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June 15, 2006

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Byron conflates the non blockbuster death of Vince Foster with the real blockbuster that administration officials KNEW they were using a foregery to start a war.

Fitz's history suggests he goes after AND GETS the kingpins.

Well, that's nice that York thinks Rove is innocent. That's one person.

There's a lot to pick on in his write-up, but let me just be the first to begin at the end: when you said you were 'obsessed' with the case 'more than is healthy' if I recall correctly you were referring to Judy Miller. Not an important distinction, but as long as he's blogging what you already blogged about what you said to him about blogging, we may as well keep the details right.

Nah, he's correct. Judy was a fetish, this story was an obsession. My mistake for using either term. I made the blogosphere look like caricatures of the blogosphere on Teevee.

Should have gone to both the media training sessions.

Oh, and ~pockets--hopefully Quicksilver will come along and join this thread, since he was part of the Byron conversation (and probably has some of it on tape, before Byron asked him to turn it off). He has a much stronger impression about Byron's queasiness about Rove's cooperation than I. So I'm not sure Byron--who after all is paid to say what Barbara Comstock tells him to--really believes Rove is innocent.

Fair enough. Although I'd say given the traditional broad brush of bloggers as yammering amateurs in pajamas, if the worst thing a right-wing pundit has to say you is that you are too expert in one of the (many) areas you write about, you don't need to worry about media training.

Emptywheel,
I came by to search for any comments you had on the sealed v. sealed and figured I'd ask you a question while I was here.
Is PJF obligated to pursue Justice and prosecute crimes through any means necessary?
For instance, if Abu Gonzales or anyone else in the government tried to use some technicality to achieve stalemate in the case, would PJF be compelled to try to outflank that maneuver outside what you might see a special prosecutor do under normal circumstances? Or does he say, "shit they got me" and go home.
We can all see the likelihood of chimpco playing in the dark grey areas of the law, I just wonder if PJF will go there too.

Here's hoping...

T

I don't put much stock in any of the sealed indictment theories. It was invented first so some people--people who have been wrong on significant things with this case--could salvage their reputation. Moreover, I don't see how a sealed indictment would help Fitzgerald at all. As I undestand disclosure laws, he'd have to reveal it to Libby's team anyway. So the biggest goal--to avoid impeaching evidence--wouldn't be achieved. Plus, if he has a case on Rove, it'll still be there if Rove doesn't testify as he already has. And Fitzgerald already has ROve's statement, so it's not like he's going to change it.

So it just doesn't make logical sense to me. I think Fitzgerald either got something so significant that he was willing to let the Rove perjury go in exchange for having a less impeachable witness, he couldn't finalize the case, or there's something about the story that makes Rove less guilty (on the Novak leak, not the obstruction) that we have thought he was.

Byron is a right wing tool. Any show of interest, impartiality or fairness was just that - a show. He was looking for dirt when he went to Kos, he didn't find any, so he made some stuff up.

Typical neo-con winger. He's Coulter with better hair.

Ok. I'm with you on the sealed indictment rationale, but I'm convinced chimpco would try anything to derail justice in this matter. Hopefully PJF compelled to fight whatever that might be in the pursuit of justice. I'm sure there'd be no precedent on the shit they would pull...

Sorry if I've missed it somewhere, but have you opined on the most likely contents of sealed v. sealed? As I understand, it's marked with a criminal case #.

Wheel, I think you come off fine in the York piece. He lays the basic facts out there, but not with a strong enough point-of-view to carry the day. So, ultimately, the facts speak for themselves. As someone who watched the Plame panel on CSPAN and thought it was very successful, this didn't alter my opinion, but, if I hadn't seen the panel, it wouldn't form my opinion. Sometimes I'll tune in to Rush Limbaugh just to see what he's selling, and he'll lay out progressive talking points I agree with, but with a sarcastic sneering tone. It doesn't make me agree with the points any less, sometimes I'm thankful he's organized them so nicely.

Byron York: Wheeler later wrote an account of our conversation — bloggers seem to write up everything — and by her own recall she said, “But don’t all reasonable people have hopes that Rove will be indicted?” I said no, I didn’t think so. [emphasis mine]

Not quite. I was the third person present during that brief Saturday night conversation with York, and though I have commented already on it, will reiterate what I heard: York was visibly uncomfortable talking about Rove's possible cooperation against Cheney and the OVP, and definitely steered emptywheel off the subject. What was most interesting, however, was York's admission that he and others in his political camp would prefer to see Rove indicted. "It's nice to hear we're all on the same side on that, that's refreshing," emptywheel said in reply (I'm paraphrasing, of course). Emptywheel and I had a chuckle over it.

At the time, I thought York was simply acknowledging that Rove was a slimeball (I've heard that from a number of senior Republicans and conservatives, many of whom think Rove's morals are corrosive to the Party and who aren't afraid to say so in private; to hear York voice a milder version of that didn't particularly surprise me). But thinking back on the entirety of the exchange, I later wondered if York wasn't telegraphing an unspoken preference that the Fitzgerald investigation would end with Rove, rather than continue up the OVP food chain to Cheney.

Notwithstanding Monday's phone/letter/fax to Luskin, it is interesting that the White House reportedly knew for several days beforehand that Rove would not be facing indictment. (My personal guess is that Team Rove has known this since at least April 26th.) It is equally interesting that York's cellphone was ringing during the Plame panel on Friday, June 9th, with York taking at least one call during the session. Perhaps someone important was watching C-Span that day, someone with important spin news to convey? Did the CIA leak panel itself, broadcast over the nation's cable networks, tip the White House into a defensive PR maneuver? I don't know, but it's certainly possible. It was a most curious weekend.

SEALED INDICTMENT DOES NOT FIT THE KNOWN FACTS. sEALED PARDON AND LITIGATION OVER ILLEGALLY SEALING PARDON DOES FIT THE "SEALED V. SEALED" anomoly.

Why was I in all caps? Now I'm not. Oh well.

To be fair to Byron York, he was not in any way emphatic about wanting Rove indicted. His words were of assent, of agreement, when emptywheel asked whether he and other people in his camp would like to see that outcome. He said "yes," nodded affirmatively, and didn't much elaborate; emptywheel made her "nice to see were on the same side on that" response, which York acknowledged with another nod. The conversation moved on.

Make of it what you will (and perhaps I'm making too much of it here): we all know that certain things are said simply to lubricate a conversation, and this might count as one instance. If York already knew, as the White House did, that the coming week would bring a news cycle about Rove's non-indictment, it might have been a throwaway or concession. He certainly did say, as he reported in his article, that he thought many people in the room would be disappointed if Rove weren't indicted. His saying that, and the way he said it, is one reason why I now suspect he already knew that fact.

I enjoyed meeting Byron York. I would have liked to hear his interpretation of Cheney's handwritten notes on the July 6th, 2003 Wilson editorial. After all, whatever your political colors, the interpretation of those notes is a fair and valid enterprise; so why the silence from the Right? Short of a preemptive pardon for Libby, the interpretation of Cheney's notes will become an increasingly central issue (even with pardons, it's an issue which will preoccupy historians). I can say with absolute certainty that York would not go near Cheney in any speculative fashion, and I find that avoidance telling.

Don't be too hard on yourself EW, you've made a great positive contribution with all your efforts in posting here. Looking forward to more!

It's probably too soon to judge Rove's condition in the aftermath of the Fitzgerald so-far no plan to indict news. It is true television is a warm medium; it has become MSM'd into innocuity, at least in my view, and I do not watch it, even though I have worked in video production. I think some of the wingers who have observed your insightfulness are chosing the concatenation of moments, the Fitzgerald demurrer, plus the afterglow of Ykos, to recognize your work as they paint a tarry picture. If the controversial tack they take results in their paying trolls to visit, their writings will populate pollyusa's trollodex. It was a long ride, it is true. My initial interest was from the outside: concern for Judy, incredulous that a SP would jail a reporter. Subsequent research yielded she was part of a large story, one which even Congress has yet to explore in a bipartisan way, though the senate produced ample partisan historymaking. Bush has had to augment many policies because of the issues about nonproduction of documents. If one of the archived materials was the rosetta stone, instead of losing it as some archeologist did, the Bush administration simply would have the national archives reclassify it.
This research has been worthwhile as a window into policymaking in this administration, and a utilitarian lesson in interbranch communications.

Here's what Plame panelist Larry Johnson just wrote on his blog:
Karl is a shameless bastard. Small wonder his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out.

---
Perhaps it's fortunate York didn't have that to quote when he wrote his article.

I am glad the final roster of the panel included Dan F and Murray W. Having yet to find a transcript of the proceedings, the only reference points so far were a few journalists' word sketches and a diminutive collection of images a few people posted.

For the moment you can see the CSPAN coverage by going here and clicking through on "YearlyKos Convention" 6/9/06. It's the first panel.

Don't click on the "YearlyKos Convention - Saturday" listing. That's the wrong one!

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