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February 17, 2007

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Thanks for this EW. I am a long time reader--I think that I became one of your followers after a piece you wrote for Kos called your "magnus opus," if I remember correctly. I am loving the book--you really did an excellent job of putting all the facts together in a very readable narrative. I'll definitely put a review up on amazon when I'm done.

ew (and viget),

A bit off-topic, but in reference to your earlier post about the changed date on the note where Libby records Cheney telling him that Valerie Wilson works in the CPD, I noticed that there is a black and white copy of that note in the grand jury exhibits (it's page 10 of 45 in GX1A.PDF) that I believe is easier to analyze than the color version. It looks a like the original number was a "9". That would tie the OVP's knowledge of her classified status very closely to the Libby-Edelman "get to a secure line" exchange. Not to mention just four days before the Miller conversation about Valerie Wilson where Miller wrote "bureau" (a reasonable translation of "functional office").

Nice post.

And no wonder Judy Miller was so adamant in her testimony at the Libby trial to say she does not read the NY Times.
Wouldn't want people to think she was receiving coded messages from Libby among other things.

Or maybe Miller was parsing words. Perhaps she has someone ELSE read her the NYT, or, instead of reading the paper, maybe she SINGS it in the operatic voice of a diva.

I still think Miller's October NYT article written subsequent to her October grand jury testimony was a coded reply to Libby.

oops. That article likely designed to coach= Judy's testimony was published in the Washington Post not the NYT, so Judy was free to read it herself without assistance or histrionics.

and ignore the '=' which was a stray keystroke

Yeah, WO, that's my thinking too. It's got to be either the 18th or 19th. I wish we had a copy of Cheney's schedule for those days, because I'm guessing if this was a telephone conversation, Cheney was likely not in DC. But, then again, we don't know if it was a telephone conversation as Libby admits in his GJ testimony that he wrote the header "T-Y "Q + Uranium" - Kristof NYT article" AFTER he took those notes. We don't know exactly when that was, but what if it was around late Sept 2003 when Libby learned there was going to be an investigation?

I still like the theory that this was a strategy session to respond to the TNR article, and these were the first draft of talking points they came up with, perhaps for Miller?

Speaking of which, EW, when did Judy come back from Iraq again?

Great analysis as always. Lots of extra details that we mortals missed. The thing that bothered me about Novak's testimony was the directional vector [Libby->Novak]. What about [Novak->Libby]?:


[NOVAK] I was trying to find out more information about Wilson's mission to Niger and VP's connection. Most memorable about call, I asked Libby if he might be helpful to me in establishing timeline in 16 words. When they came in, who proposed it, sort of a consecutive account that I could put in column. I interpreted him as saying he could be helpful.
[WELLS] In context of talking to Libby did Wilson's wife come up.
[NOVAK] I don't remember exactly, I might have raised that question, I got no help, and no confirmation on that issue. The reason I'm fuzzy is that I talk to a lot of people in govt an politics everyday and a lot of them are not very helpful and I discard unhelpful conversations in my memory bank.
[WELLS] You have a clear recollection he gave you no info about it.
[NOVAK] I'm sure he gave be no info about it.
[WELLS] You might have asked if he knew that "the wife" worked at the CIA.

Novak says Libby gave him "no useful information." But he didn't say [recall] what he said to Libby. It's inconceivable that Novak didn't ask Libby about Plame - simply inconceivable. That was his big story - the reason for the call. The Novak call pokes a ten foot hole in Libby's Grand Amnesia story, and his great awakening on the next day on the phone with Tim Russert. Novak's [unrecalled but surely asked] question would have been The Great Reminder.

They're both lying...

IT IS OVER !!

Oh, sure there are the closings by the lawyers, there is the Jury deliberations, there is the verdict, there may be appeals, there are and will be the musings, protests, told you so's, conspiracy theories, and articles, and maybe even more books.

But Discovery is over, Grand Jury is over. Investigation is over. Future Indictment hopes are over except for the conspiracy buffs.

Granted than in years to come, someone will tell something in order to push a book, or a career, or maybe just to get their 15 minutes.

Time to move on...

IT IS OVER !!
I sure don't hear any fat ladies singing.

Has Fitzgerald said investigation is over?

IT IS OVER !!
I sure don't hear any fat ladies singing, or anyone else for that matter. The Wilson/Plame Civil suit is the next attraction...

a very, very nice exercise in forensic reasoning.

is there any bottom to this tar pit?

EW,

Great job uncovering the Cheney angle. Fascinating details. And I think it all happened.

But I think that at least half of the story is missing. Maybe more than half.

I do not think gwb and his inner circle were passive during May through July. I think that they went after Wilson too. It is their nature.

I suspect that Armitage was gwb's agent. And that Armitage was part of a larger group, including Rove.

(Cheney had good reason to resent the public support for Rove, and none for Libby. Not fair.)

Also, I think that a lot more went on at CIA and associated agencies when Cheney's crowd (and gwb's crowd) came asking in late May and early June. You do not ask about the status of a covert agent without people noticing -- and acting. Especially when you know that covert agent is connected to a hot political issue, and is doing very sensitive work.

when you stir your finger in a pool, there are ripples. Not sometimes. Always

No, I don't think Fitz's investigation is over by a long shot. I think this came into play a lot wrt what Cheney was trying to find out via Scooter's trial. By in large, Fitz didn't have to show his cards.

Emptywheel: I’m still catching up on the week’s live-blogging. Besides wanting to note that you provided the best of that – it wasn’t close - I have some questions on what you actually heard from Novak. The reason I raise these questions here is that when I started reading your lead, I thought you were about to answer Jane S with something simpler, like “We know Novak and Libby talked during the Leak Week because Novak testified to doing so this week”. Now I think maybe I got a wrong impression from your live-blogging – but don’t get what.
What I’ve done here is: (1) excerpt what I see as the relevant parts of Novak’s testimony, (2) reframed some questions into the sense I took from them, (3) use your own words you live-blogged as coming out of Novak’s mouth precisely, as indicated in bold face italics – except I eliminate your punctuation, mainly because while expect the words definitely came from Novak any punctuation is entirely your own [or else Novak was testifying like Victor Borge’s act] and (4) ask a few questions and make a few comments. Here we go:
= = =
QUESTION Wells: I want to go to your conversations with Libby. Did you also speak with Libby?
Yessir
QUESTION Wells: What was your relationship with Libby?
I had never had contact until election of VP Cheney in 2000 I asked him out to lunch a couple of social events I went to his book party I called him a couple of three times during that year that was about the extent of it
QUESTION Wells: (introduces N’s phone bill)
What was the question?
QUESTION W: Describe this to the jurors.
Phone record of phoned in call from my number in Washington at 4:46 PM on July 8 to Mr. Libby's office at WH
QUESTION Wells: (going thru phone number) It says Inside.
That's the name of my column.
QUESTION Wells: How do you know that shows that you call?
It's like an eye test.
QUESTION Wells: (magnifies it - points out that it's in front of him on a screen)
That says one minute I didn't talk to him for one minute I asked for him and he was unavailable They took a message I believe he returned call on July 9
QUESTION W: Describe your recollection of your conversation.
I was trying to find out more information about Wilson's mission to Niger and VP's connection Most memorable about call I asked Libby if he might be helpful to me in establishing timeline in 16 words When they came in who proposed it sort of a consecutive account that I could put in column I interpreted him as saying he could be helpful.
EMPTYWHEEL: With reference that last line, am I correct that eriposte and/or you surmise Libby was directly involved in getting the 16 words into the SOTU address?
QUESTION W: In the context of talking to Libby about that, did Wilson's wife come up?
I don't remember exactly I might have raised that question I got no help and no confirmation on that issue The reason I'm fuzzy is that I talk to a lot of people in govt and politics everyday and a lot of them are not very helpful and I discard unhelpful conversations in my memory bank
EMPTYWHEEL: With reference to the last four lines of this response, I took from them that Novak was engaged in rationalizing how on the one hand Novak’s purpose in calling Libby on July 8 was to obtain confirmation of what he would later write, say and testify Armitage had told him earlier the same day about Joe Wilson’s wife and on the other that he didn’t use or regard what Libby said to him as confirmation. The rationalization I get from these four lines is that while Libby indeed did respond to Novak’s question seeking confirmation, Libby’s response was put in such a way that Novak did not find it “very helpful” - very helpful, that is, to his purpose. Put another way, Novak is testifying that Libby indeed DID give him confirmation of what Novak ascribed as ‘originally’ coming to him from Armitage - but only in the reality-based world. In Novak World, a substrata of Beltway Media World, there was something about the way in which Libby phrased his response which rendered it, for Novak’s purposes, not “very helpful”; or, if you want to take a walk through Novak World, the way in which Libby provided confirmation was not up to Novak’s ‘standards’ (I leave aside what a shock it is to consider Novak has ‘standards’). From all that I am inclined to conclude Novak testified under oath that in essence “ Libby confirmed to me the accuracy of the information about Joe Wilson’s wife which I ascribe as coming to me from ‘original source’ Armitage, but - ” EITHER (1) “Libby made it clear he was not authorizing my use of him or his response as confirmation.” OR (2) “Libby only authorized me to refer to his confirmation as coming from a ‘former Hill staffer’, and using that as description for a source to me is beneath my standards.”
QUESTION Wells: You have a clear recollection he gave you no info about it?
I'm sure he gave me no info about it
QUESTION Wells: You might have asked if he knew that "the wife" worked at the CIA?
EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to this question?
QUESTION W: Timeline - On July 8 you talked to Armi. Then July 9 you talked to Rove. And also on July 9 you talked to Libby.
I'm not positive about the Rove conversation I'm not positive about whether it was 8th or 9th
EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to the last part of Wells’ question?
QUESTION W: Back to your column.
1:59

QUESTION W: Did there come a time when you received a waiver from Libby?
EMPTYWHEEL: I assume Novak responded, because then Wells asked -
QUESTION W: Do recall when that was?
EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to this?
QUESTION W: When did you testify to GJ about Libby?
Fitzgerald: Objection. (Sidebar)
2:19
…..
QUESTION Fitzgerald: When was your first meeting with Wilson?
On MTP The day of his op-ed
QUESTION Fitzgerald: You did not become fast friends.
We did not exchange words Most people in the green room quietly read He was giving his opinion at some length about how things were done in the Clinton NSC in a very loud voice I thought that was an obnoxious performance
QUESTION Fitzgerald: Did you share that experience with Rove that week?
I might have
EMPTYWHEEL: Was there a pause between Fitzgerald’s question and Novak’s response? I would expect Novak to be girding his loins for the possibility Fitz might be about to put him in a position of having to wing some responses. I read it like this: “Ah … ye-es, but … where are you going with this? You can’t very well expect me to provide simultaneous translation into transnovakian of some technically-not-perjurious response I might have to make up on the spot! I warn you now – do that and I might be just spin wildly out of control to avoid giving any discernible response.” Was there such a pause?
QUESTION Fitzgerald: Did you discuss 1999 trade delegation with Rove?
Yes that was related to Niger and uranium
QUESTION Fitzgerald: You say you have no specific recollection of talking about Wilson's wife?
I'm sorry.
QUESTION F: You have no specific recollection of talking about Joe Wilson's wife?
No.
EMPTYWHEEL: I don’t want to go geek over semantics, but strictly from how you live-blogged it, this response interpreted in context means ‘Yes’ - as in ‘Yes, I do indeed have a specific recollection of talking with Rove about Joe Wilson’s wife.’ And that would be consistent with his earlier testimony in response to Wells’ questions. Can you recall anything more about this exchange that I’m clearly not getting?
QUESTION F: But you did talk to him that week?
EMPTYWHEEL: Your live-blogging doesn’t show a response. Did Novak respond?
….
QUESTION Judge Walton (asking a question from the jury): Without relating what someone would have said in response to what you said, once you learned about Wilson's wife and the fact that she worked at the CIA, did you discuss it with anyone prior to your article?
Yes I spoke to Bill Harlow
QUESTION Fitz: Just the name?
Judge: Harlow.
Spokesman for CIA I testified that I might have asked Libby about but I don't have a clear recollection bc I don't have a clear response
EMPTYWHEEL: Maybe I’m just not following this properly. My first reaction was that Novak’s response directly above means in essence this: ‘I testified to the grand jury that in my conversation with the CIA’s Bill Harlow I might have indicated that might have asked Libby about Joe Wilson’s wife.’ What did you get from this? Because I’m thinking that Novak was wrestling with some memory of saying something to the grand jury that he needed to translate into transNovakian to complete his narrative.
= = =

Thanks for any on this.

At my semi-local Barnes & Noble yesterday I picked up my habitual copy of the American Scholar and to my surprise there was an article entitled "Scooter & Me" by Nick Bromell. Apparently Bromell & Scooter started their friendship in boarding school in the '60's and have continued it up to the near present. Bromell is a self avowed liberal and an English teacher at the Univ of Mass, Amherst. It's a fascinating story of the struggle of the two and their peripheral circle of friends (he takes offense at Mrs C's articles) and how they manage to hold onto their friendship. btw, this is the Winter '07 issue. 2xbtw, there's also an article I'm just starting entitled Pseudo-Conservatism on Trial, a real conservative critiques Bush by Ethan Fishman.

mainsailset - That boat already sailed. See my comment on emptywheel's "Parsing Libby" on or about Jan 19.

LabDancer

EMPTYWHEEL: With reference that last line, am I correct that eriposte and/or you surmise Libby was directly involved in getting the 16 words into the SOTU address?

I'm growing convinced that it was Hadley and Joseph and possibly Condi.

EITHER (1) “Libby made it clear he was not authorizing my use of him or his response as confirmation.” OR (2) “Libby only authorized me to refer to his confirmation as coming from a ‘former Hill staffer’, and using that as description for a source to me is beneath my standards.”

No, I think the lie is bigger than that. I think he may well have told Novak she was covert. After all, in the column, that is not attributed at all, and I can imagine that being the kind of thing that, as an off the record statement, Novak would still try to keep secret. Plus, we have reason to believe Libby knew she was classified; and less reason to believe Rove and Armi did. I think Libby may well be the source of CPD and the name (remember, he gave both to Ari), and that it is the Libby stuff that he is lying about. After all--it's the Libby stuff that Novak hid, not the ROve stuff.

EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to this question?

He said yes.

EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to the last part of Wells’ question?

He interrupted the question--to clarify that he may have spoken to ROve on July 8.

QUESTION W: Did there come a time when you received a waiver from Libby?
EMPTYWHEEL: I assume Novak responded, because then Wells asked -
QUESTION W: Do recall when that was?
EMPTYWHEEL: Did Novak respond to this?

Contrary to my normal practice (of collapsing exchanges into one when there is just affirmation), I think Wells may have tried all of those at once. So the objection was to the whole thing.

EMPTYWHEEL: Was there a pause between Fitzgerald’s question and Novak’s response?
No, not that I remember.

EMPTYWHEEL: I don’t want to go geek over semantics, but strictly from how you live-blogged it, this response interpreted in context means ‘Yes’ - as in ‘Yes, I do indeed have a specific recollection of talking with Rove about Joe Wilson’s wife.’ And that would be consistent with his earlier testimony in response to Wells’ questions. Can you recall anything more about this exchange that I’m clearly not getting?

Yes, and it's very important--it's that the subject changed from Rove to Libby. Geez--I'd be in the condition of Matt COoper if I were subpoenaed, wouldn't I. Then again, that's the only way this passage makes sense, if it's about Libby.

Novak: yes, I spoke to Bill Harlow.

Fitz–just the names.

Walton: Harlow

RN Spokesman for CIA. I testified that I might have asked Libby about, but I don't have a clear recollection bc I don't have a clear response.

Sorry, this is another sloppy bit. I think it was RN responding he spoke to Harlow. Fitz making sure that Novak couldn't get into the Harlow discussion, and then Walton asked RN to identify Harlow. Then he switches, answering a question about Libby, saying he doesn't have a clear recollection about talking to Libby about Plame--he's doing his "not a clear answer" thing.


Great detective work!

I go back to the Royce&Phelps article where Novak says that the two administration officials came to him and gave him the name.

Armitage did not go to Novak. Also Armitage denies giving Novak the name (I think, is that true?) and in the Armitage-Woodward tape there is no mention of Plame's name (and I am assuming that the two conversations went the same way).

So Novak pins this on Armitage with Rove confirming. And then Libby has to cover for Rove.

If this premise is correct--and abundant evidence has surfaced since that this was a blatant attempt to coach Judy--then it means Libby was aware of, and trying to hide the Novak conversation, in September 2005, just as Judy was testifying.

The premise is of course correct, EW, but I'm not sure the conclusion strictly follows. It could be that Libby was trying to hide the fact that Judy Miller knew about his Novak meeting.

ew - Thanks so much for your clarifications. BTW I agree with you on what Libby told Novak about Wilson's wife during Leak Week - I was playing with what Novak allowed out from how he styled his responses to questions at the trial.

I hate to add something that is OTT - but I'm thinking that the buzz over at JOM about Ari committing perjury has some substance. Seems to me that the concern that led to Ari seeking immunity must have been what he said in his telephone conversation with Walter "The Only Real Journalist In This Saga" Pincus on July 12. I've seen nothing but humour from Dickerson on the Africa sojourn and I equate that good humour with truth - meaning Ari's yarn about going all ADHD after hearing Bartlett's comment is Bushwa. So why tell it? Do you think maybe Ari thought "in for a dime - in for a dollar - I've already leaked so I might as well go so far as to try to make up with/avoid revenge from the Bush White Hosers by adding a bit - because after all, that's what they wanted me to do in the first place - and all I did was show my incompetence at leaking." The reason I ask is that it would make sense of Big Dick's addendum to Libby's effort to get equal treatment to Rove from Scottie M.

Am I off base?

mainsailset,

Thanks for the link to Scooter and Me. Bromell is certainly qualified to write the article - Scooter's friend and the son of a diplomat in the Middle East who was a spy. It's a real must-read.

LabDancer: sorry to have doubled up on your already better written note. Since I had read your first post and forgotten about it I can only say I must be suffering from LibbyDefense.
Onward!

KM

I guess I agree. Good point.

Marcy, YOU ROCK!!! I've become totally hooked on the liveblog of the Libby trial and have really enjoyed your vids on PoliticsTV. Keep up the good work, hero!

Time to move on..

Oh Jodi, would that you took your own advice!

And in any event, history is not over. And the efforts to falsify it are not over, so neither is the effort to combat that falsification. Not that you have contributed one whit to it.

Jeff,

perhaps you watched the Buffy series. I did/do.

But in the real world, I don't believe in "vampires" and "slayers."

It is just us plain ol' people out here.

Don't you think that the screws have been turned on peoples' thumbs as much as they can be by Fitz. What is left? Hopes, dreams?

Sure, maybe on a FedX plane over the China Sea, a box breakes loose and opens spilling 80 pounds of hundred dollar bills, 30 pounds of notes, and six (6) 250GB hard drives. Ok, maybe Elvis is driving the plane, and Jack is sorting the packages. Hell, Anna Nicole is serving the wine and canapes.

I have tried to be a voice of moderation, and a signpost to objectivity. I have found in my work that when people let their dreams run beyond a certain point, then imagination becomes good work's worse enemy. You must regroup, consolidate, and,..., move on! ,

I have tried to be a voice of moderation, and a signpost to objectivity.

Well, you have not succeeded, as all you seem to do is snark at other people without ever sticking to facts and inferences from them. What you seem unable to handle is that there are people out there, such as myself, who in face maintain moderate tones and seek to stick to the facts and inferences connected to them who have a radically different view of the case than you seem to have - though it remains hard to know what your view is, since you never engage with anything even approaching the full range of what is known about the matter.

For instance, for the purposes of the trial, you seem to be convinced that Libby just suffered from a poor memory. Ok, fair enough. So does that mean you do believe in fact that he knew about Plame's CIA employment before he purportedly heard about it from Russert on July 10, 2003? And that he had learned from multiple government, official sources, not from reporters? And that he in fact told Judith Miller on July 8th that Plame worked at the CIA, on the basis of that officially gained knowledge? And that he knew at that time that his boss, VP Cheney, had told him that Plame worked at CPD, that is, the Counterproliferation Division - the significance of which is, as Libby would know, that CPD is on the clandestine side of the CIA (the Directorate of Operations) where there was a much greater likelihood that the individual was under cover than is she worked on the DI side of the Agency, making it that much more incumbent on officials like Libby and Cheney to find out to be sure before dealing the information out?

Just to begin with. I hope you'll answer with some specificity and conreteness along with your moderation and objectivity.

Original from Waas http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1216nj2.htm#.

"And Libby suggested both inside and outside the White House that Townsend Wilson was sent to Niger being considered as a national security adviser to the president because his wife worked at the CIA her husband had been a classmate of George W. Bush's at Andover and Yale.

Those Cons, they aren't very original.

New Newsweek article out: Hohlt faxed the Novak column to Rove. He also met monthly with a group of Washington insiders, including Rove and Duberstein and Novak. Armitage looks more and more like a set-up.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17202408/site/newsweek

Interesting Newsweek article. Presumably Fitzgerald knows all this, but still it has two pieces of news for us. First, the headline that Rove received a heads-up about and a copy of Novak's column well in advance of publication on July 14. Not a big surprise, but good to know. But for my money, the big surprise and the bigger news is this:

After Novak first told Hohlt that he was working on a hot story about ex-ambassador Joe Wilson, Hohlt says he e-mailed Rove to expect a phone call from Novak.

This appears to mean that Rove knew that Novak was going to be asking about Wilson, which means that Rove could prepare for questions about Wilson, possibly including questions about his wife. The public version of events up to now has suggested that Novak called Rove about a different matter, and only turned to Wilson at the end, implying that Rove might have been taken by surprise. But this new piece of information suggests otherwise. And as The Note put it in fall 2003 - in a passage that the OVP passed around in email at the time - the best way to leak is not to reach out to reporters but to do it in response to their inquiries. It helps when you're prepared in advance.

emptywheel, re your comment about Condi perhaps being deeply involved with the SOTU and the 16 words - I've pieced together the rest of the sentence in the Woodward/Armitage interview where the transcript ends at 2:14 with: "...in the hot spot. But she --"

I can hear Armitage finish that sentence, after Woodward says "Huh" (which the transcript doesn't note), following Armitage's sentence about the "types" at the White House. So a more complete reading would be:

Starting at 2:12:

Armitage: "Because I think it was overruled by the types down at the White House." [With some slight hesitation and then a very soft delivery of "types."]

Woodward: "Huh."

Armitage: "Condi doesn't like bein' on the hot spot that she's on today."

Woodward then proceeds to bring up Joe Wilson, rather than pursuing Armitage's mention of Rice.

Another thing I note in studying that transcript is that Armitage is reciting [at 2:22] the gist of Joe Wilson's call on Monday, June 9th to Marc Grossman, which Grossman testified about at trial. [Wilson was trying to correct Condoleezza Rice's assertions on June 8th's Sunday TV program(s) about the 'bowels of the agency,' etc.] Wilson was not pleased, and by Friday, June 13th, Dick Armitage had obviously heard all about this call from Marc Grossman (though Grossman apparently claimed at trial that he hadn't discussed the phone call with 'anyone,' per the non-transcript).

Overall, as of June 13, 2003, Dick Armitage seems confident that the anonymous charges of Joe Wilson in Kristof's May and June columns and Pincus's June article(s), as well as Wilson's personal call(s) to the State Department, are damaging primarily to the National Security Council people, and not to the State Department or the CIA, who are "clean," according to Armitage.

2lucky - That's quite a nice bit of investigative journalism by Michael Isikoff. Duberstein and Hohlt and Novak and Rove, all tied together with a neat little bow. Even though Rove was apparently driving to another state for vacation on Friday afternoon, July 11th, Rove was very much clued in to the specifics of Novak's finished column. Here's Isikoff's closing:

"After Novak first told Hohlt that he was working on a hot story about ex-ambassador Joe Wilson, Hohlt says he e-mailed Rove to expect a phone call from Novak. Then Hohlt began pressing Novak to learn the juicy details. On July 11, 2003, three days before the column was published, Novak gave him a preview copy. (Unknown to Hohlt, Rove had already confirmed to Novak that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.) That same day, Hohlt e-mailed details about the column to Rove, and later faxed him the entire unpublished article. (Rove's lawyer confirms this account.) "I was just trying to be helpful," Hohlt says. His role as a go-between later earned him a visit from the FBI, but it stayed secret until now. And that was just fine with Hohlt, who says that his greatest accomplishment as a lobbyist has been "staying out of the press." Thanks to last week's testimony, his cover—like Valerie Plame's—is now blown." - Michael Isikoff, Newsweek

Jeff - Rove was Novak's supposed confirmation on Wilson's wife. Hohlt was giving a heads-up to Rove, who had already provided cover for "Wilson's wife" in Novak's column? Doesn't make sense to me.

This article, to me, lends credence to theory that outing Plame was a "reporter-laundering" job. The Duberstein greasing of the skids for the Novak/Armitage leak looks very different in light of his "Off the Record" participation.

BTW, the notion that a bunch of powerful, insanely wealthy white guys meeting "off the record" with WH insiders cracks me up. How victimized WAS Mr. Hohlt?

pow wow - Doesn't the "story" that Novak was, pre-publication, bragging about a "hot" story about Wilson belie Novak's claim that "Wilson's wife" was just a paragraph in the middle of his column? What other bombshell did Novak have in his column? Nuttin'. The rest of his column was blah, blah, blah.


At one time, I thought Rove might have felt he was victimized by OVP: he really didn't know Plame's role. This article confirms my suspicions that Rove knew what he had (Plame covert) and used his usual sleazy tactics to orchestrate a "laundered" leak.

No wonder Fitz wouldn't let this slide.

pow wow

I'd be careful of reading Isikoff's "scoops" as such. I can think of none of his in this story that weren't motivated. And given that the defense raised Hohlt, I can only imagine Isikoff was given a package and he wrote it. His coverage of this merits Judy Miller status.

Jeff's quote:
"Just to begin with. I hope you'll answer with some specificity and conreteness along with your moderation and objectivity"

Jeff,
first honestly, I do not claim to know what happened exactly.
Now though, after reading the trial non-transcript, I would say, a case could be made for a bad, but I think a better name would be an inexact memory. Certainly some of his answers during the investigation could have been because of that, and then others were deliberately and consiciously made to back up the first answers. Anyone wishes their story, whatever it is, to be consistent.

I still come back to what has been said by others. Libby could have answered every question from Fitz and his troops in exactly the way that all the witnesses against him said, and then he would be home free, without this trial.

Perhaps he was overconfident, and instead of just saying, "I am not sure", or "I don't remember", he strove to speak confidently, and very positively about what he remembered.

Most of us will in a similar event, go with what we have written down, and can prove by collaborating events or evidence. Otherwise we will say "I think this is what happened." Or even "I don't recall."

Now I don't know if that means that Plame wasn't defined strictly according to the covert agent classification law, or if there was so much uncertainity, and so many sources for her public identification that no one could have been charged with anything, or not. You got me there. It seems strange to me.

All I know, and all that Fitz has indicated was that no one was prosecuted for outing her.

Jodi, don't you realize that if anyone was charged with the crime of outing a covert agent there would have likely been no trial? The Bush White House would have said too bad, all the evidence is classified.

Isikoff "scoop" caveats noted, EW. Maybe another journalist without a private agenda will pick up these details and start some serious digging... Here's hoping, anyway. [As I was reading the Isikoff story, I was thinking that it was actually a juror question, perhaps followed up on by Judge Walton, that elicited the information about Hohlt, rather than a defense attorney - at least that's what I seem to recall reading in a liveblog or maybe in Blumenthal's Salon story. Perhaps Isikoff wasn't in court that day, as Blumenthal was.]

LabDancer - Fitzgerald raised that Novak line (about Novak asking Libby in their July 9th phone conversation to provide a SOTU/16 words timeline) with Libby in one of his Grand Jury sessions. It seemed to be complete news to Libby - no one had prepared him for that fairytale... Fitzgerald asked it a couple of different ways, and Libby was hard-pressed to understand where the questions were coming from, and basically failed to corroborate Novak's version of events. I think the timeline excuse is just a Novak cover story.

No wonder, indeed, 2lucky...

P.S. In case anyone's missed it, cboldt's page of liveblog links is a huge help for anyone trying to quickly reference the liveblogged testimony of different witnesses, and each day of testimony, here:

http://noeasyanswer.blogspot.com/2007/01/libby-trial-liveblog-index.html

pow wow

Here's the chronology (and I was there, regardless of where Isikoff and Blumenthal were):

[First, a juror asks a question that leads to Harlow answer]Walton: Without relating what someone would have said in response to what you said. Did you, once you learned about Wilson's wife and the fact that she worked at the CIA, did you discuss it with anyone prior to your article.

Novak: yes, I spoke to Bill Harlow.

Fitz–just the names.

Walton: Harlow

RN Spokesman for CIA. I testified that I might have asked Libby about, but I don't have a clear recollection bc I don't have a clear response.

[Then Wells, in a follow-up question, cues Novak to talk about HohltW Rick Holt. Who is Rick Holt.

RN A lobbyist and a close friend. I talk to him every day.

W did you have conversations with him about it. Did you give him a draft of the article.

RN Yes.

[Wells tries to suggest Hohlt was circulating it among average people]W Mr. Holt had the article in his hand by 4:00 that day. And Holt is a lobbyist about town. Would you describe him as a gossip.

RN He talks to a lot of people, even me, he's a good news source.

W He talks to a lot of media people.

[Then Fitz clarifies that he was actually circulating it to the WH]F Did you have an understanding about what he could do with the copy of the article

RN No sir. I didn't have an understanding with him. I had assumed he would not share it, there was not an agreement made between us.

Fitz, one moment.

F Did he ever tell you he had shared it

RN Vague recollection that he had told the WH that there was an interesting piece coming out.

RN In those conversations I had with him on Friday.

F Your belief is that he told the WH on Friday that an interesting piece coming out.

RN Yes

See Jodi, I'm not asking you whether a crime was committed, I'm asking you what you think happened, and you simply refuse to answer. I've always been more interested in what happened than in who would get charged with what crime, as interesting as that is. But you seem blind to the possibility that one could judge that there was some really bad conduct regardless of whether a particular crime was committed. So I'll ask again: what do you think happened - and I'll just refer to all my specific questions above again. Not was a crime committed. Not what happened with Libby's memory. I asked specific questions that one could look at the facts as we know them and answer, especially in light of your general convictions about Libby's poor memory.

I will just add that you appear to presume an answer to the question of why no one was charged with outing Plame when there are, as others have suggested, multiple possible answers to that question, including the conventions governing how federal prosecutors make charging decisions, the role of likely fights over classified information, and the like. So your presumption will not really do as an answer for all you know. You might also look at what Fitzgerald had to say at his press conference with regard to the statutes under which someone is charged.

So any time you're ready to actually answer some questions as to your assessment of the facts in the case, instead of your usual sniping from the sidelines at anyone who actually undertakes such an assessment that is not to your liking, I look forward to it.

Jeff - Rove was Novak's supposed confirmation on Wilson's wife. Hohlt was giving a heads-up to Rove, who had already provided cover for "Wilson's wife" in Novak's column? Doesn't make sense to me.

emptywheel's warning is a point well taken, and presumably this story serves to fill out the story Novak began to tell at trial for the purposes of any juror who's eyes stray over the press on the long weekend, pointing a big finger at Rove, which helps Libby here.

Nevertheless, I still think there's some interest here. In response to your question, the point is that there were two distinct episodes. First, Hohlt conveys a heads-up to Rove that Novak was going to be calling, presumably about Wilson. That happened before Rove and Novak spoke on the 9th or 8th. Then, presumably on the 11th, Hohlt told Rove that Novak's story was done and on the wire, and then he faxed over a copy of it.

"Perhaps he was overconfident, and instead of just saying, "I am not sure", or "I don't remember", he strove to speak confidently, and very positively about what he remembered."

Jodi, per Jeff's excellent and very polite comment at 9:30, you can listen to all eight hours of Scooter's GJ testimony at the CSPAN link. The only thing Scooter sounds remotely "confident" about is his recollection of his Russert conversation. In everything else he sounds like a weasel except for the times he can't even rise to weasel status. Scooter is a lawyer. You can hear the desperation in his voice, because he can form reasonable opinions about what other WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS have already told the Grand Jury based on Fitz's questions to him. Please recall the Grand Jury had to sign off on Fitz's indictment. You can listen to what they heard.

I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to respond to Jeff. He's showing you a lot more kindness and respect than Kagro X.

Perhaps Jodi you would be well advised to stop by TheLeftCoaster and see the latest installment that eRisposte has put up this morning. If, after reading it, you still feel that Scooter simply suffers from a bad memory and that the consequences of his actions are somehow minimized, then turn on the tv and watch the footage of the bombings in Iraq.
Here's the link

http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/009874.php

Have you seen Victoria Toensing's editorial in today's WaPo? It's fucking disgusting. Lots of Republican spin and lies.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021601705.html

John Casper
I can understand you do not want to say "Jodi's excellent, comment, but can't you at least grant me a polite?

Jeff,
I thought I was clear more or less on what I said, but then of course we always are clear to ourselves.

This is what I suspect happened.
Amb Joe Wilson went to Nigeria/Algeria/Niger? I get confused there, so lets just say Africa, to find out about yellowcake and Iraq more or less. The CIA at the suggestion, at least (not necessarily prompting or direction) of his wife Valerie Wison (the Valerie Plame of note) sent him. All the reasons the CIA sent him, seems myriad. It appears at this time (now) that State, Defense, and the White House wanted to know about Saddam in every way. Of course the CIA by the core of its very existence wanted to know more too. All this is commendable for all those organizations.
Mr Wilson made a report while abroad, returned reported again, and
then all was fine and good in our fair land as far as Mr Wison was concerned. He did his job. His children were happy and safe in their lives, his wife went to work each day with no problems, and retired Joe Wison had time to work on his hobbies, and look for other work.

Then Mr Wilson decided to do something that took him and his wife out of the good and quiet life they had. He decided to go to the NYt and write an Op Ed. piece. I just feel that his wife had to know what he would doing. Had to give him her approval. Had to know the risk. Surely he wouldn't have done this thing which would put him and everyone and everything about him under public scrutiny without full input from his wife!? Now does anyone here wish to say that he didn't know what would happen? That perhaps he was naive? That he was under false impressions, illusions or bad influences?

Mr Wison became a very public and well celebrated figure in an ongong political controversary! He reaped the firestorm!

Everything that then happened had to happen. It was ordained by fate. Not necessarily the exact sequence of events and people, but I would say an equilibrium had to be achieved by the forces that had been released. For less techno types, the water had to find its own level in all the various places it could reach.

I personally consider that the major contributor to the outing of Valerie Plame was Mr Wison, and I hope at least that his wife Valerie Wilson with full realization gave her go ahead, otherwise as these things normally go, there will come a time when resentment builds up in the marriage, and then the children will really feel it.

Now someone will probably ask if I think that an evil scheme by Mr Cheney was a major factor in the Plame outing? I don't know that. I do know that Mr Cheney and many other yes men in in Bush Administration are very arrogant and stupid. We have Iraq to show that. We had a glance at their self serving Social Security ideas!
Was Mr Libby who actually was one of the more well liked and well rounded members of the Bush Administration a major perpetrator of that evil scheme? I doubt it. I would guess (only guess) that he was the last puppy out the door when it closed on his tail.

Wow, Jodi, for someone who was just proclaiming her down-to-earth view of human conduct, you have a remarkably incoherent and goofy metaphysics. In fact, the incoherence and goofiness is clearly driven by your desire to blame Joe Wilson. So you say he acted freely, but then everything beyond that was ordained by fate. So everyone else's conduct is blameless - it was just fate! But not Wilson's - that was a pure choice.

Really, Jodi, that's incredibly lame.

Beyond that, let's take it in pieces. You seek to blame Wilson. I agree with you he had to know that the Bush administration would strike back with some viciousness. But outing his wife? I don't think so. You are the naive one if you think that Wilson is the only person in the small small town of DC with a wife who works under cover at the CIA to publish an op-ed in the NYT.

As for the actions of the OVP, you continue to evade the very specific questions I asked you. But you seem to hold an incoherent view: you think Libby suffered from a bad memory and honest confusion. But shouldn't the implication of that be that in fact the other people who testified that they talked about Plame with him, and the reporters who testified, as per their notes, that Libby told them about Plame, were accurate, and that Libby did in fact know about Plame before July 10 and the non-conversation with Russert, that he learned from government officials and then passed that information on to reporters? how are you getting around that here?

Yet you seem to think - though it's hard to tell what "evil scheme" you're absolving Libby of responsibility in - that Libby did not do any of those things. But then you think he had an accurate memory after all?

How about some actual answers?

And it's frankly pretty damned evasive to say "I don't know that" in response to the question of whether Cheney was a major factor in the Plame outing.

Evasive it is, I suppose.

This suggests to me that at the end of the day, you just don't know that much about the case. In which case, you should stop scolding others.

Seriously, Jodi - the questions Jeff is putting to you go straight to the heart of my frustrations in reading your posts and others at JOM. How can you fail to see that Cheney, Libby, Rove and Bush have abused their powers and manipulated the media with devastatingly negative results for the welfare of the nation? How can you possibly think that they didn't know that the premises they used to make the case for war were conscious lies? How can you possibly support the wisdom and morality of their callous attempts to hide their guilt by making personal attacks on anyone, much less a CIA agent working on WMDs? How can you not desperately wish we had never elected these people and had never invaded Iraq? How can you not want to see them punished for arrogantly screwing up everything so horribly? What kind of person are you? It's one thing to engage in stimulating intellectual debate, but your defense of these people is morally unforgiveable. It's just plain old, flat out, common sense WRONG.

obsessed - Bravo!

"Now someone will probably ask if I think that an evil scheme by Mr Cheney was a major factor in the Plame outing? I don't know that. I do know that Mr Cheney and many other yes men in in Bush Administration are very arrogant and stupid. We have Iraq to show that. We had a glance at their self serving Social Security ideas!
Was Mr Libby who actually was one of the more well liked and well rounded members of the Bush Administration a major perpetrator of that evil scheme? I doubt it. I would guess (only guess) that he was the last puppy out the door when it closed on his tail."

Jodi, Feb. 18, 2007 at 14:33

Do I have this right? Libby is a nice well rounded guy, like a happy go lucky puppy, who just happened to be the right hand man of an arrogant war monger so he should not be held accountable even if the self serving puffery and profound absentmindeness may amount to the obstruction of justice and perjury? You know the jury is still out. And is what you are saying is that Wilson should have expected that the illegal outing of his wife should have been expected because he chose to pursue the truth? Oh that all men would stay home piddling around the house rather than seek truth in matters of war.

These statements are difficult to accept, if they are what you are suggesting, as normative. Just how much bumbling, forgetfulness obfuscation, misdirection and dishonesty is acceptable in matters relating to National Security? What kind of world are you describing?

Did Toensing have to pay the Washington Post to run her political attack ad? Or is the Post providing her this service gratis? When is the Post going to run the Emptywheel counterpoint?

George Soros participated on a Firedoglake Sunday chat a few months ago and mentioned that the current mainstream media has to do a better job reporting the news and clarified that we did not need to invent a separate progressive media to work in parallel to the one we have. At this point, however, I wish George Soros would use his money to BUY control of the Post and the NY Times, hire some independent journalists and bloggers (reality-based only, please-- conflaters and confabulators need not apply) and sit back and let democracy regain its equilibrium.

Jodi, well-liked and well-rounded guys like Ambassador Wilson stood up to deceit despite the potential consequence (both predicted and wholly unprecedented).

If Libby is your well-rounded nice guy, well he failed you when the FBI and GJ came a callin'. Instead of standing up and telling the truth despite the consequences, he chose to lie and he lied repeatedly. Pre-emptive war is lucrative for some, but I guess Jodi would agree that, in Libby's case, "nice guys finish last" and get their tails caught in the doors of justice. Poor Scooter Puppy. If only he told the truth more people would be sharing the pen with him.

"Amb Joe Wilson went to Nigeria/Algeria/Niger?"

Jodi, I was actually hoping you would simply apologize to Jeff, and refrain from criticizing others, who know a ton more about this than you or I.

WRT Niger, that's hugely important that it's Niger and not Albania or Nigeria. One reason among many, is that Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. One of the early Cheney statements was that this was a vacation for Joe Wilson paid for by the CIA. Nobody vacations in Niger. Albania is very poor also, but it has a booming tourist trade because of it's Adriatic sea coast. It's not an African country. It borders Greece. Nigeria exports oil.

FWIW, a lot of people with a high IQ and an excellent work ethic have a learning disability, called ADHD. It's a lack of short term memory and it's extremely debilitating in terms of production, academically and at work. You can get tested for it and there are very good medications if you have the symptoms, which include an early childhood onset. I'm not saying you aren't smart. I am saying based on the comments you make, not just this one, you don't have the requisite knowledge of the facts that so many others do. You also don't realize that and that can be a symptom of ADHD. If a computer does not have sufficient RAM, it doesn't matter how fast the processor is or how much long term memory it has. Insufficient RAM is a good metaphor for ADHD.

Your comments reveal that you have a very superficial/high altitude understanding of the details, relative to the plameologists who comment here. When you get emptywheel's book, you'll find Jeff's name in it and many others who comment here. Through Anatomy of Deceit, you may also be able to develop enough of a knowledge base to at least begin to understand what you don't know. You can also go to emptywheel's Anatomy of Deceit website and look at the time line available. Plameologists have large chunks of that in their head. It's a very handy resource.

emptywheel has a brand new post up integrating trial revelations into new theories over at FDL's book salon.

Thanks for clarifying your liveblog, emptywheel, regarding that Hohlt portion of Novak's testimony. I certainly realize that you were there in court that day, slaving away in the media room - I took that as a given, and I in no way meant to slight your own liveblog account (if it sounded like I did).

The upshot, as I see it, is that both sides were done with Novak's testimony, without the Hohlt information having been elicited. It was then the jury's turn to ask questions - and one of Novak's answers to a juror question prompted both sides to follow-up with Novak in response to the question the juror asked and the answer Novak gave. As a result, we can thank that question from the juror for the testimony from Novak that followed, as further elicited by both the defense (bringing Hohlt into the picture) and the prosecution. Isikoff, however, leaves the key role played by the question from the juror completely out of his new article about Mr. Hohlt.

John Casper,

you still won't give me my polite even after you imply I have a mental defiency/disorder? Wow.

But the main thing I broke my work schedule preparing for tomorrow, (ok after I had to peek at the comments here), was that your analogy of a small amount of RAM being the analog or equivalent of ADHD is very, very wrong.

A better one (but no where near complete) for ADD would be that the cpu cycles are too slow for the number of tasks, or you could just say the number of tasks are too great, so when the multitasking clock interrupts, and starts a new task because it has to keep the whole system moving along, the last task isn't finished. You end up with many tasks unfinished and just hanging there waiting for the next available cpu cycles. You may then have a real time snafu or collapse of the whole system or at least parts of it, because the real time events that should be in tune with the computer and it's program may not be able to wait.

HD (or ADHD) would introduce an additional complexity though not necessarily a detriment to the model.

Now insufficient RAM could be a part of a general problem, because that would slow down effiency, but you could have an infinite amount of RAM and still have the problem.

And the other thing is that you are confusing Albania with Algeria which I spoke of. But that is just a misread, so no bother.

I will get back to Jeff and others. AND very politely of course.


Isikoff, however, leaves the key role played by the question from the juror completely out of his new article about Mr. Hohlt.

Pow wow, I'll look for the cite, but one of the Slate (I think?) guys said that right after the Hohlt information came out in the courtroom, Isikoff ran off to find out more about Hohlt.

Jodi, sorry about my confusing Albania with Algeria. I'm not a referee here. I expect this to be a place for civil discourse.

How can you possibly think that they didn't know that the premises they used to make the case for war were conscious lies?

Cheney after the 1991 war said:


I think for us to get American military personnel involved in a civil war inside Iraq would literally be a quagmire. Once we got to Baghdad, what would we do? Who would we put in power? What kind of government? Would it be a Sunni government, a Shia government, a Kurdish government? Would it be secular, along the lines of the Baath party? Would it be fundamentalist Islamic? I do not think the United States wants to have U.S. military forces accept casualties and accept responsibility of trying to govern Iraq. It makes no sense at all."

Now that is exactly how it turned out in 2003. But note that in the run up to the 2003 war Cheney did not say that these things will happen but 9/11 dictates that we should pay the price.

Cheney said instead that we'd be greeted as liberators, democracy will bloom, we wont need a lot of troops in the aftermath, etc. etc.

It WAS conscious lies.

Doing a mite of "clean up the pile" book reading over the past few days, and one I had to finish off was Ron Suskind's "One Percent Solution." In the midst of it -- good laugh.

He begins by describing Cheney's arrival at a major dinner for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia -- Cheney had recently had surgery to put in a shunt behind one knee, so he was in a huge moterized wheel chair with leg extended outward. Dinner was GHWBush, all the boys from his administration, Cheney, oil types from Houston, JCS Meyers, Rummy and others. All had to make way for the motorized Cheney.

Next day they all went to Bush Jr's Ranchette, and apparently the home place is pretty small, so Cheney could not use the huge chair. Instead, he had some sort of trolley under his leg, and Scooter Libby was tasked with keeping his leg positioned. Flattened book on Couch and had a great laugh. Yea -- this was Scooter's little job.

The Bush Crown Prince meeting did not go particularly well, as the Saudi's had sent in an agenda of what they wanted taken up -- but Cheney had never allowed it off his desk and forwarded to Georgie. So Georgie apparently didn't know why the Saudi's were scheduled. Instead Georgie suggested a ranch tour in his pick-up truck, and apparently spent most of the time talking Jesus. When they came back for lunch, with Cheney's limb properaly propped, Georgie spent the rest of the visit dealing with Jesus and avoiding everything else.

(and Jodi -- the lives of millions depend on this crowd.)

His role [Hohlt] as a go-between later earned him a visit from the FBI, but it stayed secret until now.
Newsweek 2/18/07

Not totally secret. He's got to be the guy from Mike Allen and Dana Milbank's 12/26/03 WaPo. I've been wondering who the private citizen was and guessed it might be Hohlt or Fierce last month.

FBI agents showed up unannounced last week at the home of a private citizen who was believed to have some knowledge of White House handling of Plame's identity, according to a source involved in the investigation. The source refused to identify the person who was interviewed, but said it was a man who had only peripheral knowledge of the case and had discussed it with officials in the White House.
WaPo 12/26/03

One more detail to cross off the list.

John, obsessed, and Jeff,

I went down this exact long and tedious road with jodi back at the end of comments on the "Cheney keeps secrets from the secret keepers" post. Jeff, I'm not kidding I took exactly the same approach, took forever to pin her down, and I thought she was starting to get it, but here we are again. I'm starting to think that it's more about being directly engaged on the board than anything else with her.

You guys have fun, but I'm not going to beat my head against the wall again on this one. Save yourselves some time, go back and see how this ends in the old post.

One more detail to cross off the list.

Polly - I'm curious - since the beginning of the trial - have more details been crossed off from, or added on to, your list? What would you say have been the major resolved issues of the last 3 weeks?

jodi doesn't have any attention deficit

jodi has a really BAD case of cognative dissonance

it's quite common amongst the freepi

if something offers evidence against a person's beliefs, the person denies the existence of the thing

notice toensing's inability to understand that the identityu of Valerie Plame was a protected secret of the United States

if it doesn't fit the world of delusion, it doesn't exist

jodi is another fool who clings to the idea that Valerie Plame wasn't a covert agent

lack of attention is one thing, willfull self delusion is a whole other ballgame

jodi ain't confused, but she hopes to confuse you, or at least waste your time with pointless blather

So Rove was given a heads up that a "covert operative" was going to be outed by name and did nothing, and Isikoff doesn't even begin to discuss the ramifications of this. And who was Isikoff's source? Libby's lawyers "confirmed" the story, he says, but who wanted Isikoff to carry this water? I think his source was Hohlt. Isikoff writes a story saying that Novak was just an errand boy for leaks from Hohlt, then uses Hohlt (I think) as the main source of a story himself. Somebody's agenda is being served by this story, and Isikoff is pointing us off in the wrong direction. Smoke filled rooms in Washington, DC? Shocking! Novak is a messenger for the White House and big GOP lobbyists? I'd never believe it! Thank you for clearing this up, "investigative journalist" Michael Isikoff!

one of the Slate (I think?) guys said that right after the Hohlt information came out in the courtroom, Isikoff ran off to find out more about Hohlt.

I'm still skeptical that there is anything in the Newsweek article that has not been long known to the special prosecutor, but it would sure be interesting if there were something new.

Jodi, meanwhile, I'll continue to wait for your reply or, barring that, will consider you to have conceded and disbarred yourself from meaningful discussion of the issues in play here.

OK, for anyone playing along at home, I did find Seth Stevenson's Isikoff/Hohlt reference:
2:36 p.m.: Novak reveals another person whom he discussed Plame with before running his column. It was lobbyist Rick Hohlt. Novak told him he had some good scoop. Hohlt is a "lobbyist about town" and "a gossip," in the words of one defense attorney.

Hohlt seems to have little bearing on the case, but as he's the first new name to crop up in the trial for quite a while, the journalists are buzzing. Who's Rick Hohlt? Who's Rick Hohlt?? Last I hear, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff has scurried off at the break to start tracking Hohlt down.

I agree with Jeff, however. I doubt there was anything new there. Polly's article reference seems to back that up.

Just to be clear, MayBee, your point holds out more hope, however slim, that there is something new than others, who are saying Isikoff was just doing stenography, are suggesting. For instance, if investigators do not have that email from Hohlt to Rove giving Rove a heads-up that Novak was going to be calling, that would be a significant new piece of evidence.

I still think it's doubtful, but the idea that Isikoff is doing real reporting makes it at least more possible that he's broken some real news all around.

I don't think Hohlt is new at all. His was one of the mystery names on the possible witnesses and mentions, right?

I don't think Hohlt is new at all. His was one of the mystery names on the possible witnesses and mentions, right?

emptywheel

Right. The question is just whether the specifics that Newsweek published for the first time were all known to Fitzgerald or not. The odds are that they were; but if there were something new, it would be new information about Rove. For instance, did Fitzgerald know that Hohlt sent Rove an email telling him Novak was going to be calling (presumably about Wilson)? Did Fitzgerald know that Rove received a fax as well as a heads-up from Hohlt that the Novak column was out on July 11? The answers to both are probably yes (though I'd say more confidently the second than the first).

But if Isikoff was doing some real digging, it's always possible he figured something out that was not previously known to investigators. Again, the odds are against it. But that's the thought.

Yes, Hohlt was named in the list of possible witnesses. I guessed in January when Hohlt turned up on the list of possible witnesses that he might be the private citizen mentioned in the 12/26/03 WaPo article.

I've speculated in the past that the private citizen in the WaPo might be Gannon or May as well.


If Hohlt is the guy in the WaPo, investigators talked to him before Fitzgerald was appointed and someone leaked to Allen or Milbank about his FBI interview. I would guess Jeff is probably right about Hohlt's email or fax turning up early in the investigation.

Would the defense have found out about Hohlt in the discovery proceedings?

I'd like to offer the thought that perhaps Issikof jumped up to run down Hohlt and dig into his involvement with Novak & Rove may have been instigated by the pressure he felt from EW & the many co-Plameologists who have nudged him off his self-perceived throne. A couple of years ago he might have just stayed in his seat. Just didn't want that little cudo to go unrecognized.

mickey,

do you hear that high, eerie, but full voice welling up?

Look there! She is wearing armor, and a helmet with horns, and carrying a spear.

My gosh, it is a "fat lady singing!"

Dismayed, freepatriot, thanks for your wise words.

Jodi of this

I will get back to Jeff and others.

I take it you actually have nothing factually-based to say in response to the many still-unanswered questions. You simply wish to annoy people by sniping from the sidelines and declaring yourself a signpost of objectivity without actually seeking to offer any. An odd notion of objectivity, the only person you seem to be willing or able to share the basis for the claim with is yourself.

How about it? How about giving us some answers that show your objectivity.

Or are you barring yourself from anything other than shame next time you launch your little sniping attacks on people trying to figure out what happened?

Sacramento Bee has a reminder of Cheney's MO in Sunday's Forum section with some irony attached.

http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/124857.html

OT, but then this thread is getting pretty long. :)

What is everyone take on Addington's testimony? I have so many questions about this.

* What is the defense theory regarding the documentation question?
* Why would Addington cop to this conversation in the first place given there is no documentary evidence and he could just conveniently forget about it?
* Why the tidbit about keeping voices down? (see above question)
* Apparently Hadley was waiting around for the results of the conversation - what is the plausible narrative that has Libby confirming insta-declassification/getting documentaiton info before Hadley and Libby have a discussion with Cheney?
* What is with the interesting hedge in Addington's response at trial regarding the insta-declassification?

Jeff,

I have given my general comprehensive thoughts on a few things as dismayed said in the "secrets" thread. Go look if you wish.

I'm not going to go into an exhaustive litany every time I post.

My comment to Mickey was a direct answer to his previous comment, which I noticed went unchallenged as to his philosophy on all things...

I also have given Mr John Casper a computer vs psychology lesson, again a direct answer.

Like I said, I will get back to you. Ojbectivity is a point of pride and honor with me.

Ojbectivity is a point of pride and honor with me.

Yes Jodi, we realize that pride and honor are big in Ojbektistan, but I'm still waiting for your objective reply to (among other things) this:

[Jeff:] For instance, for the purposes of the trial, you seem to be convinced that Libby just suffered from a poor memory. Ok, fair enough. So does that mean you do believe in fact that he knew about Plame's CIA employment before he purportedly heard about it from Russert on July 10, 2003? And that he had learned from multiple government, official sources, not from reporters? And that he in fact told Judith Miller on July 8th that Plame worked at the CIA, on the basis of that officially gained knowledge? And that he knew at that time that his boss, VP Cheney, had told him that Plame worked at CPD, that is, the Counterproliferation Division - the significance of which is, as Libby would know, that CPD is on the clandestine side of the CIA (the Directorate of Operations) where there was a much greater likelihood that the individual was under cover than is she worked on the DI side of the Agency, making it that much more incumbent on officials like Libby and Cheney to find out to be sure before dealing the information out?

Oops. Forgot this part too:

Fitz: Coversation about paperwork related to CIA employee spouse trip. Did you ever have a later occasion to discuss this.

A: Yes, right before investigation started.

Fitz: Describe what you recall.

A Larger office in OEOB, I knew it would have to do with the case. I reminded them that I was employee for the govt, our conversation wouldn't be privileged. He said, I just want to tell you I didn't do it.

F: What else was said?

A: He asked me how you would know if you met someone from CIA if they were undercover. I responded when I worked out there, you'd ask if someone if they were undercover. He asked if they introduced themselves how you'd know. I told him you wouldn't know unless you asked or saw a piece of paper that said it was classified. I volunteered to him I could get him a copy of IIPA that makes it a crime to reveal identity of covert agent. I took it to his office and gave it to him.

F Any further conversation with him about that?

A No.

Overworked. Forgetful. And apparently prone to non-germane questions.


Jodi, our comments about ADHD were seriously off topic, I now very much regret bringing it up. Please don't take my silence as any endorsement of your understanding of ADHD, it wasn't.

Jodi

Obviously, claims to objectivity are won and lost on the ground of concrete assessments of specific factual claims and inferences, and not on the ground of "general comprehensive thoughts" that swing entirely free of all factual claims and inferences. So if you're going to vindicate your point of pride and honor, you either have to answer clearly relevant and on-point questions that bear on central topics in this case and on what appear to be the implications of your own positions; or explain why, in fact, the questions I've posed (recalled by obsessed) are not relevant and on-point.

Especially when you spend so much of your time calling into question the objectivity and judgment of others.

And if you can't or are unwilling to do so, it would seem that honor would require you to stop casting doubt on the objectivity and judgment of others the way that you do.

And since its obviously a slow day... at the end of:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/002027.php

Josh asks:

Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps of Newsday have done some of the best reporting of anyone in town on the whole issue of Iraq, politicized intelligence and the Joe Wilson matter. They've clearly got some awfully good and pretty generous sources. What are their names doing in this memo?

Did we ever get an idea about this? Was it actually because of this article:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145871467.html

Slow day... just started surfing AIPAC/Iran issues since that question about documents reminded me of something I had read in the AIPAC indictment.

Hooo boy, you guys are going to love Waas's latest. Citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, Waas says:

If Libby is found guilty, investigators are likely to probe further to determine if Libby devised what they consider a cover story in an effort to shield Cheney. They want to know whether Cheney might have known about the leaks ahead of time or had even encouraged Libby to provide information to reporters about Plame's CIA status, the same sources said.

That's good news! I wonder why Fitz has to wait for a conviction, is it because once convicted of perjury, Libby's lies are now evidence that some sort of a story was concocted, and Fitz can now confront the VP with that evidence?

I think Sara guessed that maybe Cheney has already been indicted, but the indictment is sealed.

Ordinarily, a conviction might motivate someone to roll. But not in this case, I think. The pardon is not that far away.

The other way might work, though. If Libby beats the rap, maybe Fizt would pull the plug on the Cheney indictment.

viget~I thought the reasoning Murray explored of how Cheney chose not to correct or stop Libby from spinning the Russert adventure to the FBI was pretty telling of Cheney's finger in the pie. It is so supremely unnerving to me to see more pieces fall into place wherein Libby may indeed be taking a fall to protect Cheney and in the process let a whole Country down.

I think of a Libby convinction as a paperweight, to keep the possible Cheney indictment from blowing away in the media maelstrom sure to follow. I don't think that Libby is useful anymore as a fact witness once he is proved a liar in court.
Any future defense lawyer is going to say, did you lie to a grand jury? Yes? Then how do we know you are not lying now?(Unless of course Libby has audio tapes or Cheney-annotated (and correctly dated) notes or newspaper clippings to hand over as states evidence!!!)

These are the facts folks.

Discovery is over. Investigation is over. GJ is over. The witnesses have all testified, and the evidence presented. Mr Libby and VP Cheney didn't appear, and so no new info is available. No one else is indicted. Rove as a matter of fact has been notified that he is no longer in jeopardy by Mr Fitzgerald.

All that is left is the summations tomorrow, and then deliberations, and a verdict.

Libby will be convicted or not. Possibly it will be a mistrial, and then the prosecution's clever maneuvering will already have been exposed. Without new evidence, I think the defense will have further advantage.

Sure in the blogs, in the media, in the book area, and on TV it will go on. Elvis lives type stuff. People can make money and attract attention by pounding on dead horses. Sad, but true!

Be ready to "Move on" people.

... that is honest objectivity.

Jodi is an attack dog who refuses to respond to accurate facts and reasonable questions.

...THAT is honest objectivity.

tryggth - The artcle from Royce and Phelps is this

Jodi - if Libby is convicted, then what? Will you then move on and get out of your fantasy land?

Shorter Jodi

You should all learn to live stupidly in the nice happy world the MSM has created for you, regardless of the truth. And be damned if you've found the evidence they're too complicit to talk about. Better pretend you just did find those, children, so you don't have to worry your little heads about it.

Jodi and those of your DNA -

As still mere newbie, I concede I might be out of line with this but -

I've now gone thru every one of emptywheel's posts [including the funnest ones in early March 2006] and every single comment on those, including yours; every post by Jane Hamsher and others at FDL and many of the comments to those; every post by Christy Hardin at talkleft and every single comment to those; every post by eriposte at theleftcoaster; every comment at justoneminute and more comments to those than I'd want to admit [I've found that hitting "find next: clarice" brings up pretty much every part of a thread worth looking at]; every article Clarice Feldman has posted in the site curiously named amerianthinker [Cost me two sessions in therapy to recover.]; everything Leopold posted until July 2006 when he apparently went off the deep end; every live blog of the Libby trial and many of the comments; Richard Clarke's book; Corn and Isikoff's; Suskind's One Per Cent Solution; Woodward's Plan of Attack and parts of his State of Denial; everything on this case swopa has posted at needlenose; the entirety of archived leak case stories at NYT and WaPo and [if there's a god, foregive me] National Review; most of what has been posted on the Special Prosecutor's website [still working through Libby's GJ testimony and some of exhibits associated with that; everything I've been able to pull up from pollyusa's diary; a whack of remaining court filings cboldt has posted and reproduced at noeasyanswers - a lot of tedious labour there; and a book by someone named Marcy Wheeler called Anatomy of a Smear - right through three times so far including the footnotes.

All in all probably a lot less than you - and I expect a whole lot less than hundreds maybe thousands hopefully tens and with luck hundreds of thousands of others who have visited TNH and other Plame leak sites and sometimes left comments on emptywheel's posts or elsewhere.

So bearing in mind the severe limits to what I've seen, I do have some experience in having prosecuted and defended well, more cases than I'm able to remember including enough charges involving organized crime I'm not sure I'd even recall just all those, I have to tell you this - Fitzgerald has left SO MUCH out of this first little prosecution - thanks in part to the pussy footing, er cautious forebearance of Libby and his team of defending attorneys, that it's clear what was admitted into evidence in this case amounts to that portion of the iceberg that is this story one can fit in a daiquiri glass.

Come the day when we can all see this humble caterpillar of a deliberately-limited Indictment and severely-controlled haiku of a trial finish its long slow feed on Cheney fat and then morph into a giant butterfly festooned with indictments - that's the day I might actually start to get a little interested in this story.

Jodi, you lazy cowardly blowhard, will you kindly answer the frikkin' question?

[Jeff:] For instance, for the purposes of the trial, you seem to be convinced that Libby just suffered from a poor memory. Ok, fair enough. So does that mean you do believe in fact that he knew about Plame's CIA employment before he purportedly heard about it from Russert on July 10, 2003? And that he had learned from multiple government, official sources, not from reporters? And that he in fact told Judith Miller on July 8th that Plame worked at the CIA, on the basis of that officially gained knowledge? And that he knew at that time that his boss, VP Cheney, had told him that Plame worked at CPD, that is, the Counterproliferation Division - the significance of which is, as Libby would know, that CPD is on the clandestine side of the CIA (the Directorate of Operations) where there was a much greater likelihood that the individual was under cover than is she worked on the DI side of the Agency, making it that much more incumbent on officials like Libby and Cheney to find out to be sure before dealing the information out?>

yo, obsessed, you haven't given up on getting jodi to admit to reality ???

did you notice the nice long post above about ADHD from jodi ???

do you wonder why jodi would waste space with such blather ???

it's a distraction, a purposeful distraction

jodi would much prefer to talk about ADHD, or anything else for that matter, just to distract you from unraveling the truth of this case

if the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the law is on your side, pound the law. If the law and the facts are against you, pound on the table

jodi's posts here are the courtroom equivilent of pounding the table

the facts are against jodi, the law is against jodi, and the table kicked her ass too

so jodi comes here to practice her troll persona

no logic, no sense of topic, and no honesty in the arguments

just a bunch of bullshit thrown against the wall, testing to see what sticks

that is the sum total of jodi's participation around here

just laugh at her posts, and then proceed to ignore jodi, and your life will be much simpler

I have stated the important facts. Fitzgerald, the trained, appointed prosecutor with all the resources of the Federal Government, has rested. Wells, the trained, retained defense attorney, with very probably quite sufficient resources, has rested. A day of summations and instructions remain, jury deliberations will begin, and a verdict rendered. Sure there might be appeals or a pardon, or even a second trial, but the game (this case) will essentially be over.

I fully realize that millions of words have been written about why and how Libby, Cheney, and Rove, and others are guilty of terrible things. Maybe some of those words are right, or maybe not, but in our system what matters is summed up in this trial we are having. Not just people's opinions! We have a justice system folks. Not a mob action.

It is about done.

Yes Mr Libby could be found guilty of lying or being forgetful, however you wish to say it.

People here like to ask me what I think. I think I don't know even after I read all the non-transcript of the trial. Those words and the evidence introduced at the trial are all that matters, not words other places, or opinions other places.

Those 12 jurors are the ones to decide.
I humbly await their verdict.

Then Game over! Case finished.

I hear a lot of people saying this and writing that, and I have a suggestion. NO, it is a challenge!

If someone here or elsewhere has some evidence of a crime to give the Justice Department, then I politely suggest you write, email or phone:

Address:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.

BY PHONE:
Department of Justice Main Switchboard - 202-514-2000
Office of the Attorney General - 202-353-1555

Yes Mr Libby could be found guilty of lying or being forgetful, however you wish to say it.

Jodi - you're worse than Scooter - and you're so laughably missing the point.

Answer the question:

[Jeff:] For instance, for the purposes of the trial, you seem to be convinced that Libby just suffered from a poor memory. Ok, fair enough. So does that mean you do believe in fact that he knew about Plame's CIA employment before he purportedly heard about it from Russert on July 10, 2003? And that he had learned from multiple government, official sources, not from reporters? And that he in fact told Judith Miller on July 8th that Plame worked at the CIA, on the basis of that officially gained knowledge? And that he knew at that time that his boss, VP Cheney, had told him that Plame worked at CPD, that is, the Counterproliferation Division - the significance of which is, as Libby would know, that CPD is on the clandestine side of the CIA (the Directorate of Operations) where there was a much greater likelihood that the individual was under cover than is she worked on the DI side of the Agency, making it that much more incumbent on officials like Libby and Cheney to find out to be sure before dealing the information out?>

(maybe you should ask Tom to help you with your homework)

Jodi

You have proven yourself to be an utterly dishonorable person by your own standards. Your dishonor shows in your refusal to engage in an actual discussion of actual relevant facts about what happened. You simply betray any commitment to objectivity or understanding. You are dishonored.

As for this comment:

Maybe some of those words are right, or maybe not, but in our system what matters is summed up in this trial we are having. Not just people's opinions! We have a justice system folks. Not a mob action.

A trial is not the only thing that matters, my friend. We live in a democracy, and we live in a world where truth matters, is very vulnerable, and is never going to be revealed entirely and only through trials. Moreover, it is simply false, as you imply, that our two options are trials or just people's opinions. I have never seen a more grave betrayal of any and all commitment to objectivity. History matters, Jodi, facts matter and public debate matters.

What is wrong with you?

I take it you are finally unwilling and/or unable to discuss the facts of the matter, your own views and the beliefs to which they seem to commit you. I've asked you numerous relevant questions along those lines. You have proven utterly unwilling - though I suspect it's rather unable - to address them, and unwilling to justify that refusal with an explanation of what is wrong with the questions.

Jeff,
just got on line.
Read the non-transcript up to 11:52PM

Get with it Jeff, the game is running out of time. The stars are butting head to head as the clock winds down. The only thing that matters is in that court room right now.

Jeff
you would like this trial to be a proxy war for your political feelings. Nothing wrong with wanting that, but that isn't what it is. There you become illogical.

Sure you can fight your political war after this no matter what the outcome. But don't get confused about what is really going on right now today in that courtoom.

Please don't victimize Mr Libby and his family for your poltical purposes. Don't you remember you expressed outrage and said that Valerie Wilson and her family were being victimized.

Jeff,
it is about the war, the war, the war. This is just a sad aside.

If you want something important to rage about, try 3,600 plus dead, 20,000 plus seriously wounded.

We don't need a proxy war to fight Jeff.

We have Iraq!!

Jodi

Believe me, you are the only one who is confused and illogical at this point. Tell me when you're ready to answer these questions or tell us why they're not relevant:

For instance, for the purposes of the trial, you seem to be convinced that Libby just suffered from a poor memory. Ok, fair enough. So does that mean you do believe in fact that he knew about Plame's CIA employment before he purportedly heard about it from Russert on July 10, 2003? And that he had learned from multiple government, official sources, not from reporters? And that he in fact told Judith Miller on July 8th that Plame worked at the CIA, on the basis of that officially gained knowledge? And that he knew at that time that his boss, VP Cheney, had told him that Plame worked at CPD, that is, the Counterproliferation Division - the significance of which is, as Libby would know, that CPD is on the clandestine side of the CIA (the Directorate of Operations) where there was a much greater likelihood that the individual was under cover than is she worked on the DI side of the Agency, making it that much more incumbent on officials like Libby and Cheney to find out to be sure before dealing the information out?

Until then, dishonor is your name. And you only further dishonor yourself with your scurrilous and completely baseless accusations, which, not surprisingly at this point, you are incapable of providing evidence for. Your purported objectivity is a sham and a shame.

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