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September 02, 2006

Comments

I dont' care enough either way, Leo. Your problems there are not that you are a troll, your problems are you speak in Leoisms. Which could be my problem here. I speak in Sueisms. ::grin::

And with that, I'll see you next door.

"dont' care enough either way, Leo."

Maybe that's the problem.

Sue, cut the victim routine. "I have been called a paid political hack."
I'm the one who said that and in my original comment I said "probably." If you are going to quote me, please try to be less inaccurate.
Then I backed off and apologized. Now do you accept my apology or not?
As tnhblog said, simply ignoring the facts doesn't make them go away. It's a two-way street, if you want people to answer your questions.

Sue, this part I appreciate " 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."

These are facts over which I do have a certain amount of fluency.
As a result I can make determinations about your overall reliability. According to you, DeadEye was marking up Joe's op-ed piece, why, because everyone else was saying the same thing?
According to you, Joe and Val wanted us to invade Iraq. Great Sue, where's your link? I didn't know that.


Sue, this is from your initial ambush broadside against emptywheel:
"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." Bold is mine.

Now in all 96 comments so far, did I miss your apology to emptywheel?

I would like to make one observation about Woodward and Armitage. Woodward interviewed Armitage for his book Plan of Attack. We know that President Bush gave what was essentially blanket permission to tell Woodward secret information. Woodward exposed secrets in that book that were potentially far more damaging than anything that the New York Times or even the AIPAC spy case. I'm not asserting that anybody did anything wrong by talking to Woodward for the book (well except Bush was unbelievably stupid for giving that broad permission to so many people, but that's a rant for another day). Instead, I'm pointing out that pursuing Armitage for what he told Woodward is almost certainly legally impossible. Unless Woodward was a source for some other journalist or government official, the Woodward-Armitage conversation is simply irrelevant to the larger Plame case.

On an unrelated note, I suppose I should publicly renounce my theory that Alberto Gonzales could have been Novak's source. I apologize to Mr. Gonzales. He's not a leaker, just a torture-loving legal hack.

Dearest Sue

I have addressed your question (again, you either can't read, or are being deliberately obtuse.) I'm not obsessing about it because 1) I have addressed it extensively on other threads, and, as I've pointed out on this thread 2) that's not what this post was about, nor does it affect the logic of this post. You may not understand this, but this post is about the claim that Fitzgerald is a runaway prosecutor because he pursued the investigation after Armitage came forward. As I point out, that's a logically ridiculous claim, since it wasn't Fitzgerald who pursued the investigation, it was a bunch of Bush cronies. I ignored your question, initially, because it violated basic rules of etiquette about topicality on threads.

Now as to your off-topic and oft-address question. let me try once more, with the warning that this is becoming tedious. While I don't know whether Fitzgerald asked Armitage if he spoke to other journalists about Plame (that is, whether Armitage lied or whether he declined to mention, as Libby and Rove also did their unmentioned conversations), I pointed out three equally significant instances where he didn't learn about earlier/unrecorded contacts. These SAOs (Libby, Rove, Card, and Armitage) probably have about 400 journalist contacts between them in this larger May to July period. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me that Fitzgerald didn't pursue the least suspicious of those contacts. He pursued the ones between these guys and known and claimed recipients of a Plame leak (Cooper, Novak, Pincus) and those noted in significant ways in relevant documents or testimony (Miller, in Libby's notes, and Russert, in Libby's testimony). Now, I find that a logical approach. Further, that approach is pretty much dictated by DOJ guidelines on subpoenaing journalists--Fitz can't subpoena a reporter unless he 1) can't get the info any other way and 2) can prove it's absolutely central to the case. Sure, Fitzgerald can ask the questions of the SAOs, but without the threat of the subpoena, that's not really meaningful. So to answer your question, once and for all, I didn't address that conversation because 1) it's completely irrelevant to the qusetion of whether Fitz is a runaway prosecutor and therefore off-topic and rude, and 2) given the rest of Fitz' behavior in this case, it is consistent with the logic of the investigation and the treatment of other SAOs. I understand you disagree with the logic of that investigation. Fine. We've heard you and I, for one, disagree. If you want to discuss it further, please do it on a thread on which it is relevant.

But please don't continue asking why I haven't answered a question that is off-topic to this thread. I have addressed the question in the past, I have now done so on this thread, and I frankly don't understand why someone who spends no time here would demand that her off-topic questions get answered on the one thread she decides to join. Want to discuss Armitage's June 12 conversation? Do it on a thread where it's on-topic. On this thread, though, I will consider it trollish behavior and will act accordingly if it continues.

No Sue, it's not silliness. It's deliberate, willful, shameless, unabashed igrnorance and blindness.

William

Interesting point. Though it makes me sad you're giving up the Abu G supposition. I did like it, you know.

Maybe if Fitz is pursuing the cover-up (as one of the lawyers for a key witness has alleged), then we'll get Abu G in this anyway. I continue to find the departure date for Scottie and Card to be curious, given the events of the Plame case, and they'd make superb witnesses if Fitz were pursuing the coverup. And Abu G would be right there, in the line of the coverup targets.

that's not what this post was about, nor does it affect the logic of this post

To me, it goes directly to the point of this post. More so than the 1x2x6 Tenet comment you left upthread.

Apologies. Left open a tag.

Well Sue, then you are apparently incapable of arguing your point, because you never once addressed the substance of the post. In fact, you yourself admitted it was off-topic, when you said you thought Fitz was a bad prosecutor, not a runaway one. As I said, from this point forward, I will treat any more off-topic posts from you as trollish, suitable for banning.

Unless Woodward was a source for some other journalist or government official, the Woodward-Armitage conversation is simply irrelevant to the larger Plame case.

Consider also what happened when they failed to dupe Woodward into being their patsy. They redoubled their eforts and found a perfect foil-Novak, Rove's confidant.

Uh oh. Sue's vowing to leave again.

Sue, have you thought about starting your own blog?

Oops, I didn't read all the way down. She's baaa-aaack.

(Actually, I welcome Sue here. I'm just fascinated by all the things she writes that she doesn't mean. Quite comical.)

So anything I post will be considered trollish. Since I plainly stated I don't think he is a runaway prosecutor (the topic of the post) but an incompetent prosecutor and went on to tell you why I thought so? I guess you have to do what you have to do...it's your blog.

Consider also what happened when they failed to dupe Woodward into being their patsy. They redoubled their eforts and found a perfect foil-Novak, Rove's confidant.

And your evidence is?

Andrew McCarthy, of The Corner, recently pointed out that Fitz shouldn't be smeared. As McCarthy pointed out, both Rove and Armitage have been slippery figures in Plamegate, yet neither was indicted. According to McCarthy, such discretion on the part of Fitz shows that he is *not* a runaway prosecutor hell-bent on throwing everyone in the pokey. On the contrary, he's shown restraint. Just thought I'd put that out there given all the editorialists calling for Libby to be pardoned.

The evidence is that according to published reports Novak spoke to both Armitage and Rove on July 8. Who mdid he speak to first? What was the topic of the conversation? According to the court filings, Novak and Rove first testified to talking about Plame on July 9. If, they spoke about her July 8, did they perjure themselves? Were the conversations between Armitage, Rove and Novak coordinated? As for Novak being Rove's confidant that is well known.

And then there was the moment, after Rove got the all-clear, when Mehlman endorsed Fitz' decisions (though he probably didn't think that through).

That's what's so notable about this recent barrage of anti-Fitz coverage. Before, they were alright with Fitz (even Shrub). But all of a sudden, every wingnut wants to say he's out of control, even though they've said differently in the past. What's up with the timing, is what I want to know.

I'm not following you. You said "what happened when they failed to dupe Woodward into being their patsy" and I was asking, what evidence do you have that they failed to dupe Woodward.

"On the contrary, he's shown restraint. Just thought I'd put that out there given all the editorialists calling for Libby to be pardoned."

'Incompetent', 'runaway' are all cover stories for the real deal.

The palpable fear is a runaway Congress. All the Hue and Cry from the right bemoaning the injustices perpetrated upon the babe-in-arms, Libby, mask the intent of keeping everything hidden and obscured. Remember the pardon of the IranGate conspiritors?

Weinberger and Poindexter were pardoned BEFORE the trial began.

Can't allow the TruthOut.

Well, that's part of my interest. Is the timing 1) just a coincidence with the Isikoff-Corn book (and an attempt to stifle the Bush-damaging revelations that come next week), 2) an attempt to set up a November 15 Libby pardon, 3) an attempt to pre-empt expected further charges, or 4) an attempt to sway public opinion before the civil suit goes forward.

The civil suit won't get going until just before or just after the election (and that's just the first filings--it'll be a year before we start having some new revelations).

tnhblog - Woodward wasn't their patsy? That's a piece that I've missed entirely. Details, please?

Maybe because he didn't publish the info? You connect the dots to what happened next.

You connect the dots to what happened next.

I don't know where to look to connect the dots. It was your claim. Do you not have a link, cite or something to save me some time?

Sue, we all have our gripes with Fitzgerald. Why do you keep whining about it?

Excuse me? What is that in response to?

I already connected the dots for you. See upthread.

Sea change:

Today Bill Kristol urged Bush to pardon Libby. Wow. That meta-message "Bush ... pardon ... Libby" drowns out the intended message: "because Fitz is out of control". "Bush ... Pardon ... Libby" is out there. Just when the Times carries water up a hill for the WH, the neo-nons change direction -- again.

Distractions like "Fitz out-of-control ... Armitage ... Woodward ... conspiracy ... blah blah" just took a back seat to the fact the Neo-cons want Bush to issue a pardon.

A pardon is an admission of guilt. Arguing for a pardon is an open admission of a crime -- the nuance for this admission is that the crime is a minor technicality -- no harm no foul. well, "Blame out-of-control Fitz" becomes harder to push on the media and public. I bet Johnson doesn't repeat the out-of-control prosecutor meme anymore.

There is harm: This whole incident traces back to the 16 fear-mongering words in El Presidente's State of the Union Speech (SOTU) and retaliation (against Ambass. Wilson) for undermining this now obviously false SOTU claim.

Kristol is right. El Presidente needs to pardon sooner than later because every day this war goes on, it politically gets harder to pull off a pardon.

We have a disastrous war in Iraq that's getting worse by the day and likely to drag on as long as this trial. We have unpopular VP's main man accused of lying and open advocacy for his pardon.

As Rove knows, we American's love scape goats. The Fitz investigation is likely to become a tidy explanation as to why the USA "mistakenly" got into Iraq in the first place. "They lied to us". "They" want to pardon the man who lied in an investigation into the run up to the Iraq war.

FWIW, Sue is not a troll, and shouldn't be banned. And I write this while acknowledging that she's demonstrated troll-like behavior on this particular thread.

(Besides, however rude she may be, the last thing we need is another conservative "victim." Plus, in her favor, not all of her deliberately obstuse comments are deliberate.)

I think all of the anti-Fitz stuff is in response to the Newsweek/Corn/Isikof stuff. About a week ago, I was scratching my head wondering why there hadn't been more rightwing screeds in defense of Libby. Well, now we're getting them.

Therefore, I think Larry Johnson is totally, completely wrong to suggest that Fitz is coming up with more indictments soon. (And in that same vein I part ways with EW in thinking there's an actual open investigation by Fitz right now. It's over.) The recent spate of Fitz coverage, like the NY Times story, is because of the long-delayed Armitage revelations. They're also explicitly laying the groundwork for a pardon.

I am not as good at details (as I have noted...in earlier posts, but I admire those who are). However, it makes perfect sense that the repubs are trying to "frame the plame" (seems like that should be used in some chant or something) issue prior to elections and to set up the argument for a pardon. It would have to be done if this is a goal of theirs.

However, the attack on Fritz stands outside the picture from my point of view. It seems they could, at this point, with the current spin, just say what a great investigator Fritz has been and how the system worked and all's well that ends well. Couldn't they?? Wouldn't that seem the most effective way to appeal to the masses on both sides of the issue?

Their P.R stuff has been effective to the core. No misstep from my perspective. They need to attack Fitz's credibility maybe to set up a pardon, but it seems they could have taken the current spin and said "much ado about nothing." My guts says that the current spin is lies. And that there continue to be gaps and missing peices. It doesn't seem put to bed despite the cry that it is.

And last but not least. I have respected Fitz's behavior during the investigation. His tight lip admirable. His track record impressive. Especially when you pay attention to his specialty. Outwitted by this administration. Perhaps. But seems doubtful. My god, all those e-mails that were withheld!! You cannot tell me that Fitz would not be somewhat suspicious of this?? If not down right angry?? Some thing smells.

I just don't buy the current package. Also, Larry Johnson. Why would he lie about the details and inner workings of the cia except where necessary to protect our country?? He makes it pretty clear that at least some cia folks believe that grave damage was done to assetts in Iran. It is also true that any of this would be considered way too secret to give out to the american people. Her status would be considered too secret for any official to confirm. To me, that seems like a big DUH!! We just don't go public with info about spies and assets in other countries!! It seems that this holds some possible kernal of truth given our current predicament with Iran. The big picture way to coincidental. Yes lacking hard core facts, but come on!! Sometimes if you have just enough circumstantial evidence it creates a stronger truth than hard core evidence. This seems a powerful coincidence.

There are factual reasons why some of us think their might be more coming and that it is not over.


emptywheel

I think the game plan changed given the probable loss of the House or Senate to Dems. WH/Neo-Cons want to disparage Fitz and prepare the way for Libby's pardon before the Dems take over and use their subpoena power to widen an investigation in public. A pardon would shut-up Libby and protect the VP.

Fitz is methodical and not leaking so the previous strategy (as I see it) was to wait him out under GOP control of gov't and pardon Libby in 2008 after the election. Discussing a pardon ups the anty and could backfire if it is not issued. They just legitimized Fitz's investigation by asking for one and need to shut him down ASAP.

Mr. E.,

I'm not sure if your helping me or hurting me, complimenting me or putting me down. I am never deliberately obtuse but I am never willing to buy into a conspiracy that hasn't been proven. They are fun to discuss, fun to throw out your own, and sit back and watch them get whacked down, but until Fitzgerald indicts someone else in this game, and I am proven wrong, I am going on the basis of what he has said. This investigation is basically over. It was over in 2004 when he told the appellate court he was through with the exception of Miller and Cooper. It was through when he found out about Armitage and Woodward. There will be no more indictments in Plamegate. The only thing left is watching the civil suit.

And Bush will not issue a pardon for Libby. (Again, my prediction.)

Sue,

The problem that I see is that you want your own set of facts. Your claim about what Fitzgerald said to the appellate court is wrong and clearly misleading. I don't know if that is intentional or not, but that is simply not what he said. If you honestly believe that, please go back and re-read the document in question. Nor can we say that finding out about the Armitage-Woodward conversation ended anything. As a matter of fact, several principals in the case testified after Woodward did, including Rove. The folks here put up with all manner of speculation (idle and otherwise, just go look at some of my older posts), but there is a very low tolerance for people with their own reality.

I understand the low tolerance thing. I suffer from it too.

Fitzgerald, in urging the high court to reject the reporters' requests for protection, wrote that by the fall of 2004 his investigation "was for all practical purposes complete except for the testimony of Miller and Cooper."

Source

I made a prediction, different from speculation. If I'm wrong, and I'm not banned, I promise to show up and allow everyone to say I told you so.

Not clearly wrong or misleading.

Test...did I mess up the tags again? I need preview it would seem.

Sue,

Do you understand the difference between over and complete? When a prosecutor says that their investigation is complete except for some testimony they most certainly do not mean that it is over. They mean that to move their investigation forward, they need that testimony. It is completely disingenuous to say that Fitzgerald was saying that his investigation was over at that point. Look at his actions since he compelled Cooper and Miller to testify. Based on their testimony, he moved forward with the investigation, calling people before the grand jury, etc.

I know that lots of folks like to take a sentence completely out of context and make grandiose assertions based on it, but it really shouldn't take anything more than common sense and paying attention to Fitzgerald's actions to see that your interpretation of that statement is simply ludicrous.

I understand the law, if that is what you are asking.

Had he not found anything when he finally deposed Miller and Cooper, there would have been no indictments. Which is obvious, since the only indictments he issued, after their testimony, were for perjury, obstruction and false statements. And that is still the only indictments he has issued. Fitzgerald is through, once he finishes Libby's trial.

And, if I'm wrong, I'll gladly eat all the crow you, and anyone else, want to dish out.

Jim E

I agree with your assessment of Sue--not a troll, but exhibiting troll-like behavior here.

Sue and Jim E

I don't expect--or necessarily care to--persuade you about upcoming indictments--I'm speaking solely on the basis of the direction of Fitz' inquiry; I can't guarantee he'll collect enough proof to indict further, but it's clear there is further evidence of crime.

But your use of Fitz' 1.5 year old comment ignores a lot of the evidence that has appeared since--and that Fitzgerald has gotten since, including 250 pages of emails that the WH didn't turn over in response to the first and second subpoenas, and additional evidence that pretty much shreds Libby's claim to have been authorized to leak the NIE to Judy (the new evidence is Woodward's testimony and the newly discovered July 2 meeting with another journalist). Again, that may not be enough, but it's clearly new evidence since he said that.

Furthermore, you're both assuming Rove testified solely to issues of his own involvement. Jim VandeHei reported that he testified (implying this to be his Fall 2005 and April 2006 testimony) about other conversations Rove had that week, which seem like they're of concern to Libby's lawyers.

And finally, Fitz' last word was that, he can't indict because he can't prove motive relating to Libby's behavior. Again, I don't know how close Fitz is to proving the NIE lie is a lie (it's clear it is, the question is, can he prove it). But if he does, then intent to leak Plame's identity become crystal clear. That would clear the way for an IIPA violation and whatever Fitz decides to charge Dick with in addition.

And one more thing. As I've said, in the last month and a half, I have heard of a lawyer representing a key witness in this claiming Fitz is investigating the cover-up. That would make sense, if he has only recently learned how they withheld some of those emails.

I don't know that he'll get the evidence to indict on any of these. But they all suggest the possibility of indictments remains clear.

We also heard he was investigating the Niger forgeries, and a host of other investigations that have fallen by the wayside. I will be the first person here with a mea culpa, if I'm wrong. But I don't trust lawyers close to the investigation. From either side. They give us Hadley, for instance.

Normally, I wouldn't post a comment just because I'm lurking. I do so now as a precaution, lest I be excoriated for suspicious timing, should I choose to weigh in down the road. Frankly, I don't think it's the least surprising that folks who hold opposing views check in on TNH at pivotal moments. I certainly do. For anyone wondering how such news factors into the putative case against Cheney, this would be the site of choice. Relevant or not, nailing down Armitage's role publicly is clearly such a fulcrum, as current editorializing in the press -- the subject here -- attests.

I, personally, think it's entirely relevant to any discussion about Fitzgerald's judgment. There are State Dept. fingerprints everywhere, yet Armitage, whose not-important-enough-to-remember defense is so eerily similar to Libby's, is given such a virtual pass from the get-go, that Fitz doesn't even know, let alone factor in, that this wasn't the first time and Novak wasn't the first reporter that our secret sharer was talking to. In order to arrive at a stand-alone conspiracy in the OVP, you simply have to ignore, as Fitzgerald seems to have done, too many key players -- from Grossman/ /Ford/Armitage to Grenier/Harlow/Foley/Tenet -- whose allegiances lay so clearly elsewhere.

One could easily make the case that Fitzgerald was "out of control" in a literal sense. He reports to no one, and in fact, the GAO will tell you that he's not even required to file his expenses. Let's hope that none of us are ever subjects of interest to such an investigation!

aztrias has it right. Of course, ew's opening diary does, as well, that the criticism of Fitz rested upon its audience being credulous readers with mixed up timelines. The pointer to the aztrias remark relates to two links I spotted today, about what the House does when committees are chaired by majority Democrats; the second link was for a pay publication, though.

Aztrias, good points. The RNC is already drumming up fear of Congress with subpoena power (gasp! grab the chillin's!!). I suppose they want Fitz smeared, and Libby pardoned, well enough in advance of Nov to hope that people will forget about it by then. Their previous strategery appeared to outwait Fitz. Libby is the route to Dick, so they must be desperate to get a pardon for Libby -- per half-truths and obfuscations "it were that durn, outta control prosecutor whut dun nabbed poor Scooter on a teckneecality... we gotta pardon our dearly beloved Scooter to spare him frum that outta control badass Pat Fitz..." Pffftttt.

If the polls were closer, they could use Diebold machines to input random number sequences necessary to add slim vote margins and steal a few more Congressional elections (they only need to steal 2 or 3, after all). However, Diebold 'code tweaks' *only* work when the polls are ambiguous. The spectre of losing Congressional control would require a new strategery about how to avoid quietly ongoing investigations, while putting a significant block in the route to Dick. (As an aside, how this ties in with the ongoing James Baker commission to salvage Iraq -- and Republican reputations -- remains mysterious to me.)

tnhblog - I was hoping you'd just hand me Woodward info on a platter; I haven't read Woodward's books in recent years, and missed his significance.

Between dreadful polls, Rummy insulting the American public (which still includes aging WWII, Korean War, VietNam, and Gulf War vets) as 'fascist sympathizers', the anniversary of Katrina, Osama still on the lam, record oil prices, and new revelations promised for the coming week, it's totally consistent with their past behavior to 'kill the messenger': slime Fitz.

I'm clearly not the only one to note and comment on this most interesting exhibit of growing desperation.

JM Hanes, I heartily concur with your thoughts that no one here ever conduct themselves in any fashion that would invoke the attention of a federal prosecutor (!).

Nevertheless, while I have no illusions that all attorneys or FBI agents are saints or angels, I am disturbed at the bogus claims being widely disseminated about a federal prosecutor; including the bogus claim that he is spending huge sums of taxpayer dollars. It is my understanding that Starr spent over $20 m pursuing Clinton. In contrast, the public record shows Fitz as spending < $1 m (in over 3 years). How does smearing THIS federal investigation serve the PUBLIC interest?! Why are editorials seeking to suggest that Mr. Fitzgerald is as partisan and profligate as Mr. Starr? Whose interests are served by such a false charge?

I respect your comments, but to conflate Mr Fitzgerald with Mr Starr is erroneous.

We can say that English Queens are named 'Elizabeth' and wear Crown Jewels. It does not logically follow that they conduct themselves in the same fashion, nor that they operate in identical circumstances.

Starr was a federally appointed prosecutor. Fitz is a federally appointed prosecutor.
So what?
Fitz is not Starr; B is not A.

To say that DoS hands are all over the Plame Case may be true (or not). It is, however, beside the point of the 1x2x6 conversation, which unequivocally imputed conspiratorial actions to WH officials seekingt 'revenge' on Joe Wilson for questioning their rationale for the Iraq War. If State is involved, how would that be surprising? The very same WH officials set up Colin Powell to give false information at the U.N. Frankly, if State wasn't involved, any observer would have to conclude they were brain-dead.

Nevertheless, conflating DoS with WH is erroneous.
I have seen no evidence that DoS sought to hide emails from a Fitz or from FBI agents.
I have seen no evidence that anyone at DoS sought to 'out' Plame as 'revenge' for Joe Wilson's exposure of the misuse of Niger yellowcake claims.

People can disagree about elements of the Plame investigation, but I would respectfully point out that before ANY news publication editorializes about ANY federal investigation (or prosecutor) they have a civic responsibility to make sure that their facts are correct AND ALSO that their facts are complete.

I view smearing a federal investigator, the FBI agents associated with his investigation, and civil service employees in general to be a nasty, dangerous activity. I don't mean to silence anyone; I mean that editorials need to be scrupulous and fair. I therefore take it as ominous that the editorials seeking to undercut Mr. Fitzgerald and his team contain half-facts that can only be described as 'politically motivated'.

America was viewed as a strong nation because we had a system of laws, courts, and legal procedures. A sudden emergence of editorials that demean and villify those charged with administering justice is alarming -- particularly given the national security implications of the Plame investigation.

To say that DoS hands are all over the Plame Case may be true (or not). It is, however, beside the point of the 1x2x6 conversation, which unequivocally imputed conspiratorial actions to WH officials seekingt 'revenge' on Joe Wilson for questioning their rationale for the Iraq War.

Revenge against Joe Wilson? Is that the conspiracy that Fitzgerald was investigating? I guess it makes sense. What criminal code was he basing his investigation on?

It would explain this quote from Fitzgerald:

“The law is often unclear, and where it is unclear, you must make a reasoned judgment about what the law should be,”


EW,

In a previous comment thread you wrote: "I've seen at least one source--representing a witness in the case--suggest the investigation is ongoing."

And in this comment thread, you write: "I have heard of a lawyer representing a key witness in this claiming Fitz is investigating the cover-up."

Are you basing this on published sources? Or are you hinting at something you're personally privvy to?

It is, however, beside the point of the 1x2x6 conversation, which unequivocally imputed conspiratorial actions to WH officials seekingt 'revenge' on Joe Wilson for questioning their rationale for the Iraq War.

I keep coming back to this. What if 1 is Marc Grossman? Would that change the dynamics of the 1x2x6 conspiracy theory? Would that make State more to the point?

Jason Leopold claims that Grossman is "1", but I don't think that leans the scale much one way or the other, to be honest. There are a few factors that make me doubt that Grossman is "1". First, how did he convince Pincus that he would know about Rove and Libby making calls to reporters? Grossman was the top careerist in the State Department. I can't imagine anybody more unlikely to know what's going on in this White House. Second, Pincus and Priest have very strong relationships with the intelligence community, but not at State. When a high-ranking government official wants to drop a bombshell story like that one, they usually go to a reporter (or reporters) that they trust. Third, remember that this controversy involved a three-way battle between the White House (and their minions in the Defense Department), the State Department, and the CIA. Joe Wilson was most upset with the State Department (read his book, that comes through loud and clear). Look at the tone of the 1X2X6 article and you'll find the voice of the CIA rather than State. Finally, it's hard to see what Grossman would hope to achieve by making that leak.

see what Grossman would hope to achieve by making that leak.

I know Grossman is Leopold's person as 1, which makes me hesitant to go that route with him. But, if it is Grossman, and he knew his boss talked about Plame, why not him? Point direction away from State towards the WH. Just a theory. Not married to it, but courting it.

readerOfTeaLeaves:

"I respect your comments, but to conflate Mr Fitzgerald with Mr Starr is erroneous."

I didn't mention Starr at all, let alone compare or conflate him with Fitzgerald. Nor would you find me a fan of his investigation, if you were to ask.

"It is, however, beside the point of the 1x2x6 conversation...."

Until you nail down the identity of #1, you have no way of knowing whether it is beside the point or not.

"Nevertheless, conflating DoS with WH is erroneous."

Once again, I've done no such thing. In fact, I'd say State was almost a world unto itself. I would also suggest that one of the reasons you've seen so little evidence of roles played by State Dept. personnel is because so little was apparently ever sought. That, in fact, is the basis of some of my own questions about Fitzgerald's conduct of this investigation.

As for half-facts, I don't think the errors in the Johnston article cited here, for example, can "only be described as 'politically motivated'." It's full of mistakes, not all of which cut the same direction. For example, he states that Taft "advised [Gonzales] that Mr. Armitage was going to speak with lawyers at the Justice Department." Not so, according to Isikoff & Corn:

Taft, the State Department lawyer, also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more. Armitage's role thus remained that rarest of Washington phenomena: a hot secret that never leaked.
Does anyone here think that Isikoff and Corn, in particular, would be inclined to cut the White House any gratuitous slack? Johnston's framing of the INR memo as having been "commissioned" by Libby is another example of an inaccuracy with misleading and decidedly unflattering implications.

here's an few unanswered (AFAIK) question...

The Kristof column that first mentioned Wilson's trip (without naming him) said that Wilson reported back to "the CIA and the State Department" was published on May 6. According to the indictment, Libby's first involvement was requesting a report from the State Department on May 29th.

Why was there a three week gap between the Kristof column and Libby's request? What happened in the interim to cause Libby to request info on the trip, and why did he only ask the State Department?

(one possible answer is that Pincus had begun asking questions...the indictment only says that Pincus's inquiries occurred "before June 12", the date of Pincus's first piece on Wilson.)

****************
oh, and if anyone has any doubt about sue being a concern troll this sentence

I know Grossman is Leopold's person as 1, which makes me hesitant to go that route with him.

should clear up any doubts. Her doubts about Grossman being "1" are based on the fact that Leopold claims that Grossman is "1" -- its the knee-jerk "if a left-winger says it, it must be wrong" reaction, and a perfect "tell" that Sue is just a wingnut troll.

Or could just be based on the fact that Leopold is wrong everytime he reports something.

and why did he only ask the State Department?

I wondered the same thing. But since I'm a wingnut troll, I don't think it matters to you what conclusion I reached.

Sue:

But since I'm a wingnut troll, I don't think it matters to you what conclusion I reached.
Whoever you are, you have certainly mastered the art of responding with non-denial denials. But your show of aggrieved indignation and your ::grins:: are no substitute for sincerity, and regular readers here can tell the difference.

EW, perhaps the further indicments come down to Libby caving? It seems that the easiest thing at this point is to figure out who directed Libby to lie. Because, genius that he was, he did seem a bit cautious about all this.

Woodward could have said to Larry King that he knew about Mrs. Wilson from Armitage but chose not to tell Fitzgerald.

Woodward could have said to Larry King that he discussed Mrs. Plame with *someone* in the WH several weeks before Wilson's article (this issue is actually unresolved) but he chose not to tell Fitzgerald.

Instead Woodward blamed Armitage (most conveniently, like everyone else it seems) for failing to tell Fitzgerald about their conversation.


I'm also wondering if the story about Novak being introduced to Armitage for the July 2003 interview by a third party (Saturday NYTimes article) is a red herring... to blur Novak's earlier statement that he learned about Valerie talking with a very senior Administration person who was very difficult to interview (I think he said this on Fox once Fitzgerald freed him, I read that as meaning W, Cheney, or Tenet).

sue doesn't seem to be the "honest" type either

when you say you're gonna shut up, the principled thing to do would be to SHUT UP

if you say you're gonna shut up, and then you keep talking, it becomes obvious that you lack understanding of what you said, or you lack the moral fiber to stand by what you say

I think sue understands the words, which means she just lacks the moral fiber to live up to her word

LMF, just like bush

Woodward could have said to Larry King that he knew about Mrs. Wilson from Armitage but chose not to tell Fitzgerald.

He could have, but journalists don't usually give up their sources, not unless they are forced to. I don't give him a complete pass though. He also kept quiet to avoid a subpoena, by his own admission.

Sue, given that the Admin knew in July, at the very least, the uranium acquisitions were not happening nor happened from Niger (and its leads to the question who was trying to get stuff from those mines) why did Cheney flp out?

And what the fuck would they have done with that yellow-cake? You see, its pretty much what was said: the intelligence was being fixed around the policy. Now on to the heroin...

Kim,

Do you think Armitage is playing a willing fall guy? Maybe I'm misunderstanding this:

Novak being introduced to Armitage for the July 2003 interview by a third party (Saturday NYTimes article) is a red herring

why did Cheney flp out?

What do you mean, flip out?

First off, I don't remember the exact claim (and it matters), but I assume Sue is telling me she told me so that lefties would not be pleased enough with the indictment of any other Republican besides Rove. I'll acknowledge I thought more would share my enthusiasms. Now I hope she'll be as energetic in getting me all the I told you so's that are mine from her various fellow-travelers at JOM. If I had a dime for every time a correction I provided to, or prediction I got right versus that of, one of the factually troubled commenters there went unacknowledged, I would be rich.

I've got a lot of thoughts on the issues that have come up, but instead a few things on the Johnston article, whose second half is much more interesting than the first.

I too would like to know when in the course of the inquiry Armitage turned over his calendars, datebooks and so on.

If it's true that

Mr. Armitage did not know Mr. Novak, but agreed to meet with the columnist as a favor for a mutual friend, Kenneth M. Duberstein

will Tom Maguire acknowledge that much of his original case for Armitage being Novak's source, based on a the evidence of Novak's not infrequent positive coverage of Armitage, was, to coin a phrase, fake but accurate? So far he's only hinted at the issue, as far as I can see.

Check this out. This sentence I got from the online NYT is interesting enough:

Mr. Armitage did not believe he used her name, those aware of his actions said.

It's remarkably unassertive on the matter, in light of the fact that Novak has said that none of his sources used her name. But then I was struck by something, and looked back at the hard copy of the Times I had seen, and look at that sentence:

Mr. Armitage did not believe he used her name then nor was he able to recall whether he even knew her, those aware of his actions said.

Got that? It's not that Armitage said he didn't know her, rather he wasn't sure whether he knew her or not. Why was that bit withdrawn from the version of the article that shows up online?

There's another slight difference between versions I caught, and that is that the print version reports that on October 1, 2003 Armitage not only had prepared a resignation letter, but also wanted to hold a press conference - presumably to resign but not, according to the logic of the article, to acknowledge his role in the Novak column.

Oh, for what it's worth, I think Armitage, Rove and Libby lied to protect themselves; Novak lied to protect Rove; and Miller lied to protect Libby. I also think Fitzgerald is done with Rove unless something comes up at Libby's trial, which is of course entirely possible, what with all those people under oath and in public. I have no idea what the activity level of the investigation is, though I am dying for emptywheel to answer Jim E.'s question of 20:51, though if her source relates to Larry Johnson in any way, I'm unimpressed. He combines wishful thinking with love of the limelight to produce some seriously problematic claims. The fact of the matter is he just doesn't like Hadley; there's nothing more to it. Righties like to think that the fact that that is true somehow impugns the Wilsons, since they are friends with him. But lots of people have perfectly good friends who are self-important wishful thinkers, no?

Also for what it's worth, I believe there was in reality a very small but very important conspiracy, consisting possibly of only two people - Libby and Cheney - and their coordinated effort (such a less inflammatory phrase than conspiracy) was to target Miller to get her to blow Plame's cover in public in that most established of media outlets, the Grey Lady. Now, Maguire tries to throw doubt on that idea by noting that Miller testified that Libby did not say anything about nepotism to her when blowing Plame's cover with her in July 2003. And yet, somehow, Miller wanted to pursue a story on the Wilsons because she considered her CIA connection newsworthy, and she was annoyed at getting scooped by Novak because, as she put it in her October 16 2005 article,

I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson's original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility.

So somehow, somehow she was able to see V Wilson's CIA affiliation as worthy of pursuing a story on and as something that undercut J Wilson's credibility. And yet, none of this was due to anyting that Libby told her. Right, got it.

Now, whether Fitzgerald is still after Cheney, I have no idea, though I tend toward sharing Maguire's skepticism on that count - and I also share Maguire's sense that Fitzgerald has shown some of his evidence on that count, unlike many of his commenters, who can see no such evidence.

though if her source relates to Larry Johnson in any way, I'm unimpressed

Careful Jeff, you will be tagged as a wingnut for doubting Leopold.

I'll acknowledge I thought more would share my enthusiasms.

And I will acknowledge that all the abuse I've suffered here was worth seeing that sentence. ::grin::

Flip out in the sense that the claim by Wilson that Cheney requested he check out the Niger claims was such a bald-faced lie.

And who can blame him? So far from the truth. So, I for one, can perfectly understand why I would point out his wife was responsible (from that Al Queada group in the CIA, see Hoefstra). Sue, the really big mystery for me is "who is Cheney afraid of?".

Sorry. I meant to type Johnson, but I was thinking Leopold.

I have a hard time following you. You claim Cheney flipped out in July, but according to the indictment, he was 'flipping' out in late May, early June.

So, I for one, can perfectly understand why I would point out his wife was responsible (from that Al Queada group in the CIA, see Hoefstra).

I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you are trying to convey here.

As to who Cheney is afraid of? If he is a typical husband, I would say his wife.

Sue - Great. Now shall I go back and catalogue all the I told you so's I could collect from you and many many many other JOMers? I actually find it rather annoying that almost no one else there shares my willingness to, for instance, acknowledge factual errors they've made. I will also add that you don't necessarily have such good evidence from recent events, as psychologically disappointment at non-indictments will not necessarily track excitement at indictments. So I think had Armitage been indicted, Democrats would have worked up more excitement than they have disappointment that he wasn't.

Hi Sue,
Yeah, I'd say that as Fitz has said he won't charge Armitage, Rich is the perfect out for people who'd like th shift the blame. (BTW, agreed - you're not a troll, focused and persistent, maybe?)

Jeff, nice to see you back!

Now shall I go back and catalogue all the I told you so's I could collect from you

I would love for you to. I didn't know there were any. As for the other JOMers, you are on your own there. Just as Leo is.

You are speculating Jeff. And you have no way of proving you are right and you have no way of proving me wrong. Just swallow your pill, I was right, you were wrong, and we can move on. ::grin::

Righties like to think that the fact that that is true somehow impugns the Wilsons, since they are friends with him.

The Wilsons impugn theirselves (well Joe, anyway) all by themselves. They don't need Scary to do it for them.

Yeah, I'd say that as Fitz has said he won't charge Armitage, Rich is the perfect out for people who'd like th shift the blame.

I don't think so. I would buy the someone set up Armitage faster than I would buy that. And I'm not buying either. Armitage doesn't seem to be the type to confess to something he didn't do.

Jeff, Armitage has been indicted... !! Now, that's interesting.

"confess to something he didn't do"?

not following, I was trying to say that many public folks are now claiming that Armitage is clearly the source of the Wilson/Plame leak and that the WH/Libby have been mistreated. It's not necessary to elaborate further re:Armitage... there's nother further for him to "confess to."


I'm checking out now. Happy Labor Day.

Kim,

We're even then, because I'm still not following you.

Hope you have a holiday from labor tomorrow. Enjoy.

Sue - I cannot tell you how astonishingly childish and petty I find this.

But lots of people have perfectly good friends who are self-important wishful thinkers, no?

Not that I allow to throw my name around, quite publicly and repeatedly.
Wilson is still emailing William Pitt, for that matter. And confirming sources for Jason Leopold.
I have never seen Wilson distance himself from any of them, problematic as they are.

Sue, reading through the comments I initially thought that it might have been a trifle harsh to call you a troll. But then this:

…I happen to think Fitz falls into the incompetent category…

For someone who claims to have followed the case and read the available material, this is an absurd ad hominem.

Fitzgerald is a Boy Scout: an Order of the Arrow, all three Palms, first in his class Eagle Scout. He is an up by the bootstraps guy, his academic career is marked with excellence, graduated with top honors, he has succeeded in his chosen profession in some of the most difficult and landmine filled cases.

Under ANY standard, he is not incompetent, nor is he partisan, and no fair-minded and reasonably experienced observer would claim otherwise.

I personally have drawn my own conclusions about the matter. I would love to see more indictments – and convictions. But even if Fitzgerald is done, if he fails to get a conviction of Libby, I would not impugn him. Why? Unless, I see facts to indicate otherwise he has proven throughout his career to be a man of competence and integrity.

It has been said here and elsewhere so many times, just because there was not IIPA indictment (or any other indictment) is not the same as NO crime. Rather, the most likely explanation is that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the indictment was likely to result in a successful prosecution, primarily due to the obfuscation and perjury of at least Libby, and likely others. If Fitzgerald can’t prove it he shouldn’t indict them. That’s the way the system is supposed to work, even when it results in outcomes that are not just.

Sorry, I probably shouldn't have posted that last post here. I apologize.
Jeff, good to see you and I'm sure you will be able to rub much wrongness in my face in the near future.

I did jump in last night and left what I think was a polite comment. I'm never too compelled to comment here, figure this is your world...but I have to say a few of the very, very regular EW drop-ins at JOM - never miss an opportunity to snark or derail the conversation. In fact, a few EW commenter use other alias's over at JOM - just so the comments can be extra snarky.

That's fine, but then I think it a bit pretentious (and delusional) that many of you are offended that Sue would piss on your super special party over here.

(from the standards set on this thread, I guess Jeff rates as a the mother of "trolls" at JOM, never thought of Jeff as a "troll")

Jeff:

I fear you risk reproach for straying off topic, so I'll keep this short.

"So somehow, somehow she was able to see V Wilson's CIA affiliation as worthy of pursuing a story on and as something that undercut J Wilson's credibility. And yet, none of this was due to anyting that Libby told her. Right, got it."

Considering the fact that she had another just-can't-remember-who source, that seems entirely possible. It would really put a crimp in things if that source turned out to be Armitage too, wouldn't it? Does the fact that he's still sending out surrogates to speak for him get at least a rise from anyone's antennae at all? Or are we to assume he's simply secluded himself in shame?

Armitage says he did not use Plames name. Yes supposedly he said "Wilson's wife."

Forget Rove. The prosecutor seems to have done it. He has Libby on a "memory recall mistake." He knows what the others have done, and has passed them by since they "recalled" it properly. He is only staying on becaus he enjoys his perks.

?? Does this perhaps give you the impression that the White House was perfectly within its scope of lawful behavior trying to find out who this Wilson guy who was giving them bad press was, and why he was checking into uranium buys for the CIA??

Some have said that the CIA which doesn't do very well with their primary job of finding out about the bad guys did a skillful job of Departmental Infighting by bringing Wilson a loose cannon against the war onto the scene when he would probably cast aspersions against the Administration. I wish they were as good at Intelligence.

A civil suit will probably go nowhere especially during the current term, as it might detract from the government's ability to function. Seems like that happened for Bill Clinton. Then probably no where as well.

Of course if the House goes Democratic, then it will be interesting.

jodi

Jim E

That statement is based on my knowing a little bit more (though not from the Wilsons or Johnson--this comes from some place else) about the identity of a source quoted publicly saying Fitz was investigating the cover-up.

JM Hanes

I agree with your characterization of the Johnston article--its inaccuracies (and that of the earlier NYT article) cut both ways.

But I disagree with the picture of State you draw, as a world unto itself. After all, OVP had its own little branch of loyalists in State (Bolton, Fleitz, and Wurmser). And given the contents of the INR memo, it is plausible they got to vet it during the drafting period. There is abundant evidence (in the Bolton approval testimony, for example) that Bolton did things to trip up or work around Armitage, so it's clear that they don't have the same allegiances.

Which means another possible explanation for the lack of information about State is that Fitzgerald is shielding evidence that might relate to a different indictment, if he ever filed it.

Oh, and one more thing. Isikoff is widely known to be very friendly and google-eyed over Rove. So yes, I do think Isikoff, at least, would cut the WH some slack. Isikoff has propagated Rove's spin in this case before, why not now?

emptywheel:

Because his co-author is Corn? It might also be worth noting that Isikoff & Corn's research was completed before the current crop of Armitage surrogates/confidants arrived to explain (defend?) his role.

You mean David Corn of Pajamas Media? Yeah, even with Corn as his co-author.

Don't forget, too, that Armitage's surrogates first showed up in May.

In this particular case, I have no reason to doubt their report of Taft's involvement, particularly since they quote him directly. And frankly, I agree there is some pro-Armitage spin on this, to try to make his role look less idiotic ("Omigosh, that's me!!! Novak is talking about me!!!") And I do have reason to doubt the NYT's crappy recent reporting, replete with its changing versions. But I do have my doubts about Isikoff's direction, too.

Actually, I've begun to think everybody had moles everywhere, and that there were more turf wars going on than anybody has managed to count up yet.

Perhaps, though Powell and Armitage played the game much more poorly than Dick Cheney did. They didn't have the moles in every department as he did, and they weren't as good, usually, as playing the media and bureaucratic games. Armitage's idiocy with this probably only supports that argument.

Wilkerson has been a huge source on the clashing of Armitage and Bolton. I think it is very interesting that he is one of the few named sources (so far) of the Isikoff/Corn story.
He is certainly not goggle-eyed over Rove. But talk about your turf warriors.

I'm afraid I have to admit, I'm a little hazy on May at the moment! I do remember someone calling Novak on Armitages' behalf to insist that Armitage's disclosure were inadvertant, but I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to.

I suppose it's possible Fitzgerald is sheilding evidence on State (along with sheilding everything else he can), but it does seem clear that he was taken by surprise at the leak to Woodward, and quite possibly with Team Libby's intention of challenging Grossman. We may have to disagree, but I think Fitz was pretty singlemindedly concentrating on the OVP. I think he's used to working his way up a specific vertical ladder, and has the typical prosecutor's blinders to prove it. Unfortunatley, this case is a spreader. Maybe the fact that he hasn't spent that much money, as independent counsels go, is not such a great thing.

I personally don't like Cheney one bit, but when it comes to Armitage & Libby, I'm not sure Libby doesn't trump Army on the idiocy front.

Considering the fact that she had another just-can't-remember-who source, that seems entirely possible. It would really put a crimp in things if that source turned out to be Armitage too, wouldn't it?

1. Have you in turn ever considered that perhaps Miller was, on certain matters, untruthful in order to protect Libby? Has it occurred to you that it could very well have been Libby who gave Miller Wilson's wife's name? Do you have any reason - such as a sense of where Miller's loyalties and regular sources are, or with whom she shares a perspective on the war, WMD, the 16 words and so on - to think Armitage might be another of her sources? Any reason whatsoever? Do you any plausible account of her motive to lie to protect Armitage? I'd be happy to look at the evidence, if you have any.

2. As for the idea that Miller got the idea that Plame's CIA affiliation undercut Wilson's credibility from other sources, let's recall how Miller characterizes such a purported effort:

I said I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson's original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility. At the same time, I added, I also believed that the newspaper needed to pursue the possibility that the White House was unfairly attacking a critic of the administration.

Well, when Miller contemplated the possibility of an unfair attach on Wilson, she saw it emanating from the White House, not the administration at large. That suggests either (or both) that Miller got the idea from Libby, or from someone else at the White House in combination with what Libby told her. But I'd like to see the contrary case; so far Maguire appears to be practicing his own version of the one percent doctrine on this.

I'm afraid I have to admit, I'm a little hazy on May at the moment!

Indeed you are, since the disclosure that Armitage tried to coach Novak's testimony came from Novak's much more recent round of efforts at lame self-justification, not from anything in May. The fact that you selectively draw on what you find most damaging to your favorite target, and project it into a time it has nothing to do with suggests your accusation of singlemindedness in focus against Fitzgerald might call for what righties appear to love to call Self-Awareness Alerts.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Fitzgerald was surprised about Libby's intention to go after Grossman (unlike the revelation about Woodward, which quite obviously took Fitzgerald by surprise), and rather on the contrary, as Fitzgerald says in the hearing when Libby's lawyer dramatically shows Walton some classified information that, he says, he can use to go after Grossman, Fitzgerald gave him the damned stuff, so obviously he's aware of it. It was also long public record that Wilson and Grossman had a connection. So the idea that somehow the fact that Libby is going after Grossman is surprising to Fitzgerald is far-fetched. Fitzgerald is, after all, a prosecutor, and he's familiar with the fact that that's what defense teams do.

Jeff-
Or Miller was pointing at the White House, trying to protect her real source (who was also perhaps pointing at the White House).
Also, let's not forget her editor said Judy never brought this story to her.

You never know.

Jeff:

Sure, it's occurred to me that Miller might want to protect Libby. Has it occurred to you that she hasn't managed to protect him nearly as well as she's managed to protect her other source. Do you have any evidence as to the identity of that source (or sources) at all?

In the meantime, I think you're filling in blanks with speculation as though there weren't a major piece of the Miller puzzle still missing and reading a whole lot into what was already a pretty standard formulation of the Wilson v. White House story by the time Miller got around to her apologia pro sua vita.

Sheesh Jeff. Get up on the wrong side of bed, much?

Or Miller was pointing at the White House, trying to protect her real source (who was also perhaps pointing at the White House).

Yes, that is the most plausible scenario for Armitage as a source for Miller on Plame - she talked to him after talking to Libby and he confirmed Plame's identity in the context of pointing the finger at the White House, sort of like the way Harlow did, stupidly enough.

Also, let's not forget her editor said Judy never brought this story to her.

It doesn't really make a difference. Miller was pursuing a story, regardless of whether she was authorized to and whether she can at her convenience deny that she was pursuing a story because she was not authorized to. That is, she was doing reporting on the Wilsons, even if she never asked Abramson about it. (For what it's worth, I suspect she did ask and was turned down, and went on reporting on it anyway. But again, it's irrelevant to the question at hand.)

EW,
Interesting stuff. My other follow-up question for you is to wonder how current the source's info is. The source may have said something 1.5 months ago, but was that based on info of 1.5 months ago, or was it based on info of 4 months ago? It seems like there's a difference. Do you know?

If the investigation actually continues (as opposed to only being "open" in terms of Libby's trial), I'm left wondering how much longer the guy needs.

Get up on the wrong side of bed, much?

Yes, sorry, we now return you to my patented moderation.

Has it occurred to you that she hasn't managed to protect him nearly as well as she's managed to protect her other source. Do you have any evidence as to the identity of that source (or sources) at all?

Not only do I not have any evidence as to the identity of that other source or sources, I don't even have any evidence beyond Miller's professions that she had other sources. Miller was incapable of protecting Libby the way she protected her other putative sources because she had to stick to what her notes said. Given that, she did a pretty damn good job of protecting Libby, with one major exception possible: I think she misunderstood the direction and point of Fitzgerald's questions about the NIE, and about Cheney, and failed to give the answers that would be best for Libby - though whether she told the truth or not is another, important question. But even in that regard, the fact that Miller is such a relatively unfriendly witness for Fitzgerald, she may have muddied the waters enough to make it hard to use her testimony as strong evidence that the July 8 meeting was not really to leak the classified information in the NIE that Libby got authorization to leak from Cheney and Bush. In this regard, it just occurs to me, it becomes more important to figure out, as I have been trying unsuccessfully to do for many months, just which reporter Libby leaked the NIE to on July 2, about which Miller herself says absolutely nothing. If Libby leaked the classified NIE to Miller on July 2, that makes it less likely that he was leaking the classified NIE to her on July 8, which means it's less likely that the purpose of the July 8 meeting was to leak the NIE, which means that Libby's notation from Cheney to "tell Miller" at that meeting less likely relates to the NIE and more likely relates to something else, like Plame's CIA affiliation.

JM Haynes wrote: "Maybe the fact that he hasn't spent that much money, as independent counsels go, is not such a great thing."

I appreciate the context in which you wrote this (so my snark isn't directed at you).

But heaven help us if this becomes a new talking point: the runaway prosecutor (all of one person indicted) who hasn't spent enough money!

Yes, that is the most plausible scenario for Armitage as a source for Miller on Plame - she talked to him after talking to Libby and he confirmed Plame's identity in the context of pointing the finger at the White House, sort of like the way Harlow did, stupidly enough.

I disagree that it is any more plausible that she talked to Armitage after she talked Libby than it would be that she talked to Libby after Armitage.
Personally, I don't even see that it has to be Armitage. Judy obviously had a lot of sources, she could have talked to anyone. We know there were people out there pushing Wilson's story, and there were people out there pushing against it. She had Wilson's number, so it's very easy to surmise someone on his side told her to get ahold of him. Someone approached Novak, why not Miller?

Anyway, anything she wrote up after the fact- after prison and after testifying- has the whiff of CYA. Or CY(sources)A.

JM

I suppose it's possible Fitzgerald is sheilding evidence on State (along with sheilding everything else he can), but it does seem clear that he was taken by surprise at the leak to Woodward, and quite possibly with Team Libby's intention of challenging Grossman. We may have to disagree, but I think Fitz was pretty singlemindedly concentrating on the OVP.

Perhaps it was blinders. But I'll remind you of what I pointed out to Sue. The earlier Armitage conversation was just one of several that Fitzgerald did not immediately discover--for reasons that have more to do with rules about subpoenaing journalists and the logic of narrowing the investigation. Fitzgerald missed: Rove's conversation with Cooper, Libby's earlier conversation with Judy (that is, he didn't subpoena it), Libby's earlier conversation with Woodward (crucial to Libby's NIE claims), a July 2 conversation with an unknown journalist (though we don't yet know the significance of this conversation). Further, some of his focus on OVP is Libby's own doing--one of the lies alleged in the indictment is that Libby claimed to be Cooper's first source on Plame, which is how it was possible to shield the Rove conversation for 2 years.

All of the claims that Fitz should have found the Armitage prosecution ignore the fact that Fitz had no logical reason to look for one, since Woodward didn't publish it. There may well be a number of Rove and Libby conversations that remain similarly shielded. You can fault the logic of the investigation, but the logic is clear, and it is equally clear it was pursued in the same way with Libby as it was with Armitage.

MayBee

Any idea whether Judy tried to get the story approved by the Executive Editor of the NYT? Hmm. No, I doubt you have any idea, not least since the NYT has totally suppressed who was in charge of the paper at that point--Joseph Lelyveld. Their diligence in obscuring any mention of Lelyveld in their coverage of this suggests that Abramson may not be the right--or only--person to ask whether Judy tried to get a story published.

WRT the Armitage as Judy source. Right now, we've got two cases of top journalists unable to get into see Armitage, Novak and Mitchell. Further, one of Judy's favorite sources (even still) was John Bolton, a bureaucratic enemy of Armitage's. So why would we believe that Armitage would give an interview to Judy, whose clear affiliations put her on the opposite side from Armitage and whose leak publications had caused him a great deal of trouble in the past (Judy published at least two Bolton pre-emptions that allowed Bolton to push State to a more aggressive stance toward Syria and Cuba than it really held)? So while it is theoretically possible that Armitage was a Judy source, there is evidence to suggest it's unlikely.

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