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November 19, 2007

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Beam me up.

empytwheel
shut up. seriously. just shut the f up. I am sick and tired of reading that you think you know or have a handle on every single thing that comes out of washington.

you aren't a reporter. you don't call anyone to try and chase down leads. you don't deserve a press credential. that's why you were denied. you want to have the luxury of reaping all the benefits of a journalist without doing any of the work.

you're annoying.

I am going to be predictable, but I guess I find the mention of Bush more intriguing than Card, who Libby in his grand jury testimony told us rebuffed his efforts to get himself cleared by McClellan. Obviously, it's possible there's some other dimension to Card's role. But we didn't really know that Bush was intimately involved in the fall 2003 process of pubilcly clearing first Rove and then Libby, except that one of the most intriguing tidbits at Libby's trial was one of the defense lawywer's contention (outside the presence of the jury) that Bush was a part of the chain of actors involved in the public clearing process in fall 2003. This appeared to be news to Fitzgerald, which made it extra-interesting. Beyond that, what do we know?

I also have to say I think in retrospect what I believe I guessed at the time of Card's departure, that it signaled that the White House had gotten a strong indication from the special prosecutor that Rove was likely off the hook; and I am sort of inclined to think that that was the expectation in bringing in Rove that last time before the grand jury.

and this guy, jeff, can you stop writing long ass diatribes for christ sake. you're just as annoying

Jeff. you're a guesser. And for that you should shut up

Hey Pfunk, did you ever hear the story about how Robert Novak's old partner Rowly Evans got punked during Iran-contra and ended up publishing information that some really prominent figure either had been or was about to be indicted, when that was in fact not the case? I'm totally serious. It's really remarkable. You can look it up in Walsh's old book, I think, Firewall. Or else it's in Draper's book. But I'm completely serious, that's what happened. It's remarkable.

uh. Ok then. Whatever.

Just shut up already

What a cute little new troll!

As for Scottie, I'll file this under "NOW you tell us." Still, I'm curious. I wonder if anyone on Scottie's list will bother responding to the fact that their former White House spokesman just called them big fat liars.

They must have fired Jodi and brought out another kind of minder this time, yes? Or a disgruntled former member of the media who's lost their press pass to the Prettyman...

Refresh my memory about 1x2x6, I don't have your holographic capacity, EW...does this provide additional validation of the 1x2x6's composition? (seems like there were so many combinations and permutations at one point that I gave up keeping them straight.)

And yes, the bit about POTUS is intriguing; why the hell would Scotty drop that one now? shouldn't he still be propping up that gauzy veil of plausible deniability?

shut up

just

shut up. you friggin whack jobs. listen to yourselves. you're pathetic

clearly Pfunk is in a funk and won't be shutting up any time soon.. nor will he take his own advice, lol.

The vacuum of empty space abounds in the universe; apparently a mind containing a healthy quotient of it has randomly dropped by for a visit. How fortunate...

Pfunk - a perfect argument for universal health care. Somewhere a prescription went unfilled - or unwritten. Hello, hotel california, we need one more bed.

Actually, Marcy, we've all known the president was involved in the Plame coverup, but I think this is the first time anyone on the White House staff, in a position to know, has implicated Bush directly.

Please correct me if I'm wrong - but if I'm right, that's pretty big news. Or should be, anyway.

Somewhat OT but did anybody watch Amy Goodman’s interview with Adrian Levy on Democracy Now (Mon 19 Nov)? Pretty explosive stuff. http://www.democracynow.org/streampage.pl

I had picked up bits and pieces of what Levy had to say from other sources but didn’t realise the extent of US complicity in nuclear proliferation. Do watch it if you can. A rerun of Valerie Plame Wilson at an earlier time by the same players - Cheney, Addington, Libby, etc. Only that time the CIA protected its own from a vicious smear campaign.

Jeff the "guesser" wrote: …ended up publishing information that some really prominent figure either had been or was about to be indicted, when that was in fact not the case…

Nice! If I'm following you correctly here, I think that's a pretty good guess.

---------------

Scotty's ghost writer wrote: I had unknowingly passed along false information.

As opposed to all those other times.

&y -- agreed, a good guess by Jeff. I can't think of any other "angry ghost" with as much motivation.

Very much in need of exorcism, too.


It looks like that post at FDL yesterday about the State Department sending out new trolls was more domestic than promised. That just confirms two things: The only enemies that the Bush Mafia cares about are domestic; and the intellectual level of this troll matches the typical level of competency of this cabal's hires and supporters.

I am really intrigued that someone has directly implicated the POTUS in the coverup now. And, maybe McClellan is stating the obvious, but it sounds like he is trying to cover his own rear end. Perhaps he is applying for a new job, or had figured out that once you are involved with these people that the slime and stench does not wash off.

Judging from the comments of the new resident troll, it sounds like something must really be hitting close to home. You can almost judge that by the amount of vehemence they exude...

Is it OT to ask how is everyone preparing for the biggest eating/traveling/ and especially family political discussing days of the year?
I am in NYC, so Rudy is no problem. All I have to say is "more days at Yankee Stadium than at Ground Zero," and "you can look it up"* in the Village Voice, and the band stops playing.
I also need some good anti-anti-Hillary on the basis of character answers to get me through my eating/family discussing. Basis of positions, I can handle.
* Yogi Berra, ergo Yankee, ergo true in my NYC family.
Suggestions?

re: "No new revelations": But to hear it like this from McLellan will make it a new revelation for many audiences, no?

While talking about feeding, how about not feeding the troll? Must admit, he is so good at it it makes me miss Jodi's efforts at argument. But as there is none here, no reason to argue.

Bye bye pfunk.

"Pfunch and Jodi". lol

.

if that's the shit stain's replacement, the repuglitards must be recruiting their new members on the playground during recess

but ya gotta give the guy credit. must have been hard to learn to read with such a low IQ

I thing the repuglictards are really scraping the bottom of the barrel where these trolls are concerned

I was popping off on-liners at the freepi on kkkarl's newsweek article, and some putz was so distraught that he tried to insult my mother

the mouth breathers are being reduced to the most insane extreemes to disrupt the growing wave of revulsion that is overwhelming the repuglitard party, and their efforts just swell the wave

disaster accomplished

bye bye repuglitard party

I'll bet Karl cinched-up Scottie's astronaut diapers before every press conference and gave him a pep-talk about who to believe and what to say.

Then, after each press conference, Karen Hughes changed his astronaut diapers, powdered his bottom, and put Scottie back down in the crib room of the West Wing.

"What Happened" shouldn't be a long book, but once it's clear just how 'out of the loop' Scottie was, it ought to be re-titled to "What Happened While I was Sucking My Thumb?" with a Sub-title of "Someone Please Tell Me - I was Only the Press Secretary."

My greatest interest in the Plame affair all along was the president's involvement because he lawyered up at the very beginning of the Plame affair, just as Fitz came into the picture. He lawyered up with a criminal lawyer. Which from what I understood per reports at the time, is not common. Also, at the time were swirling rumors that at least one person was killed. Of course those reports could not be confirmed or denied due to classification issues. I imagine that information would be a long time out in coming to the surface.

Also, from listening and reading every interview I could of Valerie Plame, without her saying it directly, it seems clear to me that major damage and perhaps even death occurred as result of her outting. If the american people can pin any of that on or near the president, it is high treason. And she repeatedly and strongly affirms in each interview that it was treason and that they suspected that the president knew.

If there is a death linked...the picture changes, but it's state secret. Someday it won't be, but I don't think there is any statute of limitation on murderous treason is there?

And to the quessing god...these are just guesses, theories, unproven ideas to consider in hopes of fleshing out the truth. I know this and it's my god given, constitution given, right to discuss them.

I still pray for the day that the citizens of the United States of America are vindicated and that this administration is held accountable for it's treason, dangerous, behavior.

It's interesting in human nature...When someone is so frustrated by another's intelligence, insight and success, the "crab syndrome" comes on bold... If you have been to a crab bake you know what I am speaking of.

EW, my Mom always said, "Left handed compliments (insults) are the most genuine of compliments. Just smile and nod with confidence!"

We should all smile and nod...

I am not going to stick my toe into this boiling cauldron.

I am going to be predictable, but I guess I find the mention of Bush more intriguing than Card

We knew from the trial that Cheney planned on talking to Bush about clearing Libby's name along with Rove's. We know Scotty made that statement, which would lead us to the logical conclusion that Bush asked him to. Thus, Bush had a hand in Scotty making the statement; of course that doesn't mean Bush knew the information was false.

I can certainly understand McClellan being upset by that, and I'm sure he wants to redeem his good name. He started to try to do that in the press just before Rove was cleared. The problem for him is that he was really bad at his job, and all the finger pointing in the world won't change that.

I agree that there are no facts that link the president directly. But there are enough circumstantial facts that at least beg the question.

EW,

I always find this site informative and thoughtful. I'm thinking that you should probably be flattered that you have so many trolls on today -- although I don't see Jake D here with Jodi and PFunk. I wonder how much they are getting paid to monitor your site. Anyway, keep up the good work and while I find these trolls annoying and disruptive I try to remind myself that free speech is a good thing. They so rarely have anything constructive to bring to the conversation and the sharing of ideas.

The administration has painted state secret on a lot of issues, some which McClellan defended in the early stages of the noWMD retrospective argument against that specific causus belli, though mostly some reckless preternatural irrascibility seemed the likeliest justification; and perhaps McClellan had first person opportunity to take direction from the originator of this TX presidency. I wonder if Fitzgerald has documented all his early paperwork redundantly. In the AZ case abut which bmaz had written a few times, the local county government seems to have lost all record of the clerk's having registered the subpoenas which shut a newspaper and jailed its owners, demanding a copy of the cookies files of all readers on their website. Surely, some of the best practitioners of the law are in WA-DC, and recordkeeping or records loss would be less problematic areas than in the hustings of AZ.

We knew from the trial that Cheney planned on talking to Bush about clearing Libby's name along with Rove's.

If you're talking about something more than the defense lawyer's contention, outside the presence of the jury, that Bush was involved (which I mentioned above), please share how we know that. I mean, I take it to be pretty clearly implied that Cheney was going to throw his weight around with Bush, but there was no explicit discussion of that that I can recall. And I would wager a large amount that if one were to assert that among righties, that it was clear that Cheney was going to prevail upon Bush himself to intervene, it would have been vehemently disputed.

So please, tell us how we know from the trial that Cheney intended to intervene with Bush.

In any case, the question becomes: what happened?

Poor Scottie, If you can't trust the President of the United States, who can you trust?

I take it to be pretty clearly implied that Cheney was going to throw his weight around with Bush, but there was no explicit discussion of that that I can recall. And I would wager a large amount that if one were to assert that among righties, that it was clear that Cheney was going to prevail upon Bush himself to intervene, it would have been vehemently disputed.

I'm thinking about the video Fitzgerald introduced, showing McClellan defending Libby. I'm saying this from memory, so I could be wrong, but I thought it was pretty well established it would have been Bush that had McClellan speak about Libby. Did you think it was Cheney that asked McClellan to do that, or maybe that McClellan said it on his own?

ha ha ha....Pfunk...some disgruntled obtuse flunky from a repug chatroom speak.

Guess they never heard of freedom of speech...the 'right/wrong' side wants to slowly take that away from us too. First health care, then freedoms...hmmmmm sounds like we will be Serf's again soon for the King.

OK, here's Scott McClellan September 29, 2003:
Q All right. Let me just follow up. You said this morning, “The President knows” that Karl Rove wasn’t involved. How does he know that?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. I saw some comments this morning from the person who made that suggestion, backing away from that. And I said it is simply not true. So, I mean, it’s public knowledge. I’ve said that it’s not true. And I have spoken with Karl Rove –

And

Q But I’m not asking what you said, I’m asking if the President has a factual basis for saying — for your statement that he knows Karl Rove —
MR. McCLELLAN: He’s aware of what I’ve said, that there is simply no truth to that suggestion. And I have spoken with Karl about it.

He was saying in Sept 2003 that Bush was at least aware that McClellan was supporting Karl, and also that Bush believed Karl. If Bush didn't want that said, it wouldn't be said.
So we do know that Bush "had a hand" in McClellan giving out information that turned out to be false.

We also know that there was a note by Cheney that had Bush's name crossed out and suggested that Rove was being protected by the pres and Libby was being thrown to the wolves. The note didn't prove but certainly implied Bush's knowledge of the leakers. This was entered as evidence in Libby trial.

Also Bush was on the air force one flight with Ari Fleischer when the cia documents with Plame's name and status were circulated. We don't know that Bush was briefed on them or that he read them.

We know that Bush hired a criminal lawyer when Fitz was selected as prosecutor.

We also know that Bush was walking in the crowd with Ari Fleischer in Africa when he let his leak slip to What's his name "Gregory". There are an awful lot of little coincidences that suggest to my gut that the plot was hatched with his knowledge...but again, theory and conjecture and no proof.

It's certainly enough valid reasons to wonder if Bush had knowledge.

Folks, let me clarify about this "news"--and maybe Jeff can pipe in.

First, we have known that Bush was at least tangentially involved in the leak of Plame's ID:

  • The research into the trips and the Wilsons went into high gear after Bush told Libby he was concerned about the allegations (per Libby's contemporaneous notes)
  • Libby claims Bush approved of him leaking whatever it is that Dick Cheney told him to leak to Judy Miller; this is certainly more than the NIE, almost certainly includes the trip report, and probably includes Valerie's ID (per Libby's GJ testimony and other evidence)
  • On July 10, 2003, Condi reported that Bush was "comfortable" with the response to Wilson (per Libby's note of Hadley passing on the news)

In other words, Bush was intimately involved in this. What remains at issue is whether he knew of a deliberate campaign of misinformation in Fall 2003, when McClellan exonerated Libby publicly, after he did so for Rove. We know it was deliberate, because Cheney was involved and even seems to have been aware that Tenet might disagree with some of the script Libby tried to get Scottie to use. So the question is 1) Did Bush get involved (probably), and 2) Did he do so deliberately, knowing Libby had leaked Plame's ID and talked to Novak? A lot of that might be answered by answers to some of the earlier questions in this post.

One more marginally related point. Remember that, according to all accounts, Powell offered to tell Gonzales what Armitage had said, by way of informing the President. Gonzales declined to know that information.

MayBee

I'm not sure if this is an attempt to say, "There is nada, nothing new here," but if it is, it's not working. It is of course true, as you say, that McClellan was speaking for Bush, and in that sense Bush was involved in offering the press and the public false information. What is intriguing is the suggestion that Bush's involvement went beyond that by-definition level.

And I think that is evident from the fact that the quotations you get from McClellan don't actually support either of these contentions:

We knew from the trial that Cheney planned on talking to Bush about clearing Libby's name along with Rove's. We know Scotty made that statement, which would lead us to the logical conclusion that Bush asked him to.

In fact, we don't know yet whether Bush asked him too, and that would be a significant new piece of information. What's more, we don't know that Cheney planned on talking to Bush - for all we know, Cheney could have intended to lean on Card and McClellan.

For instance, I doubt Ari Fleischer went and cleared with Bush personally the things he said about OVP at the 7-11-03 press gaggle, working from the talking points OVP provided him mere minutes before the gaggle started, if I remember correctly.

Moreover, the impression McClellan is trying to leave in that press conference is that Bush might have found out about Rove just from what McClellan had said publicly. The obvious and understandable intent was to keep Bush as distant from the whole affair as possible. The fact that that was almost certainly false does not make his promise of telling us what actually happened less intriguing.

What is intriguing is the suggestion that Bush's involvement went beyond that by-definition level.

And I think that is evident from the fact that the quotations you get from McClellan don't actually support either of these contentions:

Oh, no, sorry. I got sidetracked and ended up just putting up quotes that I believe leave the impression that
a)Bush knew Scottie was offering official-sounding support of Karl
and b)allowed McClellan to continue to do so.

From Politico.com:

“And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

McClellan says he was in that position because he trusted the president: "The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

In recent conversations and in his many public speaking engagements, McClellan has made it clear he retains great affection for the president.

But White House sources have long said that Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, allowed McClellan to suggest day after day that they had no involvement in the publication of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Later testimony showed that they did, although neither was the original source of the leak.

A federal jury found Libby guilty of on perjury and obstruction charges, and Bush later commuted his 30-month sentence.

In an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” in March, the day Libby was found guilty, McClellan said Bush did not originally know about the involvement by his aides.

McClellan told King: “I spoke with those individuals, … and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. … said what I believed to be true at the time. It was also what the president believed to be true at the time based on assurances that we were both given. Knowing what I know today, I would have never said that back then.”

We shall see how intriguing Bush's role turns out to have been.

EW, Jeff at 13:28, and others,
IIRC there was an additional link to Bush's involvement: the whole nebulous thing about authorization to leak Plame's ID, and the reasoning for not invoking CIPA: Cheney claimed the power to "insta-declassify" leaking Plame's name and status, but I seem to recall reference to a conversation alleged to have taken place between Cheney and Bush about this. I remember thinking at the time that they must have been joined at the hip about this, but probably only via verbal communication, with no written trail.

Bob in HI

Bob

That's my second bullet there. Libby says Cheney told him Bush approved the leak (whatever the content), and at one point Libby even said Bush approved the leak directly.

EW,
Thanks-- I thought that might be what your second bullet was.
I appreciate your care in "connecting the dots."

Your work with the Libby trial helped get me hooked on FDL. Now its my first blog of the day to read, and TNH is the second.

Bob in HI

I am most intrigued by He Who Is Not Named - how did Dan Bartlett, who oversaw "the White House Press Office and the Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, and Speechwriting" not get dragged into this?

As everyone recalls, Ari Fleischer had his controversial lunch with Libby on July 7 and leaked nothing for several days. He then overhears Bartlett ranting about Plame and Wilson on Air Force 1 and suddenly becomes Chatty Cathy with Dickerson and Gregory (maybe) and Pincus.

Yet Bartlett was not otherwise involved? And Bartlett was not part of the group that sent Scottie out into the wilderness? Color me skeptical - I can almost see where the Libby defense was headed with their hints of a Blame Libby conspiracy.

Whatever - we had a Special Counsel (worshipped by some!) look into all this. Who thinks Scottie is writing something that will be news to Fitzgerald?

The obvious pro-WH spin on this latest "revelation" is that Bush did a bad job of waterboarding the truth out of Libby, Cheney, and Rove but was otherwise ignorant (Bush ignorant - who could ever believe that?); obviously, Scottie does not have separate authority to pry at their fingernails.

But as to the idea that Scottie wants to implicate Bush as knowledgable and complicit in a cover-up, providing information now that he did not make available to Fitzgerald then? Keep hope alive.

Says Scotty:

"No one could have anticipated that Bush, Cheney, Card and Libby would turn out to be lying sacks of shit?

Didn't you read that Presidential Daily Brief, Scotty? You know, the historical document entitled "Bush Determined to Attack Democracy In The United States"?

Right on Litigatormom. Just right.

But as to the idea that Scottie wants to implicate Bush as knowledgable and complicit in a cover-up, providing information now that he did not make available to Fitzgerald then?

This is what I like to think of as the "Not indicted!" defense. Surely even conservatives can appreciate the fact that there are other forms of wrongdoing, especially among government officials like the President of the United States, apart from those that get you indicted, yes? Obviously, Fitzgerald knows what McClellan is hinting at, and chose not to indict Bush. Duh. But we don't know, and it will be interesting to learn a bit more. By way of comparison, before Libby's trial, there was all manner of conduct on the part of the Vice President of the United States of which we were unaware, about which we learned at the trial, and which looks pretty bad - even given the fact that said Vice President was not indicted. Surely, Tom, even conservatives understand that the indicted/not indicted dichotomy is not the only, or even the most important, axis for appreciating what our top elected officials have done.

And we do know a bit more about this episode, though still little about Bush's involvement. Rove upon his retirement from government service told us that McClellan asked him if he had leaked classified information and he said no. Which makes the whole thing sound like a bs set-piece, where they were careful not to ask whether he'd leaked WIlson's wife's identity as a CIA employee. And McClellan more or less hinted at as much in that March Larry King interview, talking about how carefully he chose his words but he nevertheless thought they were true.

As for Bartlett, it could well be he was involved too, and doesn't make McClellan's list because he's not as prominent or in as prominent a position as the others.

But by all means, go for it:

I can almost see where the Libby defense was headed with their hints of a Blame Libby conspiracy.

So was the White House in on the conspiracy with the State Department, the CIA, the French, and the Democrats to get the OVP? Or was it a parallel effort?

Surely even conservatives can appreciate the fact that there are other forms of wrongdoing, especially among government officials like the President of the United States, apart from those that get you indicted, yes?

LOL - after you guys nominate Hillary all we will hear from the left is the "If they don't indict, it's alright" argument that greeted Hillary's final "exoneration" by Ray.

But for this brief window of time, perhaps both sides can agree that yes, plenty of unappealing behavior does not lead to indictment. Of course, it was the Dems that wanted a special counsel even though that pretty much assured that the unindicted would walk (and with no mechanism for a final report, either), so waddya gonna do? Congressional hearings would have been too uncertain, especially with Dems in the minority.

That said, I doubt Scottie even knows whether Bush deliberately misinformed Scottie or was misinformed himself. But I am certain Scottie won't be telling us if it is the former.

So was the White House in on the conspiracy with the State Department, the CIA, the French, and the Democrats to get the OVP? Or was it a parallel effort?

Oh, you guys are the masters at seeing conspiracies, at least where Libby and Rove are concerned; I'm just prodding you to raise your sights a bit.

Jeff wrote: "I can almost see where the Libby defense was headed with their hints of a Blame Libby conspiracy."

And I can almost here the characteristic pleasant-toned tenor of the Old Singing Cowboy paying tribute to Ms E Wheel: "I'm Back In The Saddle Again".

Age has robbed me of my former degree of confidence in my memory so I'll defer to my many betters here, but:

[1] How exactly can Wee Spotty claim to have so "unknowingly" [as opposed to "unwittingly"] misled [as opposed to lied to] all those adorable little bunny rabbits in the White House [& all of us] given:

[a] his retained memory of the content of that "bizarre" farewell luncheon with Scootzie on July 7, 2003?

and

[b] his breathlessly inept 25th hour effort to add his assistance to the conspiracy by trying to con that lovely Mr Pincus on July 12, 2003?

Moreover - heretfore I had thought Wee Spotty's claim - & his testideathdefyingmony to the puise jury - was that en Afrique he spilled:

[a] a significantly fuller plate of beans than Dickerson has credited to him in the latter's several complaints about being denied a seat on the comfy chair in U.S. v. Libby,

and

[b] not merely to Dickerson but to Gregory as well [leaving aside the latter's miserable performance in this tale]

whereas now here I see an assertion that it was King Boy George hisownself what threw the snide aside in Gregory's general direction?

FWIW I have assumed that Wee Spotty left Scootzie's name off his original dispensation list owing to a combination of his willing suspension of belief in the case of Rove [I'm trying to be tactful] versus his personal knowledge to the contrary in the case of Libby. Assuming I am permitted to retain the factual underpinnings essential to this conceit then my first reaction to the excerpt from Wee Spotty's 'memoire' would be something along the line from George C Scott's portrayal of General Buck Turgidson in Dr Strangelove concerning the motivations of General Jack Ripper in activating WWIII: I'd hate to judge someone before all the facts are in - but it's starting to look like Wee Spotty is not merely a weasel but a LIAR.

Which - again if memory serves - was why Sir Fitz sought for the puisne jury to 'rely' on his testdeathdefyimony so narrowly.

Perhaps we shall find before Wee Spotty is not too far along on the freshly-published author's obligatory tour in promotion of his 'memoire' that the phrase in question - as fulsome with the potential to please the READING audience - notoriously heavy in liberals & Democrats & reality-based voters & similar social vermin yet thin in conservatives & Republicans & hypocritters - in the mind of Wee Spotty was intended to convey something slightly [though critically] different from the ordinary meaning of the plain words arranged so directly therein.

But perhaps not - given public discourse was never exactly Wee Spotty's strong suit.

P.S. The new troll-in-passing writes like a bitter twisted substance abusing frustrated reporter. I'm just saying ...

Jeff wrote: "I can almost see where the Libby defense was headed with their hints of a Blame Libby conspiracy."

Well, Jeff repeated it but I first penned that deathless prose in the comment signed by the mysterious "TM" (I blame these auto-fill in macros).

As to points 1 and 2 about Scottie's retained memory of a lunch with Libby and a leak to Pincus, did Scottie first do a Vulcan mind-meld with Ari Fleischer, the guy actually at the lunch and in Africa?

LOL

Yes, I just find it totally hilarious that when the administration self-righteously declared they would restore honor and integrity to the White House - the very apotheosis of modern conservatism -, what they really meant was "Not indicted!"

Oh, you guys are the masters at seeing conspiracies

And another self-conception of modern conservatism has fallen at the hands of the Bush administration. Look at what you have to sustain to sustain Libby's defense: everyone but everyone was against the OVP, not just CIA and State, but the White House too. That dastardly White House! They really targeted the good guys in the OVP! And of course the press conspired with all of them, always.

On the other hand, this:

Of course, it was the Dems that wanted a special counsel even though that pretty much assured that the unindicted would walk (and with no mechanism for a final report, either), so waddya gonna do? Congressional hearings would have been too uncertain, especially with Dems in the minority.

is an excellent and important point, especially with Republicans in the majority.

Who thinks Scottie is writing something that will be news to Fitzgerald?

As I think I already indicated, I agree. However, it sure seemed like it was news to Fitzgerald when, January 31 p.m., one of the defense lawyers contended that the President was directly involved in the chain of decision-makers in getting Libby publicly cleared by the White House, and the defense itself expresses some uncertainty about it:

MR. WELLS: I don't think the transcript is going to answer it because I don't think anybody knows. I think you would have to talk to President Bush because he's probably somewhere in that chain.

Fitzgerald's response, in part, was:

As far as the White House, the White House was throwing Mr. Libby under the bus. Mr. Libby is trying to save himself through the Vice President. Now we're getting an implication that it must have been the President involved in this.
The testimony in the Grand Jury is that Mr. Libby went to people to get the clearing statement. Then he went to the Vice President. And that he understood the Vice President interceded for him.

Wells hedged a little further on, glossing over any Cheney-McClellan interaction, though it might also have been a slip of the tongue, and the general point is emphatic:

MR. WELLS: I do not believe those are the facts. I do not believe the evidence will show that Vice President Cheney went to Andrew Card. I think maybe we ought to wait until the Vice President gets here to find out what happened. But I do not believe his recitation is based on the facts or is factual.

Either Fitzgerald appears to be glossing over the President's role, or the defense thinks it knows something, apparently something about the President's role, that Fitzgerald doesn't.

Why should Patrick Fitzgerald concern himself with who told Scott McClellan to say something? As we've all learned at one time or another, saying something at the Presidential podium that turns out not to be true is no crime.

What would be hilarious, however, would be for Sidney Blumenthal to weigh in on this.

Why should Patrick Fitzgerald concern himself with who told Scott McClellan to say something?

I'm inclined to think this is a joke. But here goes: to begin with, for the blindingly obvious reason that it was an integral part of the story that Libby told which was suspected of being obstruction of justice; more generally, because it was the White House publicly laying down a marker and staking its credibility on Rove, and then Libby, not having been involved in what was under investigation; because it would be important to know which senior officials knew what about the role of others leaking the information and what they did with that knowledge. And so on.

Not much here, but interesting ...

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/21/huckabee-bushs-role-in-plame-leak-should-be-investigated/

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