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September 01, 2006

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» Plamegate Is Not Over from Shining Light In Dark Corners
After all the noise about the bizarre relevation of the non-secret that Armitage was involved in leaking Plame's identity to the press, after a weekend of plaming (sic) blame, The Nation released details about Plame's real job at the CIA. Valerie Wilso... [Read More]

» Plamegate Is Not Over from Shining Light In Dark Corners
After all the noise about the bizarre relevation of the non-secret that Armitage was involved in leaking Plame's identity to the press, after a weekend of plaming (sic) blame, The Nation released details about Plame's real job at the CIA. Valerie Wilso... [Read More]

» Plamegate Is Not Over from Shining Light In Dark Corners
After all the noise about the bizarre relevation of the non-secret that Armitage was involved in leaking Plame's identity to the press, after a weekend of plaming (sic) blame, The Nation released details about Plame's real job at the CIA. Valerie Wilso... [Read More]

Comments

There must be more charges coming... Not only that, but it's Friday, and the talking heads will show up on TV this weekend to repeat the lies over and over again.

driving on flat tires is bad for your wheels

Plame probably won't be charged.

pol

I assume that's your answer to my last question, why Fred is editorializing on this instead of on starting the next war? A likely possibility, certainly.

EW - You caused this and then you wonder why Fred wrote this ed, huh? Two days ago, you wondered why Rove is silent after the fresh Armitage wave. And you were right - Rove must be itching to keep Armitage in the news cycle, but, as you correctly surmised, his hands were tied by perceived legal threats and dangers from Fitz. So he couldn't unleash his attack dog, that goldbar attorney of his. He did the next best thing and went to Fred. With Fred, there is an additional layer of separation and security, because he is an editorial writer and no one can question him (and no one outside beltway takes him seriously anyway). So Fred went into action.

But why didn't he stop at Armitage? Well, Freddie boy got a bit overjealous and took another shot at Wilson. With the holiday weekend and all, there will be nonstop parties and Fred wants to have his extra helpings of those cocktail wienies; that's why. BTW, as an aside, did you see NYT's article this week on cocktail wienies? Really, I am not joking - apparently, wieners are hot on the cocktail circuit. Fred will pig out.

Oops, ignore my comment about Fred pigging out. I just realized
that he might not eat wieners due to religious reasons.

Hmm, perhaps it's a pre-emptive attack against those who would question the bogus intelligence against Iran. We've been hearing that there are many in the intelligence and retired military community who learned their lesson and don't intend to keep quiet this time. Perhaps this is intended to remind them of the price if they don't. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

Why are the Wilsons a bigger threat to Fred Hiatt than Iran's purported nuclear weapons program?

Why indeed? A very good question (as usual from you). Plame was involved in nuclear weapons monitoring of the region (Iraq and Iran and who else).

So... But you know, knowing this Bush/cheney administration, I just can't believe that any of these guys were intelligent or competent or clever enough to know that they had to take Miss Plame out to corrupt the intelligence of WMDs for Iraq and Iran, this far down the road to the Great Middle East Oil War.

And yet, grand conspiracy theories are the only ones beginning to make any sense with these people.

All those Libby lies...thanks for asking the right question. Now somebody give me the right answer.


ecoast

Cracked me up.

pol

I assume that's your answer to my last question, why Fred is editorializing on this instead of on starting the next war? A likely possibility, certainly.

Exactly. In the last several weeks, there have been "revelations" by Armitage and Novak, plus trashing editorials by Hiatt and Brooks. Something's up.

Or, maybe it has something to do with the civil suit.

Sounds like the first motions in the civil suit won't get filed until around or after the election. So either this is an attempt to lay the ground work to pardon libby after the election. Or it's, just as you say, an attempt to pre-empt something else.

Sad that the WaPo is still carrying water for Rover. You call it disingenuous; that's an admirably restrained word to use.

It's interesting how the Big Lie (e.g., Wilson's trip was cooked up by his wife) never dies; it just moves to the editorial page.

Thank you, baked. I was kind of proud of my restraint, frankly! I cursed at a telephone customer service person yesterday who said she has too much faith to hear those words, and now I'm trying to clean it up.

Fred Hiatt, though, could probably use them.

where is your hero Murray Waas now? His stories were all bullshit and he was played like a skin flute

Great post - hadn't picked up on the subtlety that you clearly have a built-in detector for.

OT - I always use words like prevaricating vessel of fetid fecal matter when dealing with customer service people who annoy me. 99+% of them don't have a clue and it feels just as good as what it means in the vernacular.

windje

With the Congress back next week, frightened patriots in the intelligence community and the military will have an audience for their views that Iran's on the neo-con front burner. Redshift's right: this Hiatt editorial was Rover's warning "Remember, it can happen to you!" to public servants who may try to stop the criminal cabal's next war, on Iran.

Keeping the Wilsons front-and-center keeps the next war's critics quiet.

Heard on Tucker Carlson what I expect will be the WH way out of Iraq... Baghdad isn't important for this fight, what we need to do is hit the terrorists' center - in Iran.

Why indeed? A very good question (as usual from you). Plame was involved in nuclear weapons monitoring of the region (Iraq and Iran and who else).

So... But you know, knowing this Bush/cheney administration, I just can't believe that any of these guys were intelligent or competent or clever enough to know that they had to take Miss Plame out to corrupt the intelligence of WMDs for Iraq and Iran, this far down the road to the Great Middle East Oil War.

You may have hit the nail on the head. What if that's one of the more explosive back stories in Hubris?

From Corn's blog today:

"In the meantime, there should be more news out of HUBRIS next week--just as the book goes on sale. The book has revelations to discomfort folks on both sides of the aisle. But I wonder if the cons who embrace (and miscast) the Armitage news out of the book as absolution of the White House regarding the leak case will so eagerly accept the implications of these other disclosures. We might just see some end-of-summer cherry-picking. Which reminds me, enjoy this last (soggy where I am) end-of-summer weekend. Next week will mean business."

Looks like Olbermann is gonna weigh in on the WaPo's editorial, as well as having another special commentary on Rumsfeld's editorial.

I suspect another shoe may drop. Why else go after Fitz with such poisonous invective, via every media outlet they can manipulate?

Their best hope for the Nov elections is to make politics so nasty and revolting that voter turnout declines markedly. Low-turnout elections are probably their only hope of holding Congress. The more revolting 'politics' appears, the fewer people will bother to vote. This year, that's their only hope.

This sleazy disinformation campaign is probably meeting multiple objectives: prelude for war, intimidate US gov't employees in any position to expose cooked intel, drive down voter turnout in Nov, and innoculate Libby -- all in one creepy, chilling package.

Media matters had a really good article dated 8/31/2006, you may have referred to it earlier. It did a great job of making the point that the information was "spread" and that there were two sources originally as quoted by Novak. It then laid out the talking points and made it so clear as to the right wing twist. After reading the article my feeling was that the evidence absolutely supports the idea of a conspiracy to out Wilson as Fitz himself refers to in his indictment of Libby.

I am having trouble with the fact that Fitz has commented that he doesn't expect further indictments. Does that mean that he won't indict based on the conspiracy aspect of the case? Is that completely out of the realm of possibilities at this point? Is it possible that under questioning during Libby's trial (if it happens) that Fitz could access information under oath that could break open the right wing conspiracy to out Plame and at the very least make it clear and very public? What would be the questions that Fitz might ask Libby...how far could he go, and what would the questions be?

Or perhaps more provocatively, Fred knows better than to do so because Richard Armitage, Novak's "primary" source, almost certainly told Novak that,

"Wilson's mission was created after an early 2002 report by the Italian intelligence service about attempted uranium purchases from Niger, derived from forged documents prepared by what the CIA calls a "con man." This misinformation, peddled by Italian journalists, spread through the U.S. government."

I am sure there is a compelling reason that Novak could not have gotten this from (a) someone at the CIA, or (b) the March 15, 2003 LA Times:

Phony weapons documents cited by the United States and Britain as evidence against Saddam Hussein were initially obtained by Italian intelligence authorities, who may have been duped into paying for the forgeries, U.S. officials said Friday.

..."I don't mean to suggest that Italy created the documents. I don't think they have any reason to," one U.S. official said. "It's conceivable that some con man sold it to them."

Or by June 12, the famous Pincus story had added this:

Later it was disclosed that the United States and Britain were basing their reports on common information that originated with forged documents provided originally by Italian intelligence officials.

But Novak was presumably utterly unaware of that.

And I guess when he wrote 'forged documents prepared by what the CIA calls a "con man." ', the "con man" phrase in quotes is really Novak quoting Armitage quoting the CIA.

Was that William Pitt from Truthout that posted Joe Wilson's email to the DU? Interesting.

There is one thing that has had me thinking the past two days. I find it fascinating that Jason Leopold had a scoop on the friend on the street just as several of you were discussing the implications of the friend on the street, right here on this blog.
I found it even more interesting that Leopold used as an intro the exact Fox News quote from Novak that Jeff had pulled up.

I think you all inspired Mr. Leopold. It appears from Mr. Pitt's email that you also inspire Mr. Wilson.

An Iran-Contra associate counsel in office of independent counsel provided a commentary in 1998 when the Senate was about to let the OIC statute expire; Treanor, published it in the Duke Law Review; it is a thoughtful evaluation which favors keeping OIC in existence. Some future congress may ask Fitzgerald to help redesign the Special Counsel office to infuse it with more independence, I think well of most of his work as SC.
Since it is a season of change and the cocktail circuit topic is part of the thread, here is an acquaintance of yours from early last summer, campaigning in IA very precaucusly, Warner.

It occurred to me that Fred didn't write this op-ed; it's only his name on it. Seems like it would have been tough for a guy out of the WHIG loop to manage all the parsing required by this article, or manage the triangulation necessary to accomodate dictation by another party.

Putting the issue of remote writing aside, timing is everything, EW. Whatever it is that demanded the timing of this op-ed on the last weekend of summer, the longest one before the election season hits fever-pitch...demanded placement before a possible rollover to new management in Congress in a scant 60-odd days.

Did their NSA intercepts of Americans' communications indicate that somebody else had an October Surprise -- or nipped theirs?

Why wasn't this out months and years ago? Why are they doing this NOW, before the election? Why couldn't this wait?

Rayne - As to who writes what kind of editorials, this has been blogged in several places a while ago. We can be pretty sure that this particular editorial was written by Fred Hiatt. On signature topics, we can identify with 80 to 90% accuracy, which Wapo editorial member wrote what editorial.

Why, on a clear day, some of us can even identify NYT editorial writers from their editorial page with some degree of certainty.

David Johnston has finally weighed in with some interesting tidbits.

ecoast, if we can discern that which establishes "authenticity" of a Hiatt post, so can anybody else needing to write like Hiatt - or merely needing to create a few phrases to be enveloped by Hiatt. It's rather like the algorithms used to determine whether an author is male or female; they can be fooled.

I continue to wonder about timing. Was the Pentagon's report something that needed to be masked, before they could do anything more about Iran? Are they merely buying time with their work on Iran? Are they batting clean-up after the fortunate-idiot son's inept spouting, "Nothing!" in relation to the query by a reporter last week? Gads, there's so much to hide and so much to sweep under the rug, it boggles the mind!

What is also disturbing is that there was an article in WaPo the day before about another contract out for bids by DoD looking for yet more contractors to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities, and execute events ... to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build support among our strategic audiences in achieving these goals". The targets were "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional markets media in both Arabic and English..." including "broadcast and cable television outlets, the Pentagon channel, two wire services and three major U.S. newspapers--The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times," according to EZWriter at DKos.

For 20 million smackeroos, I think somebody could monitor Fred Hiatt, figure out how to write like him, and help him "effectively communicate goals and build support".

For more than 300 million, several vendors are already doing this, have already DONE this. For all we know, this is the reason "Toobz" Stevens put a secret hold on the transparency bill, so that we couldn't see anything more going on behind the scenes in perception manipulation purchasing.

Pleeeeeeeeeeze be right! Please let there be a stunning Fitzgeraldian shoe-drop, soon. Please let it be Dead-eye, or Hadley. Pleeeeeeeeeeeze!

From Saturday's front page (-unworthy) New York Times article lemonlou mentions above. This detail jumps out at me:

Mr. Armitage did not know Mr. Novak, but agreed to meet with the columnist as a favor for a mutual friend, Kenneth M. Duberstein, a White House chief of staff during Ronald Reagan’s administration.

What in all the wide world is the meaning of this involvement by Duberstein? I recall that Novak mentioned in one of his recent interviews that Armitage 'is a hard guy to get to see' - but he was cut off by his friendly interviewer before he had to reveal more. Can it really be true that Richard Armitage did not know Bob Novak...? Go figure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/02/washington/02leak.html?hp&ex=1157169600&en=012af30d606f9608&ei=5094&partner=homepage

One tidbit from wikipedia re Ken:

He is married to Jacqueline Duberstein - Washington Producer of the Charlie Rose Show.


And now comes this from the NYT: (copied from Raw Story)
An article on the front page of Saturday's edition of The New York Times examines if special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald properly exercised his 'prosecutorial discretion' in his CIA leak investigation.

"An enduring mystery of the C.I.A. leak case has been solved in recent days, but with a new twist: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel’s chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, on obstruction charges," writes David Johnston for the Times.

Seems like the grist mill is in overdrive. What's up with Johnston guy? Looks like more propoganda to me. Is there any media outlet that has not been corrupted by these people?

I don't think the johnston article was too slanted. this was the tidbit that caught my eye.

"Later, Mr. Taft spoke with the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, now the attorney general, and advised him that Mr. Armitage was going to speak with lawyers at the Justice Department about the matter, the people familiar with Mr. Armitage’s actions said. Mr. Taft asked Mr. Gonzales whether he wanted to be told the details and was told that he did not want to know."

Plausable deniablity much? Why wouldn't the white house council know the details? And this part:

"But he stayed on the job because State Department officials advised that his sudden departure could lead to the disclosure of his role in the leak, the people aware of his actions said."

sounds like a coverup to me. I still think Armitage is a red herring, more plausible deniability. Why else would they peddle it so hard?

Wilson discusses what should have happened. He allows for the possibility that his report was deemed inaccurate. And he doesn't "charge" that his report "was" circulated to SAOs, only that it should have been.

In addition to his July 6 op-ed, Wilson appeared on MTP with Andrea Mitchell and gave an interview to Leiby and Pincus of the WaPo. In that interview, he made the charge cited by the WaPo:

Ex-Envoy: Nuclear Report Ignored
Iraqi Purchases Were Doubted by CIA

By Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 6, 2003; Page A13

Joseph C. Wilson, the retired United States ambassador whose CIA-directed mission to Niger in early 2002 helped debunk claims that Iraq had tried to obtain uranium there for nuclear weapons, has said for the first time publicly that U.S. and British officials ignored his findings and exaggerated the public case for invading Iraq.

... In June, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that top administration officials were unaware of the faked documents at the time of the State of the Union. "Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery."

But Wilson said he considers that "inconceivable." Based on his experience at the NSC, Wilson does not believe his report would have been buried. Having been told the vice president's office was interested, he said, "If you are senior enough to ask this question, you are well above the bowels of the bureaucracy. You are in that circle."

Bonus puzzler - who is the SAO behind this leak in the same story?

A senior administration official said yesterday that Wilson's mission originated within the **CIA's clandestine service** after Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing. "It was not orchestrated by the vice president," the official said. He added that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention Wilson's name and did not say anything about forgeries.

SO, as of July 6 the WaPo was telling us htat the folks behind Wilson's trip were in "the clandestine service".

By July 8, Andrea Mitchell was saying that:

...people at the CIA say that... in fact, that high-level people at the CIA did not really know that [the Wilson report] was false, never even looked at Joe Wilson's verbal report or notes from that report, didn't even know that it was he who had made this report, because he was sent over by some of the covert operatives in the CIA at a very low level, not, in fact, tasked by the vice president.

So the "clandestine service" sent him on July 6; by July 8, it was "covert operatives".

As I recall, the offical EW editorial position was that either Andrea Mitchell was confused with her sources, or that senior CIA official were reading off of a script prepared by Karl Rove.

Not to put words into your mouth, but should we also assume that, in anticipation of the Wilson op-ed, the Leiby-Pincus "senior Admin official" also worked off of a Rove script, or was Rove himself?

For my money, the notion that Novak made exactly three phone calls - Armitage, Rove, and Harlow - and then started typing his column is absurd.

I only say that because I would like to think that if I were a well-established investigative journalist and a State Dept source told me the CIA set up a trip, I would call someone at the CIA for their reaction. And if the official CIA press flack gave me a different story I would absolutely call some other CIA sources.

Which means that Novak could have gotten "clandestine", "covert", and "operatives" from CIA sources, none of whom specifically mentioned Plame and none of whom rose to "source" status for his column.

And since not everyone in the clandestine service is clandestine, away we go.

Katie

I'm not aware of any time when Fitzgerald did say he doesn't expect further indictments. I'm aware he is reported to have told Rove's lawyer he doesn't expect to bring indictments against Rove. Do you have a cite for the more expansive comment?

Tom

You're grasping. We know that Kristof, for example, admits to mis-interpreting what Wilson told him in his column. I don't see any quotes on that Wilson "helped debunk" (which is different from "debunked" anyway). And saying, "does not believe his report would have been buried" is different from saying "his report had circulated to senior administration officials." This is all basic grammar, something you're usually quite good at. And the point is, Wilson always attributed his confidence that Cheney got the memo in his background, not in any verification of that. As I said, the appropriate response is simply to say, "No, Cheney didn't get the memo." THough of course, you might have to admit that as of February, you were using that memo in a desperate attempt to get IAEA to believe your Niger claims.

And as to your puzzler:

A senior administration official said yesterday that Wilson's mission originated within the **CIA's clandestine service** after Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing. "It was not orchestrated by the vice president," the official said. He added that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention Wilson's name and did not say anything about forgeries.

Well, I can think of three SAOs who we know to have known all the information in that passage at this point: Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney (they had received Wilson's report in June), and Georget Tenet. So yes, it may be Tenet. But we also know Libby was chasing down Fleischer to make sure he repeated just that line--that the trip was not orchestrated by the VP. We know that Scooter Libby did follow-up with Matt Cooper because he didn't include his full quote exonerating Dick. ANd we know that Pincus was in conversations with OVP on this story (though he was undoubtedly also in conversations with CIA, though not necessarily Tenet). So I'd say, we don't know.

And one more point. When Novak first talked to Wilson, he attributed his questions about Plame to someone in the CIA. You yourself are arguing that Novak spoke to more than the three people he has admitted to speaking to (Swopa and I welcome you to the club).

Further, we know the Greenspans are close friends with the Libby and Dick crowd.

And finally, we know Libby was asking for false attribution on other stories that week.

Tom,

I did not find a direct quote from Fitzgerald stating that he did not expect future indictments. What I found was a source cited as "spokeperson with knowledge about the investigation" on a conservative blog. It stated that no further indictments or surprises were expected. I can dig out the quote but was lazy and technically challenged and much relieved that it was not a direct quote. I feel much better. Reading these conservative pundits is a form of self harm. (since they rarely state the truth). I feel relieved that I couldn't find a quote. I don't know why I believed it.

So what are the chances of a conspiracy charge against Bush e al (since he authorized the leak). Somewhere I read that a conspiracy charge would be easier to prove. (I know nothing of the law so this is truly a question???) Isn't there some other law violated by the administration by "perpetuating" the information about plame, if in fact, it resulted in decreasing our knowledge of Iran's nuclear program?? Or do we believe at this point the rhetoric by the right that no damage was done?? Or did they take her out so that they could continue their plan to instigate a major war in the middle east? Is it possible that they needed to out her for several reasons? Is there any evidence that a conspiracy charge could be made that the pres et al conspired in such a way that weakened our national defense?? And therefore results in treason? Is there any chance of such a quest? Or is the best we can hope for (and sounds like unlikely and pardonable) that Libby goes to jail for perjury. Is that the best case we can make or is there some other avenue for Fitz to bring this conspiracy to it's knees??

Katie

I have read, from people associated with the case, that Fitzgerald is still investigating the cover-up phase. That was some time ago, but it would make sense that the "discovery" of 250 pages of emails might reveal more about the cover-up phases of this. So that might result in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, or some such charge.

And there's the question of whether Fitz can prove that DIck ordered Libby to leak Plame's identity. If he can, it seems he can prove an IIPA violation, as well as several security related charges. But not treason. Fitz is going to be conservative with indictments, given the stature of those he's indicting. And I don't KNOW that he'll be able to prove this point. He's got a lot of circumstantial evidence right now, but that's not proof.

**** have read, from people associated with the case, that Fitzgerald is still investigating the cover-up phase. That was some time ago, but it would make sense that the "discovery" of 250 pages of emails might reveal more about the cover-up phases of this. So that might result in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, or some such charge****

Who do you see being charged?

If that were to happen? Well, I'll raise a point someone (I think p luk) raised during the whole ROve excitement. The timing of the confusion coincides much more closely with the resignation of Andy Card than with Rove's GJ appearances. Anyone seen Card lately? Card would connect to Abu Gonzales, the people who buried the evidence, and whoever ordered the cover-up.

You yourself are arguing that Novak spoke to more than the three people he has admitted to speaking to (Swopa and I welcome you to the club).

I wouldn't want to join a club that would accept me as a member.

In *my* club, Novak talked to more than three about the background to the Miger story; I don't have any particular reason to think that he discussed Plame specifically with more than three, and apparently Fitzgerald does not either.

But I have no problem believing that someone at the CIA told Novak what Mitchell says she was told by the CIA - covert operatives at a low level originated the Plame trip.

Since other folks told Novak that Plame had a role in originating the Plame trip, the rest is simple logic, at which you are normally quite good.

Tom,

I did not find a direct quote from Fitzgerald stating that he did not expect future indictments.

Neither did I. What I found was this at the Times:

Mr. Fitzgerald's decision left I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, **alone** among current and former White House officials still facing legal jeopardy in the three-year-old C.I.A. leak case.

...he decision to decline a prosecution in Mr. Rove's case effectively ends the active investigative phase of Mr. Fitzgerald's inquiry because Mr. Rove was the only person known to still be under active scrutiny.

And the WaPo:

With Rove's situation resolved, the broader leak investigation is probably over, according to a source briefed on the status of the case. Fitzgerald does not appear to be pursuing criminal charges against former State Department official Richard L. Armitage, who is believed to have discussed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame with at least one reporter, according to the source.

"I'm not worried about my situation," Armitage said last night on the Charlie Rose television show.

A source briefed on the case said that the activities of Vice President Cheney and his aides were a key focus of the investigation, and that Cheney was not considered a target or primary subject of the investigation and is not likely to become one. There are no other outstanding issues to be investigated, the source said, though new ones could emerge as Fitzgerald continues to prosecute I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, on charges of lying to investigators and a grand jury.

Obviously, anything is possible - the WaPo source may be lying, Libby may panic and rat out Cheney, whatever.

But rather than telling me that Fitzgerald has never done the unlikely and declared the investigation to be over before he even begins the Libby trial, why not find a serious media outlet reporting that the investigation is active?

As to the notion that Libby, Cheney, and Tenet knew Plame was in the DO - sure, but I'll bet other folks in the CIA knew that as well.

Secondly, as a mere straw in the wind, Pincus told the CJR his view of the case:

Pincus believes that the Bush administration acted obnoxiously when it leaked Valerie Plame’s identity, but he has never been convinced by the argument that the leaks violated the law. “I don’t think it was a crime,” he says. “I think it got turned into a crime by the press, by Joe” — Wilson — “by the Democrats. The New York Times kept running editorials saying that it’s got to be investigated — never thinking that it was going to turn around and bite them.”

Does it seem like that would be his view if Libby had leaked to him that the Wilson trip was set up by the clandestine area just days before the Novak leak? One might expect him to be a bit more suspicious.

And this Pincus story about whether Libby knew Plame's status was classified would have to have been written by a schizphrenic.

In *my* club, Novak talked to more than three about the background to the Miger story; I don't have any particular reason to think that he discussed Plame specifically with more than three, and apparently Fitzgerald does not either.

Well, either Novak is telling the truth when he implies he has three sources or he isn't. Which is it? Further, why is that you believe Fitzgerald currently believes he discussed Plame with only three people? Any recent statements supporting that claim? One very plaisible explanation for Rove's non-indictment is if someone else was named as the source of all the incriminating information in Novak's column--the "operative," the name, and the certainty that Wilson didn't work for the CIA (which Novak clearly had before he spoke to Armitage).

As to whether (presumably) Luskin is a reasonable source to believe the investigation is over, I don't really know, since he won't reveal his letter and since he has a very big incentive to claim it's over. As I said, I've seen at least one source--representing a witness in the case--suggest the investigation is ongoing. I suppose your logic would say that that source wouldn't know?

WaPo:

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald told Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, in a short letter delivered Monday afternoon that he "does not anticipate seeking charges" against Rove in the case, Luskin said. [my emphasis]

Time:

Luskin had just received a fax from Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the case, saying that he was formally notifying Luskin that absent any unexpected developments, he does not anticipate seeking any criminal charges against Rove. [my emphasis]

OK. It was a fax. I guess. And perhaps "unexpected developments" were thought to be in association with the wrapping up of the Novak angle, or activities associated with the Libby prosecution. But some of the open questions for me are:

- why doesn't Luskin produce the fax?
- why did Novak's release come so long after Rove's supposed release?
- given the narrative as it now stands (Rove's 3 sources) why didn't Armitage release Novak to identify him as a "primary source"?
- what to make of Leopold's claim that Novak knew that the Admin knew the uranium claims were false "for months" but managed to miss reporting that as the lead?

Need some coffee. Sorry if this comment stinks of hubris.

"serious media outlet"
Talk about your modern-day oxymoron...

"...and the certainty that [Joe] Wilson didn't work for the CIA (which Novak clearly had before he spoke to Armitage)."

Great point, ew. I wonder if Fred Fleitz could be the CIA guy undermining his own agency with background leaks to Novak.

This anonymous source of Leiby/Pincus seems to know the key details, and seems to be conveying them accurately:

A senior administration official said yesterday that Wilson's mission originated within the **CIA's clandestine service** after Cheney aides raised questions during a briefing. "It was not orchestrated by the vice president," the official said. He added that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention Wilson's name and did not say anything about forgeries.

So on July 6th, the Washington Post is publicly revealing, in a general way and anonymously sourced, that clandestine employees of the CIA were responsible for 'orchestrating' the Wilson trip to Niger -- HINT, HINT reporters, and plotters: MIND YOUR STEP when discussing the arrangements and who made them, for Joe Wilson's trip to Niger (and when interpreting what the CIA spokesman Harlow is trying to tell you, especially, reporters). And yet despite that "new" news from the CIA, and with this public information now obviously in hand, Scooter Libby and Richard Armitage proceed, on July 8th, to leak about one of those clandestine service employees, to Judith Miller and Robert Novak respectively. And then Karl Rove and Scooter Libby proceed to share/confirm the news with Matthew Cooper, and Novak (and Miller?), etc.

And Richard Armitage supposedly had his resignation letter ready to submit on October 1, 2003. Talk about taking the fall.


Great forum. First time posting. Personally, I think something else is about to hit rather than efforts trying to get Libby pardoned. Only Fitz really knows. As well as the criminal culprits and their pharmacists who are fulfilling more Ambien and Oxycontin prescriptions.

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I just don't have anything to say these days. I've just been sitting around doing nothing. More or less nothing seems worth bothering with.

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