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February 15, 2007


Spain Begins Trial of Suspected Madrid Train Bombers (Update3)



Edelman couldn't have left on June 6, right? The indictment suggests that he was talking about how to respond to the TNR article (which came out on June 19). Was it July 6, perhaps?

Small nitpick here: it should be 'Mayfield' (one word), and it's showing up as 'May field' (two words). Probably the spellchecker is fussing about it.

You're thinking that maybe one of those three would blow up Scooter's story completely, and tie Darth in to the leak very tightly?

Too bad my book is scheduled to get to me from Amazon around Jan 22-24. I presume that the book is selling better than expected.

A couple of lines from your introductory paragraph on Mitchell really cracked me up.

My own take on the NBC saga is that NBC did its best to protect Libby (short of perjury), but Libby's team used those very efforts to try to impeach NBC. Take Russert for example. Poor guy thought it was ok to talk to FBI since Libby had not leaked to him. Once he learned the implications, he clammed up and resisted Fitz's subpoena. He could have told his side of the story before the 2004 elections which would have surely hurt Bush/Cheney but he did not do so.

I have the same view of Miller. She was impeached by the very person whom she tried hard to protect.

The "Libby is forgetful" line from TYOI was just too obviously scripted and I hope backfires on them.

Another curious thing... assuming Edelman was Scoot's point-man on Wilson oppo-research, what exactly was Hannah doing then? It seems like Hannah and Edelman had very similar responsibilities (it's not quite clear to me exactly what they were). Was Edelman senior to Hannah (I think he was)? And maybe Edelman is cooperating with Fitz regarding the larger investigation whereas Hannah was not? Jeralyn brought up a 2004 UPI article citing unnamed law enforcement sources saying that "Hannah was the major player in this" referring to the leaking of Plame, but Edelman was not? Or did Edelman just spill his guts whereas Hannah may have stonewalled?

I also think it interesting, if I understand the law correctly, that Jencks material on defense witnesses need not be turned over until after the witness testifies. As has been bandied about before, the same day Hannah testified, Walton was involved with a Sealed vs. Sealed hearing after the Libby trial recessed.

Could it be possible that Fitz has a sealed indictment (or plea deal?) for Hannah that needed to be disclosed to the defense team after he testified? And maybe it was the contents of that indictment that then led Wells and co to realize the huge risk of putting Scoots and the Shooter on the stand?

Just idle musing here. I'm just guessing that Edelman may not have testified because his Jencks material might have implicated Hannah and a possible sealed indictment/plea deal, which may have impacted the defense's strategy before the trial.

On July 22, 2003, Vice President Richard B. Cheney administered the oath of office to Ambassador Eric Edelman as the new Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.

thank you, oh wise and benevolent goddess of the innertubes

and shouldn't that say "Our dialup "READER" ???

Thanks Pete. That's what I thought.

Sort of O/T, but check out Murry Waas' latest. The upshot is the FBI agent in charge of the Plame leak, Eckenrode, was also in charge of a probe into Congressional leaking about NSA intercepts regarding the Sept 11 attacks. Eckenrode wanted to compel journalists to testify in front of the GJ about the probe, but then head of the Criminal div at DoJ, Michael Chertoff refused to approve subpoenas.

The irony of all this is that the investigation was spurred by a call from Cheney to Sen. Graham, then the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intell. He threatened to yank their clearances unless something was done to find out who was leaking. I think Cheney suspected that this would stymie the congressional investigation into Sept 11, but instead, the House and Senate intell committees decided to let the FBI investigate.

Because of this investigation, and the fact that Eckenrode was involved in both, the admin had to approve Fitz's appointment, as it would have looked highly hypocritical to deny an investigation into the WH, when Congress on its own initiative allowed a FBI probe for a similar leak investigation.

Karma's a bitch, huh?

In the TV appearance you comment that Wells seemed very sincere in saying that he believed that Libby would testify right up to when he heard the prosecution witnesses. Defendants are notroious for lying to their attorneys. You think Libby did? Or that they just thought the prosecution witnesses would be shakier than they were in fact? Or were you being sarcastic?

I thought Wells was saying the prosecution witnesses were weaker than he expected, and that's why Libby wasn't going to testify (I disagree, but I thought that's what he was saying). A bigger question to me than the witnesses not called are all the witnesses Fitz never even spoke with. Dickerson, Gregory. Who else? He had years. Is there any reasonable explanation for this?

Hmm. Continues to look to me like both sides are trying to play their cards very close to their respective chests, and that calling any one of these three could have revealed more than they wanted the other side to know. Can only hope that where there's smoke, there's fire...

Think I fixed the typo--thanks.

My WElls comment about his sincerity was honest--his demeanor was demonstrably different from what we normally see. Still. I don't buy the argument. Everything I said in yesterday's post still stands.

Maybe Wells was worried the jurors would have trouble avoiding the papers over their long weekend, and the headline was already out.

Libby misled judge.

Timberlakes. Will Justin be there? Oy.

By way, see my current DKos "Fireblog, uh, doggers, on NYT frontpage re Libby livebloggery" at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/15/1488/35783 .

Have fun tonite!

Which suggests to me that something about Mitchell made her too dangerous to call to the stand even for the Parade of Journalists.

The Parade of Journalists all agreed to speak with the defense attorneys to tell them what they knew and what they would testify to. Andrea Mitchell would not/did not agree to that.
What made her too dangerous to call was that they had no idea what she would say. That risk outweighed the remaining benefit, and no prosecutor or defense attorney would ever take it.

Could it be that some of these potential witnesses have made statements on both sides of the issue? Both Mitchell and Dickerson have made conflicting statements.

Fitz will go down the litany of "not rebutted" though they could have called "XYZ" to do so.

And in the end, not doing so (not calling the obvious rebuttals - hey Gregory!) will be the pointer to the motive. Heh.

Do you suppose Libby told Wells what Cheney did? I would think he had to.

EW, announce here on TheNextHurrah if you'll be in Beantown (Boston) for DrinkingLiberally signings, Drinking Liberally typically notifies us by email around an hour before the meeting so it's very hard to schedule.

tryggth QUOTE:

"Do you suppose Libby told Wells what Cheney did? I would think he had to."

So, why do you ask that?


Are you quite sure of that (that all the journalists agreed to meet with Libby's team?). Abramson, after all, fought her subpoena, as did Sanger for a period.

Marcy, what do you think Armitage's motive was in leaking to Woodward and Novak? Was he just trying to protect Powell by saying that State wasn't involved in sending him, it was his wife.

I guess I could accept that wrt Woodward, but he set up a special meeting with Novak, who had never met him before, and then told him.

I remember Fitz referring to Armitage (before we knew for sure it was Armitage) as the innocent accused. What's up with that? I would like to know what Armitage told Fitz to keep from getting charged. And who told Armitage?

How was the book signing? Are you staying in DC for the weekend? Have a great weekend. I am positively addicted to your live blogging. Thank you.

One more question - Do you think that Fitz realized that the Oct 12 article mentioned the other statutes as well? Hope they're following your live blogging!

EW- no, you are correct that Sanger and Abramson most likely did not meet with defense. I'm sure the defense team knew what they would say, however, and could therefore keep questioning tight enough to not open up a whole lotta cross. Both direct and cross were very limited with both of them.
Andrea had been very confusing on the whole issue, which made her riskier than Sanger and Abramson.


I listened to the Woodward/Armitage tape snippet at WSJ site.

The context seemed to be Armitage saying "CIA is clean" on the 16 words.

But then the poor-mouthing of Plame seems to offer a little cover to Cheney's crowd.

So, I guess, the message was that everyone was basically clean, the Administration had good intentions, just a little bureaucratic snag.

A couple weeks later, Armitage is volunteering to talk to Novak.

Who is high enough up to order Armitage to "casually" push "the Administration is clean" on a hot topic to "journalists that matter?"


from the nyt piece:

Some bloggers at the trial have seen their skepticism about mainstream reporting confirmed.

"It’s shown me the degree to which journalists work together to define the story," said Marcy Wheeler, author of a book on the case, "Anatomy of Deceit."

what did you see / hear that confirmed your skepticism ? were there mainstream journalists huddling in the corners ?

when i was making a living as a reporter, i NEVER talked to other reporters nor compared notes about anything that i was covering / writing about, as i did not want to get ' scooped '.

do the corporate mainstream media types conspire to write the same stuff and to toe a certain establishment line ?

please elucidate. thanks.

I was heading to your book signing, stepped out of the Dupont metro then promptly fell and smacked my head on the ice. Perhaps another time.

As you noted, Edelman’s non appearance is the most curious. As someone who was named in the indictment, he seemed to be an important prosecution witness; especially given that his prospective testimony was to show the implication that Libby “knew” (via the secure line comment) that some piece of information needed to be treated with special care. If secure lines were used for all “classified” information” DC would shut down because there is way too much stuff treated as classified. Secret/Top Secret – that a whole nother kettle of fish.

It seems to me there are 3 possibilities:

1. Something changed between indictment and trial – such that the prosecution deemed his testimony unreliable or that the circumstances alleged in the indictment were wrong;

2. The prosecution deemed that they had already made their case and didn’t need to pile on;

3. Putting him on the stand would expose him to cross-examination which would potentially reveal information that the prosecution wished to hold in reserve.

Item 2 is unlikely – you use everything you’ve got. Item 1 is reasonable speculation, but there are no facts, or even inferences with which to draw any conclusions as to its likelihood. Item 3 – especially considering vigit’s comments on the Jencks material seems most plausible.

The timing of Edleman’s nomination to the Ambassadorship of Turkey is unremarkable. (late February 2003) However, exactly when he left the employ of the OVP is not, nor is why he was speaking with Libby on the subject on the date as alleged in the indictment.

Given the game of musical chairs in regards to Edelman’s’ (and other neocons’) postings in the 03-05 time frame, and given that it could be intimated that Edelman was essentially declared persona non grata by the Turkish Government, and given that even John Warner found his responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee to be unsatisfactory, he is one to properly focus on.

p.s. - Anatomy of Deceit needs an index


I'm not sure I agree with you about either Sanger or Abramson. Honestly--Abramson didn't help their case, IMO. And there were some loaded landmines with Sanger, some of them mitigated by Walton's apparent decision to rule out discussion of the probably-illegal NIE leaking that precedes the declassification of it. But not entirely. But Libby's team could have scoped Mitchell's testimony similarly narrowly, but chose not to--I think that's significant.


Hope you are alright! Sorry to have missed you.

I absolutely agree with your statements about Edelman, it's one of the reasons I raised him. I'm inclined to believe the answer is #3, btw.


compare quotes, talk about what the story is. Fairly innocuous, but it does have the effect of building in a narrative. FWIW, WaPo and Gerstein at Sun seem to be resisting that well.

On Feb 24 I speculated in comments that perhaps "all of this pre-orchestrated, e.g., to keep Cheney out of the direct line of fire until Bush pardons him down the road too?" and you (Marcy) responded "You may well be right--that this is all orchestrated."

Now quoting from Marcy's latest video extravaganza, referring to implications of the people behind the the Libby defense fund, its pretty obvious that "Libby has agreed to be the fall guy [for the neocons]", and will get his pardon in Jan '09. The trail lead right to Cheney, though Bush remains insulated, so far.

Ok, so most sentient beings have recognized the obvious. Now when can we expect to see this very clear putting 2 and 2 together find its way into all the prominent media outlets, along with a retelling of the sordid details??

I'm fine, ew: combination of long day, wrong footwear and not bouncing as well as I once did.

Of course, my spouse being from W. Bloomfield and an Adrian alum has no hesitancy in saying "I told you so."

Correction! I speculated the above on JAN 24.

Anyway, the above question is mainly rhetorical, except that I really am interested about all those MSM type who have been hanging over Marcy, and Jane, SWOPA, Jeralyn, Christy's etc. shoulders. What's up? Got a clue yet?

Oh, DonS, that's the last chapter of my book--I've been arguing it for a while. One of my goals this weekend is to collect all the evidence against Cheney into a post, so I can show MSM types. I've raised it with them directly, but apparently I'm not very persuasive.


I was just saying yesterday that the problem with DC is not the snow per se, it's that people here have jobs which require them to wear fancy shoes, which therefore makes the snow a problem. In MI, it's not the snow that is better, it's our footwear that is more appropriate.

Don S, I have posted this question repeatedly and the answer is usually ambiguous but for good reason (that I would prefer to ignore sometimes). Right now, my sense is that we all know there was a conspiracy all the way to the top. This was a concerted effort and strategy by the entire whig group. The problem is that there has been a concerted effort to cover this up. As a result, the facts are murky. Which makes the prosecution of such a high crime difficult. I think that folks are reticent about what happens next because Fitz has been very careful and disciplined with his research. Bottom line is that we have few facts about the scope of the investigation, or the information that Fitz has up to now. We have lots of supposition but this crowd likes to work with facts. I keep baiting, as you have, for that supposition but I realize that there are few facts to go on.

Marcy, I would love to see an article about what facts exist that there could be on ongoing investigation into the wider conspiracy...what do we know that is nailed down? What do we have for sure and in the documentation. My guess is that at some point such an article will be written, but my guess is that we have to wait to see Libby's verdict.

You all are great, I am just very impatient in my wish that the administration conspiracy/shadow government be uncovered and that we return to our wonderful awe inspiring democracy. The one that really has the potential to bring peace to warring nations and a higher quality of life to the truly impoverished in the world. That's the country I want back.

It is truly no wonder that they went after CLinton the way they did. My thought at the time was that he showed them how when you take care of the lower and middle class the entire economy improves. The shadow gov't of Reagan et al, did not want us to know that. They had to take Clinton out and worked very hard to make it so. We have to keep the dialogue going. The truth is on our side. (star wars in the background, kids home from school)...Let the force be with you!!!

Could it be that the most optimistic interpretation of Edelman's non-appearance is that he's key to further prosecutions, and Team Fitz thought their case was already strong enough that they could avoid revealing his testimony in this trial?

Oh, and it was great fun getting into the weeds with you in person last night, EW!


On behalf of DCDL I wanted to thank you for coming by last night at Timberlake's. I thought your talk went over very well, and it was cool of Joe Wilson to stop by as well.

Next time we'll see if we can work out a joint FDL/Froomkin night.

Why wouldn't some enterprising soul or souls want to be the Woodward-Bernstein's of this era? One can only assume that the culture of coverup has long and intimidating tentacles. Certainly legacy boy would have to redo his latest script if his veep is disgraced, maybe has to resign under cloud.

Interesting to imagine what twisted rhetoric could emerge in the name of terra-fighting. Worse, what diversionary mayhem to deflect attention. The subtext seems to be that many of us are holding our breath, fearing what levels of delusion and depravity boy king might resort to if he breaks bad-er. And just how far the loyalist/sychophants in the media, the congress, and the military will follow.

One might suppose that boy king could play the shocked and offended spouse and suddenly turn into corruption killer. Assuming Cheney would hold his tongue. Really, this loose cannon and rogue disgrace of a government deserve all the ignominy of history for bringing expectations of decency, or even rationality, to such a low state.

Fogive the OT rant.

The latest article from Murray Waas is quite interesting.

The most baffling testimony in this case was that of Fleischer, on whether or not he told Pincus. Has this been discussed somewhere?

As I trudged on snowy MSU campus yesterday, I thought "does Fitz wear those rubber shoe covers over his fancy shoes like my dad used to?"

At last night's Lansing Drinking Liberally meeting, some of us talked about hoping you'll come to an area bookstore for a signing. Please think about it.

SaltinWound: "A bigger question to me than the witnesses not called are all the witnesses Fitz never even spoke with. Dickerson, Gregory. Who else? He had years. Is there any reasonable explanation for this?"

Yes, there is. Fleischer's testimony is that he told Dickerson and Gregory. Dickerson's account is that Fleischer did not tell him about Plame, but Dickerson left it pretty clear that Fleischer did give them *something*, a heads up of some kind to pursue the question of who from the CIA was responsible for selecting Wilson to check out the Niger rumours.

Fleischer's testimony clearly indicates that Fleischer himself believes he did nothing illegal, in that he didn't know Plame was covert, and couldn't have violated the IIPA. But he knew he might be under suspicion anyway and was afraid of coming under indictment.

In other words, Dickerson's account - and presumably Gregory's also, although we don't have an account from Gregory and don't know - would merely reinforce Fleischer's broad outline, while introducing the possibility that the defense would try to make an impeachment issue over the small discrepancy about whether Fleischer actually told Dickerson and Gregory about Plame or just tried to point them in that direction.

So. There was no point in Fitz calling Dickerson or Gregory, as Fitz had no reason to think Fleischer's testimony might not be credible - Fleischer was testifying under an immunity agreement.

As for Team Libby... well, they could have called Dickerson and Gregory to impeach Fleischer, but they probably determined that Dickerson's and Gregory's testimony served to support Fleischer more than the discrepancies would help in impeaching him.

Does that make sense?

And there were some loaded landmines with Sanger, some of them mitigated by Walton's apparent decision to rule out discussion of the probably-illegal NIE leaking that precedes the declassification of it. But not entirely. But Libby's team could have scoped Mitchell's testimony similarly narrowly, but chose not to--I think that's significant.

I think the jury has nothing in front of it that supports your probably-illegal NIE leaking theory. I think Libby's team knew enough of Walton's limitations and Libby's communication with Sanger to know what they could get out of him.
Leaving Mitchell off the stand can help the defense, because what is in front of the jury is that Libby didn't tell her about Plame, Gregory knew about Plame, and Russert is a little 'iffy'.
Bringing Mitchell on the stand to say unequivocably that she didn't know at all about Plame (if she would have said that) doesn't help the defense. They need it to hang out there that she could have known.

Do you ever ask Wilson about things like Valerie's email being on the 12th and Cheney asking on the 13th? Or about whether its true (as several witnesses have said) that what angered him was that he was being portrayed as low-level? Or about the WINPAC thing?

*** They need it to hang out there that she could have known.

Sorry, muddled explanation there. They wanted it hung out there that she could have known, but not from Libby. They were prohibited from doing that. As testimony stands now, she spoke with Libby but he did not tell her about Plame. The prosecution didn't assert otherwise. That's all they could have gotten from her if they called her to testify. The defense bringing her to the stand would not have added anything to the jury's knowledge, but could have detracted from what they want the jury to imagine w/r/t Russert and Gregory.

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