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July 12, 2007


Will you stop trying to confuse the issue with facts? No crime was committed, Armitage was the leaker, and you left wing libs always give State and Colin Powell, etc a free pass.

And we won in Vietnam, too. Or we would have, if you lefties didn't force a precipitous withdrawal and tie our hands.

Why do you hate America, anyway?

The indifference of the GOP to truth is pretty well documented at this point.

I am angry that the Dems do not prepare simple counters to the GOP lies, so that the GOP lies are simpler for the MSM to convey than the truth.

For example, how hard is it to say, "Armitage was A leaker, but not the only leaker, and the record shows a campaign to leak Plame's name coming out of OVP."

Or: "Go back to the coverage at the time. The WH wanted to punish one Iraq dissenter, but also send a message to make potential dissenters afraid to come out."

Two sentences, and you have motive, means, and action summed up.

First sentence third to last paragraph:
"And the affidavit on Cooper reveals that Fitzgerald was actively interviewing both Armitage and Novak in fall 2003" SHOULD READ "fall 2004." (Fitz was not yet appointed fall '03.)

Thank you fact checker--I replicated the error from the affy.

I think it's time for creative ideas since nothing else is working well (in a despotic obstruction kind of way); top of my head example would be to arrange a nice luxury cruise for all of these Republicans... just like 'Lost'... Or some kind of 'captive audience' sort of experience where they can watch truth documentaries and speakers on the virtue of honesty in government.

Nice serendipity with this post at the time Bush disparages Armitage at his presser today.

Thanks emptywheel, that really helps.


When did the Novak/Armitage conversation occur? Before the Novak/Libby conversation?

I have never trusted Armitage, from day one. Many believed that his admission of a conversation with Novak regarding Valerie Wilson exculpated him from IIPA issues, since Armitage said he didn't realize that he was potentially exposing a covert agent. Sorry, Richard, but outside of the Beltway, I don't know anyone who would reveal the name of someone that they knew to be working for the CIA, regardless of their position within the organization. It's called common sense. Is Armitage really that much of an idiot?

My reason for continuing to suspect Armitage of being part of the "team" employed to discredit Joe Wilson--in addition to the new info provided by EW above--is the paragraph in Wolfowitz's letter to Judge Walton wherein he describes the episode of Scooter providing pro bono legal counsel to Armitage. I think Scooter just called in his chips with Armitage, knowing full well that Armitage's reputation of a gossipy go-between would tend to insulate Armitage from any blowback. Since it appears that Novak and Armitage both stuck to their respective stories in front of Fitzgerald, and since Scooter is clearly determined not to provide anything but dishonest testimony, we'll never know the truth. And that was what the whole trial was about--getting to the truth.

Via Josh Marshall

"... the president was involved from day one. He was always in favor of doing it. And he basically said so again today. Truly a shameful man."

Exactly as we all know it at TNH - thanks to the brilliant work by EW!

Yes, truly a shameful man! On so many scores.

I say he is "shameless" not "shameful".

Isn't the operative question for Bush "have you no decency?"

Re: Armitage. I agree with everyone above: I've never been convinced that he made an honest mistake. I've always thought it was possible, though. He works for George W Bush, after all, so maybe he really is stupid enough to "accidentally" betray a CIA operative.

For Armitage, though, the story is still moving. Just this morning, the President himself took a swipe at him. As I see it, there are two major possibilites: (a) Armitage made a really dumb mistake, or (b) Armitage was in on it all along. Either way, the President's swipe raises a legitimate question: When Armitage decided to reveal to the FBI that he was a leaker, why didn't he tell Team Bush? And if he told Powell, why didn't Powell tell Team Bush?

The focus on Armitage's Leak to Novak on July 8th at 3pm is a Bright Shiny Object (BSO) that should be shot-down simply and cleanly:

Fitz knew that Libby had leaked 'something' highly classified, outside all formal security protocols, to Miller at 8:30am the same day.

Previously, on June 13th and June 23rd, Armitage and Libby, respectfully, had leaked 'Wilson's wife' worked at the CIA - but not Valerie's name.

Libby's Leak to Miller on the morning of the 8th, on orders from Cheney and authorized by Bush, is the first clearly established instance where Libby reveals Valerie's name, position and employment at the CIA.

The Armitage Leak later on the 8th is not the origination of Leaking Valerie's Identity.

For any of the readers who appreciate a good timeline to keep straight the details in this modern-day whodunnit:


The Dems need to confront all Reps' "what if thinking" with "thinking". The kind of thinking EW displays in this post for starters. We need to write these points in letters to our representatives as well.

I'm sure this is the beginning of the "Armitage bad, Libby good" campaign to distract the public from the truth and the failure to uphold P and VP oath of office.

"Yes!" to Radiofreewill.

Again, thanks for "speaking the truth to power" EW.

Bush typically shows his hand again by shamelessly offering misdirection in the form of a BSO (read Armitage! Armitage! Armitage!). Perhaps Armitage was aware that if he told the WH that he had talked to the FBI that he would have been furthering the conspiracy and create an opportunity for further obstruction of justice. No wonder Bush looks to scapegoat him. Each move Bush makes seems to further implicate him in the matter.

albert fall's first talking point above states it nicely. Too bad the reporter didn't jump in with a follow-up along the lines of "Why is it okay for Libby and Rove to leak classified information about a covert operative just because Armitage did?" Whether or not Armitage raised his hand publicly in fall 2003 (as Bush wished in his god-awful presser today) to admit leaking, it obviously would have little to do with Libby's leaks in June and July of 2003.

For the most part (this is OT), the reporters questions were so damn stupid today. It took four reporters before David Gregory finally asked about Woodward's front page WashPost story, at which point Bush began reading verbatim from the podium.

It will never happen, but I would like to see a reporter or commentator make a point about how Bush smiles at the most inappropriate times during his statements. Whenever he talks about how Al Quada wants to kill Americans, or how he decided to send more American troops into harms way, he really lights up, like he's happy or something. Quite an interesting tic.

First "him": Armitage; second "him": Bush.

George W. Bush says, "I'm aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person," Bush said. "I've often thought about what would have happened if that person had come forth and said, 'I did it.' Would we have had this endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But, so, it's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House. It's run its course and now we're going to move on."

Uh. No we're not going to move on Dick lick. (wow "dick lick" has really come into its own)

Incredible. The news is just one ignorant quote from GW after another today. I think the guy is starting to cave under the pressure.

A typical passage in the newly unredacted sections of the 2004 Miller DC appeal opinion reads..."Novak said in grand jury testimony that he confirmed Plame’s employment with Rove (II-153-54), a longstanding source for his columns (II-121-22)", This section (pdf p.76, opinion p.34) appears in the same paragraph as newly unredacted cites to affidavits, viz. "Armitage (see 8/27/04 Aff. at 18)," and "Karl Rove. (See 9/27/04 Aff. at 22-23)"; though these may be different from the affidavits discussed in the diary above. The page after the above excerpts, p.35, reveals 4 lines of newly unredacted text followed by 29 still redacted lines of text; p.36 remains wholly redacted 34 lines; p.37 begins with 27 continuingly redacted lines of white space, that page ending with 6 lines of previously available text, at that juncture returning narrative to Miller and Cooper. I would wonder if the appeals court expended a goodly segment of those still redacted 90 lines of text discussing in part Novak's bonding with Rove for writing articles.

"Either way, the President's swipe raises a legitimate question: When Armitage decided to reveal to the FBI that he was a leaker, why didn't he tell Team Bush? And if he told Powell, why didn't Powell tell Team Bush?"

According to Isikoff, Team Powell did try to tell Team Bush, sort of.

"Taft, the State Department lawyer, also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more."

I'd love to have someone ask Gonzales about that, except we all know what the answer would be: "I don't recall."

But I find it entirely plausible that White House Lawyer did not want to hear anything about the identity of a leaker.

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