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In the flurry of "grand jury leaks" and Friday afternoon news dumps about the criminal investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame's name, it's critical we keep the facts straight and the big picture in focus.

What has been lost in the focus on Novak is the fact that there are SIX WITNESSES TO THE LEAK.  On September 28, 2003, an administration source told the Washington Post that at least 6 journalists were contacted with the leak before Novak's article: "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge." He stated that he was sharing the information because the disclosure was "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were  irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."

Almost two years later, a clearer picture has emerged as to who those six journalists were:

(1)    Robert Novak (columnist and shill-at-large)
(2)    Judith Miller (NY Times)
(3)    Matt Cooper (Time)
(4)    Walter Pincus

Other possibilities include Glen Klesser and Tim Russert.  

*** Update [2005-7-16 11:53:15 by georgia10]: Some of the comments below point out the very real possibility that the names I originally mentioned (Jeff Gannon, Timothy Phelp, Knut Royce) were investigated not necessarily because they were recipients of the original leak, but because they were contacted as part of the subsequent push to keep the Plame line alive. Accordingly, I've shorted the list to reflect this. Back to the regularly scheduled diarying.***

Phelps, Royce, and Novak were all among the very first to be interviewed as the investigation began. The general consesus is that Novak likely made a deal to sing and prevent a Miller-esque demise.  It is not unreasonable to assume Phelps and Royce also testified fully and accurately.

Don't let the White House defensive blur the facts.  This is the same White House that has no respect for the rule of law when it comes to the Geneva Conventions, privacy rights, or the law of war.  Do we really believe they actually respect Fitzgerald and our Justice system enough to not screw around with it to cover their asses?  These are men who launched wars on pretense, who are intimately tied with those who think the only law is God's law, who have evidenced time and time again they are the most selfish and manipulative individuals to be in the White House in a while.  So EVERY "defense" or apparent exonerating "document" needs to be scrutinized and analyzed in context.

Let's look at the lead up to the article.  Here is what I find intriguing.  Notice how contact with reporters by senior administration officials follows an all-too-predictable pattern:  they "happened" to call up to discuss a separate story, then out of the blue bring up Plame at the tail end of the conversation....

Novak wrote in his Oct. 1, 2003 column that he found out about Ms. Plame in "an offhand revelation" by a senior administration official whom he was questioning about why Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger to find out whether uranium was being shipped for nuclear arms.  There we go, another "offhand revelation."  He later changed his story to say the leak was CIA, not from the White House. But, his words follow him, specifically when he said "I didn't dig it out. It was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."  They?  Not he, but "they"?  Recall above that it was TWO White House officials who contacted 6 reporters.  TWO attempts to plant this information.  Keep that in mind as we move on.

Now to a quick timeline:

JULY 8th
During a conversation struck up by a perfect stranger about Ambassador Wilson on a Washington, D.C. sidewalk, Robert Novak said: "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him." That stranger turned out to be Wilson's friend, who immediately told Wilson about the conversation.  

That same day, Novak talked to Rove to "discuss another column" about Frances Fragos Townsend, who had been named deputy national security adviser for terrorism in May 2003.  At the end of that 15- or 20-minute call (surprise), Novak said he had learned that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. "I heard that, too," Rove replied, according to the lawyer, confirming the Times account. link

The question here is what came first?  The phone call from Rove or the "Wilson's an asshole" conversation?  It is unclear, but if Fitzgerald can show that Novak talked to Rove before he had his "Wilson's an asshole" conversation, then that would circumstantially work against Rove's credibility.

JULY 11th
Rove emailed Stephen Hadley, then-Deputy National Security Advisor.  Apparenlty, this email is a CYA email, where Rove claims Cooper called him up to discuss a "welfare reform story" and, of course, at the end of that conversation, Cooper started talking about Wilson.  

JULY 12th
Now to Walter Pincus.  An administration official talks to Pincus about the Iraq, then "veers off" and starts talking about Wilson and how he has no credibility because his wife set up the trip.

Rove and Libby both maintain that while they talked to  Cooper and Novak before they published their stories, they originally learned about the operative's identity from the news media, not government sources.

Matthew Cooper told prosecutors that he talked to Libby on July 12 and mentioned that he had heard that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, a source knowledgeable about his testimony said. Cooper testified that Libby said he had heard the same thing from the media.  Now, remember, Cooper talked to Rove on the 11th.  Two calls to administration officials in two days, both of whom offer the same response.

Libby and Rove have the same cookie-cutter defense.  Either both are telling the truth, or both are lying.  

McClellan has said he had obtained face-to-face denials from Rove, Libby and NSC member Abrams.  McClellan said he spoke to each of them individually, and that "They were not involved in leaking classified information, nor did they condone it."

Karl Rove's defense was that he did not know Plame's name. (on a side note, they do both attend the same Episcopal Church).  LIbby has maintained that he learned her name and occupation from the media.  Also, Pincus has stated that Libby was not his source.

Confusing? Perhaps.  But not if you remember what is at stake.  Jail time and fines have a tendency to make people say things they may not otherwise say, or to do things they shouldn't do to keep themselves out of jail.  Which leads me to my next section...

On the evening of September 29, 2003, the White House was instructed to preseve any and all evidence relating to the Plame investigation.  Eleven hours later, Alberto Gonzales sent out an email instructing staff to preserve information.  For eleven hours, the White House sat on Justice Department order. The phone records and email records (if they still exist) during that time are critical to Fitzegerald's conversation.  

It is just one day after that 11 hour gap that Novak publishes his article refuting his "two senior administration officials" claim, blaming it instead on the CIA.  It is just two days later that the White House changed its claims from broad innocence, instead employing legal jargon and super-technical statements filled with carefully chosen words:

Bush aides began to adjust their response to the expanding probe. They reigned in earlier, broad portrayals of innocence in favor of more technical arguments that it is possible the disclosure was made without knowledge that a covert operative was being exposed and therefore might not have been a crime." (Milbank and Allen, "Outside Probe of Leaks Is Favored," Washington Post, Oct 2, 2003)

It is because of these events that we should not give much weight to anything that comes out from the White House, or anything that seems to exonerate the White House.  Just as the leak was the careful dissemination of Plame's name to 6 reporters, I assure you, the cover-up is a thousand times more meticulous.  

This diary began by quoting the Washinton Post's source, who revealed a planned leak by two senior administration officials to six reporters.  This source has been referred to as "One by Two by Six."  

Who is the source?  Look at the picture that accompanied the source story.  Maybe it means something, maybe not.

The Washington Post, citing a source, has reported that the leaker described Wilson's wife as "fair game." The Washington Post,  September 28, 2003.  Interesting language, isn't it?  That's the exact same phrase attributed to Karl Rove when he called up Chris Matthews to say Wilson's wife is "fair game."  Another reporter called up Wilson to warn him, saying  "watch out, they're coming after you"--but that journalist is uncertain whether any reference was made to Wilson's wife's employment at the CIA. link

What remains clear is that everyone, from the reporters to the administration officials, have something to lose here.  Accordingly, we should not rush to presumptions that anyone is telling a clean, unshaded, or uncoerced version of the story. That's Fitzgerald's job.  To examine the body of evidence (almost all of which is not available to us) and to piece together this huge puzzle, to see which testimonies fit, which don't, whether they are corroborated by documents, whether those documents have been tampered with.

For those who believe that Rove is innocent, or the Bush administration will get away with it, here is a reminder of who is at the heart of this investigation:

Among those who are known to have been interviewed by the FBI or testified before the grand jury are Bush White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, political adviser Karl Rove, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis I. Libby, Republican National Committee consultant Mary Matalin, former Cheney press aide Catherine Martin, White House press secretary Scott McClellan, communications director Dan Bartlett, deputy press secretary Claire Buchan, and former assistant press secretary Adam Levine. Bush and Cheney also have been interviewed, as has Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

This case implicates the very core of the Bush administration.  Let us not underestimate its desire to spin and manipulate the media to fit its agenda.  Whereas before, propaganda was launched to support the Iraq war, the propaganda we are seeing as of late is meant to lead the media astray in a new war: a war for the truth.  Claims of Rove's exoneration are just the latest attempt to quell the resurrection of the "free press".  One leaked email does not a defense make.  One leaked testimony--which could be discredited or challenged by facts--is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.  And sometimes, one conspiracy to cover up can be more damning than the crime itself...

*sources for the info in this diary came from the forever useful Dkospedia Plame Leak Timeline.

Originally posted to Georgia Logothetis on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 07:47 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommended (4.00)
    I'd like to see this zip to the top of the list ASAP.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bushes aren't married. They have an arrangement." -- Rush Limbaugh.

    by bink on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 02:53:24 AM PDT

    •  Agreed ; recommended (4.00)
      Beautifully done, Georgia10

      "I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Jefferson

      by Michael Alton Gottlieb on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:06:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed it has 'summited', but I am left wondering (4.00)
      if in the end, Bush will use the "Reagan defense" of complete denial of wrongdoing due to ingnorance and general cluelessness.  He is, after all, known as a very "hands off" and delegating-kind-of-guy, and Ronnie IS his role model of role models.
      The pattern is there for him to do so, and I would not be surprised to see this episode play out in such a way.

      However, even if it does, then I expect the fallout will be vey much akin to the post Iran/Contra election year of 1988- where the public was very much attuned to, and weary of, the dangers of a corrupt White House.  IOW the court of public opinion will be very much with the Democrats, and we should win back at least one of the houses, if not both, by '08.

      If Bush is impeached then Kerry's loss will have been worth it!

      by NYFM on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:10:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  forget about Junior (4.00)
        Go for the puppeteers. Junior's nothing without them. Bring down the whole lot of them and leave Junior squirming.

        "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

        by subtropolis on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:33:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How you capture the king (4.00)
        first you pick off a pawn or 2 set a trap for a knight  then a bishop maybe another pawn. pretty soon the king is defenseless. lets give this SOB all the rope he wants because W is to smart by half and will hang himself.
      •  Learned at the breast of Nixon (4.00)
        Say it with me:

        "Plausible deniability."

        The isolation of the POTUS from news except through handfeeding, the direction of his every move by Rove and's all built up around him like a "cone of silence", to segregate the office of the POTUS.

        Not just because the man is dangerous when left to his own bumbling speech, but because they wanted at least one arm's-length firewall.

        They wanted to build in plausible deniability.

        And I've always suspected that William Casey provided that to "Teflon" Ron in the Iran-Contra Affair, too.

        •  comparison quote (4.00)
          i think you could legitimately replace "nixon" with "w" and still be dead on.

          as penned by the late, great hunter thompson:

          "Richard Nixon has never been one of my favourite people, anyway. For years I've regarded his very existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad."


          "Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning."

          different century, same ol' same ol'.

          "Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds." - HST

          by dukeraoul on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:39:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ahh, yes...Hunter Thompson and Richard Nixon (none)
            "He was a crook." HST on RMN

            Thompson's obit on Nixon is one of the late 20th century's great pieces of writing.

            "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

            by RubDMC on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:52:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This part of your piece is murky, though, Georgia. (4.00)
      At least to me.

      Novak wrote in his Oct. 1, 2003 column that he found out about Ms. Plame in "an offhand revelation" by a senior administration official whom he was questioning about why Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger to find out whether uranium was being shipped for nuclear arms.  There we go, another "offhand revelation."  He later changed his story to say the leak was CIA, not from the White House. But, his words follow him, ...

      It is just one day after that 11 hour gap that Novak publishes his article refuting his "two senior administration officials" claim, blaming it instead on the CIA.

      You seem to be indicating Novak's story rests with the CIA as source, although even Wilson says Novak said he "misspoke" and the story has rested with the "two senior administration officials" line.

      As shown in this  LINK.


      Novak said Monday that he was working on the column when a senior administration official told him the CIA asked Wilson to go to Niger in early 2002 at the suggestion of his wife, whom the source described as "a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction."

      Another senior administration official gave him the same information, Novak said, and the CIA confirmed her involvement in her husband's mission.

      In his column, Novak attributed the information about Plame's involvement in Wilson's trip to Africa to two unnamed senior administration officials.

      "They asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else. According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative and not in charge of undercover operators," Novak said.

      The Washington Post quoted a "senior administration official" in a story Sunday as saying that two top White House officials disclosed the identity of Wilson's wife in calls to at least six Washington journalists. Novak was the only recipient of the information who published it, the Post reported.

      "I think it comes out of the White House political office," Wilson said.

      Novak said Monday that he will not reveal the names of his sources.

      Novak also contacted Wilson for the column and was told, "I will not answer any question about my wife," according to a quotation Novak used in the column.

      Wilson disputed that in an interview Monday night on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now."

      "Bob Novak called me before he went to print with the report and he said a CIA source had told him that my wife was an operative," Wilson said. "He was trying to get a second source. He couldn't get a second source. Could I confirm that? And I said no."

      Wilson said he called Novak after the article appeared citing sources in the Bush administration.

      "What was it, CIA or senior administration?" Wilson said he asked Novak. "He said to me, 'I misspoke the first time I spoke to you.' "

      Maybe you can clarify what you are trying to say re Novak claiming CIA as his sources. Looks like he was trying to freak Wilson out, throw him off balance during one brief instance in the game by claiming CIA as source (slimy weasel that he is) but he never stuck to it, which is the impression I get from your text.


      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:11:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CIA as Novak's source? (4.00)
        Hey, why not.  We blame them for everything, give Tenet the medal of freedom to keep quiet and all is well.  Then we clean out all of the dissenters in the CIA and we put a political operative like Peter Goss and viola! we are home free.  Now we have to get that damn Supreme court nominee on board before this goes anywhere.

        Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

        by hairspray on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:53:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As that article is written, (4.00)
        it looks to me like Novak was looking to get confirmation (and really wanted it from Wilson), therefore he misled Wilson about the original source of the info he was seeking confirmation on, suspecting (correctly, I would assume) that if he [Novak] called up Wilson looking for confirmation, telling him that the WH had told him his wife was a CIA operative wouldn't get him to confirm, but that telling him the CIA had already told him, might make Novak's leaking look more "kosher" (as in, "it's ok Joe, the beans have already been spilled over at CIA, so you've no need to keep mum about it anymore").

        I also think its one of those particularly slimy ways of sending messages to folks you don't like in DC, "can you confirm" is code for, "I'm after you" or "I'm going to put you in your place, at least as I see what your place is".

        In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

        by a gilas girl on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:33:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a link from Wilson's book ... (4.00)
          "The Politics of Truth" that you and others might find interesting. It's A Strange Encounter with Robert Novak, Chapter 17  ". It might be a nice link for Georgia to add to the portion of her diary where she describes the encounter between Novak and Wilson's friend, where Novak tells him Wilson is an "asshole."

          It helps refresh the sequence and gives Wilson's take. It describes the events around the time of the encounters and article coming out, Wilson's and Valerie's responses, phone calls with Novak, warnings from journalists to Wilson and his response to the apparent suicide of David Kelly the Brit scientist in UK defense.

          As for the Novak saying the CIA was the source, could be what you said, who knows? He did have some wiggle room as he had actually spoken to a CIA source, who cautioned him away from using her name. Many have seen the irony in the outing, in that BushCo screamed about a faux WMD presence in Iraq all the live long day months up until the war, and then, with Novak's help, outed Plame, who had spent years cultivating a secret persona to help defend against ACTUAL WMD.

          Add to that irony that Novak took a leading role in this nasty game, as he was actually one of the few conservatives who voiced a real lack of support for waging this war. He was on the same page much more so with Wilson than with the Administration. Just goes to show how deep goes his partisan hackery. It trumped all the rest.

          Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 10:19:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (none)
            this is very good "background" to have, much better than the "double super secret background" that journalists like to play with these days.

            In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

            by a gilas girl on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 12:21:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Novak's sympathies (none)
            are with whatever furthers his career. I don't think he ascribes to any ideology other than the worship of his own greatness. Novak has made his career by acting like an opinion writer when convenient and then hiding behind the shield of a journalist when convenient while sucking up to and gathering dirt on anyone and everyone in Washington. The man is the journalistic equivalent of Karl Rove and I hope they both go down.

            I sure hope everyone following and pushing this story here is contacting their Congressional reps and local media and helping push this story further into American' brains. We can't expect the media to do this- although since one of them went to jail they finally got off their asses and decided to cover this. I still sense they are too willing to give Rove and Bush a break on this. We can't let them off the mat. BURY THEM!!!!

  •  What do you make of this comment: (4.00)
    Lawrence O'Donnell last night on Lou Dobbs, saying what one of the judges in the investigation indicated in an opinion:

    O'DONNELL: No Lou, over a year ago, one of the lawyers in the case indicated to me that he expected it to be one that included the echo effect. Which is to say Rove's information may well have come to him first from the press. That turns out to be apparently the structure of the story now.

    But Lou, this is a very serious case. And I say that based exclusive on the judges' opinions. You can't read the judges' opinions in this case and think that this prosecutor is chasing his tail. These judges were reluctant to order these reporters to testify or into jail. And they have said that they have done so, because the underlying suspected crime is so serious. And they're talking about the leak case.

    In fact, Lou, one of the judges refers to, quote, "the plot against Wilson." One of the appeals court judges sees this case as a plot against Joe Wilson. That's not spin from a political source, that's one of the judges' reading of the case.

    That, to me, implies Conspiracy charges and Obstruction of Justice charges are being ultimately investigated, moreso than the "outing" of Plame... If so, this thing could be HUGE!

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 02:58:56 AM PDT

    •  Oh, and recommended... n/t (none)

      Canadians care too...

      by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 02:59:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone have a link? (none)
      To the judges opinion O'Donnell is referring to? Dobbs answered back that he had read that too and it was a tough read because so much was redacted. Can we get a look at this thing? Is it on the web somewhere?

      Canadians care too...

      by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:05:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This might be it (4.00)
        HTML Link to the Opinion by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. pdf link is here:

        It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

        by Steven D on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:13:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  WOW! What a great read! (4.00)
          I learned a number of nuggets here...

          Here's one, check this part out:

          On May 21, 2004, a grand jury subpeona was issued to appellant Matthew Cooper, seeking testimony and documents related to two specific articles dated July 17, 2003 and July 21, 2003, to which Cooper had contributed.

          What was in the July 21, 2003 article that is of interest, titled A Question of Trust? Plame was discussed in his July 17, 2003 article... hmmm??? Anyone have a link to the July 21 article?

          Canadians care too...

          by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:41:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

            •  And Cooper didn't even write it! (4.00)
              He was referenced at the end of the article as somehow contributing, it looks like. And NOTHING in the article relates to outing Plame, it's all about the fraudulent info that found it's way into the SOTU...

              Canadians care too...

              by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:49:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This might be the pertinent information (4.00)
              When it got to Washington, the Iraq-Niger uranium report caught the eye of someone important: Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, told TIME that during one of his regular CIA briefings, "the Vice President asked a question about the implication of the report." Cheney's interest hardly came as a surprise: he has long been known to harbor some of the most hard-line views of Saddam's nuclear ambitions. It was not long before the agency quietly dispatched a veteran U.S. envoy named Joseph Wilson to investigate. Wilson seemed like a wise choice for the mission. He had been a U.S. ambassador to Gabon and had actually been the last American to speak with Saddam before the first Gulf War. Wilson spent eight days sleuthing in Niger, meeting with current and former government officials and businessmen; he came away convinced that the allegations were untrue. Wilson never had access to the Italian documents and never filed a written report, he told TIME. When he returned to Washington in early March, Wilson gave an oral report about his trip to both CIA and State Department officials. On March 9 of last year, the CIA circulated a memo on the yellowcake story that was sent to the White House, summarizing Wilson's assessment. Wilson was not the only official looking into the matter. Nine days earlier, the State Department's intelligence arm had sent a memo directly to Secretary of State Colin Powell that also disputed the Italian intelligence.

              [emphasis mine]

              Seems to me the bolded sections show a knowledge of Libby's involved, Cheney's awareness of the debate, and State (INR) awareness of the bogosity of the claims.

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

              by emptywheel on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:59:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And therefore.... (4.00)
                Fitz could very well be investigating a conspiracy by the administration to cover up the fact they knew the Niger claims were bogus, but decided to use it anyway. Then they went about a concerted effort (by all) to discredit Wilson in an attempt to cover their tracks. In the end, taking the country to war negligently.

                A stretch on my part? Wishful thinking? Perhaps not....

                As has been said by many close to the investigation, the charges being looked at are VERY SERIOUS.

                Canadians care too...

                by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:09:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  At the very least (4.00)
                  If this is the pertinent information, it suggests he's got the goods connecting this to Libby and Cheney (and also proof that Cheney et al have been lying about just about everything they've said about Wilson).

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

                  by emptywheel on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:14:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One more thought about this (none)
                    Recall that Fitzgerald also subpoenaed an Ari Fleisher briefing from during the trip to Africa that had been taken down from the website. I recall having seen a copy of the briefing and finding nothing remarkable.

                    But I wonder if there was something in that briefing--and in Cooper's second article--that could only have been discovered from the State department memo on Plame.

                    They're paying so much attention to Ari right now that I suspect they've got some way to prove Ari saw the memo (and perhaps was involved in some other fashion). It may be that there is some detail he slipped into the breifing that we won't be able to see--because we haven't seen the INR memo.

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

                    by emptywheel on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 06:13:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Where (none)
                did you find this?
              •  Love that word (none)
        •  bloggers -pay attention to Sentelle: (4.00)
          the following text is buried in his concurring opinion.  

          Are we then to create a privilege
          that protects only those reporters employed by Time Magazine, the New York Times, and other media giants, or do we extend that protection as well to the owner of a desktop  printer producing a weekly  newsletter  to  inform  his  neighbors,  lodge brothers, co-religionists, or co-conspirators? Perhaps more to the point today, does the privilege also protect the proprietor of a web log: the  stereotypical "blogger"  sitting  in  his  pajamas  at
          his personal computer posting on the World Wide Web his best product to inform whoever happens to browse his way?  If not, why not? How could one draw a distinction consistent with the court's vision of a broadly granted personal right?  If so, then would it not be possible for  a  government  official  wishing  to engage in the sort of unlawful leaking under investigation in the present  controversy  to  call  a  trusted  friend  or  a  political  ally,
          advise him to set up a web log (which I understand takes about three minutes)  and  then  leak  to  him  under  a  promise  of confidentiality the information which the law forbids the official to disclose?  

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

          by teacherken on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:18:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reads like Judge Sentelle (none)
            knew about Guckert/Gannon.  Did he write this opinion after Guckert/Gannon was outed?
          •  Would it not be possible? (none)
            Yes, of course.
            But the question (for Judge Sentelle and others) is, is it different in the case of a government official?

            Government officials are not private bloggers in their pajamas.  They are sworn to certain responsibilities and privileges and no matter how great the temptation to squander information through channels of gossip, slander and treasonous leaking, they are to be held to a higher, or at least different standard:  that of the public trust, and that of the sworn oath of the President of the United States who is their employer and chief.

            What the hell is the purpose of background checks and swearing-in ceremonies attesting to loyalty and patriotism, if not to signify and mean that the government official is not only a citizen, but one invested with special responsibilities and privileges for the duration of that administration's time in office?

            Oh yes, not to mention the laws that are on the books regarding treason and obstruction of justice.  Aren't government officials to be held more highly accountable with regard to those very laws they are charged with defending and promoting?

    •  Not being a constitutional lawyer, (4.00)
      nor any other kind of lawyer for that matter, I have no special knowledge about what it means, but I had read this information somewhere else in relation to Lawrence O'Donnell. It seems very clear that the prosecutor thinks that a very serious crime or serious crimes were committed.

      Puffy McMoonface is probably technically correct when he says he can't comment on the investigation, and he sure as hell doesn't want to comment on it if he can't lie anymore.

      Of course, Scott was not the press secretary when they started circulating their first set of lies about Wilson, Niger, uranium, the SOTUS, and so forth; it was Ari Fleischer. I always wondered why Ari Fleischer left the job soon after that; perhaps it was to avoid breaking any more laws.

      Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

      by lecsmith on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:07:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On Ari's departure (none)
        I've always thought that Ari, smart guy that he is, knew that a job like his an expiration date; he can be effective only as long as he keep the press at bay, once that magical formula wears off, then he's a liability in his job.  The most striking press briefing in the days of Ari Fleischer was the day the press gaggle laughed at him about his Mexico comments.  It was at that moment that they suddenly saw the Press Secretary had no clothes, so to speak.  Personally, I doubt that anyone who accepts a position as Press spokesperson for this crew would have any qualms about lying or even legal ramifications.  Anyone who did wouldn't accept the job in the first place.

        I see Ari's departure as a pragmatic rather than an ethical decision.

        In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

        by a gilas girl on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:48:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh thank you so much Judy Miller (4.00)
    and Matt Cooper for not cooperating earlier so that none of this shit hit the fan in an election year. You are truly principled journalists.

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:00:31 AM PDT

  •  They all colluded to leak Valerie Plame's (4.00)
    name to begin with and they colluded to cover it up.

    Excellent diary. It should go straight to the top!

    Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

    by lecsmith on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:01:02 AM PDT

    •  They? (none)
      When you say THEY-who are you referring to? Are you including Bob Novak, Judy Miller and Matt Cooper?
      •  I was thinking more of the Iraq group (none)
        inside the administration, which consists of Rove, Libbey, Karen Hughes, the wife of James Carville, and two other people--James McDougall I think, and someone else.

        But, Rove is very chummy (and yet subtlely menancing I have read) with the press that he deals directly.

        It seems like some members of the so-called "objective" press have been co-opted sufficiently to have become part of the "partisan" press even though they are not explicitly identified as such; i.e., they are not columnists.

        The relationship of the press to this administration is inverted.

        Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

        by lecsmith on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:54:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Questions I'd Like to See Asked (4.00)
    My feeling is that the taint of this will spread throughout the administration.

    Although we might find a single person culpable ...  The FBI memo in question was apparently circulated around on Air Force 1 to many people in George Bush's inner circle as a background for any smear that might be necessary.

    The question -- likely -- might be:

    Who in the Bush Administration didn't know that Amb. Wilson's wife was a covert CIA agent.  Who wasn't prepared to leak and smear Amb. Wilson using this information.  Who wasn't willing to destroy Mrs. Wilson's career?

    The questions I'd like to see asked are:

    Is there a pattern of unethical behavior regarding confidential information, intelligence information, the media and the public that goes beyond Rove and the Plame leak?

    Is there a problem in the White House, a cloud of unethical behavior that has poisoned the whole operation, beyond just this case?

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bushes aren't married. They have an arrangement." -- Rush Limbaugh.

    by bink on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:01:25 AM PDT

    •  Rhetorical questions? (4.00)
      or snark. :o)

      Your answers are:

      YES and YES

      That'll be 2 cents please. :o)

    •  Tiny correction (none)
      It was an INR memo; the FBI investigated the leaking of the memo.  Excellent comment, Bink.

      It ain't really what you'd call change. It's all happened before and it'll happen again with a different set of facts. -Gloria Naylor

      by GN1927 on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:14:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (none)
        Indeed ...

        I was commenting carelessly.  I wish the diary from polyanna was still around, because the entry itself and the comments were a goldmine of information regarding this part of the story.

        "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bushes aren't married. They have an arrangement." -- Rush Limbaugh.

        by bink on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:32:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Almost time for another terror alert (none)

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:06:32 AM PDT

    •  I heard "real" journalists talking on (4.00)
      a news program last night--maybe it was Washington Week in Review on PBS--in which they took the part of the White House and explained that the White House is just biding its time on the Rove affair and hoping that the nomination of the new SCOTUS will take center stage.

      1. We must not let this subject be bumped from the front pages.
      2. I wonder if Bush will nominate someone designed to cause a lot of conflict just to deflect attention from this. He WOULD do that. By that, I mean he wouldn't put a protective shield around the SCOTUS nomination process  and NOT politicize it anymore than he would put it around any other process.

      Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

      by lecsmith on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:11:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Problem with that (4.00)
        Is that Bush BADLY wants to appoint Abu Gonzales to SCOTUS. He can only really appoint Abu G to replace SDO'C, not Rehnquist. Plus, he'd have an easier time appointing Abu G if Rehnquist would just step down, but Rehnquist is too ornery for that (and I don't blame him, gotta have something to keep him going, after all).

        Most importantly, Bush CAN'T nominate Abu G until he learns what Fitzgerald is going to do. As Georgia10 points out, Abu G didn't tell the WH to turn over evidence for some time. Later, all of the materials that WERE turned over were first reviewed by the WH Counsel's office. There is a very good chance that Fitzgerald is closing in on an obstruction charge. If he files obstruction charges, there is a decent chance that Abu G will be at least implicated in it--if not criminal liable.

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

        by emptywheel on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:48:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Prediction (none)
          The Supreme Court Justice will be announced on the Eve of an Article in Time by Matt Cooper about his experience in the Plame Affair.
          •  My money's on... (none)
            ...a recess appointment of Bolton.

            Got to leave the biggest brightest shiny object in reserve for when the indictments come down this fall.

            You're in a bad spot here, Scott...(Terry Moran - 7/11 WH briefing)

            by ovals49 on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 07:23:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Very interesting (none)
          If Abdu G. is nominated for the Supremes, then at his confirmation hearings, the whole leakgate stuff will come up. He was the White House counsel at the time, and he did wait 11 hours before ordering everything be turned over. I almost forgot that until I read this diary. If only the White House Press corp would behave the way they do when grilling Scotty all the time, perhaps we will get to the  bottom of this a hell of a lot sooner than waiting for Fitzgerald to either issue a report or worse. I want to know when Rove does shit, like this or like the Swifties or Rathergate, or McCain in S. Carolina, it is called "Hardball Politics", and not what it really is, "unethical, illegal and immoral political tactics." Why and when have we as a nation come to expect shit like this taking place in a Presidential campaign? No wonder they hate us. It is not because of our freedoms, it is because of shit like this. I am still convinced, now more than ever, that Rove made a phony video of Osoma just 3 days before the election, that was his ace in the hole. Talking up terrorism at the GOP convention, staged in N.Y.C. and then in the final days what  better than a video of Osoma. I swear I saw that footage somewhere earlier. Do any of you think for one minute, Osoma really watched F-911 and actually concentrated on the "my pet goat bit"? I am not even sure he is still alive.
        •  See a pattern here too? (none)
          Bush tries like holy hell to push John "Ballistic" Bolton to an appointment as UN Ambassador.

          He then floats "Torture Boy" Gonzales for SCOTUS.

          Both happen just before this thing turns really public and really ugly.

          Were the two positions the incentives -- or the rewards -- by the Cheney WH for a job (against Wilson) well done? As an alternative for a Preznidential Bauble of Freedom, perhaps? I get visions of these two guys at a carnival pointing to the top row of "good" prizes after winning at the shooting gallery and saying, "I'll have me one of those, mister!"

          Or were these proposed appointments an attempt by Chimpy to put his guys in such high-level posts to make sure that the stakes in any breaking coverup or conspiracy charges would be so high that the spineless press and the Lieberman Left would be reluctant to go after them hammer and tongs?

          Of course, maybe I just need to remove my tinfoil hat and admit that the Cheney White House wants to install as many idealogues as possible in as many posts as they can.

          I'll take "All of the Above" for $500, Alex...

    •  I would call it a SCOTUS Orange Alert (none)
      I made that observation on another comment on the diary of GW's hinting about his nominee about to be named. I was thinking, what timing to knock this story off the front page. Yep, Orange Alert, Orange Alert..............

      Fix the Problems, Don't create new ones

      by BarnBabe on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:07:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two-Four-Six-Gate (4.00)
    Two sources. Four days. Six reporters.

    Two-four-six-gate, who do we appreciate?

    Not this scandal, actually--nothing good about blowing a CIA agent and front while promoting lies that led to war. But at least it's coming to light ...

    Let there be sharks - TracieLynn

    by GussieFN on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:11:17 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (4.00)
    I'm particularly interested in this "11 hour gap" and his "I know this man, he is a good man" statements to severely damage the credibility of all present and future WH actions....thus rolling a log under every step they make.

    Like, nominating Abu Gonzales to SCOTUS, based on "he's a friend of mine"....with friends like these, why does the US need any more enemies?

    sign the petition at

    by DrKate on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:11:48 AM PDT

    •  Wasn't the gap at night? (none)
      If it was literally an 11-hour gap, and if he learned on the evening of Sept 29 and sent around an e-mail 11 hours later, wasn't that the next morning?  Like, he learns at 8:00 pm and sends the e-mail at 7:00 am the next morning?  Granted, it is an 11 hour gap, but it doesn't look so suspicious in that light.  Am I missing something?

      "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

      by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 06:25:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, but (4.00)
        I'd suspect an 11-hour gap is not long enough for too much hanky panky to have transpired.

        But remember that Gonzalez' office went through all the documents before sending them to the DoJ--to help the "career professionals" by culling out irrelevant and non-responsive documents. (Documents like those Fitzgerald would later subpoena: phone records, Iraq Group documents, records of contacts with journalists.)

        I put up some links about this here earlier today.

      •  in 11 hours (4.00)
        you can shred and otherwise destroy one helluva lot of paper and e-mails.  the legalese for that is called "spoliation of evidence" - a term we may hear about in the future.

        these "people" (ok, maybe that's a stretch) don't keep typical 9 to 5 hours.  

        vampires delight in the night, you know...

        "Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds." - HST

        by dukeraoul on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:46:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two questions I have (4.00)
    1.  If Rove heard it from Novak, why was he spreading it around without verifying it?  and if he verified it, didn't he then know, and by spreading the information isn't it a crime?

    2.  If Rove heard it from Novak, who did Novak hear it from?
    •  One question I have (4.00)
      What's Rove doing in a church?

      "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the **illusion** of knowledge." Stephen Hawking

      by maven98 on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rove confirmed it (none)
      by telling Novak he'd heard that before. Someone leaked to Novak, who called Rove to get a second source on the info. It's quite probable that this was at the suggestion of the 1st leaker. Rove's response is an example of confirming information while (ostensibly) retaining some deniability. Aslo, it shows that, regardless of whom Rove might have given the information to, he already knew himself. How did he know?

      We shouldn't corner ourselves by shouting too much for Roves resignation (yet) as it is possible he didn't leak to Novak. But we should keep up pressure on him.

      I can't wait for the indictments to come to see who sings.

      "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

      by subtropolis on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:01:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Novak (none)
        ...also talked with someone at CIA to confirm her identity, though they explicitly urged him not to run her name. Citing that he didn't think her life was in any danger, he went ahead anyway and included it.

        But, again, confirmation is tantamount to disclosure.

        •  hey Spark web/tech coordinator (none)
          I only heard about the Spark a month or two ago (don't feel bad 𔄣 i'm Canadian). At the time there was nobody filling that position and i thought about getting in touch to offer XHTML/CSS services. I was also wondering why they only have PDFs available. Anyway, good to see you're there. Good luck with the Spark!

          "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

          by subtropolis on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:55:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Certainly (none)
            We're currently discussing a web update conversion to a CMS for individual articles with a Croatian designer but would also love your help. (I'm not a programmer myself, just a guy with HTML knowledge who's learning PHP/SQL.)

            Anyway, drop me a line at my e-mail address (listed on my user page) and we'll discuss things further.

      •  It's also illegal for him to confirm. n/t (none)
    •  as far (none)
      as I've read, only the initial leaker has committed a crime under the act.

      But like Schumer said at his press conference, the standard for having and maintaining your security clearance is much higher than the standard for committing a crime.

      If Rove heard it from Novak, he should NOT have confirmed it, becuase confirming it is as bad as leaking it.

      "What difference does it make to the dead.....whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or.....liberty and democracy?" - Gandhi

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:42:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't he... (none)
        "leak" the information to Matt Cooper, no matter where he learned the information?

        When he told Cooper that Wilsons wife worked for the CIA, Novak hadn't printed his column yet, so it was still on the downlow.

        •  I don't believe it matters who has done what with (none)
          the information about Plame.  Her identity is classified until the CIA says it is no longer classified.  Even then, if she has been out of the country within the last five years or if CIA is actively maintaining the cover company, it is a crime to either tell someone with no need to know about her status and identity or it is a crime to indicate in any way any information about her, her cover company, or her status.  I don't recall where I read or heard this information but it may be from some of the ex-CIA people who have been calling Air America Radio.  They are all pretty angry about this outing.
    •  It is a crime (none)
        Discussing classified info with anyone without the proper security clearance is a crime, as has been mentioned in several blogs (which I don't recall - there's so many). Thus, those discussions by WH personel about Plame/Mrs. Wilson are crimes by definition.

        It seems like the WH manuevers are to get out of one law (Identitites Identification) but run smack into another one.

  •  Matt Cooper (4.00)
    (4) Michael Cooper (Times) -- should be Matt Cooper.

    I was wondering if Chris Matthew's name should be included in other possibilities -- or was the "Wilson't wife is fair game" comment made long after the fact.

    •  thanks. (4.00)
      I was wondering that as well. However, his "fair game" call to Wilson was on July 21st, after Novak published the article.

      There are two phases to this.  One is the leaking of the name to six journalists, which is illegal. The next phase occured after Novak's article, which was a mass campaign to push the story, with calls to Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, etc.  That part is likely not illegal, though highly unethical.

      by Georgia Logothetis on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:20:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sheeesh... (none)
    I had to look and look to give you your well-earned 4.

    As the various scandals find their way into the court system, I fully expect the demons of the '06 election cycle to be "rabid prosecuters".

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by stumpy on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:30:26 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

  •  Still classified (none)
    But if the CIA had not yet said her identity was no longer classified, then technically, it would continute to be illegal to discuss her identity, her job, or the cover company, yes?

    Which would mean that, even after Novak wrote his column, it was still illegal to shop the story around.

    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

    by mataliandy on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 05:35:34 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

  •  And... (4.00)
    ..."Robert Wilson" should say Joseph Wilson.

    How come this situation looked so clear when it happened and now seems so complicated? I'm sure Fitzgerald is sorting it all out and getting ready for some juicy indictments!

    The truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with that. Except it ain't so. --Twain

    by MichaelPH on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:22:37 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

  •  What about Judith Miller? (4.00)
    Again, this investigation seems to be more about discrediting Wilson's claims than about outing his wife and the subsequest conspiracy to hide the fact that they LIED TO GO TO WAR.

    From this article (emphasis mine...)

    While media coverage in recent days has focused on conversations Rove had with reporters, two sources told The Washington Post that New York Times reporter Judith Miller spoke with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, during the key period in July 2003 that is the focus of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation.

    The two sources, one who is familiar with Libby's version of events and the other with Miller's, said the previously undisclosed conversation occurred a few days before Plame's name appeared in Robert Novak's syndicated column on July 14, 2003. Miller and Libby discussed former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame's husband, who had recently alleged that the Bush administration twisted intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, according to the source familiar with Libby's version.

    But, according to the source, the subject of Wilson's wife did not come up.

    And who is now in jail?

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:15:52 AM PDT

  •  She's got a little list (none)
    (with apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan).

    Such an interesting list, Georgia. All reporters for very mainstream, high-profile news outlets, plus . . . JeffyJim Gannon/Guckert???

    That alone should blow completely out of the water any administration fairy tales about how JeffyJim wasn't a plant. I can think of a half-dozen other "real" reporters they could have given the leak to, but they were unlikely to be as compliant in "reporting" as JJ.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?--Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:20:04 AM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary (none)
    But under July 8 (next to Novak's picture), please correct Wilson's first name.
  •  Recommend (4.00)
    Although I am a bit overwhelmed with a constant stream of Rove/Plamegate, this is a terrific diary that does a great job of putting the pieces together.

    Freedom isn't free, but it's a great business opportunity, especially if you can get others to pay the cost.

    by Passage2Truth on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:31:04 AM PDT

  •  Thoughts (none)
    First, in your list of journalists, you should include Andrea Mitchell. I think it much more likely Rove CALLED reliable, prestigious journalists (Miller, Novak, Russert, Mitchell, and two others--I franky doubt Gannon got one of the first calls, this was leaked to be a BIG SCOOP, not a subtly implanted story, which was Gannon's MO--plus, he would have said if he got info this early, strictly to boost his ego). In addition, some unreliable, more credible journalists (Pincus and Cooper) happened to call Rove in this period and he pitched his story with them, too.

    Also, I'm not sure that "6 sources" story has stood up over time. Wilson used to use that statement. But I think he learned after the fact that some of those (like Mitchell) were told after Novak got the story, which is why these journalists weren't subpoenaed.

    Second, even though the WaPo put in Tenet's picture, I think it much more likely that Powell was the source. He was the consensus guess as the source when this story came out. Moreover, consider that WE KNOW Powell knew about this outing--he's the one who go the memo about Wilson. His reaction in the article is completely consistent with what we know of Colin Powell--a team player, but repulsed by the seedier things his team does. Further, he was interviewed by the FBI at about this time, so it's likely that's how the WaPo figured out he'd make a good source.

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

    by emptywheel on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:37:30 AM PDT

  •  The 11-hour gap (none)
    How long was it between the time the CIA referred the Plame outing probe to Justice Dept. and the time Gonzales called on WH to preserve documents?

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:37:56 AM PDT

  •  Lying or incompetent? (none)
    That question, are they lying or incompetent? has been a mantra for the Bush admin since 2000.  They have successfully convinced the media & populace that they are "only incompetent" on every major disaster to date: 9/11, Iraq WMD, Iraq War, etc.

    I'm worried they are going to pull it off again here.  I see a storyline emerging along these lines here based on Miller being the original source of the classified information (which would be why she's in jail protecting her source), giving it to Rove and/or Novak and Rove claiming simple idiocy and political gamesmanship leading him to spread the info.  Sadly, I suspect nobody would be surprised to hear that Rove saw an opportunity to attack an administration critic and took it without realizing the national security implications.  If he skirts the letter of the law, the ethical issue may not stick simply because they are shameless.

    It's sure fun to speculate that the story will reach Cheney/Bush or even Tenet, but I haven't seen anything solid that invalidates the above storyline.  Most of the fun speculation in the diary (which I enjoyed) is based on assumptions that they are all lying.  It may even be true, but if the lies hold together, this may not go very far.

    We might be reduced to simply hoping that the case reminds everybody about the run-up to the war and fixing the intelligence.  I still believe those acts meet the standards of war crimes and fantasize that one day that will become the topic of conversation.

  •  5) Timothy M. Phelp/Knut Royce (Newsday) (4.00)
    These are the guys who reported on the Novak story... They got his original - and perhaps incriminating - quotes... but I don't think they were recipients of the leak.
  •  i don't (none)
    know if anyone has seen this, but atrios has excerpted from a WaPo article.  Seems Fitzgerald doesn't have qualms about threatening criminal contempt. If he does this to Miller, what will happen. I know we have lawyers here; how does that differ from now?


    atrios site:

    i have to run but will be interested to see what people have to say about this later.

  •  an interesting point (4.00)
    Considering that the leakers are culpable under the Agee law and the Espionage act, not to mention perjury and what not, they have NO motivation to not act illegally in the coverup as well.  This means there could be daily briefings on strategy going on in the White House right now, especially if this stretches up to Bush and/or Cheney. Committing a crime to cover up a crime?  Sure, why not?  After all, at least one interpretation of that crime is a capital offense.

    So, who else here is keeping a bottle of champagne chilled for the first time we see a white house official in handcuffs?

    Another interesting point... the 11 hour gap really must weigh hard against choosing Gonzales for the SCOTUS.  I mean, if there are arrests and his 11 hour delay becomes a critical point in the coverup (which it almost certainly would), and that came up before the approval, it'd probably sink it, even with a Republican Senate.

    There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:51:41 AM PDT

  •  Could it be...... (none)
    Someone slipped the June 2003 security document circulated to Novak anonymously?

    Who is Novak's source?

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!!

    by timber on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:58:42 AM PDT

  •  Georgia - as usual a great story (4.00)
    If we had a true media you would be one of its stars.  

    I am struck by the fact that the 16 words in the SOTU message have become the lore of the land.  Even conservatives cringe when somebody mentions "the 16 words".  Seems like that would cause crevices and gouges in the conservatives belief in how truly needed the Iraq war is and was.  And maybe it did, but now with the Bolton nomination and the story of Rovian malice hopefully more and more chunks of that armored belief will wear away.

    But some people like malice and ineptitude.

  •  The only logic I don't get in all this is... (4.00)
    An administration official talks to Pincus about the Iraq, then "veers off" and starts talking about Wilson and how he has no credibiliy because his wife set up the trip.

    The "logic" I don't get is why would Wilson's credibility be damaged if his wife had been involved in sending his to investigate the Niger claim?

    Why? I don't understand why that would undermine his credibility.

    She's CIA, he's an Ambassador, why does it matter if she sends him to Niger rather than some other CIA authority?

    Am I stupid or what?

    ...and you can write that down, and put a dash in front of it, and put my name at the bottom.

    by deafmetal on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:59:42 AM PDT

  •  Should CNN be considered dangerous? (4.00)
    If they continue to harbor Novak - a potentially dangerous man? It's a shock they keep him around.
  •  Thanks (none)
    for bringing up Abu Gonzales' name again.

    I have been remarking in threads for awhile that he may be up for the SCOTUS, and if he is indicted while being confirmed, well...

    Rehnquist may be sticking around for the second impeachment of his career.  Reports of Rehnquist's retirment keep coming from the WH.

    Notice that everyone that has been promoted (or equivalently, been given a medal of honor) are part of this conspiracy.  This includes Abu and Bolton.  Everybody that left wasn't part of the conspiracy, with the possible exception of Powell and Armitage.

    Really, the weakest link for Bush in the mess appears to be Powell.  Did he "do the right thing by his country" in his testimony before the grand jury, or did he participate in the leak and subsequent coverup?

    It is highly probable that Rove and Bush don't know what Powell said in Grand Jury, and Powell ain't talking.

    Another loose cannon for BushCo is Tenet.  Bush must've lied to Tenet: that's why he quit, the same day Ari "I don't want to be fucked in the ass in jail" Fleischer squealed.  So Bush knew, and covered up, and Tenet quit.  Out of principle, believe it or not.

    Baby Bush be in deep doo-doo.  Maybe this is why Poppy don't talk to him no more: cuz he's a fucking traitor, and ex CIA have some principles.

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:04:56 AM PDT

  •  Why are they stonewalling? (4.00)
    Hoping the story will go away?

    We've all asked the question, if there is an innnocent explanation, why not cough it up 2 years ago.  My explanation is they are holding out, dribbling their story out, making it up as they go along, because they are not yet sure what's out there and they don't want to tell a story with which later revealed facts collide

    It's like Texas keep your counsel until you know what the other fellow has in his hand.  Or, if you like, you don't concoct your story until you know  what Mommy Bar knows for sure.  They are keeping their options open to lie their way out of it.

    Which minority group would Jesus hate?

    by NorCalJim on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:23:21 AM PDT

  •  AWESOME. (none)
    Excellent diary.
    Easy to follow, to-the-point, gives an interesting angle on what might come from this investigation.

    Or what might not come from it, because who knows how slimy these guys are and from what means the indicted will slip through the closing hands of justice....

  •  two things..... (4.00)
    I've always said that the only way to nail BushCo is to get them to lie under oath.  That's how they got Clinton.

    Also, here's an interesting and revealing article from Feb. 2005 in the WaPo that interviews (and lauds) Fitzgerald.  I recommend that we archive this article and use ut as defense of him when Bush's media machine starts trying to smear him.  And they most assuredly will when the indictments come down.

    It's here

    "What difference does it make to the dead.....whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or.....liberty and democracy?" - Gandhi

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:35:11 AM PDT

  •  Heads up! (none)
    Matthew Cooper to be on Meet the Press tomorrow. This suggests to me that his Time article will be released before Russert's interview and they'll talk about it.

    We'll see how much he discusses Plame's outing versus the "plot against Wilson".

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:18:05 AM PDT

  •  Complying without naming (none)
    Just posting because I found it interesting.

    Pincus testified, but did not have to name his source.  His source had talked to the prosecutor already, and said he was Pincus' source, so Pincus testified about the discussions without naming the source. The prosecutor then just matched them up.

    From July 12 "veers off" link in diary
    Walter Pincus:

    It turned out that my source, whom I still cannot identify publicly, had in fact disclosed to the prosecutor that he was my source, and he talked to the prosecutor about our conversation. (In writing this story, I am using the masculine pronoun simply for convenience). My attorney discussed the matter with his attorney, and we confirmed that he had no problem with my testifying about our conversation.

    When my deposition finally took place in my lawyer's office last September, Fitzgerald asked me about the substance of my conversation about Wilson's wife, the gist of which I had reported in the newspaper. But he did not ask me to confirm my source's identity, which was my condition for being deposed. My original understanding with my source still holds--to withhold his identity until he makes it public, if ever.

    Ken Salazar (D-CO), who said he'll vote for the Flag Desecration Amendment, needs to hear from us.

    by OLinda on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:19:41 AM PDT

  •  I don't buy (4.00)
    the characterization of the Rove/Hadley July 11th email as CYA. To my mind, when Rove said he didn't take the bait, he meant he did not accede to Cooper's point that Bush was hurt by the Niger story, as posed by Wilson's op-ed.

    Taking the bait does not imply, as they would like us to believe, that Rove resisted the temptation to out a CIA operative, it means he wouldn't admit that there was a negative for Bush because of the Wilson op-ed. No CYA involved. CYA would have been something like:

    Hey, Hadley, find out what you can about Wilson's wife, because I'm gravely concerned about reporters' comments suggesting her status was that of a CIA NOC operative.

    Not that Cooper made such a claim, but for me "take the bait" is innocuous.

  •  doublespeak (none)
    A problem with being republican is everything is corporate marketing jingo. "John Kerry is a flip-flopper." "The President is a man of conviction."

    Simple seemingly self-evident truths. That's what marketing is about, at least in regards to the Bush campaign.

    Well, all of a sudden, they're stuck with two phrases of their own device: Outing CIA Operative = Hero of National Security.

    But there's a disconnect where the equate sign lies. They have no catch phrase to link their actions to their spin. All of a sudden, they need their constituencey to appreciate complexity, so they're fucked.

    BushCo has two options: Ignore or face. Ignoring isn't much of an option, because everyone is talking about it. Facing this issue is even harsher on the people's existence for the past 5 years.

    Holy crap...I'm a liberal! (I had no idea!)

    by NeoconSemanticist on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:32:17 AM PDT

  •  "It might not have been a crime" (4.00)

    1. Grave If it's not a crime, then why are the Republicans choosing their words so very carefully? If it's not a crime, then why did John Ashcroft recuse himself from the investigation?

    1. Casual Republican Washington sure did hire a lot of lawyers for something that does not require defending.

    3. Snark And here I was, wondering why the Pubs were quiet as clams.  :)

    Wilbur from Charlotte's Web turned out okay, and he was just some pig. :)

    by cskendrick on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:32:31 AM PDT

  •  And the KoolAid Kids (none)
    are still calling it a "NadaGate"

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:34:18 AM PDT

  •  Great diary Georgia! (none)
    And just a reminder to Republicans: Bush didn't lie to you - he lied to all of us.
  •  Brilliant and clear (none)

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:39:26 AM PDT

  •  NOT about 2 leakers, but about 2 LEAKS? (none)
    Consider for a moment that two bits of information were leaked:

    1. Plame's identity; and
    2. Information designed to debunk Wilson's Niger claims.

    Now consider the 6 reporters:

    1. All six reporters were told #1 Leak
    2. Only SELECT reporters were given the #2 Leak

    If the investigation were ONLY about Leak #1, why haven't all six reporters been subpeonaed to identify their source? Let's take Pincus as an example and assume he was only given Leak #1. He was interviewed and NOT ASKED TO IDENTIFY HIS SOURCE. And he was NOT subpeonaed. Why? Because he WAS NOT given Leak #2!

    PERHAPS only 2 reporters were given Leak #2 and THIS is the leak being investigated by Fitz?

    Those 2 reporters being Cooper and Miller.

    Cooper: His subpeona identified TWO articles in question, one that talks about Plame and one that only talks about the Niger issue in connection with the VP office.

    Miller: No evidence she was even given Plame's name but there is evidence she was given info from Libby about the Niger issue, perhaps in an effort to debunk Wilson's claims....

    Again, I repeat, the leak of classified information, at least to me, concerns only Leak #2: the Niger claims, subsequent debunking efforts and a conspiracy to cover it up.

    Leak #1 is just a distraction....

    I bet Cooper confirms this tomorrow on MTP. Assuming Russert forgets about Plame and asks some real questions...

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:43:33 AM PDT

  •  Let's not forget... (none)
    Let us not forget that this administration started the lies and smear tactics the day they moved into the WH, not counting all the lies and smears in the campaign and election debacle. They started by claiming that Clinton's WH staff had defaced government property by doing such things as removing the W key from computer keyboards, etc. There was a Congressional investigation into this and it proved the stories were made up.

    "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by rioduran on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:58:54 AM PDT

  •  Newsday 's Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps (none)
    Also Greenspan's wife Andrea Mitchel subpoenaed:

    via talkleft

    TalkLeft: Lewis Libby and the Valerie Plame Investigation

    This Chicago Tribune article of March 5, 2004 is chock full of clues, so I'm quoting quite a bit of it:

        The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity has subpoenaed records of Air Force One telephone calls in the week before the officer's name was published in a column in July, according to documents obtained by Newsday.

        Also sought in the wide-ranging document requests contained in three grand jury subpoenas to the Executive Office of President Bush are records created in July by the White House Iraq Group, a little-known internal task force established in August 2002 to create a strategy to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

        And the subpoenas asked for a transcript of a White House spokesman's press briefing in Nigeria, a list of those attending a birthday reception for former President Gerald Ford and, casting a much wider net than previously reported, records of White House contacts with more than two dozen journalists and news outlets.

        The three subpoenas were issued to the White House on Jan. 22, three weeks after Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, was appointed special counsel in the probe and during the first wave of appearances by White House staffers before the grand jury.

        ...All three subpoenas were sent to employees of the Executive Office of the President under a Jan. 26 memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez saying production of the documents was "mandatory" by Jan. 29....The third subpoena repeats an informal Justice Department document request to the White House last fall seeking records about staff contacts with Novak and two Newsday reporters, Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps, who reported July 22 that Plame was a covert agent and Novak had blown her cover.

        The subpoena added journalists such as Mike Allen and Dana Priest of The Washington Post, Michael Duffy of Time magazine, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball" and reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press.

        ...3-stage document order

        The subpoenas required the White House to produce the documents in three stages--the first on Jan. 30, a second on Feb. 4 and the third on Feb. 6--even as White House aides began appearing before the grand jury sitting in Washington. The subpoena with the first production deadline sought three sets of documents.

        It requested records of telephone calls to and from Air Force One from July 7 to July 12, while Bush was visiting several nations in Africa. The White House declined Thursday to release a list of those on the trip.

        That subpoena also sought a complete transcript of a July 12 press "gaggle," or informal briefing, by then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer while at the National Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria. That transcript is missing from the White House Web site containing transcripts of other press briefings. In a transcript the White House released at the time to the Federal News Service, Fleischer discusses Wilson and his CIA report.(my emphasis)

        Finally, the subpoena requested a list of those in attendance at the White House reception on July 16 for former President Ford's 90th birthday. The White House on Thursday declined to release the list, and the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, which paid for the event, did not return phone calls.

        The subpoena with the second production deadline sought all documents from July 6 to July 30 of the White House Iraq Group. In August, The Washington Post published the only account of the group's existence. (my emphasis)

        It met weekly, The Post said, and its regular participants included senior political adviser Karl Rove; communication strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas Calio; policy advisers led by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley; and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. (my emphasis)

        Current White House press secretary Scott McClellan, press aide Claire Buchan and former press aide Adam Levine have told reporters they appeared before the grand jury Feb. 6.

    So, two missing items: Ari Fleischer's press conference (in which some news reports say he admitted the U.S. made a mistake on the uranium story) and the birthday party list (which other news reports have mentioned may have something to do with Alan Greenspan being there, who is married to Andrea Mitchell, who later was queried by grand jury investigators.) And the White House Iraq Group seems to be right in the thick of things.

    Rove's America: Thieving, Treason & Torture Inc.

    by lawnorder on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 06:03:51 AM PDT

  •  Pardon my ignorance (none)
    But can Rove be indicted despite his office? How about other appointed officials?

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 06:14:06 AM PDT

  •  3 additional journalists, at least (none)
    IIRC, at least 3 more  'journalists'
    were contacted with leaked, confidential info relating to the Plame case. the Ids of two of them were public knowledge before Sept 2003.

    I think all 3 of these people have also been called before Fitzgerald's grand jury.
  •  and shrubya is so (none)
    daft you can almost hear him thinking smugly to himself, "Ha!  I showed Nixon!  He thought his 18 minutes was hot stuff - I got 11 hours!"
  •  ASDF (none)
    YOu guys know htat Matt Cooper is gonna be on Mett the Press Sunday Morning? Exclusive Network Interview.. should be good.

    Republicans Enlist! Answer the call of your supreme commander!

    by librarianman on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 06:39:37 AM PDT

  •  Six or seven (none)

    Your original paragraph said that there were six other reporters besides Novak.

    I don't want to hold a good man to some grammatical particularity, but do you mean six including Novak or seven including Novak.

  •  These types of numbers are fascinating (none)
    like Nixon's famous 18 minute gap. This is a little something on a lesser known 14 minute gap.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 07:17:08 AM PDT

  •  1 x 2 x 6 (none)
    1. Actually, the '6' are more than 6 - novak, miller, russert, mitchell, Pincus, newsday's 2 reporters, glenn kessler of wapo, matthews. All of them testified except for miller.  How many of them were called before novak's column and how many afterwards is somewhat difficult to resolve for us, while fitz can resolve it because he has finely honed timelines. For example, Novak's column first appeared on July 13, but it apparently ran on AP wire 2 or 3 days before. So all the news organizations and WH have access to that column 2 or 3 days prior to publication, but the reporters may or may not have seen it. And even if one guy reads it, they all talk about that kind of stuff on their dinner/cocktail circuit. So difficult for us to establish timelines, but Fitz got them under oath.

    2. The "1" of the 1 x 2 x 6 has always fascinated me. He is the good guy - a rare bird indeed in this admin. As another dkos diarist pointed out, I think it is Armitage. It fits his profile, he had no truck with the neocons or Bushies; he took deputy sec of state job only because of Powell, with whom he had worked with, going back to vietnam days. To me, he always represents what is the best about America - straight talking, no-nonsense guy.  In fact, in one of the hearings (9/11 commission, I think), he described himself as an ordinary average Joe, no fancy education, and all that.  There was also some speculation that it could be Tenet too, but I vote for Armitage.

  •  Albie G (none)
    May explain why Bush is touting Alberto for the US Sup. Ct....Payback for the time to destroy docs...
  •  Great diary (none)
    But I do want to comment on one thing you wrote:

    The Washington Post, citing a source, has reported that the leaker described Wilson's wife as "fair game." The Washington Post,  September 28, 2003.  Interesting language, isn't it?  That's the exact same phrase attributed to Karl Rove when he called up Chris Matthews to say Wilson's wife is "fair game."

    What the Post article said was:

    A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson's wife as "fair game."

    That could translate as:

    A source said [Chris Matthews and another reporter] quoted [Karl Rove] as describing Wilson's wife as "fair game."

    In other words, it's not clear that they are talking about a different instance than the Rove/Matthews "fair game" conversation.

  •  Hey anyone here know if.... (none)
    Hannah, Wursmer and Bolton were deposed by Fitzgerald???

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:59:37 AM PDT

  •  18 minutes erased, other blog (none)
    After reviewing the old New Yorker article and the one in MotherJones, I would have to agree that some of the modus operandi of the classified information getting spread to too many people around the time of the NY Times article by Ambassador Wilson plausibly could be the micromanagement style of say a Mr. Bolton, who, with strange prescience of misfortune described the Secretariat using a metaphor quite like the actual occurrence at World Trade.
    Which is to say I could picture this gent, who chases attorneys at midnight thru Kyrgistan hotels tossing objects when in heated political repartee, might get a copy of the original document from the intelligence agency, describing how Amb. Wilson obtained sponsorship to travel to check out the uranium tale, then pass copies of same document unredacted around the planning group in the White House.  Paperflow there has to be an office manager's most challenging lifetime experience to control.

    And regarding how much formerly deposed persons can say to the press afterward, there seem to be many opinions.  Mr. Rove's attorney appearing to vouschafe any pronouncements at all as proscribed; and titilatingly after his testifying this week, Mr. Cooper accompanied by his lawyer saying, 'Maybe', or so it seemed; he first wanted to pen the article instead of revealing to the reports on the steps outside the Grand Jury room.  The transcript of his and his lawyers several-minute impromptu statements on the steps outside this week are there excerpt toward end of transcript:

    Q: Can you tell us whether you answered all the questions?
    COOPER: Yes, I did, there were none that applied that went beyond anything where I'd gotten a particular waiver. So, yes.

    Q: (OFF-MIKE)

    COOPER: No, I believe I owe it to the readers of Time to tell the story, and I will tell this story, and I will explain what happened. I will do that as I'm allowed to under grand jury rules. But I'm not obligated to do it here on the courthouse steps.

    Newspaper, will rot your mind.

    by elate on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 10:18:18 AM PDT

  •  Great diary. Recommened (4.00)
    One of the issues I keep thinking about is the State Department memo dated June 10, 2003 that Powell had with him on Air Force One on the trip to Africa with Bush, Fleischer, Rove, etc.  The memo is what Republicans are using to say Plame sent Wilson on the trip.  Why would WH be using a classified memo dated 06/10/03 when the Wilson trip occurred in February 2002?  Where there not any contemporaneous notes made of the meeting Wilson had when he was sent?  Who debriefed Wilson and were there any notes from the debriefing.  Did Wilson write a report?  This sixteen month period between Wilson's trip and the date of the memo does not make any sense.  In addition, In May 2003, Kristoff wrote a column referring to a diplomat who made a trip to Africa the year before.  Wilson has stated that WH was in attack mode against him as of June 3, 2003.  Is it possible that somebody in WH or State Department wrote the memo at that time since the memo seems foundational to Republican Talking Points.  If it is the case that they were written to undermine Wilson at that time, what is the purpose of making them classified?  It seems to be key that the group of people who formed around this memo from the beginning are the core group of those who were working on undermining Wilson and were the same group who had been promoting the war in Iraq.
  •  One by Two by Six ( 1'x2'6') (none)
    Those sound like the measurements (in feet) to a nice sized cage.  Kind of like a tiger cage, but smaller.  Hopefully that's were the leaker will end up.
  •  Georgia, this is one of the best (none)
    diaries on this "scandal" (outrage, really) that I have read.

    I'd love to see a version of it - perhaps condensed - in an op-ed or as an article in the MSM somewhere.

    I think it clarifies quite clearly things that perhaps the average person doesn't get about the enormity of this thing.

    Thank you, HIGHLY recommended.

    "Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by hopesprings on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 02:04:50 PM PDT

  •  Kudos (none)
    To you G10, your material is worthy, as always of publication far and wide.
    Great diary and great contributions all around from the many.
    and of course, recommended.
  •  Just did a diary on Cooper's article... (none)
    Go and check it out, and recommend!

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 12:33:45 AM PDT

  •  Well, now I know the real reason (none)
    Tenet got canned.
  • Close


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