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July 13, 2006



You missed one obvious John Doe. George W. Bush.

Btw, I should admit I stole my title from Atrios.

I will note with impish delight that the complaint cites the 1x2x6 leaks. :-)

I donated, with the requisite $.01 Kossack tip. Quite apart from my enthusiasm for the Wilson civil suit, this is one e-mail list I will want to be on.

Well, your Ari theory's on life support (or have you dug your way out of the hole Novak gave you last night), so by all rights you should still have your 1X2X6 fun.

Actually, there's a technical issue with it. Since they're not talking JUST about the initial outing, then the remaining 6 (Mitchell and Matthews and whoever else) get thrown in the damages.

"That said, everything I've heard says that these kinds of cases are hard to win."
That's my sense too, but in a year (or whenever this goes to trial), I think it will be clearer to the American public what a complete disaster the Iraq/Afghanistation invasion/occupation has been.

The threshold legal question will be whether the defendants enjoy absolute and/or qualified immunity. In some respects, it will be a case of first impression, so look for the case to center around that legal issue for a while.

Well, your Ari theory's on life support (or have you dug your way out of the hole Novak gave you last night)...

Actually, you may have helped dig me out in your post on the Novak interview:

And it's unlikely that Ari had an hour to meet with Novak before he left on July 7, since he didn't learn of Plame's identity until lunchtime, still had a statement to write, and left that evening...

In other words, on that particular day, Ari... "wasn't an easy guy to get to see." Right? :-)

(Yes, I'm still in impish mode. But still, we are talking parsemaster Novak here...)

Valerie Plame has a new book deal

Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose outing led to the indictment of a White House official, has agreed to write her memoirs for Simon & Schuster, weeks after a reported seven-figure deal with the Crown Publishing Group fell through.

"It will be a very interesting book by a key figure of our time," Simon & Schuster spokesman Adam Rothberg said Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed and no publication date has been set. In early May, Crown announced that it would publish Plame's book, but the two sides could not agree on a final contract.
AP 7/13/06


I was thinking of you last night.


Thanks -- as it happens, a secret informant (whom I'll refer to as MTW) emailed me that precise link early this morning.

The only other text in the email was "neener neener neener," or something to that effect....

Simon and Schuster have to get a best seller to counteract Mary Cheney's bomb of a book.

Well...that List of John Does candidates certainly explains the perverse NRO bit by Cliff May yesterday following Novak's non-story demanding apologies to Rove...

Can Rove verify Cliff's on the list, I wonder? Heh.

Any ideas re: TPM's post on the unknown
"operatives" in the Wilson's filing? Is this a vague way of saying Matalin, other media snakes, or are we talking Watergate burgler types?

Matalin is at Simon and Schuster BTW... I guess politics isn't personal in DC or in the mob.

In other book news Tenet's book has been postponed from pre-election to Feb 2007, could this have to do with the Libby trial or, sigh, the election?

I believe the "operatives" in question were at the Republican National Committee. If you've been following Waas's reporting, you'll remember that investigators immediately suspected that the RNC was acting as a proxy for the White House in the Wilson smear campaign (and subsequent battle to avoid the naming of a special prosecutor). It shouldn't be lost on anybody that at the time Ashcroft's DOJ was filled with ex-RNC types.


JMM is, I think, just referring to the description I included above:

persons who were either employed by the United States Government in senior positions at all times relevant to this Complaint or who were political operatives with close ties to such persons.

So, in the context of the complaint, I think it refers to the allegations from Fall 2003 that some in the RNC were coordinating with the WH on strategy on this. One sign of that, certainly, was the leak or purported leak of the INR memo. So it would be the people to whom it was leaked, including (if things got really fun) JimmyJeff GannonGuckert.

Though I think both JimmyJeff and May are such brainless hacks, they're probably not likely to be involved in an expensive way. Mehlman though (particularly given that he issued talking points to defend Karl when the Cooper source was revealed), Mehlman could be in the sites.

How about that--in the sites of both the NH phone jamming and the Wilson suit.

Read the Preface to John Dean's new book for a description of his lawsuit. Lasted for 7-8 years; resolved with a settlement with undisclosed awards, except to say the Deans were satisfied. What you need in a case like this is perserverence in the face of all sorts of dirty tricks and huge expenditures of money on the other side. Wilsons seem like the sort who won't give up. But I'd guess we'll have to keep contributing to them for years. And we shouldn't give up either.

Man, you guys are on top of everything... that's why I'm here!

Reading right and left wing Plamegate sites, people are all very interested in a Wilson trial but similarly worrying it might not get to trial... I sure am looking forward to it! I won't say Plamegate's the only news I find interesting... but it wouldn't be misleading to say that.


Wouldn't Armitage be on the Doe list?? Or is he in there somewhere and I just can't see him.

Would Judge Tatel's description of a "plot against Wilson" in the Judy Miller case be relevant?

Here's my latest obsession, if Novak and Woodward both went to Armitage about Plame, doesn't it make sense that Powell was their initial contact (just like they'd talk to Rove to clarify something Bush said, or Libby about something Cheney said)?

Why would they go to Armitage, if not?

I like Powell, FWIW, he and Andy Card seem like the only honest people in this Administration.

(thanks to someone on JOM for mentioning this relationship)

Here's my latest obsession, if Novak and Woodward both went to Armitage about Plame...

But here's the thing. Woodward didn't go to Armitage about Plame; he was just interviewing Armitage for his book. They gossiped about Wilson because he was just starting his round of anonymous criticisms.

When Novak talked to "(presumably) Armitage," Wilson had already kicked off a firestorm by going public, and his trip to Niger was the main topic of Washington, D.C. conversation. So, for a major sit-down interview to get an in-depth background on the subject, why would Novak seek out Armitage?

I don't think he did.

Should be interesting times.

ecoast wrote in recent post comments 'Another worry--they [the Wilson's]drew a right wing judge.'
But do you REALLY think the assignment of the judge to this case occurred by chance? I doubt it. Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' experiences (plural) in court seem to indicate a nonrandom assignment: the same nonfavorable judge (singular) eventually received all her cases (plural).

Also in time for November elections, 'Sibelogist' Luke Ryland (who curiously follows US politics from Australia) has an update from Sibel Edmonds reviewing the reasons why certain (mostly republican) members of Congress made the Dirty Dozen list compiled by the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. (As you may be aware, H.R. Clinton and Lieberman made the list, too)

Luke also posts his interviews with Edmonds who reminds us to start anywhere with her case, Abramoff, the outing of Plame's Brewster Jennings, etc and you will find connections with all of them.

Just a question: Why is Charles S. Sims not yet a member of the DC Bar?
==>see end of the Wilsons' filing: Charles S. Sims (not admitted in D.C.)

ew: "the most intriguing bit about it will be the way --Cheney, Libby, and Rove--attempt to counter this without ruining the story they've been telling in the criminal complaint."
FWIW - Brit Hume said "Plame is suing Libby, Rove and others" - no mention of Shooter in the setup piece

So, for a major sit-down interview to get an in-depth background on the subject, why would Novak seek out Armitage?

I'm with emptywheel: your last refuge is Hadley. I would be delighted to have been completely bamboozled on this (and it would be nothing less than a complete bamboozle), and to learn that it was Hadley, who fits Novak's description as well, if not better, than Armitage does, though I don't think it's going to happen.

But the subject was almost certainly not just Wilson, but the already emerging disaster of Iraq and the failure to find WMD, which was a topic that included but went beyond Wilson, as the news coverage before and after makes pretty clear. And Armitage's own position on the war was probably pretty sympatico with Novak's, so it makes perfect sense that Novak would want to talk with him in that context.

I should think that Karen Hughes is another potential Doe.

Whether it's winnable or not, it certainly brings this into another kind of court where the discovery rules are quite different. Maybe we'll get some decent "discoveries" out of all of this after all.

"Plame is suing Libby, Rove and others"

LOL. Libby, Rove, and ol' whatshisname.

... your last refuge is Hadley.

Were it not for the redaction gaps, Novak's latest telling of the story would shoot Hadley to the top of the suspect list. But it's presumes quite a bit to say he's my "last refuge." ;-)

just wondering... is the libby / rove grand jury testimony totally off limits or would the wilson's be able to get that in discovery?

Well, Swopa, if you're sticking with Fleischer, you not only have to sneak it into one available hour on July 7, you have to presume that at this point Novak would lie his ass off to protect someone other than himself. So who's presuming quite a bit here, my friend?

re: who are the 10 John Doe's?

'Ten' seems like such an exact number. Why not not create wiggle room and list 20 Joe Doe's? Maybe such a number can be so exact because it refers to membership to a specific, identifiable group... such as the White House Iraq Group/WHIG ?

SourceWatch/Wikipedia have this to say about WHIG:

[In response to the Yellowcake forgery issue, the White House Iraq Group devised this strategy to combat critics:

"There is a strategy now, devised by White House communications director Dan Bartlett, Mary Matalin, a former aide to Vice President Cheney, and former Bush aide Karen Hughes. Both advise the White House as a consultants to the Republican National Committee.

The plan: Release all relevant information. Try to shift attention back to Bush's leadership in the war on terrorism. Diminish the significance of that single piece of iffy intelligence by making the case that Saddam was a threat for many other reasons. Put Republican lawmakers and other Bush allies on TV to defend him.

Most important: Question the motives of Democrats who supported the war but now are criticizing the president." ]

WHIG Members (listed on SourceWatch)
Karl Rove*
Karen Hughes
Mary Matalin
James R. Wilkinson
Nicholas E. Calio
Condoleezza Rice
Stephen Hadley
I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby*

WHIG members listed on Wikipedia
sames names as above and the following additional person:
Andrew Card

This totals only 9 names, two of whom(*) are already named in the lawsuit, so three additional people could be included. Dan Bartlett? Judith Miller? W?

pdaly - Sibel now has a new judge. Walton (Libby's judge) was quietly taken off the case a month or so again (after having refused to recuse).

Swopa - the "Libby, Rove and others" thing was deliciously juxtaposed cos i'd just switched over from the beeb where they said "Cheney and others"


Thanks. That was news to me.
We seem to be posting within minutes of each other.

we do indeed. the new judge is Judge Rosemary Collyer. It happened early June - incidentally her financial records are also redacted (it is for that reason that sibel filed to have Walton recuse himself)


I just read Judge Collyer's ruling from 6/2006. It looks like Sibel's claim(s) are dismissed but that Sibel has until 7/27/06 to file an ammended complaint 'that states a claim for intentional conversion'--whatever that is.


Will Sibel similarly ask this judge to produce personal financial records or else recuse?

wow - thnx - i hadnt heard that.

will chase it up


Thanks for those details. THey're both tremendous. I've been trying to figure out who orchestrated Novak's media bonanza this week (Rove, the Libby defense fund, the GOP?). I originally thought Rove. But after Novak lost track of the narrative, his testimony didn't help Rove all that much. I'm beginning to wonder whether this wasn't a favor to Cheney. You know. Neglect to mention the aspects of his column (the use of the word operative, the use of Cheney's framing) that Cheney is responsible for. Still, if Novak's testimony did Cheney in, then how awkward is it to try to save him now?


My list of 10 comes from several points. First, there is a lot of evidence of hanky panky in State to create the illusion of Plame as suggesting the trip (and some indications that Cheney heard more details about Plame's role than he would have gotten from Tenet). So that's why I include Fleitz, Bolton, Wurmser, and Hannah.

Then there are the Republican operatives, who were discussed a lot in the initial cover-up period--the people who purportedly leaked the INR. So that'd need to cover whoever gave JimmyJeff GannonGuckert and the WSJ details of the INR memo. That's where Mehlman comes in (plus, as I said, Mehlman also issued talking points to support Rove, and lied in those). That leaves WHIG as the leftover. But that seems right, not least because Fitz' interest in Whig (per his subpoenas) was for the peroid July 6 to July 31. That is, they definitely played up the story, and those who can be proven to have done so will get hit.

Fitz can pay the bill. He passed on criminal conspiracy charges. He proved he has a 'thing' for politicians and avoids Federal employees to have fun with US government officials.

Plame's boss was promoted to run the CIA analysts that the Air Force has decided to move to DIA, so why sue? They are covering their nice tiny butts from criminal conspiracy charges.

This may have already been asked and answered long ago, but did Rove use JimmyJeff GannonGuckert to control Mehlman?

Or others for that matter? Has it ever been established whether JimmyJeff GannonGuckert was doing anything at the White House other than spin?

I don't think it would be all that tin-foil to imagine Rove inviting associates to the White House for fun and games and then collecting the photographs or other incriminating evidence. Unfortunately, those types of actions are no longer out of the realm of possibility.

And for what it’s worth, I still think Bush outed Plame, whether or not that is ever proved or even disclosed. It was a big F-U to his father. I also wonder if Cheney was caught cleaning up the mess.

And we shouldn’t forget the fact that the Shrub lawyered up.

Would Bush as a John Doe be more likely to have the lawsuit jettisoned, and therefore not have been included for just that reason?

Thanks, as always, to the experts here.

'Fair Game' has another meaning. It's used to describe that someone is 'dating.' Plame's status at the CIA Directorate of Operations is open to this area.

Plame admitted who she was at 'Vanity Fair.' CIA Operations Officer, paramilitaily trained and outed approximately ten other operations officers in Iraq the next day. This was her goal from the beginning, even before the war.

Wilson is named in all the injuries because that is how a CIA Operations Officer uses.

Plame is not suing her employer because Fitz was arranged as a pass on the criminal conspiracy charges; CIA took good care of her at our expense.

Sharon was in control of Isreal and had his own Plames. Military and Intelligence persons wanted him out of office, like Plame and Wilson want Bush out of office. Sharon's answer was to create a third party, but, unfortunately, he had a stroke. Isreal is now run by these same people and it's obvious history is repeating itself. Plame affected global politics with her connection to CIA as an operations officer, paramilitarily trained and it's strange that they filed just as this group began attacking two other countries.

Operatives? This has no real meaning.

Would someone please direct me to the page in the filings referring to "covert" or "NOC" status?

Are we relying too highly on the redaction gaps? I certainly find them annoying.

The Injuries: U.S.C. 18: Conspiracy

There is evidence that the Vice President and members of the Bush administration are in violation of U.S.C. 18 Section 372 - Conspiracy to impede or injure an officer. If found in violation each of such persons shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than six years, or both

The outing of Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative in retaliation for Joe Wilson's filing a report contradicting the White House's claim of Iraq's WMD (Niger yellowcake) is in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 372.

She was prevented from doing her job by intimidation, by revealing her identity, making it impossible for her to discharge her duties. She had to leave the place where her duties as an officer were required to be performed. She was intimidated, interrupted, hindered and impeded. Since it caused the loss of her job, and her ability to ever do that job again, it's mild to say it injured her property.... it disabled her from working in that capacity altogether.

There is evidence that Vice President Cheney leaked this information:

* A copy of Joe Wilson's op-ed annotated by Dick Cheney with comments constituting the main part of the smear launched against Wilson that week--the claim that Plame had sent Wilson on a boondoggle
* Evidence that Scooter Libby noted he had instructions to tell Judy something before he spoke with her on July 8--as well as the suggestion that his excuse doesn't hold up
* Evidence that Libby and someone else (possibly Cheney) were warned of the damage Plame's outing caused after July 14, 2003

source: Fitzgerald Collecting Cheney's Smoking Guns

John Does

Rove and other White House officials described to the FBI what sources characterized as an aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife to the press, utilizing proxies such as conservative interest groups and the Republican National Committee to achieve those ends, and distributing talking points to allies of the administration on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Rove is said to have named at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson.
Waas 3/8/04

Novak answers viewers questions

Can you explain the incident involving Mr. Wilson’s "friend" that happened to run into you on the street. What did you and him discuss? What is your impression of the situation? I appreciate the way you have handled yourself through this whole ordeal. You are a true journalist! — JUDY

ROBERT NOVAK: I foolishly answered questions about the case by a stranger who stopped me on the streets of Washington. He turned out to be a friend of Wilson who immediately went to Wilson's office to report after our conversation. Some people think this was set up by Wilson, but I have no evidence of this. Thanks for the compliment.

I just saw that, polly! That's the first confirmation we've gotten from Novak on that story, and it's rather fulsome, by Novak's standards, since if he has an opportunity to issue what falsely appears to be a denial of something uncomfortable for him by fixating on a particular detail of what someone else has said, he tends to take it. In this case, instead, he has to have speculative recourse to the absurd Joe-Wilson-mind-control thesis. So it undoubtedly happened pretty much as has been described. Which suggests, among other things, that by the afternoon of July 8, presumably after he has spoken with Armitage but before he has spoken with Rove, he knows Wilson's wife's first name, which he is now asserting he got from Who's Who. Had he already looked Wilson up in Who's Who before he spoke with Armitage, and noted his wife's name? Or did he do so after Armitage brought up Wilson's wife?

emptywheel, thanks for pointers. I've got some catch-up reading to do.
Any idea whether there is a legal requirement to meet before one can add a "John Doe" to a lawsuit? It seems we could use more than 10.


Here is the best part. Some people, right.

Some people think this [stranger in the street] was set up by Wilson, but I have no evidence of this
Novak 7/14/06

Novaks's insane.

He clearly doesn't remember the details of his conversations with anybody...Harlow, Wilson, Rove, Armitage...There are 4 or 5 permutations of the "You/I know/heard/ that too" and who had Plame in what department, it's getting silly.

He tells a slightly different story every single time.

I don't believe him on the Who's Who. If he had he would have said so before. He says he could have looked Plame up in the records but didn't have to because she was in Who's Who. Like the CIA lets Novak rummage around in their records.

There is more to Novak's role. He alludes to another CIA source. Phone records show he talked to several people in the WH and is only admitting one, who are the others. He told Wilson he had a CIA source, then took it back. He calls Waas a liar, but doesn't say there wasn't a phone call to Rove after the investigation began.

Several, not 1 or 2...more.

The logs indicate that several White House officials talked to Novak shortly before the appearance of his July 14 column, the Washington Post reported.
Newsday 2/04


Bit of a rant there. I am also pleased to see the stranger story confirmed.

I find Novak's story to be full of holes. He has much more in his column than he has explained.

He talked to someone else in the WH or Rove said more than Novak is saying.

Where did he learn about Wilson's previous trip
Who said Tenet never saw the Wilson trip report
Who said it was decided at low levels in the CIA
Who claimed that Wilson's report was "forgotten by the time the president spoke"
Who told him that "Messages between Washington and the presidential entourage traveling in Africa hashed over the mission to Niger."

Harlow didn't give him this, who did.

Wilson made an oral report in Langley that an Iraqi uranium purchase was "highly unlikely," though he also mentioned in passing that a 1988 Iraqi delegation tried to establish commercial contacts. CIA officials did not regard Wilson's intelligence as definitive, being based primarily on what the Niger officials told him and probably would have claimed under any circumstances. The CIA report of Wilson's briefing remains classified.

and who in the White House told Novak that they want to declassify inoformation.

The Agency never before has declassified that kind of information, but the White House would like it to do just that now

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