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March 02, 2007

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Oh Cryyyyminnneeeee!!! I'll just feel much better hearing the jury has announced a guilty on all counts, but could live with guilty on 3 counts...and really want the obstruction charge!! It's hard to wait. And the analyzing of analyzing has lost it's ability to calm me. I am afraid the only thing that will satisfy this craving it the real deal...done. Okay, I'll take "pretty good" from Marcy...but it's all we got, till monday. And what happens if the verdict doesn't come in on monday?? what does that mean, then??? I know...stay in the moment. It's gonna be a long weekend.

Good to have you back safe and sound! The snark in me has to say it seems that this jury is deliberating longer than the admin did to take this country into war! And then I have this vision of Cheney circling DC in AFII, running on fumes...Friday smile.

Nice and quiet. :)

Nice painting of "Fitz's Dominoes" by Stephen Pitt.

http://patrickjfitzgerald.blogspot.com/2007/03/fitzs-dominoes.html

Hello EW,
Do you think there is any significance in the fact that the notes were written by two different people. Today's second note seems to be the same writing as the Wednesday (?) note, but the first note is definitely in a different handwriting.
Thank you and the team for the great work over at FDL. Travel safely - Shoene Gruesse aus Berlin!

So this is the weekend when Scooter finally flies to that undisclosed location. He's going to be found guilty- this is what the defense fund was really all about. Time to get him out of the country before he can offer testimony against Big Time.

I'd go with Jeralyn on the "reasonable doubt" note. It almost sounds sarcastic. Like, please explain that "reasonable doubt" doesn't mean the same as "no possibility at all." The fact that it is phrased as "is it necessary for the does the gov't to present evidence that it is not humanly possible not to remember" suggests, as she says, that the majority understand and a relatively small minority (1-2) are holding out because there is a remote possibility Libby could have forgotten.

On the other note, and reading them together, are they saying that if they think Libby would have remembered the conversation with the VP about Valerie, is that enough to convict on that count?

I have to say I've been bothered at how long this is taking. I would have thought they'd have had a verdict by last Friday. Usually that indicates a holdout juror or jurors. But maybe they are just being very, very careful. I'd be very surprised if they convict on all counts after this. They haven't come back and said they are deadlocked, but it looks like they are, and if the judge's instruction doesn't move the holdout(s), they will come back saying they're deadlockied, there will be an Allen charge, and then maybe an end to it.

Take a deep breath, katie. We'll get a couple in the G column next week. I have, however, been thinking of the prospects of a mistrial. Though it seems that we will get verdicts, I think that a mistrial or hung jury would be very bad for Libby. For one thing the "Cheney may testify" BS won't fly again, and that got them a lot of lattitude in Jury selection. Libby's only hope is for the charges to get poured out here and now, and that at this point seems unlikely.

Welcome back, Marcy. All the speculation (running in circles) was making my head hurt, so I actually got some work done this afternoon. I'm glad you've been in Washington. You've done a super job. Thanks.

Both notes (particularly the reasonable doubt note) betoken a degree of hairsplitting that gives me a bad feeling that however less than compelling Team Libby's defense was at trial they appear to have done a bang-up job picking the jury. A mistrial might not be so great for Mr Libby but it's a good outcome for the OVP/VRWC -- it's hard to get at Cheney directly until the Libby trial is resolved, and the VRWC seems to have done a pretty good job of dampening media interest in the case (and given the embarrassment of the media at trial if there's a mistrial we can expect a tidal wave of abuse purporting to deter Patrick Fitzgerald from retrying the case).

I hope I'm dead wrong but this investigation from the outset has been all about the single-minded determination of this Administration to avoid accountability for its actions.

two points....

1) the obstruction charge has nothing to do with what Cooper told the FBI (i.e. the "false statement" charge) -- it is specific to the grand jury testimony. My personal opinion is that this is simply a dumb question---they are asking whether they need to find a specific quote that conforms to the the charge, or whether they can rely on a full paragraph of Libby's blathering.

2) I think that the "an event" refers not to any specific instance where Libby was told about Plame--there are far too many of them. Instead, I think that "event" refers to a conversation with Cooper and/or Russert -- i.e. one of the jurors is saying something like "hey, maybe he just misremembered his conversation with Cooper, and thus isn't guilty of perjury" -- and everyone else is saying "the issue isn't whether he remembered the details of his conversation with Cooper, the issue is that there is no way in hell he could have 'remembered' a conversation with Cooper the way he described it."

Just a theory: the reason why the juror wanted a dictionary was to look up "reasonable". I'm surprised that John Hannah atestment to Libby's "notorious" memory is having any effect: no one else he worked with--Addington, Martin--cited it. I can only imagine that the jury is wondering why these seemingly inocuous statements warrant a perjury charge. BTW, Judge Walton apparently has memorialized a memoradum stating that Libby (if he is found guilty) could have helped his case by calling seral witnesses including his AA, Addington, and of course, Cheney.

Hey, Marcy! Great job you and the firepups and all are doing. Believe me, if the Pulitzers weren't, by definition, restricted to the print journalists (a specious distinction in this day and age, mind you), you and your comrades would have to settle for sharing one! But I digress. On the question of doubt. I say that it's possible Libby's brain was sucked out by aliens that day on the phone with Russert, which could easily explain why Libby heard it as if for the first time. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Remotely possible? Not really. Reasonable doubt-inducing? God help us if the answer is yes for any member of that jury. And the question of whether or not it was humanly possible for Libby to have forgotten that he ever heard about Valerie prior to his conversation begs the question that Russert told him any such thing. Even I could harbour a reasonable doubt that Russert was being disingenuous (though why he would feel compelled to be is beyond me!). But there is no way in Hell that 8 or 9 or more (who knows) people are lying or (simply?) misremembering their conversations with Libby, and all misremembering the same thing? Reasonable doubt, be damned! Only someone who was examining the Russert conversation in a complete vacuum, with no consideration for the remainder of the evidence, could ever imagine that there was reasonable doubt regarding Libby's memory. Save me from these people!

Given that the jury has asked for so many Post-It notes and poster sheets, would it kill them to write a rough draft of their questions before sending them off to the judge? They have plenty of paper around to do it on. They're always scribbling and editing the question, and the double-negative on th reasonable doubt question makes it difficult to read. They must be too busy deliberatin' to write clearly. (Of course, if they had any idea that every syllable of every word they wrote would be analyzed every night on the internets, they'd probably waste too much time wording the perfect question.)

Two contradictory thoughts occurred to me:

1. The reasonable doubt question, no matter how stupid (as worded, the answer to it is self-evident), suggests a hung jury. If a juror, or jurors, has an unreasonable definition of "reasonable," there are no counts that could withstand such skepticism. Therefore, this bodes poorly for the prosecution because the jury is divided.

2. On the other hand, the order of their questions make it seem as if they are considering count 1 last, which makes sense. And if they'd already voted not guilty on counts 2-5, one wonders why they'd waste a moment deliberating on count 1. They'd only delve into count one if at least one of the other counts has found Scooter guilty.

But I am confused about count 1. If Scooter is found guilty of any of the other counts (or at least those pertaining to his GJ appearance), wouldn't that, by definition, make him guilty of count 1? For example, if the jury found Scooter guilty of Counts 2, 3, 4, and 5, could they also find him "not guilty" on count 1? That wouldn't make any sense, would it?

Like most everyone, I defer to Jane’s theory over the idea that the jury is DREADlocked. I’ve worked in front of a lot of juries – this one is waaaay too happy to be in conflict. I think that if Judge Reggie starts to give the pep talk or goes anywhere near the ‘special’ verdicts, this jury first will look at him like he’s gone loopy and then will start to giggle.

I do wish to take this opportunity to make this ONE big point - I think it’s big anyway - about Count 3 and these “protracted” jury deliberations.

My ‘one big point’ is actually comprised of a lot of little points. But if I made them all this comment would be too thick to chew and too big to swallow, and - the omnipresent danger in all commentary – [Particularly mine. Water dogs are notorioiusly poor at quick-blogging – tho they are pretty fair all-night waltzers.] to paraphrase Col. Bat Guano in Dr. Strangelove it might turn its author into a deviated pedant.

I report this because putting this comment up front might seem no more than a Leap To Judgment - when they are actually conclusions. Maybe someone will convince me to go through all the pieces. Or maybe just one more comment would suffice to recall the path I took from several themes to these conclusions. In case I forget, could someone tell me - so I can realize it as if anew? Anyway - ladies & gents, boy & girls – my conclusions:

(1) A verdict of “Not guilty’ on Count 3 is likely and intended.

(2) The fate of Count 3 has nothing to do with its primary purpose.

(3) The primary purpose of Count 3 is to influence the jury’s approach to and view of Count 1.

(4) Count 1 is the red meat of the Indictment.

(5) Count 1 is the red meat not least because a verdict of “Guilty” on it necessarily brings carries with it the same verdict on Counts 2 and 4 - the “Russert counts”.

(6) The secondary purpose of Count 3 is to attract a verdict of “Not Guilty”.

(7) A verdict of “Not Guilty” on Count 3 is the ONLY verdict on the ONLY charge in the Indictment that can be held before an appeal panel as proof that the jury had a proper handle on the key concept of “reasonable doubt”

(8) The tertiary purpose to Count 3 is that it extended the relevant time frame – and so expanded those things the jury might use to judge whether Libby lied; and dragged in the meeting Cheney had with Libby on Air Force Two.

(9) On reduction to its constituent elements, and in considering how those must react each to each other, reaching a verdict of “Not Guilty” on Count 3 should not pose any difficulties to a jury comprised of rational, reasonably well-educated, open- and fair-minded adults.

(10) My reading of all entrails says this jury is comprised at least mostly of well-socialized adults with responsible jobs who benefited from schooling above the mien for their community – and well over that for the country.

(11) Since the general view seems to be that the lawyers on both sides of this trial are at or near the top of their calling, I am bound to conclude that any hecklers in the cheap seats still nurturing doubts on the objectivity and genuineness of these jurors must be suffering the effects of hidden agendas, blind faith or irrepressible fandom – and should take off their hats and look for insignia.

(12) Yet this jury of bonded, fair, smart, objective, well-intentioned citizens – or some of them – appear to have wrestled - maybe ARE wrestling, with Count 3!

(13) Therefore - if I may be pardoned for one tiny yet opportune commandeer-ment from the syntax of the Presidential progenitor - it’d only be prudent to look elsewhere for the cause of their difficulties.

(14) The most likely candidate for it, as I may hold to this brash line a bit longer, lies in the construction and language of Count 3 - or as lawyers are wont to intone, in how Count 3 is ‘framed’.

(15) At least superficially and certainly alongside the other 4 counts in the Indictment, Count 3 looks like a lemon. It brings to mind Ralph Nader’s expose on the quality of the automobiles rolling off the assembly lines in Detroit on Monday afternoons. It doesn’t matter how little, or how much, one stares at Count 3, this conclusion is inescapable: Compared with its companions Count 3 stands out for nothing but its inferiority and as a needlessly convoluted construct replete with ambiguous phraseology.

(16) As if to add insult to its infirmity, the jury has been called on to apply to the circumventions of Count 3 nothing more than the least compelling evidence the prosecution chose to bring to this show. In the end, Count 3 deserves no more time and attention than it would takes to envision the inevitable outcome of pouring the thinnest gruel into the leakiest vessel.

(17) I conclude that not just in spite of - but DUE TO – Count 3 constituting such an easy target for the most worst sufferers of dislocated shoulders hurling octopi from the highest reaches in the nosebleeds – it is greatly unlikely to have been produced from careless selection of substandard materials and shoddy workmanship.

(18) Count 3 may SEEM the worst output from the laboratory of mad Dr. Frankenstein, but just as Peter Boyle served to make even Gene Wilder appear a deft hoofer, Count 3 holds the capacity to serve this Indictment like Colbert served parody to the President at last year’s White House Press Corp dinner. It is framed so awkwardly that next to its cousins it appears no more than a Borat in skivvies on stage with Falwell and Robertson in their Sunday best. I suggest we are compelled to consider the possibility that the prosecution has lit upon a tactic of calling on the jury to try to use such an obvious leading candidate for selection to an All-Ugly team as is Count 3, in the apparent service of supporting the weakest evidence it could argue with a straight face was relevant to the Indictment, in clandestine service. Just like Colbert and Borat, Count 3 not there to win a beauty contest – but to make a point.

(19) As to the precise details of the clandestine operation the prosecution dispatched Count 3? In this I feel it only fair to point out that your guess – how to put this gently – is not as good as mine.

(20) Should you choose to skip the comment which I currently plan to embed down stream on some as-yet-untitled future thread here, and thereby gain a fuller appreciation for the precise reasons why this is so, then chacun a sons gout you.

(21) To the benefit of any readers who still admit to being followers of the Bush administration – the only administration in the history of the United States which is pleased to have the public accept that it is functionally illiterate in the French language - a loose translation of that into English, in this context would be ‘Don’t blame me – you who voted for him.’

(22) For present purposes I suggest we agree to this: This MY guess we’re talking about here - if you have your own then go write your own comment.

(23) That settled, my money is on Count 3 being aimed by the prosecution to act on the jury like a drill at boot camp.

(24) At the time it can seem like nothing more than a world of pain for no conceivable gain. It’s only later, when you’ve just pulled your buddy out of a fire fight, that you start to realize that without that drill you would not have held the day and got your buddy or even yourself out alive – and you begin to learn that the better part of victory was made up of the same stuff as the commitment to finish that boot camp drill.

(25) To go to all the trouble it must take to get such a charge inserted into an indictment with the profile this one has suggests the person who thought it up is forged of an alloy with a set of characteristics – restraint, humility, a thick skin, forbearance, commitment, focus – peculiarly suited to the role of prosecuting those who have chosen careers in organized crime, institutionalized corruption, corporate conniving and politically-motivated mal-information.

(26) I foresee the smoke from the jury room growing whiter and whiter as the jury finds its appreciation of and attraction for Count 5 increasing, by having been compelled to the exercise of working through Count 3 – like that was the plan.

I close with this caveat - and the one risk that the draftsmanship of Count 3 carries.

If Judge Reggie Reggie Reggie figures out that the jury are keeping this going as their own closed-circuit blog to see how to get Bush and Cheney impeached, I think he might explode.

- LabDancer


The fact that the jury is considering the wording of count 1 statement 3 (obstruction relating to Cooper) must mean they are not yet in agreement on count 1, statements 1 and 2 (obstruction relating to Russert). They only need to agree on Libby's guilt for one of those three statements to find him guilty of the charge.

So it troubles me somewhat that they are asking about Cooper. Does it mean they haven't resolved the Russert charges, or perhaps already found "not guilty" on them? Or was it just a nerd question, posed right as the jury was beginning to consider count 1, the obstruction charge (I think they did that before, then answered their own question; it would be in character for this jury to ask).

Mimikatz, I also heard the whine in that "reasonable doubt" question; I sense it reflects one or two holdout jurors. By inference, I believe their "reasonable doubt" relates to whether Libby could have forgotten the Russert conversation. I sense that the jury is close and probably getting closer, but that someone needs to sleep on things over the weekend.

"Specifically, is it necessary for the Government to present evidence that it is not humanly possible for someone not to recall an event in order to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

No

This is another edition of simple answers to simple questions!!

Seriously, though, isn't it as simple as that - "not humanly possible" is a standard far higher than reasonable doubt. But, of course, I'm merely a mathematician.

A point on happiness-

A jury that seems happy when they are getting an agreement from the Judge for some time off really doesn't indicate how in accord they are on the deliberations.

Also I can imagine that everyone is happy when their cookies are delivered each afternoon.

When I look at tea leaves, I see tea leaves.

Lab Dancer: I usually skip past ultra-long posts, but I started on yours and it held my interest until the end. I'm definitely going to read it again after the verdict and its repercussions have settled in.

Lab Dancer, I've never read a more clearly written, more insightful blog comment.
Thank you doesn't begin to say it.

Illuminating, LD, thanks.

Unlike John C, I've read more clearly written comments, or at least ones written more concisely and in less roundabout way. But the substance was worth the throat-clearing.

That is one fine post by LabDancer.

I've also had a very enjoyable morning tracking down and reading several more comments by LabDancer. Looking forward to reading more of them in the future.

I agree that the Obstruction charge is solely about GJ testimony. In which case, the response to that should be easy--the point I was trying to make by referring to closing statements is that this question was a central feature of teh c statements, so it is therefore not unsurprising that the would ask this.

I'm not convinced I've seen the final verdict form. But there seemed to be some agreement that the Count 1 charge would have tick marks for which lies supported teh case. If that were the case, I can see why they'd be asking about this.

In other words, QuickSilver, I don't think it necessarily holds that they're focused on teh Cooper charges and not the Russert ones.

I will likely never get through my new copy of Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson if emptywheel keeps rolling along with her searing analysis and attracting the likes of this prolix but illuminating LabDancer. Even if I don't always fit in, I more than likely am enjoying and learning. And to a public purpose--a woodsy bacchanale no doubt.

I thought your narrative after the first note concerning the third charge was the best I saw, the jurors had saved the most difficult charge for last and were about to wrap up with several guily charges and 1 or 2 not guilty.

Friday's notes, however make me imagine a different narrative more favorable to the defence. A different charge is being questioned (1) and therefore also undecided, and the reasonable doubt note is meant to convince a holdout juror or jurors.

Pure tea reading: An aggessive and very smart jury foreperson has taken charge of the deliberations, with some supporters, and has re-argued logically and visually all the prosecution points. The foreperson has kept polling to a minimum and each time the one or two holdouts became obvious - more logic and flow charts were applied. The foreperson and supporters believe that logic and continued discussion will alter the holdouts opinion not recognizing that the holdouts either 1) may not agree with the majority or 2) has priorities beyond a logical decision that will prevent them from finding Mr. Libby guilty. Next week the profound nature of the split will become apparent and the Allen instructions, etc. will begin the hung jury process. The judge and the attorneys will be rightly indignant that the jury let irreconcilable differences fester so long without notification of the judge but it won't make any difference. I so hope my narrative is crap. Any readers and posters, please critisize and explain where I'm off.

LabDancer,

A month or so ago you emailed an analysis to me of how Fitz might have been able to reconstruct a pattern of missing WH emails. It was brilliant!
Would you consider posting it here?

Re: LabDancer's long exposition and conclusions relating to Count Three ...


I agree that the phrasing of Count Three is awkward at best, and I don't object to it being cast as "awful." But I don't think it's a throwaway, intended to make the other four counts easier to parse and reach a conclusion. I think the drafter of the indictment knew exactly what he or she meant, and assumed the reader would too.


Most Fitzgerald detractors/Libby supporters take that count as intending to make Libby a criminal for having a detail difference in recollection of the Cooper/Libby conversation. I don't believe for one second that a prosecutor would indict for that. The prosecutor's objection lies in how Libby portrayed his personal knowledge to investigators. Libby's tale is that at the time he spoke with Cooper, he didn't know that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.


But I can see the jury taking it as charging on an insignificant difference in recollection - and on the other hand, I can see where pondering this count might cause a few "aha!" moments among the jury. I'm sure their brains are working on the puzzle even as they sleep.

Just to toss another thought into that comment above - the objection to Count Three that many people come to isn't as much credibility of the evidence or the "reasonable doubt" burden of proof. The issue for those who see The Cooper/Libby count as a beef over a trivial difference in recounting, is that the alleged "lie" (hypothesizing that Libby is lying, Cooper is telling the truth, and looking only at THAT difference) lacks materiality.


Based on the fact that so many people come to that construction of that count, I conclude that the phrasing in Count Three lies somewhere between awkward and awful. I doubt Fitzgerald would sign off a charge for an immaterial offense, and the difference between Libby's version and Cooper's, as told in the indictment, doesn't amount to a hill of beans.


I think there is meat in Count Three, but it isn't easy to find.

The poor jury, looking for "quotes" in Libby's testimony for Count Three.


Nobody seems to have stumbled over the obvious, that the transcripts of Libby pertain only to the Grand Jury counts (4 and 5), and that the only evidence of false statements is the conflict between Libby's statements AS ASSERTED BY AGENT BOND, and the question of whether or not Libby did know, at the time he was interviewed by the FBI, that he knew back in late June, early July that Mrs. Wilson worked at the CIA.


There is no direct Libby testimony on the question of false statements to the FBI. All the prosecution has is the investigator's word about what Libby said. I don't believe the FBI report was entered into evidence - all that exists is Bond's testimony.

Aw, nuts. Skip over that last. I just re-read the jury note. They are asking about Count One, not Count Three.

The fact that they previously had a note about count 3 and now a note about pretty much the identical language in count 1 (note in the indictment, the alleged lie is pretty much the same in count 3 and the Cooper portion of count 1), makes me think that this is where all the disagreement in the jury lies. Like QS, I'm confused as to why they're even bothering with the Cooper statement in Count 1, if they've already decided "Not Guilty" for Count 3 or "guilty" for counts 2 and/or 4. It must be as EW suggests, the verdict form must have individual tick marks for which statements/prongs of a count the jury has decided is false. Otherwise, why bother deliberating it?

For the record, here's the language from Count 1 regarding the Cooper lie:

LIBBY advised Matt Cooper of Time magazine on or about July 12, 2003, that he had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and further advised him that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true

And, here it is from Count 3:

During a conversation with Matt Cooper of Time magazine on July 12, 2003, LIBBY told Cooper that reporters were telling the administration that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, but LIBBY did not know if this was true

Very similar, almost identical in fact, except that Count 3 is more specific as to the source of Libby's knowledge, namely "other reporters telling the administration [about] Wilson's wife work[ing] for the CIA". Whereas, count 1 is more nebulous, it just says that Libby "had heard" other reporters were saying this. It doesn't say from where he had heard it. Minor difference, but with this jury, they may have picked up on this.

But you know, in retrospect, all the defense's bluster about Cooper's incomplete notes, it really doesn't matter. The big point is that Cooper never testified that Libby was sourcing this to other reporters only that Libby said "I heard that too." The "I don't even know if it's true" is of secondary importance, even if Libby HAD said that (and Cooper didn't remember hearing that), where do you get from that to "reporters"? In Fitz's redirect, Cooper admitted if Libby had actually sourced this to other reporters, Cooper would have remembered that, as this would have "got his competitive juices flowing"

My point is, forget the whole, "I don't know if it's true" bit, yes there's reasonable doubt on whether or not Libby actually said that. But, as Fitz has argued before, you can't misremember something you never ever said. To the best of his recollection, Cooper doesn't remember Libby sourcing his info to other reporters. He testified that such a thing would have been notable to him, as it would have stirred his competitive edge. Therefore, at least PART of Libby's statement is a lie.

As such, I think that's enough evidence to conclude that Libby's statements to the FBI and his testimony to the GJ regarding Cooper was not true, and was part of a cover story to hide his actual source for Plame's status and employ.

Marcy,

any thoughts on Judge Walton's 48-page Memorandum filed on Friday?

Ok, one last thing.

If you compare Libby's dictated talking points from AF2 (GX528A and B) with Cooper's notes of his convo with Libby (DX816), there's some interesting discrepancies. Most notable is that Cheney wanted Scoots to mention vigoursly pursue and the NIE, neither of which is in Cooper's notes (unless the NIE is the "some piece he saw which was circulated"?).

Just a WAG, but it looks like Scoots started the convo with the on the record stuff (which is pretty close to what Cheney told him to say). At which point I think Cooper then asked him, "But then, why did you guys (OVP) insist on the 16 words in the SOTU?" I think that this is when he hung up, strategized with Martin or someone else as to how to answer that, and then called back off-the-record about the SOTU vetting process with the CIA, stating that neither he or Cheney asked for it to be in the speech on their trips to Langley.

Cooper then prods a bit more about the SOTU, and Scoots said they weren't involved with the SOTU except for project bioshield stuff, and they were involved with other speeches (Cincinnati maybe?,just my guess).

He then was pressed further about their exact involvement and says their main concern was getting their exact language for bioshield in.

Then, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but somehow, scoots veers off the SOTU stuff and tries to get back to the Wilson report so he can give his deep background bit about the Wilson report. I'm wondering if the "had something about the Wilson thing" line was Scoots way to get Cooper's attention again, along the lines of "Look, I've got an exclusive for you here, something about the Wilson trip that I'm not sure has ever been reported."

And then, he gives the deep background stuff on the Wilson report, per his talking points.

At which point, (I'm guessing) Cooper presses him on how he could have possibly known that Wilson's report corroborated the SOTU and that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium when Wilson's op-ed clearly stated that Wilson didn't believe that to be the case.

Then we have the "some piece he saw that had been circulated" which I take to be the NIE, but maybe not.

I think here, Scoots realized that Cooper wasn't taking the bait, wasn't interested in OVP talking points, and tried to get off the line when Cooper asks him about Wilson's wife, obviously digging for confirmation. And after confirming it, he really wants to get off.


My point is that Cooper's main interest here is not in debunking Wilson's oped but rather in trying to figure out who put the 16 words in the SOTU. I think Cooper probably thought that OVP was behind it and was pressing Scooter for info on that. Scoots was obviously not prepared for these questions, was a bit flustered, couldn't stick to his talking points with an obviously disinterested Cooper, so made his quick hits and then tried to eject.

But Cooper wanted to get at least some juicy tidbit so he asks about the wife. And Scooter just couldn't help but confirm, especially since I think he thought he was safe since Rove already spilled the beans.

I interpreted the 'are we evaluating the lie or the liar' question as coming from a juror who's reeealy looking for a way to exonerate Libby and is being confronted with 11 guilty voters. I suspect there is a lot of wrangling going on that may eventually cause the lone juror (or 2) to just get worn down or the other jurors to compromise on *some* of the counts.

I don't like revenge, really. It screws up my head and gives me nasty karma, so I'm trying to take deep breaths during the waiting period and not get too wedded to an outcome. It's hard, I tell ya.

viget

Excellent read--I'll have to look back at the documents, but that sounds about right.

Shooliganza,

since the trial is in DC and the defendant is a member of a generally despised administraton especially in the District, I would expect the majority of the jury was for conviction from the get go. I don't see though that only 1 or 2 will be for acquital. The number could be higher.

As for the make up of the jury, and the individual personalities, I don't have a real feel for them. I do know from personal experience that sometimes take charge individuals can cause resistance from certain individuals. That sometimes people will group out of sympathy or common dislike of other people.

Usually in a situation like this, the thing that finally becomes paramount is the time it is taking away from people's lives. Being held in a jury room all day, after a week, is akin to punishment. These people are not bloggers who dedicate themselves to every nitty gritty detail of all matters relating to the case.

So the question can become does everyone really want to get this thing over with and will that make them change to a position they don't really like. A older retired person for example may not feel the pressure a working person or a person with a family, or an active social situation feels. Money of course can become a pressure.

There are other things too like personal agendas, and I think in a group like this, likes and dislikes that are actually created from whole cloth by the confrontation of the two sides, and the personalities involved.

I see people taking heart that the people seemed to be getting along and were happy at at time when the Judge was giving them 2 1/2 hours off. I bet they are also happy and get along when their cookies are delivered in the afternoon also. This is wishful thinking.

But Cooper wanted to get at least some juicy tidbit so he asks about the wife.

The working title of Cooper's piece was War on Wilson?. Cooper had already talked to Rove. Libby knew Novak was doing an article, from Rove. And yet Libby is still trying to get someone to write about Plame? Cooper was not interested in anything that didn't help his working title. And on top of all of that, you have to discount that Martin testified she pressured Libby into calling Cooper. I agree Libby has problems with his side of the story. But problems with his side of the story and the leap you are taking has to discount too much background noise.

Reasonable doubt might be explainable with an analogy, especially given that some of these jurors are parents.

Kid tells the teacher, "the dog ate my homework again", therefore the teacher gives him an F and threatens him with detention. Parents call a conference with the Principal and claim that the teacher hasn't proven that their kid lied. The Principal asks, "does the teacher have to prove that it wasn't humanly possible for the dog to eat the homework... NINE times? Would a reasonable person conclude that the kid was lying, or not?"

If the parents wanted to show that the dog ate the homework each and every time, they could have brought in the dog and the kid and some homework. That might be the only homework the kid gets turned in all year... unless the dog eats it on the spot. ;^)

Big Time is known for his shredding machines.

Now, are you sure that you missed us???

Sue--

I would agree, except for the fact that Libby's purpose on July 12th was not to leak Plame, but rather to add fuel to the fire to discredit Wilson. I think it was Cooper who brought up Wilson's wife, not Libby. This is why I think Cooper thought his testimony would have been exculpatory to Libby, because he probably assumed that Libby told the truth about their conversation. Little did he know that Libby was lying about their conversation in order to cover Rove's behind.

Libby's cover story was designed to do three things: primarily, to protect the VP as his source (and as the orchestrator of the outing), secondarily to protect all the other known leakers, so as to make it seem like all the leaks came from Libby, and thirdly to put out the "all the reporters know" story to suggest that Novak got his info from other reporters, as well as possibly Armitage or other non-WH sources.

Thus, he 'fesses up to two leaks that he never committed, one to Cooper to hide Rove's involvement and one to Kessler (which never happened) to hide Ari's leaking to Pincus. In order to take IIPA and espionage off the table, he sources the info to "other reporters" and especially to Russert, thinking that Russert would never talk.

Libby's big mistake was in sourcing his Cooper lie to other reporters. If he had just told the FBI and GJ the truth, "Yeah I heard that too," he would not have been charged with another count of perjury and false statements. Instead he tried to cover for Rove and got busted for it.

I am wondering if the reason that Cheney specifically tasked Libby with speaking to the press about Wilson on July 12th, instead of Martin, who presumably was more adept about these kinds of things, was that they perhaps anticipated (especially with Cooper) that the Wison's wife thing might come up, and were in a good place to confirm for Rove's leak. Whereas Martin would have had no clue as to what Cooper was talking about.

I decided about halfway through the above insightful comments, that I must stop reading and wait for the verdict. My stomach just won't take the back and forth of the speculation. Just one thought before I leave this thread: In my experience a deadlocked jury will compromise and give the dissenters something in the form of a not guilty in exchange for a guilty on other charges. This jury is atypical to say the least so I don't know if they will follow that pattern.

That said, I am now going to close my eyes and ears and wait until the jury comes out to tell the judge they have a verdict.

viget,

The primary purpose was to "out" Ms Plame and her entire operation... so that the neocons could have a clear run at Iran without that pesky truth getting in the way of the Administration's propaganda. Joe Wilson IMHO was collateral damage. Valerie Plame was a constant and very real danger to them as long as Brewster-Jennings could track WMD materials through international trade.

There are any number of ways to silence a critic. This Administration prefers to make outrageous sexual allegations (Rove is a particulary dirty player of this game); claiming that the Ambassador was a milquetoast seems too tame given the ferocity and concentration they put into the effort... IF silence was their true goal.

Sheesh! If *I* wanted to discredit somebody, on the merits or truth of what he wrote, I'd have researched his past writings for signs of plagiarism, flip-flopping, or falsehood. Diplomats surely say or imply something untrue at some point in their careers! And if they couldn't find anything, they could make it up, or simply claim that their sources were better than his.

No, fixing the intelligence was a necessary part of propagandizing this century-long war they have begun.

And maybe someday we'll find out what David Kelly really knew, why HIS government outed him, what his relationship was with Judy, Judy, Judy, and why the investigation into his "suicide" covered more than it uncovered. If I was a spy for a western power, I'd be wondering about loyalty and risk when both the US and Britain will throw away good people for momentary reasons. The news cycle is momentary. Is a week's worth of embarassment so threatening that it is worth any price to quash it?

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