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August 21, 2007


Doesn't it seem a familiar itty bitty interchangeable time frame snafbar ? Just twinkling by with the Hillary plan B letter and reply mistaking timeline rearrangement with misplaced authority assumptions . Modular logic , fit outsized time killer here with zippy time machine , Or fit unresponsive invulnerable out of order authority there . Cheap , at half the price -

Sun Tzu said in his masterpiece, The Art of War: The best enemy to have is a predictable one.

Imagine you are George Tenet, and you've been steadily losing 'policy' battles with OVP since before 911. Everytime BushCo needs political movement on an issue, they are inclined to selectively release then-classifed information that supports their position. As far as Tenet is concerned, the intelligence function of the CIA is being politicized at the expense of national security.

CIA lost the battle of warning Bush about 911 through Condi. Then they lost the battle of the 16 Words. Followed by losing the battle on the Trip Report. Valerie's identity was next.

Tenet and the CIA were rebuffed in favor of Politics in almost every case. So, after feeding Cheney a steady diet of "These inst-declassifications are Risky" and getting over-ruled, Cheney eventually comes to Tenet for info on Wilson's wife. Tenet tells Cheney, "Valerie Plame Wilson's employment at the CIA is Classified - She's a manager in CPD, where she monitors the Middle East for us. Under no circumstances should she be made a political football."

Can't you just guess what Cheney's response was to that?

Then he coordinated a systematic leak designed to both use the Trip Report (selectively) to refute Joe; and Valerie's identity to substantiate the nepotism charge, as part of discrediting the CIA for pre-War intelligence 'shortcomings.'

But, Roachman went too far with his ambitious smear campaign. Referring to the board game, Stratego, when the Emperor un-masked Valerie, he unwittingly revealed the Spy who doomed him for his Arrogance of Power - not only was her identity classified, she was Covert, too. Boom! So, it doesn't take a genius to see that insta-declassifying the status of CIA employees is like wandering through a mine field - you might get blown-up if you're not vewwy vewwy careful.

In the end, that's what enabled Tenet to keep CIA from being made the scapegoat for invading Iraq - the fact that he 'knew' Cheney could be relied upon to be openly defiant of common sense if it involved an issue of Cheney getting his way. Cheney's arrogance could be counted on for Cheney to shoot himself in the face - exposing himself as the PreDick-table lying, scheming, surly, arrogant manipulator that he is.

I remain convinced that there is far more OVP skullduggery here than even we could imagine. The Wilson/Plame hatchet job is merely the tip of a toxic iceberg.

One question that I continually remind myself to ponder is this:

If Deadeye and his henchmen were willing and more importantly, able to wreak such havoc on such "relatively" small players as Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame-Wilson, imagine the length and breadth of their vengeful activities towards the multitude of more powerful players in their political universe.

Folks like Colin Powell, or any Democratic member of Congress's Intelligence and Armed Services committees.

The evidence is clear for all to see that Deadeye and his henchmen played, and continue to play hardball. Perhaps "play" is too gentle of a term. These folks predators are only out for the kill.

That Marvel or DC , Hulk Hogan subtlety . With the soulful amen corner choruses of "Who could have ever known ? " Its a game of chicken with astonished people finding their lives being gambled by surefooted double or nothing kids who have no none never invested beyond their shame and expert legal insight . Predatory brinkmanship -

I know it's often said in tin-foil-hat land that they were complicit in or created 9/11. I sometimes speculate that they saw it coming, perhaps queasily wanted it, probably couldn't stop it, tried to capitalize on it and in the end were scared shitless that they, with all the power of the government, couldn't stop this disaster. And, consider the political ramifications if they don't manipulate the press and have it played up as some kind of great triumphal moment for Bush on 9/12. Can you imagine the fear that might've run through those Executive offices? Who did it? Who is the enemy? If they didn't create it entirely then who did and why can't they catch them?

That said, it helps explain why they were so easily pushed to play 'hard ball' and seat of the pants out on the bleeding edge politics: they were fighting for their political lives as well as their right to EVER play ball in the bigs again. They had to go big and go long to solve the problem with all the terrible messiness and huge lack of clarity of the world and all the players.

Now, you might say I'm buying into their story. It's just speculation. We REALLY don't know the facts on this one.

Of course, we, here in Left Blogistan, tend to think they're the type of people who are susceptible to paranoia and stupid out on the edge behavior to start with. But, maybe that's part of why 9/11 happened when and how it did. Can you imagine being in their position and facing an unknown enemy who could pull off 9/11 despite your knowing it was coming. It's mind-blowing.

It's much easier to imagine they created it or at least were complicit in allowing it. That's a much simpler explanation and it fits with their group character. But, we don't know for a fact that this is what happened. We may never know.

Sure they politicized everything. It's in their blood and the circumstances dictated it.

Yeah I think you mean Hi School , first everything . Whopping big tah deux . Most people learn to cope with some uglie as stuff enough so that it rides a little like downtown before they poop the pantaloons .

this is a curious claim, since Hadley definitely got the report declassified, on July 10, 2003.

It is curious. My sense is that there probably was resistance to declassifying all three of the documents the White House wanted declassified - the trip report, portions of the NIE, and the 1-24-03 document - and Hadley was protective of CIA. (It can't be ruled out that Hadley didn't want to antagonize CIA because of internalized blackmail, i.e. anxiety that CIA could nail him at will on account of the Cincinnati speech.) But you're right that Hadley seems to have been least worried about, or in any case there was least trouble with, the trip report. The NIE stuff dragged on (and for what it's worth Tenet gives an interesting, if radically incomplete and misleading acccount of the NIE declassification, only picking up the story in the week following Novak's column, in his book at pp. 470-471). And the 1-24 document was, apparently, not declassified, or at least not released publicly, though it was leaked to the WSJ, probably by Wolfowitz acting at Libby and Cheney's behest, and to the New York Times, either Sanger or Miller, perhaps by Libby himself. I don't have my documents with me, but somewhere in the trial evidence there is something - I think maybe in Cathie Martin's notes - indicating that Hadley was in fact resistant to declassifying and releasing (or maybe to including in Tenet's July 11 statement) the 1-24 document.

Worth noting, though it is obvious, that Novak finished his column the morning of July 11, and evidently hadn't gotten word by then that the trip report had indeed been declassified. In fact, I don't think that became clear until the trial, though it was pretty clear to some degree from Tenet's statement, I suppose.

Recall that sometime after June 19, when he was no longer in OVP, Edelman advocated leaking stuff to rebut Wilson. There are two logical things that he advocated leaking

He may have advocated leaking more than this, but we know from one of the recently released affidavits (though it may have been in the previously released part) that in fact Edelman asked Libby about releasing information about the origins of Wilson's trip. So we know that with some specificity.

And then there's the notation Cheney made on Libby's sonnet, asking Cheney to exonerate him. Next to Libby's line, "And he [meaning Libby] did not leak classified information" Cheney wrote, "Tenet, Wilson memo."

Interesting! I was never sure what to make of that marginalium (marginalius? marginaliae?). Are you suggesting that Cheney is noting that even though Libby did leak classified information when he leaked the trip report, it was declassified by Tenet shortly thereafter, so Libby can get away, strictly speaking, with that line? Of course, Rove can't - and that's the real reason he was fired, right?

One more thing: Tenet has a very interesting little account of the January 24, 2003 document and the struggle over its declassification in his book, which I only just recently discovered. It's surprising it's there at all, since this is such inside baseball, it never really got very high on the radar screen. Short version is that Tenet depicts it merely as a response to Hadley's request for that specific bit of the NIE, not any new or renewed affirmation of the information. Needless to say, if CIA knew or believed it was bullshit, they should not have even just given Hadley the information again at all, but the point is that that is how Tenet depicts it. From p. 371 of his book:

On January 24, 2003, as still another meeting, Hadley asked Walpole to provide him information on what Saddam needed if he were to obtain nuclear weapons. Walpole replied that that information was contained in the NIE published three months previously.

"Humor me," Hadley said. "The NIE is ninety pages. Can you just excerpt that part and send it to me?"

Walpole subsequently faxed twenty-four pages of material [JL: shouldn't that be 33 pages?] to Hadley for background purposes. Out of that, and out of context, White House officials much later seized on one paragraph from page twenty-four of the NIE to justify including Niger yellocake and Saddam's nuclear weapons ambition in the president' State of the Union speech, deliebred only days later. not only did doing so completely ignore the tenor of what we had been telling Rice, Hadley, and others in these meetings, but it also ignited the "sixteen words" flap that would come back to bite us a half year later.


The reason I give Edelman (ha!) the benefit of the doubt is that Libby's team said there was a dispute over what Edelman referred to.

As to the 1/24. First, you passage proves something I've been saying for a while. Foley refused to let the US claim on Niger in. So Hadley, Joseph, and Libby went around him to have it "reaffirmed." Voila!! No wonder Hadley refused to use it for the Tenet statement (rather--it never made it into the statement; that's from Cathie's notes and testimony).

As to the marginalia, the most simple explanation I can think of is that Cheney, when he read Libby's sonnet, assessed it for risk. And when he read that line about classified information, he recognized it as a risk. I'm suggesting that, if Tenet refused to declassify the trip report, and Libby used it anyway (and of course it shows up in Novak's column), then it would be risky for Libby to proclaim he didn't leak classified info.

Libby's team said there was a dispute over what Edelman referred to.

Yes, but I would guess it was dispute over what Edelman was referring to about the origins of the trip - the defense presumably would say it had to do with CIA generally being the ones who sent Wilson, not about his wife her per se.

First, you passage proves something I've been saying for a while. Foley refused to let the US claim on Niger in.

It certainly fits with that notion, doesn't quite prove it, I think. But it sure does read like a set-up.

It's an intriguing and pretty persuasive reading of Cheney's marginal note. And again, this is precisely the thing that Rove disclosed to Novak in exactly that context.

And again, this is precisely the thing that Rove disclosed to Novak in exactly that context.

Huh? Are you referring to the part of Novak's column that includes info from the still-classified trip report? I don't think that came from ROve--I think it came frmo Libby.

As to the 1/24 thing, the Tenet story proves 1) the request came 2 days after Joseph was told he couldn't use the US Niger claim and that 2) it was not seen as a reaffirmation of the data.


The United States v. I. Lewis Libby, ed. Waas (and Lomonaco), p. 422:

Q Do you know if, during your conversation with Mr. Rove that week, you discussed anything about a 1999 trade delegation from Iraq to niger with Mr. Rove?

A I think I did because that was part of the whole issue of the question of whether there had been an attempt to buy yellocake uranium, an Iraq attempt to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

Now, my own Huh?

As to the 1/24 thing, the Tenet story proves 1) the request came 2 days after Joseph was told he couldn't use the US Niger claim and that 2) it was not seen as a reaffirmation of the data.

How do we know that Joseph was told that on 1/22? And how do we know it was not seen as a reaffiramtion of the data?

Serious questions,
Has Valerie W been asked, 'At the time of her 'outing' was the direction of her Teams on-going investigations into the international 'arms trade' being impeded/restricted as to the direction of investigation?'.
If so, How? and by Whom?
Going after Joe Wilson over the Niger stuff never really made sense. This adminstration has ignored/cried fake on everyone else who had spoken up and gone on. However, going after Valerie, because of what she did/who she investigated etc.
makes far more sense. They couldn't do it directly, because folks may get curious, so they use Joe's trip to set it all up..
I still think Valerie W was getting too close to something so huge that they had to shut her and Brewster Jennings down regardless of the risk.
They are using Joe's trip and full-out as cover.

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