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February 06, 2007


Just noticed over at Swopa's live-blogging, the following question to Libby:
F: Something we ask you before… your calendar shows a June 6th meeting with Richard Armitage. Did you ever talk to him about Wilson's wife?

L: No.

That's really interesting -- the same day that Dick is marking up his copy of Wilson's column, Libby is meeting with Armitage?

Is this where the shiny object originated?

Whoops. Mixed up June and July. But it's still interesting.
Wonder what Armitage said?

(Haven't yet had chance to read all the stuff I've printed out for my lunchtime-read...)

Just wanted to thank you for all yer hard work.

I asked a few weeks ago (voir dire time?) if Cheney would have to testify. You answered No but Walton may not look on it favorably should he not. Will be interesting to see whether Cheney or -- even more intriguing (suicide? -- Scooter take the stand.

I know this is peripheral to your main point, but the talking points are a really impressive array of bullshit; Harry Frankfurt could make a sequel out of them. There are all these statements like whether Wilson was paid, whether the VP's office sent him, what was his wife's role, all of which have absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of his investigation. But they were fed to the press with a nod and a wink to indicate "we're telling you something significant here, and to the wingnuts for their partisan feeding frenzy.

Pure BS, designed to create an impression, with no regard for whether any of it was true or made any sense. It was only after investigators and the press started sniffing around that they bothered to worry about whether their statements could be proven false.


I think Armitage has said that he met with Libby about North Korea during this period, which would make a whole lot of sense--they were both working on N Korea, and John Bolton was very busy that summer scuttling negotiations. So you have Bolton's boss talking to Cheney's fixer.


Not peripheral. I do plan to come back at some point and rip them to shreds. Not only were they off-point, but I think some of them were untrue. Note, in particular, the way they back off their "no one in OVP saw the report." Cathie Martin put out talking points at the end of the week where she instructed Condi, in response to a question about whether OVP saw teh report, to answer completely unrelated questions...

Heh, I've said before the only way to really understand this case is to do forensic talking point analysis (it's like archeaology or evolutionary biology). Now that we have the raw data, that's exactly what you've done EW, great job! Thanks so much for providing the analysis, this is fascinating.

I remain of the view that neither Libby nor Cheney will take the stand. I realize this thread is more for speculating on Cheney than Libby's dilemma, but given the prosecution's case will end tomorrow or so, I think it may be more apt.

Team Libby is arguing that a flaw in the Constitution has jammed the his ability to demonstrate a full and fair defense between a First Amendment rock and a Sixth Amendment hard place.
Poor Scooter. Poor scared little Andover, Harvard, Columbia Law, Wolfowitz and Cheney educated, AEI and Hudson Institute sheltered Scooter – screwed - caught between one right the Constitution guarantees to him, just as every low life slum dwelling unemployed slime charged with a combination rape and homicide, the right to stay silent at his trial (which in Libby’s circumstances presents the extremely attractive option of avoiding a face-on struggle with a foe who can read his every move and motive, akin to a late middle-aged touch football quarterback used to playing in the park on Saturdays with his desk jockey buddies suddenly confronted with Dick Butkus circa 1965, blitzing on quarterback blitz faster than the blood and spittle spraying from his helmet; and another right also guaranteed by the Constitution, the right to receive legal advice (which in Libby’s presents the extremely attractive prospect of being counseled by a large team of hand-picked experts).
When your typical expert criminal lawyer with a real client who is facing really serious charges with the outcome of doing serious jail time being a real possibility, the lawyer is bound to understand that the client is not just entitled to, but in need of sound, hard, tough advice on the most difficult choice that exists in a criminal case, the lawyer is wise to put that legal advice in writing, and then have the client read it over, and finally have the client to sign statements to prove not only that the client read over the written advice, but thoroughly understood both that advice and the awful consequences of the choice.
I have no idea if Wells, Jeffress et al have or plan on presenting written advice to Libby on his choice here. But since their latest filing is all about that, this is how I see the “advice” which Libby is getting from his Team [assuming at least one of them is looking out for Libby’s interests above those of anyone else]:
Dear Scooter
If you choose to remain silent, it is very likely you will lose this trial, and that this jury will bring in a verdict of “guilty” on at least two of the five charges, with no odds on the obstruction count, and in any event of that you then will be sentenced to a jail term.
But if you choose to testify to this jury, it is STILL very likely that you will lose this trial, and that this jury will bring in a verdict of “guilty on at least two of the five charges, maybe even more than if you had not testified, and if you are convicted you then will be sentenced to a jail term longer than if you hadn’t testified, but on the basis of a narrative different from the one he would face if he testified, and you may even face more charges of perjury in relation to your testimony given at this trial. Plus, it looks like better than even odds that this prosecutor can do things to you that could kill your hopes for a pardon, expose you to further prosecutions on charges ranging from perjury to treason, take down your boss and benefactor, take down some of your fellow workers, and maybe even take down the big boss.
Plus, bear in mind that we’ve been running this trial like a Ma and Pa Savings & Loan hedge fund in a bear market. Because of that strategy, just about any story you tell – not that we don’t believe whatever it is that you’d say, understand, because Hey! We’re your lawyers, we speak for YOU, and we’re 200% all the way behind you, all the way until that jail door slams shut – is going to look like an invitation to Fitzgerald to bitch slap you all around the courtroom over how it conflicts with some of the more aggressive alternatives we’ve been working to keep open to spin to this jury, and “the base” of course.
Hey baby, it’s your life, and it’s your choice, so … best of luck to you in making it!
Scooter, please note the statement just under our signature, sign it on all eight copies of this letter and return the first seven copies to us. Thanks buddy. It’s been a slice speaking for you. And don’t forget to say “Hi” for us to all your supporters, and thanks for the money.
Best wishes,
Ted, Bill and John
What makes all this more problematic for Team Libby is that this is very far from an ordinary case.
A comment from a lawyer at Talk Left opined confidently that Team Libby’s argument doesn’t 'implicate' a valid constitutional or legal complaint. Okay, I’m sold. But the point is that no matter how this trial goes down, no matter what Libby chooses to do [and it’s SCOOTER’S choice here, not his lawyers], Libby is a damned liar.
Team Libby may try to dignify Scooter’s Quandry by wrapping it up in pretty floral-patterned paper embossed with a constitutional water mark. But it’s not even mutton dressed as lamb. It amounts to nothing more than a pathetic whine that Libby is now wringing his hands over - forced to choose between which set of truths mixed with half-truths against which his nominal innocence and reputation will be judged – and among which narrative of myths his actual fate will take into battle.
May it be known hereinafter Scooter’s Quandry, or Libby’s Dilemma … whatever, just so long as it’s memorialized.
It’s even worse than that, because Libby isn’t just a damned liar, and a coward to boot, but as that lawyer commenter at Talk Left also observed, with this latest Team Libby argument Libby has invoked the spectre of Oliver North. I’m sold again; Libby even takes going (Ollie) North up a notch.
But for that, I would be tempted to end by observing that the fact Team Libby has tried to elevate this grotesquely disingenuous proposition by inserting it into a court filing evidences how craven is lawyer Libby. But their argument on Libby’s Dilemma doesn’t just surpass North's numb-skullery, it achieves a reverse legal trifecta – it insults the process, denudes the Constitution, and is too dangerous to be disposed of summarily as just Return of Ollie
[Ollie’s theme: “First we took the Contras, Now we take Iran” – My apologies to L. Cohen].
North version of Libby's Dilemma was erected on two key pillars:
The first at least bore the attraction of superficial relevance to the facts of North’s case. Ollie posited that the only reason he faced charges was that being exposed to criminal prosecution was a consequence of his unswerving patriotism and loyalty. As a [Cue “Fanfare for the Ordinary Man”!] true blue red-blooded American, his only crimes were blind love of nation and unquestioning obedience of the [Cue “Hail to the Chief”!] Commander in Chief and those entrusted to interpret his will - no matter how ill-conceived, short-sighted, bone-headed, deluded, ignorant and stupid the Chief, that will, the means, or the consequences.
As I recall, North was charged among other things with lying about an executive branch caper involving a country in the Middle East...Ir-something. Anyway, his argument was indistinguishable from the 'legal excuse' that "I was only following orders". So, unless someone wishes to revisit the whole Third Reich thing, so much for Ollie’s ops.
[And on to talk radio!]
It’s Libby’s adoption of Ollie’s second argument that really gets my goat. It was the one less prominent in North’s defense, mostly because it is so staggeringly superficial. As well, it is so irretrievably putrid it makes the first argument smell, as Colbert is wont to say, simply delicious. It’s really modeled off an idea we know better as a pillar of President Bush’s “moral clarity” advantage, but in these courtly circumstances, all dressed up in commencement day robes and holding a cut-rate mail order law school synthetic sheepskin.
North countered his detractors with a argument aimed not at the charges, but at his prosecutors/persecutors; that they were guilty of moral blindness in failing to appreciate this:
WHEN in the affairs of the United States of America, ANY ARTIFICES, no matter how sound it has proven to be, no matter how established an institution, no matter how rooted in the history of civilization, and no matter how engrained a value in the nation’s culture WHICH even just gives off the appearance of CONFLICT WITH the choice of a free-born American to follow to the letter (or to the spirit, depending on which suits best) AN ORDER issued BY or under the authority of THE nation's one ‘true’ LEADER - which at any point might be the President (though not necessarily) - intolerably INFRINGES that citizen's essential "AMERICANISM".
It’s the trump card in the American Right Wing deck, so powerful it logically extends throughout the Constitution, superceding all rights articulated therein (or implied any where else, like the Magna Carta), and all Amendments, save the Second (of course).
Libby's New and Improved versions of North’s key arguments are more toxic than the originals. And by far, I say. Given his background and vocation, Ollie’s "Dirty Dozen" defence at least bore the pretension of legitimacy. But Libby is a product of the best educational institutions in the nation, several "think tanks" - the American Enterprise Institute, the University of Dick Cheney, and the Hudson Institute [which, hereafter, I will try hereinafter to refrain from referring to as "wank tanks"], and his job was senior counsel to the only executive officer in the country accountable to no one but the Commander in Chief.
Libby and Team have succeeded in reaching depths surpassing those plumbed by North, not merely by weighing in with Libby's educational and vocational 'qualifications', but by throwing the weight of his professional and social standing, and those of his Team, behind the idea that the Constitution is an IED-infested swamp.
As I expect others here do, from time to time I drop in at Websites of the Bitchin’ Disaffected, mostly to check their temperatures. A while back the quotation on the lead banner of one caught my attention, being this from H.L. Mencken:
“There comes a time when a man must spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats.”
Maybe it was just that Mencken had a rodent infestation, because he also wrote this:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
Mission accomplished. Let us move on - starting with Libby.

so scooter's defense can concede guilt, or prove the IIPA conspiricy beyond a reasonable doubtt and to a moral certainty

I think I predicted that exact outcome more than a year back

anybody wanna speculate on how pissed off the Jury is gonna be if they don't hear from dead eye dick and scooter ???

I'm sure the Jury remembers the "Big Deal" that was made during Jury Selection about dead eye dick taking the stand, and Judge Walton is sure to point out that scooter's "Memory Defense" is inoperable without scooter's own testimony

scooter is trapped in a box on his own making

guilty on all counts

I know that the case is important because Wilson could show that BushCo knew before the invasion that the WMD evidence was bogus. But I still can't for the life of me understand WHY the VP and Libby got so exercised about Wilson. Thbere is something else here. Something in plain sight we aren't supposed to see. Something about the forgeries. Maybe their genesis. And why was it the Italians kept pressing the forgeries and the story of the yellowcake on our government? Soemthing about this whole story still doesn't add up.

the argument that cheney set this whole plame deal in motion simply to cover up his involvement in wilson's trip (and, more crucially, in wilson's discoveries about iraq and uranium purchases while on that trip)is convincing enough for me.

but i can't understand why cheney would have gone to all this trouble to hide his involvement.

as far as the likelihood of there being any public disclosure of cheney's involvement, that seems most unlikely. it is nearly impossible for a reporter to ferret out this stuff just from interviews and publicly available documents, even seymore hirsch or murray waas.

(e'Riposte is, of course, in another class altogether when it comes to documents analysis - more like an ex-intelligence analyst or a intelligence historian.)

about the only way this info would ever have come forward is thru legal discovery.

and guess what ?

cheney and his boys behaved in just such a manner as to trigger just such an outcome.

talk about self-destructive.

i have always thought of chaney as a man who, having spent most of his adult life in washington, was a superb (in the machiavellian sense) right-wing back-alleys operative, and not just on foreign policy matters.

but this behavior of cheney's, relative to the wilsons, seems to me unnecessary and overly aggressive and hence highly likely to draw attention to his role.

why would a clever washington operative do himself in like this?

or is cheney not the calm, remorseless master of clandestine political activity, but rather an impulsive, hot-tempered, politician whose main professional tactics are intimidation and acts of revenge?

one who does not do much thinking ahead?

as the curtain comes down (in both the oz and the thespian sense) on cheny's VP act, it is beginning to look as if this latter more closely explains cheney's m.o., including, most disastrously, his active encouragement of bush's invasion of iraq in 2003.

That's what I was trying to say, Orion. Maybe the simple explanation (his pacemaker is leaking toxins into his brain) is the right one. For someone who was supposed to be so tough and so smart, Dick Cheney certainly comes across in this case as vain, prickly, petty and stupid.


You're right, it is in plain sight, and you've just nailed it (with EW's helpful reference to one of the draft set of talking points) -- they were afraid that the CIA CPD had the real story of the forgeries and that would be the next shoe to drop -- blowing Valerie Plame's cover in response to the NYT Op-Ed alone has never added up, since "boondoggle trip to Niger arranged by wife" wouldn't really fool DC Kewl Kidz power couples for long. Blowing an operation as major as Brewster-Jennings, though, would be a pretty serious deterrent to any other DC player otherwise inclined to leak something about the forgeries, either to the press or to law enforcement. It was Dick Cheney's "Sicilian message", for sure. Maybe it isn't so coincidental that the FBI could never seem to get too interested in pursuing its "investigation" (as Josh Marshall and Laura Rozen have detailed elsewhere).

emptywheel: "I made the point the other day that if Cheney were put on the stand, he might be put in a place where he refuted some of Libby's testimony. Specifically, Cheney might have to admit that he and Libby talked about revealing Plame's identity with reporters during the week of July 6."

That's assuming that Dick, in his id-driven self-important "I'm the VP of the USA" macho posturing, doesn't virtually dare Fitz to come after him by simply perjuring himself.

I know neither of us thinks Cheney will actually take the stand for Scooter, so it may be a moot point. But I don't think we can assume Dick will be honest if he does take the stand.

Lying seems far more likely. Sadly, Dick would probably get away with it too. After all, there would be almost no chance of a perjury charge agains Dick reaching trial before 2009, when Bush could safely pardon him.


re Redshift and Cheney talking points:
" I do plan to come back at some point and rip them to shreds."
Vaster or other??? I'd buy that one too, hoping you are planning and entire set of volumes...

In John Dean's Conservatives w/o Conscience he noted that Josh Marshall was the first to point out that Cheney in reality did not have a solid track record in Congress and indeed when the measure of his accomplishments at Halliburton were taken into account, he comes across as a meager leader at best.

And to what is laying right in front of us-I would suggest a true cabal organized and run by OVP that sucked a willing Bush into its midst and thus exposed the office of the Pres of the US to the largest scandal this Country has ever seen - a preemptive war based on cooked information by its leaders. That's enough to get Cheney's pacemaker an extra surge.

Just wanted to say that this is a truly excellent post. One can only imagine how frustrated Fitz and the investigators are (its crystal clear that they, too, know that Libby is lying for Cheney). This post was such a great and convincing read.

Absolutely, Mainsail. Here's the link to Josh Marshall's incredibly prescient piece on how Cheney's intellect and judgment were vastly overrated--in the Jan-Feb 2003 Monthly. Too bad no one listened.

Noted at the end of the last live blog thread at FDL that Scooter's 11-JUN schedule was marked "Draft 2"...

But it also had a meeting scheduled with former Ambassador Blackwill, one of the "Vulcans", the hardcore neo-cons who brought us Iraq. Was this a pre-interview for the deputy NSA role, or an extremely brief exit interview?

Or did Blackwill have information? Wonder if Wilson could say whether he knew Blackwill well enough to this end; would Blackwill be able to confirm anything on Wilson?

Why else would Blackwill meet with Libby, being from State Dept and moving ostensibly to teach at Harvard at that point in time?

Probably not very big or important, but still interesting to see all the scurrying going on in OVP's office.

I think early on, there was supposition that we had been the originators of the forgeries in the first place. I agree mimikatz that it seems like there is more. However, I keep remembering the uproar about "the sixteen words" and the fact that it is a high crime to lie to congress and senate. I think that could be the crux of it. (following Clintons lie and impeachment perhaps adding to the panic??) It's one thing to tell a lie to the people but it's a whole 'nother thing to lie to congress which resulted in congressfolks and senators voting for war based on being completely misled.

If we were the originators of the forgeries...lord I can't remember where I read this very early on...David corn?? No, we should ask eRiposte if there is any evidence of this. That would of course increase the likelihood that they could be prosecuted for treason.

I think the war profiteering is some how related as well, because HOLY COW!! the testimony today on c-span makes it pretty clear that BIG Bucks have lined the pockets of many big corporations and certainly gives motive for the lies.

These folks are so brazenly using power to keep us all "under their thumbs" and I just don't think this democracy has ever faced such a strongly stubborn refusal to "be democratic" on the part of any of our leaders. I am no history buff, but the scope and scale of this behavior seems unprecedented.

Are we sure that the Brewster Jennings connection doesn't point to the WMD case in Iran? That's Cheney's additional motive to out Plame, once he realizes she's in play.

Thanks, emptywheel. I'd never be able to make sense of this without you.

Mimikatz, you hit the nail on the head. Wilson's op-ed in the NYT was nothing the administration couldn't lie its way out of. It was a minor annoyance at best. But if we knew the yellowcake report was cooked from the get-go...

Ouch. Headache.

Just ask Laura Rozen over at War and Piece who's responsible for the forgeries. eRiposte, too. They've got it nailed. And best of all, it's Stephen Hadley at the heart of it all. Yep, Hadley. Surprised? I thought not.

Point of information: Fitzgerald just filed a motion in limine to preclude Mitchell's testimony - basically, the idea is that the defense shouldn't get to ask her about her pre-July 14 2003 knowledge of Plame simply in order to impeach her with her prior inconsistent statement (which she repudiated) suggesting she did know. The problem, according to Fitzgerald, is that that would allow the defense to get in that prior statement that she did know, which otherwise would be inadmissible.

Hi there, I am a reader of Swopa's blog and since no one is there right now I thought I'd come over here. I emailed Jason Leopold , who seems to be the only reporter that has a friggin court transcript, abotu the 1x2x6 and this is what he emailed back from the transcript.


As our mired Canadian friend notes, it's pretty clear that the forgeries were a product of SISMI, the Italian intelligence service, with "plausible deniability". I think it's possible that what was alarming OVP was either (1) somebody about to leak, on an equally plausible basis, that the US Intelligence Community was well aware that the "raw intelligence" (i.e., the forged documents) supporting the uranium claims was bogus all along or (2) worse still, that the Intelligence Community had reason to suspect that the Italians had been put up to it by well-connected people in Washington. It must also be said that the OVP people might have also been agitated by CIA "incompetence" in that certain Agency officials were only too willing to play along with the uranium story (e.g., passing around poor and partial translations instead of the originals, which couldn't withstand even slight scrutiny) but were permitting "rogue elements" (i.e., actual professionals) to spoil things by permitting the truth to get out. So Cheney decided to take a scalp (Valerie Plame) pour encourager les autres. And they clearly thought that any leak investigation would disappear as quietly as did the investigation of the forgeries.

But the important point about these talking points is that Cheney references Wilson's op-ed. As hard as Libby tries, he cannot claim that Cheney only read Wilson's op-ed after the Novak article. Cheney uses an attack--the ridiculous attack about Wilson going pro bono--that he wrote in his op-ed talking points in the talking points he dictated to Martin on July 8.

Theoretically it could be the other way around. Cheney uses what he dictated to Martin on July 8 to later write on the op-ed.

But the question ought to be - Give all the talking points he has already written, why would he need to go back to the Wilson op-ed a week later and write those talking points given that he has already written much more detailed talking points?

Taken in context can there be any doubt that the outing of Valerie Plame was deliberate and done to shut down her operation within the agency. The fact that her husband had written a critical Op-ed was a pretext. Cheyney didn't need what he perceived to be renegade elements within the agency exposing the lies he was using to market his illegal war. When Wilson debunked the uranium myth, I'm sure Cheyney and his lieutenants concluded the chain of events that produced Wilson's column came directly out of Plame's group and he was going to make Plame pay. When one considers the evolving plan to escalate the war into Iran and the fact that the Brewster-Jennings operation was centered on Iran, isn't it convenient that there isn't a reliable agency source for informtion on Iran to stand in Cheyney's way.

Orion and Mimikatz

I think that if you add "addicted to acting in secrecy" to intimidation and acts of revenge you may have the essence of Dick Cheney.

He has always operated below the radar until, as Vice President, the coverage given him by the Republican Congress was withdrawn. As we used to say in the Viet Nam era, he is used to diddly-bopping along fat, dumb and happy and simply didn't realize he had entered into someone's gunsights.

Always before Secrecy, intimidation and acts of revenge protected him. Suddenly he is in the spotlight and his whole world has come undone. (I hope.)


Blackwill appears to have been primarily concerned with convincing India to send troops to Iraq at that time.

Robert D. Blackwill was ambassador to India in 2003, but announced his resignation on 4/21/03. He seems to have been in Washington on 6/13/03 from the tone of a "White House Bulletin" that quotes him as saying: "The terrorism emanating from Pakistan has not ended. The entire Administration from the President on down is determined to do everything we can to end terrorism against India." The Washington Times reported on 6/16/03 that he was New Delhi the prior week trying to encourage India to get involved in Iraq based on the threat of terrorism coming from Pakistan. According to a Times article from 7/15/03 he had been involved with State in trying to convince India to send troops to Iraq, the article was written by John Kifner after the Indians announced they were not willing to join the coalition. In some quarters this was seen as a diplomatic failure and a bad precedent.

Blackwill also seems to have been behind this effort: "In February, India quietly ousted three Iraqi diplomats who had been slated to open a consulate in Bombay." A 5/5/03 article in the Washington Times notes that, and quotes Armitage met Balckwell a few weeks earlier (presumably in the US because the article was on the occasion of Armitage's upcoming visit to India).

On 8/15/03 he was named "deputy assistant to President Bush and coordinator for strategic planning under National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice" according to AP that day. Many mentions of him follow as Bush's (read: Condi's) special envoy to Iraq ever the next period.

It is worth noting that there were bombings in Bombay in in late July and in August of 2003 that were blamed on Islamic terrorism.

Robert D. Blackwill resigned in November 2004 as the "White House's top official on Iraq policy" (other accounts identify him as White House deputy national security adviser for strategic planning and President Bush's envoy to Iraq) according to a 11/12/04 WaPo article that also notes he "was widely considered one of the top prospects to replace her as national security adviser if she took another job in the administration" (replacing Hadley, a possibility first raised in a WaPo article from 6/27/03). Apparently he was a Rice mentor and confidante. The story indicates he assaulted a subordinate.

He had also been part of Bush's original foreign policy transition team.

I have read all of eRiposte's stuff, both at FDL and Left Coaster, but I confess I canpt always keep it all straight. It would make sense that someone in our gov't or allied therewith used SISMI as a cutout to actually produce the Niger forgeries, and since Berlusconi wanted to curry favor with Bush, SISMI kept pushing them. I do remember Hadley being the vehicle that brought them back when everyone else discounted them. Hadley at that time was Cheney's man at the NSC, IIRC. So much for him having integrity. No honor among thieves.

Of course this whole trial, the accumulation of all the Plame furor and "stuff," and the subsequent prosecution and media frenzy is now hanging on questions about Mr Libby's memory.

freepatriot is actually correct about that point.

Holes have been found in the witnesses testimony against Libby but still there are a lot of witnesses, holes or not, against him. ... and his own notes. And by comparison everyone else in the office being forthcoming and ok with Fitzgerald. Only Mr Libby sticks out like the proverbial errant nail head.

The idea that normal business kept his mind off key on these events is looking very stretched. Yes it is a 12 person jury, but it is a Washington, DC jury, and Mr Libby works for very disliked people.

I would say that Wells needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat, unless he feels he has enough for a good appeal.

I dealt with a man once whose idea and project I believed in but he had screwed up bad on his progress, and he and the project were about to be flushed. I had the technical input, but was far from the only decider unless I wished to put my neck on the block also.

I talked to him a while about the seriousness of the matter, and gently asked about some things I thought I might have glimpsed. He opened up to me after a while for he was in real despair. 15 years of work and his good name were about to go down the drain. It turned out, he was distracted because of several things but one was his wife. He had thought she might be cheating on him. Nothing came of it, but he was depressed and worried anyway.

I keyed my final report on his personal distress at home, and the fact that now things were ok on the home front, and that he was going into marriage counseling and also that he was willing to forgo a percentage of his options that were worth about half a million. He was given a further chance but on a short lease.

It should be time for Wells to bring in some big guns, at least Libby with a real good story as to his memory lapses.

If indeed something like I described above is the problem, then his lovely wife quietly sobbing over in the front row while he testifies would work wonders.


Pincus had something on the NSC being involved in October 2003, maybe Shedd, per the Fitzgerald mention at the end of the Libby testimony.

The FBI is trying to determine when White House officials and members of the vice president's staff first focused on Wilson and learned about his wife's employment at the agency. One group that may have known of the connection before that time is the handful of CIA officers detailed to the White House, where they work primarily on the National Security Council staff. A former NSC staff member said one or more of those officers may have been aware of the Plame-Wilson relationship.
WaPo 10/12/03

from the Grand Jury Transcript:

scooter admitted that NO JOURNALISTS MENTIONED VALERIE PLAME TO HIM before he (scooter) mentioned Valerie Plame to the reporters

F: Did Cooper say he had heard about the wife before, when you told him

L: Don't think so

F: Did Miller?

L: Don't think so.

F: Did Kessler?

L: Don't know if I told Kessler that day, but whenever it was, don't think so.

F: So no reporter told you they had already heard about it when you told them?

L: (pause) No.

the reporters were the firewall between scooter and an indictment on IIPA charges

now we learn that scooter can't name a single reporter who knew Valerie Plame's identity

Pollyusa, I think your point is well taken, largely because NSC Directors have always had staff to staff relationships with their opposite numbers in the appropriate departments, and Non-Proliferation in NSC would have had structured relationships with State personnel, with CIA personnel, and with Energy Department Personnel particularly when they needed expert technical guidence. As conceived, NSC is unlike most Government Bureaucracies, it is flat, has Directors and small staffs, and is intended to merge information coming from all relevant departments and agencies so as to advise the President. Plame-Wilson headed a significant piece of CIA in this specific area. I would suspect that all who dealt with non-proliferation matters at NSC probably knew her -- whether they knew her past, her covert identity and all that (or even who she had married and had twins with) we still don't know. Best guess is that she projected an identity very much in line with title.

Jodi says......

"If indeed something like I described above is the problem, then his lovely wife quietly sobbing over in the front row while he testifies would work wonders."

Jodi, you have presented yourself on this blog as someone concerned about some family members who are in service and deployed -- and now you want a case about how this country and all its assets and its service members got into a war of choice based on damn lies, decided by a poor wife crying in court. That is a very strange sort of patriotism, and also a profound underestimation of the seriousness of the Jury System. This trial, as I follow it on Firedoglake, is not at all subject to emotionalism or sexism or even racism -- it is remarkably free of all that -- and I hope the Judge keeps it that way.

Look, Scooter Libby made at least 5 million trying to get a pardon for Mark Rich, deal finally closed by Lanny Davis last heard of in defense of Lieberman. He made lots more in his practice over the years, and I am sure he has put a bit away, so even if he does don Orange Jumpsuits and go to the Hoose Cow, his wife will be nicely fixed with her home in MacLean. If you want to get all tearful about Daddy's going to prison, go to any County Court any day and you'll see plenty of examples of women left to support kids with no trust funds available to make the bills or buy the food and pay the rent. And yea, they cry in court too when their Husbands get convicted for much less consequential matters, matters that are not based on telling lies that lead to war sold as lies that involves killing American Service People.

Thank you Sara. This is not a parlor game. The tears shed by American & Iraqi families are the only ones that count here.

Mark C -- thanks for the additional details. Haven't revisited Scooter's schedule, but I thought Blackwill had 20 minutes allotted. Seems awfully slim for a discussion about Indian troops, as is the overall window of time between his departure from his post, accepting a position at Harvard and the deputy NSA role. Odd, especially for one of the The Vulcans.

Marcy -- hey, look what I found...I think you could have a BLAST with this, especially with stuff like Dick's talking points: http://www.free-timeline.com/timeline.jsp

I will have to call you on that Sara, and maybe mainsailset too if I understand what he/she are saying.

I only referred to the type strategy that desperate men might employ, and how it seems to be the only type thing at this time that can get Mr Libby from being convicted. And I even prefaced it with "If indeed something like I described above is the problem."

For you two to reflect that bit of intellectual musing onto my patriotism seems to be me both far fetched and wretched, but then earlier Sara mused a bit herself and broached the idea of Judge Walton sentencing Mr Libby to 40 years like was done in Watergate in order to wring some kind of confession out of him.
I would venture that Sara would normally be against torture, which a 40 year sentence for lying about a inconsequential timetable would be. And she would even normally say that it wouldn't get honest results, but only get what the torturers forced the tortured to say.

But then sometimes people say that "the ends justify the means" whether they are lawyers, or bloggers.

Jodi -- thanks for reminding us what kind of pathetic crap the defense may yet try to pull out of their backsides to save Scooter's *ss.

Like encouraging Scooter's pretty and much younger spouse to cry in the courtroom -- shades of both Alito's and Thomas' wives at their confirmation hearings -- and in front of a 75% female jury.

As you pointed out, "the ends justify the means." The office of the Vice President is well acquainted with this phrase and have shown only too well they will co-opt media to subvert justice; why not display a puling wife?

Or send out persistent trolls to obstruct well-reasoned conversations among progressives about the trial, drawing attention away from the objects of their attention?

MARCY -- you there?

Isikoff, Dickerson and York on NPR's Diane Rehm Show NOW -- call to ask questions: [email protected] 1-800-433-8850

York, again...must be the right-wing posterchild/point man for this, probably not enough paying work these days.

what's the matter jodi ???

somebody drop a house on your sister ???

having scooter's wife cry for the jury, that's all you got ???

where I come from, making scooter's wife cry would be a MIGHTY VICTORY

I'm gonna enjoy watching mrs scooter cry as scooter is led away in handcuffs

I don't even feel sorry for the poor little trolls like you who are reduced to this pathetic ranting

Man, Jodi sounds as hopeful about this trial as I was about Dick getting indicted. Jodi, have you no ability to see a thing for what it is? These guys are the biggest bunch of manipulating liars, perhaps in the history of the country. Libby is protecting a conspiracy that is going to be costing you and your kids for years. They are smart, connected, and ruthless. They care nothing for the truth. It's a miracle Fitz was able to nail them for anything. Quit rooting for them, they are your enemies. I mean really, are you just playing devil's advocate, or do you really have some irrational attachment to these dopes. I'm not asking you to fall in love with the Dems, I'm not. I just hate liars and thieves and crooks. So Jodi, up against the wall. Where do you stand? Cheney administration, crooks or patriots? Spit it out plain and simple.

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