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April 29, 2006

Comments

I think the she got fired because her role in the case pierces the veil of Washington journalism. Journalists, staffers, lawyers, and politicos all hang out and gossip about stuff like the Plame case while they all pretend that they're truthtellers. Think about how much stuff that Time published that they knew was false. Miller and Woodward are in trouble for exactly the same thing. Neither the media nor the government wants the general public to understand what an insular (some would say inbred) community exists in our nation's capitol.

I agree with the reason (though I also think Vivnovka's error may be more specific--did she just repeat newsroom gossip, or did she learn of Rove's role by reading someone's printer printout, for example). But you haven't explained the timing. She exposed how gossip=news in December, but she didn't get terminated until March.

Having once worked for Time Warner, I'd say it was the glacial pace of corporate firing. Plus we have Christmas in there and New Year's and not much gets done during times like that. There's no doubt she didn't do any reporting between December and March, but she, being a lawyer herself, was able to take her time working out the details of her severance package and all in a nice office on the floor where all out-to-pasture employees have offices. Time Warner is a very genteel corporate culture, going back to the old Henry Luce Time-Life days. When I was there in the early 90s it was still customary for shoeshine men to walk through the halls to find their regular customers and bring out the old spit and polish. I kid you not.

I think the length of the negotiations and the fact that she got a buy-out point towards Time being worried about what she could say. If they found the slightest reason, they would have fired her. If, on the other hand, her story (beyond what she will have to testify to) implicates others at Time in legal but embarrassing activity, they would be more inclined to buy her off.

it was indeed one of the all time greats.

human parallel processing in the web log world.


as i (tried to) followed it,

i keep wondering if fitzgerald has a lawyer reading this stuff.


my thanks to the initiator and commenters.


It seemed obvious to me at the time that Viveca Novak took a leave from TIME that she was not coming back, and I think the delay is simply explained by letting the episode pass from public view and prominence, so that her departure could be handled with as little embarrassment as possible for all parties involved. And it obviously worked - not only was it not news when she left, but when her name popped up again this week, most people were like, "Viveca Novak? Who in the world . . .?" "What on earth does she have to do with the case?" and so on. I'm sure TIME conducted an internal review of the episide, but the sheer fact of Novak passing newsroom buzz about such an important matter to Luskin is a serious violation of reportorial norms (however often such things in fact happen), and is more than enough grounds for getting rid of her.

I thought Time had announced its relinquishment of a substantial quantity of, but somewhat less than total archive of, new internal work product documents early in the discovery when Libby's people were still configuring their multiprong strategies for that phase. I had the impression last year Vinovka's divulgation, which controverted some of the fictitious best-recollection testimony, was based on her inartfulness, but genuineness. Maybe Time is being less than final with her severance now, or she actually has other new horizons, given the likely intensity of jockeying if both Rove and Libby are under indictment, or even if simply that supplementary batch of Time documents shows a lot more of the sources and methods at Time in this matter and helps to connect dots solely with respect to Libby and other as yet unnamed persons of interest.

Neither the media nor the government wants the general public to understand what an insular (some would say inbred) community exists in our nation's capitol.

I wonder what percentage of the general public has in fact begun to understand this.

I'm one member of the general public who has. Before being remanded to the Betty Ford Plame Rehab Facility, I was a normal citizen, fully trusting of the NYT, Time, the WaPo and CNN. I read and believed all of Judy's articles in the run-up to the war. I didn't read the byline -- the masthead was all I needed to trust the content -- in spite of reading all of her articles, I didn't recognize the name "Judith Miller" until I started reading this blog. I thought them as "New York Times articles". I never even considered that the NYT, which I trusted more than any other media source, would be not only unreliable, but intentionally unreliable. I supported the war. I thought Hussein was a potential Hitler. I was absolutely positive that vast stores of WMD's would be found. I hated George Bush -- not because he wanted to attack Hussein, but because he sounded so stupid on the rare occasions I could stand to listen to him speak, and because he had stopped the entry visas for touring Cuban musicians.

Fastforward three years. Following the Plame Saga on the internet, and especially on this blog, and especially the "What Judy Did" series, gave me horrible insights into the way the corporate media and access journalism work -- insights which shook my faith in this country to the bone.

To me, the most significant thing about this whole sordid affair is that dozens of journalists and media sources had information which would have almost certainly prevented George Bush from being reelected, and for a wide range of unforgivable reasons, they sat on that information -- past the election and they would have sat on it indefinitely if the combined actions of Tenet, Ashcroft, Comey and others hadn't set this bizarre slow-motion investigation into motion and squeezed the truth out them, drop by painful drop.

Before Plame and Iraq, I had a very high level of trust in media sources such as the NYT, WaPo, CNN, and in the people who worked for them. Now I see them as a complete fraud and the biggest current threat to democracy. I hope there are other members of the general public who have had similar transformations. (I have to stop typing now ... the nurse says it's time for my next shock treatment).

Has anyone asked David Corn about her severance? I don't know whether he'd part with any information he might have, but I bet he knows what's up.

TIME sounds very stodgy and conservative.
I hope Viv get's a nice job somewhere else. Navel intelligence perhap's?

JohnLopresti - You make me feel like a plain-spoken man.

I'm sitting here rereading Waas' article and trying to puzzle out a little what exactly Rove testified to, and when. This is tricky business, since a lot turns on minute details of turns of phrase and timing, and his team may well have an interest in fudging a bunch of this with reporters (to say nothing of reporters not necessarily picking up on the relevant minute distinctions and their significance). Now, we know (we think) that Rove testified that he heard about Plame from journalists, including but not limited to Robert Novak (though Rove may have initially limited it to Novak, until it became clear that Novak himself was going to testify), though Rove can't remember what other journalists he heard it from. One possibility is that Rove may be claiming that while he confirmed for Novak that he'd heard that Wilson's wife was involved in the trip, he did not know - and only learned from Novak during that conversation - that Plame was CIA. Two things about this: first, it actually jibes with the careful way that Novak sources (and doesn't source) his knowledge in his infamous July 14, 2003 column; second, this tracks with what we were hearing at one point about Libby's version of his series of interviews with Miller. That is, a report about Libby's version was that on July 8 he told Miller that Wilson's wife had something to do with his trip, but he wasn't sure what, and he definitely did not associate her with the CIA at that point. However - and this is where things get interesting - according to Fitzgerald (see, e.g. his 8-27-04 affidavit), Libby testified that he did not discuss Wilson's wife at all on July 8. If I remember correctly, the only place the report that Libby testified that he told Miller on July 8 that Wilson's wife - not identified or known by Libby to be CIA at that point - was involved in his trip was in the reports on the day that Miller got out of jail to testify. I've been troubled by the discrepancy between those published messages to Miller about what to testify to and Libby's actual testimony. Is it possible that the source of those messages to Miller - conveyed principally, almost certainly, by Susan Schmidt at the WaPo - was Team Rove, not Team Libby? The head spins.

Another possibility is that Rove is claiming that while he had heard from some forgotten journalist before talking with Novak that Plame was CIA, he just considered it unsubstantiated gossip, but after hearing from Novak that he had it on good authority (maybe even naming Armitage as his source, as Team Libby appears to imply might have been the case in the 2-24-06 hearing) that Plame was CIA, Rove really believed it to be the case.

In any case, all of that was meant to be just a lead-up to the following from Waas:

Rove also testified to the grand jury that he had heard from Libby that Plame worked for the CIA. But Rove testified that Libby told him that he only heard the information as rumors being passed on to him by journalists.

Now, that's very interesting, largely because if you believe, as I do, that Libby lied in his testimony to the grand jury, then this information looks like slam-dunk evidence both that Rove lied in his own testimony and that Rove and Libby coordinated their stories in a cover-up - unless Libby lied to Rove in July 2003 and sourced his knowledge of Plame to reporters. I presume that this is a reference to the conversation Rove and Libby had in which Rove told Libby that he'd talked to Novak and that Novak was going to be publishing on the Wilsons. But barring the idea that Libby was lying to Rove, and assuming that Libby did not in fact hear about Plame from Tim Russert, the idea that Libby also told Rove that he'd heard the information as rumors being passed on to him by journalists is just bs. And of course it's the same bs that Libby testified he carefully couched his assertions about Plame in when he spoke on July 12 with several reporters, including Miller and Cooper.

If Rove's claim is that there was another conversation with Libby earlier, then Libby again was either lying to Rove - which remains a problem for Libby, since he says that he learned about PLame as though for the first time from Russert - or this is bs.

In other words, it looks to me like there's a pretty good probability, if this is really what Rove testified to, that he and Libby coordinated their stories and Rove piggy-backed on, and backed up, Libby's bs story about hearing about Plame from reporters and not knowing whether it was true. Of course, for years it seems, Swopa has been pushing the immaculate dissemination theory, in which Rove and Libby try to source everything about Plame ultimately back to misty, half-forgotten journalists.

Jeff - So if Rove & Libby did coordinate their stories, at what point can conspiracy charges begin to enter into the equation? Or would this just add some sort of obstruction charge to Rove's indictment?

Off topic, but, while this country is going through a constitutional crisis, Arianna is writing about fearlessness and soul mates (when she's not going on about late night phone conversations with John Cusack). I originally found this site (and firedoglake) through the HuffPost, back when Arianna was writing about Judy Miller. Get back on the ball, Arianna!

I've always been intrigued by the "I didn't take the bait" comment in the Rove-Hadley email.

.....and thus this speculation for the reason Vivak was fired.

Perhaps Vivak told people in the White House that Matt Cooper was working on a piece about how the administration was smearing Joe Wilson because of his column. This information gets to Rove via Hadley, so when Cooper calls up Rove, he keeps the "smear" tactics to a minimum. That is, he "doesn't take the bait" --- doesn't take the opportunity Cooper gives him to smear Wilson....

And when Time found out that Vivak was talking to people in the White House even before her conversation with Luskin, it was bye-bye Viveca.

again --- pure speculation. But I can't wait to hear how Karl (and Hadley) explain the "didn't take the bait" comment....

PLuk: That's an interesting thought. I always assumed that "take the bait" meant that he didn't want to make any comment that would give the story more traction in the press, but if he suspected Cooper was specifically trying to lure him into some first-hand Wilson-smearing, that puts things in a different light. I'm also puzzled that Rove would be reporting this info to Hadley in the first place. And I'm also deeply puzzled by Hadley's role in this whole thing: he apparently expressed to friends that he thought we was going to be indicted along with Libby; he wasn't; he hasn't been called back to testify; he got promoted; he made those cocky tongue-in-cheek comments around the time of the indictment. Is he helping Fitz? Did he somehow weasel out of jeopardy?

the immaculate dissemination theory, in which Rove and Libby try to source everything about Plame ultimately back to misty, half-forgotten journalists.

Meanwhile Jeff cannot remember whether it was a blog or news article where he found out Carollo used to work for Ashcroft....mist and hal-forgotten perhaps?

Jaysus, I just dipped into the comments at justoneminute. Did you know that Wilson was double agent for the French, Plame wanted to be outed so she could stay at home and get a book deal, and the Wilson's are going to be thrown in jail after Goss finishes with the CIA?

It's not kool-aid, it's unfettered fascism. I had a sinking feeling when I saw the big W used everywhere during the last election. Right out of 1984.

p. lusasiak wrote: "Perhaps Vivak told people in the White House that Matt Cooper was working on a piece about how the administration was smearing Joe Wilson because of his column."

But Rove did try to discredit Wilson in the phone call. I think the mention of Wilson's wife can be considered part of the so-called "war on Wilson." And since Cooper knew nothing of Wilson's wife (a key admin talking point against Wilson) until ROve told him, I fail to see how Viv Novak could have warned Rove ahead of time. (And some warning--he went after Wilson anyway.) Besides, however unprofessional and incompetant one might consider Viv Novak, the idea she would be in cahoots with the Bush White House is pretty fantastic, particularly since she's supposedly not even a conservative.

p. lukasiak also wrote: "But I can't wait to hear how Karl (and Hadley) explain the 'didn't take the bait' comment...."

I've always been partial to Jeff's speculation on this point. Jeff has guessed that Hadley was delegated the responsibility to take care of the whole Niger-uranium controversy. But it turns out, as we learned from Cooper, that Rove took it upon himself to blab about Wilson's wife and warn Time mag to stay away from Wilson. So Rove was doing push-back rather than Hadley, the guy who should have been involved in such press contacts. In this scenario, Rove is lying to Hadley when he wrote "I didn't take the bait" -- for Rove did take the bait and did go after Wilson in the phone call. Rove didn't want Hadley to know that he (Rove) had in fact jumped into the NIger-uranium-Wilson stuff with Cooper.

Anyways, that's Jeff's theory (although I'm not sure if he still stands by it), and it makes sense to me. I'm sure Jeff can explain it more artfully than I just did.

Do you suppose someone on the GJ or Fitz himself asked Karl what he meant by "I didn't take the bait?"

Susan Ralston, disappearing into thin air after her Fall 2005 testimony in the Plame Affair (though she may be in hiding because of her associations with Abramoff, too)

FWIW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent the Department of Commerce a FOIA request about Ralston on March 13, 2006. A pdf is here. CREW requested

[R]ecords of any and all contacts, including but not limited to in-person contacts, Susan Ralston has had, from December 1, 2005, to the present with the White House, any Member of Congress, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

CREW also requests all calendars and any other daily logs for Susan Ralston from December 1, 2005, to the present. CREW further requests all documents that reflect Ms. Ralston’s duties and responsibilities at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A couple of quick comments. I agree entirely with Jeff on Viveca.

EW don't forget Ashcroft and Tenet.

obsessed, great comment upthread.

Now I've got to read Jeff's analysis of the lastest Waas.

Windansea - I have a pretty good record of trying to respond to rejoinders which are either thoughtful or provocative, or both, so I thought you would take the hint when I didn't respond to your trivial sniping the first time around. Evidently not. So here goes:

If three to four months had passed since the event, instead of six; if I had had numerous conversations at the time about the matter instead of none; if it potentially made a crucial difference where I had learned the information, from government sources or from reporters, instead of from reporters or bloggers, where in either case it makes no difference with regard to criminal liability whatsoever; and if, instead of a discrete issue of little significance, I had an entire, internally coherent narrative of which my uncertainty was one, crucial part of keeping me off the hook legally as well as politically; if the matter had within days of the relevant event blown up into a big public controversy, and I had continued talking about it at some length with numerous people - then maybe, yeah, your analogy would have some hold. As it is, though, it's just silly sniping.

Is it possible for Fitz to charge Rove with conspiracy but not also add that charge to Libby?

It seems that if you can do that, its the way Fitz will go.

Perhaps it's time to revisit one of my more speculative theories of the case. I've presented it here before, but slightly refined, it goes like this:

Wilson really was on the Administration radar as early as March 2003 (like he claims in his book). When the Kristof column comes out it early May, Libby and Cheney flip out. Facts on the ground in Iraq are showing that everything they believed about WMD was total BS. Here's this loud-mouthed washed up pinko Arabist CIA/State Dept hack claiming that Cheney sent him to Niger and then ignored his report. There is a meeting of the White House Iraq Group to decide how to handle this gadfly who's obviously working for those traitors at State and the Agency. All the relevant facts are brought to the table (Wilson, Plame, the fact that she's covert, the whole nine yards), and Cheney wants suggestions. Rove comes up with the following plan:

Here's the narrative we have to spin. Wilson was a freeloading partisan Democrat hack who couldn't get a job without his wife's help. [At this point, somebody timidly mentions that they can't talk about Plame, she's a NOC. Cheney glares and Rove continues.]

First, we're going to ask State what's up with this "unnamed ambassador". Of course, we can't go through Armitage, he's too smart. We'll ask Grossman. If he causes trouble, we can always smear him with being Wilson's buddy from college. While all those State department pussies are scrambling to figure what happened and getting people to talk about Plame and Wilson, we're going to put together every piece of information that the CIA has on Wilson and Plame. Bolton's boys will keep things under control so that Tenet can't stab us in the back.

Next, we're going to get the Washington gossip mill going. I'll get Alberto to casually mention that Plame works at the CIA to Woodward when he comes around for that interview for "Plan of Attack". Whatever you do, don't tell Al that she's undercover. Libby, you'll work Judy Miller, like usual. I'll put together the talking points for our friends for the final push.

Here's the deal folks, when Dick gives the word, we start leaking to everybody in sight, but remember, always source it back to something you heard from reporters. Make sure that anybody who actually uses her name doesn't know she's NOC. That way, nobody's on the hook for IIPA violations.

No matter what happens, as long as everybody sticks to the cover story Ashcroft will make sure nobody gets any real trouble. I've cleared this whole thing with Addington and he says we're all in the clear.

Ok read Jeff's analysis and have to go back and read it again, but thought this 10/19/05 AP report regarding Rove's testimony is on point. Note that Rove is shown Libby's testimony.

Rove testified he told Libby about his contact with Novak about two days after it happened.

In testimony shown to Rove, Libby stated that numerous journalists appeared to have learned about Plame's identity in the period before her name was published and that he and Rove talked to each other about their contacts with reporters.

Libby's testimony stated that Rove had told him about his contact with Novak and that Libby had told Rove about information he had gotten about Wilson's wife from NBC's Tim Russert, according to a person familiar with the information shown to Rove.

I think it's possible Libby may have claimed Novak was one of the reporters that told him.

p.lukasiak

I was hoping you could comment on this question.

Do you suppose someone on the GJ or Fitz himself asked Karl what he meant by "I didn't take the bait?"

I guarantee you they did. And that Hadley was asked, too.

pollyusa,

The only problem with relying on all those stories sourced to "people familiar with his testimony" is that they've lied to the press multiple times. We really don't know anything about Rove's testimony, but I'm willing to believe what Waas writes based solely on his past performance (which is no guarantee of future returns).

Jeebus you guys are machines. I go out canvassing for four hours and you've already replicated the most obsessive thread ever!

I think p luk's theory about I didn't take the bait is very very interesting. I've never been satisfied with any take the bait explanation before, believing that the altered email theory was still more plausible than the any other explanation (also because of the welfare reform). But p luk's one I'd buy.

One point about Glenn Kessler, going back to the last thread (I think, I've lost track). Actually two. First, if Armitage really is Mr. X, Kessler might have played an important role in setting Armitage up as a plausible primary source. Kessler, of course, is the State Department correspondant.

Also, Kessler received the leak from Rosen and Weissman of AIPAC fame that FBI used to catch them. That was July 2004, precisely the time he was being subpoenaed on Plame (but I buy viget's theory that he was the one trying to quash his subpoena along with Cooper). Don't know what to make of it, but it's a data point that may be relevant.

Regarding the discrepancy in Libby's coaching to Judy, here's the passage in question:

According to a source familiar with Libby's account of his conversations with Miller in July 2003, the subject of Wilson's wife came up on two occasions. In the first, on July 8, Miller met with Libby to interview him about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the source said.

At that time, she asked him why Wilson had been chosen to investigate questions Cheney had posed about whether Iraq tried to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger. Libby, the source familiar with his account said, told her that the White House was working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected.

Libby told Miller he heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with sending him but he did not know who she was or where she worked, the source said. [my emphasis]

Two points. First the, "why did Wilson get sent" is exactly the same lie story Novak told about how Plame first came up. Which seems relevant.

But by presenting Judy as asking and the White House as (still) investigating, Libby provides possible cover for a few things. It explains his July 8 queries to Addington about documents related to a CIA person's spouse traveling (remember, Libby was presumably looking for more on Wilson's 1999 trip). It also might explain why Libby (and Rove) said certain things to Tenet in correspondance that week.

I've long believed that Libby and Rove said something unrelated to Tenet's mea culpa, but directly related to Plame (maybe something like, "we'd like to find a way to present Plame's role in this"). Which explains the email battle they had last summer, about whether Libby and Rove did have a part in drafting Tenet's statement (which Tenet says post-dates July 8). So it may well be that Libby coached Judy to say something that deviated from his prior testimony (he already knew he was up for perjury, probably). But that covered up more dangerous aspects tied to IIPA.

As it is, though, it's just silly sniping.

Jeff...You take yourself way too seriously....spend hours every day obsessing over the Plame outing...and your desire to "score points" is kind of pathetic.

Yes I was needling you a bit because you seem to think Rove & Libby, men whose lives and work are far more complex than your little Plame fixation, should recall every little thing they have said or wrote to everybody, and if they make a mistake they should be indicted. By your own standards then you should remember every little detail of your plame centric world, including the Carollo "catch" which seemed pretty remarkable in your little world of BDS conspiracies.

windansea, I get a lot out of Jeff's comments. None of the tnh regulars are "fixated" on "Plame," they are the non-paid experts about the CIA leak investigation.
If you think Jeff is in error about anything, please provide facts or links. Your personal attacks on him are out of place here. This blog is for "civil discourse." I don't see any evidence that Rove or Libby were working on anything "complex" beyond attempting to hide the gross corruption of the Republicans. If you have evidence to the contrary, please by all means, provide a link. I don't call torturing the intelligence to manipulate public opinion to get to occupy Iraq, "complex." It was illegal, incredibly reckless and stupid. It destabilized the region. It raised oil prices for the whole world. I don't think that's "complex."

Vivac got fired, big deal, I got better questions than that

why does woodie still HAVE a job ???

there's been a lot of discussion about woodie's responsibility to report his information to the Grand Jury. Some people question woodie's job status and a bunch of other crazy stuff

woodie was a senior level employee of wapo, and subject to the subpeona of the wapo company. That woodie claims he discussed this with Pincus, who was under direct subpeona as well, means that woodie had a responsibility to inform the wapo and the wapo lawyers at a minimum

so why does woodie still have a job

I got a luskin two parter too

why does luskin still have a law liciense, and how could a Court allow goldbars to go on associating with (much less representing) rover

Armando has commented on the attorney client conflict that is evident, but I wonder about a lawyer who becomes a fact witness in a case and STILL represents the client, isn't that a crime ???

or does rover have to be convicted first ???

Let me add further detail to the Kessler point.

On June 22, 2004, Kessler taped his interview with Fitzgerald.

On July 21, 2004, he received a call from Rosen and Weissman leaking the story the FBI planted with Franklin.

So the AIPAC involvement came a month after he testified in Plame. I think these dates are almost certainly a coincidence. But worth noting nevertheless.

From the WaPo article here it appears clear that Fitz interviewed Kessler because he needed to rule out Libby to Kessler as the source for the WaPo story that we now know to be some Mr. X to Pincus.

Kessler said he told prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald that, during conversations last July 12 and July 18, Libby did not mention Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, or Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger to investigate whether Iraq tried to buy uranium there.

In October, The Post reported that "on July 12, two days before Novak's column, a Post reporter was told by an administration official that the White House had not paid attention to the former ambassador's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger because it was set up as a boondoggle by his wife, an analyst with the agency working on weapons of mass destruction."

The article said Plame's name was not mentioned and the purpose of the disclosure was to cast doubt on Wilson's report rather than reveal her identity. Novak had reported a similar account on July 14 that he said was provided him by two administration officials.

Kessler said he would not have agreed to testify if it had violated any promise of confidentiality.


Which goes back to the question of what charges Fitz put on hold in light of the Woodward "bombshell" (if he did).

Doesn't the Kessler interview suggest Fitz didn't trust something about Pincus' source? That is, if Pincus' source revealed their conversation voluntarily, did he do so before Kessler's June interview? Why didn't Fitz trust Pincus' source, who supposedly outed himself?

John Casper - Well put

windansea - you're the one missing the forest for the trees. Step back for a second - it's undeniable now that Bush knew he was lying about the intelligence he used to justify the war - it's undeniable now that the war has been an unmitigated disaster of historic proportions. What part of that don't you get? I know you're not a troll or a stupid person. I see you every day over there at Maguire's, posting away like you're on a mission. What passion drives you to defend the indefensible? Take a deep breath, calm down, and look around you. You've been had. It's okay. It's time to clean the slate and rethink all of this.

Jeff...You take yourself way too seriously

Like the rabbi says, if not me, who?

EW--

Just for the record, I said that Kessler was the other redacted journalist in the Aug 2004 Fitz affy, not the other litigant in the motion to quash with Miller that the affy was submitted in response to. As you pointed up above, Kessler had already talked with Fitz by this time period, so why would Fitz have subpoenaed him?

I believe that Pincus and WaPo filed their motions to quash on the same day as did Miller,and that Chief Judge Hogan was considering those two cases together. At some point, Fitzie negotiated a deal with Pincus and WaPo, and they withdrew their motion to quash. But Miller didn't.

I assume all material related to this court battle is still under seal, and it also explains why a bunch of the Aug affy not related to Miller is still redacted.

Actually, I just looked back on your Feb 5th thread "How many times did Libby talk to Novak?" and I think polly definitively showed that Pincus was the other target of the subpoena that Fitz refers to in his affy. He and WaPo cut a deal to testify shortly after Hogan took up this case, and I think he testified some time around mid-September 2004. It's tough to know exactly when, because much of this stuff is still under seal, although some WaPo reporting helps.

John Casper, I think you speak for everyone in your regard for Jeff, thanks.

Pincus gave his deposition on 9/15/04.

Should have gone back to that thread. Besides, who would argue with polly?

None of the tnh regulars are "fixated" on "Plame," they are the non-paid experts about the CIA leak investigation

Caspar...shall we dive into the archives here and see how many times "the experts" have got it right?

Like the rabbi says, if not me, who?


see Jeff...you do have a sense of humor!

John Casper, I think you speak for everyone in your regard for Jeff, thanks.

Pincus gave his deposition on 9/15/04.

Posted by: pollyusa | April 30, 2006 at 03:54

Should have gone back to that thread. Besides, who would argue with polly?

Posted by: emptywheel

we now return you to your regularly scheduled circle jerk.

Hey Ew--

Do you have any good recipes lying around? I think that now's the time to start posting a few.

windansea---

I think that digging into the archives would be an instructive exercise for you. Off the top of my head here's one example of when this community and EW in particular has been right on the money. EW was pointing out the significance of a certain passage from Fitzgerald's response to Libby's motions that suggested that Libby was ordered to leak bits of the NIE. A week later, Murray Waas has a "scoop" largely confirming this.

Please, if you have nothing productive to say, keep it to yourself. We're all trying to learn something here, not start a flame war.

polly - Thanks for the AP story. That is probably the best, if still baffling, source on Rove's testimony (although who knows how reliable it is). The key question in my long-winded comment is whether Rove testified that Libby told him that Russert was saying all the reporters were saying Plame was CIA. I doubt it, and suspect from the AP story that Rove gave a kind of vague answer that they only talked about what reporters were saying. But who knows, at this point. Waas has been reporting for a long time that investigators suspected a cover-up coordinated in September-October 2003, when the investigation got started, and there are certainly various suspicious things pointing in that direction. But, for all we know, Fitzgerald may already have discounted that reality.

ew- That makes sense, probably more sense than my thought, about the strange coaching of Miller to tell a story that was in fact different from Libby's testimony. I just have a hard time imagining that Libby at that point accepted he was facing obstruction-type charges and was just trying to cut his losses.

Jime E - That's a more concise statement of my thought on Rove's strange email to Hadley. I still think it makes sense that Hadley and Libby would have been the chosen players to actively discredit Wilson, while Rove would remain in the background given his more obvious credentials as a political hitman than a legitimate played on national security. But we know far too little about Hadley's actual role in the twin attacks on Wilson and the CIA that week to know how plausible my explanation is; though Waas has recently added an interesting item to our knowledge with his description of the review Hadley undertook of classified (and presumably other) documents relating to pre-war intel as part of the damage-control effort in response to Wilson.

windansea - If you think that amounts to a circle jerk, I hate to imagine what you'd call what ordinarily goes on over at JOM.

Actually, I'm pretty happy to stand by my speculations.

I was right that the INR memo, as presented last summer (that is, as the source of Ari's leaking) was largely a red herring. (And I suspect I'll be right about my speculation that it is important for how it was generated and how it was circulated well before July 7.) I was right that the INR memo downplayed the role State played in keeping the Niger forgeries alive. I was right when I speculated Beth Frisa had a role in the INR memo. I was right that it listed Bolton's office's two involvements in the Niger forgeries (actually, the INR memo contained just about exactly what I guessed it contained).

I was accidentally right on the money when I guessed that Judy was reporting on the Plame story in June. How right was I? I said she was working on it around June 22. She met with Libby, of course, on June 23.

I was also right when I suggested that Judy was not entirely forthcoming about a June meeting when she first testified.

I was right that Ari was cooperating (and boy was I lonely in that speculation), on whatever terms.

I was apparently right when I suggested (I believe I was the first) the Steno Sue article sourced to a Libby friend was Judy coaching (the same leak was given to two other outlets also as single source stories; this was another item where I anticipated Waas' scoop by some time).

And yes, as viget points out, I believe I was the first person uninvolved in the case to realize that Libby said he had been authorized to leak the NIE--and I speculated absolutely correctly that when it referred to "his superiors" that included Dick AND Bush.

Oh, I've been wrong. Most far wrong when I suggested Mary Matalin was cooperating; I'm sure I was wrong about that.

But you see, one of the reasons I've been right--more often than a lot of MSM reporters, even though they've been working the phones--is that I've kept an open mind and adjusted my understanding as we got new data in (I think my reconsideration of the Armitage speculations is a good example). It's the wonder of rational inquiry, windansea. You ought to try it some time!!

Newsweek has a story up on Rove. It's basically a stenographer's job on what Luskin told them to print. Rove's defense is: it would have been stupid of me to mislead about the Cooper conversation when I knew there was a rumor of the Cooper conversation.

There's always been some confusion as to when Rove testified to the GJ. Newsweek writes: "In February 2004, Rove testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury—twice."

And this is the other point that I thought was somewhat new, at least in its specificity: "Luskin told the prosecutor that sometime between October 2003 and January 2004 he'd had a drink with Time reporter Viveca Novak."

That's really pushing it early, isn't it? It would seem that Luskin is trying to cover Rove's false statements to investigators, too.

If Rove is charged with obstruction, couldn't Luskin also be charged? I realize that that's crazy-talk on my part, but it seems difficult to charge Rove but not Luskin. After all, if Fitz doesn't believe Rove, that would also mean he doesn't believe Luskin.

I think John Solomon (author of the AP article) is a really curious journalist. He definitely has good sources and he has done really good investigative journalism in the past. But he also has done some incredibly bad, partisan-influenced work, most notably as the chief purveyor of the "Democrats were involved with Abramoff, too" story (he wrote articles accusing both Reid and Dorgan of ties, which were largely smoke and mirrors--I actually don't doubt some Dems will get tainted, but they shouldn't be tainted with the BS Solomon presented).

And it's also worth noting that Solomon had his personal phone records subpoenaed and (I believe) turned over early in Bush's first term (Bush wanted to know who leaked info that Torricelli was being investigated). Think about that--they've already done with Solomon what they threatened to do, but were prevented, to Judy. Solomon was the first journalist attack, well before Risen or Judy or Priest.

Jeff

I actually would bet a lot of money that Libby knew precisely what kind of charges were bearing down on him. Think about the letter Fitzgerald sent to Joseph Tate to get Libby to release Judy from her confidentiality pledge. Fitzgerald hints in language even I can understand that Libby will either release Judy, or be charged with obstruction for THAT.

Jim E

Let me guess: Isikoff?

Yup! I was right!! (Side note: one real sign that Rove is either in trouble or squealing like a stuck pig is how none of the major news outlets will put their Rove stories on the front page of their webpage. Not very easy to find this news, it's not.)

I don't think Luskin will get charged. I suspect Fitz will show the same discretion with Luskin as he seems to be doing with journalists. He's not trying to fundamentally alter the protections we have for journalists, nor is he trying to alter the protection we have for legal counsel. He's trying to put the BushCo crooks behind bars.

When the Viv Novak story broke, I thought the claim was the the Viv Novak/Luskin conversation was the catalyst for Luskin and Rove to do a secondary search for e-mails. Since Luskin has testified that his conversation with Viv Novak may have happened as early as Oct 2003, it is clear that that encounter was *not* what sparked the additional e-mail search.

My question: what, then, did spark the additional search that turned up the Rove/Hadley/"take the bait" e-mail? What is Luskin's explanation?

Anybody ask yet how Viv. Novak knew who was Cooper's source if he had kept it confidential?
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Since there are parallel stories occurring, I put here two links about a news columnist who stopped writing in 1997, yet who was well sourced, and in some cases, leading in print exposes of political misdoing in the capitol for the two decades prior to that, Jack Anderson. There is a court tussle ongoing now between his heirs seeking to keep his papers secret and archivists in some branch of the government attempting to datamine those documents and, if deemed appropriate, extract some papers for classification not to see the light of day for a while. It is interesting as a sidelight, as well, that the New York Times and some of its affiliates now put pretty much everything behind the pay firewall a week after publication, whereas WaPo leaves some useful, well written material accessible much longer.
Suit to confiscate Anderson's private files.
WaPo's thorough obit with names of scandals in WA-DC which Anderson pursued, a few of which involved principals still extant in some of the current ongoings.

John

One more point about Jack Anderson: he mentored today's "Bob Woodward" from the time he was a teenager. That is, one of Anderson's close proteges is Murray Waas. Who wrote some really touching tributes to Anderson at his death. And who wrote an article about the double standards for leak investigations. But who has said nothing about the FBI harrassing Anderson's family for his archives.

Are his archives subpoenad?
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Just curious if a judge is supervising this harassment, in our land of the rule of law.
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I re-read the bulletin. It says 188 boxes of documents were "requested". Someone as smart as Anderson doubtless has an equally forthright family, one which will recognize the trove is too valuable to relinquish, especially because some of the characters from his dossiers are still on the job. The family lawyer is 'media attorney Michael Sullivan'. Click the link I put in my note for the full post; it is about 400 words. The WaPo article observes Anderson had a lot of 'interns'. Waas is pretty good when his story happens to be near to his best sources, though I know little of him elsewise; his blog is a kind of detached space where he posts rarely, mostly based on introspective concerns and instincts about longterm processes he follows.

re: Jack Anderson

Brit Hume was a protege of his as well.

Just to clear up a little accidental sock-puppetry, I am the kim in this thread. This blog has another kim already, so I'll no longer use her name. And, since identity sharing is a much friendlier term than identity theft, I'll share her sock-puppet name, jerry.

It is an interesting tussle over there for Anderson's records.

I think there may soon be a way to scan great stacks of paper, three dimensionally, so that the information within can at least be preserved. Processing that information to reveal individual pages may be a tougher proposition.
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That good intention didn't last long. I'm the kim who underlines; she's the whole nine yards, I'm the halfa cuppa.
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And now deleted by the DimfromCT. TheNextHarrumph.
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So how did V. Novak know Cooper's source?
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I just love this irony.
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Well, then, how did Rove know to look for the email? Surely you are not suggesting he made it up late? That would be only a little harder to prove a forgery than the Mapes papers were.
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