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July 05, 2007

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Impeachment is the answer.

In other, more joyous scandal news, Atrios has posted a link to the Order lifting the TRO blocking DC Madame Deborah Palfrey from releasing her list of phone numbers.

Maybe nothing, maybe something. We'll find out soon enough.

So what kind of haste was it to commute Scooter's sentence the day his bond appeal was turned down by the circuit court? If that wasn't 'scurrying around' and 'dizzying haste' then I've never seen haste.

Not to mention the repeated use by all the Bush fans of 'Clinton did it too'. Their mothers should explain reality to them.

It's time to hit back at this administration and hit hard. Bush has finally been forced to show his hand in a way that is obvious to everyone (except those paid to turn a blind eye). Even in my wealthy, mostly Republican suburb of Houston, Texas, people know the Libby commutation stinks to high heaven. They don't yet know why, but they will. Let's keep the story simple:

Why was Bush so worried about keeping this guy out of jail? Libby's got the goods on Bush and Cheney. Bush told you we had to invade Iraq to keep the terrorists from getting the bomb. That was a lie. When people tried to warn them it wasn't true, they didn't just ignore the warnings, they broke the law to smear the people who were right. They sent Libby out to lie to a grand jury to protect their chances of getting re-elected. If he had told the truth, Bush would have lost and we would be out of Iraq by now. It's time for Bush and Cheney to go.

It may be that my cynicism is blinding me, but I do not believe that this Libby matter will have any impact on the Bush/Cheney Junta or on their consistent ability to roll over the Democrats whenever they want or need to do so.

Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre set off a storm of protest and indignation; Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence set off a storm of apologists and propagandists.

The Democratic "leadership" and presidential candidates issued statements but did nothing and will do nothing. It doesn't matter that several of them are United States Senators, they have "other priorities" and don't want to be distracted.

James @ 18:10

What storm of apologists and propagandists? All the ones I've heard of have been working for Bush and Libby. They aren't winning, either (although they may not actually be losing at this point).

And, in case you've missed it, there's a motion to censure that hit the floor today. It's the first real step toward impeachment.

One thing I find rather interesting is how this in fact rhymes a little with the DOJ firings. Similar Stupid Mistake. It's almost less what they did (Pleasure of the President, All The President's Pardons, blah blah blah) but how they go about it. They repeatedly shoot themselves in the face by taking that one extra step of justifying themselves by making someone else look bad. The USAs were incompetent. Walton's sentence was excessive. Well, guess what. You shouldn't piss people off, especially highly competent people who probably kinda felt they were more or less on your team beforehand (at least in that they were Republic appointees and part of the govt/admin). Walton was clearly trying to be fair to all sides and also clearly getting a little peeved at the grandstanding of the defense and its dangling illuminati. For a CEO president, this stikes me as a piss-poor management style.

I am still mulling over the fact that, as BMAZ explained in the "Off the Record Club" thread a few threads back here at TNH, Fitz should have prosecuted Armitage under IIPA for revealing the name of a covert CIA agent.

I don't know what to think. Fitz is supposed to be one the best, but then Armitage, I guess is another case of "I didn't mean to." So he's off the hook.

If Armitage represented the State Dept. at the meeting with CIA and Joe Wilson, where his wife, Valerie Plame, introduced everyone, (and then left the room) and later on Armitage casually talks about this with Bob Woodward, an editor of a national paper,no less, he should be tried for treason, because that is what the law says. No if, no and, no buts and no Ididntmeanto's.

eyes @ 18:29

Could Libby's obstruction have hidden enough information that Fitz couldn't be sure, and couldn't prove, that Armitage was told about Valerie (but not her status) in order to have him 'accidentally' leak (knowing that he was a gossip)?

Yes scav

They didn't go through McNulty, who normally should have the lead on hirings and firings.

As with the Domestic wiretapping--they went around DOJ's own lawyers to sustain an illegal program. This is the pattern we need to clarify for people.

No, because the Armitage story is separate from the Libby lying story. Armitage met with Joe Wilson and someone from CIA at CIA headquarters and was introduced to Joe by Valerie Wilson. Armitage new first hand who Valerie was, and then he went and told Woodward. That is a crime. He was not prosecuted not because Libby obstructed Fitz from finding this out, he was not prosecuted because he read Novak's article and realized he was the source(one of them anyway), went straight to his boss SOS Powell and told him what he had done, and then to the FBI to confess as well. This is well documented, here and at DailyKos timeline, amoungst other places.

I know what you are trying to imply, but that just isn't the case in the Armitage arm of this story. No, Cheney and Rove are being masked by Libby, Armitage confessed early on.

eyes

Your story makes no sense. Armitage was definitely NOT at that February 19 meeting. He learned of Plame through Grossman.

I was at a party with a bunch of a-political or even slightly right leaning folks. They all were aware of the commutations saying "Bush told libby to scoot" or "Bush let libby scoot" as if it were slightly amusing, but with the underlying feeling that is was not funny in a good way, it was wierd. So I said, "you guys know why he commuted rather than pardon" and got blank faces, when I explained the keeping of the fifth amendment right, it was like a light came on. One girl said, "OH that's it this makes so much more sense now."

We have to get the media to hammer that point over and over again. It was very effective and it's not getting out.

Dismayed 19:03

Had the same experience and then sent them to lurk here. Got quite the amazing response. Everyone has become quite frustrated at Bush. Keep the points alive.

Next thing, Tony Snowjob will be up at the podium saying the commutation was necessary to end the "long national nightmare". It worked once before.....

Yep, we have to keep focus on that. MSM can't be so incompetant, it's clear they are trying to delute the issue. We really need media overhaul in this country. If doesn't come soon, we'll have to just go ahead and call it what it is a corprostocracy. Hmmm - rings like the corpse of democracy, not bad.

Or coprostocracy (rule by fecal matter)

I haven't spoken in person to any of my conservative family members (my parents and I avoid the subject...haven't talked about politics since Spiro Agnew resigned and it is better that way). Anyhow, on one of the morning call-in shows on NPR on 4th of July a young woman called in (I got the impression she was from a red state) and she said that there was a weird tension in the air, like everyone was afraid to say anything, but she thought that most people thought W should be impeached. Nancy Pelosi doesn't need any more letters or calls from me, but people from Lincoln, Nebraska could have an effect.

to whom it may concern:

iipa

seems to be a very difficult to enforce law,

a difficult to use to prosecute law,

and may be a completely useless law designed for show, not teeth.

fitzgerald is an exceptional strategist.

he took lots of chances doing what he did with libby.

he was never fool enough, given the political climate he worked in, to believe he could go further than the most basic, clearly supported grand jury charges.

that's how he pulled off a miracle.

the libby indictment, prosecution, and conviction was a miracle of american justice working properly.

another prosecutor,

another judge,

a different jury,

and all could have been washed out.


armitage has a reckoning coming, but when and under what circumstances that will occur i don't know. he allowed himself to be used - not once but twice - in a way that is baffling to me.


as ew has observed, we need to know more about ken duberstine and the off-the-record club re armitage.

chances are that we (the public) only know the the tiny tip of the iceberg, "scooter's lies".

most likely there was an entire network of powerpeople called in to help in damaging valerie plame.


on a related tact,

as i've said before,

it makes absolutely no sense to attack jos. wilson for his op\ed in the nytimes.

that only draws MORE attention to his public comment.

what does make sense is that cheney and bush assumed that the super-secret cia agent valerie plame wilson had shared pillow talk with hubby joe,

and that wilson's remarks were an out-of-channel cia rebuttal.

i think they may have been wrong about that.

but right or wrong,

their extreme sensitivity to and aggressiveness toward criticism of the justification of the iraq invasion,

combined with their deceit about the need for that invasion,

a part of which wilson identified,

led, in time, to the wedge-in-the-wood that has been slowly splitting this secret presidency apart.

PJ Evans @ 18:22

I have heard the Bush/Republican line on the Libby matter almost non-stop since the verdict was announced. Since Bush's action this week, I have heard positive, supportive and approving commentary on broadcast TV, cable TV and radio.

Like I said, maybe my cynicism is blinding me. Let's check back with each other in two weeks to see whether this is like the Saturday Night Massacre or whether it's like every other one of Bush's crimes against America.

Eyes OTS - I want to clarify that I said that I think an IIPA case COULD have heave been made out against Armitage and/or Novak; not necessarily that it SHOULD have been at the time. Were I the prosecutor, I do think I would have rattled a few more "defendant's" cages by charging a couple of more people, but I am not sure I would have done so with an IIPA charge. I think Fitz's discretion really was the better part of valor as to the IIPA charge potentials. Maybe the somewhat lesser stringent "espionage" or whatever the colloquial name for the charge of generally revealing classified information.

I gotta agree with James E. Powell on this one. Unless something rather drastic happens at the Congressional hearings, I do believe the Scooter commutation has already peaked as a news story. In that sense, this is no Saturday Night Massacre.

And it isn't just Bush-paid cronies spinning this thing. Candy Crowley has been constantly talking about how Bush's decision was somehow a compromise, as if he found that mythical center that David Broder is searching for.

Ed Henry, just tonight, was reporting on CNN that the Bush administration was sending some sort of message with the commutation, because rather than sneak the announcement in at 8:45pm or something, they went out of their way to do it in time for the national nightly news broadcasts on Monday. To Ed Henry, this was hard proof that Bush was pleasing his base, that it was a political decision. Left out of Crowley's and Henry's reporting, of course, is the actual story: the commutation was Libby's reward for not spilling the beans on Cheney and Bush. It is obstruction of justice. It's actually quite simple, really, yet the media, by and large, is specifically *not* reporting that.

And Craig Crawford, on KO tonight, made the point that all of the hearings the Dems are doing could backfire because the Republicans did the same thing back in the 1990s, and Clinton only seemed to get stronger. Mind you, Crawford was specifically referring to the upcoming hearings regarding a commutation that happened just three evenings ago, as if the Scooter thing is already old news.

I guess Scooter is old news, but Edwards' haircut is still front page material. In short, this ain't the Saturday Night Massacre, and the Dems aren't going to impeach anyone. Unless a bombshell or two happens, the Scooter story is over -- at least in terms of having a greater political impact than it has already had.

Thanks. I'm out in the back yard finishing the chicken coop I've been building---another whole story that would take at least three beers to explain---and NPR All Things Considered, my only news source tonight, does this story and we only get to hear a lead up summary and SnowJob's "chutzpah" soundbite.
End of story.
Sigh.
Maybe James and Jim are right, only that was a small little peak, wasn't it? The only way Bush gets nailed on this is if there's enough blood in the water that the media thinks it's safe enough and the producers/editors feel that ratings will not be impacted. I think the whole media industry is scared down to their collective briefs. Ugh, sorry about that image.

EW- Armitage new who Wilson's wife was, and he told a managing editor of US newspaper in violation of IIPA or The Espionage Act. It doesn't matter if he learned her identity first hand, by his deputy or by a memo.

BMAZ- Novak is not in violation of IIPA, as I said in the previous post, because of the provision:

"Section 422. Defenses and exceptions

(a) Disclosure by United States of identity of covert agent

It is a defense to a prosecution under section 421 of this title
that before the commission of the offense with which the defendant
is charged, the United States had publicly acknowledged or revealed
the intelligence relationship to the United States of the
individual the disclosure of whose intelligence relationship to the
United States is the basis for the prosecution." This much I understand, and IANAL,

If Fitz had not set his sights on just one criminal, or had been gullible enough to believe Cheney and Rove would actually testify, we might have been able to get to the bottom of this. Sorry I don't share your appraisal of Fitz.

and furthermore:
fom Iran Contra days....
"Armitage also attended a Pentagon meeting in August 1986 in which Oliver North outlined the covert activities in support of the Contras that he had been supervising through the National Security Council. Armitage denied remembering anything about this meeting as well. In his final report, Walsh said he declined to prosecute Armitage for his numerous dubious statements on these issues because he could not prove they were knowingly false."

Dupe them once, dupe them twice

EyesOTS - I saw that analysis before. You may well be right; however, I am tempted to challenge the thought that there was an official "Disclosure by {the} United States" here. The government has never admitted declassifying Ms Plame-Wilson's identity prior to the conduct by all these clucks. Because someone in the government leaked the identity, I would hope, doesn't constitute official disclosure. i have no research or knowledge on this, so take the thought with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that the CIA officially asked Novak not to reveal her identity, something that seems often forgotten. These are just off the cuff thoughts, but there you have them.

BMAZ, the confusion here in the wording of the IIPA is the irony of the whole affair, because Government Officials would not be in
anyones wildest imaginations expected to be the very persons disclosing a CIA agents identity! Armitage, as a govt official, did, by the very office he held, "disclosed, "publicly acknowledged or revealed" the identity of a covert agent. It a Catch 22, which is it, the unofficial disclosure or the official disclosing?

the real reason Armitage was not indicted, IMHO, has to do with the fact that Armitage was so entrenched in the long long history of the dirty ways of the repubs that to open up one avenue on him would eventually lead to endless questions, a gusher of information. For the record, here is his signature front and center on the New American Century letter to Bill Clinton. The idea that he was some kind of dunderhead, opposing the shift toward war just doesn't fit the history of the guy. Someone got to Fitz and told him not to touch the guy(Armitage).
http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

Well, anyway, good night, and I hope we can someday have a more just government.

EyesOTS - It looks to me like we basically agree here. And i know we are in agreement on Armitage. I have said many times that I did not believe he was an innocent bystander in this series of events and that, despite that he was not one of the inner Bush clique by any means, he was intimately involved in the bogus war runup and had his own motivations for wanting cover for that effort. I think the only place we differ is that, until the government, i.e. the administration, formally admits that they disclosed Plame-Wilson's identity then the clause you cite about "Disclosure by United States" is inapplicable. And if it isn't, it damn well ought to be.

Yes, President Bush did bypass his advisors, did by pass the Justice Department, did by pass guidelines and standards. But he also bypassed bribes to familky members, bypassed payments to his only legacy other than the blue dress - i.e., the Clinton Library - bypassed having sex with the wife of a person he pardoned and bypassed pardoning convicted drug dealers, terrorists, and other people who committed violent crimes.

Mr. Libby should heve never been sentenced as he was, and President Bush should have out and out pardoned him.

Can we just take a moment to celebrate the joys of back-formation? "Enspined"!

What is your email address?

RULE #1 FOR A BLOGGER
Put you email address FIRST AND AT THE TOP OF YOUR BLOGGER.

Nobody is writing about WHY Bodgen was fired.
Bogden was investigating - The NEW NV governor Gibbons for taking $$$ while a member of congress.

There are NO COINCIDENCES IN THIS BuSh ADMINISTRATION.

Nathan Thurm must be coaching these people.

BMAZ- Good Morning, I see your point about the IIPA and Gov't disclosure. Maybe then the Espionage Act would be appropriate. THE analogy that comes to mind here with this whole affair is the Catholic Priest scandal, where preists are moved around the system when the church discovers "trouble," but none are held accountable along the way.
We should all be outraged that government officials outed a CIA covert agent, as we where with preists molesting children.

Having witnessed Iran Contra, it is humiliating to see government officials act this way and get away with it, it goes to the core of trust.

EyesOTS - You know, in an abstract way that is an excellent analogy. A massive, intentional, well planned and well funded coverup at all cost. Protect the core philosophy, leaders and monetary gravy train while enabling, aiding, abetting and sanctioning the raping of the innocent. I actually represented a couple of extremely high profile priests on child molestation cases out here in the 90's, and the extent of subterfuge and coverup, and the level of ingrained system the diocese has is way beyond what the public generally knows. Now that they are not paying our stiff fees, I can say it is sick; and speaking of something RICO ought to be applied to. On the Espionage act, I think I inadvertently used the wrong term somewhere back in this regard. I will look up the exact statute I was contemplating this weekend. Suffice it to say, there are statutes that encompass the actions of Armitage et. al in addition to the IIPA possibility.

bmaz, well said. It seems the focus has shifted from the outing of a CIA agent by government officials to the obstruction of justice by government officials, in much the same way the priest story unfolded.

Without the conviction of Armitage for his crime, the molester is still undercover. Wouldn't it make sense to convict Armitage, et. al now? I was not acutely aware of his crime until very recently. It seems by not bringing this forth, we all discount Valerie Plame and her worth to the nation as just "the wife." She should not have to do this on her own, with her own lawsuit, this is what Fitz should have done, and could still do. Seems we missed this step.

EyesOTS - Yes, but I would immunize Armitage in a heartbeat if he would roll Cheney. I have been acquiring a lot of pet peeves on framing lately haven't I? Well here is another one. Armitage is not the original leaker; It is Cheney. Depending on how you define "leak", the original leaker could be Cheney, Libby, Armitage or someone else. I like the sound of consistently letting the chicken roost on Cheney though.

Bmaz, I thought I could let this go, but here you have got me started again. Cheney and the leak, this takes us back to step 1, how did Amitage know of Wilson. As EW correctly corrected my earlier post abov, he wasn't at the Feb 19th meeting, but he did know about that meeting form the INR memo,
http://wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/jan23/DX71.pdf

This memo was prepared by someone at INR, not the person at the meeting with Wilson, but assmbled by "our paper and electronic files" and talks with INR analysts, one being the "West African analyst who was in the actual meeting.
The memo was prepared by "unknown" but was sent out as being FROM: Carl W. Ford, Jr, who was the head of INR. The memo itself is a chronology of events describing the INR's relationship to the Wilson trip.
In the memo, the FEB 19th 2002 meeting it describes how the INR WA anaylst tried to dissuade the CIA from sending Wilson. From their own sources, the Amabassodor and others, they did not see the Wilson trip as necessary, they already felt the Iraq/Niger uranium story was not true.

INR made a point of saying they were not Wilsons "point-of-contact" nor did they "meet with Wilson after his trip."

The INR only learned of the results of his trip through the writings of CIA in "reporting cables," and "the reporting we have from the trip makes no mention of documents, fraudulant or otherwise."
(read link to see exactly how Valerie is referred to)

2002 Leak Timeline from WaPo (my added notes in parenthesis):

(Kristof and Wilson talk off the record)

May 6: New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof reports that a former ambassador, whom he does not name, had been sent to Niger in 2002 and reported to the CIA and State Department well before Bush's speech that the uranium story was unequivocally wrong and was based on obviously forged documents.

_May 29: Libby asks Marc Grossman, an undersecretary of state, for information about the ambassador's travel to Niger. Grossman later tells Libby that Joseph Wilson was the former ambassador.

(JUNE 10: INR (STATE DEPT) MEMO- a chronological summary of INR knowlege of Wilson trip and subsequent info) Memo is from Carl Ford, head of INR to Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, Armitages' deputy -see notes above and link)

_June 11 or 12: Grossman tells Libby that Wilson's wife works at the CIA and that State Department personnel are saying Wilson's wife was involved in planning the trip. A senior CIA officer gives him similar information, as does Cheney's top press aide, Cathie Martin, who had learned it from CIA spokesman Bill Harlow.

_June 11 or 12: Cheney advises Libby that Wilson's wife works at the CIA.

(JUNE 12- Walter Pincus writes article about the trip, not naming Wilson or his wife)
(also on June 12th Grossman gives Armitage a copy of INR memo- this is somewhere documented but I don't have a link)

_June 13: Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward interviews Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage for a book. Armitage tells Woodward in a taped interview that Wilson's wife works for the CIA.


So, did Cheney tell Libby to contact Marc Grossman, and start the chain of events? Because from this timeline, it looks like Armitage was the actual first leaker to the public, the first to commit treason. But was Cheney responsible for him doing it, I think that is what EW has been suggesting. Or was Armitage just preparing for his interview with Woodward, with MEMO in hand, because they both read Kristof and more immediatly Pincus?

"2003" timline

Eyes - I am only talking in the generic sense. Whatever the leak/outing mechanism, you can be damn sure that it was at the behest of Cheney; that is all I am saying. If Big Dick didn't want it done, it wouldn't have happened. This is just semantical esoteric framing; which I have been hung up on lately because the other side keeps killing us with memes like that.

Bmaz- I know,I did this more for myself,to be truthful, had to lay it all to see how it all progressed over that time frame. I am totally in agreement, and from what I see today, looks like something may just happen in regards to Cheney and impeachment. Okay, see you at another thread, thanks for walking me through this. :)

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