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October 11, 2005


This is great. The reporters sneaking news into articles, and the paper of record making false corrections.

I think that the new Waas piece should be tectonic. First, we have information about content and when Fitz found out (recently!) about the June conversations. Then Waas spells out the multiple ways in which this indicates Libby was obstructing (he omits the reference to "July" in the letter, I think). And strangely enough, it turns out Abrams told Miller that Tate told him Libby's waiver had been coerced. So Libby was keeping her in the whole time! So it who at the Times retaliated by spilling about the June meeting?

No one I know has every figured out who this third source was, though. Swopa? I think this might be an area you've obssessed about...

Ari Fleischer or Dan Bartlett, calling from Air Force One.

But why are you twiddling your thumbs when there's a fresh Murray Waas article out, confirming my guess from Friday about the meaning of Miller's new notes?

Unscrew the locks from the doors !
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs !

Light, Light, and More LIGHT!!!

emptywheel - the only question left is whether you should be made managing editor of the Times after Keller is forced out ...

... or POTUS after Bush is forced out.

well, I guess not the ONLY question ... we've still got a few others

Your blog reminds me of the program Nightline. It was started to give us insight into the Iran hostage crisis. After the crisis ended, Nightline was so good that it kept going.

Plame has given you an opportunity to showcase your skills and talents, and I predict that long after Plame is over, The Last Hurrah will continue to be a first stop for those of us who want accurate information and perceptive analysis about important issues.

You do excellent work. Thank-you.

emptywheel sure does, and so does Kagro and DHinMI and James and MB and Page and everyone else, including our newest addition, mimikatz. Nice blog to be associated with.

In fact ... it might even turn out to be the NEXT Hurrah...

It's definitely the current hurrah ... After the last 3 months I have HAD it with MSM.

Susan, thanks for the compliment. As DemFrom said, it's a pretty nice blog to be associated with.

I'm addicted to this blog as well. All of you are doing incredible work. Thank you.

hey emptywheel - This may be old news, but if you get a chance, check this out- the key part that may result in one of your patented brainstorms is as follows:

"Bloomberg reported that Colin Powell and Ari Fleischer had it in their possession
during an Air Force One flight to Africa on July 7, the day after Joe Wilson's
column was published. The Bloomberg dispatch states that the memo was written
on July 7 at the request of Powell.

"But in a case timeline published at Counterpunch, author and former (Johnson/Nixon-era) National Security Council member Roger Morris claims that the memo in question
actually dated to June 10, and was written by the State Department's Bureau
of Intelligence and Research at the request of Undersecretary of State Marc

hmmm ... maybe it was old news, but that brings up a question I've been meaning to ask: In light of all this new information, what's your updated assessment of the probability that Condoleezza will be indicted?

Well, I don't trust Roger Morris, and there are other aspects of his timeline which are incorrect or not convincingly sourced. So I wouldn't indict Condi on his evidence.

Which is not to say she'll escape. I think she is as exposed--no more, no less--than Bush. Stephen Hadley, on the other hand, I expect will get indicted.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Who fabricated the niger documents and to what extremes would they go. Who in the inner circle is involved? When it's all put together then the truth will emerge.

In light of your comments emptywheel I find it even more interesting now that someone at The Times is feeding stories about this case to Reuters:

"She is to return to the grand jury Wednesday to supplement her earlier testimony," New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in a memo on Tuesday to New York Times staff, a copy of which was forwarded to Reuters.

It seems Bill Keller is sick of us armchair critics.

Shall we get him a card?

EW, continuing from my comment in your earlier post, I think David Johnston does seem to be a strong candidate. Now if we can show that Johnston was interviewed by Fitzgerald's team at some point, then....

All of this seems to add up to the following:

- Someone at the Times is leaking and whistleblowing on the Times' complicity in the affair

- When all is out, heads will roll at the Times, or they might even be indicted for obstruction of justice

- EP will have the whole story

What I guess I don't understand is this: We all know no layperson should have had knowledge of who Valerie Plame was and what she did for a living. But what was Judy Miller entitled to know about Joe Wilson, his mission, his identity, and what he was saying around town?

Seems to me, given the attention paid to the earliest meeting between Libby and Judy, before the Wilson op-ed had run in the Times, that Libby was attempting to orchestrate some kind of punishment on Wilson by in essence outing him. Wilson has said that he wrote the op-ed partly because his "cover" was about to be blown. Blown by Judy Miller, though not in the way that sounds. It seems to me that except for his less than top-secret status, the campaign to malign and harm him was an equally flagrant misuse of government power against an individual. So I guess I'm asking, was there anything inherently criminal or wrong about the formulation of the campaign to discredit Wilson in public, prior to his having written the op-ed piece? Leaving aside the question of actions taken against his wife.


Thanks for your tremendous insight!

From your posts in several different places (including upthread) I understand that you believe Fitz would have incentive in flipping Libby to get at, NOT the Who of the Plame outing but, the What of the Niger document forgery.

I have a couple questions about this and I imagine others do too.

1 Is investigation of the Niger documents forgery per se within the scope of what Fitz is supposed to investigate? If so, could you point us to a link where that is made clear?

2 Even if investigation of that document forgery was not within his initial investigative scope, might that scope be expanded to include it? If yes, what conditions have to be true and what procedures must be followed so that the enlargement of scope can take place?


This reads like a murder mystery. Oh. Wait. It IS a murder mystery!

Interesting comment from Plato Cacheris on the Espionage Act from this evening's WashPost piece on Miller:

Some legal sources are focused on their clients' exposure under the broad language of the Espionage Act. They say a prosecutor could argue that any official or private citizen committed a felony by transferring classified information about Plame to reporters.

But veteran defense lawyer Plato Cacheris, who represents a former Pentagon policy analyst who pleaded guilty last week to violating that portion of the act in a separate case, said using it for contacts with reporters would be "stretching it to something the statute didn't intend."


As Larry Franklin's attorney, we can't exactly expect old Plato to give us an impartial opinion on the law his client has been charged with ... hmmm ... convicted of, actually. Okay, I see what you mean: hmmm.

Re: The comment on the Espionage Act by defense lawyer Plato Cacheris: "stretching it to something the statute didn't intend."

A delightful feature of the criminal conspiracy law is that it requires only (a) a plan by more than one to effect an illegal purpose and (b) a single criminal act in support of this plan by a single conspirator, with or without the knowledge or approval of the others.

Even if a "naked" criminal prosecution for leaking classified material is not usually acceptable to a court, the crime is ideal for the "perfection" of a criminal conspiracy case, IMHO.

Oh Jesus Tapdancing Christ eriposte if it turned out Dave Johnston was the one who tipped Fitzgerald to the June 23 meeting and cracked the whole thing wide open PARTY AT MY HOUSE I SHIT YOU NOT THAT WOULD BE THE BEST NEWS I HAD ALL YEAR.


Why would Johnston have to have been subpoenaed or formally interviewed? Couldn't he (or some other NYT staffer) have just picked up a phone?

Oh Jesus Tapdancing Christ eriposte if it turned out Dave Johnston was the one who tipped Fitzgerald to the June 23 meeting and cracked the whole thing wide open PARTY AT MY HOUSE I SHIT YOU NOT THAT WOULD BE THE BEST NEWS I HAD ALL YEAR.

For the benefit of those of us latecomers, could you elaborate on that?


"Ms. Miller's meeting with the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, focused on notes that she found in the Times newsroom in Manhattan after her appearance before the grand jury on Sept. 30."

I thought the notes were "found" in the DC office.


Comey's instructions to Fitz were to go whereever his instructions took him. Comey said at the time he left the instructions deliberately open. So, yes, if Niger comes up, Fitz is empowered to go there.


That is interesting, isn't it? Same degree of specificity as Isikoff had, but coming from within the NYT.

In any case it's remarkable, if you think about it. If you're the NYT or Judy Miller and intent on maintaining the distinction between the reporter's notes and the paper's property, why would you store the notes at the NYT?

Kurtz' summary this am. Jay Rosen has his own at PressThink.


A phone call would technically suffice, but Johnston may get into a heap of trouble with his bosses and Miller for volunteering information about her (another colleague's) contacts with one of her sources. So, unless he (or whoever Fitzgerald's source was) was legally bound to tell all, the pressure would be quite enormous not to do so.

Via Tom Maguire, there's one more correction in this mess. Doesn't look that fruitful, really. Perhaps my rule about Jehl and Johnston holds?

From Kristof's second column talking about Wilson's trip:

Correction: June 17, 2003, Tuesday I goofed. In my last column, I referred to comments by Condoleezza Rice on a Sunday television show but misstated the show. It was ''This Week with George Stephanopoulos.'' Mea culpa.

I'm so confused ...

"Plame has given you an opportunity to showcase your skills and talents, and I predict that long after Plame is over, The Last Hurrah will continue to be a first stop for those of us who want accurate information and perceptive analysis about important issues."

My apologies; that should have read The Next Hurrah!

obsessed -- Johnston's a great guy. He can't be happily complying with this mess.

Congratulation. You put in evidence a case of kangourou Journalism. Ask no more http://www.correntewire.com/the_grey_lady_that_did_not_bark_in_the_night

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