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July 07, 2006


Running out to a meeting for several hours. Will check in later.

Thanks for articulating this difference clearly. I could see the difference, but couldn't quite get it into focus. One point to add, whichever version is correct. Bush certainly lied to us [the people] back when all of this got started. In those days, he didn't do anything at all. Now, the question is "which sleazy thing did he do?"

I think that the fact that Bush lied to the American people is very telling. He knew exactly what had taken place and he knew it was his administration that outted her. He denied it and even worked hard to cover it up in the public arena. To me, that speaks volumes and it should speak volumes to americans.


I agree completely Katie. Bush's words on the subject were very carefully crafted. The only time he strayed was when a reporter asked him a question putting words in his mouth. Whenever Bush said something on his own, he phrased it very carefully and it should be obvious that he knew that those close to him had outed Plame.

Weird (in a good way). I noticed the differences in Leopold's and Waas' reporting on what Bush said to investigators.

I don't want to bash Jason Leopold, but when he reports Bush "did not disclose" his direction to leak, it is irreconcilable with Murray Waas saying Bush told investigators "he had directed" the leak. Both can not be true.

I tried to post this very point to the Truthoug forum yesterday--but even after opening an account I could not post a comment. Instead, I wrote directly to Marc Ash. I hope there is some response.

I'm trying to trust that Truthout is properly assessing Leopold's sources and reporting, but this discrepancy may be telling.

Bush authorized "the plot against Wilson," which is what an early and heavily redacted court filing from Fitzgerald termed it. (That was back in the Cooper/Miller/pre-Supreme Court days, remember? Ah, early Plameology!)

What extraordinary hubris for Bush to have deplored the leak, to have claimed utter ignorance of the plot, to have assured the American people that anyone "involved" in the leak would be out of his administration.

But what truly unmitigated evil, to have lied this country into an (unprovoked) war and military occupation. The "plot against Wilson" was designed to discourage other potential government whistleblowers, others who could offer evidence of the misuse and manipulation of pre-war intelligence. The message to them was clear: We will come after your family.

Whatever one's political stripe may be, we must all surely agree that our United States cannot survive another Imperial Presidency like this (whether Democrat or Republican).

FYI - Plame stuff at Jeralyn's


Now that I look at this again, if Jason is right, then Fitzgerald unequivocally lied in the May 5 hearing. Jason says Fitzgerald has evidence in hand of what date Bush authorized the NIE leak. Fitzgerald said clearly in the May 5 hearing he didn't know exactly when the authorization of the NIE leak occured.

Just pointing out details--what you make of those details is up to you.

The discrepancy here comes from people believing that there was ever any special authorization to leak the NIE. Fitzgerald knows that the whole business about the NIE is a lie Libby told to cover for his superiors authorizing the Plame leak.


Truthout has the 5/16/06 Media Hearing Transcipt. 129 pages.

I pulled some of the interesting items out in this diary, I'm sure there is much more to look at, I will go over it again this evening.


There's a bit of a discussion over here. I'm most fascinated by the mention of CNN in the transcript.

Question for ew: can you point out where in leopolds article that it says fitzgerald knows exactly the date that bush told cheney to leak the nie? I cannot find it.

And if I'm out of line here advance apologies but I think you should be upfront ew about the fact that you don't like leopold personally and that is why you have a problem with his reporting. if that's not what it is then I would suggest you take a look at his reporting on this since last year because a lot of the things he reported actually came out. He wrote stories with larisa at raw story. I spent a whole day reading this stuff and comparing it with what has been reported and like I said last night the reporting looks good and so I don't get it. What I have come up with is that leopold pisses people off and so a lot of the discrediting should have been about the fact that people don't like him but instead it went to his reporting. So I'm just saying that you should make it clear that your bias toward leopold is personal cause he did stuff that got people upset because you lead people to believe that you're objective but you're not.

Personally I think this is getting old.


The CNN subpoena had only two items - the standard one about anything reflecting any employee's reference to Plame before July 14, and looking for any documentation of Wilson's call to Eason Jordan on July 8 or so regarding Novak and his wife. They evidently had nothing responsive, so it went nowhere.

I think one of the interesting things about Leopold's article is that you can preserve its accuracy, apart from the bit about the emails, by very very carefully parsing it. It - and here I am perfectly willing to believe this reflects what the sources were saying - ends up being misleading about the character of Bush's testimony; but you can make sense of it, I think. So if you understand Cheney not to be a member of Bush's staff, then it's strictly consistent for Bush to say he didn't know about plotting by his staff even though he put Cheney on the case. And so on.


This statement:

President Bush gave Vice President Dick Cheney the authorization in mid-June 2003

Presumably comes from the 24 emails. Which means it presumably comes with a date attached. And in any case, the mid-June date directly contradicts Fitz' statement that he doesn't know whether the NIE authorization came on July 2 or earlier than that. Fitz said, after this came out, that he doesn't know whether the authorization took place in June; this clearly says it took place in June.

And I think you're misunderstanding the Leopold chronology (and in that you come here to lecture me without knowing the chronology, you are out of place). I didn't like Leopold's writing, going back a long time, because it gets details wrong, and therefore leaves little confidence in getting the big things right. He also had at least two scoops after the indictment was released that his own reporting have proven to be wrong (the Fleitz and Bolton IDs in the indictment). So my distrust for Leopold's reporting came first. Now don't get me wrong--I believe he has sources, but I think he either oversells his sources or doesn't get what they're telling him.

But after that he came here and misrepresented himself as five different people so he could berate me for pointing out huge problems in one article that had nothing to do with Plame. He gave two of my friends death threats. He hacked a friend's site. So you're right, I don't like Leopold. But that far postdates my distrust for his reporting--and while it has deepened my distrust for his reporting, it hasn't changed that distrust fundamentally. You want to argue I should like a guy who lies about who he is to me?


I'm not sure whether the emails are total bunk. And as to who has Bush's testimony right, I definitely think it possible that both of these are spun. The earlier Bush testimony sounds like someone from Cheney's camp trying to implicate Bush. Whereas the later one sounds like Rove, trying to pull of a Protect the President scheme. Now, that Protect the President scheme may have been in place from October 2003, but the centrality of the NIE in both of these (as William points out) suggests both of these statements build off of what is already a coverup.

Did not mean to lecture you. I guess its the marriage counselor/mother in me. I just think that its too easy to hold grudges and much more difficult to forgive. As a cancer survivor I realized that life is too short and that to forgive is divine.

Personally, I withhold judgment until I hear from fitzgerald to determine whether leopold is wrong or whether any other reporter is right for that matter. In the interest of full disclosure, I had a correspondence with leopold yesterday and urged him to contact you in the hopes that everyone can work together. Imagine how much more powerful we can be if we all were working on the same side. Leopold said he just got a copy of the june 12 court hearing transcript and was trying to make sense of it and I urged him to contact you and share it. Just trying to build a bridge. He also said he got a hold of other documents so I just think that it would serve all of us well if ww can forgive this guy for his past transgressions and work together.

But I understand why you feel the way you do. But consider forgiveness.

In solidarity.

I can see it now...the new "Leopold-Emptywheel Blog". Leopold hunts and EW edits and analyzes. It's the dream team. What do you say EW? :)

Jeff, you can come along too.

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