plame worked for CIA. In other words, the purpose of discussing Plame's employment status was "to answer his [Wilson's] charges."

This is the question that I raised, and still raise: if the purpose of discussing Plame's employment status was "to answer his [Wilson's] charges," then why not do this openly, on-the-record?

This is the answer you provided:

That's what they were trying to get Tenant to do. He finally did on July 11.

Last time I checked, Tenet's 7/11/03 statement mentions Plame this many times: zero. In other words, you're being completely incoherent, and you've failed to answer the question: if telling reporters about Plame was necessary and proper, why was it done secretly?

topsecretk9
If the CIA had "verbatim text" of the accord in February 2002 and knew the documents were forged, why did they send Wilson to Niger?

No kidding Rocco - it's one of the great mysteries...since we learned in the Libby trial the CIA had actual copies of them too!....why did Valerie deep six the forgeries and why were they never analyzed?

topsecretk9

But the president's power to pardon under Article II of the Constitution is essentially unrestricted, so he can ignore the guidelines if he chooses.

Well, since Fitzgerlad did then - who cares?

topsecretk9

Doug

Keep trying to prop up and resurrect that Champion of Misquote and Literary Flair- any hero that admits they are challenged by their own lying flair is pretty hilarious.

Geez, I swear...you Wilson boot lickers are like little cult members - like Wilson is some sort of Authoritative article of faith...

Hey I know...with his blind followers, Wilson has finally achieved "National Command Authority" - the title he's always been searching for! HEH!

Maybeex

This is the answer you provided:

That's what they were trying to get Tenant to do. He finally did on July 11.

Last time I checked, Tenet's 7/11/03 statement mentions Plame this many times: zero. In other words, you're being completely incoherent, and you've failed to answer the question: if telling reporters about Plame was necessary and proper, why was it done secretly?

But you asked " One more time, the question everyone here loves to duck: if they were only trying "to answer his charges," then why not do this openly, on-the-record?"

I am saying Tenant was supposed to answer his charges.

But his charges were not the only questions being asked by reporters, either.

Other Tom

"After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife."

--Washington Post, Sunday, April 9, 2006

Other Tom

“There is now no incentive for Hussein to comply with the inspectors or to refrain from using weapons of mass destruction to defend himself if the United States comes after him.

“And he will use them; we should be under no illusion about that.”

—Joseph C. Wilson IV, February 6, 2003

WHAT weapons of mass destruction, Joe? WHAT weapons of mass destruction?

DouglasS

peter: "English is a subtle language … the difference between COULD and SHOULD is quite significant."

Peter! Yo! My man. Where have you been? In the other thread I proved you made a false claim (that the 16 words weren't about Niger), and I never heard back from you. Maybe you didn't spot my answer, because it was delayed. But you no longer have that excuse.

Anyway, I'm not brilliant enough to understand your inscrutable remark about "COULD and SHOULD," but it reminds me of a certain discussion about the meaning of "is." Anyway, if you're trying to defend top's false claim ("the bi-partisan SCCI's findings that she had recommended him"), you should simply show us where in SSCI that claim is found. We'll be waiting patiently.

"Wilson's oral report only gained significances after the NYT op-ed"

Indeed. Thanks for that inadvertently helpful admission. Until Wilson's op-ed, everyone understood that Wilson's report simply reasserted what was already known: the yellowcake allegation was bogus. After the op-ed, it became important for Bush et al to tell all sorts of lies about Wilson's report, including, principally, this lie: that Wilson's report concluded the yellowcake allegation was valid. This clever lie is doubly useful, because it turns Bush into an honest person while simultaneously turning Wilson into a liar.

Oops, but you've just admitted that Wilson's report wasn't significant. That's true. It said only what was already known: the yellowcake allegation was bogus. And if Wilson's report had, indeed, supported the yellowcake allegation, there would have been no need for Bush to resort to the UK to find support for the allegation he was determined to deliver in the SOTU. Bush would simply have referred to Wilson. In other words, the 16 words would have been something like this: "according to a CIA report, Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

"Wilson was,if you remember,debriefed at his home by the CIA,he never submitted a formal report"

Indeed. I have no idea why you're bringing this up, but I'm glad you did. You're reminding us that Bushists are happy to make all sorts of decisive claims about what Wilson reported, even though what he reported was filtered through two unknown CIA persons who may have inserted all sorts of their own biases and twists. And this is aside from the fact that we've never seen the report those two people wrote. I wonder why.

DouglasS

rocco: "If the CIA had 'verbatim text' of the accord in February 2002 and knew the documents were forged, why did they send Wilson to Niger?"

To humor Cheney. And for much the same reason that Tenet made that idiotic "slam dunk" remark.

Every organization contains a certain number of people who are willing to say what the boss wants to hear even when it isn't true. Often these people have large mortgages and orthodontia bills. Bush loves this sort of employee, and often rewards them with promotions and medals.

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Wilson/Plame