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May 05, 2006


I dunno. Let's waterboard him and find out.

now you're talking, marky

Well and here I thought it was because he failed his own lie detector test that he took after Mary was fired.

Props to you emptywheel for catching the “this morning” as that sticks out along with a hasty resignation photo op with Bush. IMO it's possible that Goss has some significant dirt on the WH. I’m speculating that Porter leveraged that dirt into the hastily scheduled photo op with Bush today, because he wanted to establish a “public relations safety net” below which Rove the WH spin machine would not go below to slime him. Perhaps the WH has learned some facts lately? This would support Goss’ use of “this morning.” If facts come out, he wants a clear record that Bush knew these facts prior to his resignation photo op. The fact that the photo op took place today with no warning, suggests that Goss had given the WH an ultimatum, “either I (Goss) get my resignation photo op by Friday, May 5, or I begin leaking. The unscheduled resignation photo op in turn suggests that the WH felt sufficiently threatened by Goss that they had to capitulate both to Goss’ request for the photo op, but also to the urgency, today. WAG Alert (wild ass guesses).
Whatever the truth is, imo Goss’ “this morning” is significant in his favor, but in the WH's.”

mains'l-- I love it! It has that faint whiff of plausibility.

The are a few people selling this line, EW. I heard Jane Harman say the same kind of stuff on NPR this evening--that Goss's problems date from many weeks ago, that they're unrelated to Foggo. She says she's friends with Porter Goss and his wife, implying that she may know things others don't. Who knows...there are so many angles being played that it feels like a hall of mirrors.

How are the Senate confirmation hearings for a CIA replacement going to go? I see one of two scenarios playing out.

1) Bush picks a poisonous choice spoiling for a political fight to paint the Democrats as weak on intelligence.


2) Recess appointment.

There is no sane choice that gets confirmed because Democrats will rightly beat the living crap out of the President's choice in confirmation hearings.

joejoejoe, very good point. Goss' resignation really weakens Bush's day to day control of the CIA. Making a "recess appointment" (like Bolton to the UN) with a 33% JAR may not be possible.

Maybe it's just me, and maybe I'm just being a little Babbitt-ish, but has anyone else noticed that there can't be a juicy Washington scandal without someone with a fantastical name. Like Dusty Foggo.


go home.

write that book.

you know

the one about corrupt republican politicians...

non-fiction fiction.

tom wolfe would be approving.

There is some interesting speculation on this thread. What to believe? I dunno.

But I firmly convinced that Bushco operates on the principle of getting as much dirt as possible on everyone who isn't in its inner circle. How better to control others than to embarass or to threaten?

Remember what Bruce Bartlett had to say not too long ago about how many former Bush administration officials seemd to fear El Presidente?

All these guys--Goss, Negroponte, Bush--were in secret societies at Yale, so it's safe to say they all have dirt on each other and each others' families going way back. Goss and Negroponte werte fraternity brothers of Bush's uncle. And, wheel, for the Judy Miller connection, the list I'm looking at now seems to indicate Goss was in a secret society with Les Aspin Jr.

So much news today, it is hard to process. Action in DC District Court in the Libby matter produced two bits of news -- Libby knew Plame's status at CIA -- had been warned -- sometime between his first talk with Judy and his second as well as his talk with Cooper. Libby's lawyers admitted this. In addition it looks like a Rove indictment will come next week (which is why scooter was denied access to Rove materials in Fitz's Rove files. Also Libby's lawyers claim they will produce five witnesses in court who will testify that Joe Wilson talked about his wife's job. Wilson responded that was totally irrelevant. Scooter is charged with lying to the FBI and the GJ and with Conspiracy, and Wilson's conversarions with others are not relevant. It is a nice extra present for the White House today, no?

Interesting item in the David Safavian case today. Apparently they will not be calling Abramoff to testify, rather they plan to use his E-Mail, and save the live warm Abramoff for the later trials against Congresspersons. That sounds interesting -- save the Ceasar Salad till after the main course. Interesting trial tactic actually, because I assume that the intent is to convict Safavian, and flip him into a witness against his sponsors -- in the WH, in Congress, or perhaps Grover Nordquist. The Safavian trial begins later this month, and I suspect it is somewhat underreported.

So all that in addition to the CIA story of the day. I think the best line of the day on Cable was on Blitzer -- someone compared the personnel decisions of the CIA with the way Bush had staffed FEMA. Everyone on the panel agreed. The whole thing was about competence...since the President is incompetent, he does not recognize that quality in others.

But I still think Porter Goss's problems have to do with Cunningham -- not necessarily the hookers, but the contracts, and I suspect that goes back a number of years.

I'm betting on the hookers (I almost said my money's on the hookers, but that just sounds wrong).

wow EW that was a quick u turn...I guess when Larry whispers in your ear you can change gears pretty fast!

So the Rove indictment is postponed for another week? score another win for Jason!

oh..in case you guys haven't got the memo...it's all about the perjury now...so no more talk about NOCS and networks getting killed and Val saving us from Iran mmmmkay?

Sara - several years ago there was a news article with the title "Beware the Dolt Who Thinks He's a Star." The researcher's statement regarding incompetent people, which I'll never forget, "Their incompetence robs them of their ability to realize it" seems to be the panel's conclusion also. The researcher lamented that because incompetent people to do not recognize their own incompetence he fretted that he too might be incompetent. The incompetent didn't/don't fret. They're doin' a heck of a job. Just ask 'em.

Sara - Have you seen that bit about Libby learning something or other about Plame between talking with Miller and Cooper elsewhere than Schuster (which I've only read about, not seen)? I want to see that for myself, especially since so far I haven't seen anything about it elsewhere.

Best report I've seen so far seems to be AP's. Most intriguing bit concerns the disclosure of the NIE. First it says

Walton ordered Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to turn over evidence -- if he has any -- of when and how President Bush and Vice President Cheney decided to declassify part of a secret government intelligence report on Iraq so Libby could disclose it to favored reporters in an effort to discredit administration critics in 2003.

Clear enough, and fair enough. But then down at the bottom there's this:

The prosecutor also said he does not know when Bush and Cheney decided to declassify sections of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate dealing with Iraq's efforts to obtain yellowcake so Libby could share it with reporters.

Fitzgerald said all he has is Libby's testimony, in which he said he might have shared the information with reporters before the decision was officially made in July 2003.

Wells added that Libby was told several times to go forward but abruptly told to stop before he finally talked to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and The New York Times' Judith Miller.

Could that possibly mean that Fitzgerald did not ask Bush and Cheney (and Addington) about Libby's story? I could imagine Fitzgerald saw it as beyond the strict scope of his investigation, perhaps. And what about the issue of timing, and Fitzgerald's stated uncertainty about Bush and Cheney's actions?

Reuters leads and focuses mostly on this aspect of the story. It adds:

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he already turned over the relevant documents. Fitzgerald said he agreed with the defense the intelligence had been declassified, but did not know precisely when that happened.

Presumably the first sentence means that there is not testimony from Bush and Cheney on the matter. And the second sentence is obscure. Does Fitzgerald agree with the rest of the world the intelligence was eventually declassified, or does he agree that it was declassified by Cheney and Bush. But why would he, if he has no corroboration of Libby's testimony on the matter? My guess is that Fitzgerald actually said something to the effect of not contesting Libby's testimony on the matter at trial, rather than that he positively agreed with Libby's defense.

oh..in case you guys haven't got the memo...it's all about the perjury now...so no more talk about NOCS and networks getting killed and Val saving us from Iran mmmmkay?

Posted by: windansea | May 05, 2006 at 22:25

You wish. Snort.

"Wells added that Libby was told several times to go forward but abruptly told to stop before he finally talked to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and The New York Times' Judith Miller"

That is very interesting. That report plus the reported document that showed Libby knew her status was classified, is more evidence that Fitzgerald drew the indictment very narrowly mostly because of the graymail defense.

I've seen it now, and Schuster's report is 90% speculation. Not saying it's wrong. But having seen how reporters bungled coverage of the February 24 hearing - it's tough, fast-moving, highly technical hearings - I think I'll wait to see the transcript before feeling confident about what actually happened at the hearing.

looks like it's Hayden

President George W. Bush stunned Washington on Friday by accepting the resignation of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, and Republican sources told TIME that the White House plans to name his replacement on Monday: Air Force General Michael V. Hayden, who as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence has been a visible and aggressive defender of the administration's controversial eavesdropping program. His nomination is sure to reignite the battle over the program on Capitol Hill, where one House Democrat promises "a partisan food fight" during the confirmation process.

Though Hayden, who has a close rapport with Vice President Cheney, has not been formally offered the job, he is the leading candidate and the announcement is planned for Monday at the White House, the sources said. The President frequently extends a formal offer immediately before an announcement, to cut down on leaks and allow for last-minute developments.

White House officials had hoped to announce Goss's departure and Hayden's nomination at the same time but Goss, who resigned under pressure, balked at that kind of choreography. "He said, 'If we're going to do this, let's go ahead and do it,'' a senior administration official said.


I noticed the word "appreciate" in the president's statement today. I've noticed that a lot of times he's used the word in a context of coming into contact with something that he's unprepared or finds unpleasant to talk about, for instance when someone asks a pointed question he hasn't been fully prepped on he'll say that he "appreciates" the question.

I don't think Hayden is easily confirmable -- too asociated with the warentless wiretap matter, and also associated with Torture matters.

With 90 out of 100 Senators voting against the torture matters in December, don't you think at least 60 will sustain their earlier vote? Do you really think that 30 will renounce their earlier position?

The Point that Libby was "warned" seems to be in Wells brief -- if there was an on and off switch on it, I don't know about that. I assume if it was reported, it is within the range of accurate. We'll see. I just think it interesting that Libby may well have been warned, and a warning should have said, I should check.

I found Dana Priest and the rest of them interesting for a lack of real detail in the late night pieces. (have not yet checked the NYT).

Is Gen. Hayden even eligible to be CIA Director?

This is excerpted from the US Code Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Ch. 49:

§ 973 Duties: officers on active duty; performance of civil functions restricted

(a) No officer of an armed force on active duty may accept employment if that employment requires him to be separated from his organization, branch, or unit, or interferes with the performance of his military duties.
(1) This subsection applies—
(A) to a regular officer of an armed force on the active-duty list (and a regular officer of the Coast Guard on the active duty promotion list);

(A) Except as otherwise authorized by law, an officer to whom this subsection applies may not hold, or exercise the functions of, a civil office in the Government of the United States—
(i) that is an elective office;
(ii) that requires an appointment by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; or
(iii) that is a position in the Executive Schedule under sections 5312 through 5317 of title 5.

CIA Director is confirmed by the Senate. The DIA and CIA are separate agencies under the budget authority of the DNI - yet Gen. Hayden is an active duty officer in the Air Force and reports to the Secretary of Defense. That's a huge conflict. Gen. Hayden was already confirmed by the Senate as Principal Deputy Director DNI but that doesn't make it proper. We don't allow active duty military to run DoD for a reason - civilian control of government is essential to our democracy. Why should CIA be any different?


Do you have a link or a source for this?

Libby knew Plame's status at CIA -- had been warned -- sometime between his first talk with Judy and his second as well as his talk with Cooper. Libby's lawyers admitted this. In addition it looks like a Rove indictment will come next week

I haven't seen this anywhere.

My source is reporting on MSNBC (more likely) or maybe CNN -- but I recall MSNBC. My guess is it was a shuster report, but I cannot confirm.

I actually hate Cable TV -- but I still watch it, and in order to feel less guilty, I dust, run the sweaper, and do other odd jobs so to pretend I am not really watching. It is a guilt avoidance strategy. If I cite a book -- yep, I can fin d the page.

Kinda changes the game for scooter

windandsea is right, ain't about Wilson anymore. This is about scooter, karl, dick, and george, and a DIRECT WARNING ABOUT Valerie Plame's status

kinda hard to contend that you have no reason to lie, when you were warned BEFORE YOU LEAKED THE NAME, that doing so was a violation of the IIPA

it's about perjury and obstruction for now

but it sure sounds like Fitzgerald will be in a public courtroom, making this about TREASON, sometime next week

then windandsea will have to commit suppka in atonement, and we'll all be that much more pleased

Does anybody know when the transcript of yesterday's hearing will be available?

My first thought on the Hayden rumor is -- L. Patrick Gray -- the guy Nixon tried to nominate to FBI director in the middle of Watergate. Gray forced Nixon to give him the nomination as protection, didn't he? Wanted to make sure he was in a more secure position before they busted people for illegal wiretaps?

Well, maybe Hayden just wants out. One scandal to another. Or maybe Bush thinks he's done such a good job with the domestic spying that he wants to see if he can fix the CIA's torture problem.


LAst time they didn't release the transcript, to us, anyway, because the court reporter wants to make sure it doesn't get quoted.

Here's a detail I'm not sure I knew (from Linzer and Pincus on Goss--and what happened to Priest's article on Goss??)

In Goss's first days in office, his appointment of Michael Kostiw as executive director ended after it became public that Kostiw had been forced to leave the CIA under a cloud 20 years earlier. The subsequent search at the agency to find who leaked the information about Kostiw's past led the top two officers in the agency's clandestine service to resign in protest.

And another detail, same article:

After Goss's announcement yesterday, Foggo told colleagues that he will resign next week. Last week, the agency confirmed that Foggo attended private poker games with Wilkes at a Washington hotel.

it's about Bush failing personnel 101. last week Krugman wrote:

The U.S. government is being stalked by an invisible bandit, the Crony Fairy, who visits key agencies by dead of night, snatches away qualified people and replaces them with unqualified political appointees. There's no way to catch or stop the Crony Fairy, so our only hope is to change the agencies' names. That way she might get confused, and leave our government able to function.

But he could have been writing about any agency Bush touches.

Ah, here's Priest. Here are some interesting tidbits:

Goss, then the Republican chairman of the House intelligence panel, was handpicked by the White House to purge what some in the administration viewed as a cabal of wily spies working to oppose administration policy in Iraq. "He came in to clean up without knowing what he was going to clean up," one former intelligence official said.

Goss's counterinsurgency campaign was so crudely executed by his top lieutenants, some of them former congressional staffers, that they drove out senior and mid-level civil servants who were unwilling to accept the accusation that their actions were politically motivated, some intelligence officers and outside experts said.

"The agency was never at war with the White House," contended Gary Berntsen, a former operations officer and self-described Republican and Bush supporter who retired in June 2005. "Eighty-five percent of them are Republicans. The CIA was a convenient scapegoat."

Less than two months after Goss took over, the much-respected deputy director of operations, Stephen R. Kappes, and his deputy, Michael Sulick, resigned in protest over a demand by Goss's chief of staff, Patrick Murray, that Kappes fire Sulick for criticizing Murray.

Priest here seems to be giving a different story than the Kostiw-related resignation above (I'm guessing that the two top officers described are the same).

Anyway, the take on the partisan bickering is interesting, particularly given the coincidence of McCarthy's firing and Goss'.

LAst time they didn't release the transcript, to us, anyway, because the court reporter wants to make sure it doesn't get quoted.

That's not quite the issue. The court reporters make a portion of their income from selling the transcripts, and last time the court reporter made a strong request that the transcript not be shared publicly. But my understanding is that fewer transcripts were sold than expected, and eventually talkleft posted it online. I don't know what that means for this time around.

polly - It comes from Schuster's reporting on Olbermann. crooksandliars has the video. It's almost entirely speculation and strong reading of the hearing on Schuster's part. I really wish the news outlets would pool their resources and pay a transcriber to sit there for them, so that they could produce accurate reports of what was said and what was meant quickly.

Via TPM, the WSJ is reporting that Foggo is actually under federal criminal investigation.

My own view is that if it's Hayden, he'll be easily confirmed. My sense is he's widely respected by both parties as a super-professional, despite the warrantless wiretapping thing, and the Democrats will throw a few punches in the air in that direction, and then he'll be confirmed. But you never know.

Dunno about Hayden. My guy Levin loves to hold up appointments, and I could easily see him do so over the stalling of Phase II.

I doubt Hayden's confirmation will be easy. Maybe not as rocky as Bolton's confirmation, but not easy.

If anything, this gives the Dems on the intel committee a great opportunity to grill Hayden about warantless wiretaps, given that they occurred on his watch. It may just be a repeat of the Gonzo hearings, but it will capture the attention of the media for a little while.

In any case, I hope he's not confirmed. He may be a professional, but I can't help but think that he had quite a hand in making the warantless surveillence system a reality. And that he might have been secretly using it to get dirt on political opponents for the admin.

I don't know much about Hayden, but I do remember his marble-mouthed discussion of the Fourth Amendment, which specifies "probable cause" as the threshold for obtaining warrents:

HAYDEN: The Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says.

QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure. . . . Just to be very clear -- and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth.

then windandsea will have to commit suppka in atonement, and we'll all be that much more pleased

suppka? is that death by soup?

in regards to Shuster...good luck with that

Well - in a recent defense filing Libby's attorneys told us that Libby "testified to the grand jury unequivocally that he did not understand Ms. Wilson’s employment by the CIA to be classified information." The notion that three weeks later they would contradict that in open court and throw Libby under the bus seems a bit odd, but maybe the Libby Defense Trust missed a payment.


Joe Wilson quotes:


Somebody close to the President of the United States decided that in order to defend Bush's political agenda, that individual or individuals would violate the national security of the country and expose my wife's name and her profession.


“The last I heard,” Wilson says, “this is case is about allegations Mr. Libby lied, perjured himself before the FBI, special prosecutor and grand jury and obstructed justice. None of those charges of which he’s been indicted has anything to do with me.”

Wilson goes on to say, “Furthermore, the government in the person of the special prosecutor in his court filings has made it clear it believes several White House officials were engaged in a campaign to, quote, `discredit, punish and seek revenge’ on me. It would appear that campaign is ongoing.”

hmm..nothing about outing Val's name and occupation

The NY Daily News[1] says it's all about the hookers:

"It's all about the Duke Cunningham scandal," a senior law enforcement official told the Daily News in reference to Goss' resignation. Duke, a California Republican, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after pleading guilty in November to taking $2.4 million in homes, yachts and other bribes in exchange for steering government contracts.


The NY Daily News[1] says it's all about the hookers:

uh huh...that's why W gave him such a nice photo op farewell...saying good job etc

We'll get to see if the Dems have "turned the corner" by their performance at the confirmation hearings for the next CIA chief. A good inkling if they'll run the mid-term campaign in their usual stealth mode or fight the Repubs hard.

A question for those more knowledgeable, how long does a recess appointment serve?

uh huh...that's why W gave him such a nice photo op farewell...saying good job etc

uh huh ... and is that why "W" staged all those wonderfully successful Katrina photo ops, and lavished his "heckuva job" praise on Brownie?

The comment above underscores the critical misconception that "W" has any idea what he's doing or saying. If he did, he wouldn't have empowered legions of corrupt and incompetent idiots to manage the Iraq War -- and every other important undertaking. The current Goss debacle is just another cobblestone in the road to nowhere. When will the Bush apologists throw in the towel?

When will the Bush apologists throw in the towel?

in about 3 years :)

I found this link pretty funny, esp the "chat" that scrolls down the page:

Oh, Jim E, that is absolutely hysterical. Thanks for linking to that.

That Judy/My Space thing left me gasping for air. I love the drawing of Pinch as he says "No, really ... what's a blog?"

ROFL... I especially liked the Bolton "Pwned!" comment after Judy's reply to MoDo.

Excellent satire.

Mark Kleiman makes a point that I haven't seen made elsewhere - a poker game is a very easy way to launder a bribe. Mr. Wilkes may have "lost" millions in his 15 years of recreational poker with government officials.

I am confident that eventually, eventually even windansea will come to understand the distinction between everything that goes on in the world, on the one hand, and a legal case, on the other. And then he will appreciate that a particular set of facts not being part of a legal case does not mean that that set of facts does not exist. Along the way, he - and maybe the rest of the undercompensated segment of Team Libby (a.k.a. JOM) - may even come to recognize what the well-compensated segment of Team Libby recognized a while ago: while Fitzgerald-worship may be out of place, the special prosecutor has put together a very and, for Libby, frustratingly tight and well-strategized case again Scooter.

Can one Senator with a backbone protect the Constitution from Hayden's recess appointment?

May one Senator block the "recess" bell?

Although I would love to believe the Bush cult would only make recess appointments in proper circumstances, the Bushies and propriety appear to be mutually exclusive.

My limited understanding is that the declaration (if that is the term) of "recess" in the Senate requires unanimous consent.

What rules of Senatorial procedure would allow "breaks" even if one Senator blocked unanimous consent for recess?

In other words, what tools in the Senatorial rule book would allow a Feingold or Jeffers to protect against another stealth appointment without blocking the other Senators' vacations?

That myspace thing KILLED.

The current Goss debacle is just another cobblestone in the road to nowhere.

My god, obsessed, you've captured it.

Taken with all appropriate grains of salt, Larry Johnson's post has a basic ring of truth to it, to me. As far as what we (or 'we') choose to call 'corruption' - in a legal sense - goes, there probably isn't anything there. As many people have pointed out, the problem on that front is what is perfectly legal, not that people break the laws.

I think Goss' mission was a death-by-soup one, as it were - like Bremer's and many others' in the annals of this 'administration'. How could Goss possibly completely 'clamp' the CIA in a few months? Impossible. As ever with these Bush clowns, you end up with the worst of both worlds: a wrecked agency AND much more of the institutional bile and dysfunction you were trying to 'eradicate'. What is the organizational chart of the federal gov going to look like in a few years? A complete fucked up bordello of a mess. Nice play, Shakespeare!

I think Hayden will be a hard character to 'impeach' - in a personal way - in a hearing. He's not - or doesn't seem to be - a political hack like Goss. Maybe the WH will want him to get a grilling - an attempt at a little damage control. He looks like a total straight arrow on tv. He's so military. He did the PR job pretty well on the NSA wiretap stuff.

yo windansea, glad to see you're beginning to understand how bad scooter's defense team is

that is exactly what happened

scooter went into a grand jury and claimed he didn't know Plame was classified, and his attorney just admitted in court that scooter was warned that Plame was classified BEFORE he outed her

it doesn't make any sense, but that's what your brilliant leaders have done

maybe they're stupid, maybe they're incompetent, maybe scooter figures that an incompetent council appeal is his only hope

I don't explain WHY they did it

I just laugh about it

btw, I stand by my prediction, before scooter is done defending himself against the obstruction and perjury, he will prove beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that he participated in a criminal conspiricy to violate national security laws

when this whole thing started, scooter said he never talked to reporters

things changed, didn't they ???

next up, karl rove on a platter

watch and laugh

Team Libby recognized a while ago: while Fitzgerald-worship may be out of place, the special prosecutor has put together a very and, for Libby, frustratingly tight and well-strategized case again Scooter.

from the indictment:

'Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.'


From the press conference:

FITZGERALD: At the end of the day what appears is that Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true.

It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And then he lied about it afterwards, under oath and repeatedly.

oops again!

Team Libby has been poking some pretty big holes into Fitz's case, and the UGO + 5 leakees previous to Libby are making Fitz look a bit Magoo-like...

his attorney just admitted in court that scooter was warned that Plame was classified BEFORE he outed her

got the transcript for that? or are you sourcing Shuster again??

Per everyone else, thanks Jim E. for the link.

Thanks Jeff and Sara,

I don't believe Shuster has this right.

Jim E., thanks for the link, too funny.


poker games as a way to launder money.

now that sounds very interesting

and relatively easy to inquire about.

wilkes, i read (josh marshall), has been left alone by the fbi/doj though his sidekick (michael wade has gotten busted).

if i read josh correctly, the cia and fbi are arguing over whether to go after wilkes.

wilkes has been working in the area of black money and operations with cia/dod for a long time.

about goss i can't say and don't much care.

but this is beginning to have the feel of a major scandal -

assuming the "we don't dare expose national security secrets" defense is not invoked --

involving hidden -- from the public, that is -- contract monies.

maybe we could have learned more about what was going on in iraq, pre-war, if so many of the spooks hadn't been playing poker (or hooker) at the watergate.

This is just too funny. The last sentance of the NY Times article about Victoria Plame's book deal:

"Elyse Cheney, Ms. Wilson's agent, also declined to discuss the advance."

Elyse Cheney ........Hilarious!

So Joe Wilson could actually say that "Cheney got me a book deal"

You know what, I take it back. I don't have confidence that windansea will ever appreciate the distinction between a legal case and what goes on in the world altogether. And spending so much time at JOM where virtually all he sees is the endless extension and reaffirmation of his own point of view has ruined his ability to see, or argue. His first example is precisely an instance of Fitzgerald's careful framing of the case, and it appears windansea does not know the meaning of the phrase "common knowledge."

apparently Jeff (and Fitz) does not understand "outside the intelligence community"

I know that the day before Fitz indicted Libby he sent some mibs to Joe and Val's neighborhood to check and see if anyone "outside" knew about Val's job

outstanding investigation eh?

windansea - You just don't see it, do you? Adding that qualifier does not change the point, at all. To say nothing of the fact that we don't know what role, if any, that claim will play in the prosecution's case. Do you see that scoring points at JOM is different from the uphill battle that Team Libby has acknowledged they face in the courtroom?


1) Do you think Libby and/or Rove lied to the investigators and the grand jury?

2) Do you think Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and enrich it with aluminum tubes?

3) Do you think the Bush Administration thought that in January 2003?

4) Do you think it was a good idea to invade Iraq?

5) If yes to #4, how would you grade the Bush Administration's execution of the invasion, post-invasion, and rebuilding effort?

Re laundering money in a poker game - how much are we talking about, and over what time period? Cunningham took $2.4 million, but the timing is not clear. Selling the house for too much seemed to be the way to net $700,000.

As to what Libby was warned about and told to stop, I think we have the answer posted in front of us - from the AP above:

The prosecutor also said he does not know when Bush and Cheney decided to declassify sections of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate dealing with Iraq's efforts to obtain yellowcake so Libby could share it with reporters.

Fitzgerald said all he has is Libby's testimony, in which he said he might have shared the information with reporters before the decision was officially made in July 2003.

Wells added that Libby was told several times to go forward but abruptly told to stop before he finally talked to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and The New York Times' Judith Miller.

That seems pretty clearly to be talking about a stop-go on the NIE leak, with nothing to do with Plame.

Although free patriot wants to believe that the high priced legal talent contradicted their own filing from three weeks earlier.

Make the call!

You just don't see it, do you?

see what? I see Libby contacts have hit a new low of 30 at Tradesports and Fitzmas is looking like the NYT stock chart

or it could be Karl buying the market for his defense fund...

gosh...threadkiller huh?

maybe y'all can work on my Rove theory...


it's bedtime.

cut out the lights.

As to Hayden. He gave James Bamford considerable access to NSA when he headed it -- evident from Bamford's 2001 book, "Body of Secrets." Hayden did profoundly reform NSA during the second Clinton Administration -- NSA had profound problems, some personnel, but many based in technology. The inability to crack some codes -- inability to tap fiber, competition from massive distribution of computing power, something NSA had control over prior to the end of the Cold War. Hayden did reform NSA, and satisfied a most critical Senate on that matter. I've just finished re-reading some of the details of his NSA reforms in Bamford's book and would suggest that getting familiar with this aspect of his resume will be worthwhile. He has a supurb reputation with the Senate Intelligence Committee circl 1999=2001. He did do, apparently, an excellent turn-around on NSA. (Bamford's opinion -- and Bamford is no Bush reiend).

I suspect part of the reason Goss got canned from CIA has to do with the poker-hooker parties, but what those are really about is contracts -- that is what did in Cunningham. If it was just Hookers, Duke would be living it up in DC as a lobbyist, but that was about fraud and bribes and something not illegal but called Earmarks. The hookers make for sexy glitter to the story (and do detract a bit from some family values claims) but the trouble is with contracts.

In both DOD and CIA the current culture is all about "outsourcing" -- that is doing your work by writing contracts to things like Custer Battles. This is all about Bill Casey's "off the shelf" thesis that got us all Ollie North's Contacts, if not carefully controlled -- "outsourcing" is an excuse for fraud and bribes as well as totally unaccountable actions.

windansea, sloppy transcripts don't play here

nice try though

Patrick Fitzgerald said scooter was ONE OF THE FIRST officials to disclose classified information

sorry, no points this round

and what holes are you talking about ???

scooter's defense is talking about Joe Wilson, and the Judge is trying to make the defense understand that Joe Wilson isn't on trial here

when the Judge asks what your request has to do with the case at hand, your side didn't win

scooter's got nuttin

windansea, sloppy transcripts don't play here

nice try though

Patrick Fitzgerald said scooter was ONE OF THE FIRST officials to disclose classified information

here you go homey


scooter's got nuttin

Free Patriot I advise you and all others who believe Libby will be convicted to go deep at tradesports...

and somebody email Shuster about my Rove theory...

yo windansea - to make your posts clearer and more readable, when you quote someone else's comments, would you mind putting the quote in italics? All you have to do is put "<", then "i", then ">" before the italic parts and "<", then "/i", then ">" after it.

(The symbols I just typed showed up correctly in the typepad preview - let's hope they still appear when I post.)

The tenacious Señor Leopold has been repeatedly proven wrong on timing, to the great delight of the JOM crowd, but he has yet to be conclusively proven wrong on any of his main assertions, the latest being:

...there are dozens of other memos and emails Rove sent to White House officials in June 2003, including former Chief of Staff Andrew Card, in which Rove suggests the White House launch a full scale public relations effort to attack Joseph Wilson for speaking out against the administration.

Rove did not disclose the communications when he was questioned by FBI investigators in 2003 and during his subsequent grand jury appearances, sources familiar with his testimony said. Some of those emails and memos recently discovered by the White House mention Valerie Plame Wilson's employment with the CIA.

Mark Kleiman on mystery woman Susan Ralston:

the more important story may be how bad this is for Ralston, and indirectly for Rove. If Ralston knowingly conspired with DeLay's staff to create false statements, she committed a felony. The prospect of prison time might refresh her memory about various misdeeds by her current boss, either around corruption and political fund-raising or around the Valerie Plame affair.

Just as DeLay's problems aren't limited to the Texas money laundering scam, Rove's vulnerability may extend far beyond the Fitzgerald investigation. Anyone care to speculate on the number of felonies this guy has gotten away with - so far - in 30 years of public disservice? Little Susie doesn't look to me like someone who'd enjoy moving into Judy's old digs in Alexandria, VA. Remember that steno job in WaPo or NYT where she was complaining bitterly about the many hardships the nasty investigators were inflicting on her? Of course, Jack & Karl may have somehow kept her far enough out of the loop to know exactly where the bodies were buried, but I don't see how, given her central position in facilitating the shady dealings.

Sara, I wonder if you have a publishable opinion about the press reports circa 1998-99 that there was a waning of interest at the top, for more pursuit of al-Qaida or other coconspirators once the clique leader involved finally was jailed in the matter of the early 90s World Trade Center bombing. Was Hayden an advocate for broadening Fitzgerald's investigation, or was he part of the ?leadership? advising to relax scrutiny.

To ab initio [=?Deja-Vu?], Recess appointment is 18 months, at least that is what it was for the US representative to the UN, whose August 2005 appointment during congress recess expires ~January 2007; link; that is, unless Bush re-recess appoints Bolton; d.c. al fine.

However, I doubt finding Goss' replacement will go to a recess appointment. The president has declared unitarily he has the right to instantaneously declassify, either specifically in one instance, or generically simply telling certain subordinates they may declassify; then all is reclassified instantaneously. The president could decide to appoint irrespective of congress' views, though press is reporting today as several commenters in this thread observed, Hayden's hearing will be a review of the architected datamining eavesdrop.

Say, Sara, what is a fiber tap, some kind of dual angulated splice that reflects the light into the monitoring sleeve? People I knew in communications were naysaying that capability could exist, when the shift to fiber happened ten years ago; but, to me, optics should make it even easier than is the case with emf, unless CALEA lets you put the tap at the switch. I think this gets to the president's comment about roving taps, as splicing takes a lot of time and handicraft, but electromagnetic interception is easy once you toss an antenna into the magnetic field of the wire conducting the eavesdropee's signal; when signals are in wires, a van can drive by and point the intercept antenna at the wire and listen; or the van could take the emf eavesdrop microphone to the telco switch and accomplish the same there.

The fact most of this technology has been available since computers became widespread, to me, has made the public turmoil over the universal datamine a tempest in a teapot, as it is kind of a given that any electronic communication is recordable everywhere by the right equipment, and congress has gone on record supporting rules making silicon manufacturers and communications providers design listening posts into gear for the past ten years. It must be pretty facile by now.

Hmm.... I'm actually more interested in this part of Leopold's story:

Sources close to the case said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales withheld numerous emails from Fitzgerald's probe, citing "executive privilege" and "national security" concerns. These sources said that as of Friday, May 5, there were still some emails that had not been turned over to Fitzgerald because they contain classified information in addition to references about the Wilsons.

WO - You think there's any chance of forcing those emails to be turned over?

Jeralyn weighs in:

But Rove's failure to disclose these other communications is what reportedly has Fitz considering an obstruction of justice charge. Particularly e-mails between Rove and Andrew Card.


If that part of Leopold's story is right, I think that there is a very good chance of a showdown over those emails. Unfortunately, it won't be for a while yet. Even though Fitzgerald's pace seems glacially slow to me, I have to admit it probably is best in the long run. I suspect Fitzgerald will want to have the Rove indictment locked up before he goes to court to force the White House to turn over the rest of the emails. Of course, if they implicate Gonzales, things will get really interesting...

After re-reading both Leopold's latest article and the one he wrote back in February, I'm struck by how different the spin is now. In the first story, the spin was that the White House discovered these emails from the OVP that implicated Cheney. Now, the spin is that the emails are from the EOP and OVP and they implicate Rove. These stories aren't mutually exclusive. Both could be true.

I hope I'm not reading too much into this, but it sure sounds like one of two scenarios could explain this. First, maybe Leopold's sources didn't want to tip off Rove. If this is a "Throw Karl under the bus" effort, that would make sense. The current article certainly sounds like that. Second, Leopold's source may not have known that the emails implicated Rove and they were just as surprised as Rove was. If that's the case, Fitzgerald may have a few more surprises up his sleeve.

In any event, things look pretty bleak for Rove if even half of Leopold's article is true.


informative and thoughtful


friar will


oh boy!

where will this go next?

maybe it'll stop with the indictment of reagan's portrait.


Fitz has it at both the OVP and EOP

"In an abundance of caution," Fitzgerald's January 23 letter to Libby's defense team states, "we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."
Fitzgerald Letter 1/23/06

Leopold had this in February 2006, he did mention the NSC which I believe is considered to be part of EOP.

Some of the emails that were turned over to Fitzgerald contained references to Plame Wilson's identity and CIA status....

Last month, Fitzgerald disclosed in court documents that he discovered from witnesses in the case that some emails related to Wilson and his wife, written by senior aides in Cheney's office and sent to other officials at the National Security Council, had not been turned over to investigators by the White House....

Sources close to the case said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales withheld numerous emails from Fitzgerald's probe citing "executive privilege" and "national security" concerns. These sources said that as of Friday there are still some emails that have not been turned over to Fitzgerald because they contain classified information in addition to references about the Wilsons.....
Leopold Truthout 2/24/06

And I've always found this interesting, from way back. I've found Fox to have exclusive sources on a couple of other stories.

Fox News is reporting that some of the e-mails turned over by White House officials to the Justice Department in the CIA leak probe mention former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

We can't find a news article confirming this yet, so stay tuned.

Update: As of Saturday, 1:00 pm, we've seen nothing to confirm the Fox broadcast.
Talkleft 10/11/03


I was talking about the spin rather than the facts of the articles which are much the same.

Sorry WO, I misunderstood

Rawstory says Vandehei has a piece on Rove's status in the investigation coming tomorrow, and he talked to some administration folks with knowledge of Rove's extensive involvement in the attack on Wilson in July 2003. But what Rawstory excerpts, for lack of precise dates (or pre- v. post-Novak specification) and repetition of what's already been reported, makes it hard to tell if there's any actual news.

Is Sue Ralston still an aide to Rove? Or did she move?

I was thinking that she might be the "former aide" quote in the Wash Post piece (as presented by RawStory), but I now see they refer to the aide as a "him." Well, I'm still interesting in knowing about Ralston, but it appears she's not the source for the story.

Your reaction to the RawStory excerpt of the WashPost piece was the same as mine. But has the traditional media ever reported Rove's involvement in the Wilson pushback before (beyond the R Novak and Cooper calls)? Aside from speculation, do we really know how tied into all of this Rove was? So in that sense, the story looks interesting. But if the RS excerpt is the most earthshattering part of the price, then, well, I guess the story won't necessarily be much to talk about.

Jim E. - I pretty much agree, in the sense that the Post running a story that exhibits Rove's role is significant, regardless of whether it mainly reiterates and ties together reporting we've already seen. The audience I was talking about, for whom it is a question whether there will be any actual news, is us maniacs.

So the WaPo story is up, and I can't see a lot to get excited about. This line is interesting for its sheer implausibility:

The aide said Rove talked a lot about Wilson that week, but mostly about the fact he was a Democrat and needed to be rebutted.

You can't really talk a lot over the course of a week about the fact that someone is a Democrat and needs to be rebutted - how many ways are there to say it? - and that characterization of the substance of what Rove was saying is obviously false. And Rove wouldn't be doing a good job if he went on and on about how this guy needs to be rebutted, but didn't explain at all how to do it. So there can be almost no question that Rove talked a lot about how to rebut Wilson, and undoubtedly he was drawing on the talking points we've now heard about from Team Libby. It's doubtful he went into the Plame connection at senior staff meetings, and probably even one-on-one strategy sessions, in part because if he had there's almost no question he would have been indicted already, no? It's been my sense that Rove wasn't even supposed to be telling Cooper - and that a screw-up is my explanation for the puzzling fact Rove is by Vandehei reported to be seeking to turn to his argumentative advantage: if Rove was out to get Wilson via Plame with reporters, why do it with Cooper, a newbie on the beat, rather than a reporter Rove knew better and had an established relationship with (i.e. Isikoff etc)?

Two other interesting bits in the article. First, it seems to revert to July 8 (not July 9) as the date of the Rove-Novak contact. There has been a lot of unclarity about this, and my best sense has been that Novak tried to get in touch with Rove on July 8, and they didn't talk until July 9. The Post article does leave open the possibility that Novak called Rove on July 8, and might have left some message with the info about the Wilsons then, although it appears to detail an actual conversation.

The other interesting thing is that Luskin is pretty explicit about a point emptywheel has been hammering on for a while: Rove's (and Libby's) claim is that their evident involvement in the Wilson business in the week of July 6-14 was focused on Tenet's statement rather than a direct attack on Wilson:

Luskin said Rove was chiefly concerned that week with "assuring that there was a statement from the director of central intelligence that directly addressed the substance of the criticism of Wilson and others."

The CIA or at least Tenet's folks, as we know, pushed back pretty directly against this idea, which is interesting. It is worth noting that in his response to Libby's third motion to compel discovery, Fitzgerald did say that he had obtained (and produced to Libby's defense) drafts - in the plural - of Tenet's July 11 statement that came from OVP. So I take it for both Libby and Rove, preparing Tenet's statement is a major component in their alternative explanation of their evident involvement with the Wilson business and their claim to have been concerned only with responding on the merits.

The WashPost story is up.

There is a new Rove excuse. Rove argues that if he wanted to leak something about Wilson's wife, he would leak to a reporter he knew better than Cooper. There is zero mention of any e-mails other than the Rove-Hadley one.

What this WashPost story makes me wonder about is a point that Tom Maguire brought up a week or so ago. TM wrote, "*IF* Rove's team is expecting an imminent indictment and *IF* Rove's testimony includes some similar bombshell, look for the deflating, heads-up leak." (Cheney's knowledge of Plame was reported just prior to Libby's indictment.)

Would this Wash Post story count as a "deflating, heads-up leak"? On the one hand, there's really nothing that new in the story, and certainly nothing illegal about Rove being involved with political pushback. On the other hand, it is exactly this type of ho-hum story that the media--esp the TV media--tends to eat up and report with little context, blowing out of proportion and getting people excited about. It's the sort of thing that shows up on the scroll and looks more sinister than it really is ("CIA LEAK SOURCES SAY: Rove talked about Wilson a lot, focused on rebutting Wilson a lot").

Luskin is clearly yapping away, so maybe he *is* trying to soften the blow in case another Libby-like speaking indictment comes down the pike with all sorts of detailed (and previously unknown) accounts of Rove's concern about Wilson and Plame. There is also a former "offical" and a former "aide" also yapping. So who would go along with a Luskin-orchestrated leak? Libby and Ralston? I dunno. Would they do Luskin (and Rove) such a favor as talking to a Wash post reporter on command? (And if RawStory presented a previous, factual draft of the WashPost story, then Ralston isn't the quoted aide.)

I do wonder why the official and aide are all of a sudden talking about this to the media now. It does seem coordinated. Is this the heads-up leak TM anticipated?

From Jeff:

The aide said Rove talked a lot about Wilson that week, but mostly about the fact he was a Democrat and needed to be rebutted.

You can't really talk a lot over the course of a week about the fact that someone is a Democrat and needs to be rebutted - how many ways are there to say it?

Maybe we can indict Rove for being an incompetent mumble-mouth, then - per Waas, Rove and Novak talked about Frances Fragos Townsend on July 9, and Novak's theme (his Townsend column) was that ardent Dems were being put in mission-critical positions in the Bush Admin; Novak claimed, plausibly one might think, that the Wilson mission to Niger looked to him to be more of the same.

However - neither in his July 14 nor Oct 1 column does Novak mention that Wilson joined the Kerry campaign as an advisor in May 2003 (per the Oct 2 Globe). Jim Miklaszewski of NBC did ask Wilson about this in Oct 2003.

Well, maybe Rove didn't know this in July - some cabal.

Rove's claim that he wouldn't leak through Cooper when he has friendly media resources is interesting.

As Jeff noted it's probable that Rove wasn't supposed to be leaking the Plame part. My guess is that Rove wanted the story out and figured no one in the WH would connect him to a deep background leak to Cooper.

If Rove wanted to keep his prints off a possible TIME story, why then would Rove email Hadley that he had talked with Cooper? You would think he would just keep it to himself. Is it possible he was supposed to leak to an unlikely reporter?


Novak did put Wilson squarely with the Democrats in his 10/1/03 column.

Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one.
Novak 10/1/03

and Clifford May came out swinging on July 11, 2003.

In other words, Wilson is no disinterested career diplomat — he's a pro-Saudi, leftist partisan with an ax to grind. And too many in the media are helping him and allies grind it.
May 7/11/03

I think Novak was accurate in his description of Wilson in his 7/14/03 column.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Wilson had taken a measured public position -- viewing weapons of mass destruction as a danger but considering military action as a last resort. He has seemed much more critical of the administration since revealing his role in Niger.
Novak 7/14/03

Tom - I took the unnamed aide characterizing the substance of Rove's Wilson talk to be referring to internal White House discussions, not Rove's conversations with reporters about Wilson.

But I will say that pollyusa's citation of May's July 11 column does raise the interesting question of who (if anyone) he was getting his Wilson-as-partisan line from, and whether that person was also the person who actually told May about Plame.

On my site, Cannonfire, I ran with joejoejoe's notion that the selection of a General to head a civilian agency ran against Title 10 of the U.S. Code. An anonymous reader told me that I was wrong -- that the 1947 National Security Act and the 1949 Central Intelligence Act provided an exception, allowing an active-duty officer of the armed forces to function as either DCI or Deputy DCI (although one of the positions must be filled by a civilian).

But the job of DCI no longer exists; it was abolished by the 2004 Intelligence Reorganization Act. Therefore, that exception no longer exists. Therefore, the section of Title 10 quoted by joejoejoe comes into play: A serving military officer may not head a civilian agency.

General Hayden may not legally run the CIA.

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