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September 02, 2006

Comments

Seems I remember some court cases being argued by some reporters certain of which were appealed which slowed the pace of the case down just a wee bit, which certainly isn't the fault of the prosecutor.

windje

windje

Well, as to timing, it took the WH two and a half years to respond to subpoenas issued in October 2003. If someone's got a complaint about timing, they ought to talk to whoever sat on the emails for over two years.

Btw, after reviewing the 1X2X6 story for the 300th time, I'd like to reconsider the possibility that it's Tenet (cries of "I told you so erupt throughout Hurrahsville!). For it to be Tenet, later descriptions of this source as a WH employee or just an Adminsitration Official (rather than SAO) would have had to be red herrings. But if we follow the formula that an anonymous source appears elsehwere in the article, it's either Tenet or Scottie or Rummy (and the article includes extensive denials by Scottie that he knew of a leak).

Further, we may have an explanation for how 1--if it is Tenet--learned his numbers. Recall, someone from CIA discussed the leak with Libby and someone else from OVP. Imagine if Tenet had a conversation with Dick and Libby and at least got a suspicion that all that info they had requested turned into a leak.

Furthermore, just about everyone who received the leak would have called the CIA--either Harlow or, if they were well-connected, Tenet--for comment. By working with Harlow, Tenet could get a pretty good idea of the number of journalists who had called to confirm Plame's role.

I'm obviously recycling my theory of how Armitage might have known about other leaks. But if you think that 1 might be the same person who met with Libby and someone else at OVP, it gets more interesting.

Also in October 2003 Sy Hersh published the stovepipe article October 27, 2003 in the New Yorker. I think that public journalism helped the investigation segue from FBI to SC, as the public clearly was interested and every new divulgation seemed to verify the importance of understanding how the admin was attempting to reorganize and utilize intell and entities which produce it.

It is difficult for me to imagine that Fitzgerald has not at least considered a conspiracy charge. Without a doubt the evidence suggests and Fitzgerald states that there was a "concerted effort". But the only way I could see Rove not being indicted is if he cooperates with Fitz to prove the conspiracy charge. Is that possible?? Or am I having a "Nightmare before Fitzmas" moment?? (The world became colorful for just a minute, and the real santa was kidnapped by the boogey man). Possible?? Okay, no "treason" but what about that old standby "unindicted co-conspirators"? Is there any remote chance that the original hyped up crazy possibilities could come true??

Hurrah, re:Tenet's role! Interesting that the Times article said Novak had to be introduced to Armitage, he made an extra effort and got extra special info. Any opinion about the idea that Armitage told a third reporter about Valerie?

Ooh ooh ooh - its all Powell's fault.

Duck!

I trust you have seen the Spotlight function at Firedoglake. If you had that here, I imagine David Johnston would get a boatload of references to this excellent post.

Neil Lewis got confused by claims that Armitage was Novak's "primary source" (in spite of the fact that no one alleges Armitage gave Novak Plame's name or covert status

Remember, here, that Novak claims that he never knew that Plame was covert, and only called her an "operative" because he calles everybody operatives. And he claims that he got Plame's name for "Who's Who In America." Now you can say that these claims by Novak are not credibile, or that they don't pass the smell test (I personally think they're highly higly dubious), but if you credit those claims, then it is perfectly reasonable to say that Armitage was Novak's "primary source."

Pontificator:

Well, maybe (though I think all of us but Tom agree that the claim is dubious).

But you're left with a few more qusetions:

  • Who told Novak Wilson never worked for the CIA? Novak got Armitage to mention Plame's purported role in the trip by asserting that Wilson never worked for the CIA. How did he know?
  • Armitage told Novak Plame "inspired" or "initiated" the trip, Harlow claims Novak told Harlow he had heard Plame "authorized" the trip. In any case, one source (Armitage) suggested Plame "initiated" the trip in off-hand gossip. A second (Rove) didn't qualify the trip at all. And third (Harlow) said clearly that Plame didn't authorize or initiate the trip. Yet Novak published she had. Why?
  • Did Rove tell Novak about Wilson's trip report? Did he tell Novak the WH wanted to declassify it? How did Rove know about it?

In other words, there are several aspects of the story that Novak appears to have gotten via immaculate reception. Who was the source for all his immaculate reception information?

What if Armitage knew Valerie Plame? Just sayin', since she was in transition from CIA to State. And the story goes, Wilson's wife got him the job. That is what Armitage told Novak. Wilson's wife was responsible for sending him, she worked at CIA.

You aren't addressing that Armitage told Woodward on June 12th. Is there a reason?

"But you're left with a few more qusetions[sic]"

I am left with more questions. What did Armitage tell Woodward and why did he keep that information from the SP for more than a year? Something doesn't add up alright. I'm just not sure you are looking in the right direction. State would be where I would turn my sights on, if the truth is really what I wanted. Marc Grossman and Joe Wilson were college buddies. Plame is transitioning to State. State is the first leaker. State is pissed at the CIA and OVP. Things don't add up, but I think we are using different numbers trying to come up with the same answer.

EW

My view is that the Rove-Novak Plame conversation was more detailed and extensive than either has said (and probably more than either has testified to before Fitzgerald.) Wass's reporting indicates that the two may have concocted a cover story in a phone call shortly after the 1 x 2 x 6 article. However, that still makes Armitage the "first" source, but perhaps not the primary source if indeed Rove had said more to Novak than just "oh, you know about it."

Aha Pontificator, that's my point! I'm going to do a trace of the word primary if I ever get through my day job work (yup, working on Labor day weekend). But I think they used it for precisely that reason--because it implied both "main" and "first," when it's not clear (if you're a skeptic about "operative" and "Plame," as we both are) Armitage was either.

Besides, after all, you didn't answer my question: who told Novak that Joe Wilson never worked at the CIA? That's how he led into the question, to Armitage, of why Joe got sent. How did he know that? How could he even claim that, particularly since Joe's background (lots of diplomatic assignments that could be official cover) might lead one to believe he was CIA? Someone had to have told Novak Wilson was not CIA before he spoke to Armitage. And we don't know who that source is.

Sue

I think you're unclear on the concept of what's going on here. A bunch of wingnuts and their trolls are questioning why Fitzgerald pursued the investigation past the time that it became clear Armitage was a source for Novak. I've shown that 1) It wasn't Fitzgerald who made that decision--the decision was made under Ashcroft and McCallum. and 2) There were several outstanding known questions that investigators still had to answer in Fall 2003, that apparently caused them to sustain the investigation long enough for Scooter Libby to reveal he was lying for Dick.

What you raise is an unknown question--one that didn't affect the chronology of Fall 2003 at all, not until November 2005 (and then probably led to Karl getting off of perjury charges). While it's an interesting question, it is totally irrelevant to the question of why people are calling Fitzgerald a runaway prosecutor when the person who made those decisions is a Bush buddy going back to Skull and Bones days.

I see, anyone who questions why Fitzgerald stood before God and country and said that Libby wasn't at the end of the chain but was at the beginning of the chain (something he would have known was untrue had he bothered to subpoena the known leakers calendar) is a wingnut? Lots of wingnuts out lately, it would seem.

The reason it was an unknown question is because Fitzgerald didn't bother to look outside the WH for a conspiracy. I wonder who pointed him towards the WH and away from State? Surely not Marc Grossman?

Um, Sue, perhaps before you launch these little theories, you ought to review the public record. You might start with the article we're actually discussing here:

Mr. Armitage cooperated voluntarily in the case, never hired a lawyer and testified several times to the grand jury, according to people who are familiar with his role and actions in the case. He turned over his calendars, datebooks and even his wife’s computer in the course of the inquiry, those associates said.

Or perhaps you ought to read the known documents--such as the indictment, which explains how Libby started collecting information on Wilson and that may have been precisely the thing that exposed Armitage to the information about Plame--which still puts Libby squarely at the front of the chain.

Or maybe you ought to read VERY SLOWLY what I said in my last comment. The point is, it wasn't Fitzgerald who made the decisions until Libby had already perjured himself. You seem to be arguing that Fitzgerald was a runaway prosecutor for following up--after a Bush led investigation before him--on clear evidence that Dick Cheney ordered Libby to leak the identity of a classified operative. Is the Vice President willfully exposing national security secrets something you think we should just ignore? Only 12 dead assets no foul? He just ruined our ability to investigate Iran's nuclear program, but that's something that doesn't deserve any prosecution?

So, he turned over his calendar and Fitzgerald didn't ask him had he talked to any other reporter about Wilson/Plame? Woodward for instance, I see him here on June 12. Did you discuss Wilson/Plame with Woodward? So, either Armitage lied and said no, no I didn't or Fitzgerald never asked. There is a problem either way you spin that one.

Read the indictment? Why on earth would I want to read the indictment again? The judge has said, uh, huh, no way. Not coming into my courtroom. Or words that are more courtly, but you get the idea.

You, and Fitzgerald, have no evidence that Cheney ordered Libby to "leak the identity of a classified operative". But it makes a nice sound spot for ya', doesn't it?

I will assume the rest of your comment was just rhetoric on your part, since you have no evidence, unless Murray Waas is considered evidence, that any of that happened.

And with that, I'll bid you a not so fond adieu. I don't take kindly to being treated as a half-wit when I ask valid questions.

::grin::


EW:

I don't think it's remarkable that Novak would say to Armitage while they were discussing Wilson that Wilson never worked for the CIA. WIlson is a long time diplomat who has no public history of ever working for the CIA, and anyone who did basic research on Wilson at that time would know that. So when Novak was questioning Armitage, the way he would do it is something along the lines of: "so why the heck did the CIA send Joe WIlson to Africa, I mean, Joe WIlson's never worked for the CIA?"

I just don't see that as unusual, nor do I see that as suggesting that Novak had had a conversation with a previous source who told him WIlson never worked for CIA. He was just asking a question based on what was publicly known about Wilson.

Or, Sue, you might read the court filings, where the evidence is as clear as day that Cheney ordered this. It doesn't come from Murray Waas, it comes from Fitzgerald.

But you don't appear to be the reading type, by your own admission.

Toodleloo.

I know, I said I was leaving...and I am, but I couldn't leave with this still out there...

Or perhaps you ought to read the known documents--such as the indictment, which explains how Libby started collecting information on Wilson and that may have been precisely the thing that exposed Armitage to the information about Plame--which still puts Libby squarely at the front of the chain.

Which sounds good if you ignore what Fitzgerald actually said in his presser...

FITZGERALD: At the end of the day what appears is that Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true.

It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And then he lied about it afterwards, under oath and repeatedly.

And there is nothing in the indictment about the beginning or ending of chains.

Ciao!

But you don't appear to be the reading type, by your own admission.

You either, it would seem.

Later!

But that's the point. When someone works for the CIA--particularly if one's career tracks closely with what an operative under official cover would have--there is no evidence of it. Novak would have no way of knowing one way or another (unless someone with the clearance to find out told him. There would be no empirical evidence even if Wilson had worked for the CIA (as there was no empirical evidence Plame worked for the CIA). So how could Novak make the comment with such certitude?

And why would Novak ask that anyway? It's not logical that the CIA only sends those who work for the CIA (as Larry Johnson pointed out yesterday, his former supervisor at State got sent to Latin America for jobs like this twice). So it's a non-sequitor and not proveable (unless NOvak had spoken with someone with the clearance to know). And frankly, elsewhere Novak has said he was interested in Wilson because he was (purportedly, in spite of his Bush donation) a Democrat. So why did Novak say, according to his own version, "Why did they send Wilson; he has never worked for the CIA?" instead of "Why did they send that Democrat, Joe Wilson?"

Rove and Novak go back a long way. Rove was fired from the GHW Bush organization for a leak to Novak. Given that history, and reports that Rove allegedly bugged his own office and blamed it on a political opponent, (Bush's Brain) I wouldn't put ANYTHING past these two.

As the 'architect', Rove certainly could have a cup of coffee with Novakula and give him an off the record heads-up and a place to go see if he can entrap someone who likes to gossip into becoming a 'source.' Especially a guy who had some loyalty to Powell, who probably wasn't the most popular guy around the WH back then.

Am I the only one that finds it odd that Armitage allegedly didn't realize he was a/the 'source' on the story for Novak until October? Was he brain dead from July through September?

Moreover, given that Armitage has an intelligence background, am I the only one that finds it hard to swallow that he would give up an agent (covert or otherwise) to a creep like Novak? It all makes me wonder if he wasn't entrapped into the 'harmless gossip' to take the brunt of the fall.

I also still find it odd that Novak walked off the CNN crossfire program when Carville was about to ask him about Plamegate and had a Who's Who on the table.

With the possibilty of Democratic control of a house of the legislature come November, and the potential of Congressional subpoenas arriving soon after, I wonder . . . if this may just be a political smokescreen for the elections.

windje

Very very very good Sue!! You can type talking points into a computer! Are you going to work on sit and fetch next?

Try this one:

In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.

But, as I have to keep very patiently explain this to you, the point you're supposed to be defending is that Fitzgerald was out of control. But you are still at a place where you'd either have him ignore perjury that was protecting the criminal involvement of the Vice President in leaking a classified operative's identity, or Fitzgerald is correct in pursuing Libby. Yes or no--are you advocating letting the Vice President leak any spy's identity on a lark, whenever he wants? Are you advocating our governemnt officials lie to obscure their own criminal deeds. Yes or no? Let's hear it.

Should he have pursued Armitage sooner? Well, he did from the start, as did the FBI. As I've pointed out, they interviewed Armitage, but they still had issues to investigate. And then Fitzgerald returned to Armitage when he learned new information (would you have stopped the out of control special prosecutor before he investigated that?) But he did pursue Armitage. His investigation of Armitage does not affect the fact that Scooter Libby lied to hide his own, and the Vice President's, attempts to intentionally out a spy.

EW

Johnston failed to mention that Judith Miller's refusal to testify accounted for most of the two-year "delay" before Libby's indictment. Do you suspect, as I do, the Times has made an agreement not to report on Miller's involvement in the scandal?

Apart from Cheney's notes, the strongest evidence in the public record of the White House's plot against Wilson is Miller's June 23rd notebook, in particular her "Valerie Flame" notation in the July 8th notebook from her breakfast meeting with Libby. The Times has never bothered to explain those anomalies. And why didn't Johnston mention that the investigation is still open?

As for the Armitage story, seems to me that in late September 2003, Rove/Novak obviously plotted a very quick July 8th alibi -- involving Armitage as an (unwitting) dupe, who was probably set up from the start. Rove/Novak thought their ruse would cause the investigation would be dismissed out of hand. But their story didn't hold water from the beginning, apparently.

windje

I don't think Armitage gets to avail of the "entrapment" defense. Yes, I think it highly likely that Dick sent Novak to ask him these questions. But Armitage would have to be a stupid shit to fall for it, again, given his intell background.

QS

I do think it curious that David Johnston was one of the guys out after Judy last year at this time, but all of a sudden her role in stalling the "runaway investigator" goes unmentioned by him. He recognized her first amendment martyr defense as BS last year, why not now?

It seems to me like a logical question to ask -- why would the CIA send a diplomat with no public connection to the CIA on this mission? One possible asnwer that Armitage could have given was that Wilson himself was in fact a long-time CIA operative (had that been true), and then Novak would have learned something. Instead, of course, what Armitage said was that Wilson's WIFE was in the CIA, and therefore Novak learned something else. Again, this doesn;t strike me as at all unusual, and in fact, is the way reporters and others who are trying to gather information ask questions. I just don't the fact that Novak asked this question as significant, nor do I see it as evidence that he had a conversation with a prior source who trold him that Wilson has never been in the CIA.

Except that it's a nonsensical question. It assumes, logically, that one does not get sent unless one is a CIA spy. That's not true. So Novak would need a reason to have said it, even though it's nonsensical and even though he was making a claim he presumably had no reason to make.

But, as I have to keep very patiently explain this to you, the point you're supposed to be defending is that Fitzgerald was out of control.

Oh, good grief. Whether or not I believe Fitzgerald was an out of control prosecutor has nothing to do with why he didn't ask, after seeing the calendar, as you so helpfully pointed out, though it doesn't really tell us when he gave it to him, before or after the Woodward discussion was revealed, Armitage about any other discussions he might have had with reporters about Plame/Wilson. The answer to that is what you dont' want to respond to. If you say he asked and Armitage said no, you have to ask yourself why Armitage is not facing indictment. If you say he didn't ask, you have to ask yourself why he didn't ask. Either way, you don't want to go there, because it puts monkey wrenches in your evil Cheney theory.

I hardly think it's nonsensical. TO me, it's a perfectly logical question. Perhaps the CIA long has had a practice on sending diplomats on fact-finding missions, but that's not something that the average person would know, or even a plugged-in reporter like Novak would know. If I was interviewing Armitage at that time, it would probably have been a question I would have asked. And even if it's slightly stupid question, sometimes the stupid questions yield the best information, as the classic Columbo-routine demonstrates.

There is a huge difference in incompetent and runaway. I happen to think Fitz falls into the incompetent category. At least as far as investigating. He does very well getting lower perps to roll over on the higher ups. He just couldn't get Libby to roll. Much to your amazement, it would seem.

I hardly think it's nonsensical.

Me either, but then, what do I know. I'm a wingnut who can't read. ::grin::

If you view it in the grand conspiracy theme, it is nonsensical. It blows the Cheney sent Novak to Armitage to out Plame theory. Work with her.

I handly agree with you, Sue. I agree with about 99% of EW's analysis, and am simply picking at the 1% that I think is off base (because I like to pick, pick, pick).

"Handly" should be "hardly" in my above comment to Sue

Not me. I lurk here, because of someone who posts somewhere else I post. (Hi Jeff!) I came over to see if he was around so I could say I told you so. Didn't intend to get into a debate. But was curious as to why the Woodward/Armitage connection wasn't important, to EW or NYTs for that matter. Then...things went downhill. ::grin::

Pontificator at September 02, 2006 at 17:29:

Much less known than you are implying. Remember Cheney's note? Apparently even someone involved with the IC for decades doesn't know the modus operandi:

"Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

Really? I would have never guessed. ::grin::

Sue

It would have been nice if Fitzgerald asked Armitage.

It would also have been nice if Fitzgerald asked Libby about his June 23 conversation much earlier. Or about the leak Judy got on May 19 about Mobile Weapons labs (did that one come from Libby, too? Or Bolton? Or Feith?). Or if he had asked Libby about his conversation with Bob Woodward on June 23 and 27. Or his conversation with an as-yet unnamed journalist on July 2. Or his conversation with Novak when he seeded the Frances Fragos Townsend smear.

It would be nice if Fitzgerald asked Rove about every journalist he spoke with during the week of the leak, including Matt Cooper.

It would be nice if Fitzgerald asked Card about his conversations with journalists, such as his conversation with Woodward in mid-June.

ALL OF THOSE would have brought more clarity to this investigation sooner. But he didn't because none of those conversations--all of which were directly relevant to this leak--came up as conversations "about" Joe Wilson.

Like it or not, Fitzgerald tried to balance First Amendment protection for journalists with his need to investigate the case. Like it or not, Fitzgerald initially scoped his investigation narrowly to the week of the leak, not the entire two months leading up to the leak. Like it or not, Fitzgerald tried to bracket off conversations with journalists that weren't relevant to his investigation.

I've written extensively about the problems with that. In addition to the delayed revelation about Armitage to Woodward (which apparently didn't affect the question of the IIPA leak), there was the delayed revelation about the Rove to Cooper leak (which did affect the IIPA leak, Libby's perjury charge, and quite possibly the 2004 election), and there was the delayed revelation about the first Libby to Judy leak (which did affect the IIPA leak--though it's probably just as well, since Judy apparently lied in her first GJ appearance).

Now, in fact, Fitzgerald did ask precisely the questions you did in your first comment. Further, he spent a lot of time investigating whether Armitage knew of Plame's covert identity, and he didn't appear to (whereas there is at least circumnstantial evidence that Libby did). So while you may think Fitzgerald is looking in the wrong direction, after not even reading the articles reporting thus far on Armitage, Fitzgerald, after spending a lot of time considering Armitage's role, either decided he didn't have the evidence to indict (which is probably what happened with Rove) or there was no crime committed.

So while you may think Fitzgerald is looking in the wrong direction, after not even reading the articles reporting thus far on Armitage, Fitzgerald, after spending a lot of time considering Armitage's role, either decided he didn't have the evidence to indict (which is probably what happened with Rove) or there was no crime committed.

If I had the 'primary' source for Novak, the one question I would have asked him was who else did you talk to. He either didn't ask the question or he asked and Armitage 'misremembered'. For a full year afterwards. With Woodward reminding him.

The part bolded, which "the articles" are you referring to? Because I've read every article I could find. Maybe I missed one. ::grin::

See Sue claim she reads "every article she could find."

See Sue accuse Fitzgerald of not checking Armitage's calendars.

had he bothered to subpoena the known leakers calendar

See Sue not read the article she had claimed she had read:

Mr. Armitage cooperated voluntarily in the case, never hired a lawyer and testified several times to the grand jury, according to people who are familiar with his role and actions in the case. He turned over his calendars, datebooks and even his wife’s computer in the course of the inquiry, those associates said.

See Sue ask why I'm not addressing a topic I've addressed many times before:

You aren't addressing that Armitage told Woodward on June 12th. Is there a reason?

See Sue not even read the post at hand.

"Is our Sues reading?"

Tell me, empty, where it says when Armitage turned over the calendar. Other than in the course of the investigation? Something tells me he turned it over after Woodward popped up in 2005, not before. But that is a guess, I admit. But from the article, you have no way of knowing whether I'm right or you are right.

And the answer to this "Is our Sues [sic] reading?" is yes. ::grin::

Sue,

Once again, you're sidestepping the issue. The question is that you claim to have read something, and either didn't comprehend what you read, or ignored it to make a baseless accusation. And I'm sorry you missed the joke I made in that last comment.

You joke? You kid? LOL. Yeah, I missed your joke and your point. Since you continually tell me I have either not read something or I dont' comprehend what I read and make baseless accusations (another LOL moment, coming from you), I missed your joke. You didn't answer my question. When, in the investigation, did Armitage turn over his calendar? At the beginning? It doesn't say that. Or during the course of the investigation? Which could mean in 03 or 05 or last week.

EW- is there an article that recounts the exact discussion between Armitage and Novak?

I do think it is possible Novak had another source- one that hadn't been identified at all during the investigation. There's no way Novak would drag someone into it that had otherwise escaped Fitzgerald (and the FBI's) interest. He had hinted at a CIA source before, had he not? We know he can keep his mouth shut- so far he hasn't even acknowledged Armitage as a source.

However, it seems to me impossible at this point to know the details of the discussion between Novak and Armitage. Especially if it was casual and gossipy, it could have been a quite a meandering discussion in which Novak found out all kinds of things about Valerie Plame and her role. Or it could have been, as you seem to think, very precise. Novak has been very careful in all of his discussions about the case not to give away too much, and Armitage has been silent.

emptywheel, you have the patience of Job.

EW, I find it moderately intriguiging (and even entertaining) when the trolls show up. Their ardent, passionate determination to obfuscate, revise, and misquote is interesting behavior.

I live mercifully far from D.C. My kids are avid online gamers, and at the risk of not being taken seriously, I sheepishly admit that I tend to use this Plame Game as a mental exercise in much the same fashion as my ancient father uses the NYT daily crossword: to try and keep my synapses snappy, and also as diversion from technical problems.

Nevertheless, I do feel strongly about the ethical, national security, and legal ramifications of the Plame Game -- so that while using Plame minutia to engage in mental jumping jacks, I have the double-benefit of puzzling about Things That Matter.

All that being said, it's always fascinating to note the level of troll activity. I view it in somewhat the same fashion that I view a fever; it's a symptom of distress.

Whereas my kids compete for weapons, magical powers, and other useful gaming advantages, I get to watch out for troll behavior. It is really quite fascinating to observe, and the level of troll feverishness is always one more piece of this most fascinating puzzle. The online gaming in which my offspring engage is apparently open only to those who are invited to join, and players advance only by exchanging 'weapons' with trusted other players. It's interesting to watch 'trusted players' exchange info on this site (and also FDL and other sites, as well).

I wish there were some sort of 'troll attack' graph that would make these threads even more enlightening. I don't have the technical skills to dummy one up for you, but if Redshift returns, perhaps s/he could ponder how to do it. These features are, I gather, part of my kids' games -- they always have a 'counter' in one corner of their screen to alert them when a rogue player appears. However, I will have to remain content with your engaging commentary and dedication to clear, specific explanations for the present.

Personally, I think Obi-Wan Kenobi would admire your Plame Skills. I certainly do.

emptywheel, you have the patience of Job.

Why? Because she is the owner of the site and doesn't have to worry about getting banned by being cutesy with her posters? ::grin::

Or because she is spinning a conspiracy that all the pieces won't fit nicely into?

And now I'm a troll. Okay. I get the message. Echo chamber it is!

Tell Jeff hi when he shows up.

::grin::

All that being said, it's always fascinating to note the level of troll activity. I view it in somewhat the same fashion that I view a fever; it's a symptom of distress.

Actually, I like EW/TNH because it is one site that comes from the left point of view that doesn't delete posts or survive on troll-rating those you disagree with.
It disappoints me to see contrary view points described as troll activity here. I could say dismissing posters with dissenting views- or belitting their reading comprehension- is a symptom of distress. But I won't. I would rather have a chance to ask the person proposing the theory the questions raised by her posts (and subsequent comments).

Actually Sue you should now get back to Maguires batcave and let the adults talk.

EW

who do you think is the WH or Senior Admin official who gave Allen etc the 1x2x6 story?

Before I do my swan song, could EW tell me who she thinks was the WH or senior admin official who gave the 1x2x6 narrative to Allen or whoever? I can't figure out if the the 1 is someone who knew about Plame and told the 2 or the 1 is someone who just knew about the conspiracy and told it.

Martin,

It always strikes me as humorous how the person who never calls anyone names, never tells someone they are a wingnut, or a moonbat, or a troll, is always seen as the childish one at sites like these. Very humorous indeedy! ::grin::

Did anyone hear anymore about Corn and Isikoff's book? All I heard is there is going to be a few bombs coming out next week, and it won't make the right happy. Anyone hear anything else?

Sue, who for some reason is always grinning, even when she's upset, vowed to leave (with a grin, of course), and then returns for another dozen or so comments.

And now she's promising to leave yet again.

(In all seriousness, though, what's the deal with all the grinning? At this point, it comes across as dazed, and sometimes inappropriate. But maybe that's just me.)

Hi Mr. E.,

I am never upset, so that doesn't apply. I have no idea. I just have this weird habit of grinning. It makes life so much more fun. I will attempt to avoid it in this post, though. Since it seems to upset you.

Sue, you are confused. No one herse is asserting a conspiracy in fact, they are speculating about a conspiracy based on the eveidence at hand. You miight not like this speculation, but that does not mean it is based on nothing. It is based on reams of evidence. One might say overwhelming evidence that even the SP has acknowledged. Are you so presumptuous to think that you have more insight into this case than the SP?

tnhblog,

If you knew anything about me at all, and Jeff will verify this for you if you care to ask him, I have never believed Libby's tortured testimony. That doesn't mean I'm buying into the conspiracy that Fitzgerald was investigating, which seems to be a conspiracy to silence a noble whistleblower (Wilson). One would wonder why Fitzgerald felt the need to have a press conference and include information that wasn't in the indictment. One would also wonder why Fitzgerald stated that Libby wasn't at the end of a chain of phone call but at the beginning...with reporters, not officials. Had Fitzgerald bothered to investigate Armitage, the known leaker, he would have found out about Woodward, sooner rather than later. That is my point. That and why no one here seems curious as to why Fitzgerald didn't know about the Woodward/Armitage connection.

I don't see any particularly grave relation of the Woodward angle to the conspiracy theory. You and most at TNH will just have to disagree on the conspiracy thing. I personally think Fitzgerald is a plant placed in the position to limit damge to the higher ups. You think the opposite. Both of us are speculating.

And I am willing to admit I am speculating also. I did so earlier, upthread. And I am happy to disagree without being called a wingnut, a troll or a child. Thank you.

Ok, but don't think you're going to discourage anyone from pursueing their speculations into the conspiracy angle. There are just to many intriguing leads.

I am not trying to discourage anyone. They are trying very hard to get rid of me, though. ::grin:: (Oops, sorry, old habits and all...).

If their speculations hold water, they should be able to counter mine, without stooping to ad homs. Correct?

Well, here I think you are being dishonest. You came here specifically to debunk our speculations, seemingly unwilling to acknowledge that they are based on well founded suspicions.

I came here to see if Jeff was here. After that, I got caught up in the discussion. My speculations are also based on well founded suspicions. No one here is seemingly willing to accept them, so I would surmise we are even on that score.

No, your suspicions are irrelevant to the conspiracy being posited here and you refuse to acknowledge that the speculations being argued about at TNH are well grounded. You are therefore being very dishonest.

Earlier, Sue wrote that she came over here to tell Jeff, "I told you so."

Just out of curiousity, what's the "I told you so" about? It obviously can't be about Armitage as Novak's source, since Jeff's acknowledged that for months now, long before the media caught on. So I'm left wondering what you were proven correct about that Jeff had disagreed wtih. Do tell.

Also, I'm not upset about your grinning. I'm a little surprised you admit your habit is weird, but I do agree with that assessment. For you to write, however, that you are "never" upset strains belief. Such a fascinating person you are.

The speculations propounded here leave out vital information. Such as the judge, in one of the hearings, declaring that no matter which way Cooper testifies, his documents will impeach him. Puts a strain on the indictment and the presser. In the same hearing, the judge says that depending on what Judith Miller says, her documents might be used to impeach her. Again, strains the indictment and the presser. The only thing left standing, untouchable, as it were, is Russert. We shall see what happens there, but to say that my speculations are not well-founded, and don't put some kind of monkey wrench in the speculations around here, is being kind of dishonest on your part. A lot of my theories have fallen by the wayside. Some I've figured out on my own. Others were pointed out to me.

But as the host said, that was not the subject of this thread. This thread is all about a runaway prosecutor (which apparently only the host can deviate from [see Tenet theory upthread] without being called on it). I am not prepared to declare Fitzgerald a runaway prosecutor. I prefer to think he was just incompetent. Used to getting the little guy to roll on the big guy. Which he has so far been unable to do.

Whatever I say here will not change the outcome of the investigation. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. What harm if I share my theories, here or elsewhere? I have been polite. The only thing I can figure is an echo chamber is the preferred choice around here.

Mr. E.,

Jeff will know. And if he doesn't, I'll remind him, when I next come across him.

I really don't think my habit is weird. I was indulging you. I'm sorry I strain your belief, but seriously, why on earth would I allow what is said on blogs, amongst people I don't know and will never meet, upset me? If you are projecting your own feelings on how I should feel, maybe the problem is your's and not mine.

All your claims are irrelevant to the conspiracy speculation which you have been trying to impeach here. Please your dishonesty is becoming sickening.

I came here following some links to read in depth about the NYTimes article and the back story and saw Sue's thread. I'm Not desperately seeking Jeff. FWIW I used to see the same trolling style used during the OS wars of the 90's on Usenet.

Sue is free to follow her own instincts -- but -- it's really not that important, she's just trying to help some too-serious people and is a playful person at heart. Trolling 101.

As much as I'd like to follow this particular investigation, it is too hard to track in depth because Fitz's office has not leaked. Ironically, that lack of detail is now used to imply he's out of control.

It's clear this investigation lead to the Office of the VP before Fitz was assigned and that he followed the evidence. His investigation grew to include a longer period of time and become more complex. I believe he even sought clarification and received approval to expand the investigation to include obstruction. He is methodical.

Fitz has me won over based on his reputation working in IL. Pathetic that the NYTimes can't get this story right even to save The Paper. What's the point of having access to the WH if you have to print spin. Access to the WH has become a disadvantage.

HI, another JOM troll...

I just have to point out a pretty glaring inconsistency...EW rightly corrects Sue that Fitzgerald DID have Armitage's calendar (it does not say when though), but assuming it was immediately when he talked to Fitzgerald....EW responds to Sue

Very very very good Sue!! You can type talking points into a computer! Are you going to work on sit and fetch next?

Try this one:

In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.

Since Fitzgerald had the Calendar, he either was pretty dishonest when he said the above (he says "IN FACT" too) OR he had the calendar and didn't catch it or have his thinking cap on when he looked at it, which means technically he was dishonest when he said the above but still Fitz's own fault, OR Armitage lied.

Just because he doesn't hum religious songs does not mean he walks on water. That's all.

Yeah, well we could do a lot of speculating about that too. What does that have to do with the Plame conspiracy?

The trolls come here whining about Fitzgerald. I know I have problems with Fitzgerald, as do many of the people here. Do you hear us whining about it? We are concerned with the facts of the case.

And what about the fact that Fitzgerald allowed Rove to amend his testimony. What kind of BS is that? Rove should have been indicted for obstruction. Fitzgerald let him off the hook. And the trolls whine about Fitzgerald.

Sue is free to follow her own instincts -- but -- it's really not that important, she's just trying to help some too-serious people and is a playful person at heart. Trolling 101.

I didn't know that. Do I get a passing grade for Trolling 101?

and that he followed the evidence.

Really? Then why did he have to go back, almost 2 years later, to discuss Armitage/Woodward with the GJ? Either he didn't see the evidence, he saw it and ignored it, or...you fill in the blank. I don't understand how he could say what he said at the press conference, first known official, if he had done his job...which would have entailed following the evidence. I bet we find out the calendar was not part of that evidence, not until 2005.

All your claims are irrelevant to the conspiracy speculation which you have been trying to impeach here.

Is this directed to me? If so, I didn't think you thought there was a conspircacy. Just speculation with hard facts.

I am through with you Sue. Your stupidity is monstrous.

Can I take back my thank you?

It seems obvious to me, that armitage initially lied. That libby lied. That Rove lied. Either Fitz is incompetent, and that does not fit his track record, or partisan, or he caught their lies and used them. He is known for working his way to the top. Why is it so impossible to believe that he held several of them in his hands with potential charges, and that he did this to take it to the top...and that the climb to the top is not over.

The armitage story is implausible. It's like a liar who lies by painting too many "convenient" details. Are we to believe that Fitz doesn't see it? The story explains everything but not without ignoring the bigger picture. Not without ignoring certain truths. Sometimes we recognize lies by the details and sometimes the truth is evident because of the bigger picture and the impossibility that everything had to happen just so in order to make this all innoncence and light. This administration spread this information about Wilson and it ran like wildfire through many people. Fitz called it a "concerted effort to discredit Wilson" and we know he has Cheney's newspaper clipping and other evidence that supports this notion.

One of the worst things happening in this case is an attention to minutia. In the minutia the big picture is easily lost. I realize law cases come down to details but the big picture is clear. So, is Fitz just unable to make his case because the cover-up has been too good, or is there still info that we are unaware that pulls this puzzle together in details that actually fit the gut and make sense?

There are too many places in this story that don't fit my sense of reality. Just like Iran Contra, years ago. I spent hours pouring over the details of that scandal. It went by the wayside because no one understood the bigger picture, they didn't understand the movtivations.

Facts:

1) the administration used information that was false to justify going to war. We can prove that information existed at the time we went to war that would have disproven their justification for war. This is fact. Not conjecture. Whether or not they did it on purpose is the lie/ the justification / the focus for all scoundrels. I didn't do it on purpose. Yea, and i accidently hit the nuke button, too?? Is that okay??

2) she was outted. She was outted by people in her own government. Who cares if it was "on purpose" or "accidently" or by "innoncent gossiping". If I "accidently" breach confidentiality I lose my license. As far as I know, "it was just gossip" would not suffice in defending me.

3) We need to know the extent of the damage. The american people need to know if this "accident" was serious enough to cause harm to our government and our safety.

4) people in our government, in our media, lied to cover, or dismiss or try to change focus on this story. Lots of lies from libby, to Bob woodward, to Judy to.... Lies. That's a fact.

These talking points need to be "hit" over and over again. The minutia is irrelevant. We have enough facts to make the case that this administration is incompetent at the very least, and depending on the answer to what damage was done (which will be a very guarded top security secret), to very dangerous at the worst.

If you have ever argued with a way ward child, worked with troubled teens or alcoholic adults you will know the tactics. "It wasn't my fault". "I didn't do it on purpose". "I didn't know". "I did not walk ten paces to the left, I walked two paces to the left and then one to the right, my god get your facts straight what is wrong with you!!" "it's not that big a deal why are you getting so upset?" And the beat goes on...Can we start to focus on the the forest instead of the trees?? There are enough facts in the big picture, that can be proven. There is no one hitting these truths in the media. No one following a bigger picture. But that's what happens in an authoritarian society. An over focusing on details, an obsession about the little picture and a loss of the bigger ideals, the morality of the big picture.

Thanks for a great comments aztrias, topsecretk9, Jim E.

Sue, I come to tnh a lot, and emptywheel is always willing to answer dumb questions from those of us who don't know nearly as much as she does.
You clearly know a great deal about the law and Plamegate, but your primary interest on this thread appears to be to show off your knowledge and score debating points.

From the comments I have read, you conspicuously lack an interest in furthering an understanding of the issues. I love emptywheel, but, if she has made errors, I want to know about it. Wrt that, I thought Aztrias' "As much as I'd like to follow this particular investigation, it is too hard to track in depth because Fitz's office has not leaked. Ironically, that lack of detail is now used to imply he's out of control," explained your comments the best.

Jeff, emptywheel, and a lot of other plameologists have terrific respect for one another and they disagree on a whole lot. Where did you ever try to "share a theory," on this thread? That was a terrifically disingenuous thing to say. If you had tried to "share," I would have taken what you said, a lot more seriously. This is you Sue, in your opening broadside to emptywheel, "if the truth is really what I wanted." Sue, that's you putting a really nasty "ad hom" on emptywheel, before emptywheel even knows who you are. But later, you say you were just "sharing theories."

Sue, your comments here do not occur in a vacuum, yet you continue to "::grin::." The issues you comment on so blithely, led us into a war that is even less justifiable than the Mexican American War or the Spanish American War. We're hurting towards 3,000 dead. I would invite you to consider that offering a ::grin:: in this context doesn't put you in a very good light. This "war" which Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame tried to stop is about the WH stealing oil. In defending the WH, you are defending a naked, and supremely stupid, attempt by the neocons to obtain inexpensive crude. That is the cash value of your presence on this thread.

The WH also wrapped this war of choice in the flag of democracy, seriously staining something that is unbelieveably precious and fragile. The WH has tortured, kidnapped, and asassinated to further its own anti-U.S. agenda, that's textbook terrorism. In addition Sue, the floor in the ME is not civil war in Iraq. The floor in the ME is a closing of the Strait of Hormuz and a world wide depression caused by a loss of 25% of the WORLD's oil exports.

The next time I see Jeff, I'll link to this thread. I want him to know you are hiding behind using him as a reference.

emptywheel, as I am sure you already know, Sue was probably well compensated for what appear to be coordinated attacks. I suspect that's why she was so insistent about mentioning Jeff. From Larry Johnson,
http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/09/wrecking_patric.html

John,

I suspect Jeff will find me using him as a reference on his own. But thanks anyway.

Why does my ::grin:: bother people so much?

And you are right. At least partially. I do think the people who continue to float a conspiracy that even Fitzgerald couldn't find are not looking for the truth. It reminds me of the right in the 90s and their continued belief that Hillary killed Foster and Bill was corrupt (instead of just creepy).

And no one has answered the question I asked.

I'm not sure how you engage in a debate without sharing your knowledge. But it is fairly obvious I am getting mixed signals here at EW. You claim I'm knowledgeable, EW claims I can't read, others call me a troll and a child.

The war Joe and Val tried to stop? You mean after it started? Because in the run up to the war, Wilson wasn't telling us anything that any other pundit wasn't saying. Including his July 6th op-ed which claimed:

Iraq possessed and had used chemical weapons; it had an active biological weapons program and quite possibly a nuclear research program — all of which were in violation of United Nations resolutions.

Why do you claim Val was involved in Joe's mission to stop a war? That is in direct contradiction to what Joe and Val have claimed.

And John, all of our comments here occur in a vacuum. I am under no illusion that what I say here, or elsewhere on the internet, will matter beyond the small vacuum we are in. I don't expect to change your mind, or the mind of anyone else for that matter. Even when the facts get in your way.

Sue was probably well compensated for what appear to be coordinated attacks.

And to think, I actually wasted my time taking you seriously.

Sue, please explain the timing of your attacks.
Please, prove me wrong.
Why did you just happen to begin commenting last night? Surely someone as familiar with the details has lurked here before.
Sue, if you want me to take you seriously, apologize to emptywheel for your unprovoked "ad homs" against her.
Sue, if you want me to take you seriously, put your attacks on Fitz in context. Do you want us to stay in Iraq? Are we safer for the renditions and the torture?
No one is banning you Sue, emptywheel and tnh continue to let you comment. Try to stay something substantive, instead of your trademark "quick hitter."

"Sue was probably well compensated for what appear to be coordinated attacks. I suspect that's why she was so insistent about mentioning Jeff."

John;

I disagree and think it is counter productive to paint contrarian
commenters as paid political hacks. Sue is merely trapped in
the dilemma of most war Irag war supporters. They know it is and was, FUBAR, but feel the WOT will founder if that error burns in the oxygen-rich environment called self-awareness. She is also a disgruntled ex-democrat, so she would have to admit two errors due to her unflagging support for Bush and Co. in the
general policy arena.

Sue, please explain the timing of your attacks.
Please, prove me wrong.
Why did you just happen to begin commenting last night? Surely someone as familiar with the details has lurked here before.
Sue, if you want me to take you seriously, apologize to emptywheel for your unprovoked "ad homs" against her.
Sue, if you want me to take you seriously, put your attacks on Fitz in context. Do you want us to stay in Iraq? Are we safer for the renditions and the torture?
No one is banning you Sue, emptywheel and tnh continue to let you comment. Try to stay something substantive, instead of your trademark "quick hitter."

Semanticleo, thank you.

Sue, I apologize.
I withdraw my comments consistent that you may be paid.

Sue, I was raised a Barry Goldwater Republican. I'm voting blue in November, I hope you do too.

Wow - this thread really started jumping after I signed off last night.

EW thanks for your response - I certainly would agree that Armitage should know better about what he says to a puke like Novak and I'm not giving him a bye, but I'd love to read the verbatim transcript of the conversation.

I say that coming from the perspective of someone who testifies as an expert and has had the most innocuous of notes, phrases, commissions, ommissions, etc taken out of context and thrown in my face on the witness stand. Curveballs in the dirt (when you are expecting a changeup.)


I wonder if the best of this story is yet to come, and I have a certain amount of faith in Fitzgeral. Actions speak louder than words and track record I am aware of is generally positive.

windje

Bill Kristol says Libby should be pardoned because, in part, Libby "didn’t lie in any serious meaning of lying before a grand jury."

So Kristol agrees that Libby lied under oath (not misspoke, not misremembered, but "lied"), but thinks that's okay because he, Kristol, doesn't think the lies were serious. Who can argue with a principled and serious point of view like that?

John Casper, thanks for that link to Larry Johnson. It's also worth noting on another TNH thread "Rove's Influence Waning" that the NYT refused to allow Rove to comment without accepting attribution for his remarks. It's an interesting convergence.

I did not identify any specific commenter as a 'troll', although I interpreted at least one commenter as exhibiting "troll behavior," which I define as: (1) suddenly appearing to post on a hot topic, (2) repeatedly challenging the site owner's veracity, intelligence, or reasoning, (3) cutsey signatures, and too-clever-by-half screen names. If this were an online game, I'd assume that a male player seeks to disguise his gender by using a 'female' screen name, which doubles as a legal pun (to 'sue'). Whether or not my hunch is correct is not relevant to the Plame case, although I do find it interesting as a barometer of WH and RNC anxiety about Fitz.

Katie Jensen, thanks for once again pointing out that the Big Picture matters. Same to John Casper.

As for Fitz.... I've worked around engineers who have a very, very logical thought process and don't get emotionally involved in their work. They value logic: true, false, greater-than, less-than, equal to.... They do not tolerate lies and deceit, because dishonesty might result in crashed airplanes, malfunctioning hydropower dams, pipes that burst under pressure, and other destructive mayhem. They seek out business partners who meet their ethical standards, and take pride in the quality of their work. Fitz strikes me as having a similar thought process.

I find it richly ironic that people who think 'politically' seek to smear Fitz on THEIR OWN TERMS. They assume that everyone thinks in political terms, because that's how they operate. It's a form of intellectual blindness on their part, IMHO. In their worldview, it's okay to lie, cheat, or steal if it means you win an election or gain a vote. That inability to think like an engineer or a mathematician is getting them into all sorts of trouble.

I'm not convinced that Fitz is invested in any of this emotionally -- if he's an 'engineering type' then he cares about doing top-notch work, and following a precise and logical path to very specific conclusions. Those who assume that Fitz is motivated by emotions (revenge, or one-upsmanship) are twisting in the wind, but if he's anything like some people that I've worked with, he's oblivious to much of their anxiety and he'll get to them when he has time.

too-clever-by-half screen names

Is this another joke I'm not privvy to? I mean, I didn't get EW's joke so I'm assuming I'm missing this one too.

Since I was the only non-regular commenting when you made your troll remark, I can safely assume you were referring to me.

repeatedly challenging the site owner's veracity, intelligence, or reasoning

I have been called a troll. I have been told I don't comprehend what I read. I have been told I don't read. I have been mocked by the hostess. I have been called dishonest. I have been called a paid political hack. I have even now had my gender questioned. And had my user name referred to as too-clever-by-half (for that, you will have to blame my mother, she chose the name, not I) by someone using readerofTeaLeaves as his/her user name.

And still, no one will answer my question. "You aren't addressing that Armitage told Woodward on June 12th. Is there a reason?"

"have been called a troll. I have been told I don't comprehend what I read. I have been told I don't read. I have been mocked by the hostess. I have been called dishonest. I have been called a paid political hack. I have even now had my gender questioned. And had my user name referred to as too-clever-by-half (for that, you will have to blame my mother, she chose the name, not I) by someone using readerofTeaLeaves as his/her user name."

These occurences are a daily function with regard to myself at
JOM. It is sad to hear they affect you. Learn to accept it
with relish. It tastes better that way. ::grin::

Over the month when Woodward's first source story broke, ew did a number of threads, available by Googling back, though researching this way takes a few artful tries; it is helpful once you learn to do it. Of course much subsequent material changes all that, which is why the structural attacks now on Fitz as politics season has its opening day the first of this week, a few more days now, but Woody got his chance to say all or part of what he said, and some of it had to do with news media megacorporate politics as well as presidency historian journalism; Woodward book remains in the works; I suspect his having to divulge more to Fitzgerald also entailed having to go back and edit the book; hard to write when some characters might be indicted. It looks like book reading is going to get interesting in 2007; Tenet has promised, too, to publish then.

Sue, you have been called all those things because they are accurate. You have been told repeatedly that the Woodward angle is irrelevant to the Plame conspiracy. You suffer from the wingnut disease of believing if you close your eyes that something will simply go away. You can close your eyes to the evidence of the conspiracy all you want, it won't make it go away.

Sue, we have known on this site for six months that Armitage was an early source for Novak, and that Novak and Woodward shared the same early source. We have discussed that issue at great length, as well as its impact on possible IIPA and conspiracy charges against the OVP. We can certainly agree that if and when Cheney is charged, the Administration will point fingers at Armitage for his supposed "innocent" leak in early June, and will also claim he wasn't forthcoming about it with Fitz. That doesn't change the evidence that Cheney ordered the leak through other proxies -- as you would know if you had been reading the site and discussions.

These occurences are a daily function with regard to myself at
JOM. It is sad to hear they affect you. Learn to accept it
with relish. It tastes better that way. ::grin::

You don't get that from me, Leo.

Why is it when I respond to what someone has said, it means I am 'affected'? I am merely pointing out the obvious.

Nor do I hear you condemn. Ergo; you condone and participate, albeit passively.

You have been told repeatedly that the Woodward angle is irrelevant to the Plame conspiracy.

How perfectly silly of me to have not listened to what y'all have repeatedly told me.

BTW;

When you point out the obvious, it gives the impression
you are affected.

That doesn't change the evidence that Cheney ordered the leak through other proxies -- as you would know if you had been reading the site and discussions.

I'll wait for the indictment. As I remember, earlier discussions around here had Hadley as UGO. And indicted.

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