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February 23, 2007


Project K is the Washington Think tank for neocons, where Abranoff like characters are a dime a piece. Could it be a reference to?

Compadres hang together ...

"K" for lawyers is almost always "contract," afaik. But I think that character you're looking at is an asterisk. I skew my asterisks to the right all the time.

Oh dear, looks kind of like it could be scooters tagteam. It looks like the smoking gun to me. How did Fitz get this? From the safe? or file? I think the I is scooter. He goes by I. scooter libby, no? Why would he use Q for Iraq unless the I belonged to something important. He is the I. I think? Ew, Wayne Madsen did some deciphering of scribbles not on this but other notes. Maybe you should check it out to see if some of his conclusions give you any ideas. I don't want to link it because I don't know if you think he is too tinfoil. Don't want to feed anyone anything to get them riled up this weekend. But maybe if you go peek yourself you can compare. Sometimes 4 eyes are better than 2, the more the merrier in this case. This is what the jury is looking at now. Teeheehee

my first impression on hearing contract... i thought 'hit' as in taking out a contract on someone. metaphorically speaking in this case, of course. uh oh. maybe i need to put the sopranos dvds away for a while. :-)

Really, I think people are stretching.

I am reminded strongly of quantum mechanics or EMHD (electromagnetohydrodynamics) where if you know the answer, you can twist the math to find a path there.

See for a start:


I quote:
Comsol Multiphysics, a package which has unique features in representing multiply linked domains with complex geometry, highly coupled and nonlinear equation systems, and arbitrarily complicated boundary, auxiliary, and initial conditions. But with this modeling power comes great opportunities and great perils.

I see a build up of a collection of "signs" that are interpeted to point where you want, and at the same time an avoidance of "signs" that might point elsewhere.

It is selective cherry picking good people.

I think the 'i' is short for 'intelligence,' and may in fact be Libby's abbreviation for CIA. Note the circled capital 'I' in the Dowd annotation, to the left of the (underlined) "a higher power wanted it in". The letter could refer to a question Libby has for the whole paragraph, which is about the CIA.

I found the annotated/redacted Dowd, but I couldn't find your link to the other marked documents.

Jodi - your point has some validity, but it is beyond dispute that Libby's inky scrawl has meaning. Your remarks beg the question, where do YOU want the signs to point and how do you see it leading to that? Please tell. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. It's only that it would be pretty weak for you to bag on others' effort while being and incurious slink yourself.

So, Jodi, what you got?

K = Karl
those who testified that K is for contract knew well that lawyers would second their statement; and that it would help muddle things.

In the salad days of 2003, one thing was becoming apparent to all of us. Whatever came out of the White House was both scripted and coordinated. Sometimes they all said the same things. Sometimes they seemed to have different assignments, different takes on the same thing. It was like there was a war room somewhere where plans were made and tasks were distributed, and off they went. I think we all assumed that Rove was thhe mastermind, but there may have been multiple places: WHIG, OSP, OVP, etc.

This looks like the notes from such a session - a session where they went over the damage control plans for Joseph Wilson's oped the week before. Dowd's article is underlined - the various criticisms - and annotated with counterarguments [already made and new ones] and assignments. "K" would likely be Rove; "I" was Libby; "VP" would be Cheney; "Rice" was Condi; etc. So, this must be a battle plan. By this time, they knew Novak's column was in the works and they were just getting their ducks in a row.

It doesn't strike me as Manic - just the notes from a plan that was already in place. They were checking up to make sure that all the forces were mustered, appropriately briefed, and armed. Sort of like "morning report." And July 14th, 2003 and it was D-Day P-Day.

I do think that K is for contract.

Wilson was sent to check into an alleged contract: something signed or agreed-to, even if it wasn't a completed deal yet in terms of product and money changing hands. Offer and acceptance would make a valid contract. IIRC, that was why he talked with the people he did. Was there an offer? Was there an acceptance? Just sitting in some foreign bar shooting the breeze about how nice it would be to obtain uranium at a better price or how restrictive those sanctions are does not make a contract. Negotiating a fixed price, quantity, and delivery date and shaking hands over it would provide the legal support for a claim of contract.

I could sit in a coffee shop talking about how much I love emeralds... that doesn't mean I have a contract with a Columbian drug lord to smuggle emeralds in bags of beans! (and, yes, coffee is my drug of choice)

The alleged contract with Niger was being used as positive, physical evidence ::wave sheaf of papers:: of illegal undertakings. When it was debunked, even without being exposed as a really poor forgery, the Administration lost a prop.

BTW, I have asserted before, and will again. When the US raided the Iranian consulate in Irbil, they were after the computers, letterhead paper, and seals rather than the diplomats. The next time they attempt a forgery, they will have up-to-date names and they won't have to hand-draw the stamps. Of course, since they haven't bothered to label the fake explosive charges in Farsi, they might not have the abilty to write a fake contract in Farsi, either. Pity they fired all those translators.

Hmmm... I wonder, would a Farsi keyboard type from right to left?

Libby might use upper and lower case letters to mean greater and lesser instances of the same thing. If a capital "I" stands for the CIA as chief intelligence agency, a dotted lower case "i" could be the Pentagon's clandestine shadow agency. Alternatively, that could be a Roman numeral (I), if that is a circled (II) in the paragraph space above Libby's word "notebooks".

Back in my schooldays, I used numbers and letters in more than just topic outlines to indicate position and prominence in the hierarchy (ah, yes, the days of 3X5 cards). Libby is about my age, and possibly picked up similar note-taking habits when writing his papers since this would have been before computers.

Do we know when this column was printed out by Scoots? Was it on Sunday 7/13 or on Monday 7/14? My guess would be Monday, because this was presumably found in his office and his asst probably printed it out for him.

Also, I find it curious that Scoots has the old .) symbol appear again. I think he's previously said he uses that symbol when someone is talking to him? Or it could just be his generic bullet.

I have no idea what the I's stand for. CIA is a good guess for the capital I.

Some comments

The I in the column is a "one"--there's a "two" further up in the column, in a redacted passage. He's basically outlining points he wants to respond to. He did this in a Chris Matthews transcript, as well.

The .) he has said is a generic bullet.

He has referred to Karl Rove as KR, not simply K.

The i may well be intelligence--as to say that Libby reported to teh CIA, not OVP.

But as to the K, while I agree that the K makes sense as contract, I just don't understand how the MoDo K makes sense in that context. AFAIK, there was no Pincus discussion about Joe's 1999 trip (which is how he means the K contract in his Addington note). Ari was going off about the 1999 trip (and I've suspected he was encouraged by Dick and Libby). And Novak didn't talk abotu Joe's earlier trip--it would have hurt his argument that Joe was unqualified. So I guess I'm saying, I agree the K is contract, but in that context, what does he mean by it?

Btw, here's the notes from which the Addington reference comes from.

I know there is the background of a document on AF1 out of the State Department that apparently identifies Valerie Wilson that was circulated in Africa and this thread could be the one that Armitage was privy to earlier in the sequence but for me the big mystery has been how the WH was brought into the loop of an outing strategy. And in particular Rove who we know was talking to reporters and Hadley who stated that he expected to be indicted. So when I heard the suggestion that K=Rove this "felt" right. This was I suppose hope that the link was now supported somewhere evidentiarily. The lines of communication between the WH and OVP are still quite muddled in understanding the big picture. But I do not think the K=Rove in the end is the strongest reading.

The reading suggesting that the "k" holds with the conventions of legal shorthand and refers to "contract" continues to have a strong rational allure. It makes some sense to me as referring to the story that Valerie Wilson arranged Joe Wilson's trip. Though technically not a contract I think it could loosely be remembered that way. The common denominator of Pincus, Fleisher, and Tenet may relate to this point though apparently Libby is noting that Tenet disavows. And this too I think would be a workable interpretation with respect to the Addington note because afterall this idea, that a CIA operatives spouse had arranged and overseas trip, was in fact the subject of the Addington conversation.

Still I wish there were more on the cross-fertilization issues.

I like mickey's idea that this is an action plan. In this form of discourse there are three placeholders: what to do, and who is to do it, and sometimes a when (e.g., if not assumed immediately).

If so, this IS the smoking gun for a conspiracy - but to do what, exactly? Given the context - responding to the coming Novak column - I'd say a conspiracy to obstruct justice by covering up how Valerie Plame Wilson's cover is to be blown that day or the next.

Too much of a stretch?

emptywheel: "Then there's the interesting bit responding to the claim that "CIA had already debunked" the Niger claim. Libby responded, "Not us," listing Tenet, Rice, and ... VP. Huh. Isn't "us" VP?"

Maybe not.

I don't know who else VP could refer to (maybe Valerie Plame? - seems unlikely though).

But didn't Libby typically use some sort Y with a bar through it to indicate the Vice President in his notes?

If so, then it's possible the VP stands for someone else, or some other office, with those initials. I think VP = Vice-Pres is the most likely interpretation, but since it doesn't make much sense in context, maybe it's not totally off base to look for different interpretations.

Just a question and knowing how thorough you are you most likely checked this already, but is there any Libby grand jury testimony that corresponds to this op-ed? If there is it might shed light on some of the Libby's hieroglyphics.

In reviewing Scooters notes that have been released as exhibits, what strikes me is that they are a treasure trove. What is truly striking is all the things that Fitz did not ask in the GJ. I would surmise that if Fitz gets a conviction he’ll immediately call him back to the GJ and start asking him to explain other notations.

To give just one example – and sort of tied to the k discussion, refer to Bates #1746 (dated 7-8-02) of page 62 of the pdf file in GX2a. This exhibit has the note Y (with and overscore) SL I (arrow) Miller. Fitz did ask about this note in the context of the Miller / St. Regis meeting steered clear of all the other interesting stuff.

Lawyers often use k for contract. (Finance people use K for thousands.) However when Libby places and overscore on a single letter he always seems to be referring to a person, so as pc suggested I’d surmise k -- with an overscore -- is Karl.

So now onto 1746:

V (with a line through the right leg of the V) F SAP on K-overscore

Immediately below: K (something) & Wilson

Two lines below:

Y-overscore (Vice President): need to be sure K-overscore M gets info to Citizen.

Then towards the bottom one has the note starting with the checkmark: R (something here is overwritten or scratched out)on story.

There even more on this one little page – but I think I've chewed up enough of my saturday for now.

My reaction is that Libby is saying: "I") it wasn't us (OVP) who wanted the 16 words in the SOTU (the higher power was GWB); and "II") the charges that Libby wanted to put in the UN speech were substantiated, with notebooks that he'd produced for Powell.

I think there was an ongoing worry that the Libby/Cheney were being blamed for what the President, Rice, and Karl, were doing (including the 16 words, maybe originally outing Plame)? Cheney's "incompetence of others" comes to mind.

It's annoying that we are really only hearing the OVP side of events up to this point.

Do we know when the notes were made?

More fascinating analysis EW.

OK, gotta finally jump in with what may be a totally random observation. Somehow, I didn't have this exhibit downloaded yet, so when I grabbed it from Fitz's DOJ site, I noticed that I was also missing the next one, the collection of articles (GX413). Looking at the first page of that one (GX41301), it lists all the articles and transcripts in the collection. A) through H) are typed entries, and are included in the exbibit. H) is the transcript of Rice and Snow on Fox news Sunday. Then there is a last entry to the list, handwritten (not included in the batch of articles in the exhibit):

I Novak

- don't know if that's just a coincidence, but had to throw it out there, because to me it fits with what these notes seem to be, a sort of summing up of all the talking points to refute these underlined/marked items, and who the players are who are making them. It reflects his kneejerk reactions to the points and their ongoing strategy to respond to these. The I is written above the 'not us' note that's connected to the 'that had to be Cheney's office' line, so this could be referring to the fact that the Novak article would refute that/ give their version.

I am more inclined to believe that the K is for Karl, as he was a major architect of the spin control response. Note that exhibit that is linked that has the typed version of this, equating K to contranct, is a defense exhibit, so I'm inherently suspicious. and just because sometimes Karl is noted as KR, doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't also use K - I haven't found his shorthand to be consistent. For example, there's the little Y with the line that means VP, but sometimes he also writes VP. Also CIA has a shorthand symbol sometimes, but not always.

The Rice:Sanger notes must be referring to the Sanger interview on the SOTU: GJ exhibit 73 (p.64-67), Martin's notes from the Libby meeting with Sanger, the one that has 'CIA analysts-NSC, Hadley; Powell; (Condi?)
[Tenet NOT participating]

As to what it says, maybe 'Rice : not unsupported' in reference to the intell being doubtful - more reference to the NIE showing 'broader' support for this claim...

I've been waiting for a discussion of all the notes, because there's a lot in these, and I am NOT versed in Irving's scribbles! Thanks for digging in.

Is it possible the "Wilson K" might be a request to ask for the CIA contract Wilson would have had to sign and find if there were some non-disclosure clause he could be accused of breaking.

If Q is "Iraq," then N is "Iran," right? Maybe I is "Israel." But that doesn't make any sense I guess.

All the trial evidence documents (in PDF) are linked from this AP page.


at first it seemed nonsensically complicated, but then I realized that a model that would fit would be a combination of notes (personal individual event driven shorthand) +renoted(changing, or reempahising) and doodling.

Do you not remember that Fitz had to ask for Libby's help in deciphering the notes? That all (well a lot of anyway) the power of the Federal government couldn't do it.

That reminded me in a small way of myself, but just in a very small way. However it did very much remind me of an old professor I had once.

The professor's handwriting was impossible for us, his students who besides myself (perhaps) were considered a very keen group, to read. In fact he admitted that he could't read it very well himself. "Well," we asked "what do you (the professor) do or see when you look at it?" He said "I remember what I was thinking when I wrote it."

I think the problem Muzzy is that people are looking for consistency, and it is not there, particularly across all the notes.

I could carry on about how to hide things, even in plain sight, and even more insidiously how to put in false misleading information that would confuse your opponent, but that would cause other people to carry on...

I withdraw the bit about the notebooks, it's hard to see what's been redacted around the "II," I'll stick with the idea that W was behind including the 16 words.

Do you not remember that Fitz had to ask for Libby's help in deciphering the notes? That all (well a lot of anyway) the power of the Federal government couldn't do it.

How do you know that Fitz needed Libby's help? I would assume that the FBI has access to expert's in this area. Perhaps Fitz's questions emerged from a desire to know what Libby himself would say about the notes?

Woodhall Hollow,

I read that. Somewhere. It was very specific.

And yes the FBI does have access to experts, and computers in this area.

Addington's "k" is lower case in a doc full of majescules and refers to a very specific contract (the whole Khodorovsky issue is an interesting tangent to appear so prominently at the OVP level!) while Libby's is not. Libby's looks like a name.

The issue that VP could stand for either vice president or valerie plame as mentioned by JGabriel has occurred to me periodically (anybody else reading A Series of Unfortunate Events to their kids?;) In this case it doesn't seem completely implausible as valerie plame's initials. Perhaps that parenthetical vp in contrast to us is an explanation of why tenet and rice's followthrough was weak (as a result of the boondoggling valerie plame). Or is that completely off the timetable?

Ew - remember your technique with Ledeen and JJA? It would be interesting to survey Libby's first person notations - Y, VP, OVP, us, etc. to see who the unit of agency appears to be.

The i for Israel may not make a lot of sense, but, independently, under "questions from the vice president's office," when I first looked at something that looks like KNT, I thought "Knesset." The more I look at these scribbles, the more I'm projecting.

Oh, to be able to have a nice informative chat with Libby's legal secretary when he was in private practice. If ever there would have been an expert on deciphering his shorthand and the psychology of choosing the script, he/she/they would be it.

Maybe in the notation about niger forgeries the "VP" is crossed out, and that list is a visual shorthand for "Tenet and Rice (were briefed), not VP."

Just a wildarsed guess, but maybe this was a working document Libby used to help him build his lie to the FBI. It seems to be a sort of catalogue to the story's many permutations.

I had a semi-retired attending physician for a rotation back when I was a student who once joked (with feet propped on desk), "The only people who can read my handwriting are me and my attorney."

Taken individually, I'd think it's easy to ascribe alternate meanings to a single symbol that purportedly represents whatever one was thinking at the time. When you have multiple notations in need of deciphering clustered together, it becomes exponentially more difficult to create multiple interpretations that are both coherent and credible. Irving ascribing meaning to some but not all symbols would be highly suspicious especially considering that associations to surrounding info tends to trigger recall for any blank spot meaning. Telling the truth is by far the easiest option.

I'd imagine Irving either opted to tell the truth, didn't tell the truth and looked blatantly dishonest, or responded, "I can't recall the meaning of what I scrawled and therefore have no idea what I was thinking at that time," which would be dishonest as well. Not much room in between.


all the more reason why you never write down "bad deeds or intents." Hopefully for most of us bad deeds are so few, that we can remember, or some innocent remark will remind us of the date.

Hypothetically -
"Today we put Jane's hideous green pants in the dumpster, that she embarassed us all with at the bowling alley." becomes
"We really cleaned up the house today." (with really underlined)
That will serve to remind you of the date.

Re: "all the more reason why you never write down "bad deeds or intents."

I would also include with that remark, "never let bad deeds or intents expressed in writing end up in the hands of those you don't want to know about it".

It's unrealistic to think that people working/conspiring on something important can avoid documenting information and plans at the risk of bungled miscommunication. Private handwritten notes are the most reliable for secrecy and/or elimination (if necessary).

I can think of a few material handwritten items entered in this trial as evidence that the defense certainly wished had never surfaced. Can you?


I'm with JohnBrown's supposition about K and Wilson's contract with CIA. [Libby was certainly one obsessed man!]

I want to thank Marcy for the great service she is doing for this country. I'm a newcomer, but I'm trying hard to catch up.

Marcy is brilliant. I hope that a national role can be created for her to use her incredible strengths.

Does that say "Sanger-Rice: not interested"?

Kim, I'm not very good at deciphering, but to me it also looks like "Sanger-Rice: not interested." FWIW

Can someone explain to me why a newspaper column was redacted? Did Scooter scribble between the lines?

I think that the K stands for Bill Kristol giving him a heads up on the Wilson contract. A direct leak to him would of been to obvious but Libby probably wanted him to be ready to pounce.

any chance that scooter refers to the VP as the odd Y symbol and VP? Perhaps to show private and public statements?

Well, this post stuck with me like a fiendish Sudoku. I woke up the next day still thinking about it. I retract part of my quickie comment above, but my later thoughts were too long for another comment, so I posted them here.

It's a grand puzzle, but it's also a stinging indictment of the OVP. This is no way to run a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." Thanks, as usual, for pointing us to the good stuff.


you mean an even larger national role

and I agree

Libby said in testimony that he uses Y for VP and OVP for the larger office--though sometimes his "Os" get chopped.

well, that left my tin hat pleasantly warm.
i like muzzy's pants in the dumpster analysis.
and i'd like to think the k is an early sign that they were worried about breaking secrecy provisions in wilsons contract.

sorry, jodi's

WRT Addington 1)declass 2)Wilson K:
Addington testified about this meeting at the trial.
He said the meeting was very short (about 2 min) and they discussed two subjects- paperwork at CIA and Presidents authority to declassify.
So... "K" likely refers to "paperwork at CIA"- Wilson's contract would fit.
Assuming Addinton is telling the truth, of course.

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