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February 10, 2007


Did Kessler ever corroborate Libby's testimony that Kessler had told Libby that Wilson's trip was a boondoogle set up by the wife? If so, do you have any idea who could have put the thought in his, Kessler's, head?

ew: I know the subject is radioactive, but nevertheless let me spin the propeller on my tinfoil beanie. I have some statistical data which may have some relevance to the Kokal/Weiss matter. If you are interested I could email it.

what DID they steal? Inquiring minds want to know!

re: theft of government property:

"...According to John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist and former presidential counsel, Rove is likely to have violated Title 18, Section 641 of the United States Code, which prohibits the theft or conversion of government records for non-governmental use.[62]

In 2003, this law was successfully used to convict John Randel, a Drug Enforcement Agency analyst, for leaking the name of a DEA agent (Lord Ashcroft) to London media. In a statement to Randel, United States District Court Judge Richard Story wrote, "Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country." Due to pleading guilty, Randel's sentence was reduced from 500 years in a federal prison, to a year of imprisonment and three years of probation...."



gee the poor guy is about to lose his lawyer license for being forgetful, and now di you want to claim he stole a hundred dollars worth of computer equipment. All that would have to be done would be keep the level 5 erase going all night or all weekend, and then low level format.

This is getting to be ridiculous!

Wait are some White House silver spoons missing? Now that would be serious.

So no mater how Fitz slices and dices Libby it is gonna be X 6. That we know of. Jody nice catch on the erasing of tapes, more like emails. A little bird told my tinfoil hat that Mr R. told Fitz were they stashed the emails. Far away and stored. Hum maybe that explains theivery. Wow

EW, thanks for the fix *g*

Interesting pickup about the stealing angle. If it has come up in court I missed it.
Curious if it makes up part of Rove's (possible) sealed indictment.

I cannot understand why Libby would try to spin the Bagdad Bob and Algiers (aka 'Niger'!) reference with Fitgerald.
BTW, emptywheel, I know you are implying Fitz is a "very careful" reader, but your sentence as written leaves room for interpretation.

I was listening to the Libby GJ tape tonight on C-SPAN, being a total geek, and heard some interesting things.

In one case Fitz suggested to Scooter that Tenet refused to declassify the NIE (of course I also think Plame here).

Another story line Fitz revealed in questioning was that Cheney first told Libby to leak, then pulled back from this, then let it go ahead.

Lastly, I saw this fascinating blog post about how Cheney is claiming that as an executive and legislator he does not neeed to comply to delassification reporting requirements:


Re "theft of government property" - ha ha!

NO ONE is paying attention to Fitz's history, which is:

LOTS and LOTS of interconnected cases, starting with little ones and little guys and working up to big ones and big guys. And anything that comes up - perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, maybe even removal of evidence - is included. Anything to take the people down who break the law.

SOMETHING - even before that Grand Jury was convened - came up, didn't it? Oh, goodie! More Libbys out there!

Libby's trial - unlike the MSM thinks - IS NOT the only trial we will see. It is only setting the foundation for many more. Wait and see...

Enough bits have come out in the Libby trial to make prosecution of the IIPA possible, and no one seems to be noticing it happening, bloggers included.

"Even Scooter Libby, who has watched ADD justify the whole unitary executive with this tripe, won't even answer with a straight yes or no when asked if ADD is full of shit?"

Addington in person was a surprise, as you noted. You were struck with his necklessness. I was taken with his Obsessive Compulsive style. He's a happy obsessive - that version of compulsive people who delight in the picky things of life without much sense of the big picture. They drive the people around them [and their therapists] crazy because what they find interesting is the minutia between ideas.

I was struck by this Libby comment, "But Addington is very solid on these things." That's how people respond to the Addingtons of the world. They think because of the sea of details, they are dealing with an expert. Truth is, such people make better clerks than front line thinkers. It's not expertise. It's what a Freudian might call anal play. So your comment, "full of shit" is dead on target.

Also, welcome back. You've been missed...

I'm also getting a "what's past is prelude" feeling about all this. If Libby is found guilty, how can Cheney not be next? Congratulations, emptywheel, on the second printing...

I sent my errand girl today to pick up my book at Borders. Whah, none left so she had them order more. Good sign EW but I have to wait till Wednesday. There were 2 left when I called this morning but they were gone by the afternoon.

Nice catch on the destruction of government property angle. But this:

now di you want to claim he stole a hundred dollars worth of computer equipment. All that would have to be done would be keep the level 5 erase going all night or all weekend, and then low level format.

This is getting to be ridiculous!

Wait are some White House silver spoons missing? Now that would be serious.

is inaccurate. As Fitzgerald has made clear on numerous occasions, his jurisdiction in the case was strictly limited to the investigation of the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity, and any potential crimes committed in the course of the investigation with the intent to interfere with the investigation. So Fitzgerald was not just talking about random destruction of government property. It had to have to do with the alleged unauthorized disclosure in connection with Plame's CIA identity and/or obstruction of the investigation into just that matter. So the significance of it would have nothing to do with the value of the property stolen in monetary form; it would have to do with the substance of the investigation.

I still want to know what this was about (from addington's testimony)

A: He [Libby] 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.

now, if the stories about Val Wilson being involved specifically with Iraq WMD intelligence are true, given the numerous trips made by Cheney and OVP people to the CIA, this sounds to me like someone (most likely Libby, since he was asking) met "Valerie Plame" while on one of his trips to Langley.

Moreover, given Addington's "seque" into the IIPA issue, it seems to me that the question Libby was really asking was "is there any way that I can get away with saying I didn't know that Valerie Plame was undercover after I'd met her at the CIA?"

I imagine it was quite a surprise for the OVP/WH to learn the Valerie Plame working on WMD intelligence at the CIA was married to the Joe Wilson who authored the op-ed negating one of the neocons' repeatedly stated reasons for invading Iraq. Normally they could depend on Valerie not giving anything away because she worked at the CIA, but when her husband came into the picture, it must have looked like a grand conspiracy by the Wilsons to get the truth out. What Mrs. Wilson knew because of her official position was arguably more important than what Ambassador Wilson learned in Niger. Together their knowledge could unravel some treasonous acts in the OVP and perhaps the WH, a powerful reason to out Mrs. Wilson and discredit Mr. Wilson.

Oooh...maybe Fitz found evidence that the Bush/Cheney'04 campaign was using some of this material; maybe some of the evidence was converted to B/C'04 in order to hide it. That might explain some unorthodox backup handling on certain emails, yes, since anything that was earmarked as campaign content might not be handled like government-generated content...

Hello, Karl?

If memory serves, there were emails in the Abramoff-related content that Waxman requested that sent to/from B/C'04-based domains. They were pretty sloppy about that, although I didn't see anything from key principles in/out of that domain. Would not be surprised if they were sloppy about this with other content -- but I'd also not be surprised if they actively used this as a firewall. There would have to be an indication of intent; perhaps somebody tagged the stuff as campaign content during the 12-plus hours head start that Abu G. gave them to produce content. Pretty sure we'd speculated about this over the course of the last 18 months, too.

This is going to be more fun to watch; thanks for pointing this out, EW!!

Last two comments - Paul's and Sally's - are where i think this thing has been pointing of late: Cheney and possibly Scooter knew Valerie Plame as a CIA operative well before Spring 2003 when Joe began to make disquieting noises in public about Niger and yellowcake. She had already been a problem - insisting on some integrity in the process of authenticating intelligence. What happened was, I have hypothesized, is that in Spring 2003 Joe became a problem, he was vetted through the Cheney network, and lo and behold, he's married to the troublesome blonde! What secrets might pass on the Wilson pillow? That's the way the husband of Lynne Cheney thinks. If Joe would publicly challenge His Hindness, Sub-Emperor Cheney, and now they know that he's got a source with access to real intelligence - including intel about fake and distorted intel, and whose responsible for same - now we got a problem that needs a major fix. That Wilson guy has to be lied about vociferously and discredited, for sure. But also, his SOURCE has to be exposed and neutralized. I think this is the real story behind L'Affaire Plame.

Is it too late for Mr. Fitzgerald to ask Libby if he ever met Valerie Plame and in a way that would not expose intelligence secrets?

Sally, good idea to ask Libby if he had met Valerie, but I think he would lie about it. On the other hand, if Valerie had met Libby or Cheney at the CIA, wouldn't she have already got that info to Fitzgerald?

Forgive me if this has been addressed, but could Libby have been asking on behalf of Cheney? I have the impression that if Libby didn't meet her, Cheney may well have on one of his trips over to CIA. So Libby may have been asking on behalf of his client, as a lawyer. It would have been in character for him to do so, in fact.

Before the leak itself, we can't assume Libby is asking questions merely to measure his own legal exposure, since he's helping to plot the leak, too. He presumably doesn't yet know his own role, which journalists will be involved, etc. So maybe he is he trying out a test on the ultimate firewall, that Cheney or someone else could claim not to know Plame was covert, having encountered her in another CIA context.

I could be very off base, given that I didn't hear the testimony. Is this plausible?

Whether Valerie Wilson had ever met Cheney would be just the sort of fact Joe Wilson couldn't share with anyone outside rarefied intelligence circles. But I'm sure Fitz knows it, if it's true.

ohioblue, no doubt you're right. Fitzgerald is way ahead of me so he probably knows the answer either through Mrs. Wilson or by some other means and may be primed to spring the question on someone else ("Vice-President Cheney, did you meet Valerie Plame prior to Ambassador Wilson's op-ed? Did you subsequently learn the two were husband and wife?"). Of course, Cheney is no more into the truth than Libby so there we are unless someone else has stepped forward.

The gnomic footnotes in Anatomy of Deceit are yet another reason to love that book. Surely no coincidence that this is Marcy Wheeler's chapter 1, footnote 1:

Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten describe Libby and Cheney visiting the CIA twelve times, "most often to discuss Iraq's possible links to nuclear weapons and terrorism." "CIA, Cheney Long At Odds," Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2005.

Why would Cheney and Libby not have met the agent who personally checked out the aluminum tubes? Particularly given that she's running the whole Iraq WMD investigatory unit? This was personal.

QuickSilver: Particularly given that she's running the whole Iraq WMD investigatory unit? This was personal.

I think you're right, but only in the financial sense. That's the whole motivation for this war: to make Dick Cheney richer than God. So yes, it was personal, in that they had to get rid of her because she would continue undermining the rationale for continuing war... but in a sense, it was also the epitome of "just business" becuase they would have to get rid of anyone in the same position, whether or not they were married to Joe Wilson.

The trial seems to be causing the focus now to be just a little on the primary necessity of the OVP/WH removing Mrs. Wilson from WMD sleuthing rather than smearing her husband because he dared to criticize the war-mongers. Perhaps it's due to our thinking that men in positions like Ambassador Wilson's have more power to upset apple carts than women have who are in positions like Mrs. Wilson's. That is, have we been ignoring what is in plain sight because of our conditioning regarding gender?

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