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July 16, 2007


And Cheney would also have had a basis to believe, in his crippled, paranoid mind, that this particular officer - this woman - was out to throw a monkeywrench in the wheels of world domnation. Ipso facto, she muct go.

The along comes the Wilson op ed. Crisis in Condi's NSC; opportunity in OVP.


i think you're getting toward the end of the tunnel.

thank god for documents; would that congress would request court docs of judge walton, as someone here recently suggested might be a good idea.

"defense and state expressed a strong intteret..."

defense i can understand,

but state?

would that be john bolton?

Or maybe PNAC mole Richard Armitage?

never mind.

if it's inr it must be grossman.

but where WOULD john bolton be in all this?

One cynical note I would make is; assume Cheney and his crew are reading EVERYTHING! To assume otherwise does not account for the audacity of Cheney and his people. All Big Dick would need is one "personal" operative in the NSA, and he could fish for and monitor any subject and everyone he likes. Everything we've seen about this thug says that operation would be a given. When this stuff operates on a one person to one person basis, the chances of any type of trail are about nil.

If Cheney saw the cable or the email, then the info had to come from someone in the agency? Or does NSA spy on the CIA as well. When a secure cable is sent what players are allowed to see info about it? It must be logged someway for audit purposes.


You sent yours while I was typing. same wavelengths.....

I'll defer to Mr. T:



Grossman is not INR. Different side of State.

Given the stated skepticism of INR about this intell, I still think it's likely to be Fleitz--pushing through INR to raise the profile of this info.

marcy, without having read the entire post (i want to save it for when i have enough time to absorb it all), i still want to pose this observation.

no one makes enough - to my feeble mind - about the fact that plame's specific role at the agency was itself of particular interest to the big dick.

in other words, if her beat was counterterrorism focusing on iraq, she was in a position to be at least one of the people who was analyzing intel on this essential topic. my bet is that she was never inclined to 'sex it up' at all, let alone to cheney's satisfaction.

of course, she was not in a position to go public, but her husband was, and did. and when he did, and cheney realized the connection to plame, he jumpted at the chance to 'neutralize' her (legally, of course).

it's my humble opinion that THIS was as much his agenda as it was to shame wilson, hence the totally bizarre and limp accusatin of nepotism. had crashing wilson been the sole and top priority, they'd have come up with a much better story than that.

bottom line: i just think we're foolish to overlook plame's role at the agency and how she likely resisted much of his agenda in the runup. of course, we'll probably never know because she's not at liberty to say, and neither has wilson been on this point. still....

for what it's worth.....


you've had to help me keep these apart before.

Why is it so important for the OVP not to have been the sole source for the inquiry into whether Niger supplied yellowcake to Sadam? Cheney doesn't share credit when things go well, so this is damage control.

If Cheney had asked for information, he would have gotten it, or whomever he asked would have immediately been in the unemployment line. That not so One Minute Manager style was well known at Halliburton and in Washington. So if Cheney asked for it, he got, and he couldn't credibly claim not to have done. He would have been deemed to know information that directly contradicted his claims for war. But if three or more agencies asked for routine info, who's to say whether Big Dick ever got the report or considered it credible?

It also seems a way to dissociate Cheney from an investigation itself and not just its fruits. It also supported later smears, such as Rove's characterization to Novak that the report based on Wilson's trip was "not definitive". That was correct only in the technical sense that Wilson’s trip report was one of at least three, including one each from DOD and State, which were consistent in debunking the rumors. But it deceptively suggested shoddy, incomplete and factually incorrect work when that was not true.

It also supports, I think, EW's larger point. Cheney probably knew the information he was asking for from the CIA, so why ask for it? One of Cheney's Commandments is that individual people are policy, or the law, or the opposition. (Hence, his creation of a shadow government via his – not Bush’s - network of personal appointees to top posts throughout government.) Intelligence is people too. If you don't like the intelligence you get, you trash the providers of it before you fire them. (As Bush does with his generals in Iraq.)

That means that Plame was a target, not just Wilson, as others have argued for some time. The CIA's CPD was providing intelligence that directly contradicted one of the OVP's main justifications for war. Cheney already distrusted the CIA and had made his intense displeasure known via his frequent pre-Iraq invasion visits to Langley. The Wilson report, which first publicly raised its head via Kristoff's OpEd in May, told Cheney that CIA was "at it again".

If Cheney already had the information about Plame and Wilson, then asking for the CIA for it was political theater designed to tie Plame's name to the process, which allowed for her inevitable outing. Conveniently but probably not coincidentally, exposing government corruption - the purported boondoggle of Plame getting her out-of-work hubby a freebie from the Agency, work he “failed” to perform adequately because he was, well, a hubby whose wife had to get him work (in the Cheney lexicon) – blowing the whistle, is an honorable, de facto or legal exception to the rules prohibiting unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

The irony that this gambit was used for a corrupt purpose by the greatest foe whistle blowers have ever faced must make Big Dick's snarl foam a tad more than usual.

e of h

"one of cheney's commandments is that individual people are ...
policy ... law ... opposition ...intelligence."

now that is a fascinating observation; one well worth storing away.

a sort of cliff's notes of the cheney saga.

and of the sequel to follow,

as his follies and the enemies he has made in committing them slowly undo him

(with the assistance of the substantial analytical intelligence and passion his bone-headed "best laid plans" stirred up against himself).

As long as we're speculating wildly:

I have long suspected the Cheney had Rove produce the yellowcake forgeries that were fed to SISMI to be laundered and stovepiped.

I have long suspected that Rove produced the TANG records memo "forgeries" that Powerline deconstructed to take down Dan Rather.

Absolutely Rove's MO. I have no other basis for these allegations.


Rove didn't produce the Niger forgeries--some folks in Italy did.

I second the opinion of JH above. Wasn't Rove the one that bugged his own office before a close election, just to infer it was the opposition?

Who in the world would have forged the yellowcake documents when they had such limited application?

My take on the Dan Rather stuff was that Roves minions found the real thing and "faked" the copies to discredit any true copies floating around. Now if someone comes up with real copies, they would be called corrected fakes.

Sorry EW, our posts crossed on the yellowcake.

"i just think we're foolish to overlook plame's role at the agency".... "my bet is that she was never inclined to 'sex it up' at all, let alone to cheney's satisfaction."

Have you read emptywheel's book, ANATOMY OF DECEIT?

I agree with you that Cheney was already pissed off at Plame and the Counter Proliferation Division BEFORE Wilson's op-ed (July 2003), but as the evidence confirms, it wasn't enough to make him risk an IIPA violation. You're speculating about Dick's state of mind four months into the war. We're past the "sex-it-up" stage. IMVHO, Dick is still deep in denial and believes that they will find WMD and then he'll get to give Joe, Valerie, Brewster Jennings, and the Counter Proliferation Division a big "I effin' told you so."

If your goal is to collect intelligence that implies the presence of WMDs and to stovepipe intelligence that debunks the presence of WMDs (and that was certainly one of Cheney's goals), then you would place yourself at great advantage by performing surveillance on the people who were collecting and analyzing said intelligence. My guess is that Cheney had access to Valerie's email.

Joel: Rather had the originals, he justed didn't take time to confirm. Take a look at:


Especially page 6 of the documents released on Sept. 24, 2004, where you can see the same proportional font that was alleged to be such an obvious error in the forgery. A cynic might also note the dates at which the military released these FOI documents and compare them to the date when Rather caved.

I think Marcy may have written a while ago about the possiblity of its being Valerie Plame herself The Lobby/Cheney were after, all along the way, because her job was to know the truth about Iran's nuclear efforts and whether or no Saddam had re-constituted his WMD (biological) efforts post-1991.

Joel, there is no other reason for the forgeries to have appeared, especially within the Ledeen/PNAC supply chain, other than a Cheney purchase order.

I have wanted to know for a long time how the Italian neo-fascist insitutions have persisted and stayed so powerful since WWII. How do we get recurrent connections between US and Italian right wing scandals? There are some strange connections and associations that outlast governments. They accrue capital and power, ensure their people are inside powerful organizations, and hand down these resources from generation to generation.

How does Cheney know that if he calls up the right person, the capacity of Propaganda Due will be devoted to his request? I don't know, and my tinfoil hat is not strong enough to find out.

But these guys are ready to work together in more powerful ways than simple democratic institutions can even begin to.


emptywheels within emptywheels!

Must things be so convoluted? Could they possibly be?

I just have to think that there was a much simpler stream of events. Such complications would only lend to greater chance of exposure which you will note hasn't happened.

Just like the emails you presume must exist showing great misdeeds. I believe that much of this is just wishful thinking.

You and Fitzgerald as well are trying to prove things by connecting step 1, step 2, step 3, ..., and most of life isn't that way. Especially for real movers/doers like Cheney, and then it is step 1, leap to step 4, go on to end game,...

Ah, our troll is telling us that actually thinking things through is so quaint and old-fashioned.

Wrong again.

There was an article July 2007 in the Independent discussing a newly emerging scandal in IT about judges' telephone communications compromise. Suppose Cheney had a listening post ova theya.

Trying to re-approach the subtle topics of the diary, I locate this from the Dept of State et al. 2002 files in a JudicialWatch FOIA, ?in 2004?; it remains heavily redacted, more than half. What was enticing about that accidently discovered archive at Judicial Watch, and it is actually very sparse, was a parallel research project: review of what was Cheney's likely state of mind in 2002, having romped in argument in a kind of nonHearing before Scotus April 27, 2002 in the Energy Task Force unFIOA-able-gag case, though the Energy Task Force matter remained quasi-viable until re-heard en banc in DC circuit appeals January 2005. I would expect VP excesses to have augmented in that neap feeling of court protected secrecy of fourthbranch. Scotus published its opinion remanding the Energy Task Force rollodex secrecy dispute June 24, 2004; Ginsburg wrote a nice 11p dissent in which Souter joined, which now has a relevance to fourthbranch theory.

Thanks for this powerful mental tour de force. I mentioned a few days ago (my newby posting) that I've been intrigued by the question of why (and how) the person identified by Novak was Valerie Plame, and not Wilson. No scenario I can conjur seems to cover all the points. Can you tell from your data whether the cables you cite as sent by Valerie Wilson were sent in that name, Plame, some other, or is that redacted. I can't believe that the CIA would let a covert agent use her maiden name as cover or a codename.
We know the name Flame appeared in J. Miller's notes. We also know that Novak used the name 'Plame" in his initial story, but seems to have used "Wilson" since. Yet calling Wilson's wife "Wilson" would fit better into the story that "the wife sent him on a junket"; it makes the connection easier for the reader. Since she had been married for at least 2 years before the Niger trip, one wonders who still thought of her as Plame. For example when (was it?) Grenier was asked to look into the trip, what name would he have encountered, and reported?
I get the itchy feeling there is more to this than coincidence. Doesn't this tickle anyone else?


First of all, I don't know what name was on those memos (or at least the cable to Africa), but it wasn't her "real" name--whatever that means. I suspect it was neither Plame nor Wilson.

As to the others--usually they didn't use her name at all. AFAWK, Harlow, Grossman, and Grenier all provided the info, without the name.

for the folks who think Cheney ordered the forged Niger documents to include the 16 words in SOTU:

That would not be consistent with the idea that OVP asked CIA to send someone to check it out.

Now, it would be consistent with the idea that CIA was supposed to send a hack to do a whitewash confirmation, where CIA took the fall for the information....but that isn't what happened. Cheney might have been looking for something equivocal out of Niger, and instead got a firm denial of the report.

I go along with EW's speculation that there is a source for Plame, known inside CIA, and made known to Cheney well in advance--and that Cheney's motive in outing her was vengeance and putting a scare in the rest of the bureaucracy.

Ah, our troll is telling us that actually thinking things through is so quaint and old-fashioned. Wrong again.
Posted by: P J Evans | July 16, 2007 at 16:19

Our quaint troll can't follow it when someone else does the thinking.

"bottom line: i just think we're foolish to overlook plame's role at the agency and how she likely resisted much of his agenda in the runup.." follow this line of thought far enough back up the river and you may find the source for the "burning of the Reichstag" aka WTC.

"Get it out. Get it all out."

Of course, the communication between the VP and the (bubble boy) Prez is covered by executive privilege. No different than that keystone of democracy that keeps you and I from knowing about the discussion between Bush and his flunkies about Tillman. Once we get any sort of description of what that communication may have been like - e.g., "Mr. President, Pat Tillman is dead.", and its variants - we can fully appreciate the importance of this presidential purgative. The Corner will soon enlighten us as to the importance of lies to the continuation of profit-driven war. Oh... sorry... its a liberal Christian democracy we are building. But (with a tremoring lower lip...) what if it doesn't turn out to be Christian? In fact, what if the end-product is "Christian not welcome"? Hmmm... seems that something will need to be done about the guy who changed it from a place where Christians did live to someplace where they can't.

But different subject...
At some point between the SoTU and July 6th editorial somebody must have said something to bubble boy. I mean Libby did bring back the tidbit to Cheney 'Chancey... I mean Chimpy, just asked a question." Long after the UN called bullshit. So what took so long is an interesting question. But that answer is protected by "executive privilege". Everything is, isn't it?

Methinks you protest too much.

Where did Dick get that info? Somewhere where he didn't want anyone to find out. But hey, he is the VP. Actually the super-VP (not a part of any branch!). So couldn't he just say "Super-VP knows everything!". Small children would adore him! But I guess he couldn't. That seems to bode ill.

P J Evans,

Not really. What I said might be considered helpful.

Dots don't always have lines to them from other dots.
Let me be less obtuse. Just because there isn't an email, or a document, or a scheduled meeting, or a log entry doesn't mean things haven't happened.

Perhaps two people had a string and each end had a can attached to it.

This may be small, but it's worth remembering that the last time I saw Joe Wilson appear in a hearing, he made it very clear that his wife went by the name of Valerie Wilson - no Plame, no Flame - Wilson.

EW - I see it; Cheney tracking Valerie. I also am helped by the information in the Independent article of July 6, 2007. http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article2739749.ece - the link is up in John Lopresti's comment. Your post and this article pull the curtain back on a secret world that demands a code of ethics which Cheney either never had or he lost.

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