Turns out Dick doesn't sleep through everything. I'm going to go ahead and post two things:
- Fitzgerald's explanation of what articles he will submit as evidence
- Dick's annotated copy of Wilson's op-ed
The rest of the articles submitted by Fitz (from an electronic files, so there are no annotations) are all readily available online.
I'll come back and comment on them after I've read them.
As Jeff notes, Dick's annotations are explosive. As soon as he read the document, we're led to assume, Dick reacted:
Have they done this sort of thing?
Send an Amb to answer a question?
Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us?
Or did his wife send him on a junket?
What I don't get is the inflection of these words. Presumably, Dick already knew about the trip, already asked these questions of someone. These annotations can't be his first reactions, because he already knew all the information he writes down. I think you could argue they're his reaction, his response. And in this White House, that generally means talking points.
Comments on Fitzgerald's Response
I'll copy over Jeff's comment, which captures a lot of the important details in Fitzgerald's response:
It was during a conversation concerning Mr. Pincus' inquiries [for his June 12 article] that the Vice President advised the defendant that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.
Also an answer to Tom's question about that notice to Libby and someone else about the damage from outing Plame:
The July 14 Chicago Sun Times column by Mr. Novak is relevant because on the day the article was published, a CIA official was asked in the defendant's presence, by another person in the OVP, whether that CIA official had read that column. (The CIA official has not.) At some time thereafter, as discussed briefly at the March [sic: should be "May"] 5 oral argument, the CIA official discussed in the defendant's presence the dangers posed by disclosure of the CIA affiliation of one of its employees as had occurred in the Novak column. The evidence directly contradicts the defense position that the defendant had no motive to lie because at the time of his interview and testimony the defendant thought that neither he nor anyone else had done anything wrong. Moreover, the evidence rebuts the defense assertion that the defendant could have easily forgotten his conversations with reporters Cooper and Miller on July 12 if he learned of the potential consequences of such disclosure as a result of the publication of the Novak column on July 14.
And so on, including:
In addition, there will be evidence that the defendant discussed aspects of the Novak article at other relevant times after July 14 but prior to his FBI interview and grand jury testimony.
And this, in connection with iterated interaction with Cooper:
The defendant testified to the contrary - that he did not think that Ms. Plame played any role in sending Mr. Wilson on the trip prior to reading the Novak article. The defendant testified that he thought Mr. Wilson to be fully qualified for what he did. The defendant's gran jury testimony indicates that he did not express any belief to Mr. Cooper on July 12 that Mr. Wilson was sent on the trip because of his wife and had not thought about that possibility until he read Novak's July 14 column.
And so the significance of the alleged lie about the Cooper conversation becomes clearer.
Rather, the defendant claims that he told reporters that he was not sure Mr. Wilson even had a wife. Mr. Cooper, to the contrary, testified that the defendant had advised him on July 12 that the defendant had heard that Mr. Wilson's wife was involved in sending Mr. Wilson on the trip to Niger. (This conflict in testimony heightens the relevance of the annotations on Exhibit A concerning whether Mr. Wilson's wife had sent him on a "junket.")
Oops, my guess tonight about who that other government official was that Libby caused to leak the NIE was wrong. Here we go:
In addition, the government's evidence at trial (including the defendant's grand jury transcript) will refer to a July 17, 2003, Waal Street Journal editorial entitled "Yellowcake Remix," which contained quotations from the 2002 National Intelligence Esstimate ("NIE"). This editorial resulted from the defendant's trasmittal, through another government official, of a copy of portions of the NIE to the Wall Street Journal shotrly before the editorial was published.
Libby and others in OVP also annotated multiple copies of an October 2003 New Yorker article by Hersh.
And then here are my additions: Fitzgerald still doesn't name some of the CIA and OVP witnesses involved. I suspect he's got witnesses that Libby hasn't accounted for.
The Kristof article caused inquiry to be made within the OVP, and eventually by the defendant, about Mr. Wilson’s trip, and this led to relevant conversations between the defendant and other witnesses, including Marc Grossman (then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs), certain CIA officials, and other persons in the OVP, during which the defendant was advised of the CIA employment of Mr. Wilson’s wife.
Fitzgerald tips his hand to much of his Cooper argument, including this passage appearing just before the passage Jeff cited:
The statements to Mr. Cooper – an exceedingly rare "on the record" comment by the defendant – as well as OVP's desire to correct the article to include the full quote, are relevant to demonstrating the attention paid to the defendant’s statements to Mr. Cooper. The effort to include the defendant’s full quote, while at the same time offering no dispute as to the characterization of anonymous government officials concerning Ms. Plame, is important because the Cooper article asserts that government officials had intimated that Ms. Plame was involved in sending Mr. Wilson on the trip.
I'm guessing that the October 2003 Hersh article is his famous Stovepipe article. Here are some relevant passages:
The intelligence report was quickly stovepiped to those officials who had an intense interest in building the case against Iraq, including Vice-President Dick Cheney. “The Vice-President saw a piece of intelligence reporting that Niger was attempting to buy uranium,” Cathie Martin, the spokeswoman for Cheney, told me. Sometime after he first saw it, Cheney brought it up at his regularly scheduled daily briefing from the C.I.A., Martin said. “He asked the briefer a question. The briefer came back a day or two later and said, ‘We do have a report, but there’s a lack of details.’ ” The Vice-President was further told that it was known that Iraq had acquired uranium ore from Niger in the early nineteen-eighties but that that material had been placed in secure storage by the I.A.E.A., which was monitoring it. “End of story,” Martin added. “That’s all we know.” According to a former high-level C.I.A. official, however, Cheney was dissatisfied with the initial response, and asked the agency to review the matter once again. It was the beginning of what turned out to be a year-long tug-of-war between the C.I.A. and the Vice-President’s office.
As the campaign against Iraq intensified, a former aide to Cheney told me, the Vice-President’s office, run by his chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, became increasingly secretive when it came to intelligence about Iraq’s W.M.D.s. As with Wolfowitz and Bolton, there was a reluctance to let the military and civilian analysts on the staff vet intelligence.
“It was an unbelievably closed and small group,” the former aide told me. Intelligence procedures were far more open during the Clinton Administration, he said, and professional staff members had been far more involved in assessing and evaluating the most sensitive data. “There’s so much intelligence out there that it’s easy to pick and choose your case,” the former aide told me. “It opens things up to cherry-picking.” (“Some reporting is sufficiently sensitive that it is restricted only to the very top officials of the government—as it should be,” Cathie Martin said. And any restrictions, she added, emanate from C.I.A. security requirements.)
In late February, the C.I.A. persuaded retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson to fly to Niger to discreetly check out the story of the uranium sale. Wilson, who is now a business consultant, had excellent credentials: he had been deputy chief of mission in Baghdad, had served as a diplomat in Africa, and had worked in the White House for the National Security Council. He was known as an independent diplomat who had put himself in harm’s way to help American citizens abroad.
Wilson told me he was informed at the time that the mission had come about because the Vice-President’s office was interested in the Italian intelligence report. Before his departure, he was summoned to a meeting at the C.I.A. with a group of government experts on Iraq, Niger, and uranium. He was shown no documents but was told, he said, that the C.I.A. “was responding to a report that was recently received of a purported memorandum of agreement”—between Iraq and Niger—“that our boys had gotten.” He added, “It was never clear to me, or to the people who were briefing me, whether our guys had actually seen the agreement, or the purported text of an agreement.” Wilson’s trip to Niger, which lasted eight days, produced nothing. He learned that any memorandum of understanding to sell yellowcake would have required the signatures of Niger’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister of Mines. “I saw everybody out there,” Wilson said, and no one had signed such a document. “If a document purporting to be about the sale contained those signatures, it would not be authentic.” Wilson also learned that there was no uranium available to sell: it had all been pre-sold to Niger’s Japanese and European consortium partners.
Wilson returned to Washington and made his report. It was circulated, he said, but “I heard nothing about what the Vice-President’s office thought about it.” (In response, Cathie Martin said, “The Vice-President doesn’t know Joe Wilson and did not know about his trip until he read about it in the press.” The first press accounts appeared fifteen months after Wilson’s trip.)
Joseph Wilson, the diplomat who had travelled to Africa to investigate the allegation more than a year earlier, revived the Niger story. He was angered by what he saw as the White House’s dishonesty about Niger, and in early May he casually mentioned his mission to Niger, and his findings, during a brief talk about Iraq at a political conference in suburban Washington sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (Wilson is a Democrat). Another speaker at the conference was the Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who got Wilson’s permission to mention the Niger trip in a column. A few months later, on July 6th, Wilson wrote about the trip himself on the Times Op-Ed page. “I gave them months to correct the record,” he told me, speaking of the White House, “but they kept on lying.”
The White House responded by blaming the intelligence community for the Niger reference in the State of the Union address. Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser, told a television interviewer on July 13th, “Had there been even a peep that the agency did not want that sentence in or that George Tenet did not want that sentence . . . it would have been gone.” Five days later, a senior White House official went a step further, telling reporters at a background briefing that they had the wrong impression about Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger and the information it had yielded. “You can’t draw a conclusion that we were warned by Ambassador Wilson that this was all dubious,” the unnamed official said, according to a White House transcript. “It’s just not accurate.”
But Wilson’s account of his trip forced a rattled White House to acknowledge, for the first time, that “this information should not have risen to the level of a Presidential speech.” It also triggered retaliatory leaks to the press by White House officials that exposed Wilson’s wife as a C.I.A. operative—and led to an F.B.I. investigation.
Vice-President Cheney remains unabashed about the Administration’s reliance on the Niger documents, despite the revelation of their forgery. In a September interview on “Meet the Press,” Cheney claimed that the British dossier’s charge that “Saddam was, in fact, trying to acquire uranium in Africa” had been “revalidated.” Cheney went on, “So there may be a difference of opinion there. I don’t know what the truth is on the ground. . . . I don’t know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn’t judge him.”
The Vice-President also defended the way in which he had involved himself in intelligence matters: “This is a very important area. It’s one that the President has asked me to work on. . . . In terms of asking questions, I plead guilty. I ask a hell of a lot of questions. That’s my job.”
Lots of Cathie Martin quotes for an October 2003 article. Do we know when she left OVP?