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View Diary: Is it possible the INR memo is a red herring? (140 comments)

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  •  How it's been leaked (4.00)
    The original leak was to WSJ, who suggested it was the "proof" that Plame sent Wilson. It was almost certainly leaked by the guilty parties, because it came as part of a campaign to get off. Also, Gannon was pointed to it as important, so it's clear the WH was using the leak as part of their strategy in October 2003.

    It's interesting why WH would change their mind, away from leaking the CIA summary (which they told Novak they wanted to leak) and to INR. So there must be a motive for it.

    One possibility is that they chose to leak that, rather than the CIA thing, because it had Wilson's name on it. So it could plausibly be claimed that that was the ONLY piece of information. I think that was an important part of the plan.

    But it also meant that the source of the leak came out of Powell's shop, not Tenet's or Condi's. Which might be really important if Powell was the source for the October story that this was just done for revenge (as I suspect, although Tenet is another very good possibility, although I think the fact that Tenet wasn't, AFAIK, on AF1 that week, makes it much more likely that Powell was the source). It is likely that WH read the WaPo story, figured out Powell had to be the source, and started setting up a blame Powell strategy.

    I think at this point Powell and company didn't push back that hard. More of the pushback came from CIA at that point, saying the memo writer would have had no idea about what Plame did.

    But since the Rove news got leaked, this has been the central focus of news reports, coming from people who appear to be lawyers for suspects. It seems likely that

    1. this is the only thing that Rove didn't touch, so if people believe that this is the source and Rove didn't touch it, then he's off the hook, and

    2. it was also an easy way to incriminate people they wanted to incriminate, especially Powell. They seem to be setting up a defense by which they'll discredit the people they KNOW will testify against them by "proving" to the American people that Powell was actually the guilty party. The defense will go something like, "Your honor, how can you believe what Powell says about this being simply about revenge when he clearly was the person who leaked the document in the first place?"

    But now, there has been leaking in the last two days with specifics about the story (the WSJ story and this morning's WaPo story). The leak on THESE stories is almost certainly Powell, Armitage, Ford, or Grossman, partly because the leaker is described as a retired State Department official and partly because this is the spin we're getting from the document now. Whoever it is is saying, "Fine, you want to make this about the INR memo, do so. But rest assured we're going to make sure everyone knows that this memo doesn't exonerate anyone else."

    This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

    by emptywheel on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 12:59:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Minor point (none)
      Guckert/Gannon is nothing. He is an after-the-fact barnacle that was trying to make hay wit the WSJ and play gotcha with Wilson.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 03:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  here's my speculation (none)
      since I haven't seen it yet, I'll say it

      if this is the same memo I've been hearing so much about:

      the memo is a fake.. It was created to give excuse, muddied the water, and throw off persuers

      the memo contains misstatments of fact, was written by a person who didn't attend the meeting discussed in the memo, and includes a participant in the meeting who was provably NOT AT THE MEETING

      the memo is evidence of a coverup that started simulatanously with the illegal disclosure of classified information

      that's my take, but I could be crazy. but, then again, I Know Things

      •  plame was at the meeting (none)
        Plame testified to the Senate committee that she

        "she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes".

        •  I wasn't talking about Plame (none)
          it was (supposedly) a person who SAID something about Plame at the meeting

          except that the CIA can prove the person was elsewhere at the time he was supposedly attending this meeting

          If it's true, we have a piece of "Manufactured" evidence here. And falsefying evidence is obstruction of justice

          and that would be VERY VERY bad for George Bush

          moves the Obstruction of Justice to a date PRIOR to the outing, which moves the entire episode into the realm of conspiricy to commit treason

          •  I would love (none)
            to have the link about someone saying somthing about Plame at the meeting.
            •  the person mentioning Plame wasn't there (none)
              this is why the memo has some serious questions attached to it. The memo quotes somebody making a statement that couldn't have been made, because he person wasn't at the meeting to make the statement

              that is what I heard. there was a story claiming that the CIA says the memo is incorrect because of this fact

              if it is true, there are some serious consequences for the very existance of this document

    •  As I previously indicated in this... (none)
      ...diary, what is important about the WSJ leak, is what wasn't leaked about the memo:

      (1) The date of the memo is omitted. Omission of the date leads readers to assume that the memo was contemporaneous with the February 2002 CIA meeting. Including the actual June 10, 2003 date of the memo would immediately call into question the purpose of the document and the circumstances under which it was prepared.
      (2) The memo is described as being prepared by "U.S. Intelligence personnel".  It omits the fact that the document was prepared by State Department personnel. This omission cloaks the executive branch's involvement.
      (3) The fact that the document was designated as sensitive and not to be shared is also omitted. As a result, the fact that any reader of memo would know the contents were classified is obscured. In addition, it hides the fact that releasing the contents of the memo for the subject article may itself be another illegal leak of classified information.
      (4) The sources will not reveal how Valerie Plame Wilson is identified in the memo.
      (5) Cloud refers to his sources as "two people familiar with the memo", "current and former officials familiar with the memo" and "other officials with knowledge of the memo". He omits mentioning if the officials are senior or what part of the government they represent.

      All of these omissions protect the administration.

      •  The WSJ is helpful in part (none)
        The WSJ article is most of what you claim, however it is interesting to note that the 10/03 WJS does three things;

        First, WSJ to all intents and purposes calls Plame covert.

        Operations officers like Ms. Plame are sometimes identified only by their first names even in interagency meetings.

        Second, WSJ makes it pretty clear that the contents of the INR memo are classified.

        Classified memos, like the one describing Ms. Plame's role, have limited circulation and investigators are likely to question all those known to have received it.  

        Third, WSJ includes the CIA version about whether Plame is responible for the decision to send him.

        Intelligence officials haven't denied Ms. Plame was involved in the decision to send Mr. Wilson, but they have said she was not "responsible" for the decision.

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