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May 25, 2007

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Shortest Jeffress:

Wahh. Wahh wahh wahh wahh.

Shorter Jefress:

If the public knew these people either supported a subverter of the Constition and supported treason, or they had been dragooned into offering letters of support because they were too cowardly to stand up to Cheney, the right sorts of people might tend to think less of them, perhaps even Republicans. And we might not win the next election, so where would we be?

Marcy, what is the precedent concerning releasing such letters? Is there any, one way or another?

What, the court can't order them released without identifying information? Is that what Jeffress is whining about?

That's a ridiculous argument, coming from a well-paid defense lawyer in a case involving classified information. Especially when the defense lawyer's client was found guilty (although, unfortunately, not of leaking that classified information).

Nice post. I suppose Jeffress is giving the bloggers a back handed comment. There was a time when bloggers didn't even make the radar screen.

EW, a suggestion for the upcoming YKos.

Maybe you and other top bloggers could share your systems for sifting through tje information that is shaken out of breaking news/scandals. For example the USA scandal: with all those emails, to and by all those previously unknown foot soldiers, how did you take what was so amorphous and manage to give it shape?

'compliment' I believe I did type.

Griffin puts Rove in the room:

From tpm: http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003295.php

Rove rarely shows up directly, only by inference (Jennings, Sara Taylor, Goodling, Sampson).

Here, it looks like Griffin is reporting in directly to what he knows is the true chain of command.

Damn, EW. That was one hell of a write up. Bra-fucking-vo.

I'm having trouble following Jeffress' logic here. I think what he's saying is this: If the court starts publishing the nice letters that people write, then people will stop writing nice letters to the court. Is he for real?

Frank

I think he's actually saying that, if people knew that Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton were the guys hailing Libby's character, the argument would quickly become absolutely ineffective.

But he didn't really put it like that.

EW: Yeah, but the judge knows who's writing the letters. It's the rest of us who are in the dark. I think Jeffress isn't really worried about us finding out who DID write letters. I think he's worried about us finding out who DIDN'T write letters. Because it would be a real PR disaster if it turned out that no one with a shred of integrity was willing to vouch for Scooter.

Frank

I highly disagree. If you look at Fitz' sidelined comment: that current and former public officials ought to be dealt with separately, it's a classic slow reveal on his part--he's giving the media org that wrote this request 1) the precedent to use to get the public official letters, and, I would suggest, suggesting that they are there and newsworthy.

Hmm. Could be. I wasn't all that interested in who wrote letters for Libby, to be honest. I was more impressed with the big "Fuck you!" have gave to Babs Comstock. Very politely, of course. :)

Trials are public events. Judges' decisions are public. Everything that affects a judgment should be public.

That logic applies to executive decisions, too. I never understood the harm if someone was inhibited from giving an opinion to the President for fear of being made public. Secret advice is often bad advice. If you're trying to influence a public official, do it in public. The rest of us have a right to know what you said.

EW@00:05 - Agreed completely. I have never breached this issue in Federal court; I'll see what i can find. Others will probably beat me to it. In state court here there is an easy way around the issue if you want to insure privacy of mitigation letters. There is no Constitutional rational basis for non-disclosure; in fact, I would suspect such an analysis would tend to support disclosure if it trended in either direction. Do you know if any media folks are going to weigh in on this legally? I think there is a basis for differentiation from both the average district court defendant and Jeffres' Nixon case in that the predicate acts behind Libby's convictions stem from direct conduct in the course and scope of his employment by, and duty to, the United States public citizenry. There is, at a minimum, an arguable public interest in, and right to, this information. This isn't grand jury material, it will be leaked sooner or later anyway, but I agree it should be made public now. If these fine citizens are so fucking proud of their Scooter, and their opinions of him, let the rest of us share in the basis.

this is a Public Trial, in an Open Court, sentencing a convicted felon, as part of the daily business of the People Of The United States

what reason could there possibly be to withhold letters from public view that were submitted to the judge in this case ???

if the people who submitted the letters had some reason to fear damage from writing the letters THEN THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE WRITTEN THE FUCKING LETTERS

it's THAT FUCKING SIMPLE

they submitted the letters KNOWING THAT THIS WAS A CRIMINAL TRIAL

fuck em, and the horse they rode in on

if you didn't want your association with a known felon to become public record, you shouldn't have submitted a letter to the Judge in the criminal trial

how fucking stupid can you be ???

Judge Walton, if you're reading this, feel free to copy and paste that into your ruling

-he's giving the media org that wrote this request 1) the precedent to use to get the public official letters, and, I would suggest, suggesting that they are there and newsworthy.

It would be nice if he showed equal respect to media orgs requesting the Miller affadavits be unsealed.

There is precedent for releasing the letters from United States vs. Robert W. Ney.

From MSNBC, 1/20/07:
"Prior to the sentencing, nine letters from citizens, most from Ohio, were sent to U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle and filed at court, asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence. One letter said, "I beg you to give him at least 27 months and if possible put an extra 0 on his sentence behind the 7." Another letter says, "If the punishment fit the crime, he'd be shot at sunrise." Also filed are 95 pages of letters from supporters of Ney, including his sister, asking the judge to be lenient. Ney's primary care physician, Dr. Renata Dela Cruz, wrote, "I became concerned that his use of alcohol was influencing his behavior."

Please release all the letters Judge Walton.

Holy shit. I just skimmed the related exhibits you linked to. This is the first time I've seen this type of statement in an official government document: "She was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) at CIA Headquarters, where she served as the chief of a CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq."

Allow me to translate the Beauracratese into English: "How fucking clear do we need to be? She was covert. Her job was studying WMDs in Iraq. She was deliberately betrayed because she and her co-workers weren't telling Dick Cheney what he wanted to hear. And unlike Judy Miller, she really was proven fucking right in the end."

BTW, I agree that the supporting documents say, "Covert covert covert covert covert." But that wasn't the big take-home message of the memo itself, which really said, "Liar liar liar liar liar!"

Frank -- you're right, that Exhibit makes it "case closed" on the issue of Plame's status, and other important revelations.

This is an important document that I hope is given the attention it deserves by the media.

We, the public, do have a very big interest in seeing the letters and knowing who wrote them.

After all, public disclosure has been somewhat lacking right through this case, from the in-house rules of Miller and Russert towards those in power right through to Tucker Faye Carlson's curious omission of his poppy's role in the defence fund.

I'll just add that another, albeit minor, conservative talking point bites the dust: we've known for a while that Plame took a leave from the CIA for about a year, but the conservative talking point has insinuated and in some cases claimed that the leave was involuntary, the idea being that it was forced upon her because of something untoward about her or her conduct. Wrong again. From the unclassified summary of Plame's CIA employment and cover history:

In September 2004, Ms. Wilson requested and received permission to be placed on leave without pay for personal reasons. She returned to duty in August 2005.

but the conservative talking point has insinuated and in some cases claimed that the leave was involuntary,

There was a newspaper article (what was it? A London paper, IIRC) that said as much. Seems to have been untrue.

If it is this clear she was covert, I'm surprised she isn't suing Harlow and Grenier for not making that clear when they told people outside the CIA about her.

Many of the "I Love Scooter" letters, no doubt, are from public officials, presumably including Mr. Cheney, and from paid hacks, liks Toensing and Carlson. The letters from public officials and public persons were filed as part of the public record, subsequent to the public trial and conviction of a public official, in the case of a lawyer and top White House official convicted of obstructing justice in an investigation involving leaks of classified national security information.

It seems abundantly clear that the public is entitled to know why public officials and other public persons think Lil' Scooter is entitled to leniency, and why he should not to start serving his term pending the outcome a two to three-year appeals process.

It may be inconvenient to his supporters that bloggers can analyze a matter repeatedly and to a finer degree than one or two passes in the mainstream press, and that they can record their criticism in a dialogue not possible in one-way print and broadcast journalism. It may feel strange to Mr. Libby that he can no longer wield the power of the White House to manipulate the press in his favor. But those feelings are common to average citizens and convicted felons alike. They are legally and morally irrelevant to the issue of the public's right to know.

Given Mr. Libby's privileged upbringing, his private schools and two Ivy League degrees, including a law degree, his decades of govt service, and years spent defending white collar criminals, the behavior for which he was convicted is even more egregious than that of a violent criminal. Further, he did not have to make do with a public defender, struggling under a caseload made worse by govt underfunding. He had the best criminal defense team that millions of donated dollars could buy. He was convicted of four felonies.

Moreover, his wrongdoing may have affected thousands or more. He has knowingly descended from a model of behavior to a model of public corruption. He deserves no harsher treatment than a violent criminal, no lighter treatment, either. He should start serving his sentence.

It's interesting that Fitzgerald has included the Waxman hearing as an exhibit. Did you see that the Feb 12 memo written by Plame has now been released?

There was a newspaper article (what was it? A London paper, IIRC) that said as much. Seems to have been untrue.

Evidently it was untrue. That'll teach conservatives to be so credulous of the MSM, no?

If it is this clear she was covert, I'm surprised she isn't suing Harlow and Grenier for not making that clear when they told people outside the CIA about her.

I really doubt there's any grounds for suing Grenier. Sure, he rightly felt guilty for what he did. But strictly speaking, he had good reason to think that Libby had basically every clearance known to humanity, and after all he'd signed those NDAs. Plus there's not much historical precedent for senior government officials blowing the cover of covert CIA officers.

As for Harlow, there's no question he did wrong by her. Maybe it's an ordinary legal-strategic decision that suing the CIA spokesman would muddy up the case they have to make. But there's probably also the reflection that he may have just done a poor job of dissuading Novak under difficult circumstances, and it being clear that Novak had heard about Plame from senior administration officials, he gambled wrong, essentially conceding the knowledge that she was associated with the CIA in order to try to suggest to Novak that he refrain from publishing, whereas, Novak being Novak, the better judgment would have been simply to deny up and down any knowledge of any affiliation Valerie Plame or Valerie Wilson or Joe Wilson's wife had with the CIA. And I remain perfectly open to the possibility that Harlow was sort of sitting on the fence, since after all he was a righthand man to Tenet.

Hopefully, the irony will not be lost on Judge Walton that Mr. Libby was one of the staunchest supporters (if not an architect) of Mr. Bush's system of detention without limit, without trial or due process, or even public acknowledgement of imprisonment.

Evidently it was untrue. That'll teach conservatives to be so credulous of the MSM, no?

Funny! Thanks for the giggle.

But strictly speaking, he had good reason to think that Libby had basically every clearance known to humanity, and after all he'd signed those NDAs. Plus there's not much historical precedent for senior government officials blowing the cover of covert CIA officers.

Possibly true, although Grenier would be responsible for letting others know they were discussing classified/covert information when they were discussing Plame.

As for Harlow (and Grenier, I suppose), my guess is that (according to the exhibit linked here), Plame had been moved to a personnel position and nobody thought about what her job had been in the past when they discussed her.
I'm curious about her move to the state department, however. I thought that's where she was going.

FWIW, it was from the Telegraph:
America's most famous spy was doing her best to stay out of the unwelcome limelight last week. "I'm just a mom getting dinner ready for my kids," Valerie Wilson said with a smile at her hilltop home in one of Washington's best neighbourhoods. "You better talk to my husband."

Mrs Wilson, 42, a slim and glamorous blonde in black T-shirt and trousers, was indeed grilling steaks on the barbecue and cooking sweetcorn on the stove as she chatted to her five-year-old twins in their spacious open-plan kitchen.
-----
While Miller languishes in jail, Mrs Wilson has quietly returned to work at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, after a year's unpaid leave. Her work remains classified, although she is no longer a covert operative.

She spent much of her enforced leave of absence helping to counsel women suffering from postnatal depression, a condition that strikes an estimated one in 10 new mothers and which Mrs Wilson herself experienced.

Sometimes it really is amazing to me, in light of the purported skepticism of journalism among JOMers, how quickly they glom onto the slightest apparent stray word or tidbit in a report if it suits their views.

And my advice is, don't trust the Telegraph!

I love how you're never quite willing to concede that things not to your liking are just true, they always only "seem" to be or are "Possibly true." And i do bet that now that there is a historical precedent for all those senior administration officials blowing the cover of a CIA officer, folks like Grenier will indeed be more careful.

Not quite right about Harlow (and Grenier) either. In fact, Harlow explicitly specified to Novak that Plame had worked overseas in the past, as part of his effort to suggest to Novak that she had at least been covert in the past. Furthermore, of course, when Harlow spoke to Novak, and all the more when Grenier spoke to Libby, she had not been moved to the new position, she was still working at CPD as the chief of a CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq, though she had been selected for the new position. But the whole reason Grenier felt guilty was because he knew she worked in a part of the Agency where the overwhelming majority of employees were covert.

I just brought the Telegraph article to show you where that came from. I'm surprised it was never corrected before.

Sometimes it really is amazing to me, in light of the purported skepticism of journalism among JOMers, how quickly they glom onto the slightest apparent stray word or tidbit in a report if it suits their views.

Umm.....do I really have to make a comment here, or do you know exactly what I'm going to say? :-)

I love how you're never quite willing to concede that things not to your liking are just true, they always only "seem" to be or are "Possibly true.

We all have our flaws. Some are all too willing to declare things that are to their liking to be true, or "possibly true".

Furthermore, of course, when Harlow spoke to Novak, and all the more when Grenier spoke to Libby, she had not been moved to the new position, she was still working at CPD as the chief of a CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq, though she had been selected for the new position.

Yes, upon re-reading I see that. Hm. Whatever the cause, between the INR memo and Grenier and Harlow's behavior, there seems to be something about her current job that made her seem un-covert at the time. We've heard a lot about her transition, and I suspect the famous transitioning had something to do with it.
Did you read her Feb 12 memo yet?

MayBee

I have admittedly only scanned the sentencing memo, but it seems clear that that administrative position didn't come about until August 2003 (though it was planned beforehand). Which means my surmise--that when, in October 2003, Novak said she was in an administrative role, he was playing with his tenses to imply falsely she was in an administrative role in July 2003.

"But it's a question of Walton judging those who have significant power over him."

You'd think it'd be a simple question of a judge implementing a law in a reasonable way. But before he goes to sleep at night, the specter of these power posessing beings -- not yet, or perhaps ever, formally criminals -- may well haunt his reverie. Another microcosym of the fate of our country playing out.

It'd be nice if Walton went down in history as upholding the rule of law, no questions asked. We can only hope.

when, in October 2003, Novak said she was in an administrative role, he was playing with his tenses to imply falsely she was in an administrative role in July 2003.

Nice one.

Did you read her Feb 12 memo yet?

Yes, and the rest of Bond's extremely tendentious additional views, which culminate in the declassification of Phase 1's absolutely hilarious explanation for things like the CIA emphatically insisting that Bush take the uranium claim out of the Cincinnati speech - even though CIA turned out to be exactly right, it was all a big misunderstanding inside the Agency, nobody really was skeptical, they got confused. Persuasive.

The defense, in this case, is exactly like the government. treat the citizens like mushrooms. They cannot stand the sunshine. Is the vampire cockroach Cheney ever able to let the sunshine in? If one ray ever exposed his doings, he would/should be in the docket too. At the Hague.

Until his financial demise, Conradd Black owned London's Daily Telegraph. Already leaning right, he paddled it from one side only and kept it turning in tight little circles to the right.

Just read the pre-sentencing memo by Fitzgerald (anyone know if the defense side is posted yet?).

Did anyone else pause over the redacted portions, which appeared to have details about Scooter's supporters/friends in high places?

Reading between the lines, it looks like there is tremendous political pressure being exerted on Walton, and Fitz is pleading with him not to fold. (Although by my lights, recommending a sentence in the four corners of the sentencing guidelines and not requesting enhancements is folding by Fitz).

Posted by: earlofhuntingdon | May 26, 2007 at 10:39

Just read the pre-sentencing memo by Fitzgerald (anyone know if the defense side is posted yet?).

Did anyone else pause over the redacted portions, which appeared to have details about Scooter's supporters/friends in high places?

Reading between the lines, it looks like there is tremendous political pressure being exerted on Walton, and Fitz is pleading with him not to fold. (Although by my lights, recommending a sentence in the four corners of the sentencing guidelines and not requesting enhancements is folding by Fitz). . .

good questions, here.

as of this morning, no defense response on PACER.
my gut tells me after monday -- they'll take until
after that just to digest the devastating detail
put together by team-fitz, and find some responses
thereto. . .

as a public service, yesterday, i put almost all
of the text from the sentencing memo into two,
intentionally/distinctly-different buckets:

post two -- the politics: why bring this case?

post one -- the law: what did scooter REALLY do?

my animating insight -- such as it were -- making it
very-easy for us all to counter-act the republican-ista spin
machine all over the web, on this. each full-text paragraph
is meant to stand alone -- so each may may simply be
highlighted, copied and pasted directly in reply to
any winger-rant. . . this is the government's
position on the matter
-- that is a fair statement.

hard to make a rational, cogent winger-answer to much of it.

now -- as to the sealed portions, i am untroubled -- and
let me tell you why: as soon as the sentence is imposed
by judge walton -- everyone -- including judge walton,
knows the redacted portions will be made public.

there will no longer be any compelling interest
in keeping them secret -- if walton doesn't release
the full-version himself, a f.o.i.a. request and
freedom of the press challenge will work here, i.m.o.

thus -- judge walton will not "fold". c'mon, how would
THAT look? we will all see what each r.n.c.-er
wrote, on scooter's behalf -- and we will judge whether
the effort "worked". . . btw, i don't think it will work.

no, i think the redactions are meant to keep
everyone focused on the issue -- not who likes
scooter -- but what was his conduct? and what
sentence is appropriate/merited for that conduct?

as ever, i think the truth will out.
it mostly has -- already. EW (and i)
greatly cheered how adroitly fitz
pointed the lank finger of implied-
accusation at mr. dick cheney, here.

and, i do understand -- your mileage may vary.

Nolo, intriguing insight and I hope the sentencing goes as your predict.

I think you are correct that if Cheney's name as a letter of support showed up in the document, the headlines would have been about Cheney, not the merits (not that there were any headlines here in Sacramento).

In the hands of a more partisan gunslinging prosecutor with no respect for the law (Ken Staff comes to mind) Cheney would be an unindicted co-conspirator, or maybe even an indicted co-conspirator.

As a mother of three, and a very concerned citizen I was able to attend several days of the Libby trial, and will never forget the closing arguments of Patrick Fitzgerald. He ended the closing arguments on how the outing of Plame had damaged U.S. National Security. When Fitzgerald was describing just a bit of the damage to National Security, steam was coming out of Jeffress ears and fire out of his eyes as he bolted upright and quickly objected to Fitzgerald's closing arguments. (I was wathcing closely)

The white noise was turned on in the courtroom and both teams stood in front of Walton with their arguments. After a few moments the white noise blocking the public's ability to hear what was taking place was turned off and Fitz had obviously gotten the o.k. from Wells to continue his closing arguments exactly where he had left off. Fitz continued to explain in the most basic terms how the outing of Plame had done serious damage to U.s. National Security. (of course he was unable to go into this in-depth_

Libby LOST! The most serious question is will he and the others who damaged U.S. National Security pay any serious price? Or will our nation and the public continue to lose? The other big question is will Walton serve Justice and our nation or Libby supporters?

Will our justice system continue to fall under the dark influences of an administration that has done more damage to our country than any administration in our history?

Will the words spoken by Fitz during the announcement of Libby's indictment ring true "truth is the engine of our judicial system"

Many Americans are hanging onto a thin thread hoping there is some truth to Fitz's statement! I know Fitz believes this, let's hope and pray that Walton does too! From what I witnessed in that courtroom, I believe Walton is a man of great integrity!

From a concerned citizen and soccer mom
Kathleen

cool -- i think you're right that a
cheney letter is very unlikely, for
all the reasons implied by mine above,
and by this:

". . .it is pretty clear that for
every letter upon which judge walton
relies in his sentencing, the public
has a presumptive right of access
.

and, for every letter submitted by
any public official -- regardless of
whether judge walton relies on the
letter
, in sentencing -- there is a
presumptive right of public access. . .
"

so -- knowing his legendary proclivity for
secrecy -- there's a good chance monkeys
will fly out o' my butt
before dick
cheney will write any letter for scooter. . .

more analysis at my joint, in fact
a whole post, on the topic. . .

kathleen -- i have great faith
that our system of justice will
work at his sentence -- just as
it did at his trial.

it would be insanity for bush
to pardon him -- as fitz wrote
yesterday -- in the president's
own words, the leak was a crime.

what would the answer, there, look like?

just my $0.02

Did you read her Feb 12 memo yet?

Yes

Well, what do you think of her memo?

MayBee

I'm tempted not to answer, because it's not in good faith, you come over hear and act all innocent but then spout nasty shit over at JoM. Nasty.

No time now, but I'll give an answer later.

I'm tempted not to answer, because it's not in good faith, you come over hear and act all innocent but then spout nasty shit over at JoM. Nasty.

Nasty?
Anyway, I'm not pretending to be innocent, I'm trying to be polite.
But I do believe it was just yesterday you called me evasive, and I see some grade A evasiveness going on here.

In which new document (PDF) is Plame's Feb 12 memo contained?

I couldnah find it.

let steer this back on-topic, eh?

here we go -- from u.s. v. kushner:

. . .A qualified right of access attaches automatically to all judicial records, without a showing of any particularized need. See Nixon, 435 U.S. at 597-98. What constitutes a "judicial record" hinges on "whether a document has been filed with the court, or otherwise somehow incorporated or integrated into a district court's adjudicatory proceedings." In re Cendant Corp., 260 F.3d 183, 192 (3d Cir. 2001). . ."

MayBee

I'm being evasive because you ask me this open-ended and yet precise question about whether I'd read the February 12 memo? I suspect you just think I'm supposed to fall over because of . . . something you said or read on JoM.

It is puzzling in several respects, and on its face it leaves utterly unanswered the question of whether she suggested her husband or not. One of the things I found interesting is that clearly Wilson, because of his expertise, was a sort of standing resource for the Agency on Niger. It almost reads as though he's on call. And it is certainly the case that Wilson was not brought in out of nowhere once the VP expressed interest. I strongly suspect Wilson was told this was in response to OVP interest on February 19 because, well, the VP is sort of important and interest he may have had in a report would crowd out the fact that someone at State or DoD was also interested.

Now, I also think it's still unsettled about just when CPD, and Plame, got word of OVP's interest. Plame evidently did not remember that when she testified to the SSCI, though it's clear she expressed uncertainty on just how it originated. It's also the case that the February 13 tasking from the briefer indicates that Cheney had read or heard about the DIA memo before the briefing that day - so if it was the morning briefing, that would pretty definitively place the VP's initial heads-up on February 12, the day it was produced. Which would fit perfectly with the notion that one of her co-workers received a call that day from OVP indicating its and/or the VP's interest.

desertwind

The memo is contained in Sen. Bond's additional views in the newly released part of the SSCI's report on prewar intel. It starts somewhere shortly after p. 200 and is occupied entirely with a renewed, mostly unfair attack on the Wilsons. But it culminates with absolutely the most hilarious explanation for the facts underlying the episode where the CIA worked really hard and succeeeded at getting Bush to take out the uranium story from the famous, important October 7 2002 Cincinnati speech.

And it is certainly the case that Wilson was not brought in out of nowhere once the VP expressed interest.

I completely agree with you on that, although I'd guess I don't think it for the same reason you do.
I know that you understand what it is like to think someone is too credulous in believing what they want to believe. I think you accused me of that earlier.

Having said that, this:
and on its face it leaves utterly unanswered the question of whether she suggested her husband or not.
is completely unsupportable. On its face, she absolutely suggested her husband. Whether you believe her supplemental story is another matter. Whether there is any evidence to support her story is another matter still.

Fitzgerald included Waxman's hearing as supporting evidence in his sentencing memo. Plame's memo in full raises serious questions about the veracity/accuracy of parts of her testimony in that hearing.

Look, MayBee, you don't think Plame's memo "raises serious questions" blahblahblah. Over at JoM you're calling her "what a liar" and a "habitual liar." You may think you're being polite, but you're just being unstraightforward and passive aggressive here. Just so we're being straightforward here.

If the story that Plame told under oath is true, then she didn't suggest her husband just because she wrote this memo. That was clear before and it is clear now. Recall that part of her story is that the memo was written in response to a request from a superior.

Now, that said, it's clear now as it has always been clear that part of why Wilson was on the Agency's radar as (apparently) the go-to guy for Niger, in addition to his expertise and contacts in the region, is because his wife worked undercover at CPD. And in fact we've known for a while that she apparently did suggest him for an earlier trip, when he was traveling there on business. Again, nothing particularly unusual or unseemly about any of that.

It is a basic principle of textual interpretation that to understand a text, you need to understand what problem or question it is addressing. You can't read that off the face of this text. Was it in response to a request? Was it her originating suggestion?

Next thing you know, you're going to be claiming that this memo is inconsistent with the notion that she was not psyched at the idea of her husband going because they had very young twins at home.

Abramoff letters from supporters were made public. More here.

"Whatever it is that Abramoff is guilty of, it certainly wasn't violent crime. In the spectrum of corruption and crime in politics, I'm not even sure where it would stand against bribery, check kiting, prostitution, drugs, blackmail and other nefariousness committed by our public officials in recent memory."

-- Karen McKay

"Much has been written in the media about him by people who have never so much as spoke to Jack, people who plainly had axes to grind against him."

-- David Klinghoffer

The events surrounding Libby's crimes have much more national interest than Abramoff and Kidan's. That case was simple bank fraud (Sun Cruz purchase). Libby's case involves national security. He was living off the taxpayers so we have a right to know who the hell supports him now. JMTC.

Why doesn't / didn't the FDL community write a letter? It's not too late to arrive before the sentencing hearing. I'd LOVE to sign on to a letter written by EW/Jane/CHS/etc...

PLEASE, PLEASE!!

Next thing you know, you're going to be claiming that this memo is inconsistent with the notion that she was not psyched at the idea of her husband going because they had very young twins at home.

Look, I'm not being dishonest. I know you can switch tabs in your browser and see what people are saying at JOM. I assumed you, of all people, already knew I thought the Wilsons are not honest. Is that NASTY? Is it NASTY to say she lied, but perfectly ok to accuse Barbara Comstock and Victoria Toensing and Monica Goodling of all kinds of evil?
I just don't think it makes sense for me to come over here full of bluster, so I'm trying to explain what I see rather than be inflammatory to you all here.

But hey, at least I'm willing to try to make my case outside of my bubble. I don't see you doing that.

Jumping into this OT with my 2 cents. Please excuse the ramble:

Some people don't seem to understand Washington, DC culture and protocol. Perhaps it's changed, but this is my experience as native.

There is a sort of unspoken code re secrets. A kid's parent might be "in the Army" or "works at the Labor Dept", but if the kid says "He works for the government" that means CIA. It's also understood that certain other jobs might be "secret". It's not that people don't gossip -- they do -- but there are boundaries.

Across the street lived a father who "worked for the government" and everybody knew it. I have no idea what his classification was but he once asked my mother to ask me if I'd like to take a job interviewing immigrants from the USSR. All very informal. I didn't take the job.

Gawd, I am rambling. I'm not arguing that Valerie's status was "cocktail party gossip" or that she suggested Wilson for the Niger job. I don't know. What I'm saying is that Wilson is a product of this government service culture and it's understandable that he'd be asked and then go to Niger.

Cheney is also a product of this culture. His "junket" scribblings shouldn't be considered a serious line of inquiry. They're strictly a diversion tossed to the rubes outside.

Interesting Jefferies arguement here:

"Revealing these private communications, however, would chill the willingness of individuals in future cases from expressing their opinion in an honest or forthright manner or even at all."

How forthright can it be to testify in secret to some one's apparently hidden goodness?
I guess he would portray(spin?) establishing fenced in free speech zones,arresting and detaining people in NYC prior to the Republican convention, as merely an attempt to separate the fun time agitators from the sincere patriots.

desertwind

You get that any place there's a big government presence.
I grew up in one of those government-impacted areas: you knew where your father worked, but what he did was never mentioned beyond job title - and I do mean never. (I was grown before I found out that people really did ask questions like 'what does your father do?'.)

Forget the cover-up of trhe e-mails, let's do some speculating:

A. What issues do those who do not want their names reveal want to not hvae thrown back at them? Let's reaise those issues, and throw it back at them.

B. Who are the people who specifically benefit if this information is not released. Foreget about the original letter writers: Let's consider the laws firms who benefit by having this informatoin suppressed: What were their connections with NSA contracting, FISA violations, and other illegal activity?

Use this opposition to root out what they really don't want talked about: The issues, the illegal acdtivity, the coverup, and the war crimes. Use this requiest to have something sealed as the catalyst to discuss, speculate, and expand the war crimes prosecutions deep into the EOP, WH counsel's office, DoJ Staff, and oustide counsel.

This lazy government won't protecrt the Constuttion: The least We teh People could do is make their attempt to light the Constittion on fire a little difficult. Let's throw some more rain water on their sparks near the Supreme Law and Constitution. Let's quiet this attitude of, "Nothing can be done, and lwafully defend this Constitution."

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